Tatiana's Table Come to Life!

Wait until you see this!  Someone made the recipes from Tatiana's Table and reviewed them online on a blog called Tatiana's Table a la Julie and Julia!  The last blog entry was February of 2010...but who cares! There are a ton of dishes there!

I must admit, upon stumbling upon this blog I got my dander up for Paullina, thinking "She can't post those recipes onlineThat's copyright infringement!"...until I realized the recipes are NOT posted - just the reviews.  Complete with PHOTOS! 

Look at THIS!  Lazy Cabbage!

Tatiana's Table

SPOILER ALERT:  Don't read unless you've read the entire Bronze Horseman series...and through Voyager in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.

Someone on Amazon is selling their copies of Tatiana's Table for $750.00 and $850.00. (Seriously, the only other one available on Amazon is $150 for a paperback; all pre-owned!)

HO-LY COW!!!!!!!!!!   What's IN it?!?  I was thinking Preacher Cookies or Beergaritas...but now I'm thinking maybe Crack Burgers or Cooked Cabbage with a lovely wrinkle-reducing reduction???  Why isn't it available anymore? 

And speaking of Beergaritas...Shannon brought some over last weekend and they were TA-STY!!

Can't wait to hear how Tracey's doing.  Last I heard, she was a chapter into The Summer Garden and liked T&A even better than TBH!  I love how we all differ about the books while loving the series.  I can't say I've picked a favorite.  They all touched me in different ways.

I will tell you this (listen up Outlander fans).  When Tracey finds out about Shura and the big bosomed beotch, she is going to flip her lid.  She threw the book across the room when she found out Jamie married Leghair in Voyager.  I can't IMAGINE what she's going to do when she finds out about THIS!!!

Sergey Larenkov Photos

I froze when I came across this photo of Leningrad.  It's heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time.  This is an infusion of old and new...what tragically was and what thankfully is.  Truly amazing work by Sergey Larenkov.  

Ukraine's Wooden Churches

Got this comment from Julie today over at My Outlander Purgatory.  Thanks Julie!

Hi Carol,

Check out the travel section of this Sunday's NY Times for an article about traveling in the Ukraine and old churches, etc. There are some great pictures along with the article.


Riverboat Sinks on the Volga

A month ago I would have thought this story was horribly sad...but I wouldn't have thought twice about where it happened.  Just a river in Russia. 

Today is a different story.  The Volga.  I am so sad over this.  Please pray they find more survivors. 

Russian Stove Video

Check out the tiny sleeping space for a tiny Tanechka. This video comes complete with women speaking in the background. You'll love it.

A Russian IZBA

This is a Russian izba in the village Kushalino, Rameshkovsky rayon, Tver Oblast.  Very, very cool.  Look at those ornate windows - on a log cabin!  I must see this up close! 

(Photo credit: Лесной Волк at ru.wikipedia.)

Sleeping on Top of the Stove

OK - this is for JenniferTN and anyone who wants to see what a Russian oven looked like; one you could sleep on top of!

Thanks to the State museum of Folk Architecture and life, Belarus for the photo.

Communal Living in Russia

Thanks SO MUCH to JenniferTN for posting this AMAZING link to a site dedicated to communal living in Russia.  It's like you are right there with the Metanovas.  (And - in your head - you will hear Shura's venom about the toilets, I assure you.) It's so odd to me to see such beauty interspersed with less-than-stellar living conditions.  The windows and fixtures are stunning...the ceilings are incredibly high...the architecture (especially the exteriors) is breathtaking.  And then you see the bathroom or some of the walls in the kitchen and think "I'll never complain about my bathroom again.  Ever."

If nothing else, this website screams to us about how close the Metanovas were.  It's no wonder Dasha felt the need to go out and try to land a man all the time...and why Tania clings to her family.  In such tight quarters, you have no choice but to be close.  

Make sure to watch some videos - and look at the photos.  Make sure you read along below the photos - and to the right of them - for some incredible details on communal living.

Tracey Has Joined Us!

Tracey is reading The Bronze Horseman.  Cross your fingers.  My last suggestion didn't go over so well. I guess I forgot to tell her A Discovery of Witches is more like Sookie Stackhouse meets your history teacher meets...um...church. LOL

Anyway...I'm hoping she's enamored and there are some videos in our future. Shannon and I have already discussed making one that would involve beergaritas and Blinchiki.  Be afraid.

Awesome Fan Made Trailer

Just watched this on PaullinaSimons.com.  Sigh.  I love.  I swore I was going to read something light..but now I think I have to read The Bronze Horseman again.  How can I not after seeing this???  I think I'm getting the jitters.  Where's my Kindle?!?

I Am Finished

Spoiler Alert:  Do not read unless you have read the entire Bronze Horseman series by Paullina Simons.

I can't even form sentences right now because I am just spent.  I was finishing the book tonight and my husband looked over at me on the couch...and I caught him completely off guard with my red eyes.  I made two trips to the bathroom for tissues before finally conceding and bringing the box into the family room.  And not over war...or death...or people starving in the streets of Leningrad.  No, Carol has to cry herself to sleep over Thanksgiving dinner.  And bread. (oh god I'm starting again).  And an 80 year old man who loves his wife so much that he grabs her and kisses her in the pantry so as to have a second alone with her amidst dinner preparations in their chaotic but deliriously happy life.

This series got to me like no other.  I love reading about history...but when the history is so recent that it's something my own parents lived through...it truly envelopes my soul and refuses to let go.

What am I crying over now?  My grandmother.  Baking.  The way she used to knead that dough and roll the cinnamon and butter in it...and let me sneak tastes because I was 6 years old and couldn't take my eyes off her...or her sticky buns.

A little background... My grandmother was born in Naples in 1907 and brought to the US as a young girl.  In 1922, when she was 15 years old, she was married off to a 23 year old man she had met only once.  She had her first baby when she was 16...her last when she was 31...and celebrated 71 wedding anniversaries before losing the only love she ever knew when he was 94...and her own life a few years later when she was 89.

It wasn't Leningrad...and she didn't have a husband who went to war.  But she took care of everyone and was the thread that held my father's family together - through thick and thin.  So in a small way, I am reminded of my grandmother tonight.  I can't remember the last time I was able to feel her so vividly in my mind.

That is what Tatiana has done for me.  That is what Alexander has brought to me.  They have made me look at my life - in all its mundane madness  - and appreciate the creaks in my floorboards and the island in my kitchen.  The one whose counter I will clean a million times tomorrow due to stray crayons and sticky fingers.

As far as the books go, I can't even begin to talk about everything Tatiana and Alexander went through ...because I am a blubbering idiot right now and there is no way I'm able to give them their proper credence.  (Also because my bed is calling to me from upstairs and my husband - like Alexander - is wondering what the heck I'm doing down here so late.)

I must say this:  I could not have loved the end of the book/series any more than I do.  Christie - et al - you were so, so right.  My absolute thanks to Paullina for keeping Tania and Shura alive at the end...because now they will forever be alive in my memory.

Now if you'll excuse me, I really must hit the hay.  I have a lot of googling to do tomorrow...Leningrad being the first order of business...and PaullinaSimons.com being the 2nd. :)

It's My Blog and I'll Stop if I Want to.

SPOILER ALERT - don't read unless you have read 95% of The Summer Garden.

I have a problem. I can't read the rest of this book. This has NEVER happened to me before. I'll admit, I have put books down before. Because they sucked. Not because they were so good I didn't want them to end. And more so, because I can't read one line without tearing up. I kid you not.

I am at the Pediatrician with my son and had to put the book down because Anthony's son (Anthony's SON!) referred to Shura as Grandpa and I started getting choked up. As I did when Tatiana was making cookies with her granddaughters...and as I did when Anthony got nominated by Ronald Reagan, etc, etc. It's just awful. I was crying on the treadmill yesterday. CRYING. On the TREADMILL. Who does that??? I kept hearing Tom Hanks say "there's no crying in exercise!!!!"

Anywho...I will blog when I'm finally able to finish. But honestly, I don't want to. If I stop now, Tatiana and Shura will be forever at their counter, eating Tania's cooking with their family. Can't I just leave them that way, forever preserved in my memory???

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Buh BYE!

SPOILER ALERT:  Don't read unless you have read 89% of The Summer Garden. 


PS - "Cowboy the fuck up" = Greatest. Line. Ever!

All's Well That Ends...WHAT?!?

Spoiler Alert - Don't read unless you've read 86% of The Summer Garden.

OK.  I lived through it.  The cheating.  And it wasn't easy.  No siree, it was not.  What got me through?  The fact that Shura came clean.  He told Tania everything that happened, right down to the last sordid, disgusting, puke-worthy detail.  And I agree with Tania; I wouldn't have wanted to hear it either.  But she had to know - in order to move past it - and continue to be as close with Shura.  Or she'd always be wondering.  I can only hope he told her how gross he ultimately thought Cha Cha - I mean Carmen was.  Ugh and that girdle?!  That had me in hysterics...because Shannon and I always joke that if we were ever in a position to have to date again, we'd have to excuse ourselves before the moment of truth to go to the bathroom and remove our Spanx.

OK - back to the matter at hand.  One minute I was (reluctantly) forgiving Shura for getting some strange in the back seat of a Ford sedan...and the next I'm trotting through North Vietnam, looking for (that dumbass who I can't help but love) Anthony.  And Moon Lai?  UGH!  I will fully admit that - at this point - I want NOTHING to do with her and her pregnant ass.  She can "Me love you long time" her rear end right out of the story and I won't even care.  I am honestly praying that something is amiss with Ant's letter and that child is not his.  Perhaps I'll change my mind when he is found and I am shown how "in love" they are or something...but for right now I'd kindof like Alexander to "accidentally" throw a grenade in her path.  (Oh my karma is BOILING for saying that.)  I mean seriously.  Don't you want a nice, sweet girl for Antman?  Hell - I kindof liked the idea of him being with Vikki!  They're so star-crossed...their story should be in Songs of Love and Death.

And speaking of bad karma - I am so thrilled to be finished with Saika, I don't know what to do with myself.  I will admit, I wasn't really thrilled at how they left her dying in the woods - but she deserved it, let's be honest.  Frankly, I think Marina deserved it too.  How long do you go on playing that "I didn't knowwwww" game?  Tania is so good.  She knows that blood is thicker than water.  And I am trying to think of all the ways that portion of the Luga stories relates to the current portion of the book (you know...like Saika's leeches and Shura's Cholla) besides the obvious; traipsing around the jungle in Vietnam.

OK girls and boys - I must get back to it.  Shura is calling me from the bamboo.  I can't leave him alone for too long...you know how he gets.