Thursday, May 31, 2012

Happy Birthday to my youngest Daughter, Kori!

My version of "Atlas Shrugged"...

So... work went well, I had a couple cancellations today which let me get some of my paperwork done. I still have a couple notes to write in the morning.

After work I stopped by the store to pick up a couple things and saw a young couple with two kids (and the wife was about 7 1/2 months) pregnant struggling with a LOT of bags, looking as if they weren't sure how they would get them back to the local hotel, so I offered, and gave them a ride to the hotel (same one I stayed at a year and a half ago). So... that was my random act of kindness for the day!

Tonight I've been working on uploading photos to my facebook which has taken the better part of the night. I did take time to eat some dinner... I had a salad and then had some strawberries with whip cream for my desert! YUM, yum!

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Penser Joch Pass photos

On our way up through Penser Joch Pass... we had to drive through this rock formation (MY favorite part of the whole trip!).

Local Tirolean hikers...

On TOP of the Italian Alps..

Another side of the Penser Joch Pass...

The Penser Joch Pass Lodge... what an awesome view from here!

Work went okay today. It started off with a meeting (which *I* think is a waste of time)... and then I had five appointments today (and another one that was a no-show). So... it went okay. During the "no-show" appointment time I managed to get 4-5 notes written, so at least that time was productive.

I also talked with my doc... they are giving the docs grief for prescribing Ambien long-term (I've been on it since 1994... what can I say, it helps me to fall asleep). Anyway, she is putting in a consult for me for a sleep consult. (Like I don't know sleep hygiene? I teach it to my clients... does it work for me, not too often, even though I do try to practice good sleep hygiene most of the time). Oh well... it'll give me a day off to drive up 2 1/2 hours to the main hospital here in Germany that I can go to... to see what they say.

At lunch I met up with my former dog-sitter. She & her husband may be moving to Hawaii so she wanted to find out about that... and I wanted to hear about her trip last week down to Crete! *smiles*

After work I did a little grocery shopping and then came home and had some strawberries and whip cream... yum, yum. I had picked up another container of strawberries... a couple bananas and some cherries (HOPEFULLY they will be BUG FREE!). I also got some more salad fixings and I'm planning to have some salads and fruit for my dinners this next week.

I'm on-call again... I hoping for a quiet week.

I'm going to sign off for another day...

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Easier day than expected...

The alps were beautiful this weekend...

This was taken down in Garmisch!

My version of "Atlas Shrugged" LOL! This was taken along the route to Italy this weekend.

So... work went okay today... I had a couple no-shows and a cancellation. Whew! It was a nice break... but, when I get no-shows, part of the time is waiting around to see if people are going to show up and I don't feel like I can start a new project (read: typing up an assessment). Oh well.

My boss was back today. So I also had a staff meeting. (which went longer than it would have otherwise... because my 1st apppointment this morning was a no-show).

The topic of jobs came up this morning and later this afternoon she asked if I was looking for another job... and I told her if a "12" came open or was offered to me (which would be a pay raise), that I'd take it. Then she finally said that if they were able to hire another "12" at our clinic, that she'd hire me and backfill my position with another person in our clinic.

At least she is now "fore-warned." *smiles*

Okay... signing off... I'm going to 'chill' and watch "America's Got Talent." (Laundry is done and dishes are washed).

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Monday, May 28, 2012

Top of the world..

Okay... just a fast note tonight to let you know I made it home okay. It took us about 8 hours coming back and instead fo heading towards Munich it had us going a dfferent route) but at least it wasn't a 1 1/2 lane road. We went over FERN pass on our way back The photo above was taken when we stopped at Penzer Pass.

Will post more pictures later this wek.
Auf Wiedersehen

- Kris

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Venice for the day...

