Emily M. DeArdo

writer

7 Quick Takes

Seven Quick Takes--Home

7 Quick Takes, the bookEmily DeArdoComment
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So I’m home! Yay!

I got home Wednesday afternoon and I’ve spent a lot of time sleeping and just sort of reading and resting—what fun, right? At 37 you find that you don’t recover from hospital stays quite as quickly as you did when you were twenty-seven, but, that’s OK. It’s not like I have any pressing appointments!


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If you missed the big news, BOOK PRE-ORDERS ARE OPEN!!!!!!!!

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So, book pre-orders made my hospital stay pretty darn exciting, I have to say. It at least gave me something to do besides watch endless HGTV!

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If you have Netflix, watch The King. It’s actually really good—roughly based on Shakespeare’s Henry V (and some of Henry IV 1 and 2), as well as regular old history, it makes for good watching. Great cast. (Robert Pattinson is an especially delightful over-the-top Dauphin.) Of course liberties are taken with history, because….that’s how we roll, apparently. :) Our stories need closure, dang it! (And fun characters—Falstaff, as Falstaff, didn’t exist, but Shakespeare knew how to write a good character.)

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So I’m not going to make it to seven today, but I did want to pop in, say hi, plug the pre-orders, and assure y’all that I’m still alive. :) Have a great weekend!

Seven Quick Takes--Etc.

7 Quick TakesEmily DeArdo2 Comments
seven quick takes.jpg

Linking up with Kelly


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I had a clinic appointment on Monday, which was OK. I mean, the lungs are fine, the immunosuppression levels are fine….I’m just not super looking forward to the endocrinologist visit on the thirtieth. The doctor gets great reviews from clinic—everyone seems to like her and she seems really competent (more than competent!), but I just don’t want to see another doctor. But, I will. So that’s coming up, but at least I’m more than halfway through the list of doctor appointments crammed into this month!

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One of the things that’s hard for me, as a person with a chronic illness, is that I don’t get to do a lot of things on my own terms. If you read any sort of weight loss/ health book, one of the first things the writer will say is “Do it for you, do what you like, throw out your scale”—with the idea being that making health changes shouldn’t be dependent on the feedback you get, like, weight loss, or what someone else wants for you, because that won’t make the changes stick. You have to do it for you.

I never get to “do it for me.”

I’d be fine with a few walks around the neighborhood, a few yoga flows, some ballet beautiful here and there. I know that my body does like to move, it needs to move in certain ways (thank you, knee messed up from meds that requires lots of love!). I know that. And I’m fine with that.

But the problem is, that’s not enough for all the people I see. They want results. They want a program, 30/40 minutes every day, with results. They want weight loss (we won’t talk about how the Terrible Insulin Experiment led to weight gain…..). They want results.

So I don’t get to do it for me. I do it for them.

Sometimes I think about Amber—we talked about this a lot. She told me once that she exercised to punish her body—to bend it to her will, to make it to what she wanted. And I never wanted to do that. I don’t want to punish my body. Lord knows it’s been punished enough, poor thing. I want it to behave, but I don’t want to subdue it to my will and punish it.

A lot of the time, I feel like I’m trying—and failing spectacularly—to do what everyone wants me to do. But what I want never really figures into it. What I am comfortable with, the results I want to see—they’re not enough. So, yeah, it’s extremely frustrating. I’m not really sure how to deal with that frustration right now, to be honest with you.

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So, this month of doctors (and all the appointments have been pretty good—things are stable, or are clearing up [sinuses, yay!]) has led me to be crankier/sadder than usual. I don’t really like it, but there it is. And I do try to be honest with you, blog readers. :) I will never, ever not love being alive. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when I’d like to call a time out and just try to live like other people do for, you know, a month. Six months.

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Anddd OK, got that out. :)

I should have the finalized book cover—and news for you about the awesome person who wrote the preface—very very very soon. I actually thought it would be this week, but who knows (it could happen later today!)

Anyway, if you want all the exciting news first, sign up for the newsletter. Please and thank you.

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You might not notice but there are some changes round the blog! I have an events page set up, which hopefully will have some items on it in the future, such as book signings and appearances and stuff like that! I also have a blog email: hello@emilymdeardo.com. If you have questions, want signed books (eventually), press, etc…..all of that stuff goes to this email address!

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If you’ve never seen Script Ohio, please change that and watch it:

Even if you do not like football, Script Ohio is superb. and deserves lots of love!

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Fall is in earnest here, which makes me happy. The hawthorn tree outside Orchard House is heavy with berries, the leaves are changing colors, and I saw this little guy on my walk yesterday:







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Have a great weekend!

Seven Quick Takes--"Shut up!" She Said

7 Quick TakesEmily DeArdoComment
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This week on the blog…..retreat!

Part One

Part Two

Part Three


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That also explains the title……guys, really, we need to shut up. We need to have silence with God so we can hear Him! We gotta stop filling our lives with noise!

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From Catholic Mom: Is A Silent Retreat Impossible?

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I wrote a post a long time ago on an old blog—I have no idea where the original post is—but the gist of it was that people are terrified of silence these days. This was before everyone had earbuds in all the time, but it was when it was getting really popular.

It seems like people can’t walk down the street these days without earbuds in. They can’t be in their houses without the TV on or something streaming from somewhere. There is no silence. There must be noise, all the time. And this isn’t good. (First off, hearing loss much?)

Now, I say this as a person who wrote a lot of her college papers with background noise on. I still do like music or a movie in the background if I’m doing something like knitting, or even, occasionally, writing things. (Not the book. That was written in mostly silence!) What I’m talking about is noise all the time. Everywhere. Constantly.

We have to bring back silence. I didn’t really realize this until I started to lose my hearing, but man, silence really is golden.

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And if you think about this from a perspective of God—we’re supposed to love God. Imagine your closest relationship, say, your spouse. If all you did was drown out your spouse, if you talked over him all the time and never let him talk, if you never listened to him—ever—then how would that relationship go?

Probably not well.

It’s the same with God. We have to have dialogue. We have to listen and talk. And a lot of the time, we’re not listening. We’re not even giving him an opening. We’re just…..blasting him out.

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And we can even see this in our worship—is there time for silence at Mass? We don’t have to have a post-communion hymn, y’know. We could just…have….silence. So people can pray! So they can listen to God!

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Yeah, I’m on my soapbox about silence this week. :) But I think it’s an important thing to talk about. Not just in retreats, although I suggest you go on one. Not just in silent adoration, although I recommend that, too! We need silence in our lives in general. Focus on what’s happening. Try not to be distracted by the phone!

So I guess you could call this retreat series part four. :) Next week I’ll write something non-retreat related….I hope to have a big announcement for the book by this time next week! Fingers crossed!!!!!





Seven Quick Takes--St. Francis, Forgiveness, and Fear

7 Quick Takes, behind the scenes, current projects, the bookEmily DeArdo5 Comments
linking up with  Kelly !

linking up with Kelly!

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Why yes, I am alliterating my titles.

To start with St. Francis—it’s his feast day! Dominicans celebrate the feast days of Franciscans (and vice versa!), because we just love each other that much. :) Well, we do, but here’s the story.

