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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Almabtrieb- Austrian Cattle Drive

My friend Stella, who has since PCSed (military speak for moved), had a "Germany Bucket List" and on that list was to attend an Alpine cattle drive. Since she knows I'm kinda into cows (just a bit...), she knew I'd be one of the few people that would love to go. It was really last minute. Meaning I got home from work at 10pm, she called me, I slept for about 2 hours, woke up at 3am, and met her in Stuttgart. 


I honestly don't know much about the history of this event. From what I know, during the summer, the farmers let their cattle graze in the mountains, and in the fall, they bring them down closer to the barn for the winter. Over the years, this has become quite an event, somewhat like a harvest festival.


Throughout the town of Reith, Austria, there were several old-fashioned craftsmen showing off their trade.  Woodworkers, weavers, leather craftmen, keg/barrel makers, and of course the guy making schnapps (I guess that would be a distiller). He let us stick our fingers right next to the spout of the still, getting a chance to try some of the fresh alcohol. It was so good! They had flavored schnapps to try. I should have bought some because I haven't found anything as good since.


This guy and his son were decorating Lederhosen side-by-side. One of the cutest things I've seen.... like ever. For a brief moment, it felt like we had traveled back in time. Then the guy preceded to take a beer and texting break. So much for that! 

Three times during the day, the farmers paradied the cattle through town. The cattle wore hand-made head dresses. I'm guess these days, the cattle aren't really coming down from the mountains. In fact, I spotted a cattle trailer being pulled by a pretty new and nice truck. But it was still a nice homage to the past. 


After each parade, the cattle were put in a holding pasture where the tourist could also go and get photos. I got this shot of the ag youth organization that was helping with the event. Aside from the hats, they could fit in with any cattle fitters back home... standing around, shootin' the shit with a few beers. It's universal really.


Lederhosen and Dirnls were the common attire of the day. In fact, at the after party, it seemed like you weren't part of the cool group if you weren't in traditional dress. This kid in the photo above is so cute!


Each head dress was different; some with the farm name, others with religious pictures, some with initials or other personal messages.


Some cows wore some really big bells. I'm told the better the producer, the bigger the bell.


We also visited the church cemetery in town. All of the headstone were fairly new- less than 50 years old. Turns out people rent the plots. I'm not sure what happens after that- I've heard from some people the grave gets moved, other people have said they just put the next casket on top of the older ones.


A peaceful spot in town, just a block away from the wild after party. We stayed out until about midnight, but I was so tired, I wasn't much into partying. Plus I wasn't wearing the obligatory Dirndl. 


The next day we took a ski lift to the top of the nearby peak. I don't take many pictures, so I thought I'd finally post one. Does anyone else notice that my boobs are like in the middle of my torso? Victoria, you're letting me down, girl!

The rest of the photos I posted on facebook this time. Hope it works. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Switzerland


Back in September (wow, was it really that long ago?!), we took a trip to Switzerland. We couldn't decide exactly where we wanted to go, so I relied on a Rick Steves' episode from PBS to give me some pointers. I'm not like a devote follower to Rick Steves, but figured I'd give it a shot, and head to Gimmelwald. In fact, Rick was staying there just a week before we got there.


Gimmelwald is a quaint little village that is only accessible by cable car. Since I worked the morning we left, when we arrived to the mountains, it was already dark, so it was a treat to wake up to the view we got from our window!


We spent the day hiking up to Murren, and then to the next station where we got a great view of Jungfrau. We grabbed a beer at the restaurant there and hiked back down. Going down was just as hard as going down! It was so steep and we really weren't dressed for hiking in the Alps. Luckily, I didn't slip and fall on my butt.


We also got to see a special treat in Murren, an Alpine Horn practice. It was so neat!

The next day, we went to Trummelbach Falls, where 10 waterfalls flow inside the mountains. The water was such a beautiful shade of blue, and it was so cold! We even saw signs warning how cold the water was.


