My dream




It happened in July of 1956.

After graduation from the Moscow Textile Institute my best friend Yuri and I bought a very cheap two weeks tour from TEBERDA to SUKHUMI.

When we arrived in Teberda we understood why the tour was so cheap. It was arranged by a students sport society for brave people who wanted to get really hard experience of hiking in the mountains.

It was our first time in the Caucasus Mountains. When all members of the group arrived we were told that each of us would have 40 kg in a backpack.

“I wonder if we die the very first day”, said Yuri.

“You are an optimist! I wonder who will eat our first lunches”.

Three days passed and miraculously we were alive and had ravenous appetites.

On the fourth day our group stopped earlier than usually at a wonderful spot that had a crystal clear spring. We put up our tents, placed our heavy backpacks in them, gathered wood for fire and helped people responsible for cooking that day to start preparing dinner.

Then I suggested Yuri to go up the mountain and to enjoy sights from the top but he was more interested in staying near a girl who was busy cooking.

I went up alone.

It was a gorgeous summer day. The air was fresh and sweet. Trees, bushes and grass were in their best green dresses. As I went higher and higher I saw some flowers.

Gradually ascent became more difficult and instead of walking I had to crawl.

It became clear that the top of the mountain was still far away. So I decided to move to my right to see our camp below. There were trees and bushes on my right and I used them as my support to move closer to the side of the mountain.

Finally I reached a point with a perfect view. It was terrific!

I saw a circle of our five white tents in the rays of the Sun and the spring near it. The dinner was ready and the fire was dying. Everybody was preparing for dinner. I saw Yuri sitting with the girl on the blanket near our tent.

“Yuri, look up!”, shouted I. “Can you see me?”

Nobody moved. Apparently, nobody heard me. It was time to go back and to have dinner.

All of a sudden I realized that I was in a very difficult position. I was clinging to the steep slope. Two small bushes on my left were gone. There was nothing I could use as support to move in any direction.

Fear paralyzed me! I did not know what to do. It seemed to me that any my movement will bring a fall and fast death.

On the other hand, i could not stay long in this place. What for? Nobody was coming to help me anyway. I needed to act fast! There was no time for fear!

I looked around very, very carefully.

There was something that looked as a flat outcrop on the level of my boots to my right. There was also a tree on the ground above it.

“Can I move my feet to that outcrop? Will it support me? Will I then be able to catch the tree with my hands? Will it support me? Is there a chance then to move to a flat place or not so steep slope of the mountain?”

It took a second or less for all these questions to run in my mind but no answers came.

I was not ready or willing to die but I had no choice. I had to take a risk!

I gathered everything I had and moved to the outcrop. Unfortunately, it was farther away than I thought. I could not reach it. It was my last step!

All of a sudden a strong gust of wind appeared from nowhere! It picked me up and brought on the outcrop. I caught the tree and the next moment another gust of wind brought me to the flat ground.

I dropped there. I was sweating and at the same time I felt very, very cold.

Some time passed. I started slowly and very carefully my descent to the camp.

In about an hour I heard voices. Somebody was calling my name.

I responded and in several minutes Yuri and nine other members of the group gathered around me.

“Do you want a drink?”, asked Yuri. Sure, I wanted it.

“Do you want hot soup?”, asked one girl. “I brought it and here are a cup and a spoon”.

Oh, how I wanted the soup! I wolfed it down.

“We were very worried!”, said Yuri. “What happened?”




Istanbul (not Constantinople)

More than 50 years ago “Istanbul (not Constantinople)” was the very popular song in the Soviet Union. At that time only élite at the top could get permission to travel and to see Turkey or any other country.

After we became Americans we visited more than 50 countries including Turkey.

Istanbul is a wonderful city! It has so much to offer that you need to stay there long time just to get a proper feeling of it. Unfortunately, we had only one week for travel in the country.

However, it is impossible to forget the word Istanbul in America. You can see It all over the country.





No worries or one night in Crimea.

I have a terrible feeling that many people missed this old post. It is about live, love and a night in Crimea a long time ago. Please let me know if you like it.


In June of 1959 after meeting for 19 hours during 1,5 month my wife and I decided to marry. Then it was time for a honeymoon.

We could not afford a long one as we were very busy. She was designing a new machine for creating chemical fibers. I was working on my dissertation. Both of us had no savings.

Our parents and friends raised some funds for a two weeks honeymoon and recommended us to go to The Workers’ Corner (now Professor’s Corner) in Alushta (a city in Crimea).

All of them said: “It’s a wonderful place! Black Sea, wonderful beach, road up the mountain, beautiful Mount Castel! You’ll be happy there!”

My wife asked: “Where will we live?”

“No worries! All locals rent their apartments and live in shacks during summer. You’ll find something.”


We came to The Workers’ Corner and went up the…

View original post 557 more words

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?

Cappuccino or a day when we were very rich

First time I tried cappuccino in February of 1975. I was 40 years old. We lived in Lido di Ostia and waited for American visas.

Another immigrant who somehow had a lot of money and liked to play chess with me bought cappuccino for both of us.

I was afraid to try it as in the Soviet Union I had terrible allergy each time I drank a cup of coffee. However, my partner insisted that cappuccino is very good and I must try it.

What could I do? I raised a cup, opened my mouth, took a mouthful and …fell in love. Not only this. Somehow cappuccino became for me a symbol of freedom, a symbol of Italy, of this wonderful beautiful country with very warm people.

Years passed and we visited Italy again. We took a two weeks trip from the north to the south. Every day I drank a cup of cappuccino and enjoyed it very much. Some members of our tourist group told me that it did not make sense to pay two euros for a cup of cappuccino. With my very bad hearing it was very easy to ignore it.

One day our group went to Capri. You do know that the island is beautiful and you can have as many splendid views as you want. But usually tourists after taking in a good part of nature’s beauty go shopping.

I warned my wife that we should not do it. We did not need anything. Everything on Capri was very expensive. But this time something happened with her hearing. She took my hand and we found ourselves in the nearest boutique.

It was very nice in the air-conditioned store. Tourists recovered from the heat outside and were very busy leaving their money inside the store.

My wife looked around, then she came to me and said: “I found a wonderful tee-shirt for you! It’s unique and it costs only 35 euros!”

Only 35 euros! Tee-shirt! I could not hear it!

Still I went to see that unique tee-shirt. When love speaks wise man listens.

It really was beautiful. Only the fabric was rather sick and the tee-shirt had sleeves.

“Darling, when will I wear it? It’s not suitable for parties and it’s not good in summer”.

“Don’t worry, we’ll think about it later”.

We bought the tee-shirt and went out of the store.

There was another hour before departure from Capri.

It was impossible to stay in the sun.

At that moment I noticed a café around the corner. People were sitting in the shadow enjoying life.

“My love”, said I. “Would you like to have a cup of cappuccino?”

‘Oh, yes! Yes!”


A beautiful young smiling girl showed us the best table in the café and in two minutes we had colorful richly smelling cappuccino. We drank it very, very slowly and looked at unfortunate people from our group who was standing in the sun.

Life was wonderful, we were immensely rich!

Soon it was time to leave and I asked for a check. The beautiful young smiling girl gave it to my wife. My love looked at it, sighed and said: “Darling, please pay 19 euros. It was worth it! We are very rich today!”


How bad are America and capitalism?

I came to America in 1975 and became an American in 1980.

Half of my life I lived in the Soviet Union, another half – in America.

I worked in the Soviet Union as a manager and a scientist and I worked in the USA as a cutter, a clerk, an accountant, a broker, a programmer, a system analyst. I graduated from colleges in both countries (the Moscow Textile Academy and Queens College in NYC).

For forty years I hear and read that capitalism is bad and that America is a bad country. I saw all kinds of protesters. I heard a lot of journalists, professors and elected officials who believe that socialism and communism are better. .

Certainly, everybody has right to her/his opinion.

However, as I lived many years In the USSR and the USA it is easy for me to compare what is better.

Let’s look today at facts and make conclusions. Then we can continue to discuss the question in the title of this post.

Several years I am renting during winter an apartment in a condominium in Hollywood, Florida. My landlord is from Cuba. He is a large trucks driver.

He bought this apartment 7 years ago as an investment. He lives with his wife in their own very nice house near Miami.

The photo below shows a deck of the condominium and a beach below. I meet daily people on the deck who own apartments here and have apartments or houses in Chicago, New York and other places. All of these people are working or worked before retirement. They are (or were) teachers, programmers, doctors, nurses, engineers, professors, government employees, etc. Some of them have or had their own businesses.



You can see in the photo a building that is under construction.

Picture #2 gives you a better view of it. The building will be finished soon.

All apartments in it have the same design and the average cost of an apartment is

$1,000,000. The interesting fact is that all apartments are already sold out.



Now, there are hundreds of condominiums in Hollywood and thousands of houses that cost more than 1 million dollars. All of them have owners.

There are many cities all over America like Hollywood or even richer (like Naples in Florida).

How bad is America and how bad is capitalism if people who are working hard and have education can have wonderful apartments or houses, can travel, are free to choose their way and enjoy life?

I am proud that I am American!

Golden? Yellow?

I am color blind.
When I saw that there were photo challenges “Yellow” and “Golden” my first reaction was: “Is not this the same?”.
I went to Google and asked for definition of “Yellow“.
The answer was that it is “the color between green and orange in the spectrum, a primary subtractive color complementary to blue; colored like ripe lemons or egg yolks.
Synonyms: flaxen, golden, gold, blond/blonde.”
After this answer I decided to take part in both challenges. The next step was to choose proper photos.
After long consideration I chose four photos below. Please let me know which of them you like more.
#1                            by JF

#1     MORNING IN QUEENS, NYC                                                                by JF


#3                       by JF

#2    MORNING IN HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA                               by JF













#3    ON HOLLYWOOD’S BROADWALK                                                  by JF



#4     FLOWER IN POCONO MANOR                                                              by JF





Happy Thanksgiving!

We are alive!

We are together!

We can think, learn, work and pursue happiness!

We build families and experience love and friendship!

We are creative and we also can enjoy literature, paintings, photography, music and other kinds of art!

We can travel and meet people in new lands!

We enjoy delicious food!

We can smell flowers and fully appreciate beauty of nature!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

Oprah Winfrey

Best of all is it to preserve everything in a pure, still heart, and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving, and for every breath a song.

Konrad von Gesner

Dear Lord; we beg but one boon more: Peace in the hearts of all men living, peace in the whole world…

Joseph Auslander



FLOWERS                                                                                                 by JF







Sharing news and thoughts

1. Creativity and learning make people happy.

2. During my morning walk I saw in the distance three princesses, zoomed  and shot them (not with a gun). See the photo below.


PRINCESSES                                                            by JF

3. I added several posts to the page “Travel”.

Among them are reblogs of posts of very talented bloggers Antonio Violi (SIRACUSA, ORTIGIA) and Victor Tribunsky (PETRA IN JORDAN).

Both posts have wonderful photos and stories.

I will add more posts to this page this week.

4. So far I made all my digital paintings using a paint program on my PC. But a couple of days ago I found that there are many other free programs for painting and photo editing. Today I am starting to learn one of them. Be ready for new paintings (it’s not a threat!).

5. I am going to add more paintings to the page “My paintings and tests”. Hopefully, all of you will test YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF PAINTING AND PAINTINGS.


Night in ???

I got an album from my older granddaughter Renee.

There are many interesting photos in it.

However, full moon always impresses me and I decided to share the photo with you.

Hope you’ll like it.

NIGHT  by Renee B.

NIGHT by Renee B.

Can you tell me where is this beautiful night? I doubt it.

But I hope that if you look on the picture below somebody will come up with an answer.

PHOTO by Renee B.

PHOTO by Renee B.



A beautiful country!

A beautiful girl whom I love very much (Renee B.) made three photos below.

Please describe what you see on each photo, what you feel and let us know what  country it is.

It is sunny and warm in Pocono Manor today and I spent this morning taking pictures. You will see them soon (it is not a threat).

Enjoy life! It’s a gift!




Sunset in Megalong Valley.

Sunset in Megalong Valley, Blue Mountains, Australia. Boar's Head Rock and Narrowneck Peninsula on the left. by Double Shot.

Sunset in Megalong Valley, Blue Mountains, Australia. Boar’s Head Rock and Narrowneck Peninsula on the left.                                                                           by Double Shot.

Blogs and photography of Rajiv Chopra.

Not long ago I discovered a blog Rajiv Chopra Photography ( I explored it and then asked Rajiv’s permission to introduce some of his photos to my followers and guests. He kindly agreed and sent me some photos that were not on his blog.

Later I found out that Rajiv has several other blogs:

rajivchopra (

A Gypsy’s Chronicles (

A Gypsy’s Life In Black And White (

Each of them is interesting and has its own life. I am sure that you will like not only Rajiv’s photos but his very intensive and interesting writings.

It was not easy to choose what particular Rajiv’s photos to show you. I decided to show two photos made in India (Rajiv’s country) and one his photo made in Germany. Here they are:








Life is fair and beautiful!

Long ago I came to two conclusions: 1. Life is wonderful! 2. You have to pay for happiness. The very best is not given for nothing!


Some years ago I thought that it was not fair that I worked very hard for many years but I have no property.

I never had a bird like below or a horse like below. I never had a castle like below either.

Then I reminded myself that I have a wonderful family, that God gave me an opportunity to live a new life in the USA, freedom to think and choose, ability to learn, appreciate and travel.

I have no property but we visited more than 50 countries and enjoyed beauty of many places including the magical Hawaiian island Maui (see the last photo below).

It is clear that we can easily do without a macaw or a gorgeous horse or a beautiful castle.

There are many pleasures in life each day. A smile, a kiss, a good word, a flower, a cup of coffee, a good book. We just need to…

View original post 59 more words

Life is fair and beautiful!

Some years ago I thought that it was not fair that I worked very hard for many years but I have no property.

I never had a bird like below or a horse like below. I never had a castle like below either.

Then I reminded myself that I have a wonderful family, that God gave me an opportunity to live a new life in the USA, freedom to think and choose, ability to learn, appreciate and travel.

I have no property but we visited more than 50 countries and enjoyed beauty of many places including the magical Hawaiian island Maui (see the last photo below).

It is clear that we can easily do without a macaw or a gorgeous horse or a beautiful castle.

There are many pleasures in life each day. A smile, a kiss, a good word, a flower, a cup of coffee, a good book. We just need to appreciate them and enjoy them.

Life is fair and beautiful!




MASTER OF THE REALM by Bernd Owsnicki-Klewe

MASTER OF THE REALM by Bernd Owsnicki-Klewe





by Steven Miles