St. Francis and St. Dominic, Fra Angelico

St. Francis and St. Dominic, Fra Angelico

So, happy Feast Day, Franciscans! We celebrate with you!

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Might be a good time to remind everyone that St. Francis didn’t really give us the “Prayer of St. Francis” (it was written in the 60s) and that he did more than just like animals. St. Francis was a pretty bad-ass saint. The Word on Fire documentary about him in The Pivotal Players is eye-opening, if you’ve only ever thought of him that way. This piece is a good overview.

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OK, Forgiveness.

This is just a reflection—a thought—on something I’ve been pondering this week.

I’m 37. That means in three years, I’ll be 40 (God willing and the creek don’t rise). That’s a good chunk of time living on planet earth. That’s two score of years!

But one thing I have noticed in those almost 40 years is how vital forgiveness is, how terrible it is for a person who doesn’t forgive past things to be weighed down by that anger and resentment and pain.

Holding on to that anger does nothing to the person who wronged you. It hurts you.

Some things aren’t possible to forgive easily. That’s true. They require work and prayer and maybe sessions with therapists or other professionals.

But after seeing a teenager forgive the woman who murdered his brother—he hugged her, for pete’s sake!—it just brought home to me how vital this call of Christ is.

We’re called to forgive the way we want to be forgiven.

I honestly don’t know how this young man did this. Christ works strongly in his life, is all I can say. If someone killed my brother, I’d be….full of rage. I’d be absolutely incapable of this kind of grace, at least at this point.

This teenager puts me to shame.

And in a way, this ties into St. Francis and his story about perfect joy (I excerpted this from a longer piece that you can read here.)

“One day, on the road home, Francis was walking with Br. Leo. Francis said to Br. Leo; ‘If the Order of Friars became world famous for doing good works, and spreading the Gospel, this would not be perfect joy. Br. Leo asked, ‘Father Francis, what then would be perfect joy?’ Francis responded, ‘If all the most famous and powerful people in the land entered the Order of Friars, and worked with us proclaiming the Gospel, healing the sick, caring for the poor, and converting many souls to Christ, this would not be perfect joy!’ Br. Leo then says, ‘Please Father Francis, tell me what is perfect joy!’ Francis said; ‘Brother Leo, if we come to our friary, after this long journey, tired, wet, cold, and hungry, longing for a meal, and a warm dry place to sleep, and we knock on the door, and hear from within our brothers who ask, ‘Who are You?’ We respond that we are your brothers coming home from a long journey, and we wish for you to let us in. But instead of the welcome we long for, we hear a response from inside, go away; we do not know who you are. We are expecting no one, you must be liars and thieves, intending to harm us! If, Brother Leo, after that, we can still have peace in our heart, that is Perfect Joy!’”

Man. I have such a long way to go to achieve perfect joy.

But back to forgiveness—run of the mill forgiveness—in the words of Into the Woods, “People make mistakes!” And they do. We’re hurt in all sorts of little ways that the other person might not even notice. But we have a choice. We can either hold on to that hurt and let it poison us (because it doesn’t poison the other person), or we can forgive and stop poisoning ourselves.

This isn’t new ground. But it’s something I’ve been thinking about this week.

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And that leads us to fear! (And then we’ll do some fun things, I promise, so this isn’t all heavy.)

Satan loves fear. He loves to play on our sense of inadequacy and comparison and uncertainty. He love, love, loves it.

Christ does not call us to fear. He calls us to trust and joy and hope.

So, if you’re feeling a lot of fear or doubt or inadequacy—tell Satan to get behind you and that Mary is crushing his head. :) And so is St. Michael.

(Do you say the St. Michael prayer daily? I recommend it!)

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On the blog this week:

Yarn Along

St. Therese!

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BOOK STUFF!

The cover is 99% done. I love it and can’t wait to show it to you.

I’ve read the forward for the book and I love it. Can’t wait to tell you who’s writing it.

Basically it’s a lot of I love what’s happening but I can’t tell you yet! :)

(If you want to be the first to know, sign up for the newsletter…..)

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So glad to be going on retreat. If you have prayer requests, hit me up!

Seven Quick Takes--the 60th of September

7 Quick Takes, Catholicism, CF, health, Seven Quick Takes, the book, transplant, writingEmily DeArdo2 Comments
seven quick takes.jpg

Linking up with Kelly!

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In case you missed it, here’s what’s been going down around these parts this week:

Simplicity Series #1—Reset Day!

Stitch Fix Box #8!


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The reason this post is entitled the 60th of September is because this month has seemed insanely long. Isn’t there a song called “Wake Me Up When September Ends?” That’s how I feel right now. It’s just been so long. And sort of crazy.

One of the big crazy-making things is that I’m in the middle of Doctor Roulette, which I really haven’t written about here, so I probably need to catch you up.


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(If you’re not interested in medical stuff, skip this and go to point four, where I talk about BOOK THINGS!)

So, being post-transplant, and being fourteen years out, is….interesting. Obviously, I am INSANELY GRATEFUL to be at that marker. I am. Never think I’m not. But at the same time, it’s a Brave New World of Medical Stuff, because it’s rare. So when things happen, there’s not a lot of research to go on. There’s just…..talking. And guessing. And seeing what works.

Essentially, all summer we have been messing with insulin, because my blood glucose levels have been off. (I”m trying to keep this as medical jargon free, but when I say this, what I mean is my A1c, not my BGLs. If you’re confused, I can explain in another post, so let me know if you want that much detail into my life!)

So my team decided to put me on some long-acting insulin.

But……that didn’t work. First, it didn’t lower my BGLs, which I was testing twice a day, and second, insulin is a hormone. That means it can affect lots of parts of your body.

For me, that meant—headaches. Not sleeping. Weight gain (DAMN IT), and insanely inappropriate mood reactions. If Big Ben threw an interception I wanted to break things. If someone parked next to me at the supermarket, I became incandescently angry.

This is not appropriate.

And the scariest part for me? Forgetting things. Words. Ideas. What I was doing. This is not good. I rely on my brain, and words are my trade. I can’t be forgetting them! I need to be mentally sharp.

(But you’re never mentally sharp, Emily, says the peanut gallery….)

I did some digging and found out that when you have too much insulin—as in, you have WAY too much, and your body doesn’t need it—this is what happens.

And this is the problem. My body is weird. Not just the transplant weird, but weird for a CF person. I’m what’s called “pancreatically sufficient”, which is rare. It means my pancreas works like a normal person’s, not like a CF person’s. I don’t need to take enzymes to help digest my food, because my pancreas does it. I never had CF related diabetes.

And my A1c starting rising once I hit menopause—so there’s probably a connection there as well.

So, long story short, my team is sort of confused, and I’m seeing an endocrinologist the day before Halloween. That’s one reason I haven’t been writing as much this month, because things have just been crazy, but also my body has been through a lot, and I’m trying to be nice to it. Which means, chilling out, after all the non chilling out. :-P

There are some other issues, too, mainly that I don’t have a great track record when seeing endos, because they look at me and go, you’re really messed up, what do you want me to do about it?

But anyway, that’s at the end of October. Yay.


