Seven Quick Takes Friday Vol. 28

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I. 

Hi! No. I’m not dead. I’m not “in the resort” (code for the hospital.) I’ve just been really busy. 🙂 

II.

First item of busy: The show. We start run throughs, completely off book, tonight, so I’m excited about that. I think it’s really coming together (at least what I’ve seen of it; since I’m only in Act I before being done away with, I haven’t seen the whole thing in rehearsals). My character shoes are being sufficiently broken in and I think I’m getting really comfortable with my character and her interactions with her ne’er-do-well husband, even if I still can’t figure out what she’s doing with him.  We open October 18th and run for two weekends. If you’re local, you can get tickets here: pctshows.com/tickets. 

The cast is great. I’m having so much fun with them and we all get along very well. 

III. 

Second item of busy: finding a workout I like. Yes, it has happened–Emily found a workout she likes! I’ve been doing pure barre for the past two weeks. One of the girls in the show works at their Dublin location and she turned me on to it. It is super hard, but it’s only a 55 minute class, so I’m not ever looking at the clock going let me out of here, and it’s fun. Some of my friends actually take the same class with me, which I didn’t know about beforehand. Bonus! Also, class is at 5:45 and done by 6:45, so I’m home around 7:00, which is great. I don’t have to totally sacrifice my evenings to do this. 

My goal is to attend 100 classes by the end of April. When you reach 100 classes you get a pair of red sticky socks and get to sign the barre in the studio. Right now I’ve taken 5 classes. So I’m 5% of the way there….I’ve been taking three times a week, so far, and pondering adding a fourth day, but that probably won’t happen until post show. 

(Of course it’s not a cheap workout…my mom used to say I needed to marry someone really wealthy. It’s not my fault I like things that are expensive….but I’m expensive to keep up, anyway. And my doctors will be so psyched I’ve found a workout I like. So, it’s a medical expense. Right? Right.)

IV. 

The Dominican Friars of our province have a glorious project–the Hymnarium

The Hymnarium O.P. is a hymnal  for the Liturgy of the Hours that makes available the Dominican heritage of liturgical hymnody.  It is has been published by the Liturgical Commission of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph in response to the 2010 Provincial Chapter’s wish that “the Dominican and wider Gregorian Chant traditions in the Conventual Mass and Office” and the desire of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council that chant “be given pride of place in liturgical services.”

They are currently fundraising for this project and are halfway to their goal! If you have some extra cash to spare, please consider donating. 

V.

It’s NaNoWriMo prep time! Last year I did this and won, so I’m excited to do it again. This year the novel involves three bachelor brothers (one of whom is a duke), and two women in a car crash. And a fictional royal family. Oh yeah. Should be exciting!

VI. 

Reading goal for the year (180 books) met. I feel awesome. I’m also currently reading Elizabeth Gilber’s The Signature of All Things and am enjoying it thus far. Hopefully that continues. 

VII.

And finally–Let’s Go Bucs! Pirates are in the MLB playoffs

This is either a Miracle of God, or a sign of the Apocalypse. I can’t decide which. 

 

Emily Revamps Her Life Part I

I love all the seasons, but I especially love the sense of newness that comes with fall. I haven’t been a student for (gulp) almost 10 years, but I still like the back-to-school, new notebooks and pencils idea of fall.

And lately, I’ve noticed that my life sort of needs a re-do, or a makeover, or a “back to school” sense, if you will. I need to get rid of all the things I don’t love, don’t use, and don’t need. I need to make time for prayer on a daily basis. I need to have a solid fitness routine.

I’ve had all these seeds careening around in my brain for awhile. But now is the time to start.

Why now?

Well first, I read this book:

It was mentioned by Elizabeth Foss (she also recommended another great book, here, which I also read while I was reading this.) Since she usually links to fantastic books, I added this to my Amazon queue and ordered it a few weeks ago.

The book has a lot of great advice, but this part is my favorite:

The author gives you a 10 day plan to totally remake your home into one you want to be living in. You get rid of everything you don’t use. You clean the spaces. You make them beautiful and inviting.

Now this is going to take me more than 10 days–probably more like 20!–but I am determined to do this.

Day 1 was throw everything away in your house that is trash, that doesn’t work, that’s broken and un-fixable. This has been done in 2/3 of the house. I still have to hit the music room and I plan on doing that today. Also get rid of stuff you don’t want, that’s in plain sight. (This isn’t the time to go through closets, etc.) So when I go down to the music room, I will examine the movie stash (because they’re in the same place). If I don’t love the movie, it gets put in the “Take to Half Price Books (HPB) To Sell” bag.

