Tuesday, November 23, 2004

random stuff

it's back...
After what seemed to me to be a long break, the book club is back. we started today with St John Chrysostom's On Wealth and Poverty. Maybe it was the draw of reading one of the Church fathers, but we had quite a large group. I hope it continues. It's great reading, how his sermons transcend time and culture and get right to the heart.
and then...
I'm also reading The Life of the Theotokos. It's very thick and detailed. I was so happy to have just read about the entrance into the temple, and then to sing the hymns at Vespers and Liturgy. It made it so rich and powerful.
of kids and dogs...
I spent a recent day with my friend Jenny, kids and dogs walking in the hills and leaves by the Hood Canal. She was baby sitting two kids, and we took them and my dog out to her parents' house in Tahuya, which is on the south part of the canal. It's very beautiful out there, and the weather was nice. Her little brother, and their two dogs were also there. We threw rocks in the water which the big dogs jumped in and swam after, but never managed to catch. Nani was great, the three kids were taking turns walking, holding and generally fawning over her. She was agreeable, even with the big dogs. The big dogs ran around the hills rooting, sniffing mushrooms, and rolling in dirt.
survey says...
State surveyors in the nursing home this week. Checking to make sure everything is done properly. Happens officially once a year, maybe more often if you get a complaint that's bad enough. Everyone runs around like mad. It sounds like we're doing fairly well, they will perform the "exit interview" tomorrow, where we hear their findings. Everyone is assured of some kind of citation, even if it's trivial. They asked one of the nurse's why he was wearing a royal blue scrub top. So now that's a running joke, "Say, why are you wearing that color today?"

Monday, November 22, 2004

no soup for you

I have reached new heights of injuring myself in the kitchen. I made soup from scratch, and proceeded to somehow pour a bowl of close to boiling hot soup upon my arm, and other parts of my body. It was actually my forearm, wrist and hand. Since it was my left side it was really fun trying to do everything with my right hand. I also just noticed that I managed to get soup on the ceiling, which will be fun to try and clean off now that it's dry. Spent the rest of the day with ice packs on my arm. Woo hoo for clumsy girl. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The Nativity Fast

An article entitled “The Nativity Fast” by Fr. Rodney Torbic was included in the November bulletin of my parish. Wanted to share parts that really struck me:
There are no short cuts to growth in Jesus Christ. There are no short cuts to the Kingdom of Heaven. From the time of Holy Baptism to the time of departure from this life, Orthodox Christians are expected to honor the teachings of the Holy Orthodox Church.
God is a forgiving and loving God. God is a merciful God. Incomparable joy is found in God. Incomparable joy is found in living the life in Christ. Incomparable joy comes by the grace and mercy of God.
Fulfillment comes in the life of Christ. Completeness is found in the life of Christ. Nourishment is found in the Precious Body and Blood of Christ. Nourishment is found in the Holy Gospel.
The Nativity Fast provides the structure for life to be refocused, for renewal in Jesus Christ to take place. The Nativity Fast provides the opportunity to cast away the clutter that creeps into daily living. The Nativity Fast enables believers to return to the important direction for Christian living.
God gives each person twenty-four hours per day. Each person chooses how he or she will use the time. Each person determines the amount of time given to God each day. Each person determines the amount of time devoted to prayer and charitable works each day. Each person determines the degree he or she will live a Christian life each day.
The Church gives us Scriptural instruction each day. The Church provides for religious services and prayers for each day. The Church puts before us the lives of the saints each day.
Each person chooses whether he or she will be attentive to the teachings of the Church. Each person chooses whether he or she will open the Holy Bible and read it. Each person chooses whether he or she will observe the Nativity Fast each day.
Our Lord Jesus Christ reminds us when we fast, to fast in secret. (Mt.6:18) Fasting is an effort to improve the condition of our souls. Fasting is an effort to be a better Christian. Fasting is an effort to recapture the joy of the life in Christ.

