sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

May 17, 2018

mid-may unraveling
posted by soe 2:14 am

Birthday Unraveling

This past week, I started three books: Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Refugees, a short story collection that’s been chosen as a D.C. Reads book for everyone in the city to read; The Folded Clock, by Heidi Julavits, a diary/collection of essays relating to time; and A Treacherous Curse, the latest in the Veronica Speedwell Victorian mystery series by Deanna Raybourn.

I’m also listening to Solo, a YA verse novel by Kwame Brown with Mary Rand Hess about the son of a rock legend/hot mess who finds out a family secret, and Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology, which I can’t help but populate with faces from the Marvel movies.

My sock is pretty much to the toe decreases. I really thought I’d get it finished tonight, but instead I dozed off (after a fun-filled day off for Rudi’s birthday), so obviously I should go to bed instead.

Hit up As Kat Knits for more posts about reading and knitting.

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May 16, 2018

random ten on tuesday playlist
posted by soe 1:33 am

Once upon a time, back when people listened to music on cd players or downloaded on their devices, rather than streaming songs via internet services, we used to occasionally post “random ten” playlists, where we’d hit shuffle and then share the first ten songs that came up (no skipping, unless what came up was an audiobook or podcast). Since I don’t keep much music on my phone, tonight I decided to fire up my iPod and see what came up:

  1. “Ready to Start” by Arcade Fire
  2. “Star of Wonder” by Tori Amos
  3. “Little Deuce Coupe” by The Beach Boys
  4. “Away in a Manger” by Susan Boyle
  5. “Backfield in Motion” by Mel & Tim
  6. “Bitterroot” by Indigo Girls
  7. “22” by Lily Allen
  8. “Sleigh Ride” by Squirrel Nut Zippers
  9. “Check It Out” by John Mellencamp
  10. “Love Me” by Elvis Presley

Unsurprisingly, it’s about a third Christmas music. I tend not to pull things off my iPod, so it stays on year-round and that’s a lot of what I like to listen to during the winter, when we’re driving between D.C. and Connecticut at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Feel free to play along in the comments if you so desire.

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May 15, 2018

weekending and bout of books, day 2
posted by soe 1:10 am

This weekend, I visited the House of Sweden, the Swedish and Icelandic embassies, which is down on the Potomac River in Georgetown. Their embassy has long been on my to-see list, so I’m glad I made it down there. As with the other Scandinavian embassies, its design takes its environment into account, and I could see how it would be an amazing place to work. I picked up a free Swedish cookbook, took part in a silent disco party (The color your headphone is glowing shows which of the three channels you’re listening to, so folks can still dance together. Also, Swedish house music is quite enjoyable), and ogled the rooftop views (click through and zoom in to actually see those) and the indoor/outdoor water feature on the ground level.

House of Sweden

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May 14, 2018

bout of books 22: day 1
posted by soe 1:54 am

Bout of Books

It’s time for one of my favorite seasonal reading events — Bout of Books!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01 a.m. Monday, May 14th, and runs through Sunday, May 20th, in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 22 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

My goals for the week are to:

  1. Take part in at least two challenges and at least one of the Twitter chats.
  2. Visit at least one other Bout of Books participant’s blog a day.
  3. Return some of my massive pile of library books to the library.
  4. Read a little each day.
  5. Finish posting my January reviews.
  6. Stretch goal: Finish three books. (That’s not really a stretch, but I want to keep things low-key.

Day 1 Challenge: Introduce Yourself #insixwords

How about:

Feeling mopey tonight. Time to read!


D.C. resident seeks next great read.


I refuse to be limited by rules. 😉

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May 13, 2018

these are not ducklings
posted by soe 1:13 am


The House of Sweden, the über-cool Scandinavian embassy, is located near where the C&O Canal and the Potomac River meet in Georgetown. From their roof, I could see a family of ducks, but the towpath doesn’t extend that far so I couldn’t get close enough to the ducklings to get pictures. So I borrowed a bikeshare and rode a bit along the towpath, hoping to see some further along. Because they’re doing construction to the canal and canal boats, they’ve let the bed go wild between some of the locks. (That green space in the shot below is the canal.) Too marshy to see ducklings (but, one hopes, just marshy enough to allow for good nesting), but I did see quite a few red-winged blackbirds, a turtle, and a pair of cardinals. And quite a few lovely buttercups.

I’ll take my own bike out for a spin later in the week and go further north along the canal to where there’s water again. I hope to have photos of baby animals soon!

Canal Buttercups

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May 12, 2018

mother’s day weekend to-do list
posted by soe 1:49 am

Friday Sunset

Rudi’s and my mothers don’t live in town, so unfortunately we won’t have the chance to see them in person this weekend and will have to make do with phone calls. But the thing about reaching middle age is that you become highly aware just how lucky you are that you’re able to make do in that way.

Other things I’m hoping to be lucky enough to do this weekend:

  • Like last weekend, this Saturday features open houses. This week’s are the members of the EU. I’ve got my eye on four of them — Sweden, the Netherlands (I’ve visited them before, but not in their current embassy), Ireland, and the Czech Republic — but they’re in different areas of town, so I may not hit them all.
  • The Funk Parade is tomorrow, as well. I went a couple years ago and had a good time. It’s going to be in the 90s, though, and it overlaps with the embassies, so it may not all work out.
  • Rudi’s heading to a show tomorrow night, so I may take myself out to eat.
  • One of the farmers said last week that they should have morels this Sunday, so I’ll be up early Sunday to get there before they run out.
  • The garden is Sunday’s top priority, since I bought a dozen plants or so last weekend that need to go into the ground. I have more things growing than usual this year, so I admit I’m not totally sure how I’m going to squeeze them all in.
  • I need to run over to the library to return an overdue DVD. If I finish either of the two books I’m reading, they’re overdue, as well.
  • The Timeless season (hopefully not series) finale airs Sunday, so you’ll find us in front of the tv at that point. We don’t get PBS in over the air, so Little Women has to wait for streaming on Monday.
  • I’d like to make strawberry shortcake. Anyone have a shortcake recipe they’re particularly fond of? I grew up with the Bisquick recipe, so that’s what I like best. (You must be able to approximate Bisquick from scratch, right?)
  • I’m making good progress on my sock, so there’s a possibility that I might finish it.
  • Cleaning. I don’t want to do it, but it’s overdue, so I really need to deal with some of it.

How about you? What do you hope your weekend includes?

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