Friday, November 21, 2014

{baking bread} ~ First time making cranberry orange bread in our new home

My new measuring cups are getting lots of 
good use!

This is the bread that I baked
last week when I went to practice
highway driving for the second time.

The yeast bloomed well and rose nicely!
And I remembered to score the tops!

Mr. Husband and I enjoy this toasted
with jam.

I froze the second loaf in preparation for a friend
coming to tea.
Recipe here and here.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

{Cooking at Home} ~ Chicken Salad with Grapes & Cran-raisins

I had a newer friend over for tea
and I made a lovely
chicken salad.
Inspiration for this came from three places:
1. My Mother's recipe.
2. This one
3. And this one.

Cooked chicken thighs, about three of them, cut up.
I used about a cup of half mayo / half sour cream,
a cup of grapes sliced, half cup of cran-raisins, salt, pepper,
1 tsp lemon juice, egg shell pasta cooked, mixed in at end.

It was quite delightful! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Light in the Window, GKC & Blanket Stripes

My textured Blanket is progressing!
I admit to feeling impatient with it,
as it feels like I am never making the progress 
I mean to make!
But I have done a few stripes since last week
so am pleased with that...

And I am pleased with how it is going
and think it will be a great and warm
lap blanket!!

I am on a Jan Karon kick.
Explains how why my wish for 
even more blanket progress 
is not happening! :)
I am just enjoying the Fr. Tim saga a lot;
I read it years ago and it is a joy to reread;
I am finding it a lovely cheery and bright place to be.
Also reading The Man Who Was Thursday by GK Chesterton
for an Advent Read along with
So far the book seems very much classic Chesterton 
and very well written.
What are you making and reading?
Yarn Along with us!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

{Around the House} ~ Amish Quilt: a gift from Mr. Husband's parents many years ago

A while back I heard Mr. Husband 
mention that his parents had
given him a quilt to celebrate his 
long years of scholastic achievement and completion.
That this quilt was made by the Amish in Wisconsin
and was subtle,
trompe l'oeil ... you either see it all or
see nothing but a blue sheet...perhaps 
seeing that is a quilted blue blanket...

Subtle it is but sublime in it's 
beauty, wreathed with many flowers!

A beautiful boarder.

A Stunning Centre.

A beautiful thing for a Bridge of now
two years to discover in her husband's possessions
newly unearthed!

The artistry, the detail and design is first rate.

A lovely bedspread for winter time,
and my beloved husband's favourite colour.

I am so glad to be married to my 
beloved husband and make
a beautiful home for him!
Finding this most thoughtful gift 
from his parents was just delightful!

Monday, November 17, 2014

{Around the House} ~ progress and continued effort

We finally got a shelf for above the kitchen 
sink a few weeks back...

The bare wood in front will be stained at a later
time...for now I am just glad to get this up
and to have my beloved
icon of the Theotokos, Virgin of Vladimir,
up in my kitchen...
such a sweet and most-loved icon!

This is what my kitchen looks too many times
during the week...
it's a constant effort to keep things from being cluttered!
So much of our lives is full of the routines
of clutter / cleaning / trying-to-keep-clutter-from-happening
and clutter again...
At least God and the Mother of God are with us
no matter what our kitchens look like...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Planning for Nativity in 2014

This year Thanksgiving and Western Christmas
are close together and I can see that this 
Nativity Season is going to be very full!
planning is in it's second year.
Here's what I came up with...

November 27: Thanksgiving Day ~ go to prayers or liturgy for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving meal with friends and church family.
November 28: Fast begins! Make a joyful fasting meal to celebrate! Locate Christmas decorations.
November 29: order a Christmas ornament for our Christmas tree.  Find lights to put up in our kitchen and living room.
November 30: Sunday Liturgy.  
Begin reading Christmas book with Mr. Husband.

December 1 : This year I need to find an artificial Christmas tree for our home.
I am quite excited about this! 
Put out first of Christmas icons (the one of Christ).
December 2 : Change coffee table to Christmas Colours. 
December 3: Work on St. Nicholas Gifts.
December 4 ~ Thursday: Entry of the Most Holy Mother of God ~ Go to liturgy.  Remember my Oma and 
do something in her name for another person.  Fish day!
December 5: Put out two Nativity Icons.  Put up Christmas tree!
December 6: Prepare for St. Katherine’s Day (meal, find prayers, clean icon).
December 7: Sunday Liturgy ~ St. Katherine’s Day ~ honour her icon, 
light candles by it and pray for those esp with her name.  
Pray prayers to her.  
Make a special meal in her honour.  Fish Day! 
December 8: Christmas Knitting for tree ornaments done today. Put out Christmas plate and other decorations.  If we have our extra freezer by now in our new home, begin baking St. Nicholas Day cookies to 
carefully freeze for St. Nicolas Day. If do not have a freezer yet then
look at plans for December 16 and switch out activities (shopping) to this day.
December 9: Work on St. Nicholas and Christmas gifts, plan and shop for special meal for Kursk Root Icon.   Prepare and wrap gifts for friends and family.  
Start praying parts of Akathist for this icon in the evening.

