Rambles at the 25 yard line

Good afternoon peeps!

Today is a great day.

Today is my break week.

Normally on Fridays either I have to get up really early to spit out a post or wait until after my co-op class and drag myself to the computer in the evening and crank something out if I still have the energy, but today I woke up, did a little Latin, a little nothing, a little reading, and a game with my little sister.

And what does break week mean? (…beyond feeling lost and confused and losing my school groove and flailing my arms.) It means I’m half way there to Christmas break and the end of the first semester of… my Sophomore year…?

Wow, already there?

Okay, Sophomore doesn’t sound as impressive as saying “junior” or “senior.” But still. Once this year is over, I’ll be half way done with high school.

I can never decide what time truly is.

A snail?

S o

s

l

o

w

that

 

you

 

find

 

your eyes

 

h u r  t.

 

And you’re bored.

And you’re suddenly hungry.

 

But then sometimes time is like lightning. So incredibly fast and blinding that it strikes you unconscious.

 

Or maybe then time is some strange combination.

Out of which we deduce time is Turbo:

giphy turbo

And in which case, it all makes sense because time is really just a fantasy.

I never have time.

Do you?

This year of school has been very interesting. I was expecting not to like Biology but so far it has only meant pages and pages of details on mushroom and fungi and the fatal illnesses they cause.

What’s not to like?

The pond water after four weeks of feeding and then killing off micro-organisms did smell up the entire building, but it was extremely interesting. (Not to mention spending the rest of the biology hour in the bathroom, cleaning again and again the droppers.)

I’ve been learning a lot of interesting systems for organizing organisms, interesting controversies, etc. It’s all been very inspiring for world building. And to think of all the smallest details that all work together to create the level of this world we see. (And now I can not look at a jug of milk sitting on the counter without thinking about why it should be in the refrigerator…)

But not only has all this been prompting a new view of my world building, it has given me a new appreciation for the beauty of the world.

In fact, the first slide of the semester that I looked at (that of a onion root) immediately reminded me of something.

Zentangle: that art where you fill in objects with small intricate designs.

Observe:

onion root
(not my photo, though this looks just like what I saw. Source.)

Isn’t that gorgeous?? It makes me want to find a microscope and stare at tiny particles all day.

And I thought I would hate biology.

Did I mention we got to take a walk during class to go collect mushrooms?

Oh yeah. And then we got to poke, prod, cut, and shred them up to go under the microscope.

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Beyond biology, there has been ancient epic poetry, endless logic exercises, and another round of Latin exceptions to all those Latin rules.

I was very excited though, because I actually used my knowledge of Latin when reading poetry a month or so ago when I stumbled upon a piece by Emily Dickenson in which the first two stanzas switch between English and Latin every line.

AND I UNDERSTOOD IT.

Talk about crazy.

Then the same thing happened with a poem by C.S. Lewis this week.

How cool is that??

Also in the past week, my brother discovered that Duolingo released a course in Latin!

I dusted off my old account and cracked open this interesting development, to delve into its dusky depths.

Turns out, its super easy and I have not heard a single mention of Caesar or the Gauls yet. (And bonus points, they use the classical pronunciation, the right pronunciation. #Latinsnob)

I’ve been doing an entire lesson or two per day and am already about to hit the half way mark through what they have.

It makes me wonder if I had memorized ending for declensions in Spanish all those years ago, I would have stuck around and pushed through.

Well, now I can talk to all my Ancient Roman Solider friends about theaters and actors and markets and relatives and even booklovers, instead of slaughter and death and defeat.

See if I tried out for a Ancient Roman play a couple weeks ago, the only character I could manage to play would be Miss Flite from Bleak House as I fluster about and say the only words I only know:

Hope! Joy! Youth! Peace! Rest! Life!

Dust.

Ashes.

Waste, Want, Ruin.

Despair, Madness, Death.

Cunning, Folly, Words, Wigs, Rags, Sheepskin.

Plunder, Precedent, Jargon, Gammon,

and Spinach.

