Whatever Wednesday~

The little munchkin is getting to know all our village pets well right now. Animals are here favorite things in the world right now, beside Mom (Me). She gets so excited to see, touch and play with them.

We have been in the village often lately. Slowly the leaves are sprouting, green is spreading like wildfire!

The farm work has been keeping the man of the house pretty busy. He has been replanting seedlings that were dug up from the orchards. This was a few days ago,  now the field is filled with these little buggers. In the fall, once they have developed larger roots, they will be replanted in the orchards.

Here, Papa is trimming the roots so they will easily drink up the water and nutrients provided by the drop by drop system. Little munchkin is busy playing along the little brick wall. She is really enjoying her trips to the village.

And here comes Mama to give Papa a break. He is A LOT slower than she is. LOL He can’t keep up with the demand. But then, Mama trims the roots like she is giving them a buzz cut. Half a dozen of one and six of the other, right?

Dobar Dan Y’all!

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Mama’s Home!! 365-36

The old and new ambulances

The old and new ambulances

Mama has come home! She has been in the hospital for two weeks+ after stomach surgery. I am glad she has come home.

The door to her wing of the hospital. You can tell it has seen better days.

The door to her wing of the hospital. You can tell it has seen better days.

You can see on the picture above there is no smoking, but many people go just outside the exit door to smoke leaving the door propped. The entire hall still smells of smoke and pollutes the rooms.

The door is like all the others in the hospital. The handle is about to fall off and has been fixed numerous times. One must be careful when opening and closing the doors.

The private room for doctors to have a rest and a bit to eat.

The private room for doctors to have a rest and a bit to eat.

The doctors sink and coffee making shelf. Always gotta have a shelf like this in Serbia. Seriously

The doctors sink and coffee-making shelf. Always gotta have a shelf like this in Serbia. Seriously

Mama will stay with us for a while. The stan (apt) is better thank going back to the village for recuperating  The bathroom and bedroom is all on one floor and the heating is regulated. She won’t get cold here and need to get up and put wood in the stove. AND Millie will get some quality Baba time!!

I took these photos with the good camera on one of my many visits over the last two weeks. Both Mama and Great Grandpa have been there for the last week. I have been meaning to post these pics.

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In celebration of Mama’s homecoming, I made American pancakes with a new recipe I found online. I m excite how they turned out. They are like my grandma’s!! Oh Joy!! Everyone else liked them too. I made some plain and the  bit I added cinnamon and fresh diced apples.

an ancient gurney still in regular use

an ancient gurney still in regular use

Grandpa is still in the hospital recovering from a heart attack. He is doing well, I think. He is his usual Oscar the grouch self. Visiting him is much more a chore. I loved going to see Mama. She is much more of an Elmo type personality. Sweet and loving.

Hopefully he will go home soon. Home is always best!

Dear Blog Diary, Yesterday….365-31

Yesterday I went to the hospital to visit two family members.

lonely hospital halls

lonely hospital halls

Mama is still in the hospital after having surgery for the second time in 2 years to repair hernias that she got post babies some 30+ years ago. This time, the nurses are great. Her room is clean and she has a nice room mate. The window are new, so the room is warm. She even says the food is good. I will take her word for it. This is a a 180 from last time. I am seriously relieved. And, I hope when she gets out, there will be no more problems with her lower stomach.

Deda Mumshilo had another heart attack. The first one was some 10 or so years ago. He is recovering in the same hospital one floor down. The conditions are more crowded and not quite as nice. But decent for “free” care.

An empty, clean hospital room

An empty, clean hospital room

He complained about the food, and said he wants a burger. I called him a baby, told him he needs to eat his soup and rest. All in all he is doing well, if he can complain about this and that he is just fine. If he stops complaining, I would worry.

In Deda’s room there were two other older gents with beds next to his. Across the way, there were two other men and a very OLD Baba fully dressed in black “baba attire”. Including the required kerchief tied around her head.

She was dressed like this, but sick in a hospital bed. Seriously, it is like there is a Baba uniform.

Deda’s room was too warm, but older folks are always cold, I am sure it was to keep them comfortable.

I spent just a short time with Deda. He was too tired to really have company. But I spent more than an hour with Mama.

We had a really nice talk, I brought her an old photo album of mine to pass the time. Unlike in the US there are no televisions in the rooms to ease the boredom of laying hour after hour, day after day in the hospital to recuperate.

I also got to show Mama the cool little bag I found at the thrift shop. I am totally stoked about it! Check it out!!

I

I am gonna fix it up. Another cool project! off to work on it. I  will give the before and after when complete! 🙂

Dobar Dan!

(Good Day!)

Deda Means Grandpa part 1 and 2 365-26

Part one

December 8, 2008

Deda means Grandpa

Today I went for a walk to take pictures in Knjazevac. There are still many places I haven’t seen here yet and it still feels like an adventure just to take a walk around town. It wasn’t a long walk, because as I walked I realized I was close to Deda Tole’s house. I really like him and wanted to stop by but wasn’t sure if it was a good idea. I was afraid hey may be busy with something. Deda is known for his hard working character. He is always busy working on something. His super large hands filled with muscles are a witness to that hard work. Small sweet man with very large hands. He is definitely the kind of man you want for a grandpa!

