Monday, April 29, 2013

Palm Sunday, Holy Week and the love of knitting

I don't have any pictures from
this weekend at our
near-to-us church,
but it was beautiful, vast,
Palm branches green and outstretched like fans,
beautiful pussy willows with
warm grey fur
clergy in green
so profound:
realizing the link between Palm Sunday and Pentecost:
the coming of Christ
the coming of the Holy Spirit.
I've been tired.
Mr. Husband went to church Friday night and Saturday morning.
I stayed home,
mainly ensconced in bed with blankets,
sleeping, or knitting, with water bottle
near by and many books.
On Friday lunch I was falling asleep at the dinner table
while Mr. Husband was eating and talking to me;
it's been a tiring time.
But I managed to get an email out
and blog posts asking for prayer.
I know I am being prayed for.
I've been able to sleep through the night
for the last couple nights.
I made it to Saturday vespers,
Sunday liturgy and the
first of the Bridegroom matins.
That may sound like I am over doing it
but in truth when I was at church
I was sitting
and when at home often napping.
A few days before all this,
when I had insomnia
I re-found my first knitting project from my class:

I had way too many stitches and it ended up
being a nice looking mini-blanket.
But I had no way to know how to fix the top of it. 

So I frogged it all back.

But took some pictures first ~ 

~ before it became a very large ball of yarn.

I remember now that it was this that
I was knitting at the conference
in February,
when the med clinic doctor told me I could go to it
and I sat, listened, and knitted.
I went back to the second class
with the teacher surprised that I had knitted
through the whole skein.
What can I say?
I told them I was at a conference and had lots of time.
I think my teacher would be surprised to learn
of all the things I have knitted since then.
I hope one day to be well enough to go back
and tell her!
to assure you of how I am being cared for...
Mr. Husband made fish for us yesterday for lunch
on Palm Sunday
and I was napping the whole time.

The fish is underneath...
Mr. Husband is nothing if not efficient. :)
He has been a wonderful husband to me
through all of this.
Just last night I was looking up my order
for more baby wool so I can finish up the
baby blanket
and this morning when I awoke
there was a small box
Mr. Husband had put on my chair!
It had come late last night or early
this morning!

The needed wool
and the clearance knitting needles:
a set of 7 circular needles:
 10.5, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, and 35.

I've had fun looking at them,
comparing them to others I have
and thinking of all the things
I can experiment with. 

And I am so happy to know I can keep
knitting the baby blanket.
Who knew a year ago that I would be
collecting knitting needles,
yarn and dreaming of things to make?
And this weekend I started darning up old slippers of mine
that my Oma made over many years
and I always kept them,
even if the bottoms were very much done in.
It is surprisingly easy to fix them
now that I have yarn and the right
Large-Eye Blunt Needles...
I was aware of a deep contentment/happiness 
at being able to just sit and knit.
It reminded me of the love of solitude and 
of clean kitchen counters
I wrote about years before I was blogging
and wrote small poems...
And the beauty of the church this weekend;
I felt like I could of been in an Elizabeth Goudge book.
So while the exhaustion has been
at times quite high,
God is blessing me in the midst of it.
It's really a blessing to have a quiet life,
there are so many tragedies on a global scale
at all times,
that we know about more and more
with the Internet and
the like.
It is no wonder that I am drawn to reading
blogs of women who go to church, raise children,
knit and seek to make a safe haven for
their children to grow up in,
all the while chronicling the struggles of
everyday life of raising a family and
seeking to love God.
we do hope I can get better again and soon
but I am seeing at the same time,
anew ~ again ~ as if for the first time
how we are to rejoice in all things
and trust in God's mercy,
all the while asking for God's mercy on us.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Measure of Patience

Still really weary here.
Cleo is still cute and it is sunny again;
Mr. Husband is being so supportive.
Trying to lay low to regain strength.
It is very possible that I will not blog much this week,
since I am so tired and it is Holy Week.
We truly can and must pray
and ask Christ to
carry us to Pascha.

Friday, April 26, 2013

And so it goes...

I have called to doctor as
I only seem to be getting worse.
Thanking the Lord it is not worse than it is.
Asking your prayers.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Grateful for the sunshine on this Thursday, the last Thursday of Lent

So Mr. Husband brought home some herbs
the other day ~ we now have basil, parsley and rosemary.
A regular little garden on the sunny kitchen window sill!

