• Nothing you could say could tear me away from my guy. || Playing in the park, from yesterday in Decatur.
  • Rain + birdsong + spring green. On repeat. The city is fun to visit, but home in the cove is where my heart sings.
  • These Brussels sprouts, our first course @pinewoodtr, with their spectacular dipping sauce, were the stuff of crispy, salty, cruciferous dreams. Totally set the tone for the rest of the meal. So, so good.
  • Passed this scene on our driveway earlier this morning as we headed to Decatur, GA for the weekend. Going to miss the cove, but am stoked to enjoy a bit of city living. Happy weekend, friends!
  • Mountain morning ridge line fog is, to me, the best fog. Taken from our entryway porch.
  • Last Thursday, our perennially kind and generous friend Jessica Smith asked if she could stop by with a gift for us. This stunning succulent planter (in a vintage enamel pot) was what she showed up with. Turns out she's starting a new business called DIRT FLIRTS with her friend Diana. As they describe it:
  • Since this past Friday evening, @glennbenglish, Huxley and I have had the exquisite pleasure of hosting @tea_austen in our home. There has been much laughter, much eating, and much sharing of our hearts, minds, and deepest selves. As she drove away just a bit ago, it didn't feel like we were saying goodbye, but instead, see you again, hopefully sooner than later. Thank you for being such delightful company, @tea_austen, and for loving our little guy so fully (and getting a TMNT education in the process ?!). || Image is from this past Sunday, when we took Tara up to #blackbalsam for a hike and a picnic.
  • Jump in, you know these arms can fill you up.
  • Excited to try out this tasting kit @driftawaycoffee sent me. The idea is that you brew each of the four bags they provide, divided into categories of FRUITY, CLASSIC, BALANCED, and BOLD, taking notes for each one on a postcard entitled
  • It's true: in the presence of chicken and waffles, my southern drawl becomes more evident. It cannot be helped. Still thinking about this platter of awesome from last night's Sunday Supper @rhubarbavl, honoring talented friend Ronni Lundy and the release of her newest book,
  • I try to see the forest AND the trees.
  • Sunday, perfect Sunday. @glennbenglish, Huxley, and I had a wonderful day picnicking on Black Balsam with @tea_austen
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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!