(…everyone’s favorite bird of course.)

So, fellow scholars studying the wars of Caesar and the Gauls, if you’re interested in broadening your acting horizons for your next time-traveling adventures, Duolingo might be a good place. 😉

Also want to read something interesting, find 1 Thessalonians 3:11 in your copy of Biblia Sacra. It’s fascinating in Latin.

And for all the rest of you?

Don’t grow up telling everyone you hate science when you’ve never really taken a full science course

Until next week!

WHITE SHADOW

~ evelyn ~

Why Kermit Is My New Best Friend + Looking On the Bright Side

I have returned!

Hither from a magical land of falafels, wedding cake, and cousins.

I was told I should write a story about falafels gone wrong, but unfortunately, I was absent from the kitchen when the woeful event occurred and only heard tale of it later when I was asked to step out of the way as the huge can of burning oil was run out of the house to be disposed of.

When the Falafel Flopped does sound like a best seller though, doesn’t it?

And everyone wants to read a story where Whole Foods is the hero, right?

Well, amidst the busy kitchen bustle, the fountains of flowers, the family get-togthers, the glorious flood of frisbee games (in the middle of thunderstorms no less…), gyros and falafels, and the mysterious mosquito bites that appeared the day after the wedding, I have made a new best friend.

Reader, meet Kermit, Kermit meet reader.

Kermit is my new role model. And he really is a frog-of-all-trades.

I have found his wisdom in moments to be absolutely priceless and breathtakingly insightful.

Kermit… Kermit is one of those crazy-talented friends that just gets you. One of those people you respect.

For example.

When your first sibling gets engaged.

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And then gets married a few months later.

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And then when you realize school is just a few days away.

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And then you realize you still haven’t finished your book’s first draft like you were hoping…

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And then you spontaneously decide to make a goal of writing 10k this month.

But then achieve half of that goal in two days.

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And then someone asks the name of your brother’s “wife.”

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And then you discover that your little brother is officially taller than you even when you wear your high heels.

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And then you realize you’re the oldest non-legal adult out of the siblings…. your turn is next.

 

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And then you get stuck on the subject school again and realize you’re only a few years away from graduating high school….

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And then realize that the next academic Mock Trial season is coming and you can’t wait and so you begin flailing your arms and screaming.

But, of course, first grab a legal pad and your favorite black pen and throw on a suit.

Then cue the flailing.

And you end up screaming the Rules of Evidence and Hearsay Objections, instead of random gibberish.

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(For those who don’t know Mock Trial is simply the best sport ever and the only sport you play in high heels and suits and the only sport you get to scribble notes on legal pads and pretend you know everything or pretend to cry or pretend you’re British and the only sport you get to interrogate people during and the reason I have a strange sense of being home when at a courthouse. See why I’m flailing??)

Well sitting here eating a fresh slice of homemade zucchini bread and sipping some Irish tea and trying to sit still (because my mind is still stuck on Mock Trial…), I’m realizing that I’m not sure where to take this post.

My (not-so-little) little brother said that he has never seen a random post from me.

…even though I literally had a post named random.

He says I should just randomly end the post with a random “bye” and shrug off any sense of satisfaction and unconcluded flailing, and no lesson learned.

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Confirmed fact: My little brother is Fozzie Bear. 😉

Not that I don’t like silliness, jokes, or such wonderful-ness, it just feels so inadequate to leave you hanging. Especially after flailing in your face and internal screaming in excitement and shock.

I remember one time chatting with some friends and one offered a template: Thanks to the family who birthed me, raised me, and taught me to _____.

I filled that blank in with “laughter.”

My family has a talent of being able to step back and laugh when everything goes wrong. Not in a mean or flippant way, but just in a fun, spunky, relieving-sort-of-way.

Like when the fire alarm goes off at a hotel in the middle of the night after a day running around at a rollercoaster park, even though it turned out there was no fire, and we end up standing in the middle of a parking lot for three hours, with no shoes and in our pajamas seven firetrucks blinking and flashing until our heads hurt.

