Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Good News About Stellan !

Baby Stellan has responded so well to his new drug therapy that he was discharged from hospital yesterday, and God willing, is on his way home today.

He will still need very careful monitoring of his heart, but after five and a half long weeks of being desperately ill in hsopital, he is going home to be reunited with his Daddy, brothers and sister.

MckMama must be so relieved !

Glory to God !
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Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring In My Garden



Lavender, sprouting lots of new growth.



We have a lot of ivy in all different shades of green. I particularly liked this one :-)








Apple blossom on my tree. This year, the gales have not managed to blow it all to pieces, and the bees are busy pollinating, so I hope we might get a good crop this year......





My camellia bush. I love this bush, but find it very frustrating that as fast as the flowers open to perfection, they start to go brown within minutes. Or so it seems to me ! On the other hand, the ones I picked to go in the icon corner in a vase for Pascha are still doing well. Go figure :-)
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More Books






"Moving Pictures" is one of the funniest Terry Pratchett Discworld books ever. My poor copy has been read so many times now that it is literally falling to bits. I may have to buy another copy very soon :-) If you like the concept of Movies quite literally taking on a life of their own, give this book a go.









This is the final book in a trilogy of reminiscences by a midwife named Jennifer Worth. We meet even more characters from the East End of London, just before the Dockland slums were pulled down.

It is an engaging read,but I would issue one warning:-
The chapter detailing the lengths to which women would go to procure illegal abortions is particularly distressing and the author pulls no punches about preferring to see medically supervised abortions being available to some of the cases she saw.



I have read several other books, but I can't for the life of me remember in what order at the moment. Unusually, my camera is being of no help to me at all, LOL.
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More About "The Noticer"




People who know me well know that I can sometimes have a problem with putting things in perpective :-)
If I am feeling down in the dumps, a minor matter can become the size of Mount Everest in my mind. My reactions can then be consequently proportionate to the obstacle which I have, of course, blown out of all proportion. The results are often NOT GOOD. And it is all too often my own fault.

When reading "The Noticer", it spoke to me so deeply on so very many levels that I was rather taken aback. Stunned. Astounded. Gobsmacked. It was as though Jones (the hero) was talking to me personally. I saw so much of myself in virtually every scenario mentioned in the book that it was uncanny and quite scary. It was a chance for me to see myself as I must appear to many other people with whom I interact, and it really has made me pause and think carefully before I open my mouth and act out of all proportion to the scenario which has upset/disturbed/enraged me.

Has this book had a beneficial effect on me ?
Undoubtedly YES !

Whether it will be so beneficial for others, I cannot say, but it may very well speak to many of you the way it has to me..........I hope if you read it, it will be profitable :-)
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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Praying For Dorothy

I am *so* happy that at last I have managed to get Michelle's button "Praying for Grammy" to work on my blog:-)



I admit to having to go to someone else's blog, check out the source code for their "Praying for Grammy" bitton and copying it into my own coding........but it works at last !

I still don't know what I was doing incorrectly, but at least I have a "quick fix" and a constant reminder to pray for Michelle's Mom, Dorothy.
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"The Noticer" by Andy Andrews

How would you react if an elderly gentleman walked up to you, called you by your name, and told you things about yourself that it was impossible for him to know ?
Would you regard him as a weirdo, a con-artist, a saint, an angel sent by God? I certainly don’t know how I would react.

In Andy Andrews’ novel “The Noticer”, Jones (as he prefers to be called) appears to those most in need, often seemingly out of nowhere, and teaches people how to see. How to notice. How to get a different perspective on their lives.

Most importantly, he makes it possible for them to change. It is no small achievement, and the sphere of Jones’ influence only really becomes apparent by the end of the book, when we learn of the many people he has helped in one small town, teaching them how to see clearly for maybe the very first time in their lives. He helps salvage marriages, careers, families and lives. I’m pretty darned sure he also helps people heal their souls in the process.

I was sceptical when this book arrived in the post, even more sceptical when I read the glowing reviews on the back cover, but I was prepared to give it a go.

It proved to be one of those wise and seminal books which have to be read straight through in one sitting, closed for a few minutes and then opened immediately to read again.
It really is a heart-warming, inspiring, gripping and thought provoking book.

