Thursday, January 29, 2009

German lesson number three

Today was my third German lesson I would love to be all la dee da and write three in German if I knew how to say or write three in German, but English is all you get from me today! I still know how to say Moscow is in Russia and Richard has a friend name Paul and he is learning German and is a lazy student. I know that sounds a lot like my second lesson, please I said the same thing to myself, as I handed the teacher her money today. But then I remember I learned the feminine, masculine and neutral ways to say THE and another way to say NO . I may not know how to count to three or say the alphabet and I'm going to be totally screwed at the market this weekend, can't order bread but if I need to get to Japan I'm set!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Double meaning

Today I did a girls day with two Americans living here in Bremen and a German native. We had a wonderful coffee and bread with all kinds of spreads, great conversation and stories. The German ladies home was amazing, very warm and inviting, filled with many treasures from their travels, and interesting artifacts. I loved listening to her talk, her English was very good, much better then my German. She was very funny unlike any German I had ever met, full of energy and spunk. When we came to her house we were greeted by her "housewife".....I was a bit confused so I played along and waited until she turned the corner and said to the other American what did she call her and she said, "housewife". Now keep in mind I just left Utah where having more then one wife is common. She explain it to me it's what they call maids, she does everything, cooks, cleans, laundry anything and everything. What do you think they are thinking when they ask us Americans "Do you work ?" and we say oh we are housewives! Do you think they think we are German maids? I want to get a housewife too I figure when in Germany do as Germans right!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sometimes it's the little things

I've had a lot of gray days lately and I'm trying to find the sunny spot of my day, just the smallest simplest shadow.......
Today I finished my Mad Men Season 2 though I wasn't happy with the ending, I think I wasn't happy with it because it ended. And it means no more Don Draper....but I did enjoy many episodes today. I finished my book The Alchemist and I really enjoyed it and it left me pondering many deep thoughts and my head spinning! I had my second German lesson today and I still can't order bread or say the alphabet or count but I know how to say Richard's friend Paul is a lazy student. And that the teacher is on vacation, all very useful German I imagine! We were given a TV from a very nice co worker of my husband that may or may not work, but still very generous of him. But the highlight of all and I will always get such humor from hearing he could not stay for a drink after delivering the TV tonight because he was off to be "SPORTY" ! He said AH! yes I am a very SPORTY GUY! JA! It would have been rude of me to start laughing, but it's the little things............I just bit my tongue instead! And wished the SPORTY GUY a good night!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Simple joy of the sun

I never thought I was one of those people that their moods were weather affected ........but I'm starting to think different. Bremen's winter is gray and bleak, wet and cold, the sun rarely shows it's face. It leaves me dreaming of sunsets near and afar.................

Cabo San Lucas Mexico

On the Seine River in Paris

A rare Bremen Germany sunny day

How smart were you at 10 years old?

The German education system is different in many ways from the ones in other countries, especially America.
Children in Germany start school at the age of 6, and from grades 1 through 4 attend elementary school (Grundschule), where the subjects taught are the same for all. Then, after the 4th grade, they are separated according to their academic ability and the wishes of their families, and attend one of three different kinds of schools: Hauptschule, Realschule or Gymnasium. So basically at the age of 10 you are tested and that determines your future. Age 10 can you even imagine at the age 10 having your future decided and laid out for you, according to your abilities.
The Hauptschule (grades 5-9 in most German states) teaches the same subjects as the Realschule and Gymnasium, but at a slower pace and with some vocational-oriented courses. It leads to part-time enrollment in a vocational school combined with apprenticeship training until the age of 18.
The Realschule (grades 5-10 in most states) leads to part-time vocational schools and higher vocational schools. It is now possible for students with high academic achievement at the Realschule to switch to a Gymnasium on graduation.
The Gymnasium (grades 5-13 in most states) leads to a degree called the Abitur and prepares students for university study or for a dual academic and vocational credential. The most common education tracks offered by the standard Gymnasium are classical language, modern language, and mathematics-natural science.
Grundschule teachers recommend their students to a particular school based on such things as academic achievement, self confidence and ability to work independently.
The Gesamtschule, or comprehensive school, is a more recent development and is only found in some of the states. It takes the place of both the Hauptschule and Realschule and arose out of the egalitarian movements in the 1960s. It enrolls students of all ability levels in the 5th through the 10th grades. Students who satisfactorily complete the Gesamtschule through the 9th grade receive the Hauptschule certificate, while those who satisfactorily complete schooling through the 10th grade receive the Realschule certificate.
No matter what kind of school a student attends, he/she must complete at least nine years of education. A student dropping out of a Gymnasium, for example, must enroll in a Realschule or Hauptschule until nine years have been complete.
German children only attend school in the morning. There is no provision for serving lunch.
A free higher education could lie beyond a German Abitur. No tuition is charged at Germany's hundred or so institutes of higher learning, but students must prove through examinations that they are qualified.
There are several varieties of university-level schools. The classical universities, in the tradition of Alexander von Humboldt, provide a broad general education and students usually attend them for six and one-half years. The Technical Universities (Technische Hochschulen) are more aimed at training students for specific careers and are usually attended for four and one-half years. There are also Hochschulen for art and music.

