Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Constantly Unexpected

My meeting for a very small contract

was canceled again.

Third time.

Please pray for me for wisdom

and that I will know what and how to apply

for work in the meantime.


I would really like to start working soon

if only to have a routine and schedule,

not to mention some money coming in.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Quiet Day...

Hard to believe we are almost done with the

40 days of Brightness.

My phone meeting was postponed again

until tomorrow.

Tonight I need to finish a cover letter...

Back to work.

It was hard to work on finding work today,

with my phone meeting cancelled again.

Lord have mercy...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Beautiful Sunday

Liturgy today.

Last time in church singing

Christ is Risen!


I wish I could be at my church everyday... :)


We had cemetery day,

a day I always love.

I bring my Mexican blanket to a

woman's grave that we all love very much,

and sit next to the grave on it.

We eat and share food.

We have a Panakhyda at the beginning before

the individual grave visits and picnics.

I visit the chapel and the icons

and ask that I can come back next year.


Tomorrow I am to have,

I hope,

my meeting for the short term contract

that I was originally to have this past Thursday.


Never did get to the monastery as I hoped

as plans changed.

Life is never short in the unexpected.


Lots of work ahead this week;

May God help and protect us all.


Christ is Risen!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Summer Strawberry Lemon Cake

1 small strawberry yogurt cup

2 cups strawberries

1 half lemon.

1/2 cup butter softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1 strawberry yogurt cup

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup mashed strawberries

1 1/2 cup flour


preheat oven to 350 F

grease pan

1. in large bowl cream butter and sugar.

Add eggs, beat 1 minute.

stir in vanilla and salt.

2. in the yogurt cup add the baking soda and stir

3. add step two and flour to the large bowl (step #1)

beat well.

(I beat the butter and sugar with a mixer and

hand-stirred the rest).

Then stir in the mashed strawberries.

Bake 30 minutes or so,

until the top springs back when lightly touched.

While baking/cooling:

cream together 2 tbs butter and 1 or 1 and a bit more

confectioners sugar.

Add 2 tbs milk

squeeze lemon juice to taste (I did 2 tbs)

1 tsp of lemon zest.

beat till smooth.


I added the frosting the next day so it was more frosting

instead of glaze; if you add it while the cake is still warm

I think it will be more of a glaze than a frosting.

Either way works.


When making this cake for a baby shower and

the baby's gender is known,

you can celebrate by writing it in slivered strawberries,

if desired:

I came back home with the empty pan

many cake compliments

and 1 request for the recipe.


This post is dedicated to my Mom who said to me

that she never gets to see any of

my baking.

Here you go Mom! :)

Of course I think my Mom also means she wants me

to make her some when I am home next. :)


we can all enjoy some summer strawberry cake!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Soup and Cats

The tea I had with a friend included

tomato soup...

{edit: Amy's organic cream of tomato soup to be precise}

{edit: I made the same bread
the next day and...}

Cleo was more interested, as usual,

with the bread:

I know... I should of shooed her off right away
but she was merely at the sniffing stage;
I took the picture and then had her leave :)

Of course

other people's cats

would never do such a thing --


Simple Tea on Thursday

A friend from out of town

and I had a simple* tea.

Main course: bakery bread with

sliced zucchini, red pepper, avocado and a soft goat cheese.

This was baked in the toaster oven for about 5-7 minutes.

Second layer of tea: strawberries and green grapes.

Third layer: circle shaped biscuits from Italy

and heart cookies from France

(a brand that I was surprised/sad to see that Kraft took over)

Water with first two layers

a fruit tea with the cookies.

I was really pleased with the biscuits as they only a

few ingredients and were very subtle,

not overly sweet which was exactly what I had hoped for.

My friend told me that in Chinese the heart

shaped cookies are called

butterfly cookies;

they are lovely, light and with a sweetness

that is just right... the taste of sugar

without being overwhelming.

