Sunday, May 15, 2022

Well That's Better At Least

 


We went away just for Sat-Sunday.  I got some great yogurt and jam last night!  

Worshipped with a long time NJ-life (as in my life since I moved here) friend this morning and visit with her family afterwards.  

I just feel like my mind, at least for a moment, is a little more clear.  I read a lot about a holy Greek monk who was newly sainted this past year.  

I have two goals for my writing project this summer (finish reading 2 big books).  Narrowing it down (actually it's still a lot) has helped my stress levels as my writing project has so many facets that just doing 2 over the summer is more than enough.  And it's needed work to see what I am actually doing as they are the most key books I have to finish for the reasearch part.  (I have lots more research to do but these books are more 'primary' and the rest is more 'secondary' research). 

Anyway.  Life is still quite busy but even having a moment when I feel my head clear, even if only for a snatch of time, is a blessing.

I know some people have had a hard time commenting.  Sorry I have not been able to look into that yet.  It's been busy and I have not even unpacked from being away overnight...

May God have mercy on us all!



Saturday, May 14, 2022

Here I am again

 

I booked a plane ticket for mid-summer for me to be at my sister's foster son's birthday party.  He will be 3.  And so far it seems that his bioDad, in the end, will have him (as in take him from my sister and brother-in-law).  We were told originally, and until last year, that he was going to be in our forever family.  I am 46 next birthday and have no children, which was one of my biggest dreams of my life that did not come true.  So you can understand that this is very hard for me personally.  Losing my foster nephew who I held as a baby thinking, as we all did, that he was going to be adopted by my sister (like his half sister was the summer before he was born) is incredibly painful. 

I can't go into more details than this other than to say that the foster care system failed numerous times in the management of this case and the failures themselves are awful for everyone (including the biodad).

I can only ask your prayers as we have no choice in traveling this unexpected path of grief.  

Monday, May 09, 2022

16 Pairs of Socks






I got behind on laundry (and my Husband inadvertnaly hid my dirty socks, long but simple story) and finally I will have socks clean again. 

I am so tired it's ridiculous.

Monday is supposed to be my rest day.  But I can't function in a messy house.  And I needed socks.  

I did talk with a friend, my dear dear friend in Romania.  That alone is a profound blessing. 

I am hoping go to away this weekend.  So this week is going to involve a lot of rest just so I can do this. It's one of those if I don't grab the opportunity, it will be a long time before it comes again. 

I bought a cute skirt at the VNA. With these (last picture) shiny flowers.  8 fell off when I dried it (we dry all linens that we get used to be sure they are 'bug free' before we even wash them).  

I would love to sew them back on (there is lots on this skirt) but realistically I won't have the time. 

The top teapot picture is slightly blurry.  It's a really cute one, vintage Japan teapot, most likely from the 1950s.  I got it for 10$ at the VNA rummage sale.  I love it. 

I am sleeping better but once I have a super bad night of sleep it takes days for me to recover.

May God have mercy on us all. 
  

Sunday, May 08, 2022

Beauty for today

 


Isn't this plate/saucer and teacup darling? in MINT condition! Got on Friday at the VNA rummage sale.  Thursday night I had terrible insomina again so taking it much easier this coming week. 

Sending my love to all those grieving today on what for others is a happy Mother's day.

God is with us and He loves us. 

Thursday, May 05, 2022

I can only say this once

My phone won't let me download pictures right now 😳🙄🤦‍♀️

I know that I am not here much. My writing project is taking over my brain not to mention my time. 

I am trying to post nearly daily here


So you can have a snippet into my life. 

I am doing well. I have a crazy full schedule from here through mid-July. That's right I really did just say mid-July. 

I am not sleeping through the night again so am extra exhausted. 

The w-a-r continues to break my heart. 

My writing project challenges me in mindblowing ways wonderful intense and sometimes difficult. 

I was in NYC yesterday it was GLORIOUS. and I bought a new pink cream lip stain and it was just the frivolous fun I needed. 

Seriously life is beautiful hard and a wild ride. I am so thankful for my one beautiful life.

Do keep tabs on me via Instagram. You can go to the website without having an account. You are welcome there. 

Sorry I don't have the strength for daily blogging.  

Pray for me if you would. If my writing project works I hope to publish (seriously in about 10 years it's an ambitious project).