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in the meantime!

BOOK THINGS!

People are starting to ask for interviews, which is….weird. I mean, good, but weird.

The cover is 99% done. I’ve seen it. I can’t show you yet. If you want to be the first to see it, subscribe to the blog!

It’s really pretty, I like it. :)


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Hockey season starts soon and this makes me very happy!


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I am going on retreat next week, so if you have prayer requests, I am honored to take them with me! Drop them in the combox, or use the contact page.


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If you haven’t seen the Word on Fire team’s newest entries in their Pivotal Players series—Fulton Sheen and Flannery O’Connor—I highly recommend them! They’re great! Flannery is a really important influence for me, in how to live as a Catholic and a writer, and I write this quote from her at the beginning of all my journals:


I feel that if I were not a Catholic, I would have no reason to write, no reason to see, no reason ever to feel horrified or even enjoy anything. I am a born Catholic, went to Catholic school in my early years, and have never left or wanted to leave the Church. I have never had the sense that being a Catholic is a limit to the freedom of the writer, but just the reverse. … I feel myself that being a Catholic has saved me a couple of thousand years in learning to write. (The Habit of Being *)


So I love the Flannery film. It was also nice to learn more about soon to be Blessed Fulton Sheen—I had read some of his books, and I knew of him, but the film does a great job fleshing out what I knew.

(Also, in a nice twist, a college friend of mine composed the music for both films. Go Sean!)

And I really don’t think we can improve on Fulton and Flannery, do you? :) Have a great weekend!

*==Amazon Affiliate Link



Seven Quick Takes--dance and a little simplicity

7 Quick Takes, simplicity seriesEmily DeArdoComment
seven quick takes.jpg

Linking up with Kelly!

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If you missed it, I did a Yarn Along earlier this week!

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Another thing I’ve been doing is going to dance class. Yes, I have started back, at a great studio, with a fabulous teacher. At the end of class on Wednesday night (in which I did a single pirouette, go me), I felt great. I called my sister afterwards and said, “That was such a great class! I have so much energy! I was pumped!”

“That’s what exercise is supposed to feel like,” Melanie said.

Well, shut me up. I guess I’ve been missing that for 37 years….

So I’ll be going to dance class on Wednesday nights from now on. Woo woo!


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I did have dance as a kid. But the only athletic goal I ever had was to get into pointe shoes, and I figured, since that’s the only athletic thing I’ve ever wanted, maybe I should….try to do that? So I’m trying.

I have a foam roller, a massage ball, and a theraband for working on foot and ankle strength. I am committed,!

And warm up booties! :)

Check out first position in the Bloch booties, y’all. :)

Check out first position in the Bloch booties, y’all. :)

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OK, before I talk about Simplicity, if you haven’t signed up for the email list, please do it? Because then you get all the fun book things first! (well, after my parents.) Go here! No spam! Promise!

(Already a subscriber? I love you! Mwah!)

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OK, so simplicity stuff.

September always makes me think about routine and rhythm and changes I want to make (hence, dance classes). And I thought, you know, I might as well write about these things. Because I think we can all use ideas on how to focus on what really matters, right? To give ourselves margin and to stop the crazy comparison game?

Now, I’m not married and I don’t have kids. I’m just gonna point that out. That makes some things easier for me—as in, I’m only responsible for myself and my own laundry. :) But at the same time, it also makes things harder, because everything is on me. I don’t have a husband to help me out.

That being said, I think that I can still share some things that I’ve found to be worthwhile. So I will share them with you!

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I’m so ready for pro football to start. I’m so glad college football has come back. Sports doldrums are over!

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I’ve been looking for some new movies to watch lately. What have you loved that I need to see? Share in the comments!

Seven Quick Takes--St. Rose and Staycation

7 Quick Takes, travelEmily DeArdo1 Comment
seven quick takes.jpg

Linking up with Kelly!

I.

Today is the Feast Day of St. Rose of Lima, a Dominican Tertiary! She is an excellent saint for our times.

II.

You may have noticed some blog silence round these parts—I tend to blog less in the summer. But we’ll be revving back up again, especially as book news comes out. If you want to know all the book goodness first, then sign up for my mailing list! (No spam. Only fun things. Pinky promise.)

III.

“OK, Emily, enough, tell me about staycation!”

OK.

So, we went to Colorado for my sister’s wedding in June, but, as you know if you’ve had a family wedding lately, they’re fun, but they’re work too—you have to make sure your clothing gets to the place unmolested, that your shoes fit, that the priest shows up, etc. etc. etc. And that you didn’t forget anything two thousand miles away. And I’d just finished the first draft of the manuscript. So yeah, I was beat when June was over!

I finally decided that I wanted to take a ‘staycation’ in August. I’d never done it, but it sounded like fun.

I made this a really cheap staycation. I did not have a masseuse come to my house, I didn’t hire a cleaning service to clean my house, and I didn’t get a room in a hotel (all of these are actual staycation suggestions I found on the internet. OK, folks. The hotel one was the only one I didn’t think was really out there. If you want someone to clean your house, fine, and that’s legit, but….as a staycation? I guess….anyway, I digress!)

I set a limited budget, and made a plan. That budget would encompass everything I wanted to do, just like a real vacation, except I was staying in town. Columbus has a lot of fun things! When my family goes on vacation to the beach, we normally eat out for one meal, and have the others at our beach house; I have a nice tea/coffee break in the afternoon; and I do a lot of reading. So all those things were incorporated as well.

IV.

Monday was sort of the planning day. Tuesday was when I ventured forth!

The first place I went was Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. They had several exhibits I wanted to see—a Chihuly installation (above and beyond what the conservatory already has, which is a lot), Blooms and Butterflies (where they release hundreds of butterflies into the Pacific Island Room), and a bonsai exhibit. It would also be a great time to sketch! So I packed up my sketching stuff and headed off to the conservatory.

(To see the gallery photos, swipe or use your arrow keys!)


I’ll have to take photos of my sketchbook pages so I can show you what I did.

It’s always a lot of fun going here. There are different “biomes”—Himalayan Mountains, Rainforest, Desert, and the Pacific Island Water Garden. The Bonsai exhibit was held in a different gallery, where it was very hot, because, glasshouse and it was 90 degrees. But it was still fun. I ate lunch here and grabbed a butterfly shaped silicone tea infuser to replace my tea balls that keep BREAKING!

After I had lunch and finished sketching, I went home, made some tea, read a bit, and then went swimming after dinner.


V.

Wednesday I took a trip to German Village. German Village is, as the name suggests, an area of town that was founded by German Immigrants in the 19th century. Many of the streets are still paved with bricks, and the houses showcase the original architecture. It’s also home to some of the city’s best eating!

I went to Schmidt’s, which was founded in 1886 and serves some pretty epic sausage. The thing about Schmidt’s is they don’t take reservations. So you either get here right when it opens at 11, you eat at off-times, or you just wait. OR, you come alone, like I did, and you eat at the bar, where there is usually no wait! Yay!

