Seven Quick Takes No. 78

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

I.

mmmm. Summer Friday. Those are beautiful words in the English language, no? 🙂

II.

Since it’s summer, more people read. You can, of course, join the Jane Re-Read (Sense and Sensibility is what we’re talking right now). I’m still reading Prodigal Summer and Northanger Abbey. I just finished I Believe In Love, about St. Therese of Liseux and how she can lead us to a deeper spiritual life, and I really liked that one. There’s a lot to ponder and I’ll definitely be reading it again. (Who am I kidding. I read everything again….unless it’s Moby Dick or Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Shudder!)

I keep debating if I should read Girl on a Train. Yes? No? Thoughts?

III.

My 10 year transplant testing appointment is on Monday. To put this in perspective: UNOS (the United Network for Organ Sharing, which “does” transplants in the U.S.) doesn’t even have 10 year survival rates on their chart. The last one they have is 5 years out, and for women, that rate is 46.1%. I read somewhere that 10 year survival is around 30%, but I forget where.
So, for ONCE, the odds have been playing nicely with me. I rejoice in this. The actual 10 year date is in July, but we do the testing in June, usually.

IV.

I’ve discovered that a lot of women don’t know basic maintenance things. This sort of scares me, ladies. You should know to put gas in the car (and what kind of gas), how to jump a car battery, how to use tools, how to unclog a toilet. Even if you’re married, your husband isn’t aways around to fix things! I’m amazed at how many women I know who can’t do any of these things and I want to be like, girls. Come on now!

V.

My brother’s girlfriend sent me this photo of him at Disneyland, and I just love it:

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As Br. H said, “How many Evil Empires can you fit in one picture?”

VI.

I’ve started swimming again–yay! But man, the muscles feel it when you swim hard for the first time in a season. They rebel the next day. But it’s so good to be in swim season again, I do not mind at all.

VII.

Almost time for Edel 2015 in Charleston! I’m so excited!! I’ve never been to South Carolina and I can’t wait to meet all the amazing women who will be there!

Seven Quick Takes No. 76

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

I.

BONJOUR, FRIDAY!!!!!! I’m so happy to see you!

II.

I’m going to D.C.! I haven’t been to the capital in ages and I’m so excited to be going with my friends Mary and Katie for Dominican ordinations. The last road trip the three of us took, it was to Nashville to visit some Dominican sisters. We had a blast. I don’t know if D.C. is ready for us!

III.

The CCD year is rapidly coming to a close. We only have two more classes. Last year’s class just received their first communion, and I’m so happy for them! I hope they remember everything we’ve taught them about it. 😉 Next year’s CCD will be here before we know it, though, and then it’s a new group of kids to teach about the sacraments and the trinity.

IV.

Speaking of summer breaks: it’s summer here. Already! It’s supposed to be 90 tomorrow! Sadly, the pool doesn’t open until next week, when it’s going to be much more seasonal. Oh well. When the pool is open, it’s time for me to do my happy dance. Not just because pool=summer, but because I love swimming and it’s better than gym workouts!

V.

Although I have been very faithful to those gym workouts–going to the gym today, in fact. My schedule right now is two yoga practices a week, and three gym days. Yes, there are two rest days in there. I also need to get a strength program back on line, because I’ve been slacking here.

VI.

I made huge progress this week on one of my novels, so I’m excited about that! It was the first one I wrote for NaNoWriMo, and I was in a hurry to get it done, so I left out a few key scenes, but now I’m going back and putting them in, an they’re fitting really well. I had to slash parts that were just way too crazy, but in general, I’m pleased with the shape of the manuscript.

VII.

Do any of you garden? Do you want to share gardening tips with me? I’m writing about this more next week, but I’m about to start my first container garden (with just two things–let’s not get crazy) and I want to make sure they don’t die. 🙂

Seven Quick Takes No. 75

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

I.

People, this is a thing:

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So it was yesterday, but next week I’m going to have a post up on Books You Need To Read, so please check back for that! I’m really looking forward to sharing some of my favorite books with you (and yes, Jane tops the list. Let’s be real, people.)

II.

 This week on my other page I wrote about How I write  and A Tour of my Office.  Let me know what you think? (And follow the page there, too, please? This ends our commercial. :-p) Next week I’m writing about journaling and research. I’ve been journaling since I was 12 years old, so I have a few things to say about it!

III.