Deda Tole

Deda Tole

As I was walking to his hous,e I saw an old lady dressed in Serbian granny clothes. A sweater, thick stockings, plastic “Maryjane” type shoes (good for anytime of work outside and are used by male and females),and a kerchief tied around her head like in All the old nursery rhyme books. She was adorable!

She had mail in her hand and was looking toward Deda’s house. I asked he in my very limited Serbian if Tole was home and she didn’t think so and was probably going to turn back. I rang his door bell that is actually located on the fence outside of his house. It’s different and cool. When he came outside he looked really happy to see me. He said a few words to the little lady and she gave me his mail and we, Deda and I, go inside his cozy little home.

Words cannot express how warm and loved I feel from Milan’s family. Family is so important here, and I am a novelty family member being from the U.S. Deda Tole loves to tell his friends about his American grand daughter. I can see it in his eyes. Adorable! America is like a mythical place to some of the people here. There are may misconceptions about how wonderful the U.S. is, kinda like a Disney world for life… Brought on by the happy ending movies and television shows as well as the years of hard living in Serbia caused by war, communism, and corruption.

Deda made me coffee and gave me apple and grapes to munch on, as well as a loaf of bread, unsliced old world style, and hard boiled eggs not yet peeled. There is really nice homey feeling there. So casual and friendly. It makes me relax…until I have to struggle to speak in Serbia. Then I get a little frazzled and have to tell myself, slow down and think. I know a lot of words, I just have a hard time remembering them when I need them. And, there are so may basic words used in sentences that I am lacking, I am sure I sound like a toddler when I speak.

He and I talk as much as we can and then needs to do some farm work. I tell him I want to help and he tries to deter me but I insist. I help him mix the pigs food, which consists of small whole apples, grain, hot water, scraps and then we take it out to the shed for the finishing touch. He chops up dry ears of corn into small inch wide pieces. He chops them with an ax and the skill of a chef. when he is finished and much of the corn kernels have flown all over the room he ads the chopped Cob to the. hot pig slop stew.

It has been raining outside for the past few days, there is mud everywhere so he insists I put on a pair of boots that he takes out of a bag. I believe they are his new winter boots and fear I will ruin them before he even gets to wear them. They only get dirty on the bottom while we are tramping around the “farm”.

His house is in the town of Knjazevac. It is not unusual to see houses that have the makings of what we would see only in the country. At his house there are only pigs, chickens, a dog and a cat that I saw. But there is also a large building across the street (4 Stories!) that works as a large storehouse like a barn. On the bottom level Milan told me there is a garage for fixing cars, there is storage for dried corn cobs, Barrels of wheat, grapes layed out to dry, tools, and all kinds of odds and ends. There is also a large clothes line hung up in one of the large rooms for drying clothes, as there are very few clothes driers. They exist, but mostly just in stores.

It is amazing. I had such an education today. I really had a good day.

Part 2

Fast forward 4+ years

I have finally visited Deda Tole again. Yesterday was the first time Millie and I made the short trek to his place. It was much the same as  the first post accept my Serbian has improved and we had a munchkin to entertain.

Deda didn’t disappoint in the entertainment. He danced for Millie, stomping his feet and snapping his fingers. He is the most adorable little man. I wish he could meet my grandpa back home.

Every visit he puts out food. Yesterday as soon as I arrived he threw some small potatoes in the stove and some eggs on to boil. Small crackers he calls cakes were set out for Millie and I immediately.

Boiled eggs, roasted potatoes, cakes, and apples to go with the best beer. 🙂

Tole likes his beer. He always has one when he visits us and insists Milan have one when we visit him. I had some too. It is my favorite kind. Millie had to settle for milk. But did try to share some of my little pivo.

We kept Millie busy while we peeled the hot potatoes and chatted lightly. Regretfully, I still cannot do more than that.

Sadly, this time no cats warmed themselves by the fire. When I inquired about them he said his daughter doesn’t like them. But he misses having them. His only animals now are chickens for laying eggs. And bees for honey out in the country. He butchered the pig about a month ago.

I hope when the weather gets warmer I can drive him out to the country to his bee hives. I always love going there and it makes for a great blog post!

Today after I got home from going to the market, called Piyats, Deda came for a visit. 🙂

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I think he is just too cute. The way he dresses is traditional but it reminds of what I have seen in Ireland.

Grandpa Piggly From the Irish cartoon “Jakers” Link credit http://www.jakers.co.uk/parentsteachers/program/slideshow2.html

Just like this cartoon Grandpa, Deda caters to his little Millie. Today, not only did he come to visit, and do a dance upon entering to room to get her attention, he also brought her a little treat.

A Stark chocolate, the chocolate of choice for Grandparents all over Serbia.

Stark is pronounced Shtark, is a Serbian Chocolate company. They have some tasty candy bars.

Treats from Deda

Treats from Deda

I love the time I get to spend with him.  Hooray for Grandpas all over the world!
To all my readers, Stay warm!

Dobar Dan