whipping wind and snail hunting…

The normally blue Aegean turns an eerie, gorgeous green when the storms whip through…

I know…it looks like a twister may pop up and whisk my polka dotted princess to Oz…but…

I assure you she would be singing the whole way there…she loved it!

sea…

sky…

land…

Shells make the perfect scoopers…

The rain, the storms are amazing in so many ways…but mainly…

we’re into…the snail hunting!

All those silly little slippery creatures come out with the moisture…stay curious!

That cute little fat “hannie”…

Thanks for joining us again on a nature walk…

this momma needs to get to sleep now…

my polka dotted princess AKA “the bigs” will be waking up before I know it!

xo

Planet Earth from the discover channel is on in the background…amazing our world! Much respect!

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Do you want to follow the clouds with me? Do you live in the now?

Lately I’ve been feeling uninspired, overwhelmed, a monotony of life pressing down on me pending the reality that it will all explode in my face soon. Everything will change. Wondering what we will do next and how will we all deal with it. Feeling like we can’t move soon enough yet WTF will we do when we actually do this thing, moving to Minnesota. This thing I have thought I have wanted so badly for the past 3+ years.

Plus I’ve felt tired…

And so…I haven’t been posting. My brain was just imploding. Waking me up at 4 A.m. to think. Bloody terrible hour(been hanging out with lots of Brits lately, hence the bloody).

But today the clouds were just too gorgeous to ignore. Felt good to want to have my camera in hand again.

Felt good that it rained! Smells good that it rained!

The wind blows in the fresh sea air. Stirs that big wet pot. Salt. Plants. Life.

Feels good that I don’t feel like my skin is going to burn off and can exit the house safely during midday hours. Summers are long and hot here…got it? Lovely for swimming and good if you can live as a creature of the night but small children inhibit night owlism…yes I might have made that word up?

Long story short…fall is fabulous! Although it isn’t my mid-western mindset of fall. No leaves change gorgeous shades of red, yellow and orange. The Apples are just ok but pomegranates…nar are bursting from the trees. When a yellow shade the fruit inside still sour but the Aegean sun is turning them this amazing coral color sweeting those jewel like pink fruits only to soon rupture brilliant, vibrant, sweet red!

I will miss this. I know. Love it now. Live in the now.

Do you live in the now?

Love my family framed in fluff. Fluffy bougainvillea flowers. Fluffy white clouds.

Terribly two. Terribly tired here. Terrible tantrum ensues as she wants to get out and push the stroller herself.

Terribly smart. Terribly stubborn. Terribly sassy. Fights terribly hard for her independence. Terribly normal from what I understand…terrible test of parents patience:)

Compromise? or was it distraction? Let’s do it together…

ALWAYS happy in the sand.

Hero, one of the neighborhood street dogs joins us sometimes too…

Typical Turkish view; colorful cement townhouses with solar water heating panels…and satilite dishes…

Thanks for joining us on the walk around the neighborhood…

I feel better now…how about you?

Fresh air and family. gratitude. calms the brain.

Rain came back in full force.

Listening to Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan…amazing!

Living in the now these past couple days…

“Photos” is the Greek word for “Light.”

Our happy place to cool down

“Photos” is the greek word for “light”.

This fact makes me so very happy and makes so much sense! What I love about photography is how it helps you capture not only a point of view but the light. One of my favorite things to notice about our world…is the light…

When that sun is peaking up over our hills or setting down into the corn fields this is my favorite time for the light to come out and play. Low on that horizon line I curse if my camera isn’t right next to me!

Light gives color to the sea, sparkling or stormy.

Our very own Coppertone baby...

The above fact I actually learned from The Pioneer Women. This lovely lady who has made a website empire for herself all from her farm/ranch/homestead all the while homeschooling her (I think 4) kids…so much can be done on this world wide web! Definitely inspirational!

Also I downloaded some Photoshop Elements Actions from her and have a whole new medium to play in!

I love this one of this little one so much!

What do you think?

Also stumbled upon this rad couples photography, day19…awesome work!

1, 2, 3, 4, I declare a butt war…ready…begin!

So if you don’t know what that title means it might sound a little weird…

For those of you who know what I am talking about…so fun huh?

The above photo was captured by my hubby from behind the fence at our little resort town’s Luna amusement park. Amoungst the Ferris wheels and bumper cars there are 10 personal tramps fenced in and padded…loud music blasting all around…not so luxurious but was so fun as I hadn’t jumped on a tramp in way too long!

First I took our two year old out. So cute…of course. She loved the park, the lights, the sounds and the smells, her little jumping, jumping…

Then I gave her to her babaanne(grandma) and baba(daddy) and ran back for a real jump of my own.

I wanted to challenge someone to a Butt War so bad…ok what the heck is that you my ask?

Just this…find your opponent…each of you repeat the above titles mantra…you jump up, land on your bum, bounce back up, land on your feet and this cycle continues until some wears out, looses their balance, double bounces the other or laughs too hard and gets out of rhythm…good times.

Have you done anything lately that reminds you of your youth?

Salad dressing recipe…and the secret ingredient is???

So do you think it looks yummy?

Well what is in there?

3 large potatoes steamed and cooled
1 cob of corn, cut from cob, steamed and cooled
1 large tomato
2 small cucumbers
1 small white onion
1 large handful of chopped flat leaf parsley

chop it all up to your liking, fine chunks or hunks…

And the dressing…(approximately- I eye ball and taste)
2 heaping tablespoons extra virgin GOOD olive oil (very, very spoiled by that here on the Aegean coast)
3 heaping tablespoons apple cider vinegar
dash of salt to taste

plus the, drum roll please, secret ingredient…

1 heaping tablespoon sumac flakes

No need to emulsify the oil blah, blah, blah just pour the ingredients right over whatever your salad of choice is for that meal.

Mix well and let it sit as the flavors meld. Dash of pepper could do you good too.

I use this dressing often be it simple green salads or a whatever is in the fridge salad. (My sister is the granola bar rockstar but my mom is the whatever is in the fridge SALAD rockstar!!!)

So my secret sumac ingredient, (sumak in turkish) is no secret at all of course. It has been used for centuries or more. But was very new to me and I believe is for most Americans.

I learned it from the old chef at our cafe…and it’s bomb! He was from Adana in the south east of Turkey. This spice is commonly used there, getting closer to the middle east, as a compliment with kebabs, mmm…mmm…spicy Adana kebaps with a side of an onion, parsley and sumac salad! yes please!

These photos are from a lovely lunch with my hubby yesterday. Despite the heat we sat on the balcony…it was nice our baby girl was napping…we could eat slowly and chat. He doesn’t mind me taking pictures during our meal…very supportive:)

The salad is nice but did you notice the fried cheese…yeah that’s right…fried cheese…

Hellim in Turkish…is a hard, salty(some brands/village varieties need to be rinsed because sooo salty) cheese sliced lengthwise and fried! Turning it into this gooey textured goodness…yum and yum…

Lots of bread is a must, no excuse in a Turkish meal. My sister-in-law wonders how people get full in America if you don’t eat bread with every meal? Do they just go about hungry?

Anyways the bread is always fresh and crusty and serves as a utensil almost, a catalyst really for dipped delights. In this case olive oil from the olive bowl which is always full, ready in the fridge! (There’s my cute hubby reflected on the spoon)

In my Midwestern town we were mainly exposed to black olives that were factory pitted in a can and about the only good thing about them is that it was fun to eat them off the tips of your fingers(You know what I mean right?). Maybe throw some green ones with reds pimentos around too, slice them on your pizza…I guess…

Basically I never really liked olives…

Then I came to Turkey and lived on the Aegean coast…

There are huge (CRAZY ones my husband bought off the side of the road, you can hunt them out like that everywhere here!), big and little, black and green, and pink, and brown and yum and yum…and you can taste them ALL before you buy them (another whole post evolving here)…

But after all that goodness…

This is why I stay…it’s those eyes that won me over even without words…

Well I spilled many secrets today…AFIYET OLSUN!

Sweat, Tears and The Sea

Can my baby really almost be two? As I plan her little seaside party we celebrate her and the sea…

As my baby is almost two it means we have been without our fathers for two years…can that be?

We hold on to little things that bring them back to us…my father-in-law’s kepekli ekmek(wheat bread) he would always buy, a diet coke can can make me cry or put a huge smile on my face…

Here is a revisit to a post I wrote;

I feel as if there is a giant blow dryer on high pointed at Turkey between the hours of 12 and 4 o’clock!

Hot wind…I sweat as I sit trying not to move or even think somedays.

Hot sun!

I look out my window…brown dry weeds except next to the houses which have gorgeous pops of pink puffy bougainvillea flowers and well tended greens.

I wipe my brow.

Through my gauzy white curtains I see the piles of house rubble that blocks my view. Will city ever come take it? Illegal dumping is a big problem in Didim.

Chug a glass of cold water…

I look at my dog. She is too hot to eat, too hot to bark, she just sleeps and pants heavily, noisily.

I look down at my belly. Wonder how my growing daughter inside is doing. If she will be like her mother(crazy in the heat) or her father(who much prefers hot over cold).

I wipe the sweat. Taste the salt.

I look past the dry brown dirt, the dead weeds, the one abandoned house and then I see it…

the beautiful blue Aegean sea. REFRESHES ME! We are so fortunate to be next to the sea.

As my belly grows my body feels so heavy. My fingers swell. Wedding ring off. My feet pound with presser.

Blue beautiful water outside my window. Rush to get my suit on!

I waddle down to the beach, my duck walk as my husband coined it.

Throw everything down! Can’t get there fast enough!

Immediately the cold water calms me, relieves my heat induced surliness, my feet throb and cramp until they get used to the water. I dive in fully…

Ahhhh…cold. I feel light for now, free, my movements open. My hips can bend.

I can be on my back(which you can’t do when u are pregnant only sleep on your sides).

I taste the salty sea, it cleanses me.

Light and relaxed I twirl my arms, back stroking, loosening up my joints and muscles. I take deep  Yoga breaths. I think of my mother when I back stroke…she always loves this at the cabin, on the lake, in Minnesota.

My mind opens as my body does. Free, light, I am blessed. I think about our fathers, my husbands and mine, the cancer. The change. I hold my breath and plunge back down into the sea.

Grasp for air. Look up at the blue sky that reflects down on the clear water making it appear blue- MAVI in Turkish. Some days dark and fierce, others turquoise and calm, green or Grey…so beautiful. I know our baby loves the swimming.

I think about the Pacific Ocean off the California coast. How different that water is than this; colder, darker, more wild. How different my life was there.

As I float I am still, close my eyes and listen…

Listen to my own breath under water, I wonder if this is what my breath sounds like to my baby. If that is why I get nostalgic from listening to my mother breath.

LISTEN…waves, birds, muffled underwater.

I float…I thinking of fun cabin times on old Tractor tires. Family

My eyes open… my hands wade, my belly, my feet and then the bottom of the sea. The water is so clear.

My father when we were little. When I would put my foot in his hands and he would throw me high in the sky. I would plunge back down into the lake water, loving every second!

The sun is starting to set. The air is cooling. My husband swims out to me.

I love the sea.

“The cure for anything is salt water

– sweat, tears, or the sea”     -Isak Dinesen-

As two years have passed now we are celebrating the little things that bring them back to us and to new things that move us forward…

I am going to go throw my baby around in the sea now…xo