Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bright Thursday

Christ is Risen!


Above is my new Pascha icon of the Resurrection...

I made the icon as I did not have an icon of the

Resurrection that was not wallet sized...

It was blessed after Agape vespers

and was in the Altar area

on Pascha.

I am having a Pascha dinner party


on Bright Friday

the Feast of the Life Giving Springs.


It is going to be a fairly traditional Italian meal.


I look forward God willing to singing Christ is Risen

tomorrow at the dinner...

Cleo was watching outside again today;

it stormed and now is sunny;

typical Ottawa spring.


I have more job things to do.

Went to IKEA;

they are building a new IKEA here;

we are going from the smallest IKEA in Canada

to the largest.


I got some nice new tall taper candles

and restocked on tea lights.


Give us our daily bread


God has blessed me;

I am seeing again how I do not have to worry about the future;

keep looking for jobs;

the biggest challenge is to stay faithful and energized

in my search.


God will not leave us.


Christ is Risen!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bright Tuesday

Christ is Risen!

Already it is Bright Tuesday!

Today I cleaned house

did laundry


baked a really yummy beef roast

with lots of olive oil, salt pepper and garlic

and ate it with a friend,

enjoying Pascha (the bread) and chocolate with

chai spice tea for dessert...


I am aware though that even in this season we have to stay


Life still has to be lived and spiritual growth

at least for me

is still needed...

we have to watch out sometimes almost more

during Feast times as

the hard times are more unexpected...

Cleo agrees though she wishes it were not so.


I have to get going on Ottawa job searching

and I am finding it hard to do.

The more one wants something the harder it is

I think.

Lord have mercy.


How are your post-Pascha days going?

Any foods you are enjoying?

Any struggles, joys?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Joyous Pascha!

Christ is Risen!!

I have so enjoyed reading all of my beloved

Orthodox blog friends entries

and pictures on Pascha!

How can we not express our joy at the Feast of Feasts

and of Christ's Death and Resurrection which

secured our salvation!


This Pascha was beautiful...

such precious times for us.


I only pray that we can deepen in Pascha,

keep it in us,

have it meld into our bones, our soul.


Beautiful moments for me included...

putting my baskets in the church hall,

with about 4 extra containers with cookies;

having my Pascha (the bread) from my Ukrainian


seeing the children wave their candles;

little babies miraculously sleeping amidst the

joy-filled proclamations of

Christ is Risen! in numerous languages;

a short walk outside with a dear friend and her

young daughter

enjoying the weather being good despite

the forecast;

and the processions -

lots of wind though candles were blown out,

relit and then all over again;

the brilliant blaze of light of Pascha when reentering the church;

singing the Angel cried;

the bells of Pascha;

wishing to be there forever and wanting only

a bit more of it to get within me;

looking at the icon of the Resurrection in all the glory and


nothing can compare and no one save Christ is worthy

of such a glorious feast!


Here is what I did to prepare for the earthly food,

which comes after the heavenly food of Christ

in His Holy Eucharist on Pascha.


I baked almost 200 cookies!


In my small apartment with no counter space!

My coffee table worked just fine:

(Notice the spray bottle by the cookies?

it is the only thing that kept Cleo away from them!)

It was a mad dash all day,

with a trip to the store in the middle of it.

I made...

Chocolate chip cookies (4 batches)

Molasses cookies (1 batch)

I tried to make meringue cookies but it was my first try

so they were not whipped enough but it was still fun!


Since I don't have a car and walk to church

but was wearing my once a year

pretty Pascha white outfit

and my suit case with about 180 cookies at least

and Pascha basket things

was heavy:

So I took a taxi with all my cookies to church!

(mind you I live near to church so it did not cost much;

it's only a 30 minute walk so about 5-8 minute drive)


Here's my Pascha breakfast the next day...

hot chocolate

my Pascha (the bread)



homemade beef jerky

chocolate chip cookie

thick yogurt with honey

and another smaller bread...

After this yummy feast

I made a new chocolate cake recipe

called Velvet Chocolate Cake,

a very moist soft cake!

And I tried making an egg, milk, butter and Cinnamon with raisins

with egg noodles (Ukrainian) casserole;

it was good but I have to figure out how to make it look

nicer next time as while the taste was lovely,

it did not look as nice.

These I shared with various church family members...


I still don't know if I am staying or leaving Ottawa

for work

so baking all these things for Pascha

(I got a big basket for 5.00 used and put two batches of the

chocolate chip cookies in it to

give out on Pascha after the liturgy and basket blessing)

was even more important to me.


Wish I could of shared all the cookies with you my blog friends!

Joyous Bright Week to you all!

Christ is Risen!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thanksgiving and Holy Week

(hoping this picture of Cleo stays, am trying

Picasa again).


Cleo seems much better; she has had water

and wanted to eat my food again.


