Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What's Up With That??

During our travels I saw some signs that were amusing. The Bear shop.

This shop only sells Gummie Bears. Some of them are offered in beer glasses. Yes, those are Gummie bears.

The standard Hard Rock Cafe.
This one is interesting. Chicken in a Basket.

And Mr Whang. What's up with that?????

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy 23rd

Twenty three years ago, today, I was in labor. It was a Friday.

My mom and dad had come to visit with us for Christmas, though Dad had to work on the Friday after the holiday.

I remember that on Christmas day all I hoped for was not to go into labor, because we had just finished Christmas dinner. Our traditional Christmas dinner is baked ham, scalloped potatoes and whatever else we felt like making. Ham and the scalloped potatoes for dinner is a tradition we still continue. It is also my favorite meal.

I was two weeks overdue and the doctors said that if I didn't have the baby during the weekend I would be induced on Monday. I was huge and extremely uncomfortable, really ready to have the baby. I also really really didn't want to be induced for the labor. My Mom had two of her three labors induced and she had said it was very uncomfortable.

Like labor needs to be any more uncomfortable??

Well here we were finishing up a really good dinner and I was happy in my tummy 'cause of the dinner. I just was scared I would start labor on a full stomach. Then, when I walked outside and saw that it was a full moon, I just knew that I would have the baby the next day.

I woke up Friday morning and knew that the labor had started. Dad was up already getting ready to go to work. I told him that he would be a grandfather that day. I got Spousal Unit up and asked him to take a shower. We couldn't go to the hospital with out a shower.

He just looked at me like I am crazy. At times I am a little crazy, with some of my requests. But he showers and we go to the hospital.

Two hours later, the baby is born.




Happy 23rd Birthday Charlie

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Priceless

I have shoes to trip over in unexpected places.

I have more dishes to wash.


One exhausted son, attempting to get over jetlag.
Another exhausted son, also trying to get over jetlag.


Priceless.

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Boys Landed In Frankfurt

I just got a phone call. My boys landed in Frankfurt and are on their way here. I had been really worried that their flight would be cancelled or delayed because of the news of the latest round of winter storms stranding travelers in the Midwest.

My Christmas has just begun.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Suzy Left The Building

Things about me right now:

  • I haven't bought one Christmas gift this year.  Yet.  I am normally done the day after Thanksgiving.
  • I am starting to get really excited that the boys are coming on Monday.
  • I am dreading the drive up to go get the boys.  Mondays on the Autobahn to Frankfurt are killers.  Last time a normal 1 hour drive turned into a three hour drive.
  • I am looking forward to going to the basket factory this afternoon.  I want to buy two baskets so that I can fill them with American treats for the two neighbors' children.
  • I have started to teach myself how to crochet again.  I haven't crocheted in 30 years and felt the need to do something constructive with my time.  Other than sitting at the computer for much of the day.
  • The dinner dishes are still in the sink from last night.  I guess Suzy left the building.
  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Suzy's Back

Continuing on the Suzy Homemaker mode I made cinnamon ornaments.

I miss my little electric potpourri pot that I used in the States to make the house smell good during the holidays. It is like a mini crock pot that simmers the spices. Looks disgusting, but very yummy smelling. The electricity is different here and using a transformer for appliances is expensive, therefore I left it in storage.
So, instead, I made cinnamon ornaments. The following recipe is approximate amounts.

1/2 cup cinnamon
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup Elmer's glue
Mix until you can form a semi moist ball. Sprinkle cinnamon on the counter. Roll out to about 1/4" and use your favorite cookie cutters to for the ornaments. Carefully place the ornaments on a cookie sheet. Use a straw or toothpick to form a hole for hanging. Bake in oven @ 150 degrees for several hours or until dry. Hang with a red ribbon or you can embellish with craft paints and then hang.

Well, I didn't follow the instruction correctly. First set of ornaments, the "dough" was too stiff so the ornaments cracked. Second set of ornaments the "dough" was rolled too thinly. I didn't realize any of this until I took the ornaments out of the oven.

Well, they all curled up.
The house smells good, but I think I need to make another batch. I am too embarrassed to hang these.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

And The Biggest Reason Of All

I chose not to take the job as a Tour Guide. Part of me wanted to accept the offer and another part of me didn't. I made a list of the pros and cons. The cons outweighed the pros.

Pros:

Free travel
Small salary (extremely small salary)
Meeting new people

Cons:

Extremely small salary
Dealing with the drunks
Picking up a trashy bus, after dealing with drunks
Dealing with people that possibly can't be pleased in any way
Traveling without Spousal Unit
Not being able to enjoy the travel because I would be working
Being away from Spousal Unit for possible lengths of time
Not being able to choose the trips to take

Drum roll please

And the biggest reason of all:

If I ever have to take another Rhine River cruise again, I'd pull all my hair out.

