We live many lives

One week after I started this blog I published a post “We live many lives”. Today I decided to copy it here because it is a central post to my understanding of life and pursuit of happiness.

I want to stress that life always requires to make risky choices. When you decide to marry or not to marry it is one of the riskiest choices in your life.

I also want to stress one sentence in the post below:

“a human being is born for happiness but happiness is not
quaranteed, it must be achieved!”
  • ” Man is born to be happy as a bird is born to fly”.

                                                         V. Korolenko

First of all, what is life?

There are different definitions of it.

Here are some of them:

-sequences of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual

– spiritual existence transcending physical death

– the period from birth to death
– a specific phase of earthly existence. 

It’s easy to see that they have different meaning and some of
them are contradictory.
If life is “the period from birth to death” how can it also be “spiritual existence transcending physical death”?
If life is “a specific phase of earthly existence” it definitely means
that all of us live many lives.
My memory keeps happy days of childhood in Odessa (Ukraine),
a beautiful port city.
June 22 was my mother’s birthday and has always been a very
joyful  day for my family.
However, on June 22 1941 Germany attacked the USSR and
a terrible war started. My happy first life ended that day.
I also remember my life in Tashkent (capital of Uzbekistan), It was
so different from my first life. New city, new people, new language.
My father was in the army,  my mother worked in the hospital in
another city and I lived with my grandparents in a tiny room with a clay
floor. There was too little food, we were lacking many necessities
but  my grandparents loved me very much and l loved going to school.
We had wonderful teachers, real professionals who loved their
Then there was a life in Moscow where I graduated from college, met my
wonderful wife and we started our family.
That life was very difficult too.
We lived in the totalitarian country where people could disappear at any
moment. My wife did not know her father. He was arrested and
executed a month before she was born.  28 years later my mother-in-law
received an official letter that he was innocent.
Three of us lived in a small apartment with three other families.
There was only a big sofa in our room, so my mother-in-law
had to go to sleep to her sister who lived nearby..
My wife was a designer and I worked on my dissertation at that
time and our love, our interesting work, love of our relatives and
friends made us happy.
A year after our marriage our son was born.
He had to sleep in the crib on the wide windowsill as there was no
other place for him in our room.
Our dream was also to have a girl. But first we needed  a better
place for our family,
So we worked very hard for years. Besides working in research I
wrote books. We saved money and realized our dream by buying a  nice
two bedroom apartment. And we were happy to live there with our
two children.(a boy and a girl).
Yes, a human being is born for happiness but happiness is not
quaranteed, it must be achieved!.
Every person must grow mentally and spiritually. And with the growth new
goals come.
We were happy to live in our new apartment. Both of us were successful in
our careers. We lived in the center of Moscow and had many friends,
But gradually we came to understanding that it was our duty to leave the
USSR, to bring our children into the free world and to experience freedom
of a democratic society.
We made a very risky choice to apply for a permission to emigrate.
Nobody knew if the permission would be granted. We had to resign from
our jobs and to keep our children at home.
We were lucky to get a permission to emigrate after waiting for
five months.  In February of 1975 we left the Soviet Union and then
a new cycle of lives in USA started.

My painting #13


I was looking for something interesting this morning and I found a test below.

Surely, I took it and answered all questions. Results are fantastic!

Please, try it and tell us what you got.




My friend Ramen

Life is full of surprises. Some of them are very, very pleasant, even delicious!

Ramen dry noodle soup was a pleasant surprising discovery of my life. Here is from Wikipedia: “Instant noodles are a precooked and usually dried noodle block, sold with flavoring powder and/or seasoning oil, usually in a separate packet…Dried noodle blocks are cooked or soaked in boiling water…”

Imagine! You come to a store, look for Ramen soups, pay $1 for 5 or 6 packages of different flavors and then you are a happy child, woman or man! Is not it wonderful?



Suppose you are with a small child in a place where children are running together as wild beasts. You can’t leave a child alone but from time to time you need to feed her or him. In such a case Ramen is your best friend! You need only a minute and a child is on her/his way to happiness.

When they were younger all of our grandchildren stayed with me for some time in Pocono Manor (a time-sharing place) and all of them loved Ramen soup. They called it “Grandpa’s soup”.

One of the reasons they loved it so much was that they could choose a flavor. Certainly, they chose different flavors almost daily.

One Sunday our friends with 6 years old granddaughter Ann visited us. They told us that they had only two hours as the girl had a bad appetite and was very choosy.

We knew that her Grandma was a good chemist and she was also extremely proud that she was an excellent cook.

It was a hot sunny day and everyone was at the pool. Then I said: “Ann, we have 5 grandchildren of different ages and all of them love my soup. You know, they especially love to choose a flavor for the soup. What do you love more: chicken, shrimp, beef or original flavor? Make a choice and I cook it for you very fast”.

Her Grandma said: “JF, she will not eat anything you give her!”

Ann told me: “I don’t know what is original but I want it!”

We went to our suit and in a minute she was eating my soup with a great gusto. After she finished it I gave her chicken with potatoes and she gave this dish full attention too.

When we returned to the pool Ann said: “Grandma, I’ve never had anything so delicious in my life!”

My friend Ramen was very proud!





Two ways to Heathrow

Four couples with heavy suitcases left a hotel and saw an empty taxi.

Economist said: “We don’t need a taxi. We’ll go by subway”.

“No!”, firmly said my love. “My husband became sick when you led us here by subway from the airport. We take this taxi and we welcome two people to join us.”

Economist’s wife (EW) said: “Let’s Strongman and Poet join you with all suitcases. My man will lead three beauties to Heathrow by subway. I am sure that we’ll be there before you!”

I had my doubts about her last statement but even at that time I was allergic to arguing with confident strong-willed women. So everybody agreed with EW”s plan.

We settled in the taxi and the driver asked us where we were going. Then he told us that we looked like Americans but he could not understand what language we spoke.

Strongman explained that it was Russian.

I said the driver that I liked very much his diction and his way of speaking. He answered that he was not a professional taxi driver. He was a teacher and he loved theater very much. Then he added that he wrote several screenplays and in his free time he was an actor.

Poet was fascinated. He told the driver that he was an engineer but he worked for the New York City and wrote poetry during working hours. The driver asked him to read a poem but Poet explained that he wrote in Russian.

Then the driver said that an Australian company bought one of his screenplays and asked him to direct a movie there. He’ll leave London in a month.

Poet gave the driver his address and a business phone number and asked to keep in touch. The driver thanked him and then told us that we arrived.

We unloaded suitcases, paid for the ride adding good tips, thanked the driver and went in the terminal. We were told there that it was a wrong terminal and that we need to take a bus to a right one.

i will not tell you what we thought about the taxi driver at that time. I only can hint that we used some very popular Russian words.

Luckily, the bus arrived soon and we were in the proper terminal at the proper airline counter 20 minutes before the plane’s departure. The three beauties and Economist were not anywhere in sight.

My wife and I checked in our luggage and were ready to board the plane. Poet and Strongman wanted to check in their suitcases too but the airline’s employees gently asked them where were their wives.

There was only 10 minutes left before the plane’s departure. My love and I were ordered to board the plane and to take our seats. We had no choice as the next day we had to go to work.

However, our plane started to move only in 40 minutes.

My love was upset when she saw that our friends were sitting in the first class.

She said to me: “It’s not fair!”

I smiled. At that time I already knew that life is not always fair.

Okay, I've done that stupid trick of sticking my paw up in the air. Now where's that tasty treat you promised me?

Quotes to think about

People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.

J. Michael Straczynski

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.

Nelson Mandela

If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.

Michael Jordan

I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

The way you see people is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is what they become.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Free choices in B & W



SCARY BUT BAD DENTAL WORK                     by JF












RUSTY BUT VERY STRONG!                                                                   by JF













COME IN AND ENJOY!                                                                      by JF

















HUMANS ARE SO STRANGE!                                                   by JF