And if you let it, it really might just change your life. Are you up for that type of challenge? I dare you !

More information here.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Book supplied courtesy of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger program !
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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Saturday, April 25, 2009

More News About My Brother

We visited my brother Mark last night. He is now on seriously intensive nasogastric tube feedings to provide much-needed nourishment to his poor body, and he is actually looking much better, has gained a little weight already and his strength is also improving.

He has been able to sit out on a chair for a few hours yesterday, and walk around his bed, which is amazing when you consider he has been bed-bound for nearly three weeks !! He is alert, witty, mentally as bright as a button, and a delight to visit with, compared to last week when he was in a semi-stupor and barely responsive due to his liver and kidney problems.

He still requires continuous nursing care and much medical intervention and will be in hospital for months, but he is stable and showing some small signs of improvement at the moment. The future remains very uncertain for him, but we are very thankful for small mercies and for the amazing care he has received at the hospital.

I thank you all for your prayers !
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More On Stellan

Stellan's very risky surgery was completed safely but it now appears to have been largely unsuccessful:-(

The abnormal electrical pathways in his heart have not been destroyed and Stellan is still having episodes of dangerously fast heartbeats. He is now back on medications which have their own side-effects and which have been unsuccessful in controlling his SVT problem in recent weeks. Sigh.

MckMama is being her amazing self but she surely would benefit from everyone's prayers, as the next step for Stellan may be open-heart surgery and pacemaker implantation, which is very risky in a five month old baby.

Lord, have mercy upon dear Stellan and his family.........
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stellan Update

Stellan is still in surgery, and MckMama says she has been told there is much fluid in Stellan's lungs.

Please all pray for this dear little baby and his family....

Lord have mercy !
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“The Great Eight” by Scott Hamilton





“The Great Eight” by Scott Hamilton.

I remember watching Scott Hamilton winning his Olympic gold medal for skating back in 1984.
His book, “The Great Eight” shares some of his skating secrets as well as his "attitude to life" secrets.

His childhood was plagued by illness. His discovery of skating precipitated a determination to return to health. Good coaching and his own very hard work saw him shoot to fame, but he made many mistakes along the way, which taught him a great deal about how he both saw and lived his life.

The sometimes difficult events, especially his struggles with cancer, have helped him develop his positive attitude to life and also strengthened his marriage and his relationships. He honestly details his return to Christian faith and the ways in which God has blessed him, though many would not regard Scott’s health problems as blessings.

This is a thoughtful and inspiring book, which is subtitled “How to be happy (even when you have every reason to be miserable)” for a good reason. His main message to the reader is that although you cannot always choose what happens in your life, you certainly can choose how you view and respond to situations and to people.


More information here

Book supplied courtesy of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger program !
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Crisps

Walkers crisps have launched some eccentric new flavours here in the UK.

DD1 brought down several packets of "Chili and Chocolate" for us to try.

At first bite, they taste divine. awesome. Brilliant. Then two seconds later, your taste buds scream for mercy and ask why you are making them taste mud and dirty potato peelings. Then the mild afterburn of the chili takes over.

Love - loathe-love-loathe-love-loathe.

I simply cannot make up my mind whether I like them or not.

DD1 quite liked them but wouldn't buy them again. DD3+4 loathed them and screamed.
DH merely said they were disgusting.

Utterly bizarre :-0
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Gobsmacked

Can I take a quick poll here, folks ?

If someone is gravely, desperately ill in hospital , has things on his mind that he wishes to say, and he feels he really needs to speak to his children , would **you** refuse to get those almost adult teenagers out of bed at 10 am on a Sunday morning so they could speak to their father and put his mind at rest ?

I could not refuse a request like that.

Some things take greater priority than sleep................to be told that he would have to wait to speak to his children till much later on today is unacceptable in my book.

Or am I being unreasonable ?


Sigh.
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Christos Voskrese !

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Pascha

It is a glorious sunny day here, but still rather chilly.
My fingers are steadily going completely numb as I type :-)

For the first night in ages, (well, since my brother went into hospital just over a fortnight ago ) I was actually sleeping soundly last night, when I was woken by my bedroom door opening and DD4 chimes up:

"Mummy, I've just been to the toilet and I wanted to check that I hadn't woken you up by flushing the toilet".

