Emily M. DeArdo

writer

#7 Fajitas with Mel (and Ember Days start tomorrow!)

Catholicism, family, journalEmily DeArdoComment

My sister lives in Colorado, so I don’t get to see her that much, which is sad. She’s an RN at Colorado Children’s, the only children’s hospital in the entire state. She’s also getting married in June!

Tonight she called me and we cooked together. I love FaceTime. She was making a cake while I made fajitas for dinner, and we talked about wedding plans and our brother and what we like to cook and how she was eating all the cake batter. :-P And I got to say hi to Bella, her cat. We also decided that I’d look up a place for the rehearsal dinner, because I really do love reading Yelp reviews and I want to help her out. :)

Sadly I didn’t take a shot of her on the phone—she was having an AMAZING hair day. She has thick blonde hair I envy. Mine is not thick.

But I did take a photo of the fajitas.

 Homemade salsa in there, too!

Homemade salsa in there, too!


And—a few dioceses around the country, and many individuals, are re-instating the practice of Ember Days in their spiritual lives. What are ember days? They’re days that the Church used to use for prayers—blessings on the natural world, on crops, on the people who live in the area, etc. They happen four times a year, and the Michaelmas (fall) ones are tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday. They’re days for fasting and more prayer.

If you want to know more, check out this great article. I am terrible at fasting. But I will abstain from meat. Here’s a specific link on the fall Embertide. (The other ones fall after Pentecost, St. Lucy’s Day [Dec. 13] and after Ash Wednesday.)

(If you’re a blog subscriber, you’re getting this W morning….but you can still fast or do things on the Friday and Saturday! Not too late!)

#6 A Letter from the Palace

journalEmily DeArdoComment

So, it’s not every day you see this stamp and return address in your mailbox amongst the bills and catalogues:

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Yeah, I was a little surprised, too.

But then I remembered, Oh, it must be a thank you photo!

And indeed, it was!



Prince Louis birth card
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If you have no idea what I’m talking about when I say thank you photo: if you write a member of the royal family in congratulations for an event, they don’t just send notes. Nuh-uh. They send you a photograph and a note on the back.

And in a sign of true classiness:

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You know, they were just sort of busy this summer. A wedding. A christening. Recovering from birth and chasing around two kids. Etc. So yeah, I liked this touch a lot, even though, hello, they must have gotten tons of mail! Their poor mail people!

So, yes, this is a good highlight from today.

(We also celebrated my brother’s birthday, which was last week, and I had a good clinic appointment today. So those are good too.)

#5 Snuggly Sunday

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I had nothing to do today, which I love. I go to Mass on Saturday nights, usually, so my Sunday is wide, wide open. The Steelers were playing terribly, so I turned off the game and read a bit on the couch.

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The blanket is a Disney Vera Bradley pattern that my SIL got me a few Christmases ago, and I LOVE it. I love all blankets, really. Snuggly blankets and pillows are so good.

The book is this one.

And then I watched Coco and did some yoga and am about to start Interstellar, because it’s a great movie and I haven’t seen it in too long! (And the soundtrack is FABULOUS, btw. So different from most Hans Zimmer scores.)

I have a clinic appointment tomorrow which should be an in and out kind of deal. And dermatologist on Thursday. So it’s a busy doctor week and I’m glad I had today to just snuggle.



#4 Roses and Fun Paperwork

journal, writingEmily DeArdo2 Comments

My neighbor planted rose bushes in the spring, and boy howdy, the blooms have been amazing lately….

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Every day, something different on that side of our little fence and I love it.

Today I also did “fun” paperwork. I’ve been doing not fun insanity-inducing paperwork, but this paperwork is for the book proposal, hence “fun”, although also sort of nerve wracking because it’s IMPORTANT. But also fun.

(At Mass tonight, our pastor opened his homily with the stat that professional writers spend 70% of their time revising and editing. BOY HOWDY is he right….)

And now it’s time to watch OSU play some football (just like everyone else in the city is doing), and drink some Diet Coke, take another nice bath, and read some more about event horizons and singularities and Einstein.

(Oh, and Pitt beat Georgia Tech! HTP!)

(Oh, AND: The OSU band is seriously the best part of seeing a game at the ‘Shoe. I love the band.
If you haven’t seen Script Ohio, do yourself a favor:


#3 Day of Jubilee

journal, writingEmily DeArdoComment

I was super looking forward to today for a long time, because I got to have lunch and go shopping with Sarah, who is one of my best friends, and her daughter, Lydia came with her as well. It was BLAZING hot, but we still had a great lunch at Marcella’s, a local Italian place, and had a great time shopping.

