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The Essential Book of Homesteading


 

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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What I’m Digging

Easter Silk EggsEaster TableEaster CandyEaster basketEaster EggsEaster HuxleyEaster MamasEaster PlateEaster Mamas & Kids
Happy Friday, friends! Hope your week has been glorious. I’ve been reading, and writing, and planning, and cooking, and doing all kinds of things book-related and non. Mostly, I’ve been outside. The cold weather seems to have finally passed, so the garden and I have been having some serious one-on-one time.

There are now 20 strawberry plants, four big rhubarb plants, an asparagus bed filled with spears, sorrel that’s returning in force, and other beds containing pak choi, cauliflower, collards, red chard, kale, cilantro, and leeks. The peas and beets Huxley and I planted several weeks ago are coming up, and there’s still some red & green cabbage and broccoli waiting to be planted. All 17 of the blueberry bushes have flowers on them, and it looks like the 4 blackberry and raspberry canes will bear fruit this year. The garden is jamming and I am PUMPED!

I’ve been thinking a good deal about intangibles and indescribables lately. Those things that one simply has to experience to understand, that words fail to describe. I was talking about this yesterday with a longtime friend of mine, a fellow writer and mama. The irony that we were attempting to talk about the things that are nearly impossible to use language to detail wasn’t lost on us.

Specifically, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a parent, and to parent. None of the books you’ll read before becoming a parent quite prepare you for the intangible aspects of the task. Sure, you can read up on cloth diapering and nursing and homemade remedies for colic, but nothing describes just how tired you’ll be and how challenged and exhausted you’ll be and how amazingly, intoxicatingly in love you’ll be, because they can’t. Sometimes, I’ll see another mom looking at her child, or struggling to open the door to a store with a wiggling baby and a shopping cart, or managing a full-on thermal meltdown in public and I’ll simply know what she’s experiencing. Or I’ll look at Glenn when Huxley has done or said something incredibly kind or sweet or dear and know exactly that we’re experiencing the same, well, “heart swell” I think I’ll call it.

This also applies to relationships that aren’t parental in nature. When you meet a new friend and you just “get” each other (right, Sara?). Or when you and your partner/significant other are immersed in total silence and complete understanding as you watch a sunset. It’s a state of being, and less a state of mind. It’s when your heart becomes your head and you learn to experience life in an entirely immersive way. That. That’s what I’ve been thinking about. Again, it’s hard to think about because it’s such an epiphanic/revelatory kind of experience. Like when someone asks how you know you’ve found your true love, and you reply that you just know. I’d like more knowing, and less thinking. More oneness and less fragmentation.

Annnnnnd, in less inside the folds and contours of my brain news, here’s a smattering of this and that’s that caught my attention this week:

*Our garden has 14 raised beds (mountain clay and rocky soil don’t always make for the choicest planting!). I love these ideas for DIY beds.

*I’ve long been a Lillet fan. David Lebovitz explains the magic of this apertif.

*Great suggestions for natural remedies for embarrassing health concerns.

*This rhubarb galette will totally be happening in my kitchen.

*Speaking of rhubarb, Marissa has 10 suggestions for preserving it.

*It’s all too easy to take remarkable things for granted, once you’ve become accustomed to them. Watching these two senior women fly for the first time is so wonderful (tear jerker alert!).

*Leigh Anne is a waxed canvas ninja! Her lunch bags are gorgeous!

*Looking for a pair of open, low-heeled clogs to wear this summer with skirts and dresses. These are cute (got any other recommendations?).

*These Italian sodas are beautiful. Bet they’d be nice this summer, maybe mixed with a little  something-something for cocktail hour.

Locals! Tomorrow is the Hard To Recycle event. If you’ve got some huge pieces of cardboard, or batteries, or electric bits and bobs that you just don’t know what to do with, bring them here!

I’ll be heading to Charlotte bright and early tomorrow morning with my mom and Huxley (lucky Glenn scored Faryn‘s ticket to Moogfest, so he’ll be sticking around town and having a dad’s day off; more than a wee bit envious that he gets to see M.I.A.!). We’re going to my nephew’s first birthday party and then I’ll be heading over to Park Road Books for a reading and signing. If you’re in the area, come on out and say howdy!

Wherever you go this weekend, whatever you do, and whomever you do it with, may it be grand!

*I typically 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. This week, though, I decided to mix it up. We hosted our own personal book launch event for Handmade Gatherings here this past Sunday. The Good Egg is an egg-based gathering in the book, filled with potluck suggestions for egg-centered dishes, egg decor, egg crafting, and egg games. So, so much fun. 

7 Responses to What I’m Digging

  • Meg says:

    For pure clog love check out: svensclogs.com !!!! Pricey but awesome!

  • Seedybeans says:

    Hi Ashley– love your what I am digging– I read it every week and totally dig your taste!. I feel your clog hunt– In fact I just bought some off Amazon from World of Clogs that are cherry red, wooden and totally fabulous and the price was right!. Here is the link in case you want to check them out. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0082O60M8/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Wish I could link a picture I took of my feet and some rainbow chard…but I see blu eis more your color– Good luck!!

  • Ingrid says:

    First of all I would like to say wonderful
    blog! I had a qick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.

    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing.
    I have had troubhle clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.
    I do take pleasure inn writing but iit just sees like the first 10
    to 15 minutes are wasted simply just trying to fiure out how to begin.

    Any suggestions or hints? Many thanks!

    • Hi! Well, it might sound odd, but I take a shower. During that time, I think about what it is I want to write, and a clever opening/introduction for getting the text going. For whatever reason, showers always make that happen for me!

  • Zoe says:

    Beautiful words on the intangibles in life. And those red/pink eggs? So totally gorgeous!

  • Drea says:

    Those easter eggs look amazing!