sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 23, 2009

free, real mail, and undead
posted by soe 11:30 pm

Sorry this is a bit late, but we had a late dinner and I fell asleep on the couch. Three beautiful things from the past week:

1. Tuesday was Ben and Jerry’s Free Cone Day. Because of a late shower, the line was short, the ice cream flavors were still plentiful, and I walked away with a coconut and chocolate chip cone.

2. Two packages arrive the same day. One contains lovely, soft green yarn from Mini, a pettable prize for participating in her contest earlier this month. The other carries two cds from Dad — the first, a compilation of songs from Peter, Paul, and Mary; the second, songs from 1963. Rudi and I spin up the latter disc blindly to try and guess who sings each song. We fail miserably, but enjoy guessing … and singing along.

3. What I mistook for decorative driftwood on a second floor balcony turns out to be a living stalk that can be traced down to the front garden. This week, the first blooms of wisteria hang from it.

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April 22, 2009

happy earth day!
posted by soe 11:30 pm

Happy Earth Day!

To celebrate, here are some pictures from a few weeks ago taken in my garden:



Spring Greens


I’m always eager to hear of ways to help the planet. The best one I came by this year was to switch to recycled toilet paper. I’ve used the recycled, industrial-strength tp before — particularly back in college — but have never been a fan of how rough it was. Now, though, I’m delighted to report that recycled toilet paper has improved dramatically and is way softer, cheaper, and easier to find than it used to be. Plus, using recycled tp is a huge boon to the environment. Rudi forwarded me an article earlier this year that got me thinking about where my priorities ought to lie. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council,

If every household in the United States replaced just one roll of virgin fiber toilet paper (500 sheets) with 100% recycled ones, we could save 423,900 trees.

Scary, eh? So I’m thinking that buying less lovely toilet paper — which I’m going to be getting rid of immediately upon use — is worth saving a few trees.

Honestly, I hadn’t given it a lot of thought, but when it was pointed out, making the change made sense. I’d be happy to consider other ideas to cut down on my negative effects on the planet. If you have suggestions, please leave them in the comments.

Category: garden,politics. There is/are 1 Comment.

April 21, 2009

i’m not often blown away by photography
posted by soe 3:40 pm

But wow!

Category: life -- uncategorized. There is/are 5 Comments.

midday music (on tuesday): sweet life
posted by soe 1:52 pm

I don’t like deadlines and that applies even to ones that I make up for myself. So this edition of Monday Morning Music (which sometimes appears as Monday Midday or Midafternoon or Midnight Music) is appearing this week on Tuesday … in the afternoon.

I was entering a contest at Largehearted Boy and clicked around a bit to read some other posts while I was there (he likes music and books, so there’s a lot to see). And I happened across an entry involving Catie Curtis, whom I really liked back in college. I haven’t listened to her music in ages, but was intrigued by David’s endorsement of her latest album.

A few more clicks later (on Last.fm and YouTube) and I was listening to the title track, “Sweet Life,” off her fall release. Its lyrics, especially this refrain,

I had lots of big plans for tomorrow
Most of them probably won’t come true
And maybe it’s a bitter pill to swallow
But it led me here to this
Sweet life beside you

recall John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy.” It’s nice to be reminded that disappointments can lead to the beauty that surrounds your life and that makes being worthwhile. Since I sometimes have a hard time letting go (stop laughing at the word “sometimes” in that phrase!), it’s good to hear it reiterated here.

This video is the winner in the contest she held in October asking fans to provide pictures for her words:

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April 20, 2009

posted by soe 11:02 pm

Yes, I fell off the face of the planet. Sorry ’bout that…

In lieu of a real post or an actual update, I’ll offer you an extra-special list of recent beautiful things from my world.

  1. The Nationals won their first game of the season last Thursday before losing the following three in the ninth inning. Tonight? They chose to turn things around and win their second game.
  2. Craig Ferguson has done several great lip-synch videos in the last week. He’s the funniest person on late-night tv, hands-down.
  3. Walking to the Metro in the rain allows me to use my rainbow-colored umbrella and my red rain hat.
  4. Our garden is coming along. That’s a row of radishes. We harvested the first one Sunday; it was the length of your pinky fingernail.

    A Row of Radishes
  5. I joined Michael, Julia, and their friend Maurice for a bike ride on Saturday. Michael packed a picnic, Julia and I put in 20 miles, and we got to see herons, water snakes, and lots of sunning turtles
  6. Rudi and I went over to Virginia so I could look for pants. On the way home, we notice fireworks over the Potomac. It was the annual finale to the Cherry Blossom Festival. We never would have caught it if we’d stayed home. Instead, we timed it perfectly to pull into Gravelly Point to watch.
  7. John invited us to join him and his friend Kerri for dinner on Sunday. He altered recipes to make them veggie-friendly for me, as well as cooking up two lamb roasts that smelled very good.
  8. I got to talk to my friend Rebs for the first time in a while. She sounded very optimistic.
  9. The dogwoods are blooming. They’re another flower I feel look like a flock of butterflies landed in a tree.
  10. I own a video of an Easter classic. It made me happy to watch it.

    The Cast of Here Comes Peter Cottontail
  11. Abe Lincoln walked past me on Saturday. (You should have seen the double-takes he got.)
  12. I take my Friday lunch — a CraftLit podcast, my favorite hummus, and sock knitting — up on the office roof deck in the last corner of sun before it disappears behind the building.
  13. First asparagus at the farmers’ market. We’ll probably have it for dinner on Wednesday with some leftover Easter chicken.
  14. I’m working on some anklets in yarn gifted to me in a swap. It’s called Monet and the way it knits up reminds me of his water lilies.
  15. Eggs — hard boiled and dyed.

    Easter Eggs!
  16. Country Pleasures Farm is back at the market for the season. It was great to see Eric and Dani and to have blueberry scones for Sunday breakfast once again.
  17. After spending several hours standing outside in somewhat chilly conditions, I buy a hot chocolate for the walk home. Feeling returns to my insides and to my hands.

  18. On Easter morning, I stopped by the French bakery at the farmers’ market. I bought two croissants, a chocolate croissant, and a puff pastry and raspberry jam delicacy that reminded me of a favorite treat from my growing up years.
  19. Flip flops were donned for the first time this spring.
  20. On Good Friday, Rudi and I went up to Annapolis for the day and got to walk on the beach.

    Walking in the Water

Maybe a book report tomorrow? Remember when I used to do them?

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 6 Comments.

April 16, 2009

“family,” sculpture, and kids
posted by soe 11:47 pm

I wrote a nice intro about my lovely day that WordPress just ate on me. I’m afraid you’re going to have to trust me on that front and proceed on to the three beautiful things:

1. John and Susan were able to join us for Easter dinner. It was my first major holiday away from my family, so it was nice that people we’ve come to consider extended family were willing to celebrate with us. (Plus, we had a very tasty supper.)

2. As I was dodging raindrops on my way home from knitting last night, I noticed a light embedded in the front garden of a house just up the street. Their cherry red tulips were closed tight against the chill night air, resulting in what looked just like a Chihuly sculpture.

3. Monday, I helped teach kids about eggs at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. I was still working out my spiel about why robins’ eggs are blue when I stumbled helplessly for words in front of a six-year-old girl. She listened to me, glanced over, and gave me a gentle pat on my shoulder. Later, a small boy of around two, went to grab mom’s hand and instead found mine. He just held on for several minutes until dad (who was holding his other hand) went to leave and realized his son’s mistake. The boy’s hand slid away as quietly as it had arrived in mine.

What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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