sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

June 30, 2018

families belong together
posted by soe 3:32 am

In the morning, I’ll be heading over to Lafayette Square, the park adjacent to the White House to take part in the Families Belong Together Rally.

I am the great-granddaughter of an illegal immigrant and the daughter-in-law of a refugee who came to this country as a girl. I know the great lengths people will go to in order to reach the United States. And I also know some of the things they’re escaping from.

Jenny’s story is not mine to share, but I will say that she arrived here as a 13-year-old girl who could speak three languages, including English. I cannot begin to imagine how great her trauma would have been if she’d been ripped from her mother’s arms after landing on our shore, separated from her family indefinitely, or held in a cage.

Tomorrow, I rally on her behalf and on behalf of every other family who comes to this country seeking a better life. Refugees do not come here for a vacation. Parents do not drag their children across hundreds of miles of deserts just on a whim. They come because they face unendurable, dangerous situations in their homeland and because once we claimed to be a country that didn’t believe in letting children suffer.

Please join me tomorrow in D.C. or at a rally near you to send a message to this administration that refugees and immigrants deserve to be treated humanely and that we as a nation believe that families belong together. I’m not positive what extraordinary steps will be necessary to reunite families ripped asunder at this point, particularly of very young children, but I believe we should do everything possible to make it happen. The soul of our nation depends on it.

Category: dc life,politics. There is/are 2 Comments.

June 29, 2018

moonrise, party, and a placeholder
posted by soe 1:38 am

The Mystery Machine
Scooby Dooby Doo, where are you?

We’re heading to see Hamilton tomorrow night at the Kennedy Center, and I’m very excited to finally be in the room where it happens.” But before that, there’s one more Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. I had to go to Costco tonight, which requires a trip to Virginia. We were driving back over the Potomac just as the moon, a day off being full and a brilliant orange, was rising over the horizon.

Palme d'Or

2. We had a summer solstice party at work, complete with shave ice stand, potluck, photo props, and a modified game of volleyball. By the end of the afternoon, I was full, had a fun photo with some of my favorite coworkers, and a trophy for my participation in the volleyball games. (Honestly, I couldn’t tell you why except maybe that I was still in the room when they were awarding them?)

I sat down next to this bee at the Dupont Circle fountain earlier in the week and watched it spend the next five minutes give itself a thorough bath.

3. Tonight we ate the first corn on the cob of the season, which was mediocre on its own, but which means that better, more delicious corn is coming soon.

This Guy 💜
This guy.

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

Category: three beautiful things. There is/are 1 Comment.

June 28, 2018

final unraveling of june
posted by soe 1:38 am

Final June Unraveling

How can June nearly be over? Well, it is, so I guess I’d better get ready for July. The weather seems like it intends to welcome the change over with heat, although my weekend forecast now just shows upcoming temperatures in the upper 90s, rather than with a bleeding thermometer, like the long-term forecast had originally shown.

Nothing says heat of summer like some wool knitting, right? At least socks are small. I once spent an entire summer knitting a blanket with strips of Icelandic wool draped over my lap, which was not ideal.

My Posey socks are trucking along now. Amazing that sometimes all it takes is finding a way around the small problems holding you up (not being able to get the heel striping to work with the four-color sequence) to let you move ahead more quickly. (Or quicker, at least.) I am hopeful that I can get the pair finished before the Tour de France starts next weekend, when I want to start a shawl with some brightly hued gradient yarn my folks gave me last year. Photos and pattern mulling to come next week.

On the reading front, I’m still listening to Jenny Colgan’s The Bookshop on the Corner, in which only good things happen to the heroine, except for when they’re bad things that turn out to have been good things in disguise. There’s a lot of serendipity in the book and the heroine is instantly liked by everyone she meets and is good at everything she tries, seemingly without effort. Despite my seeming grumpy about the book, I am enjoying it (and the reader is excellent with all the accents!), but will require some “vegetable” books after finishing this very sweet one. I have several YA Sync downloads to listen to (maybe The Red Umbrella about the Peter Pan project that sent unaccompanied Cuban children to America in the 1960s) while I wait for books I’ve started to come back off hold. I’m #2 for American Street and it seems like a good time to dive back into a story about a young woman whose mother ended up in a detention center when they landed in the U.S.

On paper, I started Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli, her companion to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, this week and am about halfway through. A friend had been lukewarm about it, which probably helped to temper my expectations, so I keep being pleased with how much I like the story.

I’m a couple chapters into both Children of Blood and Bone and Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, and it’s too early to tell how I feel about them.

Rudi is away this weekend and the Fourth of July gives me a day off next week, so I’ll have plenty of reading time in between protest marches and festivals. (And if the thermometer starts bleeding, I’ll take my book to the pool.)

Head over to Kat’s to see what other folks are reading and knitting.

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 3 Comments.

