Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Tuesday: Thanksgiving Prep, Quiet and Vespers at Night

My 'ironing' of the plastic table cloth under the beautiful Ukrainian 
table cloth, a wedding gift from my Ottawa Ukrainian Mother :)
This table is for everything other than main meal for Thanksgiving.

 Lead Crystal Goblets soaked in 50.50 water/vinegar for
extra safety for any surface lead to be gone for my guests.

Tea. This was Paris, with milk added, by Harney and sons.
A real treat.

My Mother found this can opener for me for 3$ at the thrift shop! 
It's the kind that opens the can and leaves the sharp edges
turned in so you don't cut yourself.
I was so excited, as I had been wanting one for a few years.
I even had a dream that night that I got one.
I think back on this with some poignancy,
because I remember when, years ago, pre-Mr Husband,
when I was looking for a job and literally running out of money,
that my vegetable peeler broke; I only had one and I really did 
not have money to replace it (food, phone + internet bill, rent were my main priorities)
and so I called my Mom (it was November or December) and told her
and asked if she could get me one for Christmas. Which she did.
And later I got a second one at a bridal shower. So now I have 2.
Anyway, I think that is one of the reasons that this can opener 
means a lot to me.  I could of bought it new, 
but hoped my Mom would find one as she did...
I am in a much better situation now, than those years back...
God really took care of me in many unexpected ways
and I can see how that really tough time helped me in many ways
to get ready for many changes in my life and to understand 
what it means to struggle and struggle.  Poverty, even temporary, is often
not the fault of the person stricken with it. 
And I am so much more sensitive to this now.  

Vespers tonight.
Had a pretty good day.
I finished the newly published book
Very good.
Spare writing, clear, words well chosen, topics handled with care,
with the ability to write about heavy things in a way that was real, honest and clear...
 and I have a feeling that this book also had really good editing after writing.
It must have taken a lot of work, to make the story so clear, the words well chosen and 
all that was not needed, sloughed off, if not chopped off with a well-used sword...
Really enjoyed it.
Well, I'm tired. Liturgy tomorrow. House cleaning after and setting up
the tables for Thanksgiving, the day after.
I made the yam dish today, set up the tables, did all the laundry that needed doing, 
talked to my Mom (2x) and my Grandma... 
I am so glad for family.
May each of us have mercy from God for our many struggles in this life.

Monday, November 19, 2018

A Good Day in NYC

Thanks to each person who commented on my last post or who emailed me! 
I really appreciate the reaching out and encouragement.
Today was better for me, though our unbloggable situation is unchanged.
I went to NYC and did errands including a last minute run to Trader Joe's.
The fast begins for us next week Wednesday and so I stocked up on some yummy
veggie burgers, as well as other things, including another
type of hors d'oeuvre ... an onion and cheese one...
plus the spiced apple cider (making it easy for me on Thanksgiving!), and a 
bottle of sparkling apple cider and some crackers that I hope will go well with a soft
cheese that I am getting the day of Thanksgiving, with the meal. 
I cheered myself up by writing 'copious lists' for Thanksgiving...
it does help me to get it all down and figure out what to do when.
I was really excited when this new book came!!! 
I am also excited about trying this dumpling stew once the fast is here. 
I also plan on making another batch of my beloved Fia Sauce next week.
I love pasta and am realizing that this is a good thing for me to make during the fast.
I so struggle with fasting meals now days.
Maybe I will try this Pasta as well...
I think part of my issue is that, perhaps because of how I cope with difficult things,
I just want really familiar food 
(note, to me restaurants that serve Thai or Indian food are familiar, but I am not 
good are recreating these!) that I can make easily and that 
is not a big change for me (like not cauliflower used in new ways, no offence for 
the many who do, that's cool, it's just not what I am looking for)
 I should remember this taco recipe as well... 
Well, that is 4 recipes that are fasting, which is great! Thankfully the 
Nativity Fast is a lighter one, with more fish days
(for a full fast in the Orthodox Christian tradition is basically vegan 
(no meat, dairy, eggs) but ironically can have shellfish, which is not vegan per say...
Tomorrow I hope to clean/get the house ready for Thanksgiving + make the 
cranberry and yam dish ... I was able to get the books for the church library/church bookstore 
nearly all finished and they are put away...
I am grateful that I have most of the Thanksgiving meal made for me, 
as it lessons the amount of work, which is still a lot and it's just me
doing it all (a friend is coming early to help) as my Husband is swamped with work.
Thankfully I am used to doing lots of work for dinner parties and enjoy it.
I feel like each dinner is a work of art and I just love creating a beautiful event!
I only use my best dishes a few times a year so this is extra special for me.
Well, God is with us, He carries us through the hard and good times.
I pray that He will save us...and have mercy! 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Up and Down, God is with us in both places

My Husband kindly took the top picture, 
the beautiful shawl Mat Anna made and Ginny's Jonny the shawl pin. 
I loved wearing this very much.
More struggles today.
Made it to church, liturgy and meal was great.
Struggles mid-day. Exhaustion. Very long nap.
I managed to get the place more picked up.
The newly baked goods are in the freezer.
I was very happy making dinner.
Fia Sauce and Meat Sauce, both from freezer, an easy meal to make
and I finally felt more successful in making a meal.
And enough for tomorrow + easy meal for Tuesday with the leftover chicken we also have.
Tomorrow NYC - various errands, including Trader Joes.
I think it will be a good day - getting out, doing needful errands.
My one house goal is to finally get the church library and bookstore books processed.
This week went esp wonky towards the end and I am behind on a lot,
but I am well on my way now to a house ready for Thanksgiving.
And now, I better get on to bed.  
We are definitely limping along at present, 
more bogged down by the unbloggable again.
I see such suffering in the world; ours is so small compared to so many.
I think the only reason people make it through, other than God's help,
is just that there is no other way but through.
May God help us and have mercy.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

How do I even describe the last 2 days?

