Monday, April 10, 2017

F would be for (not) forgotten!

We went to see my grandma yesterday. 
A visit which made me both happy and sad at the same time.

Have you seen "The Notebook"? I'm sure most of you have. A beautiful love story with the gorgeous Ryan Gosling. Makes me cry every time. The movie itself, not Mr. Gosling, of course. 

You might think what do these two have in common? Well...

My grandma has Alzheimer's. And although the setting is very similar to this wonderful, bittersweet movie, the real life is much, much worse. There are no beautiful actors, no perfect sceneries and definitely no scripts that tell you what to do and how to act. There's just reality. And sometimes reality sucks.

When my grandpa died in 2009, grandma stayed alone at their country house. My family visited her as often as we possibly could and helped with housework. I mostly went there for the chats and delicious food. With time passing by, we started noticing some flaws in her memory. However, we never thought it could be that serious. But then she started to forget who we were and came up with some ridiculous stories and we knew something was wrong. So we took her to a doctor to find out she has Alzheimer's. 

From that on it just went downward spiral. She got worse really quick and we had to do something. My uncle took her in and she lived with him for a couple of months, but it was clear pretty soon that she needs to be taken care of 24/7. With all of us working and studying it was impossible.

We then had to do the hardest thing ever... put her in a nursing home. 
We know it was the best decision for her. She is now taken care of at all times, she is fed, clean, warm and amongst people. However, for some reason this felt like the ultimate betrayal. 

I'm an absolute country kid who grew up on my grandparents farm. My grandma has helped raising me and has been a role model for years. I've learned to cook, clean, garden and take care of things mostly just from her. She has given me so much of her time. And now when she needs me the most, I can't be there for her. And it breaks my heart. There is nothing any of us can do. The worst feeling in the world is to feel helpless. Helpless to the ones we love the most. I never really knew heart could actually ache from mental pain. But it can. And it does. I feel like I gave up on her, even though she is better off at the nursing home than she would be living with me. 

The strange thing with Alzheimer's is that only the people around it has to actually deal with it. Although my grandma is the one with the disease, she's having the time of her life. She doesn't recognize us anymore. Well, she does, but only for a short period of time. During our 2h visit she 'came back' to us a couple times. But mostly she lives in her own little world, not knowing what's happening around her, ergo not worrying. And although it breaks my heart, I'm happy for her. Physically she's healthier than a horse. She has friends, she's joined the choire, she's happy and everyone absolutely adores her there. Even with her own little quirks. 

When we arrived, she smiled at me and, as I hugged her, she said "How are you, my sweet granddaughter?" Although she recognized me only for that split second, it was the most beautiful feeling in the world.
I left with tears in my eyes. But oddly enough, they were tears of joy. My heart is not fully at peace and I don't think it will ever be, however, my sweet, loving grandmother is still in there. She hasn't forgotten me. She just can't remember me sometimes. And that's okay.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

When weird thoughts occur

I'm a dreamer. It's a fact. I like to stay up all night thinking about random scenarios that are most likely never going to happen. Like me, sitting on a porch at my beach house, hugging a baby raccoon and reading Pride and Prejudice as the sun disappears into the horizon.

I'm also one of those "what if" persons, who likes to discuss ridiculous situations. My mind is a strange place, people.

The other day I was driving home with my sister and a song came up that had lyrics "I have so much to give." Out of nowhere, that triggered some weird thoughts and I started talking about kidnapping and robbing situations. Like, you know how in movies (and, most likely, in real life too) people who get attacked always tend to say the same thing (which makes total sense, of course) - "Please don't, I have a family. I have kids." Etc. So then I started thinking - what would I say in such situations?
"Please, don't... I left the oven on!"
"Please, no... I have a dog at home."
"I live alone! No one's gonna know for days!"

Safe to say these are completely dumb and random thoughts. But I always tend to say what's on this weird mind of mine. I can't help it. And then I get those strange, concerned glances from my family, like "Are you okay?"

Or they just laugh with me 'cause I'm a goofball. Either way, there's no limits to where my mind will wander next.

What about you? Any dreamers, "what ifs" or strange thinkers out there?
Please, tell me I'm not alone in this...

Take care,

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Let's do it right this time

A year and a half ago I wrote my last post. A year and a half. That's such a long time! 

I wish I could tell you some super cool, important story to why I was absent for so long, like, going on a journey of self-discovery or working really hard on graduating university, or being abducted by aliens...

