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Blogmas days 12, 13, and 14

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone!

Today's entry is another combined entry. And you'll soon learn why, when i talk about the challenges.

DAY 12

For the 12th day of the challenge, we were instructed to watch a movie. 

We didn't watch any movie, but we do watch a Chinese historical drama called, in English, Ruyi Royal Love in the Palace. You can watch this show on youtube for now. 

We are actually kind of binge-watching it because I'm playing about 2 episodes at once. 

Before the show though, i had to work on the project at hand with the deadline on December 31st. The current project is rather boring, and I'm dragging myself to write it, thus wasting quite a lot of time, sadly. 

We also went to the store and bought some stuff, including some minced meat that became meatballs. I have a recipe for meatballs over here

This time, instead of frying the meatballs, i actually cooked them in the oven. This way, i can cook more at once - this time, all of them, thus saving time. They also turn out less oily, which is better. However I didn't take any pictures, so i'm using the old one.

That day I also made doughnuts. You already know the recipe from here

DAY 13

For the 13th day of the challenge, we had another contest at hand. This meant we didn't need to write any entry. 

Due to some events, ahem/procrastination/ahem, this entry was thought of on this day. I wasn't able to finish it on time, sadly. 

Oh, the result of the contest? Again I didn't win. Maybe next time? 

DAY 14

On the 14th day of blogmas, we're supposed to write an ABOUT ME page. 

OOPS. I just realized i don't have such a page, but now i will have to write one. However, i need to think it out well enough, so i can't publish it for now. 

Once the blogmas challenge is done, I will write such a page and it will be linked at the top, like the others. 

Thank you for your patience with no entries for 2 days in a row. I just condensed 3 shorter entries in a single one. 

See you tomorrow. hopefully.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blogmas day 11 - Worst Christmas

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello there!

So today i'm supposed to talk about the worst Christmas. 

This will be hard for me. Not because i have too many such instances to chose from, but because i can't remember. 

Honestly, i don't want to remember bad things. I want to remember good things. I want nice memories. 

I don't think we had bad Christmases. Maybe last year was a bad one or ruined one.. And most other Christmases were probably sad while seen from outside as we had no decorations and not much gifts. 

Milky the cat back in Dec. 2016

However Anna and I had one another and the pets, and we were healthy. We also had a roof over our heads and food on the table. Sometimes we even had a lot of work to do, so that was distracting. 

I also wish for my readers to collect nice memories more than bad ones. 

The world has enough bad things going on that we really don't need more negativity. 

I'm also trying this blogmas challenge for the first time this year, to end the business year on a positive note. This is because so far, after 10 days of writing on the blog every day, i realize i had fun. 

I expected to have fun at least to some degree, and i see i wasn't wrong. So yay! 

(c) ObscureJourney.com - december 2020

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Blogmas Day 10 - Christmas Menu

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all!

So today I'm supposed to plan the menu for Christmas. Except I don't need to because every year we eat the same thing. 

See, here in Romania, there are a set-in-stone celebration dishes. Everyone makes the same food. Rarely there's any variation. 

One of the first things that need to be made for Christmas, or any other big celebration that is, is the cozonac

I personally never made one, so I don't have a recipe for it. As type of food, this is a dessert. By the method used to make one, it is a bread. So basically, it's a sweet bread and traditionally it has a filling made of nuts and cocoa. Rum (the alcohol) or rum essence (flavoring) can also be used in the filling. 

Blogmas Day 10 - Christmas Menu
Blogmas Day 10 - Christmas Menu

Of course, nowadays it is very common for city folks to buy one or a few. In the country side, it is still being made the traditional way.

The cozonac found int he city comes in different shapes and flavors, with some of them better than others. 

Another dish that cannot be missing from the Christmas table are the sarmale. This dish comes from Turkey and if you know that dish you'll know this one as well. 

We have cabbage leaves wrapped around a filling made of rice mixed with meat. Generally, the meat is a mixture of beef and pork. I talked a bit about the filling in this article. 

You just have to take about a spoonful of filling mixture and put it on the cabbage leaf, then to roll or pack the whole thing neatly. We'll most likely receive some Sarmale, if everything goes smoothly this year, considering the virus. 

Sarmale are labor intensive and this is why they're kept for special occasions. These special occasions can include weddings and funerals, especially in the countryside. 

Another dish you'll see is the Oliver's Salad, though it's usually called Boeuf Salad or A la Russe. There's actually a small difference between Boeuf and A la Russe: the former has meat and the latter does not. Otherwise, they look the same and generally have the same ingredients. 

The ingredients are boiled potatoes, carrots, peas, pickles, black olives, and mayonnaise. Everything gets chopped and mixed together. It is usually decorated with olives, boiled eggs, and red pickled peppers. This salad i plan on making. I made it before, and i can't believe i have zero pictures as proof, though i had some pretty ones made. 