Well, today we decided to head into Venice for the day. We left the house about 8am and went to the train station in town and got our ticket. It was less than 6 euro to take the regional train into Venice and it took about an hour to get there (we went through Mestra on the way, that's where My daughter Michelle & I stayed when we were over here 2 years ago). There was a bad odor on the train though that made us VERY glad to get off. Once we got to the Venice tain station we went ahead and bought 12 hour Vaporetto (water boat/bus) passes and then we walked over to the boat stop and headed down to San Marco square. I think we managed to make it over all the three main bridges to see... The Academia Bridge, the Rialto Bridge and the Sighs (?) bridge. We had pizza for lunch at a restaurant that had free wifi, and ended up back there at the end of the day for some "speghetti eis". Num, num! They had a regatta going on today in the grand canal, so we didn't get to ride the boat that takes you upand down that. Venice was VERY crowded today. We did get to ride a little bit on the Grand Canal at the end of the day when we were headed back to the train station. I was kind of hoping to maybe go on out to either Murano or Burano, but we didn't make it. I think I wore Laura & Johnny out today. We took the fast train back to Vicenza and got back about 6pm. Then we went up to Mount Berico with David for a scenic overlook of Vicenza and then came back to David's neighborhood to a restaurant for dinner. I had grilled prawns, they were ok, but messy. I went back to the bathroom to wash my hands, glad that's ALL I had to do, because the toilet was a porcelain hole in the floor that you are expected to squat on to use. Don't think I could do that... Squat. I'll post a picture some time this coming week (I HAD to take a picture of it)! Okay, I'm going to sign off... Auf Wiedersehen, Kris

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Made it to Vicenza!

We left the Stuttgart area about 7:30 this morning and drove on down to Garmisch for our first stop. We had lunch there and browsed around a bit and got some gas there. Our route took us down through Innsbruck, Austria and then my GPS said there were some problems on the autobahn, so offered me an alternative route... Just a TAD longer... But what it neglected to tell me was that it was on a 1 1/2 lane road mainly used by motorcycles (I think there were 10 motorcycles for every car we saw, but I think we only saw about 10-15 cars). And the higher up into the alps we won't, the more freaked out Laura was getting. I didn't know she was so afraid of heights! We are now calling it here "exposure therapy" trip *smiles*. We were SO happy when we got to the summit, we stopped at a little lodge up there and stretched our legs before heading down the other side of the mountain (and yes, there was still snow up there!) We were also happy when we finally got to the town where we could get back on the autobahn! I think we did at least 100 miles averaging about 20mph. Once on the autobahn (which took us through Verona) we made MUCH BETTER TIME. I think it was about 6:30 pm by the time we arrived in Vicenza. We found David's house (he's a former co-worker), dropped our stuff off and then David took into the town where we had dinner and did some walking around. David also showed us where he works, wow, it's a really nice facility! As I write this it is now 11pm. I need to think about going to bed (I get the couch tonight). Looks like Laura, Johnny & I are going to go catch a train and head into Venice for the day... We found a cheap train fare. Ok, signing off... Ciao! Kris

Friday, May 25, 2012

Whooohooo... heading to Vicenza tomorrow!

The castle ruins in Bad Kissingen.

So... work went okay today, I had one no-show and one appt that showed up (only one other provider had 1 appointment today). A bunch of us went to lunch together today and then we were able to get off an hour early. YAY!

There was a LOT of traffic today though, so it took me over an hour to get to where I wanted to get to (a store)... the traffic reminded me of being in Hawaii! (horrible rush hour!). I had to pick up a sticker to put on my car for the Austrian Autobahn and then I wanted to stop and pick up some cards for a friend that's going to Kuwait for 3 months... I want to provide some support for her.

I'm going to keep this short... one of my former co-workers is here. We are driving down to Vicenza tomorrow. I'm also waiting for another friend, she's coming down from Vilsek with her boyfriend and they are going to be here this weekend (while I'm gone!). Hopefully she will get here soon so we can get to bed.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I went on a boat ride like this when I was in Bad Kissingen last week after I checked in.

It was a nice, relaxing ride...

Beautiful, eh?

So... today was another frustrating day... probably because I got confirmation that I canNOT get time off for attending the conference this past weekend and I'm feeling like I have worked a 12-day work-week. And this week has been fairly busy (thank God for no-shows and cancellations... i.e. I had one of each today... one had a sick kid, so had to cancel). But on the other hand... I got two more referrals today. I think that makes a total of 5 this week... if I had my own private practice it would be fine... but when I have a co-worker that sees a 1/3rd of the clients I do and gets paid more... well... that's just frustrating. At least this week is reminding me where my youngest daughter gets her "fairness issue"... it's from me. I'm happiest in a position where I feel like I am being treated fairly and where everyone is carrying an equal workload.

