Number 45

round * up

IT HAS BEEN a gentle fall here in South Carolina, where Tim and I have been at home for the past several weeks, and where he and I both have spent as much time as possible outside. Tim's built for us a magnificent ground-level wooden deck that happily sits under our canopy of ancient oaks.
It's all been done under the watchful eye of Stella, the wonder dog, and I could not be more thrilled with the finished-but-for-curing-and-painting result, as now we have the perfect spot for gathering in our sandy, ant-y, slanty back yard.
Done! Or nearly.
It also serves as a connector, of sorts, between the house and studio. I love that.
WE ALSO SQUEEZED in several days of bourbon tasting on a fun, fabulous Kentucky trip with a group of treasured friends. What a beautiful part of the world the Lexington area is, with miles and miles and miles of rolling hills and horse farms.
Cheers from us to you!
AS TO THE SAGA OF THE GRAY HAIR. It continues. My gray is still gray and still growing, and I still find myself surprised with every glance in the mirror.
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AS TO those acorns. Those crazy acorns, the story of which I shared in my last blog post. Well, that saga continues, as well. The test collection in the glass jar is still clean and perfect (YAY!) although a plastic bin full did mold, And on accident (as little Eliza would have said) I might have also sprayed an entire tray of gathered, cleaned, baked, glued and painted specimens with a hefty dose of glossy gray shellac. (Who even knew shellac comes in colors????) Still I am nothing if not persistent, and so I press on.
A photo of the lamp, when filled, will come!
Until then, I wish for you every joy and a Thanksgiving filled to overflowing with all that you love.

It's a wondrous time of year!

How to Fight Languishing (at Work and Everywhere Else) with Adam Grant, via Dan Harris's Ten Percent Happier
When You Disagree on What Matters, via The Lazy Genius

The Future of Hope 3, with Pico Iyer and Elizabeth Gilbert, via On Being
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Amor Towles is one of my favorite writers, so my expectations for this new novel, The Lincoln Highway, were high. It did not disappoint. I loved the characters, the road trip, the writing (of course, as he is a master). So different from A Gentleman in Moscow, which was so different from his debut, Rules of Civility, and all were exceptional 5-star reads for me. Love me some Amor Towles, and now I'm just sad to have to wait for the next one.
Bourbon Cranberries, which I will never not make for Thanksgiving
ala Stephanie Dietz

  • 4 cups cranberries
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup Maker’s Mark (or the bourbon of your choice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
Combine cranberries and sugars in a cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat.
Mix well and stir often as the sugar starts to melt, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add other ingredients. Stir often, for about 20 minutes, until you reach the desired consistency.

Recently, on THE DAILY GRACE
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The Acorns (and a Six-Part Epilogue)

I've become a bit obsessed with acorns this fall. They're interesting; they're adorable; they're worth a bit of study. Little did I know my infatuation would become something for which there became talk of an intervention. Take a look, sweet friends, and I say: You decide!

In all things, give thanks.

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11.17.21 our back yard
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