In the name of God, here's looking forward to a single, unified Orthodox Church of the United States.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

An excellent post from the Farm Hijabi (a.k.a. the Coffee Catholic)

Being on Parish Councils and Teaching Classes Will Not Save Our Souls
I urge women everywhere to take up the noble and glorious task of praying for the salvation of souls. Let the men run the Church as they always have. They actually don't need our help. But the rest of the world certainly does! We can do far more for the world through our prayers then we ever can hope to achieve while running around trying to teach this and run that.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rethinking Priorities

Okay, since moving in with EJ, my old priorities have kind of just ... disappeared.

I was planning on starting a container vegetable garden as soon as I got down here, but that has taken a back seat to the HUGE PILE OF STUFF I still have to deal with. The living room is finally looking sort of decent, but that's only because we threw everything into our bedroom in order to hide it away from visiting eyes. Cooking has become a hit-or-miss ordeal; I actually made decent, edible Pasta in Bread Bowls (like the ones from Pizza Hut), which is the first time I've successfully created bread of any kind (oh, the stories of past failures). My old dreams of what I wanted to do and be as a homemaker before coming here don't really fit into reality. I've had to seriously rethink what is truly important and what are simply different ways of doing the same thing.

Honestly, though, I'm happy. I don't think I've been this consistently happy for this long in my entire life. I love being married, I love taking care of my husband - even if it isn't in quite the perfect, orderly way I'd envisioned. I no longer feel like I'm just waiting. I can actively participate in life - even if life is simply sitting on the couch blogging while EJ plays a video game.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In a proper Christian understanding ... there are no “normal everyday tasks.” This is simply more of the creeping secularization of our world. Either God is relevant to every task, every motion and action – or He is not relevant at all. There can be no limited God. ~ Father Stephen

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wow, things have been absolutely insane around here - not insane as in fast paced, but crazy with all of the stuff we have to unpack and fit into a three closet apartment with a 25 square foot kitchen. It's been quite eye opening as to just how much stuff we have and use and it really is true, there's nothing like moving to make you throw out half your stuff.

I have been a bit discouraged since coming down here. I'm so busy unpacking and sorting through things (and it's taking forever) that I'm beginning to wonder when it all will return to normal - although, what is normal? The piles o' stuff have been drastically reduced, however, so there is a light on the horizon.

Hopefully, I'll be able to post some pictures of our little apartment soon. I think that's quite appropriate: my first blog pictures are of my first apartment. =)

It's been great just hanging out with EJ (although, he had his wisdom teeth out yesterday, so he's a little doped up on Vicodin right now). We had some problems the first few days. Apparently, I changed when I first got here and was rather unpleasant for him to be around. I don't really know why, but I was nagging and being mean and couldn't take his joking and kidding - something which is very much a part of his personality. I didn't actually notice this until he point blank told me. I felt terrible about it and have been working really hard to stay pleasant and cheerful. Working on your attitude really can change it, because he complimented me on how much nicer I've been to be around and I myself have been happier overall. ^_^

So this is "real" life. Hmm. Kind of a lot like life before - only different.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Greetings!

I have moved and am now living with EJ! Hurrah!!!

We moved Wednesday - packed up a Penske truck and hauled our stuff into the great unknown (well, unknown for me; EJ's been living here for about 4 months now). Our apartment is the size of a postage stamp and I seriously have no idea where I'm going to put half our stuff. My books alone take up an area the size of our bathroom. I love being on my own, but it's scary as all get out because now I'm entirely responsible for myself, something with which I have no experience.

Oh well. Such is life. =)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Spartan Diet?

I am intrigued.

This diet sounds remarkably close to what is advocated by the Orthodox church - while the two have no connection whatsoever, the blog actually has a post about the diets of the monks on Mt. Athos.

It's amazing how much less I worry about my body image now that I'm dressing more modestly, but I still want to be healthy. I have no willpower, but if EJ were to spur me along, I'm sure I could participate in something along the lines of "the Spartan Diet." The only issue I see with it is whether or not I could sustainably maintain this diet if I had to grow all my own food. And what about people in the more northern regions? Since it advocates a Mediterranean diet, would they have to purchase more expensive foods or, if they garden, greatly modify it?

Really, this isn't so much a fad diet as it is a lifestyle. It would be an excellent training tool to develop and maintain willpower - something which the Church also seeks to instill in its members through the frequent fast periods.

I'll have to talk about this more with EJ...
Found a neat site that tells you what produce is being grown when in your state. It's part of the buy/eat local movement (every time I type that, I die a little inside - unless the powers that be change it to read "By local foods", it should be "buy locally" ... localLY)

Eat Local

Monday, May 4, 2009

Creme That Egg!

Someone had a lot of time of their hands:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Grisha

After writing my adoption post, I found a small way to help one specific child:

Please help me come home.  Grisha
Grab this button

I don't know these people, I may not have money right now, but I want to help somehow, even if it's only putting the button on my sidebar to spread the word.

An addition

I've added a new blog to my blog roll: Ramblings of a Redneck Priest.

Highly recommended.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Grow Your Own Grain

(Having never grown my own anything, take everything I write below with a grain of salt.)

So I've been doing some more research on growing one's own grain. It doesn't take nearly as much land as I thought - though it still does need a good bit. I've read that it takes from about 16-25 square feet of grain for 1 regular loaf of bread (4'x4', 4'x5', or 5'x5').
  • There are red and white wheats along with winter and spring varieties. Apparently, winter wheat is better overall for you, and the red wheat has a more intense flavor.
  • Harvesting:
Wheat harvest usually occurs in June when the wheat begins to turn a golden color but still has a few streaks of green. Using a scythe or some other sharp blade, mow down the stalks then tie them into bundles, standing them upright... . Then allow the grain to fully ripen into a golden color.

Twine could be used to tie the bundles, but the traditional method is to take about an inch thick bunch of stems. Tie the lower end, binding the stalks together. Then wrap them around the bundle tying the head and foot of the stalks at about the middle of the bundle, creating a shock.

Keep the heads dry, then thresh and winnow at your leisure. (see references below)
  • There are many ways to thresh. I've heard rolling the heads around in a barrel to separate the grain from the stalks, putting them in a pillow case and then beating it either with or against something, etc. Get creative. It may be a good way to release any anger or tension that has been building up. =)
  • As for winnowing, the consensus seems to be the same across the board: pour the threshed grain from one container into another on a windy day (or in the breeze from a fan). The wind will blow away the chaff, but the heavier wheat-berries will fall into the second container.
  • Grinding, or milling, leaves one with the most options. One could conceivably grind the grain between two stones by hand, horse-power or wind power, if one has the means, but there are also plenty of electric and non-electric grain mills out on the market which will do a fine job on their own. Lehmen's is a great source for mills and parts.
Basically, I'm writing this all theoretically. I have no idea when I'm going to be able to own enough land to have even a small non-container vegetable plot, let alone a wheat field.

Here's hoping!

References:

WikiAnswers: How many pounds of flour can you get from an acre of wheat?

Food Engineering: How many square feet of a wheat farmer's land does is take to produce enough flour to make a one pound loaf of bread?

Planting wheat in your own back yard

Harvesting your back yard wheat

Milling Flour

An Excellent Article About Small Scale Bakers and Wheat Growers

Friday, May 1, 2009

Swine Flu Scare

Found this over at InAShoe:



I think, since the making of this video, that there have been deaths from this flu strain, but, as tragic as that is, the numbers simply are not great enough to justify the "pandemic" reports coming from the news.