Book Review: Pruned

I don't deal well with change. I'm rarely on board with a new move or opportunity, and frequently I worry how it would affect us financially. Sometimes, this causes me to become anxious, and I start panicking, which usually means I become more controlling with my environment and my husband. I turn into someone else, and it's not pretty. For the last few years I've been trying to process my past more and figure out what made me so fearful of change. Its not as easy of an answer as I'd have hoped for. Some of it is just the way my brain is wired, some of it has to do with my family dynamic growing up, and some if it has to do with my country and the time in history I was born in. Watching the Moldovan economy collapse and destroy my parent's savings helped create a neurotic [...]

February 24th, 2014|Categories: Diana|1 Comment

Surprised by Marriage

"I am going to marry you" he says, and his hand tightens around mine. "I know it will be tough with me still being in school, but we can do it." As he continues to explains logistics, my twenty-two year old mind turns into lead. I am trying hard to listen, but all I hear is the sound of my heart pounding hard in my ears. "What do you think?" he inquires and turns to face me. My sweet 6'6" nineteen year old boy's face looks serious and concerned, trying to find the answer in my lowered gaze counting the buttons on his shirt. "Um... I am not sure. You know what that means... I just can't  think about this yet... I really don't know...", I stammer, trying to loosen my hand from his tight grip. Clayton wraps his arms around me and we stand there on the sidewalk as [...]

February 14th, 2014|Categories: Diana|Tags: |2 Comments

Living with 20 + Housemates

Ian: "Hey Diana can I use the coffee table to surf down the stairs?" Jacob:" Hey Diana can we build a blanket fort in the loft for the weekend?" Nigel: "So after my 10th cup of coffee today I stopped counting." Sally: "Who wrote the passive aggressive message on top of the drier using questionable language in permanent marker?" Meet my housemates... there's about 23 of these jokers.  When they're not trying to surf down the stairs on a coffee table, they're tackling philosophy, history, ancient Greek, etc. Well, not all of them - we do have a baby who likes chewing on books rather than reading them, and a few older residents who have regular old jobs, like me. But the rest are students at the small liberal arts college, Gutenberg, which Clayton and I manage the residents program for.  Although everyone else in the house  lives either in [...]

January 28th, 2014|Categories: Diana|Tags: |1 Comment

Letter to my Grandpa

Dear Grandpa, I wanted to let you know I am coming home this summer... It's been more than three years since I opened your wooden gate and sat on your old clay porch feeding chickens together. Much has changed since for both of us and I have yet to accept that.  I live so far away and somehow Moldova and our little village, has frozen in time during the time of my eighteens. When mother came to visit last winter I gasped when she got off the plane. There were too many wrinkles I hadn't kissed yet, there were worries and a deep sadness set in the corner of her mouth that she couldn't hide. I didn't ask and she didn't say. Instead we opened a suitcase carrying aromas from my childhood kitchen- two homemade bottles of wine, bacon from the farm and homemade feta cheese.... The cheese wasn't from [...]

January 20th, 2014|Categories: Diana|Tags: , |10 Comments

Chicken Pox Round 2

My Chicken Pox Story " It's 102.5." "Whoa babe! That's quite a fever! I am so sorry. Can I get you anything?" "Maybe another wet towel" comes my congested and slightly coarse answer. "Wouldn't it be crazy if I got the chicken pox again!" I yell after Clayton while he is running cold water on a wash cloth in the bathroom. "Whaaaat?! I can't hear you babe. Do you need anything else?" "I said wouldn't it be funny if I got.... ah never-mind... No! I don't need anything!" "Ok!" Two weeks ago one of our dear friends, Julian, got the chicken pox. I was one of the people who took him to the doctor, brought him food, and ran errands while he was quarantined.  "For most people", according to CDS, "getting chickenpox once provides immunity for life. However, a few people, can get chickenpox more than once, although this is not common." In [...]

