sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

September 22, 2017

fresh take, up a level, and kindness
posted by soe 1:51 am

Three beautiful things from the final week of summer:

Popping out to Say Cuckoo!

1. Tonight they showed The Sound of Music in Dupont Circle (it’s the park/traffic circle that gives our neighborhood its name, if you’ve never been here), and a nice-sized crowd showed up to watch. There seemed to be some teen boys in attendance who were very supportive of Maria, shouting, “You can do it!” when she gets intimidated by the Von Trapp’s estate and cheering enthusiastically when she & the Captain hook up. We applauded at the end of songs and whenever Nazis got their comeuppance or Austrians were told to hold strong against tyranny, giving the movie a far more political, and sadly relevant, feel than when I’ve seen it in the past.

Sunset from the Circle

2. I added a second night of volleyball to my schedule this week. (My brain thought there would be less overlap when I signed up, but it looks to be almost a month where I play twice a week.) The second team plays indoors and sometime after I enrolled, they switched it from a social league to a more competitive one, which made me a little nervous that my team would be a bunch of ultra-serious players who got cranky when we (read: I) screwed up. However, it seems at least half of us had jumped in before the league was re-designated, so it ended up being a pretty supportive group who were just there to play and have fun. I mean, granted, we were playing a team running plays in formations, while we were trying to get everyone on the same page of who was setting, but that was okay because we were enjoying ourselves. And while I was moaning over achy knees last night, this morning they were fine enough to run down the metro escalator, much to my relief.


3. Thank you everyone for your kind words after Posey’s death. It’s been a hard week, particularly when we go to bed and she’s not there to lie between us, but your good thoughts have helped to make it easier.

Sunset from the Georgetown Waterfront

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

Now part of Carole and Kat’s Three on Thursdays.

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September 21, 2017

end of summer unraveling
posted by soe 1:00 am

End of Summer Unraveling

This week, there’s more of the same in my reading and knitting, but further along in both. Still reading The Mothers by Brit Bennett, but nearing the two-thirds point where everyone in the story is doing stupid stuff, but you care about them remarkably. It Becomes You is a poetry collection by Dobby Gibson, a fellow alum from Connecticut College. I’m only a few poems in, but so far am enjoying it.

On audio, I continue to listen to Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, which has an excellent cast (and will likely do remarkably well at the Audie Awards this year). Because I tend to listen to audio books late at night, though, I find myself drifting off and needing to go back and find where I was, which is hard. I must experiment with the bookmarking option in Overdrive and see if that cuts down on the time spent trying to relocate myself.

Little Pumpkins continue apace. I need one more repeat on the leg, or as it currently appears, umbrella cozy, and then will move onto the heel. I need to decide if I should reorient the pattern to have a single column of pumpkins parade down the center of my foot, as some others have done, or knit it as written, with the wide column of centered knits separating two columns of pumpkins. We’ll see. I’ll go back into the finished projects on Ravelry and see which I prefer. Either way, I’m really liking this combination of yarn and pattern, which I’d paired in my head years ago, and am eager to have the socks on my feet. I’m not positive that the yarn won’t bleed (since I seem to occasionally end up with dark patches on my fingers) and I won’t eventually have brown socks, but I’ll enjoy the “pumpkins and sky” colorway for as long as they last.

Unraveling along with Kat.

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September 20, 2017

top ten tuesday: fall tbr
posted by soe 1:53 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish invites us to share ten of the books we’re excited about reading this autumn.

I’ll be honest. I just looked at some of the books coming out this fall and added a huge number to my TBR list in Goodreads. And mostly those are just by authors I’ve already read and enjoyed. It doesn’t even begin to look at books that are already out. So, while it’s hopeless to imagine which books I’ll actually read over the next 13 weeks, let’s give it a shot:

