sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

May 20, 2016

good news, generosity, and old friend (& memento)
posted by soe 2:43 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. The vendor from whom I buy my Street Sense, the local homeless newspaper, shares that one of the farmers at our market is going to employ him for the summer and that if it works out, it might turn into something more permanent. Earlier this year, he got an apartment, so I’m thinking 2016 is his year.

2. Rudi and I go out to dinner for his birthday, courtesy of a gift certificate from my brother and his partner. We eat extravagantly, but only have to pay for tax and tip.

3. Rebs calls at midnight (because, as old friends, she knows we are up) to wish Rudi a happy birthday, and then when he’s done, she and I get to chat.

Bonus: I’ve mentioned before, I think, that Corey sometimes likes to bring his toys to bed to keep himself occupied while we sleep. Usually they’re straws or twist ties, but this morning I awoke to find Rudi’s Teva, last seen just before bed on the other side of the apartment, lying next to me.

How about you? What was beautiful in your world this week?

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 2 Comments.

May 16, 2016

mid-may weekending
posted by soe 11:06 am

This weekend was pleasant, but oh, so short!


On Friday after work, we celebrated the sun by taking our books and beverages up to the park. This park is one of my favorite things about my neighborhood, and I ended up there on Saturday, too, when it was a bit less fair out. But there’s a little caretaker cottage that gets used during the summertime with a generous overhang, so as you can see I didn’t let a little rain stop me.

Saturday Reading in the Park

I’m really pleased with the camera on my new phone and I took a bunch of photos on my walk home”

Buttercup after the Rain

Spider Webs


Saturday also included a visit to a couple embassies for EU Day, when members of the European Union open their D.C. embassies to the public for a few hours. I visited Cypress briefly, where things were winding down, but then moved on to Slovenia, which was far more lively.

Slovenian Musicians at EU Day

In the evening, we had a party for Rudi at our local board game bar. We ate and drank, had cupcakes, and played Trvial Pursuit and Jenga, both of which Rudi won, which seemed only appropriate.

Rudi Plays Jenga

Yesterday, I went to the farmers market and spent three plus hours in the garden. You can see that the violets and the sorrel had been loving the rain:

Spring at the Garden: Before

I yanked violet leaves (although left most of the roots), because they share the plot with my strawberries and had far eclipsed them in height. Now that sun was in the forecast, they needed to be able to start turning red! I also got 20 plants in the ground, most of which were acquired last weekend at Sheep & Wool. It took a while, but I hope this will be my last long day in the garden for a while.

Strawberries in the Garden

Spring at the Garden: After

This morning I was up early to get breakfast for Rudi, since it’s his birthday. After work, we’re going out to dinner at a new-to-us restaurant (a Christmas present from my brother).

How was your weekend?

Weekending along with Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise.

May 13, 2016

communal, sweet from a sweet, and win
posted by soe 1:57 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

Rose from the Garden

1. The rose bush in our community garden is blooming. I liberate a bud and bring it home, where it’s been making my kitchen pretty.

2. Rudi bakes strawberry-rhubarb crisp for dessert.

3. My volleyball team won its final regular season game.

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

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 4 Comments.

May 12, 2016

bookish wednesday
posted by soe 12:01 am

Several bookish items to check off today:

Early May Yarn-AlongFirst, here’s my Yarning Along photo. I picked up Paper Girls, a graphic novel written by Brian Vaughan about a quartet of middle-school paper girls back on Nov. 1, 1988, when weird goings-on start up in their hometown of Cleveland. I was a middle-school paper girl myself on that date, and although very little supernatural happened to me at the time, I couldn’t help but pick it up when I saw it on sale at Comic Book Day last weekend.

The knitting is my vanilla sock that just so happens to match my new book. I’m through the heel decreases and back to foot knitting thanks to a work meeting and some tv time.



Bout of BooksMy Bout of Books progress is going well. In addition to my above reading, I’m also still listening to Ally Carter’s All Fall Down and reading Mansfield Park, where I just passed the halfway point today. I’m hopeful two of the three will be done by the end of the week and may check a third book off, as well.

Tomorrow’s challenge asks us to recommend a book, and I’m happy to comply. If you like light crime/crime solving with an Audrey Hepburn-like lead, a merry band of urchins, and a Parisian setting, I recommend you check out Bandette, Vol. 1: Presto, a graphic novel by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover. The sequel was another one of the graphic novels I picked up over the weekend, and I can’t wait to see what happens next in this fun caper.

Armchair BEAFinally, today was the first day of Armchair BEA, and organizers asked us to introduce ourselves by answering some questions:

1. What is the name you prefer to use? I go by many names, but Sprite is probably how I’m best known online.

2. How long have you been a book blogger? I have been blogging since 2005 and published my first book review in my first week of publishing.

