Natural Beauty

We have been working in the fields for the last several days. It is hard labor, but the beauty that surrounds us is so great that the load is lightened. As I sit on the back of the tractor, I gaze up at the blue sky and see planes on their way to somewhere. A hawk glides through the air and then pumps the massive span up and down. I hear the wings in the wind.

Not just this part of my day that is beautiful. I spend so much time with family working as a team. It is really a special opportunity, even if it doesn’t seem like it sometimes. 😉

My day starts getting the munchkin and I ready, gathering all we need for the village. Today there is some old food we can give to the dog, cat, and pigs. There are strips of bright-colored clothe I will tie around the seedlings we need to plant. color camouflage accounts for many left somewhere on the ground. A wasted of time and energy  after caring for them for a year in the nursery.

Our ride to the village has me in the back with the little one and hubby navigating the winding hilly roads. Munchkin likes to tell Daddy to go fast.

Our hound greats us happily as we get out of the car, and we go into the warmth of the wood stove to see what Baba has prepared. She is always crafting something so good. Kurpin Deda is one of my favorite treats.

It is milk, egg, and cheese drizzled over day old bakery bread and baked. She topped it with sesame seeds. YUM!

Munchkin finds her kitty, and Baba dotes on both of them. Here kitty gets to taste the yummy fresh pudding she has just made.

After some prep, the hubby and I make it to the field. Replanting trees and some large-scale pruning is in order. One large forest tree is blocking light from our growing seedlings, and we have to trim and remove the branches.

A pleasant surprise awaits us as we get to the field,  the clanging of sheep bells greets us and just over the hill I find a small flock of nervous sheep.

The call of the cuckoo bird and the sheep bells are the background music to the work. When we finish in one field, we move to another. I look on at the village from the back of the tractor.

 Well planned rows of sprigs turned trees are becoming brawny. Soon we will see the fruits of out labor.

As the sun wanes, we return to the house. I take off my mud caked boots and change out of the field warn clothes. Munchkin greets me with a smile and “MOMMY!”

We all sit down to a well planned feast. Salads, soup, fresh bread and lots of meat. All fresh from the farm.

Dobar dan y’all!

stock foto from last Christmas… I cheated.

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Munckin Monday 10-13-2014

Good Morning Monday.

I am doing a little catch up. Here are some pics of the Munchkin. She LOVES kitties.
We found two tiny kittens beside a dumpster. Eyes still closed meowing like crazy. She insisted we take them. I insisted we take a walk and see if the Mommy Kitty came back.

We went for a walk and they were still there when we came back. Both were cold, stinky and hungry. We took them home, gave them a bath and fed them with a medicine dropper.

FYI, Baby shampoo and dish detergent is a great flea bath! It rendered them flea less!

One one managed to live two days, but the other one was strong and I was able to give him meds from a vet. I named him Fork.

After three weeks, he also passed away. I was devastated. This was the first time, I had to explain death to the munchkin. She doesn’t really get it yet. And I never let her see them after they passed. She still asked a few times where “Sister” was. She called them both “Sister”.

I think at this age it is easier just to say, Kitty went away.

Munchkin is doing well, and I know we will have more kitties to save in the future. 🙂

At the moment, Munchkin and I are nursing colds. Who knew we would be struck down so soon after starting preschool. The sound of dueling nose blowing abounds. A few coughs thrown in for good measure.

On a positive note, I have had time for studying Serbian thanks to Preschool! Hooray!

Dobar Dan Y’all!

 

Back to the Balkans


Hey all! Three months have passed in a flash. Back to the norm and back to blogging.
Writing has become kind of an addiction. I really missed writing and reading others posts.

Summer was a crazy, visiting family, and working hard.

Now, There are large lists of things to do. Soon, Munchkin should begin preschool. I can spend time really studying Serbian.

Our biggest new adventure is fixing up the family home that we will moved to eventually.
Now that it is empty we can begin to fix it up! 🙂 New windows, a heating system, and some interior changes will be made. My Pinterest pinning frenzy has begun!
For now I will leave you with some pics of our future home. I am so excited!!

The terrace view. Not grand, but a great place for coffee or tea!

The downstairs entrance… I am crazy for the doors!

I will give you a tour of the inside soon. Hope you all had an amazing summer! Happy Fall!
Dobar Dan Y’all

Join my Expat Book Club

Hi all!

I have joined a few FB groups in the Belgrade area, but I am at a loss for real community. I recently had an epiphany… I could start an online book club! It is an effort in sharing ideas, posting reading revelations, making friends, and finding direction for expats who have been uprooted and are trying to get their “sea legs”.

It really doesn’t matter what country you are from or where you are in the world. You just need to be able to read the book and share your thoughts on what you have read.

The first book we will read is A Career in Your Suitcase by Jo Parfitt.

The book has a great website that sports a blog, stories, resources, events and more. You can see it all here!

You can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Career-Your-Suitcase-Practical-Meaningful/dp/1909193143

 

Now in its fourth edition, it has had amazing success. I think we will find it the perfect book for Expat inspiration.

Please join our group here.

 

https://www.facebook.com/expatbookclubserbia

Life Update~ Progress on the land

Lots of progress in the land.

New tiller for the back of the tractor.

Land cleared…by hand.. The hubbies and mine. We are tired!

 

There is about of meter cleared out from the trees for a long stretch. Prickery trees and vines make the work very hard. but very satisfying.

Cherry Trees are blossoming

This is one of the wild cherry trees beside our fields.

You can see a blossoming sour cherries in a field below. Up close the blossoms look like big puffs of cotton.

Bees are buzzing.

New seedlings planted last fall are doing well!

Our muscles are sore, But the progress is great.

We have had some wonderful spring thunder showers.

Munchkin was fascinated by the big thundering booms.

 

The rain and mud that follows is giving us some much-needed rest! Yippee!

Time for some play.

Celebrating in the park with Munchkin is fun.

One of her favorite things to do it blowing on Dandelions that have turned white. She doesn’t mind sharing that with her kitty friends.

Dobar Dan Y’all!

Drive by shooting (Fast Photography)

This week has been a whirlwind of farm work, a trip to a neighboring village and coming home to catch up online before going to bed. Yesterday I was so tired I slept through the first alarm. That NEVER happens. So I know the work is kicking my butt. That is good!

I am much happier when I am working, and working outdoors is so healthy for you body and soul. It is kind of rejuvenating after too many months cooped up!

In honor of this being the LORD’s Day, I am sharing some raw poorly taken pics of a church.

The side view mirror, proof of the “drive by”

I would love to go and check out this relatively new church in Balenovac, but every time we pass it we are on our way to another village for important (but not that important) business. This time it was picking up sour cherry seedlings. Side note… Balenovac means bales of money. This town is for the ballers!

Whizzing past the many fields in route to Baba’s house we see loads of village folk out planting, throwing fertilizer and such.  The fields are filled with reddened faces and necks as the last week has been absolutely gorgeous.

We planted another 200+ sour cherry flavored sticks with roots in the past few days. No wonder we are so tired! Flies have plagued us and bit up my muz pretty bad. Papa and I kept on the long sleeves and have avoided the brunt of the ravenous little piranha like flies. Later at night, as I was closing my eyes to sleep, I saw the bothersome pest  up in my face as I drifted off to sleep.

Still, I can’t complain. The fresh air and gorgeous view is better than any office job.

This is certainly not an office approved activity.

If I had a normal 9-5, the possibility of seeing a flock of ducks fly over a large pool of water is pretty slim.

Other things not on the agenda of a “day job”:

Watching  butterflies flitting around the face of our dog buck as he runs to catch up with the tractor after exploring something nose first.

Walking on a dirt road.

Learning how not to plow a field. Apparently, some people think it is o.k. to plow into the dirt road to expand their fields… Bad idea! lol P.S. it wasn’t me.

Getting a history lesson on location is out of the question for a normal J.O.B. I get these sometimes when I sit on the back of the tractor with Papa. Just after we past the pool of water above there is an old abandoned brick shack. When I asked what it was and got an interesting lesson. It was an old WWI magazine. This was the site of a hidden stock of ammunition! He continued to tell me about how many men from each village left to fight. And then about the progression of communism. Even with the language barrier being like a barbed wire fence. Lot of data gets through. 😉

All in all, working on the farm and taking pics along the way seems like a nice way to live. At least for now. 😉

Dobar dan!

Spicy Thai Pumpkin Soup

I made some yummy soup today. This is the second time and I love it! The only thing that could make it better is Jasmine rice. One of the down falls of shopping small town Serbia.

I am one of those people who uses recipes as a guide line. As an expat, that sort of fluidity is an asset as not all ingredients are at my reach in this town or country!

I found the recipe on Pinterest here, my go to for recipes nowadays.

First, I unthawed the 2+ cups of pumpkin I had gotten from Deda’s garden last fall.  The recipe called for a cup and a half.  For the rest of the ingredients I upped the  amount called for.

The pumpkin or tikva as it is called in Serbian was left over from  last falls garden harvest here in Knjazevac. The first half was used to make this soup the first time and a nice pumpkin bread. Yum! Fresh pumpkin is great for cooking and freezing later. I prefer freshly thawed to freshly cooked. It is smoother less fibrous and needs less blending.

The recipe on pinterest calls for 2 minced cloves of garlic minced. I used four. I like garlic a lot.

It also calls for  1 to 2 teaspoons of grated ginger. I used about two thumbs of fresh ginger/dzumbir and diced before sauteing.

I don’t have sirachi or cayenne pepper. I used two of the tiny super spicy peppers they call mouse poops in Thailand. The proper name is Bird’s eye chili. This made my soup super spicy. Last time I only used one. I felt like living on the wild side today.

No broth to be found here so I used the spice here used in all soups and lots of other dishes. Zacin C or Vegeta will do. It is the same as throwing bouillon cubes into some water to create a nice broth.

I sauteed the minced garlic, The finely diced spicy mini peppers, and the tiny bits of ginger in 2 table spoons of coconut oil with a bit of the coconut flour. Then I added 2 cups of water and the seasoning to the frying pan.

Then added the mix to the rest of the pumpkin and coconut flour in the blender.

That filled the blender to the brim. With the lid tightly attached, I mixed it all up. Then it went into a big pot to simmer on the stove. After 30 minutes, we ate. A couple spoons of rice in a bowl with a few ladles of soup. Bon Appetit or Pijatno as they say here.

Serbian Kittehs

During my bike trip to Gornje Zunic I encountered lots of farm kitties! Lots were wondering about and others enjoyed the sun’s rays warming their fur. Cats always make me happy. They are my favorite animals. Next to horses and cows. Farm girl confessions. 🙂

Kitty in the road.

 

He ran away as I approached.

Take some time to enjoy the spring sunshine. Absorb some vitamin D and just enjoy the end of Old man winter!