Monthly Archives: January 2015


Elegance Hacking: The Secret to a Calmer, Happier Workday [The Muse]
“I want to make elegance easier to achieve, more often, and more regularly. I’d like elegance to just be there when life is feeling inelegant.”

Why Scruffy Hospitality Creates Space for Friendship [KnoxPriest]
“Friendship isn’t about always being ‘excellent’ with one another. Friendship is about preparing a space for authentic conversation. And sometimes authenticity happens when everything is a bit scruffy.”

Gifts and Talents and the Road to Hell [Glory 2 God For All Things]
“For the excellent life of the Body of Christ is not constructed on the foundation of our gifts and talents. It is quite the opposite.”

Job Seekers with ‘Learning’ Attitude Have More Success [ScienceDaily]
“The more intentional job seekers are about learning from the process, the more successful they are likely to be in their job searches.”

East & West [YouTube]
A webseries adaptation of North & South! I’m thrilled.

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Words of Wisdom

The soul untried by sorrows is good for nothing.

St Theophan the Recluse

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Orthogals joins the Ancient Faith Family

The Orthogals are pleased to announce that we have joined Ancient Faith Blogs. will automatically direct to our new site; or, you can visit us here:

If you get our posts via an email or RSS subscription (or you’d like to), please subscribe at the new site.

Many thanks to the editorial board for the invitation and especially to Gabe Martini who was patient with our many design requests. We think the new site is beautiful, and hope you will too.


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Families: Not All They’re Cracked Up to Be [BeliefNet]
By the newly-departed Fr. John Garvey.

Why Women Stay Quiet at Work [NY Times]

Majority of Young Women, Men Prefer Egalitarian Relationships [ScienceDaily]

The Good-ish Atheist [Seraphic]
She’s back!

What Men Are Really Looking for in a Woman [Verily]
When I saw the title I raised an eyebrow, but this article doesn’t suck. It’s basically one guy elaborating on what he likes about dignified, independent women. When it comes down to it, he’s describing the kind of woman I like to be friends with. Oh—and read the comments.

Yesterday was the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Say a prayer for all those who’ve been hurt, will you?

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Words of Wisdom

Four things protect the soul:
To have mercy for all people,
To abandon anger,
To endure,
To snatch away sin from the heart through praise.

St Moses the Ethiopian, 4th Century

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Scarf Options

If you are an Orthodox woman, it is highly likely that you have taken part in a discussion regarding head coverings at some point. Even among us at Orthogals, we have varied usage and type of head covering. (Discussion post forthcoming).

But what does one do with the head covering outside of the service? I see a simple knot, loop, and stuffing in a purse regularly. But I will admit, there is a wanna-be fashionista in me that would like to fancy things up every once in a while. Thus, when I found these 7+ minutes of ideas, I was rather intrigued.

So, whether you are a sometimes or always wearer in church or just want more ideas, here are a few creative ways to spice up your coffee hour or street scarves.


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The future of the Church can and will issue from those whose roots are deep and who live from the pure fullness of their faith. It will not issue from those who accommodate themselves merely to the passing moment or from those who merely criticize others and assume that they themselves are infallible measuring rods; nor will it issue from those who take the easier road, who sidestep the passion of faith, declaring false and obsolete, tyrannous and legalistic, all that makes demands upon men, that hurts them and compels them to sacrifice themselves.

To put this more positively: The future of the Church, once again as always, will be reshaped by saints, by men, that is, whose minds probe deeper than the slogans of the day, who see more than others see, because their lives embrace a wider reality.

-Joseph Ratzinger

(from this post)

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Treats on a Budget

So, following up to our budgeting post, I figured we could collect our favorite uses for the change under the couch cushions and any bills that turn up in off-season pockets. Treats are good for our mental health, but there are ways to spend a dollar that are just more satisfying than others. Here are some favorites from the three of us.


  • Paint chips, plus an hour spent dreaming about the perfect haven you could make your bedroom into with $50-100, a spare weekend, and a friend’s help. Or, paint chip crafts are a thing.
  • Shakespeare in the Park and other free theatre/music performances.
  • Free events, like Free Comic Book Day and free admission days at local museums. Some libraries also have free museum passes.
  • Climb a tree. Hang out there for a while.
  • An afternoon with a good friend and no interruptions; turn the phone all the way off and lose it in the bottom of your bag.
  • A quiet morning. Drag yourself out of bed half an hour before everyone else wakes up, say your prayers, make tea or coffee, and read in silence for a while before you have to get ready. It’s worth the lost sleep for a little peacefulness.

