Monday, Aug 9, 1880 I have felt more cheerful and reposeful today than for a long time, perhaps because I have not tried to paint but have kept busy with little matters. I wrote a letter to Mr. Bachelder, looked over some of my letters and went down to the Strand after dinner for the mail and to have my hair cut. Received a letter from Julia Wilkinson with news from Gifford up to Saturday afternoon. They were hopeful but I seem to feel that he is in a very critical state. This afternoon I made a new case for my sketching umbrella etc and covered one writing desk with some fresh, new velvet. It gave me a pang to tear off the old worn and faded velvet on which dear Gertrude had written so many sweet and loving letters to me. I cant bear to disturb or change any thing in any way connected with her memory. I went to see the mason about setting the stone at her grave as soon as it comes. This evening I have written to Julia and to Mary Gifford who is with Sanford in N. Y. This has been a pretty warm day but entirely comfortable here on the hill. The yellow birds fly about in flocks and utter their plaintive chant and I saw a robin towards evening. But all the sounds are of the late summer and the weeds are going to seed in the waste places.