Showing posts from August, 2007

A chocolate kind of day

I found myself having a chocolate day. Just. Feeling. Down.

It was difficult, after yesterday's nature hike left me utterly exhausted and the house messy. You see, we went out into a new growth woods, and tried to discover the wonders of nature after our early morning Divine Liturgy. Nature Journals and pencils in hand, we went exploring. Soon we saw a skunk. That was fun. Never seen one of those before that wasn't squashed on the road. He was far enough away that we weren't worried about startling him. I'm sure he heard our noise and scurried away.

Growing things smaller than bushes and trees were rare, due to the lateness of the season and the drought. We did find lots of what was either wild carrot or wild hemlock. One is poisonous (the hemlock) and the other is actually edible, in its young variety. They are so similar, it can be dangerous, though, so I would not recommend going out and chowing on wild carrot root. (The carrot has a fuzzy stalk, and t…


Quote of the week in my life.

A Catholic friend of mine visited Orthodox vespers with me last night: "Wow! It's like worship on Steroids!"

Yeah, that'd be us....{grin}. Afterwards we discussed how we'd both like to see an end to the [Not-so-]Great Schism in our lifetimes. Girls can dream, can't they? Well, at any rate we can pray.

Thanks for coming with me, my friend.

The One thing Needful


I've been reading through the book of Isaiah lately...large multiple chapter chunks in somewhat random order. I sit down, grab my Bible, and get lost in those words.

In a way it is fitting to do this week, since it was the prophet Isaiah who told us that there would be a forerunner, and it is the forerunner's forerunning that we remember today in the Church.

But oh, the heart of God expressed in Isaiah just leaves me dumfounded and overwhelmed by His love!: "Hearken to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am He, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made and I will bear; I will carry and I will save." -Is. 46:3-4

Such words! "I have made and I will bear; I will carry and I will save." just keep going through my head over and over again, like a Michael Card song. (Perhaps it already is a Michael Card song...)

"And the ransomed …

All the Fullness

For some reason, prayers were especially rich and full to me this weekend. Last night AND this morning, I was really able to BE there. Sunlight slanting in through the back windows as the billows of vesperal incense wafted around us with it's sweet fragrance. Choir voices joining with the rest of us "bless the Lord O my soul" and kids only occasionally distracting me.

Candle light, and Christ on the Cross off to the left, with beeswax dripping into the sand under soft candle glow.

Roses and hydrangea all around.

All the beloved people gathered in prayer.

My hips hurt.

Garment Dyeing

Maria asked in the comments section about how to dye a garment, so I thought I'd write about it here.

Dyeing can either be done on a stovetop or in the washing machine. I prefer the washing machine, as it is less messy, and so that is what I will write about.

Materials: Washing machine, clean garments to be dyed, rit dye, salt, detergent

Method: Make sure your clothes are clean, and stain free. Small grease stains will take the color differently and show up even more after you dye them.

To dye three shirts black, I got three boxes of dye. The darker you want your color to be, the more dye you need to use. Otherwise black is gray, brown is tan and red is coral.

Small load on HOT setting, mix the dye and a cup of salt in with the water and 1 tablespoon of detergent.

Mix, and then add the garments, and get them all the way in there. Let the water finih filling and start agitating. Half way through the agitation part, turn off the washer and let it sit for several hours.



Yesterday Molly came for dinner and we ended up having a grand ol' time going through my closet. I'm in a bit of a transition phase right now, somehow I've changed on the inside, and some of my clothes just aren't ME anymore.

Time for a revamp. She has such a good sense of style, being an artist and all that,and a real eye for color, and we ruthlessly went through everything. Prints and OUT, except for a very few subtle printed skirts and a couple of April Cornell dresses that just sort of flow the right way.

Other than that, it's blacks, browns, charcoal gray, that color of the sky just before it gets really dark, light blue, white, cream and maroon. If nature does it (black and brown tree bark for example) I can do it too. That's the rule. Black velvet/velour goes with anything except for more black velvet. I have three such items in my wardrobe. Linen is my friend in the summer. Flowing tunic length things, and fabulous scarves for drama.


Must. Blog. Something. Profound.


Profundity escapes me. I refuse to be a faker and just cough stuff for the sake of.

Keepin' it real, folks. Lately I've been up to my neck in English grammar, grading math workbooks, and giving botany lessons. As much as my kids hate grammar, I console them with this: I hate it too, and have to give FOUR lessons per day in the subject.

One of my kids is Rain man, One of them is Hermione Granger, one is a budding radical, and the other is a guy stuck living amongst so many females that he just has to go ride his bike at times.

Tomorrow I'm taking a "teacher in service day" to get caught up on grading, get caught up on some sewing that needs to happen, and go visit some folks down in Wilmore.

