Bedecking the house.

Hi people. 🙂

How are your Christmas preparations going? Do you have much left?

Our house has been fully bedecked  today. Most of our decorations have been prepared earlier already, but today finally our house has a totally Christmassy feel, as we have the Christmas tree in the living room. It’s a pine, and our Christmas tree decorations haven’t changed much since years. There are some small baubles, but other than that, all the decorations are hand-made by my Mum, including red, heart-shaped sort of pillows that we have on Christmas tree every year, and which always cause a lot of excitement in Misha. He would always draw them down from the tree and then play with them all over the living room, losing them everywhere, biting them dragging them around the house. We usually don’t do anything about it now though, because it’s pointless. He’s got a mind of his own obviously and he knows what he wants, and no one will tell him to do the opposite unless they’d manage to convince him that it’s truly better, and since he’s a big thinker, that takes time. And actually, does it matter? I think it doesn’t. He always looks so cute and funny with those pillow hearts in his mouth, and he never seriously damaged them, they’re still perfectly usable, so I don’t think we should bother, he actually isn’t very playful and I personally always try to encourage him to play when he feels like it rather than turn his attention away from it if he’s not doing any damage, and he does it very rarely, it amazes me continuously how gentle he always (well, almost always) is. Only sometimes he loses control over himself and then things can get a bit messy, but not for too long. 😀

And I should say that Christmas tree in general is of a great, great interest for Misha. Mmmmm this smell, he loves all the natural smells – leaves, feathers, branches, flowers, all the forest smells, he’s maybe not so keen on animals, but plants, ground and such, he loves it all – he adores the smell of the Christmas tree so much that he smells it as much as he can, picks the branches, pats them with his paws in pure adoration and awe. Sometimes when he’s in an even more romantic mood, he climbs up the tree, or tries, as long as someone won’t stop him, and even happily eats the needles when noone sees, which last year contributed to him being very, very sick, at least for Misha’s standards, as he’s normally very healthy.

And so now as we have the Christmas tree put up and decorated, and pierogi in the freezer, Christmas has begun!

 

Share Your Merry World.

I haven’t participated in Share Your World for a quite long while, so time to change it! It’s hosted by Melanie at Sparks From A Combustible Mind,  so if you’d like to join in the fun, come over to her blog. 🙂 Here are Melanie’s questions and my answers to them.

 

What’s the worst topping you could put on popcorn?   (credit to Teresa for this one)

Semolina, mashed potatoes with gravy, or anything pulpy and mashy like that, in my opinion. 😀

In what country did Silent Night originate?

Ha! I always read some of other participants’ answers before I write mine, so, even if I wouldn’t know the answer before, I know it now. But as I said I already knew before that the answer is Austria, and i find the story behind this Christmas carol really intriguing, and I like that you can sing it in so many languages. When I’ll learn all of mine, I’d like to be able to sing it in all of them (assuming there is a Sami or Manx version of “Silent Night”, I’m not sure and somehow doubt it), I already know the English, Swedish and, more or less, Welsh version, and obviously Polish too.

(WARNING! The following question is NOT meant to start a fuss.  It’s merely a good discussion question in my opinion.  Most everyone knows where I stand on this. If you feel like arguing about it, please give it a pass.) We’re all adults and sensible ones at that.  We can be mature about such things, right?

How would you react if there was irrefutable proof that God doesn’t exist?       I think first I would be very sceptical. Because there is loads of research on both sides, and both sides are equally obstinate that they are right, so I’d probably just think, as a practicing Christian, that this is another theory made up by another atheist who, although declares being atheist, seems to be strongly interested in religion. You know, it’s always hard for anyone when their beliefs, like pretty much basic beliefs I think, are proven to be not true. I’ve never been in such situation before but I think it has to be a very hard experience. So, after i’d go through the phase of denial, I’d probably feel very disappointed, probably left alone, like my life is meaningless. I don’t think I would change my behaviour much, other than I would stop practicing my religion, but it could be very depressing. Or maybe I’m wrong? Maybe it would be like after a loss of a loved one? I’d go through denial, then grief, and then would just carry on, but just feeling some sort of a gap in my life, as you always do after a loss, that is usually gradually lessening with time? Hard to say. I feel though it could be hard. As someone who struggles with depression, or dysthymia more exactly, if it makes any difference in the grand scheme of things, I often feel my life is pointless and meaningless already, so I suspect it would be only worse after something like this.

