Monday, April 30, 2012

Some pics from Trier...

Neat statue (water fountain) in Trier...

Palace in Trier...

Porto Negro - old Roman gate in Trier...

So... had a busy day at work today. Between meetings and appointments... I still managed to get my notes done on the computer (now if I could just catch up on my assessments, I'd be happy!).

I did go for a short walk after work, but I'm only at 8,000 or so steps today. And I've been watching some TV ("Undercover Boss" and "The Amazing Race" both are good shows.

I'm going to sign off for now, I've got at least one more thing to do before I go to bed and it's already 9:20. I'm shooting to be in bed by 10pm again tonight.

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Volksmarch in the Black Forest and Freiburg

This reminds of a scene from the "Sound of Music." It reminded me of Switzerland or Austria... but it's in the Black Forest. These are the hills were were volksmarching in. I knew as we were hiking down some hills that we'd have to come back up sometime. There were about 100 of us from our Volksmarching club that went down. After we got done hiking (it was in the Saint Peter's area) we then went to Frieburg for about three hours. I did the 10k volksmarch, but then I am sure I walked as much as that in Frieburg.

The Gothic Chapel in Freiburg. It took over 300 years to build. I took a LOT of pictures today, but it's already 9:40pm and I hope to be in bed by 10pm. We didn't get back to the area until after 8pm and then I had to stop for some gas on the way home.

Anyway... I'm exhausted. Between yesterday and today I've done almost 45,000 steps!

I'll post more pictures as I get through the week. I'm going to sign off for now.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Trier & the Holy Robe

The most precious relic in Trier Cathedral is the Holy Robe, the tunic of Christ. According to tradition, the Empress Dowager Helena brought the seamless robe of Christ to Trier. The Holy Robe is mentioned for the first time in the 11th century; the history of the Holy Robe is documented with certainty only from the 12th century, when it was removed from the west choir to the new altar in the east choir on May 1, 1196.

It has been on display in: 1513, 1514, 1515, 1516, 1517, 1524, 1538, 1545, 1655, 1810, 1844, 1891, 1933, 1959, and that last time it was on display was in 1996. Since the Cathedral renovation in 1974, the Holy Robe has been kept in its wooden shrine from 1891, lying under an air-conditioned glass shrine. The last great pilgrimage, in 1996, became a celebration of all the faithful, with its continuation in the annual Holy Robe Days. Over 700,000 people visited the Robe in 1996. Only during the Holy Robe Days is the Holy Robe chapel accessible, but the garment cannot be viewed. The original state of the textile has altered because of past events and the unfavorable storage conditions, as repairs have frequently been made.

The question of the genuineness ot the Holy Robe cannot not be answered with certainty. For the faithful, the symbolism is important: the relic signifies Jesus Christ Himself, His incarnation and the other events in His life up to the crucifixion and His death. The undivided and seamless garment is also a symbol of undivided Christianity and evokes the binding power of God, as ist expressed in the Trier pilgrim's prayer:

"Jesus Christ, Savior and Redeemer, have mercy on us and all the word. Be mindful of Thy Church and bring together what is diveded. Amen."

So, I left early, around 6am and got up to Trier just about 9am and found a place to park. I kind of wandered around trying to orient myself, but found the Trier Cathedral. When I went in, a church service had just started, so I stood in the back (the whole time) and listened. I don't understand much German, but the music was nice. And... I managed to be up towards the front (they let us through the roped off area once the Priests started giving communion) and so I got to be one of the "earlier" ones (that were present in the church) to see the "Holy Robe." And no... I wasn't supposed to take pictures inside the church (but I was definitely NOT the only one). I try to never use a flash inside an old church (or where there are old relics or paintings), the only time is happens is by accident (1x today in another church). Anyway... the "Robe" above is what all the excitement/commotion is about right now. I'm glad I went to see and I'm glad I got there early. When I went back by about 3pm, man, was that place super crowded (outside, people waiting in long lines to get in). Whew! Glad I went early!

I spent a lot of time wandering around the town. I'll post more pictures later this week. Right now it's once again almost 11pm and I have to meet up with the Volksmarching group at 7:30am tomorrow morning. We are going on a volksmarch in the Black Forest. Not sure what time I'll get back home, hopefully not TOO late.

On my way home I stopped by Ramstein, picked up a couple things for my car and had dinner at the Macaroni Grill... yum, yum (same thing I always get... the Lobster stuffed Raviolli). My car felt like it "glided" across the highway (I didn't take it up any higher than 130mph, but kept it pretty much around 100mph when there was no speed limit). About an hour north of Stuttgart, not sure what was going on, but I felt like we (traffic) hit about a 10 mile stretch of locusts! They were huge! (felt like they were the size of humming birds!). I finally pulled over at one of the autobahn stops that had a gas station and washed off my front window. It was getting so bad I could hardly see out the window! UGH!

Okay... g'night for another day!

- Kris

Friday, April 27, 2012

Going to Trier tomorrow!

Trier is a historic city in west central Germany, just six miles from the Luxembourg border and 120 miles SW of Frankfurt. Trier makes a manageable, and very worthwhile, day trip from Cologne or Frankfurt. Trier is Germany's oldest city. Legend has it that in 2000 BC the Assyrians established a colony here. The Roman colony of Augusta Treverorum (Trier) was founded by Augustus in 16 BC. Trier became a favored residence of several Roman emperors, including Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor. The cathedral Constantine built in Trier in 326 AD is Germany's oldest. After destruction by Germanic tribes in the 5th century, the great city of Trier became a small town. It still feels pleasantly small today, despite its population of 100,000. Trier's market square (Hauptmarkt) is one of the nicest in Germany, filled with fruit stands, flowers, painted facades, and fountains. Catholic pilgrims still come to Trier in large numbers to honor the relic of the Holy Robe at the Dom St. Peter and the tomb of St. Matthias in the Benedictine church named for him.

