Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The park where Maya and me are going has its sandpit near a school, a religious one, a very noisy one, like all Israeli schools are. Today, while we were playing in the shade we heard a commotion and we watched as a teacher scurried along the school yard, followed by a mother (short, fat, jeans, white t-shirt, with a toddler proped on her hip) that was shouting something at the teacher. I didn't understand the words, but her tone told us she wasn't congratulating the teacher for her good work. After them came running a girl shouting really loudly:"Don't touch my teacher! Don't touch my teacher!" And them I understood what was all about. Today was the last day of school for the primary schools, the pupils received their certificates, and it seemed to me that the mother wasn't pleased at all with her offspring's school results. And who is to blame for that? The teacher, of course ...

Well, this is one of the reasons I decided to quit teaching. Sometimers my students scared me, but most of the time I was terrified by their parents...From time to time, in the media would appear an article about a parent that had beat a teacher up - no, I'm not kidding, and I think I was really lucky it didn't happen to me. Don't get me wrong...I really enjoyed teaching, but it was absolutely destroying me. Every day I had to battle my way to the end of the school day, and I felt drained, powerless. I tried to do a good jod and they rewarded me by giving me more discipline challenged classes - because you have a way with them, they told me; by giving me all kind of extra curricular activities - because you don't have small kids at home. During the year when I was pregnant with Maya I was terrified that all the shouting and stress will afect her, so my husband bought me a Tibetan bell or chime, something that you wear like a pendant around your neck and it reaches your belly-buttom, and when you move, the baby inside you hears the soothing sound of the bell.
Weel, the event that I saw in the park triggered memories, not very pleasant ones.
After Maya was born, I decided my sanity in more important than the money I earned (pityful wages, no doubt) and I quitted.
About the other reasons, I'll tell you some other time...

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I'll start today with a quote from Charlaine Harris's Dead Until Dark:

"Nope, nope, nope, I wasn't going to fall into that old pit. I was what I was, and I had a life, and I could enjoy things; the little treats that keep me going.

We're headed to the park. Again.

Talk to you all later.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Today we are going to the local library. The library doesn't have a great selection of books in English, but you can take two books per month for free. So, even if the books are not the latest bestselleres, it is something to read. Last time I found some nice books by Barbara Delinsky and Sheila O'Flanagan. Maybe I'll be lucky this time also.

The library is pretty far from our apartment, so we have to go by bus, something that Maya likes a lot. It is like a little adventure for her.

So, for now, this is what we had planned for today.

(in the first picture you can have a glimpse at my book shelves)
Oh, and don't forget to take a look at "Chick lit is nor dead" blog- you can find it among the blogs that I follow. They feature Jennifer Weiner today, one of my favorite writers. Here is the link anyway:
I have to go now. Didn't even brush my teeth this morning. Yuck! See you later...

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Maya Says

A love the fact that I have a baby-girl. I get to buy her nice dresses, to dress her, to comb her hair. Having a boy is fun to, but a baby- girl...
Before we went out today I said to Maya:
"Baby, you're gorgeous."
And she responded:
"Gorgeous with a binky" (and shoved the binky into her mouth)...
Well, today Maya was at her best... When out shopping she asked everybody we came in contact with "What is your name?"(Eich korim lach/lecha - in Hebrew).

Then, back home, she kept asking me :
"How do we say cement in Hebrew, Ramona?"
"I don't know, baby"
"Oh, yes, you know, Ramona, you're a grown up."

So I had to phone her daddy and ask him, I really had no idea how do we say cement in Hebrew.

