Is God There?

  So I went to a pentecostal church here in Tulcea this morning with my sister in law.  My Romanian is still very, VERY, limited so I understood pretty much nothing.  The services here are much different than what we experience back home, there is a lot of standing, sitting kneeling & praying, then singing.  The several different men got up and spoke, reading scripture [i think], then more down on the knees and praying. 

  I didn't know if people were "speaking in tongues" or just praying out loud in Romanian.  I didn't feel God's presence, and I couldn't help but wonder if it was because I didn't understand anything being said, or if it's something else.  Kinda made me wonder. 

  I know that most of what goes on in the mainstream churches in the U.S. is heretical and un-biblical, so it made me wonder if some of the 'charismatic' move has moved on over here too.  I believe in God, His son Jesus, the crucifixion, resurrection, etc.  However, I don't necessarily believe in the whole slain in the spirit & speaking in tongues, 'holy laughter', etc. that runs rampant these days.  Most of that seems demonic, not righteous and holy.  BUT, I do believe that a fraction, a very small fraction of it is real. 

  I think mainly I've just seen the Word so twisted and convoluted in "churches" - that it has left a really bad, bitter taste in my mouth.  I try to not judge and not be bitter, not be so cynical about it, but I guess the whole fool me once: shame on you, fool me twice: shame on me, kinda fits the bill here.  I've been fooled one too many times by charlatans and false teachers, and propho-liars!  I can count on 1, ONE, hand how many TRUE men/women of God that I know, who are teachers/preachers.

  Anyway, so do you think it comes down to understanding what is being said in order to feel God's presence, or is it like most everything else in churches these days - a big show that induces psychosomatic sensations, i.e. the power of suggestion?


Benefits of being motherless

  Well, first of all, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  Since my hubby is working in Italy, and it's just me and the kids, we aren't really doing T-day here - too much food, for just me and 3 small kids.  And people here don't really do cornbread dressing, so, oh well.

So the temperature is starting to drop, it's 8 Celsius today, and my friends over in Prauge got the first snow yesterday.  Not to mention that they were predicting this winter to be the coldest Europe has seen in about 100 years.  So I needed to put anti-freeze in our Volvo station wagon - yeah, I drive a station wagon!

Marius was like just go get some anti-freeze and put it in the car, you're supposed to flush the system, but just put some in the resevoir, but don't start the car, I'll deal with all that when I come home at Christmas.  And so I went this morning, after bringing the kids to school, and bought some anti-freeze and water.  I then walked back my bloc where my car was parked, and proceeded to flush the system myself.

I got strange looks from passer's by, I mean most men here don't know what they are doing when it comes to cars, much less, (God forbid) a Woman!!!!

  But there it is, my car is now safe for winter, with fresh anti-freeze & water sitting peacefully in the radiator and it's resevoir.

This is where I'm grateful to my mom for not being around while I was growing up.  I love my mom and all, but it actually worked out better for me that she wasn't there.  If she had been, then I don't think I'd have the awesome relationship with my dad, that I do have.....

....and he wouldn't have taught me to change tires, brake pads, oil, and flush a cooling system.  I wouldn't know where spark plugs where, what they do or hot to change those either.  I wouldn't know where to find the steering & brake fluid, or bleed the brake lines; making sure to pump all the air out of the lines to avoid catastrophe!

If mom had been there, I would have learned about make-up, hair, and how to dress myself.  But then I wouldn't be able to take of myself in regards to car mechanics (making sure I don't get ripped off by a mechanic), or stranded on the side of the road and at the mercy of whatever freak happens to stop to "help" me!

I guess the draw back to that I always related better to guys than to girls.  I could talk "shop" about cars, hunting, guns, politics, history, etc.  Where all the girls ever wanted to talk about was clothes, shopping, boys, make-up, clothes, shopping, boys.....