So... instead of posting a picture, I thought I'd post some information about Trier... my destination tomorrow. I'm excited about going and seeing the "Holy Robe" and just being in such an old place. I'll be sure to take my camera and take lots of pictures! *smiles*

Work was busy today. I only had one appointment (a walk-in), but then I had GOBS of paperwork and I had to make several phone calls. We also had a meeting first thing this morning, a birthday celebration at lunchtime and another meeting this afternoon. I ended up not leaving work until 7pm or so.

But... I also managed to show my (old) car to someone that sounds like a promising prospect, so I'm happy about that. And I bought a much-needed floor lamp for my office (someone dropped it off to me at work).

So... it was also a *somewhat* productive day.

I think the one frustrating thing about today I had a couple people who need counseling for their kids (two different teens from different families) and I just don't have any more time slots for kids without their missing school. I only have 4 afternoon appointments and 1 early morning appointment that I can put kids into. I have a working parent in my morning slot and then the afternoon slots are all taken by kids. And the other half of our clinic (that specifically does individual behavioral health) are getting farther and farther booked out, so much so, that they apparently don't have any openings until June. SO... it seems like I'm getting the overflow. I usually just book my appointments weekly (I usually see people once a week or every other week). I did talk to my supervisor about it. We have one provider who gets overwhelmed easily so has cut back their schedule a little, which then makes the most prolific provider upset because they feel like they are seeing twice as many clients and are working twice as hard... so then that provider cut their caseload back to match the other person. Argh! I didn't look and see how many clients my one co-worker saw this week... but I doubt if she saw half as many as I did. And the other issue with this is that while I'm doing about as many appointments as those on the Behavioral Health side... I have twice as many notes to write because most of my appointments are with couples.

Oh well. Job security, right? I still like my job (but would love to get a raise... and the only way I apparently can do that is if I take a position at another location).

Guess I'd better sign off... it's after 10pm and I'll be lucky if I am in bed by 11pm. And I'm hoping to be on the road early in the morning.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I missed the "Currywurst" museum in Berlin... but this truck was cool!

I hate it when I am trying to find something, but can't. I had a "portfolio" of important papers... you think I can find it? Nope! That's what I get for not making it a priority to organize my paperwork. GRRRRR! And while this house is big... its not THAT big. There's only SO many places I can put things. I'm trying to find the portfolio because it has the title to my Focus in it... and I can't sell my car without it!

Work was busy today. I had an appt to start off the day (with MY doc... just to get refills) and then had 6 appointments with clients and a potluck lunch. People seemed to like the chocolate dipped strawberries... and there was a LOT of food today!

I came home with good intentions to go out for a walk, but a good friend is working on her Master's degree (in Social Work) and sent me a paper and asked me to review it for grammar and such (English is her second language). So... I sat down to do that and it took a lot longer than I expected (it was 5 complicated pages long). And then of course, I had to watch Survivor and I also caught part of American Idol.

Now, here it is after 10pm once again... time for me to sign off for another night.

G'night & Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Another HUMP day... halfway through another week!

People looking at the display at "The Wall" in Berlin

Here are some photos of the remnant of the "Wall" in Germany. I'm glad they didn't tear down the whole thing, so for those of us who had not seen it when it was up, could get a better idea of what it was like.

I don't know where the time went today at work, I wasn't that busy (two appointments called to reschedule), but I didn't get everything done I had wanted to do. (Story of my life, right?).

After work I stopped by the grocery store. Tomorrow we are having a potluck. I didn't have any real ideas about what to make. I bought the ingredients to make the Pampered Chef "Chicken Ring" recipe... but then I saw all the fresh strawberries and decided I'd try my hand at dipping some strawberries (I know I've enjoyed those when a former co-worker would bring them to our potlucks). I still have dipped the strawberries though, so I'd better sign off and get busy! *smiles*

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Walt!

This is the famous "Checkpoint Charlie" in Berlin (and if you want to donate 2 euro, those fake soldiers standing in front will let you get your picture taken with them.

Elephant gate at the Berlin Zoo...

Today is Walt's birthday, I think he's 87 or so today. I miss Walt & Bette!

Today was relatively busy at work and in my free time I was looking at various travel options for June. I have a couple "free" weekends in June that I need to figure out somewhere to go. I am enjoying my car... had a nice ride to work (gave my neighbor a ride) and back from work. I'm thinking I should take a run up the autobahn on Saturday somewhere... just not sure where. Maybe I should go up to Trier... it is a VERY old city (with ancient Roman ruins)

There's an old "Holy Robe" on display from April 13th-May 13th. It hasn't been on display much over the past 500 years. This is one of those "once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Here's some information about it:

Trier Cathedral and the Holy Robe
The Holy RobeThe most precious relic in Trier Cathedral is the Holy Robe, the tunic of Christ. According to tradition, the Empress Dowager Helena brought the seamless robe of Christ to Trier. The Holy Robe is mentioned for the first time in the 11th century; the history of the Holy Robe is documented with certainty only from the 12th century, when it was removed from the west choir to the new altar in the east choir on May 1, 1196.
In 1512:
Opening of the high altar in the presence of Emperor Maximilian under Archbishop Richard of Greiffenklau and the first pilgrimage to the Holy Robe

Further Pilgrimages:
1513, 1514, 1515, 1516, 1517, 1524, 1538, 1545, 1655, 1810, 1844, 1891, 1933, 1959, 1996

Since the Cathedral renovation in 1974, the Holy Robe has been kept in its wooden shrine from 1891, lying under an air-conditioned glass shrine. The last great pilgrimage, in 1996, became a celebration of all the faithful, with its continuation in the annual Holy Robe Days. Only during the Holy Robe Days is the Holy Robe chapel accessible, but the garment cannot be viewed. The original state of the textile has altered because of past events and the unfavorable storage conditions, as repairs have frequently been made.

The question of the genuineness ot the Holy Robe cannot not be answered with certainty. For the faithful, the symbolism is important: the relic signifies Jesus Christ Himself, His incarnation and the other events in His life up to the crucifixion and His death. The undivided and seamless garment is also a symbol of undivided Christianity and evokes the binding power of God, as ist expressed in the Trier pilgrim's prayer:

"Jesus Christ, Savior and Redeemer, have mercy on us and all the word. Be mindful of Thy Church and bring together what is diveded. Amen."

Next Pilgrimages:
13th April – 13th May 2012

So... I think I should drive up there on Saturday. I think it's the only chance I'll have to get up to see it. Sunday I'll be on the "Volksmarching" bus to the Black Forest for a volksmarch, the following weekend I'm going to Sofia, Bulgaria... then I think I'm on call the next weekend... then the weekend after that I'm at a work-related conference... and then there will be Memorial day weekend (which I *still* don't have plans for!).

Anyway... that's what I'm thinking... The drive is just over 3 hours to get up to Trier... so if I get up fairly easy, I should be able to get up, do some sight-seeing, and stop off for some dinner on the way back.

Okay... signing off

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, April 23, 2012

YAY! I got me a NEW Car!!!!

In the center of upper dash is where the key fob can go in and the button to push above it. And that's the GPS/Navigation/DVD, music screen to the right of it.

Here's a picture of my new car (and the dashboard). It has a keyless start. As long as I have the little fob in my pocket, I just need to get in and push a button and it will start. How cool is that?

There is so much I like about it. I think I will be very happy! I picked it up after work (and for only having a couple appointments scheduled today, I had a fairly busy day, between the appointments, walk-ins, typing up the report from the weekend, talking to my boss about it several times...etc).

After I picked the car up (my boss gave a ride over to the dealership, but said I should have walked... and had I not had so much to carry, I probably would have). Anyway, then I ran back to work to see if I could catch my neighbor (they were there for softball practice for their son, but apparently I *just* missed them). Tamie had said that Curt could drive my yellow car home. So... after looking around for them, I headed home. Traffic was REALLY backed up the way I normally come home, so I took a different route and then stopped and picked up some heavy duty rubber mats for the front (floor mats). Glad I did. Because after I got home, I sat in my car and tried to figure out some of the electronic system/gadgets in the car for about 45 minutes, then Tamie & Curt came home and Curt offered to go back over to work with me to pick up my yellow car... so he hopped in my new car "(Ole Blue?)" and we went over and got my old car. I didn't get back home until about 8:45pm.

Since I've been home, I've posted a pic on Facebook (same one above of me with the car), caught UP on my facebook reading, got a bite to eat, got a call related to a domestic violence incident (last night "on-call") and now I'm doing my blog at 10pm at night! I'm kind of amped up though... I hope I will be able to fall asleep (just amped up because I'm excited about my new car!).

Okay... signing off.

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Good Sunday...

Bell tower in Berlin

The Victory Column (German: Siegessäule (help·info)) is a monument in Berlin, Germany. Designed by Heinrich Strack after 1864 to commemorate the Prussian victory in the Danish-Prussian War, by the time it was inaugurated on 2 September 1873, Prussia had also defeated Austria in the Austro-Prussian War (1866) and France in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71), giving the statue a new purpose. Different from the original plans, these later victories in the so-called unification wars inspired the addition of the bronze sculpture of Victoria, 8.3 metres high and weighing 35 tonnes, designed by Friedrich Drake. Berliners, with their fondness for giving nicknames to buildings, call the statue Goldelse, meaning something like "Golden Lizzy"

So... I've had a pretty good day. I stayed in bed til about 9 and then got up and started putzing around. It's been a day of housework. I got everything off the main floor except the TV stand (and CD racks), the couch and the dining table, and then I vacuumed and mopped the main floor. I straightened up my pantry (I'm horrible about just stuffing my re-usable bags in on a shelf, so they are all organized now and the pantry looks a little bit better. I also went through some bags of paperwork and got rid of some stuff from last year that I don't need any more. And, I cleaned the kitchen, although I didn't get the refrigerator freezer defrosted and I didn't get the oven cleaned. Maybe I can do those next weekend (I'm just going to the Black Forest on Sunday, no plans at the moment for Saturday).

Anyway... my house is looking pretty good today! (And with no dogs around, there won't be a bunch of hair accumulating... so it should stay clean for awhile!).

Weather wise, it's been one of those day where if you wait 5 minutes, it will change. It's been sunny, rainy and it has hailed... off and on all day. I think the current temperature is in the upper 40's. It's supposed to rain over the next few days.

Okay... I'm signing off. Hopefully tomorrow when I do my blog, I'll be able to share happy news of having my new car. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everything goes okay.

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rather busy Saturday...

On "Museum Island" in Berlin... that next walkway leads to the Pergamon Museum

One of the figurines in the Pergamon Museum...

The Bode Museum... I didn't go inside this one... Neat looking building though.

