books

QUENCH

 

HANDMADE GATHERINGS

 

A YEAR OF PIES!

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: HOME DAIRY

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING BEES

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: CANNING & PRESERVING

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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  • They will see us waving from such great heights. || Plotting his future treehouse from the vantage point of @shelterprotectsyou and @sheltercollective's matrimonial altar in our yard.
  • Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. @biltmoreestate
  • I had the most profoundly memorable experience today. The cookbook club at Haywood County Library (the county adjacent to mine) hosted me, and by hosted, I mean 12 ladies selected recipes from my book
  • What better way to clear out a case of the Mondays than a giveaway?! See that lovely locally-made wooden bag dryer there on my wall? Want to win one of your own (you do, trust me)? Pop on over to small measure to enter. Link is in my profile.
  • This guy right here? While he might be growing bigger every day, the truth is that becoming a mother has helped me to grow. To be more present. To be more patient. To be more empathic. As I tell all my soon-to-be-mama friends, parenthood is the toughest work you'll ever do, with by far the biggest payoff. The lovin', and the learning, are so, so good. Happy Monday, friends.
  • Today was a good day. This view, from the top of our road, certainly helped make it so.
  • I think the 48-hour flu I've been fighting has finally succumbed to my assault of grapefruit seed extract, osha root, propolis, elderberry syrup, Oscillococinum, apple cider vinegar, rose hips, hibiscus, ginger/lemon/honey/cayenne tea, and neti pot with goldenseal tincture. I don't take getting sick sitting down. And now, a winter storm, possibly. Bring it, I say. Happy weekending, friends!!!
  • This guy.
  • I've been waiting, for a book like this, to come into my life. Whoa. Picked this up a few weeks ago at @screendoorasheville as a New Year's gift to @glennbenglish. Just started reading it myself and it couldn't possibly be more of what I need to see, right now. Completely on point, wholly attuned to what I'm presently sensing and curious about and inspired by, and infinitely humbling.
  • Warm enough today to play soccer down in our lower field, do a bit of weeding in the garden, and push a nearly-too-big 4 year-old in his
  • New year, new moons, new calendars. Right on, right on.
  • @shelterprotectsyou has been posting images of the wedding she and @sheltercollective had here in September all week. They built this altar for the ceremony, and it's still here, just past the house, on the way to the chicken coop. We pass it every day. Some days, I casually note its beauty and the way it feels like an outdoor church here in our forested cove. Other days I barely register it as I scurry about, doing this and that around the property. Today, though, in the stark, grey, drizzly setting, it was quietly regal. Happy to have had her visuals prompt me to stop, look, and listen to this physical testament to love.

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Monthly Archives: September 2008

Keep It Clean, People


I am an avowed recycler. Have been for over a decade. In fact, when I lived in an apartment in Washington, D.C. that didn’t have a recycling program, I even hoarded my recyclables for 10 months (!!!) until a friend with a pick-up truck helped me get them to a recycling facility. Glenn and I recycle everything that we can now, from junk mail, to toilet paper rolls, to the more obvious glass, plastic, and aluminum. There are, however, on occasion, items I encounter which I become suspicious about whether their entire contents are recyclable. For instance, plastic spray bottles for household cleaning products. While the bottle itself, if imprinted with a #1 or #2 in the chasing arrows on the bottom, may be recyclable, what about the spray nozzle? Do I toss it in the trash, destined for the landfill, or leave it atop the bottle it came with, and toss it in the recycling bin full of wishful thinking?


Neither option has ever appealed to me, so I came up with what I think is the best alternative: make my own replacement cleaning solution to go right back in that now-empty bottle. Dilemma solved! Plus, in the long run, you save a heap by whipping up your own brew. The materials used in the solution are common, inexpensive household items, aside from a few essential oils. The oils, though, will last for some time as only a few drops are required with each batch. Once your ingredients are assembled, it takes only about 5 minutes or less from start to finish to prepare your homemade cleaning solution. It smells great, it’s naturally anti-bacterial, it’s inexpensive to make, and it eradicates the spray nozzle quandary.

