Got a lot done today, and zero of it had to do with my dissertation. That’s not entirely true. I did skim two journal articles and added to my research Notes on the iPhone app. But, here a list of other stuff: 

  • distributed bottles of Irish cream to the
  • neighbors harvested tangerines and trimmed branches 
  • roof leak repaired/tile replaced 
  • made old fashioned syrup & garnish 
Still have a lot to do tomorrow. 


Where do you get your inspiration? I mean, where do you find your inspiration to create something? Inspiration is something I've thought about this past week, as I wrapped up my final research paper for the Fall term. Like many people, I used to find my inspiration in outdoor places or through conversations with others. With the pandemic, those conversation don't look or feel like they did in the past. Most conversations are digital these days. 

My creative outlet for that inspiration is letterpress printing. Since I began my doctoral program, I have had little time to print. Regardless of what some might say, a doctorate in education is challenging. It demands a lot of time to complete. I knew this going into the program, and I understood that my other pursuits would be set aside for three years. And, I have realized that I miss that time. 

I have missed the time spent with others. I miss the conversations and the activities. I miss the inspiration and the authenticity of in-person conversations. I realize that COVID has altered the way we communicate, and I realize that my doctoral program has altered the time I have available to find that inspiration. Trust that I am not complaining. And, I am thankful to live in such a beautiful part of the world that offers so many opportunities to explore the outdoors for inspiration. I am also thankful for the internet and social media for providing some avenues of inspiration. But, with the Fall semester now over and a pending two-week winter break from work, I am excited to get back into the printshop.

I am stoked to start pulling some fonts, to start inking the machines, and to begin pressing some paper. I suppose I am answering my own question—inspiration comes from the strangest of places sometimes. It doesn't matter where. It simply matters how you use that time. 



  • 10 lemons
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle vodka
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar


Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the lemons in long strips (reserve the lemons for another use). Using a small sharp knife, trim away the white pith from the lemon peels; discard the pith. Place the lemon peels in a 2-quart pitcher. Pour the vodka over the peels and cover with plastic wrap. Steep the lemon peels in the vodka for 4 days at room temperature, away from sunlight. 

Stir the water and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Pour the sugar syrup over the vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Strain the limoncello through a mesh strainer. Discard the peels. Transfer the limoncello to bottles. Seal the bottles and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 month.


For stronger limoncello, use equal parts Everclear and vodka. The higher alcohol content in the Everclear will also pull more of the oils from the lemon skins.  

Straining the peels through a cheesecloth will produce a more clear, refined limoncello. 

For bottling, the 8.5oz glass flip-top bottles (like the ones below) work well. Shop around on Amazon for the best deals, as prices vary. 

*While this post may have very little to do with doctoral programs, it made its way to this site for educational purposes. Not saying other limoncello recipes are bad, but I have tasted a few that were pretty bland. This recipe has never failed me, and I hope it inspires you to create some holiday cheer!