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.
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.
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.
Today is December 1st. Over-Blog, the platform i use for this blog, just launched a challenge for us, its users, for the month of December.
I thought it would be cute to participate, as I never did something that others do or did. I hope to be able to complete the challenge every day.
So, the first challenge is to write our wishlist for Santa Claus. It's not just kids who want things, but us adults as well. And oftentimes, we don't ask for things because we think we're not kids anymore.
This image is an old greeting card Anna's mother had.
So this is what I want for Christmas this year. Well, i won't complain if i get them later as well, haha :D And before you ask, i tried hard to be a nice person this year ;p
Even though this will be a list, there is no particular order:
Twin needles for my sewing machine
An embroidery hoop - medium in size
A serger - i'd like one, even though i have no idea where to store or how to use it. i don't need it, not for now.
Those were physical stuff that can be bought more or less easily.
For the stuff that can't be bought, I want:
More health for Anna, me, and our parents and relatives
To manage to live in peace with Anna
More joy and happiness for Anna and I.
Now, I want to write all this in French. Well, i'll use Google Translate for that.
Aujourd'hui, c'est le 1er décembre. Over-Blog, la plateforme que j'utilise pour ce blog, vient de lancer un challenge pour nous, ses utilisateurs, pour le mois de décembre.
J'ai pensé que ce serait mignon de participer, car je n'ai jamais fait quelque chose que les autres ont fait ou fait. J'espère pouvoir relever le défi chaque jour.
Alors, le premier défi est de rédiger notre liste de souhaits pour le Père Noël. Ce ne sont pas seulement les enfants qui veulent des choses, mais nous, les adultes, aussi. Et souvent, nous ne demandons rien parce que nous pensons que nous ne sommes plus des enfants.
J'ai oublié où j'ai vu cette œuvre d'art. :(
C'est donc ce que je veux pour Noël cette année. Eh bien, je ne me plaindrai pas si je les reçois plus tard aussi, haha: D Et avant de demander, j'ai fait de gros efforts pour être une personne gentille cette année. ;p
Même s'il s'agit d'une liste, il n'y a pas d'ordre particulier:
Deux aiguilles pour ma machine à coudre
Un cerceau à broder - de taille moyenne
Une surjeteuse - j'en voudrais une, même si je ne sais pas où la stocker ni comment l'utiliser. je n'en ai pas besoin, pas pour le moment.
Assez d'argent pour acheter une maison en Italie ou en France ;p
DISCLAIMER: This article was originally published back in 2013. I edited it once, to add another picture, because i though the presentation lacked a little. Now, in 2020, i remade these doughnuts, and i took more pictures. I want to add them here, so this means this article will be republished.
My friend showed me the recipe for these doughnuts on a local website and since I had all the ingredients, I figured I should try it out.
The best part is that they’re done so fast, you don’t need to wait for the dough to raise, and they’re very yummy and light! You’ll want to double the quantities the 2nd time around, hehe ;)
You probably won’t believe me, but even a 14 year old boy made these, or it was him sharing the recipe.
The pictures in this article/recipe are mine.
The original, sad picture i used. oh, gosh.
200 grams yogurt
3 spoons sugar
some baking powder
1 pinch of salt
150 grams flour
1 Tbsp lemon peel – lemon essence works fine too.
I have to mention that this year we learned my friend can't eat a lot of things, including gluten, or at least not a lot of it.
So you can replace regular flour with gluten free flour or whole grain flour.
This year i also skipped the lemon peel (zest) or essence as well. Instead, i used vanilla extract. My friend was diagnosed with asthma, and lemon essence is bad for them, as some of you may know.
I wish mine turned out this pretty :(
Mix all the ingredients together. Originally, I was supposed to add them one by one, but we want to be as quick as possible, even if we stay the whole day at home.
Make sure everything is well incorporated though. The dough should be a bit thicker than the mayonnaise. Thicker dough will make rounder doughnuts, while a thinner one will turn into funny looking doughnuts.
