December 21, 2017

Season's Greetings, Christmas Card!

It's the first day of my winter break from work and this is our "Christmas Card"! One perk of working at a university is the generous amount of vacation days! So I get to sit here and write, yay! We've been in our new home for a little over a year now and are starting to really feel like it's ours. It does take time. Transitions are fluid and evolving. As typical form I was definitely anxious and "in a hurry" to be feeling like this is a place where I belong which never works. All you have to do is BE and you BE-long ;)

So far we've made just a few "home improvements". Most of our furniture is the same from our apartment with the exception of a set of bunk beds my parents brought to us from Massachusetts, a beautiful chair I splurged on, and the curtains we bought for our large front window and side window, replacing the awful metal awnings that had been on the house. The bunk beds had been my brother's, then my nephew's, and now they are feeling out their place here. I'd also like to mention that all of our furniture, with the exception of our mattress, is second-hand. Either passed down, donated, or sold to us through family and friends. While every piece may not be exactly what I might "pick out" on a showroom floor, I feel so thankful to have been blessed with pieces that I feel good about and that have stories. We do, of course, look forward to the evolution of our home with time.

This post is meant to  be the first of before/after posts which hopefully will be sprinkled throughout some other writing, as we're excited to gear up more creative power into beautifying and transformation. I'm really being called to writing again. I've missed it and it's apparently missed me. In that,  I am figuring out whether this blog is still the correct medium. Does it need a new name? A makeover? Time will tell!

Without further adieu...a few before/after photos!

You'll notice that the two areas we chose to spend our resources on are related to food. Not a surprise at all as what and how we feed ourselves is such an important element to how we feel and helps to create the bedrock of so much in our lives. As you'll see in upcoming posts, my spiritual journey has not stalled, in fact it's been on a sort of super highway, which has required a lot of processing and reflection, but internally and perhaps a part of why I wasn't writing. For me, the spiritual journey began with listening to my body and knowing that in my state as a neophyte spiritualist, having some more mindfulness about my diet and nutrition was something that I could do with a little guidance and learning. And so I still believe that when a person knows something in their life must shift, a wonderful place to start is listening to one's body and making small adjustments there, to assist the flow of energy and allow for growth and evolution to occur more gradually and gracefully. (vs. what some might term a nervous breakdown or life-crisis, though sometimes those are necessary wake-up calls!)

The Kitchen
So far here we've painted! (ok, in truth Costea's family came and painted for us, but I did pick out the colors!) What a difference! 

The Garden
We were dreaming of a garden the entire two years in our one-bedroom apartment. So this was a MUST and truly our first big home project. We have plans for the coming season to turn over more forested land to field and beds as we hope to start a small-scale specialty farm. More to come on that but we're hoping that in the next 1-2 years this could become part of a full-time gig for Costea.

The Curtains and the Winnie
Oh and that chair!

Other themes at the Grozav household in 2017:
  • WINNIE! Our amazing puppy we love so much
  • Bitcoin/ Cryptocurrency-Costea is fascinated
  • Kundalini yoga-Julie has been practicing for almost a year
  • Blue Herons: we love them so much and are blessed to see them fly over our home and during our walks at the White Clay Creek down the road. I've come to calling our home the "Heron Homestead"
  • Family: Costea's parents made their first visit to us during September & October. We had an amazing time together. His sister Alina came for three weeks in September too! 

Wishing you all a blessed Winter Solstice and Sacred 2018! 

August 18, 2016

Early Days

I'm so super grateful for having a home of our own. Intellectually I am incredibly grateful for my ability to have mortgaged a home, but physically and spiritually I am experiencing all kinds of other things. Mostly exhaustion. I never really appreciated how little islands of growth around random trees spread throughout a yard could require so much work in the way of weeding. And trimming. I'm fully, for the first time in my life, understanding why I always saw people outside their homes kneeling by their various shrubs. They were weeding the millionth weed of the week is my guess.

So yes, the weeds. The hedges. The basement. (Yes, it still has a funny smell. Costea has now torn down most of the walls and ceilings and we are on our way to cleaning and sealing). The insects! I have to continuously ask myself whether it's OK to kill them. On the one hand, it's no. But on the other...I mean, once they cross over the line of being in my home... I mean just last night I turned on the light in our bedroom to find a nickel-size spider making its way hurriedly across our white bed sheets. Um nope. Sorry. Here I go creating karma. Slam. Dead. Sigh.

But even so, we're inviting people over. So many people I want to host! The house is nowhere near where I'm even comfortable having people over. We haven't bought a piece of furniture. But I know if I wait, I won't get to shower my loved ones with love, attention and hospitality they've shown me over the years. Here are a few snaps of some of our early days. We can also consider these part of the before album :)

Pre weeding and trimming workouts

Running through the porch

Dusk playtime

Watchful mamas

My beloved niece

Boys helping in the kitchen=always welcome!

Our friends across the street  
Everyone loves the baby doll sheep

The naked window that needs dressing (she's so embarrassed!). And unhung art, random plugs...


July 22, 2016

A Picture Says 1,000 Words

And while true, I'll still add some words of my own. I have hit a major milestone in my life, in our life I should say: home ownership (well, mortgage ownership...). As a person who has skirted major commitments until her 30's, and then so dragging her feet into it, buying a home was emotionally, spiritually, and mentally challenging. And of course a blessing too. Costea and I have had as smooth a transition into American life as one could expect. Returning home from the Peace Corps is tough. Moving to a new country for life? Super tough. Returning home, quite unexpectedly close to where I grew up, it was so nice to be close enough to see old friends from time to time. Making new ones, not so easy. We're in that funny age where most people we know have children and so we're that childless couple that can do anything whenever, but don't have friends that can do that with us.

Then there was apartment living. I know many, many (most?) people in this world live in apartments. But I didn't grow up that way, and neither did Costea. In fact, his entire life he had a large garden, raised his family's own animals, grapevines, name it. That's a LOT of work, so when you move into an apartment with no outdoor access, you can imagine the shock to the system. At first it seems like a luxury to not have so many "chores". But soon, the restlessness kicks in. So for two years, we made it through watching too much TV and having perpetual "cabin fever". 

And so here we are now. Our little house in the woods. (LOVED that book in 2nd grade!) It's got strange basement smells, more bugs and creepy crawlers than I care for, bathrooms with pink and green tile, and kitchen cabinets that scream, "I love the eighties"! But it's ours. We have so much work to do, it can seem overwhelming. But isn't that life? We can often see the bigger picture, the vision, but it's all of the little steps in between that get us anywhere.

We have many, many steps ahead. We have a place to channel our energy. We can create. And for this, we are grateful. There are so many reasons we loved this little house in the woods. Some of those reasons are easily apparent, and some only exist now in our minds, awaiting to be brought to life by inspired hearts and hands. 

I have ideas for posting about our journey in fixing up our little house in the woods and all of the life lessons that process will teach us. I'll be very happy to be writing again. 

Om tat sat.