sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

November 24, 2018

arts and crafts
posted by soe 1:30 am

More 4 Than 44

Mum, Dad, and I made dozens of Spritz cookies this afternoon, but the cookie press broke in the midst of the final batch. Mum was not deterred and improvised with the last of her dough, and I used up all the sprinkles I would otherwise have needed to return to their containers with some decorating that looks done by someone more four than 44.

The snowman, provided for comparison, is the size of the average Spritz cookie.

Tomorrow, we’re off to get them a tree and to get it inside before the rain begins in the evening.

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November 23, 2018

tech in my pocket, pet care, & horizons
posted by soe 12:03 am

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you had a wonderful holiday surrounded by or in touch with your loved ones and were able to partake in a delicious meal.

Rudi and I made it to my folks’ house just before dawn and I have spent all day drowsing uselessly in between meals. I’m calling it an early night in the hopes of starting tomorrow feeling more energetic.

But before I do, I wanted to share three beautiful things from my past week:

1. As you remember, I got myself lost on Sunday and had to call Rudi and check the maps on my phone in order to get home. If that had happened when I was 20, I would have had to call him from a pay phone and he would have needed to find my location on an atlas.

2. Our longtime cat sitter retired to another state, so we had to find another one. I got a photo of Corey texted to me this afternoon by the fellow who is feeding them this weekend.

3. Both the moonset this morning and the sunset this afternoon were spectacular.

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

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November 22, 2018

miles to go…
posted by soe 4:12 am

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
   ~Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Fifty-five miles to be exact. And yet here we sit — nearly an hour now — at 4 a.m., a town over from where I grew up. Sadly, not to watch snow falling (although it is wintry cold), but because ten car lengths ahead of us on the highway is an accident. I’m hoping everyone involved is okay. And after they’re okay, I hope the police get us moving again soon.

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November 21, 2018

christmas decorations
posted by soe 1:52 am

I saw my first inside Christmas tree on my bike ride Sunday. That just made me feel stressed. But seeing this, tonight, on my walk back from leaving some books at the Little Free Library in the park? Exactly what I needed…

Kalorama Christmas

Speaking of Christmas, I’m running the Virtual Advent Tour again this year. If you’ve already left me a comment saying you’d like to join in, awesome! I’ll be emailing you after I get back to D.C. next week with confirmation and dates. But there’s still lots of space for other folks to join in, so please do!

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November 20, 2018

ten things i love about thanksgiving
posted by soe 1:21 am

Because I got nothing else tonight:

  1. Spending time with my family
  2. Watching the Macy’s Day parade
  3. Going on the breakfast run to Dunkin’ Donuts (I’m going to deliberately start using the old name now that they’ve announced they’re officially shortening it) with Dad
  4. Singing along with “Alice’s Restaurant” (“You can get anything you want…”)
  5. Piling on the side dishes
  6. Eating pie (pumpkin and apple are the traditional flavors in our house)
  7. Knowing I’ll get to see Karen in the days to come
  8. Rooting for our respective football teams (although I only care about the Powder Puff game, and I think that’ll be done before we hit the road from D.C. this year)
  9. Talking to loved ones who are far away
  10. Kicking off the Christmas season

(I do not love the long drive, but it will be filled with audiobooks, podcasts, music, and an excellent traveling companion. But think of us when you head to bed on Wednesday night, because we’ll still be on the road.)

How about you? What do you enjoy about the holiday?

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November 19, 2018

epic fail
posted by soe 1:52 am

I intended to spend this afternoon bicycling over to the Deanwood, a neighborhood on the other side of the Anacostia that’s home to an award-winning branch library. I had an entire game plan that started with a pop-up Christmas shop across town, progressed to a once-a-week coffee shop at one of the rec centers, and stopped at the library. I was then going to come back home via the Kenilworth Aquatic Garden (where in the summer they apparently have amazing water lilies) and the new community coffee shop by Union Market. There were contingency options built in for not getting as early a start (skipping the pop-ups) and for not wanting to bike as far, including taking a bikeshare so I could leave the bike by the library if I didn’t want to keep cycling and take the metro home.

I reiterate, I had a plan.

Anacostia River Parkland

Anacostia River Parkland

Anacostia River Parkland

It started out okay, although I left later than I’d hoped due to an uncalm stomach, so I ditched both pop-ups from my plan and decided to hit the Aquatic Garden en route to the library. It’s less than a ten-minute ride from one to the other and this way, I thought, I wouldn’t be riding in a less populated area as it got darker.

Anacostia River Parkland
(I suggest you click through and mouse over the above shot on Flickr, because I’ve put in a note showing the Washington Monument, which is too small here to see.)

Anacostia River Parkland

All this was true. It’s beautiful over there and it’s so secluded you’d never know you were in a city. I passed a few people on the trail, but not many, and I had an eye on the clock so I wouldn’t get to the library too late to explore.

Anacostia River Parkland

Anacostia River Parkland

Apparently, I was so busy taking in the scenery and the time that I missed my turn off the trail and back to civilization. When I did finally reach a turn, it was a little later than I’d expected, but not bad. However, it wasn’t the turn I’d wanted. Come to find out I’d overshot D.C. and was now out in Maryland.

Anacostia River Parkland
(Not D.C.)

This is where things start to go off the rails. Consulting Google Maps, I asked it how I should best progress back to Deanwood. Back through the woods, it said. But it was nearly 4:30 at this point, and I was worried about being on the trail alone as it was seriously getting dark. So I nixed that idea and looked at the road signs. I was already on a fast-moving four-lane road, which although it had signs saying cyclists should take the lane, I wasn’t convinced the drivers of it were similarly inclined to agreement. And I was at an on-ramp to what looked like potentially to be a highway. I definitely didn’t want to take a highway! (I have accidentally done this at one point, coming out of National Airport and I do not ever want to repeat that terrifying experiment.) Possibly those roads would have been fine, but I decided to call Rudi and ask him to help find me a way home since he has more experience cycling in outlying areas.

He did find me a route that didn’t involve biking on highways or through dark woods, although it, too, was not without perils (mostly due to poor pedestrian signage and nonexistent warnings about dangerous sidewalk conditions on a stretch of road that I prefer not to bike on during the day, let alone at night (due to the high speed drivers like to take, not for it feeling otherwise dangerous)). By the time I reached home what was supposed to have been a manageable ride of a dozen miles turned into nearly double that and had me pedaling for nearly three hours straight. (Yesterday, I asked Rudi to come meet me because I didn’t want to add two miles to my ride.) The only thing that saved me was that I had taken one of the electric-assist bikes that was nearly fully charged when I borrowed it, but, still, that was a lot of energy expended. I will sleep well tonight.

But it was beautiful before it got stressful…

Anacostia River Parkland

Anacostia River Parkland

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