Thursday, July 26, 2012

First Fruits

"When Adam gardened, he imitated his Maker in a purely recreative act of cultivation and care. He did not need to subdue the earth in order for it to yield fruit. Rather, the plants were Adam's palette, and the earth was his canvas. There was nothing but delight in the Garden, for Eden itself means "garden of delight." 
- Vigen Guorian

Thanks to the great and admirable labors of my mother, our garden yielded its first fruits. Professor Guorian describes gardening as being an endeavor that acts toward the restoring our senses as well as blessing and sanctifying the earth given to us. 

In cultivating the earth may we also learn to cultivate our souls. 

A Prayer of Thanksgiving for Creation

O God, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen:
You place us in your creation, and you com- mand us to care for it.
Your works declare glory and splendor, and you call us to praise and reverence.
Where we have degraded or destroyed earth’s bounty, forgive us.
Where we have taken beauty and majesty for granted, have mercy upon us.
Where we have become estranged from the creatures with whom we share this planet, grant us your peace.
Renew us in the waters of baptism,
refresh us with the winds of your spirit,
and sustain us with the bread of life.
In the name of Jesus Christ, and for the sake of the new creation, we pray. Amen.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Full & Special Day

Vespers at Holy Theophany Parish in CO Springs:

A stop at my favorite coffee/book store: Agia Sophia

Dark chocolate espresso cake (made by my amazing mother) and delicious coffee ice-cream at this creamery.

Friday, July 13, 2012

An Ode to the Beverage of the Century

It is known by many various names and variations. Java, joe, iced, hot, light, dark ...

Oh glorious coffee.

Can you feel the warmth of the mug? Smell the dense aroma rising? Taste the richness on your tongue?

Coffee has served as a constant companion of many and sees us through many trials. (Deadlines, exams, classes, finals ..!!! Just to name a few)

But then, Summer comes - and as many of your coffee fanatics may agree, iced coffee is often less than satisfactory. Rather than rich and robust it is flat out watery and bland.

But no need to fear my dear coffee lovers! Summer days can indeed be completed with refreshing yet robust java!

A dear friend of mine shared this link with me and it has since restored my love for coffee - even iced. Check it out for yourself.

Here is a documentation of my own variation on this genius idea:

Step One:

Measure out you desired amount of freshly grounded coffee bean and put into a mason jar or some other type of container. (I measure out about 2 Tbsp./ 1 cup of water)

Step Two: 

Stir this delightful concoction, while noting its intense aromatic quality.

Step Three:

Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours - I like to do mine over night. (The patience will pay off!)

Step Four:

After the time has passed and the coffee has settled, place a strainer or cheesecloth over a separate container and pour the mixture.

The remains. I would suggest throwing them in your compost pile or garden is you have it. 

Step Five:

Throw in a could of ice cubes and prepare as desired. I like to add some frothed almond milk and agave nectar to mine. Other variations may include a splash of half and half, some raw sugar, stevia, etc. And for the boldest among us: just drink it black and take in the full goodness of the flavor.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Photo Friday: Red, White, and Blue

And because I couldn't help myself ... 

'American Dream' by Switchfoot

When success is equated with excess
The ambition for excess wrecks us
As top of the mind becomes the bottom line 
When success is equated with excess

If your time ain't been nothing for money 
I start to feel really bad for you, honey 
Maybe honey, put your money where your mouth's been running 
If your time ain't been nothing but money

I want out of this machine
It doesn't feel like freedom

This ain't my American dream
I want to live and die for bigger things 
I'm tired of fighting for just me 
This ain't my American dream

'Cause baby's always talkin' 'bout a ring 
And talk has always been the cheapest thing 
Is it true would you do what I want you to 
If I show up with the right amount of bling?

Like a puppet on a monetary string
Maybe we've been caught singing
Red, white, blue, and green
But that ain't my America,
That ain't my American dream

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Without Rain

Father Paul S. Fedec

“O Lord Almighty, who has scattered the clouds over all the ends of the Earth; we ask that You create a tempest with rain, send forth the wind from your Heavenly Treasury, gather the waters from the seas and let them pour down upon the face of this Earth, for it is in You alone that we have great hope.

We acknowledge our sins and weaknesses, and we humbly ask for Your mercy.  Command the clouds to provide the rain that will re-freshen the land on which we stand.  Be kind and merciful to the Elderly and the Young, to all of Your servants, and to all the animals of the Earth; for it is only with moisture that we are able to grow food for ourselves and for our animals.

Receive the prayers of all Your people, O Lord; do not deny us of Your Grace, neither ignore us in Your anxiety, nor punish us in Your anger, but accept our prayers as from creatures in need.

All of our eyes are turned to You, O God, and it is our firm hope that You will be merciful to Your people and that You will be generous in granting rain that is necessary to restore this parched land to its fullness.

We ask this in the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ.