Wednesday Medley

1.  With the holidays coming, what is your most essential appliance to help you prepare for the celebrations?

I have to go with oven but I won’t be using this pink one.

2.  What is your favorite (clean) word? 

Lately my favorite word is abide. I’ve been listening to some of my favorite Cd’s and a song by Matt Redman called Abide with Me speaks to me. The chorus: “Abide with me, abide with me, don’t let me fall, and don’t let go, Walk with me and never leave, ever close, God, abide with me.”

3.  Are you a good judge of character? 


Yes. I’m going to say one of my best good judge of character moments resulted in dating and marrying Dear. He’s a giant of a guy with lots of integrity.

4. What is the last thing you took a picture of? 

I took pictures of a couple books that I’d recommend to parents or grandparents with young children. I’ll start with this excellent book on prayer. An adult can learn a lot from it, too. (Leonard, if you are reading this post, Lana is bringing one to you and Mandy for the kids!)

5. Tomorrow, November 15, is Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day.  How do you intend to celebrate?

We’ve only been here a couple of months so the refrigerator is pretty clean. I will try to use up the perishables I already have in there and then go out to eat on Friday instead of filling it up with more perishables.

6. Tell us something random about your week!

My Hp computer that I got in 2008 is showing me the blue screen of death every couple of days and it died again today so I’m scrambling to get used to the new laptop we bought knowing my old one was dying. Right now my biggest challenge is where to store photos and how to access them easily to my WordPress blog. This isn’t my forte. My old computer has Windows 7. Oye!

Linking up with Your Friend From Florida, Terri, for Wednesday Medley.

If you are new here, click on comments below in the shaded area to open up the comments page. Thank you!

Tuesdays With Moisi ~10

Our Pop’s story continued…

This is our Pop’s story dictated verbally by him a few years ago. I’ll be sharing excerpts every Tuesday. When I add to his story or explain a photo I will Italicize my words. Our Pop’s words will not be italicized. Our mom does not come into Pop’s story until “Tuesdays With Moisi ~ 9” even though I’ve posted photos of her before #9. I have very few photos from our parents’ life in Russia and Persia. At the end of my Tuesday posts I’ll add links to all the other posts.

Our mom here with her friend Zena. She got into big trouble with her father when he saw this photo of her with lipstick on.

When the harvest was finished, on a Sunday afternoon after church, Nadia and I took a walk in the forest.  It was then that I confessed my love for her and asked her to marry me. She told me to ask her mother. But I wanted to know from her – would she marry me if permission was granted.  She said she’d think about it. I told her that as her husband I would do anything she wanted. By this time we had returned back to where she was staying. Nadia did ask her mother but she replied that this decision was her father’s.  Nadia relayed that message to me. That was good enough for me – so far.

Our Pop, Moisi, with our uncle Paul, the future brother-in-law he went to town with.

The next day I, with my brother-in-law, had to go into town to take care of some business.  On the way I told him that I was getting engaged to Nadia and was going to telegraph her father to come to the wedding.  According to Russian custom whenever someone was met with good fortune, he had to treat his friends. This was called mahareech.  So when we went to lunch at a local restaurant, I bought a bottle of Iran’s finest fire water along with the lunch. As we were eating, a buddy of ours from our village happened into the restaurant.  Seeing the bottle on the table he asked what the occasion was. My brother-in-law explained that I was getting engaged to a city girl. He couldn’t believe my good fortune and so ordered another bottle and joined us.  So after eating lunch and downing two bottles of alcohol, we three were definitely two sheets to the wind. We headed for the telegraph office. The telegram my future father-in-law received went something like this: “Papa, please hurry and come to my wedding: Nadia.”

You can just imagine his reaction.  He went to his friends and acquaintances to try and find out what was going on.  He couldn’t believe his daughter would send such a telegram and was quite offended that she would do something like this without his permission.  Of course he could not know that she had nothing to do with the telegram.

Realizing there wasn’t much he could do about the situation from Tehran, he came out to our village.  For some reason there were quite a few of my contemporaries who were against our marriage. So when he arrived, he was met with a barrage of gossip claiming that I was unfit for marriage, I couldn’t have children, I wasn’t a Christian, etc., etc.  But Nadia and I stood firm in our commitment to each other.

I’m adding this photo of the Shvetzov and Katkov families because it’s one of the only photos I have of our maternal grandfather. He is seated next to our Babushka on the right. He was killed in Persia after my mother and father immigrated to the U.S. Later our grandmother immigrated with our Uncle Paul and Aunt Nina (they are standing behind my grandparents in this photo far right). Zena, who was in the first photo in this post is in the back row on the left holding her daughter Tamara. She married a Katkov. The Shvetzov and Katkov families all immigrated to the U.S. and we remained close going to the same church and future marriages intertwined our two families closer together. Our Aunt Nina was one of the Katkov girls. The three young girls in this photo are the only ones still alive in the southern California area. My cousin Alex who is standing between my maternal grandmother and grandfather (Uncle Paul and Aunt Nina’s oldest son) was killed tragically in a car accident in 1979. His three siblings, our cousins, who were born after our aunt and uncle and Alex immigrated are still living in southern California and Florida. Our babushka and babushka Manya, sitting next to her, lived out their lives as widows in apartments next door to each other in Los Angeles, a few doors down from our Russian Baptist church. 

This is a photo of our babushka Vera and Babushka Manya Katkov in the United States.

A Week in Mosaics

Saturday November 3rd we spent some time at Dan, Jamie and Addy’s. The guys worked on getting firewood cut and stored for winter. Jamie was able to get some chores done while Addy and Baba walked and played.

We walked with her trike and also with her stroller.

On our way home going down the kids’ driveway we saw this majestic bird.

Fast forward to Friday November 9th. We got our first snow. As we understand it the Colville area got their first snow last year on November 9th, too. It’s probably time to put the patio furniture away.

The Quail were in our yard in the mornings finding whatever it is that they eat. They sure are plumping up!

My sister Lana and her husband Steve arrived at our place safe and sound from the airport in Spokane in their rental car avoiding two separate accidents on highway 395 caused by slick icy roads. We all enjoyed a BBQ meal out in Kettle Falls with our kids’ joining us. We came to our place after for dessert. Addy enjoyed having my and great aunt Lana’s attention. Saturday morning we took Steve and Lana to see the kids’ house and to have breakfast together. Addy decided Great Aunt Lana is her new best friend. Later on Saturday after some shopping and movie watching we drove to Chewelah to our favorite Mexican Restaurant for dinner.

On Sunday Steve and Lana were interested in a walk or a hike so we drove 3.2 miles from our home to Douglas Falls Grange Park and found a nature trail to try. It was a good walk in the forest.

When we got home I whipped up a chowder to warm us up. It was a good recipe from Taste of Home that I’ll try to share soon. Steve and Lana are headed back to Spokane to catch their flight to Seattle. It was very nice having our first overnight guests at our Country Bungalow. Lots of good food and laughter to wrap our memories in.

Linking up with Angie at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf for Mosaic Monday. Thank you Angie for hosting.


O Bless the Lord, My Soul ~ Hymn

O Bless the Lord, My Soul

O bless the Lord, my soul!
Let all within me join,
And aid my tongue to bless His name
Whose favors are divine.

O bless the Lord, my soul,
Nor let His mercies lie
Forgotten in unthankfulness,
And without praises die.

‘Tis He forgives thy sins,
’Tis He relieves thy pain,
’Tis He that heals thy sicknesses
And makes thee young again.

He crowns thy life with love,
When ransomed from the grave;
He that redeemed my soul from hell
Hath sovereign power to save.

He fills the poor with good,
He gives the sufferers rest;
The Lord hath judgments for the proud,
And justice for th’oppressed.

His wondrous works and ways
He made by Moses known
But sent the world His truth and grace
By His belovèd Son.

Words: Isaac Watts

Quotes of the Week ~ 3

Prayer is the never-failing response of the Christian in any case, in every plight. When you cannot use your sword, you may take up the weapon of prayer. Your powder may be damp, your bowstring may be relaxed, but the weapon of prayer need never be out of order. Satan laughs at the javelin, but he trembles at prayer. Swords and spears need to be sharpened, but prayer never rusts; and when we think it most blunt, it cuts the best. Prayer is an open door that no one can shut. Devils may surround you on all sides, but the way upward is always open, and as long as that road is unobstructed, you will not fall into the enemy’s hand.

Source: Spurgeon Morning and Evening

“Gone, they tell me, is youth,
Gone is the strength of my life,
Nothing remains but decline,
Nothing but age and decay.

Not so, I’m God’s little child..
Only beginning to live;
Coming the days of my prime,
Coming the strength of my life,
Coming the vision of God,
Coming my bloom and my power.”
A.C. 1935

Amy Carmichael

Inquire of God not mediums and necromancers who chirp and mutter (Isaiah 8:19)

“Give us, O, Lord, thankful hearts which never forget Your goodness to us. Give us, O Lord, grateful hearts, which do not waste time complaining” ~ Aquinas

My sister and her husband are flying over to spend the weekend with us. Woohoo. I will be scarce on the internet. Hope they bring their cold weather clothing as we are already in the 20’s Thursday evening with the next several nights lows in the 20’s. High tomorrow not to get out of the 30’s! Yikes! Have a good weekend!

Wednesday Medley

Joining Terri, Your Friend From Florida, for Wednesday Medley. She provides questions for us to answer on our blogs and then we can visit other blogs that answered the same questions.

Here are the questions for this Wednesday:

What is your claim to fame?

My claim to fame is that I am one of the ten Mennonite Girls Can Cook. We met because of Lovella’s blog and eventually Lovella started a recipe blog called Mennonite Girls Can Cook. She invited me and other gals to join the blog and provide recipes. The contributors were capped at the ten of us current gals and the rest is history. We’ve co-authored three books, had a play named after us, and provided cooking demonstrations/classes and a few of our gals even made it onto Global TV. All of our royalty money has been contributed to helping children, orphans and widows. I am the one American in the group and I’m also the one non-Mennonite. They adopted me because of my Russian heritage and our similar cooking heritage.

What is something you like to do the old-fashioned way?

I like to hold and read a book and turn the pages.

What did you think you would grow out of but haven’t?

Haha, there are a lot of things I’ve grown out of, like all my clothes from a decade ago. Oye. Something I haven’t grown out of and would like to is being concerned about what other people think of me. I’m less concerned then in my youth but it still nags at me.

What is the dumbest thing you’ve done that actually turned out pretty well?

I gave a ride to two criminals to get them away from my house and was able to drive into a driveway down the hill from us where a sheriff vehicle had pulled in looking for them. I jumped out of the car ran over to the policeman and said the guys you are looking for are in my car. He was dumbfounded and within a minute about 6 other police vehicles pulled up. They all told me I shouldn’t have done that. No duh! My husband was really upset with me for doing it, too. The two young thugs were, as the police detective put it, really bad guys. I had to go to a disposition hearing but did not have to go to trial. The two thugs had robbed a couple houses down the hill from us. I knew they didn’t belong on our hill and they cornered me in our driveway asking for a ride. I didn’t know how I was going to be able to get into our house with them right there and our daughter was in the house so I chose to give them a ride away from our house. I talked to them the whole time they were in my car letting them know I had to get home quickly because my sons would be coming home from school, etc. I even asked them if they were a couple of bad boys and they said, “no maam, no maam, as they slid down in their seats when they saw the police vehicle ahead of us on the road. The two thugs were shocked that I did that and were stuck to their seats instead of jumping out of the car and trying to get away. My angel was on overtime!!

If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?

Hmm…I’m going to choose Grace because I’m grateful for God’s amazing grace in my life.

What is something random you can tell us about this week?

It’s getting colder and colder here in our northeast corner of Washington State. I’m going to have to consider my wardrobe and add some cold weather items.

Tuesdays With Moisi ~ 9

Our Pop’s story continued…

This is our Pop’s story dictated verbally by him a few years ago. I’ll be sharing excerpts every Tuesday. When I add to his story or explain a photo I will Italicize my words. Our Pop’s words will not be italicized. Our mom does not come into Pop’s story until “Tuesdays With Moisi ~ 9” even though I’ve posted photos of her before #9. I have very few photos from our parents’ life in Russia and Persia. At the end of my Tuesday posts I’ll add links to all the other posts.

Our mom with her cousin Luba.

Nineteen forty-one saw the start of World War II and as a result, demand for wheat grew and we began to prosper.  In 1943, I began to seriously think of marriage and started looking for a suitable mate. One of my sister’s-in-law came from Teheran to give birth in our town because her mother was there.  I was assigned the duty of escorting her and her baby back to Teheran. When I was there I became acquainted with the local young people. Two girls among them caught my eye – Nina Katkov and Nadia Shvetzov.  At that time I mentally picked Nina for myself and Nadia for my friend. Of course this was unbeknownst to them and so I returned home and told my friend of all that had transpired.

Our Mom in the 1940’s.

In May of 1943 the harvest was just beginning and it just so happened, within a few weeks of my return home, that Nina came with her folks and Nadia with her mom to participate in the harvest.  This suited me just fine. The day they came, I happened to be at home and not in the fields because I had hurt my leg. Their first stop upon arrival was our neighbor’s house. They came outside to wash up a bit after their journey – there was no indoor plumbing in those days.  I went next door, brought water from the well and poured it on their hands. Out came Nadia from the house, extended her hands to be watered, and smiled at me. That was it. Her smile rendered Nina a distant memory.

During the harvest, about four or five families worked as a group.  Lots would be cast as to what order each farm would be harvested. Each group worked for a specific farm.  The owners would feed us, and in general the work was quite pleasant. Since many of the workers were young singles of marriageable age, serious courting took place in the evenings.  Protracted individual dating was unknown back then. In those two summer months following that particular harvest, twelve marriages took place. I remember that some of these marriages did not do well primarily because of the immaturity of both bride and groom.

This is our mom with her brother Paul in Persia before she and Pop were married. Our mom’s brother Paul ended up marrying Nina and the next photo is from their wedding which occurred after my parents immigrated to the United States. I’m including this photo since Nina was mentioned in this part of Pop’s story. Nina ended up being our pop’s sister-in-law, our aunt.

In Persia on wedding days one of the customary photos taken was of the couple that just got married with all their single relatives and friends. Next to my uncle Paul is Luba who is also in the top photo with my mom when they were younger.