vineri, 30 septembrie 2011

In sfarsit a venit toamna! :-) Si odata cu ea, inspiratia pentru noi proiecte. Iata un joc cu octogoane, care mi-a placut foarte mult. V-a iesi o fata de masa si va mai exista si un "pui" al ei, din aceleasi materiale, primite de mult, de la prieteni de departe si lucrate acum cu mult drag.

The autumn is finally here and along with the colder weather, it brings new ideas and a stronger drive for patchwork. Lately, I played with some octogons and I made the top for a table runner. There will be also a smaller one, made from the same fabrics, fabrics I got some time ago from dear friends from afar and put to work now with great joy.

Si asa cum se spune, sculele bune fac jumatate din treaba, am folosit tipare cumparate in ultima excursie si creion special. Intr-adevar, conteaza cu ce lucrezi, toate octogoanele si patratele au iesit perfect, s-au taiat perfect, s-au cusut perfect si s-au potrivit perfect, fara mari batai de cap. Imi place cum a iesit!

And as they say, that good tools means half of job done, I used templates bought in our last trip and a water erasable pen. It really does matter what tools you use! Everything went perfect and easy. I like how everything turned up!


sâmbătă, 24 septembrie 2011

Am gasit imaginile din campingul De Oude Wilg luate acum trei ani, la prima noastra vizita acolo. Locul e la fel de linistit si placut, iar gazda e la fel de amabila si de prietenoasa.

I found the pictures we took in Camping De Oude Wilg three years ago, when we first visited the place. It is as peaceful and nice as it was then and the host as kind and friendly as we knew her then.

luni, 19 septembrie 2011

Ultima etapa a calatoriei noastre a avut loc in Romania, unde am regasit acelasi aer cald si uscat de care fugisem cu cateva zile in urma. Pamantul era pur si simplu brazdat de crapaturi formate din cauza lipsei de apa... Ma uitam la iarba arsa de seceta si-mi plangea sufletul gandindu-ma la ploaia si racoarea din vestul continentului... Ne-am cazat in prima noapte la un camping langa Arad, la Minis, camping deschis de un... olandez :-); se numeste Camping Route Roemenie, foarte placut, iata ceva imagini:

The last part of our trip was in Romania of course :-). Here we found the same dry and hot air from which we ran off three weeks ago. The soil was so dry, that it became cracked... I was looking at the yellow dry grass and my heart was crying thinking about the rain and the colder air we encountered in the western part of Europe... We camped near Arad, in Minis, in a camping site held by... a Duchtman :-); the name of the site is Camping Route Roemenie
Very nice place, very nice people, very good prices, here are some pictures:

Camping Route Roemenie, Arad

Camping Route Roemenie, Arad

A doua zi am pornit spre Sibiu, click aici, un foarte frumos oras romanesc, plin de istorie, ales "Capitala culturala europeana in 2007". Iata ceva imagini:

The next day we went to Sibiu, click here, a beautiful Romanian city, full of history sites, which had been "The Cultural Capital City of Europe in 2007". Here are some pictures:

Sibiu, Romania
Sibiu, Romania
Sibiu, Romania
Ne-am cazat la un alt camping, in Carta, detinut de o... olandeza :-), indragostita de Romania, Camping De Oude Wilg
Iata si un alt link folositor daca vreti sa treceti prin zona: click aici 

We camped again in Carta, in another camping site own by a Dutch women, Camping De Oude Wilg
And if you plan a holiday, you can find this link useful: click here 

Avem multe fotografii facute in zona, care este superba, dar nu reusesc sa le gasesc acum. Promit ca imediat ce le voi gasi sa le postez, ca sa va umpleti sufletul cu frumusete si mintea cu planuri de vacanta ;-). 

