Bailey’s Blog

Liebster Tag

Thank you to Abbie at https://chroniclesinbloom.wordpress.com for tagging me! I don’t know eleven bloggers, but I’m still going to do a post for fun.

Is there any story as to why you were given your name? Yes! There was a show my mom watched called WKRP in Cincinnati with a girl named Bailey Quarters, whom she thought was cute. And my mom’s grandmother’s name was Esther Bailey Jones; it was a family name, too.

Also a story about my name: After I my dad’s aunt learned what I had been named, she said, “The only thing I knew named Bailey was a dog! And he wasn’t even a good dog!”

Are you a night owl or early bird? Early bird: I hate staying out late.

What is your favorite breakfast? Baked oatmeal. It’s like eating a soft, moist oatmeal cookie bar in a bowl with chocolate chips, craisins, and milk. 

 How would you describe your style? Oooh, that’s hard…simple, comfortable, and practical – my archery t-shirts, jeans, and tennis shoes. But I also like to dress up in a nice blouse every now and then. 

 What is your dream occupation? An author, of course! I’d love to be a best-seller someday…

3 favorite boy names? Liam, Marcus, and…I don’t think I have another favorite. Robin, probably.

3 favorite girl names? Ella, Erin, and Rowena.

Where would you like to travel?  Ireland/Scotland or New Zealand. Otherwise, I’ll just stay at home.

Favorite part of your daily routine? Do I have one? (Routine or favorite part?) Maybe when I’m done with my routine…

What song gives you the most feels and why? I See Fire and The Last Goodbye.  Both have beautiful accompiantment and just listening to the lyrics after seeing the Hobbit movies is almost enough to make me cry. And I know this is weird, but Let It Go. Like me, Elsa is the older sister with a lot of responsibility. She’s becoming the queen, which means everyone expects a lot from her. Be the good girl you always have to be, conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know…all of those lines feel so familiar to me. In fact, when I first listened to it in the theater, and the second time I heard it, I cried.

If you could learn to do one (creative) thing perfectly, what would it be? Play the harp or violin.

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Playing Catch-up

Whether blogging or schoolwork, that’s been the story of my life for the past month or two. So where shall I start?

In January, my family got a puppy. We named her Eponine as a tribute to our favorite character from Les MiserablesDSCN3751IMG_0201

Eponine recently after we got her, and then at the beginning of May.

My archery team had their State Tournament in March and their National Tournament in May. The high school team got third place in the state, but we were still a wild card team.

May is always a super busy month for my family. Two of my siblings share a birthday three years apart – they both got a party this year. One was a tenth party with boys from our church and their families, the other a thirteenth sleepover with  teenage girls.

The first weekend in June, my choir was invited to sing during the intermission of a dance recital at the Springer Opera House. As if singing at the oldest theater in the state wasn’t scary enough, I was accompanying the choir for two songs. And our two guys who can sing bass had other plans. We did well, considering the fact that my sister and I had taken the ACT test that morning.

Two days later, a group of friends and I left for GBC’s music camp. It was a blast – I absolutely loved the choral clinician. I made performing handbells…super exciting! Now I want to go to Berry College…

Speaking of college, I applied to a nearby community college for duel enrollment classes!

Then I helped with cosumes at a summer drama camp. That involved running up and down three flights of stairs, plucking children from classes to fit their costumes, and countless trips to Hobby Lobby for supplies.

The next week, I helped with my piano teacher’s music camp. I got to teach the general music class (basically anything that remotely has to do with music), which is fun because we make food that goes with the day’s Bible story.

Independence Day was awesome, as always. We didn’t do fireworks this year, but we got to go see Opelika’s public fireworks. My cousin has a Snapchat account, so we posted a bunch of videos with “La Vie en Rose” playing in the background.

This has been my life lately. Voila. I registered for dual enrollment classes! I’ll probably do a whole separate post on that…

Quote Tag – Two for One

This is a new experience for me! I was tagged by Abbie from https://chroniclesinbloom.wordpress.com/. I’m supposed to – I guess – just do a post about a quote of my choice. You guys get two quotes today! 😉

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I was at a graduation ceremony last week, and the speaker used this verse in his address. He compared the graduates to arrows, talking of how their parents had shaped them for upwards of twelve years so that they would fly true. He also gave another analogy using the graduates as arrows – one that resonated deeply with me. When a warrior or archer (the parent) nocks an arrow (the graduate) to his bow and pulls back the string, there is only a certain amount of time he can hold the bow at full draw before his arms begin to shake. He will either hold the bow with unsteady hands until his fingers slip completely, or he will release when he realizes that he is shaking.

This is what happened to this guy. He couldn’t hold the string back any more. See his right hand? That’s what happens if you hold for too long.

