Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Your's truly with a new "German" hat and gloves. (I actually REALLY like the hat! *smiles*)
People shopping at the Christmas market (this part wasn't as crowded as the first part)
In this area there were rows and rows of vendor stalls selling various crafts and food
Roasted chestnuts anyone?
This was a huge model train garden at the Schlossplatz, and they had a larger train that went around that people could ride on. (mainly for the kids)
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Snowy trees here in Germany
Other than that, I went to the Post Office today. I don't know if I mentioned that my mailbox was on the bottom row, I almost had to sit down on the floor so I could see to use the combination. So, I went over today and asked if I could get one that was more easily reached. The thought of spending the next 3-4 years trying to use THAT mailbox (that I had), was daunting. My arthritic knees just don't like the idea. So... since one of my favorite sayings is "You have not because you ask not", I asked... and I received. YEA! So, I have a new mailbox. Fortunately not many people have my address yet, so it won't be too much trouble (like if I had waited until after I sent out Christmas cards (which will probably be late this year)).
Friday, November 26, 2010
Smile, it's snowing outside...
The view outside my hotel room first thing this morning
My hotel room...
So... I survived my first real snowfall... and I found my way to work this morning without getting lost (YAY!). I couldn't do much at work today because I couldn't get logged into the computer. I will need to prove I have a couple computer classes under my belt before they let me log in. So, I read Policies and Procedures. (fun). And I talked with my boss quite a bit. I also found out that one of the new Psychologists are currently staying here at the hotel, so if I need something, I have someone I can call on. I met him at the office today, seems like a nice guy, he is coming from another location here in Germany.
One thing I'll have to get used to about living here, is everything seems to shut down early. The local "store" opened at 8am and closed at 7pm. (Even on Black Friday!). The post office I use is only open 9am - 6pm or something like that. The "Quickie Mart" (isn't a full store) closes at 7pm on Friday nights (otherwise it's 6pm during the week... huh????).
Tomorrow I'm hoping to go into Stuttgart with my boss, she's supposed to call me and I believe come pick me up at the hotel here, then we'll go to the nearest train station and catch the train on into town (Stuttgart is about 17 kilometers from where I'm at). We are going to go to the Christmas market. THAT should be fun! It'll be cold... but fun. I'm hoping to get some good pictures.
Okay... signing off,
Thursday, November 25, 2010
I've had a good Turkey day, how about you? I stayed up until about 11:30pm last night and then got up about 11:30 this morning. Then I walked over to the store and got some American to German plug-in adaptors and a docking station for my Ipod, so I can listen to some of my favorite music while I'm waiting to get settled. It's nice. Those of you who know me, know how much I love music. (And of course... I'm listening to Hawaiian music, longing for warmer weather).
My co-worker Dave & his wife picked me up about 1:30pm and we went over to my boss' house for dinner. She has a nice 3 or 4 bedroom apartment (the main floor of a three story building), its pretty large! And her rent is VERY reasonable (cheaper than I have been looking at so far). Dinner was fantastic, although I couldn't eat too much - it doesn't take long to stuff ME! I enjoyed the conversation, we talked about traveling and kids (my co-worker's and mine). My
co-worker's wife is from Russia, how cool is that? My boss has been in Germany for many years (she was actually going to major in it while in college, but changed her major to Social Work). She's been to over 40 countries and has many neat souviners all over her apartment!
Other than that... probably one of the most interesting things I found out today, was that my supervisor also applied and was interviewed for my same job! HUH? Ya know... this is the 2nd time someone I have worked with has interviewed for the same position and didn't tell me (a guy that I worked with at the dual diagnosis facility applied & interviewed for the same position I did... then had the gall (without telling me he had interviewed for it) to ask me how it went and what I thought. I told him that based on the demographics of the office that they would probably hire a male with a 'counseling' background (as opposed to a Social Worker) and wouldn't you know it... HE got the job! (And then didn't have the nerve to tell me!). Oh well... it is what it is... and for some reason known to those above me... *I* got this job.
Okay... it's almost 1opm, I'd better sign off and get to bed. Tomorrow I have to be at work by 7:30am and it'll be a challenge for me to find out how to get there! I've been there twice by car... now's my chance to see if I can find it by walking. So... it'll be an early morning for me and I still need to figure out what I will be wearing tomorrow (remember...it's COLD here! It's around 30 degrees or so).
