sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

November 30, 2006

christmas!, story, and smoke
posted by soe 5:26 pm

How it got to be Thursday is beyond me, but since it’s here, let’s celebrate three beautiful things from the last week:

1. There were no Christmas lights lit save for the Delaware Highway Patrol Barracks in the middle of 295 when Rudi and I drove north Wednesday night. On Friday evening, a few houses had their lights on. By the time we began our drive south Sunday night, there were lights everywhere, and Rudi and I were able to exclaim, “Look! Christmas!” over and over. It was very exciting.

2. Last Christmas my folks loaned us an audio book to listen to on the drive home. Unfortunately, I forgot we didn’t have a cd player in the car. But I wisely ripped it to my iPod before we left for Thanksgiving, so we were entertained by a Christmas-themed Stephanie Plum mystery from New York to Maryland, making the drive seem substantially shorter and earlier than it was.

3. Last night someone in our neighborhood lit a fire. I’m not sure where exactly the fire was (although my guess would be the house kitty-corner to ours because they always get a supply of wood delivered every fall), but the smell of a wood fire wafted through my open window and curled around me as I sat at my desk.

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November 28, 2006

yoga needed
posted by soe 2:12 pm

I think that, after nearly four years away from a weekly yoga practice, it’s time to resume going to class.

After four years of not practicing the skill regularly, the ability to relax with deep yoga breaths is starting to wear off.

My shoulders seem to be permanently around my ears.

My jaw is always clenched, even when I’m asleep.

I have an ongoing headache.

I want a disciplined class again. I want an instructor who corrects your position with the lightest fingertip touch so that you immediately know that your back is not, in fact, yet flat. I want a room filled with camraderie and silence as everyone finds their own boundaries and paths. I want to begin with breathing together as one and sun salutations and to end with corpse pose and namaste and a bow.

And, luckily, I can have that. I live in a hip section of town where yoga studios practically surround the Burrow. It’s just a matter of valuing myself enough to get off my butt and walk three blocks to partake in the next class. Here’s hoping I move in that direction soon.

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November 27, 2006

stacked tv
posted by soe 11:56 pm

Television ends sweeps month strong with a great week of tv. Monday is usually the only night of the week where we keep the tv on all three hours of prime time, having found four shows that we enjoy: How I Met Your Mother, The Class, Heroes, and Studio 60. Tonight’s shows were all good episodes, I’m pleased to report.

We also get Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown and a Great Performances featuring James Taylor later this week. This promises to be a week filled with lots of knitting — and some housecleaning in anticipation of our tree-trimming party this coming Sunday — so it’s nice that the television offers us quality background entertainment.

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November 24, 2006

the five best things about thanksgiving
posted by soe 7:29 pm

These are the things I like best about our Thanksgiving Day tradition. Do you have favorite traditions?

1. Doughnuts. Dad and I (with or without Josh or Rudi or Rebs or Caroline) have stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts every year as long as I can remember. Some years we have had to stop at more than one.

2. The Macy’s Day Parade. Yes, yes. I know it should be The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But isn’t the morning really all about Macy’s as a feel-good brand? I mean, until they fire Santa Claus and all…. I’m glad they were able to have the balloons this year even if they were practically scraping along on the ground. Better underinflated than not there at all, I say.

3. Food. Everyone gets in on the act at Thanksgiving. Gramma makes the turkey and the pies. Dad makes the rolls. Rudi makes carrots and peppers. I make mashed potatoes. Mum makes everything else. And it all tastes wonderful! This year Mum was ahead of the game and had tons of stuff prepped and hanging out in the fridge just waiting to be reheated, so Thanksgiving afternoon was relatively stress-free.

4. Blessings. It’s good to have a day to count your blessings. We should have more than one such day. But I’m glad we have one at the very least, because I have a whole lot of things to appreciate.

5. And last, but far from least, family. I love my family (and the extended family members who have celebrated with us over the years). I think of you all this weekend, whether you were around my table or not.

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November 23, 2006

window dressing, priorities, and local acts
posted by soe 11:29 pm


Three beautiful things from the week before Thanksgiving:

1. A glass building has gone up near my office in recent months. Because the office does not yet have interior walls, sometimes you can see a little person working on one of the floors. One morning this week a window featured a bright yellow ladder and a brilliant blue tarp.

2. I am not going to reach 50k for NaNoWriMo and I’m okay with that. I’m currently hovering around the 33 page mark and I hope to hit 25k before next Friday. But I’m not going to sacrifice working on crosswords with Gramma or baking cookies with Mum or playing board games with Dad to finish; otherwise I might as well have stayed back in D.C. Karen and Grey Kitten continue to fight the good fight and they have my best wishes for their success. (And, no, I’m not abandoning the novel. I still think it has potential, and now I can focus on rounding out characters and building some more realistic plot devices — but in more manageable time increments for my schedule.)

3. While walking the Help the Homeless 5k last weekend, I was delighted to discover that the organizers had lined up local musical and performance acts to keep us motivated along the way. At first I thought it was just mitzvahs by a local junior high step dance troupe and by a barbershop quartet. But then I strolled past a bluegrass trio, an a cappella group, a folk duo, a gymnastics troupe, a pair of drummers, and a mariachi band. They really helped to provide a sense of fun and ambiance for something we all would have done anyway.

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November 21, 2006

five favorite thanksgiving dishes
posted by soe 3:43 pm

Tomorrow afternoon Rudi and I join travelers across the nation in the great seasonal migration. Adding several hours to the normal trip is worth it only because of what waits at the other end — loved ones.

Thanksgiving is a day filled with tradition. I offer you my favorite traditional holiday foods:

  1. Stuffing — plain old Pepperidge Farms variety from the blue bag
  2. Mashed potatoes — made with milk or cream, not broth
  3. Turkey — I prefer mine dry; I understand I’m in the minority on this point
  4. Cranberry sauce — Either Gramma’s homemade or the smooth canned version
  5. Carrots and peppers — Rudi’s contribution to the day and the most recent addition to the traditional food column
  6. Bonus: Apple pie — Worth waiting all day for and worth adding to the end of any list

May your own holiday be filled with what you love.

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