sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

May 20, 2018

a british saturday
posted by soe 1:12 am

Would You Like a Cuppa?

Homemade Scones and a British Royal Mystery

Rudi and I got up early, watched the royal wedding, and feasted on homemade scones and a pot of English breakfast tea. Then he went to work and Paddington moved right in. I’d worry that Rudi had something to fear, but I’ll never be a good source of orange marmalade, so I think we’re all okay.

I also finished my Victorian-era mystery featuring a minor member of the royal family and it did not disappoint (although the series is written by a Virginian, so calling it British could be questioned).

It was a good way to pass a rainy day.

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May 19, 2018

mid-may weekend to-do list
posted by soe 1:57 am

It’s going to be a rainy weekend, which will definitely curtail many of my outdoor plans. But not all of them. Here’s some of what I hope my weekend includes:

  • Making scones because I’d like to eat them while …
  • Watching the royal wedding (possibly through my eyelids, but that’s my tradition).
  • Taking part in the Bout of Books Twitter chat. (That will give me a reason to be awake later in the morning.)
  • Putting away the flannel sheets. (They got washed earlier in the week and they’re still sitting in the laundry basket. It requires moving things to get to the bins under the bed.)
  • Seeing Sarah on Sunday.
  • Planting my potatoes. (There are potatoes growing all over my kitchen. I’d like to move them below ground.)
  • Heading to the library to give back some books.
  • Starting Wildwood Sock #2!
  • Doing some shredding. (I hatehatehate the sound this shredder makes, which means I have done no shredding at all since making this discovery. I’m hoping headphones and ’80s music will help with the problem.)
  • Writing an Into the Stacks post.

How about you? What are you hoping to do this weekend?

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May 12, 2018

mother’s day weekend to-do list
posted by soe 1:49 am

Friday Sunset

Rudi’s and my mothers don’t live in town, so unfortunately we won’t have the chance to see them in person this weekend and will have to make do with phone calls. But the thing about reaching middle age is that you become highly aware just how lucky you are that you’re able to make do in that way.

Other things I’m hoping to be lucky enough to do this weekend:

  • Like last weekend, this Saturday features open houses. This week’s are the members of the EU. I’ve got my eye on four of them — Sweden, the Netherlands (I’ve visited them before, but not in their current embassy), Ireland, and the Czech Republic — but they’re in different areas of town, so I may not hit them all.
  • The Funk Parade is tomorrow, as well. I went a couple years ago and had a good time. It’s going to be in the 90s, though, and it overlaps with the embassies, so it may not all work out.
  • Rudi’s heading to a show tomorrow night, so I may take myself out to eat.
  • One of the farmers said last week that they should have morels this Sunday, so I’ll be up early Sunday to get there before they run out.
  • The garden is Sunday’s top priority, since I bought a dozen plants or so last weekend that need to go into the ground. I have more things growing than usual this year, so I admit I’m not totally sure how I’m going to squeeze them all in.
  • I need to run over to the library to return an overdue DVD. If I finish either of the two books I’m reading, they’re overdue, as well.
  • The Timeless season (hopefully not series) finale airs Sunday, so you’ll find us in front of the tv at that point. We don’t get PBS in over the air, so Little Women has to wait for streaming on Monday.
  • I’d like to make strawberry shortcake. Anyone have a shortcake recipe they’re particularly fond of? I grew up with the Bisquick recipe, so that’s what I like best. (You must be able to approximate Bisquick from scratch, right?)
  • I’m making good progress on my sock, so there’s a possibility that I might finish it.
  • Cleaning. I don’t want to do it, but it’s overdue, so I really need to deal with some of it.

How about you? What do you hope your weekend includes?

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May 8, 2018

may showers…
posted by soe 1:18 am


… also bring May flowers.

I passed this gorgeously vibrant vine of clematis as I was walking to the second comic book shop on Saturday. (I’m spoiled; I know.) The picture does not do it justice in terms of how vivid that purple is in real life. It nearly glowed in the gray gloom of an impending shower that chased would-be patio sitters at the coffeehouse indoors.