Things were even better because I got news that an editor is interested in a book proposal I submitted! SO HOLY COW! I’m sending a LEGIT PITCH out into the world which might get to be a real book!!!!

 My buddy Lydia, whom I adore.

My buddy Lydia, whom I adore.

Shopping—hair styling stuff and then I bought this great necklace from a company called My Saint, My Hero. I figured I deserved some really pretty jewelry for the day of jubilee, right? :) It’s the Our Father in Morse code. How cool is that?

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It’s so hot that I’ve been sitting in the A/C since I got home, but it’s been a great day. I’m so happy. part of my stress in July and August was wondering if my book proposal was any good. Guess it was? :) God is good, people. I’m terrible at waiting, and I guess before I die, God is going to make me good at it, dang it. :)

So now I’m on my couch watching Coco and then I’m going to medicate and take a nice bath before I go to bed and read more of In This House of Brede and The Science Behind Interstellar, because I’m a NERD. And I might watch that movie tomorrow too.

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(Coco is really good. You should watch it.)






#2 Kitchen dance party

journalEmily DeArdoComment

I love to cook. I probably get it from the Italians in my family. The women on my mom’s side cook because they have to, not because they like it, I don’t think. At least that’s the vibe I’ve always gotten. On Dad’s side, though, cooking is fun.

So I turned on some tunes and made a new recipe, which involved mascarpone cheese (Italian cream cheese; it’s used in tiramisu but here it’s used to thicken a really basic sauce just a little bit, and to give some richness).

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Here’s the recipe if you want to try it. It’s ridiculously easy. You can get mascarpone at Giant Eagle nowadays, so this isn’t hard to find. I made it in my Dutch oven, and I only simmered the tomatoes for 10 minutes (my cookbook versions says 10-15, not 15-20 minutes, like the link says). If it would’ve gone any longer I would’ve freaked about the tomatoes and the onions and such. So I only went 10. The food was fine. :)

And yes, it’s in the upper 80s right now, and I turned on my oven to make this. I’m probably nuts. But sometimes I just love putting on good music in my kitchen, trying a new recipe, and dancing along as I make dinner. The Julie and Julia soundtrack is perfect for this. The movie is super cute, but the soundtrack is really better than the movie, I think. (The movie is a total feel-good movie. It just makes you happy. And makes you want to cook and bake things. So it’s a good motivator, if you need it.) Most times, cooking makes me happy. And anything with cheese makes me happy.

The label says that mascarpone is also good on toast. So I might have to try that. Later.

#1 Scones

journalEmily DeArdoComment

I’m pulling a page out of Erin Napier’s book and I’m adding my own journal pages. If you’re not familiar with Erin (of Home Town fame, which is my second favorite TV show EVER, after Outlander), she originally started her blog as a way to keep track of the good things that happened to her every day. One thing, one entry, every day.

Lately, the stress monster has been eating me up, so I’m going to be doing this. One thing, daily, usually written at night, so blog subscribers will get the previous day’s entry in their mailbox the next day.

Today, it’s scones.

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My friend Mary is leaving for France to be an au pair at the end of the month (she speaks beautiful French, so this a great job for her). As such, we’re cramming in a lot of things to do because she’ll be gone a long time (until next August, but she gets to come home for Christmas).

So today we went to Cambridge Tea House and had our favorite cream tea and jam and clotted cream and scones. We talked about whether cream or jam should go on the scone first, and we are both Cornwall people—cream first. Sorry, Queen Elizabeth, but the jam first is just not as good, at least not to us. (Also: milk or sugar first in tea?)

Scones are wonderful things.

In Which Emily Blogs Angry

Emily DeArdo6 Comments

You remember Groundhog Day, when Phil tells the groundhog not to drive angry? I probably shouldn't blog angry, but my Idiot-O-Meter is so high today, and it's also like 100 degrees here, so I have no tolerance for idiots, and I'm about to get it out. :) 

OK, look. Being disabled in church sucks. It's hard. Life is already hard, but churches make it even harder because they don't give you ANY HELP. You want to hear the Mass? Oh, well, priests shouldn't wear microphones. The sound system's fine. We won't mic the cantor because we have great acoustics in the church. 