Monday, December 15, 2008

We Had Snow

We had snow. Lookin' out on the back yard


I envy his wood pile. Cheap heat.


Snow in Germany during Christmas market season. Priceless.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Even If You Don't Have Any Cockles

I LOVE Christmas Markets. The decorations going into town. Not quite dark enough for them to be lit.

St. Nicolas hands out oranges (Clementines) to the children.


This is one of the stands. It serves Gluhwein. (Glue wine) Gluhwein is a spiced mulled red wine that warm the cockles of your soul. Even if you don't have any cockles. I LOVE Gluhwein. I've been making Spousal Unit take me to a Christmas market every Sunday so I can get so cold that I need a mug of Gluhwein.

A kindergarten class provided the music for this market. The teachers then went around and gave out cookies that the children helped to make for the guests to their concert. They sang like angels. They were really that good.

This is a pizza oven, powered by a wood fire. It is also made from a beer keg. How fun is that?

This is another market and the music here was also very good. Lots of wind instruments. And of course more Gluhwein.

Sons #1 & 2 will arrive in a couple of days to spend the holidays. I anticipate that we will spend more time investigating lots of markets and of course, Gluhwein.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Flashbacks

Today, while sitting on the Yard Sale site that I use to amuse myself and keep me occupied in the mornings, I was refreshing the site for updated items and I came across this item offered for sale.

Its a Creepy Crawler factory. Kinda like an Easy Bake Oven for the for the non Suzy Homemaker set.

We had one of these when we were kids. You would squirt the liquid provided into the forms and then "bake it" to make all sorts of bugs and assorted insects in various colors. I loved playing with this toy and creating new creepy crawlers.

As I recall the liquid was called Goop, or Super Goop. For some reason, lost in a dead brain cell, I started calling my youngest sister, Goop or Goopie. The name stuck in our family. I still call her Goop.




She even named her blog The Super Goop.

Talk about flashbacks.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Possibilities

I went for my interview. It felt pretty good. I like the two ladies, with whom I spoke. I still need to speak with Spousal Unit this evening to find out how he feels about me traveling. The probability of week long trip/s is a very real possibility.


  • They wanted to know if I would be comfortable going to a place that I hadn't been before. Yes.

  • Do I realize that I can't make a living at this type of work. Yes.


  • If there was any time that I would not be available, as in Spring Break for my children. No.

They then invited me to go to a couple of Christmas markets to get the feel of what it is like to be a tour guide. So this Saturday I'm going to Nuremberg and Rothenburg odt.




Nuremberg. The Hauptmarkt, which provides a picturesque setting and famous market for gingerbread. Nuremberg's star attraction is the Gothic Schöner Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain) which was erected around 1385 but subsequently replaced with a replica (the original fountain is kept in the German National Museum. The unchanged Renaissance bridge Fleischbrucke crosses the Pegnitz nearby. *

Rothenburg odt. The building on the town square is the Ratstrinkstube and contains a clock which re-enacts the historic meistertrunk daily. According to legend, the meistertrunk commemorates the event in 1631 when the walled town was under siege by the Imperial forces of Count Tilly. On a lark, Count Tilly told the city that he would spare them if anyone could drink a tankard containing about one gallon of wine in one draught. Mayor Nusch took the challenge and was successful, and the city was saved. The clock re-enacts the event hourly from 11:00 to 15:00 and 8:00 to 22:00. Rothenburg celebrates this rescue each year on Whitsun with a festival performance, a grand army march, and a field camp.*

And next Sunday its off to Cologne.



Cologne. The Cologne Cathedral (German: Kölner Dom) is the city's famous landmark and unofficial symbol. It is a Gothic church, started in 1248, and completed in 1880. In 1996, it was designated a World Heritage site; it houses the Shrine of the Three Holy Kings that supposedly contains the relics of the Three Magi . It is interesting to note that the residents of Cologne call the cathedral "the eternal construction site" (Dauerbaustelle). They predict that, by the time the renovation of the building has finished, the end of the world will be upon us!*


*The town information is provided by Wikipedia.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Suzy Homemaker Revisited

Being all Suzy Homemaker today I wanted to bake cookies.

The butter was frozen, so I needed to thaw it out. Cookies generally need thawed butter to assimilate into that baked goodness that pads our thighs and clogs our arteries. Me, being the very intelligent "She Who" that I think I am, I decided to thaw the butter on the radiator. Also, being the very ADD "She Who" that I am, I took a break to go upstairs to blog and catch up on current events on the Internet.

