sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

July 29, 2010

bang, walking in the rain, and photo finish
posted by soe 11:59 pm

I’m home! You’ll probably get three more beautiful things from my vacation tomorrow, but, in meantime, I offer you three beautiful things from today:

1. The first crack of thunder from the lunchtime storm is so loud it echoes through the building. It gives a few minutes’ warning of the impending downpour.

2. Getting caught in the rain when I have nowhere to be tends to make me giddy with delight. A few other foot travelers and I smile conspiratorially as we pass each other. The rain is warm. My front ends up drenched — so sopping wet, in fact, you can see the dollar in my skirt pocket — and my hiking shoes squilch with every step — possibly aided by some puddles that proved too irresistible.

3. The rain has stopped and the sun is reappearing. As I get to Mass Ave., I finally get clear of the trees and low buildings to catch the tail arc of the rainbow that heralds a cooler, drier few days.

ETA: I didn’t even realize yesterday that it was Rain Day. How appropriate!

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

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July 22, 2010

flutterbies, 100, and leaving
posted by soe 10:09 am

Three beautiful things from the week before vacation:

1. As we were driving up to Rudi’s race on Sunday, yellow butterflies were out in force. It seemed that last week was the time to come out of hibernation.

2. I’m savoring the library’s 100th-anniversary copy of The Wizard of Oz. It has gilt edges and the original illustrations and a book ribbon to mark your place. It makes bedtime seem very special.

3. We’re outta here in the next hour. Vacation rocks!

What’s been beautiful in your world this week?

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July 21, 2010

it’s okay to admit it…
posted by soe 9:35 pm

How many of you looked at last night’s post, which immediately followed my post about housecleaning, and just shook your head at my optimism? It’s okay. I know it’s more people than just Mum.

As many of you could probably foretell I did not have the dreamy day of lazing about I somehow expected to have. Instead, Rudi and I spent the day putting the Burrow back to some semblance of order after much of our bedroom moved out to the living room over the weekend. And trying to get on top of the things that need to go to Goodwill or that need to be recycled.

We did not run errands. We did not get to the garden. We did not have a tasty meal out or invite friends over (although we did have a nice, long chat with our new cat sitter). We did sleep in and we have hung out with the cats. And my clothes are packed, so we’re definitely moving in the right direction.

Next: Dinner. At 10:30 p.m. Then maybe grocery shopping. Or just collapsing in a little puddle of tiredness.

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one-day staycation
posted by soe 12:37 am

Rudi and I head out on vacation Thursday. We’re hoping to catch up with old friends and family, go to the beach, watch a play, visit our alma mater, eat good food, listen to music, see a movie, and generally relax for a week.

But first we’re having a one-day staycation tomorrow. We decided that instead of starting our vacation by stressing out about packing and getting out of here after a full day of work and evening activities for both of us, we’d give ourselves a buffer. We’ll sleep in, run some errands, garden, and snuggle with our cats. Heck, maybe we’ll even go out to eat — or invite friends over for a snack. Oh, and clean and pack. We’ll definitely do that, too.

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July 19, 2010

the sad truth of the matter
posted by soe 10:26 pm

Rudi and I hate to clean. And we’re lazy. Which means that neither of us cleans beyond the bare minimum (cat boxes get changed, dishes get washed, laundry is done, bed gets made(ish)). But short of that, we’re a piling kind of household.

This is not without problem, of course. As time goes on, I get stressed, discouraged, and agitated. Rudi goes out on longer bike rides to avoid the mess.

Eventually, it all comes to a head, usually precipitated by an impending visit by guests. Or, as is currently the case, our new mattress arrives just days before our vacation. And then we go into a frantic, day-after-day cleaning frenzy.

This is not a pace that a normal human can sustain. This is not behavior we can maintain. Plus, we just have too much stuff, which just means our piles get moved about, cleaned, and temporarily re-sorted.

So after the crisis is over and the guests have gone home, our piles creep back out. (There is that infamous tree-trimming party where after all our guests left, we looked at the bed, covered with stuff from all our public spaces that we’d run out of time to deal with, and just gave up. Rudi unfolded the couch and spend the night there and I shifted a few things and slept amidst the piles. It was a sad night we hope never to have to repeat.)

We don’t aspire to be ascetics. We’re both content and comfortable with a certain amount of untidiness. We like our books and music, our bikes and yarn. But we do seem to require some outside force to keep our messy tendencies in check.

What we really need is a standing weekly date when people come over. Then there’s only a limited time period when we can create new or reformatted piles before we have to deal with them again.

Would one of you mind volunteering to come for dinner every week? Our mental health would certainly appreciate it.

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July 18, 2010

news from abroad, recognition, and fly away!
posted by soe 1:21 am

Thursday evening was a bit grumbly for me, which meant I missed noting a couple of things that would otherwise have made the list. So in the interest of not forgetting to share them and of getting to sleep sometime tonight, I offer you three more beautiful things from my week:

1. “There’s a new missive. Do you want to hear it?” Rudi always says yes because letters from my friend Elspeth, currently stationed in Kyrgyzstan for the summer, reliably are filled with laughter, knowledge, and a knack for storytelling that makes you feel like you, too, are stuck on a slow-moving bus that may or may not be heading where you want to go with a grandmotherly woman and her chicken. Although this summer’s letters have been, thus far, poultry-free, they combine an old-fashioned read-aloud feeling with Elspeth’s modern and quirky personality to offer some of the most compelling travel literature I’ve read.

2. As I headed out to pick up a late lunch one afternoon this week, I came upon the Curbside Cupcake truck, where there was not yet a block-long line. I waited behind a few people and, when I got to the front, was greeted by Sam like an old friend. “When was the last time I saw you? Are you wearing your galoshes today?” he asks, peeking out of Pinky’s window. I left with a big smile and a vanilla cupcake with raspberry frosting that was absolutely delicious.

3. Our baby blue jay learned to fly! When we left for work on Monday, we knew lift-off was imminent. He could reliably make it up from the bottom of the window well to the bars (to protect our windows from being broken by thieves) over the a/c unit, but he’d been stymied by the bars in his efforts to get further, repeatedly falling behind the bars rather than flying away from them. By the time Rudi got home from work on Monday, the baby was up at street level, doing short flight bursts around the railing outside the house. Rudi says the parents were harassing other pedestrians who stopped to gawk, but let him pass unaccosted. And on Tuesday morning as I sat on the couch finishing my breakfast, our blue jay landed on the top of the window well, cocked his head, chirped, and, after I waved to him, flew away.

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