Saturday, June 29


The other day, we were visiting friends while Sugar Plum was taking her spinning class and were able to see (and hold!) fluffy little ducklings!  Aren't they sweet?

Saints Peter and Paul...

O Leaders of the Apostles and teachers of the universe,
Entreat the Master of All,
Grant peace to the world and to our souls, great mercy.


The Learning Basket for Saints Peter and Paul can be found HERE.


Friday, June 28

Evening Firefly Hunting...

Each evening the little ones ask me to allow them to hunt for fireflies.  Sometimes, I am nice and let them.  Though it was hot and muggy, it was good to be outside to watch their excitement and to see the sun set so spectacularly.  Bedtime is not my best time of day...  it is often a struggle for me to keep my temper in check, so it was nice to surprise my children with a few minutes of play when I am usually rushing them into their pajamas, through evening prayers, etc.  These happy moments are are worth a later bedtime!


One of the things that Sugar Plum has been itching to try is spinning yarn.  Our local yarn shop recently offered a class for adults on spinning with a drop spindle and using a spinning wheel which our little girl really wanted to take.  Our friend Monika, who owns the shop, suggested a class for children instead, so we've been happily going to the Fiber Studio for Sugar Plum's lessons the past two days.  Monika taught Sugar Plum how to use the drop spindle and how to work a spinning wheel (which was one of Sugar Plum's greatest wishes!).  Now she'll be practicing her new craft little by little and maybe someday she and Auntie Kate can spin together side by side!

Blueberry Sauce...

The yummiest thing that we made with our blueberry bounty this week was Blueberry Sauce.  I modified Martha Stewart's recipe slightly and it was a big hit.  We'll be making a huge batch of this for my sister's bridal shower on Sunday!



2 tablespoons of butter
2 cups of blueberries
1/3 cup of sugar


Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add blueberries and sugar gently stirring to coat the berries in butter and sugar.  Allow the blueberries to cook for 2 - 3 minutes.  Drizzle warm sauce over ice cream or yoghurt.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 26

Yarn Along: Birdsong...

I'm happily back to knitting away on my Seashore Cowl this week.  I still can't believe that I finished the Tea Leaves Cardigan yesterday.  It feels like a huge accomplishment!

I'm still reading (and still enjoying!) Cold Sassy Tree, but I spotted Birdsong at a little children's book and toy shop last week while visiting family and couldn't resist.  It is a small volume of British songbirds and is filled with detailed descriptions and lovely little watercolors of various birds in the United Kingdom (some of which live here too!).  My godmother is English and really likes her feathered friends, so I bought a copy for her birthday through AmazonUK.  I hope that she enjoys it as much as I do!

Saturday, June 22


Blessed art Thou O Christ Our God
Thou hast revealed the fishermen as most wise
By sending down upon them the Holy Spirit
Through them Thou dist draw the world into Thy net
O Lover of Man, Glory to Thee!
The Learning Basket for Pentecost can be found HERE.

Friday, June 21


Early Summer Nature Table...

Wedding Clothes...

As any woman knows, dress shipping can be a little stressful even under the best circumstances.  My sister's wedding is rapidly approaching and so my sisters and I headed out to try on some pretty bridesmaid's dresses.  Juliana wanted the dresses to be cream colored and have some texture.  Happily, there was a lot to choose from and two of us got our dresses one night and the last sister's dress was procured about an hour ago!  

I found this Lauren by Ralph Lauren jacquard dress in Bloomingdales.  It was on the clearance rack to begin with and the saleswoman mentioned that it would be further reduced two days later, so I bought an expensive and well-made dress for a song!  I am so happy with the cut (my favorite part are the pleats that hide my tummy a bit).   I plan on wearing these (rather uncomfortable) tan peep-toe flats for the wedding and then changing my shoes for the reception (which is going to be held in a barn!).

It is exciting to be adding a fancy dress to my wardrobe...  this is one bridesmaid dress that will be able to be worn after the wedding!

Thursday, June 20

Yarn Along: 47 Weeks...

I was looking back through photographs that I have taken over the past year and found a few of that drizzly Saturday last July when we all piled in the car to go to our local yarn shop (for the first time!) to learn how to knit.  Auntie Kate was with us and is an experienced knitter and I was so glad that she was there to help me in new surroundings (she is so friendly and I am so shy!).

It has been 47 weeks since then and I cannot believe that I am a knitter!

I finally got the buttons bands right and I am now working on the first sleeve of my Tea Leaves Cardigan.  I found some buttons that I really liked for it in a fancy little yarn shop near my parent's house and Kate helped me by sewing them on while we were visiting for a few days this week.   Once I finish these sleeves I'm home free...  well, except for blocking!  I cannot believe it!

I just began reading Cold Sassy Tree and am hooked!  It is humorous and well-written and right up my alley!


I found Aunt Loma sitting at the kitchen table, her long curly red hair still loose and tousled, the dirty breakfast dishes pushed back to clear a space.  With one cat on her lap and another licking an oatmeal bowl on the table, she sat drinking coffee and reading a book of theater plays.

Mama never knew how often Aunt Loma put pleasure before duty like that.  Mama liked to stay in front of her work.  But then Loma was young - just twenty - and sloven."

Olive Ann Burns

Sunday, June 16

Happy Papa's Day... all fathers, step-fathers, godfathers, grandfathers, fathers-in-law, and priests!

Saturday, June 15

The Lavender Farm...

The Church's Dress Code...

Question: Is there a dress code in the Orthodox Church, and if so, why?
Answer: First, it should be said, that it is a recent phenomenon in some Roman Catholic and Protestant churches to advertise “casual”, “relaxed” or even no dress code at all for worship and fellowship. This answer will not directly critique this practice other than to say that this has never been part of and is a clear departure from Orthodox Christian tradition.
Both the Old and New Testaments are full of calls to modesty and respectfulness not only in inward spirit but also in outward appearance as the one is connected to and influences the other. Since the time of Adam and Eve, who covered themselves with clothing after the Fall, the way in which one dressed has been directly connected to the way in which one relates to God and one’s neighbor. Cleanliness, simplicity, appropriateness, humility, etc., are not only virtues of the soul but also virtues of the body, which, St. Paul tells us, is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Question: What’s the dress code?
Answer:  The Scriptures offer us a dress code, with not only calls to the aforementioned virtuous principles, but also specific details in relation to: cross-dressing (Deut. 22:5), body markings (Deut. 14:1, Lev. 19:28), braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire (1 Tim. 2:9, 1 Pet. 3:3-4), and head coverings (1 Cor. 11) to name a few.
Now to be sure each of these references has nuances related to culture and epoch; for example men wear kilts in Scotland. Yet, just as it would be incorrect to overlook these nuances, so too would be incorrect to be dismissive of the teaching itself. Therefore, throughout the Orthodox world, the Scriptural teaching remains the ideal or standard, yet the application remains pastorally flexible in order to bring about spiritual growth and progress in the faithful. For this reason, one will observe both strict adherence to the dress code such as in monasteries or parishes whose faithful are from traditionally Orthodox cultures, as well as appropriate flexibility in churches who pastorally care for and missionize non-Orthodox societies. In general, it is a good idea to be aware of the dress code, and not only refrain from being critical of it but also to respectfully follow it because it has salvific import for us and others.

Question: What is the dress code at our Mission?
Answer:  There are four basic categories: 1) men, 2) women, 3) children, and 4) everyone.
1) Men should not wear hats, bandanas, shorts, sleeveless shirts, or casual footwear like sneakers.
2) Women should not wear miniskirts, spandex-tight clothing, low-cut or revealing tops (unless covered with a sweater or other garment), or casual footwear like sneakers.
3) Children should be given a little more flexibility but should still wear “church clothes” so that they know they are somewhere that is special and holy.
4) Everyone should refrain from clothing that is immodest, ostentatious, a fashion-statement, or otherwise distracting from the prayerful and sacred space of the Lord’s House. Clothing or bodily adornments with images, symbols, or writing should not be worn or at least covered up, so that the holy icons and Word of God do not have to compete with the logo of our favorite sport team, the name of a music band, or the slogan of our political party.
This being said, we should not take it upon ourselves to enforce the dress code upon anyone else, especially visitors to the Mission. As people become familiar with Orthodox Christianity, they will slowly start to adapt themselves to the ways of the Church, naturally growing in Christ with that which pertains to both soul and body. If you have questions or concerns, please speak with your parish priest.

Wednesday, June 12

Eight Years...

Happy Anniversary to my beloved better half.  I love you more with each passing year!

Yarn Along: Button Bands...

So are you as sick of this sweater as I am?  I completed the body of the cardigan on Sunday which was an exciting accomplishment and I was hoping to have the button bands all done before today's Yarn Along, but I keep knitting them too long!  So far I have one done (after trying twice) and I cast off the second one last night at about 11pm only to find that it was too long as well.  Argh.  I ripped it out and will try again tonight.

44 Scotland Street is quite good!  I can see myself searching through the stacks at the library to find the next ones in the series.  I plan on arming myself with this handy little chart (scroll to the bottom of the page) so that I read the books in order though!

What are you knitting and reading?

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