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.

 

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Munchkin Monday is back

The little monster has gotten over her first cold and terrorized us slightly. She has been wanting to stay up all night. We put the kibash on that and quick. After a few days of carefully planned naps and fun in the village with Grandma, Hvala Bogu (Thank God!) She is sleeping through the night again.

She is learning so much. She understands both English and Serbian. Her speech has kinda stopped. I think learning two languages at once has her a little confused.  She still babbles on like she is having a conversation and when she laughs my heart practically burst with joy.

Dancing is one of her favorite things to do. She gets so excited to hear music. The smile that lights up her face is as catching as a yawn.

Her temper is just as quick as her smile when she is tired. When she doesn’t want to be set down and needs a nap the tantrum sets in like a little storm. I carefully set her on the carpet and let her go to town while I make her milk. These storms pass quickly. (Now.) I ¬†know later we are in for some slow moving hurricanes with this one! Scary.

When she is tired of being indoors, she brings us her shoes or ours. She loves going out to play, swing,

and cross the town bridge over and over. She walks back and forth with no regard for bicyclist or larger beings who are in her path. scooching her out of their way is a SIN and must be punished with slight flailing and looks that kill. The bridge has few of the locks of love that are so in fashion here in Europe. The munchkin loves to play with the chains and clank the locks.

I love the bridge too. Numerous frogs sing in chorus and rounds, and the view is nothing less than beautiful.

Sometimes when we are out on walks we get lucky and run into friends. That is nothing less than joyous for me and the Munchkin.

I could get a cavity watching her play with her friends. So Sweet!

Water is a source of joy for all children (and many pets) and I am learning to use that toy/tool as a source of a break from the craziness. The other day I put a basin on the linoleum with just enough water to splash in and she was happy to play alone for 15 minutes! Win!

On the other had her love of water can be a little interruptive? Just the other day I was giving my self a mini pedicure. The foot bath I had going was so cool, I got a visitor. and was ousted! I had to give up and strip the munchkin down… But who could be mad at this little face?

In conclusion. I must say I am crazy about this little water creature.

Dobar Dan!

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

Happy Mother’s Day MOM! I love you

A pic of your last baby girl from your first

Today, back home it is Mother’s day. This post is written¬†for my awesome Mommy. I love you and I wish I could celebrate with you.

This week has been super busy with lots of trips to the village. It really reminds me of childhood in Hannahville, PA. The iris, tulips, trees, and more are all a bloom.

The fields are being worked for the harvest come fall. the tillers are ripping up lots of weeds and we are removing the rest.

blooming wall of rock

I went out yesterday to take a pic of all the flowers blooming about the rock wall and discovered this.

Mating Snails!

There were three sets of mating snails at the base of the wall not 2 feet apart. Kinda kinky, huh? Nature is surprising and intriguing all the time. just like when I was a kid.

Yesterday the hubby and I got to work in the field together trimming pesky seedlings planted by fallen cherries. Milan helped me to learn how to drive the tractor. Not a difficult task, but something that will take a few more lessons to learn. with the strange gear shift and all the brakes… well all two. ūüėČ still.

The long shadows of the end of the day make me tall. Something only a set of heels does otherwise.

Working in the fields is a pleasure for me. Mama got to take care of the little tyke while I explored the great outdoors with the hubby. so many treasures. New flowers and plants I have never seen before! some familiar ones too.

I found this lovely nest nestled in the ground among the weeds.

Tiny speckled eggs, that will soon hatch tiny baby birdies.

The days work also brought the joy of finding a little shack at the edge of a stream below the fields. The shade of the trees and the air coming of the  stream creates a natural air conditioning system so welcoming after working in the sun filled fields.  Mosquitoes are the only downfall of this respite.

Close to the shed there is also a necessary room, that sets atop the creek.

and not far away is a little bridge that traverses the creek to other fields that lay nearby.

The bridge was used later to get to the tractor in a neighboring field. There was one more field to fertilize on the way home.

Then we went home to our little baby and Baba.

Our little rockstar was all tuckered out after the long day.

We send you lot of warm wishes and hugs and kisses on this special day.
XOXO

Dobar Dan

Whatever Wednesday~ Easter Feast pics

Easter in the village is so much less formal than I have known Easter to be. Mind you, there are formalities. Just different ones.

Family Sets up the “picnic” under the¬†pavilion, Neighbors wander in. There weren’t as many people as I thought. It must be an invite only kind of thing? ¬†I don’t know.

There is tons of food, wine, and beer waiting to be consumed. The table is lined with the closest family and friends and the ceremonial bread is broken.

Brothers

Wine is poured into the four crevices cut into the cake like bread. Probably to¬†symbolize the four places Jesus was pierced with nails.¬† Now it is like a communion bread and wine all in one. Pieces of the bread are passed around to everyone. Incense is burned, candles are lit and food is eaten. Not all in that order. ūüôā

Lighting the incense, saying a prayer. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Everyone is lined up to light their candles by the Ancient cross.

The candles they will light are a soft wax. If you hold them in your hand too long they wilt like a flower and face down. Easily remedied by straightening them out.  and letting them cool a bit.

I had to get a pic of this lady with the kerchief tied behind her head. If that outfit doesn’t scream fortune teller. I don’t know what does. But this is just her choice of clothes for the day.

 

The cross is ¬†the closest thing to a church in the village. There is a church a village or two over, and then the one in town. There are lots of these crosses all over. One might be hiking through the forest and find an old abandoned cross like this from another lifetime in Serbia. The ¬†writing on the cross is in old Cyrillic. I can’t read it.

People eat. Children get restless. Beer, cigarettes, and conversation flank the table. Children find ways of amusing themselves.

washing their hands over and over, playing in the water.

 

Taking walks

 

Learning and playing the egg tapping game for the first time.

Happy Easter from our family to yours.

 

 

Photography Friday~ Fences and Gates in Vina

While the men were at work this week, I was left again with the booger, She had refused a nap in ¬†Baba’s bed, and I ended up taking a walk with my one ton munchkin in my arms. Inevitably, as I ventured just a little ways from the house, she fell fast asleep. Dead weight, awesome! But¬†actually¬†was, She had a good nap, and I got some good exercise.

Camera in hand, balancing the little freight, I snapped away at the scenery. This time gratefully,  no dogs followed me as they have in the past. And no geese honked warnings. The baby slept in peace.

In the Gypsy village. a large section  is fenced in solely by bed springs and maybe couch mattress springs. Children and chickens remain within the confines of so many springs.

Gates and fences seem to be a must in this part of the world. Only large apartment buildings are left without fences. Probably best this way, as stray and family dogs roam free and can leave presents/stink bombs wherever they like. One very good reason to have a fenced in yard.

Another good reason is the trash. Here, it seems, too few people have manners enough to walk their trash to a rubbish bin. Serbia, an otherwise gorgeous country. is on big trash bin. It is rare to find a Serb who respects their home enough to keep it clean. I has bothered me so much at times I have gone out and cleaned it myself.

I guess I should look at that as an opportunity for improvement? There are a few , just like back home. ūüėČ

This was my favorite gate of the trip. Chicken wire attached to a wood frame, with a fancy iron gate. Simple and beautiful~

Dobar Dan

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!

Photography Friday~ She Thinks my Tractor’s Sexy

I played this song for my adorable mother-in-law, and she danced to the music. After it was over she called the song Sexy Tractor with ¬†her thick Russian sounding accent. Tell me that’s not funny.

Check out our Sexy Yugoslavian Tractor!

My Sexy country boy and his country Papa heading out to fertilize the wheat and barley.

Trips to Vina will be more and more common as the weather improves. This week, I had a visit with the neighbors and later went back to take some pictures. I love the big barn with Corn hanging near the top. Dried gourds and old miners lanterns also decorate the upper levels of the barns sides.

Good ole boys down on the farm. Wonderful neighbors!

I still can’t get over how friendly some people are. Here in our village, I am always greeted with warmth. I love my village. Even the chickens and the geese come out to say “hello”.

The cows stay inside here in Serbia. I asked why and I was told because of the cold. It seems there is an excessive fear of the cold in this country. I feel kind of bad for the cows never getting to play in the grass. Even in the summer here they are kept inside. I think it is because the pastures are so far from the houses.

Village homes are clustered together in Serbia, The farm land is spread out all around the villages. It seams like a strange set up for someone from the States who is used to wide open spaces surrounding one farm house. Neighbors a mile or more away.

My farm-house in rural Pennsylvania was surrounded by the neighbor’s corn fields as far as the eye could see. When the corn was tall we couldn’t see the nearest house that was more than a quarter-mile away.

California Cheese commercials will give you an idea of what it is like for cows in the U.S. To be honest, I think they may have a better life. But I would have to do more research on that. Though, I doubt I will.

Dobar Dan Y’all

Munchkin Monday

A walk in a Fairy Tale Village

Last week we went for a walk in Vasilj, a little village not far from town. The initial reason to meet an expat like myself lives there. That didn’t happen, but the village was so quaint that I was thrilled we had come.

The Munchkin was thrilled to make the acquaints of some house cats and two adorable miniature Doberman Pinschers that played in an ancient school playground.

The old school playground and building looked mostly neglected.

SONY DSC

The Schoolhouse gate

School house windows with paper snowflake cut outs

We were accompanied on the village trip by a friend of the Muz who’s father was from the village. It was lovely to have him as a tour guide.

SONY DSCNot only did he love on Millie, but he picked us some early spring flowers. The lovely white Visi Baba or Snow Drops as they are called in the English speaking world. I have seen those same flowers on each of the visits here in Serbia, but this time I discovered they are hiding the most beautiful upside down green heart that rests in the shade of the white petals.

The village was filled with gorgeous old homes. Sadly, it was an overcast day, so the pictures aren’t as glowing as they could be. Next time I will go on a sunny day when there are leaves on the trees. That day is not long off. Already, blues skies are more prevalent than they have been in months!! Yippee!

One last pic to make this a Munckin Monday post.

The little one enjoying a well deserved drink after a long day.