Emily M. DeArdo

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#6 A Letter from the Palace

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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

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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. 

A Wedding

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He's married. And so is she! I have a new sister! 

My brother's wedding was lovely, and glorious, and so much fun. Everything about it spoke to the personalities of the two people involved, and the love that God has given them. The Mass homily was especially great; the deacon, who had prepared them for marriage, spoke about the graces we all received just by attending the Mass, and the graces God gives us all for our state in life. 

 

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The joy really did overflow. It was a great party. The rain was spotty, and then gone, so we were able to take photos in the garden of the reception location, and also bring the party onto the deck that came off of the main room. Seeing so many family members and friends made it even better, especially friends of my parents that I haven't seen in ages. 

In Gone With the Wind, Melanie Wilkes says that the happiest days are when babies come. I think the second happiest days have to be when two people who are clearly so well-suited for each other get married. 

Bubby

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My brother was the sibling that made me a big sister. 


I remember the day he was born very clearly. Mom and Dad bundled me off to Laurie's house (a friend of theirs) in my Grover nightgown, and I slept in one of the boys' beds (they have three boys), until Laurie and Barry (her husband) woke me up the next morning. 


"You have a baby brother!" They told me. 


I stood in their bedroom, rubbing my eyes in the morning sunlight and sort of grumpy.

 
"I wanted a sister," I grumped. 


Well, I got my sister four years later. And I was glad to get her. But I've really, really enjoyed having a brother like Bryan, who is unfailingly upbeat, friendly (EVERYONE seems to know him), supportive, totally giving of his time, great with kids, a sports fanatic (which has served him in good stead), and one of the most cooly collected people I will ever meet, which definitely serves him well, and which I envy. And he's just adorable and sweet. Which I probably shouldn't say because it's not "manly", but it's true, and it's a great thing, in my opinion. He's incredibly creative, with a great sense of humor. And he's strong--which is great to have in a brother, because you can use him for heavy lifting (kidding, sort of)--but also mentally, which serves him in good stead as a runner. (I like to brag about his marathon-running. Kid's run Boston and New York (twice).) 

We weren't always this close. In fact, when we were kids, we were downright feral towards each other, pulling hair and scratching and generally fighting a lot. It really wasn't until I went to college that we became good friends, and I'm glad we did, eventually, because I just love him to bits. (So, parents reading this--if your kids fight when they're little, that doesn't preclude them being close as adults!) 


And he's getting married. Isn't he still five? Wasn't I just reading Go Dog Go! to him?

Apparently not. 

I'm so proud of you, Bubby. You're going to be a great husband. And I love the woman you've picked to be your wife. I'm so glad Sarah is joining the family!

(Yes, we call him "Bubby." I have no idea why. It's the shortening of a VERY long nickname we came up with for him when he was a toddler. That's a family secret. ;-) ) 

Thirty-six

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I love birthdays. 

I especially love birthdays you weren't supposed to have. Seriously. Thirteen extra birthdays since my transplant! Yayyyy!!!

Thirty-six sounds sort of old. It's not, really. But it sounds that way. I did like being thirty-five. That, and seventeen, were always ages that sounded good to me. (Do you have ages like that?) 

So, my birthday was sort of low-key. My parents took me to Chuy's, and we did a little bit of shopping. I got a Manduka PRO mat for my yoga practice, and I love it. So worth the money (and yay REI member coupons!). I think it's really helping my practice so far. We also went to David's Tea and I got some yummy tea goodness, including my "cake"--their birthday cake tea infused chocolate bar, which I shared with my parents. It was yummy! (I adore their birthday cake tea as well) I also went to Kendra Scott and picked out earrings to wear to my brother's wedding next month. And of course, there were books: Force of Nature * and Unmasked*, because I love Andrew Lloyd Webber with all my theater-loving heart, and I'd been wanting to read Force of Nature for MONTHS. 

My brother took me to dinner (Red Robin, free burger on your birthday!), which was delightful. 
So it was a good day, a good week. (Birthday flowers unexpectedly arriving make any week a good week!) 

Later this week I'll be talking about Ponder *, which is available on Amazon and is SO GORGEOUS. I have two essays in the book (The Preaching of the Kingdom and The Agony in the Garden), so of course that makes it really special for me, but it's gorgeous in every way. So I'll share more with you about that later this week! 

