Thanksgiving

There is a lot to be thankful for this year, even amid the sadness. I am so in love with my family and so full of gratitude for each of them. A few photos from our week at home.

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Boy time

Before dinner calm
Pre-dinner calm.

We went to Davidson this weekend, for Chris and Lauren’s wedding. It was one of those rare weekends back home in which most of the time was spent with BOYS. (With Kelsey and Grace gone, there is little incentive to fill up the harem.)

Boys, boys, boys:

Lil Bro Peep is all grown up
Sam, all grown up.
Pyrrha and Jak
Jak and Pyrrha.
Husband!
Husband.
Caleb!
Caleb.
Mom and her daddy
Da-Dan and his youngest daughter.

Gotta love boys. Patrick also showed up, but he is not featured here, as I was in the throes of post-wedding food poisoning when he arrived. So happy to get to see him, too.

Food poisoning aside, we had a lovely, calm weekend. Pyrrha acted like she owned the place. She’s become very comfortable with Davidson living and I daresay she was rather disappointed to come back to our shack after three days at the family estate. Dublin has become her constant companion and has been showing her the Ways of the Normal Dog.

You may have noticed an improvement in photo quality (although not necessarily photo skill). This is because I picked up my new camera, Louis, which I bought from Grace. I feel very honored to have him in my care. I am sure I won’t use him half as well as his first owner, but I am going to do my best to learn everything I can. There is so much to learn! It is a formidable piece of equipment.

How nice to be away, how nice to be home.

Wish I could have stayed

Prowling the kitchen
Pyrrha, prowling Juju and TT’s kitchen.

Our weekend away was a happy, full one. The family women accomplished lots for Kelsey and Alex’s wedding; Pyrrha acted like a normal, stable dog and became fast friends with Dublin; we missed Sam; Dad found a new method of receiving basic channels; we spent most of our free time walking the dogs; I nagged Grace to give me some of her clothes; she said she’d sell me her camera instead. At dinner on Saturday, I announced that I would stay for a month. If only I could.

I don’t particularly enjoy driving and nearly five hours in the car by myself (with a sleeping wolf in the back) was plenty. However, after you pass Lynchburg, the landscape suddenly becomes beautiful. The sky clears. The light is purer, the hills are greener and higher. I feel close to God when I’m driving back home in the mountains. “Virginia is God’s country,” my grandmother, raised on a farm near Amherst, has always said. I wholeheartedly agree.

My hair has reached that long, unmanageable point, but I’m too lazy to make an appointment at the salon. “I think I’m just going to keep it at this length for a while, and then I’ll cut it short,” I told Guion the other night, while I was looking at it in the mirror. “I don’t think that’s how hair works,” he replied.

Monday Snax

We had a perfect, celebration-filled weekend in Davidson and Charlotte. Complete set of photos here!

Marriaged!
We watched these two get married. Warmest congratulations, Jonathan and Keara!
Glowing with love
We got all dressed up.
It's Pizookie time!
We took the Pizookie challenge.
Family love
And we welcomed home our beloved world traveler!

 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)

Teal Blue Envelope Calligraphy. Must learn how to write like this. (Paper Tastebuds)

An Epistolary Confession. I haven’t written many letters lately, and this thoughtful piece by Jenni Simmons on the Curator made me want to revive my practice of regular letter writing. (The Curator)

No-Bake Chocolate Cake. I haven’t actually made this yet, but it sounds perfect–especially since our temperamental old oven makes baking a terrifying and often tragic adventure. (Mint)

The Unconditional Love of Dogs. This is why I think keeping pets, especially dogs, matters to humanity. (Doggerel)

Hover Cat. I feel that this GIF sums up the personality of most cats and dogs. (Animals Being Di*ks)

Going to see Grace

Sm-eye-sing
A very serious moment between the two of us, ca. November 2010.

