• Attended a love and light-filled Solstice potluck gathering this evening at the home of our dear friends Katherine and Andy. So grateful for the fellowship and community this place offers. As those of us in the northern hemisphere shift into winter, and a return to light-filled days, sincerest wishes from our home to yours for health, happiness, and abundance in the months and new year ahead.
  • A winter's day, in a deep and dark December. Enjoyed a walk down our driveway earlier to gather holiday cards and gifts from the mail with my little fella. Happy almost solstice, friends.
  • Local friends-whatever your plans are for this evening, change them! Come join me instead at @rhubarbavl for their
  • Great burger and transcendent frites with a charred onion aioli at @kingjamesavl. Great vibe and an exceptional waitstaff, which deftly caught that Huxley was nearing meltdown mode, and saved the day with a lightening fast, perfect grilled cheese. Wonderful seeing Steven Goff and @samlg87!
  • Livin' in an Appalachian paradise. ??(view of Mt. Pisgah, from the top of our road).
  • The finale at last night's Sunday Supper @rhubarbavl was this Chocolate Coffee Tart with Vanilla Orange Marmalade from my book
  • What a surreal experience last night @rhubarbavl, being served your own recipes! Shown here: Chimichurri Deviled Eggs (
  • So much delicious decadence on display yesterday afternoon at my 7th Annual Ladies Cookie Exchange. Thanks to all you lovelies (and your littles!) that made it out! Such a wonderful community of women I'm surrounded by. We three Englishes won't have to bake any more this holiday season! *That's your girl waiting patiently for the sugar frenzy to begin, @littlecoffeebeans !
  • Put this down as a night to remember. Immeasurable gratitude to @rhubarbavl for hosting recipes from all 7 of my books at tonight's Sunday Supper. @glennbenglish couldn't have been more thrilled. Our favorite restaurant in Asheville now feels even more like our dining room away from home.
  • Asheville and vicinity friends, I want to let you in on a secret. @oldworldlevain is a baked goods goddess, a fascinating woman (she bakes AND teaches tango lessons!), and simply a lovely human being. This medley of deliciousness is a mere sampling of the tastiness she had on offer today at her pop-up inside of Wood & Spoon in west Asheville. You can order regularly from her though, and you should. Her goods are creative, imminently flavorful, and clearly lovingly made. Obviously, I am smitten.
  • All kinds of magic percolating up in here.
  • Last night this sweet, tiny elf wanted me to pick him up, and then asked
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Early Stages

There’s a call for anywhere between 3-10″ of snow today. You’re looking at the early stages. This is huge news for Asheville as, being situated in a valley, large dumps of snow usually glide right by us, coating the higher elevations instead. 

We’re prepared. I picked up extra cedar bedding for the chickens yesterday, along with a large bag of layer crumble, food for the cats and dogs, and a few this’s and that’s for the humans. Glenn carried a good load of wood up to the house. We’ve got tons of candles and batteries and bottled water, should we lose power, as well as the wood stove to warm us and cook on. 

For now, I’ve got a chapter to complete in the “Keeping Bees” book (the fourth in the Homemade Living series-I can hardy believe sometimes that I get to do this for a living!) and a phone chat later this afternoon with a freelance writer working on a piece about backyard chicken-keeping. 

I’ll post more pictures of the full accumulation. I’ve never minded the snow (except for when the occasion demands that I drive in it!). It pads all the external sounds, blocking out everything but the “whish” of falling flakes. The repetitive falling is hypnotic, rhythmic, calming. It brightens and lightens the forest, otherwise dominated by varying bits of brown and grey. I’m going to fire up the kettle, make some strong coffee, enjoy a slice of Panettone picked up from my local bakery, and let it all happen. 

Do you like the snow? Nuisance? Solace? What do you do when it snows? 

Stay warm, wherever you are! 

19 Responses to Early Stages

  • nicole says:

    I *love* the snow as long as I don't have to drive anywhere in it. Living in a place with lots of hills, curves and steep inclines / declines, I've had my fair share of hairy moments behind the wheel. Once I can get home, I'll be spending this snow weekend tucked away at home, tending to some home cleaning and organization projects, dipping into a good book, and generally enjoying the quiet time before the holidays.

  • I like snow when I don't have to drive anywhere. Unfortunately, we don't get enough snow here in Virginia Beach for anyone to learn to drive properly in it. So, I try to stay off the roads.

