9/11

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I often looked at the clock

And time was never at standstill

Sometimes it was there to mock

Sometimes it was there to kill

But the numbers 9 11

They always stood out to me

I caught myself looking

Unconscious….

Today they buried my grandpa

And I wondered if that’s why

If numbers were playing a trick on me

Or if it’s just life?

Today I want you to go and give your family a call, give them a hug, tell them you love them, tell them you miss them… Don’t fight, don’t argue, because at the end of the day it’s not worth it. You all have a purpose and a reason to be here, and it’s to create beauty and love and find that glow!

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I love you all, and I want to say a great big THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to all of you who have been sending prayers and loving kind thoughts my way. You mean so much to me. I have been crying on and off again today, over 9/11, over my grandfather, and not being able to be in Russia. But I have also been crying happy tears, that I have a loving husband, and a family here, who take care of me. And I know that the Universe is watching over me. I have been seeing signs everywhere, from a hand wave of a small child, to watching a ladybug make it’s way around my chair while listening to the wind chimes at the Sculpture Garden.

Love,

Zhenya

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Making fun of the 90’s, because 90’s were FUN

Presented below is a visual list of items that were popular in the 90’s, needless to say – I am glad they stayed in the 90’s! And if you grew up in Eastern Europe, you have to recognize some of these!

The hideous hair ties

I don’t even have the courage to call it a scrunchie, this is a hideous cut out of a clown’s wig, at least that’s what it seems like to me today, but back in the day these were extremely popular. Perfect for Gay Pride, don’t you think?

Titanic Leo was everywhere, and so was Kate

 on T-shirts and Buttons

 Leggings were also popular

 Plus there were fuzzy sweaters and plastic headbands

 There was a ton of other stuff, and no I am not nostalgic, I just like making fun of the 90s, because 90s were FUN!

   

A Dame in a Hat

A little bit of history today for you my lovely readers. And please remember this post for the rest of your life, because even when you are old and boring and are invited to a ladies get together – you don’t want to show up wearing a pink bucket on your head (a real story FYI!)

So let me introduce you to Madame Agnes,

The famous milliner Rose Valois, Madame le Monnier and Madame Agnes during the races at Longchamp racecourse, in August 1943

Of course hats were everything in the first half of the century, primarily the 30’s and Madame Agnes was the most popular milliner, and do you know why? Because this woman would cut the brims, while the hats were still on her clients. Now which one of you would let someone do that to you today?

Influenced by surrealism, she introduced that form of art into the art of millinery, plus she added the feathers too, and who doesn’t love those?

   So now when you need to wear a hat, you are going to know what to wear 🙂

xoxo,

Z

Saint George and His Ribbon

This ribbon has become almost a “must” on Victory Day. Well, I don’t have one, does this make me a bad Russian? I don’t think so! This morning I showed Sam the parade in Red Square. We also kind of laughed at who has more hair between Putin and Medvedev! At least everyone seemed happy, in spite of the hair factor, and some other matters! I am glad that ugly ice-rink was down!

Victory Day, or May,9 is one of the most important holidays in Russia, I guess this is the equivalent of Independence Day, except for the Moscow parade is impossible to get to and you can only watch it on TV! Unlike the US, you can go anywhere, as long as there is room on the side of the street. Also, in Russia no one throws you candy! But they show you the tanks, and other latest military equipment! How cool is that! And then it all ends up on YouTube and everyone can see what Russian military has in store!

But I am not here to talk about the “boasting” and the “showing off”, we all do that every once in a while. I am here to talk to you about Saint George!

The tradition tells us that Saint George was a Roman soldier and a priest! Catholics firmly believe in his existence, or should I say the fact that he lived on this earth back in the 3rd century AD. But they have some issues believing the stories about him. Especially the one about Saint George and the dragon. According to the story a dragon or a crocodile made its nest at the spring that provided water for the city of “Silene” in Libya or the city of Lydda in the Holy Land (depending on the source). Consequently, the citizens had to dislodge the dragon from its nest for a time, to collect water. To do so, each day they offered the dragon at first a sheep, and if no sheep could be found, then a maiden had to go instead of the sheep. The victim was chosen by drawing lots. One day, this happened to be the princess. The monarch begged for her life to be spared, but to no avail. She was offered to the dragon, but there appeared Saint George on his travels. He faced the dragon, protected himself with the sign of the cross, killed the dragon, and rescued the princess. The grateful citizens abandoned their ancestral paganism and converted to Christianity.

I love the paintings of Saint George, I think my favorite one is by Vassily Kandinsky

Here are some more paintings of this Saint. Pay attention to how the dragon changes size and form!

Saint George by Elena Kudryashova

Saint George on the Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow, Russia

Saint George by Natalya Brodskaya

Saint George by Paolo Uccello

Saint George by Katya Medvedeva

Saint George on the Coat of Arms of Russia

Saint George by Bellini

Saint George on the 10 kopek coin (Russian Currency)

So whether you are wearing the ribbon today or not, what matters is the attitude, the gratitude and the respect! Happy Victory day everyone!

Xoxo,

Where The Nickel-iron Alkaline Electric Storage Battery Came From!

Glenmont, West Orange, NJ! Who would’ve thought! And many other wonderful things that Thomas A. Edison invented during the 40 years he lived there! And I had an opportunity to live there too, well actually a couple house down the road, and only for a year. I remember the first time I went on a tour around Glenmont, there was a couple from California, a couple from Arizona, and me, who as I already said, lived a few houses away! Just so you know – the tours are free, and if you are ever in NJ, go there!

Besides the mansion, you can also tour the green house and the garage! And hear many wonderful stories about that era! This is just one of the places where I lived, and I wanted to share it with you!

Xoxo

Old-school International Women’s Day Cards

As I was browsing on the web, I found these old cards from back in the day. I think if I look around my grandparents house, I will be able to find some real ones. But I felt like sharing these with you today!

HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY TO ALL WONDERFUL LADIES ALL OVER THE WORLD!!!!

Something Old

I thought I’d share some old fam pictures with you today. They are nothing special, just a few black and white shots I threw together. Hope you enjoy them!

1. Camping, Soviet Style!

2. Glamour, Soviet Style. The bottom picture was taken in Red Square!

3. My mom and uncle when they were little. Check out my grandma’s outfits!

4. My grandparents when they were young. I wish I could say they were my favorite people in the world. Alas!

5. Wedding, Soviet Style. Now these are not my parents, but I thought it would be fun to post some pics of a married couple somewhere out in the field!

6. These are some pics of my mom when she was younger. Please keep the comments that I look like her to yourself. I hate being told that! Thank you!

7. Fun, Soviet Style. Murder, She Wrote. Collective Farming. Mexican Style New Years Party. The pic on the bottom left is one of my mom and our cat. We had him for over 15 years. I think I was in 2nd grade when he died. The pic on the bottom left is of my mom’s friend from High School. This is what the Soviet Uniform looked like! A lot of girls still wear it for their High School graduation. I didn’t wear it, it’s the ugliest thing in my opinion!

8. This pic was taken Jan.1 1984, about 2,5 years before I was born. I love my mom’s hat and mittens!