Monday, March 31, 2008
I love things like this; if successfully excavated, I will be going to see it in due course :-)
Apparently there are very few observant strict Orthodox Jewish bloggers because of the Biblical prohibition against Loshon Hara, the idle repeating of negativity -even if true- about others. It does not preclude the necessary reporting to authorities of witnessed wrong-doing, however.
Jewish tradition teaches that gossipping damages and ultimately hurts no less than three people:-
The person speaking, because he/she gradually becomes used to looking past the image of God in each human being and focusing on faults instead, and also because gossipping will raise doubts in his/her listeners' minds as to what that person may also be saying about them behind their back. It is also a misuse of the God-given gift of speech.
The person being spoken about, whose reputation and character is being assassinated comprehensively and possibly permanently, as words, once spoken, cannoy easily be retracted, whether the topic turns out to be true or false. Once Pandora's box is open, the contents cannot be caught and squeezed back in as though the event had never happened ! The person's marriage, family life, job, position in society can be destroyed in one fell swoop by a few idle words.
The person being spoken to. In Jewish Law, this person is actually **most** at fault. All that person did was LISTEN - yet this person had the power to stop the conversation, turn it to a different and more profitable path, or simply refuse to listen to the gossip, yet chose to do nothing, and therefore allow someone's character to be defamed.
I bow my head in shame at this point.
I am guilty of this.
My husband is not guilty of Loshon Hara. He is always the first to try to put the best possible interpretation on someone's behaviour, and he does not gossip and will turn a conversation aside if it descends to gossip, and I honour him greatly for that.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
I found this on the blogosphere; they are the forty spiritual maxims of Fr Thomas Hopko as discussed by the ladies' group at Holy Cross Parish, Linthicum, Maryland.
Well worth a visit.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
She is able to negotiate the stairs slowly but safely, and is enjoying gently pottering around her home. We did her shopping for her today, so she has plenty of food at home, and she is already planning menus !
It is so good to see her home and happy.
Thanks to you all for your prayers, which have helped her and sustained me :-)
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Mum is .....amazing ! She has paced herself carefully, and as a result she is now the proud possessor of her very own Zimmer frame and is zooming all over her ward.
She has been assessed by the physiotherapist and occupational helath workers; she has been able to go up and down a flight of stairs, albeit very slowly and carefully, and they are happy she can manage safely at home. She just needs the go-ahead from the medics, but we are hoping she will be home on the weekend, God willing.
We did something so dumb that I am hesitant to write it even now.
Last week, DH decided to book the dog of doom in for his vaccinations, which are about due now. The appointment was duly made. I did not process the date, just the day of the week we needed to take him.......
I checked the Church service schedule a few days later, and found to our joint delight that there was an 8am Liturgy in the Chapel on the Feast. DH is on holiday this week, so we could all go. I alerted my beloved godmother, and we were all systems go. Till I realised that the date DH had booked the dog in for his shots was......9.30 am **on the Feast**.
And of course, because it was Weaster, the vet's was shut all over the weekend and Monday, so I couldn't call to cancel the appointment, and we could not hope to get back in time from Liturgy.
And Liturgy would be completely over and everyone gone home before we could get there, if we went after taking Basil to the vet.
I phoned Father , very shamefaced, and he understood.
I was mortified at my foolishness. And disappointed. And CROSS !
I wish I lived in an Orthodox country where Western Easter would not complicate my life so much :-)
The dog got his shots , BTW, and it cost us £60. Gulp.
I am Eeyore, which i have suspected for quite some time now :-)
Your Score: Eeyore
You scored 14 Ego, 17 Anxiety, and 12 Agency!
"Do you know what A means, little Piglet?"
"No, Eeyore, I don't."
"It means Learning, it means Education, it means all the things that you and Pooh haven't got. That's what A means."
"Oh," said Piglet again. "I mean, does it?" he explained quickly.
"I'm telling you. People come and go in this Forest, and they say, 'It's only Eeyore, so it doesn't count.' They walk to and fro saying 'Ha ha!' But do they know anything about A? They don't. It's just three sticks to them. But to the Educated--mark this, little Piglet--to the Educated, not meaning Poohs and Piglets, it's a great and glorious A.
You scored as Eeyore!