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After Schmidt’s, I headed to a local coffee shop and then to The Book Loft, which is an incredible independent bookstore built into an old house (or several!). It’s amazing. You could spend hours here, and you get all your steps in wandering around! :) Before cell phones it was interesting to go here with a group—you just sort of had to hope you’d find each other again. I think every book is 5% off, and some are really marked down, like more than half, or even 75%, so you can always find good deals here, and books that other places won’t have. It’s a little bit addictive. I sketched the fountain in their courtyard, and came home with some awesome Wizard of Oz magnets.

(If, somehow, you have missed my addiction to The Wizard of Oz— I have one.)


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Yesterday I had tea with my friend Mary before she goes off to graduate school, and that was delicious, as always. (Cambridge Tea House is the best!)

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I also watched To Kill A Mockingbird and started watching Wizard, because it’s turning 80 on Sunday!

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So that was my ‘staycation’. Today is the last day, and I’m having lunch with my dad this afternoon, which we do just about every week and I enjoy. (Last week it was lunch and shopping with mom, which was equally enjoyable!) This afternoon I’ll probably sketch a bit and knit and…do laundry. Which is part of a week-long vacation, anyway. :)

So that’s how I staycationed! Have you ever done this? Any questions about how I did it? Really, once I made a list of all the things I could do in town, it was hard to choose! (I might do one more thing tomorrow before Mass. We’ll see!




Seven Quick Takes--Easing Into August

7 Quick Takes, books, food, recipes, Seven Quick Takes, the bookEmily DeArdo2 Comments
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Linking up with Kelly!

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Hiya, August! Whew!

This summer has been sort of intense, at least June, and then July was sort of decompression, and now it’s August! In some places around here, the kids go back to school in two weeks!

So here’s what going on around Orchard House….

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My city has a farmer’s market every week in the summer and then once a month the rest of the year (it’s indoor then, too). And now I live essentially three minutes away from it, so yesterday I decided to check it out. There’s a vendor that sells meat from his farm! That made me really happy, so I bought a brisket (which I’ve never cooked, but hey, why not), and a pound of ground beef. I also bought tomatoes and candy onions, and I should’ve gotten a LOT more tomatoes so I could make sauce, but…..next week!

Fortunately the market runs weekly through September, so I have two months to stock up on stuff. Looking forward to that.

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I also made a few new recipes this week. I don’t really like to cook in the summer, but somehow in August my brain switches over and says, OK, we can cook now. No idea why. So I’ve made a few good things this week, all Barefoot Contessa recipes: chicken thighs in creamy mustard sauce (I subbed light sour cream for the creme fraiche), Israeli Couscous and Tuna Salad, and Raspberry Crumble Bars.

The topping is granola and some of the shortbread base.

The topping is granola and some of the shortbread base.

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In book news: I have a copy edited manuscript, and now I have to go over it to see if I want to make any changes (or to catch any glaring errors). So that’s due next week. It’s so weird to re-read what I’ve written…..I hope I don’t think it’s all awful and want to chuck it out. :-p

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We’re in a really busy section of the church year—there are so many feasts and saints’ days in August! And St. Dominic is next week!


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Here’s a look at the state of the To Read Stack:

WHEW!

WHEW!

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Also, if you’re looking for some daily spiritual reading, check out A Year With the Mystics. It’s not out until next month, but through an Amazon glitch, I got my pre-ordered copy early!



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It’s so beautiful, and it’s making for wonderful spiritual reading!

A Chatty Seven Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes, books, knitting, Seven Quick TakesEmily DeArdoComment
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Linking up with Kelly!

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This is for my musical theater nerds!

I was thinking this week what the best Rodgers and Hammerstein musical is. (show, not film. In that category it’s definitely The Sound of Music, because it’s a fabulous film and I think it makes the original material better.) My vote is for Carousel, by a smidge (because I do like South Pacific); my dad supports South Pacific, and there was a vote for The King and I.

I think Carousel is the best for a few reasons: a fabulous leading man part; four good female roles (Julie, Carrie, Nettie, and Mrs. Mullins); a glorious score; and good use of chorus. The chorus actually has opportunities to do things often, as opposed to The King and I.

Is it perfect? No. I don’t think we need “Stonecutters” (and I think that was axed from the last Broadway revival), the whole “yes, someone can hit you and it doesn’t hurt at all” thing (eeeeek!), and the ballet can be too long. But, I think that we wouldn’t have had West Side Story, or Fiddler, or really any sort of true musical drama, without Carousel.

-II-

I started working with my Colonial Williamsburg yarn this week. Some of you may remember my extra special Yarn Along about that, and it’s taken me two years to figure out what to do with the yarn! So I’m going to do something simple, but, hopefully, historically accurate. I’m making a scarf, with slipped stitch edges, on size 8 needles. I didn’t want to do it on big needles because they didn’t have big (like, size 12) needles in Colonial times, I don’t think. But this yarn is thick, so I couldn’t do it on a small needle, like a size 5 or below. So I thought a scarf would be a practical, Colonial thing, and I have a lot of yarn, so it’ll be nice and long and warm.

The source of my yarn! Leicester Longwool sheep!

The source of my yarn! Leicester Longwool sheep!


-III-

Reading: I read Where the Crawdads Sing, * and I LOVED IT. I really want to discuss it with someone! Highly recommend it.

I’m currently reading about five million things, but I’m also really liking Greek to Me, * because it appeals to two sides of my personality: A love of ancient Greek myth and culture, and word nerdiness. And book nerdiness!

-IV-

A note on the Mueller hearings, but a NON POLITICAL ONE!

One of the things that bothered me about the coverage was that people kept saying that Mueller needed questions repeated, like this was somehow a slam on his intelligence or “with it”-ness.

Guys. No.

I am crazy sensitive about this, because, hello, hearing impaired. I hate asking people to repeat themselves because I know they’re thinking I’m a dim bulb, or not paying attention, or flaky, or something. But really, I want to make sure I understood you!

I don’t know if Robert Mueller is hearing impaired. But I do know that we really, really should stop thinking that if someone asked for something to be repeated, that they’re stupid or cognitively challenged or whatever.

-V-

Nothing new on the book front yet. But please sign up for the mailing list! Then you get all the delicious news first and there might be fun things for subscribers! (Well, there are fun things—two printables I designed—but maybe more than that, who knows!) Sign up!

-VI-

July is like sports doldrums. Sigh. Once Wimbledon is over I just languish until sports pick up again in August. I don’t really like the NBA, and I’m a Pirates fan, so that’s sort of like constant baseball futility, but oh well. August and football will be here soon!

-VII-

I also joined a book club! Well, I’ve done it before. It’s called Well Read Mom, but this time, I looked into joining a group in my area, and there is one! Yay! I really miss discussing books with folks. I’m obviously not a mom, but any lady can join these! I love this book club because it’s not just current lit. There’s spiritual reading, plays, essays, novels….all sorts of things! It delights my little heart. (And this year Little Women is one of the books, which is so appropriate for my Orchard House dwelling soul!) Have you ever joined a book club or wanted to?

*==I’m an Amazon affiliate, so if you buy a book through these links, I get a tinnnny bit of money, which helps keep the lights on over here! :)


Seven Quick Takes--writing, pro-life ministry, and Washer Monster

7 Quick Takes, Take Up and Read, life issues, the book, knittingEmily DeArdo1 Comment
seven quick takes.jpg

Linking up with Kelli!

