Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hammered

I knew it would happen. After the day I pulled yesterday, I decided even before it hit me that I would ratchet my activites back today. Sure enough, by noon I was done for and so it's been taking it easy the rest of the day. Including staying home while the family goes to Vigil.

Ahhh, peace and quiet. A find myself ping-ponging between the family altar, some prayers, and the computer, and just sitting and being silent.

Silence is difficult to endure sometimes, even when I crave it. And my own restless company...also difficult to endure. "Anywhere but here!" my heart screams. I suppose this is a retreat, of sorts, albeit a very short one.

I keep wanting to call someone. Reach out and connect. But that never works, either. Too many friends lost or about to be. Now I'm even too tired to pray. I wish the sun would go down so the icons would look cool in the dark with candle light. As it is, everything is sort of evening-daytimish as is only possible in mid summer after 8 pm.

I'd better get off here, then, and go be quiet in my re-arranged living room. After all, the family will be back with their noisy needs soon enough.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Busy Day

Up at 5 a.m. for a 6:15 a.m. baptism and 7:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy. Seriously hard core! Sweet prayers. Richard David got wet! And then he got oily!

Got home, stopped by the bank on the way to get grocery cash. Then, I was in one of those moods (I'd had some coffee, and I don't usually do caffeine) where I HAD to rearrange and clean the living room. So I spent the rest of the morning flipping that room around, with the kids' help. It looks so nice now. The passage way in from the front is not blocked by my big chair, and the first thing the eyes see is the altar, since the TV is on the opposite side of the room now. When seated on the couch, one sees out the windows, which is lovely.

Then I went grocery shopping, and while I was there one of my kids managed to break off the sink faucet. Another broken thing. Now it's like totally medieval euro-chic in my kitchen. The kid who did the breakage will help with the payage for the replaceage.

So most of the rest of the downstairs got swept, dishes washed, etc. after I got home, and then a friend of mine came to visit us on her day off. I made brownies and we sat around the dining room table, me, her, the kids, and drank tea/coffee and had chocolate brownies (they turned out kind of torte-like) and the moment was just so european.

My dd and I played a few alto/soprano recorder duets for my friend, and then my dd kept playing and it made for some very cool background music. She's so talented!

It was a cloudy day here, but eventually we went to the pool. And I shivered. Home again, blueberries and gluten free pancakes for the kids, whole wheat spaghetti, and greens-n-zucchini cooked in garlic and olive oil for the grown ups.

A shared meal, and my friend stayed for evening prayers. I always like sharing evening prayers with my family and friends.

A very good day. I started hurting around noon, but just kept on going like the enrgizer bunny. Glory to God for the energy!

Tomorrow I MUST stay home and rest, lest I die on Sunday.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rain

I sat on my back porch drinking a cup of tea. The rain came down hard, and then soft, then hard again. The wet was beautiful. The dry spots under the swing set are veritable little lakes of mud.

I sat, sipping, listening to the peaceful sounds. Rest, after a busy morning. A good book on my lap. Wondering if the rain was just here, or if it extended thirty miles to the South. So funny, that things are lush and green in my neighborhood, but in the town where many of my friends live, life has been dangerously brown.

I called my friend. She said they got a good soaking. What a blessing!

Whenever it rains, the grass, clover, honeysuckle, lilac bush and redbud tree all turn a brilliant, wet green. The blooming roses, like droplets of jewels at the far end of the yard become a striking contrast in the gray light. Everything is awash with music and beauty, when it rains.

And I remembered another friend who has eye problems and only can drive on cloudy days. Today she had an important appointment, and the clouds are most welcome.

An answered prayer and an icon of mercy is this rain. A reminder of life and beauty and growing things is this rain.

I bet the weeds enjoyed their drink, as well.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Battleground

Fighting logismoi this evening. Enemy identified. Extra prayers prayed. Trying not to let my feelings control me, trying to tell myself the TRUTH. Thinking especially about the passion of Christ. This is hard.

Natural Weed killer

Gotta love Google!

I have not tried these.

OK, natural weed killers include:

Boiling water (applied directly to the weed. According to one site, this kills the weed but not the grass. A good option.)

Vinegar. This kill some weed better than others. I particularly am interested in broad leaf thingies. Clover, I don't consider a weed.

or the following recipe:

1 gallon of vinegar,
1 cup of salt
a squirt of dishwasher liquid (this helps it stay on the weed and not go everywhere or run off.)

Hmmmm...seems like the application of all of the above would be work, but then so would the application of some vile ortho poduct, roundup or some such.

Going Green

Last night we bought a push mower. I joked with the kids that it's spaghetti powered. Today, I push-mowed the back yard and the side/front strips outside the sidewalk. I'll let Wes do the front yard, including the narshty slopes this evening. BWAHAHAHA!