ABOUT EEYORE: Eeyore lives in his own thistley corner of the forest and wonders why people don't come to visit him more often. He is master of the Guilt Trip, and is always gently forgiving his visitors for neglecting him. Eeyore considers himself to be smarter than the other inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood, and is often exasperated by their habit of having adventures and general merriment.
WHAT THIS SAYS ABOUT YOU: You are an anxious person, and you tend to expect the worst. Your friends find you somewhat cynical at times, because you have found that it is best to expect disappointment. You often feel unappreciated by the people you work with, but you rarely actually try and do anything to change that fact.
Your close friends admire you more than you think they do. They wish that you would learn to stop worrying so much and actually start trying to fix what is bothering you. If something is making you unhappy... change it!
|Link: The Deep and Meaningful Winnie-The-Pooh Character Test written by wolfcaroling on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
View My Profile(wolfcaroling)
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
the Holy Thorn of John , Duc du Berry, is believed to be a relic from Christ's Crown of Thorns.
The British Museum is indeed 100% free except for the special exhibitions such as the First Emperor's terracotta army. The next big "pay to visit" exhibition is "Hadrian: Empire and Conflict" which I quite fancy seeing.
Monday, March 24, 2008
It really is a case of two steps forward and one step back.
The girls had a ridiculous number of Easter eggs from various non-Orthodox relatives celebrating "Weaster" (as Western Easter is affectionately known in the family) so they were rationed to one each yesterday :-)
The weather has been unreal; a small town near us had snow, as did many parts of the UK, though we escaped with rain and sleet and bitter cold.
It was surreal seeing TV footage of London in the snow, when we were there on Tuesday and it was warm :-)
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Although photography is allowed throughout the rest of the museum, no cameras were allowed inside the Terracotta Army exhibition area, which was kept in twilight to preeserve the artifacts.
So the giant poster outside was the best I could do :-)
Friday, March 21, 2008
She is still in hospital and is likely to be there most of next week too, but today she was able to get out of bed for the first time in a week. She has managed four steps using a Zimmer walking frame, which they are very pleased about at this stage in her recovery.
The doctors have tweaked all her medication and done various vile things involving joints and very large needles (gulp), but she is on the mend. Her oxygen has finally been discontinued.
The Rheumatologist said he had never seen such a bad attack of gout (simultaneously affecting both feet, both knees, one hand ) in his 25+ years as a doctor, and she has been used as a teaching case to a visiting group of new medics , which amused her no end.
Cousin Scott is stable and has been transferred to the nearest Specialist Spinal Injury Unit.
DH's aunt has breast cancer and now needs to decide whether to opt for a lumpectomy + chemo or a mastectomy with no chemo.
I did go - at Mum's insistence- with the children to see the Terracotta Army and it was wonderful:-)
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Christian priests are being targeted by Asian gangs and physically assulted for being Christians.
"A clergyman is in hospital after he was beaten up in his churchyard by three Asian youths, in an incident which police are treating as a "faith-hate" attack.
Canon Michael Ainsworth, 57, asked the gang to keep their noise down but they turned on him, taunting him about his faith and hitting him in the face and body.
He was found slumped in the churchyard of St George-in-the-East in Stepney, east London. Police said the gang made "remarks insulting his occupation" before fleeing.
A parishioner said: "There was blood everywhere. All the church members are in shock. Our canon is such a nice man who has done so much for the parish."
Police are appealing for witnesses to the attack on March 5. No arrests have been made. Mr Ainsworth was initially treated in hospital and given the all-clear, but has since returned for further treatment after feeling unwell.
The canon, a former member of the Church of England's General Synod, moved to the area from Manchester last year. Colleagues said that his appointment was designed to improve the parish, which has a large Bangladeshi Muslim population and high levels of unemployment.
The Rt Rev Stephen Lowe, Bishop of Hulme, who used to work with Mr Ainsworth, said: "I would want to see a condemnation of this cowardly behaviour by senior Muslims in the community and really hope there isn't an over-reaction from the white community."
A survey of London clergy by National Churchwatch, which provides personal safety advice, found that nearly half said they had been attacked in the previous 12 months. The organisation suggested that vicars should consider taking off their dog collars when they are on their own." (borrowed from the Daily Telegraph website.)
