• 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.
  • The chickens told me they much prefer the rain this week to last week's frigid weather, thank you very much. I couldn't agree more.
  • These potatoes @tableasheville changed my culinary life. They called them hash browns, but they were unlike any I'd had before. Par-baked perhaps, smashed into halves I'm guessing, and then roasted and maybe finished with a quick fry in the skillet and scattered with large sea salt granules? Whatever the method, the result was a creamy, yellow center and a crispy, salty exterior. Quite possibly the best hash browns I've ever had.

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Monthly Archives: October 2010

Chicken-tendering, Zenchilada-style

I invite you all to take a minute and check out the most recent edition of online food magazine “Zenchilada.” I was approached by editor Ronni Lundy several months ago about contributing to both their Fall 2010 and Winter ’10-11 issues. You can find the fall edition, entirely devoted to all things chicken, here. My article begins on page 32, with a bio listed on page 161.

The magazine (for which I’ve posted the July 2010 cover above; couldn’t find the most recent cover available in jpg form to save my life) is gorgeously and thoughtfully curated. Those new to keeping chickens will find just as much valuable information here as those who’ve been dyed-in-the-feathers for some time. There are also recipes and anecdotes aplenty. Enjoy!

*Image from here.

A Wild Ride

Whoa. That wasn’t the week I had planned. Not even close.

The thing I’m learning, and rather quickly, about this whole parenting game, is that you just can’t plan for it. At all. Big thanks go out to Hubs for giving you all little updates as the labor and delivery progressed. What it taught me, in a life-altering way, is to just step into the current, allow myself to be carried along, and be thankful to arrive at the destination, wherever it may take me.

I’d like to share with you what happened. It’s a harrowing tale, full of unexpected twists, hairpin turns, and near collisions. Ultimately, it was a wild ride. Strap in folks, this one’s a long tale.

To say that things didn’t quite go according to my plans/ideas/expectations is the ultimate understatement. In fact, things went all very, very wrong, beginning last Thursday morning. I awoke around 12:45 a.m. with cramping in the side, exactly like what I’d felt 3 weeks ago when I ended up in the hospital. Within 15 minutes, it had gotten horrible. I could barely walk and I began to become physically, and violently, ill. We arrived at the hospital around 2 a.m.. My midwife, who met us there, said I actually wasn’t in labor. She didn’t know what was causing the pain, only that my preeclampsia was getting out of control, so they induced (my liver and kidneys were failing and my b/p was getting higher and higher so they also hooked me up to a magnesium sulfate IV to keep me from going into eclampsia and then having seizures, which I’d just began to experience as full body tremors).

I had the baby naturally a good bit later, at 10:20 p.m. (my epidural didn’t totally take, which I’m glad for, because I felt all of the contractions, as well as the urge to push). I labored for 6 hours and pushed for 40 minutes. All seemed well and they transferred us to the “Mother and Baby” floor around 3 a.m. Suddenly, six hours after the delivery, I began to massively hemorrhage. About six nurses filled the room, pushing very, very, very hard on my already tender abdomen. To hemorrhage so late after a delivery is really, really rare.

The next morning the pain that I’d experienced Thursday that sent me to the hospital initially returned with a vengeance. At first we thought it was a kidney stone. It wasn’t until Saturday evening, though, following an X-ray, a CT scan, and an ultrasound that we learned what was causing such horrific pain. It turned out I had a twisted ovary, known in medical parlance as an “ovarian torsion.” This, apparently, is also exceedingly rare (the surgeon that ultimately took it out said I was only the 3rd one he’d seen at such a late stage of labor in his 20 years of medicine). The ovary had become necrotic, and had began causing me to bleed internally. Emergency surgery was performed, which saved my life, and the ovary and its fallopian tube removed. We left the hospital Sunday evening and I’ve been home recovering since.

Clearly, none of this was what I’d planned. Honestly though, I am so, so very glad for how it all worked out. Had I labored and delivered at home, the midwives would have been gone by the time that I hemorrhaged. Also, I might not have had my god-awful pain (the ovarian pain was way worse than labor) dealt with as expediently, professionally, and superbly as it was. The surgeon told me I dodged a bullet-twice. In the old days, I’d have been one of those ladies that didn’t make it through labor. And so, I am so eternally grateful for the way it all manifested, what I learned in the process, and for the love muffin Hubs and I received in return.

Huxley Wild English is great, and, given the circumstances surrounding his arrival, muchly deserving of his middle name! The hospital staff and my midwives are absolute angels masquerading as humans. Things are beginning to balance out. My mother-in-law, another angel, is with us until next Wednesday, visiting from Florida. She’s been truly wonderful!

It was certainly an epic ride. I’m absolutely loving being a mother. I even love the late-night feedings, multiple diaper changes, and intermittent sleep. I love calling Huxley “peanut sauce” (this one even has its own song!), “monkey”, “pea pod”, “chicken”, “nugget” and more. I love staring at this tiny eyelashes, listening to his soft breath, and smelling his sweet smell. All’s truly well that ends well. I’m utterly smitten.

I’ll take pictures of Huxley soon and post them here once we get our whole nursing/sleeping/pooping thing down a bit more first. Thank you for your kind words of care and concern. The love surrounding my family is truly palpable, and infinitely appreciated.

Welcome to the world, wee one! You’ve got loads of folks with your best interests in mind!

*Image from here.

swaddled bliss

Hi all, Ashley still can’t make it to the computer herself, but she appreciates all the kind thoughts. She’s been having a tough time because of complications caused by the preeclampsia, but the big risks seem to be behind her and the baby is doing great. Here are a couple pics, if I can make it work…

the bon vivant est arrivee!

Huxley Wild English made his debut appearance to the outerworld yesterday, 10/21/10 at 10:20pm. He’s 18.5 inches long, and weighed in at 5 lbs, 14 ounces. He’s already mastered the fine art of snuggling like a tree frog. Ashley thanks you all for the kind thoughts!

nugget can’t wait

Hello all, this is Ashley’s husband, Glenn. Just a quick update… Last night Ashley had to be rushed to the hospital because of side-effects from the preeclampsia. We thought it might be labor at first, but that turned out not to be the case yet. Her blood pressure was dangerously elevated and her blood platelets were dangerously low, so they decided to induce this evening to be safe. Fortunately both her blood pressure and her blood platelets have improved, and the baby’s signs are all great. Everything seems to be moving along smoothly and Huxley Wild English should be making his outerworldly debut sometime late tonight or tomorrow.