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As always, the Miami Book Fair was fabulous. I flew into Miami on Friday afternoon and took the train downtown, which was super easy and cheaper than a New York City subway. That evening I caught up with my good friend, Cristina Vasquez (pictured with me above), who is a longtime reader of Through the years, she has been my official Miami tour guide, always coming up with places to share. This time we started at Wynwood Walls, where we spent a lovely hour walking around looking at the street art. From there, we went out for a terrific Mexican dinner at Mi Rinconcito Mexicano in Little Havana.

As I write this newsletter, it’s Thursday night and I should be packing for my trip to Miami tomorrow for the Miami Book Fair. Instead I am writing. About two hours ago, I realized that one of the skirts that I planned to pack is still at the dry cleaners. Brilliant, right? It’s going to be a long night.

Last weekend was a mad dash to get a number of projects done around the house before the holidays. One was a special treat as my husband painted our front door turquoise blue for me (you can see it above). This touch of blue changed the whole look of the house! Where did this idea come from? You may recall that I am passionate about a non-profit called Taylor’s Gift that brings awareness to organ donation and support for the families of those donating organs and needing them. I sit on their advisory board. One of the local realtors in the Coppell, TX area has been painting the front doors on all of her listings this shade of blue to encourage people to learn more about Taylor’s Gift. I look forward to sharing their story with people who ask about the color of our door. It was red since we moved into this house 28 years ago!

For the record, I used the extra hour last weekend at least 24 ways. If every weekend had an extra hour, it would be quite lovely.

My friend Beverley has grown butternut squash at her weekend house, by accident. She had a beautiful garden of zinnias. And when I saw it, I was thinking I should plant those next summer. Well, the zinnias begat butternut squash as her husband composted the zinnia seeds with some compost that clearly had butternut squash seeds in it. The result: MANY butternut squash. I was joking that she could open her own farm stand! We roasted some and made this wonderful butternut squash with chili yogurt and cilantro sauce dish as a side for dinner last Sunday. Next up will be butternut squash soup with pears and ginger. I think I have shared this recipe before.

This is my favorite weekend of the year --- time to reclaim the hour we lost back in March. How shall I use it? I am sure I can come up with 24 ways! I am just plain giddy about this.

Hotumn continues today with temperatures in the mid-70s in New York. I keep heading out to clean out the gardens, but flowers continue to bloom. The other day when we got a huge rainstorm, I brought all the houseplants back outside so they could be thoroughly watered. My Christmas cactuses are in HUGE bloom since last week. The seasons clearly are all mixed up around here.