Homemade, Dollar-Saving, Fragrance-Uplifting, All-Purpose Spray

You will need:
-1 empty 32 oz. spray bottle
-1/2 c. Distilled White Vinegar
-3/4 c. Hydrogen Peroxide
-2 c. Water
-1 tsp. Castille Soap 
-20 drops Tea Tree Oil
-20 drops Lemongrass Oil

*Place all ingredients in spray bottle using a funnel or measuring cup with a spout. Shake vigorously and use with abandon!
(Recipe Source: “Gorgeously Green” by Sophie Uliano)

And They Call It Puppy Love



Not to slight my 5 cats, but I think I’m becoming a dog person. It was pretty chilly here yesterday evening and my pooches and I snuggled on the couch. It was a 2 dog evening. They warmed me right up, plus, they have velvety ears I like to rub. A cat on the lap is pretty darn nice, but thermal mass isn’t really their realm of excellence, you know?

Airing My Laundry


So, Buncombe County, where I live, is running out of gas, thanks to Ike. And bureaucracy. I haven’t gone out much in the past few days, which is great when one is working on writing a series of books!

In recognition of the gas crunch, and my own dependence on fossil fuels, I’ve decided to, in the true spirit of “small measures”, take back the air! Literally. What that means is that I’m returning to line-drying my laundry. With 5 indoor cats and 2 dogs, it doesn’t do much in the way of remove animal fur from freshly laundered items, but it sure does cut down on the electric use. Plus, it smells all mineral-y and sunshine encapsulated. Or something akin. Go ahead. Don’t take my word for it. Air your formerly dirty laundry yourself!

Reading Is Fun!



For those of you who may not know, my husband Glenn plays Scrabble competitively. It’s rather cutthroat, albeit it civil, from what I gather. Each Sunday, we kiss and part ways, he to spend the next 4 hours huddled over a Scrabble board at a big box book retailer, me to make a cake, scratch the dog, take out the compost.

This past Sunday, he returned bearing gifts. Unsolicited gifts. Not-my-birthday-or-Christmas gifts. He’s like that. The generous gifter. In any event, amongst the book store gifts he festooned me with was a copy of “Gorgeously Green” by Sophie Uliano. I’m no stranger to the craft of greening home and body and community, but this book, well, it’s got it going on. 

Covering everything from beauty to health to transport, food, travel, even appliances, “Gorgeously Green” is THE definitive tome for ladies who want to have, as she puts it, “one Jimmy Choo on the pavement, the other in the soil.” Not that I wear Jimmy Choos, or ever aspire to (last shoe purchase was work boots!); not that I get manicures, or ever aspire to (my nails can generally be found with dirt underneath of them, thank you very much); not that I need glamour on a regular basis (although I did work on my chicken book wearing high heels at home last week because, well, I blame Sheila E.). 

Despite all the “not that’s,” this book provides an abundance of valuable information. If you’re already a dyed in the wool “Gorgeously Green” lady, then get this book for your friends. It’s powerful. If you still need convincing, consider that the author got Oprah and Julia Roberts to espouse vermiculture, complete with visibly slithering worms, on Oprah’s show. ‘Nuf said. 

Dark & Spicy

Here’s a quick tip I’ve been intending to mention but just never seem to remember. I’m burning essential oil of peppermint, rosemary and roman chamomile at the moment, however, which allegedly help both memory and motivation, so, I figure this is the chance to write it down.
So, I do this little trick with coffee when I make it at home that renders it truly exquisite. It’s easy, it’s cheap, it’s delicious, and it takes you places. What’s the trick? When grinding up your beans, crack open a cardamom pod and drop the seeds in along with the coffee. Be sure to toss the pod into the compost; it’s just the seeds you’re after. 
Grind it up until you’ve rendered the beans to a fine powder. Add to your press or coffee pot, add water, and voila! Your own Turkish coffee facsimile, in the quiet pleasure of your own jammies. 
I haven’t tried it out yet, but I think a bit of cinnamon bark or a whole clove would create an equally aromatic cuppa joe. Bottoms up!