Sunday, December 10, 2017

"Traditionnnnn! Tra-di-tion!"


First and foremost, to whomever got the reference, mozel tov! ;)

This post is kind of a hodge-podge of a bunch of different things my family and I do during the season of Advent leading up to Christmas.  

It's also that special time of year when Emma isn't quite sure if she sure should be baking lot's of yummy things, crocheting all of the Christmas gifts she hasn't started finished yet, or getting her room straightened out for Christmas guests to stay in. Soo, yeah...

Keep calm, there is only one more holiday till christmas!!! <3

Since Advent started a bit later this year (Dec. 3), it feels like we're even closer to Christmas than usual at this point in the month. *Eek! Just over two weeks?!?*  Like, Christmas is literally 15 days away.  How??

But if I'm going to tell you about traditions, I'm already getting ahead of myself!  (Does that surprise anyone?)  Let's go back and discuss November, shall we?

Being the month dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory and also the month in which All Saints Day (Nov.1) falls, my mum has almost every year decorated the door in our dining room with pretty much every saint holy card we have a copy of.


Of course, it isn't the work of a day and some years takes well into the month to fill, but it's always
fun adding new and interesting saints to the collection every year.

(Bonus points! Can anyone name the saints in this picture?)
Our altar, too, is decorated with saints all through November.

 (Christmas wreath in pre-stages: Hemlock, White Pine, Mountain Laurel, and Some Kind Of Brown Weed)

 Courtesy of NaNoWriMo, November was a bit of a blur.  A really fun, super exhilarating, inspirational blur, but a blur all the same.  I wouldn't hesitate to do it again next year, in fact I plan to providing life doesn't get in the way, but now I have a better understanding of how much more preparation I need to have in advance.

So anyway!  For me, the first official commencement to this most joyous of seasons is a little something known in my family as Wreath Making.  (Yes, the caps are entirely necessary ;) )

Wreath Making occurs every year, rain or shine, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  My whole family-aunts, uncles, cousins, and a special friend or two-all gather at my grandparents house to make wreathes with the fresh greens we pick from around the property.

(One of the wreaths I made this year for my best friend and his family)
This is one of my absolute favorite things to do every year!  Drinking warm apple cider, tramping around outside in the cold, trimming tree branches and getting thoroughly covered in more pine pitch than you might think humanly possible.  It's the best!

Plus, that is also the day when it becomes officially acceptable to blast Christmas music pretty much whenever you want, beginning with while you make your wreath.  And no one even minds if you sing along loudly with Bing and Frank! Win win, am I right?

(My chickens got their very own swag this year....

 ...much to Amber and Elsbeth's approval) 

 Now onto December!


 We set our tree up rather early this year, the first Sunday on Advent, I'm not quite sure why.  Usually we wait until more like the second week, but I think the reason partly has to do with the fact that my sister, brother-in-law, and niece are going to be able to come down and celebrate Christmas with us this year!


This is going to be little Anastasia's first Christmas, so maybe that has something to do with it.  For me it kind of feels even more exciting than usual, almost like I'm seeing firsthand what it's like to experience all the wonder for the very first time.

 (Our December altar.  No more saints, just the Infant of Prague and our Advent Wreath)

(St Nicholas found way into our Advent Wreath on his feastday, Dec. 6)
 
(I made these just the other day, Beehive Buns for St Ambrose, Dec. 7)

Why a beehive?  There is a legend that when Saint Ambrose, whose name in Latin means "sweet as honey", was a baby a swarm or bees came one day and clustered about his lips without stinging him.  By this sign his mother understand that he was destined to be a great writer and orator one day and he is still revered as one of the greatest theologians of the 4th century.  You can read more about St. Ambrose here  and get the recipe for Beehive Buns over here.

Thus concludes this lengthy post!  I hope you enjoyed :)  

And for those of you who didn't understand this post's opening line, here is the solution for you.


Happy Advent, everyone!  Do you have any pre-Christmas traditions?

