Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Suprise Hello!

My trip to the monastery was delayed until tomorrow.
Had a great day
visiting family.
Meal with my parents tonight
such a gift.
Shopping with Mom
and went I got home,
an email that the suitcase containing
my sister's Christmas gift was found!
I must keep packing;
my Monday flight will be here so soon.
Today was a wonderful day.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pray for Resa

She is moving to a new hospital tomorrow
and is in much need of our prayers.
Most Holy Theotokos by your prayers save us!
Lord have mercy
Lord have mercy
Lord have mercy
By the prayers of all the saints...


Turning 33.
A quiet but eventful day.
Grandmother - coffee, breakfast and antiquing.
(Did not find anything, which means I get to spend
the money at the monastery store
I hope!)
Tomorrow I hope the monastery.
May the Lord have mercy on us all.

Today is...

the beginning of my 33rd year!
My Grandmother is bringing me to Matins this morning
for my birthday.
I can ask for nothing better.
Thanks be to God that He has given me another year;
May I seek Him in it.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Beauty in the Everyday

Today I visited an old friend and her ever growing family.
I got to hold a 1 year old, 2 1/2 year old,
a 4 almost 5 year old;
the 9 year old and almost 5 year old
did my hair.
4 pony tails I had at beautiful plume-ing angles.
I love being able to hold and love children.
Today was a beautiful day.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Between Christmas Feasts

Here I am again.
Really miss being able to post photos.
Ah well.
Still praying for Resa - she is struggling.
Found out that the presents I sent with good friends
to Romania
got lost.
Am praying that the suitcase is found,
as I am not the only one who gave gifts to send back to Romania
with my dear Romania-Ottawa friends.
I miss my sister.
So strange not to have her around for Christmas.
Being home is always such a mixed blessing.
So Wonderful to see family.
I am blessed with a very good family.
But I think I always have this feeling of loss
at the same time.
I think a loss in what I thought my life would be;
married, with children to delight my Mother;
all my friends here in Michigan are married
with children.
But I have much to be thankful for.
Was at my Michigan Orthodox church today;
hope to be back on my birthday (this Tuesday)
for Matins in the morning
and to Liturgy next Sunday.
Scheduled to go to the monastery for a few days later this week.
Flying home in a week already.
My heart is full;
I wish someone could explain my heart to me.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas is here again this year

Today is Christmas
for much of the world.
Due to icy roads I was able to go to my
family's protestant Christmas Eve service
but not an Orthodox Christmas Liturgy.
Of course I was disappointed.
Who would not want to receive Christ in the Eucharist
on Christmas,
if they understood that it is He that they receive!
Nonetheless, I am striving to be thankful for what I do have
and that I am one of the few who will have another chance
at a Christmas liturgy,
since my church in Ottawa is on the old calendar.
What a blessing it was to read various blog posts
by other Orthodox Christians and so read the
sermons and verses from today's feast!
How blessed we are.
I have taken out a lovely bunt cake while my family is at a
Christmas service
(I admit it, I stayed home and did my Orthodox prayers instead)
and soon my family will be home
to the lovely smell of a Christmas cake.
Yesterday my family had their Christmas dinner and party;
it was good to see everyone;
I am also reminded at how much suffering we all have to endure;
some of my family has really been through a lot
lately on the health front.
This weekend Lord Willing I will be at the Orthodox church
that is the place of my chrismation
and my Godmother will be there
and some other dear friends.
And I hope towards the end of next week,
I will again be at the monastery.
How I need to be there.
Blessed Christmas to all!

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Today the Virgin gives birth to him who is above all being,
and the earth offers a cave to him whom no one can approach.
Angels with shepherds give glory,
and magi journey with a star,
for to us there has been born
a little Child, God before the ages.
Bethlehem has opened Eden, come, let us see;
we have found delight in secret, come, let us receive
the joys of Paradise within the cave.
There the unwatered root whose blossom is forgiveness has appeared.
There has been found the undug well
from which David once longed to drink.
There a virgin has borne a babe
and has quenched at once Adam’s and David’s thirst.
For this, let us hasten to this place where there has been born
a little Child,
God before the ages.

