September 29, 2017

5 Things I Miss About Home

Nobody told me this until it was already happening to me, but apparently there is a strange phenomenon that occurs with many college students on the subject of homesickness: for many of them, it doesn't start right away. No, you don't feel homesick at all the first week or two. You call your parents when you can, and think about home from time to time, but between all the new activities and friends you honestly don't have time to dwell on it. But it builds, little by little, so that by mid-October, one is experiencing a full-blown homesickness when one least expects it.

Now don't worry, I'm still not that homesick, and I doubt that I will be. It's just that I can tell that I'm gradually missing home a bit more than I used to, and getting all wishy-washy nostalgic about everything. Here are my top five examples:

1. Baking

Somehow, even a gelato bar, dessert case, and soft serve ice cream machine still doesn't beat being able to whip up your own baked goods in your own kitchen from time to time. I can't even scroll past my baking board on Pinterest without my mouth watering. It's only partly about the taste, though. It's also about the process; choosing a recipe, measuring and mixing ingredients, and pulling the finished product from the oven.

2. Watching Football Games

Image result for football

There's not much I'd rather do on a Sunday afternoon than sit in front of the TV in my living room with pizza, football, and a blanket. Oh, and family. ;) Especially now that the football season in in full swing, I miss this weekly tradition from home.

3. My Job

I took this last summer in the dining room of my workplace.

I had an amazing job in historical job in interpretation at home. I knew it then, and I feel it now. Good news: I also have a similar job in college! But of course, not one historic site is like another, and I think of my old historic home often.

4. My Church

Luther's Seal
Again; have I found another amazing church in college? Absolutely! But just like my job example, no two church settings are exactly alike. I think the change in style is good for me. It's helped make sure I don't fall into a robotic routine at my home church, taking more comfort in that routine and familiarity than in the Word of God. But even though it's a good change, I can't help but miss that comforting familiarity of home. 

5.  A Car

the car still goes when I step on the gas so it must be fine.
But maybe it's a good thing I don't have a car to worry about...I'm this clueless!

Now I feel like I'm just whining, because there's more than enough to do within walking distance here. But hey, I'm an American, and Americans love their cars and the freedom for spontaneity they provide. 

Some of you might be wondering why I didn't list the obvious: my family and friends. Well of course I didn't list them; they're people, not things! ;) But of course, I miss my family and friends a bunch. Now I have yet another reason to be excited for Christmas!

For those of you moved out of the house: what things did you miss the most? How did you manage your homesickness (if you had any)? 
For those of you who haven't moved out yet: what things do you think you'll miss the most?

September 17, 2017

Riddle Me This, Answer I That.

..."that" which you asked me on my subtle/notsosubtle ask me anything post!

We'll start out with some questions from Hamlette:

What's your favorite tree?
Oh, you know, the kind that go from a vivid light green in spring to a rich, full-leafed form in summer, to a spark of red or orange in fall, to a still, snow covered sentry in the winter. ;) I've always liked weeping willows, but I also love any tree that changes with the seasons.

Natures beautiful tapestry. The final colourful celebration of life before a…

Favorite Jane Austen Book? 
NorthangerAbbeyPrideandPrejudice. I give no straight answers today!

Do you like pirates or superheroes better?
Eh, I've never really been into either. I guess I would say pirates, for their historical ties.

Do you have any Thanksgiving plans?
I have some very kind friends who have offered to have me, but I'll probably decide what I'm doing a little closer to the holiday.

Who's having an easier time of you adjusting to you being in college, you or your family?
Initially it was me; I'm not terribly homesick. I think about home pretty often, and look forward to seeing it again, but I don't feel scared or lonely. My parents were pretty sad at first, but I think they're fine now.

Next are some questions from Rachel:

How is your life so far?
Ooh, are you asking me to evaluate and analyze my entire life? ;) Now that's a deep question! My life so far is blessed, and I feel and realize that more now than ever. I could say that my life is nothing extraordinary, that I have no major talents or riches or accomplishments to boast of. But it is extraordinary in the fact that it has been good for 18 years and running, with nothing to truly complain about.

