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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'm only 30 pages into @tea_austen's new book
  • This tuna-mack (mackerel!) casserole puts a divine spin on the tired old classic. It took every ounce of willpower not to go back for thirds! It was egg noodles cooked with tuna and mackerel in a white sauce with eggs from our hens, flavored with tarragon, black pepper, cornichons, then mixed with bread crumbs and aged cheddar, and topped with both as well. Before it was served, it was topped with kalamata olives, capers, sour pickles, and cilantro. So good!
  • Sometimes being Huxley's mom means dressing up as Wonder Woman (to his tiny Batman) while feeding the wood stove, locking up the chickens, and helping @glennbenglish make dinner. Because, #mom.
  • I'll admit that it's pretty, but we three Englishes (and our feathered friends!) are SO very ready to be done with snow and frost and chill.
  • It's always a good day when @joythebaker stops by. Thanks for sharing food stories, sipping tea, strolling the property, and playing with our Wild child. Safe travels on your southern road trip, and beyond!!!
  • Was weeding the patio and looked up to find this little gnome picking daffodils.
  • Follow the red brick road? Indeed I did.
  • The best part of @fernworks and @killaspro traveling to Southeast Asia in January? The Thai food cooking kick they've been on since their return. Still thinking about these crazy delicious wings @fernworks made last night (using the recipe from @pokpokpdx). Thanks for having us over, buddies!
  • Back at home but missing this sight, from #selbygardens.
  • Family, gardens, and sea creatures are what characterized our time in Florida. I could stare at these exquisite jellyfish all day.
  • Nothing could be finer than to be back in North Carolina. Missed these mountains something fierce!
  • A late winter trip to Florida was exactly what we three Englishes needed, but we are glad to be headed back home to greet the spring in the magical mountains of western North Carolina.
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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? :)