Saturday, November 30, 2013

Last day of November

We actually had a decent sunset tonight (although because it is getting dark just after 4, I'm not home for sunset very often anymore).


Our town had their Christmas market today (from 2pm - 8pm). It's a really small Christmas market, but it is still fun to browse.  I walked down with my neighbors about 4pm.

This building is one of the oldest in my town...

Well, darn. It sure is hard to believe that tomorrow is December. Where has this year gone?  And where has November gone?  I've done pretty good keeping up with a daily "Thankfulness" post on my Facebook account (although today I had to post for today and the last 2 days).

This morning I slept in (I *love* sleeping in... that is MY favorite activity to do on weekends!).   I left around lunchtime (after taking the dogs for a short walk) and went to the Pet Store. That set me back almost 80 euros! I got a bag of dog food (Large bag), 2 bags of their favorite treats and then two smaller bags of treats for the.  I also got new batteries for their light collars. (So they can be seen in the dark). Oh yea... and I spent 10 euros for a pair of hand-knit socks and the proceeds go to support the local animal shelter.

From the Pet Store, I headed down to the Real (pronounced RE-al) store. I was hoping they had their Christmas trees out, but they didn't.  I spent something like 65 euro there though. I got some Soda, some food (i.e. milk and butter) and some other stuff, I also got some Christmas decorations.  I was trying to find some "Garland" for my Christmas tree, but they want SO much for so little garland that I ended up getting some tinsel again this year.

After leaving the Real store, I headed to the Hornbach store (but forgot to take some little lightbulbs that I need to replace) and they had Christmas trees there. I got a really nice one for about 28 euros. I picked up a couple other small things and left there about 40 euros poorer. So...it's been an expensive shopping day for me!

My neighbors mentioned they wanted to walk down to the Christmas market in town, so we did. I just bought some German cookies. It was a good walk down and back (and helped me get to 10,000 steps today!).  My neighbors were having their Thanksgiving meal today and invited me to come join them. It was a wonderful delicious traditional Thanksgiving meal.  NUM NUM!  After dinner we played a game (Guessturist?) it was a lot like Pantomine.  Amazing, David (the Dad) did the best. I think I did the worst... but then they know each other and I think it is easier to play with people who you know their mannerisms.  Then we had some Apple pie ala mode! NUM!

Now it's after 10pm, I'd better sign off and think about heading to bed. I'll have a busy day tomorrow... getting my Christmas tree set up!  I'll post pictures tomorrow night.

Auf Weidersehen!
- Kris

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday isn't so black in Germany

I'm thinking about ordering this photo on canvas. The company I ordered my other two photos has their canvases 60% off with free shipping. I was thinking about getting a 16X20 in this... what do you think?

So. I did have to work today... but didn't see any patients and I only had one note to do.  The system where we put our medical notes in was only halfway working, otherwise I may have gotten my peer reviews done.  So, I putzed on the computer and this afternoon I was typing out labels for my Christmas cards.  At lunchtime I did get some errands done... I got my hair cut, I got gas and I picked up some colored paper so I can experiment with some macro photography.  I also ran into some clients and grabbed a Subway sandwich for lunch.

After work (I got off a little early) I came home and took the dogs out and then I had to go for my nail appointment (I got red, in line with the Christmas season). I did a little bit of shopping, I spent more than I thought I would (I spent about $65). Some of it was sparkly wrapping paper so I could use it for photography as well. *smiles*  Here in Germany they don't do "Black Friday" shopping, other than at the Military Exchange on the Post.  But even they don't open until 8am.

Okay... not much else to write today...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!



I stayed up late last night, so this morning I slept in.  And then I took the dogs for a fairly long walk (okay, a mile or so) while I tried to figure out what I was going to do today... go to the USO for the Thanksgiving lunch? Go to Ikea for some Swedish Meatballs? Stay home and take a nap? Well, I ended up deciding to head over to Baden Baden for their Christmas market (which opened on the 25th).  It was a fairly small Christmas market compared to the Stuttgart Christmas market.  I went into the Casino there as well (Baden Baden is world famous for their Thermal baths and for their Casino).  I didn't spend much and came out ahead, which was nice. Traffic going was really slow through the Stuttgart area, but once I got out of the greater Stuttgart area, the traffic got better.  With normal traffic it would take about an hour and a half to get there.  Coming back, it was dark and rainy (light misty rain, but enough to make the windows dirty constantly).  I was worried because according to my GPS it said there was 91 miles of stopped traffic.  (I had forgotten to delete Baden Baden, so it was showing the time for if I came home and went back).  I got home a little after 8pm and took the dogs out again.

