duminică, 26 februarie 2012

Vremea se incalzeste cate un pic si parca se simte primavara. Sigur, va mai fi inca frig, mai avem "zapada mieilor" de trecut, dar una peste alta pare ca iarna isi face bagajele :-). Cu gandul la iubire si la primavara, am lucrat doua inimioare ;-). 

The weather is improving slowly and it feels like the spring is not too far. Of course, it will still be cold, we will have to pass the so-called "lambs snow", early in March, but overall the winter is packing her bags :-). Thinking of love and spring, I made these two hearts ;-).

Pe 24 februarie avem sarbatoarea Dragobetelui, zi in care se spune ca pasarile incep sa-si pregateasca un cuib, iar tinerii isi arata public afectiunea pentru cel ales / cea aleasa, incepand o logodna pentru un an, care se poate termina cu nunta. Nu suntem foarte religiosi, desi suntem foarte legati de spiritualitate, deci stiam de mult de aceasta zi, dar nu i-am acordat o atentie speciala. Pana acum, cand o intamplare haioasa ne-a confirmat traditia populara. Timp de cateva ore, pe 19 februarie, un zgomot ciudat s-a auzit in bucatarie, undeva in zona hotei. Ne-a dat seama ca erau vrabiute care, credeam noi, inviorate de caldura soarelui (era o vreme superba!), cautau de mancare. De fapt, spre seara ne-am prins: incercau sa faca un cuib in gura de evacuare a burlanului :-))). Ingrijorati ca ar putea reusi cat noi nu am fi acasa, ne-am hotarat sa le speriem, dar nici batutul in burlan, nici pornirea periodica a hotei la viteza maxima nu le-a facut sa renunte. Atunci am demontat burlanul, am astupat gaura de evacuare cu un capac si am stabilit ca vom cumpara un capac cu grila, care sa elimine problema :-))). 

Avem multi vizitatori inaripati la geamul de la bucatarie (vrabiute, porumbei, chiar si o ciocanitoare si inca un pasarel care canta dumnezeieste, nu stiu ce anume e, nici nu reusesc sa-l vad macar), semn ca primavara e aproape :-). Speram ca ploile sa ramana departe, pana ce stratul de zapada se va topi natural, incet, fara sa creeze suferinta nimanui, mai ales ca sunt destui cei loviti de furia iernii deja...

On 24th of February we traditionally celebrate Dragobete, it's about love and the rebirth of nature. They say that the birds start building their nests and that this is the day when young people show publicly their affection for someone dear. They even start a kind of engagement for a year, which can end with a wedding. They also say that women have to touch at least one man, so they will be loved all year long. Also the young men "chase" the girls that are "running away from them" and they must catch the dear one and kiss her publicly, so everybody knows they are engaged. If a girl didn't allow a young man to kiss her, than he was rejected. It was a nice and harm-free way to show affection publicly in times when this was a very serious matter and the rules were very strict. 

We are not very religiouos people, but we are connected to the spiritual part of life. We didn't pay too much attention to this celebration in the past, we saw it more like a reaction to the much too comercial St. Valentine's Day, something that has no connection to our culture. You see, in the communist era, when we were totally disconected from the rest of the free world, everything that westerners were having / doing / knowing / living was the greatest dream that one can have, for the most of us. That's why, when we got ourselves free, we were so "thirsty" to have / do / know / live like "those from the west", that we almost erased everything we were and we embraced everything that was coming from the west. It was madness!... We were like children, naive, full of hopes and dreams and absolutely sure we will live the best life ever, which will surely match all the hardship and the cold, hunger, fear and sacrifices we had lived before! Well, after 21 difficult years, we are slowing down, we are tired of borowing and trying to be someone we are not, so we remember better each day who we are, what are our traditions and what our way of understanding life is. So, we also remembered this celebration.  

I am always amazed by the deep wisdom you find in the old celebrations. This happened to us on the 19th of February, a splendid day, sunny and warm. We were spending some time together in the living room, when a strange noise attracted out attention: it was coming from the kitchen and we had a difficult time understanding what was going on. We were thinking that the little birds, warmed by the sun, where searching for food. They were making such a big noise, it was so nice and also fun to hear them! The strange noise continued all afternoon; we realized that there were two little birds trying to establish their nest in the exhaust hole from the kitchen hood. No matter what we did, they seemed to be convinced that it was the perfect place for them! :-))) We banged the exhaust tube, we started the hood at maximum speed, nothing worked, they flew and they turned back :-)))). Worried that they might nest there while we were away, we dismantled the tube, we covered the hole and we searched for a nice cover, with some kind of net, so we can use again the hood. A few days later we learned that this was the period when the birds are begining to build their nests, on Dragobete, the time for showing off the love, both in humans and in birds. So, the popular knowledge was right again! :-)

duminică, 12 februarie 2012

Ieri am iesit din Bucuresti pentru a incerca sa ajungem la casa de vacanta a socrilor mei, undeva spre Alexandria si a vedea care este situatia acolo. Drumul a fost bun, practicabil fara probleme. Satul e ingropat in zapada, dar oamenii au reusit sa se descurce binisor. Am reusit sa intram in curte dupa ce sotul meu a sarit gardul si a dat zapada deoparte, ca sa putem deschide poarta. Un strat de aproximativ 75 de centimetri de zapada umplea curtea. Am verificat totul si ne-am intors spre Bucuresti. Pe drumul de intoarcere am fotografiat o casa aproape complet acoperita de zapada.

