Monday, April 30, 2007
Since we have been back I've thought often of those friends and that chocolate fountain. Last week we were shopping at a mall here in town and I passed by a trendy appliance store called Tefal. In the window I saw something that I thought might be a chocolate fountain! No way! I convinced Brian to go into the store with me to get a better look. It was a chocolate fountain! It was bright orange and considered to be in their kids line of appliances. I thought that was crazy. I know kids love chocolate, but give them a candy bar and they're happy. Molten chocolate goodness and women just go together. Anyway... The fountain wasn't too expensive so we bought it with big plans to use it the following Sunday night when we were having guests. Sunday night arrived and I was prepared with a recipe for chocolate fondue. I made the fondue on the stove like the recipe said and poured it in the fountain base. We had strawberries, bananas, cookies, and three flavors of cake to dip in the fountain. I turned on the heat to warm the fountain up. Then after the 5 minute preheat time I turned on the motor. Get ready for some supreme chocolateness. The motor started and seemed to be really loud. I didn't know these fountains were so noisy. A slight odor started coming from the fountain and the chocolate wasn't flowing at all. Smoke started coming from the base of the fountain. I turned it off for a second and started to reread the directions. Did I miss something? The directions said that there would be a slight odor and smoke might be possible the first time it was used. Okay, good. Things are going well then. The fountain was turned back on, and we waited. Smoke started billowing from the bottom of the fountain, and the motor didn't sound quite right. And the chocolate still wasn't flowing. After about a minute we turned it off and poured the chocolate back into the pot. The kids were disappointed that the fountain didn't work, but the chocolate tasted just as good poured from a spoon!
Waiting for a taste.
The chocolate fountain. Someone was impatient and dipped a strawberry in the base. Notice the smoke coming from the base!
The kids around the pot of chocolate.
Thankfully the fountain came with a one year warranty. I did notice after cleaning the fountain and trying it without any chocolate in it that the motor was running, but the internal screw wasn't turning at all. I'm taking it back and getting another one to try. I'm hoping mine was just a lemon!
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I have mentioned to several people the Kola Turka commercials that were on TV not long after we came to Turkey. Chevy Chase was the star, and we loved them. These videos aren't the best quality, but you will still understand. Most of the words are in English. For the few that aren't here are the translations...they are mostly using what we call street Turkish so the meanings aren't exact.
yenge - wife
cocuk - child
dolma biber - stuffed peppers
kayinpeder/valide - mother-in-law and father-in-law.
We even had people tell us that Americans loved Kola Turka! The people hanging out of the car on this first video and the man selling potatoes and onions on the second video are normal things we see in the streets here!
Monday, April 23, 2007
The boys being Men in Black...or Boys in Brown, Rust, and Yellow. I'm not sure what the ponytails are for! Jacob's almost looks cute which means he needs a haircut!
The girls wearing as many of Anna Grace's clothes as they could put on! I did have quite a time making them fold everything and put it all back in the right drawers.
And since I haven't shared any of our Easter pictures here are a couple...
The kids at Easter after hunting for eggs.
A not so flattering picture of me and a good picture of Amanda on Easter Sunday. I was not feeling well that morning so I didn't go to church and then never changed out of my sweats or put on make-up for the get-together.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
There are many more things to write, but it is still so crazy around here. I originally started this blog a couple of days ago, but I never had time to finish. The family staying with us is planning on staying at their new apartment tonight. I don't know if their heat or hot water works yet. Today is a holiday so the repairmen/inspectors may not be working today. We also have some other guests in town. For the past two nights they stayed at a hotel that they have connections with, and I think we have arranged for them to stay with other friends tonight so that we can try to finish up a couple of science fair projects that are due over the next couple of days. They were hard to work on with a house full of people! I think that means it will just be our family at our house tonight, but I guess we will just see who shows up at our door looking for food and a place to sleep tonight before we know for sure!
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
While in Bulgaria we visited this old church. The church sits below street level so Brian called it the underground church. The city has built up around it, and it looked like the church had to be excavated somewhat to be able to see it.
This sign was over the door.
I thought it was interesting how many different types of stones and rocks were used in the building.
I paid about a dollar to go in, and this is what I saw. There were pictures of different saints around the room as well as flowers and candles. The room wasn't big enough to hold mass or any other sort of meeting; however, it did look like people came to light candles and pray.
