Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!




Peles Palace in Romania
Nestled at the foot of the Bucegi Mountains in the picturesque town of Sinaia, Peles Castle is a masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture, considered by many one of the most stunning castles in Europe.
Commissioned by King Carol I in 1873 and completed in 1883, the castle served as the summer residence of the royal family until 1947. Its 160 rooms are adorned with the finest examples of European art, Murano crystal chandeliers, German stained-glass windows and Cordoba leather-covered walls.

Peles Castle was the first European castle entirely lit by electrical current. The electricity was produced by the castle's own plant.

The castle draws its name from neighboring Peles Creek, which passes right through the courtyard.

The first movie projection in Romania took place in 1906 in the castle's Theater Hall.

The furniture in the Music Room is carved of teak, a gift to King Carol I from the Maharajah of Kapurtala in India, while handmade silk embroideries adorn the ceiling and walls of the Turkish Salon. The ceiling paintings and decorative frescoes

So... I got woke up with a call from the "on-call phone" about 3:30 this morning and then after I took the information and had fallen back to sleep, they called me again to give me some corrected information.  UGH!  Then the dogs wanted to go for their longer walk about 9am (I did let them out about 4am).  So, I've been up since then. I was SHOCKED when I went to walk the dogs and it was SNOWING.  What the heck?  Why is it snowing on EASTER?  Where's Spring? I want it here already!

I picked up my friend Lori about noon and we headed over for some brunch (I *never* eat my money's worth!).  It was good to visit with her though and we enjoyed our brunch.

Afterwards I came home and chilled with the dogs for awhile and then got busy typing up some assessments and notes. I got 3 assessments written and 3 follow up notes written for those assessments.  (so... 6 notes). I still had 3 more assessments to write up and one more note... but guess I'll try to get those done sometime in the evening this week.

Okay... now it's already 10pm, so I'd better sign off.  I hope everyone has had a had a wonderful Easter!

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Saturday, March 30, 2013

No rest for me today...



Various artwork in Bucharest.

Which reminds me of a story that our "guide" told us when we did the walking tour there. He said that Michael Jackson came to town and he showed us the balcony he stood on... and when he looked out over the crowd, he told them he was really happy to be in Budapest!  (oops... wrong city!).

So... I did get 8 hours of sleep last night... then had a bite to eat and laid back down for another nap on the couch. I finally got up about noon and took the dogs back out for another walk and then I had to run some errands before heading into the office to try and catch up on paperwork.  I got a LOT of notes written, something like 30 of them.  But, I still have almost a dozen more to do, but they need assessments and follow up appointment notes written AFTER the assessments get written. So, I brought work home with me to try and get the rest of it caught up.  Hopefully I'll get to them tomorrow afternoon/evening.

I've also decided where my next trip to a new country will be. I'm going to go to Stockholm the end of April. When I did my Baltic Sea cruise, I missed Sweden and Finland, so I still need to get to those two countries.

Today I had an update on my new laptop and now about 2 minutes after I get it running, the mouse/touch screen doesn't work.  Do you know how hard it is to make it work without that?  So, I've tried shutting it down a few times... I guess I could go upstairs and grab a mouse and attach it to see if I can make that work and go from there to figure out what the problem is.  BUT... it's a pain. SO... I'm typing my blog today on my old laptop. Sure glad it's not broken (just about out of space on it... but at least it still works).

Okay.. signing off... because we have to set our clocks forward tonight here in Germany (we are behind the states by a couple weeks)... it's now after 1am.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Friday, March 29, 2013

Training stuff today...

 
 





Some photos from the Peles Palace area in Romania (If I remember, I'll post pictures of the actual palace tomorrow).

Work went okay today, but between various distractions and trying to do an "open book" test most of the day, I didn't get any notes written.  Looks like I might be going into work tomorrow for the better part of the day.

My co-workers *loved* the Peep S'mores and they were all gone by the end of the day. I'm happy when I can bring a smile to someone's face. *smile*

Okay... keeping this short... it's just after 9pm and I think I'm coming down with a head cold, so I'm hoping to head to bed earlier rather than later.  I'm on call now for the next week as well.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter treats...


I made some Easter S'mores to take into work tomorrow (I made 24).  Aren't they cute? *smiles*

Work went okay today, just as busy as it has been, so no notes done today.  Tomorrow is a training day so I am hoping to get most of my notes done then?  I found out today that one of the nurses quit (she's only been working at our clinic for about 6 months... but I guess that's a testament to how crazy work can be sometimes).  I sent her a message and suggested lunch (her husband is military and has deployed recently).

I'm going to keep this short as I spent so much time putting together these "treats", that it is now almost 10pm!

So... g'night! *smiles*

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

ANOTHER busy day... yet again






Some photos from inside the small chapel at the Sinaia Monastery

Work was crazy busy today.  I had one cancellation (because the family was sick) but then I had a walk-in.  And I spent half of my lunch consulting with a co-worker about a mutual client.  At the end of the day, when I was about ready to leave, the Chief of the Clinic came in to sing Happy Birthday to me! *smiles*  And then we talked about an issue that came up yesterday that I had to deal with.  I spent about 20-25 minutes talking and barely made it out by 5pm.

I was worn out by the time I got home... and then of course... I have no energy to do anything at home.  One thing that came up today was an email that went out that identified all Social Workers (except those that do Domestic Violence because they are coded differently), Psychologists and Psychiatrists here in Europe and what their workload has been.  A LOT of people were below their target goals.  I was at 102% of my overall target goal, so I was pleased with that.  BUT... I *was* surprised by some of the names I recognized that were below their targeted goals, including a few in my clinic and I was surprised that one name was on there, because typically that person sees more than anyone else in the clinic.

Anyway... just a crazy day today and another one expected for tomorrow.

Signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Another busy day at work...

The Sinaia Monastery in Romania
 

This was one of the stops on our 12-hour tour this past Saturday.  We stopped at this monastery, the Peles Palace and then went to the Bran castle and then stopped in Brasof before heading back to Bucharest.  Here's some information about the Monastery:

Situated in the Prahova Valley, the monastery gave its name to the nearby town of Sinaia. The monastery consists of two courtyards surrounded by low buildings. In the centre of each courtyard there is a small church built in the Byzantine style. One of them—"Biserica Veche" (The Old Church)—dates from 1695, while the more recent "Biserica Mare" (The Great Church) was built in 1846.
The monks possess a library that is a repository for valuable jewels belonging to the Cantacuzino family, as well as the earliest Romanian translation of the Bible, dated 1668.
Take Ionescu, former Prime Minister of Romania, is buried on the grounds.
 
 The interior of the little white chapel down at the bottom
 The main chapel
 
 This is actually the entrance to the Monastery
This is the little white chapel (which the top photo of interior is of)

So... work WAS busy today, although due to road conditions we could show up as late as 2 hours.  I got to work on time. (I knew about the delay thing... but basically the idea is that you leave home at the normal time to allow for any traffic delays... but there really wasn't any delay... so I got to work on time).

I had one appointment that the person didn't show up because of the weather and we played telephone tag trying to set up a follow up appointment but never did connect.   And then at the end of the day I was asked to lead a crisis debrief for an issue, that took almost an hour.

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, March 25, 2013

Made it back from Bucharest




A couple photos from Bucharest... the Parliament Palace (2nd largest building in the world after the Pentagon in the US (which I *did NOT* know was the largest) and then I was surprised to see that Bucharest had it's own version of the Arc de Triumph!

I'm going to keep this short because it's almost midnight and I have to be up at 6am tomorrow morning (ugh!).  Had a good trip to Budapest and Gwen was a great traveling companion (other than she liked to sleep with the TV on, so after the first night, I just slept with my ear plugs in and was grateful that I brought them). I'm sure there were a couple things she was patient with me on!  I think yesterday (Sunday) was the day we walked the most...we did 28,688 steps! YOWZA!

Okay... will try to write more tomorrow night.  I have a nail appointment after work and then I have to pick up my doggies.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Friday, March 22, 2013

Made it to Bucharest!

We made it to Bucharest ok, checked in about 3 and then went wandering around. We don't have wifi in the hotel room. Tomorrow we are going on an all day tour up to Count Dracula's castle, to Peles castle and to a monastery. I may not post, it's a pain to sit in the lobby to be on the Internet. I'm typing this on my iPhone. Okay, signing off. Auf Weidersehen, Kris

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Getting ready to add a 4th country for the year! Heading to Bucharest!

 My year started in Belgrade, Serbia
 Then I went to Edinburgh, Scotland...
And the last (new) foreign country I visited was Bratislava, Slovakia

I can't wait to post some pictures of Bucharest.  I hope the weather is decent.  My friend Gwen is going with me (first time we have traveled together, I guess we will see how we do) and we are looking forward to celebrating our birthdays together!  I won't be able to post pictures for a couple days.  I've got her to agree to do the hop-on, hop-off bus and to go to Hard Rock CafĂ©! Whoohoo!

Other than that... work went okay today, it was busy.  I *did* finally manage to get the last two notes from LAST week done... but still need to do THIS week's notes (will happen NEXT week).  I ended having to do some last minute online training (otherwise I might not have been able to get into the system when I got back and that would put a whole 'nother crimp in things. My boss said it wouldn't take very long... yea, right it took and hour and a half!  I did have two "free" hours today, one this morning, but then one of my co-workers wanted to consult about a mutual client, and then the other half of that hour, my boss was in to talk about another case she and *I* have in common.  This afternoon she came in again (because she hasn't seen me much BECAUSE I've been so busy), and spent another half hour in my office and then I had to return a call to the HS Psychologist about a kid... and barely squeezed in the time to get the two notes done.  AFTER work when I was trying to do the online training, our psychiatrist came in to consult about a family that I will be meeting with, most likely next week.

Does anyone have a spare magic wand around? I sure could use one on the families, kids and couples that I see (and on a few of my co-workers... and who knows... maybe I'd even use it on myself!).

Okay... gotta scoot... I was late getting the dogs over to the dog sitter, and I've been catching up on email and face book and now it's 10:30pm and I have to be up in 5 hours and I *still* need to finish packing!

Ta ta!
Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Busy day at work

 Here are my NEW boots and my OLD boots...
I took this after work with my Iphone, it had been raining...

Work was SUPER busy today and I had two intakes along with 3 other appointments AND a staff meeting.  I ended up only getting a 1/2 hour for lunch.  I brought work home with me, and I've gotten one "2nd" note written (which are almost as cumbersome as the initial note) and I got one assessment written.

Besides doing paperwork tonight, I did get all my photos dumped off of my SD cards, I got my camera batteries charged (I'm taking 2 cameras with me on Friday), I've got laundry in the washer/dryer - I guess that is about all.  I was hoping to do some packing tonight... maybe when I go down to bed?

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Short week! Two more working days!

This was a photo of some statue musicians in Vienna when it was all snowy... a different perspective.

So... Tuesday.  Work went okay, it wasn't too busy and I got caught up on all of my assessments at work (BUT, not all my notes, I think I still have 8 more to go, but I felt I made significant progress today).  The next two days should be fairly busy, but I'll take them as they come (and hope for a cancellation or two).

Today was one of our doc's last days for about 6 months.  He's got to go to Afghanistan for military duty.  I hope all goes well for him, it will be his first deployment.  I didn't get to say "good-bye" to him today, but I did see him yesterday (It was his dogs I watched this past weekend).

After work I stopped by the Post Office and *I* had mail!  I got my new (FREE) BOGS boots. (They are WONDERFUL!).  I think you'll remember that they developed leaks when I was in Vienna (above)... and so I wrote to the company to ask how long their boots should last and they basically said they have 100% consumer satisfaction, and offered to send me a new pair of boots! These are even prettier than my old boots! (Similar in color... I had sent them a list with my top 3 favorites when they told me to go to their website and pick out a new pair!).  COOL! 

THEN... I got birthday cards from my youngest daughter and granddaughter! How neat was that! It was nice to receive the card especially from my granddaughter with her note inside. *BIG SMILE*

I also got a package from my older sister.  She had meant to send it for Christmas, but when my card was returned (she had the wrong box # on it), she didn't send the gift.  So... I got some Almond Roca (something my mama used to give me every year for Christmas), a cool Butterfly bracelet (that my daughter Kori is going to want some day!), a holiday cooking oven mitt with a cookie mix inside.  So... great gifts!  And I know that my sister and my daughter had to really be on the ball to ensure I would get them in time for my birthday because the mail system is so slow! 