WHATEVER. 

You want--WANT--to go to confession? Oh, I'm sorry. We can't provide accommodation so you can do that. You have to make an appointment with a priest. Using the phone, which you can't use, because why should the office have email? Why should we offer face to face confession or confessional rooms because people who are hard of hearing, or paralyzed, or on crutches, or WHATEVER, need and want to go to confession? That's ridiculous. You just call and make the appointment, because a person who is disabled and has chronic illness doesn't make enough freaking appointments in her life. 

No one else has to make an appointment to go to FREAKING CONFESSION. 

So, from now on, everyone who says that we should get rid of face to face confession, then you tell me how I'm supposed to go to confession. You tell me that on a week when I have a doctor's appointment, THREE phone call meetings about health stuff that has to be moderated by my parents because  SSDI and the state of Ohio won't use email to talk to me, that I just need to "make an appointment." Because, you know, I really  don't want to be accommodated. Today Iw as told that I just need to make  a "perfect act of contrition."
 

WHAT THE EVERLOVING &%*$(@) AH does that MEAN?! 

I am done with idiots

Seriously, people, PLEASE THINK. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE THINK. Don't just tell me I have to "make an appointment". Don't tell me that I just have to make a perfect act of contrition. 

PROVIDE ME WITH THE SERVICES I NEED AND WANT TO BE A GOOD CATHOLIC. 

 

I very rarely blog angry. Today I am incandescent with rage. 

 

What people say

journal, transplant, essaysEmily DeArdo1 Comment
 Roses outside the parish priory

Roses outside the parish priory

I was reading one of Nie Nie's recent posts, and it got me thinking. 

Like her, meeting new people can make me nervous. There's a lot to explain. If I go out to eat with a good friend, they know my "I don't understand please translate" look I give when the waitress is talking. New people don't.  My friends know that if I miss something or mishear it, that I didn't mean to do it, and they'll correct me and we'll move on. New people don't know these things. 

New people also don't know why my arm is scarred up. Like Nie, I was burned--not nearly as badly, thank God. But, people ask about it. It's not "normal."

Some people think that "nice people" don't ask rude questions. They do. 

I was asked to show someone my transplant scars in the middle of an office. They're underneath my breasts. Not happening. 

I've been asked what happened to my arm when I'm buying moisturizer and toilet paper at Walgreen's. Recently, a checkout clerk asked me what happened to it as I was digging out my wallet. 

"I was burned during surgery." That's all I wanted to say. People are not owed my whole story just because they're curious. 

But this woman wouldn't stop. "What hospital was that at?"

I didn't answer. I slipped my card into the reader. Fortunately, by this point, there was a woman behind me. The employee continued chattering at me as I finished my transaction. 

Why do people do this? Because they're curious? They probably don't mean to be rude, but they certainly didn't think before the words left their mouths. 

I don't mind little kids asking me, because they really don't know better. Adults do. 

You're not entitled to know everyone's story. My life and its intimacies aren't your personal fodder. It's like touching a pregnant woman's stomach. That's just wrong, man. It's not yours to touch. 

I write here. I talk about my life. I want to do that. But that doesn't mean that when I'm buying toilet paper I want to go into the details of transplant and skin grafts with you. And honestly, people aren't owed that information. 

People can be crazy rude. And it hammers home the point that, yes, my arm looks weird. But if you want to talk to someone you don't know, compliment them? Say they have great eyeliner or their shoes are a fun color or something. Don't say, hey, why is your arm funny? Why are you in the wheelchair? Why don't you have any hair? 

I don't mind talking about it, but I don't like it being pointed out like it's some sort of freakish wonder. There's a difference. 

 

 

Solace in Tea

journalEmily DeArdoComment
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I don't know about you, but the last few weeks have just been insanely stressful. 

So when one of my best friends, Mary, texted me Tuesday morning and said "Asterisk for lunch?" I was all in

It was so great to talk, to sip tea and share tea sandwiches in a lovely book-lined restaurant for a few hours on a crazy hot day. Afterwards, I felt rejuvenated, refreshed, and much less stressed out. 

I read somewhere that Brits used to call (or still do call?) 4:00 tea "solace." 

Good friends, tea, and yummy food are always solace in my world. 

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Sage's Shawl

CF, essays, yarn along, knitting, journalEmily DeArdo1 Comment
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Yes, it's Wednesday. It's a yarn along post. But....not really. 

