Mama’s home turf: North Carolina.
I arrived in Raleigh late on Thursday night.
Mama hosted a book selling and signing event Friday morning at her corporate office in Raleigh (and she sold out the initial 25 books she ordered and had to rush 10 extra copies for a special Monday morning delivery!). Mama marketing squad in full-effect.
Three cheers for mom for causing such a stir in Raleigh surrounding my book. All the area Barnes & Noble stores were sold out and had to put my book on order; even Quail Ridge sold a handful of my books. Those who didn’t purchase from my mom helped to move my book off shelves around the city!
My mom donated the proceeds from her book-selling success to the charity of my choice; I requested the $350 donation go to Planned Parenthood, where I (an uninsured freelancer) still go for my female health and wellness care. They make health care and taking good care of yourself accessible and and affordable.
Friday evening my mom hosted a melt-and-pour soapmaking party, something she’d long hoped to do after reading about our soap party in Brooklyn.
Susan, my mom’s neighbor and good friend, made all the food for the party (from scratch), including dipping these farmers’ market strawberries in chocolate. I ate no less than 24 of them [I’m not exaggerating.]
When I helped her wheel her crystal serving dishes and all the leftovers back across the street, she dropped a handful of said market berries in a sack for me to snack on. I had other plans for those berries, though.
Saturday morning, before our road trip to Asheville, I tricked my mom, who you might’ve met in Chapter 9 as “I-will-never-can-Deborah”, into making skillet strawberry jam. If you’d like to make a super-small batch of jam, too, just read my post from last spring.
She asked me to take pictures since no one in our family will believe that she actually made jam.
Post-jam, we hopped in the car for a 4-hour drive up and over to Asheville. We sang along to satellite radio channels from the 60’s & 70’s and laughed over family stories. We met my brother in Hot Springs (45 minutes Northwest of Asheville) where we had our hot springs-fed hot tub appointment.
Our tub overlooked an inlet of the French Broad river.
The following day Ashley English, Asheville’s pride and authorly joy, welcomed me into her home for a houseparty. I’ll be giving away her entire Homemade Living book series (Canning & Preserving, Keeping Chickens, Keeping Bees, and Home Dairy) to one lucky blog reader soon; stay tuned for that giveaway!
Ashley’s house is enchanting. It sits on a hill of green, tucked neatly away from civilization. Her friends are an inspiring lot and brought delicious food for us to share.
We sat outside and enjoyed the afternoon heat, bubbly drinks full of fruit in hand. I held Ashley and Glen’s baby, Huxley, in the intervals between my mom hogging his chubby legs and squirmy grins.
Ashley sent me directly into the loving arms of Asheville’s favourite indie bookstore, Malaprop’s. Where I had a signing event later in the afternoon.
We hit the road after eating at one of my fave local spots, Tupelo Honey. There was certainly no shortfall of desserts in this trip!