Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bright Colors in My Kitchen...Easter is Coming

So let us rediscover Lent. A journey, a pilgrimage! Yet, as we begin it, as we make the first step into the “bright sadness” of Lent, we see—far, far away—the destination. It is the joy of Easter, it is the entrance into the glory of the Kingdom. And it is this vision, the foretaste of Easter, that makes Lent’s sadness bright and our Lenten effort a “spiritual spring.” The night may be dark and long, but all along the way a mysterious and radiant dawn seems to shine on the horizon. 
–Alexander Schmemann

Orthodox Lent is almost over: these are the last few days until Holy Week begins and then...Pascha!  
My finds from Easter clearance sales!
This year Orthodox Easter and Western Easter are quite far apart - so if you've already
celebrated Easter, you can store my book recommendations (below) away for next year.
Lots of wonderful colors have been appearing in my kitchen this last week: flowers from my springtime walks, ingredients and teacups for some Lenten refreshments, and gifts for Pascha on my kitchen table, being gathered and ready to wrap...
St. Euphrosynos the Cook (read his story here) on my
windowsill with some Rock Rose Orchid flowers
gathered on a walk along the horse trail behind my house.
My favorite chilled drink for Lent: Sparkling
water with lemon, ginger, and cranberries -
sweetened with a little Stevia.
My favorite dairy-free hot drink for Lent: Vanilla Chai
tea with coconut milk and Stevia.
My Pascha cards arrived in the mail, along with two books that will be
paired with brightly wrapped German chocolates
for my sweet godchildren!
I adore the colorful illustrations in both of these books.  The first is a Pennsylvania Dutch story The Egg Tree by Katherine Milhous, published in 1950...
One Easter morning, after seeing the Easter Rabbit, Katy and Carl went on an egg hunt in Grandmom's garden and through her house... 
Katy couldn't find anything until she went up to the attic. And there she discovered a very special set of eggs... Grandmom had painted them when she was a little girl. And now, she hung them from the branches of a tiny tree -- an Egg Tree! 
So began a very special Easter tradition.
I do an Egg Tree for Pascha every year! (more photos here)
Now here are some special eggs...in the story, Nina's Treasures, another cute book (1990), this one showcasing Ukrainian egg decorating (Pysanky): 
Although winter threatens starvation, old Katerina gives her hen ("Nina") her precious flower seeds, a gift that surprisingly results in some spectacular eggs for trading, in a folktale about the springtime ritual of egg decorating. 
"Katerina was so surprised at what she saw that she almost dropped
the poor hen. There in the nest were the most beautiful eggs. Each
was different from the other, and each looked like a miniature flower
garden laid out in gorgeous patterns of colors and borders."
Note at the end of the book: Many of the colors and patterns in this book are adapted from the work of Maria Primachenko, a peasant woman from Kiev whose briliant folk art was praised by Pablo Picasso.

Coming next on my blog:  Russia! I'll be observing Holy Week, but as I am able, I'll be working on posting some beautifully illustrated Russian books of Saints and Bible stories, photos from my trip to St. Petersburg, and some fairy tale books I brought back. 


  1. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! And I'm very excited to see all the Russian goodness next week.

  2. You've got some beautiful treasures here! And I know you're a girl after my own heart because I have that same Anthro tea cup! :D
    THe book about the hen and the pysansky eggs looks so so cute! I'd love to look through it!~

    1. I'll take some photos and send them to you! Reminds me of a quilt!