Wednesday, January 31, 2007


There are many thoughts (OK, maybe just one or two) dancing through my mind today as I turn the ripe old age of 37. I'll see if I can remember any of them.
Why am I getting so accident prone? Three weeks ago I slipped in the parking lot after church and totally turfed it. I landed on my butt, but I scraped up my knee. I'm still trying to figure that one out. Then last week I fell UP the stairs and got a huge, gross lump on the same leg . The cool thing about that was that I was carrying a piece of pie upstairs for Doug because he is so high- ranking, and when I fell the pie went flying up in the air and then landed right back on the plate like a magic trick. Then today as I was doing my 'do I accidentally flung the brush across the room, then dropped the curling iron, then I fell out of my slippers. I didn't know you could fall out of slippers.
My other thought is about religion. We are lucky here in Incirlik to be able to meet in the base chapel. Usually, as Mormons we have a building somewhere off base. But here we meet each Sunday from 2-4PM and we get to see people in other congregations as we arrive and as we leave. I love that. I also love that they get to see us. Last Friday was the Air Force Prayer dinner. After we ate, we met in the chapel and there were prayers offered by each faith . We heard from Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, Jews and Mormons. Then the Air Force Chief of Chaplains spoke. It was a great meeting. For those of you who have never been to an LDS service, it can best be described as very reverent. We are quiet, we sing quiet hymns, we only all speak at the same time when we say "Amen" after a prayer. I have been LDS my whole life and so have never been to a service where people in the congregation say out loud what they feel inside during a talk or prayer. It was very fun. I felt the Spirit there, but when I feel the Spirit I may get teary-eyed, whereas the other people say, "Yes, Jesus." Or "Thank you, Lord." It is different from what I am used to, but a good different and something that I am very thankful that I get to experience. I have to add that during his closing remarks, the Base Wing Commander led the whole congregation in the wave. I can honestly say I have never done the wave in church before and it is unlikely that I ever will again. I can't wait until next year's Prayer Dinner.
I'll try not trip as I ponder these thoughts.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

LIfe of Pi

Here is a book review for you. My book club read a fabulous book called "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel. I loved it. It's about a 14 year old boy from India who is a practicing Muslim, Hindu, and Christian. He finds himself lost at sea with....Richard Parker. His experiences make for a great read with lots of deep thinking up for grabs if you want. I have never finished reading a book and wanted to start reading it again right away until I read this book. Our book club decided to eat at a seaside restaurant in honor of Pi and his journey.

This is the restaurant, it doesn't look like much, but we sat out on the water and the food was delicious.
It is in the city of Karates. We were joking that the mountains in the distance were in Syria. They aren't. This was my first visit to the Mediterranean Sea and it was only an hour away. The sea was choppy and beautiful.
So read "Life of Pi" and give me your opinion. Meese, if you are reading this,drop me a line, I remember you reading this book a few years ago. What did you think?


What fun it was to see our old friend Bob Bamrick who was here for two weeks with the Arizona Air National Guard. We were stationed with his family in delightful Del Rio almost 10 years ago. We had fun catching up and being astonished at how big the kids have grown.
Without Bob's help we might have never finished this puzzle. You can see how much fun Sydney is having just watching. Hi Bamrick Family, if you are reading this!!
PS. Bob, the housekeeper found all but one of the missing pieces in the vacuum bag.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Nuts Anyone?

As I waited for the rest of my posse to finish shopping, I noticed this man and his nut cart.....

Then I noticed the posse noticing the man and his nut cart. He was selling walnuts, dried apricots, and, of course, pistachios.
Here is a dolmus, they come all the time and take people everywhere. We have to look for the one that says Incirlik.
Here are Doug and the girls waiting for the dolmus. We had a fun-filled day in Adana! I love the little girl behind Doug, Americans are so weird looking!

Now, Let's Eat!

After a morning of shopping and innards we went to eat. In Old Adana the menus aren't in English like they are in the alley. So it's kind of a gamble when you order. We all know that chips are french fries, and the chips at this restaraunt are quite tasty.
The men enjoying their food. Okay, some of them were enjoying it. Some were trying to figure out what it was they had ordered.
The kids were pretty happy with their food, but Meghann appears to be getting tired.

