Serblish little munchkin~isms

Last week I was seriously down for the count. I didn’t do a dern thing. Not even my T25. I was just busted and broken down by a virus. ¬†Monday I got back to work. I use the term “work” loosely. ūüėČ

The physical training has been reinstated as well as watching and listening to Serbian cartoons. You are fortunate I do not share the pics of T25 wrist sweat or zoo smell after. Thank God for running water for showers post workout!

Indoor plumbing is also such a blessing with a little one who loves to color and paint. This said paint may be on more than paper and must be washed off!

Peeshee or writing/coloring is one of her favorite past times! The table clothe is a little worse for the wear…

Munchkin is becoming proficient in both languages, New words are popping up all the time. Tonight, I had to ask for a translation from the muz. She leaves out some necessary syllables that make understanding her baby Srpski. Of course, Baba is totally confused with her English, I have to translate all the time.

Lately she has a fascination with “open” and “close”. In Serbian that is “otvori” and “zatvori”. For a little one, that is “tvori” and “tvori”. I am focusing on English for this one. We know which she means when she says “pen” and “kwoz”!

Climbing up on mommy’s craft/work desk is unavoidable. A roadblock much be produced soon or my shelves will be empty.

Today, she climbed up into her personal seat all by herself. That is just a little scary. Must remember to keep the chair further, but she could probably move it herself.

Tantrums are awesome, and her favorite things to throw. Markers may go flying in the process of flipping out. Surely she will fly forward landing face down fake crying and I just ignore her. Saw enough of this with the brother and sister 30 years ago. I thought it was dumb then. I have the same opinion now.

Daddy is down a computer lately, as she has claimed it for her personal use. Pingu, Pepa Prase/Pig, and Despicable Minions are her favorite things to watch.

Cabin fever is killing us all, and we are grateful for the thaw. Today we went out for a swing. Promptly she fell hands first in the mud made from the melted snow. We made a B-line it for the closest public restroom in Dom Kultura where we could wash off and drip dry. There were no paper towels or toilet paper. This is the norm in Serbia. I just haven’t acclimated to bring tissues everywhere with me yet. I will in time I am sure. or not. I am flexible.

Before bed we jump and play on the new floor resting mattress. It is always time for learning new words. cha`pe is the Munchkinism for charap’e or sock. She has been carrying some florescent spotted socks of mine all over the house and saying cha’pe over and over.

Eating a glues stick is such a great idea. Mean Mom made me stop. Only this quick shot under the table made me stop freaking out about my choice of snack being taken!

Last night, Ku Dul was the new fun word. Cuddling or maza in Serbian is a laughter filled fun thing to do with Mommy and Daddy on the bed. Lots of Kisses and running around and even more jumping followed by Ku Dul! Good Times!

It would be even better if Mommy and Daddy could Ku Dul with out baby sometimes. But you can’t have it all!

Dobar Dan Y’all!

 

While we were gone dva (2)

My trip home started out with a quick zip down to Florida. My parents and Grandfather were a sight for sore eyes. We even got to visit with some cousins who live near by!

There was a bit of Serbian “flavor” in our trip south as well. We visited with my wonderful friend “S” who now lives a few towns over. I met her and her little lovelies in Novi Sad Serbia for the first time Christmas 2010(?). We had been writing back and forth for some time and skyping…She and her family made my Christmas away from home so special. I now consider them family too.

Patriotic neighbors
I just love these old civil war era homes. I saw Pennsylvania with new eyes and it was beautiful!

For Thanksgiving, I was was with my brother and sister in Pennsylvania about a thousand miles north of Florida eating my face off with turkey and all the fixings.  Oh how I have missed the GMO, preservative ripe, processed to death food of the US. I did not deny myself anything. T25 workouts are now a must for my lard laden body!

A week or so later, I was thrilled to be able to go back to the place I called HOME for the last 20 years. Ocean City, Maryland!

I saw so many of my sorely missed friends and the  Atlantic Ocean. My heart was so happy and sad to see them all knowing is was just for a couple of very short days.

Thanks to my very dear friend MN who I sadly have no pics of. She let me crash at her condo. We are truly grateful for such a wonderful place to stay. We had some hearty talks I wish could have stretched on for days.

