Saturday, March 31, 2012

Peaceful end to this day

wonderful, sunshine filled normal.
Hard to imagine I will have a new normal
very soon.
The cater called,
all is clear and understandable.
We will meet again and I
feel even more confident that I am in good hands
and am excited to talk to her soon.
I am researching cameras.
I decided if I am going to get a new one
I am going to get it soon
so I can have it for Pascha.

Update on the small prayer request

I tried calling the
cater to confirm that
I was coming today.
She did not answer the phone (twice)
 so I talked with Orthoman and
decided to reschedule with her.
I don't want to go all that way
by bus or taxi and find
out that she is not home.
I am disappointed but
at the same time I have so much to do
right now that it is okay.
I do hope it works out to have her
as the cater as I have heard
great things from her.
So much to do and so little time
it feels.
But Pascha is near and God is with us.

small prayer request

I am going this afternoon
to meet with the cater
for my wedding.
I admit I am feeling a bit
by all the details
and try as I may
I was not able to find anyone to
come with me for this.
Asking your prayers
to go with me.

Friday, March 30, 2012

I love Fridays in Lent

presanctified liturgies and our church meal after.
Such a special time.  

I went to the camera shop.
I can get a new upgrade to my little Sony camera for
cheaper than it is to repair mine.
Which is a bit of a bummer.
But not much I can do at this point.
So the verdict:
talked to my spiritual father about my
art/life/spiritual life question.
He explained that as long as one's art
does not replace one's spiritual life
or become one's main identity
so that one's spiritual life is merely an expression
of one's art
but that one's art comes
out of one's spiritual life...
he also confirmed that
writing can be therapeutic
and also a ministry to others.
And that one would begin to see through
the fruit of one's art if it was
becoming a hindrance or hurting
one's spiritual life.
So that was really helpful to me.
It's not always easy to recognize
one's desires
and actually a lot of the reading I do talks about
being wary of always trusting one's own judgement
in such things and that it is good
to check with one's spiritual father.
It's a real blessing to have this guidance.
One another note, he also said it's okay for me to
have two cameras.
I am so going to be on the
search and research for this.
I am going to see about possibly doing a
fish dinner next weekend
on Annunciation on Saturday...
just have to figure out who can come
and what time to do it at...

Friday, 5th week of Lent

Praying to God that
we can stay on the Ladder.
Many people read this book again during Lent;
I read over half last summer;
am thinking of making this the book to finish
this summer and take with me
along with the marriage books.
Read some good quotes this morning;
one in book
the art of prayer
two in the readings for the day
The Bible and the Holy Fathers for Orthodox:
 Daily Scripture Readings and Commentary for Orthodox Christians
that I have been borrowing for months
from my church library.
Have not bought it as Orthoman has a copy.
With all the transition,
the insomnia,
the new job
and life in general
I am just getting back into routines again.
I really want to read more of St. Theophan
whose writings and letters make up
much of the book
the art of prayer
which by the way is only part of a larger book
written in Russian.
We so need to get more translated into English,
these books that translate into words of life
for us.
Reminded of humility,
of remembering God and doing everything
in the light of God's presence and of
seeing oneself as one in great need of repentance.
I hope to talk to my spiritual father about
my questions of art, life direction and how to go forward
into the new life I am heading towards.
It is so easy to get lost in the woods
in all of this
and I know I need guidance.
Reading for the day from Genesis,
of Abraham giving up his son Issac
to be sacrificed.
Thought of those worried about sons
and of my smaller junctures of dreams
that need to be given to God
so that life can be given to me
through the Lamb of God
our Sweet Saviour Christ.
Lord help us as
we go about the many things in our day
to do it all remembering You
and that we do it all in
Your presence,
under Your watchful
wise and loving eye.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday 5th Week of Lent

It is staying light longer.
Spring is here.
Picture is from last fall,
on my Orthoman and I's first walk.
He comes soon.
Less than 2 weeks now, I think.
Work is slowly getting better;
I am helping with a project that is brand new
so there are things to work out.
I am glad I have a good team.
I am also glad that they are letting me have
Fridays off.
I am tired.
Grateful, however, for what I have been given.
Saw that fish is on sale at my grocery store.
Wondering if I should make a nice
meal for Annunciation
which is a week Saturday...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Thoughts about transition

I am going to miss photographing these
blue walls.
It is still about 4 months or so before
I move my belongings down
South, with Cleo.
My camera is slowly dying.
The on/off switch is somehow pushed down a bit
and it is harder to turn it on.
And when I go to look at pictures
on my camera
this feature often turns itself off
after looking at about 4 pictures.
I got my first good camera in 2000.
A non-digital Canon Rebel G.
I still have it
though I have not used it in some years now.
The camera I have had since
the morning before the afternoon
that I broke my foot
a few years ago
is a Sony Cybershot 10.1 mega pixels.
It is the one I use for the pictures on my blog.
I love it.
I hope to get a replacement for the one
that is dying;
it seems that the price for these is fairly reasonable
for what it offers.
But I admit that I would love a new
Canon Camera, digital, with a manual zoom
and focus option and
lots of mega pixels and lots of pictures taken quickly;
my Sony Camera is great but
I have to wait for it to process the picture I take
instead of going
click, click, click....
anyway; a frivolous thing really
and certainly a first world person wish,
for a new camera.
I love capturing beauty, as do so many;
there are so many photographers now days,
but this does not stop me from
wanting to take pictures also.
Read this post today:
when I was a child I read books
and also SAHM
Both by Janet at Across the Page
both made me ponder...
what will my life be like in the future?
I had a lot of dreams when I was younger
and to be honest I gave most of them up
and became a librarian.
I love being a librarian... but at the same time...
I get so discouraged by seeing libraries
under fire so much;
I love the Internet and I use it non-stop for my work
in libraries and for research.
But the Internet does not replace libraries or librarians
but it does make a lot of people think that they
do not need either.
But you cannot replace a library
as a place of study, a place of gathering of like-minds,
a place to find out about the world, the past, the present...
nor can librarians be replaced;
even online many people do not know how to best
search for things on
paid and not paid databases.
I could go on and on.
I love libraries.
But I also love words, writing, research and ideas.
I wanted to be a writer since at least age 19;
Orthoman and I talk about some of these things
and how society seems to be based in part
on unaccomplishable goals
as if everyone could get the perfect
English Lit teaching job
or something else in the humanities.
This world is so disappointing to many of us
who are very committed to the humanities
(just to be clear Orthoman is also as
he loves learning and reading)
...I love science, math (though I see math very differently than
a typical math/science student)... but
they are so emphasized today
at the expense of humanities, including
language study
and this is to our society's peril and loss.
Anyway, I find myself at a cross roads
in so much of my thinking.
If I could do anything
what would I do
and what should I do
and what can I do
are all questions I have.
Part of growing up I guess is realizing that
one has limited time
and one has to choose a way that is best
and also, not to mention,
will not hinder their spiritual life.
Questions like
would wanting to be a writer
or a teacher
or artist of some sort
be the best thing I can be
and what is self-love in disguise,
self-interest and selfish
and what can really give life to others
and be that which may help me
have a spiritual life.
I think of Elizabeth Goudge.
Kathleen Norris.
I always wanted to give to others like they did.
That is one of the reasons I blog
in hopes that I can give to others.
To pass on the beauty, the hope,
the reasons for living
that I have been given.
So I am pondering many things
as I am throwing my whole self
into the unexpected life and transition
that I am in
as I prepare to marry
in one of the most beautiful, hopeful, hoped for
hard, unexpected, constantly unfolding
changing and going at full tilt
things I have done
since becoming Orthodox
and moving 4 times in 2 years.
Without writing about it here
and other places
I don't know how I would even keep up.
it is Lent.
I worked late.
I need to at least read the story of
St. Mary today
that so many are in church hearing.
May God show us all
what is required of us
and may He save us,
as the prayer goes,
whether we will it or not.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Some fun pictures for today.
Cleo the Cute Cat.


Looking, always looking...
Work went well overall today.
Feel in-between things.
Trying to be thankful
and to pray.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday in Late Lent

A scarf I wear a lot.
With my fun brown suit coat
that I got secondhand a few years ago...

My delightfully clean coffee table.
A newly gotten favourite Cleo picture.
These are some fun things of today.
Still had bad insomnia.
Work was very understanding about me
needing to work a bit less right now
with all that is going on.
I was so impressed that they
care so much about the human person.
Orthoman and I laughed tonight
and we planned my May trip down South.
He comes in about 15 days.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Slogging along by God's mercy

My friend's bookshelves.
I loved this room so much.
Especially as my house is slowly being dismantled
book by book at the moment.
Bags of
to be gotten rid of
Today my dear friends was
one unusual day in the library.
Everything seemed to be going wrong
though it was all righted by
the end of the day.
It was stressful.
At one point I was talking to one of my
colleagues who said he had a
few days he'd like to start over
but now that this day is done
work wise
I am glad it is over and can be done.
I have a cake to bake
and a photographer to speak to in
19 minutes.
I best be off...
May we keep praying for all those
who are suffering
and who are in our hearts.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Middle of Lent