When I finished my first Drachenfels shawl, I knew I wanted to knit it again. My head was full of color combinations and possibilities. In May, I ordered a special edition yarn from Quince and Co (carnation--the pink above) and knew I wanted to use it in this shawl. The question was--what to pair with it? 

When I went to Sewickley Yarns in July, I brought the ball of carnation yarn with me so I could color match. Immediately, I latched on to the green color you see above. And then I checked the tag. 

It's called "Sage". 

Then I knew I had to have it. 

Some of you may remember my friend Sage, who died two years ago Friday, waiting for a double lung transplant. Like me, she had CF. And we had so much in common besides that. She was a true kindred spirit. We spoke (well, texted) almost every day. She was funny, supportive, deeply faithful, and just....well, a perfect friend. 

We never got to meet, but we had made plans for it...in that nebulous future moment of "post transplant", the transplant I was just so sure she'd get. 

She didn't. 

I think about her almost every day. I think of things I want to tell her and then I realize I can't. 

So when I saw the "Sage" yarn, I had to get it. And then I had to get the purple (Frank's Plum), because purple was her favorite color. It's also the color for CF awareness. 

I wish I could give her this shawl. I think she'd like it. I know she'd love the purple. I dunno how she felt about pink. But since I can't give it to her, I make it for me--and when I wear it, I can remember her encouragement, her sense of humor, her strength (really, she was so much stronger than I am. Anyone who gets a chest tube put in WITHOUT ANESTHESIA is MUCH stronger than I am.). 

Some people, post-transplant, talk about living for their donor. I never felt that way. My donor was a lot older than I was, for starters, so it wasn't like she was a compatriot in age. But after Sage died, I do get the feeling that I'm living for her. That I do some things because she can't. It's hard to explain. 

I'm at the halfway point of the shawl. For the rest of it I'll be working with the pink and the purple intertwined together. I should finish it within the next few weeks, which means I can wear it this autumn. 

So, if Sage was alive, I'd give this to her. But since she's not here, I'll wear it for her. 

Seven Quick Takes: Thoughts on the Single Life

7 Quick TakesEmily DeArdoComment
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Linking up with Kelly at This Ain't The Lyceum! 

I've been having thoughts about being single in this world lately, but unsure of how to write it out, so I thought, hey, Seven Quick Takes! :-D There are good and bad things about being single, so here are my thoughts: 

I. 

A good thing: All the food in the fridge is MINE. It's all what I want to eat. :) Also, I can get books without a text message from a husband of "WOMAN! Stop buying books!" unlike my friend, Liz. (Her husband is a great guy. He's kidding. I think. LOL) 

II. 

A not good thing: Everything in the house I have to do myself. The food? Doesn't get cooked without me. The dishes? Don't get washed unless I do it. The trash? The cleaning? Etc. Etc. I don't have a husband to help me do those things. So it's all on me. I can't say, hey, husband, please go to the grocery store so I can go work out. Or, please do the dishes while I shower. 

That is particularly a bad thing when I'm sick. Stuff still needs done. 
And this "stuff" also piles up. It's not so bad now, that I freelance, but when I was working, it was a LOT. I had maybe four hours of free time a day. I never got enough sleep, because there was stuff to do. One cannot go to work (at least not where I worked) with unwashed hair, for example. :) Hygiene is good! 

III. 
A good thing: I have parents who are very helpful in this regard. :) (ESPECIALLY when I'm sick.)  Also, a very very helpful brother and sister-in-law (My sister lives in Colorado. She is helpful--but she can't come over and help me clean. :-P) 

IV. 

Another good thing: I can watch Opera all day and no one can tell me not to. :-p 

I can also go to bed when I want, and decorate my house how I want. I may or may not still have my Stuffed Rabbit Caroline and Stuffed Bear Coach in my bedroom..... :-P 

V. 

A not good thing: You sort of get shafted. No one gives showers for single people. Housewarming parties? Few and far between. But married people get showers, which, OK, that makes sense--except now, everyone has the stuff they need, usually, before they get married. 

And this sort of leads to the larger point. If you're single, people just don't think about you, unless it's negative. I'm not bar hopping or going to clubs every night. Sure, I can do some things, like go to the movies, or the ballet, or whatever, on my own. I don't have to ask my husband if he wants to go or find a baby-sitter. But at the same time, a lot of people think that single people are just living footloose and fancy free. And we're not. it's often really hard being a single person.

