Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunday

Cam gave himself Easter Sunday off. He worked Christmas and Boxing Day and most of the days between then and now. It was nice to have a relaxing family kind of day at home. 

We watched the last three hours, in two sessions, of Jesus of Nazareth. (We started watching it on Good Friday.  It's more than 6 hours long.)  I thought we'd brought The Gospel of John with us from home and I was looking forward to watching it.  This was a pretty good substitute.  It had some well developed original ideas about the motivations of some of the main characters, especially Judas.

Cam managed a short nap in his new hammock. I made an apple pie in the morning, my first pie in Turkey with a new dough recipe. (No lard or shortening available here.)  I made leg of lamb (now known as "lego- lamb" or just "lego" at our house) with roast potatoes and gravy. It was pretty good.  Cam and Nicole zipped into town after supper and bought ice cream which fixed the pie.  It was a really good day. Just for fun the kids and I dressed for dinner.

Yes Nicole is tall, but LOOK at Sam!

Johanna's gained some elevation too!

It smelled so good!

Pie number 2.  I think this one will be better than the first. I used different apples and watched it very carefully.

Pie number 1 covered in ice cream.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Weird But Practical Pants

Today we went to the Saturday market (pazaar) which was interesting as usual; I don’t have any pictures. I was going to take my camera but I chickened out at the last minute. Maybe next time....Mom and I bought Weird But Practical Pants. Weird But Practical Pants are worn by the majority of the elderly ladies, but Mom and I think they’re cool.

Anyways, while Mom & Dad were paying for groceries at Kipa, Mom sent Sam and I to the bread shop to buy…. Well, bread. It’s just a hop, skip and a jump from Kipa, we arrived and waited our turn. Since this was technically the first time I’ve bought bread on my own it was a little bumpy. But the Bread Guy is really patient and helpful.  Between the Bread Guy, the girl who came in after us, and I,  we got the correct amount of money counted out. I got Sam to carry some of the bread and off we went. :)

At the Pazaar

The local pazaar is full of stuff essential for day to day life. Fruit, vegetables, clothing, yarn, cloth, cookware, leather goods, etc. There are also a few unique items. Like handmade gardening tools, fire pokers, handmade knives, cheap knockoffs, fresh sardines, live chickens, and even livestock bells. These are cheap steel fabrications with less than musical tone, but audible for long distances. They are sized for sheep and goats. Better sounding brass bells were available, but were a lot more money.

Often, among the other vendors are a couple of what would be called health food/natural food vendors. These guys stock dried organic fruit, tomato/pepper paste that range from sweet to blister-your-mouth-hot (Use with caution, they LOOK identical - you can guess the story behind that), bulk spices, and essential oils. Among the Garlic oil and rose water I saw... Snake oil! Really! Note the twined cobras on the label. According to the label, it is a blend of some kind of herbal oil and... snake oil. According to the budding cosmeticians in the family, it might be some kind of hair tonic...

This has me wondering what has to be done to get this snake oil?

The Laundry Hokey Pokey or 26 Steps to Clean Laundry

  1. Check the weather report for Gelibolu.
  2. Look at the sky and the sea.
  3. Check the weather report again making sure to search Gelibolu, Turkey.
  4. Put dirty clothes into the front loading clothes washer.
  5. Wash them for a while.
  6. Take them out and wring them by hand.
  7. Hang them outside on the line behind the house.
  8. Look at the sky and sea. Wonder why you bothered looking at the weather report.
  9. After the wind has blown for thirty minutes, go outside and pick some clothes out of garden and neighbours' yards. Bring inside. (See #4)
  10. When rain starts, dash outside and gather armloads of damp laundry. Hang on portable dryer on deck.
  11. Move portable dryer around deck to keep it away from rain and cats.
  12. Forget to anchor portable dryer with rocks.
  13. Go outside set portable dryer upright again. Gently straighten bent frame.
  14. Anchor portable dryer with four heavy rocks.
  15. Take clothes, that got dirty when the dryer fell over, inside the house. (See #4)
  16. Drag portable dryer inside the house in the evening.
  17. Avoid scowls of disgruntled family members who must shimmy past portable dryer which takes up all the floor space in the living room.
  18. In the morning, touch all the laundry.
  19.  Fold and put away the two pieces of clothing which are now dry.
  20. Hang up yesterday’s items which were washed again.
  21. Drag portable dryer outside to the deck.
  22. Anchor it with rocks.
  23. Drag portable dryer inside the house in the evening.
  24. Avoid the scowls of disgruntled family members who must shimmy past portable dryer which takes up all the floor space in the living room.
  25. In the morning touch all the laundry.
  26. Fold and put away dry laundry.
Repeat this sequence ten to fifteen times each week from November until April.  Between April and October you may be able to skip some steps.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Colouring Eggs

We colour eggs every year.

It's messy, creative fun.

At home I have to buy eggs to dye, because our hens lay brown eggs.  Here, we had to carefully inspect the cartons at the store, because there is no way to tell from the packaging whether you are getting brown or white eggs.

One of Cam's co-workers found food colouring for us before Johanna's birthday last year.  Nicole wanted to tint icing for the cake.  The dye is a powder and it really works, especially on hands and clothes!

Monday, March 25, 2013

There are Mondays here too

We are trying to build some locations. Part of the challenge is upgrading the local public roads which vary widely in construction. Our latest construction project includes roads dating back over 4 regimes, the current republic, the Ottoman empire, the Byzantines, and the Persians before them. It is entirely possible the Apostle Paul walked these roads during his rambling around Thracia and Asia Minor. One stretch on our route would have been old then...

Generally, we try to patch up enough to survive by reshaping and adding stone, or gravel as required.

Today one of our contractors learned one of the ten commandments of dump trucking - namely, Thou shalt endeavor to be on level ground when dumping/spreading material or risk being forever remembered as the guy who laid unit #10 on its' side and bent the frame....

The driver will rue this day for quite a while, he broke several ribs in the incident , and may have internal bleeding...

Coulda been worse, he drove under that 7500 volt 3 phase power line with the box up to get to the spot it flopped over.

(posted by Susan ... photos and text by Cam)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cimpe Kalesi - Part II Worlds Rise and Fall

While we wandered around this site, I found the lyrics from Bruce Guthro's song "Love Lives On"* running through my head: "Worlds rise and fall and come and go".

From its size and strategic location, this must have been an important Byzantine stronghold. Here's Cam's 360 degree video view from Cimpe Kalesi  (Listen to the wind!). You can see both Saros Bay and Marmara Sea (aka Hellespont or Dardanelles) from Cimpe.

But the Byzantines didn't last. Suleman Pasha won Cimpe and in doing so claimed a foothold in Europe for the Ottoman Empire. But even they didn't last. Since 1923 presidents have replaced sultans and a Turkish form of democratic rule has been evolving.

In the meantime this Byzantine castle is slowly disappearing under grass and trees.

*This is the best link I could find for the song.  For my money, Bruce Guthro is a tremendous songwriter and singer. Go to itunes and buy all his albums!

Cimpe Kalesi - Part III Family Photos

 Some photos of the kids, Cam and I exploring Cimpe.


Sam - It's difficult to tell but we're standing at opposite sides of a narrow peninsula of land overlooking the trench. The wind was blowing so hard it was hard to stand still.


Johanna - This one makes me laugh.  I took this picture.  Cam has the same photo at about the same distance but from another angle!

Susan - Cam and I are on opposites of the trench.  Saros Bay is behind me.

Following the kids.  They told me it was perfectly safe.

At the end of the passageway turn left or right. Be careful not to get your feet wet!

There's a window at the end of this passageway.

Sam going out and towards the light!

Just as I was considering how strong arches are, I made the mistake of looking up!

This rock seemed just right for posing.

Cimpe Kalesi - Part I Overview

On Wednesday we drove 16k to Cimpe Kalesi/Cimpe Castle.
Cimpe is a well preserved hill top fortification dating from the Byzantine era (before 1352)  Depending on which history you believe, the fortress was either granted to the Ottoman Turks by the Byzantine Emperor or taken at night by Suleyman Pasha (son of the Ottomon ruler Orhan I) and thirty-nine men. I enjoyed reading Wikipedia's version of events. The fortress has been recently whitewashed and the walls plastered or covered in concrete. It may have been used during World War I and II.
There is no admission charge and no interpretation of the site with the exception of this sign.

Before we got out of the car we warned the kids to be cautious. Like most sites that we've visited in Turkey, there are no fences, railings, or danger signs, but there are lots of hazards. We were particularly concerned about snakes considering the warm spring weather we've been enjoying, and the dark recesses we could see when we arrived.
Thankfully we didn't even see a snake! For a view inside see the Post Cimpe Kalesi - Part III Family Photos.
There are many little buildings, built into the hill top. Walking around this large site, we had the impression that we could see only a small portion of the fortress.  For a view inside see the post Cimpe Kalesi - Part III Family Photos.

Behind the little buildings a deep trench remains of what seems to be either a courtyard or perhaps a building which has lost it's roof.

The trench is overgrown in many places and the bottom is soggy from the winter's rainfall.

There are two arches built into the bank one at either end of this fortification. Both have wide double staircases leading to them.  Are they decorative; or were they bricked over to limit access to more underground passageways and rooms? We came away from this excursion with more questions than answers.

Book ends or mirror images. There's one of these structures on either end of the castle.