Monday, March 31, 2008

judgement, the dentist, purgatory and gum disease

There, did that get your attention?

Amongst other things that are keeping me busy and away from the blog, I have had a great succession of dental visits. Today while I was having my root planing and scraping something or nother, I was contemplating that going to the dentist after a long avoidance is like meeting Christ for my judgment after I die. Yes, I try to keep my teeth clean. I did have one cavity I knew of, but it didn't hurt, so I ignored it. I did the best I could, dental hygiene wise, but I did know I could do better. I just figured someday, later in life, I would be diligent with my teeth. Everything seemed fine to me.

Then one day, one of my molars fell apart. Oops. I called the dentist. 3 visits and thousands of dollars later, I have had my gum disease diagnosed and treated, two cavities filled, two crowns scheduled, and 5 more cavities found. Gulp.

So, back to purgatory. There I am, having my roots planed or scraped or whatever, basically deep cleaned. I didn't realize they were that bad. I thought I was ready to face the dentist. I was wrong. But, after a few hours of scraping and other such uncomfortable activity going on in my mouth, as well as drilling, sanding and what not, my mouth is CLEAN. And Healthy, and THAT my friends, is when it hit me about purgatory. When I meet Jesus after I die, in all kindess and care for me, He will most likely point out the areas where I just wasn't able to keep my soul healthy and clean. Then, I will get my soul cleaned by what ever process He has prescribed, and I don't expect it'll be comfortable. But when I am finished, I'll be CLEAN and HEALTHY. Just what a Loving God would want for me, right?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Look What I Got!

During Lent I received this from the Mother of this Lot. It's very pretty and appreciated. I know I got tagged for a few things and maybe received something else, but I can't remember (I am very absent minded and scatter brained). If I have forgotten someones kind tag or award, remind me, and I will get to it.

Why the blog has been quiet...

My eldest child, a 14 year old young man, took this photo, and titled it

Wii-ster Egg.

If our house had the tradition of the Easter bunny, then I would say, the "Wii-ster Bunny" brought us a Wii. But since we don't, I'll say I saved up some baby-sitting money and through some good fortune and help from my sister-in-law, was able to give a Wii to the family for Easter.

So I am only posting today because my 41 year old arms are too sore to play tennis, bowling and baseball with the kidlets today. It is rather embarrassing to be so sore from virtual sports, but then I figure this can be the beginning of my new fitness regime. If my muscles are sore, than it must be good for me, right?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Christ is Risen!

Glorious, joyful and Blessed Easter to you all. After a soul-stirring week of preparing for this day, I am spiritually nourished. After 40 days of fasting, I am physically stuffed. Cheese of all kinds, lamb, ham, creamy desserts and delicious wine. A feast is much more rich when it follows a fast.

and Comments are back on!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Holy Thursday

Today, after celebrating the institution of the Eucharist, and the hospitality of the Lord in the way of the Divine Liturgy, we shared a simple meal at church. We had the famous vegetable soup, a few varieties of humus, some raw vegetables, and fruit juice.

Afterwards was the Matins Service of the 12 Gospels - Into the framework of Matins are inserted 12 readings from all the Gospels relating to the suffering, death & burial of Jesus. Each reading is followed by antiphons reflecting on His Passion. During the service the Cross is placed in the midst of the church for veneration

John 13: 31 to 18:1
John 18: 1-28 (Arrest of Jesus in the garden of Olives)
Matthew 26: 57-75 (Jesus before the Sanhedrin and Peter disowns Jesus)
John 18:28 to 19: 16 (Jesus before Pilate and Jesus crucified)
Matthew 27: 3-32 (Death of Judas and Jesus before Pilate and the way of the Cross)
Mark 15: 16-32 (Jesus is crowned with thorns and crucified)
Matthew 27: 33-54 (The way of the Cross)
Luke 23: 32-49 (The way of Calvery)
John 19: 25-37 (Jesus' last words and Jesus is pierced)
Mark 15: 43-47 (Burial of Jesus)
John 19: 38-42
Matthew 27: 62-66 (The guards at the tomb)

Here is a prayer, part of the service called the Ikos, that was particularly touching to me:

As she saw her own Lamb being dragged to slaughter Mary, the Ewe-lamb, worn out with grief, followed with other women, crying out, ‘Where are you going, my child? For whose sake are you completing the course so fast? Is there once again another wedding in Cana? And are you hurrying there now to make wine for them from water? Should I go with you, my child, or rather wait for you? Give me a word, O Word; do not pass me by in silence, you who kept me pure, My Son and my God.’

The grief pierces the heart, no?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Another fast friendly recipe

Here was a great, simple, quick meal I made tonight. It was a hit with the entire family, as well. I found this in Real Simple magazine, in the March 2008 issue. I have doubled it, so it feeds approximately 8 people.

Crispy Breaded Shrimp with garlicky beans:

1 cup bread crumbs
4 tablespoons chopped, fresh rosemary
Kosher salt and pepper
10 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 19oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
arugula, rinsed and chopped

Heat oven to 400 degrees
Mix the bread crumbs, rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 6 tablespoons of olive oil in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Transfer shrimp and any excess crumbs to a baking sheet.

Bake until the shrimp are cooked through and the bread crumbs are crispy, 10-12 minutes (when they are a bright pink).

Heat the remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the beans, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook until heated through, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, add the arugula and toss to combine.

