Friday, February 29, 2008


I have fixed the comment situation at St. Paraskeva's place to allow anyone to comment. If you all have questions regarding the process or whatever, it is fine to leave them there. Sorry about that!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Slacker finally follows through!

I finally got the pictures up at St. Paraskeva's place. Go see, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

I have been too busy to write a coherant review of "The Feast of Friendship", but I will eventually.

One of the activities that have kept me away from the blog is this:


No, we didn't go to the moon, or back in time, just a fun museum.

Also, I have started walking again, and taking nice lone (I meant long, but lone works) baths at night, and reading books, and re-organizing my books, and cleaning out closets.

It's been good. I have been enjoying my family, my children, and even the cursed snow. Although any time the weather wants to get a little warmer, and the breeze can carry a little whiff of spring, would be alright with me.

This up and coming week will be full, as well. Lots to do at church, including the Canon St. Andrew, in a week. I can't believe Lent is going by so quickly.

I am sick of tomato based soups and stews, so for the remainder of Lent I'll have to find a different direction for fast friendly food. Maybe move more to the Middle East.

Also, Lisa? Breadcrumbs?

Monday, February 25, 2008

What my son calls his belly button...

His birth mark.

I've got some great icon pictures coming later today at St. Paraskeva's place. I have been reading and enjoying tremendously the "Feast of Friendship". I will be posting on that as time allows this week. Reading that book is like spending time with good friends. I can't wait to digest it a bit and let you all know more about it. So, call this post a preview, if you will. I post a link when St. Paraskeva is ready.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Fight Continues

Just so you all know that the fight is still going on here. Even in bitter cold, our monthly protest is drawing well over one hundred people. To stay in touch with what is going on, check out this site

photo from last Saturday's protest

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday reprieve

I had said before Lent began that I would have a post with comments on Sundays. So far, I have had no time to post anything substantive on Sunday's. I still don't have time to post anything substantive, but I am going to open comments anyway. I have a question for you all.

How is your Lent going? For those whose Lent hasn't begun (my Orthodox brothers and sisters), and for those whose traditions don't include Lent, what do you do to keep your spiritual disciplines going? How do you stay committed to "keep on keeping on?"

For me, it is very telling that I am having no problem fasting this year, a little more sadness, grieving and gnashing of teeth over the lack of humor in a bottle, and the comments thing, well, I am adjusting, but I miss you all.

The big kicker, though, is the absolute struggle I am having with prayer. It has been more difficult for me to pray than it was before Lent began. I am stymied. When I do make time for my prayers, it is like holding my breath. I say it quickly and feel an anxiousness to get it over with. What ever. Obviously I need more Lent, and I'll get it. We are only about 1/3 through, I think.

Anyway, make hay while the sun shines, for comments will be open for this post, and this post only!!


photo from the ceiling of my church

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Paraskeva Update

New post up on St. Paraskeva, mostly pictures, including one of my icon studio. Enjoy.

Some of my Cutest Valentines

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

"Little Skunk," said Cat, "I have a kiss for Little Bear. It is from his grandmother. Take it to him like a good little skunk."

Little Skunk was glad to do that. But then he saw another little skunk.

She was very pretty. He gave the kiss to her.

And she gave it back.

And he gave it back.

And then Hen came along. "Too much kissing," she said.
"But this is Little Bear's kiss, from his grandmother," said Little Skunk.
"Indeed!" said Hen. "Who has it now."
Little Skunk had it. Hen got it back. She ran to Little Bear, and she gave him the kiss.

The skunks decided to get married. They had a lovely wedding. Everyone came.

(From "A Kiss for Little Bear" by Else Holmelund Minarik)
This is from a few years ago. I still love it. We will be feasting on Mahi Mahi tonight. If I find a superb recipe, I'll share it tomorrow

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Prayers and good news...

A growing family could use some extra prayers, if you would, please.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Week Two, so far

So, week 2 of Lent. I have wavered some in my morning prayers. I remember around noon. I am so NOT a morning person. I have this vague suspicion that my life would be so much better, so much more put together, if I could just get up early and be able to function. On the days I absolutely force myself to get up early, I then crumple around 2:30 pm, just when my day is in full swing, and and that is no good. SO, I just say my prayers at noon, assuming God is outside of time and will accept them when I say them.

