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HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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  • 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
  • I went on a kid-free date today with @glennbenglish! And we talked about grown up things, without interruption from a 4 year-old (except for when Glenn was talking about something important and I interrupted to tell him a man had just walked by with two hooks for hands, because, hooks for hands)!! And we went to @tableasheville and it was completely delicious!!! So many !!!! Brunch date might just be my new favorite thing.
  • If you need me over the next few days, I'll be here. Cold weather coming, friends, bundle up out there!!!
  • Had such a great time chatting with Celine MacKay of @puregreenmag the other day. We discussed homesteading and writing and how I got to where I  am now and so very much more. Hop on over to @puregreenmag for the link to the interview, and if you aren't already doing so, follow them for gorgeous photos and tempting recipes and beyond!
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Hubs Considers: A Walk In the Rain

I’m still down for the count, folks. Working on getting this crud out of my nasal passages (and my eyes! It’s moved into my eyes, oy vey!). In the mean time, I am honored to bring you another lovely, thoughtful guest post from my dear, sweet Hubs, who continues to nurture me back to health with warm meals, gentle words, and hot toddies. Oh, yes. I think it’s the hot toddies that might be healing me the most. 
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It’s another rainy day here in Western North Carolina. We have lots of them, and I am very grateful for it. Not as grateful as Huxley though. As I type this, Huxley is outside with Ashley, partaking in one of his very favorite things: running through puddles while he joyfully exclaims, “go fast, go fast!” 
For Huxley, puddles are a source of play and wonder. Like most anyone that can’t count their age on their fingers, I tend to do my best to walk around them. Watching Huxley squeal with delight, I can’t help but wonder if I have been missing out all these years. Some say that if you pay close attention, and allow yourself a bit of humility, you have a lot to learn from your children. I find they’re right.

There are lots of practical reasons to avoid the rain. Soaking wet clothes aren’t always conducive to a productive day. Today I wanted to do a little reinforcing on the chicken coop, but my power tools and rain don’t mix well, so I decided to wait rather than follow Huxley’s embrace-the-rain ethos. I have no doubt that he would love to be out in the rain right now, with my power tools, commanding them to go faster. Obviously, power tools and toddlers aren’t an ideal combination. We are still trying to convince him of that, despite the occasional protest. Drilling can wait.

The thing is, when it comes to rain, a lot of us adults have thrown the baby out with the rainwater. Sure, there are lots of times when it makes good sense to avoid getting wet, but the truth is, there are also times that it’s actually a bit silly to let a few drops of water hold us prisoner indoors, because  there are plenty of fun and wonderful experiences to be had in the rain. 

There is so much dynamism that we are missing out on. Rain is always moving. Every drop catches the light and fills the empty air with substance, reflection, and motion. When we embrace that, it moves us too, and it’s pretty darned invigorating.  When the drops explode on the first surface that they contact, they create a melodic orchestra of percussive rhythms that stirs the soul, if you let it. As those drops morph into puddles and streams, the liquid connects everything that it touches, including us.

I took a walk in the woods by the house today, as it rained, and I can assure you that I didn’t melt, freeze, or float away. In fact, it was pretty fantastic. I didn’t plow through the puddles Huxley style, but I didn’t take great care to avoid them either. The sun came in and out during my walk, which is always a fun touch. I have seen the rain coming down on a sunny day. The rain makes the woods louder, and quieter at the same time. The leaves crunch less, the birds are less chatty, and the white noise of the pitter-patter muffles many of the usual sounds. 

With so many different surfaces, from an infinite variety of leaves, rocks, downed trees, and streams, the orchestra is particularly marvelous. The brooks all babble at full throttle, and on this day, the rumble of thunder made for some heavy-duty bass riffs. When wet, every surface in the forest becomes a reflective surface, catching the light, and bending it. It’s nothing short of miraculous.

I know it’s a simple thing; a walk through the woods in the rain, but simple pleasures appeal to me more and more these days, and when I give them careful attention, I find the wonder that’s always all around us, but all too easy to overlook. I suppose I have Huxley to thank for that. 

You can see more images from Hubs’ walk in the rain here.

9 Responses to Hubs Considers: A Walk In the Rain

  • Frivolitea says:

    The images are beautiful and I enjoy your reflective writing.

  • Oh I love this post! So beautiful, moving and sweet, all at the same time. Keep 'em coming, Glenn!

  • Dixie J says:

    Beautiful post. It makes my heart glad when I see children (actually anyone) enjoying the outdoors. Have you read the book “Last Child in the Woods?” I highly recommend it as it is about our connection (and the lack of connection) with nature.

  • Apseed says:

    Incredible photos with a beautiful post!
    I hope you feel better soon, Ashley!

  • Jessica says:

    What a great reflection! Its raining here too so I've been walking in the rain all week. And lovin' it!

  • Geoff says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Rebecca says:

    Love it! And love the CCR reference!

  • Kristy Lynn says:

    i adore walks in the rain! especially if you're surrounded by woods. sometimes if it's raining and i have my umbrella i'll walk down a quiet street and then just stand there and listen to the rain on the umbrella. it sounds like camping :)

    also: i hope you feel better soon. i've got a helluva bug that's had me down for a good 2 weeks. getting better now though. :)

  • Sarah says:

    I decided on a run in the rain the other day. We a nice park near by that overlooks Lake Michigan. The moody colors of the lake combined with the fragrance of the wet spring flowers was heaven.