sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 31, 2013

change, time well spent, and last-minute
posted by soe 11:55 pm

Happy Halloween! I hope you had a nice holiday. We did, spending the evening out with friends along U and 14th streets, which are among the hotbeds of adult costume sightings in D.C., and their side streets, where children roamed and decorations galore reigned.

Here are three beautiful things from my past week:

1. I made a mistake by wearing my cute, but painful-after-several-hours 3″-high Mary Janes to work. Switching into my heavy-duty sneakers for volleyball has never felt so good.

2. The food-packing coordinator at Food & Friends, a local charity that feeds people suffering from AIDS, cancer, and other life-challenging illnesses where some colleagues and I volunteered one morning this week, was a steady, upbeat (but not peppy) fellow, bellowing out instructions and making our efforts feel like a grade-school game. We got a lot accomplished as three hours sped past, allowing everyone to feel the day had been a success.

3. I was frustrated last night by my there-to-fore inability to come up with a good, not-yet-worn Halloween costumes and that feeling carried over through holiday Oreos, a World Series victory, jack o’lantern carving, and sleep. While I was getting ready for my shower this morning, I had just resigned myself to a repeat costume when an idea hit me:


Heads Shot

My Nice Rack

Can you guess what I am?

If you need a hint, the umbrella is tucked into my bag in that shot.

(Many thanks to Amanda and Kindred Magazine, whose mailer provided me the raw materials, for allowing my rack to serve as the costume’s pièce de résistance.)

How about you? What was beautiful in your world this week?

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 5 Comments.

October 29, 2013

posted by soe 11:52 pm

From our house to yours…

          Happy National Cat Day!

With warm regards (particularly to those of you bringing us treats),

Jer and the Pumpkins


Cat in a Box

Posey, and

Sometimes You Just Feel Pretty


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October 28, 2013

late october weekending
posted by soe 3:08 am

Late October Garden

I was really looking forward to this weekend, having just worked four straight days that seemed more like 40 after returning from vacation. And, yet, I filled it right up.

On Saturday, the alarm actually roused me mid-morning, allowing me time to loll on the couch with the cats with some tea before deciding how to spend the afternoon.

Laundry was washed and hung.

Floors were vacuumed.

I ventured down to Clinton, Maryland, to check out their cider doughnuts and, because they were fresh out of the oven, came away with a dozen for me and a dozen for Sarah. (My box may have been shorted slightly, since there definitely were not 12 doughnuts in there when my cinnamon-sprinkled shirt and I arrived home after dropping Sarah’s box off at her place.)

I also picked up adorable wee pumpkins, giant globular grapes, and a three-pound log of butter.

While Rudi went out to a party with cycley friends, I stayed home to knit and preview a couple of the new Christmas cds I picked up during vacation. At least a couple of tracks are possible contenders for my annual holiday mix.

This morning we were up and out early. A friend had flown into town to run the marathon and we were determined to catch him as he ran near our house. He was pleased (and probably a bit surprised) to see us.

The farmers market netted us a basket full of vegetables — the last of the green beans, ginger, leeks, and lots more — for tasty fall dishes.

After returning home for second breakfast (and a nap on my part), we ventured down to the garden. Rudi had pulled up the basil midweek when temperatures dipped into frosty territory, but we’ve left everything else. As you can see from the shot at the top of the post, we still have tons of tomatoes on the vine, and our lows are supposed to remain mild this week, giving them (and the peppers and tomatillos) a bit more time to ripen.

Then it was up to the local park, where a Halloween party was being held, and where our friends Susan and Phillip and their two children had agreed to meet us. We hung out and talked and played with the kids for a couple hours.

Then down to collect our bikes for the weekend’s coffeeneuring trip. My original goal for this event was to explore unfamiliar shops, so I suggested we head to Bar di Bari (1401 R St., N.W.), which opened over the summer on 14th Street.

Rudi picked up a latte and I some Earl Grey tea and then we remembered we hadn’t eaten in a long time and decided to add some food to our excursion. I opted for a cheese plate and fresh bread, while Rudi picked out a mushroom turnover and salad. It was all delicious, and the waitress handled our desire to sit outside with good-natured poise, even though I’m sure her arms chilled every time she came out to the table.

Coffeeneuring #3 - Bar di Bari

We read a bit, then biked home: a total of 3.2 miles over 21 minutes.

We concluded the weekend by listening to the Red Sox game after we tracked down an online stream. A nice come-from-behind victory proved they needed our support.

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October 25, 2013

car of the dead, mini reunion, and 45 minutes
posted by soe 3:46 am

A paco-vicuna at the New York Sheep & Wool Festival

This week marked the conclusion of vacation and re-entry into the workaday life. Mostly painfree, but I admit that I’m looking forward to the weekend something fierce.

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. As we were driving home from vacation, we could see a jeep approaching us with a cow skull tied to its grate. Unusual in Maryland, but nothing special, right? How about when it passed us and we found to our delight that the passenger seat contained a skeleton, so enjoying the ride that it had its hand hanging onto the rollbar?

2. Despite being in New England for Conn’s fall weekend, we opt not to go. Instead, we spend a Sunday afternoon filled with pumpkins, wool, hot cider doughnuts, bicycling, reminiscing, and laughter with Eri and Eric.

3. After our last night of camping, Rudi and I packed up the car and then he got a head-start on our trip to Keene’s Pumpkin Festival on his bike. Figuring I had most of an hour to myself, I pulled the car into the day lot and took my thermos of tea and my notebook to a sunny picnic table for uninterrupted writing time.

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

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October 17, 2013

moonlight, fireside, and gramma cookies
posted by soe 9:37 pm

We’re on vacation, so you get three beautiful things from New England!

The View from the Top of Mt. Monadnock
The view from the top of Mt. Monadnock

1. We have been fortunate to camp at a time where the moon was waxing over clear skies. It’s so bright at midnight that although I take a lantern to the bath house to wash up, it’s only so anyone coming up the road sees me. And today, when we misjudged the length of time we had for our hike up to the peak of Mount Monadnock, the rising full moon escorted us the rest of the way down the trail to the road.

2. My folks built us fires to enjoy last weekend in their living room and Rudi and I have kept the tradition going at our campsite the last couple nights. Rudi gets them started and I, having learned well from my mother, burn them down to embers hours later with a well-appointed poking stick that we found by the fire pit. (And, of course, there have been nightly s’mores and toasted marshmallows.)

3. I bake a batch of Gramma cookies for Dad for his birthday and he lets everyone indulge in a couple while they’re warm from the oven.

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

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 2 Comments.

October 11, 2013

oats, rain, and autumn
posted by soe 3:28 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:


1. The sea oats in the bouquets on my desk sway and clatter slightly in the breeze when my window is open or when, catlike, I reach out to bat at them. The sound reminds me of the shore.

2. It’s been a long spell since we’ve had a storm. It spatters against the leaves that have fallen into the window well and drips off the tree above.

3. The scent of dry leaves wafts up from beneath my feet. It is the smell of fall.

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

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