I like it. I really do. I don't mind a good sweat, and I certainly got that today. What I did mind about mowing was the gasoline on my hands and the stench and noise. The push mower is not silent, but it was plenty enough quiet that I could enjoy some good music on the portable CD player I borrowed from my teenager.

I also paid various kids to go behind me with some kiddie scissors and trim the weeds the push mower did not get after six or so passes. It'd been a while since the grass was cut, and I anticipate the job going easier next time. I also anticipate doing some research to find out if there's any way to get rid of some of these green things called weeds growing on my yard.

So, our carbon footprint just got a little bit smaller, between the dishwasher being Kaput and not replaced, and the lawnmower not being a push mower. Glory to God for all things!

And, I have discovered that if I put Shell gasoline in my van, a tank lasts two weeks, with conservative driving. If I put cheap (Thorntons, for instance) gas in my car, a tank lasts one week with conservative driving. I'm paying the extra ten cents a gallon, because it's cheaper in the long run!

I wonder if there is a non-toxic weed killer out there?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dogs

I know, I know...the monks at New Skete love dogs. I don't. Saints have communion with animals like Adam in the garden. I don't.

I've read enough about dogs, and doggish behavior to have an appreciation for how they function, and how well they can function in a human pack. I still don't like dogs, as a whole.

Individual dogs that belong to other people, and who are well leashed or fenced, and whose poop I don't have to scoop, I have no problem with. I even met a very charming labradoodle the other day that I would call adorable.

Dogs that rush me while I"m out walking, on the other hand...I don't like.

So, I'm out walking today, and come up one a house with front porch sitters who are smoking their cigs while their boxer is out front sniffing around. I approach on the sidewalk. The rude people don't call their dog back. I keep walking, dog spots me and come unglued. Rushing, growling and barking. Still, these nice neighborly people don't call their dog back. In a panic I call to them to call their dog back. Dog is about six inches away from me before they call her back. Niiiice!

So I start walking again and say "You need to put your dog on a leash!" And I get "EXCUUUUSE ME" punctuated by a belligerent swagger. Now the lady, withered crone in a house dress with a cigarrette dangling from her fingers, is on her feet at my end of the porch. Spoiling for a fight.

Oh, good grief. The swagger. Not the swagger. Please! Not the swagger! People around her get so stinkin' defensive when their rudeness is confronted. No one likes being told what to do, I suppose.

We exchanged words, and I tried hard to diffuse the situation. But everything I said, seems like just fed her fires. Good grief. Finally I said: "Listen, your dog scared the shit out of me back there, and how am I supposed to know it would never bite anyone?" And walked off.

"Never bite anyone" my arse! I don't think any dog owner has the right to EVER say that, unless their dog has no teeth. No, that dog would never bite a member of it's own family, but put a dog in the front yard while you are sitting on the porch, and that dog's every instinct is going to be to defend its people (pack) and its territory. Especially if it feels threatened. And NO dog knows about public sidewalks. You just can't erase instinct.

If you are a dog owner: PLEASE keep your dog penned or leashed. Just because you are sitting on the front porch does not mean you can let your dog loose in your front yard.

Nothing beats a good surge of fear induced adrenaline. Blech!

Friday, June 22, 2007

VCS ALERT

Well, today was the last "official" day of Vacation Church School. Tomorrow we celebrate Divine Liturgy (with all three of the Orthodox priests in town invited to concelebrate) and then have a few songs, and a skit for the kids to present to the parents and others who come. And of course, food together afterwards.

That's one Orthodox tradition that I really love: Fasting together naturally leads to eating together.

Well, things were really really zoo-like in my class today. Fortunately my helpers are trained teachers, so they did some good crowd control. But it was still a mess.

And, there's twelve little kids in our class. Whew! Wiggle, wiggle. And today some of the boys were LOUD.

One little fellow, one of the sweetest in the class, was in tears because the teacher of his older brother's class passed out goody bags to all her students. Such a thing never ever occurred to me. Besides, I don't have the funds (sheesh, that's a major theme of my life isn't it?) to do up twelve goody bags...but I felt bad for this kid nonetheless. I suppose it's one of those hard-knocks moments where it is for his salvation to confront his envy. But I still felt bad for the kid. I'm a big softie.

So, my oldest daughter's friend called me fat yesterday. Thanks so much for that nugget of TRUTH. But I still didn't really relish the moment of hearing it. Like the jolly person I am, however, I laughed it off and only despaired inwardly.

Our T-shirts are brown. I like them! Normally I can't stand the VCS t-shirts. This year, not so bad. Still don't like the cut, mind you, but at least the color does not scream.

Well, that's all the drivel I can come up with. I'm SO TIRED...ZOMBIE-LIKE.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

More Chic...

