Hoşgeldiniz to 2013

Welcome to the New Year!  I hope everyone had safe and happy New Years celebrations.  Bülent and I have been so busy lately that we welcomed the New Year from bed, where we had been snuggling and watching movies.  It worked for me!  Start the New Year as you mean to continue right?  I am sure many people are thinking about New Year Resolutions and how to make changes.  I think I am just going to continue the journey I started several months ago, trying to appreciate the good, and live a more balanced life.

It has been a difficult year.  This day last year I was packing my bags to go back to the U.S.  I  had taken a leave of absence due to my father’s health and was supposed to head back at the end of the semester in late January.  I had spoken to my family a couple of days before and I had decided to change my plane ticket on December 30.  It was expensive to change a ticket two days before the flight, but it was the best decision I ever made.  My father’s funeral was on the original date in January on which I was supposed to arrive. 

I had taken the semester off and my school had hired someone to take my place, so I stayed in N.H., grieving and healing with my family.  It was difficult to be separated from my husband for six months, but has changed our relationship for the better.  We are stronger and more united, we know there is nothing we wouldn’t do to help the other…been there, done that.  We have now had bad and trying times and just love each other more for our individual responses to them. 

My time in the U.S. last year was very precious to me.  It allowed me to spend time with my mother while she needed me, and while I needed her.  I was able to get to know my brother as the man he is now, as opposed to the boy he was when I left.  I was also able to get to know his long time girlfriend, who is as lovely inside as she is out.  I went to my college roommate’s wedding and celebrated her happiness with her, and our college friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in five years.   I drove from Texas to New Hampshire, meeting Bülent’s dearest old friends, and visiting mine along the way.   I also went to BlogHer ‘12!

My oldest and dearest friend made me an Auntie—albeit in a terrifying way.  Due to her daughter’s insistence to make a (extremely early) entrance I was able to meet her in the NICU before I came back to Turkey.  

Health wise: Bülent and I went vegetarian (almost six months now) and I joined a gym a few months ago.  The breast lumps have been vanquished—well not vanquished but at least identified as benign.  To top it all off, our dog, Butterfinger, is not letting cataracts get her down.   

The year has been challenging and rewarding.  I am hoping that this next year will be easier, because we kind of need a break.  But we are starting the year off right.  Last year my dad wanted to take our family on a last vacation, a cruise, due to his limited mobility, but he died before we were able.  

Well, we are taking that fucking cruise.  Come January break, my mom, brother and I are going to go.  We are going to celebrate what was, what is and what is to come, because that is what life is all about.  So 2013—bring it on!

Butterfinger—Clearly Beloved

Our darling Butterfinger.  She is the best dog ever.  Seriously.


We can walk her at 5 pm on Friday and not walk her until 2 pm Saturday.  That’s right, our ten year old terrier lets us slept in, make and eat brunch, read the paper THEN walk her.  Well, we always kept up on her medical care, but sometimes it was really difficult, vaccinations and vets are very expensive.  Especially when the vet said she had to have her teeth cleaned.  In the U.S. to have her anesthetized, antibiotics and her teeth cleaned was about $400.  Yikes!

Well things became a lot simpler, AND CHEAPER, when we moved to Turkey.  One thing is that she now has a carne (a book) of shots.  Every time she has a vaccination, which seems more frequent, they put the sticker from the medicinal vial in her book, which makes it very simple to see what vaccines she has received, even if we switched vets.  She has a lot of vaccinations here, but I think there may be more fungal vaccinations here that aren’t in the States, but the shots are rarely more than 20 Liras($15).

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There is also the customer service.  A while back Butterfinger was bitten by another dog (bitch!—no really!) in the park.  We went, they shaved her hair around the bites and cleaned her wounds—all for no charge.  I can take her in any time to get her nails trimmed—no charge.

Well, at our last vaccination appointment the vet told us we should get her teeth cleaned again, she was starting to  get gingivitis.  So we said ok, how much will it cost… He said, “Well, about 100 lira, plus anesthetic, and after she might need antibiotics…so maybe 150 liras–worst case.” ($75-100) Sounds good to us, since the last time we blew half a month of rent on her teeth!  Clearly we want the best for her, but sometimes when it is really expensive it is difficult.  We don’t have children yet, for a reason.  We are not ready.  But we do have Butterfinger, and she is our responsibility.  We would always provide the medical treatments she needs but we  are glad it is easier, and less expensive,  to give her the top treatments here.

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Cute but Cursed


This is Butterfinger.  She is cute, but fate hates her!  Because she is not human, though she thinks she is, she needs at least two walks a day.  We try to take her out for at least two half hour walks a day.  But lately she has been screwed.  I am telling you, it can be sunny all day and then when I put on her leash it starts to pour.  A few weeks ago I took her out and I swear there were hurricane force winds.  Car alarms were being triggered by this wind.

Today it was a little gray and then the sun came out.  I took her out for a walk, it was a little cool.  It had been warm and lovely for days.  So today when I took her for her evening walk I grabbed my coat.  And wouldn’t you know the second we stepped outside it stated to  rain. Not a problem.   We persevered.  But the rain started to come sidewise and it was very cold.  Butterfinger herself decided to turn around and come back.  by the time we cam back she looked like a drenched rat and my glasses were all frosted and my nose was red.

That poor dog.  Every time the sky looks grey, all it takes to unleash the wrath of the sky is to take out her leash.