Either way, his shot will be thrown off, and the arrow will not fly true. Moral of that analogy: parents need to know when to let go of their children.

Applied to graduation, this quote is beautiful, exciting, and sad all at the same time. As I near adulthood, the whole world lies before me – I just have to take the first steps down the road towards this new life.

While I was listening to the ceremony (trying not to cry as I think of me next year), I was inspired. What if I could to a valedictorian-type speech when I graduate?

Today in Middle Earth

March 25, Third Age 3019 – The Destruction of the Ring!

Today, the Battle at Morannon, or the Black Gate, was fought. Aragorn leads the men of Gondor, along with the men of Rohan and several rangers, against the armies of Mordor. The Mouth of Sauron emerges from the gates to meet what is left of the Fellowship, telling them how Frodo has been captured and taunting them with their inevitable defeat. He hands his friends Frodo’s mithril shirt and  elven cloak as tokens that what he says is true. Soon after, battle is joined – but not before Aragorn makes a speech. (Which may just be my favorite movie speech ever!)

While the armies are fighting, Sam and Frodo strive to reach the Crack of Doom where the Ring can be destroyed. Gollum attacks Sam as he carries Frodo, who escapes toward the entrance of the fiery mountain. When Sam finally reaches Frodo, his friend states that he will not give up the Ring. Gollum attacks Frodo, who puts on the Ring. The two fight until Frodo gives a cry, becomes visible, and falls to the ground, clutching his hand. Gollum holds up the Ring which he has just bitten from Frodo’s finger, dancing ecstatically. But he dances too far. Helped by a shove from Frodo, both Gollum and the Ring plunge into the fire.

Frodo hangs by one hand at the edge of Mount Doom while Sam tries to pull him up. Finally they succeed and race out of the mountain, which is now crumbling. The two friends find a place above the flowing fire, where they comfort each other.

Later the Eagles come, having helped the armies of men defeat the hosts of Mordor. They find Sam and Frodo and bring them back to the Houses of Healing.

That’s a lot to happen in one day! But there’s more…Sauron was destroyed with the Ring, and his tower of Barad-Dur collapsed, freeing Middle Earth from evil.

Return to Locksley

So, I’ve finally typed up some of my Robin Hood story! Enjoy this little tidbit!

The walls of Locksley rose on the horizon and Robin suddenly felt his insides quaver uncertainly, as they had when he had done something wrong as a boy. He scolded himself. For shame, Robin. Worrying about returning to your own home. He quickened his pace, his feet raising puffs of dust on the road as he neared the village outskirts. His breath caught when he saw the mill and the livery as he walked to the center of the village where the well was. It was just as it had been when he left: women and girls stood in groups conversing with one another. A few turned to stare at him with mild curiosity and – he noted, that uncertain feeling again rising in his stomach – apprehension. I must look a scoundrel, he thought, self-consciously rubbing his jawline, feeling the stubble growing there. Mother will hardly recognize me. And…Marian. Would she recognize me? The first thing he needed was a shave, he decided. That and some of his mother’s honey bannocks. He came at last to the gates where he was halted by two guards.

Robin smiled carelessly. “Robert of Locksley, back from the north.” His smile faded as the men’s expressions went blank. He tried again. “I’m here to see my mother, Lady Royse.”

“You’d be the lord’s son, then?” Robin glanced at the guard who spoke – he was certain he had never seen him before, for this youth looked no older than he.

“That’d be me, yes.”

The guards shifted their feet and the older man stepped forward. “Master Robin, there’s something you don’t know. Lady Royse – died – nearly a year ago.” He looked down at his feet.

“What?” There was a tense, uncomfortable silence as Robin registered the meaning of these words. “You must be mistaken,” he said finally, rubbing his neck where the thrall ring had chafed him. “My mother was in perfect health when I left – ” he stopped, realizing a lot could happen in the time he had been gone.

“She took a fever and was ailing for several months before she died.” The man did not appear grieved, but spoke matter-of-factly about the death of Robin’s mother.

“Then…I will see Lord Robert.” It felt odd to call his father ‘Lord.’

“Lord Robert is not here; he has not been seen since he left with you – if you truly are young master Robin.”

“I am Robert, son of Earl Robert, which means I am Earl in my father’s absence.” He, Robin, Earl of Huntington!

The younger guard spoke now. “You would have to see the Sheriff about that – he assigned one of his men to manage the estate.” He shrugged apologetically, but his face conveyed boredom and insolence.

So they aren’t going to let me in, Robin thought, spirits sinking. “I…I will,” he said finally, turning away from the gate, but not before he cast a long, yearning glance at the battlements. Locked out of my own hall, he brooded. The thought was absurd, and almost made him smile.