You all are a gift to me. ❤🙏🕯🌷🌸

CHRIST IS RISEN 
GOD IS WITH US 

Dear hearts never despair 
God is with us. 
❤🙏🕯

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Bright Tuesday 2022

I managed to make chicken salad, egg salad sandwiches and beef roast slices with cheddar cheese mini buns. 

My friend Photini and I had a nice visit. 

Tomorrow other friends are visiting and we hope to visit other friends as well. 

May God so grant.🙏

Monday, April 25, 2022

Bright Monday 2022

Bright Monday.  I tried all 3 of my new Pascha teas.  I had my favourite soup. Take out.  I am feeling a bit rung out. Tomorrow I am making a simple tea for myself and my friend Photini.  

May God preserve us and save us.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Pascha 2022

Pascha was very good 💗💐🙏🕯☦ 💗 Two pictures of our evening Pascha table. 

3 hours of sleep necessitate a short post as I am going to sleep now!

Christ is Risen!

Friday, April 22, 2022

sleep that elusive sleep

Meanwhile Holy Week is so beautiful. Deeply immersive. A church friend said that he read that the grace within Holy week can sustain us for a year. It really is deeply special. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

Onward

Great Lent has ended... now for the bridge between Lent and Holy Week... I am glad... my heart has a lot of heaviness about some things in the world as it is now... how deeply we need Christ and the immersive Holy Week to reorient our lives! 

May God bless us and save us and have mercy on us! 

Wednesday, April 06, 2022

beginning to turn towards Pascha


I put careful small stitches in two sides of this rushnyk in the middle with some of the white folded carefully. So that it would fit on my table better. I stitched it loosely so I can easily undo it later if needed. 

It felt very poignant to put this one away. This was put out before the w-a-r began. 

I realized that I never put up my Lenten icons this year. The horror beginning February 24th really derailed me.  

I don't think any of us will realize how difficult it has been until later. 

We ordered our Pascha bread this year from a Monastery. It came today and is now in the freezer. 

We went to church tonight. A real blessing. 

Every day a little more progress. Soon I will put up more Pascha/Easter decorations. 

May the Lord have mercy on us. 

Once Again, I Can't Sleep...

 

I may have slept but if I did, I woke again. 

So.  Here I am. It's 12:30 AM EST here.  I am not overly worried about sleep right now because I know I still have a chance at it and overall have been sleeping better again. 

So yesterday (Tuesday) my Husband was back at work again (as in office, in NYC).  He goes in sometimes now, the virus situation here is stable at the moment.  And I do mean at the moment, I have no idea when and if it will surge again.  This is profoundly a time when all we can do is 'constantly pivot' as things are in a great deal of flux. 

I feel like I am learning to do that in life.  I feel in ways that I am growing up a lot.  I mean, I know I am an adult, I am 45 years old now.  But I have had to do a lot of growing, learning, as we all hope we are doing.  Some of the work in this way has taken me decades.  

Like I used to not know what to do with sadness. Or anxiety. And I will always struggle with both.  I am wired that way. 

BUT.  I am not as afraid of it.  And anxiety is harder for me to deal with than sadness.  Here's the thing:

Learning to deal with hard emotions is a lot of work. For me, I have realized some simple but deep truths:

*don't ignore or avoid the feeling of sadness or worry.  Instead FEEL it. Acknowlege it.  BUT. Don't Get Stuck In It.* 

So.  Yeah. My writing project helps me not get stuck.  I am reading, slowly, a book of short stories by Dorothy Sayers so I don't get stuck in it.  

Another way to say it is:

*Change the Channel.*

If I start shutting down because of huge anxiety then it's time to PIVOT. It's time to do something else.  Then the name of the game is DISTRACT myself about what I am worried about so that I don't get stuck there and instead can move on to something else and REBALANCE. 

It's not about denial of worry.  It's what I have learned to do WITH IT. 

And if I stuff it down and ignore it, and don't look at it at all, then I will merely have it blow up later (often the same day) and will be shut down by it.

Feel it. Acknowlege it. Don't Get Stuck In it.

I mean if I was Saintly I would just be so aware of God's presence and peace while living in my life with all it's disperate struggles.  Since I am not, the above is how I have learned to deal with it.

And yes, prayer should be part of it. But seriously if I am getting stuck I will do anything (that still is God honouring) to get past it.  Reading a little bit of Agatha Christie to do so is fully OK. 