As far as yesterday's blog, I wrote it last night, but for some reason it didn't post. So I posted it this morning (thanks for letting me know Bette!0.

Okay... signing off... I've got to work tomorrow, but I don't have any appointments scheduled because our clinic is closed.  So, it should be an easy day.

Auf Weidersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving... but had a feast today!



No, this was NOT the feast!

Tonight when I got home, my (American) neighbor called to see if I had any bug spray (I don't).  When I asked why, she said they had this HUGE spider at their house.  I suggested she just kill it with a shoe or something, but apparently it was REALLY freaking her out.  So... I got the bright idea and said that *I* would come over and kill it, if I could take some photos of it first (working on my macro photography).  They were TOTALLY freaked out that I could sit a foot away from it and not be totally scared (hey... it wasn't moving... so I wasn't worried... it just sat there and let me take about 20 photos of it... before I finally smacked it with my shoe and killed it).  Then I flushed it in their downstairs bathroom... which their daughter who was been living there with them since they moved in last summer... didn't even know they had! LOL!.  (It's in the laundry room area).  I don't think she hardly ever goes down to the basement level of their house (she has the whole top floor to herself).  Anyway... I did good... I wasn't a wuss! *smiles*  I think I like the bottom photo the best of all the ones I took.

SO... today was easy, I only had two appointments (and had two appointments that got rescheduled to next week).  And we had our traditional Thanksgiving's Day potluck at work which was really good (food) and more than we could eat.

No real plans for tomorrow... I may go shopping at the German stores (I need to run over to the Pet Store again and I may go to Ikea when it isn't so crowded).  Not sure I'll find a turkey meal tomorrow (but may settle for some Swedish Meatballs at Ikea).  I made ham and a Chocolate Cream Pie for today's potluck and had some of the ham (which I prefer).  That was good.  If I decide I really want to have a turkey dinner, the local USO is hosting a meal tomorrow afternoon.

Other than that, I ordered MY Christmas present today. I ordered a KitchenAid Stand mixer (Model KSM155).  I ordered it in Red.  The only thing about ordering one while living in Germany, is that I will have to use a transformer with it.  But, my guess is that it will outlast ME (unless it gets damaged in shipping).

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Half day...

 We got a dusting of snow in our neighborhood overnight...
This photo doesn't do it justice, between the darker gray snow clouds and the blue skies, it was really neat looking out over the neighborhood.
I took this while I was out walking this afternoon with the dogs... (a macro photo). It reminds me of a Celtic cross.
 
So... I finally was able to pick up my NSAID's for my arthritis today (I made the mistake of "calling it in" last Thursday, only to find out that then I couldn't pick it up until today).  Man... has my arthritis been kicking up the last couple days. I think I'm developing arthritis in my thumbs (or that fleshy part just under the thumbs).  The right hand has been hurting for awhile, but the left hand has started hurting as well (especially without any NSAID's on board).  In fact, after seeing some clients this morning, and having 2 cancellations for the afternoon (one is getting ready to leave, the other had travel plans for the week)... I went ahead and took the afternoon off.
 
I went by the Post Office and mailed out the majority of my Christmas calendars (the ones I send as Christmas gifts, with my Christmas cards).  That took awhile.  I also had to mail my friend her 16 pounds of Ritter Sport candy! *smiles* (she's going to pay me back for them... she wanted a LARGE Flat rate box of the candy... so that's what she is getting).   While I know that when I occasionally get something from my daughters over here... and they have to fill out a customs form... today I filled out about 10 of those forms (and addressed the envelopes and such)... well, actually I did it last night. It's a lot of hassle. I know those that get my calendars enjoy them, and I hope they like this year's selection of photos.
 
Tonight I've got a fire going in my wood stove (took awhile... but it is finally burning nicely).  I'm going to watch some TV and I'm going to hopefully get to bed a little earlier tonight.  I've got to make a Chocolate Cream pie to take into work tomorrow (and I *might* make some Rice Krispy treats yet tonight, for people at work in the morning).  We are having a Thanksgiving potluck tomorrow at work. I'm taking the pie and I'm going to take a ham in to make in a crockpot in the morning as well.
 
Okay... signing off...
 
Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, November 25, 2013

First snow flurries of the season...


So... here's a sneak peak of this year's Christmas card! :)  I think it turned out pretty good and represents some of the highlights of my year. 

