Sunday, February 28, 2010

Traveling by trains....

We're was so good to get away and really good to be back. I missed my bed, my Sophie and my Wifi. We traveled by train it took us 10 hours and 3 stops to get to Austria. We didn't get reserved seating....don't ask me why! But this will be the last time we travel by train without a reserved seating. Mark my words! Top left picture is us standing on the train with way too much luggage and way too many other travelers and their luggage and crap. It was a nightmare and many international incidents happen on the rails, I may have used some sailor language on a fellow passenger that wanted to get by me and fifty other suckers standing in the hallway and entrance of car with luggage everywhere. I don't know where he thought he could go, did he honestly think we were parked there because it was a choice. I'm pretty sure he didn't understand me, I guess not all swear words are universal. Not only were there hoards of people but the heat on the trains were so hot. So you have too many passengers.....too much luggage.....heat.....add on non bathing Europeans, it wasn't pretty. Okay there may have been another incident involving a baby jogger and a large red suitcase, a blond and my husband that wasn't pretty either.
But the good news is we made it to Austria without getting arrested and had seats the last hour of our trip!!
The way back was the same nightmarish story, no seats, tons of people, crying kids, fighting kids, hot trains and BO at an all time high.
Traveling by trains is the cheapest way to see Europe but boy does it take patience, determination, skill and speed, plus a on hand supply of alcohol, coffee and candy!
Pictures of Austria to follow....hope to get caught up on everyones blogs.

Home Sweet Home

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Grüß Gott
from Austria
I wanted to show you my awesome tan from all the sun shiny days here. But I 
decided I look much better in a Sepia world, look I'm tan and no wrinkles!!! We 
have had a wonderful time here, spring like skiing. I skied three days which is a lot for me. 
Craig and Katelyn have skied 5. There really is no way to prepare your feet for ski boots... 
my feet are pissed! It's a pain right up there with child birth! We are here until Saturday,  
post pictures and such when we return.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Thank you Janine from My kids are fun for my award.

I'm suppose to list 7 things about myself
1. I'm 1 of 5 girls in my family
2. I'm left handed
3. I love candy
4. I broke my arm twice 
5. I can not for the life of me understand metric system
6. I knew the first time I met my husband I would marry him
7. I collect cook books but rarely but never use them.

I think all blogs I follow are Beautiful so if you have not received this award please accept it. Thanks Janine.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sundays In My City

Purple Condom machines all over and at many bus stops.
Germany has the lowest birth rate in the world.
Germany's teenage pregnancy rate is lower than USA and UK.
Most pharmacies are closed early and not open on Sunday. 
It's convenient and colorful.
The name and picture crack me up.
I love this about my city and Europe.

Stop by Mami and travel the world.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Heading to the hills

The hills are alive with the sound of music Skiing. We are heading to Austria for Katelyn's winter break. Gonna be gone a week, some skiing, perhaps some Nordic walking, window shopping and lots of pictures, hopefully some sunshine.

If my daughter lets me use her computer I may be blogging. Last year I saw lots of naked Europeans in the Sauna, it wasn't pretty. Who knows what this year will bring. 

Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thank you for all the blogging love I really appreciate it. I don't mean to be a Debbie downer I think it's been a long road of change.  I'm going to focus on the sunshine in my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Today the sun kissed my cheeks and I felt it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Then and now

Who was I ?

I was a wife, friend, mother, daughter and a sister, a aunt.
I was an employee, volunteer, carpool mom.
I was a hang out by the water cooler kinda gal.
I was a TV watcher, book reader, knitter.
I was a neighbor, chatty Kathy, friendly to all.
I was a shopper, deal finder, looker.
I was a thinker, confident, skilled.
I was supportive, listener, coffee pal.
I was silly and sassy, myself.
I was active, skinner (sometimes).
I was liked, needed and enjoyed.
I had purpose, wit, and knowledge.
I had a smile, a laugh, a purpose.

Who am I now?

