Mornings Up In the Plum Tree

Privind inapoi pe acelasi drumAugust. The month when I was still on vacation at my grandparents, running through the corn field and climbing the trees with my friends.

My grandparents had a large garden in the back of their house. They also had owned a few patches of land scattered around their village. But by the time I came into the world, the communists took the land from them. So, they were left with only this piece of property.

Most of it was planted with corn for the cows.

Plum trees surrounded the land and I was in charge to pick the plums that were falling on the ground, and feed them to the pigs. Grandma Buna used to make plum jam and stewed fruit for winter, but she knew that most of the harvest had to go to my grandpa’s plum brandy.

Early in the morning, when my grandpa milked the cows and grandma was busy by the stove in the summer kitchen, I liked to sneak out of the house and get in the garden. I was still in my pajamas  and wearing the new slippers grandma Buna made for me from an old pair of shoes. The dew was cold and wet, and I knew my friends walked barefoot, but I was a city girl and could’n stand the moist on my soles.

There was my favorite tree in the garden, one plum tree with low branches I could climb easily. Half the way to the top, it was this thick branch that grew horizontally. I would sit on it and eat plums.

Wearing his shabby hat, the next door neighbor Bace Sandor was walking his field and examining the crops. Two plots away, Nana Maria was feeding her chickens, and on the far right the pasture was filled with cows from the communist units.

I could see everything from my secret spot, while nobody could see me.

I wanted to be a detective.

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How Do You Manage Your Kids’ I HAVE TO GO while Abroad?

media_877665509I know this is one of the most common operations for a mom. You are in the car; your children just used the bathroom before leaving the house and while on freeway, you hear that whining voice in the back, “Mom, I have to go.” Let me tell you this: America is the best country in the world for a mommy to hear that, because you take the next exit, park at Starbucks, Dennis or Costco and voila, the thing is done.

But how do you manage using the bathroom abroad?

IF YOU ARE ON A PLANE, you know their lavatories are small. If the room is too small for both your child and yourself, leave the door open. Ask the flight attendant to watch it for you while you help your child. If they say it’s illegal to keep it open, you have no choice but squeeze inside and somehow close the door. Dang!

FROM COUNTRY TO COUNTRY IN EUROPE, there is a different approach about restrooms. In Germany, for instance, you might not find toilet covers. They provide a disinfectant liquid if you want to use before sitting, but then you have to wipe dry the surface with toilet paper. If your offspring is in too much hurry and you can’t offer a perfectly dry sitting area – “It’s wet. It’s sticky. It’s yucky. It’s slimy.” That’s OK. People in Ephesus used to sit next to each and other under the open sky. Rain or not.

SOME COUNTRIES IN EUROPE don’t believe in providing toilet paper in the restrooms. Your own tissues would be your best friends. Otherwise, I don’t know.

Visiting your ancestries’ village abroad? GREAT GRANDMA’S OUTHOUSE may stink, but your little one has the exquisite chance to practice a Shrek’s’ experience. Local papers and fashion magazines are provided to finish the job. No flushing available.

GOING TO MIDDLE ASIA? Prepare your descendant to crouch over a hole in the cement. Hold him/her to avoid an accidental slide in the hole and be sure your child is a good shooter. The good news is that sometimes those toilets have a flush system. Keep in mind that the hose there is provided for wiping, action that automatically turns into washing if you don’t have enough experience. Ah, and don’t forget to remove all the items from your kids’ pockets before using the down-to-earth toilet. Somebody lost his passport in the hole. For good.

There are areas in Asia that wait for you with the ALL-IN-ONE-NOT-COMPARTMENTED-STALLS over holes in the dirt. Know that other people along with your child might use the restroom in the same time. The scene can be pretty picturesque. Everybody sees everything. For your convenience, the little room may be equipped with a precious jar or a bucket to help flush the thing, (been there, done that.)

If you are in a country WITHOUT PUBLIC RESTROOMS (because they don’t have them) encourage your child to crouch behind a bush. That’s how locals manage going.

ONE LAST SUGGESTION – Load your handbag with hand sanitizers, wet wipes and tissues. While on a trip oversees, one may never have enough of them.

Life is fun. Don’t get stressed out.


The Kindergartener’s Rules


My Daughter-in-love,’facetiming’: “Katelin, tell Buni where were you today.”
K, eating spinach: “We went to Miss’s X class. She is going to be my first grade teacher.”
I: “That’s great, Katelin. You are going to be in first grade on September. Did you like Miss X?”
K: “She told us the rules. If somebody get’s in your face, you stretch your arm and say, ‘Stop!’ Walking steps and no bad words. “
!: “Those are good rules, right?”
K: “No bad words, Buni. Not even the word ‘poop.’ ”
The End

The Secret 


I see her and I make a small motion with my head, a sign only between us.  She understands. She looks at her parents. They are busy taking  a seat around the table in the restaurant. Her little brother asks for raisins. So, she gets next to me in the booth, and waits.

I lean towards her, covering my mouth.

“I have to tell you a secret.”

She freezes with the children’s menu in her hand. Barely can speak.

“What secret?” 

I take a deep breath. She needs to know.

” There are two dead spiders on the carpet where we live.”

The surprise is overwhelming, but she manages it well.

“Where?” She is biting her lip, making a plan.

” On the hallway to the first bathroom.” 

“Buni, don’t do anything. I need to see them.”


The dead insects are still there until she comes. 

                        The End 

Norway – Where They Take Away Your Children


Once upon a time, there was a sweet family of seven, five children and their parents living in Norway. The oldest was 10 year old and the youngest, 3 month old. The parents loved their two daughters and three sons to pieces, providing and caring for them, and teaching them to be people of good character. The neighbors, the teachers at school, and all those who knew Bodnariu Family had only words of praise toward them.

One day while on the school bus, there was a fight between some students. The two Bodnariu girls were watching. The officials came and interrogated everybody about the fight. They interrogated the two girls, without notifying their parents. The Norway Children Social Services Barnevernet went from asking about the fight in the bus, to investigate if the girls were happy at home. They concluded that the parents sometimes put their children in time-out and even spanked them. They took the girls on the spot and placed them in foster care. The same day, Barnevernet went and took the other three children from home. The mother was nursing the baby, but they took him anyway and placed all the five children in foster care. They told the children that their parents didn’t love them.

There was no warning, no counseling, no court, nothing but the Barnevernet’s abuse.

Three months went by since these parents cried their hearts out after their babies. Tens of thousands of people everywhere in the world manifest against Norway’s Barnevernet. The Bodnariu Family’s lawyer shared on TV that fostering children was a real business in Norway, both for the government and for the foster parents. A good percentage of the jobs in Norway are the social workers. They have to show activity in order to justify their salary. The lawyer also specified that being a foster parent was very profitable financially.

Meanwhile, parents and children suffer from tremendous injustice.

Norway, give back the children to Bodnariu Family!

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protest familia bodnariu norvegia

Simple Parenting

IMG_1843I open the door to see my 21 month old granddaughter and she welcomes me holding a balloon.
“Hey, you have a balloon. And it’s not even your birthday.” She disappears in her room. I go to say “Hi!” to my daughter.
Our little one shows up in the bedroom holding two balloons.
“Wow! You have two.”
“She has four,” my daughter replies.”Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.”
Milena comes back with the whole bunch of balloons. One gets loose and flies to the ceiling. I rush to catch the string, but those parents are smart. They kept the string long enough for their daughter to reach it.
“I’m taking her for a walk,” I say.
“She might want to take her balloons, as well.”
She didn’t, because she forgot.