Friday, December 31, 2010

Good Bye 2010, Welcome 2011 - My Year of No Spending

I didn't plan on posting today, but as it is the last day of 2010 and everybody in the blogosphere is doing resolutions, recaps, countings and such, I said, well, Ramona you have to do it also...

I don't do New Year resolutions as I don't follow through afterwards and I end up feelling bad. Instead, I'll just look back at 2010 and maybe jot down some thoughts for 2011, you know, just in case...

2010 far one of the worst years I remember. It began with Maya's illness and then my state of mind just went spiralling down and I also had some health scares of my own...But, the same, it had some good things too. Dasha, our cat, came into our lives and it wasn't the same ever since; we travelled to Romania with Maya and had the time of my life...oh, and Maya's illness wasn't some brain disease after all, just a very-very bad case of Rotavirus, neglectful doctors and bad hospital equipment. I reconected with my high-school best-friend and I also had the opportunity to see the mother of another good friend - I didn't know at that time, but she passed away a few months afterwards...I also made the aquintance of a lot of nice people, mainly though Facebook and the blogosphere and for this I am really grateful. And of course, I continued to work at my fiction book, finished the first draft and take up the sisiphean work of editing it...

All in all, it was a dramatic year, with powerful ups and down and at certain moments I was sure I was going to loose my sanity...

Thoughts for 2011?

To finish the damn book.

To live more and worry less (yeah, sure, as if...)

I am also doing some sort of experiment...because I am fed up with worrying about money, spending to much, too much shopping, overdraft, banks, money, money, money I will try to live for one year without spending one dime, apart from the bare essentials, of course. So, no clothes, no books, no make-up, no fancy-schmancy toiletries and stuff. Only food, clothes for Maya, medical care (for us and Dasha). I'll try to hand-made, repair, sew, knit and not buy new things. I had enough of living in the hamster wheel. This is my attempt to break free. I've set up a new blog for this new enterprise, so, beginning with the 1st of January, I'll track down my (no)spending on that blog. I hope to gain some wisdom and to share it with you, so you're welcome to join me on living one year without a dime (penny, agurot, you got the ideea).
Happy New Year to all of you, my dear friends!
May 2011 be a better year, of not the best of our lives...

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

There is More to Life Than Christmas

Thomas Nast's most famous drawing, "Merry...Image via Wikipedia All this Christmas thingy left me absolutely shattered, mostly mentally. I experience such a deep depressive state around major holidays it takes some time to recover, believe me.
Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of good things going on in my life (aproximately) and there are even advantages of living in a country where they don't celebrate Christmas. For example, there is no last - moment Christmas shopping rush, no over-priced merchandise ( I actually bought Maya two pairs of sneakers at a bargain price). But there are also no outdoor lights, no decorated trees, no carols or carolers, no days off work, no stuffed cabbage, nothing from the stuff I got back home...Well, everything comes with a price tag, and mine was....a little bit too expensive, I guess. As if it wasn't enough that I had to try to adjust to a different country, different mentality, different folklore and traditions, I also had to learn and live without so many things that I didn't know were part of who I am.
I miss my family a lot these days and also the friends I left back in Romania, and the atmosphere and the snow...
It is like I live two realities, sometimes even more...Confusing, huh? It is what I do at home, and then the face I have to put when I am among people and then I have to become somebody else when I write, otherwise it doesn't work...And so, sometimes I don't even know who I am any more...
Anyway, we have a Christmas tree (actually, we have three), Maya wrote her letter to Santa Claus asking for Buzz Lightyear (and she'll get it) and even though my husband works tomorow, we'll stay at home on Christmas night, together, creating our traditions and making it happen for us, even if a bit unconventional. Because there is more to life than silly dogmas and stupid rules and the idiots that made them...
Merry Christmas to you all!

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas is Here ! (For Me, at Least)

I am so thrilled! We received a huge box full of Christmas goodies from Romania. My good friend Agy sends me each Christmas such a package and I always look forward to it. This year we were two to share the joy!

Thank you Agy, you've made my bleak Christmas bright !

Friday, December 17, 2010

Camera,Thank You For the Memories

What a joy that nowadays we have technology and instead of relying solely on our memory we have other means for remembering....The trip to Eilat was great and I thought about sharing, at least the images, if not the feelings that came with them.

After a scary sand storm in the desert and a 5 hours road, we finally reached Eilat...
Our room had a little nook, like a bunk bed, where Maya (and her daddy slept).

Our hotel - The Orchid is built like a small village, with this cute little villas, Thai style.
The hotel is nested under the desert rocks, as seen from the marine Observatory, where we spend a whole morning watching the fish...

Speaking about fish, Maya and daddy took a dip in the kiddies' pool. (photo nr.6)

The Red Sea, at sunset. Isn't it gorgeous (photo nr. 7)

This stone wall was actually opposite our door.
(photo nr. 8, with Maya demonstrating it for you, also photo number 9)

The colors of the Negev desert, on our way back.

Look at the the beautiful sky!

The road, right in the heart of the Negev.

This is near the Dead Sea, I thought it was Loth's wife (you know, the one that was transformed into a rock), but I was mistaken....Sorry....

