Vladika Varlaam’s Daily Diary

Sailing in the Winter Sun

✑Anyone who fervently and fanatically believes something that is demonstrably false is capable of any extreme, even murder. ✑ABOUT FAST PERIODS: We should speak out of the fullness of our own hearts, and not from bondage to fear, to rules and regulations. Those who are well fast as well as they are able, those who […]

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MONDAY 17 JUNE 2019

Each one of us has been complaining about arthritic pains, so there must be a change of weather in the near future.  I used to think that it was all nonsense, but now that I do have arthritis in various joints, I tend to agree that weather changes somehow bring on the pains.  Father Moses […]

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SUNDAY 16 JUNE 2019

Today is Father’s Day, although we do not celebrate it.  Many decades ago in the United States some people felt sorry for themselves for not having feast days, and consequently they began Mother’s Day which grew in great popularity.  Then followed Father’s Day and a whole string of other “days”.  Before long we can expect […]

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SATURDAY 15 JUNE 2019

Most of the baptisms we have are at eleven o’clock and I had  forgotten that today’s baptism was at one in the afternoon, not that it made any great difference other than throwing me into some confusion. The baby, Valerie, was a delight to behold and to baptize, with not even a squeak out of […]

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TUESDAY 11 JUNE 2019

It was hot today, reaching 30 degrees and I had to water the plants in my little garden twice, otherwise some of them would not have survived another day.  Dima, Elena and Olga came bearing food for us and, although I was not especially hungry, I enjoyed what they had brought, in addition to their […]

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MONDAY 10 JUNE 2019

Not realizing how dry the soil was, I hastily watered the plants near the cottage, some of which were already withering.  This reminded me of how this task of daily watering will continue throughout the summer, at times having to water the plants twice each day.  But, if I happen to complain about that, I […]

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SUNDAY 9 JUNE 2019

I had the opportunity to meet and converse with a number of people who were here for only the second or third time in addition to those who came for the very first time. Of course it is difficult to carry on a long conversation after the Agape meal with people milling about, some simply […]

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SATURDAY 8 JUNE 2019

How tempting it was to sleep all morning but it was not to be.  Someone called early and talked for a long time, so the temptation to sleep more had completely vanished.  Besides, it was Saturday and there was much to be done.  Kirill’s chihuahua Mimi spent part of the day with us.  I must […]

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FRIDAY 7 JUNE 2019

Vladika Lazar dropped me off at the superstore before going for his physiotherapy.  For the last three years it was an ordeal to shop there due to its size and the pain in my hip that was caused by having to walk great distances in this megastore.  Today, on the other hand, I spent an […]

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THURSDAY 6 JUNE 2019

Not having expected to see many people come for the liturgy on this feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many did come.  At the meal following the service, our friends Anysim and his son Xenon sang the Lord’s Prayer in their Old Believer way.  Hearing them sing, […]

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WEDNESDAY 5 JUNE 2019

I came across several photo albums that belonged to our dear friend George who died a few years ago and, while glancing through them, I found many photos taken here at the monastery that we should show our readers.  A photo can often say more than words.  We miss George, a true and faithful friend, […]

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TUESDAY 4 JUNE 2019

Breakfast this morning consisted of old fashioned slow cooking rolled oats, using a method that Princess Elena Vladimirovna Andiysky [eternal be her memory] had taught me about fifty five years ago, if not more.  She used it for preparing buckwheat kasha, but it works just as well with rolled oats.  Take a heavy sauce pan, […]

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SUNDAY 2 JUNE 2019

A couple of mysteries arose overnight, with an abundance of bread left on the kitchen table, while the Lithuanian cold beet soup vanished, as did a huge cheese cake.  Moreover, the icon hanging on the cedar tree next to the holy well was lying on the ground. Either someone tore it off, or a raccoon […]

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SATURDAY 1 JUNE 2019

We baptized Katerina, a little eleven month old baby whose ancestry is interesting.  On her father’s side she is Dutch and French, while on her mother’s side she is Korean and Russian.  It was a delight to see a huge number of people present for the baptism, most of whom looked  Korean to one extent […]

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Friday, May 31, 2019

It was easy to tell that it was hot today by looking at how people were dressed in town, in fact, some were scarcely dressed and it was not that long ago when it would have looked scandalous  to see people on the street dressed in such a manner.  How things change!  Andy’s friend spent […]

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

A Constant Contact bulletin was sent out today, informing those who are on its list about the services on 6 June [Ascension], 15 June [Memorial Saturday with a memorial service after Vespers], 16 June [Pentecost] and, finally, 23 June [Healing Service at 4 pm].  Please keep these dates in mind.  I had written about the […]

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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Once again I struggled with the wild morning glory vines, this time trying to free the rhododendrons from this invasive weed.  It is difficult to imagine how quickly it spreads and, as I mentioned before, several vines can wrap themselves around one stem of a flower or bush and practically pull it to the ground.  […]

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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Today was an ideal day for doing some gardening.  I tackled the wild morning glory vines that are strangling the raspberry bushes which is a never ending job. They are so invasive that they can weigh down raspberry canes so much that the canes can even crack.  While working on this, I came across a […]

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Sunday, May 26, 2019

I had problems with my computer yesterday so I had to use Vladika Lazar’s computer, but the voice recognition microphone was on part of the time and thus there were some errors.  The two names were not supposed to be Aviate and Georghe, but Ovidiu and Gheorghe.  Sorry about that.  I am using my own […]