I would also point you to a blog I read regularly, by the priest of St Peter's, London Docks, where he describes his own experiences of being attacked by gangs of Asian youths, who seem to hate Jews and Christian equally.
It is rapidly becoming dangerous to be a Christian in this country.
Her pain is still troublesome, and the inflammation and swelling has affected other joints, so the steroids have not made any difference so far, but it is early days.
She is dependant upon oxygen via facemask to maintain normal blood oxygen saturation levels, which is worrying, as they can't figure out why she is having that particular problem either.
She will most likely be in hospital all this week.
We are still waiting for the Rheumatologist to make an appearance; he was supposed to see her lunchtime Monday, but had not turned up when I left at 8pm last night.
The nursing staff are absolutely wonderful to Mum, and the delightful doctor who admitted her into A&E made a point of coming up to see her on the ward on Monday too, to see how she was :-)
Mum has posed me with a dilemma; several months ago, she booked for herself, myself and DD3 to go to see the Terracotta Army exhibition at the British Museum in London. Because she was feeling under the weather, she decided a few weeks ago that she wouldn't go, but for me to take DD3+4 .
We are supposed to be going Wednesday; last night she was absolutely adamant that I must take them, as they have been really looking forward to it and it is unlikely that the Exhibition will come to Britain again for at least another generation, and we are even more unlikely ever to make it to China to see them "in situ".
I told her I would decide what I was doing when I see how she is when I am visting her on Tuesday afternoon. If Mum is any worse than she was Monday, DH can take the girls instead of me, if needed.
No news about Scott yet; he was going to surgery yesterday afternoon/evening.
DH's relative has been found to have a potentially major health problem, so we are waiting on test results due Thursday.
And I am turning into a rampant insomniac. I was awake at 3am this morning and came downstairs instead. I have been like this since Wednesday last week, managing about 4-5 hours sleep per day.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Mum deteriorated from Saturday morning onwards, to the point at which she was admitted to hospital first thing Sunday morning in horrific pain.
She was not at all well, but thank God she has stabilised somewhat and her pain is under control, and she is now able to eat and drink a little. She is on IV antibiotics, high dose steroids and oxygen. I will be going in to see her shortly, after spending all day at the hospital yesterday.
My uncle's grandson has been very seriously hurt in a car accident last night, and my husband's aunt just phoned to say that **her** elderly mother-in-law is not well and they are rushing over to see her.
It never rains but it pours.......
I am reluctant to trespass any more on all your kindnesses, but if you could remember my mum Loretta and cousin Scott in your prayers, I would be really grateful.
Friday, March 14, 2008
I own to being rather concerned about her continuing to live on her own ; this has really, really shaken her very badly, and the outcome could so easily have been disastrous. She is two and a half miles away from us, and I don't drive; there are no buses to anywhere near where she lives after 4.15pm, so she is quite isolated, although an elderly friend of hers lives nearby and he does drive.
Time to think and pray hard about what is best to do.......
Thursday, March 13, 2008
He is very forthright, and some parts of it may cause concern to some readers, but it raises many valid points.
I reproduce it here
Rabbi Rami says:
Quick: name the ingredients in a Big Mac….. OK, got it? Now, just as quickly, name the The Ten Commandments. Oh, oh.
If you succeeded at the first, and failed at the second, you are in good company. According to a recent survey 80% of Americans know there are two all beef patties along with special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on that sesame seed bun, while only 60% knew that “Thou shalt not kill” is one of the ingredients of God’s Big Ten. Only 34% knew that the Sabbath was on the list, and only 29% knew that God hates idols (along with homosexuals and shrimp, though these are not among the Big Ten).
Why are we so ignorant of the Bible? It isn’t because we don’t have access to it. The average American household owns four Bibles, and millions more are sold every year. The book is around, but people just don’t read it. If they did, millions of Americans would not have answered the question, “Who is Joan of Arc” with “The wife of Noah.” No kidding.
But I have a few suggestions for improving Bible literacy. First, someone should work with a big burger chain to produce a Bible-based kid’s meal. I wouldn’t be too strict about kosher beef, but no cheeseburgers in this box. And with the meal would come a Bible-themed toy: maybe a smoking Mount Sinai or an anatomically amended Adam and Eve.
