Thursday, June 30, 2016

A blur of days

Moved a tall hamper/basket here, in place of the folding table I had.
Made room for more shelves eventually in the bedroom, solved the 
'where to put the tall basket' question and successfully got something that Cleo 
cannot hide under.... She hid under the little table that the above basket replaced,
unbeknownst to us, and was locked in our library-chapel over night,
 using our futon for a loo. :(  Thus sans-covers, that have since returned to us
from the dry cleaners....

Above pictures from my Tuesday day trip to see a friend for lunch... :)

Festive vespers for the Feast of St Peter and Paul...

Morning liturgy.
Did 3 errands on way home, before I had a bit to eat,
but all went well and I managed a festive meal...
while living between 2 calendars, so it was still a fast-friendly meal! 

{I did my best to make a good festive meal;
for our local church's feast; I could not make the table look as nice
as I wished, the roses wilting were indicative to how tired I was feeling
by the time lunch was over!}

TJ's Marsala burgers, fruit salad, hummus, chips, green salad...

I had a full few days.
I went to see a friend for lunch and shopping,
I found a cute long knit black dress and shrug,
exactly what I was looking for.
The train to get there and back was at least 1 hour each way.
Then I went and met Mr Husband at our local church for vespers.
Then home and dinner.
Wednesday was liturgy in the morning,
then errands at small grocer near church, vet and dry cleaners on my way home.
Then breakfast quickly eaten and lunch made.
I had to rest after this; I have had 2 nights in last 5 days of really bad sleep,
and it was all catching up with me.
Wednesday afternoon and evening I made some more cards and wrote some letters.
All mailed today. 
Mr Husband is really conscientious about birthdays of family and 
god-family.... we are now caught up through end of July,
early yes, but we have a lot going on in July....
I almost forgot to mention my new sandals.
Am really pleased.  Got them via Amazon via Germany!
It's a pretty hot day today and I am trying to stay hydrated.
My dream goal of actually sewing this week may not happen at all.
I forgot, when I wished for that, of a big research task I needed to do 
on Monday, which took most of the afternoon.
I could not put it off, as time and deadlines loomed.
Today will include 2 hour long phone calls/meetings...
plus cleaning, 2 more phone calls...
And so, this book resonated with me:
Something I have had to accept again and again is that even though
I have a very ideal situation, 
Wife, Stay-at-Home Homemaker, great condo, fairly near to NYC, Orthodox churches, 
and even Monasteries within a few hours drive, lots of crafts to do,
friendships being made and strengthened, 
I have SO MANY things I am trying to do, that this book,
while it is by a woman working and being a Mother,
resonated with me.
I still feel like I get a lot of indirect feedback that my life does not qualify for
 being busy or being overwhelmed with balancing a household and the 
many roles and things I try to do. 
No one is trying to be unkind, just FYI.  
I think they just find things incomprehensible and compare my life
to theirs...which is just not helpful.
Meanwhile... I am the godmother who brings gifts for my godson and family
for St. Nicholas and Christmas - 
because of things I could not control I was not able to go
when I normally do to Ottawa....
which means this task is still not done...
Shipping to Canada is insanely expensive if done via US Post.
I am still trying to figure out what month I can even go to Ottawa...
and have the quilt done and able to be sent with me!
My other godchild is coming!!! Briefly, in August, DV.
I have Sunday School to plan for,
family things that take a lot of planning,
and just life things... 
I think part of how I feel is because I don't know
a lot of people who are in my exact situation...
i.e., homemaker without being either a Mom, Mom who home schools
Mom who is retired form homeschooling, Mom with kids, Mom with kids & working, or if not a Mom in any of these stages, not being any of these things,
is then working a full time job; 
my job in this stage of things is exactly what i am doing now, 
not at paid work, but doing a lot none the less....
Anyway, been thinking about this a lot lately
and working on getting a better internal state,
so, even if I am getting indirect feedback like I mentioned,
it does not bother me quite so much...
And, at the same time, I am thinking about
how to have the time I need for quiet, for rest that an
introvert has need of...
today, while I had various phone meetings, I intentionally had a quiet day,
I am very glad for that. 
And for the first day in many days,
I had my lampadas lit...

Monday, June 27, 2016

So Many Things

I am feeling like I have made another turn,
but I hope that it will be sustainable;
the last few Tuesdays I have been able to get out and visit a friend;
I have plans for this coming Tuesday as well.
DV my cousin comes in a week's time.
I am going to be visiting my family in MI in July.
I am still working on Sunday School.
I am really wanting to finish my godson's quilt.
I am not sure where I am going to find the time for all I want to do!
This is often the way it is for me,
I have so many things I love to do, 
and so many things I need to do for Mr Husband, our home
and for Church.
It's a constant balancing act.
One thing I am doing is trying to let go of some ideals that are
more linked to my perfectionism than what is really needed...
This week I hope will be a quilting week!
Last week I also quickly priced some new prayer books for church;
I wear many hats now days and have many roles that I think about in terms of
my time, priorities and life...  including...
Sunday School Director
Bookstore Manager 
Quilter, Knitter, craft-maker, writer, blogger
Friend, Community Builder
Cousin, Sister and Sister-in-law
Aunt to many
Hostess of brunches, teas, and dinners
Child of God, Orthodox Christian 
I bought some nautical themed stamps at Michaels last Tuesday;
my friend has been keeping me posted on a little baby boy
named Joshua who has Trisomy 13.
They don't know how long he will have to live.
Poor little thing and the heart ache of the parents;
so the first card I made was for this little guy's parents.
I find making things helps me with the grief of hearing of such
please do pray for baby Joshua and his parents!
I also finished the pantry on Saturday,
it was a lot of work but I rearranged somethings, took somethings out,
and I really like how it is now.
Tidy, organized, clean and more easy to use!
The work of the pantry and everything on Friday got me quite tired,
so I did some long overdue letter writing and had fun using various stamps I
have got or been given; I am realizing how fun it is to do this,
a great creative pursuit when I don't have a lot of time
but need to rest for a bit!
I am trying to exercise more; the summer pool is helping.
It's such a challenge to do things rightly....
Lord have mercy on us all,
no matter what it is we are facing and doing!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Lovely Sunday

Sunday liturgy,
Sunday Brunch,
talk of books and I am intrigued by one called
Cathedral Folk that I could not find for sale but put an alert for. 
Bookmarking this article here to read later, about the author.
We had our last treats before the fast,
planned for my cousin H and her son W coming next week
and feel much more ready for the week.
I determined that this is the week I am going to try to do a lot on my godson's quilt.
We will see how it goes!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Beautiful Baptism ~ a miracle witnessed

Mr. Husband and I arrived just in time;
it was a wonderful gathering of the newly baptised 
family and church family;
It was so many wonderful things at once;
Mat. Emily's handwork, blanket and candles.
The gown for baptism and a simple gown for a doll;
a beautiful Cross; 
seeing sister's love; 
prayers, such beautiful prayers, said, listened to, uttered;
the miracle! the baby newly born, reborn, baptised!
New life! Right before our eyes!
We are seeing, witnessing, taking pictures of, a miracle.
A baby baptised, a child made a Christian,
a real change that we pray that the child will grow into
all her life, deeper and deeper in the well of baptism,
into the waters of regeneration,
into the deepening of the Christian life by having 
the living waters of the Holy Spirit 
always inward, pouring out.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Snippets of a full day

Swam 4 laps without a kick board this morning!
Slowly is the name of the game, but sure and steady.
I finally made a batch of smoothies again.
Did not love the plant-based protein powder enough to want to buy more;
did not like the taste of it, covered it with maple syrup and cocoa powder! 
To have the plumber go on our roof to make sure our AC is good and has enough
Freon in it, I have to empty much of the pantry so the ladder can go through
the rooftop access that is in the pantry.
Only place to put the pantry and worth the trouble!
pondering it. 
I will be glad when the pantry is put back together, tomorrow, DV.
Well, that's what today has been for me, 
how about you?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Purl Soho Visit + learning + a stack of good books!

My friend Tahara and I went to NYC
and Purl Soho yesterday!
Will blog, DV, more about that later!
Reading: a whole wonderful stack of books. I am meaning to post
the almost done review of Dinner with Edward, it was very good but missed a few
things that are significant and that I am working on articulating still. 
Re-read L' Engle's Swiftly Tilting Planet. Very good, reminded me of how I must
let go of things and let God's path and ways be accomplished... 
Making & Learning: I asked at Purl Soho how to do the French Knot... I get it now!
They had some really neat linen cloth there for cross stitching, am keeping it in mind for later!
Making: more wash clothes have been completed. 
Making Hopes:  working on my godson's quilt this week + Sunday School curriculum! 
Joining Ginny's Yarn Along!

