Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!

Experience tells me that because this is predicted it really won't amount to much but we can't help but dance around singing the words to "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow".

The weather guessers at the National Weather Service are guesstimating 2-3 inches along Hood Canal and on the Kitsap Peninsula tonight.

Oh do I hope they are correct in their would be so fun!

This brings me to say that I've decided that I really do miss the winters of MN where I grew up. I do know that they have had very few white Christmas' over the last several years but I really need to try and get back for Christmas some time in the next couple years. My last Christmas in MN with my family? 1993!!!! OH I MISS YOU ALL! (and the white snow)

Here is a picture from my childhood. This is the kind of snow I remember. Snowstorm of '82, I was 11. That's my sister taking a break from shoveling.


Never, Never rub your eyes anytime within the evening after chopping up jalapeno pepper.
It is NOT a good outcome!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy 11th Birthday to my Sweet Girl!

Kelsey Sierra
November 26th, 1996

The above was taken at 3 months old.
Below is Kelsey at about 4 1/2 years old.

And here is my baby today! I cannot believe she is 11! Time flies WAY too quickly.
I love you my sweet Kelsey Anna Sierra.
(Chrismated Anna and ever since is known as Kelsey Anna!)

Friday, November 23, 2007

What does this say to you about our society?

The one thing that astounds me beyond anything is the first two sentences!

Do these people NOT have a life?

I do know that Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood opened not at 5AM but MIDNIGHT!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Chick update and more.....

The chicks are growing faster than I can remember them doing in the past. It's amazing. They are losing fuzzy feathers and growing beautiful colors, well at least the Rhode Island Reds are. The Black Austrolorps are turning more black. And they are so funny because some of them look like little penguins. They are now 2 weeks old.

I've gotten 10 posts dug for the garden fence. I'm hoping to get it completely fenced within the next couple of weeks so that I can let the laying hens in there to eat away weeds and to fertilize the soil for a couple months before I need to till it up for spring.

I guess I don't have too much else to say. Same ol', same 'ol. School, housekeeping, farming, mothering.

Here are a few pictures of the chicks.

Resting peacefully under the lights. I sneak a peek over the gate without notice. Once they notice me...they run!!! They scramble everywhere usually into a corner or along a side...smashing each other. Which is what they are doing below. I like the next picture because there was this little Rhode tucked in the middle of a bunch of Blacks. It was so cute.

Here is a cute little Black Austrolorp.

And this one is what James has named "The Creation of the Chicken".

Well, I do have more to say. Today begins the Advent Fast. May you have a blessed preparation for Nativity.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I was reading the Monastery of St. John of San Francisco Newsletter and came across an article titled "Please Remember Me". I had to copy and post it hear as it is really something that I feel very strongly about. I've blogged many times about community and the lack thereof in our society and I think this goes right along with that. If you want to read the whole newsletter it has many good

When Mother Teresa of Calcutta was

asked which country of all those she had visited
was the poorest, she replied that she has
seen much poverty and homelessness everywhere,
but nowhere had she experienced
poverty like that of America. Why? Because
“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted
is the most terrible poverty.” People in
America suffer terribly from loneliness, even
if they live in the most populated cities or are
surrounded by family. Every person seems
to have an inner cry which silently screams to the world “Please understand
me!” Although it is true that one person will never completely
understand another, due to the fact that we are all created
unique and our expressions are entirely without equal, the thought
that “I am alone” is a slippery slide into darkness.
Unable to find true intimacy or a genuine relationship in a society
which is growing harder and more suspicious of authenticity, an interior
isolation arises and leaves a soul alone without others and without
God. Breaking out of such a state involves immense courage, because
winter is a season many people carry with them year-round.
But one ounce of compassion shown by a clerk, a passer-by on the
street or even a lick from a dog can be the witness needed to break
someone out of their isolation. It is a curious fact of human nature
that the more we flourish in material goods, the less compassion we
seem to show to our neighbor. Perhaps the poverty of spirit Christ
counseled was precisely the criterion for being able to break out of
our isolated selves and be present to those who have fallen victim to
loneliness. Inheriting the earth is to hold all others close to one’s
heart to heal a fragmented society.
Whatever the situation may be, there is never reason to allow a
fellow human to suffer the hell of loneliness. There is no need to
search them out. They are in our everyday lives, and there may be
one looking at us in every mirror. Therefore, we need compassion
toward ourselves and others. This is true wisdom.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle — Philo

Monday, November 05, 2007

of arrivals and a pilgrimage

The wait is over and long gone!

The chicks arrived Friday morning, not as early as I'd hoped, but they arrived none-the-less. Only 2 were well passed on when we opened the box and we've lost 2 more since. The hatchery always sends a couple extra so we are still at 48. Last year I don't think I took a picture of the tiny box they arrived in so I decided to take a picture this year. The box is bigger this year but still it's amazing to think that there are50 chicks in this box.
I still feel so new at this and wonder if I'm doing things right and pray that they survive my uneducated attempts at caring for them. There seems to always be something new that comes up and makes me wonder what to do. "I don't remember THAT before! Is that normal?"

Most Holy St. Brigid, please pray until God for our farm.

I just had to add these pictures of Mina and Killick. She is growing SO FAST! She is 13 weeks tomorrow. She is no longer smaller than his head.

Friday at 10:50 I set sail on Ferry from Kingston to Edmonds. We picked up Liz and 8 of us headed to St. John the Forerunner Monastery to meet up with 15+ more ladies from St. Paul Orthodox Church. We arrived just at the start of Vespers Friday evening.
It was a very wonderful, peaceful, lovely time. Gerontissa (Abbess of the monastery) spoke to us on Saturday morning. I felt as if she was speaking directly to me. I'm sure many of the ladies felt the same way.
Someone who couldn't go with us, asked if I'd blog about what Gerontissa had to say. This is basically what I took away from it.
She began by saying we, more than they, know how our world is becoming more and more of a distraction. Our world is trying harder and harder to pull us further away from God. Our only defense is prayer. PRAY to keep our children close to God. It is the FIRST thing we should do...not as a last resort.
1. Turn to God
2. Show our children BY EXAMPLE! (Oh, Lord have mercy on me.)
3. Speak to our children with discernment.

Increase your prayer and spiritual life so we have strength and ability to help our children.
The more you pray the more your desire for prayer will grow.
Easiest method of prayer is the Jesus Prayer.
The evil one will do ANYTHING to distract us from prayer. He makes us feel tired, makes us discontented ("I just need to get out of here."). Be watchful.
The more unguarded you are the more you "dark" you will feel.
If you want to progress in prayer you must be more diligent to avoid the distractions of the world.

She had a Q&A time and someone asked her why they pray at night and whether or not this was something a lay person should do.
Darkness, quiet, peacefulness makes it easier to pray at night. We all have duties during the day even the sisters that pull us away from prayer. It's easier at night. It is not just for monastics. Whenever Jesus went to pray it was always at night. He was not leading His example for monastics. There were no monastics.

I wish I would have taken better notes. It was a very wonderful time listening to her. She was encouraging and full of love and empathy of us who must live in the world. For those of us who are bombarded on a daily basis by distractions of the world.

I also must add to this that not only did I have a very real learning experience with Gerontissa but I had a very much needed laugh therapy as well with my sisters in Christ. There were several of us that stayed up and chatted on Saturday evening (thankfully we were blessed with an extra hour as clocks bounced back an hour that night). We laughed and chatted, chatted and laughed. Joking, teasing, sharing, bonding. I want to thank all of you who had a part in really making that evening very special for me (IF you read this anyway).
It was truly a joy to be with all of you...I do miss seeing you on a regular basis and hope we can do it again some day soon.

Here are a couple pictures from that weekend. The first is a walk through the woods as we made our way to the cemetery at the monastery where we prayed the Akathist hymn for the departed at Fr. Thomas' grave. It was truly beautiful.
The other was just looking out into the woods and sunshine. I just liked it.

Friday, November 02, 2007

This morning I am waiting. Waiting for the phone to ring so that I can hop in the truck and drive down to the Post Office to pick up 50 peeping chicks. We've got the stall in the barn ready and waiting for them.

I'm also waiting to take my packed bag, hop on the ferry and head to the peaceful comforts of St. John the Forerunner Monastery in Goldendale, WA. I leave on the 10:50 a.m. ferry and I cannot wait. It's going to be a wonderful retreat away from all the cares of the world. It's peaceful, quiet, lovely. I hope to rest and gain strength(spiritually) from God to face my duties once again. I need this, I need the renewal. There are 20+ women from St. Paul Orthodox Church and St. Herman Orthodox Church heading over on a pilgrimage, by dear Kh. Miriam. I feel very blessed to have this privilege to go.

I'll have lots of pictures of the arrival of our peepers and my pilgrimage next week.

Please pray for safe travel for 5 carloads traveling over mountains and through the woods.