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broodings from the burrow

July 22, 2016

kind, dusk, and juliet
posted by soe 2:29 am

Three beautiful things from this past week:

1. The almond & coconut Kind bars are really delicious, kind of like a naked Almond Joy.

2. We had the last volleyball slot of the day, which put me on the bike path along the Potomac just after nine. The sun had recently set, but the vistas toward Georgetown were still dusky purples and roses and oranges.

3. John and Nicole invited us to join them for supper, so Rudi finally got to meet their daughter Juliet.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world this past week?

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July 21, 2016

mid-july yarning along
posted by soe 2:30 am

Mid-July Yarning Along

I know this looks a lot like the photo I posted two weeks ago, and you’d be right. I’ve made slow progress in Modern Lovers, in part because the border of the shawl required too much attention to work from a print book as I went, so I’ve been listening to audiobooks instead. I finished Louise Penny’s Still Life, which I enjoyed well enough, and have moved on to The Heist, a romantic caper by Stephanie Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. Modern Lovers is about a third done and nearly a week overdue, so hopefully I’ll get it finished up this weekend in time for a trip to the library.

The expanded border is completely done, as is the first ball of yarn, nearly. The stripy section begins next, as do mindless knitting, the final two balls of yarn, and regular decreases. I’m looking forward to all of it (although carrying three balls worth of yarn in my courier bag is definitely going to be a little more tricky than just toting around the one. The Tour de France ends on Sunday, and while it’s possible that I might finish in time, it’s not looking overly optimistic unless I find the stripes far faster than I expect to. That said, I’d guess that it’ll be done before the end of the month, which will let me get back to my purse-friendly Hitchhiker as I figure out my knitting project for the Ravellenic Games to be knit during the Olympics. Will it be the traditional August finishing of the socks? Or will finishing new projects be so addictive I need to start something else? Things to consider…

Yarning along with Ginny at Small Things.

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July 15, 2016

back-to-back, folklife, and just the two of us
posted by soe 2:15 am

Three beautiful things from my past week (each of which, I now realize, contains mention of eating):

1. I attend free outdoor concerts on back-to-back evenings. The first is an alt-country band and features ice cream cones, snow cones, and cookies to decorate in a Georgetown park. The second is a trio of punk bands as part of a decades-old festival at the remains of a Civil War-era fort and features cake and a lemonade stand. All are excellent.

2. Rudi and I take an afternoon and go down to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the Mall. This year’s celebrated cultures include the Basque country, the music of California, and migrant communities. We listen to and watch performances, admire crafts (we often play the find-the-woolworker game at Folklife), and sample the local cuisine.

Woolly Basque Traditions

Basque Boat

3. Everyone else has other plans on Friday evening, so Rudi and I are on our own for our traditional concert and picnic. The local cover band is one of our favorites, so we sing along with many of their songs, and we eat pretty much everything we brought.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world this past week?

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July 8, 2016

day game, new ‘toy,’ and feather canyons everywhere
posted by soe 2:08 am

Three beautiful things from the first week of July:

1. Taking a half day at work lets me sneak out to late afternoon ballgame. There was no line at Shake Shack, where they serve fancy versions of Blizzards. Going by myself means I can listen to the game on the radio under my headphones. Despite giving up a worrying number of runs, the Nationals win the game.

Ice Cream at a Day Game in July

2. Corey finds an air pillow from some package has drifted to the floor. He can now often be found using it as a back or head support.

3. There have been some pretty phenomenal clouds in the past week:

Lightning Storm

Pink Sky at Night

Clouds and Crepuscular Rays

(The last shot also shows a decent example, if I say so myself, of crepuscular rays, a rather ugly word for a delightful trick of light.)

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world this past week?

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July 7, 2016

tour de france week 1 yarning along
posted by soe 2:57 am

Every year the Tour de France comes along and the knitalong I do pops up and I’m torn between finishing something previously started and starting something new. I’ve competed in the former category the past few years, and so this year decided to give something new a shot. (Yes, I do recognize my Hitchhiker was going really well and that this may not have been the smartest plan. The heart wants what the heart wants.)

A yellow jersey project requires a certain amount of fortitude (and stitches), and while I yearned to cast on something gorgeous and delicate, like Rock Island, I decided to listen to Rudi’s advice of not making it so complicated I had to become a hermit. While flipping through the stash on the hunt for a different yarn, I turned up three skeins I’d bought years ago to make Andrea’s Shawl. Since that pattern was also already paid for and in my possession, I decided to do a little stash-busting.

Tour de France Week 1 Yarning Along

This shawl is knit from its widest point to its narrower end after you knit the entire border. It’s an easily memorized four-row repeat, so I’ve been working on it while watching racing coverage and also while listening to an audiobook, Trouble Is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly. The story and the characters are fun (Girl moves to new town, where an abduction has recently taken place; a boy loops her into an investigation of the case, which resembles a similar abduction from eight years earlier. He’s quirky; she’s angry. Hijinks ensue.), but listening to it highlights that it needed additional editing that may not as been as obvious when reading it on the page. There are whole sections of dialogue that run like this:

“Simple sentence,” she said.
“A different simple sentence,” he said.
“More simple, more said,” she said.
“Getting the picture?” he said.

An editor should have pared down all of those extraneous “he/she saids,” particularly when it’s just two characters in the scene. As underscored when reading Mansfield Park earlier this year, not having enough attribution in dialogue can be confusing, but it doesn’t need to be every single line. If I weren’t enjoying it otherwise, I’d throw in the towel just for that reason (or switch to print, where, as I said, I might not have noticed it as much), because it keeps making me grit my teeth. But I am, so I’ll finish it off this week.

I’m only a few more pages into Modern Lovers than I was last week (having finished and started two different books in the meantime).

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July 6, 2016

ten on tuesday: ten things i did this weekend
posted by soe 1:58 am

Fourth Festive

Weekending along with Karen and Carole:

  1. Missed the thunderstorm and got to picnic with Shawn and Sarah. We saw gigantic catfish and ate ice cream cones.
  2. Nature's Fireworks

    Witnessed nature’s fireworks (a good thing since the manmade ones ended up being canceled after the ballgame went late.

  3. Picked up some books and my latest summer reading prize at the library.
  4. Chilling on a Saturday
    Rudi at the Potomac

    Read and ate doughnuts along the river with Rudi.

  5. Started a new knitting project for the Tour de France knit along and watched a lot of bike racing.
  6. Went to the farmers market.
  7. Blackberries

    Pulled out imitation strawberries and other vines from my garden. Ate peas. Checked on the blackberries growing on the fence. (This week…)

  8. Slept in.
  9. Saw The BFG at the cinema. We both really liked it.
  10. Fireworks 2016

    Biked down to the Lincoln Memorial and watched the fireworks through the fog and drizzle. (If you were watching A Capitol Fourth, you saw fireworks from previous, clearer years.)

How was your holiday weekend?

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