Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Here We Are Again

A friend asked me about the Crime with the Classics series,
of which the one above is the latest one published...I finished my
re-reading of these 4 books recently and I wrote to my friend the following:

The basic premise of the book series is that a middle aged English professor who is a widow for 2 years and she suddenly inherits her aunt's estate. Which includes a lot of property and 6 million dollars! From there she comes across murders in the four books and each book has links to the authors mentioned in the title of that book and characters who act similarly to various books or plot lines (of the books) are similar. That said this sounds almost cliche and I don't find the books at all cliche. The main character is an Orthodox Christian and that comes into play in various ways including her view of other churches and her thoughts. There's a lot of hard things discussed in the books not just the murders themselves but various things including types of abuse from sexual to alcohol. I feel that the author does a good job in dealing with these and in the plot itself. There's a lot of fun in it as well as the main character loves beautiful clothes from the Victorian era, loves good literature, loves beauty, and is reunited with her 16 year old boyfriend now that they're in their fifties. So I find the books to be at once a cozy mystery read but also really interesting examination of the characters in the books along with ideas and issues that people deal with. At times there's a little bit of rough language and there's certainly some times of emotional intensity because of what the characters have gone through.

So this whole Dread Virus situation's got me down.
Don't know if family visiting will happen.
I feel discouraged about the whole thing.
And just feeling like there is a whole lot of stress going on. 
Diane, these next pictures are the nice bread I buy 
on occasion that you asked me about. 
I don't think you can get it outside of this area as it seems
to be a local to NY bakery. 

There's pluses and minus to living where we do,
and admittedly there is a lot of nice food here.
I get my hair cut tomorrow.
I feel like sometimes the ongoing stress of this pandemic 
is streaked through everything we do, from morning to night.
It's not that I read the news all the time.
It's just the reality of it; husband working from home,
never being out by myself for a day in NYC or alone at home; 
the constant daily tasks of dishes, laundry, food prep.
I know I am not a parent.  But I also know it is OK to realize
and articulate that my reality is hard, that everyone's is hard.
I just hate how trapped the virus makes me feel.
It's hard and it's ok to say.
May God have mercy on us and save us.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Slowly Going Forward

Today is the first day that I am feeling noticeably better 
since the stress I encountered on Tuesday night....
And I was able to do more than when I was so exhausted
a few weeks ago...
Cleaned both of our bathrooms, with Mr Husband's help,
dishes are under control.  Laundry is pretty good, though more to do.
Mr Husband and I were at liturgy Wednesday morning and I rested
a lot that day and we watched the Walton's at night
and I have read a lot of books and all of this helped a lot
as I recovered from my "Stress-O-Meter" going high. 
I know I am so blessed to have these blessings!
and the prayers of many...
I've really been enjoying revisiting 
Her characters are very well-written, you feel like you know them;
there's a cozy mystery feel but not at the expense of characterization
of the main characters in her series... they are complex people
with faults, endearing characteristics, struggles and life history; 
I love how she weaves in literature, beauty, people who have faith
and people who don't have faith; beauty and searching.
And that her characters have real struggles...past and present... 
I really hope she is able to write more, I really want to find out what happens next
for Emily, Luke, Oscar, Katie, Jamie and others! 
Her books I find engrossing and ones that I want to visit again and again,
and her home, I wish I could find myself at least visiting 'in real life' ... 
I meant to get an early bedtime but I see that I forgot :)
I will leave you with this;
It will be most possibly the best one minute of your day:

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

One thing and then another

I had a nice time yesterday and saw my friend after vespers.
Unfortunately a traumatic unbloggable event happened later on. 
I can't, for many reasons, write about it publicly.
I am fine but my "stress-O-meter" went to "high"
which means that I had a lot of neck pain today :(.
My Husband has been sweet.
We went to liturgy this morning, a huge blessing.
Then I slept and later we watched the Walton's together.
Tomorrow I hope to take 2 walks.
I am seeking thanksgiving and trying to pray to God.
I deeply appreciated your comments on my last post and that 
I have such caring friends.  Thank you.
May God have mercy on us, protect and save us! 

Monday, June 22, 2020

Today is my Mother's birthday

I called my Mom in the later afternoon for her birthday...
her sister my Aunt P called at 9 AM and everyone after that...
my Mom was so happy, she is the youngest of 8 children
and all but one had called her for her birthday, and I am sure
that the 7th one will have called her tonight... 
it was so nice to hear my Mom so happy
and my siblings brought gifts and the food for her on Saturday
to celebrate... it's her 70th birthday...I was sorry not to be there in person,
but my Mom understands... we have dreams of family visiting later this summer 
but it all depends on what the dread virus does...or the plague as my Husband calls it!
I am often very tired on Mondays and today was no exception...
we made it to our far-away church yesterday, first Sunday liturgy since
March 15! Three months! Feels like longer! Like 4 or more months!
I wanted to write about something hard, just to name it, as I know that
can help with the struggle...
I know a lot of us are really struggling right now.
I had thought things would be much better by now; I knew it would be 3 months
and YES things are "better" but they are not what I dreamed of, 
like being able to be happy, to hug people, to go back to NYC, 
to just resume life as it was.
Nope.  That is not what happened.
This is not in anyway OVER.  
At least not yet. 
So the hardest parts of my day seem to be when I am waking up, from
either the night's sleep (which I have had a lot of awful sleeps)
or a nap... I just get this huge hard painful heavy depressed sad anxious feeling.
It's really hard.  And it's hard to name; even the simple words 
I have used seem inadquate to name the exact feeling of waking up,
still being exhausted and not wanting to wade thorugh all those feelings; 
but all of that experience can take probably 30 seconds or a minute,
though it is hard to shake for a bit... 
 And even though I know others are in much more difficult 
situations that I am in, I too am struggling. 
The loneliness.  I am realizing that it is worst on the days my Husband works
(his schedule has changed where he is working 4 days instead of 5,
so Wednesday "off" except that he has other things to catch up on, so it's not
a "free" day for him...) but the worst are the 4 working days for me.
He's working in the office, having 2-3 meetings online a day
and my days can be hard.  
I can't go to NYC.  I can't take light rail (Husband is afraid, understandable).
There's just a lot I can't do.
BUT I *am* DV going to vespers locally tomorrow AND I may see my 
friend Photini and have dinner outside with her after vespers.
That's HUGE. 
AND (!!!!) I am getting my hair cut DV next week Wednesday afternoon.
I have long thick curly hair and it's too heavy and I've had
headaches that the heavy hair is not helping.
A dear woman from Ottawa died recently... she prayed for us when
we had that difficult long unbloggable worry a couple years ago.
Her name is Svetlana, may her Memory be eternal!
She was a very special prayerful woman!
I miss Ottawa and my church there and my friends...
they are a big part of my concept of "home" still... forever
in my heart, there is no other way...
I am thinking again of how as we grow up we learn to Mother ourselves.
Like taking a walk even when it is going to mean a sponge bath and
change of clothes because it is hot sweaty weather. 
Or ever afternoon making myself a tea of 3 saltine crackers with
peanut butter, 1 square of chocolate and a pot of tea
because I need the energy and re-hydration boost. 
Or taking that needed nap or rest. 
Or doing the dishes, laundry.
Life is always full of learning... 

This picture I got on this FB page.
My Mom said it is very much like the home she grew up on...
My Mom said that the Placement of fridge, windows, even the wall boards
is very similar!
on Railroad Street... I think that home may be being torn down?... :( 
The second I saw this picture I was in love.
So much comfort, cheer, love felt in this... 
to realize that my Oma had a kitchen like this... no wonder I was
so attached to this photo... it was like my instant dream kitchen... 
A longtime Internet friend asked what song reminds me of my Dad.
And I realized for me it is this song in particular.
I've heard it on his radio when driving with him; it just seems
to be 'his song' to me... it seems that it came out in 1969... 
So I think my Dad would have been in high school then...or just graduating
from high school... 
Anyway, here's the song!

