Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

May Christmas bring light, joy and hope in every home and soul!

"Here is a baby with eyes of blue, straight from heaven, right to you. Or - straight from heaven up above, here is a baby for you to love." - Dumbo
(lovely link)

And some more angelic postures:

Merry Christmas!
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's a wonderful life

I don't remember for sure, but it was 2002 or 2003 when I 1st heard about this wonderful movie.
A very nice person told me it's his all time favorite movie. As a coincidence ;-), in 2003 Adrian received this movie as Christmas gift from Santa Claus. We watched it back then, but we lost at least half of the movie's magic, as our DVD didn't have Romanian or English subtitle... 
Those days I felt it's time to watch it again, this time with Romanian subtitle. Yesterday evening, very late, after Ilaria felt asleep and we finished the chores, we started the movie. We were so tired that I hardly believed we would have watched half of the movie before we would have fallen asleep. But, once the movie was started, we became fresh and keen to see what's next. And the movie, with its 130 minutes long, seemed for us too short.
It's W O N D E R F U L!
And they are right: everyone should see it!

Have you watched this movie yet? Anyway, you should watch it again. There is still time enough for this until Christmas!
In Romania you can find this movie in "Adevarul Holding" bookstores.

The essence of the movie is caught in the quote: "Dear George, remember no man is a failure who has friends."
Thanks to you, all my friends! And thanks for recommendation, Sasa P.!

On a scale from 1 (worst) to 10 (best) I give it an 11.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pacifier lover

I know kids who were convinced to forget pacifier from young age (1 year old). Look how very close we are to that moment, at just 1 year and 2 months old:


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Monday, December 20, 2010

So, this is Santa Claus... Uh-huh...

On Friday we had company's Christmas party.
I was afraid that Ilaria will be terrified by meeting Santa Claus. So I was preparing the moment long time ago, by showing her the poster with Santa Claus on her room's window and by singing "Mos Craciun cu plete dalbe" few times per day.
Ilaria waiting for Santa Claus:
She was watching the clowns, the princesses, children dancing, everything from distance.

Santa came so late and he was so fast assaulted by children, that Ilaria didn't realize much of the moment's importance. I'm so sorry for Santa. He is such a generous and kind old man. But soooo very busy. There wasn't time for him to take every child on his lap...
This is the best picture we have with Santa:

In the end Ilaria didn't have enough energy and interest to look for the presents he gave her:

Maybe next year more excitement will be involved in their meeting. :-)

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Old Times Revival and A Dream

I must be nostalgic this time of year.. Probably all of us are. "Us" meaning adult people, who's childhood is gone.
What I miss the most this time of year is my childhood's street. The street still exists. My parents are still living there so we are visiting it often. But it's not the same. And not only because I'm grown up now. But because the times are so different.
Back then, on this time of year, there were only few cars on the street and lots of children sliding and skating; now there are lots of cars and only few children or... no child at all.
The street is a ramp of an acceptable angle. A street perfect to slide on. And we were sliding daily, for hours. There were probably 50-60 children playing on that street, in snow, every evening. The street was sound of our happy voices. And we were sliding over and over again on the same path, without getting bored, interrupted only by cold or hunger.
Nowadays it would be impossible to slide on that street, because of cars and because of lack of snow (usually they are cleaning the streets now). But the sidewalk is still there, perfect for sliding. Even so, the street is empty, still and quiet. I think children forgot the pure joy of simple playing. They need gadgets, DVDs, computer games, TV shows not to get too bored. Their imagination in playing seem to be absent.
We would love for our children a childhood as we had. That's why we try hard to revive the old times. But it's always hard to swim against the stream...

The 1st step is fulfilled:
We bought a sledge (although we have been already addressed ironically the reply: "A sledge? But what for?")

We know that before every reached stage there must be a dream.
And our personal dream looks like this:
(we love to imagine that this family is heading toward their beautiful house and not toward a certain flat)

And our reality looks like this:
(note: for the moment we are just visiting country side, not living there)

We are pretty close to our dream, isn't it?
We have the most important pieces: the child, us, the sledge and... a similar jacket for Adrian.
There are still missing some little details for the dream's puzzle to be complete: the dog (it must be a Golden Retriever) and... country living.

But dreaming is something we are really good at! ;-) 


P.S.: thanks to all of you who participated to my 1st poll! Adrian's theory was successfully deprecated. Don't worry. He's not depressed. He still believes in it :-)

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Saint Nicholas in 2010

Sweet memories from my childhood are linked to Saint Nicholas, the discreet and generous Saint.
I remember once we were waiting for him; it was pretty late and he was not coming. At our parents' suggestion we went to our neighbors to see if Saint Nicholas visited them already. For us it was a senseless idea - how could Saint Nicholas come to them and to us not yet? We were so close to them. We went there and - surprise - he already left the presents for them! We couldn't imagined what trace did Saint Nicolas follow that year: he was already to our neighbors, but not to us and when we left our flat we didn't meet him on the stairs. Strange...
I was very disappointed, thinking that maybe that year he would skip us; maybe we weren't good enough to receive anything from him. Imagine our surprise when we turned back home and we've found the door half opened and gifts were there, in our boots. And of course Saint Nicolas was again so silent and discreet that our parents didn't even notice that he already visited us!

This year was Ilaria's 1st experience with gifts in boots. Of course she is still too young to expect anything yet, but I hope in future she will feel emotions at least so intense as mine when I was of her age.
She received books, sweets and toys (farm animals); and of course books were her favorites: 

Next day I thought it would be nice to go to church so we would have listened once again the beautiful story of Saint Nicolas' life. For nowadays it is a too great expectation to think that on Saint Nicolas day you would hear the priest talking about Saint Nicolas life. There were some more important things to be discussed there, in that particular day, when lots of people gathered there to celebrate Saint Nicolas (4% of Romanians are named Nicolae or Nicoleta). The priest read Metropolitan's Laurentiu Streza sermon and then he additionally spoke freely mainly about the great danger that is about to happen with orthodoxy: a new church is about to arise - the "stylist" church, formed by orthodox priests which refused to change the calendar, which still keep the "old style calendar" and now they are building churches of their own.
For me everything sounded like a bad advertisement, desperately saying "keep staying with us! they aren't as good as we are!". It was even said by the Metropolitan: "They don't have apostolic succession and therefore their religious services are not accepted by God."!  For me it was a shock to hear such words outspoken by a priest, while in Bible is stated:  "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:20).

I think also Ilaria didn't agree with their ideas, so she interfered with priest's sermon twice, covering his voice for few seconds, of course, with people around starring at us. Both times the pacifier saved us!

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Book: The secret life of bees (Sue Monk Kidd) - 6

Reading this book took me about 2 months. Not because it's really bad or too vast, but it seems I don't dedicate too much time for reading, lately (since I discovered blogging..). As Manu and Sue commented on this post, I have to admit that me too spend a lot of time surfing the Internet. But, unlike the TV, on Internet you are the master; you choose what you want to see/read and it's much quality time spending. Currently I'm looking for a method to cut off  the Internet every evening around 10 PM, but I didn't find anything yet. My will seems not to be enough. Your ideas are welcomed! :-)

Back to the book: I have to admit I decided to read this book as I was attracted by its cover and title. I imagined I would become a bees expert after reading it :-)
From the first pages I felt a discomfort reading it, partly because of the too mature thinking and acting for a 14 years old girl (the narrator), partly because of the disturbing ironical style of exposing some events and partly because it doesn't have too much artistic value.
Of course it has emotional and beautiful paragraphs, as it's about a girl which lost her mom at a very young age. And some interesting facts about bees' life can be read there.

Reading this book I remembered Tolstoy's theory, which was saying something like this: **life is too short to afford reading contemporary books. Contemporary books are to be read by future generations. We should read books written centuries or at least decades ago, seriously filtered by our predecessors.**

On a scale from 1 (worst) to 10 (best) I give it a 6.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

For the 1st time with public transportation

Don't get me wrong. The title refers to Ilaria, not to me :-)

As yesterday in Brasov was the Christmas tree lighting ceremony and the best Romanian Christmas carols singer, Ştefan Hruşcă, was singing for the event, we didn't want to miss the opportunity and we participated (we = Ilaria, me, my mother and my mother in law; Adrian is not part of the story, as he is in a job trip to Vienna currently).

The town's center was so crowded that we decided the best would be to use public transportation.
Waiting in the bus station I had the feeling that I was doing something wrong. Buses that were coming were very crowded. I decided to wait for the 1st bus that was going to our wanted destination and in case that it would have been too crowded, then me and Ilaria wouldn't have gone further and would have turned back home. Immediately after this decision was taken, an empty bus (only the driver in it) came! Imagine how lucky we felt. I thought that for Ilaria would be a lot of fun. And I wasn't wrong at all... 
We jumped in, took our places and the 40 minutes long (instead of the 10 minutes long) trip begun. The town was so full of cars that our bus was staying more then moving.
Again we felt very lucky, as our bus was not crowding at all in stations.

But life is full of surprises and the lady sitting next to us soon started to entertain Ilaria more than I would have permitted her... if she would have asked...
Unfortunately she didn't ask and she started to push Ilaria's nose, to give Ilaria her purse to play with, and, on the top of all, to take Ilaria on her lap and to snuggle with her!! All those with me there, near them, unable to say anything against. I was staying there, looking at them, struggling between saying "stop now, lady!" or being a "nice" person and allow her to do whatever she wanted with my darling little girl. And I ended... saying nothing! Of course, immediately after reaching the destination and escaped the too-friendly woman, I declared I won't ever have the same passive behavior in the future. Will I be strong enough to keep my promise??

The square where the event took place was so crowded, that I was the only one in our group able to see Hruşcă, from around 40 meters distance! Our mothers proved to be too short for such a challenge.

In the end, our adventure was beneficial, as our 1 and respective 62 years old group members (Ilaria and my mom) enjoyed a lot their 1st live fireworks!

I still ask myself: what if that lady was ill?

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

American cake (fasting recipe)

This is an easy mix -> cook -> enjoy fasting recipe.
The recipe is taken from a fasting recipes book, so don't blame me for its name. Maybe you will consider it as American as I am: not at all. Anyway, it's good!

What you need:
(I used a 200ml cup)

You start by pouring the vinegar over the bicarbonate. I used red vinegar, as I didn't have white vinegar in the house. At this step you should get a nice reaction, bicarbonate being "angry" for what you done to it :-)

You add all other ingredients.
In case that your cocoa is the same as mine, grouped in little "balls", you should sift it before, in order to obtain a smooth mixture.

You mix well:

Prepare the cooking trays by lightly oiling them and then cover them with little flour:

Pour the cake mixture into the trays:

Cook the cakes for around 30-40 minutes.
You can check that they are well cooked, by pricking the cake once with a match. You can conclude the cooking is over when you pull out the match clean, with no dough on it.
Trick: to avoid cake's deflation, take it out from the hot tray immediately, at the end of cooking.

Bon appetit!

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