Tuesday, December 31, 2013


     It's almost here! Watch out, you might miss it! The New 2014 year is rolling toward us, and there is no way to stop it!
     I'm having a very different New Year's Eve. I went to meet an acquaintance who wished to talk about my attitude toward the church. Doris and I made a pact to go together, although he invited only me. "It's a date!" - he said. Well that was creepy enough (we are both married) for me to get a friend to go together!
     I still am not sure of the real reason, why he wanted to meet. I am much more disillusioned in our movement than he is, we didn't discuss any steps to revive the community of mutual support that we envisioned when we joined it, even though we all criticized the way things are. Maybe, he just needed a sympathetic ear for a little while...
     So, instead of cleaning the house (please don't judge!), preparing a New Year's banquet or just taking care of my family, I spent hours talking.
     Actually, before I went I made some food for my kids, husband and Roberta (Park was on one of his mystery trips) and baked more pies. I thought to give pies to Doris and David (the acquaintance), but they were still too hot  by the time I had to leave. I brought them to a church New Year's celebration in the evening instead.
     The thing in the evening was supposed to be some new-fangled way to build and unite our community. They didn't count on our lack of desire to build and unite. As we arrived to the church parking lot at 4 pm, there were only a few pre-teens organizing some team-building activities. There were almost no adults, no food and, what was more important for Roberta and Taka, - NO COFFEE ANYWHERE! Taka announced that we should just go to Starbucks and await the time of the potluck dinner. None of us disagreed! We had some discussion in the car, whether we should come back to the church at all, but our collective consciences won.
     We went almost all the way home to find a Starbucks, although there is one on almost every corner in our city. As it turned out, it was a good thing, because after we all had a drink and a pastry (Roberta treated all of us), Taka decided to go home, get another car and bring it also to the church, so that he would be able to escape earlier. We did that. When we arrived to the church next time, it was packed, and the parking lot was packed too!
     Somehow, even though we just partook of some pastries at Starbucks, all of the adults were starving again when dinner started. There wasn't so much variety of foods, but we watched newly arriving families with their foil covered containers like hawks and kept sampling more and more dishes. As the result, I became so sleepy from eating too much good food that there was no doubt in my mind that I will fall asleep either at an entertainment part of the evening or while driving home after it. I thought it would be prudent to just forget the entertainment and go home right away, which we did.
     Now I am fighting drowsiness while finishing this post. I neeeeeeeeeed sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeppppppppppppppp-zzzzzzzzzzzz...................................

Monday, December 30, 2013


     Do I really want to tell the world another installment of my drama with Park? I do!
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     Roberta told me that she had trouble breathing sometimes and choked and coughed at night. My dad's doctors told me about the danger of the bed-bound patients getting lung problems. In fact, if it wasn't for the Pneumonia that he developed, my father might have still been with us!
     So, I took it seriously. I made Roberta do breathing exercises (in - through the nose, out - through the mouth), went and bought ginger and lemon and cooked up some tea with them; made her drink it with lots of honey.
     This morning I happened to mention it again in front of Park. He said: "It's OK, I made her pear tea for cough!"
     I replied that, usually, ginger and lemon worked better. He yelled like a banshee: "Don't say that word! I am her husband, not you!" I walked in front of him, made him look at me and said: "I notice that you yell at me for no reason. I'd like you to be more respectful to me in my house! I am not yelling and neither should you be!"
     You would think that I insulted him terribly by those words, said calmly, but firmly. He began to run around, shake his little finger at me and accuse me of abuse and in-humility. I continued saying that he has to show more respect. We met in a very narrow place between the kitchen and dining room. Usually, I would let him pass first, but today I stood there, blocking the way. He didn't want to ask me to move, so he just gestured wildly and, I might add, sharpi-ishly for me to let him pass. I asked:
-  "What is it that you want?" He gestured for me to move aside. I said:
-  "Do you want me to move?"
     He still gestured frantically.
-  "You have to ask!"
-  "Please, let me go!!!"
     I moved and added: "Please is a magic word!"

