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Romanian style embroidery

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone!

Today I want to share with you my newest interest - cross-stitching. WooHoo! /throws confetti/ oh, i'll clean that ... later...

 

freestyle vs patternfreestyle vs pattern

freestyle vs pattern

Cross stitching is something I didn't think i'd get into. But somehow it happened. The story is a bit longer than this. Back in 2015 I received this gigantic sheet for the inter blanket -duvet? I thought I can't possibly use it as it is, and i thought I could turn it into pillow cases. And therefore I started measuring, cutting and sewing -everything by hand. 

If you don't have a lot of resources, and you need to hem your cloth, you can use some hair pins to keep the fabric in place. I found this method easy to use and not to ruin the material. On top of this, you can simply slide the pin as you need to advance. 

As a curiosity, i used a running stitch on the fabric i folded twice, and the stitch didn't get ruined in the laundry machine. 

my pictures, from my instagram @secret.agent0101my pictures, from my instagram @secret.agent0101

my pictures, from my instagram @secret.agent0101

I wanted to use traditional motifs, so i asked people i knew if they had something to help out. I needed both patterns and thread. Of course they did and they gave me a book with traditional patterns and a lot of thread as well. 

Romanian style embroideryRomanian style embroideryRomanian style embroidery

I flipped through the book to find a design that wasn't too complicated to replicate since I'm a beginner. And i found some that did looked easy, in a single color.

The one i decided on was all black and seemed easy enough. I copied it on paper using colored pencils, because i wanted some more colors on my pillow. 

The next step was to make sure the colors looked ok together. They weren't bad and they look better in real life.

i changed the design a bit more [3rd picture above]i changed the design a bit more [3rd picture above]i changed the design a bit more [3rd picture above]

i changed the design a bit more [3rd picture above]

The design i chose is the one in the lower right corner, in the book. I also show you how you're supposed to embroider it, if you like it. It makes a really nice edge on stuff, if positioned right.

I thought that an all black design would look too rough, though it would have been easier to stitch.

Did you know that Romanians traditionally sew with red and black thread, on white cloth? White means purity, red means joy and black means life.

I wanted to have at least 1 traditional color in my traditional motif. And this is why i choose red.

Romanian style embroideryRomanian style embroideryRomanian style embroidery

Since the cloth i decided to sew on in not easy to count the threads, i needed more visual help. I used a fountain pen. If you want to use the same method, make sure it's blue ink: red and black are staining the fabric and are more difficult to remove.

Of course, i sometimes messed up the guide. But it's ok as some of the errors got covered by some of the later stitches. 

None of these patterns have instructions on how or where to start from, so I had to figure these aspects myself. I figured that stitching the wave first would be easier later when i decide to add the other elements in other colors. 

However, drawing the guide [here the dots], then crossing the location of each stitch made my work even more easy. This allowed me to embroider whatever element I wanted first. 

Refer to the 1st picture in the beginning and the 3rd picture above, if you want to see what happens when you don't count the thread of your fabric, when you're supposed to do so.

Romanian style embroideryRomanian style embroidery

And above you can see the end result. I decided to embroider a hen eating grass as well. For that design i decided to use a piece of etamin fabric to trace a counted guide. it made my life quite easy, but for the size, i needed thinner thread. 

I like what everything looks like. I will continue practicing my embroidering skills though.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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What is tea like in Romania

Publié le par Charly C.

an apple tea at McCafe

an apple tea at McCafe

In Romania we call tea "ceai" and this word is very similar to the Chinese 茶 "cha2" where it originated from. Romanians have many different types of tea, and most of them are used as natural remedies.

This means that most teas here are made of various parts of various plants or trees. For instance we have cherry stem tea as a mild solution for UTI and not only, or linden flowers tea for a fragrant tea meant to calm you down. 

Caffeinated teas are not traditionally popular or used over here, though in recent years their popularity increased thanks to the international influence and trends. Fruity teas are also raised in popularity quite recently.

linden flower tea on top, a "modern" mix in the middle, and a "common" mix at the bottom

linden flower tea on top, a "modern" mix in the middle, and a "common" mix at the bottom

The linden tea is one of the more expensive types of tea over here. This must have something to do with the relatively short period in which these flowers can be harvested - end of May through the first week of June.

If you're lucky enough to have linden trees where you live, and you have an enough tall ladder, maybe you can pick some flowers next year. You need to let them get dry for at least a few days before consuming. 

You can mix them with any other tea, of course, but it's best by itself, or maybe with a fruity mix. All by itself, it doesn't even need honey - the tea is both fragrant and sweet enough.

how the "modern" and fancy tea mix looks VS the "traditional" linden one. Sadly this Dorel brand doesn't have good teas, I got tricked. :(how the "modern" and fancy tea mix looks VS the "traditional" linden one. Sadly this Dorel brand doesn't have good teas, I got tricked. :(

how the "modern" and fancy tea mix looks VS the "traditional" linden one. Sadly this Dorel brand doesn't have good teas, I got tricked. :(

Where to buy

There are several place where you can buy tea when in Romania. The supermarket is the easiest option, and most of them have a decent selection of teas. They are mostly green, fruity, or plant based teas. Some have brought fancy mixes as well that can be even offered as gifts.

