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Showing posts from October, 2007

How to Utterly Avoid Halloween

I just have to write about my day.

I got up at 5:30 am. After getting myself ready, I got the kids out of bed, into their clothes and into the car. Seven a.m. Divine Liturgy in honor of St. John Kochurov of Chicago. He is such a cool saint.

He's Russian, of course, but came to America to labor as a missionary priest, late 1800's, early 1900's. He did. In Chicago. If you are ever in Chicago, go check out Holy Trinity Cathedral. He's the priest who over-saw the building of that Church. His parishioners were very poor, so he went to Russia to raise money for the building program. His ministry also was marked by lots of good preaching, and many chrismations and baptisms.

In 1907 he and his family returned to Russia. For a while he was a teacher, but then his wish was fulfilled and he became a parish priest again.

Was it the wrong place at the wrong time, or the right place at the right time? In October of 1917, after a prayer service, when his town was surr…

New Things

*I utterly have no desire to finish reading the book I was on. Nor to pick up the next one in the same genre.

This is leaving me feeling somewhat restless, but I gar-on-tee you that my house will be cleaner as a result. (I'm one of those readers who can totally get lost in a book and only come up for food...air optional. Not so good when I'm the homeschooling mom of four kids.)

What to read? I like John Nicholas' suggestion of the Psalms, but I think I'm going to plow through the New Testament first.

*New friends: I'm being blessed. That's all I'm going to say about that. I'm so bad at the beginning of a friendship. Never quite know where the lines are or what to do. But I'm muddling along, and I'm grateful for the ladies in my Bible Study.

*New chance to serve: I've volunteered to become co-leader of the Lexington Fibromyalgia Recovery Group. The Guai protocol works. I'll be there to open the room on occasion, sing it's …

Furnace

Is blowing cold air.

Blarch!

Recoil

Sometimes great ideas backfire. Or they have an effect that one does not anticipate. Or an effect that one does not want to anticipate, but would if one took the time to think about it beforehand.

So, do you remember my big plan of reading a gospel after each crappy fiction book? Well, in two weeks I've read all four gospels.

And the crappy fictions books are much less appealing.

What ever will I do?

Church

Church was really really really good this weekend. Between Vespers last night, a late night dinner of chicken soup with the family, pre-communion prayers, and a quiet, smooth morning, it felt like a retreat.

We were in the zone!

I think that's what it's supposed to be every week. Normal Orthodox worship: No distractions. A space for quiet. A build-up to the Eucharist.

Thanks-giving and fellowship afterwards.

Now, how do I, as MOTHER(aka family puppet master), make this happen every week? Or at least more often?

I think the thing that made it all happen was just letting Saturday night be set aside as a time of prayer, and not for anything else. No movies, or books, or games. Just prayer.

I so needed that.

Walking in the Rain

I've been really busy and have not really had any whispers from God these past few days. That's probably for the best.

I've had to do my walking in the rain, these past three days. I was so grateful today that it was not a downpour, but rather a misting sprinkle, since the air temps are in the 50's, which feels cold right now. Having been in the 100's and 90's for so many moons and then still hot until just this week, it seems like a sudden onset of fall weather. (Our bodies are not adjusted. My kids are convinced it is freeeeezing!)

The rain is welcome. Our reservoirs have been distressingly low.

The first day of walking in the rain was pure joy. The air was warmish and I relished every step. Splashing, drops in my eyes, streaming down my face. Perhaps I looked happy with a dog-riding-in-a-car-with-his-head-out-the-window expression. That's how I felt.

Yesterday was colder, but dstill fun. It rained even harder and I was happily soaked to the …

Dropping the Gauntlet

I can't remember precisely what Father Justin said last week in his homily, but something in me clicked, and I got one of those Holy Spirit nudges: I need to be reading the Gospels/Scriptures more, in greater proportion to my other (very light and very brain-candyish) entertainment reading.

So I resolved: To read a Gopsel (I may change that to book of the Bible at some point) after each non-Scripture book I read. In other words: Crappy fiction, Gospel According to Matthew. Crappy Fiction. Gospel According to Mark. Crappy fiction. Gospel According to Luke. Crappy Fiction. etc.

Currently I'm already on John. And I've actually not read as voraciously as I usually do this week because I have been spending some time ramping up with the Weight Watcher's info.

But over all, I think this is going to be good for me.

I've been having this thought this week, that we spend time with what we love, and it is certainly possible to make a rational "this-is-my-w…

Swiss german for beginners

1:23 am on Saturday morning. I had caffeine today. I can't resist!

Mo-tee-va-tion!

Well, looks like I shouldn't have ANY trouble getting my HSA to pay for Weight Watchers since I was diagnosed with both Obesity AND Hypertension today.

So that explains those palpitations and that shortness of breath I've been experiencing.

