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HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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  • When your afternoon involves chilling inside the Asheville Salt Cave with 7 of your nearest and dearest and your collective 4 kiddos, and your night involves celebrating one of their birthday's with a fajita feast and @glennbenglish's phenomenal spring sangria (with watermelon and strawberries and honeysuckle blooms that I picked), then you know that today has been an extraordinarily good day.
  • Spicy pork dumplings from @ganshanstation, I love you. While everything I've tried here has been seriously stellar, @procain's dumpling situation is worth the visit alone. So, so good!
  • Here's what I did today: hopped in the car, drove about a mile over to Hominy Valley Organic Farm, and got down to strawberry-picking business. I filled a flat for $18 (at $3/pound). If you live in the area and are looking for delicious, organic, U-pick strawberries, come see Farmer Tom Monday-Friday after 2 pm. Tell him I sent ya! Now, on to jam, and Popsicles, and pie, and galette, and pickled strawberries, and more! ??????
  • Pretty much ANY time is a good time for pickles, especially now that I've added @foodinjars delicious Quick Pickled Strawberries to the mix. Sublime!
  • You're in my heart, you're in my soul.
  • A testament to the power of social media: saw @holedoughnuts post an image of their Buttermilk Cardamom Black Pepper donut this morning, ate lunch, and then made the 20 minute drive over to enjoy some in person with @glennbenglish and Huxley!  Completely worth it. So, so good!!!
  • It's not a significant thing, nothing major. Just a walk down the driveway to gather the mail. But when I do it with Huxley, and we stop to say
  • Hominy Creek, doing its spring thang. || View from our mailbox.
  • Attended my first ever handmade/homemade swap yesterday, at a friend's sweet home in Black Mountain. SO much goodness, all thoughtfully and lovingly made. Huxley came with me and ran around with the kiddos while the swap took place. I contributed these little jars of rosemary honey, which @glennbenglish artfully topped with straw-blown watercolorings. Such a great afternoon with like-minded friends and fellow mamas! Thank you so, so much for hosting, Amanda!!!
  • Saturdays are for French toast on the porch with @glennbenglish and Huxley Wild while rain showers wash over the cove. || Used @farmandsparrow's Heritage Corn Bread and @oldworldlevain's Double Raisin & Flax Bread to make cardamom French toast, served alongside butter, maple syrup, and Hominy Valley Organic Farm strawberries, all washed down with hibiscus iced tea (our warm weather cold beverage go-to).
  • A visit today to farmer Tom Kousky of neighboring Hominy Valley Organic Farm yielded: flats of flowers (geraniums, celosia, and marigolds); starts of pickling cukes, zucchini, and yellow squash; 12 basil plants; two bundles of asparagus; a bunch of spinach; a bunch of radishes; two bunches of beets; and two pints of strawberries. The obvious way to celebrate all of this goodness was to blend up some strawberry milkshakes. Happy weekending, everyone!
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Baby Talk

The stack of books before you has made up the bulk of my momma-to-be reading. There were several others, as well, borrowed from my midwife’s offices and since dutifully returned.


Aside from “Birthing From Within“, I’ve read all that I expressly wanted to in advance of Nugget’s arrival. That said, I’m totally open to further suggestion. Got a go-to book that provided it’s own pearls of wisdom in your birth experience? I’d love to hear about it.

We’ve got 10 weeks to go and I’ve already read all the “ancillary” reading I was planning to read this summer (including “My Life In France” and the first two Stieg Larrson books). I’ve got time to spare and eyes primed for further reading!

19 Responses to Baby Talk

  • Anonymous says:

    You might enjoy the novel The Birth House which follows the life of a country midwife at about the turn of the twentieth century and how life changes for her and the community of women she serves with the arrival of “modern” medicine. I don't recall the author, but it is a well-researched work of historical fiction with interesting characters, very thought provoking. Nothing can really replace the deep and practical wisdom women carry within.

    All the best to you as you approach your upcoming milestone!

  • the mama says:

    I second The Birth House – it's SO good. I also really liked Gentle Birth Choices, although the chapter on the history of birth made me sob hormone-laced tears.

  • There's a brand-new version of the LLL classic, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding–how I wish I'd read that before my baby came! There are tips for getting a good start with breastfeeding & troubleshooting various issues that may come up, but it goes well beyond that to general baby & mama care.

    Aviva Romm (herbalist & midwife & MD in training) has some great books on pregnancy, the postpartum and, my favorite, frequently used reference: Naturally Healthy Babies and Children. It has been my primary go-to whenever my boy's been unwell.

    Another first-rate reference is a website focused on breastfeeding, run by a lactation consultant (IBCLC) and loaded with easy to access information & articles: http://www.kellymom.com/index.html

    While the book-learning is valuable, it looks like you are well-informed and prepared. The right brain/intuitive side is also a font of much wisdom & knowledge about your baby & what he or she needs. Hope you are able to savor the remaining days of your pregnancy, and best wishes for an empowering birth!

    Great to chat with you, by the way!

