sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

January 17, 2018


top ten tuesday: bookish goals/resolutions
posted by soe 1:23 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (now hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us about our bookish resolutions. As I mentioned last week, I do have some aspirations for this year’s reading:

  1. Continue to read books by diverse authors representing different backgrounds. I did better with this plan last year, in part because I started actively keeping track and holding myself accountable.
  2. Read more books that I already own. I own a lot of books. Like A LOT a lot. But I’d say that my reading is probably 90% library books. I’d like to scale it back to 75% if possible.
  3. Choose more nonfiction, more poetry, and more classics. I read a lot of current fiction with a smattering of celebrity memoir on audio. I’d like to get back to reading more broadly, so I’d like at least 10% of my reading to fall outside my comfort zone.
  4. Read more books in translation or, at least, more books by authors from more countries. The past couple years I managed two books in translation each year. I’d like to up this category to five, which doesn’t seem unreasonable.
  5. Hit up older titles. This has been a problem since I did the Cybils, when I decided that if I were going to participate again that I ought to stay on top of current publications so it was less overwhelming. I don’t plan on throwing my name into the judging ring again at this time, so it’s okay to pause and take a look behind me.
  6. Cook out of my cookbooks and knit out of my knitting books. I have a weakness for pretty pictures of finished objects, be they sweets or hats, paired with instructions on how to make my own version. (I even got a new cookbook for Christmas!) But I own a lot of cookbooks and knitting books I’ve never even made one recipe or handknit from, and I shouldn’t keep them if I’m not going to use them.
  7. Keep track of how many pages I read in books I abandon. If I make it far enough into a book, it usually ends up in Goodreads, but if I abandon a book in its first 50 pages, that’s less of a certainty. But I have a suspicion of approximately how many pages I read in books I don’t finish and I’d like to know if I’m right or not.
  8. Attend more author events. I wasn’t great about this last year, only making it to the National Book Festival. What’s the point of having some many literary venues if I don’t do a better job of taking advantage of them?
  9. Purge books from my house that don’t bring me joy for one reason or another. (That joy might be being reminded of the person who gave it to me or the memory of the class I read the book in, not just that I loved the book itself. I’m not Marie Kondo; I get to make my own rules!) Just before our Christmas party, I pulled a whole bag from one of my shelves. I need to repeat that with the others and take them all to Little Free Libraries or Goodwill or a library book sale.
  10. Review the damn books I read on my blog in a timely fashion!

How about you? Any reading goals for 2018?

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January 14, 2018


saturday sunset
posted by soe 1:38 am

Saturday Sunset

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January 13, 2018


mlk weekend to-do list
posted by soe 1:32 am

It’s a three-day weekend for me, so I’m hoping to get a bunch of things accomplished:

  • Enjoy the Christmas tree for a final weekend. We’ll take it down during the week.
  • Volunteer. D.C. is having a big event this weekend, and I signed up for a shift tomorrow morning.
  • Take myself out to breakfast or lunch.
  • Go to the library. I have holds at two branches, and the West End library is having a big party on Monday.
  • Clean out the freezer. I bought a shelf to put in it last month and I want to clear out some things, since everything kind of tastes freezer-burned right now.
  • Write my best books of 2017 post.
  • Bake. I’m thinking cookies. Also, maybe a lasagna or a quiche.
  • Stop by a sporting good store to see if they have volleyball sneakers in my size to try on.
  • See a movie with Rudi (he’s away coaching until Sunday night). I’d like to see The Showman or The Post. And I’m going to watch Everything, Everything on dvd tomorrow night. (Rudi didn’t know what it was, so I don’t have to feel bad about watching it while he’s away.)
  • Finish a couple books, including Pirate King’s Daughter and Turtles All the Way Down.
  • Pull out my ukulele.
  • Register the car.
  • Have an ’80s dance party with the cats. (I know they’re looking forward to that.)
  • Catch up on some sleep. I already started by taking an after-dinner nap.

How about you? What are you hoping to do to this weekend? Whatever it is, I hope you have a nice one!

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January 8, 2018


new year weekending
posted by soe 1:37 am

I finally got off my butt this weekend and did some walking. It’s been a while since I hit my target number of steps/active minutes, according to my phone. But volleyball kicks back in next week, so it’s good to get moving this week in preparation.

Winter Sunset

Since I was out and about and in need of cornichon (as one is, occasionally), I headed to Georgetown, where I was greeted by a snow couple:

Georgetown Snow Couple

I also got to see some of Glow, the holiday light display:

Glow Installation

Since today was Russian Christmas (Rudi’s mom was born in Russia), we celebrated with presents and a fancy supper. We opted to forgo borsht, our usual Russian supper, in favor of raclette, an Alpen dish of stuff dunked in cheese, because I found our grill when I was at my folks’ place and cold weather just demands hot cheese. We had two types of cheese, boiled potatoes (including the ones we harvested from our garden this fall), sopressata (okay, that was only Rudi), and the aforementioned pickles. It was delicious and we felt very elegant.

Russian Christmas Raclette

I finished the evening by ripping back the heel on my sock because it made the stripe do weird things at the heel. (I want to see if knitting an extra section and starting later will make the heel transition less obvious.)

Sock Progress

I knocked off a book I’d been reading off and on for a couple months. Not either of the ones that are overdue, mind you, although I did put a dent in one of them yesterday.

I also finished another book earlier in the weekend, washed all my hand-knit socks, slept in, mailed some Christmas cards, hit the farmers market, and watched The Christmas Prince on Netflix, which was actually pretty cute.

All in all, a nice first weekend of the year. May there be many more to come.

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January 7, 2018


saturday afternoon at the bakery
posted by soe 1:35 am

Saturday at the Bakery

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January 6, 2018


new year weekend to do
posted by soe 1:18 am

Here are some things I’m hoping to do this cold first weekend in January:

  1. Read Turtles All the Way Down.
  2. Visit the library.
  3. Send the last of the Christmas cards. (Honestly! This is just sad at this point!)
  4. Do laundry.
  5. Watch a movie. Maybe The Showman or The Post.
  6. Bake something.
  7. Visit the bookstore to make a return.
  8. Go to the farmers market.
  9. Get some sleep.
  10. Celebrate Russian Christmas.

How about you? What do you have planned this weekend?

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