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Coming into Stuttgart there were no problems. One of the guard directed me to the gate where you go if you have to "declare" anything (because of the dogs), the guard asked me for the dog's paperwork, glanced at it and asked if I was with the military and I said "yes." Then he let me through and that was it! YEA!!! Kathy & her husband Ron were there to meet me at the baggage claim and have helped me all day run around and get inprocessing done (and we went to the housing office, and to the Post Office and by my new office (twice) and to get a new ID card, etc. There are still a couple places I will need to see on Monday (I think most people are taking the day off on Friday). I am checked into a hotel near where I work, it is a BRAND NEW hotel and it has free internet access. (BUT has German outlets, so I need to get a converter for my computer plug-in).
Oh, and YES... it DID snow today. There have been several flurries, but so far, nothing has stuck on the ground. Possibly overnight. AND, the dogs are staying with Kathy & Ron until further notice (THAT seems weird... not to have them with me!). They met Kathy & Ron's two dogs today and did okay. Now they will just have to adjust to their routine.
Tomorrow I am having Thanksgiving Day dinner with my boss and one of my co-workers and his wife. That'll be nice. Friday I *will* have to work!
Okay, I'm going to sign off because until I can find a German converter, I don't want to use up all my computer battery power.
Guten tag (or for me right now it is Guten Nacht!).
Monday, November 22, 2010
And then there was a worry because I never got a receipt saying they were on board. I gave my stewardess a picture of them and asked if she would double-check to see if they were on board and she said they sent a crew member down to see and that they were on board. I had met the head stewardess just after I came through security and she said she was on my flight, that's when I broke down and started crying and asked that she make sure they were on board okay. Then the flood gate of tears started.
It was a semi-restless trip to Atlanta, when I did dream, I dreamt about the dogs (can't remember what now). I was so happy to see them here in Atlanta. There was another woman waiting to pick up a large lab - she had taken her dog to Kenya and back! (WOW! And she had a chauffeur...hmmm...). Anyway, she commented that it was a really good idea to carry a picture of the dogs and to have one on the kennel as well. My guess is that she might do something similar on future trips.
The dogs and I are at a Howard Johnson's. After we checked in, we spent several hours sleeping (I'm not sure I will sleep well tonight now tho). Tonight I went to Olive Garden for dinner (the dogs stayed here at their room in their kennel) and then I stopped and found myself some decent boots for Germany, one dress pair and one for recreation. I also picked up some doggy shampoo (and the doggies have had a bath tonight now) and some treats for them to take to Germany.
I'm okay for now, I'm sure tomorrow's flight will be stressful again, but it will be made better because I was able to upgrade to 1st class for this leg (for only 15,000 miles).
Okay... signing off. I may not be able to blog again for a couple days. But at least I'm halfway through my journey and I'm hanging in there.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
It's hard to believe that this time tomorrow night I'll be starting my BIG journey. I leave about 5:30pm and fly overnight to Atlanta, GA. Then I'm there for a day and a half before the 2nd leg of the journey to Germany. Please pray that the dogs do okay. I *know* I will be will okay, if THEY are okay! Thanks!
Time to sign off... if you don't see a blog from me for a few days, don't worry. Although I *will* try to post a blog from Atlanta on Monday night.
Friday, November 19, 2010
P (whom I am staying with) said she found 2 places where there was fresh vomit (of course, on the carpet!)... she didn't know which dog it was. So far tonight they seem to be doing okay.
I met my friend Goldie for dinner tonight. We went to "Outback." Where I am staying is close enough that I was able to walk over. It was a nice meal. I wish we could have gotten together more often. She'll remain a friend (she's also on my Facebook, so I'll keep in touch that way for sure).
Okay, I'm going to sign off... will post again tomorrow night.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
This morning I stayed "home" and took it easy this morning. I vacuumed (my friend's place) and boxed up more books to mail, kept an eye on the dogs (Peanut threw up this morning, early!). I also did some laundry. Then I went to the Post Office... sure is a pain having to do all the custom's forms! I mailed "10" (!!!!) boxes!
This afternoon I just went into work for a couple hours. I needed to do more out-processing. Then I had to come home and I picked up the dogs and headed to the Vet's. Bruno is looking better and the Vet didn't seem too worried about Peanut throwing up this morning. Afterwards I took the dogs to Arby's and I got them a Jr Roast Beef sandwich (I just let them have the roast beef, it was a plain sandwich and I didn't let them have the bun). I also got a cup of water for them. And they ate, and they drank. (they hadn't really eaten anything or drank anything all day). AND... so far they haven't thrown up any more.
Tonight I went to dinner with my friends D & P, and then T &D, we went to a Chinese Restaurant in Mililani and one of my former co-workers came in with his family, so I got to see him too. Dinner was delicious.
I put the dogs in the kennel while we were gone and they did fine. Then they played for about a half hour and got worn out. Now they are resting. I will need to take them for one last walk before bedtime.