We have many pictures taken in that beautiful area, but I cannot find them now. I promise to find them and to show them to you all, so you can fill your souls with Romania's wonderful nature and your minds with plans for unforgetable holidays ;-).

vineri, 16 septembrie 2011

Urmatoarele vizite pe care le-am facut au fost minunate. Mai intai am fost invitate, eu si fiica mea, la o intalnire a membrelor unui grup de lucru manual. In engleza, ele numesc grupul si intalnirile periodice "quilting bee". Se aduna toate la cate una dintre ele si lucreaza, isi arata progresele facute, discuta, planuiesc noi intalniri sau activitati. E o atmosfera destinsa, placuta. In ziua stabilita, dimineata devreme am fost gata de plecare. Eram curioase si emotionate in acelasi timp. Drumul a fost o placere, ne-au condus Jolanda si apoi Jilline, iar privelistea a fost minunata. Ne-am delectat privirile cu casele si gradinile olandeze, atat de frumoase, de bine intretinute, decorate cu gust si discrete totusi. O placere sa le admiri! Ferestre mari, foarte putin acoperite de perdele, lasand sa se vada interioarele mobilate simplu, practic si elegant, seara imbaiate in lumini calde, galbui, scazute. Intr-o seara am zarit pe fereastra unei case, intr-un living cald luminat, un domn care canta la pian... ca intr-o scena de film... A fost o clipa magica!...

We had two more visits to make and they were wonderful. First, me and my daughter were invited to take part in a quilting bee. We were anxious and curious. We went at Els' house, where the bee was held that day, and we were impressed by the driving style of Jilline, very smooth and cautious. I felt completely safe and this relaxed me. I had the chance of admiring the beautiful dutch houses and their lawn and gardens, so well maintained, so nicely and still discreetly decorated. Big windows, almost without curtains, letting the inside to be freely seen; elegant, practical and simple furniture, warm lights... One evening I saw through one window, in a warm low light, a man playing the piano... like in a movie scene... It was something magic in that picture!...

Am ajuns la Els si am intrat intr-o casa simpla, frumoasa, discreta, cu o gradina nu foarte mare, dar bine ingrijita, cu un lac mic artificial plin de pestisori aurii, inconjurat de ghivece mari cu flori. In casa ne-am intalnit cu membrele grupului, toate foarte deschise, foarte amabile, care ne-au coplesit cu generozitatea lor. Gazda a fost foarte atenta cu noi si ne-a ajutat astfel sa ne simtim in largul nostru. S-a discutat, s-a glumit, s-a ras, s-a lucrat, am fost servite cu prajituri, ceaiuri si cafea, totul intr-o maniera placuta, relaxanta. Si cum putea fi altfel, cand am fost mereu supravegheate discret de un mic elf, care zambea pe o masuta in spatele nostru :-). 

We arrived at Els', a nice, simple, discreet house, with a nice garden; there was a little pond with fish, surrounded by pots with flowers. We entered the house and we met the ladies from the bee; they were all kind and smiling and they ovewhelmed us with their generosity. The lady of the house served everyone with cookies, tea and coffee and soon the room was filled with talking and laughing, while everybody was working at their projects. Everything under the discreet supervision of a small elf, who was smilling on a small table behind us.

Els, Joke, Jilline, Sylvia, Simone, Jolanda, va multumim pentru o dimineata minunata!

Els, Joke, Jilline, Sylvia, Simone, Jolanda, thank you all for a lovely morning!

Am revenit acasa la prietenii nostri dupa un drum la fel de frumos ca dimineata. Pe seara voiam sa mergem la magazinul Johannei, ca ultim contact cu oamenii deosebiti si obiectele frumoase din Olanda, caci dimineata devreme urma sa plecam spre tara. Ma incercau sentimente amestecate, eram un pic ametita de toate cate vazusem si facusem, simteam ca se apropie plecarea si stresul incepea sa puna stapanire pe noi... voiam totusi sa il ignoram si sa ne prefacem ca nu plecam in doar cateva ore... Imi parea rau ca scurta noastra vacanta se sfarsea deja si as fi tras de timp ca de un elastic daca as fi putut... 

We returned home to our friends. In the evening we intended to visit Johanna's beautiful shop, as a kind of farewell to the special people and to the lovely dutch decorations, for in a few hours we were about to start the long trip to our home. We were having mixed emotions, we were sad to leave, sad that our so short vacation was already over, we were also trying to put the stress of leaving in the morning way back in our minds... I would have pulled the time to strech it like a gum, if I could... 

