The Literary Heroine Blog Party

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I’m participating in Kellie’s Literary Heroine Blog Party. Ooo, this’ll be so much fun! If you can, go check Kellie’s blog out. Her fashion sense is spot on and major adorable! Thanks so much for hosting this, Kellie.
The Literary Heroine Blog Party Link up:
(*To those of you who participated in earlier years, it’s fine if you reuse some of your answers over again!*)
~ The Questions ~
  1. Introduce yourself! Divulge your life’s vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random! Greetings and salutations! I’m a lady who loves books, reading, knitting, crafting, and living. I love to make things that are useful and lovely. I’m a faithful Catholic who loves learning more about her Faith. I enjoy being a geeky nerd, fascinated by Star Wars and history. Guaranteed, I can give you a relevant quote from a movie or book for any circumstance, delivered in a funny voice. Spiders scare the life out of me, no joke. I want to honor God in my life by doing the little things with great love, a la St. Therese
  2. What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine? I think that a true heroine is willing to put other’s needs before hers. She gives with a cheerful heart and a sweet smile. She has a clear head and is smart. She should know her faults and try to overcome them, not getting too discouraged when she fails. 
  3. Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to. Polly Milton from An Old-Fashioned GirlI love how Polly stays true to herself throughout the whole book. She’s modest and sweet, but has a real get’er done attitude. I want to be her. Meg March, from Little Women is another favorite heroine. She’s usually pushed aside in favor of Jo, but Meg’s sweet heart and kindness I really love and admire. Rosalind Penderwick from The Penderwick Series. Rosalind always sacrifices for her siblings and really keeps her family together. 
  4. Five of your favorite historical novels? An Old-Fashioned Girl (Louisa May Alcott), They Called Her Mrs. Doc (Janette Oke), The Golden Thread (Louis de Wohl), Anne of the Island (L.M. Montgomery), and Eight Cousins (Louisa May Alcott).
  5. Out of those five books who is your favorite major character and why? Anne Shirley and Polly Milton and Rose Campbell all tie for that spot. They all have so many great characteristics I can’t decide which I like best.
  6. Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why? Mac from Eight Cousins and Uli von der Flue (I hope I spelled his name right) from The Golden Thread. They are such great supporting characters. Read the books to find out why. 😉
  7. If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to – and what would you plan to do there? I would start in England, take a tour of the countryside and cross my fingers for good weather. I would then go to Paris and the French countryside. Then on to Rome, Assisi, Verona, and a few other Italian cities. Then I would gladly come home and collapse and sleep for ten years. If I couldn’t go overseas, I would love to travel along Route 66 from beginning to end. Or go back to the Biltmore and the Smokey Mountains. I don’t know if that would ever happen, since I’m not the greatest of travelers and prefer to be a homebody. 
  8. What is your favorite time period and culture to read about? I love reading about the 1800s in any culture.
  9. You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation, tap dancing… what is your act comprised of? Well, since I’m so bossy and good at telling people what to do…I meant since I’m responsible and have a good head on my shoulders, I would probably end up directing the action. I’m not a very good singer and not the best at acting, so I’ll just stay behind the scenes.
  10. If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent? Gah, that’s a hard question. I adore Elizabeth Bennet, but I also love Anne Shirley. And then there’s Arwen, who makes me swoon with her stunning gowns. I think I’ll go with Arwen…or Eowyn…
  11. Favorite author(s)? Louis de Wohl, Janette Oke, Louisa May Alcott, L.M. Montgomery, among many many others. 🙂
  12. In which century were most of the books you read written? I think the 19th and 20th centuries. I read a few modern novels, but I’m super picky about what I read. Comes from being the family censor, I suppose.
  13. In your opinion, the ultimate hero in all literature is… A totally unorthodox hero, but I think that Percy Jackson is an amazing hero. He’s willing to sacrifice himself to protect his friends, he has faults, knows it, and tries to overcome them. He is also really sweet and dorky. 
  14. In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is… George Wickham. He is so utterly awful and pretends that he isn’t, that he’s just misunderstood! That is one thing that drives me nuts when people try to say, oh, he/she’s not a villain. He/she’s just misunderstood. No. If they are bad, they are bad.
  15. Describe your ideal dwelling place. Oh, I’ve always wanted to do this. I want to live in a house that is a mix between a Southern farmhouse and an English cottage. Full of windows and light, a library full of books and cozy places to curl up and read, deep windows with cushions, a huge wrap-around porch, a porch swing, and rocking chairs, hardwood floors, a huge fireplace, and full of life, laughter, food, yarn, and children. I would want to be able to step outside into a garden full of flowers and beauty. In short, I want a place I can call home and live and die in, a place I would never ever have to leave.
  16. Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence. Fun, modest, comfy, wooly, warm, and kind of eclectic with lots of handknits! Think skirts, blouses, berets, leggings, tunics, wool socks and slippers. Oh, and fleecy sweatpants. 😉 That’s how I dress. 
  17. Three favorite Non-fiction books? Christian Courtship in an Oversexed World by Father T. G. Morrow, Presenting Miss Jane Austen by May Lamberton Becker, and Catholic Christianity by Peter Kreeft. 
  18. Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon? I would start by mixing up a batch of bread to have later with my tea, dancing and singing to Owl City while doing so. While it was rising, I would spend some time knitting on a porch swing. (This is in an ideal world, right? I have a porch swing in my imagination.) After putting the bread in the oven, and making tea, I’d spend a bit of time writing with my cup of mind-stimulation Earl Gray. After tea time, it’s time for a nap. (Remember, ideal world.)
  19. Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat – in such a way as will best portray your true character. A slouchy beret style hat that I knit myself, worn on the back of my head and keeping my cold ears warm. 
  20. What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate? I’m glad dark chocolate is a health food. Is it? If not, please don’t shake me out of my delusions. Please. 
  21. Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year. Well, there have been a few important things, but I’m kind of a private person, so I’ll just share a few minor things. I dyed my hair black back in October and the color still hasn’t washed out yet…(my natural hair color is a golden brown and I have very pale skin, so this is a dramatic difference.) I found what I think is going to be my career path, a birth doula or professional labor assistant. A small thing: I conquered my fear of sock knitting. And I purchased my first spinning wheel and learned how to use it! So, that’s some of what went on last year/early this year.
  22. Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently. Three of my favorite verses are Psalms 17:8 “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.”, Song of Songs 2:11 “For see, the winter is past, the rains are over and gone.”, and Jeremiah 29:11-14 “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you.” 
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RKLW {reading, knitting, listening, watching}