Bless her ! So I tucked her snugly back up in her bed, kissed her and blessed her again, and looked at my clock.

3.30am.

3.30am !!

Queue several hours of sleeplessness later.........

At 7am she was back in my room, full of the joys of Pascha and Spring, ready to start the day. So I gave up gracefully and came downstairs for the first guilt-free cup of tea with milk since Lent began, LOL.

Personally, I hear the seductive siren-like call of "More sleep ! More sleep!", so I may give in gracefully and zzzzzzzzzzz for a bit longer :-)
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The Holy Fire, 2009

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Christ Is Risen !






He Is Risen Indeed !

A joyous and blessed Pascha to you all :-)
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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Even More Susan :-)

This is a ten year old recording from a charity CD (which only pressed 1000 copies) to which she contributed one song.........




Enjoy !
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Visiting

....my brother in hospital last night was funny.

Having been there for a fortnight, his fingernails were in dire need of attention, so Mum had brought her manicure set in with her and I was delegated to do the honours.

My brother and I laughed and laughed; for some reason it was just really funny, as the other three male patients all had visitors and were for some reason *avidly* watching the manicure.

Of course I then felt obliged to keep up a running commentary on the action, to which the entire ward and all the other visitors payed close attention. There were even suggestions of nail varnish.......

It was good to see my mum and my brother smiling and joking, despite it being a very difficult and stressful day.
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Meetings

The Consultant caring for my brother asked to see us all as a family yesterday.

My mother, my uncle and myself met with The Medic, who was a sweet, kind, compassionate man and an exceptionally thorough doctor. Couldn't wish for a better person to be co-ordinating my brother's care.

The long and short of it is that they have managed to keep my brother's condition just about stable since his very close brush with death last Saturday night, but it remains a very uncertain scenario.

Things could deteriorate incredibly quickly. Hopefully they won't, but he wanted us to be aware and be prepared. He outlined the contingency plans; a variety of tests will be done over the weekend and the start of next week, and further treatment to support his borderline kidney function will then be possible.

If the kidney function continues to deteriorate, there will be very little else that can be done, as dialysis would not be possible under these circumstances.

The aim is to try to keep him stable and build up his strength, in an effort to get him well enough to be considered for a liver transplant in **several months** time, as at the moment, he would not be able to even survive the start of such an operation.

Needless to say, he will be in hospital for months to come. It is a very delicate balancing act between supporting the liver without compromising kidney function, and vice versa. Building up his strength will be a very difficult job, and he is going to need a feeding tube direct into his lower stomach/gut fairly soon.

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy.........
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Judging By Appearances 2

Further to my earlier post about Susan Boyle, I thought you might like to read more about this dear lady, who has mild brain damage from a birth injury and some concomitant learning difficulties.......

Full story here.
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I Know It Is Late, But....

We worship Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee, for by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

We bow down before Thy Cross , O Lord; we call to mind Thy glorious Passion; have mercy on us, Thou that didst suffer for us.

Rejoice, O Holy Cross, worthy tree, that alone wast worthy to bear the King of heavem and its Lord.

Rejoice O Cross, that wert consecrated by the body of Christ and adorned with His limbs as with pearls.

O glorious Cross, O venerable Cross, O wood of great price and sign of wonderment, through which the devil is defeated and the world is redeemed by the blood of Christ....


From The Salutations before the Holy Cross, "Orthodox Prayers of Old England"
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Friday, April 17, 2009

Wales Visits America !

One of the oldest traditions in Wales, the "Ty unnos" or "house built in a night" is coming to America, albeit in a modernised form, to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC :-)

Story and piccies here.
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

In A Lighter Vein......

I bring you this piece of sunshine and joy :-)






I just love the Sound of Music !

It would have been even nicer if it had been totally spontaneous, but nevertheless.....