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Saturday, May 25, 2019

We baptized little Apfeya this morning, the daughter of a family that came all the way from Fort McMurray in Alberta for this occasion. We were touched that they wanted the baptism to be performed here at this monastery. Aviate and Georghe brought us a renovated electric scooter that I had to try immediately. It […]

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Friday, May 24, 2019

We baptized little Miron today and he surprised us all by not uttering even a single whimper which is unusual, as most babies tend to cry at least a bit during the service.  After this event, I baked a prosphora which I trust will be suitable for Sunday’s liturgy, but it did turn out be […]

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Thursday, May 23, 2019

On our way to the new church, Vladika Lazar and I dropped into the kitchen.  We were fortunate to meet our Thursday helpers, Marina and Tatiana, who had already made a fish dish and a cold soup called “okroshka” which is either loved by many, or else hated with a passions by others.  I happen […]

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Monday, May 20, 2019

It was exactly as we had expected.  Today is Victoria Day and it usually rains on this day which is fine for the farmers and gardeners, but disappointing for campers who return home Monday evening, looking forlorn after having hoped for a bright and hot weekend.  A large group of young Copts came with some […]

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Sunday, May 19, 2019

I had no sooner stepped into the hall, on my way to the church this morning, when Misha rushed up to inform me that he had caught a bat in the hall when he had arrived.  There were three of them, in fact, but two of them escaped. Naturally, this caused commotion later, as he […]

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Saturday, May 18, 2019

As a group of people walked up to the monastery entrance, Father Moses remarked on how big the baby was, “He is huge and how are we going to fit him in the baptismal font?”  “No,” replied I, “you are mistaken because he has a beard  and is as tall as you.”  There was obviously […]

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Friday, May 17, 2019

Some things had to be picked up in Abbotsford, so Vladika Lazar drove there and, after picking up what we had ordered, I went to a store called No Frills and was pleased to find all that was needed and at reasonable prices.  Then, it was my turn to drive, so I drove back all […]

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Thursday, May, 16 2019

Our beloved Svetlana Vasilievna, who lives in Volgograd, telephoned a few minutes ago to ask everyone to pray for her.  On Monday she will take the train to Moscow where she we have a medical examination on Tuesday morning in the lengthy process of being granted permission to move to Canada to join her family.  […]

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Today happened to be an important day for me, as I drove for the first time in a couple of months.  It felt so simple and natural to drive Vladika Lazar to Mission for his physiotherapy session, then back to the monastery.  It almost felt as if I had not given up driving for even […]

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

After a few hot days, one tends to forget what a cool morning is like.  In fact, even my nose felt cold when I awoke, but I resisted turning on the heat, knowing that it would surely warm up as the day progressed.  As well, it had rained overnight so the air smelled completely different.  […]

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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Today was an unusual Sunday in that many of our regular worshippers were absent, the first time in many weeks but, on the other hand,  many people came for the first time, including a large group of Serbs.  Actually, I would like to ask a couple of women to volunteer to clean the large candle […]

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Saturday, May 11, 2019

A few Georgians came early in the morning to continue working on the pavilion, and they were joined by others who came throughout the day.  Davey brought his Bobcat to cut down the bush that bordered on the pavilion, so that one could see that much progress had been made today.  After serving a memorial […]

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Friday, May 10, 2019

There was a bit of confusion about Father Moses and his birds.  He resuscitated the humming bird one day and a robin the following day.  He managed to photograph the humming bird while holding it, but the photo was not available that evening, so it was shown the following day when I wrote about the […]

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Thursday, May 09, 2019

While Thomas, our guest from Iowa, had gone to Vancouver to attend a meeting, our faithful women arrived to prepare their weekly food contribution.  I never seem to see them in the kitchen, so I at least used the phone to express our gratitude.  Andy found the time to transplant a large fig tree that […]

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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

We had another beautiful day for the visit of Dr. Thomas Bottai, an old friend of this monastery, who is the director of the Department of Toxicology in the state of Iowa.  It is always a pleasure to have him visit us and today was no exception.  Other visitors brought us real Ukrainian borshch which […]

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The good news I have today is that Father Moses [aka Doctor Moses] once again proved himself capable of reviving birds and giving them new life.  He nursed the little humming bird until it was strong enough to fly away.  Several volunteers showed up to do some gardening, including transplanting the Saskatoon bushes, and watering […]

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Monday, May 6, 2019

I spent part of the day in the hospital where I had a bone scan, the first time ever for me.  It was interesting, but somewhat lengthy  and I was happy when it ended.  I truly am glad that Vladika Lazar can drive me to such appointments and even for a short ride whenever the […]

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Sunday, May 5, 2019

As the end of Matins approached, I wondered why there were so few people in church, but really there was no need to be concerned, for they quickly began to fill the church. At least a dozen people asked for prayers for travelling, then we had a general memorial litany which should be served next […]

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Saturday, May 4, 2019

Naiana and Ovidiu came this morning to ask for prayers for travel, as they will be flying to Romania tomorrow for a brief visit.  It is rewarding to see so many people asking for a blessing to travel, not that this can guarantee a safe trip, but it does give one a profound sense of […]

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Friday, April 3, 2019

How could have this week have gone by so quickly?  It began with the joyous Resurrection of Jesus Christ, then it led us along the path of Bright Week and, today, we celebrate the feast of the Theotokos, Lifebearing Spring.  We had decided that, since few people could come today, we would bless our Holy […]

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Thursday, May 02, 2019

Some of the weather from Alberta and Saskatchewan must have spilled over into our part of British Columbia, as it has been chilly all day.  Still, as I walked by the workshop, I was overcome by an intense fragrance that came from the mock orange bushes.  How sweet and enchanting was this fragrance that I […]

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