Dad says: “Hey let’s see if someone will take a family picture of us in front of one!”

Or during a road trip when we are just chilling on top of a mountain in New Mexico and a huge thunderstorm suddenly covers the sky and pelts us in huge pieces of ice and freezing rain that drenches us to the bones until we can’t feel our limbs are sloshing down as fast as we can, crying so hard we’re laughing, and laughing so hard until we’re crying.

Dad says: “Hey this is a great time to take a video to send to our friends back home!”

 

 

Or the week of a huge move, when a hurricane decides to have in on the fun. Our power goes out for days straight (and we were on a well so that means no water. Period.) while we were hosting my brother and his co-worker for furniture market. (no showers…) and then a friend comes over to help us take apart furniture only to get stranded when our favorite tree (and one of our thickest, largest trees) throws a fit about our abandoning him and tries to smash the first moving trailer that shows up, but barely misses and barricades our driveway instead. And trying to pack everything into the moving trucks (which get stuck in the mud in our yard and are there for many hours) until we are loading in the pitch dark with fifty people in our house (remember no water. Which means no toilet flushing) tripping over each other with boxes of books and bed railing and big fat heavy dressers.

Bright side? I will never forget my last week in my childhood house. It seemed so fitting too and I wouldn’t want it to have ended any other way.

Of course I struggle.

Being stuck in a house with a handful of other people for a week with literally nothing to do or even to sit on but the hard cold floor, can get tense and chaotic. Dramatic. Crazy. Without books (except your Latin textbooks) and no furniture (but sleeping bags) suddenly everyone’s personal bubbles are a bit easier to rub against.

Between the glares, strange new character voices bubble to the surface and are added to our repertoire. The strangest pieces of art work splatter out of our brains and the weirdest inside jokes or newest sarcastic comebacks.

I still find myself worrying over things going-wrong too, which is probably why movies like Father of the Bride and Meet the Parents are just plain… painful.

Views which just make my family laugh harder, as I cringe and groan and consider hiding under a blanket and covering my eyes and ears.

Kermit nervous
me when watching those types of romcoms ^^
Kermit laughing
^^ my siblings

 

I guess when I sit down for entertainment I’m not looking to cringe and laugh and wince at how everything goes wrong in everyone else’s lives.

Too close to home maybe.

Kermit not this humor

Or maybe its the fact that the characters never seem to get it. Instead of making a fool out of yourself and trying to make it look like you’re brilliant and nothing goes wrong under your watch, why not laugh it off and just clean the spilled (chocolate) milk up with a cheap roll of paper towels from Dollar Tree?

After spending a whole week surrounded on all side with siblings, working all together, our super-duper superpower has come out even more. Even when the falafel-mission failed and all we had left were some strange form of hushpuppies and a can of burning oil, everything was fine because my siblings focused on what mattered.

The food didn’t need to be perfect. The décor didn’t need to be exact. We definitely worked hard to make it beautiful and special, but if something small popped or cracked, we went with Plan B. Pulled out the super glue and paint supplies. Trimmed the bushes with leaves brown and dying from the power wash.

Why?

Because it was all about family and love and laughter and fellowship, not about being perfect.

Some things just aren’t worth getting upset over. Fretting about. In the end it’s the people and what you make out of what you have. And come on… it is kinda funny that the couple decided to have Greek food for their wedding and cook it all themselves the afternoon before even though they have never tried it before. Even sounds a little cliched ha.

Well, a thing about life: When it gets crazy, it only means you can make it crazy fun.

I even think part of my training in becoming a poet has greatly stemmed from the laughter my family has taught me.

Kermit Shocked

(I know you were wondering if I would make it through a post without a single mention of poetry… 😉 )

Being a poet is being someone who sees through surface things. As written in the song that Andrew Peterson sings, To All the Poets, they see “beauty in the common place, saw incarnation in a Baby’s face, and in a drop of rain the stars.”

