Sunday, September 7, 2014

Depressing Genealogy

I've been doing genealogy work today on some German ancestors. I found that my 6th great grandfather had a first wife. Sadly, she died very young, as did all of their children.

Philipp Jacob Schwartz married Anna Margaretha Faath

They had:
Eva Margaretha (7 Oct 1774 - 15 Oct 1774)
Maria Magdalena (7 Oct 1774 - 11 July 1775)
Philipp (7 Oct 1774 - 15 Oct 1774)
Johann Adam (8 Feb 1777 - 29 Oct 1779)

Yes, that is a set of triplets, and they didn't have fertility medications back then. ;)

Anna Margaretha died when Johann Adam was just 5 months old. I can not imagine how much pain this couple must have gone through losing all of their children, then Philipp who also lost his wife. It must have been unbearable. It would be for me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Христос Воскресе! Χριστός Ανέστη! Christ is Risen!

This was my first Orthodox Pascha (Easter). It was (mostly) wonderful. Instead of paragraphs, i'll just do some bullet points. :)

  • Candles. Lots of sweet smelling beeswax candles. I have my candle sitting in the living room (for now) and i still get whiffs of honey. You can tell these aren't processed candles. ;) At midnight, everyone's candles get lit from a single candle from the Priest. Well, not all from the's like a wave effect. One person lights theirs from the Priests then someone lights their candle from that and on and on. It's quite beautiful. 
  •  After, we go outside and circle the church 3 times while hymns are sung and church bells rang. (Candles still lit, if the wind didn't blow them out ;) ) Icons are carried in the procession around the church. When we get back to the front of the church, more hymns are sung along with shouts of  Христос Воскресе! and Christ is Risen!
  • When we go back inside, the priest(s) (we had 3 that night) go around the church one by one with incense and chants of Христос Воскресе! Christ is Risen! and Χριστός Ανέστη! I forget how many times this was done, but i think is lasted around 30 minutes. 
  • Then the liturgy and communion. At the end, i kissed the Cross held by the priest and got a blessed red egg. :) 
  • When that is all done, we go to the parish hall where all of the Easter baskets are blessed. Then FEASTING! :) 

I'm sure i'm missing details, but the night was a little hazy for me. I got extremely car sick (ugh) on the way down (and on the way home) and wasn't feeling too hot so i spent a lot of time near the door for some cold air. Even through the sickness, it was wonderful! We got there sometime between 11 and 11:30 and i didn't get home until after 5am! Easter/Pascha has always been my favorite holiday and experiencing it through Orthodoxy has only made me love it 100x more. I already can't wait until next year! (And i will definitely be taking more precautions against my car sickness next year.) I will have to post some of the Pascha hymns in another post.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

10 Years

Today would have been Raven's 10th birthday. He passed last 5th Sept 2013 in my arms. I still miss his sweet, spunky self every day. Love you meow meow. <3 br="">

Thursday, March 13, 2014

My first Orthodox Liturgy!

I attended my first liturgy at a Russian Orthodox church this past Sunday (9th March). It also happened to be the Sunday of Orthodoxy. It was awesome! The service was longer than a normal service because it was a special day. In the Russian Orthodox Church, there are no pews to sit down, only a handful of chairs for the elderly or infirm. I'm proud of myself that i stood the entire time! (The service was around 3 hours long). 

The chanting was amazing! This parish has some wonderful voices. The smell of the incense was familiar, but i couldn't place what the scent was. It was a very good experience. I really felt at home in this parish. I got a ride from a lovely local family. They were very nice. 

After liturgy, during coffee hour, i was introduced to Matushka and the Deacon (I forget their names). They were very nice and welcoming and hope to see me again. I didn't talk to the priest because he seemed busy and i hate being a bother. (I know, i know). But there is next time. :)

I will definitely go back! I am *completely* comfortable in my decision to convert to Orthodoxy. It's what i've been searching and longing for for years. <3 nbsp="" p="">

Here is a photo of me from last sunday. :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Bella Cup Review

The Bella Cup is made in Korea of clear 100% Medical grade silicone. It comes with a grey suede pouch and an instruction booklet. The name Bella means Beautiful.

 The Bella Cup comes in two sizes - Small & Large.
The Small is 41mm in diameter and capacity is 20ml. The length of the stem is 23.8mm and length of cup body is 48.1mm.
The Large is 45.5mm is diameter and capacity is 30ml. The length of the stem is 20.3mm and length of cup body is 53.1mm. 

