Saturday, December 25, 2010


Well, after a conversation with my dad concerning the pH balance of the body, I have done some looking into it and Jay even got me a book. For those of you not familiar, the basic overview is this: The body's pH effects a lot of things, anywhere from weight to general health. Cleansing the body of too much acid and restoring its alkaline preference will help in its own ability to stay at an ideal weight and have optimal health. The book that Jay got me is called, "The pH Balance Diet", by Bharti Vyas and Suzanne Le Quesne, and it is set up in 3 stages. It is broken down to give the 80 best alkaline forming foods and 20 best acid forming foods, which makes it seem really manageable.

Personally, I am not looking to gain or lose any weight, but a better balance within the body is never a bad thing, right? One of the nice things about the pH diet is how a lot of it is simply things we already know, like potato chips are not good for us and roasted potatoes are the better choice. There is also a lot of discussion about how everything we eat usually contains a small amount of protein and that we actually don't need such large portions of protein that a lot of recent diets have pushed. Protein is definitely necessary, but most solid protein is acid-forming, though some better than others, and that it ought to balanced out by things like roast and/or raw veggies, with the protein, such as chicken, as a much smaller area of the meal. It would make sense to me that if the body is not balanced and working well within its pH, it may not be able to utilize all of the nutrients that we put into it, regardless of how wonderful they are.

I am looking forward to getting this started, for sure, and I am hoping to do this along with my dad, though he is 1200 miles away. My main goals when I got turned onto this particular diet change was to have more raw fruits and veggies, as they offer more enzymes to help digest. I am currently taking digestion support supplements and hope to, some day, get off of them. So if that means more raw foods and fewer things that my body has a rough time breaking down and using, no matter what my taste buds say, then so be it. My stomach is NOT the boss of me and food is my healthcare, so I had better not scrimp! I hope to update as time goes on, so check back in to see how it goes. Step one, talk it over with my dad and maybe we can try to start around the same time and offer each other support (though Jay and Kat will be mostly doing it, as well, based on living with me) and it will be baby steps, but I think we will manage.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, by all means, please feel free :o)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Beauty Within The Faith

I was just listening to an Arabic Christmas Carol online and it me got to thinking a little bit about the Orthodox Christian faith. I rather like listening to different tongues praising God in the Orthodox tradition, it is comforting in such a way as may not be quite explainable. That there are several languages of the Church that cover a vast portion of the globe, goes to show that God hears all voices, in every land, regardless of speech. It shows that God comes to all who embrace Him, no matter what. It also makes me think about how, though the language itself is not a common form, but that it adds a richness and fullness to the Faith that may not otherwise be present. They are the same prayers, many times, from the hearts of people who are the same on the inside. What an eerie magnificence is represented in all the words of the people who love Him, from every land, it is He who unifies us, not our mother tongue. Glory to God for all things! What a blessing for us to have so many melodies, due to cultural differences. What sheer beauty for us to be able to share these wonderful differences, just as we share all of those things that keep our faith drawing from antiquity.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

'Simple Woman'

I always wanted to do one of these, so here I am doing one.

Simple Woman

For Today, December 11, 2010

Outside my window... the sky is darkening into evening and it is a clear cold as the birds finish their dinner for the night.

I am thinking... about life and how much I have learned in my few short years.

I am thankful for... my family, a warm home, food, friends and each breath.

I am praying for... the time to go to my dad when the time comes and the patience to get through this holiday season.

I am wearing... a wool skirt from my parents, shirt and sweater with a beret and boots, aka-church clothes.

I am creating... various knitting and sewing projects, in whatever 'spare' time I can manage.

I am going... to get through today's school work, read to the boys, and decorate the tree!

I am reading... A Poem a Day, to the best of my ability, when I remember; Little House on the Prairie, with the family; wanting to start the updated book about Grand Duchess Elizabeth, the New Martyr of the Communist Yoke.

I am hoping... to stay awake long enough to go to bed at a reasonable time and finish some projects this week.

I am hearing... Katherine trying to play and sing Christmas carols, Vince Guaraldi and Jay making off the cuff remarks.

I am remembering... how glad I am for everything I have and many holidays past.

