Number 61

Hey June. I'm looking at you!

Whelp, sweet Posey Catherine Doyle is here and suddenly I am Birdie and Tim is Poppy and neither of us can do much or think of much or talk of much other than when we might next get to see and hold and coo over this sweet little bundle. Heavens, our sweet grandbaby is so little and cute and cuddly and she makes the funniest faces! There's never been another baby like her and we couldn't be more proud! Plus we're proud of her parents, who make it all look so easy. I HAVE A MILLION ZILLION THINGS TO SAY ABOUT BEING A GRANDPARENT but I will spare you that, which I know you appreciate, and I'll simply point to the blog post linked at the bottom of this email if you find yourself remotely interested in my earliest, deepest thoughts as well as how she came to be named Posey. 🩷🩷🩷
Hum. What else have I been up to.
Oh yeah! We went to the mountains for the holiday weekend, where Spring has nearly sprung. We had a monstrous storm filled with gigantic pounding hail, very strong winds, so much rain it shredded several big beautiful hosta plants and blew tiny new leaves and branches from trees and bushes hither and yon. The rhododendron is just starting to bloom this week, so hopefully it will still put on a magnificent early June show!
We also spent a good bit of time on the broad back deck, looking at the pretty view and talking about how much we love our mountain getaway, how lucky we are to get to share that place with the birds and the bears and the boomers, how every visit centers us both. About how wildly blessed we are at this lovely time in our lives
a very happy hour
I do love June, and June is almost here with her sparkling afternoons, with her delicate arms extended long as if gesturing to remind us that summer is right there, stretching before us, full of potential and giggles and good books and cold drinks and zinnia-filled vases that dot every windowsill.

Because why not?

It's June, or very nearly. And June is the month that's made of the very best that is summer.
I Cheerfully Refuse, by Leif Enger
When I finished this beauty I have to say I'd forgotten how strong the "forlorn" can be when a book hangover overtakes. It's been a minute since I've lost myself so completely in a story—the strong sense of place; characters drawn so vividly I absolutely, positively knew them; a story so gently and masterfully told. And good lord the language. Enger's command of language, with tiny pops and twists that make this near-future apocalyptic tale sparkle in that way a lake's surface will do on a gorgeous summer day. There is music and wonder and just enough magic. (And plenty of deep dark, do take note.) Still I settled right in, confident from page one that I was in good hands and was willing to go along for the ride.

What a ride it was. I loved, loved, loved this novel.
via Bookshop
via Amazon
James, by Percival Everett

Lucky for me, the magnificent novel JAMES is the one that followed. I knew this was going to be a powerhouse, there was already so much buzz, and man-oh-man was it ever. I read via audio and the performance was fantastic. (I highly recommend that format, as the character, James, code-shifts, and it's just so powerful to experience the voices in their true form.) Such a great read! Such an important book.
via Bookshop
via Amazon
via Audible
Ina Garten, Wiser Than Me with Julia Louis-Dreyfus
I've devoured every conversation Julia's had with every Woman of a Certain Age on her great podcast, so it's difficult to choose one to lead the Season Two pack. Still Ina Garten surprised me (shoot, they all surprise me, I mean listen to my ultimate girl-crush BONNIE RAITT—OMG—and tell me you don't agree) in ways that delighted and inspired. Seriously, they all do, so can't go wrong. But Ina's a lovely place to start.
We've all experienced this frustration, thus, this very worthy read: What Your Doctor Wants You To Know About Those Painfully Short Appointment Times
Please take a moment for this. Please.
Jeff Daniels sings a love song of his own, to music, on the Kelly Clarkson show
I'm nearing the end of the #the100dayproject and several of those watercolors are available in my Etsy store, including a couple from my new bear + bird series! If you are so inclined, you can check them all out here.
Photo: Barefoot Contessa
Panzanella, from Ina Garten
Did you grow up eating Panzanella? I did not. Have you ever ordered it at a restaurant? I have not. Have you ever made it yourself? The first time, LAST SUNDAY. the second time, TWO DAYS LATER. That's the truth, and I'll never not make it again! (Trust me and use Ina's recipe. And use the really, really good olive oil.)
recently on THE DAILY GRACE

For love of Posey.

She's here! Baby Doyle is here! And what I can say for certain is there's nothing like the love when you're the grandmother.
Kiki the cat. In Posey's bed. Cuddled with Posey's lovies.
Isn't this a wonderful world???
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