Friday, July 16, 2021

Briefly Here ~ With Beauty

 



Yesterday I was at the MET in NYC
and saw great beauty,
including these two icons which I believe were 
from Cyprus 1600s.
They are very beautiful.
***
(The line between/across Jesus' eyes was just a 
camera/reflection error and is not there in person).
***
It is nearly Midnight so I can't write much now.
***
I am going to have family visiting until mid-August so 
if I am not here much on my blog
or don't say much other than post a picture,
it's just that I am soaking up their visit.
***
God bless and keep you all.
May the Lord's face shine up on us!
May Christ save us and have mercy on us! 


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Sunday's Lunch with Dear Friends











 As I shared on Instagram earlier:

We had dear friends over yesterday for Sunday lunch after being at liturgy together. The scones were the star of the show! It is my own vegan version of the wonderful #marioncunningham #thebreakfastbook Dried Fruit Cream Scones.  (I will put my recipe changes in comments below). These are beyond perfect with some cherry jam on top! 🍒

The changes that I made to this recipe are: 1. Used coconut cream (from Trader Joe's) instead of dairy cream) and only used dried cherries (added the amount called for of golden raisins to the dried cherry amount).  Also I didn't add the glaze but sprinkled a small amount of raw sugar chunks on top! 2. All of the instructions about preparing the batter after it is mixed I ignore completely! I added the fluffy batter to the tart pan, made sure it goes to all the edges and back and baked according to the recipe instructions!! 🍒🍒🍒🍒
****
Today is Tuesday already!
We went to church yesterday for St Peter and Paul and now the small
Apostle's fast is done and we are eating meat again... :) 
***
My life is so busy right now, it's hard to keep things straight. 
However, I got our laundry done.
3 loads done and more than that folded and put away. WHEW.
***
So today I learned more about some earlier scientific ideas.
I am learning a lot all related to ideas that are in my writing project.
***
Well, it's time to sleep!
God bless you all and keep you! 
May His Face Shine Upon You!

Sunday, July 11, 2021

quickly about today

I don't have time to upload my pictures but the meal today went really well!  One of the things we discussed is the books by Elder St Sophrony and I did not realize until later that today is his second feast day!  (He was just made a Saint in 2019).  Here's a bit about him if you care to learn more.  I enjoyed listening to this (and am happy to say I have the book that Fr Josiah read from though I have not finished reading it yet myself). 


Wishing you all a peaceful night and God's protection and mercy! 

Saturday, July 10, 2021

The last few days: a lot can change quickly











July 7, 2021 

Today was a good day, in the end.  Swimming early in the morning helped.  Getting out helps.  I am reading the Jan Karon Mitford novel series again.  A bit of L'Engle's book as well.   I am slowly feeling awake again, able to think about my writing project and feel excited about it again.  I did a bit of research and filing of research and reading and note taking.  I have a few notebooks that if I lost, I would be lost (in terms of my writing project).  

Meanwhile, some of my friends are really struggling.  It's always hard to hear difficult news. 

But today was a blessing.  And it was my summer name's day, as it is the Nativity of St John the Baptist and his Mother St Elizabeth and his Father St Zachariah are also remembered :)  We had Thai fish curry and rice, fresh fruit, tea and kombucha.  

July 8, 2021 

Today I have spent much of it researching the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.  I hope to go next week.  

We are having impressive storms at present! Thunder, driving rain, lightening, some hail.  So far so good in terms of power and the like.  Hard to believe we went swimming this morning with blue sky and sunshine!  

We had some flooding in our area but it went down quickly.  We even had some hail for a bit! 

July 9, 2021 

So, I finished re-reading A Live Coal in the Sea and am still thinking on it.  It's funny how a book can be so different depending on when you read it and what you are looking for.  It's hard to know how to recommend books sometimes.  This one has some really difficult scenes in it and painful trauma.  Knowing the book as I did, I knew what was coming and sometimes to be honest it was really hard to keep reading, knowing I would be reading the account of a family's pain.  Yet it is a rich book.  It has so much in it and I really see L'Engle not only trying to come to terms with questions (probably both from her own life and also in the lives of her characters, who were very real to her) but trying to see how what she believes (in theology and in science, which to her is part of theology) plays out in terms of family drama, pain and trying to come to terms with things.   

