Today is Mother’s Day in the States. They celebrate it here like we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8. The only difference is that 8 of March is a day off, but Mother’s day is always on the second Sunday in May. However, we are always happy to celebrate Mother’s day again. And again. After all, however many times we celebrate this day is never going to be enough, since our mothers are our everything (and even more) and we can only hope that our children will be able to say something like that about us. Now for a little story, very suitable for this nice day. In the photo I post peonies. However, these are not simple peonies, but flowers with a history. They grow under the windows of my neighbor and friend, Ansley. Several years ago Ansley bought a house in my neighborhood. At Christmas, she received a postcard from former owners of the house, where they asked her not to dig up the land near the garage windows. The postcard came very timely, as the husband of Ansley, a great lover of beautiful landscape designing, had already set his sights on this part of the yard and decided what to plant there. From the letter of former owners, it turned out that when the former landlady gave birth to her daughter and came from the hospital to this house, her mother presented peony bulbs, and they planted them in the sunniest place under the windows…. Since that time every year on this place bushes grow and they bloom on Mother’s Day. Ansley, of course, waited for the spring and it happened: beautiful bushes grew up and blossomed with pale pink buds on Mother’s Day. Ansley has two wonderful children: a boy and a girl. Now every year Ansley along with the children carry flowers to the neighbors and congratulate everyone: the flowers are so heavy that the bushes are leaning towards the ground under the weight of the flowers, and she cuts them in dozens every day. I can’t describe how much these flowers inspire me: I photograph flowers, I put them in different vases, I am about to eat them, – how much I enjoy it. And here I give them to you virtually! Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!
Labor Day weekend is over. First time I didn’t go anywhere. Before, we always tried to go somewhere far to catch the last summer fun. (For example, last year we flew to Budapest, Hungary-we bought tickets at 10 AM for 5PM flight the same day). Well, this year Continue reading “Labor Day is over”
Last week we were driving in the car and I turned on a CD, Tchaikovsky. Suddenly, my son started to scream: “No shut-up music PLEASE!!!” I was surprised to hear that, and I looked at him: “What?” He actually liked classical music before.
“Yes-it’s shut-up music!”- he continued. “They turn it on at school during lunch and when they do that we have to be quite and say nothing. All the kids hate that! “
Well, a few days later my husband and I visited our son for lunch at school. And really that was it – kids were excited and loud, they ate, and talked, and laughed, and made a lot of noise (which is natural). BUT! Every 8 minutes or so, classical music came on and the kids had to be silent. I saw many unhappy faces during this “classical music time”. And right after the music was turned off, the level of loudness rose quickly like the buzz of bees in a hive as the kids tried to compensate for the silent time-they were as loud as they could be. I don’t know how to comment that. In general, I was very surprised to know in that in American school there is almost no breaks between classes as it is in Russian schools (each 45 minutes -5, 10 and 20 minutes breaks “peremena”- crazy running and talking time). Here in elementary school, for the seven hours kids spend at school there is only one recess for 20 minutes outside on playground and lunch break for 30 minutes where kids have to take a “quiet break” each 8 minutes. Kids are expected behave in the hall as well on the way to playground and cafeteria, which mean to silently walk in a single file line. I understand it is comfortable for the teachers, but what is about kids? Probably the intentions were good: to introduce classical music to kids while they are eating…but, clearly, it had the opposite effect.
I already see it would be tough to get back a taste for a good music.
Yesterday, I read at Emory magazine,which I regularly get as an alumni, an interesting fact about Diana Nyad, the first person (64-years -old woman) confirmed to swim from Cuba to Florida without a protection of shark cage non stop for 52 hours, 54 minutes and 18.6 seconds). Apperantly, Diana Nyad was dismissed from Emory University as a sophomore after attempting to parashute out of herforth floor dorm window.!)) I can only imagine how my dear Emory regrets about it now))
Next day I was wandering in downtown Savannah checking out its’ wonderful squares and shops. In one of shops I was checking clothes when I heard excited: “Oh sweetie! This shirt looks exactly like you!!! So simple, plain – It looks SO comfortable! “ Aha! “- I thought-“here we go! “ I turned around and I saw three girls around 18-20 years old. One of them had a green t-shirt tried on and another one held her shoulders and was looking at her with sweetest smile possible, as a real angel. The third girl was staying next to them without saying a word. I was wondering how the girl in the green t-short would handle this touching situation. Despite of my expectation, she looked lost only for a minute, Continue reading “GIRLS RAISED IN THE SOUTH (continued)”
GIRLS RAISED IN THE SOUTH
At my last post I promised to share some tips I learned from Southern girls during my trip to Charleston to my friend’s wedding (southern girl herself). Before I start, I’ll have to tell about a stereotype of Southern girls I used to hear about. First of all they like to be pretty, they wear heels and are more feminine compared to women from American North. (So called Southern Belles such as Scarlet O’Hara and so on). Plus they usually act very sweetly (my previous post is about that). I know it is just a stereotype and there are many examples of completely different personalities, but anyway.
That is what I told to one of my friend’s beautiful bridesmaid who was born here, in the South. She was driving us (me and a hot Brazilian girl) to wedding rehearsal dinner, and we were chatting about common topics such as Continue reading “GIRLS RAISED IN THE SOUTH”
The easiest way to become a nice person is to move to American South. When you moved to the South, you are automatically became “Sweetie”, or “Honey”… or “Hon”. That is how people call each other here and how they call you. Everyone, your neighbor, a lady at parking service, salesperson at the supermarket you see for the first time. At the beginning, it’s quite strange and even shocking – “Do I know her?” I always asked myself when I heard again that I was “honey”. “Does she knows me? “ Obviously not, if she calls me this way). Yes, it sounds strange, especially when you moved from the big city of Moscow. In Moscow, you are lucky enough to get Continue reading “The easiest way to become a nice person”
Last week the school bus schedule was changed. Now, the bus is leaving at 6:53 AM. I am not kidding. At 6:53 AM the child is supposed to be fed, dressed, and stay at the bus station waiting for an exciting yellow bus come. And it’s normal here. Some people (many) wake up at 4:30 every day and also think it is normal. I am not a morning person, to say it in nice way and to be politically correct. To be true, I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON AT ALL!!! Usually, I go to the bed at 2 AM, and 6 AM is the time of the sweetest dreams for me and it’s a middle of night. I literally, can’t do much in the morning. I hardly managed to put myself from horizontal position to vertical and try to do my best to keep eyes somehow opened and be angry with “this country of early birds”. Honestly saying, Continue reading “The Secret to Strong Leadership”
10. Stop worrying – they ‘ll pay you anyway
9. Enjoy your unexpected vacation in addition to the government’s “generous” 12 days per year
8. Finish all things you need to do at home, spend time with family
7. Turn off alarm and sleep well
6. Jump in the car and go somewhere (not too far, unfortunately) as you don’t know when they’ll call you back
5. Catch up with your friends also working for government-you all have a great reason (and time) to meet
4. Do some job search to see what is around in your field
3 Finish the book you have been reading for a year
2. Go to restaurant, then shopping , then to movie or vice versa
1. OR go to Charleston for a wedding, sailing with other bridesmaids in Charleston Harbor, swim in the ocean and have FUN as I did!