Showing posts from September, 2009

I'd Rather Do Math than Wash Dishes!

I know it's bad when one's mind wanders away from prayers during Divine Liturgy. I know. Usually such thoughtful meanderings involve thinking judgy thoughts about other people, or being annoyed or experiencing self-pity over one's hunger or the aching in one's feet...come on, I've spoken with enough other people about this to know it's not just me.

Anywhoo, last Sunday during liturgy, I acutally had a useful and beneficial thought. Truly inspired. I will now share it with you.

You know how, when you've made a big pot of soup you have a big pot of soup? But the burning quesiton remains: How many CUPS of soup do you have? (I don't know about you, but for my currently-calorie-counting self, this is a relevant and burning question because not knowing how many cups of soup there are in that pot means I don't know exactly how to figure the calories of each portion.)

One option would be to pour the hot soup into my pampered chef measuring bowl, risk…

Pictures of St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church

Here's where I go every Sunday to offer my worship to God.

I've been wanting to post pictures of our new parish home for a while now, but I'm not a good photographer. These were taken by Larry Vest, not by me.

This is a view of the nave and iconostasis from the choir loft.

It's easy to forget or take for granted how stunningly beautiful and huge this place is during the hubub of Sunday Divine Liturgy when loads of people are crowded in.

Orthodox worship and Orthodox worship space is intended to portray and participate in the worship that is going on in heaven, described in the book of Revelation. Much of the furnishings of our temple space are based on the furnishings of the tablernacle/worship space described in the Old Testament, with their fulfillment in Christ.

Christ, the Pantocrater-Ruler of All. The immensity of the icon in the dome is overwhelming. Dare I look up?

The Royal Doors are open and we can see the altar in the Sanctuary. The open doors remind us the…

Faerie Queen Invades Domestic Woodpile

Fata Querca---oak fairies. They seem to have invaded my living room yesterday evening, with a particular attraction to the woodpile. The little ladies from a couple of nights ago were just the advance guard, spying out a good place for their little clan to winter.

As you can see, the scene was a bit hectic, and it was difficult to get these creatures to stand still for a portrait, so I had to settle for several somewhat blurry candid shots. The little soldier fairy was particularly keen on marching back and forth. Each time I tried to approach the queen, he menacingly waved his wee little stick in my direction, and shook his bow, shouting and ululating like I imagine an ancient warrior might have done. Finally the queen ordered him to stop, so that we could have a conversation.

My main inquiry as to what they were doing in my woodpile and how long they would stay was simply greeted with tiny peels of laughter, as if I had told a very funny joke. After the queen had calmed down (f…

Boy Scout Camp Out Report

Well, the phone rang at the ungodly hour of 6:30 am this morning. They guys were at the door and couldn't get in because I had it chained from the inside. Wes woke up at 4:30 am and soon realized a thunder storms was coming in, so he whisked himself, their gear and Eric into the car as quickly as possible.

Wes of course, grabbed a shower and crawled into bed and slept for another hour or so. I was awake. Oh well. So much for sleeping in.

Glad they're back from camping. Good times had by all. Eric earned is permission token to carry a knife and has started working on his tenderfoot requirements, and has been assigned a patrol to be in. Most of the boys in his patrol and home schooled and the leader is the Dad of a home school family, so that's encouraging.


Well, Wes and Eric are off in the wilds, camping with the Boy Scouts this weekend, so it's been "just us girls". We planned to make the most of it. The wonderful thing is, no one watched cartoons this morning, and that was nice. We all agreed that we pretty much hate Saturday morning cartoons. It must be a "guy thing"...

So we went to the farmer's market and got our chicken and a couple of dozen eggs. Honey, some local cheese, and some squash, a tomato, and a bunch of radishes and some ground cherries. Those were new and different. We like them.

The biggest thing on our agenda: Getting our apartment clean. I made a list and we tackled those jobs. While we did not get all of them done, I worked until past the end of my energy. The girls worked, too. And our place looks a great deal better. I'm grateful for their help. It's humbling to know that my health isn't good enough for me to clean my whole house. I didn't get Eric room do…


I found two little acorn fairies frolicking in the wood pile by the fire place. Bright bits of wool fluff seems to be the fashion for acorn fairies this fall, and they informed me that my air conditioning was too cold for their taste. I tried to explain about unexpected sweats and such, but had honest trouble getting a word in edgewise. Very opinionated, those two are. We had a nice little chat about the environment, though, among other important fairy news. They wanted me to know unequivocably that I should stop joking about lepruchans so much (and that they knew, being fairies, of my tendencies to joke about lepruchans...creepy...), since everyone knows that lepruchans belong in the same category as the Loch Ness monster and Sasquatch.

I did not quite have the heart to tell these two little ladies that I thought those were real, too. And it's too bad I'm not a better photographer. But being rather mischevious, they kept making bunny ears over each other's heads, o…

Current Knitting Project

I'm making this gorgeous leaf scarf in green.

I don't want to steal a picture, so click on the link to see it. I'll probably have some socks going simultaneously pretty soon.

On Friday we are going to a workshop for nature-dyeing (using leaves, acorns and such as natural dyes) and I think I'm going to pick up some cream fisherman's wool to dye.

Fun stuff.

Shoe Drama (I never promised to only write intelligent or important blog posts...)

I'm having shoe drama. Shoe angst. Shoe obsession. This happens to me every once in a while. It's probably not good. Yet another example, as a matter of fact, of a small way in which it would benefit me to just CHILL OUT. But, being me, that's not likely to happen, so I'll blog about it, instead.

You see before you every single pair of shoes I own, for every season of the year:

Not such a big pile, compared to what many people own, but ridiculous from my perspective. (I always think of the people in Haiti, for instance. Meh.) Back in High School I developed the philosophy that I only needed a pair of black flats, blue flats, white flats, and sneakers (as cheap as possible, too. My husband and I used to argue over whether one should spend good money on quality shoes. He's won the argument and my bad back helped him win). Over the years my "simple shoes philosophy" has grown a little bit, but I've been thinking a lot about it these days, and…

A Giveaway...

is happening this week over at A Joyful Handmaiden!

She's such a great seamstress, and she is clearing some tote bags out of her etsy shop, and is giving one away.

Check it out.

We're Number 37

Pumpkin Sock Love!

How about these adorable clog socks? I call them "Pumpkin Love". Imagine crunching through crisp fall leaves in these warm wooly socks. Show off your love for pumpkins, or wear them on a visit to a pumpkin patch. Fits women's shoe size 6-9. $25.00 On my as-of-yet-non-existant Etsy page.

Agios o theos, Agios ischiros, Agios athanatos eleison imas

Trisagion being sung in German!

Headcovering of the Day

I didn't wear a scarf to the pro-life walk this morning. I'll admit that my own insecurity and desire to "fit in with the crowd" played a part in that decision. Also, I'm signing up to be registered as one of the adult "leaders" with the American Heritage Girls troop my girls have joined (aka-they need an officially registered parent who is already planning on attending camp outs with her kids so they can comply with their "two deep" policy) which will involve me wearing a bit of a uniform: Blue logo shirt and khaki bottoms (have fabric, will sew skirt).

So how does a head covering fit into that? I'm still trying to figure it out.

I feel like sometimes the headcovering is a barrier between me and other people.

But after I got home, something fabric-like did wander onto my head, even as I had to wander back out to the grocery store.

These are my ups and downs.

All Hell Breaks Loose

I took the girls to the Louisville Walk for Life this morning. It counted as a service project for their American Heritage Girls Troop, and it was a really good experience.

We met at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, and after some Ra Ra speeches, we got started on our 5K trek through downtown. It was a big crowd and lots of the kids were carrying balloons, and the AHG troop sported their uniforms, carried signs and chanted "We are pro-life" the entire. five. kilometers. Oh my. I don't know how they did it except that I think this was a case of Aspie-ish perseveration meets opportunity, and the chanting was egged on by my middle daughter the entire way who tends not to notice when the rest of us mortals get tired of that sort of thing.

I decided to prayerfully carry an Icon of the Incarnation of Christ with His Holy Mother as if the occasion were a procession. Nobody asked me about it and I certainly felt like the odd-duck Orthodox in the midst of a crowd of Rom…

Church in a tree at Plataniotissa

Amazing! This tree must be so happy!

A Post for Jane Austen Fans

I picked up this book at the library today. It's called the Independance of Miss Mary Bennet.

Ooooo, I thought to myself. Fan fiction! So I promply checked it out and started reading it. I've always, after all, mused on what the other sisters did with their lives, after Lizzie and Jane were happily married off to Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley, respectively.

I often wondered if Mary would wise up a bit as the years go by, perhaps marry a nice homely bookish wcountry gentleman, a widower or somesuch, from nearby environs.

But after reading about a half a dozen pages of the above mentioned book while sitting at the library I decided I'd given it as much of a read as it deserved, and I promptly returned said book to the RETURNS slot.

You see, Mary was, if nothing else, very conventional. Pedantically so. And the Mary of this book is a rebel renegade about to burst loose. Supposedly almost twenty years of doing her duty has soured her to "conventional" and has her…

Look What My Sweetie Bought for Me!!!!

