Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Beautiful Sunshine and a book on Beginnings

More blue squares are knit and sewn on 

Lots of wash clothes knit for early
Christmas knitting! 

Written by a well known Orthodox Monastic
to those just beginning their inward and outward
journey in a monastery,
I am finding it very relevant to us in
our everyday lives.
I love how it begins with the need to love God & others
as the most important thing
and then goes from there.
I found this paragraph really striking and comforting 
at the same time...
that God requires only of us what we've been given:

What are you reading and creating?
Do yarn along with us today!

Monday, September 15, 2014

About today...

It was Friday night;
we were finally at the weekend after
another busy week, when Mr. Husband
talked to our downstairs neighbours,
who had mentioned concerns of mice
once the weather turned cool.
Well, they have since seen mice in their place.
So we suddenly knew I had to step up
the work on the pantry.
Those flours not yet in glass jars, 
those stash of chocolate bars from Ottawa,
my cocoa (baking and drinking) in cardboard,
best to put in glass.
The teas too; the pasta, the nuts, Cleo's food...
the list grew quickly.

Mr. Husband went shopping and bought 18 half gallon jars;
picture above shows them ready to be cleaned... 
I ordered more supplies from Target; funny enough,
Mr. Husband had mentioned getting the vintage coloured glass 
jars for teas when I was in Ottawa; coloured as it will
help the tea last longer because of light, etc.
And so some vintage glass mason jars are 
on their way, along with some clear glass canisters.

I had already put my GF Arrow Root flour/starch in jars
last week.  We are on the hunt also for pickle jars,
big ones, to wash/sterilize and use.

I am currently running a huge batch of quart mason
jars in the dishwasher to sterilize them
and use for my smaller amounts of things;
GF brownie mix; corn meal; baking powder; 
I did some research ~ this one talked about how to do a pantry and
And this one makes me think I want to store our 
Cheerios just like this.

On other notes,
many have been wondering about my driving lesson.
Thank you.
So for the first hour I was taken to very urban streets
with up to four lanes, lots of turns, esp. left hand turns,
lots of driving in small NJ cities that I had not once been in 
before that.
I was borderline miserable and felt 
the hour was just dragging by.
I was nervous and had a lot to get used to again, as
it's been 10 years and things like how mirrors work,
changing lanes in busy traffic, turning in big intersections,
and the like.
But THEN: I was behind a school bus. I saw kids.
Thought of how kids calm me down and I love them.
And then I had remembered the happy happy news:
Mr. Husband and I were asked to be godparents 
of a lovely less than 1 month old, baptism next Month!
A girl, our first god daughter, our first godchild we 
have been given together.
And then I was calm, happy and hour two,
which lead us to locales that I knew well and the small town
we used to live in before we moved,
was lovely and went well.

So Mr. Husband noticed this stain glass.
The ten commandments being outweighed 
by the nails of Christ on the Cross.
A beautiful image.
We must remember the hope we have in Christ...
So yesterday was Sunday School...lesson two... 
I wrote about how it went here...
One thing I did not mention there was that
when I got to the church basement
(more on that later) the cooler weather was immediately apparent:
mice visited again. 
I spent all of the hours (the prayers before liturgy) and a bit of the beginning of
liturgy (you can hear it all from downstairs) wiping down the tables
and chairs with Lysol wipes, until I was sure everything was clean.
Part of life is just dealing with what is at hand and 
very much with reality.
Our church is working on the building as best they can 
and they have made huge strides in the last years.
I mention this in part to be sure that it is understood that
while blogs are pretty and children marvelous,
we often have to do things in less than ideal places.
But this is life. 
And I am so glad to be teaching the kids where we are
instead of waiting for some mythical 'perfect' place to teach, etc...
Talk about an added motivation for getting our home pantry ready
in case mice visit us.
Lord have mercy.
Mr. Husband's already bought mice traps; we are certainly not using
poison as the risk of secondary poison on my Cleo Cat is quite real.
I will be so glad when the order from target arrives later this week... 

Things I have learned since our wedding... {year two}

You can never say "I love you" enough.

Reading Books out loud, together, is one of our favourite things.

Laughter, kindness and teasing is part of building love and
creating a life together.

"Forgive me a sinner" or "I apologize"
are an important part of a healthy marriage's 

I am aware that our marriage is still young
and that we will continue to mature...

But even young things can be sweet...

Loyalty, trust and commitment. 

Sharing is essential. 

Giving together often gives part of the glue
of staying together. 
I am so grateful.
(photos by bryan and mae)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Small Prayer Request

This afternoon I am taking 
what I hope is my first 2 hour driving lesson,
after not driving in 10 years.
Asking your prayers!

Our 2 year anniversary...

We were driving to our old
favourite restaurant with pricefix meals,
when we realized that traffic was really bad
and we may not make the 5:30 pm cut off time.
So we called them and sure enough,
we would be too late.
So rather than stress about traffic and have to find parking
in our old town, 
we just turned around and went to our second choice,
which is near our near-by church...
It was nice...
Unusual to us, they had chick peas with a 
wooden mortar and pastel to mash them with
instead of butter. 

I had roasted brussels sprouts (they were good!
I shared them with Mr. Husband),
mashed potatoes and off the bone beef rib. 

