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A Year of Picnics


 

The Essential Book of Homesteading


 

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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Hijinks & Shenanigans


It’s been a wild and raucous barrel of laughs this week, which is why I’ve been so scarce around here. My father, his wife, my two sisters, and both of my brothers and their wives descended to Asheville from Tampa, Florida, South Bend, Indiana, Charlotte, NC, and Norfolk, VA respectively earlier in the week. We’ve been painting the town red ever since. 


There has been some hearty chuckling, some ravenous eating, some glass clinking, and lots and lots of back rubbing (for which my family is infamous; get to know us and eventually you’ll get your back rubbed, too-it’s an initiation right). There has been some tepid hot tub soaking (Hot Springs Spa might want to consider a name change). There has been some big house viewing. There has been some youtube watching. Today, there will be some brunch feasting, followed by some neighborhood gazing (I’m trying to convince the parentals that Asheville is where it’s at). 

I wish you all a year filled with the best of everything. My big learning curve this past year, and what I carry with me into the new one, is that, cliche as it might sound, you really can do anything you want. You have to start small, of course (this blog is named “small measures” because I’m a huge proponent of their accrued value). You have to start sensibly (if you want to win the lottery, stop praying that you one day might without doing anything about it and go ahead and pick up a Powerball ticket from the gas station). And, of course, you have to start. My girl Jenna said it perfectly over at Cold Antler Farm (check out “One Hour Better” from this past Monday): If everyone could just see the day as 24 chances to make their life a little better, imagine the resolutions that could be met? I try to be an hour better, every hour, and hope those choices add up into something I can grasp with both hands.” 

I’ve learned that, if I want to be a full-time, stay-at-home writer, I’ve got to start writing from home, full-time. If I want a voice in the design world that rubs shoulders with the homesteading and environmental lifestyle worlds, I’ve got to get in touch with people already pursuing those paths. If I want to dabble in a fiction book series (I’m SERIOUSLY stirring the pot of creative ideas these days, folks), I’ve got to start writing it, developing and naming characters, and researching my plot line. If you want something, anything, really, start chinking away at achieving it. Chances are, it won’t happen instantly. It might not even happen quickly. But, over time, with small measures everyday, it’ll happen. 

9 Responses to Hijinks & Shenanigans

  • Anonymous says:

    What a Wonderful way to bring in the New Year!

  • Emily says:

    I couldn't agree more. With small logical actions, carried out methodically and with purpose, even lofty goals are attainable. I don’t think that every day should be goal driven – no one wants to live with blinders on and there should be room for spontaneity – but I feel that having clearly defined life goals and doing something small to reach them when possible leads to a more fulfilling life. For example, saving money instead of splurging on an expensive latte if you want to get out of debt or become rich or reading a book to your child if you want them to enjoy learning.

  • sk says:

    Well said!
    Thank you so much for the inspiration you provide here. Happy 2010!

  • tigress says:

    thanks for the inspiring words ashley. i agree completely. there's a saying that i turn to often; “if you keep on doing what you always did, you'll keep on gettin' what you always got.” which basically to me means; we are responsible for our own destiny and can change it, one action at a time.

    happy new year and bonne chance with all you endeavor in 2010!

  • Jenna says:

    AE is one of the good ones. Can't wait to get your books in the mail!

  • Anna says:

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Here's to chinking away at stuff. Creative stuff.

  • Anonymous says:

    Really enjoyed reading such an encouraging word for thought and direction. Have a Blessed New Year!! Smile your face can change someone's day! LUVINS MOM

  • WOW – so well written and I so agree with you. Wishing you everything and more for 2010. And thanks for your inspirational writing in the past and into the future. The warmth and friendliness that you convey through your blog always puts a smile on my face.