About Me

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Old Friends are the best...

Tomorrow, I am going to meet an old friend and we will go exploring in the Grand Bazaar Area. The back streets are full of stores of anything and everything. My friend is into designing jewelry and she wants to find things that she can use. I hope, it will be a nice day without rain.

The reason why she is coming to Istanbul is that her younger daughter is going to take an advanced German Language Exam at the Goethe Institute. The morning session is written and the afternoon session is spoken. She wants to go to College either in Germany or in Austria and passing this exam will mean she will not have to take a German Language Prep Class. She is a smart and hardworking kid and wants to study some type of engineering. Their older daughter is a Computer Engineer. My friend and her husband are both Electronics Engineers. Smart family! While my friend's husband waits for their daughter, we will go and have some fun.

I have met her when I was stationed in NY many many years ago working for a Turkish-American JV Defense Company. For the first 7 months, I was the only female in the Turkish group stationed out there and her arrival was a welcome change. We had such a great time roaming the streets of The Village and other lively spots at night in NYC usually leaving the guys out :) We were not being mean to them. They would get tired, bored, sleepy etc. early and would want to head back. However, my friend I would be out tll 4-5 a.m. Young and brave times...

Many people, including her dad had told me they thought it was so strange that we had become such close friends because,  our personalities were so different from each other. Yes, we are very different but, she is such a nice, level-headed and sweet person, it is impossible not to like her. I guess she saw something positive in me too and hence, we have been friends for the last 29 years.

Today, I am getting my hair dyed to look nice in the loads of pictures, I am sure we will be taking tomorrow. My roots are in a sad state and I had been just being lazy about that. Once I go back to dyeing my hair next year, it will be so much easier. I am also planning to maintain a shorter hair next year once, I am done with this balayage thing. It does look nice on long hair but, I am not the kind of person who likes to spend time styling hair.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Finally! Got Warm...

All day long,yesterday the windows were open and the nice breeze blew some warmth into the apartment and it became comfortable without additional layers. I wear socks even in the summer so, they stay on. I will wait for another week or two to put away the sweats I wear at home.

I folded and put away all the laundry from the previous day and washed and hung back all the curtains in my bedroom and my spare room yesterday. Today, the living room curtains will be done. It smells really nice in the apartment due to drying curtains and the nice warm breeze. One load is out and hung, another is in and I have three more to go.

I am doing my best to keep my home tidy while I find that there are still stuff that needs to be given or thrown away. Pulled another box to see what's inside. Million more photos, very old appliance manuals which I no longer own, extremely old business card holders loaded with cards and hobby paints with brushes.

It was easy to gather what needed to be trashed. I dumped all the photos on the table to sort. I think I have another box full of photos somewhere else. I need to dig that up and go through all the photos. Some are really old, from my parents'  to my grandparents' childhoods. This is not going to be a fast or easy task. My goal is to be done by Sunday and put away everything. It looked so overwhelming that I was tempted to put them all back in the box and leave them alone. Then, I just couldn't do it.

I need to tidy up the kitchen and enjoy my coffee afterwards. Hope, everyone has a good day!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Beautiful Sunday and Laundry Week

Yesterday was a glorious day very appropriate for the 100th Anniversary of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's (the founder of modern Turkey) arrival in Samsun to start the Turkish Independence War.

I met two friends for lunch and coffee. One was our ex-office assistant, the other was the wife of a colleague from the same company who passed a year and a half ago. Had a very good time and came back to a clean home.

I am doing laundry as I type this. I need to wash, dry and put away the contents of the laundry basket in addition to all the curtains I am planning to wash. I am thinking this will be a 2-3 day job. I do not have a dryer so, everything requires time to get dry. I can hang up some of the curtains right after the wash but, some of them need to be dried flat.

I have paid the first installments of the real estate taxes on all of the properties that mom and I own online today They were due by the end of this month. Thankfully, those taxes are not anywhere near the ones in the US. Even so, we complain :)

I must also pay the second and final part of the repairs made in the Ankara apartment. The new tenant called me last week to say hi and get to know each other. She is a young lady working for a major bank and she will be getting married late August. They wanted to rent the apartment, get it painted and start furnishing before the wedding. I told her as long as they paid on time and maintained the apartment, we should not have any problems.

I feel like a lot of money is leaving my pocket this month. Mom and I will be visiting my sister and BIL in June so, that will not be a very frugal month either. It doesn't mean that I should not be careful. I still have enough gas in my car to last till the end of this month and I do have lots of food in the pantry. I think, except for fresh groceries, I will not need much.

Gotta go and get my exercise now. Although, I do not feel like doing it today, I must.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Cursed by Macbeth

- When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning or in rain?

Lately every single day has been rainy with thunderstorms. It has also been very windy. Something the three witches did not think of.

I am using a space heater as I sit in my living room. Ridiculous!

I was originally planning to go to the farmers market today but, decided against it. I do not need a whole lot of stuff and burning gas just to get a few items did not sound frugal.

After I finish posting this, I will walk to the small grocery store right by me to get just a few things I need.

