Damir's Latest Adventure

Damir has got a pretty cool gig going on, in my opinion. He stays in shape all the time — like really, really good shape — pretty much automatically, he's respected and admired for his talent and hard work, he gets to travel the world and race in many different countries, and he gets to do awesome things like this! But to be honest, he deserves all of the glory and excitement that comes with the territory of being a professional athlete. He is the best human being I know.

Do you see that big, goofy grin of his? Yeah, he was obviously terrified. :)

Life Lessons From Bor

Today's lesson: get and give more belly rubs.

This dog just gets it. 
And I am in love with him. 
Odin is too.

 

[P.S. Bor is the neighbor dog that stole my heart and Odin's too when we first moved here. Theirs is a friendship for the ages]

First Spring

This country is once again showing off all of its natural beauty and bounty and I am impressed. The wild strawberries have begun to ripen, which makes for fun treasure hunting in the yard with Odin. The elderflower — bezeg, as it is called here — is blossoming and it's time to make delicious syrups to last through the year. I've been told that there is loads of wild garlic to be foraged, and the blueberries and mushrooms will be ready to pick soon enough. I've never experienced a real spring before, and I am not disappointed. Not at all. From the wildflowers popping up everywhere to the cat next door who just gave birth to three teeny tiny kittens (please Damir can we have one??), this season is completely all that it's cracked up to be.

For me, even being from the Bay Area, the year progresses in terms of what fruits and vegetables are in season. So while I've planted my tomato seedlings, and am watching the corn, beans, and squash grow together in my much anticipated "Three Sisters" vegetable box, I am harvesting and eating a whole lot of baby mustard greens, arugula, herbs, spring onions, and most of all, radishes. I harvest and eat a handful everyday, and once I'm sick of them, they'll be picked for a tasty winter treat (if there are any left!). I planted a few varieties of radishes this year, but so far these classic reds are blowing my purples and pinks out of the water!

I keep it simple when I eat them — good bread, good butter, sliced radishes, either their own greens or another garden green (arugula here), salt, pepper, and because I'm fancy and I have them currently growing in the garden, chive blossoms for a kick of color and flavor. Radishes with butter is one of those classic flavor combinations that just works, and I am nothing if not a fan of the classics. 

 

Dinner in the Grass

Tonight we cooked dinner on the grassy hill next to our house. It was the first hot day of the year, and it seemed like an ideal way to welcome the warmer months. I sat on the grass, right on the ground, because now apparently I'm allowed to. There seems to be a general understanding here in this part of the world, that you shouldn't sit on the ground during months that have an "R" in them. So from May to August, it's ok to plop myself right on the earth, but if I do it during any other month, I risk getting a "wolf in my butt". I can't make this stuff up. That's what it translates to. What it means, I can't tell you, but if I ever find out, I promise to share in detail.

So now that its May, I can sit on the ground without fear of said wolf, and I took full advantage today and watched our dinner cook on top of a few pieces of burning wood while drinking a nice mug of homemade hard apple cider from our neighbor. We had guests over all day helping us with various projects and visiting, and my mother-in-law brought this very cool piece of cookery back with her from Bosnia. So it seemed like the right idea to cook up a simple meal of chicken and potatoes over a wood fire to feed all of our friends and family and test out this cool contraption

It's moments like these that I am able to get some perspective — specifically understanding that these experiences I'm having here are going to change me forever. I could feel it tonight. I was exhausted and satisfied from the day which always leaves me a little more open for self-reflection. Hard, physical work outside will do that to you. And as I sat there sipping my drink, listening to the crickets, the sizzling of dinner, and my crazy barking dog, it was all just so great. The food tasted good too, but of course it did...

Insta-life

Because there's really only so much you can explain in an Instagram caption.

1. See all that yellow dust? It's pollen. And it's the reason my husband is a miserable sneezing mess. It appeared a few days ago and now there is light coating of it on EVERYTHING. Put your cell phone down for a minute outside? Screen is covered. My desk in my room? Covered. Stovetop? Covered. Apparently all that's necessary is a nice long heavy rain to push it all back down. I await it not-so-patiently. 

2. I really love the wildflowers that bloom around our house. It's such a fun surprise to see what's going to pop up each week. 

3. There are some pretty gorgeous chickadees and a big old scary rooster next door that make me miss my girls terribly. I'm happy to report that they are doing well in there new home and making me proud by being super friendly to their new family. 

4. This machine has saved my life. I love it so much. Too much. Best purchase we've made so far. It's the little things - or in this case, it's the coffee things. 

5. I can't seem to keep this dude clean lately. I guess that comes with the territory of living out here in the middle of nowhere. But you know, it almost doesn't matter because he's so incredibly happy. Today he met cows for the first time ever and made me proud. He'll never be able to go back to city or even suburban life. Ever. And neither will I.

6. Our cute little greenhouse! Oh, and half of our garden. It's much greener now, just 2 weeks after I snapped this pic. The whole property and garden is actually becoming quite beautiful and I'm so proud of it — though I have to remind myself often that it's just a first-year vegetable garden so any amount of growth I'm going to consider a huge success. ;)