Showing posts from July, 2007

Kids at Camp

After Liturgy yesterday, we came home and packed up our kids for camp. The drive there took about two and a half hours. We dropped them off (the two older ones, that is) and the rest of us headed back. It was time for supper and we wanted to eat at some local place. Country Cookin'. We figured southern Indiana would be full of places like that.

We were wrong. The two or three places we did see along our route were closed because it was Sunday evening. We had a most unsatisfying meal at KFC, due more to the lousy teenage-hoosier service than the actual taste of the food. And while we were eating, I remembered that we'd forgotten to give the girls their spending money.

Fortunately, we were only fifteen miles away from Camp when I realized this. So, back we went, dropped off the spending money. That added so much time to our trip! It felt like it, at least.

We didn't get home until 10:45. Between driving slow to try and find someplace good to eat and having to…

Invisible Grief

I've been somewhat blue lately, and this evening I realized why. I'm coming up on the invisible anniversary. Why do I call it the invisible anniversary? Well, because it is. I lost something, it was early August when everything came crashing down...a few years ago. 2003, I think.

We'd done our home study and spent almost a year on tenterhooks. Every time the phone rang, my heart skipped a beat. But it was never that phone call. We wanted to adopt. We wanted to intentionally become a bi-racial family. Our hearts were open. Our wallet was open. Our family was open. We were going to name him Samuel. We'd done our homework, worked through stuff on special needs adoption. We'd heard the statistics: All these babies that "nobody wants" languishing in foster care. So, we wanted to give our lives and our love.

What a build up.

And there was the call from the social worker. A baby. A birth mother. A scheduled phone interview and a plane ride…

A Little Answer

Today I silently prayed a little prayer. Just between me and God. Something my heart really needed. And God answered that little prayer in exactly the right way. He has not abandoned me. He heard my cry and answered me from His holy mountain.

Glory to Thee, O Lord, Glory to Thee!


For some reason, I've really been struggling with loneliness this summer. I've tried to organize a weekly play date for the kids to get together with other kids from our parish, and for the moms to have a chance to chat, and while the mom chatting has been nice, for the kids its been a bust. Meanness. Ugliness and isolation.

I know my kids aren't the coolest. So, I'm trying to figure out what to do.

I also wish I had a mid-week prayer service to go to that is close by. I like a good forty-five minutes from Church, an hour during rush hour, and that's what driving to Wednesday night Vespers is. I only go when I'm teaching catechism. Which has been twice so far. Many Wednesdays, our parish only prays an Akathist, or something short like that, and the drive just kills my motivation to go down there for something that lasts less than half the time of a one-way drive.

I checked out the other two Orthodox parishes in town and neither of then do anything m…

...Happy Golden Rule Days...

I'm so excited about this upcoming year of home school. For one thing, it's nice now that my kids are all going to be doing it. We can hopefully make the great feasts of the Church an integral part of our time. For us this will mean getting up at 5 am on the feast days to make it to the 7 am Divine Liturgy. I plan on making these days "field trip days" so that we do something special, extraordinary, festal...but still life-giving and educational.

For science, I'm taking the younger three through Botany. I'm excited about the textbook I have purchased. I myself will learn much from it. Botany is always something that has fascinated me, but I've never done more than have a unit on it in fifth grade. My oldest is doing Biology for her Science, and will have the opportunity to do her Labs at Asbury College. I'm happy about that, too. She's also threatening to listen in on the Botany lessons. One aspect I love about schooling my kids is the…


I SO nailed it on my predictions for the seventh Harry Potter book. I know it's too soon to blog about details, but my husband, with whom I shared my guesses knows the truth of it. And I'm not talking about who gets killed or not killed. I nailed my predictions about Snape and Dumbledore.

The series is an excellent, excellent story, and as thoroughly Christian in the end as Lewis' or Tolkien's works. Crass commercialization aside, in my opinion this series is one of the greats.

Project Pictures

Here's my latest handiwork. It's a confection of a baptismal gown. Looks good enough to eat. Off white dupioni silk with white free-hand machine embroidery and appliqueed lace flowers. Fully lined. Cotton crocheted lace bonnet is by my thirteen year old daughter.

How to Buy the Seventh Harry Potter Book

By all reports, the lines at the bookstores were long last night, as Harry Potter fans lined up early to acquire their copies of the new release. At Barnes and Noble Booksellers, staff members were issuing armbands, so that people in line would receive copies of the book in turn. Those who pre-ordered first, of course. Others would have to wait. But everyone would, in turn, hopefully get a chance. And the lines were long. And the parking lot full. Around the world, fans camped out. Silly.

Such would my silly husband have been, were it not for my very sage advice.

