Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Date with Mr. Husband

He had soft shelled crab,
I buttermilk fried chicken on top of
mashed potatoes with mushrooms, peas and a delicious gravy.
The same meal I had with friends in late May
when they were visiting...

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Our Parish Feast Day

It began dramatically
with a thunder storm as we were walking into church,
Mr. Husband and I using the one big black umbrella we brought.
Pouring rain, lighting, thunder...
By 'blessed is the Kingdom' at the start of liturgy,
the sun was shining and the liturgy was beautiful...

Monday, July 27, 2015

Things I love

Some of my favourite feasting foods...

We have a little mint plants....
I leave the shade a little open for them,
and water them often;
the one closest to the sun shriveled one day
and I watered it quickly and prayed
a little and it revived.
I think how much it is like the soul
but we don't see ourselves well and don't often
realize when we are shriveling and in need of water.
I am slowly understanding how water is imagery
for the Holy Spirit.... 

I loved this chocolate bar very much.
My friends from abroad gave it to Mr. Husband and I...

It is enjoyable always to have a chocolate chip cookie...

Friday, July 24, 2015

Painting pictures for processing one's life ... and things that contribute to the rebuilding of it

I am realizing more and more
what a transition this has all been...
3 years marriage this September.
1 year in our new home.
Someone I admire said one 
cannot gather all of what one had but one
can in time regather one's self
and build a new life.
I remember blogging before I was married, 
and a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of
re-finding everything I would need in my new life,
wondering where I would even get
my groceries.
For the first two or more years,
I was continually looking for a decent tart plain yogurt.
I missed my Hewitt's yogurt something fierce.
I tried all sorts of Greek and organic yogurts,
all tasting too bland/sweet to me,
even though they were plain.
But now I have found the prefect yogurt.
May they live long and prosper.
I love their plain yogurt.
And I also found the perfect English Muffin.
Multi-grain or whole wheat.
I also found a very good organic brown egg
with rich golden yokes.
It takes a long time,
it seems to carve out a new life.
I know I have the best of foundations for this life,
a marriage that Mr. Husband and I are building together,
a beautiful home,
well matched with our families.
The other things I find take a lot longer,
finding places of beauty,
building community,
learning a new place.
I know I am making progress;
I like NYC now;
I know of more stores I love;
I am slowly building friendships.
But there's lots of bumps in the road,
it seems, lots of beginnings and then
having to go in reverse and begin again.
Well, that's how it is.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

6 books + white wash clothes

I have been on an Elizabeth Goudge reading kick.
The list above, the ones with "*" I have completed.
I've needed it; first Laura Ingalls Wilder and esp. Elizabeth Goudge.
I fell into a state of unexpected
fatigue lately and needing the buoying. 
I have only begun H. Lee's book,
verdict TBD.
It's a bit jarring to read after dwelling in Goudge's
English Countrysides. 
I am realizing that in the heat of this late July
that this is my time to rest.
I am taking some new vitamins and trying to 
restore myself to a greater sense of health,
as I accidently depleted myself of energy.
I am on the mend and Elizabeth Goudge is 
a great tonic.
I've been working away on the white
wash clothes that will go with
a nice set of soap as a gift.
What are you reading and creating?
Do yarn along with us! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Some of my favourite verses...

Isaiah 30:15  (NIV):

15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength,
    but you would have none of it.


Isaiah 26:3 (KJV):

3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, 
whose mind is stayed on thee: 
because he trusteth in thee.


The challenge is to indeed NOT have none it 
and instead have all.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The baking of cookies...

Best done by beginning with a clean kitchen... 

My secret to my much loved chocolate chip cookies: 
do not over bake. The minute they begin to hint at a golden hue
 it is time to take them out and let them cool.
You can see also by the bottom of the cookie
that they are done...

Recipe here for the vegan ones (the darker of the ones on this table)
and here for the wonderfully butter-full ones.

Best part of the baking and subsequent cleaning
is a kitchen again clean,
with containers of delicious cookies! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Always Remembering

On the Feast of St. Peter and Paul
we had a short moleben for the departed,
my Husband's godson who departed on
Holy Friday and for a woman who departed
some years prior.
May their memory be eternal!
May God remember them in His Kingdom! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Feasting after the Feast of St. Peter and Paul

Mr. Husband and I went to a delightful picnic
this past Sunday.
My cookies were requested :)

I was given a lovely and exquisite smelling tea
on the Feast day of St. John's Nativity
(which is also a secondary name's day for me!)...
a mixture of black teas, lavender and rose petals.
It's lovely.
I saved it for after the fast, so I could have milk in it!

And a hamburger for lunch! 
Most enjoyable! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

20 squares, 6 wash clothes and Little Town on the Prarie

My new multi-coloured blanket is now up to 20 squares.

I am busily restocking my supply of 
washing clothes -
the white for bathing, 
the coloured ones for dish washing. 
It is part of my Christmas-making in July :).
I thoroughly enjoyed
How much Christian civilisation shows up
and how much history and decency!
And such a great story... I love how it builds...
I do wish these books to long maintain
on everyone's reading lists. 
I am hoping to work on my goddaughter's quilt again soon;
I also got some new fabrics to quilt with for later!
A third quilt I am thinking of,
as well as contemplating some smaller items. 
What are you reading and creating?
Do yarn along with us!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

{Homemaking} ~ Organization

A recent IKEA trip
got us various magazine holders.
A previously on sale label maker
and we were in business!

One of these 3 is not like the others ;)

Slowly we are making progress on
making our home not only more beautiful,
but more functional and orderly.
For this, I am quite greatful!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Perspective, Choices and What a picture from 1904 taught me

I have been thinking a lot on how to best be
where I am now, on the small and large scale,
as in my personal life and the larger world that I live in.
We all know that there are troubling things daily
in our world.
Here is what I am learning on how to 
not have the worries destroy
our peace and our daily lives.
I know I will be on this journey the rest of my life,
and that it is by no means a final understanding on 
this but that too is part of what I am learning.
We are all living as along as God gives us.
What we have now is the present moment.
The past is gone, the future we do not know.
I have struggled with anxiety on various levels
and it is one of my weaknesses.
Lately I am learning to do little prayers when I feel overwhelmed,
such as this one from the Psalms:
and repeat this verse many times
Doing small prayers,
crossing myself, saying the Jesus Prayer,
these are all helps.
I am learning to tune out a lot of news and worry.
I am learning that you can choose to have a peaceful day
or an anxious day.
It's all where and what you focus on and put your energy towards.
I am learning that if I start worrying and keep dwelling on the worry,
I am putting all of my energy there and it will build.
I have this picture in our library/chapel/guestroom that
a dear friend gave us:

It is of Tsar Nicholas, his family and St. Elizabeth as well,,
on Pascha night 1904.
It's so beautiful. 
Above this picture is a handpainted icon of
St. Tsar Nicholas, who is one of the Royal Martyrs
whose feast day is this week.

I learned something looking at this picture recently:
In 1904 they were all celebrating Pascha in their
most beautiful and stately clothes.
They did not know the future,
that soon a war (with Japan) would be going on,
or that they would be martyred in less than 20 years.
We don't know what our future is.
But we can choose to have Pascha today.
We can choose to live in the present, whatever that is.
We can focus on what we don't have or,
if one has kids, what is bugging oneself about that
current situation in life, 
and of course there are many struggles and challenges
but I am learning that I can choose to be happy or unhappy.
For instance, for me I am still working on building community 
and a life.  I am also learning a lot about letting go
and sometimes it is very tiring.
Yet! : I can focus on 
what I still feel I lost leaving Ottawa
or I can look at all I have gained and how
much better it is for me now and how I KNOW that
moving to New Jersey was the BEST thing I could of done
for my new life with Mr. Husband
and apprecaite the new life I have.
I can read scary stuff online, thereby paralyzing myself with
fear and being unable to pray, provide a peaceful haven or function...
or I can go read a happy book, work on being at peace
and pray to God....  
It's not that I am staying ignormant of troubling things.
But it is that I am deciding that today
I can just appreciate the day I have.
That Cleo is next to me as a type, that I have more
provisions than my daily bread, that I can pray to God
for help for myself and the world.
That I can choose to take care of myself, my home
and my husband and seek to create beauty
and a peaceful place for us to live
in a world that is troubled.
And there are things we can do to try
to best survive when we are in a 
difficult place in life.
I really appreciated these words by Joy
about how she is learning to replenish herself
admist many trials in her current life. 
I am learning that I can choose what this day will be.
I can have self-pity, discontentment or anxiety
or I can practice thankfulness, prayer and striving to be at peace....
I can be with God today and with Him and by His mercy,
I can have peace.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

An Amazing Ice Box Cake

The other week I had the most
incredible summer dessert!
A vegan ice box cake!
Graham Crackers,
Tru Whip (vegan whip cream, so good!)
Sliced Fresh Strawberries, layered.
Store in fridge until ready to serve.
So, so good!
I must make one myself this summer! 

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

14 squares + By the Shores of Silver Lake

14 Squares done for the blanket now!
Three finished wash clothes,
one on the needles.
Still enjoying
I am slowly stocking up things, 
homemade, etc.,
for this years' Christmas.
I know that 
to be on top of things in terms of 
crafting for Christmas,
there is no time like the present!
What are you reading and creating?
Yarn Along with us!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Looking up to Christ...

A new icon of Christ for our far away church!
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, 
let us lay aside every weight, 
and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance 
the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, 
the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him
 endured the cross, despising the shame, and
 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Monday, July 06, 2015


Mr. Husband and I had a full but
relaxing few days at home
for the July 4th holiday.
We went to liturgy for St. John on Thursday
and took a trip to IKEA.
The rest of the weekend was
spent putting in new shelves,
we still need one more door,
and rearranging our library of Orthodox books.
Church on the weekend...
I am glad we can make such a beautiful home.