 

*=affiliate link

A Little Daybook

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I used to write a daybook entry every Monday, sort of like a diary, a look into my life on that particular day. I've gotten out of the habit, but every now and then I think it's a nice way to start the week. So a few things from around here, books, and some inspiration for your Monday? 

That image up top:: Ann always has great things to share with us. I find that at the beginning of the year, when we have so many expectations about how this year is going to be (X, Y, Z), we can get overwhelmed really fast. You miss a day of working out once....or you have the cookie....or whatever your resolution was, you break it. 

That's OK. Just pick yourself up and move forward. 

Speaking of great images, this might be my new favorite Marian image--"Madonna of the Rose Bower", by Stefan Locher

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You can read about the painting here

(I love that Mary's a redhead!)

One of the great productivity things I found last week:: Pomodoros. Have you heard about this? The link gives you more information, but essentially, you perform a task for 25 minutes, then take a 5 minute break. You do this four times in a row--after the fourth pomodoro, you take a 25-30 minute break. Then you're back at it. I've found this amazingly helpful in both organizing my days and in getting things accomplished. And it gives you free time! 

I don't use the actual timer--I use a plain old kitchen timer, or the timer on my watch. 

The other great thing is that, if you're getting calls or email, you know that you'll get to them during your "break" period. 

Reading::

I re-read a lot. I know some people don't. But I do. So this week has been a lot of re-reading of the Lord John series, by Diana Gabaldon. If you're familiar with the main Outlander series, you know about Lord John already, but Diana has given him his own spin-off series of novels and novellas. So I've re-read Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, and now I'm on Scottish Prisoner. As far as new books, I'm reading Pachinko, which is really good so far. 

On the calendar this week::

ENT appointment tomorrow, which is good because my Bionic Ear has been bothering me. And it's not the external part, it's the internal part--i.e., that part in my skull--that's been bugging me the most. It's been really painful lately, and I'm not sure why, so I'm definitely going to ask my Awesome ENT about this tomorrow. 

So, that's a little, brief daybook for you. How was your weekend? 

Dog Days

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Well, not really--we haven't had that oppressive August heat too much this month which normally I'd be OK with, but since I'm going on vacation next week I'd like it to be a bit warmer, where we're going, so I can swim, you know? But I digress. :) 

The last two weeks have been sort of rough, health-wise, because I've got some bug that is just determined not to go away, although at the moment we're blasting it with Cipro and steroids (Cipro is the drug they give you if you have anthrax). And it seems to be helping because I'm feeling slightly more human and more "with it", which is good, because I have packing and knitting to do! 

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One of the weird things about post-transplant life is that you can get bugs and no one really knows where they come from or what they are--we just blast 'em with stuff. :) Because my immune system is so out of it, I get stuff that wouldn't even be a blip to regular people. But I never know--and the doctors don't really either--when it could be something bigger. So I tend to be a bit wary now of viruses and things that sneak in and treat them a bit more carefully than I did before, just because I'm not sure where the virus could lead--if that makes any sense. And since none of us are really sure, it can mean random ER visits, like the one I had a few Fridays ago, where dad and I ended up watching pre-season football while I got pain meds and other lovely things because my lungs were being silly and hurting for no reason, but were causing enough problems to make basic moving around difficult. 

So for the past two weeks I've been sort of hanging out and not doing much, mostly because my body won't let me do much; it wants to sit and stare at Sephora reviews all day. I'm trying not to let it do that. But now I'm starting to feel more human and I can knit and prep for vacation and all that fun stuff and not worry so much about viruses. 

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Summer adventures

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One of the great things about summer is the desire people have to get out and do things, and my friends and I are no exception. When you live in Ohio, or really any place with four seasons, you know that Winter Is Coming, and you won't be able to do these things!

My friend Gary and his wife Adelle brought their gorgeous baby daughter to meet us two weeks ago at the Columbus Hofbrauhaus. 

Me, baby A, and Tiff

Me, baby A, and Tiff

A bunch of us have been friends since high school (or more, in most cases), and we still love to get together, even though with kids and jobs and other responsibilities it's not as easy as it used to be. So it's even more fun when we get together now. And when adorable babies are involves, I'm all for it! 