I also found out that a newer friend of mine, a really special new friendship, may be leaving.  To be honest this is super difficult for me.   I am coping by continuing to work on my writing project and making plans to do more research, including at the MET.  My life, in structure, is going to change (as far as we know) in September as my Husband is planning on being in the office in NYC come this September (unless things pandemic wise worsen).  We've been living home 24x7 with each other since March 10. 2020.  So by September that will be nearly a year and a half.  He will still have some days at home, but it will be a real change, adjustment for both of us.  

I have friends visiting this Sunday.  We have family visiting for a good while later this summer.  These things are keeping me going.  

Something I remember at times is what one of my fears is simply the unknown.  When I don't know what is happening in the future.  It's silly, in the sense of all of our future is, really, quite unknown.  But when one has worked job contracts and does not know what job she will have in a few months, it's quite another thing.  Now that struggle in my life is over (amazingly) but the question of what I will be doing this fall is quite another one.  What will happen with the pandemic? Will I have anyone for holidays? When will be ever travel by air again?  Will things shut down again come fall or winter?  Lots of unknowns to merely accept as unknown and deal with what I do know.

I know the following:  1. God will be there in the future and the only time I can connect with God is now in the present.  2.  I will have what I need for the times I will face and am in now.  

And so, the lesson of 'take no thought of tomorrow and trust God today' is one that I am still working on and working out in my life... 

July 10, 2021 

Most likely my newer friend is leaving.  It's for the best for her and her family and I am excited for her.  I am reading the Cross of Loneliness and it is so good.  

Another piece of good news is that a cafe I have been waiting for finally opened.  We tried a green vegan smoothie today, it was decent.  I look forward to trying more things...

I have set the table with our English dishes that have a Dutch scene :) for tomorrow for friends who hope to come over for Sunday lunch after liturgy.  It will be wonderful to see them again. 

I still need to prepare the fish. I should do that now.  Will be back DV to write more later!

I am back.  Now it is after 11 PM on Saturday. The fish is prepared and in fridge.  Everything is as ready as it can be.  The House is pretty tidy.  I am really happy for everything being ready and for the scones, which we will have with fruit and fruit salad... 

And so I wish you all well and with God's blessings, mercy and protection! God keep you!

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

A Many Day Update











 Friday, July 2, 2021

It is cooler today, cloudy.  I hear birds singing outside our windows, talking in quick chirps to each other.  Today is a fish day for St John of Shanghai and San Francisco.  I love St John.  I know a lot of my readers are not Orthodox Saints may not be something you are familiar with really.  Basically said, a Saint is one who allowed Christ to be within him or her self to such a degree that they gained great holiness and God uses their prayers to help others.  Orthodoxy does not, to say it in perhaps a unique way, though I did not come up with the idea, but anyway, it's that we do not believe in non-linear time like some people do.  Just because some one had departed this life does not mean that they are not absent from us or that they cannot pray for us when in heaven with Christ.   St John helps so many.  I went to his church were his body rests and when I was near by to him I felt such joy and peace.  That's what it is like to be by a Saint, a deeply holy one alive or alive in the next life that we are not in yet ourselves.  

So for St John we had fish for lunch.  And I went on a walk this morning (instead of swimming) and am working on my writing project and other things.  

Monday, July 5, 2021

I never finished my blog post.  Here I am again.  

Tuesday night, July 6, 2021 

I never got father than two sentences yesterday! The heat is back, it hollows me out like a limp dish rag needing a good wash and, if it were a long time ago and not a rag, a good bit of starch put back in!  I am reading, again, A Live Coal in the Sea by Madeleine L'Engle.  It is not an easy book, as in, reading of the deep and shocking tragedies in this family's life, while fiction, is quite vivid.  But I don't think one can fully understand L'Engle without this book.  I am realizing what a summation of her oeuvre this book really is.  I have read a lot about and by L'Engle, and am seeing the various interests and strands of her work and thinking and this novel really brings many of them together.  I know enough about her to know she hoped to write more novels, but her age, with further health complications prevented her.  She lived until 2007 but 1996 is her last year for a novel to come out, which is the one I am reading, A Live Coal in the Sea.  It's hard to know who to recommend her novels to (they are more intense/dramatic/difficult than most of her YA books, esp Wrinkle in Time).   She deals with a lot of relational problems, including in and outside of marriage and it's often messy like life can be. So not for everyone.  

