The good

A new addition to the family?

Arielle is not pleased with this new company !

This homeless kitten is visiting my parents for the last two months or so. She comes every morning and meows in the garden, she knows that my mom arrives with food when she calls.

Our Siamese doesn’t like it one bit! 😹

We believe that the cat is already pregnant, so this means more kittens! My dad made a special place for her into the barn, from hay and wool , a place for her to sleep and just in case she will give birth. My mom named her Matilda and my folks are willing to adopt her, but the cat is pretty wild and still doesn’t trust nobody.

Arielle seems to be very jealous, still they made contact today and rubbed noses for the first time, without Arielle clawing Matilda’s eyes out!

Arielle’s face says it all!

I can’t wait to see how she’ll react when she’ll meet our ginger boy for the first time tomorrow!

Cooking · The good

Home made bread

I did it!! Last night I tried to make and bake my very first loafs of bread! I have plenty of flour and 1 kg of fresh yeast , so I had to build up the courage and give it a try.

The bread was baked in the oven and the dough came out perfectly. Do excuse the dark photos. It was the best I could do at 2 am.

Basic bread recipe, nothing fancy. 1 kg all purpose flour, 4 spoonful olive oil, 2 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 20g fresh yeast, about 400-450 ml lukewarm water. This is the recipe that my grandma used to make. Wait until the bread is cooled and store it into plastic bags. This way the bread will remain soft and fresh. Sometimes my grandma woupd add 500g white flour and 500g rye flour.

I was so happy with the dough that I forgot all about the egg yolk for the surface of the bread. I had it ready on the table.

One thing is for sure – I am never gonna buy bread from the supermarket ever again! And I’m so eager to experiment with different recipes and flavors! At least I know that my oven can bake bread! My mom’s oven wasn’t suitable for this kind of task. Reason why back when I was at my parents we used to make bread with our bread machine. My mom doesn’t use it anymore so I decided to ask nicely if she is willing to give it to me. And she did , bless her heart!

This machine is at least 15 years old but in perfect condition. I’m missing the recipe book, so I’ll have to experiment a bit until I get it right.

I want to keep this machine as an option for when I don’t have time to hand make the dough and wait until it’s baked.

So far this experiment was a success.

The good

Birthday ,Super Pink Moon and Easter

Wanted to write a few quick notes because today it is a special day. It is my mom’s birthday and we just arrived back from her place . We had a lovely small family reunion. The weather was perfect, a sunny and warm spring day, so we had lunch out in the garden. I’m sorry that I didn’t got the time to home bake a cake for her birthday as I usually do . Instead I ordered her favorite chocolate cake!

I also bought a pot with pink roses, they are among her favorite flowers. I always buy my mom flowers in a pot, like me, she prefers flowerpots over fresh cut flowers. She prefers planting them in the garden rather than throwing them away afterwards .

Magnolia.

And speaking of her garden ; God, how I missed staying under the sunshine!! Being locked down surely isn’t doing any good for a human being! I sunbathed for hours!

Mirabelle plum.

The mirabelle plum and magnolia tree are in full bloom, as well as all the seasonal flowers!

Husband installing the telescope and checking the star maps.

And speaking of being locked down with all this virus madness; 3 days ago we snuck out and went to my parents and installed our telescope into the garden to watch the Super Pink full moon!

The Super Pink Full Moon of 2020

And what a magical scene it was!

That’s about it for now. I’d like to wish everyone a blessed and Happy Eater to those who celebrates. May your house and life be filled with light and many blessings!! I only get to celebrate Easter next weekend, as I belong on the Christian Orthodox part , but I know that many people celebrate this weekend.

Happy Easter!!
The good

Whatever the future might bring

In the short winter holiday we were able to put together our modest studio! It’s a small room, barely fitting two people and the equipment, but it’s perfect for the beginning. If this will grow we will consider to find a bigger place .

One week already passed, five more to go until we will seriously launch our small family business. All of our energy , love,time and hard work will go into it! In the mean time I’m continuing to work and try to finish as many orders as humanly possible with just two hands.

January is almost at the end and we still have frosty mornings out here. Although winter went much more easier on us compared to last year.

I’m so glad that I’m still able to enjoy snow, even if it snowed for a couple of days only! Four showy days were enough, the snow was maintained by the cold.

Some fresh pine needles that I got from up the mountains. I love drinking tea during the winter! And one of my favorites is the tea made out of pine needles ! I like to add fir needles into the mix too and sometimes I add chaga mushroom powder to my tea.

I cannot forsee what this year is going to bring us. I can only continue to work as hard as ever , but this time do it together, and pray that it will be as good as the old year.

I’m living with the hope that all the hard work is going to pay off and no matter how many or how tough the changes and challenges are going to be we will be able to face them , together, with a smile on our faces .

The good

The beginning of 2020

I hope everyone is having a great start of the year! Make the best of it and may if be filled with health, peace and love ! Material things come and go! As long as you are both physically and mentally stable there is nothing that can stop you from achieving the material part .Be at peace with your inner self and it will be easier to accomplish your goals for the new year!

For me 2019 was a full year of hard work and some achievements. All this hard work will, hopefully, fully pay off starting this year. I can’t really complain about 2019, I can’t really say that I’ve learned anything new either. It was a good year for me personally.

Some big plans for this upcoming year. It will be the year when we will spread our wings and … we’ll see if we manage to fly. I will not lie, the future kind of scares me but I’m very optimistic too. I’m really looking with excitement for 2020!

Unlike last year, this year I enjoyed the winter holidays to the fullest! Nothing fancy, nothing out if the ordinary, quite the contrary – most might find it boring. The New Year found us talking about future plans in each other’s arms, laughing, dreaming, telling stories, remembering, drinking champagne and wine in bed, next to the fire place and Christmas tree. The cozy atmosphere was just too perfect and cherished by the both of us. It felt so warm and peaceful after such a long time!

We didn’t got the chance to go skiing or go to a mini trip as planned, however we did went up in the mountains for an entire day. We did it for the snow and it helped us reconnect and recharge our batteries even more. I wished so much for snow ! And the next morning we had a first snow fall in our little town to!

We continued to look after the stray dog for two more days. Meanwhile we named him Tanase and we managed to find a temporary place for him ,at least until the cold days are over.

In the second day of Christmas I had to take my mom to the emergency room, as she got intoxicated with food . My parents went to a Christmas dinner party and seems like my mom ate something worth of throwing away.

I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason! I do not believe in coincidence! At the hospital, while we were waiting for my mom to take her home, a feral orange kitten approached us.

He was so friendly and so cuddly!

He jumped on my husband’s shoulder and wouldn’t go down, intensely purring!

There is one detail that you are not able to clearly see in these pictures; the cat is missing the tail. That following night husband and I could stop thinking about the stray kitten. My heart was heavy and I regretted that we didn’t took the kitten home! We talked, talked and talked for hours! Until we finally agreed to adopt him and maybe even take him with us.

Our biggest fear was that if someone was cruel enough to cut off his tail ,then who knows what might happen on the New Year’s eve with all the drunken people, firecrackers and fireworks.?! So yesterday we went searching at the hospital, asked the guard, the staff but no one knew anything about any orange cat that’s missing a tail.

Last night we couldn’t stop talking about him , hoping that he is somewhere hiding , staying safe! Our hearts were so heavy but we didn’t had in plan to give up! This morning we went again to search for him and it was a success!

He immediately came when he saw us! So we officially have a new addition to the family. My mom agreed to foster him whenever we are not able to take him with us (traveling, vacations).

A few years back I adopted a siamese kitten .She was found in a box, along with her brothers and sisters, by an old couple. So they put an add in the newspaper. My parents got very attached to her , especially my dad. When we moved 3 years ago we didn’t had the heart to break them apart, so we decided to let Arielle stay with my parents.

Dirty paws on the couch and I’m not even mad!

Meanwhile, he is named J.J, James Junior. We took him home, fed him as he was starving, and while we were preparing for the bath he felt asleep on the couch. A new journey awaits for all 3 of us!

The good

All the fuss

It’s been a hectic few weeks. Lately I’ve been receiving lots of help from my husband and we got so much work done already! I also continued with more medical tests, same diagnosis from different doctors. I had to see a specialist for my eye problems (one morning I woke up with a blurry vision after a stressful night and a panic attack); needles to say that once more I was scolded by a doctor and warned that if I continue with this mindless routine I’ll end up in a grave.

The good news it that nothing serious is happening to my eyes, they are just very, very tired and I just need to use some drops to calm them down. Changing glasses wasn’t even necessary, still using the same ones since 3 years ago and that’s a good sign.

So it is settled; I’ll need some serious help for the following year as this is not a business that can be handled by one person only. I’ve been paving the way for almost two years and it got to a point where I’m no longer able to do everything by myself. It will get even harder from next year. I’m not complaining, I’m in fact VERY grateful for everything! It’s just that I don’t know when to stop or at least slow down and make time to sleep and eat. Again, I don’t know what drives me : passion, madness or is it just excitement?

December is already here and Christmas is in a few days. No snow in sight, though, and it’s making me sad. I was hoping to take lots of wonderful photos during my favorite season…it looks like I’ll have to make a trip somewhere where there is snow. We got lots of frosty mornings and sunny days instead. And if the sun doesn’t show up then it rains the entire day.

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!