In acea noapte parca si vremea a fost suparata, nu doar noi. A plouat cu furie cateva ore bune, aruncand rafale de ploaie pe acoperisul rulotei, iar vantul ne-a zguduit cu putere. Era potrivire perfecta intre starea noastra sufleteasca si vreme. Tarziu in noapte, vijelia s-a oprit si am putut inchide ochii, cumva mai linistiti si impacati cu ideea plecarii. 

 That night even the weather was as upset as we were. It furiously rained for some hours, and the wind blew madly, shacking our caravan. It was a pefect match between the weather and our state of mind... Later in the night, everything slowly stopped and we could fall asleep, a little more calm and somehow in peace with the thought of leaving. 

Calatoria spre casa a decurs linistit, fara momente deosebite. Ne-am cazat in prima noapte la un mic camping undeva aproape de granita dintre Germania si Austria, un loc foarte frumos si linistit, numit Pension Schrottenbaummuhle, langa Fursteneck. Dimineata am avut posibilitatea sa vizitam Passau, iata cateva imagini:

The trip to Romania went well, no special moments. We slept in a small camping site at Pension Schrottenbaummuhle, near Fursteneck, in Germany, very close to the Austrian border. In the morning we passed through Passau, we made some pictures:

Pension Schrottenbaummuhle







joi, 15 septembrie 2011

Eram de cateva zile in Olanda si era momentul sa pregatim ceva bucate traditionale romanesti pentru prietenii nostri. Venisem pregatiti din tara cu aproape tot ce ne trebuia si nu puteam gasi acolo: malai, branza de burduf, ciolan afumat. Prima data am pregatit mamaliga cu branza de burduf si unt, alaturi de niste carnaciori nemtesti, caci in tara nu reusisem sa gasim rapid faimosii carnati de Plescoi. Am gatit cu emotie, sperand sa le placa tuturor. Se pare ca le-a placut :-). Numai la fotografii nu ma gandeam atunci, asa ca folosesc cateva imagini gasite pe internet.

We were in Netherlands for a few days now and we felt it was the moment to cook some traditional Romanian meals. We were prepared for this from home and I cooked with pleasure and a lot of excitement, hoping our friends would like the taste and the aromas. First I prepared a big Romanian polenta (it's a little more dense than the Spanish version and I make it adding a slice of butter and some thyme in the boiling water, for smoothness and flavor). On the plates we put some special kind of cheese, two slices of butter on top and then we added two-three spoons of hot polenta above all this. We also added on the plates some german sausages (we couldn't find the special Romanian kind of sausages we would have liked to have). Being nervous and excited, hoping for a good result, I never though of taking some pictures of the filled plates, so I will use some images found on the internet. 

Romanian polenta with cheese and butter
Se pare ca a iesit bine, desi ne-a fost greu sa mancam tot; acest fel de mancare e foarte satios, potrivit pentru serile reci de toamna si iarna, dupa efort fizic facut afara, in frig sau ger, romanii stiu asta :-).

It seems it was ok for almost everybody, but we all had difficulties in eating such a consistent meal; this is perfect for having it on late fall or winter evenings, after you made some physical effort in the yard. Of course, you can add a glass of red wine, simple or, if it is really cold outside, a hot red wine, spiced with a little sugar, some cinnamon and maybe a small seed of pepper. And if you would be among your family or friends, you would need nothing more! :-)

A doua mancare romaneasca nu putea fi alta decat celebra fasole cu ciolan afumat :-). Am facut pe toti sa saliveze, iar cainele era realmente in chinuri, din cauza mirosului aromat care se inalta din oala care forfotea usor pe soba. Eram bucuroasa ca mirosea atat de bine si ca toti erau foarte interesati de ce e in acea oala. Parca eram acasa si ne pregateam de Craciun, stiti mirosurile acelea din bucatarii, ceva racituri, poate paine la cuptor si ceva cozonaci... Ei, nebunie! :-) De data asta am avut succes total si s-a mancat tot! N-a apucat bietul caine cuminte nici macar un fir de carnita :-))).

The second traditional Romanian meal could only be the famous kidney beans with smoked pork. It is also a fall and winter meal, it is very easy to be made and it brought us total succes! :-))) While the meat was slowly boiling on the stove, with carot and celery root and onion, we were feeling like being in Romania two days before Christmas; this way of boiling the smoked pork is used for another special winter meal, made for the first time for the Christmas lunch. It was smelling so good, everybody was waiting to see and taste, the dog, the beautiful Simba, was looking at me with praying eyes :-))). Unfortunatelly for him, he didn't had the chance of at least one single byte, everything was gone in no time :-))). Sorry, Simba, next time! 