Tomorrow is my last day at work. (no work, just out-processing). It's getting close! Three more nights. YIKE!
Okay... signing off.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
We finished up there about 11am and headed into town near the airport to see the USDA Vet there. We got there about 11:30... and found out that one section on the international form had not been signed off by the Vet (she doesn't do enough of them to know what needs to be done), so I called the clinic and told them I was heading back up there (good thing... otherwise the Vet would have been gone for lunch). Got the forms done as needed, then called the USDA Vet to make sure he was still at the office and let him know we got the signatures needed and that we were headed back down. THEN... Bruno threw up all over the center console in the car and on my phone (YUK!). Thankfully I had some napkins in the car. We got to the USDA Vet and everything went fine this time (the Vet was a nice guy!).
Then it was back on the road again, this time back to my (empty) apartment, because I had forgotten to leave the mailbox key (and something else I needed to give to my landlady). Her brother was already there to paint the place and was busy working away. After that we (the dogs & I) went by Goodwill so I could drop a couple bags of donations and then it was back to my friends' place (D&P). I left the dogs here and went on to work (for a couple hours). P said that as soon as I left, Bruno threw up all over the couch. (WHAT THE HECK???). I got home from work and took them out for a potty break, then was sitting talking to D, and Bruno started like he was going to heave again, I quickly jumped up and got him to the sink where he threw up some more. He's resting in my lap now. I hope he gets to feeling better soon. I don't need a sick doggy to travel all the way they will be traveling.
Tomorrow I'm headed to the main hospital to out-process, I'd like to get it all done in the morning. I need to be back at my job site by 11:30 or so, because they are doing a going away party with cake, at lunchtime. My next couple days are focused on out-processing.
Okay... time to sign off. I need to eat a bite and I'm watching the 2nd hour of "The Biggest Losers" (with Bruno in my lap and Peanut laying next to me).
Aloha... keep Bruno in your prayers!
Monday, November 15, 2010
So... today at work I got to review resumes for some bachelor level positions my company will be hiring for. It was interesting. I got to rank them and make my recommendations. I also created a standardized form of questions for my supervisor to ask the interviewees. (After discussing questions she had in mind). Needless to say, she was pleased with the product and my assessment of the resumes.
I also picked up a 90 day supply of my medications to last me until I get settled in Germany. One more thing done.
My landlady apparently called earlier today to let me know she had to run into town about 2 and didn't know when she would be home. I've tried to call a few times and have left a couple of messages. I was hoping I could give her my key tonight and turn the apartment over to her. I did stop by the apartment on my way home, glad I did. There was still stuff on the porch. There were a couple bags of stuff that I want to donate and there were all the shelves from the bookcase. I hauled all the smaller shelves, but then the neighbor boy came over and helped carry all the big shelves down. I still made about a half dozen trips up and down the stairs. And my back is telling me it didn't like me carrying all the shelves that I *did* carry.
Tomorrow is the doggy's day. They have their two Vet appointments. So, I won't be gong into work until after lunch.
Okay... I'm goin to sign off.
Well, the apartment is clean! YEA! I can’t believe how long it took! Wow! And of course, I had way more cleaning supplies than what I needed – I took the rest over to my friends Dan & Patricia. Hopefully they will be able to use them.
I feel like I worked very hard today. [I did]. The apartment is clean. (did I say that already? *smiles*). I took the dogs over with me and now they (and I) are exhausted tonight. I am hoping that the internet comes back up (it went down about an hour and a half ago. It feels like it should be midnight, but it still before 8pm.
All that is left at the apartment is a bunch of stuff on the porch that needs to be taken down to the trash. My wonderful neighbors volunteered their adult son to do it when he gets home from his job. Hopefully when I go over tomorrow after work to turn the apartment over to my landlady, then it’ll be done and I won’t have to do it. If I have to do it, it will probably be about 8 trips up and down the stairs. My landlady is planning to paint the apartment after I move out. It’s due for a paint job. It probably hasn’t had one in about 8 years.
Tomorrow I work. I will be doing a special project for my supervisor. She’s gotten about 50 applicants for 3 positions. I’ll probably end up making a spreadsheet so we can look at specific features that we want (i.e. a “check” if they have an MSW already, a “check” if they have worked with this kind of client before). It’ll make her job easier.
Tuesday is VET day. BIG day. That’s when I take the dogs and get their health clearance for flying. After the initial vet appointment, then we have to go down to near the airport and see a USDA Vet, to get their international clearance paperwork taken care of.
