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!

The good

A Sunday into the woods

My favorite season is here and I’m doomed to spend most of the time indoors working. I know that hard work always pays off in time but sometimes I wonder if it’s all even worth it. I didn’t even realized when summer was over , right after our vacation trip I started to lose track of the time again. And so the days are passing , one after another ; today is autumn and tomorrow I might wake up in winter without being aware of the drastic changes.

Today I decided to take a day off and go to the place that my soul longs for – the forest. I cannot believe that I was close enough to miss autumn without me playing with the rusty leaves at least for a couple of hours! Where are my days? Where is my inner peace? I’m stressed and on a rush most of the time and lately I notice almost nothing. I become so numb and I didn’t even realized it.

I made a promise to myself that Sundays will be wisely spend – outdoors reconnecting with the nature. I actually missed hugging a tree, I missed hearing the birds, I missed the pure clean scent and I missed walking barefoot through the crunchy leaves.

My eyes were so tired , yet the vibrant autumnal colors calmed the pain and cleared my vision. When did I lost touch with all of this?