Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Doing Istanbul

This past weekend my parents were in Istanbul for one day. They are currently on a cruise, and their shore excursions happened to be in Istanbul so we made the drive over to spend the day with them. Surprisingly I didn't take pictures. Or well...I only took one picture.

This one. I loved the trunk of this tree. I loved the way it looked camouflaged. Really pretty.

Then I put the camera away and didn't care a bit about taking other pictures. Not sure why...probably the mood I have been in lately. But Anna Grace did want to take pictures. She took my camera while we were visiting the Hagia Sophia and snapped away. Just today I uploaded those pictures and found this.

Totally cracked me up.

Then on the way back to Ankara we ran into a little traffic. And when I say traffic I mean that the cars weren't moving at all. There was obviously a problem up ahead.

And men started getting out of cars. There was basically a party happening in the middle of the freeway.

Oh...and Anna Grace had to pee.

We knew there was a Burger King up ahead at some point so she was given the option of sitting in the car and waiting until the traffic started moving, getting out of the car and walking to Burger King, or peeing on the side of the road.

Did I mention that there were people all over the side of the road?

She decided that we could walk to Burger King. We got out and traipsed down the freeway, weaving in and out of men. There were a few covered ladies sitting in the grass but mostly there were men. I know the sight of three blond-haired kids (Erica chose to stay in the car with Brian) and their mother walking down the freeway turned a few heads. But press on we did. For a mile. The traffic started moving again when we were almost at the entrance to the Burger King. Brian pulled into the parking lot just as we did. By that point we all needed to go to the bathroom. We also ate dinner. And went to the bathroom again just to be on the safe side.

Nothing like the adventures of traveling in Turkey.


When we visited France a couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to visit the country/principality of Andorra. While driving through Andorra la Vella we passed by a waterfall. I didn't get a good look at it. It might not have been much. It might have been man made. I wanted to turn around and go back and see it, but we were a long way from home and needed to keep driving. I was told there would be more waterfalls along the drive home. There weren't. Since returning home I have wondered what that waterfall looked like. I wish I knew.

I love waterfalls. But not just any waterfall. I like being able to see the top and the bottom of the waterfall. Tall waterfalls are nice, but somewhat overwhelming and noisy. I have never seen Niagara Falls. I'm sure it is a spectacular sight, but it isn't what I think of when I think of a waterfall. I like simple. Small. Beautiful.

Since I have been thinking a lot about waterfalls lately I decided to search the internet for pictures of waterfalls. I also wondered how many songs have been written with lyrics about waterfalls. Let me tell you...the list was endless. Here are a few of my findings. Things that make me wistful.

photo credit

Don't go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to.


Something's going down like a waterfall
Some strong feelings, some old love
I saw you and it made no sense at all
Now I feel like there's too much caffeine in my blood.


And your boat goes by, down to the waterfall
And the time goes by, like trees on the riverbanks
And your time rushing by, down to the waterfall.


Stands on shifting sands
The scales held in her hands
The wind it just whips her and wails
And fills up her brigantine sails

She'll carry on through it all
She's a waterfall.


Under the waterfall
Under the waterfall
Under the waterfall it’s cool and cold and clear.


I'm the frozen ground, you're the warm sunlight
Shining down on me, baby just in time
Well I have never been in a love like this
Oh, you move my soul every time we kiss
And I love how you heal;
I can't believe how alive I feel.

You're a waterfall, washing over me
I'm a thirsty man let me drink you in
Well I am on my way,
You're a mountain top
When I reach for you, your love lifts me up
All that I want is to be
Where you are.

