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

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

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

You’re Pooping Wrong

Did you know that: A) Appendicitis, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, hernias, diverticulosis, and hemorrhoids all may be caused by improper fecal elimination. B) I grew up using only an outhouse. Although you might be puzzled, both of these statements have more in common than you think. Stay with me and I will show you why. When I first came to the US, I was embarrassed that instead of a beautiful ceramic indoor toilet, we had a round hole cut in the ground, in a small wooden outhouse. What I didn't know was that I wasn't the only one. In the 1800's, with the advent of indoor plumbing, the throne-like water closets - that before were reserved for royalty - became available to lay people. The fad started in Great Britain and soon the English colonies followed suit. The new indoor water closets with a sitting toilet were seen as [...]

November 17th, 2013|Categories: Healthy Lifestyle|Tags: , , , |41 Comments
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