Another place is the drug store. Their selection however is not that great, and you're highly likely not to find fancy teas there. They might also be a bit more expensive than in the supermarket. 

Another place is represented by holistic shops. These places sell all sorts of natural remedies, so naturally [sorry about the pun ;) ] they'd sell a variety of teas as well. Their selection of fruity teas might be disappointing, but they have plenty of herbal teas for many health issues.

Some gift shops or book stores are the last place where you could find tea. Of course, in these places the teas are pricier and the fancy and "modern" type. 

i picked my own linden flowers and mixed with a "fancy" tea. YUM!

i picked my own linden flowers and mixed with a "fancy" tea. YUM!

How to make

Unlike green tea that you can only brew for less than 30 seconds for it not to get bitter, most of the Romanian teas should be brewed for some 7 minutes at the very least, and generally about 10 minutes. 

For 1 cup, usually 1 teaspoon or maybe 2 of product is [are] needed, if it's a loose tea. If it comes in envelopes, so already portioned, only one envelope per cup. 

They say that if you want to benefit from the "remedy" teas, you should drink them unsweetened. However this is not always possible because sometimes the teas are bitter. If you must add something to make it more sweet, just try to add honey. 

this is how I make tea...

By the way, if the tea is portioned, there are usually 20 servings per box. You can find bigger boxes than that, of course, but it's more rare.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Bucharest adventures in April

Publié le par Charly C.

This entry was quite long in the making, for several reasons: my poor memories, recovering and editing the pictures, and actually writing everything, in between other stuff going on in our lives. Published a bit later than hoped, but not that late, and better than never at all ;)

Last week of March was when all the winter happened as the worst winter weather hit us. Luckily, as soon as April started, the weather also turned into spring. It never snowed again, after that. YAY!

Since the weather warmed up, we were able to go out more and have various adventures. 

these flowers appear later in the monththese flowers appear later in the month

these flowers appear later in the month

The month started off with the Easter celebrations in the Catholic world, but Romania is an Orthodox country so we had Easter on the 8th, 1 week later. 

During the first week of the month we were quite busy, and we couldn't wait for Easter to come so we'd relax a bit. Luckily, in Romania Easter Monday is a bank holiday so everyone stays home to relax and eat.

At 11 pm on Satuday we went to the church to to hear a bit of the mass and to bring home the "Light" - or a lit candle. All Romanians do this for good fortune in the "new year" [from an agricultural point of view]. 

Check out this video for a little insight into how the midnight mass goes. 

many people heading towards the same churchmany people heading towards the same church
many people heading towards the same churchmany people heading towards the same church

many people heading towards the same church

The next day, on Sunday Easter we were supposed to go to A's parents' house. And so we did. They moved out of city, but luckily the city bus takes us close to their new place. We had to walk from the bus stop to their house because the usual minibus driver doesn't work during major holidays like Easter. 

A small feast was waiting for us there - see the picture below. That's a cheesecake that replaces the traditional pasca which is a bit different both in looks and in how's made. 

The slices with boiled eggs in the middle are a special meat loaf made only for Easter, called drob

You also get to see a bit of the countryside, from A's parents' balcony, in the pic below.

Bucharest adventures in April
Bucharest adventures in April

Some time later, A's birthday came. That day we had to go with the older cat to the vet. He wouldn't eat and he would throw up if he did. The vet said it's just a gastritis, and gave him some shots and home treatment. 

Everyone praised Whiskey the cat for his prettiness and for being such a good boy. 

The next day, in the evening we decided to have a bit of fun. Or to try to relax a bit. So we went to see a movie - A Quiet Place. You probably already read my thoughts on the movie, and if not, by following the link you can do so now.

he was in my arms and trying to hide :)

he was in my arms and trying to hide :)

We also had to go search for a specific cat food, that we learned we can find at this rather new mall that opened not too far from us - some 6 tram stop away, and that's close. Check out this post about the public transportation in Bucharest.

There was an interesting place where they would only sell French fries. Of course we had to try them out. And I personally wasn't impressed - only 2 guys taking orders and serving people, so I had to wait some 30 minutes? The taste wasn't impressive either, but the fries were made on the spot which also added to the waiting time. 

And while I did say these were fries, they weren't thin like at McDonalds, but thick type, wedges. I also think they needed to be cooked for longer and maybe at lower temperature? 

In any case, we saw another location downtown, in the Old City Center area which is easier for us to get to. 

Bucharest adventures in AprilBucharest adventures in AprilBucharest adventures in April

One day A asked me for avocado on toast. So I made some. Not much to say there, but it's too small to make a separate entry on it. 

Toast the bread. Cut open the avocado, remove the pit. Slice it up or mash it and spread on the toast. Then serve.

I discovered avocado tastes better with a dash of salt on top. If you think this is weird, wait for my entry on the weird foods I sometimes eat and enjoy. 

