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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Waiting for snow-drops


Hello everybody.

It's February.
This is a first post after some time. In case some of you might have wondered about what has happened to me, is everything all right on this side of the screen (or why there are even no Love Stories on Sundays), I owe an answer.

Life, lately: 

Office hours, sub-zero temperatures,
problematic house items & appliances, and
waiting for snow drops to appear.

For days on end, we are having less than enjoyable weather over here. It has been over a month since the temperature hasn't risen over zero degrees Celsius. By now, we are all "under the weather".
Despite all our efforts to keep them safe, most of the decorative outdoor potted plants have suffered; we usually over-winter them in a safe shed, or in an empty room, but the actions were not good enough and I noticed the water froze over in the room - that said, I am to conclude that the roots of about one hundred plants have frozen, too. A massive loss.
(that is one of the things you must face when living in a temperamental aka "continental" climate)
Plants froze-over, and so did some of our pipes. In my home, I have had (so to say) a mild case of freezing, where only a part of the vent has given me problems, and I haven't had a running water that morning - but, after a little bit of TLC (using a hair-drier to heat the vent, and then wrapping everything in sweaters) was enough. Due to that morning freeze, my water meter's glass has broken - an expense unforeseen, but not a huge financial impact.
Heating-vise, this long period of less-then-pleasant temperatures has made it's impact on some of my systems. For one, my furnace has (yet again?!) decided to break up with me, and gave me the "smoke signal", taken quite literally. After having the wash every single item in the room two days in the row (yes, I even scrubbed walls & had to make a two hours long drafts on a sub-zero weather) I have decided to let go the wood-burning system.
Fortunately, I have two more. One of them is somewhat expensive, but clean and reliable  the air-inverter, feeding on electricity, keeping the house air warm and humid. Need I say that the outside unit has a freeze-over cycle?! So, every now and then (yesterday was one of those days) I shut it down, then take the front part off of it, and give it a hot "shower" to melt the accumulated ice from withing the thing. I use the same time to clean the filters.
The last heat source is a simple, and old-school gas burning furnace that I have (wisely!) acquired while ago. This absurdness in adjusting oneself to Nature's ways has taught me a large lesson in life: sometimes, having more options is the difference between getting seriously bitten by cold and keeping yourself safe - while awaiting for spring.

I am not the only one who's waiting for Spring. :)

Now that that I have burdened you with all the joys of winter, rest assured: I have planned for the worse (and always hope for the best). Though this winter is an exceptionally long and cold, our summer labor has payed up in many ways: no one is cold or hungry.
Definitely NOT hungry.
There is a reason I have been posting all the gardening leaflets each month back in 2015 (starting January) and all the food preparation posts (like the one with jam recipes). Those are the thing we do here, every single year. That is our cycle of life. We spend the winter waiting for the summer, so that we can spend our days of summer prepping for winter (yes, every year). Some might think that gets tiring and dull, but to be honest: every year is different, and the food sources available to us last year just might not be so bountiful this year (especially THIS year, after all this frost biting us longer than usual).
This is the choice we've all made when we decided to stay in a rural area. I doubt I'd know how to divide my year any other way. :)

Please, do not write to the address given above, 
Chili in no longer receiving mail. :)

As this post was not strange enough so far, I'll give myself the right to write a little bit more on my life so far, regarding the changes that happened (intentionally).
Over the course of some four years I have undergo a change in body-shape. Right now, after a long time recovering, my shape is back to "pear" (see the image above, Chili pretty much sums it up). Some of the clothing items left my wardrobe, since they no longer fit me, and I can honestly say: they should not ever fit me.
No need to be sad about it, since that gives room for some new clothes - and I, for one, like having a real reason to update, making my visits to the used-clothes shop more often. Shopping for used clothes has it's benefits; one of the major ones is precisely the one I have experienced within last year. Since those pieces are truly cheap they don't make a heavy load on my finances and therefore I do not feel guilty when turning them into rags, scraps, cleaning supply and, ultimately: throwing them all away. (those that still hold form, and look good - I pack and keep, if there comes a day when someone asks for modest-looking dress and a pencil skirt, I'll give it gladly).
It's: out with the old, in with the new (so to say).

We shouldn’t compare ourselves with others, 
nor we should worry about what others think about us 
and then we can truly be happy.
(small singing birds - do help)

Sorry about the blurry backgound in the picture, my photographer caught a strange lady at the door. :)  However, you can still spot the smile, right?
With all the things I've just told you, some of you might wonder how is it that I'm still keeping my smile. To be honest, I practice a mental task every time I wake up - I remind myself mentally of couple of things that I can make better. Also, every time I get to bed I repeat at least three things I am grateful for. Yes, it does work.
It makes the winter-waiting easier to cope with.
.....
I do hope I'll write something you're more used to soon.
(hey, at least we're not in the negative temperatures today - we're just having rain)  :)
HAVE A NICE DAY.
Marija

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Love Story: Ugly Duckling


Heads up, everybody!

There is a SEVERE sub-zero temperature wave happening right now in the large part of Europe. One of the reasons there's a lack of posts this week and this post is late is because of this emergency-state that we are in. Making sure the animals are all right, re-checking every inch of the house, securing the over-wintering flowers.. and my latest: de-frosting the water pipes!

I am in a dire need of a soft story
from the days gone by:







This DOES warm me up.

I hope all of you out there are keeping yourselves warm, and safe. 
We have had years of experience with this kind of weather, and we equip our homes with most of the things that come in the "might come in handy" category. Loaded flashlights and piled-up woods (if the frosts bites-off our electricity), water supply (if, like myself today, you wake up to realize there's no water in the pipes), food provisions (the regular: meat, vegetable, jars of pickles and jam), all the baking supplies (if the bakery fails to produce bread - don't look at me that way, it has happened, and we'd rather have our own way of making food - just, you know, in case)..
We are all OK over here.
How are you doing?!
Marija

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Midweek magazines: When TIME magazine makes cakes


Hello everybody.

With all the winter holidays well behind your backs, most of you are getting back to your regular daily schedules, work spaces and day-to-day tasks. It's back to "usual" - but, not over here.
Since we are tagging along (for exactly two weeks), we are right not in the middle of pre-Christmas baking mania! I wrote about our traditions back in 2015, and I have given you an array of Sweet Recipes HERE, HERE and HERE (as a three-part series!). 
I am the over-taker of the making of sweets for the family feast; but mom still gets to hold the Title of the Official Česnica-maker - since she is the "mother" of the house (not that my brother OR me live in the same house, but hey..) :)

While I was reading some interesting recipes, 
I came across an article from TIME magazine
that just happens to deal with - cakes. :)





There is a sense of peace in watching the cake slowly rise in the oven. I do believe it has therapeutic value worthy of mention. Ever since I was a child, I loved positioning myself in front of the over and gazing through the "window" - to see the master-piece grow. As a child of wast imagination, it amazed me, in the sense of: what magic it must be! The amazement never vanished (even though, now I do KNOW the science behind the cake-in-my-over phenomena) :)
.......
How is this New Year going, so far?
Are you back in the regular-mode?
Marija

Sunday, 1 January 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR.. and a Love Story: My too popular boyfriend


Hello everybody

Happy New Year!

.
.
.

May this year illuminates your path, wherever you might chose to go, 
may your steps be light and your road peaceful,
may you have endless reasons to smile and share the joy with others
and may your dreams come true!

I have the honor to with you all a good morning, the first one in this new year, with a romance boosting love story. This is our tradition, and I do hope we will continue "meeting" here on Sundays, for our weekly dose of Romance-in-pictures.

First one, for this year:







Take rest.
Recharge your selves,
I'm sure we're in for another interesting year, full of events, meeting new folks, growing stringer and sharing our mutual passion for all things vintage!
Marija