In the book, Day 1 is described like this:

“I’m talking about the obvious stuff…this is about the stuff that really doesn’t take any effort to find. This is the magazine collection in the bathroom, the trinkets on the end tables, and the knickknacks on your dresser–anything that visible as soon as you enter the room. ” –Organized Simplicity

So today I will finish Day 1.  I’m not following all her tips; instead of having a garage/yard sale, I’m taking things that can be sold to HPB; if they can’t be sold, I’m donating them. (But only donating things that are in good shape.)

Another thing I’ve been doing this week? Getting up earlier. 

I’ve set my alarm clock for 6:30. That means I’m usually up at 7 (I give myself three hits of the snooze). I am not one of those people that can set the alarm for when I need to wake up. I have to build in snooze button hitting time.

If I’m up at 7:00–and I’ve set out my clothes and make up items, and jewelry, the night before–my morning is simple. I’ve also added in a Morning Offering. (There are a lot of them, but I like the one I learned when I was with the Nashville Dominicans on retreat. I’ll post that later.)

I have time for a cup of coffee, and time to say lauds and take my morning meds, before I head out the door.

I want to add more to my morning, but so far, this is it:

  • Morning Offering
  • Dressing/makeup
  • Coffee/breakfast/pills
  • Lauds
  • Car time. 🙂

Seven Quick Takes Friday Vol. 24

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I.

OK, so first up: please pray for Thomas Peters, AKA The American papist. He was in a swimming accident and has a broken neck; a Halo is being placed as we speak. They don’t think surgery will be necessary and that the spinal swelling will reduce on its own. Please pray.

II.

Also this article stunned and saddens me: 16 out of 17 babies found to have CF in utero are aborted. This is, of course, the result of several things, fear and ignorance being the top two. As a society, we fear suffering. We see it as an evil we can “avoid.” It’s not possible. So we kill people to avoid it. What? What sort of twisted logic is this?

It is an indescribable feeling, realizing that some people think you would be better off dead, than alive. Truly, indescribable.

I did meet someone like this, once. A girl I knew in high school. She was making the argument that we’d be better off not being born, and I said, “Well, then I guess you’re wishing I wasn’t here right now, because…” and then I filled her in. Complete silence. It takes a lot of gall to tell someone to their face that they shouldn’t be alive.

III.

Wow, those were cheery first two quick takes, huh? 🙂 Sorry! Here’s some poetry.

IV.
The NHL 2013-2014 schedule is out. My Penguins and Jackets play each other back to back here at Nationwide Arena Nov. 1-2. Those will be great days, indeed! I’m excited to have the Jackets in the Eastern Conference.

V.

Tonight I’m heading to Hocking Hills (so you’ll be reading this, as I’m going down there) for a weekend with my friends. This should involve s’mores, hiking, board games, and kids (two of the couples have kids now) and cooking. All things I greatly enjoy. Oh, and knitting! Hopefully I will complete one knitting project this weekend!

VI.

This week’s really good read: Veronica Roth’s Divergent. It’s being made into a movie with Kate Winslet and Shailene Woodley (The Descendants), so I thought I’d pick it up. Dystopian lit, yes, but good distopian lit! Do read it. It’s the first book of a trilogy, the last book of which comes out later this year (I think).

VII.

Speaking of movies and books: There is a new Percy Jackson movie coming out! Sea of Monsters, with new casting and new everything so that Percy is actually sort of the right age! Score! I’m excited for this one.

Disney Journal No. 9–the last day :(

Friday

I really didn’t want to leave. Really, really, really didn’t want to leave.

The Beach Club was so homey, so Downton Abbey in the awesome staff, and with the pool and the fireworks and the food…it was truly a great place. Every day the flowers were replaced in the lobby, which always smelled of orchids. I loved the solarium, the cheerful lifeguards who talked to every kid in their section, the awesome families, and the beautiful architecture.

I loved Flounder and Sebastian on my rug!

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But, sadly, we had to leave. But not without some last minute pin trading and Beaches and Cream.

(And I grabbed a few more Mickey Rice Krispy treats for the road. I ate the last one earlier this week. SO GOOD.)

Cape May Cafe  put up a pin trading board every day after they closed post-breakfast. There was a two pin limit (meaning you could trade two of your pins for two on the board, at a maximum. You didn’t have to trade two, if there weren’t two pins you wanted.) (And yes, I’m posting more on pin trading later!). So I had to get in one last trading session, and got an Iago and Cinderella pin for my collection, swapping two Star Wars pins.

Then I met Dad at Beaches and Cream, for our farewell burgers and chocolate Cokes. It was the only time we ate there that we got a booth, so huzzah!

Beaches and Cream entrance

Beaches and Cream entrance

Dad hadn’t had the burger yet, so I told him he must have it before we left. In total, we had the hot dog, the falafel, the soup and grilled cheese, the burger, and the Turkey sandwich. And the Milky Way Sundae. Dad also enjoyed the Orange Dream a few times as his beverage of choice (I loved the little candied orange pieces on the whipped cream topping.)  We finished our meal with two scoops of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. So we did a pretty good job on the menu front.

Beaches and Cream theming

Beaches and Cream theming

mmmmmmm. The buns and pickles are made on-site.

mmmmmmm. The buns and pickles are made on-site.

After the meal we took some last photos of the pool, hotel, and solarium.

In the Solarium

In the Solarium

View from the Solarium

View from the Solarium

The orchids all over the Beach Club.

The orchids all over the Beach Club.

Beach Club as seen from the lake walkway

Beach Club as seen from the lake walkway

And then, it was time to head north. 😦

Dad had filled up the car at the local Hess station, so we were ready to go. He brought the car around to the front and we were heading to Atlanta.

Au revoir, Beach Club!

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Disney Journal No. 7: EPCOT!

or: Apres moi, le deluge–Louis XV

(That’ll make sense in a minute. Trust me.)

So Wednesday was the last full conference day for dad, so we headed to EPCOT (which was, not kidding, right next door to our hotel) around 3:50. A fellow Ohioan (a woman from Dayton) was our ticket taker (although they really are no “ticket takers”, anymore. It’s all electronic: you hold your card over the Mickey Mouse head and it lights up when it’s accepted, then you put your finger on a scanner so that no one else can use your ticket if you lose it. ONLY YOU. This is more helpful for multi-day passes, not so much for us, because once we were in, we weren’t using those particular tickets again. The tickets are like credit cards–plastic, about that size, with Disney characters on them.)

I wanted to see the World Showcase first, because that’s the part I was most interested in. As we came in, the UK Pavilion was to our left, so we headed there first.

Mary Poppins in the UK Pavilion

Mary Poppins in the UK Pavilion

UK Pavilion

UK Pavilion

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Rose and Crown pub

Rose and Crown pub

The one place I really wanted to go? Here.

Twinings!! AKA Jane Austen's tea.

Twinings!! AKA Jane Austen’s tea.

I love tea, especially Twinings, and I did love it before I found out it was what Jane drank (there are references in her letters to trips to Twining’s in London for tea). The store is technically called “The Tea Caddy”, but I just called it the Twinings Place. 🙂 Here I bought a tin of Coronation Tea and a cookbook called Eating Royally, which was written by Princess Diana’s former chef. He also cooked for the Queen and the rest of the royal family. (And yes, the book has Prince William and Duchess Catherine’s wedding cake in it.)

Remember the deluge part? YEah. This is where it started.

It was a true deluge. Pouring, pouring rain. Fortunately Dad had brought out Disney ponchos, so some of us was dry (not my feet. Oh, so totally, not my feet.). We tried waiting it out in The Tea Caddy but eventually decided to soldier on to France.

La Belle France

La Belle France

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Even in the rain, France is gorgeous. We decided to take shelter in their theater and watch the film Impressions de France, which was truly amazing. I’m sort of glad for the rain because otherwise I don’t know if we would have done this! I highly recommend it.

Impressions de France theater

Impressions de France theater

Le chefs de France

Le chefs de France

I loved these pillars in France

I loved these pillars in France

French fountains. C'est magnifique!

French fountains. C’est magnifique!

c'est le mieux

c’est le mieux

After the video, we continued our trek around the World Showcase. Our end point would be Mexico on the other side of the lagoon. We had dinner reservations for 6:30 at La Hacienda San Angel. From point to point, the World Showcase is a mile long, so we were definitely going to get some walking in.

Norway: A stave

Norway: A stave

Vikings!

Vikings!

