Sunday, December 30, 2018

Well, this is a good thing

Picture from St Nicholas Vigil.
A friend put a query on social media about how this year was hard for many
but what was something good in it and please share.
And so I thought and wrote this about my year:

 I am more at peace in many ways, saw lots of family, am so happy to be married to my Husband and am seeing how a thankful heart = a lighter heart and outlook 

We do have various concerns of course, but I think this is still true.
We have slowly been learning to deal with things and not be caught
all the time in worry.

I don't know what the future holds but I pray that God will always hold tight 
to me in all of my days. 

Saturday, December 29, 2018


Today I am 42.
I chose this picture,
from the last weeks, for this post as it seems to sum up
what my life is about now and what I am able to do.
And that is feed my Husband, sometimes others as well, 
set a nice table and try to make a peaceful home.
I remember when I turned 40 and how in many ways I was thankful and 
excited.  Though we were also reeling a bit from some unbloggable worries 
at the time.... and after I turned 40 we both got sick, then +Patrick died
and we have had a lot of hard times since.
Our own hard times, not others and many would not understand them
but for us, it was, at times very difficult. 
So I am approaching 42 with a lot of mixed feelings I guess.
I have felt and still feel like so many of my dreams died.
 I am still young, so everyone who is older
says of me.  
But I don't know what it means of my dreams for what my life would be like
or what I would be able to do.
I do know that, by God's mercy, I am able to bless others, I am told so.
I know that I wrote my Christmas blog post because I need the message I wrote in it.
Some people have said that their 40s were the best yet but I am still waiting,
but waiting with hope.  
I really want a few things to get back to what I wish they were.

1. I really want to read and write again like I used to.  Esp. as I was reading 
Elder Sophrony and others.  If I had not read and remembered Fr Thomas Hopko's
and that a priest told me that not being able to pray a lot but to dedicate what one does
to God is a kind of prayer in action,
I think I would be a lot more discouraged than I am, at times.

2. I would like to get a better routine, something that has eluded me my whole married life.
But this may not happen.  In the last 2 years esp it has proven utterly impossible
as life has thrown so many curve balls my way that I have had to be very 
flexible in my schedule and let a lot of my dreams (writing, sewing, crafting, hospitality) 
on hold to deal with the tasks at hand.  

3. Be more organized in my Christmas and St Nicholas baking so that it is not so last minute. I think I told myself 'never again' last year and somehow it happened again. I really hope
to get better. That said, I got some great tips lately to help with cleanup, when in a real pinch:

1. bake cookies on parchment paper

2. Bake bars with aluminum foil with a bit of a 'lip' over it 
and then lift the entire sheet of bars out
and cut them up on the foil once they are out of the 9x13 pan.  
I asked my Grandma's advice
on that one (she's doing pretty good with her knee surgery, thank God)
 and I am so doing this.  
I already have a plan in place for the baking I hope to do next week,
before January 7 Christmas. 

4. I also wish our unbloggable worries would resolve. They will, and probably in the 
next half year, but we are not sure yet how they will.  There has been progress
but no progress, yet, in the part that will help making us feel any resolution. 
Soon, maybe

Well, the first 3 are really all I can try to work for myself and we will see.
Meanwhile, today is my birthday and I hope and pray that I will seek Christ,
God's will and to love God more and to learn to love more in general, as 
God teaches and shows me.

I am really grateful to God for how He HAS blessed me with a 
good, perfect-for-me Husband, a loving family and family-in-laws, 
good friends, burgeoning friendships, and a wonderful home, pantry, Cleo Cat,
and so many dishes that I cannot help but be happy that I have so much
to put forward to do hospitality with.

Also, I am dreaming of doing a high tea this summer, if our life situation allows.
I have the dishes (my Grandma's), 3 separate 3 tiered plates, lots of goblets, silver-plate
silverware, even white gloves + a silver-plate tea set + many other tea pots.
Wouldn't that be fun!?! 

So, while I struggle with the dreams and wishes I don't have yet,
I have SO MUCH to be thankful for and SO MUCH to count as BLESSINGS
including that I have many blog friends who read, comment, email and pray for me.
So THANK YOU for being here.
I've been writing this blog since I was 28 and here I am just 42 today!

When I remember all my blessings, including the Miss Read books I have
yet to read, then I am very glad indeed and, while I have wishes, hopes and dreams,
I have, when I look at my blessings, so much to look forward to
and be thankful for!

So here's to 42 and dreams of tea, reading, goals to reach and things to ponder.
And soon, for us, at long last CHRISTMAS I can't tell you how much
I am ready!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

12 days of Christmas ~ many are now in day 2

Praying that we will seek Christ
and the light of Christ
which illumines all! 
May God bless each of us as we either celebrate 
the second day of Christmas or are still waiting for Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Wishing you, as you need: a Merry, Blessed, Christmas with comfort that is for you!

"Come, let us rejoice in the Lord, proclaiming the present mystery;
 for He has broken the middle wall of partition, 
and the flaming spear shall turn about, 
and the Cherubim shall admit all to the Tree of Life. 

As for me, I shall return to enjoy the bliss of paradise from which I was driven away before, by reason of iniquity; for the likeness of the Father, and the Person of His eternity, which it is impossible to change, has taken the likeness of a servant, coming from a Mother who has not known wedlock; free from transubstantiation, since He remained as He was, true God, and took what had not been, having become Man for His love of mankind. 

Wherefore, let us lift our voices unto Him crying: 
O You Who was born of the Virgin, O God, have mercy upon us."


I need to get back to that talk...


I know that the holidays are really tough for a LOT of people.
For us it's the first year without our beloved Aunt Karen;
other's I know just had family fall ill or need emergency surgery; 
or we are grieving; or we are in a long term intractable situation 
that we can't leave or get out of; or we are no further ahead and
are discouraged; or deeply lonely without a clear way out; so many things.
YET...the words of the Vespers of the Nativity of Christ is clear... 

He has broken the middle wall of partition, 
and the flaming spear shall turn about, 
and the Cherubim shall admit all to the Tree of Life. 

Let us remember our true Hope, Christ born at Christmas, to be,
as my priest in Ottawa once said in a homily about Christ's incarnation,
that Christ has come to dwell with us in the mess of our lives.
WITH us.  Even though things are not as we would wish Christ to see us in.
Our homes, at least inside of us, are not yet clean, uncluttered or beautiful
but yet Christ comes to us, wants to be with us and it is HE 
who, with our cooperation and openness to Christ, to the Holy Trinity,
to the Holy Spirit growing in us, that inside of us can, little by little,
be a bit more clean, a little less treacherously cluttered, a little beauty shining in.
The older I am (nearly 42 now) the more I see that we have so much in us
that needs Christ (well really everything inside of us) and that there is so much
internal disarray (just look at the fruits of the spirit and get back to me if you are thinking
your internal self is not in disarray, most likely you are somewhere near where I am when I 
I admit it to myself, disarrayed, distracted and in need of God's healing). 

But God gives us HOPE, right here at Christmas time.
That Christ is born to dwell among us.
That God is WITH us, born on Christmas day.
That as untidy and disordered as we can be, God is with us, hear to help us,
to pull us out of the waves that overcome us, is full of love,
mercy and a way that, while not easy, is the only way to 
the Resurrection, the transfiguration, the new life that is really what we are wanting,
no matter how many "things" we wish to get at Christmas or see others getting,
knowing that we can't have those "things"... what we really desire, 
and what so many do not know they desire,
is the Christ who comes to us at Christmas, as a little Child and
who is full of mercy and light, the Hope of all the world.

Many of us have heavy hearts and I pray also that our Guardian Angels
will help us find Christ and that we will understand the protection,
the love, the goodness, that we are called to go towards...

Let us pray for one another.
For all those who have no one to care for them or pray for them;
for those who are lonely; alone; for those who
are on the streets, homeless or in troubled homes;
for those who have everything they need except the emptiness inside them; 
for those who are in spiritual or physical peril; for those who find 
Christmas to be painful or full of stabs of grief.
For all those who are joyful, for the young who are loved and smiling on Christmas;
for the young who don't have family and are alone;
for everyone, everywhere, 
that God will bless, save and have mercy on us all.

To all who celebrate Christmas now:

Christ is born! Glorify Him! 

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Some lovely "messages" I found today on social media

Wishing everyone a peaceful few days of Christmas and that God 
will have mercy on all of us, 
esp those who struggle with Christmas for many reasons.
God bless and save us all! 

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Not a lot to talk about but Christmas is neigh

I am reading a story out loud in installments 
to Mr Husband, the story is by George MacDonald and is 
called the wise woman and we are quite enjoying it.
Today was a day when I feel that I have so much to do
but other things come up and keep me from getting a lot done.
I did, however, sew back on a button from my red wool coat.