I did get an email back from a guy who was at the conference who is getting ready to put a team together that will go out to all of our sites worldwide and train people on how to use a new comprehensive behavioral health tool. He said he'd keep me in mind and will hopefully know where things are standing in another month or so. So... I'll keep my fingers crossed. I'd LOVE to get paid to travel for a half a year... even though I know it would be a demanding job (it would be a temporary job... probably 6 months or so). We even have sites in Alaska... that'd be awesome if I could get a few days up there! I can wish/dream, can't I?

Thankfully I've only got one more day this week. Tomorrow. (Sure feels like it has been longer than 4 days of work this week!). Next week I've got 6 clients scheduled a day (and two - three meetings).

Tomorrow after work my friend (and former co-worker) Laura is coming down from about 2 1/2 hours north of here and we are going to head down to Northern Italy early Saturday morning (it sounds like it is a 6 1/2 hour drive withOUT any stops). Her 12 year old son is going to be coming with us. I'm looking forward to checking out the area. It's 409 miles each way.

So... if I *don't* get to post a couple days this weekend... it's because I'm down there in Italy. So don't worry (if I don't post MONDAY night... THEN you can worry!). *smiles*

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Churches of Bad Kissingen...

There's one thing about Germany, there is NO shortage of churches...

So... last night I was feeling pretty grumpy. I'm still grumpy today, but doing a tiny bit better. Although today didn't start off too good... I generally always make myself a piece of toast with peanut butter on it and then eat it on my way to work. Well, this morning I guess I put too much peanut butter on my toast because it dripped all over me about halfway to work. SO... since I couldn't just turn around and go home and change, I had to clean it up the best I could once I got to work, ugh! Then, because the area I work is secured, we have to check in at a gate... and I had to go through the back gate which takes longer.

We had a joint meeting this morning. We are supposed to start at 7:30 and my side of the hall (Social Workers) share the 1st half hour and then the other half finish their half among themselves. Well... today started late (the head honcho was late)... and one of their workers decided he needed to play alarm clock and said "it's 8am" so I gathered up all my stuff and said "good-bye" and headed up to my office. I didn't care if we had more to say or not. So... my grumpyness countinued. And, my boss is out of the office this week... and today at lunchtime my co-worker ran over a 1/2 hour, then this afternoon when I was (amazingly) ready to head out of the door at 4:30... she didn't finish up until 4:45. ARGH!

I had to go pick up a piece of wood for my buffet. It's oak, just like the buffet... but it needs to be stained. Not sure when I will get around to doing that. Apparently it will need a couple coatings and some clear finish at the end. At least it fits. (I measured right), but it wasn't cheap. $40 for a piece of wood that has flaws in it? Whassup with that?

Well... think I can make it through two more days? My documentation is increasing as there generally isn't enough time in the day to get everything done. Today I had to deal with some "Credentialing" stuff... and had to talk with my boss' supervisor to get some guidance. And I had to follow up with a couple clients. Then my co-worker came in and wanted to give me more clients to call back... and I told her that they are going to be my least priority right now. (Which isn't right... I know... but I'm feeling like I have a fairly heavy workload right now). I did take the time first thing this morning (I had a cancellation)... to send an email to someone about a potential temporary job which would entail a LOT of traveling (it would be going around to all our related sites around the world teaching people how to use a new program that we are going to be required to use starting this coming fall). I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Okay... signing off. At least it's only 8pm... so maybe I'll get to bed at a decent time tonight. I am sure feeling like I need the sleep!

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Good news, bad news?

This is a photo from Bad Kissingen that I took, it is one that is on a lot of products that represent the town (i.e. bags and magnets).

A turtle fountain in Bad Kissingen... those who know me know that I like turtles.


Good news? Well, I found my car title finally. It was actually in my desk at work (in a file labeled "Car"... wow... who would have thunk?). So now I can be mpre proactive about selling it. Another good news thing (sort of?) is that my schedule wasn't as hectic as I expected. I came in to find out one of my clients had to reschedule their appointment and then I had another one that missed their appointment, but also called to reschedule.

Bad news? Yesterday when I got home I had a notice from the utility company saying that I've been underpaying all year and I owe them another $800 or so (which they will be taking out on the 31st, the same payday that I have my rent due). Germany is weird when it comes to utilities. They get your meter reading 1-2x a year and then base the remaining payments on that amount. I still need to reconcile my account with my employer (they need a lot of information which I need to dig up for them... but they basically cover the majority of my utilities). Then... I thought I was going to get 2 days off for going to the conference I went to over the weekend (it was work-related), but I was told today that I *won't* get comp time. That it was "voluntary." I would feel differently about it had I been told ahead of time and made an "informed" decision.

