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broodings from the burrow

September 27, 2013

costumed, cool season, and cold going down
posted by soe 12:56 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. As I get off the train to head to work, a dozen high school students wearing togas get on.

2. We are still eating local corn on the cob and it’s surprisingly sweet and tender for so late in the year.

3. Consuming a popsicle (cinnamon vanilla peach) after a vigorous and victorious volleyball match.

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

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September 26, 2013

thank yous
posted by soe 3:45 am

My mailbox has been filled with goodies recently and I wanted to share:


I recently was the winner of a set of books from YA Highway. I won the Regal Literary Prize Pack, which means I get to read five books, only one of which was on my radar:

  • Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard
  • A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie by Matt Blackstone
  • The Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist
  • Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
  • Starglass by Phoebe North

I’d better pick up the pace of my reading!

I also was a winner in a Sock Knitters Anonymous contest on Ravelry for completing languishing projects during August. For finishing my Sockdolagers, I got to pick a knit sack from Peg’s Procrastinations. Peg had lots of fun fabrics to choose from, but ultimately I decided on this green bag, which has been getting lots of use recently (as you can probably tell since it appeared on the blog last week, too). It’s currently holding a sock I cast on over the weekend at the National Book Festival, where I didn’t want to be hindered with a large project. This knit sack is ingeniously designed so that the caribiner on the drawstring can attach to a ring on the inside of the bag, allowing it to stay open while draped over your wrist or attached to a belt loop for knitting on the go or while standing at the back of a tent listening to an author talk.

Thanks to Peg (and the organizers of the August Sockdown on Ravelry) and to YA Highway. I really like my prizes!

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September 20, 2013

crunch, afternoon off, and ocean
posted by soe 12:19 am

It’s been a beautiful week weather-wise, one to be savored slowly and out-of-doors in anticipation of wintry weather’s arrival. I have done some of that this week, as well as attending some author readings (sadly held indoors), so, frankly, it’s been a pretty great week for me.

Here are three of the beautiful things from it:

1. Biting into the first honeycrisp apple of the season.

2. Monday’s tragedy at the Navy Yard meant that the game we had tickets to attend understandably was postponed until Tuesday afternoon. I was the only one of the four of us who could get the time off, so I went on my own. I watched the game from a half-dozen vantage points, ate falafal and cotton candy (at different times; that combo does not appeal!), and pulled the radio broadcast of the game up on my iPod. It was a picture-perfect day for a game and the Nats kept it exciting before pulling out a win in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the ninth. I biked to a couple farmers markets and then over to have tea in the back patio of a Middle Eastern tea shop, where I took notes for writing a scene and read.

3. Being at the beach.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world this week in this last full week before fall’s arrival?

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September 19, 2013

yarning along: mid-september
posted by soe 1:13 am

With the weather starting to crisp up, I have put socks on hold in lieu of larger, warmer work-in-progress. You may remember this shawl from the Tour de France knit-along, when I last worked on it.

I’m nearly done with panel #2 (of six or seven). What you see peeking over the book is all remains of that section — one zig and one zag. While I had a hard time at the beginning of the second panel with cleanly picking up the stitches at the edge of the first panel to tie them together, it’s gotten easier with time. That part’s still not mindless, but it’s the only part that isn’t. It makes for good tv/line knitting.

Yarning Along: Mid-September

The book is Jasper Fforde’s latest, The Song of the Quarkbeast, recently released in the U.S. It’s the second title in his Chronicles of Kazam series. I started it at the beach on Sunday and it’s quite enjoyable so far. (I did consider putting Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the picture instead, since it’s my bag book right now and since Harry’s scar ties in well with the Lightning Shawl, but the Fforde book was on the table, so its handiness merited a starring role in today’s blog post.)

(Yarning along with Ginny)

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September 17, 2013

top ten books on my fall to-be-read list
posted by soe 1:52 am

The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday meme asks this week for the top ten books on our to-be-read list this fall. Since I didn’t do a great job of reading the books on my summer list, you’ll see some familiar titles:

  1. Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl (I loved Eleanor & Park earlier this year and the folks up at the local bookstore inform me they thought this was even better.)
  2. Elizabeth Wein’s Rose under Fire (Ditto for Wein’s latest. Her last book, Code Name Verity, which I read for the Cybils, made me bawl. Had I realized that this title wasn’t due out until this late in the month, I wouldn’t have included it on my summer list.)
  3. Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior (I picked this up this spring and I started it on a plane flight, but it didn’t fit into the headspace I had available at the time.)
  4. A.S. King’s Ask the Passengers (This made its way off my to-read list and onto my request-from-the-library list when author Eliot Schrefer raved about it on Twitter.)
  5. Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling (There were still over 100 people on the hold list at the library the last time I checked, but I’m hopeful that means it should become available later this fall. Mum had good things to say about J.K. Rowling’s foray into detective writing.)
  6. Gayle Forman’s Just One Year (The sequel to Just One Day is high on my list of anticipated fall releases.)
  7. Bill Bryson’s At Home (This has been on my TBR list so long that I have it a pre-publication ARC of it.)
  8. Jacqueline Winspear’s Messenger of Truth (Fall is a good time for reading mysteries and the Maisie Dobbs series is a favorite.)
  9. Anne Bronte’s Agnes Grey (I’m thinking November seems like a good month for reading a Bronte, particularly since my copy is included in a complete tome of all their novels — good for reading in one place, rather than on the go.)
  10. Homer’s The Odyssey (I bought a pretty copy of it several years back and I’d like to finally dig it out.)

What’s on your list of books to read this fall?

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September 16, 2013

posted by soe 3:00 am

On Friday night, since no one else could join us and since the music has ended at The Yards for the season, we opted to spend the evening at our local park with books and snacks. Rudi brought our travel hammock up there and I joined him in a beach chair. The temperatures were cool, as you might be able to tell from our needing to wear pants:

Friday Night at Mitchell Park

Yesterday, as I mentioned on the blog earlier, I biked up to Hyattsville and Julia joined me there for an arts festival. The festival was smaller than those we’re used to in D.C., but we still found jewelry we liked. We also made our way to Franklin’s for conversation over drinks and the first apple crisp of the season.

Morning Glories

This morning after watering the garden, we drove up to Delaware to spend the afternoon at the beach. It was a lovely day for a drive: we turned on Rudi’s iPod and I knit on my shawl and we sang.

In Bethany Beach, we picked up some fish sandwiches, birch beer, and fresh, hot fries and ate lunch on the sand. A brisk, off-shore breeze made air temperatures in the mid- to lower-70s feel ten degrees cooler, but the water was temperate, if a bit choppy. Machinery surrounded us, as construction teams worked in the ocean and on shore, dredging up sand to replenish what washes away from the beach.

Still Summer

Moon over Sand Dredger


After the sun slipped behind the shoreline rentals, we decided to call it a day. With local businesses in the sleepy hamlet closing early, Rudi suggested we drive north to Rehobeth Beach to check out their downtown and see if they had a coffeeshop that was still open.


I sighted the sign for coffee tucked into an alleyway, so we stopped for half an hour to partake in hot drinks, a bookshop/toy store, and the most breathtaking sunset (my photo does no justice to it) before beginning the three-hour trek home.

Sunset over Downtown Rehobeth

(Weekending with Amanda)

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