Friends I keep rediscovering the value of friendship.

Do you know where most people make friends for life? Grade school, high school, college.

I moved to a different country right after college, leaving all my friends behind. For the first ten years I did not think I needed any friends. And I did not know where to find them anyway.  I had my husband, my kids, my co-workers. I could talk to my parents or my sister on the phone all I wanted.

Then came a moment when I realized I needed someone else to talk to, not about work or my kids’ accomplishments, but about what was bothering me deep in my heart. Sometimes it is easier to bare your soul to someone you are not bound to by any official ties of family or work.

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Burning Wood Stove

I have recently been thinking of the positive effects of acts of nature. Of course we have been blessed not to be hit by anything disastrous. Hurricane Sandy only left us with no power and no school for a couple of days.

During that storm a couple of weeks ago our entire family, all five of us, were forced to stay inside and entertain ourselves without any electronics. I had expected whining and complaining. The kids seemed to realize, however, that the awesome power over unplugging video games and TV had been transferred from their parents to nature and National Grid. You could not argue with that. So they treated the experience as an adventure.
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Guilt and Apple Pie

Photo: Scott Bauer, USDA ARS [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Guilt goes together with motherhood, just like the proverbial apple pie.

Working mother feels guilty she doesn’t spend enough time with the kids.

Stay at home mother feels guilty she does not earn any money.

When she does dishes she feels guilty she is not helping with homework or building a pillow fort.

When she is playing dolls on the living room floor she feels guilty about that pile of dirty laundry.

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Portrait of Alexander Pushkin

Portrait of Alexander Pushkin by Orest Kiprensky, exhibited at Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. Link to the source.

Even though I could teach my kids Russian myself, in theory anyways, they do have a professional tutor. To be honest I stink at teaching children, especially my own. I usually have very little patience for their antics and they don’t take me as seriously as a tutor. A bit of an explosive combination. But I digress.

We have this wonderful new teacher who comes to our house every week for an hour long lesson with all three kids. He not only seems to have an ocean of patience but is also contagiously passionate about the language and about Russian history.

Recently, he told me he was going to read a poem by Pushkin, a famous 19th century Russian poet, to the children. Honestly, I was very skeptical.

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I first wrote this post for Art of Storytelling blog where it was posted on July 24, 2012

English-Russian DictionaryRead Part I of the post

I have developed my own approach to writing in English over many years. Even though I just started writing fiction in English, I had to write in English before.  My blog was one of the examples. I have also had to write a lot of business documentation in the last 15 years. I have always been known for poignant complaint letters.

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I first wrote this post for Art of Storytelling blog where it was posted on July 24, 2012


I nursed the idea of writing fiction for many years.  Just like for most budding writers the idea seemed both fascinating and daunting. One of the most intimidating factors for me was writing in English. English is my second language. Continue Reading »

We are coming back home tomorrow, June 12th!

Just in time for my  son Yasha’s 7th birthday!

I am so emotionally drained that I cannot even feel anything right now.  I still can’t believe this adventure is going to be over. It feels like I have been living in a parallel universe this whole time.

Sasha  will meet her Dad on Friday night at the airport. Then on Saturday morning she is going to meet her brothers and we are going to celebrate Yasha’s birthday.  I know I will be exhausted from not sleeping on the plane (can’t sleep unless I am horizontal) but it will probably be the happiest day of my life.

Ok, now I am sobbing….

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