maggie in floral homemade jumper

My name is Maggie Lyon. I’m a 44 year old homemaker in Southern Virginia. My internet nickname has been Miss Maggie since 1999. I’ve been a part of the online frugal food movement since 1999, and a member of the modern Christian modesty and headcovering movement since 2001. I’ve been cooking mostly gluten free and casein free since 2008.

My husband, Fred, and I have been married for almost 27 years. We have 2 children together, both boys, ages 18 and 21. They are both still at home. My husband has 2 daughters from his first marriage, who have given us 2 beautiful grandchildren. We wanted more children, but every quiver is different and God only gave us our 2.

Psalm 127: 3-5 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.

I am the original owner of Hillbilly Housewife, which I sold to it’s current owner in 2007. Since then there have many changes in my life. I discovered both of our sons are on the Autism Spectrum or just the “Spectrum” as it’ now called. Our diet changed to eliminate gluten and dairy, which was an enormous learning experience. We began homeschooling our boys, which took a great deal of time and effort, but was infinitely worthwhile. Our youngest, who has ADHD, is in his Senior year of homeschool, while our oldest, who has Asperger’s syndrome, is practicing deliberate life-skills. I’m hoping both boys will attend college in the near future.

My husband retired in 2011, so we are now living on a fixed income. We make about 1/3 of what we did before he retired. It’s been a sobering change, but one we were both equipped to manage with at least a small measure of grace.

Proverbs 30:8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me.

In August of 2013 I found my weight at the highest it had ever been. Well over what it had been when I was pregnant. I had tried everything over the years–every diet, every way of eating, from vegan to low-carb, from Paleo to the DASH diet, from diet shakes to pescatarian. I finally realized that I could not do it alone, so I joined a Christian 12-step group called Celebrate Recovery, or CR for short. You can find it at www.celebraterecovery.com. I’m having more success with this program than I ever have in the past. So far I’m down 52 pounds and have another 60 or 65 to go. I’ll share my experience along the way.

This website is intended to be a place to share my activities, recipes and thoughts with others. People have been asking me for years when I would take up writing again. I hope that now that the kids need me much less and my life seems to be more settled, I can fulfill this request and contribute my own 2ยข to the blogosphere.

Titus 2:3-5 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

In grace,
Miss Maggie

  31 Responses to “About”

  1. We are a Christian homeschooling (boys ages 12 & 15) family as well. And, ironically, we are looking at retirement in the fall on half of our already modest income. We still have a mortgage and raising kids!! But my husband needs to retire even though he is only 58, he is just worn out… he is a trade-worker. Love your old HBHW, and so glad to see this blog… it’s like coming “home”!

  2. Thanks Joanne. My husband was worn out too. He had to retire at 51, his back just couldn’t take it any more. He has a part time job now to supplement our income and to keep him from going stir crazy. His part time job is easy on his back, and that is the main thing as far as I am concerned. He can earn up to a specific amount every month without it affecting our retirement income. Like you we still have a mortgage and 2 kids who will be at home for at least another 5 years before they are fully educated and able to earn their own way. It was really scary at first because we had to downsize everything. Luckily we were able to get a new mortgage with one of the Obama programs and we were able to keep our house. For about a year it was touch and go whether or not we’d be able to keep it. With God’s grace it all worked out and we can afford to keep our house and still buy food and electricity. It’s amazing the things we took for granted before his retirement. Now we have a much better appreciation for all the luxuries we use every day.

    Good luck with your retirement. It’s not an easy thing, but I can honestly say that my husband is healthier now than he was 5 years ago and that is a luxury without price. It’s just keeping him that way, that I have to work on, lol ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Your words are *so* inspiring, Maggie! My husband is such a hard worker. In the last 5 years, he’s lost 25 pounds… and he was already a skinny man! I look so forward to getting him healthier! We’ve never been a seeker of material wealth and hard work plus thrifty living has always been our lifestyle. We’ve never been able to save money with raising 5 children on one income, but we’ve made an enormous investment in our family and eternal future!! I’m glad you were able to save your home- people can say what they want about Obama, but his administration has brought in programs for the hard working families as well. If it were not for the Affordable Care Act, my husband would have to continue to work just for health care coverage… and I fear it would be to his death. With his pension and working part-time, we will be able to afford health insurance. God bless you & your family, Maggie!

