The good

Buckthorn picking and jam

One plant that I really wished to have in my garden was a Buckthorn shrub and I finally got one shrub three years ago . In the first year it bared no fruit , the second year I think it had about 5-7 . This year I managed to get a hand full of them! We are slowly making progress here.

The picking process is as fun as putting your fingers in a socket. Also you’d better not be wearing your best attire . A full armor made from a rough potato sack would work best – peasant style.

A few scratches and 100 thorns later I was finally able to collect my cherished orange beads! More exactly 200 gr ! And what would Alina do with 200 gr of Buckthorn? Make jam, of course! I never tried making jam from Buckthorn only, but I remember that grandma used to make jam from apples and Buckthorn and resulted in a sweet and slightly sour combination, similar to cranberry jam .

So next to the 200 gr of Buckthorn I added 300 gr of apples from our garden (about 3 big apples, no peel or stub ), 200 ml water, 150 gr sugar (might want to add more, it may be too sour for some ) .

The result is this one 300 gr jar!

No one in their right mind would go through all the trouble for this one small jar, except it was already proven that I’m not in my right mind! Otherwise I wouldn’t be enthusiastically writing long posts about a jar of jam at 3 AM.

Another way to preserve and consume these berries is to mix them with raw honey and store them in a jar. My grandpa used to feed me a full tea spoon of this mixture every morning, before breakfast. Buckthorn berries are extremely rich in minerals and vitamins, antioxidants , prevents cancer and boosts your immunity system. That’s why these are one of the many blessings that nature offers during Autumn/Winter.

The good

Celebrating Autumn in a forest

Today I was finally able to breathe again, like I once used to do. Today it was a perfect day , hiking and walking through the forests . Perfect weather, perfect location and a perfect hiking partner.

Took me quite a while but allas I was finally able to celebrate Autumn in the most wonderful way : hand in hand with my beloved and Mother Nature as our only witness.

We enjoyed lunch surrounded by the sounds of the nature, the few birds that remained, the river , the wind and the fall of the leaves.

My mind and soul come to peace when the first leaves turn yellow and the days get colder. What more can one ask for?

The good

Autumn’s harvest

Been quite busy lately. Autumn is the busiest time of the year for us. Yesterday we finished putting the pickles. Nothing can beat my husband and dad when it comes to preserving vegetables through the pickling method!

There is a lot of work to do but it is so worth the effort! I love the feeling when you get to eat fresh food straight out of your own garden!

Then there is the same feeling in cold days when you know that you have everything you need to get through winter.

All the mixed scents of spice, vegetables , fruits and smoke coming out of the chimneys.

Summer cucumbers are almost ready for consumption .

The good

Involuntary made a hoax

What was I saying in my previous post?

“You just don’t bury someone until you are absolutely sure that that person is dead for good. “

Well seems like we were about to bury one of our family member and we got others involved too. More precisely , husband called 3 days ago to let me know about a FaceBook post made by his cousin where he was mourning the loss of his mother. Husband couldn’t go because he is abroad at the moment and he will be back next weekend only, my mother-in-law can’t go because of her leg, I’m stuck with work , visiting the hospital for check ups with my mom-in-law and everything … a bit awkward to go by myself , I’ve only seen that woman once, at the funerals of her older son, about 5 years ago.

But most importantly…we didn’t knew how to give my father-in-law the bad news that his older sister just passed away. He absolutely adored and admired his older sister , so much that he even named his only son after her. So, aunt Emilia was dead…great….how to break up the news to a man who’s health is not that stable after two brain strokes ?

Husband and his mom agreed not to tell him and wait until the day of the funeral. They just needed a bit of time to figure an easy way to tell him. So my mom-in-law called her brother and told him the bad news. He offered to go and attend the funerals on behalf of our part of the family, so he ended up ordering 3 huge flower arrangements , with written messages on the bows and everything ( “You will be missed”, “R.I.P Emilia”, “Eternal peace” etc ) ; one from him and his wife, one from my in-laws and one from me and my husband. He even wrote down a speech !

So the next day he was marching to aunt Emilia’s house, where the funerals were supposed to be held, carrying the heavy arrangements and he was the first one to get there … except there was no funerals and the gate was opened by aunt Emilia herself. It turned out that husband’s cousin was mourning the loss of his MOTHER-IN-LAW, and not his own mom! Good job, love! Good job!

And knowing my mom-in-law, of course, in 5 minutes she gave the news to each and every family member that she could reach – that aunt Emilia was dead and we should all gather and say our last good byes ! Despite the circumstances aunt Emilia was happy as she didn’t had so many people visiting her in a long time!

In between

It’s already chaotic

Yesterday I went to visit my parents and spend a lovely afternoon in the garden , after a pretty chaotic morning . In a few weeks I’ll be gone again. So from the little time that I have I try to split it between everyone . I have missed my pets so much! Here you have my kitty , enjoying the last sunny days of autumn and my old buddy – my 17 years old buddy! Mom baked a pie and we had lunch in the garden under an old golden nut tree. My, God! You just have to love autumn!

After that I got back to work until almost midnight . I was planning to work until the morning but I remembered that I had to wake up early today . I had to drive all the way to my in-laws and take my mom-in-law to the hospital for a routine check. The doctor was pleased , her leg seems to be healing very good after the surgery. As a side note , remember to always go to the emergency room in time – especially when rusty nails are involved! Infections are never fun to deal with! Thank God that at least one of us was home and was able to assist her! We only wished that she had called sooner and not try to “take care” of the wound by herself. On a good note if she continues to behave she will be getting rid of the crutches by Friday.

Husband and I planned to get new phones this Christmas ; it seems that Christmas got a little earlier for me as mine collapsed first , this morning. I was so close to not wake up and get in time to my in-laws! For the past few months we only had issues with both of our phones and it was just a matter of time.

Seems like my mobile phone network provider just got new policies and they don’t sell phones without a subscription anymore. I’m already subscribed to them , my number belongs to their network and I pay monthly for it, but seems like I had to pay an extra monthly fee for the subscription (?) because I’m not eligible yet for a new phone (whatever that means ? ). I already picked up the phone that I wanted and was standing there , cash in hand, puzzled and not convinced that I heard her right . My phone was slowly dying , battery almost gone (was not able to charge it for two days) and an angry husband yelling obscenities back at the assistant – in my bluetooth earphone. So again I had to drive to the nearest gadget store to buy my new phone.

I don’t know what feelings other people get when upgrading but I absolutely hate switching gears! Reason why I buy new phones only when my old one completely breaks. I’m somewhat emotionally attached to it, feels like letting go to a part of me . Every time I get a new phone I behave with it as if it is an intruder ; I completely ignore it until it rings . Same goes with a new PC / laptop . As I’m writing this post I’m still trying to bring my old phone to life by keeping it plugged in – maybe it will charge in the end, who knows? You just don’t bury someone until you are absolutely sure that that person is dead for good. And for this absolute reason I can count on one hand all the phones that I had in my entire life – so far.