I forgot to take a picture of the dough after i mixed it. Therefore, here you can admire my dough almost at the end.
My dough was thicker, thus the doughnuts have a more regular, ball-like shape.
This is the time to adjust the sweetness, by adding more sugar if you so wish. Of course, this means you'd have to taste the dough. Make sure not to eat it all. Whatever you may add, incorporate well once again. It should be smooth.
You can even add more flour, to make the dough thicker. IT should still be a bit runny though. My spoon is a hint to why.
At this point I added some grounded nuts back in 2013. - Side note: Reading this in 2020, i recall no such thing, but it must have happened.
What mine turned out like :(
You'll now need a small pot or a frying pan.
You need to have a thick layer of oil for frying in there. As you may know, doughnuts need to be fried.
Heat the oil up. Don't use too much heat. I used low to medium heat. I kept it constant.
Take a spoon, scoop dough out and drop it in the pan. You can fry more at once, depending on how big your pot or pan is.
I could fit about 6 in my pan. It's normal for the doughnuts to have "legs" or whatever you want to call the little drops that fell from the spoon, next to the actual doughnuts.
The softer/thinner the dough, the more such "legs" will form. These "legs"are also a bit wasteful, because they get burned and nobody will eat them. I think i added more flour to make the dough thicker to have less waste.
You'll fry them on both sides, until they become golden/brown. They'll start floating at some point. That's when you'll turn them on the other side.
If you feel they become brown too fast, lower the heat a little. I cook with gas, so i can't really tell you how high my flame was. It was one of the largest burners, which was a bit too much for this smallish pan.
You'll have to turn then around to check their color, to be even on both sides.
When the first ones are done, remove them to a plate, or a large bowl. Make sure to use a paper towel on the bottom, as the doughnuts will still leak some oil. You don't want the ones at the bottom to sit in a puddle of oil, ewww.
When you’re done frying all of them, just sprinkle them with confectioner’s sugar, chocolate syrup, or anything else you prefer for more yummyness.
So this entry is not about my expectations being ruined by a bad online shopping spree. Instead, I want to talk about a DIY project a did over the past 2 or 3 weeks. Well, i finished it last week.
I didn't plan on writing about it. However I shared it to this FB group and 87 people liked it and congratulated me for the result.
The story goes something like this:
When the stores finally opened back at the beginning of summer, fiance bought a small white Guess bag from an outlet.
It was in a decent shape, with the only flaws being the several visible stains. On both sides. Unfortunately i don't have a picture of the bag :(
I thought we can clean it. [FIRST EXPECTATION!]
[FIRST REALITY] hit when after several attempts, and several products, we realized that taking those stains out won't work.
The DIY project begins!
THE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM
The solution we came up with, was to paint the bag. At least on the front.
This was a pretty easy idea to put into practice. All i needed was:
acrylic paints - done!
paintbrushes - done!
The inspiration came from a google image search. I searched for "an easy acrylic painting" or something along that line.
And I found this picture: [EXPECTATION 2]
I thought it's a decently easy image to reproduce. So i started working.
First, i used a pencil to draw the circle in the middle, and 2 vertical lines in the middle to "split" the background into the night/day halves. I also drew the curved line for the crescent moon and the "flames" around the sun.
This part was THE easiest to complete.
I then started painting and i used the lightest colors first.
I don't have much to say about the painting process. I tried to make sure i don't leave white spots as the surface of the bag is textured, not smooth, as you'll see from the pics below.
So, this is what I got. [REALITY 2] it's not AS pretty as the inspiration photo, but it's alright. I think.
And when you open it, you get almost the same image. I didn't want the image to be split or incomplete when open. I also have the impression it looks more "intended this way by the designer" and not "oh, I painted this and did the shittiest job."
It had 2 loops for a shoulder chain. My fiance said they'll use it more like a wallet than a purse, therefore, I thought that keeping the chain would be in the way, in a bag.
I hope this entry inspires you to find a solution when your favorite bag gets dirty and you can't clean it, and you also don't want to get rid of it.
I didn't use a sealant, but I should, and I'll be looking for some sort of sealant. The light blue side is a bit sticky to the touch even though so much time passed since I finished this project. So, if you do this, make sure to use a sealant.
We have a problem with the water. Actually the problems with the water seem to follow us or never go away when fixed. :/
The first serious problem happened when we lived uptown, a bit after the time I started blogging - late 2013.
That apartment had individual heating, unlike most other apartments that receive heating from the city hall. There's a long process to have this done, and it involves, having the heater (radiator) removed and replaced. There are pipes connecting apartments vertically.
Every year, they start the heating in mid or late autumn, depending on how cold the weather is. The day they let the heating run, the place where the old heater was connected to the building's pipe, just exploded because of the water's pressure.
Boy was that not fun. I could have been electrocuted fast because the pipe was right next to the outlet. Remembering all this puts me in a bad mood. MEH.
We moved out soon after that. Can you imagine it was even our fault that pipe exploded? Like???? It wasn't us who removed the old heater and made a faulty cover for the hole left in the pipe, were we? We weren't the ones deciding to install the independent heating system, were we?
Yeah, what's done is done.
Weird light in the sky, in June 2018, @ 8:49pm in Bucharest. Random unrelated picture.
Fast forward to when we moved in this apartment, in late 2013 or so. The apartment had signs of being flooded from above. But we didn't care about that. Perhaps this was a mistake, as we had other priorities then.
The apartment got flooded again over time. At least 2 times. Mostly in the bathroom. Well, the worst flood was at the end of 2018 and throughout 2019. Because it never went away. Despite us complaining over and over to the building administration.
Nothing was done! That is, until March of 2020! With the lock-down in full swing! The administration decided THAT was the IDEAL moment to come and tear our bathroom apart, along with a few other apartments above.
Yea.. you read that right.. :( We didn't have a bathroom for about a week, if not more. And we had strangers in our house day in and day out, mud in the hallway and the bathroom.
The image above is taken right before the work started. Yes, the black thing is mold. :( It appeared in more areas, and I did spray bleach, but it only worked so much.
We could only use the shower, because the bathroom has 2 sets of pipes, and the problematic ones were the ones with the toilet and sink. We were "fortunate" enough to use the loo, if we poured water with the bucket, that is.
Well, after a week or so of agony, we now have new pipes and a new "wall" that we have to finish off with wallpaper.
I'm not 100% the wall dried completely. Sometimes i can still feel the smell of wet concrete. The building is made of concrete.
I honestly, have my doubts that the piping work was done "the right way". To clarify, there were even 2 teams of plumbers that "worked" in this bathroom. Patchwork is a good description for the result. The sink is SO low, even a lady could use it as a loo while standing, or as a bidet. -_- It's not even centered...
But at least, this way, nothing can fall into the toilet if someone forgets to lower the lid.
Oh, did you think that was the end of it? I wish!
To our surprise, every time there is a storm, one of our balconies gets flooded as well. There is (or was) a little hole under the window, and water was badly creeping in by there.
I tried to filled it in with some silicone. Since then, there hasn't been any storm. But the problem doesn't end there. We have an evacuation pipe/something. The water from the last storm started coming in by there! I have no idea how this happened!
I'll just let the pictures here, to speak for themselves.
I keep old plastic bags in which other stuff was bought, to clean the cat litter. I get rid of them after i fill them with the cats' "gifts". I have more than 1 litter box, since i have more cats.
This entry is probably one of the least exciting ones. This is not a #firstworldproblem, because I'm not complaining. I want to actually show my gratitude for having this device for many things have happened while i had this iPhone 4.
I want to "celebrate" the life of this phone, and share some pleasant memories I made while having and using it.
One of the things that this phone did the most, was to snap pictures and to keep me connected to Anna through messages and the pics we send back and forth.
How do i know this phone won't function for long? It lags every time i try to open any app. I can't update its OS - no big surprise there. I also can't update the apps i already have. And i only have Instagram to which I can't upload anymore either.
The point of this post is to remember some of the good stuff that happened while i used this iPhone 4. Or to share some of the pictures that i took and i liked or still like the most.
This picture is my favorite. Yes, I took this picture. It is also one of the first pictures i took with this phone. Back in 2015. This is the 2nd picture i ever posted on instagram. You can see and like it here. I feel the light in this picture is just right, the colors are fine, pretty close to reality.
To snap this picture, i put my hands through the bars of the fence of the yard the cat was in. I like how the cat was not paying any attention to me. To me this picture looks poetic in a way. Inspiring to write some fiction or something (else than a blog post).
At the time, I didn't care about likes and stuff. I still don't. But it does feel nice to receive likes on the pics I post. ;p
Chimney cake from the Christmas market of 2015. It was a really nice cake and the first one I had. Originally it was big. at least double the size seen in this picture. They're about 30 cm (12 inches?) long when made for the Christmas market.
They're freshly made on the spot, and extremely popular. They can be covered in a variety of stuff: coconut flakes, sugar, nuts, and other things. This was (grounded) nuts i believe. I think we got 2 of them, i forgot. But the next years when we went to the Christmas market, we did buy 2 each time.
That plate was a disaster for this picture: it' plastic. I has no pretty plate, sadly. You can view this pic on Instagram as well.
Looking at the date this picture was taken, is the same evening as the kurtos kalacs (chimney cake) above. It means this image was taken about an hour or so before the other.
The evening was most likely cold since it was December 19. Only the closest woman in the picture and the few bare trees give away the temperature or time of the year. Otherwise the green grass could indicate summer.
Anna took this picture. If you look closely, there was some fog out in the distance. There was such an eerie sensation. I still get it when i look at this picture. I still really like this image and I don't think I shared it before.
This is actually a parking lot now, but back then, they just finished creating it. These days, on the right, there are many bars/cafes/restaurant places and the parking lot is full of cars.
Of course, there are many other pictures I took and didn't share yet. Well, some will never be shared.
This rose looks gigantic. But it's probably just the angle.
Seeing this pic of the rose, i can almost feel its sweet scent, and i can almost feel the early summer temperature around me. You could say the feeling is burned in my brain and on my skin.
Obviously, without this phone, i couldn't take all these pictures.
These tulips were very pretty in real life back in April of 2016. Either the angle or the light didn't make them justice. Too bad. I remember I took more pictures of these tulips. This is the one i like the most.
I remember they brought me a big smile seeing them. They looked very colorful, cheerful, and simply beautiful. I was smiling like an idiot and being as happy as child seeing them.
It's very refreshing to see pretty flowers in spring after the heavy and cold winter. They give hope for a better year and future.
I shared all these pictures on the tumblr account where I upload all the pictures for this blog as well as the pics for my other site, Being Obscure. Usually, the pics with credits on them are hidden from the public on the Tumblr account.
Life is a journey. Or so I have been told. ObscureJourney is a blog about My life, the things I experience and learn. I hope I can learn from my mistakes. The blog used to known as "TheOwnerTravelsTo" and i had a separate blog called "CookingMyExperience".
The purpose of obscurejourney blog is to share positive ideas and experiences -hopefully- while showing you that you don't need a lot to be happy.
Not all failures mean the end of the world. They mean that whatever you were trying out wasn't meant to happen:
it wasn't your life's journey. We all have a particular life journey, even if we don't discover it from the start. But remember:
You will discover your path! Do you think I discovered mine? Perhaps I did, but I have yet to fully walk it. I know writing is part of it.
All content is created by me, with my silly mobile phone and its camera. Unless otherwise stated, the following applies:
All blog entries are written by me, Charly Cross -this is a pen name, unless mentioned otherwise.
Pictures are mine - especially if I signed them with a (c) and my blog's name (or former name of the blog).