Blog Series: “Letters from Russia”, Chapter 2*

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*If you have not already done so, please read the blogs preceding this one, including, “Blog Series Letters from Russian – Introduction”  and Blog Series: “Letters from Russia”, Chapter 1 prior to reading this blog.

Chapter 2 picks up directly after where I left off in Chapter One. The topics change from serious to light and back to serious again. We are learning about not only each others countries, but about each others personal beliefs.

March 19, 2014

Me: “I believe I am about 13 hours behind you. I will be up until at least 11 PM my time. Let me know if you’d like to chat.”

Jessica Cher: “Are you asleep?)”

Me: “Hi! No I’m still up! Did you sleep well?”

Jessica Cher: “Yes,thanks)”

Me: “It’s so weird you already had a night sleep and I’ve been off the whole time! Lol I have so much I want to talk to you about. I hate it has to be over Twitter. The messages must be short. So I have some information for you but you said you had some questions so how about you go first?”
Jessica Cher: “If I come to Miami I’m gonna be do jetlaged:)”

Me: “Yes! How fun though!”

Jessica Cher: “Well,you compare this situation in Crimea with Miami and Cuba. Did ever territory of Miami belong to Cuba?”

Me: “No. It was just an example. Under the Ukrainian Const. 3 million citizens must request vote. All of the Ukraine must vote & vote must be Called for by Ukrainian parliament. There are reports of Ukrainian citizens refusing to vote b/c of armed Russian soldiers.

Jessica Cher: “Russia never insisted that referendum and our soldiers never entered Ukraine.”

Me: “We receive news reports from all over the world. Russian news is owned by the Russian Government. I will try to find photos for you to see.”

Jessica Cher: “We know that neither Europe n America accept this referendum.Why? Do you think Russia made them vote?”

Me: “It’s illegal. A forced takeover. There’s no way 97% of Ukraine voted on Sunday, had all votes counted & new government was installed in a day. I hope I do not sound mean. I am genuinely concerned for you. Fast friends!👍❤️”

Jessica Cher: “do you think that all that situation in Ukraine on Midan happens because of Russia? Square in Kiev where all those horrible things happens”

Me: “That started it, yes. It was the popular uprising against the pro-Russian president because he refused EU trade the people wanted. 800,000 people marched on to Kiev in protest”

Jessica Cher: “Then do you think that new Ukrainian government legal?”

Me: “Yes. The Ukrainian parliament voted him out of office after the uprising. I am glad you are not close to all of that mess❤️👍.”

Jessica Cher: “Did you know that new Ukrainian government acts very aggressively about Russian-speaking people? Banderovtsy kill them,hit them,destroy. Their passports .They canceled Russian as second official language but more then a half Ukrainians speak Russian.is that ok?”

Me: “No, that’s not correct. There have not been any reports in the international media stating that.

Jessica Cher: “But that’s true. Unfortunately.”

Me: “It’s not true it is what the Russian government and TV stations are telling you.”

Jessica Cher: “I saw a video,where bleeding man told that he was hitted bc he speaks Russian.”

Me: “all of the Ukrainian troops are locked up on the bases And surrounded by Russian troops.I am sure that everyone is stressed both Russians and Ukrainians in the Crimea right now. I am not surprised that fights have broken out.” (I posted these for JC to look at.)

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Jessica Cher: “I haven’t seen them,but anyway I think that’s so wrong. Some years ago we used to be one big country USSR and fighter against fascism. In that war Ukraine suffered even more than Russia from fascism and fascists take over Ukraine..That is so wrong.”

Me:”Fascist have not taken over Ukraine. The same Ukrainian Parliament that was there before the uprising is still there now only not president.”

Jessica Cher: “You see how different our information is.”

Me: “It makes me want to cry. If the Russians are being told fascists are running the Ukraine, that is not so. Just normal Ukraine parliament. This is thankfully not WWII. The Ukrainians want to align more with the western world. Putin thinks it’s anarchy. I live in the west. No anarchy here. We have an elected government and we have freedom.❤️ I am very happy we are allowed to talk to each other. I do care very much.”

Jessica Cher: “New Ukrainian government are nationalists,they hate Russians. That’s so sad.But I’m glad too I can talk about this.”

