West Asheville

Thursday, September 21, 2017


There's something really beautiful about fresh flowers.  Kade put together this lovely arrangement.

Since my mother's birthday is Friday, these are in remembrance of her.  And they also are in honor of my cousin Amy, who shares the same birthday.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Explosion of Colors

Sri Lankan paintings and masks

flowers by Kade

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hillman Beer - Asheville, NC

Hillman Beer is located near the Biltmore Village and Biltmore Estate.  It seems to have everything people might want in a brewery:  tasty beer, guest taps, spacious grounds, outdoor seating, pet-friendly vibe, games, in-house food and friendly staff.  The building and grounds are very well-designed. Lots of good planning took place!  If you're local like I am, and you can get there on a weekday around 5 PM or so, it's not crowded - a very good thing.   Up until this visit, I had not ever heard of Hillman Beer.  I can tell you now, however, if a guest comes to town, and they want beer, especially a conversation over beer, this will be very high on the list.

The beer on the right is one of Hillman's brews:  Biere De Garde.  A friend of mine ordered it.

I turned my glass around, and there was the Ginger's Revenge logo.  I didn't realize it then, but I actually ordered one of the craft beers from Hillman's guest taps.  It was a lime beer, and on the sweet side.  Less alcohol, too.  Ginger's Revenge is another brewery in town - I think a smaller, new one.  I will have to check them out.

Monday, September 18, 2017


Susan Bryan & Leslie Espy
Solomon Rd Family Home
Headland, Alabama

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Brownies & More

When we entertained a VIP last month, Kade served two different types of brownies.  I will post links to the recipes soon.  She also baked some lemon zest cookies, and put them out with some seasonal fruits.  Of course, it all had to be served up on my mother's plates and cake dish.  In fact, in the images above, the vase and all the dishes you see, including the plate on the buffet behind, were once all hers.  I also am adding more images of flowers Kade put out for the occasion- again, using Mother's vases.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Wedge at Foundation

I got the one named Cold Beer.  It was very good - so smooth, not bitter.

If you want to see how Asheville is redeveloping the old industrial part of town near the river and railroad track, go check out Wedge at Foundation and Wedge at Wedge Studios in the River Arts District (RAD).  And if you're looking for unique images to share with friends and family or put on social media, at least go see all the fabulous murals.  They're everywhere!

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Final Five

These were the last of the books that belonged to Watt Espy, that I kept, thinking the subject matter interested me and that I might read them before shipping them up to SUNY Albany, where his death penalty collection is. I read three of them, and skimmed the other two.  And now they are up in New York.

Anatomy of a Lynching is one of the most horrifying books I have ever read.  The final moments of dying would have been a relief, honestly, if you were Claude Neal.  I guess some would read it and say, "He got what he deserved," but the sadistic, brutal, drawn-out manner in which this vigilante punishment was delivered, in the presence of a frenzied mob and curious onlookers in the middle of the night, is incredibly frightening and disturbing.  It reminds you that we are all capable of doing horrific things, individually, or as part of a group.  At a minimum, our own fears ("Maybe I will be next?") can cause us to be silent in the face of witnessing such horrors.  My questions:  What can we do to contain these forces?  How can we learn from all this?  Or is this all "pie in the sky" thinking?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Whistle Hop Brewing

First time we have ever tasted a beer inside railroad cars that have been converted into a brewery.  We actually were sitting up in the caboose while we sipped a Banana Wheat Whistle Hop.  "All aboard!"  It was Labor Day Weekend, by the way, and pretty much my last chance to sport a short sleeve shirt outdoors.  Kade has been giving me hard time lately.  Seems like blue is almost always my color of choice!  Next year I will have to spice it up, she says.

I am fairly confident that one of the peaks to the right is Bearwallow.  If that's the case, I have hiked up there a couple of times.