Anyway... I'm just feeling REALLY tired and REALLY grumpy today.

Maybe I'll call it an early night tonight and go to bed early. That would probably help!

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Monday, May 21, 2012


A river runs through it... (in Bad Kissingen)

So... I wrapped up my conference early this afternoon and headed back to Stuttgart. I stopped off in Wurzburg to drop off a friend/peer that needed a ride. She's living and working in Brussels, but is going to be staying there for a week. She used to work there. Wurzburg was a nice little town to look around in for a little bit. It took us (I had one of my co-workers with me) about 3 hours to get back from Bad Kissingen (not including the stopover in Wurzburg).

I dropped off my co-worker about 6:30 or so and got home about 7pm.

Not much to write about tonight... I'll be posting pictures of Bad Kissingen & Wurzburg as the week progresses. Tomorrow I head back to work... (ugh!)

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I was tired last night!

Sorry I didn't post more last night, I wrote the post about 2am. I'll re-cap yesterday now. I had the conference from 8am - 5pm. Then I went to my room and changed and went out for a walk. Spontaneously I decided to hike up the the old ruins of a castle (even tho I needed to be back for a massage at 7pm). Well, darn, I hiked up the wrong hill... So to make a longer story shorter, I went ahead and hiked the correct hill up to the castle remnant. I took a bunch of pictures (and posted several to FaceBook). I rushed back down the hill and (kind of got disoriented) and got to my massage appointment about 5 minutes late. After my massage I went ahead and had dinner and then started talking with a friend who is here at the conference from another place here in Germany. She and a couple of her friends were going to walk over to the Casino near where we are staying, so I ran up to my room and changed and went with them. That's the first time I have been in a German casino. My friend Wendy showed me and another peer how to use/read the slot machines. We were there for a little over an hour and at least I left with more than I spent (net gain). I came back to the hotel and met up with another peer(friend of a friend) and the two of us ended up doing some informal counseling with someone here at the conference that is going through a marital break-up. I didn't get back up to my room until 2 am! Ugh. Okay, going to sign off and post this. Kris

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Oh what a day!

Conference is going good, lots of information and I've be enable to do some networking. After work I went for a walk up to some roman ruins, a castle type building. I took the pictures up there. Will post. I'm tired and now I need to get to bed, morE to come later Auf Weidersehen, -Kris

Friday, May 18, 2012

Another day in Bad Kissingen

I had a full day with the conference, and have been able to do some networking, which is good. After the conference I went down to the spa pool for awhile, then changed and had dinner. I took a walk after dinner to walk off the meal. I found a wonderful large park to walk around in and even walked a labyrinth. I think it took me about 15 mons each way, but coming out of it seemed faster because I decided to pray and say thank yous all the way...varying to have an attitude of gratitude. Von the way back I ran into some peers from near where I work, so sat down and had a glass of wine with them and talked story for a couple hours, that was nice. Now it's after 10pm and time to sign off. By the way, I'm loving Bad Kissingen, I could easily live here if given the option. Auf Wiederesehen, Kris

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bad Kissingen

I made it to Bad Kissingen ok. it is a nice little town. The hotel I am at is nice too. I ran into a woman that is here for the conference from near where I work, she's been on a couple USO trips with me, so we went for a long walk this afternoon and even took a little boat ride! There's a small river that runs through the town here. Tonight I got to have dinner with a couple former co-workers, including my former boss from Hawaii and another coworker that used to be here in Germany, but has moved down to northern Italy. I'm going to keep this short as I am on my iPad. Auf Weidersehen, Kris

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Friday, kind of...

The dome of the main cathedral in Sophia, Bulgaria

The priests in the Cathedral going through their Sunday rituals...

So... I think today was the busiest of the week. I had a meeting from 7:30-8:30, I had the 9am hour open, but I spent it making (work-related) phone calls and discussing a client issue that we have been dealing with. Then I had appointments at 10, 11, a potluck lunch at 12, then clients at 1, 2 and 3:30. I didn't leave work until 7:30 or so because I wanted to make sure all my online documentation was done. Although there was one thing I *needed* to get done before I left, but the system I had to log into was not working... so there wasn't much I *could* do. Oh well. I'll deal with it Tuesday (which will probably be another long day). I didn't get home until about 8:15 or so. Oh yea... I went to bed last night about 11pm and then got up at 5:15am to make my "pinwheels" for the potluck (they went over very well, by the way) and I *also* made "Monkey bread" this morning, (it's a kind of pull-apart bread with cinnamon sugar and brown sugar). The Monkey bread went over very well. And, I think my boss had a halfway nice birthday celebration (although she said it was bad luck to celebrate it early... her birthday is tomorrow, but at least 5 of us will not be there tomorrow).

