Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sunshiney Day

Today is better!

My house is not as bad as I'd feared-- the construction firm of Chicken Little and Henny Penny came back with a huge, inflated cost to fix my whole house and claimed they were doing ti as a favor. We saw that coming! (Chicken Little and Henny Penny were two little birds who had something fall on their heads and claimed that the sky was falling and alarmed everyone and created a stir and got eaten by a fox at the end who took advantage of their stupidity.)

I got two new builders in here and they said they can do my bathroom for way less and said that many houses have mold-- mine has it in corners and it can be fixed with a simple do-it-yourself job and they will come in later and I will pay them to show much husband how to do it efficiently so that it looks professional. The plumber said that the toilet had a weak seal but the problem wasn't big. I asked about the puddle in the crawl space and he said it was just a puddle-- not a "Great Lake" as the Dramatic Duo had said it was. He took a bunch of rags down to mop it up.

To think that the first two guys had me almost convinced that I needed to move my family out right away and I'd have done it had I the money infuriates me. It's a good lesson for the future to not react.

Russian was great-- we learned about some of the rulers. My personal favorite so far is Mikhail Romanov whose story can be found here. It's brief and sweet! What is interesting is that the rulers before Peter the Great looked very "tribal." My prof didn't spend much time discussing them, but my curiosity is sparked. What is interesting is how similar the tribal dress is to Alaskan Aleut dress. Of course the Aleuts went to Alaska via a land bridge and they share the same ancestry.

I am memorizing a poem in Russian. It's by Pushkin. This is the English translation. These are some of the sweetest words spoken to a woman. To recite them in the original language is an honor!

Love Poem
by Alexandr Pushkin

I loved you well. Affection's fire unfading
Still glows, perhaps in secret, in my heart.
But let it pass. No more your peace invading
To grieve you now could never be my part.

I loved you well. In hopelessness unspoken,
Now faint with joy, now filled with jealous pain.
Such love sincere, such tenderness unbroken,
God grant that you meet it's like again.

I hope I can find a picture of the woman he write this for.

I keep listening to my professor recite it and I'll kiss a duck if I can ever trill my /r/'s! It is so frustrating to not be able to make that sound. She laughed, "You have been learning for a month! You will be amazing if you can trill them at the end of the year! Adults learn differently than children! Your muscles don't know what you want!" It's fun working towards it.

I went to a Russian grocery store. In my area Russians are normally reserved. The proprietress at this one is not. She dresses like my professor and laughs easily. She is very outgoing. I walked into her store and she said, "Hello! Welcome!"

I said to her in Russian, "Does anyone here speak Russian?"

She and her customers started laughing and said how good my Russian is. My Russian is bad-- I've only been speaking for a month but they were encouraging and want my class to come and do a study group there. Her place sells grocery items and she wants me to do my grocery shopping there for the family of eleven. I took my kids in and they quickly learned to say, "I like chocolate" in Russian!

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