The small is for women under 30 who have not given birth vaginally and the large is for women over 30 or who have given birth vaginally.

Small Bella Cup

 The Bella cup has a pretty rigid bubble like stem. it reminds me of a caterpillar. If the stem is too long for you, you may trim it as it may be uncomfortable if it's too long. I might trim mine a couple notches. The Bella Cup has two different textured rings around the base of the cup. For me, these weren't helpful grip rings in aiding in removal. The smooth silicone can get slippery, but it isn't really difficult to remove.

The Bella Cup is a pretty soft cup, it's very comfortable. It has 4 air/suction holes right under the rim. It also has 'Bella' stamped into the silicone on the inside rim. The Bella Cup is extremely easy to clean. The silicone is very smooth and glossy. 

The Bella Cup website has a very nice User Guide.

Bella Cup can be worn up to 12 hours before being emptied depending on your flow. 

The Bella Cup costs 21.99 Euro or about $30. Bella cup will last you years if cared for, so it's very affordable!

You can purchase the Bella Cup on their website or on Feminine Wear.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

LuvUr Body Cup Review

 The LuvUr Body menstrual cup is quite a unique cup. It has raised flowers all around the outside of the cup, but not so raised that it is hard to clean. This menstrual cup comes in 3 colors - Dark Green, Red, and White and 2 sizes - Medium and Large.

The Medium is 45mm in diameter, 61.7mm in total length, stem is 20.3mm and capacity is 31ml.
The Large is 48mm in diameter, 56.7mm in total length, stem is 20.3mm and capacity is 34.5ml.

I think the LuvUr Body cup is one of the longest and highest capacity cups in the market. LuvUr Body is a Nigerian company with excellent customer service. Their cups are manufactured in Malaysia of 100% Medical Grade Silicone.

From the LuvUr Body site:

In deciding to make both our menstrual cup sizes ample in terms of volume, we realized that alot of women suffer from simply very heavy menstrual flow or such medical conditions such as hormonal imbalance, polyps, fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease which all cause heavy menstrual periods. For such women obviously, the smaller cup brands will not adequately cater for their needs. A much larger menstrual cup is actually what they need.
In some ethnic communities in Africa where multiple births is the norm ie: having between 4-12 kids most times by natural birth with or without episiotomies larger sized cups will provide the much needed "better grip" against the vaginal muscle slackness that occurs over time. In some African countries where more advanced methods of contraception such as Nuva Rings, Diaphragms, Cervical caps, spermicides, birth control pills, Arm Implants, are not known or readily available the IUD and birth control injections are the primary form of contraception administered to women, it is also good to bear in mind that the IUD characteristically causes VERY HEAVY menstrual flow as a side effect. Most women that use them due to heavy flow may have to double pads or use 2-3 doubled pads to back-up a Super or Super plus tampon. Women that have fibroids and use IUD's will experience particularly very heavy menstrual flow.

Lovely cotton bag that comes with the Dark Green LuvUr Body cup

The LuvUr Body cup has 4 suction/air holes up under the rim. On the inside of the cup, there are little air vents around the holes. "LuvUr Body" is stamped on the inside rim of the cup. There are also measuring lines at 7.5ml and 15ml on the inside of the cup. If you find that the stem is a bit too long, you can trim it up to the ball part of the stem. The stem is a tad long for me, but it's too pretty for me to cut so i just left it. :) 

Close up of stem and flower grips on the bottom of cup.

Inside - You can see the air vents and LuvUr Body.

Measurement lines.

You can wear the LuvUr Body menstrual cup for up to 12 hours before emptying. I found on my heavy day that i could wear this cup for about 9.5 hours before emptying which is great for when you're out and about or at work/school! It is easy to insert and take out & very comfortable. I did have a little trouble with getting it to open - my cervix kept getting in the way - but i found that if i gave the cup a little turn, it opened easily. I like using the punchdown fold with this cup.  This is a good cup if your cervix gets lower while on your period as you still have ample capacity even when your cervix goes into the cup.


LuvUr Body cup. There is a gentle swell under the rim for extra capacity.

Punchdown fold

7 Fold

C Fold

The LuvUr Body Menstrual Cup costs about $32 and comes with a storage pouch and an instruction sheet in 18 different languages! You can purchase on the LuvUr Body site linked above or on Feminine Wear.