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broodings from the burrow

November 27, 2015

up & down, colleen & colleen, and spick & span
posted by soe 2:12 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. At a time of year I rarely see either sunrise or sunset, I saw both in a single day. Dawn was pinkish, while the sun set more orangey.

2. I’m listening to the audiobook of Anne of Green Gables, and it’s clear from her pronunciation that the reader, Colleen Winton, is Canadian. Rudi noted that her voice reminds him of Colleen Dewhurst, who played Marilla in the wonderful tv movies. I don’t know if he’s right (it’s been several years since I last saw the show (Ooh! I should see if DCPL has a copy to borrow)), but she definitely does a fantastic job with Marilla’s part. She’s a very comforting companion during late-night chores.

3. My bathroom is very clean after a marathon scouring session.

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

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November 25, 2015

coffeeneuring 2015
posted by soe 11:58 pm

2015 marks my third year of completing MG’s fall Coffeeneuring challenge, in which one rides a bike to places that serve hot beverages. (I suppose technically it might also be considered a challenge in which one drinks hot beverages while out on a bike ride, but let’s be honest: that’s not the kind of riding I do.

Ride #1
October 3
A Baked Joint, Washington, D.C.

Coffeeneuring #1

Comestibles: Chaider (a combination of hot cider and a hot chai tea latte) and sourdough toast with Nutella and sea salt. Both were delicious and warm and exactly what was needed to help dry me out.
Distance: 6.1 miles
The Ride: This was a stormy Saturday, and we thought that the weather had abated when we headed out, leaving without rain gear and without a concrete understanding of what cross street we needed. After meandering through several neighborhoods in a drizzle, trying to find a way down to K Street, eventually we got there. The cafe, sister to crowd (literally these days) favorite Baked & Wired, has an open kitchen, an urban design, and outdoor seating for days when it’s not damp. We rode home via three grocery stores in hopes of finding a key ingredient for a recipe.
Bike Friendliness: How do a cafe and an adjacent bike shop not have bike racks of some kind nearby? The only place to lock your bike would be to the ankle-high tree boxes. Fail! (more…)

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November 24, 2015

ten on tuesday: thankful
posted by soe 2:24 am

Carole’s Ten on Tuesday topic today is Things I’m Thankful for Right Now:

  1. My family: 2015 has been a rough year, with death, serious injuries and illness, and unemployment poking sticks at us. But we persevere together.
  2. My friends: See above. Dear friends from high school and college came to my grandmother’s funeral. Others friends have listened to me when I needed to talk or invited me out when they thought I might be lonely.
  3. My three cats: They’re sometimes a pain, but how much lonelier — and chillier — my life would be without them.
  4. Taxes: We all complain about how much we bring home each paycheck versus how much our employers say they’re paying us. But, man, we’re really grateful to everyone who paid taxes, which allowed my family to collect unemployment benefits and use local parks for picnicking in, rec centers and parks to play in, and libraries for letting us read books we could never afford to buy.
  5. Hardy equipment: My car is 22 years old this fall and will, knock wood, get us up to spend time with family this week. The radio no longer works and the pickup is terrible, but it has a good heart and is a lovely shade of Colgate green. I dropped my phone a couple years back, shattering the screen. Gradually, it’s disappearing, but mostly it still functions just fine, especially after a system upgrade this summer.
  6. Continued employment: Funding for the project I work on dried up earlier this year, but the director of our office has shifted around some of her funds to keep us all on for the time being. I don’t always love what I do and it’s not my dream job, but I mostly like the people I do it with and it does good in the world, and I could do far, far worse.
  7. The Hamilton soundtrack: I’m afraid that no other music this year has captivated my brain the way this musical has, with its consistent ear-worminess, and one song or another is on constant loop in my head. (Currently it’s Thomas Jefferson’s “What Did I Miss?” Apologies to those of you who’ll now have it stuck in your head.)
  8. Netflix: It’s really nice to be able to pull up an episode of Leverage or White Collar or Black Books or Miss Fisher whenever the mood strikes.
  9. D.C.: Terrorists may be targeting it and the subway may keep breaking down, but its zoo and (many of its) museums are free, there are a plethora of bookstores and movie theaters and summertime outdoor films and farmers markets, the subway works most of the time, its bike-share system and network of bike-friendly trails and lanes continue to grow, and laws keep our buildings short and the sun peering down on us.
  10. Bed: Because I’m tired and I can go join Rudi and the cats in it now that I’ve finished composing this list.

How about you? What are you thankful for at the moment?

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November 23, 2015

pre-thanksgiving weekending
posted by soe 4:32 am

This weekend included sleeping in on Saturday, but getting up early today.

I went to Georgetown, as I do many weekends, to visit the library and to get a snack. I swapped a few books out and stopped at a boutique that was having a going-out-of-business sale to buy a baby gift. I wandered into a couple new shops without picking anything else up before ending up at Chaia‘s new digs. [Sarah, I forgot to tell you tonight to check them out!] They’ve been making veggie tacos at farmers markets around town for several years and finally have their own permanent space. Their crispy Brussels sprout taco was quite tasty, as was the hot chocolate and gingersnap I picked up from perennial favorite Dog Tag Bakery across the street. I started one of my library books on the way home and was so enchanted I finished it tonight.

I scrubbed our bathroom. It took two days, which is utterly pathetic. The load of laundry I did didn’t take nearly so long.

I sent out the invitation to our holiday party. If you’re local and would like to come and I didn’t invite you, please let me know!

I bought tickets to a holiday concert as well as one for a Holiday Happy Hour at the library’s maker lab.

And we celebrated our friend John’s birthday. He turns 50 later this week, so lots of people showed up. It was nice to catch up.

And now the weekend is over and we begin again.

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November 22, 2015

posted by soe 3:50 am

Ginkgos in Georgetown

You can tell fall is coming to a close because the ginkgos have turned golden and are starting to lose their leaves. They always turn last as a group and always right around Thanksgiving. I imagine one day next week, that entire street will be carpeted in yellow.

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November 21, 2015

pre-thanksgiving weekend to-do
posted by soe 3:05 am

Things I’m hoping to do this weekend:

  1. Attend my friend John’s 50th birthday party.
  2. Go to the library.
  3. Collect some leaves for the compost bin at the community garden.
  4. Build a website for an Advent Blog Tour. Also, promote said venture. (Would you like to take part? Leave me a comment.)
  5. Do a deep clean of the kitchen and the bathroom.
  6. Send out the invitations to our holiday party.
  7. Wash my handknit socks (and do some other laundry).
  8. Sort my clothes and shoes to gather a pile for Goodwill.
  9. Bake some bread. (I have a breadmaker; it just requires my pulling it out.)
  10. Buy tickets for two holiday-related events.
  11. Read.
  12. Knit.
  13. Sleep.

How about you? What are you planning for the weekend?

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