Archive for November, 2011

Wild Turkeys

One of my favorite words that I learned from my Canadian friends is the word “gibbled.” It is a cleverly funny word that has a couple of definitions.  One is that a “gib” is a castrated male cat.  The way I was taught to use it is kind of synonymous with not on your game, which I guess if you were a castrated male cat, you just might feel that way.

Anyway, while I am feeling good, work is going well and routines and systems are still working relatively well in the Ozsarac household, there was an event last week that left us all feeling a little gibbled which is why this post will just be an update of what’s going on with us lately.  The event which threw us off our game was that Omer was running outside on the steps to our house,  fell and broke his lower arm in two places.  Koray saw him go down, and was thankful that he was wearing a helmet because his head took a good knock as well. Upon visiting the doctor  for a check-up, we found out that Omer needed a surgery to put a pin in one of the arm bones.  Luckily for us, the kurban bayrami is this week, and we  have seven days at home.

Before the surgery.

So, here is what we have been up to:

My new teaching gig is a dream.  I have two classes of hard-working, keen, sweet, lovely little nerds. It is a great experience and I can’t believe it took me ten years to figure out that the lise prep program is where it’s at.  I work with a gaggle of hard-working ladies who know how to have a good time as well, and that has been great fun. I feel as if three years of being a teacher leader/manager never existed as I slip with ease back into the role of full-time teaching.  I of course cannot deny that doing a job my heart was not 100% in has given me an amazing love and perspective for a job that I really do love.  I also learned a lot about myself and my profession from those three years and I worked with some amazing people,  so it wasn’t all a loss.  I do regret the many, many evenings of bringing work home with me, and the time it took away from being with my boys, but alas, that is a closed chapter and now I can dedicate my time, patience and energy to two well-deserving people.

Speaking of ten years, I have officially completed ten years of service at school and this year I will be getting my award at the Teacher’s Day gala.  I can’t believe I have been here ten years and I really can’t believe that it doesn’t feel like a decade. I arrived here single, armed only with with two eggplant colored Rubbermaid boxes and two suitcases, planning to teach and travel around the world.  The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.

Ali and Omer did not get into the school’s kindergarten through the lottery system last spring, so they are in the kres (pre-school) once again.  But we are thrilled to have them there as it is a great program and the boys are really happy. They now walk to and fro school alone.  We are still trying to work on them learning to say “hello” and keep walking (walk and talk people, walk and talk).  Ruminating about everything from the weather to what we had for dinner the night before, they still stop and chat with each passerby walking hurriedly on their way to work.

Friday evening Koray and I got out into the city.  You know you need some time away when being stuck in traffic for an hour and a half is no big deal because you can talk and listen to music without the deluge of comments from the peanut gallery perched in the back seat.  After walking around atmospheric Beyoglu and then Thai for dinner, I went to the Istanbul Culinary Institute where I learned to whip up a pumpkin tart with cinnamon cream anglais and a chocolate pear torte with salted caramel sauce. This was all created with the help of an earthy glass of red wine and good conversation. While I whisked and folded, Koray walked all the back streets of old Pera, ending up at his old haunt Kizilkayalar, home of the famous islak burger (a “burger” doused with a good helping of a garlicky tomato sauce), a Beyoglu institution which also happened to be the site of our first date. We arrived home with boys sound asleep.  It was a good Friday night.

Sunday evening we spent at the neighbor’s house eating a tasty spread of various Turkish and American delights and I finally go to meet the artist aka amazing lady who did the artwork for a project I worked on in the spring.  We topped the evening off with a pumpkin carving fest over at the social center to kick off the campus Halloween festivities.   Good fun.

On Halloween, the boys and I carved our pumpkin (long story) just in the nick of time before the Halloween sugarfest began.  Since I always use the pumpkins for soup and other pumpkiny delights, I couldn’t bear to let that beautiful orange-fleshed, pale green-skinned pumpkin whither out on the front porch. I roasted that baby up, and got a huge bowl of sweet pumpkin to freeze and use this winter.  Pumpkin pie was first on the list, a request from the patient.

The one-armed wizard and the persnickety pirate
The worst carving job ever that almost took a finger as hostage. This sucker was pumpkin pie a few days later.

Speaking of the patient, he is doing well.  The surgery was straight-forward and he is on the mend.  He will have a cast on for the next month or so, but hopefully the experience and pain he has gone through will render him a bit more careful as he returns to life of outside.

We have until next Wednesday to do whatever we want in a relatively empty Istanbul. So far we have been just hanging out at home with a few trips into the city.  Koray got himself  a cajoun (a Flamenco drum) which has been the source of many an impromptu jam session.  The campus is alive with autumnal changes.  Still not the glorious, vivid show the Pacific NW puts forth, but enough to quench my thirst for all things fall leaving me feeling downright cozy.  A family night walk into the campus woods tonight after a sea bass dinner yielded good conversations and mushroom sightings.

Other than the surgery trauma, it has been good.

Iyi Bayramlar.

Finding mushrooms with head-lamps.


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