Tuesday, November 19

American Education Week

I had such a fun time visiting our daughter's school today!  I arrived just in time for lunch (I brought us some burrito bowls from Chipotle!) and got to observe gym and Language Arts.  She's doing so well and the school is terrific!

Friday, November 15

Chic Project Bags

I was so excited to see that Fringe Supply is selling these great project bags that are made from the scraps left over from their Field bags and other specialty totes. These are perfect! The colors are great and they are so sturdy!

Wednesday, November 13

Prayer of Elder Paisios for the Whole World

Our Lord Jesus Christ:

Do not abandon Thy servants who live far away from the Church. May Thy love convict them and bring them back to Thee.

Lord have mercy on Thy servants who are suffering from cancer.

Lord have mercy on Thy servants who suffer either from small or serious ailments.

Lord have mercy on Thy servants who suffer from physical infirmities.

Lord have mercy on Thy servants who suffer from spiritual infirmities.

Lord have mercy on our leaders and inspire them to govern with Christian love.

Lord have mercy on children who come from troubled homes.

Lord have mercy on troubled families and those who have been divorced.

Lord have mercy on all the orphans of the world, on all those who are suffering pain and injustices since losing their spouses.

Lord have mercy on all those in jail, on all anarchists, on all drug abusers, on all murderers, on all abusers of people, and on all thieves. Enlighten these people and help them to straighten out their lives.

Lord have mercy on all those who have been forced to emigrate.

Lord have mercy on all those who travel on the seas, on land, in the air, and protect them.

Lord have mercy on our Church, the bishops, the priests and the faithful of the Church.

Lord have mercy on all the monastic communities, male and female, the elders and eldresses and all the brotherhoods of Mt. Athos.

Lord have mercy on Thy servants who find themselves in the midst of war.

Lord have mercy on Thy servants who are being pursued in the mountains and on the plains.

Lord have mercy on Thy servants who are being hunted like birds of prey.

Lord have mercy on Thy servants who were forced to abandon their homes and their jobs and feel afflicted.

Lord have mercy on the poor, the homeless and the exiled.

Lord have mercy on the nations of the world. Keep them in Thy embrace and envelope them with Thy holy protection. Keep them safe from every evil and war. Keep our beloved homelands in Thy protective embrace day and night. Embrace her with Thy holy protection defending her from all evil and war.

Lord have mercy on those who have been abandoned and have suffered injustice. Have mercy on families that are going through trying times. Pour Thy abundant love upon them.

Lord have mercy on Thy servants who suffer from spiritual and bodily problems of all kinds.

Lord have mercy on those who are despairing. Help them and grant them peace.

Lord have mercy on those that have requested that we pray for them.

Lord grant eternal rest to all those who have passed on to eternal life throughout the ages.

On Saint John's Feastday

The snow is still on the ground, surprisingly.  It's made the woods so beautiful.  We have had a fire in the grate nonstop since Sunday, which has been so magical...  both inside for the glow and delicious warmth and outside for the lovely smoky smell perfuming the air around the rectory.

Tuesday, November 12

The First Snow

Sour Cream Apple Pie

I couldn't let November go by without a Sour Cream Apple Pie! Recipe via Alicia Paulson... just use the search bar on her wonderful blog to find it. This will be the only apple pie you ever want to eat again!

November Bouquet

I popped in to our fancy market for olives yesterday, and couldn't resist choosing some flowers for our dining table. It was so nice to spend a few moments picking out a vase and arranging the blooms at the kitchen counter.

Saturday, November 9


I've been a bit obsessed with the famous French bakery Poilane recently. I've never tried their bread, but decided to make their Punition (Punishment) cookies today using the recipe from Dorrie Greenspan's book, Paris Sweets. There's a charming little video on YouTube of the late Lionel Poilane making them for Dorrie:

The dough for these wee cookies is very easy to put together: butter, sugar, one egg, and flour pulsed one ingredient at a time in the food processor. The recipe calls for chilling the dough for four hours, but Dorrie Greenspan says you can skip that if you need to. I went ahead and used half of the dough right away and put the other half in the fridge for tomorrow.

These cookies are D E L I C I O U S. 

Friday, November 8

A New Hat

I bought a new hat today! I had to choose between the same style in all black and a caramel one with a black velvet band. This will be more versatile, but I reserve the right to add the splashy caramel to my wardrobe later!

Monday, November 4

Handmade Lace

This is an enormous framed lace tablecloth that I saw today. It was utterly gorgeous in person.

Sunday, November 3

Maldon Sea Salt

I can't wait to try using this Maldon Sea Salt soon. It is made by appointment of Her Majesty the Queen!

Saturday, November 2

Koliva for Bruce

Here is a bowl of koliva to mark the 40th day of our dear Mr. Bruce John who fell asleep in the Lord suddenly. 

Koliva is usually made with boiled wheat, sweetener, fruits, nuts, spices, and herbs to symbolize death and Resurrection: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

I made this one with sushi rice (due to time constraints), powdered sugar, a dash of vanilla, cinnamon, dried sour cherries, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raisins, goji berries, cacao, and dried apples. I also decorated the top with whole pecans placed in the shape of a cross.

Thursday, October 31

Tuesday, October 29

Infusion Day

Balducci's is our favorite lunch to have after an infusion! We ate our sandwiches in the courtyard and it was a perfect autumn day.

Saturday, October 26

A Christian Ending

Father Thomas Soroka was at our parish giving a retreat entitled, A Christian Ending.  My husband filmed it, so I'll be able to share a video of the lectures he gave in a few weeks!  Our daughter made a batch of blueberry muffins and I made some beef stew to share at the retreat's luncheon. 
We had a bonfire after the retreat and Vespers last night. The food was simply just hot dogs roasted over the flames with s'mores for dessert. I unearthed a ton of sparklers in a cupboard and we let the kids go crazy with them. It was a really fun day!

Friday, October 25


Our daughter embellished a plain white tee shirt with these gorgeous embroidered roses and leaves this afternoon. I love how they turned out!

Thursday, October 24

Thrift Store Luck

We have had terrible luck at our thrift stores lately, but things turned around today! Our daughter found tiny copper Moscow mule mugs for her dolls, a wooden table top frame to use for embroidery, and a wee wooden travel chess board. I found this GORGEOUS handpainted tray from Italy that was only marked $2!

Tuesday, October 22

Hi, Ho! Hi, Ho! It's Off to Work We Go!

I spent the morning in the kitchen and working a bit in the garden, which means that the afternoon will be spent on schoolwork. It was worth it though!

Monday, October 21

The Black Apron

I gave this boy the black apron I bought for my husband when he became a priest thirteen years ago. I thought that Father John might wear it when he baked prosphora (the bread for Holy Communion), but he never did. So now our son wears it all the time to make himself breakfast or to assemble his lunch.

Sunday, October 20

The Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom

We're at Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Washington D.C. today so that my husband can videotape the world premiere of Benedict Sheehan's Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom.  Videos will be forthcoming!
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