-1-

Around these parts this week:

Doing the best you can with what you have

Prime Day deals—Prime Day is over, but if you haven’t checked in with Take Up & Read lately, we have a lot of gorgeous studies! Maybe it’s time to start Christmas shopping?




-2-

This is sort of a…well, a sad take. But.

On Twitter this week I saw a woman writing about how she didn’t know how to get a casket for her miscarried child.

The Trappist monks of New Melleray Abbey provide infant and child caskets free to families.

Free. Gratis. No charge.

Go here, and scroll down to “child”, and select a size.

These are beautiful handmade caskets. In addition to the caskets, the monks will plant a memorial tree for your child, and remember your child in a special Mass. The parents also receive a keepsake cross made of th same wood as the casket.

If you need one IMMEDIATELY, call them at:

888-433-6934

They answer the phone 24 hours a day.

They also have a child casket fund, where people can donate to support this ministry, here.

This is such a beautiful service they provide. I know it’s terribly hard to think about, but I have had friends who have lost children to miscarriage. This makes one part of it easier—you don’t have to make your child’s casket or fumble around at a funeral home. The monks will do it, beautifully, for free.




-3-

The book skips along! It’s done with copy edits so my editor has it now and is working on it. No cover art yet but the minute I have it I’ll share with you (subscribers find out first!)




-4-

This week I finished a long linen scarf I knit to use in the summer. I love it. It’s a gorgeous color. So I went to block it in my washing machine. I had run a test piece of linen before and it came out fine so I thought I’d be fine this time.

NOPE.

Washer Monster wanted to eat it.



But my lovely maintenance man here saved it! Yay!



Yay! It’s saved!

Yay! It’s saved!

I’m always amazed at how well linen blocks. It’s just great. Such a difference!


-5-

I’m on an Emily Blunt movie binge lately. I watched The Devil Wears Prada and A Quiet Place this week and I’m going to watch Mary Poppins Returns tonight. (My movie BF Colin F. is in it too. I do love his movies.)

-6-

Sometimes we live in Hoth, here in Ohio, and sometimes it’s in the 90s with a heat index giving us a temp of 114. Yeah, it’s that day. So, movie binging and working on house projects today!

-7-

It feels hard to believe that July is half over and that Target has school supply displays up. When do the schools in your area go back? Ours tend to go back in the middle of August now, but they get out before June.




















Seven Quick Takes--Writing Updates, Birthdays, A Wedding....

7 Quick Takes, family, writing, the bookEmily DeArdo4 Comments
seven quick takes.jpg

Linking up with Kelly!

-I-

If you missed it, my sister got married last week!

It was a beautiful day! I’ll have more about travel logistics up soon, as well as the second part of my April trip…..bad me, I know! I’m being a slacker blogger!



-II-

But I have a reason to be slacker blogger—it’s time for edits! Which means:


I got edits up to Chapter 11 (there are 15 main chapters, plus the prayer section, and the intro and preface, so 17 chapters and prayers) from my editor yesterday, so now it’s time to DIVE IN. So if it’s quiet around here, that’s why. Amuse yourselves by looking through the archives!

(Or buy Catholic 101! $5!)

-III-

So yes, I’ll be in the office, by Corgi corner, writing. :)

What is Corgi Corner?

73E6C8B7-2BE1-4482-B6D7-AF7E6CB7900D.jpg

This. :)

It’s a Corgi Calendar that my friend Sarah sent me for my birthday, a card with a leaping corgi on the cover, and my Susan Branch Royal Corgi mug, because hello it’s THE BEST.

I fill the mug with tea, and I write. Corgi corner keeps me going!


-IV-

Happy First Day of Summer! It’s been so rainy here that when the sun is out I feel like Gollum:

It’s only going to be 75 today so not quite warm enough to swim, but warm enough to get outside and squint at the bright thing in the sky!

-v-

We’re hitting the big Birthday Stride in our family: Dad’s birthday was on Wednesday, my new brother in law’s is today, my mom’s is tomorrow, mom and dad’s anniversary (their fortieth!) is on the 30th, and that’s also my grandma’s 89th birthday.

WHEW!

-VI-

The trip to CO was our big trip of the summer so the rest of the summer is delightfully free. Of course I’m working on edits because they’re due before the Fourth of July, but after that, who knows what’s going to happen? Well, other than clinic in July—the big yearly testing date, with CTs and bone density scans—and then my fourteenth transplant anniversary on the 11th!

-VII-

I also need to update you about books I’m reading but we’ll do that later…..I’ll add it to my blog list. In the meantime, tell me what you’re reading! I’m always looking for new titles to pick up!

Seven Quick Takes Of Random

7 Quick TakesEmily DeArdoComment
seven quick takes.jpg

Linking up with Kelly!

-1-

This really is just going to be very random. No catchy titles this week. :)

ICYMI, here’s what’s been on the blog this week:

Yarn Along #90
Last Week’s Seven Quick Takes—You Are Not A Mistake


—2—

I’m getting a Stitch Fix box today! So I will have a post about that next week. I know it’s been awhile since I’ve done one, but one is coming soon! :)

—3—

This week has been sort of odd, one of those weeks that feels long and short, you know? It’s been so rainy here that I haven’t been able to swim much, but my little herb garden is going bonkers, so that’s good. I’m going to have to freeze a lot of basil!


—4—

Sort of going off what I wrote about last week, more thoughts: I like myself.

Now, don’t take that the wrong way. What I mean is, even if I could “remove” the CF from me, I wouldn’t, because then I wouldn’t be me. Does that make sense? I’d be someone else, and I rather like being me.


—5—

I guess that can segue into what’s been popular on Catholic Twitter this week, which is how you dress for church.

My mom never let my sister or I wear jeans to Mass. Or shorts. So I don’t wear shorts to Mass even now (I don’t really wear shorts, period). I have worn jeans, when I’ve been out doing other things and then gone to Mass, and on retreat I certainly wear jeans for all of the Masses except Sunday. But even then, they’re not “jeggings” or otherwise super tight.

The argument this time was about—shoulders.

Basically, ladies and gents, this is how I see it. If you’re going to Mass, dress like you’re meeting the mayor/president/queen/pope. You don’t have to wear a tiara or a poufy dress, but think about how you look and what you’re going to do. Even if you wear jeans, make sure they’re clean and not insanely revealing.

Although, I mean, if you want to wear a tiara, go for it….


Shorts—need to cover the business, guys. Come on now. Don’t wear something to Mass that is more appropriate for the beach or the boardwalk or Kennywood (amusement park in the ‘Burgh). If shorts aren’t at least covering your butt, then they are failing in their purpose, right?
But shoulders….yeah. OK. You can find sleeveless tank tops (tank tops! Not spaghetti strap camis!) that are fairly modest, like ones from Talbots. With these, you’re not showing an insane amount of skin, but you’re cool. In the summer, I love to wear my Land’s End Fit and Flare dresses (I wore one in my new headshots, which you’ll see next week!), but I put a cami under them, and generally a cardigan over them if I’m going to Mass. (If I’m just going out to dinner, say, I’ll still wear the cami/tank top under them, but not the sweater.)