Tomorrow I head over to the town of Bad Kissingen..

"Bad Kissingen is a spa town in the Bavarian region of Lower Franconia and is the seat of the district Bad Kissingen. Situated to the south of the Rhön Mountains"

According to my GPS it is a 2 1/2 hour drive. One of the docs is going to ride with me and is supposed to be at my house between 10 & 10:30am. It'll be nice to have someone to share the ride with. I'm looking forward to getting there early and getting settled into my room. I'm packing enough stuff to last a week... (it's 4 days)... but that's in part because I don't know what to expect weather-wise, and I don't know how cold the conference rooms will be. At least since I'm driving, it's not a big deal. I've got most of my stuff packed, I'm waiting on a couple pairs of pants to dry and I need to pack whatever shoes I am going to take with me.

It's already past 11:30pm at night (BUT... I get to sleep in tomorrow!!! At least until 8, right?). Anyway, I'd better sign off. The dryer should be buzzing soon and I need to finish up a couple things before I go to bed.

G'night & Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lady statue... Sophia, Bulgaria

I had to chuckle, one kid that I know recently visited the Lourve (in Paris) and commented about all the nude statues! ha ha...

So... I had a fairly busy day... got in early, but at least I got to go for a walk at lunch time. Then I hung out after work until about 5:15 because I wanted to talk to one of my co-workers that I have a common client with, because the person was in crisis. Then I had to do some grocery shopping because we are doing a potluck for lunch tomorrow. I'm going to make turkey pinwheels to take in.

Tonight I've been on the internet with my friend Angie that is coming over for a month this summer, so we were making our plans for Prague this summer. (We are looking at going there June 29-July 1st). I'm excited to be going to Prague, it is a place I've wanted to go to ever since I came to Germany. We also plan to go to Switzerland and to the Black Forest.

Okay... I'm going to sign off... I need to go make my "pinwheels".

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, May 14, 2012

Not so busy day...

A weird statue in Sophia, Bulgaria...

So... started off the day with a meeting (and it was 34* out this morning... brrr!) and then had two no-shows right off the bat this morning which allowed me to focus on paperwork a little. I've been getting to work early to try and get things done before I get busy. The next two days are going to be really busy (especially if there aren't any no-shows or cancellations). My boss asked me this morning if I was dissatisfied with my job. I don't really think so. I get frustrated because I tend to put expectations on others that I have for myself. For example, my boss had a late walk-in this afternoon and all but myself and one other co-worker left. (The other co-worker has an adjusted schedule so he works longer days and gets a 3 day weekend every other week). So I stayed until 5:30pm (and I don't get paid any extra for staying late!).

And what have I been doing tonight? Watching Survivor and typing up some assessments. Will the work ever end?

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

There were some beautiful tulips planted outside of the Rila Monastery, thought this was an appropriate day to share them with you!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there... to my oldest and youngest daughters, to those who have been and are like a mother to me and to my friends and family who are mothers.

I've stayed home ALL day (okay... mark THAT one on the calendar!). I got up about 9, read for awhile, took my shower and then came upstairs to check my email and such. Then I wrote up some assessments. I took a break a little later and made myself a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch and then later I took a break to get some physical activity in. I went through every container in my storage room looking for the folder with the title to my car in it (no luck... didn't find it). There were a couple spiders in the room, so I decided to get my vacuum and tackle all the spider webs in the window wells downstairs... and also got the basement vacuumed. I did some laundry, packaged up a care package for my doggies to get sent off this next week... and then came back and did MORE assessments.. and then called and talked with all three of my daughters today. So... other than feeling like I needed to work on assessments on my day off... I feel like I got a lot accomplished. I think I've gotten 12 assessments done (they take about 45 minutes per assessment to type up).

Now it's after 10pm and I wanted to get my blog done, try to do more assessment done and then head to bed.

So... I'll sign off.
Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ooops... almost forgot to do my blog! LOL!

This was an old church we went to after going to the Monastery outside of Sophia. The pictures didn't post in the order that I had hoped... but they are various angles of the church... and no pictures were allowed inside.

So... slept in this morning because I stayed up too late last night. Then I ran some errands... I like one particular store to drop off my plastic for recycling and to buy more soda. I also picked up a "bunch" of flowers (my mother's day gift to myself). Then I went over to a wood hobby shop to see if I can get an oak shelf for my hutch I bought this past year. The guy will cut it for me and I will just need to stain it. Hope it fits perfect without needing any trimming. Guess staining the shelf will be a project for my next weekend on-call. I also stopped and picked up some batteries for my German remote control. I had some currywurst for lunch.

When I got home I went ahead and vacuumed out my car (not that it really needed it... but a neighbor had been in it when I first got it (helped me bring my other car back home) and had gotten some red dirt in it (he'd been on the ball fields with his kids). Anyway... the car is looking good. I'm going to a conference this next week and taking one of our docs with me, so I wanted to make sure it still looked brand new! *smiles*

Other than that... just listening to American music on the radio channels of my German Cable TV (so... they have a bunch of music channels on their cable TV... I also get the American Armed Forces Network satellite tv, but I didn't watch any TV). I've been playing on the computer, posting on Facebook and I did get *2* assessments written up (only about 15 more to go!). Hopefully I'll be more productive about getting my assessments written up tomorrow. I have more impetus now that there's a chance I may be moving and taking a new job (no call yet about an interview).

Okay... it's after 12:30am... so I'd better sign off.

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Friday, May 11, 2012


Sophia is no exception to beggers... this guy was kneeling on the ground for at least an hour that I was in the area. (I didn't want to make it obvious I was taking a picture).

Police monitor traffic from these elevated "booths" (there is a staircase that goes up to them).

They wouldn't let us get closer but apparently the military members of the various units were preparing for their parade that Sunday (St. George's day). The building behind them is an old church.

So... it's been an interesting day. I had a new couple that I saw this morning and an individual session that went into the lunch hour (and everyone had gone to lunch early... but that's another story). I'm on call and there was a call that came in during lunch, so I took a report and passed it onto my supervisor (We had a meeting this afternoon in another location) and she passed it on to my other co-worker... and long story short... the other co-worker LOST it! She had to go back over to the other building to look for it and didn't find it. It had confidential information on it, so I was stressing... because it also had MY name on the report (because I wrote it up). So... after work I went back over to the other building and thankfully I found it (on the floor in the bathroom... one of my other co-workers had said the one who had it went into the bathroom while we were in the meeting). Anyway... thankfully THAT ended well.

Traffic after work was really backed up, took a long time to get home. I talked with a friend tonight for awhile and then I was surfing facebook and came across something that was concerning (and related to stuff we deal with when we are on call)... so I ended up calling and talking to my supervisor about the situation and then had to make a report. (That's probably confusing). And since I've been writing my blog... I've spent about 45 minutes on the phone, notifying the right people and dealing with the situation and feel better that my world (at least the geographical area) around me is a little safer tonight (and will be safer as the situation is handled).

Ah... gotta love life and the people in it... and those that God brings across our paths. *smiles*

Time to sign off (it's after 11pm).

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Almost Friday...

This is in front of the Presidential building in Sophia

The Presidential building from a distance...

Notice anything about this picture? The soda fountain machines in Sophia didn't have DIET soda! HUH? Thankfully you could still buy it at the many small mom & pop stores.

So... work went okay... one of my clients had called yesterday to reschedule and then I had another one call to cancel today... so I had a couple open slots. That allowed me to type up a letter for a client (but I sent it to my supervisor to review and sign, and SHE didn't get to it today... I had told the client I'd let him know about 4pm today. Oops). I got most of my notes done, with the exception of two sessions this afternoon.

Oh and I found out that two other people that I'm aware of that put in for that position down in Northern Italy did NOT have their application sent forward. (That makes a total of three people that I know who applied and are not being considered). According to the website there were 54 applicants for this position. My guess is that they probably sent 8 or so applications forward. Now it is just a "wait and see" period.

Tonight I'm watching "Survivor" and "American Idol." I've also been using my "Gazelle" tonight. Last night I got to bed late again because I spent about an hour on the phone with my middle daughter. It was good to talk with her. I'm hoping she'll be able to come over and visit this coming fall!

Okay... signing off for another day...

