Friday, November 30, 2018

Yesterday NYC; Today Baking Cookies

Yesterday I went to NYC.
I had lunch with Mr Husband and then
went to Columbus Circle Christmas Market and saw
one of the White Sisters of St Elizabeth Convent 
and bought some special things for gifts.
Today I was home and so glad to be home.
I managed to order some special Delft things for our home,
texted some dear friends, including my sister-friend,
and made 2 double batches of vegan cranberry chocolate chip cookies.
I read Tolkien at night to Mr Husband.
We are in 1938 and loving it.
My Mom was given a lot of +Aunt Karen's things to go through and 
she picked some things out for me...
it's really hitting home for me, how my Aunt will not be at Christmas this year.
How I can hear her voice still, remember how she looked, moved, her laugh,
but I can't see her again alive, talk to her in person.
I miss her.  I will be glad to have a few treasured things to keep her memory close
but oh, how such things never come close to the actual person.
It's such a mystery, death; how one moment they are here, the next, gone.
How is it? 
My Husband and I had been struggling with the unbloggable that only seems
to be worse but we had a really good talk about it and are happier after our talk,
even though the situation remains unchanged.
My Grandma has knee replacement surgery Dec 18th.
She is in her upper 80s now in age.
I am a bit worried about her surgery
and am trying to pray about it more.
When I think of her and how just this week she told me again
how she talks to the Lord, really talks to Him about her concerns,
for others and their needs,
and how she said of one person she knows who is really struggling,
that she wants to pray for that person more than once a day
and really remember them, to pray for them.
I feel perhaps the one thing that gives me hope,
that Fr Schmemann wrote of in his journals:
'the only thing one should feel sad about is not being a Saint'
(to paraphrase slightly).
I look at myself and my life and see only poverty now, about myself.
But my Grandma, how special she is.
I see now that it has implications for what to do 
in all loss, even, God forbid, one day losing her.
My Grandma has already baked the Christmas bars and breads she makes,
she can't lift as much now she she has switched to plastic bowls when 
using a hand mixer. She just adapts and most people don't even
know that she has done so.
I am thinking of her a lot lately.
Using the silver-plate silverware she gave me,
her dishes.
I told her this week how I found bowls to go with the set
that she had given me, that she used for decades.
She was real pleased and surprised.
Tickled I think the word would be. 
I am wanting those dishes even more,
but I think because I am thinking of my Grandma so much.
When I am thinking of my Grandma's faith, 
and of such things, these verses have been coming to mind,
in a prayer that I desire, surfacing as it were,
a glimpse of what I really want....:

"10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit."

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Well. I got my Christmas tree up. BUT 2 strands of my 3 strands of white lights are goners. So amazon to the rescue, new lights ordered, coming Saturday. I hope to have this all up and decorated by Monday night....

After 3 quick pictures, Cleo the Curious was kicked out of the Christmas tree box! 
2 of my white cords were not functioning so I have to wait 
for the new ones so that I can trim the tree. 
Tomorrow is NYC day and Friday I am going to try to bake!

One of the best moments is when I am reading out loud to my Beloved Husband 
from JRR Tolkien's Letters 
we are currently in 1938, the Hobbit has been published recently 
and these letters are such a joy to read!

I am glad for each moment that was a pearl of goodness...
I managed to get the dishes done, the counter clear, the dishwasher full
now of clean dishes and 3 loads of laundry done and two meals for us.

I was tired today,
not having slept well in a while now, 
and it is wearing on me, related to the unbloggable.
But my Husband and I keep communicating and that helps everything.

I am hoping to see the White Sisters from St Elizabeth Convent tomorrow
at the Columbus Circle Holiday Market in NYC!
And it is a fish day tomorrow 
(for Holy Apostle Matthew) and as the fast just started today,
I am already glad for a fish day!
(the fast being that one has no meat/fish and if strong enough no dairy,
medical problems often necessitate otherwise).

So I am thinking this for the next few days, schedule wise,
Thursday ~ NYC
Friday ~ bake
Saturday ~ quiet ~ hopefully my new Christmas lights come this day
Sunday ~ stay local, a quiet day
Monday ~ Trim the Tree! and Clean House! Hopefully my dishes I ordered come this day
Tuesday ~ Feast Day liturgy!
Wednesday ~ bake a cake + prep for lunch on Thursday + get chairs from garage
Thursday ~ have local church friends over for St Nicholas day lunch 

Having a schedule for this helps a lot. 
My Husband will be working during the lunch I am hosting
so this is new for me, though I have had many
come for lunches and dinners when I was single
and I had a lovely couple for dinner in the Theophany season a few
years ago when my Husband was traveling for work.
So I can do it, but it feels new at the same time, but I am excited.
I am keeping it simple, or simple for me.

Fia sauce (pasta sauce with red wine) and pasta.
Fish fillets, breaded; salad; bread.
desserts, tea, coffee. 

The presentation is a big part of it.
That and preparation before hand. 
Thankfully I have friends coming to help!
It will be a joy! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

And so it goes...

Pictures below of the last 2 days.
My eyes are stable, so that's good.
Two meals out and today I had Thanksgiving leftovers, lunch and dinner.
We got some more not so great unbloggable news today.
Well, God will help us in all things I pray that we will focus on Christ
and not our troubles.
So on to the pictures...

A lot of good.
Good breakfast (and meet next to me others from Michigan!)
Eye doctor wait was long as usual. But at least my eyes are stable.
And I had a burger for lunch.
I was feeling a bit teary yesterday, just about the struggles I see around me
and also the ones we are in.... 
I got a second silver-plate anti-tarnish cloth board and cover,
for the other big drawer we have in the buffet that has the candles I light on top.
I am impressed by how much fits in it.
I added a few other pieces that I had put away and am impressed at how much it holds.
The next biggest one was about a half inch too big to fit but am happy with this.

I have been enjoying the 2 party/etiquette books! both from the
daughter of +Matushka T who we used to visit in the nursing home.

Yesterday was raining cats and dogs!
I finally got to try the Hunter rain-boots that I got for free when my neighbour moved! 
They worked great a little big but loved them! 
(I used to have a different pair, the fit was not as good / they were heavier). 
So glad to have these! 
I could not believe the amount of people wearing 
costly leather dress shoes in that weather! 
I love having the confidence of rain-boots that I can go through puddles with!

So this was lunch and dinner! YUM.
Last day before the fast! 

I bought these with Christmas and birthday money.
Though I got a deal on them - I did not pay what the original price was as 
I got a discount for buying nearly the whole lot of what this etsy seller had 
for this pattern! 
 (I did not get the tea cups or sugar bowl but every thing else). 
This helps complete my first set of China, and the only set that I will have a setting of 8 for!
This set of dishes (that I already own) were my Grandma's silver rimmed every day dishes, 
she gave them to me about 20 years ago!
 I love them and use them through out the year and esp at Easter / Pascha. 
I am really excited about them coming, esp as I am planning on using them
for next week for a St Nicholas lunch I hope to be hosting!

I got a copy of this video finally for myself.
Sharing it here. :) 
Well, we keep trying to do the best we can with all that we
are facing and I pray that God will have mercy.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Various Days of God's mercy

My 'best China' plates (white with gold rims) are put away, to do so
I had to get out a bit of my Christmas Spode... I look forward to using this again 
come our January 7 Christmas! 

I am hoping to have a lunch with fish, pasta and salad with desserts,
here for new calendar St Nicholas Day for local church friends/family.
So the table is staying right where it is... 
I already have two small pages of notes, thinking about this meal and how
to keep it simple... using my Grandma's plates and tea cups, 
bowls that are dish washer-able and such things.
I will be using my silver-plate silverware though, as I don't have service
for enough otherwise! I am not sure how many will come, maybe 8, maybe less, maybe more.
I do well when I am planning things and am glad to have this to think about.
Esp. because our unbloggable stress is ongoing.
Ongoing and not going anywhere soon I think!
But God is with us and I've been through other hard times that were,
on many levels, much worse. 

Isn't this crocheted cup and saucer just darling?
the older lady those Mother we used to visit in the nursing home,
who died a few years ago, made it. 
I love it so much. 
It is being displayed with great affection and remembrance.
The doily is made by my Oma and mirror and Kleenex box were on her dresser.
I am pleased how this goes so well with the gift of this handmade tea cup and saucer!

We've been feasting on Thanksgiving leftovers! 
I think it's one of my most favourite meals!

Soon it will be the fast
(conveniently, my far-away priest noted, beginning on Wednesday,
which is a fast day for us anyway!)
Believe it or not, I go to NYC again tomorrow! 
My 2x yearly eye appointment at the very good ophthalmologist.
I think this year I went 3x though because of the issue that was from
the newly discovered growing cataract. 
I am hoping to go to Trader Joes to get this punch...
and some hand lotion for winter months! 

It was good to be at our far-away church again this morning!
And nice to see friends at coffee hour and afterwards.
We went to shoprite and I stocked up on pantry things, esp.
foil, parchment paper, bags + vinegar and breaded fish fillets!
We rested at home and then watched the Walton's while enjoying
yet another Thanksgiving leftovers plate of food!
I am enjoying not having to cook for a bit!
I am still reading Fr A. S's journals and felt like I saw
how I was born into a time of a lot of confusion about
what it means to be human, a man, a woman, a family.
His journals are very enlightening and instructive this way.
I have so many things I would love to write about 
but we will see what I can do in the next year.
Only God knows.
For now, I am happy that I can DV have a St Nicholas Lunch,
plan on making lots of pasta sauce, 
hope to decorate the our home for Christmas and 
do St Nicholas day baking... 
May God help us all and have mercy on us!