Norway

Norway

Germany shops

Germany shops

Werther's shop display in Germany

Werther’s shop display in Germany

The popcorn we bought here was amazing–covered in Werther’s caramel and dark chocolate. Holy. Moly.

delicious

delicious

anything with Dopey on it, I love.

anything with Dopey on it, I love.

German glass art

German glass art

"A symbol of thy royalty" (name that movie)

“A symbol of thy royalty” (name that movie)

Germany pavilion

Germany pavilion

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Oktoberfest!

Oktoberfest!

We reached Mexico earlier than we planned, and fortunately, they took us early!

View from La Hacienda

View from La Hacienda

Love those lamps

Love those lamps

celebratory dessert

celebratory dessert

La Hacienda dining room

La Hacienda dining room

We both ordered the fish tacos, and I had a wonderful rose margarita, which came topped with actual rose petals and was rimmed in Hyacinth flavored sea salt. It was like drinking the best perfume. I loved it. Dad, not so much. (I know a took a picture….it’s hiding somewhere. I’ll try to post it at some point.) And yes, even without the button, we got a celebratory dessert, because Dad told our waitress, Fatima (from Mexico City) about our celebration. You can see that above. It’s AMAZING.

Something strange happened here–two parties were seated, one after the other, and both got up and left before they even ordered anything! And the first couple had ADR, as seen by their print out that were were carrying in the restaurant. Weirdest thing I’d ever seen. Who does that?

Fortified by dinner and a strong cocktail (well, on my part) we went back around the showcase. It had stopped raining, thankfully. (This is when I took most of my pictures.)

At Snow White's wishing well in Germany

At Snow White’s wishing well in Germany

China

China

In Italy, I bought a necklace with Venetian glass pieces.

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Fountains in Morocco

Fountains in Morocco

Bella Italia

Bella Italia

At this point, we had seen all we wanted to see and it was about 8:30ish. Our feet were not super happy with us, so we decided to head back to the hotel and be back in our room so we could see the fireworks by 9:00. We made one stop on the way out so I could buy a t-shirt for my friend Mary.

Originally bought at Bonjour Village in the Magic Kingdom, I found one at Epcot for a friend back home.

Originally bought at Bonjour Village in the Magic Kingdom, I found one at Epcot for a friend back home.

Seven Quick Takes Friday Vol. 19

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I.

(Note: So I started writing these on Friday. So “today/tonight” was yesterday. “Tomorrow” is today.)

OK first off–there’s a giveaway going on, kids! Go here and enter.

II.

In all the Disney writing up (and more is coming. I haven’t even talked about EPCOT yet.), I forgot to mention some more excitement! I will be teaching first grade CCD at my parish next year. I am so excited about this. Originally I had planned to be a teacher, but switched my college major after about a month and a half. So, so excited about this.

III.

These wonderful nuns were featured into today’s Wall Street Journal. Do you have their CD yet? These are truly wonderful nuns. Check out their website and order a CD!

IV.

Excited to go to a restorative yoga class with friend and cast mate Bethany tonight. I just love these classes and haven’t been in a long time. I just may fall asleep. Not that anyone would mind. I don’t think.

V.

Rehearsal tomorrow–music for Act II, which will be really easy because the “over 25” women are only in two numbers in Act II. But the over 25 men are only in one, the finale! So I get to sleep in a bit. 🙂 Sunday blocking the end of Act I and rehearsing a few of the Act I scenes we blocked previously.

VI.

I learned how to make blog buttons this week. I am really proud of my mad coding skills. 🙂 My dad is a computer scientist, so I taught myself some HTML way back in the 90s when he was studying it for work. I remember keeping the huge textbook balanced on my lap while I typed code into our ancient PC. Those were the days…(the button I created is on the sidebar!)

VII.

I’m re-reading Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It may be time to remake Cucumbers in Butter. I mean does that not sound awesome? Everything is better with butter anyway. 🙂

Disney Journal No. 6, Magic Kingdom continued

OK, so I’ve set the stage for the Magic Kingdom.

Now it’s time to tell stories.

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OK, first, note the button on my shirt. That’s the “I’m Celebrating” button. It’s important.

The entrance to Bonjour! Village Gifts

The entrance to Bonjour! Village Gifts

So I had some time, after riding rides and eating in the Tavern, and I began my souvenir shopping with Bonjour! village gifts above. This store is basically all Beauty and the Beast all the time, and they have some high-level souvenirs here, including original artwork that is priced in the three figures. But they also have fun t-shirts and other items. So I selected a few things and headed to the check out.