I mean shabby...

So, I went to weed-whack the tall growing things in my lawn the other day, and the weed whacker wouldn't start, either. Figures.

We are thinking of getting one of those simple push mowers, but of course they don't do well on weeds, which would mean we need to get something to grassify our lawn. Maybe a goat would be in better order?

I'm coming home from VCS everyday just exhausted. I slept off and on yesterday afternoon, and my kids were so BORED that they were in tears by supper time. I think the tears probably had more to do with not eating a proper snack in the afternoon.

I. have. got. to. quit. eating. so. many. CARBS! I hurt all over again, and I KNOW it's partially diet related (Ah, the interesting ways hypoglycemia and fibromyalgia do intersect!). It's really really hard not to just go with the flow during fasting periods. I succumb all too easily to bread, rice, pop-corn and tortilla chips. Those things are everywhere. Auuuuuuuuuugh! And the thing is, I can sort of get away with it for a while, and then, BAM! The pain hits me like a dam breaking and I know I have to clean up my act. I should be eating protein, some fat, and non-starchy veggies. Arg. Bread, bread, bread: my doom.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Taking the Chic out of Shabby-Chic

This is the summer for doing without, I think. Currently broken at our house:

Air conditioner. And no money to fix it.
Dishwasher. And no money to fix that either. Now we can add to the list the
Lawn mower. Still no money to fix anything. Oh, and did I mention the
FURNACE? Fortunately, we have until October to save up for that expense. It's the priority item.

This is in addition to other small and not-so-small repairs that our home could really use:
a chimney liner,
a termite inspection/treatment,
drywall repaired and paint in bathroom,
baseboard thingies to fill in the gap between our floor and our baseboard from where we used to have carpet...which got pulled up years ago.

I"m seriously praying nothing happens to my washer, dryer, stove or fridge. THOSE items truly ARE necessities.

I try not to be envious of others who have nicer things. Really, I do.

This afternoon I"m going to try and attack the lawn with our hopefully functioning weed eater. The grass is, after all, short from the drought. It's just these tall weedy grass flowers that have sprung up that need to be gotten rid of.

I'd rather take a nap!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Vacation Church School...Day 1

I"m the pre-school/Kindergarten/First grade teacher and we have a pile of kids in that age group. Fortunately, there are two wonderful assistants. The morning kept me busy with teaching the miracle of Jesus walking on the water, and various cutting/coloring activities related thereunto. Then was a quick lunch followed by two 30 minute sessions in which I helped teach the kids some songs. Olders, then youngers. So, in other words, pulling double duty.

I really should not be blogging. I really should be making flannel pictures of the healing of the ten lepers story, so that I can use them for tomorrow's lesson. Procrastinating.

And on an unrelated note, if you have the time, go to Youtube.com and do a search on Fat Rant. That's a good video. I wish I were more like the gal on that video, at least in my thinking patterns. Sigh.

I walked 5 miles this morning before VCS. And after VCS I took the kids to the library and then came home and slept for a while. My husband is on a retreat at the monastery, and I miss him, so lots of tossing and turning last night. I really hope he does not die and leave me a widow, at least while the kids still have to be raised. That's one of my biggest fears, I think. Safe driving, my love.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Fasting

Oh, it's time to blog again. I discover over and over again, in this life, that I am no good at fasting! God help me! Much to occupy time and energy this summer. Busy, busy! Many thoughts of holy things, and the Holy One, many prayers and supplications, unworthy offerings...but of these things one does not speak...or blog, so I shall try to remain silent.

Reading about the Desert Fathers. Learning about my "cell". Learning to be present HERE, and NOW. Today that involved a five-ish mile walk, a stop at the Rescue Mission thrift store, preparing posters for Vacation Church School singing time, and taking a rowdy bunch of kids (mostly mine) to the swimmming pool. Lord have mercy, not what I would have chosen for my day. "Remain in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything," the desert Fathers say.

Confession tonight. That will be good.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Today is my 15th Wedding Anniversary!

I'm very happy today. I've spent the whole day feeling very in love with my husband and children. It's sunny, we went to the park, and I took the girls to Third Street Stuff where they spent their allowance money on sparkly spangle bracelets. And then we got some drinks at Third Street Coffee (attached to the store), and carried an Ale8-1 out with us for Eric, who opted to stay home. The shop is just way too girly for his tastes.

Now they are out side on the back porch creatively painting bottle caps and bottles with hippie style flower designes. It was one of THOSE types of shops...full of fun creative stuff. Now they are inspired.

And Wes and I are going out tonight. I ought to be showering, and getting all prettied up, but I'm blogging instead. Go figure!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

tired

Nothing blogworthy. I've had a busy day. Now I"m tired. Cooking, mostly.