Under $1

  • My grocery store has tiny pieces of really nice chocolate, honey sticks, and other fun edibles for 10-90¢ by the checkout.
  • A gumball / adjustable rhinestone ring from the grocery store quarter machines. Childhood, anyone?
  • A book at Goodwill or the library sale.
  • A postcard to tape to your wall. Cheap art! I have a set from The Little Prince that make me very happy.
  • A stamp to send a letter to a friend. Something about physical letters is just better than a digital note.

$1 to $5

  • A bar of really superb chocolate, the kind to eat a bit of for breakfast and then hoard for a few days. I’m loving creamy semi-dark with sea salt and maybe something mixed in like nuts, caramel, berries, spices, potato chips.
  • Fancy soap. Check the natural grocery stores and the farmer’s market for something locally-made, and enjoy a little luxury whenever you wash your hands.
  • Drugstore makeup, clearance nail polish, a new hair clip, etc. And then take a little time to make yourself feel extra pretty.
  • Discount bouquets. Alstroemeria is often in the clearance bucket, and the stuff lasts forever.
  • Individual stems from a fancy florist. A single stem of gladiolus in a pretty vase (or wine bottle) makes me very happy. You may be able to add some greenery, berries, or filler for a few cents.
  • A cup of tea or coffee at a nice coffeeshop. Bring a book.
  • A cupcake.
  • A song on iTunes
  • A really swanky pencil. I recommend the Palomino Blackwing Pearl, for about $2 at art stores. I feel fancy and luxurious every time I jot notes.
  • Ink samples for a fountain pen.
  • A fancy letterpress card for a friend
  • Remnants of fabric or ribbon, washi tape, or a tiny canvas from the local crafts store. Partly because it’s pretty in itself, partly because of what you can do with it, and partly because owning a beautiful piece of possibility is really wonderful after a rough day.
  • “3 Buck Chuck” or wine from Aldi. I’ve been rather pleased with the quality of wine you get for about $3 (that is, if your state allows grocery stores to sell wine).

$5 to $10

  • A new knitting/crochet/cross stitch pattern on Ravelry or Etsy.
  • A disposable fountain pen. When the ink runs out, check out the ink samples above.
  • Half a pound of great coffee, or some excellent tea.
  • The good toilet paper.
  • A pretty darn good bottle of wine.
  • Bath goodies from Lush or someplace similar. I like the bath bombs, but bubble bath is also appealing.
  • A magazine you love but don’t normally buy, one of the thick ones with ten thousand pretty photos. (Does anybody still buy magazines regularly?)
  • Fresh fruit. In summer this might buy a pallet full of apples or peaches. And even in winter, good berries aren’t out of reach.
  • Super market have a cheese island? Look in every once in a while for discounted cuts.  Manchego is my favorite, quickly followed by creamy gouda and aged cheddar.
  • Just dessert at a fancy place.

$10 to $20

  • Indoor rock climbing
  • A day pass to a state park
  • Tickets to a play/musical by a local high school
  • A manicure or eyebrow touch-up.
  • A cocktail, glass of wine, or decent scotch at a nice bar
  • A DVD of an old favorite, and maybe some popcorn to go with it.
  • A cute pair of earrings on Etsy — tea, herkimer diamonds, bluegreen studs.
  • A new mug. Mr. Darcy, anyone?
  • A sketchbook or journal
  • Really superb socks. Smartwool, or fleece-lined tights to help you survive winter, or something with a funky pattern. Batman, complete with cape? Bee’s knees? Unbearably cute dinosaurs? After all, if it’s good enough for Dumbledore….
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What My Single Friends Taught Me About Love [Human Drama]

Nobody Knows What the Hell They Are Doing [99U]

How to Talk to Your Daughter About her Body [HuffPo]

Religion or spirituality has positive impact on romantic/marital relationships, child development [ScienceDaily]

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The Essence

“Love is the essence of the holiness of the Church.”

Fr. Alexander Schmemann, The Eucharist: Sacrament of the Kingdom

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