If it ain’t 1 thing, it’s 20…..

  So my day started off rather uneventful, apart from sibling rivalry.  Fed kids breakfast and lunch, then at about 1:30 left to go get some things from the farmer’s market, which is about a 10 min. drive.  Me and kids leave, go to the market, take another 10-15 min. to get what I need, hop back in the car, drive home.  Get home and walked across the street of apartment building to the little store, grabbed a 2.5L of Pepsi, some tomato sauce.  As I’m leaving the store, my freaky little neighbor (mighta mentioned him another post, if not I’ll extrapolate in another post why he is weird), anyway, freaky neighbor dude says something about my apartment and water.  My five year old  translates as best she could, but she’s not really paying attention.  I shuffle the kids across the  street, while toting a sack of groceries that weighs about 15 pounds, and up  2 flights of stairs.

  There’s water on the stairs, and neighbors in front of my door.  I get that water is leaking from my apartment, but I was not expecting what I found when I opened my door.  There was 3 inches or so of water all in my apartment.  It didn’t quite make it all the way into the one bedroom or the living room, but it started to.  It was all in the bathroom, kitchen and entrance & hall way.  They have shut off the water to the building.  They turn it back on, and we find that it is coming from under my kitchen sink.  I’m standing at my sink, wildly turning the knobs to the pipes to make sure my water in the kitchen is indeed off.  I didn’t leave water running either, so please save those comments!

  So there I am standing at the kitchen sink, and I  just loose it.  I just broke down crying – not hysterically or even uncontrollably, but just crying.  You know, the tears you hold back and bottle up when things go south sometimes?!?  Well the flood gates opened.  My neighbors are standing in my doorway talking to each other, trying to talk to me.  I walk to the door, there’s 2 men standing there talking to me, and I finally say, through the tears “Nu intelegti nimic!!!”  That translates, I don’t understand anything!  Then in English I just simply say “I wanna go home, I just wanna go home!”  I felt like a 5 year old, who just got their butt whooped by the school bully!  I briefly pulled it together, and found my landlord’s number in my cell phone, dialed it, handed the phone to one  of the men talking at me and said “Proprietor, explicat el” – landlord, explain it to him.

  They explain, I understand landlord is on his way.  They give me the phone back, I then call my husband, whose working in Italy – cause these neighbors are asking when my husband will be home, I try to explain he’s working in Italy – they don’t understand me.  Hubby answers the phone, I hear loud noises in the background, he’s at work, in a shipyard.  I have to yell for him to hear and understand me.  At this point I’m not crying anymore, but the moment I have to start yelling, I break again.  He in turn gets worried, tells me to calm down, asks me why I’m crying, and I let loose on him:  “I’m crying because I’m in a place where I don’t understand anyone, and they don’t understand me, and everything is backwards.  Think back to when you first came to the U.S. and no one understood you, and you didn’t understand them, and everything worked differently!”  But it was different for him, he was with a lot of other Romanians.  So he had people to talk to, I have no one, just my kids!

  Anyway, landlord arrives, they find the busted pipe/tube, whatever, we start scooping and dumping the water, take all the rugs outside.  The neighbors are helping.  My kids, especially 3 year old is trying to help, but getting in the way.  I’ve stopped crying, momentarily, and am helping rid the apartment of water.  By this time, the neighbors have figured out from my crying rant at my husband that this was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me!  After several hours, the water is cleaned up, the pipes/tubes are repaired, landlord is not mad at me (thank goodness), and all is right, for now.  Called hubby, and had nice, calm conversation, apologized for the tear-fest, but he understood, and is thankful for such a wonderful wife, who left all behind to follow him to keep their family together!

  Okay, now I know you are thinking, okay, it was just a busted pipe, and yeah, you’re in a different country, but there was no need to cry.  But lately, it’s been one thing after another.  About 2 months ago, my laptop, a big monster of a thing broke, wouldn’t turn on.  Turned out to be a bad motherboard, which fried one of my hard drives.  So I just spent about $4-500 fixing that.  Gas in the car, bills left and right.  A mother in law who likes to stay in everyone’s business and create drama!  No friends to talk to, a husband working in another country because this one has no work for him!  Hot weather, no air conditioning, washing clothes by hand, and 3 kids who fight with each other, don’t listen to me, and keep my house looking like the wreck of the Hesperus.  It could have been worse though, this could have happened over the weekend while I was at the beach in Constanta, 2 hours away!  So I guess in a way, I was lucky.

  Today was just the day that it became too much to deal with anymore!  Ever have one of those days, if you say no, then you are either lying to me, or to yourself; take your pick!  But what’s really bad, is after I’ve cried at my hubby, gotten all the water scooped up, I’m mopping while the neighbor is fixing the pipes, the tears slowly start falling, not out of frustration, but this time out of anger – anger at my own country for putting me in this situation.  Yes, my hubby hand a hand in it too, but we didn’t meet the burden of proof for Political Asylum.  Yes, I’m angry at the U.S. because it sent 4 of it’s own to a foreign country just to make an example out of one person, a person, who if you needed it would give you everything he had, including a kidney or liver!  But the U.S. doesn’t want people like him, they want gang-banging, drug running thugs from Mexico!

  Okay, I’m done, cause now I’m just getting myself really ticked off, and I don’t want that, right now, I just want to eat my dinner that should be done in a little while, eat and read the rest of book three of a series of 7, then go to bed!

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Rain, Rain Go Away…

  So I  got up Friday morning and made the 2 hour drive to Constanta to visit my husband’s aunt, uncle, cousin, his wife and son.  As soon as me and the kids got in the car to leave Tulcea, the rain started – no exaggerating.  It literally POURED, and of course the idiot drivers here, scare me to death during good weather, imagine my nerves in the pouring rain  through winding roads, yes the highway has these hairpin curves – it’s crazy, and people think it’s totally cool to pass someone in a curve – MORONS!  Thankfully the kids sat still and quiet in the backseat, maybe because I threatened to pull the car over and wear out thier heinies if they didn’t stay seated and buckled up!  My 3 year old son wat the only one who wouldn’t stay in a seat belt, yeah, I know, but, what ya goona do?!? 

  I was hoping to take the kids to the beach, and take tons of pictures, but the rain kinda of prevented that, maybe when I go back from them in 2  weeks it won’t be raining, I don’t know we shall see!  It was pouring rain when I got back from  Italy 3 weeks ago, it rained so much that the Danube river has spilled over into the city, people who live in the lower laying areas of the city are flooded out of their apartments and houses.  THe city is giving those whose hourses are flooded free rooms in local hotels that include meals, some family showed up at my mother in law’s house last night evidentally to stay with her instead of going to a hotel.  This irritated my MIL to no end.  My MIL is a piece of work, she has her good points, as well as her irritating ones.

  Anyway, so it has been raining non stop here.  It’s good cause it helps cool it off a bit, however I don’t think this part of Romania has seen this much rain in YEARS.  I’m ready for it to stop, I would like to take my son to the lake to swim while his sisters are staying with their G.Aunt, Uncle & cousins in Constanta for the next 2  weeks.

Picnic Postponed, next, Beach

  So the trip to the woods for a picnic got cancelled, much to my relief.  I don’t much care for sitting in the woods trying to grill, while being eaten alive by Dracula’s minuscule cousins, commonly known as mosquitos! 

 But next weekend, I get to make the 2 hour drive to Constanta to see  my husband’s Aunt, who very desperately wants my middle child to stay with them again this summer.  I probably shouldn’t  because all sorts of hellish drama will ensue with my mother in law, who isn’t speaking to her sister, for what reason, I don’t know, and honestly don’t care.  I don’t like being put in the middle of something, especially when I don’t know what is going on – they tell me, but I don’t understand everything they say!  Why can’t this be like the Matrix, where I just jack into some computer program and download a language program to help me communicate?!?  Where is Johnny Mneumonic when ya need him???  WAIT, Keanu Reeves was lead character in that movie too, come to think of it, I think Matrix was just a better written script of that movie, which TANKED!

  Anywho, so I’m  headed to the beach next weekend, where hopefully there won’t be too many women parading around topless – one of the things that annoys me about living in Europe – they are too liberal about nudity!
 
  Fun, 2 hours with screaming kids in the back seat, on REALLY bad roads!  I kid you not there are pot holes the size of small towns over here!  The E.U. sucks monkey butt, I tell ya!  November is just around the corner people – vote the commies out, especially Pelosi & Reid.  If you can find a way to 86 Obama, get on it!  So that’s it of my political Tirade!  Will try to get some pretty shots of where I am going, which is a little town at the northern end of the coast in Constanta.  The little town is called  Eforie  Nord – reminds me a lot of Galveston, only slightly less cleaner.  Not sure why these people can’t wrap their heads around keeping the streets cleaned, and grass cut.  There is a reason the rest of Europe thinks of Romania as one huge trash heap…..But there are some really very beautiful places to be seen here.  A lot of things are still done the way they were hundreds of years ago, which is really awesome in my opinion, but hey that’s just me!  I’m not against industry and progression,  but I find it sad when we loose some of the old ways, the ways that paved the way for progress and invention!

  So if internet connection cooperates, I should be posting more photos next week, we’ll see how my candid shots of people come out.  I need to branch out to animate objects instead of focusing on the inanimate ones.  Then again there isn’t a lot of cool inanimate objects to really capture where I’m going.  Ah well, C’est la vie, eh?!? 

Nooby Photographer does Italy….

  So I just got a brand new Canon Rebel XS with a 15-55 mm & 70-300mm lenses.  It’s totally a beginners camera, but I love it.  Beautiful shots no matter what!
  Let me just say, I have absolutely NO clue what f/stops, metering and exposure and all that “shop talk” pros use!  I got the camera just in time for my 1 week trip to see my husband in  Italy.  I took 757 photos, not including the ones I deleted because they just came out crappy!

  Out of all those shots there were a handful of really awesome shots, great lighting, composition, etc.  My “eye”  really developed as the week progressed, and of course it’s easy to shoot inanimate objects.  I guess that’s the learning curve for us noobies – shoot things that don’t move!  So here are a few of  my favorites.

 Leaning Tower of Pisa

The chuch and other buildings at Pisa
A cross on the fence in front of a church in La Spezia
The Cross on the top of the church in La Spezia
A Water Fountain & Sculpture in one of the Piazas in La Spezia
I have a thing for doors, light posts, etc.  evidentally I kept shooting them, this is one, that came out exceptionally well, imho
I fell in love with this sculpture in Piazza Europa in La Spezia
This is the same sculptor.  I love the angel stepping on the man’s head.
These are their water fountains.  They’re so unique…
A little light house at the end of the pier.  I liked how the lamps are lining the way
A water fountain in a memorial park.
This building had some gorgeous reliefs and sculptors all over it.  I loved these empty soldier suits with the evening sun hitting them!
Tunnel Vision
View of flowers with surf crashing on the rocks in the background at Larici Castle in Larici, Italia
Insert theme song from “Titanic” here!  Also from Larici Castle
Hubby took this one.  Not sure why Larici Castle had a statue of a dinosaur, but I decided to kiss him!  He was kinda cute!  ;p
The castle ruins in La Spezia
I liked the way they had the tables set at this cafe
Same table, just zoomed in.
Last, but certainly not least, my wonderful husband, without whom Italy would not have been as wonderful as it was! 

Italy, here I come!

  So I leave my hometown of Tulcea in the morning at 9 am to make a 2 hour drive to Mihail Kogalincheanu Airport, in Constanta.  My flight takes off at 1:10  p.m., and by 5:00 p.m. tomorrow evening, I’ll be hugging my hubby for the fist time 3 months! 

  Marius and I have been together for a total of 7 years.  We “celebrated” our 6 year wedding anniversary May 7th.  Of course since he was there and I was here, it was a phone call that went something like this: “Happy Anniversary, I love &  miss you.  Okay outta credit,  talk later!”  In the 7 years we’ve been together we have NEVER had 1 whole week to ourselves.  My oldest child, is not his biologically, she was God’s way of getting me back into the “fold”.  You can say what you want about my past life, yeah I made mistakes, and she is a product of my sin and mistakes, but if you dare to call her an Abomination in the eyes of God (yes, someone once told me that to my face, happened to be a v. old, v. close friend of the family), I WILL come through the internet connection and beat you over the head with your own bible!  Yeah, I know, not Christ like behavior, but hey, what can I say, I get a bit hurt and offended when someone calls an innocent child “trash”!  Anyway, back to my point.  We have never had more than 1-2 days completely alone with each other.  So we are totally going to enjoy this week, belatedly celebrating 6 years together.

  In our 6 years of marriage we’ve dealt with more hard times that would normally destroy most marriages, than most couples experience in a lifetime!  But because we keep God in the center, and always talk to each other openly, and honestly, our trials have only made our love stronger!  We don’t go to bed angry with each other.  We talk about everything before making any decisions, and he always makes the decision!

  Anyway, so when I get back, hoping my internet connection will have laid off the crack pipe so that I’ll be able to post some wonderful pics from my short visit to the Tuscan area of Italy.  La Spezia, Genoa, and Pisa are where we will be visiting! 

  I can’t wait to see a country I have ALWAYS wanted to visit with my wonderful husband!  Pray for me to have a safe flight there and back, and I’ll see you on the flip side!

Living in Darkness, Dying in the Light.

 

  The title of this post is a line spoken by Ben Kingsley’s character in the 2008 movie “Transiberrian”.  He spoke this in response to Woody Harelson’s  character’s question of if he misses the dark, evil days of Communism.  Living in one of the old Eastern Bloc countries, makes this statement ring true, very loud, and long.

  Democracy and capitalism doesn’t seem to work here.  Honestly, what they run in Europe isn’t really Democracy, which never worked any,  which is why the founders of the U.S. instituted a Republic, cause history had shown repeatedly that Democracy is nothing more than mob rule.  What they have in Europe is Socialized Democracy, sure you have freedom of speech, religion, etc. but not the freedom to pursue happiness, because the people are overworked, severely underpaid, and OVERLY taxed.  I mean we have a 19% VAT – that Value Added Tax added to every purchase, that’s on top of other taxes as well.

  My husband, his friends, and the older people have told me what it was like when Nicolae Ceacescu was in power here.  Yes there was food rationing, electricity wasn’t switched on till the sun went down, and of course there was no freedom of the press, you only got a few hours of Television in a day.  People today would DIE without TV!  Books of course were censored, etc. 

   However there was positive, none of the land went to waste – every square inch of this country was plowed, seeded and harvested.  EVERYONE worked!  During Harvest the school aged kids would be sent out to the fields for a week or two to help harvest.  They were given sleeping quarters and 3 full meals a day.  At the end of the harvest, the kids were given some of the harvest to bring home to their mothers, who would then freeze it, or make juices, wines, or jams.  The company you worked for bought you an apartment when you married, as your family grew, the company bought a bigger apartment.  When the revolution happened, you had to buy the apartment from the company, which was pretty cheap, but with the value of the Romanian Leu falling, it was expensive.  My mother and father in law had a pretty hefty sum of money saved up for their retirement, after the revolution is was pretty much worthless.  they bought a new and some other things for the house.

  If you didn’t work, you went to jail, in jail you learned a skill, when you came out (it wasn’t a lengthy stay), if you couldn’t find a job, the state found one for you!  When you had a baby, you stayed home for a year, with pay, with your child.  Your job was held for you.  Kids played outside! 

  Yes, in Communism there is no God, but the people, especially the older people who were alive pre-Communism, taught their children about God.  The Orthodox church was still allowed to run, out of tradition, and of course the state used the priests as spies to inform on their parishioners who attended regularly, who questioned the state in confessionals, etc.  Yes, there were some truly despicable things that were done in the name of Communism, the late Richard Wurmbrand suffered cruelly at the hands of the Communist regime in Romania because of his faith in Christ.  He wrote a great book called “Tortured For Christ” the goes into detail about how Communism targeted the underground church.

  Despite the bad, there are people here, mainly the people my age and older who actually miss Communism, not for the oppression, but because things seemed to be better then economically, etc.  My husband has told me about when he was young he remembers when Ceasescu was coming to visit, suddenly the markets were FULL of fresh fruits, vegetables, household goods, etc., stuff that normally wasn’t found in the market.  Not because it wasn’t there, but because the farmers, or people running the markets, wouldn’t sell it normally, they hoarded it or sold it for higher prices on the black market.  Ceasescu wanted to know that the people he was governing were well, that they were living well.  In the construction industry, the large trucks, and machines were given a quota of so many gallons of diesel to use every month, if they didn’t use it all, they were in HUGE trouble.  Marius said BARRELS of Diesel were being dumped, because the workers weren’t using it all, mainly because they were loafing.  Yeah bank accounts were monitored, if you suddenly had a huge amount of money in the bank, you were investigated. 

  Communism/Socialism, it’s all great in theory, but in practice, it’s disaster for the most part.  Why???  Well because the heart of man is wicked.  Communists and Karl Marx yelled about the evils of Capitalism.  But the same thing happens in Communism, because there will always be people making those power grabs.  They get dirt, blackmail, lie, cheat, steal and even murder to get more ahead, usually financially, and when you have the financial resources, you can gain power, after all money is what makes the world go round!   Yeah it would be nice if we were all equal, that there were no social classes, but even at the height of Communism, there were still the rich, middle class, and the poor.  

  I don’t think Communism is the right answer for any country, not as long as evil runs free in the hearts and minds of men.  I believe that is why God didn’t institute a formal type government in Israel.  It was only after the cry of the Israelites begging to be like other nations that he instituted the Judges, then the Kings, and we see what happened.  Look at history, ALWAYS the wars are started over a power grab!  Money=Power, and visa versa!

Parents just don’t understand, errr…speak the same language…..

  So, the major disadvantage to living in a place where you don’t speak the language is my kids.  My kids, the oldest two at least are fluent in Romanian, and I’m not.  This has become a major obstacle for me, and an easy escape for my oldest, who quickly figured out that in this case mom really doesn’t understand.  In fact, I’m quite clueless.

  She can tell me that my mother in law said one thing, when she really didn’t say anything of the kind.  Her teacher said she needs money for this, when really she doesn’t need any.  I get it, kids are sneaky, but factor in a language barrier on my part, and it’s a whole new ballgame.  I don’t know anyone who can relate to me, as everyone I know is either back home in the U.S. or they are here and speak both English and Romanian, not to mention probably one to three more languages on top of these two!

  I’m slowly getting the hang of the language.  I mean I’m getting to where I can understand it more when I hear it spoken.  Speaking it back is  a horse of a different color.  The thing is though, I still am not good enough that my kids know that they can pull the wool over my eyes in a lot of cases.

  My oldest daughter is a sweet heart, but she’s 7, and since we’ve been here she’s been give a lot of independence, and maybe that is what missing link to her behavior lately.  I won’t go into details, but it isn’t good!  Back home I would never have let her walk to the top of our neighborhood to go to the store there to buy some milk or loaf of bread.  Cause it just wasn’t safe, she could get kidnapped, hit by a car, attacked by a dog, etc. Here though, nobody messes with the kids, dogs are everywhere, and the only people they seem to attack are they gypsies, which although politically incorrect, is quite amusing!  Anyway, I can give her a few bucks and send her down the stairs, across a fairly busy street and into the store to buy me some bread or milk, or whatever I might need to finish what I’m cooking.  At her grandmother’s she can walk up the hill and across another street and go to the park.  She walks herself to and from school every day.  It takes about 5 minutes to walk there, if that gives you any ideas as to distance. 

  So is it the language barrier coupled with gotten too soon independence that is wrecking havoc in my domestic felicity, or just growing pains – part of growing up?  I think it’s the former.  In the States she was sheltered, didn’t go anywhere on her own, never out of my eye sight,  We didn’t live in a good school district, and the school she would have had to attend was a bad school, so we homeschooled.  Here she can come and go pretty much as she pleases [within reason], she goes to public school, seems to make friends easily, and makes good grades.    

  So why is this parent just not understanding???

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