Friday, November 30, 2007

Thanks Derya.

My lovely, juicy, and fluffy intra-reflective monster; what would I do without you?

Quote stolen from Derya and tweaked by me. Love that! And don't worry...I won't forget to feed it. That monster would never let me forget!

What's in a name?

I met a man recently whose name roughly translates Hope Unscare-able. First name Hope...last name...Unscare-able. Unscareable isn't a word in English but it sounds so much better than unable to be scared. What a name! I like it. I like what it means.

In a recent blog post I talked about the names of some of my students when I taught school. I wondered why people would name a child something like Green if their last name was Akers. I don't understand why you would do that. I know that one can't help their last name unless they legally change it. Why would someone whose last name is Carroll name their son Darrell? I don't know. Brian wanted to use the name Mason for one of our boys. I said no. Mason Dixon...are you kidding me? I never even entertained the idea. If I had considered it he probably would have backed down, because I don't believe he would have ever used it for real.

In Turkey names mean all kinds of things. I met a guy once whose last name was 'Lightning'...as in thunder and lightning. His first name was 'Sky King'. Gokan Simsek. Interesting to me. Then there is the last name Karaibrahimoglu...dark Ibrahim's son. Our neighbor upstairs has a daughter named 'fresh green almonds' and our next door neighbor's name is 'I am the rose.'

I know that our names mean things as well. Most of the time we have no idea what they mean though. Anna Grace for instance...Anna means grace, and Grace means grace. We gave her a double helping of grace...and knew we were doing it. Most people don't know that Anna means grace, but if they know her they know that we are the ones who need a double dose of grace! I think the difference is we don't usually name our children names that tend to still be used as normal vocabulary words. Most of us don't have kids named Rain, Flower, Decree, Sapling, River, or Dimple. Of course there are those people named Rose, Grace, Crystal, etc. who are lucky enough to know what their name means without having to look up it's etymology.

Natalie - Christmas child
Frances - Frenchman


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Something I read today

from How to be Idle (which I haven't read):
Waking dreams, lucid dreams and daydreams, as well as being a source of pleasure in themselves, can also be of practical use in helping us create visions of our ideal life. Once the vision is in place, then the life will eventually follow. Be brave, idleheart! The difficulty is that we get ourselves caught in a double bind: we work so hard that we do not allow ourselves time to dream, and therefore we continue to work hard because we have not had the time to dream up an alternative.

Accompany this!

The flute was great, but I am wishing I had a long video of just this...

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Brian kept telling me that the drums weren't a solo instrument. They were more an accompaniment instrument. I decided to look up the word accompaniment. I know what it means, but I wanted to read an official definition.

accompaniment - part in a composition designed to serve as background and support for more important parts. Oh, I beg to differ...

How about this definition?
accompaniment - something added to complete or embellish or make perfect.

While that definition is more along the lines of "wild rice was served as an accompaniment to the main dish" kind of thing I think it describes how I feel about these drums perfectly! And a good drum solo just thrills me. It completes the song...makes it perfect. Sigh.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


In honor of my friend, Kerri, who has just gotten her first teaching job I have decided to write a post about my own first teaching jobs.

Job number 1
I was hired to teach 3rd grade at a school in Waco, Texas. When I showed up for inservice the principal informed me that I was now going to be teaching 4th grade. Ok...no big deal. How different could it be? Starting in 4th grade this school switched classes. I was the English/Grammar teacher for all of the 4th graders. Ok...so it is different. Again...no big deal...less prep work. Let me just say this was the hardest job I have ever had. The kids were all from the neighborhood and really had a pretty rough time of it. I was a little twit and had no idea how to handle any of their problems. I had come from an upper middle class home, parents still married to each other, and attended church everytime the doors were open. So when one kid came to school and told me the reason he had missed the last 2 days was because he and his mom had moved to a shelter after his dad poured gasoline on them and threatened to light them on fire I got an ulcer trying to deal with it all. There were also the regular fights breaking out in the classroom between kids. These fights consisted of picking up desks and throwing them at each other. Then there was Lucas who had to make comments throughout the lesson's entirety, every lesson...saying things like "you tell 'em Mrs. Dixon" and "y'all better listen to her...she's the teacher". After trying everything my poor 21 year old brain could come up with I resigned at the semester. This was after the principal called me into her office and asked why I had failed a kid in the gifted and talented program. I told her that he never turned in any work. I had tried to get him to stay after school for help. His parents would never come for a conference. I had done all I knew to do. She asked what he would have made if he had turned in the work. I told her that he could have made an A easily. Her exact words to me were "then that's what you need to give him". That's when I resigned. I figured there were too many problems in the world for me to contribute to them by passing kids who didn't do any work.

After this job I thought I never wanted to teach again. I worked in the credit department of a local department store for about 4 months until the itch to teach hit me again.

Job number 2
I was hired to teach kindergarten in a small public school outside of Waco, Texas. I was the only kindergarten teacher and came in after the previous one had been there for years! I had no curriculum and nobody to ask for help from. The school had just hired an elementary principal for the first time. Before that the school which was a K-12 school had one principal for all grades. When they hired a second principal for the elementary school most of the elementary teachers resigned because they didn't like the change. When I was hired they also hired both first grade teachers, one of the second grade teachers, the third, fourth and sixth grade teachers as well as the computer teacher. Only one second grade teacher and the fifth grade teacher stayed. It was quite fun. The first year was hard, but I was in my element. I had been an education major with a specialization in early childhood so it was a much better fit for me. The principal was fantastic...very supportive...and the year went by pretty smoothly. I started the year with only 13 kids which was also helpful. The second year I had a few more students, and by year three I needed a teacher's aide to help me with my 25 kids. I resigned in the middle of the year when Brian got a job in Ft. Worth, and we moved to Arlington. Another thing I loved about this school was the fact that it was year round. 9 weeks on, 3 weeks off. I loved having a break every 9 weeks. It was great to recharge.

One of my favorite memories of teaching was some of the kids' names. I have to wonder what some parents were thinking when they chose the names they did. I encountered kids named Derail (he said he was named after a train...and wasn't kidding), Lucifer and Jesus (in the same class), Marvelous, and my personal favorite, Green Akers III. You would have thought his daddy would have had enough teasing with that name to never tag a kid with it. Ahhh...good memories.

Kerri, I hope your first teaching job is as great as my second! If you need any tips...you know where to find me. Of course it has been 12 years since I taught...but hey...I've still got it...I think...

Today's noteworthy news

For breakfast this morning I had a grilled cheese plate. Not a grilled cheese sandwich...just chunks of cheese that were grilled. They weren't all melty...just hot and a little salty. Yum! There was also a side of grilled tomatoes. Again...yum!

Today while Brian and I were in an elevator it stopped between floors. The elevators here have a door that you have to push open once you stop on your floor. Brian wasn't paying attention so when the elevator stopped he pushed the part of the wall that was between the bottom of one floor's elevator door and the top of the other floor's door. I thought I was going to choke to death I was laughing so hard.

My househelper came and cleaned my house today. This is noteworthy, because she didn't come last week without giving me any warning. We do a pretty good job of keeping things picked up, but with all the guests over the last week...it was looking pretty gross around here.

I went to a music school today to see about signing up for some lessons. Brian says we might have to let the househelper go to pay for the music lessons. Hmmmm....I bet I can figure out a way to do both! More on this later.

Only 18 more days until we go to America for Christmas. I can't wait.

Only 18 more days to lose weight before I go to America and eat Pappadeaux's everyday.

Ok...that's it for now.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dinner with friends

This past Sunday our family went to a Turkish friend's house for dinner. Here is a record of our visit in pictures.

When you arrive at a Turk's home you are expected to take off your shoes. It is also customary to be offered slippers or a pair of indoor shoes reserved for guests. This is a picture of the indoor shoes I was given to wear. Brian was offered some that looked like slippers, but chose not to wear them. It is not rude to refuse the slippers if you are wearing socks.

Jacob, Anna Grace, and Erica on the couch in the salon. The salon is a combination living room and dining room.

Our friend and his parents. This family owns two homes. The one in our city is their home away from home. The mom had heart surgery a year ago and has to be in town for doctor visits quite often. They chose to purchase a second home here so that they would be more comfortable when they are in town. Owning two homes is a fairly common practice here. Often parents will buy an apartment in the town where their child/children go to college so that they can live at home with their families while they are in school.

The meal. Potatoes, chicken, cheese salad, tomato cucumber salad, potato salad, cheese rolls, simits, and cake.