Last Thursday, I went to the Columbus Zoo with one of my college friends, his wife, and their four children. They have a zoo membership and they graciously extended a free guest pass to me. I hadn't been to the zoo in years and it was great to be there with friends whom I also don't get to see that often, since they live about two hours away, and I hadn't even met the new baby yet!

Blurry, but that's what happens when you take a photo while you're holding a baby!

Blurry, but that's what happens when you take a photo while you're holding a baby!

The oldest girl especially liked to watch me sketch the animals and was very helpful in holding my pencils, giving me color advice, and asking good questions. We had a lot of fun drawing this flamingo!

She also liked the colors on the mandrill. Drawing animals is not, currently, my forte, but this was good for practice, and fortunately the flamingo stayed still! (Unlike the mandrill, who kept moving, so his face is a bit of a composite. But the essence of it is there. I love his colors.) 

Doing things in the summer was really hard pre-transplant--the heat and humidity, plus crappy lungs, really wore me out. It's still sort of hard because I have to make sure I'm amply covered in SPF, that the UV index isn't too high, and that salty things are readily available to eat. But before transplant, going to the zoo with four kids would've been impossible. I'd have dropped from exhaustion after two exhibits! So getting to do things like this are extra special to me.  

 

On The Town

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Tiffany and I have been best friends since we were freshmen in high school--so, holy cow, 21 years now. She and her husband, Bill, like to take me out for my transplant anniversary, so it's the one night a year we go out on the town to a fancy restaurant and eat great food and have fun together. 

This year we went to Mitchell's steak house, and then afterwards to the Book Loft in German Village, which is a bookstore in an old house. It's fantastic. If you've never been there, come the next time you're in Columbus. It's 30 some rooms of books, and fun things like Baby Lit buttons: 

It's really sweet of them to do this for me. They're good people. 

This moment of June

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There really is just something to love about June. I'm not sure what it is. But it feels like the beginning of summer, of everything just stretching out and opening to vacation season, and summer reading, and just...ahhh

(In general, I don't post toooo much during the summer. It's that whole relaxed vibe. :) But I'll still be here at least once a week.) 

 

Weekend in the Burgh

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It was a good weekend in the 'Burgh.

Normally, any weekend I get to spend with my extended family is a good one. But when it's a chance to celebrate my youngest cousin's first communion (he's the little guy in the above photo), and the Penguins win their fifth Stanley Cup? It's a great weekend. 

I've been a hockey fan since I was about seven years old, and saw my first Penguins game at the old Civic Arena against a team that doesn't even exist anymore--the Hartford Whalers. So I've been alive for every Penguins Cup victory, which is special in and of itself, but watching them win is just tremendous. I was so happy, especially since the game was so crappy for the most part (Nashville, learn to make better ice! Come on!). 

And seeing my grandma is always great. I love her house and getting to spend time with her, probably because I'm aware that she's 87 and not going to be around forever, and partially because I just adore her house. She's my only grandparent left, so that makes every visit with her even more important/special. 

Justin is my youngest cousin and he is hysterical. He's eight, he wants to be a librarian when he grows up, he keeps itemized shopping lists (labeled "Toys R Us", "Dick's", and "Amazon) and is a YouTube video master. He also has some sweet dance moves. It's always fun to spend time with him and his older siblings. (Sorry, Paige, for having a party at your house that went until almost 1 AM the night before your finals week started.......) 

We usually get up to Pittsburgh to visit once or twice each summer. I hope we go back again, because I have to go to Kennywood, as is tradition. 

Memorial Day Weekend

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Memorial day weekend means a few things. Usually. 

1) Swimming--except this year, because stitches in my head. Yes. Still there. Will be there for at least another two weeks. Sigh. So anyway, no swimming, but I am greatly looking forward to the moment I can do that!

(I'm not really missing anything--the complex pool isn't open yet. Whew.) 

2) The Great Jane Re-Read Commences. Every summer, I re-read all of Jane between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This year I did it backwards, so I started with Persuasion

I knocked it out on Saturday afternoon and enjoyed every minute I spent with Anne Elliot. As I always do, because Anne Elliot is the bomb. 

Next: Emma. 

(Can I be honest? Emma drives me nuts. I really only like her starting about halfway through the book, when Mrs. Elton shows up. But I do want to go to Box Hill and have a picnic.) 