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{The one in which I knit all the socks. And reassess my love of socks. Not.}
{Joining Ginny for YarnAlong while eating pretzels.}

Reading: This week, I’m reading Ivanhoe. This is another one of those books I’m still not quite sure what’s going on… But, it’s a classic, so I’m trying to work my way through it. I also read Animal Farm this week and my brain is still reeling from the weirdness. I know it’s supposed to be a political satire, but it’s still weird.

Knitting: Socks. Lots and lots of socks!!I have five pairs on the needles. Yes, FIVE. But! (And this is how I justify it.) All but one of them are the second sock. Booyah! I have two toeless socks, a pair of Charade anklets because my brain would die if I worked six inches of the pattern, and the second Shelves Upon Shelves. I deliberately left out my gray Hermoine’s because I just don’t want to look at them. And I figured y’all were tired of seeing them, too. I know I am… Anywho, the toeless socks are my solution to cold feet while reading with the book between my toes. Turns out, they also work really well for spinning socks! I have been spinning a bit as well as knitting. Fun stuff, mates, fun stuff.

Listening: I’ve recently been bitten by the love of Celtic music. Oh, The High Kings, you slay me with your voices. I’m a sucker for a good accent…which is probably why I watch so much BBC… Do you think there might be a connection? I’ve also discovered Sky Sailing, which is Adam Young (Owl City) singing acoustic. AHHHHH!!!!!!! My life is complete. 🙂

Watching: Blue Planet and the Aristocats. I love the Aristocats. Of almost all of the Disney movies, I think it’s one of my most favorites. 🙂

What are y’all reading, knitting, listening to, or watching? Leave a comment, loves. 

two great biographies

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(Hey, I’m back! Did ya miss me?)

I think I might’ve said before that sometimes biographies are more interesting than novels. I love reading about important people in history. I think it makes history come to life and seem a bit more real. Two great biographies I enjoyed and recommend (and actually got through in a reasonable amount of time, unlike some other bios I’ve attempted to read).

First up: Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie.
I don’t really know much about Russian history, aside from what I learned when I was on a World War 1 and 2 kick a few years back. (It was kind of an obsession.) This was a great book. In good biographies, they give you the life of the person as well as a historical backdrop of what was going on in the country or world at the time. Catherine’s life spanned decades of change, both in Russia and the world. Honestly, I don’t think I knew anything about Catherine before I picked this book up. Kings and queens intrigue me, except when the author decides to tell you a little too much about the monarch’s private life. Yeesh, I’ll pass, thanks.

Next: Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician by Anthony Everitt.
Another obsession: Roman history. Yeah, I think I won’t ever grow out of it. Rome and its Empire are so much more fascinating than say, the Greeks. No offense, Greeks. Julius Caesar, Brutus, and Augustus all kind of steal the limelight when it comes to famous Romans. Cicero was pretty amazing. He managed to survive revolution after revolution, only to fall after Caesar. Mr. Everitt was able to quote from many of Cicero’s letters in this biography, which is neat. There are all the principle players in the fall of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Empire. (That sounds like the name of a Star Wars movie.)

(I’m not going to post on Wednesday, seeing as it’s Ash Wednesday. I will be back on Friday for YarnAlong.)