sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

November 24, 2016

more foliage of d.c.
posted by soe 1:36 am

I spied these trees while walking this morning before heading out of town.

Oak Leaves

I particularly like foliage where the colors fade from one to another.

Maple Fade

Driving north, I noticed that the line between leaves and bare branches seem to be northen New Jersey (just in case you were wondering).

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November 23, 2016

top ten tuesday: thankful
posted by soe 1:46 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish asks about the things I’m thankful for:

I’m thankful for my family. I’ve got Rudi and we’ve both got our folks, and Josh and Matt. Not everyone’s so lucky.

I’m thankful for my friends, both near and far.

I’m thankful for our cats. Posey and Jeremiah are getting old and cranky and they and Corey do things that drive me absolutely crazy, but I wouldn’t trade for anyone.

I’m thankful to have a roof over our heads. D.C. has a growing homelessness problem, so I know that’s not something to take for granted.

I’m thankful to have a job. I’m thankful that I like my coworkers most of the time and that I get to research and write for a living.

I’m thankful for my 23-year-old car and it’s glowing toothpaste green color. (I’m also thankful for my mechanic, who fixed the exhaust system earlier this fall so we don’t have to drive north tomorrow with the windows down the whole way.)

I’m thankful we have relatively good health and thankful we have healthcare that will take care of us when we need it to.

I’m thankful we have such a good public library system, with many branches, generous hours, and plentiful books and movies that we can borrow for a long time for free. I’m thankful for the weekly Twitter book chat they host and their download services.

I’m thankful to live in a city with so many bookstores. Even though the charity bookstore that was close to our house closed earlier this year, we still have lots of great options.

I’m thankful for an impressive collection of yarn and for the skills I have learned about how to turn it into garments.

How about you? What are you thankful for?

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November 22, 2016

coffeeneuring #9
posted by soe 1:46 am

Coffeeneuring #9: Sugar Shack Donuts (804 N. Henry St., Alexandria, VA)

Storm Clouds Moving into the District

Saturday, Nov. 19; 12.1 miles
Apple cake doughnut and caramel apple cider

I’d planned to get up and moving earlier than I did on Saturday, which meant that when I did finally walk out the door, dressed for the early afternoon’s sun and temperatures, that I was in for a surprise within minutes. We live below ground, which means that our view of the sky is rather a small one and can give false impressions, as it did then. Only half the sky was still blue when I emerged on the street and by the time I pedaled down to the river and across the Potomac, barely a sliver remained free of clouds. The wind picked up, which did not make the ride an enjoyable one. The gusts were particularly bad near the airport, where a lack of ground cover gave the wind a running start. By the time I reached the edge of Old Town, I was glad to encounter a bus shelter where I could seek refuge while checking my directions and putting on the measly warm layers I’d brought with me.

I stopped in at Fibre Space (nothing on their side of the street to lock the bike to) for a while to see if they had something in stock, but they were out, so I continued on to my destination: Sugar Shack Donuts (bike racks right out front). I’d bought a Groupon for a half dozen doughnuts earlier in the season, imagining Rudi and I would have more opportunities to ride together, but his unavailability wasn’t going to stop me from visiting. The selection was diminished, but there were enough to put together a box to bring home with me. I added their drink of the day, a hot caramel apple cider, and parked myself at a table in the back of the shop. This marked my only Coffeeneur stop that necessitated sitting indoors, but the waning daylight and impending rain and plummeting temperatures did not make me think that I needed to make myself miserable in order to be consistent.

Sugar Shack Donuts

Knowing that rain was possible, I’d packed a slender personal collection of comics, Young Avengers, Vol. 1: Style > Substance, rather than a library book that might be ruined by the weather, and my Christmas mitts. I read my book and started working on a thumb and ate my very tasty apple doughnut and nursed my cider. I texted Rudi to say I’d decided to catch Metro back to the District, rather than ride back in dim, damp, blustery conditions. This wise decision was reinforced when I emerged from the shop to discover that the rain had indeed begun and that my main headlight was dead. I got off at GW and pedaled home from there, being extra-cautious since I was down to my tadpole light in front.

