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February 24, 2015
Remembering the Valle with Blanche Hodges Kohnle - Part One

blanche-kohnle.jpgLast 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.

February 16, 2015
Easy Photography Tips for Winter Landscapes

winter-photography-2.jpgLong-range views, snowy scenes, and gorgeous sunsets: Winter provides ample opportunity to capture beautiful photos and you don’t have to be an expert photographer or own a lot of expensive equipment to get the perfect shot. This week our Mast Store Photo Stylist, Heather, shares some helpful tips for shooting winter landscapes with your point-and-shoot camera or your cell phone too.

February 6, 2015
Nine Essential Winter Hiking Tips

Hiking in winter poses challenges that are very different from hitting the trail all other seasons of the year. Shortened daylight, lower temperatures, and quickly changing conditions may present obstacles, but they are all easy to safely navigate with proper planning. We sat down this week with Dan, one of our resident “hiking experts” at the Mast Store Asheville, for some valuable tips you’ll want to use as you plan your outdoor adventure in the coldest season of the year.

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

0115-mast-holiday-4.jpgFor 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 30, 2014
Cooking for the New Year

Collard GreensHere we are about to put another year in the books. How can 365 days pass by so quickly? With the New Year just hours away, it's time to begin preparing to greet the New Year in a traditional way in order to have a full year of good luck. 

December 23, 2014
Accidental Christmas Traditions

Tree at WorkThe 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

Grit-Casserole-1000px.jpgWell, 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

ChristmasTentIt 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

Family Fun NightThe 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.