Salmon dinner made by my oldest friends, “P&M” in OC made one of my evenings absolutely perfect. My eyes can easily fill with tears just thinking about how happy I was to see them and Mr. L.P. Thank you so much for taking time to see Munchkin and me.

Munchkin had a blast playing with all the Christmas merry making toys and decor.

Reunited with with work buddies and their offspring was the most hilarious fun time. Munchkin was joined by a set of twins a year older than her and a little boy just two months her junior. They had a great time running around together and beating each other with crab mallets. ¬†No permanent damage was done. ūüėČ

Crab buckets are the best protection against crab mallets!

So many good friends and just not enough time!! I love you all so much!

If it wasn’t so cold, cold, Cold and windy or we would have walked down to the ocean for beach pic. Next time…

Then it was back to PA for more time with the siblings and cousins. At the end of the trip I got to pick up some side-work with my brother and we finally had some quality time to chat. He works with a a bunch of Bosnian people in Carlisle, PA. While we waited for work and chatted I met a few of them. They understood my Serbian as crappy as it is. They were patient and happy to talk about life in former Yugoslavia, give advice and discuss the problems in Balkan lands.

Signs are in Bosnian and in English… soon French may also be added!

The funny thing about Serbs and Bosnians and maybe even Croatians. When you are living in country so far from home the ache of recent wars and wounds still healing are less of a problem. The shared language culture are bandages.

They were a joy to chat with. They understand the difficulty of living far from home in a land whose culture is exotic. All of them come home about once a year and one even confessed he cries every time he is leaving his country of birth. This is pretty common for most expats.Land of birth, home of your family and friends, the land of your culture and traditions is a hard thing to leave even for a better life or a loved one.

Sometimes the joys of the adventurous expat life is so far eclipsed by the ¬†loss and distance. The heart breaks over and over. ¬†I miss my friends and family. I didn’t cry until I returned to Serbia.

The Munchkin is just happy to have her Mommy and Daddy back together again. She won’t go to sleep unless we are on either side of her. The joy on her face is priceless! She doesn’t care where she is as long as we are there too.

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. ¬†ūüė¶

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! ūüôā

Dobar Dan Y’all!

Munchkin Tuesday Little Rock

Perfection~ an old Turkish style Serbian house. I am in LOVE!

Sunday we went to a friend’s village for a Slava. (One of those Big Thanksgiving type dinners that are related to a saint.) We went to a village I had only previously driven through before. Gore Kamenica or Upper Little Rock is the name of the town, like Little Rock, Arkansas. It reminds me of the country song, “RockyTop” and it as just as country as the song!

The food was nothing less than spectacular, Fresh from the garden veggies, Home made ¬†cheese from the cow and the sheep’s milk! YUM! Roasted lamb and of course, Rakija!

The Munchkin didn’t allow me to eat much, soon we were off to play with the other kids and eventually took a walk.

Just down the road we ran into some other familiar children and soon out the front door comes a friend of mine. How Fun to run into friends in a town half an hour from home!

Mosquitoes and rain drops drove us back home after seeing some gorgeous fairy-tale village scenes.

Old Serbian Home

Old Serbian Home

This old house was just the tip of the iceberg. So much to great stuff to see. I could walk around these old villages for eternity. Ideally with the good camera and no Munchkin. ūüėČ Chasing after the Speedy toddler impairs the view. Here are a few more phone pics for the road!

Check out this chicken walk!

 

Doesn’t this look like something you would see in a movie?

End of the blurry pics.
Happy Tuesday! Dobar dan.

 

Foreigner Follies~ I have great neighbors

A few days ago…

Munchkin and I are sick. We took a nap to escape the crap we are feeling and woke up to find daddy had gone out for a bit.

When we awoke (she woke me up!) from the wonderful nap. Reluctantly. ¬†I crawled out of bed. I need to pee like a race horse and to change the munchkin’s diaper that was threatening to seep out onto the sheets and eventually my lap. In the living room beginning the unending diaper duty, I heard a ticking or tapping? I left the grouchy little one to investigate and found a long crack in the ceiling in the foyer dripping water from the apt above. Instant stress!

Then the phone rings. I hope it is the hubby so I can ask him to come home. It wasn’t him.

Elevating Stress.