Anxiety used to shut me out and shut me down.  

Learning to cope with one's own self is a huge process.  And I will be learning as long as I live as I know that, for instance, anxiety, is a huge struggle for me personally. 

Yesterday, which is kind of still ongoing since I am not sure if I fully slept yet, was a good day.  I had the house to myself (rare since the pandemic began).  I did some research for my writing project.  Ordered 2 books on it.  My mind continued to be amazed (mind blown) about what I am learning.  

I loved this by a new to me author who, in her case, wound up writing huge novels that had huge sucess 


I can tell you one thing.  My writing project, if God every allows it to be finished, is going to take me YEARS.  I am guessing 10 years.  Maybe more.  And that also is FULLY OK. 

And I can tell you something else. IT'S SO FUN. I am loving it so much.  

And without it, I feel like I would be on the floor depressed and unable to get up.

With it, conversely, I am able to better handle my life, better able to deal with sadness, even anxiety.  It's like so much better that I don't even care if, in the end, it's not published.

YES I want it to be.  But it's so much fun that I can just stay in today and not know it's future (or my own!). 

So basically it's an Act of God in my life holding me up.

I have some real griefs right now.  And yes, insomnia happens to me when I am in grief.  But I have a way through.

I can't tell you, again, how greatful I am for each of you and for those who comment, who pray, for email me when I tell you I am struggling.

I am sorry I can't always be here on my blog like I used to be.  It's just that life - and - my writing project - are quite time consuming. 

It's like I have an autodidact PhD and the 'dissertation' is what I ended up writing and the research is real (and so FUN) but thankfully there is no language learning requirement because then it may never get done LOL.

Well, it's nearly 1 AM.  I am going to try to go back to the magical place called 'a good night's sleep'.

God bless you all, each and every one. May the Lord save us, have mercy on us, comfort us, protect us and bring us through whatever huge struggle we are now in.  ❤

Monday, April 04, 2022

today and an unexpected gift

 

A friend and I just finally exchanged Christmas (!) gifts yesterday, Sunday.  We were busy so opened our gift today.  And inside was this beautiful rushnyk.  It's vintage, made in Lviv Ukriane when it was still part of the USSR (it had a tag, I translated it with google's help!). 

I already know that I will put it on my table where I have my writing table or my 'tea for two' table.  I will change it out soon for Pascha. 

You can imagine, realizing my friend found this for me months ago, had it for me in January (we kept missing each other) and now I am given it.  Well.  So many layers of meaning. 

Today was a pretty good day. This is a very busy week. I have something everyday till next Monday (thankfully tomorrow I can be home, it's online stuff). 

thank you again everyone who left a comment.  I really appreciate each and everyone. 

May God have mercy on us all.

Sunday, April 03, 2022

I need to write this down

first thanks so much everyone who commented or emailed me about my last post.  I can't say anything more about it but thank you so very much. 

I want to share a story about the w-a-r and this is your 'trigger warning' because one thing I share is especially heartbreaking. 

Ok. So recently I was talking with one of my friends with Ukrianian connections.  I know lots of people that fit that catagory. 

It was heartwrenching. 

It was a story of a woman who had to grab her children, her sister's children and FLEE because of the w-a-r ... on her way to a safe place to go into Poland, she saw a two year old child (this is going to be hard to read FYI).  The child was sitting all alone on top of his recently killed mother.  My friend pronounced the word killed as 'kilt' which I looked up and Google told me this:

As verbs the difference between kill and kilt

is that kill is to put to death; to extinguish the life of while kilt is to gather up (skirts) around the body.

And that woman with her own children, her sister's children, saw this young child, two years old on top of it's dead mother, grabbed the orphaned baby and ran to the escape into Poland. 

She gathered up the child like the verb kilt

So I don't know about you, but I am crying just writing this so I remember and can tell you about it.

Thankfully she did not have problems at the boarder (no papers on the child to identify the child or mother) but this is w-a-r and she could not leave a child at 2 in the chaos with a mother who no longer is alive to care for the child.  

She is working on getting legal papers for the child now. 

The person narrating this to me told me that the first week of the w-a-r she could not sleep and does not even remember feeding her own children.  And this person is someone Stateside who has family overseas were the w-a-r is.  

