Emily M. DeArdo

writer

7 Quick Takes

Seven Quick Takes!

7 Quick Takes, Catholicism, Take Up and Read, writing, LentEmily DeArdo2 Comments
seven quick takes.jpg

Linking up with Kelly!

—1—

Lent is coming soon! (It’s in a little over a month, if you can believe it.) Take Up & Read has a beautiful new book for Lent, focusing on the Gospel of Matthew, called Hosanna.

hosanna cover.jpg


We have new writers, some new design and prayer pages, and all sorts of other goodies that you can read about here.

Making it EVEN BETTER is that right now the book is ON SALE! That’s right—price drop! We don’t know how long this will last, so go grab your copy!

I love the gospel of Matthew, so I was thrilled to contribute an essay to this book. I’m sure you’ll love it!

—2—

Did January feel like it lasted FOREVER to anyone else? Whew. I’m glad that month is over. February always feels like it moves pretty quickly, but it’s also the last full month before my move, so it feels like time moves even faster.

—3—

I’m still Kon Mari-ing the house. I’ve done clothes, books, papers, and I’m in “komono” (AKA EVERYTHING ELSE), but even that is moving well so I should have that done in the next week or so. Yay!!!!

—4—

A brief bit of policy wonkery (if you’re new here, I worked for the state government for ten years, so in a past life I lived, ate, and breathed policy wonkery). This really isn’t about policy, per se, as it is about common sense:

If you are contacting a representative about a policy proposal that you support or do not support, please remember to be respectful, to be brief, and to contact your representative. Please don’t call a representative that doesn’t represent you (as in, you live in Ohio, but you’re calling a senator from Colorado or Hawaii). This irritates the staffers and does not make them happy. They want to know what their constituents think. Not what everyone in the country thinks.

And if you call your elected representative for any reason, please be nice to the person on the phone. It is not that person’s fault that you are having issues with whatever you’re having issues with. If you are mean, that does not make them want to help you! Do not make the person answering the phone cry with streams of curse words! STOP IT!

—5—

Do you re-read books? Please tell me you do. To me, half the fun is in re-reading. I read so quickly that if I didn’t re-read, I’d be really bored. Re-reading is good!

—6—

My friend Richelle asked me if I’d read all of Dickens’ novels. I haven’t'; I’ve read 10 of his 15 novels (A Christmas Carol is considered a novella, and I have read that as well). The last five I have to read are Nicholas Nickleby, Barnaby Rudge, Martin Chuzzlewit, Our Mutual Friend, and his unfinished The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

If you’re looking to start reading Dickens (he’s not my favorite, but he is an important writer), I’d suggest starting with A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist (because just about everyone knows the basic story), and A Tale of Two Cities, which is one of my favorites. These are all pretty short, too, which is a plus, given that some of his novels are the size of bricks.

—7—

I’m also watching Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat on Netflix. The series is good, but he book is even better (same title), because it EXPLAINS THINGS, like why you should boil potatoes in salt water before you roast them! I had always wondered about this and now I know. (It’s because you get the salt in to the potatoes—if you just roast them, then you toss salt on top of them and that doesn’t really penetrate said potato).

Seven Quick Takes No. 126

7 Quick Takes, family, travelEmily DeArdoComment

I. 

Until the election, I'm doing 30 Days of Beauty. It's a series where I post images, book and movie recommendations, and music to serve as a bit of peace and loveliness in the crazy. They're not very long, but hopefully you enjoy them as much as I've enjoyed putting them together!

II. 

Makeup recommendation time (this is where all the guys scroll down!): Best mascara I've ever tried is Maybelline's Last Stiletto. Seriously. Try it. Works just as well as Lancome's Definicils and better than any Bobbi Brown I've tried. Needed to share this with y'all. 

III. 

I am going to Houston on Sunday! My sister's birthday is on Monday and she wanted me to come visit her, so I am complying. I'll be there for a few days. 

The extra-fun part is that my sister shares a birthday with two of our cousins, one of which also lives in Houston. So it's gonna be one big party. Yay!

(I do love birthdays. So much.)

IV. 

On Tuesday we're going to the beach. Here's how that conversation went:
Mel: So we'll go to the beach on Tuesday.
Me: Guess I won't need to pack my sweater, then....

It's going to 90 when I'm there. The beach in October? That just seems wrong. 

Oh well! Better than not being on the beach, right? 

V. 

I haven't been to Houston in about five years, so I'm excited to go back. I also get to meet my sister's boyfriend, whom I haven't met yet. Hopefully I don't scare him away. :-P 

VI. 

The TSA agents really do not help women. I mean, seriously. ONE little bag to carry on of toiletries? This, and my meds, is why I have to check baggage. Seriously. I need more than one little baggie, TSA people. 

