Sunday, June 30, 2019

Friday-Sunday: reading, planning, church and heat

We had tuna sandwhiches this weekend for dinner.
My Husband likes his tuna straight from the can (drained) and on toast.
I like my tuna (drained) with vegan mayo, salt and pepper. 
Enough mayo to make it creamy but enough tuna to not have mayo smearing
on toast without tuna being more present than the mayo. 
Good bread toasted with simple tuna spread is a great
fast summer meal. 
So I read a book I have owned for a few years,
began Friday finished Saturday.
When We Were Orphans.
Very well written.
Ending very difficult, a page or so I wish I never read.
Painful, shocking page. 
A lot of sadness. 
My Husband asked if I am glad I read it.
Yes, in terms of the beauty, the way he captured what 
a child is like when young, 
but no in terms of the ending and the sense of
misery that seems inescapable. 
It was a bit of a miracle that I made it to church.
My left eye was killing me suddenly with dry eye
and I rode the hour plus ride to church with a wet wash cloth
spread across my eyes to try to help me eye 
get past that pain. 
About halfway through liturgy the pain lessened and I was able 
to look around without pain. 
A blessing.
The heat (real feel was 99F last night) has been sapping my
energy and making me feel like a wilted dish rag on the floor,
desperate for a good wash to restore. 
So I am reading all about cooking but not actually cooking much.
Even though we have AC, we are trying to use it
wisely.... so more reading than cooking.
Our toaster oven continues to be a marvel.
Parchment paper, sliced potatoes and fish sticks.
One mistake was putting way too much oil on the potatoes.
Only a little is needed.
So I had to lessen the oil by transferring to a new parchment paper 
and wiping away some of the oil with clean paper towels. 
Baking both the fish sticks and potatoes longer worked out well
and did not heat up the whole kitchen.
Parchment paper seems like God's gift to all who love to cook and bake!
I am dreaming of getting a griddle/grill pan to use over stove-top.
I am still researching options/sizing. 
I ordered some new (used) cookbooks and am reading
two by Madhur Jaffrey and enjoying learning and being inspired.
My friend's surgery went well and she is home now. 
May God help us all in our times of weariness, need and sorrow.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

A quiet Thursday with an loud pool hour

Swimming. So far so good: lap lanes kept for lap swimming as long as 
someone is using it to swim laps (so one is not dodging kids now 
that school is out) and I've really appreciated that.
I have found the two above Trader Joes products to be perfect 
for bathing after being in a clorine pool. 
My hair does not look like a burnt out dry mess and I admit
I just LOVE that shower gel... :) 
it is a lot louder now that the kids are out, but I am happy to see
so many having fun in good healthy ways....
I saw the man paint a bit of the mural on the bodega today,
he was using spray paint! I was surprised but I guess I should not have been...
I was able to tell him how much I liked it, esp the sun and clouds he did on it 
(will have to show you a picture of that later, as I don't have a picture of that yet).
So a friend has been in surgery for hours now. 
This candle below (the one on the right)
is still burning bright for her... 
As well as for a friend's child... 
it is wonderful that we can pray for others! 

I was very happy to see that health cooking includes food I want to eat! 
Of course these cookbooks are not new,
but I am more of an old fashion type cook... so this is right up my ally! 
I found in the pasta book a pasta that sounds perfect for a special
feast day fish day meal... with scallops, white wine and arugula! 

I wrote it down for a possible option for our Slava (our family Saint's day celebration)
for, God willing, 2020 as it is on a Wednesday (and thus a fish day)...
(Orthodox Christians usually are vegetarian or vegan on Wednesday
and Fridays other than a few fast-free weeks/year.
Did you know that all Christians used to do this fast, many centuries ago?
I find that fascinating on many levels). 

Cleo the Cranky Gourmet. I love her though. Very much.

I rearranged my cookbooks... still can get them all in the 2 shelves...!

