• This guy right here? While he might be growing bigger every day, the truth is that becoming a mother has helped me to grow. To be more present. To be more patient. To be more empathic. As I tell all my soon-to-be-mama friends, parenthood is the toughest work you'll ever do, with by far the biggest payoff. The lovin', and the learning, are so, so good. Happy Monday, friends.
  • Today was a good day. This view, from the top of our road, certainly helped make it so.
  • I think the 48-hour flu I've been fighting has finally succumbed to my assault of grapefruit seed extract, osha root, propolis, elderberry syrup, Oscillococinum, apple cider vinegar, rose hips, hibiscus, ginger/lemon/honey/cayenne tea, and neti pot with goldenseal tincture. I don't take getting sick sitting down. And now, a winter storm, possibly. Bring it, I say. Happy weekending, friends!!!
  • This guy.
  • I've been waiting, for a book like this, to come into my life. Whoa. Picked this up a few weeks ago at @screendoorasheville as a New Year's gift to @glennbenglish. Just started reading it myself and it couldn't possibly be more of what I need to see, right now. Completely on point, wholly attuned to what I'm presently sensing and curious about and inspired by, and infinitely humbling.
  • Warm enough today to play soccer down in our lower field, do a bit of weeding in the garden, and push a nearly-too-big 4 year-old in his
  • New year, new moons, new calendars. Right on, right on.
  • @shelterprotectsyou has been posting images of the wedding she and @sheltercollective had here in September all week. They built this altar for the ceremony, and it's still here, just past the house, on the way to the chicken coop. We pass it every day. Some days, I casually note its beauty and the way it feels like an outdoor church here in our forested cove. Other days I barely register it as I scurry about, doing this and that around the property. Today, though, in the stark, grey, drizzly setting, it was quietly regal. Happy to have had her visuals prompt me to stop, look, and listen to this physical testament to love.
  • The chickens told me they much prefer the rain this week to last week's frigid weather, thank you very much. I couldn't agree more.
  • These potatoes @tableasheville changed my culinary life. They called them hash browns, but they were unlike any I'd had before. Par-baked perhaps, smashed into halves I'm guessing, and then roasted and maybe finished with a quick fry in the skillet and scattered with large sea salt granules? Whatever the method, the result was a creamy, yellow center and a crispy, salty exterior. Quite possibly the best hash browns I've ever had.
  • This caramelized cinnamon citrus
  • I went on a kid-free date today with @glennbenglish! And we talked about grown up things, without interruption from a 4 year-old (except for when Glenn was talking about something important and I interrupted to tell him a man had just walked by with two hooks for hands, because, hooks for hands)!! And we went to @tableasheville and it was completely delicious!!! So many !!!! Brunch date might just be my new favorite thing.
my sponsors
budha hill natural toysImagine Childhood
Imagine ChildhoodBlissful Belly
Sponsorship Information
blog archive
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008

What I’m Digging

Happy Friday, friends! We had the motherlode of all thunderstorms rip thru here last night. Fortunately, no trees fell on the house, that always being my greatest fear when we have rough storms or high winds, what with living in a forested cove and all. We did get a beast of a deluge, though. The little creek that runs right beside the house, which normally emits a nice little trickle, audible from our entry porch, sounds like a raging river now. The ground of the chicken coop looks like it was given a bath, and the tiny frog pond is “full to bursting’”, as the old timers around here would say.

All of this is great! Everything needed a good washing, as pollen has begun clinging to every surface it can find. The ground was a bit dry, too, so a nice soaker has quenched the thirst all the way up from the tulip poplars towering around us to the moss, chickweed, and dandelions down below (I’ve got plans for those dandelions-alcoholic ones!-and for the violets popping up as well!).

In other non-weather and non-libation news, I’ve got a new profile up on Madesmith. This time its of Joshua Vogel’s Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Co.. At first, I took my work for Madesmith as simply another freelance job (albeit an enjoyable one, espousing sustainably minded artisans). Now, though, I really enjoy hearing about the creative process behind each maker. I’m learning so much about production and manufacturing and just about reveling in the slowness and mindfulness and purposefulness of making useful, lovely items.

