May 24, 2016

Summer's Coming!

School is almost over hang in there with me guys!! (Hem, I mean, uh, ladies, assuming that most of you are...it's just a figure of speech.)
But really.
I have just a few more days, and I'm free-to work. So that I can go to the college of my dreams. But I really like my jobs, so it's no heavy burden. Besides, the most important thing is the fact that I won't be in school, and summer's going to be warm. (At least, I tell myself that it'll be warm. It did snow on the 14th. Of May.)

                            2/1/16

I won't be working all the time, either. I'm standing up in a very exciting wedding in June, then heading off to Girl's State, which I'm really looking forward to. It's a camp where there's a mock government and you run for office. If that sounds boring, I probably didn't describe it right. My extroverted side is especially eager to win friends and votes and glory. (My extroverted side is also rather egotistical.) ;)
Aaand after that, I'm going on a youth group trip out west! For a girl who's hardly made it past the Mississippi in her life, this is pretty big.

          From the grounds of the Hermitage, Nashville TN #2:

Between all of these big events (which are all in the span of about 2 weeks, I might add), and for the rest of the summer, I have some goals I really want to accomplish. Writing them down for anybody to see will compel me to actually do them...right?

Abby's semi-Official List of Summer Goals
  • Get scholarships. Lots of 'em. College in America is not cheap. Reason #1370 why government should stick its nose somewhere else for a change Oops, that got a little heated. Moving on!
  • Work as much as possible (see point number one).
  • Read: I think I've read two good novels of my own free will this year; the rest are children's books and required reading. I'm behind on my Goodreads reading goals.
  • Get Fit:This one's a toughie. It's not like I'm obese or anything, but I'm no size 2, either. The fact that I hate working out doesn't help. If I could just have a horse to ride, or take ballroom dancing, I'd be in perfect shape!
  • Write something: It doesn't even matter any more. I used to make goals, like "write 10 poems" or "finish two short stories", but at this point I'll be happy if I do a couple good blog posts during summer. I also really want to start journaling again.
  • Practice violin and piano: there's always room to improve, and I want to challenge myself!
  • Learn some more French, Dutch, and German: I have learning spurts, but sticking to things is not my specialty. I want to get better!
  • Draw, garden, and drink more tea: three things that almost guarantee happiness. :)
P.S. Krøyer: Hip, Hip, Hurra! Kunstnerfrokost på Skagen.1888

Do you have exciting summer plans or goals?
Do you have a reading goal, and are you keeping up?

May 20, 2016

My 5 Favorite Flowers

Happy May everybody! *tosses flower petals for effect* The weather has been absolutely glorious these past few days, and the flowers finally have no reason to fear snow. Tulips and daffodils and violets are everywhere, and besides making me sneeze, they are my favorite thing about this time of year. Flowers make me happy, but in my mind they are not created equal. While all flowers are wonderful, only a select few can win my complete favor.

Which flowers are those, you ask?
Well, step into my garden and I'll gladly show you! :)

                        IMG_9770-2:

Peonies
So. Many. Petals! Peonies are so big and lush and full. Their color is such a powerful, intense pink or red, (or sometimes a lovely blush or white).  They smell amazing too. :)

                           Harvesting lavender:
                         

Lavender
There's a reason it's called Lavender Spring, you know. :) Lavender has a wonderful scent, and an even more wonderful color. Lavender does not have the most interesting blossoms, but I do like how nice the stems look all together.

                      bucket of lavender lilac:

Lilacs
If it didn't flow or click like "lavender" did, you can bet this blog would be called "Lilac Spring" instead. (But see what I mean? It just doesn't "go" together.) I love lilacs so much; their color, the bunches of flowers on each stem, and the smell. The smell is heavenly!

                           Katherine Morley Roses:
Roses
Roses are pretty. They just are. They're delicate, feminine, and simply gorgeous. I only like the English garden roses though, the open, round ones with lots of petals. I don't really care for cup-shaped roses that look like they're dyed different colors. No orange or purple roses for me! (I suppose I'm a rose snob. I'm OK with that.)

                 Always wanted flowering trees lining my driveway. Maybe I've got a bit of Anne of Green Gables left in me. :-):

Crape Myrtle
Crape Myrtle is such a lovely symbol of the South. I always associate it with driving through Virginia. :) I like the bright pink ones the best. They are all so delicate and fragrant! And of course, the crape myrtles in Williamsburg are the best. ;)

What are your favorite flowers?
Are you a flower snob?
What flowers are growing where you live right now?

May 13, 2016

Vintage Fun: the (18)30s

Alright, I know what you're thinking: saying "vintage" is quite a stretch when referring to something over 100 years old! But hey, it sounds good, so it's staying. ;)
Anyway.
The 1830's is a most sorely overlooked decade. There wasn't a whole lot happening in the likes of major events, especially in the United States. Everybody pretty much just...lived. Sure, there were technological advances, a few riots, and the beginning of the Victorian era. But no (major) wars, takeovers, or government revolutions took place. So I think this time era kind of fell through the cracks of time, overshadowed by Regency England and Civil War-era America.

Or the 1830's may remind you of Charles Dicken, which can be rather dreary.

Although there isn't a whole lot to talk about on the government side of history when it comes to these decades, there's a side that I like much, much better: fashion.
Now if you have studied historical fashion at all, you may think that the 1830's were rather...silly. And I'd have to sigh and agree; the hair and the puffs and the patterns on many dresses were indeed quite ridiculous. I can only imagine how Mr. Bennet would roll his eyes! But over the past year I have come to realize that not all 1830's dresses were terrible, and I've found some dresses that I really like. And of course, if I like something, I can hardly resist sharing it! :)

                            day dress 1836-40

Isn't this just gorgeous??? I love the diagonal tucks in the front of the dress, and the green piping in all the right places. The pattern and colors are great too.

                                  Dress    1830    The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I know, this is terribly ridiculous and bold, and I would still never wear it, even if I did  live in the 1830s, but there's something about this dress that draws me to it every time I see it. Even if it is too wild, the craftsmanship is impressive.

                                    1830's dress and bonnet:
I really like how the whole ensemble is put together here. The shawl, bonnet, and reticule all make the outfit complete.


                             Day dress 1830’s:

Blue and gold are so pretty together. I would definitely have worn this if I lived back then! This is a great example of a typical 1830s dress; rounded skirts (but not as round as the 1860s), large puffs on the sleeves, a short waist, and plenty of pleats.
                             

                      Find des années 1830:

And last, but not least, my favorite dress of all. I think the puffs are less silly in 1830's dresses when they are below the elbow and not above it. The cut, the ruffles, pleats, color, and pattern earn this dress a place in my all-time favorites!

What do you think of 1830s fashion?
Do you have a favorite dress from this post?
Do you think there are other eras of history that are overlooked or misrepresented?

May 6, 2016

A Lovely Tag and a New Header!

Hello dear readers, and happy May! Miss March was so very kind and tagged me for the Liebster Award with some amazing questions! Let the show commence:

Oh wait, there are rules first:
1. Link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Answer the 11 questions.
3. Tag 11 bloggers (and let them know you've tagged them).
4. Ask them 11 questions.

 :

1. What is your personality type?
I am a mysterious sort of person, I am. Every time I take one of those personality tests, the letters change, or are all so close to 50/50 it hardly counts. It just depends so much on the situation! Last time I took one, I was ENTP. But I could be almost anything, I think.

               

2. What is one of your newest favorite movies? (As in one you recently found, not necessarily a newly made film.)
Hmm, I think The Magic of Ordinary Days is the most recent movie that I really liked but had never heard of before. It was really good, and you can see my review here.



3. Have you ever been prejudiced against a certain movie before watching it, but then after seeing it decided it wasn't so bad? Which movie was it?
Pretty much any movie my brothers wanted to watch with pizza (in front of the TV on Sunday nights). I figured most "Boy" movies were boring or gross, but I was proven wrong on several occasions. Star Wars, Gettysburg, and Arn are good examples.

