Is the day when Latvia celebrates its Independence Day. So of course it is a national holiday.
We headed to Riga in the afternoon to join in the festivities. There are lots of free concerts. We had chosen to go to a kokle concert. Kokles are fascinating to me because they are a traditional Latvian instrument. The concert was a group of four ladies.
They played in a museum of Jugend Style in a room that held about 30 people. It was so lovely, and small and personal. I love the Jugend- early 1900 decor. It was so much more than I anticipated. The girls working in the museum were dressed in Victorian clothes with the most wonderful hats. This time era always pleases me and so when the music started I was taken over by emotions because the whole atmosphere- decorations, and beautiful music was just so lovely. Of course I cried. Which reminded me of my grandma and her saying through her tears (as she listens to music), "It is just too beautiful. I can't take it." That made me smile to myself.
When the concert was over we got to walk about the museum. It was small, but charming. It has been refurbished to look like an apartment would have looked at that time.
We then walk a bit about Riga. There were tons of people- I heard there were a million out that evening. We left before the larger crowds arrived. But we enjoyed seeing some gatherings and light exhibitions.
We ended our evening out by eating at McDonald's. Something we never ever do- but a fun way to feel American now and then :) The kids loved that.
I'm never too excited when I have to leave my kids all day. But I had tons of errands to run in Riga before my 16:00 appointment. So I left home at 1 pm.
I was on a quest for some very specific ingredients for my birthday cake and other goodies:
I headed to a special grocery.They had sweet potatoes, but they were expensive and didn't have the other ingredients. So I left and went to another store. I love going to this store because they have so many American foods. But sometimes they are very pricey. I got some sweet potatoes- but not the kind I'm familiar with. These are from Israel and slightly different. I found rice crispies, but alas NO marshmallow cream. They no longer carry it. Sad. Now I will have to find a recipe and make that too. Yikes.
Then I went to the market and got some things and rushed on.
I had my 16:00 appointment and that went well.
Then I went to the fabric store. Having no children and a car in Riga is a rare combination for me. Especially with time to kill. I enjoyed my time looking at fabric and notions! I then decided to walk to a nearby art store where I buy my silk painting supplies.
Note: Do not rush or walk quickly in the dark.
I was nearly there when I VERY badly twisted my ankle by stepping on the edge of a puddle which was also a hole. Thankfully there was some kind of large electrical box nearby where I could recover and wonder if I might have to call my husband to come rescue me. After yelping and resting I could finally limp on- but not without pain.
At 18:00 I headed to the the church where for the past 8 weeks J and I have been attending a marriage seminar. We got lots of great advice on communication and that sort of thing. Not that we are having problems- but we want to be prepared :) This was our last event and was a special romantic evening. I changed and waiting for him to arrive. My ankle still very sore and stiff.
The supper was lovely, and the company good. They had promised us a surprise and we were indeed surprised when we were all led downstairs for a dance lesson. The room was full of couples learning to dance and we had fun with some Louis Armstrong music. Though Janis and I were probably the couple with the most problems dancing. I don't know how to dance at ALL! Nor do I catch on easily it seems. Plus my ankle was hurting again due to high heels- oh silly women that we are!
Home again at 22:30. J took our babysitter home.
I checked my etsy shop and remembered there were shop critiques. I have been trying to sign up for a shop critique- which they do twice a week. So far I have never been successful. But I always sit and listen to the Livestream- hoping to be chosen and ask questions to the others on the chat. This critique was on photography and since my husband has been reading a lot on the topic I asked him if he had any questions. He did have one question which I sent in. As the program was ending and again I had not been noticed she started looking at her questions in queue. Then she chose our question and showed my shop and commented on the pictures that had drawn her in. She had lots of good things to say and some advice. But I was super excited to finally get at least a partial shop critique! Yay!
I am making another wedding cake today. Just a little one- for 30 people. It is to be the same kind as before, black forest. With dark chocolate, cherries, cream filling, swiss buttercream and marzipan.
I must say I am very, very pleased how my swiss buttercream turned out this time. It is ideal; smooth, glossy and delicious. Perfect for decoration. I used the recipe on this site ( I love her site and recipes) She is so inspiring. Last time I made a wedding cake I had a few problems with this frosting- but this time- wow! I only made half of the recipe for my small cake and it was just the right amount for frosting the cake before the layer of marzipan and for the decorations.
Ok, must run and finish my cake- enough rejoicing or boasting :) But seriously, try the swiss buttercream!
Recently I was listening in on a conversation brought up by these verses from Matthew 25:
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
In the course of the conversation we discussed our responses to the poor and beggars and in time our conversations led to discussing grandparents. It seemed to me as if most of those talking rarely see their grandparents. Whether that is because of them not being believers, or seeing life "differently", or busyness in life or other reasons I don't know exactly. But I do know this saddened me very, very much.
I started wondering if in not seeing our relatives we are just as bad as those who didn't care for the Lord and asked him when they had seen him in need. Perhaps differences arise in family's which keep us from spending time together. But I feel it is our duty and our privilege to care for the elderly in our families and those we can.
Perhaps the fact that my family is an ocean away also made this so sad for me. Here are loved ones just minutes or hours apart and yet they and we don't care for one another! This can't be right?! Can it? If only my grandma were a short ways away I would invite her to come and spend some days with me.
It is easy to talk when being with my family is so hard to do. I need to do better at also calling and sending letters. But I guess my challenge is for you my friend, don't neglect your loved ones for lack of differences, or busyness. Time is so short, you may be the only living witness they ever see. It is NOT enough to just hear about Jesus from others, our family needs to see and feel Jesus in and through us.
I have one living grandma. I wish I could see her more.