Saturday, September 23, 2017

Discovering St. Nicholas along Turkey's Coast

Hello.  It feels like ages since I wrote you all of you.  I hope you had a good end to the summer and a great start to autumn.  I'd love for you to go along with me on a little adventure today.  It was an unplanned adventure for me and one that I will never forget!

We're going to start from Alanya on Turkey's central Mediterranean coastline in the Antalya province and we will travel to Fethiye in the Mugla province.  Fethiye is a beautiful fishing village with a lovely natural harbor situated on Turkey's Aegean coastline.

It's late afternoon and after driving along a narrow road above the city of Fethiye, we continue on the road and take a right turn which puts us on a newly paved, well marked two lane road.  We continue along, going over the mountain top until we can see a lovely valley below.

We end up in the village of Karakoy.  We spy a sign that points us to St. Nicholas  Church; not sure since the sign was in Turkish! With the blue and white colors, it feels like I'm truly in the Aegean.  There are signs of Ataturk all over Turkey since he's the father of modern day Turkey. 

Look at this view from the mountain top.  Stunning, natural, untouched beauty...

It turns out that this little village is a hot spot for tourists with their many boutique style hotels/pensions.

Driving slow through the village, we spy these amazing sheep grazing on the side of a lovely Turkish style home...

After a few more minutes drive, we arrive at the entrance to where we are going.  Maybe I should reword that, we are not sure where we're going but luckily we found the right place!  After paying 25TL; approximately $7.00, we find ourselves at the water's edge.  Across the water, tucked along side the edge of this island are the remains of churches and other buildings dating from the 3rd to 6th century.  This is where St. Nicholas was originally buried.

It's late in the afternoon and although the captain of the small dingy boat offered to take us ashore, we didn't have time to explore.  And, for sure you need proper footware!

Back to present day; I was so excited to have found the original place of where St. Nicholas was buried.  I'm Orthodox and I took my catechism at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Tacoma, WA.  It holds a special place in my heart.

Time to get back in the car and make our journey back home to Alanya after spending three delightful days in Fethiye.  St. Nicholas' body was moved 25 miles to the East to the ancient city of Myra.  St. Nicholas was Bishop of Myra.  Myra is now known as modern day Demre, named for the Demre River.

Driving along the beautiful coast highway outside of Fethiye, we spy another sign for St. Nicholas church.  Making our way into the city, we find the church and following the road a little ways to where we see this huge area. . .We have found the ancient city of Myra!

We're greeted by an icon of St. Nicholas (notice that all the signage is in Russian).  I'll try to explain.  Turkey has a rich history that includes the ancient Church.  Modern day Istanbul was ancient Constantinople and is still home to the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church.    

There are many ancient Christian sites in Turkey.  Due to a political situation, the Greeks are not frequent visitors to Turkey.  The next large Orthodox group of 
Christians are the Russians.  And, the Russians love to come to Turkey on all inclusive vacations.  Hence, the Russian marketing at St. Nicholas site.  It's sad that more people are not aware of this amazing place.

This is the entrance to Myra.  It dates from the first century BC and you can still see the remains of the amphitheatre.

Can't you just image this area centuries ago?  It quite fascinating to think about it.

One of the most spectular scenes are these cliff dwellings.  Or, I should saw, rock cut tombs cared on the cliff side.

St. Nicholas became bishop of Myra in the 4th century.  Also, St. Paul changed ships at Myra's port on his way to Rome.   You can read more about St. Paul and St. John in Turkey here.

The sun was starting to set and we still have a three hour journey before we reach home in Alanya.  You can now sit back and rest awhile. . .

I hope you have enjoyed this little glimpse into this fascinating part of Turkey's history.  It really was by chance that we discovered these ancient places.  

Many people have asked me about Turkey and whether it is safe, etc.  We have always been treated very well and never have had any problem.  Of course, it depends were you are, like any place in the world.  Our goal when we are in Turkey is to be a part of the country, meet and make friends with Turkish people and learn more about this fascinating country.  And, of course, respect their country and culture.

I will be back soon with another post about Turkey.  Thank you everyone for visiting my blog.  And, Lilly thanks you too for your comments from her blog post :)

With my best wishes,


PS...Our modern day Santa Claus is derived from St. Nicholas!

Friday, September 15, 2017


Hello everyone.  It's me, Lilly, writing this post today instead of my Mom, Pat.  Since this blog is named after me, I thought it would be appropriate that I write and let you know how thankful I am that you discovered this blog and have been visiting, commenting and sharing your ideas.

