Tuesday, November 16, 2010

House pictures!

Merhaba, nasilsiniz?  Iyiyim! As everyone following this blog knows, my husband has spent the last few weeks in Germany.  While we feel his loss, we have not been without a lot to do.  A few days after he left, we got notice that all of our belongings have arrived in Turkey, including our car!  FREEEEDOM!  :)

Since he has been gone, that has left me alone to handle unpacking everything.  I'm sure Michael is very distressed about missing the opportunity of moving our things, yet again.  Between just getting married and moving in, our enormous garage-sale and moving- out (not to mention helping friends / co-workers move), we have had our fair share in our five-and-a-half months of marriage. This was a large and daunting task, no question about it, and I have not been feeling well. I am proud to say, I have (mostly) finished the task and have some pictures to share. 

This is our home!  All the homes on base basically look the same, except some don't have an up-stairs, like ours.  They also come in different colors, as you can some-what see in the house in the background behind ours.  Notice our bright shiny car in the carport! 

This would be my kitchen.  I actually have a decent amount of counter-space, as well as cupboard space.  This is my domain!

As you walk around the corner, this is our living room.  Arion is dancing away. 

Another view of our living room.  Arion and kitty say "Merhaba!"

Heading up-stairs!

Our living room again, from the stairs.  I really like our vaulted ceilings- which not all homes here have.

Arion's room.  Admittedly, slim pickings. She went from a "baby room" to Michael's old bedroom set and we are starting over.  What can I say; it's a work in progress. 

Arion's bathroom.  There are three bathrooms in our home, however the other two are pretty bare and look exactly like this one.

Our back yard! I have had to have some work done back there, and it's a significant step-up from when we moved in. 

There are some additional rooms/ areas that I didn't include in here, such as our laundry room, another empty bedroom and various storage areas.  This is the basic idea, though. 

All-in-all, not too shabby.  We could use some rugs, to cover-up the mismatched tile on the floor, but this is a huge improvement to our bare-essential dwelling we had before our belongings arrived. It's starting to feel like home; if only the whole family were here in it. 

Gallivanting, German-Style

Merhaba!  Or, perhaps since this post is about Germany I should be saying, Guten-tag!  Today marks the two-week mark that Michael has been in Germany, and Arion and I have definitely felt his absence.  I'm afraid to say that between the two of us, he has probably had much more to blog about than I  and without question has had far less time.  His travels to Germany were strained, to say the least.  He decided to take "the behemoth", my giant orange suitcase that can pack 150 lbs of clothes and belongings. It seemed perfect for the job, since Michael is going to be gone for six weeks in the very cold Germany.  His TDY orders allowed him a certain amount of weight for his travels and he was careful to pack just that amount. 

His troubles began at the airport.  While his luggage was within the limits of the military standards, it was too heavy for the commercial airline.  It was above even the over-sized luggage requirement, so after much deliberation the airport personnel kindly told Michael to get rid of x-amount of weight in his bag.  When questioned where he should put it, the man shrugged. 

Once that debacle was settled it was time to fly to Germany.  Michael being the planner he is had a reservation for a shuttle from the airport to the base he needed to report to set up ahead of time.  He was also traveling with several other people, one of which had been allowed access to a rental car.  The plan was that he would take the shuttle, and the individuals in the car would follow the shuttle to the base.  When they landed in Germany, Michael’s shuttle was nowhere to be found.  After much waiting, calling and questioning he was told his shuttle was waiting for him on the other side of the airport.  By the time he got there, it had left.  He called the shuttle company and they confirmed he had just missed the shuttle and the driver was off for the night; and the company was closed.  He attempted calling the other two shuttle companies and got the same response.  When he returned to the place where his travel-partners were waiting, it became apparent that they assumed he found his shuttle and was on his way to the base and decided that they had better do the same.  At this point it was very late and Michael had two options.  Take a cab, which he was specifically told not to do, because he would only be reimbursed 40 euro, or sleep at the airport and catch a shuttle the following morning.  It had been a very long day and night for Michael and after much contemplation, decided to take the cab.  Traveling from the airport to base in Germany via cab is not easy on the pocket.  It’s not even hard on the pocket, its worse.  I’m not going to name a dollar amount, but it is very clear why his orders specified to not take a cab. 

Michael’s not-so-trusty cab driver did take him to a base.  Unfortunately, not the correct base.  When he learned he was at the incorrect base, he then had to get on another cab and pay more euros for a cab to the correct destination. 

The start to NCO Academy did not begin well; however my husband does have a very positive attitude, and was feeling somewhat better then next day when I was able to talk to him.  Because Michael is a Master Sergeant Select, and the rest of the class with the exception of one other student are Tech Sergeants Michael is a group leader.  On top of knowing and studying everything for his class, Michael is also responsible to make sure the other students in his group understand the assignments as well as organizing study groups.  He seems to have a good group, so this is an immense advantage to him. 

At this point, Michael has been studying hard and has been managing his course work well.  I am very pleased Michael is completing this big career requirement, but I do miss my husband already and look forward to his return.  

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Trials and Tribulations

Merhaba, mutlu Kasım!  It’s Thursday, November 4th and this could only mean one thing; the Taylor’s survived our first Turkish Halloween.  Okay, maybe this doesn’t come as a huge surprise to you all but regardless Halloween in Turkey was a great time.  The streets were full of spooky trick-or-treaters, as well as a few Turkish children who wanted to join in on the festivites.  I’m not sure they quite understood the purpose of Halloween; mainly because they showed up at our door without costumes, or a bag for their candy.  Rather, a bright smile with their hands held out.  But lets not get ahead of ourselves. 

I thought I would share the full Halloween experience, which for us include the creation of the costume itself. What a fun experience with some unexpected twists and turns... 

My good friend Amanda is the proud owner of a brand-spanking-new Singer sewing machine.  We were so excited to put this fine peice of machinery to work we could hardly wait to get it threaded.  I am not sure how many of my readers have tried to thread a sewing machine; but I had not.  The instruction manual was vauge, confusing, and ultimately little help. 

Assembly day 1 was successful to the point of taking the intimidating machine out of the box and getting a good look at it.  We did figure out how to attach the foot pedal, so that was a huge plus. 

Assembly day 2 was incredibally frustrating and about equally successful.  We did manage the thread the bobbin (kind of) and make a few practice hems.   We were doing somthing wrong though, because the fabric wouldn’t “move”.  It just stayed in one place, and the material wouldn’t feed!  So frustrating.

Assembly day 3; if at first you don’t succeed, try try again.  This my friends was the golden day.  We figured out that the dog-stitch was activated, so the machine was set to monogram instead of auto-feed.  Also, the instructions failed to tell us that there were TWO spools of thread required to operate the machine, not one.  Apparently this was such common knowledge, there was no point in mentioning this.  I do not have any common knowledge in the art of sewing.  Zero.  Well, maybe now I do since I now know there needs to be two spools.  Once we got this figured out, the complete sewing portion of the costume took about 20 minutes.  I’m not sure which aspect was more frustrating; the first two days we couldn’t figure anything out, or the fact that after all that it was so simple and easy.  Here is a visual sequence of events of the process:

This is the "base-dress".  We measured the length and width, but didn't take into consideration the head-hole.  Whoops.  Nothing some scissors can't fix. 

My helpers, Kerisa and Arion.  They were our dancing entertainment for the night.

Pinning the seams, getting ready to sew! (Note, my cheerleaders in the back)

Working hard!

The fruits of our labor!  Spook-tastic!