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broodings from the burrow

October 19, 2020

posted by soe 1:22 am

I wanted to share just a few of the photos I took at Shenandoah National Park on Friday afternoon as I traversed Skyline Drive.

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park

Skyline Drive

Old Rag

That’s Old Rag in the distance, the most popular hiking destination in Shenandoah National Park.

Shenandoah National Park

I started walking down to a waterfall before deciding I really didn’t have time to get there and back before I ran out of light. Making that choice allowed me the opportunity to catch Big Meadow bathed in rose light:

Big Meadow at Sunset

And the sunset over Skyline Drive:

Sunset over Skyline Drive

Fading Light at Shenandoah National Park

Even though I didn’t get to go with Rudi, I’m glad I went anyway.

Yet more photos are here.

Category: travel. There is/are 3 Comments.

October 18, 2020

coffeeneuring 2020: ride #2
posted by soe 1:34 am

Coffeeneuring Stop #2

Olivia Macaron
3270 M St., N.W.
Saturday, Oct. 17, evening
Conditions: Clear and cool

Olivia Macaron

Again, a later start than I’d hoped for meant I had to improvise a stop.

First stop was the garden, where I picked tomatoes and herbs and mourned the loss of the big pepper I’d been hoping would turn red. Possibly a four-legged marauder, but my bet would be on the two-legged variety.

Second stop was Bridge Street Books, D.C.’s oldest indie bookshop. I was looking for two books of poetry by local authors, and their selection tends to be the deepest. They had neither, so I ordered one and bought a book in translation (another of their specialties) that The New York Times described as “an oddball fairy tale.”

I took a jaunt up the Capital Crescent for a short way, but it was getting toward sundown and I didn’t want to be on the trail alone past dusk. So I turned around at the first connection to the C&O Canal Towpath and headed back to Georgetown.

C&O Canal

I decided to finally visit Olivia Macaron, a specialty shop tucked into the side of the Georgetown mall next to what used to be Dean & Deluca. It’s been there seven years, but I’d never bothered to visit, because a) there are other macaron shops in D.C. I like and b) if I’m on M, there are usually baked good shops I’d rather visit. Welcome to pandemic times when everything good is closed and everything open has crazy lines.

I am pleased to report that should you be hankering for a macaron, Olivia’s is perfectly nice. I’d long assumed it was an outpost of a New York shop/chain, but it turns out that it’s an independent shop. (Check out their blog for adorable Halloween macaron hacks.) Because it was late, they had a limited supply of cookies left, so I took the recommendation of the clerk.

I had a cup of Earl Grey tea and a honey lavender macaron, which I consumed on a bench in front of a closed bike shop on a nearby street because there is no bike parking by the mall or on that busiest stretch of M Street. The cookie and tea were good, but there were too many passersby with poor mask skills, so I don’t think I’ll be back to Georgetown on a Saturday evening anytime soon.

Kings of Rock Creek Concert

My final stop of the night was an impromptu one. As I was biking home, I realized that the Kings of Rock Creek, a local band was performing an outdoor show in Rose Park. I’d heard their music wafting over to the garden sometimes in the summer and passed by some of their corner store concerts en route to other places, but this was the first time I really had nowhere else to be. So I needed to be there. It felt so … normal to be outside listening to a show (albeit in the chilly October air), and the two bands played a fun mix of their own songs and covers. They shared they have two more shows this month, so I now know where I’ll be the next two Saturday nights.

Mileage: 4.65 miles

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October 17, 2020

solo weekend #2 planning
posted by soe 1:46 am

I took today off as a personal day and headed out to Shenandoah National Park to catch some fall foliage. It ended up being a beautiful autumn day (instead of full of rain, the way the forecast predicted), culminating at the area called Big Meadow just as the setting sun blanketed it in rosy light. Expect photos over the weekend.

And I still have two whole gorgeous days left of weekend!

I’m planning on making a couple of Coffeeneuring bike rides and spending time at the garden (I picked the last cucumber midweek, but didn’t pull up the vine. I’m also trying to trim back the tomato vines each week with the hopes of pouring life energy to the green tomatoes that remain. It also just seems like a great weekend to sit and read and knit outside.