I would also urge one of the big television networks to create a game show called Smarter Than a Fifth Grader in Sunday School in which players would test their Bible knowledge against fifth graders from various Bible-based religions. Or even better: How about a show called God Wants You To Be a Millionaire where contestants and a Prosperity Gospel pastor of their choice answer biblically themed questions such as “When Noah looked outside the floating ark, did he recognize any of the bloated corpses as his friends and neighbors?” Contestants and pastors would split the winnings, or they could pool their winnings and give it all to God in hopes of receiving even more money from God in the future. Just how they would get it to God would be worked out with the show’s sponsors.
Or maybe a Candid Camera-type show where people are tricked into violating a commandment and then get stoned by passers-by: “Hey, look! That guy just uncovered the nakedness of his father! Let’s get him!”
Or maybe a reality show called Carry That Cross where contestants are beaten almost senseless by once-famous television stars dressed up as Roman soldiers, and then challenged to see who can carry a cross up a fake Golgotha.
Or maybe American Idle where people compete to see who can do the least on a Sabbath.
My point is that if we want Americans to be more Bible-smart we have to get them where they live: on the couch in front of the tube eating a God is Happy with You Meal complete with a Pontius Pilate doll with hands that really wash.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Our doctor was fabulous and was with her very quickly, giving her intravenous medication to reverse the swelling. It has been about 85% successful ,and our doctor has agreed for her to stay at home (she insisted, BTW !) under supervision, So I am staying with her tonight, as is DD2 who lives very near.
The doctor told me if there is any doubt in my mind, to phone 999 for the ambulance and also to phone him at his home immediately.
Please, please pray for a swift resolution to the problem and her restoration to relative health. I don't think any of us will get much sleep tonight........
Lord have mercy
Lord have mercy
Lord have mercy
Caution ; not Fast-friendly and may induce uncontrollable drooling.....
Preheat oven to 180 C gas mark 4
Cream together in a mixer 100g softened butter (or good quality margarine) and 150g light brown soft sugar, then beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and one large egg.
Mix together in a separate bowl 150g flour, 35g cocoa powder and half a teaspoon of baking powder. Once combined, beat into the creamed mixture of butter etc. Fold in 200g dark chocolate chips or chunks.
using a rounded 15ml/tablespoon measure, spoon out scoops of the dough and place on a baking-paper lined baking -sheet, making sure to leave a little space between each one as they will spread a bit.
Bake in the oven for 12 minutes and then let them cool on the baking sheet for three minutes.
Move them to a cooling rack with newspaper or kitchen papertowel underneath to catch the drips as you add the glaze !
For the glaze:
75g icing sugar (superfine /confectioners' sugar)
15ml (tablespoon) of sieved cocoa powder
2 X 15ml (tablespoon) boiling water
A quarter teaspoon peppermint extract (not synthetic peppermint essence)
Place galze ingredeints in a saucepan and heat gently till combined, then using a teaspoon, pour glaxe over the cookies in a random pattern.
Makes about 24 cookies.
About the angel icon as a pub sign.......in the Middle ages, it was common for pubs named the Sautation of the Virgin to have a painted board with a picture of the Annunciation on it. But these were simple pictures, not icons. At the Reformation, the images of the Panaghia were removed, leaving only the image of the Angel, and those pubs gradually came to be simply known as "The Angel".
So there is indeed a long tradition of "painting" but most definitely not Iconic pictures or actual icons.
I still find it disconcerting to contemplate.......
The weather here deteriorated quite significantly last night. The wind was so high that I could not sleep through it, and this morning part of our very solid fixed wooden pergola has been blown apart, damaging my birdfeeder. At least our roof and chimney survived intact !
The 60ft waves I mentioned from Tuesday were not a significant problem for our town as we do have pretty good tidal defences along the seafront proper. We get a fair battering from the Atlantic gales at the best of times, but we have a very rocky coastline with sandbanks not far off-shore, which serves to lessen the worst excesses of the tide. This storm has caused problems as it coincides with the normally high Spring Tides....
A lot of stones and seaweed and assorted debris were swept up right across the seafront road, though. Many local towns were not so lucky and did have tidal flooding......
Run, don't walk !
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I wanted to respond to messages about Forgiveness Sunday, assuring you all of my prayers and good wishes for a blessed Great Lent.