(First world problem, I know. At least I'm flying Southwest and my checked bag is free.) 

VII. 

Hockey season has begun and my heart is happy. Hockey season always makes me happy. Except when/if my teams are tanking. I don't want that to happen. That's not happy. 

 

Seven Quick Takes No. 114: My hockey team loves me!

7 Quick TakesEmily DeArdoComment

I. 

My hockey team loves me, guys. 

II. 

We were in Pittsburgh all weekend--my godson graduated from high school last weekend and the party was on Saturday. 

My godson is standing next to me--blue shirt. 

My godson is standing next to me--blue shirt. 

How in the world he's this old already is beyond me. I mean, at my high school graduation party, he was a toddler! 

Cue Sunrise, Sunset....

III. 

Anyway, on Sunday, I spent time with my Aunt Judy and Uncle Frank, and their son, Justin, and his wife and their two boys. I had never met their boys before so I was totally eating up the cuteness. 

I mean, seriously,  look at those eyes! 

I mean, seriously, look at those eyes! 

Rex, the oldest, was a bit reluctant to talk to strangers. But he warmed up to us. 

Rex, the oldest, was a bit reluctant to talk to strangers. But he warmed up to us. 

And there was also...Primantis. Yeah. 

So, seeing my Dad's sister, her husband, and my cousin and his wife and kids, and eating delicious food, all made for a pretty great day. 

And the hockey game hadn't even started yet.

IV. 

One of the nice things about having a big family is that you have people to eat the leftovers. So dinner was at Aunt Patty's, where we ate party leftovers, I swam with the kids (barring my inability to "properly" swim), and then we Waited for the Game. 

This child is my cousin Justin. He just finished first grade, and yet he was shockingly unaware of the Rules of Hockey--especially Stanley Cup Final Hockey. 

Rule No. 1: When the game starts, you pick a seat. And you stay in it the whole game. No exceptions. His seat was my lap. 

Rule No. 2: They are "periods" not quarters, and they are 20 minutes long. There are three of them. 

Rule No. 3: In the intermission, you can leave Said Seat, but you must return to Said Seat when the next period begins. 

Rule No. 4: You will yell at the TV. 

Me: mumbling things at the TV and the players.

Justin: Emily, they can't hear you! 

Rule No. 5: The only time you can leave your seat during play is when your seat is about to leap up and celebrate victory--she will be afraid of tossing you into the coffee table. We don't want to go to the ER. When victory occurs, she will then lift you up into the air and squeal a lot. 

After victory, the photo. 

After victory, the photo. 

V. 
My sister and my dad then went to Dick's, which opened after the game, and scored many Victory T-shirts and Other Things. 

Yes! Mel was here, too! She came up from Houston to party with us. :)

So we rejoiced in victory. 

VI. 

And then we spent the next day at Kennywood, our favorite amusement park. I had time to do some sketching, had Rita's gelato, ate excellent food, and rode fun rides. 

Dad and I  on the log jammer, wearing our Victory Apparel. (Well, I am. Dad is wearing a shirt from the last Cup run.) 

Dad and I  on the log jammer, wearing our Victory Apparel. (Well, I am. Dad is wearing a shirt from the last Cup run.) 

Seven Quick Takes No. 111

7 Quick Takes, writingEmily DeArdoComment

I. 

Before we get into Quick Takes proper, here's this week's posts: Catholic 101 on Pentecost and a Nashville Postcard

II. 

Next week: Catholic 101 is about Divine Mercy, and the Postcard is from Duck, NC--one of my favorite places on Earth. I'll also have a manuscript update! Yay!!!

III. 

Man, Barre 3 class on Monday was hard. I hadn't been all month due to post-trip recovery, and so it was going to be hard anyway, but I think the teacher felt like making it Evilly Challenging. It was almost all leg work and I've been sore all week--but I'm still going to class today. Because that's how I roll, people! 

IV. 

The Last CCD for the season is on Sunday. It was a really long year, but I'm always sad to leave the kids. But I'm happy to get my Sunday mornings back--I can either sleep in and go to a later Mass, or I can go on Saturday night like I do during the CCD year and sleep in Sunday morning. Either way, Emily gets more sleep, and that's a good thing. 

V. 

In the home improvement department, I have floating shelves!

The Pirate parrot also likes his new perch. 

I was tired of having books that didn't have "homes" randomly scattered around, so I decided to give the floating shelves a try, and I love them. They're so cool looking, and these books finally have homes that are not just stacks on the carpet! Yay!

VI. 

Two months until my Jeopardy! appearance on July 18. Yes, I'm going to keep reminding you about it. :-P 

VII. 

Did any of you watch Army Wives when it was on? I've found it on Netflix and man, it's sort of crazily addictive. Between it and the hockey playoffs, I'm spending too much time with my TV. 

Seven Quick Takes No. 109

7 Quick Takes, travelEmily DeArdo1 Comment

I. 

I leave for California in eight days. That's right guys. EIGHT DAYS. So today I'm getting my hair trimmed in anticipation of its TV appearance, and then I really have to start packing in earnest. I have a list, and I have some things laid out, but the time has come to Get Things Into Bags and Make Sure It All Fits. The fortunate thing is that it's going to be pretty mild, weather wise, so I won't need to pack a huge variety of non-show clothes. 

II. 

Of course I also want to do fun things while I'm in LA, so I'm trying to narrow down that list as well. I'm a little sad that the ocean will probably be too cold to swim in, and the air temperature won't be warm enough to necessitate a plunge into freezing Pacific Waters. But hey...it's the beach! 

III. 

In case you're late to this party--I'm going to be a Jeopardy contestant, so that's why I'm going to California. Obviously, that is paramount in the scheduling. I'm trying not to freak out too much. I mean, I have performance experience, so crowds don't bother me, and I've done quiz show things before (Thanks, College Bowl!) so I've worked buzzers and such. I just haven't done it on national television. I'd like to not totally screw up. And no, I can't tell you how I did. I can tell you when the episode will air--but you don't get to know how I did in advance. Lips are zipped. It's a rule!

IV.

I turned 34 last Saturday and while it was snowy and cold, it was still a fun day. We had dinner at PF Chang's, which involved Birthday Cake flavored ice cream, chocolate cake, and honey shrimp, so that's always good, and my family. Melanie was in Texas, sadly, but I did get her gift. :) 

V.

I went to my first Barre3 class yesterday and while I am sore today, it was a good workout and the teacher was great. I've scheduled three more classes for next week before I leave because going to be on TV. So, you know. Even though you won't see much of me on said TV, I have some pride here people. :-P

VI.

I love Colonial Williamsburg, and I especially love their adorable sheep! If you like adorable things, check out this story about Baby Lamb Edmund. 

VII. 

If you have any suggestions on things to do/see/eat when I'm in Southern California, let me know! I don't want to miss anything good!

Seven Quick Takes No. 87: Happy birthday, Bryan!

7 Quick Takes, familyEmily DeArdo1 Comment

I. 

Today, my brother turns 30! So in his honor, he's getting my 7QT this week. 

II. 

80s stripes, y'all! 

80s stripes, y'all! 

Bryan is what teachers call a "good kid." He isn't mean or snappy, he gets along well with just about anyone, and can make friends anywhere. I remember when he was in high school, and my family and I were in line at Tim Horton's. A girl came up to us and said, "Excuse me, but are you Bryan's family?" She sounded like she was talking about the Pope, and then proceeded to talk about how great my brother was. We probably all looked at her a bit askance--it's not that Bryan wasn't great, but that we had no idea who this person was. This happens a lot. Bryan's very friendly, and going places with him can be like going places with a mayor. There's always someone who knows him. 

III. 

Halloween in the 90s. 

Halloween in the 90s. 

III. 

Bryan loves sports, but especially football, which makes sense, since he's now a Steelers sportswriter. It's hard to believe, but there was a time when our dad despaired of him ever liking football. Ha. Ha. Those days are gone. Bryan can tell you everything about every single Super Bowl, including the weather at kickoff. He once explained to me football defensive schemes at a restaurant using napkins and peanuts. And his knowledge isn't just about football--he can speak, intelligently, about baseball, hockey, basketball (he does love some Cavaliers basketball), and other sports.

He cut his journalistic teeth on our high school paper and at OSU, writing for the Lantern, and covering the football Buckeyes for the college sports radio network. He also used to dress like Jim Tressel, with a sweater vest, when he went to the press conferences or covered games. It was great.  

IV. 

He doesn't just talk about sports; he plays them. In his life he's played football and soccer, and ran cross country in both high school and college. He loves to run, which, I'm going to tell you, I don't understand, but he's good at it. He's run in the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus, New York (including the one that was cancelled because of Sandy), and Boston Marathons. I think he could've gone to the Olympics, but he disagrees with me, and I guess he'd know--but I think he could have. He's a coach for our high school's cross country team now. 

V. 

Yeah, that's Bryan bawling his head off.....

Yeah, that's Bryan bawling his head off.....

He's great with kids--kids love him, and he loves them. He was a substitute teacher for awhile, and the kids just loved his classes, but he's also great with babies, toddlers, and small fry. 

VI. 

VII.

In addition to all that, he's a great brother. He's a good listener, an excellent clothes shopper (really, he likes to go shopping!), and has given me IV meds a time or two, which is also awesome. The day he was born, I said I wanted a sister, and I got one a few years later--but I'm really glad I have my brother. 

 

Seven Quick Takes No. 82

7 Quick Takes, Jane Austen, knitting, booksEmily DeArdoComment
seven-quick-takes-friday-2-2.jpg

I. 

I am super excited to share my first giveaway with you! You can read all about it here. Enter often. (Well, as often as you can....)

II. 

The weather is going to be perfect this weekend and I don't know what to do with it. Do I go to the Irish Festival in Dublin (OH, not Ireland. :-P)? The Violet festival? Do I just hang out at the pool? So many options, so little time. And the State Fair started this week, so there's always that. Seeing a butter cow is a fun thing, let me tell you. 

III. 

I am almost done with the washcloth, which means you might--might!-- have something new to read about in the Yarn Along this week. I know that excites you so much! I'm still reading Middlemarch, though, and I have to read Emma this weekend since it's the next in the Jane Austen Re-Read. That post will be up on Thursday. 

IV. 

I have bought my first Christmas present--a book for my grandma. Given that my mom started shopping in May, I am behind. She is the Queen of Christmas. 

V. 

I know you've seen the Planned Parenthood videos on the news and on the web. I can't say anything that hasn't already been said. But I dearly hope that those who are so misguided as to think that these aren't babies that are being killed, by the millions, every year in America, that they will finally see what is really happening in these places. It's not healthcare. It's death on demand. 

Every single life matters, from the moment it's conceived, to the moment of natural death. But we have to start protecting it when its most fragile. 

VI. 

I'm going to a Dominican Rite Mass on Sunday in honor of the feast of St. Dominic, which is August 8. I went for the first time last year and was a bit discombobulated. Let's hope I do better this year--I'll report back. 

VII. 

I'm making progress in my art classes. The assignment this week? To draw part of a piece of toast. Not kidding. So I'm working on that today. 

Seven Quick Takes No. 79--A Trip to Pittsburgh

7 Quick Takes, travelEmily DeArdo2 Comments

It's Friday, so that means Seven Quick Takes! @emily_m_deardo

I.

We spent last weekend and part of this week in Pittsburgh celebrating my grandma's 85th birthday.

Me and Grandma

 We celebrated by taking a dinner cruise on the Gateway Clipper Fleet, which was a great meal and boat ride around the three rivers of Pittsburgh. We sailed by PNC Park, Heinz Field, the Point, and other Pittsburgh landmarks. Quite a bit of the family-- though not all--was there, and it was a fun way to celebrate.

 

Dad and my cousin Diane's youngest child.

II.

One of the best parts was seeing my cousin Diane, and especially meeting her newest baby (above with Dad). She has two older daughters, whom I'd met before, but I'd never met this little guy, who turns 1 in August.

Diane and I with her little guy.

III.

The next day we went to PNC Park to see the Pirates beat the Phillies in extra innings. I'd never been to a Pirates game where they won, so I was pretty excited about that! Dad taught me how to fill out the scorecard that was in the game program, so I feel very educated in the Ways of Baseball. (Sort of. I find baseball always has new ways to confuse me.)

Our seats were behind home plate and under the overhang of the upper deck, so we were in shade, which was great when it was 85+ degrees.

Pirates win and the Parrot takes the mound.

III.

 After the game we had another party at one of my aunt's houses. She has a pool and her husband grilled, and there was, of course, jello marshmallow salad, because it's not a family gathering on my mom's side without jello marshmallow salad.

Kids like cookouts.

These kids....

Grandma received cards and presents, and then there was Bethel Bakery cake, which is the Best Cake in the Universe. Not kidding. Our swimming was curtailed because of a huge thunderstorm that opened up, but that didn't deter the youngest from having fun....

ballooooonnnnns!

IV.

Diane's oldest girl (seen above, in the pink glasses) and I:

Me: So, Susie, what's your favorite movie? Susie: Frozen.

Me: OK. What's your favorite song? Susie: (As if I am deeply, deeply stupid) "Let it Go." Me: Well, there are other songs in the movie. Susie: No there aren't.

V.

Monday we went to Kennywood, where I hadn't been in over ten years, so it was nice to be back, and Diane's husband had never been there at all. Susie and I had fun riding rides, but when I took Bridget on the carousel, she seemed a bit wary, until the ride starting going. She also really enjoyed the ice cream cone.

I had to rescue this ice cream from hitting the pavement more than once.

 VI.

Kennywood really does have things for everyone, which makes it fun, but my grandpa's favorite ride was "The Restaurant", so we had dinner there. It's a large cafeteria style place and it has good food and, the real winning point, air conditioning. It was hot, so we got a lot of water rides under our belts, and then dried off with roller coasters.

VII.

Of course, some of us couldn't handle all the excitement:

Being this cute takes a lot of work.