I’ll go to the farmers market on Sunday, but I don’t know that I particularly need a whole lot. I hadn’t expected to spend most of October solo, so my shopping before Rudi left ran towards two people eating, one of whom actually enjoyed cooking things. Maybe I’ll try thumbing through my cookbooks (just because I don’t like to cook doesn’t mean I don’t like to be able to point others toward what I want to eat) and do a little meal planning. That might help me avoid the dinner of takeout french fries and peanut butter cups (protein!) I had one night this week. I have a couple heads of broccoli that could be turned into a quiche, for instance. I could also bake a pie with some of my apples.

Rudi and I got one of the Halloween strands of lights up the weekend he bought them, but left the others to “work on later.” This seems like a good later, particularly since it’s dark by 7 now.

With Rudi gone for a while, it is left to the person remaining in the Burrow to clean and organize it. I’m going to get started with that this weekend. Part of that cleaning definitely includes several loads of laundry.

And I’m also going to get some more postcards out to voters in swing states. Realistically, this might be the last weekend that’s a feasible activity.

Finally, I’d definitely like to catch up with a friend or two, be it in person or over the phone.

What’s on your weekend to-do list?

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October 16, 2020

caregiving, shop small, and all for me
posted by soe 1:12 am

Halloween in the 'Hood

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. Rudi has gone out to Salt Lake for the foreseeable future. I miss him, but I think it will be good for both him and his mom. I’m glad that he had the flexibility to be able to go.

2. After hitting four stores over three days in search of bathroom cleaner and finding only empty shelves, I stop at the local mom & pop, where their shelves are full. They also had baking supplies back in the spring, so I must remember to hit them up earlier in my hunt.

3. I had pre-ordered cinnamon buns to pick up at Sunday’s market before we knew Rudi would be gone, which meant I had four to eat over the week, rather than just Sunday and Monday breakfast.

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

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October 15, 2020

mid-october unraveling
posted by soe 1:18 am

Mid-October Unraveling

Here’s today’s library haul and half a pair of Halloween socks. (Ends are woven in but not trimmed on sock #1 and the stitch marker is still hanging out there for safe keeping.)

I believe The Resisters is about dystopian feminist baseball, and How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is described as Princess Leia meets The Princess Bride. Who wouldn’t want to read that?!

Head over to As Kat Knits to see what else is going on with crafters who read and readers who craft!

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

October 14, 2020

want vs. should
posted by soe 2:03 am

Like everyone else, I’m tired of this pandemic. I am not unique in this, although I confess that my coping mechanisms feel a little frayed at this point and I am PMsing, so everything feels super urgent and extreme.

Some of the members of my volleyball team emailed today. Our league is starting up an outdoor Sunday afternoon series (with a deadline to sign up of tomorrow), and they proposed we join with the caveat that we, at least, wear masks (the official rules say you just have to wear them if you’re on the sideline) and that if it seemed like people were idiots we could just walk away.

I want to join them for this so badly. They were a big part of my social network prior to the pandemic, with a year’s worth of weekly games and nights at bars under our belts. Plus, I’m just not getting as much outside time or exercise as I should, and I’m suffering for it. And with Rudi gone at his mom’s for the foreseeable future, my bubble shrinks to one person who I see occasionally and that seems like a problem.

Plus, there’s the possibility that we have to move out and take care of his mom and then this becomes my last chance. (There is at least an equal chance that we stay here and find some alternative care situation out there, so take that as you will.)

However, I don’t think I should play. Cases in D.C. have doubled in the last month. (Honestly, I don’t know how much of that can be traced to federal leaders behaving irresponsibly or to an uptick in college students with off-campus housing returning to the area or to just normal increases with the cooling weather.) People exercising seem to be among the worst violators of the mask rule, and I don’t anticipate that volleyballers would be any better, particularly as it’s a segment of the population that skews younger.

I’m not at particular risk and I’ve been super careful up to this point — always wearing a mask, not traveling, keeping my indoor public time to a minimum — in part so that if our family, who are in higher risk categories, had sudden health issues I could get to them without feeling particularly worried I’d make things worse.

Plus, there’s the financial angle to consider. If we as a group or individually do decide that it’s not a good idea and it’s too much risk, then that’s a bunch of money essentially lost (urban team sports are a rip-off). And with only one income supporting us now in two cities, I simply can’t justify throwing money away. Signing up would be a luxury; if it’s one I’ll benefit from, then it’s worth it, otherwise it’s a waste.

So there you have it: want vs. should in a late-night incoherent rambling.

Category: dc life,sports. There is/are 3 Comments.