How about if there was irrefutable proof that God does exist?

I think it would make me happy, like comforted. Everyone who believes in any God has their doubts once in a while, and then we wouldn’t have them suddenly, wouldn’t it be brilliant? I think it could help me make a stronger connection with God, and just strengthen my faith. What I wonder about though, is would the picture of God I have in my mind cover with what God is really like? Would be it Christian God, or Muslim, or Jewish, or Buddha, or maybe Zeus or Jupiter or Odin or Perun or Lugh or goddess Ilmatar? Maybe there would be many gods, or goddesses, or other deities? Or everyone would have their own God, like it already is in a way, ’cause even within one religion, we all actually have a different picture of God, so maybe it would be like this? Or maybe there would be one God, but as some people say, different religions and ethnicities just call and understand Him differently, but it actually doesn’t matter because there is one God for everyone? That’s interesting, I think.

And last question:

What is the scariest non banned item you could take on to a plane?

Hmm, it’s hard for me to think of anything, even just because I haven’t been on a plane before. My brain is quite scary, but I don’t think others would appreciate and realise it hahaha. So it would probably be my sis Zofijka, she can be really scary if she wants. 😀

Traditions

Which version of the holiday celebration do you and your family enjoy?  By this I mean do you follow Jewish traditions with Hanukkah; Christian celebrations with Christmas and (for those over the pond) Boxing Day; or some other festivities that I’ve overlooked?   Please do share with everyone!  I truly feel that this sort of question lets us know a little more about our fellow bloggers without getting too personal (i.e. revealing too much of private lives, which some folks prefer to keep private.)

We are Christians so we celebrate Christmas in a Christian, Catholic way, and we are Polish so our traditions are Polish/European. We have a festive dinner on christmas Eve, and this is actually the most important point of the celebrations for us. Well maybe not most important but most festive. We always start it with a short prayer, then one of us reads a fragment of the Gospel about Jesus’ birth, and then we share Christmas wafer with each other. Each of us has a piece of Christmas wafer and everyone breaks of a piece from each other’s Christmas wafer and eats it and we wish each other merry Christmas and generally all the best, it’s the best when the wishes are personalised, like, you know, you show the person that you really care about them and that whatever happened during the year, your relationship is still good and there are no old conflicts between you.

Then we have the meal, which for most people contains a lot of fish but for us it’s moderate since neither me nor my siblings like fish very much, but there are pierogi with cabbage and mushrooms, borsch – borsch is normally a soup, but during Christmas Eve dinner most people make it pure so that you can drink it, or with a special type of noodles, that resemble ears in their shape. – There are also lots of salads, and some cakes. The dishes vary between the regions though. The Christmas Eve dinner is usually meatless, and it is said that traditionally you should have twelve dishes and you should taste each of them, but since there is only five of us plus Misha who is picky and will only eat a bit of fish we don’t have so much food, we usually still have some leftovers until New Year’s Eve anyway haha. There is also another tradition, setting an additional tableware “for the guest” so for anyone who might come to the house, be them a homeless person, or a traveller, or someone in need, or from the family, or a friend, whoever, and they should be invited to the dinner. Another tradition is to put some hay under the tablecloth, and we do it too.

After the meal we usually go to my Mum’s family and again share the Christmas wafer with them, exchange gifts, have some cake or other sweet things and sing carols and generally spend time together, often playing scrabble.