Craig and I decided to have a quick picnic lunch on a grassy spot next to the parking lot of the falls area. Next to us, was a Muslim family in traditional dress having a picnic lunch as well. As we were eating, I was thinking that we really aren't much different.... sight-seeing, enjoying nature, being with family, eating a simple picnic lunch before heading home. Then I realized it was September 11th. Seems fitting on the 10th yeah anniversary, as if those feeling of that day have come full circle.


On our way home, we stopped in Lucerne. We walked the Alte Brucke, enjoyed some gellato, and checked out a few other sights.

Switzerland is a beautiful, yet expensive place! Also, the cheese, is... well, interesting. It's a little too "farmy" for my taste. But I'm glad I got to try it. I'd like to head back in the winter to see how the snow has changed to views and feel of the Alps.

To see more pictures and get a little more history-- Switzerland Album.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dezember

I got a lovely birthday card from my Aunt Jean with a note, and she said she comes here every once in awhile to see what I'm up to. I feel like I've let her down since it's been for-EVER since I've posted. I must admit, the more bored I am, the more likely I am to blog.

Since I'm a working gal now (haha, so busy with my menial 24 hours a week job) I feel like it's hard to stay afloat with all the daily stuff I have to do. I honestly feel it's on my genetics to be slow and inefficient with my time. Oh, and being late, like all.the.time. Oh, and it's 3:15 AM and I'm putzing around on here and Pintrest, yeah another genetic thing.

I promise to get caught up. There's lots of things to share with you!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Too Much!

I somehow stumbled upon a new job. Well I guess it shouldn't come to a surprise, I mean I did attend a job fair and all. But I walked away with a job, which was surprising. Normally you get the, "oh let me look at your application," "stop in for an interview," thing. So now I'm cashier extraordinaire at the video store on base. Two days in and I already know I work with a bunch of characters. 


Here's a little preview of what I'm working on. This won't become a DYI blog; too much pressure to have to create things to put up here. Well, not like I was pressured to post things on a regular basis anyway... 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Disc Golf

Disc Golf is an American invented sport (it's been said that it was first played at Pendleton King Park in Augusta, GA, a course we have played on.... not quite as impressive as saying you've played at St. Andrews, but still neat nevertheless), so we are pretty excited that there are a few courses in the area. Well, kinda- the two closest courses are an hour away, but we don't mind the drive. 

We went to Mainer Volkspark, and it was quite apparent that disc golf isn't as well known in Germany. Take this photo for example:


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Verdun

The biggest advantage of only one of us having a job and not having kids is to do whatever we want on a whim. So one day last month, when Craig had two days off, we woke up and I said, "I want to go to France and learn about World War I history" And so we packed our bags and set off for an adventure.

One thing that I like about doing things on our own is stumbling upon things you didn't plan to. It kinda makes me feel like an explorer (I know, I'm sure thousands of people have seen the same stuff we have, don't burst my bubble.) For example, we were near Verdun and I really had to go to the bathroom. We pulled off onto a wayside/picnic area. I walked about 20 feet into the woods and I realized I was standing in a World War I era trench!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Heidelberg

I love how the Germans say the word "berg." Much more elegant than how the English say it. When you hear a them say "Heidelberg," the name sounds just like you would think the city looks like. With Heidelberg Castle overlooking a quaint old town, and it's iconic old stone bridge over the Neckar River, it's easy to see why this is a popular tourist destination. 


Over a month ago, we headed out on a day trip to check it out. Oh yeah, sorry for the delay- made a trip back to the states this month so things got put off posting-wise.

We walked around the castle grounds, but got there too late in the day to take the tour through. Ok, we got there with enough time, but not enough to get our 5 Euro worth, at least I thought. So we will return. We got primo parking near the castle for free (pretty unusual here)  and learned the secret to budget vacationing- buying your meal at the local grocery store and having a picnic lunch. 


It worked great for our little trip- we had some good Germany bread, ham, European cheese and chocolate, and some local wine. This was our view; not too shabby. Too bad it started to rain. 


So we decided to sit under the Alte Brucke (old bride) that Heidelberg is known for. Apparently some other people had the same idea. Pictured is the view of the second part of our romantic picnic. Next to us was some heavy metal teenagers and a couple making out. Craig said we should have started making out too and made it a contest. Eh, they were doing pretty good without competition.

