KpacoTa CnaceT Mup-Beauty Will Save the World

(Quote from Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky's THE IDIOT, 1869)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Just having some fun, and... I can see....

Just having some fun with a package to Alison, one of my sisters -in-law (??? or is it sister-in-laws???) Living with chronic Lyme, and healing from it, is like a roller coaster. But, about twice a year for the last , I don't know how many years, for a few hours, I can see clearly. Don't get me wrong. I'm not blind or anything, and some would say that my sight is way better than others. But, it's this feeling, that when I can see clearly behind my eyes, even the 6 panels in the doors look amazing to me. My head clears, I can focus, I feel positive, and feel like I can do anything. 

Dealing with physical symptoms, pardon my Francais, but it sucks. When your body keeps having to deal with so many things not being quite right, even if you can tolerate it, well, it takes your focus away. One can become distracted, while the mind focuses on what the body is constantly feeling, especially when the feelings change constantly like the DVD player ball on pause for too long. Bouncing all over the place. 

 The sinuses become affected a lot, wreaking havoc - it's like a constant war going on in the body. Anyone who deals with sinus infections/problems will know what this is like. 

Anywho, it feels so nice to see. Wow! What a treat.:)

I spoke to my cutie nephew on Skype

He lives abroad, 8 hours ahead of us, so I've never met him in person. But, today I met him via Skype. He's got his own keyboard and mouse and loves it. He just turned 2 on my birthday 2 weeks ago.

Got to talk with his Mom and brother, and his Dad, my brother. That was so nice.:)He was actually a bit shy on Skype:) So cute. Can't wait to meet him and hug him up ! :)

Doctor Says overall Stable...

This one's labeled 'Dad grunting'.tehe-one of the kids labeled... A few years back at some match.
Ken and his baby sister visiting from Hawaii, a couple of years ago. Yes, my hubby wears his work/gardening pants out. I know women who would never allow this from their hubbies. was just on a trail up to a monument in the middle of nowhere.hahaha...Ah, what the heck. He's got fabulous legs.:)
He called me back a short while ago, and said with confidence that overall he is stable- which is what hubby wants to hear. Of course, I'm waiting for more healing.

His rib area is fine, so Ken is just feeling the deterioration of the rib area. But , even there there has been healing. Maybe he's just feeling some arthritis , which should be helped by the Protocel.

Doctor'll check out his neck next week, but there was only slight activity there, and in other crucial areas there was improvement.:)

Now I have to convince my hubby to be focusing on the complete recovery, instead of just stability. After all, with God, ALL things are possible.:)

Wrong Day-Arggh!!!

Ken with his Mom about 7-8 +- years ago in Hawaii for his sister's wedding.This is before the cancer.
So hubby got the date wrong, but I can't blame him. He had his scans on Monday, and it is typical to see the Dr. on Wednesday. But when we got there, the receptionist said that his appointment was next Wednesday! That was frustrating, and Ken didn't want to wait to hear, so we asked the Dr. to call.

 He called my cell, and I guess I didn't have reception, so I got a voicemail. He said if I had questions to call him tomorrow. But, basically that in general there wasn't much change. That some things looked a little bigger( Protocel killing off the cancer turning it into blobs that look bigger, but that are empty cells-that's what we're praying for, and that's what they have been looking like).

He also said, with a lilt in his voice, that actually some of the cancer looked better. So, it seems that once again, the scans reflect ambiguity, which looks to be in our favor. (Read Tania Harter Pierce's book,Outsmart your Cancer- Alternative Non-Toxic Treatments that Work).

So we'll see. We'll have a better feel for things tomorrow , and next week. There's been a nasty cold going on. My one daughter had it in the fall, and I was very concerned, but it wasn't the flu or encephalitis, which is what I was concerned with. She was burning the candle at both ends. 

And my other daughter had a nasty-similar- cold about a month-2 months ago. But she cleared up w/in the week. Then , my son had a head cold a couple of weeks ago, and then the gasoline got my immune system down, so that I finally joined the crew(which I usually never do-I stay pretty healthy despite the Lyme). It was just a nasty,(for a few days), head cold, that I used my homeopathics for, and am fine, with very residual effects at this point.

