Saturday, August 22, 2020

Ready For Baking In Our New Toaster Oven

These came yesterday...I really like USA PAN... 
Now I can bake cookies or a pizza more easily in our 
toaster oven...
I am hoping this will help out also 
when doing more epic baking for Christmas, as I can use my oven
and my toaster oven... 
Things are so busy for us, 
I feel thrown off... for months we were talking walks every night
and I don't think we did all week...
I did do 4 days of swimming... 
It's a really busy time.
Again, if I don't blog much, don't worry,
just busy with family visits that are soon upon us
and making everything ready. 

Friday, August 21, 2020

A Friday Morning Thanksgiving List

Thanksgiving List:

1....8 laps swam in the pool today! Sunshine! Blue skies!

2. With God's help I got our kitchen / living area space clean.

3. Machines that clean laundry, dishes....

4. My pullman covered bread pan came!

5. We got a newer bigger toaster oven
 (I loved the one we had for 8 years, gave it to a dear friend) 
and cookie sheets + a pizza pan (USA pan brand)
that fit in our new toaster oven are coming today! 
(This toaster oven can fit a 9x13 casserole dish!).

6. I can really feel summer being near it's end, the air is a bit cooler, 
the sun has tilted, shadows are different...

7. DV this fall I hope to bake different yeast breads!

8. That I have lots of cookbooks to inspire me in the kitchen

9. That God's mercy is new every morning

Sunday, August 16, 2020

So Much, So Fast, So Good

On Saturday we went to the Feast of Dormition of the Mother of God
... This Feast is very much how even when she died the Lord have continued to have
her as she is, the Mother of Christ, the God-bearer, 
the one who gives birth to the Incarnate Son of God on Christmas...
and we are not abandoned...
We went to dear friend's house, 
first time since the pandemic lockdown happened,
that we were at anyone else's house,
and very sweetly we were asked to be 
their sponsors for their wedding
in later September here in NJ.
I am researching champagne/gold coloured gowns 
and one of the other wonderful
unexpected things is that we suddenly are having
family visit and this will happen in later August
and I have a lot to do to get ready
and it's quite possible that blogging will NOT be happening
for a while, but please don't worry if that is the case,
it just means that I am really busy. 
Also, the family visiting us, don't worry we will all
be safe about the dread virus and all.
I admit I was rather overwhelmed by how messy the livingroom/kitchen was getting
and I was able to get a lot of it cleaned tonight
so I feel so much better.
I swear, that much clutter messes with my brain,
shuts me down, overwhelms me with mess instead of clarity.
Well, God bless us, help us, protect us.
Lord have mercy on us!

Friday, August 14, 2020


I could not believe I was there again,
Last time I was there was on February 25th.
I went to Michael's and TJ Maxx.
(The latter esp did not have a lot of things outside of clothes.)
I walked to the dentist in the rain
(feeling a bit miserable with wet feet, a cart and 
heavy bag).
Life got better when I had more to drink and eat.
I had a pretty good eye report at my NYC eye doctor that afternoon.
So that was good.  Basically for the most part I am stable,
as in not getting worse.  That's all I can really ask for,
save a miracle but I don't always ask for those... but for help 
in the actual situation I am in... for the most part that is.
I knew I would have an hour plus before I was due to meet
my Husband and a friend for dinner.
Brainwave! I went to Tea and Sympathy
my favourite tea place.
It's rather like a British tea-pub. 
I was so happy to be there.
I had gotten new pens, a cute white bucket to keep them in and 
paper to write with them (they were pens used on dark paper,
thus the black paper I had on the table,
which I used to write my sister-friend a many-coloured ink letter. 
Dinner was good.
I felt bouyant, so happy that I did some normal life things
and had some NYC coffee-shop solitude.
It was so very nice.
Today was a lot of dishes, laundry, making food, having more dishes,
and listening to Holy Dormition Monastery's vigil tonight,
while sewing up MANY holes in my Husband's black sweater
that he took to Mt Athos over 20 years ago...
Well, time to head to bed.
May God bless you, each and every one! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Tuesday Clean Up Day and A Most Beautiful Song

A lot to be thankful for about.
I was able to get Mount Laundry done.
Dishes are done!
Table is cleaned.
Coffee table organized. 
Still some things to do, but progress has been made.
I talked to my dear friend in Romania today.
That was really nice.
I've been listening to Classic FM (from UK) on my phone for some years.
Lately they have been playing this beautiful song