(And Mary said to the child,)
“High King, what have you to do with beggars?
Maker of heaven, why have you come to those born of earth?
Did you love a cave or take pleasure in a manger?
See, there is no place for your servant in the inn,
I do not say a place, not even a cave,for that too belongs to another.
To Sarah, when she bore a child,a vast land was given as her lot.
To me, not even a fox hole.
I used the cavern where willingly you made your dwelling,
a little Child, God before the ages.”

“Save the world, O Savior.
For this you have come.
Set your whole universe aright.
For this you have shone
on me and on the magi and on all creation.
For see, the magi, to whom you have shown the light of your face,
fall down before you and offer gifts,
useful, fair and eagerly sought.
For I have need of them,
since I am about
to go to Egypt and flee with you and for you,
my Guide, my Son, my Maker, my Redeemer,
a little Child, God before the ages.”

from the Kontakion on the Nativity,
by St. Romanos the Melodist, 6th century

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One of the best parts of being home

My Mother's cooking.
Homemade apple sauce.
From the garden green beans.
This afternoon I found a book I thought was lost for good -
Walking on Water: reflections on Faith and Writing
by Madeleine L' Engle.
This was a very special book for me years ago,
in 1996,
less than a year after I heard her speak in person.
Every year now coming home is a multi-faceted event.
It is not easy to be a convert to Orthodoxy,
as many know;
so many layers of memories at one's place of upbringing
that are now different than the reality
one lives in now.
Of course I have many layers of memories
of all different places,
as I have moved around a lot.
The world does not stay the familiar place that we once knew;
nothing stays the same
but we must cling to God who remains steadfast
throughout all the ages.
And I must enjoy my time here
as I only get Christmas 2009 once.
God is merciful and gracious
ever abounding in loving kindness...

Home for my first of two Christmas Feasts

Here I am.
It is the same and I recognize
the stages now.
The dreaded flight
(missed my connection due to an hour layover
did not know that I would have to pay separately for luggage).
The feeling of reverse culture shock;
going back to live in the culture I grew up in
is now well,
a shock to the system.
This is normal;
The life of the Church is my life now;
My little home has Icons everywhere.
I will feel better once I go to my church on Christmas Eve.
Happens every year now.
Don't get me wrong though,
I grew up in a good home and have a great God-loving family.
I miss my Cat.
It is a great
blessing to be home and greet my family in person
instead of just on the phone.
I miss using my computer (no wireless here).
So no pictures to go with my posts.
God is good to me.
Now I must work on my resumes;
will be looking for a part-time job
when I return.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Busy Setting Up House

Hi there,
I have not been here much, lately.
My apologies if I am sparse in comments in blogland.
I have not only been processing some things internally,
but trying to get my new apartment
to a functional, usable and more beautiful state
has taken a while.
Not that I am finished yet.
But here are some things I did do...

Lots of Laundry.

Happy to report that my new laundry room is quite lovely.

I put up this shelf in my

no-storage-what-so-ever bathroom.

Took buying two brackets (uneven walls)

and I lost a drill bit in the wall.

(It is still there).

But the shelf is up and my lovely things on it.

I have my Icons up now.
Well, most of them.
Have some paper one I need to frame (still).
And am getting some new-to-me Icons tomorrow.
Today (old calendar) was
St. Nicholas Day!
I was in church at morning liturgy and vespers tonight.
My job for tomorrow's celebration
for today's St. Nicholas feast,
is baking three chocolate vegan cakes.
They are now ready to go.
I fly home Lord Willing this Monday morning.
Prayers requested for travel.
We must be vigilant in this Christmas Season.
It is so easy to get out of sorts,
especially as we are all part of various families
and things that are hard
often come up.
May the Lord protect and bless us in the rest of the
Nativity Fast and the Feast to come!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas in the City

I went to a friend's Christmas gathering

this past weekend.

