Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Music In My Ears: Christmas Edition!!

Christmas cookies!!! 


(yes, yes, I know I'm over a day late. My apologies, but I thought it very appropriate to spend Christmas away from Blogger and be with Jesus and my family.) 

By popular demand, I've decided to make a Christmas edition of Music in My Ears!!! For those that missed my first one during Advent, you can view it HERE!

Without further ado, let me share some of my favorite Christmas songs! 

Choir Music

Before Midnight Mass every year for the past couple of years, the choir does about 30 minutes of caroling. This was my first time *officially* taking part of this tradition, and I was beyond excited.

The carols we did this year were: Once in Royal David's City, The First Nowell, Good Christian Men Rejoice, In the Bleak Mid-Winter, I Saw Three Ships, Silent Night and Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming.

During Mass, we sang Joy to the World, Quem Pastores (which I featured in my last Music post), and Angels We Have Heard on High.

There were a couple of others that my choir director/organist played that I wish we could have sung, one of which is one of my favorites:

Adeste Fideles 

(of course, I had to include a classic 1950s singer in here somewhere....and I like Bing's version of it!)

At Home

One group that I've grown up listening to is Mannheim Steamroller. They're similar to Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but they have a more Renaissance influence and sound. My favorite album of theirs came out in 2005, simply entitled "Christmas". I'll include three of my favorites.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Rock)

Don't be fooled by the "Rock" on God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman. It still is the same song, just a lot more horns and percussion than their more Renaissance-y version on the same album. I included this version off a different album because the YouTube Topic one was not the one from the original album. Not sure how that happened.....

Wassail, Wassail 

This is the most Renaissance-y out of my favorites. 

Deck the Halls 

Another "jazzed up" version off of one of my favorites. 

Other Favorites from Home

Carol of the Bells

I included Peter Hollen's version because I like what he did to the song, and all the voices. I love the words to the song too. 

The Chipmunk Song

Heehee, what is Christmas without a song from these three? (#I'msonota90skid)

Little Drummer Boy

Because my maternal grandmother's family is from Scotland (Isle of Skye, actually), I grew up listening to Scottish Highlands bagpipes. We found this album several years ago, and it's one of our favorite albums to listen to on Christmas. 

Radio Favorites 

I loved listening to these on the radio as a kid, and I was ecstatic to find them on Spotify. I don't listen to Christmas radio much anymore - due to the fact that they stop playing Christmas music on Christmas Day. Which to me, is absolutely stupid. I still remember when they would play Christmas music until New Years on the radio!!!! 

12 Days of Christmas (Original Stage Version) - Straight No Chaser

This is actually a paraody of the original song (so please don't be alarmed). This group is a men's a cappella group originally formed at a university in Indiana. This was their breakout song. The original (which I think is a lot funnier than the studio one they did later) was the version that aired on the radio, where my family first heard it. We loved it, and have been fans of this group ever since. 

Christmas Canon - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

This song is so pretty!!!!!

Believe - Josh Groban

I've never seen The Polar Express, but I've heard this song on the radio around Christmas time, and I really really liked it. (Lia - I had no idea that it was Josh Groban that did this song. Now I know why he sounded so familiar....).

New Favorites

Earlier this month, I was searching through various Christmas albums as I was compiling my Spotify Christmas playlists (yes, playlists. My original one grew to over 17 hours long....I still have to listen to it all and get rid of the repeats....so I made a favorites one - which is only 3 1/2 hours long). I found a couple of new favorites, and they are listed below. 

Ding Dong Merrily on High - Celtic Woman

I really really like this version of this song by Celtic Woman. It is so light and joyful!!! 

Gaudete - Anúna

I've heard this song being performed by a couple of church choirs, and I really like Anúna's version here. I was struggling to whether to include this one or "Ecce Quod Natura"...both are good. This one won, narrowly. 

Well, that's enough for this post!! 

How was your Christmas?? Do we share any favorites or are all of these new for you? Did anyone notice the number of songs? Would you like to see more "Music In My Ears" posts?? Chat with me in the comments! 

Old-fashionably yours, 


Thursday, December 21, 2017

A Sewing Job for the Church Part 3: The Actual Sewing Job

Hello all! 

Well, The Job is finally done!!! And frankly I'm relieved! 