I have heard it preformed live in NYC by Chanticleer 
and it is very beautiful...
I so wish for a return to life as we knew it,
or as we want to know it again,
and part of that would be being in NYC again to hear
Chanticleer at Christmas time. 
So, I have a later (routine only) doctor's appointment
that I may be going to NYC by myself for in later August.
I am kind of excited I think.
At least for the fun parts, like eating outdoors
or doing shopping that I did not do this week
and, I hope, going to my library.
I am still having a hard time deciding WHAT exactly to take 
out from the library.
Should I take out what I know I love,
and re-read DE Stevenson books that they have?
Should I try something different? 
I am struggling a bit with the impatience that comes
with the pandemic; seeing so many do things I wish I could do
(travel or shop or a big one *see family*)...
And I can tell I feel sad about it.
I still don't do sad very well.
I am more aware of it.
But other than trying to dodge it, 
I am not quite good at doing things that help
that don't involve, well, buying things.
I always know I am sad when I want something.
I mean, maybe not always, but it's really pretty often for me. 
It's not that I ways give into the feeling;
but I also am pretty sure I am not alone in this particular struggle
of dealing with sadness this way.
The whole 'retail therapy' pretty much says it all.
Which is a pretty sad state of affairs but we, I am convinced,
are in a state, we hope, of progress;
dealing with our failings and struggles 
and learning better ways takes time.
And above all, I trust that God is full of mercy.
That we can be welcomed by God because
we realize we need Him; 
because we see that we are sinners
in need of healing.
Wonderful how that is.
I pray that God will show you the way forward in your own life,
and that God will have mercy on us and save us! 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Counting My Blessings

These pictures are of yesterday's blessings...
Swimming in the morning, yesterday and today.
Good food.
New to me recipe for cooking brown rice, which my Husband loves.
I had one of my Mom's delicious chocolate revel bars.
I am finding that I have to fight for thanksgiving
and to see all the good in my life; 
it is all to easy to get discouraged and see what I can't do
(like visit family) instead of what I CAN do.
I feel like I am swamped with housework; laundry; dishes; constant clutter 
of my own design often; can I get it under control?
Can I get back to working on my essays I was writing?
Or to a sewing project? Or knitting washcloths?
Today groceries are coming, I hope to make a vegan torte 
and conquer 'Mt Laundry' once again... and finish dishes...
I also have some more pantry reorganization as we want to do
a bit more stocking up of items we have not gotten extras of yet; 
oatmeal, Cheerios, for instance. 
Well, I better get on with it.
May God bless us and have mercy on us!
May He forgive us and help us!
May God save us!

Sunday, August 09, 2020

I am thankful for this day


It was wonderful being at church today.
We went grocery shopping afterwards. 
Slowly, we are stocking up on various things.
I am thinking of how to better deal with lockdown if it happens again
or if the virus gets to a point where we decide to stay home in general 
(my Husband's job he is working from home for the foreseeable future,
at least until mid-next-summer 2021, Lord willing).
Well.  I thank God for all of our blessings.
I know with God's mercy,
He can not only save us but comfort us along the way.

Saturday, August 08, 2020

Simple reflections on the Meaning of Life + dreaming of baking bread

I read these verses last night and they seemed to suddenly sum up
in a very simple but very real way,
the meaning of life...
Here's the verses:

Romans 14:6-9

6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; 
and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. 
He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; 
and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.

7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.

8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. 
Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.

