sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

June 27, 2014

weekend, rest stop, and sneaky
posted by soe 9:22 am

I have been hit hard by sinus-related woes this week, which meant that at the time I’m normally writing for you, I was curled up in bed asleep. But I woke up this morning remembering I’d forgotten (or something like that), so this morning we get a slightly belated three beautiful things from the past week:

1. We spent the weekend up in Connecticut. By taking off Friday, we got an early jump and were in New Haven in time for a late pizza lunch and Italian ices. We spent Saturday afternoon wandering around Northampton, where I bought socks and yarn and stickers. Sunday I spent some time in the hammock reading. And otherwise, I got to hang out with my parents and grandmother — picking peas in the garden, making scones, and doing crossword puzzles — which is just what I wanted to do most.

2. We also got an early start on the drive home, which meant that as we crossed into New Jersey, I thought of ice cream:

Dairy Queen

3. Marcus texted Rudi over the weekend to say he was coming to town for work and did we want to have dinner on Tuesday. Of course! When we walked up to the restaurant, he greeted us with hugs and said he hoped we didn’t mind, but he’d brought a couple guests along with him. And inside were my friend Amani (his wife) and her brother, Askari! It was a wonderful surprise!

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

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June 26, 2014

yarning along: early summer edition
posted by soe 2:04 am

Wednesdays are for sharing books and knitting projects as I yarn along with Ginny.

Color Affection 3 continues to grow. I’m nearing the end of the third section now, which then only leaves the solid base and binding off. We’re heading out to watch a biking-themed movie tomorrow night, so I hope to finish the stripes then, or maybe Friday evening. Either way, I think this one might be off the needles by this time next week.

Yarning Along: Early Summer Edition

Two new books this week. I bought The Cats of Tanglewood Forest last year for the Once Upon a Time readalong, put it on this year’s list, as well, and then didn’t start it until the first day of summer. But that’s ok. The illustrations are lush (as you can probably tell from the cover), but I’ll need a few more pages to determine how I feel about the story of cats turning a girl into a kitten (to save her life) using their version of magic.

Beauty Queens appeared on a number of best-of lists a couple years ago and I went hunting for it at the library last week, as I felt a stirring for a survivalist summer read. I started it earlier this evening and am already more than 150 pages into this satirical novel about teen beauty pageant contestants who survive a plane crash onto what they believe to be a deserted island. Their ambition, mettle, and talents are put to the test as they convert evening gowns into rainwater collectors, spear fish with curling irons (sharpened to a point with manicure sets), get to know each other (and themselves) a little better, and explore personal and societal expectations of what it means to be a teen girl.

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June 20, 2014

slugs, clean, and drying off
posted by soe 12:45 am

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to reflect on three beautiful things from the past week:

1. Twice this week, I’ve brought slugs home in the strawberries from the garden. I don’t find the damage they do charming in the least (and we combat them in the garden with beer), but, in this case, their size works in their favor. Those who live amidst my strawberries are tiny silvery things, no longer than my pinkie fingernail and maybe twice as wide as a strawberry stem, with delicate antennae. Carefully, I lift them onto my finger and give them a ride outside to the ivy.

2. Returning home from an afternoon excursion to find a drying rack full of clean laundry.

3. After a bike ride on a hazy, hot, and humid night, changing into drier togs.

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

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June 18, 2014

top ten books on my summer tbr list
posted by soe 1:47 am

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic at The Broke and the Bookish is ten books I’d like to read this summer:

  1. Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior: I know, I know. I haven’t read either of the last two Kingsolver novels I’ve bought. I will get past the first chapter this summer.
  2. A.S. King’s Ask the Passengers: Also on last summer’s TBR list. It is in my possession from the library and just waiting my finishing up my current read-along on Saturday.
  3. Eliot Schrefer’s Threatened: Also in my possession. I started it the night I got it … and despite enjoying what I read, I haven’t gone back to it. Soon…
  4. Alaya Dawn Johnson’s The Summer Prince: It has summer in the title and takes place in (an alternate version of?) Brazil. Seems like good World Cup reading to me.
  5. Mariko and Jillian Tamaki’s This One Summer: A summer-themed graphic novel.
  6. Robert Galbraith’s The Silkworm: Sequel! Comes out Thursday!
  7. Rainbow Rowell’s Landline: Rainbow is one of those authors I will read anything by.
  8. Nina LaCour’s The Disenchantments: Post-high school road trip. This screams summer reading.
  9. Helene Wecker’s The Golem and the Jinni: I put this down earlier in the year and am eager to get back to it.
  10. Jennifer E. Smith’s This Is What Happy Looks Like: A summer romance.