His feet found their way to the inn; then paused. Would Hob still be there? Would he remember him? He hesitated, then pushed the door open.

Everyone inside looked up as he entered, expression ranging from simply curious to fearful. Seeing the lone young man, they relaxed and turned back to their drinks.

Robin’s eyes scanned the room for Hob, heart racing as he did not find him. Then the sturdy innkeeper appeared from the kitchen, carrying several bowls of stew.

Robin almost yelled the innkeeper’s name, but shut his mouth firmly, sitting at the counter where he knew Hob would return. And return Hob did. He did not look at Robin as he queried, “What can I get for you, young master?”

Appalled, Robin leaned forward over the counter. “Hob! It’s me!” This got the innkeeper’s attention, and he met Robin’s gaze, eyebrows nearly touching as he struggled to remember the bedraggled youth who was leaning so earnestly over his counter. Then his eyebrows shot up.

“Mother of God! Robin! Master Robin!” Even in his surprise, Hob kept his voice at a tone that would not disturb the few patrons from their meals. Robin felt Hob’s large, calloused hands cup around his face. “It is you! By Saint Lawrence, where have you been these years?” The innkeeper embraced Robin over the counter, pounding the young man on the back before he drew away.

Robin had only smiled wearily until this point, but at Hob’s question, all his fatigue and hunger nearly swept him over. “Where have I been?” he repeated softly. “Well, Hob, I could tell you better over a bowl of stew and some ale.”

The innkeeper’s skilled eye ran over the youth’s thin frame and shadowed eyes. “Aye, I suppose you could.” He quickly turned to a barrel and turned back again with a mug of ale. “Waes hael, Master Robin,” he said, pushing a bowl of stew to the ravenous young man.

Robin’s stomach groaned at this delay to his meal, but he lifted his mug and answered, “Drink hael,” as his father had taught him before he began to devour the stew. After a moment he stopped, the spoon halfway to his mouth. “Hob, when does the sheriff hold the council of nobles? I need to ask him about Locksley.”

“You’ve heard about your mother, then?” Hob asked sympathetically.

“Aye. They told me it was a fever. Was anyone with her?”

“Some of her maids, I think,” Hob answered after reflecting for a moment. “She was not in pain when she died.”

Robin continued to shovel the stew into his mouth. It was hot – he nearly burned his tongue – but it was hearty and flavorful, and he was hungry. “I need a room for a few nights until I can talk to the sheriff about my manor.”

“They wouldn’t let you stay in your own manor?” Hob’s think eyebrows rose in surprise.

“No. They said that the sheriff had given it to one of his men.”

Hob frowned. “Aye, he put it in the care of his right hand, who gave it to his man Gisborne.”

Noting the way Hob’s lip curled, Robin asked, “You do not think highly of this Gisborne?”

Glancing around, Hob answered, “Not so much Gisborne, but D’arcy.”

“D’arcy?” Robin looked up from his stew. “Not Marian’s father?”

“Na, lad, it ‘ud be her grandfather. The sheriff hired him some time after you left.”

“I can’t imagine he could be too bad,” Robin attempted a grin.

With a snort, Hob rejoined, “You must have a small imagination, lad. When he comes collecting, it’s as if the devil’s at your door.”

Thinking back to his early childhood, Robin could only remember Marian’s grandfather as an old, unpleasant man, not the devil incarnate, as Hob described him. True, Robin had always striven to avoid the old man, but he did seem capable of being cruel. “It can’t go on forever,” he commented, still trying to make light of the situation. “The man must be eighty years old! He’ll have to die sometime.” He lowered his voice as Hob glanced around like a cornered deer.

“Don’t talk so,” the innkeeper murmured fervently. “That’s as good as treason, it is.”

“Phh!” Robin waved a hand in the air. “Hob, you act as if there were spies about!” Noticing the somewhat pained look on the innkeeper’s face, he stopped. “There are spies, aren’t there?” he finished sheepishly.

Hob nodded. “Folk who have no money often earn their living by tale-bearing. I’d wager that many you knew before would be glad to tell your words to the sheriff for a few coins.”

Robin ran his fingers through his forelock, which had grown unkempt. How could so much have changed in the time he had been gone? He moved his spoon around the bowl, only to find it empty. With a sigh, he looked up. “I’d like to see about that room now.”

