sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

January 25, 2021

half done isn’t all bad
posted by soe 1:26 am


The Christmas tree is out, but the ornaments and decorations aren’t yet put away.

We won’t run out of underwear or masks this week, but I have no clean handknits (including my favorite hat).

I put my knitting away for the night with the bind-off a third done.

My book is further along, but not yet ready to return to the library.

And, my cookies didn’t all get made. But that means there will be warm cookies tomorrow afternoon or evening, and no one will be mad about that!

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January 24, 2021

notes from the garden: january 2021
posted by soe 1:08 am

January Gardening

My garden looks dead, but it is not. I harvested some rosemary today. There is also still lemon balm and peppermint. My sage has some tiny leaves on it, so I heaped leaves around it to encourage it to think warm thoughts. I believe some of my tiny leeks are still alive, and I definitely saw that some of the greens I’d planted were making an effort, as is the omnipresent sorrel. I pulled down the rest of the bulbless onion grass stalks, which are strawlike, and added them to the beds to protect what’s already been sown and might be growing under the leaf litter I leave as mulch. If I’d been smart, I would have constructed a low tunnel or cold frame earlier in the season to see if I can actually harvest greens through the winter. Maybe next year.

This little pansy, which I planted Labor Day weekend, was also still giving it its all:

January Pansy

I also found several fluffy seeds, which I’m guessing are milkweed. They wouldn’t get to stick around in my plot, so I re-sent them on their windy way.


I’ll start to think about planting peas next month. If there’s a warm weekend in February, I’ll get some in then; otherwise, I’ll sow the first round in early March.

I will say that the nice thing about a mid-Atlantic garden is that you don’t have many months where there isn’t something you can harvest.

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January 23, 2021

post-inaugural weekend planning
posted by soe 1:04 am

It’s a plain, old two-day weekend, so I should probably scale back my expectations for what I’m going to get done. We did start the weekend by baking chocolate chip cookies and going to a friend’s house for supper and a movie. I know, I know. I haven’t been in someone else’s house (or had someone in mine) since visiting my parents for my birthday a year ago. We’d already postponed this from last month when the hospitals were overwhelmed. We wore masks, we stayed distant, and mostly we’re all careful (although both Rudi and Shawn are working some in person). But it was absolutely a risk we could have avoided, and only time will tell if it was a mistake or not. (Clearly, I’m feeling a little guilty.)

In addition to baking the rest of the cookies (I made two dozen to take with us), I’m hoping to spend some time outside, send off some mail, turn the heel of my sock, do some laundry, finish a book, and, alas, take down the Christmas tree. It’s time.

What do you have on tap for the weekend?

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January 22, 2021

‘the hill we climb,’ herstory, and light up the night
posted by soe 1:17 am

Three beautiful things from my past Thursday (which, let’s be honest, was the most beautiful day many of us have had in a while):

1. National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman knocked it out of the park with her recitation of “The Hill We Climb.” There was not a single syllable that she uttered without thought, from the honorifics to the word play, and I anticipate a long career for the 22-year-old.

2. I have yet to talk to a single woman who came away from yesterday dry-eyed, with the installation of Kamala Harris as the first female vice president of the United States.

3. The Mall being closed to everyone had the single benefit of it allowing the most remarkable fireworks show in D.C.’s recent history.

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

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January 21, 2021

inaugural unraveling
posted by soe 1:23 am

Inaugural Unraveling

As you can see, I’ve made some good progress on the leg of my Holiday Hangover socks, which I’m adoring. I anticipate being at the heel this weekend, but sometimes that’s where I get stuck with stripey socks. I’ll have to start thinking about whether to do a solid heel tomorrow.

I’m about halfway through Bringing Down the Duke, in part because I’ve started listening to Abby Jiminez’s The Happy Ever After Playlist. Although I admit I am getting a little tired of romances where the protagonists are described as being extraordinarily good looking. Where are the romances of people of average facades? Nondescript but supplemented with quirky fashion taste? Mousy hair but kissable lips? Honestly, is this the sort of romance everyone wants to read about? Is it a “if gorgeous people have trouble dating then it’s no surprise that I do, too” kind of thing?

I guess that means it’s probably time to move on to a different genre for a while… I know there’s a detective with “maximum tolerable chins” awaiting me.

Head over to As Kat Knits to see what knitting and reading projects others are carrying into the new administration.

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January 20, 2021

now this is what presidential looks like
posted by soe 1:31 am

I won’t waste space on the name of a man who was so small he couldn’t take the time to do this for a nation, but I thank the Bidens and the Harris-Emhoff family for giving the American people this. We’ve needed it.

I’ll be taking an extended lunch break tomorrow to watch the first woman being sworn in as vice-president and to watch adults take back control of the room.

My city remains on high alert. An entire town’s worth of military, 20,000+ troops, has been brought in to keep the peace and protect downtown. Helicopters have buzzed overhead constantly for days, with mobile command units parked a half mile up in the sky. Traffic is excluded from a record swath of the city, up to within a few blocks of my neighborhood.

Yet, as happens every year at this time, anti-choice protesters have come to complain that they should get to decide what women do with their bodies. Tonight they went up to the pizza place right-wing whackadoodles decided a few years back was home to a pedophilia ring. My neighbors met them with glasses of champagne and RuPaul and Lady GaGa played at such volume and dance moves so fly that the protesters were drowned out — and so discouraged that they had to leave:

It would only have been more D.C. if it had been Go-Go music.

May you find peace and encouragement as we move forward.

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