So yeah...a little melancholy, but at least I wrote something! Kinda.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I may not be able to write. The words in my head may be all muddled together, but I am still here. Reading blogs, commenting, and twittering some. I am not disappearing. Just taking a little break so that I can come back with a clearer head. While I might not be able to write there are some bloggers out there who are doing a fine job of it. Today I read Jennifer's latest post at Thursday Drive. It was beautifully written. So for today I will let her words speak for me.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I'm not going to be posting for a bit. I know I said I had stuff to post from France, but truthfully I just can't at this point. My trip was an amazing experience, but when I got home I was hit hard with life. I knew it was going to happen...even expected it, but I didn't expect to feel so incapacitated. I don't know how long I will be gone. Don't worry though. I will be back. I just have to concentrate on breathing right now.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A smile

Pictures from my trip that make me smile.

Brian showing off his sandals with socks. He managed to pack socks for our overnight trip but forgot his shoes. Since it was cold he decided to just go with the sock/sandal look.

Mentanna managed to remember socks and shoes, but her socks were not really the right type of socks to wear with dress shoes. And one of her socks had a hole in it. And when I say hole I mean there was really no heel to the sock at all. And no elastic. Why she still even owned this pair of socks was beyond me. The sock kept slipping down on her foot. After fixing it several times she decided to just remove the sock. Here she is showing off her one sock wearing style. Yep...I was the only one wearing normal footwear. Someone had to look good.

Brian had a little too much San Pelegrino. For those who don't know that's just sparkling water.

Mentanna trying to storm the castle.

Some storm troopers actually paying to storm the castle. Actually these were bikers...in full biker regalia. They were so decked out that they actually made noise as they walked.

In the window of a massage parlor. I love how they have the Asian barbie giving the blonde barbie a massage. Totally cracked me up.

Mentanna marching on the Roman road.

Brian wanted me to take a picture of this tower. Then proceeded to jump in the picture when I was snapping.

Mentanna getting in on the tower action. I believe she jumped in singing "Stop in the name of love, before you break my heart."

Brian just compared himself to a pile of poop sitting on a wall and totally cracked Mentanna up.

Thanks for smiling with me.

Friday, September 19, 2008

some pictures

I am suffering from a cold and cough so while I recover my posts will be short and mostly pictures. So many pictures from our trip. I promise not to bore you with them for long.

While in France we took a little road trip. We saw some beautiful places and countryside. These pictures are of the fortified city of Carcassonne. There were shops and restaurants all throughout the city. For some reason I didn't take pictures of those.

I think there was a smudge on the camera lens. Several of my pictures have a blurry spot right in the middle.

These pictures are of the never-ending vineyards we passed on our trip. I had to ask to pull over so I could get up close and personal with the grapes. Truly beautiful.

Ok. More later.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We're back.

Well we are home. Back in Turkey. Exhausted. But we had a great time visiting our friends. An amazing time. So much fun. So much driving. So much seeing. Yesterday before we left I realized something. I took lots of pictures while I was in France. Pictures of...

Door knockers,

Stones in the road,


Bamboo in the park,

Mentanna being silly,

Brian being silly,


And so much more.

Then I realized that I didn't have any pictures of me and Mentanna together. So despite the fact that neither one of us had showered we participated in a photo shoot. Brian took the camera and the following silliness ensued. As you can tell from the blurriness of some of these pictures there was much laughter. So for today...as I try to recover from my post-trip exhaustion I will leave you with these.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My obsession

Still in France. Thought I would share an obsession I seem to have...

Friday, September 12, 2008


Ahhh...I'm in France. Away from the early morning Ramadan drummer. I haven't heard the call to prayer once since I've been here! I have heard some church bells though. It was a beautiful sound. I haven't had to fix my kids lunches for school for the past three days. That is one chore I don't miss. I don't have to help them with their homework. I don't have to type the password on the computer so they can check their email. I don't have to cook dinner. I can sleep in if I want. And the best part...I get to eat as much pork as I want. I'm living high on the hog as my grandmother would say. Literally. Five more days of no responsibilities. Five more days of carefree living. Five more days of pork. Ahhhh...

Monday, September 08, 2008

A well-refined French experience...again.