Yeah.

So.

I cried about this recently again.  

This is why I can't read too much news.  I can't because I am not only a highly sensitive person; but because I can get news first hand from many who I know personally. 

Talk about getting a crash course on life and what it means to be a Christian. 

But these stories are so important.  And so, I am recording it here, to have a small marker as a tribute to the awful tragegy and pain of w-a-r. 

*******

Other than this, I am doing pretty well.  My writing project continues to hold me up and hold my interest.  I am in grief but also functioning.  I still laugh, wash the dishes, bake.  I get lost in thoughts about math.  Or I think about ideas and connections between them.  I got news of a couple's upcoming marriage and rejoiced.  

****

May God have mercy on us all. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Here we are again. Wednesday midpoint of Great Lent 2022


I can't fully comment on this book yet but am very hopeful. 

I have had a great loss. I am OK. And I can't talk about it directly here. But I wake up at 3 AM and cry briefly. Or I get up early and 10 minutes later I am crying and my Husband gives me a hug. The beginning was the worst, that first facing of my unexpected loss.  Then I wept. The pain was so sharp so bitter so unexpected. I felt like I would rather die than feel the pain of it. 

But here's the thing. I love life. I love living more than ever. By which I mean I have learned a lot about letting myself feel grief so I am not stuck in it. It is painful. But not all the time painful. 

And it's not as deep as other griefs that I have had or that I may one day have. 

And I cry and then make myself tea. I read a bit more about math and my mind whirs into action. Or I read a bit on prayer and find myself pondering. 

We had Indian takeout for dinner. Or rather I did because my Husband needed a bland diet. Indian food is my comfort food. Especially during Great Lent. 

It tasted so good. 

My writing project is still so exciting to me. My internal life feels so alive. 

At the same time I have so much growth I hope for. 

But one can only truly grow slowly. You can't drink a swimming pool worth of water in one day.  If you tried to inhale that much water in one day you would die.

So even my writing project...it's going to take years.

But it's giving me life. It's helping me swim in different and difficult times. 

And so I am very grateful. And my days, even if I have some grief, are joyfilled. Are alive. Though I can get weary. 

May the Lord have mercy on us. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

here we are, briefly


Lent sure has its challenges! 

Not a lot to say. But I am doing OK and thankful for God's mercy. 

Monday, March 21, 2022

A Special Tea Time


I had a really lovely full day today! I saw my dear friend Heather and her daughter! We laughed talked and loved our lunch at Tea and Sympathy! We went tea shopping! Four shops in all! I got some special tea for Pascha time! It was a real gift to me! 

I don't have many times like this so they are all the more special...

I went to Trader Joe's afterwards and got some lenten staples which was great!

It's things that I used to take more for granted and now each time I am so grateful. 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Made my Favourite Coconut Cream Scones


My Husband and I consumed half of a tart pan of this vegan dried fruit (cherries!) scones.  I finished a Miss Read book today. Dishes are done. The house is mostly tidy.  I am reading one of the last of Sayer's mysteries (a re-read).  I feel like I have been 'airing out my soul' as it were by some serious rest this week. It's going to be a busy but I hope restorative weekend.  

God bless and keep you all.
 

Presanctified Second Wednesday of Great Lent

 


Here we are again, amazing, second week of Great Lent. It's less intense than the first week but nothing is easy in this world, right? 

I went to bed earlier than normal and so was up at 1 AM instead of 3. Is this better or worse? I am not sure. Or TBD (to be determined).

I am enjoying lots of memes lately.  Here's one I screen shot from Instagram, I was like totally, yes and so funny:


I sent this to one of my best Instagram and real life friends and she agreed that this is 100% accurate.  Basically, yes. :) 

I am purposely looking for reasons to laugh because things are so hard in ways right now.  So intentionally looking for things as a ballast.

I had to look up that word.


I picture a ballast being something that re-balances you like a teeter totter that is upended and needs something to re-weight it so that it is balanced.  Yes, that would give stability wouldn't it? 

I've had some difficult insomina.  This whole unexpected world stage event known as w-a-r that is impacting much of Europe in terms of refugees and, as an Orthodox Christian who knows people in every Orthodox country that exists, it's really difficult. 

