Saturday, May 17, 2014

Focus on Life: playing catch-up Weeks 15 through 20

If you're looking for the Bead Soup Blog Party #8 - please click here!

Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime is hosting the 2nd year of 'Focusing on Life'; for 2014 Sally is providing a monthly theme, with a more fine-grained focus each week of the month.

I had a crazy April and so far May too - so my last submission has been week 14. Back then we were still in April, focusing on moments.

I did lots of focusing, really, as the following week I had 2 presentations, 1 project, 1 assignment, and 2 reports due :) That was on the school-side. Not counting the fact Easter was approaching and the house needed some cleaning and the kitchen needed baking and cooking and egg colouring and... Well, you know how it goes.

So back to focusing.

Week 15: A moment of focus

Week 15: A moment of focus ~ Focus on traditions and Light :: All Pretty Things

With the Easter fast approaching - that was my primary focus. The Light. I love Easter, it is by far my favourite religious Holy day. I had an interesting philosophical conversation with William: what is more important, Christmas or Easter? For us, as Orthodox Christians, the main focus is always on Easter. Yes, we need Christmas (Nativity) for all to follow, but Easter (Resurrection) is what defines us. So we focused simply on the Light that was brought to us. And what you see there is the Light brought from church the night of Easter. There are no candles lit before midnight, at midnight everybody gets outside the church, in the cool night. The priest is the last to come out of the church, and he brings The Light outside, the message of Christ's Resurrection in the symbolic lit candle. The closest person to him light their own candle from the main one (and one from another after that) until everybody holds a lit candle in their hand. The sermon is being held outdoors, and after a short procession around the church we can now all enter the church, bringing the special message "Christ is risen!" with the answer "Truly, He is risen!".

Week 16: A moment best captured in black and white

Week 16: A moment best captured in black and white ~ Lucky, our chocolate lab :: All Pretty Things

Our chocolate lab, Lucky. She's a true lady in this picture - I am happy she let me take it (she's not camera shy, but she doesn't like to pose, like our 2 German Shepherds before her!). Isn't she adorable?

Week 17: Evening moments

Week 17: Evening moments ~ a boy and his dog :: All Pretty Things

From the 'A boy and his dog' series: this is a true evening moment: William watching something on TV before bed, with his hand on the above-mentioned dog :)

That concludes the 'Moments' month, April.

For May Sally picked the 'In, At, and About' theme.

We start with Week 18: In your (their) hands

Week 18: In your (their) hands ~ William handling Egyptian artifacts at the ROM :: All Pretty Things

First in their hands: we went on a school trip at the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) with both Grade 5 classes. The focus of the trip was Ancient civilizations and the trip had 3 parts: about 2 hours of roaming freely through the museum, then 1 hour in a lab, working on Egyptian artifacts, and 1 hour with a guide, in the Egyptian exhibit. The picture is not very good, but it shows that their hands truly touched antique Egyptian artifacts. William has gloves on, holding a miniature statue of a god of some sort (you can't keep up with Egyptian gods!). They had artifacts from 2,000 to over 6,000 years old. And they got to touch them, to study them, to analyse and try to figure what they were for. I couldn't help but sigh at the idea of having such an opportunity so young!

Week 18: In your (their) hands ~ home made cheerful flower arrangement, smiley mug :: All Pretty Things

And this is in my hands :) Yesterday I had enough of this horrible weather (it's grey and cold) and I was thinking to order myself a cheerful flower arrangement. Then I stopped and thought - why?! Went to the market (the farmer's market is open!!), bought 2 bouquets: one with yellow mums, one with white mums. I looked for a red tulip or rose, but I couldn't find any. Came home, and with half of the flowers I made myself what you see. At a fraction of the cost and as cheerful (even more cheerful, since I saved tons of money :) ) as the wan I wanted to order originally. I promised myself to keep this activity (making myself cheerful arrangements) going as long as possible. And if you wonder, I made another similar arrangement with the rest of the flowers, but the effect is not the same - one needs the smiley mug for this to work perfectly :)

Week 19: Good things inside

Week 19: Good things inside ~ the dragon fruit :: All Pretty Things

We recently bought a dragon fruit. It was adorable on the outside: the bright pink with a very bold green. But when I cut it - I couldn't believe my eyes how beautiful it was!! And yummy too. Hence - good things inside :)

Update: The dragon fruit tastes good. It is a watery fruit, the feel of watermelon a little bit, but way, way, way more sweet than watermelon. Cold it's better than at room temperature (just like watermelon too).

Week 20: The view about the ground

Focus on life, Week 20: The view about the ground ~ salad and herbs :: All Pretty Things

Focus on life, Week 20: The view about the ground ~ veggie garden: tomatoes, peppers, herbs, flowers, rose, lavender, blueberries :: All Pretty Things

Last week, we got sick with some sort of a virus: both William and I spent Mother's Day and the next one in bed, watching movies. We filed it under 'fun' :) Right before, though, on Saturday, we had a splendid spring day and we managed to clean our veggie patch, add some new soil and plant it. If they didn't freeze last night, we will have tomatoes, onions, peppers, and salad. Plus the usual herbs. And blueberries / raspberries. Looking forward to late summer :)

Thank you for stopping by - and sorry for a longer post... hopefully I'll get back into the weekly rhythm now.


  1. Enjoyed catching up with you. All your photos are great, but I especially like the candle photo and the one of Lucky in black and white.

  2. Great catch-up! And I agree with Mary. Lucky looks like she was ready for her close-up! Also like the photo of the dragon fruit. I have never had one. What do they taste like? They are beautiful.

  3. Great photos for catching up indeed!! Love them all! Your Easter celebration sounds lovely and the photo of Lucky is just perfect all around! That smiley face mug is too fun! Love the fruit pic, too - looks yummy. I would have loved to be able to handle those artifacts - how cool is that? Great post for catching up!

  4. Excellent catch up. All your pics are awesome. I have heard of dragon fruit....what does it taste like...always on the prowl to try new things. Thanks for posting! It was a great adventure!

  5. Great photos! I love your garden!

  6. Wow, every one spot on! I especially enjoyed the cheerful flower arrangement, it seems to fit right in with my Bead Soup post on my blog last week.


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