And... today I saw my first snow flurries of the season as I was leaving work and coming home.  I wonder if it will continue throughout the night.

Work went okay today, I only had two appointments (had a 9am meeting, then an 11am appointment, then I had a meeting that started just before 1pm (at another location)... got back to work in time for my last appointment of the day.  In between appointments I completed a mandatory training that took about 2 hours to complete.  I didn't get any notes written today though, but I will have time tomorrow to get some notes done in the afternoon.

Tonight I'm watching "The Amazing Race." I made some fried rice for the first time in my life, I think.  It was a recipe I found on Facebook.  Here it is... (I substituted Canola oil for the Sesame oil and I used extra garlic...num, num!).


BETTER-THAN-TAKEOUT-FRIED-RICE

Serves: 5-6
Ingredients
4 cups rice, prepared
½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked, or shrimp cooked
1 c peas and carrots frozen
1 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
3 T. sesame oil
¼ c soy sauce
Instructions
1.       Prepare ride according to package instructions to yield 4c of cooked rice
2.       Heat sesame oil in a large skillet on medium heat
3.       Add onion, garlic, peas and carrots. Stir fry until tender
4.       Crack eggs into pan and scramble, mixing through vegetables
5.       Add rice, chicken and soy sauce to pan. Stir in soy sauce and remove from heat.

Anyway, the rice turned out pretty darned good... so if you are so inclined... feel free to make it. I used chicken today, but have some shrimp for the next time.  I'll enjoy the extra as leftover for lunch tomorrow.
 
Okay... signing off.
 
Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Lazy Sunday...


 I'm not much for dates or olives... but wow! Did they have a selection for those who do. This was at the indoor market yesterday.
But, I *do* love treats! And I was a good girl and didn't buy any of these (but I did buy some German cookies).

Today has been an absolutely, lazy, do-nothing day.  I didn't go to bed until 2 am or so last night, so slept in this morning (I did get up before dawn and let the dogs out the back door to go potty).  It's been such a lazy day, I didn't even do my normal Sunday morning brunch! And then I laid down for another nap (as the dogs were laying next to me sleeping, it made me tired).  Maybe it was the 15,000 steps or so that I did yesterday that wore me out. Maybe it's the fact that I'm out of my pain meds for my arthritis (it's just an NSAID, nothing too potent, but it helps).  My bones have been very achy today.  Maybe it's the chronic overcast, dull days we have had lately - sapping some of my energy.

I did have grand ideas of getting all my calendar envelopes addressed and ready to go, but alas, that didn't even happen.  My neighbor did come over for a bit and we talked about the difficulties of adjusting to living in Europe.  If you have never lived overseas before, it can be a challenge to adapt and it usually takes 6 months to a year.

Not much else to write about today. I know my morning is scheduled to be fairly easy tomorrow, but Tuesday and Wednesday are scheduled to be busier.  Friday our clinic is closed, but I'm not taking the day off (I have to take over on-call anyway).

Oh yea, I forgot to mention yesterday, that while I was at the train station and orienting our neighbors to the train station, I showed them where they could go and talk with the officials and find the best train deals.  I thought I'd ask about the cost of going to Paris for Christmas and ended up booking a round-trip train trip. I'm going down early on the 21st of December and will be there til mid-day on the 26th of December.  I haven't made a hotel reservation yet, someone I know is down there for Thanksgiving and they are going to let me know what they think of the hotel they are going to stay in.  I figure Paris must be a neat place to spend Christmas.  I was able to get round-trip tickets for 140 Euros. I think that's a pretty good price. Now I'm hoping I can find a decent price on a hotel as well. I'll be there for 6 nights.  PLENTY of time to check out Paris. :) I'm hoping for some good photo ops. The only place I'd like to visit (again) is the Louvre.

Okay...signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Good Saturday! Or shall I say "Bountiful supply"





Just a few of the booths available at the Market hall in Stuttgart.

So... this morning I headed out with my neighbors (American... Mom & Daughter)... and we hopped on the S-bahn to Stuttgart.  (They've never ridden the train here... S-Bahns are some of the local trains).  So... I showed them how to purchase a ticket and showed them around the main train station when we got there.  We walked down the main shopping (pedestrian) street and stopped to look in a couple shops along the way.  We saw where they were preparing for the upcoming Christmas market which is going to open up in a few days.  I showed them where the flea market is held and also where the indoor market is (which is where the pictures above are from).  We actually went into the indoor market, then did a lot of walking and then came back to the indoor market because I wanted to pick up some fresh fruit. So... I got some Cherries, Strawberries, Raspberries and Clementine (oranges). I also got some German cookies and 2 pieces of Baklava. Num, num!

