Vladika Varlaam’s Daily Diary

FRIDAY 18 MAY 2018

Four women showed up before seven thirty in the morning to work in the gardens where they weeded, trimmed, hoed, mulched and did many other things involved with gardening. Even a small birch tree was transplanted and, if it takes root, it will be a joy for us to look at it through the large […]

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THURSDAY 17 MAY 2018

Morning began with the celebration of an Ascension Liturgy but, because Father Alexey could not be present, Vladika Lazar served the entire Liturgy except for some censing and giving Communion, as his right arm is not yet strong enough. Still, it was good to see him vested and serving once again. Later in the afternoon […]

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TUESDAY 15 MAY 2018

Today might have been called a perfect day with a brilliant sun above us, yet a fairly cool breeze comforting and refreshing us. In fact, I could have gladly stretched out on a hammock, although we do not have one, or on a chaise lounge, which we did have at one time but which has […]

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MONDAY 14 MAY 2018

And it was another scorching day, but we should not complain. Everything looks beautiful outside, but there is the daily task of having to water all the flowers. We sent out a Constant Contact message, asking for volunteers to help Glyko move from her house to an apartment. She has no family here to help […]

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SUNDAY 13 MAY 2018

For us, today was a real scorcher! Fewer people were present today, no doubt because of the beautiful weather and the fact that it is Mothers’ Day which is so widely celebrated. I did mention in church that we also celebrate our Mother, but in this case it is the Most Holy Theotokos. We were […]

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SATURDAY 12 MAY 2018

Most of the day was spent outdoors, for we served an outdoor wedding for Dan and Nadezhda. It was a bright, sunny and hot day, allowing us to appreciate this special service. The arch outside the small outdoor chapel was decorated with flowing white sheer cloth and dozens of freshly cut flowers. We all stood […]

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FRIDAY 11 MAY 2018

One of the joys of arising in the morning is to step outside and to take a deep breath of fresh air. This morning, however, was an exception for, as I opened the door and took a step forward, a familiar barnyard smell greeted me. From time to time our neighbouring farmers have to spread […]

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THURSDAY 10 MAY 2018

Father Moses and I saw a delightful sight as two Canada geese slowly waddled their way along the side of the road together with two tiny goslings. Soon we will see more such sights, as for example, the herons and various summer birds. Of course there will be sad moments as well when we discover […]

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TUESDAY 8 MAY 2018

Summer tires were put on the Jeep in addition to a general tune up and change of oil, so that it should be in fine condition for the summer. The newly planted trees were watered, with water being carried in buckets to the field. Christian, thank you for your email from Germany; it is always […]

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MONDAY 7 MAY 2018

After yesterday’s excitement, today seemed to be quiet and even uneventful. In the afternoon both Vladika and I went to town to do some necessary shopping, each one on his own. I used a large cart while Vladika used his walker, as it has a large container for carrying things. After the shopping had been […]

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SATURDAY 5 MAY 2018

Today has been a sunny and warm day, just right for the work party.  Some people arrived before nine o’clock, while others came throughout the rest of the day. I have never seen the windows sparkle as they did today, floors wee scrubbed, washing done inside and outside, with a group in the kitchen preparing […]

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FRIDAY 4 MAY 2018

While driving Vladika Lazar to the clinic I had to turn on some heat in the car, as it was chilly. In fact, the entire day felt chilly but we have been promised better weather for the weekend. I was really quite proud of Vladika, as he got into the car and out of it […]

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THURSDAY 3 MAY 2018

I set out to photograph some of the radiantly blooming bushes only to discover that the camera setting was wrong which means, of course, that I shall have to make another effort.  I have no difficulty, in fact I can excel, in drawing or painting but, for some reason, cameras are not my forte.  Could […]

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TUESDAY 1 MAY 2018

The sun has returned and there are smiles on people’s faces again. A kind lady brought us soup and, before we could get to it, our neighbourhood boys ate most of it, proof that it was very tasty. Vladika had two sessions of therapy, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, both of […]

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MONDAY 30 APRIL 2018

We have reached the last day of April and, even though we are surrounded by flowering bushes and an array of colourful flowers, it still does not entirely feel like spring.  Perhaps May will give us the results we so desire.  Vladika Lazar and I both visited a clinic in New Westminster with Thomas driving […]

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SUNDAY 29 APRIL 2018

Since this is the last Sunday of the month, the Liturgy was served in Church Slavonic and I was surprised to find fewer people in attendance than usual, since usually the church is filled for this Liturgy.  Whatever the reasons, it was great to see baby Taisia, whom we baptized last week, and baby Sophia […]

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TUESDAY 24 APRIL 2018

The first impression one receives as they drive onto the monastery grounds is the profusion of blossoms on the ancient cherry trees and the much smaller but sturdy pear tree. The two apple trees next to them have not yet put forth their blossoms. Today’s hot weather certainly will affect the shrubs and flowers everywhere. […]