 I have been enjoying a multigrain bread I had bought and froze
these last few days, so good toasted!
This (above) was dinner.
Mr Husband ate at work and is almost home now,
as the PATH train was out of service and he waited till the crazy wait was over.
I feel some worries about the world at large
though not specifically about myself
and it takes effort to not let these worries consume me sometimes. 
I have been trying to decide if I should stay home tomorrow or go to my library in NYC.
Jury's still out on that one.
I can hear my Husband on the steps so by for now!
May God have mercy on us and save us! 

Wonderful Wednesday

I thought that naming Wednesday
Wonderful Wednesday would be an encouragement...
to see the good in the day, our blessings... 
One blessing for me today was just that the Lord helped me 
in practical ways when I could tell inside I was struggling
and did not want that struggle to spill out into well, anything 
that could be labeled 'cranky'! :) LOL...
I listened to part of this talk by Mat Constantina on Monday
(it's lovely so far, thanks Mat. Constantina for sharing it!
about about her example of the nun Sister Sarah narrating
how she failed in her day and what she could have done differently;
while I was not recollecting myself, the thought came to me,
when I suddenly realized I was struggling,
that I needed to ask God for help in very concrete practical ways
(basically help! help me to love! help me to be kind, patient! 
help me be everything I am not without YOU!) 
and sometimes I just forget to ASK for such assistance, 
when I know God is waiting for this request...
Anyway, that was a blessing... 
Then later I went swimming! The sun was hot (thought it was not 
super humid like yesterday) but the pool water was still cool and 
it was just so refreshing! I was really grateful! 
(and I love seeing the mural that is being painted that we see
on our way to the pool!)
I picked the funny/cute card above to our niece M for her birthday...
it will be mailed DV tomorrow... 
Another great "simple" thing is transforming my leftover veggie burger
from the diner in NYC that got totally soggy in the fridge
back to a toasty hot treat for lunch... via my toaster oven at 425F for over 10 minutes!
The fries, the burger, they both recovered from being a soggy mess...
I used parchment paper under them (saves cleaning and some wear-n-tear on my 
already chipped toaster oven tray) and really, you would not have known those 
fries had just been so soggy they were practically dripping! 
So that was another thing to be thankful about!
We enjoyed a vegan cookie for lunch and planned on having mango sorbet after
dinner...and we totally forgot! LOL! But we had rice and leftovers 
and salad and that was a blessing...
Mr Husband read this BEAUTIFUL Tolkien poem while we were eating!
Such beauty and HOPE we have in Christ, in Christmas! 
I got out my new cookbooks + one classic YA novel out of the freezer...
we freeze books (well bagged and not if they are old/hard to replace/costly) 
to be sure that any sort of possible bug infestation (eggs etc) is stopped cold, literally :) 
(I got these used at the Princeton library this past Saturday)...
So, I have a LOT of cookbooks.  I LOVE them.
I read them for fun, like a novel or art book that one would page through
to savour, enjoy and get ideas from... 
Oh, a funny thing I want to remember when I look back, DV, on these words...
So I mentioned Mat. Constantina above... Mr Husband
listens to the Search the Scriptures podcast by Pres. Constantinou
[Mat. is short for Matushka and Pres. is short for Presbytera
both of which are words that mean "priest's wife"]
and Mr Husband thought that I mixed up their names 
...I don't remember what we were talking about but he meant 
Constantinou and said Constantina 
and I asked, do you mean Mat. Constantina Palmer? and he did not 
realize his mix up and thought, as per usual, that I was mixing it up but I had
just seen Pres. Constantinou's name as Ancient Faith Radio sent me a 
"text" like message on my phone about her program just a few hours before 
our conversation.  So I said I would bet him on it.
The usual "5 dollars?" was his next question and I said TWENTY dollars
and if I was wrong I had to give 20$ to charity of his choice
but if I got it right, when he has to give me 20$.
And ... I was right! HA!
So the rare moleskin (pink) journal I splurged on I did not have to pay for.
Of course I found this to be hilarious and still do...! 
(my being right in this way with my Husband
 so rarely happens that it is like big news,
as *I* am the one that constantly mixes things up when I talk,
seriously ... I should tell you the story about the motorcycle biker... 
well, why not now? here it goes...:
I first realized I did this (mixing things up) 
when I was 16 and worked at a camp in Ohio for the summer.
This is going back to the early 1990s... and there was this big guy there, 
in his 20s I think, who had a motorcycle.  I was 16 and did not yet weight 100lbs.
I was like a tiny 5 foot 6 inch thin 16 year old mouse as it were,
esp. in comparison... well.... 
he, myself and others who worked there
were hanging out... 
I remember someone had brought orange cheddar
 Doritos and I was enjoying
some of these when I, in conversation, 
referred to the motorcyclist man as a "she" instead of "he"
 OH BOY I thought I was dead-meat.  He was like 
"what did you say?" and I squeaked out "he, I meant he!" 
and as you can see, I have never forgotten that moment!
I even remember eating the Doritos
 though I don't actually remember the man's first name now.
He was a kind dude though, even took me for a small ride on his motorcycle.
It was a Christian camp and the staff was really kind, even to a small 16 year old girl
who worked in the kitchen and cleaned cabins! 
Well, to this day I say things wrong all the time; that and I struggle to pronounce
certain words. I have accepted myself in these ways,
I figure it is God's way of keeping me a bit more humble 
than I would be other wise! :) 
Better to appear a bit "stupid" than to go around thinking that of someone else, right? 
So you can see why me winning the bet between Constantina and Constantinou
felt like a big WIN because I mix things up all the time... :) 
Mr Husband and I's family motto is
we tease those we love 
so the above stories are really a demonstration of this :) 
Well. I managed to get the dishwasher full and running right now.
I hope to do a few more dishes so that tomorrow there will be less clutter to deal with.
It sure is hard to keep up with messes,
esp when we were gone this past weekend and I was in NYC yesterday...
tomorrow, God willing, I will be home
and will have more time to get our home put back to rights and 
work towards the next project...
May God's love carry you this day...
no matter what is going on...
may you be carried in Christ's mercy and compassion... 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

