sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

December 31, 2022

ten things to do before midnight
posted by soe 1:14 am

Here are ten last things I’m hoping to cross off my to-do list before the calendar turns over, in no particular order:

  1. Paint my nails something sparkly.
  2. Finish reading and return my last overdue book to the library. (They’re closed and won’t know, but I will.)
  3. Vacuum.
  4. Make some year-end donations. (Done!)
  5. Eat ice cream with Sarah.
  6. Check in with my BFF.
  7. Get a negative COVID result. (I was on a plane yesterday with a horde of unmasked travellers, after all.)
  8. Take out the trash and the compost.
  9. Put away the groceries.
  10. Listen to new music.
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December 30, 2022

together, rusty but moving, and home
posted by soe 1:32 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. After 2020, I will never take Christmas with my family for granted again. We had a low-key celebration with a tasty feast, phone calls with family who live elsewhere, and gifts in front of the fireplace.

2. Because I wrote about Christmas piano parties during the Virtual Advent Tour, I was inspired to clear off the piano bench, pull out some sheet music, and butcher my way through sight-reading some holiday tunes. I have a keyboard that’s been sitting in my closet for years and I should see if I can find the power adaptor that will allow me to use it. It’s not the same, but music is a good thing.

3. I arrived home this afternoon after more than a week away to a beautiful day, a cat who thinks my return is the best thing ever (he’s lying on my arms as I type this), and tea and peanut butter toast after stopping at the library to pick up my assorted holds.

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December 27, 2022

ten most recent additions to my bookshelves
posted by soe 1:54 am

The final Top Ten Tuesday topic of 2022 at That Artsy Reader Girl asks us to share the newest additions to our bookshelves. I don’t know that I can come up with the ten most recent precisely, because sometimes I pick up books from Little Free Libraries and forget to note them down, but these all came to live with me in the past six months:

  1. Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell
  2. Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell
  3. On Writing by Stephen King
  4. Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur
  5. Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
  6. Lark and Kasim Start a Revolution by Kacen Callender
  7. Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
  8. Rosie’s Traveling Tea Shoppe by Rebecca Raisin
  9. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  10. The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan

How about you? What are some of the latest additions to your bookshelves? Have any arrived in the last week?

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December 25, 2022

merry christmas!
posted by soe 1:39 am

May your Christmas be merry and your heart full of joy and laughter!

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December 24, 2022

virtual advent tour 2022: day 24
posted by soe 6:00 am

Virtual Advent Tour 2022

Happy Christmas Eve! I hope you’re healthy and safe and have heat and power and are able to be with loved ones in real life or over the phone or video chat.

From about the time I was in middle school, my mother would plan elaborate Christmas Eve feasts for after we got back from the evening Christmas Eve service. These dinners continued until after my brother and I graduated from college, although they got earlier so Rudi and I could make it to a midnight candles and carols service at church where we lived.

For the past couple decades, we’ve scaled back so that we do a Christmas Eve buffet while we watch holiday movies. I believe this year it will include Love Actually and Christmas Eve, which Loretta Young’s estate has added to YouTube, should you want to watch one of her (and several other actors’) final roles.

I also like to sneak in a viewing of Christmas Eve on Sesame Street before bed.

How do you like to spend your Christmas Eve? Perhaps you still need to wrap presents for a couple hours and would like something to listen to while you’re doing it. Here’s the classic New York Public Library recording of Neil Gaiman reading Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol:

New York Public Library · Neil Gaiman Reads "A Christmas Carol"

Maybe you don’t need to fill that much time. Maybe you’re looking for to watch something quick while you’re waiting for someone else to shower or for a batch of cookies to bake. Here’s First Lady Michelle Obama reading Clement Moore’s “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”:

And if even that feels like too much time to take, here’s a Christmas song to listen to while you’re getting dressed. It’s Stan Rogers performing, “At Last I’m Ready for Christmas,” and if you’re still running, you might relate:

Whatever your frame of mind now, I hope by tonight you’re ready to curl up in front of a fireplace or a movie or in bed and celebrate.

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December 23, 2022

virtual advent tour 2022: day 23
posted by soe 6:00 am

Virtual Advent Tour 2022

Last two days, folks! We’ve got this!

First up, a song for you:

Second, if you did the Christmas carol quiz last week and were hoping for some answers, I’ve posted them in the comments.

Finally, we’re off on an actual tour! Marg at The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader, one of the co-founders of the Virtual Advent Tour, is hosting our penultimate post for this year. She’s on holiday and has taken us to not one but two holiday markets. Head over to see the sights!

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