sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

November 20, 2018


ten things i love about thanksgiving
posted by soe 1:21 am

Because I got nothing else tonight:

  1. Spending time with my family
  2. Watching the Macy’s Day parade
  3. Going on the breakfast run to Dunkin’ Donuts (I’m going to deliberately start using the old name now that they’ve announced they’re officially shortening it) with Dad
  4. Singing along with “Alice’s Restaurant” (“You can get anything you want…”)
  5. Piling on the side dishes
  6. Eating pie (pumpkin and apple are the traditional flavors in our house)
  7. Knowing I’ll get to see Karen in the days to come
  8. Rooting for our respective football teams (although I only care about the Powder Puff game, and I think that’ll be done before we hit the road from D.C. this year)
  9. Talking to loved ones who are far away
  10. Kicking off the Christmas season

(I do not love the long drive, but it will be filled with audiobooks, podcasts, music, and an excellent traveling companion. But think of us when you head to bed on Wednesday night, because we’ll still be on the road.)

How about you? What do you enjoy about the holiday?

Category: life -- uncategorized. There is/are 2 Comments.

November 19, 2018


epic fail
posted by soe 1:52 am

I intended to spend this afternoon bicycling over to the Deanwood, a neighborhood on the other side of the Anacostia that’s home to an award-winning branch library. I had an entire game plan that started with a pop-up Christmas shop across town, progressed to a once-a-week coffee shop at one of the rec centers, and stopped at the library. I was then going to come back home via the Kenilworth Aquatic Garden (where in the summer they apparently have amazing water lilies) and the new community coffee shop by Union Market. There were contingency options built in for not getting as early a start (skipping the pop-ups) and for not wanting to bike as far, including taking a bikeshare so I could leave the bike by the library if I didn’t want to keep cycling and take the metro home.

I reiterate, I had a plan.

Anacostia River Parkland

Anacostia River Parkland

Anacostia River Parkland

It started out okay, although I left later than I’d hoped due to an uncalm stomach, so I ditched both pop-ups from my plan and decided to hit the Aquatic Garden en route to the library. It’s less than a ten-minute ride from one to the other and this way, I thought, I wouldn’t be riding in a less populated area as it got darker.

Anacostia River Parkland
(I suggest you click through and mouse over the above shot on Flickr, because I’ve put in a note showing the Washington Monument, which is too small here to see.)

Anacostia River Parkland

All this was true. It’s beautiful over there and it’s so secluded you’d never know you were in a city. I passed a few people on the trail, but not many, and I had an eye on the clock so I wouldn’t get to the library too late to explore.


Anacostia River Parkland

Anacostia River Parkland

Apparently, I was so busy taking in the scenery and the time that I missed my turn off the trail and back to civilization. When I did finally reach a turn, it was a little later than I’d expected, but not bad. However, it wasn’t the turn I’d wanted. Come to find out I’d overshot D.C. and was now out in Maryland.

Anacostia River Parkland
(Not D.C.)

This is where things start to go off the rails. Consulting Google Maps, I asked it how I should best progress back to Deanwood. Back through the woods, it said. But it was nearly 4:30 at this point, and I was worried about being on the trail alone as it was seriously getting dark. So I nixed that idea and looked at the road signs. I was already on a fast-moving four-lane road, which although it had signs saying cyclists should take the lane, I wasn’t convinced the drivers of it were similarly inclined to agreement. And I was at an on-ramp to what looked like potentially to be a highway. I definitely didn’t want to take a highway! (I have accidentally done this at one point, coming out of National Airport and I do not ever want to repeat that terrifying experiment.) Possibly those roads would have been fine, but I decided to call Rudi and ask him to help find me a way home since he has more experience cycling in outlying areas.

He did find me a route that didn’t involve biking on highways or through dark woods, although it, too, was not without perils (mostly due to poor pedestrian signage and nonexistent warnings about dangerous sidewalk conditions on a stretch of road that I prefer not to bike on during the day, let alone at night (due to the high speed drivers like to take, not for it feeling otherwise dangerous)). By the time I reached home what was supposed to have been a manageable ride of a dozen miles turned into nearly double that and had me pedaling for nearly three hours straight. (Yesterday, I asked Rudi to come meet me because I didn’t want to add two miles to my ride.) The only thing that saved me was that I had taken one of the electric-assist bikes that was nearly fully charged when I borrowed it, but, still, that was a lot of energy expended. I will sleep well tonight.

But it was beautiful before it got stressful…

Anacostia River Parkland

Anacostia River Parkland

Category: dc life,sports. There is/are 0 Comments.

