sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

December 31, 2018

#tbtbsanta 2018
posted by soe 1:58 am

The Broke and the Bookish came out of retirement briefly to conduct their annual Secret Santa book swap earlier this month.

My package came from Lea of Lea Out West. She lives in Lake Tahoe, but her brother lives here in D.C. and surprisingly close by!

#TBTBSanta 2018

It didn’t strike me as unusual that both cats were interested in the box Lea sent. They’re big fans of boxes of any kind. But what I didn’t realize was that Lea had included presents for Jeremiah and Corey. I’d barely gotten the box open to pull things out when Corey hopped up, rooted around inside quickly, and ran off with this squirrel tail:

Corey Defeats the Squirrel Tail

Jeremiah was not to be left out, but he is older and knew he should wait patiently for me to share a present with him. He got toast.

Jer Considers Toast

Jeremiah Licks the Toast

I’m not sure they shared willingly, but they did each steal the other toy to make sure they got to experience both.

Corey and the Toast

Corey Is High on Toast (and Catnip)

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Lea was my cats’ favorite person that night. It shouldn’t surprise me, since this is the great Christmas card she sent:

Lea's Christmas Card

But it was not just the cats who got presents. I got some as well!

I’ll be honest. Lea’s package arrived the week before Christmas, and it was kind of a crappy week for me. I was PMSing, the apartment had flooded, my Christmas preparations were not humming along in the way that it felt like they should for someone with no day job to distract them from getting stuff done, and I was in the emotional and mental place one might expect to result from that combination. So I used the package as a daily pick-me-up. Every day I opened a gift or two, and every time I did, the world felt a little bit more right.

#TBTBSanta Presents from Lea

I have four new books to read and have already started in on the Christmas-themed one. I’m saving the other three as treats to read this winter (okay, the new Lady Sherlock may only wait until New Year’s Day — I can’t wait to start it!). I have new nail polish in sparkly confetti and purples, which will be the festive manicure I give myself on New Year’s Day while watching the parade. There is a fancy tea to drink late at night when I should be sleeping (like now). There are bookmarks (already in use!), notepads, sparkly pens, stickers, and bags to tuck into purses to hold pens, pads, and knitting needles (the last of those may not have been in Lea’s plan, but they’re just the right size!).

It really is a great package, don’t you think? Thank you so much to Lea for making me a box that I (and the cats) loved and to Jamie and Jana for running the swap again. I had a lot of fun shopping for my swap partner (Megan of The Hungry Bookworm) and got so much enjoyment out of opening each present Lea sent.

Category: books,christmas/holiday season. There is/are 3 Comments.

December 26, 2018

god bless us, every one
posted by soe 2:09 am

It was a good day, filled with family, friends, tasty food, seasonal music and movies, lights, and gifts.

Mum & Dad's Tree

Christmas Morning

Wrapped with Care

Christmas Trifle

I hope your day was also filled with joy and wonder. Merry Christmas!

Category: christmas/holiday season. There is/are 3 Comments.

December 25, 2018

merry christmas to one and all!
posted by soe 1:18 am

May the joys of the season be yours throughout today and into the coming year. May your meals be filling and delicious and served with kindness. May you have safe shelter and may it be filled with light and warmth.

May you receive the gifts of music, of laughter, and of love. And may you share all three back out into the world.

Merry Christmas!

Category: christmas/holiday season. There is/are 1 Comment.

December 24, 2018

virtual advent tour 2018: day 24
posted by soe 6:06 am

virtual advent tour 2018, hosted by spritewrites.net

Happy Christmas Eve! We’ve made it! And if you aren’t done yet, you still have time! You can do it! Either way, Christmas is coming tomorrow!

Our final host for the 2018 Virtual Advent Tour is Bridget at The Ravell’d Sleave who has written a beautiful post about belief. I hope you stop by her blog to read it, even if you don’t have a lot of spare time to spend on the internet today.

Thank you all for joining us on this year’s Virtual Advent Tour, whether as readers, commenters, or writers. Thank you to first timers Constance and Judith for joining us this year. I hope you had fun and will be back in 2019. Thank you, too, to our returning hosts: raidergirl3, Bridget, Kat, Rudi, Jo Kay, Nan, and my Dear Old Dad. You joyfully embarked on writing posts (and often more than one!) once again to help me keep this little endeavor afloat at such a busy time of the year, and I am tremendously grateful. This would not be nearly as much fun without you.

I wish each and every one of you a truly merry Christmas!

Category: christmas/holiday season. There is/are 3 Comments.

