sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

August 30, 2016

weekending and bout of books 17 wrap-up
posted by soe 9:54 am

This was both a productive Bout of Books and weekend for me, and I just wanted to share a little about each before moving on to this week. (Writing a separate blog post for each should have been on my weekend to-do list, but alas!)

My goals for Bout of Books 17 were to finish three books, take part in four BoB activities, and visit two fellow participants a day. I’m happy to say I finished three books (The Heist, The Rest of Us Just Live Here, and Friday Barnes, Girl Detective), started a new audiobook (Boy Meets Boy), and put in some more mileage on a fourth book that I finished a couple hours after BoB finished. I took part in both Twitter chats, didn’t get around to any of the challenges, and blogged twice, which gets me across that finish line, just. I didn’t visit fellow participants every day, but did several days, so I’m counting that as a victory, too. All in all, another good Bout of Books! I’ll be back for the next one, which is in early January.

As for the weekend, on Saturday, I started the day with the Bout of Books Twitter chat. We were out of easy food, and I still had some blueberries in the fridge that were okay, so I made us pancakes for breakfast. I don’t particularly like pancakes without blueberries, but I’m fine with waffles, so I would have gone that route if we’d been without.

Blueberry pancake

Rudi and I moseyed over to the 17th Street Festival, where we bought some baked goods from the senior citizens having a bake sale and a half-off gift certificate to a restaurant I’d been wanting to try. It was hot, though, so once we’d covered the three blocks, we decided to head to a local cafe and have cold drinks.

In the evening, we ordered a pizza and picked it up and took it up to Carter Barron Amphitheater, where they used to show free plays in the summer. The Shakespeare Theatre pointed out that it was not especially helpful to low-income residents in other sections of town to hold free productions out in the woods near the well-off neighborhoods, so have moved their free play to a more central, mass-transit friendly location. Unfortunately, no one else has stepped up to put on plays, free or otherwise, at the amphitheater since then. They do, however, show a couple movies during the final week of August every year, and on Saturday, it was The Lorax, which we hadn’t seen. Watching a movie about the spirit of the forest while surrounded by trees seemed appropriate. It was still early when we got home, so we concluded the night by saying farewell to Inspector Lewis.


On Sunday, we slept in, rising just in time to catch the moment of nature at the end of CBS Sunday Morning, before heading out to the farmers market. We ate a leisurely breakfast (edited to add: and I painted my toenails a sparkly purple), then we got in the car and headed out to the library, the grocery store, and the D.C. State Fair. We ran into a friend, enjoyed some music, ate some mediocre ice cream from a vendor, and sampled some quite good rhubarb pie, a finalist in its category. It was fun, but it was held in a paved lot, so it was doubly hot, and after an hour, we were cooked.

Rudi finishes my sorbet

I dropped Rudi off at home and headed down to water the garden, pick basil for dinner, and float in the pool for an hour. We ate supper and watched Help!, and I knit on my sock. After Rudi went to bed, I finished the book I was reading and put the laundry on, concluding the weekend with clean clothes and a completed to-do list.

No More Knitting!

How was your weekend?

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August 27, 2016

weekend plans
posted by soe 1:50 pm

Recognizing we’re already partway into Saturday afternoon, here’s what I hope to accomplish this weekend:

  • Participate in the Bout of Books Twitter chat Saturday morning.
  • Make breakfast.
  • Go to the 17th Street Festival.
  • Picnic during The Lorax at the Carter Barron Amphitheater. (It’s possible that by picnic, I mean pizza, but I may mean more traditional picnic food instead.)
  • Swim.
  • Paint my toenails.
  • Attend the D.C. State Fair. (They’ve moved this further away, so, with weekend track work and a gimpy Rudi, this one may not happen.)
  • Shop at the farmers market.
  • Pick up Jacqueline Woodson’s memoir, Another Brooklyn, at the library.
  • Water the garden.
  • Do laundry.
  • Watch the final Inspector Lewis episode.

How about you? What’s on your weekend to-do list?

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August 26, 2016

long enough, convalescence gifts, and surprise victory
posted by soe 3:25 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

Yarn Chicken

1. Deciding to play yarn chicken with the bind-off on my shawl, and having more than enough.

2. Friends and some of the kids Rudi coaches bring him gifts of food to help him recuperate from surgery, so we have quiche, cake, and cookies to eat.