At midnight, I sent him to the grocery store. I had, after all, forgotten Hamburger buns and Applejuice. The grocery store was also selling the Harry Potter book starting at 12:01, while supplies last. The grocery store is sort "ghetto". Half the people around here don't read much. And at least a fourth of them are fundamentalist enough to condemn Harry Potter books as evil, sight unseen. No con…



I've been blocking my meds. In other words, my fibro has been getting worse lately, instead of gradually better. No wonder I've been so tired lately. No wonder the cane has been with me the past few Sundays. I'm so mad at myself. Several months of using the wrong toothpaste, and I may as well have been flushing those pills I've been taking down the toilet. How could I have messed up on the toothpaste I buy???

From now on I"m order my toothpaste from one of those companys that caters to fibromyalgics on the protocol I'm on.

Now I want to curl up and cry.

Video from my vacation....

A cup of cold water in my name....

I don't normally blog about almsgiving. It's supposed to be done in secret, after all. But this, well, this story must be told, because it is a story of failure. Sin.

My neighbor called out to me one day, just as I was frantically searching for my daughter: Do I have a washing machine and dryer she can borrow for a load of laundry? I said no, and kept going...looking for my bike riding, independent kid.

Well, the next day, she came into my yard. I was on my back porch. She strikes up a conversation about her hard luck life. A small, shriveled person. Probably my age or five years older, but looks twenty years older. Has a daughter the age of my kids, though, who does not live with her. She has substance abuser written all over her face and body. I wonder what kind.

She asks about the laundry again, and I offered to wash a load for her and bring them to her apartment when they are dry. She asks me for money: A hundred and twelve dollars. I say no. Do I want t…

Communion of the Saints

Tomorrow night I,m teaching the catechism/inquirer's class. The topic is communion of the saints. I have done nothing, so far, to prepare for it, but pray. Yipes! Must dig through some books.

But I also have baptismal gown to finish...

It is going to be a couple of very busy days.

Update: Finished the sewing. Now on to the Catechism class!!!!

Give Us this Day our Daily Bread

There is a simplicity in this prayer. Not that I'm eating bread these days. But I'm reminded of when the One who is the Bread of Life said "Why do you worry about your clothes, about what you will wear? Does not your Father in heaven know...?"

My friend lisa is exploring some clothing related issues on her blog. To sum it up: Wearing and seeking out Fair Trade Clothing as a way of living justly in this world. One more drop in the bucket of the miriad of things that we do and buy in this world. Recognizing the impact that our choices make on others...even our neighbors in places we never give a thought to-like India. (I'm developing a fascinatio with Bollywood movies, but that's beside the point. I find that the Tamil language is very lyrical and beautiful, even when one does not understand one iota of it...but I digress...)

So, as a jumping off point from that interesting set of posts and comments, I've been wondering: what would a minimalist …


Burnt. Toast. Fried. Lots of such phrases apply.

We went to my husband's company picnic today. Yes, company pic nic. I'm just grateful he works at a company. Not to mention one that throws fun company pic nics with free food, etc. I was very good. I only ate what was on my diet but OH! I wanted something sweet so bad. My craving was for a diet soda, which I have decided are hugely unhealthy, so I had water instead. It was hard.

The big no-no that I indulged in was a tumble in one of those big inflatable obstacle courses. Wes and I raced, and he won of course. It involved, at the end, climbing a inflated wall with a rope and sliding down the other side. I knew when I was done that I should not have done it. Bad me.

Now I'm hurting and really tired. But it was fun. And then we got lost getting out of Louisville, so we didn't make it home in time to get ready for, and make it to vespers. Oh, well. Life happenslike that sometimes.

And I lost five pounds …

Thy Will be Done

Sometimes you go along, praying about something, getting excited about dreams, ideas, "a vision", "a calling"...whatever you want to call it. And it seems good. And it seems holy. And the door slams shut in your face and it becomes clear that praying
"Thy will be done" can sometimes mean that even for the seemingly good stuff, you don't get your way.

That God has different plans.

Today is such a day, and I'm waiting for my emotions to catch up with my will to say "yes" to God...even God's potential "no's".

Story of my life.

In happier news, I found an April Cornell dress at the thrift store my size, and it looks nice on me! Pale yellow with pretty blue flowers. Not suave or hip or anything, but pretty, I think.

And a really pretty simple pink vase. Now I wish I had daisies to go in it.

This kids scored some cool finds at the thrift store too: my oldest, in particular, found the next level clarine…

...and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance...

Two out of four of my kids learned to ride their bikes yesterday. One already figured it out a few years ago, and the youngest is thus far less motivated.

I'm very glad for them. Bike riding is fun.

I'm terrified. Bike riding can be dangerous.

...and I have learned how to: remove and replace a wheel, a tire, an inner tube, and readjust seats/handlebars and get a bike chain back in position. I don't particularlty enjoy getting my fingers greasy.

Seriously, I'm happy for my kids, though.

Just another Manic Sunday...

...oh, oh, oh...wish it were Monday. 'Cuz that's my fun day...oh, oh, "I don't have to run day"...just another manic Sunday.