(Especially a single woman. I have to dig out my house after snowstorms. I have to dig out my car. If it's bad, my dad will help me, assuming he can get over! But I am a smallish girl, with about 55% lung function. It's hard for people with NORMAL lungs to clear snow! And if the car is iced over, forget about it. There's no way.)

VI. 

And it's sort of lonely. I mean, sometimes I'd like a husband because, hello, I have feelings, yo! I get lonely and would like a guy in my life that's not a blood relative. (Love you, Dad and Brother!) 

VII. 
A good thing: I can entertain whenever I want. I can have people over whenever I want. Or not, as the case may be. :) I can sit around my house in my pajamas all day. No one's going to care. I can eat PBJ for three meals if I want to (I don't, but I COULD!). I can stock my cupboard with tea to my heart's content. I can watch Pride and Prejudice for like, a week straight, if I want. There is freedom in that. And I enjoy that freedom. 

 

So there are good points and bad points, just like everything else. But generally I'm fairly content being single. But--please don't assume that all single people are just partying like it's 1999. We have commitments and concerns and responsibilities just like every one else. 

Except we can also just hole up in our Hobbit Holes for hours without anyone needing us. Which is another good thing. 

The source of life

Catholicism, prayerEmily DeArdo2 Comments
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Adoration is an immense force of reparation; by it you will obtain healing for the sick, peace for the tormented, light for those plunged into darkness, and joy for those crushed by sorrows.
It is not by preaching, nor by teaching, nor by any outward works that you will do good to souls, but only by the humility of a hidden life of adoration and reparation. To others I have given other gifts and I am glorified in their works, but from you I ask only this: that you become hidden even as I am hidden in the Host, and that you become a victim of adoration and reparation with Me. This is the great work of Eucharistic Love that, at every moment, is Mine in all the tabernacles of the world.

(From In Sinu Jesu; read the rest of the excerpt here

 

Lately, when there's been a tragedy, people have derided the idea of "thoughts and prayers." They don't change anything, they're useless, prayers don't change things, action does!

They're so wrong. 

Prayer changes thing. But the problem is, we need to become fervent in prayer. Our relationship with God needs to take first place. If we really devoted ourselves to prayer, to Christian living, our world would change. Full stop. 

As Catholics, we have some pretty powerful weapons in our arsenal. The Mass. The rosary. The sacraments. 

And we have another: Eucharistic Adoration. 

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Catholics believe that the Eucharist is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, here on Earth. We can be in the presence of Jesus--His actual presence!--every single day. We can receive Him every single day, by going to Mass. But I know that Mass schedules aren't often amenable for people who have jobs. 

But we can also go to him in prayer before the tabernacle or the monstrance. 

Holy Hours--or even holy half hours, holy fifteen minutes--is truly sacred time. Spending time in the very presence of Jesus is such a gift, and one that is so overlooked! So often churches are locked, and we can't visit Him. But many churches today are bringing back periods of adoration, or even perpetual adoration chapels, where Jesus is always available for us!

When we come before Him in this way, we are pouring out our time. We are giving it back to Him, and nothing can be a better way to spend our time. We worry about all that we have to do--but if we give time to God, He gives it back to us. Trust me on this. (Or, if you don't trust me, trust Mother Teresa--she said that her sisters had the time to do everything they did because they prayed so much during the day.)

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If we're serious about change--then we need to come back to Jesus in His Eucharistic form. He is here among us, and so often we forget Him. 

You don't need to start by doing it every day. Maybe try it once a month. Maybe come to Mass 15 minutes early to spend time in prayer before Him. Then once you're into that pattern, try coming 30 minutes early. Build slowly. But I will say that my best prayer time has always been before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. 

You don't have to "do" anything. There's the famous story about St. Jean Vianney and the parishioner who came to the church every day, and just sat there; he told the saint that he looked at Jesus, and Jesus looked at him. You can say the rosary. You can read the bible, or a spiritual book. You can just talk to Jesus (because that's all prayer is, talking to God). He knows what you need, but tell Him! Pour it out before Him. Sometimes you can't even do that. Then just sit with him. 

