Showing posts from November, 2007

Blessed be the Name of the Lord

Now that the weather has cooled off, I'm back to sitting out on the back porch. I've got a very comfortable chair out there, and I like to sit in my sleeping bag with a mug or thermos caraffe of something hot, sipping and praying. It soothes the snarles and tangles of my stressed out innards.

It's been a rough week with one of my kids. Many tangles that need soothing. (Prayers appreciated.)

This morning I saw two couples of cardinals: two sets of male and female pairs. I wonder if it was a family, and a pair of blue jays. It was lovely to see them flitting around in the early morning sun. The cardinals were especially well-hidden amongst the red and orange un-raked leaves in our yard. Simply beautiful. Also, since the weather has been odd, the honeysuckle has not decided to drop its folliage this fall, and the grass is still green. A few days ago I noticed that the neighbors still have roses blooming. Confused plants.

Another thing that happened is that I kicked…

Educating Alana

I've decided to shake things up a bit in our home school, to foster independent learning, and to increase the content of the kids' reading materials. Towards that end, I organized our bookshelves by category, and in the process discovered we have lots of great resources.

Also, I discovered how few English and American Lit. classics I have actually read, juvenile or adult. I want to remedy this. I might as well work on reading what's on my shelf.

For instance, I've never read a book by Roald Dahl. Yesterday I started BFG (Big Friendly Giant). I don't know what I think yet. Books by Robert Lewis Stevenson and Jack London are on my "to read" list. Along with Wind in the Willows, Mary Poppins, and also Swiss Family Robinson. I don't particularly look forward to this process, but it must be done.

If anyone is stumped for gift ideas, bookstore gift cards would always be welcome, towards the goal of us building an excellent library. It is better to…

Think About It

If we consistently pray to God "Thy will be done", WHY are we surprised when life does not go our way?

(...speaking of myself of course....)

How often do we say those words, when what we really mean is "Dear God, please let your will be MY will, and let, therefore, MY will be done."?

Think about it.

Doll Making

Today I made this doll. She's a commission project, and represents about three hours of work. She's about twelve inches long. The dress is removable, but the hat is sewn on. You can't see it in the picture, but the crown of the hat is trimmed with the same rose trim as the dress. Her clothes are the softest flannel and her hair is made out of recycled wool.

I ought to post something...really, I should.

Well, Thanksgiving came and went and all went well. Food was good. Nobody over-ate. Nice visit with some relatives. As usual I am slammed. So tired. Our whole family is introverts, so even a short visit with people leaves us all rather tired.

A Day Full of Jesus

We got up early and went to Divine Liturgy this morning for the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple. That's my favorite thing to do on a weekday. And between now and Nativity, there's going to be a weekday liturgy about once a week. Tomorrow we go again, for Thanksgiving, so this week it's two! This makes me happy.

Of course I can't comprehend receiving Christ Himself in the Eucharist, but the reality is there nonetheless. I meet Him. And He fills me with life and joy. Even on the bad days. I cannot touch Him, yet he comes and touches me. I cannot apprehend Him, yet He gives Himself to me.

On the way home, I dropped some food off for someone who is ill, and was also giving a ride to the doctor for the brother in my parish who makes my chronic illness situation look like the walk in the park that it is. But this man is more full of peace and joy than just about anyone I know. He prays.

So, we are rolling along, up Harrodsburg Road discuss…

Monday, Monday

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Well, Monday is not my least favorite day of the week. I generally like the fact that after a busy weekend (and this weekend was particularly busy!) I get to just be at home and do the things I do around here.

Today is a little bit different, though, since the coming Thanksgiving holiday requires a major clean-fest. I plan to have the house spotless, since I have in-laws coming, and that includes a baby and a toddler. I don't want anything dangerous or gross lying about, if you know what I mean.

And I don't like to clean, but must do it. So, here I go...

Why am I such a reluctant hostess? Hospitality is difficult for me, and even more so for my reclusive husband. So, it falls to my shoulders, if we ever have anyone over for a meal, or anything like that. And having people spending the night gives me anxiety.

I guess it's because all my feelings of inadequacy come to the forefront, and I feel the oddness that is our life. And I wonder what others will thi…



Last night I went to bed at 8:30 pm and slept for eleven hours. I didn't even hear my husband's snoring, which usually keeps me up half the night. That's one of the reasons I was so tired. It's been a mostly sleepless week.

