Monday, May 31, 2010


I really appreciate it that my blog community

appreciates and sees the beauty

I seek to create in my teas.


It is a learning curve for me,

to put together a good tea

and be a good hostess.


In time I may read up on the etiquette of hosting dinner parties

and teas, from how to prepare the food,

the table;

am also interested in learning more about conversations

and engaging everyone in the party according to who they are.


Meanwhile the tea yesterday was lovely

and I am already dreaming up

other tea / lunch / dinner

party ideas.

At least I am not shy
and certainly not of showing my tea party pictures!
In other news, I got an A+ on my quiz!
(I got two wrong verb endings wrong
but still a grade of A+,
I'll take it!!)
The test today was a bit more difficult
but I know I passed and did
fairly well.
Much more studying to be done this week!
Today is the beginning of the Apostles' Fast.
Wishing everyone a good beginning.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Tea

Cold creamed asparagus soup with leeks.

Chicken and cucumber sandwiches


Delicious strawberries and grapes.

Cookies for dessert with
both Chai Tea and Licorice Spice.
It was lovely.
I am thankful for the opportunity to celebrate
with a few friends.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

So glad it is Sunday tomorrow!

Yesterday I made the above pasta;

artichoke, penne noodles, Fia's Pasta Sauce

(from a slower cooker book I have),

mozzarella cheese,


Turned out well,

made lots.

We are slowly gearing up for the Apostles' fast!

I am preparing a tea for tomorrow

with a few of my friends;

hope to post pictures of it, of course!

It was a fight against anxiety about the future;
I am glad I have church to strengthen
and encourage us in our struggles.
I am relieve that it will be a fasting time,
I pray that I can quiet my heart...
Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday and
for all who are Orthodox,
a good beginning to the Apostles' Fast!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Early Summer


I don't think I realized how much I love summer sunshine!

I love winter sunshine but summer is special too.

It cooled down a bit though, to my delight.

(I find the high humidity tiring).

Today I ran into an old neighbour from my last apartment building;

she has cancer and I did not know.

Am so glad I know now - please say a prayer for her.

I am working on staying in the present
and it sure is nice to do this.
Lot less stressful;
my old neighbour talked to me all about this -
how she is not going to worry about tomorrow but just do
what has to be done today.
She got really sick with the chemo;
she was surprised how many people are in the hospital with cancer.
May the Lord have mercy on us all;
in the beautiful days of summer many still suffer.
It is a good reminder as I go through
these days of waiting
on applications.
Enjoy today.
Follow the guidelines of the church
(one of my friends jokingly said the Church says we HAVE to have meat tomorrow
on Friday because it is a fast free week!).
I am putting together a nice tea for a few of my friends
right before our next fast.
May we seek God in all times and in all places.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Application is in!

I went this morning in person,
in the heat.
It is a fast-free week.
I had a hamburger for lunch.
They forgot my ketchup but it was still pretty good.
I can tell that many are praying for me.
I was reminded of a Donald Hall poem tonight
the ending is that he is
surprised by happiness.
I have felt moments of peace and happiness
it sure feels nice.
Am trying to live in the moment,
in what is true:
I have enough for today.
I even have enough for tomorrow.
I need to file my taxes (note to self).
But I even have enough for the day after tomorrow.
Give us our daily bread.
I have a place to live.
I found Cleo laying on her back tonight
looked so funny.
My A/C is in (but not exactly installed perfectly yet
however it is IN).
My Goddaughter called and left me a voicemail.
One of my good friends had a baby boy!
at Home!
je suis tres content.
She saw God taking care of every detail
and the Mother of God's care while she was in labour.
no wonder I am feeling happy.
That said,
I am aware that I need prayers
and I am so grateful for all of yours.
I feel that this summer is a summer of further
and I am so thankful to be blessed with
such a great blog community.
May God help us all!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

For today

It is so hot here
these days.
Just got my A/C in tonight.
Still quite warm.
Due to various reasons and circumstances,
I have been home a lot these past few days.
Too much studying
not enough people interaction
is inwardly difficult for me.
I hope to hand in my application
for the University program.
Am finding it hard to wait.
Yet on God
I must wait
and put my trust.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Another picture of the restaurant that my Uncle took
my Dad and I too.
God really watched over me as I went to Brampton last week!
The train ended up being a bus to Toronto due to some rail damage
down the line.
Then I was given a taxi drive from Toronto to Brampton!
(Over a 30 minute drive).
I showed the taxi driver a picture of my Oma and myself
on her 100th Birthday.
The taxi driver ended up taking me right to my Oma's place
instead of the train station;
it was so joyous to meet my Mom, who was waiting for me outside the doors.
We both thanked the taxi driver for his generosity...
Oh if only I would remember at all times what care and attention
God gives to us His children!
I am trying to work more in French;
with my two new classes I have found it a challenge.
Am reading things, including this great blog post
about accepting that we may be in
a state of confusion
but by accepting it and doing what needs doing
we can have a sense of peace
in the midst of it.
I am really struggling to organize my time so that I
devote enough to French studies.
Lord help us all!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What time is it?

My time away was good;

it is as it always is; my family is routine oriented;

we spent a lot of time together; my Mother is the youngest

of a family of 8 children

so lots of remembering.

Asked my Oma about what her advice about marriage was

(figured I better ask while I can since by the time I may or may not

get married, she will be, I pray, in heaven, since she is

101 years old currently).

She said to be nice to him and he will be nice to you

and to know when to speak and when to not speak.

Lots of truth in these simple things.

Years ago my Mom's family lived in the house pictured above;

painted then with the wood in yellow and green

and a porch the whole side of the house...

My Uncle took my Dad and I to a cool restaurant

with tons of Victorian decorations.

I love the unexpected restaurants way out in the countryside.

A large part of me still belongs to the countryside

of both Ontario and Michigan...

Cleo missed me.
She always lets me know the night I am home sleeping
about 2 Am
she wakes me up.
If anything I will have lots of experience of waking in the middle of the night
if I ever do have a family.
That cat of mine.

She had two people visit her -- my one friend even texted me pictures of her!

and Cleo always had plenty of food and water.


I am wondering what time it is for me.

Reprogramming for sure.



re-something else I'm sure.

Changing my eating habits

figuring out what I need for exercise (and how to have the time?)


I am trying to not be on my computer as much;

I know I need to reorganize my life and time.


Moved a shelf unit into my closet,

purging myself of more stuff

being patient with the process.


It can be hard to wait

but the process has to be gone through before I will be

where I will be next

(school, job, other yet unknown).


May God have mercy on us all.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

And tomorrow, the train...

Have researched online as much as I can
for this program
French as a Second Language.
Vacillate between feeling excited about it
and scared about how much work it would be.
However I am saying no to anxiety
and worrying about something or
feeling scared about it
does not mean one does not do it.
I am going to Brampton tomorrow!
My Oma is 101.
All of my life she has always been here.
Can't imagine her not being
and am so glad I get to see her again.
I hope to savor each part of this small
I have ordered the transcripts to apply to the program
and am going to fill out the application on the train.
Somehow I feel, overall, excited about this.
I think part of it is I always feel excited about school;
must seek to guard my heart also;
I have already had to blog about my dreams being
based in what was not really true.
Like thinking a perfect apartment or job
would give happiness
anything else that I really need.
After all, the purpose of life is not in having my dreams
of a family or good job or living space.
The end and beginning must be
my faithful Saviour
Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Oh, well, then...

I know.

Cleo looks too cool for her own good.

Rest assured, she is looking quite normal now

and is resting on the top of my afghan-arm chair.

My new salad meal.

Spinach, boiled egg, non-died cheddar cheese

(cheddar with orange = dyed colour)

a radish, some tomato and cucumber,


I dress it up with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Have to come up with a new variation though

or I will get tired of it

(I know my consumerist self too well, sigh).

I made some phone calls today.
I am going to apply to do a major
(a second BA without the electives that my first BA has)
in French as a Second Language
at one of the two local Universities.
This would give me the time and structure
to continue learning French.
It would also give me more debt in student loans;
but not more than I can pay off
(especially if I get a professional library position afterwards).
I don't know the economic future two plus years down the road.
It would be a big investment of what our current culture
considers to be important:
time and money.
Please pray for me that I will make the decision
that God wants me to make
and that I will be able to read and obey His will.
Thank you.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday / a Lundi

A Close up of Cleo.


After waking me at 6 am, I find I still love her!

Lucky for her...

A really beautiful day today.

And I achieved my goal of studying this morning in the library.

But OH MY GOODNESS do I have a lot to review

and learn.

Lord help me.

I cannot express how encouraging having my
lampada lit
day and night is.
Light in the darkness;
the light will never be overcome by night.
It was recently St. George's Day
(old calendar)
and this year I discovered that there is a
the day of after St. George's Day.
I have a lot to do to get ready for my short trip away.
Balancing trip-planning, French studying...
A friend offered to help me network;
I reworked my resume
and carefully crafted my email to go with the resume.
I am reading some books by Christian Protestant author
I admit that I find his website to be a bit overwhelming,
not to mention that he has, with his daughters,
created an Institute.
regardless of my inclinations to want things all tidy
and artistic
(I did a BA in English Lit)
I found my friend's suggestion to take a look at his books
worth while.
As you may remember,
I declared war on anxiety
and part of this war was getting books.
Hart's books (and one that his daughter co-wrote)
are one of the tools I am
using to fight.
I hope to do some book reviews on them,
but for now suffice it to say
that I am trying to build new habits in my life
as part of this effort.
First up is improving my eating habits.
More green and other vegetables.
I tend to eat lots of bread
and not as much in the area of vegetables,
unless I make a good soup.
So far, so good.
It is tricky to understand all the areas
that need to be examined;
and how blessed I am to have such good food
easily available to eat.
Second is to get more sleep.
On that note, I better do so presently!
Christ is Risen!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Sunday Evening

One never knows where Cleo will be found.

Today it was inside the pillow on my chair.

Quite amusing.

One of the buildings near by City Hall...

My Mother, on Mother's Day,
gave me a good bit of encouragement.
Sometimes I suddenly look at the waves in my life,
I forget, like St. Peter, to look at Christ.
I must keep trying to learn French and see how far I can get by the
end of the summer.
I must develop a new routine,
cut out all and any self-pity
and try to work hard at French.
If you could pray for strength for this resolve,
I would appreciate it.
I am
Lord Willing
going to Brampton Ontario this week to visit my Oma
who is 101 years old
and my Mother who will be visiting her Mother.
I am grateful for God for giving me such a great
Mom and two wonderful Grandmothers!
Christ is Risen!!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Cleo and the week as it winds down

Thanks everyone for your comments
and show of concern for my Cat Cleo.
She has been fine the past two days;
little sneezing fits
and lots of meow-give-me-what I want
but okay over all I think.
Called a Vet.
The person who I described the situation to
thought that she was okay so far
but to watch to make sure
she does not get worse.
She is eating, drinking, litter-boxing (if you know what I mean!)
and acting her normal self.
Like the picture below?
Bet you did know that Cleo is practically fanged.
Always talking, that's Cleo.
She is currently lounging on the gold chair,
bet your daughter Alana would like the picture! :)

The other day there was a freak down-town rain storm;
two of my friends who live in Ottawa, but not downtown
did not get the rain at all!
The rain lasted a good 10 minutes
and kind of blew in and then blew out.
The sun came out again suddenly
making the newly wet ground beautiful.
My one French class is hard
a bit over my head
as I have had very little chance for listening and speaking
(which is why I switched French classes).
I am struggling to find time to study
even though it is the main thing
I am to be doing.
May the Lord help us all.
Christ is Risen!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Cleo Question

Warning - conversation about cat and hairballs ensuing.
I admit,
I should brush my very furry cat
more often.
And it is spring.
Hairballs are a comin'.
But I have a question and concern because...
some of the time when Cleo is throwing up
(sorry if this is gross but I gotta ask
my friends who may know)
the non-hairball part is, as of late,
Should I be concerned?
Do I need to bring her to the vet?
I have not called the vet yet
due to business
and also that I am trying to conserve money.
Any thoughts?

Monday, May 03, 2010

Settling in for Spring

Had my first French class today.
Taking two part time classes;
ended up doing Mon-Wed nights
and Tues-Thurs mornings!
But one thing at a time.
I must try really hard
have some relaxation time as well.
A tough balance.
We had Cemetery Day at my Church's Cemetery
One of our beloved parishioners
who died in 2006 in her very early 40's
is buried there.
So every year for Cemetery Day
I bring my Mexican blanket and spread it by her grave
and myself and others sit on the blanket
and eat by her grave
and sing Christ is Risen to her.
I will always miss her and I know I am not alone
in asking now for her prayers.
For a beautiful example of asking the prayers of those
who have gone to the Lord before us,
I encourage you to listen to this podcast about Fr. George Calciu
by Fredrica Matthewes-Green.

I am reading some great books -
The Jesus Prayer by Fredrica Matthewes-Green is one of these.
The trip to the monastery was really wonderful.
So much so that I don't have a single picture!
I got a lot of wise counsel from one of the Sisters there
that I will be pondering over the next days and weeks.
I find it so important to go to monasteries
for counsel
for refreshment
and to be surrounded by the monastics' prayers.
Christ is Risen!