Thursday, July 18, 2019

A beautiful intense busy good day (and now I am tired!)

A bit after 7 AM, I was cutting up the watermelon and packing the cake.
Crazy grey clouds and hard rain on drive to our faraway church for their feast day!
Then God stopped storms from coming during liturgy and the lunch! 
It was so hot/humid that when I left the AC in the church 
and went outside, my glasses steamed up! 
It was a good day.
I helped with the women in doing meal prep after Holy Communion.
The blue icon above is very old and is called the Kursk Root Icon.
It's very special and the woman in the centre is Jesus' Mother,
who is rightly called (as Jesus is God) the Mother of God... 
I would love to tell you more about this and how I came to see
Christ's Mother this way... 
I am tired now so not going to write more.
Was a busy intense week!
I pray each of you has peace in whatever you are in right now.
God bless you!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Strawberry Lemon Cake + a big Thank You!

Mr Husband works from home on Wednesdays.
I was hoping to see our Candle Desk Man today but I was on my feet 
doing laundry, dishes, making lunch
(above: 1 can of shrimp (I would rather have clams but had to use the can up),
the rest of the peanut sauce and noodles, spinach salad and fruit salad).
I made lemonade also - sugar was just right but I added more lemon juice.

This is the plate (and bowl) that some of you admired in my 
grilled skewer picture on the beef satay.
The picture was part of the plate, not a platter, FYI.
Blue Willow, not that old, still made in England, they say Churchill on the back. 
I don't have a lot of extra time but below you can see 2 of my buffets and the other buffet
is the one that the fabric pictures of flowers is above and I light my candles there.
So while I don't currently have time to show you all of my dishes,
which are a lot, I can say that I will try to point them out to you
when I am using them.
As I said here, I have a LOT of dishes! 

 Shockingly rare, I actually IRONED today.
I love bandannas and wear them a lot, so comfortable.
Makes me feel linked to my past life and my life here,
as I loved bandannas in Ottawa... I have many different colours! 

I've been wanting this book for a long while. 
I got it today and am reading the introduction and am already quite enthused. 
Caroline Gordon was a novelist back in the 1930s 
who married Allan Tate and together they knew the literati of the day 
(Thanksgiving with the Hemingways in Paris, 
poet Robert Lowell tenting on their front lawn in Tennessee). 
What is exciting is that Caroline Gordon's novels are in my NY subscription library!
 (They are also, I see at NYPL but my library I am a member of 
and I am more likely to go there and use NYPL for their online resources).
 Anyway, excited for new reading adventures!

I made the cake!!! 
I am working on writing up the recipe for my new blog and hope to have that
ready by next week if at all possible. 

These pictures were to remind me of what I did for the frosting.
Any good butter cream with lemon recipes for frosting that you recommend?
I am still learning to make a really good frosting! 

I need to get a better picture of this small bowl, that I got yesterday
for 99 cents at good will. 
It's really pretty! 

The cake is for our parish feast day tomorrow!
I really hope I get a piece as I want to know how it turned out.

We had a huge storm here tonight!
Thank you everyone who commented on my last post.
I hope to comment back but for now want to say a big thank you for 
your comments, your kindness and thoughts!
It's not easy to blog about hard topics (like loneliness) 
and I can't tell you how grateful I am for such a kind blog community.
A note to Sophy: so you have commented a few times over the years
and we have never connected further.  If you ever want to do so,
just let me know.  I don't know many blog readers nearby,
though I do have a few I know of....
My email address is in this post.
So many to pray for.  
Diana, know that many are praying for Lily - 
those not in the know on this one, go here.
It is SO wonderful to have blog community and the 
support we can offer each other through our prayers and 
online kindness!
May God have mercy on us and save us! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

NYC adventures .... orthogonal: (as in) statistically independent

These pictures (above) are from last night.
I discovered the 'food' mode on my smart phone and it makes
food look deeper/brighter... before you even take the picture... intriguing... 

I went in to NYC with Mr Husband... and had breakfast at the diner near
to Trader Joes (and Michaels, and TJ Maxx)... 

That's me with my shopping cart and my fun bag hanging
on the front of the cart with the fragile scones from Trader Joes! :) 

I bought a sketch book, washcloth yarn, and a made-in-Japan blue sparkly gel pen at Michael's
and a planner, little wallet / card case at TJ Maxx + 2 summer tops and 1 skirt. 
Trader Joes was for hair care, Cleo Wet Cat Food (that she loves), olive oil and they had
their scones again! So I carefully brought those home (they break easily and I got them home
with only 1 small break! Yay! 
The sign "you got this" is a common phrase now... 
I never know what I think of it as sometimes it seems to ignore either the
enormity of the personal hard of someone's life or the loneliness they may feel
in whatever it is that they 'got' and need to deal with... 
But so it is and I don't hate the phrase, just think it is lacking a lot of nuance.

Lunch.  I love that Kombucha! 
I wrote my sister-friend a letter over lunch... that was nice... 

This park was so still and beautiful... 
a girl walking by explained to me that it is a private park,
owned by the ones who have houses nearby... 
as she walked on she said she likes it as it's like
the secret garden and I said to her, that is such a good book,
The Secret Garden... 
She agreed and cheerfully walked on... 

I got my library card.
I was feeling pretty tired so I did not really do much research,
but I have what I need now to do it...

I love seeing the backside of apartment buildings...
the inside corners that are mostly hidden...
all those lives, all those homes... 
I love how it is like seeing many books that are hidden...
and that there can be beauty there, as well as suffering...
and how people eat, what furniture they have, 
what beauty they create... 
I love seeing people in stores and seeing what they wear...
(had a strange incident when I walked into the outer sink area of a woman's bathroom
and there was a woman in a beautiful skirt and blouse, with rose gold coloured flats,
I complimented her on her beautiful outfit but she completely ignored me,
it was startling but I forget that in NYC there are 'all kinds' as they say)...
later I was walking on 5th Ave... if you don't know, as I did not before I moved here,
esp. since I don't follow fashion or pop culture that much, 
5th Ave has a lot of expensive "fashionable" shops and is a really fancy street,
with a lot of well dressed people with fancy clothes and hair cuts (etc)... 

I had a pretty well priced meal (10$ for the eggs and toast, a bit more than some diners,
but better tasting)... the lemonade was under 4$ which I thought was really reasonable... 
It was a 'French' place, with French butter and jam... I liked that... and it's good jam!
I met a librarian (who was setting up my library card) and we got talking about
how we are both librarians and how hard it is to get a job in libraries now,
esp corporate ones.... that they are (the jobs, the libraries) disappearing... 
It got me thinking back to when I was in Ottawa and 
about how fortunate that my Husband has a good job and because we live 
in New Jersey (i.e. it's cheaper, way cheaper where we live than Manhattan!)
I don't have to work outside the home
(this also makes me an anomaly here, it's very rare in this part of the States)
and I have SO MUCH to be thankful for,
a loving Husband, a lovely home, lots of dishes ( :) ) and books and all the things I love...
but I struggle at times, with that experience that I think is more and more
prevalent today: the word that no one wants to talk about or that can make a room
go silent if discussed.  Loneliness
I get to have days in NYC and I appreciate them. 
But most of them I do alone.
I don't have (and don't think I will ever have) 
the community I had in my years in Ottawa.
For various reasons, practical and otherwise, I am not going to have
even a PT job outside of the house 
(though those who have read long know that I keep busy without this!...
it's one of the things I appreciated so much about our Candle Desk Man...
he always saw how busy we are, between 2 churches and all else... he commented about
this again when we visited him in the nursing facility rehab place 
that is trying to get him walking again...)
but this and many other factors has meant that I don't always
have the community I once had or wish I had. 
I was telling Mr Husband about how blessed I realize I am
but how it is so puzzling to me that I can have 'everything' on many levels
but am still lonely at times, sometimes a lot.
And he said it is not surprising, rather it's 
orthogonal - (as in that which is ) statistically independent of each other.
You can have one thing and still have the other, 
they don't necessarily meet up and change one to the other. 
I am so glad that I have the Lord in my life and that the Church provides so much
comfort (esp when I look for it!) and that even in the times
where it seems a bit hard in the loneliness aspect, 
I still have so much to be thankful for.
And I am aware of suffering so much more because I have time alone.
And I don't regret that.  I think being aware of suffering of another,
even of a stranger, makes one less alone and feel more in common with
or even in communion with others on a larger scale. 
I saw a lady tonight, older, her hair seemed to be unkempt in a way that told you
that it is just hard hair to keep 'tamed' as it were and she walked with a limp
and was older and I just felt for her... that life was not easy for her,
that she was worn... 
and I see so many in such difficult and lonely situations.
I am not alone, ironically, in this and I know it.
And so, I find again and again that I can echo what our 
camp director, Uncle Al, said so many times, even after he lost his 
beloved wife and best friend to cancer:
we have a lot to thank the Lord for
Praying that no matter what your own personal hard is,
that you know that God is with you and that you are not abandoned...
leave you comfortless.