So... started off with a lazy day, but then got up and worked on the downstairs area. I changed the bedding, did laundry, put things away, and wiped down the bathroom. I also vacuumed (which seems to do a better job and I can get all the spider webs easier too that way) and mopped the laundry room. (that's looking pretty good!)

I took frequent breaks (and took a shower)... I must have been up and down the stairs a dozen times. Then about 2:30, I got a call on the "on-call" phone and had to respond to the call. That took up the next 6 hours. Afterwards I ran by one of the German stores to drop off my empty soda bottles and to pick up another "six-pack" (of soda). I bought some flowers too... some more tulips and some pretty purple flowers (not sure what kind they are). I've got one vase of flowers on my dining room table and the other on my kitchen window sill.

Yesterday after I did such a good job washing my car and cleaning out the inside... I parked my car in my garage. Well... guess what? You can't tell I washed it now. It was pouring down rain the whole time I was out (and traveling on the roads). Ugh! So... I didn't bother to park it in the garage tonight. I also hopped in the car without replacing the floor mats... so I'll have to vacuum out the driver's side (at least) again. Oh well.

I'm going to sign off and say g'night.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Friday, April 20, 2012

Another TGIF!

Posing with the "troops" (this is an example of why I like to take my own photos of myself as much as possible... if I'd been taking it, I would have had the whole gate in the photo... oh well).

The Brandenburg gate is very famous in Berlin, but like many of the other tourist sites in Berlin, it's almost become its own version of Disneyland, with all the various people dressed up in period costumes and wanting donations for posing.

It was a beautiful morning there at the "Gate"... I managed to get a photo without TOO many people in it. *smiles*

So... work went okay. I just had one couple come in today (only had one scheduled). Had a staff meeting this morning and then again this afternoon (we have to block our Friday afternoons out for training and/or meetings). I did take a long lunch period and dropped off my paperwork at the bank (will hopefully get confirmation of the loan on Monday) and I went by the Registration office (THAT went much smoother than I anticipated)... and I got my new license plates (after work I dropped them off at the Dealership, so the guy could put them on the car for me.). I also created an ad for my car so I can try to sell it online (I'm going to try online first). I am asking $4800 for it, which when I look at the blue book price is mid-to-low range. (I'll be happy with anything over $4,000). I went ahead and put it on a local on-line website and already had someone say they were interested in the car. I emailed the person back and offered to meet them at a couple local places (their choice) but I haven't heard back from them. I would LOVE to sell my car this coming week so I can use that to put towards the cost of the car and hopefully lower the monthly payments a little.

After work I stopped and got my new gas card and picked up a couple things at the store. Then I went through a car wash and came home and detailed my car (didn't need too much done on it because three weeks ago I spent all day on one Saturday, cleaning it. So after work it was more about touch-up kind of stuff.

I've got my car parked in the garage tonight to help keep it clean (it's supposed to rain this weekend). I also got a razor blade scraper and scraped the two stickers (from my days in Hawaii) off the rear window. So... the car is ready to be sold.

Not much else to write about. It's about 10:30pm... I'm going to sign off and head to bed soon.

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Possible new car...

So... THIS may be my new car. It's a Volvo S80 T6, all wheel drive. (That's my current car behind it... my current car is the yellow one). I took the blue Volvo for a ride today after work and it rides really nice. I think I can be quite content with it. And... it has a HUGE trunk!

Work went okay, but my tummy was hurting today most of the day. It started out this morning on my way to work and didn't get better til late afternoon. I almost turned around on my way to work... but then I think about the clients I am supposed to see and hate to make them reschedule. Having a tummy ache made me a little grumpier and made me wanted to be alone when I wasn't with clients.

I got irritated with my one co-worker. She always complains about being overworked and when I looked to compare our workload... she's only seen 3 clients this week (and had one afternoon of meetings). Yet... I also see that she's posting on Facebook during her work day. Oh well... I need to let it go...

Okay... I'm going to sign off for another day... maybe I'll get some pictures posted tomorrow night from Berlin! *smiles*

Auf Wiedersehen,

- Kris

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The concert hall in Berlin

Fountain at the concert hall

The French Cathedral in the same platz of the Concert Hall.

Sorry about that... I forgot to do my blog last night. I just got caught up talking to friends & family online and on the phone and before I realized it... it was bedtime. And I was preoccupied. I got my pre-approval for my car loan and spent some time "building" a couple cars online... decisions, decisions. Today after work I went and test drove the Volvo XC60. It doesn't handle a whole lot different from the Audi Q5 and it's a little cheaper, but I was surprised at how big it felt. Do I really want/need something that big? But... IF I decide to go with the XC60, I can drive up to Sweden and pick it up over Memorial Day weekend, check out Sweden & Denmark... then drive it back home (I'd probably also try to get Norway in while I am up there, if that's what I end up doing). They have a red/burgandy XC 60 that would be ready for pick up then... and I could handle that color (since it seems very apparent that I'm not going to end up with another yellow car). I am a little disappointed that the mpg isn't better on the XC60. I want to make a decision by Friday. (It's not like I haven't been researching the various vehicles for a long time!).

Other than that... works been so-so busy. I could be busier, but it's an easy pace that I have this week. I'm back on call... knock on wood, no calls last night or tonight.

Okay... I'm going to sign off for tonight. At least by not posting last night I got to get an email from Bette! *wink* (Love ya Bette!).

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Monday, April 16, 2012

Eyes are good for another 20 years! *smiles*

The Berlin Dom

Inside my hotel... yesterday (Sunday) I went up in the elevator (after going through the Sea Life exhibit).

The TV tower and the 2nd oldest church in Berlin (Marien Church). These were about a block and a half away from my hotel.