Talk soon, my dears!

Always,

~Emma

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy, thankful, blessed, and smiling


I'm sitting here at my computer blogging this.

Yes, I probably should be writing, but this is almost the same thing, right?

It's words.  That counts for something, maybe...

Thanksgiving 

Anyways, Happy Thanksgiving all you US  readers! 

If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share. #Thanksgiving #Wishes #Quotes

I will admit, I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to make this post about.  I was just browsing through pinterest looking for pretty quotes and pictures, the typical blogging fare, but I still wasn't quite sure of what I wanted to say.  I didn't want to sound cliche but at the same time I knew I wanted to write along the lines of Thanksgiving.

In my browsing I stumbled across a writing prompt I had saved a while back, a challenge to write down 50 things that made you smile.  Hmmm... that got me thinking.  So in the spirit of that prompt here are just a few things that make me feel happy, thankful, blessed, and put a smile on my face.

"It was November; the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines." L. M. Montgomery 

1. The smell of wood smoke burning on a cold day.

2. Memories, and the fact that I have so many treasured ones.

Vintage Thanksgiving Postcard 
Isn't this just so simply beautiful?  It makes me wish I could've written it.

3. My Catholic Faith, through which my many blessings are realized.

 St. John of Avila - Blessed be God! ~ AnaStpaul - May 10, 2017 

4. People in my life who love me and care about me and even make me laugh!

"When I count my blessings, I count you twice." —Irish proverb

 5. Rainy days.

6. And sunny ones, too.

7. Changed plans and new beginnings.

Squirrel Nutkin by Beatrix Potter Today I bought a Squirrel 

8. And for all the tiny, countless things in this great big beautiful life that we don't always notice and don't begin to deserve yet are blessed with anyway.

 nothing is more beautiful than a grateful heart #thanksgiving



Here is a free vintage Thanksgiving postcard for you. Front: and back: Click on images to enlarge.

And so, I bid you all a very happy thanksgiving day, and just a very happy day in general!   You guys are all wonderful, the best, and I'm really glad we get to cross one another's paths the way we do.  Thank you!!!

Always,

~Emma

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The countdown begins...

Here it comes....

Are you ready for it?

No turning back!

I hate you, November. I will not have another winter after this year. Florida here we come. 

Good luck to all you other WriMo's out there! 

Always,

~Emma

Sunday, October 29, 2017

'October's over? It can't be!' AKA, 'Whoops, I think I blinked too long!'


 

Couldn't we please just go back and rewind this month?

That'd be great.

“time flies when you don’t know what you’re doing” by mungo thomson

Let me tell you, that, my dear friends, is very true.  Very true.

As is the following, which I like to imagine was written by someone specifically with myself in mind ;)

the character could be written to have a learning disability (scatter brained can be a symptom of certain learning disabilities)

You know something?  This month has been a bit of a roller coaster.  And you know something else?  I've never been fond of those contraptions.

Believe it or not, I've been working on a draft post all month.  (I hope think you're going to like it!)  I keep adding to it here and there, always telling myself that I'm going to finish it tomorrow.  And then suddenly it's tomorrow, and the "Great Roller Coaster of Life" laughs and sends me into a tailspin.  Another one.

 #RebelliousWriting

 If that's true, Mr. Chesterton, I could fill a book.  A big book.

 So that's been the month of October for me, but hey, that's okay.  Sometimes we just have little challenges and things to work through, nothing lasts forever.  And it's okay to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, smile, and remind yourself that just for right now at least,

Everyday.

And speaking of filling books, did I mention I finally decided to be brave and actually signed up for NaNoWriMo?!?!?

 Rustling Thoughts

Rustling Thoughts

Is anybody else attempting this this year?  Has anyone ever participated in NaNo before?  If yes, I'd be eternally grateful for the companionship/mutual encouragement/advice.  Please let me know!!