Not sure if she has eaten much of her own food yet,

but seems normal and no sickness today.


Thank you for your prayers.

I was getting concerned - she was sick 5 times yesterday...

I am so glad that God is so loving and humble to care

about all His creatures,

including my Cleo Cat!


I am slowly working on three job applications.

None of them in Ottawa;

as my spiritual father reminded me,

I must leave all of this in God's hands.


Tonight is Holy Unction!

Yesterday I went to a friend's church for Bridegroom Matins;

was really lovely.

I am so thankful for Holy Week!


Today I got the ingredients for cookies

other than the eggs...

(my Ukrainian family makes my Pascha bread :))

I am trying to get all this organized so that Holy Thursday/Friday will be more


I am sad to say that all three jobs I am working on are due the Holy Weekend.

I wish I had been more on the ball to get them done earlier

but it does not always work out the way we had hoped.


Wishing everyone a Holy and Blessed Pascha/Easter weekend!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Great and Holy Tuesday - includes concerns for my cat

Cleo a few days ago when I was washing my chair covers.

My Cat has been sick today

and is not herself.

I called the vet and the person I talked to said to watch her for the next

day or so. She has been sick before but I

always find it a bit worrisome.

She is such a cute cat;

wish I could describe how cute and young she looks when running out a door;

or the comfort I have by the fact that she is near by

during the night hours.

She has not wanted to eat or drink today -

not even treats.


I am hoping whatever is wrong will get better real soon.


Any prayers for my beloved pussy cat are quite welcome.


I am hoping this will only be a one-day saga

and not continue throughout Holy Week.


God is with us;

Thank God that He cares for all our concerns

and all His creatures.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday Week 5 of Great Lent

(church picnic picture 2010)

Today was sunny here in Ottawa.

I am slowly developing a game plan for job searching.

I am also organizing a book club for the summer months

with some of my friends.

Ironically, time-wise, the book my friend suggested

and that we all agreed to read

is St. John Climacus' Ladder of Divine Ascent.

I have been reading Fr. Thomas Hopko's book

Lenten Spring

in which he quotes it.

Am really excited!


Had some friends over for soup, salad and bread


So uplifting, the fellowship of friends.


Your comments have really encouraged me this week, thank you.


Still at a loss to know what to think about applying for jobs outside

of Ottawa.

I know I have loved many places in my life;

when I left BC, which included my first Orthodox Church,

I barely spoke for three days;

which if you know me,

this really says something!


I left BC to go back to the States and

was back in Canada for school 6 months later.


I've officially been Canadian 8 years;

lived in Canada for school before these 8 years for 5 years

(minus summers).


I think of and have applied to jobs in the States;

but I don't know if I can re-acclimate from Canada that easily.

And it is not that I don't love the States;

for example,

I love...

the blessed simplicity of many of its people;

the regional differences make for a very varied state-by-state


my family;

my State - Michigan;

I love the East Coast for it's British-ness;

the West Coast for it's laid back nature

with ocean water and organic food plus mountains;

I've not been to the South but loved reading about the culture of it;

loved Madeleine L' Engle's books that spoke of the South;

So it is not like I dislike the country of my birth.


But I love Ottawa.

I love everything about it some days;

the streets are actually quite clean

but always seem dusty to me; especially because

we have our share of poverty;

the homeless man on the corner asking for Smokes;

the woman huddled by her paper cup waiting for change to be dropped in

(and often taking some of it out I think so it looks empty);

I remember one of the older women that I used to talk to,

she barely had any teeth left,

so many wrinkles,

the skin around her eyes was always pink,

made me wish she could have some nice quality soap, soft towels

and a warm bath.

She said her name was Nicole;

I have not seen her this year;

I wonder if she is still alive.

I am glad that I remember her;

can you imagine not being remembered!

So I love these people.

Of course Ottawa is the capital city

so tonight for instance,

when I was walking home from church,

and needed bus tickets...

the convenience store was closed since only one guy

works it and he needed a break;

there were five of us at least waiting for him;

one Asian boy;

two well dressed men;

another person;

we all had cell phones;

Ottawa is funny in that strangers don't readily

talk much to each other;

I was in a chatty mood

and talked to them anyway :)


I like saying hi to the convenience person when I buy my bus tickets;

I know the bakery people where I buy my bread;

I recognize the regulars that work at my downtown grocery shop;

I see people as the weeks go buy who also live downtown;

they are walking, or riding in their wheel chairs;

running; walking the dog...


I love these people; the streets at night;

I worry about the young people by the bars;

We are all here together on this earth;

how much we have to learn to be kind; to not judge;

to love; to pray.


I guess lent is the time when we realize how much we don't do this yet.

How much I wish we had more of Christ in us;

so that others would see Him and be saved.


