Radka Toneff – “Winter Poem”.

Hi people! πŸ™‚

It’s been really sunny here lately, and Easter is coming, so you may think sharing a “Winter Poem” is now very timely, but I think it’s all very relative and I just felt like sharing it now, so that’s what I’m doing.

Radka Toneff lived a very short life (she was 30 at the time of her death sometime in the early 80’s if I remember correctly) but seems to be quite a jazz icon in her native Norway. She was born to Bulgarian folk musician and radio personality Tony Toneff, and, I guess because of that, she was also very much influenced by folk in her music. She also set music to some poems of people like Sylvia Plath or Robert Creeley. She most likely died from suicide by overdosing sleeping pills, and her body was found in the woods, however apparently some people say it was accidental.

I am not very big on jazz, but I like a lot of her music, it just speaks to me. And this particular piece isn’t really jazzy at all, I love it. The lyrics are a poem written by Nikki Giovanni and I think it’s so beautiful.

Truthful Tuesday.

I thought I’d participate today in Frank’s

Truthful Tuesday

linkup, and it’s my first time taking part in it! πŸ™‚ The question he asks us this week is:

 

Whether it’s soups, stews, or chili, are there certain foods that you consider β€œwinter fare”, only suitable when the temperature dips low enough to turn the furnace on, or do you just eat whatever whenever?

The soup that I definitely associate with winter is chicken soup. It’s not that I only eat it during winter, but it has a very wintry feel, and I think with the right amount of spices and made the right way it can be so incredibly warming. I like it either with noodles as a proper soup, or just a drinkable broth. But it has to have parsley in it and a lot of spices so that it’s also hot in terms of taste, not just temperature. My Mum always makes it very fat and sticky with a lot of collagen, because she’s crazy about collagen and having enough of it. I guess there is some relationship between broth/chicken soup and getting rid of mucus, because I tend to be quite phlegmy and especially in winter, and for many years I used to get a recurring winter allergic bronchitis every single year that would last for months, now it’s been getting better over time and there are even years when I don’t get it at all or it’s a lot milder than it used to be, but even if I don’t end up getting the bronchitis itself I’m still more or less always phlegmy in winter anyway, and chicken soup is one of the foods that I find to be helpful with the mucus thing, but it could be just all the spices doing the trick rather than the soup itself. When dealing with mucus, apparently millet is one of the foods which helps to get rid of it, so at such times I’ll more often have my chicken soup with millet.

Another soup I very strongly associate with winter is borsch, which is a Polish soup made of beetroots. It’s often traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve, typically with a lot of seasonal spices like cloves and a sort of ear-shaped noodles with cabbage and mushrooms stuffing, which is why it’s often called borsch with ears, or it can be drinkable. This past Christmas Eve, we had both. You can also eat borsch any time of the year but then it typically is without the “ears” and spices, but will often have beans in it instead. I love both the casual and the Christmassy type of borsch, but the Christmassy is better and it feels so hearty and it has a very characteristic taste.

A drink that I strongly associate with winter is also kisiel. Kisiel is made of fruit and it like a sort of jelly, only more liquid and thick, which you can either eat with a spoon or drink, and it’s best when warm. You can get it as an instant product but you can also make it yourself especially from things like preserves or jams, which is what my Mum does. I’m sure that for most Poles there is no connotation between kisiel and winter, but my Mum always makes her kisiel around Christmas and I absolutely love it. It is a very warming drink. Kisiel is often given to people who have some tummy troubles, as long as they can eat fruit, because it’s very light and also oliquid as I said, I remember when my grandad was recovering from colon cancer surgery he was drinking it very often. My Mum’s winter kisiel always has cloves, cinnamon and the like in it.

Also anything really that contains things like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, chilli and the like is a good winter fit in my opinion.

But I absolutely love spicy food, and I can’t imagine eating it only in winter. Which is why chilli in particular I’m happy to eat all year round. Same about other equally hot spices like kalonji and such, which I don’t associate solely with winter like I do ginger for example. Ginger is very much a wintry spice in our household, chilli rules all the time.

I’m not particularly big on stews so they aren’t my thing neither in winter nor at any other time, however it’s not like I don’t eat them at all, it’s just not something I’d be a huge fan of.

How does it look like in your case? πŸ™‚

 

Enya – “Miraculum” (Miracle).

