Saturday, March 22, 2014

Flowers for the Veneration of the Life-Giving and Precious Cross

Father was worried that we wouldn't have enough flowers in the yard to decorate the cross for this weekend. I was a little worried too, but I had scouted the yard a day or two ago and felt like I could probably pull together enough blossoms. If all else failed, I'd head to the store and buy them, but I hoped it wouldn't come to that. The azaleas are just beginning to bloom and I thought that by today I'd have enough open blossoms to piece out with the remaining red camellias.

We found the camellias and azaleas in our yard and I decided to take a walk down to the church to see if I could gather enough to fill out the rest. I took four of the kids with me and we found a few more azaleas, some wisteria and the purple-y blossoms from the bushes on either side of the church steps (not sure what they're called). I also clipped a few blossoms from a trumpet vine on the way home.

Adding in a few random wildflowers and some greenery from the yard, here it is:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Yarn Along: More of the Same

 Another shawl for another person in need:

(baby shown for scale)

Ravelry link

 And this is for a friend whose daughter, a surviving twin, is unable to understand why her brother (who died at 14 weeks) was not able to live. I made the doll, hat and blanket.

It's modeled (except for the face of course) very closely on Innocent and Andrew. I weighted the torso and head slightly so that the weight would be more realistic.

Ravelry link

blanket: 6.5 inches square, doll: 5.5 inches long

I've read a lot of stuff but this is where I've been mostly lately. You can tell I'm getting impatient for storm season to start!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Real Life is not a Movie

Today I read a post by a friend who's going through a tragedy. Her husband has cancer, she has chronic illnesses, they have four kids, some of whom have autism. She apologized for griping. You know, she wasn't really griping. She wasn't saying "why me?" She was just telling it like it is.

When I lost the boys, especially when I lost Innocent, I noticed that life is not like a carefully scripted movie. Even when you're in mourning and in shock, children still have to be fed. They still bicker. The bills still have to be paid. Someone has to make sure that you don't run out of toilet paper. Dust accumulates.

For some reason people like watching dramas. You know, like Brian's Song, or for those of you too young to remember it, Beaches. Personally, I can't watch movies in which someone dies. It's not "sweet" to me. I can never rid those images from my head and those are the sanitized ones! You can imagine how horror-struck I was when I found out I had to watch Schindler's List for a college class. (Yes, nightmares for months.)

After getting lots of those sweet, sad dramas under your belt, somehow you expect life to be just like that. When a friend or family member is dying, reality slams home. To wit:
Ways in which real life drama is not like a movie drama:

1. There is no beautiful soundtrack.
2. There are no cut-aways.
3. You can't fast-forward.
4. People rarely make inspirational speeches. Usually they say dumb things.
5. The cast is much more messy and there are too many extras.
6. You can't turn it off at any time and say, "what a lovely movie."
7. No one helps you with props.
8. There are too many story-lines and they don't interweave neatly.
9. There is a lot more vomiting in real life.
10. People avoid you rather than pay $10 to come watch. 

Don't blame people for not being sick in a more aesthetically pleasing way. Don't blame people who are ferrying family members to chemo for not making more inspirational speeches. Step in and pray, make meals, do errands and most of all, BE there and be understanding and accepting. No one goes to bed at night, hoping they'll be picked to star in this kind of drama.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Yarn Along: Hugs and Hats

This past week I finished a gift for someone who really needed a long-distance hug. (It's a shawl.)

(Ravelry link)

I also started adding to my bag of tiny hats for Calvin's Hats.

The yarn is so fine that I actually cast on 15 stitches for this little hat.

I also started a baby blanket in seed stitch for a parishioner expecting her first baby. It's just like Miss Moppet's pink one, but in blue, green and cream stripes. I'm carrying the yarn up the sides so I won't have a billion ends to weave in.

Reading! Well, I'm in two read-alongs right now: one for Jane Austen's Mansfield Park...

(You can see my copy has been loved almost to death. I found it in a used book store in 6th grade.)

And another one for Wounded by Love by Elder Porphyrios. Always good reading, especially for Lent.

And then, there's the other side of me. (c;

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sunday of Orthodoxy

(Sorry, this is a few days late!)


After coffee hour, Father had a tour of the church and altar for everyone. He explained the various icons (providing a handout he made with a "map" of all of the icons in church with identification, etc.) and some of the items on the Holy Table and Proskomedia Table. 

Late in the afternoon we hopped in the van and drove up to Clinton, MS to Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church (OCA) for a pan-Orthodox Vespers. Only one of the seven local priests was unable to attend due to illness. The church was packed and it was difficult to take pictures, but I did get a few.

The boys got to serve and were thrilled! It wasn't what they were used to but they did a great job "going with the flow". The picture is rather grainy because I had to brighten it due to the altar being so bright.