So... here's a couple pictures from my trip, I'll continue to post more pictures this week.

Today I slept in (because I stayed up WAY too late last night) and then headed up to Landstuhl to get my eyes checked. (BTW... I *do* have 20-20 vision!). My GPS wanted to take me on a very roundabout way so I missed a key exit. Then it kept wanting to me to turn back around. Eventually I quit listening to it and watched the signs.

I made it to Landstuhl and saw the doc... he said my eyes look good (the pink on the scars will continue to fade) and that the surgery should keep them in good working order for the next twenty years. (before the eyelids start sagging too much). He asked where I'd be in 20 years, I said probably back in Spokane. That got us on another conversation because that was one of the places he had considered living (right now he's pretty sure he'll end up in WI, just north of Madison).

After I saw the doc, I headed over to Ramstein for some shopping. I got some new windshield wipers because my front ones were coming apart on the way up there... I managed to get the passenger side replaced on my own, but had to ask someone to help me with the driver's side. At least they are changed.

I didn't get back home til about 9pm and then had to unload everything. Now it's 10pm and bedtime already. I'm hoping to be in bed within about a half hour.

Okay... signing off!

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Prayers please...

Rebecca in the ambulance...

Rebecca after surgery...

Please pray for young Rebecca. I know her mama... she grew up with my girls. Apparently, yesterday (Saturday), Rebecca's mama left to go to work and left Rebecca in the care of her older brother. Rebecca's daddy was supposed to get home from work about 20 minutes after her mama went to work. Anyway... in that short time span, Rebecca's brother decided they could go see one of their neighbors and on the way there, it sounds like Rebecca tripped over the leash of the neighbor's dog (a German Shepherd) and it attacked her (mauled her). FORTUNATELY, it sounds like the dog's owner was right there and has had 13 years of experience as an EMT (Emergency Medical Tech) and basically saved Rebecca's life. Rebecca is being a champ through all this... all I can say is... wow. When I first read about it and saw the pictures it reminded me of when my oldest daughter was attacked by our cat (and needed a total of 16 stitches in various places on her head). By the way... Rebecca's mama said she needed HUNDREDS of stitches and her surgery took about 3 hours (or was supposed to anyway... I didn't hear how long it actually took).

Anyway... prayers please.

I *did* make it home okay from Berlin. I had a GREAT weekend! I *could* easily go back to Berlin again, although I do feel like I did see and do a LOT there! I took over 960 pictures, and have uploaded them to my computer, but haven't posted any yet. And I wanted to focus on Rebecca and getting a request out for prayer requests. I'll post pictures of Berlin tomorrow night.

This morning in Berlin I went to the Sea Life Park exhibition there connected with the hotel I was staying at, and that culminates with the ride in the elevator that goes up inside the aquarium. Then I walked down to the Pergamon Museum and spent about 3 hours there. After that, I took a round-a-bout way back to the hotel... picked up my luggage and walked to the train station. Rather than try to buy a ticket from the kiosk, I went to the customer service and got my ticket and the rep was nice enough to tell me what time the next train was and which platform to catch it from, so I didn't have to guess. I got to the airport plenty early (better early than late!)... so sat and read for awhile. The flight was uneventful (but full)... and I was able to make the next train connection within about 10 minutes. (the train from the airport and then I had to change trains once).

So... I'm home safe & sound. I have a LOT of memories thanks to the weekend. I've talked to my youngest daughter (tried to call my oldest daughter as well).. and now its after 1pm and WAY past my bedtime. And the only reason I'm STILL up, is because I get to sleep in tomorrow morning because I have a doctor's appointment up at Landstuhl (last follow up on my eye surgery) mid-day... so I don't have to be out the door first thing in the morning.

BUT... it IS time to sign off... til tomorrow...

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Full, busy day in Berlin!

So, it was another good day in Berlin! I got up and did the hop on hop off bus which basically took all day! I stopped off at a couple places.. Like "Checkpoint Charlie" and the Jewish Memorial. I did a boat ride (part of the HOHO Bus deal), and I did the "PANORAMIC" thing (their version of NYC's "Top of the Rock") and while I was up un top I saw that the "Blue Man" group had their show very close to there, so I walked over and there was one starting within about 5 minutes, so I went ahead and got a ticket and went to that. It was a good show. I caught a bus back to my hotel and changed. I had planned to go up in the TV tower and have dinner, but I talked to one of the guys at the front desk and he said the food was horrible and the staff were very rude up there. SO, he recommended a place called "Solar lounge and restaurant" and said they also had a panoramic view. So that's where I went. It was a VERY busy place, and the food AND the view were,good.

I stopped down at the lounge here at the hotel at the base of the aquarium and met a couple from Scotland, we talked forever and now its 1:30 am, time for me to sign off and head to bed.

Auf Weidersehen!

Friday, April 13, 2012


Well, I made it to Berlin okay and so far I REALLY like the city. After landing at the airport I had decided to take the train into the city (the airport I landed at is about 11 miles outside of the city). I had researched which train to take, but then couldn't find the track for the
#6 train, so I ended up on the 7 (or vice versa). I had asked one of the conductors if I was on the right train, she didn't speak very good English and it sounded like I was on the wrong train, so I got off and asked another conductor, trying to explain that I wanted to go into Berlin and he basically told me to get back on the train, so I hustled back onto the train. I figured if I ended up somewhere else, I'd get off and get on another train headed back to the airport. Well, I lucked out! And the train even stopped at the nearest train station to my hotel! Whew! I had to walk about six blocks (AFTER stopping at Dunkin Donuts for a donut....REALLY THEY HAVE DUNKIN DONUTS here!). I made it to my hotel, the Radisson Blu hotel. I chose to stay here because they have a cylindrical HUGE Aquarium in the middle of the hotel. And my room is on the 6th floor, I had a choice of looking out over the city or at the Aquarium, I chose the aquarium and LOVE it!

