sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

November 21, 2017

mapley maple impression
posted by soe 2:58 am

I just woke up from dozing off while working on a book review post, which is a sign I should close the laptop, brush my teeth, and go to bed, particularly since I’m still carrying around this lingering cough.

So I’ll share some photos I took Sunday while out for a bike ride. Some trees have totally dropped their leaves, but others have donned their best party attire for the upcoming holiday:

The majority of trees in this area turn yellow and orange. (I suppose the majority of trees everywhere do that.) But since I grew up in New England, I expect a certain amount of mapley red and usually am disappointed down here. Right now, the Japanese maples are out in full force, but mostly their red is a deeper, more purpley one and less fiery than the sugar maples of home.

So when I come across a solidly mapley maple (or, as in this case, a Japanese maple doing its best sugar maple impression), I just have to snap a picture, right?

Maple Near UDC



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November 20, 2017

music for monday
posted by soe 1:35 am

Three Thanksgiving songs for your week:

Bing Crosby singing “I’ve Got Plenty to Be Thankful For” from Holiday Inn:

Mary Chapin Carpenter singing “The Thanksgiving Song”:

Adam Sandler singing “The Thanksgiving Song” on Saturday Night Live:

(Stop back later in the week for the quintessential Thanksgiving song, without which my holiday just wouldn’t be complete‚Ķ)

Category: arts. There is/are 2 Comments.

November 19, 2017

coffeeneuring 2017: ride #3
posted by soe 1:57 am

There are nine books to write about for June, so I’m going with the easier option of a Coffeeneuring ride, especially since Rudi posted those photos for me.

Coffeeneuring Ride #3: Shop Made in DC (1330 19th St., N.W.) and Shaw (Watha T. Daniels) Library (1630 7th St., N.W.)

Shaw Library

Saturday, Oct. 21; 4.7 miles

Hot chocolate, cardamom kouign amann

If you’re going to talk about the revitalization of D.C.’s branch libraries, it’s impossible to have that discussion without highlighting the one in the Shaw neighborhood. This happens to be my current secondary library branch, the one I’m most easily able to get to on my way home from work. (more…)

Category: books,dc life,sports. There is/are 1 Comment.

November 18, 2017

pre-thanksgiving weekend planning
posted by soe 1:45 am

Last weekend’s list was overly ambitious, particularly since I was sick. This weekend’s to-do list is shorter, if not actually more scaled back:

  • Do a couple last Coffeeneuring bike rides.
  • Dig up my potatoes.
  • Clean the bathroom and the kitchen.
  • Sort through my clothes.
  • Complete my socks.
  • Finish Exit West

I’d like to include watch a movie on this list, but Rudi caught my cold, which caused us to cancel not one, but two, movie plans this week already and I just can’t bring myself to make it three.

How’s your weekend looking? What are you hoping it includes?

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

November 17, 2017

not native, fall, and reminder
posted by soe 2:12 am

Three beautiful things from my past week, now part of Carole’s Three on Thursday:

Banana Tree Flower at D.C.'s West End Community Garden

1. As you might be able to tell, this is a banana flower, cultivated by the Japanese for a more temperate climate than other species. What is not obvious from my photo is that it’s growing at my community garden, right here in D.C. The tree is about ten feet tall and that flower is larger than a football. The tiny banana fruits you see are apparently inedible, filled with only a little bit of fruit and lots of black seeds. I’m sure that now that we’ve had a freeze, the flower has died, but this was last Friday morning, still blooming well into November.

2. With the cold snap, the gingko trees dropped many of their leaves prematurely, so instead of a nearby block turning golden, as it usually does in the autumn, the street was covered with green.

First Orchids of the Season

3. My orchids usually bloom right around Thanksgiving. That also coincides with the birthday of my Uncle George, who sent them to me for my birthday the year before he died. This will be our fifth season together, and the flowers began unfurling yesterday morning. I’ve moved them from my office windowsill to my desk for the moment so I can enjoy the day-to-day differences at this stage. It has a second stem shooting off in the opposite direction (those are roots you can see in the background) and the other surviving orchid has a stem growing, too, but it usually holds off blooming until the new year.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world recently? (And, oh! Would taking part in the Virtual Advent Tour next month make your life beautiful? If so, sign up!)

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November 16, 2017

unraveling in november
posted by soe 1:00 am


As my socks come to an end (they’re not there yet, but with luck we’ll have an FO post this week!), I’m looking ahead and contemplating future knitting. This is one contender: the blue (it’s only got 135 yards, which makes it a little short on its own for much of anything) with one of the greens.

Speaking of contenders, while my first post-illness read was Jason Reynolds’ latest, Long Way Down (go read it!), I took my readers’ opinions and the length of the holds list at the library into consideration and pulled Exit West by Mohsin Hamid back into the game as well. I’m about two-thirds of the way through and am enjoying its storytelling quite a bit.

I may up the playback speed of The Secret History of Wonder Woman to see if it sounds weird. (I’m more than halfway through and we haven’t yet reached Wonder Woman’s conception; it would have been better titled The Secret History of Wonder Woman’s Creator and the Women He Loved) I’ve still got a week on it from the library, but Ibi Ziboi’s American Street is also checked out to me and I’d like to get going on that. I wonder if Rudi would be interested in listening to that for some of the Thanksgiving weekend drive‚Ķ

Visit Kat’s blog for what others are reading and knitting.

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