Add to that my now 2.5 year old foster nephew's uncertain landing place (we thought we were having him as part of our forever family but now everything is more complex and uncertain) it's a bit heavy over here.  Like everytime I get more news about this I struggle to sleep at all.  I do get a few (3, 4 or maybe 5 hours) sleep but it directly impacts me this way.  

This is called complicated grief.  Both the above are this. 

Add personal knowledge in small ways of the first complicated grief list above and you get me not sleep again for many hours afterwards.  I was so bad on this front this past Sunday I missed going to church because I did not want to get sick by the huge exhaustion I was dealing with.

You know what's cool though? I used to be really afraid of grief.  Now I get it.  It's not anything anyone wants.  Ever.  But.  It's part of this journey we call life.  And the only way to get through it is to go through it.  Run from it, deny it, hide from it and it won't go so easily in the long run.  

That said grief needs a ballast.  It's not so easy to deal with and actually sometimes you need a break.  

So.  For me right now that means: funny memes and videos, DE Stevenson novels, Agatha Christie (also great for when you have a bad cold like I did 3 weeks ago), Miss Read books.  Also, for me, an episode of Perry Mason this week.  That is when I know I am grieving.  When my beloved Cleo cat was dying I watched Perry Mason a lot.  Losing her was incredibly painful.  I am so glad I had her in my life.  

Also, Madeleine L'Engle novels have taught me so much about grief and about life over the last 25 plus years.  Including best way to handle loss is to actually go through it, to grieve it.  

I am learning so much.  

Also, see HERE for a brief thing I wrote on social media, the need for funneling/filtering as a full out Highly Sensative Person.  I totally recommend the book on this btw.  Go HERE for the offical website by the author.  

Our garage door opener decided to die shocking us last night when we got home at after 8:30 PM with take out food (we had not had any since noon).  So guess what? We need to be up early tomorrow because someone is coming to fix it.  I forsee a possible need for a nap. And right now it is 1:40 AM. 

We hope to go to a booksale on Friday.  After a morning presanctified liturgy.  Really hoping that works out as planned.  

Meanwhile, I finally got dishes back in order yesterday.  And had no problem using paper bowls for dinner last night.  I fully understand that things are not easy for me right now and whatever I can do to help myself in this, I will do.  I don't do this all the time but I am pulling no punches when it comes to trying to make sure I don't get seriously sick from my lack of sleep that I have been having. 

And so, that's what's going on right now. 

I am so thankful, I have so much to be thankful for.  The older I get, the more I see this.

May God bless us, help us, save us!

Friday, March 11, 2022

First Friday of Great Lent 2022


Beautiful presanctified liturgy tonight. 

My brain has been spinning like crazy. My Writing Project is deepening. Words are coming up in whole paragraphs in my brain.  So much clicked recently from my first year of writing and reading that it's like I can't get it down fast enough. It's exciting, exhilarating, and exhausting. 

I also know that I am in some pretty deep grief and it's like I am a bouncy ball not of highs and lows as much as joy, excitement & conversely great grief and with the grief being like "all hands on deck" .... as I trying to catch 5 juggling balls that are falling down simultaneously. 

Luckily I also realize this. So I am accepting it all. I am REALLY glad to have my Writing Project. But even my writing project has a deep jarring grief in it. 

In other words LIFE. As it is right now. 

Because I know this I am also taking things slow in terms of social media and even blogging. It's so intense that I need a lot of "radio silence" and inside I have the ending of THIS playing in my mind and I mean LITERALLY I was listening to it to try to deal with my grief and insomnia earlier in the week and I can hear it in my mind as an "ear worm"....

I have had some huge insomnia. 

I am also super thankful. And aware that I need to be careful. Rest (ha! brain on overdrive is laughing at the very idea sadly but I will get there), food, hydration.  And  I am reading a DE Stevenson book. And I ordered 2 fun books used to read. 

It may be Great Lent and I am reading Lenten things. But if you pull an arrow too tight, the bow will break.  

And I am on such a high octane wave in my life right now that I very much see the need to be careful. A lightbulb that burns too brightly, in my experience, is often close to burning out, literally speaking. 

And that is all I can say at present. That and God is here in it. 

Bless you all! God save us!

Monday, March 07, 2022

I forgot to finish my lunch

and when I came to myself, I realized why.  Grief my friend, pure and simple grief.  The world events in Ukraine have deeply grieved me.  If you are a long time reader, I mean long time reader, then you know that in Ottawa the family that adopted (not literally as in legally my family in MI are alive and well) me is Ukrainian.  I used to talk here about my Ukrainian Mother.  And like most immigrants they have family and friends still there.  

