Whatever Wednesday~ field work

Yesterday, we literally were working in the fields. I saw three field mice when I disturbed their shredded corn husk nests. The pair of us, my man and I were picking up piles of corn stalks to stack and use later in planting our baby sour cherry trees. I also saw a tiny lizard on the same field.

The hubby and I made quick work of that small field and soon we were off to harvest walnuts. A very long stick was used to beat the upper branches to free some of the clingy nuts, that was the tall man’s job. I scavenged on the ground for those who had already given up tree hugging. The pastures floor was riddled with nuts and I soon had my bucket full.

http://www.nuts.com/gifts/bucketsofnuts/walnuts.html (My bucket was much less commercial looking.)

Buck kept us company. Our “hot dog” style mutt, ran from one of us to the other and around the field and regulated the vehicles that passed occasionally.  Once he tried to steal some nuts from my bucket, but he wasn’t pleased with the taste.

Back at the house there were a few more trees to smack and more nuts to harvest. One of the biggest trees stands over a small ridge where a small creek trickles below.

The hollow under the ridge was covered with nuts, so we went back for our boots and went down the hill like Jack and Jill. This was the easiest place to find them with no long grasses hiding them, and there were so many!

While we were down there, the hubby found an old horse or cow skull. You don’t see that everyday. Well, unless you have a love for south west  art including cow skulls….

Soon the munchkin made her way down via Baba’s arms and when she saw me, it was all over. Back to Munchkin duty. Thanks God for naps that allow me to sneak away for a bit.

It is morning now, and she will soon wake from her long nights nap so I will bit you adieu for now and share more stories next time.

Wish me luck, I have my third TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) class tonight. I have been taking an online free class in TEFL course and I am excited I have learned so much to help me do a better job!! Can’t wait to use my new skills!! Thank you TEFL boot camp!

Happy Hump day Y’all!

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Munchkin Monday

Clingy is the word I would use to describe my little sunshine right now. She looks up and me and smiles. Then my little love raises her hands and wiggles her fat little fingers as if to say, “PICK ME UP!” and she starts to whine if I don’t. This is sweet, but it gets old when I am trying to wash dishes, clean house, cook, or write my blog.

I love that she loves being with me so much. It will make the hours on a plane easier when we visit the U.S. in a couple of months!

SONY DSCAbout a month ago we were invited to a slava. The little one was serenaded by a man with an accordion. He sang Serbian kids songs to her. I think she enjoyed it. 🙂

SONY DSCShe also had fun poking the keys on the accordion. This is Serbia! What a fun cultural experience!

 

My First TEFL Class or Foreigner Follies TEFL edition

As I left my building to walk to the library where my class would be held, a swarm of termites like a massive cloud in a sci-fi film had descended on the grounds surround the library. I had been warned by the hubby as I exited the apt.

When I got to the Biblioteka (Library), I saw that most of the people there were now the landing pads for a ton of the flying critters. Initially, I tried to brush them off the unknowing people, but I gave up quickly. I saw I was fighting a losing battle. Throughout the entire class, I watched them crawl all over people. To be sure, there must have been some on me as well.

Once the librarian got them all in order with a list of their names and what schools they came from, and then she handed them over to me, left the room and shut the door. They were all mine. All twenty of them with only 3 boys in the group. I was a bit stunned as we had agreed 10-15 would be good for my first time teaching. But it really doesn’t matter. I am thrilled to have them and the opportunity.

I began with an alphabet game and followed up asking for words in English that began with each letter. It was a good warm up for me and them. I was able to see who knew the most English from this exercise, and leaned on the stronger students as interpreters when I couldn’t get my point across with English and my limited Serbian.

I had done a practice run with two of my neighbor kids who are the same age as the kids in my class. I will practice with them again too. I need the practice more than they need another English class.

One of the things I thought I learned in my practice class was the two songs I planned to teach, my young neighbors already knew. They thought the other kids would as well. I was gutted, but decided to use the songs as a base point as they were already introduced to them.

It turns out only two of the students knew one of the songs. For the rest of them, it was all new material! OMiGosh! So, I went about teaching them the songs way too quickly because I was so nervous. I really need to go slower and have a bit more confidence. I began with Row, Row, Row Your Boat. And followed up with Eensy Weensy Spider.

I plan to sing those same songs every time so they get to know them well, and to understand the meaning of the words. That’s the plan at least .;)

Next I told them that all the fingers have names in English….

The middle finger story

I told them there is the Thumb, the Pointer, Tall man A.K.A the middle finger, Ring finger, and Pinky. I went about teaching them the song that helps them to learn the names.  I put up the  words to the song and an outline of my hand that has the names of all the fingers. I sing a bit of the song for them and  then have them follow along. This requires you to bring you hands from behind your back with only one finger sprouting from your fist. All went well till we got to the middle finger. I bring my middle finger out and they won’t follow along at this point, and I realize it looks like you are giving the middle finger. I assure them it is o.k. but they still won’t follow along.

