• 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!
  • Happy Friday, friends! New
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Weekend Review

Happy Monday, everyone, and happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as well! Here’s one of his many sage, powerful, love-based quotes that I just adore:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. 

Amen to that! The sun finally returned to the cove Friday morning, so we got outside and milked as much soaking rays as we could. Our Southern & Indian mash-up meal at the Orris’s on Friday evening was stellar. A culinary combination I highly recommend and intend to pursue. Black Mountain called its siren song to us Saturday, so we headed east for eats and playtime.

Love that cozy mountain town. I’m attached to our property here in the cove, but Candler completely lacks anything in the way of, well, anything. There are neither cafes, nor restaurants, nor book stores, nor coffee shops, nor general stores, nor garden centers, nor any kind of business that would speak to us in the Candler area. Meanwhile, Black Mountain has pubs and natural foods stores and public pools and Thai restaurants (!) and wood-fired pizza joints. One day, if we have our druthers, we’ll find a nice, private plot of land and perhaps build our dream home out that way. For now, though, we just enjoy the town as guests and pine for it after we leave.

Sunday Huxley and I stayed in our p.j.’s all day long, playing, singing, dancing, cuddling, and just going slow. My kind of day.

Here’s a photo play-by-play of what went down:

*Dinner at the Orris’s (with Rob and Karie, too, seated on the right-side of the table).
*Pork vindaloo, green beans with mustard seeds, and cardamom cornbread (my new favorite thing).
*Karie’s delicious winter squash, tahini, and chickpea salad.
*My carrot pie (riddled with cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, and ginger).
*Brunch and coloring at Morning Glory Cafe.
*Huxley is a swing addict.
*Lake Tomahawk.
*Six ducks ‘a quacking.
*View of the Seven Sisters mountain range.
*Sliding in style.

And, AND, last night, we had a bit of a big sleeping routine breakthrough. Huxley slept in his bed  from 9:30-3:30. Six hours alone, people! When he woke up and cried out for me, I moved him into my bed, but at 5:30 a.m., he tearfully, desperately asked me to put him back in “my big boy bed, Mama!”, where he slept for another 2 1/2 hours. Massive.

The funny thing is that the transition seems a bit harder for me than for him. When he got in bed with me, I had this immediate fleeting thought of “Oh, good. Now I can sleep.” I’m just so incredibly used to having him beside me, hearing him breathe, knowing he’s well-covered with blankets, that sleeping without him is presenting an adjustment on my end that I hadn’t anticipated. Oh, we mothers do hover, and fret, and worry, don’t we? Meanwhile, he’s moving on, growing up, letting go. I suppose I should follow suit.

Here’s wishing the week ahead is filled with health and happiness for you and yours!

*If you’re so inclined, you can see many more photos from our escapades here. 



14 Responses to Weekend Review

  • Michele says:

    Your blog takes me back a few years to our family’s back-to-the-land period. Circumstances change, but raising kids, living a simple life, those are years I wouldn’t trade for anything!

  • Christa Hamilton says:

    I feel the same way about Black Mountain. I love that place. That little community is so sweet and has a mesh of metro & country.

  • Suzy Phillips says:

    You are such an inspiration! I love Black Mountain as well, starting in March (fingers crossed) I will start market dinners there, taking on the “Market Suppers” from the West Asheville Tailgate market to other tailgate markets and supporting all farmers in the area, big plan for 2013!

  • tess says:

    Oh, goodness, how I love the relative emptiness of a queen-sized bed just for two adults. But my husband still misses the kids in bed with us, even though our youngest stayed in our bed til she was FIVE! She’s nine now, and he’s still SO happy when she climbs into bed with him (I’m outta there!) on weekend mornings and they prop themselves up on pillows and read their own books. BUT when she first left our bed, I too, felt that I couldn’t really sleep til she climbed back in. Good luck! Two steps forward, one step back (and just now and then 1 step forward, 2 steps back, that’s okay too)!

