Mojo Monday

web.cropped Columbine2

“We teach each other how to live” —from poet Anne Michaels, The Winter Vault. That’s how my horoscope started this week. It went on to explain how living like a “curious student” is our sacred duty and the best gift we can give ourselves. The prophetic blurb challenged me to focus attention on the assumption that everyone we meet and every encounter offers rich learning experiences, whether we recognize them at the time or not. I thought creating a Mojo Monday post series would be a great response to honor the gift of this powerful signpost, to acknowledge gratitude for the people and places that added a little magic to my world over the last seven days and open the door for more gratitude and abundance in the coming week. I hope this series inspires the same in you. Beauty exists everywhere if we just pause long enough to notice.

{one} music


Been turning up the creativity in my studio lately with the smoky soulful sound of “Negoni Eyes” by Wallace. I simply cannot get enough of this woman’s lyrical energy!

I drank to drown my sorrows, but the damned things learned how to swim.

Rumor has it that inspiration for “Negroni Eyes” came when Wallace saw a Frida Kahlo quote written on a chalkboard in a Mexican restaurant.

To date, Wallace has only released a few tracks but each are fantastic. Want to know more? Great review of her work here. This woman is definitely an artist to watch in 2016.

{two} community

PerronesFor the past several months, I’ve had the privilege of volunteering with a local collective called Richie’s Alliance for Autism spearheaded by Louis & Deb Perrone in honor of their youngest son, Richie. Not only are these two fiercely dedicated and loving parents, but they are incredibly generous to our community.

Watching our community “give back” by participating in a series of events designed to raise awareness and funds for autism was so moving. Events included Dine Out for Autism, a golf tournament and TASTE (a food & wine fundraiser with both live and silent auctions). The result? Our community raised over $20,000 to benefit the Olson Huff Center. Unforgettable family, unforgettable community events! —family photo by the very talented Ashley Ruzich located in Asheville, NC

{three} asparagus

April is peak season for garden asparagus here in western North Carolina, and my family cannot get enough! We have a nice little dedicated plot in our organic Potager from which we enjoy asparagus omelettes, grilled asparagus in salads and perhaps my absolute favorite is roasted asparagus with an orange-tarragon vinaigrette. Here’s the recipe!

{four} patience & forgiveness

Raising patient thoughtful children is a big priority for my husband and I. This week we reaped the benefits of all the time and hard work we’ve put into parenting our daughters. Our oldest has a big opportunity on her calendar. Really big. EPIC. With this opportunity, she needs to be somewhere on a specific day/time. It so happens that her big event is the same day/time that my husband and I were already engaged to attend a very special wedding. Our daughter brought this schedule conflict to my attention…twice. Both times I was doing something “important.” The second time she mentioned this to me, I neglected to really hear her. Instead I responded with a short and sweet, “We can figure it out…surely you can catch a ride with another child or we can ask Nana if she is available to drive you.” All of which had potential to elicit a fair amount of frustration. Instead our thoughtful daughter penciled herself in on my calendar with “this is big” written in parenthesis. After seeing this new schedule entry, we sat down and talked it through. Come to find out, the where/when is five hours away from where we live and parents are also required to attend. Some days I consider myself a great parent, and some days I muck it up completely. I’m grateful for patience and forgiveness when my “best” is the latter.

{five} native blooms

web.ColumbineAs an avid gardener, it is nearly impossible to pick a favorite plant, flower, shrub or tree. Kind of like choosing a favorite child. We’ve lived in our current home since 2002 and have worked tirelessly to transform hard dead red clay into living fertile soil.

We are extremely fortunate to own a half acre that encompasses a variety of landscapesfrom blasting hot southern exposure to shady woodland. Over the years, we’ve bought and traded plants with local growers and other home gardeners to amass an enormous range of flora. One beauty that has really been showing off this last week is the Eastern Columbine. We purchased one plant about five years ago from the Corneille Bryan Native Garden at Lake Junaluska during their annual plant sale fundraiser. Spread by seed, these beauties pop up here and there in early April and put on quite a show.

Our region’s only native columbine…is primarily pollinated by Ruby-throated hummingbirds. —excerpt from “Ephemerals Have Survival Down to a Science” by my friend and local naturalist, Scott Dean

Want to read more about the Eastern Columbine and other wildflowers native to western North Carolina? Pick up a copy of Plough to Pantry’s spring 2016 issue or visit the ‘read more’ digital link.

Depending on your neck of the woods, spring can either be muddy-muck, a study in grays or a rainbow of surprises as new plants and animals awaken from their winter slumber. Here is a fantastic essay about spring from one of my favorite writers, Parker Palmer. Between the mud and muck, there is miracle.

{six} farmers

One of my favorite local farmers markets returned this past week. From vegetable & herb starts, to baked goods, local meats, eggs, honey, milk, shrubs and even worm castings and worm tea—I couldn’t have been more happy to reconnect with my farming and agripreneural tribe! 

{seven} quiet time

Married life in ENOIn my world, balance and ambition are constantly at war. The epic battle between what I think I need to be doing, and what I really could be doing is one that many of us share. Responsibility vs. possibility.

This past weekend, I gave in to the ‘what I could be doing’ voice and spent most of Saturday afternoon hanging from a tree in our woodland garden enjoying the view from our ENO. Blue skies, cool breeze, birds singing, bees buzzing around early blooms and my sweet husband dozing—I felt more rejuvenated than I have in months!

On my quest for living in balance, I realize more and more that often what we need most is to give ourselves permission to STOP. Time to BE. Time to BREATHE. Stillness is a  tonic of unconflicted movement, life in harmony with itself, skill in action. Stillness dulls the rough edges created by hustle, bustle and stress.

Sometimes, I think, being a “curious student” (per my horoscope this week) is quieting the world so that you can hear yourself daydream. In this Mojo Monday post, I’m leaning toward possibility and hope this series inspires the same in you.

I’d love to hear your mojo tips!

Have a beautiful week all, xoxo

**All photos taken with my iPhone, Nikon 5100 or as noted**