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May 5, 2018

first may weekend plans
posted by soe 12:51 am

Capital Skyline

This weekend looks to be a busy one — lots of things going on:

  • There’s a garden cleanup and social tomorrow morning. Part of the fence along my plot got broken when they took down one of the trees over it last month, so I’m hoping we can find a replacement that’s long enough.
  • But first I want to get up early and make a coffee cake to take. I will remember to take the butter out of the fridge before I go to bed. (If I fail in this, there are other options that can be purchased.)
  • Then it’s the open house day for non-EU nations. Because I won’t be able to go in the morning, because of the long lines, and because I’ve been to a bunch of embassies in past years, a strategic plan is necessary. I’m thinking there are five on the far side of Dupont Circle I haven’t visited yet that might work — Uzbekistan, Micronesia, Trinidad and Tobago, Peru, and the Philippines. Hopefully some of them will have snacks to sample. (This is impressive; I don’t usually have a plan until I walk out the door.)
  • And Free Comic Book Day. (I have two comic book shops nearby and I’m hoping one of them has the first volume of Rainbow Rowell’s Runaways.
  • Sunday is the farmers market. We’ll need milk and asparagus, at the very least.
  • Then it’s off to the north to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I don’t need yarn, which is not to say that I won’t buy any, but it would need to be something special. I do need beads, although I don’t know if any of the vendors sell them. And I need tomato and other garden plants. And to see sheepdogs.
  • Back in D.C., one of the women from my book group is doing a poetry reading. That one is really going to depend on my energy level.
  • I have books waiting on hold at the library — and some things I’d like to get back to them.
  • There is dirty laundry to be washed. There are warm weather clothes that need to get moved into the bureau. There are cold weather clothes that could be put away.
  • Rearrange the kitchen. Rudi built our new cart a couple weeks ago [I asked him if you’d texted, Mum, when he volunteered that was part of his plan for his day off.] and moved some things onto it, but not the things I wanted to have go there, so we’ll have to see if some compromise can be reached.
  • Sit in the park tomorrow night if it’s not raining. (We got chased home by the sudden onslaught of rain tonight.)
  • Knit on a sock. I made some good progress during the author event we attended last night.

How about you? What are you hoping your weekend holds?

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April 30, 2018

final april weekending
posted by soe 1:12 am

I squeezed a lot into this final weekend of April.


Pea Progress

First Strawberry Harvest of the Season

I visited the garden, where seedlings are finally flourishing, where my peas have passed the cuff mark, and where I harvested both another bouquet of violets (I’m guessing I’ve got one more week in them, but we’re due for some hot weather that could kill them off) and my first strawberry (this came from one of the new plants).

I went to Takoma Park (an artsy neighborhood that straddles the D.C./Maryland border) and explored its shops and enjoyed its arts festival. This piece, by Chinedu Felix Osuchukwu, was in a coffee bar.

Takoma Art Hop

I did some shopping as part of Independent Bookstore Day, visiting two of D.C.’s indie shops. One of them, Solid State Books, is still awaiting completion of its permanent home’s construction, so is in a pop-up space for the moment. It was my first visit, but the staff was friendly and they had a nice selection of books, cards, and literary-themed gifts.

We watched Avengers: Infinity War, which I found disappointing. It had a very ambiguous comic book cliffhanger ending, and those are not my favorites in any genre. (That was not my only complaint, but the only one I can really share without spoilers.)

I did some of my commuting from far-off (you know, five miles away) neighborhoods by bike, since the days were mostly nice. Riding uphill into a headwind this afternoon was not the most enjoyable part, but I was able to think fondly of the gelato I was working off.

Gusto Gelato

Pitango Gelato

There was also reading and knitting and chores and tv, but those were definitely the highlights. All in all, a good weekend.

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