I’ve also got a Small Measures post up on Design Sponge. This week I’m offering a recipe for making your own Garden Hand Salve. I don’t know about you, but now that I’ve taken to toiling the soil again, my hands needed some TLC. This is the balm that’ll soothe them. Plus, it smells good. My mom put some on yesterday when she was over playing with Huxley while I worked and emitted a heavy “Hmm!” exclamation when she smelled it. Success!

And now, for my Friday round-up! Here’s a smattering of this and that’s that caught my attention this week:

*If ever I had a style icon, it would undoubtedly be this lady right here.
*My sister Devan bought Glenn an early birthday present when she was visiting. The gorgeous black-stained cutting board (the last photos in the link) from local woodworked Goldsplinter is almost too lovely to use!
*These wall panels from Ariele Alasko are stunning (via Door Sixteen).
*Have you heard of Tradesy? I’ve already scored a skirt and a pair of jeans. I’m smitten.
*Scents and sensibility.
*Both the rhubarb and strawberry plants in the garden are putting out new growth, meaning this will eventually absolutely happen.
*The Hygiene Hypothesis sits very well with me.
*Spinach and Smashed Egg Toast? Awwww, yaaya!!!
*So intrigued by Debra Prinzing and her Slow Flowers advocacy (and book!).
*At the suggestion of a number of friends, I’ll be making this for my mother on Monday for her birthday. Kisses to you, Ina!

Did you know that I used to manage a Bed & Breakfast? That’s right. About 7-8 years ago, I cooked and served guests things like homemade crepes and muffins, changed bed linens, and scrubbed claw foot bathtubs in a large Inn built in the late 1800′s. I loved the job and meeting new people, but, above all, I adored my bosses, Marg and Gail. They’re coming over for a cocktail this afternoon, and to meet Huxley for the first time. I’m so excited to see them. They’ve become sort of “honorary aunties” to me, supporting when me I graduated with a second bachelor’s degree from UNC-Asheville in ’06 (I have two bachelor’s degrees, one in Sociology and one in Nutrition), cheered me on at my wedding in ’07, and bought the organic mattress for Huxley’s Moses basket before he was born. They’ve always had my back and I can’t wait to give them both a tight squeeze!

As for Saturday, it’s all garden, all day. I’ve got massive plans for it, and with a sunny 66 degree day in the forecast, I intend to get my dirt on, big time.

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

*I always post a photo of Huxley here on Friday because, truly, he’s what his Papa and I dig the most! 


8 Responses to What I’m Digging

  • Susan says:

    I love the beautiful clogs on Madesmith…if I ever enough money, I’d love a pair of those! I also have two Bachelor Degrees, one in Visual Arts from Antioch and the other in Computing.

  • Alicia says:

    I am digging that recipe for Garden Hand Salve. I am prepping this weekend before I head north to Vermont for my herbal classes April 20-21. This will be my third year – second as an assistant.

    Have a great weekend, Ashley!

  • The Barefoot Crofter says:

    Great things there. Ina’s chocolate cake is fabulous – our favourite. I have everything I need to make the hand salve too – lots of sun arriving here, so gardening it is!
    Have a great weekend xx

  • Angela says:

    Oh my goodness! I know Josh and Kelly of Black Creek Mercantile! Wonderful profile of wonderful people…love it. I feel an inch closer to meeting you someday…

  • Georgette says:

    You are soooo inspiring. Going to try the hand salve. Have a lovely week! Glad your land got a deep quench of rain. Here in the SF Bay Area I am about to do a Cherokee prayer for rain dance. Are my ancestors listening?

  • Georgette says:

    About the hand salve….because I am a vegan I looked for a substitute for beeswax. I found Candelilla wax that Mountain Rose sells but is currently out of! Just a side-bar. Thanks again for the recipe. I plan to make some for presents as well.

  • psalterfarm says:

    Makes me want to read more Alice Waters! Thanks for sharing!