Srecan Uskros~ Happy Easter

I hope y’all have had an awesome Easter like we have.

It started out with Munchkin’s first Easter hunt. I just set Eggs around the house and told her to look for them. The first thing she went for was in the toy box. It was our NFL American football. She calls it jaja or egg. Who can blame her. It is almost the same shape!

Then when she saw the real eggs, she went to town. She was so excited! I forgot how much fun Easter egg hunts were. Next year I must spread the fun around and make it a family and friends event!

We were off to the village right after. It was a gorgeous day to be in the village. This was the first day in 4 days it hadn’t rained. The green  leave and grass were vibrant! The flowers hues were electric.

After some time with the family, a walk was in order. Our plan was to walk up to the Village cross.

Obviously, we eventually made it.

But we made several wonderful stops along the way. The first was to see Baba Ljubinka and her clan. That is always great. We chatted a bit and I got to take a pic of their eggs. They have such a different tradition for eggs here. It will never lose its coolness factor with me.

We rambled up the hill slowly. Every few feet I would have to pick up the Munchkin and carry her. Then she would walk again for a short while. We stumbled upon some grazing sheep, and chatted with the shepherdess.

We made it to the cross and the pavilion was empty.  The cross was beautifully adorned.

When we got home, Munchkin and I had some barn loft play time. She loves jumping around the barn, but is clearly unimpressed with the “selfie” concept.

Upstairs for a diaper change, playing loudly in the bedroom, and all of a sudden the Munchkin says, “deda spava.” Sure enough. I look around the corner and there he is sleeping of domestic wine. Natural Serbian Easter celebrating tradition.

Soon we were all around the table having the most wonderful food. Some of it was even extraordinarily beautiful.

Happy Easter Monday to you all!

 

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Morning Stroll

The window treatment is ingenuitive! Old fence gates are now decorative protective iron bars. Brilliant!!

Good Day all. I got up super early this morning! It was like 4AM! I couldn’t sleep and so I got up. I was up in time to watch the sun rise.

There is a convertible bed that slides back into a chair. With it in chair mode, Munckin lacks the big step up that allows her to climb on the desk and create havoc all over the house with the craft bits.

I made some Turkish (put some hair on your chest) coffee and drank it while I spent some time organizing the back room. Now, the Mini Me  can’t climb the shelves.

When I finished this long needed task, I hung the laundry on the radiators and made it outside at the crack of 8. That is early for me my friends.

Briskly, I made it to the other side of town I decided to stop in at the church to pray since the doors were open.

Liturgy was being sung. It was ancient sounding and beautiful. Four large men executed the ceremony. Big traditional robes covered in vests and jackets kept them warm.  Four people beside myself stood at the back ignoring the cold hugging their coat clad bodies. I stayed til the end. I left as the Fathers of the church were making their way towards me and the exit. I never know what is expected should they great me and I was having a little Srpski language stage fright. (That happens all the time!) Better to get out while the getting is good I say.

Downtown was cluttered with folks heading to work and school. As I passed this interesting old building, I saw that at the very top, there were weeds growing from the gutters. So much character every where!

Kids headed to school chatted happily and popped into the Pekara (bakery) for breakfast.

This driveway/entrance is framed by such a lovely gate. The neighboring building was a mini market and agricultural mercantile. Delivery men or just workers were standing outside having a good time chatting and were puzzled at my snapping a pic at the normal everyday Serbian gate. They chatted at me. I didn’t comprehend much and just smiled. I asked if they wanted their pic taken and they were agreeable.

Usually, I would show them the pic, but I was feeling bashful. I just smiled and walked away after some more misunderstood banter.  Sometimes I get so shy!

The cold got to be too much to bear, so I went to grab a burek and went home for burek and jogurt  breakfast. Then, I went back to sleep in the living room not wanting to wake the Muppet and her Furry monster dad. I slept til the little one padded out to the couch where I lay and asked for milk. Then the day really began!

 

Snow January 14

Snow has finally come to Knjazevac! Today we venture out for a walk. I am happy to share some fun pics.

Sometimes I see things here that are just out of the last century. or out of Norman Rockwell prints. I am in love with this sled. And I wonder if cool sleds like this are still found all over Europe? or is it just in my neck of the woods?

We have been inside for the majority of the last few days. On the first day of snow I reveled in the look of the snow with dove tracks.

We have been feeding the birds on our porch daily. Munchkin loves to watch them eat.

Like I said we went for a walk today.

Dressing munchkins for snow is a serious process! layers and keeping hold of them before they run away in between layers. Finding boots and gloves. Fun times!

The walk was nice, little M wanted to walk in only the fresh snow on the side walkway and dip her mittens in the snow. She chased birdies, and wanted to carried a lot.  I got a workout on top of the T25 I did in the AM.

The bakery with snow and icicles.

We came home and I realized we hadn’t eaten. I had leftovers from last night whilst baking a new cookie recipe.

Home made chicken tenders with home-made honey mustard. YUM and the most amazing cabbage salad.

And for dessert… Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies with walnuts.

I think I like them better than the regular Toll House recipe!

I think I will have to an Extra T25 workout today, I plan to eat a few more of these sweet morsels!

It has been a pretty good day! I hope you are having a good one too.  🙂

In case you are interested in the recipe for the cookies you can find it here.

The cabbage salad is my favorite salad and so easy to make. I often eat it as a late night snack. I don’t feel guilty at all.

The recipe for the Cabbage Salad is below.

Cut a head of cabbage into half and then a fourth. Then, slice it like bread into thin strips. Put that in a bowl and add a table-spoon of veg oil and a table-spoon of apple cider vinegar. then add about a teaspoon of salt and mix it up well. Add more if you think it needs it. You can eat it right away, or put it in the fridge for the cabbage to absorb the O&V. I like it best after about an hour of soaking. you can add diced garlic for a bit more flavor. Dr. Oz says the cider vinegar will boost metabolism. I think he is right from a bit of testing.

Happy Wednesday 🙂

Dobar dan y’all!

 

Munchkin Monday~strollering around town

It was 40 days after the death of my hubby’s sweet Aunt Raditsa, and I was determined to make it up, up, up all the hills to the graveyard for the traditional thing they do here. I was late, but that was a good thing since my little Monkey was all out of sorts.

Later I found out I had just missed them. We knew because we saw the same little gypsy kids walking around the cemetery. The hubby asked why I didn’t call for a ride. When I replied I wanted to walk, he asked why didn’t you come to the dinner after?  I had to tell him it was Millie’s nap time and there was no stopping that sleep bound train!. He quickly understood. I had that same rerun conversation with Mama later that evening.

Yesterday was a pleasant enough day to go out for a long stroll with the munchkin tucked in her stroller. The minute we got up to the graveyard she got grouchy and wanted only to go home to nap. Good thing we missed the family.

After much fussing, and when we had descended the hill a block from home she gave up and fell asleep.

Dreading putting the stroller in the basement with my tall toddler in hand then ascending the steps to our flat, I decided to walk a bit. In case you are concerned, I did make sure Munchkin was warm enough.

I leisurely walked on the path beside the Timok river. A mewing kitten on a park bench was begging for attention, so I went over to offer some free pets. Kitty curled herself up in my lap and napped next to the stroller with my napping munchkin.

I sat there for nearly an hour loving on the homeless furry monster. I was sad to let her go when the Munchkin stirred and I had to do back to attending to my own sweet love.

Just as the two of us were about to arrive home, and the little love had started to fuss again, I saw a man walking past talking on a cell phone. Then I heard him speaking American English with no accent. I paused, and listened again. My ears were right.

I must stop now and tell you how much of a small town I live in. We don’t get foreigners and hearing my native language is a bit of a stunner.

Without giving thought to what I might say, thinking only he is going to be annoyed I interrupted his phone call for what?? I turned the stroller with the now crying munchkin and began to run towards the man who was briskly getting away. Meanwhile, he was having his private English conversation on the phone and completely unaware of my spontaneous, ridiculously desperate trailing with a crying baby.

I hear my name and turn to see the hubby. He asks where am I going? Sheepishly, I tell him. I am running after the American.

I am sure he saved me from complete embarrassment. But I am bummed I didn’t get to find out what that stranger was doing in my town.

 

Walking on a dirt road

I walked home from working with the hubby on clearing a field. There was nothing left for me to do. He and papa had to finish the rest with the tractor. Joyfully, I was able to walk home in silence. I found myself surrounded by so much beauty that I had to stop and take some pics.

A field of sour cherries not long for the picking.

so much color framed with mountains and fruit baring fields.

Wheat and barley fields sway in the wind like waves in the ocean.

 

The dusty path brought my uncle and cousin by. Just another pleasant surprise.

Almost home enjoying the shade in the forest.

Check out the Woodpeckers nesting tree!

A nice long walk is always a good mental break. This fence marks the beginning of the village. And the end of my quiet walk home. Back to the munchkin.

Here is a song for the road… Though I am not a country music girl. this song minus the dumb wrap seems just about perfect.

 

Not so Urban Sprawl 365-23

SONY DSC

This part of town used to be out side of town. Urban sprawl took it’s toll, now what once was kinda country is now within the city limits. There is no space between this town and the next. This area has regular housing,  but barns next to the homes are a common site.

Side yard garden

Side yard garden

Gardens take the place of yards if the free space is not covered in cold hard cement. In fact, yards with grass seem a bit unusual here. I am kinda tired of seeing so much concrete. More often than I would like there is just concrete. I find it unattractive. But then, I am a country girl who enjoys big green spaces. I get the garden in the yard. In fact I think it is a super smart use of the land. The same idea is starting to catch on in the U.S. (Slowly but surely.) If it is done right, it can be really eye-catching.  And if you needs some carrots, all you have to do is walk outside. Awesome!

We are only in the month of January, but still the gardens are in use. There are even a good many green houses that are producing food even now.  A very good use of space and time.

SONY DSCAs you can see this is just at the edge of town and the fields behind are filled with orchards and nicely plowed rows ready for planting in spring.

There were some other pictures I wanted to take. But people here are leery of strangers with cameras. Cute little old ladies in “Baba attire” are not eager for a photo shoot. Total bummer! I just love the way they dress. It is so story book.

There were some really cool massive old baskets in a barn that would make a hipster proud but, the old Deda was uncooperative as well. A stranger with an accent with a camera is too much to take I guess. maybe next time. 😦 I have to find a way to make friends.

Maybe next time I’ll take a coca cola with me. I could sing, “I’d like to buy the world a coke, and keep it company”. Hand the random stranger a coke and ask to take their pic. This would no doubt inspire more fear. Or a get me an earful of, “Si Lud? Nisi normal! Translation: Are you crazy? you are not normal!

I’ll let you know if I try the coca cola thing anyway. I am contemplating it!

Dobar Dan