In this part, I'm going to relate the actual sewing that took place. Here are Part 1 and Part 2 in case you missed them :).

(you know...I'm beginning to see an inconsistency in my posts with title pics. I've got to work on that...)

This cloth is folded in half - and it almost completely stretches across my parent's king size bed!
Man....I knew this cloth was long but my goodness....

I must admit that I stared at this cloth for several minutes racking my brains to try and find how in the world I was going to match that end. Because it looked like I was going to have to cut it three times and I had to take the embroidery into consideration. 

In the end, I did the only thing I could do.....

Call my mother over. 

(She helped teach me to sew, so she knows about these things.) 

In our consultation, we decided to forego the interior seam that would have required the extra cutting for the much more noticeable task of matching the embroidery. 

Thus, my cutting was reduced from 3 to 1, a much more manageable number. 

It's cut!! 

(I think Someone guided the scissors, because by some miracle, it was straight...*phew*)

Pinning took a bit of time, especially around the embroidery. 

off to the races! 
I'm a speed demon on the sewing machine, normally. This time, I was a snail. Last thing I needed was to make a mistake and redo anything. 

My machine had a little difficulty with the embroidery - so it turned into a hand workout as I cranked the needle in and out of the fabric, moving the presser foot as evenly as possible. Once I got out of the embroidered section, it was much easier.  

For kicks and giggles, I took a comparison photo. The original hem is on the left, and mine is on the right. 

My hems DID end up 1/2" longer than the original (because of that interior seam), which is only noticeable if  you folded the cloths. If someone was to examine closely, they would also notice that there is an extra scallop in my hem than the original, and that the embroidery is much closer to the edge in the original. I sincerely doubt that Father is going to mind these trifling details. It was more important the cloth is divided (and he doesn't have to spend hours and hours ironing one cloth that he only uses half of anyway). 

After I finished sewing up the hems, I did repair a tiny tear on one of the halves that I had noticed when working with it. 

So, now to give them a final ironing - as you can see from the pictures they wrinkled in the short time that I worked with them - and bring them to church this weekend! 

I am so grateful that this job was given to me (even if I did grumble a little about that interior seam). I do hope that Father is satisfied with it...

Old-fashionably yours, 


P.S. An additional note on that tip I shared in Part 2: Be careful if you're ironing wet linen - sometimes the iron can stick and that can cause mild scorching. Have found out from previous experience... 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Music in My Ears

Hey y'all!

This a new post idea that I'm trying out. It's very similar to my sis Lia's posts on Catholic Girl Stuff called Music of the Week.

Except it's not going to be a once weekly thing, but one that appears randomly. It will be a post that outlines what I'm singing in choir, and what I've been listening to at home, including new favorites.

So, what music has been filling my ears lately? 

Choir Music

I joined my church's mixed choir not too long ago. And I LOVE IT.

We're heavy into Advent music and preparing for Christmas at the same time.

This is a hymn we've been working on for a bit:

Jesu Rex Admirabilis

Bonus points if you can figure out which movie you've heard this song from!!

(Need a hint? Here's another version): 

Here's a couple that we're hoping to sing sometime during Christmas:

O Magnum Mysterium

Quem Pastores

Latest Favorites

A new Celtic group that I've been listening to lately is called Anúna.

I've since found out that they are based in Ireland, and they've been together since 1987. Their style is a mix between traditional Celtic and French/Cajun, and Gregorian Chant. A lot of their songs are really beautiful, almost floaty (the floaty songs are perfect for white noise situations, I find.) I personally like their more stirring tracks such as these:

La Chanson de Mardi Gras 
(a traditional Cajun song, arr. by Michael McFlynn)

(a traditional Irish song)
 (This song is the same as the one covered by Celtic Thunder, just a lot faster)

Media Vita
(Gregorian Chant hymm) 
(This is arranged like a slow march, it's really awesome to listen to)

A country band that I got re-introduced to is High Valley.

This song has been on repeat for hours at a time when I'm doing my Advent penance (AKA cleaning my room in prep for Operation Vintage Makeover) 

She's with Me

No, I haven't broken out my Christmas music yet....that will start to happen next week after Gaudete Sunday this week. I don't like to listen to Christmas music beforehand. Though I did finally finish my Advent and Christmas playlists on Spotify! 

And that's all for this post!! 