After getting settled into my room, I went to explore, and to make a long post shorter... I ended up getting a ticket for a jazz concert at the Berlin Philharmonica. How cool is that. I really enjoyed the concert. After that I tried to figure out which S bahn to take to the Hard Rock Cafe, but couldn't, so I took a cab for 10 euro instead. From there I WAS able to walk over to the zoo area and took the bus back to my hotel.

The TV tower and Marien church are very close to my hotel, and "Museum Island" is just as close.

Well, I'd better sign off it is 1am here! Yikes! Good night!

Auf Weidersehen!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Off to Berlin Tomorrow...

I took this photo last Sunday morning (Easter morning) after we were allowed to light our candles at the sunrise service at St. Thomas church in Leipzig.

SO... work went fine today, it was moderately busy and I have all my notes (well, not the assessments, but the daily notes) caught up in preparation for taking off a 1/2 day tomorrow. I have a meeting in the morning and then one appointment... then I'll need to get that written up, make sure I have all my documentation for the weekend... etc.

I'm flying on German Wings and sometimes they can be real sticklers for how much or how big of a carry on you bring onto the plane. So, a couple weeks ago I bought a small rolling carry-on that should fit just fine. I'm limited on how much I'm taking for the weekend and then I also know I can't buy much up there in Berlin. (I'm definitely going to get my Hard Rock Cafe tee shirt!).

I don't go back to work until Tuesday because Monday I have a follow up appointment on my eyes up at Landstuhl (and it's a little over 2 hours drive each way... so I'm just going the day off).

It's already 10:30... time for me to go make sure everything is ready for my trip, because I'm leaving from work.... then I have to head to bed.

Oh yea... one thing. Something to ponder. SO... I saw someone that has a "2nd toe" that has a lot of problems, that cause a LOT of pain (i.e. no cartilege between the joints, arthritis and something else). I was wondering what I would do in that person's "shoes." If you knew you had to deal with chronic pain and it's only because of one toe... and it's not fixable (very little hope for improvement). Well... I'd half consider having it amputated. I don't think the 2nd toe is as important for balance as the Big toe... so I wonder... would it be better to not have the toe and some mild discomfort with that... or would it be better to deal with the chronic pain which REALLY limits your physical activity. Hmmmm.

Okay... g'night! I'll try to post from Berlin tomorrow night.

- Kris

P.S. I'm looking forward to going UP through a cylindrical aquarium at the hotel that I'll be staying at!! Whoohooo! Pictures WILL be coming!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Traveling plans...

Gewandhaus - This building was built as an arsenal in 1498. It was named the Gewandhaus because its first floor was used for exhibition purposes by the cloth and wood merchants. It is now the third venue of the Gewandhaus orchestra, opened in 1981. It was the only concert hall building in the former East Germany. The organ in the Gewandhaus is the largest musical instrument ever built in the GDR.

This is the city tower that was once a part of the University, it was built from 1968-1972, it is 142 meters high.

The is the Kroch building. It is the first high rise ever built in Liepzig. The building was built in the 20's.

Thought you'd enjoy some more pictures from Leipzig. *smiles* It's "Happy Hump Day" and I've continued to enjoy a fairly easy week at work. It's been a nice break as I have a bunch of clients who are away (or otherwise occupied with their kids) during Spring break which is happening over here this week. I only had three appointments today.

After work I went and got my nails done. It's been a long time since I had them done. I wanted to get them done before I go to Berlin this coming weekend.

I've been making plans to go to Sofia, Bulgaria the first part of May. It'll be only the 2nd new country I'll have made it to this year so far. (in 4 months... whassup with that?).

Okay... time to sign off... at least it is only just after 8pm! *smiles* I *might* get to bed earlier.

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another Tuesday bites the dust!

This is a picture of one of my favorite statues I saw in Leipzig this past weekend.

And... if you have access to my Facebook page... I just posted a WHOLE lot of pictures from Leipzig there (with information about most of the pictures).

Work went fine today... although my "crazy' co-worker managed to find a crown and went around telling everyone that they needed to treat her like they would treat the Queen. (okay???). Oh well.

I stayed a little late because my boss was still meeting with someone... and then she told me I didn't need to because of the psychologists were still there (one time I left without saying good bye and she chewed me out... sometimes there's no winning, right?).

I came home and talked with a friend on the phone for quite awhile... watched a little TV and then spent the better part of the evening posting pictures from Leipzig on Facebook (complete with captions... THAT'S what took so long!).

And now it's almost 11pm and bedtime. I had hoped to be in bed a couple hours ago... alas... here I am.


Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easy as pie day!

This is the train station in Leipzig. It doesn't give you an appreciation for how big it is. There are actually 3 stories and over 140 stores here (it's like it's own mall!).

So... work went fine. I didn't have anyone scheduled today. I met with my supervisor 3-4 times today (some of it was to talk about work stuff). I did some paperwork as well, but first I had to put my office back together. Someone had already taken the chairs off the desk, and one of the tables, so I just had to get the smaller table down, the garbage cans and had to put my rug in. Some of the guys came in and brought my 2-seater couch back in for me. The floor does a little better, but I think with all the moving of furniture, the walls look a little worse for wear.

