Let me say, Eric was NOT the type of person you would ever have thought would do something like this. Eric wasn't a stellar student by any stretch of the imagination. He smoked pot - actually he was the first guy who got me high! He was always cracking jokes, he was the class clown, always in the principal's office for disturbing the class, etc. He would get into fights, but not the type of violence he is now serving a life sentence for.
Our Senior Trip was a cruise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. I was a tom-boy, I was always one of the guys. Seriously, like a week before graduation one of my friends turned to me in English class, and said "You know I never thought of you as a girl, you were just one of the guys, till you and Dennis hooked up!" Grrrr.... My brilliant plan back-fired, you know, show the guys you're cool, can do the same crazy stuff as them, hang with the drinking, without getting plastered beyond recognition, etc. , yep that was me little ole 5'4" 120 lb. me drinking 6'5" tall 250+ pounds guys under a table. Anyway so on the cruise there I am with all the guys drinking beer, cracking jokes, smoking pot, basically being a stupid teen-ager! One of the guys is getting a head ache, so me and him head back to my cabin where I have some asprin, I open the door, and it's a HUGE all girl drama fest. One friend was busted with the boyfriend of another friend. I quickly grab the asprin, close the door, and high tail it back to the guys room. I tell them what is going on, and ask if I can crash with them, cause I just can't deal with the drama - NOT my thing! Sure no problem. So I wind up bunking with Eric. No, no funny business, he was the perfect gentleman, didn't even attempt to 'spoon'!
Eric was always very cool, down to earth and nice around me, so when I found out about the hideous things he has done it completely floored me. My heart goes out to his mom, who was THE SWEETEST woman you have ever met! I just don't understand it!
I guess it just goes to show you never really know someone like you think you do. People will always surprise you, however this is one surprise I would rather not have had!
So I'm in the last 8 episodes of LOST over here in Romania, on this side flash or whatever it is, Sawyer is a cop who's chasing down the real Sawyer, and whaddya know, he just ran into "running from the law Kate", again! I've read a few spoilers which leads me to believe she's gonna stomp his heart out at the end of it all.
But back to Sawyer. I love the complexity of his character, the back and forth, the robbing Peter to pay Paul mentality. Even though he does some low down despicable things you still love him, because the reason he does it makes sense, there's a noble motive behind it all.
Can't wait to see how this series finally ends, then of course I want the complete series on DVD so I can watch it all over again from start to finish!
Anyway in my dream my hair is long, and sorta blond, I’m pretty solid. In reality I’m NOT a fat person, I’ve popped out 3 kids, and can still wear size 2 pants! In the dream I’m wearing Daisy Dukes. I DO NOT like showing my body, especially my pasty white legs. So anyway, my friend (who is face & nameless; I have no friends here) comes in with all these bags of shoes that I had bought and left with her. I become overjoyed suddenly, where I as before I was lethargic, and depressed. The thing is though there were like 10 pair of shoes, mainly heels, and probably 7 pair of them were red!!!
I like the color red, but I don’t normally wear it because I’m fair skinned with freckles, auburn hair (that is rapidly turning gray) and blue eyes.
When I woke up, and sat down to drink my coffee, I started thinking about the dream. I was so depressed to the point of tears in the dream, till I had all these red shoes. There was one pair that was my favorite, not to flashy, more like a ballet slipper in patent red leather. No bling or anything, but I LOVED them.
So I thought about what it could mean and I immediately thought about “The Wizard of Oz”, and Dorothy’s red slippers that when she clicked the heels together she was instantly transported home. So I’m wondering if subconsciously I’m wanting to go home. I think so, I mean I’m in a foreign country where nothing makes sense to me. My husband had to go work in Italy, cause there’s no work here in Romania, I have no friends, can’t talk to anyone, and my oldest had an appendicitis scare the other day, where “Dr. Armenia” threw me for a loop. You can read about that episode by going to post entitles “Hospital Politics”, it’s much funnier than this one.
So I guess that’s what the Red Shoes symbolized, my wanting to be Dorothy, and magically transport to back to my ‘Kansas’! Of course the red shoes could symbolize how much I miss my husband! ;p
The title of this post is a line spoken by Ben Kingsley’s character in the 2008 movie “Transiberrian”. He spoke this in response to Woody Harelson’s character’s question of if he misses the dark, evil days of Communism. Living in one of the old Eastern Bloc countries, makes this statement ring true, very loud, and long.
Democracy and capitalism doesn’t seem to work here. Honestly, what they run in Europe isn’t really Democracy, which never worked any, which is why the founders of the U.S. instituted a Republic, cause history had shown repeatedly that Democracy is nothing more than mob rule. What they have in Europe is Socialized Democracy, sure you have freedom of speech, religion, etc. but not the freedom to pursue happiness, because the people are overworked, severely underpaid, and OVERLY taxed. I mean we have a 19% VAT – that Value Added Tax added to every purchase, that’s on top of other taxes as well.
My husband, his friends, and the older people have told me what it was like when Nicolae Ceacescu was in power here. Yes there was food rationing, electricity wasn’t switched on till the sun went down, and of course there was no freedom of the press, you only got a few hours of Television in a day. People today would DIE without TV! Books of course were censored, etc.
However there was positive, none of the land went to waste – every square inch of this country was plowed, seeded and harvested. EVERYONE worked! During Harvest the school aged kids would be sent out to the fields for a week or two to help harvest. They were given sleeping quarters and 3 full meals a day. At the end of the harvest, the kids were given some of the harvest to bring home to their mothers, who would then freeze it, or make juices, wines, or jams. The company you worked for bought you an apartment when you married, as your family grew, the company bought a bigger apartment. When the revolution happened, you had to buy the apartment from the company, which was pretty cheap, but with the value of the Romanian Leu falling, it was expensive. My mother and father in law had a pretty hefty sum of money saved up for their retirement, after the revolution is was pretty much worthless. they bought a new and some other things for the house.
If you didn’t work, you went to jail, in jail you learned a skill, when you came out (it wasn’t a lengthy stay), if you couldn’t find a job, the state found one for you! When you had a baby, you stayed home for a year, with pay, with your child. Your job was held for you. Kids played outside!
Yes, in Communism there is no God, but the people, especially the older people who were alive pre-Communism, taught their children about God. The Orthodox church was still allowed to run, out of tradition, and of course the state used the priests as spies to inform on their parishioners who attended regularly, who questioned the state in confessionals, etc. Yes, there were some truly despicable things that were done in the name of Communism, the late Richard Wurmbrand suffered cruelly at the hands of the Communist regime in Romania because of his faith in Christ. He wrote a great book called “Tortured For Christ” the goes into detail about how Communism targeted the underground church.
Despite the bad, there are people here, mainly the people my age and older who actually miss Communism, not for the oppression, but because things seemed to be better then economically, etc. My husband has told me about when he was young he remembers when Ceasescu was coming to visit, suddenly the markets were FULL of fresh fruits, vegetables, household goods, etc., stuff that normally wasn’t found in the market. Not because it wasn’t there, but because the farmers, or people running the markets, wouldn’t sell it normally, they hoarded it or sold it for higher prices on the black market. Ceasescu wanted to know that the people he was governing were well, that they were living well. In the construction industry, the large trucks, and machines were given a quota of so many gallons of diesel to use every month, if they didn’t use it all, they were in HUGE trouble. Marius said BARRELS of Diesel were being dumped, because the workers weren’t using it all, mainly because they were loafing. Yeah bank accounts were monitored, if you suddenly had a huge amount of money in the bank, you were investigated.
Communism/Socialism, it’s all great in theory, but in practice, it’s disaster for the most part. Why??? Well because the heart of man is wicked. Communists and Karl Marx yelled about the evils of Capitalism. But the same thing happens in Communism, because there will always be people making those power grabs. They get dirt, blackmail, lie, cheat, steal and even murder to get more ahead, usually financially, and when you have the financial resources, you can gain power, after all money is what makes the world go round! Yeah it would be nice if we were all equal, that there were no social classes, but even at the height of Communism, there were still the rich, middle class, and the poor.
I don’t think Communism is the right answer for any country, not as long as evil runs free in the hearts and minds of men. I believe that is why God didn’t institute a formal type government in Israel. It was only after the cry of the Israelites begging to be like other nations that he instituted the Judges, then the Kings, and we see what happened. Look at history, ALWAYS the wars are started over a power grab! Money=Power, and visa versa!
Seriously, though, Paul is the funniest little boy. He comes and sits next to me and watches the news with me, then will put his cheek up to my mouth, and say "pup" - that's Romanian for kiss, pronounced like the word "poop" - yeah I know, the irony!!! LOL!! But anyway, like this evening he wanted a glass of water, ad he was standing in the doorway to the balcony. I fixed his cup, and told him to come get it. He replies to me: "no, u come here". Okay, I correct him, but it's ineffective since I'm trying very hard (and failing) to surpress my grin.
He's cutest when it's just me and him, and his sisters aren't around. His big sister, the middle child, will be sitting in my lap, and he will come in the room out of no where, and push her off, crawl in lap, and stay there, when Isabel leaves the room, he leaves my lap! When I'm checking email, he'll crawl up in my lap, and smack his cheek against my face, so I can kiss it each time it makes contact with my mouth. Sometimes when he's sitting nice and still, and gibbering about what he sees on the computer screen, which is generally emails or news sites, I'll kinda "bite" his earlobe. Basically, I pull my lips over my teeth, then "bite" his earlobe - he thinks it's funny, and sometimes he'll point to his ear, and say "Mommy!"