Rest of the photos (only one awkward picnic lunch photo included). 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Doing the Milspouse Friday Fill-in this week!

1. What is one of the things you always do special when your husband returns from a deployment?  submitted by Keep Calm and Soldier On
Luckily, never had to deal with this, but if he's gone for whatever, I make sure the house is clean so I'm not cleaning and doing dishes when he gets home. 

2. What do you do to help your spouse and/or yourself re-adjust after a deployment or long separation?  submitted by Diapers, Dogs and Deployments
It's funny how easy it is just to pick up where you left off.  

3. Are you a crazy coupon clipper (I’m becoming one, so share your secrets with me)?  submitted by Married My Airman
I ain't the crazy coupon lady, but I do use them. It's hard because I typically do by fresh ingredients, but I almost always use coupons for toiletries. I did get crazy once and bought $40 worth of toiletries (including razors) for like $15, but I can never figure out how people get all that stuff for free like on that TV show about the crazy couponers.    


4. What’s your most treasured memory of you and your spouse (not counting your wedding – that’s a given)? submitted by Scrubs, ACUs and One Crazy Ride
We did a road trip from Wisconsin to Key West, Florida. That's just how cheap we are (well, that's when gas was much cheaper). Putting together a tent in the dark after driving for 14 hours that day and then sleeping on a partly inflated air mattress is one of those tests of a strong relationship. At the time it didn't seem fun, but looking back on it, it was quite the adventure. 

5. If you could live anywhere overseas, what would you pick and why? submitted by Little Moments Like This 
Germany was our #1 pick for duty station, and we got it, so we're more than happy. Anywhere in Europe is great because we're history nerds. Craig loves Japan, and we do have the opportunity to live there next. Asia has always been mysterious to me, so I think it would be interesting to learn about the culture. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ode to Ma

Ya know those poor kids who have their birthday right around Christmas? Well, my mom also get the short end of the stick. Her birthday always falls right around Mother's Day. So I thought I'd take some time out to say both Happy Birthday and Happy Mother's Day to my mamma. 

Also, a photo for ya'll. And yes, my eyes always look like that. I once went to a Mary Kay party and I told my friends I had no idea how to apply eye make-up, and my one friend replied, "you mean you don't wear eye make-up every day?" 


But back to my mom. She's a pretty nice lady, I must say. Birthed six kids, put up with our crap, got us through those awkward teenage years pretty unscathed. Well, there's one left to get through his teenage years, so I guess it remains to be seen if there's a wild child among the group. But we all turned out ok. 

My mom was at a youth sporting event once, and another mom was complaining about her older children, one was arrested, one was working in a dead-end job, I think one may have gotten a girl knocked-up, and then the lady asked my mom, "So what about your kids?" My mom said she didn't have the heart to tell her her oldest had graduated college and had a good job, her second was recently married and accepted a teaching position, her third works on one of the best farms in the state, the fourth is in every extracurricular imaginable... and so on (yes I just totally "Mary-Ann and the rest"-ed my two last siblings, but you get the point). So as they say, the proof is in the pudding. I've got a pretty damn good mom. And I guess dad is ok too, haha. 

Oh, I forgot to mention-  it's my mom's 50th birthday this week! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wisconsinese Demystified

I'm not a linguist or anthropologist by any means, but having lived in certain areas of Wisconsin, then in the South, and now in Germany, I have a pretty good ear for that Wisconsin accent. You never really hear it until you move away for awhile. Not only is the accent of your typical rural Wisconsinite very defined, but the language. After a few months leaning the German language, I can see that many language mannerism, so to speak, have stayed with many Wisconsinites, of whom many are of German decent.

A can in honor of Bonduel, WI.

"Hey, ya going up to Rhinelander, er no?" The "er no" is taught even in my High German course as correct Deutsch. Ending question with "oder?" is perfectly acceptable. 

"Hey der eh." and "Yous got da beer?" "You going wit dem?" Although not used quite the same, the German "the" der, das, die, den, dem, des.... you can still hear it. 

"What are yous guys doin' tonight?" Yes, there is a proper German term for "yous guys." 

