Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Thanksgiving is the appointed time for focusing on the good in our lives.
By Joanna Fuchs
Monday, November 24, 2008
- Pam Cooking Spray
- Karo Syrup
- Chocolate Chip Morsals
- Crisco Squares
- Coffee mate Creamer
- Lipton Onion Soup mix (not the same here!)
- Microwave Healthy Pop Popcorn
- Cake mix (sorry I don't know how to make from scatch!)
- Good shampoo/conditioner ( its like dish soap here plus its in tiny bottles)
- altoids (cant find them )
- Bath and Body Works products ( for my daughter she loves them)
- make up ( not the I wear alot but everybody has there favorite brand- seriously Cover Girl is not in Germany)
- Crystal Lite
Well this is my list so far plus books and DVD's they are hard to find in English and If you buy a DVD here you can not play on US region DVD players/Computers. Well I have less then thirty days to adjust and add to my list ....! Hope theres room in my suitcase!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Woke up to beautiful snow covering our neighborhood...felt like Christmas! I really never thought we would see this much snow in Bremen. We took Sophie on a walk to our country road armed with our camera and bundled up to fight off the freezing temps. Our pictures really do not do justice of how pretty the scenery was.
I loved the mixture of lingering fall and early winter .
Craig and Sophie enjoying the snow...What a beautiful way to start the day!
Friday, November 21, 2008
"It's snowing in Bremen"
Everybody keeps telling us it never snows in Bremen. The forecast is calling for snow mixed with rain all weekend so I thought people must be wrong plus I have a beautiful picture book showing Bremen covered in snow. I was so excited to see it coming down this morning and it snowed off and on all day never sticking of coarse but still it was snowing! Snow is the one thing we really miss about Utah but seeing it and being out in it reminded me of home. This picture is Sophie making her way through the blistery snow. Sophie is our "Eeyore" kinda has the attitude of "Oh bother do I have to"!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
100 Random things about ME
1. I’m Left Handed
2. My favorite color is Green (but I love Orange & Brown)
3. I married young- age 22
4. I knew I would marry Craig the first time I met him…Really!
5. I love Coffee
6. I live for a Diet Coke
7. Having Tea relaxes me!
8. Margaritas are dangerous for me! (Can’t stop at one!)
9. I hate to dance (unless I have had more than one Margarita)
10. I love to read Oprah picks
11. I love all my friends
12. I love being a MOM
13. I’m not ticklish
14. I like to cook but I don’t like planning what to cook
15. I like to clean house
16. Doing laundry relaxes me…I like seeing empty hampers
17. I watch MTV The Hills
18. I love reality TV
19. Hate to watch a movie twice
20. Hate to re-read books
21. Favorite movie Raising Arizona
22. Worst book I ever read- House of Sand and Fog (Hated it)
23. I believe in Angels
24. I love my Family
25. I love that I come from a family of all girls
26. Love coats (own too many, Want more!)
27. I hate to do karaoke
28. Favorite store is Target for everything
29. Favorite Beer Franziskaner Weiss bier
30. I love Halloween but hate wearing a costume
31. My daughter is the BEST love her so!
32. I have the best dog name Sophie
33. Fall is my favorite season
34. I’m always cold
35. I like to lay over the heater vent
36. I love talking
37. I snore occasionally
38. I have allergies
39. I love wearing second day jeans
40. I love being organized
41. I love drinking water with a straw
42. I’m afraid of fire
43. I hate spiders and spider webs
44. I collect Rooster and Chicken Decor
45. My favorite song is by Green Day –Good Riddance
46. I don’t like swimming in the ocean (sharks!)
47. I think I have a green thumb! But I don’t
48. I love going to movies
49 I love Lucky Charms
50. I love toasted Peanut Butter Sandwiches
51. I hate lunch meat (but I like Blimpies)
52. I lie about my age (forever 39)
53. My slippers stink!
54. I swear too much (sorry!)
55. I say sorry too much
56. I have Catholic Guilt
57. I suffer from CRS (Can’t remember shit)
58. I love Pop music (top 40)
59. I don’t like crowds
60. I hate to linger in a restaurant
61. I’m not a patient person
62. I may have a slight issue with Germs (hand sanitizer a must)
63. I’m not a hugger
64. I like my personal space
65. I don’t like using public restrooms
66. I fall off my bike all the time
67. I have no balance
68. I love taking pictures and want to get better at it
69. I made a quilt
70. I love knitting but can really only knit scarves
71. I love candles but don’t like to light them (fire issues)
72. I think my husband is so handsome
73. I love the smell of babies
74. I don’t like to change in locker rooms
75. I sweat when I’m nervous
76. I love Birthdays (mine especially)
77. I love Candy!
78. I love to figure out what is happening with police activity or an accident
79. My favorite dessert is Tiramisu
80. I love when my husband kisses my neck
81. Going to church makes me cry
82. I love the song Amazing Grace –makes me cry
83. I’m stubborn
84. I don’t throw away the microwave popcorn bag until it cools off (fire issues)
85. I love Maggie Moo’s Cake Batter Ice cream with sprinkles mixed in.
86. I hate milk
87. I’m afraid of the Boogieman
88. I hate scary movies and can’t remember the last I saw Halloween 2 Maybe
89. I love the 80’s
90. I know I’m lucky
91. I love to travel
92. I have a lot of fears
93. I gossip (in a nice way!)
94. I’m so happily married
95. I love themes
96. I think I’m brave
97. I love country and traditional furniture.
98. I wish I was more positive about myself
100. I think I have the BEST Life too!
Monday, November 17, 2008
One of my favorite things about living in Bremen Germany is the fresh produce and flower markets in the City Center. Everyday except Sunday you can come to the City Center and get any kind of produce , plus they have vendors with meats and cheese,nuts and the most amazing flowers. I don't know how they do it everyday getting set up by early morning and gone by 3 pm. After that the square is empty, no signs a market even exists. The best part is the prices, it's the only thing affordable in Germany! Katelyn bought herself an Orchid for 5 Euros ! Lets hope it lives long than the last one she bought!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
This picture is taken on a beautiful country road about a half a block from our house in Bremen. It doesn't really do justice to the beauty of this road. We like to take Sophie on walks there on the weekends or if the weather is nice ride our bikes. Its a long tree lined dirt road with horse farms along the side and it opens up to farmland, fields of corn, cow pastures, and a few random houses along the miles of bike paths. On many days you see nobody and others all you hear is the ringing of a bike bell to move over, very little noise , its so peaceful and tranquil but also a little eerie. I often have "Children of the Corn" flashbacks, that was not a good movie for me!
The first time we did a bike ride on the Country road was right after we moved here, it was a Sunday and my husband Craig decided we would pack some fruit and drinks and off we would go! It was beautiful for the first hour or so, but the path kept going and going with no real end insight. Just fields and more fields and cows everywhere ,I felt a little uneasy considering dark clouds were building and we could hear thunder. Craig got out is BlackBerry, armed with GPS, "Oh we are fine, going in the right direction No problem!" But there was a problem it started raining and raining hard and thundering. I was freaking out, we were in a maze of farms out in the middle of Germany, soaking wet and on our bikes and yes we were LOST. An hour later we made it home soaked and barely speaking to our navigator from Hell. Whenever he suggests going for a bike ride in the country I always hestitate.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Went to Bremerhaven today located about forty five minutes from Bremen. New "American " shopping mall there....so I went with some Mom's from Kate's school, Sheri and Sabine. Nice mall in comparison to Bremen. At this point the shopping is NO comparison to American Malls none what so ever. Anyways back to the Gay Penguins; so we met Sheri's husband John for lunch, he works down the street from mall and the Zoo. He told me about the Gay Penguins and them not reproducing so they brought in females from Sweden to entice them to reproduce or go straight. I was like NO WAY ! SHUT UP you are making this up....so you know the first thing I did was Google it when I got home ! Oh ya! Only in Germany ....When I tell you nothing shocks me ....well maybe I'm shocked for a minute then I say but of coarse we are in Germany! So Google gay penguins Bremerhaven Zoo Germany it's entertaining articles! Keep in mind I'm without a TV so this is entertainment for me! Sad I know!!!
In the beginning it seemed that everyday something “tragic” was going to happen. If the slightest thing went wrong, that would be our tragedy for the day, because nothing seemed to be going right by Katelyn and my terms for the first ten days here in Germany.
We started off with many electrical problems; first my blow dryer “blew up” with the converter, that was the start of my series of one bad hair day after another, then we were without lights in our bedrooms and bathrooms, plus a pluming problem on top of it all. We spent many days waiting for repairman and waiting some more. In Germany they will come Monday …when on Monday? Just Monday? Might not be this Monday but maybe the next day or so. Well you don’t dare go anywhere because chances are that is when they will come! None of the repairman spoke English - none! Not even a little! This is when I started playing charades and have been doing it successfully for seventeen weeks.
It took some time but the house repairs were finally completed and then our most painful problem, phone and Internet, even more of a challenge to get here in Germany. It takes many service workers and several days for that, finally a month a later and three trips to the store for the right phone we were up in running. I swear I thought we were getting “Punked”! I kept waiting for Ashton to jump out from somewhere! Everyone we would tell our communication nightmare to their response was always “Welcome to Germany “ or “But of coarse you are in Germany”.
Katelyn and I played a lot of cards and read a lot during our month without a way communicate with the outside world…. then school started and I was left alone to figure everything out alone!
Grocery shopping here was always a challenge. At first I wandered the aisle looking for something vaguely familiar and when you do find it; It’s a feeling of winning the lottery.
At first I thought I’m going to be vegetarian because the meat tastes so different but I could not figure out how to buy fruit and veggies. Every time I would bring fruits and veggies up to the clerk to buy they would say something in German and I would leave without fruit and veggies! Finally figured out you have to weigh and pre-mark the produce! There you have it. …Easy uh? Grocery carts; you need a token or a euro to use - that only took me a week of hand carrying groceries to figure out. Oh and by the way nobody at the grocery store speaks English. I basically cook a lot of the same meals just every recipe is minus a few ingredients. But sadly they do not have Coffee Mate Creamer, and many other things that are too sad to talk about. At first I didn't think I would survive with the food here but you quickly adapt and I have gained about ten pounds being here!! It’s the Bread oh my god the Germans make the best bread!! Then there is the Chocolate, most incredible Chocolate I have ever had…. followed up by my favorite the BEER!
Lets talk about Katelyn ….she is in a class of fourteen kids and she is one of five girls. There are three Americans in total. She loves her teachers and her classes and has become fast friends with many kids in her school that consist of about 260 kids grade pre K –12th.
She rides her bike most days, about 4 miles each way, if not takes a bus, tram and another bus to get to school. She discovered one of the first German Laws we learned…. It is against the law to ride your bike and talk on the cell phone! Okay I know that sounds reasonable but we are not talking about on the road it’s a bike path and a wide one at that.
Katelyn was pulled over by the Police only after ignoring them has they drove along side her yelling at her! About a block later they pulled over blocking the path still Katelyn thought it could not be about her and continued to ride…she finally stopped and was yelled at and interrogated and got off on a warning! It’s a 25 Euro fine if caught! I found it amazing because cars speed up and down the roads and kids are always drinking and riding their bikes, smoking and double riding etc… worse things then a phone call but It’s the Law.
Craig is enjoying his job and he to rides to work everyday about 17 miles round trip. He has not broke the cell phone law which surprises me but he did ride his bike into a moving tram and made off without a scratch. He's fine but we own more life insurance as a result.
We have learned you MUST pay a TV and radio tax. We don’t even have a TV but we do have a clock radio! 51 Euros a quarter if you don’t pay I think they ….I hate to think what they would do. You MUST let the Chimney inspector in to inspect it is the LAW.
Can’t cut the lawn on Sundays it’s the LAW! At fourteen you can legally have sex in Germany and drink with your parents, sixteen is the legal drinking age here. But you cant' get a drivers license until you're eighteen! Nothing really shocks us anymore ….we always say, "Well ya know, we are in Germany! "
Everyday I’m shocked by how many people do NOT know English …I know I’m in Germany and they are probably shocked that I do NOT know German. But lets sum up :
The repairman NO
The grocery clerk NO
The lady at cleaners NO
The people at Bank NO
The DHL deliveryman YES
The Mailman ALITTLE
Most Waiters and waitress at restaurants NO or maybe ALITTLE
Everybody knows a little but that’s all they say is the word A LITTLE
So yes, I will be learning German but probably just ALITTLE!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Well I said I would start a blog, took me awhile ....still trying to figure out my new life here. Each day has been one adventure after another, some days with laughter, some with frustration followed by tears, followed by beer and others just a blurr! Bremen is a beautiful historic city. Every time I walk through the City Center I'm taken back by it's beauty and hustle and bustle of the city life. We are getting used to living life as "Germans" do , learning about the laws and etiquette and customs, sometimes the hard way, but we are learning. Navigating the buses and tram system, bike paths and never leaving home without an umbrella. We had our first visitors last month, my parents. We had a great visit with my mom and dad showing them Bremen and we spent the weekend in Berlin. My mom was determined to get the Germans on the tram to smile, I have to say she was successful to my amazement. We are looking forward to Thanksgiving in London and Christmas in Utah.