9  For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, 
that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

I loved how simple it is and about how our life is to be spent towards the Lord
and that if it is, then we are the Lord's and that
Christ came to be our Lord,
of both us who are still alive and those who have already died. 
In other news, I splurged today on a bread pan with lid,
a pullman loaf pan to be exact, that I have been wanting/thinking about
for months.   This is the one I got.  I admit it is costly 
(with tax it was nearly 40$)
but it was the only place I could find it at present. 
And now, just hours after I bought it, it's not available at all!
It should come in September, I knew it would be that long when I bought it.
So I hope that works out.  (As in is delivered when it says and comes safely.)
 I've been wishing for one for a while
and I love this brand (USA PAN).
I found this recipe that I think will be the first one I try
as it seems simple and straight forward.... 
and this recipe is one to keep in mind and I am sure that I have
a recipe also in my vintage green William Sonoma bread book... 
which I think is the first place I read about this bread and 
the pan it bakes in... 
I don't know about others, but I, and my Husband,
are both very aware of the possible spike in the virus as 
summer slips into fall...
NJ is still doing well.... but...
I feel like I am preparing for possible months of not going to stores again
and depending mainly on my grocery delivery service. 
We are doing shopping lists for what we think we may need,
and I am thinking a lot about baking bread.
I think it, in part, helps me deal with an unknown future.
As in will we have lockdown again and if yes, when? 
OR will the dread virus get bad enough in NJ that we are going
to want to avoid stores OR will the dread virus come back to NJ
in a way that will lead everyone to panic buying AGAIN ????
Also, one of my happy places/stress diverters was planning
teas/lunches/dinners for others to come to and that has 
largely been destroyed because of the dread virus
so baking bread is a good substitute... 
This coming week is going to be busy; or rather;
Thursday is going to be extra busy;
this is the day we are going into NYC.
I am working on lists of what I hope to do...we will be going
back again later in August DV so I have time, I hope,
to do the shopping I hope to do... safely of course... 
Well, so much to think about but now, to bed, to bed!
We are DV going to our far-away church tomorrow so it is 
an earlier to rise day...
May God bless us, uphold us, save us and have mercy poured out on us! 

Friday, August 07, 2020

Friday, Peaceful and Quiet

Today was a good day, I am very thankful.
I did not have time before now to fix my error in 
the video about the day of the tropical storm.
I forgot that I have to add those with the 'video' link icon
not the photo option. 
Sorry I did not do it right the first time...
I do read every comment, even if I am unable to reply to them
(not like I am famous and have 100s of them but I can't seem
to keep up with my small quiet life and praise God that I am NOT 
famous with all those demands!)
Anyway, enough blather. :)
Here's two videos I took that day...


Mr Husband and I went swimming this morning! 
I did 9.5 laps (half because Mr Husband was half way through his lap and I joined him
at the end of his) :) 
It was a bit cooler this morning and actually was raining gently,
on and off while we were swimming....
It was good though, and nice hot showers and good towels afterwards is lovely.

I finished this book recently, such a lovely re-read!

I am getting used to my new toaster oven.
I cleaned up my old one that I am giving to a friend;
it was a wedding gift from S & M from my church in Ottawa... 
I felt a bit sentimental about it, 
washing it up best I could... we used it constantly... probably most days
at least 2x a day... toast or heating up something.... 
It's going to a friend and I hope she gets many good years out of it too!
I video-talked with my 3.5 year old niece. 
She is SO cute and I love talking with her.
I have lots of stationary from the VNA rummage sale
(boy do I wish the one in October could work out but who knows
with this dread virus situation) and so I got out a box of cards
that all have the same colours and all say 'hello' in different fonts
and styles...
She chose the tiny polka dot one!
She even knew the words "polka dot"... she's really smart
in terms of language and remembering things...  

I got out these pens for her to choose from and also the bunch of pens
that I have on my writing table...

I admit that I am hoping to get to Michael's in NYC next week
and I hope to find some fun new "sparkly pens" to use
when talking to my niece on video on my phone...
I mail her the cards that she picks out and that I write on 
according to what she wants me to write
(usually "Happy Birthday" and then people's names,
her young cousin's and Uncle's today, including Uncle Mr Husband) :) 
She's so funny (3.5 years old it's pretty much a guarantee that they will be funny!)
and today asked to see "the boy" who was Uncle Mr Husband ... 
I told my sister "the fifty-something boy"... it was so funny! :) 
We are going to NYC for dentist appointments and I will also see
the ophthalmologist, which is good.
My right eye was noticeably tired today...
I've done a lot of reading this week... 
and I am struggling to stay hydrated, which I know impacts my eyes...
I am finding DE Stevenson to be such a balm.
I have not looked at the news much this week, which has been good.
It's OK, I know, to do things that will help one have 
inward peace and cheerfulness to be able to do one's job...
mine to run this house, with help from Mr Husband... 
and if I read lots of news, I would be a mess and not able to function...
and I know, from reading DE Stevenson and how Mrs Tim, in her series on 
Mrs Hester Christie, also known as Mrs Tim Christie, that
she survived WWII (with her husband being in the Army) because
she did not let herself dwell on the 'what-ifs' or the deep troubles of that time.
I know that some people need to know this stuff because they are called
to do something about it but I am not one of those;
I don't ignore world events; you can't be on social media and do that; but
I don't dwell on the news or troubles because it would not help me any. 
Well, I pray that each of you senses that God is still with you
and I pray that God will have mercy on us all!