I am grateful for Maria's encouragement
that we are half-way to Pascha.
Lent is very difficult for many.
Please pray for my dear
blog friend Elizabeth who is having
emergency surgery tomorrow.
Please also remember Noah
who has a fever again.
May God in His mercy
bring us to His Holy Pascha.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

tired tuesday

Work was a lot of different things.
I am happy to say that
it is going well,
even when I feel a tad overwhelmed at times.
At this job things seem to get
righted a lot sooner than at others
I've had and so the ride is not
as turbulent overall,
which is such a relief.
Had insomnia again.
So tired still.
Orthoman is very encouraging
and the sun shone today.
It is so unseasonably warm here
just as it is so many places.
Warm and Spring like.
But it is due to get cold again by the weekend.
We must be kind to each other
and seek to love and then love again.
I've been reading prayers
from St. Ephriam the Syrian's Psalter
and the one I am reading have
been so full of God's mercy
that I have been repeatedly

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday after the Sunday of the Cross

My spiritual father said to me once
that it is a blessing just to be
on the Ladder.
Soon it will be the
Sunday of St. John Climacus. 
It seems that Lent often is a time
when my ideals of
how I would like to do Lent
don't fully happen.
So instead I do what I can.
Tonight I am glad that I got my dishes done.
Small prayers.
Candles lit.
Hope in God's mercy... 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday of the Cross

Roses cut, trimmed and they adorned
the Holy Cross.

I gave more of my books away
after our church meal
and now they live at my friends
new place.
I love her library.
Serious book/living room love.
Another friend and I went out
for vegetable thali

Sunday of the Cross

My future (with Orthoman) kitchen icon corner
with the icon of the Mother of God
Joy of All Who Sorrow.
The Akathist for this icon is found here.
In the midst of the joy I am living in
I am also in such great transition
and on many real levels
grief of leaving
as I blogged about earlier
on my new blog
and I know I am in grief in part
because I am having insomnia.
I've been having some levels of insomnia
for weeks now.
It is not as bad as it was years ago
when I was in some very difficult
times due to complicated work situations
and other stressful life circumstances
and was lucky to get 3 to 4 hours of sleep at one time
but still. 
I know myself a bit better than I did some years ago
and know that my insomnia is in part
because of grief of the transition I am in.
And willingly in, I may add.
I do love Orthoman.
But it is a huge change
and I am now
continuing to do marriage preparation
with Orthoman
working full time
in a new in person Ottawa job
(thankfully I can walk there in about 15 minutes)
doing logistics for
the wedding
my move
packing and purging
and also will be doing logistics for
people coming to Ottawa for the wedding
who don't know the area.
I have read some liturgical texts on
the Sunday of the Holy Cross
and am struck by how the Cross
is not only our protection but
for our strengthening.
God is good to us.
Here is an Akathist to the Holy and Precious Cross.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday in Lent

St. Ephraim the Syrian.
I love his words.
Here is one of the Psalms
from his Psalter...
I remember hearing these on
Ancient Faith Radio...
Cold continues.
Life continues (blogged about here).
May God help us.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What season is it again?

It sure feels like Christmas today
for me!
I got word that my month long contract will
be extended!
They know I am getting married
and are open to me traveling
and then working again
(rinse and repeat)
and I can have the contract for longer!
They just got the good news today!
Still have a cold;
using lots of Kleenex...
I am missing my Orthoman
but glad for technology to keep
in contact with him.
This weekend is
the Sunday of the Cross.
I have the honour of
getting roses for the Cross.
May God take us through Lent
and help us bear fruit...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday 3rd week of Lent

Still have a cold.
It's really warm here.
Work went well.
It does not feel like lent;
I feel a bit disoriented
so far so good on terms of
nothing tragic during lent...
hoping this continues...

Monday, March 12, 2012


Blogged about my weekend here
on my new blog.
My throat is sore from my cold.
If I feel a lot worse tomorrow,
I'll go to a nearby med clinic.
Hoping that I will be well enough to go back to work
(I had the day off today as
Orthoman was in town).
Lent is very hard for so many;
I am grateful for the weekend I had
and I hope that all those I know
who are ill from colds and the like
will recover quickly.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Thursday 2nd week of Lent

 My job keeps getting
better and better.
It is such a relief...
Now that I am a few days into it,
I am glad for it;
I hope it continues to go well.
I am glad also that it is
a temporary job
and that I am gearing up for
a move later this year.
Orthoman and I are still figuring out
when we are doing what.
Wanted to mention this book
merely because I wanted record of it.
A Grace Disguised: How the soul grows through loss
I have not read this newer version
but when the woman who was my first
(and only officially considered)
spiritual mother
(I saw how she was this years after I lost her)
died and I was in the middle of
one of my greatest times of devestating grief
I found this book in my
University Library
and it really helped me.
Not because I remember it giving me advice
but reading the story of another's loss
and how he remained a Christian
and how he suffered through it
was of great help.
Someday I would like to get a copy of this...
Lent is a hard time for many
or for all of us.
This past weekend was especially hard for me;
I feel like I am in the calm in the middle of a storm
and I wish I could stay in the calm
I keep thinking of the monastics I know
and how they have really grown
and have really deepened in
prayer and in remaining calm and at peace.
I have a long way to go
but knowing that others have gone
this way before
gives me hope.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Wednesday, Lent Week 2

Day 3 at work.
It went well.
Day 1 and 2 went well too,
but were more
After being in a job last fall
that ended up being
a bad scene
for me
at least
(still thanking God I am not there now)
I was a bit anxious about how
this new place would be.
Thank God
so far so good.
I love my colleagues.
I am working in
a real small
with librarians
and library technicians.
I get to find stuff
and do a little bit of cataloguing
and send Orthoman
quick email updates
on my breaks.
Needless to say,
starting a new job and new place
is leaving me quite tired
and feeling a bit like
I am tottering between
good health
ill health.
Orthoman comes this Friday.
I am thankful that God and
His Angels are
with us.

Monday, March 05, 2012

First day at new job

As usual
as first days go
it was pretty exhausting.
Lots of new information and people.
I understand and know
I can do the work however
and that is a
very good thing
Please pray for Noah
as he is headed to the hospital again.
Lent is very hard
and I am glad for the prayers
of the Mother of God.
Under her protection
we need not fear.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

First Saturday of Great Lent

Earlier this week we had
almost blizzard like conditions.
Today is very windy.
Have to walk to vespers soon...
I love Lent so much;
it is such a special time to be
with my church family.
This whole leaving my church family
is hard; though
life without Orthoman
would be worse...
and I know I am excited
just that I can't imagine leaving the
warm confines of my life here.
Moving and preparing for marriage
to me is likened to
what an older Christian man I knew
in my twenties used to talk about
in terms of heaven:
we can't imagine it,
just like a baby cannot imagine
life outside of his or her Mother's womb.
Preparing for marriage
seems like something that is such
a revolution of one's life
that it is likened
to being born.
This picture summarizes my life right now.
Embroidered cloth from the
Kiev Lavra;
Wedding pictures of my sister's wedding
(we talked today about wedding stuff
via video chat);
phone headset that I often use for
talking on the phone;
journal, stapler, other paper
and candles.
that about sums it up.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Prayers and Request For Noah

Kate's latest FB update has her
quite concerned for Noah
as he is not waking up much at present.
She asks esp. for prayers for
protection for him.

Here's an earlier request from Kate that
she put on FB and her blog:

From Kate's blog (Noah's Mom):

Longest shot ever

by Kate

I need a huge favor. Seriously, a HUGE favor - miracle level stuff. :-) We've been praying for a way to get an iPad2 for Noah so he can do Facetime with his best friend (now lives in England) and with other mito kids. He feels very isolated and like no one else is like him.

We sometimes shop at No More Rack, and they are having a contest - make a video and see how many UNIQUE views you can get. It's not a matter of getting the most views to win - ANYONE who gets 60,000 unique views gets an iPad2. We know it is a seriously long shot, but the children made a cute, ultra-cheesy video for the contest. You can see it here:

I know that people don't usually like to get onboard with contests like this, but if we can get this iPad 2 for Noah, we'll donate his iPad to one of our Noah's Hands of Hope children. Just sharing this link with, well, 60,000 people will make a huge difference for 2 children. WE ONLY HAVE UNTIL MARCH 6 - like I said, it would just about take a miracle, but FB, twitter, email, and blogs can make things really take off.

Would you watch and would you share? It's only unique views, and I don't really know how youtube counts those - but sitting and refreshing won't help. Watching at home and at work might count as 2 views . . . I don't know. Best way to rack up the count is to SHARE. (And seriously - it is a cute video!)



Thursday, March 01, 2012

Lent Day 4

Everyone I know is feeling
that it is lent
and things for some are very hard indeed.
One of my dear friends
continues to go through
very painful circumstances
and others are also in great stress
or sorrow.
I can tell I need to pray to
the Mother of God;
the Akathist to her Protection
gives me real consolation
and comfort.
May God shelter us
and the Most Holy Theotokos
Protect us.