Your favorite movie?
For the sake of not hemming and hawing over the number of movies I love equally, I'll say Little Women.

Theodore “Laurie” Laurence - Little Women | Community Post: 15 Literary Hunks To Cuddle By The Fire via @BuzzFeed

Do you have a best friend? How did you meet?
I've been blessed with a few close friends, but the one I would consider my best friend is the girl I reenact with. We met at a historic sewing workshop about four years ago, and have sewed, traveled, and watched period dramas together countless times since!

What's your favorite animal?
A horse of course! ;) I live to rhyme.

Would you rather have a grand house in the middle of town, or a little cottage in the country?
I mused about this a bit in my post, Town Girl, Country Girl, because I long for both! I think that as long as I could have a nice house and garden, I would stay in town. Just not a very large one. :)

What's your favorite fairytale movie?
  Probably Ever After! 

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If you could ever switch places with a person, who would it be?
Jo March (someone should keep a running tally of how many times I use her in answers; I feel like it's been a lot!)

Which is your favorite season?
It is fall now, so I would say fall. Ask me in 2-3 months and it will be winter! :)

If you could meet anyone, who would it be?
 Jo March! ;) Just kidding; I would like to have tea with Tasha Tudor, and talk about lovely old things.

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What is your least favorite period drama?

The Way We Live Now and He Knew He Was Right were both depressing wastes of time, really. 10/10 do NOT recommend.

What's your favorite food?

As in favorite ingredient/food item? Chocolate. As in favorite dish? Chocolate. ;)

If there was any country you could visit, what would it be?

 If I could only visit ONE other country than my own, it would be England. 

Rae asks:

Do you have a major chosen?
Well, I haven't officially declared it to the college yet, but I've known for years that it's going to be historic preservation. Although that core goal hasn't changed, I've tweaked my minor/double major plan a dozen times these past two weeks! As of now I'm going to double major in historic preservation and history, and minor in museum studies. If I can add German in there somewhere, I will! I'm also going to take a lot of Art History and English courses...quadruple major, anyone? ;)

And a few questions from Sarah...

What is the weather like at your college? Is it just as autumnal as your blog?
It's been both a cool and warm September. I've been alternating between pants and layers, and shorts and t-shirts! Overall it's very nice weather here. :) The leaves have not turned as much as they have at Lavender Spring, however.

Autumn Walk

What is something you could share that you discovered by exploring the Blogger formatting?
I'm just impressed at how many nit-picky things you can tweak under advanced template, like the color and font style of dates and comments. I also decided to use a background straight from Blogger, and set most of the "layers" of the blog to transparent in order to better display it.

Thanks to everyone for submitting questions, and for reading my answers! I hope you have a lovely week. :)

September 11, 2017

What's on my (College) Bookshelf?

Let's get one thing straight: packing for college was not an easy task. And I've also got to tell you, I like things. Beautiful things. I treasure them up, and when those things are physical, and not just another pin or idea, they take up space in my room. Oftentimes, these things are books; the ultimate combination of a beautiful object full of beautiful ideas. So when I picked up my life from one house, and moved it a thousand miles away to a 17*10ish foot dorm to share with another person, I had to condense. And it was tricky!

Now thankfully I didn't have to get rid of the books I wasn't taking with me. My family is entirely sympathetic (and equally guilty) of my book collecting tendencies. But still, I had to decide what I was going to have available to read for the next months. For who can abide the thought of being stuck in a dorm with nothing to read? So here's a semi-complete list of what sits on the single shelf above my desk.