Imagine my surprise when I finally disconnected myself from the computer, several hours later to go downstairs to find......

Butter. Ready for Lobster dipping, maybe, but not for cookies. Melted thoroughly. The wrappers were empty. Not having more butter to thaw, I measured it out.

And refroze it outside.

The cookies took forever...... I am still figuring out the oven. 9 minutes, 11 minutes, they just aren't quite what I am used to making. They were flat.

Maybe I should just make fudge.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Suzy Homemaker

From Dictionary.com

Main Entry: Suzy Homemaker
Part of Speech: n
Definition: a housewife who manages a household, esp. with enthusiasm; also, the sterotype of any woman who chooses a traditional female role
Etymology: from a doll of the 1960s

Hello All,

Today was really busy for me. I had my day all planned out.
Lets see.... I did all the laundry, dusted the furniture, cleaned the baths, straightened the downstairs, re-started organizing the 2nd floor, met with the rolladen repairman, volunteered for the Wounded Warrior dinner, did the dishes and made myself a turkey club sandwich for lunch.

I am now waiting for the butter to soften so I can make cookies, and will also make cinnamon ornaments.

How is your day going?

Love,

Suzy ("She Who" Homemaker)

Friday, December 5, 2008

I'll Keep You Posted

I have been boring, boring, boring recently. Hence no posting. I really need to get a life. I hope that I will, soon.

I was cruising the net a couple of days ago and came across a travel site that was looking for travel guides. I emailed for further information and gave short synopsis of my capabilities:


Sir/Madam,

I read on the web page that Your Travel Company is looking for tour guides. I am newly in country and looking for a part time position. This is my fourth tour in Germany and while I am reacquainting myself with the European lifestyle I find I have not forgotten much of the country.

I am very people oriented and an expert in customer service. I recently left a position, held for nine years, that required me to interact with all levels of military members. One of my many responsibilities was booking travel arrangements for a training team that traveled world-wide to all military bases.

When I was an active duty spouse, I put together shopping tours for squadron spouses through out Germany. These tours included researching areas for factory outlet shopping, booking hotels, arranging transportation and finding good restaurants.

If I sound like the type of person you might consider for a tour guide, please forward further information.

Sincerely,

She Who

************************************************************************************
Dear She Who,

Thanks you for your kind letter. We would really be interested in seeing you as a free-lance tour guide.

Have a look at the bus tours Your Travel Company Travel offers their customers. You can find our tours online here: Link deleted for all sorts of reasons.

If you have been on group tours before, please let us know which ones and what your experiences have been.

Do you have an outgoing personality? Do you love to do new things?

Please let us know if you feel you meet the following qualifications:
1. You like to travel with groups of people and share your knowledge about history, culture and destinations.
2. You can speak enough German to converse with German bus drivers, Polizei and some vendors on location. (Or you will learn the language quickly as you go along!)
3. You are available weekdays and weekends for Your Travel Company tours that you will be scheduled for.
4. You realize that you can’t “make a living” being a tour guide, but have fun and make a little money on the side.
5. You are willing to have a German small business ID and a German business registration number to work as a “free lance” tour guide for Your Travel Company .
6. You will provide your own medical/liability insurance to cover your work as a “free lance” tour guide. (Your Travel Company can give you information on this.)
If you are willing to do tours for us under these conditions, and learn the Your Travel Company Tours with us, please contact us for more information on becoming part of our team!

Sincerely,

Maybe My New Boss

************************************************************************************

Ms. Maybe My New Boss,

I read the information in your email and feel that I meet the requirements for a free lance position. I speak some German, though not at a conversational level at the moment. I have not conversed in German for 16 years, so it is a little rusty.

I enjoy people and interact well in groups. I studied European history in college and was privileged to be able to visit many of the locations I studied.

I am in Germany for this fourth tour because I urged my husband to apply for his position because I was ready for more adventures. I am available for days and weekends.

I am interested in meeting at your convenience, to further discuss this exciting possibility for freelancing.

Sincerely,

She Who

*************************************************************************************

Dear Mrs. She Who,

Thanks for your fast response! We’d love to meet with you and see what your impressions are. Can you come in to Your Travel Company Travel on Tuesday, 9 December at 10:30?

My colleague, Roxanne, and I would like to sit down and answer any questions you may have at that time.

Please let us know.

*************************************************************************************

Maybe I will soon have a job, travel, and have some adventures. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I Don't Think She Liked It

One of my new found friends just couldn't wait for pie. She dashed into the kitchen, afraid that something was going to make the pies disappear. She didn't believe me that I really made two pies.

My handsome, long suffering husband, Spousal Unit. He, being always the gentleman waits patiently for the possibility of a sliver of pie.

Behold the pies. I really did make two.