Last night I had meat patties with Shepherd Salad (similar to a Greek salad without the huge Feta and olives). Finished my chili today at lunch. I like to have meat patties on hand. Here is how I make them: Shred onions, add salt and pepper, breadcrumbs, chopped parsley (not necessary) and add all this to chopped meat. Mix really well by kneading and then shape into 1/4 inch patties, freeze them with parchment paper in between. I usually make a batch with 3 pounds of meat and consume 4 patties at a time. They last quiet a while. It is easy to take them out with the parchment paper in between without having to thaw them.

I have decided to postpone the washing of the curtains. I can do that next weekend without having to rush.

Friday, May 17, 2019

This and That

In my previous post, I had said that I would get rid of some old photos. Well, I am all done! While I was at it, I looked at all the photos I handled and tossed more than I expected. They did not spark joy! (Hello Marie Kondo!)

I also tossed three albums which were falling apart and put the photos I wanted to keep in a neat tin box just the perfect size to hold them. Never knew I had so many pictures prior to the digital era.

This cleaning up, tossing stuff out and de-cluttering activity is making me feel really good. I am claiming a lot of space I did not know I could. It is also a good way to keep busy when the weather is not cooperating.

Today is another windy and rainy day with low temperatures. So, I was on the treadmill. I listen to mystery stories on Librivox as I exercise. Sometimes I watch an episode of Grace and Frankie on Netflix. I have always loved Lily Tomlin and I have learnt to like Jane Fonda on this show. Today, I walked 2.7 miles in 45 minutes. Felt really good.

Among today's chores are; two loads of laundry, changing the sheets on my bed and general picking up and tidying. The cleaning lady will come on Sunday so, when she comes, I will take down the curtains and wash them. I hang some of them back right after washing and some need to be dried horizontally to prevent sagging.

I am also going to meet some friends at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon and I guess I should leave home an hour earlier. That will not leave me much time to wash all the curtains before I go. So, I will probably do some of it later at night or on Monday.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Frustrated (Venting ahead, beware!)

I don't understand why my weight fluctuates like the stock exchange. I am measuring and watching everything I eat and see the good results on one day on the scale and two days later, it looks like I have gained! Go figure! Is it water? But why? I am already drinking tons of water and watching my salt intake. I guess after 50, the body has a mind of it's own.

I am not going to give up so fast this time. It is basic math. Energy in, energy out! Besides, the endocrinologist is waiting like a hawk to keep on trying to push me into bariatric surgery or Saxenda. No! If need be, I will rather change the doctor. My BMI is fluctuating around 40 so, yes some may consider that a bariatric surgery would be appropriate but, I know without changing your ways, it means nothing.

Today, I pushed myself more on the treadmill and that felt good. So, I will keep at chipping off the pounds. When there is a will, there is a way.

After all, I have gained all this weight in many many years and I was stupid not to control it when it would have been easier. I admit, I was wrong. However, even if I lose 10 kg per year (22 pounds), I will be done with my problem in three years. That is less than 1 kg per month. The key is to change my eating habits. I have to become a mindful eater and it takes a while for habits to develop.

I understand that my problem was eating more carbs than necessary, even with healthy options, I was consuming large portions than I needed. If I were eating a normal portion of pasta, instead of the 1/3 of the Barilla box, I would not be in this position. I was eating big portions and I wasn't putting my mind into what I ate. I could eat pizza for lunch and pasta for dinner. You may get away with that at 15 but, at 52, no way! Also, when I felt down or bored or unhappy or angry, I would find myself in the fridge. I did not keep junk food in there but excessive amounts of even good stuff can make you gain.

As I watch the TLC show, My 600 lb., I realize that I also have some issues I must deal with. Thankfully, I have never been abused or assaulted in my life but, I had some relationships in which things did not work out as I hoped. Things I thought I had forgotten surface from time to time and I must deal with them. I have decided to go through some old photo albums and get rid of some photos which I could not part with in the past. I thought they were a part of my life at one time and I have held on to them. I am thinking that, getting rid of them will make me feel better. There are a couple of things gifted to me. I will get rid of them as well. Yes, they were a part of my past but, they did not bring me happiness after all.

So, there! I have come up with tomorrow's chore.

I dwell on the past too much. I should look ahead and enjoy myself. What could have been or should have been, did not happen. So, why?

There! I got this off my chest. It is almost bed time so, I need to sign off now.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019


I tossed all the old paperwork and now I have two binders filled with necessary stuff and two empty binders with many empty folders and dividers. I feel very organized in the paperwork department. Pheww!

I have also organized my library so that, I now have an entire shelf devoted to travel.

Next? Shoes! I will not do that tomorow though... Need a break from organizing and besides, I must walk and do some grocery shopping. I am out of many staples. I still have some meat in the freezer and I would like to eat some plant based protein this week so, I will not be buying any meat unless there are good prices.

Here is my shopping list:

Mixed salad greens
A vegetable
Dried apricots
Tuna / Meat (If the price is right)
Tomato Sauce

Today was a sunny but windy day. A friend and I managed to have dinner at a semi-open area. It was really nice. Looks like it will get warmer starting tomorrow. The apartment is not as cold as it was during the weekend. It was so cold on Sunday that, I had to use my small space heater after a long warm shower.