After we got back to our local train stop, we headed out to the Ritter Sport factory (even though it is only about 3 kilometers from where we live, they had never been there).  I just picked up 2 more Chocolate bars (with coconut in them).  I came home and rested a bit, and got my hair colored and then about 9:30pm I headed back out.  I don't normally go out that late, but one of our docs has a husband who was playing in a band and they keep inviting me to go hear him and his band play, so I finally decided to go ahead and go tonight. They were playing in an Irish pub (they were playing American music, more from the 80's I think, than anything). Several of my co-workers were there, so I hung out with them (and our doc).  I didn't leave until about midnight... hence the reason it is after 1:30am and I am still up and writing this blog.

It IS time to sign off though... the dogs are getting a headstart on their sleep and they'll probably want to get up in about 5 hours to go to the bathroom!

Good news is though... still no snow! YAY!

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Friday, November 22, 2013

Another work week comes to an end... or Flashback Friday...






Some photos from Santorini, Greece where I went with my middle daughter on a cruise a little over 4 years ago.

So... no appointments today, but I did talk with one client who was in distress.  Our Friday afternoons are set aside for training. Today we had a clinic-wide Thanksgiving feast. I took my "Peppermint" Plate and put some Christmas candy (actually Christmas wrapped Snickers).  I also took a Chocolate Cream Pie.  I took my pumpkin muffins in... but tossed them. Maybe I didn't bake them long enough, that's what it seemed like this morning.

The upside of today, was that I got all of my notes done and so I am caught up as I head into the new week (next week)... which is a short week. I'll only be seeing clients for 3 days.

Tonight I've just been chilling and playing on the Computer. I also watched "The X-Factor".

Okay... I'm keeping this short tonight...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Is it bedtime already?

A close up of the peppermints *smiles*

So... work was busy ALL day. I had one no-show and one hour that was open beside that, but the appointment before that was dealing with some serious issues, so they asked if they could take extra time (and then my last appointment of the day ran long).  I didn't leave work until just after 5pm. Today was my supervisor's last day for awhile as she heads out on leave for a couple weeks.

They put out the results of the photo contest, none of my photos won. Now I will have a better idea of what they are looking for though.  I do know someone that one (not sure which photo of his) and I'm having an issue with it.  The guy is in the military and was "deployed" but he got back the first week of October and the contest ended November 2nd.  Yes, he was here for a couple weeks and then gone for just over two weeks when he went home to the East coast.  But then apparently told them he didn't have time to get his photos entered because he just came off of deployment. I happen to know that he had the opportunity (whether he took it or not, I'm not sure) to see what photos were already entered (they were displayed at the library) and he submitted his photos after that. NOT FAIR! And he won.  He wasn't competing against me, because he was in the "military" category and I was in the "Civilian" category, but I think anyone in the military category would have a legitimate complaint, if they knew about it.  I did say something to one of the people involved... (and while I do like this person - as a person, I think he should be disqualified... especially if they actually look at his orders and see that he was back in plenty of time to submit photos before the deadline).  Oh well.  It is what it is.

Tonight I made some pumpkin muffins for a potluck at work tomorrow. It was a REAL easy recipe.  You just take a can of Pumpkin (NOT the pie filling, but 100% pumpkin) and a box of Spice cake mix.  You mix those TWO ingredients and then you can either drop spoonfuls on a cookie sheet or put them into a muffin tin and you bake them for about 15 minutes or so at 350*.  That's how easy they are to make!  If I have the energy in the morning, I may get up and make a Chocolate Cream pie to take in as well... I'll see how I feel.

Okay... signing off.

Auf Wiedersehen!
 - Kris

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Having fun tonight..

 Peanut has gotten into this habit of sitting above my shoulder on the couch when I am eating. She sits there with her one paw on my shoulder, as if to remind me she is there in case I want to share (Bruno is generally sitting next to me).

 So, tonight I thought I would try something I saw on Facebook. It is how to make a candy tray out of peppermint hard candies.  You line them up (in whatever pattern you want), on parchment paper and then bake them at 400* for about 10 minutes. Let it cool for about 10 minutes at least. This is how it turns out... (below)
This is what the top looked like (I kind of chipped the upper left hand side trying to get it out of the pan after they were cooled.
This is what the bottom looked like.  Both are actually pretty, but I think you really get the idea that they are peppermint candies with the way the bottom looks, so I would probably serve whatever I am going to serve... on that side. :) (And I guess if you wanted to keep it indefinitely, maybe you could shallack it?).

