Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Crown them with Glory and Honour

(our wedding crowns, hanging above our bed)

It's been over 10 months since
Mr. Husband and I were crowned in
the sacrament of marriage.
So, we hope for many years of marriage.
I've been thinking on some of the lessons
we have learned in year almost one...
I am going to do a small series on some of these
1. Communication is essential. 

Taking time to talk about things and through things
is really important.
It helps you remain connected and helps
understanding to be built and mutuality.

It is very possible however
that one may need some time before they know what they
think on a topic.

Realizing this can give a balance to things...

2. Ritual of Forgiveness 

Mr. Husband and I know various Orthodox couples
who as a couple or as a family
after prayers ask forgiveness of the other.
It is like a mini forgiveness vespers that
one has in the Orthodox church at the beginning of
Great Lent.
Simply put... one says
forgive me a sinner
and the other replies
God forgives, forgive me a sinner
to which you say
God forgives.
It is also a wonderful thing to do when
one realizes that they were wrong about something.
Just going up to one's spouse and saying
forgive me a sinner
can begin the healing of whatever may of been
happening at the time.

3. Prayer

Praying for each other daily.
Praying with each other.
Praying for specific needs.
Praying for one's marriage.
Praying to one's Patron Saint.
Praying some prayers together.
Having a lampada lit.
Having a routine of prayer,
no matter how small,
that you seek to do every day.

*Note: While it may be obvious, as I hope it is... my lessons learned on marriage are ongoing and of course are not replacing the many good sources on marital harmony or help. Talking to one's priest, 
to a counselor whose goal is to sustain marriages and many books may be of help.
 A few books I know of on marriage are found here.

Baby Blue with future yellow duck

My baby blanket is almost done!
I wrote here about my
learning to pick up stitches and the learning process.
I hope to add the duck in the middle soon!
Ravelry here.
I have some things to attend to this Wednesday that
are going to keep me away from the computer.
Because of this fact,
I am posting my progress here on my blog but
will be unable to engage in many other's yarn along's this week
so am not adding it to Ginny's wonderful link up.
I have recently (in chapter 2 now!) started
GK Chesterton's Orthodoxy
and am really enjoying it!
I would love to hear what you are making and reading ~
do leave a comment for me
(will see it soonish, God willing!)
and Yarn Along with us!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How things are in the midst of all that hurries

This was the jar of kisses that
Mr. Husband and I used
as one of our first 'kisses' at the wedding reception.
My Mother had given us the jar...
Boy did we have fun with this!
So here we are,
going towards 11 months of marriage.
It's been so beautiful and full.
While my health has been compromised ...
yet even this I see is from or of or can be used by God.
Everything in our lives can be used to bless us.
May God have mercy on us.
Life is hard, often intense and we need God's mercy...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Latest on Noah

Many of us have been
praying for Noah for quite sometime.
Here is the latest on how things are going for him.

Picking up Stitches

I used this video to learn about
picking up stitches.
upon watching it,
I began without looking at other videos
and thought I understood how it was done.
I made a few mistakes.
I did not knit as I went along,
which this video suggests.
I gathered the stitches,
got the added thread through the stitches and
thought this is what I needed to do.

I remembered
them saying to pick a stitch two or three
in from the top...
So I did this and, once I knit past the picked up stitches,
 it created a ridge instead of a
smooth transition:

The ridge is from top to bottom on that side.

So that is now the bottom side of the blanket.
I am not expecting perfection from myself
yet as I am still new to knitting.
And I find that while I do frog things back,
sometimes I would rather just have the finished result
show where I am in the process and be part of what
becomes the uniqueness of it.

So then I decided to try again for the other side,
as this blanket is blue with a yellow boarder.
I got it much better and there is very little seam
left at the end.
However I found that the fabric is a bit stretched.
I am going to be doing more research on
how to get better at picking up stitches as
it is a very important knitting technique!
I feel like with this blanket
I am turning a corner in my knitting!
I still hope to do a yellow duck in the centre!
Any and all suggestions on how to do this welcome!
Also any suggestions or things I can look at
regarding picking up stitches,
do let me know!
I am so excited to learn!
And to show you the finished baby blanket!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

St. Irene of Chrysovalantou

Story of her life here.

Prayer for blessing of her apples here.

Story of a miracle here.

She is my first patron saint and the one I was
chrismated with!

When I found her story in the church bulletin,
just days before I was chrismated,
I knew she was the one I wanted to take 
as my patron Saint.

my first Patron and Mother is 
St. Irene of Chrysovalantou!