Chapter Notes: This dialog occurred in real-time, as the situation was unraveling. I am not an expert in World History but I answered as best I could. It’s very clear that even though Russians have access to media outside the country, they very clearly believe the Russian Govt. news over any other.

I apologize for the conversation, at times, being disjointed and therefore a little confusing. I feel, however, it is the authenticity of this piece that makes it special. It’s simply two ladies, one quite young and the other (me) not so much, trying to pull apart and piece together the truth. It is hard sometimes for me to remain diplomatic. But, I care about this young lady and I want to help her. We are proving day by day that we can chat, disagree, and get angry/upset at times, but we don’t give up on each other. If only our countries could do the same.

Please, again, feel free to comment/make suggestions/ask questions on this blog. I would be happy to ask her anything you would like to know.

There is much more to come. Please watch out for Chapter 3 coming out shortly.

Talk to you soon! xoxo

 

 

 

 

The Trials and Tribulations of my business, Fashionista ReSale

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This will be a recurring subject but the blogs themselves will be short. The things that happen are funny, infuriating, but ultimately are all part of being the goafer of my own business.

This is just a quick funny.

Saturday mornings are shopping days for me. The estate/garage sales I frequent are at those houses you see on tv in the most expensive parts of Miami. It is not unusual to go to a sale and the owners staff are running the show.

It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen.

People are like vultures! It’s seriously a survival of the fittest situation. Some of the people holding the sales are really great. They are friendly and are pleased you are there to buy from them. interestingly enough, some of them act like they are doing you a favor!

I put up with a lot to get that those Prada’s at a good price. I do the dance, always with a smile on my face. I find that playing the “southern belle” works best. So I walk up and immediately, in my best southern accent (I’m from SC so it’s legit.) “say, good morning y’all”! It’s amazing! In Miami, a southern accent equals a sweet, trustworthy person. Everywhere else, it’s the sound of a low class redneck. And I’ll admit, I do pour it on a bit thick.

Well, this weekend, my very ill husband, (bless his heart) went with me. It’s always easier when he goes because I chart our course and he drives. He’s lived in Miami most of his life and having him with me takes so much stress off of me. Still, “drive it like you stole it” comes out of my mouth every time he comes.

So, to the point.

We went to an extremely high-end neighborhood and though the people were friendly, they were obviously pompous. We got to hear how they were wine people and they take their own wine to the nicest restaurants in Miami. They successfully talked my wonderful husband into buying a wine carrier. He was thinking of getting it to house a gift.

The lady of the house again, asserted he could take his wine to “our” restaurants. To which he matter-of-factly shared, I don’t think they’ll let me bring my own wine into Arby’s.

She didn’t get it. I did.

This is one of the many reasons I love my husband. 🙂

Talk to you soon! xoxo

Greetings from the sick house

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Hey y’all. First of all, I miss you. Second of all, everyone in my house is really sick, including me.

I had no idea how hard it would be to write a blog while sick. Today is the first day I’ve even attempted it. I hate that. I’ve made a commitment to you and to me to write everyday, except the weekends. But, let me tell ya, being sick zaps the creativity and motivation right out of you. Just trying to survive is #1 when you’re sick and everything else goes out the window. If you don’t believe me, you should see my house. Seriously, it looks like it’s been picked up, turned upside down, shook 3 times, then set back down.

On second thought, do not come to my house. I promise I will not answer the door. Trust me, it’s for your own good.

I’m not a good sick person. I’m short-tempered. But the worst thing is that when I’m sick, I cry… a lot. And that makes everything worse. Things swell up, it’s harder to breathe which makes it harder to sleep and I hate to cry.

I mean, look, I realize nobody likes to be sick. It’s not fun for anybody. For me, though, my life literally stops and all focus is on being sick. Sick sick sick.

Am I making you feel sick yet? YEP.

Now you understand why I haven’t written. I’m about to be done, just stick with me for a minute more. I do have some cool stuff to write about this week. As soon as I am able, I will get started. Who knows, I may even retract my statement from last week and write about the RHOA. I will also continue my blog series, “Letters from Russia”. Peeps, pay attention to this situation in the meantime. And who knows what else I’ll think of to write about. The good news is that I never run out of ideas. Writing prompts? No thanks. My brain is so full of useless and not-so-useless information and stories.

But, for now, I am sick. I hope you all had a super, fantastic weekend. I’m assuming it’s warming up in other parts of the country.

