Thursday, May 7

Tales from Exile: 7 May

I spent a little time searching for the perfect quote for our letter board this month and finally happened upon this one by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans).  It's lovely for this situation that we find ourselves in.  Lovely for any day and age, when you get right down to it.

Wednesday, May 6

Tales from Exile: 6 May

I look for thin spears of asparagus whenever I am able to shop. They are a true taste of spring for me. I prepare them simply with a bit of olive oil, salt, freshly ground pepper, and some crushed cloves of garlic. They are baked in a hot oven (450 degrees) for ten minutes or so...  just until there are lovely crisp edges. Once they are out of the oven, I grate some Parmesan cheese right on top, which melts perfectly. 

Tuesday, May 5

Tales from Exile: 5 May

My eyes have really been opened to all the many things that are blooming at Rectory House. There are those things that we have chosen to plant: daffodils, lily of the valley, roses, ivy, rosemary, lavender, lamb's ear, hydrangea bushes, etc. And those that just spring up of their own volition: violets, mock strawberry, dandelion, lady's slipper butter cups, etc.

It's been glorious to watch unfold.

Monday, May 4

Tales from Exile: 4 May

The children and I assembled this Ukrainian pysanki egg puzzle in two days. It was lent to us by their grandmother who used to put it together with her mother. It's a wonderful activity to work on during these Paschal days. 

Sunday, May 3

Tales from Exile: 3 May

Here is an evening scene from the couch. My husband and I have taken to seeing a news programme each night which is rather depressing, but also rather addicting. I've also taken to eating dessert while we watch, but it would probably be better if I did some knitting instead. My hands would be busy and my kitchen  washcloth stack would be my better served. That said, I do believe that ice cream and chocolate are medicinal at this particular point of quarantine. What say you?

Saturday, May 2

Tales from Exile: 2 May

My sister sent our daughter a cashmere sweater that took an unfortunate ride through the wash and shrunk. It's a perfect fit for our girl and she looks great in Auntie Juju's style! 

Friday, May 1

Tales from Exile: 1 May

Window stars in Plain Jane white.

To make these you'll need kite paper (though origami will work in a pinch!), a glue stick, and a tutorial from Bella Luna Toys

Thursday, April 30

Tales from Exile: 30 April


An absolute deluge flew in from out of nowhere this afternoon. The sky turned black and the rain came down in sheets. We lit candles and enjoyed the sound and scent through the open doors of the garden room. Eventually the rain stopped and gave way to a magnificent sunset. The woods looked like they were on fire. I loved seeing the puddles glow. It lasted such a short time, but I am thankful that I witnessed it.

Tuesday, April 28

Tales from Exile: 28 April

My Pascha present just arrived! Fancy maraschino cherries from Yummy Bazaar for sophisticated ice cream sundaes. 

Monday, April 27

Tales from Exile: 27 April

I made sausage and pepper pasta à la Old World Home for lunch today! Here's the recipe: boil some pasta (I used penne today) and sauté some ground sausage and bell pepper (I also sliced in an onion and added salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning). Once pasta is cooked, add a ladle full of pasta water to the sausage pan and a bit of heavy cream. Allow sauce to thicken and then pour over drained pasta. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Scrumptious! 

Sunday, April 26

Saturday, April 25

Tales from Exile: 25 April

I've been going to a nearby flower farm once in awhile to buy a cheering bouquet of flowers. Though I can take a busy two lane road to get there quickly, I opt to take the back roads.  I love looking at the houses on the way, but this is my favorite thing to pass.

Friday, April 24

Tales from Exile: 24 April

1. Godiva makes pudding mix.
 2. It is delicious. 
3. I forgot that I made pudding for dessert. When I remembered, I pulled the kids out of bed to eat it. 4. They better remember this the next time I scream at them. 😇 

Tuesday, April 21

Tales from Exile: 22 April

  The children left their father and me some presents. I have Iron Man staring me down from my bedside table and my husband has some guy from Star Wars. These kids drive us batty all day long and then we desperately miss them once they've gone off to Dreamland. #cliché

Friday, April 3

Tales from Exile: 3 April

I am obsessed with Persuasion by Jane Austen. I watched one version yesterday, downloaded a free sample of the book on my Kindle app last night, watched a second vision of the movie today, and am thisclose to getting the audiobook read by my fav Juliet Stevenson. I'm not really sure why I am so obsessed, but I am!

One of my darling goddaughters, Vivienne, sent me a watercolor card this week, so I painted her some daffodils. I always want to watercolor in the spring.

The tulips on our table are getting so blousy. Tulips are one flower that looks better and better as they age. 

The bluebells are up!

Thursday, April 2

Tales from Exile: 2 April

I planted these giant snowdrops at least two years ago and this is the first year they bloomed.God's perfect timing.

Our twelve-year-old son is making a shield out of a scrap of wood! He painted on this dragon and later Papa will help him apply a coat of gloss to protect the image.

Wednesday, April 1

Tales from Exile: 1 April

Our daughter has been really enjoying all of this free time to create. She finished knitting this darling wee lamb (the pattern is by @mamma4earth). She accidentally left him in our room a couple of nights ago, so I've just been setting him in the center of our bed ever since.

I bought some tomatoes on the vine last week that were terrible. Since I didn't want to waste them, I found a recipe for tomato sauce and it is delicious. Google 'Feasting at Home simple oven-roasted tomato sauce'. I didn't have fresh herbs or a shallot, so I used dried seasonings and half an onion. I don't have a potato masher, but a slotted spoon worked just fine. I also didn't bother to peel the tomatoes. It is amazing... especially on a piece of homemade bread, lightly toasted.
I finished the first sleeve of my sweater this evening! Casting on for the second as soon as possible...  hopefully tonight!

Tuesday, March 31

Tales from Exile: 31 March

Before going to do our week's grocery shopping today, I stopped at a local farm cart (no human contact) and bought these beautiful blooms.  As long as the flower farmer has flower's for sale, I am going to get some. It is lovely to have them and to help support a small business.

Grocery shopping is an anxiety producing experience to be sure. When all of this started, I was going out twice a week to stock up on necessities and try to find hard to get things (like eggs, milk, and toilet paper).  Things are getting bad enough, however, that we have decided to drop down from two trips to one. I am quite nervous about being able to get what we need in one trip. I wasn't able to find everything this week, but we are making do. Once I came home with the groceries, I wiped everything down with Clorox wipes, threw my clothes in the wash, and took a bath.  It is honestly so exhausting to get food. 

Monday, March 30

Tales from Exile: 30 March

Okay, fine. I'll bake some bread, too. I used the recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  It is delicious toasted with strawberry jam.

Sunday, March 29

Tales from Exile: 29 March

I've been looking for a suitable quote for the letter board since this all began and finally found it on someone's instagram feed a few days ago:

"He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home." Goethe

Must try to live this quote as well as I can during this time of exile.

Saturday, March 28

Tales from Exile: 28 March

Saturdays were my favorite day of the week before our exile began, but now it is almost like every day is a Saturday.  I most resent Sundays...  there is no Liturgy (just Typika) and no post, which brings me delight on the other six days of the week.

Anyway, today I woke to grey skies, so it seemed like the perfect time to put on The Secret Garden, which we watch every spring.  I spent the first few minutes making newspaper cups for our herb and flower seeds, which felt quite fitting. By the time it was over, the rain was gone and it was a good day to play outside.

I finished the body of my sweater tonight, while we had Bible Study via Zoom. I try to keep my knitting below the table so that it doesn't distract the other participants.  We had Reader's Vespers afterward and I will try to cast on to the first sleeve once the children are in bed.

Friday, March 27

Tales from Exile: 27 March

Our daughter's school has not begun distance learning yet, so she has been really enjoying whole day's worth of free time to pursue creativity.  For the past few days, she has been painting with watercolors.  She created a beautiful card for her dear cousin, Lucy, with paintings of the plants on her windowsill and I just love it.  She also created a seal for the letter's envelope with hot glue and dried flowers. I think that she has been heavily influenced by her recent viewing of From "Larkrise to Candleford."

In other news, the daffodils on the front porch continue to delight.

Thursday, March 26

Tales from Exile: 26 March

We've finally started to see an improvement in our daughter's coughing. She had a terrible day yesterday and another bad night, but things have turned around with a nasal spray and a different cough medicine. I am so thankful and hopeful that she will be able to have a good night's sleep tonight.

The children and I finished reading Boy by Roald Dahl last night. It was full of funny stories, but the tales of the gruesome abuse of school boys by their headmasters cancelled them out! We are re-reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe next... a good palette cleanser.

Wednesday, March 25

Tales from Exile: 25 March

Joyous Feast of the Annunciation!

What a strange feast day this was. We had church, but it was only our family and the service this morning was a Vesperal Typika. It feels so strange not to see our people on such a wonderful feast. 

We had our usual fasting fish day meal today: salmon, sweet potatoes, salad. I also made the season's first asparagus. A simply lovely treat!
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