sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 19, 2024


doggone beautiful day, help, and date night
posted by soe 1:35 am

Not Just Content to Play Poker

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. We went to a new-to-us garden center just outside the city, and discovered these folks had had the same idea. But I think they might have been hoping for a gigantic garden to dig in, rather than a plant nursery, because they stayed in the car once they arrived.

2. Monday night’s volleyball game looked to be a bit tough. We were facing a decent team, and six of my nine teammates weren’t able to make it. But a fellow coach is in this league and I asked him if I could recruit him and a couple teammates as subs, and Chris got Neal to test out his convalescing shoulder. And we decisively shut down our opponents to remain in second place in the league heading into the playoffs.

3. Rudi and I had spied a movie in London that was about to open and made note that if it made its way to the States, we should see it. Wicked Little Letters is based on a true story from the early 1920s about a series of poison pen letters and the identity of who is sending these libelous, expletive-filled missives. It was a little long (although not according to the clock), but quite an enjoyable costume drama with superlative acting.

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

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April 12, 2024


eclipse, abloom, and compost
posted by soe 1:07 am

Solar Eclipse

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. Thanks to Rudi’s planning ahead, I had eclipse glasses enough not only for me, but also to share with my friend Chris. We watched the solar eclipse (87% covered here in D.C.) together at a nearby park along with his wife, Julie, and two of her friends — and a lot of workers sneaking out for a late lunch to stare up at the sky.

2. The dogwoods, wisteria, and viburnum are out, and walking around the neighborhood is a treat for eyes and nose alike.

3. Long ago, our community garden erected a wooden pen to put discarded plant matter into, and periodically, we would dig out the bottom and then someone would climb atop it to condense the rest down to allow for more detritus to fit. We’d sift the extracted dirt and parcel out fine compost for each gardener. Nowadays, we have a three-bin composting system that we mostly use instead, which means the pen was overflowing, having not been dealt with for years. (Periodically animals also move into the middle of the pen, which is really the main reason we’d left it untouched.) So last weekend, we attacked it from the top — hauling sticks and vines off to a dumpster — and the bottom, where I filled bucket after bucket of rich, unsifted dirt for my fellow gardeners to add to their plots. And, even better, there is space again at the top.

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

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April 5, 2024


all that came before, more than numbers, and visitor
posted by soe 1:18 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. I pass by two men my parents’ age standing next to a car in front of a nearby hotel. “Thank you,” one says. “This was my first meal with a friend in six months.” And then they hug.

2. Karen and her 13-year-old daughter, Livia, meet up with me for lunch. I haven’t seen either of Karen’s kids since before the pandemic, and Livia has grown from a kid into a young woman.

3. I’m peeling potatoes at the sink for Easter dinner when I look up and spy a turkey just at the edge of the plateau my parents live on. They used to get flocks stopping by multiple times a day, but the turkeys understandably started avoiding their house after they got a dog. We’re hopeful that lone bird will tell her friends to put their property back on the itinerary.

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

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April 2, 2024


top ten rainy books
posted by soe 5:39 pm

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl is “April Showers” and I figured I’d share some drizzly titles from my TBR list:

  1. Scattered Showers by Rainbow Rowell
  2. Rain: Four Walks in English Weather by Melissa Harrison
  3. Billy Collins’ The Rain in Portugal
  4. Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
  5. Oh There You Are I Can’t See You Is it Raining? by Laura Broadbent
  6. Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain
  7. When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie Head
  8. Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell
  9. Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper
  10. Drizzle by Kathleen Van Cleve

Do you have any rainy titles to add to my list? Or would you recommend I quickly hop on any of these titles because they’re just too good to continue to wait?

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March 29, 2024


remission, evening sky, and friends
posted by soe 2:21 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. My mother’s 3-month scans came back clear.

2. As I was driving north this evening, I saw a beam of light in the twilight. “Is that a … rainbow?” I asked Rudi incredulously, because we were right around sunset and the sky before us was very cloudy. It was and it was enormous, and there was a stunning sunset sort of off to the side that I peeked at when the horizon to that side cleared a bit.

3. Neal, Chris, Julie, and I had dinner and games and Chris’ alma mater’s Cinderella story basketball team on tv Saturday night. It was a lot of fun to hang out together.

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

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March 26, 2024


ten shows/movies that would’ve made amazing books
posted by soe 2:23 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from That Artsy Reader Girl asks us to share movies and/or tv shows that would have been great books (and, in many of my examples, series):

  1. The Librarians — A crew of really smart folks bopping magically around the world in an effort to keep magic out of the hands of the public? Yes, please!
  2. Chuck — Young guy languishing in an electronics superstore with his slacker BFF gets sent a computer program that puts national secrets in his brain. Rather than just taking him out, the CIA and NSA agree to have handlers to utilize him for spy missions. It has Janet Evanovich-like vibes all over it.
  3. Almost Paradise — An ex-undercover-DEA agent moves to the Philippines, intending to run a hotel gift shop while collecting his medical disability payouts in paradise. But almost immediately, he gets caught up in an international drug smuggling incident and befriends a couple of local detectives. He helps with their cases; they give him rides places and a sense of purpose.
  4. Ted Lasso — This feel-good comedy is just begging to be a novel, or maybe an interconnected series, à la Jasmine Guillory, that focuses on each of the main characters.
  5. Abbott Elementary — I think this one would be a standalone romance novel, but I do wonder if it would lose some of the charm of the entourage.
  6. Parks and Recreation — Interestingly, I feel like this one could solidly hold its own as a standalone comedic work, despite the stable cast of regulars.
  7. New Girl — Begging to have started as a modern Millennial romance.
  8. This Beautiful Fantastic — This charming, underseen romance would be delightful as a book.
  9. Miss Scarlet and the Duke — In a mystery book series, a titular character would have to be written out because an actor wanted more out of his career.
  10. Sports Night — This could have been a standalone novel.

How about you? Are there shows or movies you wish had been books first?

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