Since I am running around crazy trying to get ready for my trip to France I don't have time to blog. Actually that's not true. I'm sure I could come up with some sort of fluff to post about, but when I sit down my mind is thinking about the fact that I am leaving my kids for a week and do they have enough clean underwear and where in the heck are their passports if they were to need to get out of the country quick like? So since all that mumbo jumbo would make up a jumbled post of nonsense I thought I would repost a story from my last trip to France. It still makes me laugh. Originally posted on Oct. 9, 2007.

The night Mentanna and I had the light French meal I offered to go buy the baguette we would be eating. I asked for specific directions to the bakery knowing how easily I get lost if I'm not paying attention. My direction sensors must have been on already because she told me it was a 10 minute walk close to where we had walked two days before, and I knew exactly how to get there. So after a little scribble of a map was made I set out. I didn't take the map with me knowing I knew exactly where to go. I know, I know...most of you are thinking I got extremely lost...I've set it up that way. The reality is I found the shop with no problems whatsoever. What happens next is what flustered me. I walked into the shop, confident in my bonjour, and saw the baguettes in a basket behind the counter. I realized that I had no idea how to say one baguette in French. I guess I expected to be able to pick it up myself. The nice lady at the store said something to me. I have no idea what. I held up one finger...my pointer finger then quickly switched to my thumb because I had a dim memory from my last trip to France (2 years and 9 months ago) of Mentanna telling me that in France the thumb was one. I said "baguette" and gave the lady the thumbs up sign...which I now know wasn't exactly accurate...it's more a thumb to the side gesture. I'm sure she was thinking "yabanci" which is Turkish for "you're not from around these parts are you?" or whatever the equivalent is in French. She gave me my baguette and told me how much it cost. Again I had no idea what she said, but Mentanna told me before I left that it would be less than a Euro. I took a Euro out of my pocket, put it on the counter and watched the lady try to figure out how much change she needed to give me. I saw her staring at the coin with a confused look on her face. I looked at the coin and noticed Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey, staring back at me. Ooops...that would be a lira...not a Euro. I didn't even realize I had lira in my pocket. I pulled out another coin. Again, Ataturk graced it's face. Oh no...did I have any Euro? Thankfully I found a 2 Euro coin and paid with that. By that point I didn't know how to say thank you or goodbye in French. My 5 French words had escaped me. The nice lady said something else to me so I just smiled, turned Asian on her and backed out the door bowing several times, because I had no idea what else to do. I walked back to Mentanna's house giggling the whole way. I'm sure that several people I passed and the lady waiting at the crosswalk with me wondered what was funny and if I was in my right mind. Fun times! Good memories!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

My weekend went to the dogs

Well...not really. I am having a good weekend. I just realized when I was loading the pics from my camera that so far I've spent the weekend with the dogs.

Friday - We went to a friend's house for dinner. These street dogs were hanging out in the vacant lot across the street from their apartment. We have quite a few of these guys by our house as well. We have been chased and barked at by these poor animals. They really should be gathered up and euthanized, but nobody asked my opinion on the subject. They are gathered up every now and then and taken in to be neutered and tagged. Then they truck them back out and drop them off where they found them. Crazy I know.

Saturday - We went to a birthday party for a kid in Jacob's class. His family has base privileges so we got some yummy American goodies. Yes this is my plate of food. No, I couldn't eat it all. I ate the hot dog with relish, ketchup, and mustard first then could barely take a bite of the chili cheese dog. And that dog had cheese in it. It was quite disappointing! Oh well.

This cute little girl was there celebrating the birthday with us. My kids had to all hold her and talk about how much they wanted a dog. They even had a little puppy pack-n-play for her to sleep in. She is only 6 months old so she sacked out after all the excitement!

I know I haven't been posting as much. The Over-Thinker even said she misses me. Awww...how sweet. I promise I will try to step it up some. It may be another couple of weeks before I get regular again though. Brian and I will be heading to France to visit friends on Wednesday, and I'm pretty sure there won't be much time for blogging. After that I am going to be running around crazy trying to pack up this place to go back to the states. I'm sure I will look forward to the distraction of blogging!