Oh, Deer! Evacuation

You’re probably familiar with a popular superstition that a black cat crossing your path brings you bad luck? Well, but what if it’s a deer we’re talking about?

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ONE. I was out and about for my jogging (aka trotting) session on an early Saturday morning midday, I was deep into my thoughts when I was startled right out of my running shoes by a horny creature crossing paths with me – a rather impressive deer (Ok, OK more like a roebuck, but who cares, especially since deer sounds so much better 😉 ) jumped right in from of me from the woods, crossed my path and then stood in a little bit deeper in the brush looking back at me as if taunting. With my heart finally back to it’s proper place instead of trying to break free right through my throat, and the dare still still, I hurriedly patted my pockets for a phone hoping to take a snapshot of the creature. Alas no such luck – yet another example that if there’s something really extraordinary and worth a photo, I usually don’t have a camera on me. Ah, well, at least the deer was gracious enough after frightening me with his sudden arrival to stay in one place for my eyes to feast on him 🙂

TWO. Later on that very same day I’ve walked to Maxima for some groceries shopping. I was half way through my shopping list, when an urgent announcement came though the speakers – ‘Attention shoppers! This is not a drill. Please leave your shopping and evacuate the premises immediately.’ Whoa! Evacuation it is, so I did as I was asked – left my shopping basket where I stood and fast tracked to the exit. Empty handed, but safe and sound.

THREE. A friend messaged me asking if I’d like to go out, and it being a Saturday evening I willingly agreed what with all the excitement of being evacuated and deer’ed 🙂 But just as I’m about to go out I notice that my favorite winter shoes have just decided it’s time to retire. Dang it! I loved those shoes, and now I need to get a new pair. And shoe shopping is the worst IMO.

CONCLUSION. A new piece of superstition – seeing a dare cross your path brings an evacuation experience on your head topped with some shoe emergency. Hm, I think I’d rather stick to the ol’ regular black cat 😉

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Field of Forget Me Nots

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A field of Forget Me Nots in Lukiškių square for all of the Heroes who stood guard for Lithuania’s freedom

I remember.

I was just a kiddo, when history was happening all around me. As a second grader I’ve witnessed Lithuania declare it’s independence and its subsequent struggle to maintain this freedom as a Soviet monster wasn’t yet ready to let us off the hook.

14 sacrifices of the fateful and scary night of January 13th, 1991, when Soviet soldiers opened fire on unarmed civilians gathered at the TV tower. The night when the Singing revolution was dyed with blood. The night when unarmed Nation has won its first victory against AKs and tanks, and said loud and clear to the whole world – Thank you, now get the hell outta here, ’cause we’re not backin’ off. When a whole Nation as one said – We stick with our Independence.

While I wasn’t at any of the freedom barricades in person (duh, I was a kid after all), I remember the charged atmosphere of those days. Excitement. Anxiety. Unwavering resolve to stay true to the chosen path of freedom in everyone’s voices and faces. And this unbelievable sense of unity. It was so powerful that even the sight of tanks and soldiers in my very neighborhood wasn’t scary or powerful enough to dilute it in any way.

I know the price we’ve payed for the Freedom. I’ve seen the tanks. I’ve seen the soldiers. I’ve heard the shots fired. I’ve been to the funeral of those who were slain on that night. And I’ve witnessed the weakness of the regime when faced with the unity and unwavering determination of a whole Nation to overthrow it.

I remember Whom to Thank for the Freedom. And I thank each and every one of these Heroes who stood guard of it – unarmed and only with hearts ablaze against the heavily armed soldiers and the whole Soviet regime.

Thank You.

Forget Me Not, 'cause we remember

Forget Me Not, ’cause we remember

 

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Frozen

A 5 day long Christmas holiday was amazing. A real winter vacation I’d say with plenty of time to spend with my family and friends, as well as stuff my belly with all the delicious food and wine. But sometime between having a good time and putting on some holiday weight, Christmas was over and Monday has dawned.

So a cold Monday morning started just as usual, or so I thought. I grumpily rolled out of my warm bed, and got ready for work, only to learn that my car went all Frozen on me. I tried this and I tried that yet none of the car doors would budge and open for me, and instead just stayed solidly frozen, while the car sat there all sparkly with frost as if feeling all smug with the trick it played on me. Dang. It was time for plan B – public transportation. After a cold wait for a ride a trolley bus has finally come and I was at last on the move. Since I usually drive to work, I turn on a radio and catch up with some news. But riding on the trolley bus I was way too cold to take off my gloves so I could be able to rummage my bag for my earphones, so instead I just watched a series of ads put on loop on a TV screen mounted inside the trolley. And I was rewarded with a sight of Janis of all Janises. Well, if that wasn’t a Janis from Linda’s account on her Latvian student who literary had just one jumper to wear all year (or winter) long, then it must have been his doppelganger called Jonas or something. So here it was – an ad for some language school and at the very end of it a young and rather awkward looking guy in a jumper which seemed pretty well lived in. What can I say? Either Janis or his jumper made it to TV screen 😉 Good for him.

