Monday, August 31, 2009

Around the House

My sister brought me her phone,

since I accidentally fried mine.

These have been in the family for years.

Both of these were gifts,
a few years back.
I am slowly doing some networking.
It is not easy work - most people do not like it -
having to prove yourself
by regaling others of your past experience.
One step at a time...
I am enjoying a mystery book.
Once it is read,
I hope to do a short review.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Today is a gift

I have been thinking about living in the moment.
It is true that I will not be able to stay in my apartment.
But today I am in it.
And it is good.
And though I do not yet know what tomorrow is,
this is not my concern.
I have to worry only about today,
just as Jesus tells us to.
I hope to relax more
as in do not worry
and remember the song
this is the day, this is the day that the Lord has made ...
we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Good Day

I went to church this morning;

I went away feeling

encouraged and loved.

I was reminded to

live in the present and do what I have to do then.

Do not worry about the future;

I am not there yet.

I also got some great advice
for my situation.
Make a schedule so that I have more structure.
So I am going to work on this.
I networked today and it went really well.
We will see what doors open;
I have another application to do soon.
Thank you everyone so much for your prayers.
Tomorrow is the (old calendar) feast of the Dormition;
I hope to go to liturgy tomorrow morning
and to my Ottawa family's house afterwards.
I am very blessed.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This Day

I went out at lunch time

to pick up library books,


and bought a used copy of a Harry Potter book in French.

I saw this sign and just had to share.

I take a French placement test

next week, which will show me as a Beginner

for the part-time French class

I hope to take (DV) in September.

Today was not the easiest.
When I have nothing planned all day
and no one to see
sometimes I start panicking inside and I melt.
At least, though, I knew what was happening.
There was a time when I felt it
without knowing what
was wrong.
The winning of this necklace reminds me
that I am loved,
how I won it when thinking of the Theotokos.
I was able to do many things on my list today...
I will be doing another application soon,
after I take some related job finding workshops
next week.
And tonight I went to church,
was talked to by many who love me
and walked home comforted.
and tomorrow I am doing a bit more networking -
prayers requested for this please and thank you!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This and That

I finished reading The Brothers Karamazov.

I found parts of it hard going;

but it was worth it.

I am eating my vegetable soup faithfully.

Need some new recipe ideas however;

will be looking through my cookbooks.

I will be taking some workshops
on interviews, etc.
I am finding job searching to be a slow process
and it is emotionally difficult at times.
But compared to much of the world,
this difficulty is light indeed.
God help us all!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mystery Books

Thought I would mention more about authors I enjoy... in no particular order:

1. Diane Mott Davidson. I was introduced to her writing through the book Simple Abundance back in the early 2000's. Her latest book was published this year and I have requested it from my local public library. Her popularity is clear from the fact that I am the 80th person in the request line. Her novels star Goldy Schulz, a caterer in Colorado married to a handsome cop named Tom Schulz. Lot of drama, cooking and mystery is always mixed in with the pleasures of being wed to her good looking Cop.

2. Katherine Hall Page. Her mysteries also involve catering; Faith Fairchild is the cater and her company is called Have Faith. Faith is a New Yorker living in a small New England town in Massachusetts. I have enjoyed revisiting New England through her books. I recently re-read The Body in the Basement which is set in Maine and is very evocative in its portrayal of summer island life.

Both Diane and Katherine went to prestigious Ivy League schools and have the ability to capture the local locale of the character's home.

3. PD James. I recently wrote a review of her latest book. James is a life long peer in the House of Lords and has many awards and distinctions. Her books are literate, have excellent characterization, deal with the deviance and divergences in English life that lead to misery and murder. Her knowledge of literature, the Anglican church and love of London are very apparent. Her writing, however, is not for the faint of heart.

In the interest of brevity, I will save other mystery authors I read for another post.

What authors do you enjoy? Do you read mysteries? What genres appeal to you?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Follow Through

I have a list on my fridge of things to do this week.

I made a vegetable soup.

I have salad, eggs and yogurt

(all dietitian recommended).

I went to a potluck last night.

I am thankful that I have many people

who care.

I felt very listened too this weekend;

I am blessed.

I realized that (esp. when feeling unwell)
I am home too much without
seeing others;
not having a schedule and being unemployed does not help.
However I am making various steps to
make this better.
Doing what I can do and leaving the rest in God's hands.
Was reminded of the song by Rich Mullins,
that has the lines
hold me, Jesus, ... I am shaking like a leaf
and am reminded that we can ask God to hold us;
as well as asking the Saints
for their intercessions.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Getting Up Again

It's been a bit of a strange week.
Wonderful - Liturgies -Feasts.
But I have also been sick
for a lot of the week.
I am on some meds now for the
sinus symptoms -
could be allergies.
I learned a lot this summer.
One of these things is to do the things I can do.
Here's my goals:
1. Say no to fear and worry - including what others think.
This eats up too much of my life, too often.
This will take time,
there are things I can do to keep fighting my fears.
2. Do what I can to keep myself in better shape:
A recent trip to a dietitian has given me some suggestions on how to eat better.
I need to get out and walk more - good for physical and mental health
3. I am slowly networking and am looking for
things to do on a volunteer basis
that is related to library work.
4. Look into learning French
5. Keep my house organized.
Doing laundry and dishes is important.
So is cooking (see #3).
6. Keep Job Searching

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Blessed Feast Day

Someone is playing opera loud

and it is lovely.

The weather is cool right now,

but I hear rumours of another heat wave.

Liturgy was lovely this morning.

My priest has white vestments with hand embroidered

grapes on them.

It is one of my favourite of his vestments,

the whole day was beautiful,

starting with vespers last night.

Seeing the sunlight in the altar, with incense;

hearing the Troparion for the feast;

the blessing of wine, wheat and oil;

being anointed with gladness;

eating the bread with wine;

liturgy today;

church family;

the blessing of fruit...

I could not resist adding a Cleo Picture.
Blessed evening to all!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy Feast of the Transfiguration!

Happy Feast!
It was so good to be in church tonight.
The night services are always my favourite...
and the Scripture readings about God's gentleness in the
revealing of His character to both Moses and Elijah I find encouraging.
I still have my strange cold like symptoms.
Very little actual head cold;
sinus / throat / coughing.
Nevertheless, I stocked up tonight after vespers.
I now have lots of juice, chicken soup and a new box of Kleenex's.
Falling asleep is proving to be challenging, for the minute I lie down,
I begin coughing...
Tomorrow morning is liturgy and fruit blessing!
I have peaches and bananas
to be blessed.
Grapes are the traditional fruit,
but the peaches (at least) were locally grown.

P.D. James - The Private Patient

I remember first reading her when I was doing my undergraduate work in English Literature.

Probably I spied her books in the "spinners" at the small public library. I have always been on the look out for a well written mystery novel that includes literary form, depth, beauty and but without heaviness of baseless murder.

PD James is not an author I recommend quickly; as much as I read her; her books do not ignore the misery of mankind, the perversions, the progression of sexual liberation/slavery in our society. Her books deal with a poet detective who needs for solitude, privacy and beauty; a detective who is compassionate, sensitive and who deals with the splintering of life, with murder. PD James offers an understanding of England, the continual tracing of God-haunted England, with Churches, multiculturalism and the destruction of silent and beautiful places.

Yesterday, after long wait, her book The Private Patient was on the library shelf. Two copies of it were there, I took the first edition home and read it.

I sense the closure she brings within this book. Similar to Madeleine L'Engle's Certain Women, with it the reflection over a lifetime and the approach of death.

I enjoyed reading this book; the shorter amount of pages and the culmination of many character's into a life that is most hopeful for them tell me of the author's release and letting go. It feels to be a final utterance before the end of a series. She ends with the importance of love.

PD James is nearing 90 years of age; she has seen many changes in her life and has given her readers pictures of beauty and a small tenuous growing belief in the redemption of misery through love.

For this, she has my thanks.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Moving Towards Something

When my sister and brother in law were visiting,
we went sight seeing.
It was hot. I had a headache by the end, as did my sister.
We just missed the bus back downtown.
But my sister had researched the area
and sure enough,
there was a waterfall just steps past the bus stop.
So we missed the bus
but saw
a waterfall.

Life has detours and unexpected things....

God has given us a lot of beauty to see as well.
I think in September I am going to
or try to
take a part time French course,
to see how it goes.
Maybe this will be the waterfall that I need to see
but could easily miss
by waiting at the bus stop in the heat of the day.

Special times with family

Saturday we had a wonderful brunch.

I had ordered bread from the bakery the night before -

a multi-grain walnut raisin bread.

I had been saving my extra special jam

from good friends for a few years

and shared it with my sister and brother in law.

We also had a special piece of chocolate

that is from the Lavra in Kiev.

We walked around the grounds of the Governor General's house.

The sun was really hot and

my favourite part was seeing the trees

and spending time with my sister and brother in law.

This would be a great tree for those who wish to climb them.
My sister and brother in law left this morning;
we had a really good time and some very meaningful conversations.
I am thankful for their visit
but sad that I do not get to see them more often.
They are good friends to me
and I would not trade my sister for anything!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Many Good Things

1. The Dormition Fast (old calendar) starts today
2. My Sister and Brother-in-law are on thier way to see me
3. I get to go to a 2 hour refresher session on cover letters and interviews
4. It is beautiful summer weather here.
I still feel like I could get a cold, but am hanging in there.
Meanwhile, I think I fried my portable phone.
It kind of fell into my sink when I was washing dishes.
This is actually fairly unfortunate since I am trying to save money.
But such is life and in the grand scheme of things,
this is not the end of anything serious
other than having to re-punch in phone numbers
when I get a new phone.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

So what did I do to prepare

for the old calendar Dormition Fast that begins tomorrow?

Finished my carton of Breyers Chocolate Ice Cream.

That's what we are supposed to do right?

Appropriately, but without trying to be appropriate, I listened to this really lovely podcast about the Virgin Mary.

I listened in between eating ice cream.

Ice Cream it what I fast most from, due to various dietary needs in my life. But let me tell you, ice cream is really something I have found to be a true fast from...

Sad that I used to, when I was a Protestant, scorn those who fasted from things that I found then to be too petty (like ice cream).

Um now, well. Here I am - ice cream and all.

And I feel loved by the Theotokos today because I was thinking of her and the necklace I wear when I won the purple stoned necklace today. Of course, I am not at all excited about this, you know, blogging about it three times in one day.

To all those on the new calendar, Happy Feast on Saturday!


I really like St. Teresa.

She is so beautiful and I love this picture.

I need to do some serious relaxing.

Still feeling under 100%

(maybe 75% with slight moaning)


I applied for another job today. Whew.

And hey, I won a necklace today.

What could be better?

(Okay I can think of something, but am going enjoy what I have instead).

They are driving a good 10 hours to see me.
Prayers for their travel appreciated.
I slept better last night
I still have a lot of cleaning to do.
But hey, don't we all?!

The Unexpected

So my doctor recommended doing
breathing exercises
and the like.
Get my stress level down, sleep better
learn to
I concur.
At the same time
of course
it feels like one more thing to do
and I am having a hard time keeping up with what I am already doing.
Meanwhile, since I was out anyway, to talk with this doctor,
I went shopping.
Did not buy a thing I did not plan on getting.
well. I need a new cord for my Theotokos necklace,
as mine had frayed and I had to cut it
to retie it
and it is not as long as I wish it to be.
Meanwhile, here I am in Zellers,
which for those else where, is similar
to a Walmart
or K-Mart
in the States. I have been looking for a new dish soap holder.
I have yet to find one.
Whenever I do not find one, I concede that really I should wait for my new place
wherever and whenever that is
And then I look again for it...!
But it gets better.
So I am totally lost in this particular Zellers which has strange combination
of a fairly standard low store ceiling and really crowded aisles
and very TALL signs.
I felt dwarfed (I am about 5 foot 6 so I am a good average height)
and could not find anything. All seemed counter intuitive.
Anyway. So I am searching for a dish soap holder,
when I hear one of the famous in store infomercials.
Really hammed it up;
about a Jewelry Store giving away an
expensive beautiful necklace
FREE of charge.
Well. I decided, why not? I have nothing better to do
and I really need a new chain for my Theotokos necklace
so thinking of this,
I managed to find the place,
get a ticket
and listened to a very long infomercial
seeing all this jewelry that is not only not my style
but is really listed at 95 bucks a piece but magically is selling
for less than 10 a piece if you give 95 of your dollars.
The most interested couple looked very poor,
tattoos, cheap hair cuts and really excited about this magical deal
of $600.00 worth of jewelry for $95.00 of your dollars.
When we finally were able to put our tickets in the plastic container
one man up in two tickets
we were like, oh no sir, you need your other half;
he said no, the other is my wife's ticket.
I, suspicious and really wanting a new necklace chain
(It looked to be the right length),
asked where the wife was.
"At an appointment" he said.
And then they did the draw.
And I won.
and was given a little plastic bag with the necklace.
One older lady asked to see it, and said,
oh, that's all it is.
Everyone evaporated into the store.
And I felt so
ridiculously happy because I won
a free purple stoned silver coloured necklace
with a chain that ended up
being too small for what I wanted it for.
I may give it away
or maybe save it as a memory of the Theotokos and her love,
and wear it when I feel like playing dress up
(since adults are still allowed to play this you know).
Here is a picture,
you can see my favourite white sandal
and my summer black skirt...
I still feel ridiculously pleased about this.
Now if only the rest of my life
would come to some sort of recognizable order...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Been Better

Hard night sleep.
I feel ill.
I feel like the ambiguity and endings in my life
are driving me crazy.
I have been reading a book by Margaret Drabble,
it's about 20 years old
The Gates of Ivory
and is about the holocaust in Cambodia.
How can North American Life seem so crushing
when there are people who lost
whole families?
All I can do is silently but loudly beg God to take me out of this
time of the unknown;
with door after door closing
but other doors
but maybe not closing
and merely causing confusion.
(Sorry to be vague; too much is unknown to me).
My spiritual father spoke this past Sunday
of St. Peter walking to Christ
in Christ.
He spoke of Jesus coming to His disciples in the
4th hour of the night
during a great storm and that
the 4th hour is the hour
when people think all is lost
storm at sea
no hope of rescue
and this is when Jesus comes
and says Peace be to you, Be Not Afraid.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Step, Breath, Step...

Some of my meetings are over now.
I feel like I am getting sick.
My sister and brother-in-law are visiting me DV
this weekend,
before they go to Romania.
My house is a mess.
I will have time to clean.
If others were not praying for me,
I could not make it.
God help us all,

Monday, August 10, 2009


I have a networking event to go to
jobs to apply for
meetings and various appointments.
I find it all a bit overwhelming sometimes.
Looking for work is tiring.
May the Lord give us the strength we need for today.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

5 Years Ago Today

I was chrismated!
I am so thankful to God that He
brought me to the Orthodox Church.
I cannot even begin to count the blessings of this journey.
The above Icon of Christ I was given this past Wednesday,
the same day I found out about my rent being raised.
God is so good to me.
The icon is on my fridge and is such a blessing.

Cleo, the Cutest Cat in Canada

I couldn't resist posting these pictures!

She's my little cute cat,

who likes to look at my innocently,

as if she can do no wrong.

For a cat she is pretty good,

but I have to tell her daily to not go on the kitchen table!

She listens within a few seconds, usually.
Did or do you have a pet who keeps your company
or makes you laugh?

Friday, August 07, 2009

Eventful Days

I am still not finishing
cover letters
as soon as I wish to.
I will be going to some job searching training next week.
And I have a networking event.
So today I got my hair cut.
About 4 inches, so it is shortish again,
an above the shoulder bob.
I cut my bangs again when I got home!
A woman years ago told me the secret
to cutting one's own bangs
is to hold them out,
away from your face.
I had lunch with a friend,
dinner alone at Denny's
(I was fading and needing food)
and had talked to another dear friend before leaving
in search of a cheaper hair cut and such things.
I got an organizer for the different paperwork
for the jobs I am applying to.
It's red with stripes; very cute and inexpensive.
Tomorrow is a baptism of a lovely baby boy in my parish
and an evening chrismation of a friend
in the evening.
(Two different churches, both Orthodox).
So tomorrow will be busy and full.
I will have to pace myself,
as emotionally
the ambiguity of my current situation
is difficult - it's like an exam that is always in the distance
that feels like no matter what I do,
it stays looming and I feel just as unprepared
as the days before.
But God is prepared.
He is taking care of us, of you and me.
Remember the Lilies...
Your Father knows.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

On the Feast of Transfiguration

I went to liturgy this morning for the Feast of Transfiguration
(new calendar).
22 years ago my childhood friend died of cancer,
his name is Timothy.
I still love him very much
and rejoice
that in Church
we are near those who have fallen asleep in the Lord.
Two years ago I had a panikhida for him,
for his 20th anniversary.
I thank God that we can pray for those who died in Christ
and that we can ask their prayers as well.
God is so good to us.
Memory Eternal!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Glory To God For All Things

Tonight was the molben for healing.
Father spoke about how we are
never abandoned
how God, His Mother and His Saints
are always with us.
I received notice that my rent will be increasing as of December 1st.
I am planning on moving out,
and knew that it was a distinct possibility regardless,
given my current situation.
I am so thankful to God that He has given me
this apartment for this past year.
I was blessed to have it.
I do not know my future,
but God does.
And He loves us
and will not leave us.
Glory to God!

Full Moon

I had fun taking pictures last night.

The world has so much beauty in it.
Today is a beautiful summer day - not too hot, blue skies, a light breeze.
It is so hard to do job searching activities,
but I must do so.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

So much to pray for...

Eight Christians burnt to death in Pakistan after Koran is ‘defiled’

H/T Mat Donna.

Lord have mercy.

Googlization of the Internet

You have to hand it to Google,
they have really
taken over.
This blog is on blogger - owned by Google.
I use their Picasa to send pictures and blog them.
I use their Google Calendar to write down my plans.
I use Gmail (GoogleMail) and Gmail Chat incessantly.
I had used Bloglines for years,
first using their blog format (gave that up some years back),
and used their Bloglines Feed
for keeping up with all of the blogs I read.
But Bloglines has been annoying me,
with their new ads and how they were turning into poor
adds with a bit too much skin showing
for my taste.
So I discovered Google Reader.
Much better.
They are faster, no annoying visual ads, give more stats, etc.
I am slowly migrating all of my feeds over,
as they come up with new items.
What Internet systems do you use?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Being Kind...

Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.
— Philo of Alexandria
One of the hardest things for me
other than
an unknown future
what many many people in North America
struggle with.
Mothers alone with their young children
Men and women in jobs,
overworked and isolated
the poor begging on the street:
so many are alone
I struggle with this a lot.
Where I am in is full of ironies.
I dream of volunteering, but either am learning a new job,
which is very tiring,
or I am waiting to know what my next job is,
and feel that I cannot commit or would not want to start something
that I cannot continue.
Perhaps my thinking to some will seem faulty
but it is how things feel to me.
I am thankful that today I can go to good friends house
and work on job searching
while they work on various projects around the house.

Sunday, August 02, 2009


I loved the Church Picnic.

This (above) shot was taken when I was on a

paddle boat ride.

Everything seemed so beautiful; it is one of those magical times

that you know is a gift from God.

It is such a comforting consoling and beautiful time.
A time to be remembered when other days
are hard.
A truly beautiful day.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

The Church Picnic

God blessed our picnic deeply.

My spiritual father reminded us that today (old calendar)

is St. Seraphim of Sarov's day.

The weather was sunny, cool in the shade

the lake nice and warm.

I never want days like this to end.

I told our lovely host that this day
(outside of Holy Week)
is second to Christmas for me.
Our once a year church picnic.
Truly this day was a gift from God.