Yeah, so I changed the words a little bit. I think the reason I"m so slammed is carbohydrate withdrawal. The fatigue is immense: like my body is in a cast and just does not want to move. But my brain is still alive, so I feel somewhat trapped.

I managed to make it the Church this morning, and even through the wedding. The pews at our parish are total spine-crunchers and I had to ask my husband to fetch me a chair out of the office. He brought it clear to the front of the nave where I was sitting, and there I perched. (Now don't go writing me and telling me I ought to be standing...HA!) It was a wee bit embarrassing. I don't think I've been this tired since needing a wheelchair at the museum in Chicago last fall.

And our reel mower is terrible. Not that we don't like the idea of a reel mower, just t…


I ran out of energy quite early in the day today. I was mowing the grass with our reel-mower and it was just a bit more than I could handle. I'm zonked. And I had to run to the store to pick up a few more things, and good heavens! I felt worse than I have in a while.

I've been mostly still and quiet this afternoon but it's not helping. I still feel zonked.

I think part of my problem, is I ran out of my meds a few days back, and have yet to re-order.

Sorry I don't have anything better to write.
For some reason it won't let me make a title.

Don't forget, the weight loss blog, "Move Your Bloomin' Arse" is taking invitations for participants. It will be a closed blog, for only the participants to see and write on, so that we can have a closed support group, and preserve our privacy a bit. However, right now I am at the point of inviting others to join in. There are two of us so far, with two invitations pending. More are welcome. Let me know.

I bought a scale today and Oh. My. Goodness! I've gained more weight than I realized. Tomorrow I weigh in officially and redouble my efforts. I need all the prayers I can get, too. Call me Cleopatra, everybody, 'cause I'm the queen of denial.

Team Blog for Weight Loss

OK, several of my readers have expressed interest in participating in some sort of internet diet support group. To that end, I'm setting up a team blog. Each member can post and we can commiserate together. I don't want morning coffee to be dominated by boring food lists, and stuff, so that's why I try not to blog about the never-ending struggle to battle the bulge.

Please e-mail me your e-mail address if you would like to participate in this team blog, and also suggestions of what we can call it. My e-mail address is alanaatigloudotcom.

Warning: Beee-otchy Self-Flagellating Rant

So, a friend took my photo last night. I'm extremely camera shy, and it was somewhat excruciating, but I love her and she's moving, so I let hr. Yipes! I'm fat! (despite what the very generous and kind Melania thinks.)

I'm at that point where I want to cry about it. I get this way sometimes, and it usually is a harbinger of change. I threw away my old useless scale that was ludicrously inaccurate a few weeks ago. The scale was one of those where you get on it, and it gives you weight A, then you get off and it stops at the 5 pound mark instead of zero, you adjust it, then you step on it again, and you get A-5, etc. So, who knows. The scale had to go.

But I feel like I have no lifeline, and that I'm drowning. Drowning in an ocean of daily less-than-perfect choices. I can step back and KNOW what the problem is, but when it comes down to it, I have trouble making better choices.

It's been like this ever since I gave up artificial sweeteners, diet sod…


Michelle Melania tagged me. Eight random things:

1. I have really small ears and a big head. Hats rarely fit me.
2. For a chronically ill person, I exercise alot. Come to think of it, I exercise alot, for an american. And I"m still fat. Go figure. Hate to think how fat I'd be if I didn't exercise. This IS the "good version" of me. Today I walked four miles.
3. I love submarines: pictures of them, books and movies about them, the way the water looks flowing over the front part, etc. Oh, and bonus trivia, I like Naval histories as well. And another bonus, I've never been on a boat on the ocean.
4. I'm horribly afraid of heights, but not of flying, per se, although I'd be afraid to fly now days for fear of getting stuck on a tarmac somewhere for eight hours with no food.
5. I'm allergic to peanuts, and did not develop that allergy until I was 36 years old.
6. I love to sing and think I'd have a very good voice if I ever got voic…

Into Great Silence

I went and saw the film "Into Great Silence" (Die Grosse Stille) this afternoon. I went, barely knowing what the film was about, with no expectations.

I was the youngest person there.

Here is what the website says about the film:

Die Grande Chartreuse, das Mutterkloster des legendären Karthäuserordens, liegt in den Französischen Alpen. ›Die Große Stille‹ ist der erste Film, der jemals über das Leben hinter den Klostermauern gedreht wurde.

Stille. Wiederholung. Rhythmus.

Der Film ist eine sehr strenge, fast stumme Meditation über das Klosterleben in sehr reiner Form. Keine Musik, bis auf die Gesänge der Mönche, keine Interviews, keine Kommentare, kein zusätzliches Material.

Nur der Lauf der Zeit, der Wechsel der Jahreszeiten und das sich stetig wiederholende Element des Tages: das Gebet.

Ein Film, selbst mehr Kloster als Abbild.

Ein Film über Bewusstsein, über absolute Präsenz – und über Menschen, die ihre Lebenszeit in aller Klarheit Gott gewidmet haben. Kontemplation.

Eine Rei…