Okay... signing off...it's already 9:30pm. I watched "The Biggest Loser" finale (it was on LAST night in the States... the shows we do get over here, we get a day late... so I had already checked online to see who won).

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, March 18, 2013

Bucharest here I come!

Here's where I am headed for my birthday!  I'm heading over to Bucharest in Romania (so I will get the 4th new country this year!).  I'm not going alone though, I'm going with Gwen (she works with my neighbor across the street). Gwen's birthday is the day after mine, so we are going to celebrate our birthdays together!  I hope it all works out okay.

Work went okay today, not too busy as far as clients go, and I had a "no show", but I *still* didn't get caught up on my notes We had a breakfast potluck first thing this morning (I stayed up late last night making home-made Cinnamon Rolls). 

After work I went and got my hair cut, it was starting to get into my eyes and that was bothering me. So THAT feels better.  I also got a couple birthday cards mailed today, so I felt I had *somewhat* of a productive day.

I brought work home again tonight, but didn't get anything done.  My one co-worker came and picked up their dogs after 7 tonight and then I watched "The Amazing Race."  Tonight I've been surfing the web looking for information on Bucharest.  One of my friends are trying to talk me into doing a day trip to Count Dracula's castle.  Not sure about that, even if I were just by myself.  (although... it does sound like something I will do).  I guess I will have to get with Gwen to talk over lunch tomorrow and Thursday to figure out some plans for the weekend.

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Oops... missed a day!

I'm dog sitting this weekend... Cody (with the cone) and Mazzie (between Cody and Bruno).  Peanut doesn't look too happy.  Cody & Mazzies parents are enjoying some time in Prague before he has to leave next week to head out for his tour to Afghanistan.

So... no excuses yesterday for not posting.  I went into work late last night, got a couple assessments written up, but the computer system that I needed to input them into, was down.  I did have somewhat of a productive day yesterday... vacuumed the main floor (and part of the basement), mopped a little, and detailed my car (now I just have to get it washed, it's covered in road salt!).  I also dropped off my garbage.  And... took turns walking the dogs (it's too much to walk them all at the same time).

Today has been a fairly easy day... because I was up so late (I realized when I got downstairs last night to go to bed that I hadn't done my blog, but didn't want to come back upstairs and get the dogs riled up, just to get the blog done).  I think I was up and moving around 10am.  I made my (now) usual Sunday brunch... Bacon, an egg and a piece of toast.  Tomorrow at work we are having a "brunch" since it's a light workday for some.

Yesterday I was also looking into places I could go for my birthday this next weekend, and to get to Crete, or Athens, I would almost have to fly through Thessonalika (Greece)... so I checked into the fair there and there are some direct flights for less than $400.  What a random place to spend my birthday.  I need to talk to my boss and see if I can make it happen.

Today I've gotten a couple more assessments written (want to get at least 2 more done tonight, if not 4), got my dishes done up, I've got bread rising in hopes of making some cinnamon rolls tonight to take in tomorrow to work.  I also watched "The Life of Pi".  I think I'm glad I bought it because I think it would be helpful to watch it more than once to really understand it (and the scenery is beautiful).

I found my old Franklin Planner from 2000.  The one I had was based on "7 Habits for Highly Effective People."  I was reading through some of the stuff I wrote back then...

Here are some examples:
Value: Self-Development/Education
Clarifying Statement: I strive to achieve academic excellence.  I look for unique opportunities to learn about myself and to develop my abilities and talents.
(I think I've done a great job in this area... I graduated with my BSW 2 years later with a 3.89 gpa).

Value: Being a Christian
Clarifying Statement: I am open to the moving of the Holy Spirit.  I will be more Christ-like in my attitudes.  I will listen to God.  I am a Child of God, a Child of the King.
(I have let myself slip in this area).

