Saturday, 1 September 2018

Of a few random thoughts

All is a journey! We are on the road to Eternity. We are made this way. The mind is so slow to grasp but the heart knows the truth and when the heart finds the truth there is not much to do but rest there, feel the relief and explore. But more carefully this time. The soul has no desire to get lost again. This time is different.There is  a Light to be followed( The Son of God, no less God Himself) and lots and lots of help( Panagia/The Holy Mother and the Angels and the Saints and the Holy Spirit and the Holy Fathers). All there, to guide, to strenghten, to pamper the Soul whatever it takes!

All is there to help, the key word is to ask for the help. To do so, the need must be felt first. The need for help, the realisation that we humans don't have all the answers. But we feel the pain, the loss, the need for something ...of a different nature!

The Beauty that  surrounds us manifests something of ...a different nature

The endless blessings of everyday life are not to be taken for granted or with a light heart. There is a responsibility in the heart for all abundance. It is to share and provide for those in need. I so lack in both.
But I recognise for the first time how  thankfulness for what I have been allowed  is the first step to sharing.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Of things, shelfishness and teenagers

Domestic bliss seems to be bringing along all kinds of nice things like a sudden bolt of creative energy which was well hidden for endless months. I feel the need to make specific times each day to create something,be it photograph things or activities around the house as they happen or sometimes stage a certain photo, something new to me. Also, along crochet which is a long lasting love, I have developed an appreciation for plants or even flowers and I make baby steps at photographing the decor in the rooms of my house.
While I cooked yesterday, I noticed the camera very close to me  and the light streaming through 2 windows and I felt the need to create, to document what was happening so I took the first photo abovr of the  fresh, green beans. Then, I looked around and saw all kinds of beautiful to me objects which I gathered and placed on the kitchen countertop. You can see the backstage on the third photo and the actual result on the second. 

On another note, I have found great relief on the trend ( it will fade sooner than later)of minimalism as from my everyday experience I realised how much more easier and effective it is to keep clean and tidy a house that has very little. It sits so well, with the Orthodox christian way of life,too. The realisation that nothing belongs to us, that all gifts of life and all good things are given to us, had an immediate effect on me , that I  should not place so much value to possessions and the things I own. I should respect and use them ,yes, but not stick to material things and never accumulate stuff. What happens is that I get possessed by stuff and I want more, let alone I have difficulty in sharing and  on a practical level to organise and keep tidy.
 Anyway, I try to keep at least the bedroom free of clutter.

I was thinking the other day that having plants to take good care of is a good way to distract myself ....from myself. I tend to give too much priority to my ...wants and can be totally self absorbed thus loosing contact and connection with my significant others. Taking care of people and animals( our cat) and plants is a good exercise for I don't be so selfish.

And yes, the "do not enter "phase has officially arrived! Lady M reminds me so much of myself and I still hate to admit it but I remind me so much of my mother!!! It's nice to see her explore her independence but she is difficult to be around many times and I don't always behave like my grown up self. However, when the storm goes away, comes the time of peace and then lessons are learned and promises are made for better behaviour next time.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Of domestic bliss

Domestic bliss is how I would call my life at the moment. I feel protected and sheltered in the 4 walls of my new built house and I happily take care of my family's everyday needs. I cook for them, I tidy and beautify the rooms as inspiration drives me, I  take good care of my few plants, I am present when family talks to me, I read the Scriptures for guidance and inspiration, I pray and try to be the best version of myself. It's not a self imposed isolation out of fear for the outside world. I just relax and enjoy simple everyday things under the presense of God. I ask for His help, I keep His word in my mind when I do simple mundane tasks I give thanks and I rejoice in the warmth, hope and security I feel in my heart.
A couple of times per week I visit the super market and the local shops, the farmers market everyWednesday and I often go to church ( very close to my house) for Vespers, on Sunday,too. Husband works long hours,middle son helps him most of the day and then hangs out with friends( age 17). The older son (19)is in the army and will be for about 5 months more. The young lady (15)is mostly busy being a teenager but also helps and tries to behave most of the times.
My sister in law her daughter and my father in law live next door and are present in our life daily sort of an extended family. 
I fully enjoy this period partly because I know that the balance I have now will be disrupted when the school starts and I have to go back to work. It will then be some uphiveal before things settle down again but in a different more autumnal way.

However, I manage to squeeze a bit of crochet time in the busy domestic bliss sschedule. Most times the little time I spend just makes me hungry for more. I am busy putting together a couple of pillows for my new couch. It's not very Scandinavian style this overflow of colors but it will fit in nicely.

The crochet flowers is an old project but I grabbed the chance to photograph and the unfinished circles will be table coasters ...soonish. I found the tutorial for the ripple pillow case in one of my favorite crochet blogs Attic24 and it's a pure delight to choose and mix the color sequence to my desire! I feel like a painter! I love how all of those projects come nicely together although made at different times.

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Speaking of different times, this is how I have put the crochet flowers in good use a few years ago!

      I leave you with a few photos my girl took. She has a soft spot for photographing objects! And the quote that speaks to her teenage heart is a good one to have in mind when things don't go according to our will!!!

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Of decoration,simplicity and commitment

I have a feeling that a little bit of introducing will take place the next couple of weeks. It will follow a random rythm. Nothing regular, programmed or planned. I'm not that kind of person. So bare with me !Here we go
 I  am not known to be a person to commit and frankly this starts getting at me so badly. I most of the time start something only to lose my passion for it a bit later and drop it all together after a while. This has been true for me when...learning foreign languages, going to the gym, blogging, jogging,making jewellery, sewing,keeping the house in order,writing journals,keeping friendships alive, praying, reading books, educating myself on something name it.
My lack of commitement seems to be intergrated with me big time that's why I can't shake it off easily. It feeds on some of my not so good traits. It feeds  on my perfectionism, on my laziness, on my impatience, on my selfishness, lack of practicality to name the few I have recognised and am certain about. 

