Pyrrha has found an excellent remedy to lift the spirits: Roll around in the grass! Preferably on a slug or something equally stinky! It will do wonders for your complexion and countenance!
Hope you have a peaceful, productive, and relaxing weekend. I’ll be spending mine with Guion, the dog, the yard, Proust, and D.H. Lawrence. Oh, and doing lots of calligraphy. Lots and lots of calligraphy. I need to stop overbooking myself with these calligraphy jobs; it makes my evenings so busy that I am tempted to follow Pyrrha’s dubious method of stress relief…
This past week, we celebrated Win’s birthday a day early, by eating super-spicy Chinese food at Peter Chang’s and by clinking glasses of dark craft beer with friends at The Local. It was a classic Charlottesville birthday.
Then, this weekend, we traveled to Greensboro to see Daniel and Lauren get married! They are so wonderful and we were so happy to be there to celebrate with them. Brief photo recap below:
Thank you, brothers! Thoughtful responses by Christian men to John Piper’s unbelievable/offensive pronouncement that Christianity is and should be a masculine religion, that the best churches are ones with a “masculine feel.” (Rachel Held Evans)
DIY Valentine’s Wreath. Those who know me know that I am really not into cute DIY projects, but this one looks pretty darn adorable–and easy enough for someone like me to attempt. (Mod Cloth blog)
So tempting right now. Oh, nothing. Just an announcement that these two glorious dogs from a local Aussie breeder are having puppies in late March. Committed to rescue, committed to rescue… (Inkwell Aussies)
We took a very short weekend trip to the tiny mountain town of Thomas, West Virginia, so the boys could visit Mountain State Brewing Co. (Liz and I were able to find a coffee shop, to our amazement, which provided some respite from the bar.) We narrowly survived the seemingly endless switchbacks and hairpin turns and the little Versa even trucked it up there. A fun and very different way to spend the weekend; more photos on Flickr.
Longform’s Best of 2011. The best long-form journalism from last year. I really want to read all of these. I love a good, thorough, and fascinating article. (Longform)
Most Anticipated: The Great 2012 Book Preview. Wow. Apparently, there are a lot of great books set to come out this year. I’m looking forward to reading many of them! (I’m especially excited about Marilynne Robinson’s When I Was a Child, I Read Books.) (The Millions)
Dallas Calligrapher: Fabulous Forty. Now that is impressive calligraphy: Flexible nib with white ink, slanted, on a hot pink envelope. I’m jealous of her skills. (The Lefthanded Calligrapher)
A peaceful, efficient weekend. Back to the book sale again; ran a lot of errands; Guion was on tour with Nettles, the Hill and Wood, and Camp Christopher in D.C. and Princeton. One of the highlights of the weekend was a photo session with the incredible Kristin Moore, who took us out to Chiles Peach Orchard in Crozet for a fun afternoon among the spooky/awesome dead trees. Kristin is so sweet and encouraging and she made us feel OK about being in front of the camera, despite our overwhelming awkwardness.
My paternal grandfather passed away this weekend. He was a happy man who flew helicopters and told jokes, but I did not know him very well. It is a strange feeling, to acknowledge that you feel so empty and detached about your grandfather’s death, but my heart is heavy for my father and his siblings. They feel something for him that I never got the chance to, and for that, I am sad. Rest in peace, Papa John.
Snax with a box of clementines, which are easily the main reason winter is passable:
Faroes. Good friend Ross McDermott went on an adventure to the mystical and hidden Faroe Islands and his photographs of the trip are just incredible. It looks like such an enchanted place; I want to go! (Ross McDermott’s Flickr)
Palmetto Bluff. Meredith visits this amazing inn in South Carolina. I’m a sucker for hanging moss; it makes me want to go read a dozen Eudora Welty stories. (Meredith Perdue)
Our Bella, Ourselves. As a self-respecting woman with a functional brain, I have a lot of disdain for all things Twilight. But this is a very interesting perspective on Bella Swan–the weak, useless, defenseless, and indecisive “heroine”–as a mirror of her fanbase. Teen girls love these books, because they see something of themselves in Bella. Sad, but maybe true? (The Hairpin)
Yes, I like to make my new year’s resolutions very early. In fact, one could say that I am in a perpetual state of making new year’s resolutions. Continuous goal-making is a blessing/curse we inherited from our mother. (Grace has the worst case of it, but then again, she’s the most accomplished of us all, so maybe there is something to this mania for making resolutions.)
Things I Want To Do in 2012
Get a dog, which I don’t have to tell you. I already have. Like, a hundred times.
Take a graduate-level English class at UVA.
Take the GRE.
Go hiking more often.
Read 75 books (down from this year’s goal of 100, because I think I’ll be cutting down on my dog reading).
Take a beginner’s ballet class.
Try to take my writing more seriously; publish something, somewhere. (How’s that for ambiguity?)
Our last wedding of 2011 was certainly one to remember: Matt and Liz got hitched at the gorgeous Castle Hill Cidery in Keswick and threw a lavish, memorable party for everyone. We love them so very much and are so delighted that they will be sticking around. Life in this town is way more exciting when it involves the two of them. More photos on Flickr!
Meet Our Vendors: Polyface Farm Tour. We just started using Relay Foods for the first time and it’s a totally wonderful thing; you should be justifiably upset that it doesn’t exist yet in your town. Here, the Relay Foods staff takes a photo tour of Joel Salatin’s beautiful and much-lauded Polyface Farm. We just bought our first Polyface chicken this week! (Relay Living)
We got to meet the perfectly charming Phinehas Edwards McDermott! Welcome to Earth, new McDermott. We are so glad to have you here.
And I got new glasses, which make me both totally serious AND crazy. I also got shot for the Charlotte’s new style section, which was confirming to me at what a truly terrible model I am. But Sean and Stephanie were super-nice about the whole thing. Thanks, friends.
Liz + Matt. Just some shameless self-promotion: I just finished this calligraphy project for our dear friends, Liz and Matt, and I had a blast doing it. This was my first time doing an invitation suite, which was turned into a fabulous letterpress invitation by the matchless Patrick Costello. A lot of fun! (AFP Calligraphy)
A Reunion with Boredom. Charles Simic discusses life without electricity, reading, and how much he owes to boredom. A thoughtful and lovely piece that will make me strive to appreciate our frequent power outages. (New York Review of Books)
Just Like a Woman. In defense of Jane Austen as a legitimate and important writer, in response to V.S. Naipaul’s remark, which is a campaign that I am 100 percent behind. It’s a little late to be responding to him now, as his comment is kind of old news, but I do wish Austen would be rescued from the plight of being constantly written off as a “chick lit” writer. Thanks a lot, Keira Knightley. (Los Angeles Review of Books)
Findings. My favorites, among the lighter findings surveyed: “Florida could be up to 50 percent older than previously believed” and “Chemists discovered why van Gogh’s yellows were fading.” (Harper’s)
The Slow Art of Tea. A re-posted article from the Curator that talks about one of my favorite daily rituals. (The Curator)
There’s Nothing Like… Even though Tom Wolfe got on my nerves in From Bahaus to Our House, I’m going to side with him on this one: What an unfortunate place to live. (Unhappy Hipsters)
A quiet weekend at home was just what we needed. I got to read, work on a lot of copperplate calligraphy, volunteer two mornings at the SPCA, and watch “Mad Men” with my husband. We didn’t have any big plans and that was just what I needed. Now it’s time to gear up for yet another NC wedding this weekend (congrats to Shaun and Ann-Marie!). In the meantime, I will be thinking about all of the daily kindnesses of a quiet house.
I Miss New Zealand, Queenstown, and Bungee Jumping. It’s a miracle that Grace made it back to us alive. I love the peaceful expression on her face when she is diving down into the depths. And now our little adventurer has started a new one: COLLEGE. Happy first week at UNC, Gracie. (Como Say What?)
New Copperplate Styles. Motivated by my work for a recent wedding job, I’m debuting four new styles with a copperplate nib. (AFP Calligraphy)
We had a perfect, celebration-filled weekend in Davidson and Charlotte. Complete set of photos here!
Snax with a piping hot cup of darjeeling tea, imported straight from the region itself:
What I’ve Done. Just reading the list of things Grace did these past six months is enough to make one’s head spin. Proud of you, muppet, but mostly I’m just really, really glad that you’re home. (Como Say What?)
Memories of Chekhov. An excerpt from a new book of people’s opinions and stories about the great Anton Chekhov. Delightful. (New York Review of Books)
The Lake House, Part 2. Does this look like the absolute perfect vacation or what? I’m enamored. (Sweet Fine Day)