  • Annie says:

    We miss our son in the bed, but he sleeps way better in his own bed. Our compromise is to check on him before we go to bed, tuck him in, give him kisses (make sure he’s breathing).

  • Rachel R. says:

    I love reading your blog, Ashley! You live the kind of life that I’m pining for as I get older. Congratulations on Huxley sleeping in his own bed! It was also hard for me to let my daughter be on her own. We co-slept then she slept in her crib in our room until she was around six months when we made the switch to her room. To my sadness, she immediately took to it from that first night. She slept much better when she was alone and never wanted to come back in with us. In fact, when I try to get her to nap in bed with me (she’s now 17 months), she refuses. She won’t sleep with anyone; she has to be alone. This initially broke my heart, but she’s very independent; I have to admit that it’s been much better sleeping for everyone this way.

  • mandi@herbanhomestead says:

    Way to go Huxley! And hugs to you mama. I know this feeling. My son, now 6, hasn’t been in bed with us in years. But the other night when we crawled in it felt so satisfactory. My heart was full.
    And Black Mountain, sigh… I live in Central Texas, but find myself a couple of times a month perusing the N. Carolina Craigslist for land around Black Mountain. Loved it there.

  • Jo says:

    Ashley, I’m right there with you on the co-sleeping. My little one moved into his own bed a few months ago (albeit right next to our bed) I was so excited about getting a good sleep but when he fell asleep in his own bed I felt so lost and lonely! I think the first night I just picked him up and put him into bed with me after he fell asleep. Now he crawls into bed with us early in the morning and l love that snuggle time.
    Ps. I have recently started following your blog and love it. You are one very talented lady.

  • Melanie says:

    My heart skipped a few beats as i read about your love for Black Mountain, as I share the same love for that small mountain town. I too am down in central texas and dream of the day we will get to live up there with you fine folks. Its truely the best of both worlds! For now I am down here, loving life, but dreaming of all the possiblities. Congrats on the good rest, or should i say the furture good nights rest, once you adjust :)

  • Amie says:

    Love that MLK quote! Thanks for sharing. I love following Huxley and you through the blog and am envious of your homestead. We currently are living with water as our backyard and do a garden with some friends, but someday hope to go back to a big garden!

  • ddu says:

    We always make a pilgrimage to that little bakery around the corner from The Silvery Moon for carb-laden provisions before heading up to Montreat for a creekside picnic. Black Mountain is a jewel! Best wishes!

  • amanda (sweetpotatoclaire) says:

    you were right down the road! claire and I hang at the lake a bit, or up in montreat. we are about a mile and a half from lake tomahawk~ maybe one day we can meet up at the park and chat while the kiddos swing and chase ducks. we LOVE it here, but also dream of finding that perfect plot of land near to town (yet also far enough out) to call home one day…. we have crammed about all we can into our 1/3 of an acre in town!

    I hear you on the sleeping milestones. claire has been spending at least part of the night in her own bed for about a year now, (usually calling for me to come in at some point or, lately, crawling in with us around 4 or 5am and dozing back off) and just last night she slept ALL NIGHT LONG (as in, like, 10 1/2 hours!) in her own room. gotta say, come morning, I kinda missed that snuggling. I wished and wished for our bed all to our grownup selves for so long, and now that I actually have a frame of reference growing in terms of “this will not really last forever”, I feel myself not minding the night time snuggles and calls for mama all that much. usually, anyway ;)

  • Leid says:

    Hi Ashley, I am new to your blog and so far have enjoyed it! We coslept with both our daughters, the oldest being 23 now and our youngest just turned 14. Obviously, they no longer share our bed but I spend time snuggling with each one in their beds for a few minutes each night before they go to sleep and I wouldn’t trade that few minutes for a million bucks! After I help them “get their beds warm” I head off to my own space and we all sleep soundly and comfortably! Those few minutes we spend talking in the dark are memories I hope to take with me into old age and my girls will hopfully carry this night time tradition into their own families some day!