Catching up


I know that Mimi in Seattle is the only one of my readers who will appreciate the significance of most of this section, and I apologize to the rest of you, but this stuff is important to me.

Great Lent pretty much came and went this year, such a contrast to previous years. I am so disappointed with the Byzantine parish here that it did not often seem worth the effort of a 110-minute round trip drive for a 90-minute Divine Liturgy on Sunday mornings -- let alone the weeknight services.

Weekly confession is finished 30 minutes before liturgy starts (at Holy Transfiguration, confessions start during orthros and often continue into the beginning of liturgy), which would mean getting to church an hour early and trying to keep the boys under control for a half hour of sitting and waiting. Not feasible. There was a confession service after Divine Liturgy last week, but he brought in Roman Catholic priests, who were clueless about the Eastern rite and did confession the Roman way. I didn't go. Even worse, one of the stations for confession was BEHIND the altar, BEHIND the iconostasis: I was truly shocked.

There was a foot-washing service on Great Thursday -- a lovely Western tradition, but totally alien to the East -- instead of the Service of the Twelve Gospels. I look forward to the Twelve Gospels all year long, and I couldn't bring myself to go to the footwashing.

On Great Friday, we drove up to Phoenix so we could go to the Melkite parish (an hour and 45 minutes away), and I was SO GLAD. Singing the Lamentations, processing with the epitaphios -- everything was so "right" (dare I say it? orthodox!). I fully intended to go back up to Phoenix for the midnight hajmi and Divine Liturgy, but I was so tired by late afternoon, that I didn't trust my ability to drive safely home at 1:30 a.m. Oh, to be only 15 minutes away from church again!

Add in that the preaching is pathetic -- half the sermon time is spent on announcements and commentary -- and I am utterly disenchanted (distraught) with Tuscon parish. I intend to take the boys to Phoenix at least once a month. Maybe I'll be able to combine it with a visit with the Phoenix widoweds on Saturday, sleeping on someone's couch.

All the complaining aside, I would be remiss if I didn't exult in the glory of the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior: CHRIST IS RISEN! CHRISTOS ANESTI! AL-MASIHU QAM! Yes, Christ is Indeed Risen, even though I didn't make it to church to welcome Great and Glorious Pascha.


The boys are doing well -- Rock has continuing behavior issues at school, which is so frustrating because he KNOWS what is expected of him and he makes a conscious CHOICE to continue with his bad behavior. HardPlace may be turning his academics around: I sure hope so.

My sister, Jane, is now a grandmother! Her middle son's girlfriend delivered a gorgeous baby boy two weeks ago. The entire family is besotted with this little miracle -- and we're hoping a wedding isn't too far off in the future. I'll put pictures up at some point.

I have some personal issues with Jane. We get along wonderfully and like each other and enjoy each other's company and love each other, but there's been stuff that either pisses me off royally or hurts my feelings deeply (or both). Details in another post.

The BEST family news is that Mother is now more than halfway through this chemotherapy protocol -- six 3-week cycles -- and she is doing well. She is unbearably sick through the first week of the cycle, and miserable through the second week; by the third week, she feels pretty good -- just in time for it to start all over again. BUT ... her cancer-marker count is WAY down. It started somewhere in the upper 80s and is now down to the lower 30s. That's huge! and evidence that the treatment is working, that all this misery is not for nothing.


I don't have any here in Tucson, and I am really lonely, miserably lonely. Taina called from Bosnia last week, and it was SO good to talk to her and hear her voice. The time change of the rest of the country -- Arizona doesn't change the clocks -- has really screwed things up, because the East Coast is now 3 hours ahead of me. By the time the boys are in bed it's 11:30 - 12M in Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, which is unreasonably late to expect to talk on the phone or play pogo. Sigh.


Beata is coming tonight! She and her son arrive late late and will be here until Monday. HardPlace and her son have been best friends since they were babies, and the boys are as excited to see each other as she and I are. Beata has never been to Arizona before, so we'll drive up to the Grand Canyon, by way of Sedona and Montezuma's Well and other wonderful places.

It will be so good for my soul to have Beata around, to have laughter and love and friendship.


I haven't been much in the mood lately, and I know you all understand, and I appreciate that you still come around to see what I have to say.

Mabula Game Reserve

Well the long weekend has come and gone... and what a weekend it has been.

All started with My Coke Fest and ended with a relaxing weekend away with Lerika and friends to a private house in Mabula Game Reserve.

The house was amazing and the view was like something out a magazine.

We spent our days eating, drinking, lazing in the jacuzzi and game spotting (game spotting was done from the deck with a sporing scope hehehe)

And nights were spent eating, drinking, lazing in the jacuzzi and listening to Stew's GREAT jokes :P

All in all it was a great weekend.

Number 3 Naka Sanga

Only took photos in the morning so was a bit misty... as soon as i get some taken by other people i will upload them as well.

My Coke Fest 2008

Easter weekend is here and the weekend has started off with a huge bang, My coke Fest 2008 was AMAZING. There there were so many good international bands, too many to even start describing. Bands like 30 seconds to mars, KoRn, Muse, Good Charlete.... the list goes on and on.

Im off to a private game park today, its near mabula i think.. should be some great relaxing time with Lerika and friends.



Trip to the ZOO

A bunch of us woke up in the morning and thought it would be a nice day to visit the PTA ZOO, So we all jumped in the car and headed down there.

Was a great day out and we saw so many cool animals.

Wez shat himself in the cable car as he is not one for heights or for small spaces but we finally got him up there. We then proceeded to rip him off about it the whole day.

