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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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  • 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.
  • This caramelized cinnamon citrus
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Bird Is the Word





Sometimes serendipity shocks me. Stops me dead in my tracks. Something happens, so perfectly aligned and harmonious and balanced that it takes my breath away.


That’s what happened recently with Amanda of Bird for Bread. Here’s the play-by-play:

1) About two weeks ago, I mentioned to my sister, Devan (who flies into town this Wednesday from Florida to visit and help prep for the Nugget Warming soiree on Saturday) that I wanted us to make some sort of natural decor or embellishment for the party. Something that could go up in his room afterwards, that was hand-crafted and played up on the “forest” theme we’re shooting for in the nursery. I told her that I didn’t know quite what I wanted, but for us to both put our thinking caps on.
2) Later that day, I checked my Twitter account, to see if anyone had sent me any messages or made any “@ashley_english” tweets I might want to reply to (I always try to reply to folks who mention me, out of courtesy, because I like to both express my gratitude and make myself accessible).
3) On Twitter, I saw that @birdforbread had mentioned recently purchasing my “Canning & Preserving” book. I sent her a return thanks, and then, because I am an inherently curious person, went to check out her own website.
4) It was there that I witnessed her garlands. “EUREKA!” They were exactly the decor I’d been looking for, but didn’t quite know how to visualize.
5) I wrote Amanda, who runs Bird For Bread, inquiring into the garlands and whether they were available for purchase, or in a tutorial format so that I might make them myself, with Devan’s help during her visit.
6) A little bit later, in my personal e-mail inbox, I received a message from Amanda herself. Turns out, she’s read not just my “Canning & Preserving” book, she’s also gifted her neighbor with my “Keeping Chickens” book. She proceeded to tell me that she’d like to GIVE me some garlands for the shower!
7) I write her back, detailing the above series of events, practically on the verge of tears, so moved am I by both her generosity and the auspicious, serendipitous nature of the whole thing.
8) She sends me the garlands, which are pictured above and are so, so very perfect, and then tells me she’s also sending along a mobile, to go above Nugget’s crib.
9) I am floored and humbled beyond words.
10) In a handwritten note, Amanda details the following: the acorns, black walnuts, and birch branch slices were gathered by she and her children during a stroll in the forest; the twine was hand-dyed with fair-trade black tea; the metal on the acorn tops and leaves is recycled scrap metal; and the oxidation finish used on all of the metal is obtained via an egg wash from her neighbor’s chickens, so as to avoid use of chemicals.

Stopped you in your tracks, too, didn’t it? Thank you, Amanda, from me, Hubs, and Nugget!!! Bird is the WORD!

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