A Year of Picnics


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What I’m Digging

Huxley DrivewayPicnic-High AltitudePie Party TablePie Party Peach PiePicnic-Table To FarmHouseOverallsSummer Meal

Happy Friday, friends! Do you feel summer starting to wind down? I do. I’ve seen the harbingers of autumn-the acorns, the falling leaves, the goldenrod, the earlier sunsets. What’s funny, though, is that as someone who has a known reputation for not particularly caring for summer, I find myself feeling the slightest tinges of “oh, not just yet, please!” I’m not quite ready for the fresh tomatoes to disappear, or for the ability to justify ice cream consumption at any time of day to pass, or the profusion of ripe, ambrosial peaches to fade from market shelves, or the trips to the community swimming pool to end. If we could just keep all of that goodness around for a bit longer, and add cardigans and mugs of hot toddies to the mix, that’d be just grand.

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

*My talented friend Chris Bryant, who served as the art director on Keeping Chickens, Canning & Preserving, Keeping Bees, Home Dairy (which was recently translated to Russian!), and A Year of Pies (now available in Dutch!), has a book of his own coming out. It’s on chips-all of them. All the chips. You will most definitely want to add it to your cookbook collection. Oh, and Chris just started a blog, Extra Slaw. Good things coming at you, for sure!

*Apricot horchata.

*Imagine Childhood is hosting a giveaway of “Handmade Gatherings“, and offering up my recipe for Spiced Apple Poundcake from the book. Also, their autumn look book is up and it’s amazing!

*This essay on not succumbing to the “tyranny of trends” is equal parts hilarious and brilliant. Really puts things into perspective.

*There is little better than a chilled soup on a hot summer day. Here are 10 recipes to help you keep your cool.

*Mother Earth Living magazine did a feature interview of me for their current issue. You can check out the story here, which also includes three of my tips for hosting successful potlucks and my recipe for Butternut Squash & Herbed Cider Soup from Handmade Gatherings.

*Smokey Eggplant Dip, hallelujiah!

*Liesl Made is a fun new-to-me blog and shop.

*Feeling like a new pair of shoes for autumn and these Faraway Fields Oxfords are calling my name.

*Natalie‘s tiny home is pretty much done. Which means… week, she moves it out here! Woohoo! In exchange for putting her home on our land, she’ll help us out a few hours each week with gardening and other outdoor pursuits. She’s already planted crops in five beds in the garden and brought out chicken feed from her store for our flock. I am beyond excited about this partnership!

My mom has been in the hospital since this past Sunday. She has a host of health concerns, the most serious of which is atrial fibrillation, or a heart arrhythmia. She was having trouble getting her heart back into rhythm, and there was talk of attempting to “shock” it back into synch. Huxley and I went to visit her yesterday afternoon, and right before we arrived, it turned out that her most recent EKG showed it had gone back into rhythm. She gets discharged today and we’ll pick her up and take her back to her home. YES! It’s been a challenging week, for her physically and for me emotionally. I know that, in the hospital, she’s in the best place, given her health concerns. That said, she’s my mom, and I don’t like the idea of anyone being holed up in the hospital for an extended period of time, having a battery of tests run on them, trying to coax them back to health. I’m thrilled to know that, come this evening, she’ll be back in the comfort of her own home, padding around in her slippers, and cozying into her own bed.

We’ve got another picnic to photograph this Sunday. It’ll be the 13th one, of 20. My manuscript is due to my editor on October 1st, so we’re down to the wire now. SO much work, but so much fun, too, because, PICNICS!

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. Today, though, I’m showing a collection of images of many things I’ve been enjoying lately, including (from the top): lush walks down the driveway with my fellas, mountaintop picnics, annual pie competitions (my Peaches & Cream Crumble-Top Pie from A Year of Pies is at the far right corner of the second pie image), a Table To Farm picnic, new overalls (thank you, Thred Up!), our humble yet cozy home, and summer eats! 


12 Responses to What I’m Digging

  • Melanie J. says:

    Hey sweetie! Glad to hear your mom’s OK. Can’t wait to try that pound cake recipe. We skipped Sky Top last year and kicked ourselves repeatedly, so we’re looking forward to a fresh haul of apples and cider doughnuts in another month-ish.

  • jen says:

    My dad had a very very similar scare this Spring. I hate thinking of my parents as getting old. Happy to hear your mom is doing well now!

    I am so glad summer is winding down, though it hasn’t been too bad this year!

    That article is so funny and a very nice reminder of how lucky we all are!

  • Stacy says:

    Love your writing but this one… ah kindred spirits. I feel totally the same way about summer right now. My daughter is starting her tiny home in the spring and will roll it into a little fenced in field on our farm. And the food, oh my your killing me with the awesomeness of the food. Thanks for the great post! Celebrate these seasons! Can’t wait for the new book; saving my pennies. Keep inspiring us!

  • KC says:

    I always love looking at your blog suggestions. You always find the coolest people! :)

  • Lindat says:

    Love your blog!

  • I’m so sorry to about your mom’s health struggles this past week. What a relief to hear that she is doing better.

    Girl! I need those light weight overalls! Also- must try that poundcake.

  • Kim McCallie says:

    I am fascinated with tiny houses. I hope that you and Natalie will be sharing photos and stories from the tiny house on the homestead. Seeing how much someone can do in a space so small inspires me to want to make the most of the room that I have in my own home.

  • amanda says:

    I’m sorry to hear that your mom had such a rough go recently, but I’m glad she’s on the mend! It’s so hard, all around, when our loved ones (gosh, our mamas especially!) are ill and having health scares. I’m glad it’s settling down for you.

    I am most definitely feeling fall knocking on our door around here~ this morning she was calling loud and clear!

    wish I’d peeked at this earlier and seen the bit about Natalie’s tiny home being parked by the shop today- would’ve loved to have driven out to see it!

    hope you have a wonderful week~

  • Xochi says:

    Forgive me, but it looks like everyone’s freaking out about something in the center of the picnic blanket in the second photo. What was going on?? :)

    • Ha ha! You’re kind of right, but really, it was actually just me that was doing the freaking out. Huxley was about to step into a plate of food on the blanket. And so, with my mouth full of food (clearly!) I was saying “Watch out!” and moving him to the side. Good eye!

  • Lauren says:

    Love the bib overalls where did u find them :)