A close-up of the cheese filled rolls. They were yummy!

We were asked what we wanted to drink with our meal. The choices were tea, Nescafe (instant coffee), coke, or fruit juice. Erica and Anna Grace said what most kids would say in this instance...coke! Jacob being the purist said he wanted water. Will asked for Nescafe. Brian told him that he really didn't need coffee for dinner, and told our hosts that he could have coke instead. As you can see from the picture he got his Nescafe. You can tell from the look on his face that he is quite pleased with that as well. We should have known that they were going to give him what he asked for. They wanted to please him.

After we took several pictures our hosts decided they needed to take our picture. Will, Jacob, and Anna Grace were busy playing Monopoly in Turkish so they missed out on the picture.

Brian showing off a mini simit. I love these!

Sitting around talking after the meal.

Anna Grace absconded with the camera and took several pictures of things in the salon. This table had a variety of silvered copper items on it. The blue eye on the one piece is called a nazar. The nazar is supposed to protect the home from jealous thoughts or envious guests.

Anna Grace also took this picture of Jacob while we were visiting. It has nothing to do with our visit, but I thought it was funny so I decided to share.

And finally...the fruit. No visit to a Turkish home is complete without fruit. When we were ready to leave...the kids were tired and had school the next day...we said that it was time for us to go. At that point they had to bring out the fruit...the final course. After cutting several pieces and everyone having some we thanked our hosts and left.

One final note...it is also customary for the guests to bring the hosts a gift. Flowers or candy are the usual fare. We brought a box of chocolates shaped like flowers but didn't take a picture of them!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Divas and Divos

Tonight Brian and I watched a show about the dressing room demands that divas and divos make when they travel. Some of them were quite funny. Jennifer Lopez demands that all things in her dressing room are white...walls, couches, rugs, roses...and so on. Elton John refuses to have any cold cuts on his buffet table, and he must have an over abundance of flowers. Pavarotti's dressing room contract says that there must not be any distinct smells near the artist at anytime. He also needs a golf cart at his disposal at all times. All of that was pretty funny to us. So we decided to come up with our own list of dressing room demands...

Brian the divo - he says he would request that his buffet table have Pappadeaux's crawfish platter on it...every night. He also wants a big flower arrangement in his dressing room. Not many...just one nice big one. (You should have seen the arm gestures he made while describing this arrangement.) A few other things he mentioned...mirrors on three of the walls so that he could see himself at anytime...and be surrounded by the only one he could trust, bottles of cold pomegranate juice available at his disposal, and Devo's greatest hits playing in the background at all times.

Natalie the diva - my buffet table would need to have many types of finger foods...mostly consisting of the seafood variety. I would also love to have flowers...not too many...and not strong scented ones. I think I would also love to have lots of comfortable seating for all my many dressing room guests. And clean....everything must be clean...and smell clean. Music...my tastes are ever changing so I can't just choose one person or even type of music to play... And water...I am picky about my water. I don't want expensive water...just good tasting water. Drinking water...not spring water or mineral water. And I want it to be cold. Aquafina is fine. Nice lotion, carmex, a box of tissues...soft ones, and a toothbrush and toothpaste would be just about it for me. I'm sure if I really was a diva I would actually have more demands...but I can't think of any right now!

Thanksgiving 2007...post #2

I posted a picture of the people of Thanksgiving...now it's time for the food. You knew there would be food, right? I can't not take pictures of food. It goes against everything in me...

The table before we ate...turkey, ham, deviled eggs, corn, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, cornbread dressing, regular bread dressing, mashed potatoes, strawberry jello salad, regular green beans, and rolls.
Shawn carving the turkey.

The adults enjoying the meal. The kids ate fast and went out to play...ahhh...quiet...mostly.
One of the most enjoyed things of the day...Dr. Pepper! The Land's managed to get a case to share with those of us who ate our meal at their house! YUM!
Then back to our house for desserts which consisted of two pumpkin pies, two pecan pies, a Kentucky derby pie, apple cake, oatmeal raisin spice cookies, pumpkin banana bread, and pumpkin shaped candy corn.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Our Thanksgiving in Turkey is winding down now. Dinner is over, desserts are eaten, and football is on tv. We decided to divide the meal between two houses. Half of the above group went to one place for dinner and the other half went to another place. After the meal everyone came to our house for dessert...33 people in all! It was fun...and loud! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Uppers and Downers

This morning I woke up at 5am with a horrible migraine. I felt a headache coming on when I went to bed last night so I took some Tylenol pm thinking that it would get rid of it as I slept. No such luck. So around 6am this morning I decided to take migraine medicine. Brian got up with the kids and took care of breakfasts, lunches, and got them to school. He came in at 8:45 to ask me if I was still going to breakfast with our friends as planned. I made myself get out of bed...mostly headache free...before I made my decision. I felt very out of it, but I had a lot of things to do so I decided I needed to stick with the original schedule. I managed to get dressed and board a bus in my loopy state. At breakfast I ordered a diet coke, hoping that the caffeine would help stimulate my brain! After breakfast Brian and I walked around town some, and then because it was cold and rainy we stopped at Gloria Jean's for coffee. More caffeine. About an hour later I met some friends at a cafe for...yep, you guessed it...coffee...this time Turkish style. By that time I was no longer out of it. I was totally wired. I think I could have run the 5 miles home!

My very pretty caramelatte at Gloria Jean's. Brian says I am looking at him like I don't think he can take a picture. Remember...I had only had a diet coke at this point...still feeling loopy!

My Turkish coffee. Not usually a big fan of this, but this one was really good!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Me and Brian

Will took a couple of pictures of me and Brian today. I thought they were cute. He's a pretty good photographer! Anna Grace's place as the unofficial family photographer may be threatened!

Adam's real family

Adam's family came to visit him in Turkey, and of course we had to meet them since we feel like his family over here. We did lunch at the office...ordering gozleme which is tradition. Gozleme is like a quesadilla filled with whatever you can think to put in it. The restaurant we order from claims to be able to make over 1500 different kinds of gozleme. My favorites are the eggplant, cheese, beef mix, and the honey. Yummy! I wanted to have them over for pancakes since that is always what we eat when Adam comes over, but there just wasn't time! Oh well.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Ok...I know I said that I didn't have anything to say, but I can't stand that I haven't posted anything in two days. It bothers me greatly. So here is something I've thought about posting for a few days.

Recently I've decided to make my blog public. I had it listed as private, because I wasn't sure what I thought of random people looking at my blog. But since I am often that random person looking at the blog's of people I don't know I decided to go for it. Now that my blog is public domain I get all kinds of hits on it from places all over the world. In the last 5 days I decided to write down the google search words used to find my blog. Here is the list...

1. Turkey facts for kids/pictures - I'm sure they were looking for thanksgiving turkeys...not the country!
2. Vietnamese ex votos - the only vietnamese thing I have on my blog is food that my friend Liz made one day...and I have no idea what "ex votos" means.
3. Oui wee - I can't even imagine why someone would search for that, but hey...I used those words in my post about our new wii!
4. Konkus in the bonkus - which is backwards but still funny...I said bonkus in the konkus was my favorite way to say I felt crazy.
5. Ramadan drummer - yep...talked about him.
6. simitci - yep...the seller of simits...recent post.

And I'm sure there will be many more in the days to come. I love that. Who knew I would have so much fun reading what people are searching for?


Two days of no posts...and now...I still don't have anything to say. Hmmmm.... Thanksgiving is on Thursday, and you can bet I will have my camera ready. If nothing that needs to be blogged about assaults my brain before then at least I know that I will have pictures to share on Thursday night.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fun in the Sun

The weather here is getting cold. There were even snow flurries on Sunday. I am not ready for cold weather. Oh, don't get me wrong...I love some aspects of winter. Bundling up in sweaters, wearing long underwear, thick cozy socks, drinking foamy hot chocolate, sitting on my balcony with the electric blanket wrapped around me, watching the traffic from my window, the scent of Christmas, all of that and more makes me love winter.

But right now I am longing for the tropics...remote islands, beaches, palm trees, waterfalls, sand, sun, and some fruity drinks. Sounds delightfully wonderful.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Definition of a Friend

-someone who is sincere in wanting a relationship with me
- will invest time and themselves in my life
- will encourage and influence me in my walk with God
- will trust me to hold in confidence things they tell me and I will be able to do the same with them
- will listen when I want to or need to talk and feel comfortable responding, correcting, and encouraging when appropriate
- able to be relaxed and comfortable talking with me but also comfortable being quiet with me
- someone who will ask the hard questions and expect answers
- pray for me and let me know how they are praying for me

Sometime ago I was asked to write down the things that were important to me concerning friends. The above list is what I came up with then. I think that I would still say that all of that is true for me. There are probably even more things I could add to that list. But I'll just keep it as is at this point. And to the one who I have failed...according to my own definition...I am sorry. You know.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I am reading a book that has a description of pizza that I can't get out of my head. It's not so much the description of the pizza but the description of where to find the pizza. In the book the author is visiting Italy. While in Italy someone tells her to visit a certain pizzeria in Naples. He claims it's the best pizza in Naples. The author then goes on to explain that the best pizza in the world is found in Italy. The best pizza in Italy is found in Naples, and the best pizza in Naples is found at this certain pizzeria. That makes the pizza she is about to experience the best pizza in the world! She tries it and has this to say about it.

"So Sofie and I have come to Pizzeria de Michele, and these pies we have just ordered - one for each of us- are making us lose our minds. I love my pizza so much, in fact, that I have come to believe in my delirium that my pizza might actually love me, in return. I am having a relationship with this pizza, almost an affair. Meanwhile, Sofie is practically in tears over hers, she's having a metaphysical crisis about it, she's begging me, "Why do they even bother trying to make pizza in Stockholm? Why do we even bother eating food at all in Stockholm?"

Tonight we decided to order pizza. We have a Dominoes, a Pizza Hut and a Little Caesars that will deliver to our house. We chose to order from Little Caesars, and after the great description of the pizza in Naples all I can say is that I ate one bite of what was probably the worst pizza in the world. I have never liked pizza in Turkey. It is terrible. They put very little tomato sauce on it and no spices. The pizza comes with a spice packet that says it includes oregano, garlic, salt, sugar, onion, and red pepper. I guess if I want flavorful pizza I have to add the spices myself.

I pulled off the cheese to show you how much sauce is on the pizza. I couldn't even get the cheese off of the top part of this pizza because it was glued to the bread! Notice the two tiny spots of tomatoey substance. Yum!

The spice packet. I know in America pizzas sometimes come with red pepper packs or parmesan packs. Not here...the ingredients were written on the back and it seriously included all of the above mentioned things. You can even order your pizza from some places with oregano as an ingredient. "I'd like a three topping pizza. Yeah, let me have one with cut up hotdogs, whole kernal corn, and oregano." Seriously!

I know that in the states the pizza is much better than it is here...more flavorful for sure. I did enjoy it a few times when I was there. But something about the description of pizza in Naples just calls to me. I so want to love pizza. I guess I'll have to go to Naples. Sigh

Thought provoking...

Wanting to write and I am writing. But just not on my blog. I'm also in a reading mood. So since I am in a writing and reading mood I thought I would share some of the things I am loving about both of them.

Quotes I've read recently that resonate with me...

Many might have failed beneath the bitterness of their trial had they not found a friend.

One is taught by experience to put a premium on those few people who can appreciate you for what you are.

When a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it.

Few delights can equal the mere presence of one whom we trust utterly.

You cannot see your reflection in running water, only in still water.

You are always digging in the past or poking at the future, but rarely do you rest in this moment.

Just as there exists in writing a literal truth and a poetic truth, there also exists in a human being a literal anatomy and a poetic anatomy. One, you can see; one, you cannot. One is made of bones and teeth and flesh; the other is made of energy and memory and faith. But they are both equally true.

And phrases that I've used recently...
comfortable complete total togetherness

conversations of consequence

being economical with the truth

And then there are several others that I still need to process...not sure I can share those!

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I'm on Facebook. Natalie Dixon in the Houston network...of course there may be more than one Natalie Dixon in Houston, but my picture is there. I've gotten a few emails lately asking about it...so there you go...all who are interested...

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Two nights ago we had spicy beef for dinner. It is Brian's absolute favorite. Spicy beef is just a beef roast cooked in a crock pot with a jar of pickled peppers poured over it. The meat is shredded and served on a bun with cheese. So easy! The kind of peppers you buy determines how spicy the beef actually is. Here are a few videos of our family enjoying the the spicy beef...

