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broodings from the burrow

June 24, 2018

angel of the waters
posted by soe 1:29 am


This statue, “Casting Bread Upon the Waters,” is located in Boston’s Public Gardens and is part of the George Robert White Memorial, created in memory of an early-20th century local philanthropist. It was sculpted by Daniel Chester French, who also created the Abraham Lincoln statue at the Lincoln Memorial. Both memorials were architected by Henry Bacon. (The duo were frequent collaborators who worked together on a number of well-known projects, including my local Dupont Circle fountain.)

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June 23, 2018

penultimate june weekend plans
posted by soe 1:32 am

Another D.C. weekend, another rainy forecast. But two weekends ago the predicted rain only materialized in the middle of the night, so I’m not going to let it get in the way of my planning…

Here are some of the things I’m hoping to do this weekend:

  • Celebrate Midsummer: Three European embassies will be holding a Baltic Midsummer Festival at Dupont Circle tomorrow afternoon. Later, three of the Smithsonian museums will be staying open late to celebrate the solstice.
  • Catch a play: One of the local amateur theater troupes has been staying Twelfth Night, and I think tomorrow is the final performance.
  • Pick blueberries.
  • Finish a sock.
  • Read a book.
  • Visit the library: The haul I showed you the other day was only half of what I had on hold, but rainy weather made me decide to carry home only half in order to keep them dry. I also have the first of my summer reading program prizes to pick up.
  • Plant tomatoes in the garden: There are fifteen or so growing on my windowsill at work and the tallest is over a foot tall. Time to get them outside.
  • Attend an arts festival: A new D.C. arts festival, By the People, has been going on since Thursday and Sunday will be the final day to check out installations.
  • Shop at the farmers market: I’m really hoping for fava beans, but that may not be.
  • Call a friend: Tomorrow is my friend Rebecca’s birthday.
  • Cut up strawberries: I still have several pints in the fridge that should be cut up and turned into a shortcake.
  • Clean the microwave: Our microwave is on a shelf that puts it at knee-level, which means we usually aren’t looking inside. But I did, and it needs washing.

What are you hoping to do this weekend?

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June 22, 2018

auntie, aglow, and that was a hoot
posted by soe 3:22 am

Bang Chandelier

Walking home from the library in the rain the other night, I walked closer to the building than usual trying to stay dry and saw this chandelier in an otherwise unremarkable and empty entryway.

Here are three other beautiful things from my past week:

1. We haven’t seen Sam’s son, Max, since he was a baby, so there’s no way he’d remember us, but he warms to us quickly and is soon giggling and seeking shelter in my legs from the “Daddy monster” he wants to chase him in the park. Karen’s children, Marshall and Livia, are older and have seen me in recent memory, but they’re both shy when we arrive. But by the end, they are eagerly elbowing each other out of the way (metaphorically, not literally) to fill in what they perceive to be woeful gaps in my understanding of Minecraft and Pokemon.

2. I first started seeing fireflies about two weeks ago, but in the past week, the numbers have picked up significantly and it seems like everywhere you look at night there’s a slow-blinking bug.

3. At my parents’ house, you can sometimes hear owls loudly calling to one another from quite nearby, and my parents have seen them several times. As I was walking their dog down the driveway on Sunday, a large one flew across our path about fifty yards away and settled high up, but in a clear sightline, in a tree across the street. A few seconds later, a smaller owl also flew in front of us. It all happened so fast that I couldn’t tell if they were mates or parent and child. Later, when we were walking back up the driveway, I could hear them calling to each other in the woods, saying to wait us out.

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

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June 21, 2018

midsummer unraveling
posted by soe 1:55 am

Midsummer Unraveling

I finished up Hello, Universe this evening, so I thought I’d show you my Posey socks with tonight’s library haul (which also included three dvds — the Studio Ghibli anime version of Tales from Earthsea, the Israeli film that inspired the Broadway musical The Band’s Visit, and Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool).

Elsa and the Night and The Room are both Scandinavian books in translation. Jeremiah Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase are both off the 100 best children’s books list that I was making my way through a few years back. And Puddin’ and Leah on the Offbeat are both new YA books by authors I really like. I also have Children of Blood and Bone out, which I’m eager to start.

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June 20, 2018

father’s day weekend garden update
posted by soe 1:14 am

I realized while we were away that I’d neglected to water the garden before leaving and that, because for the first time in weeks no rain was expected, this could be a problem. I worried we’d return to discover that all the work I’d put into my plot during the spring had been undone in a single quartet of days. I was pleased to discover that my concerns had been unfounded. Nevertheless, my plants, much like my cats, were delighted to see our return.

Rudi had finished watering by the time I reached the garden after work on Monday, so all that was left to do was pick some peas and a head of lettuce, eat a couple alpine strawberries that had ripened in our absence, and admire what was growing:

Tomatoes (the top ones are biggest and we get progressively smaller):

June 19 Tomatoes


More Tomatoes

I have more than a dozen cherry tomato plants that will need transplanting from my office window this coming weekend. I do not currently have spots for this many plants, but Rudi assures me we’ll find room.

This weekend, I’ll also need to harvest some chard and some herbs, as well as more lettuce (hopefully harvesting lettuce will free up space for tomatoes…):


My potato patch (and maybe some peanuts) is doing well. I’ll need to add more dirt to it this weekend:

June 19 Potatoes

The beans I planted a week ago (no sign of the flowers or the squash yet):



Peppers to Be

Finally, to my delight, I found that my echinacea had re-seeded itself last year:


So far, this has definitely been my best gardening year to date. Having my big shade tree cut down certainly didn’t hurt, but I’d also like to think that some of it has come from all the learning (and prep) I did in my earlier years.

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June 19, 2018

summer ’18 tbr
posted by soe 1:18 am

According to That Artsy Reader Girl and Top Ten Tuesday, it’s time to think about my summer list of books to be read:

  1. Becky Albertalli’s Leah on the Offbeat
  2. Julie Murphy’s Puddin’
  3. Toni Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone
  4. Jonas Karlsson’s The Room (I loved his The Invoice a couple years ago.)
  5. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
  6. Being Jazz by Jazz Jennings
  7. Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X
  8. Megan Whalen Turner’s The Thief
  9. Tom’s Midnight Garden by A. Philippa Pearce
  10. Eggshells by Catriona Lilly

How about you? What are you hoping to read this summer?

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