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton said: "How sweet the presence of Jesus to the longing, harassed soul! It is instant peace, and balm to every wound." And it is

The practice of adoration is not difficult. It is a gentle abiding in My presence, a resting in the radiance of My Eucharistic Face, a closeness to My Eucharistic Heart. Words, though sometimes helpful, are not necessary, nor are thoughts. What I seek from one who would adore Me in spirit and in truth is a heart aflame with love, a heart content to abide in My presence, silent and still, engaged only in the act of loving Me and of receiving My love. Though this is not difficult, it is, all the same, My own gift to the soul who asks for it. Ask, then, for the gift of adoration.
--In Sinu Jesu

Eucharistic Adoration is truly powerful. Please, try to work it into your schedule, either by coming to Mass a little earlier, stopping by a chapel on your way to or from work, or trying a holy hour once a month at a local parish with an adoration chapel. 

Prayer isn't magic. But prayer works. Let's rev up our prayer lives, starting with a return to Eucharistic Adoration. 

Happy St. Dominic's Day!

Catholicism, DominicansEmily DeArdoComment
 Statue of St. Dominic at the motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville 

Statue of St. Dominic at the motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville 

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Happy St. Dominic's Day!

Here is the Dominican saints series I wrote awhile back, and here is the specific post on St. Dominic, if you'd like to acquaint yourself better with the "preacher of grace." 

One of the mottoes of the Dominican order is veritas--truth--and I think we can all agree that we need truth today (maybe more than ever?). So if you're not already friends with St. Dominic, introduce yourself!

I am blessed to know so many sons of St. Dominic, his friars, and some of his daughters, the nuns and sisters (and of course the laity, of which I am a part). 

If you want to be especially Dominican today--pray the rosary! Yes, the rosary was given to the Dominican order, and spread throughout the Church. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!

 

Yarn Along No. 78

knitting, yarn along, booksEmily DeArdo2 Comments
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Many projects being made with it! Yayyy!

So the first thing was the Kate cowl, and for that I used all the gray, deep red, and some of the yellow yarn (they are Quince and Co. Owl in Abyssinian, Cranberry, and Steppe). I didn't use the provisional cast on the pattern called for; instead I just whipstitched the edges together. She's currently on the blocking mats and then she'll be done! Yay! This is a great project for introducing colorwork, because the changes are really easy. 

The purple and green (far right) are going to be used in a second drachenfels shawl, which I've started knitting. (Colors: Frank's Plum and Sage, Quince and Co. chickadee) The third color I'm using is a Quince special edition color called carnation, which they released on Mother's Day this past May--and they only had a little bit of it, so I had act fast! 

This shawl has a few special meanings for me: I had a friend, Sage, who was very special to me, and she died two years ago this August. So getting the "sage" color was a no brainer. Purple was her favorite color--so that led to the Frank's Plum. And we both have CF, and the CF awareness color is purple--so double meaning there. The pink is just a color I enjoy. So working on this shawl is going to be special for me, as will wearing it. 

(Oh, the brightish pink? That's Chickadee in Pomegrante, and it's going to be used in a beret pattern! My first hat!) 

As for what I'm reading: 

A ton

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The Melissa Wiley books are about Martha Morse, Laura Ingalls Wilder's great-grandmother, and I'd always wanted to read them--the library, thankfully, had most of the "good" copies (apparently the ones with the photo covers are edited/abridged in some way from the illustrated covers), so I sped through the four of them (the third one isn't seen here). Quite enjoyable. 

Queen of Hearts was good, even if I did find the ultimate "reveal" a bit weak. If you like medical drama, you'll like this book, since it was written by a doctor and thus you don't have the medical errors you find in a lot of other books, but if you're squeamish, you might want to pass on this one!

I also read The Widows of Malabar Hill (OK. A decent mystery, likable main character, a few too many modern references for a book that takes place in 1920s India) and I'm about to start Us Against You

 

Seven Quick Takes Friday

7 Quick TakesEmily DeArdoComment

I. 

So, I don't really have anything to write about that makes up a big post, lately, so I thought I'd do some quick takes for your reading this week. 

Speaking of reading--MORE LIBRARY BOOKS

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I've recently become REALLY enamored with our local library, because it's joined the Columbus Metropolitan Library system, which is one of the best in the country (not kidding). So that means that I now have access to so many books that I've been wanting to read! So off to the stacks I've gone. I love that I can request online and have them shipped to the library of my choice in the system. So, yay libraries! (No, Amazon libraries. NO.)

II.
As a part of that--I adore physical books. There's just something about them that makes them special. Now, I have an iPad, and I have books on it. Heck, I wrote an ebook. But if you come to my house, you will see real books galore. They are what I love. Ebooks have their place (meaning, when I'm in the hospital, when I'm traveling, etc.), but I love and crave real books. 

