I see a Pattern

I like making other people happy. It feeds my soul. I can’t explain it. But I live it. Every day.

I have a bulletin board in a my study. I was looking at it the other day. I started to see a pattern.


That makes three prayers, and three quotes, and five thank you notes. Let’s break that down:

– the Lord’s prayer
– a prayer for quiet confidence
– a prayer for before worship

At any given moment, you have the power to say: This is not how the story is going to end.
Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of all these things and still be calm in your heart.
– “Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes the beautiful.” Jim Carrey

Thank You notes:
– Bethany’s mother-in-law: I made her a New Year’s apron after she commented how she loved the Christmas apron I made for Bethany
– cousin & new wife: I etched their names on the sides of glass casserole dishes; she said that every time they look at those dishes, they smile, (and they look at them a lot since they participate in a lot of potluck dinners!)
– Gretchen’s best friend & new husband: Gretchen talks to her best friend every single day (it seems) so I felt like I practically knew her by the time of the wedding…. Gretchen & I wound up making paper roses out of pages from Alice and Wonderland for wedding favors, so I took the cover of the book and framed it. They loved it!!
– high school friend & new husband: I just sent a congrats note with some recipes (since she asked for those)
– Hannah: still loving the baby blanket

That’s what’s decorating my office!!

Smile, it’s a bright new day

Things have been hard over here. I’m not sure I want to say more. But this painting cheered me up. I don’t think it’s affordable on a grad-student budget, but it’s pretty. And happy. And cheery. And bright. In other words, it’s perfect!!

(c) David Willardson; available at Park West Gallery for purchase
Mmmmmm I by David Willardson

the Ravenous Lion has spoken

and I’m think I’m still too upset/stressed/mad/infuriated to trust myself to describe my proposal defense in words. So let me share with you some images:

Grad School the Board Game
I landed on “meet with thesis committee”
Clarity and Depth
well, someone (or maybe someones) actually said the “lacked clarity and depth” part…. unfortunately, their response did the same

To add insult to injury, my thesis title was “so terrible” that one committee member wasn’t sure he could even read the proposal.

your thesis title
Unless you follow this advice, you will be crushed. No one will read your dissertation proposal… or buy your book down the road (which you’re already marketing, right?) That’s what happens when your title is in English, has only 10 words, and includes no subtitle.
I think I might need Jen after all

The verdict: I have six weeks to resubmit and defend again.
My plan of action? Get somebody to actually teach me what it is I’m supposed to be doing. Fire the ravenous lion and hire an adviser. Potentially redefend (instead of dropping out of grad school in frustration.)

Yup, the tension in my life only increases.


Peace the World Cannot Give

I’ve been musing over this phrase: “grant me that peace which the world cannot give.” I’m reminded of it as I pray. I’m sobered by its gravity.

He is the God of peace. He creates peace. He arbitrates peace in our heart.

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] (John 14:27, amplified)

In particular, I appreciated Wesley’s notes on this verse:

Peace I leave with you – Peace in general; peace with God and with your own consciences. My peace – In particular; that peace which I enjoy, and which I create, I give – At this instant. Not as the world giveth – Unsatisfying unsettled, transient; but filling the soul with constant, even tranquillity. Lord, evermore give us this peace! How serenely may we pass through the most turbulent scenes of life, when all is quiet and harmonious within! Thou hast made peace through the blood of thy cross. May we give all diligence to preserve the inestimable gift inviolate, till it issue in everlasting peace!

Our God gives us peace that He creates, the very peace that He Himself enjoys. It’s not the transient, unsettling peace of the world. But something so majestic, so harmonious, so divine.


HAWMC 2013

Dear readers,

I finished one of my comprehensive exams. That means that I put away one stack of 25 books (hopefully!!) I’ll find out if I passed by early next week.

The amorphous blob? The defense for that proposal is coming up in a very small number of days. And I do have another exam looming in about two weeks. So all in all, a lot going on here in the school front.

On a different note, the Health Activists Writer’s Month Challenge is coming up in April!!! Believe it or not, April is going to be a crazy, crazy month for me with family stuff, school stuff, medical stuff, … the usual stuff, so I doubt I’ll be blogging every day. BUT I am participating to the best of my ability because ::drumroll:: they’re featuring a prompt of mine!!!

April 22: Day to Day — prompt #1: Write about something ordinary that’s inspiring to you, something simple, perhaps overlooked, that fuels your activism.

Look for it!! Write about it!! Read my post (when I write and post it!!) And just generally have a very good month of April.

(a slightly giddy) Abigail

TV Show Personality Quizzes

Because I am currently taking a comprehensive exam and wish I could be doing so many other things:

Which Narnia Character Are You?

Created by BuddyTV

Which ‘Jane by Design’ Character Are You?

More on Jane by Design. Created by BuddyTV

Which Gilmore Girls Character Are You?

More on Gilmore Girls. Created by BuddyTV

Must. Take. That. Quiz. Again.

Which Gilmore Girls Character Are You?

More on Gilmore Girls. Created by BuddyTV

Hmmm. Let’s try that again.

Which Gilmore Girls Character Are You?

More on Gilmore Girls. Created by BuddyTV

Moving on…. (I always thought I was like Lane????)

Which ‘Switched at Birth’ Character Are You?

More on Switched at Birth. Created by BuddyTV

Which ‘Bunheads’ Character Are You?

More on Bunheads. Created by BuddyTV

Which House Character Are You?

More on House. Created by BuddyTV

Which Character from The O.C. Are You?

More on The O.C.. Created by BuddyTV

Brownie points if you can guess which personalities are spot on (and didn’t involve me retaking the quiz a million times!!) Bonus brownie points if you can guess which show I don’t actually watch!!



At service this week, the priest began his sermon by breaking bread. To be honest, it was a little jarring. But he said, Through that gesture I convey a multitude of meaning and tradition. And it’s true.

I’ve encountered it in a lot of ways in the past days and weeks. The priest pointed to Mary of Bethany anointing the Lord with costly ointment. It was in the moment of sharing a hymnal with the girl next to me who was momentarily lost. Another experience of someone just being with me while I mourned the loss of the independence I once dreamed of.

http://www.shop.beestill.org/product.sc?productId=68Someone, another priest, pointed to an image of a woman that looks strikingly like a picture of the celebration Holy Communion. In the image, the woman is simply washing dishes, a simple everyday chore that has to be done. But the image conveys the love, the detail, the gravity of the task. The image, entitled St. Therese Doing the Dishes, captures the person of a simple sister who valued the little things in life, the small ways in which she could serve God.

In the same way, I see this little figurine. And there’s a power just in being. You don’t get the sense that the father and daughter are making something together or studying or even going anywhere. There’s just the love and peace that comes from being together. The compassion, the admiration.

They say action speaks louder than words. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Perhaps they also say, a gesture means more than anyone can know or tell.


In a Nutshell

I’ve been having fun taking personality quizzes. I see myself as a certain person, but then I behave in ways that I’m not conscious of. Maybe that’s why I’m interested in studying the intersection between ideology and experience? Anyhow, here are the results of several personality quizzes. What do you think? Does it fit the Abigail you know from the blog??

Archetype Me

I think the above assessment is pretty fair. I did notice a lot of choices about the body and exercise that I was very definitely not interested in. I can’t imagine why!!

The most famous personality test, Myers-Briggs, I took last month and earned the title of ESTJ: Overseer.

apparently, I've rather judgmental (or discerning & analytical)
apparently, I’ve rather judgmental (or discerning & analytical)

The Keisey Temperament test shows me as ESFJ: Guardian Provider.


Jung-Briggs-Myers has me as ISFJ: apparently, I’m a good mix of introvert and extrovert.


Then Typealyzer actually takes the content of your blog and analyzes it. No more subconscious working against you. Guess what it came up with?? ISFP: Artist!!!

Abigail: ISFP

based on this blog, Abigail is ISFP

I guess the consensus is that my perception is by sense rather than intuition. Just depends who you ask on how much that is so!! Everything else is up for debate!!

Don’t forget to take a look at how I’m evolving!!

  • March 2012: a book hunter & someone who enjoys spending quality time with other people
  • July 2012 had me as a pediatrician who loves Big Bird!
  • November 2012: I like helping people.

What do you think? What else do you think you know about me??


procrastinating sew much

I really should be reading my 50 books, but I don’t feel like it. It’s spring break, and I’ve been thinking about my sewing room (aka office, library, bedroom, healing room all wrapped into one). I’ve filled the wall with a ton of vintage pattern covers. It looks really awesome, although the ones over the bed keep threatening to fall down while I’m resting.

Anyhow, I saw some pretty cool ads while I was compiling my last treasury list on Etsy. So I decided to pull together another treasury list. Mostly because I love vintage ads. (But I don’t have wall space or wallet space for any of them, I don’t think.) Take a look and see what you think.

decorating the historian's sewing room

it had the coolest stitches!!
I started thinking, Where did this interest in sewing come from??? Then I remembered that my dad got me a sewing machine back in the day. I think I was probably 5 or 6 because I remember sharing it with my sister who’s a few years younger. I think my parents got it used, but I’m not really sure. 5 or 6 year olds don’t keep track of that stuff. I know that we threw it away when we moved because all the markers dried up (or were used up by future seamstresses.) Oh the childhood memories!! I think I played with this machine in between cooking at our play kitchen and while (always) playing doggie and master. (My sister had an obsession with dogs, so I learned to integrate “doggie and master” into every single one of my play activities.) I think I “sewed” stuff for my parents and for my furry friends. Yes, that love goes way back as well.

Rambling post about childhood memories and crafting…. Hope it gives you a glimpse into my personality.
Abigail Cashelle

when life hands you lemons, sew

It’s been crazy, crazy, crazy in Abigail-land. I’ve been juggling family stuff, medical stuff, amorphous blob stuff, large reading list stuff, roommate stuff…. get the picture yet??

But in the middle of all of that, I’ve been sewing. I’m working on a star quilt. I’ve also just started a dress. I saw the pattern in the store. And then I saw the perfect fabric…. The rest is becoming history.

the pattern: Butterick 5642
swiss dot fabric: perfect!!

So instead of boring you with loads of text about how stressful my life is becoming, I’m leaving you with an etsy treasury. Because I’ve altered the saying: when life hands you lemons, sew:Etsy: sewing