*simple tea as opposed to high tea that involves

scones, clotted cream, little sandwiches and cookies

Thursday, May 26, 2011

God cares about the details of our lives

My phone meeting was postponed

for my next contract

until Monday.


This change meant that I see my friend today,

hope to go to the Greek monastery tomorrow

and have time to bake the baby shower cake

Saturday morning

for the shower that afternoon.


How to keep one's eyes on Christ in the midst of everything

even good things,

is the challenge that I need to continue to learn.


How is it that we so easily forget to think of

the Source and Hope for our existence

and eternal life?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sunshine in Spring

The next few days are going to be a bit

of a whirlwind.


Phone meeting to discuss contract work

(prayers requested).


Cake to bake, resume to write, contract work to begin;

monastery, baby shower, vespers all on Saturday.

Liturgy and cemetery day Sunday.

Contract work most likely next week

and resume and cover letters.


Reading The Ladder for book club.


So if I am not blogging as much or commenting

it is only that life suddenly

gave me a busy week

in which I will have to work hard and be very disciplined.

This is a blessing.


May we pray one for the other.


God is with us.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thoughts and Prayers

Noah is still hurting post-surgery.

The list of those who have cancer
and that I become aware of keeps growing.

I saw my neighbour again today;
it was almost a year ago that I saw her and learned of her cancer.
The cancer is back
in her bones and lung.
She looked very ill; I was shocked at the change.
I hope to go to the Greek Monastery this weekend
and get her some small things if possible;
the monastery makes jam and other things;
I regret not doing something for her last year and want to make up for it now.
It is doubly hard as she has a niece living with her because
this girl's Mom died two years ago.
I can't imagine the pain that this young teenage girl is going through.
In times like these we can only turn to God
and the Most Holy Theotokos
for help in times of trouble.

I am in a better space internally than
I was about two weeks ago.
But I still have a long ways to go
in job applications.

I had a small job that I did today
that involved website testing.
That was nice.

Tomorrow is applying for more jobs.
I am really having a hard time knowing how to best priority my
job search time.
Anyone have any tips on decision making?
I find having too many options
(part-time, full-time, job agencies, what type of work)
to be paralyzing.
Yet, I feel more hopeful again.
Even though a huge mountain awaits my feet to climb it.
God loves us.
He is with us.
He will not abandon us.
We are not abandoned.
We are not alone.
God is with us.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunday's Meal...

I made most of the meal before liturgy

Sunday morning.

From this slowcooker cookbook that I

have found to always cook up great meals.

I used the roast beef recipe that called for


small tin of tomato sauce

1 bay leaf

2 lbs roast beef

(my variation here: chopped up 3 big cloves of garlic,

cut the cloves into 2 or 3 slivers and pierced the meat and

put the garlic inside the 'cut' and then put lots of olive oil

salt and pepper)

4 potatoes peeled and chopped

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 onions peeled and chopped

beef broth/bullion in 1 cup water

(I changed this and added at least 3 cups total,

which made a lot of great beef juice broth,

part of which made nice thick gravy)

The recipe called for browning and flouring the meat

but I did not,

but added a little bit of flour for good measure :)

It cooked away (on high) while we were at church

and out for the afternoon.

Salad was a green lettuce, tomato

avocado with a balsamic vinaigrette.

We saw tulips

the currency museum

and enjoyed the dinner at my place.

I am thankful that I got to see

some of my extended family and have

a special dinner with them.

Holiday Monday

Victoria Day.

I had a nice visit with a friend and her boys.

Tomorrow is another day.

Trying to figure out what I may want to apply for

job wise on a part-time basis.

I find having lots of options a bit overwhelming

to choose from.


sounds like it went well but Noah has a lot of pain.


Each day is a new day from God

and we must not despair in it

but seek God and be glad;

may God help us navigate our way...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Weekend, Family, Church and Saints

Yesterday was St. John the Theologian's day.

What a special Saint that Saint John is;
known for holy silence and as a beloved of Christ...

Family visited...

went to church, a museum and dinner at my place.

Icon of St. Photini

Today is the Sunday of the Samaritan woman,


who is changed by Christ who comes to her

not judging and leading her to see Him

as He is,

the Messiah.

A Christ who loves us all so deeply and personally...

Friday, May 20, 2011


Please pray for Mat. Emily's Dad,

Friday - another day of God's mercy

I love this picture of a woman

walking her dog in the Spring Sunshine.


Yesterday and today I have lists for what to do in my day;

I tried to make them in chronological order

and for them to be realistic.

I think it is helping - I feel encouraged by actually achieving the goals

and things are getting done.

And I am not putting specific time lengths on them,

as I find I can't keep to time-goals but can keep

up with more task-oriented goals.

Somehow if I focus on the task and not

the time, then both work out.


Earlier this week someone who cares about me

said, Elizabeth, you are so funny. You're so smart

but you don't believe you can do it...you're just such a

high-achiever that you are hard on yourself...

To be honest I feel like if I am not doing two or three applications a day

I feel like I failed.

Well, that is not helping me as it does not seem that I can do that goal;

or I have to figure out better ways to accomplish it.

I have to account for time

I need for cleaning, groceries, etc.


Anyway, my goal today is to finish another application and get started

on two more.


Wishing you well in whatever this day has in store for you!

God is with us!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sunshine, Real and Lovely


I am now officially behind, as usual.

First, I got an award

a few weeks back that (oops forgive me)

I had not yet mentioned....

so without further ado,

I really enjoy her blog

and am so happy that she recently got to be in Europe

for a bit on a holiday!

She also lives and I think hails from the Midwest in

the States, which is where I am from as well.

Of course I moved countries and now live

in a city.

Mysterious are God's ways!

Keepin' It Real Award

Thanks Michelle!

The award is given to those who are a bit honest

about their struggles.

Well, tada, I am so awarded.

I must say I am so blessed to have a blog community

where we care about each other and the other's struggles.



I love all my blog friends.

How to pick others for awards I find really difficult.

However, I have two that came to mind

and here they are:

Alana is always keeping it real.

I have read both blogger's blogs for a few years now I think;

my sense of time is not that good

but I feel that I have really gotten to know both of them

through various challenges and struggles

they have had.

I care about them both a lot and am so glad

that I have met them via their blogs!

Many others I also love, many of them already given


I am tired though so please forgive me for not

speaking to more of those I love.

Basically if you read this, comment or I know you

via blog via comments or email

then I love you!



So with theme

keepin' it real...

So today was my first book club for the book

the ladder.

Went really well.

Um, but guess who was so excited about SUNSHINE

this afternoon that she went photo-taking

and thus barely had time to make dinner

while on the phone

and then finish reading the 4th chapter

precisely one minute before my first guest came?

Yep, me!

Yeah, and then one of my favourite shots of today

picture wise,

well, here's what I found once it got on my computer

and I could see it 'up close and personal'...

Any one else notice the FLY

front and centre?


I hope for more sun and that I can try for this picture again!


Thanks again everyone ...

Now it is time for sleep and tomorrow

I must finish that cover letter and resume that is taking

way to long...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Canada Day 2011 includes...

I have family visiting

for the long weekend this weekend

and so I found out via my cousin

that Prince William and his Bride Kate

Two thoughts about this:

1. It is kind of cool, royalty and all

2. Did I mention that I live downtown Ottawa?

The crowds, my friends, the crowds.

Cleo thinks I should be focused on the important things

of life,

like the fact that she is a princess and is waiting for her milk.


Liturgy today was very beautiful.

Today is a very powerful feast,

all of Pascha and all of Pentecost...

It looks like,

I say cautiously but with a lot of hope:

I may have another short term contract

as an Information Specialist

at my beloved last job!

More details to be known within a weeks time.

This of course is hugely encouraging to me!

I mentioned earlier about the naturopath.

Met with her and will now be on a

sublingual Vitamin B12.

I say that is cool and I am all for it.

I am seeking to learn

which I know is mostly on the spiritual level

how to stay inwardly stable.


Have a lot to do meanwhile on more

networking, job searching and making a concrete

game plan for trying to get more contracts

as an Information Specialist,


Librarian Extraordinaire.



Can I just mention again how much I LOVE my blog


Your blogs, your thoughts on your blogs

and how you have been friends to me.

I go through thick and thin and

you have not left.

Thank you.

And the blog friends who don't blog but still love me

and comment or email

I can't tell you how much you've blessed me over the years.

Happy Mid-Pentecost!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A good thing

Doing another cover letter today.

I am happy to say that the unexpected tax bill

I got in November

is now half gone because I got my tax refund.

The other good thing that I found out

in December or so is that I do not

have to pay off the tax bill all in one go.

Now to get a job...


Tomorrow is mid-Pentecost already -

I am looking forward to liturgy!

Monday, May 16, 2011


I was at a friend's house the other night

and her over 1 year old transformed

into a little man overnight.

So cute.

I could see him using more of his older brother's

expressions both on his face and verbally.

And I read him a story for the first time...

one of them was about a town ... one of the Richard Scary books;

soon I was singing to him,

downtown, I wantta live downtown...

it was real cute as I can walk to my friend's house in

no more than 30 minutes

but her boy does not know what town really means

so he was convinced that we did not live in the same town :)


For years I had a really good black carry on suitcase

that I took everywhere with me,

as I lived on my own since 2001/2 and got my groceries in it.

By library school it was already showing a lot of use

and one of my classmates demanded I name it.

So I called it 'old faithful'

and used it for many years.



I finally had to say goodbye to my 'old faithful'

that had sounded by the end almost as bad as a car

without a muffler.

But I missed having a way to transport groceries;

I had been carrying them mostly but

sometimes it gets a bit heavy.

So, the search was on.

But first came Pascha and I got a new basket

and put cookies in it to be blessed and handed out to all the kids

(and adults!)

Here's where my basket lives now:

It's on top of my microwave as it was the only

place I had left for it!

But it is a beautiful basket and I figure it is good

to have reminders of Pascha year round.

I carried my roses on Good Friday for the shroud

and it felt so beautiful to have a basket of roses for

my Saviour...

I am blessed as even the roses I got were at a discount

and they were beautiful real long stem red roses

fragrant, stemmed with leaves and ferns...


For my Pascha party I was getting some really heavy items

so I broke down and bought this cart:

Sad to say it did not suffice.

The tips off the top fell off before I got home

the day I bought it!

And it was too short and so was really uncomfortable to push.

I kept thinking about collection development

in libraries; my teacher in library school said

everyone makes a few collection development

mistakes, items - books, DVDs, etc,

that just don't get the use they should.

Well thankfully my super cool grocery store,

where I bought it from,

let me return it that very day and I was refunded

the money I used buying it.


Last week, admittedly when I had felt excited about a real

job prospect,

I got this new red cart:

It cost 23.00 total Canadian

and I had talked to various people using them downtown

who recommended them.

So far, I am loving it!

Great handle height, good wheels (the other carts wheels

were so wobbly that it was actually hard to use),

and it's red! :)

Here's to hoping that I get another job soon

so I can not worry about 'extra' purchases like this one...



another Cleo picture.

My friend said Cleo looked older and I fear

it is true.

Though I can't always see it, I think somehow she is not always as

fluffy as she was around the face.


She still acts the same, which is great.

Including sudden appearances at the dinner table when I put my

dinner down to eat and turn around to get a glass of water...

so here she is, the famous meal sniffer/stealer

Cleo my Canadian Cute




I kinda like her :)

Humour and Beauty

Cleo, resting. Heeeheheee.

I couldn't resist posting this after all.

She is so funny.

Well and naughty at times, but we won't go into that...

Let's just say no milk in the bowl for her this week :)


I was kinda bad too. Ate sugar, chocolate.

It was good.

I try not to do so too much as it can destroy

my interior equilibrium at times.

But so far so good today.

But shopping for real food is on the agenda for tonight.

It's cloudy here today.

I applied for another job.

Took me 4 hours to do. Somehow that seems way too long.

But I can't seem to write cover letters, and the 4 edits or so needed,

plus resume revamp, in less time.

Hmmm. Hope to get better at that.


I have a lot to do again this week.

Really am dreading doing the job agency interview thing.

Could need prayers about that one.

Now if I only knew what to eat for dinner...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Moving forward one inch at a time

It was so good to be at liturgy.

My church family is a great gift.

I can't say I am in the easiest situation,

and in someways I admit to feeling like

I fail when I admit via my blog that

I have / am struggling.

But the thing is we all struggle.

I am just one of everyman.

I know.

But Christ is Risen

and He promises,

as Jane Kenyon writes,

to be mercy clothed in light.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


This is my favourite tree.

Thank you for those who sent love in various

ways via online media.

It was a blessing to go to vespers tonight.

God will not leave us in our battles.

fighting for thanksgiving

This has been a very tough week emotionally.

And I know that having too much time on my hands

and being alone a lot

is really hard on me.

Those of you who have children or a busy job

may think I am lucky

to have such quiet

and I guess I am in ways.

But right now I can't see it.

If you are working or have a family

you have people to talk to.

A reason to wake up in the morning.

Thank God I wake up to His mercies

new every morning.

Frankly my struggle is to stay up.

To not take short naps

that I do not need.

That is what I am fighting right now.

Emotional weariness.

Black thoughts.

I must FIGHT despair.

I am taking measures

that will help me.

Called my naturopath (she sees me at no cost currently)

so I can get advice.

Called a friend.

Got my list out of places I need to contact

to see if they can use my research services.

Need to contact job agencies.

I know that the only

happy ever after is heaven

and we must fight to be Christians

but thank God that God wants to save us

more than we want to be saved.

The prayer

Lord save me whether I will it or not

is key to our lives.

Education is not a sure-fire ticket to getting work.

I have a Masters degree.

I have worked in places that, in the world's eyes,

are prestigious.

But it does not equal a job.

All I know is that I asked God to save in

whatever means it took.

If this is what it takes for me

and God does and allows everything for our good

to save us

then I have to continue to learn to welcome the


the my money will run out by summers end

what do I do?

My word for the year is


Thankfulness can save you

it can turn a bitter or despairing soul into

one of peace,

one capable of obtaining eternal joy

(as Fr. Alexander Schmemann has said)

Last November the week I called my

Thanksgiving week

(it was US thanksgiving that week)

I got the tax bill, a huge rash on my face

that I was told could be a

symptom of a life-altering or life-threatening disease.

(as far as I know it was not btw).

So thanksgiving may not keep

life's challenges at bay.


without thanksgiving for ALL things

where would we be?

So I and all of us have to keep fighting

to look to Christ

to trust God in all the details of our lives

to be thankful

to give glory to God all the days of our life.

That is the true measure of our life, our days:

are we giving glory to God or to ourselves?

May the Lord help us to turn in every way

to Him.

Friday, May 13, 2011


I don't have the heart right now

to write a full blog post so this is what I just had to email

my beloved non-blog prayer people

(my blog prayer people are just as loved, obviously!)

Please pray for me and thank you for being my blog

friends through this.

Dear Friend and Family,

I am sad to say that I just got a call and the interview I was to have next week for the Ottawa job has been cancelled. The had two positions and now decided to only have one and so I am not having an interview after all. Of course I am really disappointed. I was so hoping maybe this one would be 'the one' after two years of not having full time work.

Please pray for me that I will know what to do next, as I will have to start trying to figure out what job wise what I can do. I have been looking for a professional library job for a good number of months and it just does not seem to be working out. I know I am a professional and have great work experience. Now I have to figure out what I can do from here. I hope to have some kind of work soon as I do not want to run out of money again (am okay at present thank God). And:

Thank God that Christ is Risen.

In Christ,