Yesterday we went to my parents-in-laws' house, situated in a small village at 30 km from Bucuresti towards south-west. We wanted to check everything there, because we didn't know when this could be possible again. The road was fine, no problems in driving there. The village was almost covered in snow, but people managed to cut small access roads between their houses and the main road. The snow in front of my parents-in-law was big enough. We started to cut a small path so we could reach the fence; my husband had to jump over the fence and to dig in the snow an opening, so we could open the gate. The blizzard started again, making the cold more difficult to bear. In the yard we found around 75 cm of snow. We cut another path and we got everything checked. We managed to open our caravan and took an electrical heater (for some friends of ours, who didn't have enough warmth in their house). On our way out of the village, we took some pictures. We saw a house almost completely covered in snow. Look how high the snow was: that was a tree of about 4-5 m high.

Incepuse deja viscolul. Pe camp, soseaua, desi curatata, se umplea usor de fuioare subtiri de zapada adusa de vant. In zare, norii albi se confundau perfect cu ogoarele acoperite de zapada, pur si simplu nu vedeai unde se termina pamantul si unde incepe stratul de nori. In drum spre prietenii pe care urma sa-i vizitam (le duceam inca un incalzitor electric, ca sa faca fata frigului din casa), am mers pe soseaua de centura a Bucurestiului. Muntii de zapada curatata de pe drum atingeau in unele locuri peste trei metri inaltime.

We left the village and we headed towards Bucuresti again. The main road was still opened, but already thin snow was blown across it from the fields. The clouds were as white as the snow, so when you looked over the fields, you couldn't say where the fields were finished and where the clouds began. On the Bucuresti's road ring, the snow cleaned from the road was sometimes around 3 m high.

marți, 7 februarie 2012

Nu mai ninge de ieri, dar vantul a batut toata noaptea extrem de puternic, aproape sinistru. Curentul intre blocuri este ingrozitor. Acum cateva minute, ceva raze timide de soare au spart patura de nori. Geamurile sunt inghetate si arata ciudat langa plantele vesele si inflorite din casa. Toate zgomotele obisnuite ale strazii au disparut, totul fiind acoperit de zapada. 

It stopped snowing since yesterday, but the wind keeps blowing and blowing, like there is no tomorrow. The air currents between the bloks of flats are terribly strong. The wind howled in an almost lugubrious way all night long. Just a few minutes ago a few rays of sun managed to penetrate the clouds and made the light a lot nicer. The windows are partially covered in ice and look strange near the green and happy flowers from inside the room. We will enter the yellow code for cold (we are on the last hours of orange code for snow, ice and blizzard) and for the next two days almost half of the schools in the country will be closed.

duminică, 5 februarie 2012

Suntem in plina ploaie, acea "freezing rain" anuntata de cateva zile... Iata cateva imagini luate acum cateva minute:

We are in full freezing rain... The rain droplets are almost frozen when they fall on the roofs and you can hear them, it sounds like sand or better like rice falling from the clouds... Let's hope there will be not too much damages... Here are some pictures I took just a few minutes ago:

vineri, 3 februarie 2012

A venit ata de care aveam nevoie, asa ca am reusit sa termin prima parte a ceea ce trebuia sa fie surpriza mea. Si pentru ca nu mai trebuie sa ma grabesc, am mai multe idei despre cum sa continui, sper doar sa-mi iasa bine ;-))).

The thread I was looking for arrived and I finished the first part of what was supposed to be my surprise gift. And since I don't have to rush anymore, lots of ideas about how to go on are filling my mind. I just hope it will look nice in the end ;-))).

Aici iarna grea continua, avem viscol si ger cat cuprinde. Iata cum arata Marea Neagra inghetata:

Here the weather is terrible; -32 degrees is the record for now, blizzard and snow, closed roads, people who cannot get out of their houses because of the severe blizzard... A lot of difficulties we have here because of this extreme weather. But it is normal for this part of the Europe, we always had heavy winters in the past. A lot of people remember the famous 1954's winter, when Bucuresti looked like this:

Now it's not the case, because then we had massive snow (up to 5 meters!), while now we have not so much snow, but strong blizzard, which scatters the snow furiously (wind up to 100 km per hour!). There is though some beauty even in this situation. Look how Black Sea is frozen for up to 500 meters from the shore: 

tetrapods covered in ice