But look folks. If it’s 90 some degrees, which it can be in my part of the world in the summer, and it’s that hot in church, the cardigan’s not even going to make it through the collect. Please make sure that the churches are appropriately cool so that I don’t faint from heat stroke if I’m wearing a cardigan over my dress.

(And yes—my mother’s home parish didn’t have A/C until I was in high school. So, yes, I know, we all survived without A/C. I don’t know. Maybe we were better adapted as a species, maybe we were just tougher, maybe we were just used to it, I got nothing. But I know that this girl is heat sensitive—thanks, prednisone!—, and so I’d rather not faint in the pew.)

When I dress for Mass, I’m not thinking about being an “occasion of sin” for the men in my parish. I’m thinking about dressing properly to see Jesus and to worship him. And yeah, proper dressing means that, to quote Mother Teresa, God probably doesn’t want to see so much of me. LOL.

Church isn’t the pool, folks.

So that’s all I’m gonna say about that. :-D I mean, really, it’s just common sense. And some fashion trends are just awful and we should all avoid them, right? Like the destroyed jeans look? What’s the deal there, y’all?

—6—

In the “Things the Church Does Well” file: helped invent sign language!


—7—

Like I said above, I should have my “corrected” (read: touched up) headshots next week and I will share them! Yay!!!! It was hard to choose the final winners but I hope you guys like them.

Seven Quick Takes--You Are Not a Mistake

7 Quick Takes, life issues, the bookEmily DeArdo1 Comment
seven quick takes.jpg

Linking up with Kelly!

-1-

OK, It’s about to get really earnest and passionate in here, folks. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

With all the new pro-abortion laws coming out, the number of tweets I’ve seen, and articles I’ve read, about how mothers “need” to abort children who are disabled makes me want to scream. There’s nothing quite like the experience of being told that you are not worthy of living to make you really angry.


So we’re just gonna lay it all out here:

If you are a person with a “genetic anomaly”, like me:

You deserve to be here.

You are loved. You are here because God loved you so much that he wanted to create you. And here you are. You are not a burden. You are not a mistake. You are a beloved child of God.

Any one else who says anything else? Deserves to be smacked upside the head. (Verbally, at least.)

—II—

DO NOT give in to these people, my fellow genetic mutations. :) You are WORTH EXISTENCE. If I never write anything else, ever again, please remember that. Please remember that you are loved beyond all measure by God who created you.


-III-

Remember Pope Benedict:

BXVI quote.jpg


-IV-

OK, is that enough angst for you? And passion?

Because, seriously, folks. Seriously.


-V-

Onto other things! I have submitted my draft! YAY!!!! The first hurdle is cleared in the journey toward Real Bookdom! Yay!!!!!!

-VI-

If you just cannot wait until January to read a book of mine, Catholic 101 is available now and is five bucks!

-VII-

I have scrummy linen yarn sitting in my mailbox that I have to go fetch, so we’ll wrap this up. But remember.

You are not a mistake.


Seven Quick Takes--the book has a title, the Jane Re-Read, and summer kicks off!

7 Quick Takes, writing, current projects, booksEmily DeArdoComment

-I-

Hi everyone! Happy Memorial Day Weekend (if you’re in the U.S.)! It’s sort of the unofficial kick off to summer, so there will be barbecues and parties all over the place, and I begin the Great Jane Re-Read, where I re-read Jane Austen’s novels every summer. Want to join me? I’m starting with Sense and Sensibility.


-II-

In case you missed it, my book has a title! It’s a great one! I’m really excited! (Can you tell?) As soon as pre-orders open I will share it here. And, again, as a reminder: If you want book news first, before anyone else, sign up for the mailing list.


-III-

In other book-y news….

Better Together.jpg

Better Together is Take Up & Read’s new summer study! I just got my copy yesterday and she’s beautiful!

This book is all about Biblical Hospitality. Sometimes we get scared of hospitality, because we think we need to have the perfect house and the perfect food and the perfect playlist. That’s not what God calls us to do at all. Hospitality is simply sharing and gathering with people. We aren’t meant to do Christianity alone. Let’s get over the idea that hospitality has to be perfect!

This book would make a great summer study—I do hope you’ll join us!

-IV-

The big event of the summer is that my sister is getting married in Estes Park, CO, in June. So we’re all in the midst of preparing for that. I’ve got my packing list written but I haven’t actually started packing yet. And yes, I know I owe you a Denver travelogue, so that is coming, I promise!

-V-

This California bill is a terrible idea, on multiple fronts—if you live in California, email your reps about this?

The confessional has to be a place of absolute confidentiality. It just does. The state can’t mess with this, or it puts priests in a horrible position—they will either go to jail, or be excommunicated. And it put us, the laity, in a terrible position, because how can you be totally open in confession if you know the priest can repeat what you say? (Not that any priest worth his ordination would.)

No bueno, California! Stop it!

(article version of the video above here)

-VI-

Final edits for the book are being done! Well, not final final. Final as in, for the first draft. My editor will be getting me notes and I imagine next week will be a flurry of back and forth sending. :)

-VII-

And while Memorial Day is the kick off of summer in the U.S., let’s remember what it’s really about.




Seven Quick Takes--The First Draft Exists!

7 Quick Takes, Catholic 101, current projects, hearing loss, Seven Quick Takes, writingEmily DeArdo2 Comments
seven quick takes.jpg

Linking up with Kelly!

I.

The FIRST DRAFT EXISTS!

Yay!

E3B0C26A-765D-45D3-81A4-48D9F0926313.jpg

When I first got the contract information, the fact that Ave Maria wanted a first draft by June 1 was daunting to some people I talked to. “Can you do it in two months?”

HELL YES I CAN.

II.

Why was I so confident?

Because I have journalism training. And political training.

And when you have both of those, you learn to write quickly, on ridiculous deadlines.

Deadlines? WHAT DEADLINES.

So, thank you to Professor Kelly Messinger in college for all the Chimes Wednesday nights where we ate Chipotle and wrote into the wee hours! And edited! And wrote! And edited!

III.

Now, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy, because sometimes….


But then I apply my Maxim: You cannot edit a blank page.

Get anything on the page. Anything. Let it sit there and then come back later and edit it. You never know what can happen.

Chapter 10, for example? WENT OFF THE RAILS. I had no idea where I was going with that one, and we went somewhere I had not anticipated. But there it is!

(It might not stay the way it is. LOL.)

IV.

Speaking of writing—my ebook, Catholic 101, is now $5!

That’s it. Five bucks, y’all.

Go get it!


V.

I also promise to have the Denver travel posts up next week. This week was just nuts, with getting the first draft done….oh, and getting a new CI processor!!!!!!!

VI.

So, if you want more on the CI, you can visit my series here. Basically I was glad to have hearing, but the processor I had had shortcomings. I couldn’t use the phone.

Now….I might be able to use the phone! I mean, what?!

I can listen to my voicemails and understand them!

So far, this new processor is a game changer.


VII.

