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2014, the end …. ?

This is only my third post in all of 2014.

By most measures, 2014 has been a pretty insane year. I…

-Survived a fast paced international move that I had to orchestrate basically on my own (with kid in tow) – no corporate resettlement assistance or anything like that.

-Returned to Michigan in the middle of the most horrible winter in forever.

-Started a new job in Lansing.

-Got my kid adjusted to a new school, and then another new school.

-Worked on all the repatriation life adjustments, still in progress. Thanks to my 1990s experience living in Japan, I knew what I was in for this time around and I’ve been much nicer to myself in the process.

-Single mom’d for real: no more live in nanny or gardener or any of those other ridiculous Dubai luxuries.

-Also survived a minor car accident in my brand new car, that resulted in at least seven weeks of it off the road for repair and repair again. I wasn’t hurt but man was it a pain in the ass trying to get it fixed right.

My only New Year’s Resolution for 2014 was to survive the move. And I did. Life is good. Really, really good.

The question for 2015 is do I fake like this blog is worth keeping anymore? So much big stuff happened that I didn’t bother to share in this venue. It seems my internet life is mostly happening elsewhere now, Google Plus, Flickr (still), WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, and any other number of things. Maybe it’s time to suck out the best of Step Into My Thimble, turn it into a coffee table book, and retire this space.


Because I live there

Way too much time has gone by since there was any real update here.

Basically I had one New Year’s Resolution for 2014 which was to survive moving internationally, and I did it. Maeve and I are resettled back in Michigan for the most part. The polar vortexxxxx we returned to wasn’t even that scary. So YAY!

Now it’s repatriation fun times, figuring out who I am after four years of a very different life far away. You can never go back, but really, why would you want to?

Turkish Marble Cake aka Selin Cake

Somehow between packing and everything else I managed to spend a little time with our neighbor last night, to learn how to make a no-bake cake that she has apparently been feeding to my child after school for two years now. It’s really easy and tasty. The ingredients are approximate and it could have lots of additions like mini marshmallows, nuts, dried fruit, or whatever else sounds good. I’m going to make one with orange peel one of these days.

Selin Cake

Turkish Marble Cake


450-500g petit beurre biscuits*
1-2 dark chocolate bars, chopped into 3mm pieces
1TB instant coffee
200ml whole milk
9TB sugar
3TB butter (use more)
3TB cocoa powder, the darkest/richest you can get
1tsp vanilla

Dump all the biscuits into a bowl and break them in half. Sprinkle the cocoa powder over. Put the milk and the sugar into a bowl and microwave it 30 seconds or so. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then add the coffee. Melt the butter in another bowl. Dump milk mixture, melted butter, and vanilla over biscuits. Using your hands, blend everything just enough to coat the biscuit pieces on all sides. You do not want to smash them up too much because they become too goopy.

On a sheet of parchment or wax paper, spoon out the mix into a log shape. Lick fingers/hands extensively. Then wrap the paper around and gently mold the mix into a long, triangular form. You again don’t want to roughly smash it but just make the form compact enough that there aren’t big air bubbles or chunks that could easily break off. Make sure the wrap covers all of it tightly, even double wrap with foil if desired, and then stick it in the freezer.

Turkish cake wrapping

To serve it, all you have to do is remove it from the freezer and it is soft enough to slice and eat right away. Be sure to keep it wrapped tightly so it does not absorb freezer odors.

*Turkish-style petit beurre biscuits look like the ones shown here. I haven’t figured out what a suitable American equivalent would be. I think graham crackers are a no, and vanilla wafers too probably, because they are going to be too crumbly and get too mushy. The biscuits do not have a lot of sugar in them and they are very crisp.

It won’t be too long before we can try making this with American-bought ingredients.

No contacting!

My Contact Me page is getting hit by tons of spam right now so I took it down. It is a coded form page. I’ll give it some time and then put it back. If you would like to get in touch, you can leave a comment on this post, or send a message to heidijanebutler @ gmail

The Getting Shit Done Monster

The Getting Shit Done Monster

Although the actual departure date isn’t established yet, Maeve and I are definitely leaving Dubai in early April 2014–if not sooner if the right thing comes up! That means somewhere around 140 days from now. This seems like a long time, but it’s going to go quick!

For readers who have moved anywhere recently, you know, it sucks and there are a lot of details. International moves are like that except 100000000x worse. Figure in language differences, getting rid of so much stuff in various ways, packing things for long distance shipping, preparing wherever you’re going to land on the other side (and the people there) and, um, the special thrills of the organizational style we have here in Dubai. There is so much to do, both at home and at work, where they are making me move out of my current office by the end of this month.

It’s very tempting to put it all off until the last minute, but that’s a bad plan. I am trying to tackle one little thing at a time, and the Getting Shit Done Monster is there to keep me on track.