So... THAT was my "fun" for tonight.

Work was busy today although I get frustrated with our Wednesday morning meetings, they are supposed to start at 7:30 promptly and people have really been slacking on getting there 5-10 minutes (or even more at times) late and it is inconsiderate in my opinion (barring some major traffic issue... I'm talking about people who seem to be consistently late).

At least I got my full lunch hour today, that was nice, but since it was raining, I just stayed in the building and had a 1/2 a sandwich and some chips.

After work I went by the grocery store and picked up a few things because we are going to have a potluck on Friday for our whole clinic.  I saw a recipe (on Facebook) that I thought I would try where you take Spice cake mix and add Pumpkin to it (like a can of pumpkin) and make like cupcake/muffin type things. Maybe I'll put them on my "candy platter! *smiles*

Okay... signing off... not sure where the time goes, but it already 9:30pm.

G'night... and Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Another busy day...


So... today *was* another busy day. I had appointments scheduled at 7:30, 9, 10, 11, 1, 2 and had a cancellation for the last appointment of the day (but spent the better part of that time trying to access my work email because they've had a problem with it all day, AND we had a meeting at the end of the day).  My 11am appointment went for about 75 minutes, but it is someone that I've been working with that is going through an extra tough time right now and I'm trying to be as supportive as I can be. (trying to treat someone the way *I* would want to be treated if I were in the same situation).

I also had another issue in another appointment, it breaks my heart to know of the trouble they are facing because they are such good people.  (and I can't say much more than that).  I know that sometimes what I have to deal with is tough... other times, I just want to shake people and tell them to wake up and realize what they have is precious (whether it is life, a kid, or a spouse) and to not take things for granted.  I want to tell them to get OVER themselves and that life is just too short to be miserable.  But sometimes people have to figure that out for themselves.

Haven't been doing much tonight... I got my winter coat ready because they are saying there is a good chance of snow for the next three days.  If it had been 5 degrees colder today, we WOULD have had snow today!  Sure not looking forward to waking up to the white stuff... but WAS thankful to wake up this morning and find today wasn't that day. 

Okay... signing off for another day.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sad day...

Palace Grounds in Ludwigsburg

So... today I had a meeting, then an appointment and then I went to a Military funeral.  Those things are SO hard to go to.  I think seeing the grieving family is difficult, knowing the pain they are experiencing and being helpless to help them in the moment.  Then, like I may have said yesterday, hearing the roll call where they say the service member 3 times without an answer... (after calling 2-3 other soldiers names, then they call the deceased and say his common name, twice and then his full name (including middle name or middle initial) without answer).  It's heart rendering. Then today they also did a 21 gun salute (7 soldiers each shooting 3 times). I wasn't expecting that and I jumped when the first shot went off.  That was followed by "taps." Arguably one of the most recognizable tunes after the first 3 notes.  I hung around after the service and visited with the family. I'll see them tomorrow as well.

The afternoon was easier than expected, I only had one appointment (with a couple who have been married around 10 years, who don't have a will and haven't discussed what they would want done with their bodies should they were to die).  I was scheduled to have a new intake today, but they were unable to get childcare.  But, I didn't get any notes written today (which I had plenty of time to do), I think I just wanted to numb out kind of - by playing computer games.  Going to the funeral was emotionally exhausting and I felt spent afterwards. (I'm okay/better now, but will try to get to bed earlier tonight). 

After work I ran by the grocery store to pick up some food and stuff, then went and checked my mail and was very happy to get 2 boxes that had my 2014 calendars and my Christmas cards.  I like how my Christmas cards turned out (I hope those of you who are on my mailing list and read this, like it as well. *smiles*).

Not much else going on. I did watch "The Amazing Race" tonight. That is always interesting to watch.

Signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Trade fairs...



I went to a trade fair today at the Stuttgart Messe (a large complex at the airport).  There were three trade fairs going on... the one above was the jewelry and minerals fair, and then there was an animal fair (for pets) and a family and home fair.  I met my friend Kirstin at the airport and then we went together to the Messe section.  I don't think she had been there to the Messe before (it used to be in town).  It would have just been easier for me to meet her at the Messe. The train stop at the airport is for the airport AND the Messe.  Anyway... I took it easy this morning, slept in after staying up til 2am. I did doze a little bit after my brunch.  I was originally supposed to meet Kirstin at 2pm, but Amelia was still sleeping, so we met about 2:30pm.  We were at the Messe til 6pm. It worked out good because they had half price "Happy Hour" at 3pm, so we were able to save 1/2 of what it would have cost had we gone any earlier.

I did buy a couple things... I got a nice Lapiz necklace for 10 Euro, and I got a small Maldovite pendant (I have Maldovite earrings).

On the way home I stopped at the Doner Kabob place and got a "Doner" box (sliced meat with lettuce, cucumber, tomato, dressing and French fries).  Now it's already 9:30pm and time to get ready for bed. I should have gotten my stuff ready for tomorrow already, and I haven't. I will be attending a military funeral in the morning.  Those are always hard. Not sure which is harder about them, hearing them call roll-call for the missing soldier, or the playing of the taps.

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Strasbourg in a day *smiles*

 Ha! the only photo I took on my trip over to Strasbourg today... it was a bakery (on the German side of the border) with the same name as my oldest daughter (her married name).
I went over with one of my co-workers to go to an Antique show (I've never really been to one before). It's about an hour and a half drive, maybe a little more.  Anyway, this is a picture of a metal sign that I bought (it *isn't* an antique). I've sailed on two Transatlantic cruises so far, so thought this was nice to have as a memory.  The only other thing I bought was a warm scarf for winter.

This morning I got a slow start (had planned to head over there about 8:30am), but because I was up late last night and then I woke with a little bit of a headache, I came up and got a bite to eat and read my emails and such and then I laid back down on the couch with the pups for a couple hours. I finally got up about 10:30 or so and got ready.  I had talked with one of my co-workers about possibly going and she was interested. But she had to take her "Mini" into the repair shop because her "low tire pressure" light kept coming on.  Come to find out she had nails and screws in 3 out of 4 of her tires! (what's up with that?).  And they only had 3 tires there, so they switched those out and now she has to have 1 more tire switched out next weekend.  Which reminds me... she said she finally got her ticket for running the red light.  WOW! I think she said it was going to be something like 600 euros! She said the other alternative, was pay half and lose her license for a month (her ability to drive for a month). I *knew* the penalty was steep for running a red light, but wow!  Sure glad I didn't get a ticket that time I was going to Esslingen, when traffic wasn't moving and I got caught in the middle of an intersection (guess I was up far enough the speed cam didn't catch my license plate). It wasn't like I *ran* the light, but there was just 1 car in front of me, trying to go around the corner, but the cross-wise traffic wasn't moving.  Again... I'm thankful THAT one didn't catch up to me (it would have by now).

Anyway... as I think I mentioned the other day, my low tire pressure light came on, and I had checked with online friends to find out what I should do... and they basically said it was probably due to cold weather and to just take it to the gas station the next morning and add air (which I did).  Well, on my way over to meet up with my co-worker for our trip to Strasbourg, my tire pressure light came on again. I knew there was a tire shop right near where I was going to meet my co-worker, so I stopped in there (and they had no cars there that they were working on at the moment) and found out I had a SCREW in my tire! (left rear tire). Thankfully it was in the middle of the tire and the guy was able to just plug it (and it should be good to go).  Had it been on the side wall of the tire, I would have had to buy a couple new tires.  I'm glad I stopped to get the tire checked, rather than to just try and add more air to the tires.  And it was a relief not to have to worry about it on my drive to Strasbourg.  Which reminds me... about halfway there my co-worker asked if I had my passport... I didn't. I totally didn't think about needing it.  They don't check at the border, but occasionally they do spot checks.  I was happy when I made it back to Germany with no problems (Strasbourg is RIGHT across the border). Anyway... the antique market was okay, I just picked up the sign in the photo above, and I bought a scarf. It's blue, knitted, but it is made like a really long sleeve (so you can wrap it around your neck and stick your hands in the ends to keep your hands warm). I thought it was kind of cool (and it wasn't an antique either).

While we were on our journey, my co-worker mentioned that "Gravity" was playing tonight at the local American theater, so we stopped for a bite to eat on the way back and then went and saw the movie (which was pretty good, but I think I would have like the ending to be a little different... played out more).  Then I went over to the one German store that stays open til 10pm (it's like the American Walmart store) and I dropped off my plastic bottles for recycle and picked up some soda.

I took the dogs out for a potty break when I got home, but Peanut must not be feeling good. I gave her some meat (like I do when I have been gone all day) and she didn't want any and she's been curled up under the blanket on the couch since then, not making a peep and not wanting to do her usual licking.  I hope she will be okay (her nose is cold, that's a good thing).