November 18, 2018


azalea socks in the (not) wildwood
posted by soe 1:08 am

This is cheating a bit, because I completed these socks back in August, but I’m pretty sure I never showed you the finished socks. Today was my first time wearing them, August not being particularly conducive to sporting wool, so I thought I’d get a couple glamour shots from the park I visited (Chuck Brown Memorial/Langdon Park). Unfortunately, I didn’t remember I wanted to take pictures until the sun was already down (which does somewhat negate the purpose of waiting to model the socks until the clouds went away), so I was racing against the gloaming.

Azalea Socks at Chuck Brown Memorial Park

These were supposed to be my springtime socks, knit in time to model with the local azalea bloom season, but those plans didn’t come to flower.

Azalea Socks Out and About

The details:

The yarn is Knitterly Things Vesper Sock in merino in the In the Wildwood colorway. I knit my standard picot stockinette default for stripey socks, but used two needle sizes this time — 2.5 mm for the leg and 2.25 mm for the feet. I started them April 26th and finished August 12th.

Expect more shots of FOs in the next week!

Category: knitting. There is/are 1 Comment.

November 17, 2018


pre-thanksgiving weekend plans
posted by soe 1:31 am

Date Night

Rudi and I headed to the Uptown, D.C.’s only old-fashioned single-screen movie theater still in existence, this evening for The Crimes of Grindelwald, which we enjoyed tremendously. I won’t share any details, except to say that all your favorite characters are back from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and that Jude Law does an excellent job as Dumbledore. We followed up the film with a late supper at a pan-Asian restaurant nearby, where they make a tremendous rainbow salad that I just adore. I also tried their rose black tea, which was very tasty, although I didn’t drink it fast enough for our waitress, who kept coming over to check on the water in the teapot.

I don’t have a lot else planned for this weekend, probably in part because all my days are weekends right now, which does remove some of the novelty and a lot of the urgency. If I get up early enough, there’s a new park opening near the center of the city with a dog parade planned to mark the occasion. There’s also a holiday pop-up shop that might be fun to take in. I also have a couple bike rides to libraries I’d like to get in, but if they get pushed off to the start of next week, it’s no loss. Mostly, though, I just want to get outside and soak up some of the predicted sunshine.

What do you hope to do this weekend?

Category: arts. There is/are 1 Comment.

November 16, 2018


rain gear, contrasts, and pump up the jam
posted by soe 1:23 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. A rainy stroll home includes several blocks (and a stop at the vet’s) with a woman walking two Staffordshire Terriers wearing matching rubber ducky raincoats (the dogs, not the woman).

2. A tiny infant strapped to a woman via a baby carrier is wearing a gigantic stripey hat with a bright pompom.

3. I stop at a biscuit restaurant (what? this is the south.) at teatime, where for a little while I’m the only customer. They have the music cranked and the young woman who waited on me at the counter is working on getting her coworkers to get down and dance to the ’80s funk playing over the speakers. They’re such a cheerful bunch that I leave in an excellent mood.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 1 Comment.

November 15, 2018


virtual advent tour 2018 signups now open
posted by soe 1:37 am

Arbo & Santa's Dog Park

This year marks the fourth time I will play host to the Virtual Advent Tour. I can’t believe it’s time to embark on the process once more!

If this is your first time here at the winter holidays, welcome! The Virtual Advent Tour is a bloggers’ take on the traditional Advent calendar in which each day in December leading up to Christmas Day you open a door to unveil a hidden scene or piece of chocolate or some other treat. In our version, each morning I’ll point you to a post at someone’s blog in which they share something about their holiday season.

While both the tradition of the Advent calendar and the timing skew Christian, the tour is inclusive and open to anyone who celebrates December holidays of any sort — from Hanukkah to Kwanzaa, from Festivus to Solstice, and from Christmas to something I’ve never heard of but that I’ll learn about from you — and who wants to share them with us. We love reading about all kinds of holiday celebrations and the traditions you’ve developed around them!

Would you be willing to share a winter holiday post one or two days next month? You’d know the date(s) ahead of time (and can request a specific one if you’d like), your post can be as simple or as complex as suits you, and there’s no need to tell me what you’re going to write about in advance. Folks have shared favorite holiday music, charities, recipes, religious calendar dates, literature, local events, memories, and traditions both old and new, to name some of the topics from years past. All that I ask is that you have your post published by midnight your time the evening before the date(s) you pick, so I can link to it in my post and direct visitors your way. (Speaking of visitors, make sure leaving a comment on your blog is as barrier-free that day as possible if you’d like folks to respond.)

If it sounds fun and you’d like to participate, please leave me a comment on this post telling me what date(s) you’d like. I’ll update this post as people claim days and will create a 2018 Tour button/badge folks can use if they want to.

Thanks in advance for making this one of my fun December traditions!

Category: christmas/holiday season. There is/are 6 Comments.