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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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  • Happy Friday! New
  • Good people, it is 73 degrees today! I've opened almost all of the windows in the house and am spotting daffodils triumphantly ready to unfurl all over the knob our house sits on. @glennbenglish served this reuben with @chopshopbutchers pork pastrami, homemade Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut for lunch as a strong breeze swept thru the house and shook things up. YESSSSSS!
  • Clowning around. || Huxley tried out Tiny Tots Circus Playtime at Toy Boat Art Collective today and really enjoyed it!
  • Chatting about existentialism, and contradicting ourselves, and winter over on small measure today. || Into the woods behind our house.
  • Players gonna play. Huxley and his buddy Bay, doing their little guy thing today at the perennially lovely @thencarboretum.
  • The garden got blanketed with what I'm hoping was winter's last gasp this past week. I'm ready for those snow-covered strawberry beds in the foreground to start putting out juicy fruits, for Huxley to dig in his sandbox again, for cocktails at sunset on the pergola, and for conversing with soil and seeds once more. Spring is coming. Really started to feel it this weekend.
  • Scotch eggs of supreme deliciousness can be had on the regular at @kingjamesavl. @glennbenglish and I savored these beauties today alongside dirty rice fritters, gumbo with poutine, and @sunbursttrout smoked trout dip, all wonderful. There was also a pint of Appalachian Brewery porter that I have to have more of. Oh, and old school White Stripes on rotation. Great food, great atmosphere.
  • Confession: until last night, I had never had honest to goodness snow cream. @glennbenglish whipped up a tasty batch with vanilla and nutmeg, and we enjoyed it alongside @oldworldlevain's heavenly frangipane tartlettes with fresh cranberries, orange peel, and cinnamon. Snow-pretty AND tasty.
  • Scattered, smothered, and covered. Snowy day in the cove!
  • We three Englishes do so very much love snow. Forecast to receive between 3-6 inches tonight! @glennbenglish captured Huxley and I taking in the view on his way back to the house after locking up the chickens.
  • Woke up to overnight snowfall, always a treat. Then heard from my neighbor Lynn, a licensed massage & bodywork therapist, that the snow was preventing her from getting in to her clients in town and, as a result, she had an opening in her schedule and could give me a massage. Whenever she travels, I pet-sit her cat Sophie, and in exchange she trades me a massage. Not only is she a seriously stellar masseuse, she also is an aromatherapist, a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner (a kind of Japanese acupressure technique), and is certified in neuromuscular therapy. So when I get a massage from her, I receive this healing trifecta involving scent, body, and spirit. Plus, in all honesty, I feel like this woman is actually imbuing my body with love when she works on me. I left her house feeling light and bright, and nourished. She has offices in Asheville and Johnson City, TN (the home massages are reserved for family and neighbors!). If you're looking for a rich, wonderful, deeply healing massage, please consider Lynn. You can find her information at www.lynnbernatsky.com. || I passed our bamboo grove and its tiny creek on my walk over to Lynn and Steve's; it somehow spoke to me of good things in store.
  • Woke up to this view. Some kind of wonderful!

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Monthly Archives: November 2010

Paying It Forward

Happy Friday, everyone! My “Small Measures with Ashley” post is up over on Design Sponge. In advance 0f Thanksgiving, I’ve been thinking a good deal about gratitude and thankfulness. Accordingly, today’s post discusses “paying it forward,” or returning a good deed done to you by bestowing kindness, thoughtfulness, and courtesy to those we interact with in the future. It’s an idea I can’t get enough of.


We’re taking it easy again this weekend chez English. I find that passing the days at home with my little guy and his Papa (who told me the other day he’d like Huxley to call him “Daddy-O”) provide more bliss and love than I ever imagined possible. It’s chilly outside, but with hot tea, delicious meals, and tons of snuggling, we’re all toasty inside.