"More than 200 dancers were performing their version of "Do Re Mi", in the Central Station of Antwerp. with just 2 rehearsals they created this amazing stunt! Those 4 fantastic minutes started the 23 of march 2009, 08:00 AM. It is a promotion stunt for a Belgian television program, where they are looking for someone to play the leading role, in the musical of "The Sound of Music". "
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Random Thought

Random Thoughts from tonight's journey to visit my beloved brother...

seeing a solitary gull flying across the vast and empty twilight dusk sky.

two wild rabbits peacefully nibbling grass on a busy dual-carriageway (freeway) roundabout.


seeing my brother sitting up in bed, laughing and joking with my young ones, DH and I tonight, when we visited him in hospital, and thinking back to how utterly disorientated, confused and incoherent he was when we saw him on Sunday.


the unfailing kindness of DD2 and her boyfriend who managed to track down a replacement cell phone for my brother's malfunctioning one, so he can phone his daughters and my mum whenever he wants to instead of feeling lonely and isolated in the hospital.


Praise God from whom every blessing flows.........
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Watch And Enjoy

This is a respectful and on the whole accurate documentary of solitary ascetic Desert Father type Christianity.......



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Chocolate Baklava !

Warning :
going to this linked web site may cause uncontrollable drooling, greed and covetousness.
Proceed at your own risk !

But I think it is definitely one for Bright Week :-)
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Family News

You folks must be *amazing* pray-ers ! Thank you !

My brother has improved considerably over the last few days.

He remains very ill, is bed-bound and is likely to be in hospital for at least another fortnight, according to the latest updates, which is incredible in itself considering the doctor did not think he would survive the night on Saturday night......


The prognosis remains dismal, short of a miracle or a transplant, but at least he is now alert, oriented, enjoying having visitors, cracking jokes and listening to his Ipod.

He now has some quality of life back, for which God be praised.
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Judging By Appearances

.......is ALWAYS foolhardy.


Watch this. Then you will see why appearances are deceptive.....

Enjoy !!!


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Monday, April 13, 2009

Where We Are At....

After a very stressful weekend, wherein my brother 's illness deteriorated very rapidly and he became critically ill on Saturday, he has stabilised somewhat but remains very poorly indeed.

I contacted his daughters, one of whom came down to visit him yesterday lunchtime, which brightened his day a great deal.

My mum visited him in the afternoon , and I visited him last night, but he spent much of the time sleeping and holding my hand.

Lord, have mercy.......
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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Eye Eye !

How we spent this morning.......

DD3 woke up with her eyelid red and swollen badly, and complaining of acute pain at 7.30am. I don't believe in taking any risks where eyes are concerned, so off I go to phone the "out of hours GP service".

The recorded message you initially get gives you a very long list of things that they will not consider seeing you for, and eventually I get connected to a human being. The gentleman was very pleasant, took lots of details and told me that the on-call doctors would be informed and that I would get a phone call back within one hour to ask for more information before they would decide if she needed to be seen.

Well, hello, the child has a swollen face and is in pain.She does need to be seen by a doctor !

I was busy ranting about this to DH when ten minutes later, the phone rings. Would we be able to take DD3 into the out of hours clinic for the second appointment slot of the morning ?

Having assured them that we would be there, the young ones were hastily inducted into clothes and hustled into the car to get to the clinic.

When we got there, there were 5 members of staff at the reception desk. One was on the phone and getting information from staff member 2 at the same time, and no 3 was sitting at the desk typing.

In the magnificent customer service tradition of the NHS, I was left standing, ignored by everyone for at least five minutes whilst waiting to book her in. There was a large TV in the waiting area, carefully angled to provide maximum viewing access - shame it was to the reception desk staff and not to the patients on seats in the waiting room !

Once she was seen by the doctor, he was kind, thorough, very efficient and immediately said she needed antibiotic ointment for the affected eye.
Having had four doses today, she is feeling more comfortable , so hopefully it will clear up quickly. We have been told to look out for certain warning signs, whereupon she needs to go straight back in, but please God, she will have a speedy resolution of optical health.
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Sigh

My brother is *very* poorly indeed in hospital at the moment.
The tentative plans to possibly discharge him home on Tuesday have been put on indefinite hold, as he is far too ill to even consider it.

My heart is very heavy :-(

Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy...........
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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Humph, But With A Happy Ending !

Grumble, moan, mumble and grumble.

Forgot Library is shut because it is Western Maundy Thursday today.
Got to town to see Library all dark and gloomy.No Library till at least Tuesday......
Grumble grumble grumble.

