Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Just the drama of daily life...

A couple weeks ago, the light burned out in our bathroom and while Terry was trying to change it, the whole fixture came detached from the ceiling into his hands. He didn't have time to work on it so he cut the wires, taped over the hole, and said to call Shpresa's husband, Berti, who is an electrician.

It was great, actually, to have a professional fix everything! He also replaced a light switch in the kitchen that wasn't working. Valerie was totally fascinated by the whole process and has been talking about it ever since: "Xhaxhi [Uncle] Berti fixed the light, went up the ladder, got pieces, made loud noise [the drill], liked watching, good job Xhaxhi Berti!"

Then this week, I was heating water on the stove when the electricity went out in our apartment. I could tell something had shorted it out but couldn't figure out what. I had spilled water on the stove just as the lights went out but I didn't see how the two events could be connected.

The reason I was heating water was for Valerie's bath, since we had turned off our water heater at night to save electricity, and forgot to turn it back on in the morning, so there was no hot water. She was standing in the bathroom crying because I wasn't filling up the bathtub, even though I'd just promised her a bath (my how far we've come! But that's another story!). So I was rushing to heat the water for her and that was why I'd spilled a lot.

I called Terry, and shortly after that two men showed up at the door with a toolbox. They immediately identified the problem: the clicker on the gas stove that ignites the flame - it's an electric clicker, and when I'd spilled water on it, it shorted out. They had to take the whole stove apart, clean it up good, and I don't know what all else, but Gabriel was asleep by the time they'd finished putting it back together. I didn't mind, we had our electricity back and now I know to be more careful when pouring water near the stove.

Once again, Valerie was completely fascinated - plus, now there were two Xhaxhi Bertis fixing the lights! And the stove! :-) Cost of the labor? $10 - great for us, kind of a bummer for the workmen, don't you think?


So I think the kids are getting sick again - BOOOOO! Gabriel was up every 2 hours and CRANKY. His nose was all stuffy, poor guy. Valerie had a rough night too but slept in a little. She seemed to have a fever this morning so I deceived her into taking some infant tylenol hidden in a spoonful of ice cream. Her face was flushed and her eyes heavy. She perked up a little after that, and went to the grocery store with me, but she was pretty tired around noon and went down for a nap quickly (after a bath - her SECOND today already!). Gabriel has been clingy and sad. I think we're going to postpone our family vacation until June (we were thinking of going next week).


Elections for mayor of Tirana were last Sunday. Instead of Mother's Day, they celebrate Women's Day here, in March, so it was an ordinary Sunday (other than the elections of course). The results have been too close to call so far and it's making people a little tense and worried, I think, with concerns about corruption.


Speaking of Mother's Day - I had a whole post planned out with lots of pictures but have not had the time to find and upload all the photos I wanted - so I will say with words instead, that I spent the day thinking of my mom, my mother-in-law, my grandmothers, my sister, my cousins, my sister-in-law, my aunts, and all the important women in my life who have "mothered" me in some way or other in the span of my life. First and foremost my mom, Irma. Love you and miss you - every day.

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