Beans with smoked pork
A treia mancare romaneasca a fost tochitura moldoveneasca cu mamaliguta, care a avut de asemenea succes. Nici de data asta Simba nu a gustat nimic, caci a fost cea mai rapida golire a farfuriilor din cate am vazut :-))).

The third traditional Romanian meal was something from Northen Moldova area we call Bucovina. It is also with polenta and it is also made from pork, this time the pork is cooked with a lot of onions, some garlic, salt and pepper, thyme and tomato piure and, mandatory, red wine. The sauce turned great and it was the second time poor Simba didn't get at least one byte, because the plates were empty in no time! :-)))

Moldavian pork with polenta
 Am fost la randul nostru rasfatati cu mancare buna; o data, cand era cald afara, am mancat un munte de cartofi prajiti, cu hamburgeri, carnati si salata. Alta data, vremea era umeda si rece, era innorat si trist totul, iar noi eram obositi. Atunci Jolanda ne-a pregatit o supa minestrone, calda, aromata, plina cu de toate, care a fost alegerea perfecta pentru acea zi mohorata. Cum spunem noi, supa aceea s-a dus direct la suflet. Dimineata era pregatit pentru noi un mic dejun copios si variat, cu ceai si cafea la alegere. Ei, dar am fost tratati si cu niste prajituri grozave, usoare si aromate, pe baza de aluat frantuzesc, o minune! In fiecare zi am baut ceaiuri parfumate, din care am cumparat si pentru acasa. Astfel, de cate ori bem din acel ceai, ne simtim conectati cu Jolanda si Reinier si parca suntem mai aproape de ei...

We also have been spoiled: once we ate a mountain of french fries, with hamburgers and sausages and salad. In another day, the weather was cold and wet, it was raining and the clouds were very low, it looked like late fall; we were tired and Jolanda made us a marvelous minestrone soup, that went straight to the soul, as we say. It was the perfect solution for that rainy day! Every morning we had rich breakfast in the cosy kitchen, with tea and coffee. And we have been also spoiled with some french pastry, with fruits and chocholate and lots of whipped cream, delicious! Everyday we drank tea, very good tea!, we bought some to have it at home also. Everytime we drink it, we feel connected to Jolanda and Reinier and we feel closer to them, inspite the distance between us...

Minestrone soup
Pastry with fruits

marți, 13 septembrie 2011

Am ajuns la prietenii nostri olandezi tarziu, cand linistea noptii se lasase de mult peste fire. Incercand sa nu-i trezim, am campat in curtea lor si ne-am pregatit de somn. Dar, desi am incercat sa nu facem zgomot, tot am reusit sa-i trezim, mai ales ca ei ne asteptau de ceva vreme. Oameni grijulii, desi se culcasera, cumva tot asteptau sa sosim. Dupa cateva cuvinte de bun sosit, ne-am culcat, caci eram cu totii obositi. Dimineata ne-am bucurat pe indelete de reintalnirea cu prietena noastra draga si de revederea casei in care am petrecut clipe minunate in calatoriile din anii trecuti. La pranz ne-am reintalnit cu prietenul nostru drag, cu care am ras povestind despre iesirea lui in noapte sa verifice cine a parcat masina si rulota pe aleea din fata casei lui. Eram din nou impreuna cu oameni dragi, iar asta ne facea fericiti.

We arrived at our friends' house very late, when the silence of the night was covering the little sleeping village. Trying to make as little noise as possible, we camped in the yard and we prepared ourselves for the night. But somehow we managed to woke them up, because they were waiting for us, as we say, they were sleeping with one eye opened :-). After our friend came to us to check if we were there and not someone else, everybody went to sleep. In the morning, we enjoyed meeting our lady friend and in the afternoon we met our dear friend again. We laughed toghether remembering how he got up to check who was parked on his driveway. We asked him, laughing, why he didn't take his gun with him, when he went out of the house to check the yard, because he couldn't have recognized the car (it was our parents' car) :-))). Well, we were again in the house of our dear ones, and that made us happy.