My caregiver said that if my BP does not drop with weight loss, I'll have to be put on meds. I should check it regularly at the grocery store thingy.

No wonder I've been feeling older lately. Gone are the days when my weight does not affect my health. My knees hurt, my BP is us, I can feel pressure in various places and pulls on various ligaments.

So, I will NOT listen to my friends when they tell me I look good for my height, or when they say I carry my weight well. I will listen to my body which is clearly telling me I do NOT carry it well at all.

Pray for me.

What's Up, Doc?

My weight.

I joined weight watchers yesterday. So far, there are some nifty e-tools to play around with. So far it's not getting on my nerves. But this is only day one. He he he.

But progress is progress: Dieting without self-loathing. Now there's a concept.

Conclusions: I drink too much wine, I cook with too much fat and indulge myself in illegals such as pastries at Church about once a week...far too often. Yeah, that about sums up my fifty pounds of overweight.


Things I'm already doing right: eating fruits and veggies. Eating whole grain sugar free cereals, and limiting the carb portions each day. I read labels. That also puts me ahead of the game. I rarely eat out and I cook from scratch.

Now I just need to learn to cook with less FAT.

And I HAVE been walking. I'm back up to 2.5 miles nowadays.

Since I have family history for everything: heart disease, diabetes AND cancer, perhaps I can get a doc to write me a nice little note to get my HSA to …

Go Cats!

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The Kentucky Wildcats just beat #1 ranked LSU in triple overtime with a final score of 43-37.

Amazing! UK has not ever had a good football team in all the years we've lived in this town.

Interesting Opinion Piece in Christian Science Monitor

If I include the link am I breaking some law? Here it is:

An Orthodox balm for Europe

By Nicolai N. Petro Thu Oct 11, 4:00 AM ET

Kazan, Russia - For decades, many social scientists had pretty much two things to say about Eastern Orthodox Christianity: 1) that like all religions, it was disappearing with the advance of modern civilization; 2) that it derived most of its support from the reactionary tides of authoritarianism and nationalism.
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Those pronouncements are being proved wrong. Today, as in the parable of the prodigal son, throughout Eastern Europe people are returning to the Orthodox Church in droves, and the effect in the public sphere, contrary to most expectations, is quite benign.

Though historically viewed with suspicion by Catholic and Protestant Europe, Orthodox Christianity can actually help bridge the Russia-West gap.

At the heart of much of the miscommunication between Russia and Europe today lies the unacknowledged and untapped longing of Orthodox Christian…

White Pumpkin Pancakes

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These were delicious. Very similar to potatoes in taste, but more fragile than potato pancakes would have been, due to the higher water content of the pumpkin. Next time, I'll try to squeese some of the water out by putting the pumpkin in a colander and sticking a weighted plate on top for a little while. Many "ersatz" potato recipes that use cauliflower call for this step.

Also for next time: chopped onions...for more of a hashbrowns effect.

I ate these with ketchup for supper last night, my daughter had them with honey-mustard sauce, and my husband and another daughter ate them with maple syrup. The other kids wouldn't try them.

Very yummy, and a definite "repeater" in some form or other.

Oh, I forgot to add: this was about 1/3 of the pumpkin flesh, four eggs, processed in the food processor, cooked in an oiled pan.

And notice, please, how CLEAN my stove top is! I got the black gunk off with several of those magic eraser sponges and lots of elbow …

The Poor Among Us

Thinking about Almsgiving.

Not something one talks about much. After all, the right hand does not need to know what the left hand is doing. It should be done in a modest way. (Not modest quantitatively, but modest as in covered up.) So, no specifics.

What is before me: Alms-giving to specific people and their specific needs that I know of, or alms-giving to anonymous type organizations.

What do you all think?

I'm thinking if I have to choose one or the other, the personal trumps the impersonal, even when the personal can be done anonymously so as to preserve the modesty of almsgiving.

What do my blog readers think?

The Great White Pumpkin

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Is this a Charlie Brown tribute? Or was it Linus? I never can remember.

Well, Bethany and I found a White Pumpkin at the store the other day. Since we are all about pumpkins and squashes, now that she's on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, we picked up this beauty, and decided to give it a try.

Baking pumpkin from scratch is not difficult.

First I wash the outside with dishsoap and my scrubber. Then I plunk it, as you see here in the top picture, into the baking dish. Oven at three fifty until it smells done.

What does "done" smell like? Burning rind. It's not rocket science.

Once it's baked, it is soft. The skin is no longer rind-like, but is rather fragile and easy to peel back. After that it's just a matter of cutting it apart, scraping the seeds out and (which is much easier after it's baked than before), and scooping out the good stuff.