Value: I value adventure
Clarifying Statement: I look for opportunities to do new and different things.  I look for unique experiences in life.
(I get an A++ in this value!... don't you agree?)

Value: Community Service
Clarifying Statement:  I believe in giving to my community
( I haven't been giving as much as I used to).

Value: Family
Clarifying Statement: To be supportive of my daughters.  I am the best "Mom" my daughters can have.
(I would give myself a "B" in this area... I wish I were more supportive of them...so that they too would consider me to be the "best Mom" they could have.

There was an "Activity" to think about the kind of person you would like to be.  And basically, it is to write a tribute that you would want others to say about you on your 80th birthday.  Here's what I wrote:
My daughters: My mom was the Best ever! I loved my Mom and she loved me.
My Co-workers: Kris was always someone I could come to for advice or if I had a question. 
My Employer: Kris was dependable, hard-working and a pleasure to work with. She was creative and innovative.
Boards (I was doing a lot of community service then): Kris always gave 150% and will always be respected as an advocate
Professors: (I was a student then).  Kris was always well organized, dependable, always open to a challenge, and had very high standards.

Another activity were some "Evaluation questions:
1. What have been some of my greatest moments of happiness and fulfillment.
Doing fun and unique things - joining the Barrow Polar Bear CLub, skydiving, learning to play the Digeridoo.  Traveling to someplace new, finding out I got an "A" in class.

2. What activities do I enjoy most and find most fulfilling in my professional life?
Going to school, when I am able to help someone find something out (being resourceful and helping others).  Desktop Publishing.

3. What are the activities of most worth in my personal life?
Weird -  I answered "Hockey games" (I think because they were one place I could release a lot of emotion and feel okay about it).

4. What talents and/or capacities do I have or want to have?
To be an effective listener, to develop leadership abilities.  Learn to play my flute better, learn to play the Didgeridoo, learn to circular breathe.

5.  How can I best contribute to the world?
By helping others achieve their goals, connect them with resources, help them to overcome obstacles by helping them realize their potential and to acknowledge their spirituality.

As I was looking for this particular planner... it was to find the "Mission Statement" that I wrote for my life back then, but I must have removed it, because it isn't where it should be.  I did write out some other things back then though...

Goal: I want to be single in 2+ years (basically accomplished)
I want to be separated from my husband in 2+ years.
What it will look like...
I am married now.
What is the best way to get there?
Improve emotional confidence
Prepare financially
Communicate desire to my husband
Finish BSW

How can I best manage my time to get there?
1) I can devote time to getting healthy
2) I can devote time to getting my degree
3) I can continue to work and look at opportunities to improve my finances and pay off my bills.
4) I need to be realistic about my bills and set money aside for savings so
5) I can start creating a nest egg with which to move

How can I best use my energy to achieve separation?
By cleaning house and getting rid of things I would not want to take with me.

I need to be the best mom to Kori while she is still at home (not sure I did this as well as I would have liked).
a) by spending more time with her
b) by listening to her  more effectively
c) to encourage her to grow into a self she will like
d) encourage her to actualize some outside activities
e) encourage her spiritually

I want to get my BSW:
I want to take the remaining courses necessary to complete my BSW. That is a minimum of 15 classes.
I have re-enrolled in UAF.  I have talked to an advisor and the advising department.  I have submitted an application for a scholarship.

I will see a UAF diploma in my hand
I will hear them announce my name on Commencement Day
I will feel competent for achieving this goal. I will feel relieved and happy!
I will feel nervous about the next step to take
I will feel triumphant.

This helps me become a better helper and to get paid to help people. 
It allows me to go on for my Master's degree
It will also allow me to assist others more as a resource peddler.
It allows me to accomplish the main goal of wanting to do this - get my degree by the time Kori graduates (I got it a year later... but a year before my Daughter Michelle got HER Bachelor's degree).

It allows me more freedom from my husband

To accomplish this goal I need to:
Ensure I can pay for my classes (by selling leave I can do this)
Make sure I'm only taking the necessary classes by meeting, first with the advising department, then with my Advisor and then have Admin review my transfer credits for speech to see if I have to take it.

