Friday, March 4, 2016

All Day and Night Event!

Central Asian women don't mind hard work, especially if it involves time with others and a delicious result.
A spring tradition is to make a dish called "sumalak." The first step in the process involves sprouting wheat. The rest of the process involves a huge pot, an open fire, and hours and hours of stirring.
My neighbors invited me to partipate in their sumalak making this year, and it was my first time to be a part of the process from start to finish. They started the preparations in the morning and had the pots full by 11:00am. Then we all stirred and ate,stirred and ate until 6:00 am the next morning.( I only made it until 1:00am! )At that point, they covered the pots and let the sumalak set. At 12:00 noon the next day, we opened the pots and the sumalak was distributed.
Part of the fun is that in the evening, the ladies and kids dance and eat good food. Work, food, friends and family,'s a great tradition!

This is in the twilight. Ladies stirring 2 huge pots with other women sitting around chatting. You can see the evidence of the fire underneath the 2nd pot in the back.
After they opened the pots (they were covered up for several hours,) the women gathered around to take pictures and see what image had appeared on the top. Everyone thought this one was a flower.

This is our share of the sumalak. We added 5 kg of flour (11 pounds) and I got around 5 liters of  it to take home.  It is part of the tradition to share, sending some to your family, friends and neighbors.

This is the field behind our home. The tree is flowering already and is beautiful! Spring has already arrived.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Sunday, December 13, 2015


 Kate celebrated her birthday this fall with friends at a lovely garden.

Part of a mosaic (from stones) in our city

 A restaurant with some beautiful woodwork and designs

 Central Asian bowling!

Some pilgrims we celebrated Thankgiving with...

Saturday, September 26, 2015


 In the past month, we've celebrated two birthdays and a local holiday. Here's Michael's 12th birthday pie.

 Will turned 4. His sister caught some fun facial expressions on his big day.

 At a lake celebrating with Michael.

 Ready to make some local holiday visits this week.

 The night before the holiday, neighbors exchange some of the goodies they make. My kids love it because all the exchanges involve home made deep fried goodies.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

More of our vacation in pictures

This is a carnivorous plant- called a pitcher plant.

Monday, July 27, 2015

I got kissed by an elephant. I know. Now you want to read this post.

 Mom and I went on a lovely walk in the Botanic Gardens for about four hours. Yes, my poor soul hiked for FOUR HOURS. Okay, it ended up okayish and we had a fun time AND I got to take pictures. So that was great. But what teenager likes going somewhere with their mom right? Just kidding, just kidding. I like hanging out with my mother. This is a beautiful water lily that caught my attention and I just HAD to take a picture of it. You know?!
 Mother's beautiful, sweaty face. :)
 Okay, are you wondering what I', wondering?! What on earth is this thing? Can someone tell me? Is it a flower.... or a banana?
 This one caught my attention too.
 Yeah. Hehe. This one too.
 Isn't he snuggley?!!! I wanna eat him. :)
 Hey Mr. Elephant, I would love to know why you are a better painter then me... Seriously though.
 These animals are totally better painters then I am. Stink.
 I got hugged by an elephant today!!!! The look on Katie's face...
 Michael was awkwarded out. As you can see.
This picture describes me perfectly. -_- I was a bit too excited. (Secret!!!! I got kissed 3 times by an elephant today. Life goals!!!)