Monday, February 28, 2011

More from Isfhan

Remember I said that we enjoyed some very large family gatherings? Well, here is one in Isfahan with 22 in attendance for a full meal. It was fantastic; all made by Mano's cousin Mitra.

A shop in the great bazaar from an earlier post...these metal trays are hammered on the premises, along with many other items, like giant copper pots etc. When I say giant, I mean giant...big a enough to camp in nearly!

A picture of the artist that made some of the things that Sorour sent over for Sarra when Maman and Baba came over last time...she still has them of course. While there this time, Sorour showed us the shop and the artist and I snapped a photo for makes the gifts she has a little more precious.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Naghsh e jahan Square, holds one of the oldest, and largest bazaar's in the middle east (maybe the oldest and largest; I can't verify that). This place is heaven on earth if you like handicrafts, workmanship, ice cream (persian saffron ice cream with cream bits in it and foludeh = YUM!!), rugs, textiles, pottery, metal work, silversmiths and jewelry...and more. I knew this bazaar from our last trip to Isfahan 5 years ago - no trip to Isfahan is complete without visiting this bazaar. Even Mano (the anti-shopper) enjoys this kind of shopping. He came home with an antique compass, a replica pug lock (I'll try to get a photo of that for a future post) and a sand in glass timer with compasses on each end (another photo needed). Needless to say, half of what I brought home came from this bazaar - my beautiful table cloth, clothes for the kids, pottery, silver bracelets for the girls etc. We did partake of the ice cream of course, and then we met with family and ate at this lovely kebab house (restaurant) on the second level of the building. See below...the places where you eat are not table and chairs, but 'takhts' (beds) where you sit cross-legged on a table cloth and eat your meal.

Just outside the doors of the restaurant, was a small shop ( they are all small!) where these two girls were working on the art objects that they were selling. We purchases some small hammered and painted plates from this shop.

Monday, February 21, 2011


We stopped at this hotel for 'Fast Food' which is the name they give
to all American food, like pizza, hamburgers etc.

Amol has very fond memories for Manochehr, it is where his family traveled for summer vacation every year. It is quite a distance from Abadan, as on is on the very southern coast, and the other on the very northern coast. We felt so close to these people, a true familial love though this was my first time meeting most of them. One girl, Cosar, sat beside me and stayed with me, peeling me oranges and making sure I had a drink, or a treat - and we talked quite a lot. I wished to myself that my son would meet just such a girl someday (soon!) - she was so sweet, and kind.

The marvel is that we think of Manocher as being rather solitary, but in reality he has a monstrously large family! Everywhere we went there would be 16-22 people over for dinner. I will show some of these huge dinner parties in upcoming posts.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

More Glorious Iran

Lunch at the villa, note the fesh fish from the Caspian Sea skewered and
bar-b-qued by Mohammad

A shepherd with his sheep, in the middle of a residential road in Kelardhasht

Colourful slippers that found their way into the Christmas gifts of most of the family. This stand of hand knitted slippers stood outside of an ice cream/bakery where we snacked on fresh cream puffs and ice cream.

Pictures taken from a place called Kelardasht, in the mountains south of Ramsar on the Caspian coast. It is actually a growing place, I could see the difference between this visit and the last time we were there; lots of new residential construction. It is a very cool place to be in the summer, compared to Tehran, or southern Arab countries like the Emirate, or Kuwait - so Kelardaht is a summer retreat.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A lazy 'You Know What'

Royall, I couldn't stand that awful photo, so here is are a couple of better ones:

a Giftie from Jared

I found this delectable treat at my desk when I came home may have something to do with the inordinate amount of accounting that we have been doing....he's a sweetheart!


I am in to quilts these days, not the kind I make myself, though that is my favorite kind, but since I cannot seem to find the wherewithal to make them, I am looking at them on Etsy and on the blogoshpere. Here is one that caught my eye; it's not a typical quilt, but I love the retro, kind of boho vibe. I have the fabric for many quilts, mostly for the grandchildren...I made one for Mano, for Charlie, and for Jacob. What about the girls you say? Good question, nothing is stopping me but my own inertia. It's not for the lack of fabric! I think my expectations are too high for the girl projects...what I want to accomplish, whereas the boy quilts were simple. Maybe I need to bring the projects down to a manageable level, hmmm, something to think about. This quilt is from a blog called Chasing Cottons, check out what the gal accomplished in one year here!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Save Me...

....from Etsy - I can't stop looking!
(This one isn't's from a blog called 'Sew Mama'.)

This one deserved a special post of it's is the sentiment that the shop owner listed with this item:

"...they loved you before you were born."

"a concept i stumbled upon while reading barbara kingsolver's the bean trees, where she talks of the notion of loving your grandchildren LONG before they are even a reality. *when i read it the hairs on my arm stood straight up. i can't tell you how many times i have thought about my sons children, and my son is seven."

I have been blessed with a huge capacity to love my grandchildren, present and future; they are just pure joy. Nothing gets me down about them, not diapers, puke, screaming, crying, sweaty cheeks....nothing. I love everything about them, everything!

What mom can't relate to this?

Lovely, one and all.

More Iran

Some pictures take at a place on the Caspian Sea, in the north of Iran, at a place called Namak Abroud where we rode in these 'telecabins' (pronounced telecaubin) as they call them...I wish I could show you Mano's face...he was not happy about these gondolas, no siree. He doesn't think the good people of Iran are into regular maintenance....but I am not sure what he has for evidence.

I loved the ride up and down (because I am blissfully unaware of the potential maintenance issues); the view was could see the coast of course and out over the sea. The reward at the top is a verdant forest that we could tramp through, picnic in; enjoying some local treats, like the spiral potato chips seen below and a bowl of wonderful 'ash reshte' which is noodle soup Persian style. I have a picture of this soup, it was delicious, but the picture doesn't do it justice.

Our niece, Maryam, and nephew Javad. They are very sweet natured, fun, smart and we miss them!

The whole fam...Maman, Maryam, Sima, Mohammad, Baba, Sorour, and Manochehr and I.

Maryam and I in front of a door to a home in a very old and a quaint neighbourhood in the very northern most part of Tehran. It used to be a separate city but it has 'run' into Tehran now. Most of the homes had to be hiked up to on narrow trails, there were no roads for vehicles. The paths are twisty and the terrain is hilly; to reach the doorstep of one home, you had to cross a bridge over a deep creek. There are no chubby biscuits living up here, let me tell you.


Pomegranite's anyone??

How about fresh bread?

Iran is in the news again, and so I decided to post some of the long overdue pics from our recent trip there before Christmas. It's one of those places where the complexities are baffling...strong, intelligent people, highly educated...deeply family oriented - it's a very developed place in a way, and not in a way. Rich history, beauty everywhere...but at the same time a work weary tension that is evident not just below the surface, but in the wide open light of day; the burden of the life there is in the faces of the people from whom you buy bread, get your hair cut, grab a cab ride, or order a meal. Everyone is on the edge of what they can bear. But still...I love it because of the sounds (where else can you awaken to the sounds of a seller on a loud speaker driving slowly by your window in a truck, selling TV's and oranges?), the sights, the smells, and the love I feel from my family there.

More pics to come...I have so many good ones. When you've had too many, yell STOP!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Baby Socks

This is for you Royall...I was too lazy (sorry!) to get out my good camera so this is a phone pic emailed to myself...not the greatest quality. It's a simple chain stitch used and then a single or double crochet.

I have a story about these socks; I took my beads, socks, and cotton yarn to Iran back in 2005 and as you would expect, we had a lot of visits from extended family. Though I can speak and understand a lot of Farsi, in these situations it sometimes got to be too much, too fast, so I would crochet socks for the little girls that were in attendance and they would love to watch and take their socks home with them. It's a fast activity to do, and a cute gift.

Friday, February 11, 2011

What is Your Favorite Color?

What is your favorite color? I would love to know your favorite color, so go ahead now, scroll down to the comment section and let it all out...include your top 2-3. Pretty please; yes you, I'm talking to you:)

If you didn't know, and I'm sure that everyone of my acquaintance does know this (I have always wanted to say that), my favorite color is yellow, and I also am partial to robin's egg blue (I think Sarra has something to do with this sudden proclivity), and coral. So there you go, in case you were wondering.

This is actually very useful information for me, in the event that you have a birthday or a wedding, or a baby or some such event that will necessitate a gift from me, at which time I will then scour the Etsy world for the perfect gift for you, in your favorite color!

Here are the people for whom I know their favorite color:
Jacob - Red
Charlie - Black (in fact I know Charlie's preferences all the way down the scale to peach, which is last)
Jane - Blue
Sarra - Red, and Robin's Egg Blue (I think - she speaks of this color a lot lately, and if I'd been inclined to agree, I think her whole house would have been painted in that color, but because I was allowed to voice an opinion, parts of it are yellow:)
Manochehr - Black
Jen D - Red
Jenn J - Pink
Royall - I am hazarding a guess here...Red, Black, White.

This was fun to think about, and I hope that you wil share your favorite color!

Love, love love...

I've been crocheting beaded socks for my newest grandchild on the way (maybe I'll take a picture of them) and I could have really used this beautiful yarn bowl. The jewelry bowl is pretty too and actually practical, as we all have the usual favorites of the day that could be deposited in this lovely place for the night. I especially appreciate the earring holes around the edge. This would fit in with the tea cup idea on the Martha Stewart website and also in this blog as one of the very first posts.