October 14th, 2013|Categories: Diana|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

Pushing Your Limits

"I can't stand up." I whisper to Clayton. "Something is wrong with my foot."  I am in the tent staring at my swollen ankle while my poor husband is asking me where it hurts. I am so disappointed with myself. All the fears about how physically weak I am come stumbling through." I knew this was going to be too much for me." I reply bitterly to Clayton's reassuring remarks. We have been planning this trip for six months and it is the beginning of our third day of backpacking  around the Three Sisters wilderness. We have four more days to go... So far our trip has been fantastic. Four of our close friends joined us for the first night in the wilderness, and for some of them it was their first experience backpacking, so everyone was excited and in high spirits. The next day we woke up and said goodbye to [...]

September 11th, 2013|Categories: Diana|Tags: , |1 Comment

Are You Skinny Enough?

Skinny is the new beautiful. It doesn't matter what body type you are - if you don't have a petite frame and a size 0, you could do better. This is a message twelve year old girls and fifty year old women alike get bombarded with relentlessly. We see it in movies, we see it on billboards, we see it modeled on the mannequins in storefronts. We see it everywhere. We are a society obsessed with skinny. Sadly, our enthusiasm for "healthy" doesn't even come close to such levels. As our main concern continues to be "skinny",  obesity rates, together with cancer and heart attacks, rise at increasing rates. Did you know that retail sales for weight loss products are near $4.5 billion annually? The total industry revenue exceeds $40 billion.  Source 60% of US adults are currently overweight according to the CDC (source), so something is clearly not working. The more [...]

August 10th, 2013|Categories: Diana|Tags: , , |5 Comments

Discovering Beauty and Health

" You could pose like a guy. Try and see how it feels to be ignored." "Sorry girl too short to enjoy." "You look like a man." "So why exactly did you cut your hair?' These are a few of the comments I got from some of my readers after I posted my short pixie cut on   Facebook. Even some of my friends are having a difficult time adjusting to my new look since I have always been the girl with long, wavy hair. "Why would you cut your long, pretty hair Sweetie?" My mama's voice is gentle yet slightly confused and maybe annoyed. She is usually my biggest advocate but not this time. After staring at each other for a couple for minutes I ask her quietly. "Hey Mom how about if I turn the Skype camera off." After we hang up, I take a deep breath and [...]

June 14th, 2013|Categories: Diana|Tags: |22 Comments

A Tribute to My Mother

My mother in her early twenties. If I close my eyes I can still see and touch my mother's sleeve as she is kneading bread with a smile in the corner of her mouth. Her face is serene and focused. She always told me you are not allowed to be upset or start a fight while you are making bread. No matter how hard things were sometimes in our family my mother asked us to put it all aside. "The bread turns bitter if people argue or are upset", she said. "There needs to be harmony and peace for the dough to rise." I would sit on one side of the big wooden kneading bowl pouring in fermented  kefir, fresh well water, sea salt, and freshly ground white flour from our wheat fields. She would raise an arm covered in white paste in the air only to slide it back [...]

May 22nd, 2013|Categories: Diana|1 Comment

8 Things I have learned from My Laparsocopic Appendectomy

Almost a year ago I was rushed to the ER with debilitating abdominal pain, a low grade fever, and nausea. A few hours later, after a myriad of tests, I was wheeled into the surgery room for a laparoscopic appendectomy. The entire experience still feels like a dream - a bad dream really. On Saturday afternoon I was fine, enjoying the sunshine and hanging out with friends, and by Monday morning I was severely drugged and hooked to an IV, in a post-surgery bed looking like I had been run over by a truck. The next day while I was taking a walk through the hospital hallway, propped up by my husband, I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror. I was horrified! A pale, stooped creature with sunken eyes, wearing an over-sized pale blue hospital robe looked back at me. Talk about feeling your own mortality! Needless to say I took my recovery very seriously! After [...]

May 5th, 2013|Categories: Diana|Tags: , |36 Comments
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