Bucharest adventures in April

After some time, I decided to make some doughnuts. I decided to follow a Romanian recipe for "Little Lies" which I have to tweak. The recipe I had gave me some cookies or biscuits instead of donuts, which is probably why they're called "Little Lies" -in Romanian minciunele.

However, they were pretty sweet and worked well with tea and coffee, and there's that at least. 

I have this cat shaped cookie cutter and I decided to make some of them shaped like cats, because why not? I got the cookie cutter as a freebie from a box of margarine. It was meant to make cute looking sandwiches for your kids, but that's too much work for me. 

Once I find recipe that I like better, I'll share it. Till then, just a sneak peak at my Little Lies.

all dough-nuts should be covered in confectioner's sugar, if you ask me.
all dough-nuts should be covered in confectioner's sugar, if you ask me.

all dough-nuts should be covered in confectioner's sugar, if you ask me.

At some point we went to a cafe for the first time in ages. Or it felt like that to me. I think we had hot chocolate and tea? or something like that, I completely forgot.

Bucharest adventures in AprilBucharest adventures in April

Some time after that, I decided to turn some old shirts I had into pillow cases. I like doing things myself the most - this makes me feel accomplished. 

The blog entry will appear in June, [which is awesome because I discovered some pictures I forgot to add] however the idea was born in April and was mostly performed in May. If you read this entry when it's published, the link won't work, but if you read it some time in June, out of curiosity, it will work. You can have a little sneak-peak below.

Of course, my oldest cat decided to help out.
Of course, my oldest cat decided to help out.Of course, my oldest cat decided to help out.

Of course, my oldest cat decided to help out.

We also had some work to do, and we still did go out after that. But nothing much happened, except for the adventure we had outside of the city, in search of an outlet. I'll let A talk about it, as it was her idea and i'll just add the pictures in.  

A month ago we decided to go to an outlet store that was suppose to be in an area we haven't visited before. However, we had no idea of how this trip was going to go. We sure didn't expect what was coming ~

First of all, we got in the bus and as we looked on the map, realized it was gonna take at least 22 long stops. 22!! We never really went that far. Beside that, the day was quite hot, it was a rush hour, and the bus was packed with people. So half way there i started feeling nauseous and like i had no air...many of the people in the bus seemed to have no problems as if they were used to it ~

An hour later (no joke) we finally got off the bus. It was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and even tho we went to other malls that are somehow out of city, this one was different. The entire area didn't seem safe at all, there was a lot of shadiness. We crossed the street and started walking by these what seemed to be abandoned houses and trying to make sure no stray dogs were gonna bite our ass. It wasn't comfortable at all and i felt quite unsafe...after walking a while trying to gather all our courage we ended up crossing a street to get to a railway and in that moment, we started to think what the hell are we doing. The mall didn't see to be in sight, actually there was nothing like a mall in the area at all. That's when we decided to turn around and go back as we didn't want to end up being there at night. 

After more waiting for the bus, it finally arrived and we got in. But, since we were already out, we thought it would be a good idea to go to another mall that was located somewhere halfway through the trip. And so we did.

Well, this mall was a lot better. We got to rest a bit while exploring it. I was looking for some sport shoes and at the very least they had some options. When we got really tired we went outside to a cafe to sit and eat something. We had some fries and a burger that were not impressive. The burger was supposed not to have any onion, but i found a big layered slice of onion in it. At least it looked funny. 

At that point we just wanted to get back home but didn't know how. We started looking at tram schedules to see which one we need to take, and spent some 15 minutes waiting in a stop. Then we realized that might not be the right stop as the tram we were waiting for somehow turned into a different one with another route. Pretty discouraged we went back at the mall and after waiting some more and trying to figure things out, we called a taxi.

Luckily at least that was uneventful. The taxi came fast and took us home, where we finally arrived home, 6 hours after heading out in the first place. This trip gave me some interesting feelings ~

Bucharest adventures in AprilBucharest adventures in April
Bucharest adventures in AprilBucharest adventures in April

First of all, i thought i knew the city pretty well so i didn't expect getting lost. I also thought its really hard to get lose and especially not be able to locate the transportation i need easily. Then there was the uncomfortable feeling of the area, which i didn't feel very often at all. Bucharest is generally a safe city with no problems, so i wonder where does that come from...
And the tiredness. I feel i'm becoming an old person since I got tired so fast. 

All in all this has been an interesting experience, but not one i am about to repeat anytime soon. The mall managers should definitely do a better job at explaining where its located so that shoppers don't put their hopes up in the first place....or maybe it was just a ghost mall that could never be found, o.o. Now that would be quite a twist....

Hopefully you didn't get too bored, if you managed to get to this point. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Thoughts at the end of the year [2017]

Publié le par Charly Cross

As I write this, 2017 is almost over. Clearly I must draw a line and summarize what happened this year. I should also create a sort of bucket list or New Year resolution at the end of the post. I posted a half-year conclusion in July or so, therefore one at the end of the year is a must.

Thoughts at the end of the year [2017]

One of the first things to happen to me, was to realize that full-time employment is not for me. And it's not as if I didn't try. See, I have a creative brain/ mind, and for me this translates into a difficulty to stick to a routine, to do what others [AKA bosses] tell me to do. I can do it but just short-term. Not to mention the effects full-time jobs had on my body and on the relationship with my partner.