I don't have any training in sewing buttons nor did I look online.
I just did it best I could.
There was a small red button inside and a large shiny button
on the outside, and these had match up so that the small inside
button can keep the outside button stable and in place.
The inside small red button (above) was moving every which way
until I put thread through both sides (after having it through the wool
fabric once) so that it stayed still and then I started pushing the big
needle through the wool fabric to the outside button and from there
sewed it on through many times....

It's now very stable and steady.
I am going to have to redo the top button as well, as it is 
getting pulled out of place and only 2 grey threads left holding it on.
I have LOTS of Christmas letters to get out yet
and more presents to wrap...
it will all get done... all in good time...
Praying for everyone who is having a hard time at Christmas.
May God help us all and have mercy on us.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

A little bit only for today

I remember when my Husband picked up this book.
and the other day, when he started reading it,
he immediately commented, in effect, about
how those who do 'feminist' critiques don't know their history 
of how women have been revered... 
(we both know this is not as simple issue but from my 
studies in it, I can say that it has been unbalanced on both 
sides in terms of what is actually happening...!)
I am thinking of writing a bit on my own journey through
various questions, struggles and readings of feminist thought and 
where I am now...over 20 years later since I began it...
We will see what the new year brings in terms of having time to write again...
I would like to do so.  Somehow I still have to see if I can get more time
to do the things I love doing... and need to be doing
1. time with God
2. Everything that has to do with tending my marriage to Mr Husband
(this includes everything from communication with him, dates with him,
to keeping up the homemaking tasks from laundry to baking and cooking to reading
books with him and out loud at night also).
3. Building Community (visits and meals at my home, trips, phone calls, blogs, letter writing, texts)
4. Everything else I guess, which would include sewing/quilting, knitting, writing, baking 
for special events and feasts.
Knitting does not happen a lot right now. Quilting sometimes.  
Writing, I blog but have not
published any essays online anywhere since 2016. 
Our unbloggable things has
kept a lot of my days/hours more full and "everything else" has been
"catch as catch can" and I am hoping the new year will bring some 
resolution and maybe a possibility to have blocks of time to 
actually complete various things.
Meanwhile, Dec 25th Christmas is coming close!
May God bless and help each of us in these days!
May He save and protect us!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A beautiful St Nicholas Day (and a bit more about yesterday!)

Last night we had dinner with the Munchkin before Vigil! 
This morning's liturgy was lovely...
and the kids all got goodie bags!
And I handed out my cookies...:) 
We had a lovely festive lunch, and the White Sister sold many things
to us, to our delight (such special things!)...
We went on home afterwards and did things that needed doing...
and I finally got my candle light dinner tonight!
And we opened our St Nicholas gifts!
The miniature is my gift from Mr Husband and I just LOVE it...
My Husband says of it that it's 'straight out of Dickens' :) 
I got Mr Husband a lovely book of Fairy Tales as we both love these,
and I got tea (Welsh Breakfast Tea, ala Tasha Tudor!), we got cookies, my sweetie gave me some movies he had stashed away
and he added to his toy soldier collection!
Plus two small booklets from what the White Sister was selling!
And we got a lovely hand-painted Christmas Tree ornament from our 2 year old godson L...
his Mother mailed it to us of course :)
Dinner was leftover fish from the night before and noodles!
We had cookies beforehand for tea...
And now it's late and I am here to say that we are so thankful for this day...
Also my Grandma is doing well and is now at my Aunt M's house for a bit
to have some time to recover from the surgery...
And we wish everyone God's mercy and protection and comfort in these days.
May He carry us to the comfort of Christ being born at Christmas!

St Nicholas Vigil

St Nicholas Eve, Vigil for St Nicholas... 
of course it was so very beautiful...
the lovely White Sister who came is one I met last year 
at the Columbus Circle Market,
I love these sisters so much.
I have been missing visiting monasteries and it is a real blessing to see
one who is affiliated with the monastery in Minsk.
I got an icon (don't have a picture of it yet) of St Seraphim 

I had a lovely framed print of this icon in Ottawa
but I realize I must have given it away,
I think, as I am not sure where it is now.
Perhaps in time, I will have another.
Pray for me, if you would,
as I am having a bit of a sleepless night,
I think the excitement of St Nicholas day + very busy days
has caught up with me.
Please pray, overall, that I don't get sick from the sleep
deprivation, as everyone is more vulnerable to sickness when sleep is lacking.
We are also in the middle of seeing what God is doing to resolve
our unbloggable thing and some things are hopeful again, but it is 
yet unclear and sometimes uncertainty can be hard to be in.
Yet, with God so much is certain,
as in God Himself, His love, His protection, His wish for us to be saved.
May we desire Christ and His Salvation for us above ALL things!