Monthly Archives: August 2017

Thank you Wien

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for a wonderful and sweet time with friends and family,

staying true to kids-friendliness and all the fun which goes together,

creating royal experiences at Kinder Museum in Schönbrunn with lots of fun for both kids and adults,

your tour train to keep us dry on a rainy morning in the Schönbrunn Park,

gorgeous Gloriette, where Maria Theresa – the only female ruler of Habsburgs, used to have breakfast,

the Sunny afternoon for the Zoo visit and all the delights of meeting cute koala, panda, a baby elephant, baby zebra, my fave pink flamingos and the rest of the rich animal world in the oldest zoo in the world,


a brief hide and seek moment under generous tree branches,

the treasures of the Natural History museum: the 29500 old statue of Venus, huge dinosaur skeletons, largest turtle in the world and many other interactive and child friendly features. And for getting a dinosaur roaring  to my face. Scared of nothing now 🙂

the gorgeous Belvedere and coffee&cake with friends to celebrate Sofia and friendship

and a small pink print for Vienna – street art by Sofia:

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“Jubilee” by Margaret Walker

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The novel is a true story of a girl born to a white plantation owner and his black mistress reflecting the times of the southern Civil War and the years of the promised Reconstruction. The author is the grandchild of the main character -Vyry. She heard the story in the family and researched the history of those   times for thirty years to write what is known as the “first truly historical black American novel”. New York Times called Margaret Walker “one of most memorable women of contemporary fiction”.

The  novel has 3 chapters marking the stages of Vyry’s life interlinked with historical events of the Civil War, slavery abolishment and beginning of reconstruction. Vyry is a survivor who get through pain and devastation again and again to keep her family well and to live to see her dream of having her children go to school to learn to write and read. Through hurdles and horrors she kept her faith and the love in her heart. And this to me is the main message of the book.

Her message to her son in preparation of his separation from her to go to school is worth a Nobel prize for peace, by me: “I wants you to be good and try to git along. Mind your manners and make friends with people. Friends and good manners will carry you where money won’t go. You is born lucky and it is better to be born lucky than born rich cause if you is lucky you can git rich, but if you is born rich and ain’t lucky you is liables to lose all you got. But you gotta use mother-wit long with education else you won’t be nothing but a fool. Get up in the morning early and say your prayers. Early bird catches the worm. And don’t you be mean and ugly in your heart toward nobody. Remember, sweet ways is just like sugar candy, and they catches more flies than vinegar. I wants you to be good and make a real man out of yourself”.

Comparison-the thief of joy?

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– How old is she? i was often asked about my kid while strolling and playing in the park.

– Why? i would ask. The faces of inquires would get usually very puzzled.

– Hmm, to compare her with my daughter/niece/cousin’s kid…, would be usually mumbled in response.

– Do they need your comparison? would be my usual good-buy.

At school, my best friend’s mom would use two rulers to follow the marks on her daughter and my rows in the teachers notebook. I can only imagine the talks they had at home. As a result, our friendship suffered. My now ex friend has a PhD and i hope she did it for her professional fulfillment.

Comparison leads to wanting more, consuming more, spending time and effort on others ideals. We rarely spend time and effort on comparing where we are now to where we started from and analysing how much we achieved.

“Comparison is the thief of joy” said Theodore Roosevelt. I realise we cannot escape comparison fully though. Social media and glamorizing TV  do not help with endless status updates, instagrams, tweets and alike. We see the surface and our brains make conclusions. It often does so from perceived weaknesses on our end.

I was raised in soviet union and even that “egalitarian” regime had a built-in competition. “Better”, “faster”, “more” were teachers and trainers favourites. In my grandmother’s village there was a competition for fastest growing trees. How can you make trees grow faster? They grow depending on  their roots and need for light. They do not grow to compete with the neighboring forest.

I missed many joyful moments in life because of comparison, imposed or self-imposed. I also learned that Comparison can still be a friend when applied with care and in line with own intrinsic philosophy,   values and aspirations.

I care now to make sure my kid learns to apply comparison when it benefits her growth. And it also helps me grow. The same way a tree does 🙂 

Mean Mommy – P.S. I Love You – re-post

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This piece is sharp as a scalpel. The type of writing to which i secretly aspire to. 

Thank you, Jordan Reid, for the inspiration. 

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“Being a parent is different from being a friend, and it’s different from being a boss. You want to be both, but the truth is that you’re neither — you’re something in between, and something much more.”

https://psiloveyou.xyz/mean-mommy-834431e2f80d

Wonderful encounters

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Sometimes all you have to do is open a door. 

Last week, I opened the door into the world of a French artist. His name is Rachid Madani. His studio is in Strasbourg. I often passed by his studio and admired the pastel, warm colours of his creations. I wanted to buy some of his wonderful cards. I love to have a stock to give them to friends to say thank you or just mark a moment. 

I pushed the door and was greeted with a warm pastel voice. My daugher joined me so he spoke to us about the book he wrote "Le turban du sultan" and about his culture. 

I did not have cash with me so had to borrow some from my kid's pocket money. "I did the same this morning", he told us in a moment of complicity.  He offered her one of his cards "Le jour se leve". 

If you are in Strasbourg, open the door to l'atelier d'Art MADANI, 16, rue Sleidan. 

More info on the artist, in French https://www.petitfute.com/v458-strasbourg-67000/c1168-shopping-mode-cadeaux/c408-galerie-d-art/242980-l-atelier-d-art-madani.html

Family time

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– Tomorrow is Family day!, announced our kid on a determined tone. I have plans for us. 

A feeling of glory flourished inside me. I would not have to compete with the iPad for her time on Sunday! 

We started the day in the park. We had a guest for breakfast. 

We baked rolled oats cookies of two kinds: with chocolate chips and with raisens. We played cards. She won. We played table games. I won. And we talked about playing for fun and not for winning. And also about fair-play. 

We created cute beads stuff. 

We ate raisins and watched Ted Talks about nutrition. 

We jumped on the bed, played with the ribbon stick, and had lots of tickling. Made puzzles and origami rabbits for friends and lots of other fun staff. 

Fully disconnected. No smart phones. Just smart and cute faces. 

Enjoy your family time. Today. And everyday. 

Family time Movies: Sing

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– What’s the movie about, sweety?

– Never give up!

Indeed, it is. I warmly recommend to watch it on a family movie night. It is highly motivational and funny. It is the story of an upbeat koala, a theater owner gone from the glory to washing cars at a cross-road and back again to glory, by loving deeply what he did and doing it wholeheartedly for the public – small and big. 
Sing is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated musical comedy film produced by Illumination Entertainment. The film includes more than 60 songs from famous artists and also has an original song by Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande called “Faith,” which was nominated for a Golden Globe

Enjoy! You’ll be singing for days after!