Still loving the roses.
I am on skein two of the beautiful light blue scarf.
I could relate to this blog post and the one
it links to -
why is knitting so great?
We can actually have something finished,
unlike the rest of our lives...

Not shown here,
but we lit one of our candlemas candles
last night.
This sickness and the stress
it brings is wearing us down.
Yet, it is so little compared
to what much of the world is suffering.

Easter/Pascha baskets.
My dream of making cookies is fading fast.
We may only need one basket this year.
I enjoyed reading of this
family's move and their young son.
I am really hoping that things start
getting better for us.
I have so many things I wish I could do
that I no longer can.
Yet I know I have so much to be thankful for.
Lord have mercy!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The close of a day ~ the Protection of the Holy Cross

We were given this beautiful Cross
as a wedding gift
last September.
It is in use in our evenings as we
are incorporating a prayer that
our priest here told us about
in a sermon that
is done at night,
blessing the bed with the Cross.
I find it so comforting.
I am upheld by many prayers as we
continue to navigate mono-relapse and
Holy Week almost upon us.
Here is the prayer:
Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered; 
and let those who hate Him flee from His presence. 
As smoke vanishes, let them vanish; 
and as wax melts from the presence of fire, 
so let demons perish from the presence of those who love God
 and who sign themselves with the sign of the Cross
 and say in gladness: 
Hail, most precious and life-giving Cross of the Lord, 
for Thou drivest away the demons 
by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ crucified on thee, 
Who went down to hades and 
trampled on the power of the devil, 
and gave us thee, his venerable Cross, 
for driving away all enemies. 
O most precious and life-giving Cross of the Lord, 
help me, with our Holy Lady, the Virgin Mother of God, 
and with all the Saints 
throughout the ages. 
I deeply love this prayer as the beginning lines
are also sung many times at Pascha.
O Lord Jesus Come
and help us to be watching and ready
for your Holy Pascha!

Yarn Along: Madeleine L'Engle, Scarves & Baby Blanket

I am happy with this week's progress!

The unbelievably orange scarf (Ravelry here)
for one of my three munchkins in Ottawa!
They have the cutest soccer outfits from
Holland that are orange
and Mr. Husband thought of me making these
scarves for them!

The saga of the baby blanket continues!
I am making progress!
I am on a blue strand again now...
You can see from this picture that
the beginning of it was a lot smaller
than what it ended up as.
I added a lot of stitches I think in part
because I was trying at the beginning to do stockinette
and not have it curl up
and I just did not have enough experience in doing
it quite yet to get it right.
None the less,
I am happy with it!

As I said before,
it is made with love and creativity
and that in the end is what
matters to me,
especially as I've been knitting for
just over 2 months now...

I have ordered more yarn for it as
I am almost out.
So this one will not get done until
after Pascha...
(Ravelry here)
I started this blue scarf
this past weekend.
It is for a gift for an older niece...

I am finding it hard to capture via camera
the light and brightness of this blue.
It is really lovely and becoming a
quick favourite of mine.
(Ravelry here.)

And the on-going green scarf!
It has a ways to go yet
but it is a wonderfully soft but thick yarn
and I think will be exactly as I wish it to be!
(Ravelry here)
I needed a comforting
thoughtful read and this
book by Madeleine L'Engle has been perfect.
She deals with tough issues but with so much
description of her family life
and discussions of how to care for one's self
when caring for others
that is not only enjoyable but
I find myself wanting to quote from it to some of my
dearests friends...
Yarn Along with us!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday, Cloudy, Warm Impressions and Greatfulness

I had this recently.
The smell was so strongly attached to my Oma,
I was so surprised.
I think my Aunt P. must have had mocha cookies.

The small knit unbelievably orange scarf.

I am so glad of the two scarves I finished.
Above and below.

So I've been knitting a lovely
blue scarf for another gift
when I realized I had added stitches.
I talked with my sister for a long time today;
have to do it during day due to time difference
between Romania and here.

I showed her my mistake and then frogged it.
Then I went looking for my needle.
Could not find it anywhere;
same one I had lost before!
Only to realize I had put the needle in the bag it stays in
when I am not working on it...!
So glad I still have this needle!
Such blessings, being able to knit and
have different sized needles to choose from...

Cleo is so cute.

I had insomnia again.
But in the middle of it I had this deep
impression and feeling of love for
Mr. Husband,
it rather made up for it.

