Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Who Needs Household Goods Anyway?

When we packed out of Virginia we had 4 categories of stuff: longterm storage(stuff that would stay in the States), unaccompanied baggage(stuff that would go by airplane but limited by weight-computer, bikes, clothes), our luggage that we take on the plane with us and household goods(everything else.) The stuff that went by plane was supposed to take about a month to arrive. The rest, a month and a half at most. As I write this we are still waiting for our stuff. We got a partial shipment of our household goods on October 1st. It consisted of a couch with no cushions, a recliner with no back (see photo with our friend Kerst), also table legs with no top, books with no shelves, bed rails, no beds, etc.
The next week we finally got our unaccompanied baggage but with a twist. They had packed the boxes into the crates so tightly that the movers couldn't get them out. They solved this unfortunate dilemma by unpacking my stuff out in the front yard. They tossed the stuff into big pieces of paper and then carried it in. Please see the picture of much of my kitchen stuff lying on the kitchen floor. It did save me the unpacking, I guess.

Home Sweet Base Housing

This is our lovely duplex here in Turkey. Doug is standing next to some oddly tall roses in our front yard. One of the perks of being here is having a gardener. Ours is named Ekram and he is great, he takes care of the whole yard, the garbage cans, he even washes our car. Speaking of which, this is our studly rental car. We call it "The Stain". There is a stain in the back seat that no one will sit on. It is a stick shift so I won't drive it. You can't make me.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Reasons to Have a Mid-Life Crisis

Three weeks after we got here Doug went and turned 40.
Meghann has a boyfriend named David.

Cats and Rugs

Our new house is a two story 4 bedroom with stone floors. Until we got some carpet, it was very echo-y (is that a word?) Dinah liked to sit on the landing between the stairs and meow at the top of her lungs. At first we thought she had gone mental, then we realized she liked listening to her own echo.
We bought this carpet two weeks after we got here, before we learned anything about carpets. We have since learned we bought a piece of garbage and paid too much for it. Live and learn. More on carpets in other blogs.
Here is a picture of everyone enjoying the new carpet and a really cute picture of Abby that Meghann took

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Old Adana

My first trip to Old Adana was with a group of ladies on my street. We took a dolmus- a van/bus thing driven by a Turkish man with no fear. There is an odor on a dolmus you kind of have to smell to believe. This brings me to the title of my blog. A man in our newcomers brief lovingly told everyone that "Driving in Turkey's not dangerous, it's adventurous." I think maybe it's both. I've since driven to Adana with a two different Turkish people, each time more exhilarating than the last.
Anyway, my first trip into Old Adana was culture shock. It is a busy, old, dirty city. There is every kind of vehicle on the road you can think of from donkey to 18-wheeler. There appear to be no traffic rules, whoever gets there first, wins. There is a lot of honking, some for fun, some to say hi to people, some to warn of imminent danger. Pedestrians are major risk-takers.
The Ladies of Mersin (the women on my street) took me to a huge fabric store, it was 7 stories high and after shopping on what seemed like every floor, we were given free underpants by the shopkeeper. ( A Turkey thing.)
This picture is taken out of the window of the top floor of the fabric store, the shopkeeper told me it is an old church that isn't in use any more.

Can We Go Back Home?

A question I hear at least once a day from somebdy. Things we wouldn't miss about Turkey so far- the Turkish Tease (diarrhea), the smell, the heat. Even the cats want to pack themselves up and go home.


More pictures of Abby's belly. Poor, sweet baby.

"It's Not a Too-mah"

Abby gave us quite a scare after we arrived in Turkey. We discovered an egg-sized lump on her side. We took her to the base vet and he wanted to take it right out, whatever it was. He took her in the very next day. He opened her belly, expecting it to be in her intestines, but he found nothing. So he opened up her side right over the lump. It was a fatty tumor between her skin and muscles. He took it out and stitched her back up (twice.) He put the tumor in a jar of formaldehyde and really grossed Sydney out with it later.
Abby came home all shaved and covered in stitches, she also had a tube in her side for drainage(yuck.) She had pain meds and antibiotics which she really loved taking and always sat still to do so. She was in a lot of pain for two days, she couldn't even jump up on the bed. But after that she seemed fine. She got her stitches out ten days later and is doing great. We still don't know what caused the tumor, she didn't have it in the States, she was checked right before we flew out.
We were really blessed that we were here, had such a great vet and that she is going to be OK.
This is a picture of her the day of the surgery.


