Archive for October, 2012

2012, October 31

Happy Halloween & some other thoughts

Happy Halloween everyone!

People don’t really celebrate it here in Romania, but whatever. Why should that stop me from carving a pumpkin for October 31st?

So here’s the masterpiece the Chef and I made this Monday.

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~~~

I think, yes, one can write for themselves and only for themselves, with absolutely no thought or desire to be read by anyone.

(Even if that also means my 8th grade journal, which I hid for years before throwing it out with my own two hands, with all its pages shredded.)

~~~

Starting Saturday, I have a new job.

I sent in my CV for a different position and ended up being interviewed for this one. Sales representative and home design advisor at a curtain and textiles shop. I’m nervous. I only have a year of interior design in the background for this and I haven’t worked in sales since 2008. However, I have a good feeling about this!

Thank you for everyone’s encouraging FB likes and comments on the day of the interview (and upon announcing that I got the job.) *hugs everyone*

~~~

The above statement also means much, much less internet time and severely fewer free days. So I’ve decided to cut back on blogging, until I get into the hang of things at the new job.

Starting next Monday, I’ll be posting one blog post per week. Occasionally there will be more, when I have travel articles and other good news; plus a recipe of the month on a Sunday.

Also, for tomorrow I’ve already signed up for Mindful Writing Day. Really looking forward to writing my small stone. And I think I’ll share here on the blog.

Other than that, I’ll see you here every Monday!

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2012, October 29

Before reaching the great sea

I have plans, dreams and ideas. I know that to reach them, it is not enough to leave them flutter in my mind. But I also know that there is something that stops me from taking that great and important step. I’ve been told, in so many words, by people who don’t seem to understand me, that: I am to blame, that I stand in my own way, because I’m lazy, because I’m scared or because I just do not feel like doing it.

But with each passing day a more and more powerful thought builds up; namely that I actually did not stop. I know I am moving forward. And the path I am making my way through now is exactly the one that I must follow to reach my dream. I know that every experience is a lesson and I think I have to go all the way, to take all I need to from here, to see and hear and maybe even forget things.

I no longer run, but try to let it come on its own when I’m ready and I have learned all that I needed to learn. And yes, I know and am convinced that we must step over many, many boulders and through much mud before learning to walk on water.

But the great sea is out there, waiting for me, and I am counting my steps up until I can reach it. I’ll take one more step tomorrow, the day after tomorrow another one, and increasingly I will get closer and closer.

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2012, October 28

Recipe of the Month: Elder Flower Syrup

As you might have read in my travel article on Milliver’s Travels, “Romanian road trip, just for the fun of it”, we drove by a house on top of one hill where I noticed Elders in full bloom. They weren’t in bloom back in the city anymore but liked the different weather up in the mountains.

I asked for us to stop and went up to the people living there, asking nicely to let me pick some flowers to dry. (Since I’m not supposed to have medication, Elder flower/berry tea is very much a part of my war plan against the sniffles.) It turned into a lovely chat where we swapped recipes for Elder flower lemonade, and I learned a new recipe for Elder flower syrup.

By the end of our chat I had a big bag of flowers to take home to dry, plus try the following syrup recipe (which turned out lovely and very flavorful).

Who would’ve thought I’d take home a brand-new recipe I learned on the top of a mountain?

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Elder Flower Syrup

about 50 elder flowers 
4 lemons, washed and cut in half
2-3 tablespoons lemon salt
5 liters water
5 kg sugar
syrup preservative

Place the Elder flowers into a five liter glass or plastic bottle. Add the lemons (cut them up more if they don’t fit through the opening), lemon salt and pour the water over it.

Place the lid on, and leave in a cool place for 48 hours.

Filter after two days into a large pot, add the sugar and syrup preservative, then mix until they’re all dissolved. You should have a smooth syrup by the time you are finished.

Pour in smaller bottles and store in a cool place. 

 

Happy drinking ;)

2012, October 24

Our most valued treasure and what we teach children

A friend of mine works as a kindergarten teacher. I know I told you about her before, when my grandfather and I went in to surprise the kids with a visit from St. Nick and his trusty helper ;)

Not too long ago, as we were talking, she mentioned how one day she asked the kids what their most valued treasure was. I thought that was such a great idea to ask three to six-year-olds! Sure the answers were both varied and the same as each of the kids took turns in answering.

