Sunday, August 31, 2014

Visted Carrara Mountains and the marble mines

Started my day off at the beach and spent a few hours there, then headed up to the Carrara mountains where they mine beautiful marble and took a tour while I was up there.  Then came back down and went to the beach for sunset.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Trains, trains and more trains



So! I made it to 4 out of the 5 towns of Cinque Terre. I missed one because the door on the train wouldn't open, so by the time we (me and other passengers) realized it and went to the next car to get out, the doors all shut and we couldn't get off.  Oh well, it was the one town that if I had to miss, it was okay.

This morning I drove up to La Spezzia. It was 8.20 euro for toll (each way). Then my GPS took me to the wrong train station there.  So, finally got to the right one and had to wait a long time to get my Cinque Terre card (12 euros, unlimited train rides in the Cinque Terre area).  I think if I did it over, I would just park in Pisa (nearby) and take the train. I think overall it would have been cheaper, because of the toll and paying for parking, and I wouldn't have gotten delayed at the wrong station and saved my gas.

Once I got to the right train station, as I was going to the train I got approached by a VERY aggressive female beggar (she had something swaddled and kept saying "my baby, my baby), and even tried to block my way with her body!). THEN, I got on the wrong train - not once, but twice! Thankfully I got off of both before they pulled away from the station.  Then I finally got to the first town -Riomaggiore. The top 2 photos are from that town.  Then I got on the WRONG train AGAIN and barely got off ( at one point my backpack was caught in the door!). Thankfully, that was the last wrong train.  BUT, after exploring Riomaggiore, I got on a train (in the right direction) and the next thing I know, the train is speeding past all the Cinque Terre towns! I thought for sure I was going to end up in Genoa! And get into trouble when the Conductor came around and I didn't have the right ticket. THANKFULLY, the train stopped at the last town (Monterosso) and I got off. That was a beautiful town with a beautiful beach. See photos 3-5. After all my train problems, I decided I needed a glass of wine! *smiles*
I had a late lunch/early dinner there, mainly to sit down and rest and cool off a bit.

From there I hopped on the train again (I started verifying with the information people that I was at the right platform, at the right time).  The next town I visited was Vernazza.  I enjoyed this town a lot. (See pics # 6&7).   I missed seeing Corniglia due to not being able to get off the train, but that's okay, it looked like it would have been my least favorite town.  The last town I visited was Manarola.  I did the most hiking in this town, a lot of going up hill!  I got to watch the sunset there! *smiles* see pics 8-10.

I walked over 18,000 steps today and my knees and feet are telling me that I over did it.  I got back to La Spezzia about 9 pm, and then had an hour long drive back to where I'm staying. Whew!  Tomorrow if the weather is nice enough, I might go to a local beach. 

Okay, signing off, it's after midnight.  I need to go take a shower (I'm stinky from all the walking/hiking I did today), and head to bed. 

Good night
Auf Wiedersehen 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Some photos from my trip down to Italy today

I had a good trip down here to Pisa, no traffic jams and the only problem I had was just after I came into Italy a trucker cut over in front of me and I had to STOMP on the brakes to keep from hitting him, and no, I was NOT speeding (apparently his lane was blocked ahead and he chose that time to change lanes! GRRRRR!  Glad I have a good car!

The trip down took me about 9 hours, I think I stopped 3-4 times to use the restroom and stretch my legs.

Okay, signing off,
Auf Weidersehen, 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

On the Road again...

The blackberries are ripening out on the trail! *smiles*

Work went okay today, other than at the end of the day we got notified of a staff meeting about 20 minutes before it was supposed to happen, so there was one note that I didn't get written, which will now have to wait until Tuesday.

After work I came home, took the dogs out and then came back for a bit before taking them over to the dog sitters. I always make the mistake of going in and sitting down and then I am there for TOO long. I stopped on the way home and picked up a pizza for a late dinner. Now it's 10:40pm... and I haven't packed, but STILL hope to wake up early in the morning to hit the road. I'm driving down near Pisa, Italy to see Cinque Terre.  I probably shouldn't be spending the money, but when I first found out about the job in Alaska and thought about places I had not gotten to that I had wanted to (besides new countries) it was Poland for more pottery and Cinque Terre. On the slight chance I *don't* make it back to Germany, I have decided to go ahead and get down there.  It's a little over 8 hours to drive there (with GOOD traffic and NO potty stops) so I anticipate it taking at least 10 hours.
I should be able to post from there (on my iPad) tomorrow night.