Wes went to Target. I knew they had stainless steel water bottles there for around ten dollars. Way cheaper than the SIGG water bottles for sale at Whole Foods. I batted my eyelashes and asked if he'd pick me out a bottle. They are, after all, much less expensive than the SIGG water bottles.

And I have not been drinking enough water lately. Just can't seem to force myself. And I've been feeling sickish, and whether or not that's part of the cause, I'm sure my current state of perpetual semi-dehydration does not help.

Back ground info: Ever since I saw the SIGG water bottles in plain red with the Swiss Cross on it many moons ago at the store, I've been very vocal about "If I ever have a SIGG [read: Never] water bottle, this is the kind I want." It was mere wishful thinking.

HA! Every once in a while, Wes seems to have a surprise up his sleeve.

Today he brought me home THE SWISS CROSS SIGG WATER BOTTLE (yes, I'm yelling)!!!!! Happy sq…

I'm going to open an Etsy store!

It's not up yet, but please know that it's in the works. I guarantee it will have a hodge podge of things, and will have some excellent gift items just in time for your Christmas shopping.

Crafting is actually something I can do while I'm supervising the kids' school work.

A Bit More than Nothing

I decided to wear a pedometer yesterday, to see how many steps I get in a normal day. Yesterday was actually a busy-normal day, since it was the day I go to get the milk (but that's a drive not a walk), and the day I go grocery shopping: Kroger and Whole Foods. Additionally, my friend took me to a thrift store and we wandered around there for a little while.

The result, even with all the shopping I did, which left me utterly exhausted by the way:

Just a little more than 5000 steps!

That's really really bad, y'all! That's sedentary.

I'm so out of shape I almost have lost the will to do anything about it. I certainly have gotten to the point of not believeing it is possible for me to be fit. I keep hitting that wall of pain and fatigue that I can't get past. Stinkin' Fibroymalgia!

So, what's this old gal to do?

When I figure it out, perhaps I'll blog about it. Meanwhile, two changes I will make: I will start wearing better shoes instead of t…

Sock Addiction

It all started when I got very attatched to a particular pair of red wool socks that I hiked the Swiss mountains in, when I was a kid. I still own those red socks. But they are worn, with a hole in the heel. And somewhat felted. I wore them until last winter, believe it or not. I think I might have given birth to someone in those red wool socks.

Well, last year I learned to knit socks, and since then I've definitely become slightly addicted to knitting socks! Wool ones.

And here's my latest pair. These are made with forty stitches to the round at the cuff and forty-one stitches to accomodate the lace pattern. Patton's Wool, worsted weight, on size 3 needles.

If I have an at-home day, I can knit about one sock per day. If I am busy, it takes a few days longer.

Delicious pumpkin colored socks! Now if only the weather would turn cooler, so that I can wear them already!

Now to go cast on my next pair! Brown with pumpkin-colored fair isle...

New Thrift Store Woot!

My friend C took me to the best biggest most wonderfullest thrift store I've found so far. Ok, their clothes section wasn't so great, but they had tons of furniture, and glass wares and books! I came home a with big stack of classics, a very cute long denim skirt (thank you Jesus, you knew I wanted one!) and an old fashioned blue flowers on white platter.

The Least of These

When Moms get together, sometimes big things happen.

Organizations like La Leche League, or Citzens for Midwifery get formed. People get encouraged, lives get shared, love gets passed around. And hopefully we are better equipped to go back to our children, our families, and do a better job being Mom.

Well, some of us Moms have started a new group. It's called Alphabet Soup Homeschoolers. We found each other through the Home For His Glory home-schoolers group here in Louisville. But our kids are different. They have special needs, special challenges and parenting them, not to mention home schooling them, is a bit more difficult at times than an otherwise already challenging job normally is.

The first time we got together, at a park, the kids got bored of playing before we moms got tired of talking to each other. The second time, at a McDonald's play place, the children could hardly hear themselves to play because the din of our conversation drowned everything out (just …

Will You Still Love Me If I Cover?

I've wrestled with head covering back and forth off and on for years and years. I was first charmed by the order of Swiss Reformed Deaconesses (think protestant nuns) who were in the church were I grew up. I liked the simplicity of their uniforms. I was intrigued by the idea of a prayer veiling during my early 20's, and tried it out at home "in my prayer closet". It felt right. I was ready to jump in whole-hog when I was a part of a Mennonite group, later in my twenties, but in so doing, found myself running in the opposite direction from the rest of the women in our congregation, much to my sadness. I liked what I was doing but I didn't like feeling "weird".

Enter Orthodox Christianity ca. 1998: There is a tradition of wearing a head covering, based on the Scripture, during Church worship. But barely anyone practices that here in America. It's almost a ludicrous "convert thing", silly American women trying to look like Russian Babushkas, o…