Picture0019

It became really funny and we all laughed big belly laughs, because we couldn’t help ourselves. And it is a relief. The stress of my first time teaching and nerves all relax and we sing the rest of the song skipping the middle finger.

I think I shocked them at the end of the class by asking if they had any questions or if there was anything they wanted to learn. Blank stares all around. At the end I gave them my email address if they have ideas to send me. I think they were all interested in having a way to contact me, though no one has yet… it is now 4 days later.

I am excited and nervous about preparing for my next class. One little boy came up to me when most of the kids had gone and gave me a note in Serbian with an idea for the following class. He said he didn’t understand verbs. I am thrilled with the idea of teaching verbs. I must find some games to help me.

Three hours after my first class and even later, I was still on a high! To have found something to work at here in Serbia is a dream come true. Plus, I love the kids. They are so sweet, and more respectful than I expected. I am sure this will wear off when the novelty of the foreigner status in a small town dulls my allure.

I am excited for the following weeks. I hope I do well. I really want them to learn from me and be happy they spent time in my class.

I read a quote and immediately thought of sharing it with my kids, then I realized it was just as much suited for me!

“The expert in anything was once a beginner.”

Helen Hayes

If you have any advice, I am all ears!

Whatever Wednesday~ Assateague Love

 

I took these pics a few years ago. I will dedicate this post to my LOVE. 🙂 I love you, or in Serbian, Volim Te!

I took these pics a few years ago when I was childless and had sooo much free time! lol    I used to love to take long walks on the beach alone (only because the muz hates sand). And I love to get creative with the shells, driftwood, and other sea stuff that washed up.

September was my favorite month to do this. There are no crowds, great weather, and more cool shells, ship wreck pottery or sea glass for me, with bonus of maybe seeing dolphins occasionally playing in the surf.

While it was a great place to call home, I wouldn’t have been able to have the adventures in Serbia if I hadn’t left. Hooray for travel!

It doesn’t mean I don’t miss seeing these vistas.

Maryland Seafood is the best! I do miss that too!

On really hot days the horses hang out near the ocean for the cool breezes, just like us!

 

If you want to see more of my favorite island, click any of these links below:

http://lafemmet.blogspot.com/2010/09/september-at-assateague-island.html  (This one is my favorite… with a crappy youtube video made during mating season. RISQUE! Hello sex ed for horses!)

http://lafemmet.blogspot.com/2010/10/just-another-day-in-paradise-assateague.html

http://lafemmet.blogspot.com/2012/06/trip-to-island.html

 

 

 

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.

tn05

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.

Turkish coffee~ Foreigner Follies

our red jezva with bubbling Turkish coffee

Today, while making the daily Turkish coffee, I made a mess…. again. Usually while making it, I am juggling a newly diapered munchkin, the kitchen mess left by the muz, and trying to wake up at the same time. Filter coffee is much “safer”, I must say.

When I make Turkish style coffee, I let the water boil, take it off the burner, add the coffee/stir, put it back on the burner to boil. When the coffee starts to bubble you pour it into the cup/s. Sometimes when I put it back on to boil, I turn away for more than a second. That is when the coffee volcano makes a mess all over the stove top.  😦

I got a bonus blister while cleaning up the coffee lava as the water on the cloth turned a super conductor of heat. Freakin A!!  The tip of my middle finger was the victim of my morning haze stupor. Clearly, I should really have a cup of coffee before I make myself some. That’s a catch 22 if I ever heard one.

If you have never made Turkish coffee and want to see how it is made here is a youtube video.He makes it a little differently but it works.  The guy has a nice accent ta boot! 🙂

Dobar Dan Y’all!

Photography Friday~ Sheep

A typical day in most Serbian villages is something you may see as fairy tale book illustration. I know I have made these references before and I am positive I will again.

These pics are from my visit earlier this summer to Zubetinac. I love that village sooo much! Too bad the roads are an utter disaster and the muz is against driving their in fear of ruining “his” car. 😦

Baba Mary and her lambs

Baba Mary and her lambs * (Notice the chinese “crocs” she is wearing. Lots of farmers are forsaking their traditional plastic foot ware for these nowadays.

Baba Mary and her grown up lambs a.k.a. sheep passed the village house every day 2x. Their passing was announced by the clanging bell on one or more of the sheep.

SONY DSC

Ring your baeeeh eehh elll Ring your bell!

They pass pretty quickly, I had to run to get the camera to get these shots. I just loved watching them follow the shepherdess. She was one of the sweetest ladies we met in the village.

SONY DSCMary and her flock were on their way quickly. The sheep are always grabbing a bite from their favorite fast food “drive thru”!  A spot of grazing here and there and then off like a shot to catch up with the rest of the crew.

This is why I love Serbia. The antiquities and the bit of surreal-ness that is for real every day!

* The song lyrics that inspired the renaming of the Baba are below thanks to Wikipedia.

Song[edit source | editbeta]

In the 1830s, Lowell Mason set the nursery rhyme to a melody adding repetition in the verses:

Mary had a little lamb,
whose fleece was white as snow.

And everywhere that Mary went,
the lamb was sure to go.

It followed her to school one day
which was against the rule.

It made the children laugh and play,
to see a lamb at school.

And so the teacher turned it out,
but still it lingered near,

And waited patiently about,
till Mary did appear.

“Why does the lamb love Mary so?”
the eager children cry.

“Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know.”
the teacher did reply.

Site credit

Dobar Dan 🙂

No Means No

No Means “NO”. Unless you are a toddler age 1 1/2 possibly through the teen years. Right now, I can ask almost anything, and the answer is no. Sometimes definitive. But mostly not.

Me: “Are you hungry?”

Munchkin: “No”, but nods her head yes. Sometimes I think she is Bulgarian!*

I then give her a little bite of what ever and after the second attempt, she eats.

Me: “Do you need to poop?”  Or “Are you pooping”

Munchkin: “No.”

Yet I can see it in her eyes, and more importantly, my nose tells me otherwise. When I check.. she has the fudge factory working overtime.

Sometimes I can tell she doesn’t understand the question all together and she just stares at me like, “Stop speaking French! It’s either English or Serbian! Choose ONE!”

Then there is the question I ask her all the time… “What are you doing?” To which she always replies, “Naing” (nothing)

Holding hands is always a NO NO! She does not want to hold hands. Period! If you are a child or an adult, don’t even try. She will let you know. She pulls her arm away, and if you invade her space, just being friendly as some kids do, a slight head but may be the reply.  Personal space is very important to her.

That’s all on the Munchkin update. Must go be a mom.

*In Bulgaria, it is a nod of the head up and down that means “no”, and shaking your head back and forth that means “yes”. It’s like driving on the wrong side of the road kind of strange to me!

Things Grandmas say in Serbia~ Foreigner Funnies!

This is a reblog of a post from quite a long time ago on my Blogspot site. It still makes me laugh to think about all the Grandma’s or Baba’s talking about their grandkids in such a way. Here is the link to the old blog. I hope it makes you laugh.

This is Baba and her “little ducky”.

Babino patcheh or Grandma’s little penis

I have been going to my husbands village for 2 years now. Every time we go, Baba and Deda  greet us at the door. Deda shakes our hands. Baba pulls us in for hugs and lots of kisses that are closer to the neck than the face, so I always get a strange vampirish vibe from them, even though she barely has teeth. While she is kissing us, she is always muttering sweet nothings of love to us like we are children. It is very sweet and I feel loved.
This time, while I was there, a cousin translated one of the things she says to my husband…. Babino  malo Patcheh. Please forgive the spelling. I knew when she was saying Babino she was calling us her’s. It’s like saying Grandma’s baby or something. What I didn’t get was the second part. Patcheh is the word for baby duck and this is slang for penis. All along she has been calling my husband, “grandma’s little penis”. And, as odd as it sounds, it is a sweet thing to say. I did laugh my dupe off when I heard this!! (Dupe means butt.)
Bringing this up to date…. Fast forward 2 1/2 years.
And now that I have my own little girl, and my husband’s Mom has her own little lovey sayings for her. Babina mala riba… that is Grandma’s little fish. Even though it is completely rude to call women’s parts fish in my part of the world, it is proper and even common to hear little girls and women called fish.  Live and learn, live   and    learn!

Link to the original post:

http://lafemmet.blogspot.com/2011/03/babino-patcheh-or-grandmas-little-penis.html

Munckin Monday~Past and Present

One of my fellow blogger friends recently posted some childhood pics of herself in her  blog and I decided to do the same with a twist. I am sharing a view of myself and my little one to see how the genes were spliced.  😉

This is me about 40 years ago!

I think I loved the water as much as my little one does!

And for a little look at the similarities….

Or the lack thereof! She is much more of a miniature of her Daddy.

Maybe she will grow to look a little more like me in time?

But I think we have the same eyes.

My cousin is chilling on the right. That’s me on the left with the elfish uniform.  I guess it is appropriate for Christmas pics… (Shrug) still rather embarrassing to be mistaken for an elf!

Grandpa Jones and his first two little girls are happy to celebrate their second Christmas  holiday together. Grandpa liked to spoil us! And still does. I love you Grandpa! He is 90 now, still going strong!

Here’s one of of just the two of us! I love this pic! This was my first Christmas.

And one of my Munchkin and her Serbian Grandpa.

Lots of love in both pics!

I really liked sharing these. I think I will have to do it again.

On the Munchkin front, I am starting to introduce potty training. I started using clothe diapers except at night. I am setting her on the potty. I am not in a rush, my goal is November. No stress, just want to stop paying for pampers!  If you have any advice, I am all ears!!! 🙂 Thanks!