Saturday, August 30, 2014

20 pounds of delicious local tomatoes....

So, I went to the Farmer's Market today and got 20 pounds of tomatoes. I came home, scrubbed them really well and started processing them in my food processor. I put 3 soup ladles full into ziplock bags, flatten them out and freeze them.

After I process everything, I will see if I need some more. These are the last days of local tomatoes. Later on, they will become tasteless, sigh...

Anyway, I think I am ready for cooler days and soups. I haven't had a soup since....... late May?

OK, got to work now.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Order! Please!

If stuff falls on you when you open a cupboard, you know it is time to organize that place or else...
There is a small cabinet in the kitchen which insists to keep open due to overflowing aluminum foil, cling wrap, sandwhich and garbage bags. I know it is not really full but, rather lacking organization.

Besides, I truly don't know if I am out of something like baking paper or if I have many boxes of aluminum foil that I barely use nowadays.

So, tomorrow's mini organization project is to attack that cabinet with a vengeance...

I also intend to vacuum the whole house and wash the bathroom and the kitchen floors tomorrow. I have a dentist appointment in the afternoon so, may be that is a bit of a stretch for my lazy (for house chores) self.

I have completed my report for tomorrow. It still needs to be edited and worked on but at least now it is a presentable first draft.

Now on this peaceful Sunday night, I am going to watch Arrow and sip tea.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pantry for the Fall

As the Fall is approaching, I got into the "preparing for the winter" mode again. I took inventory of my pantry to see what I needed and went to shopping yesterday. I was out of many baking supplies but, I had that let go since I do not bake at all during the summer. So, I bought baking supplies, canned tuna, rice, spices and pasta along with some other necessities.

Next weekend I intend to go the Farmer's Market to buy local tomatoes. I process them and use them for soups, stews and pasta sauce all winter. I also saute bell peppers and tomatoes to make a simple egg dish. This year, I think I will make a home made pasta sauce to freeze as well. Last year I had frozen beans and I still have two packs in the freezer. I think, it is wiser to use dry beans during the winter. Besides, the fishing ban will be lifted September 1st and I intend to buy lots of fish in season at good prices and freeze them so, I need freezer space for the fish.

It is still to hot to get into the Fall mode but, something in my brain has already switched...


Photo Courtesy of: http://all-free-download.com/

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Small lie...... but why?

A friend of mine has a hobby of designing jewelry. She is using nice semi-precious stones and mostly silver accessories. She gifted me really nice necklace a while ago. That was a nice gesture and I am thankful for my necklace.

A few weeks after she gifted me the necklace, she was visiting me with her 8 year old daughter. My friend stepped outside to take a phone call and I was preparing tea and cake while her daughter was with me in the kitchen. I pointed to my necklace and asked her if she remembered the necklace her mom made for me just for small talk. She immediately said: "She didn't make it. She bought it." I was surprised but didn't say anything or ask further questions. I just let the thing go.

I am still wondering why she told me she made it. I would be equally happy and thankful if she had told me she saw the necklace and decided to get it for me.

I mean we all tell white lies; even if I am not feeling well, I usually tell mom I'm OK, sometimes I do not want to socialize so, when someone calls me to have a night out, I may say that I am not feeling well to go out just to avoid insistence and such...

However is this lie similar to those white lies? Or is it kind of different?

It is not something that would come between me and my friend since she is a really nice and thoughtful person but I am just wondering, why?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Laziness makes money fly off from your pockets...

I admit I have been overwhelmed with work and had been ordering food lately. Today just as I was going to order a sandwich and a chocolate muffin, I suddenly realized that I could buy food that would be worth many meals for the same amount of money and to prove my theory I walked to the grocery store.

I was going to get;

A large Original Schlotzky's Sandwich 16,90 TL
A chocolate muffin 5 TL
Total: 22,90 TL / USD 10,60

Instead I got;

Turkey Breast (enough for 4 sandwiches)
4 whole wheat rolls
1 salmon steak
A package of salt
1 avocado
A candy bar

Set me back a total of 23,60 TL / USD 10,92

Now that is five meals and a snack plus the salt that I needed.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Butterflies in my stomach...