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

And More Sophia, Bulgaria pictures

This is a thermal bath... I didn't know what it was when I saw it until I went back and looked at a map.

"The Black Angel"

The old Russian Orthodox church...

The University at sunset...

So... another day or two of Sophia pictures and then I'll have to find other pictures to post. *smiles*

Today was busy at work, although I did have a no-show this morning and someone that had called yesterday to reschedule... I also had a walk-in today.

First thing this morning I had a staff meeting and then I went to talk with my one co-workers (she's the one that is the least busy of us all... she's been out for some training the past couple days). I was pretty sure she had put in for the one position down in Northern Italy (the one that my former co-worker told us about). Anyway... she flat out asked me this morning if I had applied for it and when asked point-blank, I cannot tell a lie. (I have a hard time telling a lie anyway). So I told her I did put in for the job. She asked me I had gotten a response yet and I said "no", and she said she got a response and that her application was NOT sent forward (all applications are screened). So, I quickly went and checked my email and sure enough... I had a response as well... and my application WAS sent forward. My co-worker's job experience has primarily been in the field of child custody and domestic violence, while my experience has been more varied. She asked me if I would take the position if it were offered and I told her I didn't know. (I don't know). I told her one of the reasons I put in for it was because it's a promotion and because I had asked our current supervisor if they were ever able to hire for the other position (that I applied for and then they told her she couldn't hire for the position... it had nothing to do with me), anyway, I asked if I would get the job and she said she didn't know. She was VERY non-committal about it and that bothered me.

I know I've mentioned it before but one of my other co-workers (who the majority of us admire) said it's because I'm so good in my current position (I don't feel THAT competent, but my schedule tends to stay full). I'm one of the more "productive" employees.

Anyway... that was a piece of good news.

The other good news is that I've booked the Baltic Sea cruise for June. I'm DEFINITELY looking forward to that! I'll be going out of Oslo to St. Petersburg, Russia, Tallinn, Estonia and Copenhagen, Denmark. I went ahead and booked my roundtrip flight to Oslo and got a pretty good deal and I made a hotel reservation for the night we get back to Oslo (on the 16th, then I will fly back to Stuttgart morning of the 17th (Father's Day)).

After work tonight I went and got my nails done. I love getting my nails done (I get gel... I'm a horrible nail biter and these do great!). Now I'm watching the finale of "The Voice." Oh yea... I also did a little shopping after work. My boss has a birthday next week, she'll be 60. We are going to do a potluck. One of my co-workers is going to make 60 paper candles that we will attach to small gifts to give her (with the assumption that everyone in the building will get her 1-2 small gifts, so that she gets a total of 60 small gifts). So... with that in mind, I went ahead and got her 3 gifts. A pair of reading glasses (she's always losing hers), a couple gel pens (in 1 pack) and a little box of binder clips. It'll be interesting to see what others get her.

Okay... time to sign off. It's 8:25 pm and I want to call my middle daughter tonight. I tried to call her last night but didn't get through to her. I haven't talked with her in over a month. She's taught her last class until 2013, because she's on sabbatical for the fall semester (already??? WOW!).

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Some statues in Sophia, Bulgaria

This is in front of the National Library

Old men on a park bench statue

Soviet Memorial

The Monument to the Tsar Liberator. It was erected in honour of Russian Emperor Alexander II who liberated Bulgaria of the Ottoman rule during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78.

More pictures from Sophia...

This weekend I'll be staying in the local area because I'm on-call. It'll give me a chance to run some errands, sweep/mop, do some housekeeping (up-keeping?). House is fairly clean. My goal for this weekend is to find the title to my car and I'm hoping (once again) to bring work home and to get it typed up.

Work went fine today, I had one no-show and a new client today (along with a cancellation due to being sick). I think I only had three appointments today (and days like this, while I like the "break" I am glad that my pay isn't determined by how many people I see). I did email with the person about a job up in Wiesbaden, she said the position will be posted in a couple weeks and to keep my eyes open for it (so I will).

After work I hung around and chatted with a couple of my co-workers and my boss for too long... but it's nice to have that option to do that (and not have to rush home to let the dogs out) and then I stopped by the volksmarching club's monthly meeting. There weren't too many people there tonight... but I always enjoy the Jager Schnitzel (thin pork cutlet with mushroom gravy) that they have there at the restaurant.