Went to Thrift shop instead and bought some humungously wonderful books for £2 total.

That should cheer me up some. And the girls were happy as they got more books too.
DD4 chose "The Railway Children" so I will enjoy reading that one :-)
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Wisdom From Elder Porphyrios

This comes courtesy of Alice over at The Byzantine Forum......

I found it most edifying and soul-profiting - may the Lord have mercy on us !


Quote:-

Wisdom of Elder Porphyrios from the book 'Wounded by Love'.

We need always to have thoughts of love for our brothers and sisters...We need to have goodness and love in our soul...
Man has such powers that he can transmit good or evil to his environment. These matters are very delicate. Great care is needed. We need to see everything in a positive frame of mind. We mustn't think anything evil about others. Even a simple glance or a sigh influences those around us. And even the slightest anger or indignation does harm. We need to have goodness and love in our soul and to transmit these things.

We need to be careful not to harbour any resentment against those who harm us, but rather to pray for them with love. Whatever any of our fellow men does, we should never think evil of him. We need always to have thoughts of love and always to think good of others. Look at Saints Stephen the first martyr. He prayed, "Lord do not hold this sin against them". We need to do the same.

We should never think about someone that God will send him some evil or that God will punish him for his sin. This thought brings about very great evil, without our being aware of it. We often feel indignation and say to someone: 'Have you no fear of God's justice, are you not afraid of God's punishment?' Or else we say, 'God will punish you for what you've done', or 'O God, do not bring evil on that person for what he did to me', or 'May that person not suffer the same thing'...

In all these cases, we have a deep desire within us for the other person to be punished. Instead of confessing our anger over his error, we present our indignation in a different way, and we allegedly pray to God for him. In reality, however, in this way we are cursing our brother.

And if, instead of praying, we say, 'May God repay you for the evil you have done to me', then once again we are wishing for God to punish him. Even when we say, 'All very well, God is witness', the disposition of our soul works in a mysterious way and influences the soul of our fellow man so that he suffers evil.

When we speak evil about someone, an evil power proceeds from within us and is transmitted to the other person, just as the voice is transmitted on sound waves, and in point of fact, the other person suffers evil. It is something like the bewitchment of the evil eye, when someone has evil thoughts about others. This occurs through our own indignation. We transmit our evil in a mystical way. It is not God who provokes evil, but rather people's wickedness. God does not punish, but our own evil disposition is transmitted to the soul of the other in a mysterious way and does evil. Christ never wishes evil. On the contrary, HE commands, Bless those who curse you...

The evil eye is a very bad thing. It is the evil influence that occurs when someone is jealous of, or desires something or someone. It needs great care. Jealousy does great harm to the other person. The person who exercises the evil eye doesn't think for a moment that he is doing harm. Remember the Old Testament says: For the bewitching eye of wickedness obscures what is good (Wisdom 4:12)

When the other person, however, is a man of God and makes confession and receives Holy Communion and wears a cross, nothing does him any harm. Even if all the demons were to fall on him, they would achieve nothing.


'The noise of murmurings shall not be hidden'

Within us there is a part of the soul called the 'moralist'. This 'moralist', when it sees someone going astray, is roused to indignation, even though very often the person who judges has strayed in the same way. He does not, however, take this as an occasion to condemn himself, but the other person. This is not what God wants. Christ says in the Gospel: You, then, that teach others, will you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? It may be that we do not steal, but we commit murder; we reproach the other person and not ourselves. We say, for example: 'You should have done that and you didn't do it. So see now what's happened to you!' When we think evil, then it actually happens. In a mysterious and hidden manner we diminish the power of the other person to move towards what is good, and we do him harm. We can become the occasion for him to fall ill, to lose his job, or his property. In this way we do harm, not only to our neighbor, but also to ourselves, because we distance ourselves from the grace of God. And then we pray and our prayers are not heard. We 'ask and do not receive'. Why? Have we ever thought of this? 'Because we ask wrongly.' We need to find a way to heal the tendency within us to feel and think evil about others.

It is possible for someone to say, 'The way that person is behaving, he will be punished by God', and to believe that he is saying this without evil intent. It is not a simple thing, however, to discern whether he has or does not have evil intent. It does not appear clearly. What is hidden inour soul and how that can exercise influence on people and things is a very secret matter.

The same is not true if we say with a sense of awe that another person is not living well and that we should pray for God to help him and grant him repentence; that is, neither do we say, nor deep down do we desire that God will punish him for what he does. In this case not only do we not do harm to our neighbour, but we do him good. When someone prays for his neighbour, a good force proceeds from him and heals, strengthens and revives him. It is a mystery how this force leaves us. But, in truth, the person who has good within him radiates this good power to others, mystically and gently. He sends light to his neighbour and this creates a shield around him and protects him from evil. When we possess and good disposition towards others and pray, then we heal our fellow and we help them progress towards God.

There is an invisible life, the life of the soul. This is very powerful and can have effect on the other, even if we are miles apart. This also happens with the curse, which is a power that works evil. But if, conversely, we pray with love for someone, whatever the distance that seperates us, the good is transmitted. So distances do not affect the power of good and evil. We can transmit these across boundless distances. Solomon the Wise says this very thing: 'The noise of murmurings shall not be hidden.' The noise of our soul is transmitted mysteriously and affects the other, even if we don't say a word. Even without speaking we can transmit good or evil, irrespective of the distance which seperates us from our neighbour. What is not expressed generally hs greater power than words.
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More News

My brother remains in hospital as he has continuing problems with very low blood pressure, and is likely to be in over the weekend too, unless he has shown a substantial improvement overnight.

We await news as I type.......


DH has got next week off, so we are hoping to be able to do some fun things with the children. Our activities so far this week have included me doing copious amounts of housework whilst they play and watch TV, though the weather did improve enough for us to go to the park to play yesterday *and* clean out the playhouse in the back garden so DD4 can use it........

I'm hoping a trip to the Library is on schedule this morning so I can borrow even more books, as I only have seven in my "to read " pile, and that is certainly not enough for me :-)
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What I've Been Reading III



I am also currently re-reading the four Jasper Fforde books I have been loaned. Incredibly inventive whimsy; if you are well-read and like books in general, you will love these :-)








Fr Michael Keiser's "Prayer" was interesting but didn't "cut the mustard" for me. It was accessible, lucid and well-written but just didn't resonate with me at all and I wish I know why.
Far more likely to be a problem with me than with the book, I assure you !







Another TP, "Thief Of Time". Contains many references to chocolate, hence my avid enjoyment - 'nuff said !!




"Expecting Adam".
I don't quite know what to say about this book. Odd, quirky, containing a great deal of quite remarkable coincidental happenings in the writer's experience of finding that she is expecting a Down's Syndrome son.

Harvard Graduates both, with eight degrees between them, they were targeted to be seriously high-flyers, yet all their plans came tumbling down with the diagnosis of their son's condition, and the oft-voiced comments from their colleagues and Professors that this "defective" baby would destroy their lives and their careers.

Needless to say, Adam transformed their lives in ways they didn't dream were possible, but he did not destroy their lives at all.

Overall, a very inspiring story, but the attitudes of many of the Harvard folk are depicted as chilling in the extreme, and so Eugenicist that they made my flesh creep.
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What I've Been Reading II




This looked promising when I picked it out at the Library, but I found it dry and pedestrian. A much better look at broadcasting, with quite a strong religios slant is Libby Purves' "Radio".






"Father Joe" was a much better book; a look at a contemporary RC saintly elder. An interesting read, but did not give me the same certainty of Truth as when reading aboout great Elders such as Porphyrios or Paisios. Contains much autobiographical detail about the troubled life of the author, Tony Hendra, who was also very much in the media eye on both sides of the Atlantic in the '80s and '90s.





"Selma at the Abbey" by the immortal Elsie J. Oxenham. This is a golden *very* oldie for collectors of girls' school stories, as I have been for many years. First published in 1952, it is very much the product of its time, very much set in the halcyon decades of the twentieth century, it paints a vivid - albeit heavily idealised - picture of life in a very philanthropic wealthy landed gentry family in England.
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What I've Been Reading





I am systematically re-reading my Terry Pratchett books, in no particular order. Each one is a delight; and this one dealing with how a Northern Barbarian Horde fare in the genteel and rarified atmosphere of the Discworld's equuivalent of Imperial China is a particular joy, LOL.






I picked this up for 20p in a local thrift shop and what a find it was ! It is a book crammed full of information hints and recipes for teaching children food science throughout the year. Old, but extremely good, and I will be making a lot of use of it at home. What a bargain !!





"Dewey" is a must-read. If you love cats and libraries, go get it ! I borrowed mine from the Public Library, which seemed particularly appropriate, and really enjoyed it........
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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Illumination

Having duly bookmarked this, I then promptly forgot all about it !

There is a little English medieval church which has a rood screen. The architecture of the church is such that at sunset on two occasions a year, the crucifix on the rood screen is illuminated by the setting sun for four minutes, providing that it is not cloudy, of course......

Story, and some gorgeous pictures here.
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Monday, April 06, 2009

Family News

My brother's condition has stabilised enough today for the doctors to start his paracentesis drain late this afternoon. When he will be well enough to come home is anybody's guess at the moment.

I am just glad for this small step in the right direction, for which God be praised and I thank you all for your prayers.......

More news as I get it !
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Weather

The weather is see-sawing back and forth from real warmth in the sunshine to so cold that my fingers are going numb when I type....

Yesterday I spent a large part of a lovely warm day in the garden; today -well. Suffice it to say that it is so cold today that after I have finished feeding the littlies, I am going to have a nice soak in a hot bath.....

But today's weather is really matching my gloomy and introspective mood :-(

I do so hope I am not some kind of quantum weather butterfly/human..... Ian will smile at the Terry Pratchett analogy, I am sure !

I crave sugar. Not even dark chocolate brownies are making a difference. White chocolate would hit the spot, I think, but it can wait till Pascha.

Trying to convince my body of this fact is quite another matter, LOL.
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Paschal Eggs

I found a brilliant resource for preparing to dye Paschal eggs.

If you would like to experiment with other colours as well as the traditional red eggs, try these :-)

Following each color listed below, you will find the number of drops of each food coloring to be added to about 2 - 4 ounces of vinegar for dipping :-

Lime - 24 yellow, 4 green
Purple - 15 blue, 5 red
Cantaloupe - 24 yellow, 2 red
Jade - 17 green, 3 blue
Plum - 10 red, 4 blue
Spearmint - 12 green, 6 yellow, 2 blue
Raspberry - 14 red, 6 blue
Maize - 24 yellow, 1 red
Watermelon - 25 red, 2 blue
Teal - 15 green, 5 blue
Grape - 17 blue, 3 red
Fuchsia - 18 red, 2 blue
Orange Sunset - 17 yellow, 3 red
Jungle Green - 14 green, 6 yellow

Shamelessly borrowed from here.

If you do use them, please post photos so we can see how they turned out !
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Saturday, April 04, 2009

DD3 On The Wall !



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This a photo I took on my phone whilst DD3 was climbing The Wall at Center Parc. Had to get one of the grown-up offspring to BlueTooth it over to my web-book so I could post it here.

I have to say, rather her than me !
I get giddy standing on a chair to change a lightbulb........
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Term Has Ended

After the shambolic day we have had today, I'm not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing !

On a happier note, the weather has been really good so my tortoise is roaming happily in the garden, loads of washing have been done and hung (hanged ? Anastasia, please correct me!) on the line, and DH has fixed the garden fence.

This is NEXT DOOR owner's responsibility and they haven't bothered to mend it though we asked nicely several months ago. DH has patched it enough so that none of our livestock (human or pet) can escape, LOL.

I have weeded, tidied and cut back bushes, and am admiring the very handsome wood-pigeon strutting around in the garden as I type this.

If only my brother were well again, I could wish for nothing more.
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News About My Brother

My brother is back in hospital again. This is his **fourth** emergency admission since mid-January.

He is too unwell for them to be able to perform the palliative drain procedure which gives him a few weeks of temporary relief, so he is on a restricted fluid intake diet for a few days to see if that improves his blood chemistry enough for the procedure to be performed safely.

We are shortly leaving to visit him.

Prayers coveted, especially for him and for my mother, who is currently his primary caregiver when he is home.
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