Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Is It Edible?

I just thought I would add this picture for the amusement of my family so they can know that my cake making skills have not improved. I don't know why, but I cannot make a layer that looks good to save my life. I have tried, believe me, I have tried. I made this cake from SCRATCH a couple months ago. From scratch is a big deal for me because I am lazy. I found a recipe in a cook book from my mom's ward and I thought I would give it a go. One major difference in the ingredients was the addition of a cup of boiling water. I should of known it would never work. About 25 minutes into baking it I smelled it burning. I opened the oven to see that it was dripping over the edges of the pans and burning on the floor of the oven. What to do? I wanted chocolate cake, dangit! I had already done all that measuring. I put a cookie sheet underneath to catch the drips and hoped for the best. I let it cool overnight to ensure it would come out of the pans OK. I made the delicious HOMEMADE chocolate frosting and attempted greatness. Unfortunately it was not meant to be. The cake was so moist (I assume from the boiling water) that it completely fell apart when I tried to frost it. So although it looks like a.) I dropped the cake, b.) a person wearing a straight jacket frosted it, in truth,it was just c.) the best I could do.
I would like to point out that it tasted really good. I am thinking of making another one.

Happy Halloween

I am happy to report that Halloween went off this year as scheduled. We had lots of fun. Meghann got tons of compliments on her costume as Edward Scissorhands. Sydney looked mysterious as the Phantom of the Opera (her latest obsession.) I got a lot requests to get a pedicure. In this picture of my feet you can also see my good friend, Wendy, I mean Wendell and her son Jacob. Abby dressed up as the the Easter Beagle. We invested in a fog machine this year and it was well worth it. I am looking forward to next Halloween already, I wonder where we'll be.


We got the results of Abby's surgery and they are not good. She has a kind of cancer that will just keep coming back. The vet can keep taking it out, but of course surgery gets riskier the older she gets. The kids took it much better than I had hoped. I guess 10 years is old for cats who have the added stress of moving every 3 years. Still, they are both still healthy and giving us lots of reasons to smile. We will keep you updated on their health.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Not a lot going on here. Really. Doug is working hard and late as usual, getting ready for yet another inspection. He is fixin' to turn 41 tomorrow. Happy birthday, Dougie!
Meghann tried playing tennis and decided that "Emos don't play tennis" and gave it up. She is doing pretty good on highschool, even though the middle school drama is still there.
Sydney is doing good gradewise, too. She is trying to like it here.
I am doing good. I am volunteering at the Education Center twice a week. How lucky for the people at the Education Center (that was sarcastic.)
Abby is growing out her fur- no news on the tumor. Dinah is still healthy and strong.
The Turks are celebrating the month of Ramazan. They fast from sunup until sunset. It's hard to watch my maid do all that work, knowing she is fasting. It's pretty commendable. We decorated for Halloween yesterday and today when Sada came over she probably thought we were wicked. She saw a big fake spider and jumped a foot, it was funny. Luckily, she has a good sense of humor. The month ends with a big celebration called the Sugar Festival, the little kids knock on doors and ask for candy (kind of like trick-or-treating.) The big kids get money, a tradition I hope America doesn't pick up.
That's the news, folks. Goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Sydney, too saved up and got a digital camera. Now she uses her creativity in her photography. Sydney is trying her best to survive the 7th grade. That's pretty much all we can ask for. Middle school is pretty harsh. But she is much more cheerful these days...usually. Good on ya, Syd!


Meghann got her own digital camera which she purchased with her own money and now I find all kinds of great pictures that she takes.
This ginormous grasshopper was fun to watch for awhile until we set him free.
Meghann and a banana tree leaf-peek-a-boo!
Meghann next to a picture of her when she was three years old. Where does the time go?
Meg is a freshman this year and is still adjusting to high school. She started seminary, too. I hear her teacher is outstanding:)
So proud of you, Meggie!

Air Force Turns 60

To commerate the 60th anniversary of the Air Force, Incirlik had an Air Force a hangar! I had been dreading it because it was bound to be so HOT. There is no air conditioning in a hangar. It was hot inside, but out on the flightline there was a beautiful breeze. We had a dinner, some entertainment and a speech from a 2 star general, followed by dancing.

I had to get a picture of Capt. Hawley and his lovely wife since they represented the Army in such style. (Do you recognize him without his surgical mask?)
Doug and his First Sergeant, Sgt. Mason looking mighty fine in their mess dress! We gave our friend, Chief Kuehnl a ride home and I felt it was neccessary to take a picture of her shirt after she took off her coat. It is a fun and cool tradition that a lot of people participate in to have a shirt made that is basically a "shirt mullet"- business in the front, party in the back.

Ten Years Old!!

On September 21 our furry babies turned ten. This was cool for lots of reasons. Mostly because back in May of 2006 when we found out Dinah had cancer we would have never thought she would make it this long. She showed us! Now with all of Abby's surgeries, we are lucky to have her with us too. So we celebrated by letting them have one can of wet food each. They were enthralled, having never had it before. They celebrated by not puking it back up! (Which was really more of a gift for me.) These two sisters have been with us since November of 1997 when we were stationed at Laughlin AFB in Texas. Meghann was 4 and Sydney was 2 when we got them. They have since moved with us from Texas to Illinois to Utah to Virginia and across the world to Turkey. True Air Force cats! They are more than pets to us, they are my furry babies. They are Meg and Syd's furry sisters. They bring out a side of Doug that I had never seen before. True, they barf everywhere and we have a layer of fur on everything, but it all evens out when they sit on my lap and purr and look at me with so much love in their eyes. So Happy Birthday Dinah and Abby!

Another toomah

Abby went and grew another lump right where the first one was. So we took her back in to have it removed by our illustrious vet, Army Capt. Hawley. That is a picture of him actually performing surgery on Abby- I guess there were photographers and a film crew there to catch him at work because the vet clinic here was just named the best in DOD. Pretty impressive. You can read about at Incirlik's home page and even see a video clip of him removing the mass if you so choose. So while her surgeon is great, the fact that she had another lump is not. He sent this one in to have it checked out. We are waiting for the results. Now Abby is back to her shaved look. She still knows how to kick back and relax though!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Cappadocia The Last One

I watched this camel eat and drink and it was like a gross, slobbery comedy act. We also got a kick out of these birds' feet feathers. They sort of looked like they were wearing bellbottoms made of feathers.

Our hotel had a swimming pool, always a smash with the kiddies.

All in all we had a really fun trip. I saw lots of stuff I'll never forget- strange, mystical rock formations, beautiful ancient Christian paintings, underground cities, camels, people from all over the world, mountain ranges, and on the way home at a rest stop, a woman in tradional Turkish garb washing her feet in the sink in the restroom. Ya gotta love it, baby!

Cappadocia Trip Part 6

We went to a carpet maker/dealer and got the lowdown on handmade carpets. This old woman is showing one of the tour members how to tie a Turkish double knot in a handmade carpet.

Ever wonder where all the silk comes from? They keep the silk worms until they form a cocoon and then they heat them until they "go to sleep." They put the cocoons in water and spin the silk.

They use lots of things from nature to dye the wool. Things found locally, which is one way to tell where a rug was made- based on colors in the rug. OK, OK, yes, we bought two kilims.

Cappadocia Trip Part 5

One very interesting part of the trip was a tour of an underground city. It was a place where early Christians hid. It was at least one story underground. It was there I realized I would rather die for my Christianity than live underground. Just thinking about it now makes my heart palpitate. I kept praying the electricity wouldn't go as it so often does here.

Cappadocia Trip Part 4

Inside these cave churches there are beautiful paintings done by early Christians. They are remarkably intact except for deliberate defacing of the faces. We didn't see the the no pictures sign until after we'd taken these pictures.

Cappadocia Trip Part 3

Cappadocia: where evil eyes, pottery, and purses grow on trees! Meghann took this beautiful picture of grapes. Cappadocia is also famous for wine apparently.

Cappadocia Trip Part 2

Some pretty good balancing acts.

The valley seemed to go on and on.

Trip to Cappadocia Part 1

Cappadocia is a region in Turkey where the people have made the most out of a most amazing landscape. Before I got there, I assumed we would be seeing old homes carved into mountains where people USED to live. To my surprise, people still live in them. I am sure there are better words to describe the strange rock formations we saw, but to me, it was like entering another world. Some of the homes are open to tourists, the picture on the left is from inside one of those homes. I loved seeing the satellite dish coming out of a window carved in a rock. Talk about a mix of old with the new. Some people on the tour with us compared Cappadocia to Bedrock of Flintstone fame. It did look like something from a George Lucas movie.