Prima excursie am facut-o la Hattem, un orasel superb, cu case vechi, impecabil pastrate, plin in acea sambata de tarabe la care sute de oameni vindeau obiecte care le prisoseau. Am trecut prin fata fiecareia, fascinati de atmosfera. La un moment dat, un cor barbatesc a cantat cantece pescaresti, care aminteau puternic de melodiile germane. Extraordinar de frumos! Ne-am plimbat, am si cumparat cate ceva, dupa ce am exersat cu placere arta negocierii, desi in unele cazuri ar fi fost absolut inutil, preturile fiind simbolice. Ne-am simtit excelent, desi caldura si mai ales umezeala din aer ne-a stors de puteri. Drept urmare, prietenii nostri ne-au dus la o mica, dar foarte cocheta ceainarie, unde am baut cate un ceai sau o cafea si ne-am odihnit un timp. Regret ca nu am facut fotografii, dar mi-a fost teama sa folosesc aparatul de fotografiat in acel aer saturat de umiditate. Raman insa amintirile, foarte placute!

We made our first trip to Hattem, a beautiful little old town, with beautiful houses, filled with hundreds of people who were selling things no longer needed. We passed in front of every little selling point, admiring things and being fascinated by the atmosphere. At some point, a group of men sang some fishermen songs, sounding much like the german songs. Beautiful! We walked around, we also bought some things, we learned how to negociate and we enjoyed it, although in some cases it was useless, because the prices were symbolic. We had a wonderful time, although the intense heat and the high humidity exhausted us. So our friends invited us to a little teashop, a beautiful place, where we had tea and coffee and where we rested for a while. I regret not taking pictures that day, but I was afraid to use the camera in that humid air. We will have the memories, though, very pleasant ones!

Iata doua imagini din Hattem, gasite pe internet:

Here are two images from Hattem, found on the internet:

 Ziua urmatoare am facut o vizita intr-un coltisor de rai: casa, gradina si atelierul lui Bep, o doamna minunata, gazda perfecta alaturi de sot si de cele doua fiice pentru cei care i-au vizitat in acea zi. O vreme perfecta, o gradina minunata, un mic magazin plin cu tot ce ar putea visa cineva care se ocupa cu patchwork si quilting, cu cusaturi si cu decoratiuni. Las imaginile sa vorbeasca despre frumusetea acelei zile si a acelui loc minunat.

The next day we visited a small heaven: the house, the garden and the shop of Bep, a lovely lady, a perfect host toghether with her husband and her two daughters for those who decided to visit them that day. A perfect weather, a wonderful garden, a small shop filled with verything you could need / imagine for patchwork, quilting, stitching and decorations. I will let the pictures talk, the words are useless.

Pe drumul de intoarcere la casa pretenilor nostri am tacut tot timpul, coplesita de emotii...

On our way back home to our friends' house I was quiet, overwhelmed by emotions...

luni, 12 septembrie 2011

Acum doua zile ne-am intors dintr-o calatorie minunata, care a fost marcata din plin de surprize si de bucurii! Aparuta total pe neasteptate, posibilitatea de a vizita din nou Olanda si pe oamenii exceptionali pe care ii indragim acolo ne-a bulversat toate planurile pe care le faceam pentru aceast sfarsit de august si inceput de septembrie. Sunt multe de povestit si de aratat, asa incat voi fragmenta povestea in cateva postari succesive. 

Two days ago we returned home from a wonderful trip, filled with surprises and joy! Out of the blue, we could visit NL again and we could meet those wonderful people we know and love there. All of our plans for this end of the summer where absolete. There are many things to be told and shown, so I will split the story in several parts. 

O asemenea calatorie presupune etape precise de drum, iar prima este strabaterea Romaniei pana la Arad, orasul in care petreci o noapte de odihna, esentiala pentru etapa urmatoare. Totul a mers bine, fara griji. A doua zi dimineata devreme am iesit din tara si am inceput etapa ungureasca a traseului nostru. Ca o mica atentionare, un accident langa Budapesta ne-a intarziat vreo jumatate de ora. Din fericire pentru noi, accidentul a avut loc pe sensul opus celui pe care eram noi, asa ca nu a durat mult si am pornit iar la drum. 

