- August 6, 2015
- Savoring the Last Days of Summer
You know the summer is coming to a close when the sunflowers start to droop in the heat of the noonday sun. Checking in with a large field of cheery sunflowers near the Mast Store World Wide Headquarters, it’s clear from the sleepy blooms that summer is ever so slowly fading. Before we get back into the swing of another school year, here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy the last days of summer.
- April 15, 2015
- Klean Kanteen "Bring Your Own" for Earth Day
With Earth Day coming up on Wednesday, April 22nd, we are thinking about changes we can make in our everyday lives that will lessen our impact on the environment. Many Mast associates carpool, bike or walk to work… Not only because it’s fun to socialize with co-workers each morning in the car or exercise while we commute, but also because it decreases our carbon footprint. But what if “creative commuting” isn’t an option? What other small, new shifts in our daily habits can make a big difference in the long-term health of our planet? Klean Kanteen has some ideas they share with their Bring Your Own project. They are inspiring us in a big way.
- March 4, 2015
- Remembering the Valle with Blanche Hodges Kohnle - Part Two
Reflecting on her own childhood, Blanche describes her dad, Clingman Hodges, as “the greatest musician”. He mastered the banjo, mandolin, and auto harp . Each morning, he’d awaken the children for school and their mother’s fresh made biscuit breakfast by picking a cheerful tune on the banjo.
- February 24, 2015
- Remembering the Valle with Blanche Hodges Kohnle - Part One
Last year, a beautiful, petite, and cheerful 96-year-old woman and her son stopped by the Mast Store in Asheville and visited with us for a while. Many Mast guests with rich histories and even richer stories pass through our doors every day, but this guest was particularly special because she holds the keys to the history of our beloved Valle. Valle Crucis – the birthplace of Mast General Store.
- January 28, 2015
- Exploring the Mountains in Winter
Winter is gradually making its grand appearance with sinking temperatures and driving snow. After the wintry mix is plowed and the wind abates, it’s time to head outside for some wintertime exploration. The detail, clarity, and focus across multiple mountain ranges are most spectacular in the deep of winter. Closer views are just as thrilling because the bare trees reveal details on the landscape that are easy to miss when blocked by rich foliage.
- January 12, 2015
- The Holidays Revisited
For my family, the holiday season isn’t complete without a reading of Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas In Wales”. Everyone’s favorite ornament on the tree is a wide-mouthed Santa who, when you squeeze his cheeks, offers a chocolate kiss. And each stocking gets a beautiful, large navel orange in the bottom of the toe, just like my Swedish cousins have done for generations.
- December 23, 2014
- Accidental Christmas Traditions
The holidays are here with all of their pomp and circumstance, parties and decorations, traditions and food. Many of the celebrations around the holidays have their roots in ancient Christian beliefs and pagan festivals. But there are some that are, well, accidental
- December 18, 2014
- Good to Eat and Easy to Fix
Well, the holidays are upon us. Everyone's calendars are full of parties, get togethers, and covered dish gatherings. The schedule for family visits is lengthy and covers most of the time between Christmas Eve and Christmas Night. With so many places to go and people to see, it's often not practical to prepare a full meal for your guests. That's where a smattering of hearty appetizers and sweet treats will help tide them over to their next stop.
- December 8, 2014
- A Gift to Enjoy the Outdoors
It is often a challenge to find just the right gift for everyone on your list, particularly if you are trying to find something for the outdoor enthusiast. Just a few questions that can be asked in casual conversation can help steer you to a thoughtful and useful gift that will serve him or her for years to come.
- November 26, 2014
- Bringing the Family Together for the Holidays
The holidays can be the most stressful time of the year. All of us create imagined expectations that are often unrealistic, that we push ourselves to achieve, when what we need to do is take a deep breath and relax. When family comes over, are they really coming to critique your housekeeping or to have an enjoyable meal filled with lots of laughter? While we'll agree that everyone wants to keep a perfect house, but for most of us, it's not practical, so hide the clutter in the extra bedroom (we guarantee that it'll be there later), do a quickie vacuum and dust job, and clean the bathrooms.