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broodings from the burrow

December 18, 2008

posted by soe 2:17 am

I’m frantically working on this:

The Start of a Quilt

It’s supposed to somewhat resemble this in the next week in time for me to hand it over to Gramma for Christmas. Don’t ask me what I was thinking…

Category: knitting. There is/are 5 Comments.

December 17, 2008

’tis the season
posted by soe 2:27 am

There’s something about Christmas that makes you feel like you ought to spend as much time as possible with your friends. It’s a season, after all, that’s encourages us to give of ourselves. What’s more precious (particularly in this age of constant distractions) than our time?

Ultimately, what this really means is that I have booked myself a lot of evenings out between last weekend and when we head home for the holidays.

Sunday evening was Sarah‘s annual cartoon party. I baked some cookies from Gramma’s recipe book to take over, and we spent several hours watching childhood Christmas classics.

Tonight, Susan asked if she could arrange a date for the three of us. Rudi and I agreed, excited to have a totally secret evening ahead of us. Last night, she texted to tell us where and when to meet her for dinner. After a tasty meal at Teaism, we ended up at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre, where we enjoyed the Chicago-based Neo-Futurists’ performance of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. The show is speed-theater, as the ensemble attempts to perform 30 playlets in 60 minutes. Each night new material is added and the audience adds its own flavor to the mix. Not all 28 skits (we ran out of time before the final two performances could go on) were great, but the majority made us laugh. Sometimes so did the actors between skits, as they raced around the stage adding and removing props and trying to avoid colliding with each other. “Let’s Pretend Mommy and Daddy,” “One for the Ladies,” and “The Chanukah Song” were particularly well done, but I’m sure Susan and Rudi would each give you different highlights. (If you’re in D.C. at all between now and the first weekend in January, I’d encourage you to seek out tickets.)

Tomorrow night is knitting group, possibly with Sarah and Sarah (but not Sarah). I will be home by 8, though, because there’s a new Muppets special on.

Thursday night Amani and I are getting together. We haven’t gotten any firmer than a meeting hour, but I’m sure we’ll pull things together. I’m also pretty sure that chocolate will be involved.

Friday night and Saturday during the day, while Rudi is out with his friends, I will likely be shopping, card writing, gift wrapping, and package mailing. No, none of those are done. Some of them haven’t been begun yet. Yes, I will get to them all… just maybe not before Christmas.

Saturday evening, Charles and Jordi are hosting a holiday open house. The D.C. folks heading south are departing early, so it’s a smaller group of us heading over to celebrate with the newlyweds. (That’s not to say the party will be small, just the number of people I know…)

Sunday is more doing. I’d love to bake some more cookies, but that’s another thing that may just have to wait until after the holidays.

Monday, Elspeth arrives back in town from Azerbaijan and Georgia for a whirlwind 36 hours before she heads to Africa for Christmas. She, Sarah, and I have a date to eat Ethiopian food and knit (or, at the very least, show off knitting).

Tuesday, after work, Rudi and I head north.

Connecticut still lacks scheduling. I need to see if BW is crossing paths with us on Wednesday morning so we can hook up for brunch… And I need to fit in visits with the other northern friends and family… (Kare, what’s your schedule looking like?)

How lucky we are to have so many wonderful friends with whom to share our lives. When I think about how rich we are in friendship, I get teary and all It’s-a-Wonderful-Lifey. We really are blessed.

Category: arts,dc life. There is/are 5 Comments.

December 12, 2008

my d.c.: macy’s windows
posted by soe 11:26 pm

Since Macy’s took over the old Hecht’s flagship store in downtown D.C. a few years ago, they’ve been decorating the store windows at Christmas. This year they even went so far as to roll out the red carpet, invite a celebrity singer to visit, and make a little production of the unveiling.

The windows are fun, but the music, particularly during the day, can only be described as blaring. I ought not to be able to hear it clearly on the other side of the street over the bustle of midday traffic.

So cue up your own favorite Christmas tune and check out the windows of the District’s Macy’s store:

Do You Believe?

Making Tinsel

Building Stars

Snow Creation

How Ornaments Get their Dizzle Dazzle

What Makes Christmas Lights Bright?

Santa's Helpers

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December 11, 2008

festive, familiar, and first of the season
posted by soe 11:51 pm

Oops! Running out of Thursday… Three beautiful things from the past week or two:

1. Metro decorated for Christmas. Metro Center is outfitted in green and gold garland. And the Dupont Circle ticket shack is sporting garland in red.

