Friday, July 30, 2010

The Dormition Fast

I have really enjoyed cooking in the past few weeks, with so many garden vegetables pouring in, and a brief break from the fasts, but it is time to look again to another fasting season, the Dormition.  Thankfully, a two week fast seems like nothing after this year's extended Apostles Fast, but each fast comes with its challenges.  One of them this year, our chickens decided to start laying eggs this week :)  Here's to hoping we have some non-Orthodox friends interested in farm fresh eggs for the next two weeks!  Also, I will be spending the first week and a half of the fast attending an intensive training for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, so with 8 hours of training each day and a service nearly every night - cooking time will be short.
Here is a peek at our menu for this season, with recipes to follow.  A word of warning, a few of these recipes I am trying for the first time, so I make no promises on how some of them taste!  I tried to find a few new recipes that would make the most of our overabundance of corn (over 250 ears harvested so far this year :), squash (12 squash casseroles currently sit in the freezer :) and tomatoes (still trying to get those canned)!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lessons from the Farm: Perseverance

A farmer went out to sow his seeds in the deep furrows of the earth....from dust he came, and to the dust he looks for sustenance.
But lest he become too reliant on himself, placing his trust in the earth alone....  God sends the rains, and twice, all is washed away.
... yet God does remember His covenant with man, "the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh"
....  and for a third time, hands humbly digging deep into the rich, flooded soil, seeds go into the ground.  This time they rise from the warm, dark earth and produce, according to their kind.
... "for behold, I have given you every seed-bearing herb that sows seed on the face of all the earth... 
..and to you it shall be for food.  I also give every green plant as food for the wild animals of the earth,
..for all the birds of heaven, and for everything that creeps on the earth in which is the breath of life.
It was so.  Then God saw everything He had made, and indeed, was very good."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Days of Grace

After Days of Grace had to be deleted, I figured it was for the best and I enjoyed a bit of a break, but I must confess, I miss the challenge of a photo a day to remind me of the presence of God in my life.  So, I decided to try to put it back together.  It will take a week or two to get all of the old photos reposted, and of course, sadly all of your beautiful comments are gone, but hopefully you will join me again.  At this point, I have uploaded January (though I am missing a few days, and cannot honestly remember what photos they were :), and began officially taking new photos yesterday.  I hope to repost all of the old photos, and select a few from the past few weeks, while continuing to document the rest of this year's Days of Grace

Lessons from the Farm: The Rewards of Patience

From this......
to this......
the crocodile hunter's first eggs!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Orthodox History in America

As I was sifting through resources this morning, I ran across a wonderful site I thought I would pass along.  If you are planning to study American history, this site is a wealth of information on the Orthodox history of America.

Monday, July 12, 2010

evlogia returns

If you haven't seen yet, evlogia is back up.  Mary has given a bit more explanation of her reasons, so go read for yourself.  Hopefully knowing more of the story will allow those who felt so "betrayed" to better understand.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Collateral Damage

It saddens me to say that the continued disregard for Mary's decision to remove her blog has necessitated the removal also of both Letters of Grace and Days of Grace.  This was not the plan.  Letters of Grace was not going to be removed.  Unfortunately, when people chose to use technology to steal and load information to other sites, there was only one option left available, and Letters of Grace is officially collateral damage.  I don't know what the future holds, or in what format Letters of Grace will return, or when.  Honestly, I am going to have to think long and hard about blogging in general.  After seeing what Mary has gone through, and seeing the attitude of entitlement some seem to have, it does not encourage me to want to share.  I want to apologize to all of you out there who had nothing to do with this situation, but are also suffering the consequences of those who were selfish.  I cannot express how much my heart breaks that Letters of Grace had to be deleted.  I do hope that there will be a time when it can be put up again, but considering the hours it took to create the site, it will need time, and some rethinking.

NOTE:  I do not have plans at this time to remove this blog :)  Just wanted to reassure everyone of that, as there has been a flurry of downloads from here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

evlogia and Letters of Grace

The past week has been a wonderful time with family.  During that period, I had a lot of travel time which allowed me to listen to a number of wonderful lectures from the Circe Institute.  Specifically, I have been listening to the lectures from the 2009 conference, entitled "A Contemplation of Nature."  For those of you who heard Kern speak at the St. Emmelia conference, you will realize this goes far deeper than a simple discussion of "nature" in terms of the outdoors.  At the same time, there were many beautiful talks that dealt with physical nature, and how our disconnect with God's creation has led to much of our cultural downfall.  I came back full of post ideas, concerning a return to the agrarian life, the importance of nature in our culture, and how our "global community" has destroyed the true community relationships that used to exist a century ago.  I have long been convinced of the detrimental aspects of social networking, and these feelings were further strengthened by talks which related the downfall of grammar to the downfall of human relationship and our inability to truly communicate with each other.  With all of those ideas swirling in my head, I also came home to a handful of emails and a phone call with a friend.  Having had no connection to internet for a week, I was blissfully ignorant of the firestorm occuring over Mary's decision to pull back.  After a long conversation with her, and a look at some chat boards, I find it ironic.  Once again, technology interferes with relationship.  Somehow, this internet gives us a false feeling of global community.  And while I understand the desire to connect with others, to learn from others, to communicate with others, I often feel the internet is not the solution.  When I see someone who has given far more than she should, far more than she can sometimes, I feel grateful.  And I feel saddened when I see that there are those who do not feel grateful, but rather entitled.  It scares me.  I find it disturbing that some would ignore the wishes of someone who has shared so much of herself.  I find it sad that people feel it is okay to distribute that which is not theirs in a way in which it is was not intended.  More than anything, I feel sorry that if people are not respectful of a person's wishes, it may result in far greater losses.  As of now, Letters of Grace remains.  I stand firm in the desire to see it finished.  At the same time, I do not wish for my family to suffer, or for the other contributors of the project to suffer in a pressure to finish for others.  What others need to understand, is that if the intellectual property of evlogia is not respected, then it may necessitate the removal of all sites - including Letters of Grace.  This is the last thing I want to see happen.  Too much time and love has gone into this project.  But, it is her right to pull down her own site, and if people continue to ignore her rights and attempt to load her materials to other sites, everything will have to go.

Friday, July 2, 2010

We are heading to Ohio for a week, so see you next week - hopefully with lots of plans to share!