Okay... I'm going to sign off. It's 9pm and I'd like to get to bed soon. I was tired all day today (and ate WAY too much junk food today!).

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Woke up in Leipzig this morning, and home tonight

The Opera House in Leipzig... I may use this for next year's calendar.

Wow... I've had a great weekend. I really enjoyed Leipzig and felt like I got a good feel for the city and got to see the majority of the main sights there were to see. While the hotel I stayed in wasn't all that great, it was in a good location.

I've been able to do a lot of reading over the weekend. I am on the third book by an author named Paulo Coehlo. I had been trying to finish "The Pilgrimage" which talks about a pilgrimage across Spain (I know someone that has done that walk). Anyway, I was able to finish that book, then downloaded a couple more books. I read "The Alchemist" and I'm currently reading "Brida" and then I have "Aleph" to read next. He's got a lot of nuggets of wisdom in his books.

Okay... it's after 10:30pm, I'd better sign off and head to bed. Hopefully I'll get to talk more about Leipzig over the course of the coming week.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Saturday, April 7, 2012

2nd day in Leipzig

So, I slept in until about 9am, then got up and got a bite to eat before heading out for the day. I browsed a LOT of stores but didn't buy too much, I got a couple scarves and a "cleft" musical symbol charm for my charm necklace. I figured with all the musical history of Leipzig, it would be a good symbol for the city. I did do the hop on hop off bus, but they didn't have English audio headphones, so I got 4 euros off the price. It took me to a lot of places that were too far to walk.

Then I came back and walked more through the shops and such. I stopped and listened to a choir practicing and St Thomas church, too bad it wasn't the Boy's choir. Then I did more walking. I think I got all the pictures I wanted to get with the exception of one place I saw while on the bus and I was on the wrong side of the bus. Oh well.

I didn't get back to the hotel until about 6pm and rested for a few minutes before I changed and went to Auerbach's Keller for dinner. I had a beef Rouladen, with red cabbage and potato dumplings. They said it was a traditional "Saxony" dinner. Then I walked back down to the Opera House for a "night" shot photo. I am hoping to use one of the photos on next year's calendar.

Ok, it's already about 10pm, time for me to hit the sack (I have to use my iPad in the hotel lobby because the wifi strength isn't strong enough to reach my 5th floor room. Darn!

Auf Wiedersehen!

Friday, April 6, 2012

In Leipzig!

I made it to Leipzig ok after worries about missing my train connections. I ended up taking a train into the main station in Stuttgart a half hour early, but then wouldn't you know it, the next train was 10 minutes late, so we got to Frankfurt about 10 mins late and I had less than 20 to make the next train, so being late meant I had less than 10 mins to find the right S-Bahn track... And then THAT train was about 5 mins late. Oh well, alls well that ends well, right? I made it just fine to Leipzig. The hotel I'm staying in isn't worth the price I'm paying for it, if I ever come back, I find another hotel to stay in. But, I had a bed (TWIN???) to sleep in.

After checking in and dropping everything off in my room, I looked at a city map and then took off for a self-guided tour while it wasn't rainy. It WAS cold though, about 40 above.
. I was wishing I had brought a hat, gloves and a scarf! I was going to eat at one of the historic places, but both were full so I ended up at a Chinese buffet that wasn't half bad. I enjoyed seeing St Thomas and St Nikolaus churches and I went to the Bach museum. I saw a LOT this afternoon.

Tomorrow I plan to do a hop on hop off bus and then I made a dinner reservation for 7pm at the Keller. (can't remember the rest of the name at the moment). I get brunch with my hotel stay, so that's nice. All the stores were closed today, I'm looking forward to browsing at the stores tomorrow and to going to an Easter market in the old square.

Okay... Signing off from Leipzig!
Auf Wiedersehen!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

On another trip...

I made it through work okay, even though I stayed up way too late last night (and it's already 10pm tonight!). I had one cancellation today, so I was able to keep up with my documentation. At the end of the day though, my last appointment was at 3:30. I cut it a little short because before I could leave today, I was expected to have my floor completely empty in my office (with the exception of one bookcase and my desk). I had a couple beefy guys come and move my couch out of my office for me, then when my last client left, I unhooked my computer and piled FOUR chairs on my desk (heaven forbid someone bump it when they strip and wax the floors tomorrow). That is why we are having to do this. They are going to wax our floors tomorrow (most of the clinic is closed tomorrow). They didn't do it BEFORE we moved into the building when it was empty, like it should have been done (it's not the cleaning ladies fault) and now it's going to be a half-done job... because they won't be able to move the desks... they will be waxing around them, which will probably look crappy. Oh well. I'll deal with it. I'm just thankful that I don't have any clients scheduled for Monday morning! I have a lot to do to put my office back together. (There ARE people who have 7:30am appointments scheduled for Monday... not sure what they are going to do).

Other than that... my boss took our department out to lunch. It was her way of appreciating all the work we did last week. As I mentioned... it was one of our busiest week.

Tonight I've been chatting with my friend in Texas online and I managed to get my hair colored. I'm about half packed. My train leaves at 7:30 in the morning from the Goldberg train station, so I should try to get there not later than about 7:10 or so to ensure I get parking (and I have to go over a bridge to the other side of the track). I think I'll make a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich in the morning to take with me.

Okay... signing off. I *should* be able to post tomorrow night from Leipzig. I'm taking my Ipad with me. I hope I am able to come home with a few good pictures (it's supposed to be raining all weekend up there. Ugh!).

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Another day over!

So, today was fairly easy, I had a couple cancellations which allowed me to get caught up on my notes. whew! Good thing... because I have to be all caught up when I end the day tomorrow.

