sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 2, 2015

announcement, sugar shack, and fun on the company’s dime
posted by soe 2:53 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. The mail brings a birth announcement from a Christmas card friend: She and her husband had a gorgeous baby girl back in August.

2. Rudi needs to be in Virginia early on Saturday to meet some friends for a weekend camping trip. Since I am on the other side of the river before breakfast, I scout out one of the local doughnut shops that’s cropped up recently in advance of coffeeneuring, which starts this weekend. It’s good to cross another indie doughnut shop off my list.

3. Rudi is able to attend my company picnic (always held during the fall on a weekday) for the first time. Despite a rain shower and muddy grounds, we play horseshoes (thanks to a colleague’s husband for teaching me the rules earlier in the day), mini golf, tetherball, and one-on-one volleyball (after we discovered I’m inclined to treat the tetherball like a well-placed set). We take a spin on the zip line. And we take a goofy photo booth shot with silly hats, glasses, and boas.

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

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September 25, 2015

sunset, saucy, and shiny
posted by soe 1:13 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

Washington Monument at Dusk

1. We caught one final baseball game for the season this afternoon, one which had been rained out Monday night. It was a gorgeous day and we enjoyed our sunny seats, if not the loss to the Orioles. The game finished up at sunset, and we got to bike home as the final light faded away.

2. Rudi made delicious yellow tomato sauce this week with produce from the market (and some tiny tomatoes from our garden).

3. A woman in a maroon jacket completes her rainy day outfit with knee-high shiny red rain boots.

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

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September 23, 2015

top 10 tuesday (or, y’know, wednesday): fall tbr pile
posted by soe 3:44 pm

Yesterday’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish was the top ten books on our fall to-be-read piles.

I currently have 28 books out from the library and another 15 requested. It seems unlikely that I will get to all of them, as well as the ones that haven’t come out yet and the last few Book Riot Read Harder challenges that I haven’t accounted for yet, so this list is probably helpful in winnowing things down a bit.

  1. Robert Galbraith’s Career of Evil doesn’t come out until Oct. 20, but I will drop everything in order to read the next Cormoron Strike book from Jo Rowling.
  2. Likewise, Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On comes out next week. I own all her other books and love her work, so I feel pretty confident I’ll be reading this one soon.
  3. Back to things in my possession: I was so bowled over by Claudia Rankine’s reading at the National Book Festival that I returned my library copy of Citizen and bought my own. I’ve read the first part, but it is not a book to be hurried through, so I expect to take my time with this over the next few weeks.
  4. On a similar theme, I feel like Ta-Nahisi Coates’ Between the World and Me is equally important to read and equally necessary to read in small chunks so as to better digest his arguments. It just appeared on the longlist for the National Book Awards in nonfiction, and I anticipate it will win the category. And probably a bunch of other awards.
  5. Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ just arrived at my library this week and is just waiting for Pope madness to subside so I can get over there and pick it up.
  6. Similarly, Amy Stewart’s Girl Waits with Gun also recently came through in my holds.
  7. Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham features a 16-year-old detective and I’m intrigued. D.C.’s library doesn’t have it, but Arlington does, so I guess that’ll be what prompts me to cross the river and renew that card.
  8. Next week is Banned Book Week, which means it’s time to finally get around to Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
  9. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is written by Becky Albertalli, who was a student at Wesleyan during my time there. I don’t think I ever met her, but the connection is still enough to bump this well-reviewed, National Book Awards longlisted YA title up my TBR.
  10. Can you believe I’ve never read Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park? Thanks to my Book Ninja Swap partner, Megz, I now have a copy, and I feel like fall would be a good time to read it. (I’ve seen the Billie Piper version of the story; do folks think that’s the best screen adaptation or do you prefer another?)

What are you hoping to read this fall?

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September 18, 2015

green paper products, unmasked, and the weather
posted by soe 2:28 am

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time to look back at the week and share three beautiful things from it.

1. Recycled toilet paper at Safeway, since Walgreens has discontinued their green line of household products.

2. Because of a dentist visit, squeezing in a visit to the main library before a meeting. During the weekly Twitter chat I like to take part in, they offer free books (to keep, rather than to borrow) to people who stop in during that time, but it’s way earlier than I take my lunch. It was nice to finally meet the folks behind the Twitter account.

3. In this final week before summer transitions into fall, the weather has been clear and cool and perfect. Even the most curmudgeonly complainer wouldn’t be able to fault it.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world this week? Please feel free to share in the comments.

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September 17, 2015

yarning along: mid-september
posted by soe 12:14 pm

I’m a day late for Ginny’s Wednesday Yarn-Along, but I’m posting here and now anyway. Better to publish a few hours behind everyone else than just in my head, which is where an awful lot of writing happens these days (book reviews, for example).

Mid-September Yarn-Along

You can see there this year’s fall/Halloween socks, made in Knitterly Things’ Candy Corn colorway. It’s the traditional picot-edged 64-stitch stockinette sock that I favor for fast, public, self-striping knitting. That’s sock #1, which I started at the beginning of the month and then got ripped out and restarted over the weekend. I have probably another inch or so of legging before I start the heel. I had a long, boring work meeting yesterday, and some reading time the other night, which made for a lot of fast progress. Here’s hoping to being done by the end of the month!

On the reading front, I’ve been listening to final Harry Potter novel in my audio re-read of the series. It has to be returned today (and Overdrive is excellent at making sure I don’t keep books past their borrowing time), so I’ve paused just before our favorite trio head out to the Ministry of Magic. It seemed like the only safe place to leave them until it becomes available to borrow again.

I am still plodding through Unrivaled, which I keep reading out of loyalty to the subject matter (the rivalry between the UConn and Tennessee women’s basketball teams) rather than to the book itself. The author was a journalist who covered UConn’s women’s beat and it feels like much of the book is pasted together from contemporaneous media interviews/stories, rather than analysis or interviews with former players, fans, etc. I’m up to 2000 and the era of UConn basketball I loved best (the teams that included Sue, Svet, Shea, and Diana), though, so that’s something.

Ana of California is a book I feel a lot of you might enjoy, although admittedly I’m only a quarter of the way into it. It’s a modern retelling of Anne of Green Gables, focused on Ana, a mouthy 15-year-old Latina foster kid from Los Angeles who loves reading, drawing, and music and who’s run out of options in the system. She’s got one final shot, a month-long trial placement working on an organic farm upstate run by a pair of middle-aged siblings. But she’s not the boy the brother was expecting to help him run the farm and his crew of workers, so will it work out or will Ana be forced into juvie until she’s of age? You’ve read the original, you know what happens, and you totally won’t care because this version stands on its own, relying more on Neil Young lyrics than Tennyson quotations than in L.M. Montgomery’s classic.

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September 15, 2015

mid-september weekending
posted by soe 1:03 am

This weekend included:

Batal√° Washington at Adams Morgan Day 2015

  • The final Friday night concert/picnic at Yards Park for the season.
  • The first rain in what feels like forever.
  • Three street festivals: 17th Street, Adams Morgan, and the D.C. State Fair. A diverse assortment of activities that ranged from drag queen performances to pot growing tips to a women’s drum group.
  • New plants into the garden: a Brussels sprout, some choy, and a new-to-me salad green, plus a couple seedlings Rudi found in the donation pile. Several more tomato plants came out; we’re down to just a couple left now.
  • Finishing one audiobook and starting another.
  • A scone from a newish food truck.
  • Laundry and vacuuming.
  • Ripping out what I’d knit on my new socks last weekend and re-casting on with the correct number of stitches. Better to lose five inches of knitting than to make a beautiful sock too small to wear.
  • A trip to the farmers market. We’re getting to the end of heirloom tomatoes, corn, and peaches.
  • The members’ sale at Politics & Prose. I picked up a couple gifts, as well as a copy of Claudia Rankine’s Citizen for me to own.
  • Capreses and corn on the cob for Sunday supper. When the tomato, corn, and basil seasons end, so will our typical summer weekend-concluding meal.
  • Cool, clear weather.
  • Sitting at a cafe with a mug of chai, watching the sun set.

A Scone from the Sixes & Sevens Food Truck at the D.C. State Fair

Weekending along with Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise.

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