I am relieved to say I finally have the dishes done again and the kitchen counters more clean.  It's a constant struggle to keep up with clutter.  I think it will be a struggle of mine for all of my life most likely. 

I've been swimming at times, early in the morning.  I can tell that I am tired and I don't push myself to do anything stellar in terms of laps.  I just try to keep going. 

July 7, 2021

I went swimming again.  I am praying for a friend who is waiting for some much needed good news.  I was really glad for the pool this morning.  I am finding summer days to be a bit hard.  It's partly the heat, we can't open our window shades and that always makes me feel a bit closed in. 

But we are having fish curry for lunch! I wish we could have gone to liturgy this morning but the long drive and other things it just could not happen, sadly. 

It's another hot day today.  We are keeping cool, the AC is on but also we have a fan.  

So the book, black is the colour of my true love's heart ... it's a great mystery book.  But it also serves another purpose at our home.  Our family motto, you may or may not know, is 'we tease those we love' and my Husband had such a happy smile on his face that I had to ask him why and he said, 'go look at your computer' and there was the BOOK.  I began it years ago, leaving it for my Husband to find as a joke.  He got it out of our library yesterday and left it for me.  Of course now it's my turn to return the favour... :) 

I know this is not a fun topic, but I am concerned about the d-variant in the ongoing pandemic.  All I know is that it is not over yet and we must keep looking to Christ... I feel like we have been in a world-wide war and the war is not yet over, no matter how weary we are. 

But I also see God's mercy along the way and we must not lose hope.

God bless and protect you all my dear blog readers!

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Thursday: cooling down slightly from a few high heat days

 


I made a vegan plum cake today!
but with egg replacement powder and vegan butter sticks.
***
I have been swimming different times this week
in the morning, which has been a blessing.
***
I am reading books to try to replenish and feed my soul.
***
I am taking it easy as it has been so hot.
It is just really draining.
***
I pray you are well and that God is bringing encouragement
and guidance to you!
May the Lord have mercy on us!

Monday, June 28, 2021

Monday: first day of the Apostle's fast!












The above pictures are all from Pentecost or the Monday afterwards,
called Spirit Monday for short.
I had never gotten them downloaded from my phone
(it is not automatic when I have the battery saving mode on)
on Pentecost it self but they were so beautiful so wanted to still share,
a week plus later!
***
Today's pictures (for the same reason as above) are not around for me yet.
***
I am reading a LOVELY but challenging (as in to keep striving for
Christian growth, repentance) book of quotations by various
Optina Monastery Fathers. 
I love it esp as it is short quotations that are more 
digestible and understandable. 
***
I made the fruit and nut bread.  Such a blessing.
Baked fairly early in our toaster oven which is perfect
when it is hotter out.
***
Praying for those in heat waves right now!
***
We went to vespers locally tonight.
A blessing also.
***
I did only a small amount of work on my writing project,
printing earlier research out and chatting with a 
librarian (I think?) at a NYC museum with some questions.
***
Did some laundry.  
The fruit and nut bread was my saving grace,
as I forgot about vespers and had nothing for dinner planned 
so we had more of the bread with a salad on the side.
***
Well, it's time for bed now.
I am trying to make room for the rest I need.
I am really thankful for this day
and for books to read to learn from,
that I mentioned.
***
God bless you each and every one!
May Christ have mercy on us!

Sunday, June 27, 2021

 








Hello and happy Sunday end and Monday soon begins!  I am finally feeling more myself again, as if I came back to myself.  I have two baking projects for this week, some swimming goals, possible NYC trip and hope to do a bit of work on my writing project.   And, in between all of this, some rest too.

My first baking project is another batch of the delicious and easy fruit and nut bread.  The Apostle's fast begins tomorrow and some fresh bread will be, God willing, a great beginning!

Well, I best be off now.  I hope to go swimming in the morning so I need rest!  

God bless you all and keep you in His care!