A one-minute audio linguistics lesson: how New Orleanians pronounce “Chartres.”

A Ramble in the Woods

Dear Kay,

Oh, come on, the news is grim, so let’s leave it all behind and go for a walk in the Tennessee countryside.


I tend to walk early in the morning, when there’s still a breeze.

The moss is so much better than the mushrooms this year. I have not seen a single mushroom. The frog pond is low, too.


Not far from my cottage is a ruin of a stone house. There are people around who could tell me the story of this place, but I don’t really want to know.


I’d rather imagine all kinds of stories about this place.


Is this a little stage? A tomb for a leprechaun? The product of a stonemason with terrible aim?


The lichens are hanging in there. Lichens know how to hunker down.


This is on the Cumberland Plateau, elevation 1,920 feet. Not a mountain, really. But enough to make life five degrees cooler than Nashville. I’ve been taking this walk for more than ten years now, a familiar route but never the same twice.

What’s your favorite ramble?



PS  Thanks for all the ideas about the identity of the fweeoo fweeoo bird is who’s making my every morning an early one. It’s not a Phoebe, Veery, Red-eyed Verio, or Eastern Wood Peewee. I’ll try to catch it in a video so you can play it at 4:49 am every morning. OY.

The website All About Birds is so very excellent. Definitely poke around in there.



Recent Blog Posts

June 24, 2016 |

Snippets: What Makes a Beach Read?

Dear Kay, What Makes a Beach Read is a juicy list of 44 books to read with sand under your feet or a hammock under your backside. The curator here is the staff of Nashville’s sublime Parnassus Books. I’m on the prowl for new...

June 23, 2016 |

Kay Is Away; Ann Soldiers (Valiantly) On

Dear Kay, Straight up, I am not comfortable writing on your day.  It just feels wrong.  I don’t have a dog photo.  I don’t know any good British teledramas (except Broadchurch, which has only two seasons to watch, not 30 like...

June 22, 2016 |

Indigo Wonderland

Dear Kay, Through some minor miracle,  last night I found myself sitting in the crowd at the fabled Shakerag Workshops in Sewanee, Tennessee. The speaker was a Nigerian fabric artist who now lives in Santa Fe. This is Gasali Adeyamo. He is...

June 21, 2016 |

Summery Snippets

Dear Ann, I’m heading off-blog for a few days. Ann: I’m leaving you in charge. No parties. More than two friends is a party. Lisa Downstairs is there if you need anything. (She’s also keeping an eye out, if you know what I’m...

June 20, 2016 |

Postcard from Syria, Virginia

Dear Kay, Before I lose these in the cloud or the pool (a moment of silence for Hubbo’s phone, which went swimming with him yesterday), a few pix from the family reunion. A memorable, hard-earned sack lunch from the dining hall. Why does a...

June 19, 2016 |

Lazy Sunday: Eastenders

Dear Ann, My longest-running, most reliable knittertainment, by far, is the British soap opera EastEnders, a multi-family, working-class drama that has been running continuously since 1985. I started watching it about ten years after that, a few...

June 18, 2016 |

Knitting Huts and Endless Talking

Dear Kay, Greetings from the wilds, I mean milds, of the Shenandoah mountains. Family reunion running on tight schedule thanks to sister Buffy’s crack planning. Breakfast/yoga/walk/lunch/nap? CHECK. I slept through the trip to the winery but...

More Posts


A bit of news from us, every now and again.

(Your email is safe with us.)