Friday, January 31, 2014

Cookies ~ white chocolate with macadamia nuts

Earlier this week I baked cookies...

Using Joy of Cooking...

I had not used white chocolate before...

Mr. Husband wished for
white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

I decreased the sugar slightly... 

But next time I will cut out the white sugar all together...
and perhaps up the salt...

I am wondering if white chocolate chips
would of been better.

These cookies baked up well,
though spreading themselves quite thin.

Mr. Husband commented that they are very much,
at present, like a sugar cookie.
More of the macadamia nuts are needed,
and more chocolate! 
I will be searching for new recipes...
The cookie is still lovely, a sweet sugar cookie,
but I am going to seek to make the next batch more
hearty and chewy.
Any recipes to share for this,
I am happy to hear!
I will be scouring my cookbooks!
It's always a joy to bake and cook!
I have DV our postponed Christmas dinner this Monday...
We've decided just to make a normal cheesecake...
we have raspberry syrup 
and another fruit topping to go with...
I am hoping to make these
with GF flour and no marshmallows.. 
I am dreaming of more baking... :)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Red Purse...

It took a while...

But the red purse that Mr. Husband got me for 
my birthday came!

It's actually a bit of a darker red
than the pictures show and I love it!
Great pockets inside
and even a key holder!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


So it is one of those days.
A beautiful sunny morning.
I baked the cookies you see to the side of this picture.
Hope to do the blog post on these soon.
Thanks for comments on my last post.
I think part of the issue I am dealing with 
is just setting up home and feeling isolated.
I am doing things about it
but it is hard to be patient, 
I admit.
So I found out that my vanilla beans,
the ones I had not used,
were slowly growing white mold.
Saw this and immediately prepared all the rest
and put in remaining vodka.
Also added more beans to original two bottles
as the vanilla still tastes more alcohol than vanilla.
I had plans to do many errands today.
Some will get done.
I have one friend who rushed to the ER today.
Another told me of a real sudden loss in her life;
death comes suddenly to some.
Lord have mercy on us all.
I am grateful for today.
That is all I need to know...

Monday, January 27, 2014

Today, a grey day but one with hope in Christ

Yesterday Mr. Husband and I 
were driving back home from church
and all seemed incredibly foggy;
the salt whitened roads matched the clouds as we
drove on a bridge above things
and all seemed one colour ~ fog.
I have so many people who are struggling.
My friend Mara is going through a very hard time again.
Other friends are in great grief,
stress that comes from mothering young children
or other upheavals that come with life.
I have been thinking about grief lately.
Kathleen Norris's book
speaks of this also; of facing grief and of the 
Psalms helping.
Grief comes even from good things ~ 
I am very blessed in my marriage to Mr. Husband,
who is truly my beloved husband,
but even good change includes a type of grief;
one is no longer single ~ this is a huge change;
marriage means being confronted with one's self and
patterns that do not work in one's new life or
things that were plain unhealthy.
For me it was also leaving Ottawa and my church family;
I can tell that I am moving into the stage of being resettled a bit more;
of feeling that the new things,
for me city, home, church, it was all new at once,
is becoming familiar, one's new beloved.
I had such a good visit in Ottawa;
God gave me a peace that is only from Him;
I love my church there very much and it was wonderful to see 
everyone; I was also blessed that I faced some of the sense of
grief that I still have in me (as I loved and still love Ottawa) 
before my trip... it made everything more peaceful.
It's funny how actually facing grief can bring peace,
though one has to go through the pain of facing the grief.
It's been almost a year since I came down with mono,
on Valentines Day last year.
This morning I felt a bit unwell so I rested...
that is what I did not do this time last year;
I did not let myself rest;
I realize that I was in part staying busy as I did not know how
to face the grief I was in about leaving Ottawa and 
getting settled here.
This year for Valentines Day I am getting two
cookbooks for the price of one 
by choosing them used via amazon.
I am really excited about getting both of these;
I have some friends and family who are GF and slowly learning these
recipes are exciting to me, as I really love hospitality.
I had a fun conversation with my Cat Cleo today.
Those who have pets will understand that one can have
such conversations.
Cleo had been meowing for sometime.
Begging for cat treats I believe.
So I told her that she is an addict to Cat Treats.
after I was finished eating lunch,
I brushed her and then gave her the Cat Treats she'd been wanting.
You know what I told her?
I have the same problem, though it is not cat treats that
are my addiction!
It's more a struggle I have with materialism 
and my love of 
a) distraction (Internet reading is a lot of it)
b) amazon and getting great book deals, for example.
I have a feeling I have more to face in terms of this...
sometimes the struggle of materialism and feeling like
one buys something is really trying to deal with 
a large something in one's life that is really not 
going to be dealt with in this manner at all,
only assuaged for a bit.
Our modern fractured scattered lives do not help this...
I don't think I am alone at all in this,
but I am also praying about it.
How does one change?
What does change look like? 
I am home most days and do not always have a lot of people
or any person to directly talk to...
which leads me to spend a lot of time online as my
place of contact with others.
Much to think on and pray about.  
I know that as I had mono for 6 months last year,
it has taken me longer than I would of wished to get settle
and in new routines.
Lots of patience is needed in life,
and I am finding daily life and such to be no exception.
Yet God is with us,
in all thing things and struggles we find ourselves in. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

The beauty of today and the hope we have

I am still wishing at times to burn more than one candle!
It is wonderful to be back home.
Yesterday was a busy day of 
unpacking, laundry and the like.
Today is slower, with Mr. Husband working at home...

how I keep my icon lamps burning bright over night.
By God's mercy at times my lampadas can burn 
for a few days.
I merely keep oil in them and top them up throughout the day.

The wicks often dim over the days that they are burning,
when topped with oil frequently
(I would say I do them 4-5x day).

This is how they look at present today,
they were relit last night.
See here to see how I use my wicks for these lampadas.
It is a fasting Friday 
and we had a simple lunch of toast with peanut butter,
nuts, salad and bananas.

I got our coconut milk out but when I realized we had not opened it yet,
we agreed to just save it for Great Lent.

I used my Grandmother's everyday dishes for plates
as all our everyday dishes are in the dishwasher!
Had an interesting discussion on tea on FB ~
based on this article.
About pesticides and tea.
It seems that Ginny uses Mountian Rose Organics and they also have 
On another, more serious topic...
I often think of the phrase,
no matter how deep the pit, Christ's love is deeper still
based on the understanding that Christ 
harrowed hell and broke hell's gates.

When searching for this idea I found these quotations by 
Corrie TenBoom:

“There is no panic in Heaven! God has no problems, only plans.”
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.”
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
“There is no pit so deep, but God is deeper Still.”
Right now my life is fairly stable, 
Thank God,
but I have lived enough to know that 
life has some real challenges for us.
In all things, Christ is with us.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ottawa and Home Again

Theophany was beautiful; the service the night before...

And the liturgy the day of... 
I had been processing some homesick/Ottawa grief
before I came...
Being back in Ottawa, esp. at church,
felt very peaceful and I was really blessed 
and felt supported;
I was glad to have faced a lot of the grief beforehand;
I am sure I will feel grief again as I love my Ottawa parish so;
today I am listening to their CD and am glad I can 
still feel so connected.
I am grateful for my life here in NJ 
and that I have been given the Orthodox church
and various churches as points of 'home' in this journey of mine... 

My three Ottawa munchkins got swords for Christmas.
Very Tolkien and they are very loved.
I have great pictures of all THREE of them doing
sword fights.
You should of seen my little godson, who is currently two years old,
with his sword,
so excited to take part with his older brothers.
Very dear and precious.

I had a very special meal with dear friends of mine.

The yummy cake ... ! ... I was given some to take home
and am loving it. 
I was also gifted with some tea and chocolate;
my friends know me well! 
Bridgehead, the Ottawa only fair-trade coffee shop,
now sells a tea they call 'minty love' ...
rose petals and mint.
I opened my bag of this tea today and the smell of roses
was so strong and lovely.
I cleaned out and used the last bit of tea in a tin I got from
Hartmans in downtown Ottawa years ago... 
(Hartmans is an Independent grocery store...
I did not go there this time around... was trying to limit myself a bit, 
though perhaps I failed on that score.)
I love keeping tins that have memories for me;
I remember my sister-friend having some of the tea from that tin
and loving it... when I lived in my U shaped apartment, 
years ago...
Now the tin has a bunch of the 'minty love' tea in it, 
ready to be brewed...
I had a great time with my friend Mary.
Here is a picture of her cat Cleo! :)

Such a dear pet!
Today is first day back...
running laundry, unpacking, being by my Cleo Cat...
I love the Canadian store Smart Set and finally got a new black 
dress jacket that is long; 
jackets had been shorter for quite some time and I was so happy
to get one that was longer... 
there was a really good sale going on...
the scoop neck long sleeved 'Ts' that are so good for layering...
I had stopped myself from buying one for 10.00 in NJ a while back,
thinking how I don't really need it
and then bought three for 5.00 each. 
Do you ever struggle with the 
I really do have enough and all of a sudden buying more of 'enough'?
It's an ongoing battle for me.
I must admit failure there.
I have a lot on my mind that I am processing from my trip;
I am grateful for it and for Ottawa.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Going home soon, I hope...

I had such good times with friends while I was in Ottawa.
I am literally at the gate waiting to board.
About two or so hours late.
I can't wait to see Mr. Husband!

In Ottawa with a Beloved Scarf for a very dear friend

I finished the textured scarf
 for my dear friend
who is modeling it in the picture above.
It is perfect for her as the colour is 'hers'...
I was so pleased to see her wearing it.
I found a tea that she will love that very dear friend Mary 
introduced me too; I got a box for her as well!
I am hoping to keep making teas with various things
and blog about them in the future, God willing.
I've been in Ottawa since Friday;
It was -13 F with 'real feel' being -29 F here!
I layered up well and has been gifted 
a 100% cashmere sweater that helped keep me warm!
I fly back today and hope for a on time flight...
The forecast shows it being windy but clear.
Please if you would in your charity,
pray that I get home today and in peace!
I am re-reading the book that was so integral to my 
journey in life.
I was talking to another dear friend last week
and told her that I am rereading this book;
it seems to be a book of beginnings and transitions for me.
I read it through a few times in my earliest years
in my discovery of the Orthodox faith
and find myself being so encouraged by it again now
as I continue to build my new life with my
beloved Mr. Husband.

I have so many wonderful moments from my days here in Ottawa!
I am excited to return to my life with my husband
and hope to work on many things,
including reading books with him slowly,
learning to knit socks to give him 
and start a new knitted blanket.
What are you creating and reading?
Yarn Along with us!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

In Ottawa

I got paper to put behind this icon of the Mother of God
at the art store in downtown Ottawa.
(The frame I am using for it is just a bit too big).
It's been good to be here.
God willing I come home Wednesday,
just after we get a lot of snow.
It has been good to be here.
To see dear friends.
To talk to my Ottawa spiritual father about my new life.
I got some Ottawa-specific things, like my Bridgehead tea.
Ottawa is a unique town in that the rich and poor are living nearer to each other,
especially downtown.
I miss that in my new life and it is nice see things here.
But I also sense that I am slowly adjusting to my new life more;
Just a sense of a bit of internal space that has more room in it;
I am sure I will at times face grief of what and who I leave when I am not in Ottawa.
But I have much to do now in NJ and am happy for my life
with my husband.
I bought a little bit of chocolate and tea;
it does seem that it is simple things like tea that
I am often most happy with.
Time drinking tea with Mr. Husband and with friends
is often my most treasured of times.
I have not always been able to get full nights of sleep here.
I do ask your prayers that I do not fall ill.
I hope to come home on time on Wednesday.
The weather for both sides is forecasted to be clear this day.
It was wonderful to have Theophany here;
and to say:
Christ is baptised! 
In the Jordan!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Today and tomorrow...

I woke up in the middle of the night.
The icons are beautiful then.
I am doing a lot of processing about my upcoming trip.
The grief side of leaving Ottawa
for the joy side of being married.
Both are real. 
I tend to want to be only in the joy side.
I finished the book on the Inklings.
It was a fun book and brought to life the England 
that is no longer, the England of a better time.
It left me thinking, 
I must be here where I am
and work on what this 'here' means.

My husband and I are anxious about my 
Ottawa trip;
I got mono just weeks after my last
Theophany Ottawa trip and
I've been low on energy this week.
Please, I ask your prayers.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Yarn Along ~ A Textured Scarf to finish Christmas Time


I wanted to do a simple pattern for this scarf with
a yarn over on each side;
a good friend was helping me at the church
Christmas party but I just could not keep it strait.

So I am doing a textured scarf of various 

Some garter, some stockinette, some ribbed stitch and some
seed stitch. 

It's a beautiful colour; 
these pictures sadly do not capture the depth of it.
Had some tired post-Christmas days and 
this scarf has been perfect.
What are you reading or creating?
Do yarn along with us!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Today, Yesterday and a Song

The tea cups and plates we used for our Christmas.

A belated birthday card...
real tatting,

Our priest said the Christmas ornaments can be up until
the Feast of the Temple.
So it is going to be.

I talked with my dear friend who came to me
in the midst of my time with mono
and she made the chicken,
I made the pie the day before
and we both still think of that meal,
that brief meeting;
ah, life all the precious people,
all the beauty,
all the loves...
So my friend shared this song with me.
We, that is Mr. Husband and I,
have not seen this movie yet,
actually not either since we were sick last year
and had mono this year.
But the song seems perfect today and
we talked about how we are seeing it all crumble
culture, our lands, our England, our well, the things we love.
Yet I, we, all
we remain in HOPE.

I wrote this as a comment today and it holds true for what I am thinking:

I once asked a friend how do we deal with living in this world that is so fraught with darkness on so many sides. He said to go read those who had faced the darkness and he suggested CS Lewis as one of those to read. I find Lewis can really help one fight the darkness; miracles are real.

It is hard to be in your situation but I will light a candle... they also are part of fighting darkness; candles lit by an icon light up the whole world;...

These are my Christmas towels,
my best tea towel newly from my Mother
for Christmas, it is from Holland.

My tea cup saucers,
including the two new this Christmas
from a dear friend.

I was so happy that I was able to wash my lampadas. 

The tea cups drying.

Cleo has been on the table eating flowers.
She also alerted me to the fact that there was no water left
in the vase.

I am supposed to be packing.

These are our Christmas flowers.

Cleo seems to prefer the ones just in back of these
tiny white ones.

The small icon above has St. Basil on it.
It is his day.

I did not think to tell my dear
friend who talked with me as I knitted and
realized I forgot to eat lunch and then heated it up...
that I am slowly reading O'Connor's letters and how
deep they get as one reads them.
So I am telling her now.

Oh Cleo;
your latest cat sitter called you elderly.
I wish you would always be with us,
our source of delight...

It is St. Basil's Day.
The New Year.
The Day of Christ's circumcision!

I got this small lovely loved ornament yesterday in the mail
from Martha.
Thank you. I love it. I had been wishing for another icon of
Nativity; I could not get enough of them and having this one
is a real gift to me, a great treasure, truly. 

Candles lit.
Carving out places of refuge...
My friend who gave me the song today
told me of another who reads my blog in England
and I am saying hi to her also today
and my friend I talked to today,
this blog post is for you.