This has been a termendous shock to me, really and while I have talked about it to my Husband, to a dear friend in Bucharest (for 4 wonderful hours), it is still sinking in.  

So I am silent a lot when I am in certain types of grief and I may not write much here about it again hard to say, I don't plan my days in detail or what I write here. 

Picture is of some Lenten books.  That cloth you see is from Ukraine.  This is not new, it was used in our wedding, my Ukrainian family gave it to me as a gift, along with the one in our chapel which is hand stitched and completely and amazingly beautiful.  

So I got a cold, a doozy of one, a week ago Tuesday.  Cancelled my Thursday NYC trip.  Cancelled my tea on Friday.  Saturday night my Husband, late, started not feeling right and by Sunday morning sure enough, he got my doozy of a cold.  So we are struggling a long as much as we can.  We both stayed home yesterday and missed a really special church service (forgiveness vespers) but it could not be helped.  


I am trying to read this book for Lent with a few church lady friends.  This stanza (pictured above) really impacted me: how easy it is to look at world events and not see that we ourselves are making war on our own souls by our sins.  

I feel like I am seeing, in my shock and grief, how hard it is to live as Christ commanded: to love, forgive, pray for one's enemies.  Our hearts are called to Christ not to the world, not to tragic events, not even, really, to sides of difficult world equations; we are called to no other than to CHRIST and to be by HIS side. 

Wishing everyone God's mercy, protection and help as we enter Great Lent again this year... 


Monday, February 28, 2022

NYC checkboxes complete


NYC was good. I got a new box of toast & jam tea, lunch at Tea and Sympathy, restocked my scone mix from Tea and Sympathy, dentist was quite satisfactory, went to a hardware store, walked or took PATH train everywhere. Trader Joe's for their chocolate almonds, and back home with a quick stop along the way. I took a cab in the morning only.  So that felt really good, that I had some good excercise. 

The cab driver was from Africa. He talked about how gentrification is pushing people out. How friends call him saying that they have no money for food. 😥

There is so much pain in the world. 

Yet there is beauty. Sunshine. People helping people.  

We are called not to despair. 

In a week or so I will change DV my tablecloth for Great Lent to my red and white striped one.  Of course it has a new layer now to it this year that I didn't forsee. I got it from my Ukrainian Ottawa Mother for my wedding. 

If you knew the layers of complexity that I can never write about..... Well we all have these things.  It is unavoidable. 

NYC was good but I was surprised at how very glad I was just to be back home. I think it feels like my world has been shaken and so home is an even greater refuge.

I hope to do laundry and such things tomorrow that I could not get to earlier. I am eager to get everything ready not only for Friday's Tea but for Great Lent. 

May God have mercy on us all. 

Sunday, February 27, 2022

So Much



Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me;
My heart within me is distressed. ~ Psalm 143:4 NKJV
***
This week for me has not only had world-wide upsets 
that are quite grievous to me 
(Ukraine of course)
but...
~some of my friends had dear ones die
~a child I know suddenly hospitalized with a rare cancer
~a man told us of his loneliness as his wife died
(possibly, it was hard to tell with his broken English
but she may have died in a bomb explosion years ago)
~news of cancer of another friend
~friends with on going illnesses 

All in one weeks time basically. 
***
This week is going to be a busy one.
NYC Monday and Thursday with dinner
prep for a Friday dinner other days
plus cleaning house and such.
***
Today we had the last bit of meat before Pascha which is
Sunday April 24 this year.
6 weeks of Lent and Holy Week.
Somehow it suddenly feels real and long.
We've been praying that we will be prepared for it
and have some fruit from it.
***
I made this bread for tea this Friday night, 
it's in the freezer now...
***
May God have mercy on us all! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

At last the dishes are done










It's before 11 PM and the evening is mine now.  I am relieved that I got most things tidy.  I am carefully re-reading a Madeleine L'Engle novel, one that I consider to be one of her hardest to read. 

I LOVED the luxury tea blend shown above.  

The foster nephew situation remains uncertain, complex and difficult. 

I made chili and corn bread today.  Last week for meat before Pascha! 

God help us all!