- April 24, 2015
- It's Garden Season
Gardening is one of the first outdoor adventures of the season. It actually can start way back in January or February when the seed catalogs begin arriving in the mail. Flipping through the pages and dreaming of the summer and fall harvest while the wind and snow whip outside is a favorite winter activity.
- April 23, 2015
- Crafting for the 21st Century
It used to be roots and herbs and crops and chickens that folks brought to the Mast General Store in historic Valle Crucis for trade. Today, the items "traded" are more along the lines of baskets, birdhouses, bread, homemade butter, and hand-turned bowls. Although the products may have changed, the intent is still the same - the Mast Store provides a marketplace for local and regional residents and artists to present the fruits of their efforts.
- March 18, 2015
- Join Us Along the Haywood County Quilt Trail
Crocuses and daffodils popping up all over the southeast serve as a cheerful reminder that spring is just around the corner. The longer days of sunshine and warmer temperatures always inspire us to get outside and explore something new. This year, we're looking forward to enjoying an urban outdoor adventure along the Haywood County Quilt Trail.
- 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 20, 2015
- Sock Monkeyin' Around
LaVerna arrived for work in the Home and Hearth Department at the Asheville Store one morning and watched carefully as a woman casually walked through the store with two companions.
- 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
- October 23, 2014
- Safely Scrub-A-Dub-Dub with American Made SallyeAnder Soaps
The SallyeAnder Soaps story started 30 years ago when the creators’ infant son couldn’t tolerate the bath products on the market. Everything the couple tried irritated his skin, and so the Minetto, NY natives decided to make their own gentle and natural soap for their son. The results were spectacular for them, as well as many other families, and the soap rapidly gained in popularity. A few years later, the couple quit their day jobs, and started SallyeAnder Soaps, selling their American-made, all-natural soaps across the globe.