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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  • 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: 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?