What do y'all think of this post? Would you like a Christmas version? Have you heard of/like any of these songs? Chat with me in the comments!

 Old-fashionably yours, 


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Sewing Job for the Church Part 2: Washing and Ironing

Hello Everyone! 

I'm back, and much more coherent this time (I hope).

For those of you got lost in my last post, I'll give you a quick run-down:

I got a job from my priest to divide an altar cloth in half last week. But I have to be careful, because the ends have to be matched a certain way.

It had been on a side altar table for quite a bit. This poor little linen cloth looked like it hadn't been washed in....well, let's just say, it's been a while.

It had soot stains, water stains, and a few others stains that I have no idea what they were. The cloth, which like I mentioned before, should have been white. But with so many stains on it, it looked a little on the yellow side.

Needless to say, it needed to be washed. BADLY.

This is about the best "before" picture I've got.

So, after dumping about a quarter of a bottle of stain remover on it, it got dumped into the washing machine.

After the washer finished with it, I set up the ironing board and heated up the iron to the highest setting. Linen is a rather stiff cloth, despite the fact that it wrinkles faster than I can say Jack Robinson. Grabbing the wet cloth, I then proceeded to iron out all the wrinkles that the washer put into the cloth.

Yes, you read that right.

I'll tell you a big secret of the trade ladies:

If you ever have to iron a linen tablecloth or you ever iron church linens yourself....

Iron it while it's wet. And keep ironing it until it's dry. 

Believe it or not, a priest taught me that trick when he taught me how the altar linens should be ironed. He learned to do it that way in seminary, in case anyone was wondering. And yes, priests are taught to iron linens in seminary. Cause SOMEBODY's gotta teach the ladies the correct way....

Believe me, if you iron it while it's wet, or at least damp, the wrinkles come out SO MUCH EASIER. And you don't have to mess with putting a gazillion gallons of water in that teensy-weesy water tank. Ironing linen takes a lot of steam to do, so why not have it practically ready made?

So much ironing....

I think it took me only 2 hours to iron this cloth completely (it was very long, twice my arm span). If I had dried it in the dryer, I guarantee you I would have been there for 3 times that long. And the ironing job would not have lasted that long - maybe a half hour. After ironing it dry, it still hasn't wrinkled. And for anyone that has worked with linen, you know that it only takes a weird look to make it wrinkle. No joke.

Because this cloth was so long, it had to drape on the ground.
 So, to protect it from the dirty floor, I put a towel down to catch it.
Now that this cloth is clean and smooth again, I can get started with the actual sewing part! Stay tuned for part 3!!

Old-fashionably yours,


Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Sewing Job for the Church, Part 1: In which I Ramble about How I got the Job in the first place


I happen to casually mention to my priest that I used to repair linens and vestments for the church.

Little did I know that he had a job lined up for me the week afterwards...LOL.

(How did that happen???)

Last week, Father let a couple of us into the church so we could go to choir practice.

He pulls me aside and says "Catherine, have you got a minute?"

Of course, I did. The women didn't start rehearsing until 30 minutes after the men anyway. (And you don't refuse a priest if you can avoid it. *nods sagely*)

So Father tells me to follow him. Which I did. (Though, in hindsight, I should have put my stuff down somewhere beforehand. Oh well. Minor details.)

We go into the sacristy, and Father goes to the circuit board and flips a couple of switches.

Odd, I thought to myself, normally any repair jobs are kept in the sacristy.

Now, Father goes past me and opens the door to the sanctuary. Again he tells me to follow him.

I thought to myself, Okay......what in the world......as I *quickly* scramble to put my headscarf back over my head (I have a teal fleece headscarf that I wear in the wintertime and I had pushed down when I was inside the door)

(I should point out right here, that no woman, unless accompanied by priest or under special permission is allowed to go into the sanctuary proper (you know, the chancel, behind the communion rail, etc.). Especially through the sacristy door.) 

Anyway, we go into the sanctuary, genuflect before the Tabernacle, and go over to the Epistle side of the Altar (which is the right side, in case you didn't know). We stop in front of a small table where there is a white (or what should have been white on closer examination) cloth was draped over.

(I should point out here also, that this is the table where the cruets, the patens, and the Lavabo dish and pitcher are placed during Mass, just to orient you girls to where we were.)

Father looks at me and says, "This is a cloth."