I took these shots on the way there.

I loved how the lights were hidden on the path

and how you had to keep going to

see more of the beauty.

I love Christmas lights
and wish I could see even more of them!


(First picture from my new home)

Being in the capital of Canada,

things are always happening here.

Over the weekend the Olympic Flame toured around.

It was rather surprising for a grey day;

I was home and all of a sudden this great radio-like noise boomed out.

Huge trucks (see picture below) announced the flames coming,

and that it was a "historic" event and the longest tour of the flame

ever in Canada.

They were not kidding!

They were still touring around Ottawa hours later;

went in front of my church after vespers.

The runners with the torch switched off;
apparently there is more than one torch.
you never know what to expect here,
and that was part of Saturday.
I was acutely conscious of how much better Church was than this,
providing a sense of home and abiding care and comfort.
And being with friends after vespers for a meal
was more than ideal.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thinking about the end of the year

There is a lot of snow now, here;

the wind is blowing,

I can hear it by my windows

here on the 8th floor.

I read this blog post about saying goodbye to the year

and realize I need to do just that.

As many who read my blog know,

this year has been with a lot of challenges.


A year ago my job was already proving to have

great and serious difficulties;

I was really shaken,

did not even have as much courage for

the corporate Christmas party

I had to go to.


In many ways I really loved my job;

running my own library

working for the staff there,

praying for them


and caring.


I lost this job due to reevaluations in the end of Lent.

It took me sometime to realize

how I had left the that library

in a much better place

than when I began.


And so it goes.

I lost the job.

I left the apartment I loved.


But soon it will be a new year.

My life is still unfolding.


God is with us.

coming to us here, in Ottawa, this past fall.
We must remember God
and not give up hope.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

My New Home

I hope to get other pictures without window

screen lines.

But, what a nice snowy view!

I am still adjusting to my new place,

my stove and oven needs fixing,

boxes still packed and in the closet,

laundry hidden in bins.

You know, life after a move.

But the view out my living room window

it always brings me back to a place

of thankfulness and wonder.

Cleo was being most shy today.

She is near me as I type this;

I am loving the corner where my gold

chair now resides.

More pictures later,

when further organization is accomplished.

I found my small tea time book!
It was packed away all last year
in a box of decorations that
I had not used
in my last place.
I am so glad I still have it,
as it has high tea recipes
I have hopes of using
for a tea party in
Thank you for everyone who commented on my
"Small Steps" post,
I was quite heartened,
thank you.
My Dad is traveling tonight within Ontario,
as I write this;
the snow storms have lessened now
but if you could say a prayer for his safety
and for the safety of my Mom, Dad and Aunt
as they travel back from Brampton Ontario
to Michigan tomorrow
(They were visiting my Oma,
and no, I was not able to join them;
but I called lots!)
I would appreciate the prayer.
Today was a great day over all for me;
I got to stay home and watch it snow.
Just what I needed today
and I got a good deal of work done,
of course there is much more
to do.
It is good for me to begin my life in this new apartment
in peace and I am grateful for this day.
Praying for Resa, as prayer will do,
is such a blessing;
we are so fortunate to be able to pray for each other,
as the prayers always encourage us
as well.

Pray for Resa

Resa is not doing well as of this morning.
Please pray for her,
her levels are declining and the doctors do not have anything more.
Resa is doing a bit better.
This is a real sea-saw of a time for her and her
family and friends.
Lord have mercy
and hear our prayer!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Small steps

I have not been online as much

Moving and setting up house
(and having little or no access to Internet last week)
has put me behind also on blog reading
and commenting.


I have been struggling with fears,
even though I see how God is taking care of me.

Sometimes one feels alone
even when God, the Holy Theotokos and the Saints
are near.

However, it also a lie of the devil
to try to convince us that we are actually alone.


God is with us.


to which I thank her most kindly.
I do enjoy our friendship via the blog world
and thank God for her.

Now the rules say I am to pass this on.

So here are my five,
though there are so many to chose from.

MamaJuliana - I find her blog dear and her love for
her family always has a heartening effect.
I treasure the prayers she has offered for me
over the past months.

Mimi is perhaps my oldest blog friend
who I did not know in person first.
She would comment and keep my blog company
when not to many others did.
I always look forward to hearing from her
via her blog.

RW is a treasured friend
whose love of art, beauty and space left on a page
I share and am so glad to have her in my life.

Victoria has also been a great
to me and I really appreciate her
and her blog.

Elizabeth at The Garden Window has been a
delightful new friend over the past year
and a true prayer support.

There are so many others, including

Pres. Kathy whose blog and stories of her lovely son
are a joy to read; her and her Husband Fr. D.'s prayers
have been a great encouragement to me.

Mat. Donna as well, which to me goes without saying.

That the Geeky Wife cares about me has meant a lot to me,
really touched me! :)

Deb's blog I have been reading I think two years now
and is always a joy.

And November's blog and similar struggles with employment
are also an encouragement to me.

And the list goes on
Know that if I comment on your blog,
it means I read it and appreciate you very much.

Also I have not even mentioned all of my friends who I know
in person
who blog.

So please do not feel forgotten!!


This month I will not be posting as much, is my guess.
Between unpacking,
figuring out Cleo care,
visiting family and friends in Michigan
and trying to set up some resumes so I can come back
in early January ready to try to find a part-time job
I will not have much time for much else.


May the Lord preserve us and bring us to His mercy
and to the love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Pictures of transition

I am really missing this kitchen wall.

When ever I look at my buffet,

I miss it.

However, thank God I am here

in my new blue place

with so much potential,

albeit less space.

I must strive to remember the thankfulness I had

cleaning my new apartment

and hanging my Trinity Icon on the wall.

(It is now the first Icon one sees when my front door opens.)

And what a view.
Tomorrow help is coming, thank God.
To do:
recycle boxes
put up table
fix shelf I tried to put up
move boxes off top shelves
fix bed that is tilting
To figure out:
I need more lighting.
I have one more cool vintage lamp at home.
Will this be enough?
I am hoping so, as thrift is the name of the game.
where to put the rest of my Icons that are
still not up.
And I need to reposition one that I put up two days ago.
what to do with the others shelves I have and where
to put them...
Can't Wait!:
for things to find their proper place so that
a sense of space and light
can come back.
That Cleo my Cat is sitting next to me as I type this.
I do love that cat!

Returning but all is different...

As I said,
a few posts ago,
the move went as well as it could.
And God even provided two meals,
one Saturday and one Sunday.

And God provided beauty,

like the sun shining through these clouds,

as seen on my new small balcony.

And the second day I managed,

by the grace of God,

to put up my icon shelf,

and even got it level.

But it has been a hard week,

in ways.

I am about halfway unpacked.

A friend is coming tomorrow to help me,

my table needs to be put together,

boxes moved down from shelves in my closets

so I can put things in order.

Today I tried to put up a shelf in my bathroom,

but try as I may,

I did not get it level and am hoping that one of my friends

can be of help!

(It is a corner shelf and after getting the inside hidden brackets on the wall,

it was not fully even and so did not work).

A small thing,

but it feels big when one needs the shelf in order to empty a box onto!

Cleo is doing okay
considering the chaos
but we both wait for the day
when things are set up again.
Meanwhile, I booked my plane ticket home for Christmas.
This is a good thing.
I need to find a part time job for January
and feel a bit overwhelmed about this.
First, though, I need to finish unpacking.
Today was the first time I was able to make
any sort of meal in my kitchen area.
Thanks be to God that my phone and internet
is up and running again.
I know all will be put right in time,
I just need to wait...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


My internet and home phone are both down.
Another tech. is to come tomorrow
to try to fix it.
I am doing well and slowly sorting out the mound of boxes
and putting up icons.
Cleo is loving our new view and window sill.