I know when my Mom started this blog, she never imagined that it would take off and get viewers from all over the world.  She's always telling me how exciting it is to see new comments and know that people are stopping by and visiting this blogspot.

She wanted to share what she made awhile back.  A pincushion.  She's entered it into the PPPP, Perfectly Pleasing Pincushion Parade 2017 over  here. 

Mom told me she can't take credit for the pattern since she found the pattern here but she added her own embellishments to the pin cushion.

As to what else my Mom has been up to, she recently finished a needlepoint picture that she will share with you another time.

Feel free to write me and say meow.
Love and Meows,


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Saturday's Ten Random Things

Hello friends, It's Saturday morning here and I just read Janet's blog and her take on Ten Random Things who got the idea from Amy over at Love Made My Home.    So, here are mine . . .

#1 I have enjoyed the weather this week with the cloud cover.  My plants enjoy it too.  This lovely trailing plant is growing over the wall from the neighbor's garden.  The neighbors are having a party tonight supposedly with music.  Too bad they didn't invite us :(

#2 Lilly has to be in the center of everything!  She's a curious kitty but so loved.

#3 Thursday night my dear husband and I headed off to the beach to have dinner at our favorite restaurant.  But, there was NO parking anywhere to be found.  We decided to go back home via Pacific Coast Highway and found a new lovely restaurant on the harbor.  It was a fun evening after all!

#4 I am addicted to making my Sophie's Blanket and also to my teacup/tea collection.  Here's the new teacup I just had to have.  It's Wild Strawberries by Wedgewood.  I originally saw this pattern on the Japanese TV show I watch "At Home with Venetia in Kyoto".  Venetia is from England and has the most lovely collection of different china.  The tea is Fortmason from Fortnum and Mason.  A lovely black tea scented with orange.

#5 My children are off camping this weekend.  I love how scenic this campsite is although I don't now exactly where they are.

#6 My daughter ordered some new Tory Burch flats and asked if I wanted a pair.  I liked these gold ones but for some reason, they really don't fit my feet.  Having a bunion doesn't help either!

#7 I did my grandma duty this week of babysitting.  They soon will be turning 8 and 2!  Time goes by so fast.  I'm lucky that I'm just a few minutes down the road from where they live.

#8  I really have enjoyed the cloud cover these past few days.  I'm not a fan or sunny, blue skies!  The sun kills me (although the UV rays are just as bad with clouds).  We're having some monsoon moisture coming our way which is a bit unusual for us down here in SoCal.

#9 My "to do project" which will be a DIY.  I bought these handmade Mexican tiles last month in San Diego.  I'm going to apply them to the wall where the outside bar-b-que area is.  I don't have enough so these will be intermixed along with some large, plain tiles.  Question is; when will I get this done?

#10 We found a new coffee place.  I'm not a fan of Starbucks (sorry but the inside of their messy stores upsets my OCD).  But, there is a little lane of old houses in San Juan Capistrano and one of them has the cutest coffee shop with beans roasted onsite.  You can sit outside in their garden under the trees and savor your cup of coffee!  Heavenly.

That's is for me.  I hope your weekend is off to a great start wherever you are!

With my best wishes,


Monday, July 17, 2017

I'm so Excited . . . and I just Can't Hide it . . .

Hello my dear friends.  I'm back again to share with you something that has taken over my life!  It's Sophie's Universe.  A beautiful crocheted blanket that was designed by the very talented Dedri Uys.  Dedri started this pattern back in 2015 as a CAL that ran for a total of 20 weeks. The pattern is still available on her blog.  It seems as though I'm always behind in joining in with these fun activities.

I discovered this amazing pattern from my friend Kate, who recently finished her beautiful blanket.  Since I didn't want to download/print the pattern, I decided to order the book online from Wool Warehouse and it's the best money I've ever spent on a pattern.  

I had sixteen skeins of Stylecraft DK yarn that I had purchase and started to use to make a ripple blanket.  As you can see from the photo above, the colors were not "happening".  This project had sat in my craft closet for over a year unfinished.

I had wanted to mimic the coast ripple blanket I had made from Lucy and Attic 24.  Lucy is such an amazing, talented fiber arts artist.  Her sense of color combinations are unlike anything I've ever seen.  I had a great time making the coast blanket but unfortunately, when I tried to make my own interpretation of this blanket, I was bored stiff with the dull colors and repeats.

Voila!  That all changed when I received my Sophie's Universe pattern book.  My colors are now starting to come together (I think).  It might look very dark right now, but there's going to be a lot of creamy white borders around this blanket as it grows up.  I'm hoping it will measure 70" x 70" when I'm all done with it.

There are over 5,000 people on Ravelry doing this project!  Wow, that's a lot of yarn.  If you are new to crochet (I've been crocheting for 41 years), don't be worried about the complexity of this project.  The book is designed as follows:  each page of the book contains one row of the pattern along with detailed instructions and very detailed photos.  Dedri shows you exactly what your stitches should look like.  And, best of all, the color scheme can be whatever suits you.  And, you weave end the yarn ends as you go along so when you are all done, you are completely finished; no more yarn ends to deal with!

I hope you have enjoyed seeing my latest obsession!  Please feel free to share what you've been up to this week.  And, thank you again for visiting Lilly My Cat.

Best wishes,


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Five of my Favorite Blog Friends for Five on Friday!

Greetings my readers.  I hope your week is going well.  All is fine here in SoCal although summer's heat has officially made its appearance!  I've been so behind in joining in with Five on Friday.  Today I'm going to share with you some friends I've met through blogging. . .

First up is Teresa Kasner who lives in Oregon.  Although I've never met Teresa, I love reading and following her blog.  She's an expert at crochet and shares such wonderful patterns.  And, the photos she shares of her area are breathtaking.  She lives in a lovely home tucked away in such a beautiful setting and her garden area is a perfect oasis.
Second is Gracie at One Saylor's Log and Gracie too lives in Oregon. In fact, she's good friends with Teresa above!  Gracie loves to paint, crochet, travel and share her beautiful family activities with her readers.  Last year, I sent Gracie some tea from Turkey as I know she loves tea, and she sent me this beautiful handmade card and bookmark that she had made.   

Number three is Karen at Beatrice Euphemie.  Karen lives in my home state of Washington and is such a talented lady and has a special talent for decorating.  She shares her handmade creations (like the little basket and heart she made for me pictured above), recipes, family, garden and the beautiful photos of the lovely area where she lives.  We both say that it's too bad we didn't meet before I moved to California, as I lived not too far from her when I was in Gig Harbor.

At number four is Christine, the author or Writing From Scotland.  Christine, who is originally from Oregon, writes about her life in Scotland.  I find it so fascinating to learn more about this beautiful country where she resides.  And, she is an expert knitter, creating such intricate, beautiful creations.  I "met" Christine when I asked her to translate some antique French postcards that I had been given as a gift.  

Last up is Heidi from Heidi Wanders the World, a new and exciting blog.  All you need to do is click on the link and immediately you will see the delightful tone of this blog.  Heidi shares her fashion favorites, along with some great bargain shopping and most of all, her amazing travels around the world with her family. (whew, I hope this is OK Heidi?  For those who don't know, Heidi is my delightful and much loved daughter!)

From the five people listed above, I only "know in person" Heidi but I feel as though I truly know and consider the others as my dear friends.  This past month, we were called away to Washington State and I had wanted to visit Teresa, Gracie and Karen.  But, that didn't happen as we were short on time and had to fly instead of drive :(

I'll be back again soon with another five of my favorite blog friends.  I really enjoy reading these blogs and learning so much and being inspired too, versus writing my own blog these days.  Thank you for visiting with Lilly My Cat (Lilly sends you her meows).

With my best wishes,

 Linking to:


Monday, July 10, 2017

It's HOT Here!

How I wish I could be more spontaneous and write a daily post to my blog!  For me, it's not the writing that's difficult, it's sharing some random thought or idea with my readers.  I'll give it a try. . .

We are really in the midst of a heatwave here in SoCal!  Temps reached 102 degrees and that's too hot for me.  My husband's brother and his family from Delaware visited last week with us and of course we took them to the beach.  It was lovely to see the clouds in the sky as the weatherman was predicting rain.  But, no rain appeared.

Lilly is taking the heat in stride.  She can easily find a cool place for her to "rest".  I can't believe that we've had this little cat for over ten years!

Usually as soon as the sun sets, it cools off.  But, this week the heat has kept up with highs in the 70's even in the evening.  Last night we sat out by the pool and I turned on my fairy lights.  It was so nice sitting and feeling the little breeze.

Of course, I had my knitting/crochet basket next to me until it became so dark I couldn't see.  I was inspired to make this little bag after seeing something similar on Etsy.  I just made up the pattern as I went along.  It's made with leftover cotton yarn and will be for a dear friend who loves owls.

 My children have been busy exploring the world this summer.  My daughter and son-in-law and grandchildren attended a swanky wedding in England (West Midlands).

 Before reaching England, they toured Romania for a week on their own in a rented car.  The photos she shared were amazing.  I want to go to Romania!

And, my son has been busy working in Georgia (the country) and enjoying the sights of that beautiful area.

I feel as though I haven't really cooked in my kitchen for a week.  When our guests were here last week, we were invited out for a couple of dinners and took them out a time or two.  Today, my husband is insisting on taking me to the beach for dinner.  I'm not going to complain!  Our home has air conditioning but after awhile, it becomes unbearable to sit inside all the time!  I'll be so happy when this heat wave is over.

That's whats been happening in my part of the world.  I'd love to hear what you've been up to this summer.

With my best wishes,


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Going Back Home

I've ignored my blog for awhile.  I thought I would share some photos of my "home".  This past week we traveled to my home state of Washington to attend a funeral of our long time friend.  It was bittersweet and yet, we saw many friends (who are really like our family) and that was a joy.

I lived here on the lake in Moses Lake for 22 years.  This view is from my friend's home which was just a house away from where I lived.  The sunset was stunning to say the least.  Moses Lake is in Eastern Washington, right off Interstate 90.  It's a huge agricultural area since the Grand Coulee Dam was built in the last century which brought much needed water to the area.

This was taken at Rye Grass which is on Interstate 90 just after we crossed over the Columbia River.  It's the highest spot in this area hence the glimpse of majestic Mount Rainier in the background.  After you cross the Columbia River at Vantage, there is a sign warning you to "turn off your air conditioner" as the climb up to this point along with hot weather can cause havoc to your car's temperature.  

Going West from Moses Lake, we stopped in my hometown of Ellensburg which is right in the center of the state and home to Central Washington University.  This is a photo of Hebler Hall and when I lived here it was known as Hebler Elementary. I attended this school in 6th Grade.  It had a lovely entrance with curved staircase, fountain and a real library with wood paneled walls!

Here's the home I lived in with my parents when we moved back to Ellensburg in 1965.  It's changed a bit of course.  Just at the end of the block, across the street was Hebler school, a short walk to school.

 This home belonged to Mrs. Taylor, the widow of Dr. Taylor who established a medical clinic in Ellensburg.  It was directly across the street from where we lived.  You can't see it in this photo but this home is three stories high.  I was in sixth grade when I was lucky enough to go inside and tour this stately home.  It reminded me of a Gone With the Wind home.  It's funny,but to this day my style was established due to seeing this home when I was 12 years old!

This is a photo of the home my grandparents lived in after they moved to town from the farm.  Sorry for the bad photo as it was taken through my car windshield.

These home are on a tree lined street.  I was so happy when I saw that this neighborhood still retained it's original look and style.  I love trees!

Down the street from my grandparents home lived my piano teacher, Mrs. Hertz.  This is how her home looks now.  It reminds of Cape Cod style with the siding.  I would love to buy this home as it has such memories of when I would go each week for my lesson.

Downtown Ellensburg has become quite historic looking with many of the buildings being restored to their original design.  I love this advertisement on the side of the building.  I believe it's a horse maybe advertising the well known Ellensburg Rodeo.

It was soon time to head back onto Interstate 90 going west to Seattle where we were going to catch our flight to return to SoCal.  This is a scene that is dear to my heart as it is Thorp where I lived with my parents during my high school years.

Snoqualmie Pass is the highest point of Interstate 90 as the road goes over the Cascade Mountain range.  It can be treacherous during the winter months.  They are in the process of widening the roadway but the scenery was still amazing.

We had planned on driving to Washington from SoCal but we didn't have time to make the drive (it takes two days each way) since we had guests arriving.  It was such a good feeling to go back to my roots and see my hometown where I grew up and the city where I moved after getting married.  And, although it was a sad time, I was blessed to visit with my dear friends.

I hope you have enjoyed these photos from my part of the world.  I'm back home in SoCal where the weather is delightful for the next couple of days.  I hope wherever you are, you have a joyous Fourth of July and stay safe.

With my best wishes,