My family has taught me how to see things. How to see the funny side to being stuck camping in a teepee with a gaping hole designed in the roof for a couple days of thunderstorms.

How to see the fun side of a literal 22 hour road trip (yes… we drove 22 hours straight. Yes, 22 hours in the car driving) or being able to have a conversation about how the kudzu in the dark makes it look like there’s a giant elephant sitting in our backyard. Either that or an old man wearing a hat.

Much of my playful limerick-type of playful poetry comes from true stories. But in a way don’t all fictional stories stem from a true story?

You just have to decide what type of genre you are living in. 😉

 

So, in closing, remember:

When your falafels flop, Whole Foods is always there.

Kermit Smiles

Love you fam.<3

 

**all gifs hunted and trapped by my personal internet minion squad via giphy**

All the Summer Vibes // hiking, writing, reading, and that glorious sunburn

I’m a very crafty person.

No, no. Not that kind of crafty.

Despite what gossip my character have been spreading, I am not a crafty villain scheming up plans of horror and pain. Maybe.

I mean ‘crafty’ as in, I like to take little string and sit for a couple hours looping it on sticks to try to make hats and scarves.

However, during the school year with school. And school. And more school. I only have time for sitting and translating Latin sentences and learning that the Romans defeated the Gauls.

Again.

And again.

And again.

Oh and that the sailors refuse to pray.

So when I finally finished that last math test and ‘summer’ was here, I pulled out my supplies and dove into the world of waking earlier, living at my desk in the basement, and having my family point out the paint stains on my hands I had missed or the bits of thread I had forgotten to brush off my shirt.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

cause I am obsessed with bullet points

#1. Quilting

I’ve always been interested in quilting, but it wasn’t until a couple years ago I made my first quilt.

Okay, actually it was about five years ago and it was so tiny my doll would even have trouble using it.

Not that she got the chance because I didn’t finish that quilt until two months ago when I pulled it out again.

In the meantime, somewhere in the past five years I did patriciate in a crazy quilt day workshop and came out with a finished mini quilt, but, while I learned a lot, in the end, it was still mini.

Well after pulling the first quilt out and finishing the binding at the beginning of this summer, I took in the stack of scrap fabric in our craft closest and the bundle of batting and, remembering a book I had once read at the library, decided to try my hand at making a bigger quilt.

I picked the Log Cabin pattern, because I really loved the examples in the book and it seemed perfect for left-over fabric, since really all I needed was two-inch wide strips.

Originally I sorted out these little stacks of fabric: one blue themed, one pink themed, brown, green, yellow, etc., thinking I might be able to squeeze out three or four squares out of each.

Out of the blue stack of fabric, I was able to make twenty 11 inch(ish) squares: perfect for a baby blanket size.

Shows you how much I know about estimating.

I’m that person who always scoops left-over food in a container that is way too big.

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setting out the squares

I sewed the squares over three days, trimmed them and pieced them together another, and then, after a trip to Hobby Lobby to buy some backing and edging, began the actual quilting process (which I should hopefully finish today.)

It was a lot of fun piecing together, and I’m starting to now eye the stack of pink fabric in the closet. (:

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When the back of your stitching creates a perfect treble clef! O.o

#2. Jewelry Making

I began making earrings about a year ago when my sister and a friend organized a craft day at our house.

They’re really fun and fairly easy to make. The hardest part is looping the wire. Especially since I was trying to use the wrong kind of pliers to do it.

Imagine my joy when my grandmother gave me the right type (and more beads!)

To illustrate the immediate affect:

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They’re amazing, thank you GranAnnie! ❤

So I’ve been making tons of earrings lately.

My homeschool co-op community has a craft fair each December so I’ll probably bring my growing stash of earrings.

Or I might decide to keep them all muahahaha

If only I had more ears. 😉

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owls! and everyone goes “awww”

It’s really cool being able to make things that I know will be used. Gone are the days of braiding hundreds of random strands of rainbow colored craft yarn I found.