3) Time with friends and family.  

This was most of the weekend. :) 

On Friday, Mary and I went to Chuy's, because that is what we do, all the time. (Well, most of the time. But we love Chuy's. Some creamy jalapeño and some dulce de leches cake makes everything in life come into focus.) 

There's so much I love about Mary....

There's so much I love about Mary....

Chuy's art

Chuy's art

We also went to Elm and Iron, which I adore, to check out some home-y type things.

The purple rimmed candles are called "Wildflower", and totally smell like some!

The purple rimmed candles are called "Wildflower", and totally smell like some!

 

I managed to replay my Sperrys, which died last summer (after I wore them for about six years) when the upper became separated from the sole. I don't replace shoes until they DIE, people. I'm not a big shoe person. 

I am, however, a big rose person. I love these.  

Love these roses outside Macy's! They're so blowsy pretty. 

Love these roses outside Macy's! They're so blowsy pretty. 

I have big plans for my place this summer. Obviously funds do not allow me to do it all at once. :) But browsing is always fun and that's how I get my ideas and figure out what I'm looking for. I did manage to hit a TREMENDOUS sale at Macy's where I got half off the pillows, and then 25% off that. They basically gave the pillows away, guys! (Well, OK, not really. But seriously, 75% OFF? What crazy world is this?!)  So my bed is a nest now. And I'm so excited to just love on it.  

Caroline The Rabbit is the second oldest denzien of the Bedroom. Coach the Bear is the oldest, but he didn't want to pose. 

Caroline The Rabbit is the second oldest denzien of the Bedroom. Coach the Bear is the oldest, but he didn't want to pose. 

My bedroom doesn't get as much love as it probably should these days, since I spend most of my time on the first floor of my place. But now I've got the Great Chair in the office, so I spend more time in there, and now my bedroom is really starting to come together. 

Sunday started with some watercolor work. It's true--sometimes I love what I draw and sometimes I hate it and want to rip the page from my sketchbook. But I don't, because that would mess up the book. Sigh. Roses are hard to paint, y'all.  (And yes, I'm a midwesterner, and I say "y'all." Because why not. I also say "slippy", which is what people in the 'Burgh say for "Slippery." I think "slippy" is a much better word.) 

Sunday morning coffee in my Eat 'n Park mug, because my hockey team is in the Stanley Cup Finals! Which means my Nashville mug is verboten--because the Pens are playing the Predators (Nashville's team). I cannot drink out of the (temporary) Enemy's Mug. 

The parents and I got lunch at Marcella's, a cute Italian place, where menus speak the truth: 

 

And then we did some shopping. 

Then I came home and had tea, brewed with my new tea ball. 

Chocolate tea, people!

Chocolate tea, people!

Monday I played a lot of skee ball and arcade games with my parents at the bowling alley arcade, and there were hot dogs for dinner. I won a stuffed monkey! 

And hockey. Hopefully my hockey team wins. :) 

 

(edited. They did. In the strangest game EVER--a disallowed goal, a catfish on the ice, and no shots on goal for over half the game. But they won anyway.) 

 

 

 

My nest

journalEmily DeArdo1 Comment

I love those cloudy, rainy days when I can just curl up in this spot on my couch with tea, books, maybe knitting, and just be. It's one of my favorite spots in the house. 
And on my other side.....

Because I always need good pens, notebooks, a book or two, and a phone charger by me at all times. Who doesn't?

And blankets. Oh my gosh, blankets. I loveeeee  having lots of blankets around. They are vital for building the proper nest. There are actually three blankets on my couch, but you can't see the bottom one (it's this one, from Garnet Hill. I got it on sale yeaaaars ago--it was one of the first things I got when I had my own place). The blue one is a promotional blanket from the live action Cinderella that I got at the movie theater when the movie came out, and the top one is a gift from my brother's fiance. Disney, blankets, and Vera Bradley--three of my favorite things in one package.

I sort of miss exercise. Is that weird? It's weird to me! But I see my doctor tomorrow and then I'll officially be "cleared" to exercise. I really can't do my yoga/pilates stuff anyway, because that involves head dropping and all that--things I probably shouldn't do with a hole in my head.  (Right?) So I'm trying to just walk around the house as much as I can. And read.