sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 22, 2007

thirty-five years
posted by soe 12:37 am

Thirty-five years ago today, my parents got married on a wooded knoll in my grandparents’ backyard. My father wore a flowered shirt and my mother wore an ivory dress that she and my grandmother made and a veil of lace tatted by my great-grandmother. I can only imagine how proud both families must have been and how excited my parents (both younger than my brother or I are now) were to start a new life together.

Thirty-five years later, they are a little older, a little wiser, and a little more serious. They fit each other like jigsaw pieces, each with strengths to accommodate any weakness of the other. And they still love to cuddle up on the couch, to sing along with the radio, or to hop in the car for a drive together. And if you invite them someplace with a loudspeaker and music, expect them to dance. It used to embarrass us, but now we just find it sweet and reassuring.

Mum and Dad

Happy anniversary, Mum and Dad. May your next 35 years together be filled with much music, laughter, and dancing.

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October 20, 2007

loveseat, teatime, and souvenirs
posted by soe 11:31 pm

I’m home from Detroit and will have more to say about my trip tomorrow or Monday. In the meantime, I offer you three beautiful things about being back home:

1. Cuddling with Rudi and the cats on our couch.

2. Hot tea at whatever time I want it.

3. Being the loving person I am, I brought home the pastries I bought in Greektown last night. Rudi and I ate half for dessert tonight and are saving the other half for tomorrow. They really were just as good as the reviews made them out to be!

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October 18, 2007

glad tidings, laughter, and digging it
posted by soe 12:25 pm

I’m queuing this a bit early, so it does not reflect the most recent events. Therefore, three beautiful things from earlier in the week:

1. Suzanne is getting married. I’m so excited for her.

2. We pass a small girl who is bubbling over with laughter. I look at Rudi who smilingly asks me if “laughing girl” will be in this week’s list of beauty. Indeed.

3. At our company picnic, they have organized a volleyball tournament. We have several players on our team who have played before and we occasionally succeed in getting three controlled hits on our side before sending it over the net. As a front row player, I admit that I’d never understood the joy of a well-handled bump before, but it really is beautiful when the rest of the action is dictated by such an understated play.

PS: Posey is sitting on my lap as I type this and staring at something intently on the desk. Since I can’t see any bugs and since she often relies on her good looks to get by, I try to figure out what she’s watching. She shifts away from my hand as I block her line of sight and eventually I realize that she’s watching the upside-down reflection of us (and my hand) in the mirror in the center of my computer speaker. Tee hee.

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October 17, 2007

i’m not meant to travel
posted by soe 2:25 am

Well, it’s 3:10 a.m. and my laundry is finally in the washer. I suppose it could be worse. My flight to Detroit could leave at 7 a.m. instead of noon. I have pulled out the cat-hair-covered suitcase, although currently the only things inside are underwear and a phone charger. Both are important, but I suspect my trip would be lacking if those were the only things to accompany me to the Motor City.

Okay, I admit it, I am a little further along than that. Instead of putting my jeans away, I have left them on the couch to wear. This would be a bigger comfort if I didn’t have a different pile on the couch that did still need to be put away…

And I bought two mysteries on Sunday to take with me — a Miss Marple and a Philip Craig Martha’s Vineyard tale. I’d meant to finish Anne of Green Gables so I could take Anne of Avonlea with me, too, but I still have 50 pages to go in the latter, so I’m thinking it’s not overly likely to happen.

I have charged my camera batteries. I have paid 2/3 of the bills I need to take care of.

I have not bought contact solution, stopped by the bank, or decided on a knitting project to take.

And I know, I know: I’m behind on blogging. I’d meant to get caught up this weekend or even to queue up some posts for while I’m away, but I got lazy. I probably won’t have a computer while I’m in Detroit, but I’m hoping there will be a free computer lab at the convention from which I can pop in and give you brief updates.

Anyway, if the only post you get between now and Sunday is the Thursday Three Beautiful Things post, please don’t worry. I’m fine. I’m just wandering around Greektown.

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October 15, 2007

plans are tricky
posted by soe 12:48 am

If you hope to accomplish certain things, inevitably something goes at least slightly awry. Flexibility is important when making plans because otherwise you end up disappointed. (This is a lesson I sometimes have trouble with, particularly when the plans involve friends.)

As you might recall from my last entry, this weekend I had planned to join fellow alumni from the local area in picking apples. I went to the farm’s website to find directions and was surprised to see that they only had pumpkin and raspberry picking listed. No matter, I thought. They probably have a few trees set aside for special occasions. And I’ll bring a container for the raspberries.

Well, there were no apples to be picked. (In fact, even the apples in the little market had been imported from Pennsylvania and New York and Vermont, I overheard a worker say.) And I never managed to find where we were supposed to check in to join the alumni, although I did see some folks from Colby up in the pumpkin patch. The line to weigh and check out the pumpkins was about half an hour long, so I opted to forego selecting a pumpkin and will have to procure one sometime over the next two weeks — perhaps at one of the local farmers’ markets.

But because I had a container, I picked about a quart of lovely, deep ruby red raspberries where there were no crowds and the only competition I had for the berries were from the buzzing bees. The day was gorgeously blue, and although there was no colors in the surrounding Maryland hills, the flower garden was lovely and I cut a bouquet of flowers to bring home. I also procured some plum jam and some pumpkin butter — both of which I look forward to slathering on homemade bread.

Saturday night we fêted our friend Susan’s 40th birthday. It was a family-style restaurant and a large crowd, and we ordered quite a bit too much food, but it was still fun. Several of us headed to a local French restaurant afterwards for midnight drinks, but everyone was tired and we soon parted ways to head home. (I must remember to stop going to French restaurants with my Dean friends. They (by and large) are not dessert people and I have now been to a French restaurant with them twice without having dessert. Instead, I think I’m only going to go to French restaurants with my work friends, who appreciate dessert more than anyone else in D.C.)

Today my allergies seemed to kick in full force and I felt so groggy that I returned to bed while Rudi was getting ready for the farmers’ market. Eventually he roused me and shoved me out the door, and we were able to pick up a bunch of apples for a crisp and soup and a salad, carrots, and some late-season tomatoes before the bell tolled the end of sales. We acquired some other tasty morsels, but for us we had a rather restrained market.

This afternoon, we stopped by the local charity bookshop so I could pick up a couple mysteries for my travels, headed by the garden to pick a few hot peppers and tomatillos, and then went out for tea. At Rudi’s suggestion, we walked along the canal down to Georgetown to an Austrian restaurant and had appetizers, drinks, and desserts. (Okay, the appetizers were an impulse thing once we saw the menu.) Usually the restaurant is packed, but this evening, there were vacant tables and we were able to sit outside next to the fountain and bask in the early evening air. Rudi had a cold mint-pea soup with his half-liter of beer, while I had tea and crostini topped with cheese, peas, and fava beans. Rudi concluded his meal with a pistachio mousse-strawberry concoction, while I opted for the almond-raspberry torte (seeing as how raspberries are in season). Everything was delicious and we window-shopped our way back down M Street and then crossed Rose Park amidst the growing shadows of the night.

Nothing went totally according to plan, but in general it really was a nice weekend.

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October 14, 2007

it’s not me; it’s my bacteria
posted by soe 1:04 pm

A new study links the desire for chocolate to the bacteria in one’s stomach and intestinal tract. The study is tiny (only 22 people total) but is probably enough to warrant funding a larger study to investigate the trend.

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