I am designing a complicated process for a customer. There are 15 phases and I was hoping that I would be done by tomorrow night. Well, no such luck!

It turned out to be a way more complicated work and I have to read and go over many documents. Sometimes I must go back and re-write some of the stuff.

I also like to discuss my work with colleagues before we present it to the customer. So, today I woke up with butterflies in my stomach with minimal and stressful sleep. I immediately reached out to one of my colleagues to share the situation and learned that the customer meeting is postponed to Monday so I have more time to do a good job. Yay!

I must concentrate.... I must concentrate...

Thankfully the weather turned and it is nice and cool today so, it is easier to work at home.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Dentist

I had an appointment for a filling replacement today. It turned out to be two filling replacements and took the poor young dentist an hour and ten minutes. It was very tiring for me too because I had to keep my mouth open for so long.
The young lady dentist was very nice when I told her that I was very scared of root canals and that I suspected one of the teeth she was going to work on would end up a root canal. She assured me that technology and procedures are evolving and even if I needed a root canal she promised me absolutely no pain.

She also kindly suggested that I should get the implant I had been avoiding for years and recommended a surgeon at the same university hospital.

I have one more cavity that she needs to take care of so, I got an appointment for that and while I felt courageous enough I made an appointment with the surgeon. Yay me!

I paid USD 150.- for two fillings which were pretty big. One of them was like three fillings in one tooth. Their prices are very reasonable and I like the fact that this is a university hospital.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Such a hot summer!

Istanbul usually gets too hot during the last two weeks of July but even then, I do not feel it much when I am home. My apartment is strategically positioned so that my spare room gets some direct sunlight may be for a two hour window during the day. My living room, kitchen and bedroom never get direct sunshine. So, I have never needed an air conditioner. I have a portable fan that I used may be three summers in Istanbul during the last 14 years.

This year is different. It is so hot an humid that the fan works many hours during the day. It is almost mid-August and usually this is the time when we start sensing that fall is in the air. Not this year! I have trouble concentrating on my work so I think, I will go to a Starbucks where I can work comfortably with the air conditioner running.

Weather.com says it is 86 degrees fahrenheit and we feel it like 93! Yikes!

Just Thinking about life choices...

I consider myself a nice and outgoing person. I love my family and my friends. I hate debt and being dependent on someone.

I never got married. My ex-BFs were OK I guess, since all of them are happily (?) married for years now. Probably I am a difficult person to share a life with. I accept that.

Although my friends tell me that I am a very nice and thoughtful person, I consider myself a bit of a control freak. I also think, I am selfish. I need a very big space for myself. I never ever wanted to have kids. Mom recalls that even when I was eight years old, I would say that I would never marry and have kids. I am 48 now and I guess, I have been pretty consistent about the life I chose to live.

I had a very loving family and a great childhood so, my decision to never have a family of my own cannot be attributed to a bad childhood or a dysfunctional family. My parents were truly the best. I guess they did not raise me and my sis the traditional way. All we kept hearing was that a good education and being independent is the key to life and that we should always stand on our own feet. My sis is married because she does not like it alone but she and her husband decided not to have kids both due to some health issues and love of freedom. I cannot wrap my brain around living with other people. Mom comes to visit and stays for longer periods of time now that I am working part-time and even though I love her to the moon and back, I sometimes feel like I need my solitude.

Why am I rambling? Well, I am and avid reader of many PF blogs and Blogging Away Debt is one of them. One of the bloggers there has two kids of her own and two adopted kids plus 4 pets. She is a single mom and has some debt that she has to get rid off. She has lately gone into some trouble about her housing situation and she had to make some tough choices. Once she wipes her debt, she is considering to adopt more kids. She is also home schooling her kids and working two jobs from home. That is so overwhelming for me. I admire her for being such a loving parent but, I just cannot imagine her life.

I love my independence and I cannot imagine any other life. Some people have a different perspective on life and they are more giving, nurturing type of people. These life choices are so personal, so unique that I think that's what makes this world interesting.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Red Eye!

No, I am not talking about a flight here. I woke up this morning with great discomfort in my right eye. It was stinging like hell and dripping constantly. Every once in a while this happens to me especially if I stay in the wind for too long, or rub my eye or just sit close to the portable fan I use these days. This time I think it was the fan. Although it oscillates, I guess my eye doesn't like the direct wind exposure.

Thankfully I keep the drops handy. I always have an unopened package of the drops the doctor told me to use when this happens. Now I feel much better but not 100%. It will take a couple of days before my eye is completely healed. I also treat my eye with tea. This helps tremendously.

I basically stayed in bed all morning and tried to relax because my eye was feeling better when closed. Now I am up checking my e-mail, some blogs and I will need to work for about an hour on drafting something for a customer.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Store Credit

Last year as I was having my bathroom renovated, I had returned something and the home improvement store had issued me a store credit which needed to be used latest by September 9th this year.

Since I really did not need anything from that store, I just held on to the store credit and forgot all about it until yesterday. Good thing that I decided to clean up and change my wallet. Knowing myself, I decided to use the store credit since there is a good chance that I could miss the deadline.

I needed a bucket to save water before I take a shower. It takes a while for the water to get warm and I hate waste especially that the Istanbul water resources are extremely depleted this year. I also needed a set of soft hangers. Since I did not NEED anything else specifically, I decided to walk around the store to find things that I would use anyway.

So, here is the tally of what I bought for approximately USD 55.-

A set of 5 soft hangers
100 pack of exam gloves (I use these in the kitchen chopping onions and garlic)
1 new immersion blender on sale (mine is very old and no longer doing a good job)
1 bucket
3 pack light bulbs
1 vegetable knife

Not bad I think.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Car Maintenance: A regular budget item

I have my car serviced every 15,000 Km as per the maintenance guide. I always take it to the same place so I have a good relationship with them. It is the same dealership where I bought my car back in 2010.

I calculate how much I would need to spend every maintenance and budget it. This way, car maintenance is a regular budget item rather than a cause for surprise. I had budgeted 800 TL for my 105,000 Km maintenance but it came to only 627 TL even though they had to change the battery, some belts and a lamp outside the regular oil and filter change and other regular things. They cleaned the engine thoroughly and it looks brand new.

Car ownership is expensive especially in my country. We have the world's highest gas prices. No kidding!

I see some companies have recently begun offering hourly car rentals like the Zip Car. One day, I should sit down to calculate whether it would make sense to get rid of the car and just use a service like that. However, I think I intend to keep my car until it is no longer viable.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

What's cookin?

Today I cooked chicken, zucchini and stuffed pepers and tomatoes. I stuffed enough peppers and tomatoes for 9 meals and they are happily sitting in the freezer now.

The zucchini is for tomorrow and Monday lunches. For dinners, I am going to have cold chicken over large salads.

I have some cooked string beans and eggplants in the freezer for Wednesday and Thursday. Only after Thursday I will need to figure out another vegetable dish. I am thinking stir-fry mixed veggies.

I like bulk cooking and freezing. It makes my job so much easier when I am busy and do not feel like cooking. If I have ready meals in the freezer, there is no excuse for ordering take-out or going out.


Friday, August 8, 2014

The Meeting? Meh...

We went to the stressful meeting only to find out that these people do not know exactly what they want, and that they want to negotiate our already good price. The project is very big and very risky. I am not even sure we should win it anymore.

Well, I guess we just have to hope for the best.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Nervous!

Tomorrow is a big day. You know that I am a part-time consultant. The company I work with is about to land a really big project. I will have to work full-time for a few months which is actually great for me. However, there will be one last meeting before they make their final decision. So, a co-worker and I will be going to this meeting tomorrow. I am very nervous about this. I really really want this project. Yes, it will require me to work full-time for a while but that means more income which I really need.

I am a big saver but sometimes certain family situations require me to step up and kiss some of my savings goodbye. That is what has happened recently. I do not feel regret or resentment because my family is really tiny and what I did made my mom happy. She is especially worried about this person I have helped and she felt relieved when I intervened. I love my mom and I wish her a long and healthy life. I do not want her to worry about anything.

A big project like this will help me save at a very good rate and I really would like to grow my stash for rainy days.

I am praying for this project. It can make a real difference in my financial life.