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Girls Play

Maya doesn't go to the kindergarten yet, and she doesn't have playmates. This is a real problem and it happened because in this neighborhood all the kids that are not in kindergarten yet are Russian speakers (they and their minders). So they have a problem connecting with Maya, which, by the way, speaks Romanian and Hebrew. They prefer the other kids that speak Russian, like them. And even if the kids would like to play with Maya, their minders don't speak Hebrew, so they just like to keep it between themselves. So, this leaves me as Maya's playmate. And we play...oh boy, yes we play. For example, only this morning, after she woke up and had her breakfast, we played the doctors - Sponge Bob, an inflatable doll that Maya has, was really sick, so we gave him cough syrup and vitamins. Then, we had to dress one of her other dolls, comb her hair...then, the baby-doll was hungry and we fed her milk from the bottle... And it is only 10 o'clock in the morning...I don't mind playing with Maya. I know she needs it and I am happy to oblige. I am also on a constant hunt for play dates for her, because I know she has to interact with kids their age.
But know we have to take a break, because we're out of milk, eggs and cheese, so we need to go out to buy some. Then we'll go to the One Dollar store...I promised her...
See you all later...

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Walk in the Park - a photo diary of a nice day out

As I said yesterday, today we went to Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv, a huge and beautiful, well-groomed park, where Maya had the opportunity to exercise her pedalling abilities. The weather was nice, there weren't many people (it is summer and the weather was just perfect for the beach) and we had a good time.
In the photos, besides Maya, there can be seen my husband, Tibi (the one with the straw hat), his friend Marco and Me (with my huge boobs and new hair color).
Maya had a smashing time and was dead tired when we returned home. We, too.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Killer Hour


Michael JacksonMichael Jackson via last.fm

This is the killer hour, between 3.00 and 4.00 o'clock in the afternoon. It is the hour when I feel my heavy eyelids trying to close over my eyes, and it requires all my willpower and a good dose of caffeine to keep my eyes open. Maya doesn't nap in the afternoon, if she does, that she doesn't fall asleep in the evening until very late. She's usually at her "best" during this hour. Now, for example, she plays with her bowling set in the living room, scaring the dog away in some corner and making a racket.

So I 'll write for a bit, waiting for the caffeine to kick in.

What do you say about Michael Jackson? May he rest in peace, poor deluded and tormented soul. I remember him when I was an adolescent in Romania, going to the discoteque and dancing to "Billie Jean", feeling cool and grown up.

I wasn't a huge fan of him, but he had a few songs that I liked...And I tried to stay away from all those media scandals he stirred up, I wanted to remember him as I knew him back there, on the dancing floor of a discoteque in communist Romania. Just imagine the thrill and my heart beating in the rythm of his song... Bye bye Nichael, and I hope you'll find peace wherever you are now...
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

About books, what else?

Centre of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, dominated by St.Image via Wikipedia

It is very late in this part of the world and I am dead tired, besides being a cleaning lady today I had an appointment at the dentist. I also took care of my e-mail, I had started a hunting mission, to find some books I wanted, so I posted a message on an Israeli message board and I received a few answers. I was looking for the book "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova and I also wanted to buy Anne Rice's books ( I left my copies back in Romania, and they are in Romanian). Speaking of Romania, I found a good picture of Cluj, the city where I lived during the the time I studied at the University and where I worked afterwards, as a journalist. One of the cities very close to my heart.
I don't think I'll post much tomorrow or on Saturday. It is the week-end here, so my hubby isn't working and on Friday we usually do chores and on Saturday we try to do something together as a family. We thought a trip to Ayalon Park in Tel Aviv would be nice.

And speaking of vampires (again !) here's a link to a nice article on the latest vampire frenzy:
Well, I think that's enough for today. I am going to crawl to my bed. Night-night whoever you are...
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Caution, cleaning in progress

Khamsin in Egypt during the year of 2007Image via Wikipedia

I need a break! This house is full of dust! And I clean it twice a week. This is mainly because if on one side a have the beautiful view of the mediteraneean Sea, on the other side I have the noisy, dusty and polluted road. And there is also a building site near us, they are building a huge monster of a block of flats.

And this is nothing compared to the dust that settles everywhere during a khamsin (or sharav, when you have a sand storm coming together with extreme heat). If you were unfortunate enough to leave your windows open before going to work, for example, you'll return home to a house covered in a fine layer of reddish- orange, fine sand (The orangey picture shows you the khamsin in Egypt).
Well, back home in Romania I had a cleaning lady that came twice a week and cleaned and cooked and waited for me with a smile and a cup of cofee when I came home from work. What days! I was a journalist back then, worked hard, made good money and enjoyed immensely my job! OK, no point to brood now! I have to go to finish cleaning.
See you later...

