Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday, Hot and Sunny ~ with reflections on things read

The above are the squares I have done
so far plus the other yarns I hope to use for this blanket.
Today is a tired day.
Mr. Husband is home,
we are eating simple ~ salads, almonds and baked potato.
While I am really tired today,
I am honestly grateful that I have the opportunity to rest
and be in a peaceful place.
I am making good progress on the book
on Abbess Thaisia.
She built an incredible female Orthodox convent
in her time as Abbess,
plus other churches as well.
It is hard to believe that within two years of her
falling asleep in the Lord
the Russian Revolution of 1917 happened.
The Orthodox church was quickly under attack,
priests, bishops and monastics (monks and nuns)
were killed, churches and monasteries
It has been wonderful to read the book
Everyday Saints
because it gives an idea to us of what was
going on during this time.
Mr. Husband is well-versed in history and
has a better memory than I.
We have talked together about the
similarities of the French Revelation
and the Russian Revelation
in terms of it's awful desecration and destruction of
churches, monasteries and murdered clergy.
I do not know why I was never taught this.
Why I never knew that the Church was under such
attack during these times.
I have known about the persecution of Christians in Russia
before communism fell
yet every time I read about it I am shocked.
This blog in general is one in which I do not write about
these things ~ but yet ~ I think it is so
important that we know about them.
Mr. Husband has said many times that
these times in history were ultimately
satanic and I cannot disagree.
Our world here is changing quickly;
we are so spiritually weak.
Things are increasingly
not to mention anti-human dignity
and it seems against all forms of traditional living
(including farming, bee-keeping).
It is a fight to the end to be a Christian;
the temptations are often subtle and
sometimes not so subtle!
But with God there is always hope...
not the promise that things will be easy
but that God is with us.
This new post on God as our Father
is a comfort to us...
Lord have mercy on us!
Lord save and protect us!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sunny Thursday ~ new icons and knitting

I am waiting to hear about the
young adult who is in hospital.

I was very happy to get new icons from
this monastery that Mr. Husband and I go to.
This icon is special to me as it is
the monastery's three main icons.
The one on the left is St. Mary of Egypt;
I had always wanted her icon and am so happy
to have it now! 

I also got this small diptych
of St. Xenia and St. Matrona.
I had been wanting one of St. Matrona for sometime,
so this was a real blessing!

I am about half-way through reading this book
on Abbess Thaisia.
She went through so many trials yet God
brought her comfort and help in the midst...
It's a real treasure of a book...
of course the reality that a Christian has to bear his or her
God-given Cross is not easy but
God promises to help us...
I have been making some new pages on my blog...
the one on Elizabeth and Family
I wrote as a further introduction
since with knitting I am
meeting some new to me people...
And I made one today that I will update as I can
on books I am reading this year...
doing this in part for my own record and
as a place to share books and links on or about them.

I am making a new knitting project ~
a small baby blanket for a
girl's doll.
I am using a 100% wool fingerling weight yarn
and have double stranded it for this knit.
The yarn was 50% off so I bought it :)

I am realizing that I enjoy working with smaller
knits and love the creativity in discovering what
I can do with different sizes of yarn.
Ravelry here.
For my yarn quilt
I am well on my way ~ I've made so far
cream, blue and red squares.
Question: I am thinking of using the
fingerling weight wool yarn 
to knit the squares together.
Would using wool yarn/thread to do this 
backfire because it is wool and may shrink?
The yarn I am using for the squares is
washable mainly or all acrylic yarn...
I am still tired from all of our travels but
have been so encouraged from
my visits to monasteries.
God is good to us and will bring help to us in
His timing... 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Prayer Requests

Please pray for a dear almost young adult N.
who is sick in hospital in Ottawa;
Another friend of mine's child underwent surgery today
and yet another friend's child broke an arm this week
in Ottawa.
There are so many in need of help and healing,
Lord have mercy,
Lord have mercy,
Lord have mercy!

Easter Baby Blanket Yarn Along

The Baby Blanket is done!

English Garden and Pear Baby Wool Yarn,
double stranded...

Mr. Husband and I went on a long road trip
this long weekend
and I got lots of knitting done!
I just have to weave in the ends and it will be 100% done!
Am really pleased with it.
Ravelry here.
I finished reading Everyday Saints - just loved it!
I am still reading it out loud to Mr. Husband...
it was such an enjoyable read that
I am looking forward to going through it slowly
over the next months.
Reading aloud is such a wonderful past time! :)
I also got some other knitting projects on the go
and look forward to sharing them
on the Wednesday yarn alongs with Ginny!
What are you creating or reading?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Our Weekend of 3 Monasteries, 1 Ordination and 1 Graduation of Students

Mr. Husband and I went on a lovely trip
to upstate New York this weekend.
We stayed at a Greek monastery dedicated
to St. Nektarios.
It was lovely.
I did not take pictures as I was new
and did not want to bother anyone in asking permission
to take pictures.
But you can see a few on their website.
It was cold and rainy when we were there.
The Greek monasteries have men and women houses
where they stay.
I had a room to myself and found this book in
the room and began to read it.
I was so taken by it!
And I immediately looked for it online and
was determined to order it...
when the next day I found it in their bookstore!
An older woman and a younger woman and
I talked in the morning after breakfast
and the older woman said that this book
on Abbess Thaisia was the first one she read there.
It was such a joy to have some time there.
I had many people on my heart to pray for
and lit lots of candles at the beginning of the
in-the-middle-of-the-night prayers and liturgy.
Then Mr. Husband,
after getting some wonderful things in the bookstore
and talking with my newly met monastery going friends,
we had lunch and then
were on our way further up north.
We stayed near to Jordanville, the Holy Trinity monastery and seminary
 and went to most of vigil at a nearby church.
The next morning we went up to liturgy at
Jordanville itself.
I had never been there before and was eager to see it,
since I have various friends who have been.
There were many people there for liturgy,
many there for the graduation and ordination of a young man
to the diaconate who we know.
I saw many warm and kind clergy,
the woman monastics were especially kind to me
and I felt this warm joy at seeing the ordination; it was a really special time.
And right in the middle of the liturgy I saw this icon of
St. Xenia of Petersburg:

It was the original of the icon of
this dear and holy Saint that I first got
years ago at my first church in BC:
I have a small reproduction of this icon of St. Xenia.
It was the first icon I ever bought, the first I ever had.
She kept coming to mind after I saw it,
so much so that I bought it with the birthday money I had
at the time.
So it was a very special experience to see the original icon!
Mr. Husband and I stayed for the graduation of the
students and celebrated the wonderful day with
some of our friends who had come
for the same events.
We also enjoyed browsing in the bookstore! :)
By the time I was at the first monastery I was already
feeling more 'myself' than I had in a long time.
It was a real blessing.

The next day it was sunny and warm!
We drove in the beautiful verdant hills of the
Catskill mountains and went to
a small monastery that Mr. Husband and I have
been to twice before.
I got two lovely icons there and some thick candles
which is a blessing as I have them in my kitchen.

The drive was so beautiful.
Mr. Husband and I both are drawn to the beauty
of the countryside.

We saw the octagon house that we had seen before.
You can see the baby blanket I was working on
reflecting through the car window in this picture.
We had dinner at an Italian restaurant in the countryside
a couple of hours after leaving the last of the three
monasteries we visited.
It was a really wonderful time.
Also very tiring.
My sleep schedule is a bit off and I am resting a lot
from the trip.
I am so grateful that God gave me the strength to go!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Our eyes look to the heavens, where does come our help...

Feast of the Holy Cross 2011.
Victory only comes through the Cross.
The Resurrection of Christ happened in the
tomb of Christ.
In the time of greatest suffering,
came the time of our salvation,
the Lord's Great and Holy Pascha.
Today let us be with Christ
so we can die with Him
in order to be raised with Him.
To be a Christian is this.
How hard it is for us to suffer, how very hard.
We must keep eternity in view and
the goal must be to be with Christ now and later.
It is these truths that I find it all comes back to...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Last year(s) and today

Lent 2011.
How joyous but hard Lent is!
When I am in Great Lent it often feels long,
hard and we just struggle and want it to be over
but later it seems light or even joyful.
I wrote this in Great Lent in 2011 and quoted
an article on marriage that
I did not realize the same year I would be emailing it
to my future husband.
If you have not read this article,
I strongly recommend it.

Holy and Great Friday.
In Ottawa I always brought roses.
How special this time was,
how deep!
To be able to be in Church with Christ on
this Somber and Holy Day.

I remember blogging this;
I found this basket used for
a very inexpensive price...
which I brought to Pascha again
this year with Mr. Husband...
On Holy Friday that year I used the basket
to bring the roses for Christ's burial
and had them in the basket;
it felt so beautiful to be walking to church
in the sunshine with a basket of roses.
A woman near to my apartment asked
if I was Ukrainian as it seemed
like my basket was for Pascha,
which was a few days away.
I found out that this woman went to
the Ukrainian church in town...
it was such a joyful and holy time...

That summer I found this book
at the Greek Festival...

Being Orthodox brings so much beauty
to my life...
The first time I talked to Mr. Husband on the phone,
I remember standing by these icons,
feeling very solidly that the ground under my feet
was shifting and that my whole life
was changing,
that I was standing on the precipice of something
new, that would flip my world in circles
for a while...
And so it was....
My sister friend and I went to
the Greek monastery late that August and
it was,
we did not realize,
St. Phanourios' day...
St. Phanourios who has helped so many people
by his prayers...
I was already talking with Mr. Husband
who I had not yet met in person and
I was in the throes of the early stages of love.
I indeed asked for help at the monastery
as I was praying as sincerely as I could
for a man who I already felt could indeed
become my husband.
And so in God's mercy it was.
Through the mercy of God in just over a year,
Mr. Husband and I were married on
St. Phanourios' day...
And I introduced Mr. Husband,
who was then my unmarried Orthoman,
to you all by way of St. Phanourios...
It is so good to remember God's mercies in my life.
It is also important to still seek God's mercy now,
to never assume that the battle is over,
as indeed,
it will be a fight until our last breath.
Fr. Thomas Hopko speaks of this:
"Have no expectations, except to be fiercely tempted to your very last breath. St. Anthony said it. He said: “A truly wise person knows the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, true and false and clings fiercely to what is good, true, and beautiful, but fully expects to be tested, to be tried, and to be tempted til his very last breath.” He said that without being tempted, no one can enter God’s Kingdom—without temptation, no salvation. The whole life of a man on Earth is a trial, according to Scripture. Job said it. So we are being tried every moment, we should expect it. We should never expect the trial to go away. We don’t ask God to take our crosses away. We ask for the power to carry them. God doesn’t tempt anybody. But in the providence of God, we are tested all the time so that our salvation can be ours, and that we could be victorious by the victory of Christ."
(see here for the rest).
Now is a new day for all of us,
whether we are in the same struggle that we seem to
be facing for many years
or we are in a newer situation,
trying to figure out which way to go,
God's mercy is new every morning.
We must face each day with God...
to seek God and His mercy,
sometimes it seems too easy to forget
to do just that.

Friday, May 24, 2013


 This weekend to come is 
in a lot of ways an anniversary for me...
I first heard of Mr. Husband about this time
two years ago...
By the end of the summer we were
already in regular contact...

Holy Dormition 2011.

The first time Mr. Husband came
to meet me in Ottawa
we had this dinner.
I was still in the midst of a new job,
one that I still, to this day,
Thank God that He gave me for two months
and then took it away.
So thankful,
though it was hard at the time.
So friends pretty much made all of the food and
we set the table together
and my very first dinner with Mr. Husband
was one surrounded with good friends.

And this very good dessert.

On Thanksgiving proper
it was unseasonably warm;
in the 80s F.
I took Mr. Husband to my favourite tree
and my favourite walk.
It was such a special and joyous time for us.
I always wanted to date only one man
and marry him.
God in His mercy gave me my wish.
I had to wait until I was 34 to meet him
but it was worth waiting.
One of my friends told me that her spiritual father
once told her
God has special surprises waiting for you
and for me Mr. Husband was and is
one of the best unexpected events in my life.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Progress for three projects

My yarn came!
The Lord is merciful ~ I have reasons for
wanting this new shipment for some things that need to be done
soon and will have a lot of time to work on them
in the near future,
so I am SO GLAD that it came so quickly!

I am almost done with my
Easter Baby Blanket
and will be casting on for another right

I got this wool for future projects.
A thin cream coloured wool.

Lots of colours for my yarn quilt.
I am getting pretty excited for this quilt!
I am hoping it will be a very
multi-coloured blanket for a loved
almost 5 year old.
Two more skeins and this one will be done.
For those in the States this weekend is a long weekend;
if I was still living in Canada it would of been last weekend...

What are you hoping to do for this weekend?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A quiet day

I am almost done with
the green scarf.
Fish is cooking in the oven
as today is a
fish day for St. Nicholas.
I ordered some more yarn got and
an email that it has shipped.
I am hoping that I will get it soon
so I can finish the
Easter Baby Blanket.
This book title got my attention today.
I am thinking that I need to get a library card soon.
I am on the last part of Everyday Saints
and am putting off reading it quickly
as I, as many others have said,
will be sad when it is done.
I am loving the blog community and
the new bloggers I am meeting through
Ginny's Yarn Along.
At the same time,
I am aware of needing to balance
my time a bit better
and read more, etc.
I have begun re-reading Courage to Pray
I am still tired but am able to do some things.
Now I just have to try not to over do it.
I think tomorrow I will seek to have an extra restful day,
as today was a bit tiring...
I know I am so blessed to be able to rest.
What is your day turning out to be like?

What a green scarf says


This scarf is wide, long and warm.
The width elicits surprise yet
it was made with certain deliberation.

It is for one that is tall
and lives where snow falls
and wind blows during 
long days.

A scarf that is warm,
able to wrap long around
neck, face, keeping cold out.

Long, thick, wide ~ echoing 
my wish for you to be covered,
safe, warm, protected, saved.

Green for beauty, 
for the hope of Spring to come again,
for sunshine. 
Green brown for tree trunks beauty,
the fading leaf with the promise
of more to come again;
brown for good clean dirt for planting,
for trees and peonies.

This scarf has the words
I love you
knitted in it over, and over, and over.

It is of trees, flowers, warmth and reminders of spring 
in the midst of a cold, long winter.

Ravelry here.

Still reading Everyday Saints and loving every word.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dinner ~ Lasagna

Tonight I cooked up a
meat sauce and added the
Fia sauce to it.

It was fun to make.
I love being creative in the kitchen!

I had ordered ricotta goat cheese for it
and read the above recipe
(from Mark Bittman's how to cook everything)
wrong and only had 1 cup total of ricotta cheese.
So used tons of mozzarella in the middle with a little
ricotta cheese/layer.
I used sharp cheddar for the top layer.

Then there was that moment
when I saw bit of smoke coming through the stove top.
Filled it too full,
forgot to drain the meat
(did so afterwards by spooning it out)
and it spilled over.
Thankfully I have a patient husband.

It turned out well!
The flavours of the fia sauce and using the
Basic Italiano meat sauce recipe
(using the fia sauce in place of the tomato sauce
works wonderfully!).
There was lots of left overs that we froze
and some we put in the fridge for later.

Marriage and blessings

Mr. Husband got me this rose bush
when we were very newly married
and just back from our honeymoon.
I was so happy to see it bloom again
Yellow ~ so beautiful!
Speaking of marriage and
saving oneself for marriage ~
this is a wonderful blog post on it
by Fr. Lawrence.
I wish everyone knew that doing
things according to the life that God
set up for us would bring such
blessings and joy!
I read this post on
loving one's husband
and letting him know he is loved
last week.
It has inspired me to send emails to him
to remind him that he is loved.
I have a wonderful husband and
thank God for him!
What are you thankful for today?

Life and what is needful

Later I was telling Mr. Husband about this
and about Metropolitan Anthony's book
courage to pray
which began a new life and opened new worlds to me.

I read this book over and over when I was
new to Orthodoxy and
as I was far away from home
and my first church in BC.
It instructed and comforted me.

So I pulled it off the shelf
and intend on starting a re-read of it.
It is time.

Mat. Anna blogged a piece that speaks to
what our life can be.
and then so soon after I came across
another blog asking
what do we want of life?
Each of us must answer this.
A new baby was born to a newer friend of mine.
So happy.
She one day will have to answer this question also.
In truth,
we are always asked and always answering.
In big and little ways.
Lord help us.
This prayer one realizes with time is vital to us here in this time:
Lord save us whether we want it or not.