For this kind of trip you must plan carefully how many kilometers you can make in one day and to take into consideration also the accomodation for the night. So, the first step is to cover the distance between Bucuresti and Arad, the exit gate to Hungary, in one day. We did it and we slept in Arad. Next morning, really early, we entered Hungary and we drove towards Budapest. There, like a kind of warning, we almost witnessed an accident, which took us a half an hour from our schedule. Luckily, the accident was not too serious and it was on the other part of the highway, so we soon went away towards Austria.

Ziua era frumoasa, insa calda, prea calda pentru noi, satui de canicula si de uscaciunea din Bucuresti. Aveam insa speranta ca vom gasi ploaia in Olanda, asa ca rezistam eroic :-))). 
Drumul a decurs fara probleme si am intrat in Austria dupa pranz. Si inca o surpriza: un alt accident, de data aceasta pe sensul nostru de mers, a blocat total circulatia. Cum coada de masini in spatele nostru a atins peste 30 de kilometri, s-a decis devierea circulatiei pe o ruta ocolitoare, pe drumuri nationale. Usor nelinistiti dupa doua ore de intarziere, alergand ca vantul pe autostrazile din Germania, ceea ce risca sa se produca s-a produs: am pierdut programarea pentru cazare la pensiunea din Koln, asa ca am decis sa ne oprim in Koblenz la un mic hotel pe care il stiam din anii trecuti. Da, numai ca era deja tarziu, receptia hotelului urma sa se inchida pentru noapte, iar noi inca ne straduiam sa intelegem cum sa ajungem la hotelul pe care il vedeam, dar la care se parea ca nu se putea ajunge. Tot felul de sensuri unice ne incurcau, asa ca am gasit doi tineri amabili, care ne-au aratat cum sa gasim intrarea hotelului. Si, cu doar 15 minute inainte de inchidere, am ajuns la hotel si am inchiriat o camera.

The weather was nice, but too hot for us; we were fed up with the hot and dry summer we had in Bucuresti. We knew though we would find the rain in NL, so we were patient. :-)))
The trip went well and we entered Austria early in the afternoon. And surprise: another accident, this time on our part of the highway, totally blocked the circulation. As the qeque behind us reached over 30 kilometers long, the authorities decided to redirect everybody to a different route, on national roads, which cost us two hours until we reached again the highway. We were concerned about the time we lost and so we flew on the German highways to try and regain the lost hours. And what was ment to happen happend: we lost the reservation we had in Koln at a small hotel, so we decided to stop in Koblenz to sleep. Ok, but it was already late in the evening, the reception at the hotel was about to close for the night, we weren't able to find the entrance at the hotel, we were trying different routes, the navigation system was constantly recalculating the route, until we finally found two nice young men who gave us a tip on how to avoid the traffic difficulties and find the entrance to the hotel. And, just 15 minutes before closing for the night, we reached the hotel and booked a room.

Koblenz seen from the highway

Dimineata, dupa un somn bun si un mic dejun excelent, am pornit iar al drum. Tinta: cel mai mare salon european de caravane si camping de la Dusseldorf. Din nou cald, foarte cald. Iata cateva imagini:

In the morning, after a good night sleep and a perfect breakfast, we hit the road again towards the greatest caravaning and camping fair, held in Dusseldorf. Again hot, very hot weather. Here are some pictures:

Dupa Dusseldorf, urmatoarea tinta a fost Olanda, unde am cumparat rulota pentru prietenii nostri romani si apoi, noaptea tarziu am ajuns la destinatia finala, casa prietenilor nostri olandezi. Prima parte a calatoriei noastre se incheiase; ne astaptau cateva zile in care sa ne bucuram de compania bunilor nostri prieteni olandezi si sa gasim ploaia pe care am asteptat-o toata vara acasa, in Romania :-))).

After Dusseldorf, we hit the road again towards NL, where we bought the caravan for our Romanian friends and then, late in the night, we reached our final destination: the house of our dutch friends. The first part of our trip was over, we were having a few days to enjoy the company of our dear Dutch friends and to finally find the rain we so much waited in Romania this summer :-))).