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MONDAY 23 APRIL 2018

Having had to drive into town twice today, I could not see a single person with a frown on their face, for the spring weather has delighted everyone. For a while I sat outdoors, looking at our gigantic cedar trees that stretch up into the heavens, with their lower branches touching the ground; how tiny […]

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SATURDAY 21 APRIL 2018

Vladika Lazar and I went to Maple Ridge for a memorial dinner on the occasion of the repose of Vitaly six months ago.We arrived somewhat late but everyone had been patiently waiting for us.  The house was crammed with people eating in every room on the main floor, and the dishes were largely Kazakhstani, that […]

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THURSDAY 19 APRIL 2018

Today’s warmth has brought out countless dandelions that are covering the  lawns like a carpet.  The intense yellow of the dandelions, combined with the rich green of the grass present us with a living picture.  We no longer think of them as weeds, but as dear friends that can be gathered [and even eaten]. While […]

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TUESDAY 17 APRIL 2018

Today is commonly known as a memorial day when people gather to pray for the repose of their loved ones and to visit their graves at the cemetery.  Although we had done this on Sunday, nevertheless some people came to the monastery today for this purpose, bringing flowers and blini, as is customary.  Then we […]

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SATURDAY 14 APRIL 2018

We have had many visitors today, starting early in the morning and ending in mid evening.  Kyril and Vanya came later than usual, yet still managed to complete a number of tasks. Then, Lija came with Olga, bringing food and groceries for us, followed by Marina and Sergei who also brought food.  After Vespers we […]

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FRIDAY 13 APRIL 2018

Superstitious people claim that any Friday the thirteenth of any month is certain to bring bad luck and, if that were so, we should have experienced such bad luck today, yet I cannot recall a single such incedent,  unless one thinks that a rainy day constitutes misfortune! I baked two prosphoras using different techniques in […]

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THURSDAY 12 APRIL 2018

As it so often happens, upon reflecting on the events of the day, there seems nothing worth mentioning.  And this is what I thought tonight, until I began to recall the interesting events of the day.  A young nurse, a man from Manitoba originally and of a Mennonite background, came to tend to Vladika’s dressings.  […]

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WEDNESDAY 11 APRIL 2018

Although it has been cool and damp, spring is evident everywhere.  Driving through residential areas is much like driving through a park.  Flowers, shrubs and trees are bedecked with the bright colours of spring.  In fact, as I walk out of my door, I am greeted with the spicy fragrance of the mahonia bushes and […]

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MONDAY 9 APRIL 2018

How quiet it has been today after all the services of Holy Week and Pascha, and how welcome this has been.  We discovered that we ran out of candles and barely had enough for the main service.  Although we quickly reordered candles, they will not arrive in time for Thomas Sunday so we shall have […]

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SUNDAY 8 APRIL 2018

Christ is Risen!  Truly He is Risen!   We greet everyone on this holiest and most joyous feast of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  I was pleased that I was given enough strength to serve the Paschal Matins and the Liturgy.  At 9:30 the readers began reading in various languages and at midnight the Cross Procession […]

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SATURDAY 7 APRIL 2018

Today there was a combined service for the feast of the Annunciaton and for Holy Saturday.  Father Alexey served the lengthy service after which there was a rush to clean up the church, hall and kitchen for the great feast itself.  We were amazed to see a donation of one hundred sturdy and attractive folding […]

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FRIDAY 6 APRIL 2018

This is Holy and great Friday for Orthodox Christians, a day of fasting and preparing oneself for the great and sacred feast of Holy Pascha.  Father Vasili arrived from Florida, although there has not been much time to visit with him, and David and Anna came from Edmonton and have already visited Vladika Lazar.  The […]

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THURSDAY 5 APRIL 2018

Since I have less and less energy, I was grateful that Father Alexey served the Divine Liturgy this morning.  During the day I spent time correcting the books to be used for tonight’s service and really had no time to rest, so when the evening service began I felt weaker than usual, and finally had […]

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WEDNESDAY 4 APRIL 2018

With each passing day we come closer to the Feast of Feasts, Holy Pascha.  Tonight’s Healing Service brought many out to hear prayers and readings in various languages.  Father Alexey and Father Moses served together with me, while the readers were encouraged to do more than they usually do.  It was also pleasant to see […]

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TUESDAY 3 APRIL 2018

I was grateful to Thomas for driving me to the hospital to visit Vladika Lazar.  Usually I use a walker to navigate the long corridors and halls, but his time Thomas got me one of the hospital wheelchairs and pushed me all the way to Vladika’s room.  I must admit that it was enjoyable scurrying […]

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SUNDAY 1 APRIL 2018

On this first day of the month of April we celebrated the feast of the Entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem, often simply called Palm Sunday.   The palms, brought by Gerry a couple of days ago,  were blessed during Matins and so many people attended the service that we soon ran out of palms.  The […]

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SATURDAY 31 MARCH 2018

It took a bit of thinking about which tables stood where in the hall, but I think that they eventually were returned to their proper positions.  The carpet in the hall looks so fresh, while the one in the new church actually beams with new life.  The two Natashas together with Georgy and Kyrill rushed […]

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