Monday, September 30, 2013

Tea with a friend

These flowers by St. John were
lovingly brought by my first local friend
whose kindness has continued to bless me!

They are beauties from her own garden.
Such a lovely posy!

We had tea;
gave her this tea cup to drink from;
my Grandma and I found it at an antique mall
when I was nearly 25...

I had these tea cups,
all different ones that we found,
6 of them or so --
sent to BC where I was going to school at the time.
I did my first high tea for my 25th birthday
with dear friends in attendance!
Believe it or not, I only had a toaster oven,
a small one, but I made little cookies with it
for the tea!
And the cutest little sandwiches...
seems like such a long time ago;
if 12 or so years is long, then it is so...
but somehow it seems short and long at the same time...

We used a sugar and creamer that my Grandma
and I found on another trip shopping together...

Two teapots and tea cozies were used...

It was such a lovely time of
excellent conversation about a variety of Christian topics
and we knitted too!
My friend's yarn was so beautiful!
She recommended an emerald colour for the cowl;
so far I have magenta, emerald, grey and cream colours
mentioned or seen in patterns online...
I guess we will have to see what I can find! 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday in late September 2013 ~ Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Mr. Husband and I were at liturgy for the
Feast of the Exaltation of the Life-Giving Cross
this morning. 

I made bread yesterday!
Details next week, DV.

We had this for dinner ~ Martha
kindly let me know that it is called
caprese salad.
The Heirloom tomatoes were so good with it.

I also fried up some mushrooms and onions,
to be eaten with some sour cream.

It was a simple meal,
but filling.
We hope to eat left-overs tomorrow...
Cleo as you can see wanted this dinner too!
We went to a great book sale today!
I got a whole stack of cookbooks.
The only problem?
Where to put them...
I will be doing some weeding
of my collection of books soon...
One of the cookbooks I got is
the new basics cookbook
which I think is the one that caused Mr. Husband to ask
how many general cookbooks I need...
Clearly we have differing points of view :)
And I saw some bread recipes in it that I want to
look at further...
Most of my cookbooks were either gifts or
found used for a few dollars at most.
I got the facsimile of the original Fanny Farmer Cookbook
and one cookbook that
is for cooking for big groups,
published in 1962;
some others also... they are all wrapped up
for now in storage to be sure no creepy crawlies are in them.
Oh NJ and their bug problems; le sigh.
But boy am I excited to read these and
try some new recipes!
I was looking through an Italian cookbook
the other night was getting some ideas as well...
I finished up 1 and a half wash/dish clothes in our
2 hour plus trip to church
and I must try stockinette soon,
for my upcoming knitting class.
So that's it for me,
what are you doing today?

Banana Bread

This is the second time I made
banana bread,
I realized when I searched my blog!

Above is the recipe.
Below is the bread it made this time around!
Please see here for the recipe and cookbook information!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos

Mr. Husband and I went to the Feast of
the Nativity of the Mother of God this past Saturday.
It is like an early Christmas,
for we would not have Christmas if the Mother of God
had not been born;
it is, truly, the beginning of our salvation!

"The present feastday is for us the beginning of feastdays. Serving as a boundary limit to the law and to foretypes, it at the same time serves as a doorway to grace and truth." ~ St. Andrew of Crete
(h/t Mystagogy)


"On the eve of the feast, Vespers is served and contains three Old Testament readings that have New Testament meaning. In Genesis 28:10-17, Jacob's Ladder which unites heaven and earth points to the union of God with men which is realized most fully and perfectly in Mary the bearer of God. "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!" In Ezekiel 43:27-44:4, the vision of the temple with the door to the East perpetually closed and filled with the glory of the Lord, symbolizes Mary. And in Proverbs 9:1-11, Mary is also identified with the "house" which the Divine Wisdom has built for herself."
~See here for more.

"This is the day of the Lord; wherefore, rejoice ye nations; for behold the chamber of Light, the scroll of the Word of life hath come forth from the womb; the gate facing the east hath been born. Wherefore, she awaiteth the entrance of the High Priest. And she alone admitted Christ into the universe for salvation of our souls.

+ Doxastikon of the Feast, Tone 6


Your birth, O Theotokos, brought joy to the whole world, for from you dawned the sun of righteousness, Christ our God. Freeing us from the curse, He gave us His blessings. Abolishing death, He granted us eternal life.


In your holy birth, Immaculate One, Joachim and Anna were rid of the shame of childlessness; Adam and Eve of the corruption of death. And so your people, free of the guilt of their sins, celebrate crying: "The barren one gives birth to the Theotokos, who nourishes our life."