In my daughters International School they have many German children that after finishing their Grundschule switch to International School for learning English and not test for placement that decides their fate for the future at such a young age.
So in her ninth grade alone you would typically have 14-15 year old and she has some Germans that are 16-17 years old which means a typical German will be 20 years old by the time they reach the University Level.

It’s all so different but could you imagine a free college to all as long as you pass the entrence test. I like the idea of that. Makes me wonder how good the colleges are?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Great Read

I just finished reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen I highly recommend this book. It was an easy read and so interesting, you will never look at a circus the same.

Now I'm starting The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho it was recommend by some Joe at Barnes and Noble. Has anyone read it and was it good?

German Lesson

Today was my first German lesson and I was so nervous. My teachers name is Bea, she has a last name, she's not one of those people that can get away with one name like Madonna or Cher, but I'll be damn if I can pronounce it. So Bea (I want to call her Aunt Bea but I don't think that would be tolerated) came to my house armed with a German workbook and within minutes I was speaking German with the help of Aunt Bea.

But the problem is she spent an hour and half teaching me the map of Europe in German. Okay not only did I have to learn German she expects me to know what countries are where in what parts of Europe and America. i.e. Brazil is in South American okay that was easy but I have to say Geography is not my strong point kinda like running...I'm just not good at it. Here is another question in German, Morocco is in what country? No idea it was in Africa let alone North Africa. It was so hard and confirmation the I'm an idiot American that thinks nothing else exist except United States of America!

I kinda thought we would start with the alphabet then move on to numbers and top the lesson off with a few colors....not confirming that I'm Geographically challenged. So next week we do map again Ja! Ja! but it's not gonna help me when I go to the dry cleaners and I can't tell them to lighten up on the starch!

To the Alps we go

( Nobody we know)

We made our reservations for Katelyn's February school break! Yeah! My husband the love of my life has always wanted to ski the Swiss Alps, well Katelyn still needs to go to college. That is out of the question, it cost an arm and a leg and a kidney too. Our friends are going to Austria to ski so we basically invited ourselves along....they are the same Alps but not in Switzerland and only cost an arm! I'm so excited, first that my husband gets to ski the Alps and second that its really a resort that is geared towards my level and our friends are also my level . So basically I won't be left behind by Craig and Katelyn. I hotel is so quaint and the whole little village (it's probably a town but village sounds cuter ) is right out of Sound of Music.

Quaint or what?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Universal Language

Today while I was being Sporty I got roped into taking a Salsa Aerobic Class my trainer Yvonne was teaching.....My first thoughts are what if instead of weight loss water after the class they serve Margaritas? One never knows? I stand in the back, how hard can it really be right! Well it is hard and I'm currently having difficulty moving...!

But I'm happy to say I followed along pretty good, learn to count to three and more importantly there are several key words that are universal.

1. Mamba means Mamba

2. ChaCha means ChaCha

3. Samba also means Samba

4. Sexy means Sexy

Other than those key words I have NO idea what she was saying, I just kept moving and shaking to the sounds of Ricky Martin.

Oh and by the way there were NO margaritas after class! :( can never have too many right?

I love clogs ! You can never have too many right....? I own many pairs all different colors, styles and brands. I'm thinking of getting this pair but have gone back and forth. Now they are on sale for $40! What do you think are they too spaceman like?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's been a "really GREAT" day!

I'm so proud of this day in America.....what a great day to witness such an amazing historical event. I'm proud to be apart of this change, to be united together as one nation. We have a new president and hope for a brighter future. Amen!

P.S. Also a good day here in Germany I finally start my German lessons on Thursday! A new year and change all around!

Dog walking in Deutschland

Dog walking in Deutschland is so very amusing and interesting. A lot of people, not everyone, but many walk there dogs while riding their bicycle. I'm convinced all German dogs are trained to do this and the only people actually walking dogs on leashes either do not have a bicycle or can no longer ride a bicycle! Or are non Germans like myself. Every time I see this I just laugh....Sophie would never, we've tried! She would get a sniff of something and I'd go flying off the handle bars! It would not be a pretty picture...but when Sophie got back from the "farm" while we were in Utah for Christmas I could tell this was indeed how she had been walked. How did I come to this conclusion? Well every time I would take her for a walk after our return she would want to run not walk. Okay I may have mention before I DON'T run! My husband the love of my life is thinking well lets do it "when in Rome do as Romans" right! He took her for a spin and she did fair not okay but fair. Maybe with some practice that's how THEY can take a walk but if she's with me will walk to old fashion way with leash in hand!

Sophie and Craig practicing on the country road!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mommy misses her Maytag

I never fully appreciated my front loader Washer and Dryer until I moved to Germany. Sorry Maytag....I miss you, please forgive me ! My husband, the love of my life said to me this weekend "boy you have been doing laundry all weekend!" and I said, yeah because I can only do tiny loads of wash and then it takes two hours to dry. Hello have you not seen the pathetic washer and dryer I deal with! Plus I have a fourteen year old girl that wears something for a milla second and it ends up in the wash! He said "well yeah I guess your right"! Ladies know how lucky you are with your huge washers and dryers....I'm so envious right now!

My Pathetic Washer located in my KITCHEN!

My equally pathetic Dryer located in the storage room. Dryers here do not vent outside the water catches in the thing showing on top and I dump the water out mid load into a bucket!

Yes a bucket and the year is 2009!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Martha Stewart Style in Deutschland

While you were all sleeping in the lovely USA I was trying my hand at some baking. I'm a collector of cookbooks, mostly for the pictures and an occasional try here and there. One of my pretty books is Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook , I have had it for some time and never cracked it open.

I have had a craving for blueberry muffins for awhile and thought I'd try my hand in making Martha Stewart style!

German Blueberries with a touch of flour

Ready for the oven, three plain ones are for Katelyn (she does'nt like blueberries)

Finshed product

Hubby giving it a taste......yum!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hide and Seek with Sophie

Sophie has chronic ear infections so we are always having to treat her ears and she hates it. If I go to the medicine closet or get out cotton balls she runs and hides. It really cracks me up I never knew dogs had such memories. Here is Sophie hiding from medicine time.

Under my bed, she totally ignored me when I called her name!

Peaking out but still ignoring me!

Now just being cute but still hiding!

Worst hiding spot but still a room she usually doesn't hang out in!

Friday, January 16, 2009

4th Photo

I was tagged by Somer at
Somer is an amazing person in love with her Pugs and has an incredible zest for life.
Ok here are the Rules....
Go to your 4th album where you store your photos post your 4th photo in that album. No exceptions!!!

My 4th photo....

This little guy is Ryan. He is the cutest little big guy you have ever seen, has the bluest eyes and it warms my heart to share this photo. He is the son of a very old friend of mine from New Jersey, Linda.We have been friends since I think second grade, and I adore her family. One of my happiest days was the day she became a momma, I hope baby number 2 will show up soon.

Okay now I get to tag four people..........
1. Brittney at -Because she hasn't blog in weeks and I miss hearing what she and Ben are up to.
2. Ina at Because she loves her pups like Somer and she is really hip and takes amazing pictures. Plus she is a Jersey Girl and need I say more!
3. Tami at she is a great blogger friend and always has great pictures of her boys and now food! yum!
4. Patty at because she is the photographer of our family and always has interesting pictures.
Okay your it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Are you having a "really" great day?

Over the holiday we were with friends when the topic came up "how many great days a year do you have?". It was a question from a game they had played, I have CRS (can't remember s#@t) so I can't remember the game but play along. There was six of us having this discussion and we all had different answers and ideas of what in our minds meant a really great day.

To me a really great day changes with each day so I said probably 250 out 365 days in a year. Some days it is like Christmas full of gifts and happy memories, some days if it's sunny out and I finish my to do list. Or spending the day with a friend, shopping and having coffee and good conversation. Really my "really great day" is probably different than and next and per our conversation it was.

But today on a fellow blogger site she had a great post that makes me rethink my answer to 360 days and hopeful for more. Her message and favorite quote is Life is now, Live each moment!

So I'm thinking why can't each day be a "really great day". How many "really" great days a year do you have?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Blog Award

Turning out to be a really good Monday, I was sporty, saw a naked man and an Award ! WOW !
Tami at gave me this nice award. She has been so kind and welcoming me into the blogger world and I'm thankful for her friendship.

Here's the Friend Bloggy Award Scoop:These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

Here are my eight blog choices:
1. Katelyn- she is my baby and I love that we both blog
2.Lecia- Because I love her recipes and awesome pictures
3. she cracks me up and I'd loved it, if she was my neighbor!
4. she as great stories and love her attitude
5.Brooke- is new in her area also, fun spirited gal.
6.ht She is famous blogger that wont even know she won an award by little ol me but worth the read, so funny!
7.Patty- sister that hates awards! But her blog is awesome and informative,worth a follow.
8.Somer- is the cutest gal and her blog is so important about getting the word out about CF ,plus her babies are so darling!

Thanks ladies for making my days so enjoyable and thanks Tami for thinking of me!

Sporty Girl is back!

With some Catholic guilt and pressure from a friend I drug my lazy,tired still a little ill arse to the Fitness Club. No one cheered, clapped, there was no balloons or confetti just a mean German girl that was irritated with my lack of German. I was there and ready to be sporty! That's what Germans or maybe all Europeans, or anyone but Americans, call working out or any form of Athletics is Sport . So if you do Sport you are being sporty, when I hear that I feel like I'm one of the Spice Girls or something fancy like that.

So I decide to take it slow due to the fact sport and me have not been best friends lately, I started with the treadmill, pretty safe. The thing about working out in a foreign country is you not only have a language barrier, that's one and then you have to do math right out of he gate, that's because everything is in metric, that's two! I never really grasped the whole metric conversion, so on the treadmill its asking me for info in German, things probably like age, height , weight personal stuff, why can't I just hit quick start and walk.
Finally figure it out and I'm walking and walking, I then notice its awfully quiet in here, you could hear a pin drop odd a gym without music. No techno like at grand opening, No cheesy 80's music nothing ! Okay I'm fine, lost in my thoughts, people watching, walking and now I'm sweating it is really hot in here like sauna hot. I'm not sweating because of the workout no I won't lie I was walking not even a slight jog just walking. Apparently according to my husband the gym he went to was the same way and if you open a window they freak out Germans do not like drafts!

So I did the treadmill and bike and my circuit and I was dripping wet with sweat, to look at me with my skin glistening and my hair all frizzy from the humidity one would think wow that girl was sure sporty. I had a good workout and it felt good moving but the sweat was definitely more from the lack of ventilation then too many reps.

After finding my way back to locker room, I quickly changed and tried to salvage my hair when out of the corner of my eye, do I see a naked man. I know Americans are uptight with nudity and I'm guilty of that, but never did I expect a naked man to take a wrong turn and end up in the Women's locker room. All I will say is it was not pretty and I hope I don't have nightmares about my day of sport.

I left with a big to go cup of "Weight Loss Water" and chuckled the whole way to my tram stop!

Don't be late in Germany

In my daughter's school bulletin this reminder to not be late to school struck me as funny and kinda odd, so I thought I'd share!

Lateness due to bad weather
Now winter has set in we are understanding of traffic delays and the like, due to inclement weather. However, think ahead and leave a little earlier so that your child arrives on time. School starts at 8:00 am. This means children are seated in the classroom – not walking through the main door.
Punctuality and good time keeping are historically a trait of “North Germany” but also a necessary aspect of everyday life.

So am I wrong to think this only applies to the "Germans" in her International School and the rest of us are exempt or are "North Germans" the only ones that historically have this trait of caring about being on time and keeping good time.

I personally think its the rule through out the world school starts at such and such time and you are to be there and seated as so. But one thing I have learned is "Germans" do not like to be told what to do so this is a kinder more gentle way of saying "get your damn kids to school on time, who do you think you are!"

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hold the confetti, I'm coming back!

Okay my German Gym has not seen me in awhile or at all since my first visit well that 's because I was in the states for the Holiday for two weeks and came back with a terrible cold! But is it really necessary to play on my catholic guilt, is it not enough that I see myself everyday with a muffin top and get winded walking with Sophie. These constant reminders are too much!

Hallo Kathy,
wir vermissen Dich! Komm doch mal wieder zum Training!
Dein Fitness Park Team

Hi Kathy,
we miss you! Come have a look back at training!
Your team Fitnesspark

Seriously do they really miss me?
When I show up will they clap?
Hug me?
God I hope not, and here I thought Germans were not friendly....!

Here is their second email attempt to entice me to return, now if they said all the "weight loss water" you can drink, cold and all I'd be there today!

Hallo Kathy,
Damit Du in Zukunft noch erfolgreicher bei Deinem Training bist, möchten wir Dich zu unserem Trainingssteuerungsseminar einladen.In diesem Theoriekurs geht es in erster Linie um Deinen Trainingsplan, Ausdauertraining,Muskelaufbautraining und die richtige Ernährung.Das Fitness Seminar findet jetzt auch immer mittwochs um 18 Uhr im Fitness Park Horn statt.Bitte vorher telefonisch einen Platz reservieren.Fitness Park Horn 0421/2760001Dein Fitness Park Team
Hi Kathy,
So you in the future even more successful in your training are, we want to You about our training management seminar invite. In theory, this course is primarily concerned with your training, endurance, Muscle training and proper nutrition. The fitness seminar will take place now every Wednesday at 18 clock in the Horn Fitnesspark instead. Please call in advance to reserve a place. Fitnesspark Horn 0421/2760001 Your team Fitnesspark

Alright, alright I'll be there first thing Monday but no balloons or confetti please!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Reservation or Not

Reservations or Not... we found a restaurant in Oberneuland that we really like, we have frequented several times since moving to Germany. Every time we have gone it's not full and we have never had a reservation yet they always ask if we do. We are talking ten tables or more open but they seem to be put out that we didn't call ahead...a little confused by this! So tonight the manager/ bartender aka best English speaker in place said " it would be BEST if next time you make reservation" okay again empty restaurant, plenty of servers, not necessary but "it would be best". Okay so next time we will follow the rules and make a reservation because " it's best if you do"! Best is Better!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Mad for Mad Men

The only time you can sit or lay all day on the couch quilt free is when you are sick. In between blowing my nose and coughing I watched almost all of season 1 of "Mad Men". My friend gave it to me for my birthday and I have been saving it for the right time, well the time is right and I'm hooked! This is a bad thing, I believe season 2 is out which is good but I'm sure season 3 has started and since TV land doesn't exist beyond BBC and MTV I will patiently have to wait. The character Don Draper is so dreamy its a love/hate relationship we have ,but Edward Cullen is no more Don Draper is my man, my Mad Man!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'm Sick.....................

Sneezing ,coughing, sore throat, congestion can't get out of bed kind of sick! Hate it! Why, why me!! Not the start to the New Year I was looking for.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Crazy for Hats...........

I have to say that I really don't think that I have a problem....although my family will say otherwise! I love to shoe shop and have my fair share of shoes, and coats, and I may have a slight problem; I'm willing to admit. I think of myself as a collector but not a addict of articles. My current collection though is hats. This it is a necessary collection, or addiction, because of the weather here in Bremen! I have acquired five new hats that I absolutely adore and had to strain myself and say NO to three others that I'm still a little bummed that I didn't get! Which one is your favorite?

1. Green Beanie

2. Diamond Bucket Hat

3. Another Green but different hat

4. Brown Velvet Pageboy Hat

5. Brown Quilted Bucket Hat

6. Brown Houndstooth Page Boy

7. Black and Gray Boiled Wool Bucket Hat

8. Black Herringbone Ball Cap

9. Pink Knit with Green and Brown Flower Beanie

10. Gray Smart Wool Beanie with Pink and White Flowers

Here are the three I had to come home without :(

Monday, January 5, 2009

Blog Award

This award goes to the following Blogs

Rules: pick 5 blogs that you love or enjoy the most and pass along the award!

It's that simple!
ps. make sure you post the award on your blog!!

Thanks Tami for the award!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The time has come....

Tomorrow is my official start to the New Year. Getting healthy, learning German all those goals I promised myself. Which means losing weight, part of that is giving up several things I've come to love like my Franziskaner Wissbier and chocolate. I think I can give up the chocolate okay but the German Beer! I'm going to try and just have one on the weekends. Its not that I have a problem its just really good beer but wasted calories I know this. Wish me luck and hope my family survives the first couple weeks may be rough.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Utah Photo Sabotage Extreme

Every picture taken while visiting Utah contained one or more photo sabotage's! Nobody seem to want to pose for normal pictures during this trip....could it be because they didn't want to show up in my blog?

Christmas in Utah

We had a great visit home for Christmas. It was a whirl wind of a trip, trying to fit in visiting family and friends with Christmas shopping and stocking up shopping plus eating at our favorite places and movies and skiing. We managed it all and relaxed some. I regret I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to but here are some pictures from our visit home.

Katelyn and Allie decorating the tree

Katelyn Christmas morning

Mom and Dad

West Family

Adamson Family

Spending time with F's

Work buddies

The C's and Us

Me and my GF's

Craig and Kate skiing with L's

New Years Eve Partayers!