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We decided to hang out in the park for a bit, so Maya is ready to go...

Good Morning!

An improved version of North_Beach_Eilat.Image via Wikipedia

We have another hot day to go through today. The National Electrical Company asked its customers not to use electrical appliances such as washing machines during 12.00-6.00 to avoid an electricity break-down. These will be the peak hours for air conditioners working. In Eilat (the beautiful city on the Red Sea) the tourists will entertain themselves with 42 degrees Celsius temperatures... So we'll just stay at home, I think.
Have a nice day everybody.See you all soon.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mish Mash

I couldn't resist the beauty of this sunset, as seen from our living room window...These are moments when I feel that life is worth living...
Well, today was a strange day...Don't ask me why, it just was. A day when everything flew normally, a day that didn't upset me as much as other days usually do. I am pretty much alone here, in Israel, but today I felt that my loneliness wasn't as heavy as usual. Maybe I started being confortable with myself? Maybe I'm finally growing up?
Anyway, my dreamcatcher doesn't work properly. It is supposed to catch the bad dreams, right? Before they enter my head, I mean. Last night I had an awful nightmare.I dreamt I was melting. You know, like ice in the sun, like sugar in water...The dream was so vivid, I remember that I actually felt my feet melting, like they were, I don't know, something that melts in water (poor comparison, I know, but nothing pops in my head right now). I wake up horrified and boy, was I happy it was just a dream or not... I bought a dreamcather sometime ago and I think it is faulty. First of all, the circle with the weaving is not vertical, as it has to be, but horizontal. When I saw it I thought it is strange, but it was pretty (woman thinking here, sorry), so I bought it anyway.I have to check the internet and buy a proper one. Untill then, I'll have to think about nice things before I go to bed. No more vampires and stuff like that.
Edit: I googled dreamcathers, and besides the vertical thing, they also have a hole in the middle of the weaving thingy. Mine doesn't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hmmm...
Check it here, for example:
or here:
Well, that's it then. A new dreamcather is. And I'll tell you if my nightmares return.
I have to go to bed, it is late and tomorrow it is Cleaning day (is it Thursday already?) and I also have to go to the dentist. Again.
Night-night, whoever you are...

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Hot, hot, hot

Yes, summer is here, as I said before. The cruel, scorching and humid Israeli summer is here. Today is was unusually hot, and because we got up pretty late (9.00) we didn't go to the park. We went to the supermarket instead, because I needed to buy some dog food for Dubi. Maya did some shopping for herself, too. She likes very much when we go to the supermarket and she can buy whatever she wants. Today she bought two books (that's my girl) and a small wind up toy train.
I hate cooking when it is hot. Not that I'm much of a cook, but I try hard. Yesterday we had for dinner cauliflower bake so today for lunch we had leftovers and Maya wanted some noodles,too. Today for dinner we'll have potatoes au gratin (I think that's the exact name). It is a recipe that I borrowed from my Grandma (May God rest her in peace) and we called it back at home "French potatoes" . Lately Maya helps me a lot in the kitchen and although this way I have to spend double the time cooking, it is worth, every second of it. She'll eat everything she cooks, so it is definitely worthy.
Today, while we were preparing the ingredients for the potatoes, Maya was singing to herself (in Romanian):
"If you need to pee
If you need to pee,
Do it in the potty,
do it in the potty"
She has such a sweet voice, my baby!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

So many books, part II

In my previous post I wanted to post some photos of Maya "reading", but I didn't figure that out. So here they are...
And of course you need a sun hat when you read "Baby Einstein".

