Saturday, February 27, 2021

Always beginning


Well, we begin again.
Soon it will be Lent.
I was able to go to confession today, a relief,
one that is hard to explain if one does not practice this so all
I can say is that it is a blessing.
I feel right side up again.
Of course I need to work on staying that way!
For those who love Christian Orthodox reading, this post
from a few years ago was on social media today and it really blessed me.
Well, I felt so loved today.
My Husband finished putting up the plates that we had to put up yet!
I have not gotten pictures yet but hope to soon.
I went through a few tries on a novel to read and boy,
some that I got were just no good.
What a difference an author who seeks to give light
verses an author who does not!
So I am reading a DE Stevenson novel,
The Tall Stranger and that is one that gives light.
I got out a chicken from the freezer, and hope to make it on Monday.
This is the last week we eat meat before Lent
and it's a blessing... so chicken this week and then this Sunday, roast beef
as we are DV having very special guests coming.
We went on a short walk today.
The weather is warmer than it was and the sun shone at times.
I am thankful.
I keep coming back to a beautiful image in a book called,
Man, Target of God (it's about God's loving gaze being on us)
of the three youths in the fire
and that Christ is the Angel that comes to be with them in the fire... 
(the story in the book of Daniel) ... 
Christ coming to be with us...
Well, I must go. 
I am excited to have this last week of eating meat and the 
time of Lent and then of Pascha.
I am so thankful.
May God help us, have mercy on us, forgive us and save us!

Friday, February 26, 2021

Fast Free Friday

So Great Lent is often a time of struggle,
unexpected things come up and it is hard...
I did not expect this week to be like that
but it was.  
I am still struggling.
So, my Husband is putting up more of our decorative plates.
That I am really happy about.
I did, finally, the pictures in the multi-picture frame we have had for years
but never used.  Yeah, and then I figure out that it only hung one way
and I had done it exactly backwards and had to redo the whole thing.
It's done now but pictures ended up not being where I meant them to be,
since the top became the bottom and the bottom the top
and I never rearranged the pictures to be not only right side up
but on the actual top or bottom of the multi-picture frame.
Oh well, it's done at least and on the wall even.
And it is pretty good and it's nice to have more
pictures up.
Mat Rebekah sent me the beautiful painted water colour card.
I really love it.
I pray that God blesses and helps us.
Lord, have mercy on us and save us!

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Thursday Without Pictures but an incredible novel read in one day

 My Husband put up 3 plates above the door to our
library chapel.  He LOVES to tease me. 
Now when he leaves the room, 
he says BANG, as if a plate fell to the ground.
He thinks he's so funny.
He may just be right, 
just don't tell him so... :)
Don't know how I got it before it's official release,
but I can assure you, having read the novel nearly in 
ONE day, that it is worth reading
and I enjoyed it so much.
Sean's writing is such a gift and this novel
was so well done; I loved the characters, how the story flowed.
It has real drama and parts of it are just so vivid, you feel like
you are there watching and are amazed.
I highly recommend 
The Incredible Winston Brown as a novel from the South
when Jackie Robinson was playing ball and a 
Sheriff becomes a hero and a girl's tale of 
harrow and rescue is told in a powerful sweeps... 
Sean really out did himself, his narrative,
his ability to tie a book together like that, 
it's truly 'one for the books' and I cannot 
recommend it enough - it was a wonderful,
exciting, absorbing read. 
Keeping this blog post short and 
asking God to bless each and every one of you!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Beautiful Music and Memories


Paul Carr 
7 Last Words from the Cross
Air for Strings
Heard on Classic FM at 7:49 January 12th
I wrote this a few years ago and needed to record it 
(wrote it on a small piece of paper from a hotel)
It is below
Checking Out

Asking him to help me put
purchases to take by my red clothed cart,
I noticed:
his hands trembled as he scanned plastic, metal...
Grey hair, thick on his head, smooth still skin,
without mention or any attention to his hands,
he helped me twice,
wrapping swaths of plastic in circles to keep the large 
plastic bag straight on the top of the red cart,
fixing the metal and cloth Velcro hooks worked in an efficient
[manner, his eyes calm, steady and kind]

Karl Jenkins - " The Armed Man" Benedictus
Also heard first on Classic FM
I can't tell you how much I love this music,
it always makes me stand proud
and feel hope 

Both of these must not be the one that
Classic FM plays, 
but at least gives you an idea of this beautiful song. 
I hope this day is having some moments of beauty for you!
May God bless and save us!