These last days, busy and in need of a good nap. 
I was struggling. 
Better now.
We finally got a 'dummy' light switch so that I could have the delft double light switch
put up and it got broken in the process.
Super bummer and I was over tired and was so SAD about it but am better now
and trying to find an intact replacement, while accepting the one that is up
though cracked.... 
I have emailed three possible places for these, knowing that most places are
out of stock with them.
We went to a toy soldier show but it was small and I was tired and so
I read and napped in the car....
We finished listening to the Hobbit and the Silmarillion my beloved Husband 
just found on Audible and it will be DV a future listen for us!
I love it and wore it to church tonight already! 
It was a blessing to go to vespers.
We went out to eat afterwards.
So the wonderful shortbread, caramel and chocolate bites did not work as well
as I was hoping..... but hopefully not disliked by those I will give them too,
well wrapped to prevent sticky situations, literally!
I already have a plan for doing this again DV ...
Here's the plan:
I will use caramel and evaporated milk melted, only half as much as I use in turtle bars (1 bag only of caramels) bake the shortbread in a 9x13 glass pan and use the same amount of chocolate or a bit more, i.e at least 250g. My Husband saved the day on these by suggesting that I put them in the refrigerator so that they could better solidify. The first bit I had out broke in ways that made these pictures look nearly impressive. 
However, I am wondering if I should just melt the caramel and forget the 
evaporated milk...as I think this keeps it a bit less solidified. 
I better go to bed.
We are staying local tomorrow for church.
I have to go to NYC on Monday.
My house is a mess.
I have 6 coming for Thanksgiving Thursday.
Thank Goodness that most of the food is coming already prepared.
Here's what I have to do:
Monday - NYC  for much of the day + possible cleaning
Tuesday - clean, clean, clean + set up table, put away sewing table
Wednesday - clean, make yam + cranberry dish, set up 2 tables with full table settings etc.
Thursday - get the meal delivered and heat up everything and have Thanksgiving
dinner in early afternoon with friends!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Snow, Ice, Rain...books, baking and meals...

My wish was granted! My Husband stayed home to work from home today!
The snow was falling by 2 PM, I can hear people out shoveling as I write this,
now after 10 PM... it's still windy, freezing rain has been falling for a good while,
I am not sure if anything is still falling now... we had a lot of wet snow... it won't last around here though and I expect it will be gone latest by Saturday. 
Our house is a bit of a cluttered mess...tomorrow I will attend to this DV 
and I hope do bookstore and maybe come correspondence that I am very behind in.
So I baked today, caramel toffee bars... I think I will make them 'bites' as they are so rich
and I don't have too many of them, once they are cut up into pieces that is, 
 and have many people I wish to give baked goods too...
I LOVED Miss Read's Village Diary and am now on to her Storm in the Village...
I ordered a new hat this past week, after feeling the guilt I struggle with at times when
wanting to buy something...still working that out.
Anyway, the hat will be for special occasions, as is my other 2 hats, same hat,
just different colour (I have a black and a white one) and I hope to wear it for Thanksgiving
and also Christmas (my Christmas outfit is the same colour as the hat, 
sweater/shirt part of the outfit that is....)
We are still having some unbloggable concerns... 
but we are doing what we can everyday and we keep working on things
together, as a team and I thank God so much for our marriage and that we
really did become best friends... 
I have started to read Tolkien's letters to Mr Husband before we wind down
for bed and those have been quite striking... 
we listened to the Hobbit at lunch and dinner today and that is lovely...
we hope to do more of this tomorrow!
Tolkien's books really bring us both a lot of comfort and 
we have much to be thankful for.
I did a bunch of laundry today... and did a total OOPS too...
used a different sized parchment paper (as I was newly out of the kind I normally use)
and it was too big and caught fire in the toaster oven.
Without thinking I threw cups of water and got the fire out, but 
forgot to unplug it first... so hopefully it is still working! 
It's unplugged now, the whole area I cleaned and I carefully, after it was unplugged,
cleaned and dried the inside and outside... it's tipped  on it's side right now as one part seemed wet
still, though it's dry now... so tomorrow will check it out with Mr. Husband...who is working
from home again tomorrow...
Thank God it was not worse... 
I am so glad for ordinary quiet days like this one, home with my Husband
and a nice chat on the phone with my Mom earlier today 
and a warm home and warm bed and hot water bottles for extra warmth
on the colder days, thinking of all those struggling,
all those who don't have what they need to stay warm...
may the Lord have mercy and keep them safe, warm, by His miracles... 
Lord have mercy, so many suffering, struggling!
Lord have mercy on us all!