Anyway... it's 12:20am now, I'd better sign off.  I'm supposed to meet a German friend and her baby (the ones that were on the flight to Atlanta with  me back in August) tomorrow.  We are going to some kind of "Expo" out by the airport around 12:30pm or so.  Should be interesting and different.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

P.S. I did take two cameras with me today, but only took one into the Antique show... and wouldn't you know it, I forgot to put an SD card into THAT camera! (The other one had an SD card, but it was out in the car and I didn't want to go back out and get it, otherwise I might have posted some pics of some of the antiques I saw today).

Friday, November 15, 2013

Whew! Glad this week is over!

It's been chilly here today... but at least it didn't snow as forecasted! Whew!  I posted this picture to remind me of warmer days in Hawaii (this was taken on the North Shore of Kauai).

So... I only had 1 appointment today, but it was a rather long one. I've been dealing with a crisis situation this past week and it will be on-going for awhile. (not me... for someone I am working with). I'm amazed at how distracted this situation has made me. Every day I have been trying to post a "thankful for" post on my Facebook account and I missed 3 days this week! (So, I made up for it). I haven't done today's yet.

I stayed at work until about 5:15pm so I could get my notes done for this week. And yes, I got them done. We also had a meeting to attend this afternoon.  It's always something.

Tomorrow I am thinking about driving over to Strasbourg, France. There's a huge antique market over there this weekend.  Not that I can afford anything, but it might be interested to look.

I stopped by the Post Office after work tonight hoping to get my calendars, but alas, they aren't here yet.  I got a "macro" lens for my camera in the mail though, so I'll look forward to playing with that! *smiles*

I've also got my Christmas letter written and printed out... so I'm ready for whenever my Christmas Cards and my calendars do get here.

Okay... signing off.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thinking of friends...

This was a photo I took at Monument Valley a few years ago (March 2009?). I loved this curved tree. *smiles*

Work went okay today, I had one appointment that didn't show up this morning (they've rescheduled for tomorrow morning).  This afternoon I had to go to a meeting and then I had to go update my work ID card.  What I *really* liked today was that I went to my favorite cantina (where I used to go for lunch all the time when I worked nearby) and they remembered me and not only did they remember me, they remembered what I wanted to order! I didn't even have to tell them. How nice is that?

Tonight I'm watching some TV... I'm watching "Survivor."  It's supposed to start snowing tonight. I wonder what the chance is that we will wake up to some snow in the morning.  Guess I should bookmark the local weather/road condition web site so that I can find it easily tomorrow morning.  I'm dreading the snow... I'm SO not ready for it yet.

Okay... signing off.

Auf Wiedersehen!
 - Kris

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Middle of the month Wednesday in November...

I don't remember where this was taken, but I found it on my computer... and liked it, so thought I'd post it here..

Work was fairly busy today, but I had a couple cancellations, so it wasn't quite as busy as it could have been.  I found out I will have to go to a meeting tomorrow afternoon, so I rescheduled one appointment (into one that someone had to cancel) and I've contacted my last appointment of the day and have been able to switch them to next week.  I hate last minute notices of meetings.

Tonight I'm just watching "The Voice" and "The Biggest Loser." Haven't figured out what I am having for dinner tonight, but it is already 8pm.  I've been a little worried tonight because my "low tire pressure" light came on while I was driving home.  I've gone online and posted the question on a local facebook page and they said that it is common when the weather turns cold. I guess I will just go into work early tomorrow and stop by the gas station on the way to work and check the pressure. I do have the German version of AAA.

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Busy 2sday! or Happy 11/12/13!

This was one of the photos I entered into the local photo contest, only to find that there were 2 other photos that were almost identical to this!

Work was very busy today, but thankfully I had one appointment that had to cancel.  I'm dealing with a situation at work right now that is tough (it's not an issue with co-workers, just something that someone is dealing with that I am helping).

Tonight I came home and made myself a hamburger (actually a cheeseburger).  I don't know when the last time I made myself a hamburger, but it tasted good.  I made a burger for the dogs too. They enjoyed that too.

I also got to talk with my friend Bette! I don't call her enough.  Walt wasn't home, but we talked for an hour and a half... and now it's almost 10:30pm so I had BETTER head to bed!

And we are supposed to get snow tomorrow morning. YUK!

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day!

