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Friday, October 29, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In 19

Another Friday is upon us. Not a lot of fun things to report since the last Friday Fill-In. October has been a very long month financially for us, so we've been hunkering down. I can't believe that November is just around the corner! Also, I apologize for the formatting differences. Blogger doesn't like it when I copy and past directly from Wife of a Sailor.

1. What’s the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for you?

I've had acquaintances do things like pull me out of the ditch, coworkers that went out of their way to help me, etc. But a perfect stranger? I'm thankful for all the people who donated to the Sears Heroes at Home program. Oh, and the nice couple who stopped to help us when our car broke down. Although we didn't need their help, it was nice to be remembered that there are truly genuine, good people in this world.

2. If you are having a hard time going to sleep, what do you do to help yourself?

For the worst case scenario, I take some Advil PM. It works, but I try not to take drugs too often. A lot of times, it helps to make a to-do list, because most of the time I can't sleep because I'm thinking of things I have to do. Or I read. I've learned if I open the laptop, I might as well be pulling an all nigher.

3. Name something that makes you wish you were a kid again.

Getting the Toys 'R Us or the Fleet Farm Toyland catalog around this time of year! I want kids so I can play with all their cool toys.

4. What is something you never believed until you experienced it?

I'm normally not the religious type, but the power of prayer. I'm not talking like praying for a new car, but praying for guidance and strength to get through a tough time.

5. What can’t you say “no” to?

Staying a little longer, or having another drink, or what have you. My husband and I always seem to be the last ones to leave at a party. Great, now we'll never be invited to another party, haha.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Then and Now

Today, I came across a series of photos of Germany after WWII. Above is a photo of Mainz. According to the caption, this is a view from the cathedral. Upon closer inspection, I knew exactly where this was, and many of those building have since been renovated. I am absolutely amazed by this, because much of the original architecture is still intact. See the building the immediate foreground, the one on your right?

That's this building in the photo I took- the one on your left. Pretty much my photo is the exact opposite of the 1945 photograph. I'm taking a picture looking up where the photographer was standing over 60 years ago, and he was taking a photo from the cathedral, looking down toward where I am standing.
This is the building where we had dinner. In the 1945 photograph, it's the building just to the left of the building I mentioned above. See the arched windows and doors on the main floor?

You can view the rest of the post-war photographs and article if you'd like. I'm currently reading End Game, 1945 by David Stafford, and this fits in well. I remember quite a bit about World War II in school, and there's tons of movies about the war, but I'm finding myself more and more curious about what happened after the war. I guess I have this desire to find out how we (meaning my husband and I) got to where we are today; living and working in Germany. It's fascinating to think that these events, as large scale as they are, have shaped my life today on such a basic level.

MilSpouse Friday Fill-in 18


It's Friday already? I guess time flies when you're unpacking boxes all week!

1. Are you a night owl or an early bird?
Night owl, hands down.

2. What makes you jealous?
People with awesome attitudes and drives to succeed. I wouldn't call it jealousy, but more of an admiration.

3. Have you started Christmas/holiday shopping yet? When will you finish?
Since we just PCSed, a lot of our money has been going towards setting up the home, car repairs, etc. So no, I haven't. Both mine and Craig's birthdays are in the fall, so we get through that first, then work on the holidays. Also, I'm pretty pumped to check out all the Christmas markets that are opening up soon.

4. What would you have a personal chef make you tonight?
Seafood, because I can never seem to cook it right. Pretty sure I always overcook it.

5. Where was your first kiss?
Probably at my parent's house. Scandalous, I know.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Updates

Just a quick update on how everything is going.

- We got our household goods on Monday, and I'm happy to report NOTHING got broke or lost!

However...

- Our queen box spring mattress doesn't fit up our staircase. But fret not! The PX had queen split box springs in stock (which I thought had to be custom made). Not an expense I was planning on, but I'm thankful it only took a few days to get it taken care of. Now I just gotta get that box spring sold that's sitting in the living room.... any takers?

Also, take note fellow milspouses- keep this little fiasco in mind when purchasing a mattress set. With as much moving as we all do, I'm sure I'm not the only one who's run into this problem!