I don't know if I will stay in Ottawa or if God will send me else where;

the idea of else where makes me reel inside;

but either way;

we are together in Christ

all of us who are Christians or who will become Christians;

God is outside of time;

we must seek to be in Christ;

May we go towards God and into Holy Week together.

May we all be saved.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sunshine in the midst of it all

Took these pictures yesterday

of the sunshine and blue sky.

These are the 'gingerbread' looking houses that

were snow covered and pictured

from my apartment window these past months.

I am looking forward to seeing flowers and leaves on

the trees.


I am writing cover letters and refining resumes.


I never knew I would feel so unsure of what to do

or what direction to go in.

No one tells you in advance how hard adulthood can be.


We just have to keep walking towards God.

Really, what else is there?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sunny Tuesday - Wishing for more direction

(summer 2010)



Picasa by Google is not keeping my pictures on my blog,

as you may have noticed.

The only way I can get them up now is by

moving a picture to my desktop

and then importing it.

Things have not gotten simpler with my new computer,

though at least it works,

which is why I got it.


Thank you all for your kind comments and encouragement.

I still feel a bit at a loss as to how to go forward.

I know I have to do more networking

to try to get another contract.


But I feel really unsure about what is best to do.

I feel like I am moving forward only to be looking at another

uncompromising brick wall.


I just hope I can find something quickly;

the days are so long when I

don't have a job to do.


I know the first thing I must do is look

to the Author of our salvation...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Well, now I know...

I emailed the company I had an interview

with over two months ago;

got an email back

was such a difficult choice but in the end we did not choose you.


That's why you never even bothered to tell me?

Too bad though as in many ways I would of loved that job.


So I am slowly reading up on things to do another cover letter.


I had a nice time with a friend today.


I must seek at once to try to work hard on job searching

and be patient in the process;

a challenge.


Christ promises to not abandon us...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Almost there

(Flowers from the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God
from last August in Michigan).



We are at the 5th week of lent.

The 5th week often has had very painful things in it

in the past;

I said this to one from my church and the reply was

must be because it is so close to Holy Week.

This makes sense;

Holy Week, as my spiritual father says,

is, if you were only to live for 7 days,

the 7 days you would want to live

and that these 7 days contain

everything needed for one's salvation;

(he is quick to add of course one needs to go to church

year round).


It is hard to believe Holy Week is almost upon us.

I have great anticipation for this week.


Meanwhile this coming week I will have to do a lot

of job searching activities.

Please pray for me.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Feast of the Annunciation

This morning I went to liturgy.

Then lunch with church friends.

Then buying the salmon and wine for the meal.


Between cleaning house and preparing,

I was running behind...

A friend came early and helped a lot.

I find I cannot put on a meal for 7 or 8 people without help.

Boiled potatoes with dill added at the meal

Salad with avocado, mushrooms, tomato and a dressing with

garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Salmon baked in foil packets with onion and lemon.

Fruit - dark grapes, blue berries and star fruit.


Vegan chocolate cake for dessert.


Lemon wedges in water

a white and a red wine.

Star fruit looks so decorative!

Salmon on plates.

The Becel margarine in the plastic container makes me laugh;

a bit incongruous.


It was so wonderful to have such a festive meal

in the midst of Lent and for

such a beautiful feast.


Lovely conversation about church, liturgical music,

Father's sermon from today's liturgy,

families and laughter.


Tomorrow I have to do some serious job searching things.

Thankfully two friends stayed and helped me

with all the dishes.


We prayed briefly for our friend who is flying home

to be with her Father who is ill.


God help us.

Most Holy Theotokos save us!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Freeing first step

After some lovely times with

a good friend and her kids

who were unexpectedly visiting;

I have gotten to a better inward space.

I am sure the fun with her almost three year old



I am back again to job searching.

I have had some recovery days now

from my intense last day of work.


I don't know if I will get more contract work,

as much as I loved it.


Meanwhile I need a job.

I have managed to save money so I am not in immediate


But I don't want to get back to this either.

Last November to January's financial crisis,

which God swooped in and saved me from

I would rather not repeat.


I have begun job searching.

I am looking in and outside of Ottawa.

I still may have to move.


Somehow today I have accepted this

(we will see how I feel later on)

and just want to get in what I hope will be a good job

that lasts more than two months.


I don't know yet

but it feels good to start moving on it.


Of course I need prayers.

Job searching is very tiring.

I need a lot of wisdom as I seek to continue

discerning what to do.


Meanwhile here's an old picture of Cleo,

the cute Cat who always wants to eat my food!

Sunday, April 03, 2011



My friend's father (who has reoccurring cancer) told her to come home.

I know at least 6 or 7 people who are in the middle

of great sorrow, grief.


Lent is also a time when we have to watch out for

unexpected conflict with others;

the devil wants to separate us.


Others I know are ill or children are ill.


I have no answers save one:

the Cross of Christ and Christ's Resurrection.


May God carry us to Holy Week and Pascha.