About Me

Friday, June 24, 2022

Such a fun night!

I met with some former colleagues last night at a very nice restaurant. There were 8 of us and we reminisced about the good old days we had back between 2000 and 2006. It was my favorite job and I had learnt tons of stuff and had the privilege of working with really intelligent and kind people. Sure we had our differences from time to time but, overall it was a great experience for all, that shaped our careers and put us on our paths.

One of the ladies had to leave early since she needed to catch a plane for a business trip. There were two more guys to join us but, one was sick and the other could not make it. I had dinner with him and another colleague from the same company last week.

We told stories from former projects and laughed a lot. I was sometimes in conflict with one of the guys because we had different perspectives but, now we are good friends because as we talked about our unique views, we now understand each other better.

It rained really hard at one point but, we had a roof over our heads with the sides all open so, I was comfortable. If the dinner had been held indoors, I wouldn't go.

Today, I am determined to finish laundry, hang the guest room curtains, make it ready for when my friend comes to visit, sort out my meds to see if I need more, 

On Monday I need to do a little shopping for gifts. 

I will try to take as little as possible with me. I need summer tops and pants anyway.

I am using up all that I have in my fridge and freezer and there is good progress. 

Gotta go and take care of today's chores. Wishing everyone a very nice weekend and great weather.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Things taken for granted...

Not having my washing machine working for just 2-3 days got me thinking that there are so many things that are taken for granted.

My grandmother on mom's side almost always had washing machines in her married life. She was born in 1920, graduated College in 1942. She was a very frugal lady but, she loved technology and so did her husband, my grandpa. They always had a car which was a very big deal at the time in Turkey. She always had a couple of pressure cookers, a fridge, an oven and a washing machine when most people in her generation didn't. She loved her appliances and took great care of them. When they got their first washing machine, a lot of people never knew such a thing even existed. Unfortunately, I do not have the info as to what that machine was but, her second was very similar to this, but bigger:

I do not know why she kept that machine but, she did, all her life. I do not remember her using anything but, an automatic Bosch front loader. She bought that machine in 1967 when I was born and back then, automatic front loading machines were unheard of in Turkey. Nor were they sold. My grandpa was an Air Force Officer so, he bought that machine from Germany directly.

When I was very little, I remember that, mom had a washing lady coming home every week but that probably lasted only a couple of years. Then she got this machine:

She would hook up a hose to fill the machine. It is rather simple or rather primitive and far from being practical but, beats hand washing any day.

Mom didn't have a dishwasher till I was 23. She used to soap up and scrub the dishes and I would run them under water after every dinner. When I went to the US back in 1990, my company furnished apartment came with a dishwasher which I fell in love with so, I sent money back home to dad to buy her a dishwasher from me on Mother's Day. Dad had a kid in private school and was paying for an apartment so, it was not in their budget at the time.

The only person in our family with a dryer is my SIS. Mom and I could certainly afford one but, our apartments did not have the space and wiring for it. Mine still doesn't.  Even today, dryers are still not as popular as they are in the US mostly due to lack of space.  I have a drying rack and when I wash my sheets, I put a line in the corridor to the back rooms. 

Today, as I was making a list of detergents I am running out of, these thoughts occupied my mind and I wanted to share them.

There is so much we take for granted. If you look back in history, those kings and queens were very poor when compared to us. They lacked electricity and lacked everything that comes with it. They did not have proper heating in those glorious castles and palaces. Heck, they didn't even have toilets! This went on for centuries. Our comfort levels made a Quantum Leap in the last 100 years. 

What appliances do you remember from your childhoods? Do you remember the excitement the family experienced when a big purchase was made?

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Lists and lists and lists

I have 8 days to go on vacation and I started making my lists today. There are home related lists, packing lists, document lists, gift lists...

I am glad that Covid testing has been lifted off both by the US and the German Government. I am flying on Lufthansa with a stopover in Frankfurt. The idea of getting a Covid test within 24 hours of my flight was sort of nerve-racking. I will be wearing an N95 mask through my journey anyway and I am sort of self-quaranteening myself  till my journey. I will meet with former colleagues for dinner but, we shall be outside. (Am I sure? I better send a text to the friend who is organizing it to see if it is outdoors or not).

Luckily, the washing machine is fixed. It was such an easy fix that I am embarassed for not having tried it. I had seen some YouTube videos with taking the back cover off and taking pieces apart. I was afraid to do those but the guy who came opened a very easy place and pulled the clogging stuff. 2 minutes! Now the washer is running empty as per his recommendation before I start doing laundry. My bedroom curtains and clothing items are on top of the list. I need to sort the laundry which I had piled up in my guest room so, I can prioritize the wash.

I pulled a small package of navy beans I had frozen. Tonight, there will be rice and beans. I think, there will be some leftovers for a Mexican style wrap tomorrow. I am trying to use up what's on hand rather than buying groceries. I do not want to throw away anything so, I will be extremely cautious if I need to buy anything.

At the moment my home looks very neat and tidy. I do not think I will be putting the accesories back in place. Let them stay in their boxes. 

I am so glad I pulled the trigger and had my home painted. Here are the before and after pictures of the repairs:

Monday, June 20, 2022


Everything went well with regards to the contractors but my washing machine decided to clog up. It was my fault really. I washed mom's old prayer rug to donate but it fell apart during the wash cycle.  Hopefully, tomorrow my machine will be fixed. It is an 11 year old Samsung. 

I have tons of laundry including all my curtains. 

I have been gradually putting things in place since Saturday. There is still a slight odor because of the door frames. The paint they use on those could not be water based. Therefore, it is stinky. I placed baking soda and vinegar in plates in all the rooms but, so far, they are not working as much as I thought they would.

Today, I took dad's cousin F to a small town where she used to have a small farm which she had to sell because of her stepson. She needed to run an errand. Then, we visited two vineyards. I bought 4 bottles, she got 30 bottles. That part of the family can drink. I dropped her off at her apartment and came home. Tonight is the first night I will be staying at home since the paint started. I am going to cover my windows with paper tonight. Hopefully, tomorrow I will be able to wash the curtains and hang them up.

It has been quiet busy lately and I have only 9 days left to go on my vacation. Usually, I would be excited in anticipation of that but, I am so tired. 

On Thursday, I will be having dinner with a bunch of former colleagues. After that, I will not be socializing. I will be packing and resting till my flight.

Lately we have been having thunder showers and hail storms. Since I will be gone for over 45 days, I want to park my car in a closed garage. F has an agreement with a hotel near her apartment and she negotiated on my behalf with the parking garage manager. They gave me a good price and I shall be leaving my car there and take a cab to the airport.

Gotta go and cover my windows.

Hope you are having a great week!

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Light at the end of the tunnel!

Yesterday, I went to check the work and it looked awesome. The paint was lighter than I expected but, it looks really good. They suggested to apply a coat of varnish on the doors which I accepted. It will all be done by today afternoon. I will go and air the apartment on Friday.

The cleaning lady I wanted to hire for the job was only available on Saturday but, she suggested to bring another person with her. Although my home will be ready on Saturday, I will go back on Monday night. Dad's cousin F has some errands to run and I will help her with them.

Last night we went to the Opera, Falstaff by Verdi. It was OK, but I'm not a fan of the opera except for some well known ones like Carmen, Aida, Il Travotore, La Traviata and etc. I'm more a classial concert person. However, I was glad to see the renewed opera house. Modern, clean building with lots of space for coffee shops, libraries, and exhibits. 

F is getting her second cataracts procedure as I type this.  Tomorrow night we shall go and stay at her late mom's apartment. She will meet up with friends during the weekend and so will I.  I will also supervise the cleaning.

This year the weather is really strange. We are getting lots of thunderstorms, hailstorms and it gets cool within a matter of minutes. Some days are extremely windy, some days it is too hot and too humid. I think, every 5 years or so, this happens.

Wishing everyone smooth sailing.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Fresh Paint

Two painters came yesterday right on time and started to repair the areas that needed patching up. They worked from 9:00 a.m. till 5 p.m. I left them plenty of paper cups, a water heater, instant coffee, tea bags and soft drinks. I also send them lunch every day. 

Yesterday every part of my body was aching but, I did a pretty decent job, putting away everything. The painters appreciated that. They could immediately start covering things with plastic sheets and taping them. 

When I took down the frames on the walls, I realized that it was really the time for painting. I also took down the curtains and stuffed them in big garbage bags. Once the initial cleaning is done, I will wash them and hang them. So, I asked for two days of cleaning from the contractor. The first day will be just for general cleaning and washing the windows, the second will be detailed as I put everything back where they belong. 

I just spoke to the two painters and they said they will be able to finish latest by Thursday. I wasn't expecting that because the contractor had told me it would take till next week. I hope, they are doing a good job and not cutting corners to get to a new job.  On the other hand, the contractor might have given me a longer estimate just because he knows me well. He had re-done my bathroom and my kitchen. Anyway, if something is not right, he will fix it for me. It will just be another headache though. Come on T'pol! Think positive!

I think I will have a few days to relax, enjoy my freshly painted and cleaned home before I pack my bags for my trip to the US on the 29th. Nice!

Meanwhile, saving money and frugality are not on my agenda this month. I am spending quite a bit of money for extra gas, parking, food etc.  I will go back to my frugal self come September. 

Hope everyone is enjoying nice summer days. 

Sunday, June 12, 2022

What was I thinking?

As I am trying to prep my apartment for the paint job, I keep muttering "what was I thinking?"

The painters will move everything in the middle of the rooms and cover them with plastic but, I still need to take care of some items myself. 

Below are some pictures of the places which will be fixed. It has been a long time since these were bothering me. I was able to hide the worst two behind my curtains. It took a long time to figure out how to fix them.  After the fix, I have been told to wait a year to see if there will be more water damage. When the year was up, the pandemic hit and the paint job has been postponed.

The painters are coming tomorrow. They will cover everything with plastic and then, start scraping the areas that need to be fixed. I am moving to dad's cousin tomorrow night.

Please wish me luck!