He has only in the last couple of days started telling me he loves me on his own! Awwww!!!! All my kids are very loving and affectionate. But this "little" boy just, I don't know how to describe it, he cracks me up!
So off to the hospital I went this morning to get her checked out. I brought my MIL, since my Romanian is still very limited! The take her to triage to examin her, I wait in the hall with MIL and other 2 offspring. Nurse comes out and asks me to come in. The doctor examining her looks up at me, and asks:
Dr.: "You are American, yes?"
Dr.: "I am Armenian"
Dr.: " We don't worry about our countries politics."
Me: " Who cares about politics?!?"
Okay, obviously I keep up with politics, but honestly, I have absolutely NO clue what the diplomatic relations are between the U.S. and Armenia. But seriously, why did he even say that? Maybe he has issues with America, or maybe he thought I had issues with Armenia??? It really threw me for a loop, and I found that comment completely disarming, and completely unnecessary!
They didn't think anything was wrong, as Kelly got quiet and suddenly had no more stomach pain. I think she got scared. So anyway Dr. Armenia gives me his phone number in case I have questions, or she has problems. Then after I take the number, he tells me.....Wait for it:
"I am a plastic surgeon"
I'm thinking oooooookay.....why did a plastic surgeon examin my child for appendicitis? Was it because he was the only English Speaking Dr. in the hospital, or what? Secondly, why in the world does the hospital in Tulcea even have a plastic surgeon???
Strange, strange, strange!
So the wedding party, family, friends have all arrived, whooping, yelling, playing music from the car all the way up the stairs. Lots of drinking, etc.
So needless to say, I won't be getting much sleep tonight!
The wedding party
Shots these from my balcony, sorry it's blurry - screen doesn't move!
You can view a short clip of the NOISE factor HERE!
Okay so I just heard the most ridiculous thing on L.A. Ink, yes, I like watching people get tatooed, not sure why, but I do, guilty pleasure #153.
Anyway, so this one woman got a tatoo of the earth, with the recycling symbol wrapping around it. She said, and I quote: “The earth is my god.”. Okay, I can deal with that, people have been worshipping the earth, sun, moon, stars, etc. since, well Forever.
Well she is also a vegan, and she said “We have all the pigs and cows, and other animals on these farms, and they release all this methane, then it rains, and the methane drains into the ground and our water”… O.K.!?!
So my thing is this – so what there have been animals roaming this planet since the dawn of time pretty much. The animal population is DRASTICALLY smaller than what it was even 150 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for taking care of our land and waters, etc., finding alternate energy sources, and all, but I think some people take thing a little too far!
So, there are some really AWESOME, mouth-watering traditional dishes here in Romania, all of which, I have mastered. So today I made Sarmale, pronounced: Saar-mall-ay. Had a little meat left over, so I stuffed some bell peppers. Here’s the 411 on how to make both!
- 1 KG. Ground Beef
- 1 KG Ground Pok
- 1 Large Onion, chopped
- Salt – to taste
- Pepper (I prefer White) – to taste
- 2 bunches fresh Dill - chopped
- 1/2 Kilo uncooked white rice
- Grape Leaves*
- Steamed Cabbage leaves*
- Tony’s (if you like)
- Sausage, or some sort of meat on the bone – you’re choice
- Large Pot
- Bell Peppers
- 3-4 Tomatoes
- Tomato Sauce
- Sour Cream – for when you eat
- French Bread - for when you eat
*Okay, the Grape Leaves can usually be purchased from a store that deals specifically in items from the other side of the world. In Baton Rouge, there is a little Arabic store off of Sherwood Forest, near the Harrell’s Ferry intersection, that sells the grape leaves. They are in a jar. Basically they’re soaking in some sort of salt-water solution. They might carry the cabbage leaves like this as well, you’ll have to check. If not, the buy fresh cabbage, and steam or boil until the leaves are tender.
Okay, get your pot, ad place the sausage in the bottom:
Note – use your hands to mix
- Mix meats together thoroughly
- Add onions, rice, dill to meat and mix well
- Add salt, & pepper to taste, for a little extra something, I add a little Tony’s.
- Add about 2 Spoonfuls of Tomato Sauce
- Mix well.
Now your meat is ready to be rolled up. What you want to do is place the cabbage or grape leaf in your hand like so:
Now pinch off some meat with the other hand, and make it into a small roll:
Now, start rolling it up, then tuck the ends into the roll:
Place in the pot, keep rolling and placing in the pot:
I used some cabbage as well as grape leaves. I used the cabbage first, so they are in the bottom of the pot, pictured above.
Once you have exhausted either all the meat or all the leaves, chop 2 tomatoes and place on top of the rolls, spoon some more tomato sauce on top. I sprinkle a little more Tony’s as well. Cover with water, and place over medium low heat, and allow to boil for approx. 30 min. to 1 hour, or until the meat and rice are thoroughly cooked.
NOW, I had a bit of meat left, and lots of bell peppers, so I stuffed a few.
Wash the peppers thoroughly, and cut the tops off. To do this, insert the point of the knife in the pepper around the edge of the stem, and cut around the stem, once all the way around, pull the stem up and out:
Turn the pepper upside down and knock out as much of the seeds as you can. Then start stuffing:
Once you’ve stuffed all your peppers, slice a tomato, and place over the opening Then add some water and a spoon of tomato sauce, cover and let boil till meat and rice are cooked. Approx. 30 min.-1hour:
Now fix your plate, spoon some sour cream over your sarmale (or pepper), grab some french bread, spoon a little of the water the sarmale cooked in over your sarmale, and Bon Apetit, or as they say in Romania, Pofta Buna!
So a lot of people have told me I should write a book based on mine and my husband’s life experiences. Honestly, the thought has crossed my mind before, the only problem is I don’t exactly know where to start, how the story should flow, how much should be fact, and how much should be fiction. Should I even attempt to write about my hubby’s immigration nightmare in the U.S.? I mean in the wild, dream scenario that the book did get published and garnered international attention, there could be drastic repercussions that we really would not want to deal with.
I’ve thought about just focusing on living in another country, but then you kinda have to have a reason for WHY you are living abroad, and honestly, the facts are a lot more intriguing than anything I could make up. I’ve thought about maybe asking my cousin who has written 2 novels, one being a complete series, and the other just one, back to back, and is now waiting to hear back from agents, so she can get herself published. But she’s got her plate full already, what with editing a local parenting magazine in Mobile, plus her writing novels, wife of busy attorney, and mom of 2 elementary aged girls! Jeez, like she really needs more, especially from the other side of the world! Seriously, though, you should check out her blog, she’s very funny and witty. Here blog, “That’s Write” can be found Here.
Maybe I should just blog the book???
So I was thinking about past events, and wondered ‘what if’? Everyone I’m sure at one point or another has wondered the exact same thing. There are some events that stand out in my mind more than others. I had chosen that path instead of this one, would I be happier?? Would I still have some of the same things I have now. The answer is unknown, but still I can’t help but wonder, “what if?”
So, the major disadvantage to living in a place where you don’t speak the language is my kids. My kids, the oldest two at least are fluent in Romanian, and I’m not. This has become a major obstacle for me, and an easy escape for my oldest, who quickly figured out that in this case mom really doesn’t understand. In fact, I’m quite clueless.
She can tell me that my mother in law said one thing, when she really didn’t say anything of the kind. Her teacher said she needs money for this, when really she doesn’t need any. I get it, kids are sneaky, but factor in a language barrier on my part, and it’s a whole new ballgame. I don’t know anyone who can relate to me, as everyone I know is either back home in the U.S. or they are here and speak both English and Romanian, not to mention probably one to three more languages on top of these two!
I’m slowly getting the hang of the language. I mean I’m getting to where I can understand it more when I hear it spoken. Speaking it back is a horse of a different color. The thing is though, I still am not good enough that my kids know that they can pull the wool over my eyes in a lot of cases.
My oldest daughter is a sweet heart, but she’s 7, and since we’ve been here she’s been give a lot of independence, and maybe that is what missing link to her behavior lately. I won’t go into details, but it isn't good! Back home I would never have let her walk to the top of our neighborhood to go to the store there to buy some milk or loaf of bread. Cause it just wasn’t safe, she could get kidnapped, hit by a car, attacked by a dog, etc. Here though, nobody messes with the kids, dogs are everywhere, and the only people they seem to attack are they gypsies, which although politically incorrect, is quite amusing! Anyway, I can give her a few bucks and send her down the stairs, across a fairly busy street and into the store to buy me some bread or milk, or whatever I might need to finish what I’m cooking. At her grandmother’s she can walk up the hill and across another street and go to the park. She walks herself to and from school every day. It takes about 5 minutes to walk there, if that gives you any ideas as to distance.
So is it the language barrier coupled with gotten too soon independence that is wrecking havoc in my domestic felicity, or just growing pains – part of growing up? I think it’s the former. In the States she was sheltered, didn’t go anywhere on her own, never out of my eye sight, We didn’t live in a good school district, and the school she would have had to attend was a bad school, so we homeschooled. Here she can come and go pretty much as she pleases [within reason], she goes to public school, seems to make friends easily, and makes good grades.
So why is this parent just not understanding???