Thursday, February 20, 2020

A Simple Goal Accomplished

I finally made the lamb rolls.
They wrapped up tight now and are in the freezer.
I found that the olive oil spray worked great and 
nothing tore in a way that was unable. 
I found that with the olive oil between the layers, if something tore,
the olive oil acted like a liquid glue and there was no problem.
The one thing about the recipe is that it called for 1 lb lamb
and I found that there was more meat than the I had phyllo dough,
according to their instructions of using only half a box.  
I had already carefully re-wrapped and put back in the freezer the 
other half so I simply have some ground lamb to be eaten as is
in the refrigerator now! 
I had one mishap in timing...I had a 1 PM meeting and I was so careful to 
remember to take the dough out the day before...and...did not realize in
my focus on the dough that I forgot to thaw the lamb meat.
So that meant that instead of doing the meat before my meeting,
it all waited until afterwards...
which meant I did not get done with this until quite late in the 
afternoon, so I did not get a walk, which I hope to rectify tomorrow...
I must say that the overnight thaw of the dough in the fridge plus having it out
on the counter for some hours, made the dough fully thawed, very pliable and soft.
Yes, easy to rip but with the oil, really not a problem.
I was pleased at how fun it was to work with!
I ended up watching a rather charming movie, while the plot was changed a lot
I actually liked it quite a lot...Mrs Pollifax, such a lovely idea in her!
I am still processing the harder things of the week
and finding that prayer and the Psalms helps the most.
I don't know how many times my Husband and I have discussed
things in our world that appear to be only either
a train wreck, as it were, about to happen 
or one already in process of happening.
Sometimes we forget ourselves and the power of God to redeem,
I think.  But we must not forget....
Like I am reading past horrors that the later Mother Alexandra lived through,
right now Romania is free to worship and has many churches.
Russia too, and Albania after such wreckage also has churches again.
God's time in and outside of this world is not our time
but He can make everything beautiful in His time...

A Lot Done Quickly

So much was done today on the homemaking front. 
2 loads laundry, 3 loads total done, folded and put away.
2 loads of dishes in dishwasher.
3 meals, 2 I prepared for were done today.
The humidifier water, refilled.
Other dishes put away.
A nap in the afternoon!
Paperwork done.
Other online errands done.
My Husband worked from home today and I felt
that I was busy from morning to night,
though I had a nap too, needed,
after everything of yesterday.
As much clarification I feel I can give about yesterday's court case.
My sister and brother-in-law still have a chance to adopt their 
foster son, the half-brother of their already adopted daughter.
However, the Judge threw in a lot of unexpected wretches in 
such a plan and made it clear that he is not really thinking
of the child himself, currently 7 months old, and what would be best
(in terms of stable, loving, safe home).
That's all I feel I can say, other than to ask your prayers.
So I think L moved today, I did find out she did not move yesterday
as some other things happened since I saw her on Sunday.
Tomorrow I hope to finally make this lamb roll dish.
That dish is in part why I worked so hard to get so much done today,
so I can have a lot of tomorrow to do this without hurrying. 
I feel that this alone is a blessing, to be able to something, I hope,
without hurrying.
I was reading more of the then Princess Ileana of Romania's book,
I Live Again today... I am getting towards the end of the book,
a very good and worthwhile read.
Wow the suffering though, the deprivation of so many;
and how she worked day and night for others.... 
Speaking of Princess Ileana of Romania, 
She later became Mother Alexandra and founded a 
Monastery in Ellwood City PA.
I have been listening to their services online recently
and have found them, as is not surprising,
to be very encouraging and peace-giving.
You can watch them here
They are streamed LIVE and archived as well.
I am planning 3 meals now in the next 1.5 weeks that we will have at
least one person over for dinner.
I am glad though, it part of my preparation for Great Lent this year...
The tea pictured, I bought yesterday...
I am still not sure how to describe it but I realized,
as I was falling asleep for my nap, that
the flavour somehow reminded me of my Aunt H's home when
I was a kid, as if I had something that either tasted like it
or had a similar smell... I never had black tea as child so it surely was not that!
I am really thankful for the Russian cookies, esp when they are vegan.
Life, it keeps on going by so quickly...
May God have mercy on us!!! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Blessings and Sadness all in One Day

it was really great being at Brighton Beach today.
Everything I hoped to find there at the shops, I did find.
And my friend and I enjoyed a really nice lunch together as well. 
I may share more about that later.
I really did have a very nice time, great lunch and then all of our
shopping (and lots of window shopping!) got done successfully... 
Two hard things happened today though / were on my mind.
One more thing was also on my mind but I have not heard of 
the outcome yet.
First, my friend with her very ill Mother, who my Husband and I felt
was in her last days or hours. 
Second, my sister and brother-in-law's foster son having a court case 
about the direction of it; of course they are hoping to adopt him;
they have already adopted his half-sister, my most cute 3 year old niece. 
Third, L. from church was moving from one nursing facility to another
that is also thankfully close by/in our NJ city.
I do hope that worked out well.  She still needs oxygen and is very frail. 
I left the house after breakfast and praying... I had lit a special candle for my 
foster nephew (the cutest 7 month old boy ever of course!) 
(I did not let this candle burn when I left the house however).... 

This candle was given to me by a local friend who saw a holy icon of the Mother of God and got the candle
for me at that time
and left having a new candle lit for my friend's Mom... 

By lunch I heard from my sister:
The judge would not even consider the [termination of rights] case for
her foster son.  I can't go into more details but it is, in it's entirety, quite distressing. 
I did feel so fortified by the meal for this awful news.
[I know God is still in control but from my limited perspective this seems 
most distressing].
Eating the food reminded me of being at my Ottawa Ukrainian family's home...
the salad, the way we eat it together... it was really nice and I felt completely at home...
And I was able to go shopping and found some tea, a jar of honey, a jar of jam,
Russian cookies and Bilini (thin Russian style crepes).
In other words, my kind of comfort foods. 
(And the crepes DV are for a future meal with friends).

So, we went back home and when we were at the World Trade Centre,
where we then take another train to New Jersey,
my friend texted me: 
Her Mom had passed away that morning.
I felt so sad for my friend; I never met her Mom but had talked to her on the phone
and just 2 weeks ago when I saw my friend, I told her to give my regards
to her Mother.  She had cancer, was elderly, but she went much faster
than I or my friend thought... so that was really sad...
I was really glad that I had lit that candle for her Mother that morning... 
it was so beautiful and bright when I came home... 

In the end, THIS is what matters:
That Christ has come, is here and is Risen from the Dead and that
NOTHING can overcome Christ's light, His love the HOPE we have.
As the priest sings at the beginning of our Easter (Pascha) service:

Come and receive the light from the Light that is never overtaken by night. 
Come glorify Christ, risen from the dead.

I am so glad we have that hope.
My heart is heavy tonight.
I so want my sister to adopt her foster son.  
I want another child to love, a nephew.
I am grieved at my friend's loss and she and her Mother were 
so so close, this is going to be terribly hard. 
We are going towards Lent now and all I can really say is

Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Prayer Request!

My sister and brother in law have a big 
day tomorrow as they are hoping to adopt their foster son
and tomorrow is a court date about the direction that things are going in.
I won't say more than this other than it is in the best interest of 
the little boy I hope to have as a nephew to be adopted into 
this loving, stable, warm Christian home of my sister and her husband of over
15 years!!! 
Please pray for them!!! 

What One Day Can Hold

This day began with my reading a text a local friend sent me at 7 AM this morning...
her Mom has slipped into a on a breathing machine...
I was so moved by the sorrow of this. It look my breath away... 
So of course I lit a big just blessed candle and prayed and have been 
praying and thinking of them all day.... 
and this led me to suddenly photographing my spice racks... 

The one on the right, with the wire, was a wedding gift to my parents; 
the one on the left was my Oma's, my Mother's Mother.
The icon of St Nicholas is from my friend Pat who blessed me so many times
by her kindness!!! 

My spice racks are like my own visible personal memoir;
when I started cooking in BC in my twenties, 
I bought various spices... and now, after living in Canada about 15 years,
7 of them in Ottawa, I have been living in New Jersey 7 years already (!) 
and now have spices also from Trader Joes, which admittedly is one of my 
all time FAVOURITE stores.... 

Canada is officially a bilingual province so everything is in English ad French...
It's funny, I am not sure what I bought sage for!

But i think one of the biggest reasons I suddenly as looking at my spice racks
and they are my Mother's and my Mother's Mothers, my Oma.
And my friend's Mother may very well be in her last days.

I got this twirly spice rack in BC back in about 2002 I think...
they were really popular in wood back then... I got this one at
Value Village, a great thrift store.... 

Well.  Mr Husband had the day off.
It was wonderful to have breakfast with him.
And I had 2 pots of tea before lunch, which led me to
pot 3 of tea... (I had one more for dinner...) :)

The paperwhites are adding joy to my days...
and it was SUNNY today.

We had more tea and chicken burgers with salad for lunch...

I took all the ornaments off of our Christmas tree...

We went on a walk together in the later afternoon!

Before dinner I had the Christmas tree put away!

We had leftover (from freezer) chili for dinner!
And cornbread and salad!

And the house is getting back to 'normal' after Christmas...
next week I hope to sort through my piles of stuff (paper books and whatnot)
that is overflowing my little office area and then set up my writing table again.
I am really looking forward to this.
I am going DV to Brighton Beach tomorrow with a friend.
And I hope, for real this time, if I am able to, make the lamb rolls I have
been hoping to make...
we have a small dinner with another couple this Sunday night
and then a dinner a week from then, on the last Sunday night before
Great Lent begins...
so still busy days...
I guess I am doing a lot of work towards community building...
I listened to a very thoughtful loving and helpful sermon from
my church in Ottawa and it was so great to hear...
I ended up listening to more afterwards!
I highly recommend it!
Well, it's getting late, I better close for now.
God bless you all and may His love protect and guide you all of your days!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Valentines Day Dinner in Pictures

Delft Blauw figurine ~ Etsy.  
Cake Stand ~ Michael's 
Tealights and holders ~ IKEA
dishes - VNA rummage sale (Johnson Brother's Tulip Time) (my Grandma's sister, my Aunt P.
had one of this pattern plates on her plate rail in her eat-in kitchen... 
table cloth ~ vintage handmade that came into the thrift store 
that my Grandma volunteered at
years ago and she felt bad seeing it there
 (all that work!) so she got it for me. 
silver-plate ~ my Grandma's that she used for years until 
she moved to her apartment in a 
retirement complex... 
heart tray for sweets ~ from my Mom years ago 
flowers ~ as usual ~ from my Husband's work place for the taking Friday nights!
Meal: at my Husband's request: 
fried potatoes with onion
fried mushrooms with onion (to have with sour cream)
hamburgers (my Mom's advice solving what else to have!) 
Tea: organic ginger 
tall white candles ~ got those at a thrift store years ago, had them in Ottawa already... 
(yes I horde certain things and use them later!)
St Valentines Day Card ~ from 1923!!! found in NYC! 
A Valentines Dinner that celebrates 7 years of marriage and that 8 years ago,
on Valentine's Day, we picked out my engagement ring...
(which is a smaller modest one, exactly what I wanted!)
I was so happy to make a special dinner party JUST for my Husband
as usually I make pretty tables for a group of people, not just him...
It was so special sitting across the table (I put the leaf that folds down
under the table so it was a smaller table) and just being together
enjoying the special meal together and taking that moment
just to be present to each other...
I thank God for this very special day.