Real life happens. That's one thing I like about Home School.

Check it out: for those of you who live in or near my town: Kroger has sirloin tip roasts on sale for 1.99 per pound. I bought a 21.85 chunk o'meat, had it cut into many plate sized steaks (e…

I Loved this Book

Bobbie Faye's Very (very very very) Bad Day by Toni McGee Causey, published by St. Martin's Griffin

Oh, my! This book was hilarious. Now, don't go reading it if you can't tolerate a bit (Ok, so more that a bit) of southern cussin' 'cause that's just how Bobbie Faye talks, and to be quite honest, so would I if I had the kind of day she had.

The whole book, all 321 pages of it, covers one day. A very bad day, of course. Very very very bad day. Let's just say she wakes up with two inches of water in a trailer that's filling up like a bathtup, which eventually falls apart, and her day just gets worse from there. But Bobbie Faye somehow rallies. I won't spoil it. Go and read it for yourself.

I truly, truly hope they make it into a movie. I e-mailed the author today and she replied that some plans to that effect are in the works. Hope all works out.

Go check out and watch the youtube videos. It's just fun.

Is there a Gardner in the House?

Well, it's official. My oldest daughter has a green thumb. I sort of wondered what would develop when we brought her home and started home schooling her. Turns out, she started by growing things like alfalfa sprouts and the like.

Then, yesterday, suddenly some very interesting little pots of plants appeared on the back porch: She'd sprouted and started corn and beans IN HER ROOM! My goodness! And they made their appearance yesterday, ready to graduate from their little wet cotton nursery into the pots she prepared for them.

Today she planted sweet potatoes in an old tub and she tells me she's been reading up on container gardening. It is SO the wrong time of year...but the goal, at this point is green stuff, not food.

I, personally, have always wanted to turn some spare attic space into an indoor garden with the right kind of grow lights. Perhaps I won't have to do all the work, after all.

My son, who was complaining loudly about her planting sweet potatoes, …

Just for Fun

Having a good time creating cartoonish photos of myself with the distortions possible on this laptop camera.

A Different Kind of Piety

Last Thursday, I went to the Newman Center with my friend Lisa, and visited a noon day mass. Now, for those of you who don't know, the Newman Center is the Roman Catholic college campus ministry. There was a Newman center at the University I attended and I remember visiting once on a Sunday morning. I thought I was so "enlightened" then, to go in there a criticize everything...Oh, the arrogance of my youth.

I want to avoid that, this time around.

One of my best friends was Roman Catholic for a long time, and it has formed her in very very good ways. Yes, to the apostolic succession. Yes to their Eucharistic much good there. Sometimes I wonder why she bothered becoming Orthodox.

Coming from a background of Byzantine worship, now, for the past nine years, a few things struck me as so very different that I mistakenly said: "It felt protestant to me." Diarrhea of the mouth, no doubt. Upon reflection, that comment missed the mark and wasn…

This feels like a JOB!

Home school is definitely more intense this year than it was last year. Don't get me wrong: I'm very much enjoying it. But I also am keenly aware that I'm going to have to find some "recharge my batteries" time each week, alone. I'm also aware that I need to find a balance with the housework.

Oy! I keep neglecting to fold laundry, moving the heap of clean stuff to my bed every morning and back to the living room couch each night.

I dreamed last night that that I was contemplating getting a job at walmart for 13 hours a week (weird, huh?) but that in my dream I decided against it because physically I'd not be able to do it. That's the barrier I always run up against in my life. I guess I know it even in my dreams.

Nothing interesting to add. I must go shopping for food. I want to buy more interesting things than food, but that's life, I guess.

The Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos

Classical alto recorder music wafts downward from upstairs and a breeze is sporadically gracing the lace curtains in the living room to dance a little bit. The morning started cool, but has turned hot and muggy. Typical Kentucky August weather. The cool part was a bonus.

We were up bright and early this morning, out the door by 6:15 am. to make it to Divine Liturgy for the feast. I was so pleased to be there. This is one of the big things about homeschooling that I love: Being able to keep the feasts in this way. After we enjoyed breakfast together at Church, we decided to take a walk at the University of Kentucky Arboretum. Particularly appealing since we will be studying botany this year. We've started, but not gotten very far yet.

We saw some very cool plants that I'd never seen before. Many of them were labeled, but of course I did not write anything down...this time. Next time we go, will be with sketch pads, so we can do some nature journaling. One plant wa…

Busy, busy!

Doing school with the kids is so much fun. But that's not what I'm going to blog about.

After I got the kids school work done, I had to run out the the post office and mail a certified letter to the superintendant of the schools to tell him that I'm homeschooling.

Then I got gas (felt like I drifted inton the gas station parking lot of fumes!) and picked up a gallon of milk that turned out to be clabbered. Oh darn! I guess I just HAD to make biscuits. Yum!

