Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Coffee and Company

I'm in the mood for some company today so I'm hosting a come as you are party. Everyone stop what you're doing and come over for some coffee, cake, and visiting!

Wacked Out Wednesday

I'm on my second cup of coffee right now. That's right with caffiene. I almost never take caffiene and so I'm on overdrive. I haven't slept well the past two nights and this morning I woke up at 0430. I can't take a nap during the day or I will not sleep at night and so I'm on caffiene. Today I start packing for my trip. I'm so thankful that I will have use of a washer and dryer so I don't have to try to pack a million clothes. I'm bringing all of Alaina's clothes even those I think are too small for her because I'm hoping to meet other adoptive moms over there and maybe someone could use them.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tired Tuesday

I'm tired. I didn't do all that much today, but I didn't sleep well last night. Kept having night mares. Anyway, today I went to the PX to get Alaina some more clothes. She needed onezies, socks, and sleepers. I was really disgusted with the lack of clothing for size 12 months. There was almost nothing. I was hard put to find onezies and I could only find one sleeper and it was so ugly. Socks were no trouble but really. Are there that few babies wearing 12 month size? I say that because the racks are labled and there were hardly any lables for that size. She did get one outfit, but that was all. In other news I've been working on my coupon book for an hour or two every night. So many people are sending them that it takes some work, but it's worth it. I'm getting 4 packs of oral B dental floss for free tomorrow. Well, actually they are paying me 1 cent to take them away. There are some people I am slowly schooling in the art of coupons and sales, and it never fails that someone asks me about them while I'm in the store. Now some of them look at me like I'm nuts but when I explain how much I save and that it can be considered a vacation fund the light bulb goes on over their heads. lol It's kind of funny to see. I should clarify however that the time spent working on coupons is done while we are watching TV or the news or a video or something. So it's not like I just sit there and do nothing else. Anyway that was my day. We are taking a break from finalizing travel plans so I thought I'd blog a bit. Cya later!

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Must Read

For an interesting read about Obama go see Jungle Hut.

Manic Monday

Today I began my countdown towards heading for Guatemala. I did the regular Monday things such as changing the linens on the bed, putting fresh towels out and putting a load of laundry in to wash after putting the load I ran last night in to dry. So I made up the bed, folded the laundry from the dryer and put it away. Put the towels in the dryer and put the sheets in the washer. Put away the little outfits of Alaina's that were air drying. I took time to check my email and found that there was room for me in Guatemala. It turns out that many adoptive parents end up going and taking over the foster care of their child while waiting for the process to be completed. I found a place that is something like a bed and breakfast that caters to us adopting parents. At the place I will be staying there will be a large room for me and a crib for Alaina. I will have use of a common room, the kitchen, and the washer and dryer. They will provide linens, kitchen ware and dishes, and cell phones that will charge me 13 cents a min to call the States. That works for me because we have an internet phone with a State side number. I will bring the stroller we bought and all of her clothes. The place is within walking distance of shopping and grocery stores and I need not be lonely as there will be other adoptive parents sharing the house with me. So after I found out they had room, I emailed back to reserve a room, let my husband know, and started looking at plane tickets. Then I went down stairs and made a real macaroni and cheese using whole wheat penne pasta. I also made some blueberry bread and it is delicious if I do say so myself! Then I emptied the dishwasher, reloaded it, ran it, and hand washed everything else that needed washing. Wiped down the counters, cleaned the stove and headed for the commissary. I haven't done any real grocery shopping for some time. Since before my sister came really. I stopped by a few times and got a few things but not much. So today since I didn't have time to go through my coupons I went to buy the things I know I will not have coupons for. Namely meat, milk, etc. My goal was to buy enough to last until I get home from Guatemala. 6 lbs of hamburger 2 pkg of chicken, a steak, a brisket, eggs, cheese, yogurt, 2 large bags of cat food (with coupons from the store) onions, green peppers, lettuce, 4 TV dinners with coupons from the store (for Alan while I am gone) 4 quarts of long life milk (like Parmalat from the States) 3 rolls from the bakery (some of Alan's favorite) and turkey sausage. All for 80 bucks. Not too bad. We don't get sales on meat here so you always have to pay full price. That will turn into a huge kettle of chili, a 3 pound meat loaf, barbeque brisket, a homemade sausage pizza, oven fried chicken, hard boiled eggs, and enough milk for his cereal while I am away. I'll freeze the chili in meal portions so all he has to do is pull it out in the morning and it's ready to go in the evening. The chicken and steak will likely be eaten before I go. The hard boiled eggs keep well and will be snacks for him while I'm away. The pizza I will freeze and he can put in the oven when he wants it and the meat loaf I'll refrigerate and he can bake with in a day or 2 of my leaving. I'll make the brisket up before I go and that will likely only last him a day or so. Big meat eater. Otherwise he will have to make due with TV dinners and eating out or at the dinning factility. The DFAC is actually a decent place to eat and is really pretty cheap for what you get so I'll feel ok about that. Now I'm just waiting for him to come home and the macaroni to come out of the oven so we can eat. Then I'll fold the sheets from the dryer and organize my coupons for the rest of the shopping tomorrow. How was your day?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Adoption Update

