sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

November 23, 2022


top characters to add to the macy’s day parade balloons
posted by soe 1:13 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl is a Thanksgiving freebie. While wondering what new giant balloons we’d be treated to in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, I decided that although Macy’s has historically been great about making balloons that include characters from films, tv, and literature, they might like some suggestions for bookish characters we’d like to see moved from the page to the sky. Here are my top ten recommendations:

  1. The Cheshire Cat from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  2. Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh
  3. Peter from The Snowy Day
  4. Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web
  5. Max from Where the Wild Things Are
  6. The Moomins
  7. Amelia Bedelia
  8. Madeline
  9. Mr. Toad from The Wind in the Willows
  10. Stellaluna

How about you? What characters would you like to see added to their giant balloon repertoire?

Also, would you like to join this year’s Virtual Advent Tour? Signups are now open for December.

Category: books. There is/are 3 Comments.

November 22, 2022


virtual advent tour 2022 signups
posted by soe 1:58 am

Welcome to signups for this year’s Virtual Advent Tour. 2022 marks my eighth year as host of this annual event.

A traditional Advent calendar is usually a paper device designed to give kids a way to productively channel their holiday energy by counting down from December 1st until Christmas. Each day, you open a door to find a hidden scene, piece of chocolate, or some other treat. The Virtual Advent Tour is a bloggers’ take on that. In our version, each morning I point you to a post at someone’s blog in which they share something about their holiday season.

Would you be willing to share a holiday post or two in December? You don’t have to declare your topic beforehand, and your post can be as simple or as complex and in any format.

If you’re looking for inspiration, folks have shared new traditions they’ve adopted, old traditions they keep alive, favorite holiday music, charities, recipes, books, events, memories, and more.

If this sounds like your type of fun, leave me a comment below noting what day(s) you’d like. I’ll update this post as people claim days.

A few annual housekeeping notes:

While both the tradition of the Advent calendar and the timing skew Christian, the tour is inclusive and open to anyone who celebrates December holidays of any sort. We love reading about all kinds of celebrations and the traditions you’ve developed around them!

I tend to write my posts shortly after midnight my time (Eastern U.S.) and will schedule them to go live at 6 a.m. If your post is live when I’m writing, I’ll give a little preview and link directly to it. However, if it’s not, no worries. I’ll assume you’ll get it live at some point, and will just embed a song and a link to your blog’s homepage.

Feel free to download and use the 2022 Virtual Advent Tour badge. If you want to share on social media, I use the hashtag #VirtualAdventTour on Twitter.

Thanks in advance for making this one of my fun December traditions! (more…)

Category: christmas/holiday season. There is/are 12 Comments.

November 21, 2022


the surprise of grief
posted by soe 1:39 am

A small wave of grief hit me yesterday. It was enough to knock the breath out of me, but not so big as to yank my feet out from under me. But it caught me off guard.

It was a silly thing that did it: a cardinal ornament at the downtown holiday market, where I stopped last night after getting my flu shot. And I thought, I should buy that for Gramma. And there it was: smash!

It’s been more than seven years since my grandmother died. I don’t grieve her on a daily basis the way I did that first year, when I was surprised to discover that you could cry in your sleep, because I woke myself up sobbing one night. Most days, she lives in my memory, content to dispense no-nonsense rejoinders when I kick something while barefoot or roll out a recipe for me when I need a go-to dish and maybe less content that I still play the “even my dead grandmother” game when faced with an onerous task. She is firmly in the past tense now in my life.

Still, I shouldn’t have been wholly surprised by the reaction to the ornament. There were warning signs. I saw a friend on Friday to deliver some lemon squares, and when I told him they weren’t quite right, that they didn’t taste like Gramma used to make, I heard my voice get a little wobbly. But I caught it and we talked about the invisible ingredients that go into recipes that mean you’ll never quite replicate it and that that just has to be good enough sometimes.

I’ve been thinking about grief and the upcoming holidays recently. This will be the first big holiday for Rudi since his mom died, and I know it will be hard. My parents and I will be there, but that fact also will keep the wound raw. He’s got plans to leave us for a few days to head up to the World Cup races in Vermont, and I suspect that break will help. But it’s going to be hard regardless. We’ll all have to take a few extra breaths this year and give each other the time and space and kindness and grace to let our ghosts visit us without having them wash us out to sea.

Category: life -- uncategorized. There is/are 1 Comment.

November 20, 2022


success!
posted by soe 1:35 am

This morning I was able to procure P!nk tickets, thanks to Ticketmaster finally adding a Paypal option.

It’s remarkably frustrating to enter your credit card number, verify that it’s accurate and that the rest of the personal data matches what’s on your account, click off all the silly boxes, and then to watch as the tickets you’ve tried to buy 3,648 times are again ripped out of your hand because “the card information you have tried to enter is incorrect.” Multiple days, different browsers. None of it mattered. And because it was a presale associated with my credit card company, it’s not like I could just sub in a different card.

But this irritation will fade into the distance and the excitement of seeing P!nk will grow as we get closer to the concert date next August(!).

I wish similar resolutions to all the Taylor Swift fans out there, because I can’t imagine how pissed off they are right now.

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November 19, 2022


keep moving forward
posted by soe 1:39 am

I had a surprise visit with a friend tonight, intending only to drop something at his gate. Instead, I ran into him and his dog while they were out on their evening walk, and he asked me in and then I just … hung out. Which was such a nice, relaxing thing to do.

I’m getting better about having people over. The amount of stress the first time we did it late this summer was nearly unbearable, but our messy apartment did not break the friendship. We’ve got friends coming over after we get back from Thanksgiving and then our tree trimming is the following Sunday.

I’m also hoping to start having people over to hang out when Rudi’s away on his coaching weekends this winter for game nights or supper or whatnot. I mean, I’d love to have people come when he’s around, too, but that will require some additional thinking, because he goes to bed really early during ski season.

But to do that, we need to have a less cluttered apartment, which we’ve been working on (undiligently) off and on since summer. Before he left for his coaching trip, Rudi put a dent in the closet. Since he’s been gone, I’ve done some work in the kitchen and have some more to do before I hit the living room. There is progress being made; we just have to keep moving forward — and maybe pick up the pace a bit.

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November 18, 2022


driving, fluorescent, and baking
posted by soe 1:40 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. I finally drove our new car. It’s … big.

2. I paused our volleyball game Saturday evening to admire the sunset, which was glowing neon orange through the trees.

3. I made lemon bars (and a friend has agreed to take some so I don’t eat the whole pan).

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

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