sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

January 16, 2021

mlk day, pre-inaugural weekend plans
posted by soe 1:40 pm

Whoops! I logged on to pay a bill and discovered I hadn’t posted this last night:

This will be another weekend of self-care. I’d love to see some studies on the psychological effects of constant helicopter surveillance, but when I try to look it up, all I find is how overbearing parents affect their kids. Clearly not enough researchers live in urban areas during periods of unrest. My friend Sarah and I began the weekend by doing an Inaugural ice cream tasting at a local scoop shop this afternoon, so I’m hopeful that sets the tone for what that will look like:

  • Watching the latest Jumanji movie, the new episode of All Creatures Great and Small (Have you started watching yet? It’s quite good.), and something streamable (Maybe Bridgerton or The Prom). I watched a mediocre Christmas movie last night, and may continue the trend after Rudi goes to bed (ski coaches go to sleep very early during the season).
  • Enjoy our Christmas tree. It’s still going strong this year, and my goal is to keep it up through Wednesday, at the very least. (You do you. I’m seeing a lot of trees still in windows this year here in D.C.)
  • Spend time outside. It rained here tonight, just after I got home from the cross-town journey back from the ice cream parlor on my bike (thanks, weather gods). The forecast suggests most of the weekend will be dry and some might be sunny.
  • Bake. I know, I say this every weekend and then fail to do it. But I have a package that needs to go out next week and some cookies are part of it, so… Plus, I am picking up a new sourdough starter at the farmers market on Sunday, so that means I need to start planning for discard baking again. (The height-of-summer fridge death killed off my 2020 starter and I was too disheartened to get one going again this fall. But this week is one for new beginnings.)
  • Buy the makings for gardener’s pie (our vegetarian version of cottage/shepherd’s pie) at the farmers market. Rudi and I were talking about the need for comfort food this week, and that’s one of ours that we haven’t had yet this winter.
  • Order out. One of the things that Rudi and I talked about after I did an end-of-year reckoning of my bank account was that as long as we aren’t frivolous with our other spending, we can probably to support our local restaurants once a week. We’ve already lost several favorites and I’d like to help stem the tide.
  • Finish a knitting project. I have several lingering on the needles, and I’d love to move them from potential clothing to my wardrobe.
  • Wrap up my overdue reading. The library is closed until after the inauguration for the safety of their employees, so this can extend into the week. But I’d like to start the Biden administration without feeling guilty about books the library wants back. (Plus, if I return them before Wednesday, I can wave to Kamala and Doug, who currently live in the condos adjacent to the library (but who will move to the VP’s mansion at the Naval Observatory after being sworn in.)
  • MLK Day has begun to shift toward a day of service projects. A pandemic isn’t a great time to join a group event, but I can probably find a park that needs its litter picked up at a bare minimum.
  • Clear off the coffee table. My living room in general needs several days of work, but this feels like a manageable place to start.

How about you? What do you have planned for the long weekend?

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January 15, 2021

sorting out the usps, sneaky, and late-night chat
posted by soe 1:35 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. Two missing Christmas cards from Connecticut reached me today, and my package with my parents’ gifts arrived there on Monday.

2. The third and final To All the Boys movie will be released on Netflix next month the weekend of my birthday — and I didn’t even know it had been filmed!

3. Karen and I get a chance to talk on the phone late Sunday night. It’s a lovely way to end the weekend.

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

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January 14, 2021

early january unraveling
posted by soe 1:34 am

Early January Unraveling

I have a project that’s very nearly off the needles and a four-and-a-half-hour-long training tomorrow, so I’ve given some thought to what to knit next. This is Havirland Pax Socks in the Holiday Hangover colorway, which feels right for a January knit.

Since the training is a live video discussion about equity and inclusion, I’m not anticipating being able to spend the whole time knitting. But I wanted to have something to work on while I’m doing the listening part of the work, since I feel like the repetitive motion will help keep me focused on the conversation at hand, rather than wandering back to the pile of other work I have.

Rudi is spending one weeknight each week this winter coaching and tomorrow is that night. I’m anticipating having plenty of time to curl up with my current read, Evie Dunmore’s Bringing Down the Duke, a Victorian-era voting rights romance between a nobleman and a bluestocking. I’m about halfway through, and the duke has just asked the female protagonist to be his mistress. She skipped her first ever fireworks show for this conversation, and I think she’s going to rue the decision.

Head to As Kat Knits to see what others are knitting in this new year.

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January 13, 2021

midweek music: ‘moonlight sonata’
posted by soe 1:22 am

Here’s one of the things Annie Lennox has been working on during the pandemic: playing “Moonlight Sonata” perfectly:

She’s been way more productive with her pandemic time than I have.

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January 12, 2021

top ten bookish hopes for 2021
posted by soe 1:57 am

I’m not much for resolutions, but I have lots of hopes for the coming year. A whole lot of them involve the pandemic ending, but some of them are within my control.

Here are ten of the more bookish hopes I have for this year:

  1. All of my local indie bookstores stay in business. (D.C. is home to one of the best indie book scenes in the country.)
  2. All of your local indie bookstores stay in business. (I want them to be there for you. And I want to come visit them all once the pandemic ends.)
  3. I can browse in the library again. (I do appreciate that they let me pick up reserved books, though.)
  4. I can attend author events in person. (I’m grateful for all the video events, but they aren’t the same.)
  5. I read through some of my personal stash of books. (I think only 20% of the books I read last year were from my collection, which is less than I acquired.)
  6. I read a book a week. (It’s less about the number specifically, and more that it means I’m prioritizing something that brings me joy.)
  7. I publish my top ten reads from 2020 (and 2019 ::sigh::).
  8. I do a better job blogging about the books I read. (I like having written the reviews; I’m just awful at actually doing the writing.)
  9. I read more poetry. (I love buying books of poetry, but am not great at finishing them, which means they never move off my to-be-read and currently-reading lists.)
  10. If I get stuck in another reading slump this year that I’m faster at moving to re-reading something I love. (Harry Potter, Thursday Next, Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, and L.M. Montgomery could all help lift me out of the bookish doldrums.)

Huh. That ended up being easier than I expected. How about you? Do you have bookish hopes or goals for 2021?

Head over to That Artsy Reader Girl to read others’ entries into this week’s Top Ten Tuesday.

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January 11, 2021

bout of books 30 wrap up
posted by soe 1:43 am

Bout of Books 30 has wrapped up. For the first time in several years, I didn’t manage to make either Twitter chat, which was disappointing, since I usually enjoy them.

I did, however, get some reading done, although I didn’t finish any books.

I listened to some of Becoming Duchess Goldblatt by Anonymous, a memoir from the real-world journalist who creates a fictional Twitter persona for herself. There’s lots to make you laugh, but also lots to make you cringe.

I picked up Evie Dunmore’s Bringing Down the Duke again this week (apparently I was craving tales of high royalty), which is currently my most overdue library book with the hopes of returning it this week. It’s about a Bluestocking commoner who finagles her way onto the titular duke’s estate in an effort to find a way to get him to support voting rights for women. Instead they both find themselves fighting off mutual attraction.

The next Bout of Books is May 10-16. You can bet I’ll be back for it.

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