U.S. vs. Romania

  So I was lucky enough to get to take a trip home this summer, thanks to my dad and step-mom who doled out the cash for 4 round trip tickets for me and the kids.  Reason, being,  is that my brother has gotten married and had a baby in the 4 1/2 years we've been in Romania.  Bubba was missing me pretty bad, plus they all wanted me to see my niece as a baby.  It was great seeing my family and old friends.  I ate and ate and ate some more.  Put on close to 10 pounds, so did the kids!

  However after being away for so long here are few things that struck me that I had forgotten about. The first being the state of the roads.  America has great roads, even with the occasional pot holes.  The roads here in Romania are a complete nightmare.They build new roads and within 6 months to a year they are a disaster, with pot holes so big your car can get lost.  Which brings me to another difference.  The size of the cars.  Cars in U.S. are MONSTROUS compared to Romania, well all of Europe really.    Gas prices are cheaper there too.  For example we pay about $2.50 a liter here.  There are 4 liters in a gallon. So next time you are griping at the pump for paying $4-$5/gallon, just think you could be paying $10 a gallon like me.

  Speaking of size difference.  The cars aren't the only thing bigger in the U.S., the people are bigger too, and I ain't talking height either.  People there are massive.  I think it has to do with several things, the first being the food.  While tasty, it's full of chemicals, and hormones, or grown with GMO seeds, etc.  Second people don't walk there like they do here.  In U.S. you HAVE to drive everywhere, because everything is spread out that walking is not an option.  Here everything is close together making it easier to walk from point A to point B.  Thereby people here stay slim because of all the walking, plus the food is chemical and hormone free.  GMO's are banned im Europe.

  I do miss the size of the grocery stores, where you have enough space for people to move down without bumping into each other.  THAT was awesome, combined with the fact that people in the U.S. respected each others personal space and din't invade it!  I heard a choir of angels sighing HALLELUJAH for me!  ;)

  I missed the night sky here in RO, especially up here by my house.  It's so clear and clean.  I can see all the stars in the sky.  I love that.  I also love that there is very little humidity here.  It's the same temperature as in S.Louisiana, but without the humidity!  Whoo-Hoo!  I don't suffocate outside here!

  I will miss my brother's hamburgers, he has perfected his recipe to such a degree its sinful!  However he told me how to make them, and got me the seasoning I'll need!  :)  so I'll be grilling burgers when my hubby comes home next month!


Going Home.

  So about this time next week I'll be loading up my car and heading to Bucharest to catch a flight to Baton Rouge, LA. to visit my family and friends.  I haven't set foot on American soil since Jan.19, 2009.  Bush was technically still president when I left.  When I landed in Romania 4 1/2 years ago Obama was en route to be sworn in as Commander-In-Chief.

  I'm excited to go home and see my family, especially my brother, who has since I left the U.S. gotten married and had a daughter.  My niece just turned 1 year old in May.  I can't wait to see them.  Also to see my best friend since the age 12 who also got married.  Another best friend who was in the birthing room with me when my oldest daughter was born has had 2 kids since I left, so I get to meet them.  A lot has changed since I left.  I've missed a LOT.  And missing some of those things has really pissed me off, especially missing my baby brothers wedding.  I missed that milestone of seeing him step up into being a man and husband.  I kind of helped raised him, so in a sense it was like missing my own child's wedding.  Not sure if any of you can understand that, but that's how it felt.

  I'm REALLY looking forward to eating!  Especially a medium rare filet mignon.  Catfish Po-Boy's, Boudin balls, fried okra, hamburgers, Pizza, Fried Chicken, etc., etc.  I make fried chicken here, but it just ain't the same as Popeye's or KFC!  Steaks don't exist here.  Beef is not a meat that is consumed a lot here.  Pork however is.    I'm a little more excited about the food than anything else; does that make me crazy???

  I think it will be interesting to see my kids reactions to the U.S.  my oldest daughter remembers it better than my younger two, especially my baby, Paul, who was only 18 months old when we left.   He has no clue about McDonald's, Wal-Mart, Pizza Hut, etc.  This should be a trip.  I think it will be a bit of a culture shock for me as well.  I've become used to seeing horse drawn carts on the highways, etc.   Bad road construction, not being able to find what you want or need.  I'll definitely be posting while there.

  One thing I'm not looking forward to is talking with one family member who has basically called me terrorist because of how I judge the U.S. government, both this and the past administration.  To me there are just one to many things that do NOT add up.  Evidently questioning your government, and expressing the view to never live there again makes one a terrorist.  This should be a *fun* July 4th for me!

  So I will keep you posted on our trip there and back.  Until then enjoy the warm weather!


Winter Blues

So winter is here.  It has snowed a few times.  I've finally faced my fears and braved the snow covered roads.  I'm quiter proud of myself.  I didnt freak out, or cry or anything insane.  Just drove like an old lady, que theme music for "Driving Mrs. Daisy", if you please.  Not something I enjoy, but at least now I know I can drive in the snow when needed.

I'm waiting on spring, so I can get out and trim my grape vines, and turn the ground.  I really want a motorized cultivator, but unfortunately they cost a little more than I can afford at the moment.  *SIGH*  Maybe next year.  Big project for Marius when he comes home in August is to insulate the outside of the house, i.e. Stucco, his specialty.  I can't wait for people here, who think they know how to do stucco, to see a real professional do it.  My baby is a perfectionist.  I'm not, but he makes me proud!

Don't have a whole lot to say at the moment, but thought I'd share my current thoughts as it has been a while since I've written anything.

Hope everyone is enjoying snuggling by the fires with cups of hot cocoa or boiled wine.  Don't turn your nose up, it's REALLY good!!!