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broodings from the burrow

October 25, 2019

let’s play ball, decoration, and seasonal bounty
posted by soe 1:16 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. I certainly didn’t expect (but am delighted nonetheless) to report that the Nationals have taken a 2-0 lead in the World Series. They return home tomorrow for Game 3 (and left fielder Juan Soto’s 21st birthday).

2. Leftover centerpieces from a summit my work hosted means I have a purple orchid sitting in a bowl on my desk.

3. My trip to the farmers market over the weekend netted a branch of Brussels sprouts, several quince, and a candy roaster squash nearly the length of my arm.

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

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October 24, 2019

what i’m reading right now
posted by soe 1:48 am

No knitting. No knitting pictures. I’m definitely feeling stuck, which probably means I need to just pick up one of my projects and put a few stitches in it. And then do it again.

I’m glad to report that while I put aside The Library Book (I was suddenly able to renew it), I did pick up NPR’s Linda Holmes’ debut novel, Evvie Drake Starts Over, which friends had loved. They had said it was a quintessential summer novel, because it takes place in Maine and includes a lot of baseball, but that actually made it a perfect fall book for me, since that’s when I miss New England the most. I can’t imagine it will take me far into the weekend to finish it, particularly since there’s no baseball to watch tomorrow night.

I’m nearly done with Jenny Colgan’s The Bookshop on the Shore, which also seems to fit with my mood, since in my head I kind of assume Scotland is not unlike Maine. If you liked the first Bookshop book, I think you will enjoy revisiting the town in this companion novel (but not really a sequel).

Next up, I think, will be George Takei’s graphic memoir about growing up in an American concentration camp.

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October 23, 2019

october garden
posted by soe 1:41 am

October Garden

I did pick many of the remaining tomatoes over the weekend, but left a few on the vine. While the outskirts of the city were at risk for a frost warning this week, the heat sink of a city keeps our garden a little warmer for longer.

I, do, however, have lots of peppers still growing. They’re always a reliable late-season crop for me.

There are fish peppers:

October Garden

I grow them because they’re the cool stripey green and white of their leaves as they’re growing and then they turn the red you see below when they’re ripe.

October Garden

There are lots of banana peppers:

October Garden

And a few mini yellow bells:

October Garden

I also still have basil left to harvest and turn into pesto for the winter.

The seeds I planted for fall greens don’t seem to have taken. I may give it a shot again this weekend when I’m there to see if anything comes of a late planting. It’ll all depend on when snow comes…

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October 22, 2019

ten tv shows i like
posted by soe 1:41 am

I wasn’t feeling today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic, so I decided to share instead ten tv shows still currently in production that I like:

  1. Stumptown: Down-on-her-luck former military intelligence officer Dex becomes a P.I. & solves cases in Portland, Oregon. (ABC)
  2. Magnum, P.I.: Not-down-on-his-luck former military officer Magnum serves as the inspiration for a bestselling thriller writer & solves cases in Honolulu, Hawaii. Better than the original, in my opinion. (CBS)
  3. My Life Is Murder: Recently retired and widowed detective Alexa solves mostly cold cases in Melbourne with the support of her former boss and a young police analyst. In between, she bakes bread, pretends not to like a cat that doesn’t technically belong to her, and plays video games. (Acorn)
  4. A Million Little Things: A group of 40-something friends deal with being adults, even when it really sucks, in this sort of soapish drama. (ABC)
  5. God Friended Me: In sort of a modern Highway to Heaven, three NYC millennials respond to Facebook friend requests from God, featuring people who need help. (CBS)
  6. Frankie Drake Mysteries: Canadian women in the 1920s solve murders & kick ass. (PBS)
  7. Agents of SHIELD: A futuristic police force in the Marvel Universe peopled by pretty nerds protects the world from otherworldly threats. (ABC)
  8. Blood & Treasure: A former FBI agent and a master thief team up to solve religious & historical crimes in this melodramatic caper with great settings. (CBS)
  9. Carmen Sandiego: A modern twist on the old PBS show has an animated Carmen trying to prevent crime and reunite relics with their cultural home, while taking down the school for mastermind criminals where she was raised. (Netflix)
  10. Mr. Iglesias: A high school history teacher cracks jokes and inspires his underperforming inner-city students at his L.A. alma mater. (Netflix)

How about you? What scripted shows do you currently enjoy?

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October 21, 2019

nearby foliage
posted by soe 1:47 am

Our fall foliage season hasn’t been great, but there are several trees in the park by my garden that looked particularly pretty this weekend:

Fall Foliage



Are the trees near you dressed to the nines for the season, or have they already put away their finery? Or, like ours, are your trees opting for a more casual look in neutrals this autumn?

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October 20, 2019

coffeeneuring 2019 #1: dua
posted by soe 2:16 am

Ride #1: Saturday, Oct. 19, afternoon
Dua (923 15th St., N.W.)


Every fall I like to take part in Mary G’s Coffeeneuring Challenge where people ride bicycles to coffeeshops or to places that serve coffee or, conversely, take coffee to places that don’t. Whatever, the important thing is bike to coffee.

I am not, however, the only person who does this bike challenge that doesn’t drink or like coffee. So there’s a rule that says we don’t have to.
(For this year’s first Coffeeneuring ride, I’m about to find out exactly how far that rule will stretch. More on that in a minute…)

I’ve been riding bikeshare for most of the past year, rather than my own bike, which does necessitate riding places that are somewhat near the docks. It also means that my rides can, like today’s be hybrids, where I ride some of it and walk (or metro) some of it. Today’s involved riding to the the dock nearest the library; walking to the library, the garden, and Trader Joe’s; riding to the coffeeshop; walking to Marshall’s and TJ Maxx; riding to Safeway; and then riding the rest of the way home.

I discovered the coffeeshop, Dua, earlier this week when I was hunting for a bike to ride home after work. I’d walked past its McPherson Square space half a dozen times since starting my new job, but never noticed it until I needed a bike from the dock in front of it. And then I knew I’d be back to Coffeeneur.


The guy at the counter was very nice and when I said I was looking for something coffee-free, he asked if I’d be in the mood for something cold. How about our cookies and cream milk shake? he asked. Sure thing! (It was ice cream, but drinkable ice cream … That totally counts, right?!)


I added a chocolate croissant to my order and headed (with my two bags full of library books and groceries) to the seating in the back. They have a handful of seats at the front window, a long subway-style, outward-facing row of seats, and then a back section with five tables, one of which is meant to be communal seating.

Both the milkshake and the croissant were very tasty.


I’ll definitely be back, but I suspect that I’m missing out on the best the shop has to offer. This is the first international outpost of a Jakarta coffeehouse, and they import their beans from Indonesia, where they know all their coffee growers. They have two Indonesian coffee specialties — one made with condensed milk and the other with coconut milk — and offer an Indonesian sweet — banana and chocolate wrapped in a spring roll wrapper. I have recommended to Rudi that he stop by, being a fan of both coffee and bananas, and I suspect he’ll have a new favorite shop once he does.


Total mileage: 3.7 miles

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