Monday, February 22, 2021

Now That Was A Monday Type of Monday

Today began too early I think, about 7.  Of course this day
went sideways by lunch time so now it's after midnight.
Well, it began with me staggering out of bed
and getting the pizza stones out and in the 2 ovens
and then heating up the ovens and then putting the wet dough
in the 2 ovens and 30 or so minutes later, taking newly baked
fruit and nut bread out of the oven.
So now we have really nice bread for the week, which is a blessing.
I read and then I made chili and Jiffy Corn Bread and 
we had that for lunch
and pelmeni for dinner.
I finished Victtoria Cottage and the second one as well
Music in the Hills which I own in print
and reading is a lot faster than listening!
I talked to my Mom and read a lot today.
And prayed of course.
Got a new unbloggable concern, thankfully not anything to worry
about with my marriage or family. 
There's always something and sometimes there is more than one 
unexpected something.
I got the dishes washed and things put away.
The dishwasher is running right now.
I hope to go for a walk tomorrow and
maybe post a book review. 
How I LOVE DE Stevenson. I find her books so healing,
so soothing.  I am very thankful.
I pray that you have had something that blessed you today!
May God help us in all things and have mercy on us!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Sunday: Three Weeks and It Will Be Great Lent

It was wonderful to be at church and
talk briefly with some friends afterwards. 
I got more of SD Smith's books!
We did some grocery shopping and went home,
unloaded the car, taking everything up stairs where we live
and putting it away and then sitting down to soup and bread
that we heated up, the bread toasted.
Then a nap, then a walk in the lovely cold air.
The pile of snow is so big; we've had more snow this year
than all the years I have lived here (8 years).
We talked to a neighbour on the way back and found out that the men
who were helping with the shoveling were merely helping out
and being neighbourly, we were so surprised.
Then my Husband helped me cup up 2 cartons of mushrooms,
1 onion and 1 shallot and then I fried them (onion and shallot first)
and then we heated up broccoli, my Husband had eating some potato
already, I fried 2 eggs for myself (my Husband dislikes them) and
we split a large banana and each had an orange.
I am so thankful for citrus fruit at this time of year, 
it's such a blessing in such a hard winter month.
February is a hard month for so many.
DV we are going to NYC on Wednesday.
It's supposed to be warmer and I am so glad for that.
May God help us, the weary!
Lord have mercy on us!

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Saturday: Adding Beauty, Seeing Sun and Blue Skies

Saturday, what a busy day you are.
Laundry, dishes, hanging up plates,
a walk in brisk cold air with blue skies, still
a damp cold... 
vespers tonight.
Unlike Christians in the Catholic or Protestant Western traditions,
our calendar is quite divergent this year and we have
yet to begin Lent,
we have 3 more weeks or is it 4? March 15 is the beginning of our Lent,
regardless of how many weeks we have left.  I think 3, yes, it is 3,
I just checked.
So this week is fast-free week, meaning we can have
meat and dairy all week.
Then a normal week of fasting/feasting,
meaning Wednesday and Friday are fast days, then that Sunday
is the last day for meat and the next week is devoted to dairy
and fish as desired and then the fast begins.
I always dread the fast and then am relieved when it starts. 
I can tell you one thing, I join the ranks of millions who are 
just tired out these days.
My eyes are tired easily (I hope they don't get too much worse,
as that often means they are).  I am tired more easily.
I think so many of us are tired, with winter's cold, pandemic isolation
and the changes in our lives because of the pandemic.
And yet, so much to be thankful for.
I listened to more of Victtoria Cottage by DE Stevenson.
I had good food to eat and take out for dinner.
I was able to go to church.
And tomorrow we hope to go again.
And so it goes... 
Lord help us and preserve us! 