Creator & Copyright: Dana Valery from retete-culinare-cu-dana-valery.ro/reteta/salata-a-la-russe-cu-legume-si-maioneza

That's what it can look like and the link will take you to a recipe in Romanian. Google Translate can be your friend.

This salad should be made a day or two in advance, so that the flavors mix well. It's definitely a dish that tastes better at least the next day, and it has to be kept in the fridge. 

The taste depends greatly on the pickles used as well as on the mayonnaise. It's best to make the mayonnaise at home, from scratch as it tastes better than the one from the store. 

Many people would prepare many dishes based on pork, as they butcher a pig a few days before Christmas. The most notable dishes are steak and home-made sausages. 

Some people will replace the pork with a roasted chicken or maybe beef. 

This is it for now! see you in blogmas day 11!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blogmas day 9 - Answering comments

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone!

Today's challenge is to reply to ALL the comments on the blog. 

A simple search or look at my blog will reveal that nobody likes my blog, thus there are no comments. 

But i do have a habit of commenting on Youtube or Facebook. 

Sometimes, that's not a pleasant experience in the end. Especially when it leads to passionate replies - to put it nicely. 

Someone, somewhere finds something to feel offended by. Usually they don't fully understand the written text or don't even read it completely. Sometimes i have the bad habit of writing something when i get triggered. This leads to a poorly worded comment. 

Did I learn my lesson? not really. will i eventually learn my lesson? hopefully. 

However, the most important lesson is to not get affected by what others say. 

For instance, one of the most recent comments i left were on this video of a lady in US, explaining how she lives in poverty or something. 

She first explained what her expenses are, a bit about her income - she was not 100% clear on how much she earns, but she did say she earns quite a bit... and then proceeded to show us how frugal she is. 

There were so many things wrong with the video, it's unbelievable. She said she has no loans to pay off, she doesn't pay rent, she doesn't have children, and she's single. She bought her house cash, her 2 cars the same, and she owns a dog. 

Did you catch there the error(s)? Well, to put things into perspective, poor people can't afford to buy a house in cash, nor do they own 2 cars. Poor people can barely make ends meet. Being poor usually refers to how much money you earn and not how much you spend.

So in this light, i commented that the title of the video should be changed, never thinking she'd reply. She did! She didn't have to though, because i already knew her entitled answer. -No. 

At which point i started trolling her, hoping she would stop. She didn't stop, she turned everything i said against me. 

I was in high spirits at the time, so her entitled replies didn't bother me much. 

In the end i was the one who stopped because i felt like "being the mature one" and let her think she "won over the troll." 

This was one of the times where such an exchange was fun. But there are many times when the exchange of comments is not fun, but rather upsetting.

If you want some piece of advice, when you comment on anything, try to do it when you're in good spirits. Also, don't go back to check on the replies - it's not always worth the effort. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blogmas Days 7 & 8 - Contest and gifts

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everybody.

This entry is for both days 7 and 8 of blogmas that i decided to participate this in.

DAY 7

The challenge for Day 7 was to enter a contest. The prize of the contest was to win 1 year of premium membership. The contest was held on Facebook. 

We were 4 contestants in total and the result was that i was not the winner. But maybe other contests will be held in the future. who knows.

Since there was no topic to write about, I had no real thoughts about the challenge itself, therefore i didn't post.

DAY 8

Today's challenge or theme is to write or talk about the gifts we prepared this year for our loved ones. 

I prepared the gift for the most important person in my life. However, i can't really talk about it. now now. I did prepare the blog entry talking about it and it will appear on the blog on the 26th or 27th. 

All i can say about it is that something my person wanted for quite some time. I managed to make it in about 2 days in total. It doesn't really look like the exact item my person wants, but i still hope they'll like it. 

However, i can show you a sneak peak of the item. 

I also have a pair of trousers made of the same fabric - 'm wearing them as i type this. i use them as pajama pants. The fabric is very thin so it's perfect for summer and not winter, but i don't feel cold right now. 

We also play this Subeta game together, and i prepared some gifts there as well #spoiler, ooops - because my person reads my blog. 

You can't tell me how to spend my currency! >.< ;p 

This year we have spent a bit more than we expected, on certain products. 

Someone put next to the trash a bottle of white French wine that i already gave away to someone. You now me, i'm not ashamed to pick stuff from the trash. /leShock/ And mind you, the bottle was unopened. This is the only reason i got it. 

I also really needed to give that person something, though they don't/didn't fully deserve it. Here it wouldn't have been consumed anyways - i don't like white wine and my person is allergic to wine. 

I want to make at least one more gift for my person, but im not sure they'll use it. I'm pretty sure they'll like it, just not really use it. And if i'm right, don't want to make something that just takes up more space, collects dust and so on. 

I guess this is it for today. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blogmas day 6 - Relaxation

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all!

Today's challenge is to take things easy. 

But some of us have online jobs or run our own businesses. This means that we have little time for relaxation. 

The thing is that finding some time to unwind is significant for our well being. Also spending time with our loved ones. 

I talked a bit about my off-line work experience some 3 years ago. I realized then that time off is important as time is all we got. or not, at times.

So, today i completed the challenge: no blogging, no working. Instead we took a pretty long walk to downtown and back. We really needed the fresh air (through the masks it wasn't as fresh as we hoped, sadly). 

Editing this section on jan. 30, '22.

I want to say that flowers are relaxing, and help others take things easy. Spring flowers have this effect on me.

bee bumble bee flower spring

We also stopped by the grocery store to buy ingredients for pizza. Tonight was delightful: anna's pizza, cuddles, and Christmas lights dancing on the wall

See you tomorrow!

(c) Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blogmas Day 5 - Christmas decorations

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello there!

Apparently there are 20 days to Christmas and now it seems to be the reasonable time for appropriate seasonal decors. 

It rather makes sense since it's not too early and not too late either. Plus, you can keep the decors on for longer, if you wish, or if you celebrate on January 7, like many Russians do. 

In any case, as i mentioned in previous posts, here and here, we never really decorated for Christmas in the years we lived together. 

As you can see, we managed to have a tiny potted tree before that we managed to somehow decorate. 

Sadly, this year there is no tree. Instead we have faerie lights. or Christmas lights. 

The failure comes from the fact they're too short. I didn't pay attention to what's written on the box. They are also cold light and about 8 different lighting modes.

We hang the lights on the curtain rod because we no longer have a curtain. Anna is allergic to dust and we have to limit fabric items like curtains or other home decor, as much as possible.

There aren't much decors this year because we had to save money for a new computer, which was postponed by a pretty urgent surgery for Anna as well as many medicines. 

I have some greeting cards i forgot to put out and i'm not sure i want to display them. but maybe i can still add some small things around the house. 

This is it for now. See you tomorrow.

December 18 update!

In the past 2 or 3 days, our living room became a bit more festive! 

On the 15th we went out to search for something and we came back with something else: glass, hand-painted bauble for the Christmas tree. 

We don't have a Christmas tree, so I hung it on the lamp. The cats won't be able to reach it there and I know it will be safe from other accidents as well. 

It is lunch time but it's so dark outside and indoors. i used the flash to snap this picture and the bauble looks black. it is actually beige and all the colors are more creamy. 

We also bought another set of faerie lights. These ones have a warm light. i placed them on the door to the living room due to technical reasons (proximity to an outlet). 

I think they pair well with the previous lights. 

If we add more stuff to the room, I'll update this entry again. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blogmas Day 4 - Christmas Songs

Publié le par Charly C.

HeY eVeRyBoDy! 

Today's challenge is to make a playlist of songs for Christmas. 

Unfortunately, I don't like this type of songs. 

I don't like them because every year, no matter where you go, especially in stores, you hear the same songs played over and over and over gain. 

It becomes tiresome, overdone, and plain boring. 

However, Romania has quite the handful of traditions related to Christmas. I just realized I kinda never posted anything specifically related to this holiday. 

I spoke briefly about some of the traditions but not much details. 

Most Romanians celebrate Christmas on December 25th, with a few that celebrate on January 7th, like the Russians. 

The celebrations include preparing a lot of food, singing carols, as well as various dances and theater plays. In the old days, caroling was done by children but also by adults. 

This custom is still preserved in many villages today. However, it's important to know that each village would have its own caroling group made of both adults and children. 

Customary, only boys and men would go caroling through the village. The girls and the women would stay at home and prepare the meals, wait for the carolers, and do other chores. 

Some of the most popular carols and dances are the ones called "Steaua" and "Capra," meaning "Star" and "Goat" respectively. There's singing involved for both, but there's a dance associated with the "Goat." Another caroling dance and singing is the one with the "Bears". 

As far as the Goat and the Bears go, there's always someone in the group dressed as a Goat or Bears. Usually, the group has 1 goat, maybe 2 at times. There are usually 3 bears in the Bear group. There has to be at least 1 bear, but I'm not sure about how many bears there can be in the group. 

Below, there's a very short clip of the Bear dance, from 4 years ago, at the Christmas market. I don't think there will be any this year due to the virus. 

Across this city, various groups go with either the Goat or the Bears. I'm not sure if this year we'll see any Goats or Bears due to the current situation. 

I spoke more about the Goat and Bear because i like them the most. The Goat is very colorful. I don't think you can meet 2 identical looking Goats, but I'm not sure. She might look different from region to region. 

The Bear dance is loud and one can barely hear the words being sung or spoken. The Bears have 2 red pompoms around the neck or ears, i forgot. They are also supposed to appear closer to the New Year, so usually after Christmas. 

Traditionally, all carolers were supposed to receive some sort of reward from the person receiving them. The traditional rewards are apples, nuts, and a few other edible items. Nowadays, money is the most common reward. 

The Bears however, are supposed to receive clothes. I forgot if new or old clothes. It's best not to receive the carolers if you can't reward them: you'll be followed by bad luck in the new year. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blogmas Day 3 - safety and security

Publié le par Charly C.

Hi All!

Today's challenge was to request for our blogs to be transferred to HTTPS instead of HTTP. 

Some of you may know that my blog didn't have a secure connection in the past. But the staff worked hard and now all the sites can be accessed through the HTTPS protocol. 

This is pretty awesome, if you ask me, since we all want some sort of security. Especially after everything that happened this year. 

We find security in different ways. Some want security when it comes to a job. Others, want to feel secure in their relationships. For others, having a place they can call home or their own, is the definition of security.

Security makes us feel safe, protected. The first time we ever felt this was in our mothers' wombs, then in her arms, at her chest. Of course, there are plenty of people who didn't have the luxury of having a mother, a father, or even parents. 

I don't know how that must feel, and i can't really speak for them. I do know, they did feel pretty safe while inside their mothers' bellies as well. 

Some people, even in adulthood, feel better under heavy blankets, or when they're being hugged tightly. This is because towards the end of the pregnancy, there barely is any space inside the womb. Plus, the mother also wears clothes, gets covered with blankets as well. 

All these, weigh down on the belly and the baby inside. 

What makes me feel safe? Or where do i find security?

These are pretty hard questions to ask. I do know that having Anna in my life DOES make me feel safe.

She's the only one i can count on. i find her stable. this feels safe and secure. And nice.

Or when i go to sleep, i feel safer when the air is warm, the blanket heavy, or there is something heavy on me. I also need quietness. 

Some old things like abandoned places for instance, also give me a sense of security in a weird way. I guess, those buildings, being so old, but still standing, make me think that maybe life is easier than i make it be. 

It's somehow hopeful. Or maybe the quietness surrounding such a place makes me feel safe. I'm not 100% sure.

It's true that noise, constant and loud, makes me feel very unsafe and stressed. 

Overall warmth, but not heat, is something that also gives safety-related feelings. 

Keeping things to myself is a safety measure. I feel intruded upon and not safe at all when i'm being asked too many questions. or when people seem to know things about me. 

Yet, here i am, sharing part of my life with strangers online. How ironic, isn't it? 

I don't really know what i can say related to this. 

I'd like to hear from you and find out what makes YOU feel safer and more secure. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Overblog Challenge day 2 - Planning

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello.

I complete today's OverBlog challenge almost at the end of the day. Better later than never, I like to say.

The challenge is talking about planning the posts for the blog. I had a hard time writing about this until now because I don't plan anything. Or hardly anything. 

The thing is, when I try to plan stuff in advance, something always comes up that is somehow more important, more urgent. 

This means that my plans get delayed. Well, ok, if it was for blogging, all I have to do is to set a day aside and just write a few entries, and then schedule them.

However, it's not like I'm a stranger to planning. I started bullet journaling back in 2017. My proof? This entry right here

Then, I wrote about more plans in this entry right here

In real life, I tried using a bullet journal, but it didn't really work out for me. I still continued to use what i'd call more of a planner rather than a bullet journal. See the pics below. 

In 2017, i started mid-way. Then when 2018 started, I started a new agenda. I used the same one for 3 years, with a few pages to spare. 

various pages from my planner, from years 2018, 2019, 2020.various pages from my planner, from years 2018, 2019, 2020.various pages from my planner, from years 2018, 2019, 2020.

various pages from my planner, from years 2018, 2019, 2020.

Now, when 2021 starts, i'll have another agenda to use. 

These agendas are the type you find in any stationery store. They are not for the current year. 

I don't really care about the lines or dates printed on the pages because, as you can see, I don't use the whole page for a single day. 

I draw my own layout. And I had quite the handful of layouts in these past 3.5 years that I used a planner. 

So, if I don't plan out stuff, what do I use the planner for? Why do I even bother? 

There are a few reasons, and I'll list them in no particular order: 

  • To remember what happened - my memory is pretty bad, and tend to forget things very easily. I mean, I even burn water. 
  • To keep track -
    • of my sleeping hours/pattern,
    • of my workout (hardly any workout this year, but I did walk a lot),
    • of health-related stuff.

I hope that in the new year, i'll make more and better use of this agenda/planner thing. But we shall see.

Originally i wanted more discipline in my life, to help me be more productive. 

I didn't use the planner so far because i'm a freelance writer, so my job comes first. But there are times when I don't feel inspired to work, and i could at least work on this blog or on my site. 

I hope the planner will help me achieve my goals. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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