Monday, June 20, 2016

A lot in just a few days

A week ago, we went to a dear soon to be fully adopted daughter's baptism.  I had not been to a baptism at a Catholic church before. It was beautiful.  The smell of the chrism was esp strong and so beautiful - a scent from the heavens.  This young little one is a real lovely girl and I really saw a change in her after the baptismal service - not in energy of a 3 year old for doing everything at once - but in beauty.  Every time I see her now, she looks more feminine, more beautiful, a real change but not one that could be easily explained to others I think.  But quite real nonetheless.

This past Saturday we had a small party for her, to welcome her to our lives.  It was a very simple relaxed affair and the little one did so well.  

Because of a very busy week, I was not able to prepare anything before the day of.  Thankfully the frozen crepes, store bought, were wonderful, the cream cheese with heavy cream and powdered sugar for the wrapped crepes went well (I forgot to have the cream cheese sit out first and it was a bit lumpy).  The egg bake was very simple - a friend suggested it on FB - all I did was shred some cheddar cheese, put in cut up pre-browned organic sausage, mix up 12 extra-large organic eggs, pour on top and then add more shredded cheese.  Used one small block of store bought organic cheese for this.  It was a hot day, so no one wanted hot tea and water and OJ were what we enjoyed.  A cold no-bake chocolate cheesecake bars, a fruit salad and brie with crackers also were enjoyed.  Oh and hot tater tots :)  and a small bowl of ketchup! I feel like I am slowly learning hostess ‘tricks’ like what meals are easy to make the day of and still have the results be worthy of the dinner or brunch one is hosting.  

The day before I had ‘kid-proofed’ the area, as the little one is 3 and a very busy little girl.  It went really well.  We also watched Matuska’s grandson run really hard race on her ipod. The little girl learned the word 'championship' and decided that to say it one must jump and raise both arms, saying 'Championship!' :) It was relaxed and an enjoyable time.

I think all of us have really busy lives and enjoyed just being together to talk and visit.  The little one loved her gifts, I gave her Jane’s When God Made You.  

After vespers, we went to the diner; I had half of a big Caesar salad (picture of me with salad by Mr Husband) and a milk shake. :) ... Husband earlier brought me home 3 red roses and we sent off our first of, we hope, many letters to the Munchkin for his second summer overseas.

We also had Pentecost and I really enjoyed listening to this sermon later, was I was putting together Mr. Husband and I’s dinner.  

I am still pondering the sermon; it is so true, we are all thirsty for God’s Spirit and try so many ways to fill the thirst.  I talked briefly with my nearby priest about how hard it is for us to open our hearts to let God in and let the Holy Spirit increase in us.  

I am working a lot on Sunday School these days - printing all the lessons of the last 2 years, seeing where the gaps are and thinking about things to teach next year on the Holy Liturgy and about personal prayer at times that the children are not aware of the need for.  One thing I talked to a few of them about yesterday was about praying before one has Holy Communion and doing simple prayers while waiting in line.  It’s a challenge for all of us who are Orthodox (or in a Christian church where the Eucharist is offered) to focus on meeting Christ in a very profound way through Holy Communion.  To live with a sense of holy anticipation and expectation, to grow in prayer.

I am reading a wonderful book on prayer by Fr. Alexander Men; and am re-reading for the 10th+ time L’ Engle’s Swiftly Tilting Planet and feel like I am just getting in a deeper way, or the next layer of it, of how one of the points of the book is to ponder letting our lives not be in our complete control and, in one way of saying it, to relax; to see that God is steady and still in control, no matter how things in our personal lives or on our world that we all share seem to be often careening off it’s axis. I love so much of what L’ Engle has to say and this is one of my favourite books of hers.

Well, today includes the change of table clothes (white and green for Pentecost), paperwork and I hope more Sunday School work.  I was thrilled to hear that my now 4 year old godson still loves Thomas the Tank Engine.  I am really hoping to finish his quilt soon.  I dream of being able to give it to him in person!

ps: a friend sent this lovely video with the main prayer for Pentecost in many languages, it's lovely!