We usually don't get so sick around here. Although I do think that different people, or different families , go through good years, and bad /worse years.

 But, what I'm getting at is, that Ken might be fighting a low grade version of the nasty cold, and that it may have landed in his glands. The Protocel,(natural supplement that he's taking to hopefully get rid of the cancer), is a very powerful anti-oxidant, but nasty is nasty. Hopefully , it's just something simple that he's got to work out of him. He is battling lung cancer after all.

So that's the scoop.

There's a show that I'm thinking of doing in June. I've been having a hard time staying focused, what with the willy nilly overspending that our government seems to be doing. If it wasn't good under one president, why would it be better under another? When there is no money, you don't go out on the town. Very disillusioned by all sides in Washington these days. Anyway, it's been a little preoccupying. All this spending does nothing good for the confidence in the economy, and well, sales go  with the art selling business.

Concerned? A wee bit. Re-evaluating things, and feeling pretty gloomy about things. Throw the Swine Flu/N1H1-2009 flu in the mix, and no one closing our doors, like every other country in the world is doing, and well, yeah, I'm a bit worried. Who wouldn't be?

And our graduate is going to Hawaii in a few days for her graduation gift to herself, with her best friend- visiting her two aunts, and basking in the sunlight. But, Oh, those locked up planes and their recycled air.......

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

going to the Doctor's to find out about Monday's scans results

I'm weepy. I'm coming out of a fun head cold, and I'm weepy. Ken got scanned on Monday. Showering, packing up a gift, post office, and go to the chiropractor's. Haven't been in ages, and I need it with this cold to heal quicker.

Then it's 10 minutes to Dr. S's office for a 1:30 appointment.

He found another lump on his lymph node. I felt it. I asked him when he found it. He said, "Oh, a couple of months ago." " !!@@##!!!Why didn't you tell me!!!???!!!" "Did you tell the doctor?" "What is he going to do?" "!!@@"???!!!!You're crazy!!!!!"

Maybe it's the cancer coming out of him. Maybe it's an infection that needs anti-biotics. He tested positive for Lyme, but inactive. I pray that it is something simple.

He took his glass that had his night time Protocel in it , downstairs to the sink. "Oh crap," I said. He usually forgets it, and I say "Oh crap." I'm thrilled when he remembers. Today I said "Oh crap." I don't want anything staying in my mind that alters my faith. I'm vulnerable now. I'm under the weather, the chores are piling up, nobody cares except me. The world is crappy, and I'm questioning everything with,"Is it worthwhile?"OK I'm bummed, but I'm coming out of the pity party.

I feel like everything's just mounting. I know it's because of the way I feel physically. And I want this Lyme to be over with!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My glands have been feeling yucky with this head cold.

So, the tears fall to my lap. I love him so, and want him back and healed. I don't know what I'd do without him. Please Lord, grant complete recovery, complete health to my husband. xo

Prayers and warm wishes accepted.

Monday, April 27, 2009

23 Years ago yesterday.....Chernobyl...and

...this little girl was inside my belly, at the end of the first trimester. I normally would've travelled to the USSR, but for this trip went to Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia. I drank the milk, ate the salads, and the cows were dying nearby us from the winds coming from Chernobyl, in Ukraine, in the former Soviet Union where the worst nuclear disaster occurred.

But, we watch out, limiting x-rays  of any kind as much as possible, especially for her and for me.
And as you can see, here she is all grown up and gorgeous. She has been extremely good at mind over body in healing herself always. She is so motivated to be healthy for events or things that she wants to do, that her body follows suit. When she's had enough of , say a cold, she gets on and gets going, and gets it out of her. She's good and stubborn, like her parents:)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Artwork, Artwork, where art thou?