From the learning rooms... Taking a break for the season, but everyday brings new things!

From the kitchen... simple dinner after sharing a big lunch with our church family for Katherine's name/saints day.

Around the house... rearranging and getting things in order for St Nicholas Day!

On my mind... Everything and nothing...dinner, projects, the upcoming week...

Noticing that... learning and loving in life are lovely.

Pondering these words...
1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

2While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.

3Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

4His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.

5Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

6Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:

7Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:

8The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:

9The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

10The LORD shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalm 146

One of my favorite things... learning new things and practicing old.

A few plans for the rest of the week... dance, swim, knitting, date with hubby, birthday party, fun feis, St Nicholas day and prep!

Well, that's went ok, but tehre seems to be a running theme :o)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Another Poem of Note

A Divine Image, By William Blake

"To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
All pray in their distress;
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is God, our father dear,
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is Man, his child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And all must love the human form,
In heathen, turk, or jew;
Where Mercy, Love, & Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too."

It seems I like poetry by people named 'William', or at least 'W' people, since I like Walt Whitman also, ha ha! Well, I read this one as well and really liked it as well. I think this is one of my favorite parts because it is so very true;
'Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.'
I hope to be reading more poetry out of my "Poem A Day" that I got for myself. They are short and surmountable which is important so I do not have to commit to anything too large that I may set down. I am more apt to read something I dislike if it short and sweet, but it seems I will find certain others that I rather like for the same reason. I think it is a good thing to find those thing with which are relatable and that which is not beneficial. I do not know whose influence I have taken in any of my writing, I am sure that there are certain tones here or there, but seeing as how I am not an avid reader, to don a particular writer's quality may be of slim possibility. Ah well, enough of rambling, off I go for the day! Talk to you al soon!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Nighttime Readings

My Heart Leaps Up, By William Wordsworth

"MY heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began,
So is it now I am a man,
So be it when I shall grow old
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man:
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety."

I was just reading this before bed and thought it lovely and also quite appropriate for the season at hand in the way he refers to the Child. Just a little something to brighten someone's day who may stumble upon here. Peace and good cheer to all!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

God Keep You Now and Always

I am given to thoughts of life
Thoughts of precious, wasted moments
Fleeting perfected love and simplicity
My heart is broken
Though, as if it never knew how to love
Until this time when you may leave
We are all going to lose this gift
This life of what we know
But the tears cannot quiet
The disruption inside my soul
This thrashing in seclusion
Find me weeping, see me standing
Barely keeping a single thought long
Torn in pieces
But only beginning to understand
Only now can I know the enigma that is whole
Yet there is no solace anywhere tangible
The pulling at my heart consumes each breath
Is in each step and utterance
I see your face and long to always
Your presence never meant more
Why, I do not know
A solemn and jagged peace is lingering
As if to comfort and calm
How will I ever let you go?
How could I ask you to stay?
Be at peace and know that no matter
We shall remain and carry on
This life can never be the same
Though we can hardly ever be apart
Oh, that I could have been the daughter I ought have
Oh, that I could breath in the moments of waste
Breathing out only that which profits us both
Ah, but we cannot regret
That which makes us who we become
Without those many lessons
I might have not made it here

I know how to love
Because of you
I know how to give
Because of you
I know who I am
Because of you
I am a daughter given to be a wife
Because of you
I am strong and fearless
Because of you
I am loving, compassionate and open
Because of you

Our hearts come from the same seed
From the beginning of time
The line runs deep and vast
It draws us into nearness and love
A kindred understanding of life
A common hope and purpose
Intertwined in this dancing prism of life
Forever and for always, my papa you will be
Know that I am where you are perpetually
For you are here and may not know it
Your life and memory will live on
In our hearts, without fail
May the God of all bless you
The Most Holy Theotokos stay by your side
Your guardian angel guide you
St. Seraphim comfort and guard you
May all the saints, known and unknown
Pray unto God for the salvation and purification of your soul
That you be without blemish when He comes
None can keep you from Him
Though why should we wish to do so
May enlightenment be upon you
Understanding, peace and love
Constantly keeping you

May God keep those of us that must stay
That it be to the glory of God
Forever and ever, Amen

Friday, December 3, 2010

I Do Believe....

As many of you know, we celebrate St. Nicholas Day in our house. We go to church for the vigil and liturgy and we have stockings of things and a mini family gift exchange. Katherine believes that St. Nicholas brings her some of her things, which has been a funny bit in and of itself. She can see him in icons, hears the prayers about his life and we read his story, so she knows of him. In my family, he is very close, we celebrate a sort of family 'Slava', since my maiden name is Nichols (derivative of Nicholas). In any case, she is adamant that he comes and brings her things and I haven't the heart to tell her otherwise, because in some sense, he does. Our hope is to have her give things in secret, to each other, friends, etc. and keep explaining that the selfless spirit of Christ is in St Nicholas and that is what we celebrate and so we give things in this way: "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven." ~Mt 6:1 (There are really many different facets of this, but tonight, this will have to do and I think you get the drift.)

What made me think of all this? Well, last night we were driving home from swim class and Katherine blatantly asked me, "Why do people believe that Santa Claus is still alive?" It had never occurred to me that this would EVER come out of her little mouth. She apparently put a couple things together and realized that, we celebrate St. Nicholas Day, but we also know him to have fallen asleep in the Lord centuries ago and is a Saint. She is also aware that the modern day Santa is just a different image based on St Nicholas for many other people, though their belief's vary. I had to think of where to begin, good grief!!! Ok, so I started with discussing how not everyone believes the same things as we do, nor do many people believe the same things about death as we do. Some people believe that when we die, that is it and other's don't really believe in much at all. I went onto say how we pray for people who have reposed and also ask prayers to God of Saints for us and others, understanding that there is a thin veil between life and that which follows. Mind you, I did not have all the eloquence of some of what clarity I may now possess, but it was along these lines. Anyway, since some people believe that when we die, that is the end, it would stand to reason that people have to make believe that he is still alive because otherwise it would not fit their ideals of what follows this life. In short, told her that in order for some people to believe, they have to imagine him still alive.

When asked if all of that mumbo jumbo made any sense, she gave me a little shrug, as if to say, "I guess." I imagine that she was trying to grasp why people have to imagine something, or someone, to be something they are not in order to believe in their life and virtues, which is, IMHO, somehow the endpoint of those seeking a logical way of explaining things away, though it seems to me, that the most logical thing would be to know the history and truth and then communicate it as effortlessly as possible (which is NOT my strong suit!)

I still believe in St. Nicholas and how we will always be tied together through Christ and all His Saints. He is a dear and staunch great grandfather of Christians, a devout and unwavering example of Truth in all circumstances. I believe in St. Nicholas' undying love of Christ and his perseverance in the face of all adversity and his leadership in the early days of the Church. Because I believe in St. Nicholas and his memory, in Christ, I will do my very best to preserve his service, story and courage in the mind and heart of my daughter. To the glory of God, the Father, Amen.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

O, Death

O, Death, I do not think of you
Your hands of icy cold
Bitter touches of sweet repose
Your thankless job to those still living
Your mercy to those who suffer

O, Death, I do not see your face
Please show yourself quite promptly
That I might recognise the friend and foe
The bittersweet that plagues us all
The inevitable dream that soon comes

O, Death, I do not feel
Though tears still drop
For whom do they well?
Whose life do they honor?
Perhaps only time will tell

O, Death, I hear you calling
On the lips of melancholy
In the hearts of Men
The wind that passes through
The years that blink by and by

O, Death, I do not fear you
Though one may think I ought
I cannot, but pity you instead
For you are always so unwanted
Yet as necessary as birth and life

O, Life, I want to know you
That my death should be in Peace
That my life should be in fervor
Remembrance and preparation
For the quiet hand that will come one day

O, Life, I am awake now
Though perhaps only a minute
Whisper in my ear
That I may not forget the Truth
That I may always remember Death

O, Life, I am new and old
Is this my Life and Death?
The pieces of a self that strives
With ramblings of a broken soul
With a moment, all things change

O, Life, I want your promises
Steady my feet and take my hands
Make ready my place, for I shall come
First quietly and now with ardor
Take this integument and fill it with Your Wisdom and Will