But that's not what I'm going to blog about.

I'm also not going to blog about the homeschool group kickoff event I went to. I generally can't stand those things, but I joined the Jessamine county homeschool group so that I could get my kids into P.E. at Asbury college. The kickoff was rife with crowds, a clown, one doilie wearing mennonite (talk about flash back!) and a few faces I knew from over ten years ago when I lived in Jessamine County.

But that's not what I'm going to blog about…

Something a Little More Cheerful

Seems there's been plenty of "woe is me" on my blog lately.

Well, the repair man came and went and my oven is fixed. I"m grateful for that. Then, while I was a Church Wednesday night, my husband did the the broken dishwasher...because he'd forgotten it was broken. And it worked just fine, drained just fine, etc. I've been using it since. So, my dishwasher is at least temproarily healed, paise God! I figure someone is prayin' out there in blogland.

I often forget to pray about stuff like that. Or if I do, it's more of the "Why God?" type of payer. In my universe, every little thing tends to need to have cosmic and spiritual significance. For my salvation yadayadayada.

Let's see...took my youngest to the eyedoc today and she does not need glasses. She's barely borderline nearsighted with an astigmatism, but the doc said that for now he'd wait. She'll need them someday. But THIS is not that day!

I go…

Coming to Amerika

LIsa S. asked me to tell the story. She knew me "back when".... fresh off the proverbial boat....plane in my case, but still. I get all teary whenever I see documentaries about Ellis Island. I never "did the Ellis Island thing"...that was way before my time, of course, but there was that lady, the Statue of Liberty, greeting me at the end of every trans-atlantic flight. Welcoming me to America. Such a foreign place. It certainly seemed so to me on November 2, 1982. The day we came over. And I can't say "Statue of Liberty" without the german "Freiheitsstatue" echoing in the background.

I'd visited, of coure, my parents being Americans, and all. All my grandparents lived in Texas, and I'm afraid that we all considered each other rather foreign, but were too polite to say much about it. The cousins who were close in age played with us, and we temporarily enjoyed such novelties as pop-tarts, fruit loops and constant televisio…

Hunting Without a Tribe

I'll be honest. Money's tight. It is for many of us, but in our culture, we independent Americans don't like to talk about it. Kings and queens of the world, we are, and so we fake it. I'm so sick of faking it. I want to be real. Not asking for any handouts, but I think by being honest, some others, hopefully, will find encouragement.

Lots written on the national debt and the record setting levels of consumer debt. Our country, our own wallets: America and Americans are afflicted.

Recently I read a book called Affluenza. It's been out a few years, and it doesn't talk about anything that anybody does not know: Much of the debt in this country is because people are buying too much stuff, being materialistic, etc.

But there's another side to it, I'm convinced. It's not always about over-consuming. Sometimes it's the bare necessities. Even in the face of doing without, debt can mount. I want to talk about the underbelly of this de…


"Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And besides Thee I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and heart are weak and may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

...weak and may fail. That's where it's at today. God is my portion, but my dishwasher is on the fritz again, and so is my oven. I get lots of gas smell and a very slow preheat time. Sometimes I wish that God would portion himself towards me in a more material, fix-it, handymanish sort of way. Know what I mean?

The back door lock is broken, along with my dishwasher and dying oven. And the screen on the back keeps popping off, and my AC does not work and as of right now neither does our furnace. There is a big evil countdown clock in my brain counting down to the first weekend in October when it will get cold (it's always that weekend that we need heat.)

My house is always dilapidated. And no one to fix it. or way. Oh, I just Discovered a way. In fact, I have a Visa to tra…

The Seamstress is In

Just thought I'd announce it here:

I'm at a place where I'm open to sewing/needle work, if anyone out there needs to hire a seamstress. Fair trade labor, and all that. My home school could use a shot in the arm, funding-wise.

Long distance, I can do mantillas or free-hand machine embroidered cloths or scarves, baby gifts (cute rag dolls and such), baptismal gowns for infants, baby quilts, baby slings, etc.

Order now for hand knitted scarves or shawls for Christmas gifts. You get the drift. I can pretty much do anything.

Prices to be negotiated.


How appropriate that today is the feast of the elevation of the Cross...and the Swiss national holiday. Watch till the end and you'll know what I mean. Of course I'm all weepy, crying and pathetic today. Figures.

Justice in the Burbs

Lisa Samson is a good friend of mine. Today, their book releases. I think it just might be a good one!

And if you have not read it yet, get your hands on Lisa's novel called Quaker Summer. God just might use that book to change your life.

First of August

Swiss National Holiday. Wish I could be there....

all pictures courtesy of the following google image searches: Switzerland, Jura Switzerland, Basel Switzerland, Swiss Yodeling