It’s doubly neat to be able to make those things I’ve always wanted. Whatever style of earrings such as ones with beads partially wrapped in wire.

Then last week my mother was out running errands when she noticed a small artisan shop in our downtown that is opened only a couple times a month.

She stopped and looked around and decided to take me that afternoon for inspiration and ideas.

Such as quilled paper earrings:

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setting them out to dry

 

#3. Writing

Yes!

Despite what this post has so far implied I have been writing this summer. I’ve been continuing my attempts to capture everyday, little things in a fresh new way, and have been plowing away at 51 usually late in the evening or early in the morning. I’ve found over the past year that those are the most productive times for me.

When people ask whether I’m a night owl or morning bird, me: “Um…both?”

Who said owls aren’t birds… 😉

51 has been going well though.

A week or so a writing friend mentioned during a conversation about names how they once read somewhere about a writer using elephant in all caps as a place holder in the rough draft stage.

So of course I had to steal borrow the idea.

 

ELEPHANT in the Room

 

Who knew Zeb had such big pockets?

Or that he was that strong. 😉

As a technical update: 51 is at 21,651 words and maybe through one fourth of the story written.

The good news is, I have the ending planned! and written shh don’t tell anyone.

Now I just have to fill in the rest of the middle… 😛

 

#4. Reading

I’ve been reading a nice amount of books too. A lot of revisiting for old favorites, but also some new ones.

Current book I’m reading?

The Mollhill, Vol 3!

It’s my first one to read and I’m really enjoying it.

Basically, for those who don’t know, it’s a collection of poetry, art, essays, stories, and recipes from The Rabbit Room, a community of Christian artists.

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Also! I was forced to join joined a local book club started by a writer-friend.

The first get-together that I have been able to attend yet will be tomorrow. Book for that meeting?

The Book Thief!

I’m excited. (:

#5. Hiking & Swimming

 

Summer did not feel truly feel like summer until last week when we finally went swimming.

It had been a full year for me because of the craziness of moving and settling in and life.

But after spending a day splashing in the sun, and I came home and collapsed on my floor, limbs aching and with raisins for fingers, and my shoulder burning with the most glorious sunburn, it was suddenly summer.

I had never realized how nostalgic that feeling is…

I’ve also gone on a couple hiking trips. The most notable one was with my Dad a couple Saturdays ago. We packed some water, books, and hammocks and hiked up to a private little overlook. There we spent a couple hours swinging lazily in a mossy clearing, swatting flies, and (for me) reading Canterbury Tales.

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When I said it was mossy, I meant it was mossy.

This gorgeous clearing gave an entirely new meaning to the common phrase “the forest was carpeted with moss.”

 

#6. Sketching and Painting

And one of the other things I’ve been doing quite a lot is experimenting with is mixing ink sketching with watercolor.

As you can see, I’ve only been doing little simple projects of things I’m familiar with. (i.e. plants, elephants, and my school drawers)

And finally…

#7. Prepping for school

And here we are at the end.

My first day of class with my weekly homeschool co-op is three weeks away, so I’ve pulled out the brick of biology flashcards, put tabs in my math book, and sped up in my reading of the literature books I will be writing papers on through the year. (Right now it’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. And I thought the first part of the book was weird…)

I’m surprising excited for the school year as a whole. This year focuses on British literature, I’ll be studying paintings, music, and art in general, more Team Policy debates, and more Algebra and Trigonometry.

 

Which finally brings me to a quick note about one last thing that’s been going on around here: my brother’s wedding!

I am suuuper excited about my (soon-to-be) new sister! She is just soooo amazing and fun! And just… well I probably could write another five paragraphs about it but I better not. (:

I must say it’s weird growing up though. (Any one else agree out there? *raises hand* Anyone?)

Well, because of this joyous occasion of amazingness but also the busyness that comes with it (did I mention it will be held in our backyard?), I am not going to promise a post next Friday.

