A Year of Picnics


The Essential Book of Homesteading















  • Suffice to say Alistair dominated my feed in 2017 Seemshellip
  • I went in for the coconut cake SO! GOOD! andhellip
  • Hello darkness my old friend The cold comfort of winterhellip
  • Happy birthday to this Brazilian beauty You know those kindhellip
  • We made snow cream sundaes and hot chocolate and watchedhellip
  • When I think about my intentions and resolutions for thehellip
  • Stay frosty Huxley but dont grow up too fast okay?hellip
  • Cold as ice Hominy Creek which runs beside our roadhellip
  • Oh what a long strange trip its been Exactly onehellip
  • In 10 days Alistair and I fly from Asheville tohellip
  • Snow day snow cream sundae making me all kinds ofhellip
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What I’m Digging

Huxley Creek
Happy Friday, friends! I hope your week has been a good one. Ours sure has. Spring arrived, review copies of Handmade Gatherings started getting shipped out and its book trailer debuted (and a very sweet review of it appeared on Design Sponge earlier this morning-thanks a million, Grace!), flowers started popping up all over the place, we haven’t had a fire in the wood stove in a few days, and, in very exciting news, Jen Altman and I shot the first images for my new book. This book will be all about a topic very near and dear to my heart-picnics! I’ll share more details along the way, but for now I can tell you it’ll be packed with recipes, crafts, activities, and tips for pulling off 20 creative, clever, fun picnics, and will be published two years from now, in 2016. Also, you’ll love it. Promise.

In other news, here’s a smattering of this and that’s that caught my attention this week:

*Lovely post about planting a bee garden from one of my favorite herb companies.

*This Vitamin String Quartet tribute to New Order’s True Faith rocked my world. I adore string instruments. Truth-hearing them often reduces me to tears.

*I’ve got some slowly fading bananas that would be perfect for this.

*Imagine Childhood’s spring catalogue is out and they’re celebrating the season by offering a lucky reader a $150 gift certificate!

*Grounded Magazine just launched their spring issue. I contributed an article sharing how having a child helped me learn to be a more patient person, which I thought I already was (I was not. I was SO not).

*Holy Lemon Heaven Cake!

*This article about letting children take risks and learn self-confidence and courage in the process really, really resonated with me.

*I paid my family doctor a visit about two weeks ago. I was due for a physical and I also wanted to discuss some concerns I had with her about two specific things. Turns out both were related to stress. My life is full of stress. It’s all good stress, and I wouldn’t want to change my life at all, but, still, it’s stress and all stress takes a toll over time on health. She suggested some herbs to help, and I picked up a bottle of Tension Release after our visit from Katuah Market, a new natural foods store here with a strong emphasis on local purveyors. I can’t recommend the product enough.  A blend of four herbs (passionflower, ashwaganda, eleuthero, and lemon balm), it’s calmed me in a very gentle way; in other words, I’m still totally lucid and focused and not tired from it, as I have been with other relaxing products in the past. I’m no doctor, but I can attest to the way Tension Release has greatly aided me since I started taking it. Side note=locals, Katuah is having a 30% sale this weekend on a huge amount of their supplements, including this one (look for products with a green dot on the price tag). Go support them, if you happen to need a supplement, and tell my girl Farra, the red-headed pixie that manages the supplements and body care department, that I sent you!!!

*Oh, YES! This idea of building a picnic table around a tree trunk is speaking my language.

*If you happen to be in Asheville on a Thursday evening, I highly, highly recommend you enjoy the Family Meal at Rhubarb (you’ll need to call in advance for reservations, as it only happens once right now, at 5:30 p.m., and seats around 23 people). A fixed price, 3-course meal (it’s between $15-$17/person) served family style (meaning communal bowls of food are passed) using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients, Rhubarb’s Family Meal is quite possibly the best value for dinner in the entire city. We went last night, and I cannot really capture in a short mention here just how glorious the meal was. This was my second family meal, Glenn’s third. It’s amazing and such a wonderful means of connecting with other people over food and forging community. Go, please, and do tell them I recommended it to you!

This weekend, I plan to get seeds planted in the garden, spend some quality time with my boys, and get in a little coffee date with my dear Nicole. May spring shine its light and warmth on you. Wherever you go, whatever you do, and whomever you do it with, may it be grand!

*I post a photo of Huxley in my “What I’m Digging” round-ups because, truly, he’s what his Papa and I dig the most. Our flaxen-haired wild child has been having fun playing in the creek that flanks the bamboo grove beside our house. Gotta break in those new rain boots one way or another! Thanks to Glenn for the photo! 

2 Responses to What I’m Digging

  • Kim McCallie says:

    I’m happy to say that I’m one of those who received a review copy of “Handmade Gatherings”. I will be sharing my thoughts soon on my blog. It is a wonderful book and I don’t feel worthy of reveiwing it now that I’ve read it. I love reading everything that you write and look forward to more. Best wishes on the exciting weeks ahead of you as you will be receiving much well-deserved praise for this book.

  • natural solutions to what ever ails you are the best! I use essential oils and can’t recommend them enough. You just need to slow down and ‘smell the roses’!