Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sunset tonight... and an update

Various sunset photos that were taken tonight

Well... FINALLY some progress.  This afternoon I had to go to a meeting at another location, near where the Personnel office is... so I stopped in after the meeting.  Andrea, the clerk said that all she was waiting on was confirmation of my start date from Alaska. (However... remember she is supposed to be on leave starting tomorrow... she won't be back until the 17th).  Supposedly another person is supposed to take over tomorrow, where she has left off, with my paperwork so I can start clearing here.  AND... I got confirmation from the Personnel Office in Alaska, that they ARE in the office today up there and have sent a confirmation of my start date to the Personnel Office here. 
Supposedly, after that is received here tomorrow, it has to be emailed to the head clinic (in another part of Germany) and once THEY sign off on the paperwork, I can get my official orders. WHEW!  SOOOO... keep your fingers crossed I can get the orders by tomorrow afternoon so that I can go to the Housing office and arrange for my household goods to be picked up.  Then the chaos/reality begins!

Now it's after 10pm and I still need to go downstairs and fold clothes and put them away, sweep and mop downstairs (and then upstairs) before I go to bed.  SO... I'd better sign off.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, September 29, 2014

An update on the transition progress...

Some photos of the Haggia Sophia. I went there on Friday morning, the only part of the trip that had good weather.

SO... this morning I sent an email to our HR folks (and cc'd one of my head honchos) and basically asked where my orders were and reminded them that I am supposed to be out of here in less than 20 days... that I have not been able to arrange household goods pick up, and I have not been able to give my landlord formal notice that I am leaving (I'm SUPPOSED to give him 30 days notice and he has every legal right to make me pay for 30 days once I give my notice... never mind the other contracts I need to cancel here in Germany! Like my phone, cable, etc). I didn't get a response. So I sent another email this afternoon titled "Re-sending due to lack of response from earlier email."  And finally about 3:45 I got an email (and a phone message) from the HR person. She requested that I fill out two forms and send them to her (two forms that I filled out almost a MONTH ago and sent to the office there)... and requested my point of contact in Alaska. SO... I RE-sent those forms and sent her the name of the person in AK.  Then when I called her, she had the gall to ask me to consider putting off going to AK until the first weekend in November! In some ways... with all the hiccups along the way, I wonder if it a message that I shouldn't take the job in Alaska. I mean... there have been a LOT of stumbling blocks in the way as I try to make this transition.   Oh... and she asked me to send her a copy of the paperwork that got me here and informed me that if it costs more to move me to Alaska than it would to Hawaii, then I would have to pay the difference.  (YIKES!).

If it isn't one thing it is another.

Not much else going on today and it's almost 10pm, so I'm going to sign off and head to bed.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Made it back to Stuttgart

 The new globes for my table lamp... I like them... so much more colorful!
 My new lamp... do you think if I rub it three times, I'll get my paperwork to move to Alaska this week?
Sunset tonight in Germany.
It's amazing that I could be in Istanbul this morning and back home in Germany this afternoon. It's less than 3 hours to fly to and from Stuttgart (on a direct flight).  My flight back was okay after we got out of Istanbul airspace. It was VERY rocky leaving Istanbul, to the point where the person next to me grabbed the seat in front and the kid behind me kept saying "wheeee!" *smiles*
I got some of my stuff unpacked.  The little lamp (the dream of Jeannie lamp) was the largest thing I bought. (My globes for my table lamp were probably the most expensive).
Okay... I'm going to keep this short and try to head to bed soon, it's almost 9pm. I'll post more pictures of Istanbul this week.
Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Last night's post had trouble posting

Photos from the Grand Bazaarin Istanbul.

I went on a day-long tour today here in Istanbul and I met some wonderful people along the way.  Our tour took us along the city walls to the SpiceMarket, then over to the Golden Horn (a penninsula on the Europeside) where we hopped on a boat for a river cruise on the Bosporus river.  We had a Turkish lunch near the Blue Mosque and then headed across the Bosporus bridge which connects Europe with Asia and went to the Beylerbeyi Palace for a tour.  We stopped by a look out vista for a panoramic view on our way back to the Old Town.  Unfortunately it was raining most of the day, but it was better than sitting in the hotel room all day.  At the end of the tour they dropped us off at the Grand Market, so I got to wander through there one last time.

I've been catching up on the computer and uploading photos and now it's 11pm.  I have a ride coming to take me to the airport at 7:30am, I suppose I had better get to sleepy!

Good night and Auf Wiedersehen,

In Istanbul

Bought some Baklava to enjoy

The Blue Mosque, I didn't go in this time
Woman making flat bread (or whatever it is)

I headed out about 10 am, and walked up to the Grand Bazaar, but didn't go in this morning because I didn't want to have to lug things around for the rest of the day.  The Grand Bazaar is about a 15 minute walk UPHILL from my hotel. Oh yea, and I got woke up about 5:30am by the call to worship over the PA system! Anyway, my first stop was at the Haggia Sophia (I didn't go in last time I was here), and from there I went to the Topkapi Palace, which is HUGE!  They had some artifacts in there that I am skeptical about, wondering if the are real, like the staff of Moses and the sword of David and scrolls that belonged to John. They didn't allow photos inside, darn it and for once, I abided by their rules. It was neat though!
It was late afternoon when I left there and trudged back up to the Grand Bazaar, where the only thing I bought in there were new globes for my Turkish lamp.  Tomorrow I am going on a day long tour of Istanbul, not sure I'm liking my decision though, because it is supposed to rain all day.  But, I didn't come all the way to Istanbul to sit in a hotel room either! 

Okay, it's just after 10pm, I've got to head to bed soon.

Auf Weidersehen,

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Quick post

In case I can't post later, I'm at the airport in Stuttgart, heading to ISTANBUL for the weekend!!   Yay!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wow! Just WOW!

So... what a SHOCK (at least to me) when my supervisor came into my office this morning and told me that she has accepted a job (also a promotion!) for a position on the East Coast.  And... apparently everything is already done, she is just waiting on a start date! WOW!  She may be out of here within a couple weeks of when I am leaving.  What I worry about (not that it is MY problem to worry about) is that there will be NO one here to do Domestic Violence work or be on call. They will have to bring in some temporary help, which is going to be a challenge because they won't know where anything is in the community.  Anyway... I was blown away. I know she's been looking, but I didn't expect her to take a position, especially since her favorite co-worker has chosen to remain here.

As for me... still no updates.

Work was quiet today, I only had one appointment, but I wasted time and didn't get any notes written (for today or yesterday). I *did* clean out a drawer at work, does that count for anything?

After work I had to go get my nails done, and there was a guy there selling some amazing pans (I have two that are similar - I think  they are cast iron, but not your typical cast iron). Anyway... he had a deal (and I'm a SUCKER for deals) where if you buy 3, you get one free. So... one of the pans/pots I bought is a Wok (with a handle, not your typical stand-alone wok, but since I seem to be on a kick for making garlic chicken fried rice, I decided it would be nice to have a wok. I also got a decent steamer.  All the pans I got are the same size, so they can all use the same lid.  And the guy game me 5 spatulas as well. 

Now it's 9:30pm, I've been home for awhile, but I've been watching TV. (The Voice and now "the Top Model).

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chilly day today

Sunset tonight here in Germany
It's currently 50* here where I live and it's supposed to get down to 40* tonight. It's 10pm... past my bedtime.

Work went okay today, my boss got back from her vacation, so I was able to talk to her about a couple things that came up while she was gone.  It was a relatively quiet day otherwise. No word on my move to Alaska, although one of the top people at my (small) clinic sent some emails today hoping to get more answers.  Found out that the personnel person here that I have been dealing with has apparently been out on sick leave for the past week (she just had 5-6 weeks of leave in July/August!)... so that is why our emails haven't been getting answered. ARGH!  And it's been quiet on the Alaska HR side of the house too... found out tonight that she has been gone for some training.  Still pushing for an October 19th report date (coincides with pay periods).

Okay... signing off...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, September 22, 2014

Still no update on move...

Some more costumes...

Work went well today... although I got woke up at 3:15 this morning (on-call phone) and they wanted me to respond to a call. BUT... the call should not have come to me, as it was an issue that happened about 2 1/2 hours away (someone else's territory!).  I helped the person get in touch with the right resources... but then I couldn't fall back to sleep... so fell asleep about 4:30am only to have to get up about 5:45am.  ARGH!

I met with 4 people today (two appointments) and the sessions went well.  I got 2 of the notes written and will get the other two done tomorrow.  I brought home a few more books from work... and then after work I went grocery shopping and picked up a few things (nothing I can't get eaten within the next couple weeks).

Still no news about my upcoming job transfer, although I did email someone who forwarded my email to another person (who then said he would check up the chain of command). MAYBE I will get an answer this week (I was going to say tomorrow, but thought that would be being TOO hopeful).

When I was on my way home from work it started DOWNPOURING and there was thunder and lightening (that brought back some not-so-good memories... driving through a lightening storm... back in 1977 we were going through a severe thunderstorm in Wyoming and our vehicle got hit by lightening, thankfully neither of us were hurt!). It was still raining and thundering when I got home and had to take the dogs out... but it passed pretty quickly and we were able to get a little bit of a walk in and I didn't get too drenched.