Josiah and Middle Earth

At youth on Wednesday, we studied Josiah, the sixteenth king of Judah. We’re doing a six-week, 40-minute inductive study called, “How to Make Choices You Won’t Regret.”  In studying Josiah’s life, we also studied his father and grandfather, Manasseh and Amon, who were awful kings: they worshiped idols, encouraged child sacrifice, and did not follow the Lord. Josiah became king when he was eight years old, began to seek the Lord at sixteen, started to cleanse the land completely of idols when he was twenty, and began reconstructing the temple at the age of twenty-six. He was very different from his father and grandfather! During the evening, I was reminded of several examples in Tolkien’s works that prove we do not have to be like our parents and ancestors.

Aragorn, grandson of Isildur

Aragorn is the grandson of the man who refused to destroy the One Ring when he had the chance. Aragorn lives with the shame and burden of his ancestor’s failings, and worries that he may fail, too. Arwen, Aragorn’s betrothed, believes in Aragorn: “You are Isildur’s grandson, not Isildur himself. You are not bound to his fate.”

When the time comes, Aragorn resists the temptation to take the Ring and fights numerous orcs to give Frodo time to get away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror

Thorin’s grandfather became mad with dragon-sickness, greed, and pride. Thror’s love for hoarding gold and jewels led to disputes with the Wood Elves, and brought Smaug the dragon upon his own people and the people of Dale. The Dwarves of Erebor fled from the dragon’s wrath, wandering for several years until Thror tried to re-enter Moria, where he was killed by Azog. (Yes, it’s different than the movie.) Thror had given his son Thrain a Ring of Power, a map of Erebor and the surrounding area, and a key to the mountain. Thrain passed these things (excepting the Ring) on to Thorin before he went wandering.

Thorin has a duty to his people – to do what is best for his people. He set out for Erebor to find the Arkenstone, which would affirm his right to rule. When he cannot find it, he starts to fall under the influence of the dragon-sickness. Here, Thorin has a choice. He can imitate his grandfather and allow his greed to influence him, or he can fight his greed. He succumbs to the dragon-sickness for a while, but is jarred back to reality before the Battle of the Five Armies, conquering his greed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faramir, son of Denethor and Finduilas

Faramir’s father was a proud man, distrustful of Gandalf, who wished to help the people of Gondor. He turned to a palantir to test his strength against Sauron, who was unable to corrupt him, but deceived him into hopelessness. Faramir did not lose hope. He remained faithful, refusing to take the One Ring from Sam and Frodo, accentuating the differences between him and Boromir. Denethor was angered when he heard of Faramir’s doing.

Later Faramir commands the defense of Osgiliath (though he knows it may be futile), staying behind to protect the rearguard. He was wounded by a Southron arrow (not an orc arrow like in the movie) and brought back to Denethor, unconscious. During the battle at the Black Gate, he stayed in the Houses of Healing, where he fell in love with Eowyn, who was also severely wounded. Faramir provides a wonderful contrast to his father and brother.

 

I hope these examples are good reminders to follow God, and “Do Hard Things.”

 

Croatia: Day 6

Wednesday, November 4th

Today we got to tour a bottle factory! Remember on Monday when we taught at a bottle factory? Well, we were invited back for a tour so the workers could practice their English! On Wednesday morning, four of us went to a village closer to Zagreb to distribute more pamphlets about the Gospel.

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We saw several chickens, and called them, “patkas,” or “ducks,” then added, “Quack-quack.” The chickens were not amused.

Sorry. 😉 Anyway, we made it through the village in a few hours, got some kava and čokolada and went back home to the the church for lunch. Then we were off to Vetropack!

When we arrived, I was reminded of a TSYS building. As we walked in, this was set into the floor:

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The tour of the factory was amazing – we got to go inside the control room and see how the furnaces worked. We were able to see the bottles drop from the ceiling in liquid form, watch them as they cooled and traveled along conveyor belts to be checked for defects. We also got to see the bottles packaged and stacked on pallets. Then they invited us to have some juice – in Vetropack bottles, of course – and cheese štrudla, a traditional Croatian pastry. It’s said that if a woman can’t make a good štrudla, no one will marry her. When we had gone to the factory on Monday, my dad mentioned that one of my sisters collected bottles. On Wednesday, a woman came up to us and asked, “Where is the girl who collects bottles?” With that, she handed my sister a bag of three glass bottles, one in the shape of a man. Later, they gave her a matching lady bottle to go with it!

After a lovely time of fellowship, we left for Krapina to teach our evening classes. When we were done, we went to our host’s house for a debriefing meeting, where we had crepes, Nutella, and strawberries. Yum!

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This is our pastor’s wife’s schedule after the week. All the ink markings are the changes that were made throughout the week! (Mine looked much messier because – well, let’s face it – I’m a disorganized person.) This was a learning experience for me: a much needed one. I learned to be “Croatia flexible,” in the words of my sister Rachel. She said, “I thought I was flexible, but I’m not Croatia flexible.”