My chocolate bar in one of our Pascha baskets.
Counting down, getting ready...
Each of your comments are such a blessing to me
as I navigate getting better from
the mono.
Thank you.
I am still tired of course.
Insomnia never helps with that!
But each day is different and God's mercy is
truly new every morning.
Saw this three part interview with a young
Irish boy who died in the 1980's of a rare disease.
His life and his faith in Christ is incredible ~
if you have the time,
I would take a look.
Go here for some empathy and comfort on
Mothering and exhaustion.
Now I think it may just be time for a short nap...
I am so thankful that my Mr. Husband
affirms that my top priority is to get better...
the mono will not be forever....
One step a time...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Prayers Needed for Christians in Syria (seen on FB)

Prayers requested for abducted Syrian hierarchs

In a portion of a letter dated April 22, 2013 and signed by His Grace, Bishop Basil, Secretary of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America to all member hierarchs, prayers were requested for two Syrian hierarchs who had been abducted earlier that day.

The text of the letter reads as follows.

“Metropolitan Paul Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Aleppo (brother of His Beatitude Patriarch John X of the Great City-of-God Antioch and all the East), and Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of Aleppo, were both abducted this morning, Monday, April 22nd, while they were traveling together on the road between Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) and the north Syrian city of Aleppo.  The driver of the vehicle in which they were traveling was killed in the attack.  Your prayers are requested.”

Prayers requested for abducted Syrian hierarchs

In a portion of a letter dated April 22, 2013 and signed by His Grace, Bishop Basil, Secretary of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America to all member hierarchs, prayers were requested for two Syrian hierarchs who had been abducted earlier that day.

The text of the letter reads as follows.

“Metropolitan Paul Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Aleppo (brother of His Beatitude Patriarch John X of the Great City-of-God Antioch and all the East), and Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of Aleppo, were both abducted this morning, Monday, April 22nd, while they were traveling together on the road between Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) and the north Syrian city of Aleppo. The driver of the vehicle in which they were traveling was killed in the attack. Your prayers are requested.”

Monday ~ Sunshine, tired and knitting progress

here we are again.
Jelly-tired legs,

Baby blanket progress!
I need to order more baby wool soon...

I finished two scarves.
A small knit scarf for a niece.
Another Christmas gift for one of my guy relatives.
Mr. Husband tried it on and it looked great
and I am quite pleased.

I started knitting yet another scarf.
Yep. Everyone is getting scarves this year!
This one is for an older niece who I think
of as a nice bright soft blue.
I love this yarn and going to need to order more.

After being home all day yesterday
Mr. Husband and I went for a small walk.
On this walk I spied a small posy of dogwood flowers.
Perfect for our icon corner,
for the Mother of God.

So Mr. Husband and I planned out
our weeks in hope that I can make it through
Holy Week.
I should of paid more attention to my
tired-out fading signs last week.
I guess I am a slow learner.

Mr. Husband bought me this small new rose bush.
I told him I want to transport this kitchen ledge
where ever we live in the future
(we know we will not be forever in this lovely
first home).

Resting up in hopes that I can bake later.
Some of me wonders if one of the reasons
I am continually ill right now
since getting
the mono
is that I went through some really challenging years
and then left my beloved home in Ottawa
and am going through an adjustment period that
involves a lot of transition, some grief, lots of learning
and a lot of energy.
It's a lot to move and have to start over.
I've been thinking about the
building of the house of one's soul
a lot lately and it is making a lot of sense to me.
I wonder if some of what I had in me was so
based in where I was that when I moved
some of the moorings and walls could not but
break down.
But I feel like the foundation itself is still there,
though I do not have the discernment to know
how intact or how well.
I am thankful that today I can rest.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Question: Looking for a Wooden Icon Case with Festal and Other Icons

Mr. Husband and I were talking this afternoon
about how we are looking for
a wooden case with glass on front
to have many paper/copies of icons
on heavy stock paper.
The icon of St. Nicholas
is an example of this.

This icon is from a set of about 100 icons
(that our far-away church has) and they
fit in one icon box...
This collection would ideally cover the 12 Major Feasts,
the Sundays of Lent and Bright Season through to Pentecost,
as well as many other prominent Saint Days.
Does anyone know where we can find this?
If you don't know how to find exactly this,
we are also interested in a similar collection on heavy stock paper
without the case,
which we would then commission a case for.
If you know of something like this
or some approximation,
please comment below
or write me at
roosjeblog AT yahoo DOT CA.
Thank you! 

Sometimes yes, sometimes no

I loved the flowers.
So... yesterday and the day before we went to evening
church services.
Both trips I felt a bit unwell.
So last night I was still feeling strange,
and like I was falling ill again.
So I stayed home from church today.
I was so hoping I was better.
Instead as a friend had wondered in the middle of my
being more busy and doing things...
if I was doing too much...
I guess I over-did it again.
I hope to have the strength to go to
presanctified this Wednesday.
This Lent has been unlike any other.

I just hope I get better soon.
I have some things I hope to do this summer
and it seems like I can never tell if I am really getting better...
This is the last week of Lent and I've been sick
for over 2 months now.
I continue to seek to think of things to be thankful every day.
One step at a time I guess...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sunshine on a Saturday Morning

Happy to say the sunshine is still here!
Martha kindly let me know that I had forgotten the
baking soda in the Koek recipe!
Actually I had forgotten the baking powder too!
So do go back to the Koek recipe ~ it is now fixed!
We have more sugar now!
I do hope to bake again soon...
A few years ago when we had a great loss in
my church in Ottawa I made Koek
for the people who were going the longish drive
to the funeral;
my church had a Bukovinian tradition for
the Panakhydas ~ they would put honey jars
on the table with candles to 
symbolize/remind us of the 
sweetness of the Kingdom.

I really like it that Koek has honey in it;
to me it is such a comforting bread,
for normal times,
but also times of sorrow and grief.
I've been waking up early these days,
often just after 5 AM.
I know myself well enough to understand that
it is partly grief that is waking me up.
It was hard to not be able to be at my 
home parish in Ottawa for any of Lent this year.
I don't know that I can come for any of the Bright Season 
either and I am really homesick for my Ottawa;
for downtown; for the streets I saw daily;
for the walk to church.
I really miss walking to church.
It is really hard to change father-confessors,
especially when one was really close to one's 
Ottawa spiritual father.
I find myself wanting to look at my wedding picture book
of all the beautiful pictures.
I really miss everyone.
Yet my love for Mr. Husband continues to grow
and I am so grateful that I had my wedding in Ottawa
and that so many could come
and that my spiritual father could do many prayers at the wedding
and the homily.
It was a huge dream come true;
it was like Pascha.
How I miss it.
How much I long for the eternal Pascha with Christ,
where we can all be together again forever.
Lord please save us and bring us to Your Holy Pascha!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Thursday and Wednesday and now it is Friday ~ Koek, Tea and Life as we live it

I went out on Wednesday for a walk.
I am drinking sunshine.
Mr. Husband and I are taking in some sad things
in the world and I think it is fair to say
that some things leave you
feeling shaken
or sad
or a bit like the air just went out of you
or the room got silent all of a sudden;
as if it is the opposite of the
point verge I read about in undergrad where Merton describes the
point in which it is suddenly a new day ~
when at dawn the birds all begin to sing praises.

And so we talk,
we pray,
we write short poems,
we talk to those wiser than we.

and we hope,
pray in hope,
make plans to go to church
talk and think;
I knit.
I finished the blue scarf, and a cream/pink/tan mix scarf
and I cast on an unbelievably orange scarf,
one of three I hope to make for my very
cute 3 Ottawa boy munchkins,
including the littlest who is my godson.
Am thinking somehow that I want to do a
very simple knit somehow
on some of the scarves of the kids initials,
so that the three boys always know which scarf is theirs.
Any suggestions on how to do this on a knit scarf?

So I took a walk
on Wednesday and took these pictures;
are not the flowers beautiful?
I must go out again...

I finally made Koek yesterday
and as I thought I HAD blogged this recipe!

Koek is wonderful to make
and smells so good when just out of the oven
and warm on a plate with tea!

I used buckwheat honey this time
as it was all I had...
I must go and buy more sugar soon as
I had forgotten that I was out
and had to steal sugar from the sugar pots,
thankfully I have a few sugar pots and
it all turned out well!

Fresh out of the oven...
Love the Pyrex glass bread pans that
have the easy-grab holders on them...

I had a lovely tea with a friend yesterday!
We enjoyed the Koek and also wonderful fruits and
chocolate vegan wafers!

I used my blue and white dishes this time,
it was wonderful...
Like the oh, so elegant vegan margarine in the midst?
:) It was a lovely time of visiting and conversation...
Later Mr. Husband and I had
yummy baked vegetable leftovers.

Mr. Husband and I are really grateful
for so many things ~
A God who promises to be with us
Flowers in Spring
and Friends.
Lent is slipping to a close;
so many to care for and pray for.
May Christ carry us all to His glorious Pascha.