sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

June 30, 2020

top ten upcoming new releases
posted by soe 1:29 am

This week at That Artsy Reader Girl, we’re invited to share our Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases from the Second Half of 2020:

  1. Murder on Cold Street by Sherry Thomas (latest in my favorite series)
  2. Jasper Fforde’s The Constant Rabbit (another standalone from my favorite author)
  3. Troubled Blood, by Robert Galbraith (Yes, I know JKR has said some bigoted and truly hurtful things about trans people and I shouldn’t want to read any more in the Cormoran Strike series. But I do.)
  4. Faith by Julie Murphy (She writes the best job writing working class YA)
  5. Kind of a Big Deal by Meg Cabot Shannon Hale (The main character starts getting sucked into books — literally!)
  6. A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik (Highly imaginative fantasy from a great world builder)
  7. Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library (What if you could read the story of what happened if you’d made a different choice? What if there were a whole building filled with those stories?)
  8. Dear Justyce by Nic Stone (The follow-up to her Dear Martin)
  9. Brandy Colbert’s The Voting Booth
  10. Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim

How about you? What books are you looking forward to coming out over the next six months?

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June 29, 2020

final weekending of june
posted by soe 1:06 am

Sunday Sunset

The weekend sped by, as it always does.

I took a basic barre class over Zoom, which made me realize it legitimately has been 35 years since I last did any ballet.

I went to the farmers market, where I swear I left some fruit for other people to buy. But I also came away with stone fruit and a ton of berries.

I made Rudi watch the start to The Matrix, “because I really liked that reboot they made with the girl.” Usually this is enough detail for Rudi to know what I’m talking about, but this time it wasn’t enough for him to know that I meant Men in Black International. (Even a day later, there was no way I could have told you Tessa Thompson, but if I’d said Thor was in it, Rudi might have caught on faster.) It took me half an hour to realize that at no point was Keanu Reeves going to switch sides and work with the suits, but half an hour was long enough for me to decide that way too many white guys had watched The Matrix and this is what has led to so many crackpot conspiracy theorists. I was never so glad to realize I was watching the wrong movie and that we could stop.

We worked on cleaning up the kitchen, since our fridge seems likely to die in the next couple weeks and we’d like our landlord to be able to send someone in to do something about that.

I did take the butter out of the freezer (thanks, Kare!), but failed to make it materialize into either baked goods or blueberry pancakes. We were successful at converting ingredients into strawberry daiquiris and Arnold Palmers (made with hibiscus raspberry currant tea).

I finished the book I was reading and started a new one.

And we enjoyed this most splendiferous sunset from the park.

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June 28, 2020

phascinating florals
posted by soe 1:11 am


I find hydrangea the most fascinating example of chemistry. For one type of this flowering bush, what color flowers you end up with depends entirely on the pH levels of your soil. Acidic soil gets you blue flowers; basic soil gives you pink. However, if your soil is in a rather narrow band of neutral pH, you get flowers that are purple or have a tie-dye effect. Some people will go so far as to put metal into their hydrangea bed in the hopes that as the nail oxidizes, it will cause the soil to become more acidic.

Isn’t that cool?

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June 27, 2020

final june weekend planning
posted by soe 1:57 am

Rose Park

It’s the last weekend of June, before a short workweek.

  • Paint my nails. I’m thinking seasonal colors.
  • Bake. I have both sweet and sour cherries (but not sweet-and-sour cherries; that would not be delicious), so I’m thinking some iteration of a pie. Remind me to take a box of butter out of the freezer before I go to bed.
  • Plant beans and potatoes in the garden.
  • Find the safe place I put my tax forms.
  • Catch up on my email and snail mail correspondence.
  • Attend a ballet class over Zoom.
  • Make strawberry daiquiris and herbal tea (the latter to mix with lemonade for Arnold Palmers, the former not to mix with rum because that ruins them for me)
  • Write an Into the Stacks post. (I think we’re ready for March.)
  • Knit the heel of a sock or a zig zag on my lightning shawl.

What are you hoping to this thiiw weekend?

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June 26, 2020

thwack, speedy delivery, and pinks
posted by soe 1:27 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. A group of people are playing petanque on the pathway at the park.

2. The post office delivers my box a day earlier than I expected, so my package was only a day late for Father’s Day, rather than two.

3. The sky has been awash with beautiful shades of rose, pink, and salmon at sunset lately.

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

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June 25, 2020

quintessential summer viewing
posted by soe 1:21 am

Since moving to D.C., each summer has brought outdoor summer films. It used to be a handful of movies shown on the Mall and then, as inflatable screens and other tech became cheaper, you could spend five nights out of seven somewhere in the area watching a movie. I literally built it into my annual movie plans — “Oh, there’s no need to see that at the theater; everyone will be showing Jumanji: The Next Level this summer, and it will be fun to watch it under the stars.”

But despite setting summer movie schedules way back in February and early March, the only places I hear about still doing outdoor movies this summer are out in the ‘burbs, where they can run them as literal drive-in’s, but charge $40 a car. I’d be willing to throw something in the kitty, but not $20 a person.

So, now I’m thinking Rudi and I should do our own weekly summer movie festival this summer and watch some seasonal favorites (in addition to whatever new releases come our way).

Here are some of the movies I associate with summer:

  • Dirty Dancing
  • the Indiana Jones movies
  • Beach Blanket Bingo and its sequels
  • Stand by Me
  • The Parent Trap
  • Mamma Mia!
  • Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Got any quintessential summer movies you recommend we add to my list?

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