3. Have you participated in ABEA before? This will be my fourth year.

4. Do you have a favorite book? I know it sounds trite to say Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone, but I’m going to say it anyway. When I’m feeling low or am in a reading slump, I know that finding myself back on Privet Lane will get me through it.

5. If you could recommend one other book blogger, who would it be and why? Raidergirl3, who blogs from Prince Edward Island, writes An Adventure in Reading, and was probably the first book blogger I followed. She likes audiobooks and crime series and fantasy novels, so I guess I like her because we have similar taste and therefore I feel confident that if she likes something there’s a good chance I’ll like it, as well.

6. How do you arrange your bookshelves? Is there a rhyme or reason? Or not at all? Two rows of one bookshelf contain favorite series, including Alcott, Fforde, Tolkein, Montgomery, Lewis, Rowling, and Wilder. (They also contain a book that belonged to my dad’s aunt that my grandmother passed on to me as a child, my favorite Seuss, my bible, and my now ancient dictionary and thesaurus.) After that, there’s sort of a loose organization, with knitting books in one spot and poetry in another and writing books yet another. Language books are by the door. Cookbooks are on the butcher block. Fiction is everywhere. Library books are in a bag next to my chair.

7. What book are you most excited for on your TBR? What are you most intimidated by? On my overall TBR list? Good god, that’s thousands of books! Ummm… At this moment, I’m staring at Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On, which I’m excited to finally get to this spring. I don’t know that any book particularly intimidates me, but there are some that I feel like I ought to read, rather than that I want to read them, and at the top of that list is Thoreau’s Walden, which I tried reading several times several years ago unsuccessfully.

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 4 Comments.

May 9, 2016

weekending (and the week ahead)
posted by soe 2:15 am

This weekend included Friday pizza dinner with a friend and a trip for the three of us to opening day of the new Captain America: Civil War. (I’m #TeamBlackWidow, if it matters.)

Comic Book Day Haul from Fantom and a Violet Meringue Dessert from Je Ne Sais Quoi

On Saturday, I slept in and got some chores done. I missed out on visiting the Bahamanian embassy as part of Passport DC, but did get to my local comic book shop, Fantom, for Free Comic Book Day. I also visited the French bakery that opened where the cupcake shop used to be. They make desserts based around meringues. I started reading a new graphic novel, planted some things at the garden, and bought a case for my new cell phone. I did not write a book blog post about my April reading because I had to finish a post for work about bee swarms, and it took longer than I expected. (The book post will come later this week.)

Sheepdog Demo at MD Sheep & Wool Festival

Today, Rudi and I went to the farmers market and to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. We saw sheep and sheepdogs and ate funnel cake. I bought a skein of yarn to make Rudi a hat. He bought spices to make me dinners. We bought tomato, pepper, and basil plants to make our garden productive.

Icelandic Sheep
Jacob Sheep
Rudi Makes a Friend...

And now a look ahead, rather than backward: This week is both Armchair BEA, the book blogger version of the Book Expo of America convention, and Bout of Books 16, a weeklong readathon/reading challenge. I’ll be participating in both and blogging about them here and invite you to take part, too. I’m hoping to finish three books by the end of the week, blog at least thrice on bookish topics, and take part in at least two off-blog events (be they contests or Twitter chats or something else remains to be seen).

Bout of BooksArmchair BEA

May 6, 2016

new toy, indies, and sunshine
posted by soe 2:10 am

If it’s Thursday, it’s time to think back on three beautiful things from my past week:

My New Toy1. Last Saturday night, I ran my phone battery down until it turned off and then I plugged it in. Little did I realize that would be the last thing the phone would do, forcing me into a phone upgrade by initiating a boot loop sequence it could not escape. After several days of hemming and hawing without a cell, I splurged and purchased a current model, the Samsung Galaxy S7. Since I get a good number of years out of my phones, I figure it was worth it to spend the money on a phone that’s worth more than the trade-in value of my car. I haven’t had it long enough to form any strong opinions, but none of them have been negative yet, and it’s fun to have a new toy to set up and play with.

2. Last Saturday was Independent Bookstore Day and I treated it as the holiday that it is. D.C. is now home to five indie shops that sell new books and I made a point of it to visit all of them, including East City Bookshop on Capitol Hill, which opened on Saturday. I came home with several new books including a couple collections of poetry, a French- and English-language collection of fables, and a collection of essays about bad-ass women through history edited by a D.C. librarian.

3. It’s been a week of mostly rain and clouds, so it was especially nice when the sun peeked out on occasion — and even lovelier when I was outdoors when it happened.

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

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