I've noticed some people, one being my dad, doesn't congegate his verbs correctly. For example, my dad will say, "Ralph give me that one time," and "He don't like that." This may stem from the fact Germans use the Perfekt more regularly when speaking (i.e. have given), rather than Pratritum, (gave). And although I haven't learned nearly all of the verb conjugations, I don't think there's a different between "doesn't" and "don't." But then again, "do" isn't used nearly as much in German as it is in English. For example, we say "he doesn't like that, while in German it's basically, "he likes that not."

The hard "T." My grandpa was known for saying words like "bat-trees" (batteries). I also have a Great Aunt Ree-TA, not Rita. Since my own German pronunciation is bad, not sure how to explain that, but I do know that "T" is treated a little differently. Ask a German to say "thank you" and you'll see what I mean.

So now you know. We ain't simple folk, we're cultured! 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Berlin


We recently went to Berlin. We saw so much in two days, it was unbelievable. We stayed at a pension (cross between a hotel and a hostel) just off of Ku'dam Street, which is a really nice shopping district. Ya know, those stores like Gucci and Prada where I don't even feel worthy enough to walk in. Also, we booked a room with a shared bathroom. Since we were the only ones in the hotel with a shared bathroom and it was right next to our room, it wasn't much different, and we saved 40 Euro!

The owner was really nice too. Just to give you an idea of my humor and German frankness:

Hotel owner at check in, looking at my wedding ring: Wow, that's a big ring. You must be rich.
Me: Naw, it's small, it just has a tall setting...see, it's an illusion.
Hotel owner: Ah, ok.
Me: Plus, if I was rich, would I really be staying at a hotel like this?
Hotel owner, unphased: Haha, this is true.

We took a ton of pictures, especially at the Charlottenburg Palace, because you had to pay 3 Euros to take photos. I wasn't too keen on the idea, but it was something Craig really wanted to see and remember. I made sure to get my money's worth!

 Topography of Terror. Ruins of Gestapo Headquarters with Berlin Wall above.

 Eating my first Currywurst. Overrated. 

 Berliner Dom

Gardens behind Schloss Charlottenburg

More photos here, including my husband's commentary. 

Also, if you're planning a trip to Berlin, I highly suggest the DDR (GDR) Museum. It was a hands-on exhibit showing life and history of East Berlin. My husband and I were quite young when the wall came down, so it's hard to really grasp that part of history, but this museum was better than any book or TV special. It was a great museum, but unfortunately I could not find a David Hasselhof keyboard scarf at the gift shop.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Memorial March Re-cap

After one evening without electricity and then two days without internet, I'm back to give a little rundown of the 24 km hike through the Ardennes Forest honoring the 82nd Airborne. I took a bunch of photos. Here's some of the highlights. 


What in this photo doesn't belong? You may notice there's about 60 years different between the uniforms on the right and the one of the left. The day was filled with old and new.


And mud, lots of rain and mud. Note to self, don't wear long pants next time. And yes, there will be a next time. Apparently I'm a glutton for punishment.


A local lady shaking hands with a current US solider. She showed him what she had in her bag- perhaps offering a gift? The Belgium people seemed so generous. After the walk, I saw a guy eating a waffle and I gave a weird look and a chuckle because I thought, "haha, what a stereotype... a Belgium walking around eating a Belgium waffle." He saw me look at him funny and he offered his waffles to me and the two people I was with. And it was SO good! I should give funny looks to people more often I guess. 




I know what you're thinking, door shots are so trite. But whatevs... I thought this house was way too cute. Most of the houses in the Bastogne area were made of stone, both old and new.

My favorite moments were when a current German solider started randomly singing "The Bear Necessities" from The Jungle Book, which I tried to get on video. Also a British re-enacter asked my friend (rather suggestively) to feel his mortar, and she replied, "Oh my gosh!" because it was so heavy. The British group, being dressed in US solider reenactment uniforms, were giving orders with accents, complete with British-isms like "Cheerio" and "Rubbish."

