sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

December 31, 2015

loved ones, inexpensive, and white
posted by soe 1:37 pm

Christmas Eve Sunset

Three beautiful things from the final week of 2015:

1. The past week has been chock full of time with family and friends. Because of a last-minute job opportunity for Rudi, I got to spend a few extra days longer than initially planned with my parents. My aunt, uncle, and cousin joined us for Christmas dinner, and I got to spend wonderful afternoons with Karen and her children (when we discovered a new-to-us hiking trail) and Laura. Tonight, Sarah and I will ring in the New Year together, because it’s good to begin the year as you mean to go on — in this case, with good friends (and, hopefully, laughter).

2. Because Rudi’s ski school had temporarily relocated to Vermont (no snow in Pennsylvania right now), he needed our car to go north. Luckily, he found me a cheap flight home, so I took a fast route back to D.C. (As a bonus, there were no lines in Hartford and everyone there was very pleasant.)

3. This has been an abnormally warm December, so it was nice to wake on Tuesday to the ground coated in white, even if it was from an ice/sleet storm. It wasn’t a real hassle to push-shovel, although I’m glad my parents have a tractor for their 1/4-mile-long driveway.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world during these final days of the year?

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ten things to accomplish before the end of 2015
posted by soe 4:12 am

I know, I know. We’re down to the last day of the year. But I figured I had some things I’d like to do before it’s over:

  1. Sleep.
  2. Deal with the two Groupons that expire tomorrow. (One is transferring money onto my Starbucks card, so that’s easy.)
  3. Finish one last book. (We’re into the final 50 pages or so of a mystery, and I actually don’t know who the murderer is OR who the PI works for. Shocking!)
  4. Complete one last knitting project. (I’ve just got a couple rows to finish, plus two thumbs to knit on my Christmas fingerless mitts that it’s been too warm to wear this year.)
  5. Pay the phone bills.
  6. Send out the last of the Christmas cards. (I like real mail no matter when it arrives. I assume other people will, too.
  7. Unpack. (My carry-on is jam-packed.)
  8. Compose a three beautiful things post.
  9. Go to the movies with Sarah. (We’ve got a trio of films we’re planning to see as this year transitions out and 2016 moves in.)
  10. Call Rudi to wish him a happy new year before he goes to bed. (He’s coaching up in Vermont and likely will be asleep by the time Sarah and I get out of the theater.)

How about you? Are you trying to finish anything up before the clock strikes twelve and the calendar flips over?

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December 29, 2015

not driving, short lines, and beyond the grave
posted by soe 3:05 am

Ahem. So you may have noticed (or maybe not) that last Thursday I shut the computer for a Christmas break without publishing a three beautiful things post. My run-in to the holidays got a little crazy and it just slipped my notice, and the people who would normally remind me that I’d missed it have also been celebrating and not paying attention to this space. However, the only time I totally failed to share three beautiful things was when my grandmother died and that was an intentional decision, and I’d like to keep it that way. So, here, belatedly, are three beautiful things from the week before Christmas:

1. Rudi takes back over the driving in central New Jersey so I can more fully enjoy the Christmas lights along the Garden State Parkway from the passenger seat.

2. Parking lots are full, but all the shops I run into on Christmas Eve have very short lines.

3. To my surprise, tickets to see Darlene Love’s holiday concert in D.C. were still available on the evening of the show, but spending money on yourself at Christmas is not really in the budget. I remembered suddenly I’d squirreled away as mad money two cash gifts from my uncle before he died — and that it was nearly the exact price of the tickets. My uncle had a great love of music and of Christmas so I felt certain that he would think this was a perfect use of his final Christmas presents to me.

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

(I’ll be back again on New Year’s Eve with beautiful things from this week.)

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December 24, 2015

advent: day 24
posted by soe 4:07 am

Happy Christmas Eve! I hope you’re all ready for Christmas if you celebrate it and the weekend (possibly a long one?) if you don’t.

Today’s Virtual Advent Tour host is Teri of Henningsen Happenings. She shares some thoughts on making a difference this holiday season.

A few final holiday favorites for you:

Dar Williams’ “The Christians and the Pagans”:

Christmas Eve on Sesame Street:

Neil Gaiman reads from Charles Dickens’ performance copy of A Christmas Carol:

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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December 23, 2015

advent: day 23
posted by soe 3:56 am

Today’s Virtual Advent Tour host is Deb Nance of Readerbuzz. She’s got a post about a neat 40-year-old tradition in her town called Walk-a-Mile.

In the meantime, I’m heading to bed for a few hours. I’ll leave you with this musical interlude, The Dollyrots’ Take on “Run Run Rudolph”:

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ten on tuesday: post-christmas anticipation
posted by soe 3:41 am

Cocoa and the Christmas Tree

Carole’s Ten on Tuesday Topic today was 10 Things I Am Looking Forward to Doing after the Holiday Rush:

  1. Sleep. I really don’t think I can emphasize this enough.
  2. Take a few days off from the blog. Between NaBloPoMo and the Virtual Advent Tour, I’ve posted every day but one since November 1st, and I need a couple days off. That said, though, I also really want to get caught up on book reviews so I can actually share my top ten list for the year (as opposed to leaving it stuck in the draft folder, which is what I think has happened for the last three years running). So I’m not positive when the days off will come. We’ll see how I feel over the weekend.
  3. Visit with friends. I’ll see Karen and her kids on Saturday, and hope to get together with Laura on Sunday. If we can catch Eric at home on our drive to or from Connecticut, that would be a bonus.
  4. Veg in front of the fire at my folks’ place. Doze. Read. Knit. Watch Christmas movies. Any of those are fair game.
  5. Bake with my parents. Scones, probably, with dad and cookies, maybe, with Mum, unless she’s baked out by the time I arrive.
  6. Figure out our New Year’s Eve movie marathon plans. Anyone seen any movies they particularly recommend? (We saw and liked the new Star Wars film on Friday.)
  7. Read. I’ve still got several days before the end of the year and I have a bunch of books out of the library. Plus, there may be new books under the Christmas tree.
  8. Admire the Christmas lights of New Jersey. Residents who live along the Garden State Parkway seem to realize that road-weary travelers need a boost and whole blocks erect displays.
  9. Finish my lightning shawl. It’s been on the needles for a couple years and it’s time to complete the last bit and start wearing it.
  10. Forgive myself for the sad Christmas season I’ve had. Recognize that sometimes the whole season lists, not just the tree. Finish the uncompleted things that I can after the holiday. Let go of the things that I can’t or that really don’t matter. Attempt to figure out the difference.

How about you? What are you looking forward to doing?

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