About Me

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Finally! The Fridge

I was planning to clean my fridge before I went on my vacation but that never happened. So, today, I cleaned it really thoroughly using vinegar, water and baking soda. The inside is made of anti-bacterial material. I took every item out, cleaned it from top to bottom and threw out all outdated sauces and things and washed all trays and shelves. I put everything back and arranged them nicely.

Next place of attack in the kitchen will be the spice cabinet and the rest of the cabinets and drawers. Mom and the cleaning lady have different ideas of placement. I need to re-arrange everything.

I cleaned the kitchen counters too. My kitchen looks really nice now and it will be deep cleaned by the cleaning lady in a few days.

I had been gifted a huge tea maker couple of years ago and I had no use for it. It is also taking up too much space. My sister was mentioning that they needed a new tea maker, I jumped in and told her I will give her mine. So, a lot of counter space is saved. Yay!

My sister and BIL are moving to their new apartment tomorrow. I will be seeing them on Thursday or Friday. This is a bigger apartment and the best thing is, they own it. Technically they have a 10 year mortgage but, the interest rate was very favorable so, it was a great deal.

I thought I was over my jet-lag but alas! I dozed off on the TV chair yesterday and woke up wide awake at 2:30 in the morning. Not good.

I still need to put some things away and pack a suitcase for my trip to Izmir, then to the Mediterranean. Mom is bored in Antalya so, I am guessing she will be heading back to Ankara and I will directly go to Ankara after my High School re-union. The Class of 84 gets together at a resort by the Mediterrenean for 2-3 days every year. I could not go last year but, I will this year.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

The vacation budget. How did I do?

I had set a certain budget for my vacation and despite the fact that I stayed longer and ended up buying a one-way ticket which was not budgeted, I managed to stay within my budget.

How? Well, due to the end of summer, there were many sales going on and I was careful with my shopping. I bought nothing unnecessary. The big devaluation of TL made it easy as well. Each time I did the math, I made a more conscious decision.

I stayed with my friends and we ate all breakfasts and some lunch and dinners at home. I cooked veggies 5-6 times Turkish style.

My friend did not want me to rent a car and I was able to drive one of their cars especially because the husband was not allowed to drive for 6 weeks due to multiple surgeries he had to have.

I did not want to pay for extra luggage and therefore, I kept my purchases under control based on weight as well.

I did treat my friends for a few lunches and dinners at nice places quiet a few times. (They did too).  I also did some grocery shopping.

I am very glad that I stayed longer to support my friends. I was able to do some sight seeing, spent time in NYC, relax, enjoy the pool and the hot tub, enjoyed the company of friends and family of my friends.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Brrrr! The summer is gone in one day!

When I arrived on Sunday, it was like 90 degrees Fahrenheit in Istanbul. It was also the same yesterday. Today? 60! There is a cold front coming down from the North Pole and the sun is nowhere to be seen. According to the reports, it will get up to 70s but no further.

I need to arrange my clothes so that I have warm things to wear soon.

I made chili today and I am so glad I did.

Still trying to put away stuff and shuffling clothes and sleeping in weird times.

I was originally going to stay in the US for two weeks but when my friend's hospital stay was prolonged, her wife told me she wished I could stay longer. I tried to change my ticket but it would cost an arm and a leg. So, I looked for one-way tickets and found a ticket with Aeroflot, the Russian airlines. I bought that ticket and ended up staying a month.

This way, I had some time to myself, some time to take care of my friends and run errands for them. It has been a very good stay. When my friend got out of the hospital, we even had opportunities to go out and celebrate his recovery on a number of occasions. I enjoyed the swimming pool and the hot tub and relaxed.

My friend and I binge watched Midsomer Murders while her husband watched his favorite talking heads. Lol!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Loong Trip and the Cop who pulled us over!

Here is the rest of the story to Michigan:

As we were leaving NYC, my friend was driving and I was chatting with her while her daughter slept at the back having taken some ZzzQuil. Somewhere in Pennsylvania, I offered to take the steering wheel. It was drizzling a little bit and was foggy up in the Poconos.

I had the car on Cruise Control and was on the middle lane. Suddenly the truck on the right lane decided to swerve in front of us. I do not know if the guy was sleepy or was trying to avoid something on the road. I immediately pushed the brakes and looked to my left and saw a car but had to swerve a little bit for a few seconds just to avoid the truck.

Lo and behold I see a police car behind me and pulled over. Mind you, I have lived in the US for over 3.5 years and don't know how many times I have been to the country in the last 28 years and never have been pulled over.

Anyhow, the policeman approached the passenger side window and started to speak to my friend while looking at my driver's license and the car rental agreement. He was friendly and wanted to make sure I wasn't falling asleep. He asked us where we were going and when we told him we were bringing a kid to school in Michigan,. He wanted to see the kid, talked to her and advised her to study hard. Then, he let us go. Well, I wasn't sleepy at all but after the episode, with the adrenalin rush, I was wide awake for quiet a while.

We kept exchanging the steering wheel every two hours and so and thus, managed to safely drive all the way. The last 6 hours in Michigan was so boring, we wanted to scream.

When we finally got to our destination, we checked into the hotel, showered and took her to the school to her orientation. After the orientation we emptied the car and helped her while she organized her dorm room. She wanted to stay in the dorm that night although her roommate did not show up that day. So, we left her and went out to shopping for small things she might need and had dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.

I decided to go to the sauna to shake the cold I had and both my friend and I probably fell asleep at 8 p.m. that night and slept like babies. Wonder why?

The next morning we woke up very well rested and decided to find out more about the campus and about Lake Superior. It was a nice and relaxing day.

Monday, September 24, 2018

I'm Back!

My vacation lasted longer than planned. I came back yesterday and am very tired.

As soon as I landed in NY, my friend's BIL met me at the airport and took me home. He and I had a nice time chatting and having lunch till my friend came to pick me up. She had rented a giant sized SUV to take her daughter to school up in Michigan and we went to put my name and driver's licence on the rental agreement.

Then, we went to visit her husband, my other friend who was at the hospital for a couple of hours. We then had dinner with my friend and her daughter at the hospital cafeteria and hit the road to Michigan. Yes, I know it is crazy but we were on a deadline for the daughter for her orientation.

The plan was to drive from NY, to Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. That is a 16 hour trip, if you do not stop. So, my first night was spent not on a bed but, in a boat sized SUV taking turns driving.

More on the driving experience tomorrow.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Blog Hiatus during vacation

I will not be posting during my vacation. This time, I am only taking my phone, no laptop, no tablet and posting with the phone is a hassle. Besides, I want to keep away from the media and social media as much as I can.

When I come back, I will write all about it, I promise.

I am leaving very early tomorrow morning. I have done the last few things I had to do. It was a very hot day to run errands and I just got home. I will rest for about an hour and then close my suitcase and be ready.

Goodbye for now!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

How was my last day at work and other stuff

If some of you may remember, last year we had lost a colleague. His wife's nephew was an intern at the time at our company who turned out to be a really sharp and nice young man. So, we hired him this year as a regular employee since he has finished College.

I had become friendly with his aunt, my colleague's wife, while he was still in the hospital and kept in touch with her after the funeral. 

Both the aunt and the nephew gifted me a really beautiful neck scarf which I loved very much. So, nice of them!

The team also got cheesecakes to say a final goodbye and we had some emotional time while I addressed them shortly. No, I didn't cry but my Technical Team Leader did. He also walked me to my car. Such a nice guy.

I sent the entire company a brief and humorous goodbye mail sharing my personal contact information.

Then I drove off towards the sunset. Lol! Well, not exactly. I came home and got rid of some clutter.

Today, the cleaning lady came and put things in order and I did many loads of laundry. Tomorrow, I will be ready to pack my suitcase.

I have some meat to use up before I leave along with some yogurt, cheese, red beet pickles, tomatoes and cucumbers. I am hoping to clean and wipe the fridge tomorrow too. 

There are a few things I must buy and I do not want to leave those to the last day. Tomorrow will be a busy Sunday.