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Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Share Photos - Free Video Hosting

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Share Photos - Free Video Hosting

Friday, November 09, 2007

Pictures from downtown

A simitci...seller of simits and other baked breads. You can find soft rolls filled with olives, cheese, or potato; sesame seed covered pretzel like breads...these are simits, and other bread items.

A florist shop...there was a whole row of these. There are fresh cut flowers all over the place downtown. They are very inexpensive. I think I should treat myself to flowers every once in a while...hmmmm....not a bad idea!

I was crossing over the street on a footbridge and decided to take a picture of all the taxis waiting at the light.

Two different restaurants...the top picture shows beef stacked on a spit and the bottom one shows chicken stacked the same way. The meat is sliced off and served on bread like a sandwich or over rice.

Friday prayers

This morning I went downtown to pay a couple of bills. I went in the underground metro station/mall/bill paying place. It was almost time for the Friday call to prayer. This is the biggest one of the week. In the mosques the imam "preaches" or reads a sermon like thing and then everyone does their prayers. Because the mosque that is located in the metro is quite small on Fridays they put rugs down all over the metro floor for men to use. They broadcast the sermon over the loudspeaker. I had my camera with me so I took a few pictures.

The rugs being put down for the men to kneel on.

Some men listening to the sermon.

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I took this video while trying to act like I was just holding the camera. You can see men kneeling and listening as well as others taking their shoes off to walk on the carpets. Shoes have to be off when you pray. I tried to take another picture, but right when I did a security guard jumped in the way. He told me it was yasak/forbidden to take pictures in the metro at any time. I knew this already but tried to act surprised when he told me. I showed him the picture I just took of him and deleted it which made him happy. Little did he know that I had already taken these others! I wanted to get some video of the actual prayers happening, but I decided not to push my luck. I figured if I got caught again they might take my camera away, and I can't handle life here without my camera!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

For Tamara

See the original post here. Still makes me laugh!


1. Bags...I love them...I buy them...I need them. Different sizes for different purposes. I'm not really a purse person. I don't own purses...I own bags.

Not my style...although I'm sure it is highly functional.

This is more my style...it's functionality is obvious.

2. Shoes...I love shoes. I own many pairs. But, I find myself wearing the same ones over and over. Again...not really girly looking shoes. Of course I want cute shoes...but they have to be functional as well...I walk a lot here! And I don't own any strappy sandals. I have bought them to have just in case, but inevitably they end up in Erica's room.

3. Jackets...almost any kind. I usually have to try on several before I decide which one fits the mood and outfit of the day. I plan to buy at least one more while in the states at Christmas.

4. Baby powder. Being in a culture where deodorant is optional I have become addicted to this stuff. I have been on too many buses and minibuses with those who have decided to forgo deodorant and hence have made the decision to never smell like that myself. Deodorant, body spray and baby powder are staples in my beauty regimen.

More to come later.


What? Is it really possible that I didn't write a post yesterday? What was I thinking? I had all kinds of stuff to write about I'm sure.

First, let me just say that my super-cool friend Kristina called yesterday. Made my day! And now I am even more excited about going back to the states for Christmas...party!

Next, I should inform you that I am making a list of things I want to do. A life wish list of sorts...things I've always wanted to do but couldn't because I was at home with small children and things I've recently decided sound interesting. Don't be surprised if you see me doing something that may seem out of character for me....I promise it isn't if you know me...and it's been brewing a long time!

Finally...wait...hmmmm...there should be a finally...
Oh, I have had diet coke once since I quit...and I drank a full liter bottle myself. And it was really yummy, but that was last Friday and I haven't had anymore since then. Ok...glad to get that off my chest!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Words excite me. What words mean and how we use them to get our point across is thrilling to me. The way the right combination of words makes me feel is something I have trouble putting into my own words. I am often at a loss for words. I know this may seem surprising to those of you who've heard my unending vomit of the mouth at times...but it's true. When I'm in that state I feel completely unable to use my brain to form sentences that make sense....like someone has opened my head and is stirring my thoughts with a long-handled spoon...making them go round and round, mixing them up, until you can't distinguish one from another. That feeling is overwhelming...a word I use a lot. I could say overpowering or mind-boggling, but I like overwhelming. It engulfs me...ooooh...I like that word, too!