There is one area though that my lack of commitment strangely if you ask me, doesn't appy and this is my crochet projects! For some reasons unknown, I seem to complete every crochet project I have taken on until now! I have only realised this just today while thinking what to write about in this blog post. Hooray for blogging! 
A crazy idea starts forming in my head to try collect and photograph all my crochet projects and present them to you but due to my lack of commitment... I don't promise.
However, if crochet is immune to my lack of commitment then photographing my crochet projects might be as well! Let's raise the suspence levels! Shall we?

Speaking of photographing my crochet projects ...I have already photographed two for you in this blogpost. What a nice coincidence!

The first black and white small carpet is a project of the previous summer when my love for minimal scandinavian style in interion design started. It was the first time I developed an interest in graphic forms and although I didn't... commit to this style I still like the simplicity of it.

However, as it turned out this scandinavian style love that I developed looking at noumerous pictures on Pinterest( translates to many lost hours)doesn't seem to apply to how my bedroom turned out. The bedroom I see in the photo below looks more country like traditional style than minimal scandinavian.. Anyway, I love yet again the simplicity of it and the lack of stuff. You see the bedroom we just left was a huge well lit room that served as a home office area/lounge area.In addition the room had a big closet and a big chest of drawers. Now add  the peripheral mess flat areas attract and the occassional shelving unit and there you have . The chaos that my previous bedroom was.
But this one is like so easy to the eye, so calming, so without clutter that makes my heart jump with relief. The walk in closet and the absense of a home office plus that I have done a massive decluttering session( took me a year before the move ) all helped to the above result.

On another note, most days roll easily and stress free while the blazing heat is a permanent feature that doesn't allow for much action anyway! The  word that speaks music to my ears lately has been simplicity. Simple, nurishing meals and simple pleasures like coffee and icecream with a glass of fresh iced water served on my crochet beauty seem to do the trick for me these days!

I am working on my praying corner which I plan to fit somewhere in the walking closet area. When I figure out how I want it to be I will photograph for you, some time soon, I promise.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Settling some more

It so happens  today that  I'm writing this post to be a big celebration for Orthodox Christians in Greece. It is called the Dormition of Panagia. Panagia, Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ has been a major figure/influencer if I can say so, in my life the last few years. I struggled to let myself open up to her wisdom but the good things that came out of having Her as a leading figure in my life surpassed my objections and the feeling that it is not cool to built  a relation with someone I don't see and maybe never existed. You probably know what I mean.

So, the previous 15 days leading to the celebration I went to Vespers as often as I could to listen and maybe dare sing along to hymns that ask for Her help , protection and give thanks for her presence in the world and the many miracles she has performed to ease the pain of humanity as well as the countless blessings. There is nothing like having a busy day but at the end of it to know to whom to give blessings and whom to ask for help. To know your place in the grand scheme and to have a purpose in this life as well as prepare for the next. And all these engolfed by sweetness, happiness, blessings and a sense of strength and endurance. 
A new found attitude as dear Elizabeth wisely points out to go through life's troubles and not get stuck by them!
I was so blessed this summer with a new house and now that the moving  part is behind me I try to establish my routines in the new house. I am a bit behind with burning insense (oh! how I love the smell of it and how the smoke goes up through the small holes. The sound of the burning coal and the golden color and soft shape of insense holder( livanistiri) It is such a reassuring spiritual routine a helpful reminder to count my blessings.

I am also terribly behind baking this special bread (prosforo) . It's an act of recognition for all the blessings I have received and I bring it to the church as often as I can on the Saturday evening Vespers. The central part of prosforo is to be used on Sunday for the preparation of Holly Communion and the rest to be given to people after the Divine Liturgy.

However, it's not all spiritual happenings in this household. There is a big deal of hard work and physical activity. There is a lot of cooking /baking to be done to feed hungry demanding family members who have been at work all day as well a lot of cleaning/tidying and maintaining a big house.
Therefore laziness, idle wanderings, daydreaming and postponing have to be aknowledged as problems and obstacles to meaningful happiness. Not only aknowledged but addressed as well. A brand new house asks for  a lot more responsibility. The plus side is that a new house is so much easier to clean.
Thus my cleaning motto lately is that I don't clean the dirt but I keep clean what is already clean! It has shifted my cleaning mentality big time! ( Miss Ms carefully nail painted  hands are stuffing the vegetables with the most delicious risotto, a traditional Greek recipie called domates gemistes/stuffed tomatoes)

I might have bored you with my new house, I'm not bragging it's just what my life is about at the moment. After all it's that many times in my life that I have moved in a brand new house, the last one being when I was 6 years of age!

 This gives me the right to keep it seems to me that a new house has something to do with bringing up new aspects of my personality... like a newborn love and appreciation for plants and flowers. Flowers, I haven't ventured yet but I was more than willing to let a couple of plants to enter my house and sweetly/graciously invade my everyday life. I don't mind the deal at all. I give them a bit of water and they offer so much beauty in exchange!( My non-minimalist mum cross stiched the hunting scene on the back of the plants in previous photo).

As much as I want to hang out here more I better address the issues mentioned before and get started with my housework! But I promise to be back with more photos .