Friday, May 31, 2013

Catch up

Has it really been 10 days since I checked in to share the day, with you all?
I'm still here and all is well.
Lots happening and will try to catch you up.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fields of Basil and Light

Today is May 21st, and it is the day, we celebrate Saints Constantine and Helen. Saint Constantine was victorious in battle after seeing the cross in the sky made of light, with the words, "NIKA," meaning "with this you will be victorious." Saint Helen, his mother and my own patron saint, raised her son in a christian atmosphere which was not popular at the time and set out to find the true cross. 
She found it in a field of basil. 

This year as I was at vespers, I was blessed to be in a church of Saint Constantine and Helen. It  felt so  peaceful to me. During the service, I kept thinking about how beautiful it must have been, to be in the field of basil and to find the cross. This led me to thinking about how each of at times struggles in our lives, and how sweet it feels when that burden is lifted like the cross in the field, as it's lifted the sweet aroma wafts up and around you, encircling you like an embrace. The cross is one of sacrifice and love and each of us has our own to carry, but we can love each other and in those moments there is the beauty of the light and the sweet aroma of blessings. 

Sweet blessings to all celebrating today!
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Sunday, May 19, 2013


Ever wonder how important patterns in nature repeat?

Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

1 Chronicles 16.10:

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Band Arrives

Well, the birds have come out in full swing, we have some old friends, the Robin couples and a striking Cardinal pair. The doves, woodpeckers, sparrows, finches and cowbirds are all here. Our little Hummingbirds haven't returned yet, it's quite late, they are usually around by late April. I don't blame them, the weather has been so labile, pretty cold at times, then 80 degrees?
We just had one more frost, hoping it is the last one?

Our garden is starting to take shape and the feeders are full. These bully boys are now regulars. We had one then two, then many more Blue Jays swoop in one day. I'm so glad, I was able to catch a picture to share with you. Their colors are so gorgeous, check out the Cerulean blue. Many blue jays together are called, "band", "scold", "cast" or a "party". These bully boys are a band if I ever saw one.

If you are wondering what's keeping me busy, these rocks are new and the garden bigger.
Adding soil and compost etc this week. I'll share soon.
For now, forgive two bird posts back to back.
Just had to share these bad boys.

O Blue Jay up in the maple tree,
Shaking your throat with such bursts of glee,
How did you happen to be so blue?
Did you steal a bit of the lake for your crest,
And fasten blue violets into your vest?
Tell me, I pray you,–tell me true!
Did you dip your wings in azure dye,
When April began to paint the sky,
That was pale with the winter’s stay?
Or were you hatched from a blue-bell bright,
‘Neath the warm, gold breast of a sunbeam light,
By the river one blue spring day?
O Blue Jay up in the maple tree,
A-tossing your saucy head at me,
With ne’er a word for my questioning,
Pray, cease for a moment your “ting-a-link,”
And hear when I tell you what I think,–
You bonniest bit of spring.
I think when the fairies made the flowers,
To grow in these mossy fields of ours,
Periwinkles and violets rare,
There was left of the spring’s own color, blue,
Plenty to fashion a flower whose hue
Would be richer than all and as fair.
So, putting their wits together, they
Made one great blossom so bright and gay,
The lily beside it seemed blurred:
And then they said, “We will toss it in air;
So many blue blossoms grow everywhere,
Let this pretty one be a bird.”
Susan Hartley Swett.


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Monday, May 13, 2013

Now this is taking a step further...

We never had birds growing up, well we did have a rooster but he doesn't count. 
We never had caged birds, that is. 
Recently was visiting someone special in rehab and look what they had near the elevators? 
It struck me as pretty unusual but perhaps it's not.  
I had just never seen a Bird Terrarium of this sort. 
Have you?

I'm pretty sure these are finches, but not sure what type?
Any ideas?

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Newest Trials of a Lemon Tree

Well do you remember my excitement at owning a lemon tree? I had bought one for my sister and one for us last summer, and had an embarrassing moment at the nursery, when it went naked. Well, it never truly recovered, despite fertilizing and watering and much love. It was ok, but not full and how a lemon tree should look and feel.
Then, a few days after Christmas , we awakened and found it covered in this! 

Whaaaaat is THAT????
Horrifying! AHHHH! YUCK! 
Just imagine, several gagging sounds and my face in the most squishiest position possible.

Now, I am not a lover of bugs, unlike someone else with little hands, who had immediantly pulled out the nature books and started googling to identify our invader.  We placed it outside, not fearful it would spread, just grossed out and thinking it might kill or slow down whatever that was! 
I went back to the nursery-in the dead of winter, to confirm the identification made by our sweet boy. 
In the end, he was right!

Poor little tree-shiver shiver brrr

It ended up being, Cotton Scale,  and I needed to spray it and wash it all away.  I bought the $10 Citrus Oil Spray, and I sprayed it and washed it in the garage. Not as simple as I'm making it sound in freezing weather, let me just share.
Then, faithfully watered it and fertilized it. 

Seriously, I thought I had killed it again. I was sure it was dead.
My MiL would ask, "how's the lemonia?"
"Well, no change-yet"
"Keep watering it" she would encourage.

Father asked me several times, "how long are we keeping this in the window?"
I would respond, " I know, let's just give it some time, how about until after Pascha?"

So, I watered and waited, and watered and waited. 

But what to my delight did appear! (No, not reindeer, being this saga restarted at Christmas)


Here let me help you.

So with new vigor and hope.
I cut back all the dead branches and kept watering.
Today it looks like this!

Perhaps this season it will grow healthy and beautiful and strong.
I visited a parishioner recently who has a 6 ft tall lemon tree potted, on wheels and in the garage with loads and loads of lemons on it, still waiting for warmer weather. We are almost there. I would love to spend more time with him, what a beautiful garden he has created, you can see it even before everything has started blooming.
It is the kind you find in magazines. Just gorgeous and peaceful. (sigh)
He invited me back this summer to take pictures to share with you, and I WILL!

So take away message, yes I will still put this little guy outside this summer. But- I will always spray and wash it before bringing it back in.

Pascha is truly a time of renewal and hope!

Pray for each other and continue to pray for the safe return of the Abducted Bishops of Aleppo, and all those who are missing and away from those who love them.
May our Risen Lord continue to protect us all and give them strength and a safe return.

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Great and Holy Friday

If you are unable to attend a service physically, you can join in observance through,
Kali Anastasti!
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