So I'm so visual, that I like posting pictures to go with the words. This is one of our paintings in our home that we snagged years ago, an oil painting. I like it.
This is a very simple Russian porcelain piece that I picked up 20+ years ago, that I always liked. And I'm not really a 'delicate' art person-ie. I don't like too many fragile , porcelain, etc. pieces. I'm drawn to folk art, and other unique pieces. But , I do like mixing styles, elegant next to rustic,etc...
This is a tambourine that I painted more than a few years ago, in the vintage style- kind of repro-like. You can't see the tamborine edges because of the cropping, but this guy is all hand painted, and I always liked him. I have quite a few Halloween art pieces that I love and put out , when I'm in the mood for decorating at Halloween. Lately, it's all quite a bit of work to pull all out, and put away every year. It's the stress from our family situation w/my hubby's lung cancer, and the lack of energy  from the Lyme.
This is a 3-D art piece that I made on an Ikea wood floor sample. She's raised, and the Russian words on the bottom, say Little Red Riding Hood, or 'Krasnaya Shapochka'-and you can see her little red hat. The grass is from Russian print. These pieces are a lot of quick fun. Great to make personalized pieces for birthdays, etc., using photocopies on other bodies.So, I 've been a bit frustrated because all week I've had so many errands and chores to do for the family, and now am under the weather, which rarely happens. Yet I still have to do the bills, etc, when all I want to do is relax and say, sew in bed, or settle in for some artwork. Thus the title...

Artwork, artwork, where art thou?

Pictures- Birthday, Anniversary, Easter... in no particular order...

Cheese Paskha during draining/folding in process (round)
Serge and friend Owen mixing Kulich (sweet bread), Paskha in cottage cheese container forms (Wooden forms not able to be used after many years usage now-w/out a proper form, I make them in these containers-new form hard to find , except one, which is very expensive)
Boys mixing yeast bread, Kulich

6 year old neighbor friend, Saxon, made and brought me this fish- isn't it adorable?
Strawberries just look so yummy in their bowl:)
Flowers to me & hubby from Lara & Serge

Baked Kulich with glaze

Flowers for our anniversary from Mark , Alex's boyfriend- Aren't they GORGEOUS?!!!
26 Flowers from Hubby for 26th Anniversary!!! Heavenly scent!!! 
Alex and Mark Easter Eve night, ready for Midnite serviceSerge w/best friend Owen (Serge has the long hair)-mixing Kulich dough

Bet you never thought that a grapefruit cake could taste good, right? Well, this is Ridgewell's Grapefruit Cake, which is to die for! Mark works for Ridgewell's, a high end catering place that even does White House Events. His dad used to be a student of Ken's years ago, and periodically would get us a cake. All are SUPERB, but this one is interesting because of the grapefruit. We remembered it, and I asked Mark about it, if they still made it. I got one for my birthday last year, and this year got another. Look at the size of this thing! Well, it's so light, and the grapefruit are sweet, and they top it off w/some pistachio nut slivers. But w/ the pistachio recalls, they just used almond slivers for this one. Makes a great breakfast meal-Oh , Yeah, that's right-tehe-fruit and yummy cake, w/a layer of a very light custard , w/buttercream on the outside.
What a fabulous batch of Kulich and Krendel' we were blessed with. This is the big kulich. It was so good, that there's nothing left after just a couple of days. I mean, it was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good! That's because of the great help I had in the kitchen.
Mark serving up cake, and Ken enjoying it, Easter day.

Larissa ready for Easter midnite service.
Alex ready to dive into the Paskha. She has to have it with her strawberries. Easter morning, I was woken up by her crying (yes crying) for the fresh strawberries. She didn't know where they were. She couldn't have her Paskha without her strawberries. This stuff is just THAT GOOD!!! Unique. I can guarantee that you've never tasted anything like it, if you haven't tried Cheese Paskha, and my grandmother's recipe for that matter.:)
Paskha and Strawberries, just haven't yet smoothed out the cheesecloth lines. Typically, the form that is used is a pyramid, with the top 'chopped off' look. And in days of old, they would hang the Paskha from the rafters in the chesse cloth. I had one that looked like that, because I had nothing else to use for a form, so I took our double fine mesh strainer, and placed it over a pot(hanging , so to speak). This is from the cottage cheese container form.
Miniature rose bush I got for my birthday!

The Results are in ! (in my daughter's voice-mostly:) ) I am SOOO Proud of Her!!!

"Cancer Awareness Ribbon Poster"
"Our campsite (Mark made the amazing poster)"

"Our team around the campsite"
"My friend Lauren and me (she was the chair who planned the whole event)"
"Emma, Sarah, Larissa, and Me"
So my daughter, Alex, along with her team including sister, good friends, boyfriend, had great results last month at her Alma-Mater's hosting of Relay for Life benefitting the American Cancer Society.

"Here is some info from the Towson Relay and some info about the upcoming Relay in Olney I am participating in through the Club(her work).

From Friday, March 27th to Saturday, March 28, Towson University hosted its 2nd Annual Relay for Life benefitting the American Cancer Society. Towson University raised a total of $50,526.96, and that number will continue to climb until August of this year. 

As a team captain this year, I was very proud of my team, "Hooked on Hope", who out of 72 teams , came in 3rd place OVERALL raising over our $2000.00 goal with $2858.21. Out of 794 participants I came in 2nd place overall for individual fundraising with a total of $1,130. 

The "Hooked on Hope" campsite came in 3rd place overall, with the rankings coming from the survivors who attended Relay for Life. I would like to thank all of my team members and everyone who donated to this great cause. The event was a success and a lot of fun.

I will be participating in another Relay for Life, Saturday, May 30 to Sunday, May 31 with team members from where I work, the Aspen Hill Club. This Relay for Life is being held in Olney, Maryland at Sherwood High School. If you would like to donate on behalf of myself or the Aspen Hill Club, please visit the Relay for LIfe website at: for my page and for the Aspen Hill Club's team page. THANK YOU!

If you have any questions, let me know. Alex"

Kreative Blog Award !!!

So, the lovely Nancy from Nancy's Never Enough Time  has awarded me the Kreative Blog Award ! Wow !  :) Thank you Nancy.

Nancy does great journaling pages and jewelry, and finds great blogs to check out. So check her out when you get a chance:)

Since I'm a bit under the weather ( actually brought on by gas getting all over my hands and blouse the other day, when a gas pump refused to shut off-talk about toxicity lowering one's immune system when one is running all over the world for their family!  ), I will pass on the passing out of awards. Just trying to keep my head above water:)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

XPUCTOC BOCKPECbE ! Christ is Risen ! Holy Paskha...

Christ is Risen ! to all those celebrating Eastern Orthodox Easter !

and... I'm a winner in Mica's apron giveaway!  She had the giveaway for her 300th post, and for her b-day. And our birthdays are 1 day apart. How cool is that ? :) 

Check out her great blogs at Garb-oodles Soup, or The Child's Paper to see the goodies that I won !! Mica is a fabulous artist. I just love her work!!!!! (enough exclamation marks here? :)  )  I'd love to take her class over at ZNE ConvenZioNE being held at the end of the month thru the beginning of May in Pleasanton, Ca.. Her little Poppet class is my favorite of all the classes. Wish I could go. Maybe you can, if you're in the area?

 Oh, I'm a Lucky Cat !!! for more Easter goodies. Our guests, (Mark, Alex's boyfriend, and Owen, Serge's best friend, came w/ us to midnite service at our tiny little church -a beautiful service). Delicious foods were had by all at the Agape breakfast, and in our blessed baskets.

Cheese Paskha and Kulich and Krendel' all came out deliciously, thank goodness, but will not last long I'm afraid, because they are such good batches. Serge and Owen helped make the sweet  breads. (It's a big job, and I made 2 batches, with 2 yeast packets). Couldn't have done it w/out them. I actually got to rest before church because of their help. Got to bed by 4:30, what with Agape breakfast afterwards.

Pictures to follow hopefully, when I get them from my daughter and her camera.

New beginnings! Spring ahead! Life awaits:)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Going to a Tea Party. Wanna' Come?

Run, run, run, personal prop. tax forms, grocery store, daughter to college, counsel good friend on phone,  Alison just came over, make signs,... and now  we're off to a Tea Party.We'll meet a bunch of friends there. Hope you will join us! :)

And look what I got in the mail from Jann at A Vintage Heart. Isn't she a doll? 2 ATCs, and they are just beautiful!!!! She said she wanted to send me one, and then she sent two! :) They are even more gorgeous in person!. ... Oh, I'm a Lucky Cat...!!!...!!! (It's like getting a birthday present in the mail:)    )

See you at the Tea Party!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's My Birthday, It's My Birthday!...and Happy Birthday Misha & Nicholas!!!

So I didn't work, and was able to sleep in. But of course, as is the tradition in our home, the cake and gifts come in the early hours before the first person has to leave the house. My son got up early and made me cupcakes.(I'm saving mine for after Easter). I fell back asleep after the singing, cake, and gifts.Lucky me- I'm not always able to sleep in.

This tradition started because my husband would come home late, and the little ones could not wait till say 10-or 11:00 at night to have cake and celebrate birthdays, so we decided to do it in the am, before Ken would go off for work.

And in my house growing up, we always sing Happy Birthday , whether it be over the telephone, in person... and we always sing, 'and many more...' at the end. And the birthday girl or boy has to make the first cut in the cake for good luck,  and that cut is for their own piece. 

Tradition- if it's a good one, keep it. If not, get rid of it!

Went for a yummy lunch at my friend Sevan's house. We celebrated both of our birthdays. Hers was the end of last month. Sevan makes great, tasty, super healthy foods. Since I'm doing Lent, I got really delicious vegan /Mediterranean style food.Yum! Yum! She also made me a gift, which I will post about later when I get pics.. The time she took to make it for me! Wow! and what a gorgeous and meticulous job she did! We had a great time giggling, laughing. Boy did that feel good:)

Not much on the art front today. But, check out my son. What do you think? Is it time for him to get a hair cut? Haha- he's getting one for Easter, much to his displeasure. 

He hates getting his hair cut. But Mom does the best job, and he  would always scream at me that I cut off too much. He is so lucky my hubby or daughters didn't do it, because they can kind of 'mess things up', and have. But he'd still yell-that is until sometime last year when we read him the riot act in no uncertain terms.

 It was such a thankless job to cut his hair. He would cry, I would cry because I really did a great job at cutting his hair 98% of the time, and just wanted him to be happy. I remember having to get my bangs cut short , growing up. I did NOT like short bangs. So I felt that I was rather understanding of the situation. I could cut one cm. of hair, and he would be upset.

Well, we were in Old Navy last year sometime, and a woman and her son came up to him and 'just had to tell him' what a great haircut he had. Of course, I smiled and told him to tell them 'who cut his hair'. He told them, and they couldn't say enough about it. The son was older than my son , and definately 'cool', so this went far, on my behalf. He can still complain, but , thank goodness that he's finally maturing over this.

There was just a knock at the door and look at the pretty flowers my neighbors brought! They're from Sandra, Saxon, and Simon. What sweeties!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I just joined Skype, through my brother's invitation and 'pushing' :). It is cool. You can talk to and see the other party half way around the world for free, when they also have Skype. You can also talk to landlines and cell phones. These cost, but are so very cheap!

Still learning the particulars on how to work it all. 

So in a week or two I'll finally get to meet my cute little nephew, who was born on my birthday almost 2 yrs. ago, in Russia. And I'll try calling my college graduate niece visiting in Australia-woohoocool!

Isn't my nephew a doll? :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Paskha Coming-Vegan foods for Lent

In the Christian Eastern Orthodox faith, Easter usually comes at a different time from Western Easter. Some years they fall on the same date. I was a Palm Sunday baby, which was very special for us.

This year Orthodox Easter, or Paskha, falls on the 19th of April. It is always after Passover, in respect of Passover.Lent for the Orthodox is not just giving up bubble gum. Lent is doing without dairy, meat, and for the stringent, even fish and certain oils such as olive oil. It's not easy, but with more Vegans around, it's easier to find more satisfying foods to replace those dairies and meats.

 The original Veganaise ,(non-dairy mayonaise substitute),is very good, and I use it at other times as well. However, it is more costly. It is in the refrigerator section of your health conscious grocery store. I also love the Nut-Thin products, which are also gluten -free for those dealing with that diet.

When you do without the dairies and meats, you are also to do without parties and celebrations,etc.. You are meant to think without the 'lusting' of things in life for which we 'lust', and are to become closer to Christ . Now, I don't know about those of you who celebrate Easter, but having the family follow all of the above, and more, can be very trying at times , to say the least. Tensions flaring because of lack of their favorite foods, in our family, can bring more stress than should be tolerated  under any circumstances. It is a balancing act.

 And under our circumstances today, I must watch our pocketbook very closely, so I do the best that I can. And often, when it has been hard for us to follow fully, we especially go the last week or two to the ingredient. Then when the Agape breakfast, (Paskhal breakfast after midnit service), comes, it is oh, so wonderful. It is a new beginning.

It is difficult to explain to a child why Christ died on the Cross, and why one must strive to be more Christ like, for a Christian, and in our case, an Orthodox individual. Easter for the Orthodox, is the most special holiday of the year. And in my house growing up, it was just that. Midnite services start around 11:30, and right before midnite, chanting starts and all the lights and candles go out except for one in the altar. When Paskha comes, one candle  , (the never-ending light),lights another, and another, until all the candles in the church are lit like the stars in the sky. Then the priest, and others participating in the altar area proceed down the middle aisle with icons,etc... They are followed by the choir, and then the parishioners. If the weather is good, we go outside and circle the church. 

While growing up, we circled 3x. Everything is always in 3's in the Eastern Orthodox church,(for Father, Son, Holy Spirit, for those who may not know). Many of the OCA(Orthodox Church of America) churches-there are differences in believers-now only circle the church once, much to my personal dissatisfaction. The circling in the dark of night, hovering with our hands about our candles to not go out in the wind of the night, the singing of the choir, is quite beautiful. In fact, the Orthodox Paskha midnite service is frequented by many guests, as it is full of beautiful ritual, and very moving. Orthodoxy, remember, has been around since the beginning of the Christian faith.

After circling, everyone stops in front of the church doors and all sing Christ is Risen ...! You will find many a priest banging on the doors in exubilation, shouting Christ is Risen/Khristos Voskryesye!/Khristos Aneste! The people respond, Indeed/(Truly) He is Risen/Vo Istyinu Voskryesye!/Alithos Aneste! (Eng., Russian, and Greek). Many OCA churches are pan-Orthodox, and as such will sing it/call it out in multiple languages for all those in attendance. This will go on for a time, as everyone starts to kiss one another 3x, back and forth on the cheeks- one saying that Christ is Risen!, and the other responding, while kissing,that Indeed He is Risen!

Growing up in our parish on Long Island, we sought out our family as soon as possible to make this greeting, with great joy; and with many others  along the way. It was a great way of kissing the cute boys! :)HaHa- or vice versa, I imagine:). My father sung in the choir, my Mom always sat somewhere in the front, , my brothers would either be in the choir also, or standing at the back of the church, and while little, my sister and I would sit/stand on the stairs to the choir loft.( Later we would stand at the back of the church mostly, as I do with my family now). Occasionally fizzling a strand of hair of the other with our candles. Oops! Did I say that??:) We were such good little girls!

After the circling procession, you try to keep the candle lit till you come home. Then you make the sign of the cross on the upper doorways throughout the house, to further bless the house.My Mom always tried to do this, and would. It is very hard to keep the flame going, while in services, and then at the huge breakfast that follows. You just relight the candle if it goes out.

After the lengthy Easter service, we go to the church hall, wait for the priest and any special guests to bless the food that the sisterhood and others have prepared for the feast. Everyone would bring something special. On Long Island, there were so many people, that the lines to get food are so long. Sometimes we'd miss out on the special something that we brought to share. And we fill our baskets with all kinds of special foods, the main ones being the Cheese Paskha, and the Kulich or Krend'el'.

 The baskets are blessed also, with the Agape breakfast food. Kulich is a sweet Russian yeast bread that takes 3 x's to rise before baking ,(unless one uses the quick rise yeast, which I do not like for the Kulich). Krend'el' is a huge cinnamon roll made out of the very same Kulich 'tyesta', or dough. My Mom made the best Kulich, but never used a recipe. That's how I've learned to make it. Although, some years are better than others:). It has a long shelf life, and is so satisfying. It is also very rich, for you will use the finest foods for Paskha and its celebration.

 My grandmother made the best Cheese Paskha in all the land. It is a delicately sweet dessert made with pure, rich dairies to make a special Cheese dessert that is molded, then refrigerated. I love mine plain, and eaten with strawberries, and/or spread on Kulich/Krend'el'.(Some people mix nuts or fruits inside,which to me just doesn't cut it). My sister would call it cheese ice cream. But there is NOTHING else like it. 

It is a cherished family heirloom recipe that I own. I say own, because when my grandmother died while I was in 3rd grade, I took over the making of the Cheese Paskha, which takes a bit of expertise. We were all concerned to carry on this most delicious of traditions. My good friend,  Barbara, while growing up, used to tell me that it was her most favorite food. In fact, she asked me for the recipe recently, but I had to deny it, as it stays in the family, until I publish and copyright it. It is that special. Any family member who asks for the recipe must promise not to release it, not even to a church cookbook.

So, back to why it is mine, so to speak- even though it is most obviously my grandmother's. (Also the best grandmother that I could ever have had. Alas, she passed away at 59, way too young for such a special soul- a truly remarkable individual, as  my father was). So, that first year of making the Paskha, my Dad (and family) helped, but I was most definately the ringmaster of the ritual. After that first year, I did it by myself, with limited help from others. I would always get some help, but it was surely not consistent. 

So , you see, I was the one , at such an early age, who continued the tradition. I was, and continue to be a stickler for accuracy and cleanliness in the entire process, much to others' chagrin at times. Definately the taskmaster.So, I've been making it for about 42 years now, and as such, have even been making it longer than my beautiful grandmother did. I guard the recipe carefully.:)

And in all my life, I have found no other Cheese Paskha, or Kulich for that matter, to rival our family's. Some have come close, but none compare. They are that special.

I meant to just tell you about our yummy Easter foods, but digressed a bit. There is really so much more. One goes to confession during the year. But if one goes only once, and one should, in the Orthodox faith, at least go once during the year, one must go before Paskha, so that they can partake of Communion on Easter morning. My father tried so hard to be such a good individual, especially during Lent, and especially after confession. He was such a good example of an  unconditionally loving father that I could ever have had. He passed away at 52, which I am turning next Tuesday.

I feel that those who have come before us, even in generations way in the past, help to make who we truly are today. I feel that striving to be a decent human being will help our great-grandchildren and others in our families to be better individuals. And I feel that lives lived well, will help to make lives lived later in families to be easier in some respects. Maybe the 'some respects' are blessings. They may not be evident as blessings, but they surely are. I feel that maybe , with all our hardships, we are truly the lucky ones.


Workshop Coming Up, Tax Time, and Running around a bit...

Here are some backs of little fabric ornaments. I grommet the top, then give it a nice vintage rayon ribbon. I seal the pictures/paper with Diamond Glaze or similar glazing product. These are not yet glazed or finished. These are atc size- about 2 1/2x 3 1/2in.Here are a slew of them. I trimmed them up after sewing. They are not yet finished. When done, they have their own vellum envelopes. Just some more catch-up work.

Sorry I haven't been posting much. I've been doing little itty bitty artwork catch-ups,running around, and getting ready for taxes-Yuk- Does anyone like them? Also had company. 

My sister-in-law and nephew came , spent the night. We watched Australia. I was almost feeling quilty, spending the time to watch a 2 3/4 hr. movie, which took nearly 5 hrs. because of phone calls in between (regarding hubby's  aunt with liver cancer). But the movie was good, and worth it, so I got over that one! I don't know why they call it a chick flick, because it was pretty accommodating to what lots of men like- shootemup, bad guys, fires, war.The kissy scenes were actually far and few between, but very appropriate. There was one curse word.

What do you think I should do with the above little fabric collages? Ornaments as described, tags, cards, or even covers to little books, atcs....