December 10: Kursk Root Icon ~ Special meal for Kursk Root Icon and remembering the healing of St. Seraphim as a child. 
Plan, prepare and shop for Holy Supper and Christmas.
December 11:  Work more on Christmas gift plans.
 St. Nicholas Cookies baking continued DV with freezer ready.
December 12:  Christmas Gift shopping for the short people in our lives. 
Put wrapped gifts under Christmas tree.
December 13: Put out the Nativity Books.
December 14:  Sunday Liturgy
December 15: Plan special meal for St. Nicholas Day Dinner. Begin listening to Christmas music.   Bake for St. Nicholas Day.
December 16: Do grocery shopping for St. Barbara's Day, St. Nicholas Day, the Holy Supper and Christmas or bake St. Nicholas Day cookies. 
Best to do the last minute grocery Shopping for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day early! Buy a special wine for Holy Supper and the Christmas Season.
December 17: Great Martyr Barbara ~ put out icon of St. Barbara and pray for those with her name.  Read Chesterton's poem on St. Barbara.  
Bake Saint Nicholas Cookies and prepare treats for shoes. 
Have a special dinner for St. Barbara.  
This year St. Barbara's day corresponds 
with Mr. Husband's 
work's holiday party so we will have 
a festive lunch instead.

December 18: St. Nicholas Eve ~ Finish Preparing for St. Nicolas Day ~ if possible go to vigil for St. Nicolas Day 
or pray the Akathist to St. Nicholas, put out St. Nicholas Icon
December 19: Saint Nicholas Day ~ Go to liturgy and give out goodies ~ Sister’s Birthday
December 20: Begin listening to Christmas music and 
put out coffee table sized Christmas Tree.
December 21: Sunday Liturgy

December 22:  Christmas preparations and planning; plan for birthdays and names days in near future.  Prepare to make Christmas tea.
December 23: Special Baking and Knitting. Look at meal plan for Holy Supper on Christmas Eve, make list of what I will need
 in terms of last minute groceries & look at plans made on Dec. 16.
December 24: Special Baking and Knitting.  Planning special meal for St. Herman’s Day.
December 25: Saint Spyridon and Saint Herman ~ honour these Saints, put out their icons, pray special prayers to them.  Read books on these Saints.  
December 26: St. Lucia ~ Search for icon for her for next year and research books on her.
December 27: Have time spent with ones dear to us, Special baking.
December 28: Sunday Liturgy.  Have time spent with ones dear to us, remembering to pray for those who are far.

December 29: My Birthday ~ special meal with loved ones near by.
December 30: Mr. Husband’s Name Day ~ special meal planned.
December 31: Enjoy civil holiday with Mr. Husband either at home or at a monastery.  If home make special Lenten food.
January 1:  New Years Day.  If possible be at a monastery.  If not then spend special time with Mr. Husband and others; have a special meal. 
Do prayers of Thanksgiving for the new year (on the civil calendar).
January 2: St. John of Kronstadt’s Day ~ Honour his icon, do prayers to him, read his book.  Plan Christmas Dinner for Second Day of Christmas.
January 3: Review list for Holy Supper! Enjoy the anticipation. 
January 4: Sunday before Nativity.
January 5: Pack things for Holy Supper including special table cloth, candles and candle holder. Print prayers for Holy Supper.  Bake. 
Prepare borsht for the Holy Supper.

January 6: Prepare Holy Supper ~ table cloth, candles and meal.  
Have Holy Supper and Christmas Eve Vigil.  

January 7: Christmas! Spent at church and with special friends. 

January 8: Second Day of Christmas
Special dinner and opening gifts if not opened on Christmas night. 
Bake special Christmas cookies for this season to pass out to friends.
January 9: Third Day of Christmas. St. Stephen's day. Have a special Christmas Dinner with friends.
January 10: Fourth Day of Christmas. 
January 11: Sunday ~ Fifth Day of Christmas.  Church Christmas party!
January 12: Sixth Day of Christmas. 
January 13: Seventh Day of Christmas.
January 14: Eighth Day of Christmas.  Circumcision of Christ and St. Basil’s Day ~ make cake for St. Basil and a special meal.
January 15: Ninth Day of Christmas. St. Seraphim's Day ~ clean and honour his icon, read from a book on St. Seraphim,
 do prayers for his intercession. 
Pray esp. for all those known whose name day it is.
January 16: Tenth Day of Christmas.
January 17: Eleventh Day of Christmas.
January 18: 12th Day of Christmas. Vigil for Theophany.
January 19: Theophany ~  Liturgy and Meal with friends. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday, oh Friday...