    tumblr_m35edyCc3U1r7ihgs.gif (223×164)   The guy was so mad, he began to yell again. I said:
-  "If you yell at me in my own house, I'll have to call the police!" - and took the phone. I dialed just some random numbers and pretended to talk to the police about coming to see about him. He yelled: "Yes, call the police, I'll tell them everything about you!" - ran to his room, got dressed and left through the sliding door. I didn't see him since. Roberta, who enjoyed me standing up to her emotional abuser, told me that he came back and asked if the police were here. "I don't know," - she answered - "Someone was here!" Park decided at that moment that he had something that he needed to do the whole day. As soon as he left. I felt tremendously relieved. I wish, he'd stay gone!

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     The winds from the East still bring smells of death. We heard tales of how, after the bombs fell and the land growled in anger, ugly dark clouds hung there for weeks, shedding black tears over taiga. The hunters who were dispatched to find out the reason for such calamity came back and, with tears in their eyes, told of great distraction of all life and forest on the other side of lake Baikal. This happened during summer, so the poison didn't spread to the West, but in about ten years after the catastrophe, strange, deformed animals began to make their way though taiga. The Evenks feared and destroyed them on sight.
     One day, not so long ago, Amur and Dular played in the forest. They heard a whimper and went to investigate. They wouldn't have found the cub, but she (it was a female) rose to her unsteady yet paws, and the boys froze in their tracks. Small wolfling was green, with red stripes under her soulful brown eyes! Gathering their courage, they first made sure that she was alone. Ever since my kids were toddlers, the Evenks taught them the ways of the forest-dwellers. One of the rules was to never interfere in the life of wild animals. 
     The next day boys returned to check on the cub. She was hungry and thirsty. They scooped some water into the tree bark and gave to her. On the third day the mother still didn't appear. She, probably, abandoned her strange offspring.There were no fresh paw-prints around the animal's hiding place. Small wolf was so weak from the lack of nourishment that she couldn't even lift her head anymore. 
     Amur and Dular brought the tiny mutant home. As the news of that spread, the shaman made his way to our house. He gazed at a cub for a long time, his eyebrows furrowed in consternation, but as Dular hugged him and asked to allow the animal to live, the shaman couldn't resist. He announced to his people, who gathered outside the house, that the cub didn't seem to present any immediate danger, and they should leave her alone for a while, until she can show her nature to them.
     Boys called the wolf cub Midori, which means green in Japanese: before my husband died, he managed to teach them a few words in his ancestors' language. For the first two years, they and Midori were inseparable, then she began to disappear in the forest. She was, obviously, able to hunt for herself, and I convinced my sons to let her follow her own path. Any time, when they became lonesome for her, they would just call, and she'd turn up, to greet them effusively and poke her dark green nose into everything they were doing.

To be continued...

