Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saturday of Butter Week 2018

We had a peaceful Saturday.
Husband spoiled me with a lunch out!
We both had fish and I had lentil soup, 
with warm pita and other bread...
It was really a nice treat!
We went to vespers tonight and I am slowly getting things
put away, I think I only have 1 more Christmas thing to put away,
other than all the cards.
I am trying to think about, in terms of my Aunt K and going home to see her,
about not just the future grief but also the joy we have as Christians, 
and the reality of Pascha and that we grieve but with hope.
We had more of the cranberry sour cream coffee cake and I think as it 
has aged a bit, it actually tastes even better.
I am really pleased with it. 
It was so nice to have tea and cake today, 
hot tea is such a blessing.
My Husband and I enjoyed tea over breakfast and 
later over a tea and cake break in the later afternoon.
Well, I am trying to figure out my Lenten reading.
And that I am going to travel light to my parents home in a week.
I have so many choices and while that is a blessing,
it also can be more to pick from and more to figure out...
May God help us as we go towards Great Lent!

Forgive me a sinner for anything I may have done
or said here that was hurtful or harmful in an any way!

May God save us and give us a good Lent! 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Tearing down to build up

Christmas tree is down, lights and ornaments packed away carefully.
Lenten icons are up, Christmas icons packed.
I am going home to Western MI in a week's time, 
a week tomorrow.
God willing I will be in church everyday this week, for the beginning 
of Lent, which is called Clean Week.
With yesterday being a feast day and my Husband took the day off for it, 
and then the news of my Aunt K, shocking...;
I was so confused this morning, I thought yesterday was a 2 day weekend 
and that today was Monday.
Why was my friend posting on IG about it being Friday?
Why is it that one minute one is fine and happy and joyful
and the next minute everything changes, dynamically, suddenly
and the sword is thrust in and goes out silently, quickly,
without visible change and yet everything is changed?
I finally did the second book order for my church book sale,
that we thought would be 2 times this Lent, 
this Sunday and then later.
But now there is snow on the way; we don't know if we can travel there
or not and such. 
I've had this icon of Christ the Good Shepard lit for my Aunt;
it is Christ who will take her safely through the valley of death....
I am getting this book on the mystery of death and from the chapter headings, I think
it will be a good read for me right now.
I woke to this song inside me, welling up, expressing everything...

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Meeting of the Lord, Time at Church and Home, and some Sad News

It was a wonderful beautiful feast day.
Mr Husband and I went out for lunch after
and then did a grocery run before going home.
Rested when home, dinner of left overs, a hot bath.
I had called my parents different times when I was home
but no answer, then my Mom called. 
My Aunt K. may be entering hospice soon.
Decisions to not undergo a treatment that may prolong life
but that would cause a lot of misery for her personally.
I am very close to this Aunt and my parents saw her today
in hospital and she asked if I knew her decision. 
So, I may be flying home soon to see her.
We are still trying to figure that part out.
Please pray for my Aunt and also for my Uncle and their 2 sons.
And that both myself and my Husband do not get sick.
Praising God for everything.... 
even the hard.
May the Lord have mercy on us! 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Tuesday: NYC, +Patrick's 1 year anniversary, Wednesday:Valentines Day, A blessed Day

Yogurt with dried cherries, dried cranberries, pistachios, roasted shaved coconut, cinnamon and honey.
It was so incredibly good. With side of scrambled eggs and half of a cinnamon raisin bagel with PB.
Yesterday I had a breakfast date with Mr Husband! 

After going to Trader Joes I got a scoop of ice cream and tea... 
butterweek after all! 

Then, back home for lunch, I nearly had margarine instead of BUTTER on my 
English Muffin during Butter Week.
My Ortho-friends agreed that this would of been tragic... LOL... 
A year ago our dear warden +Patrick died.
I had forgotten so many details of this time and it was good 
to read of them again today.
Not a day goes by that I don't think of +Patrick... we see things from 
his home everywhere in our home, esp. in the kitchen-living room- dining room areas. 
Though really in every room of our home and the hallway going up to our home.
It is such a blessing.

