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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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  • When dinner is served al fresco on the patio, at sunset, in a watermelon bowl, then my heart smiles. || Egg noodles, NC shrimp and pea shoot-arugula-basil pesto topped with nasturtium leaves, sage flowers, and chive blossoms. Nearly summertime and the living is easy.
  • When your afternoon involves chilling inside the Asheville Salt Cave with 7 of your nearest and dearest and your collective 4 kiddos, and your night involves celebrating one of their birthday's with a fajita feast and @glennbenglish's phenomenal spring sangria (with watermelon and strawberries and honeysuckle blooms that I picked), then you know that today has been an extraordinarily good day.
  • Spicy pork dumplings from @ganshanstation, I love you. While everything I've tried here has been seriously stellar, @procain's dumpling situation is worth the visit alone. So, so good!
  • Here's what I did today: hopped in the car, drove about a mile over to Hominy Valley Organic Farm, and got down to strawberry-picking business. I filled a flat for $18 (at $3/pound). If you live in the area and are looking for delicious, organic, U-pick strawberries, come see Farmer Tom Monday-Friday after 2 pm. Tell him I sent ya! Now, on to jam, and Popsicles, and pie, and galette, and pickled strawberries, and more! ??????
  • Pretty much ANY time is a good time for pickles, especially now that I've added @foodinjars delicious Quick Pickled Strawberries to the mix. Sublime!
  • You're in my heart, you're in my soul.
  • A testament to the power of social media: saw @holedoughnuts post an image of their Buttermilk Cardamom Black Pepper donut this morning, ate lunch, and then made the 20 minute drive over to enjoy some in person with @glennbenglish and Huxley!  Completely worth it. So, so good!!!
  • It's not a significant thing, nothing major. Just a walk down the driveway to gather the mail. But when I do it with Huxley, and we stop to say
  • Hominy Creek, doing its spring thang. || View from our mailbox.
  • Attended my first ever handmade/homemade swap yesterday, at a friend's sweet home in Black Mountain. SO much goodness, all thoughtfully and lovingly made. Huxley came with me and ran around with the kiddos while the swap took place. I contributed these little jars of rosemary honey, which @glennbenglish artfully topped with straw-blown watercolorings. Such a great afternoon with like-minded friends and fellow mamas! Thank you so, so much for hosting, Amanda!!!
  • Saturdays are for French toast on the porch with @glennbenglish and Huxley Wild while rain showers wash over the cove. || Used @farmandsparrow's Heritage Corn Bread and @oldworldlevain's Double Raisin & Flax Bread to make cardamom French toast, served alongside butter, maple syrup, and Hominy Valley Organic Farm strawberries, all washed down with hibiscus iced tea (our warm weather cold beverage go-to).
  • A visit today to farmer Tom Kousky of neighboring Hominy Valley Organic Farm yielded: flats of flowers (geraniums, celosia, and marigolds); starts of pickling cukes, zucchini, and yellow squash; 12 basil plants; two bundles of asparagus; a bunch of spinach; a bunch of radishes; two bunches of beets; and two pints of strawberries. The obvious way to celebrate all of this goodness was to blend up some strawberry milkshakes. Happy weekending, everyone!
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Views & Shoes

I’m not prone to hyperbolic statements. Never have been. It’s just not my style. That said, I’m about to make one. Here it is: I really don’t think I could ever live somewhere that doesn’t offer seasonal changes.

The riot of color that is autumn is such a part of my reality, such a core component of my lived experiences and expectations that taking it away would be as shocking a blow to what I’m come to expect in this life as the sun not rising every morning.

And it’s not just the color of autumn that I love, although I do like the pretty. I very much like the pretty. More so, it’s the silent reminder of the ephemeral nature of things. Everything changes. Difficult situations change. Stress changes. What seems insurmountable now, it too, changes.

Leaves changing color and floating either gently to the ground, or tumbling down on big bursts of wind like they are now as I sit outside trying to type without being blown over give silent yet sturdy “this too shall pass” reminders. I like that. I need that, really, to keep me moving forward. That’s the curious thing about noticeable seasonal changes like fall foliage, winter snowstorms, spring buds, or summer rain storms-they simultaneously enthrall and captivate and hold you right here, right now, while intimating, silently, that it’s all gonna change, before you know it.

I’m also quite smitten with my new shoes. These days, it takes a hearty list of criteria-meeting for me to purchase a new pair of shoes. They must be sturdy, yet comfortable. Functional yet fashionable. I take my shoe purchases seriously, you see. These new Clarks made the cut. I broke them in during our trip up north and they’ve been nothing but wonderful ever since.

Shoes and views. There you have it.

5 Responses to Views & Shoes

  • Melanie J. says:

    Happy early birthday, Huxley!!! We’re in Mount Pisgah on his b’day, so wanted to get that in. Have a great weekend, y’all!

  • ~JackieVB says:

    …this too shall pass. Boy I really needed to hear that today. I absolutely love autumn and usually feel invigorated by the cool air and vibrant colors but have to admit I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. Your words here may just be a little sign from above that everything will be all right. And I guess I need to snap out of it so I can enjoy my favorite season.
    Cute shoes by the way, Clarks are very comfortable and I own a couple pairs of slip-ons but I like the outdoorsy laceups you’re sporting there.

  • Brooke says:

    OMG, I wore Clark Treks all the years I was in college and beyond!!! I even turned my dad on to them way back in the day. They are the BEST shoes in the world, second only to clogs (Sanita or Dansko, for me, since Olafs have gone the way of falling leaves and passing thunderstorms). The reason they come in second is that clogs give me a little added height, something I’m losing gradually with age, and also are nice insulators for cold weather. I did love my Treks though; even had them restitched after all those years when they split up the middle seam. Great pictures, Ashley. If I lived there, I’d never leave!!

  • Lois says:

    I too love autumn. I have lived in areas that didn’t have seasonal changes (like Phoenix Az) and hated it. I learned an important lesson about myself during that time period. I mark happenings in my life by the seasons. Without seasons it’s hard to remember exactly when something happened.

    Btw, there are no words to properly express the feelings I had seeing your photos, so I will only say they are amazing.

  • Susan says:

    Ashley, I’m a friend of your hubby’s from Antioch. I just wanted to pop in and say hello and greetings from the UK. I swear by Clarks for good, sturdy footwear that is timeless in my opinion. You have a beautiful life!