"Yes, Father." (kid you not, girls, he really said that)

"It's about twice as long as it needs to be."

Okay! I got it now. From there it was a small discussion on what exactly he wanted done to it (a simple case of cut, hem, and make sure it matches the other side, oh and please wash it, it's a little filthy) No problem!! (or so I thought)

During the rest of the men's practice, I took the time to examine the ends that I supposed to match.

I found out that it was going to be slightly more complicated than I had anticipated.

For some reason, the edge was cut, serged and partially French-seamed to make a flat finish, and then hemmed with a two inch hem (embroidery matched to boot).

The edge is on the left,  it's really hard to see but there is a double layer there. And you can see where the hem goes right up that IHS embroidery. 

Well, that raises the stakes just a tad....Oh well, just going to have to be a lot more careful and get this edge right. No pressure. (Now I understand why Father said it might be a bit of a bear...)

But before I do anything to this cloth, it's going in ze washing machine. And then the ironing board. But that's a story for another day.

WHEW. Did I lose anyone in that mess? I apologize, it came out much MUCH more rambly than I had anticipated. I promise Part Two will be more coherent (I hope...) 

Hope you enjoyed the post!! Have you (or your mom) ever taken care of your church's linens? Chat with me in the comments! 

Old-fashionably yours,


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Please Pray!

Hello all,

Normally I don't like to talk politics, but I feel the need to speak about this one.

A case is currently being heard in the Supreme Court called Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. 

For those that don't remember or recognize the name, this is the case of the Colorado Christian baker that refused to make a cake for a gay "marriage".

Mr. Phillips (the cake baker in question) made a conscientious decision to refuse to cater to a gay "couple", thus "violating" the unjust anti-discrimination laws of Colorado. What this case is arguing for is that under the First Amendment rights of freedom of religion and speech, artisans can refuse to cater to LGBTQ customers (Wikipedia, "Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission"). 

Oral arguments were heard today, and a decision is being slated to be announced in January.

I don't need to tell you the significance of this case. Please pray that this case is decided in Mr. Phillip's favor. Even if only privately held beliefs are protected by this case, it is still better than having no legal protection at all. And while it seems very dark and foregone, it would be a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.

Here are some sources if you wish to explore the topic further:



Old-fashionably yours,


Saturday, December 2, 2017

David the Spider and Goliath the Wasp

Hey y'all,

Just be warned, the following images may frighten some people.

So....on Friday (12/1), I was in my hall bathroom (never mind why) and I hear this really loud angry buzzing noise.

Thinking it was a big housefly, I looked around to find it. I moved the curtain and.....

Turns out there was a yellow jacket on the window. Inside.

Needless to say, I beat feet out of there. I'm not dealing with anything with stingers, thank you very much.

Several hours pass, and we discover this had happened: The yellow jacket, interested in the heater on the floor, had wound up in a spider's web. Well entrapped, I must say.

But what struck me was the spider itself.....


Now, I'm more than 100x bigger than this wasp. 

I have a brain, hands, and other weapons at my disposal to rid myself of this wasp. 

Yet, I ran in fright. 

This small spider had no brain, no weapons or strength, and no talents other than spinning a web.  

And yet, when faced with this large wasp, it did battle and won. And was rewarded with a large meal that will last him for days - a late Thanksgiving if you will. 

It reminds me of a very well-known story in the Bible: David and Goliath. 

An army was afraid to take down a giant. But a shepherd boy with a rock and slingshot could...and did

What God gave to that spider was sufficient to take down the wasp. It needed nothing else. In a similar manner, God gives us strength and guidance, if we are humble enough to accept it. 

Patience and humility are not exactly easy things to practice. It is rather humbling to see this little spider succeed in what I failed to do. For me, it's a small reminder to be humble and patient, and rely on God's strength and His grace as I deal with my 'wasps' in my life instead of running away from them. 

What little reminders of sanctity do you see in your daily life? 

Old-fashionably yours, 


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Awkward and Awesome: Thanksgiving Weekend Edition


You wake up Thanksgiving morning with a strong attack of PMS and in bad need of a cup of tea.  

The entire dinner (and dessert) conversation is about topics revolving around politics and money. (*sigh* where did all of our funny stories go???)

When you haven't baked a cake in several years, and in a blonde moment, tell your brother to use OIL instead of Crisco...resulting in an earthquake cake instead of a carrot cake.