      • Hey Joanne. Health insurance was (and remains) huge for us too. With Obama Care we qualify for affordable health insurance. Without it we would simply be uninsured. Last year Fred was still covered through his job, but I was without insurance for the entire year. Scary stuff. The “What If’s” were like a dark shadow in the back of my head the whole year. What if I break my leg? What if I develop cancer? All the scary stuff that could happen. Luckily I was fine that year. Having health care again is such a relief though. Especially for the reduced cost of meds. Fred’s diabetic and his drugs are not cheap. Mine are all on the Walmart plan 3-month supply for $10, so they are pretty affordable. Fred’s though! Ach! I have no problem with Obama. I know some people do, but I figure God is in charge of who gets elected president, and who am I to question God? Politics are not my thing anyway. I’m far more concerned with the state of my own back yard and the clothes I have to hang up in it since the electric dryer bit the dust. Some folks think that’s putting my head in the sand and if it is, then so be it. I have to live in my own skin and my skin is happier staying in my own small world that getting caught up in the international political environment. Keep me updated on your progress towards early retirement. I’m interested in how it works out for you and yours.

        • I like the way you think, Maggie. I try to keep educated on the politics of all this and the one big thing that I’ve found is that the people who do the most yellin’ are the ones who haven’t spent the time visiting both sides of the fence ;o)

  3. Am sooooo glad you’re back!!! I got to “know” you as the original hillbilly housewife and loved all your posts and recipes. I loved all your musings too

    • Aww, thanks Jessie. I’m really enjoying connecting with long time fans again, and with new fans too ๐Ÿ™‚ I have so much new stuff to post. I’m just taking it one day at a time. Eventually I’ll get it all up for people to enjoy.

  4. Miss Maggie,
    I sure am glad to see you back on the internet again. I enjoyed hillbillyhousewife so much and now to see that you are posting again fills my heart with joy.
    Many blessings, Helen

    • Thanks Helen. I’m glad to be here. For a few years I didn’t have much to say. Now I’m just bubbling over with it. I’m thankful to still have readers who are interested in my work. I’m glad you stopped by. Hope to see you again ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I am so glad to see you back also. I “met” you on your Hillbilly Housewife site and have missed your encouraging posts. I also have had to change my own diet. I have discovered I have hypoglycemia. I had nearly every symptom listed on various web sites regarding it. I am now symptom free (the depression, anger and insomnia were the worst). A word of advice to those who see a tiny, petite lady: please don’t suppose she can nor should eat anything she wants even if she has never seen the other side of 100lb except while pregnant. Being small, I thought that diet certainly wasn’t the reason why I could not keep a handle on my emotions. I had had the glucose tests while pregnant which always turned out just fine (no hypERglycimia). I did not realize there was another side to the same coin. Our wonderful Lord gave me and interest in natural cookery years before I knew I needed to prepare food that way for my own medicine. I now follow a Low GI Mediterranean diet and I feel great! I am still working out the kinks. Some foods like any amount of oatmeal just make me a nervous wreck…boy I miss my oatmeal mmm mmm. May our great God bless your own venture down the road of weight loss. I will be praying for you. Sherry

    • Hi Sherry. It’s good to “see” you again too. :). I’m so glad you’re symptom free now. That is a miracle. I am not completely symptom free of my PCOS yet, but I am much improved. I’m hoping that continued weight loss will help to alleviate my symptoms further. I’ve read about other women with my condition who become nearly symptom free with enough weight loss. I guess that is my long term goal–to reduce my symptoms until they are gone, or close to it.

      I understand about finding the diet that works best for you. It may not be the best diet for everyone, but it is the one that makes you feel strong and healthy. I think our modern foods have been changed and altered in so many ways that it makes it harder than ever to find the way of eating that is best for our own bodies. Oats don’t bother me, but whole wheat, even organic, home ground, whole wheat flour, makes me sick as a dog. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

      Good luck on your journey, and thank you for your prayers ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Hello, I do not know if the “Old Fashioned Education” site is yours, or if you plan to update it, if so, many (most actually) of the Our Little Cousins books are available on Project Gutenberg (I have most on my e-reader) or on the internet archive (archive.org) of free books. Feel free to remove this message if I am speaking to the wrong Maggie. Thanks

  7. I am that Maggie WGMR. Thanks for sharing. I’m afraid I’m not able to update Old Fashioned Education yet, but I will keep this in mind when I am. It may yet be many (many) months until that point.

