Vladika Varlaam’s Daily Diary

WEDNESDAY 30 MAY 2018

The mosquito season has begun in earnest and all that we can do is to wait until summer’s heat rids us of these annoying insects. It has been noisy at the monastery with Davey repairing the cover of the old pool while Andy trimmed the tops of the cedars and hauled away limbs and branches […]

Read More

TUESDAY 29 MAY 2018

Andy has been lopping off the tops of the pillars cedars, as there was much destruction in winter with the ice storm. Moreover, they have become too tall and the uppermost branches tend to bend over to create something unsightly. We also got the two vehicles reinsured for another year and tomorrow we can paste […]

Read More

MONDAY 28 MAY 2018

I made my monthly visit to the chiropractor this morning for a spinal decompression which is actually painless and almost restful. In any case, it has helped me over the years. I happened to mention to him that some people enjoy standing on their head for a few minutes each day and he reacted very […]

Read More

SUNDAY 27 MAY 2018

Upon entering the church this morning I was struck by the abundance of greenery everywhere. In previous years it was more sedate, but this year we saw large branches of maples leaning against the iconostas and elsewhere, giving a true feeling of Green Sunday, as it has been called, that is, Holy Pentecost. I was […]

Read More

SATURDAY 26 MAY 2018

Father Moses frightened me when he telephone to ask about the two baptisms we were to have had today. “Did I forget, or am losing my memory?” I asked myself. As it happened, there were no baptisms to take place and I sighed with relief. Everyone who came for Vespers stayed for a light supper […]

Read More

FRIDAY 25 MAY 2018

As most readers of Daily Diary are aware. I usually prepare Sunday’s prosphora on Fridays so that, in the event that the prosphora does not turn out successfully, another one can be baked on Saturday. Today I had a helper in Liudmila when a large prosphora was baked, beautifully round and with no blemishes on […]

Read More

THURSDAY 24 MAY 2018

Yuri and Liudmila came today to help in the production of the skin creme that the monastery is proud of, for it truly is an excellent product. As I grow older, it becomes more difficult for me to make it, so this assistance was gratefully accepted. There are only the labels to be applied to […]

Read More

WEDNESDAY 23 MAY 2018

A nurse, who specializes in foot care, came in the morning to look after Vladika and me since both of us cannot tend to our feet properly. She is a sweet and kind older woman with thirty years of nursing experience and, after each visit, our feet feel significantly better. She told us that she […]

Read More

MONDAY 21 MAY 2018

As this is the last day of the Victoria Day weekend, the highways are jammed with cars returning home from a brief camping or visiting trip. This is the kind of day when it is best to stay off the highways. Lija and Olga arrived early in the afternoon to do cleaning for us but, […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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. […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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.  […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More