Emily M. DeArdo



Daybook No. 104: A pleasant surprise!

Daybook, travel, booksEmily DeArdo1 Comment

Outside my window::

Sunny and blue skies; definitely a nice thing to wake up to.


I'm going to the gym shortly, so Athleta relay capris in a  bright orange red, and one of Athleta's tops--a gray t-shirt. 

In the CD player::

Audrey Assad's Fortunate Fall


MiddlemarchA Right to be Merry (about cloistered Poor Clares), and I'm picking up the latest Michael Vey installment today, because I love Richard Paul Evans. I've also got A Spool of Blue Thread in my Library Book Pile. 

Kondo update: 

(I call it "Kondo" update, because the book I'm using, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, was written by Marie Kondo. You can read about it here, if you're new to the whole thing.) 

So, the clothes are gone. Well, I mean I'm done with sorting my clothes. Ten bags, including one full of shoes. For my old job, I needed lots of "work clothes", including heels, pants, etc.--things I hate to wear in general. Well now, they are off to be used by someone else! 

The second group of items Marie has you work on are books. As one of my friends said, "You are getting rid of books?!" Yes, I am. I generally do this fairly regularly, but this is a big purge. I'm getting rid of all the books I don't love. That means there's probably about 75 books in several small piles in my main room. There are more books to be sorted in the book room, but I'm already thinking there will be four or five bags (Not trash bags, but like tote bags) of books taken to Half Price Books. That doesn't count the DVDs and CDs that are going to be sorted later, and that I'll also take there. 

So this week, I'll be finishing the books, and maybe moving on to the papers (her third category). 

The big surprise!::

Yes, I sort of hid it down here. I'm crafty like that!

So in 2013, I was invited to the second round of Jeopardy! auditions.  Basically--and you can read more about it at the link--the way it works is you take the test, and then you can't take the online test (the first part of getting on the show) for about two years. 

In January, I could take the test again, and so I did. I didn't think I did that well, and I promptly forgot about it. So I was pretty surprised when I found an email in my inbox Friday night saying that I'd been invited to the second round of auditions in Boston!

The audition is October 4 at 9:00 A.M. It takes about two hours. So dad and I will be spending a few days in Boston! I've never been to Massachusetts, so it'll be my second new state this year, and Boston will feed a lot of my history geek urges. I wish we could get to Concord to se Orchard House, but that's not going to happen. Oh well!

October is just crazy. There's Jeopardy!, then my Third Order retreat, then  a friend who's getting married in Indiana. So at least I'll be really good at packing, if I'm not already, by the end of that month! 


Last week I had two really great workouts back to back, and that excited me. It also re-ignited my desire to reach new milestones in what my body can do. I might not ever like working out, but I do love the way I feel after a great workout. So today I'm hitting the gym (the last two were outside workouts, because the weather was perfect--upper 60s/low 70s. When it's in the 80s, like it will be today, working out outside isn't such a great thing for me.). I've also been paying more attention to strength training.  I have a doctor's appointment on Monday, so, yes, that's also part of the motivation. 

From the kitchen::

More Jamie Oliver recipes this week. I've got a steak today, and then a chicken recipe where the chicken is wrapped in proscuitto. YUM, right? 



DaybookNo. 103, in which a manuscript is revised (again!)

Daybook, memoir, writing, books, Tidying Up, foodEmily DeArdoComment

Outside my window:: 

Sunny and hot. Hot. Hot. HOT. Did I mention, hot? Not that I'm ready for two feet of snow, mind you, but I am ready for it to be not ninety

In the CD player::

Cassie and Maggie, and Joyce DiDonato's ReJoyce! recording. 


Cloud Atlas--I'm more than halfway through, and am by turns intrigued and frustrated. I'm trusting that the everything will congeal into a Pleasing Whole as I go through the second half. Since that's a library book, I'm giving it more attention than the other things I'm reading (including Middlemarch) and it's just one of those books that requires close reading, because if you put it down for too long, you'll forget everything, and that's not good in this book. 


So I am preparing to send the Memoir Manuscript to a publisher, to see if they'll take it. They want it completed. So I was doing what I thought was a brief perusal for formatting errors yesterday morning. No. It turned into a slash and burn editing session. I took out entire pages, plot lines, and people. I embraced the idea of "nothing that does not serve the story", and out went a lot of things. It was liberating, in a sense, and it definitely tightens things up. I also decided that it definitely needs an epilogue, which I'll write this week. Before I fell asleep last night, I was toying with the idea of moving some pieces around, and I think I might do that today/tomorrow too. This is what makes things better.  And it's sort of exciting, actually. It's like cutting away the fat from a piece of meat. 

Around the house::

So while the above was happening yesterday, I also decided it would e a good day to kick off "Kondo-ing" my house. If you've been anywhere near a bookstore in the past year, you've seen Marie Kondo's The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I've read it a few times, but I decided yesterday to get to it, and I started with my clothes, as she suggested. So far, three bags (trash bags) have been filled (no, they won't be trashed--they'll be donated. If the clothes are full of holes and torn up, then they go in the trash.). There is a huge pile on my bedroom floor that will probably take another two bags, and the hangers! It's incredible! Today we move on to socks, bags, accessories, and shoes (or as many of those as I can get done today). 

From the kitchen::

I made Irish Tea Brack yesterday from Clodagh McKenna's Irish Kitchen cookbook. I had a piece for breakfast, and it was delicious. It smells like gingerbread when it's baking. For dinner today, I'm trying a Jamie Oliver salmon stir-fry. I've got a very small grocery list that needs tending, as well. 

So in case you can't tell, yesterday was the Epitome of Crazy Busy, but good crazy busy--the kind that leaves you feeling very satisfied when you go to bed and look back at what you did. A good start for the first full week of September!