  1. Dear Martin by Nic Stone tops my list, but this contemporary Y.A., which examines violent police interactions against black teen boys through the lens of Martin Luther King Jr.’s teachings, is due out in mid-October.
  2. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo is in my possession. This title combines the mythology of Diana of the Amazons with Helen of Troy.
  3. Miles Morales, by Jason Reynolds: An alternative Spiderman story. This has been on my radar for so long that when the latest wall crawler movie came out, I was confused about why he was white.
  4. I was really looking forward to S.K. Ali’s Saints and Misfits when it first came out, but it hasn’t managed to jump from my coffee table to my bag, and I don’t know why. But I’d like to give it back to the library read, so I’ll give it a shot.
  5. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterley: My coworker lent me her copy of the book back at the start of the year and I should give it back before the end of it.
  6. I really enjoyed Amy Salig (A.S.) King’s talk on Me and Marvin Gardens, her new middle-grade book, at the National Book Festival a few weeks back and now have a copy out from the library.
  7. People in my book group really raved about The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden and keep comparing it to Uprooted, which I loved, so now I have the audiobook copy out.
  8. I have tried to read Magic in Manhattan by Sarah Mlynowski the past two (maybe more?) autumns and I’ve failed to get past the first few chapters. My BFF, Karen, tells me it’s an adorable series, so hopefully this fall will be the charm.
  9. The 13 1⁄2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers is translated from the German and features the adventure of a seafaring blue bear and his family of mini pirates.
  10. Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older looks at Caribbean-American ghosts who live in paintings, music, and literature in this seasonally appropriate book I downloaded via the YA Sync program this summer.

How about you? What are you hoping to get to this fall?

Category: books. There is/are 5 Comments.

September 18, 2017

my very good girl
posted by soe 1:18 am

Sometimes I go days in between posts because I’m busy, and sometimes because I have nothing that seems important to say. Other times, it’s because the posts I should be writing (book reviews) require a lot of time and energy.

And then there are times like the past couple days. Since I last wrote Thursday, I’ve opened my laptop and a new post page every day, and every day I’ve stared at the cursor blinking away like a heartbeat and closed it back up.

Thursday, we thought we had great news about Posey. We brought her in to the vet’s Thursday afternoon to start treatment, and then brought her home for the night. They’d warned us that they’d given her a double dose of sedatives, so she’d probably just be groggy and want to sleep, and that was true. She turned down supper, but was happy to curl up next to Rudi in bed. Rudi got up early on Friday to take her back for the rest of the treatment, and I headed to work, so I could leave in time to pick her up at the vet that evening. (more…)

Category: cats. There is/are 11 Comments.

September 15, 2017

infection, taking to the streets, and baseball
posted by soe 1:52 am

It’s Thursday, which means I resurface from under the rock I’ve been dwelling under to tell you about three beautiful things from my past week:

Posey and Jeremiah, Chilling on the Sofa

1. After believing Posey to be at death’s door and taking her to the vet, we found out this morning that she has a really serious urinary tract infection and after some treatments should be just fine.

Apple Cider Press at the Petworth Street Festival

2. T’is the season for neighborhood festivals. We missed the one closest to us a couple weeks ago, but last weekend I made it to ones in Petworth and Adams Morgan, where I checked out local shops, restaurants, artisans, and nonprofits.

Adams Morgan Day Street Food

3. While my Mets have been playing abysmally this week (their scores against the Cubs suggest they were playing football, rather than baseball), the Nationals clinched the Eastern Division over the weekend. We had two last games to watch in person this week: yesterday, the Nationals lost, but tonight they won handily, with some exciting offensive plays to keep us paying attention.

A Curly "W" Pretzel at a Curly "W" Night

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

Oh, and since Carole and Kat have changed the focus of their Thursday meme-along, my Three Beautiful Things now counts toward that. Head over to see what three things their other friends shared today.

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September 8, 2017

more time, an answer, and bunches
posted by soe 12:07 am

Today was an emotionally draining day, so it’s especially nice to look back at three beautiful things from the past week:

1. We think Posey had a mild stroke a two weeks ago, because she’s had less control over her back legs recently. In the last couple days, there have been some incontinence issues. And this morning she practically laid down in her water dish. We thought the end might be nigh. Posey, though, has informed us that she’d like a lot more wet food, though, and that if we’ll keep giving her that, she’s happy to keep getting up and purring every time we walk into the kitchen. We’ve made her a little nest out of the bottom of a cat carrier and a towel, so hopefully that will help with what I need to clean up. Being 15, none of this is really surprising, but I’ll take each additional day I get with her right now.

Chinese Golden Rain Tree

2. For several years, I’ve been trying to figure out a type of tree that I see growing around D.C., but that I never came across back home. Today, finally, I saw yellow flowers on one, in addition to these ubiquitous seed pods, which gave me the additional search term to determine the answer: It’s a Chinese golden rain tree.

3. One of the orchards at our farmers market grows grapes, and this past weekend, they had four seedless varieties, all of which were particularly delicious to snack on chilled from the fridge.

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

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