**Edit: My NaNoWriMo username is StoryGirl17, feel free to  add me as a buddy or give a shoutout!

So anywho, I think I'm gonna end this weirdly random post before it drags on much longer.  (Or I bore somebody to death, I don't want to do that to any of you.)  If you were beginning to feel the grips on unconscious delirium setting in, I fully apologize.  It wasn't intentional ;)

Travel Quotes | The time is always now. 

We'll talk again soon, I promise!

Always,

~Emma
 p.s. I really missed you, just so you know! 

Friday, September 22, 2017

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!


seasonalwonderment: Autumn 

Can I get a "YAAAAAYYYYY!!!!!"???  The best season ever is upon us yet again, what could possibly be lovelier than that, I ask you??

Nothing.  The answer is nothing.

Except for all the lovely things we get to do in the Fall, like...

 Henry Herbert La Thangue  (1859-1929) was an English painter of rural scenes. He was associated with the Newlyn School .         A Ligurian...

Those cool, crisp mornings.  Picking apples and eating them fresh.  Playful breezes that send the colorful leaves swirling down.  Hot cups of tea or coffee to warm chilled hands.  The spicy smell of drying leaves.  Make all sorts of pumpkin treats.  Curl up with a good book.  

Oh, how I love it!

Vamos a leer 

 And now that it's Fall again-my best season for writing-perhaps I'll be able to accomplish more great and wonderful things than in Summer!

 ~~~

In other Fall randomness, have you ever wondered what color leaf you'd be?  No?  That doesn't surprise me, but here's a quiz in case you're curious now :)  Right here.

Supposedly I would be a brown leaf because it is the color of subtlety, strength, and being down-to-earth.  Hmmm....

Brown | Buraun | Braun | Marrone | Brun | Marrón | Bruin | ブラウン | Colour | Texture | Pattern | Style | 
A pretty brown leaf :)

Before I bid you all a "goodnight," I leave you with a few songs that have been going through my head today.

 "Autumn"-Ben Rector
 
Figures, right?

 "Summer Again"-The Afters

"The Best Day"~Taylor Swift
Quite Fall-ish, wouldn't you agree?

Do any other songs come to mind about this lovely season?  What are your favorite things about Autumn?  Do let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear!

Happy Fall 

~Emma
 p.s. Today is the first day to begin the novena to Saint Therese the Little Flower, you can find it here.


Friday, September 8, 2017

September.


  Firstly, it is Our Lady's birthday today, so here is this beautiful image in her honor.

Blessed Virgin Mary
  
What I tell ya, folks?  Now do you believe me when I say August went by fast?  I feel like I blinked too long or something.

I kept giving myself little tasks to complete before I allowed myself to just sit down and type up a blog post.  (Which I fully realize is rather unfair to you. Sorry ;) ) The truth is, as I'm sure you are all very much aware, life is busy.  Wow!  I know, right?!

"Let there be light..."
(Some happy yellow flowers for you. Because I love you.)
September, though.  September is busy.  September is always busy.  For me at least.

We start school on Monday, I have a part-time job beginning next week, our church fair is the following weekend so I'll be face painting for that, and I still have a few minor, measly little things to do before then and it seems it's always those petty things that weigh you down and make everything feel so much more hugely overwhelming than they really are.  Hopefully that's the only run-on sentence you'll have to deal with in this post, but I think you get the idea ;) 

Now please don't think I'm complaining because I truthfully don't really mind all those things.  Like I said, September is always busy.  I mean it's true, busyness can lead to craziness, craziness often leads to chaos, once chaos ensures the feeling of being overwhelmed sets in rather quickly and can easily lead to insanity, but as long as you take a few deep breaths and say a Hail Mary or two before things get out of hand, you can usually avoid going stark raving mad and inevitably being locked away in a nut house for the rest of your days.  I don't know about you, but I'm pretty okay with those odds.

(Oh look! There's another one!  Whoops...)

Let's read...

Anyways, when I'm not concerning myself with the added strain put on my mental state, I find September a rather endearing month.  It's so charming, caught between the desire to be as warmly carefree as summery August or brisk and dignified as cooler October, the same as a child torn between either the sophistication or simplicity of an older and a younger sibling. 

There is just enough of sunshine and warmth so as not to mourn August's passing too dolefully, yet with a definite and irresistible spice of Fall, come to enchant the world to sleep once more against the coming chill.  

I guess I think September is special.  That's probably just me, but I'll continue to feel this way regardless!

Alas, I must be off, but you will hear from me soon, my dears!  I hope you're enjoying your Septembers, are they as busy/busier than mine?  (Not that it's a contest, of course, just makin' conversation.  hehe ;) )


Always,
~Emma

Monday, August 14, 2017

Of birthdays, injuries, and exciting finds

     
No, in case you were wondering based on the title of this post, today is not my birthday.  However it was in fact last Tuesday, therefore making this a continuation of  birthday week until midnight and hence I can still write this post within a reasonable passage of time.  So there.

Image result for and it's kind of my birthday tangled 
(Say what you will, this is one of my favorite lines of the whole movie) 
  
I turned old this year.  Actually, I've turned old every year for as long as I can remember.  For some reason I am always surprised at the amount of people who, when asking my age, don't understand what I mean when I say I'm "as old as the year".  I mean, is that such a weird simile to use that no one but myself understands it?  I understand me.  Do you understand me?  Does anyone understand me?!?!  Probably not, so we'll move on.

Do you know what my dear brother, sister, and brother-in-law surprised me with this year?  A pinata, they got me a pinata!  And not only that, they filled it with an absurd amount of skittles, because clearly they love me very much.  So I was taken outside, blindfolded, spun (which I could've done without), handed a sharp, pokey stick, and told to have at it.  Oh, it was great fun!  I do so love surprises! 
The Pinata at the Hospital
Once the poor donkey was brutally beaten and decapitated, of course Emma, in all her natural grace and dignity, proceeded to-(remember that sharp pokey stick?)-well she stepped on it.  Really stepped on it.  Without shoes.  That is not something I'd recommend any of you doing.  You see, limping around on a bandaged foot for a day and a half causes a lot of pressure on the opposite ankle, thus creating-in the words of my Pepere-"a hitch in your get-along", which then of course inevitably leads to a knot in your upper back.  Moral of the story?  Do not step on sharp pokey sticks. 

Okay, so that was my birthday! (Which really truly was fantastic despite.)  Come Thursday I hadn't succumb to blood poison and it was also shopping day.  While wandering through Walmart trying to find, of all things, a pair of scissors, I stumbled across a super exciting (exciting for me, anyways) something in the clearance aisle!  (Seriously though, you wouldn't believe how difficult it is to find the right kind of paper shears with all the mounds of school supplies they have in that horrible gigantic place.)


I found a big box of my favorite brand of yarn at a great discount on one of the clearance shelves!  This brand is usually pretty pricey so if I knew I needed it for a project I'd hoard my Michael's coupons and buy it there.  (Have I mentioned my love of that store before?  It is my favorite, before I went to  New York I was practically on a first name basis over there ;) )


 The pictures doesn't quite do the color justice but the finished product comes out looking sort of like a stained glass window.  Really pretty, anyway!  I'm going to use these skeins to make a bunch of "slouchy" hats for upcoming craft fairs and my new Etsy shop!  (More on that soon)

Finally in closing, I thought you'd like to know that I have checked a few items off of my list of summer ambitions.  I'll try and get a post up about that soon so you can see what mischief I've been up to!

Always, 

~Emma



 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Open Letter to August

     Is it really you again, dear?  It seems to me still so recent when we parted ways that eve of last September, how strange when I realize an entire year has come and gone since.  I've grown older, but somehow you still seem the same in my eyes - reckless, daring, youthful, full of all things bright and promising - just as you always are.


