Emily M. DeArdo



Summer adventures

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

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

Me, baby A, and Tiff

Me, baby A, and Tiff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


On The Town

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

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

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

Memorial Day Weekend

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Memorial day weekend means a few things. Usually. 

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

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

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

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

Next: Emma. 

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

3) Time with friends and family.  

This was most of the weekend. :) 

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

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

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

Chuy's art

Chuy's art

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


And then we did some shopping. 

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

Chocolate tea, people!

Chocolate tea, people!

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

And hockey. Hopefully my hockey team wins. :) 


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




Interview with Tiffany Part Three

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21. Best. Movie. Ever: The Wizard of Oz.  Closely followed by Pride and Prejudice. (And if you have to ask me which version, then You Don't Know Me.) 

22. Favorite thing about my family: We have a wacky sense of humor, especially when we're all together. 

23. Least favorite thing about your family: The inability to plan things. I like a plan.  

24. Favorite color: Blue. It's Tiffany's, too. (As seen in the photo above)

25. What TV show would you like to act on: If Downton was still on, that would be my answer. Since it's not: Outlander! And actually, Outlander might beat Downton by a smidge. 

26. How do you define success: Getting to Heaven. That's success. Loving well, doing good, and growing in faith. 
At the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Dumbledore calls Cedric a "fierce, fierce friend." I've always liked that line an that's another definition of success to me, in the friendship realm, anyway. 

27. What is your dream job? Well, it's to be a writer. So, really, I just have to get published, and then I'll have the dream job. :) But one that's not entirely practical? Acting. 

28. Would you want to win the lottery, and what would you do with the money?: I probably wouldn't want to win the lottery, because most of those folks don't seem to end well/ be happy. But if I did win, I'd buy a house, then travel all around the world to all the places I want to see. And I'd buy every good book in creation. 

And then I'd probably give it to monasteries and churches and hospitals. And my parents would get some of it, of course. 


Interview with Tiffany Part Two

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And we roll on....

11. What dead person would you like to meet if they were alive now? JANE, OBVIOUSLY. Other than Jane: My paternal grandfather, who died before I was born, and St. Pope John Paul II. 

12. Do you like licorice?: Not black licorice. Red. But is red really licorice? 

13. If you could have one superpower what would it be?: Telepathy.

14. Team Captain America or Iron Man?: Captain America, but I love Iron Man's sarcasm. 

15. Do you have a Fairy Godmother?: Well, I have a real godmother, who is cool. 

16. Do you wish you could fly?: YES. Oh my gosh.....

17. Favorite subject in school: English. History/ Social Studies (whatever it was called) is a close second. 

18. Least favorite subject in school: MATH MATH MATH MATH MATH

19. What's the funniest thing a kid has said to you?: From CCD, when I asked what a kid was drawing: 


20. What's the funniest thing you remember saying as a kid?: I don't actually remember saying this, but my parents say that when I was two or so, I was waiting for a blood draw, where I dramatically announced that I smelled blood. So, you know. 


Interview with Tiffany, Part One

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I have decided that we need some levity here. We need something fun. 

Enter Tiffany. 

Tiffany is one of my bestest friends. We have been friends since 1996, if you can believe it, so, holy cow--20 years. Like, today, really, since we met on the first day of Freshman year of high school. 

So, in order to have fun and in order to mark 20 years of Awesome, Tiffany asked me a whole bunch of questions. So many, in fact, that I have to break them into installments. So we're going to have fun for the next few days. 

1. Grapefruit vs. cantaloupe: Neither. I can't eat grapefruit because it messes with immunosuppression dugs, and I don't like cantaloupe.

2. Which Bond film is the best: Skyfall. 

3. Which James Bond is the best: Daniel Craig. (Sage loved Bond, and I don't think she agreed with me on this, when we discussed this. But full disclosure, I haven't seen ALL the Bond movies, so....)

4. What I miss most about high school: Lunch period. I loved having that time with my friends and just getting to mess around. And choir. 

5. What I miss most about college: Student Government and choir. 

6. Cats vs. dogs: Well, we never had pets when I was growing up, with the one year randomness of Snowball The Guinea Pig notwithstanding. Generally, I would probably say dogs at this point, because I can be around them. Cats are a little trickier. However, I love my sister's cat, Bella. She's a very nice cat. 

7. What will you ask God first when you get to heaven: Why wasn't "thou shalt not be stupid" the 11th commandment? 

8. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? Generally, dark. 

9.  Best Disney quote: Good Heaven, we'll be here all day....and she knows that. So here's some fun ones: "Just keep swimming!" 

"It looks awful."
"That's because it's on you, dear."

"Fold? Oh well."

"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere/ I want it more than I can tell./ And for once it might be grand/ to have someone understand /I want so much more than they've got planned."

"Have you got anything new?"
"Not since yesterday!"
"That's all right. I'll borrow this one."
"That one? But you've read it twice?"

"You were my new dream."

"Look at this stuff? Isn't it neat?" (the whole song then continues.....)

"The tank is clean! THE TANK IS CLEAN!"


10. How do you get rid of hiccups: Holding my breath.