- Our car failed the inspection-- twice. I was very upset when we had just spent $400 getting new brakes. We went back to the mechanic, and they're going to look at it again for free. At first, I was pissed at the mechanic, but he explained the repair and what's wrong. There's obvious improvement to the brakes, it stops great, but he explained the equipment they use on-post compared to what they use to test cars on the German economy is different. So pretty much our car would pass German inspection, but not the inspection we have to do through the military.

- Craig is going on the days schedule starting next week! That means 4am to 6pm instead of 5pm to 7am, and he'll work 3 days on, then 2 days off, 2 days off, and 3 days on, so he actually gets "weekends" and not just a day where he messes up his sleep schedule.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Fill-in 17

1. What are some things on your bucket list?
- Get through today :-)
- Milk a cow on 6 continents. I've got 2 down; the third should be easy. That leaves Africa, South America, and Asia. Maybe I'll convince Craig to stay in the Army long enough to get sent to Japan, just so I can complete my goal.
- Have a family

2. How long have you been a MilSpouse and where have you been stationed so far?
Make that 1 year and 7 months. BCT at Ft. Jackson, AIT at Ft. Gordon, which I count as a duty station because I lived there too, and Craig was there well over a year. His first official duty station is Landstuhl, Germany.

3. What is a list of songs that sums up your life so far?
Wow, this is going to take a lot of thought. So in somewhat chronological order:
- "Thank God I'm a County Boy" (err, or girl...) by John Denver. Loved growing up on the farm.
- "Redneck Girl" by Bellamy Brothers- I can be a little rough around the edges :-)
- "I Can Sleep When I'm Dead" by Jason Micheal Carrol- for my college years. It was a crazy hectic, fun ride! Oh, and "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off"...... just kidding!
- "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" for pretty obvious reasons.
- "I Never Promised you a Rose Garden" for adjusting to being a "grown-up"
- "Right Where I Need to Be" by Gary Allen. When I gave up some things for the truly important things- as the song goes, "getting my proprieties in line"
"Why Don't We Just Dance" by Josh Turner- our wedding song, and some days ya just gotta dance
- Right now, I feel like "Road to Nowhere" by the Talking Heads- let me explain so you don't freak out- I'm a little lost with where I want to go with my life at this point- start a family? be a SAHM? Continue with my career in agriculture? Start over my career? Work "just a job" ?
- But really, I want to live my life like "Simple Life" by Carolyn Dawn Johnson.

Hmm, apparently my life is one big country hits album.

4. What is your favorite kind of pizza?
Sausage and mushroom. Preferably Tombstone. I ain't too fancy.

5. What are three good things in your life right now?
Being with my husband, the promise of great adventures in the next three years, and getting our household goods on Monday! Ah, sometimes it's the little things in life.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ruminations on Photography

I really would like to take better pictures. The world is a beautiful place and I've seen some amazing things. Some day when I'm old and senile, I'd like to have some good pictures to look at to remind me what a hell of a ride it's been.
Obviously, my photos are point and shoot, and most are straight out of the camera. The blog world is full of beautiful photos taken with fancy DSLR cameras. So I got to thinking- do people take these awesome pictures because they own awesome cameras, or do they have actual talent/practice at taking pictures? Or, do they buy the expensive camera, and that forces them to work hard at becoming a decent photographer? Or are they just awesome at digital editing and Photoshop?

I told Craig I wanted a fancy DSLR camera for Christmas. We're talking $600 plus here. I wonder if it'll make a difference in my photos. Or maybe by carrying around a huge-ass camera, I'll feel like a photographer and get all into it. Hey, fake it 'til ya make it, right?

On a side note, I'm super excited that I have 35 followers on my blog! Thanks everyone for checking this out.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mainz

Today we explored the two-thousand year old city of Mainz. Home of St. Martin Cathedral, Johannes Gutenberg and his printing press. The cathedral was first built in 975 and was added on over the centuries. In my photos, you can see the progression in a series of models on display.

Click here to view my photos of Mainz.

There were about 11 churches all within walking distance. Each had a distinct style. We spent a ton of time at the Gutenberg Printing Museum, so we were unable to get inside the churches before they closed. My favorite was St. Christopher's which was actually in ruins left over from WWII. Rather than raze the building, it serves as a monument to the scars left from the war.