Okay... not much going on tonight (it's before 9pm, how about that?) I'm watching "The Voice" and will probably head to bed before 10 (that's always my goal unless there is a good show on at 9pm). Tomorrow after work I get to go get my nails done. (they are past due!).

Adios... Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rila Monastery Pictures

Fountain at Rila Monastery with some of the Fresco painting on the wall (and a monk in the far distance)

The tower inside the Rila Monastery... I climbed the wood and stone staircases to the top

Somebody's knocking... should I let him in? (that's a song). I put the camera and took this picture at one of the doors on the side.

The inside of the Monastery...

So, work went good today, not too busy, not too slow. One of my co-workers were out today (I think at some training). Our former cleaning lady stopped by so several of us went out to lunch with her (we ALL really liked her, but the new contractors wouldn't hire her when we moved, probably because she would make them look bad, she had a very good work ethic). The happy news today was that my boss gave me permission to take off the week of June 11-15th, there's a 7 day Baltic Sea cruise that week I'd like to go on and they have brought their prices down a lot so that even with single supplement I can go for less than $1,000. It starts in Oslo, Norway, then has 2 days at sea, then goes to St. Petersburg, Russia, then to Copenhagen, Denmark and Tallinn, Estonia before going back to Oslo. I'd be adding 4 countries to my list (my daughter said I can't say "crossing them OFF my list" because that sound negative). And if I go on that, I think I'd skip the Trans-Siberian railway (at least for this year).

Tonight I showed my car to a guy, he said he thinks it has a power steering leak (he said he thinks I have two small leaks). I just hope I can sell it without spending any more money on it. I still need to find my title (which I haven't looked for in several days).

I'm also watching some TV... I watched "Undercover Boss" and now I'm watching the Finale of "The Amazing Race."

Time to sign off...

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Home, sweet home (again)

This is a Russian Orthodox church that I saw today, they were having a funeral there when I got there... so I waited in the nearby park until everyone left and then went in and took a peek inside (but didn't take any photos inside).

This is the main church in Sophia, it is the Alexander Nevski Cathedral. Or maybe I should just say it is the BIGGEST cathedral in Sophia.

This is the Rila Monastery that I went to yesterday (Saturday). I'll post more pictures later, but it's already about 10:15pm, so I'd better sign off.

Well, I made it back home okay, but not without some interesting moments. I had a leisurely day in Sophia. I tried to find the hop on hop off bus, but maybe it wasn't running because today was a national holiday? So, I walked and just enjoyed a leisure day. (the kind my daughter Michelle would have liked). I had arranged for a ride to the airport for 3pm (the guy at the airport said I needed to be there about an hour before my flight which was scheduled for 4:40pm. No worries, right? Well, I got back to the hotel about 2:30 and sat in the lobby for a little while and told them I was ready to go about 3. I got to the airport to check-in, and the kiosk thing said I couldn't check in. So I went to the desk and they said that I was too late to check in. HUH? Apparently this whole weekend I did not know that Bulgaria is an hour ahead of Germany. Thankfully, there was a delay on boarding and I *was* able to make the flight! Whew!

I made the connection in Munich without any problems... I flew on a prop-job (Dash 4-800?) to Stuttgart (it was only a half hour flight).

Then I went to the train station at the airport and ended up on the wrong train, going the wrong direction. At least there was just one more stop (it ends at the stop after the airport) so I switched over to the train headed back the other direction. It was just sitting there, it wasn't scheduled to leave for about 10 more minutes (and would have been the same train I would have gotten on had I waited at the airport anyway). Then, about 1/2 mile from where I had to change trains, the train stopped for about 5 minutes (I couldn't understand when they explained why, but no one seemed to upset). BUT... what that meant for me, is that as we were pulling into Rohr, where I had to change trains, my connecting train was just departing. Darn! So... sat outside waiting a half hour for the next train. But... as someone pointed out... a half hour sure beats missing that plane in Sophia!

My Mom used to have a saying "God watches over Fools and Children and I must be one of them!" I sure felt that way there in Sophia, feeling so ever grateful to have made that flight!

Okay signing off... (I posted the pictures just after I wrote all the above because I was uploading them to my computer as I was writing this blog).

Auf Wiedersehen!

- Kris

P.S. it only took me 3 days to really get my bearings in Sophia, but today I *did* feel like I was able to find my way around okay. Maybe that's why I like doing the hop-on, hop-off busses on the first day if possible, because they help orient me to the area.