  • Ally says:

    I was a big fan of The Baby Book by William and Martha Sears. Helped me a lot. Also the Natural Child by Jan Hunt.

  • sk says:

    Right now I'm reading Tommorrow's Baby by Thomas Verny and finding it fascinating! It doesn't have birthing advice per se– more like parenting advice, but I am loving it. I'm also reading Healing Our Children, by Ramiel Nagel, and The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth (which is a bit stressful, in my opinion).

    I've also heard good things about Aviva Romm's books, and Real Food for Mother & Baby by Nina Planck.

  • Good for you for reading all that! When I was pregnant my first time around I had ZERO attention span, and couldn't even read through a full magazine article!
    This time though, I have a few reads recommended to me that I bought last time, but WILL read and use this time:

    Wise Woman Herbal: The Childbearing Year
    by Susan S. Weed

    Spiritual Midwifery
    by Ina May Gaskin

    Natural BabyCare
    by Colleen K. Dodt

    Raising Baby Green
    by Alan Greene, M.D.

    Good luck with everything! :)

  • Anonymous says:

    I have a gaggle of girlfriends who are in the midst of babymaking and 1st birthdays. I have become a baby shower expert…invitations, party favours, the whole lot.

    So, while not exactly a baby making expert given I haven't a bun in the oven myself, all of my girls swear by the What to Expect series. It is the get you through the madness kind of detail though perhaps more conventional advice than you may be looking for. As well, for a more humourous read, a couple of them also found The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy to be something of a relief.

    As for good reads, I vote for the Stieg Larson series, The Birth House and The Help.

    All the best as you prepare for the arrival!

  • I think every parent should read The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease.
    http://www.amazon.com/Read-Aloud-Handbook-Sixth-Jim-Trelease/dp/0143037390/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1282749200&sr=1-1
    Reading aloud to your child from birth is SO very important!

  • Elle Ross says:

    I had really bad colic when I was a baby, so I read The Happiest Baby on the Block, which dispels the myth that colic is caused by stomach trouble and explains in great detail how to swaddle, rock and calm an upset baby. Great read~

  • spike says:

    I just happened to be staring at book spines today at the store wondering what else to pick up. But, I wanted some more suggestions…so, thanks for asking!

    I already ordered the Bradley Method Book, “Natural Baby Care: Raising Your Child the Way Nature Intended”, and “The Discipline Book” form Amazon yesterday.

    I would love to hear your take on the Birthing From Within method. I can't get a real grasp on that one. I might be to practical for it. I'm leaning towards Bradley.
    Happy Reading!

  • Anonymous says:

    Don't read TOO many baby advice books ahead of time … you could drive yourself absolutely crazy! Once you're in the trenches, you'll figure out what you need to research.

    A friend gave us the DVD of “Happiest Baby on the Block” and it was 15 minutes of absolute golden advice which saved our bacon in those first few weeks. The five S's were the key to sanity. We wished we'd watched it before baby arrived and not at 3 a.m. a week after she was born.

  • Helen says:

    The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin. Aside from Ina May, this was THE most helpful book for me. Birthing from Within was a bit too intense for me, made me feel more anxious than prepared. At some point though you just have to stop reading and trust yourself to know what to do and how to be.
    as I am here I will also say that my novice chicken husbander husband said your book was the best book on chickens and admires you greatly.

  • Paige Appel says:

    Those are all my faves. Ina May's was my bible during pregnancy. It lead to a beautiful water birth. Yay for nugget! xoxoxo Thinking of you here in LA.

  • Leanne Coppola says:

    The Mommy Md's guide to Pregnancy and Birth is a great one. Just released, it is a book of tips written by mothers who are also doctors and midwives.

  • Heidi says:

    When you've reached expert overload and worry that you'll mess up your baby just by breathing on him/her wrong, pick up Free-Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy. It's a breath of fresh air.

  • Mama Bird says:

    Don't skip Birthing from Within – it's a must-read.

    Buddhism for Mothers will get you through after baby arrives. It is like a Bible for mothering for my village.

    Another great read while expecting, The Red Tent. Read it before both my babies came.

    (I'm enjoying your blog!)

  • Chris says:

    I would recommend “Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born” by Tina Cassidy. Overall intersting reading on the history of birthing practices and practitioners. And for after nugget is born, I found “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” by Marc Weissbluth was a good resource for information on baby's sleep needs, patterns, etc.

  • Chris says:

    I would recommend “Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born” by Tina Cassidy. Overall intersting reading on the history of birthing practices and practitioners. And for after nugget is born, I found “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” by Marc Weissbluth was a good resource for information on baby's sleep needs, patterns, etc.

    Off the subject – I made your recipe for apricot jam (adding in some lavender) a few weeks ago and it turned out great. Thanks!

  • Kate says:

    “The Birth Partner” is excellent, for both expectant parents.

    For parenting, “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk” is something I use constantly. “Everyday Blessings” is extraordinarily helpful in coping with the emotional ups and downs you will have.

    In the baby days I think the only advice worth giving or getting is “sleep when the baby sleeps”. Seriously, do that.