Marriage issues:
I want to feel valued
I want to be able to communicate my needs
I want to be happy

If I want to be single in 2 1/2 years, what do I need to do?
Being single:
Girls will be out of the house

Right now I'm not happy in my marriage.
What would it take to be happy?
I would need to feel valued
I would need to feel respected as an equal
I would need to feel accepted as I am
I would like to feel loved
I would need to forget and forgive past hurts
We would have to have more of a relationship
Share more time together doing things we both like
We would have to look at our financial situation and learn to fairly budget
We would have to learn how to communicate sexually and we would both have to acknowledge our deficiencies.

What would being valued feel like?
It would mean being appreciated for my strengths
It would mean understanding what I feel is important
It would mean supporting the goals I have set for my life
It would mean being listened to and heard
It would mean accepting me for where I have been, how far I have come and where I am in this journey.

*****
Wow... a lot of insight from back in 2000.  I had NO idea back then, where I would be in 10 years, or (now) 13 years.  There's a part of me that feels like I need to sit down and revisit everything I wrote, come up with a new mission statement for my life and re-look at some of those goals (and that 80th birthday thing) and see if it is still appropriate (there have been many changes in my life since then, so there would be some changes).

And I challenge you to look at some of the items/areas of living above... what would YOU write? *smiles*

Anyway... enough of that... and enough of my procrastinating about writing more assessments!  ARGH!

If you have read this far... then I suppose you've gotten a lot more insight to who I am.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday Bruno!

 Peanut and Bruno when we were in Hawaii...
 Bruno as a puppy
 Adorable!


 Peanut & Bruno begging and sitting pretty
Aren't I just stylin?  LOL!

So... work went okay today, although I don't know where the time went. I only had one appointment and STILL did not get any notes written (guess who will be going into work sometime this weekend to get caught up!).

Came home from work and took the dogs out for a walk... do you know how difficult it is to walk 4 dogs at 1 time.  Actually... Mazzie is so tiny, I just carried her down to the field... and thankfully MY two dogs know not to go into the street, but unfortunately, Cody doesn't know that (his mama and daddy just let them out into the backyard and they have the run of the whole yard).  I finally brought Cody & Mazzie back and went back out with Peanut and Bruno.

Actually, after work I stopped and picked up the DVD "Life of Pi." I probably should have watched it tonight... I've been watching some stupid show on TV about people who do pranks on each other.  I'm SO glad I don't live around people who pull pranks on each other.

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Thursday, March 14, 2013

We have guests!

We have visitors for the weekend... we have Cody (the larger of the two dogs) and Mazzie.  Their Mama and Daddy are headed to Prague for the weekend.  Although Cody gets to wear his "cone of shame" ALL weekend (I guess he is biting at his skin?).  He seems to be used to it and okay with it.

Work went okay today... although I have had NO motivation all week.  Today was no exception.  And my boss has been cranky all week as well... so that doesn't make it any better. 

Not a lot going on to write about... I've been surfing the web trying to figure out some travel plans for my birthday weekend next weekend... a friend here has a birthday the day after mine and we've talked about going somewhere (I suggested Athens, Greece, but she'll be there over Spring Break, she suggested Prague or Helsinki (I haven't been there)... so we are trying to see if we can figure out something that would work).

Yesterday I freaked out some people on Facebook by saying I was going to Miami for 23 months.  Basically it was a Women's Breast Cancer Awareness thing, this is what it said... "The idea is to choose the month you were born and the day you were born. Pass this on to the GIRLS ONLY and let's see how far it reaches around. The last one about the bra went around all over the world. Your status should say "I am going to Mexico for 21 months. "The day you were born should be how many months you are gone. January - Mexico February - London March - Miami. April - Dominican Republic. May - France. June - St Petersburg. July - Austria. August - Germany September - New York October - Amsterdam November - Las Vegas December - Columbia. Do it don't be a spoil sport and show your support for breast cancer awareness!"

Today there was a job ad for Crete listed... I'd apply for it, but they said you had to already be working for the Navy or Marines (not any other branches of the military." Darn!  It was a 2 year assignment (a kind of  "jack of all trades" Social Worker).  Oh well... I'll keep my eyes open for other overseas positions.