I also went to bed fighting some very low feelings: Like, I'm a big fat(literally) nobody with a nothing life. I can't really delve into the whys or wherefores of those feelings, as just typing the words is bringing them back.

So, I'm a homemaker. But I'm not the good kind. I'm the kind with unfolded laundry and dubious kitchen floors. My house is the muggle version of the Weasley's place, the Burrow. Yay, rah. Who cares about homemakers? The world is certainly not impressed with me. And if I were getting a grade (I was always SO good in school!) it would not be a good one. Certainly not an "A".

I'm the kind of homemaker who would rather be cruising youtube for 9/11 conspiracy theory vids and re…

Not Such a Great Idea

I made a vegetable soup with canned oysters today. It was very STRONG, fishy. It stenched up the house. My oldest seems to like oysters better than I do. And no one else ate the soup. Or else my oldest child is just very stubborn and is forcing herlself to eat it because it's there. I'll probably force myself to eat another portion of it tomorrow, because it's there, but I won't be cooking it again. I'd rather just do veggie soup and do the oysters on the side. Perhaps smothered in mustard sauce, or something. Or shrimp. It's much milder.

We had to cut up and cook some apples, an orange and some five spice in lemon juice so that we could get rid of the fishy smell.

On a sad note, my youngest lost her baptismal cross today at the place where I go to Wednesday night bible study. Please say a prayer that we can find and retrieve it successfully. She and I are both very sad. Of course she didn't tell me she'd lost it until AFTER we'd left, an…

The Big Clear Out-Part 2

We got to Church this weekend with out car full of stuff, and I was amazed and gratified to see that we weren't the only ones. I wish I had a picture to post, of the huge mound of bags, boxes and hangers full of clothes and goods that people gathered. And from what I hear, many are still working on it and will bring more in in the coming weeks. The pile will grow.

Through a personal connection of a member of our parish, I think it's going to Hurricane relief in Haiti. Yes, some folks there lost everything. People he knows and is related to.

After Divine Liturgy, the pile was moved into the nave, and the priest blessed the stuff. Later, I supervised a crowd of very enthusiastic children who were eager to help move it out to the fellowship room. They made many trips back and forth. At the very end was a Rubbermaid tub, rather large and heavy, full of dishes. I went to find a strong young man to help carry the container, when lo and behold, here come a herd of kids, coope…

The Big Clear Out

This, lifted off the OCA website...I can't find the reference anywhere, although here's the quote: St. Basil the Great wrote in the fourth century: "the coat that hangs in your closet belongs on the shoulders of your brother who is naked, the extra shoes belong on the feet of the one who has none..."
So, getting ready for the Nativity fast:

I'm learning that there is a special emphasis on Almsgiving during the Nativity fast. Our hearts need to be quieted, and to be freed from materialism, especially during this time of year. The world wants to lead us quite in the opposite direction.

There are some really good notes here about what it's all about.

Father Justin read the famous quote by St. Basil the other day...the one that by the extra clothes hanging in our closet we are robbing the poor. I'd heard it before, but this time it really struck me.

I generally consider myself to be fairly non-materialistic. I don't own as much as many people do, …

Pumpkin Clam Chowder

1 T. oil
1 Onion, chopped...sautee in oil
3 cups or so of some sort of broth (I used fat free homemade chicken stock because the canned stuff is not on anyone's diet, but a veggie boullion cube and some water would work well.)
3-4 cups of cooked pumpkin
2 cloves of crushed garlic
juice drained off from 2 10 oz. cans of clams

Make the above into a soup. Once the pumpkin (it was in the freezer) is thawed and it's all hot, blend it all in a blender. Use a towel to hold down the top, lest it explode and burn your hand. Ask me how I know this.

2 cans of clams, chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
chives to taste.

Add the last ingredients after the pumpkin part is smooth and blended. Get it hot and serve.

This is really really really good. And it's low carb, legal or both a gluten free/casein free diet, Specific Carbohydrate diet and it has only 2 Weight Watcher points per serving. (I'm pretending like the recipe makes six servings).

