sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

February 28, 2019

final february unraveling
posted by soe 1:12 am

I’ve started a new audiobook and am loving it:


Geekerella, by Ashley Poston, is absolutely adorable. It’s about Elle, who lives with her stepmother and two stepsisters. She works in a vegan food truck, The Magic Pumpkin, and runs a fan blog for an old sci-fi tv series that’s about to be rebooted. Teen soap star Darien has been cast as the lead, Prince Carmindor, a character he adored and identified with as a kid, but his agent (who also happens to be his father), demands that he whiff the expert trivia question on morning tv for marketing purposes. They’ve started an anonymous texting conversation and while the characters are rather one-dimensional, I’m still enjoying it.

On the print front, I’m still working on Early Riser. So far, it’s predicated on a sense of dread, which does not make me want to speed through it, but there’s a love interest somewhere in the pages ahead, so I’m hopeful that it will pull me in yet.

Final February Unraveling

My sock got wonky, so I’ve ripped it back to the picking up stitches point. I can see what I did wrong and hope to be able to fix that, now that I’m paying attention. (I was knitting it during Jasper Fforde’s author event, so my focus was divided.)

I finished the sixth strip of my lightning shawl and have determined I don’t have enough yarn to knit a seventh strip. I have a call out on Ravelry for the 10 grams I’d need to finish, but I’ll block it in the meantime to see if I feel like it will work without it if need be.

Sock Madness begins this weekend, so stay tuned for a new work-in-progress next week!

Head over to As Kat Knits to see what other folks are crafting and reading.

Category: books,knitting. There is/are 2 Comments.

February 27, 2019

signs of hope
posted by soe 1:44 am

Walking up to the park this afternoon, I saw signs everywhere that spring has nearly arrived.

This bunch of crocuses:

Crocuses in the February Sunshine

The daffodil finally popped:

First Daffodil Sighting

And its brethren are set to follow suit:

More to Come

I know many of you are buried under feet of snow and these signs are still a long way off in your own neighborhoods. But I hope you’ll take them, as I do, of signs that winter will not last forever.

(In that spirit, I wore footie socks out today. It was a mistake, but I did it anyway.)

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February 26, 2019

baseball americana
posted by soe 1:44 am

I think I mentioned that I had taken the suggestion that several of you had to spend a portion of my birthday two weeks ago at the Library of Congress baseball exhibition. Pitchers and catchers had just reported for spring training, so it seemed a particularly apt time to go.

Baseball Americana

Keeping in mind that this is a library, rather than a hall of fame, I thought the curators did a nice job of pulling together materials that covered the highlights of the sport, from its highlights of bringing people together and lauding athletic prowess to its lowlights of cheating and discrimination.

The Promise of Baseball

There were mementos from the majors, from white baseball to the Negro Leagues to the women’s league that arose during WWII and that was memorialized in A League of Their Own, as well as collegiate ball, Little League, town and work teams, rec leagues, and international play.

The Women of Baseball

There was interesting trivia. For instance, did you know that the first intercollegiate baseball game was held between Williams and Amherst Colleges in Massachusetts, but since there was concern this was over-emphasizing students’ physicality, they made it a double-header with a chess match?

Muscle and Mind

Or that “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is about a woman fan? (Click through to Flickr to enlarge it so you can read the verses, rather than just the chorus we all know.)

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

They showed the ways in which equipment has evolved over time. The most startling definitely comes in the form of the glove. While the mitt of 1922 is largely recognizable today, I’m not sure if you showed the one from 1885 to a modern player that they’d try to field with it. (And even that was an improvement over the sport’s original barehanded technique.)

1922 Glove Replica

1885 Glove Replica

There were highlights from baseball films and on tv. They showed some of the memorable national anthem performances. And there was a selection of highlights from radio and tv broadcasters, which included Don Larson’s perfect World Series game (the ticket stub and program for which are below), the 1986 Mets, the 2004 Red Sox, the 2016 Cubs, and the interruption of the game to announce that Apollo 11 had landed safely on the moon.

The Perfect Game

My Mets got both some of our favorite and most painful memories included:

Nowhere to Go But Up

Meet the Mets


After I had moved on to the next case, one of the women behind me started singing “Meet the Mets,” much to the surprise of her friend, who didn’t know she’d grown up a fan of the team.

Walter Johnson

The hometown team got a shoutout from one of its Senators’ heroes, Walter Johnson, as well as Nationals Park providing the backdrop for the selfie station.

Baseball Card

Obviously, I had a blast. If you’re in town (or can get here) before the exhibit closes in late July, I really hope you get a chance to see it. If you won’t be, they’ve put out an accompanying book, which is widely available and which your library might have.

Category: dc life,sports. There is/are 1 Comment.

February 25, 2019

the final weekending of february
posted by soe 1:28 am

This weekend included:

Cuban Hot Chocolate

  • A talk by an artist
  • Knitting outside over hot chocolate
  • Enjoying all the winter/sprint flowers


  • Fewer chores than there should have been
  • A lot more streaming tv than necessary (I discovered one of the libraries I belong to lets you borrow Acorn memberships!)
  • Not flooding
  • Cuddling Corey

Winter Salad

  • A very large (and delicious) salad
  • A bagful of produce from the farmers market (including ingredients for cottage pie)

Reading on Book Hill

  • Reading on Book Hill
  • Enjoying zataar fries before the sun set

Zataar Fries

  • Chatting with my folks
  • Welcoming Rudi home

Golden Clouds

How was your weekend?

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February 24, 2019

grow light/grow lamp recommendations needed
posted by soe 1:33 am

When I lost my job in November, the thing that hurt most was the loss of an above-ground window safely away from plant-loving cats. (There were several other things that came in a close second, but honestly that sixth-floor windowsill had always been one of the things that had kept me at that job.)

Pie Chest

I cleared off the top of my pie chest as a place safe from the cats and tucked my plants (three pots of African violets and two of orchids, plus a jade plant) in amongst the knitting needles, but while it fixed one of my problems, it did not fix the major one: there is no sunlight in my apartment, not even indirectly.

I’ve shifted my Ott light over to sit in between the plants, but it’s a flip lamp and requires my remembering to turn open it up, which does not happen every day. And it can only illuminate two of the plants at a time and then I have to turn it, so it’s an inadequate stop-gap, at best.

So I’ve been on the hunt for a better solution. I think it will involve another couple lamps up there, honestly, which isn’t great, because it requires running an extension cord over there, but I’ll make it work. Right now, I’m leaning toward desktop-type lamps with grow light bulbs in them, but if anyone else has suggestions that work for them, I’d love to hear them.

I took my plants down today to water them and the bigger of my two orchids is clearly suffering. I hadn’t worried overly much when the bottom leaf started losing color; that’s what happens periodically. But today I noticed two more are also rapidly turning color, so my casual search for a solution has become vastly more acute. While I wouldn’t want to lose the violets, the orchids were a birthday gift from my favorite uncle, who died several years ago, and keeping them alive is important to me. I need to come up with a solution this week in order to avoid inflicting any more damage on this delicate plant.

If you have any suggestions, please let me know. And I’ll keep you all posted on what I decide and how the interior garden fares.

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February 23, 2019

signs of what’s to come
posted by soe 1:49 am

Spring seems to be just around the corner, according to some of what I noticed while walking around my neighborhood today:

Leaf Buds

Magnolia Buds


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