OK, there is new information on Alaina. We have been told it may be another 8 weeks or so before we can take her home. They have to do this and they have to do that. Long story. So, we have decided to send me down there to Guatemala City to assume her care until we can take her home. I will be leaving in about a week and a half and then you wont see me around for at least 6 weeks as my internet access will be limited if I have any at all. So, I am getting all of her things washed and ready to go. I need to go and buy her some more underwear and socks and a really nice dress for her Embassy exit review. I also need to see that Alan has enough food etc to last until he joins us there. Good luck me!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Garmich and Amsterdam

The day after Rothenberg we went to Garmisch, Germany and stayed at the Edelweiss resort there. The weather was a bit rainy at times but we just relaxed and enjoyed the scenery. Then the last hurrah of my sister's vacation was a trip to Amsterdam. I love that city. I'm not really sure why. It may be the fact that it was the first city outside of Germany that we traveled to after moving here. It may be that when my husband and I went we went to the Anne Frank house and to the Corrie TenBoom home and it was so exciting. I consider Corrie to be a heroine of the faith, and it was very exciting and inspiring to be in the place where they put their faith into action. You could really feel the Spirit of the Lord there. My love for Amsterdam certainly has nothing to do with legalized prostitution, pot, hash, legalized gay marriage and polygamy, but it is a beautiful city and it's so exciting to see so many things from the past. Fran and I went to the Anne Frank house of course and then went to the Jewish history museum. We enjoyed a lot of really good Greek food while listening to the wandering musicians. We rode the Canal Bus and enjoyed the sights and shopping and coffee. I suspect my sleepiness this week is the lack of caffiene! It's somewhat rare in Europe to find decaf. We traveled on Swiss Air and it's a really nice plane. They give you some wonderful Swiss chocolate to enjoy instead of peanuts.

The month went by so fast, but we had a good time and she flew out last Saturday loaded down with souvenirs and chocolate.

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Sister's Trip Part 2

We had a great time in Prague. We stayed at the Cloisters Inn in the old part of the city. It is an old medieval monastery and is in walking distance of everything you'd want to do in Prague. We walked across the Charles bridge and had supper by the river where I got a big kick out of the waiter trying to flirt with me. lol We spent quite a bit of time in the old Jewish quarter. When you go into the old cemetery or one of the synagogs they give the men a paper yalmaka to wear. I was a bit put out with all the men who casually tossed theirs on the ground or just refused to wear them. I realize they are not Jewish, however I do think it is appropriate to respect the custom while in their house of worship. Anyway, my back held out alright though I did have to rest quite a bit. lol We had coffee or some variation all over the place. We did one walking tour through the old town which was supposed to be a ghost tour. They told the old legends of many years past and had a guy who jumped out and scared everyone and it was offered at twilight so that was fun. We went to the Prague castle and walked down through the golden avenue. When we got to the train station to leave, the original platform we were to meet our train on had been changed. Neither of us speak any Chech and we were desperately trying to find the right train. We found it and you should have seen us jumping train tracks to get on before it left. lol Wow!

Our next outings were a trip to Poland for polish pottery shopping. Poland is lovely but they seem to be quite poor there. I was interested to note how the roads changed as soon as we crossed the border. The 4 lane autobahn changed to a 2 lane road. I'm hoping the EU will help change some of that. We went shopping at some outlets in Neustadt near Weiden one day and then another day we went to the walled city of Rothenberg. We didn't get to spend much time there and we never found the Italian ice cream stand but we'll go back another time.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Sister's Arrival

My sister Fran came to visit for a month. She arrived on may the 10th. What a busy month it's been! The next day she had her first experience in a military chapel and then had her first time eating brunch at the mess hall (now called dining facility or DFAC). She is currently finishing her doctoral dissertation in medieval history and so in all our down moments she worked on that, well at least she did until I got her hooked on an internet puzzle game. :( bad me. Anyway, that first two weeks she attended a Hail and Farewell, a forum in which 3 soldiers were awarded medals, shopped with me in the commissary and PX, went to Bamberg on two day trips where we saw 3 castles, a medievel cathedral that is still in use, an old medieval church that is not, an open air market and lots of shopping and ethnic eating. Yum! In the first two weeks she also got to attend my husband's change of command ceremony where he officially took command of his unit, helped me pull off the reception (in the army you give your own receptions for change of commands and promotions) and we went to Prague on the train where we met an interesting young man who is working on his doctorate in biochemistry. Between him and my sister, I felt like a real slacker let me tell you. Here are some pictures from the first two weeks of her visit.


We are having some trouble with our digital camera. As soon as we get the problem corrected I will post the pictures of our trips.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


OK How does one go about writing posts and then scheduling them to post at a certain date and time? Can anyone help me?

The Past Few Weeks

So in the coming days it is my intent to fill you in on what has been going on around here the past few weeks.

I'll start with April. A few weeks after we moved into this house (which happened on the same day I had back surgery) our landlord informed us that he had a buyer for the house. He said it had always been his intention to sell and these people wanted to look at it. So they came (with out him) to look at it. They asked us why we were moving if we had just moved in and we said we aren't moving, the rug is being pulled out from under us. When they discovered that the owner had been decietful with both of us (he told them that the house had been empty for 7 months) the husband told my husband and then came and said again to me that they would not even consider buying the place under those circumstances. I didn't really believe him as after he said that they continued to look around. I mean really, if you wouldn't even consider buying a place why stay? Just go. So anyway after they left we found 3 internet sites that have the house listed. He is asking a different price on each site but they are from 300 to 400 thousand euro. When he initially told my husband about the potential buyers he offered the house to us but for 440,000 euro. Essentially 100,000 euro over the price he is asking of others and 200,000 over the market value. Interesting. So a few weeks after these people wouldn't even consider it we get an email from them telling us that this house is on their short list to buy. In the mean time we had consulted a German lawyer who informed us of our rights. According to German law our current landlord does not have the right to kick us out for any reason. Therefore, if he should sell the place the new people would have to do it but they would also be bound to honor our contract. Also, there are specific rules that govern all of this and none of them have been followed. Enter May. The landlord has moved to intimidation tactics to try and force us to move going so far as to come to the house when he knew my husband wasn't home and bring someone with him to threaten me. What he didn't know was that my sister was there and a witness to anything. He said publicly that he had a key to our house (illegal) and that it is his house and he can come in any time and do any thing he wants to. Of course none of that is true, but he stuck his finger in my face and kept advancing on me as if to hit me. I felt in danger and yelled for help. He and his buddy quickly left. The MP's and police were called, reports were made, an every 30 min. drive by was started by the MP's, my husband was called home, and the LL was informed in no uncertain terms that to enter our home at anytime without our prior knowledge and consent will result in his immediate arrest. Our lawyer was informed and he wrote him a letter that he is not to contact us again in any maner. By writing, telephone, email, text message, he cannot come to the house, he cannot come by the house, etc. If he does he will be arrested for assault. They don't have harrassment laws here but they would count it as assault because he is making my blood pressure go up and that is damaging my body. An interesting point in German law is that had he called me an ___ ____ or any other dirty name he would have been arrested right then, that is illegal but it's just fine to threaten to come in the middle of the night and do anything he wants. I don't really get that. I should let you know the German police were amazed at all of this and had a hard time believing that a German would do such a thing. Until of course I informed him that he is not German but Irish and married to a German. lol Then they understood. Not that the Irish are bad but that a German would naturally know better. Anyway, so here we are and here we will remain. I'd be suprised if those people buy the house because they will not be able to move in when they want to. At this point they would have to spend several months in a hotel or temporary housing before they can move in. Anyway that is the latest with the house. We have gotten back on the post housing list but we are not on top and will have to wait until something opens up. Thankfully they will pay for the move for us as none of this is our fault and we had found him through the housing office in the first place. The matter has been taken up the chain of command to the garrison commander and I would not be a bit surprised if they canceled all of his leases with the government and made his bar off limits to all military personnel. He has delt with us wrongly and as we all know, you reap what you sew.

The next dramatic event tomorrow.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I'm Back

Well, I've been gone quite a while, but I'm back now. My sister left on Saturday. She had been here about a month, and we did quite a bit of traveling. We went to Prague, Bamberg, Amsterdam, Poland, Rothenberg, and a few other places. It was great to have her and we look forward to her return next year. In the mean time everything has been acomplished that Alaina can come and we are only waiting on our court date to go and get her. It should come any day. In the next few days ( unless I am on my way to get Alaina) I'll show you some pictures of our trips etc.
Carrie asked about my back. It is doing better. I think it gets a bit better every day although there have been times that I've overdone it and then had a slight set back. I try not to but when it doesn't hurt it's hard to know that I'm overdoing it. All the traveling I've done lately has been very tiring and right now I'm recovering from that. All in all though I think I'm doing well. Thank you for asking.

So spell check still doesn't work? What is up with that? They can fix it to where we can write posts ahead of time but they can't fix spell check? Am I the only one?