Divide the beans among individual plates and serve with the shrimp. Sprinkle any extra bread crumbs from the pan over the top.

Now, when I made this, I didn't measure out the salt, pepper, or oil. I added extra garlic, and used half arugula and half baby spinach (to appeal to the little kids taste). I think fresh rosemary is essential, but if you don't have it, fresh thyme or sage would work.

I served this with grapes. Everyone loved it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Updates ready at St. Paraskeva's place!

The link is in the side bar. This is from the last two weeks. We will be pausing for Holy Week, and then our church is having its annual workshop, so I will be diverting my icon energies for a few weeks. Stay tuned for updates on the new workshop, as well as any progress by my St. Paraskeva participants. This photo is a little incentive to go check out the rest!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chaldean Archbishop found dead

I read this sad news today. Paulos Faraj Rahho, it seems to me, is a martyr for Christ.
May his memory be eternal!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

As we approach Great and Holy Week...

I have opened up comments for this post. I will most likely be away from the computer until after Easter, due to extra obligations at home, extra time at church, preparation for a family gathering, as well as just time to reflect on the Paschal Mystery.

So, please leave any prayer requests you have in the comments. I will have many opportunities to light candles, and ask for our heavenly friend's prayers. During Great and Holy week, it seems to me that time is diminished as a barrier to the mysteries of our Salvation, the mysteries of God's suffering and dying and conquering death. While yes, there are historical facts, they occur outside of time are real to us each time we attend a Divine Liturgy. But during this holy season, the veil between the material and the mystical seems much thinner.

For my Orthodox friends, who are just beginning the Great Fast, I pray for you a fruitful Lent and much peace and joy.

For my other friends who are in the last days of the fast, I pray for you perseverance to finish the fast, and all the joy and fruits of your fast will be abundantly showered upon you as we celebrate Christ conquering death.

Since God is outside of time, I know that, while we may be celebrating the fast and the Paschal feast on different days, we are joined in adoring and praising our Risen Lord by the branches that unite us to The Vine.

To all my other friends that may not follow Lent in their traditions, I wish you the most blessed and joyful Easter yet, and Christ's abundant blessings.

Monday, March 10, 2008

crazyacres...: Fast friendly Veggie Soup

crazyacres...: Fast friendly Veggie Soup

Here is a link to some delicious fast friendly soup that is a staple here during Lent. It makes a vast, vast quantity, so beware, you'll most likely have to share.


How was my weekend, you ask?

This video describes my weekend. Poor, poor bunny!

(In actuality, this only describes Sunday. Saturday, my husband held the man cold at bay and worked his tail off. But it is still funny, even my poor, poor bunny got a (figurative) kick out of this one).

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


from my Henri Nouwen daily meditation:

Creating a Home Together

Many human relationships are like the interlocking fingers of two hands. Our loneliness makes us cling to each other, and this mutual clinging makes us suffer immensely because it does not take our loneliness away. But the harder we try, the more desperate we become. Many of these "interlocking" relationships fall apart because they become suffocating and oppressive. Human relationships are meant to be like two hands folded together. They can move away from each other while still touching with the fingertips. They can create space between themselves, a little tent, a home, a safe place to be.

True relationships among people point to God. They are like prayers in the world. Sometimes the hands that pray are fully touching, sometimes there is distance between them. They always move to and from each other, but they never lose touch. They keep praying to the One who brought them together.

check out The Henri Nouwen Societyhere

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Holy Pause

I am feeling a little under the weather today. Achy, sore throat, sleeeeepy. I took a bath, about 5 naps, and helped the little two with their school work from my bed. I roused myself to make dinner, saying a silent prayer that I would find something easy and acceptable in the freezer. Eureka! Two boxes of potato pirogi, a box of fish fillets, and lots of fresh oranges in the fridge.

However, due to my inertia throughout the day, the kitchen was a nightmare. Lots of hand wash left from last nights dinner, various incarnations of breakfast, lunch, snack and grazing. Dishes from dinner tonight. The older kids and my husband had to leave for choir practice, so that left me a few choices. Leave it until tomorrow, and go to bed. Go to bed and leave a note for the older kids to do it when they get home, keeping them up way past their bedtime. Do it now, and then go to bed.

As wimpy of a lent as I have done (basically fell off most of the disciplines I set up except the alcohol one and still doing pretty well on the fast) one thing I have received is the "holy pause" for lack of a better phrase. When the discouragement, disappointment, sadness, frustration, etc., etc., pop up, The Holy Pause is time to think about what is the best, right thing to do. Then ask for help from the Almighty to do it. Then ask for perseverance to carry it through. Please understand I don't always heed this, don't always even recognize its existence much of the time. But tonight I got it.

So, I cleaned the kitchen while sipping orange tea, and listened to a spiritual direction show on the radio about the Eucharist. The little kids actually entertained themselves very nicely (RARE) and let me be. That was God's mercy, I am telling you. So it's done, I can now go to bed without the horrible specter of a trashed kitchen to greet me in the morning, and I thank God for the assistance.

The Holy Pause. Thank you, Jesus, for giving it to me when I needed it tonight.

Monday, March 03, 2008


I saw my first robin today. I heard one on Friday, but couldn't see it. Must have been the scout, because today there was a flock of them in my yard. Joy! Spring will come!!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

What my 3 year old calls earwax...

ear boogers. It took having 7 children pass through the 3 year old stage to come up with that one at crazyacres!!