Social Media, or Social Criminals?

  Okay, so my oldest, a 13 year old of the female variety has begged me and her father for her very own Facebook account, to which we both said NO!  Not just No, but the 'HELLO NAW, the Lawd Gawd would hav ta come down out da sky and command us to give ya skinny behind permission' type no!

  I trust my kids to a point.  I'm not naive (I had to spell Evian; as in the bottled water company;backwards there); teenagers are sneaky, I was one not too long ago.  Okay yes it was many moons ago, but my memory is still in tact.  Hell, I was one of the sneakiest kids you'd ever meet.  Had every parent I met fooled, with the exception of my "Auntie Mom".  Yes that was a play on the Rosalind Russell character.  My actual mom wasn't really around, so my Aunt (dad's sister) filled in as mom after my grandma died.  Any who, I remember what it was like to be 13.  We thought we knew it all and that our parents were complete imbeciles who had fallen off of the proverbial turnip truck yesterday.  I mean hello!  They like music by Bobby Darin for cryin' out loud!  And now, my kids here me jamming out to Radiohead and are like, WHAT IS THAT?!?

  So back on point.  I and my better half explained to our  taller than me daughter......yes, she is taller than me by 4" and 1 shoe size,  that the world is full of crazy people!  We showed her a video of an adult guy who with parental consent, set up a fake Facebook account, posing as a 14 year old boy, who contacted these girls, and set up meetings with them.  ALL 3 of these girls agreed to meet with him.  They thought they were meeting a boy their own age.  Our daughter said she would allow us to check her page, etc.  We gave her a trial run, letting her use MY Facebook to message friends.  She was in the house on my android, while me and hubby sat outside at patio table on the tablet, and watched as she chatted with a boy, and quickly deleted messages thinking we would NEVER see them.  We busted her then and there. Tears were shed by both her and hubby, cause well, it surprised him that she was being sneaky....me, not so much!

  To drive our point home about crazy people, I also noticed she had befriended and messaged a Disney Europe star.  This singer/actress was actually responding to my daughter.  I pointed out to my daughter that celebrities have pages, but they NEVER respond to private messages like this one was doing, that this was probably some sicko who was saying, "Oh I would love to be able to perform in your town, but I'm already scheduled to be in 'such and such' city on that holiday"  This starlet is from Spain, so why would she be performing in Romania, on a Romanian Orthodox holiday?!?  That was another point I made......sorry got sidetracked.....I've noticed I do that  in my writing not just verbally!   Hmmmm....

  I went on to explain that, perhaps not immediately, but eventually this "starlet" would message saying, "Hey, look I've got a gig in X city, I'll be passing through your little village at this time on this date.  Why don't you tell me where to meet you and what you'll be wearing, and I'll pick you up and you can come to the show with me, stay backstage, and we'll drop you off after.." She'd run down thinking she's been hand-picked, that's she special in some way to this person, and then she gets picked up not by the "star" but by some HUGE, ugly men, who will take her out of the country and sell her as a slave to some God-forsaken country where horrible things will happen to her.

  Part of her believed me and was scared, but I could see that part of her thought I was just being "mom" and making stuff up to scare her.

  I guess my point is that, perhaps I am paranoid.  Maybe I'm crazy, and should be medicated, however with all the messed up stuff I see on the nightly news from all over the globe I seriously doubt it.  I'm probably to most normal, most rational person on the planet!  Not literally, but ya know, compared to those running things, uhhhh, Yeah, I am!  I don't understand why parents let their kids under the age of 17 have unfettered access to the internet.  It just completely baffles me!

  Ok, my dog is barking at something, probably a fox out in my vineyards.....GOD I miss the 2nd Amendment!  I'd give anything for a rifle and scope!


♪♫ Baby, It's Cold Outside ♫♪

So Snowstorm started here Saturday night around 10:30 p.m. GMT +2.  At first it was melted as soon as it hit the ground cause it was only 3 degrees Celsius.  Well it is now Monday, I'm not sure exactly how much snow was dumped on us from Saturday until sometime early this a.m.  But I've got snow drifts in excess of 7 ft. high.  It's not snowing now, but the wind is blowing at around 50 km/hr with gusts up to 70 km/hr.  in the roads the snow is at least 2 ft. deep.  Roads throughout the entire "state" or county of Tulcea are closed.  Schools are closed today and tomorrow, and will probably be closed Wednesday as well.  My kids are getting cabin fever, they keep asking if they walk the 1 km down to the store, for what I have no clue, as we don't need anything.  But I don't go out in this unless it's to grab more wood for the fire, or to shovel the snow from around the house, especially the front door.

  Snow completely covered my bedroom windows this morning.  It was kinda cool the way it stuck, cause it looked as if it had been swagged.  But I had to get out there this am.m and clean it off.  I don't like this kind of weather, especially where I am out in the country.  The reason, local officials are NOT at all worried with cleaning the roads to make them passable, especially for emergency vehicles.  The laws clearly state that they must do that, but don't.  2 years ago, we had a similar snow storm and at around 1 in the morning my neighbors house caught fire.  Fire trucks couldn't get up to the house to put out the fire because the roads were impassable.  She lost nearly everything.  That scared me, cause what if it had been a medical emergency, like one of my kids severely injured????  My oldest is now bigger than I am.  I'm about 5'4", she's 13 and 5'7".  I weigh about 115 lbs, she's probably right around 100 lbs.  I would not be able to carry her through 4-5 ft. snow drifts, 1 km downhill to meet an ambulance at the main road.  There are several older people up here on the hill around me, what about them?  We all pay our taxes, so what are they doing with the money?  It looks like government officials all have new cars, nice homes and or apartments, which are completely renovated to be modern, with new shiny furniture, and nice new clothes.

 Perhaps I shouldn't have bought a house on country roads you might say, but why should I be denied rights, because I loved the house, and the property and the exquisite view of the Danube I have?!?  Like I said, we pay our taxes, we have no back taxes or unpaid bills anywhere, well, I'm a little behind on getting my water bill paid, but only because I generally can't find anyone in the office when I go to try to pay it.

  Anyway, rant over, snow is pretty and all that, but dang it makes country life hard.  Once it starts to warm up, and the snow starts to melt, it's gonna be UGLY!  I'll be dealing with mud for a month or so.  So basically I will not be able to drive to my house till probably late March or early April!  Ugggghhhh......gag me with a spoon.

  Okay, so rant wasn't over, but it is now.  If you're reading this from my home state of Louisiana, I'm jealous!  Eat some crawfish for me will, ya please?!?  If you're in a cold, snowy climate like me, sorry.  Stay inside where it's warm, cause Baby, it's cold outside!


Changing Time Zones

So it's coming up on the 7th anniversary of my HUGE life change, picking up with 3 small kids and moving to the other side of the planet.  It's a daunting task for people without kids, much less someone with a 6 year old, 4 year old and 18 month old baby.  Unfortunately for  me, at that time there didn't exist a lot in the way of Ex-Pat forums, pages, sites etc.  But with more and more people leaving their homeland in search of some more attainable utopia than what they were born into, there are ex-pat communities springing up all over the place online.

  One such site is  http://www.expat.com  It has a plethora of information for those looking to make a big move or for those who have already made the move and are looking for ex-pat in their new surroundings.  Unfortunately for myself, there is not a large amount of expat in my neck of the woods.  But there is a lot of informed and interesting people I've met in these online expat communities.  I've been able to both give and receive needed advice.

  One question that most expat or rather soon to be expat always ask, is "what is the bed advice you can give as to how to adapt to a new place and culture.  My response is always the same.  You gotta look at the new environment for what it is, NEW.  It's outside of your normal, outside of your comfort zone sometimes.  You will have overwhelming bouts of homesickness sometimes because you just miss what you know as normal, and comfortable, but it will pass.  You gotta try to find the beauty in everything around you.  If you only see a half empty glass you'll have a half empty life.  But if you find the good in everything, and put "home" into an international perspective, you'll see that life is basically the same everywhere, just with cultural differences.  Keep your sense of adventure.  Walk into life with arms wide open.


Happy 2016!

So I must admit, I'm getting old, for the last few years I've been asleep, along with the hubby before the stroke of midnight.  Our kids wake us up to pop their kiddie bubbly for them, then we all go to bed at exactly 12:05 a.m., every.single.January 1st!

  So I know people make new years resolutions, I've personally never done that because well, I'm a chronic procrastinator, just ask my kids!  Makes me wonder if the people who actually do makes resolutions *ever* keep them?I mean seriously if you feel the need to sit down an make a list of things about yourself, your life, situation, what-have-you, do you really think you're gonna do any of them?  Besides maybe cutting back from 6 cups of coffee a day to 5?!?

  I think that this is one aspect of Romanian mentality that doesn't drive me nuts....they don't make resolutions, they know what needs to be done, and they do it, without any fuss, or social media announcements.  They announce things that matter: marriages, births, baptisms, important life events.  The rest is just the day to day of it all.

  I see all these meme's all over Facebook from friends that say something along the lines of "this is the year you'll receive God's blessings"....I have a problem with that line of reasoning.  I think if you are a Christian and know what the bible says, then you know you only receive His blessings by living a Godly life.  Posting a random meme about God isn't going to reign down pennies from heaven on you.  All through Proverbs and the Gospels, God's word speaks of honest men, doing honest work, and reaping the benefits of working for what they've received, and yes, God rewards the honest, God fearing man with opportunities, blessings, etc.  But everyone seems to be so BLESS ME oriented, as far as money is concerned that they have forgotten that God says that the MEEK shall inherit the earth, and that it is easier for a rich man to enter through the eye of a needle than to enter the kingdom of heaven.

  Okay so there's my Rant for New Years.  Now here's my Rave:  Hubby was out of work for like 5 months, it's been a ROUGH summer, fall, and beginning of winter.  Hubby just left at 3 a.m. this very morning to head back to Malta to start work.  It's gonna be hard on him physically, but it's good that I won't have to keep asking the parental unit for help......that's a BAAAAAAD feeling; being 37 years old and having to ask your parents to help you pay bills and buy food.  But now that he's going back to work, we'll be able to finish doing the home improvements we started!  So YEA for the Toma Family!

 Now for my Rave, which is an old rave.  Romanian version of potato salad, which is called Salata de Beouff.  Not sure if I spelled that right, but OMG it's good!  It's made with, potatoes, green peas, carrots, olives, pickles, chicken breast and home made mayonnaise, which yes, I have learned to make!  This stuff is so good, it will make ya go home and slap ya mamma!  It's made at Christmas and New Year!  Some make it at Easter as well, well, at least I do, cause it's just awesome!

  So there, my Rants, Raves & Faves for the end of 2015!