How We Became Ranchers Overnight

Remember when you were a kid and you told your cousin you were going to be an astronaut when you grew up and they split their ribs laughing at you. That time you stood there speechless watching them point a mocking finger at you while your cheeks burned with shame. You vowed then you would never mention it to anyone again, not even to your own mama. As an adult I felt a similar anxiety about our dream of becoming farmers. There was a distant cousin in the form of our bank account laughing any time my husband and I daydreamed about how rewarding it would be to raise our own chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, and cows. I could tell it wasn’t going to happen, so I gave up and moved on, embracing our downtown apartment lifestyle. But my husband didn’t, and I was frustrated by his unwillingness to give [...]

July 4th, 2016|Categories: Announcements, Diana|Tags: |1 Comment

Why I Don’t Want Children – Yet

I’m seven days late and while my husband fixes us breakfast I run into the bathroom to check again. Maybe I missed it the last time I went to pee. Nope. “I guess I won’t be having any drinks tonight at our dinner party.” I finally start some morning conversation with my other half. He looks up from his plate of food confused. “Why not?” I roll my eyes. Is he serious. “Because I might be pregnant. Remember?” My reply is a bit more biting than I meant it to sound, emphasizing the “remember”. But I’m freaking out inside and his nonchalance is grinding on my nerves. “Oh… yeah… well why don’t you take a test before everyone gets here.” Great suggestion, Honey. Why not. I’ll find out that I’m four weeks pregnant right before I have to host a bunch of people, and since I can't tell them I’m [...]

April 11th, 2016|Categories: Diana|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

Overcoming Writer’s Block

I've been quiet here and on Facebook lately. Some of you have asked for updates, others have expressed concern. I am well my dear readers, and it does good to my heart to hear from you. My kitchen is still bubbling with homemade broths every night. My pantry is still permeated with the pungent smells of lacto-fermented veggies and herbal tinctures. I am committed to making wholesome, nourishing meals for myself and my husband. What has changed then, you might ask. Why haven’t I been sharing my culinary escapades ripe with Eastern European anecdotes? It's a question I've been exploring myself. This fall when we returned from our trip to Europe I began sharing our adventures on the blog. I had so many ideas for posts, photos, outlines, funny stories. But to my surprise, instead of being lighthearted and fun, the posts were heavy with my past. I felt that I was being [...]

March 7th, 2016|Categories: Announcements, Diana, Healthy Lifestyle|Tags: , , |1 Comment

A Moldovan In Romania

We take a train and arrive at Schiphol Airport four hours before our flight, to be on the safe side. Although I’m mentally calm my body doesn’t seem to respond well to being dragged through another airport so soon. The airport fiasco from only three days ago is too fresh on my palate. A security officer waves me down for additional screening. After five minutes of being patting me down, removing every item in my backpack, and throwing away Clayton’s travel size contact solution, they let us go. The Romanian plane is small and the seats are uncomfortable. Drinks are being served quickly and efficiently. A cup filled to the brim with free red wine is placed on my husband’s tray table. “Welcome to Eastern Europe.” I respond to my husband’s incredulous look. The three hour flight is peaceful. My native tongue hums happily all around me. I’m eavesdropping on [...]

November 22nd, 2015|Categories: Diana|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Traveling is Easy; Life is Hard

“Why did we stop?” I try to sound casual. “Just more heavy traffic ahead, but you guys have another hour; we’ll get you to your plane; don’t worry.” My friend’s voice is reassuring but her nervous tap on the wheel while trying to smile at me through the rearview mirror betrays a similar emotion to mine. I chase away the idea of losing our flight by looking out the wet window. Early this morning we finished packing our last belongings - a springboard, a mattress, four pillows and two old blankets - all packed up and stored on the cold cement floor of the musty Gutenberg College basement. The rest of our possessions, jailed up in variously sized brown boxes, are keeping our modest bed company. For three years we volunteered as resident managers for the small liberal arts college in Eugene Oregon, our alma mater. My husband and I [...]

October 19th, 2015|Categories: Diana|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Whose Team are You on?

"So what are we going to fight about in our counseling session today?" Clayton asks as I tap my knee nervously, sitting in our marriage counselor's waiting room. "Huh?" "Come on sweetie. I know you've been pretty upset with me this last week. What are we going to tackle today? The chores? My emotional distance? You always think of something. I just want to be prepared." He said it jokingly, but he seemed tired and overwhelmed. My usual come back would have been something sarcastic about how I like to keep him on his toes, but not this time. Instead I heard myself saying that I wasn't planning to fight with him at all. He smiled, unconvinced. I fell deeper into my chair and suddenly felt sad. My husband had been driving me crazy for the last two weeks. I was disappointed in his behavior and I felt like he could stand [...]

February 22nd, 2015|Categories: Diana, Healthy Lifestyle|Tags: , |7 Comments

Grieving for A Loved One

About a month ago one of my dearest uncles passed away. I was not home. I was at work when I got the call.  For the first five minutes my feet and hands felt numb and I had a hard time breathing. As my mama explained more and talked to me I was able to gain control over my body again. Grief is an odd thing. I discovered fairly quickly that during those first few days I was sinking under its weight. It's difficult to mourn for a family member when you are away from them and your family. It feels strange and surreal. It makes the grief sharper and one struggles to understand how to say goodbye. I've been less present for the last few weeks. I've been compartmentalizing work, marriage, school, and death so that I can function. I allowed myself to sit with my grief some evenings but then some [...]

February 6th, 2015|Categories: Diana|0 Comments

Is Your Body Hiding Trauma?

The Trauma Last week, my husband and I were driving up I-5 on a grey, rainy Oregon winter day, en route to Seattle, when we suddenly ran right into a large, shallow, barely visible puddle of water stretched across the road. We were going about 65mph, and our low key road trip peppered with pleasant conversation instantly took a sour turn. A creepy sense of disconnection from the road took over and we started to hydroplane. The back of the car snapped clockwise 180 degrees until we were almost facing traffic and the car shifted course diagonally. It looked as if we would slide right into the cement divider. I instinctively pressed my head against the headrest and tensed my body in preparation the crash. "...Sorry babe.", Clayton muttered as he calmly gripped the wheel trying to avoid the impact. Overcorrection. We miss the wall by what seems like inches but the car jerks and starts spinning counter clockwise and shifts toward the [...]

My Expat Life: Necessities vs. Luxuries

My dear readers many of you have expressed interest in learning more about my life in Moldova before I came to  America. Your  support has meant a lot to me as I am learning how to process my childhood and the impact it had on who I am. Today I am guest posting for one of my favorite bloggers, Ariana at And Here We Are, who like me is an expat. The topic of the post is necessities vs luxuries. “So what was the biggest culture shock you experienced when you came to America?” is a frequently asked question that I always I struggle to answer. During my freshman and and sophomore year I would shrug my shoulders and smile, not even knowing where to begin. Once I became a junior, I decided I needed to have an answer. To continue reading follow me on the And Here We Are blog where I [...]

May 30th, 2014|Categories: Diana|Tags: , |0 Comments

The Privilege of Driving

"Hey Sir, can we get a ride to Mereseni? The man looks inquisitively at me and my best friend and then opens his back door for us. "We are in luck today.", Dana whispers in my ear. We jump in the back seat, throwing our backpacks at our feet. I know what you are thinking. "Bad idea." Two seventeen year old girls  hitchhiking home from school with a stranger.  Maybe in America that is a cultural taboo, but in Moldova this is a normal way to commute. The buses that come from the capital city are typically full, so they either don't take any more passengers, or they do, which is sometimes even worse. You get to experience the epitome of Moldovan travelling - standing inside a human sandwich topped with grocery bags and sometimes even animals like chickens, pigs, goats or some other creature. If you have a big space [...]

March 2nd, 2014|Categories: Diana|Tags: , |6 Comments
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