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!

Oh I Love Me A Generator!

When I was 10 my mom and dad picked my brother and me up from school one day in January.  They told us we were going to the city to buy a generator.  Since we had been out of power for a week, we cheered!  We have gone a long way from that glorious day and  that pull start generator that provided enough electricty for a couple of rooms.  We have a dedicated one that turns on automatically when we lose power.  And it is awesome.  Tonight my mom said there might be a storm, and asked us to roll the kayaks over so they would not be filled with water.  We were on our way when the wind rushed in like a train.


The rain fell hard and fast and the wind was a gustin’, just the way we like.   We love the fierceness and the sound of the storm, but we love the generator too!


I’m almost there!  After two years of chipping away, my Masters program will be ending in a couple of weeks!   I have loved being challenge and learning new skills and methodologies in TESL, but I am ready to have more time to study Turkish and blog.  With the past few months difficulty in blogging aside, it has been difficult to work all day, come home, do homework, then blog.  Many times after teaching all day, doing my own coursework, grading my students’ homework and cooking dinner there really wasn’t enough time or energy to sit down and create a post.

Now that I have three courses finishing up in two weeks, I am crazy busy.  I have been spending most of my time inside chained to a computer.  I am excited for my “summer” to start!  I want to go running and hiking.  I really want to go to the beach—swim a little and catch some sun.  Considering it is July, it is a little sad that I am still this white!


Yeah. With the amount of work I have to do in the next few days my face still looks pretty much like that.

Tales from the Sticks: Not a Carjacking

So this weekend I had some friends come visit me.  One was from Orange County in California and one was from Phoenix, Arizona.  They now live in the big, bad city of Worcester, Massachusetts.   For those of you not from New England it is pronounced “WooStah” not “Worchester.”  I did something this weekend that shocked them.  As in they would only do it with a gun to their head, a.k.a. carjacking.

If we haven’t established it yet, my family’s home in New Hampshire is in the woods, boondocks, sticks,etc.   So, with my city friends in the car, we were on our way home from a larger town, you know…one with stores.  On one of the  back roads on the way back (this one was paved—clearly civilized) I stopped on the side of the road to offer assistance to a broken down car.  His car was pulled up on the side, his hood up.  I pulled up, lowered the window and asked if he needed help.  Sometimes your cell phone is in a black hole, and depending on your provider you may need to drive a few miles for service.

When your car breaks down and you have to hoof it for service to call for help, it makes a nasty day more horrible.  This is why in the winter we carry several down blankets in all of the cars. In case we  need to not freeze to death while waiting for assistance.

This man did not need help, he had already called AAA.  So I wished him a better day than he was already having, and went on my way.  Meanwhile my friends were horrified. They never would have stopped.  Now, if I hadn’t had a full car I would have made sure the doors were locked, and the windows were down enough to talk, but not enough to bust through.  I may be a country girl, but am not a potential victim.  Also, I carry pepper spray.  And though I don’t like guns, I am from NH.  I don’t usually pack, but I know how to shoot a multitude of guns, and calibers.

Later my friends told me how surprised they were by my behavior, actually the term would be horrified.  But, that is what we do in the Sticks, you check on others, in the hope that if you ever need help—someone will offer it to you.  Most likely they will…this isn’t the city after all.  There you never know who will stop.  Yikes!

My Father, Dan

Born 1943-Died January 19, 2012 after a long and valiant battle with cancer.


Dan was a complex person, passionate about life and his family. He had a raucous sense of humor and a quick wit—he filled our lives with warmth and mirth. He fought for the best he could provide, for our family and our community. As a man of conviction, he may have butted heads with others along the way, but never let that get in the way of his integrity and honor. Despite the many hardships he’s encountered, he’s always been an adamant optimist. I think there are few people who could survive what he had and still be able to say that.

He was a fighter, when he was first diagnosed with cancer 15 years ago, he fought with a vengeance. I remember him telling me he just couldn’t leave when we were so little. I am grateful to him for that, that though I still feel “little,” I am now an adult who knows my own mind and heart, largely due to him.

He had a presence so huge that it is hard to imagine a world without him. I am grateful for every moment I had with him, and every memory I have for the future.



He will be missed.

I Take It Back

Exhaustion has hit, I tried to fight back, but it made me its bitch. We basically did not sleep all night between the planes and the layover. We made it to New Hampshire without ANY sleep at 12:30 EST, which was really 6:30 am Pacific Time. Neither of us are used to pulling all nighters since we escaped from college. We managed to make it to my parents house and slept for about three hours. So we got up at 4 pm and functioned normally until the CRASH came at about 9. We looked like a couple of octogenarians, drunk ones. We were staggering around, barely able to keep our eyes open. We fell into bed and slept for about 12 hours. And I am still tired. This makes me nervous. Very nervous.
When we fly to Turkey we are leaving at the ass-crack of dawn on the 17th… and I think we are arriving to Ankara Turkey on the 19th. Whoa!
I am going to focus on something positive. Like our going away party. It was a blast. We had such a good time, there was great food, great people, great music…What more could you need?

The answer would be a Belly Dancer

(Ironically, but not surprisingly, she was Mexican, not Turkish)