...you get my point.  The draw back to that was that guys always viewed me as one of them; "one of the guys".  Which was cool, because that usually meant I had a shield from the weirdos and creeps, on the other hand, it kinda cramped my style while on the 'dating scene'.  Even if my guys didn't scare a potential suitor off, then I did, because they realized they couldn't pull the proverbial wool over my eyes! 

But then, I met a few guys like my husband, who were awed that I could cook well, wash clothes, be girly, but wasn't completely reliant on them to do all the "guy" jobs.  That I could hold my own with them, even if that lug nut was screwed on just a bit too tight, and I needed their muscle to loosen it for me.  They were just genuinely impressed that I knew which tool to give them when they asked for a crescent wrench!

So thanks mom, for leaving me in dad's hands!  Without his teaching, I'd be up a smelly creek without a paddle!


Politics Run Amok....

  So between the nudie scanners and sexual assault now being hung around the people's necks like the heavy yoke that it is, we now have the Senate Bill 510.....

....evidentally Big Brother doesn't trust The People to grow tomatoes in their backyards.  ALL agriculture will have to be approved and supervised by the Feds.

..My theory on this - they want us to eat only the chemically 'enhanced' food grown by them.  Chemicals that probably include the swine or bird flu (probably both), not to mention sterilization.  Hello, Obama's science Czar is all for copying China's 1 child law, as well as contaminating municipal water supplies that will render the drinkers of such sterile.

  I just read where both of my state senator's Mary Landrieu & David Vitter (Louisiana) recieved HUGE amounts of money to vote FOR SB 510.  Both of them voted to push the bill through the first stages last week, gee, I wonder how they will vote when it comes down to the wire?!?

What I wanna know is How much CRACK are you guys in D.C. smokin' these days?  I mean which version  of "Waiting For The Man" do you have on repeat 24/7???? The original by Lou Reed & The Velvet Underground, or Bowie's cover of it??

...I'm beginning to think George Orwell was a bit of a psychic.....

 Question: would a U.S. Citizen living overseas still be labeled a 'Domestic Terrorist' by the N.S.A. for speaking out against unconstitutional acts???


Loss for Words??

  So in my last post I mentioned Americans abroad and their behavior.  One that struck me as quite profound, is the 'like' lack of education among the younger generation.

  As my husband and I were walking back to the bus station in Portovenere, we past a group of men, one of the men who was speaking was  twenty-something man from the northern parts of the U.S. - he had the accent, ya know?

  Anyway, he was talking rather loudly (as Americans tend to do), and I swear to you every other second or third word was the word 'like'!

  I was suddenly aware of my generations lack of the vernacular when verbally communicating.  I know that I have been guilty of that in the past, back when I was in my early twenties.  Maybe it's an age thing?!?

  I wanted to turn around and tell him "DUDE!  Use your words!!"  I mean if you are comparing something you could say "The taste was similar to that of a ...."  instead of saying " It was like the taste of like a...."

....do you see what I mean.  My auditory and mental sense felt like they had just been brutally assaulted!  And I felt embarrassed for not just him, but myself and other people my age and especially younger.  It's like we all watched "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" or "Valley Girls" and the movie never stopped playing in our subconscious mind.


Americans Abroad

  Yes, I've been living overseas in Europe's old Eastern Bloc for going on 2 years now, however, where I am in this little Romanian city, I don't really happen upon American tourists much, NEVER really.  There are a lot of German and occassionaly some Asian toursits here in our quiet little city.

  Italy though, is a whole different ballgame.  I was there last week visiting my husband.  We took a train to Monterossa al Mare - about a 10 min. ride from where he lives and works in La Spezia.  There was a LARGE group of American tourists - all around retirement age, while they were nice and respectful in most aspects - they were also rather loud and somewhat obnoxious.  I suddenly realized that I don't like Americans!!!  While most are kind and well behaved, there are those that spoil it for the rest of us.  Those that think that because they ARE Americans, everyone should make way for them.  Those are the ones who make my life hell - because then all the locals in these European places, think that all Americans are like that first one they encountered!  Grrrrrr......