Fr. Thomas Hopko speaks on this feast here.
Simple ways to celebrate the feast:

Say the short prayers
(the troparion and kontakion,
as listed above)
at home.
One suggestion I have heard for this is to have
the first prayer (the troparion) said before one eats a meal
and the second (the kontakion) said after the meal.
Another is to pray them in your morning and evening prayers.
Go to vespers or vigil the day before the feast.
Go to the festal liturgy on the feast.
Pray some of the prayers at home
if it is not possible to go to church.
Place an icon of this feast in your icon corner.
Tell the story of the feast,
of Sts. Joachim and Anna,
to your children if you are blessed with them.
Be thankful to God for such a beautiful beginning of our

A week that seems like two...

By Wednesday I was thinking it was Friday.
Last week I was lamenting not
following through on goals of
getting out of the house and having more of a routine.
This week I've been out or had people in daily.
I still find trips to NYC leave me
no matter what it is I am doing...
drained to various degrees.
It looks like I will be taking a knitting class for the month
of October ~
one night a week for 2 hours.
I can walk to the class!
Looks like one of the things I will make is
this cowl.
I still need to get the yarn for it.
Any thoughts knitters on what yarn and what colour? 
Love hearing others ideas...
This class will be continuing my slow progression towards
using patterns.
Mr. Husband and I have some really good
mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes;
thinking that plus some bread
for dinner.
I was thinking of baking the bread.
I am also thinking I would really like to invest
in a pizza peel.
Tomorrow is the Feast of the Cross.
Mr. Husband and I hope to be at liturgy.
Other things in the works for the next two weeks
also; a busy time.
I don't know if I will ever get a routine down
but remain hopeful.
It helps to remember how a year ago
at this time
so much was new.
Our house is in better order;
my smart phone keeps me somewhat organized;
the blur of many new faces have been individualized and
friendships are developing.
I am really seeing how, also, it takes so much
time and energy to learn new things,
not to mention develop friendships....
Well, let's see what happens today
and I guess in the end it all comes back to
what a roommate years ago told me
your time with God is all that matters ~
the rest are details. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Yarn Along: New York, New Scarf and a Gift

It's been a while since I was able be with
everyone for Ginny's Yarn Along!
Travels to Ottawa, our first book club and
a feast have been keeping me busy!
Yesterday I went into the City (NYC)
to meet a new friend.
Her home was so beautiful:

One thing of note was the
stunning hand painted wall decoration...
It was quite something to be taking the subways again
and suddenly there I was meeting this friend!

I made a simple dress-up an outfit scarf...
Size 3 needles, garter stitch; done on travels
here and there...
and a lot of it in Ottawa.
I wore the scarf the first time yesterday in my
NYC trip!
Ravelry here.

I am making wash clothes and dish cloths.
Still working on learning the decrease correctly.
I think I failed to always decrease on the same end,
which is why it is a bit uneven.
It made a small gift for a friend with
some little bath set.
Ravelry here.

My Aunt makes these towels with the hanging
knit loop.
Does anyone know the pattern for them?
I do want to make some myself in time!

I hope to make many more dish and bath cloths for
small gifts like this one!
I am thinking of making a longer scarf with the
two skeins of this
LB Cotton Bamboo yarn with a
more patterned stitch
for the next one...
I listened to C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy recently.

First edition cover

That Hideous Strength is still my favourite of them.

What are you creating and reading?
Yarn Along with us!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

This and That of Some Beautiful Days

I made a banana bread with chocolate chips
last Friday for the church picnic we had
this past weekend.
I hope to write the recipe out soon... 

Mr. Husband and I were at church for the
Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos.

I am gearing up for a busy Autumn and love
the morning routine of lighting the lampadas.

Talked to my sister-friend and we decided that I will
postpone my dreams of visiting Ottawa for now
for various factors...

A dear woman from my NJ parish
gave me this small African Violet for
my names day of
St. Elizabeth the Mother of St. John the Baptist.

Today is St. Sergis and Herman of Vallam's day.

Cleo is still quite playful.
She really wanted a lot of attention today.
When I come out into the main part of our home
after a night's sleep,
she is using sitting by the door quietly waiting for me.

I love the kitchen of our home very much.

It is also St. Euphrosynos' day today!

I prepared this day to go
into NYC!
I leave shortly for the day...
I am realizing how much time it takes
to build routine and see that
I am working on building it further this autumn.
I was sent a link to this blog by my sister-in-law.
Knitters, I think you may love it!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday ~ Eve of a Feast

God willing Mr. Husband and I will be at
the Feast for the Nativity of the Mother of God
We are holding many people close to our hearts
who are suffering.
I must say that I am still trying to get my sea legs
in a sense;
by which I mean that I feel that I am still trying to
get oriented to new things here;
getting mono in February,
after much holiday traveling and the like,
and then not recovering fully or there abouts till August,
and then having BC trip, family over and then an Ottawa trip
which of course then I got that head cold that
is slowly leaving.
But this leaves me to the present.
I really want to have a better routine for myself.
For various reasons that Mr. Husband and I have,
I am not looking for full time work;
I am still rather learning new skills...
baking, cooking, cleaning, knitting; perhaps sewing;
I still have to master some of the transit systems
and figuring out how to get places.
When I talk to the monastics I have known for years,
they just say that it takes time for things to come clear,
to settle into new shapes, as it were.
I did not realize that it takes more than 1 year but apparently
it does.
And it seems that I often try to make an effort to do more,
or go somewhere, or make plans
and they never work out or often do not.
I find it takes a lot of patience,
and most of all patience in bearing with my own self
through all of these changes and trying to
start over and learn to be a wife and live down here,
away from all that I held so dear in Ottawa.
Guess I have to remind myself that
 we did do something this week;
the book club;
it is more the hours during the day that I wish for a bit more
to do and it is such a challenge to actually do something.
Not to mention a friend near by that I could visit
during the day...
I really miss my sister-friend and others in Ottawa
who are SAHM who I could spend time with...
Hope to report that next week
I have done something new and that somehow
a routine gets better established.
Of course I am thankful for the
many good things in my life...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

September 19, 2013 ~ A Year Later

A year ago today
I wrote the first post after I married
Mr. Husband.
After a good ten days without blogging or using
FB or really emailing anyone,
Mr. Husband and I were wrapping up the travel
part of our honeymoon,
first in Ottawa and then in Quebec.
I remember the shyness I felt of being about to
plunge into a new world,
leaving my country and city behind;
I have only been to Ottawa and thus Canada
twice since.
I wrote in a way with a feeling of a type of intensity, not
exactly as one would feel triumph,
as if it was a miracle that the wedding day
went so well;...
though it was a miracle;
one that was supported by prayers of many,
including monastics.
It was indeed a day out of time;
I was told of so many things that
could go wrong on a wedding day.
To expect it and not to worry.
While various ups and downs went into the planning
of the wedding and reception,
menus and caters scrapped, dress not fitting right the first fitting and
here it was in MI and I had to get it right in only two visits;
the finding of the two bridesmaid dresses
(my Mother came to the rescue, I ordering, she picking them up in MI;
indeed most of the things came from MI and people came from all
over Canada, the US and my sister and brother in law from Romania).
And I found out later that my family almost missed getting the flowers,
but by God's mercy did not and then my cousin H. had to suddenly
pitch in to get the flowers on the tables of the reception;
all this I knew of only later.
And the hair dresser's cab was late and so I the bride was also late.
Yet I was so happy and we were busy the whole time getting ready
and the anticipation of that moment when I was finally the Bride
and marrying my beloved Husband and brought in my Father.
It was merely a dream, glorious and bright,
that came true
and the day, from waking up at 4 AM in excitement,
to my family bringing Mr. Husband and I to our first hotel,
it was prefect, all together wonderful.
I was on cloud 9 or higher!
I remember the liturgy for the beheading of St. John the Baptist
that we stayed in Ottawa for and got to hear my beloved
spiritual father speak one more time in person
before we left for Quebec City...
It was all so wonderful.
So Joyous.
It was as I wrote the paradise of new beginnings.
And so I remember being in the Porter Lounge with my
newly married Mr. Husband and eating lunch before
we flew home... and writing that first
blog post a year ago today before we actually got home,
before that last leg of the two-legged flight.
And what a flight it was.
We were in the back and suddenly landing was long and choppy
and I as a brand new bride,
not been yet to my new church as a new wife
not yet going week after week to a new place to pray
and slowly getting to know people,
colours, faces, names
and well, the ride was too much.
I fell ill on the plane;
a new bride just coming home from the honeymoon, a few
days before going to her new church the first time
as one who actually would be going there quite regularly.
I guess I found it a great embarrassment,
myself a seasoned traveler who used to use those
sickness bags as envelopes to send letters to my friends back
in the mid 1990's...
(such was my sense of humour)...
But so it was and so it began and Mr. Husband went out
once we got home as newlyweds,
home the very first time together and I still weary from being ill;
Mr. Husband came back home with a potted rose plant
and telling me of the word 'solicitous' and so it began,
my husband's demonstrated kindness to his new wife
sick on a plane before she ever got home!
Well here we are.
A year later.
A year.
Soon we faced a hurricane, various head colds and then
my mono;
I learned to knit, bake bread, make Mr. Husband dinner;
we traveled; I made many knitted gifts,
we planned and just began our book club.
So a few pictures of this moment in time around our home
that we are slowly making into a state of organized beauty.

In August with the help of my cousin H. we
finally got these gifts hung.

All from Romania, the spoon.

The two round icons,
intricately carved.
The note with them framed to go with the note.

When we were back in Ottawa a year after
we were married,
a dear dear friend gave me these beautifully painted
wooden shoes for our first anniversary.
Placed now on our swiveling CD rack with one of
my Oma's doilies I look at it with joy.

Books comfortably piled on my knitting basket.

Reading a book about a woman who lived
in 1967, the year before what was called
the year, 1968, that postmodernism was born.
A year in which she writes of her home, her gardens,
her family and the seasons.
It is all there in that book.

Our coffee table, now neatly organized,
no longer with the tall candles and wide
clear blue glass plate but the thin
opaque white tray with three pear shaped candles.
My sole pink doily/coaster from my Oma matching
the pink candled pear perfectly. 
A pile of books that shows the love of our home and
the memories we are already making.
CS Lewis,
whose space trilogy is reminding me of time and now
I have sensed before that things happen in time to us but yet somehow
they are already done and if we thought of it this way
and more in terms, as this way seeks to, in light of
God's eternity, things are perhaps easier to bear,
or at least some mental agitation about them maybe less.
We will see.
Mr. Husband says Lewis is getting these thoughts from Augustine and
I think it is about time I start listening to his Confessions...
On this pile we have Christmas Carols,
the first big feast we celebrated together just a few months later
was Christmas.
And then a book Mr. Husband found and I claimed for our
personal library, on the
Glorious Impossible of Christmas
by Madeline L' Engle
and then JRR Tolkien's first edition of the
Father Christmas Letters
that I got Mr. Husband for our first and still now only Christmas.
Perhaps surprising that we have so many Christmas books piled
in our living room neatly on display but
so it is and it reflects one of the greatest truths that I know about
my marriage to Mr. Husband,
which someday I will know more deeply I hope,
as I hope for many years with him,
but right now I can tell you,
a year later,
that my marriage to Mr. Husband is nothing
save a gift from God,
an answer to so many prayers.

Praying for Noah (and a fundraiser for him)

Noah has been through some challenging times.
Currently he has an internal and external infection.
Please pray for him.
There is a fundraiser also going on ~ actually two ~
as the van that Noah's family needs is failing
and the funds to get a new one are vast
for Noah's family.
See the one for wheels for Noah
and the other is a Tupperware fundraiser,
which ends today,
is found here.
So many to pray for!
Thinking of Alex, my friend's sister L. and many others!
Lord have mercy! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Prayer Requests

This morning as I was enjoying
the sunshine, washing up yesterday's dinner glasses,
listening to CS Lewis' Perelandra via audible,
my phone blinked it's small green light
that tells me that I have a new email:
A dear friend asking for prayers for her sister L.
who is very sick overseas.
Praying, I light a thick candle and prayed
instead of listening to the book...
So tonight I got news of another person God loves to pray for:
Please pray for Mat. Emily's new brother-in-law
Alex, who she writes:
 He was commuting home from work yesterday on his bicycle 
and was hit by a car.
He has a skull fracture and 
had been admitted to the neurosurgery icu.
Please I ask your prayers for sister of my dear friend L. and for Alex!

Tonight is already liturgically
the feast day of the Archangel Micheal.
He is a great and powerful intercessor for us!
Please join me in asking prayers for the
health for servant of God Alex!
Commanders of the heavenly hosts, 
 we who are unworthy beseech you, 
by your prayers encompass us 
beneath the wings of your immaterial glory,
 and faithfully preserve us who fall down and cry to you: 
 “Deliver us from all harm, 
for you are the commanders of the powers on high!”
~Troparion for Synaxis of the Archangel Michael...
Akathist to St. Micheal the Archangel here.
Lord have mercy,
Lord have mercy,
Lord have mercy!