Too bad for us our friends Susan and Chris left for the Sates about a week after we got here. We had a good time visiting with them for the short time we were togther. Has it really been 14 years since Susan and Doug worked together as 2nd Lieutenants at Tyndall AFB?
(We are the short ones in this picture.)

Change O' Command

September 20th was the infamous Change of Command Ceremony. What an event. Susan passed the guidon of the 39th Mission Support Squadron to Doug. After the ceremony and reception, we headed home. Doug had gotten beautiful bouquets of flowers for all the women in is life. Kind of a farewell as it turns out since we don't see much of him anymore.It turns out commanding is very time consuming.
A funny sidenote: the flowers were covered in loads of glitter (a Turkey thing?), by the time he got them from our house to the Club his uniform was very sparkly. Not within regs, though.
Here they are in our backyard.

If Life Was Suddenly Going to be Fair it Wouldn't be in Middle School

When we got to Incirlik, we got to our house and found it already set up with "stick furniture", thanks to our friends and sponsers, Chris and Susan. We slept until late morning, then Chris drove us around, helping us do lots of things like rent a car, in-process and register the girls for school.

We discovered that the middle school here is 6th through 8th grade, so Sydney was catapulted into middle school without much warning. The school is VERY small. Meghann's 7th class last year in Virginia was bigger than Kindergaten through 12th grade here. Everybody knows everybody.

This is a picture taken of the girls on their first day of school on September 13th. We were all still suffering from major jetlag, but they wanted to get to know some kids as soon as possible.

Don't Say the Word ""Bomb" in an Airport

I want to tell some of the story of our trip to Turkey. We left out of the Baltimore Airport. We were set to leave at 11:00 PM on September 11. A great day for flying, eh? We arrived at the airport at about 3:30, to give us plenty of time to check ourselves and the cats in. The poor kitties had been in their carriers about 2 hours by this time. After a lot of waiting, we were informed we would get to wait some more.
Our plane was delayed in Texas due to bad weather. 11:00 came and went. After that they would get our hopes up on a regular basis, saying the plane was about to take off from Texas. They lied, again and again they lied. We were getting tired, it was after 2 AM after all. After about the third time they told us we would be leaving in an hour, Sydney said she wished someone would just drop a bomb on the airport. Frustrated kid or future terrorist? It really sucked because the poor cats couldn't get out of their carriers and Abby was too freaked out to really eat or drink.

We finally got to board the plane around 5:00AM. So much for sleeping the whole trip to Turkey. By the time we landed in Turkey the cats had been cooped up for about 27 hours. We landed at 1:oo AM and were met by many more smiling faces than I ever expected at that time of the night.

This is a picture of Meg and Syd talking to Uncle Kelly as we waited and waited and waited....

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Abby and Dinah 'Neath the Banana Tree

My cats are basically indoor cats, they love to go outside, but we only let them if one of us is keeping an eye on them and they are in the backyard.
(That was a really long sentence.)
So this morning they are sitting at the backdoor waiting for me to take pity on them and let them out. The thing is, I open the door for them and then they sit there inside and sniff the air. When the spirit moves them, they will stand up and approach the door. Then they go half way outside. They stand there in the doorway half in and half out and ponder the mysteries of life.
After a few minutes in the cool morning air, they decide that is enough nature for now and ask to come back in to continue a busy morning of napping.
Sort of like me. Ha, ha.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

First Blog in Turkey

This is my first blog in Turkey and my first blog ever. Woo woo.
I have been in Turkey exactly two months and one day. We are an Air Force family stationed at Incirlik Air Base in Adana, Turkey. Our first overseas assignment, what an adventure.
I look forward to posting about my experiences here in this amazing country. Most of my blogs will probably be about my kids (I have two), my husband ( I have one), being a Mormon in a country that is 99% Muslim. And, of course, all the cool stuff I get to see and do while I am here.