Unfortunately, it's none of those. (The aliens would have brought me back sooner, I'm pretty sure of that). I've just been lazy. That's right. I could say university and work have taken a lot of my time. And they have. However, if I really wanted to continue writing, I would have found time for it no matter what. 

I guess I've been feeling kind of empty for quite a while now. If I ever got in the mood to write something, it either didn't seem good enough or I got distracted along the way. But now I feel like I need to do it (despite the fact that my sister's dog is literally laying on my head right now and his butt is in my face). I've always been better at expressing my thoughts on paper (or in this case - on screen) rather than saying them out loud. So I'm gonna do my best and try to keep this up, since it actually is something I enjoy, and I have a lot of questions and things on my mind. So let's do it right this time, with no dramatic breaks and lame excuses.

So what has happened since my last post? A lot, I guess.

(First of all, the dog took my sock off and ran away, leaving me sock-less in this cold, cruel world.)
My sister moved back home so I had to drive Latvia-Germany-Latvia again last summer. 
I moved to another city to work for my internship at the city hall. I was a translator at the Foreign Relations Department.
I also got a job at "SDI Media Latvia" which is the main company that translates TV shows, movies etc.
As for now I'm a freelance translator and I have the final 3 months of university left until I get my bachelor's degree. (I hope I get it). 

So what's next, you might ask?
If only I knew. 
With school coming to an end, I keep thinking about what to do with my life and what is it that I want. As much as I hate to admit it (simply because I'm scared of it), I'm in need of some change. That's one of the reasons why I started writing again. My blog needed a makeover too. Why the blog title? Well, mostly because I'm the kind of person who spends 30 minutes meowing back and forth with my cat. If that doesn't say 'weirdo', bare with me as I try to prove the adequacy of it.

In the meantime, I hope you're all doing great. I'm gonna try to catch up with your blogs to see what you've all been up to.

Till next time.
Take care.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The ultimate road trip! Latvia - Germany - Latvia

University is in full swing and while it's only been a month, one particular class is already giving me anxiety. But all for the greater good, I hope.

So right before all this madness I went on a road trip with my parents. My sister lives in Germany and without a doubt we all miss her. I visit her every year but my mom is afraid of flying so we found a compromise - we decided to drive from Latvia to Germany and back. Already I had very mixed feelings about it. I'm a good driver just not a confident one. I don't even drive to Riga (the capital of Latvia) because I hate driving in big cities. And now I was about to drive across half Europe. Scary right? But I wanted to see my sister and honestly Germany is like my happy place and I'm always excited to go there. Plus I didn't really have a choice. Just had to suck it up and prepare for an adventure.

So I got a haircut the day before, got my journal and was ready for the road! It's around 2000km (1250 miles) one way. My dad drove first and halfway there I had to take over. Basically I had to drive all through the night (it started to rain in Germany and it was foggy and I was an emotional mess to say the least). But I did good. No speed limits, parents were asleep and the roads were not that busy. Around 8am I got to sit in traffic near Cologne and when the navigation said I'm only 1km away from my destination, of course I took a wrong turn and got lost because it said - drive off and then drive off. I'm a good listener. I understand people easily. Trust me. You can ask any of my friends. But til this day I still don't know what the navigation meant by that. But I found my way back and eventually got to my sister. We spent around 20h on the road. I hadn't slept for 48... But in the end it felt so good knowing what I'd just accomplished. I couldn't believe it. We spent the rest of the day kinda just napping and barely functioning because we were all tired and relieved to be there safe and sound. 

The next two days we spent in Bonn.
Bonn used to be the capital of Germany and it is also the hometown of Ludwig van Beethoven. We went shopping and also took a tour bus around the city. It was full of old folks and a golden retriever - both species I get along well with.

 North Rhine-Westphalia is the biggest and, in my opinion, the most beautiful state in Germany.
And both my favorite cities are there - Bonn and Cologne.
The tour was fun. Bonn really is a beautiful and interesting place.

When we got home, I had to cook that night. Another part of the adventure, I suppose. I'm a good cook, but when I have to do it for someone else who is an even better one, the pressure is on! But I did good and we all lived. So far, at least...

We went to Cologne the next day. Their hockey team Cologne's Sharks had their season opening event and it was a blast! Since I'm a hockey addict...
Got to check out some hockey players, listen to great music and walk around and enjoy Cologne. I'm always extra happy there because I really do love that city. It's beautiful and so alive and playful...

