Monday, December 16, 2013


Jared decided to forego the Lorenzo Snow look...I wish I had a photo...if I can find one, I'll add it. This is his beard after a professional shave...a MAJOR improvement I say. I never heard anyone say anything good about his former beard other than Linda, who tolerated it pretty well. I learned that the more I said about it, the more likely it was to stay:) The funniest comment goes to Sorour...who just said and I quote "pakone". Erase.

Merry Christmas to Me

This came in the mail for me today - the most beautiful iPhone case I have ever seen, and it was packaged so prettily that I was loathe to open it. But I did, to find the cutest notes inside! I am in love with my little book case...much like the original I received as a gift from Sarra for my iPhone 4. The funny thing is that I couldn't take a photo with the phone inside...haha.It's beautiful though, trust me.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


There is a interesting bit on This American Life about Tarof in Iran... the art of "offering what you may not want to give, and refusing what you may really want".

I'm not sure exactly how to put a link here - I found it on the website with Farsi lessons called Chai and Conversation found at Scroll down to Lesson 6. If you look on podcasts, then look for: This American Life #428 Oh, You Shouldn't Have, and the Tarof part is found at 34.30 minutes into the program. :)

They describe Tarof thusly:

"One of the most important traditions in Iranian culture is the tradition of ‘Tarof.’ Tarof can be described as a specific form of Iranian etiquette or politeness, and comes with a very specific set of rules of how to interact with other people. Sometimes it can be extremely frustrating and seem disingenuous, but at other times, it provides a nice framework of how to interact with other people in an extremely polite and respectful way. A good example of tarof is that when you visit someone’s house, they must offer you something to eat or drink. Even if you are extremely thirsty or hungry, you must refuse the offer. They in turn must keep reinstating the offer, and indeed bring you food and drink, even if they are not prepared to give it to you."
Tarof occurs everywhere..even cab drivers will try to make you not pay...they want you to pay, but they tell you that you mustn't goes back and forth to the point that you may end up paying more whenl you finally do pay.. this is replayed over and over throughout the day at the store, when visitors come, on the street....etc. It's really something to experience. Here in Canada/America, we are faaaar more to the point for sure..Tarof is very time consuming!

Monday, October 7, 2013


Oh my! This was once a treat that for it to be truly authentic, one had to travel on the craziest road on earth from Tehran, to the Caspian Sea. Now, lo and behold, it can be purchased at the new Persian Bakery found right here in Edmonton, Alberta. It was glorious, and delicious. This particular Kloocheh was brought in, I'm pretty sure, from Vancouver, but I am assured by the non-English speaking baker that he will be making them from scratch in-house within a week or two of opening. Good thing I know Farsi. They had walnut, coconut and one other filling, that escapes me presently, but the taste was divine.

Sorry, I've forgotten the name of the bakery, but it's next to the newly relocated  Sabzy restaurant at 9314-34 Ave. Edmonton.  Sabzy is a great restaurant, that while on Whyte Ave. was too expensive. The food is wonderful, and one can only hope that they will be able to offer lower pricing - b/c let's face it, no matter how good, $50 for two to eat lunch isn't going to happen too often. 

HomeSchool at Grammies - Art and Writing

Here are photos of our first few classes in the new school room (craft room) - we manage to get together once a week, for 2 lessons in both Art and Writing. It's been so fun - the children are excited to learn, a testimony to their mother's remarkable views and dedication to nurturing their love of learning. It's really something to see - they are absolutely unabashedly happy to learn whatever lesson comes up for the day. We have used art pencils, crayons, play dough, and watercolours so far, whilst painting the sky ("Grammie, there are no clouds in the sky - it's just blue!" " Go back out and take all your blue pencil crayons, and see how many blues you see!" was the reply) outside on a blanket, drawing with  music, and another day while listening to a story...all to get the creative juices flowing.

Here we are in our new 'classroom' upstairs - it's a beautiful space to teach and learn in - with plenty of natural light, and inspiration int he form of books and materials.

Writing is our other pursuit; the children do tons of writing already, at home, so we have gone back to the beginning to refine grammar and punctuation. They are so quick to learn - it's hilarious - even poems are gobbled up like candy. They are so quick to memorize - and that includes Scarlet who has her own Grammie School day  - she's equally eager to work hard and learn!

Jane, Charlie, and Jacob memorized The Goops By Gillett Burgess in a few minutes and Scarlet and Jacob learned The Caterpillar by Christina Rosetti equally quickly - we'll move on to more difficult material once we work into it a little...what we're doing now is probably not challenging enough.

Our class motto, for which we have been mocked (haha) is:

"In the circle of creativity, we are free to be we!" We say it together, of course if you were to say it on your own, you would say "I am free to be me!"

Notice Scarlet's grammie bun :)

Last day we had to make a few of which is that to learn, play, and create the way we want to, we have to all be free to make a few mistakes without them being quickly pointed out by each basically we each have to let each other be, while each person figures out their own mistakes. There was a little too much unsolicited criticism and correcting (which is my job), but I think we have put a stop to it. We'll see next day.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

More Scarves...One Good Thing about the end of Summer

More scarves many of which were gifts from friends and family...the 2nd one from the top is a lovely scarf from my mom - a gift for my birthday, the there's the orange fringe scarf from Sorour, and the next one down, pink, from my sweet cousin Brenda. The bottom too are gossamer thin cashmere scarves from Restoration Hardware's after Christmas sale last season - they are the most wonderful endless loop scarves - perfect for my next visit to Iran b/c they are so light and airy...and breathable. I get hot with a scarf on all the time!

I love scarves, even though I'm not technically a 'scarf' person in terms of wearing them in fancy ways, I still like to recall where they came from and they look so nice on the shelf! It's a refrain of mine... "look at all the pretty colours!"  I do wear them too, I promise!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Washed Scarves, Ready for Cooler Weather.

Most of these lovely scarves were gifts from my dear sister-in-law or I purchased them in Tehran or Isfahan. The top one is a bird scarf that Sorour sent home with Manochehr, after my father-in-law passed; I will always keep that one. The next one Sorour gave me also, it was one of her own, and the next one also I think. The others I bought either in Iran or here. Even though I don't have to wear them, I love to collect them; they recall people and places, in addition to keeping me warm.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I encountered this happy fellow going home, on Baseline Rd. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

More fact All the Apples!

Charlie is voted the BEST worker - staying with it to the bitter end.

Brenda, Charlie and Jane - with a 'bushel' of apples.

Hazel hung out in the grass, communing with nature, while we picked. 
She was amazingly patient and happy! She must love apples too!


Henry the wide-eyed baby and Jane hanging on the deck.

Isa and Scarlet chillaxing on the deck also - waiting for ....what else? Apple Cobbler!

Sarra, Hazel and Brenda...Brenda came in first for peeling and cutting - approximately 24 apples or so!

Monday, September 9, 2013


So many apples...but they are yummy! 
They're ready to be picked as evidenced by the apples on the ground.

What would really make this apple tree special, is having the children hanging on every limb:)

Friday, September 6, 2013


Sarra's big beautiful plum tree - full of ripe and delicious plums. The amount of  plums is actually scary.

Applesauce from the apples on my tree - also a scary amount of big green apples -
 they are really crisp and delicious. I should snap a photo tomorrow. The tree is about 1/4 picked.

Packed plums..

Applesauce, plums, and 24 jars of plum jam that Sarra made after I left...I was good for about 7 hours, she was good for about 15! 

I LOVE having my daughter close - she is such a delight...I notice that she is exacting of herself, but completely undemanding of those of us around her...she is a perfect companion to work along side b/c she is interesting to talk to, and she really gets in the zone for getting the job done. I have a complete interest in the things that interest her...the children's education, the study of introverts (very illuminating), the love lives of the boys...haha, our need for peace, and the periods of total silence as we work feels as comfy as a light sweater on a cool day. That beautiful relationship feels eternal.

Believe me this day was not cool though - it was 28C out; Scarlet put a fan on me, and Jane kept  me plied with cold water. Charlie is good at making sure I have my supportive indoor shoes...oh my, am I this high maintenance in my hormonal old age (of 52 today still)...yes, I am that hot and I don't mean 'hot', I mean hot!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Love Birds


Mark and Mariah engaged at last...and planning a summer wedding in 2014! Mariah has been a fixture around here for years, so we are pleased and excited to have her as an official future daughter-in-law - she fits our family like a glove; like bread and butter, like ice cream and sprinkles, like pita and hummus, like chicken and dumplings.... you get the picture... we love our Mariah:)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ice Cream Scoop

There have been too many wonderfully blessed and horribly difficult times in recent weeks and months, hence the lack of posts - who knows where to start? So instead I'll mention this amazing ice cream scoop that my cousin Virginia sent as a surprise gift, for no reason at all. It's perfect for ice cream of course, but we use it most for our tall honey jar, for which it's indispensable.

You can find it at - it's called Dreamserv. It's that kind of tool that you didn't know you really needed! Thanks Virginia:)

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Donate to the Red Cross for Calgarians and other Albertans during the flooding crisis:

Monday, April 22, 2013


"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013


M: (sees red heart cinnamon gummies on his pillow) "Thanks."
Me: Well, I guess we're not spending much on Valentines these days."
M: "How do you know?"
Me: "What." (Since I don't see any presents)
M: "I called about a rare pink diamond for you for Valentines, I was really excited b/c they said they were on sale since the mine was closing. I asked for a 1 karat - it was half a million."
Me: "Like I said, we're not spending much on Valentines."

We found this so funny b/c since the pink diamonds were $500,000, I didn't get anything. I didn't want anything, so it was perfect, but we laughed and laughed.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Valentine

What we have learned:

  • We forgive each other immediately.
  • We accept one another the way we are.
  • I take care of what he's not good at, and he does the same for me.
  • We respect one another.
  • We are kind to one another.
  • We speak nicely about each other.
  • We miss each other.
  • We wait for each other. 
  • I support his work, and he appreciates mine.
  • We give each other some space and privacy.
  • We hold hands.
  • We protect one another.
  • We read together.
  • We pray together.
  • We share everything.
  • We don't calculate (who did this or that).
  • We are one and we are two.
  • We can laugh when we are angry.

 Remember when I quoted, a while back, from a novel that "the cement in marriage never dries"? Well, that is still true, so we can't expect smooth sailing; in fact as soon as we think we've got it down, we find we are 'working' at it again. But in many ways we made it over the mountain,  and are on the other side with the security and depth of love to endure, happily, to the end. Lucky. Blessed.