 Just a few of the beloved "real books." Just a few. 

Just a few of the beloved "real books." Just a few. 

III. 

Some of my favorite books that I've read this summer? The Shark Club, by Ann Kidd Taylor, and China Court, by Rumer Gooden. (This is out of print, sadly.) The Shark Club combines mystery, the idea of forgiveness, handling loss, romance, and, yes, sharks; China Court is about the lives of three generations of family in an estate in Cornwall (if you watch Doc Martin, then CORNWALL! Yay! Seriously gotten hooked on Doc Martin this summer. I adore it.) 

IV. 

And speaking of books....

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Y'all know I write for Take Up & Read. Our newest journal, True Friend, begins on Sunday! Yes! Yay!

This one is, obviously, all about friendship. We look at the Scriptures and see what it tells us about being a good friend, how to nurture friendship, and all sorts of friendship-related things. 

This book is beautiful

Coloring pages! 

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Every essay is brand new--all twenty-eight of them. I am privileged to be one of the writers! Kristin Foss, our art designer, designed the cover and did all the beautiful calligraphy and illustrations you'll find throughout. 

Each day has a Scripture verse (or more), an essay, and journaling pages. There are also lovely reflection questions and even a page where you can write your prayer intentions every day!

You can purchase the book here, and also check out the Look Inside feature! (Since Squarespace is being silly and I can't edit my photos....sigh.....) 

We also have a great blog to check out as well!

V.

Also, Christmas is less than five months away...if you start shopping early, maybe consider some of our studies or journals as gifts for the ladies in your life? We have so many lovely journals! Click on the Take Up and Read Page here and there are links to all of them. 

VI. 

I adore getting books for Christmas, but they have to be worthy. Does that make sense to you? That generally means hardback, or hard to find, or a lovely cookbook....something like that. Really, one year I could probably have a Christmas of all books. Wouldn't that be great? 

VII.

And in a non-book thought--is anyone else ready for fall? Because I am!

 

linking up with Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum

 

It's Prime Day! Get $5 off Take Up & Read Books!

Emily DeArdoComment
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If you are an Amazon Prime member, then you know today is Prime Day, where there are special deals and coupons for Prime members! And Take Up & Read books are part of it!

Get $5 off any Take Up & Read study by using the code PRIMEBOOKS18 at checkout. ANY of our studies! They include: 

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You can also purchase our dated Lent study: 

Above All: Lent 2018

So I hope you'll take the opportunity to see what Take Up & Read is all about on this Prime Day! 

 

(In case you're curious: I started working with TUAR on Above All. I have essays in Ponder and True Friend. But all the books are wonderful!) 

If you have any questions, let me know! 

 

 

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Thirteen

CF, family, essays, organ donation, transplantEmily DeArdoComment

The annual transplant anniversary post tends to change, in form and shape, every year. This year, a lot has happened: 

Catholic 101 was published in November (buy it here--on sale until Friday!) 

My brother got married

 (c) Erica Kay Photography , http://ericakayphotography.com/home

(c) Erica Kay Photography , http://ericakayphotography.com/home

 

My sister got engaged

 Melanie and Jason (her fiance) leaving Bryan and Sarah's wedding (c) Erica Kay Photography, http://ericakayphotography.com/home

Melanie and Jason (her fiance) leaving Bryan and Sarah's wedding (c) Erica Kay Photography, http://ericakayphotography.com/home

I saw the Stanley Cup with my parents

I went back to Williamsburg and Duck 

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I started writing and editing for Take Up & Read. 

I celebrated my grandma's 88th birthday with my family

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I knit my first shawl. 

 

None of these things would've happened without my donor. 

It can be tempting to look at life in terms of productivity, what we do,  and I'm not trying to list my productivity. Look at what I've done! Rather, it's more like, these are things I never would've done, enjoyed, even conceived of, thirteen years ago. These are things that never would've happened. 

I would've missed my brother's wedding. 

I never would've met my new future brother-in-law and sister-in-law. 

13 birthdays, Christmases, holidays....all those things would've passed without me. 

In general, women post-transplant don't do as well as men. There isn't a lot of data, period, on women who have survived a transplant longer than 10 years. I'm in new territory here. 

I try not to think about that. 