Last night I was talking to a friend on the phone. This friend is writing a book...or at least I hope it will one day be a book. Because I have a vested interest in the story she has been sending me bits and pieces as she finishes them...all in rough rough draft form. Amazing...can I say that? Does it really convey all that I feel about this story? Maybe I should say spectacular, wonderful, stupendous...but none of these words explain what I feel she is doing. The characters are close to my heart. Recognizable even. The way she has them interacting with one another...the uncertainty felt in their moments of need, the truth spoken through their actions, the way they stand up for and stick with each other is amazing...phenomenal, remarkable, breathtaking. Again...no words to say what I feel and think. And the marvelment is that she makes me feel all these things with her words... so powerful.

(I have to say that the word marvelment isn't found in my dictionary. I looked it up online after I used it just to see what it said and I couldn't find a definition. I love where I used it and am not changing my sentence because I can't find a proper definition and grammatical explanation. I like what it says. By the way I have dictionary.com on my favorites list on my computer...geeky I know, but again...it's words. And I must say that by adding this long postscript to my original post I feel as though I took away from what I was originally saying...took away from my words. Now that you're done reading this part please reread the original post and walk away.)

Monday, November 05, 2007

And another thing...

If you want me to put a link to your blog on my blog let me know. I have several friends who aren't comfortable with it so I am hesitant to add anyone. (Derya, I added you...I figured you would be ok with it.) Let me know. And I am ok with anyone putting a link to my blog on theirs...just in case you wondered.

Blog friends

I've mentioned in previous blog posts that I love reading other peoples' blogs. I have many friends who have blogs, and it is so fun for me to be able to catch up on their lives through their blogs. That is important since I'm way over here on the other side of the world from most of them! Something else I've done while visiting friends' blogs is click on the links to blogs my friends recommend. By doing this I've discovered a couple of blogs that I now visit directly. One of them is blog that I enjoy reading, but the posts are very infrequent and comments aren't enabled so I am just a lurker. The other is a blog that is funny, fluffy, thought provoking, sometime crass, and highly entertaining. I lurked for a while and then a question in the form of a blog post was asked by the blog's author. "Do you prefer Cheez-its or Cheese Nips?" I felt compelled to respond. This person didn't know me, but did that really matter in the grand scheme of cheese cracker survey results? No. As long as I wasn't a relative of someone who worked for or stood to make money from either company my opinion was just as valid to the survey as anyone else's. So I gave my response...Cheez-its all the way, baby! Several posts later I felt the need to respond again. So I did. And since then I've commented on various other topics. The blog author's interest was peaked when through a comment I invited her to Istanbul to help satisfy her dream of traveling to Europe. (She hasn't taken me up on my offer...yet!) Since then she's looked at my blog and made comments as well. And then yesterday I was tired, hadn't slept well for a couple of days, but had to be awake, so I read her blog. Her newest post intrigued me so I did some research and then made a comment. She commented back with a request that excited me. I was telling Erica, who is 14, about this and she said, "I thought you said we weren't allowed to talk to people online that we don't know." Oh, yeah. I don't know this girl. So funny to me. But I do have to say she seems like a pretty open book on her blog. She seems to just say what she thinks, how she feels about things with nothing to hide, and I love that. Maybe because it reminds me of myself. You read stories about my kids, my days, my thoughts, my frustrations...almost everything that goes through my head makes an appearance in some form or another on my blog. My readers get the good, the bad, and the ugly. Just telling it like it is.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


There are times lately that I've felt like I am going crazy...too much running through my head. So to make light of the situation I decided to look up other ways to say that. Here's what I found.

head case, whacko city, unglued, have a loose screw, loose in the upper story, schizzed-out, flippo, nobody's home, one sandwich short of a picnic, belt doesn't go through all the loops, don't have both oars in the water, out of my tree, totally baked, in the ozone, over the edge, crackers, off my rocker, missing a few marbles, bats in the belfry, not playing with a full deck, off the wall, off my hinges, cuckoo, not all there, round the bend, bonzo, mad as a hatter, squirrelly, cutting out paper dolls, leak in the think tank, yo-yo, crazy as a coot, off the trolley, mad as a March hare, dotty, snakes in my head, nutsy, out of my gourd, flipped my lid, snapped, sickie, gaga, daffydill, bughouse, missing a few buttons, touched in the head, banana pie, out to lunch, loose in the bean, and my personal favorite...bonkus in the konkus.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