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How Exciting... a new Pope!

A photo from when I visited St. Peter's Basilica in Rome in the past.

I'm not Catholic, but I do appreciate history as I sit here and watch TV, the Pope's marching band is playing and preparing for the announcement of the new Pope.  Shall I say that my guess is that he'll be the Italian guy?  I was on Facebook when the first announcement came in, and then all of a sudden the bells started ringing here in the town that I live in and they rang for about 15 minutes.  I turned on the news channel (MSNBC) and I've been watching and waiting... so while I'm not in Rome with the 300,000 people who are their eagerly awaiting to hear the news... I *am* sitting here watching and waiting with them in spirit.  I think the election of a new Pope took on more meaning when I read Dan Brown's book "Angels and Demons" and then also because I've been to the Vatican a couple times (and even have a rosary from there!).

So... work was another frustrating day... I continue to be tired... It could be a vitamin deficiency... I've not been good about taking my Vitamin B-12 (I ran out, but now have some)... and I've not been good with taking my iron lately... either one of those could cause me to feel this way.  I *did* just take a Vitamin B-12, and plan to take them daily for a few days.

I think I'm also tired of winter... it's something like 26* degrees out and it's lightly snowing.  I feel like saying "C'mon... it's the middle of March already... STOP!"  I would expect snow to still be here if I lived in Alaska... but this is Germany!

Oh yea... and apparently there was a bomb threat at our local High School today (which is adjacent to the Elementary School) so they had to evacuate.  Someone mentioned that somebody had written a message on the bathroom mirror... not sure if that's what happened or not... but in the end, everything was okay, but the kids ended up missing school all afternoon.

Okay... signing off... I think I'm going to head to bed as soon as the news of the Pope is announced... I went to bed before 10 last night, but I was still tired today (and woke up a lot last night, my sleep efficiency was only 89%).

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Frustrating day at work...

Street performers in Cologne... how cool?

So... work was kind of frustrating today without going into details... it was just one of those days.  I started the day with a headache though (something *I* don't get very often)... and ended with a headache.  I'm glad the work day is over.

I came home and made some steak and potatoes for dinner... and now I'm watching "The Biggest Loser", they are getting down to the last week challenges of the season.  I had plans to do a lot more tonight (make some party mix... get some assessments written up, find some birthday cards that I had bought (my neighbor's birthday is actually tomorrow)... and I wanted to get a couple other things done.  I *did* get my photos (un-edited) uploaded to Facebook... so that was good.

I keep saying I'm going to get to bed earlier... and I don't get to bed before 10pm.  Did I mention that on Saturday night (when I stayed at the hotel up in Ramstein, after I had walked almost 15,000 steps), I slept REALLY good.  I was in bed for 8 hours and 47 minutes, I got 8 hours and 25 minutes of sleep (taking into consideration how long it took me to fall asleep and the amount of wake time when I woke up during the night), and I only woke up 5 times (well, really, looking at the chart it looks like 3 times).  Compare this to last night, when I was in bed for 7 hours and 29 minutes, I fell asleep in 5 minutes (thanks to Ambien), but then I woke up 21 times and ended up with a net sleep amount of 6 hours and 40 minutes.  (That's the thing that is probably bad about having a fitbit... I'm more aware of how many times I wake up).  I attribute it to the fact that the dogs sleep in my bed, but then I guess I'm not willing to kick them OUT of the bed. *lol*.  It makes me feel that at least once a month I need to take them to the dog sitters so I can get a decent night's sleep.

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

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris



Monday, March 11, 2013

It's another Manic Monday...


















Some photos from the Koln dom.  (Cologne Cathedral).  I know my friend Bette will enjoy these and that they will bring back many memories for her!

Work went okay today... but they are changing our mail system and so I had to spend about an hour on the phone waiting and then getting help to make sure I can continue to get emails at work.  It was a pain.  I had a client today that I'm concerned about... so if you think about it, please say a prayer.

After work I sat and talked with my supervisor and a couple of the psychiatrists and another co-worker until almost 6pm.  Then I gave one of the Psychs home (she's just here temporary and is staying at a hotel that is located on my way home.

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris