Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Yesterday was a very special day

My Mom, 
who worked at a bank for various parts of
her life, from before marriage,
in the middle when us kids were older and now again towards the present
she worked at this job...
yesterday she retired!
And I got to hear all about it last night...
I grew up in a fairly small town 
and it was wonderful to hear how they had cake, flowers,
cards and well wishes come to a reception for her
on her last day!
I thank God for my Mother and can't wait to see her in person!
She's planning on bringing some of the cards she got 
for her retirement, as she knows that seeing
cards from others is a long standing part of our 
family's culture and tradition...
Now I am hoping that she will be able to make
more visits not only to us but to her siblings who live in Canada!

Waiting, Documenting and Seeking Thankfulness

A dark picture but shows the window... by our dining room

Same wall has our beloved kitchen window... 

We already had brought in suitcases for the move
and boxes for our dishes...

The idea is that when my parents come
to help us with the painting and handyman work
we will bring half of our normal dishes to them to use,
as they will be in our new condo getting it ready
while we stay here and get things ready for the move.
That was all going to start this coming week
means that we have no idea when exactly we will move.

The place we are in now only has windows on one wall.
Our new place DV will have windows on three sides!
Sadly, not on the kitchen side...

I was so excited to have laundry in the place we are in now.
The new place is even better; a little laundry room
and a much better washer/dryer!

I love these icons that are in our hallway.
Not sure where they will go in the new place, 
but somewhere with honour and accessibility...

Our shared office; we never had a chance to make it
better but have plans and dreams for a much better office
in our new place... 
We also will have better windows and will not
need a make shift curtain over the window
to block out the sun's hot rays... 

We hope to have a good icon area in our bedroom again...
Many things we hope...
We don't have any idea on when we will move now.
Thankfully my parents can come later
if we need to, we can stay a bit later in this place.

FYI for my blogger blog buddies

Just a note that I am finding
this morning that the blogger blogs that
use the CAPTCHA
the funny words that one types in to show
that they are a real person...
before one can post on a blog they are reading,
is not working for me.
So if you have a blog that I read and uses
CAPTCHA and blogger 
(which I also use but without CAPTCHA)
then I can't comment on your blogs right now.
I've tried, but instead of showing me what to type
it's only showing an empty jpeg like picture...
Hopefully this will be fixed soon!
I told Mr. Husband and he sent me this link.
So you can post a comment if you click
the audio to listen to what to type.
But other than that,
it still seems down.
Anyone else having this problem?
Update May 1:
it seems that it is fixed now! yay Google! :)

Lovie Blanket and a Wrinkle in Time

 The Lovie Blanket is done!

It was a fun knit!
I took pictures of it yesterday morning,
a happy morning with a phone call 
with my godmother,
long over due...

I realized that the first corner that I knitted
was not even... though I could not tell when knitting it...
so it is not a square blanket but looks
a bit more star-fished* or not fully symmetrical...
It's pink, warm, is big enough to keep 
the little girl it is going to warm,
and is handmade with love!

 I re-read A Wrinkle in Time this week.
The adventure, the goodness, the superb writing, and how love is 
stronger than hate and such a strong reminder of 
a life that is worth living... this book 
was such a good and encouraging re-read!

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

*I know that star fish are fairly symmetrical but yet this is 
the best way I can explain how the blanket is in the end! :)
I still love it, it's just an Elizabeth-original! :) 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

prayer request

I can't go into exact detail here
but our close date for our condo appears to be
This upsets not only our plans but my family who 
was planning on coming to us from MI 
next week.
I am so shocked by this unexpected turn of events,
I could cry :(
We had packers, movers all booked...
Please pray for us.
I am going right to the Mother of God for help...

Going into Holy Week Butternut Squash Chill

I made the very good chili
from this recipe that I tweaked a bit.
*no kale or black beans
*white beans instead
*did not measure spices
*did not add barley
*used canola oil
*used vegetable stock
*no jalapenos used
*used red peppers only
*did not add sour cream
I would for sure add the cilantro, lime fresh squeezed and avocado.
for the avocado, as you see, I merely balled some of it out
and added right to the soup;
simple is where it's at,
especially when doing Lenten cooking at the end of Lent!
This was a great recipe that Mr. Husband and I enjoyed
and others also partook of with gratefulness! 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Today, a week after Bright Monday

Picture from Bright Monday.
Well, we are still waiting for confirmation on
when we are closing on our condo.
It's so hard to be patient but it is all I can do.
Today I was walking around the house
and felt like I had something sharp
in my sock, irritating my foot.
After I removed my sock,
well... I think somehow I must of 
hurt a toe or something;
it hurts like an aching stabbing way;
there is nothing really that can be done for a 
broken or sprained toe so I am just being as gentle as I can be,
while still trying to get things done.
Today is laundry.
And many emails about the house.
My parents hope to come next week to us.
All is happening yet so much patience is needed...

Holy Week and Pascha ~ a great book for children!

A few people have asked about the book in this picture.
First, it is a wonderful book!
It is published by St. Nectarios' Press and is found here
It has classical iconographic images,
a page on each day of Holy Week and then Pascha.
The pages are very text heavy, with great images.
For the youngest kids I would tell the story of the icons on the page
and use some of the text for guidance. 
For older kids (depending on the kid perhaps ages 5 and up) the whole text can be read.
It's a great book to read one page a day for the day we are in!
Or do it before so that they have an overview! 
It is a book that I ordered for our church bookstore.
It was snapped up quickly and I have already ordered more
by popular request!
It comes in soft cover and hard cover.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bright Week Food

Pizza with mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
Mushrooms chopped and lots of pizza sauce!
Savory and delicious! 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Reflections on the years that have gone and the ones yet to come

I remember being in BC in the Spring of 2003.
I remember the white phone I had,
cordless but not a cell; 
cell phones had not yet exploded in use...
I called Canadian Immigration and found that within
7 weeks I could be a Canadian citizen, 
as I was born of a Canadian mother.
That May I got my citizenship card,
what a Chinese student called the 
'Maple Card'
and we went out to Tim Hortons to celebrate.
Well, the January that I was dating Mr. Husband
I was flying back from NJ to Ottawa and 
my wallet did not come with me;
of course I reported it right away, when
I suddenly was in the taxi and realized my wallet was not in my purse.
He drove me back to the airport and I went right
to the airline to report it,
calling my bank first to cancel all my cards.
I never got the wallet back,
or the many things I had in it, 
including my Canadian citizenship card.
I am reapplying for the card;
the picture above is of the paper that came with the card,
that I was so thankful for finding today.
Mr. Husband has been pushing me to get this application done... 
So many memories...
when I was applying for my Canadian Citizenship;
I had no idea that within a year or so I would be Orthodox
or even going to an Orthodox church;
I had only been to one service in Lent on a Sunday
and it was in the middle of writing my BA Honours Thesis,
applying for citizenship and being burnt out with school for 
so many years.
I was reading this article today
and realized that I too am past that point of youth
where every option of life seems possible...
I still miss Canada a lot.
I miss my parish there and I miss Ottawa.
It's strange to go back to those 
dusty streets that I loved so much;
to realize the poverty of the downtown people again,
to see how run down Hartman's is,
to see that Herb and Spice changed their buildings,
restaurants that are closed, stores gone,
things never stay the same.
It's the memories of all I love that perhaps
are the hardest; the trees I would walk under,
the sense of space I often felt when in church;
the streets having lots of memories and of
connections and seeing people and
having conversations with the poor
or seeing the same store managers at Hartmans
or just walking down Bank Street or my favourite
Metcafe street;
the sunshine; the flowers; the OC Transpo buses;
the friends and good architecture.
But yet in all of that, 
there was this lack, this missing bit, of not having family.
Of Paschas where I would be back in 
my apartment happy but alone.
It's different now;
I do not have my Ottawa streets,
I don't have my Ukrainian family, my Romanian table,
I don't have the red roses
in my big Pascha basket to bring to church on 
Great and Holy Friday.
Though I did have some dear friends buy roses on my behalf this year,
to my great consolation:
{The roses are on the left in this picture}.
But I have so much new now.
I don't go back to an apartment alone but
am with Mr. Husband.
I have new Bright Week traditions and a husband,
whose happy laugh lights up my world;
I have a husband who delights in me.
I am still often so surprised by this.
I often have the feeling of growing up all over again;
of the realization that one can not go back to 
old places and have them be the same.
Things can still be good and new normals can be found,
but nothing stays the same ever.
Children grow up;
parents grow older...
My Mom is retiring next week from her work and 
my parents hope to come out and help 
Mr. Husband and I with our new home.
It is a time we will treasure.
All I can see is what I started learning in Ottawa:
we must be with God today.
God is the One who will always be with us.
We must be joyful and glad today because God is with us.
We must have hope for the times that we 
will be given that are difficult; hope that God can
get us through them, 
hope in Christ's Holy Pascha.
Right now I am in a time of all things new;
a bright season, when the house will be new,
the furniture to be arranged, some new pieces added
and new things to find out,
air to breath deep into lungs,
a life to be built.
But in all things,
it is God that I must turn to,
a God who is new but eternal,
a God who does not change,
who is ever shall be and was forever and ever.
A God whose love is not fixed on a star,
a God whose love never wavers, never changes,
never ends.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bright Monday Meal and Walk on a Beautiful Sunny Evening

Mr. Husband and I went to a nice
restaurant in our small town for 
Bright Monday dinner.
Bright Monday Mr. Husband had off from work 
and we rested, did housing paperwork things...
I did a grocery run to get Paschal things for later
(including a junior's cheesecake, ice cream and 
a pizza crust and toppings for a later dinner).

We enjoyed our butter!
On our honeymoon a waiter commented to us:
everything is better with butter
and this has become part of our family,
as we build traditions, tell stories and remember. 

We enjoyed this restaurant many times,
though they are slowly changing things in ways
we are not as happy with...
but still, many festive meals there and
it will not be a place we go to as much
once we move in a month's time.
So it was a meal we savoured.

Mr. Husband got the salad with goat cheese,
tomato, endive, plump golden raisins and a 
sweet vinaigrette. 

I had the Polenta with Red Pepper Coulis,
Fresh Basil and Three Cheese Sauce;
warm, savory and delightful! 

Chicken with wilted greens, potato and natural jus.

Key Lime Pie for dessert.

Lots of good memories in this place.
we were also celebrating this anniversary. 

 We walked home a different way and 
enjoyed seeing the beauty of the small town we are leaving.

I will really miss all the beauty.

Where we are moving to is good,
but not the same.
I really appreciated Mr. Husband saying that
even though we are gaining more than losing
in this move, there is always loss with change.
Just acknowledging this was helpful for me.
We hope to close in just under 2 weeks time.
I know it will help to see the condo we are moving to,
as it will revitalize my excitement and joy
in moving to our new home.
I am glad we have time to enjoy the Bright Week 
and have a little more special before this
place is packed up for the move.
God is so merciful to us.

The paschal coffee table! 
Gorgeous linen cloth from a dear friend for Christmas,
who once we move I will be in walking distance to!
Coasters from a dear Ottawa friend.
Eggs I got last year from here.
Pear candles and tray are wedding gifts...

I am getting done slowly with this wonderful book
It is so deeply life-giving.....

As far as I ever got on Mr. Husband's sock.
I need different needles; these size one are too
short and I want longer.
Any suggestions?

I got three GK Chesterton books for Mr. Husband
for Pascha.
The high light is his book,
the everlasting man.