• Good people, it is 73 degrees today! I've opened almost all of the windows in the house and am spotting daffodils triumphantly ready to unfurl all over the knob our house sits on. @glennbenglish served this reuben with @chopshopbutchers pork pastrami, homemade Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut for lunch as a strong breeze swept thru the house and shook things up. YESSSSSS!
  • Clowning around. || Huxley tried out Tiny Tots Circus Playtime at Toy Boat Art Collective today and really enjoyed it!
  • Chatting about existentialism, and contradicting ourselves, and winter over on small measure today. || Into the woods behind our house.
  • Players gonna play. Huxley and his buddy Bay, doing their little guy thing today at the perennially lovely @thencarboretum.
  • The garden got blanketed with what I'm hoping was winter's last gasp this past week. I'm ready for those snow-covered strawberry beds in the foreground to start putting out juicy fruits, for Huxley to dig in his sandbox again, for cocktails at sunset on the pergola, and for conversing with soil and seeds once more. Spring is coming. Really started to feel it this weekend.
  • Scotch eggs of supreme deliciousness can be had on the regular at @kingjamesavl. @glennbenglish and I savored these beauties today alongside dirty rice fritters, gumbo with poutine, and @sunbursttrout smoked trout dip, all wonderful. There was also a pint of Appalachian Brewery porter that I have to have more of. Oh, and old school White Stripes on rotation. Great food, great atmosphere.
  • Confession: until last night, I had never had honest to goodness snow cream. @glennbenglish whipped up a tasty batch with vanilla and nutmeg, and we enjoyed it alongside @oldworldlevain's heavenly frangipane tartlettes with fresh cranberries, orange peel, and cinnamon. Snow-pretty AND tasty.
  • Scattered, smothered, and covered. Snowy day in the cove!
  • We three Englishes do so very much love snow. Forecast to receive between 3-6 inches tonight! @glennbenglish captured Huxley and I taking in the view on his way back to the house after locking up the chickens.
  • Woke up to overnight snowfall, always a treat. Then heard from my neighbor Lynn, a licensed massage & bodywork therapist, that the snow was preventing her from getting in to her clients in town and, as a result, she had an opening in her schedule and could give me a massage. Whenever she travels, I pet-sit her cat Sophie, and in exchange she trades me a massage. Not only is she a seriously stellar masseuse, she also is an aromatherapist, a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner (a kind of Japanese acupressure technique), and is certified in neuromuscular therapy. So when I get a massage from her, I receive this healing trifecta involving scent, body, and spirit. Plus, in all honesty, I feel like this woman is actually imbuing my body with love when she works on me. I left her house feeling light and bright, and nourished. She has offices in Asheville and Johnson City, TN (the home massages are reserved for family and neighbors!). If you're looking for a rich, wonderful, deeply healing massage, please consider Lynn. You can find her information at || I passed our bamboo grove and its tiny creek on my walk over to Lynn and Steve's; it somehow spoke to me of good things in store.
  • Woke up to this view. Some kind of wonderful!
  • Spotted Quench in the wild today.Always a thrill to see my books out in the big world, and rubbing elbows with friends @thejoyofcooking, no less!
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What I’m Digging

Happy Friday, friends! We had a bit of a harrowing day yesterday, chez English. Things were going great. The breeze was fine, there was no humidity, the birds were chirping, life was good. Hubs was in the garden and Huxley and I were on the patio, weeding. The tiny Englishman, however, decided, all of a sudden, to climb onto a patio chair, which pitched over backwards, landing his tiny forehead right into our raised stone flower bed. I ran to him as he sat there screaming, only to turn his tiny body towards me and discover a huge, bleeding gash.

Lots of heightened emotions and an ambulance ride later, we arrived at the hospital, where he underwent a dose of ketamine, some stitches, and a CT scan to rule out head trauma (he got sick three times after coming out of sedation). He’s home and on the mend now, but it was a night fraught with worry and stress and nerves and crying ’round here.

Whew. Nothing really prepares you for the profound worry that accompanies parenting. I’d never before experienced such intense agony over the thought of losing someone before yesterday. I adore Hubs, and can’t imagine not having him in my life. But my child, my tiny boy, my baby. Oh, to see him cry and be in pain and worry about his little head. Well, let’s just hope that was the first and last such trip we’ll ever take (fingers firmly crossed!).

So, on to better and brighter things, shall we? Here’s a smattering of this’s and that’s that caught my attention this week:
*Claudia (profiled in Home Dairy) makes a proper ricotta.
*HUGELY crushing on Whole Larder Love.
*A trifle for your troubles.
*Three cheers for foodscaping.
*Homesprout is just adorable.
*I think we need to recreate this on our patio.
*Almond cake with lemon and creme fraiche glaze. Get you some.
*Deb does strawberries just right, in biscuit and cake form.
*Grow grape leaves, and fill them with deliciousness.

Tomorrow we begin the first photo shoot for my new book. I am over the moon with excitement, especially since I’ll be paired with Jen Altman, a photographer whose eye I trust with every core of my being. Also, she’s just a generally righteous lady whose company I can’t get enough of.

Whatever you do this weekend, wherever you go, whomever you share it with, may it be grand!

23 Responses to What I’m Digging

  • Paula M says:

    As a new mom (my little man is 4 months) I know these accidents are bound to happen and we can not and should not shelter our children from everything, still, I dread the day(s) when something similar will happen to us. Hope Huxley recovers quickly and his mommy and daddy have a wonderful and relaxing weekend.

  • Melanie J. says:

    Hugs to you, Hubs., and the Hux man! He's so beautiful Ashley!

