A Year of Picnics


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

Happy weekend, friends! BRRR!!!! I don’t know where you are, but here in the mountains of western N.C. it is C.O.L.D! Admittedly, it’s a bit warmer than yesterday morning, when is was a good-for-noone 4 degrees when I went to let the chickens out. Not! Good! There’s a possibility for snow today, but the wind is blowing so ferociously outside at present that any wee snowflakes that might fall will have a rough go of holding fast to anything. I’m wearing 3 layers, we just cooked waffles in the waffle maker and eggs on the wood stove, and I’m writing this from Huxley’s “little guy” table in our kitchen, a table for tots, so that I can be next to the wood stove. I love cold weather, but this, admittedly, is a bit intense.

So, our oven decided to call it quits last Friday (the fact that his happened right in the middle of baking two big trays of macaroni for our dinner guests was most vexing, to say the least). It was a long time coming, honestly. I pretty much killed it when writing A Year of Pies (truth=when I pulled the very last pie for the very last pie photo shoot from the oven, the oven door fell off). We’ve been sort of gerry-rigging it ever since. Same with the stove (our range top and oven aren’t the same unit; they’re located adjacent to one another). About two years ago, the electric component that allowed the burners to light (we use propane) started making a permanent clicking sound. We unplugged the stove from its electric starter and have been just striking matches whenever we need to light the stove top (a bit of a chore but also romantic, kind of, in its own way). Honestly, I think when both appliances learned I’m starting my 8th book, they threw up their hands and walked off the job. “We’re done, lady! Enough!”

Their failings coupled with a grand sale at Sears this week, all of which resulted in a new Kenmore Elite Dual Fuel Range/Oven delivered yesterday morning. Friends, she’s a BEAUT! Five burners (one of them is for simmering)! Two side-by-side ovens (a regular size one flanked on the left by a smaller 8-inch wide oven)! A wok stand! This investment is such a highly needed tool. We’ve really been operating with a bit of a handicap, oven and stove-wise, for years now. No more! I’ll post real photos soon, once it’s all hooked up (got the propane stovetop working yesterday, courtesy of our plumber, but the outlet for the electric oven won’t be addressed until Thursday when the electrician comes out).

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

*Ever treated kid’s fevers with essential oils? I haven’t, but I’m curious, especially given how much I already use essential oils for health and home.

*Want to become a bird watcher? Here’s how!

*Host a homemade swap party courtesy of Amanda’s expert tips.

*My dear buddy Sara told me about this mama/kid sleepover idea. I’m SO into it!

*I can envision so many ways to use these metal olive baskets.

*Can you think of any finer way to treat yourself than with this collection of exotic caramels from Vosges?

*WAY out of my price range, but this moon phase dress? I mean, come! on!

*This DIY chicken treat sounds like a great way to keep chicks happy during the doldrums and scarcity that winter present. Gonna have to treat my flock to a few!

*These architectural renderings of life drawn with pencil and pen are stunning. I’d love to have some prints made and framed. Gorgeous.

*I grew up eating Moonpies. This homemade recipe of the iconic treat sounds a bit labor intensive, but totally worth the end result for a special occasion treat.

Alright, friends, here’s hoping this weekend is about a fantastic of a time as you’d like it to be. As for me, I’m going to go take a hot shower, put basically an entire jar of coconut oil over my body (dry skin, you nemesis, you!), and slip into two pairs of wool socks. Take that, polar vortex!!!

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

*I 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. He was just as excited about our new range/oven’s arrival as we were. I left the kitchen and returned to find him thusly. Fix er’ up, little buddy! 

6 Responses to What I’m Digging

  • Brooke says:

    That picture is ADORABLE!!!!!!!!

  • Ann says:

    Love little man at work! Digging the sleep over and swap!

  • thanks so much for the link up to the swap article, Ashley! if folks are interested in participating in the upcoming blogger swap, they can find more info here:

    that sleepover idea sounds fantastic! will definitely have to give that a go soon. I’m also planning on making my hens some yummy goodies now, as well.

    congrats on the new stove. that’s pretty exciting stuff.

  • erin says:

    That picture is just too cute!

    We’ve had a few mama/kid sleepovers over the years in our community of homeschooling mamas. Always good memories! (as the kids have gotten older, they can now outlast the mamas in staying up!)

    Love, love, love that moon phase dress! Oh, swoon!

    That scratch block is a fantastic idea, especially in this cold snap. I think I’ll get my daughter on the job of making some of those up asap!

    Have a lovely weekend and enjoy your new stove!!!

  • Georgette says:

    Your son is adorable. He’s already showing mechanical yearlings here. Love the handmade dress and drawings. You have a knack for inspiring.

  • Georgette says:

    I meant “yearnings” not yearlings. Oops