The fitness Regimen IS BACK! I worked out three days in a row this week, and I’m heading to the gym today. My “off” days are Thursday and Sunday. I’ve also brought back the weight training. AND I’m pondering kicking off a Whole 30 in May. Have I gone crazy? Maybe?

But no, I really need to focus on this stuff now. I fell off the fitness wagon in March, but now it’s time to get back on, entirely. I began adding back some activity toward the end of March/beginning of April, but I want to have good numbers when I go into clinic again in June for my ten year yearly.

IV.

(Ten years? For real? REALLY? I’m going to write more about this later, but holy cow: time flies when you’re having fun.)

V.

Planning for the Charleston Trip is in full swing–Mom and I have narrowed down a huge list of restaurants in the city to a manageable list, and we want to visit the plantation where parts of North and South and The Notebook were shot. MY ten year anniversary, coincidentally, will occur when we’re down there, and when I’m attending Edel! Whee!

VI.

It was chilly here this week–we had frost this morning and I actually had to turn the heat back on. So we’ve gone from like 80 to….34? Crazy weather is always with us. But hey, there’s no snow, unlike Pittsburgh, which had some yesterday during the Pirates game. Brrrr!

VII.

I started the Great Jane Re-Read Early this year–I just re-read Sense and Sensibility. I’ve got the Annotated Northanger Abbey here, so that’s next–going a bit out of order. 🙂

Seven Quick Takes Vol. 73

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I.

Happy Easter Season, everyone! He is Risen, Indeed!

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II.

Yesterday was also my thirty-third birthday!

The Google Doodle you get for your Birthday. I mean how awesome is this, people.

The Google Doodle you get for your Birthday. I mean how awesome is this, people.

I love birthdays. I love getting older. Really, I do, people. Never discount how awesome it is to grow older.

III.

We celebrated yesterday with dinner at Longhorn and then Red Velvet cake at the house, followed by presents. It was a tiny celebration but that’s OK, since I’ve gone out with my friends a few times pre-birthday, so there’s been lots of little celebrations, which make me happy. Like I said, birthdays rule.

(And yes, I like to celebrate everyone’s birthdays! in my last office I was sad that no one wanted their birthdays celebrated!)

IV.

In the tradition of April and my birthday, it rained. A lot. The day I was born, it was a blizzard, so I guess it could be worse, right?! But I still managed to get in a nice one mile walk around my neighborhood before the heavens opened and the rain went nuts. The grass is exceedingly green, already.

V.

Part of my birthday gift to me was watching Interstellar. People. Please see this, post haste.

VI.

I’ve also been working with the AMAZING Cristina on blog revamping and my author page. Please, please, please go to the page and sign up to follow? This is hugely important as part of my “book package” that will be going out soon. There will also be free goodies and fun writing content that will be over there only.

http://emilymdeardo.wordpress.com

Please and thank you! 🙂 A free way to help me celebrate my birthday! 🙂

VII.

CCD resumes this week. I hope the kids didn’t forget everything in the two weeks they’ve been off.

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Seven Quick Takes Vol. 72

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I.

I don’t know what’s going on–if the Moon’s in Jupiter, if the weather is just Wuthering Heights Moor-ish, or if it’s the last gasp of Lent, but this week has been really out-of-sorts. Is anyone else feeling this?

II.

Some of it is stuff that doesn’t really matter, like when I wake up. I mean I don’t have to be anywhere at a certain time most days. But I dislike getting up past 10:00. It makes me grumpy. Yet that happened every single day this week. I guess my body is saying it needs this much sleep, but…? So, Grumpy Cat’s been out to play this week.

III.

Downton announced that next season is its last.

Here is my prediction:

Mary is not going to get married. Instead, since in 1925 (when the last season will be set)women were able to inherit property on their own, she will become the official heiress of Downton, thereby solving the “succession crisis” that has plagued the DA since Episode 1! Therefore, Mary is the heir when Robert dies, followed by George. Ta-da! So Mary can marry the pig man if she wants, but she doesn’t have to. She never has to marry again, because she is set for life as far as a place to live goes.

Yay!

IV.

Holy Week. Wow. Are you ready? I never feel ready, no matter how long Lent has seemed. It’s always like bam! That being said, I love Holy Week at my parish. There’s so much richness, and we have adoration every day and solemn vespers every night.

I was born on Good Friday, so naturally I have a special place in my heart for that day, anyway, but my birthday often falls on Palm Sunday or Holy Thursday, as well. So this week always feels a bit like ‘birthday week’ to me.

V.

Speaking of Birthday Bonuses: Outlander starts the second part of season 1 on Holy Saturday. Jamie in your Easter Basket, indeed!

VI.

Since Pioneer Girl is now in the house, I’ve been re-reading the Little House books. I’m about to start The Long Winter. I really like the books when the family is in DeSmet. I think they’re my favorite of the series. Reading Farmer Boy always makes me so hungry. I know I can’t be alone in that.

VII.

I’m about 50% done with washcloth no. 2. Hoping to make some more progress over the weekend!

Seven Quick Takes No. 70

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I.

Happy Friday y’all! I am happy because it is going to warm up! It’s going to be in the 50s all next week! This deserves italics, people. Yay!!!!! I am so excited! Bring it!

II.

I am also excited because I’m going on a silent retreat this weekend. I love silent retreats. They are necessary to my spiritual well-being. This one is being preached by one of the Dominican friars from my parish, so I’m definitely looking forward to that.

If you’ve never been on a silent retreat, I highly recommend it. The silence isn’t really that scary. 😉 And the spiritual fruits are amazing.

I have a whole category called “retreats”, so if you want to read more about them, click on the link at the bottom of the post, where the tags are.

(And if you have prayer requests, hit me up!)

III.

I’ve been knitting a lot this week. I’m about to finish part 1 of a housewarming gift, and I’m determined to learn how to purl. At one point, I knew. Then I forgot. I want to fix this quickly.

IV.

My first Real Housekeeping article went up this week! I am very excited to be writing with these lovely ladies. Need a great dessert recipe? Head over there. 🙂 

V.

I’ve got a few books to take along on retreat, but one of them, sadly, is not A Breath of Snow and Ashes, which is the sixth Outlander book, and where I am in my series re-read. I just don’t think that’s appropriate, right? 🙂

VI.

Are there any books that you’ve started and just can’t finish? For me, it’s War and Peace. I’ve tried it twice now, and I just can’t. I even (I say this with shame) bought Sparknotes for it. And still, nothing. As the Emperor said to Mozart, “Too many {words}.” I know there’s a new film adaptation coming, so maybe I’ll watch that and then feel like I can tackle the book? (That’s how I tackled Bleak House, after all. I like Esther a lot, but there’s a huge amount of “Too many words” territory in that book.)

VII.

Also–do you stop reading a book once you’ve started it? As in, do you give up midway through as a matter of course (if you’re not interested), or do you plug away to the end?

Seven Quick Takes No. 69

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I.

Welcome, y’all, to another edition of Quick Takes, brought to you by coffee, coffee and coffee. 🙂

II.

It’s not that I’m tired, it’s cold. Yeah. We had some fake outs earlier this week but I think it’s 0 outside right now. But this weekend it’ll be warmer! Rejoice! I just sort of want it to stay around, oh, 30? Could we do that, weather? 30 would be good!

So anyway….coffee. 🙂

III.

The Oscars came and went, and I was right about Birdman winning Best Picture, but wrong about Michael Keaton. I’m OK with that because I love Eddie Redmayne and he did a great job in his movie. Also, if you haven’t seen Big Hero 6, do it. It’s  really cute, touching, and the animation? BAZINGA, people. The colors are amazing.

IV.

Last night I was playing an ancient dice game called Kismet with my mom. This game is a perennial favorite in our house, because you can play it with anywhere from 2 to…I guess 8 or so players (probably more), and my hyper-competitive self doesn’t mind losing so much, because, as the name attests, you get what you get when you roll the dice. You can’t really strategize your way to victory.

So, this game has been in the household since my parents first got married in 1979. Last night, mom and I were rifling through old score cards and found several of note: one from my dad’s best friend, dated Dec. ’82; one from my Aunt and Uncle who were dating when they were playing (they were dated pre-wedding); several from when me and my siblings were kids; and one that says “Mickey {my mom} and Baby, Feb. ’82”.

Yeah, the baby is me. 🙂

So basically I’ve been playing this game since I was in-utero. 🙂

(If you’ve never played it, it’s fun. Give it a try.)

V.

I finally saw the movie Watership Down this week. No, I wasn’t traumatized unduly, but I bet if I was a wee child watching it, the sight of bunnies clawing each other and blood-drenched fields might have put me off sleep for a few nights. As a kid, the movies that scared me the most were Snow White (that witch. Holy cow.) and Pinnochio (the whole kids turning into asses? Yeah, not so much. TERRIFIED me. And then, oh, let’s throw in an enormous whale that wants to eat us!).

However, the moral was pretty clear, in both cases: Don’t take apples from strangers, and DO NOT SKIP SCHOOL.

(Wizard of Oz didn’t scare me until I got a bit older, around 7 or so, and then it was Auntie Em turning into the Witch in the crystal ball. Then I’d just excuse myself and come back when that part was over.)

VI.

I’m also finding myself hard-pressed to read any new books so I’m re-reading Outlander. Yes. Again. I’m on Fiery Cross. I’m also re-reading a variety of other books, but that changes from hour to hour. Outlander is pretty consistent, though. 🙂

VII.

Speaking of books, I’m about to do some nitty-picky editing on the manuscript, as one of my March goals. I need to go through and do a timeline and general note taking about what I’ve included already and how things are structured. No point in writing good bits if they don’t make sense, oui? 

Seven Quick Takes No. 68

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I.
Happy Friday, everyone!! 🙂 how was your week? Mine was little hit or miss–there was lots of super-busy, so I fell down on the writing, but that was also due to a bad case of writer’s block, which I think I have figured out how to overcome! So that made me happy. One of my goals for February is to have an ending on my manuscript, so this will get me closer to that goal.

II.

As I write this, it’s 10 degrees outside, but tomorrow, the low will be 0, and on Sunday, the high will be…..nine. I hope my car starts in time for CCD, let me tell ya! (It’s old. It has a newish battery, but it’s still old.) So we’re veering toward Hoth-ish territory, but–praise Jesus–I don’t see any negative numbers in the forecast. Wheee!

III.

Wednesday starts Lent. I shall now direct you to my Lenten Practices series!

Seriously, though, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to like Lent more. This year I’ve got the Women’s conference and a silent retreat lined up, both of which are enjoyable things to me.

IV.

Time for some kid funny.

Part one:

me on my grandmother's lap, with my grandfather and one of my aunts behind.

me on my grandmother’s lap, with my grandfather and one of my aunts behind.

I’m not entirely sure what’s happening here but man I am excited about it.

V.

Part Two:

Last week in CCD, we were talking about the Last Supper, the Eucharist, and Transubstantiation. The kids got all those things, no problem. One of the girls raises her hand:

Me: Yes?

Her: So, what did the kids drink?

Me: Oh, you mean instead of the wine? (She nods) Um….they probably drank wine. There wasn’t any soda, or water that was healthy to drink….no apple juice or anything like that. They might have had goat’s milk, I guess? But wine was a pretty common thing.

Her: THE KIDS DRANK WINE?

So, for the record: the kids were fine with transubstantiation. Understanding that kids in Biblical Time probably drank wine, however, threw them for a huge loop.

VI.

Posts from this week, ICYMI: Daybook, Teaching Science and Math like Snape!

VII.

Valentine’s Day plans, anyone? Here it involves me and a Guinness Cake. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! 

Seven Quick Takes Friday No. 66

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I.

(In case you missed it, here’s what went down here this week: How A Dominican Nuns Prays, How I Pray, Yarn Along, Daybook).

II.

We’re supposed to get more snow on Sunday into Monday. Oh what joy, what rapture! It’s not like what Massachusetts and the rest of NE got, but any snow here is cause for everyone to be all SNOWPOCALYPSE! It’s not that we’re not used to snow. Because we are. Winter in Ohio usually means snow. I think with the 24 hour news cycle, people tend to freak out about it more because we know  about it farther in advance. (Does that make sense?) So we’ll see how this affects Sunday CCD!

III.

 So since it’s winter and that means staying in the house, there’s been a lot of house improvement going on. I’ve been organizing papers and either tossing or filing them, and I’m thinking of ways to place things I use on a daily basis. Right now, those things tend to end up on my kitchen table. Well that’s not the best look, aesthetically or practically, because I also use that as a work space sometimes. So I need to find ways of placing things like my Bibles, my household binders, and things like that, so that the items are accessible but not stacked up on the table! So I’m looking into options in that department.

IV.

Some organizational things I like (and no, I don’t get any kickbacks for this, I just love these things): Emily Ley’s Home Base Binder, and I love her magazine boxes, which I use in the Book Room/Official Office. I also love her Simplified Planner, but alas she’s sold out for this year, so no linkage to that. But it’s awesome! Her 2016 ones come out in the summer/fall.

V.

My taxes are done and my refund is coming–Praise Jesus. 🙂 I’m really glad my taxes are easy to do, because I’m math-impaired like that.

VI.

Today I’m working on February’s Power Sheets. Guys, if you have goals to set and things you want to do, do yourself a favor and get some more of these when they’re back in stock in March. You will love them. I promise. They are so helpful to me.

VII.

The Super Bowl is this weekend. I really don’t care because I don’t like either of these teams. Give me more hockey!

Seven Quick Takes No. 64

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I.

Happy Friday! This week was short, and also long. If that can happen. Monday was long because, seriously, when you can’t eat anything but jello, it’s a long day. Tuesday was short because you know, fun drugs. 🙂

II.

Monday was also long because of waiting for the OSU game. Normally I’m not a huge OSU fan–my parents didn’t grow up here, so we weren’t really into it–but when it’s the National Championship, you can get swept up in it. I’m glad they won. I’m not glad that they scheduled their celebration for the same weekend as the NHL All Star Weekend, which is also here in Columbus.

Seriously, this is my big beef with OSU sports. It’s college sports, but this town treats them like they’re the end-all and be-all of sporting events. All-Star weekend is a big deal, and we have to compete with freaking OSU again?

When my parents moved here from Pittsburgh, one of the things they didn’t understand was this OSU insanity mentality. My Dad is a Pitt alum, and the year Pitt won the National Championship, it was minor, because the city’s major league teams were winning things like the World Series and the Super Bowl. He couldn’t understand how a college team could garner so much press and devotion. And honestly, I still don’t understand it. I realize it’s “all we have”–but that’s not true anymore. We have two major league sports teams. They do not get nearly as much love as the Jackets. It’s sad and irritating.

III.

 The colonoscopy on Tuesday was OK. My doctor was sort of a jerk. He kept us waiting for over an hour and when I got into the procedure room he was playing around with his phone! Seriously? Hint to my doctor friends: don’t do that.

IV.

Here’s the wrap up of  my “big six” Oscar categories from yesterday. I’m looking forward to seeing American Sniper this weekend. Boyhood, Grand Budapest Hotel, and How to Train Your Dragon 2 are on DVD now, so I could catch up with those if I felt so inclined. (I probably won’t do Grand Budapest. That just looks….strange.) The Best Actor race is going to be insane. I think the two contenders are Keaton and Redmayne, since they won the Golden Globes in this category. I love both those actors. I’ll be happy either way, but I’d really like to see Michael Keaton win. As far as Best Actress, Julianne Moore has never won an Oscar, so this would be a first for her, and I’ve been hearing great things about her work in Alice. I’d really like Felicity Jones to win, though. All the acting categories are just chock-full of great names (for the most part), although I think Meryl Streep’s was sort of a…I dunno. Not a throw-away, but something akin? I mean, she’s Meryl Streep. She’s won how many Oscars at this point.

My theater is currently showing Sniper, Imitation Game, Big Hero 6, and Selma, so those are the ones I could see in the theaters right now. I’m hoping Theory and Birdman will swing by.

V.

Reading: Just finished the Big Stone Gap  series, and I should finish Own Your Life today. I really need to get back into The Artist’s Way. I’mw wondering if I should just start over in that regard.

VI.

I have finally joined the masses and watched House of Cards. Wow. What a show. Now, of course, some of that stuff wouldn’t happen in “real life”, but politics is a mean business. It just is. I was talking to my brother about it, and I had the good fortune to work for/with some politicians that were truly servant minded. They wanted to be servant leaders and do the best things for both their employees and the citizens of Ohio. (This is especially true of the Senate President I worked under when I had my transplant. Such a good man.) However, they are not, sadly, all that way. I’m interested to see where season III goes, now that Frank is (SPOILER) President, and I’m interested to see if characters like Linda stick around and work for him.

And, like many others, I want Claire Underwood’s clothes. Not her haircut. I don’t look good with severely short hair. But the clothes!

VII.

Weekend plans: Spending time with a friend tonight; Mass tomorrow; American Sniper with my brother on Sunday, after I teach CCD.