 First... I belong to an online "macro" photography group and I had posted this picture yesterday. It got selected as the group's banner photo! I feel very honored! *smiles*


Here are a couple of my military photos. The first one was taken when I was in "Tech school" at Chanute AFB (in 1976).  The bottom photo, I'm not sure when it was taken, but my guess would be in 1977, considering I was married when this photo was taken.

Other than that... no phone calls today on the on-call phone, that's been nice.  I had a lazy morning (and I've been doing more laundry). I did run some errands. The Macro group I belong to online is having a contest for this week for the best photos with "bubbles" as the theme (last week was "eyes.")  Anyway, I went ahead and bought some "bubbles" today (and a little bubble gun!).  I also had to pick up a new charger for my Ipad, but wanted one with a German plug, so I went to the local mall to get that.  I went into work for a little bit to type up the reports from this weekend, because I know I won't be able to do it tomorrow.  And I managed to contact one of my clients that has an appointment tomorrow morning, she had to cancel this past week and I was hoping I could just reschedule her to next week, but we emailed back and forth and she said she needs to come in.  I have an "emergency walk-in" coming in at 8am I was hoping I wouldn't have to keep it to 1 hour, but it looks like I will have to.  Oh well.

Okay... it's almost 10pm so I had better sign off.  I have a very busy day tomorrow.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Absolutely LAZY day!

Cochem, Germany, a town I visited this past summer...

Today has been a very rainy day. Other than taking the dogs out a few times and going to the neighbors to feed their cats, it has been a quiet day.  I went ahead and got the guest room beds changed out (bedding).  And I've done my laundry for the day... but not much else.  I've had the last of my Sloppy Joes (3 nights in a row!) Also finished off my strawberries tonight.  I did get a call on the "on call" phone, but thankfully it was just a situation where I had to take a report.  I hope tomorrow is quiet.  I plan to run some errands tomorrow since I have the day off and it will be nice, because I can shop at the German stores and they shouldn't be crowded! *smiles*

Okay... just going to keep this blog short today.

Auf Wiedersehen!
 - Kris

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Say a prayer

 I happened upon this church which isn't far from where I work. All the towns here in Germany have grand churches, I am just amazed at their beauty and the cost (and craftsmanship) that has been put into these churches.

This is a Monastery type place within a few kilometers of where I live. This is in Waldenbuch.

So... after waking up this morning a little after 6 to let the dogs out so we could lay back down and go to bed... I got a call about 6:50 on the on-call phone.  They called back again about 7:30am and I had to go in and I was helping to deal with a situation until about 11:15.  Since I was already out, I went ahead and met up with a co-worker for lunch at a Thai restaurant (near where the church in the top photo was taken).  I had some spring rolls and some fried rice (brought the leftover fried rice home!).

I took a detour on the way home and went out to Waldenbuch where the RitterSport factory is.  A friend who is now in the States asked me to pick her up some RitterSport candy (enough to fill a large Flat Rate box).  So... I did! She'll have as much candy as that box can possibly hold! I think she will be pleasantly surprised to find out that they had their "Gold bars" in sample size. So... I bought about 4 bags of those (the squares are about 1 1/2" square). Those are her favorite of the RitterSport bars. I also bought her some sample bags and such. I hope I can get them into the mail on Tuesday. (Guess I better make sure I have her snail mail address).

On the way home from there, I decided to stop by a farm that advertises "fresh milk." Someone had mentioned they had a machine and there was a vending machine to buy containers right there.  So... I stopped. Figuring out the vending machine was easy enough, so I got the liter size container (or whatever size it is... a quart?).  But then, I put it where you are supposed to get the milk out of, and tried pushing the button and nothing came out (after I had put money in). Then I thought it wanted more money, so I put another 2 euros in.  Finally, I asked for help (there was someone cleaning in the barn right there (where the cows were)). And then realized I had just paid for over 5 liters of milk! LOL!  Fortunately another couple came up about that time and I basically told them that their milk was on me! *smiles*  They laughed.  They got their milk and offered to meet me there next week at the same time!  LOL!  Too funny!  But... I ended up with a couple quarts/liters of milk.  So, I came home and had some fresh milk with some oatmeal cookies I made yesterday.  Num num! AND, I let the doggies have some fresh milk, they enjoyed that as well.

After that we laid down for a nap for a little bit and tonight I've just been messing on the computer... I uploaded some photos, and I also upgraded to the new Windows 8.1.  Can't see much of a difference, although there is a more convenient way to shut down the computer now.

Other than that, please say a prayer for someone I know who's husband passed away today on her birthday.

Signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris