Wednesday, September 29, 2021

A Beautiful Day for Larissa's Funeral + Mercy

Larissa's funeral was attended by her dear friend, myself, Mr Husband, and K from church; our priest and his wife did the service itself.  It was sung beautifully and the memory eternal (a song towards the end) was sung in a very loving sing-song like melody that sounded very old and very dear and intimate; not a setting I had heard before.  The sun was shining with a brillant blue sky and cool tempatures.  Afterwards we went to A. B. back near church for dinner; Larissa's dear friend and my Husband and myself.  We talked a lot about Patrick too, as Larissa's estate needs to be concluded and we were involved in Patrick's estate and have experience with it.  

Larissa is now buried next to her parents.  In 2014 when we buried her Mother, Mat Tatiana, the leaves were golden; the leaves were mostly green this time; I was so glad to be there. 

Earlier this week we realized that we really can't go to the VNA rummage sale as we had long hoped.  We concluded that it is just too risky with the pandemic and I am very much at peace about that.  

I had been hoping to find especially 2 items there, a small cake pan and some pretty salad plates.  So earlier this week I got plates, beautiful ones, from Etsy and also my new 6 inch cake pan.  The pan came earlier this week and the plates, which were to come today, came yesterday.  It was a comfort to have them, beauty always lightens and comforts me.  

My cousin H said that, when I texted her a picture of my new plates, they had blue rose plates when she was growing up; that seems very familar to me; I remember our visits to Ontario and her home back then... 

I got the pansy plate to match +Patrick's teacup that I got from his kitchen when he died.  It matches so well, I am really happy to have this.  

The 2nd of September marked 4 months before I turn 45.  Time goes so quickly.  I started this blog before I was 30 years old! I think I was 28... what a difference in age is that! 

I remember Larissa, when she came to our home for Thanksgiving in 2018, saying how she used to be able to do stairs easily; old age and the infirmities that she felt were very hard for her.  Her Mother lived much longer than she did; I think at first she was expecting to have the same trajectory but she was not as strong.  And she had no living family to stay for.  It was a blessing that she is no longer suffering; when I last saw her she was bright and at peace.  I will always be glad I was able to read those prayers.  

Doing the prayers was the one of the few things that I felt that I was really supposed to do; a lot of daily life seems not as clear; but those prayers, they were as clear as the clearest lake where you see into the depths. 

God bless you all and keep you in His care!

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Day Before (the Funeral)


Tomorrow is Larissa's funeral.  At 10.  We will be there before to help set up and make sure all is well.  We are slowly praying this beautiful Akathist for Larissa, Akathist to Jesus Christ For a Loved One Who has Fallen Asleep.  If you pray for the departed and don't know of this particuar resource, I highly recommend it.  It's helped me numerous times grieve in hopeful, healthy ways.  

I have gotten the house clean.  I made a lovely small 6 inch vegan chocolate cake.  I will try to share pictures later.  I don't have them downloaded yet on my chromebook to do so. 

I am still having some hip/leg pain issues (and was not able to go to PT this week for various reasons) so if you pray for me, please pray for me with the funeral and cemetary.  It's going to be at least 4 hours between being early and by the time we have lunch outside at a resturant after the funeral.  I know one thing.  It will be a holy precious time and I am so so glad we can go to Larissa's funeral.  I can't tell you how glad. 

May God have mercy on us all and save us! 

Monday, September 27, 2021

I keep meaning to write...


...more about Larissa.  She has no family left now.  No one at all.  I was the only one, other than our priest, who went to her Mother's funeral.  She had one other person in her life who is missing her termendously.  ... 

Her father was a priest named Fr Nicholas.  He got cancer decades ago now and died of it.  Larissa went all the way to Boston with him for treatment; some monks there helped them a lot.  Her Mother, Mat Tatiana lived a long life and she is how I met Larissa when I was a new Bride and needed something to do.  So my priest told me to visit Larissa's Mom in nursing home.  And so the years went, and now Larissa is gone too.  

I want to write more but I know I need to go to bed now.

Life has a lot of grief and loss in it.  

For now, good night dear ones, God bless and keep you in His care.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Memory Eternal to dear Larissa!


Memory eternal! 
My dear church Lady friend, who I now can tell you her name,
Larissa, died last night.
I am so glad I got to see her and pray with her.
Please pray for her neighbour who was like family to her
and for all of us who loved her.
Her Mother Mat. Tatiana I used to visit and I went
with Larissa to her Mother's funeral,
which was so very special.
She will be missed.
I am so glad she is not suffering any longer.
My heart is mourning but with hope in Christ.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Thursday: Peace and Pain are two threads of the same beautiful tapestry


I saw my older lady friend again today.  I painte the above picture while listenting to last Saturday vespers at my Ottawa parish.  My older church friend: She rallied; was much better than yesterday; she was alert, able to drink (I brought her holy water), had a bit of lunch even.  I prayed with her, Psalms including Psalm 23, 40, 121 and others.  I prayed the Akathist to the Protection of the Mother of God and I prayed some of the Akathist to Jesus Conquer of Death and also a small bit I read to her of my most favourite book, The Scent of Water by Elziabeth Goudge.  I told her how Mr Husband bought me flowers and cookies.  How we hoped to go to NYC for dinner (that did not happen, a storm did instead, Mr Husband came home about 5:20).  She was aware and it was like we were having a real conversation, while she could not really speak; I told her many times that I loved her and I could tell esp once that she was saying 'I love you too' back.  Her eyes were much more peaceful.  I don't know if this is the rally that is shortly before death or if she has more time; lots of taking it a day at a time.  Her dear friend is doing everything for her (they are like family; my dying friend has none other than us).  I told her that she is one of the first things/first persons who I think of when I wake up and that we are praying for her throughout the day.  I was so glad to see her more at peace.  I pray for a peaceful, sinless painless death for her.  

I was thinking earlier today how much God loves this lady; she is the priest's daugther whose Mom we just buried 7 years ago; I wrote about that beautiful funeral HERE.  She was nearly 100 I think.  My lady friend is now in her earlier 80s; she was not strong but when she broke her hip, everything went down hill.  

Reading about the funeral for her Mother actually helped me remember the bright hope we have in Christ. So did the Akathist that I mentioned yesterday that I read parts of today with my friend.  
My friend who is now dying was at our house only a few years ago at the biggest Thankgiving Feast that I have done so far, I wrote about that HERE and HERE.  It was such a blessing to have her in our home and to share Thanksgiving with us in 2018.  

I felt quite tired after leaving; I was there over 2 hours; I talked with the Chaplin for a good bit; prayed a lot; helped her eat a little.  I left when her favourite aid came to help her eat more.  I hope to see her Saturday if God wills and she is with us (etc). 

I am still having some pain but the good news is that I like my new PT person and exercises and go back tomorrow.  My Mom and Dad are with my Aunt H and are visiting family in Ontario, first time since the pandemic began; I am very happy for them!  

I felt quite gutted after the energy I expended praying with my friend and talking with her.  I was glad to see her 'perked up' as it were, with eyes more at peace.  

Well, that's all I can write at the moment.  These feel like treasured days.  Like I am so aware of how my home, my Husband and how wonderful our life together is and how it is because of our life together that I can expend myself to serve my older lady church friend who is so dear to me. 

God bless you, each and every one. 

My own lentil soup recipe (so I remember)

Hi friends!  I was thinking about lentil soups and remembered this one.  I may have put it on my blog before, I am not sure but here it is. Oh I just found it!!! It's HERE.

Here's the info on the soup:
I ad-libbed the lentil soup... I added 14 oz chopped Italian plum tomatoes, cinnamon, coriander, turmeric, chili powder garlic, ginger to this soup...and poured approx 1 cup lentils, 1 cup macaroni noodles, plus 1tsb vegan 'chicken' bullion, over 2 cups water, ... sauteed one chopped onion, 1 large carrot with oil then added spices and tomatoes + bullion... then lentils, water, macaroni a bit after the lentils...I added a bunch of fresh spinach at the end and cooked that in... I forgot the lemon juice but that would have been fabulous drizzled over... it was good though and I added salt and pepper to the individual bowl that I ate! (Most of the changes other than the pasta were suggested in the first 2 comments to this recipe). I would say I could add more spices as it was 'warm' in flavour but could have some additional depth with deeper spices. It was good however and best not overly spiced! Too much could ruin it... I really liked how the macaroni made it 'soft' and a soup that was 'easy to swallow' in feel, warm comforting and filling! Perfect with some french bread on the side!
Recipe found here.


I dream of making soups again later this fall! 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Wednesday: Progress, Prayers and Tears

I went to PT today.
I think it was good. I will know more
as time goes on.  
So my older lady friend from our local church
is dying, I hope to see her tomorrow
but I don't know if she will make it through the night.
My Husband got this Akathist,
 out to pray
and it was a great comfort.
I've had tears today; I knew things were bad;
I realized that I knew she was dying because I was 
coping by watching Perry Mason.
Like when I knew Cleo was dying and it was so painful
that I watched Perry Mason; 
I guess my coping mechanisms are lighting candles,
prayer, Perry Mason, painting sometimes, prayer and 
the times when I feel my friend's pain very strongly;
like this morning I woke up as if I was being pulled by it,
she was the first thing I thought of once I was pulled into
some sort of consciousness. 
It's hard; I would love to bake when facing someone's death but
because of my back pain that is out at the moment.
Anyway, it all is as it is
and that Akathist was wonderful; it's a dazzeling beautfiful
faith-filled poem and to read it is really to be brought past the pain
into the victory of Christ and that Christ is with us.
Well, if you are the praying type, please pray
that I sleep tonight so that I can see my friend,
if she is still with us, tomorrow morning.
Even if she is just sleeping as it were, I will bring my Psalter
and other prayers to read out loud to her.
If I am OK, I hope to go to NYC in the later afternoon.
But we will see how the day goes.
My Husband will be in NYC and if I can, it would be good
for me to join him tomorrow but we will see.
God bless you all dear ones,
and give you His peace!

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Tuesday: A Feast Day at Home

I stayed home today (today is the celebration of Jesus' Mother's birth) because I had a bad night's sleep and a lot of sciatica pain.  BUT, God willing, I am moving forward.  I am going to PT tomorrow and I have been very impressed with their communication with me so far, better than any I have had before. 

My Husband got me this cute plant that Shoprite calls Mum Buddy 8 :)  It's cute, colourful and cheerful! He also got me IKEA gingersnaps with almond!  So we can have tea times in the afternoon, which makes me also very happy!  And we got some Billy bookshelves with doors (the half size, not as tall) that Mr Husband hopes to assemble later in October when he has an extra day off.  So that's really exciting!  It felt like a gift as the doors were out of stock and suddenly they had 3 in stock which was exactly what we needed! 

He also had me order takeout to eat tomorrow. 

My PT appt is in the morning.

My older lady friend my local priest visited and she does not sound like she is improving.  She is on my mind so very much. 

I can tell I am a bit in grief, not only because of my friend but because I can't do the ride to my far-away church and have not seen my friends.  I watched Perry Mason today and that tells me everything (grief etc).  Patience is needed.  And thanksgiving. 

I did not dare go swimming as the water has been cold but my Husband said it was getting warmer so if it is still warm I may go for a little while tomorrow later on.  We will see.  

But I am trying to honour God and to trust Him in all things.  I find Elizabeth Goudge's novels and the lessons of how to be a Christian in suffering so real and such a help. 

God bless you all dear ones! Each and every one! 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Sunday: the ups and downs of life

Ah, the ups and downs of life.  Today was the church picnic.  I ended up having more pain + loud music outside + insomnia that did not let up till nearly 5 AM so I stayed home.  I did not know how I would do in the car given all of that.  So I watched/listened to the service from HERE at the MI Monastery that I love and that was a real blessing! 

I ended up taking a walk while talking to Mr Husband on my cell phone via headphones and he was driving home (he was needed at both church and the picnic, I sent him off this morning urging him to have a good time!) .... we met up about a mile from home and I jumped in the car so happy to see him and (of course I had not really jumped you understand) within a minute of being in the car, my foot started cramping up and then I had problems the rest of the night.  So it is very possible that it is good that I did not try the long car ride etc today. 

So I saw the older lady friend who is so beloved to me yesterday with Mr Husband and she is really suffering and is now having a hard time communicating.  It was very painful to see and I can tell that I am really sad about it, both to see her suffering and to know that she may be in her last weeks.  Which, with her amount of suffering, would very possibly be a blessing to be released from it.  So grief is hard and I know two things now.  1. you have to feel and go through it (grief) 2.  you don't want to get mired in it.  

But boy oh boy I need to be careful now, as this is a really hard thing. 

So I re-read Amberwell (book quoted above) today, Mr Husband gave it to me yesterday for my name's day! (St Elizabeth the Mother of St John the Baptist is my name's Saint).  I also watched an OK movie.  This morning I cleaned the little saucers under the lampadas (oil lamps) and cut some plastic to put on top of the shelf that the lampadas are on so that the wood can be better protected.  So I cleaned everything and lit all the lampadas while listening to the service.  That was really nice and the high light of my day I think! Or one of them anyway! 

Amberwell is a lovely story by DE Stevenson.  I was glad to revisit it.

I pray that God will bless and encourage you in anything you are facing right now! 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Friday: Tender, Strong with Tears


A friend of a friend called in tears
within minutes of her call;
an older friend of ours is very possibly on
her last weeks of life.
We hope to visit this dear one soon.
Another one I love was considered for hospice
but is now better;
a member of my extended family's Mother
(who is a great grandmother) is now on hospice
for better pain control.
Another friend's Mother has the C-19-you-know-what
and is hospitalized with pneumonia as I type this.
It was not until tonight that I realized how this was
impacting me, how inwardly sad I felt
and also with the difficult PT experience
and the pain I had,
I really was struggling a bit.
But once I realized this, understood it,
then I was able to be tender towards my own self;
to understand how hard it would be to have this all;
and there were other things as well, of course.
I am loving Sally's new book, I read the first two chapters I think.
I love it because she does not deny pain but reminds
us of the hope and stability we have in Christ.
I feel like reading her book is like a boot camp for the soul.
It's a deep reminder of things God has been trying to teach me 
for over 20 years.  So it feels like I am returning to a 
school that I've been at before, as if for a refresher
or a new course of boot camp, as it were. 
I am pondering again the need to take care of myself
while being so aware of the pain of others.
I am still behind on many things
including emails in part because 
I can't be at the computer sitting as long.  
I am so thankful for all the good in my life.
there is still so much there.
The pictures of the pasty and salad are from 
Tea and Sympathy where I was on Thursday in NYC!
May God have mercy on us and save us!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Briefly, Yet More Briefly Still

No pictures today! Just a note to say I went to NYC.  I got to see my doctor about the back issues, that was good.  I had a PT appt that, in the end, was not what I or my doctor wanted so am still figuring that part out.  I was not well enough to go to the MET or my library BUT I did go to Tea and Sympathy! My photos are not loaded yet but it was great.  You can see pictures HERE on my public IG account.  Here is something I wrote earlier about all the things I am thankful about. 

Thought that a Thanksgiving List could be an uplifting thing for us all!  I really have a lot to be thankful for, including...

1.  I found a new NYC diner (my 2 favourites closed during the ongoing pandemic) that had very good, attentive, prompt service AND peanut butter (very rare these days) so I have an English Muffin with PB and Mint Tea while waiting to go see my doctor (I got in about 50 minutes early).  I had thought all diners in my area of NYC between the 14th and 23rd PATH train were gone so that was a welcomed surprise!  

2. My doctor was really helpful. 

3. I went to Tea and Sympathy for lunch!  Salad and delicous cornish pasty!  And Apricot tea! with Milk 🙂  

4.  With the various places I went in NYC, over the space of 5 hours I walked over 6k steps! 

5.  My body is not hurting as bad as it was in the middle of the night. (it was a rough night)

6.  I got some great books in the mail today!  One for fun called Return to Gone-Away which is sequel to Gone-Away Lake, fun kids-aged novels that I read as a kid and LOVED (so note to parent wanting book recommendations!).  I also got a very practical book by a Protestant author, Sally Clarkson, that many who I know would love (for her being a Christian, for homeschooling, for her love of literature, for her encouragement) called 'Help, I Am Drowning'.  It's a very encouraging book that talks about how in life, including in a Christian's life, there are many times of great storm in our lives and what to do and think about them, how to not be destroyed by them.   I've read the first chapter already and think it's really timely and helpful!  I really love that Sally does not try to say pat answers or deny real suffering in a person's life.  So refreshing.  