Instead, these things I get to do are gifts, even when life is sort of sucky, because life is never totally perfect. I mean, things are overcome, yes--but just because something is overcome doesn't mean that everything is suddenly perfect. It doesn't work that way. 

Someone said, life is full of suffering, but it is also full of the overcoming of it. 

And that about sums it up. 

Thirteen years of overcoming is pretty good. 

 With the cousins on my mom's side at my brother's wedding. This is not all of them, btw! 

With the cousins on my mom's side at my brother's wedding. This is not all of them, btw! 

To be an organ donor, go to donatelife.net/register

Yarn Along: The yarn overfloweth!

yarn along, travelEmily DeArdo6 Comments
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Guys. Look at all that yarn

Isn't it delicious?! 

I picked up all this yarn yesterday at Sewickley Yarns in Sewickley, PA--they are a Quince and Co. flagship store, and I adore Quince and Co yarns, but there are no flagship stores in Ohio--meaning, a place where you can get more than their linen line. I wanted their wool! And it can be hard to color-compare on a website. So, when we made a trip to Pittsburgh for my grandma's 88th birthday, I really wanted to stop here. My parents graciously obliged me, in the middle of a crazy heat wave, and I got to look at and feel lots of squishy wool!

These are destined for three projects: The four skeins on the right are Quince Chickadee for a new Drachenfels shawl, with a light pink yarn. (The colors here are Sage and Frank's Plum) 

 My first Drachenfels scarf, also made with Quince Chickadee. 

My first Drachenfels scarf, also made with Quince Chickadee. 

The pink skein (chickadee in pomegranate) will be used for my first hat, a day beret. 

The other skeins are Quince and Co's Owl, which is wool and alpaca together, and I love it already, even though I haven't knit with it yet. This is for a Kate Cowl, and I chose the Abyssinian (gray), cranberry (red), and steppe (yellow) color ways. The Abyssinian is fabulous in person, hence the reason I was so glad that I could see these yarns! I never would've selected it otherwise. 

 Kate cowl--abyssinian will be the large gray section, cranberry the green section, and steppe the stripe! 

Kate cowl--abyssinian will be the large gray section, cranberry the green section, and steppe the stripe! 

Just looking at all that yarn makes me so happy. :) 

I'm planning on doing a TON of knitting today so I'll have finished projects to show you soon!

And also, what I've been reading.....

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A Friday surprise--quick takes!

books, behind the scenes, current projects, Seven Quick Takes, travelEmily DeArdo2 Comments

I haven't done one of these in forever, so maybe it's time to do them again? :) Linking up with Kelly! :) 

1. 

Dad just got back from his trip to London for a DevOps conference (DevOps is IT related stuff, for you non tech geeks out there). I was a just a little jealous, especially since he got to go to Westminster Cathedral for Mass and see Buckingham Palace and just be in London, which is really the greatest city in the world. 

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Westminster Cathedral 

2. 

He also brought me back the papers, which delight me to no end. I love getting papers from other countries. The first thing I noticed is how big they are? No American paper is this big anymore. It's amazing!

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So yeah, I'm slowly savoring the reading of the papers. Because it's just fun, and that probably makes me a nerd. But a nice nerd. :) 

3. 

I always knew that London was fairly far north, but in checking the weather for my dad's visit, I noticed that it's a LOT farther north than I thought--the sun was rising at 4:30 AM! That's just amazing. But also, in the winter, London has to get dark pretty quickly. Sort of sobering. But I do think it would be cool to see one of the white nights, or even a sunrise at 4:30 (provided I could go back to sleep after seeing it. :-) 

4. 

Yes, my "desk"--my kitchen table--is a mess. I've got SO many things going on right now. I've started writing a new book (YES! Wheee! Let's hope someone wants it!) about churches and accessibility. I've been getting new library books like every day since the library actually has books I want to read, and they can be delivered to my local library so I don't have to drive all over creation to get them (our library system is huge).  I've been working more on my sketching, and I've been packing because we're going to Pittsburgh later today. So yes, it's nuts, and my table is crazy. 

5. 

Also, Catholic 101 is currently on sale for FIVE BUCKS! If you don't have it, you can grab it here. This is the cheapest it will be all year! 

6. 

I've been knitting, too, even though the hand thing took a bite out of that, but I finally got some more yarn for my scarf project so I'm back at that. I promise a Yarn Along next week!

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And I also promise to do a reading round-up soon. I've been reading so many books that I need to talk about them. Soon, I promise!