That was fun! (NYC, Lion Brand Studio, Tea & Sympathy and Purl Soho!)

A dear longtime NJ based friend came to NYC today
to spend the afternoon with me!
We started with lunch with Mr Husband,
then went to Lion Brand Studio,
then to get a new (pink!) cart for me 
(she helped me decide on which one and I am so glad I got the
one I did get!..the last picture above is the place I bought it from
and the red cart I had before that) 
and then we went to Tea and Sympathy, boy did I need that respite, 
then we went to Purl Soho and then walked back,
got a bit turned around (a lady told us incorrect directions)
and had a lovely time walking and talking!
It was SO HUMID today here (and for NYC)...
I admit I bought a new purple bandana just so I could 
deal with the result of such heat 
(humidity, sun = I was drenched with perspiration, 
reminded me of L'Engle's book
the other side of the sun when the main character
has to be in full outfit for an outing and her clothes were so wet
because of the oppressive heat that they had to be wrung out,
it was not that bad for me but I still was reminded of this!)
We also stopped at a Trader Joes on Spring Street that I had not
been to before and I got a few things that will get us through the next while...
It was a really fun day!
Then I ate dinner at the diner and then Mr Husband, who ate at work,
came and we went home...
did our prayers while waiting for light rail (20 minutes)
and a nice cool bubble bath by candle light was the perfect finish of
such a lovely lovely day!
(And of course, by the time we were waiting for the train home,
my Husband was saying, "so you had lots of girl time?!" just like 
I had told my dear friend he would!)
I have various friends with such difficult struggles,
many medical in nature.
So many to pray for.
I pray and hope that no matter what you are facing,
that God's mercy, strength and comfort will carry you.