A Year of Picnics


The Essential Book of Homesteading















  • We introduced solid food to Alistair today June 30th washellip
  • My homesteading gateway Getting a flock of backyard chickens washellip
  • I am very easily satisfied A blazing fire in thehellip
  • I generally dont like to traffic in absolutes but Ihellip
  • That feeling when the folks youre a fan of becomehellip
  • Letting the light in Both kids have head colds Hearinghellip
  • Rough day yesterday Alistair has had a vicious head coldhellip
  • These are the days we wait for all year thehellip
  • Carpe diem Seize the day When I first watched Deadhellip
  • In the past week and a half I have bakedhellip
  • Babys first snow Underneath this bear suit are red andhellip
  • I like to imagine that in addition to we fourhellip
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What I’m Digging

Happy Friday, friends! Sorry to be a bit scarce this week. Admittedly, I’m finding it a bit challenging to get back into the rhythm of regular blogging. I think, though, that has way more to do with having just completed a second book manuscript while simultaneously juggling promoting, photos, and edits on another and much less to do with the actual blogging process itself. You know what makes it all better, though, and paves the way for an epic Friday? When you have a quick conversation with your editor about the manuscript you submitted last Thursday and she tells you she loves it and is super pleased with it. Yes. That. That right there is where goodness lives and where super fantastic beginnings to weekends commence!

Even seven books in, I still worry, and fret, and have pangs of anxiety over whether what I’ve written will be well received. Honestly, I hope I always feel a bit of that. I hope I’m never so confident in my writing that I don’t get a wee bit anxious, at the very least, over how the editor and the general public will accept what I’ve spent months fastidiously working on. I don’t have a large ego, and I’m happy about that. I want to approach every new writing endeavor I undertake as a stand alone project, as though I’ve never written a thing before it and am addressing it with a clean slate. That mindset, I feel, keeps me on my toes, keeps me from getting lazy or sloppy or just phoning it in. Even seasoned writers like Steven King give a great deal of time, thought, and attention to their works. I loved learning that King spends months working out a book in his head at night before going to sleep, and doesn’t commit a single word to paper until he’s perfected the opening sentence. That is seriously my kind of eccentric. Oh, I do so love eccentrics!

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

*Alicia’s got a new blog and is looking for submissions! Sacred hospitality, anyone?

*Fresh apricot bars, for the win!

*Open Arms has such a fantastic mission and equally lovely products.

*The time for grilled Mexican-style corn is now.

*Is milk from grass-fed cows more hearth healthy?

*Paxton Gate is amazing, especially the options for kids!

*Natural remedies for sunburns.

*Not at all in my budget right now, but still so very beautiful, clever, and creative.

*Oh, this photo stream. I could look at it all day.

*These ecodomes are gorgeous and fascinating!

Here’s wishing you a great weekend. We’ve got some friends coming over for dinner tomorrow night and my big contribution to the meal will be dessert, in the form of salted chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. I. KNOW!

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

*I post a photo of Huxley here each Friday because, truly, he’s what his Papa and I love the most. Check out the double chin on my sweet bean! To think he was such a serious shrimp when he made his debut. He’s really, really, REALLY into puzzles lately, both digital and, in this instance, analog. He still needs a good deal of help, with the framing out, but once the puzzle has borders, he’s getting astonishingly good at working it out from there. 

8 Responses to What I’m Digging

  • jen says:

    I lost all train of thought when I read “salted chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches”. Clearly I need to invite you over for a potluck and ask you to bring dessert.
    Happy Friday!

  • Julie says:

    Congrats on your continued writing success! Glad to hear the editor liked it! I am really looking forward to checking these out. A good neighbor of ours passed away after a long battle with cancer, and the family requested book donations to the local library in lieu of flowers, etc (she volunteered there and took adult classes there). I am hoping to purchase and donate a few of your books in memory of her. She loved pies, so the pie book is already on the docket…. hope to be able to add the new ones when they are published.

    PS love the puzzle picture. My son went through a puzzle obsession phase at about Huxley’s current age. Cue nostalgia…

  • I love your pie book. I’d purchased a few cookbooks from Amazon before my daughter visited in June. I was going to send all of them back to Mass. with her but I had to keep A Year of Pies! There were too many recipes I wanted to try. :)

    Ice cream sandwiches remind me of a dessert brought by a friend of my daughter-in-law to our 4th of July party. It was an ice cream desert that was absolutely delicious. I couldn’t believe it when I was told it was all made with ice cream sandwiches (the store bought kind), Cool Whip (usually an ugh…), and one other ingredient which I forget. She told me to do a web search of ice cream sandwich dessert and I will find many recipes.

    We try to stay away from fake foods but this was so good, we’ll “cheat” on it.

  • Love all the fun links! Copied down the apricot bar receipe, I love fruit bars with lots of crust! Fresh apricots are at our market now, yum..
    Congratulations on your accomplished manuscript! I totally know how it feels to get good feedback about one’s work/art. Never gets old. I constantly push myself to improve my work, to come up with new and grand designs! You all have a great weekend too!
    That’s great your son does puzzles, I love puzzles. My youngest, 5 years, just can’t seem to buckle down and do them unless I am right there. Oh well, they won’t always need us so I best absorb it all now while he is still needing and holding my hand.

  • Alicia says:

    Thanks, Ashley!

  • ieva says:

    Thank you, Ashley! Your posts always fill me with inspiration.

  • Christine says:

    Hi- first time here! I just bought Keeping Chickens and am thoroughly enjoying it. My husband and I hope to have chickens as soon as they are legal in our town in Ontario- or as soon as we find *our* farm someday.
    My two-year old shares your son’s love of puzzles- preferably if they’re Thomas the train ones.
    You have a lovely blog, thanks for sharing!

  • Jess says:

    I’d never heard that about Stephen King, but I did hear another story from a family friend who took a writing class with him in community college in Maine. The teacher said to him: “Stephen, Stephen, Stephen. You’ve got to stop writing the same story!” 😉