  • Jenny Bartoy says:

    Sweet, sweet boy! I'm so glad he's okay!! xoxo

  • Bee Girl says:

    Yes, seeing your child in pain the absolute worst! I'm glad to hear he's OK and on the mend! Hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend!!!

  • spike says:

    Oh God! I'm so sorry. Terrifying. Our little man took two spills this week that ended in a bloody mouth and swollen lip. What is it about the head and face that makes them bleed so much?
    I know living on a farm that we will have many incidents. I keep beefing up the first aid kit.
    I hope Huxley's head heals up quickly.

  • petoskystone says:

    Ah, the poor young man! His first scar & Moms' first half-dozen grey hairs ;) So glad that he's OK.

  • El Gaucho says:

    Sorry to hear that the little guy took a spill, but glad very he's getting better. I hate to say it, but as an adventurous little dude on a farm, this probably won't be his last scrape, but to quote a very old episode of The Simpsons – “bones heal and chicks dig scars”.

  • poor little huxley….they are such tough little cookies and soon bounce back. i remember once when we were on holidays in samoa (!) and many many miles from any health care, our youngest daughter fell head first onto a volcanic rock (trying to reach for a banana)….oh the blood, the blood! such a stressful couple of hours but happy to say it was a mere “flesh wound”.

  • Dixie says:

    So glad to hear that your little guy is OK. How frightening. Unfortunately, as the mom of two boys, I can tell you that this is probably the first of many gut-wrenching moments.

  • Jessica says:

    I'm glad Huxley didn't sustain any permanent damage. As a new mom (5 weeks!) it makes my stomach turn just thinking about what you all had to go through. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery!

  • Allison says:

    So, I noticed an insane spick in my traffic yesterday, and it was you! Thanks so much for mentioning me. I can't believe you even know I exist:)

    (Also, children bounce back like rubber bands, so I'm sure Huxley will be running around in no time:)

    Have a good weekend!

  • mandi says:

    oh- it's the gushing blood that gets me every time! Because you cant' see the wound under it, you have no idea how deep it is. My daughter had a particularly bad incident with an animal one time (it attacked her face). My husband was in the house and he said he had never heard a sound like the scream that came out of me. And that he never wants to hear it again.
    Hugs to you- so happy that he is ok!

    ps- my daughter was ok too!

  • BAE says:

    Head wounds are the WORST and bleed so much because the blood vessels are so close to the surface.

    Our darling Liza was once out in our backyard with me while I was puttering and she decided to try and climb one of the brick piers holding up the iron fencing between us and our neighbor's yard. Unbeknownst to anyone, the mortar on one of bricks at the top had deteriorated and, yes, the brick came down on her pretty little forehead, right at the hairline.

    We got the ER and they covered her up so that only her eyes were showing while they stitched her up and that was the WORST thing they could have done. She was terrorized, thrashing, screaming, wailing. I was beside myself seeing and hearing her like this and almost fainted. It was probably the worst parenting experience ever in my (thus far) 25 years.

    There is something visceral triggered when your own, your flesh and blood, your child is in pain or distress. I liken what we feel to what a mother bear or lion senses and why they react as they do. I could have ripped the plastic surgeon's neck out at the time; fortunate for him, I was too busy consoling and soothing my daughter.

    He'll be handsomer than ever and with lots of vitamin E oil, that scar will disappear. Kisses to him!

  • kimP says:

    you poor things! i hope you both are on the mend…i too have been there, stiches and all with my little one, and i pray it's the first and only time. nothing like being a parent to make your heart pound. give him lots of hugs :)

  • Seriously. Parenting is a big old sign-up sheet for extreme worry! My second bruiser is 15 months, and oh the accidents right now. Astounding. So glad all is okay with your little man. Even the tiniest of bumps seem to be so scary! I always wonder if there is something unseen, something horrible, that I cannot tell with my eyes??… Which obviously sends my worry spiraling. I'm sure all us mama's are the same in that sense :).

  • Meg says:

    sorry to hear about Huxley – glad everything turned out ok – I hope you never see that ER again :-)

  • Amber says:

    My little guy just fractured his arm last week. I know how you feel. This was the first 'major' injury either of my kids has experienced. Much heart pounding and mama worries. Good thing they're resilient little things…

  • Jenny says:

    Oh my. Sorry for the scare and so glad he's OK. Hard to imagine loving anything that much until you have one for yourself.

  • Meryl says:

    I'm late to the party, but oh my goodness! Head wounds are so scary. Glad to hear the small fellow is on the mend!

  • KC Pagano says:

    When Sofia was 14 months old she took a head dive off a chair onto our tile floor while we were making panettone. She had a scalp bruise which was a huge lump of blood on her scalp. She was totally fine but I was so scared and so made at myself. I know just how you feel mama! I'm glad to know he's on the mend. :)

  • Angel Funk says:

    Ian had something similar happen around the same age, he fell off a chair and hit his head on a desk. The horror when I turned him over and saw the gash in his forehead was unbelievable. We had to do the ER, stitches (holding him down all the while, me at his feet and my husband at his head)….he still has a scar at 7, it looks like Harry Potter's!

  • Anonymous says:

    Glad that he's okay! Poor baby!
    I know you want that to be your last trip to the hospital, but as the mama of 3 boys, I have to tell you – that wasn't your last trip.

  • Allison says:

    Our eldest fell a few weeks ago and his teeth went all the way through his lower lip and out the front! It was a fraught-filled day and I am ever so thankful to live in the time of liquid stitches. I see in your new posts that H is healing so nicely!

    PS LOVE the new site.