This weekend was exceptionally busy, and I wasn't home to say evening prayers with the kids. I must get back to that, but they have some prayers to say on their own (the older kids), and the little ones all get at least a blessing from me. Not enough, but it is something.

Today I made baba ganoush. It is made with roasted eggplant, garlic, lemon juice and tahini. Like hummus, only with eggplant. We had it for dinner with pita bread, tomato wedges, sliced cucumber, and orange wedges. Surprisingly filling, and the kids all liked it, even the 3 year old. After I roasted the eggplant, I peeled it and cut it into cubes, and sauteed it in olive oil, with garlic and lemon juice. I pureed it in the blender, then mixed tahini with lemon juice and water, and added that mixture to the eggplant. Salt and pepper to taste. I have never had baba ganoush before, so I don't know if I made it right or not, but I got to use my cool new pan, it tasted good, and it got us through another Lenten dinner, so I am satisfied.

I miss comments. I miss them so much. Hi guys! I don't know if the no comment thing is going to last, but since I want them back on so badly right now, I am leaving them off. But Hi! I give myself a little time in the a.m. to check my e-mail and a few blogs, then at night, after the kids are in bed and the work is done. I am cheating a bit now, because I have a *load of laundry to fold and sort, but if I truly waited to finish all the work here, I would never get to do anything else.

We are having a good Lent so far. I have felt some imbalances already straighten out, I have seen some real problems around here with better clarity, and I have made more time for those I care about in my life. I even did my exercises today, with 10# weights, and plan to go for a walk as soon as the weather gets above 20 degrees.

So, take care every one. I do check my e-mail, which is in the "about me section" of the sidebar (hint hint). I will update St. Paraskeva after this weeks class, as more people will be on to robe work at that time. One participant will be doing gold leaf soon, so that will be interesting.

Great moments this weekend: Saturday, Liturgy for my Godchildren, breakfast out (whoot-whoot), and processing around the church with the icons on Sunday. Every last one of the icons (that were removable) came down off the walls, and into the hands of the parishioners. I wish so badly I had brought my camera, for the sight when I came up the middle aisle, holding my 3 year old who was holding an icon of an Old Testament prophet (I forget which one *blush*). I saw a large, happy crowd, up at the front of the church by the icon screen, all holding icons. The joy was palpable, as if we were bringing out treasured artifacts of family members, and by doing so, being in their presence. Lovely. Incense, chanting of the cantors (one of which is my husband), flickering candles, and being surround by a "cloud of witnesses", not only in symbol, but in fact. What a day!

Next year, I am bringing my camera!

photo taken in my mom's house late last year. One of my favorites


Does designing, creating and flying a fleet of paper airplanes count as school?

Since comments are off, I'll just assume your yes. =)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Delish Lenten Dinner...

Start with olive oil, diced onions, crushed garlic, diced red peppers, and saute. Add a few handfuls of frozen thin green beans, chopped yellow and green zucchini, and some Italian seasoning. Toss in some chopped dates, roasted pecans, and a can of black beans. Sprinkle on balsamic vinegar, and add marinated artichoke hearts. Toss in some green olives, and grind some pepper over the whole thing. Take a bag of pre-cooked, thawed shrimp, sprinkle over the top, and then add two cups of pre cooked wild rice. Salt to taste. Stir. Watch family eat it up. Smile. This is fasting?

I cooked this in a new open saute pan I just bought at the thrift store. It is from Denmark, designed by Michael Lax, made in the 60's. What a joy to cook in. I wish I had taken a picture of this dinner, it was so pretty and so good. Go Lent!

(Picture of a pan like mine, except mine is green)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Simple Lenten Dinner, Eastern fast friendly

whole wheat pasta with chunky marinara sauce
blanched broccoli with sprinkled over lemon juice and pepper
fresh orange wedges
carrot sticks with hummus.

hot tea with honey.

when I get hungry (which I will), I'll have more tea and a few glasses of water. A V-8 if I get desperate.