We decided to focus our energies we know we can do, do them well, and try out new things. This basically means concentrating on the tasks and projects from the clients, this blog, and even starting a proper YouTube channel. I already uploaded a couple of videos there, and I only have a few views.

Another good thing that happened was for me to see a popularity increase for this blog. Again, it's not much, but seeing it has been viewed daily at least once, is a start. I started to post several times a week, I even have a "cultural" day, and things seem to be going well, even considering that now I'm technically on a break until I move the site. I'm also really excited about the short stories that will appear on the site.

On a personal level, my partner and me are now closer, we always hold hands when we go out, not to mention we're also almost always together. Can't tell you how happy I am, and not to mention less lonely. We got to experience many new thins this year, to visit new places - like the National Village Museum, try new treats like this ice cream. We even went on a ghost-hunt before Halloween, but we failed at seeing any ghosts.

Thoughts at the end of the year [2017]

I also started cooking more, though I don't really have what to show for, except these "artsy" crepes. I also started bullet journaling, however it evolved more into a planner kind of thing. In any case, it seems to help me stay more organized, and to show me that I am doing things, and not just waste my time. It also seems I managed to keep a more clean house when compared to last year. I don't know if it's thanks to planning, but I'm pretty sure it's related to actually being home.

From a financial point of view, 2017 wasn't the most abundant, but we were together and this mattered more than the money. I rather be poor and with my partner than being rich and without her. <3

I'm also proud of myself for studying more Mandarin, for proving to myself I can even complete DIY projects. Of course this is not much, and other people are much more advanced than me, but I have to start somewhere. I'm proud and happy because I feel my creativity reached new levels I didn't think possible, and I feel more worthy.

Thoughts at the end of the year [2017]

NEW YEAR RESOLUTION?

I never did something like this before, so I don't really now how to start.

  • workout more - make a habit out of it
  • walk more
  • cut the amount of swear words from my daily vocabulary
  • stop talking badly about others (ooops, I have a bad habit)
  • communicate more
  • continue with Mandarin (at least twice a week)
  • be less lazy
  • be less envious of others

I'll have to incorporate these into my planner somehow. I hope you had a good year, I pray the next one will be better, and for health for everyone.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. 

Pictures belong to their makers.

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Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-

Publié le par Charly Cross

We finally managed to visit this museum and document our visit through pictures. I didn't walk so much in ages! My feet are killing me - I'm writing this right after the visit, at a café where we stopped to get some rest. If I don't get distracted, I'll post the second part of the blog, next week. Why a second part? Please read on to find out!

We reached the museum by foot from the subway station - it's some 2 -3 bus stops away? At the entrance there were at least 4 tourist buses, and this meant the place was rather packed with people. The admission fee is 15 lei for adults, 4 lei for students, 200 or 300 lei if you want a guide [fee depends on the language you need the guide to speak], and there were a few other rates but I can't remember who or what were those for.

Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-

As far as I can tell, this is the main entrance. There is also a gift shop on the right, right across from the ticket booth. I really liked some of the stuff there, though I must say some seemed a bit overpriced. Not that I'm familiar with prices for this kind of products.

Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-

Sadly many houses were closed, so we couldn't see them on the inside. Well, A. [my partner] couldn't enter the houses anyways, though she tried - because of a hay allergy she has. There are also a few rules to follow, such as no smoking anywhere in the museum [though it's in the open] and no taking pics inside the houses. I would assume it's because the flash of the camera can ruin the colors of the decors.

Visitors are not allowed inside the house, with very few exceptions. So I entered a couple of houses, but only in the small entrance/hallway of the house, and not inside the proper rooms where the occupants used to live. You can only imagine why: on rainy days bringing in the mud would eventually ruin the floors, while also just stepping inside some of the houses would also cause damage.

I must add that many houses had either a wooden floor either floor made of dried out mud - a building material I noticed in the walls of the houses as well. This was a convenient building material in the 18th century, a place in time most these houses belonged to. I believe this is what kept them so cool and pleasant - there were 27 degrees Celsius [80.6 F?] outside.

Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-

If you wanted to go even cheaper, you'd make a half buried house, like the one below. I guess the insulation was better? I do wonder just how cold it was in winter, though? I couldn't go inside, but I must say the entrance looked creepy and claustrophobic.

Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-

There were also many vendors selling handmade things: clothes, home decors, jewelry, dolls, and other stuff. Pretty much what you could find in the gift shop, you could also find at this vendors, and then probably some extra. The prices were equally high, but we bought some cookies - but I only have a picture of one of them.

Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-

One of the vendors in front of this buried house was selling traditional alcohol, in special looking bottles. He had several shapes and sizes. While there was nothing wrong with opening the bottle up and drink, many were just for decorative purposes. Clearly, not for houses with pets or kids that can knock them over. The bottle below costs about 10 USD.

Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-

Speaking of drinks, there was one vendor selling a very strange summer drink. And what I mean by this s that it was refreshing, but very sweet as well. The drink's name is "braga" and it is made of cereals - read more about it here and here. I bought a glass, see below. My partner said her mother used to drink it a lot, and liked it a lot as well. My partner doesn't share the opinion. The drink is good, but like the articles point out, it looks really rustic and must be consumed really fast.

Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-

Another vendor was selling copper ware.  I will consider buying some pieces for our future home, after we have it. These copper pieces had a different color on the inside than on the outside, so I'm not sure this is how copper items are. In any case they look beautiful, don't you think?

Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-

Lastly, I shouldn't forget to mention the last vendor selling beauty products. We received each a sample of a scrub mask. I can't tell if it was good, but we might visit their shop outside the museum to get a product or two.

Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-

Like mentioned before, the museum has many types of houses, a couple of churches, wind and water mills. Most houses had fences, gates, and their original annexes. These annexes include old-fashioned ovens for baking the bread, dog houses, tool sheds, houses for the livestock. Now, on with the pictures of some of the houses.

Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-
Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-

This next yard and house are a unit, i believe. This house was not opened to the public, but it had an overall quiet feeling.

Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-
Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-

This was pretty much another household. I would assume its former inhabitants were more rich since the house was build on 2 levels and they also had this carriage. On the left of the "garage" there was an enclosed space - a tool storage unit, I believe.

Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-
Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-
Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-

This house was also pretty big, and the rooms were like a train's carriages, as you could easily see in the first picture. This was a rare sight though as most the other houses had separate rooms and no way to go from one into the other.

Visiting the National Village Museum -part1-

I believe the caption says it all at this point. People were shorter in the past. The doors and gates are short, but the rooms are plenty tall on the inside.

Judging by the time stamp, this extra construction was on the same land as the house.
Judging by the time stamp, this extra construction was on the same land as the house.

Judging by the time stamp, this extra construction was on the same land as the house.

the colors on the bed were more vibrantthe colors on the bed were more vibrant
the colors on the bed were more vibrant

the colors on the bed were more vibrant

WOW, What an adventure! Both the visit and writing this - or better said, editing the pictures.

There 's a part 2 coming up soon, with the animals we saw at the museum! And in the park surrounding it. I just hope it will be soon enough.  [I hope there aren't too many mistakes and errors in this entry.]


© Charly Cross 2013 – present. previously known as The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved.

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Praying - things we should know -

Publié le par Charly Cross

Everyone makes mistakes, even me with my blog, and the things I post here. You can read about one such mistake here, if you're curious.

It's not my place to judge people, but I think that if we want G-D to give us something, we must pray the right way, and to try avoid making some mistakes.

Several years ago I decided I should be more spiritual, to pray more, be kinder, less negative. I took a notebook and wrote in it some guidelines for "how to pray." Surely I found this guide somewhere on the internet, but for the love of what's good, I can't remember.

This entry is an adaptation of that info - simply because I didn't agree with everything in there, and I also think some other stuff should be added.

Matthew 6:7-8 New International Version (NIV)

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Prayer is a highly personal experience

For me this is true, as you could probably tell from this blog entryEveryone whose prayers have been answered will probably tell you the same thing. This is not something that can be explained.

What I can say is that the prayer is a tool helping us to attune and communicate with G-D - or whatever other Higher Being or Creator you believe in.

not my picture

not my picture

 Don't pray just in time of need

I find this to be wrong, though it can be effective if you pour all your soul into it. I think that if you want to live a more peaceful and fulfilling life, trying to pray on a more regular basis is [or works] better.

You can compare this to a person whose teeth look perfect - surely they visit their dentist quite often, brushes and flosses their teeth twice each day.

Be thankful while praying

Forgetting to thank G-D for everything positive in our lives is something many are guilty of. Including those that pray on a regular basis.

What can you be thankful for? The clothes on your body, the house you live in, the neighborhood you live in [if you like it there and feel safe], the food on your table, your job [especially if the income is acceptable], for having people that care about you in your life, for being able to have pets [if you have them], and so on.

These were just examples and are the things I'm generally thankful for while praying. Every little thing does matter and you should be thankful for, including your health, looks [if you consider yourself pretty, or you particularly like something about yourself like your eyes or hair], talents [like cooking, baking, drawing, fashion style, applying make-up].

Some of these attributes sound vain to be thankful for, but I can guarantee there is at least one person out there that wishes they had what you have - material or not. You can walk, talk, see, read, sing? Be thankful for all of those since there are folks that can't perform these actions.

What to pray for

You can pray for everything or anything, including for world peace. For better and higher chances of the prayer to be answered, just ask for small things and one thing at a time.

For instance, you lost your job [or were forced to quit?] when praying, thank your Divinity for all the jobs you had in the past and ask Them to help you find another suitable one quickly.

We can even ask for help in becoming mentally stronger, better people [less negative, less critical of others], in finding a new hobby, a new partner, in overcoming problems that seem very complicated, or even forgiveness.