Sharks vs Bulls

Being the true supportes we were we headed off to the rugby despite the rain, The game was great and fun was had by all. (sharks won :D)

After the rugby we all walked from the stadium to the Square for a few beers.

and the kids love it.

The snow does make everywhere look nice though, these houses are opposite ours, that's the posh side of the street.

It's no joke

This is our back garden, we got the table out last weekend, in case Easter weekend was nice!

You want to complain

I must apologise for not posting much, but the weather has been awful recently, so no day trips, and therefore no photos. I've also got a temporary new job dealing with complaints and boy do people know how to complain. Still it's the Easter weekend, so 4 days off, but the forecast aint good.

Take a deep breath

B's post yesterday was achingly beautiful, haunting me all day. It made me want to cry, but there were no tears, just a deep yearning.

She dreamed of her Joe, singing to her; she loved hearing his voice again, and she didn't want to wake up. I so want to hear Nick's voice, his singing, his laughing. I actually do have a few recordings, but they are only his voice and likeness -- he's not really there. I want to be in the room with him, hearing the richness of his love and life.

I sat in the shower last night, thinking about b's dream and the dreams I have not had. (I've written before that I've only dreamed of Nick once since he died -- and it was more amusing than anything else.) I thought about how much I want to see Nick again, to hear his singing. How nice it would be to dream of him. But what then? What would I do with that dream? Would it mean anything to me? Or would it leave me with a fresh emptiness, wistful that I -- like b -- had to wake up?

I did dream about Nick as he lay dying: It was a powerful dream, and I won't share it here. I thought about that dream as I sat in the shower, choking on tearless sobs. I think that dream is the only one of him that I will ever need: It was a loving assurance that he's waiting for me, that one day I will step into a bright light and find him again. ***oh, god, now the tears, the tears *** I think that is why I don't dream of Nick or get "signs" from him: I have within me all that I need to live my life, to live it well and with contentment.

Some say that love -- after the first blissful fall into love -- is a decision, that in our relationships we are presented moments when we decide whether or not we are going to love this person. In a like manner, it would seem that life is a decision. We move through our lives in a more or less direct path from birth to death; yet we have moments when we have to decide to live, and not just to move along the path of days and weeks and months and years.

I am at the cusp of such a moment, and I find that it's not a moment of crisis. It simply IS.

I have within me all that I need to live my life, to live it well and with contentment.
I need to live my life, to live it well and with contentment.
I CAN live my life, live it well and with contentment.
I have within me all that I need to live my life, to live it well and with contentment.
I have within me all that I need to live my life.
I have within me all that I need.
I WILL live my life, live it well and with contentment.

And now, I do the only thing I can: Take a deep breath and step gently into the next moment.


I've figured out why I haven't posted much lately.

It's not that I've been depressed -- I was, but not so much anymore. It's not that I've been busy -- I have been, but what else is new?

It's nothing.

It seems as though I am feeling nothing and thinking nothing. Which doesn't leave me a whole lot to write about other than that I spilled half a jug of juice on the kitchen floor.

I recognize the inherent contradiction in this post: that to have realized I'm thinking and feeling nothing means that I'm thinking. Nonetheless, this last week and more, I haven't been thinking or feeling anything. Just existing, moving through the daily paces of this life. I don't even know if I feel bored or tired or if I'm waiting for a change or what.

I just am.

Daddy's Gone

We like this a lot at the moment.

It's a boy thing

I taught him everything.


On Sunday we went to the local park to feed the ducks, but they were outnumbered by the gulls and pigeons, so we fed them instead.

Since my last post

I have
  • Sorted, collated, and filed 6 months of bills, receipts, financial statements
  • Reconciled 3 months of bank and credit card statements
  • Assembled everything the CPA needs to prepare my taxes
  • Finished reading one book and started another
  • Made 3 pounds of clay for HardPlace to build a volcano for school
  • Made 3 more pounds of clay so Rock could build a volcano (because why should HardPlace have all the fun?)
  • Put 400 miles on the odometer, just doing the usual stuff around town
  • Filed about 1/8 inch of callous off my feet because a crack got so deep it hurt
  • Given serious thought to just cutting off my hair
  • Listened to my sister vent about my mother; listened to my mother vent about my sister; wondered whom the hell I get to vent to
  • Tried to remember to breathe, just breathe
I've enjoyed sitting in silence this last week, not trying to articulate anything. I've NEEDED to sit in silence. I deeply appreciate the public and private expressions of concern and compassion, and I've felt a bit guilty about them.

As I wrote to a friend, I'll get through this rough period. Because that's what I do. And the rough period is passing, and I'm getting through it.

Kids tell it like it is

Wifey was away at the weekend, went to a hen weekend in Birmingham. The first meal I cooked for Harry at his request was hot dogs, but he refused to eat them as they weren't like mummy makes them. On Sunday I cooked a fantastic omelette for lunch, I asked Katie what she thought, she replied,"it's ok but mummy would've done it better". Thanks kids.

The tortoise and the cat

So, the tortoise comes out of hibernation and immediately takes up residence on the cats cushion, what's a cat to do?


For those of you who know the Humber as a dirty brown river, here's an alternative view.

Bittern yay!

Whilst away I saw my first Bittern, it's only taken me 25 years to0 see one.

Where you been boy?

I have been to a dark place, but I return fitter and healthier. So the blog is back, leaner and hungrier and wifey has been dumped (not literally) for showing no interest whilst I was "away". If for some strange reason you wish to comminicate with wifey you will find her on facebook if you look hard enough (me too for that matter).
Sometimes I just don't have anything to say, and surely being silent is better than being boring.

Thank you for checking in on and up on me.

2:30 a.m.

Sleepless nights again
I just want someone to hold --
Hold me while I cry.