When you want to enjoy the parade, but the talk show hosts INSIST on hogging camera time with interviews with all these "celebrities".

When a blouse you thought was fixed turns out to not be fixed (safety pin to the rescue!)

When you resurrect the fire in the woodstove and suddenly realize you got ash all over your good skirt....


A beautiful turkey dinner :)

Envisioning a PA Super Bowl (Eagles v. Steelers, anyone??)

Seeing "Once Upon a December" being performed by the Anastasia Broadway musical cast!!!

Rearranging jewelry display cases :).

Watching Hogan's Heroes on DVD.

Going to Confession, and receiving Communion for the first time in a month.

How was y'all's Thanksgiving?? 

Old-fashionably yours,


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Working by Candelight: A Fresh Start

If y'all are looking for the blog Frugally Fancy, please don't panic! You're in the right spot. There has been...hem...a few changes happening around here.

I decided to totally re-vamp the blog, and I do mean totally. I've decided to change the name, the purpose, and the design of the blog.


Well, to be honest, Frugally Fancy was a poor college student's attempt at blogging when she didn't have a life. I had planned on putting up cheap food recipes or quick fixes to clothes. Turns out, I did that...for a while. Then I stopped. School became the front focus of my life. My life sort of disappeared for around half a year.

Fast forward to this October. I realized that I needed a life and school just wasn't cutting it. I've been wandering rather aimlessly on this blog - not really giving it everything, like I had with Rebelling Muse. I felt really confined and restless - to the point where I was considering shutting down the blog for good.

But....I couldn't let my first baby die. No matter how deformed, no matter how rotten, it deserved another chance.

Now...this is going to get confusing but I'm going to attempt to explain the name and purpose change at the same time. Because the two are kinda intertwined. So, please bear with me as we go down this rabbit hole.....

Frugally Fancy, as a name, was originally created to highlight the tutorials on how to put in deceivingly nice, high class touches to pauper ingredients, clothing and situations. Basically, a cheap fix.

That explains a lot, doesn't it? 

As reflected by my blog stats, that is NOT what people were looking for. Instead, they were looking at my posts on modesty, my on-going room reno, and my personal struggles with the blog. I guess people were just as confused as I was.

So....I decided that change was needed and in a hurry at that. 

But I couldn't just change the name. There needed to be a new focus. Because...my top ten posts are kinda all over the place. It's a mess.

With that, thank you to all that voted on the poll that I had up! I may do some crossovers with book/movie topics and period drama on this blog from the input that I received. I'm not sure why period drama got left behind on this blog - it really belongs on the Rebelling Muse with the rest of my fandoms/book/movie ramblings...

After much reflection, I decided to take Proverbs 31 as the cornerstone for this new endeavor. I want my blog to be more of a retreat rather than a lecture hall. I will still occasionally discuss Catholicism, agriculture and other outdoors-y topics but I want to give it a softer touch.

The bulk of my posts will be more personal - ideas that set me thinking, more posts about my career (once it gets off the ground), music that I've been listening to (or singing/playing on instrument), and what projects I've been up to (sewing, needlework, kitchen, etc.). 

NOW....how to get a name from all of that mess??

I must have stared at the computer for hours. I looked at old writings to see if there were any phrases that would encompass everything. Nothing fit.

Except one phrase that refused to leave my head - "working by candlelight".

Hence, Frugally Fancy (FF) will now be known as Working by Candlelight (WbC).

With such a huge change, everything that said "Frugally Fancy" would have to be changed. That, unfortunately, included my header.

The Old Header

It is rather bittersweet to see this header go. This was the first header that I had ever created. But...I'm very satisfied with this new header though.

The New Header!

As with all my headers, each picture has a significance. Some photos you may recognize from old header from both my blogs!

Title ~ I wanted something that captured the phrase "working by candlelight". So, being logical, I decided on a candlelit room. Let me tell you...it is very HARD to find a decent photo of a firelit room!!!! This one had a beautiful dusky coloration, and that elusive rustic setting that I was looking for.

Tea ~ I am such a tea-oholic it's not even funny. It's starting to become a daily necessity.

Yellow Squash ~ Besides the fact that I love eating these, they are also one of my favorite plants to grow! I've been gardening on and off for a while (both flowers and veggies), can't wait for the growing season again!