For the most part, they answered “my mom and dad”, “my new baby sister”, “my red ball granny gave me” and other things along these lines. Then, one of the three-year-old kids, whose parents own several stores in the city, replied with “the paper bills in my piggy bank”.

Which prompts me to ask: isn’t that just sad? Especially coming from a child still in kindergarten? Will he ever treasure anything else? (I truly hope so!)

For most of us, our first thought, when being asked about a treasure, is a mental image of a treasure chest opened up to reveal radiant gold or jewels. Sure, as adults we realize the value of money, gold and the alike, but I, personally, still don’t consider these to be my most valued treasures. Because there are so many other meanings to the word.

Wikipedia online dictionary defines several interpretations of the term. Some of them are:

Treasure – Noun

A Concentration of riches, often one which is considered lost or forgotten, until being rediscovered. — Couldn’t that be a rekindled, a long lost love?

Any possession that is highly valued by it’s owner. – Like my earrings, bracelet and pendant from a dear friend from overseas are sentimentally meaningful to me.

Treasure – Verb

To care for, be fond of, or be attached to.

To hold dear — I treasure old family photographs.

What is the common denominator in the above definitions? Treasures are defined by us, according to what we hold in high regard.

The real treasure is the meaning behind the object, more so than the object itself.

I hope more and more adults will begin to notice the Treasures all around us. And teach children these same important values!

 

That said, my most valued treasure is my attitude. Toward Love, Family, Friendship, writing and even possessions.

 

What is Your most valued treasure? If you have children, have you managed to teach them the difference between money and true value treasures? Go ask them what their most valued treasure is, I’d love to see the answers :)

2012, October 22

What do I suck at?

As Danielle LaPorte phrased it:

The point of this exercise is to notice where you have tension around being lame at something. The things on your “I suck at…” list are the things that have bothered you frequently or deeply for a long time. You have fought against them, felt less than because of them, and tried to cover up for them.
When we put our weaknesses in plain language and clear view, we can see where we need to become more conscious, and how our so called “shortcomings” point to our true strengths.”

Go figure. I actually don’t have to be a genius at everything? Sweet!

So, what do I suck at?

  • Mostly all forms of sewing. Give me a tire to change and I’ll do it. I can do quite a few things which are considered slightly tomboyish. I have and am great at so many creative outlets. And in my defense, I can fasten a button in place. But for the life of me I can’t make my sewing look nice.
  • Being patient. Usually, when I think of something, I’d like it done yesterday, or possibly even before that.
  • That social thingy. I don’t like going out/or being in the same room with a big group of people. I. Just. Don’t. And when on occasion, I actually do enjoy the people, I’ll get lost in my thoughts and in being a typical writer/introvert and observe rather than initiate conversations. I’m trying to get better at this, but would like a bit more understanding from extroverts.
  • Apologizing. I feel bad terrible. I think of ways to make it up and do better next time. But on the spot… *sigh*
  • Letting go. Of old habits. Of relationships. Of unchangeable events. Of things-one-made-me-feel-bad-about. Of unspoken rules. And forgetting. I’ll forget anything and everything if I don’t add it to my to-do list, but will remember who pulled my pony tails in second grade. – This is something I’m luckily much better at; still, slight improvement needed.
  • Dividing attention. Especially if I’m writing. You can use neon signs and I’ll still remain emerged in my own little world (or get upset fast about bothering me when I’m concentrating!)
  • Expressing my feelings. Sometimes. I tend to shut down and stew instead of expressing why I’m upset. I’m good enough at using my words, but there are times when I wish one could read my mind and leave well enough alone when I just want to crawl under a rock.
  • Fakin’ it. If my heart’s not in it, might as well forget it; there is no way I can fake it. “It” being: flash fiction, poems, letters, travel articles, crafting, gardening, interest, orgasm, enthusiasm, feelings, relationships, passion, etc. – anything at all.
  • And probably a few more minor things…

 

How about you? What do you suck at?

 

*Blog post inspired by this question from Danielle LaPorte’s The Burning Questions Series.

2012, October 19

More than just a train ride

Have you ever taken a train ride you could describe as “magical”? Sure, that depends on whether you actually like train rides. But in case you don’t, I assure you, magical train rides do exist! Especially if you’re riding a forest steam train ;)

Come join me “Riding The Carpathian Forest Steam Train” over on Milliver’s Travels today. You’re in for magical views and experiences!