7.  Eposom salts with hot baths.  Isn't it wonderful that we have simple (but true luxuries) like a hot bath or shower?  

8. I got this week both DVDs of Anne of Green Gables and the Sequel to Anne of Green Gabels with Megan Follows.  I can't wait to see them again, having loved them so much before!  Who wouldn't love seeing Anne smash that slate over Gilbert's head? I mean really now 🙂   So that's a lot to be thankful for.  And I thought it would be good to mention!  Thankfulness always helps me look to God, to the sources of light in my life and to not deny yet go beyond the pain in my life to see something greater than it.  ❤   (Of course this can take some time to get to, for me too!) ❤

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

My Goodness, Tuesday Evening Already


Church this morning.
Took lightrail, taxi wanted 20 to 30 dollars,
usually it's about 7.  It was so beautiful this morning,
I was relieved to be out of the house and in the wide open
air and sun... 
liturgy was beautiful.
Back home before lunch.
Lunch, phone meeting, reading, cleaning,
dinner making, reading, folding towels,
did two loads of laundry and groceries delivered.
I thought I had taken out the leftover turkey I roasted
but it was the leftover skin and bones.  So I had eggs,
my Husband does not mind eatting meat off of bone.
When I am not well physically, eveything is harder.
I remember when I broke my ankle, how hard
it was for my Husband to do it alone.
I had a massage on Saturday it helped with my pain.
But I don't have a proper chair for where I sit by 
my chromebook so I can't sit long and so am behind
on everything, including emails. 
I go to a new PT place tomorrow and talk to my
actual doctor the day after, in NYC.
I am so excited DV for NYC.
I hope to go to Tea and Sympathy for lunch.
Then, if I can, to my library and the MET.
We will see as I am improving but don't know how much yet.
I did dishes tonight, my dishwasher is running, the counter is clear,
dishrack is full of drying dishes.
This makes me feel like tomorrow will start out a little better.
God bless you all, 
may the Lord have mercy on us and 
save us!

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Quickly on a Saturday evening before it turns to Sunday morning


A lot did not go as planned this week!
No anniversary picnic; it rained; and I ended up
at a medical appt because of what is most likely 
sciatica. Not what I figured would happen at 44 years of age;
actually it was happening at least at 43 but it got a bit
worse this week so everything changed course; 
I am looking at PT now in the future and more appts.
It's not debilitating pain but was worsening to the point
where I could not ignore it.
So I was going to have a meal tomorrow
but we had to postpone that too; it's a lot of work to 
do a meal right, even when you have learned many ways
to make things simple.
I have not even changed my summer tablecloth yet
nor tidied much.
My Husband has been helping with dishes; I am having
very hot baths to try to feel better.  Boy am I so
BLESSED to have my Husband and also good medical
insurance.  We may redo the picnic in about a month's time
if the weather is good; I even know what date I would pick for it.
We are going to eat some of the food that I got meanwhile
and that is a very cheery thing; simple sandwiches that are easy
to make sounds like just the thing right now.
My Husband gave me two books for our anniversary!
(He got some minatures for his gift, a knight on foot and another
warrior on horseback; but he does not want me to share 
pictures so that's that.)
Mr Husband has also put up some more pictures in his office
and in our hallway and I am very pleased with the progress.
I am hoping to redo the meal we had planned for early October on the
Sunday before Canadian Thanksgiving.
I am quite relieved not to have it now as it became too much 
for me to do but I really feel I have a good path forward
and learning some stretches will help greatly and 
I will be more functioning again.
Also lesson learned, I think, of giving myself more space in the week
to prepare for a meal.  This week ended up
being too crowded so that when I suddenly had a flare in my 
lower back and an unexpected medical appt, it put me
behind in such a way that doing the meal would have
only done me in instead of being that which I most love to do.
I am dreaming of that meal still to come and also
wishing for a fun tea party at my house one day,
I know some of my NJ friends would love that.
So I am feeling quite glad about things.
Anyway, thanks if you read this long and God bless and keep you!