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broodings from the burrow

November 30, 2019

sunset on thanksgiving
posted by soe 1:50 am

This shot is through the front window of my folks’ place. They get some very pretty sunsets.

Thanksgiving Grasses at Sunset

The sun has set on Thanksgiving, and we’re moving on to Christmas. My parents picked out their trees today, and I’ll go see if I can find one tomorrow.

The Virtual Advent Tour kicks off tomorrow. Have you signed up for a date yet? We’d love to have you join us!

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November 29, 2019

uneventful drive, glad to see me, and giving thanks
posted by soe 12:00 am

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Here are three beautiful things from my past week:

1. The drive home to Connecticut (which Rudi did most of) was pretty uneventful Wednesday night. We got a late start, but the roads were mostly clear.

2. Corey was very snuggly this week after my absence and his night on his own.

3. Our table was full, and we got to talk to the most important people who were absent from it today. We have roofs over our heads and a way to pay for necessities and a few luxuries. We are healthy. And even if the country is not currently functioning the way most of us would like it to, we live in relative peace and can work to make our government better in the future.

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

Sign-ups are open for the Virtual Advent Tour, which starts Sunday. We’d love to have you take part!

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November 28, 2019

not much knitting, not much reading
posted by soe 4:04 am

It’s been nearly three months since I started this new job, and I’m finding it a struggle to achieve the work-life balance that’s previously been mostly effortless for me. While I haven’t missed a volleyball game yet (yay, physical activity!), my knitting and recreational reading have been at all-time lows.

With only 13 more days in the office this year, I don’t foresee making any radical changes before the holidays, but I do think I could probably make some incremental changes:

T’is the season for Christmas movies, which do not require much brain power. Sock knitting also does not require much brain power and I think if I reach for one of my socks-in-progress, rather than my phone first when we start up a film, I will actually stick with it long enough to make some noticeable progress.

I also think that if I set aside 15 minutes when I get home to decompress with a book I’ll be a happier camper. Finally, I need to finish The Library Book, because it’s detracting from all the lovely fiction I want to read, so I’ll make that a priority while I’m in Connecticut for the holiday weekend.

If nothing else, the new job is making me good at developing actionable plans for accomplishing tasks, right?

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November 27, 2019

travel food
posted by soe 1:55 am

Apparently, I took a lot of photos of what I was eating while I was traveling for work last week. Admittedly, I did have some pretty awesome meals in both Kansas City and NYC.

In Kansas City, we ate barbecue in a gas station, Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que. I had fries and a barbecued portobello mushroom sandwich (not seen here):

Bbq Joint

The next morning we had breakfast at Donutology, where they offered both regular and gluten-free doughnuts. I ate two hot glazed doughnuts (move over Krispy Kreme) and took an apple fritter to go (which was a great idea, since it later became my supper).


In New York City, I had several excellent lunches — pho and Indian — and some amazing dinners — veggie burgers (Two Tablespoons) and Ukranian food (Veselka).

We found a coffeehouse near our hotel (Black Cat LES), where we had a late teatime while waiting for my friend to join us after work.


I also ate Japanese artisanal toast (mine is cream cheese and jam, while Rudi’s is red bean paste):

Toast: It's What's for Breakfast

We also ate more yuppie doughnuts, bought a bonfire bar (a cookie bar with pretzels and marshmallows, at the very least), and wrapped up the day with slices from Joe’s Pizza, a classic to-go joint:

Slices in the Park

Thanks for joining me for some terrific meals!

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November 26, 2019

top ten bookstores i’m thankful for
posted by soe 1:10 am

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl is a Thanksgiving freebie. I’ve decided I’d like to share ten bookstores I’m personally thankful for:

  1. Politics & Prose: A D.C. institution, this now trio of shops bring authors to the District on a daily basis. And they have a music buyer on staff, making them pretty much the only place in town I can buy new cds still.
  2. Kramerbooks: A mainstay of my Dupont Circle neighborhood, this bookstore, cafe, and bar is open until 1 a.m. weeknights and 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday (and was very handy this year when I realized I didn’t have any cake for Rudi rather late on his birthday this year).
  3. Powell’s: This Portland, Oregon, megastore is like a beacon for booklovers, being pretty much a block wide and several stories tall. Do not plan a trip to the Northwest without stopping, and do not stop without several hours to adequately explore.
  4. R.J. Julia Booksellers: This was the first bookstore I ever joined as a member. Located in Madison, Connecticut, it has long hosted great author talks and provided hours of entertainment. It also took over the bookstore in Middletown, around the corner from my old house, after I moved.
  5. Whitlock’s Book Barn: This is one of Connecticut’s great used bookshops and one of two (that I’m aware of) in the state housed in barns. Located in Bethany in the Housatonic Valley, you can find both antiquarian titles and used paperbacks in this rural paradise that my parents used to drag us to kicking and screaming when we were kids.
  6. Capitol Hill Bookstore: This rowhouse near Eastern Market in D.C. is filled to bursting with books. While the fire marshal has clearly vetoed the piles of books that used to sit on each stair tread, they are still in stacks in the bathroom and on every other flat surface. Plus, they are deliciously cranky both in person and on their Twitter.
  7. The Strand: New York City’s answer to Powell’s (although don’t tell a New Yorker that), the Strand is home to 18 miles of new and used books. When I win the lottery and am ready to purchase my unabridged copy of the OED, they have a copy of all 20 volumes on hand.
  8. The King’s English: This Salt Lake City, Utah, shop is one of my favorite stops when we’re visiting Rudi’s mom.
  9. East City Bookshop: This Capitol Hill-area bookstore has quickly built a loyal following, and not just because of their stroller parking area and photo wall of dogs. They boast an extremely knowledgeable kids/YA bookseller and run a plethora of bookclubs, including W(h)ine and Angst, a YA bookclub for adults.
  10. Mahogany Books: This tiny bookstore, located in the Anacostia Arts Center, is the only bookshop East of the Anacostia River in D.C. and delivers Black-centric books for “readers in search of books written for, by, or about people of the African Diaspora.” It was this bookshop that introduced me (literally — she came in to pick up a book just after they hand sold me her poetry collection) to Elizabeth Acevedo.

Local runners-up you can visit here in D.C.: Loyalty Books, Solid State Books, Bridge Street Books, Second Story, Lost City (formerly Idle Times), Sankofa, Wall of Books, Carpe Librum, The Lantern, and more.

How about you? What bookstores are you thankful for?

Have you signed up for the Virtual Advent Tour yet? We’d be excited to have you join us!

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November 25, 2019

coffeeneuring 2019 #7 & #8: friendship cafe and java shack
posted by soe 1:50 am

I forgot I hadn’t added last weekend’s Coffeeneuring ride until I went to copy the details for this week’s. So you get both rides for the price of one!

Ride #7: Saturday, Nov. 16, evening
Friendship Café (2434 18th St., N.W.)

Friendship Café

I decided that while I wanted to get ride #7 in, I also didn’t want to go especially far. I’ve been curious for a while about Friendship Café, which is located on the main drag in Adams Morgan, across the street from the bar where I sometimes go after one of my volleyball league’s games. (more…)

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