Monday, November 15, 2004

extreme tv

In my little corner of the world the big news is BIG tv guys in the immediate area... Extreme Makeover Home Edition. They have been in Kingston since last Wedenesday, and the big "reveal" is this Wednesday. They are building a whole new home for a mom and daughters whose home was basically burnt to the ground in a fire. They've been camping on their land since then, and the girls are in high school. I am glad at least this show has to do with people that are in need and helping them. Some people from work went, and even got on the front page of Saturday's Seattle PI. My friend's boyfriend volunteered some time for the construction crew. The show is set to air early January.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

name the movie

a coffee inspired quote. :)
The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

bad bad blogger

it looks like there has been some nastiness on my blog template. i'm going to go pout while getting ready for work. i don't have time to fix the mess.

my sappy post for the week

I talked to my sister on the phone this weekend (my how time flies), and she was trying to tell me I should get a job in a hospital, or as a travel nurse. We've talked before about why I work in nursing homes, and she's a nurse too. I also went to a baby shower for a friend from work on Saturday. There was a woman there who is currently in nursing school, so she wanted to talk about why I work in long term care. It's looked down upon in the nursing world. It's like, oh, you don't work in a hospital? Just a nursing home? The thing is, the American culture isn't going to change, the elderly who can't take care of themselves need someone to care for them. People don't have the time, money or resources, or just don't want to make the effort. I couldn't imagine taking care of a family member 24/7, it would be very difficult. In any case, I honestly love being with the same patients every day. I love having relationships with them, and seeing them smile. Taking a few minutes to talk to them. I may not perform CPR often (or at all), or start IV's daily, but I take care of people. It gives me greater satisfaction than how many "nursing procedures" I do. Just loving these people, I may not have even anything in common with, they may not always remember me from day to day, or even be able to talk with me. But more than money, or excitement, or skills, isn't that what life is about is people? I'm not looking for a job anywhere else at the moment. I love these people, just because. I may change my mind someday, and just want a change in general, but right now I'm quite happy with what I do.

Saturday, November 06, 2004


Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have being.
Put not your trust in princes, in sons of men in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs he returns to his earth; on that very day his plans perish.
The Lord will reign forever; Thy God, O Zion, to all generations.
Now and ever and unto ages of ages.
Only-begotten Son and Immortal Word of God,
Who for our salvation didst will to be incarnate of the holy Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary,
Who without change didst become man and wast crucified,
Who art one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit:
O Christ our God, trampling down death by death, save us!

Why is it so hard to completely put my trust in God? Why do I only do it halfway? I certainly know I can't control my life or the rest of the world, so why do I worry? "God is the Lord and has revealed Himself to us"! How amazing! I can't even grasp it. Praise God that He is Lord, and that's all I need. This life is only a beginning, no need for me to waste it in anxiety and fear. What joy to have God in control, to know that His will is greater than mine, and whatever may happen I can trust in Him. Glory to God!
Every corporal comfort is followed by suffering and after all kinds of suffering for the sake of God there follows relief. A soul which loves God, gleans for itself solace in God and in Him Alone. Joy in God is stronger than life herein, and he who has found it will not only disregard suffering, but will not even bother to glance at his life, and will have no other feeling if truly there was this joy.
Saint Isaac of Syria

It is no small challenge that we must battle the spirit of sadness, for this temptation can drive us to despair and doom. Nothing can happen to us that is contrary to the will of God’s Providence, and everything that is sent by God is for our good and the salvation of our soul. Even if it does not seem beneficial at the present moment, we shall understand later what truly is for our good -- not that which we ourselves desire, but that which is done by God. God sends us trials out of His mercy, so that after we have suffered these ordeals we may be crowned by Him. Without temptation, no one has ever been crowned.
Saint Nilus of Sora

Thursday, November 04, 2004

DVD Picks and other things

The Triplets of Belleville! It's a wierd, musical animated movie from France, what else can I say? Singing crones that eat frog popsicles...mmmmm, yummy. The animation is in the style of Disney's 101 Dalmations, which the director says in the extras. There's an added music video in the DVD extras with a guy singing who's got hair that's a cross between Eddie Munster and Flock of Seagulls. He dances around, and there are little dancing images of him, sort of like the dancing baby or bobble head dolls. Very wierd. Oh, the movie is fun and strange, and the music with the triplets is really cool, they have a musical number with a fridge, vacuum, newspaper, and bicycle wheel. There's an homage to cartoons from the 30's at the beginning, complete with Fred Astaire, and Django Reindhardt smoking and playing guitar with his toes. Belleville is a mix of New York, Paris, and Quebec according to the director, but you see an obese Statue of Liberty eating an ice cream cone as it comes into view, so you be the judge. The animation is excellent, and the CGI blends in nicely. Very good use of colors and sound for moood. Not much speaking, the story is told more visually than anything else. I loved it, it's on my list to own, along with the soundtrack. Really great music.
I also watched Pieces of April recently, which was a great movie. Amazing performances. I cried. :) Very good.
Woo hoo. I finally got the CD I ordered (after a delay and an e-mail inquiry), The Innocence Mission - Christ Is My Hope. Lovely. A friend from work burned some CD's for me, 2 Johnny Cash, and 2 June Carter-Cash. What a nice surprise. We are the Johnny Cash group at work, Johnny is playing in the dining room at dinner when ever we're working.
Costco has the complete Chronicles of Narnia in a hardback, with the origional illustrations. So I've gotten that, and am re-reading it, it's been a while. I hadn't read The Magician's Nephew, just finished. C.S. Lewis is amazing.
Oh, and thirty-eight degrees when I left work tonight.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

lessons to learn

I recently received a very short phone call from someone. A year ago it would have upset me greatly, but now it didn’t, just set me to thinking, and praying. I just re-read The Illumined Heart [Frederica Mathewes-Green], after loaning it to a friend at work. Something in it particularly struck me in this situation and what has been on my mind since then.
Ultimately, no one can hurt us. We have nothing to lose, because all our treasure is in Christ. This can be a very hard lesson, and it may take a lifetime to learn, but even at the beginning of the journey we can recognize the truth. Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” When we are hurt by another, it is because we think that person has stolen some of our treasure. The process of becoming healed and becoming able to offer forgiveness comes with the realization that our real treasure is elsewhere; it is secure where no one can hurt.
The great spiritual danger when we are hurt is self-righteousness. The identity of being a victim is very seductive. This is not to deny that the injury was objectively real, objectively unjust. It is to point out that establishing victimhood as a core of identity will poison us. We must take care that no root of bitterness springs up, as St Paul said.
Our daily temptations and irritations are minor compared with what the great saints have borne. We resent forgiving friends and family, while Jesus told us to love even our enemies. We have far to go. Those who have gone further on this road can teach and inspire us.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

visitors, singing out of tune, and a little rant

deer Posted by Hello
Here's the deer family that greeted me when I was moving in. They like to come and eat my blackberry bushes.
I posted another picture of them on the other blog, along with some other things.
It's been raining here in torrents. Which makes the local media come up with "catchy" phrases like "Storm Watch 2004" or "Flood Watch 2004". Gag. Oh, I love it, I enjoy sitting and listening to the downpour. The weather is so amazing, . I find myself overly enthusiastic about all aspects of weather and seasons. I am used to one season, hot and sunny. I am here and I love the fall, and winter, and spring and even summer. blah, blah, blah. I really do like the rain though. I like to walk in the rain, and feel it. I'm strange like that. There's piles of yellow leaves on the sides of the roads. Ok, I'll stop, enough of that.

What's up with me? I've had a lot on my mind (as usual). I'm feeling good about things in general, at least, I'm working on things that need to be worked on. Or trying at least. The last few evening services I've gone to at church have just been one to three other people. Or like the akathist to St Elizabeth this last Friday, just me and Father Christopher. So I have been the choir and the reader. A big deal for me (when I'm being the center of my universe), but it doesn't mean too much really. I've never been musical, I don't know what a tune is, or a beat, I'm more inclined to visual arts. I like to sing now much more than the protestant church music I was raised with, at least I don't have to clap (it gets really ugly). I told Father he could put me on the list to read the hours before Divine Liturgy. I don't think I'll be ready for the epistle reading any time soon. In any case, I guess I'm tired of making excuses for a lot of things, trying to get over some issues, same old story.

I'll be glad when the election is over and calm has settled, and my inbox can rest from the torrent of e-mails sent from well meaning (though way too enthusiastic) relatives in far off places. I'm not much for forwarded e-mails, especially from people with whom you don't have any other contact besides forwarding stuff. If they can send you forwarded e-mails a couple times a week then they can write you a nice, personal e-mail once a month, however short. Even just a "Hey, how's it going?". That's just my opinion, for what it's worth. There's my little rant.