Talk to you soon! xoxo

Choose a path, not a goal.

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Hi y’all! As I’ve mentioned, I have totally NOT been myself recently due to an ongoing illness. I will get better, though never back to normal. I am chronically ill but not fatally ill. So I am using ALL of the resources available to me. I may have mentioned before that I do not like the word “goal” for a couple of reasons:

  1. A goal is very specific. Therefore, it can be a set up for failure. OR The goal is reached and it is not everything we thought it would be…extremely frustrating.
  2. Sh*t happens. Life very likely takes us on paths we have no way of knowing they are coming. Therefore, goal missed and the perception is failure.

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I much prefer the term, “path”. A path is more flexible and acknowledges my belief that the journey IS the destination. As circumstances happen, life continues, adjustments to our path can be made. There is no failure on the path, provided we always move forward (and that can sometimes mean, we simply haven’t moved backwards). Our path turns and shifts, but we ultimately will go exactly where we are supposed to be. Again, remember the journey is what is important.

On our journey down the path, we learn more about life, other people, our beliefs and ourselves. Heading down the path you believe in and knowing that it can be altered, takes a tremendous amount of stress off of our day to day lives.

It it not easy, however, to change the way we view our lives when we have always been told we much choose a goal and success is measured on if/when we meet out goal.

We need to change our way of thinking in order to teach our children effectively. For kids, sometimes the big picture is too big. And isn’t it a little ridiculous that society expects 18 year old kids to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives? The proof that this kind expectation does not produce effective results is evident everywhere.

Think back. Think back to being 17 or 18 and the goals you set for yourself. Did life work out exactly the way you thought it would? And if so, are you happy doing what you are doing? Your kids do not think so. I had a teenager recently say to me, well how can it be a job if it’s something I love doing? Doesn’t that make it only a hobby?”. This teen, with my help is now on a path towards what he is interested in doing. He understands this path may not stay straight as he gets older and he is very relieved. His path is his direction, his journey, his life.

I actually had a 20 something tell me earlier this week, “we work our *tails* off in our 20’s and 30’s, then relax in our 40’s and 50’s. I giggled to myself.  I honestly could not think of a single person in their 40’s and 50’s who didn’t have to work because of the work they had done in their 20’s and 30’s. Can you?

The biggest and best reason I can give for why it is better to be on a path, rather than headed towards a specific goal is simple. It gives excuse for not living in your 20’s and 30’s. Those who are so goal oriented, so determined, so focused are applauded in our culture. But there has to be some room to live NOW, not just 30 years from now. Let’s face it. No one is promised tomorrow.

So, in closing, put yourself on a path and help your teenage children to figure out their path. Education and jobs are important, but make sure to leave space on that path to enjoy life, in whatever way it is enjoyable to you and yours. Do not be surprised if your teen’s path is short to begin with. Remember, it is a path, a direction. And it should, at first be short. As the directives on the path are met, a reevaluation of the path should take place. Then the path can be added to.

Many people are tired of the, “you only live once” motto, as they feel it promotes laziness. It is only lazy if there is no path in place and/or there is no forward movement.

I’m very interested in your opinion on this piece. Please comment with your thoughts.

Talk to you again soon! xoxo

 

Blog Series: “Letters from Russia”, Chapter 1*

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*Please read the blog preceding this one called, “Blog Series Letters from Russian – Introduction” prior to reading this blog.

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Preface

The #1 thing you need to know is that I did NOT have the idea of doing this blog until well in to my and my friend’s conversations. It was not planned, it was spontaneous. If my Russian friend had said no to my blog request, I would have respected her wishes and would not be writing this right now.

The conversations may seem disjointed. I am going to write them in this blog exactly as they happened (leaving out personal details). Please keep in mind that my Russian friend speaks some English. I speak NO Russian, so we do the best we can. You will get the general idea of what we are trying to say, though some of the words may be jumbled. In keeping with the integrity of this piece, I will not correct any grammar; hers or mine.

I did a google image search, “USA and Russia People” and was so disappointed in the lack of photos. The only photo I found did not have people at all, rather, both countries flags (see above).

My new, sweet Russian friend has chosen her alias. She would like to be called, “Jessica Cher”. Going forward, I will refer to her as Jessica Cher. Also, please feel free to ask questions in the comments section. I will be happy to ask on your behalf. That said, I will not forward anything rude to her so negative remarks will be deleted.

Chapter 1

March 18, 2014

Our conversation began as I commented on an article in social media. I commented that I couldn’t believe how many “I don’t give a shit” comments are here.Hitler only wanted Czechoslovakia…

Jessica Cher: “Excuse me?!  Did you study history??”

Me: “You are excused. And yes, I did”.

Jessica Cher: “so if you really did, then you wouldn’t say that Hitler wanted only Czechoslovakia.”

Me: “Initially that is what he said he wanted.”

Me: “I did not realize you are from Russia. I am from the USA. I would love to discuss this with you further. Follow back?

From this point forward, most, but not all, of our conversations have been private.

Me: “Thanks for accepting my friend request. I feel honored to be able to discuss this with someone who is living in the middle of it. Please Tell me if I am wrong here. A loose example of what is happening and Crimea would be like this: I live in Miami, mostly Cubans here. Say the Cuban leader got concerned for the Cuban citizens here. The Cuban citizens in Miami voted yes so it’s* ”

Jessica Cher: “Well..I don’t know English very well,so don’t judge me if I make mistakes:)”

Me: *”Ok for Cuba to take over Miami. I don’t know Russian at all so you were doing better than me!” It would never happen.my point is Cuba has no authority over citizens here. Why should Russia have authority over citizens in Ukraine. And if you and I can talk about this why can’t our leaders? It’s really sad that people can connect but governments cannot.❤️”

Jessica Cher: “Crimea was Russian from 1783 and 50% of citizens are Russian I honestly can’t understand why the whole world thinks that Russia acts aggressively about crimea and Ucraine.*”

Me: “I understand. But now it is Ukraine. How can Russia just take it? It’s not theirs to take. Did you know all Ukraine TV is gone? Russian now.”

Me:*It’s because Putin put four times the troops and Crimea and surrounded Ukraine with troops. He says the Western world is anarchy.and he says Ukraine is to westernized. (4 times the troops may not be correct. The exact number is not known. The term “surrounded” was meant of the south and east Ukraine).

Jessica Cher: “I feel like we have absolutely different information,coz they tell us that Russian TV gone from ucraine”.

Me: “Wow. Let me make sure. I will be right back!👍👍❤️”

Jessica Cher: “Crimea is Russian now coz people who live in crimea desided so As we’re said Russia didn’t enter troops into ucraine and crimea. people who live in Crimea have Russian nationality and in the fact they have Ukrainian citizenship and they wanted to return to his homeland of historically it is obvious that it was in the interests of Russia to regain the Crimea because there our fleet. every year we pay rent for our warships and bases located in Ukraine and now we will not do this.”

Me: “But one country cannot conquer part of another country because it does not want to pay rent. If you can, check out my blog. I’ve written 2 or 3 articles about Ukraine. Also are you on Facebook Or is that monitored? We could chat more. My blog is http;//heartsnlaughs.wordpress.com.”

Jessica Cher: “in the UN Charter says that particular Crimea has the right to secede if so wants citizens it’s not about paying rent,it’s about safety of russian-speaking people who want to be a part of Russia. it was their desision,not Russian. it was very nice to talk to you because I have learned a lot of new information and if you do not mind, we can talk about it some more bc I’ve got couple of questions to you:)”.

Me: “I would love to! I’m charging my phone. Are you on Facebook?”

Jessica Cher: No, I’m on * and * only. (Sorry folks, not sharing). I’ll write you tomorrow,fine?) I live in Siberia and it’s 10 pm here now))

Me: “Wow! Yes that would be great and I will leave you a message for when you wake up as well. Night night sleep tight💤💤💤”

Jessica Cher: “Thank you .x what time is it now in Miami?”)

Me: “It’s 11:13am”

Jessica Cher: }Wow,then have a good day;)|

Me: “LOL thank you and you have a good night😎 Just in case you lose contact with me, my email is (blah blah).

Chapter Notes: This is the end of the chapter. By this point, I understand this is a young person. She just had her 17th birthday. And I automatically felt a connection with her. I think of her daily and pray for her and her family.

I hope you have enjoyed what you have read so far. There is more to come. Please comment on what you walk away from this dialogue with. I’m interested in your opinion.

This is 100% how our written conversation went down. Stay on the look out for Chapter 2.

Talk to you soon! xoxo