If you're interested, there's several of these sorts of hikes throughout the year. I know there's a march in December honoring the 101st Airborne, but the length is much shorter. I think you can choose between a 6 km and a longer one. There's also one in the summer that 120 km- that's 40 km in three days. I won't be doing that one.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Call Me Crazy

The weather the past month or so hasn't been terrible, but it's just the kind that makes you go, "I'll wait until spring or summer do do that/go there, when the weather in nice." Also, my husband is back on nights now. We went Tuesday-Saturday last week without seeing each other, although a big warm lump appeared in my bed around 9 am every morning. And yes, I sleep in past 9... ok I get up at 11 most days. I'm a night owl and have an afternoon class, so sue me.

Anyway, my reason for the comment above is that we haven't done anything too exciting lately. I took two of my classmates to Ikea on Saturday. Neither of them had left the city since they arrived in Germany, so they were really excited. I remember when Ikea was like the coolest place ever, now it's just like going to Target; which I guess is cool in it's own right, but I digress...

I just wanted to let you all know I'm doing something really cool this weekend. I'm so excited I can't even contain myself.

Here's a preview (ok, it pretty much says what I'll be doing):

Footsteps of the 82nd Airborne

Yes, that is a 24 km hike. I have not done much exercise in the past six months; I think I went to the gym four times- and two of those were to donate blood. This could get interesting.

Friday, February 18, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In



1. What is your favorite MilSpouse blog (not including Wife of a Sailor who we all love, or your own)? submitted by Our Crazy Life.
Both of my favs have one thing in common, they are both talented photographers. Householddiva6 is one that I check pretty much every time she posts, and even though she doesn't blog much about military life, I love looking at the photos over at Bumbles & Light

2. What are your favorite perks about your s/o being deployed (we all know there are perks)? submitted by Ramblings of a Marine Wife
Fortunately, we've never had to experience one, and when he was at training, I lived with my parents and became pretty depressed... But I did get to go to New Zealand, which I probably wouldn't have done had he been home. So for me, I got a chance to do something crazy like travel to another country by myself. 



3. How long did you date your before getting engaged? Married? submitted by Utterly Chaotic
Took about five years to get engaged. For the married part, add two days to that, haha.

4. What do you think your would do if s/he wasn’t in the military? submitted by Adventures of M-Squared
Trying to still finish school with tons of debt and working part-time at Target. Honestly, I don't like to think about it, because he was just so lost before joining. He was unhappy with his major/career choice, and you could tell in his motivation. When he retires, his MOS translates well to the civilian world, so he's confident he'll find a job with the skills he has learned. 



5. If you could talk to the Secretary of (fill in your appropriate branch) what is one suggestion you would like to bring to their attention in order to improve the lives of military families?  submitted by My Life as His (Air Force) Wife
I don't really know. Let's face it, 40% of taxes go towards defense, how much more stuff do we need? And I really can't complain. But then again, we don't have kids, and I've finished school (for as much as I'd like to be right now anyway). I'm sure plenty of milspouse readers will disagree with me. 



Hum, I have one, I'd ask not to give my husband the extra military issued items I have to take care of and put away and that he'll never use. He works on computers, so a lot of the things he was issued just doesn't apply. Also, give my husband more reasons to wear his dress blues... let me explain.... He's been in for two years and has yet to wear them, even though he needs to keep them up to date, therefore spending money on changing the pins and ranks out, when some go unneeded. We could save some of that money, or even lower his clothing allowance, and saving everyone money. I know technically it's not much, but it does add up. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Class is looking better

I'm four days into German Class 3. The first day, the teacher laid down the law- no leaving to smoke, come back from the break on time, try to make it on time. So far it seems to be working. Some of the classmates I had in the last class that would leave a lot or had poor attendance have not come at all this week, so maybe they decided to take the class when they can put more effort into it.

We also have some new students in the class, and I'm happy to say they seem serious about learning the language. I noticed that there are two new girls who sit next to each other who don't know each other's languages (Polish and then English and Spanish), so they really make the effort to talk and work together in German. Having people who know more than me is encouraging, it's almost like a challenge to be as good as them and not be "the dumb kid."