I have two questions for you, and they’re completely and utterly unrelated, so hopefully there will be enough variation between them for some of you to have suggestions in each camp. Here goes:

1) I’ve been inspired to learn how to both sew and knit now that I have a little guy. I’d love to hear your suggestions on books for beginners on both topics (also, Asheville area folks, if you know great people teaching classes on either topic, clue me in, please!).

2) I’m looking for a good holistic infant/toddler/child care book, one in line with my own natural way of healing ethos. Have any suggestions?

I hope your weekend takes you away to exactly where you most wish to go! See you soon!

*Image from here.

Dairy Rappers Delight


Absolutely adoring this video. Dairy farmers promoting sustainable farming practices while making farming chic, modern, and especially gorgeous (because, hey, that’s how it is in real life, right?????).

I’m especially fond of Ms. Exceptionally Lovely Farmer when she raps “In my wax coat and boots, I’m proper Farmer Giles; Now look, you urban folks have stole our style.” So true. I love how farm clothing and gear have become fashionable in city settings. In so doing, it seems to validate the entire renewed interest in agriculture and nature and food cycles and systems and hand-crafted, handmade, home-spun modes of living so prevalent today.

For those of you curious about the lyrics (which are both hilarious and yet simultaneously quite inspiring, as Yeo Valley is clearly making serious strides in their attempt to tread lightly on the soil they toil), check out this link.

Big up your chest!

My True Love Gave To Me


This week I’ve dealt with the emotional and physical challenges that come from sleep deprivation, caring for a tiny newborn, pain while nursing, the physiological pendulum swing of hormones that accompanies the shift from pregnancy to nursing, and the continued challenges of anemia and wound healing following our wild birth.


I’ve been weepy and then euphoric, irritated and then blissed-out. I’m fairly certain it’s just the baby blues, but we’re taking note of everything and discussing it with my midwives (btw, on a health update, we did learn yesterday that, in addition to Huxley’s awesome weight gain, my blood pressure has gone way down-yeah! on the path towards being preeclampsia-free!!!-and my liver count is climbing steadily upwards!).

Hubs, in his eternal patience, wisdom, and love, gifted me with the above card/art piece yesterday. It couldn’t have come at a better time. He is, at this very moment, mounting it onto a piece of weathered metal so that I can gaze contemplatively at it whenever I find myself needing a boost.

Spouses like mine are more than just life partners, they’re true friends. Thanks, sweets.

Wabi Sabi

Hi everyone! My “Small Measures with Ashley” post is up over at Design Sponge. Today I’m examining the Japanese aesthetic philosophy of Wabi Sabi. I’ve long found its values to align with my own, its worldview to be one which embraces the sort of comfort and acceptance that I espouse, and it’s recognition of the inextricable link between humans and the rest of the natural world to be truly inspirational. Plus, I think it’s cool. There, I said it.

Have a fabulous weekend. We’ve got a whole bunch of nothing planned. Well, not exactly nothing, but no plans to go anywhere. Tomorrow a wonderful woman from the Asheville La Leche League is coming over to help me work on latch issues with Huxley. He latches (boy, does he ever latch!), only it kills every time he does. I know that this will all get easier in the coming weeks and months, but in the meantime, his tiny mouth feels like a vice grip each time we nurse (which, at his age, is a lot; a whole lot). Still, I’m committed to it, especially after learning yesterday at our 3-week postpartum visit that he’s now 6 lbs., 7 ounces, so he’s clearly getting enough nourishment! Plus, his, ahem “output” is vast. Hubs refers to him as “Sir Poops A-Lot.” ‘Tis true. He’ll be Hercules before we know it!

Sunday my mom is coming over again to spend some q.t. with her grandson while I (hopefully) luxuriate in a hot bath and sip calming tea. Of course, as with all things lately, I’m not letting myself get too attached to that idea…you know, “best laid plans” and all…

Wherever your weekend takes you, here’s hoping the destination is a bliss-filled one!

*Image from here.

Eyes Wide Open





Huxley is finally ready for his close up.


That last one has “please don’t eat me” written all over it, no?