Clydesdales ~ These draft horses are the prettiest, at least in my opinion. I've never worked with Clydes, but I have worked with smaller horses such as Belgians. One of them, Jack, was a handful to say the least....

Knitting - If it wasn't clear how old-fashioned I really am...LOL. I learned to knit and crochet when I was a girl, and still work on projects from time to time.

Appalachian Mountains - These mountains hold a very special place in my heart. <3 (Besides, what's more rustic than Applachian culture?). This photo was taken when I visited the Skyline Drive several years ago.

Rosary and Veil - Being a traditional and feminine Catholic, I decided to photograph my homemade veil and my favorite rosary. I fixed the coloring from the original so the pink of the rosary beads stands out better.

Apples/Dutch Oven - Rustic cooking at it's best! My guess would be that those apples are meant for cider. Isn't this a great fall picture??

Baskets of wool - This photo was taken at Mystic Seaport this past summer. I included it because...a couple of summers ago, I offered to take a whole sheep's fleece from a farm I worked at. I want to see how long it will take me to turn it into yarn by hand. So far, I think I've spun almost half of it.

Treadle Sewing Machine - While I've worked one of these types of machines, they're a handful :).  Again this one has been recolored to fit the new scheme.

The background is a lovely vintage rose wallpaper that I found on Pixabay.

In addition to all the other design elements:

  • I've changed out all of the widgets for social media icon buttons on both blogs. My sidebar is so much cleaner!! 
  • I've changed my comment message on both blogs. 
  • I've changed the title graphics for the connection. 
  • The image gadget - yes, those are my hands and apron :). 
  • I planned to have this changed before, but I've also changed the header on The Rebelling Muse. After doing both of Lia's blogs, I took another look at RM's and it looked....cramped. So I took it and expanded it to give the current pictures more room...and may have added a few more....
  • I've changed the favicon to a candle. As much as I like that domestic scene, I decided it was just fine as my blogger profile picture. 

I never thought I'd get to the end of that. I honestly don't blame anyone that decided to skim that.

So....what do y'all think??? What else do you want to see here on this blog?

Old-fashionably yours,


Sunday, November 19, 2017

One Year Blogoversary : AMA Answers!

 Oh My Gosh....It's My Blogoversary!!!

I can't believe I've only been blogging for a year...it honestly has felt like I've done this forever. 

First things first, I need to thank my ten(!) followers for sticking with this poor little thing: 

Lia, Emma, Catherine, Gray, Rita, Clare, Bella, Sarah, Tes and Ceci 

Y'all are absolute angels. For that, I give you girls extra cake, ice cream, brownies and unending hugs. Cause y'all deserve it.

As promised back in September, I'm hosting my first Ask Me Anything! Thank you everyone (FF and RM followers alike!) who submitted questions!!

And it is finally time to reveal the answers!!! So, grab a drink, a plateful of snacks and a warm blanket and let's get started! 

What fall party would be complete without a campfire??

 Ivie Asks:

What is your exact age? (If you want to answer, that is)

I did say Ask Me Anything! I won't give my exact age for privacy reasons, but I am older than 21 and younger than 25. 


What is your favorite color?

Bright sky blue. Like these:

Though lavendar comes in a close second. 

If you were trapped on a deserted island and could only have one type of food and one person with you, what is the food and who is the person?

The person would be my sister, Lia, without a doubt. Someone has to keep me sane *wink wink*

Food? Either eggs or mac and cheese. Can't decide. Depends on if I'm looking at practicality or comfort. Though if I really think about it, mac and cheese is more nutritionally complete than eggs (because starch in noodles, protein in the cheese sauce, etc.)

Sarah Asks: 

What is your favorite season?

I'll give you a hint: sun and more sun, long days, clear nights....takes place between June and September (or this year, which seemed to extend until November....) 

Hint: I'm talking about SUMMER. 

I'm practically cold-blooded, and I love the sun. High 70s-low 80s? Perfect temperature for me! 

That and I like doing outside work - most of which occurs during the summer anyway. I like to be outside working for several hours and get my hands dirty. Cold temps usually drive me inside under blankies with hot tea and a novel.  


Who is your favorite Saint and why?

My favorite saint is also my Confirmation patron saint, St. Catherine Labouré. I've had a solid devotion to the Miraculous Medal, even before my reversion. I love women saints that are also visionaries. I do have a desire to see Our Lady someday.

