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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  • 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 www.lynnbernatsky.com. || 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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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? :)