Emily M. DeArdo

writer

summer

Summer adventures

journalEmily DeArdoComment

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.  

 

Memorial Day Weekend

books, Jane Austen, journalEmily DeArdo1 Comment

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.)