True Story

This morning Anna Grace surprised me when she yelled these words..."MOM, The cat just peed in the toilet!" What? She, Anna Grace, walked in the bathroom to brush her teeth and discovered the cat sitting on the toilet seat. I have noticed the cat sitting on the toilet seat quite a bit lately, but I never really thought about why she was sitting there. I never went in to investigate. Well, Anna Grace happened to walk in while Pugly was actually peeing. Her screaming when she realized what was going on caused Pugly to jump off the toilet and run out of the bathroom. I went in and yes...the toilet had been peed in. The funny thing is that I've noticed pee in the toilet several times and wondered who wasn't flushing well enough. The water wasn't tinted enough for it to be a human bladder's worth of pee. I honestly thought someone was flushing the toilet, but not making sure that it was flushed all the way...which can happen here with the way the toilets flush. But it was happening more and more which seemed strange. Why would someone would all of a sudden not flush well? I guess since the litter box is on the balcony and the balcony door has been closed more often since the weather has been cooler Pugly decided to take care of things herself. Now if she would just poop in the toilet and teach Daisy (the other cat) to do the same I could get rid of that litter box!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Oceans and Straws

I just read something that I have to share...

I've often said that there are times I feel so full, but I can't get anything out. I want to write, but for some reason I have trouble getting my thoughts to make sense...they don't flow well. Well I was reading the blog of a friend of a friend of a friend....I think...and they said that there were times that they wanted to write but couldn't manage to put anything down on paper. They said it was

"like pushing the ocean through a straw".

I love that word picture. I'll remember that the next time I sit here and stare at my computer screen in agony...my mind filled with an oceanful of thoughts that I can't do anything with!


I had to post a picture of me and Liz. Liz is one of the most creative people I know. She paints, collects pictures of doors, makes the most amazing food, and just basically comes up with some fun and crazy ideas. She is the one who painted the shirts with my friend, Derya's, face on them. I am tempted to have her help me make shirts with my face on them to hand out to all my friends. So who's interested in having a picture of me on a shirt? You know you want one!


This is Jeannie, and she lives across the street from me. She is my movie watching buddy. If she is in the mood to watch a movie or if I am in the mood to watch something we call each other to make a plan. The plan is for that moment or sometime in the next couple of hours...spontaneous movie watching. I love that!

I can also stand on my balcony and see if her bedroom light or office light is on. I have been known to call her at midnight just for fun. Hey, she was awake...her light was on! She has caller id and always knows it's me. She can't hide from me...especially at midnight! She has an apartment mate now so I'll have to think twice about those middle of the night calls...

Christmas 2004

Our family went to America for Christmas of 2004. One of the things I really wanted to do while we were there was have a gingerbread house decorating contest with my siblings. I organized this event, bought all the graham crackers and made the icing for everyone to use. The only rules were that everything had to be edible and each couple had to bring whatever candy or decorations they wanted to use. We had so much fun! Here are the results of our contest.

Brian and I made a castle. We figured it was somewhat Turkish even though it didn't really look like the castle in Ankara!

John and Michelle made a log cabin complete with a wishing well. Very cute!

Vanessa and Jeremy made a tree house that didn't survive long enough to be photographed. We did find it amusing that the builder in the family had his creation collapse on him.

Matt and Paige made a semi which shouldn't have surprised us a bit! Matt always loved those trucks as a kid!

My parents were the judges of the contest and they chose Matt and Paige's truck hands down over the other creations. It was really creative. I have some close up pictures of all of our creations, but wanted to share the creators with you as well. If you are interested in seeing better pictures let me know and I'll send you a copy!

We have been with family for Christmas in 2005 and 2006, but I never could convince them to do this again. So, I'm branching out. What do you say, t, up for a gingerbread house building contest? Couples against couples...or we could always let the husbands draw for new wives/partners like at our Scene It game night.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Anna Grace

Anna Grace, videographer extraordinaire, has been doing lots of filming lately. She was sick all day Monday with some tummy trouble so I had her stay home on Tuesday so she could get some strength back. She filmed all kinds of things all day long. She filmed herself watching tv with a play by play on what was happening. She did a tour of our apartment. She filmed herself opening the boys' underwear drawer. And I could go on and on. Here is a short video she took of me...one of many of me she took that day. It made me laugh, because she has a lot of work to do before she can become a real videographer. Someone buy that girl a tripod!

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