sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 12, 2016

cheap & cheerful, attitude, and early arrivals
posted by soe 2:35 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. A bouquet of daffodils (less than $2 from Trader Joe’s):


2. The clerks who work Sundays at the post office next to Union Station are friendly and upbeat.

3. It’s not good for them, because I doubt single digit wind chills invite them to stick around, but I saw these outside the National Museum of American History today:


Snowdrops and Croci

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

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February 9, 2016

top ten tuesday: valentine’s day
posted by soe 2:41 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt from The Broke and the Bookish is an open-ended theme of Valentine’s Day. I thought I’d offer up the ten books currently in my possession I’d like to read in which love (supposedly) plays a role:

  1. The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan: A fictional account of a commoner who falls in love with the heir to the British throne.
  2. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell: The company’s IT guy has to police everyone’s usage of the company email. What he reads makes him fall in love.
  3. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda: Simon’s fallen in love with a boy on the internet, but his romance is put at risk by the school bully.
  4. The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockborough: The figures of Love and Death routinely pick two people and play with their lives to see which one of them will win. Heretofore, it’s been Death. Does Love have a shot this time?
  5. Love Letters by Katie Fforde: A former bookshop owner takes over running a literary festival and must convince a reclusive writer to take part.
  6. Connect the Stars by Maria de los Santos and David Teague: Two kids meet at summer wilderness camp. Not sure if this is fall in romantic love or fall in best friend love. Either will work.
  7. Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens: Because, honestly, what’s more passionate than the love between middle school BFFs?
  8. Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope: A modern retelling of the Jane Austen novel.
  9. Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith: The night before they leave for college, a high school couple has to figure out whether or not to break up.
  10. Young Avengers, Vol. 1: Style > Substance by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie: The next generation of superheroes has to figure out how to work as a team.

How about you? Will your reading be taking a thematic approach this week? Have you read any of the books on my list? Would you recommend bumping it up my list?

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February 7, 2016

into the stacks: january 2016
posted by soe 5:27 am

Shall we begin as we mean to go on? My plan is to post about the previous month’s reads on the first Saturday of the next month. Here, then, are the seven books I finished during January: (more…)

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February 6, 2016

weekend to-do
posted by soe 3:12 am

This weekend, I hope to:

  • Make lasagna/soup/guacamole.
  • Bake cookies/bread/pie/cake/granola.
  • Finish the local baby knit so baby can arrive unhindered by my unfinished project.
  • Take down the Christmas cards. (Clearly my missing held holiday mail is never going to turn up.)
  • Knit on my shawl.
  • Read a book. Or two. Or three.
  • Sleep.
  • Mail cards.
  • Write blog post(s) about books. (!)
  • Go to the farmers market.
  • Buy stamps.
  • Pick up holds at the library.
  • Watch movies.
  • Clean the bathroom.
  • Drink tea.
  • Phone a friend.
  • Change the sheets.
  • Attend a yoga class.
  • Set up my ukulele class.
  • Do laundry.
  • Soak up some rays.
  • Listen to music.
  • Wash socks.
  • Clear off rocking chair.
  • Breathe.
  • Cuddle cats.
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February 5, 2016

warm, beating the crowds, and getting brighter
posted by soe 1:51 am

Three beautiful things from the past week:

1. Just as I don’t want a blizzard every winter day, I also don’t want to see a heat wave. But the occasional day at 60, where I can walk out during the day in a sweatshirt, is wonderful.

2. A pre-Super Bowl trip to Trader Joes with no lines and chips on the shelves.

3. Realizing that the sun still hasn’t set at 5:30 and that it isn’t dark until 6.

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

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February 2, 2016

bloggers’ silent poetry reading: kyle dargan
posted by soe 2:20 am

The start of this month marks the tenth Bloggers’ (Silent) Poetry Reading in honor of St. Brigid, patron saint of poetry. (I admit to no longer being fully sure of what day it’s supposed to be. We all started on Feb. 2, but it seems to have migrated to the 1st over the years, which is when St. Brigid’s Day is actually celebrated. I am a traditionalist on this issue and always participate on the 2nd.) I think there are only a few of us left who participate, since the originator of the event has gotten rid of her blog and even the Facebook group page has gone mostly silent.

Without additional fuss, here is this year’s poem:

Pale Blue Dot
    ~Kyle Dargan

We’re far enough from heaven. Now, we can freak out.
~Deep Cotton

Either a romantic or subtle sadist,
Carl Sagan begged NASA to burn
Voyager’s hydrazine thrusters,
rotating her hull so she might
capture one last snapshot
before drifting beyond radio
tether—exiting the literal
edge of our galaxy.
The image she spat back:
bands of deconstructed rainbow
and one blue speck. That’s us,
some astronomer gasped
once the matter of his mind
could discern our infinitesimal
everything wrapped in blue
fabric—atmosphere’s loomed light,
which we recognize from pristine
days when our eyes pan upward.
thought we have that photograph,
only Voyager has felt the cold
pull of witnessing all that we are
fitted on the head of a pin
pushed into a black expanse
wider than any sky we’ll ever face.


Pale Blue Dot
By Voyager 1, via Wikimedia Commons

I went back and forth about which poem of Dargan’s, who is a D.C. resident and professor, to include here, since I just finished his 2015 poetry collection Honest Engine: Poems. It came down to two choices, one of which used the local, close-up to illustrate the larger picture, and the other, which won out, which used the cosmos to illustrate what’s unknowable closer to home.

In previous years, I have shared poems by Barbara Crooker, William Stafford, Mary Oliver (twice), Wislawa Szymborska, Stuart Dischell, Jean Esteve, John Frederick Nims, Grace Paley, Heather McHugh, and Barbara Hamby, all of which are worth another read.

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