Monday, May 31, 2010

another year down

as i walked in with her
on her last day of school,
the kids had all gathered into one room.
music was playing,
children were dancing and frolicking,
dressing in costumes
and having a most marvelous time.

she clung to my leg
in the doorway
and couldn't be prodded to enter.

"milla, everyone's having a great time,
don't you want to go play?"

"i don't want to."

"but look, you can go choose a costume
to dress up in."


"you'd rather be sitting in a classroom
listening to a lesson?"


"what would you like to do?"

"i want to go home."

"mims, what would you do at home?"

"play with avi."

and so today
she finished another year of preschool
and began
a whole three months
of getting to just
play with avi.

Friday, May 28, 2010

friday favorite

today's treat
comes from my favorite new foodie blog:
101 cookbooks.
enjoy these scrumptious
with us!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

project du jour

i'm not sure
what sort of seating you have at church,
but if you're lucky,
they're pews.
if you're unlucky,
they're chairs.
we're unlucky.
and even unluckier
are the people that get stuck
sitting behind us.
the ones that get to pick up
every toy and crayon and book
that falls through that six-inch gap
between the seat and back of the chair.
now i don't have a solution
for everything.
but a little crayon roll
will at least help with those crayons
that don't stay in that torn little box.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


my first pair of converse
i bought in the sixth grade.
they were turquoise on the outside,
yellow on the inside.
and they were not just high tops
but super high tops
that could either be worn folded down,
or halfway to my knee.
i talked my best friend into buying
the pink and gray ones,
we wore them "high"
and called them combat boots
(tour of duty was our favorite show),
and yes,
we were the coolest our school had seen.

after that my feet dabbled.
they dabbled in keds, adidas, timberlands.
birks, penny loafers, pumps.
tevas, nikes, flip-flops and vans.
they saw the world.
and then they came back.
they found themselves again
in a pair of converse,
black this time,
when i was in college.
many years have past since that time,
i'm afraid to count them,
but i still wear that same black pair.

and i've also since found myself
some good company.
good traditions must be passed on!

Friday, May 21, 2010


i daresay
this is the first time in my life
i've been stuck in a house
for five days straight.
or that i've only showered once
during that period.
it's been ugly, friends.
but today i am starting
to feel human again.

and while i've had the chance
to become so well-acquainted with the sofa
this week,
i'd love to introduce you.

isn't she a beaut?
yes, that's lavender velvet,
and yes those are diamond (looking) studs.
and gold painted scrolls.
now before i lose all credibility
i must tell you
that these and the matching table
were one of very few pieces left here
by the owner--
upon request, because we don't yet have our own.
after showing you the chandelier,
and now these,
you're starting to get a clearer idea
of new russian style at its finest.
some call it classy,
others nauseating.
and after this week,
that almost became quite literal for me.

the good news?
after four years straight
of endless searching, dreaming,
scheming, and finally begging
the absolute kindest of strangers to assist,
we finally have our very own sofa set
on its way.
and only 6 months in transit!
i'm as excited as you are.
especially to see these beauties
right out the door.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

laid up

it's day two
of this view
from my horizontal position on the sofa.

the table next to me
has an ever-growing pile
of sundries--
toys, dishes, economists and devices,
which help me try to control the ship
when the captain is on the sick bed.
i'm sick as a dog!

perhaps it's my body rebelling
against my dragging it
from that pristine climate
back into the cesspool of toxins
that's called central-big-city-living.
and really i can't blame it.
but until it decides to forgive me,
i must thank alex
for massaging my back at 2 a.m,
his mother for taking the girls,
andreas for requiring so little,
milla for fetching this and that,
and avi for entertaining me,
keeping my spirits up and keeping me laughing.
(this morning she put on a puppet show for me:
"я-лягушка, очень лягушка!"
"я-зайчик, прыг прыг, в ямку, прыг!"
"я-медьведь, совсем медведь!
такой страшный ведмедь!")

it could be worse,
despite my feeling like
i've been hit by a train?

Friday, May 14, 2010

farewell, kotor bay!
our time with you has been lovely!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

all day lunch

oh, and only on vacation
can you make
going to lunch
an all-day excursion.

taking the boat across the bay
strolling along the country lane
to that place tucked against the mountain
by the old mill
at the fresh water springs. . .

we had no problem
making a day of it.
perhaps you can see why.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

sleeping beauty on the beach

and as we took off
fleeing down that beach
the imaginative wheels in her little head
began a-turning.
when we finally got to the rocks
and began clambering over them
she told me we had to hurry
to get onto the metro.
"where are we going?"
"we're going to the theatre!
sleeping beauty is about to start!"
and as we sat there on that big rock
clapping as the curtains were opening,
it was reaffirmed to me again,

you can take the girl out of the city,
but you can't take the city. . .

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

sketch du jour

along the road
in prcanj

Monday, May 10, 2010

mother's day in montenegro

and it was hardly a
mother's day,
but an unforgettable one,
that's for sure.

Friday, May 7, 2010

morning dates

this little guy and i
have a date every morning.
6:00 a.m. sharp.
(some of us refuse to switch
to local time).
as much as i try to fight it
and try to get him to join me in bed
and return to slumber,
he insists.

and so we tiptoe up the stairs
as quietly as possible
so as not to have our quiet time
intruded upon.
we open the balcony doors,
let in the air
and listen to the birds' songs.
first i feed myself
then i get everything prepared
for our morning exercises.
i wish i could impress you
by saying i get my pilates mat out.
instead it's the bowl and spoon
and the jar of carrots.
it's been a week now,
of exercises.
trying to overcome that inborn reflex
to push everything out of the mouth
that isn't a nipple.
so far we aren't having
notable success.
that tiny, pointy little muscle
is quite stubborn.
but our hard, quiet, messy work
in the peace of the morning
will pay off!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

across the way

rains kept us
from taking the boat out today
so we took the car
to this gem of a town
across the bay.

have you figured out where i am yet?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

rite of passage

and i suppose it's just
a rite of passage
for a toddler, really.

just as an adult
has to try regular dish soap
in the dishwasher
once and only once,
every toddler has to try
putting something up his nose
once and (hopefully) only once.

it happened yesterday evening.
after stepping away from the dinner table,
i returned, only to remove avi
to the balcony to ponder life for a bit
(i.e. that was enough of her screwing around).

as i returned back to the table
milla says
'mom, i don't want to put anything in my nose.'
(of course she's already been
through this rite of passage-- with a bead),
and everything was clear to me
at that moment.

i scurried to the balcony
to examine the nose
of an already-panicked toddler.
the experiment?
a pea.

why, oh why?

i first tried to coach her
on blowing it out
(which worked for milla's bead),
but as avi is younger than milla was
when she tried this experiment,
she just couldn't get the air moving
in the right direction.
i feared we were only lodging it
higher up in there.
with visions of emergency rooms
dancing through my head,
i gave her strict instructions
to keep her mouth open
and await my return.

in a flash i was back
armed with the sharpest tweezers
you've ever seen
(mom, you know the ones).
and on first careful attempt
that big green pea
was dislodged, inspected,
and chucked off the balcony.

the ensuing dialogue
very accurately sums up avi,
if you've never been acquainted:
"now, can you tell me why
in heaven's name you thought this
belonged up your nose?"

"well, because, i just thought
my nose was my mouth!"

and with that,
we both cracked up laughing
and checked
"lodging something up the nose"
off the coming-of-age list.

beautiful encounter

from that vantage point
we were able to catch the sunset,
become acquainted with a family of cows,
distract milla from her aching ear,
and watch an airplane landing
just below us.

lord byron called this spot
the most beautiful encounter
between the land and the sea.

Monday, May 3, 2010


i can't say there's much more
i'd rather be doing
than sitting on the terrace
with avi,
fresh from an afternoon's nap

drawing the view we see
and listening to the sound
of birds, chickens, roosters, donkeys
and the occasional boat
humming by.