  Life in Europe, especially in Italy definitely moves at a somewhat slower pace.  For example - don't even attempt to get any type of shopping done between the hours of 1-3:30 p.m. Everything is closed for lunch!  The whole month of August - the country shuts down for vacation!  It's insane, cool but insane.  I did notice that bars and pubs don't stay open past like 10 p.m.  There are a few here and there that do, but for the most part, nope, if you want to party - do it at home!  I like that.  It's like that here too, at least in Tulcea.  Maybe in the bigger cities like Rome, Milan, Bucharest, etc.  Maybe there are places that do stay open till the wee hours of the morning, but they are few and far between.

  I understand why Europeans generally don't like Americans, and why they overcharge them for items (that is not right in my book), but at the same time, it's more of a jealousy issue.  Even as badly as the American immigration & judical system treated my husband, he still LOVES America and everything about it.  Sometimes I wish I could be so forgiving.....

....to put it bluntly I'm pissed at my own country.  My husband made mistakes, yes, he paid the price for those mistakes, but yet, they still denied him legal entrance into the U.S. Forget the taxes he paid!


Latest Trip to Italia

So this is my latest trip to Italy. The kids were out of school for 1 week, so I used that time to go visit hubby again, even though he will be home December 20th for Christmas straight through till just after New Year. Anyway these were taken yesterday (11/6/2010) in Monterossa, Itally. The first (or last - depending on your view) of the Cinque Terre - that means Five Lands - absolutely breath taking. The pictures aren't that fabulous, as I was coming down with what I thought was just a cold, but now appears to be the flu! uggghhh! Anyway hope you enjoy!

Monterossa, Italia


Digital vs. Film

 So I bought a new printer today, that has copying and scanning capabilities.  So I decided to scan my wedding photos....

...in the middle of doing that I realized that nobody has prints of candid photos anymore.  The only "REAL" photos people have anymore are either portraits that are taken in a studio, or on location by a pro., or photos taken by pro's of special events, i.e. weddings.

 So is this digital age really that great, cause hey guess what folks, when my motherboard fried back in June or July - it fried my hard drive as well - the one with ALL My photos on it. Thankfully I had uploaded most all of them onto my facebook page.

But photos that Marius had taken of the Restoration of Mississippi's Old State Capital - in which he did all the stucco and plastering work - gone!!

We hired a guy to build him a website, and brought him all the photos, we think he still has the digital copies we gave him, LORD I hope so, cause those photos were irreplaceable, literally!

This is one of the reasons I  miss film camera's - yeah they sucked cause if you took a bad shot, accidentally cut off cousin joe's head then you wasted not just film, but money as well - money on the film and money on the processing.

Too you don't have to worry about over or double exposure with digital - but sometimes that double exposure thing was really cool!

Not to mention that with film - you don't loose resolution.  There are a lot of pro's out there who prefer using film, just because they like quality of the prints it gives.  Granted film advancement has come a LONG way since the old days.

I Love my digital SLR - great for beginner's like me.  The digital helps you not waste film, as you can immediately see your shot, and see how you could improve it.  But, I gotta say though, I'm kinda missing film just for the whole, holding the actual photo in my hand quality!


Inquiring Minds Want To Know....

  So I've been requested to pick up my blog again, which I'm happy to do, only I don't feel like I've got much to say.

Not much has been going on, other than kids in school, getting sick, waiting to get paid, both myself and hubby.

It's been fairly uneventful, apart from fevers and vomiting - which has ceased for the time being.

On the upside, I did make a friend.  One mom of one of the boys in Isabel's Kindgergarten class speaks English.  Her husband is from Canada.  She is headed to Canada this week actually to spend some time with her hubby, then bring him back here to Romania at beginning of December.

She doesn't like Romania, and cannot understand why I'm here - actually a lot of people seem to be curious as to why I, an American with 3 kids (also American) choose to stay here in Romania.

Well I want to keep my family together, yeah, hubby is in Italy, but that is only a stone's throw away and a heck of a lot cheaper than the U.S.