Okay... signing off.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Not too many more German sunsets...

I got an email from Alaska and they are going to request that I be up there on October 6th.  YIKES!  Guess who is going to have to get a LOT done in the next few weeks. Thankfully my work schedule is really light, so that will help.  I just hope it all works out.  I'll have to remind myself a lot over the next couple weeks to "trust the process."  I just posted my "announcement" (regarding my impending move) on Facebook... about my "semi-official" notice of my move.

I'm going to keep this short tonight. It's already 9:45pm.

Good night!

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

VERY Rainy Tuesday

So... yes... it's been a VERY rainy day.  The kind that when I got home to walk the dogs after work, they are all excited to go out, until I open the door and they see it downpouring outside.  Thankfully, they both did their "business" in a relatively short amount of time.

Talked with my Supervisor about possible dates that I might be leaving.  Alaska would like me there either October 5th or the 19th (start of the new pay period).  I sent Alaska back an email today that said I would prefer the earlier date, BUT... I would like 30 days after I receive my "orders" (the official relocation forms).  So... who knows when that will be. Alaska said that they will contact my HR department here and arrange a date... and THEN I will get the final offer.  So... I suppose that could be another week or two down the road.

By the way... have I mentioned that I am heading out of town this weekend? I figure it will be my last trip in Europe.  I'm going to drive down to near Livorno, Italy.  I want to explore a place called "Cinque Terre" it is on the west side of Italy, not too far from Pisa.  The area has 5 towns that have hikes that go from one town to another (and trains). Sounds like it is possible to see all of Cinque Terre (the towns aren't too big) in one day.  I'll have two days of driving (minimum of 8 hours each way)... and two days in the area.  Should be fun. I'm going by myself and the doggies will stay with some friends.

Work went okay today, it was a quiet day, with just two appointments (one was a new appointment though that I think would benefit from on-going care).

Okay... it's almost 9:15pm (and I didn't hardly watch any TV tonight).  I did make some home-made chicken fried rice for dinner, that was good.

Signing off.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, August 25, 2014

Quiet Monday...

Some flower photos from the neighborhood...

Work was interesting today.  One of our docs came in and started singing "Ding Dong, the Wicked Witch is Gone" and another came in and basically chuckled aloud how the (former) co-worker is going to do at the new location (and how her new peers will adjust to HER). It was a sense of relief in the office today.

Work itself was quiet today, I only had one appointment (but it was a hectic one because there was a toddler in there and the toddler was like a tornado!).

Tonight I'm just watching some TV... I've already had the dogs out twice (it's about 8:15pm).  I am watching "Unforgettable" and as soon as it is over, I hope to go to bed.

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Fun sorting through drawers and closets

Some evening photos from my neighborhood.

I had a fairly productive day.  I sifted through some drawers (trying to weed out papers to throw away) and sorted underneath my buffet and in my hallway closet.  Now to throw a bunch of stuff away.  I wish I could start a fire somewhere (safe) so that I could just burn a bunch of old bills and stuff instead of trying to shred it all.  Anyway... that work took me most of the day.

Tonight I finished up about 8:30 with sorting through the majority of the hallway closet (that is my catch-all area).

Not much else to write about and since it is after 11pm, I'm going to sign off and go to bed.

Good night!

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Saturday, August 23, 2014

New piece of furniture!

 Here it is empty...
 Then I put some of my stuff in it...
It's great to hold some of my Polish pottery! *smiles*

This morning started early for me (considering it is a Saturday). I got up at 6:30 am so that I could say good-bye to my house guest (our supervisor was picking her up between 7 and 7:30 and got there at 7 and my house guest wasn't ready).  In fact... she left behind her slippers (probably on purpose) and her sunglasses (don't think she forgot THOSE on purpose!).  After they left, I took a few minutes to check facebook and then got busy cleaning house (well, at least the main floor).  I moved my TV over to the side wall (to ensure I would have room for the Schrank (that's what they are called here in Germany).  I vacuumed and mopped and cleaned up the main floor.  Then Kyle (he's married to someone I work with) came over a little after 9 (thankfully I was about done cleaning up) and brought their 4 month old daughter (who was an angel the whole time he was here).  The folks delivering the Schrank were supposed to be here at 10am, but didn't get here until almost 11. BUT... they were able to get all of the unit loaded into the truck in one load (WOW!)... They have a HUGE Ford Truck (Extended cab, long-bed).  Kyle was here to help on this end (the guy I bought it from has had a couple heart attacks... kudos to him for delivering!  He said his wife has had the Schrank for at least 10 years).  And... he (Cal) had blankets around all the pieces and everything tied down with tie-down straps... he was WELL prepared!  And I'm VERY happy! *smiles*  This is so much like the one we got about 35 years ago (except for the china hutch portion, this one bevels out, ours was flat glass).  I *really* feel like I got a heck of a good deal (200 euros and I went ahead and gave them 25 euro for delivering it). I think we paid over $1,100 for the one we used to have. THAT one was damaged in a train derailment when we moved to Alaska in 1985.  Hopefully this one will fare better!