Just in time for the nativ…

Eat Your Vegetables

I had a nice time with a new friend yesterday. One of the ladies from the Communality Bible study I go to on Wednesday nights. She came over for "coffee" and we all know that that really means whatever smorgasbord of hot beverages a person can manage to lay out. I asked her if she wanted cocoa, coffee or tea...and she said "Cocoa, as long as it's sugar free!" I knew right then we'd be kindred spirits. So I made us a pot, and cracked open a packet of sugar free shortbread cookies. It was good. I counted the points.

Yes indeedy. I believe I blogged a few months back about giving up artificial sweeteners, and such. Well, I'm here to announce that reality land for Alana is that they are going to have to stay a part of my life. The sugar, honey, fructose, type of stuff, and various lower glycemic blends of various more natural sugars that exist still make me ill. And I just can't manage to NOT go for anything sweet ever. But I digress.

We d…

I lost weight this week!

1.4 pounds for a total of six since I started weight watchers.

And that, despite my trip to Nashville and my fibro-flare up.

Yaaaaaaaay! I was dreading weigh-in so much. And I'm glad that's behind me now.

Ky Highway Safety

My homeschool list is a treasure trove of information today! Here's more:

Important Travel Safety Information
> They will help change your tire, etc. Good number to keep with us in the
> car!
> Put this number in your cell phone, you never know when you will need it
> Today I found out that we have a free roadside service for highways,
> parkways, and interstates in KY They are funded by our taxes. They will
> change your tire, help with battery, or anything needed for an emergency.
> They do not want any money at all, not even a tip.
> Keep this number in your car and you can phone them 365 days a year, 24
> hours a day.
> 1-877-FOR- KYTC
> 1-877-367-5982
> He gave me a sticker to put on the windshield with the number listed above.
> I didn?t know this service was offered. He explained that not many people
> do and ask that I tell my friends. They were ever so helpful.
> Website: Highwaysafety…

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

This is a cut and paste from info passed around on one of my homeschool lists:

Will you help us get the word out? November 11-16 is
National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week and
we’re planning several activities to highlight our
clients and their needs. Please share the following
information with all of your friends and contacts.
Please feel free to forward this e-mail directly.

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

November 11-16
Everyone is invited to join the Hope Center and the
UPS Stores throughout Lexington and Winchester to
deliver Hope in a Bag to the homeless citizens in our
community. It’s easy to participate:
Fill a bag with personal items for a man or woman and
include a personal note of encouragement. Label
whether the bag is for a male or female. Bring the bag
to any Lexington or Winchester UPS store and your bag
will be delivered to a homeless person in the
community. Suggested personal needs items include
travel-size toiletries and cold weather wear (soap,

Can't quite get it together

God have mercy! I'm having one of those weeks, and it's only Tuesday. Everything I do seems to be teetering on the verge of failure. Yesterday I was going to sew something, and then I realized I'd misplaced the paper that had the dimensions on it. So I had to e-mail the person who could tell me what they were. So I'll be sewing today, instead.

Yesterday I wanted to watch "The Hobbit" with the kids, since we'd just finished reading the book together after realizing my sewing project had to be put on hold. We got the popcorn made, and realized the version we'd checked out from the library was in Spanish.

So, we packed up to go to the library, and of course had to place a copy of the video we wanted on hold because it was at another branch.

And when we got home, realized that for all of that, we'd left that Spanish copy at home so we'll have to go back sometime today and get it returned.

I went for a walk even though I was mostly feelin…


Thursday morning, I got in my car and drove down to Nashville, TN for a Koinonia Coffehouse Reunion Concert. I went, hoping to see some folks I knew from my High School youth group, and I was successful: I did get to see my youth group leaders from back then. These people blessed me tremendously and I wanted to hug their necks.

Neck-hugging is important.

I also wanted to pick up some Dogwood music, and I was successful with that as well.

A bit of history:

Koinonia Bookstore/Coffeehouse was a ministry spin-off of some people in Belmont Church, started back in the early 1970's. They had Friday and Saturday night concerts there, and many many people were reached for Christ during that time. Lots of baptisms, apparently. Of course, spun off from all that were things like "New Believer's Classes" etc. All of it very woo-woo-charismatic and exciting.

But apparently those concerts at Koinonia were sort of the beginning of the Nashville contemporary Christian mus…

25 Years

in amerika.