I’d planned to go out one more time, on Sunday, but it was such a miserably windy day that I made the executive decision to make Saturday’s my final Coffeeneuring stop of the season.

So, with that, over my nine rides over seven weeks, I covered 63.2 miles, just shy of my personal Coffeeneuring best from two years ago.

My theme was reading and knitting. I’d hoped it’d be finished objects, but not a single knit item was completed, although I did get closer on the eight projects I worked on. Of the nine books I was reading at my stops, I had better luck, finishing six of them so far. (Not Your Sidekick, Magic in Manhattan, and The Girl Who Drank the Moon are all still in progress.)

Thanks, once again, to MG for hosting such a fun event!

The rest of this year’s rides: 1-4, 5, and 6-8.

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November 21, 2016

pre-thanksgiving weekending
posted by soe 2:57 am

Rudi and I kicked off the weekend by catching the late show of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I have complete faith in J.K. Rowling, so I went in expecting to enjoy the show, and we’re pleased to report that our faith was justly placed.

I slept in later than I’d hoped on Saturday, which meant that just after I headed out for my bike ride (which I’ll write about another day), the clouds moved in and the wind picked up and the clothes I was wearing for the 70 degree day where no longer nearly enough.

When I got home, I promptly piled all the clothes I owned on and dove under a blanket and a cat and dozed the rest of the night away. Sure, I woke up to eat homemade pizza and to drowsily watch the first hour of Free Birds, but mostly it was an unproductive evening, although I did get the laundry into the washing machine before I went to bed.

Which meant today needed to be far more focused. I got up at a more reasonable hour and got myself into the shower before heading to the farmers market to procure vegetables and breakfast. I cleaned a little and hung up the laundry. When Rudi got home, we went to the grocery store and the library together and were grateful for prompt bus arrivals that meant we didn’t have to wait long in the chilly, gusty weather.

Rudi made a delicious gardener’s pie (a vegetarian shepherd’s pie) for supper, and I worked on sending out our Christmas party invitation and evaluating our Christmas card stock. (It’s lower than I’d hoped; apparently my post-holiday stocking up was the year before last.)

It's Hard to Nap When Your Mattress Wants to Knit

We watched a little tv, and then Rudi retired for the night. I listened to an audiobook and worked on my Christmas mitts. (I think I figured out the rolling picot problem, but it’s going to require redoing the top of that one mitt. I also knit a thumb onto one of them, but it’s too wide, so I need to rip it back and decrease a couple stitches and try again.)

Now, having had a cup of cocoa, I’m going to go find a place in the fridge for the leftovers and the quince we pulled out for me to poach, and wash the dishes, so I can get to bed.

I hope you had a nice weekend!

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November 20, 2016

getting toward the end
posted by soe 4:02 am

Just after I headed out on my bike ride this afternoon, storm clouds moved in and the wind picked up. Rudi mentioned that as he was returning from his bike ride that he was being pelted by falling gingko fruit. So, I’m thinking we must be getting close to the end of D.C.’s foliage season. But in the meantime, here’s a shot of our local color, this time from Virginia:

Across the River

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November 19, 2016

pre-thanksgiving to-do list
posted by soe 2:48 am

I know this weekend will fly by. Here’s some of what I hope I can squeeze in:

  • Watch Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
  • Get outside early on Saturday before the rain moves in and the temperature drops 20 degrees.
  • Complete two final Coffeeneuring bike rides.
  • Knit on my Christmas mitts.
  • Return books to the library.
  • Send out our tree-trimming invitation.
  • Do laundry (including handknits).
  • Write an Into the Stacks post
  • Clean the kitchen.
  • Buy Christmas stamps.
  • Assess the Christmas card situation to see if I have enough.
  • Poach the quince I have in the fridge.

What are you hoping to accomplish this weekend before Thanksgiving?

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