I made a new sour cream cranberry and orange cake.
Orange extract in the batter... cranberries, vanilla sugar, raw sugar and brown sugar 
with cranberries for filling. 
I am probably going to play around with this recipe again after Lent...
I liked it but it needs
1. more cranberries throughout the cake (perhaps still first mixed with the sugars)
2. I think more orange extract
3. shortening instead of sour cream
maybe lemon juice or OJ like the other cranberry cake I have made... 
It was fun to make, regardless! 

Today was a really full and good day for me.
I had decided that I could not go to sewing group;
I also decided that I was not going to take the tree down until the Feast tomorrow.
So I ended up taking some time in the later morning to write the first
essay I have written in a while!
I have a working first draft now and am really happy about it.
Then I worked on bookstore orders and was inspired, after that, to look
again, for the book that I had not been able to find for months....
I wrote about this search earlier today:

So, because of my bedrest this summer due to the fractured fibula bone, and that I ordered a bunch of books to read while on said bedrest, my previous book piles got moved around and books stuck in various places. (We were all just trying to survive, proper book placement was not on our list of worries!)... in the process I could not find for MONTHS (I was walking by September and now it's February) a book of letters by Elder Sophrony published recently by the Essex Monastery. This book, to me, is pure GOLD. Today I decided to take the later afternoon to look again for this book (I had looked and looked and LOOKED). Then, as I was moving books onto the bed from the bookshelves in the bedroom (because of course we have them there too), I grabbed a book and suddenly looked down and saw that it was THE BOOK I had been looking for for MONTHS, the reason I decided to move 8 shelves of books (basically switching 4 shelves in bedroom for 4 shelves in library/chapel/guestroom). I was so excited, I must admit I did a little bit of a 'snoopy happy dance'! Elder Sophrony's letters are really great as his books are very deep and the letters help make a lot of his thought clearer + really encouraging reading + learning so much. Well, I guess you know what book I hope to be relishing this Lent!!! Thanks be to God that I found this book again, at last! (ps: I do have the dust jacket also, I read them without them unless I have covered them with mylar protective covering, which I think is the next thing I will do for this book, God willing!)
Needless to say, I was so very grateful and I can't tell you
how glad I was to find this book... I had been waiting, in a lot of ways, 
to find this book so I could start working on essays again, as this book
was one I was working through in order to write...
I feel that part of what I am doing in my essays is sharing what I am reading
and perhaps expanding on it, or pairing it with other authors to discuss a 
certain topic or idea.... 
I felt that this past year was a continual stripping of my life and what I was doing.
I had to stop writing, the summer I was not walking, the fall I had to 
let go of my Sunday School class (thank God it is still going on with great 
teachers as I can't do it at present), sewing for months ceased, my reading 
and studies for writing ceased....
Really all of last year was my Husband and I going 
through various trials and trying to survive.
Much of this I can't write of here and some of it is still unbloggable.
A year ago we were still so weak from the flu that we took a cab
to +Patrick's funeral both ways...
That I have found the Sophrony book of letters, that I have written a new
first draft, that I had the strength to move 8 shelves of books 
(plus carry over 60lbs of candles up Monday), that we don't 
need to depend on a dear friend for a ride to church, 
that we hope to go to church for the Feast day,
that I am finishing up 2 orders for the bookstore, 
and hoping to do a book sale...
I can't tell you how wonderful it is to just
do things that are/were my normal NJ life here with 
my Husband... I am really hoping that this year
will be a period of creativity for me and that I can get 
more writing done that will, I hope, be honouring to God and
encouraging to others. 
I had a lot of support through my blog and other forms of
online communication and I can't tell you how much
this has meant to me and what blessings I had
during the many difficult months of 2017...
I am really praying that this year can be a year that is more
peaceful and restorative...
A friend posted this on social media the other day...
It seems to be a painting and I find it very beautiful.
I hope that it comforts you as it has me! 

By the prayers of the Mother of God!
God bless and keep you all.
So many are going through really difficult times
and we must keep in prayer for all.
Lord have mercy!