Sunday, July 29, 2012

Som Sabadell

Sent by my sweet sister to make me feel better:

The ache that doesn't end...

I may or may not keep this post up.

Sometimes my heart just aches. It aches for my little ones who never saw the sun even though they are in much brighter light now. Who lay limp in my hands instead of clutching at my hair. A consequence of not living on a desert island is being surrounded by infants. It is possible to feel happiness and agony, to enjoy the sight of a sleeping baby while simultaneously feeling like someone has stabbed you in the heart and kicked you down.

I know women who have not been able to have living babies. I know women who make baby blankets and gowns and other items for other babies, but never their own. Women who attend baby shower after baby shower, who receive announcements by email, and on Facebook, who have a smile that gets stiff after a while. My heart aches for them too. We cannot diminish the joy in the world; we should not silence those who rejoice in their brand-new babies. Every new soul is a gift from God and a cause of rejoicing amongst the angels.

But it would be dishonest to pretend that I am like those other saintly women I know who martyrically push through the pain to rejoice with others, even as they are crying inside. Sometimes it just plain hurts. Innocent would be 10 months now. Andrew would be about seven weeks. For everyone else it feels like a long time ago. For me it just happened.

From Innocent's one year memorial, March 31st.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Patience is a great thing, a great virtue. Christ said that if you don't have patience, you will lose your souls, and in order to gain your souls you must have patience. Patience is love, and without love you can't have patience. But it's a matter of faith. In reality, we are without faith, because we don't know how God works and frees us from difficulties and vexations. Make petition to our Holy Lady:
Turn now my lamentation to joy
And into gladness change my mourning and sorrowing,
My grieving and pain convert to mirth, into festal delight,
O Most Blessed Virgin who gave birth to God.*
* Canon to the Holy Theotokos from the Theotokarion edited by St. Nikodemos (Tone 5, Tuesday Vespers)

-Elder Porphyrios +1991, Wounded by Love, p.146

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sewing Space, Fabric, Quilt Updates, Etc.

I've moaned about the lack of sewing space before. Um, probably several times. I've tried a few things but you just can't create space out of nothing. I am REALLY wanting to have all of my fabric to hand instead of thinking, ok, now I need some pink. Hmm...which box in the attic was that pink gingham in? Following this I climb the ladder to the attic, taking a flashlight with me, and crawl around on my hands and knees over bags and boxes in 140 degree heat* looking for pink gingham. It's amazing how cool and refreshing 98 degree heat feels when you've been in 140 degree heat for 20 minutes. I have more than one reason to look forward to fall (which begins in November).

I found this woman's sewing/crafting room on Pinterest the other day. Drool.

Despite the lack of space, I have an inability to stop buying fabric. I don't get brand-new bolts of fabric. No, I like remnants from the dollar basket at Walmart. I also love fabric I can find at the thrift store. I took Flopsy with me to make the rounds of the thrift stores (2) yesterday and scored two bags of fabric. One was all upholstery and drape samples. Fun! I can see some of these would be fun to use for reupholstering dollhouse furniture.

The little parrot print would be adorable made into tiny pillows for the dollhouse, one parrot each.

Added to some cute fabric I already have in the stash, this bundle of fabric gives me an idea for a quilt for a baby girl.

I mean, can't you just see some squares with these retro bows in them? (They come in multiple colors.)

A little off topic, but I found a 100% linen sheath dress in pink that will be turning into 2 aprons at some point. Good, because I need pink aprons to match some of my cleaning cloth/dishcloth/hot pad sets.

And an update on the little trees quilt. I have to quilt 11 of the remaining dark squares at the junctions of the pale green stripes and quilt all but one of the pale green stripes. And do the border. And bind it.

I'm hoping it will look "charmingly imperfect" rather than just imperfect.

This photo chops off almost all of the border but you get the idea. 

(I also found some yarn at close-out prices at Walmart the other day...Hmm...)

*I looked this up after I typed it. Actually, the temperature may be closer to 150 degrees.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Instructing Children in the Faith Begins in Infancy

From an article on Pravoslavie:

As I happened to be on business in one ancient town, I remembered that not far from there, about twelve versts distance, my relatives lived in their old family estate house. I sent them a message, they sent me a carriage, and I arrived at their home in the evening.

After looking over the house that was built in the early nineteenth century, with old family portraits on the walls, old furniture and antique dishes, I followed my young hostess into a large room.

“His father was born here,” she said at the threshold, nodding toward her husband.

The deceased old man was not of humble origin, but a well known figure in the history of his native region.
We entered the room.

The spacious room with scrupulously curtained windows was almost empty, as well-maintained nurseries often are. On the table in a metal case with a gilded metal overlay was an icon of the Mother of God of Kazan, and before it a tender flame flickered through the blue glass of a lampada.

“I was blessed at my wedding with this icon of my father’s,” the master of the house said quietly.

In the center of the room stood a cradle with a muslin curtain pulled back. In it was a sleeping infant, sweetly smacking his lips.

It seemed as though the eyes painted on the old icon reached this cradle with their gracious gaze and blessed with their power this new human existence.

This icon united the grandfather and the child, the past and the present, with unseen bonds.

This is the healthy, natural environment that surrounds the child of Christian parents.

And what touching poetry there is in the young mother’s teaching her child to bring his little fingers together and make his first sign of the cross, to pronounce amidst the prattle of his first words the great name of God. Pity the child whose mother did not teach him to pray, and pity the mother who left this sacred duty to others.

It is remarkable that children never doubt the existence of God. Their barely sparkling consciousness is nevertheless somehow capable of grasping the idea of Divinity.

-Writer and New Martyr Evgeny Poselyanin (1870–1931), 
Faith, and the Path to Faith translated by Nun Cornelia (Rees)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dormition of St. Anna / Feast of St. Olympiada

 Many Years to all of our Annas and Olympiadas! (Just got off the phone with my spiritual father. He called to pass along Many Years (or rather the Greek equivalent which I can't possibly type) from Gerontissa Olympiada and I had just told Father to tell him to tell her Many Years from me. (: It's nice to be loved. I love that we share a nameday.)

Sermon on the Dormition of St. Anna here.

 Life of St. Olympiada the deaconess here.

"...we should know that God did not create us to die, that death is a consequence of the sin of Adam and Eve, and that God loves us and cares for us. He is our affectionate father. It is not correct on the one hand to pray with the “Lord’s Prayer”, the well-known “Our Father”, and call God “Father”, and on the other hand to live as orphans."

-from An interview with Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and St. Vlassios by Pavel Chirila, Professor and Doctor at St Irene’s Hospital in Bucharest (Romania).

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New from Amazon: Yesterday Shipping!

In honor of the books which I ordered 6 weeks ago and today found out must have gotten lost in the mail and for which I will be receiving a refund, I am posting this video. I should have ordered them with Amazon Yesterday Shipping.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Baptismal Candles

Father and I were godparents last Saturday at an adult baptism in Alabama. I made the candles last week. I tried to "fancy them up" since it was going to be at a Greek church and they are always over-the-top for baptisms. I didn't exactly succeed in terms of making them just like the Greeks do, but I would have had to invest in substantially more tulle and ribbon for that. Just for fun I looked them up online and was SHOCKED at the prices. Gracious!! I should go into business because I could never bring myself to charge $150.00 for a single candle even if it did have miniature sailboats floating on the tulle.

[This post brought to you by the Glue Gun Foundation.]

"To prayerfully consider"

The following excerpt is taken from The Collect'd Writings of St. Hereticus by Robert McAfee Brown (1964). It is a tongue-in-cheek book about parish life, world religions, Bible translations, theology, etc. supposedly written by the obscure St. Hereticus. Father inherited it from a Catholic monk at the school he attended and at which he taught. It is out of print, but inexpensively obtained used. Naturally this best fits the Episcopal Church, but it is easily applicable to almost any church. Let me emphasize that I am NOT poking fun at any church in particular. I just happen to find it very funny. After prayerful consideration I spent 20 minutes typing it out for your reading enjoyment.

* * *

Once a year all over the country the assembly halls groan from the accumulated weight of denominational gatherings. The various groups get together to review the year's work, congratulate themselves on their achievements, and disperse to harvest new achievements to report the following year. The one real fly in this ecclesiastical ointment is that the delegates have to give an accounting when they get home. The following all-purpose report form is offered to make their task easier:

A Report on the (Annual, Semiannual, Quarterly) Denominational (Meeting, Assembly, Conference)

Instructions: Underline (at will, with caprice, after prayerful consideration) the words in parentheses that are most descriptive of the meetings you attended and read to your (Men's Club, Women's Club, Thursday Circle).

Seldom (in the history of our denomination, if ever, in the past) has one been as conscious of (the power of the Holy Spirit, the strength of our denomination, the foresight of our denominational executives) as at our recent (assembly, meeting, conference). From the first session to the last, as we came together (to discuss, to chart, to prayerfully consider*) our task for the future, it was clear that we were being guided by (a Power outside ourselves, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the wise planning of our denominational executives) and being (led, empowered, helped) to see how we should (plot our course, do God's will, revise the budget) to meet the great demands that (the present emergency, the challenge of mass communications, God) places upon us.

Nowhere was (the power of the Holy Spirit, the strength of our denomination, the foresight of our denominational executives) more clearly evidenced than in the selection of our new (moderator, chairman, secretary). (Mr., Dr., Rev.) Blank is an outstanding (layman, clergyman, denominational executive) who has served our church (faithfully, diligently, with distinction) for a period of (twenty-five, thirty-five, forty-five) years. There is no one whose election could more clearly have demonstrated the denomination's concern for (evangelical zeal, consecrated loyalty, ecclesiastical statesmanship), and at the same time given such (rich, abundant, significant) promise of (efficient, dynamic, practical) leadership. Catering neither to the extreme (right, left) nor to the extreme (left, right), (Mr., Dr., Rev.) Blank stands as a (rallying, focal, mid-) point around which men of whatever persuasion can gather with enthusiasm. His opening remarks to the (meeting, assembly, conference) will long live in (the hearts of those who heard them, the testimony of the church across the ages, the annual report of our denomination). He was particularly compelling in his prophetic assertion that ours is the ("bridge", "bridge", "bridge") church, with which others must join to achieve a united Christendom, thereby demonstrating the depth and range of his ecumenical approach.

Impressive, too, was the Report of the (Social Action, Interchurch Relations, Pensions) Committee. The chairman of the committee made a number of (thought-provoking, convention-defying, forward-looking) suggestions, and in each case the (assembly, meeting, conference) voted overwhelmingly to (give the matter further study for a period of two years, return the report of the committee for clarification, recommend implementation at the local level as soon as the details had been worked out in the national office).

The most significant aspect of the meetings was the way in which the delegates realized the importance of (implementing, gearing in, carrying out) our decisions at the grass roots of our denominational life. ** This means that the responsibility is placed (squarely, directly, unavoidably) upon the local church.

I therefore recommend, Mr. Chairman, that we (appoint a committee, appoint a subcommittee, ask the pastor) to prayerfully consider the material from the (assembly, meeting, conference) and at some time in the future, when (they have, he has) had a chance to study it, give us an evaluation of it, and point out ways in which we could prayerfully consider implementing*** these proposals. Let us not be found napping in these (crucial hours, dark days, momentous times)!

* The infinitive must be split. It always is.

** It occurs to me in this connection that we need a new denominational verb, the verb "to grassroot." This would avoid all sorts of clumsy constructions such as "to-make-relevant-to-all-areas-of-our-constituency" or "to-implement-at-every-level-down-to-the-local-church-and-up-again." How much simpler to say, "Let's grassroot this!" or even, "This ought to be grassrooted."

*** Here, obviously, is the place to say, "grassrooting."

Friday, July 20, 2012

Weeds and Flowers

Classic words from Elder Porphyrios:

God has placed a power in man's soul. But it is up to him how he channels it - for good or for evil. If we imagine the good as a garden full of flowers, trees and plants and the evil as weeds and thorns and the power as water, then what can happen is as follows: when the water is directed towards the flower-garden, then all the plants grow, blossom and bear fruit; and at the same time, the weeds and thorns, because they are not being watered, wither and die. And the opposite, of course, can also happen.

It is not necessary, therefore, to concern yourselves with the weeds. Don't occupy yourself with rooting out evil. Christ does not wish us to occupy ourselves with the passions, but with the opposite. Channel the water, that is, all the strength of your soul, to the flowers and you will enjoy their beauty, their fragrance and their freshness.

You won't become saints by hounding after evil. Ignore evil. Look towards Christ and He will save you. Instead of standing outside the door shooing the evil one away, treat him with disdain. If evil approaches from one direction, then calmly turn in the opposite direction. If evil comes to assault you, turn all your inner strength to good, to Christ. Pray, 'Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.' He knows how and in what way to have mercy on you. And when you have filled yourself with good, don't turn any more towards evil. In this way you become good on your own, with the grace of God. Where can evil then find a foothold? It disappears!

--Elder Porphyrios, Wounded by Love, p. 135

Friday, July 6, 2012

Toy Nostalgia

 I suddenly got nostalgic for toys I played with as a child. Remember the cash register? I loved how the coins rolled down the little change chute. Just like TG&Y.

I had completely forgotten about the McDonald's toy until I bumped into it while looking for something else. I adored this! Remember how the trays fit under their chins? I would love to let my children play with this. (When I was done with it...)

I know you have to remember the Tree Tots Tree House! I loved anything resembling a doll house and this was wonderful because it was in a tree and had an elevator. For some reason the pop-up canopy was nifty too.

And the movie viewer!!! Remember? You put the cassette in and turned the crank on the side. I remember one with Donald Duck and a haunted house. The great thing was being able to turn the crank backward and watching it in reverse. Or slow motion. Over and over.

What toys do you wish you had again?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Poll Results and Other Interesting Things

Hey! Still alive! Curiosity didn't kill this cat yet. I thought y'all would be interested in the results of the poll:

Because it's a little hard to see (and I lacked the HTML skills to change the 'white on pale green' printing) I'll reproduce it in order of percentage:

Orthodox --57 (79%)
Roman Catholic --6 (8%)
Protestant --5 (6%)
Non-Denominational --2 (2%)
Eastern Catholic --1 (1%)
Atheist/Agnostic --1 (1%)  [Gah!! Just noticed I misspelled "atheist" on the poll!! Blast.]
Non-Christian --0

Wow! I'm somewhat surprised that 21% of you are non-Orthodox and still hang around enough to feel like participating in an obnoxious poll. (: Kudos* to you! Watch out, I may decide that this was interesting enough to repeat in 6 months to a year to see if it's changed. Sort of a low-budget, lazy science fair project without the proper "experiment on human subjects" paperwork completed.

*It suddenly occurred to me to wonder what the origin of the word "kudos" was. Haha:
1825–35;  irregular transliteration of Greek kŷdos

In the 19th century, kudos 1  entered English as a singular noun, a transliteration of a Greek singular noun kŷdos  meaning “praise or renown.” It was at first used largely in academic circles, but it gained wider currency in the 1920s in journalistic use, particularly in headlines: Playwright receives kudos. Kudos given to track record breakers. Kudos  is often used, as in these examples, in contexts that do not clearly indicate whether it is singular or plural; and because it ends in -s,  the marker of regular plurals in English, kudos  has come to be widely regarded and used as a plural noun meaning “accolades” rather than as a singular mass noun meaning “honor or glory.” (source)
 It's Greek! Hilarious! But after all, isn't everything of Greek origin? "Give me a word...any word..."

Counsels from Elder Thaddeus

Elder Thaddeus 1914-2003

~How will we know whether we are living according to the will of God or not? If you are sad for whatever reason, this means that you have not given yourself over to God, although from the outside it may seem that you have. He who lives according to God's will has no worries. When he needs something, he simply prays for it. If he does not receive that which he asked for, he is joyful as though he had received it. A soul that has given itself over to God has no fear of anything, not even robbers, sickness, or death. Whatever happens, such a soul always cries, "It was the will of God."

~We must try to always be in good spirits, always joyful, because the spirits of evil want us to be sad all the time.

~We are very distracted and our concentration is weak. We are like a broken mirror that reflects reality in small fragments until the power of God makes us whole again, able to faithfully reflect His image.

~Nothing ever happens either in the world or in the universe without the will of God or His permission. All that is good and noble is God's will, and all that is negative and bad happens because He allows it. He knows why He allows these things to happen and for how long. If the incorporeal angelic powers or we men were allowed to do as we please, there would be total chaos in the world and in the entire universe. But God is present everywhere and He is Light, a Light that penetrates all.

-Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Monday, July 2, 2012

St. John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco

The life of St. John Maximovitch is a very full one, but I've chosen to extract the parts of his life that have to do with his rescuing of orphans.

St. John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco  +July 2, 1966

St. John, Rescuer of Orphans

St. John was consecrated bishop and sent to Shanghai in the 1930's. Among other things he started a home for orphans beginning with eight children. At great personal risk he would walk the streets and alleys at night and rescue starving children he found there. 

There were always wars in China. The Chinese had large families with many children, and there was very little to eat. To save on food, they would get rid of newborns, placing them out on the street to freeze to death. Vladika John would pick them up and bring them to the orphanage. On these outings, the deacon of the cathedral would follow him in order to help and protect him. Once Vladika said to this deacon about a child, "Pick him up." The deacon objected, "But he's Chinese." "But he is made in the image of God," said Vladika. (source)
At the end of the 1940's as the communists came to power, Russians in China were forced to flee again, most via the Philippine Islands. In 1949 almost 5000 refugees from China were located in a camp of the International Refugee Organization on the island of Tubabao. They lived there in tents under the most primitive circumstances. All of the children of the orphanage were brought there, as were the elderly and infirm. They lived under the continual threat of fierce hurricanes, since the island is located in the path of seasonal typhoons which pass through that part of the Pacific Ocean. During the twenty-seven-month existence of the Russian encampment, only once was the island threatened by a typhoon, which, however, changed its course and passed around the island. Every night Saint John would walk around the entire camp blessing it with the sign of the Cross on all four sides. Later, when the people had departed for various countries and the camp had been almost completely evacuated, a fierce typhoon swept over the camp and leveled it to the ground. (source)
 The entire orphanage was again moved in its entirety, this time to America. St. John made a personal trip to Washington D.C. to make sure all of the people in his care would be allowed to enter the country.

I'll leave you with this excerpt from the memoirs of a woman who worked in the orphanage:
M.A. Shakhmatova witnessed the saint’s ascetic exploit in Shanghai almost from the very moment of his arrival there in 1934, on the feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple. She saw Archbishop John crucify himself in both founding and managing the orphanage. Living conditions were terrible, and the needs of the children, whose parents had escaped Communism, were overwhelming. The young Bishop, almost from the start, gathered concerned ladies from his parish, asked them to found a committee, rented a house, and opened up a hostel for orphans or children whose parents were in need. The children would often be underfed, abused, and frightened, until Archbishop John would come and personally take them into his orphanage and school. Each child – and there were over three thousand who went through the orphanage – had a traumatic story.

There was, for example, a boy named Paul who had witnessed his father and mother being killed and chopped into pieces by the Communists right in front of his eyes. Because of the trauma the boy had become mute and could not even pronounce his own name. He was like a trapped animal, afraid of everyone, and trusted only his fists and spitting. He was brought into the orphanage at a time when it was packed and had no place for him. Due to the fact that Paul was so frightened, the ladies there thought that he was abnormal and refused to accept him lest he scare the other children.

When Archbishop John found out about him, he insisted on immediately dropping everything and going to meet the boy personally. They did not even know that he was a Russian boy and spoke Russian, for he only mumbled and hissed like a caged animal. When Archbishop John arrived, he sat down before the boy, who was still trembling, and said to him the following: “I know that you have lost your father, but now you have found another one – me,” and he hugged him. This was said with such power that the boy burst out in tears and his speech returned to him.

In the slums of Shanghai there were cases in which dogs would devour baby girls who had been thrown into garbage cans. When the newspapers announced this, Archbishop John told Mrs. Shakhmatova to go and buy two bottles of Chinese vodka – at which she cringed in horror. But her horror increased when he demanded that she accompany him into these very slums, where it was common knowledge that grown-up people would be murdered. Fearless as ever, the young Bishop insisted on going there, walking through dark alleys in the worst neighborhood. She recalled what horror seized her heart when they, n the darkness of night, walked and encountered only drunkards, shady characters, and growling dogs and cats. She held the bottles in her hands, following him with trepidation, when suddenly a growl was heard from a drunken man sitting in a dark doorway, and the faint moan of a baby was heard from a nearby garbage can. When the Bishop hastened towards the cry, the drunkard growled in warning. Then the Bishop turned to Mrs. Shakhmatova and said, “Hand me a bottle.” Raising the bottle in one hand and pointing to the garbage can with the other, Blessed John, without words, conveyed the message of the proposed sale. The bottle ended up in the hands of the drunkard, and Mrs. Shakmatova saved the child. That night the Bishop returned to the orphanage with two more babies under his arms. 
 “Once during the war,” she continued, “the poverty of the orphanage reached such immense proportions that there was literally nothing with which to feed the children, and there must have been at least ninety of them at that time. Our staff was indignant because Archbishop John kept bringing in new children, some of whom had parents, and we were having to feed someone else’s children. Such were his ways. One evening when he came to us – worn out, tired, cold and silent – I could not resist telling him off. I said that we women could not tolerate this any longer, that we could not bear to see hungry little mouths and not be able to put anything into them. I could not control myself and raised my voice in indignation. I not only complained, I was full of wrath at him for putting us through this. He looked sadly at me and said, ‘What do you really need?’ I said, right off the bat, ‘Everything, but at least some oatmeal. I have nothing to feed the children with in the morning.”

Archbishop John looked at her sadly and went upstairs. Then she heard him making prostrations, so vigorously and loudly that even the neighbors complained. Pangs of conscience bothered her, and that night she couldn’t sleep. She dozed off in the morning, only to be awakened by the doorbell. When she opened the door, there stood a gentleman of English extraction who said that he represented some cereal company, and that he had a surplus of oatmeal; and he wanted to know whether they could use it since he heard that there were children here. They began to bring in bags and bags of oatmeal. While this was going on, with the commotion of banging doors, Blessed John began to descend the staircase. Hardly could Mrs. Shakhmatova utter a word to him when she saw his glance. He did not say anything, but with his eyes, with one single glance, he reproached her for her unbelief. She said she could have fallen on her knees and kissed his feet, but he was already gone to continue his prayer to God, now of thanksgiving. (source)
 Troparion Tone 6
Glorious apostle to an age of coldness and unbelief, invested with the grace-filled power of the saints of old, divinely illumined seer of heavenly mysteries, feeder of orphans, hope of the hopeless, thou didst enkindle on earth the fire of love for Christ upon the dark eve of the day of judgement. Pray now that this sacred flame may also rise from our hearts.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Memory Eternal Fr. Peter!

Quoted from All Saints' web site:

July 1, 2012 – Saints Cosmos and Damian

These are holy days. God is so merciful, loving, and compassionate.

After the Liturgy of Sts. Peter and Paul Thursday night, Fr. Peter asked for prayer at the Hospice House. Fr. Peter Jon arrived around 10 p.m. and asked, “Dad, would you like to receive communion tonight or tomorrow?” Fr. Peter stated clearly that he would like communion right away, so we began to pray and sing. Although it was becoming increasingly difficult for him to speak in complete sentences, Fr. Peter recited all the prayers by heart and sang perfect harmony with the communion hymns. Then he went to sleep. That is the last food he has consumed — the Bread of Life, and the Fountain of Immortality.

Fr. Peter didn’t awaken again until the following evening at 9:00 p.m. (Friday), when the wheels of Fr. Gordon Walker’s car hit the driveway. Fr. Gordon had driven six hours to be with his friend of 50 years in his time of need. They talked a while, smiled a lot, and then Fr. Peter went back to sleep following evening prayers.

The following morning (Saturday), we all gathered in Fr. Peter’s room for morning prayers, as he slept. Around 3:00 p.m., Fr. Peter awoke and asked if Fr. Gordon would hear his confession, which he did. Then a call was placed to Fr. Jon Braun, and the three old friends shared a few minutes together, talking about heaven. Then Fr. Peter fell asleep again.

Since that time, his vitals have changed dramatically, and he appears to be making the final sprint for the finish line. “Finish the race” is what his family members whisper in his ear. We are gathered by his bedside in prayer, Scripture-reading, and song. Finish the race, dad. We love you so much. 
 [Seen soon after posting the above:]

Memory Eternal Fr. Peter E.

With the saints give rest, O Lord, to the Soul of your departed servant, the Archpriest Peter, where there is no pain, nor sorrow, nor suffering, but life everlasting!

The servant of God Fr. Peter E. Gillquist departed this life at 9:20 p.m. surrounded by family. He has finished the race. Memory eternal!

“Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!”

Funeral arrangements will post Monday.

Technical Question [updated]

In the last 2 weeks I've noticed something highly annoying. I will get 12 or more hits within 2 minutes from one city but from almost all different sites. Some of the site addresses are obvious spam but I checked a few others (not by clicking the link) and they're legitimate sites. The city is always Washington D.C. This will happen on average about twice a day and is not slowing down. Has anyone else experienced this or have any idea if there is something I can do about it?

[UPDATE: I realized it was probably easiest to actually show you what I see and see if anyone has any ideas.] This is a cropped screen shot of my stat counter (click to enlarge):