Okay... 9:20pm, time to go get ready for bed.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Tonight I made Chicken fried rice for dinner... num, num. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

It's already bedtime on a Sunday night...

Things you don't like seeing on your GPS when you are traveling. This was on my way down to Italy a couple weeks ago. Thankfully, by the time I got to where the 82 mile stationary traffic was, it ended up just being a couple miles!

Enjoyed sleeping in this morning. Took the dogs out for their walk, then came back and made our Sunday brunch.  I almost laid down for a nap, but instead, unloaded some crates from my car, gathered up the garbage to dump (on post... shhh! Not supposed to do that!). Then I vacuumed upstairs and downstairs, did some more laundry (I had worn my Anorak windbreaker yesterday and had gotten a "free" Lindt chocolate at the store and forgot about it... I had stuck it in my front pocket of my Anorak and it had melted all over the pocket... so HAD to wash it!).  Then my friend Kirsten came over and we went grocery shopping (she wanted to pick up some stuff she can't get on the German economy... and misses all the American products she had gotten used to).  So we were gone a couple hours. Then I came home and took the dogs out and again and it started raining hard. Poor Bruno was dragging ME home! 
I was supposed to go out for dinner with my neighbors, but Donna called and said she was sick, and that David was still at work, so it ended up being just my German neighbors and me. We went to a local old farm/mill. The food was so-so and the atmosphere was so-so... while I like the mill and the bio store they have there (natural products), the restaurant left a lot to be desired.  We're going to go out again before I leave and next time we'll go to MY favorite restaurant (which they like as well).

Okay... almost 9:30pm, I'd better sign off and get ready for bed.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Errands on Saturdays

 Fog was coming in as the sun was setting
Oops... I think I need to clean my lens... (top middle of bottom pic).

This morning wasn't as productive as I would have liked... I got up... took the dogs out for a walk and then had our Sunday brunch (on Saturday) and then laid down for about an hour nap. Then I gathered up a BUNCH of stuff to take to the local thrift shop and donate.  Trying to clear some stuff out before I move.  I also went to the REAL store and got my soda (and dropped off bottles), stopped by to check my mail, stopped and stocked up on some doggy treats (I'm going to mail a couple bags of dog treats up to Alaska).   Feels like I did more... not sure what else.

I have been watching TV tonight (Rutgers football right now).  I went ahead and had my "steak" dinner tonight (normally I try to have that on Sunday night), but tomorrow night I'm going out to dinner with some neighbors.

Okay... it's midnight and Bruno is whining at me, so I had better sign off and head to bed (and let them out to go potty before I go to bed).

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Friday, September 19, 2014

YAY! Another Friday!

Birdcage beauties (from the Venetian festival in Ludwigsburg last weekend).

Work went okay today, although I had a hard time waking up.  I took a ham (and a large can of pineapple juice to cook it in - in a crock pot) for a potluck that the clinic was having at lunch time.  This morning I had a "urgent" walk-in, so that took about an hour and a half and I got the note written up this afternoon.

At the end of the day it was nice to just chit-chat with co-workers.  My boss was out today (and I *did* get a call on the "on-call" phone last night, but it wasn't anything that I needed to respond to). I also got off work on time!

After work I came home and walked the dogs and then watched Jeopardy and then took the dogs over to the local store where there is a "chicken wagon" (they have rotisserie chicken) and got the dogs and I some chicken for dinner.

Still no word on my upcoming relocation. Why doesn't that surprise me?

Okay, it's 9pm - I'm HOPING to get to bed earlier tonight than I normally do on weekends, in hopes of having somewhat of a productive day tomorrow - taking care of errands that need to be run.


Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Okay... got my flu shot (and didn't pass out!)

Isn't this a cool dress? (Never mind the guy's red Mohawk in the background! LOL!).
Work went okay today, I only had 1 appointment, so I got my notes done from this week and I also went over and got my flu shot. (YOUCH!). Actually my arm isn't as sore as I had expected it to be.

After work I had to go to the grocery store. We are having a potluck tomorrow, so since I have a frozen ham still in the freezer, I decided I would make a ham to take in. I'm going to put it in the crockpot with a large can of pineapple juice.  Should do it. *smiles*

After I got home I took the dogs out for a walk... in the rain... but I kept thinking that at least it wasn't snow.

Okay... signing off early (it's only 7:40pm!). I'm watching "America's Got Talent" on TV.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Interesting day

I like this dress... how cool.  This was taken at the Venezia Fair in Ludwigsburg.