The view across the street from the underground church...a mosque. I guess you could say it was a religious crossroads.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
The room that the other family rented. 6 twin beds in one room.
Soldiers "guarding" a building. They did some marching around and changing of positions every little bit to stretch their muscles I guess.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Why did I do so much cleaning? We have guests. A new family has just moved to Turkey, and they are staying with us a few days until they find an apartment and have enough furniture to be able to move in. That may just mean mattresses on the floor at first because they literally need to buy everything. Living room furniture, all appliances, bedroom furniture, dishes...the works! They will be shopped out before they are finished I'm sure!
The new family has four children so there are 12 people in our house. It has been fun! The kids have had tons of fun with friends on an extended sleepover. Their kids have done remarkably well with adjusting to a different place and a different time zone. And so far everyone has gotten along great!
I won't be on the computer as much while they are here so the blogs will be fewer. I still have some pictures from Bulgaria and a few other things to share. I will do that as soon as I get a chance!
Monday, April 09, 2007
The other day I was making two new recipes at the same time, and a friend called. It was a long distance call, and I hadn't talked to her in a while so I decided to try to make both recipes and talk at the same time. I felt like a failure at it all. I would stop and listen then realize that I had almost burned the chicken or that the water had pretty much boiled down to nothing in the dish I was making. Brian came home, and I made him help me with the cooking. I handed him one recipe and told him to finish it. I had to interrupt the conversation with my friend to tell him where I was in the recipe so he would know what to do. Things weren't any easier, because between talking on the phone, making a new dish, and listening to Brian comment on what he was doing or what I was saying plus answering any questions he had was too much for my brain. After I got off the phone I was frustrated. I felt like I hadn't had a good conversation...I had listened, but how much had I really heard?
My brain doesn't operate when too much is going on at once. I guess it is lazy, too. I'm sure there are exercises I could do to strengthen it's productivity, but I like to be able to focus on whatever I am doing. Maybe it's a subconscious choice I am making. I don't know. What I do know is that my friends say I am a good listener. They feel like I really concentrate on them when they are talking to me. Sometimes I tell my friends that I don't want them to do anything while we are talking, because I feel like they can't possibly be listening to what I am saying. If while I am pouring my heart out or just telling about my day they are rummaging through their refrigerator seeing if they need to put ketchup on the grocery list they are making while we talk I start to wonder how much they are hearing me. I feel like what I am saying is only as important as their grocery list. Sometimes it is and those times I don't mind that they are doing something else. And most of my friends know when to stop and listen which is nice.
What is this post about? Busyness. I got distracted with my thoughts while posting. I didn't mean to go where I went with this. But I like what I ended up saying. Interesting. What I meant to post about...all the stuff I have to do in the next few days. It's a lot, and I need to not be lazy. For whatever that's worth.
Okay...now I am going to go clean strawberries while sitting at my kitchen table listening to music. Three things...cleaning, sitting, listening...but only one needs me to move. That's my kind of multitasking!
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
This car has been decorated for a wedding. It is sitting outside of a Cicekcilik which means florist. The florist decorates the car with ribbons and a attaches a large flower arrangement to the hood. (A bus was coming up between us and the car so I snapped the picture before it got in the way and ended up missing the flowers on the front of the car!) The hearts on the back have the first initials of the couple. It is customary for the bride and groom to drive through the neighborhoods after the ceremony. People honk at them and kids will jump in front of the car to stop it and ask for money.
This is a carpet shop. They sell modern looking carpets and small area rugs. On the far right you can see rolls of carpet runners that can be cut to size. This store probably doesn't sell the nicer Turkish carpets you hear about.
A fruit and vegetable stand.
Brian actually touching a bus that pulled up next to us. There were probably only 2 lanes for traffic, but the Turks don't let that stop them. They squeeze by wherever they can find room! Brian didn't even have to reach out to touch the bus!
There were crowds of people on the streets this Sunday afternoon. I tried to get a good picture, but this was the only one that came out. The building in the center of the picture is a pretty typical apartment building.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Yesterday we went to the zoo. I think the kids we brought were the wildest thing we saw! Well, there were wolves and prairie dogs. There were cages with signs that said they held bears, but they must have been hibernating, because we never saw them. Thankfully we only paid 60 cents for adults and 30 cents for kids to get in the zoo. There were several playgrounds that the kids were quite happy with so all was not lost.
Having fun and eating pork so I can't complain! LLL