I woke early this morning, insomnia.
I feel like I am in the middle of a million things
and my heart is having a hard time containing it all.
As if my heart is at once both joyful and light
but yet on the floor weeping.
I've had the joy of finally baking again.
I accidentally bought too many apples
in the confusion of weeks and last week's fridge adventure.

I baked up an apple cake.
It's in the freezer safely wrapped up tight.
I have been using my new measuring cups
and just love them.

They are easier to clean, can mix cinnamon and sugar in the 
measuring cup, pour easily...
just have to be careful not to drop them or put them
near the edge of the counter when baking.
I baked the apple cake on Wednesday
and Mr. Husband asked if it was fasting, but no, 
it was not so I quick whipped up a so all
batch of apple crisp from Katherine's recipe
that is now taken down...thankfully I had Mr. Husband print it!
(I miss her blog, but just know she needed
to go 'underground' for need of silence)
I hope to blog about this recipe in the future
so all is not lost...

The apple crisp was lovely with coconut oil,
raw sugar and maple syrup.
Then after dinner, I cut up more apples and made
two loafs of Dutch Apple Cake.
Both in freezer as well.
The house has smelled so good with baking...
Yesterday I baked two loaves of

 In the middle of that,
while the bread was rising,
I went on another 1 hour driving lesson.
Half of it in normal city driving, speed limits
generally slow from 25 to 35 mph.
Then I did a good 20 plus minutes on the NJ turnpike.
I need to get used to highway driving and did so 
during rush hour.
It was intense, hard to keep my speed up, and I was
rather miserable side instead of enjoying it.
I just could not calm down/get over my nerves.
At least I got to go back home and finish baking
the bread....


And then my boots came!
And they fit!
est miracle!
I've been listening to these sermons and 
thinking of Ottawa.
I've been missing French and wishing I could take it again.
But seriously, I have too much going on to do it.
I am still working on building a life here
and once again it takes so much time and energy.
I am a person who is an introvert but who in Ottawa
had a good amount of friends,
some of who are no longer there either,
and I am really missing these.
I am thankful for my new life,
but just aware that I am still in the building stage of it
and it's hard and tiring at times.
I really appreciated this article on loneliness
and what to do about it.
I ordered a Christmas tree last night.
YES, that early.
A reviewer of it posted this 'real life' photo of it:

It was well under $$100.00 mark and I got three strands of lights for it.
My very Geeky Mr. Husband helped me with how many lights for it.
The conversation went like this:

How big is it?
He then asked me to look up circumference formula ...I googled it and found:
Inline images 1
and right away Mr. Husband uses the formula, just standing there and says,
Ok, it's going to be :
120 inches to go around at bottom, at top, 24 inches (or less) around at top
and with cord length two strings will be:
6 times around with two of them, 1 every foot 
So I got three strands, as I want it more than every foot 
and we will go from there.
I got one strand of hanging twinkle white lights.
I am thinking of the two big windows
perpendicular to where the tree will be.
I bought a wreath for our door.
I told Mr. Husband before that if I ever had to 
choose what a church would be named for,
it would be Holy Nativity.
It's the beginning of our salvation,
it is God Emmanuel,
God with us.
It is the hope of all the earth,
of all the heavens and the deep...
God is with us,
let everyone understand, 
that God is with us...
I can still hear my Ottawa spiritual father sing it in 
Great Compline for Christmas...
It will be my DV third Christmas here...
I still can't think of what the music for Christmas sounds
like in my new church, but I know
it will be beautiful and Christmas Eve
esp. special...
I am grateful:
God is with us.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Wedding in Early November

Mr. Husband and I were
so glad to be invited to a wedding where we live!

It was beautiful, as I find all Orthodox weddings to be...

I always find the crowning at the end
to be the most moving parts of an Orthodox wedding.

 At the reception there were three
'first dances' that were quite moving,
the bride and groom,
the father and bride
the mother and groom.

Very beautiful!

The 'sweetheart's table'

Their wedding icons.

This rusynk was made by a dear friend
of theirs and the couple was hand-tied with it.

It was a lovely afternoon and evening!