And more, I’m sure!

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June 17, 2014

mid-june weekending
posted by soe 12:52 am

This weekend began with a headache and a strong desire to go home and climb into bed. (To be fair, if they hadn’t been paving outside my window, I probably would have stayed in bed in the dark all day.)

However, it was really good that I acquiesced when Rudi told me that (since our normal Friday concert had been rained out) our friends Michael and Julia had offered up their back deck to the group of us, because Rudi had, unbeknownst to me, decided I needed a do-over birthday party from when he was in the hospital and everyone else was out of town. There were cupcakes and fancy drinks and presents (including purple alpaca yarn from Australia and homemade chocolate-covered strawberries) and accordion music courtesy of Michael. We talked literature and politics and race and gender relations and it was the closest evening I’ve had to college life in a while.

Rudi Tees off at the World's Longest Mini Golf Hole

Saturday, we slept in (just like we would have in college), then went out for an evening road trip with John and Nicole. We played a round of mini golf (I got a hole-in-one (luck, not skill) and we all had some hysterically funny, horrible shots) and it was just generally 19 (yes, 19) holes of fun. Then we headed a bit further up the highway for a concert by Kacey Musgraves, Alison Krauss & Union Station, and Willie Nelson.

Nicole and John at Merriweather Post Pavilion

Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss & Union Station, and Kacey Musgraves Gather for the Finale

On Sunday, we hit the farmers market, where we came away with the first sweet cherries of the season (among other things). Sarah and I kept the berry theme going by heading out to Poolesville for an afternoon of strawberry and sour cherry picking. The recent rains have made for some gigantic berries, but I felt awful for the farmers because it has also caused many of them to rot on the vine. This was the first week for cherries and the berries were prolific. Sarah and I were appreciative of the shade the trees provided as the sun beat down hotter than either of us had expected.

Sarah Picking Cherries

Piglets Digging Wallows

Last night, I talked with my family, getting to wish my dad a happy Father’s Day (as my friends and I get older, I am more and more grateful to be able to have those conversations with him, rather than about him). Then Rudi and I hit the tail end of the local bookstore member sale before finishing up the weekend with a pizza dinner.

It was a full, but wonderful, weekend.

Weekending along with Karen.

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June 13, 2014

flown the nest, fixtures, and just in time
posted by soe 1:39 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. Saturday morning we were awakened by a huge racket outside our window well, where angry birds were making a ruckus about Corey sitting in his usual spot in the window. I’d noticed a nest above our sidewalk weeks earlier (it was well hidden, but they’d picked up some blue-and-white striped nylon string to include and it announced the location if you looked up at the right spot) and assumed that was what the hullabaloo was related to. That morning I could tell there were nestlings, but not how many, and I couldn’t be certain of their species, since I’d seen a couple different birds on the property.

Over the weekend, I became more sure. There were three babies and they were robins, since I often happened by as a parent was bringing a snack.

By Monday morning, the nest was vacant, and this feathery fellow was waiting his or her turn at seeing the world:

Final Fledgling

2. The office roofdeck has been unlocked, but without furniture for months — far later now than usual into the season. This week new chairs suddenly populate the space.

3. I’m gathering mulberries when I begin to hear thunder in the distance and decide I should start for home. It’s only half a mile or so, but I’m still several blocks from home when the percussion of large raindrops taps a more regular beat on my plastic container. But before the storm really begins to flex its muscles, I’m down the stairs, through the door, and into dry clothing.

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

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