And at midnight we usually go to Midnight Mass.

Our fairly new family tradition is that it’s only after the Midnight Mass that we come home and unwrap the presents under our own Christmas tree. And I think it’s cool, although Zofijka can barely wait until then, because of course as every child she loves presents so much.

Christmas day, and the second Christmas day are less festive, and more leisurely, there is a lot of food, not meatless – we also have things like turkey, or salads with meat, or my Dad’s smoked meat, or paszteciki, which are sort of breadrolls with meat stuffing in them. And we either just chill out, or have some outings, or visit family. So, there you have it, Polish Christmas traditions.

Friendly Fill-ins.

Here are this week’s Friendly Fill-ins, hosted by 15 And Meowing and Four-Legged Furballs.

 

 

  1.   Black Friday _________________________________ is a bit weird holiday in my opinion, but I don’t really care about it much and it amazes me a little that some people seem to be so excited about it, I was never particularly into shopping though. I think the weird thing about it is that it actually seems to last a week, if not more. 😀 But if people like it so much, why not?
  2. A pet peeve of mine at this time of year is ___________________________ Christmas music being already played so very often on the radio. People, it’s not even December yet! 😀 I mean, if they like it so much, OK, their business, I do have my own Christmas favourites that I sometimes can’t resist to not listen on other times of the year too, even if it’s the middle of the summer, that can be fun, but hearing about Christmas everywhere when it’s still a little less than a month until it arrives makes me feel a little sick, even though I do like Christmas, I just think too much can be very unhealthy.
  3. ‘Tis the season for _________ writing a lot for me. I’m writing a lot in my book about “Jack Hamilton” lately, after neglecting him for some time.

I never jumped on the fantasy books _________ bandwagon. They seem to be so popular lately. I like some stuff like for example our Polish “The Witcher”, or other stuff that has a bit of a fairy tale feel, as well as proper legends and fairytales and stuff, but I’ve never liked stuff like “Harry Potter”, or books that are very focused on paranormal/supernatural stuff, all the books about vampires, werewolves, alternative worlds, superpowers, it never, or very rarely spoke to me very much, I guess only when the topic iss somewhat close to me I can enjoy such book a bit. I did read some of them out of curiosity, but yeah, not my cup of tea definitely.

Friendly Fill-ins.

Oh my, today I realised that I haven’t participated in Friendly Fill-ins in months! I guess the last time was quite a while before I sent my laptop to be fixed, in August! Time flies…

Anyways, if you’d like to participate too, go over to Ellen at

15 And Meowing or to Four-Legged Furballs, who are hosting. 🙂 Here are this week’s fill-ins.

 

  1. One can _____________. imagine just anything one wishes, the key is to just train your imagination, there are no things, or hardly any, that a human being can’t imagine, that’s what I think.
  2. Given the choice of _______________ not being able to ever learn my languages, or losing Misha, I would pick _________________not to be able to speak my languages, I could never live without Misha now, or even if I could, that would be more than shitty.
  3. _________ Misha makes me feel _________calmer, happier, less alone, safer, makes my life feel beautiful.
    1. I never go a day without _________listening to music.

3 Day Lyric Challenge – day one – Ider – You’ve Got Your Whole Life Ahead Of You Baby.

Finally I’m getting to do this challenge!

Over a month ago I was nominated by

Ghostmmnc

for Three Day Lyric Challenge. Thank you again so much.

However, as my loyal readers know, I was unable to write it for nearly the whole month of September because of my laptop being fixed.

And when I finally got it, I started to wonder, what to share with you guys as part of this challenge. ‘Cause, obviously, as you can easily see, I listen to a whole lot of music, and it often has very interesting lyrics imo. But so often it is in other languages! And there are so often no translations available! And often even if I know what the lyrics generally are about, I don’t feel competent enough to make a translation myself, especially that English isn’t my native language. And even English music that I listen to, is often so niche that you might not find any lyrics at times. SO yeah, that was a bit tricky. But finally, I’ve got some ideas. So here we go:

   Rules:

 

1 Thank the person who nominated you.

2 Share one of your favorite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.

3 Nominate three other bloggers each day.

So the song I have today for you is just sooo much about me right now! Because, just as the person speaking in this song, and just as those two girls of the band Ider, I’m in my twenties,and having more or less the same dilemmas.