Oh, one more thing about the draft—a question I’ve been getting a lot is, “Well, didn’t you have to write the book before you submitted it?”

Short answer: No. Most places, for non-fiction, want a proposal, with a chapter sample, but not the whole book. I’ll talk more about the parts of the process later (especially in my newsletter!). But, no. I had to write the book to the proposal specs.




Seven Quick Takes--manuscript work, mammogram redux, and sketching!

7 Quick TakesEmily DeArdo1 Comment
seven quick takes.jpg

Linking up with Kelly!

-1-

First off, if you missed it, earlier this week I wrote about how you can’t snap out of depression.
I
f you think you can do that, please read that post.

If you don’t think you can do that, please read that post.
Mental health is so important, and we, as a society, need to realize that it’s just as real as any other illness.

-2-

I know I promised y’all a Denver/Colorado travel write up. It’s COMING. I swear. I’m in the weeds on the manuscript because I need to have it all written by next Friday for my editor. There are only two more chapters to draft! YAY!!!!!

So once all that goes to my editor extraordinaire, then we edit, edit, edit, and polish, for two weeks, before we send it to the publisher.

-3-

In OTHER book news, I will have a pub date by the end of the month!


If you are a blog subscriber, you will get the news first. Everyone else will hear AFTER YOU.

So, if you want all book news first, plus the chance to have access to fun book things (yet to be determined, but totally fun), then sign up for the mailing list.


-4-

In the last edition I wrote about my first mammogram. Wellllllll…..

We had to do it again. Because there was something in the picture that the radiologist thought was me moving, although both the tech and I were like, there was no moving.

Anyway. Went back yesterday to take the pictures again, and this time, they are fine, both in quality and in terms of what’s there. So, normal! Yay!

All that to say, again: Ladies. Get your mammograms when you need to. Whether that’s 40, which is the normal recommendation, or earlier (if you have family history of breast cancer), do it.


-5-

Some of you may remember that I dabble in sketchbook keeping. Well, I’m back to that! Yay! I’m really glad because I enjoyed it, and I just haven’t had time to do it. I really kickstarted myself during the trip to Colorado, and now I’ve been working pretty steadily on filling books. Most of my work isn’t amazing, but you know, I’m happy with it. And it’s fun, which is important.

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IMG_8970.JPG

-6-

I’m also working on some long-buried knitting projects, like a linen kerchief I started years ago when I was first learning to knit. Guys: DO NOT START WITH LINEN! Seriously! It’s fine now because I’ve had years of practice, but man, what was I thinking?!?!

-7-

Anddddd also!

If you’re looking for a scripture study for this summer, or maybe a summer bible study for you and your friends, may I suggest Take Up & Read’s new book, Better Together?



Better Together.jpg

This book is about hospitality, and summer is such a great time for that! Have people over! Embrace community! All the good things!

Anyway, more about this book is coming, but you can order it now! It has all the lovely features you expect from our studies: daily readings, Scripture memorization, Selah days on the weekends, and recipes!

Seven Quick Takes--Colorado, Mother's Day, and Mammograms

7 Quick Takes, travel, current projects, health, the bookEmily DeArdo4 Comments
seven quick takes.jpg

Linking up with Kelly!

-1-

I was in Colorado last week (hence why no blog posting!) for my sister’s bachelorette weekend. I’d never been to Colorado before!

One of the floral butterflies in Downtown Denver

One of the floral butterflies in Downtown Denver

The Collegiate Peaks in Buena Vista

The Collegiate Peaks in Buena Vista

Mel and I at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs.

Mel and I at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs.


—II—

I’ll write more about Denver next week, but here’s what I learned, in short, about going to altitude:

Drink a lot of water. Like, insane amounts.
Bring saline nasal spray. My nose was SO dry!
Bring a portable charger, because altitude seems to drain phone batteries faster
SUNSCREEN. ALL THE SUNSCREEN.

—III—

Our trip included Denver (my sister lives in Littleton) and Buena Vista, where the cabin weekend was held. I didn’t realize it was sort of desert-y down there. I should’ve expected it, but some how, I didn’t. I had never been in that sort of environment before, so it was definitely a new experience. I learned that I like green!

—IV—
Anyway, more on CO next week. It’s been awhile since I’ve done some travel posts, so it’ll be fun!

—V—

Amy Welborn wrote a great piece about Mother’s Day and parishes, and I’d encourage you to read it.
Mother’s Day is, to put it nicely, fraught. I really don’t think it should be celebrated as part of the Mass. Mass is for the worship of God, not for the worship of ourselves. If parishes want to do something for mothers (or graduates, or whatever), then they can do it after Mass. Blessings, etc.? After Mass.

I know so many people who are struggling with infertility. I, myself, will never have children. Let’s also think about people who have lost their mothers, or have not-great relationships with their mothers, or have other issues with their moms. Let’s realize this. Sure, mothers are important! (Love you, Mom! :) )

But do we need to make it such a big part of the Mass?

Same thing with Father’s Day. And also, I don’t think we do Father’s day nearly as much as we do mother’s day.

Celebrate your mom, but parishes, please do this after Mass.

And for the love of the Lord, do not make people hug their mothers at Mass! (see the comments in the article for that one.)

(And yes, I love my mother. :) This isn’t about not loving Mom!)

—V—

And because it’s my blog, I’ll expound a little more. One of the comments at the bottom of Amy’s post was all about “celebrating” at Mass. Having visitors stand up, or graduates be recognized, or birthday people be recognized.

I got one word for this:

NOPE.

People. Mass is not the time for this.

Mass is for THE WORSHIP OF GOD.

If you want to recognize birthdays, do it in a bulletin.

You want to recognize the grads? Have a reception in June after a Mass.

I CRINGE at the thought of making visitors stand up. I hate this. Why do you think a visitor would want to be recognized?! And what does that have to do with Mass? (This visitor never wants to be recognized. Ever. Just let me come to Mass.)

Yes, I realize I’m an old and cranky person here.

But I think it was Benedict XVI who said something like, if we’re applauding during Mass, we’ve completely lost the plot. (I’m paraphrasing, obviously)

Mass is not about us.

If you want to celebrate community things, that’s great. Do it after Mass.

—VI—

Well, that felt good. LOL. .

Writing of the book is going well. My next newsletter for subscribers should be sent out next week, so if you’re not a subscriber, do it now!

I’m 2/3 of the way done with the manuscript. This week has been some hard sledding but you know, the important thing is to get words on a page. So that’s been happening. You can edit words on a page. You can’t edit a blank one.

—VII—

I also had my first mammogram this week. My mom had breast cancer at age 47, so I had to get my baseline done 10 years before her diagnosis—hence, at 37. Since I turned 37 last month, it was time.

I was nervous about it—I’d heard horror stories about it hurting, especially with transplant scars (this might be TMI, but—for my transplant, the incisions are about where a bra underwire is).

But I had a great, careful tech, who made sure that nothing was pinching, and it wasn’t really bad at all. Yeah, the skin is being squished, but that didn’t really hurt.

Ladies—you need to get a mammogram at age 40. You might have to do it earlier, if you’re like me and have family history. Please, please, please check your own screening requirements and set this up.

