Thursday, September 27, 2007

babo leto

babo leto=indian summer.
a very real thing,
every year.
when we savour
every last fleeting beautiful moment
of this:

before this:

and we may not have a backyard,
but we do have

Leo Tolstoy Park

where we made sandwiches

ran from the camera

and breathed that crisp
fresh fallen leaf air

and it was all fun & games
until somebody's pants got wet
and we had to go home early.
"mama? water?"
"oh, i wish it was water, baby. . ."

Monday, September 24, 2007


now milla & mom have carried on the

weekly tea party tradition
for over a month already. it is the
highlight of the week,
for some of us.

of course this number
does not include avi, since
the tea party takes place
during nap time.
then there was that 1 time,
when we just stuck avi in
the living room, while
we did our thing.
she didn't seem to mind too much.
"it's okay, guys, while you're
in there doing your thing,
i'll just be in here
doing mine."

(of course i had a hard time understanding
this through the mouth full of keys.)

Thursday, September 20, 2007


and then there arose a chance
for the whole world
to get up close and personal
with yours truly.
if that was ever your intention
you can find a deeper
glimpse into my life

Monday, September 17, 2007

recipe du jour

it's that time of year again.

it may not be as romantic

as going to pick apples near


but we do get fresh apples

around these parts, too.

here's what we did with ours this time:

the russians call it Sharlotka.

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 lb apples, chopped into cubes

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp allspice

1/8 ground ginger

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 T. butter

Beat eggs with sugar on high speed until light and fluffy.

Add flour, baking powder and spices. Mix in apples. Don't worry if

it looks like there are too many apples! The more the better.

Spoon into a big springform pan (11-inch maybe?)
Mix softened butter with brown sugar and sprinkle over top.

Bake at 325 for 45 min. ish.


after lovingly placing our cake in the oven,
we turned our music up real loud
and danced around the hallway
(to this if you were wondering, and don't laugh).

(see what happens when husbands aren't around at night?)

Friday, September 14, 2007


really, it goes back to those

blasted smokers in the stairwell.

this was still before we bought a new front door,

and the stench would slyly seep in through the cracks.

so we dreamed up lining the door with foam tape

to get a good seal around it.

but that made the lock really hard to turn.

in fact, so hard, that we used to use pliers to turn it.

clearly, it was not a permanent solution.

but what ended the party sooner than expected, was

the night the key broke off in the lock.

that was the first time we had to knock on his door.

the flannel shirt, the shaggy hair, the

coke-bottle glasses. . .

we were not surprised to learn he was a computer programmer.

after helping the pathetic young family

back into their apartment,

conversation got going about the internet and setting it

up for tenants in the building, including us.

sergei said he would do a little research

and get back to us. next thing we knew,

he was handing us an

8-page single-spaced packet

about what the internet is, and what options there were.

oh, we had some good laughs about that one.

a few months later

our computer crashed and we had no backup.

we found ourselves knocking on sergei's door,

begging for help.

3 hours of mental & emotional anguish

later, we were back in action and wanting to

kiss him once for every recovered file.

now after that hard lesson,

we wised up and bought a separate hard drive

to religiously back everything up.

and this we did faithfully for nearly a year,

and all was well until that

one fateful night.

as we prepared to clear our computer and reinstall windows,

we triple-checked to make sure everything was backed up

on our external hard drive.

then Richard (names have been changed)

proceeded to delete the hard drive, while

little did we know, we were deleting the

external drive simultaneously.

oh, the terror!

next evening, one tortuous day later,

another knock on sergei's door.

"there's no hope. forget about it," he says in his


but you don't understand, sergei.

everything. gone.

and we plead with him to take a look.

he finally comes over, armed with rescue software.

and meanwhile, i keep busy with anything else,

anything to avoid the bad news.

the busying takes place in the kitchen, with

clips of conversation once in awhile audible.

negative, then positive.

i finally enter when i think it's safe.

and sergei, the miracle-worker

has saved us once again.

Oh, blessed neighbor.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

enough ghosts already

it's time for me to get smarter than my moving targets.

not quite ready for a digital slr.
but i am ready
to be able to get a better ratio
than 1:80 clear:blurry.
can i find a digital camera with
adjustable shutter speed
and aperture that isn't slr???
talk to me. tell me what you got.
that is, only if you see less ghosts than i do.

Monday, September 10, 2007

when in rome

i don't know about you,

but when I was a kid

it was the kirby upright.

and alex says, UPRIGHT? you've got to be


cause in this land,

it's all about the two-piece,

dragging that big thing

around behind you.

and i (finally) said,

okay fine.

when in rome.

Friday, September 7, 2007

new shoes


Wednesday, September 5, 2007


well if you're going to have
you may as well be cute
about it.
"well, good morning,
pippy longstockings!"

Monday, September 3, 2007

lolya's birthday

last week was alex's grandmother's birthday.
she has a healing hip, a generous heart,
a wise mind, and a love of art.
in my oh-so-rare and blessed free time
last week, i painted for her this picture.
i think she kinda liked it.