What is something most people don't know about you?

A lot of people don't know that I played this instrument in college: 

It's called a hammered dulcimer. See the rows of double strings? Each string has 4 different notes on it, all arranged in keys. You simply hit the note you want with the set of hammers - most won't have the notes labeled like this one does. It sounds complicated, but I assure you, it's super easy to play. 

I don't have any footage or good audio clips of me playing the dulcimer, but to give you an idea of what it sounds like, I'll include this piece by Joshua Messick.

MovieCritic Asks: 

What is your favorite Bible verse?

O God of the heavens, creator of the waters, and Lord of the whole creation: hear me a poor wretch, making supplication to thee, and presuming of thy mercy. Remember, O Lord, they covenant, and put thou words in my mouth, and strengthen the resolution in my heart: that thy house may continue in they holiness.

~ Judith 9:17-18.

The Holy Bible, Douay-Rheims Version. 

Yes, I know that's technically two verses. Never hurts to have more Scripture.

This is part of the prayer for fortitude that the holy widow Judith prayed before she slew Holofernes, the commander of the Assyrian army (one of the most powerful armies in the world at the time). I certainly need to take a harder look at the example that this holy widow gives. Coming off of the drama that happened in October, I need some extra fortitude. 

What is your favorite Bible story?

My favorite Bible story is the story of Ruth. It may or may not have been affected by the fact that I have this movie that I have in my collection: 

The Story of Ruth made this story "real" to me. It's one thing to hear the story of Ruth, but to see it dramatized, the effect is much deeper for me.

What is your favorite prayer?

My favorite prayer is the Memorare. I tend to say it in Latin, but here is the English version: 

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary
That never was it known, 
That anyone who fled to thy protection, 
implored thy help or sought thy intercession, 
was left unaided. 
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, 
O virgin of virgins, my Mother! 
To thee do I come, before thee I stand, 
sinful and sorrowful. 
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, 
despise not my petitions, 
but in thy mercy, hear and answer me. Amen. 

What is your favorite animal?

Gah. I have a lot of favorite animals. Dogs and cattle are up there, but the top is still the horse. I would love to own a few eventually...when I get some spare cash. 


What is your favorite food?

Mac and Cheese. Ultimate comfort food. It's one of those foods that you never seem to grow out of :)

Mary Katherine asks: 

What do you like doing in your free time? (Besides blogging and writing)

A lot!!!

I read a lot, and I like to play Match-3 games like Homescapes, Candy Crush Saga, etc. I also like to handspin yarn, knit, crochet, sew, cook, watch movies, listen to music, go on Pinterest….

I’m a VERY dangerous creature when I’m bored, so I invest in a lot of hobbies.


Lia Asks: 

What is your favorite piece of clothing you own?

You've seen it, Lia. It's that long brown skirt that I wear all the time. 

Oh wait. No one else knows that. Hang on, let me 'splain. 

One of the very first thrift store skirts (I think. Honestly, I don't remember where I got this thing. It's been a part of my wardrobe for years...) was an ankle-length deep brown skirt. It's tiered with slight gathering.

What I like about it: it's very swishy and comfortable, and I can wear it all year long. As long as I have tights on if it's winter. Otherwise, like any light skirt, my legs will freeze.  

What would your perfect room look like?




What fictional place would you most like to go?

Of course you would ask this....

Me, I'm stuck between Narnia and Middle-Earth. Both worlds are super complex and beautiful. I would love to take a trip through both. Rohan and the Stone Table would be on my itinerary, for sure.

What would the most amazing adventure to go on?

For me, I would love to re-enact a wagon train, or a Tolkein-style quest.

To me, an adventure is one where I'm away from my creature comforts, my food is from over a fire, there is a *mild* amount of danger, and I can use knifes, guns, etc. And, I'm outside. Preferably on a horse, even though I'm a good walker/hiker.

I love historic reenacting, which is why I chose it as a career. I love to cook over a fire, and I can stand to be out in some weather. As long as I don't get soaked. Cause then I get chilled. NOT FUN.


What songs have you completely memorized?

Leann Womack's song "I Hope You Dance" is the first song that I ever memorized. I’m pretty sure that “Seize the Day” and “King of New York” from Newsies are also memorized (scratch that, I still need work on "Seize the Day"...)