December 23, 2018

virtual advent tour 2018: day 23
posted by soe 7:15 am

virtual advent tour 2018, hosted by spritewrites.net

Greetings, friends! Today is the penultimate day of the Advent Tour and the final Sunday of Advent.

Our host today is Rudi, who has another post for us, this time taking on Festivus and adding a little humor to start your day.

We’re nearly done and I hope your holiday preparations are, as well. We’ll see you back here tomorrow for one final stop on this year’s Virtual Advent Tour!

Category: christmas/holiday season. There is/are 1 Comment.

December 22, 2018

virtual advent tour 2018: day 22
posted by soe 6:47 am

virtual advent tour 2018, hosted by spritewrites.net

Today we head north to my folks’ house for a few days and we won’t be back home until after Christmas. So I thought I’d share some of our holiday decorations this year for my contribution to the Virtual Advent Tour.

Welcome to the Burrow! Please come in!


We grew up with fresh swags (made by my great-grandparents, I think) at Christmas, rather than wreaths, so that’s what I continue to go with. Some years I buy them ready made, and sometimes I cobble them together. This year, I bought the juniper greens at the farmers market, left them rubber banded as they came, and added this gigantic bow I’d had at the office from a gift basket I won a couple years ago. It’s started dropping bits of evergreen in the outside hallway, though, so I’m not sure it’ll make it to the new year. We’ll have to see what it looks like when we get back.

Tinsel Wreath

Just inside the door, on the breaker box, I’ve hung this silver wreath a former colleague made for me one Christmas. It hung on my office door year-round, so I’m glad I was able to find a spot for it.

Rudi's Christmas Bike

Oh! Let me turn on Rudi’s bike for you. ::Fidgets with controller:: Okay, well, I can only get the colored lights on, but you get the idea. There’s also a strand of white lights that goes along with it. He says that he gets compliments every day as he commutes to work, and I believe it.

Come on into the living room.

Media Cabinet

Here, on this media cabinet, you’ll find all the battery-operated fairy light strands Mum and Dad bought for us this year (and their Christmas card, which didn’t lend itself well to being taped to the wall). It’s also got some of our holiday stuffed animals, some of the Jingle Elves my family has had for decades (they are NOT Elf on the Shelf riffraff), the seed pod Nativity scene Rudi’s mom gave us, the snow globe and luminary I made at the library a few years ago, and a Christmassy picture of Gramma and me that lives on that shelf year-round.

Pie Chest

Let me be honest with you. This little tree only got put up tonight. It’s been sitting in its bag in the way since I brought it home from the office last month and we’d just move it around and around, because I wasn’t sure where I could put it that Corey wasn’t going to pull it down while we were away. The pie chest has been holding my plants (my orchids really aren’t thrilled with their sudden lack of natural light and I’m going to have to come up with a solution for that after the holidays). Usually there’s an apothecary jar of yarn right there, but I’ve moved that for the time being. I’ve had this little tree since my freshman year of college, when my Secret Santa gave it to me, along with some of the original decorations. A few more decorations came from my Secret Santa my senior year and otherwise it’s been decorated with ornaments and doodads from my coworkers, such as a nut from Costa Rica and a couple of finger puppets. I probably won’t plug the lights in this year, but I’m glad the tree made its way out finally.

2018 Christmas Tree

Here is this year’s tree in its wonderful, monstrous glory. It’s the widest (six feet at the bottom!) tree we’ve had in the 15 years we’ve lived in this apartment and takes up two-thirds of the available space by the window. So if it looks a little scrunched up against furniture, it is. (Incidentally, can you believe they gave me a deal on the tree because it had a “hole” in the branch patterning in one spot? I explained it was going in a corner and that I wasn’t worried, but took the discount.) I’d had the tree skirt down, but picked it up when we flooded over the weekend. I’ll leave it up until we get back from up north. Our tree topper is a snowflake, and I didn’t do a great job getting it to stay on top of the tree this year, so it’s dangling down a bit and making the tree look a bit askew. I figure it’s symbolic of the year.

Oh, and that picture you can sort of see to the right of the tree?

Carol Spinney Print

There’s a gallery in the town where my best friend, Karen, and I get together where they sell prints of paintings by Carol Spinney, whom some of you may recognize as the man who portrayed Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street and who lives nearby. Karen and I were doing some Christmas shopping last year when I admired this print, and she went back the following weekend and bought it for me. Isn’t she awesome?

That’s it from the Burrow! Rudi will have a post for you tomorrow from Connecticut for our penultimate day of the 2018 Virtual Advent Tour.

Category: christmas/holiday season. There is/are 1 Comment.