2. On a cool, rainy night, the smell outside the house of the dryer venting.

3. Nearly invisible snow flurries drift down as Rudi and I leave to cut down our tree on Saturday. By the time we’ve tied the tree on the roof and are heading back toward the District, the snow flakes are obvious even to casual observers. After a stop at a store or two, we return to find snow coating the grass and the car.

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trick or treat swap
posted by soe 2:10 am

Way back in October, I received a goodie-filled box I haven’t yet acknowledged here on the blog, possibly because I was so guilt-ridden about the tardiness of my own outward-bound package.

The Trick-or-Treat Feet Swap was designed for knitters to make a pair of socks for another knitter and to send them off with some Halloween goodies.

Let me tell you, KT spoiled me. Not only did she knit socks long enough to fit my gigantic feet, but she went ahead and made them knee-high for me. That’s right. The Good & Plenty socks are tall enough for me to wear under my dress boots. Plus, don’t you just love the color?

Jer Likes Socks in a Box

And the treats? Wow… (more…)

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December 10, 2008

first christmas meme of the season
posted by soe 2:32 am

Sarah published this meme around Thanksgiving and I’ve been meaning to finish it and get it up for you. In the meantime, I’ve seen it a couple other places with two additional questions, so I added them in:

  1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Personally, I like wrapping paper, but I appreciate the ease of gift bags, particularly 3 a.m. or so on Christmas Eve…
  2. Real tree or artificial? Real, that we cut down from a tree farm. I do have a very nice fake desktop-sized tree that my Secret Santa freshman year of college gave me. It goes up on my desk at work.
  3. When do you put up the tree? Second Sunday after Thanksgiving (i.e., this past Sunday)
  4. When do you take the tree down? Generally, I try to take it down by the trash day after MLK Day.
  5. Do you like eggnog? Yes. As with all my beverages, though, I prefer it to be sans alcohol. And as I get older I find I prefer the light version to to the full-fat variety from the store, although the full-fat organic that Rudi and I had tonight as we were finishing up the tree-trimming was quite nice.
  6. Favorite gift received as a child? Hmmm… The doll house my grandfather built me was a lovely gift when I was in first grade or so… My bike… The Cabbage Patch doll my folks had my great-grandmother make for me the year they were really big… My baby doll… Oh, and I loved books! The Louisa May Alcott set my paternal grandparents gave me… Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were series Mum began at Christmas for me… My class ring my senior year of high school… Goodness, I certainly had some really nice presents — both when I was a kid and more recently!
  7. Hardest person to buy for? My MIL is a toughie as she neither needs nor wants things.
  8. Easiest person to buy for? Dad, maybe, because he likes music so much…
  9. Do you have a nativity scene? No. Well, I have a small plastic nativity scene ornament I’ve had as long as I can remember.
  10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. Tomorrow night’s holiday task is to start working on them.
  11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Hmmm… I did once receive an ant farm as a Secret Santa gag gift. Does that count?
  12. Favorite Christmas movie? White Christmas has to be near the top.
  13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, although maybe it doesn’t count if it’s alcohol?
  14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Stuffing. Trifle. Christmas cookies.
  15. Lights on the tree? Who doesn’t put lights on their tree? I prefer multi-colored lights. I used to use C7 bulbs when we lived in Connecticut, but in D.C. we opt for the smaller lights. And, for the first time this year, we had to add strands in after the tree was half decorated. They aren’t as evenly dispersed as they might have been if I’d had the correct number of working strands during our party, but I’d say it’s all worked out just fine. And our tree is much prettier now with 500 lights on it.
  16. Favorite Christmas song? It’s hard to beat “Silent Night” sung a cappella in candlelight.
  17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel to Connecticut.
  18. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Yes. I believe Clement Moore came up with the first eight. And I know that Johnny Marks’ song (sung by Gene Autry) made Rudolph famous, even if they didn’t come up with the idea.
  19. Angel on the tree top or a star? We had an angel, but she was a little top-heavy, so our current tree-topper is a snowflake.
  20. Open presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning.
  21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? My own grandiose expectations of what I ought to be accomplishing. Oh, and my inability to get packages to the post office. Several of the far away folks in my life will be receiving presents this year that I bought for last year…
  22. Favorite ornament theme or color? I prefer to avoid themes. And I like all colors. I have several favorite ornaments, though, including the personalized sled my first-grade teacher’s father made for each child in the class and the red-haired doll and the wooden angel riding a horse — neither of which can I recall a Christmas without.
  23. What do you want for Christmas this year? Is it cheesy to say peace and good health and kindheartedness and lots of laughter?
  24. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Well, other than those gifts I bought last year for people but neglected to mail, I’d guess earlier this fall…
  25. Favorite Christmas dinner? Thanksgiving redux: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and lots of side dishes.
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