In this case I decided some of the flesh was still a bit on the firm side. So it is now in the steame…

I like the Photo Booth

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I like the fact that I can actually get pictures of myself that don't make me want to scream in horror and run away. I'm very camera shy, and this tool lets me be more in control.

Therapy.

So, here are some, from yesterday. My age is showing, especially around my eyes, if you look closely. You know what? THAT'S OK!

I'm pushing 40 (got a couple of more years to do the pushing) but I have to say that this phase of life is feeling much more fulfilling and less desperate than the last ten years or so.

Feels like I've rounded some sort of corner. And I can look in the mirror and smile instead of cringe.

Proof that the Holy Spirit is hard at work mending the broken places, I guess.

So, nothing silly....just me in the middle of the day yesterday.

Here's wishing I could have a nice cup of coffee and a chat with each of my faithful blog readers....all five of you, LOL.

THE. GROSSEST. THING. EVER!

So, my kitchen has been stinky. I've cleaned it thoroughly every day, like I always do, but it's just had this smell.

Today I continued sleuthing and threw out a bag of narshty rotten potatoes that I discovered on top of the fridge. That was probably overkill, getting rid of the whole bag on behalf of a few baddies, but I was grossed out and it seemed the thing. Rotten potatoes are particularly vile smelling, for some reason.

Lately I've been on a bit of a cleaning binge. I wanted clean. So I got rid of the rotten taters, scrubbed the basket, scrubbed the top of the fridge and rearranged stuff.

Now things should be nice and fresh.

Well, it was almost good.

But still there was funky around the edges.

....Later in the day.....

Time to make dinner. I'm loading the dishwasher, getting ready to peel a bunch of carrots, apples, onions, and other stuff of similar ilk to go in the baker with the chicken.

And I see this tail.

A mouse tail. So, why is it not rapidly…

It's all about ME ME ME!...or is it?

On Wednesday nights I participate in a women's Bible study. I'm the lone Orthodox in the group and one other person is heading towards Rome even as we speak. The rest of the crowd are of the Emergent persuasion. Is that protestant? They do seem to be protesting many things, but things different than Luther and Zwingli and those guys. Defies categorization.

It doesn't matter. We have some good talks and good fellowship and some good good good delving into the Prophet Hosea.

Boy, there sure are some zingers in that book, let me tell ya!

And I know it was directed, originally, to the idolatrous and unrepentant Northern Kingdom of Israel. I know this.

So how come I keep finding myself in those pages, as well. My faithfulness is also like a vapor. I say that I'll press on the seek the Lord and then my zeal fizzles out. This happens over and over again. I guess I'll just keep pressing on. Doh!

And I KNOW there are idols in my heart. Ones I have not even be…

Egads!

I just checked the ten day weather forecast. Oh, slay me! It's not just going to be mildly warm for the season...no, that won't happen until the slight "cool down" into the high seventies mid next week. No, it will be genuinely HOT here for the next five days or so. As in, the nineties!

Not that the weather is really worth blogging about. It's just that...well, I was curious this morning when the house hadn't cooled down any overnight, and then I had to vent.

Be Happy and Successful or else God Will Smite You!

I love my chiropractor, I really do. He helps my back.

Today, however, I went in there for my monthly back crunch, and he was stoked on McDonald's Sweet Iced Tea, by his own admission.

Now, he's usually an obnoxiously upbeat, seven habits kind of guy...very "positive thinking, success is my friend" etc. type of person. I like him, I really do, despite these personal quirks.

But today...Oh....he rubbed me the wrong way. It was the sugar and the caffeine. Scary combination in a person so naturally upbeat and gregarious.

I mean, my husband is also a sugar and caffeine fiend, but in his case, it keeps his pulse going. He's so low key and mellow that I'd hate to see him if he MISSED a fix. (Ok, scratch that...I yell at him when he goes too long without his Mountain Dew...) But Dr. Mike on caffeine and sugar...

Let's just say this gal who has PMS did NOT appreciate it.

First he comes barreling in the room: "How ARE your workouts coming along?!!!…

Chicken Soup for the Autistic Soul

Well, the CDC (that the Center for Disease Control, or the Center for Damaged Cerebrums...whichever) is at it again, spinning the data that might statistically link neuro damage with their vaccination schedule into something innocuous sounding for the media to pre-digest and feed to the American public. Gag.

Here's a good rebuttal by David Kirby

As a parent of the child on the Autistic spectrum, I don't really know what to think or who to believe. I don't think it's impossible that big pharm has damaged our children for the sake of profit. I also don't think it's impossible that in the name of a perceived good, the government would unwittingly cause damage to many children that occurred in unforeseen ways. While I don't believe it's intentional on anyone's part, I do see lots of money being a factor...both in the profit motive and the prevention of lawsuits motive.

I just don't know. But I wonder.

And another interesting linkage between t…