To me it is a song that is calming, quiet,
reminding me of my Dad's truck, his barn, his pipe and his voice...
I really love my Dad... 
He's always there, quiet and present in the quiet... 
I pray that each of you is being comforted by God
in whatever struggles you are in.
May we know God's mercy and forgiveness
in this summer of uncertainty 
and may we know His grace... 

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Things I am thankful for from this past week

(I started this post a few days ago...)
I finally got to talk with my Grandma again...
I try to call her once a week
but was not able to for about 2 weeks as life and
then that week of exhaustion kept me behind.
It was wonderful to have her tell me,
"make sure you get enough rest, especially if you are exhausted."
It's wonderful to have her in my life and to be told
to take care of myself. 
Wonderful, that.
I managed an afternoon walk...
I foresee a lot of avocado in this fast...
we had this again for lunch...
I am so thankful that at long last,
after talking about it for almost a month,
I cut my husband's beautiful hair.
He has thick wavy white/grey hair
and by God's mercy I did not blotch it and it looks
great... I did mess up in the back a little but but it's not
bad and once it grows a bit more, I can fix it.
It was a lot of work, as his hair was long enough to be
in a small ponytail!
It had not been cut in many months...
my friend Grace sent me videos and I watched them
and understood that I could cut using a long comb
as a "guide" instead of my fingers (that freaked me out,
no way am I that coordinated) and I got a sense of
what I needed to do...
I am more energy than last week, which was
a difficult week that way, like I felt like I had mono again week.
Sometimes life just throws stuff at you.
(I had mono 7 years ago.)
I am better this week but doing my best to be careful.
I took a walk yesterday and lost my special pink bananas
and a friend said she would pray for me that I would find it
and I went back through where I had walked and found it!
I was so pleased and thankful!
My neighbour who got COVID, because of things
that were not in their control at all,
got super rundown before she got COVID so I am
doing my best to be careful to get the rest I need.
It's hard though. People are doing very loud fireworks
and it's after 11 PM right now and they are STILL doing them.
I often have poor sleeps.  But since my Husband and I are both home,
if I need a nap, I am sure to take one; which I know not everyone can do,
but I am thankful that I can.
I am behind on some emails and blog post commenting.
I hope to get back to that soon.
DV we are going to church tomorrow, and grocery shopping
because we don't get out much, DV of course;
It's a lot of new things.
It was a week that was a bit difficult; i was telling
Mr Husband how it was 4 months since we've been so
locked down and he counted and it was only THREE months.
Man.  It feels like WAY longer.
I've been struggling a lot more than usual with anxiety.
I know it can get better again.
These are hard times.
DE Stevenson's books remind me that I need to be patient,
that things have a way of working out when one waits
and trusts...
May God have mercy on us!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

And Suddenly My Pictures Are Back

If only by not doing anything more problems
could be solved! Google photos has my photos again.
So glad.  My phone always had them but my Chromebook,
which I use for most things including writing blog posts here,
did not have them at all! So now all seems to be well.
A quiet but good day today.
Cleaned.  Laundry done. Dishes done but unending. 
I felt a lot happier. 
I read all of 84 Charing Cross Road tonight
and also began, yesterday, Flannery O'Connor's Complete Short Stories which I 
am loving with a high degree of enjoyment of every sentence
being like pearls strong across a thin silver thread... 
Avocado Toast with Everything But the Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joe's
equals perfection in culinary realms. 
Especially on really good bread.
Tonight we had each a bowl of thin noodled pasta sauce with clams,
and a salad on the side. 
I bought the most wonderful tangerines and need to take a better picture of them
to show you, they are just delightful.
I pray each of you are well.
So many have such hard and heavy burdens.
It's been hard here too, even though my situation does not seem as hard as others,
it's just been hard for everyone and it is OK to realize and acknowledge that. 
Life can go up or down so suddenly;
but in the end it is only in the 
hands of God that we are safe
and where we will be careful for,
no matter what happens.
May God have mercy on us and may we stay