The bathroom in the restaraunt. I have a strange fascination with the toilets here. Or the lack of toilets here. I haven't yet been desperate enough to use one.

CAUTION: This blog contains guts!

One part of Old Adana is the Meat Market, and, no, it's not full of hot babes. It's full of dead stuff. Only Doug and I and our friend, Wade, dared to make the journey down this street. As soon as these guys saw that I had a camera, they were all about posing for pictures. What I like about this picture is how blue the two young guys eyes are. Also, the look on the older gentleman's face.
This is a picture Wade took of an old man cooking sheep heads with a blowtorch. It wasn't until I got home and put the pictures into the computer that I noticed the charming pile behind him. Look closely only if you dare!
Ever seen so many fine looking guts for sale?
Here are those two friendly, blue-eyed chaps again showing off their good looking sheep heads. As you can see, Wade is at least a head taller than most Turks. It was easy spotting him in a crowd.
All along gut row there are hoses and drainage gutters to take the blood and juices away. To where? I don't really want to know.

Trip to Old Adana

This is the back of Doug's head as he enjoys his first ride on a dolmus. We spent MLK Day with a group of friends in Old Adana.
Here are Meg and Syd in front of some lovely wares in what the Americans all the Egyptian Market. The turks call a flea market. Meghann got a cool pair of Converse for 60 YTL. (About $40)
This is just a shot of one of the streets.
Can you spot the Americans in this picture?

A shot of Doug and some of the others walking around.

Happy Birthday to Meghann

It doesn't seem possible that Meghann is 14 already! She had a sleepover with Kerstin and Sydney. Doesn't Sydney look a lot like Meese? Make a wish! Meghann's latest news is that she broke up with David and now enjoys lots of 8th grade drama.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Here is a picture of our little stray cat with Sydney. Sorry I cut off Sydney's head, the phone was ringing and I was distracted.
Anyway, little Penny here likes to stuff her face in your chest and hug. We think she is trying to nurse because when she is done your shirt is all wet. As you can see, she is Abby's twin except for size and nose color. Abby's nose is brown and Penny's is pink. I think she is in because even Doug lets her sit on his lap and cuddle. She hops in our van if we leave the windows down or while I am unloading groceries, etc.
In case you are wondering how we picked her name....Abby(Road) and Penny(Lane).

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Pets are People Too

There a lot of stray cats on the base and I recently found out that there are a lot of Americans who just leave their pets when the PCS(move.) We have one little cat who is always outside in our yard, she has tried to come in our house a couple different times. She is very friendly and loving. If you let her, she will sit on your lap and purr and cuddle. I just found out that the people who lived in this house before us left their pets. So now I wonder if this sweet little cat used to live here and that's why she keeps trying to get in. It makes me want to cry, I don't understand how people can be so cruel. I mean just look at this doofus cat and tell me she isn't the cutest thing.

And Furniture For All

The main purchases that most of us rich Americans make while here in Turkey are carpets and furniture. Outside the gate in the alley are all kinds of shops, when you go in to any one of them, you are offered something to drink. Usually tea or soda. Here are Meghann, Sydney, and Kerstin playing a funky tune with their soda bottles in a furniture store. The kids can get kind of bored while the parents shop.
We recently joined the masses and ordered two desks to be made for the girls. You can take in a picture and the Turks can make anything you want. For a good price, too.

Merry Christmas

It looks like Santa found us all the way over here in Turkey. Did you know that Santa is actually from Turkey? They call him Baba Noel. Apparently there is a church somewhere here where Saint Nicholas is buried. But I'm not sure how that could be since Santa is obviously alive and well.
This year the only thing Meghann really wanted was a bass guitar. Her Christmas wish came true. Look for her to be rockin' out in the very near future since she will be starting lessons soon.
Doug can also live out his rock-n-roll dreams.
Doug got the chance to serve Christmas dinner again at the chow hall. Today they opened it up to everyone so we met up with our friends and ate some delicious dinner that I didn't have to cook.
Here we are in front of the chow hall on a beautiful, sunny Christmas day.
Later that day we had a few friends over and we carried on the Hatch traditions of the Christmas mad-lib and watching the movie "Help" with the Beatles. It was very fun.

Christmas Eve

This year on Christmas Eve in addition to opening new pajamas, the girls got to open their new "mink" blankets. I don't know what these blankets are actually made out of, it's not mink though. They are very soft and warm. Which is good, because it actually gets quite cold here after the sun sets.


On December 13 our household goods FINALLY arrived. So we had fun unpacking and decorating for Christmas at the same time.
It's nice to have our stuff after 3 months, I missed my bed and my piano the most. These houses have cement walls so we have to check out a hammer drill from Self Help to hang anything up. You should see Doug go drilling holes into the concrete.

Monday, January 8, 2007

A Day at the Stables

The view of the city from the stables on base is pretty neat. You can see how big Adana is and also the snow covered mountains in the way back.

Meghann and Sydney had a great time learning how to ride. They just stayed in the corral this time but we hope to hit the dusty trail before too long.
The Youth Leaders in our branch put together this fun activity. There is just one Young Man and only two Young Women. So they usually invite Sydney along for the fun stuff. Meghann also brings Kerstin to most of the activities.
There really is a lot to do here on base, stables, mini-golf, big golf, paintball, and now they are building a go-cart track. Good job, Incirlik!

Mullets, Dinah, and Good Music

Our Squadron Christmas party this year was a Decades theme. So Doug got out his mullet wig and Journey sweatshirt and went as 1981. Dinah found a little patch of sunshine and a banana tree just her size in the backyard.

Meghann and Sydney after the Christmas Concert. Meg is in advanced band, this is her third year on the flute.
Sydney was disappointed to find out there is really no strings program here, she played the violin last year. So we talked her into trying the flute. She doesn't like it as much.
The band teacher is awesome, though. He is also a member of our tiny branch.

39th Mission Support Group Children's Christmas Party

Too make a long story short (I hope) the Group decided to do a combined kid's Christmas party this year. Now there are several different squadrons in a Group. Each squadron spouse (me) was in charge of one particular item to get the party put together. I got to order goody bags online. To make sure the stuff got here in plenty of time, I ordered it back in October. I then, with help from Doug's secretary, put out a flyer to be sent to all the folks in Doug's squadron so we could get a head count. Here is where the trouble started. The flyer went to the boss and the boss sent it to the whole base. So now I have ordered enough stuff for the kids in our Group, not the whole base. The party takes on a life of it's own. We see commercials for it on TV, hear about it on the radio. And all with my name and number as the point of contact. It became life consuming, but it ended up ok. We had plenty of goody bags and everyone had fun. Doug even helped sweep up afterwards.
So for next year, I may avoid doing a flyer. Merry Christmas!

Furry Babies

Dinah and Abby are just so cute! What you don't realize about this picture is that Abby was there first and Dinah came over seemingly to cuddle. She always ends up bugging Abby to the point where Abby just gets up and leaves. You can see Abby's annoyed face. Still, they are pretty cute sisters.
Here Abby sits like a dork. At this point we still don't have our couch cushions. I went to buy this red pillow (it is handmade) from Nuri, but he said, "It is a gift, you are my sister." Pretty sweet deal.

Skateboarding Skills

Meghann and her friend Kerstin have taken up skateboarding at the skatepark near our house. Sydney goes along and watches, she wants a skateboard for Christmas.

Turkey Day in Turkey

Our first Thanksgiving in Turkey was fun-filled. We found out that on the big holidays, the commanders go to the chow hall and serve the airmen as a gesture of goodwill or something. So we ate an early dinner at our friends' home and then Doug left for a couple hours to go serve. Then we had an evening of desserts, movies, and lots of canasta.
Here are Doug and Meghann watching a movie as they try to digest. It was a pretty good Turkey Day.