29 January 2012
Some say winter is drab and dull. I say, it's the perfect time to look like freshly fallen snow and shine on (even if you're a bit chilled!).
What perks up a freezing cold blustery winter morning better than a bit of glitter? Glittered toe nails accompanied a weekend of sitting on our home's art studio floor and cutting out tiny snowflakes. Those too got dipped in glitter. And, as I write this, the little sparkling flakes are strung up with filament hanging from the studio's window dressing up an otherwise bleak winter view.
During the whole process, the baby crawled underfoot and is still looking very much like a disco ball. My daughter managed to stir up a minor tornado of the fine glitter and it seems to have settled into the black and white polka dotted rug with little thought of ever moving elsewhere (even after three runs of the vacuum cleaner). And, my son's perpetual blowing on the dangling snowflakes pretty much guarantees that the sparkle will be with us until the winter season's eventual thaw.
I say, Shine On!
26 January 2012
Today, I feel like a whippet. As in the spindly little dogs that shake uncontrollably no matter the weather they are subjected to. (side note: If you own a shaking dog, please get it an uber stylish sweater and a few paw warmers STAT.)
It's cold here in the Republic of Georgia and I'm bitter that the thermometer doesn't accurately represent the actual 'feeling' of coldness. It's only just at freezing today, but the cold is bone chilling-- even without wind. Our home, typical to others in the city, is constructed of solid cement walls and even with the old water heated thermostats clicking I can't quite erase the eerie chill off of my body. I'm wrapped in several layers, including these (ridiculous looking) down slippers that force me to waddle around as if I'm wearing pillows on my feet. And, I've got a scarf that would easily wrap the length of a giraffe's neck if I was so endowed-- instead I'm swallowed up to my nose.
We've had a couple days of snow already this week and are looking ahead to more 'big' snow (as it's referred to here) as our week comes to a close. A friend looked at me quizzically a few days back as I was shaking in the weather and said, “Well, haven't you heard? You're supposed to go home in the afternoon and mix a stiff drink. It will chase the chill right off of you!” I don't think she intended that sentence to end with an exclamation mark and I am now beginning to understand why. I hope the doppio espresso I'm about to make will be stiff enough.
Seriously. Enough is enough. Our family has been caught in a wave of illness over the course of the last six weeks that looks a bit like this.
Tide one: minor sniffling colds, brought on by air travel.
Tide two: minor colds turn to crazy stuffed congested heads, brought on by jet lag.
Tide three: Everyone, pretty much simultaneously, wakes up in the middle of the night for several nights with the flu (enough said).
Tide four: A few days of feeling like you've been kicked in the stomach, as a result of previously mentioned tide three.
Tide five: Husband bed-bound for over a week with a pounding, vice gripping, 'please have mercy' headache.
Tide six: I'm taken down with the vice grip headache that miraculously lasts one short day.
Tide seven: Back on the plane and back to colds.
Tide eight: Coughing that will not cease, day and night.
Tide nine: Coughing continues to roll on and on as jet lag comes and goes once again.
And, now it seems that, perhaps... if I'm feeling optimistic... I can say that the tides are turning. And, at some point during our tidal wave of illness, the inevitable happened. The emails and suggestions of an old family recipe started to drift in. I laugh and present this information with a wink and a smile as I think of my family. When someone is struck with a cough or a sore throat, the suggestion to reach for the recipe pictured above comes up as if we would have, could have, forgotten about it. “Oh! Take a tiny bit of whisky, add it to a small amount of boiling water, add a generous spoonful of honey and a squeeze of lemon!”*
*For those wondering, it doesn't work to cure your illness. But, it does provide a nice distraction from how miserable you already feel.
11 January 2012
The lipstick: MAC lipglass in Russian Red. I'm hooked on red again.
The notebook and pen: I love my classic moleskine in bright red. It's perfect for jotting notes, sketching ideas and doodles, writing reminders and handing over to the kids when at the cafe during a hot cocoa run!
The gum: Mentos sugarfree ice cube gum. I love this stuff and chomp on it when confronted with Tbilisi's crazy drivers. I pretty much only chew it while driving--- it keeps me calm as cars careen around me in every which crazy direction.
The baby sling: I have four and one goes everywhere with me. I'm not sure the baby and I could survive without it.
The sunglasses: It's winter and these keep the bitter cold Eastern European wind from whipping my eyes to death. I'm still hooked on big, big, bigger roundish ones.
The map: A tiny booklet type of map showing a somewhat accurate display of the city's rustic and ever changing streets.
The scarf: A heavy wool scarf in a bright color. Winter is bitterly cold and snowy here. This takes the chill off a bit... both physically and as a bright cheery pick-me-up!
And, of course, I'm toting the all-season essentials-- a wallet with some Georgian Lari, a phone, clothe diapers and related accessories and keys.
06 January 2012
I always love to stretch a celebration out. But, this year, I have calendar-backed reasons to. Our family travelled to the States and celebrated Christmas in December. We've since returned to our home in the Republic of Georgia where we are waking up* on Christmas morning. Yup. I get a Christmas re-do or extension or... however you want to think of it. Kind of cool. Georgia operates on the Georgian Orthodox calendar placing New Year's before Christmas. Merry Christmas! May the day be merry and bright.
Above provides a tiny glimpse of our 'first' Christmas celebration-- 1. stockings were hung, 2. the best Christmas cookie ever from Larsens Danish Bakery in Seattle, 3. my mom's Norwegian krumkake, 3. saving pine needles from our 2011 tree.
*It's 2:02 a.m. as I write this. For those wondering, yes, jet lag is still kicking.
Categorized: holiday: Christmas.
05 January 2012
I have always taken you for granted but, in this new year, I vow to never do that again. I will forever treasure the softness and calmness you provide for me at the end of a very long day.
I've been back in Eastern Europe for one full day now after a Christmas season spent stateside. I've spent a good majority of that day watching my one year old as if he was a ticking time bomb. His eyes drooped and I swept him off his feet, racing to bed, hoping to catch a bit of shut eye too. At one point, dear pillow, we couldn't take the crushing exhaustion any longer and you held three heads today-- my daughter's, my baby's and mine. My son fell asleep watching Batman, while wearing his new Captain America mask and his Superman jammies, mid-day on the family room couch.
And, dear pillow, as you know, it is now 3:29 a.m. in the morning. I have spent the last three hours and 12 minutes eating cold pizza, watching some weird alien cartoon dubbed in Russian and attempting to get the baby to walk. My three kids and I are jet lagged. (And, between you and me, dear pillow, we both know that I'd be sleeping deeply if it weren't for being woken by a baby giggling and poking me repeatedly in the eye. That's when this whole middle of the night party started.)
So, please know that I'll never take you for granted again. I hope to see you very soon, dear pillow.