Art History Books
This is odd for two reasons: a) I'm not talking about my art history textbooks, just books about art history; and b) I'm not an art history major. But I really like the subject! And the books are kind of like picture books, really. :P It's also on a variety of topics, including neoclassicism, iconography, 17th Century art, and even one about Victorian pastime illustrations, which I bought at the local bookstore.
Image result for the pursuit of leisure victorian

History Books (aka the only nonfiction I read)
Topics are as follows: a pictorial history of Victorian fashion, a guide to Colonial Williamsburg, women teachers on the prairie, a book about Queen Victoria (using pictures from the new show!) and a biography of Abigail Adams. Clearly you can see how I could not leave those behind, especially as they double as material for papers!
Image result for the victoria letters book

A Bit of Fun 
The complete novels of Jane Austen, one of the Mother Daughter Book Club books, and some cute notebooks are always there for me to wile away my time here most unstudiously! ;)

Image result for Much ado about anne
Saved for the next snow day!
The Important Books
My confirmation Bible and Hymnal, and a prayer book. I put these last on the list not as an afterthought, but as a finale, since they (especially the Bible) are the most important books on the shelf. Hopefully they will be the most used as well!

So...what's on YOUR bookshelf?
Did you ever have to condense your book collection for college or an extended trip?
Which three books (besides the Bible) would you insist on having?
Do you have any recommendations for my college bookshelf?

September 2, 2017

Times of Change

This is the first blog post I've ever written in a different time zone. I'm in a new room, in a new building, in a new town, in a new state. Simply put, I am in college.

Fancy that! I'm living on my own, taking classes about what I love, and being quite an independent young lady. I've got a new church, a new job (though just like my old job, I'm giving guided tours of a historic site!), and new friends (in addition to the old ones). I've basically got a new life, and I'm loving it.


~ I've been at college for over a week, but this cold, rainy September morning is the first chunk of time I've had to really sit down and write. My music theory, art history, architecture history, and orchestra classes have been keeping me busy, as have finding a new church and job.

~ It's also the first time (and a good time, too!) I've had in a while to make a new header and blog layout. 'Tis rather autumnal, don't you think?

Aiken House & Gardens: An Island Autumn

~ The library at my college is enormous. I've spent hours in there, just looking at the shelves and shelves of books. I hardly even dare to pull one out; I keep my standards high and I still check out 4 books I probably won't have time to read on top of my class work, but I do it anyway. And for good measure, I walk all the way to the downtown library with my friends where we get local library cards together. As if the school's library didn't have enough books for us to read until we're 800 years old. My roommate and I agree that I have a book problem.

~ I've had several new culinary adventures in my first week here. I've tried calzones, Sobe life water, gelato, and a deep fried oreo. Besides the gelato, I haven't missed much in my first 18 years of life.

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy/actor Colin Firth and Miss Elizabeth Bennet/actress…

~Back to books though, it's a good thing I like reading, because I sure have to do a lot of it here! All my classes have a good deal of required books, and these are only introductory-level courses! I'm resolved to like it, though. Later on I want to take literature courses, ones like British Romantic Literature, British Victorian Literature, and get this...Jane Austen! Yes, one can spend an entire semester just studying her works!! There's also a class just on Mozart, and another on Renaissance art. I may graduate in 5 years, just to fit all these lovely classes in!

~I guess that's all I have for now, but 'tis the season for "ask me anything", so as always, ask me anything in the comments! I may make a new post of the answers, or I may answer you individually, or I may answer nothing at all. ;) Oh, and by the way I forgot to mention last time that that was my 100th post. So here's to my 101st! :)

August 16, 2017

Kindred Spirits

I've been thinking about meeting people who are kindred spirits lately. There's a spark, a twinkle in the eye, and an instant understanding that we're both on the same page, that our hearts and minds are more or less united, or at least together in a certain purpose. That moment when you realize you've met one is so thrilling, that I must remind myself that though I love people, not every friendly encounter results in a kindred spirit. True kindred spirits are fairly rare and hard to find, even if not quite as scarce as Anne of Green Gables once thought. That is what makes them so valuable, a true treasure to find. One may stumble across very few kindred spirits indeed, if they do not look for them.

The New Forest, England

Unfortunately, I have found many, if not most of my handful of kindred spirits at my jobs. My work allows me to meet and serve a lot of nice people, but rarely does it allow for anything more than common chitchat. However, there are instances in which kindred spirits can be discovered, even within the constructs of professional, yet friendly, business encounters.