Ider is an English band, consisting of two roommates from London, and they’re undoubtedly very talented girls, and having always very interesting and thought-provoking lyrics.

   Ider – “You’ve GOt Your Whole Life Ahead Of You, Baby” – lyrics.

[Verse 1]

I’m in my 20s

So I panic in every way

I’m so scared of the future

I keep missing today

How did you do it?

How did it turn out alright?

I swear it’s always easier back then

Or is it just hindsight?

 

[Chorus]

They keep telling me

“You’ve got your whole life ahead of you, baby

Don’t worry, don’t stress, do your best”

What if that doesn’t save me?

They say “If I could go back and do it again

I would’ve wasted all my money

Would’ve slept with all my friends” but you didn’t

‘Cause you had your whole life ahead of you, baby

 

[Verse 2]

I don’t dare shut my eyes

I don’t wanna miss a thing

I don’t wanna let you down

I don’t wanna disappoint me

I won’t stop looking at others

Thinking that’s where I should be

I’m trying to enjoy myself, love myself

Who the fuck is myself?

 

[Chorus]

But they keep telling me

“You’ve got your whole life ahead of you, baby

Don’t worry, don’t stress, do your best”

What if that doesn’t save me?

They say “If I could go back, if I was still young

I would’ve cared less, made more mistakes to learn from”

But you didn’t ’cause you had your whole life ahead of you, baby

 

[Bridge]

How did you make it work out? Don’t tell me you faked it

Should I be changing it now or am I too late?

Could just be me or maybe our generation

Still they say “Be patient, it’s all meant to be

You’ve got your whole life ahead of you, baby

You’ve got your whole life ahead of you, baby”

 

[Chorus]

They say “If I could go back and do it again

I would’ve wasted all my money

Would’ve slept with all my friends” but you didn’t

‘Cause you had your whole life ahead of you, baby

 

[Outro]

They say “If I could go back and do it again, do it again…”

They say “If I could go back and do it again…”

 

   My nominees:

Lauren at

A Gentlewoman And A Scholar,

Laura at

All The Shoes I Wear

and Astrid at

A Multitude Of Musings

Hope you will enjoy this song. 🙂

 

Share Your World.

Cee’s Share Your World.

 

Which tastes better: black or green olives?
I love olives in general, olives are one of my favourite foods. It doesn’t matter whether black or green.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
My own.

What fictional family would you be a member of?
There’s such a Polish series I’ve talked about probably more than I can count on this blog, it’s called “Jeżycjada”, and it’s written by Małgorzata Musierowicz. It is generally perceived as a series for teens, or for girls, or women, but my personal opinion is that it is suitable just for everyone, unless you really crave for a very fast and changeable plot in a book. It’s full of warmth and humour, yummy food, very fascinating characters that at the same time are also just nice to be around. All that with the witty style and erudition of Musierowicz’s on top which make these books way too good to just classify them as your typical books for teens, in fact I don’t thik many of the typical Polish teens would actually read themwith pleasure because of a bit difficult vocabulary at times, for example my Zofijka says they’re boring because she doesn’t understand a lot of words, which in my opinion is weird, but that’s how many teens seem to be nowadays, though Zofijka is maybe just a bit too young because she’s actually 11. And what’s very characteristic to this series is that there is a lot of focus on family life. In the central place we have the Borejko family, living in Poznań, and then all their friends and further relatives, so quite a lot of families we can come across. Each book in the series is particularly dedicated to one of the characters (preferably a teenage girl or a young woman, though not always), so we can have a deeper insight into a particular heroine’s family. That being said, I have lots of interesting, loving and cool families to choose from in my favourite series. But I’ll go with the Borejko family, I’d love to be the fifth of the Borejko daughters (there are four), or I could replace Natalia, with whom I strongly identify. This is such a great family and I already feel like a part of it. And OMG I’d love for Mila Borejko to be my Mum, or even just anyone whom I’d know in real life, she has very many traits that I have, so I can understand her and identify with her, but she also has a lot of ones that I don’t have and which I always admire in people and respect them for.And boy wouldn’t it be cool to  have four sisters? Or even just three, if I’d be Natalia? 😀 One of my other favourite families is the Żak family, they’re so funny and witty and always make me laugh when I read the book that is particularly about them, but I am not sure whether I’d actually fit in there, I feel like the Borejko family are a bit more of my kind of people.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

Misha, a lot of progress in my languages, particularly Welsh, but also English, writing, blogging. Starting therapy with the new therapist, whatever will come out of it, our first session was pretty good. Getting rid of the anxiety after the nightmares I had a few weeks ago and the anxiety afterwards was hard to overcome fully, it would come back happily in the evenings and at night and I hated it, and now it seems to be gone, I hope I’m not jinxing it.

 

Share Your World.

Share Your World At Cee’s.

 

Again, this week, after a bit of a break, I’m participating in Share Your World.

 

A class you wish you would have taken?

I wish I could take classes from all my languages. I don’t mean at college or anything, just some sort of good courses, that could be relevant to me and accessible to me as a blind person, whether online or somewhere in my area, I don’t care if individual or in a group. I am mentioning this because as much as it isn’t particularly difficult to find an accesible course online in such languages like English, Swedish, Dutch, or even Finnish if you’ll try a bit more, with the rest of my favourites you have to really try hard, be patient and inquiring, and very determined, to actually find something. I find it an absolute miracle that I’ve found that Welsh course I’m doing right now, that it is so accessible, simple and effective and with such a supportive community, and moreover, that the same people also created courses in Cornish, Manx and Dutch, so that I don’t have to look for another place, also I’ve had great friends from Wales outside from that community who helped me a lot particularly at the very beginnings. But if you think of another favourite languages of mine, like Faroese, Sami, or Frisian, or Scottish Gaelic, or Scots or Shetlandic, or Irish… uhhhh things get tougher. The consolation may be that many of the languages I love are more or less related, so maybe it won’t all be that scary, I wouldn’t like to give up just because something isn’t accessible online. So yeah, I just try to not think about that right now, maybe until I’ll start to learn them I’ll find some good place for myself, or someone eager to help with those extremely rare, extincting languages. But other than languages, I’d love to learn about Celtic and Nordic cultures, and I’d love to take classes in playing Celtic harp. And if I were sighted, I’d want to be a neurosurgeon, so anything on that topic too.

Are you scared of heights?

Yes. I used to be very very very like VERY scared of heights, now it lessened kinda on its own so it’s easier, but I still am.

Are you a good cook? If so, do you consider yourself a chef?

Absolutely not. My cooking always ends up with a catastrophe. You rather don’t trust me with it. Last time I tried to magnanimously help my Mum make a big family dinner earlier this year, I ended up with two fingers bleeding quite massively, I mean maybe not really bad, but bad enough that you wouldn’t think I’ve just grated them accidentally instead of vegs. I have a rich history of similar and worse cases from the times when I was at the boarding school.

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

Misha, writing, blogging, progress in my languages. Good session with the therapist, and that we got along and have similar opinions on me changing therapists. That I translated my previous music crush’s another poem, I’m still over the moon about that. That I had a beautiful dream the other night involving my current music crush. (God, my crushes, what I’d be without them) That we had a cool day on the beach with Mum and Zofijka. And that I’m doing fairly well emotionally and that my anxiety has lessened a bit more since that dreadful nightmare I had.