I was looking at Leipzig where I'm going this weekend. I was hoping to go see the St. Thomas Boy's Choir Friday night, but I've been told it is sold out. So I am hoping to go see them on Easter Sunday. Here's some information about them and the church:

St. Thomas Boys Choir, whose history dates back to the year 1212, is the oldest cultural establishment of the city of Leipzig. Outliving all political, municipal, religious, and educational controversy, 800 years musica sacra has shaped the choir's past.
Through the influence of the many St. Thomas Cantors, including the most famous-Johann Sebastian Bach (Thomas Cantor 1723-1750)-the city of Leipzig and the St. Thomas Church became the center of Protestant church music. The St. Thomas Church is home to the Boys Choir. A choir rich in tradition, they are committed to continue his musical legacy.

Isn't that cool? And there's an Easter market going on in the Old City square on Saturday... so I'll probably be checking that out!

Okay... not much else going on... I'm watching "The Voice." Bedtime will be soon (I'm also chatting with my teacher friend from Texas).

So... Auf Wiedersehen for another night!

- Kris

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Off call... whew!

So... I'm *finally* off call. It's been a long week! So glad I'm done. It has been one of the busiest weeks in probably 5 years here at our office. And they are doing it with one less Social Worker which makes it tough.

Work was semi-busy today. My boss came back after lunch (she just flew in this morning!). I stayed late after work because I wanted to go to my Volksmarching club's monthly meeting. I had my "Schnitzel" with mushroom gravy and a few fries. It sure was good! I think I look forward to my monthly meeting just to eat that dinner! LOL!

I'm watching TV and they are showing the tornado going through the Dallas area. I hope my friend who lives there is safe. She's teaching at a fairly new school there. It's supposed to be envioronmentally friendly, but apparently it's all glass! How scary can that bed?

This afternoon it started raining and thundering here. I managed to avoid the rain showers, thank goodness. I didn't bring my coat with me. I also didn't do much walking today (other than taking a walk to the Post Office at lunch time).

Okay... it's 9pm and I'm going to sign off.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, April 2, 2012

A nice sunset tonight in Germany

Sunset photos I took on my 2 1/2 mile walk tonight... beautiful, eh?

Whew! I'm SO glad it is my last night of being "on call." I did get another phone call tonight. It wasn't really something in our lane of work, but I took the information and will pass it on.

Work went okay today. This morning was taken up with administrative stuff, I had one cancellation this morning and then I had a new appointment this afternoon and a family session. So... it was relatively busy, but not too busy. I was hoping my boss was going to be back at work today, but she was out yet today. I tried to give her a call tonight, but she didn't answer. So... not sure what's up with her.

After work I went by to check my mail and I got my POW bracelet. YAY! It's for the ONLY POW that is missing from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. He's a young kid from Idaho (Bowe Bergdahl), he has been missing since June of 2009. That's a LONG time! Apparently he tried to escape, unsuccessfully this past fall. Last news heard, sounds like he is still alive. I can't imagine what his parents must be going through.

When I got home, I had a call from a friend who is going through some issues... so spent about an hour on the phone and then I went for my walk. I did 2 1/2 miles. But I'm STILL under the 10,000 steps. I'm at about 9800 though, so I should be able to get 2000 steps in before bedtime.

It's after 10pm now though, so I'd better sign off for another night.

Guten Nacht!

- Kris

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Easy Sunday...

I wish you a daisy a day dear... I wish you a daisy a day...

So... today was nice. I slept in until 11am (I had a hard time falling asleep last night). Then I got up and went through my regular morning routines (shower, dress... breakfast/protein drink, check email... etc). Then I went to see the movie "Hunger Games." (And yes... if you've seen... I *did* jump at one spot in the movie). I think overall the movie was better than I had expected it to be though.

Prior to the movie as I sat waiting (my neighbors met there in case I got a call I would have to respond to, thankfully, no call!). Anyway... there were these three young kids in front me. They looked to be around 10 years of age. A young, heavyset Asian girl came back (I *think* she had been there) and was saying something to one of the two boys sitting there. She became upset and while holding onto her bag of popcorn, she throws popcorn up in the air, all over the boys. Okay... I let that slide... I didn't say anything. Then some guy comes and asks the boys if everything was okay and they said "yes." After he left, it looked like the young girl ripped up a dollar bill and threw the pieces over the boys... then she took some coins and threw them hard against the wall (she was about 3 seats in from one of the outer aisles). I finally spoke up and asked where her parents were and suggested she go sit with them. She just looked at me like I had grown another head. Then she proceeded to dump her bottle of water on the floor. I told her I was going to go get managment. Just then an older woman (my age or a little younger - who apparently knew the kids) came and spoke with them to see what was going on. I gathered that the boy had something that belonged to the girl, but didn't have it with him? The girl's behavior and demeanor was just bizarre. Those who know me, know that I would hardly ever get involved in that kind of situation - or say something or confront someone... but that girl really had a problem. If I'd been the guardian and saw that... she would have been staying afterwards to clean up her mess!

Oh well... it made the day interesting.

After watching the movie I stopped and got my car washed and then came home and finished detailing it. I was wishing I had a pressure-washer to watch the inside of my engine area... it was dirty under there! (Yes, I did the best I could to wipe down the yellow surfaces under the front hood of the car!). I think hindsight being 20-20, I should have worn gloves. I *still* have dirt under my nails!

But at least my car is washed!

Tonight I'm just watching some TV (currently "The Mentalist"). I had some grilled Salmon for dinner. That tasted good.

Okay... time to sign off and head to bed.

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris