Friday, March 16, 2018

Grocery Shopping at my Persian Market

Hello my friends.  Lilly thanks you for the kind comments you left for her. It's been a nice week here.  My husband took me out to lunch this week at my favorite Persian restaurant which happens to be on top of my favorite Persian market.

This is a view of the market from the landing of the restaurant.  We discovered this wonderful venue when we first visited our daughter in California 10 years ago.

After our lunch, we did a little grocery shopping.  They had this beautiful Haft-Seen table set up for Nayrouz (Persian New Year).  There are seven symbolic items on this table that are attached to the new year celebration.

Next up is this wonderful, freshly made Sangak bread made in this special oven seen behind...warm and tasty!

We basically buy all our food items at the Persian markets.  Yes, that's plural and there are lots of them down here in SoCal.  I love the meat counter where there are actual butchers who can prepare your meat to your liking.

Next up is the in house bakery.  I sometimes buy these goodies as they are so yummy.

Right now they have lots of already made goodies brought in for Nayrouz.  These cookies are made in Iran.  

I haven't bought any of these yet but I may just have to!

They're known for they fresh, crispy Persian cucumbers.  They were on sale this week at .79 cents a pound.  My little granddaughter loves these.

Their produce is always fresh and the prices can't be beat.  I think because maybe they cut out the middleman.  I don't know but most items are priced at .50 cents a pound with parsley and or cilantro at 4/$1.00.  I used to pay $1.00 for a few wilted sprigs of parsley!

Here is the fruit section.  I bought some Cara Cara oranges; they are pink inside and so delicious.

Most everyone loves bananas at .59 cents a pound.

The Persians are known for their love of spices.  Their food is so flavorful with the addition of spices and wonderful fruits sometimes added.  The prices for their spices are super inexpensive since they repackage them themselves.

I think I've become a bit of a rice snob.  Sorry, but there are so many delicious varieties out there.  Right now my favorite is a sella bastmati rice which is a parboiled rice which I buy in ten pound packages.  Sella rice has been milled differently and results in a unique texture.

I always enjoy looking at the home decor section.  This time they have added these Nayrouz candles for decoration.

And, they had these special flowers brought in for Nayrouz.  The scent was heavenly.

I love my Persian markets where I basically do all my shopping unless it's cleaning supplies, cat food, etc.  Then I go to my local Walmart grocery store (yes, it's only a Walmart grocery and it's not my favorite but for basic staples, it's great).  Oh, and I can't forget Costco (big, huge warehouse store), which is a world unto itself!

From reading lots of blogs, I find it interesting where people shop.  Some of my UK blog friends have described their favorite grocery stores.  When I lived in Washington, we had Safeway (it's Vons and Pavillions down here in California), Kroger (Ralph's here), and Albertsons to name a few.  But, my oh my, are their prices expensive on fruits and vegies compared to my Persian market.  But, when I do go shopping, I enjoy a bit of ambience if you know what I mean.  The other day I went to Smart and Final to pick up a couple of items they had on sale.  Oh boy, was it ever an unpleasant experience.  I felt like I was in a warehouse.  And, to top it off, the clerk told me the sale prices are different in every store!  Alas, I didn't get such a great bargain after all :(

Back in Tacoma, Washington, we had a Metropolitan Market.  It was like a French market meets a NY eatery/bistro.  It was so much fun to have lunch there and try all the exotic and imported foods they carried. Every Wednesday, they would get fresh bread flown in from Poilane Bakery in France. I miss those days but I have good memories.  There's a Whole Foods a few miles from where I live but I seldom get over to that part of my area (I can't say city since you'll being driving along, cross over a street and you'll find yourself in another city!)

It's suppose to be a quiet weekend around here with some rain showers.  I hope wherever you are, that you are safe and have a wonderful weekend.

With my best wishes,


Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Rainy Weekend with Lilly

Hello my dear friends.  It's Lilly here writing today.  My Mom is busy taking care of the grandchildren so she suggested that I write this blog post.

I woke up to drizzly, gray weather today so I've had to stay indoors.  I missed walking around the pool and looking for geckos.  But, as you can see in this photo, I found my Mom's lily bouquet and chewed on the leaves.  I know, it's a no no so she put the vase up on the fireplace; away from me and the grandchildren.

My parents took an overnight trip this past week to eastern San Diego county.  My Mom loves the drive there since it's very scenic and such a natural setting.  (They actually spent the night at the Pala Resort).  I missed them but I enjoyed my alone time, too.

Can you believe that my Mom still irons?  She irons every Tuesday and has for years and years.  Who in the world irons sheets and pillowcases in this day and age?  She insists on ironing and it really puzzles me. . .

I'm not a lover of sweet things (I prefer fish and savories), but Mom made a country style apple pie.  It's her own recipe using her standard pie crust recipe along with sliced apples, a few wild frozen blueberries, with a tad bit of butter and some brown sugar and maple syrup.  It smelled heavenly.

As you probably know, I'm a lover of birds - all kinds of birds.  Look what I spied this week near the pool.  Two beautiful little doves.  I sometimes hear them cooing.  Such delicate little birds.

This is the first time I'd have such a close look at these birds.  After they flew away, we had two Canadian geese land in the pool.  Oh my, was my Dad upset as they make a huge mess.  They are so majestic though and flew away.

Earlier in the week my parents went to the beach to have lunch.  It was a lovely, spring day and they enjoyed it very much.  The day before, there had been a shark sighting at the same beach.  Scary stuff! (My Mom "stole" the photo above from my Sister who is an excellent photographer)

Well guys, here I am, relaxing in my recliner chair.  I'm a bit upset since the grandchildren have come over and taken over all my favorite spots to nap.  But, I will survive.

I hope each of you have a wonderful weekend wherever you may be.  It's always good to hear from you and I send you and my furry friends a big MEOW.

Hugs from,


Thursday, March 1, 2018

School Shooting in Moses Lake

It was only seventy miles east from where I grew up, but this area seemed so foreign to me.  It was a town with almost no history and with only a handful of people who had actually been born and raised there.

Moses Lake is a small agricultural town in Eastern Washington, situated in the Columbia Basin.  It became a town in 1946 after Grand Coulee Dam was built.  The building of the dam harnessed the power of the mighty Columbia River and also brought water to the semi arid land that held all the resources for growing vast amount of crops.

It was back in 1975 that I first came to Moses Lake as a new bride.  Being in a small town wasn't difficult for me as I was from a small town.  What was difficult was that this town held no historical facets and the setting was flat, no mountains and no trees.  Very different from the lush Kittitas Valley that I came from east of the Columbia River.

Being young, I easily settled into my new life with my loving husband.  I kept myself busy with my job at the bank since there were no children at that time in the home.  

Little did I know then that tragedy was nothing new to this little town.  Moses Lake had been home to Larson Air Force Base which had closed down in 1966.  Years earlier in December of 1952 one of it's transport planes had crashed and killed 87 people of the 115 on board.  It was the deadliest aviation accident of the time in the US.  Tragedy struck again in September of 1963 when 7 people were killed in the explosion of the sugar silos at U & I Sugar Company.  At the time, U & I Sugar was the largest sugar processing plant in the US.

Tragedy raised it's head again on February 2, 1996.  It was a sunny, cold winter day.  I was sitting in my reading chair, waiting for my children for arrive home from school.  My Dad, who was a retired policeman, had given me a police scanner.  I was listening to it off and on and I sensed something was not right.

When my daughter came home from high school and my son from elementary school, they confirmed my suspicions.  A student at Frontier Middle School had opened fire on his classroom and killed two students, one teacher and seriously wounded another student.  It seemed unreal for this to be happening in a small little town with a population of less than 15,000 people.  Frontier Middle School was located on one of the main streets in the town, about 2 miles from where we lived.

Being a small town, everyone at that time knew of or knew everyone else in one way or another.  Especially if you attended one of the old time churches in the community.  One of the students killed, Arnold Fritz, was from our  church.  Arnold was 14 years old when he was killed by his classmate.  I knew Arnold, his parents, his grandparents, his aunts and uncles.  One of his uncles had retired from U & I Sugar, his grandfather ran his own meatpacking business, another relative worked at the post office.  Everyone was connected in one way or the other.  I knew the parents of the girl who was severely injured as they were customers of the bank where I worked.

The gunman, Barry Loukaitis was a troubled youth who cited a saying from a Stephen King novel at the time he started shooting.  His home life was disruptive, too.  Sadly, no one stepped in beforehand to help him with his state of mind.

The pastor at the church where Arnold Fritz attended was all of a sudden put into the spotlight with this school shooting.  He handled it very well for the community.

But, this was not the end of this tragic situation.  It was just the beginning.  You see, Arnold Fritz had a cousin, Aaron Moore, who also lived in Moses Lake and attended the same Lutheran church.  It was another cold, winter day in December. I'll remember this day, December 6, 1996, forever.  I was at one of my rentals painting the kitchen.  I had my radio on and heard the news of a shooting in Moses Lake.  It scared me but luckily it didn't involved the schools.  I returned home to meet the children after school.  I then took my son to the local barber shop and as I was waiting for the barber to cut his hair, I saw on the local news that the shooter was Aaron Moore, Arnold Fritz's first cousin!  It seemed like deja vu as the barber shop just happened to be located directly across the street from the middle school where the school shooting had happened months earlier.

Supposedly, Aaron had felt depressed over what had happened to his cousin months earlier.  Aaron took a rifle and killed his mother and little sister and then himself.  Aaron's stepfather was not at home at the time since he had left for work.  His little sister, Mallory, had been a student in the vacation Bible school class I had taught a few years earlier.  When I heard this news, it made my heart break.  Tragedy all over again.  And, the pastor of our Lutheran church had to go through all the heartache again with our community.  Our pastor's wife was best friends with Aaron's mother who was now dead at the hands of her son.

Aaron's body was cremated and they held his funeral.  His mother and little sister's funeral followed.  There was nothing left as everyone's heart was broken.  Imagine how Aaron's stepfather felt as his family had been wiped out.

Since these tragedies back in 1996, this scene has been repeated many, many times at schools across the US.  I applaud those Florida high school students who are now standing up and wanting change and I'm with them all the way.  Believe me, you'd never imagine something like this can happen in your little town that most people have never heard of.  There is a little brightness to the end of this story.  Although I left Moses Lake in 1997, I heard later on that Aaron's stepfather had later moved on and remarried and had a child with his new wife.  As I don't know the specifics, it's heartwarming to know that he had the strength to carry on again with his own journey through life. 

I try to keep my blog "upbeat and bright", but I felt I needed to share this with you today.

Wishing you peace,


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Some Old and Some New

Greetings my friends on a chilly Sunday afternoon.  It was a lovely, warm day today until a couple of hours ago and the cold weather from up North has made it to SoCal.  We're suppose to have freezing temps these next few nights!  I know, I shouldn't complain but it is unusual for most folks who live down here :)

There's so many things I want to share with you and write about.  But, sometimes I am at a loss for words.  My heart is heavy these past few days with yet another school shooting.  I admire those high school students who are now speaking up and I am with them all the way.  One day I will tell you the story about the school shooting that took place in our little town in Eastern Washington.  That will be for another time.

Besides babysitting my little grandchildren these past few days (morning, noon and night), I had a dinner party last week.  It's always enjoyable for me to plan the menu, set the table and all the other things that are needed.

This time I decided to use my Mom's Community Silverplate.  This flatware and chest have been around for as long as I can remember.  I think my Mom would have purchased it back in the early 1950's.  After my Mom passed away back in 1993, I kept this as a keepsake and didn't use it.  Until last weekend. . .

It so happened that I rediscovered this flatware through a dear blog friend I recently met via her blog.  Margaret has the same flatware and had written about it on her blog.  Of course I commented to say I have the same pattern!
It was so interesting to learn about the history of this flatware pattern.  The name of the pattern in the US is Coronation.  In the UK, it is known as Hampton Court.  Originally, it was designed and introduced back in 1936, in honor of Edward VIII becoming King of England.  Of course, as you know, he abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson.  Hence, the name was changed for the UK market but stayed the same for the US.  When I set my table last weekend I found that I do have a complete service for 8 along with an extra  dinner fork along with 8 extra teaspoons.  So, I hurried over to Ebay where I found a matching knife and dessert fork so that my set can now serve 9.  Hopefully, one day I can pass this set onto my little granddaughter for the next generation. 

Now for the new, the bed is complete.  After the bed arrived, it was another two weeks for the mattress to arrive via Costco.  It worked out great as Costco's price and quality couldn't be matched at the places I checked out.

Lilly was quite pleased to check out the new blanket and gave her approval :)

Between watching the little ones, cooking and cleaning and the never ending paperwork, I started on my new sock pattern.  It's a fun easy pattern and I love the yarn.  However, I'm finding it's a bit hard to work in the evenings as the dark yarn against the dark needles can be trying.

Yesterday, my husband and I had a wonderful time with an impromptu dinner at the beach followed by grocery shopping at my favorite Persian market.  So, there's plenty of goodies to make some nice dishes for the upcoming week.  I'll sign off now since my homemade vegetable soup is ready to serve along with homemade corn muffins.  It's cold outside!

It's always a joy to hear from you.  Please feel free to say "hi" if you  wish.

Until next time,


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

A Fun Day Spent Shopping

Greetings everyone.  I hope your week is off to a great start wherever you may be.  I had a lovely day today. I accomplished my housework early this morning since I knew I would be out and about.

My daughter met me for some shopping and a quick lunch afterwards.  We had a fun time together finding those bargains we can't do without :)  I just had to buy some fresh flowers for the home before they raise the prices for Valentine's Day.

After lunch, I took myself over to Home Goods which is just down the road from where I live.  Look what I found!  I've read about these for years and have never tried them.  You might think it's funny, but I don't eat chocolate...long story about allergies.  I think dark chocolate may be OK - I'll soon find out.  The rose flavor was interesting in these as compared to the rose flavor I find in Middle Eastern food.  I'm going to serve them to my guests at the dinner party I'm having on Sunday.  While at Home Goods I perused the linen department looking for Italian linens.  I found a set of Italian made 100% linen sheets but I didn't buy them.  I'm sure they would be wonderful but I hesitated.  I did find a new bedspread that should work great.  (I know they're not called that anymore but I forgot the new name...)

Speaking of flowers, I planted some bulbs in pots this past winter and they are beginning to come up.  My favorite is the hyacinth.  And, my hellebore, lenten rose, has many buds.  I'm so happy that it survived the poor soil it lives in.  As a coincidence, the new Sock Society pattern I just received is called Winter Rose.

And, look at my geraniums blooming.  I love the white one.  In the middle is an Arabian Jasmine that has the most fragrant flowers.  It reminds me of Egypt when my husband took me there on my very first trip.  We were at Casino El Nil in Cairo (not a gambling casino), on the Nile River.  Flower sellers were selling necklaces of jasmine and they were heavenly.  It was my first time to eat ice cream with mastic (an aromatic resin from the mastic tree).  The addition of mastic changes the texture of the ice cream.  It is very popular in Turkish ice creams, too.  Sadly, I don't eat ice cream anymore due to allergies :(

For those of you who don't knit or crochet, I won't bore you with any patterns, etc.  But, please wish me luck as I'm baffled with my new sock pattern. . .

Lilly sends her greetings to each of you.  She had a restful afternoon sitting in my chair and taking her afternoon nap.  Until next time. . .

My best wishes,


Saturday, February 3, 2018

My Universe is Complete

Hello my friends.  Do you like the title of my post?  Haha, a play on words.  My Sophie's Universe blanket is finally completed! It's new home will be in Turkey.

You may remember that I began this project back in July of 2017.  I diligently worked on it every day until I left for Turkey and when I returned home, it kind of sat in a bag in the closet.

But, like many of you, I hate to have unfinished projects.  So, since the middle of January I have been working to get this blanket completed.  I added my own design for the border (starts with the green leaves shown above), as I loved doing the red roses and wanted to incorporate it the edging. It's such an intricate designed blanket that I felt it needed a little more pizazz for a border.

Here's the little bag of yarn leftovers from this project.  I must say, this blanket is a yarn eater!  Originally, I purchased 15 shades of yarn but ended up using 13 skeins.  I had purchased this yarn to make another Attic24 coastal ripple blanket in a different color combination. But, after working on it awhile, I frogged it.  My inspiration for this blanket was Kate over at Kate's Adventures; look at her gorgeous blanket she made! Isn't it amazing with that additional border? I ran out of energy and yarn to make my blanket any larger. . .  

I completed my Vintage Fairy Lights socks.  This was a fun and easy knit from talented designer Helen Stewart.  I'm now awaiting to begin The Handmade Sock Society.  My new DPNs and sock yarn are ready! 

It's Saturday night here and my little grandchildren just left.  My dear children pictured above, took off for a short 3 day cruise.  So, I and my dear son-in-law along with my dear husband, took care of the little ones.  It was a fun time for all.  We will all be cruising together later in the summer.  

Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday and I know absolutely nothing about football.  But, we will celebrate on this day nonetheless.

Take care my dear friends and thank you again for all your great advice regarding my new bed.  The bed arrived a week ago, is all put together and now I'm waiting on the new mattress.  Patience. . .

With my best wishes,


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Buying a New Bed - Confusing?

Hi everyone.  I'm back again this week with a new post but I'm confused.  I'll explain in a bit. . .

My son surprised me with a new phone and it's been fun exploring the different aspects of the camera (it automatically made the photo above from the photo shown at the bottom of this post).  Earlier in the week, we had perfect weather for sitting outside.  Today, the sun is out but it was a bit nippy early this morning, although I see it's warmed up to 68 degrees.

Here's what I'm confused about.  I'm getting a new bed and mattress for the master bedroom.  It's become a rather detailed job.  I bought a new King headboard/baseboard online and it won't be delivered until sometime next week (hopefully).  The bed shown above will be dismantled and put in one of the guest rooms.

Here's the newly painted wall in the guest room.  Originally, I had made a artsy type headboard from two pieces of carved wood that had attached to the wall.  Of course, we had to take them down and the wall needed to be patched and painted (by me, of course :)  It's now ready to have the bed/mattress from the master bedroom moved in and set up.

But there's more. . . the queen mattress set that was in this guest room is now going to be sold.  However, the box springs to this set belongs to the mattress in the downstairs guest room.  So, another switch needs to be done.

It's become one job after another.  Hopefully, the bed will arrive in perfect shape and we can put it together.  I've already bought a set of new sheets (which I loved shopping for), along with a new blanket.  But, I'm totally out of the loop when it comes to proper bedding.  There are no "bedspreads" now days.  All duvet sets.  I'm going to enlist the help of my daughter, who is an expert on these things.

Here's the bed I ordered (photo courtesy of Wayfair).  My daughter told me it looks like what old people like!  That's OK as I'm happy to be old.   Last but not least, we have to buy a new mattress!  Luckily, I live in an area where there's lot of choices.  Too many choices, maybe.  I think I'll go with Costco as they have an excellent price on a brand I want and a no hassle return policy.  And, best of all, they deliver and place it on your bed for free!

Oh, there's a little more to this story.  My dear husband helped my son take the mattress from the guest room out to the garage.  I didn't think much of it.  But, yesterday, he had terrific chest pain and couldn't breath.  We went to the ER last night and thankfully, he checks out OK.  We're thinking it's because he lifted and used some muscles he hadn't used in a long time.

I'm hoping this saga of the new bed will soon be over.  

Sending everyone my best wishes,