Most of the time, I won’t memorize the entire song, only parts of it.

What are some small things that make your day better?
When someone relates a story about a funny phrase or action that they or someone they know said or did.

A passing compliment or words of encouragement

A hug, preferably a long one.

Where is the most interesting place you've been?
Gah...where to start? Chicago was a fun trip, though we didn't go into the city itself. I've been to about 10 states or so (driving through doesn't count). 

I think the most interesting place was Hawaii. 

As my graduation present from high school, I went on vacation to Hawaii for two weeks. I got to go to the islands of Kauai (The Garden Island) and Oahu. 

First time ever being on an airplane :)

On Kauai, I went snorkeling with the fishes once...and caught a cold right afterwards. I caught a chill from the water and it all went downhill from there. But I did see the Napali coast, some huge canyons, and the mountains after spending three days in bed. 

The Napali Coast. 

On Oahu, I visited Pearl Harbor and the Polynesian Cultural Center. Pearl Harbor was rather sobering, of course. I didn't go on the Arizona because of the crowds, but I did go on the S.S. Missouri and the S.S Bowfin, a submarine. Considering the fact that I'm somewhat claustrophobic, being on the Bowfin was an adventure....

Our tour guides at the Polynesian Cultural Center really got us though. There were two of them - a guy and a girl. The guy took the lead most of the time, claiming that the girl was a guide in training. He was so good that the whole group was dumbfounded at the end when he revealed that HE was the one in training!!!

The pig for the luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center  

What movie title best describes your life?


That really describes my life right now. 

MiddleEarthMusician Asks: 

What is your favorite style of historical clothing?

Can I cheat and say all of them? 



If I had to choose one silhouette, it would be the Edwardian (early 1900s). I like the look of an Edwardian ensemble. The skirts are gathered in the back, while maintaining a slight flair in front. The hems are also a little higher than a lot of historical styles - tripping hazard lessened! The blouses are high-necked, but not choking.

However....I've worn a farm version of this silhouette, and it comes with one downside - the blouses button up in the back. Let me tell you, trying to button something up your back is not as easy as it sounds. 

Actually, there is something harder - clipping hooks and eyes up the back. At least when buttons are buttoned, there is a good chance that they will stay buttoned. Hooks and eyes on the other hand, have a horrible tendency to...well...pop rather easily.   

My second favorite would be the 1830s-60s day dresses. They have a simple, clean silhouette. But...these have those blasted hooks and eyes....sigh.

What is your favorite song right now?

I discovered this song not too long ago when looking around for some new fantasy music. On this album, there are three different versions - an intro, instrumental, and a vocal version. After listening to the album, I suddenly understood why....


(maybe I'll adopt it.....)
What is your favorite TV series?

WHEN CALLS THE HEART. It has everything that I love - a cute handsome mounted hero, a beautiful, witty female lead, female friends of the same quality as the female lead, and HISTORIC STUFF. Horses, good morals, etc. Honestly, I've never had a cringe moment with this show, which is unusual in today's media.

I did mention cute handsome Mountie, right???? 

Elanor Asks: 

What 5 books would you want with you on a deserted island?

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein

Stars Collide by Janice Thompson

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (because every deserted island needs a manual)

The Holy Bible, Douay-Rheims Version. 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? 

Ooooh. Tough question. 

I've thought about Canada and Scotland, but both of those are rather cold most of the year. I've also thought about Italy and Australia. England would also be rather nice - I've wondered if I was meant to be a lady of a manor. 

Poland is also a contender, in that it's a country that is still culturally Catholic and still has a lot of traditional values and agriculture. However, I'm not sure if I really want to be neighbors with Russia....

I can't decide.....


Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope to be either married or at least engaged. I'm praying that my student loans are at least halfway paid. I also wouldn't mind a golden retriever pup running around. 

Seriously....who can resist that face???

Anthony the Rad-Trad asks: 

If you could meet anyone in the Catholic Church, who would it be? 

I'm assuming you mean someone who is alive?

In that case, that narrows the field a ways.

I would like to meet Cardinal Burke, if possible. I'd like a lesson in fortitude.

And that's all folks!!! 

Keep an eye on this blog at this start of this week. I feel a creative itch about to come on....

In the meantime, let me grab some more cake.....

Old-fashionably yours,