    However, the weatherman is calling for 1-3 inches tomorrow night and into Sunday. Hopefully, it'll be gone by the Monday morning commute. :-)


  • Heather says:

    Love it! Love it so much that I planned a trip to snowy Colorado for Christmas… not expecting that my Maryland home would be getting a nice foot of snow just after my flight hopefully takes off! Irony!

  • petunia girl says:

    I love the snow, and you're correct, Ashley, about it silencing the immediate world. Because of the wind here we end up with exotic drifts. As I keep track of the drifts I can predict good & not so good places to plant in the spring which is quite helpful.

  • i like snow – the hushed sounds and light – but hate driving in it. due to a stressful night driving in a snowstorm when i could barely see the road, my car was sliding all over the road, i had to abandon the car, and find a friend with a truck to drive me the rest of the way home! and now that i live in a city and am not used to having to drive in inclement weather, i was especially nervous when driving in freezing rain in the country last weekend!

  • i miss the snow. i grew up in the countryside of Pennsylvania where the snow would fall aplenty. i have memories of crunching out to the barn(age 8-14) in knee to hip deep snow to chip ice out of our horse's water buckets in the mornings.
    now i get to gaze longingly at snow capped mountains in the distance while i walk my dog in flip flops.

  • Renai says:

    I love the snow and miss the good snowy days so much. Seattle completely shuts down when we get anything more than an inch! I loved it last year, when my apartment had a fire place and we could just hole up and not have to go anywhere!

  • Chris says:

    I love the snow . . . around here if it snows even a little the WHOLE CITY shuts down and everyone freaks out. When I was a kiddo it was all very exciting — snow day off school and all that — and I still get really excited when it snows.

  • Darla says:

    Sounds delightful!
    Sidebar, Ashley would the info in your chicken keeping book work for people in urban environments (aka philadelphia)? my husband and i are thinking of getting some little ladies but want a good starting guide…

  • darla-in answer to your question, an enthusiastic, overwhelming, shout-it-from-the-mountaintops YES! i intentionally wrote the series to appeal to those “from brownstones to barns.” the book will hit stores in march/april and it's full of all the info. you'll need to get started.
    btw, my peeps are from philly-well, more main line, but one of my closest friends is in center city. great town!

  • Amber says:

    Ashley: I'm in Candler, too…and wow, this is beautiful! It's great packing snow, and I get a day off from having to leave the house. :)

    Stephanie: Hey, you're in Va Beach? I'm from Portsmouth, just moved to Asheville this summer. I've NEVER seen snow like this!!

    Everyone keep safe and warm!

  • Amber-Small world! Where in Candler are you? We're off Hwy. 151.

  • Danielle says:

    I love the snow and here in Central VA I'm still awaiting it to start falling. I hate driving in it – but that's what my husband is for ;) there's a reason why I married someone who lived in Vermont for several years! :)

    I love the peace and beauty of falling (and fallen) snow. I love to watch the horses play in it, and the chickens march through it. There's a certain excitement that the first big snowfall brings, that makes all creatures rejoice.

    I'm supposed to work tomorrow, so it should be interesting – I'm a vet tech and someone has to go in to care for the hospitalized animals! I went by the market today and picked up some hot rolls and finished Christmas shopping, so I'm all set to be snowed in. :)

  • Anonymous says:

    How beautiful!

  • I miss it. We haven't had a real snow yet, and I'm eagerly anticipating that first day out before it gets gra and slushy.

  • Amber says:

    Ashley, me too! Youngs Cove Rd, down a ways and up a hill off of 151. Neato!

    I found your blog, and I'm excited because I want to get some laying hens this spring and hopefully start some hives. :)

  • Alicia says:

    I love, love, love snow. I have lived in New England all of my life – grew up in Connecticut, attended college in Vermont. Most of the time, people will find me snow-shoeing in the woods.

    I am not a fan of driving in ice, the result of a bad car accident last Christmas.

  • EcoGrrl says:

    I gotta say, besides the fact that it's pretty, I love the snow because it gets people off the roads and out of their cars. Less pollution (except those idiots who think they're invincible in their 4WD and SUVs), and people are just generally nicer and more sociable. Last year we had an amazing (for us) 16″ over the holidays and the city shut down – it was fantastic. People (and businesses) learned that they could telecommute, find more creative ways to get to work (two legs? skis? snowshoes? love it) if they had to go in, and that the simplest things in life involve getting out in your community, sharing a hot cocoa, watching kids and dogs play, and warming up by the fire. Love it.

    Enjoy the storm – watching you on the news right now :)

  • Amber says:

    We just got power back…how about you??