I am a stranger in a foreign country, an American.
I only speak English.
I can’t grasp German. I’m trying but failing.
I am still a wife, friend, mother…daughter and a sister and aunt.
~I’m a wife that sole purpose is to support, cook, clean, do the errands, be happy and never tired.
~I’m a virtual friend.
~I’m a mother, some days better than others.
~I’m a daughter from afar. One that can’t be there to help or celebrate with, or need.
~I’m a sister from afar. One that is on a different time zone and available in virtual world, not a shoulder to lean on or commiserate with, shop with, have lunch with.
~I’m an aunt that misses the birthdays, graduations, school plays and sporting events.

I am not working for the first time in my adult life. No desire to volunteer,
I am without a car, the desire to just go is gone. It takes too much effort.
I have limited access to TV in English, never knit anymore, read blogs and a few books.
My neighborhood is older it’s like a retirement village minus the golf carts and mall walkers. I live in the outskirts of the city more in the country. This city is small not a large American community.
I only shop for food, why because the cost is high and the selection is low, and the need is gone.
My brain no longer consist of knowledge, current events, skills…it’s hollow. My memory is fading…it only consist of my thoughts.
I am less active, fatter, silent.
Do I smile? Yes but it is less and less.
Do I laugh? Sometimes
Do I cry? You bet
Am I lonely? For sure

I’m not asking for sympathy or understanding. I know this is an amazing opportunity for my family. I know it has afforded us to travel to amazing places. I know many would love to be in my spot. I have nothing against Germany or Germans. Yes it is different here, it’s not America it’s Germany. Yes the culture is different and the language difficult. I don’t mean to come across poor me or Germans this or the Germans that.
I’m not saying America or Americans are better it’s not about that. It’s about me and how I’m handling living here. I don’t need anyone to fix this or suggest do this or that. Please just know it’s not like being on vacation, yes it’s beautiful but so is your backyard. It’s just hard and I’m losing myself here….I’m not the person I used to be, not the person I thought I’d be, not the person I want to be.
Knowing this is not home forever helps. I believe that home is where your heart is…mine is spread out. Is living in American the answer for me to be me again. I believe the answer is yes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Black and White Wednesday, Wordful Wednesday

This picture is from last summer when we visited Oslo, Norway.
 I love it in black and white but also in color.

Today is one of those days where you just want to sail away.....

Join Lisa over at The long road to China and Angie over a 7 Clown Circus for amazing pictures.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Quit staring it's rude!

People stare here all the time....not just at me but others. It really drives me nuts. Sometimes I'm all self is my zipper down or do I have something on my face. Mostly it's for no reason at all. I try not to stare back but sometimes I want to beat them at their own game. I never win!

People shop everyday here....they have a little red riding hood type basket and they get whatever they need for a meal and off they go until tomorrow. I have not adopted that European style, we go once a week and load up. The looks we get with our over flowing cart of food by the 5 items or less people is pretty funny. Compared to them it looks like we are feeding an army, instead of 3.  My husband is the egg white man we buy 6 dozen eggs every week....our cart looks like it's always Easter. It's a bit embarrassing I feel like I have to explain to everyone staring at us.

When some people hear us speaking to each other in the store or on the bus they stare with their eyes open even wider and mouths gaping open. I promise we are not loud and obnoxious Americans....but it really makes you feel odd.

It's weird for me to go day in and day out with no one speaking to you, other than your family. When I do talk to someone that knows some English I end up talking like a 2 year old. Slow choppy sentences and sounding out every word and not proper English at all. I don't know why I do it, my daughter just looks at me and says why are you talking like dunno!

What if I move back to the States and I stare and talk like that to everyone......I think I need to be sent to a re-entry assimilation back to America program. So all my bad habits will return and my new habits will disappear. I hope it's like a spa and they have towel boys etc...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sundays In My City-Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day! Today in my city it's Sunday, just a regular Sunday. This part of Germany doesn't really celebrate Valentines Day like in America. It's less commercialize and some have never heard or celebrated today. So today we celebrate like we would in America...Hubby bought us roses and some candy and a pretty Starbucks Valentines Day mug. Katelyn gave me pretty candy dish with jelly bellies inside and some truffles. Hubby made a lovely breakfast and it feels like it should a day of love and sweet things. We are going to have a nice dinner at home with a bottle of delish wine and special cookies for dessert. My city tour today is of my loves....

Happy Valentines Day
 and Happy Sunday
travel the world today with Mami I hope your day is sweet!

Friday, February 12, 2010

It's Friday!!!

Friday Fragments~~~~ I never really sleep that good, I don't really feel like I have a lot on my mind or stress. My husband says it's because I don't exercise enough! WHAT! When I'm awake trying to be asleep ...brilliant things run through my mind....seriously I'm borderline genius in my subconsciousness... and when morning comes's gone. No memory other than I know it's was brilliant. 

I took Sophie to the vet this week for checkup and vet could not find her chip we put in her in order to move here. Odd she just kept looking at me dumbfounded and I gave her the same look back!! Now what! 

I decided to wear my spanx today instead of working out! Isn't the whole motive to workout, so our jeans fit better...guess what mine do! Thanks spanx! I told you brilliant...I know! I hope I don't dislocate my shoulder again taking it off.....I'm not drinking anything today either, can't risk a bathroom break! 

Germany... well I guess I can't speak for all of Germany but my city doesn't celebrate Valentine's Day, according to my source....German teacher aka paid friend! She said in all her life never....really never!
I have a few decorations sign says "BE MINE" . I explain it to her and she repeated it too many times and she said she was going home to tell her husband! Some how I think it will be lost in translation. 
I told her I have seen a few places in the city with decorations and chocolates ....I don't think she believed me! It's weird to not have holidays be so commercialized here, there are no mylar balloons saying Be Mine or Love teddy bears holding giant heart shaped chocolate boxes!
And NO CONVERSATION HEARTS, my all time favorite candy...or cinnamon lips, cherry juju hearts I know it's like living in sugar free hell! 

And yet there must be something fatting here or I wouldn't be wearing these damn SPANX!

Happy Valentine's Day and stop by Mrs. 4444 for more Friday Fragments!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I'm really bad at excepting awards.......sorry!
Sunshine Award x 3
I want to thank Deiala   and  Pink Martinis and Pearls and Lori  for my Sunshine Awards......Boy I guess I whine a little to much about the grey skies here!! Thanks ladies for bringing sunshine into my hazy days!

Happy 101
I also received this award from Sami Joe  , Thanks SJ for the award....blogging has brought so much happiness into my life these months abroad. Those cupcakes would make me would losing 10+ lbs.

10 things that make me happy!!
1. My Hubby
2. My Babies....Katelyn and Sophie 
3. My Family
4. My Friends
5. My vises....Coffee, Chai lattes, Red Wine..Beer...Chocolate!
6. The warmth of the sun
7. Blogging
8. Photography
9. Wi-fi
10. Reading

I'm a bit of a rule breaker,sorry ladies.....I'm suppose to pass Sunshine  Award onto 12 bloggers that brighten my day....all the blogs I follow bring sunshine into my day. So if you need some sunshine please accept this award and share the love. I think what makes you happy can be a hard one to list, mine changes all the time...
but I think it's good to reflect and appreciate all that you are and have. So if you want to play along and reflect on your happiness..... please do and pass it on to 10 of your Happy bloggers friends.

If you are not already following these ladies stop by and say hello....their blogs all about the sunshine and happiness and more!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Black and White Wednesday-Winter

Welcome to Black and White Wednesday
Stop by Lisa's at The long road to China and see some amazing B&W today!!

I'm so tired of winter....the cold, the snow,the grey skies. 
My winter boots....hat head....layers!
I'm trying to find the beauty in this season...instead of wishing it away....I like how it looks from my window and that there will be lots of water this summer. Beyond that, shoveling cobblestone is almost impossible, I need to go to the grocery's not a long walk but it's a walk. Here are a few of my favorite views from my kitchen window. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Also stop by Angie at 7ClownCircus for Wordful Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Preppy

Happy Birthday Preppy!!

Today my sister turns......
Not sure I'm allowed to say......
But I only hope to look as beautiful and young as her when I'm older!
My sister is a mother of 5 wonderful kids.
Wife to a pretty great guy.
Older sister to the 4 of us girls.
Has her own business.
Loves tennis and paddle.
Has amazing taste.
Great blog.
We have been lucky to have her pave the road ahead of us.
There is not one thing, having 5 kids she hasn't experienced or gone through. 
I love my sister with all my heart, she really is the best!

Hope you have a wonderful Birthday!!

Stop by her blog and wish her a Happy new 40!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super crazy football fan






Dedicated to the game!
Super Bowl played on the German Sports channel at Midnight...he crawled into bed 4:30-5 am

Yeah! Saints!!!! 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sundays in My City-Bremen Samba Karneval

Yesterday was the Samba Karneval in Bremen. Karneval is going on all over the world, marking the start of the Lenten Season. This is the 25th year of Samba Karneval in Bremen, every year it's a different theme. This year was land down under....sea creatures.
The crowds were unbelievable, it was bitter cold, skies were so grey.....but the colors and music of the parade made up for it all. It was so nice to see the amazing costumes, smiles on everyones faces. Kids were wearing face makeup and costumes along with adults in crazy hats! The music was loud, you couldn't help but move to the beat of the drums. After almost 2 hours it was still going on and I couldn't feel my feet anymore we made a mad dash to Starbucks to beat the crowds.

(click to enlarge)

Hope you enjoyed the colorful Sunday!
Unknownmami wants to show you more cities, stop by and say Hi!

happy Sunday!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Fragments-Episode Two

Last night was my daughter's Prom here in Germany, Katelyn calls it a wannabe Prom. Everyone looked so nice, it was at a hotel outside the city. Driving age here is 18 so most kids arrived via parents,taxi and one limo. Drinking age is 16 for beer and wine and 18 for hard liquor, there was 5 free drinks! My daughter is almost 16, the senior girl running the prom told Katelyn and her friends she could move them to the 16 year old list if they wanted! They were ahhhh!! No thanks....ahhh! that's okay !

It's has snowed everyday or every other since Dec 20th......there are generations that have not witness this much snow in 30+ years. At first I was oh! I love it....feels like Utah! Now I'm all are your effing kidding me!!

My German teacher told me she will not shop in certain stores because they address everyone in the du form...which is informal instead of the polite form of Sie. I don't really think like that switching how you talk to a grocery clerk verse a friend or a doctor etc...... but here they do. You always speak in the Sie form until you are good friends. I think my teacher is uptight or a snob. But I ask my next door neighbor that is from Canada , he is a really laid back kinda of guy. He said oh no I had a store person du me and I was like no way dude we are not friends you can not du me. And he went on and on about it. And in the next breath he said I'm going to ask the neighbor next to us if I can du them now but first I must have them over for cake and coffee.
First of all I was snickering inside my head every time he said du (sounds like do) he was du me do them.... instantly my mind went to the gutter! It's all so la dee da for me! I'm just happy when someone talks to me!

Happy Friday!!!
Stop by Mrs. 4444
for more Friday Fun.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Black and White Wednesday-Holy Stairway

The Holy Stairway in Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, Italy.

29 steps you ascend on your knees, with pure heart saying short prayer or meditating.
No matter your religion it is quite a sight, it's not easy to do. There were a lot of elderly men and women doing this. I tried a few stairs and it really hurt. See the lady standing on the right....big no,no there. Here is the picture in color, I like them both.

Visit Lisa over at The long road to China and see more Black and White Wednesdays.