A little bloggy…

Housekeeping Memes
  1. I discovered some timeline issues within the story from the book chapters I had been posting. yeah, I know. therefore, no book chapters until I get this ball of yarn untangled! If ever.
  2. Reading Orthodox stuff is hard. Like… super hard. Even when you’re just reading someone’s biography you can run into some meaty things you need to chew 100 times before moving along. What does this mean for you who are blessedly reading Elder Thaddeus with me? It means that there is going to be a slight delay in getting started. HOWEVER; some of the points we will see repeated in his book are: acquiring a spirit of; peace, prayer, and love towards one another. These are a good head start/sneak peak at what you can expect from his book.
  3. I want a dog. (Not at all blog related up I’m putting it out there anyway.) I have never owned my own dog. Cat? yes. But not a dog. Sigh. Maybe when I get to heaven?
  4. I’m not dieting or working out right now and it shows. If someone were to ask me what my favorite food is right now it would be…
Sugar GIFs | Tenor

5. I made cream soda vanilla ice cream floats this afternoon for dessert. I regret nothing.

I think this is all for now. I hope you are all well. Let me know if you need prayer. All comments must be cleared and approved for posting. This means that no comment that contains a prayer request will be seen by eyes other than mine… and our guardians angels, Jesus, Holy Spirit, God, saints, you know… the usual crowd.

January is National Hot Tea Month

Emilie Barns’ book: If Teacups Could Talk; Sharing a Cup of Kindness with Treasured Friends. Behind Emilie’s book is one I also love that she did not write. It is filled with recipes and crafts for Christmas.

To celebrate, national Hot Tea Month, I am featuring this book by Tea Exemplar, Emilie Barns who sadly passed away in 2016 at the age of 78.

In this book, Mrs. Barnes includes, recipes, teatime stories and inspiration. I highly recommend it for your tea loving friend or traditional housewife.

I had the great opportunity to work in two tea establishments almost 20 years ago. One was a tea room and the other a tea shop. Both were in the historic district in my city. They filled that spot inside of a woman that needs to create and make things pretty, and tasty. In the tea shop we carried many of, Mrs. Barnes’ books on teatime. I purchased a few and have treasured them ever since.

During that time, I learned all I could about tea and eventually wrote about it for an emagazine site. I love tea. Everything about it makes me happy. Truly, the 1980’s and 1990’s were a great time of revival for this lost art. People are so coffee obsessed these days, running around buzzed up from caffeine that tea is often over looked. Tea is so gentle, so genteel. It is refined in ways coffee will never be. Perhaps that is why it still has not caught on in America as much as coffee despite the best efforts of many tea lovers.

Emilie Barnes did not only write about tea. A devout Christian wife, and mother; she also wrote devotional books, books on home making, organization & decluttering, and decorating one’s home.

There is a current trend right now that I hope grows and grows… it its that of women going back to the roles of the traditional wife. Emilie Barnes was traditional when traditional was not ‘cool’. She was traditional when women were beginning to be pressured to go into the workplace. She was writing about home management when women were getting into corporate management. When women were being convinced they needed to be competitive with other women, she was writing about making friends over a cup of tea and some scones.

Emilie Barnes wanted to change things for the better. She wrote over 30 books on topics she wanted to read and that she thought other women needed to know about as homemaking became out of fashion to the world.

Today, right now, I am baking two loaves of banana nut bread with chocolate chips inside. I will make lunch while the loaves cook, and later, at about 4 p.m. (traditional teatime) I will be toasting Mrs. Barnes with a cuppa and a slice of banana bread.

Happy National Hot Tea Month. If you have a favorite teatime story, I would love to hear it.

I waste my time, Lord have mercy

Ancient Christian Wisdom | A Meeting of Minds

Lest anyone should think that I am some sort of pious woman who does everything right in her life let me erase any and all delusions and illusions I may have inadvertently created by writing about my Orthodox life, let me assure you I am no one to look up to in living a good, balanced Christian life. I try. I struggle. It’s hard. One of the (many) things I struggle with is keeping the fast. I make notes in my planner. I write the schedule on my blog so that others can have easy access to the information but I am not an example of how to do it right. I am more the reference desk lady you see in the library… if you could gain physical access to a library.

The reason why I am telling you this is because last night I began reading the book pictured: The Epistles and the Apocalypse by Archbishop Averky. I am at the very beginning. In the first pages, we see the account of Paul admonishing Peter for being a hypocrite about food. Hmmm, sounds familiar so I thought I would fess up. During any fast it is emphasized to treat people better, to make amends, forgive and seek forgiveness. This I am a bit better at (only because I have a big mouth and am constantly seeking forgiveness from those whom I have offended), and I try my best to be forgiving. Holding a grudge is poison and it is not my job to punish, or ‘fix’ anyone.

My blog exists to tell people about Orthodoxy (and other things which pertain to healthy, happy living). To give book reviews, and suggestions for reading. To pray for you if you would like me to pray for you. To put a little tealight on the path for you to tell you, ‘this way’.

As I continue to read this most excellent book I pray to be… well… not equal to the apostles because they went through some horrible things and I am a coward. Maybe to be less than the apostles but still gain victory over this world through the grace of God. I realize I have been trying to do so much of this on my own and not through the grace of God. No wonder I fail on a regular basis. Lord have mercy.

I am still walking the weight loss path. My current total pounds dropped is 32. This is also difficult. Life is full of difficult things. Some lead you to a better life, some lead to destruction. I would rather struggle toward perfection than ever think I had obtained it. It is not the falling down that unravels us, it’s the never getting back on our feet.

If you have been struggling in your Christina walk, take heart. You are still struggling which means you have not given up. That is its own success!

Keep struggling my friends. God is merciful and He loves us!

On my reading shelf: possible gift ideas for readers.

club master eyeglasses on pile of three books
Photo by @sincerelymedia on Unsplash

How many of you expected to be so busy without leaving your homes? Such is the life of any stay-at-home-wife/mother. Even without going anywhere but the store, we tend to have full day timers/planners. Falling into bed at the end of the day with something great to read is such a treat… especially if you can keep your eyes open long enough to read it!

A few things occupying my nightstand of ebook space are;

The Jane Austen Diet: Austen’s Secrets to Food, Health, and Incandescent Happiness (ebook) written by Bryan Kozlowski. I bought this book because, Jennifer L. Scott recommended it on one of her videos. I have been watching her on Youtube lately. I started reading it on the Amazon site (the Lookinside) feature and decided to buy it. I love Bryan’s wit and writing voice. He is someone I would invite over for a cuppa and Jane movie marathon or just to sit and talk about her work. If you love, Jane, and you love food I recommend this book. I think it would also make a great gift as long as you presented it to the receiver as a lark and an addition to their, ‘Jane’ collection. There is quite a lot about body acceptance written in these pages, wisdom gleaned from Jane’s books. I think any fan of Austen’s work would like this book.

Image from the Amazon site

If you follow my blog you already know that I am reading, The Holy Angels by Mother Alexandra (in printed format). My sister and I have formed a book club with just the two of us. This is an amazing book. It is meat and potatoes stuff. Whether of not you are a Christian, if you have wanted to know more about angels, this is the book you need to buy. It too would make a great gift. Here is a descriptive excerpt from Amazon’s website:

First published in 1981 and long out of print, The Holy Angels has yet to be surpassed as a comprehensive and comprehensible account of the nature of the angels and their role in our salvation. In layperson’s terms, Mother Alexandra presents the essence of everything the Church has to teach us about the angels, beginning with the Old Testament, continuing through the New Testament, and concluding with the Tradition of the Church as expressed in her theology, hymnography, and iconography. For those who long to become better acquainted with these holy servants of God and to understand their role in our lives, this book is a great place to start.


Also on my shelf is:

The winter Pascha by Father Thomas Hopco who I think is this generation’s C.S. Lewis (don’t hate me). Also in print form.

When the winter begins to make way into the Northern World, the Church of Christ begins to celebrate ‘a splendid three-day Pascha.’ Thus Father Thomas Hopko begins the first of forty meditations for the season of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, ending with the feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple on the fortieth day after Christ’s birth. In the style of his popular book for the paschal fasting season, The Lenten Spring, the author again draws on the biblical readings and liturgical hymns and verses of the season to illumine the way for believers to follow the Church’s days of preparation and celebration for the Coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in human flesh. Many references are made to the writings of the saints and Church Fathers, as well as to contemporary Christian teachers and spiritual guides. All those who love the Lord’s Coming will find comfort and strength, as well as enlightenment and instruction, for having passed through the Winter Pascha with this book as their companion.

Image and quote taken from Amazon.com

Yes, I am having a hard time keeping up with my reading. I have other studies I am plowing through as well as other books I re-visit from time to time to try to keep up. The book I am keeping close and reading the most is The Holy Angels book. As I said my sister and I are discussing it and I do not wish to fall behind.

This brief list does not include books I have accumulated to read ‘one day’. Which include: The Catholic Vote for Trump even though the election is over I want to finish this book. The author has some very good insights on what is going on in our nation. Catholic or not, religious or not you can’t live in America and not know there is something very wrong with our nation right now. Something which began long before, Trump took office. Also on my list of ‘to-read’ are; Triggered by Donald Trump, Jr. (e-library book), some of the Madame Chic books by, Jennifer L. Scott (all ebooks), Everyday Wonders; Stories of God’s Providence, by V. Rev. Michael J. Oleksa. If you like Alaska this is a must read even if you are not a Christian. I find Fr. Oleksa to come across as very tender hearted with a great love for the people he serves. He has written several books about his life serving the people’s of Alaska and the history of Orthodoxy in Alaska.

Here is an interview he did.

Also in my Kindle are the books written by, Constantina Palmer:

Every monastery exudes the scent of holiness, but women’s monasteries have their own special flavor. Join Constantina Palmer as she makes frequent pilgrimages to a women’s monastery in Greece and absorbs the nuns’ particular approach to their spiritual life. If you’re a woman who’s read of Mount Athos and longed to partake of its grace-filled atmosphere, this book is for you. Men who wish to understand how women’s spirituality differs from their own will find it a fascinating read as well.

Image and quote from the Amazon.com website.

From the author of “The Scent of Holiness,” The Sweetness of Grace is a collection of stories derived from conversations with Orthodox nuns, monks, and laypeople, along with experiences of Orthodox life in South Korea, Greece, and North America. Those who enjoyed Everyday Saints will enjoy these similar stories from other parts of the Orthodox world. The book includes conversations with monastics, priests and laypeople and stories of the sweet and difficult aspects of Christian life. The stories span three continents, including experiences in South Korea, Greece, and North America.

Image and quote from the Amazon.com website.

This is a partial list. Of course I am not reading every book at the same time. I like to rotate my reading. Orthodox books tend to be, ‘chewy’. Meaning, very meat and potatoes. You don’t skim an Orthodox book, you ‘chew’ on it for a while as you ‘mentally digest’ it.

Any of these Orthodox books would be a great choice for a Christian book club, a gift for a friend who loves to read, or to grace your nightstand/e-reader device.

What are YOU reading these days? Let me know in comments.

Video: The Holy Angels, by Mother Alexandra, angelic encounter story

I have uploaded yesterday’s video onto Youtube. I have not yet read this book. It was recommended to me, I purchased it and it arrived Sunday evening. Mostly this video talks about an angelic encounter I had a few years ago, also you get to meet, Zora.

So maybe saying it’s a book review is a bit of a stretch.