(And finally, if you missed it, there was a yarn along on Wednesday!)




Seven Quick Takes In a Deluge

7 Quick Takes, current projects, Seven Quick Takes, Orchard House, hockeyEmily DeArdoComment
seven quick takes.jpg

Linking up with Kelly!

I.

OK, so, first, I’m thrilled to tell you that the talk I recorded for Kelly’s conference has been accepted! Yay! I’m part of the speaker’s library that attendees will have access to!

What is this conference, you might ask? Kelly has created a conference for Catholic parents of kids with special needs, called “Accepting the Gift.” You can attend in person, OR (and I love this part), you can attend virtually! How cool is that? So if you can’t make it to New Jersey, you can still attend!

Here is the conference page, so check it out! And do attend!


II.

This is also the first talk I’ve done as an adult—I did a witness talk at my parish mission when I was sixteen—but I really do like my talk, all things considered. :) It’s called “Joy Anyway”, and it’s about living life with a chronic illness, because, a lot of the time, we hear from the parents of people like me, but not the actual people who have the illness, and so I’m thrilled that Kelly asked me to contribute my thoughts, because I do care about this quite passionately, as you all know. :)

And of course I love the parents! Parents are awesome! But it’s important to get the perspective from the person with “the thing” as well, in my book. So, thanks Kelly for asking me! (And accepting the talk!)


III.

OK so yeah, it’s deluging here right now. Lots and lots and lots of rain being dumped on Orchard House at the moment. I overslept this morning and this is probably why, because it’s really dark outside. Not that I mind—I generally like rainy days.


IV.

Today is part of the editing process in the writing of the book. My editor has sent me chapters back, and now I go through and play with them and see what I can do to make them better. Some of the changes I just accepted on the first go round because they were easy (like, adapting to the press’s style guide) or just made sense. Bigger changes require more thought and distance, so that’s what I’m doing today.


V.

My birthday was on Tuesday, so I’m thirty-seven now! And it was a gorgeous day, which is rare in central Ohio in early April—it snowed on my birthday (as in the day I was born). But yesterday it was 82 and kids were in the pool, which made me shiver just seeing them in there, because that water was going to be cold!

ANYWAY (digression over!), it was a good birthday with sun and good food.

No, Emily did not eat all this cake. Emily did not come  close  to eating all this cake. We shared it. :)

No, Emily did not eat all this cake. Emily did not come close to eating all this cake. We shared it. :)


VI.

I also think that everyone should like their birthday. Because birthdays mean you survived another trip around the sun! Yay!!!!!! Birthdays are great! I mean, yeah, I’m thirty-seven, but to me, that’s sort of awesome. I wasn’t supposed to hit thirty-three. I wouldn’t have seen twenty-seven without Suzanne, my donor. So, yeah. Birthdays rock.

VII.

It’s hockey playoff time, and Dad and I are going to see the Jackets play the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday! This has been a bucket list item for me for awhile—seeing an NHL playoff game. The nice thing is that since the Jackets are playing Tampa, I can unreservedly root for them. When they play the Penguins in the playoffs (as they’ve done before), I can’t do that, I’m torn! But now, I can root for them all the way. It’s going to be great! The Jackets have all sorts of things planned—there’s a big plaza in front of the arena so there will be activities, and the arena opens up earlier than usual so people can head in and start the party. I hope the Jackets win! (They won the first game on Wednesday in Tampa in an amazing comeback. They play tonight. Pens are down one game to none against the Islanders. If you don’t care about hockey, I’m sorry this take was all hockey. :) )

Seven Quick Takes--House Updates, Writing, Hockey

7 Quick Takes, behind the scenes, current projects, the book, Seven Quick TakesEmily DeArdoComment
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Linking up with Kelly!

I.

So, first, the Penguins are in the playoffs for the thirteenth year in a row. This makes me happy.

(If you’re new here—I’m a huge hockey fan. The Penguins are my “main” team. The Blue Jackets are my “home” team and I want them to make the playoffs too, which they will do if they win one of their next two games.)

II.

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Orchard House is in the stage of “personalization” or “zhushing” as they say on Home Town. I’m putting up pictures and other fun things, like my refreshed ribbon board in my bedroom:


III.

If you want to see how tiny Emily was in college, here’s my college ID closeup, along with one of my favorite magazine cutouts:

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IV.

And about the button. It says “Italians for President Nixon.” Now, obviously, I wasn’t alive to vote for Nixon. But one of my best friends, Branden, is an auctioneer (as well as about 5 million other things, including our county clerk), and he loves political memorabilia, so he thought I’d like it, since I’m half Italian. And I do like it. It’s funny.

V.
The big pink piece of paper is an audience ticket my friend Amilia gave me. She was lucky enough to attend a general audience with Pope St. John Paul II, and she gave me the ticket. You can tell I’ve had it FOREVER, it’s all sun bleached, but I love it.

VI.

The dog picture? That’s Liberty, who used to be Colonial Williamsburg’s mascot. I was so psyched to meet her when we visited two years ago! She was such a good dog!

VII.

I could keep telling stories, but I’ll wrap up with a writing update! (Maybe next week I’ll tell more stories? What do you think? Because everything on this board has a story!)

So I’ve sent chapters 1-4 to my editor. She has sent me edits for chapters 1-2. So we are really making progress! Yayyyy!





Seven Ways To Bring Joy To Your Day

7 Quick TakesEmily DeArdoComment
seven quick takes.jpg

Linking up with Kelly!

So after my last post, I thought it might be helpful to give you some concrete ways to bring joy to your days when that might REALLY be lacking. So, here we go!

I.

Iris Murdoch said that, “One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.” So, that’s how we’re looking at this. Small treats!

The first one: Eat your favorite meal. Do the comfort food thing. One meal (and I do mean one) isn’t going to send everything into a tailspin. For me, it’s usually Chuy’s or pasta carbonara. Eat something you enjoy. And enjoy it, while you eat it.

II.

Take a lunch break. When I was working full-time, a lot of my days were…rough. So I would go to Barnes and Noble on my lunch break. Even if I didn’t buy anything, just getting out of the office and into a place that I loved was a great way to reset my day and give me energy to get through the rest of the day.

III.

Go to Eucharistic Adoration. Just sit with Jesus. You don’t have to do anything. Just be there and rest in his presence.

IV.

If you’re not near a chapel, then take some time to pray—a decade of the rosary, reading the Bible, whatever works for you.

V.

Read your favorite book or watch your favorite movie. Say, “tonight is movie night. I’m going to go home and watch my favorite movie and eat popcorn and it’ll be great.”

VI.

Have something to look forward to. Schedule lunch with a friend, make a date to see a movie (even if the date is with yourself, there is nothing wrong with that!), but get something on your calendar that makes you happy, even if it’s something small.

VII.

This doesn’t always work for me, but it might work for some of you—do something physical. That can mean working out, but for me it can also mean playing the piano or singing or even knitting. Do something that moves your body and makes you focus on something else. Sometimes just saying to myself, I can work on that knitting project, or I can do yoga class on Friday, is really helpful.


These are just a few suggestions of things that work for me. I hope they help you!