    Has anyone ever created a Homschool Wikia? Boy, that would be really cool.

  8. Maggie,
    I am new to homeschooling. My daughter is in the 7th grade and I am interested in using your curriculum. I am having a hard time understanding the 40 week schedule. Can you help me understand this?

    • I don’t know what tell you Christina, I haven’t updated it in literally years. I created it for my own kids and shared it online because I figured, why not. There are lots of homeschooling message boards and other groups online that are probably a lot more helpful than I can be. If you have some specific questions I can try to answer them, but I am really not an expert on homeschooling. I’m just a mom who figured out how to do it for my own kids. My methods and theory may or may not work for you. Homeschooling really has to be customized for each individual and each family. When I started I visited my local library and read up on it a lot before I attempted it myself.

      So bottom line, I can try to answer specific questions, but I’m no expert.

      • Please feel free to delete this if you think it’s not OK to put it here, but there’s a new Christian online curriculum for free called allinonehomeschool.com . She created it for her children and decided to offer it for free, like yourself. The impressive thing though is the level of organization she put into it – every day, every grade level has its’ own work. You can supplement it if you think it’s not challenging enough, but it’s a great place to start so you know each day you did some writing, some reading, some religion, some math, some history, some science, and a rota of music, art and P.E. I think she uses many of the same links that you did with OFE, since all the materials are available free online.

  9. Miss Maggie,
    It is so nice to put a face to a name. I remember The Hillbilly Housewife and I love the resources there. I found this site today from The Headcovering Movement site.

    • Hi Regina, It’s so nice to reconnect with long time readers. I’m having a lot of fun this time around. Expanding to include my hobbies and sharing all of the stuff bubbling up in my brain that just begs for an outlet. I’ve noticed that when I’m on a tight budget, my creativity and desire to share what I write just sky-rockets. It’s great to hear from you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Dear Miss Maggie, I found you when you were doing Hillbilly Housewife and loved everything you wrote. I think I printed out just about everything you offered in your blog from recipes to the most frugal grocery list I’ve ever found to great advice. You made such a difference to my homemaking and family well being. Since then I hadn’t realized you were still out there offering wonderful advice on low gluten living. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do and have done.
    In Christ, Sheila

    • Aww, Sheila, thank-you kindly ma’am. I am honored that you feel that way. I began writing regularly again in June of this year. Before that it was pretty hit and miss for several years, but I am one again feeling the Lord calling me to write, and the only response I know to that is to say “Yes sir.”

      Funny you should mention the old grocery list. I have always been more pleased with that list than any other I’ve ever created. It was the foundation of my kitchen for many, many years. Since we went gluten free I’ve had to create a different list, and it does pretty well, but the simplicity and practicality of that original list remains one that I still aspire to live up to. I hope you enjoy the new content. It’s always nice to hear from a long time fan. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Oh my gosh, yes, the grocery list! I used a modified version for years, but I don’t have it anymore. It would be wonderful to have it again – is it possible to put it up, or is it now property of the current HH owner?

  12. I recently found about 2 lb of barley in my pantry and despaired of doing anything with it that wasn’t a beef-barley soup. Then I remembered your plain muffin recipe which I printed off of HH back in 2008. I just made two batches of barley muffins and they are delightfully light and fluffy. Thank you for helping me to make do with what I have.

  13. What a wonderful blog! I am so glad I stumbled in here this afternoon. I have read much from your archives and have been encouraged and inspired in my own frugal, hard times, gfdf, weight loss journey! Keep writing! May God bless you.

    • Aww thanks Melissa J. Losing weight is hard enough, and doing it while on a budget and fighting allergies is that much harder. It is worth it though, and it really does get better. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. My children and I have successfully (by the grace of God) got through our first year of using your 40 week schedule from your Old Fashioned Homeschool site. Thank you for all the work you have put into it! It is such a blessing!

  15. I was a young wife with no children when I first stumbled upon HBHW years ago! I printed out a large amount of your recipes, some I still use and reference to this day. You taught me many things about homemaking and cooking I didn’t know. I was very sad when you left HBHW but am so excited to peruse this new site. You have a unique voice & I am glad you’re still sharing it with us. God bless you and your family Miss Maggie!

  16. […] of dial up internet later – those were the days – I found Miss Maggie, the original Hillbilly Housewife and The Food Nanny. I also signed up for the Kraft Food Magazine, […]

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