2012, October 19

Love Letter Request for October, 2012

The More Love Letters team writes this so much better than I could. Here is the love letter request for October’s bundle.

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script it louder

: you are so loved

.

This month, we’ve got three love letter requests that we know will hit you at the core. We feel extremely blessed to be able to reach out to three amazing people with our words of encouragement and Love Letter Bundles this October. Please help us make this the biggest + brightest mail delivery we’ve ever had.

 

so what is a love letter bundle?

Each month, we send out a “call for love letters” (just like this one) for an unsuspecting receiver (or in this case, receivers) in need of a little handwritten goodness. You will then have until the end of the month to send over a card or letter to the More Love Letters PO Box. We’ll bundle the letters and mail them all together to a lucky, lucky mailbox with an explanation note from MoreLoveLetters.com on top.

It’s simple. It takes 5 minutes. And really, what’s better than a monthly pinning of “heart to page” for someone who truly needs some love and syllables?  So gather your friends, your students, your coworkers or church group, and take on the monthly mission together!
New to letter writing? Get started here! Or want some tips + tricks from our team writers? We got em’ right here.

The following letter requests were requested by close friends + family of the recipients:

meet Kate

“Kate has been crying almost every day for the last month.   A recent breakup left Kate realizing she had entangled her life with a guy who was never right for her.   When the two broke up, her life was changed completely.  Now she is alone again after so many years, crumbling apart and not knowing who to turn to.  Kate needs to know that there are strangers out there who believe in her and want to see her whole again. She needs to know that there is life, and so much of it, after a bad breakup.

meet Jason

“Jason is my big brother. A veteran of the Marines, he served the USA and was deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq. He has been trying to go through school since he got out of the military and has quietly fought PTSD , which has gotten worse in recent weeks. He has a big heart, and has always been involved in helping other veterans, disadvantaged, and disabled. Please help a Veteran feel special and see the sunshine in a dark period of his life!”

meet Deborah

“Deborah was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2010. Since then she has gone through chemo and radiation with astounding strength. She was cleared, cancer free, after less than a year, and was ready to move on with her life.  Since then, she has had numerous complications as a result of her surgeries and radiation treatments. She constantly says, ” I thought cancer was the hard part. They told me to beat cancer, and I did it. No one warned me about this part. No one is telling me how I am supposed to beat this.” She is low on hope, low on inspiration, and losing belief in the greatness of life and the human spirit. She needs to remain positive in order to continue to fight. She knows nothing about this blog, or what is done for those in need, but I know she would appreciate it more than anyone will ever truly understand. This could be exactly what she needs to regain the amazing strength I know is inside her.Deborah has so much left to live for, but could really use a few kind hearted third party people to express that to her. She needs strength to continue to fight. These letters have the capability to save her life.”

All Love Letters can be sent to:

October’s Bundles

PO Box 2061

North Haven, CT 06473

Letters can sent all in one envelope or individually, whichever you prefer. We’ve got little elves to sort them all out.  Write for one, two or all three!

Please postmark all love letters by the last day in October. Please & Thanks.

FYI: We ALWAYS appreciate blog posts to raise awareness for these letter requests! Get creative. Pull out your glitter, write down your favorite quotes and REMEMBER: We all write love letters differently, own your love letter writing style…we don’t need someone else’s love letter, we need yours.We also ask that you stay POSITIVE. UPBEAT. & SUPPORTIVE in your letters. Storytelling is A-OK but let’s not dwell on the negative, folks.

joining us?

Let us know on Twitter & Facebook

Supporting the @moreloveletters mission today with my cursive + love letters:http://wp.me/p1LDvZ-RH

(click to tweet)

Watch. Out. World! The @moreloveletters October Requests have arrived and I. Am. Scripting. : http://wp.me/p1LDvZ-RH

(click to tweet)

 

pin your face off.

We cannot help but wonder, who are the beautiful faces that write these love letters every month?!
This month, we challenge you to take a photo with your love letters before you mail them off and email it to PS@moreloveletters, post it on our Facebook, or tag it as #moreloveletters on Twitter & Instagram. We will be creating a big ol’ pinboard to share of our awesome letter writers and we don’t want to leave you out!

happy love letter writing!

With crossed t’s and dotted i’s,

Hannah B &
The More Love Letters Team

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