 Cologne's crazy architecture
Got to see Kasalla - Cologne's rock band. Love their songs.
And of course Cologne Cathedral. A gigantic, breath-taking beauty that does not fit in a photo.

We finished the night with some tasty drinks and a cake.
The next day was probably my favorite of the trip. We went exploring the Middle-Rhine Valley. Highway along the river, surrounded by mountains, wine fields and pure beauty. I literally was just clicking my camera's button because everywhere I looked the view was breath taking. 

A really beautiful spot was at the Loreley rock. Loreley was a female as a sort of siren who, sitting on the cliff above the Rhine and combing her golden hair, unwittingly distracted ship-men with her beauty and song, causing them to crash on the rocks. 

There are also so many castles and churches in the mountains! Too bad we didn't get to go see them all, but that's not really possible. We did go up to one of them and the view was simply amazing.

Marty, our little companion. 
A random church in the middle of the river

When we got back I was exhausted. But it was so worth it. I was in awe of the scenery and everything was so beautiful and peaceful. We finished the day with some delicious Chinese food and went to bed because the next day was our last one there and I had to have a good night's sleep since I was the first one driving. It was sad to leave. Germany always charges me up with happiness and I didn't wanna say goodbye to it and to my sister. But I did miss my pets and I had to get back to reality since it was the last week before uni.

All in all it was an amazing trip. And I definitely gained more confidence when it comes to my driving. I'm still not going to Riga though. 
The pets were happy as well since they got gifts. Martini got a new house and Reno got a fat squeaky raccoon. Life's good for all.

Who knows where the next summer will bring me.
Take care.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

*Something about life lessons and having fun*

If only my brain worked as well during exams as it does during those sleepless nights when million things are on my mind...

It's been a while since my last post, and as I sit in my bed, listening to Bon Jovi singing about life, I can't help but wonder what this last year was all about and what the next one has to offer.

My 3rd year of university begins in two weeks. I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited. I'm not entirely keen on studying, and thinking about tests and term papers makes me shiver, however, I am excited to see my friends and I can't wait for those crazy ideas that will make good stories afterwards. So much has happened since my last post. It's been a year. A year full of good times, great times and bad times. I've learned a lot. Not only about people, places and myself... I also learned Spanish!
I learned what real friendship is. At first I thought I learned what love is. But I didn't. Not the kind you feel for your friends, family and pets. I know all about that one. But the one you feel for someone special... that's still a mystery to me. I learned how easy it is to get used to the feeling that someone actually needs you and cares for you. I learned how easy it is to care for someone. I also learned how hard it is to accept that someone doesn't care for you anymore. The one thing I still need to learn is how to accept myself. And how to love myself. They should teach that in schools instead of math!

All in all... I'm ok!

This summer's been fun. Super fun actually. A couple festivals, some quality time with my family and friends and a summer job that put me in stitches! When you're the only female worker in a hardware store, you not only get to learn about grinding wheels and lawn mowers but you also get to hear a lot of jokes and bad pick up lines enough to write a book. But hey, I won a prank war and left that place with a huge smile on my face and an invitation to work there next summer as well. So can't really complain. And the next adventure awaits! I'm going on the ultimate road trip with my parents - 1250 miles - Germany here we come! Wish my parents good luck, because, well... I'm driving!

Take care!


Monday, September 1, 2014

My summer. Part 2 - Germany

Can't say I'm entirely happy about it. Just because I'd much rather work than study. But now that I'm back in dorms and am already chilling with my friends, it's not actually that bad. I just hope I can make this year as awesome as the last one. If not even better!

My dorm room :)

Now time to continue about my summer adventures. Two days after the kid's camp I flew to Germany to live with my sister for a month. As I said in the previous post - I was surrounded by kids all summer long. My sister "works" as an Au Pair nanny for a 5 year old boy. I put work in quotation marks because she is just more like a big sister to the little cutie. That family is so amazing, they took me in as their own the whole month I was there. So yeah I basically had to spend a whole month with little Oliver. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but if you know me you also know that I'm not a big fan of kids and I honestly have no idea what to do with them. But somehow the days flew by and we spent them playing football (soccer for you American folks, lol), throwing dance battles and playing all sorts of games. And to be honest - I had loads of fun :)

On our free time me and my sister got to do and see some amazing things, places and events.

One of the things I really wanted to do while in Germany was to improve my German. And to do that I wanted to go to the Cinema. Cologne's cinema is probably one of the most awesome ones I've ever been to. We watched the movie Tammy. It was quite funny and the best part was that I understood almost everything! I guess my German isn't as bad as I thought.
A chocolate tower and pictures with some friends :)

One of the weekends was the Cologne's light festival. It was so amazing and spectacular! A half hour long firework show, great music, tasty beer and lights EVERYWHERE!

 This is from google just so you can get the idea what it was like :)

Also from google

Another weekend was the Bonn's beer festival. It was probably my favorite one. Not because of the beer. Which I also like, lol. But because of the whole event - the scenery was absolutely gorgeous! And yet again -  good music, great beer, great food and great people! There were things to do for everyone! Around 700 different beer flavors can be tasted at this event. And no, I did not get to taste them all! But I did try one of the best beers I've ever had - Belgium Cherry beer. I tell you people - it's the BEST!
 How amazing is this view?

 Even little Oliver had a blast!
With my sister :)

One day me and my sister decided to go shopping and do a little sightseeing in Cologne. To be honest - it is probably my favorite city on earth. Do not be surprised if in couple years I write new posts for there. Because I can easily see myself living there :) 

 What a gorgeous view :)
 Cologne's cathedral
 It's spectacular!!!
 The bridge is covered with more than 40 000 locks :)

In between those events of course we went to Bonn and Wesseling for some shopping sprees, we also went out for evening walks - my sister lives a half our walk away from the river Rhine. It's so peaceful and beautiful. All in all - I am in love with Germany. Always have been and always will be. There's just something about that country... I love it! And the month I spent there was probably the best one of this summer :) 

That's it for now. Wait for part 3 :)
Take care

Friday, August 22, 2014

I did things! My summer. Part 1

For someone who's not so fond of kids I've been spending quite the time with them this summer! But hey, I ain't complaining! Since this has honestly been the best summer of my life!

Because of my job I've had experiences for life! In a good way! Mostly...
I'm a Project Manager's assistant. Basically, my boss writes all these projects etc. and I have to participate in all of them and do things I wouldn't normally do. For example - attend Student's ball. I don't go to balls. Not my thing. But I had no choice since I was also organizing it. So I dolled up (or at least got as close to that as I possibly could) , got my friends with me and I actually had a blast. I love my friends. They made this whole thing a lot easier and more fun!
Ready to go!
 Some group selfies!

The next thing I had to do was organize my high school reunion. I had to make and send out invitations, contact graduates, make name tags and on the actual reunion day I had to work till midnight. And only then I could join my own classmates. But it was so much fun. Yeah I was busy working while others were already partying, but everyone came to me once in a while and even brought me some food and drinks so I had loads of fun. Hanging with my high school classmates is nothing extraordinary because even though we graduated 3 years ago, we still keep contact and have parties together. (We had one yesterday!) So we are not out of each others lives :)

So now on to the kids... Right after the reunion and right before I left to Germany, I had to work at a camp for 80 kids. Now imagine my freakout when I found out I was going to have to be in charge of 13 kids for a week! I'm not good with kids. Or at least I thought I wasn't. They freak me out. All I could think about was how awful this is going to be. They won't respect me, they'll be stuck up and rude, I won't be able to control them... KIDS!!!

The camp was called "Healthy and Active". The program was mainly about sports. They had 3 practical lessons - athletics, floorball, aerobics. And I had to guide them everywhere and be with them all day long. I had to work from 8am to 11pm every day... Since those classes were outside in the stadium, of course I got the ugliest sunburn EVERYWHERE! Everything you can possibly imagine - I had that. My face was tan except around my eyes. (thank you, sunglasses). My arms were tan except for the parts of my t-shirt sleeves. My legs were tan except for the parts of my sandal straps... basically I looked awful at the end of the week. 
As for the kids... I got the most awesome kids in the whole camp!!! Everyone was so nice and fun, and active, and polite, and respectful, and chatty! I absolutely adored them! They respected me and I respected them! Each morning they would wait for me with stories about how they spent the night or how they enjoyed the day before! I had no problems at all with my kids! 

On the last day of camp we went on an excursion and spent half the day at the seashore. At first I was nervous because they all went swimming etc. But everything went well and we had a blast!

As we returned to the camp and they had packed their stuff and waited for their parents to pick them up, they all hugged me and said goodbye and it was the nicest feeling ever! I - who does not like kids and was scared to even deal with them - was sad for it to be over! I had so much fun! And it was an amazing experience I'll never forget! And as it turns out - I'm actually quite good with kids... Who knew? LoL.