3. My volleyball team lost all seven regular-season games, but everyone advances into the playoffs. We surprised our opponents — and ourselves — by winning two matches in a row. We get to play again next week in the quarterfinals.

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

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August 25, 2016

bout of books and yarn along
posted by soe 2:41 am

Last week was a productive week, with two knitting projects coming off the needles, which I hope to share soon, after I get some natural light photos. This means I was able to move back to a couple more projects. My Andrea Shawl is still in the stripe decreases. I should really get onto Ravelry to look at the projects I favorites to find out when, exactly, I’m supposed to stop decreasing if I’m going to adapt the shape to one that many people suggest stays on better than the one in the pattern. Tonight I had a sudden flash of insight into where I’d stuffed the project bag containing my Sock Madness sock. With one sock fully knitted, it seemed a likely contender for my finishing the pair by month’s end. Let’s hope I’m slightly more focused than I was with the first sock, which took me two weeks to complete. Also sitting within arm’s reach of the couch, but not pictured, are a pair of nearly completed socks, a pair of nearly completed fingerless mitts, and the other pair of vanilla socks I had in progress around the house.

Late-August Yarn Along

As for my reading progress this week for Bout of Books, I read the entirety of Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Here (YA fantasy’ish about the kids who aren’t the Chosen One) on Monday, began R.S. Spratt’s Friday Barnes, Girl Detective (kidlit gumshoe genius) on Tuesday, and finished listening to The Heist (adult caper/romance between an FBI agent and an extremely attractive and suave world-class thief she’s been pursuing for years), by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, tonight. Summer reading’s been extended a couple more weeks here in D.C., which may mean I’ll tackle some longer books, rather than just all the short ones in the house designed to bump up my numbers. (Although, to be fair, all those short books are currently sitting in a pile on my coffee table, so maybe I’d still better tackle them first.)

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August 24, 2016

top ten tuesday: dusty tbrs
posted by soe 10:40 am

I started this early, which meant that it didn’t occur to me that I hadn’t published it yesterday when I should have. ::sigh:: Anyway, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish is Ten Books That Have Been on Your Shelf/TBR Pile from Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven’t Read Yet.

Here are ten books that have been in my possession for more than 11 years:

  1. Thanks to a collected work I bought in middle school, I have my top three taken care of: Vilette: Charlotte Brontë
  2. Shirley: Charlotte Brontë
  3. The Professor: Charlotte Brontë
  4. Paradise: Toni Morrison (Rudi gave me this the year it came out because I was so excited about it.)
  5. Quidditch through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: J.K. Rowling (I’ve tried several times. Maybe this year will be the year for success, given the movie coming out inspired by the latter title.)
  6. The Age of Innocence: Edith Wharton (I once wrote a paper on this book based on two friends’ explanation of what happened in the movie. Ah, college!)
  7. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court: Mark Twain (I bought several used copies of this book in the years before moving to D.C. Multiple copies did not make me more likely to read it; nor did a podcast version.)
  8. White Teeth: Zadie Smith (This is another one I’ve given a couple shots, although not in a while. Maybe it’s time to revisit it.)
  9. The Secret Life of Bees: Sue Monk Kidd (Ditto.)
  10. A Confederacy of Dunces: John Kennedy Toole (I started this book and hated the protagonist, but since my best friend liked it and gave it to me, I will try it again at some point because she’s usually right about such things. Plus, I’m a big believer in sometimes it’s just not the right time for a certain book to enter your life.)

Do you have any books that have been lingering unread a long time on your shelves?

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August 23, 2016

bout of books 17: day 1
posted by soe 1:32 am
Bout of Books

It’s time for another Bout of Books!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01 a.m. Monday, August 22nd, and runs through Sunday, August 28th, in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

My plan is, as always, simple: I’m going to try to finish at least three books, participate in some way (blog update, daily contest, and/or Twitter chat) four times over the week, and visit at least two blogs a day of others taking part in the challenge. If I fall short in any way, I will not feel bad about it, but instead will merely enjoy being part of something bookish this week.

What are you reading these days?

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