Maybe I’ll throw out a poem or something, but we’ll see. (:

What time of day is best for writing for you? How has your summer been? Are you prepping for school yet? What will you be studying?

~ evelyn ~

 

a little post named “random”

Have you ever just wanted to write for the sake of writing?

Nothing planned. Nothing plotted.

After a long day of pounding out papers and scratching out math equations, just you and your thoughts winding out slowly onto the page, forming little splotches of black on white.

The itch comes every once and a while for me. A little itch to be wild and dreamy with some prose; to make some words purr with my wandering ponderings and watch them stretch out and then curl up before the fire.

Maybe EvEn BREAK the RUles and cApitAlIzE in STRANGE wAys

like I use to get away with.

Well, the itch has come today, and I’m afraid I will indulge myself in satisfying it with a scratch.

I might ending up sounding a little philosophical. I might end up sounding a little poetical. Maybe silly. Who knows, but are any of those bad things?

Already I’ve made some alliteration for the sake of alliteration. I’ve sprinkled in some personification and metaphors, and stirred in a tasty verb or two.

Art is easy to compare to soup.

You dump in a little of this and a little of that, like Amelia Bedelia baking up her lemon meringue pie, and then watch the colors swirl. Add a pinch of seasoning, and take a deep breath of the spicy smell.

You make mistakes. You learn to differentiate the walnuts from the pecans, the salt from the sugar, and the vinegar from the water. You learn there’s a reason they tell you to stir your concoction and that there’s a reason they say to set timers on ovens.

There is something unmatchable about learning from trial and error. It is personal and it is physical, unlike that advice found on scraps of paper books. These lessons learned have scars to prove it.

Well this past month was Camp NaNoWriMo and I learned a few things.

When you have a complicated time-traveling plot that twists and turns on itself, you might want to plot it out in greater detail before diving straight in.

Who knew my six pages on the workings of time-traveling would not be enough? Maybe I should have written more than half a page on the actual plot?

I reached 23,000 words about two and a half weeks into April, but the story was falling apart. There was also a lack of unique creativity that I was trying to go for. Plus I had yet to discover how it would end. Though that is typical when I start a project, at 23,000 words in I usually want to know before continuing. I brainstormed and brainstormed and brainstormed, but I could not work it out.

At that point, I was going to essentially burn it to ashes and then throw those out the window, but my oldest brother was visiting for the week and we began talking about it. Suddenly, explaining the plot, I began questioning my decision: Wait, what am I thinking? I love this story! I love these characters! Why give up on them??

Well, thankfully, said brother came to the rescue and gave me a good picture of what happens in my story, giving insight and blowing my mind!

Yes… a picture. Literally.

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There, doesn’t that clear everything up?

One of my other brothers saw it sitting out the other day and asked, “Were you guys just destressing?”

No, I promise that graph makes sense to me.

Two words: Time travel.

So, at the moment, instead of throwing out the lovely, tangled manuscript, I will lock it up and wait for it to gather some dust, and until then I will work on fleshing out some timelines and charting the plot.

I also want to brainstorm different ways to tell the story. I was having trouble telling such a complicated plot through my third person narrative. (Maybe time to try the fun of rambling in my character’s personas?) Well, I have a couple ideas up my sleeves.

Beyond all that, I discovered that even the worst of times can be turned into great art!

Frantically finishing finals” is an amazing alliteration, don’t you agree? 😉

Now they are officially done! *throws confetti*

…but I have some math to catch up on. Sooo… *gathers up confetti to save until that glorious day of true freedom*

But! Tuesday was the one year anniversary of The Flabbit Room’s Ildathore project. *throws confetti again*

I might say something more about my writing family, but it would end up being a mix between sappy sentences and a incoherent jumble of inside jokes.

So, instead let me delight over my Google drive folders which I discovered can be colored!

 

ALL THE COLORS

 

Isn’t that just amazing??

Well, fare thee well, friends! I wiLL REturN neXt wEEk for mor chicken fun.

~ tA-Ta-fOr-NoW! ~