June 27, 2018

series i got stuck in
posted by soe 1:51 am

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is series I don’t plan to finish, but I’m taking a page from organizer Jana to include series that I put down for whatever reason and that I’ve been ambivalent about picking back up:

  1. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (Won’t read book 7 because friends have suggested it’ll ruin the series for me. Yes, I do know why.)
  2. Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (I got annoyed with her mentor in the third book or thereabouts, and haven’t had it in me to pick it back up.)
  3. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (I didn’t particularly care for the first book in this trilogy that everyone else seemed to love.)
  4. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman (Both of the first two books took me a couple tries to get through, so it hasn’t been high on my priority list to finish the final one, although the prequel did pique my curiosity.)
  5. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (I liked the first book quite a bit, but it was a book that I would have been happier if it had been a standalone.)
  6. The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper (I read the first three of these books and always intended to finish them, but a librarian I was chatting with a couple weeks ago kind of ruined the ending and now, like the Chronicles of Narnia, maybe I don’t need to bother.)
  7. Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (I’ve said it before, but it annoyed me tremendously that this book seemed to decide at the last minute that it didn’t feel like wrapping things up and instead turned out to be a series. I’ve held it against the sequels and might or might not ever get over it.)
  8. Eragon by Christopher Paolin (The first one was pretty middling. I couldn’t figure out why so many people loved it.)
  9. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket (I read the first three or so before losing interest. Possibly the only series we read as adults where Rudi got further along than I did.)
  10. Agatha Raisin by M.C. Beaton (I enjoy dipping in and out of the Hamish Macbeth series, but didn’t find the same joy with Beaton’s Cotswalds-residing character.)

How about you? Any series you’ve started but either gave up on or feel ambivalent about continuing?

Category: books. There is/are 4 Comments.

June 26, 2018

midsummer weekending
posted by soe 1:22 am

It felt like this weekend moved so fast, in part because of a packed Saturday. I stopped by the library to pick up books and summer reading prizes and the Baltic Midsummer Festival in the Circle, where the embassies of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, were celebrating the arrival of summer.

Latvian Folk Singers

Baltic Midsummer Festival Wreathmaking

There were oak-leaf and flower wreaths (which were being made as fast as the young women could wind the florist wire) to try on, pamphlets to pick up, dancing and singing to enjoy, and cheese to sample.

I headed out to the country to pick blueberries and stopped by the grocery store and the hardware store on the way home.

Rudi and I were going to head over to the production of Twelfth Night, but the skies opened up and we decided not to crowd into the church along with everyone else who was already down there for the performance. Instead we decided to check out a relatively new Mexican place not too far away (it was a perfectly fine little spot and we’ll likely stop in again in the future, although probably on a Tuesday when tacos are only $2).

We then headed down to the Mall where we discovered I had misunderstood the Solstice Saturday event and instead of only three of the museums staying open until midnight, they all were.

We started at American History, where we walked through the Star-Spangled Banner exhibition [N.B. to Karen: Your family’s story is plastered all over it. I think it might have been under construction/restoration the last time you were down.]. We checked out some of the new additions to the collection before heading downstairs to find the tv show displays and an exhibition on food.

Star-Spangled Banner

Quilt Made by Japanese-Americans Interred during WWII

Grover and Prairie Dawn and Captain Kangaroo's Bunny Rabbit

Finally, 2018 is the 50th anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign. I knew it was a thing; I just never realized how huge it was or how long it lasted. The second shot shows a model of Resurrection City, where thousands of people camped for six weeks on the Mall. (For locals, the Lincoln Memorial is at the left; the Reflecting Pool is at the top; the Washington Monument is at the right; and Independence Avenue is at the bottom. The round building in the middle is the District of Columbia War Memorial.) Think Occupy D.C. at McPherson Square, but on massive steroids. Eventually weeks of rain, muddy conditions, and health concerns were used as an excuse for officials to forcibly evict everyone and dismantle the village.

Poor People's Campaign

Resurrection City

MLK Quote: The Ultimate Tragedy

We headed across the Mall to the Arts & Industries Building, where some of the By the People Festival art installations could be seen. There were fabric hangings and cubes you stuck your head into that reminded me of the parachutes we played with in elementary school gym class, and a memorial to a picnic (the “clouds” are actually masses of recycled takeaway containers):

Memorial to a Picnic

Cube Things


By the People Festival Exhibition

It was after 11 when we left there, and we decided that since we’d never been to Natural History, except to see films at their IMAXX theater, we’d head back to the north side of the Mall.

The butterfly pavilion was closed (the butterflies were sleeping everywhere inside), so we peeked in on the animal exhibitions from the second floor balconies and the perused the gem collection (the Hope Diamond is really quite disappointing).

A Night at the Museum


By comparison, Sunday was quiet. I went to the farmers market, the garden (where we planted more than a dozen tomato seedlings I had growing on my office windowsill), the pool, and the park.

But now I need another weekend to recover from my weekend!

Category: dc life. There is/are 2 Comments.

June 25, 2018

posted by soe 1:45 am

First Blueberry Picking of the Year

As you can see, I did make it out the farm to pick blueberries. The bushes were laden, so that bucket took just over an hour to fill, which I appreciated. Saturday’s rain held off until I was done picking and even then it was just sprinkles (and a rainbow) until I was back home.

I would tell you more about my weekend, but I just spent more than two hours fitting cherries into the fridge from this morning’s farmers market (no fava beans, alas!) and cutting up the last of the strawberries, so all I want to do at this point is go to bed.

More tomorrow!

Category: life -- uncategorized. There is/are 1 Comment.