I only had to work a 1/2 day and then the afternoon was spent learning what I need to do to clear here.  I'm still not 100% convinced I will be out of here in a month.  Time will tell.

After I got home, my supervisor called and she was out my way and asked if I wanted to go to dinner, so we went to a local German restaurant.  Other than it getting cold as the evening wore on (we were sitting outside), it was a nice evening.  Of course, my one former co-worker who recently left came up as a subject of topic.  My supervisor kept saying she was surprised at how "mean" this co-worker was to me.  I think I am not too sensitive to when people are "mean" to me (I grew up in a tough family). I was reminded of how a former co-worker at my last job asked why my supervisor was being mean to me at the end of my time there.  I was clueless... I thought she was just having a rough time.  (I found out later that she had applied for the job here that I got, over her... that's why she was "mean"... but, I could have just thought she was upset because I was coming to Germany before she was).  So... what is it about me that makes people think they can be mean to me? I don't react? Or I do and they like the reaction?  I think it is just there issue, not mine.  And I believe in Karma.  My (current) supervisor also kept talking about negative my co-worker was that just left (and she DEFINITELY was that).   Thankfully the whole evening wasn't taken up talking about her.

My boss asked me today when I wanted my "going away" dinner... I said once I have the paperwork in hand that tells me I am actually leaving... THEN we will set a date (around when I am packing out).

Okay... signing off... It's 9:40pm.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Another late night...

I got to see Amelia and Kirstin tonight. Today Amelia turned 2! I've known here for 14 months. *smiles*

Work went okay today, only had 2 appointments... was hoping to get off early because I wanted to drive over for Amelia's birthday party. Due to construction and traffic, it took me 1 1/2 hours to get there (coming back took about an hour).  Kirstin's parents and a couple aunts & uncles were there, and then three of Kirstin's (German) co-workers came, but they could all speak pretty good English.

Not much else to write about tonight so will sign off... it's already almost 10:45pm. UGH!  Maybe I will get to bed earlier tomorrow night?

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Monday, September 15, 2014

Slow Monday

 I know I posted a picture of these guys yesterday... but I loved them so much and wish I understood enough German to understand what they were saying.
Thought I would post a couple more photos from yesterday at the Venetian fair.

Work went okay today, although I thought I had left my work ID at home... so after my appointment this morning, I went back home to see if it was still on the counter... it wasn't. As it turns out... it was where I usually keep it in my car (because I have to show it to get into work and then use it for my computer... thankfully I have another ID that will allow me to get into work, that I don't have access to my computer with that one).  ANYWAY... after coming all the way home, it ended up being in my car.  Oh well... "mama said there would be days like this." LOL.  This afternoon I finished up some notes from last week and then tomorrow I should be able to get the notes done from today's work.  I went through some of the paper stuff in my desk... that's all got to be sorted out, tossed, filed or whatever before I leave.  Still no more updates on the move... I'm still anticipating the middle of October (so I have just over a month).

Tomorrow I'm going to go straight from work to a birthday party about an hour from where I live. Little Amelia who I befriend on the plane 14 months ago, is turning 2.  It might be the last time I get to see them.

After work I went to the store and picked up a birthday present for her, I hope she likes it (it makes noises... she SHOULD like it).

Okay... it's after 10pm, past my bedtime.  They had TWO episodes of "Unforgettable" on tonight, so watched them both.

Good Night...

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Venetian Festival in Ludwigsburg

I had fun going to the Venetian festival (it is only held every other year) up in Ludwigsburg, once I finally got going. I spent 3-4 hours up there.

I slept in a little this morning, I woke up and thought about heading to Ludwigsburg earlier this morning, but then fell back to sleep and dozed off and on (dreamt I witnessed a plane crash at Fairchild AFB, and I was one of the first to call 911... but then I couldn't tell them where I was as a witness to it (apparently I was on Airway Heights... just outside of Spokane near the airbase, but couldn't get anyone to tell me where I was. weird).

Then I got up and took the dogs for a walk, came back and made our Sunday brunch (about 11) and then laid down for another nap! Lazy!  Finally left about 4pm to head up to Ludwigsburg (after taking the dogs for another walk) and had to stop and get gas along the way and then had to drive around to find a place to park. They also have the pumpkin festival going on right now, but figured I've been to that before... so I just focused on the Venetian festival. I think I got a lot of cool photos... here's a sampling (above)... what do you think? *smiles*

Okay... it's 11:30pm, past my bedtime. I got home and uploaded photos and then I've been chatting online with a friend who got some bad news this week.

Auf Wiedersehen!
- Kris