I really would like to get out there and do some of the suggestions from the comments in my last post- and thank you by the way for your encouragement! It's just some days, after struggling with the language for four hours a day and then homework, all I want to do is sit at home with my husband and my cat and not have to concentrate on anything! I only have myself to blame for not taking advantages of opportunities to practice, but it will come.

In other news, Craig has a class this week on a regular schedule, so we have an entire weekend together. Of course instead of suggesting a romantic weekend away, I told him he should change the oil on my car on Saturday and invite a friend over who he hasn't seen in awhile. I'm just always so darn practical!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

German Class Update

Ok, this is mostly a rant. I don't expect anyone to really read it, just need to get my thoughts written down.

On Thursday and Friday, we took a test to track our progress. Because I'm taking a class geared towards foreigners moving permanently to Germany, no one really fails or gets held back. I wished they would, because I can think of at least one student that is always holding up the class. I sat next to her one day, and she just always seemed lost, and looking at my answers. It's getting on my nerves.

Anyway, as I mentioned before, I'm good at reading and writing, bad at speaking. It was no surprise that I rocked it on the writing and reading parts (and did ok on the hearing too, surprisingly) and almost failed the speaking part. I got a 40 out of 45 on the reading/writing/hearing, and a 9.5/15 on the speaking. 

In fact, the teacher said that out of the class of about 15, only three people seemed to understand the letter writing part. I got a 10 out of 10 on that portion!

When we did the speaking part, she had us come to a room in groups of three or four. We got handed a card, and had to ask a question about the object on the card. She had me sit in position #1, so as soon as I got my card, I had to come up with a question. All the others in the group got a few minutes to think it over! And she never changed the order either. I'm slower when it comes to forming an answer, and I suddenly got very nervous that I was being asked to come up with an answer within seconds of receiving the instructions.

And of course I got put in a group with two people in the class that are really getting on my nerves, and although the one speaks well, he never really understands what's being asked of him, so I have to try to explain. And then he thinks I don't understand because I don't answer his question... it's a big mess really. And if I call him out on a wrong answer, he thinks he's still right. 

Earlier, this same guy laid into this other classmate for not coming to the first portion of the exam, even though he only comes to class half the time! And then he had the audacity to get up in front of the class while the teacher was testing another group of students and try to teach us German sentence structure, which he kept messing up. We kept telling him to sit down, but then he got mad that we were just sitting around and not learning anything, and starting yelling at us, "no one wants to learn here except D, " D being the one person answering his questions. What was I doing? The actual assignment the teacher gave us to do. 

I talked to the teacher after class (in English), and she and the other teacher agree that our class was the worst they have seen as far as leaving class to go smoke, lack of attendance, or returning late from the break. Also, there seems to be an overall lack of trying to converse. I guess I can get lazy with that at times too, considering since 3/4 of the class knows English, but I always try to answer the teacher using complete sentences and expending on what I'm saying, or trying to say new things when she asks what we do on our weekends or evening.

I really needed to get that off my chest. To complete all the modules, it lasts until June, and it looks like there's no breaks. I can choose to take off and restart anytime, but that leaves at least a month of me not doing anything. I may consider taking the morning class instead of the afternoon, I just don't want to leave the friends I've made and have gotten comfortable with helping each other. Well, it's the weekend now, maybe I'll have a new outlook come Montag. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In


First off, I'd like to say "Hello" to all my new followers from the Blizzard Blog Hop! Thank you all for stopping on over. For those of you that don't know, MilSpouse Friday Fill-In was created by Wife of a Sailor to get to know our fellow military spouse bloggers out there.  I participate in most of the because it keeps me blogging on a regular basis.... and I like talking about myself. 

1. Since most of the country has had nasty weather, what has your weather been like this week?
It hasn't snowed in awhile here (just lots of rain) but we did get a dusting the same day all of the US got dumped on. It got really cold too. It could be tons worse, but I'm still ready for summer, or at least for the sun to come out!