After getting the schrank delivered and set up, I got a bite to eat and then took a nap with the dogs for a little while.  Then I went ahead and put some of my Polish pottery in the Schrank... put my DVD's on the shelf and I have some little village houses (that look like a German village) and I put those in the China hutch (to just mainly have something in it) I also put 3 of my Polish pottery vases up on the top shelf of the china hutch.  I'm liking the way it looks.

 I've been doing laundry most of the day. My houseguest was nice enough to throw her dirty towels and bedding down for me (you can drop them from the top floor to the basement through the stairs), so I got those washed.  After my nap I went up and cleaned upstairs and re-made the bed... I'm ready for any more company that might come.

Since then I've kind of petered out and have just been playing games on my computer. Now it's 10:45pm, I guess I should think about heading to bed.  I'm hoping to get up tomorrow and start going through junk drawers and closets. Mainly weeding out paper stuff (especially if I might be moving in another month or so!).

So... signing off.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Friday, August 22, 2014

Shhhh! Keep it on the down low! *smiles*

Some pretty flowers for you!

So... I *just* got an email from Alaska and they are going to give me my bonus up front! (whooohooo!).  I won't get it until I get in-processed up there... but I don't think I really need it until I get there. Well... it sounds like it would be a month after I get there before I get the bonus (just got another email).  I think it should still work out.

Today was a "free" day at work... we had an office function all day, so that made it an easy day.

Tonight my supervisor came over and brought dinner and I had probably (other than one family that has visited) the most company here for dinner than I have had in the 3+ years that I have been here.  We had our Admin person and her husband here, my co-worker, my supervisor and one of our docs. It was good.

My co-worker has been packing up and sorting all night. Now it's almost 11pm and my Supervisor will be back about 7am to pick her up in the morning to take her to the airport up in Frankfurt.

So... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Slow Thursday

Misty morning... and one other thing that stood out for me in this photo is that it looks like the leaves are starting to change colors.

Today at work I didn't see a single patient. And I wasn't very productive either. I did gather all my supporting documentation so I can send it in to Hawaii once I know where I will be living so they can send my renewed substance abuse certification this fall.  I traditionally have sent my renewal application in by late summer even though it isn't due until November.  I just don't want to take any chances with it.   I have to send in verification of at least 40 hours of continuing education. I've got documentation for 121 hours since I last sent in my application. *smiles*

We had our going away potluck for two co-workers who are leaving.  I made baked beans to take (the main entre' was going to be ribs). It was a nice lunch and my one co-worker got recognition for her job here (ha!).   I should be nice.  I was just thinking about something someone said to the effect that... she basically just gave my co-worker recognition for doing her job, because it would have looked weird to just give the person who saved both of their "bacon" on a recent project.  So... three of them got recognition.

I did email Alaska today AND got a response. It looks like the Credentialing piece should be done by Monday and he said he would ask (again) about the bonus.  I have mixed feelings. In a way I hope it works out that I can go, but on the other hand, if I could stay here and get a promotion, it would be better for me financially.  SO... time will tell (once again).

My "housemate" isn't home yet... and it's 9:15. I don't know if I should wait up for her or head to bed.  If I head to bed and take my Ambien, I'd better hope she doesn't need anything.  But... this staying up until almost 11 every night is rough on me.

On another note... I re-arranged my living room a little tonight... not really happy with it, but I'm supposed to be getting a large livingroom wall unit on Saturday morning, so I needed to make space for it.  I hope all of it makes it okay!

