books

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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  • I had the most profoundly memorable experience today. The cookbook club at Haywood County Library (the county adjacent to mine) hosted me, and by hosted, I mean 12 ladies selected recipes from my book
  • 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.
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Recent Acquisitions

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Alright, friends. Here it comes. Full disclosure time. All of my holiday decorations are still up. As in, the tree, the felt ornaments on the mantel, the pictures of Huxley with Santa, the globe lights in the dining room. All of it. It’s still on display in pretty near every room of the house.

Lest you think I’m lazy, let me assure you, that’s so, so not the case. The thing is, I really love holiday decorations, or, at least the simple, natural type of winter holiday decorating that I’m drawn to. After all of that glorious build-up to the big day, and the decorating, and the festooning, and the “Let’s go turn on the lights on the tree, Huxley” excitement that has characterized our last 6 or 7 weeks, packing it all up and hiding it away in the attic until next year feels so, well, sad, and anticlimactic.

That is, until today. This morning, I could feel the tide begin to turn, the pull of the rest of winter’s magic starting to build. A large part of that is due to my thumbing through Beautiful Winter. I picked this book up just before Thanksgiving, in a holiday sale at a book club I belong to. I’ve had it on a side table in the living room, looking pretty but otherwise neglected. In between working on manuscript edits today, I glanced over at it and picked it up.

And there it was, the other part of winter decor that I love so very much. Bulbs! Branches! Evergreens! This book is just what I needed to get me out of my “BUT I LOVE THE CHRISTMAS TREE” rut and into a bulb-planting, branch-forcing, twig-gathering groove. It’s full of fun projects, many of them that I know will serve as prompts and catalysts for interpretations of my own.

Here’s wishing you a beautiful winter of your own, and, if you opt to leave your holiday lights up year-round, then know that you’ve got a friend in me!

8 Responses to Recent Acquisitions

  • Lindsay says:

    I was thinking the exact same thing this year! Why did I put it all away? Could I repurpose that evergreen wreath outside? I almost stole red berried berries from the highway exit to take home!

  • Chris & Skip says:

    Our stuff is still up too. We were safe until Dia De Los Reyes—the Three Kings Day—January 6 but now we’re heading into Mrs. Havisham’s territory. Looking forward to clearing out the Christmas clutter this weekend. We have forced bulbs narcissus bursting free but your images have me wanting hyacinth too. And tulips! Hey don’t forget to look outdoors. I saw buds on the flowering quince bushes and winter honeysuckle is popping out (and very fragrant) a couple of places I’ve passed on my walks. Bet after this weekend’s heatwave the forsythia will be ready to come inside too.

  • jen says:

    I left it up until New Years and then it all came down. My neighbor got my chicken tree which they cut up and are using as chicken bedding. :)
    I love the holidays but i’m also a minimalist at heart. After all the swag and lights and merriment in every room and seemingly on every surface, I do enjoy the return to our simple and clean decor. Though by looking at those photos, I think my rooms could stand a little sprucing up!

  • Elaine says:

    We usually keep our tree up until the eve of La Befana, but this year we got ours early and it was way to dry for my comfort, so it came down on the 2nd. I do still have my wreath, winter altar and lots of twinkle lights (which yes, I leave up year round:) they make me happy! That book looks lovely, lots of inspiration for decorating!

  • Aimee (EcoGrrl) says:

    Heh. My neighbor across the street has different lights for each holiday – their Valentine’s Day lights will be going up soon. Nothin’ wrong with lights – I love quiet neighborhood streets lined with white lights :)

  • Betty Minnes says:

    The book looks great! I love the forced bulbs. We get so much winter here that a person gets anxious for new growth.

  • Lacy says:

    Haha, the timing! We just took our tree down about an hour ago. My husband and I are expecting our first baby next month, and I think that made us want to leave our tree up forever since this was the best Christmas we’ve shared so far. I love the mental image of you turning the lights on for Huxley… I bet Christmas just gets better with a baby around, huh? :)