I’m taking a half day on Friday and we’re driving down to Davidson for a weekend reunion with Grace (and for Jonathan and Keara’s wedding). Cannot wait to see her! That little muppet has been prowling the globe for far too long and I’m so relieved she’s back home. It was so nice yesterday to just pick up the phone and call her and talk about Tracy Morgan, just like the old days.

Will return on Monday with lots of photos and stories, I’m sure. Until then, have a lovely weekend.

Monday Snax

So. I had a dream last night that I was stricken by another wave of pregnancy terror (not too unrealistic) and so I took a pregnancy test at home. When I looked at the stick to see the result, it said: “MIGHT BE.” I was so mad. NOT helpful! Really, not cool, Psyche. Then I woke up. Hi, Monday morning, nice to meet you.

Great weekend with Guion. His concert on Saturday night was fantastic and it was the most well-attended show I’ve been to at The Garage thus far. Everybody loved him, of course. We went to Pen Park yesterday and flopped on the ground and read Ivan Turgenev’s Spring Torrents aloud to each other. It was romantic. And hilarious.

Snax, with extra cream cheese:

Ally + Kate. Aww. Miss these girls; can’t wait to see them over Thanksgiving. Such beautiful shots of such beautiful kids. (Como Say What?)

Life at Home. Another post from Grace. This makes me really, really, really want to pack up, jump in the car, and hit the road for Davidson. (Como Say What?)

1010 Project. A bit old now, but still worth looking at: A challenge to some of the best blog-based photographers to take 10 pictures on 10/10/10. The results are very charming. (1010 Project)

Lucas Foglia: Re-Wilding. These are some of the craziest photos I’ve seen. Photographer Lucas Foglia wandered into the wilderness of the southeast to find people living off the grid. These humans are fascinating, and the photographs are riveting. (Lucas Foglia)

Tata Vislevskaya: In Switzerland. I want to go to there. (Modish)

Why Can’t Middle-Aged Women Have Long Hair? An interesting question, and it seems to be universally mandated by American culture: older women with long hair get instantly labeled as witches or hippies. Why must this be? (The New York Times)

Chris Pratt’s Weight-Gain Tips. I don’t watch “Parks and Recreation,” but this is pretty funny. (Vulture)

TWO, yes two, features from NYT’s amazing Great Homes section:

Who Lives There: The Pyramid Atop Seattle’s Smith Tower. All I want to know is HOW did these people score this place to live?? Crazy! (New York Times)

A Log Home in Chapel Hill. But not just any log home… Never knew this existed in town. Looks magical, doesn’t it? The owner is a twig sculptor. What a fascinating profession. (New York Times)

A Comprehensive Glossary of GIFs. I don’t know why these are so funny. But they are. You will LOL. (Jezebel)

Why Don’t You? I always get excited to see curly-haired models, because they are so rare. From a recent copy of Vogue. I think this is Doutzen Kroes, but Grace could confirm that… (Dress, Design, Decor)

Living In: Rear Window. One of my all-time favorite classic movies! I still get antsy every time she breaks into the supposed murderer’s apartment and Jimmy Stewart can’t do anything to help her. Kills me. Also, Grace Kelly totally rocks out in this film. (Design Sponge)

Christine O’Donnell Introduced to Concept of ‘Separation of Church and State’ for First Time. OMG. PEOPLE. How is anyone still considering her a viable candidate for office? Anyone? (Daily Intel)

Out-of-Print Clothing. What a cool idea: T-shirts with the covers of out-of-print classic books. Super trendy, I know, but I still can’t help wanting a few of them (1984 and Song of Solomon are pretty rad). (Wide Open Spaces)

A Brief Survey of the Short Story, Part 29: Eudora Welty. I’ve been a big Welty fan ever since Dave gave me her collected short stories when I was a teenager. It’s great to hear someone else praise her as a masterful writer, and a masterful writer who isn’t just a “Southern lady author.” And this is from a Brit, too! (The Guardian’s Books Blog)