sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

November 30, 2005

poor buggy
posted by soe 11:18 am

I asked him to wait. Told him just to stay where he was. Explained that his other options were decidedly poorer ones and ones he’d be likely to regret.

But he didn’t listen.

Even after he’d reached the relative safety of the shower rod…

With Posey there, he never stood a chance.

A centipede joined me in the shower this morning. Actually, it would probably be fairer to say that I joined him. But as I didn’t notice him until I was washing my hair, there wasn’t a whole lot I could do about it until the shower was over.

I kept an eye on him as he inched up the shower curtain, probably trying to escape the spray that had awakened him earlier than he’d wanted on a Wednesday morning. He wasn’t making any sudden moves, but I didn’t want him falling into my hair. I don’t mind centipedes, but there are limits, you understand. I asked him to stop, that I’d rescue him as soon as I was done.

But at one point, after he’d reached the shower rod, I turned around and he was gone. “Thank goodness,” I breathed. He crawled off somewhere to safety.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I turned around again and there he was at the other end of the rod. “Okay,” I said. “I see you. You’re fine.”

But he didn’t trust me, or he was really keen for a morning run, because he started off again across the rod. He was impressive, all those shaggy legs undulating in unison as he navigated the curtain rings.

But apparently it doesn’t matter how many legs you have; if you step wrong with one of them, you still fall down.

And down he fell, but not into my hair or the water at the bottom of the tub.

But on the room side of the curtain, where, without my knowledge, Posey was keeping me company this morning.

With one of the other cats, he might have stood a chance. Run fast (which centipedes do) and then keep still. Della wouldn’t have followed him under anything. Jeremiah would have lost interest if he couldn’t reach him and if there was no movement for a while. But Posey doesn’t have a lot of thoughts to clutter up her brain, so she can spend a while waiting.

By the time I was done showering, he was gone. I took his corpse outside so he could have the freshly dampened ground under him once more.

Do you see why it is I have such a hard time killing household pests? Pests to me and you, but still living creatures that are just out for the same things I am — a good meal and a place to sleep. I’d hate for some huge creature to decide that I was in its way or was amusing in my attempts to flee it.

Stomach-twisting thoughts for a Wednesday morning…

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November 29, 2005

chewed up and spit out
posted by soe 10:06 am

That was what happened to my post last night. I was just proofreading it when the mouse stopped responding. Figuring the computer had frozen and that I’d just have to suck it up and rewrite my treatise on vacations, I pressed the restart button. The screen on the laptop went blank, as it is supposed to do. Unfortunately, it is eventually supposed to reboot and bring the start-up screen back, which it did not.

I let the machine run for a few minutes and then closed the case and went to bed.

I got up this morning, hoping the computer had thought better of its temper tantrum. Nothing doing. It screeched when I hit the restart key again.

Rudi thinks the logic board is fried.

Too bad this happened just before Christmas and just after $1000 worth of repairs to the car.

So please pardon me if things are a bit quiet around here over the next month, particularly on weekends. I’ll try to remember to post before I leave the office for the day, but some days that just may not happen.

At least it was the computer’s logic board and not mine that went, right?

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November 24, 2005

recipes, clear roads, and frosting
posted by soe 8:21 pm

Welcome to our Three Beautiful Things of Thanksgiving edition. Please have a seat and pass the mashed potatoes. Would you like some wine?

1. Several years ago I asked my grandmother to write down some of the recipes that she makes so I could have a copy available at my fingertips. In the last week, I’ve made a batch of raspberry-almond shortbread thumbprint cookies to take to a party and consulted it for Mum, who needed Gramma’s pumpkin pie recipe so we could have pie for tonight’s dessert. It’s one of my treasured possessions because not only does it give me family recipes, but it’s also like having a bit of Gramma nearby when I’m far from her.

2. We got a bit of a later start than I’d hoped for yesterday and the roads heading out of D.C. were bustling. But the snow held off until after we left, accidents had been cleared, and most people seemed to have left earlier than we did. So we sailed through Maryland, paused for a while in Delaware, and then had a quick drive through New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut to get us in shortly after midnight. Less than nine hours on a holiday weekend with a stop at a grocery store and a stop for dinner on top of our normal bathroom and refueling stops seems really lucky.

3. Rudi awoke me this morning just before dawn to tell me it was snowing. By the time Dad and I went to get the doughnuts at breakfast, the driveway was coated and slippery. But the world looked very Currier and Ives as the deer sprang through the yard and the snow covered the remaining fall leaves that had eluded the rake. The perfect start to the holiday season.

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posted by soe 8:12 pm

As with any good Thanksgiving (and particularly a white one, like this year’s), I celebrated the year’s bounty and our good fortune by stuffing myself silly with lots of food. Now the Thanksgiving Peanuts special is on tv, so I’m back in my p.j.’s and ready to doze away the rest of the evening in front of the fire with some pie.

Thanks be for blog software and readers, family and friends, space to say things and to say nothing, and for a life worth living.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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November 23, 2005

posted by soe 2:15 pm

When I complain tomorrow morning aqbout how tired I am and how hard it was to get up, get doughnuts, and stay awake during the entire parade, remind me it’s because I stopped cleaning in order to write a short blog post this afternoon. Of course, that would be fine if I’d finished packing and cleaning last night or this morning, but that never seems to be the case…

Anyway, Rudi and I should be off for the marathon drive up to Connecticut in short order, so I’d best finish up here.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve everyone!

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November 22, 2005

twenty great children’s books
posted by soe 11:35 pm

Last week was Children’s Book Week, but I was a little slow in finishing this post, so I’m officially extending it to make it Children’s Book Fortnight.

As such, I encourage you to check out what’s out there in children’s publishing, particularly if you haven’t looked recently. Some of it is pap and some of it is overly moralistic, but some of it is amazing. And you just won’t know which it is until you start thumbing through…

Here are some children’s books (appearing in no particular order) I’ve enjoyed through the years:

  1. Horton Hears a Who!, by Dr. Seuss
  2. The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  3. The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
  4. The Little House series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  5. Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling
  6. Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer
  7. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
  8. Click, Clack, Moo, Cows That Type, by Doreen Cronin
  9. The Dark Is Rising, by Susan Cooper
  10. Homecoming, by Cynthia Voigt
  11. The Chronicles of Narnia series, by C.S. Lewis
  12. The Great Good Thing, by Roderick Townley
  13. The Please and Thank You Book, by Richard Scarry
  14. Summerland, by Michael Chabon
  15. Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery
  16. The Princess Diaries, by Meg Cabot
  17. The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg
  18. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
  19. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, by Ann Brashares
  20. The Conch Bearer, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

So I’ve given you my twenty. Who wants to contribute some of their favorites?

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