We escaped the worst of the storms, though our town **only** had 60mph gales and 60ft high waves crashing over the seafront ! It was much, much worse in other places. Thanks be to God that as far as I know, no-one has been injured.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Every single evening
As I'm lying here in bed,
This tiny little Prayer
Keeps running through my head:
God bless all my family
Wherever they may be,
Keep them warm and safe from harm
For they're so close to me.
And God, there is one more thing
I wish that you could do;
Hope you don't mind me asking,
Please bless my computer too.
Now I know that it's unusual
To Bless a motherboard,
But listen just a second
While I explain it to you, Lord.
You see, that little metal box
Holds more than odds and ends;
Inside those small compartments
Rest so many of my friends.
I know so much about them
By the kindness that they give,
And this little scrap of metal
Takes me in to where they live.
By faith is how I know them
Much the same as you
We share in what life brings us
And from that our friendships grew.
Please take an extra minute
From your duties up above,
To bless those in my address book
That's filled with so much love.
Wherever else this prayer may reach
To each and every friend,
Bless each e-mail inbox
And each person who hits "send".
When you update your Heavenly list
On your own Great CD-ROM,
Bless everyone who says this prayer
Sent up to GOD.Com
Saturday, March 08, 2008
May we all have a blessed and profitable Lenten season.
He made a great impression upon DD2, and upon all our family through the things she was able to tell us about his life and experiences.
May he rest in peace.
Memory eternal !
She was examined again, then told the operation was cancelled because she has an irregular heartbeat, and sent home in a taxi.
IN A TAXI.
If she had a medical problem with her heart severe enough to warrant cancelling her operation, why was she not seen and examined and treated - or at least properly explained to - by one of the cardiologists ?
Needless to say, I contacted our fantastic family doctor, who saw her the very next office session and thoroughly examined her, spending a considerable length of time with her and us. No irregular heartbeat was found, and he says he will phone the Consultant himself to find out what on earth was going on.
He did find her blood pressure was significantly elevated, which the hospital didn't find ........so she has medication for that.
Our local hospital does not inspire me with any confidence, I have to say.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
with another stone partially in front; the Conbelin cross was so big, it was difficult to get a really good shot of it, in view of the limited space in the small museum.
Click on the photos to get a bigger version, by the way !
Are you all bored, or would you like some more photos ? :-)
This rather nice iconic angelic image has been deliberately done as a sign for a pub (public house/tavern) in England. The person who painted it is a devout RC who does a lot of restoration and decorative work for Churches, especially his amazing reproduction of the Sistine Chapel ceiling here.
I find it a rather dissonant concept, having an "almost-icon" used to advertise a pub.
Is it just me ?
What do you all think ?
Sunday, March 02, 2008
On Friday the DH and I took our respective mothers out for a collective slightly early Mothers' Day lunch at a rather nice hotel restaurant.
The food was wondrous, and I did goggle at the luscious meat dishes but stayed resolute and had the vegetarian mushroom and leek tagliatelle in cream sauce. Ironically, the meat dish was cheaper.............
A leisurely lunch , and then a quiet hour before the small ones were picked up from school. For some reason they are both manic and exhausted when they get back from school on Friday. I was glad when bedtime came :-)
Saturday morning, DD4 decided she did want to enter the school competition for designing a leek or a daffodil made out of recycled materials. So DH and I slogged over helping her to create a rather nice daffodil. So we did sort of celebrate St David's Day appropriately. The school is holding its St David's Day celebrations on Wednesday next week, for some reason, BTW.
The dog was duly walked, the house cleaned, and then DD2 and boyfriend arrived, shortly followed by DD1 and her fiance. Everyone wanted different things to eat, so by the time all the horde had been fed, the dishes done,my washing brought in from the line and sundry other household tasks done, the afternoon had vanished. We laughed all afternoon, and it is a delight to have my big ones home for a few hours ! They came bearing gifts and cards for Mothers Day, and I have been throughly spoilt.
This morning, only Helen and I are up so far. Helen devised a treasure hunt for my lovely card, which I have managed to complete with a little prompting from her when I wandered off the strict path of cluedom .... LOL. So now I am relaxing with a cup of tea and catching up with my blog :-)