sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 24, 2020

professional, time, and brownies
posted by soe 1:36 am


Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. I ordered extra dough from the pizzeria on Friday, and the homemade pizza Rudi made from the first half of it was particularly delicious.

2. My work has generously offered us each an extra half day off every fortnight during this stressful time, and everyone on my team got to take advantage of it this week. Wednesday was clear and comfortable, and Rudi and I spent part of my time off at the garden getting some work done and soaking up the sun.

3. I made a batch of brownies for the first time in forever this week. I skipped the frosting, but added a handful of white chocolate chips to the dough. The brownies are fudgey, but also pleasantly crispy along the edge, so quite possibly the most perfect batch I’ll ever make.

How about you? What beautiful things have been getting you through?

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April 23, 2020

actual reading, if not knitting
posted by soe 1:20 am

Knitting and Reading in April

I’m pleased to report that I finally started a book that has no pictures and can still hold my attention. The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary is the last of my #TBTBSanta gifts, and I’d been holding onto it for … today, I guess.

It’s about two Londoners who come to share a one-bedroom apartment — one sleeps in it during the day and the other at night. They communicate via post-it notes, and it’s sweet and exactly right for a point in time when we’re also living sub-optimally. I only began it this evening and am already past the crucial 50-page mark. I assume I know how it’s going to end, and I’m glad. I crave concrete happy endings right now. I don’t want wishy-washy. I don’t want to be continued in the next volume. I want mostly forward movement and “they lived happily ever after. The end.”

Otherwise, I’m intermittently listening to Size 12 Is Not Fat, by Meg Cabot, and, with Rudi, Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I still have The Cruelest Month out in audiobook, but I haven’t had it in me to listen to it this past week. I probably should finish it off, though, since April ends next week. It just makes me so tired to think about.

In the same way that I’ve been having a hard time concentrating on books, I’m also having a hard time focusing on knitting. Probably I need to find something to knit on big needles that is just back and forth or round and round. When life gets too much, sometimes it’s helpful if your yarn size grows, too. Or at least that’s what I’ve occasionally found in the past.

But I haven’t moved forward with finding a worsted or bulky project, so I content myself with having knit three rounds on the second Smock Madness sock since last week. Hey we knitters know that eventually all those small efforts will add up.

Check out As Kat Knits for people who manage to knit whole rows at a time and who’ve finished bunches of books.

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April 22, 2020

seeking tv recommendations
posted by soe 1:40 am

I will admit that Rudi and I are spending way more time than maybe I expected these days watching tv shows at night. I am not great about binge-watching shows, preferring to draw them out in a more traditional timeframe, but between scripted shows ending early, long-time watches drawing to a natural conclusion, and just more anxious time on our hands, we’re going through series faster than I expected.

Therefore, I could use some more recommendations.

What we’ve been enjoying this year, from current shows to dvds:

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (we’re about to finish off the season 5 dvds)
  • New Girl
  • Parks and Recreation (we’re only in season 2)
  • Picard (we’re halfway through the run)
  • Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
  • Stumptown
  • The Librarians
  • A Million Little Things
  • Magnum, P.I.
  • Good Omens
  • My Life Is Murder
  • God Friended Me

What have you been watching that you love?

We (read: I) tend to prefer shows that are optimistic and upbeat, so I’m never going to watch Breaking Bad or Dexter, no matter how compelling or well-written they are. And we’re not going to watch reality tv, particularly ones where they showcase horrible human beings, so The Tiger King is also a non-starter.

If you have any shows you think we’d like, please leave them in the comments. We have access to a variety of, but not all, streaming platforms, so I’m open to suggestions from wherever you have them, and I’m happy to consider shows from any era (we may finally watch The Gilmore Girls).

Similarly, if you have films you’ve streamed recently, I’d be open to hearing about them, too, since I’ll have to move to movies if I run out of tv.

Thanks in advance!

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April 21, 2020

top ten literary band names
posted by soe 1:22 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl invites us to look over book titles and determine ten that we think would make great band names. Here are ten from my to be read list:

  1. The Friday Night Knitting Club
  2. Gods of Manhattan
  3. Queens of Animation
  4. Still Life with Tornado
  5. Team of Rivals
  6. Party of One
  7. The Way Home
  8. Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man (pretty much every Fannie Flagg title would work as a band name)
  9. Moominsummer Madness
  10. Rancid Pansies

Have you come across any book titles that bands should consider?

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April 20, 2020

weekending accomplishments
posted by soe 1:40 am

Mid-April Lushness

Am I the only person who loses an entire day each weekend? Are you all being more productive with your Saturdays than I am?

Luckily, Sundays roll around and I seem to get enough done, or, at least, did this week, to make myself not feel horrible about my time off.

Yesterday I caught up on sleep. And then I … took a nap. I did help Rudi hang a few signs late at night for the political campaign he’s working on and then do a load of laundry. Oh, and I listened to some of one my audiobooks while Rudi was playing that concert on tv.

Today, though, I cut up a huge squash I bought over the winter. (Sure, I didn’t actually roast it, but it needed to be in pieces first…) I went to the farmers market and came home with way too many goodies, including yeast, flour, and jam from one of the bakers; the first strawberries, asparagus, and morels of the season; and bags of greens. Rudi and I will be eating salads until we turn green.

I rode my bike up to a pop-up plant stand a couple miles up the road. I had assumed it would be closed this year, but it must sneak in as a farm market. I was hoping for strawberry plants, but they’d sold out. I bought some leeks (they look like chives) and a dahlia (pink and white in the shot above) and a gerbera daisy (red). They were overpriced for what I am used to, but things are harder to get this year, so I guess we’ll just go with it. That’s why the government gave me that money, right?

I took a circuitous route from there to the garden, where I spent a couple hours puttering. I thinned arugula and yanked a lot of weeds and have started to pull the violet greens, since that season is starting to wrap up. I think I also accidentally pulled out my lily of the valley greens (but not the roots), which is frustrating, as I was trying to figure out where the garden’s water source was leaking in my plot.

I spoke with my parents, painted my nails (pink, orange, and teal), did a (very) little knitting, and watched some tv, too.

I think I’ll set up the bread machine to bake us some breakfast before I go to bed. I’ll have to do some baking tomorrow evening or maybe as a break after my last conference call in the afternoon (Mondays have 5-6 of them). Maybe I’ll make a small shortcake with those first stawberries.

I also want to get a couple more things done before bed (like washing the dishes and figuring out a spot for that cut squash), so I think I’ll bid you all a good night. Until tomorrow!

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April 19, 2020

musical musings: “you will be found”
posted by soe 1:36 am

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