Wednesday and Thursday will probably be spent outprocessing. Friday there will be a company-wide function, so a relatively easy day. Then it’s the weekend and within less than 7 days now, I’ll be on a plane for the first leg of my journey to Germany. So… since the internet is off, I’m starting to read one of my Family Therapy dynamics books. (B-O-R-I-N-G!).
SO… that’s the status for now. If the internet comes up later (and I’m still awake), I’ll post this to my blog (and maybe a picture or two?).
Saturday, November 13, 2010
I came back to my friend's home & dropped off my suitcases (2 large, one rolling carry on and a backpack) and then headed into Waikiki to see a former supervisor/friend. We went to the restaurant (it was REALLY noisy in there, and we had to wait about an hour and a half to get a table. What can I say, it was rush hour for dinnertime in Waikiki. I didn't mind the wait though, we found some tables just down the street and waited and chatted until they beeped us and it was our turn to sit down at a table. We had a good dinner then afterwards I went over to her apartment (right there in Waikiki) and got to meet her husband for the first time. I didn't leave until about 10:30pm to come back home, and had to stop for gas (I guess I got to the gas station about 10:55, because they brought the cones over to block the lane, as they closed at 11pm). Coming back home was hard... I felt like I was three sheets to the wind (a LOT worse than feeling overly drunk!). I made it home safely (obviously).
After waking up early this morning to take the dogs out for their morning walk (I snuck out the back way so I wouldn't make Brutus bark... Brutus is my friend's Cocker Spaniel). Then I came back to the room and slept til almost noon. THAT was nice.
Then I took the dogs and headed back to the empty apartment. I managed to get my bedroom & the bathroom cleaned (wiping down walls, washing windows, sweeping, mopping). I got the two tall bookcases that were left behind (because they are falling apart) taken apart and put into the livingroom - from the "office" or 2nd bedroom and got the 2nd bedroom swept out. I also washed the shower curtain (and a couple other "whites") so I could bleach them. Then it was time to head back over to my friend's house. We went out for a bite to eat and then tonight we went and saw the movie "Hereafter." It was good and thought provoking (although it *was* a little slow in areas). I enjoyed it. (It's a drama about whether there is life after death or what might happen after we die). I've been with four people as they were dying (I was with both of my parents when they died, I was with my friend Janis til the end, and then my friend Clare, I was with her the last few days, but had to leave on Wednesday morning and she passed away Wednesday afternoon. I'm glad I could be there with each one of them).
SO... my blogging MAY be a little intermittent over the next two weeks or so... just to let you know. I'm here for another week in Hawaii and then a week from tomorrow (well, Sunday) I leave for Atlanta where I have a one night layover, then it is on to Germany. What a crazy next couple weeks it will be.
Tomorrow I will head back over to my apartment to finish cleaning it (and will have to make several journeys up and down the stairs!). The worst that I have to finish, is emptying and cleaning the refrigerator and also the cabinet under the sink. Then I'm coming back to my friend's place for dinner (I think they are grilling pork tenderloin).
Okay... time to sign off. It's about 10pm, it has been a tiring day and tomorrow will be more of the same. But, as I tell my clients "this too shall pass." (and "trust the process.")
Thursday, November 11, 2010
This morning got off to a slow start.. my landlady called and asked if she could come over at 10am to get the room measurements, apparently her brother is going to paint the apartment after I move out. So... I felt like I had to clean up the apartment a little (it's messier than normal because of preparing for the movers tomorrow). Oh well, the cleaning didn't go to waste. The doggies got two long walks this morning, their last walks in this neighborhood (most likely). On the 2nd walk, we ran into a neighbor with her two dogs, and Bruno had fun playing with Trixie, chasing her around a green area here in the apartment complex. That's the first time Bruno has really played with another dog, it was nice to see him playing. About 1pm I took the dogs over to Dan & Patricia's and that's where they are now. It seems quiet without them here, but I'm able to get a lot done with them over there. They'll spend the night there without me tonight.
By the time I get done tonight, I should have gone through everything in my apartment. I'm going through my computer desk drawers now and my file cabinet. That's about the last thing I have to do as far as preparing for the movers. I have been doing some laundry, washing blankes and various stuff. I probably *will* be up til 2am tonight. I have pretty much packed, it looks like I'm only planning to take 3 pairs of shoes (my doc martins, a pair of tennis shoes and a black pair of shoes) and a pair of crocs (they're lightweight). I should say I've pretty much packed my two large suitcases. I still need to pack my backpack and my carry-on. It's kind of different, because not only do I have to consider what *I* need, but also what I need for my doggies (i.e. Peanut's ear medicines).