Making things a bit more difficult, it was Deda Tole asking if we would like a visit. Baby is crying. I am freaking out inside about the leaking and speaking to him in Serbian on the phone becomes almost impossible. I tell him water is falling but I don’t¬†know the word for ceiling… I end up telling him to call back or something. I am not even sure.? I step outside into the hall way to get help. I don’t know what to do and I need some advice ASAP! oh, and I need to call the hubby. But first help from the neighbors! any neighbors!

I open my apt door. There is a man ascending the stairs and someone who has just gone down. My brain blanks on all Serbian and Finally after what is only a second or so but feels so much longer, I manage to say I NEED HELP. ¬†Please. The gentleman turns and descends the stairs. The lady who cleans the stairwell came up the stairs to my rescue as well. I told them what was happening and showed them the leak. The gentleman went up immediately to see if anyone was home. No one was there. He asked if I had their phone number… I did not. ūüė¶ He left, and my hustling continued.

The lady told me to get something to catch the H20 dripping freely from above. Scrambling to stand on the edge or the tub (It is about 2 and a half feet high), I transform my short self in to a monkey to reach the basins perched high atop the bathroom cabinet.  After a little maneuvering with a chair the basins are aptly placed under the drips.

This elementary bit of work was something I would have done on my own, but  I am daft as a doughnut with this head cold.  Plus, I was fearful of how the ceilings here handle flooding. would large bits of it crumble and fall on our heads? I was freaking out. Here is why:
Long ago, in the U.S. I lived in a condo and my upstairs neighbors pipes broke. My entire apartment was filled with drips and eventually a section of ceiling 3 feet wide,  6 feet long and about a foot thick and so heavy with water fell.  I was standing a foot behind it. I had just walked under it.

Now I was fearful for my self and my child. Though, I was mostly sure the concrete would hold… still? Sadly, I haven’t the capability of asking this sort of thing from the neighbors.

So many words yet to memorize! Ceiling= Blafon sounds like blahphone. I think I got that one now.

I finally call my man and ask him to come home after rambling about the disaster.  I am so nervous and anxious not knowing how bad the leak is and what may happen to the cracking ceiling. At this point the crack in the ceiling gets longer and more water is dripping above the light fixture and beyond. The crack is 3 feet long and growing. And I still need to pee really bad!

All the while, my sick little love is intermittently crying out of frustration and coming to the hall to see what is going on with the mum who has abandoned her. I return her to the couch and out of my way as I fumble around the drips nimbly jumping the water basins… going to get the baby tub to catch the growing steady trickle and turn of the light to keep from having some water induced electrical problems. The newly stretched ceiling crack goes directly over top the light fixture.

The kind neighbor man returns after looking for the tenants from above and he had luck! The water is switched off. My upstairs English-speaking neighbor/friend comes up the stairs. I start to explain. and the missing husband (Superman) arrives just after this. The  situation is instantly over. Relief

After Dobrila (sounds like Godzilla), the upstairs neighbor comes to apologize and our door is shut. The leaks have diminished. calm descends.

Thank God for Good Great neighbors!

Now, all we need to do is patch the ceiling and repaint!

Holy hallelujah¬† I can pee now. I leave the bathroom door open as there is no point in closing it with a persistent toddler who insists on entry. I am mentally (and physically) relieved. Out of the blue the hubby comes to infringe on my well deserved “break-time”. He only wants to inform me he shut the door to the back room to starve a fly. What? Bwahah haha! The comedic relief I need to recover from the stressful situation I just experienced. I love my honey.

Side note, if the hubby¬†wrote this blog it would be MUCH funnier! I am much more of a “just the facts” type. Such a pity. I would so love to make people laugh, like some of my favorite bloggers. I am talking about you ¬† Multifarious Meanderings and ¬†Englishman in Italy, you never disappoint!

Happy Sunday fun day y’all!

I have lost my groove

No, not my dancing groove. In fact, I dance now more than I used too. The Munchkin likes¬†no LOVES to dance and so we do, Daily! IT is my blogging groove that is missing. I have been back and forth so much between the village and town, then with the PMS from hell and trying to balance my new summer life… I am all out of sorts.

