sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

March 31, 2017

old friend, cherry blossom season, and lights out
posted by soe 1:53 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. Our friend Sam is in town. We spend a nice evening together getting caught up and eating tacos and ice cream.

2. The roller coaster weather has both killed off a bunch of flowers and encouraged early leaf growth — and we’re lacking blue skies to show the remaining blooms off with the best contrast — but the cherry blossoms reach their peak and we brave the crowds to witness it.

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossom against the Potomac

Hains Point

3. We’re reminded about Saturday’s Earth Hour with just enough time to spare to make supper and dig out candles to light the apartment in the darkness. We eat risotto and then Rudi plays the guitar while I knit. The hour passes and then another.

Earth Hour

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

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March 24, 2017

home, with an ‘e’, and amusement
posted by soe 2:29 am

City Center Cherry Blossom Season Lanterns

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to note three beautiful things from my week past:

1. Rudi, who’s been away for nearly two weeks on the final ski coaching trip of the year, returns home.

2. The library has copies of the Megan Follows version of Anne of Green Gables film. I’d remembered how much I loved it, but not precisely how excellent it is, particularly Richard Farnsworth and Colleen Dewhurt’s performances.

3. My volleyball team makes several improbable plays in a row, which leaves us all laughing so hard, we nearly need to take a time out to recover our composure.

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

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March 21, 2017

recent mail
posted by soe 1:29 am

I’ve had a few exciting packages in the mail recently:

Colorful Prize Yarn from Simply Sock Yarn

First came a skein of yarn from Allison at Simply Sock Yarn, who runs a 12 Days of Christmas giveaway every year. I won a skein of Socks That Rocks in Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, which you may recognize from the latest pair of socks I’m knitting.

Birthday Finery

Then, a package from my college roomie arrived containing birthday presents: a delicate necklace and a soft shawl in purple. Also a bow to wear and taunt the cats with.


Every February, Porto Rico Importing Co., a coffee importer in New York, has a sale on their tea, during which time, I order a whole year’s worth of loose-leaf teas. I was pretty much out of everything (we’d been drinking mostly Darjeeling since Christmas), so this is more than 10.5 pounds of tea. It’s been lovely having choices again, but I haven’t found a convenient place to store such a big box…

Ninja Book Box

Finally, on Christmas morning I won a giveaway Bex held on Twitter that reserved me a spot for her February Ninja Book Box. The Ninja Book Box is a quarterly subscription service that sends you a parcel containing a book from an indie publisher and other bookish goodies. Her February box was a Shakespearean mystery and included The Bookman’s Tale, tea and a quill charm in an adorably tiny book-shaped box that Corey thought had been sent to him. I’m looking forward to reading my new mystery (and sharing it with my folks once I’m done)! And should you be looking for a literary subscription service, I’d definitely recommend checking Ninja Book Box out. Despite coming from England, it arrived quite quickly and always seems to contain fun things for the book-lover.

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March 17, 2017

surprise seating, real mail, and change of pace
posted by soe 2:29 am

White and Deserted

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. At the vegetarian taco shop, the handful of downstairs tables are taken, so I head upstairs for the first time. I’m pleasantly surprised to discover it’s a light, airy space with windows, a fireplace (that I suspect is just for show), and bookshelves that contain, among other things, a terrarium featuring exotic cacti (that remind me of the tiny floral department at the Hamden Bradlee’s when I was really young) and golden dinosaurs.

2. My Saturday mail contains a single item — a birthday (plus a month) card — which utterly makes my day.

3. After five straight nights of eating chili (after Rudi generously made twice as much as I’d asked for before leaving on his road trip last week, knowing how poorly I often feed myself when left to my own devices) for supper, it felt like such a treat to cook a veggie burger for myself.

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

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March 14, 2017

top ten tuesday: spring tbr list
posted by soe 1:43 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish asks what’s on my spring to be read list. Some of these are in my possession, some are on my holds list, a couple fall into the fantasy category for what I hope will once again be the Once Upon a Time reading challenge, and a few are still to be published:

  1. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, just came out last week and is one of this spring’s buzziest books.
  2. Susan Dennard’s Truthwitch, which I bought last year at an author event. The second book in the series has since come out and someone from my online book group was telling me how much she’d enjoyed both.
  3. Becky Albertalli’s The Upside of Unrequited comes out next month. I, along with everyone else, absolutely loved her debut, and I’ve heard good early buzz from advance readers.
  4. Kids of Appetite, by David Arnold, has a recommendation from fellow book-lover Anne to bump it up my list. Also, my parents really liked his first book, Mosquitoland.
  5. The Great Spring: Writing, Zen, and This Zig Zag Life, by Natalie Goldberg. Decades ago, my writing teacher gave me Goldberg’s most famous book, Writing Down the Bones. Recently her latest book was mentioned somewhere, and it felt like the right time to revisit her, particularly with a member sale at the bookstore last week and spring in the title of the book.
  6. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, by J.K. Rowling, is the script to the film and a birthday present from my folks. I enjoyed the script to her play, so I look forward to what I expect will be a fast read.
  7. Heidi Julavits’ The Folded Clock is a diary/memoir/personal essay series, and was a gift from Laura in last fall’s Book Ninja Swap.
  8. Labyrinth Lost, by Zoraida Córdova, is another recommendation from a book group member and was a Cybils finalist.
  9. The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear, by Walter Moers, was a birthday gift from Rudi. Translated from the German, it looks like it may share a sensibility with some of James Thurber’s works (Goodreads suggests you’ll like it if you enjoyed Joan Aiken or Michael Ende).
  10. The Girl from Everywhere, by Heidi Heilig, was nominated for best debut novel in the Goodreads Choice awards last fall and deals with time travel and Hawaii and sailing.

How about you? What are you looking forward to reading this spring?

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March 13, 2017

mid-march weekending
posted by soe 1:36 am

Pink and Blue

This weekend was split between sleeping in and not. There were trips to grocery stores and the farmers market and libraries. Cat food and Girl Scout cookies were bought and videos, the Megan Follows version of Anne of Green Gables and A Man Called Ove, were procured. I chatted on Twitter, considered recipes for pie, watched a rather touching episode of Elementary, and knit on a sock.

Spooky Full Moon

I caught buses. I missed buses. I took a bus that didn’t go where I thought it would, but that instead introduced me to a new grocery shop and a rather purple mural. I rode a bike. I admired greatly the full moon rising in the east after watching the sun set in the west only an hour earlier.

First Violets

I saw cherry blossoms and dandelions and some azalea bushes that are going to be very sad tomorrow when the snow comes in and my first violet of the season. I cuddled cats — all of them my own. I talked to my parents and to Rudi, who’s away in Vermont.

London Fog in Sunny D.C.

I read from several books, but finished none. I felt well enough to eat the chili Rudi had made for me back on Tuesday, took myself out for a late lunch of vegetable tacos, tried a Turkish bakery, and drank a London Fog in sunny D.C., soaking up the waning rays on the first day of later light.

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