Friday, February 19, 2021

Friday: At Times Thick Snowflakes Fall Beautifully Past the Window

I did as I said and found myself awake at nearly 10 AM with a nightmare of being in a room with kids and a bunch of boxes staked high in the middle next to a tall chimney (a surreal dream obviously) that lit fire to the top of the boxes and I began rushing confused kids out to the hallway, urging them to "GO" and went back in the smoking filling room for more, pulling the fire alarm in the hall by the door just before rushing back in.  

My Husband commented about my being a sleepy head; I merely knew I needed to sleep and rest today.  There is, however, a sense of loss when one does sleep in, the loss of time to do other than rest. 

A typical dialogue my Husband teases me and we say, in some form, that we love each other and he ends with 'I know, you love you too' ... I asked him if he remembered exactly what we say when he does this line. But he, as I, forgot.  He says "we have a compatible sense of humour; that is, weird'... and that his humour is done like performance art is - on the spot, fitting the situation as it is unfolding. 

It is interesting reading the book on the bookshop in Scotland (I would to read the second one he published recently) and the absolute devastation that amazon has done to the bookstore trade.  He's well versed in it and if I had not already been trying to use Amazon less and less, I would start now.  

I got an email via informed delivery that our package had been 'Delivered/Left with Individual' and sure enough, it was on our landing downstairs.  Laughingly, I told my Husband that it was labeled 'time sensitive material' when all it is are cotton face masks.  Too funny.   

As you see in the last picture, they are many colours.  I wish the pink though was not so bright a pink.  But no matter...

I wish the time sensitive meant that soon we would not need the masks, but, at least for us by NYC, I agree with my Husband.  We both hope the pandemic will end soon (whatever that really means) but wearing masks on public transit when things are safer, that may not end.  I was telling my Mother how we read an article this past week about how the Christopher Street Station of the PATH train (which runs between NJ and NYC for commuters) is one of the worst stations for air quality in the country.

I just finished the Scottish Booksellers's Dairy.  A book, at least in large part, an ending with a lot of sad poignancy to it; and in someways it felt like being in Narnia under the white witch where it is 'winter, never Christmas' as the author was beyond damp in his enthusiasm for the Christmas time that I love so much.   Still, I know more about a section of the world and the difficulties in being a bookseller.  And the unlikely cast of characters he is writing about captured my sympathetic attention.  So much so (sympathetic attention that is) that I wish I could give light and comfort that I sense is missing there, but one has to be open to it and of this, I would not know how to help, other than by prayer, which I did a bit tonight...

I told my Husband (as I often do, about books I read) that I wish I could show the author that true sunshine, true goodness, found in Christ, is there; all I could say is I know it is there but how to convince really much of the lost Western world is trying to convince a world without sunshine that true sunshine actually exists... 

We watched Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.  I am not a huge film person so had never seen it.  I quite enjoyed it and the cinematography was well done.  I would love to watch it again.

I did not go outside yesterday or today and I need to change this as it is not good for me at all.  Tomorrow, I plan on going out.  

It is just so hard, the pandemic going on, feeling a bit like I am going from day to day only doing the same thing (of course having the same meal so many times does not help but there was nothing I could do about that today).  I need to do what DE Stevenson's books speaks of, making happiness in my own home and fighting both complaining and selfishness.  If a pandemic can teach us, those of who are fortunate to not have deep suffering from it, to not do that, well, that at least is something.  Granny Marigold, you are right, the book is Vittoria Cottage, not Victoria.  I listened to more of it today...

I plan on ordering some plain dried cherries for baking and for my Husband who loves them on his cereal. 

I read John chapter 6 this week.  I found myself thinking, this must be one of my most favourite chapters in all of the Bible.  It is really incredible, that chapter.  Really, the true meaning of my life, what there really is to live for, it's right there. 

February is a hard month but mercifully, it is short and is flying by, as I knew it would.  I feel like we are all holding our breath, waiting for that time when we can breath out, in relief... 

Next week, God willing, we go to NYC.  By car. Masks etc.  I want to visit Tea and Sympathy but we will see if it is possible with the time frame I have.... 

May God bless each of you.  Thank you all who have commented on my blog this week, I enjoy your comments and thoughts very much!  May Christ have mercy on us and save us!