We saw some amazing things today, included Gutenberg's original bibles, books printed by Martin Luther, a 12th century bishop's miter, jewelry worn by bishops that were discovered in tombs, and decorations used by the cathedral dating back from 11th century to the mid 1900s. There was even a crucifix sculpted by Salvador Dali.

I didn't realize that the Gutenberg Museum included history of printing from ancient times to today. It was a huge museum, and lots of things I didn't expect to see. There was a diorama depicting Korean monks making and using movable type, among other Asian forms of printing. I also enjoyed the progression of handwriting in Germany, including that in 1941, Nazis banned a certain type of print from being used, ultimately changing the way people in the country write today. There were tons of very old books on display, they were neat, but there were so many. After awhile the novelty wore out, and it became," great, another 16th century book.... " What a museum snob, right?

We ate at a restaurant on the square right in front of the cathedral. I loved the fact that they had fleece blankets available for use while dining outside. How smart! I had my first flammkuchen, which is similar to a pizza.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Friday Fill-In 16

Wow, I've been away from the Friday Fill-ins for awhile now, but what the heck....

1. What is the longest road trip you've ever taken?
Washington Leadership Conference for FFA. We left Wisconsin and took a bus to Washington D.C. I forget how long it was- maybe 20 hours? Back when we lived in Georgia, it took about 18 hours to drive back to Wisconsin- and we could do it without stopping at a hotel.

2. Do you collect anything? Tell us a bit about it.
I'm an anti-collector. My parents are crazy about it. TV guide collector's editions, precious moments, beanie babies, newspapers when the Packers won the Super Bowl, old farming magazines, calendars, you name it....

The ONLY thing I can thing of off hand that I collect is my Christmas village, which I haven't added to in a few years. I will say though that I do collect a lot of tools and supplies to do DYI projects and crafting.

3. What is your favorite part about being an adult?
Hmmmm..... staying up late? Can't really thing of much, haha.

4. What song brings a tear to your eye?
Guess it depends on the mood. "In Color" by Jamey Johnson has done it, "Bridge over Troubled Waters," "Alyssa Lies," "Sissy's Song." Wow, I am a big crier apparently.

5. Describe your first plane ride (how old you where, where you were heading, etc.).
I was a junior in college, so 21-22 at the time, and I was in a class called "Dairying in Mexico" which included a 2 week trip to Mexico. We flew into Mexico City at night, which was really neat to see! It was probably the best circumstances to fly my first time because I was with a bunch of my friends and that kept me occupied. I'd have to say, that flight was probably the one I was the least nervous about, which is odd, I know.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Birthday Dinner

Craig and I ate at Ölmühle Resturant in Landstuhl for his birthday. The hotel & restaurant has a really neat history that you can read on their website. As someone from the midwest United States, I find all these 300 year old and older buildings fascinating.

Craig had the steak and I had the wild duck. The food was good, the service wonderful. My only criticism is that the pomegranate sauce was a little strange for my tastes, but other than that, I would recommend it for a nice, more higher class dinner. Well, it's high class for us anyway. And we were the youngest people in the restaurant by far, which goes to show we're just a classy young couple. :-)

I spent several hours at the grocery store today. It's fun to see new foods and figure out what they are. I'm looking for a traditional German cookbook written in German, because they would be true to the ingredients you find in local stores. I'm not having any luck, probably because these are recipes that are passed down and are just so basic. I did find a few in English at the bookstore on-post, but I'm not sure if they modify the recipes to fit grocery stores in the US. I want authenitic, darnit! Craig says I sound just like Julia Child... in his best imitation: "There are no good German cookbooks in English!" Huummm, maybe he's on to something there... however, I don't think becoming a famous German cooking chef is in the cards...

Also, I'm trying to figure out how to make the salad dressing I keep eating at restaurants. The salads here are so good! I tried one recipe I found online which was a total failure. Milk, vinegar, and honey just didn't seem to work for me.

Speaking of new foods to try, I found this at the store today:

Mmmm... horse sausage. Don't be grossed out; you should be thanking me- I uploaded a small image so your computer wasn't taken over by sausage. The funny thing is, blogger decided to flip the photo on it's side, and the brats looked a little... um... phallic... so I cropped it. I'll let you know how it tastes, but I bet they add enough pork fat in it that it will taste delicious.