What I'm Digging


Happy Friday, friends! I’m writing you today with a sleeping baby strapped to my chest, a snoring, nearly geriatric dog at my feet, and an oversized, long-lived attic fan humming loudly to my right. It’s slated to be 87 today here in the mountains of North Carolina, which is hot for us, but there’s a nice breeze blowing, and a general lack of humidity, and plenty of watermelon and cool drinks on hand should things go south. I am ready.

Father’s Day is this Sunday. I’ve got to shore up my plans for Glenn, but I’ve squared away things with my Pop (see last post). In the meantime, here’s my round-up of this and that’s which captured my attention over the past week:


*Why The Old Way Of Parenting No Longer Works. I read this last weekend, and have found myself thinking about it repeatedly ever since. Much of the article surrounds ideas presented in a new book, The Good News About Bad Behavior. I’m always looking for ways to step up my parenting game, and found a good deal of helpful takeaways here.

*We are moving into prime outdoor time, with summer knocking at the door. That translates to lots of sun exposure. Found this article on wise interactions with the sun particularly intriguing.

*Interested in orcharding? Or just in apple trees. Well, then, here ya go: a beginner’s guide to apple trees.

*I recently shared a link to my friend Lisa’s gorgeous rental home in Black Mountain. It occurred to me that perhaps some of you might be interested in other area Airbnb rentals. Here are three more properties owned by friends, two located in Asheville, and one two hours away in north Georgia:

  1. Elizabeth’s Art House Studio, in West Asheville.

  2. Meg and Alisa’s RAD PAD, also in West Asheville.

  3. Tanya and Charles’s Modern Cottage on Lake Chatuge, in Hiawassee, GA.

*My lavender plants are blooming, making myself and the bees alike immensely happy. If you’re a lavender lover like me, I cannot recommend this book enough.

*Huxley and I were musing last night about someday taking a family train ride from London on up into the Scottish Highlands, staying in sleeper cars and taking our meals in the dining car. This Scottish railway line has my heart, mind, body, and soul. Someday, someday…..

*I seldom buy new clothing. I seldom buy any clothing, actually. As much as I’d love to be able to purchase only handmade, ethically crafted garments when I do want or need a little something new in my wardrobe, my budget doesn’t regularly permit doing so. Instead, I rely on Thred Up. Longtime readers will undoubtedly recall how I’ve praised this online supplier of gently used, like new (and even sometimes brand new, with tags) clothing. I cannot count how many items I’ve purchased for myself and the kids over the years, including some very helpful maternity wear. Not only do I buy from Thred Up, I’ve been sending in bags of clothing to sell, too. I was on there last night, in fact, looking for all cotton sweaters for Huxley, gearing up for fall clothing needs before they sneak up on me. Use this link to get $10 off your first order, if you’re looking for some “new to you” threads.

*I don’t know how things go in your house, but here in the cove, weekends are for pancakes. Click here for my back-in-the-day recipes on Design Sponge for both Pancakes of Perfection and Strawberry, Rhubarb, and Orange Maple Compote (pro tip: I bet your Pops would like them on his special day, too).

*The ever generous and infinitely kind Erin of Floret sent me a box of her magnificent dahlias over a month ago. It’s taken me some time to get them planted, owing to a flurry of work coupled with an unprecedented amount of rain. I have got to get them in the ground, though. This weekend, it’s gonna happen, I can feel it. Maybe even tonight!

*Queer Eye‘s second season begins tonight. These guys. THESE GUYS! Changing people’s wardrobes, living spaces, hairs, hearts, minds, and souls. What they offer far surpasses “makeover” status. They’re shaking things up, with love, humor, and ace senses of style. Yes, I’ll be crying-and so will you.

Okay, then. Let’s get the weekend started, shall we? Wherever you go, whatever you do, and whomever you do it with, may it be grand!


*We had an impromptu cookout/picnic at Mount Pisgah, up on the Blue Ridge Parkway, last Saturday evening with dear friends. Afterwards, before heading back home, we stopped to catch the sunset at this overlook, which looks down on Hominy Valley, where we live. I always include an image of something I’m truly digging with these round-ups. Before Alistair was born, my image was always of Huxley, but now that there’s two puppies and not just the one, what kind of mother would I be to keep with my old protocol? And so, today, what I’m digging is this view, so close to home, and yet up in the clouds, full of possibility and wonder. 

Ashley English