This is a big holiday weekend back home, the kick off of summer and the big working season at the beach where I used to live for the last 20 years. (Enter Cha-ching cash register sound here!) I think that has a lot to do with my mental state.  I miss my job, friends and my old life in general.

At the same time, the work on the farm here has picked up. I have written about most of the work I have done, NOT MUCH. ¬†I go with the intention of working. Millie throws a fit and all agree I should stay with her. ūüė¶ It is frustrating. I am used to working for the family, providing, now I just babysit. though I guess it isn’t babysitting when it is your own child. But it leaves me feeling useless. unproductive. confined. IT Sucks!

People here in Serbia say it is the best job there is. I think I have even heard that at home too. but I would agree to disagree. I want a job that makes money.

On the other hand, people here ask me when I will put her in Preschool. and I think, “WHAT?!” she is only 15 months old and I don’t have a job. Why on Earth would I let someone else raise her? ¬†What a juxtaposition of thoughts, huh?

Furthermore, Consternation in my marriage is dismaying. We had agreed we would work on the farm. My lack of work there is the problem for both of us really. and my desire not to go to the village is also a problem. But as I wrote above, often I end up staying with the munchkin in the cold village house. unable to help. This means more time with the blessed in-laws who I don’t dislike. It is just exhausting.. more than most in-laws because we don’t speak the same language. Even though I am not technically working, it is stressful and I get so tired. (So, why bother even going to the village?)

Compounding the difficulty of going to (not) work in the village, we don’t return home when the work is done, we STAY for dinner. The food is getting repetitive and not what I want, in spite of my mother in law trying her hardest to please me… It is also what the hubby has been missing for years. HE is in hog heaven, literally as most of the food is PORK!. for me it is just more time stuck in the cold village house. I think to myself, “What did I get myself into. How long can I do this?”

The time in the village is nice (imagine the italics is a sarcasm font). but when we have a day “off” in town. it is a day to work for me. laundry, cleaning, fitting in coffee with friends if I don’t just sit in the apt recuperating from over stimulation. I think it is all getting a bit too much. it is affecting my desire to write sadly. The writing is my life therapy. my link home. and I am slacking.

Am I complaining? or am I just a complaining? lol Maybe I just need a kick in the @$$. Mea culpa.  Adjusting to a new life takes so much time! Damn this Culture shock.

These are my consolation prizes (for my living here and your reading this rant). The vistas on the way to the village are pricele$$.

Now that spring has turned the hills all green and flowery, the entire drive is eye candy.

Lush greens, purples, and reds so vibrant you can taste them.

And fields of poppies that are like a painting providing the calm of opium. ¬†(strictly metaphorically speaking obviously or I wouldn’t have had to write this post!)

Hopefully this will work as an enema to work all the crap out of my brain and get on with my life. Bring on the sunshine!

Happier posts to come soon.
Dobar Dan

What happens when you defend yourself against a burglar in Serbia and the US

Not unlike back home in the US, I have found that defending your home and family is a risky business in Serbia. I just got this link from a friend this morning telling a story about a family in Belgrade who had been burglarized a few weeks earlier and when the burglar came back this past Wednesday, the confrontation between the man of the house and the return “guest” resulted in the death of the intruder. The man, Saska is in jail accused of murder. The laws need to change! He was only protecting ¬†his wife and daughter who were also there at the time.

There is a petition you can fill out for a change in the law included in the article below. If you are interested in helping.

Here is the article I read this morning. http://globalvoicesonline.org/2013/05/25/when-a-burglar-enters-your-home-debating-serbias-self-defense-law/

Saska’s wife is a friend of mine online. I found her when I was looking for help with finding other expats like myself. Even though she didn’t know me from Adam, she helped me find friends close by who I could chat with and who understood my intercultural family.

Please join me in praying for this family as the mother and child are now home without the man of the house to protect them and they must feel very vulnerable. The husband is locked up for being a good man, protecting his family and his home. They don’t know when he will be able to return.

Munchkin Monday ~ Hana’s Christening on St. Patrick’s Day

The third of the three little musketeers had her first birthday!!

Our close-knit group of friends gathered once again to celebrate.

Hana’s Christening. The Godfather and the mother of the child stand before the priest.

Hana was not all that fond of the ceremony that took longer than most babies want to be held in front of a stranger. Especially when the stranger is singing Orthodox Christening chants. I am sure if it was the Becolino (Baby soap) Song She would have been just fine. ūüôā

The priest sang/chanted, sprinkled water on her head, and cut her hair in four places. The Kum ¬†(Serbian for best man) who is also the Godfather and Hana’s mom followed the priest, circling the altar three times. ¬† ¬†This was a new cultural experience for me. I found it interesting. Also, The song “Tradition” from Fiddler on the Roof came to mind. So much of the ceremony is steeped in tradition going back centuries.

After the ceremony at the gorgeous old church, we had a short break. It was time for the little ones to nap and then met up back at the home of Hana and her family for an amazing dinner. Regretfully, I didn’t get to eat much, but what I did eat was YUM-mazing!

You may ask where the woman are.

The Munchkin and I in green for St. Patrick’s Day!

I hope Hana enjoyed her birthday. I know all the other kids enjoyed her toys. ūüėČ Thanks for sharing Hana!

For St. Patrick’s day, I did a little photo shoot with my little leprechaun. She was less than cooperative. This is my favorite of the pics.. It looks like she is dancing.

Photography Friday

Gallery

This gallery contains 8 photos.

A small trip to the village this week for a final birthday dinner gave me the chance to take some new village new photos. The stairs up to the barn loft. Kindling piled under make a lovely bouquet of wood. … Continue reading

Sveti Trifun 365-46

I posted yesterday about February 14th holidays. After I wrote the little blog, THE MUSIC BEGAN. I was in the middle of changing and dressing Little Miss when it started. I got so excited to go see what was going on I could wait to be finished with her and to dress myself.

A crowd of people enjoying free wine and rakija

A crowd of people enjoying free wine and rakija

Soon enough, good camera in hand I was on my way… Just outside there was a band playing traditional Serbian music.

A Grandma and he little grandbaby were up on the terrace above looking down on it all.

Grandma and grandbaby

Grandma and grandbaby

Waiters from the Cafe Pariz  were milling about the crowd with trays full of FREE wine and rakija. Almost immediately, I was offered some, after declining once and a brief conversation in Serbian,  he asked in English where I was from. Then offered me a little wine again. The second time was a charm. Wine in hand, I watched the show. Since I was already buzzed off of my Turkish coffee and no breakfast, the wine made me a little but more buzzed.

Traditional band

Traditional band

It was the cafe owner’s Slava. Sveti Trifun, pronounced Teefoon, is the patron saint of wine. There was a gorgeous loaf of bread in the shape of Grapes on a table with the traditional Slava set up.

Grape shaped bread

Grape shaped bread

I believe it got around that I was an American, for when the traditions started a man came over and told me where I should be watching so I could get good pictures. He was very nice, polite, and helpful. I am so glad he cared enough to show me.

First there was the lighting of the candle like we do for out slava. Then the owner went over to the grape vine and  cut a couple pieces off the grape vine.

Cutting the grape vine

Cutting the grape vine

Pouring the wine

Pouring the wine for a prosperous new season

Then the breaking of the bread with a friend.

Breaking the bread

Breaking the bread

I know they do this every year. I remember last time I was here for February 14th I could hear the music, but I was stuck in the apt in a cast. No going to check things out. I am so glad I can get out now.

Stray Dalmatian

Stray Dalmatian

There was a sweet Dalmatian lingering about waiting for some love in the form of food. He was so sweet but malnourished. I threw him some bread twice and saw some others do the same. I wish I could do so much more. I feel so bad for the many sweet strays here. They break my heart.

The gypsy lady caught taking her pic

The gypsy lady caught taking her pic

There was a lone gypsy lady there. I think she, along with many others were feeling good from the wine and rakija. After she saw me taking her picture, she really wanted to talk to me, but my Serbian or lack there of made it impossible for us to understand one another. There again, it could have been something how much she had to drink impairing her speech and my ability to understand. She was very persistent, so much some bystanders helped me to escape, twice!

Kolo Party

Kolo Party

She had a merry time. She danced as I would have liked to have and later joined the Kolo line. I had to get back up to the little one. But I got some pics of the dancing from the window.

The little one got to watch too.

Little Miss at the window

Little Miss at the window