A glimpse of the Dead Sea.
Then, back home, but I am not going to show you that...because...well, I just won't...
I am sorry, I tried a million times to edit my post and to make the comments match the pictures, but I just couldn't. So I just numbered some of the pictures...Sorry once again, but hit me in the head and call me stupid, I am no computer whizz, so...Just enjoy the pictures, will

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sand Storms and Fears And...All's Well When the Sun Shines Again

Gulf of Eilat, israelImage via Wikipedia I think by now everybody knows a bit about the harsh weather conditions that have hit Israel in the last few days. From snow on the Mount Hermon to the terrible storms and heavy rains in the north and center and the horrific sand storm in south and the Negev desert.

Well, we'd seen a god part if it, as we took off for Eilat (Red Sea, the southest point on the map) on Sunday morning, where in Ashdod (where we presently live) near the port, a ship sunk because of the weather.
In was absolutely hellish! First, it was the wind, very strong and then the sand...When we reached Mitzpe Ramon and stopped for a coffee and a pee, it was so cold and windy Maya said: "Look, mom, my teeth chatter!"
I promise to put pictures in the near future, I cannot transfer the pictures to my laptop now, so, be patient!
Anyway, I am don't intend to write in this post about the journey itself, but about myself during it. I was very surprised to register the reactions I had to all of it. Firstly, I was terrified. The gales of wind kept hitting the car from one side, then the other and I was panick stricken. Not even able to utter one word. My stomach was the size of a pea and the throat constricted...Tried very hard to keep a poker face, not to frighten Maya. She took everything naturally...I was pleased and amazed to see her keeping her cool during such an unusual situation for her...
Well, what stopped me to jump out from the car and run back screaming was my husband. He was so calm and composed, his hands gripping the steering wheel, eyes on the road. Unbelievable...while I was muttering prayers under my breath and pretending I was somewhere else.
I don't know where all this fears come from...I was different, so different when I was younger. But I think most of this started when I realized my life is not under my control any more and also after the health problems we had with Maya in the beginning of this year. Those events shattered the rest of self esteem I had left and began to dig at the foundation of my being. I absolutely need to do something about it, otherwise I'll make myself ill.

At the end of our trip, some 30 km before Eilat, the sand storm stopped abruptly, the sky became clear and the sun was back on the sky.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Brightness of Winter Holidays

Candles burning cheerfully in Maya's hanukiah
oh Christmas tree
the plumpness of big bellied doughnuts
sweet cinammon smiles
oranges and cloves
all over the place
cardboard snowmen
and paper snowflakes
the brightness of winter holidays at our house

Food Porn

I don't usualy post pornography on my blog, but I just couldn't resist this persimonn...Was it glad to see me or what???

Monday, December 6, 2010


Look, it snowed in our home last night.
A little elf came and adorned the barren branches with sparkling snowflakes.
I feel hopeful.
And I am afraid of the new feeling unfurling in my soul.
whenever I felt this way, something bad came along...

Saint Nicholas and The First Rain Drops of Winter

Today is Saint Nicholas and of course we celebrated it...
Yesterday evening Maya put her old pair of boots (I have to buy her new ones, her feet are enormous!) near the living room window (as we don't have windowsills) and in the morning : Ta-daaa!Presents! She was so pleased! She received some Scoby Doo action figures, a game, lots of books and sweets. We played and watched a Scooby Doo DVD, of course and stayed in our pj's until lunch time.
Dasha was present, too.
This year I received a special present, from the One that loves and protects us: RAIN. Thank you, God.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Very Special Request - Christmas Cards for Maya

You've heard me many times complaining about how life gets harder around major Christian holidays. It is even harder now, with my daughter Maya... First of all, I don't want her to feel different, so we always celebrate the Jewish holidays in our home (we are a mixed family, living in Israel, after all, and I love and respect the Jewish faith). But, on the other hand, I am Christian, this is my faith and even though I am not a religious person, I keep it in my heart and soul.

Most of the time, I can cope. The most difficult time is around the major Christian holidays, when I miss being back home, in Romania. Because what I really don't have here it is the SPIRIT of the holidays. No Christmas trees (thank you for the plastic ones), no outside lights, no carolers or carols played on the TV or radio, no snow and no family to meet for Chrismas dinner. No gingerbread houses, no Santa Claus at the mall...And still, no biggie. I came here by choice and I am ready to face the consequences. What hurts me the most is Maya growing up without all this. So I try very hard every year to do as much as I can to create, at least at home, a festive atmosphere. I want Maya to feel it the way I did when I was her age. No matter what it takes (or costs).

And so I come to the special request I have: PLEASE SEND MY DAUGHTER CHRISTMAS POSTCARDS. She loves to receive postcards but nobody ever thinks about sending her postcards for the holidays. With the internet and all that...Also, nobody ever send us Christmas cards, I don't really know why...

So, if you want to make a little girl very happy, send her a postcard. Just live a comment with your email adress and I will send you our postal adress. I don't want to put it on the blog...paranoia, you know...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

...And See Where it Takes Me

I am trying very hard to keep my head above the water, these days...I feel bad, physically and mentally and everything seems like a chore. I am sleeping a lot, me, an insomniac, and I think these are my body and my mind, telling me something is wrong. So I am taking a break and listening hard. I am not very concerned (yet), I think everybody has ups and downs and periods when doubting everything. Thank God for Maya and the books, the things that help me cope. My daughter is the anchor that keeps me from drifting away and the books are the much needed escape from reality. What I really miss are friends and family, someone to talk to, someone to share with...But I am getting used to this deep loneliness that frezees me to the bones. It made me know myself better, understand myself better and coming to terms with whom I truly am.
Redemption lies within ourselves and even if it is damn hard to reach inside, it is the only way.
I am going with the flow and see where it takes me.
And if i have to make this journey alone, so be it.

(Picture - "Loneliness”- Walking away on the sand dunes of Oregon. Alexandre Buisse – July 2008)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sorry, Sorry, Sorry...

I am sorry I am such a bad blogger. I don't know what happened...I've been enjoying so much this blog business, until some time ago...Maybe it is the fact that I am going through a bit of a rough patch lately, maybe it is the most dreaded of all - the middle age crisis,or the Christmas blues that hits me every year, the loneliness...I don't know, something it is definitely happening....
I found solace in my writing in the darkest hours of my life and it shouldn't be different now. Writing is my life, my soul, without my writing I am nodoby. When I write I drift to another place, where I can be whatever I want to... where I am the one holding the reins. Writing helps me cope with the reality, writing defines me as a person, as a whole. Without my writing I am unfinished, unwhole...
I promise I'll try harder...
I won't stop.
I won't be another lost voice, another unredeemed poor soul.
I am here and I not going away.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Busy Little Hands...Mostly A Photo Post

We have been very busy lately, Maya and I. Because she was at home sick, but not that sick as to be bedridden I had to come up with lots of activities to keep her busy and entertained. And because the results were very pretty I thought it would be nice to share them with you.
Of course, we always have to start be centering ourselves, doing a short meditation and a few Ohms...

We made pumpkins from playdough, we painted a lot of autumn leaves (as I said before, here in Israel we don't have an authentic, continental fall, so we had to improvise)

We used a lot of toilet rolls, and made a bat mobile and some owls and, I think, cats.
And when we finished we were sooo tired...
Good night!

Monday, November 15, 2010

There Is a Time For Everything, Isn't It?

There's never enough time for everything  101/365Image by Surat Lozowick via Flickr Everything was ready: Maya and her father asleep, a big glass of ice-cold Diet Cola waiting for me on the desk, even Dasha the cat settled for the day...white pages waiting to be filled, the on-line thesaurus for unexpected synonyms on hand, lots of pens and pencils...

But it wasn't to be...Even the best laid plans and all that...Maya started coughing really bad and I had to be with her, sooth and confort her through the awful fits of racking cough. My head was full of words and images and figures of speech...I tried to tell myself that there is a time for everything, but lately I just feel there isn't enough time for me. I mean, I am 45, for goodness sake, raising a four and a half spirited little girl! What was I thinking??? I know it sounds selfish, but, the truth is, I forgot what being selfish means. I usually think about my family, my daughter before I think about myself. This type of existential crisis passes really quickly, becuase I don't have time to dwell upon it when my kid is sick.

In the end, after Maya fell asleep I made myself a coffee, went to the toilet (not to disturb my sleeping daughter) and jotted down on a notebook (I have several strewn along the apartment, you know, just in case, when a brillian idea appears from nowhere) the scene that kept nudging me. Then, I made myself a cup of coffee and read until the wee hours of the morning...

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Own Writing Momentum

How well I could write if I were not here!Image by madamepsychosis via Flickr Even though I am not participating in the NaNoWriMo, there is definitely something in the air...Everybody is writing right, left and center so maybe the Earth energy is shifting or something, because I was also hit by inspiration and working at the second draft of my novel like a woman possesed. Once again, I have to say it is not easy (well, yeah, nothing has ever been easy in my life, but that's another story) because I am writing in English, which is NOT my mother tongue and sometimes I struggle with synonyms and expressions and asuch...but apart from that "minor" glitch, I am glad I caught this momentum and I don't intend to let it go. I am holding to it for dear life, because I want to finish this book I am dreaming about (literally) and prove myself I can do it. Of course it would be easier to write it in Romanian, but, no folks, I am on my way to conquer the world and English is my best weapon. I mean, I wrote a book in Romanian ten years ago and did you hear about it? So, you see? Anyway, the book's universe is a Romanian one, as the action takes place in Romania (in the first book at least, that's the plan), the main character is Romanian and it is based on Romanian traditions and folklore. I owe this much to my homeland, and I am doing this also to free my soul from the clenches of the longing for the country where I was born. Also, Dracula was Romanian, right?
So, I am not going to spend much time here in the near future and please forgive me for that. But I don't have a lot of free time for writing and I intend to use every second the best I can. I promise to come here as often as possible, because I cannot picture my life without this blog and without you, my dear bloggy friends...
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