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Some photos from the neighborhood

 The blackberries are getting ripe!
 This poor apple tree is so droopy that they are having to prop up many of the limbs...
 Old ladder is being used to prop up one large branch of the tree
No sunset tonight... but I did get a photo of a plane. *smiles*

Work went okay today, but I had one minor SNAFU (situation normal... all "messed" up). Other than that, I worked with "Dragon Speak" today.  After repeating a paragraph three times, it finally came out pretty good.  I did take in my "Angel Food Cake" for a co-worker that had a birthday (in another department - I was doing it as a favor... they said they'd buy me lunch next week to repay the favor!) *smiles*

Tonight after work I met up with my supervisor and another co-worker to pick out a gift for the co-worker leaving. We found a tapestry pillow of a scene from Stuttgart. I think she will like it.

Tonight I've been watching "America's Got Talent" which is always amazing.

Okay... keeping this short tonight.

Auf Wiedersehen,
- Kris

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pretty sunset

Here are some sunset photos from tonight... beautiful, huh!

Work was easy today (TOO easy) and I wasn't as productive as I would have liked to have been.
I stopped and picked up pizza for my "house-mate" and I, and made that for dinner.

Tonight I've just been watching some TV and playing on the computer. Still no news on Alaska.

Okay... I'm going to sign off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, August 18, 2014

New furniture!

So! Guess who is getting more furniture! LOL... We used to have a schrank like this that we brought back from Germany the first time I was here.  I've missed having one and so someone was selling one locally for a dirt cheap price.  After work I went to look at it and it is in excellent shape AND they will deliver it to me. YAY!  So... it's going to come on Saturday.  NOW... to figure out where my TV is going to go! (obviously NOT in the schrank).  Not sure what it converts to, but the measurements are:  L 285 cm , H 210 cm , W 56 cm.

Work went okay today, I spent the morning doing training on how to use Dragon Speak. I have a lot of work to do to learn it, but I figure while things are slow at work, I will try to learn how to use it. I'd like to get used to using it on a regular basis.

Tonight my co-worker is going to come to stay with me through the remaining of the week (THAT should be interesting).  She's all packed out, but it sounds like she still has a lot to do at the house.  Someone was supposed to be there between 6 and 7 tonight, but when I talked to her about 6:45pm, they had not arrived yet. I stopped at a German grocery store on the way home (I *needed* dishwasher pellets) and I picked up some shish kabobs and some potatoes. So...after walking the dogs, I went ahead and prepared dinner, all I have to do is turn the oven on when she calls and lets me know she is on her way. Then dinner should be done by the time she gets here.

It's a little after 8 and still no phone call. I'm watching "Unforgettable."

Okay... signing off for the night...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Yikes... almost 11pm... past my bedtime!

 One of my friends asked about my "plane" photo... this was the only one I got tonight... it's all the way up at the top right of the photo.  When they take off over my house, they are a lot higher than when they are on the approach over my house.
 My favorite of the sunset photos from tonight.

Had a relaxing morning (didn't get up until after 11am... but I didn't go to bed until 2am or so last night).  Then I even managed to take a nap. It was funny... I kept dreaming about being at work and not being able to keep my eyes open... my supervisor was in a couple scenes, in another a good friend and former co-worker was in the dream... showing me a video game he had done well at and was able to bring it back up on the screen and in another scene, we were walking on a military installation, crossing the back side of a runway chatting... and I was SO sleepy.  He made a comment about having an hour to be able to pack up and go if he had to and I said I had remembered having to be that way back when I was in the Air Force... it was a funny dream... but it was good to see him and walk with him in my dream.

This afternoon was a little more productive... I got three loads of laundry done... got the dishwasher loaded (between yesterday's meal and today's... and I made chocolate chip cookies tonight, so had the bowls and utensils from that).  My refrigerator has been really stinky lately... so I went through and completely cleaned it out and threw away a LOT of stuff... and wiped it out (even used the bleach spray). 

Tonight I went and got some gas (after throwing away some garbage... like the old bottles of stuff in the fridge) and while at the gas station I ran into a young friend that used to watch the dogs.  I found out he and his wife have separated (amicably - and no kids involved). They *are* two different people and with his job he has to be gone a lot.  I'll have to invite him over for dinner so he can see the dogs. (He's all of about 25... younger than my girls... from the Seattle area).  I told him I might be leaving to head up to Alaska.  (I hope I hear THIS week).  He's on my facebook, so I can always get in touch with him that way.  He's just gotten back from a "6 month" trip and I'm sure it is hard to settle back into a sense of normalcy with his wife gone.

Okay...signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris