• 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 || 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!
  • Spotted Quench in the wild today.Always a thrill to see my books out in the big world, and rubbing elbows with friends @thejoyofcooking, no less!
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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??