Already running late I finally made it to the office, and here I was for yet another unpleasant surprise of the day. Frozen car? Meh, that was just a tip of an iceberg. I’ve walked into the office only to learn that the heating was off in the building for the entire weekend and it was *bleep* freezing inside. Now after almost a full day with a roaring A/C in max-heating mode it’s now finally almost OK. Well, at least I no longer need my coat inside, and my feet are just cold and no longer frozen to the floor.

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Icicle under the Green bridge in Vilnius. It might have been me today as well 😉

Stay warm 🙂 Or get some hot wine just to be safe

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To the rescue!

Yesterday as a heavily guarded convoy of trucks loaded with euros was making it’s way through the city’s main arteries the traffic has been completely stopped to let the convoy pass and thus causing a traffic jam worse than it usually is during a rush hour. Since I was completely unaware of this traffic situation, I was happily walking to my car after work, already making a grocery shopping list in my mind and was about to join in the rush or rather the jam. Only I didn’t. As I’ve walked to my car and I have sworn wholeheartedly upon discovering that one of the tires was completely and utterly flat. Damn and damnation! Here we go again. I’ve popped my trunk toying for a moment with a thought that I might find an air pump there, which would allow me to at least drive to the nearest repair shop. No, no such luck.

What does a girl do, when she has a minor car problem she can’t solve all by herself? I don’t know about you, but if it’s nothing very serious I try to avoid calling a tow service and instead I just make a call to my brother. Ah, my savior! My personal go to car problem solver guy 🙂4331f33fb1586d1b754f43fbef6ed626 Once again he’d rushed to my rescue while I was freezing my ass waiting for the car to be up and running again. A very pleasant special forces guy, clearly a back-up to the euro convoy, came over to ask if he could be of assistance. Alas no. He did not have a pump, and without one nothing could be done. Ah, what a shame 😉 Some 30 minutes later my brother has arrived, and I hoped that I’ll be on the move in no time at all. My hopes for a speedy fix were just as quickly dashed. The puncture in the tire was letting air faster than it could be pumped in, so it was time for plan B – putting on a spare tire. Off went the bad tire, on went the spare one. No, wait, it wasn’t all that easy. WTF?! Since this was the first time I’d had to use the spare on this car I was up to an unpleasant surprise – the spare tire I was carrying in my trunk all this time does not even belong to this car.

It freaking does not fit!!! I blame it on your regular Lithuanian used car dealers who usually rips any car blind of any valuables before selling it

It freaking does not fit!!!
I blame it on your regular Lithuanian used car dealers who usually rip like every car they sell blind of any valuables or replace the good stuff with shitty ones

With no spare to spare me, and with a punctured and totally useless tire at hand, and with my teeth already starting to chatter from cold and shivers setting in into my body, I somehow had a light bulb over my head moment – Hey, there is a repair shop nearby, so maybe it could be possible to roll/carry the bad tire over there and get a quick fix. I googled to check if they were open at this hour, only to learn that they were for just another 40 minutes or so. So we’ve had some hurry up to do.

At the shop.
Me. Hello. Could you please help me with the punctured tire?
Repairman. Dunno. I’ve got plenty of work left and my working hours are almost finished.
Me. (Some light flirting) But I just need this puncture fixed, and we’ve already brought the tire all this way.
Repairman. We-e-eell, since the tire’s already off the car, let me see it.

Five minutes later it was done and ready to be rolled all the way back to the car. Another half an hour later after my brother was done struggling to put the tire back on in the semidarkness of the evening, I finally could get the hell outta here and get my ass to my warm and all cozy home and liters of hot beverages to help melt away some of the ice that has settled into my bones over the course of the evening.

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Photo-shroom

Autumn is all about mushroom picking for the majority of Lithuanian population who can walk or crawl on their own to the nearest woods. Then a hunt for boletus, honey fungi, Saffron milk caps and other edible ‘shroom begin. Continue reading

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Colors of September with just a hint of summer’s last

This gallery contains 18 photos.

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Testimonies

There’s a small cemetery just right outside the village.DSC01570

It’s just like many other in the Lithuanian countryside – situated on a small hill, with plenty of shadows cast by trees, and with an ancient looking mossy stone wall around it.DSC01571

And just as the village itself, the cemetery dates back to the early 1900s and late 1800s. The higher ground to the left off of the cemetery gate is the ‘old’ part of the cemetery, and that to the right is the ‘new’ one, though in times it’s hard to tell the difference as some of the newer burials are in the ‘old’ part so that at least in death family members are once again together. There’s usually a spooky feeling to the old cemeteries, and as people go in through the gates of any cemetery they hush their voices as if not to disturb those at peace. Yet I’ve known this place for all of my life, and at some point in my childhood it has even made some sort of a spooky playground where I’ve spent time wondering as a child who was who, and imagining whom and how big was the ‘grieving family’ often mentioned on the tombstones, and thus for me the spookiness of the place is long gone, and just calm and quiet feel to the place prevails. Continue reading

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