Meanwhile back on the farm…. Pt 1

We are back to work… well, we were for 3 days.

Now, a bit of a break and time for coffee with friends!

Grand Reklama 😉

Almost a month straight of rain has soaked the ground.

Weeds grew like wildfire over the land.

I had to clear weeds from the baby trees by hand or hoe, and the hubby ran the plow and the tiller over the rest of the fields.

When we were sore and tired, things looked a lot neater, and the trees will have less competition for nutrients.

One of our fields slopes down to a small creek that became more like a river after all the clouds burst like water balloons. God’s water balloon battle left the lowest trees with their feet soaking for a few days.  But all is well, unless we get too much rain again.

Mother’s day was another work day, but it was also a great family day. Baba made an awesome breakfast pizza. I love Baba’s cooking!

Munchkin stayed with Baba and Deda for a two nights, and didn’t want to come home! What a nice break for the Mommy and Daddy! 🙂

Dobar Dan Y’all!

My list for a happier life! Rated “E” for Everyone!

Lately, I have been on a mission to find a way to live my life more fully. I was overwhelmed for sometime after moving to Serbia. Getting my “Sea Legs” has taken more time than usual. I think having a child pull your attention does that.

Now I have found some purpose just looking for one. Ironic right? But I know that won’t last long. I must find something to do here besides the farming bit that I love.

In the mean time, I have found that one must choose to be happy. One must look for the things that will do that. Here are things I have found super helpful to me as an expat but would do for anyone anywhere. Really.

They are in no particular order. Lots of them will work in tandem with another!

Take a walk and enjoy the scenery. This can be difficult in some places. But it can be done if you are dedicated. I do this all the time in my “new” small town. I find gorgeous sites locals don’t even notice. They ask me, “where is that house?” Of course they have passed it a ton of times, but have forgotten the beauty around them. I found the same to be true when i visited the U.S. last winter. We really do become immune to beauty that is all around us.

The walk will clear your mind. New ideas or solutions will come to you. Being outside is good. Get out of the house! You don’t know what or who you will discover.

Make friends with your neighbors if you can. But really. Make friends. It is important to your well-being.

It is important to have good friends. Sometimes that friend is a dog or a cat. That is o.k. Chances are, you will find someone. Be open. and make some friends!

Helping others can do wonders for you. It really makes you feel good to do things to help others. it could be just listening to an old person who is lonely. It could be opening a door for someone. Moving a snail from the sidewalk to the grass. Whatever! just help someone!

Give Giving is like helping. It really does make us feel good. Even if it is just a smile, give your smile to a stranger.

Smile. Even if others don’t smile back. Living in Eastern Europe makes this a bit challenging at times. People don’t smile back. They don’t even wave back at my little girl when she waves. But she keeps on waving. And I keep on smiling. I hope that the smile does something to brighten someone’s day. If not, it gives some sour old coot something to wonder about. “why was that weird lady smiling at me?”

Adopt an animal. Animals bring an immeasurable sense of joy. An animal friend can limit loneliness to nothing. It can ease culture shock to a minimum. I know this from experience.

If you live in a place where you can have an animal and there are street animals. Adopt one of them. Take food with you when you go for a walk and share with your homeless furry friends.

Listen to music! It is medicine for the soul. Find some fun stuff. Upbeat Dance music always does it for me. and Dance it out!

Write! This blog is a huge bit of therapy for me. It is an outlet, a diary, a chronicle of my life that clears my head and gives me purpose. I hope sometimes that it helps others. But there is no doubt, it helps me beyond belief. I am happier because I write.

What makes you happy?

Photography Friday Road Trip~Крушевац

Every road trip needs some good music!. I love this song.

A few weeks ago we went to the medieval capital of Serbia, Krusevac. This long-standing city is home to about 60,000 people. I was really impressed with it.

I totally wanted to get a pic with this guy, I mean the statue. But I am only knee high and he is the grasshopper.  Jumping up onto his lap like he was Santa was out of the question! 😦 But had I gotten up there, I would have had to ask if it was a sword in his lap or was he just happy to see me!  🙂

Krusevac has been in place since at least 1371, when Emperor Lazar was living. While living, Lazar was something like a Duke or Lord.  He was responsible for gathering the troops to fight the battle against the Turks who later beheaded him. After his death, he was raised to Emperor out of respect. His wife, Milica, went on to be the ruler! Hello forward thinking back in the old days. Now, not so much.

This town has its own chic feel and flavor. And so much history smack dab next to modern life!

Before a walk about town we opted for a quick alfresco lunch.

I got the Pizza and he got the schnitzel with mash potato, a roll and cabbage salad. In all my time here, I have never seen schnitzel with noodles. Kind of a bummer. Maybe I need to go to Austria? On a side note, the hills are alive here, but with the sound of kolo music! If you don’t get any of these references you must watch “The Sound of Music” once more!

I was pleased to see that lots of old couples walked happily arm in arm in this gorgeous grad. I don’t think I have seen that anywhere else in Serbia so far.

The most astonishing to me in this Balkan city was the dress of the women. Normally, in Eastern European countries, the women are always and I mean always sporting 4 inch+ heels. In this city, women dressed stylishly, and sensibly. Heels were low or non-existent! Holy Cow! I think they must have been breaking some unwritten Eastern European code! Can I get an Amen?

There is a park where the ruins of the old fort stands. Most of it was destroyed during the war with the Turks. Now children play ball with their grandparents watching over them, and others taking a stroll or sit on benches and enjoy that peace that now resides. An old Museum sets just to the side presiding over the history and ghosts.

Imagine you’re the kid who lives in the Green house. You ask your friends to come play in the fort in your backyard! Forget cowboys and Indians! Lets play Serbs and Turks!!

You know the people who built these homes in the wake of ruins must have found some cool stuff in their back yard while digging to create their new homes!! Talk about cool building stories!

That lucky kid’s back yard! Seriously, How freaking COOL!

Within the fort stood the most beautiful old Church.

This impressive structure was a sight to behold.

The amount of detail begs you to look at it for ages to take it all in.

The Celtic style knots that circled the doors and windows were fabulous.The magnificent double headed eagle graced the top and bottom of the window above.

The grounds all around are an ancient battle field. At one entrance there was a painting of Kosavka Devojka. She is the Serbian version of Molly Pitcher during the American Revolution.

Kosavka walked around the battlefield of Krusevac when the Serbs were fighting the Turks in 1389 during the Battle of Kosovo.

This is a print of a famous rendition showing Kosavka watering a fallen soldier. Compare this beauty with the typical image of Molly Pitcher with a cannon.

Molly is just a few thousand miles east and a few hundred years later…

Battle of Kosovo 1389

Battle of Monmouth 1778

Two peas in a pod.

Even thousands of miles away from home you can find similarities in just about everything if you look hard enough!

Krusevac is a great city, lots to see, and some great shops too! If you are in this neck of the woods, you should check it out.

War Stories Sunday (non-biased from a child’s perspective)

In the 90’s, Yugoslavia was torn apart by civil war. Off and on I hear stories of life during that time. These recollections are told from a child’s point of view. All my friends and my husband were kids at the time.

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There are no gruesome details. I am in the far east of Serbia. Not far from Bulgaria. No battles took place here, but bombs were dropped not far away by the U.S.

My husband and his brother used to climb a nearby mountain to watch the bombs fall on a city about an hour away. To this day the sound of those planes send chills through his body.

I heard of one kid who was very mechanically talented. When the army was coming through confiscating trucks, he heard about it in advance. Quickly, he dismantled the family truck and scattered the parts about the yard and when the Serbian G.I. Joes arrived he told them all the parts were there, but they would have to put it together. Needless to say, they got to keep their truck.

I talked to one girl, her mother is a doctor. The need was so great for doctors her mother never came home for months. She was shuffled from one family member to another till the war was over. She was only six. But she said she didn’t mind. She just played where ever she was.

School was cancelled during the war. Kids, no matter what grades they had, were moved to the next grade.

If you want to share your stories, I would love to read about them and maybe put them on my blog. Leave a comment so we can chat!. But, I do not publish hate. I do not forget that I was in the country bombing this one. I am well aware some will carry grudges, but I have no wish to stir up any trouble. I love Serbia.