Silk cocoons and lust…

Once upon a time…

when my husband was just my cute Turkish fling…

Pre-babies and stresses and worries(or different types of stresses and worries, much more egocentric)…

Pre-big love…just an evolving love…a lust…

We would take long drives through the twisty mountain roads behind our little college town of Eskişehir, Turkey…

We would save tortises from becoming road kill and stop for Turkish tea breaks in shacks set up by villagers for the sole purpose to make a few extra kuruş (pennies)…

We would use our “arkadaş”, friend in Turkish, which was our nickname for our little pocket dictionaries we carried everywhere for translation assistance as we fell in lust…then big-love through eyes and kind gestures…actions, not the words…those came later…

On one of our drives we happened into a friend’s village…

A village filled with crumbling stone buildings, lush gardens, huge Turkish hospitality and one big salmon pink cement building filled to the brim with silk moth pods…these cocoons…millions of them…

The villagers would “grow” the moths, or their caterpillars which twirl into cocoons in their fields(nature is so amazing!). The villagers would then harvest them, branches and all, as to not disrupt the fine continuous strands that silk is revered for. They proceed to bring them to this pink pop of a building for processing.

The cocoons then go into a big oven room (scarily reminded me of a concentration camp or something) and the worms perish as their fine silk thread cocoons are salvaged and woven into one luxurious type of fabric, fiber or thread…

The thermometer gauge…ekkk…

So very interesting I must say. There is often such a disconnect from how things are made. I love learning the whole process of a craft. Can you imagine just how many of those pods it takes to make a lovely silk necklace from me:)

I really enjoyed seeing this those years ago when I was falling in love:)

Grateful to say I still love silk and my husband even more!

P.S. It’s official my darlings! I have a name for my little evolving jewelry collection, Kisa Kollections.
There is alot of silk and alot of love in this venture as well:)


Gratitude and a million ideas to funnel…

As Thanksgiving has passed and December has really begun…

I am thankful even as my head spins and spins in circles.

spins with love.

spins with fear.

spins with the unknown, the excitement of that…the learning which way to go in that…

spins with longing.

spins with thoughts of tiny beings growing inside of me and nurturing ones next to me.

spins with ideas. many many ideas. Just how do you choose? Enlist help? Network? Patience?

Ideas have never been my problem it is the seeing them through, the patience it takes, the time devotion it takes…
Creative chaos

Upstairs my little two year old busily “helps” my saintly mother vacuum…I am pregnant…I think I need to find some more help…for my mother’s sake and ours…a schedule is a good thing.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough, and more.

It turns denial into acceptance, choas to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

-Melody Beattie

Out to hang Christmas lights. Play in in the inch of snow outside. Think. Enjoy mothering. Learn tips from the master…my mother.

The above is from the silk and stone line, calling it Mavisu Designs…what do you all think?

Handcrafted by artisans along the Aegean sea; Mavisu, the blue water of Turkey. Designed by a momma in Minnesota.

I miss the chickens…

Our neighbors had chickens. We had our dog. All the spare vegetable peels, fruit peels, breads and grains went to feed the chickens. All the meat and macaroni leftovers went to the dog. Nothing was wasted.

As we were moving from Didim the neighbors were too. As the house is their summer house and were headed back to Izmir for the winter. They, yes this happens and is delicious, killed some for meat and some how shoved a few live ones in their Mercedes Benz with them to give to his brother for his farm…real characters to say the least and really nice neighbors.

They left one behind, purposefully so our daughter who had made a daily ritual of walking across the lawn to visit wouldn’t be without one to feed and “chat with” (or scold) as the above photo shows. Or they figured we could have a nice meal one night.

I miss the fresh farm eggs. Every few days my husband and daughter would climb into the little white topless jeep, (carseatless, I prayed everytime) and drive down the dirt roads to go get fresh eggs from the local farmers. It was their cute little ritual which they both loved. At the farms our daughter would pet big cows and their calves, watch the chickens run and scratch for food, feed baby sheep and goats and just have a little thing she did with her “baba”-daddy. I miss my husband.

I miss my husband. She misses her daddy. He misses us but we will all make it through. There is skype…

I miss the chickens, our dog who had to go live with another family, I miss only eating seasonal foods, I miss the freshness of the produce, the pazar where you buy it and being able to taste it all before you buy it!

I miss family and food…that’s what life is all about I guess…

That said I am not looking back about our decision to give MN a try…for the family and food here…

I realize now the huge food waste in this country, portion size is off the charts and everything is wrapped and boxed in copious amounts of plastic. No dogs or chickens to feed the excess to at my mom’s house(although of course we could have them again outside the cities limits) but the city of Wayzata does have a great organics composting program which she faithfully participates in.

All around good to be back and life changes take time to settle into…xoxo

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…

Experiential gift giving… Experiential living

I grew up like this..

ME: “mom what do you want for your birthday?”
MOM: “Just make me a card.”

Recently, it was Baby girl’s “twin’s” birthday. Her dear best buddy of 1 month age difference with similarly crazy head of curls, similar size cute bodies and big blue eyes as opposed to my baby’s big browns.

We had to find her a present…I need to admit right here and those that know me well will concur that I have the bad habit of late gift giving but once I do it will usually (I hope) be pretty good:) Also the shopping in our resort town isn’t the best so I wondered what could we be giving our little buddy…time to get creative!

How about…A big handwritten ticket stub for a night of fun at Didim’s amusement park, Lunapark (remember my re-found trampoline love there). Not only had we talked about going for too long but it could be something we could do together, an experience we can have together…all the better I say!

I did find a little tea set too, as she is a mix of two of the biggest tea cultures, English and Turkish(although there is a bit of American blood in there too which I love:) So she will need tea practice.

I had to wrap it…

So I busted out my acrylic paint while baby girl was sleeping. I stacked up about 3 pages of newspaper as not to bleed through and just started squirting, stroking and playing. It felt really good to have a brush in my hand again…been too long…even if it was just some colorful mark making(funnest thing about painting!).

Let that dry as big girl was sleeping.

Then she awoke to a fun colorful surprise on the floor that mom actually let her touch! Gave her a washable marker and let her go at it on top of my acrylic paint.

Turned out lovely…little artwork from my baby too! I think better late than never translates well here. ekkk…Can’t wait to pick a date to cash in our fun filled experience together.

So experiential gift giving. goes hand in hand with, “just make me a card.” Just make me something that has meaning, thought, something tied to it other than just giving something because that is what the holiday says to do…

One of my favorite sites is Etsy, where the buyer connects with the seller directly. The seller’s are artists from all walks of life and mediums who find passion it what they are putting out into the world.

We are going through some major changes here in my tiny household, We are putting forth plans to move to America. There I wrote it…it’s out there. Also better late than never and Together. Not just my daughter and I there but with my hubby too.


We wait. Wait for visas and goverments. Wait for things to sell.

THIS I have been waiting for for so long. But is it the right time?

We collect. Collect money. Collect memories of the things we will miss here, in Turkey. Collect from the other family who is sad they will be left behind.

We fight. Fight resentment for leaving. Fight for a new life. Fight for each other.

We Feel. Feel defensive. Fell empathy. Feel LOVE.

I freak out. My husband quit his reliable job. We have no health insurance. Our cafe is less than booming. He just got hit with a student loan he had thought had gotten lost(there was a serious chance it had). I have student loans. We will live with my mother, we will be next to my family again…I freak out less…

MOM: “It will all work out.”

Just as I planned to write this post about experiential gift giving another blogger sent me this, Mission, Tara Agacayak, someone who has lived a few years ahead of me in this; living between two cultures, suspended between two worlds, someone whose words have often brought me comfort has recently posted this…

This week I got a phone call from home. Someone very dear to me has been diagnosed with health problems and though the prognosis is good, it was a wake up call…

Not things. Not stuff. But experiences.

As the two year anniversary of our father’s deaths is approaching. It is time…

To have a new experience together with my tiny blessed healthy little family.

To make people cards.


Has news ever rocked your world?

Does creating bring you comfort?

Light play and grabbing a snack from the fridge…

So I was sitting on the floor in our living room…on the computer I must admit…when my almost two year old comes smiling up to me and plops her little bum down next to me. I smile back when I realize she has a little yogurt snack pack in her hand with the top off…wait…what?

I didn’t give that to you? You father isn’t here? What the heck?…

This is when I realize she got it out of the fridge HERSELF…and proceeded to peel off the little lid and put the little lid in the garbage(one of her favorite things to do these days…that’s not new) with her little hands.

So this just opened up a whole new can of worms…my baby is growing up(everyday)…she can get snacks all by her little self now…but ekkk… must be even more careful where things go!

She also came in the door screaming Hiiiiiiii…just like I do when I come home…
melted my heart a little:) xo

Was reading a little Etsy Blog today. Came across a good read from Caleb Gardner, The Exceptional Man

We are currently witnessing the beginning of this process in a very real way, and I love knowing that my son is gaining an ever increasing awareness of the world around him. We’re teaching him new words every day, and I love the thought of those words being more than just sounds that identify something; they’re the transference of language into concepts, concepts into experiences, and experiences into his memories of us.

As my personal world was rocked upside down when I came to Turkey by the language barrier. I feel I can relate more as my little one tries to tell me what she needs or feels. You become more in touch with facial expressions, sense moods when you can’t just use your words. Good parenting is translating, ever attentive.
Even when you are on the computer:)

Good stuff to think about…

Can you relate? Do you have kids? Are you an expat?

Have you lost your words before?

Or found a new way to communicate?

Have you found a new way to see the world through language?

My dog is communicating downstairs…gotta go and play with her too:)

P.S. So the fridge had to have been left open…she is only two right?