We can pray for forgiveness for ourselves or for others. Maybe you lied to someone and now you feel bad, but still don't have the courage to confess to them? Ask G-D for forgiveness, but try not to lie anymore in the future. If someone did something hurtful towards you, you probably can't let go of those negative emotions so easily. Ask the Divine to help you with that, and ask the Divine to forgive that person's mistakes.  [I did this and it felt liberating.]

not my quote not my picture

not my quote not my picture

 Acknowledge you're wrong or sinful

This segment goes against Christian teachings of confessing and stuff. We all do things we're very ashamed of later on [what? it's just me? hmmm]. Sometimes those actions feel too heavy, and we're too embarrassed to confess them to a priest [if that's part of your belief system].

Telling G-D during a prayer about those things can be liberating. Not many people know what you did, but G-D DOES know. The Divinity knows everything about you. Admitting that doing this or that was wrong and asking for forgiveness can help. [It did help me, I felt less tormented].

When and where to pray

You can pray at any time, in any place. It is however better to find a quiet time and place to do so. For instance, you could pray while showering or taking a bath, right before falling asleep, when everyone else is asleep or away.

The most important thing to try and remember is that you should not be disturbed. You should silent your phone too, if you receive too many texts, calls and notifications.  You don't have to be in a church [or similar type of building] to pray. You don't even need a picture of your Deity around you.

Faith is crucial

No mater who you pray to or what for, you must be certain 100% that They hear you and that They will answer. It's not enough to say "Oh, my god's name is this, and they DO exist... blahblahblah." No! You must feel with every cell of your body that that Creator exists and that They love you and will send you what you ask for.

When you start communicating with Them, you have to be aware of Their presence in and around you: you wouldn't be here without Them, and you wouldn't have everything you own without Them.

May God look over From His Holy Dwelling and may he strike all those who hate His People with a wink of an eye

Behold here is the Lord rising and standing on a plumb-line Giving them a cup of poison but not wine

Pronunciation:

Yash'kef Elohim mima'on kod'sho veyach kol sonei amo keheref ayin

Hineh Hashem kam venitzav al anach yash'kem lechos ra'al aval lo yayin

I have no words to express how much I like this song, and how well it helps me get into a praying state of mind. It also helps me be more aware of G-D and His presence in my life.


©Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. The song and lyrics belong to Sagiv Cohen.

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5 Romanian etiquette rules

Publié le par Charly Cross

In my previous post I mentioned I would make an entry related to etiquette in Romania. So, here it is! These are stuff I either saw myself or was told.

1. Shoes - on or off?
these are my shoes. my picture.

these are my shoes. my picture.

In Romania, you take your shoes off when entering your own home, or the home of those close to you - friends and family, unless told otherwise. It helps with keeping the house clean(er).

 

You keep your shoes on when you go visit people you're not very close to - say, if you meet the parents of your partner for the first time. Some of these people you don't know very well, might ask you to take your shoes off when entering their home.

 

  • why should I take my shoes off? If it rained, chances are your shoes are dirty and your host doesn't want their floors or carpets to get dirty, especially if the house looks as clean as a 5 star hotel room.
 
2. Bring something when you visit someone

In the past, when paying a visit, it was a sign of good manners not to go empty handed. People were usually bringing something symbolic, like flowers, something sweet, or something to drink. The "something sweet" was something home made, but bought stuff were also OK. A casserole of home cooked food also works well - remember this is something symbolic. If the younger generations do this these days, it must be because they grew up seeing their parents do it.

 

While this habit might seem weird for some, consider that Romania used to be a communist country and during the regime the living conditions were harsh. For some people it would have been a financial burden to receive and entertain guests, so the guests were considerate towards this effort by bringing something to the "party."

 

3. Greet your neighbors when meeting them

5 Romanian etiquette rules

This applies for when meeting them in the common areas of the apartment building, as many Romanians still live in apartment buildings. If you happen to meet any of your neighbors, they will say "hello" and the polite thing to do is to reply. Easy, right?

 

When visiting friends, you might encounter their neighbors and they might say "hello" even if they don't know you. It costs nothing to reply back with a "hello." Greeting random people they see waiting around their building is not that weird since many Romanians are renting out their apartments. Your friend's neighbors might think you're renting a place there and you're new.

 

4. Greet your cashier

All cashiers I went to, would say "hello" to all their customers, me included. They would also say "bye bye" after giving them their change and receipt. The client is supposed to answer to both greetings. This gesture sure doesn't cost nor time nor money. I generally say "thanks" before leaving. I sometimes add "have a nice day" as well.

 

5. Speaking of the change... Don't expect it in full
this is my picture

this is my picture

Let' assume you're supposed to receive 7.37 ... well, let's just say you'll receive 7.35 instead, and demanding the extra 0.02 is nowadays considered a bit weird, if not quite rude. The cases when you'll receive your full change is rare (I only saw it happening at one supermarket- Kaufland) The coins of the 0.01 value (1 ban) are generally disregarded by most people. I don't think the 0.05 coins (5 bani) are too popular either.

 

Don't ask me how much money I lost this way. However, you'll be surprised to learn or see just how many Romanians simply leave all the coins in their change to the cashier. They might take the 0.5 coin (50 bani) but not the 0.1 coins (10 bani).

 


disclaimer: i don't own the pictures in this post, they belong to their respective creators. i just found them online.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Please think twice before adopting a pet!

Publié le par Charly Cross

This is not a sad story, but rather one that might make your blood boil to the point where you want to smash something. But let's start with the beginning.

 

Back in November I was coming back from buying some groceries. As I was opening the door to the apartment building where I live, this little [mostly black] cat dashed right in with me. I have no idea where it came from, but it sure wasn't shy. This little fellow simply followed me home. So I took her in... Lucky that my two 7 and 6 year old male cats didn't try to kill her, but she wasn't happy with their presence either.

In the end, it all worked out just fine. see below:

In the end, it all worked out just fine. see below:

Please think twice before adopting a pet!

This black furry thing wasn't shy nor scared of being touched or even handled. I quickly discovered this was a female cat. "Sweet! I never had a female cat before" I thought to myself. Of course, I talked to my friend about it, and we decided to keep her for a while, until we find a more suitable furrever home. The little cat went in heat in about 2 - 3 weeks after finding her. Her screaming sounded as if someone was torturing her to death. I waited till it passed, and then got her spayed. Quietness returned.

sleepy Milky <3

sleepy Milky <3

There are more reasons I need a new home for Milky - this is what I named her. Ironic given her color, right? but it's mostly because she likes to nurse on tshirts and pants of a certain texture. She also LOVES milk, so now the name seems more fitting.. The most important reason is that we will be leaving the country this year [hopefully soon], and there is no way to accommodate 3 cat at the new place [with some relatives until we find a job, and a place of our own].

So we posted a few "up for adoption ads" for Milky.  A few nights ago I received this phone call from an older lady showing interest in Milky [the female cat]. We decided to meet the next day, with me bringing the cat to her place. Said and done.

I wrapped the cat in a blanket as there was no need for a cat carrier, and off we went to meet the lady. Luckily, she lived some 3 bus stops away, and this means easily reachable by foot as well. As soon as the lady saw the cat, she melted -"a good sign" I thought to myself.

Please think twice before adopting a pet!

She led us to her place - some 5 minutes by foot away from the bus stop, on a quiet street. When we entered, I was requested to take off my shoes. She had a good point for it: that place was SO clean and everything nicely arranged. [I will most likely address etiquette rules regarding wearing shoes indoors, in the next post. Let's just say it is not really polite to ask your quests to remove them.]

I told the lady everything she needed to know about the cat, I showed the cat where the litter was, and I was ready to leave. Right before leaving, the lady informed me it is customary to give a little something in exchange for the cat, so she had prepared some bananas and a box of chocolates.  I took that, my blanket, and I returned home.

Later in the evening, she called however I couldn't pick up the phone. I called her back the next morning... The lady informed me she wanted to return the cat! Yes, you read that right - to return the cat after she promised she would take good care of her and all! She complained that Milky cried, that she went on the opened window, and that the cat wanted to suck her pajamas at night. Apparently she couldn't sleep because of all these! Other than the clothes sucking, all the cats go on open windows and cry in a new house!

1. if you're going to adopt a cat, expect her to cry at least the first night if she's sociable, or to hide if she's less sociable. dogs and puppies also cry the first night or two.

2. your new cat or dog is an ALIVE CREATURE! it is definitely NOT a toy, piece of clothing or some other thing you can just return the next day because you changed your mind!

3. having a pet is NEARLY identical to having a human baby! it requires your attention and it needs you!

Do expect your new companion to give you some headaches, but seriously, children are no different.

Milky literally LOVES knocking things over because they stand in her way... or in what he thinks is HER place.Milky literally LOVES knocking things over because they stand in her way... or in what he thinks is HER place.

Milky literally LOVES knocking things over because they stand in her way... or in what he thinks is HER place.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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December adventures in Bucharest

Publié le par Charly Cross

You probably wondered what I have been up to during my long absence.. Or not. If you do, I'll present you with the short version. It's not like I've been able to do much anyways.
 
 
First off, unlike most of the previous years, this time around we managed to get a Christmas tree. It was a small potted one because we felt bad to bring in a big one that was cut. plus it would have been troublesome and we have cats too.
December adventures in Bucharest

Among the many things that happened, there were some fun moments too. For starters, we went to a well known Christmas Market before New Years. The Market opens every Christmas for about a week before Christmas, and this year we actually went there too early - the Market preparations were still underway and the place was sorta deserted. Except for the workers, of course, who were suffering the cold to make the place pleasant for the future visitors.

 

Because of this, we ended in a cafe that was selling mulled wine as well. That was some really good mulled wine. See a pic below. We could sit outside because despite the cold, it didn't snow. The place, like many others that left their terraces open through autumn and winter, had special heaters that also gave off a red light. It was really cozy as we also had blankets to cover with.

December adventures in Bucharest

Next, you can see a snapshot video of another Christmas market .. again at closing time.

The second time we went we were more lucky, and we got to see most of the attractions we were there for. During this period farmers from all corners of the country bring local products, which include a big variety of cold meats and cheese. Along with that we also saw some of the popular Spanish Churros, fish and chips booths, as well as pretzels shops. Almost each seller also offered mulled wine of different flavors at a price for about $2 euro a cup.

 

The weather was terribly cold, below 0 C but that didn't stop us from enjoying the show for about 20 minutes (we didn't last for longer haha). In the meanwhile we decided to get some fish and chips and enjoy the hot food and mulled wine... along with a "freebie" cup that stays filled with Pepsi these days. "freebie" because the price for the mulled wine was double. 

 

December adventures in Bucharest

A stage was placed in the center of the Market where a traditional performance was taking place. This is a popular Romanian celebration that happens every New Years Eve. Called ''capra'' or ''ursul'', which literally means ''the goat'' and ''the bear," respectively. The event features people dressed in bear and goat outfits dancing around and putting up a show. We even saw a ''baby bear'' this year! The "baby bear" was just a kid dressed in a bear costume, but he was really adorable! See below a bit of footage from the Bear Dance performance:

People don't only put on the outfits for this festival, but also walk around the street beating the drums and singing for days before the New Year. A few groups came downstairs on our street and almost stopped the traffic while they were performing haha.
 

What we really went there for wasn't available - some Hungarian treats called Kurtos Kalacs which are amazing!! These sweet rolls are topped with all sort of nuts, sugar, cinnamon, and even chocolate. Last year we waited in a huge line just to get 2 of these, but this year none of the sellers were there. Such a pity! :(

 

After we finally had enough of the cold weather we headed over to Second Cup - a Canadian coffee chain for some coffee. We got there about 20 minutes before they closed so I guess that was totally lucky.

 

mulled wine and disappointing coffeesmulled wine and disappointing coffees

mulled wine and disappointing coffees

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Waking Up Early IS Possible!

Publié le par Charly Cross

What's up guys?

 

This entry is not motivational, or at least that's not my current intention. What I want to talk about is what I noticed that changed since I started waking up early.

 

βΑ¢ΚŠτØℜϒ  - that should read backstory, in case you can't see the characters-

I work as a freelance writer for 5 and a half years now. Like most writers and freelancers I discovered that I'm more inspired to write at night - not to mention that my days were also filled with other activities and chores.

 

This meant I would end up going to bed really and I mean REALLY late. Think of 1 am which slowly and steady reached 3 and 4 am, sometimes even 6 or 7 am, just to finish a task.

 

I need to sleep at least 8 hours every night, so I would wake up not earlier than 10 am. During 2015 I would wake up at 1 pm or even 2 pm at times, even if I was asleep at 4 am.  This wasn't good for me ... mentally.

 

tip: ƒ¡ηР¡ηšΡ¡ℜα†¡Øη! - that reads "find inspiration!"

I also was [and still am] watching the videos posted by Grace about her daily life in Japan. I watched them and I started feeling ashamed of myself.

 

I'm not saying she leads a perfect life, but in my opinion hers seems more put together than mine. She's also a blogger and a freelancer, so I kinda started looking up to her.

 

I guess her videos started to inspire and motivate me [if just a little bit] to want to be more proactive in taking control of my life. But the first step was to control my sleeping pattern.

 

I needed a change. And the change came.

 

The Change - that reads "the change"

I decided I should search for a 9-to-5 job to make sure I earn more money - I really want to buy a house [=house around here means apartment, and translated to a place that I could call "my own"].

 

This type of job means I would have to wake up earlier than what I was used to in the past few years. MUCH EARLIER. Of course, that is easier said than done. And it also meant I would have to go to bed earlier as well.

 

I forgot how I started doing it, but I did. I most likely started to set the alarm to ring throughout the morning and to make an effort to get up from the bed each time - I would go use the toilet or drink some water. It did took a lot of will power, but it had to be done. But then I would go back to sleep and repeat till 1 or 2 in the afternoon, every 2 hours.

 

TIP:  If you want to make sure you get up at a certain hour, place the alarm across the room: you'll be forced to get up from the bed to stop it

While I did manage to start adjusting to being waken up throughout the morning, I still wouldn't manage to be in bed earlier.

 

However, the "secret" was to remain awake at an earlier hour: say, 9 or 10 am. In the evening, the body would be too tired to be able to still stay awake till wee hours. I managed to do that and it started working. My sleeping pattern started to slowly improve.

 

In the end I did find a job and I was forced to wake up at 6 am. It was still way early for me. That job wasn't meant to be, but I did learn some stuff, so it wasn't a complete waste of time. Plus I got paid too, so I can't complain too much - plus I'm trying to be positive here ;) .

 

†Η€ ρℜ€š€η† - that reads "the present"

Currently I wake up at 8 am, though the alarm is set for 7:51 am, no exceptions allowed. This means that even on Saturdays and Sundays I continue waking up at the same hour. I go to bed at midnight sharp and I get enough sleep.

 

Of course, I was forced to go to bed later than midnight, however I still insisted in waking up at 8. I only lingered in bed till 9 for two days [one of them being today] and I'm not happy about it.

 

I do consider that sometimes is OK to wake up a bit later, especially if there is nothing waiting to be done on the spot. I just need to make sure this doesn't slowly revert to my old habits.

 


©Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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