A guy about 23-24 checked me out and noticed my button. He asked what I was celebrating. I briefly said lung transplant, eight years ago. Most people if you give them this they’re flabbergasted enough; they don’t need superflous detail. Well this guy knew what I was talking about.

“Single or double?”

“Double.”

“Where?”

“Columbus.”

(Clearly, by this point I knew I was dealing with someone who was familiar with transplant.)

Kit (the guy) said that he had just had his double lung transplant–eight months ago.

I mean, what the heck, right? He’s from a small town in Michigan. So we talked about that for awhile. He was really nice and super-sweet, evening giving me some Beauty and the Beast stickers gratis. It was a real pleasure to meet him and get to talk to him!

After this I headed over to storybook circus, where I bought my brother and his girlfriend small gifts, as well as purchased TWO dinglehoppers. (They are excellent hairbrushes, by the by, with soft rubber bristles, so they wouldn’t hurt a baby or a little girl. Or a big girl, for that matter!)

By that time, it was time to meet Dad back at Gaston’s.

In the big chair!

In the big chair!

He also had LeFou’s brew and we then got in line for the Little Mermaid ride.

Little Mermaid queue

Little Mermaid queue

queue theming

queue theming

A little high-tech seek and find in the line

A little high-tech seek and find in the line

Scuttle!

Scuttle!

Boarding the ride: It's like the Haunted Mansion, except with Clam shells.

Boarding the ride: It’s like the Haunted Mansion, except with Clam shells.

Mambo! :)

Mambo! 🙂

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Yikes

Yikes

double Yikes

double Yikes

KISS THE GIRL!

KISS THE GIRL!

Ariel gets her voice back

Ariel gets her voice back

"how much I'm going to miss her."

“how much I’m going to miss her.”

happy endings

happy endings

We had a lot of fun on this one. Since this is one of my favorite movies, I really enjoyed it. The queue moved fast, too, since this is a constantly loading ride.

Afterwards I introduced Dad to the wonders of Philharmagic.

Then, then it was time for Be Our Guest. I was so looking forward to this dinner.

We checked in and they saw my button, and again, asked what we were celebrating. I gave them the cliffs notes version. They were all duly flabbergasted and noted it on our reservation slip, which is conveyed electronically to the restaurant and the waitress.

Once our buzzer went off, we went to the castle doors at the other end of a gargoyle-adorned bridge. And then, we got into the dining room.

Outside Be Our Guest

Outside Be Our Guest

Dad and the gargoyle

Dad and the gargoyle

Mosaic inside the castle

Mosaic inside the castle

The ball room

The ball room

rose napkins

rose napkins

the chandeliers

the chandeliers

The theming in this place is incredible. It really is the movie brought to life. The Beast also poses for photos in the library, and comes out into the restaurant.

Here’s what we ate:

dessert, chocolate cream puff

dessert, chocolate cream puff

Dad's ratatouille and quinoa

Dad’s ratatouille and quinoa

my meal: pork chop with mac and cheese and veggies

my meal: pork chop with mac and cheese and veggies

 

Let me tell you, the food was exquisite. I loved my pork chop and the au jus sauce that came with it. The veggies were perfect. I didn’t get much of the mac and cheese because as you can see, it’s a BIG PORK CHOP.

We ordered dessert, too. And then the best part of the meal came.

Ladies and Gentlemen: The grey stuff.

THE GREY STUFF

THE GREY STUFF

People. This was exquisite.

The Grey Stuff isn’t on the menu. You only get it if you’re celebrating something. Those are edible pearls on the top. And the “try the grey stuff”? ALSO EDIBLE. It’s like chocolate gloss.

The grey stuff is cookies and cream panna cotta. It’s amazing. I mean, I was in food heaven. Life fulfillment, I’m telling you.

So after that, I got my picture taken with the Beast (that’s coming later, sorry!) and sadly, we were done with dinner.

The talking knights

The talking knights

gregorian chant in the library. Just too cool.

gregorian chant in the library. Just too cool.

"Lady and the Unicorn" tapestry in the castle foyer.

“Lady and the Unicorn” tapestry in the castle foyer.

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And once we got outside, it was POURING.

So we ran to Fantasyland proper and bought ponchos, then rode Haunted Mansion. By then it was nearing 10, so we, not being fireworks people and not being ones to stand in monsoon, headed for the buses and went back to the Beach Club.

As Maleficient said, it was a “Most gratifying day.”