It was really good and we have left overs
from it in the freezer :)
And then we returned to find our 
dear friends left us this
beautiful bouquet of flowers:

And so it was brought in and immediately 
graced our table! 

Cleo was waiting for us.
We had some presents we gave to each other
and cards to open!

The flowers added such beauty! 

We were full from dinner so
we just had some nice 
chocolaty chai tea 
in our special matching tea cups... 

Mr. Husband outdid himself,
having three bags for me to my one bag for him!

I had gotten this book almost a year ago,
with the understanding that Mr. Husband would 
put it in his 'stash' for gifts for me for later.
In our typical Ortho-humour we found it funny
to be given such a Lenten book on our anniversary... :)

Mr. Husband gave me this Holy Week CD as well~
I am saving it for DV Lent 2015!

Most Romantically, he also gave me
We had gotten this one used at the Strand
a while back...

I had a first edition of GK Chesterton's
The Common Man
which we enjoyed looking at together,
reading the table of contents while enjoying our hot tea.
It was a lovely evening!
We are so happy to be married to each other
and it is so companionable to be married to a fellow
bookish person who shares not only a love of books,
but a love of authors and the love of God.

Father John a Monk: letters

Years ago I was told that it is 
this Abbot Ioann
who is Fr. John the Monk
who wrote the letters in the beloved book,
that I have often written of here.
When I was told, I was given this picture...
I recently became aware of the photo archives of
and happily found this photo...
of which I have one in my copy of his letters,
plus one framed in my old bedroom at my parents house...
He has such a peaceful and kind face.
I am so glad for this photo and his letters.
If you have not read them,
you are in for a treat

Thursday, September 11, 2014

{reminiscing}: marriage, roses and the icon of the Holy Trinity

(photo by bryan and mae)
I am putting rose petals by the icons,
one of the last things I did before
I was married.
Last time I wore only my engagement ring,
which you can see on my finger...
I read somewhere that to be married and 
to serve within marriage
is to serve the Holy Trinity.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

{about today} Much to be thankful for...

Like my kitchen window in our old place, 
I found this to be a beautiful and peaceful scene 
and I am thankful for it...

I found this funny. 

Mr. Husband's lunch
(he had jury duty)...

My friend made this wonderful chicken soup...
she took pity on my cold and I know the
soup did wonders!
I am better other than some use of Kleenex,
which may be allergy related...

To celebrate feeling better, on Monday
I had my end of summer treat:
an ice cream snickers bar from
the local Bodega :)
I had one at the beginning of summer and 
one at the end...
And that are the many things I am thankful for!
Not to mention, of course, my marriage of now
two years to Mr. Husband!
What are you thankful for today?

{reminiscing}: our wedding day, our marriage, our life here

(photos by bryan and mae)

(photos by bryan and mae)

My Grandma's wedding dress that is now my wedding dress...
I remember telling my Grandmother before 
I had even heard of Mr. Husband's existence,
that I wanted to wear her wedding dress at my wedding.... 

(photos by bryan and mae)

The veil... made to match the style of 
when my Grandmother got married, 
in the late 1940s... 

(photos by bryan and mae)

My red komboskini that I wore the first time at my wedding
and now wear on Pascha...with the red Cross also...
the two crystal coloured Crosses were for my Sister
and my wedding sponsor...
all from Holy Dormition Monastery... 
and my now old red and white cell phone... 
I was about to gain everything through marriage
yet I lost my beloved Ottawa...
It took me time to be able to really voice the fact that
I left something... 
but I did, something wonderful, I left
but for something equally or even more wonderful;
so many of my dreams have come true that I never knew could.
I am married to my best friend.
I get to do the church bookstore and Sunday school at my 
now not as new far-away church.
I have learned new places, learned to knit, read new authors,
expanded my experience of Orthodoxy now having,
through my time as a student in BC and London, 
my time in Michigan, my years in Ottawa and now in NJ,
I've been part of four different Orthodox jurisdictions.
(The Orthodox church has various jurisdictions that were formed
by different immigrant groups here in North America; our doctrine and 
liturgics is the same; just different Orthodox cultural groups).
I have more than one church home.
And it is good.
I would say that my marriage and move have widened my 
ability to know and see different ways within the church 
and see all the goodness in each one.
My Dad told me before I got married
that if in marriage we put the other first, then it is heaven on earth.
We try to remember this;
we ask forgiveness; we laugh; we tease; we make up stories,
we write poems...
I am so glad for the two years of marriage
and pray for many more, with health and salvation! 

Baby Blue Sunshine Blanket and Recollections of Jerusalem

I've been working on the
I hope to finish this up soon so it 
can be delivered to the baby boy who is now 
4 months old
(and super cute, FB pictures are just great)!
I am reading so many things...
and of course so what do I do but start another new book! 
an excellent and very well written book!
It is capturing the author's childhood and 
how things were in the early-to-mid 1900s for so many
from Russia who were escaping with their lives
to other countries... 
it is an absorbing read! 

Recollections of Jerusalem
In other news,
it's been a great week here!
Mr. Husband and I just celebrated 
If you love Tolkien or CS Lewis and have 
do check it out!
Meanwhile what are you reading and creating?
Yarn along with us! 

PS: did you see the now two bags from Wanda that I have?
I can't say enough how much I love her bags! :)