The Picture Tree, in wintertime

From the Canon of St. Andrew:

All mine offenses, voluntary and involuntary, manifest and hidden, known and unknown, do Thou forgive, O Savior, for Thou art God; be merciful and save me

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Lent Day 1

(Remember, Eastern Rite Lent started after Vespers on Sunday)
I said my morning prayers, which are from the book on The Canon of St. Andrew. I figure if I start doing the prostrations now, maybe I'll be able to walk after doing the full Canon of St. Andrew during week 5. I missed my afternoon prayers, most likely because I failed to set a specific time for them, and time got away. I lit candles and called the kids in for evening prayer, and followed the strict fast all day. By the end of the day, I was calm, but restless. Does that make sense?

I have a habit of having "a little something" in the evening after the kids are in bed. Tea and cookies, or beer and chips, or wine and chocolate, you get the idea. SO, being that doesn't really fit the spirit of Lent, no treat, except a nice big glass of water. I watched a little T.V., and turned it off. No fun without my snacks. I went to bed, read my new, FABULOUS book, The Feast of Friendship, and then turned the light off to go to sleep. Being that I wasn't lulled into a carb induced coma, I had time to pray for the people I said I would pray for, especially the sick and deceased. Then my thoughts turned to the fact that I would get sick and die some day. All the things I spend my time on now only matter in relation to that fact. What part of my day is spent in activities that will matter after the day of my death, and what part will be like dust?

Now, I have been know to be a serious sort throughout my life, but I must say, ONE DAY of fasting. ONE DAY of saying "NO" to myself, and my thought turn to intercessory prayer and my own death. GO LENT!!

(I am writing this during my free time in the morning, and feel as if it is important to document my journey with the Great Fast. Comment will be off, so I will not be wasting time checking for feedback. That was the point of me cutting back on computer time. Just so you can understand this does fit into my Lenten Plan. And no, I will not be doing this every day, just when an effect from Lent gobsmacks me).
Well, I can't get the comment off for this post, just future post. So please, don't comment. Thank you.
(photo taken by yours truly. This is the view we get once the leaves fall off the trees in our woods.)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Winter Wonderland

photo taken by my 14 year old son

Friday, February 01, 2008

My Lenten Resolve

Another snowy, cold day. It is beautiful here, I'll add a picture later, as it is on the other computer, which is turned off to keep the children on track with the house cleaning today. Notice, I am on the computer, and the children are cleaning. Trained 'em right, darn it.

But, this is also indicative of a trend, that I am on the computer, while the kiddos are doing life, and it has gotten away from me once again. Thankfully, The Great Fast is starting Sunday. For us Easterners, last Sunday was Meat-fare Sunday, meaning after that day, no more meat. This Sunday is Cheese-fare Sunday, meaning after this day, no more cheese. Then Forgiveness Vespers, so the slate is clean, and we are off to the purification and reality of Lent.

One of my Lenten disciplines will be only blogging on Sundays during Lent. Blogging is a hiding spot for me, and I need to not hide from my life just now. I will keep St. Paraskeva's site updated. Which by the way, my class was canceled last night due to the snowy weather, so there are no updates this week. If I do a post in between, I'll put the heads up over here. Now, I may have Lenten reflections and what not from time to time, other than Sunday, but I will turn off the comments to keep me from obsessively checking for feedback. I am a comment junkie, totally.

So to recap, posts on Sunday (comments on), any random posts or updates during the week will be minimal, with comments off. My other disciplines will be to follow Jennifer at Et-tu's example to do Liturgy of the Hours (for her plan, which I will follow read here), and on my spiritual directors suggestion, to slowly and carefully read through the Gospel of Mark. I am also giving up wine, beer, and even the beloved Maker's Mark for Lent. And that should do it. We will be following the Fast best as we can, with particular care given to Wednesdays and Fridays, with simplicity the rule the rest of the week. I will check e-mail daily, but only in the evening, after we say our Evening Prayer.

And what about you? What plans do you have for Lent this year? I am praying for healing for my wounded, disorganized and frightened little soul. Healing, which will begin tonight with Great Vespers and an anointing for the feast of the Encounter with Simeon (presentation of Our Lord in the Temple). What spiritual imperatives will you be using during Lent? What action do you desire the Divine Healer to have on your self this Lent? (Indulge me, this is one of my last chances to obsessively check for comments. Think of it as Mardi Gras for me).

This photo is from a recent Sunday, at church, with my littlest sitting in the windowsill during Liturgy. Winter Wonderland photo to follow later