     When I was a child you were always my favorite, like a friend one looks forward to chumming with while on holiday, counting down the days until you arrived.  Hoping when you did that this time you would stay longer, perhaps never leave at all.  But time and again you spin me through your whirlwind of excitement, careless of time, oh so fleeting, careless that Summer's magnificent concerto is nearing its finale.
 
     I regret to say, my dear, that you behave rather like a rogue, yet despite this I will leave off reprimanding you for it.  Even if I could find the proper words with which to scold you I know it would do no good, for you would take them lightly, with a giggle and a wink, and be off again in twirls.  Perhaps it is this very roguishness that allows me to pardon you again year after year.  Perhaps it makes you somehow, in spite of your foolishness, endearing, a quality I have commonly found among most rogues of my acquaintance.


     Regardless of your faults, I confess that I remain still very fond of you, although not in the same way as when I was child.  I know now that you will not stay forever.


     Still I dance to your merry whirlwind and enjoy doing so, however now I am ever conscious that just as the golden summertime, no dance can last forever, but eventually must end and give way to the next.  Until then, let the crescendo rise, your dance has begun.

Devotedly Yours,

~Emma

    

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Happy Anniversary!

Wishing my Favorite Sister and Wonderful Brother-in-law a happy 1st wedding anniversary!

 Fifth Sacrament is the Marriage Covenant
May God continue to bless your marriage in the years to come as fully as in the preceding one!

From The Catholic Gentleman, an excellent blog.
~♥~
There are so many things about this that makes me laugh!


Always,
~Emma

Summer Ambitions~ 2017 Edition

I am always so seized during the span of these warmer months with such soaring aspirations towards greater productivity and creativity. 

Perhaps there is something in the sunshine and warmth or that special, joyful bloom lying all about and covering everything that sends my imagination whirring.  Whirring and reminding me of all the things I want to learn,

and create,

and do. 

John Sloane ~ summer respite ~ country ~ farm ~ girl & dog 

For me, if I want to get things done without forgetting or losing interest, I write it down.  So this is my list of things I want to learn, projects I want/need to accomplish, and skills I want to attain.  Some are more silly than practical, but why not have fun in the progress? 

 I plan to keep you all updated on my progress and at the end of the season see how many things I actually accomplished! 

And now the list:

1. Post more frequently. (No, I'm not kidding, I'm really going to try ;) )

2. Go through/reorganize/consolidate my hope chest and items therein.

3. Make more time for writing, and just write.

 Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter in 'Miss Potter' (2006).

 4. Learn to play guitar. (Or at least try.)

  There is a deep hole in our hearts where music once lived. Honing our craft and continuing to write music (separately and together) will help to fill that hole in as we find our rhythm again. | transition from surviving to thriving.

5. Maybe finally figure out how to ride a bike. Maybe.

6. Teach myself to play the lap harp. 
7. Repair bureau drawer. (There's a story to that, I promise!)

8. Learn to paint hand-blown eggs. (You know, like those gorgeous Eastern European ones. So fascinating!)
Krakus Market-Polish Easter Eggs, had an art teacher that could make these. She was Polish. 

 9.Read books  lots of books. 

Story of my life...
10. Repair broken statue.

11. Create a resume.

12. Make homemade SPRINKLES!!!  (Sounds super fun, maybe a disaster, but a fun disaster!)

 Say yes to sprinkles!
 13. Turn 17! (Eek)

14. Expand run for chickens. 
Girl Feeding Her Chickens by Allan R. Banks (1948, American)

 15. Crochet lots of items for Fall craft fairs and local fair entries.

There!  That's my list, what do you think?  It certainly isn't comprehensive, but it's something from which to work.  As I said, I 'll be sure to keep you all updated on my progress, success or fail, I promise!

While we're on the subject of goals, do you have anything you'd like to accomplish over the summer?  Things to do, places to go, people to see?  I'd love to hear!   

Well, I guess it's time to get started and "make hay while the sun shines", as they say!  Wish me luck!

Always,
~Emma