Sunday, July 31, 2011


I am really weary.

This week will be interview #8 or more

since June.

I seek to trust in the protection and help of

Mother of God.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The City I Love


I love it here.


Tonight I talked with an older Indian woman

wearing a Sari

and heard about her life...


It was really nice.


I now know that I have another second round interview

on August 15th-

new calendar Dormition.

Last year I was at the monastery for their feast;

this year I will be trusting in their prayers

as I interview...


I miss home and really wish I could visit.

But instead I will be thankful that I have a home to miss.

Today (new calendar) is my Patron Saint's Day...

St. Irene of Chrysovalantou

She came just 10 days before my chrismation;

she was in my church bulletin;

my Godmother to be was asking me pretty regularly,

who I had chosen;

then St. Irene came, I read her story and that was that.

(My name's Saint is St. Elizabeth the Mother of the Forerunner

but that did not come till later).


The church I go to in Ottawa is on the old calendar but

the church I was chrismated in is on the new calendar

so I still think of today as The Day of St. Irene :)


May St. Irene of Chrysovalantou pray to God for us!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Good news on a Wednesday

Just found out I will have a second round

interview in mid-August.

I liked this place...


So I have at least two more interviews to go...

plus my contract work that I am still doing.


Had insomnia the last days;

last night was better.

I am still tired though...


To all who pray for me - thank you.


Have you had any good news? struggles?

would love to hear.

Monday, July 25, 2011


The interview today went well

but there were different things that are making

me concerned that came up.

So I am a bit disappointed

and very unsure about the job.

I feel weary of this right now.

But God is still with us.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The sick little one was in church this morning;

I felt like everyone surrounded her with love...

she was on a brief leave from the children's hospital...

She has regained some of her eye sight in the one eye!

She is still really struggling though,

between medicine and pain.

Please keep her in prayer.


I have my interview tomorrow at 11 am;

asking prayers for me too.


Liturgy was a delight.

We have a service again on Wednesday and

I feel that I am merely counting the days...


How was your weekend? Anything worrying, peace-giving

or giving you pause to reflect?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Sunshine and Heat

The interview went well. Thank you for prayers!
Next interview Monday.
Meanwhile, I thought these pictures of Cleo
were cute.
I had a tea that had catnip in it and she was
very curious,
of course...

I know, I am such a disciplinarian

when it comes to these things.

I just realized this week that Cleo has to be at least

eight years old.

She still acts like a kitten in my eyes,

but the realization of her age made me

give her more gentle pets today...

Spoiled, loved Cat Cleo.

I am blessed to have her as company.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thursday Afternoon Updates

Today is the (old calendar) feast of the

My Saints Calendar for today

(I am using an older year as I did not yet get 2011)

told the story briefly and that this icon is known

for healing those with eye diseases and blindness;

what a wonderful story to read this morning,

given the prayer request for one of the beautiful

young girls in my parish...


I have not found an online version of the Akathist

but did find some smaller prayers to pray...

(thanks to some of my online friends who helped

me in this!)


Will have to get for the future, a paper copy, which

have for sale...


In other news, I found out this morning

that I will have a second interview on Monday morning...

I made the first cut for the Tuesday interview I had!

So now I have an interview Friday (tomorrow)

and Monday.

I ask your prayers.


I am so glad we can pray for each other

and that so many are praying for the young girl


By the prayers of our brothers and sister,

O Lord Jesus Christ,

Save us!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Urgent Prayer Request

A very cute 4 year old girl

who goes to my church

is in the children's hospital

with an unknown disease that is attacking

her optical nerve;

her vision already lost in one eye and

she is under invasive medical treatment to try to help her.

They do not yet know what is wrong.

Please pray for mercy, complete healing and strength for

her parents.

Lord have mercy!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Another Interview Over (5th in 1 month)

I liked the place I interviewed.

It was preplanned as a short interview.

About half an hour.

I am always so surprised at how tired I am after

these interviews.

I feel that I never know how I did on them

but that I was doing the best I could.

Lord help!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday - St. Elisabeth - and Interview Prep

Today is St. Elisabeth the New Martyr's day!

St. Elisabeth's name's Saint is

St. Elizabeth the Mother of St. John the Baptist...

which is cool because it means that St. Elizabeth the New

and I share the same name's day Saint :)

Cute casual tea pot and dish; someone left it outside their

place and I snapped a picture...

Speaking of tea, I am really wanting to have tea parties.

My cousin called the other night and I

told him all about my various interviews

and he commented that it could be boring

and I realized that this is true.

Crazy to think, since I still don't have stable work,

but I've had so many interviews in the last year

that the nerves and interview prep does get a bit old

after a while.

But I am seeking to be thankful.

Actually I think I am inwardly dragging about it all;

I find it hard to get ready for another interview;

I think in someways it just seems so, well, futile.

I know I have to fight such thoughts

but after so many interviews without job offers

it feels like a race that I just can't win or finish.

I have a feeling all 4 of my last interviews will be 'no'...

3 of them already were such;

Clearly I am in need of more prayer (yours and mine please)

and continual work on my outlook / attitude.


I really would like another tea party

and, while I am dreaming, another research contract;

I do love this work a lot...


I think I could like the job I am interviewing for too

but, well, pray for me,

if you pray...

interview is tomorrow morning...

I will work on my thanksgivings tonight;

I need thankfulness like a fish needs water!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday - Sun and Storm

Beautiful morning liturgy.
I finally made my St. Phanourios bread
the recipe I used (see link above) was slightly different,
as it called for zest of 1 lemon and cinnamon as well...;

it turned out well and my priest graciously blessed it

with the small prayer that is the book I have

on this Saint.

This was a real gift to me, the making of the bread and

the small prayer that was prayed.
I am very grateful.

I am enjoying very much the book on

Elder Moses' younger brother.

I am finding both Elder Anthony and Elder Moses,

in the reading of their life stories,
to be very restful and instructive.
I thank God for this day;
even for tonight when we had a strong storm
with wind, lightening and rain,
it gave me time to continue reading about
Elder Anthony!
How has your day been? Any blessing to report? Worries?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday - Beautiful Sunshine

Sunshine without as much humidity.

I am loving it.


I went for a mock interview today and it went well.

As I was walking there,

in the earlier morning hours,

I was struck by a thought...

I've been overwhelmed a lot for different reasons

as of late,

some I blog about, others not so blogable,

having nothing to do with the blog world, etc.

But this thought came to me...

a reminder of sorts I think...

I have a choice:

I can treat the unexpected as either an

opportunity or a threat.


This really helped realign my perspective.


I am so thankful to say that I finally got confirmation that my

second interview next week will be on Friday.

This gives me time to prepare for both of them and do

the research work for my contract.

So I am really thankful about this.


Am on the look out for new summer salads to make

(other than my chicken salad : ) ).

Any suggestions?


Anything new going in your world that is giving you concern or joy?

Prayer Needed - Request For Help

Fr. Father Vasile (Basil in English)

needs our prayers.

Cristina, who has been a treasured blog

friend to me over the last two years,

knows this situation personally.

Fr. Vasile is not only a dedicated priest

but a father of 7 children, 5 boys, 2 girls.

All 5 boys are going to be priests or

have already entered the priesthood.

Fr. Vasile has a cancer in his liver and

needs a liver transplant.

Cristina and I emailed about this and so I can quote her directly:
Fr. Vasile is in "Germany right now in a clinic, the only one in Europe where this type of liver transplant can be done, but the money is not enough, they will have to pay an expensive bill but do not have this money. Your prayers are certainly heard by our merciful God and if you have the kindness to post on your blog this prayer (or/and financial) request I am sure it will be very useful."


I (Elizabeth) was really touched by reading the account of

this priest and his family - Cristina quoted it in her blog from

You can read a loose translation of this through


As I have not only very dear friends in Ottawa

from Romania

but also my sister Rebecca and her husband Mark

live in Romania where they

care for orphans.

So I know from first hand accounts how situations

where illness are treatable

but not at all affordable

to most Romanians.

From the explanation of Fr. Vasile's situation,

they have already had bills of

10,000 Euros and 12,000 Euros

This is a HUGE amount for anyone in Romania.

To show you from this converter:
1 Euro (equals) Romanian Lei 4.2653 RON as of 7/15/2011
100 Euros (equals) Romanian Lei 426.53 RON as of 7/15/2011
10000 Euros (equals) Romanian Lei 42,653.18 RON as of 7/15/2011
I asked my one of my Romanian friends

who is currently in Ottawa what an average salary in Romania is for

one year.

A year's salary in Romania averages to 5,000 Euros.

A priest's salary is likely to be less than this.

So the cost of this treatment is over 4 people's

salary for 1 year.

If there is anyone who can help financially,

I know this will be greatly appreciated.

For us who are not able to help financially,
we can pray for this holy priest, Fr. Vasile.


Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ,

have mercy on us and save us!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

...and what I saw...

On my walk

I saw a duck

or two.

There is something wonderful about how quiet

it is by water.

Watching the ripples in the water

made by the duck's feet...

You can actually see the duck's feet a bit in this one!

Can you hear the quiet?


It was nice.

Thursday, Already

Another cute picture of my friend's cat :)

Needing the Mother of God's prayers.

Have two appointments tomorrow and research work to do.

Feel really behind and like I can't catch up.



the sun is shining and I am going to eat my dinner and then

take a walk...

and maybe some pictures too...

I hope to get some good chicken this weekend and make this salad again:

Chicken, grapes, noodles, mayo and a a bit of salt and pepper.



What's going on in your world today?

Whatever is happening,

God will not abandon you in the struggle...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wednesday, Cloud, Sun and Breeze

A few inquiries about Cleo,

so I thought I should report back...


Cleo seems happy
(sitting at the back of my chair right now,

close by to me).

I brushed her thoroughly this morning in an effort

to help her with the hair shedding / hair ball issue

but she still spat one out later this morning

and the same non-clear residue came with it.

So I don't know what is bothering her stomach.

She is eating, drinking and acting fairly normal.

I am limiting her dairy

(she asks for it and it is usually the one thing

I will give her; she also asks for everything else,

from my Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jam sandwiches to

the more understandable summer tuna salad with grapes).


I had switched her food a few months ago

as the other food does not seem to be made anymore;

I can't really afford anything fancy

but am avoiding the cheapest of the cheap food,

as I don't trust the almost dollar store priced cat food...


I am trying to be more diligent about housekeeping

in case she is nibbling at something unseen to me

but not to her...



Other than this I am trying to balance both

my contract job and the fact that I have

interview preparation to do for next week.

It's all a bit overwhelming.

But God is with us in the midst of it.

To Him I am seeking to look to

instead of the waves...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Comfort in the midst of our days

Sometimes I feel a great need to read a book

that is one of true comfort;

often I find these books,

or the exact one I am looking for,

I do not have or does not exist.

Then I do what seems to be the next best thing.

I search and look and find

and then I write or copy

and make my own book of solace in times of trial.

It is easy to look at the waves of our lives.

It is easy to feel like we are drowning

like St. Peter walking on the water towards Christ

Help me! I am drowning!


A few weeks ago,

when was struggling with insomnia and many interviews,

I read these verses...


Hosea 11 verses 1-11
“When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 But the more they were called,
the more they went away from me.
They sacrificed to the Baals
and they burned incense to images.
3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
it was I who healed them.
4 I led them with cords of human kindness,
with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
a little child to the cheek,
and I bent down to feed them.

5 “Will they not return to Egypt
and will not Assyria rule over them
because they refuse to repent?
6 A sword will flash in their cities;
it will devour their false prophets
and put an end to their plans.
7 My people are determined to turn from me.
Even though they call me God Most High,
I will by no means exalt them.

8 “How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I treat you like Admah?
How can I make you like Zeboyim?
My heart is changed within me;
all my compassion is aroused.
9 I will not carry out my fierce anger,
nor will I devastate Ephraim again.
For I am God, and not a man—
the Holy One among you.
I will not come against their cities.
10 They will follow the LORD;
he will roar like a lion.
When he roars,
his children will come trembling from the west.
11 They will come from Egypt,
trembling like sparrows,
from Assyria, fluttering like doves.
I will settle them in their homes,”
declares the LORD.

I find these verses of great comfort

God as Father...


Deuteronomy 32:7,11-14

7 Remember the days of old;
consider the generations long past....
10 In a desert land he found him,
in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest
and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them
and carries them aloft.
12 The LORD alone led him;
no foreign god was with him.
13 He made him ride on the heights of the land
and fed him with the fruit of the fields.
He nourished him with honey from the rock,
and with oil from the flinty crag,
14 with curds and milk from herd and flock

I remember the first time I read the verses in the beginning of the book of Isaiah,how the poetry of this book was so deep that I even dreamed it...
I remember the sun coming in the window,
sitting on my bed, leaning against the wall,
reading these words and feeling a deep tenderness...
Isaiah 1:5 and 6:
5 Why should you be beaten anymore?
Why do you persist in rebellion?
Your whole head is injured,
your whole heart afflicted.
6 From the sole of your foot to the top of your head
there is no soundness—
only wounds and welts
and open sores,
not cleansed or bandaged
or soothed with olive oil.

I so often do not understand the Lord's words
that repentance has everything to do with healing.
Christ calls us with the deep love of a Father...
even with the words of a Mother... "as a hen gathers her chicks"
and I am too busy running away from the waves that I think will drown me
to understand His words...

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate."

Matthew 23: 37-38

and I fail to understand how Christ is calling me to be healed
to trust Him, to look to Him and to Him alone...

Tuesday, Sun with humidity

I got my walk last night after all.

Lovely bee on the above flower... :)

Here I am, living in Canada all these years...


Well, more news:

got invited to TWO more interviews,

both next week.

Library related jobs.

When I rains it pours.

It was wonderful to be in church this morning.

And tonight I ended up making spaghetti.

Had some frozen in the freezer :)

Happy Feast everyone!

PS: thanks for your prayers for job interviews!

This makes 6 interviews so far and

I was promised another one in the next while...

so we may be up to 7 soon!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday with a mix of clouds and storm

This is my friend's cat.

She figured out the only place that was not safe for her.

How do cat's do that?

Pretty cute and all

but we soon shooed her inside so that she

did not get too comfortable and

jump from three floors up.

Of course not before I got pictures ;)

Picture of Cleo so she won't feel left out.


Well I would like to know why it keeps storming

in the evening hours when I want to go out and

take a walk.


Worked from home today.

I am glad for the work,

really and truely

but well, I wish I could work there.

I don't always like being home

by my lonesome.


But I know what I need,

other than dinner and that walk,

I need to tell God all of the things I am thankful for.

The sure cure for a small case of

at home too much and a little bummed.

This Akathist is wonderful for it:

It is also called the

Akathist of Thanksgiving.

Fr. Stephen has posted a translation of it here

and, well, just writing about the very title of it

has cheered me up already!




is the Feast of St. Peter and Paul

and this means:

I can have MEAT and ICE CREAM again.


I have a beef roast in my freezer -

anyone have suggestions for a summer dish for this?

Maybe some sort of roast beef sandwhich?

Any and all comments welcome :)


Of course that it is the feast tomorrow

also means morning Liturgy.

Yay and double Yay.

So lots to be thankful for.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Quiet and Good Sunday

I got this glass jug yesterday for a great price;

I'd been wanting a glass container with a lid

for my orange juice for years

so I was really happy to finally find one

that was of good quality and affordable!


A good friend of mine made this great

vegetarian chili when I was visiting her

last week...

I modified it as I did not have the same ingredients on hand.

It turned out very well. :)

2 cans Kidney beans

(I would of had red but the store

was out of them)

1 can tomatto (28 ounces) with juice

1 zuchinni chopped

2 onions chopped

some frozen corn

1 bell pepper

I put in a few frozen carrots; my friend used

3 carrots chopped

(I would of too but was out of them)


Cooking instructions:

chopped onion (and celery if you have it, 3 stalks), carrots,

diced bell pepper and two minced garlic cloves -

sautee them in olive oil until softened.

Add ground cumin (I also added some whole cummin seeds

for good measure), paprika (and gound garlic if you did not

have any garlic cloves on hand).

Sautee a bit more.

Add two cans of drained and rinsed kidney beans.
Heat through for a bit.

Add can of diced tomattoes plus water to get rest of juice

out of can.

Then add chopped zucchini and, to quote my friend exactly,

"a generous pince of oregano" and bring it to a simmer.

the zucchini will add more moisture so no need to add more water.

Simmer for around 20 minutes (I think I did less but don't know,

I tend to start reading when waiting for things to simmer and time

in cooking for me is always quite fluid...).

Don't overcook!

Add frozen corn at end (my friend rightly taught me that this

will keep the corn's sweetness) and cook for about 5 minutes

(no more) longer.

For non-fasting seasons and days, add

(real if you can find it affordably priced)

a generous portion of grated

mozzarella cheese to

the individuals bowls.

And Presto,

My dear sweet good friend's chili is made

and ready to eat!

It has been named 'Rainbow Chili as it is quite colourful!

I've been enjoying the weekend.

Saw my library friend and her cute cat.

Reading books.

Washed my dishes. This my friends is always a feat in my house hold.

I swear, I turn around and the dishes have multiplied while

I was not looking.

Cleo had been a bit sick but I think she is getting better.

I am not too worried,

as I just now turned around and found her sprawled out on

the forbidden coffee table top.

So hopefully she is surely on the mend.

Just to be sure, I have not kicked her off the coffee table...


I got a book from our church library

(I have a few books out from it, I tend to dip into books and

then go to others and then back again...)

and this afternoon have been reading the introduction to

contemporary ascetics of Mount Athos

and as per usual, loving it.

For a few reasons the introduction has been an enjoyable read:

1. I get to learn a bit more history about Greece and

how St. Paisius collected manuscripts that eventually

became the Philiokalia

which I have not read yet as I have some in between reading

to finish before even considering it...

but of course I am a librarian and that Saints collected

books to create new books is right up my alley.

2. The introduction as it is giving me

not only a sense of the time period

and of what Orthodoxy can offer to us,

but the names of many others to learn about

and other books that have been published.

I was please to get volume I so I could familiarize myself with it;

St. Herman's Press has it on sale this month

and I think I am going to get it with some of my

Agatha Christie money (from selling my collection for

the reason of building an Orthodox library).

If it works out, will report back.

Have to figure out how much shipping will cost

and whether I should send it to my parents in the States

or pay the international rate to me in Canada.

Decisions, decisions...


Meanwhile, back to Cleo care, cleaning and


Saturday, July 09, 2011

Saturday Sunshine

Beautiful day here!

The picture above is from a few days ago

when it rained.

I have my nativity set up year round.

Yesterday and today I have the song

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

in my head!

It's in part because I am missing home and

can't wait God willing to see everyone again.

Got word that my work as a researcher

is appreciated and that they

hope to send me more work again!

Am still doing my current contract for them;

really love my work,

am so thankful.

An answer to many prayers...

Today I visit a librarian friend who also has a cat.

We both enjoy being stereotypical librarians :)


So glad for vespers tonight and liturgy tomorrow morning.

We are so blessed to have the church.


What are you up to this weekend?

Friday, July 08, 2011

While the sun shines on...

I took this picture the other day
during a morning rain storm.
Today the sun comes and goes...

Cleo hard at work, as per usual.
It's been great to do work this week.
Had book club last night.
We are slowly approaching the virtues in
St. John's book, the ladder.
It's been a good read,
but I can tell I will have to read it again,
each line of it brims with meaning...
After book club I heard of something
(so if you can't handle sad and terrible you can stop reading....
just in case you'd rather stay with the sunshine part of this
post, I won't mind).
Yesterday in Grand Rapids (i.e. home)
there was a terrible tragedy.
A man took the life of his former wife, her parents and his girl friend
and his kids too. 7 dead and then he died too,
his own hand killing then a total of 8.
So so so sad.
Before he died he had gone to a house and taken hostages
and the house he chose was near to a house
where some of my family lives
(not my parents but other family)....
Sorry to write of such a sad thing
but it was so crazy to call my Mom and hear that
this was happening
at the moment I called her...
the murderer was still alive, the cops surrounding the area...
I prayed to the Mother of God for all involved;
the Mother of God - Quick to Hear...
I am so thankful that my family is safe,
that the hostages lived,
that my family's house was not the one that
the man choose;
will be praying for those so suddenly taken from this earth.
All I know is that God is near to those in trouble.
Lord have mercy,
Lord have mercy,
Lord have mercy.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Thrusday, St. John, St. Elizabeth and St. Zachariah

Today (o.c.) is

the feast of St. John the Baptist's nativity.

It was on this day that my spiritual father

gave me my name Saint,

St. Elizabeth,

the Mother of St. John the Baptist.

So it is a special day for me.


This morning I found out that I did not get one of the jobs

I interviewed for.

To be honest I am concerned that I won't get

any of them.

Job seeking and interviewing is a real

roller coaster ride.

Thank God I have my small contract.


I am glad that God is merciful and that even

when we feel afraid,

that He loves us and is inviting us to

trust in His provision

and to not worry.


I am glad that God loves us and that we are cared for

so much by Him.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Tuesday in July

Cleo is enjoying having me home;

I am doing my contract work at home,

which is good and bad...

regardless, I am thankful for the work.

Am reading the book on St. Macarius now.

Really delightful.

Was struck by how much he loves the

Mother of God.

I had never seen this before -

sushi 'love boat'.


I feel like the last few weeks are slowly

drifting away and that I am waking from

a sort of difficult dream or even nightmare.


I am still recovering...

and I am sure I am not alone in having a hard time

sleeping as it is now summer's heat

is here.


God is with us and He is good.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sunday in Early July

Church was beautiful.

Had lunch with friends afterwards.

Excited to begin working on my small contract

this week.

Not sure when I will hear back about the 4 interviews

but am enjoying today and am reading about

Elder Macarius.

I love having more than one Optina book

'on the go' and

it is fun to read about the different

Optina Elders;

It is like entering a new world that can not

only teach me things I have been waiting for

but is full of light that I find myself

looking for,

as if lost in a long corridor;

I guess I could say that Optina is one of the doors

I have been looking for

and summer, metaphorically

as well was in reality,

for now,

is here.


The best thing is that when it is winter again,

which inwardly can happen so quickly -

the Optina Saints can still be

there, with me

when it is cold,


or in a dank dark rain.