I don't think my gal pal likes the pie. She even got some on her nose.

I know she doesn't like crust. Some of the crust must have gotten mixed in with the pie.


I don't think she liked it. Do you?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Family, Friends, Food and Boys and Their Toys

Our host, hostess, and mom of the host, on her first visit to Germany. OMG... Shirley, the mom is one excited Grandma, and mom. Four little girls to spoil for two weeks, a little bit of travel and shopping are planned.

The Munchkins. I asked them to give me their best silly faces. They complied and then said to stop taking pictures 'cause they were hungry. Something about getting back into the kitchen and finishing the cooking.
The table. It was laden with awesome goodness. I went back for seconds. Spousal Unit had fourths.


Ah... here we have very happy Munchkins. FOOD. The German fest table is just the right size for the Munchkins. Normally the fest tables hold very large mugs of beer. I am really glad the Munchkins didn't ask for the usual.


Oh and lest we forget. The boys must have their toys. I guess the Thanksgiving day game isn't on yet.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

I am thankful that my family is healthy.

I am thankful that I am finally here with Spousal Unit.

I am thankful that I have new found friends with whom we will spend the holiday.

I am thankful that I have old friends who invited my boys to spend the day with them.

I am thankful that even though I no longer have a job, we are not suffering.

I am thankful that I have wood for my stove.

I am thankful that if I can't get the stove lit I can to turn up the electricity if desired.

I am thankful to be given the opportunity to have new adventures in my life.

I am thankful that Spousal Unit, after almost 30 years still want to be a part of those adventures.

I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving ala Maxine

Enjoy. To you and yours have a lovely Thanksgiving.










Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Watch Out Waist I'm Cooking Again

Right now I am just returning from the commissary (military grocery store). The place was packed, as I knew it would be. I drove around the parking lot for 20 minutes before I found a parking spot.

Here in Germany, on the bases, grabbing a parking spot is a learned talent. On most days it pays to get to where ever you are going as soon as the store opens, or even prior to the opening, just to get a parking spot.

If the possibility of an early arrival is not feasible, you learn to lurk and hover. You drive slowly around the lot and wait for a shopper to come out of the store. Follow the shopper to the parked car, put on the turn signal and wait till all the purchases are loaded and the shopper pulls out. Quickly pull into the newly vacated spot before someone steals the spot and proceed on about your business.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, every spouse in this corner of the world was there. Hence the crammed lot.

I just needed to pick up a few things. I really should know by now not to go to the grocery store when I am hungry. I just needed some Fritos scoops and a couple cans of chili (chili cheese dip) for a dish that I am making for the potluck luncheon tomorrow.

Well, once there I picked up the finishing touches for the day after Thanksgiving dinner I am making Spousal Unit. We are invited to spend the actual holiday with new found friends. But I want leftovers. So I am going to cook a full dinner on Friday.

I am making my famous coconut cream pie for taking to the Thanksgiving dinner, but felt that wasn't enough, so I bought some more eggs to make deviled eggs to take also.

Then I got a craving for my chili cheese casserole (totally different dish than the dip) for dinner tonight. Which meant that I needed to buy cheese and get some salsa fixings. You can't have chili cheese casserole without homemade salsa. I also needed to get sour cream for the tacos to go with the casserole.

You get the point. Everything kinda snowballed and we now have a very well stocked pantry and fridge.

Watch out waist I'm cooking again.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Guten Appetit

We opted to go to Spousal Unit's favorite Greek joint for dinner this weekend. Restaurant Athens. He started with the retsina. Retsina is a Greek white wine that tastes like Pine Sol because it is aged in pine casks. Served very cold, the taste grows on you. Like a fungus. Actually, after a glass or two it isn't too bad. But it is definitely an acquired taste.

I chose to have a pils. Bright, crisp, and tasty. I love a good German pils.
Our salads came at just the right time. I was hungry.


For the main course we both chose souvlaki. A shish kabob, grilled to perfection. The meat is pork and so tender and succulent that it had to have been brined. I need to ask next time we go there.
I also decided that I wanted spaetzle (Egg noodles, boiled and then sauteed in butter) rather than the normal pommes frites. (French fries). The white sauce is tzaziki. A yogurt, cucumber, garlic sauce. The sauce was OK, but I like my home made better.

And no, I didn't eat it all.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Friends, Good Times, And Of Course....

I am starting to get excited about Thanksgiving. We are in a new place, but have received an invitation to share dinner with a couple of gal pals and their families.

I meet with the new gal pals, usually once a week for coffee. I am unofficially the newest, favoritest, most wonderful Aunt "She Who" to their munchkins.

I am looking forward to visiting with new friends, good times, and of course...