Okay... I'd better sign off, the news is almost over and I'm almost done eating my sushi (California rolls) for dinner (I had half for lunch, now having the rest for my dinner). It's time for me to go finish up in the spare bedroom. Then I need to pack up my carry-on and my backpack. Then I need to take my pictures off the walls, and I need to unhook all my electrical stuff. (i.e. computer and tv stuff). So... I've still got a lot ahead of me.
P.S. I've been listening to the radio while I work and they were giving a couple tickets away for a local flavored comedy show tomorrow night and guess what? I WON! So... I'm going to see if one of my former co-workers can go with me, it'll give me a chance to see her before I go. I sent her an email but she hasn't responded yet.
Just a short post, I couldn't find any free wireless last night (from home). I had a wonderful going away dinner with about 16 co-workers. We went down to "the Little Village Noodle House" and it was delicious. Some of my co-workers hadn't been there before, but they enjoyed themselves and had fun. I'm sure many of them will go back.
Okay... I need to get busy. My landlady is coming over in about an hour to take some measurements (and my place is a mess) and I need to take a shower and give the dogs a bath, then I'm taking them over to Patricia & Dan's for the day/night, while I finish up around here.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
So, I had the day off today. I stayed up too late last night (guess I'm trying to get myself on German time already?). This morning when I got up I gave the dogs their bath and then we headed off to the Vet clinic. I've been worried about Peanut scratching at her ear. Turns out she has a bacterial infection in her ears. So, I got to learn how to clean her ears with some special solution and was given some medication to put in her ears every morning for the next week. At least they should be healed before we leave (and before she has her Health certificate check-up).
After we left the Vet, we went over to Dan & Patricia's house to see if the dogs could get along with their dog. After the initial testing between Bruno and Brutus (he's a Cocker Spaniel), they got along okay. Patricia offered to watch the dogs while I went to the Post Office, which was good, because it took me almost an hour. I mailed 7 packages. But, I have to complete a custom form for each of the packages.
I came home and have been cleaning out my pantry. What can I say, I'm a hoarder (not as bad as some), I couldn't believe how much food I had in my pantry that had passed their expiration date. YIKES! What a waste of food. The only cupboard I have to go through yet, is my vitamin cabinet. And I still have to work on my spare bedroom and my file cabinets. AND... I still need to pack. So... I still have a lot to do. I know what will happen is that I will be up Thursday night til 2 am trying to finish up last minute stuff before the packers come on Friday.
And... as I write this, I'm watching "The Biggest Loser." Tomorrow I have to turn in my cable box (maybe that's a good thing?). SO... I *won't* have internet connection and I *won't* have TV to watch (both serve as distractions). I *may* be able to hook up through someone's wireless internet, hopefully someone nearby has an unsecure network I can tap into. If I *can't*, there won't be a blog tomorrow night. Just so you know... I may not be able to blog every day for the next few days (unless I do it from work tomorrow before I leave?).
Tomorrow after work I'm going with my co-workers for my going away dinner. It's at 5pm down at "The Little Village Noodle House" in Chinatown. It's one of my favorite restaurants. Should be fun. It doesn't sound like everyone got the notified of the dinner unfortunately (co-workers from other clinics), even though I sent the list to the person who was supposed to be taking care of sending out the invite.
Okay... gotta scoot.
Monday, November 8, 2010
And, I've made a hotel reservation. Not the best hotel in the area, but I can have the dogs there and it's not so far from where I work (as say, being in Waikiki would be). I've got reservations for the 12th - 21st.
I'm taking tomorrow off (Thank you Lord!), to try and get a lot more done. I've got the 9am appt with the Vet and I've got 6 boxes so far to mail. (Hopefully I will get them all mailed tomorrow. I need to figure out what else I need to mail, because I would like to number them X of X (i.e. 4 of 6).
So.. I'd better sign off and think about getting some things done around here.
P.S.!!! The wife of one of my co-workers called me just now and asked me if I would be interested in staying with them. They have two spare bedrooms AND a dog, so tomorrow after the vet, I'm going to take the dogs over to their place to see how they get along with Brutus (a cocker spaniel). Dan & Patricia are the ones who came over yesterday (and Dan came back today) to pick up a lot of extra stuff (including my scuba gear for a GREAT price) and they've met my dogs. Wow. What an offer! One of my other co-workers offered to let me stay with her, but she has two cats. As I said, the dogs have met Dan & Patricia (so D&P know what they are getting into). I was worried about leaving the dogs in the hotel all day while I worked... well, Patricia doesn't work (but is going through physical therapy), so she's home most of the day to monitor them. It would be a good way to see how they will do with my future co-worker when I get to Germany. I'll keep you posted...
Sunday, November 7, 2010