Copyright Protected,

Sunday, December 29, 2013


jpeg (259×195)     Br-r-r! Water was cold in the pool! We braved it for forty five minutes, then a lady got in and began to swim in the same lane. I mean, there was no one in the pool except us! She could go in any other lane and enjoy unimpeded swimming, but she chose to move almost under the rope separating our lane from another, gliding with impeccable style and grace, spraying us every time she passed us on her way to and fro! Mary and I finally had enough and left the pool. In all honesty, it was enough anyway! 
images (245×206)     Mary lost 17 lbs. on Weight Management Program. She tells me, she is not hungry at all and enjoys easier movement, as well as an idea that she is well on her way to better health. She bemoaned the fact that, at her weight, it's hard for people to see when she loses 17 lbs., but I thought, I could tell that she did, because her (ahem!) bum became smaller a little bit. She discounted my revelation, saying that I am just trying to be nice to her, but I definitely saw an improvement!
     It's Sunday, in the morning Taka, prompted by his, once in three months or so, religiosity, took kids to church. I was making pies to give as gifts to some of my friends, although, when it came to thinking of who those friends are, that I should give gifts to, only two or three people came to mind. I took my sweet time in the morning: made pies, cooled them, took shower, got Roberta to dress up and went with her to church. 
     We arrived right after our pastor finished his sermon. I gave away pies, we got our coffees and sat socializing with some acquaintances in the cafeteria. Park went to a Korean church today, he is still not back at 9 pm in the evening.
     In the afternoon I remembered that today Mary and I had a plan to go to pool. It took some persuading of myself, but I made it there, and that's what you read in the beginning of this post.
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     We went for a cup of coffee after the pool. Sonny and Hanah called me then and asked if we could get some burritos. At eight o'clock at night, we sat at the table (we brought the burritos home) and chewed our delicious fare. Burritos are (if you don't already know it) meat, fresh veges, beans and rice wrapped in Mexican flat bread - tortillas. One can add other things there, like salsa (spicy tomato, onion and cilantro sauce), guacamole (avocado and  onion paste, cheese). Roberta already turned off her lights, but at my invitation, joined us for dinner. I quickly made a tea for her cough from ginger, lemon and lots of honey.images (280×180) 
I hope, she will not have a stomach ache from eating late. Park will eat me alive for that!

Saturday, December 28, 2013


     Did you read my story, Shelter? What did you think? I was trying to get an idea for a story and went to a website that gives you prompts for writing. One of those prompts was: your child overturns a Grandfather clock that's been in your family for a long time, and in it's debris you find a letter from your grandfather addressed to you. 
     It seemed like a good idea, but when I began to write, another kind of story took shape. 
jpeg (225×225)     Everything is quiet today. Taka, probably, prompted by a cold shoulder that I turned on him this morning, took us out for breakfast. We went to a place called Frodo Joe's. It's a coffee shop, but one can get some very delicious crepes there, filled with chicken and spinach and other things. 
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      Everything would be great, if Taka didn't insist on bating Hanah. That's what it sounded like, although he, probably thought that he was giving her some pointers for making living from her art. She was a little too uncivil toward him too, for my taste. She, perhaps, thinks that she just wants to do art, or that she wants to do what she wants to do without worrying about money. Taka agreed to provide for her, and I thought that he was too generous. At the same time, I would understand if she was more focused on art than on making money. 
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Van Gogh
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Paul Gogan
     I can't stop marveling at artists. We forgive them so much, even if they misbehave badly or refuse to take any steps for securing their own living. Still, it seems that our role, as the recipients of beauty and truth from their works, should be just supporting them. Then, who knows, maybe, if the lot of them had some good guidance, they might have ended up not cutting their ears off or hurt their loved ones or worse. 
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A. Modigliani
     After Frodo Joe's kids and I went shopping and got coffee for Roberta from Starbucks, as she asked. When I brought it to the house, Park was just making lunch for her. He admonished her for drinking too much coffee. The man is ridiculously jealous of anyone who shows her kindness, as if she would end up liking them more than him. 
     I thought that I would go to the pool with Mary today, but she called and cancelled: her family wanted to go to movies instead. I was not disappointed: every time - it's a struggle for me to get a motivation to visit pool; though, once there, - I have a good time. I went for a nap as a substitute for exercise!
images (255×197)jpeg (138×92)     Hanah and I are listening to Ed Sheeran now. I know some of his songs; he seems like a great artist, and I love spending time with my "dora".
     Once, when Hanah and Sony were, like, 14-15, I got them up from sleep (or at least from their bedrooms) at midnight to hear Cindy Lauper's concert. It could've been a case of poor parenting on my part, but we very much enjoyed singing together with her and letting our hair down!
     All in all, being a parent is a scary business, what's with our mistakes having a bad effect on people that we love most, but lately I began to think that, the more we flap our wings, trying to always to do the right thing, the less we are likely to get anywhere. We should just love our families and let life happen!                                                                                          images (241×209)