Her day on the new calendar is today!
May her prayers protect us all 
and grant us Christ's peace! 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Living in the Orthodox Church

Here is an excellent article about
living in the Orthodox Church
and practicing reverence.
If you do not read Mat. Constantina's blog,
I encourage you to do so!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Beautiful Wedding!

On Sunday July 21 2013
Mr. Husband and I witnessed a very
beautiful wedding.
I reminded us so much of our own wedding.
Their icons from a local monastery,
the prayer rope from the same monastery.
The sharing of clergy doing the wedding.
Beautiful Orthodox sermons.
They were married on
the feast day of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God.
Most of the clergy wore blue to honour
the Mother of God.
It was very beautiful. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Seeing from the inside

(photo from my stellar wedding photographers)
It's nearing a year of marriage for
Mr. Husband and I.
Just over 1 month now...
I thought I would take some time
to write about how I see things now.
I am sure,
that my views will change over time,
but I wanted to capture some moments
and reflections on how things are now. 
The first thing I am thinking on is this:
A lot changes when we are actually in 
the situation of marriage
than when we are outside of it,
single and never having
experienced it.
I remember when my sister-friend got married.
We were all on the 
young side of our twenties;
I remember how we all moved a few years after
she and her husband married
to Ottawa from BC
(I being in Michigan and London Ontario
 before reconvening with them in Ottawa)
and how she had to tell me that Saturdays
for her are really busy
with family things
without room for other events.
Or how I would hang out with another couple from my church
and hear them talking about time they
needed just as a couple.
Or how some of my thoughts on marriage changed
once I was in it.
One thing that I don't think
those outside of marriage fully
can understand is that
one can still be lonely.
I know.
The 'L' word.
It's OK though to acknowledge,
especially when one moves countries to
marry the one that is right for them,
that there can be some loneliness as
one works towards building a
new community and learns to be
a husband or a wife.
But even before I married my
beloved Mr. Husband,
I knew that a woman still is in need of
other friends.
Actually Mr. Husband and I talked about this
before we were married.
Here's what I have found to be true:
one is blessed to have a few close friends to
talk things out.
When one hits a wall or needs a new
talking to a friend who knows one well,
is committed to Christ and to marriage,
really helps a marriage.
Marriage is wonderful.
But it is also a lot of work
and communication at times is done over time
and sometimes time is needed to even know what
one is wanting to communicate.
So, for ones like myself
often need outside friends
to talk to figure out what one is thinking
and what is needed for the situation at hand.
A common female trait from what I am told...
Marriage also takes a lot of time to
be able to communicate with the other.
You also need a lot of 
 grace, forgiveness and love.
I think it is important to never
assume one understands the other 
but instead waits and seeks to listen.
This is something I am still learning to do...
It is very important for each of us
not to think we fully understand 
another married couple
or someone who is single
as if we can see and fully understand
the struggles they are battling or
the joys that they suddenly came across,
perhaps after days and years of struggle.
I find in the end nothing should be feared
and that marriage just like life
is lived with God and His mercy.

Today's Progress and an update...

I am almost done with the top
of this baby blanket.
My cousin sent me some pictures of his
little boy.
He's so little!
I am so excited to make things for him,
this new little one;
such a miracle, the birth of a new human being.
The baby is doing well and is still in hospital.
So, I had the doctor's phone consult.
Got some things discussed that were really needed,
so that is good.
But let's just hope that the naturopath can help me with this
chronic mono / post-severe mono sickness.
My bio-medical doctor pretty much said
she know of nothing for it other than rest,
adjusting your life to account for the crazy fatigue
and that it is hard.
My naturopath believes it can be cured and has me
on a anti-viral supplement and other things.
So I will keep praying,
rest when needed and knit lots and seek to pray.
Thank you to each of you who took the time to comment on my blog
yesterday as I asked for prayers.
You are all such blessings to me. 
I am about finished with the top row of yellow on the blanket.
I am going to try to teach myself the technique of
picking up stitches.
Liked this post on making friends.
It's funny,
the line about don't assume if you are mother that
someone who is single and childless would not like to be
your friend.
My goodness.  
My sister-friend in Ottawa has three children and we are
really close and I used to read to her oldest two
boys before bed on a regular basis!
I talked with her the other day and my godson,
who will be two in October,
is talking and doing little prayers that go like this:
I know, CUTE. :)
And good, so proud of his Mommy for instilling prayer
like this....
I can't wait to see them again!
I miss seeing my godchild on a regular basis!
Well, I best get on with knitting.
Not only do I have my cousin's godchild to knit for,
I have things for my three munchkins in Ottawa,
including the above mentioned godson,
to knit for.
Did I mention I have 15 nieces and nephews too? :)
Lots of scarves to make and hopefully
more complicated things in the future.
That elephant is hopefully going to be started next week,
once I get the baby blanket done,
not to mention more stitching for the September School Blanket...
Oh, was meaning to mention...
am doing a series of posts starting today
on marriage ~ just what I have learned.
I get a bit worried that somehow someone would think I
know more than I do ~ or something odd like that ~
so I have put a bit of a small print caveat for these posts...
Just to try to stay
hey! I love being married and this is what I have learned so far
but remember I am newly married and am not an 
I've written the posts and they will be posted over the
next month...since I have lots of  "going-ons" in August
with family visits happening, etc...
So, how is your day looking??
Anything I can pray for you for and light a candle?
So wonderful to have a blog community that
prays for each other!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Two steps forward, two steps back? At least I got some new yarn...

After being sick with mono
and not walking more than 15 or so minutes one way,
I walked yesterday afternoon to my
local yarn store.
It was so WONDERFUL to get out.
I learned the technique,
'M1 ~ make one'
while I was there,
learned of this website and got a new needle to keep
working on the baby blanket.

I got some new grey yarn
for the elephant I wish to make and
practiced the M1/make one technique.

So I bought my first fancy yarn.
I am hoping it can be enough for two elephants, as it is
160 yards/skein but the pattern did call for
175 yards so not holding my breath...
but still wishing all the same.
I learned enough to start the pattern...
I am trying to get the baby blanket done first...
Have new ideas for the centre duck/s
and can't wait to try it!

I have begun the second row of yellow;
once that is done, I just have the sides to knit.

I really am captured by this pattern...

In not so distant news,
last weekend Mr. Husband and I suddenly
had a very leaky faucet;
water slowly wetting the kitchen tiles,
soaking our rugs.
A pool of water visible when we opened the
cabinets under the sink.
At first the landlord was not sure about
when it could be fixed;
he valiantly got us an 8 AM Saturday morning plummer
who diagnosed the problem... the landlord for
good reasons did not have the plummer fix the
problem in the end
but suddenly we realized, after the plummer left
that he did not re-hook up the hose right and
we suddenly did not have just a leaky sink but
an unusable one.
So the landlord
thank the Good Lord
came after vespers Saturday night and installed a
a completely new faucet.
It works so well, much better than the original.
But boy,
was it unexpectedly stressful to suddenly be
without a kitchen sink!
Never thought about how much it is used
for food prep, filling the water pitcher,
washing dishes, etc.
I have been trying to make some changes
in my daily living to have a more disciplined use
of the computer..
Really appreciated Juliana's post on this.
It echoed so much of what I have been
thinking about and experiencing.
Two things I am trying to do is set times for when
I will do computer time
and trying to do some regular noontime prayers
other than for lunch, etc.
It's really a challenge for many of us who find ourselves,
for various reasons,
feeling isolated and at times lonely,
to not want to be by the computer a lot...
I could really,
by the way,
use your prayers.
Between some huge insomnia I've been having
{insomnia last night was for hours,
knit a whole skein of blue on the baby blanket!}
and the ongoing mono flares,
I am more and more wishing just
to be better
and be able to take walks to places
like yarn shops, grocery stores etc.
And have these walks be a normal part of my
my everyday ~ instead of a huge wonderful
after many months of not taking walks ~ existence.
I have a phone consult with my doctor tomorrow
that I am hoping can move me along in this direction.
Can you remember me in your prayers? 
I find the hardest part of this illness is that
it came in month 5 of marriage when I was just
starting to feel settled and get to know people.
I've been often so unwell that I can't go out
and so I am at home pretty much day-in-and-day-out
and well, ahem, it gets a tad lonely at times,
esp. as Mr. Husband cannot work at home all the time.
The only person I know outside of Mr. Husband
in my small little NJ town is the yarn shop owner
who is nice but it is not a 'friend-to-friend' relationship,
if that makes sense.
I know that I am really blessed to have such a good
husband, great church families and a nice place to live,
and lots of fun knitting and using yarn
but I really would like to get better so
I can at least get out and take more walks...
It's funny what one takes for granted until it is taken away!
Yet, I thank the Lord for His mercy
for the Mother of God and
all the Saints...

New Cute Baby Blanket for a Small Boy

Ever since I heard last week
of the early birth of a baby boy
to my cousin and cousin-in-law,
I've been knitting!

The plan is to make a blanket with
blue as most of it
and a thick yellow boarder.
I am hoping to use this as a way to
knit a yellow duck in the centre.
I am almost done with the blue
and then will do equal rows on top.
Then only to knit two rows of yellow to add on
and then finish the yellow duck
and it will be done!
I was flying through this
as I had a lot of time in the car with
Mr. Husband...
then, sadly, I broke my knitting needle! :(

I taped it up,
as it was my only 10.5 knitting needle in the round
and then knit more...

But then I realized to my dismay
that sure enough,
I was knitting more loosely and
would have to frog that part.
I am hoping to get a new circular needle in town
soon so I can finish this!
I am still making some great progress on my
September School Blanket!
I've planned out the rest 

And over the weekend learned how to make a ball
of yarn that has two threads to pull from!
(Thanks friend :) ) 

I've got just a little bit more to do of the
actual knitting and
then I will stitch more of it together!
It's going well!

I got this super cute book
last week!

A lot of it is for me to
grow into but
I am hoping to take on this challenge in the coming months:

Elmer the Elephant.
I want to do him in grey yarn
for the little boy I am making the blanket for!
They have this cute lion and a horse too!
It will be my first real pattern
(though I hope to do a simple slipper pattern
in the next two months)
that I hope to be doing...
It will be a challenge but it is all in garter stitch which
will help.
What are you reading and creating?
Anything new, fun, simple or a challenge?
Yarn Along with us!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Akathists ~ New Blog Page

For the last few weeks,
I've been working on making a new
Akathist page.
Ever since I posted
my original post on Akathists
 in 2010,
I have had many requests for various
Some of the Akathists that I found and that
I have a digital copy on my computer
I could not find again
in my online searches.
These Akathists are marked with a * to indicate
that you must email me for a copy.
All other Akathists URLs are provided.
If there are any Akathists that you have
but that I do not have listed,
please let me know.
As I find new ones, I hope to add them to this page.
I hope that many will be blessed by this page!
It took a lot of work to finish
and I hope you will find these
Akathists to be a help in time of need
and a strengthening to many!
Please go here for the Akathist Page!

Wonderful Friday Dinner with Friends!

Mr. Husband and I had
soft shelled crab for the first time
a year ago last May
when we went to our wedding one day conference.
We've been searching for it ever since...
We had some dear friends coming for dinner
on Friday and this is what we were able to

We found it some at a local
grocery store and made them on Friday
with some scrimp.
Here was the recipe:
fry garlic in olive oil (we used vegetable oil as it was a Friday)
when garlic is browned, remove garlic.
Dredge the soft shell crabs in flour that has been salt and peppered
fry in oil on medium heat for about 3 minutes each side.
Add lemon or lime juice at the end.
Serve immediately.
{I quickly fried up the shrimp afterwards in
the same oil and then we sat down to dinner!}

We had farmers market tomatoes
and lettuce...

A lovely fruit salad of
organic fruits ~ strawberries, blue berries and grapes.

Begonias for extra beauty and colour on
the table.

4 baked potatoes.
Beautiful sunflowers from our wonderful
friends and dinner guests.
My beloved Mr. Husband has talked about how good
the soft shell crab was! :)
I am interested in trying this recipe as well with
mango and papaya!
It was a really lovely time!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Guardian Angel

There was a lovely Guardian Angel icon
blessed in my far-away church recently.
Guardian Angels are very real.
Fr. Stephen Freeman has a wonderful article about
Guardian Angels that I read some years back.
See here.
A story of my own:
When I was fairly young,
probably 2 or so years old,
a cousin and I were having a good time together...
I am sure we were laughing and goofing around
as the young do.
Apparently we were playing a game called
'walking backwards'
and the adults got distracted,
a door was left open and I fell headlong down,
as in headfirst,
down a wooden staircase with flimsy rails
and a hard cement floor.
My Mom heard me screaming as I fell.
All I had was a slightly cut lip.
My Mom said my Guardian Angel caught me.
I remember those stairs well and that cement was
well, the hardest coldest floor I've ever known.
And from hearing that story since I was very young,
I have known that my Guardian Angel saved me.
Prayer to one's Guardian Angel:

O angel of God, my holy guardian, given to me from heaven, enlighten me this day, and save me from all evil. Instruct me in doing good deeds, and set me on the path of salvation. Amen.

O angel of Christ, holy guardian and protector of my soul and body, forgive me everything wherein I have offended you every day of my life, and protect me from all influence and temptation of the Evil One. May I never again anger God by my sins. Pray for me to the Lord, that He may make me worthy of the grace of the All-Holy Trinity, and of the blessed Mother of God, and of all the saints. Amen.
(found here).
Canon to Guardian Angel found here.
In a lot of icons of the Guardian Angel
they have small pieces of cloth near their ears,
the icon pictured above.
A monastic explained to me that those
signify that the Angel is quick to hear.
A monastic also comforted me,
since I have an icon that does not have this,
by saying,
that part is merely hidden.
A small thing perhaps,
but isn't it wonderful to realize that
we are not alone and
that our Guardian Angel is with us
and that this Angel is to help us with
good thoughts?

Second half of blanket ~ cute new yarn!

I got this new huge skein of
yarn at Michael's on St. Elizabeth's Day with Mr. Husband.
I made three balls of yarn from it so far and
have lots left!
It is for my September School Blanket
and as it is for a newly 6 year old boy with a
mother who is a very busy woman,
I wanted yarns that are easy to care
for and can be thrown in the wash
without any concerns.

As I just got the yellow,
I am doing a small square of it towards the top
middle of the blanket so that the
yellow will not just be
at the second half of this blanket.

I got a bright orange skein of yarn too!
for a nice bright square in the second half of the
blanket, with two more littler yellow squares... 

I pinned the finished ones together as
I like how I had arranged them for sewing but can't
keep them all spread out meanwhile...

Pinning them together just added to the
excitement of realizing how far
I've come on this one!
All that knitting in the car rides to
and from church...
All of the big squares are about two hours of knitting
each, so I have put in a lot of time for this
blanket and am really loving
how it is turning out.

When I was finally done with this little
body butter container
that I'd gotten years ago on sale in Ottawa,
I cleaned it,
ran it through our dishwasher
and now use it for my large safety pins
(Micheal's sold them as 'quilting pins'...
I was just glad to finally found some large ones!)
In a way I am doing my first
bit of 'pattern work' as I have to make some things
to size now for this blanket;
figured out that 12 stitches in this green
yarn was the right size for the strip that
is needed... :)
It is so fun to create things...
Are you creating anything recently or
doing anything that you enjoy?
Would love to hear!

Saturday, July 20, 2013


I really liked this post
about how to be a friend.
The point of even if someone is struggling
that they still want to know how
things are going for others
is so important.
I've appreciated sharing in the struggles and lives of my
friends even when I am confronted with my own struggles.
This to me is the definition of friends:
they share struggles and joys of life with the other.

Friday, July 19, 2013

St. Elizabeth's Day

Mr. Husband and I had
a wonderful time
celebrating St. Elizabeth's Day
After the festivities, we went to
Michael's and I got some
great knitting supplies and more
yarn for the
September School Blanket I am making!
I got a fun deep yellow and a great
orange to add to the blanket!
Thank you for your prayers for the
newly born child.
So far so good from what I have heard.
We are praying very much for them all.
And I started my blanket for them!
It will DV be a blue blanket with a yellow boarder.
I would love to do a simple
knit yellow duck in the centre.
Any ideas where I can do this without too much
knitting stress
(since I have not done pattern work yet)?
It was so wonderful to be in church
for St. Elizabeth after hearing about
the newly born 1.5 lb baby and my
Aunt's struggles with a sudden broken arm.
We are so blessed to have the church to pray
in and for those we love and care about.
I am so thankful!
What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Knitting and my Oma

 Couldn't resist re-posting one
of my blanket in process pictures!
I've sewn some more since my
post on this yesterday!
I'm really happy about this blanket! 
 As I was talking with my Mom...
about my Oma, her Mom.
So I was telling my Mom about how I like
to buy inexpensive or on sale yarn.
And I asked her,
Oma did not buy expensive yarn, right?
Oh no, my Mom assured me...
She would go to thrift stores to find sweaters
and Opa would unravel them while she
balled up the yarn....
I already knew that people would go to garage sales
and get yarn for her...
people often gave her yarn...
she always made beautiful things!
I knew when I began knitting that I wanted to be like
my Oma...
I remember her making her own balls of yarn,
knitting all the time
while conversation was going on around her,
and that she was frugal but still made
lovely things.
I am thinking that someday I may want to frog a
sweater or two from a thrift store...
I already am thinking of a dark green sweater from
years ago that I got ride of that
would of been perfect for this!
My Oma and Opa would of been
much better at some of the things I am doing
(like my uneven stitches)
but as much as I can
I'd really like to be like my Oma...
If you knit or crochet or like to make things,
how do you do things affordable?
Any tips on frogging a thrifted sweater?
Other tips?
Would love to know and hear your stories!
Do tell!!! :)