                                        Laura Ingalls Wilder at 50.  --Photo from the collection of the Hoover Library (RWL:

4. If you could meet any author in person, who would it be?
So, are we talking dead authors, or living ones? I'll give you both! :) For living, I'd like to meet Valerie Tripp, who wrote the Felicity books. For dead, I would like to meet Laura Ingalls Wilder. Or, if you think about it (and I don't mean this irreverently), how about God? I'd sure love to meet Him! Of course, God's not dead (he's surely alive, he's living on the inside, roaring like a lion!) *hem* I digress.

The Sound of Music. I would wear pretty much all the outfits. ;):
Not this many siblings, I can assure you!
5.How many siblings do you have, and where do you fall in the lineup?
*stares at computer screen* "You should tell them." "No, they would never forgive me." "I want my readers to know." "My siblings are private people. The internet is scary." "Other bloggers have done it with varying degrees of privacy. I'm going to do it too!" "Ugh. fine." (My inner battle, in case you were interested.)
Ok, so anyway, I have a couple older siblings. And I was not fortunate enough to have a sister.That's all I'm saying for now, so make of that what you will. :)

        Little Women:

6. If you could be related to any fictional character (from a book or movie) who would it be and what relation would they be to you?
These questions may be the hardest exam I've taken all year! ;) Hmm, let's see: the first thing that came to mind were the March sisters from Little Women. I'd love to have them as sisters! Otherwise, perhaps a Bennet sister (with Lydia and Mary removed).

7. What is your favorite household chore, and what is your worst? 
I get a strange satisfaction from rearranging and condensing things in the kitchen cupboards and refrigerator. Although my own room is usually terribly messy, I sometimes get on a cleaning streak for other rooms in the house. My least favorite chore? Depends on when I'm asked to do it. Probably mowing the lawn (we have a motorless/muscle-power push mower) or shoveling heavy snow.


8. Anne and Diana (from Anne of Green Gables) are a classic example of best friends. Do you have a best friend, and if so which one of you is more like Anne and which is more like Diana?
Yes, I do have a "bosom friend!" She is more outgoing and exuberant than I, so I'd say she is Anne and I'm Diana. And our hair colors kind of fit the characters too. :)

                                         

9. What was one of the first chapter books you ever read? 
All I remember is that by Kindergarten I had already read a few American Girl chapter books, which are really short, but chapter books all the same. I think I read a few Boxcar Children and Magic Tree House books pretty early on too.

10. What is one of the yummiest, most delicious desserts you can think of at the moment?

                            Black Forest Mousse Cake:

Need I say more?

           
11. If you could be a character in one of your favorite movies, which movie would it be and which character would you choose?
Aahh, decisions!! Off the top of my head, I could do Jo March or Elizabeth/Jane Bennett. *eeny meeny miny moe* Ok ok, Jo March from Little Women it is! (and now I don't have to endure Mr. Collins, thank goodness!)

I love this scene in Little Women!:
This cracks me up every time!                 

And now for the hardest part: coming up with 11 bloggers who haven't already been tagged! (Alas, my social scope in the blogging world is still rather small) But I shall try my best!

Miss Dashwood 
Phoebe
Heidi
Melody
Sadie
Rose
Aaand any of my followers or readers or anyone I may have inadvertently forgotten are more than welcome to answer the questions in the comments or on their blogs!

Now for zee questions:

  1. What is your favorite decade of the 20th century and why?
  2. Would you rather visit a giant library or a giant museum?
  3. Do you drink soda, and if so, what is your favorite flavor?
  4. Would you rather tour a famous castle or a stunning garden?
  5. What kind of dancing do you like best? (Ballroom, swing, ballet, etc.)
  6. Do you have a hope chest? What sort of things do you have in it?
  7. Have you ever owned/used a typewriter? How about a quill pen?
  8. Do you go to the library often, and do you have your library card number memorized?
  9. What is your favorite piece of makeup you own?
  10. What is your favorite blend of tea, and do you prefer iced or hot?
  11. Do you share your birthday with anyone famous, past or present?

The End. :)