Hey people! πŸ™‚

Thought I’d post something wintry from Enya, because I hasn’t shared a lot of her winter music this particular year, and today we’re having a bit of snow so it seems fit. This is a beautiful Latin song from her album “And Winter Came”. Interestingly, she also has an almost identical song only with different lyrics, called “One Toy Soldier” which is a Christmas song and, as you can imagine, has completely different lyrics.

Question of the day.

What’s your favourite season? Why?

My answer:

I used to love summer. If someone would ask me why, I’d typically say that because holidays are in summer (so I could be home from the boarding school for a longer time), because you can be in the sea, and because you can pick berries (I loved berries as a kid, I still do, but back then I lived in the countryside so we had a forest on the other side of our gate and we would often go there to pick them. But I never really had high tolerance for heat so for that reason summer also really sucked for me. Now that I’m out of school and don’t have to wait for holidays, and still hate heat, it doesn’t have all that appeal to me anymore. I think these days I like winter more, when it’s cold outside but you can keep yourself cosy inside if it gets too cold and feel happy that you don’t have to be outside. Misha is also so delightfully sleepy in winter. He’s also super sleepy in summer but that’s more of the heat and it feels more lethargic and apathetic, while in winter he’s just kinda lazy and often even a bit more cuddly. And generally the feel of winter feels somehow friendly to me these days. My ex-pen pal said once that he thinks that winter is a very friendly season for introverts. I got very curious and asked him why he thought so (with all my current liking for winter I think Christmas, New Year celebrations and the like don’t necessarily have to be the best thing for all introverts, in my family we also have a lot of winter birthdays, myself included, so I wasn’t really sure if I shared this opinion) but he couldn’t really specify. But when I think of it more, even with all the Christmas shopping, socialising and what not, there is something about winter indeed that makes it friendly for introverts and other asocial individuals. What do you think? πŸ™‚

And what about your favourite season? πŸ™‚

Kate Rusby – “Little Jack Frost”.

Hi guys! πŸ™‚

So it’s Advent, and Christmas is coming, so we can listen to our favourite Christmas music again! This is one of my personal absolute winter classics. And Jack Frost is one of my favourite characters in European folklore. He has arrived here for good as it seems, so I am welcoming his with this lovely little song, hoping you will like it too. Kate Rusby is also one of my most favourite English folk singers, she’s really amazing! I love her voice and her accent, most people who know her seem to love her accent haha, and she does this song so very well. It just makes my brain melt. πŸ™‚

 

The Human Life of Misha Hhrrru? ep. 7.

January 7.

I am Misha. I am 7. It’s Monday. I hate Mondays, but today is a very good day. Well okay, besides that I’m sick. But if I wasn’t sick, it wouldn’t be a good day, because I would have to go to school.

My best friend FeluΕ› came to me for the weekend, for two sleeps, and we had lots of fun. I’ve got skates for Christmas from my parents and am still learning how to iceskate. So yesterday we both went to the rink, because FeluΕ› can skate a little bit too, my dad took us, and we were skating. But it was frrrrreezing! And I didn’t want to take my hat with me, because I don’t like it. It’s gross. I wanted to go out without it but mum started yelling “Misha! Misha! Take your hat with you or your ears will fall off!”. But that hat is really awful and cringey and the last time I wore it to school a few boys were laughing at me that I look like an idiot in it and asked me whether my granny crocheted it for me. Mum says I look cute, but Mum always says I look cute, so I think they know better, this time at least. So I just pretended I couldn’t hear her. It was really cold and my ears did feel like they wanted to fall off, but they didn’t and I was brave and tried not to show how cold I was, though dad said my ears were very red and if I wanted to go home. Of course I didn’t. I like iceskating, you know? I am getting better at it. I am still a little bit unsteady but I don’t fall as often as I used to. It’s a lot of fun. I’m sure that soon I’ll be able to iceskate as fast and smoothly as my mum. FeluΕ› fell once and hurt his knee, and looked as if he wanted to cry, but he was brave too, and didn’t. Luckily nothing bad happened to his knee, it was only a bit bruised, but I’m sure it must have hurt him a lot. I wouldn’t laugh if he cried, or call him a cry baby, as some other nasty people do. So yeah, we had lots of fun, and then when we came back mum said that we looked all blue from cold so she made us a bubble bath, and we were making soap bubbles and were splashing at each other. In the evening I was very tired and went to bed just after we watched some telly and FeluΕ›’s grandma came to take him. I was exhausted.
I had a long dream, in which I was skating, all happy, and then suddenly I saw a big monster, who started to pull my ears, and drag me around the iceskate so very, very fast, and I was scared. He was whirling around with me and I screamed and cried, and then I couldn’t keep up anymore and fell down, and he was still dragging me around on my knees, and I had such large, disgusting bruises on them. I woke up and it was still dark, my ears were hurting, my throat was hurting and my head was hurting, and I couldn’t swallow, and I was so cold that I shook like a leaf. A lonely leaf. A lonely leaf always shakes more because he doesn’t have other leaves to keep him warm. And I always say that I’m lonely as a leaf, and everyone says it’s strange, because leaves are always in a bunch, even when they fall. But when most of the leaves on a tree fall, sometimes one stays and is the last to fall. And sometimes when the leaves fall, the wind will take one away from all the other leaves. Is it strange to feel lonely as a leaf? So I was shaking as a leaf, and I wanted to call mum, to close my window, I thought it was open because it was so cold, and I didn’t want to get up because it was just too cold and I was too tired. But I was too hoarse to call her, and it was so dark that I thought she must be sleeping. I raised up in bed and saw that the window was closed, and mum even put a blanket over me. I pulled it closer so that I was almost all hidden under it, and soon I fell asleep again. The next time I woke up it was very light and I could hear some papers rustling in mum’s study, and when I called her she came to me immediately. “Mum? I feel sick, I can’t go to school.” – I screeched. – “No, don’t worry, you won’t. It’s noon already. I was trying to wake you up in the morning but you wouldn’t even move. The next time you go iceskating you will put your hat on, won’t you?” “No, because it’s ugly.” – I said, and felt so happy that I don’t have to go to school.
I don’t feel well, my ears are throbbing and snotting every 5 seconds but at least I can do my plast plast thingy. Plast plast is how I call arts – painting and drawing and modelling and cutting and gluing and all that. – I love plast plast! Mum went out to the shops. I’m lucky because our family doctor isn’t at work today, so I didn’t have to go see him, will do tomorrow! Or maybe he’s sick too? I hate going to doctors, I almost never have to. I don’t like the smells in there, and people coughing and sneezing all around me, and the doctor putting that stick in my mouth, eww. And I hate medicines. Mum only gives me vitamin C now, it’s good because it’s fizzy and doesn’t taste too gross, but she says I’ll probably have to stay at home for a week, and take a lot of medicines. The first thing is great, the latter is horrible. It’s also a pity that I can’t play with FeluΕ›. Actually, who invents illnesses and why? I would like to know. I’ve always wanted to be a painter when I grow up, but if I could be both a painter and an inventor, I’d like that. Then I’d invent such an illness that would last very long, and everyone would see straight away that you’re ill so you wouldn’t have to stick your tongue or measure your temperature, they’d just know, so you wouldn’t have to go to school or work, but you would feel well, or only a little little bit sick, so you can go out to play and have adventures, bruise your knees or do whatever you want and no one can tell you that you can’t. You just can’t do things that you don’t like and talk to people you don’t like because then you will infect them and they will have it too, you only want to infect nice people.
The worst thing is that when someone in our house is ill, either dad or me, mum gives us loads of veggies, and I hate them. And my mum isn’t a good cook, so things are always over- or undercooked. But I’ll deal with that somehow, though I am not hungry at all today because it hurts when I swallow and mum has to force me to eat and everything tastes so icky. At least she lets me play on the computer and do as much plast plast as I want and as I can in between having to snot, even with her things. Sometimes it’s very pleasant to be sick.

Winter is coming and I’m happy, but they say I’m not normal.

Hhrrru? 😻

It’s Misha. I haven’t posted for a while because my life was very boring and I didn’t know what to post about. How are you pets and peeps doing?

I feel that the winter is slowly coming to us, and I’m happy about it. I’m getting more sleepy and there are more cosy and warm places around to sleep in. The radiators are so warm. My favourite one is in the living room, it has a space for me to lay on it, and there is a basket just for me. I also like snow. I think it will be a while before it comes but I really like looking at it. Zofijka even let me out for a little while a few days ago, but on the leash. I hate that, I’d like to be able to go where I want. She let me walk around the backyard, and I was so extremely happy to see the sun, and smell the fresh air, that I just fell on the ground with joy and rolled around in ecstasy, wanting to make my whole fur smell like the air outside. Zofijka was looking at me as if I was crazy but she doesn’t understand anything. Then she wanted to take me back home, but I didn’t want to go. I wanted to run away, and I almost did, but she caught me and yelled at me that I’m not normal. I would like to know why. Is it not normal for a cat to want to be out and about? It’s not normal (and selfish) when a human is unable to understand such a basic need. I think it’s not normal that they keep me in literally ALL the time, except for those short walks maybe once a month or even less often.

Do you think it’s not normal that I want to be out? Do you like to spend time out in nature, does it bring you pleasure? For me, it makes me euphoric!

Mishpurrs.

Misha πŸ’œ πŸ’š πŸ’™

Ice, ice baby: 15 Swedish words for ice

I didn’t even know that!… And I thought I can speak Swedish! 😢 It’s fascinating for me, especially that I’ve always been so fascinated with ice!

Watching the Swedes

Currently in the depths of winter, the Swedish landscape is covered in snow and ice.

I previously published a blog about 50 Swedish words for snow. So I became curious about how many words are there to describe ice.

I was surprised to find an enormous number of words. I guess it’s not so surprising for a Nordic country with so many lakes, rivers and waterways that there are many words to describe the different stages and shapes of frozen water.

Here are 15 of the words I found: 15 words for ice.

  1. Is – the standard word for ice
  2. Blankis – ice that shines like a mirror
  3. Nyis – ice that’s only a couple of centimeters thick and transparent
  4. Fast is – thick ice, often not transparent
  5. IssΓΆrja – when the air is cold but the water is moving, a kind of ice slop forms
  6. Tallrikis – plates of…

View original post 129 more words

Enya – “Amid The Falling Snow”.

Hi guys. πŸ™‚

I’ve shared with you quite a couple Christmas carols by Enya so far. Today, I’m also sharing a song by Enya, though this one doesn’t have much to do with Christmas, but it’s still very wintry and cosy, and I love it because of it. πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

What are you sipping and nibbling by the fire in your wooden lodge in the snow?

My answer:

GlΓΆgg (Swedish mulled and spiced wine) and pepparkakor (gingerbreads). Well, I’m not perfectly sure about glΓΆgg, I’ve never had it and I much prefer whisky to wine, but it just somehow fit into the scenery for me hahaha. But it could be as well Jack Daniels, or, to make the atmosphere more Swedish, julmust (another Swedish Christmas drink but non alcoholic, it’s a fizzy drink). But pepparkakor for sure.

You? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

In which ways do you make friends with this cold season and own it like a boss?

My Answer:

Well, I like it more when it’s colder than hot, if I had to choose between really freezing winter and extremely hot summer, I’d rather go for winter. It’s not like I love when it’s freezing, but I hate feeling like I’m roasting, all that heat and exhaustion and feeling like your brain is melting but not in a positive way. Still though, cold can be hard to get through when it’s like really hot, and I particularly hate being cold at night, I have cold hands and feet most of the time, and although I don’t particularly care about it nor notice it most of the time, at night, although I most often sleep with open window, I like to be warm and cosy, so that my feet won’t get cold and I can fall asleep, therefore I sleep with a hot water bottle or something like this for most of the year, besides summer months. Also, Misha is a very good thing to heat you up in winter. As well as good tea with honey and ginger, in the past I used to drink it with a little bit of Jack Daniels but nowadays I’m not that crazy about it and not like all the time. We had a particularly crazy Jack Daniels season with my Mum a couple of years ago when we lived without heating at our old house in late autumn, before we moved where we are now, and one of the ways we coped with the very overwhelming cold was drinking tea with Jack Daniels, or other good whisky. Also, hot baths are nice and helpful, though nowadays I try to avoid them as my skin doesn’t like them, so it’s like once in a while when I really can’t resist. Proper clothes are quite a basic thing I guess, some warm jumpers or blankets can be very useful. And I love eating spicy food at winter, it warms you up instantly. Good warm music can also be incredibly helpful, as well as some nice books to read and generally staing cosy.

How about you?

Winter is coming. Zzzzzzzz… πŸ˜΄

Hhrrru? πŸ’™

It’s me Misha. (yawn) πŸ˜ͺ How are you peeps and pets doing? I am not doing much lately. Just sleeping a lot. I’m very sleepy. It’s sunny today, but no crows, no magpies, nothing, so I’m very sleepy, I don’t have to be stressed out about anything, except for Zofijka. But Zofijka says everyone needs a little bit of adrenalin because otherwise life is boring. Maybe she’s right. I don’t really know what to write about, because not much has been happening recently, and because I am very sleepy at the moment and don’t feel like thinking too much. The peeps say I’m very cuddly and social recently. ‘Cause indeed I feel more like socialising and purring and snuggling up and stuff. Maybe it’s that finally I don’t have to worry too much about such babies like Sasha, and maybe it’s the time of year, or I’m just getting old. I don’t mind being stroked or even forced to stay in bed with Zofijka as much as I did in the past. I’m so sleepy. I’m going to sleep right now, and that’s what I suggest you all do.

Mishpurrs. πŸ€—

Misha Pisha Shmisha Qisha Fisha πŸ’œ 😻

Question of the day.

How are you preparing for winter?

My answer:

Actually, I don’t think I’m preparing anything right now. I think it’s still a while until the actual winter comes. I have my winter clothes and don’t have to buy anything new, so I don’t think there will be any major preparations in any area of my life.

You? πŸ™‚

Fffrrreeezzzing!

Yeah it’s really freezing here today. Snowing almost all the time since yesterday and very icy. My gramma whom we invited today for some time to stay with us almost collapsed on the steps when she was coming in, so slippery it is.

So as you know I had an almost sleepless night. Yeah luckily I managed to fall asleep about an hour after I wrote that post in the morning and had a few hours of sleep. It wasn’t very refreshing, but it was definitely something. Otherwise I would probably become very groggy after some time. We all went to the church in the morning. We went there on foot, it is about 7 minutes walk from us till there, so not that very far, but my leg was burning a lot after I got home. It’s shitty, I thought it healed at least a bit. and then my uncle dropped gramma (my Dad’s mum) to us. I was writing a lot with my pen pals. Also I played with Zofijka for a while. At 4 we went to church again, but now by car. Now as it is Lent, there is a special devotion on each Sunday of Lent related to that in Poland, apparently it doesn’t exist in any other Catholic countries, I think its English title would be something like Bitter Lamentations and it is about Christ’s passion and it is sung. We dropped gramma to her house afterwards and did some shopping. Zofijka felt very sleepy early on and she went to bed about 7 PM so very not like her. She wanted me and Misha to be with here so we were as she was falling asleep, she often wants us to be with her before she falls asleep. I told her a story. I don’t usually do that, only sometimes, but she really likes it. Zofijka’s stories are very special. They are about a fictional creature called Jim, which looks like a human, actually like a 10-year-old boy, but he is a Jimosaurus – the last Jimosaurus in the world and is 10000 years old, despite looking so very young and being so child-like. Jim lives in Australia (Zofijka had a slight obsession about Australia when I was making it all up so hence the location) in a little hut in the forest. He’s the king of that forest and all of the animals there can talk obviously. Jim’s best friend is – Plim – a pretty clumsy, forgetful, awkward and sluggish but very kind-hearted and sensitive koala who rules the forest on Jim’s behalf when Jim’s not there and a bit scating, but incredibly loyal bee called Sophie who is very good at cooking and making different curing mixtures and taking care of animals and people. Jim can eat normal people food and he likes it, but it isn’t nutritious for him. Really nutritious food for him is helping people. When he feels hungry, which happens very often, he takes out his binoculars and leather wings and climbs up on the roof of his hut. Then he looks at the whole world and searches for people or any other beings who may need help. If he finds someone to helps, he takes quickly what he needs, sometimes takes Sophie with him if any medical intervention is needed, puts on his wings and flies there. So as you see poor Plim has to be in charge most of the time actually. So Zofijka’s stories are always about different people or animals or plants or even sometimes things that Jim helps. She always says she loves Jim. But she always falls asleep so quickly that I highly doubt he can hear the whole story.