sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 28, 2014

out from under the knife, exotic, and sunny
posted by soe 1:20 am

Three beautiful things from the past week:

1. Both my BFF and my work colleague’s brand new grandson make it through their planned surgeries with flying colors.

2. A box arrives from my college roommate smelling of sandalwood and filled with summery fabrics.

3. A missed opportunity to attend a pie festival turns into an afternoon spent sitting outside on a cafe’s warm wooden bench in the sun, drinking homemade passion fruit soda out of a mason jar while knitting and listening to music on my iPod.

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

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February 25, 2014

swap of discontent package
posted by soe 2:35 am

Earlier in the winter, Emily suggested that a swap might be in order to help cheer her up. A bunch of us agreed that we’d like to be cheered up, too, and a few days later The Swap of Discontent was born.

Emily suggested that we try to give our recipient a cozy night in with makings for tasty drinks or treats, media to enjoy, and a one-skein project. Hand-me-downs were perfectly fair for sharing.

Late in January, a package arrived. The cats were very interested in the box itself, but I found its contents very appealing:

Swap Package

Inside were all sorts of goodies from Colleen in Pennsylvania: There were interesting sounding fruit-flavored teas made with German rock sugar (which I keep thinking of as Pop Rocks, but which hopefully is nothing like that). There was a book, The Light between Oceans, that had appeared on a number of best-of lists at the end of 2013. There was super-soft yarn and a pattern to make a cowl. There were keychains and a row-counter and temporary tattoos and stitch markers…

Swap Presents

… and there was an LED barrette that Colleen assured me could be used as a cat toy.

Hair/Cat Toy

I just don’t think she meant simultaneously.

Thank you, Colleen, for such a great package. And thanks to Emily for suggesting a swap was in order.

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February 21, 2014

birthday greetings, better, and a show
posted by soe 2:46 am

Three beautiful things from the first week of my 40s:

1. Texts, tweets, calls, comments, and cards remind me that I’m not alone on my birthday and in the days that surround it. Susan and Phillip invite me to visit on my birthday eve. My brother and his partner send a beautiful flower arrangement — and then Josh follows it up by ordering a special birthday dinner to be delivered to the hospital for us. Rudi’s roommate’s fiancée runs out to the store for a cupcake for us to split. Amani and Karen send packages with things they know I enjoy. And my parents’ box contains presents handmade by my mother for the final, wonderful reveals.

2. Rudi’s doctors feel that his lungs have made good progress in healing and send him home again. The cats and I are glad to have him back.

3. Josh and Matt’s Christmas presents to us were tickets to American Idiot at the National Theatre tonight. It was fun to see a musical and to sing along with some of the songs.

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

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February 20, 2014

yarning along: mid-february
posted by soe 2:07 am

Today I’m yarning along with Ginny.

Look! For the first time in ages (or, at least, since Rudi’s injury), I’m reading a book (or two) and working on a knitting project in the same week!

Yarn Along: February

The knitting is my Ravellenic Games project. It’s a turtleneck sweater (Hannah Fettig’s Lightweight Pullover), which you might be hard-pressed to identify, since all I’ve succeeded in knitting is the 9″ of neck. (And, yes, I am thinking about quickly casting on a new project like a hat or a cowl just so I can finish something during the games.)

The books are Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, a futuristic retelling of Cinderella featuring a protagonist who’s a cyborg, and Patricia Lynch’s The Bookshop on the Quay, which I bought on my birthday last year from a used bookstore simply because it contained the word “quay” in the title.

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February 13, 2014

my folks, generosity, and culprit
posted by soe 11:47 pm

Rudi’s back in the hospital with pulmonary embolisms, so things have been a little stressed around here. No reading, although I’m listening to The Thin Man, and no knitting, which means there’s absolutely no chance of finishing the sweater I designated for my Olympic knitting. But, you know, that’s how these things go. He’s getting better and will be home again soon, and those are the important things.

In the meantime, three beautiful things from the last week of my thirties:

1. My parents send a box full of prettily wrapped and bowed birthday gifts to be opened throughout the week. I open at least one at the end of each day, and some I use as an incentive to get through rough patches. As I open the packages, I eat heart-shaped cookies my mother sent back with me when I was home last month and try to guess what each item could be. (Sparkle sugar was an easy one; funkily patterned tights not so much.) To be honest, this week would have been much more challenging without this box o’ love.

2. An online friend, reading of how hard I’ve been taking this last month, makes a donation on my behalf to Heifer International, one of the charities I support. So now every time I see a flock of ducks, I will think of Jessica and her thoughtfulness.

3. My car fails inspection — twice. After the first time, I take it to a mechanic recommended by a friend of Rudi’s, who also drives an elderly vehicle, and get it tuned up. After the second failure, I call the mechanic back and ask what our next step is, and he suggests it’s likely a catalytic converter problem. Turns out he was right, and he and two other mechanics were waiting to show me what mine looked like when I picked up the car. (Imagine one of those peekaboo Easter eggs, except it’s made of metal and filled with a scene of post-apocalyptic platinum rubble.) He finds me a new, less expensive converter, installs it for just the cost of the part, and sends me on my way. It is with great relief that I pass inspection on the third try.

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

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February 7, 2014

home, plugging away, and ten pin
posted by soe 2:19 am

Three beautiful things from a week still full of struggles:

1. Rudi is home after nearly a month of mending post-ski accident.

2. After the work deadline that I need to meet hits an insurmountable roadblock after 11 p.m. on Friday, I resign myself to the situation. But, unbeknownst to me, our programmer and a colleague keep working after I log off email and plow through the problem all weekend long, so when I log back in on Sunday afternoon, it’s been resolved.

3. I have a desperate, visceral need to throw something, but breaking things requires cleaning them up and carries a threat of endangering cats. While on an errand, bowling pops into my head and I realize that’s the compromise solution I need. The lane they assign me has the bumpers up still and I leave them, because they help to compensate for my uneven game and allow pins to fall nearly every time, which was, after all, the point. After 20 frames, I am feeling more sane.

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

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