It's not so bad here, yeah there are things that make me want to ram my head through a brick wall - but there are similar things in the U.S. - the idiots in D.C. for starters - from the White House on down to the Admins handling their mornonic schedules!

Got a care package from parental unit last week, which included Hazelnut coffee creamer - seriously, best stuff ever made!  Also included in pkg. was a candy thermometer - about to try my first batch of fudge.....

....so if any of you readers has a good, yet simple recipe, please share - please note that I can't find any type of syrup here, let alone corn syrup.  *note: dad did sent me some Blackburn's Pancake Syrup*  We've had pancakes twice this week.  Of course home-made - no boxed mixes!!!

Would love to go visit hubby in Italia first week of November - the kids will be out of school that week, not sure why, but they will.  However my hubby's family isn't real keen on helping me with the kids.

C'est la vie......
...or something like that.


Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

....No I didn't go to Vegas and win a big hand at Black-Jack.

I actually suck  money butt at card playing, even when it's just for toothpicks - God help me if I ever have loads of food stuck between my teeth and the only option to getting a tooth pick depends upon my winning at Texas Hold 'Em or Black Jack!  I'll have a teeth full of food - gross!!!

No, day before yesterday, I came home with the kids from school, and stayed outside with them for a little while, so they could run off some of that pent up energy.

While I'm sitting there watching the kids, and the expression on the faces of the neighbor's kids when they hear me talk - cause I'm an alien, who speaks in funny sounding language!

...seriously, that is how they look at me.  However I'm pretty sure I'm the best looking alien they've ever seen, I mean my skin isn't green or anything.  I'm a non-mutie type o' gal!  They even laugh when I talk, and ask my kids "Ce zic?" (what'd she say?)

So anyway, as I'm sitting there minding my own business (actually trying to mind other people's too, but language barrier sucks), one of the neighbors in the adjoining building starts talking to me.

He's an older guy, wearing a funny wanna-be cowboy type hat, tinted glasses (sort of a rosy/red tint) that happen to blend perfectly with that 'I've got a drinking problem complexion'.  PLUS he's missing teeth.

...don't I feel oh so special?

So he's talking to me, I can't understand him, not just cause of language barrier, but the lack of teeth, compounded with massive quantities of either wine or beer.  Isabel can't understand what he's saying either, and she's fluent in RO!

He keeps invading my personal space (which is one of my pet peeves), and then he asks me how old I am, was shocked to find out I'm over 30, he thought I was like 24 (he did score brownie points there).  He then compliments my blue eyes, and proceeds to tell me his wife is gone, and his kids are in England.

After he's said all this, as well as other stuff, of which I have no clue.  Out comes a couple who just got married Saturday, I believe he was trying to tell me they were leaving for their honeymoon, as he made the international body language sign for 'bedroom wrestling'.

Thankfully my 3 year old son LOVES his mommy, about a minute after this "sign language" took place, Paul runs over to me, wraps himself around my leg looks up at the old man and pointedly tells him:

"Mommy mea! My Mommy!"

I got out of there as quick as possible.  I wasn't scared and didn't feel threatened or anything like that, I actually found it humorous, but as I could smell some sort of alcoholic beverage on his breath, I decided that it would be better if I got the heck out of dodge as quickly as possible lest he start thinking I was enjoying his advances.

So lucky me, I won the "chicken dinner": being hit on by old man with no teeth, stinky breath, in a foreign language!

Now, aren't ya jealous???


Romanian Craftsmanship

So every year on August 15th there is a HUGE celebration here for sailor's or people named Maria, Mary, Marius, etc. - in honor of the virgin Mary.

Well for a week prior to the 15th, tradespeople come in from all over the surrounding area, artistsans of every type have a booth set up where they sell their goods.  Here are some of my shots. 

Please bear in mind I'm an amateur whose still trying to learn all the "tricks".

**NOTE:  if you click on the pictures you see the picture in the original size (or you should be able to)!