So many books, so little time

Maya is reading to our dog, Dubi...

india calcutta bookstoreImage by FriskoDude via Flickr

I am definitely a book worm. I love books, I love to read...I cannot imagine a world without books for myself. Books keep me sane, they help me escape this reality and enter so many different and fascinating worlds. When I don't read, I listen to audio books, so that no precious second goes wasted. I love classical literature, I like to return to "old" favorites from time to time (Dickens, Austen, Bronte). I am pretty ecclectic in what I read, I like different genres: I love chick lit, also a good mystery, I am a huge fan of the new urban fantasy genre, I like fantasy (not everything, though), I love good poetry. I don't read science fiction or romance (well, maybe from time to time, when I need a good cry out). I love latin-american writers (Mario Vargas Llosa is my favourite), Romanian writers (I read them in Romanian, of course) will always strike a deep chord in my soul. But, above all, I LOVE indian writers. It doesn't matter if they were born and raised in India, emigrated, born and bred in the UK, born somewhere else in the world...The indian writer has something so special that, for me, at least, it is impossible to explain. They write differently, but they have something in common, a certain way with the words that make me re-read them avidely.
Rohinton Mistry - absolutely the best - for me, at least; Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni ("The Mistress of Spices" ,mmmmm, when I read this book, I can always smell the spices in her shop); Zadie Smith ("On Beauty", marvelous), Hanif Kureishi, Arundhati Roy (mind blowind) and the list can go on.
I discovered a writer that I didn't hear of, his name is Ali Sethi, I bought his book "The Wish Maker" and he's actually from Pakistan. Cannot wait to read it!

So, if you've heard of a good indian writer, please let me now!

And if you think Maya is not with me in this books business, you're wrong...and I have the photo to prove it...(as you can see in the begining of the post).And after I'll manage how to post photos where I want them, I'll post more.
I am truly pleased with myself. The second season of "True Blood" has started an I have the first two episodes.Good bye Edward Cullen, Hello Bill Compton!

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Maya Says

Close up of a cute baby 7-month old panda cub ...Image via Wikipedia

Like all three years old toddlers, Maya has sometimes the wisdom of Yoda. I know that every kid has his/her share of funny sayings, so I thought about writing down my baby's ones.

I remember once, while we we watching some nice photos (nature and animals) that someone has sent me through e-mail, she saw the picture of two Panda bears (mother and baby, I pressume) and she asked me, pointing to the baby Panda:"Where is her Tibi?" Maya calls her father by his name - Tibi.
She has an acute sense of family, this wee one. For her, there has to be always a mom, a dad and the baby (I don't know where she places her older brother in this hierarchy), even with her plastic elephant
shapes for the beach (the pink is the mother, the green in the father and the yellow one is the baby...)

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

A little bit of "Ohm"

A large statue in Bangalore depicting Shiva me...Image via Wikipedia

It is difficult to keep up with all the stuff that is going on in my life right know. Strangely enough, because I am a SAHM, so I ought to have more free time than I have now. But, staying at home I fell obliged to clean the house every day, to iron more that I had before, to cook and to do all sorts of things that I didn't do before because I didn't have time (or the excuses for it, like working). Also everybody is asking me to do them small favours (or just to bring them things) and because of that, I remain with no time for myself at all. In a sense, I feel guilty because I stay at home at the boys go to work, but, gosh, do they make me pay for that or what? I have to wash and iron their work clothes, to prepare them dinner, to clean after them, to wash the dishes...oh, and I have my Maya to mind, right? Sooo, I had grand plans to learn Portuegese, so do yoga, to read millions of books etc etc. And look at me now! I don't even have time to color my hair, the roots are showing and I look horrible. Oh, and I so need a little bit of "ohm" in my life right now!
Actually, what triggered this rant is the fact that I had a little time for myself today, and it felt soooo great! I had my monthly acupuncture treatment, and for 40 blissfull minutes, with needles sticking out from my body in strange angles, I listened to "Twilight" (audio book) and relaxed.
I actually started to make poems out of my shopping and to do lists, I seem to write the damn things all the time, otherwise I forget to buy or to do stuff. And I figured out they can have a useful outcome after all. I'll post some when I'll find them. Believe it or not, I put them lists somewhere for safekeeping and I have no idea where!!!!
I think that is it for now...I cannot wait for the new Harry Potter movie! Did you see the trailer? Awesome!
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Me and the World Wide Web

Of course I am addicted to the Internet. The first thing I do most mornings is to check my e-mail while I drink my coffee (and Maya watches "Dora the Explorer" or "Go, Diego, Go!"). I am simply astounded by the stuff one can get from the net, all kind of information, anything. I used (before Maya) to spend hours and hours reading articles, jumping from site to site, never having enough of it. And now, this networking thing. As the name of my blog states it, I am pretty much alone here so the idea of blogging and all that was very appealing from the moment I read about it. The problem is, I am a shy person. In reality and virtually also, I think. I read people's blogs and I don't write comments, not because I don't have anything at all to say, but because I don't comment. I listen, or read, or watch, or wathever. I think that this is part of my upbringing. I was raised up in a communist state where people weren't allowed to be assertive or outspoken. We were raised to be quiet, polite and to mind our own bussiness, to be afraid of the Party and the Militzia (the Romanian Communist Police), and by God, it worked! I remember the only subversive thing that we did was to listen to "Free Europe Radio" an illegal radio station that transmitted from Germany, I think.
Anyway, I am pleased that I have the Internet. I helps me forget about my loneliness, it helps me in many ways (I am a very curious person type, a kind of want-to-know-it-all and the net just satisfies this curiosity of mine); it is like a really huge library where you can browse for hours and nodoby will tell you is closing time.
I think I'll go now and read for a while, I'm getting to philosophical here.
Night night wherever you are...

One more thing: my husband got offended that I posted the photos where he is in his underwear (only). Sorry darling, I'll remove them...Sometime...in the near future...

Sunset and noodles

Before everything else I want to post some pictures that I took yesterday. They're of Maya and Tibi eating noodles and of the sun setting behind them.
Tibi (my husband) was offended after I posted the pictures, because he was in his underwear (only). It gets pretty hot here in Israel this time of year so we tend to make us confortable when at home...Anyhow, I removed the pictures and left only this gorgeous sunset (as seen from our living room window).

Cleaning Day and watermelons

WatermelonsImage via Wikipedia

Today Maya woke up a 7.00 in the morning. I was barely able to open my eyes...but yesterday she slept a lot so I guess she had enough sleep. I went to sleep late, so I'll need buckets of cofee today. It is Cleaning Day today. Urrggghhh! But first we have to go and buy a watermelon (Maya keeps asking for it). Yummy!
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dreaming of the Numberjacks and vampires

'TheImage via Wikipedia

Maya is feeling better, thank God! Today I took her to the paeditrician again, she recomended a blood count to see if Maya had some infection, but the results came negative. So, we just have to be patient and it'll pass. Today she ate a bit more and didn't throw up, no fever and she even had an afternoon nap. I hope she'll be even better tomorrow.
Sorry, no inspiration today. Yesterday night after all the stress I fell asleep imediately after I hit the pillow and I dreamt about the Numberjacks! You know, the Linkchildren's show with the cute numbers that go on different rescue missions...Maya likes them a lot, so we have several DVDs and we watch them a lot.

I started re-reading the Twilight saga. Even though I have a lot of books to read, I felt I needed something nice and sweet (and with vampires), a nice love story and a happy ending, just to boost my morale. Call me whatever you want to call me, but I love the Twilight books. I am a sucker for a good love story. As for vampires...well, I was born in Transylvania, you know... I learned about Vlad Tepes in the History lessons (you know, the Transilvanian "domnitor" - a sort of prince, who is considered to be the inspiration for the Dracula guy) so I always liked books that had some trace of vampire in them. I started reading Anne Rice in my twenties (in was translated in Romanian) and I still remember the movie "Interview with a vampire".

How the heck did I get from the Numberjacks to vampire fiction? I must be tired, I suppose.
So, night night everybody. Hopefully tomorow will be a better day for all of us!

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