sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 21, 2017

spring, scent, and saturday downtime
posted by soe 1:11 am

Three beautiful things from this past week:

1. Last Thursday’s farmers market had asparagus and today’s had the first strawberries of the season. I shared some with my coworkers, and then Rudi and I followed a risotto supper with bowls of berries and cream.

Strawberries and Cream

2. Wisteria is blooming along the canal and honeysuckle doesn’t seem far behind. The air is tinged with their odor.

3. I sit on a bench at the waterfront and snack on Turkish bread products, sip hot tea, and read as the sun inches its way toward the horizon.

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

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 1 Comment.

April 20, 2017

unraveled in mid-april
posted by soe 2:06 am

As usual, I’ve got several books going at once:

Mid-April Reading

As noted the last time, I’m reading Kory Stamper’s Word by Word. She’s an editor for Merriam-Webster, which I now know is located only half an hour from my folks. If you love language, I’d recommend this book about how and by whom a dictionary gets made.

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig is about a teen girl aboard a time-traveling (sailing) ship. She was born in Hawaii in the 1860s to a father born in New York City in the 1950s. Her mother died in childbirth, and now her father is looking to go back and save her. You’ve seen Back to the Future. How does this end?

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel was the the book I picked up at my office’s new give-a-book, take-a-book shelves. (Confession: I did not give a book, but I did reorganize the shelf area to make it more browser-friendly, so I’m not going to feel too guilty.) I’d been reading this during lunch breaks when I take them, but was feeling that horrible sinking feeling at the end of each chapter when it was time to put it down and go back to work. So I brought it home to spend larger chunks of time with it. It’s a science fiction novel written in an epistolary format with interview transcripts, news articles, and journals telling us the story. It opens with a young girl falling into a hole in the woods and landing in what turns out to be a gigantic hand. She will grow up to become a physicist investigating the hand and other body parts unearthed. Thus far the team includes the scientist, two military pilots, a teenage linguist, and a shadowy mystery man pulling the strings.

I’m tired, so I decided not to pull out the knitting I just put away just for the photo. Trust me that I’m nearly done with the cowl and with another project, which is good, since a pregnant friend will be in town at the end of next month for the final time before having her first child, so I should get on the ball with her gift.

Joining Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 3 Comments.

April 13, 2017

butterfly blooms, cover, and squirming
posted by soe 5:19 pm

Dogwood at the Moroccan Embassy

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. I say this every year, but pink dogwoods always look like a flock of butterflies have paused for a nap in a tree. Cherries are beautiful, but dogwoods just give me that extra burst of joy.


2. Disturbed may have appeared more than a year ago on Conan, but I only came across their performance this week:

3. We had to take Jeremiah to the emergency vet on Sunday for what turned out to be a urinary tract infection (but that we feared was a blockage, which can be fatal). He has three medicines that we’re giving him and the first couple days he was a relatively docile patient. In the past 24 hours, though, he’s become a little feisty and has taken to squirming while we dose him. Clearly, my boy is feeling better.

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

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 4 Comments.

April 8, 2017

early april garden update
posted by soe 1:56 am

As I mentioned yesterday, I spent several hours last weekend finishing my garden prep: The beds have been cleared of dead leaves, which I use during the winter to keep the ground from hardening too much during the off season, and I’ve planted a bunch of seeds — greens and peas, as of right now.

My garden, last Sunday:

April 2 Garden Update

A close-up of my peas:

April 2 Growth Progress

And a few parting shots of violets, for those of you still dealing with wintry weather:


Violets in the Garden


Category: garden. There is/are 3 Comments.

April 7, 2017

a lot of baseball, purple, and no guilt
posted by soe 2:38 am

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time to recount three beautiful things from my past week:

1. My cell phone carrier gives its customers perks once a week. Sometimes it’s a few bucks off Dunkin Donuts, other times it’s a free movie rental. This week, though, was a free season pass to MLB TV, which will let me watch non-local games on my phone. While we’ve been part of a season ticket group to the Nationals since they moved to town, my heart lies with the Mets. And since the Nats games are blacked out, but New York is not, this is truly an outstanding gift. Plus, the New York tv games are hosted by two players and one of the radio announcers from when I was a teenager, so it’s really worked out for me. (At least it does until the Mets intentionally walk a player to load the bases. Then it’s just time to turn the game off, because chances are it’s over anyway.)

2. I was delighted to find, when I wandered down to the garden last weekend, that my violets were blooming. (A fifth of our plot is set aside for violets and strawberries.) I was so pleased to find them that I did all of what was supposed to be two weeks’ work, just because I knew there was a nosegay waiting for me at the end of it all.

3. Having enjoyed the series back in the day, we borrowed the Absolutely Fabulous movie from the library last weekend. The first part of the film was painful to watch and eventually we just decided there was no point to continuing on. We fast forwarded to the final couple minutes just to see how it turned out, but even then it didn’t really feel like we’d gained anything. But since we’d spent nothing to watch it, turning it off seemed like a win.

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 2 Comments.

April 5, 2017

unraveled on my grandfather’s 99th birthday
posted by soe 11:56 pm

Knitting and Reading

Today would have been my maternal grandfather’s 98th 99th birthday. (Mum has informed me that I’d made Grampa a year younger. I assured her that he would have appreciated it and would have asked me to shave off another 30 years.) He liked to play golf and pool, sleep in (after he retired from being a mechanic), eat my grandmother’s baking, mix beets and mac and cheese (so the latter turned pink), watch sports (but not basketball) on tv, and build things (including beautiful dollhouses and delicate furniture to fill them, desks, cabinets, and stools). He was opinionated (but held those opinions close to the chest when he ran his own business) and kind and curious and proud and getting deaf in his old age (Saturday lunches were loud!), and I’m surprised (but shouldn’t have been) by how much I still miss him, even after 18 years.

I’d hoped to have this cowl off the needles last weekend, but did relatively little sitting around, so it’s still on the go. I’m about to add the final set of red stripes, so potentially it’ll be done this weekend. I did finish off two books (a verse novel in honor of National Poetry Month and a gender-bending retelling of Sherlock Holmes), and while I still have several others in progress, Word by Word from Kory Stamper, is probably the next title I’ll add. She’s one of the people involved in the website and social media of Merriam-Webster. If you aren’t following this dictionary on Twitter, you’re missing out. They share trending look-ups (and what’s caused that trend) and vocabulary of the day (sometimes in direct response to what’s happening in current events) and are generally snarky and fun and smart — everything you’d look for in an online friend/entity. So, obviously I’m looking forward to spending a book’s worth of time with one of the people behind that.

Ginny has hung up her Yarn Along hat, but Kat has offered a home to those of us who like to knit and read at her blog with her weekly Unraveled Wednesday post.

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 3 Comments.