I am completely unmoved in my belief that there's a 'click' in the universe when you find a person you're supposed to have in your life on whatever level. mdr

I once gave a tour of the historic house I work at to an elderly man who was so attuned and alert to what I was saying, ready for any bits of information to be fascinating. Instead of this making me nervous, as it would generally do, it was exciting! I knew something was special about this gentleman, and as he recounted some stories of his own to me, I believe we both realized that we saw the world through very similar lenses. I will probably never see that man again, at least not on this earth. But to simply know that there are people like that going about their lives, their thoughts harmonizing with your own, is amazing.

Love this. There are very few people I feel this way about.  Sometimes you meet someone and you just know you were destined to meet and there's a familiar feeling when you're with them ❤

The world is so full of wonderful, interesting people and sometimes I just wish that little barrier that keeps most of us from running up to people and making instant friends and acquaintances of them would fall. That is not to say I don't believe in manners, decorum, or personal space. But sometimes we all just need to let our guard down a little. Smile. Say hello. Compliment a stranger, remark about the weather, communicate with your fellow man. Who knows what friends and kindred spirits you may discover on the way?

August 7, 2017

A Pinterest Post

It's August, ladies, and time has simply vanished; it has melted away faster than raspberry ice cream eaten on an 85 degree day. I may be speaking from personal experience. ;) It's been a while since I've had a simple pinning post. Let's remedy that, shall we? 

Isn't this painting beautiful? It's a summer afternoon, and these friends or sisters have all gathered under a tree in their white gowns. They've been picking roses and spending time in the sun, but right now they're just happy to be in each other's company. Two of them have noticed you. Will you join their circle?


This one's funny because it's true. Sometimes I do overthink this! But there are worse things than being friendly to people, so usually I push back the impulse to shut up and just send people a nice message. 

Joie De Vivre. Fine Art Photography. Vintage Scrabble Wood Dice. Autumn Home D├ęcor. Blue Little Birds. French. Paris.

Ooh, I have definitely been seeking joie de vivre this summer! My practical, economical self has had to restrain my adventurous side from making all sorts of purchases and excursions, and believe me, it has often failed! But I've tried my best to enjoy the everyday, free things too, like my backyard garden, wild berries, and friendship. 


England. In Summer. With Queen Victoria. In Love. What more needs to be expressed?

GARTH WILLIAMS (American, 1912-1996). Little Town on the | Lot #78846 | Heritage Auctions

Aww isn't this just so sweet? This makes me wish I grew up on a farm!

Did I mention I read Anne of Green Gables last month? Because I READ ANNE OF GREEN GABLES!! And it was lovely. As soon as I read the next 200 books in line on my to-read list, and granted that life offers absolutely no distractions, I shall read the rest of the series in the eventual future! 

If you'd like to see more of my pins, you can click on the link on the sidebar. Thanks for reading!

July 25, 2017

Dear July

Dear July,
You are a month of memories. Your evening air is warm and glows from the light of hundreds of fireflies and stars. Your sunny days are pure bliss; and your stormy ones so powerful they flood and reform the earth.

Black raspberries and no words. | Central Indiana Life Photographer

You, July, are a month of bounty. Cherries, peaches, and plums abound from local markets, and the secret location of a giant patch of black raspberries is revealed, even if one has to climb fences and get mosquito bites to reach them.

July, you are a month of farmers markets, of bike rides to the library. You allow stacks of books to be consecutively read on the back porch with a glass of ice tea. You allow Pride and Prejudice to be watched in 2 sittings alone. You encourage spontaneous outings with friends, whether they play tennis, go shopping, see fireworks, drink coffee, visit art museums, or wade in the Great Lakes in dresses, it doesn't matter. The point is, it happens, and the experiences get filed in selfies, journals, and nostalgic areas of the human mind.
So thank you, July. For everything. It's been a great summer.