Number 60

Oh, spring!

May I just repeat? Oh spring! I do love you, with your soft colors, endless optimism, pulsing beat of renewed possibility. Turns out my soul needed some spring, and boy-oh-boy, has spring delivered! For instance:
I'm a grandmother! (Or a "Birdie," to be more specific 🥰🥰🥰.) On Tuesday we had the grand surprise that a few weeks early, Baby Doyle was ready to come on out and join the party. SHE'S PERFECT, and strong-willed, and everyone is home and doing well. I can't wait to share more! For now I'm just sitting in the awe of the whole grand experience. What a fun, joyful time it has been as we've watched E and P plan, prepare, celebrate this miracle of love.
the road to Edisto
A few of weeks ago, Tim and I took a short trip to South Carolina's Edisto Island, joining dear friends for a magical few days of sunning, fishing, and a whole lot of time at the big kitchen table just hanging and talking and generally being together. And we watched the eclipse! With a perfectly clear day! On a wide-open beach! It really was thrilling.
See? We were TICKLED.
(It was a very taxing mini-vacation, as you can see from both photos LOL.)
Today is my Day 75 of #the100dayproject in which I'm joining artists from around the globe as we do something creative every day and share the results on socials. For the third year I've been painting small watercolors, and while I'm a few days behind schedule, it makes no difference to anyone (including me)! I've also been painting painting painting for Melrose Art in the Yard, a very fun art/food/music festival here in our Columbia neighborhood TOMORROW Sunday, May 5th. If you're in the area, please stop by! Tim and I'll be at 1304 Shirley Street. Also, some of my #100days paintings are listed on Studio CRM on Etsy, should that be of interest to you. I add to this shop lineup bit by bit as I move through the #100days project, so if you see something you like roll by on Facebook or Instagram, check Etsy (or message me)!
DAY 24, take me to this listing on Etsy
DAY 57, take me to this listing on Etsy!
We're driving hard toward summer, but before we get there, I do hope you'll have an opportunity to get outside, soak up the sun, dance to the pulse of possibility. There's a life beat to spring, and it's worthy of celebration!
The Covenant of Water, by Abraham Verghese
Lordy this is a doorstop of a book but please don't let that stop you from picking it up. Maybe look at this read as an opportunity to balance the many things that run shallow and move too quick in life these days—as I read it, I was reminded how lovely it can be to slow down, dive deep, simply soak. Multi-generational, multi-storyline, The Covenant of Water takes time to unfold and it is absolutely worth it. Beautiful. Tender. Heartbreaking. And also hopeful.

My friends, I do believe Abraham Verghese has written us a masterpiece.

From promo copy: Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, The Covenant of Water is set in Kerala, on South India’s Malabar Coast, and follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning—and in Kerala, water is everywhere. At the turn of the century, a twelve-year-old girl from Kerala’s long-existing Christian community, grieving the death of her father, is sent by boat to her wedding, where she will meet her forty-year-old husband for the first time. From this unforgettable new beginning, the young girl—and future matriarch, known as Big Ammachi—will witness unthinkable changes over the span of her extraordinary life, full of joy and triumph as well as hardship and loss, her faith and love the only constants.
via Bookshop
via Amazon
Abraham Verghese, Oprah's Soul Series
SPEAKING OF. Once you read the book, give yourself the gift of this in-depth conversation between The Covenant of Water author Abraham Verghese and Oprah. I listened to all six episodes via podcast, but in writing this I've just learned you can also watch the conversation on YouTube. I will definitely go back and do that. So insightful to hear about his life, his writing process, his thinking behind key scenes and storylines. DO NOT LISTEN UNTIL YOU'VE FINISHED THE BOOK, though, as they discuss most every significant plot point. It's so, so good.
So inspiring! How to Grow Old Like Isabella Rossellini, from NY Times
The Case for Puzzles & Other Old School Hobbies, from The Good Trade
I'm mostly posting this for my daughter, Eliza, who LOVES puzzles. But I think you may like it, too!
Photo: Eating Bird Food
Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas, from Eating Bird Food
What's not to love about a one-pan meal? Especially when it's this fresh and good!
recently on THE DAILY GRACE

Just you wait.

We're expecting our first grandchild early next month, and as we wait for her arrival I can't help but feel all the feels—especially as she's been celebrated by so many who love her parents.
Somebody's very excited about spring! And also the squirrels.
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