Monday, January 9, 2012

Priests, Brownies, Doormats and Hellos

The priest came for his yearly visit to our house on Saturday.  Every year at Epiphany a priest goes house to house to sprinkle holy water and ask a blessing on the home, update church membership records, visit briefly and receive a little white envelope. A different priest comes every year, and this one was great.  In the past I would say that all of the priests were nice, some were very nice, and some civil-nice.  We've had a priest who repeatedly took the Lord's name in vain (but was quite merry and friendly) and one who interrupted Greg almost every single time he tried to say anything.  Greg's parents had one, one year, who asked if they minded if he smoked in their living room.  I think that was a few good years ago, though.  More recently we were at my in-laws for the visit when a priest asked his mother when she was finally going to give up smoking.  The priest who came this year had been to Salt Lake City and seen the world and was very open and asked a lot of questions.  It was very nice, but the conversation was kind of one-sided, with us doing the most talking (answering questions) before he had to go.  (note: we skip the holy water and the white envelope)
Tonight, brownies after FHE will end our Week Without Sugar, which was actually a week without candy, chocolate and sweet baked treats.  I still allowed a little jam and the occasional yogurt and sweetened dried fruit like craisins.  It was very, very good, but it was also very hard for me.  I mean, I did it, and I was okay, but I often felt worn out (despite eating lots of good fruits and vegetables) and ate more than I should have because I always felt I needed something.  Yes, I am clearly addicted to sugar (shocker) and this was a very good experiment.  We are limiting sugar in our diets from now on (notably, taking the sugar out of breakfast most days) and I'm actually really excited.
We went to get a new doormat and found two options.  One had two rows of large, earth-toned circles.  The other had "DOMOWA" written across it in enormous type.  This was a puzzlement for all of us.  I kept thinking and thinking and then I realized, "OH!!"  Domowa means "home", but only the adjective.  Dom means (and rhymes with) home.  Domowa means "home" as in "praca domowa" (homework) or "wojna domowa" (home war, translation: family feud).  You read it on the mat and think "Home what?"  I think this is another example of google translate fail.  We bought the colored circles, but I"m thinking about going back for the other one, as it would be a great conversation piece.  Plus it's silly.
On one of my walks (I'm doing great with my resolutions!  Still!) I went past a home a few blocks away that has a lovely garden, now barren, which I peek in at thought the fence with my kids in the summer.  I've seen the older couple that lives there a few times but don't know them.  The man was outside on the sidewalk as I walked past, and instead of the half smile I usual throw at people, I actual vocalized a "dzien dobry" (good day).  I used the inflection that is kind of "all business" that mere acquaintances use (thinking this was already too much), where the first two syllables are pronounced low and the last one is pronounced in a higher tone.  He responded, going up on the MIDDLE syllable, which is how you say it when you are really happy to see someone.  For some reason this totally made my day.  I was expecting maybe a nod of the head, if anything.  I have clearly been living in Poland too long.  Or long enough?


Erin said...

One thing I loved in Poland was how everyone said "Dzien dobry". Everyone just seemed so friendly (especially the lady at Lizzy's school who would say it 2-3 times). But I had no idea about the inflections. I guess people were just being "all business".

I am not sure I could last a week without sugar. I am proud of you Lisa! What are some of your breakfast ideas? When you eliminate sugar it seems like all that is left is eggs.

Barbaloot said...

I'm totally like you---when I limit sugar or something like that it's like I have to have extra of something "healthy" to make up for it. String cheese is great and all, but not when you eat five pieces at once!

Dzien DOBry! :)

MelancholySmile said...

Long enough, I think. :) I love all these glimpses into a different culture. I wish I could speak another language at all, let alone understand differences in inflection!

And while I like to think of myself as relatively healthy, a whole week without sweets would be a challenge. I have to allow myself a bit of dark chocolate every day. It's my OTHER medication. ;)

Carolyn V said...

Aw! I'm so glad he was happy to say hi. That is awesome!

Congrats on surviving no sugar! I don't think I could do that. I'm so impressed. ;)

Susan said...

well, dzien DObry to you!
I love the story of the priests, most particularly the one priest asking if he may smoke, the next one asking when your MIL is going to give it up :) I guess she should have said "Whenever Father so-and-so does"

As for no sugar, our point diet thing makes it so we "can" have a serving of dessert, but no little bits of treats. But that serving costs 4 points (which is the same as 2 hours of exercise.) So I don't feel completely deprived: I CAN have dessert, but in reality, nothing has come my way in the last 8 days that seemed remotely worth the points!

Melanie Jacobson said...

I'm a million percent sure I couldn't do a week without sugar. Brava!

And I love the priest story. And the old man nod story.