2. What is/are your best money saving tip(s)?
Learn to make your own things, and know when it's not worth it. I only use coupons for toiletries, most of the food I buy doesn't have coupons for them anyway. Use cash most of the time. Read or listen to anything by Dave Ramsey. Learn to value experiences more than material things. Menu plan. Set a restaurant budget every month and make going out an experience, not just because you don't want to cook or didn't plan ahead. Buy quality made clothes so you don't keep buying shirts that get crappy looking after a few months. Be inspired by such people as Grocery ShrinkSmall Notebook, and Frugal Dad. Buy the generic version and see if it's good enough to make a swap. Become a Freecycle and Craigslist junkie, but only buy things you need, not what's just a good deal. If you get a chance to travel outside of the US, really take notice at advertising and how people live, you'll really get a different perspective about the buying process and marketing. Realize that a $50 bottle of shampoo won't make your thin hair thick, just call up your mom and blame her. 

3. What was your favorite vehicle you’ve ever owned?
I still have the very first car I ever bought. I bought my 01 Sunfire in 2005. So I guess it wins by default. She's getting up there in mileage though so we'll probably be getting rid of her in the next year or so... she's starting to become a money pit. Isn't it funny how I refer to my car as "she"?

4. What is a question you’d like to see asked in a future fill-in? (Your question & blog just may appear one week!)
I sent Wife of a Sailor this question already, but I can't think of a new one. I'm curious- what's the one movie you love and have seen so many times you can recite it word for word? 

5. Fill in the blank: You might be a MilSpouse if….
(I will be including some of your answers in a future post (with a link to your blog, of course!)

You might be a MilSpouse if... your drivers license is shoved in the back sleeve of your wallet because your military ID now has priority. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What's on my SD Card

The past couple days, I've found my camera's SD card in my husband's computer. Out of curiosity, I checked to see what he was taking pictures of. Here's what I found:





I decided not to share the six other pictures of the cat, or the video of her playing with the blanket. I asked him about the picture of out our kitchen window, and he said on a message board he's a part of, there was a thread about posting outside your window. He thought people would be interested in seeing what Germany was like, but he sounded pretty crushed that no one commented on it.

When I said he should wait until the neighbors come by with their horses (which they do every day), he said that horses weren't interesting..... but apparently trash bins are exciting.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blizzard Blog Hop- the real deal

Thanks to Miss Household6Diva for hosting!

I'm going all Euro with the scarf.

My name is Laurie, and I hail from the great state of Wisconsin, and may I remind you that the Badgers went to the Rose Bowl this year and the Packers are headed to the Super Bowl! When you've lived 30 min. from Green Bay most of your life and went to the University of Wisconsin, it's hard not to be a fan!

Like I said, I went to UW-Madison where I majored in Dairy Science and Agricultural Journalism. Yes, I always have to explain this one. At the Outback Bowl one year, a drunken Georgia fan yelled at us band members: "What do you major in Wisconsin- cows?!" I couldn't answer... haha. Oh yeah, and my husband and I are total band nerds. We marched next to each other an entire year before he asked me out on a date.

This was before my future husband had enough guts to ask me out. I think his spats are sexy.

If you couldn't tell, I grew up in a dairy farm and I love telling people about agriculture. I try not to be "crazy cow girl" though. I'm the oldest of six kids, and I love coming from a big family. We're a fun bunch of goof-balls.

The barn. 

Growing up, I had also been the stable, reasonable child, but the past two years I've given my parents quite a few grey hairs. At first, I announced I was quiting my career of three years and going to New Zealand to work. Then right before I left, my boyfriend of 3 years and I eloped.

With Craig being in the military and the uncertainty of deployments, I decided to return to the US to spend time as newlyweds. We had an affirmation ceremony and reception on May 29th, 2010 (wow, I originally wrote August, then July... obviously I'm not one of those wives that gets on their husband's case about remembering dates).


My husband Craig and I live in Germany and we love it here! I feel much more at home here than I did when we lived in Georgia for a year. I'm of German decent and love learning about my roots. I'm currently taking German classes four hours a day, five days a week (yikes!) and trying to be a good housewife. I'm a pretty decent cook, but my husband folds laundry better than me. Guess ya can't be good at everything.

Obviously we don't have kids yet (or I would have mentioned them paragraphs ago, haha).

My husband and I on a search for our next big adventure perhaps?

I guess non-vital statistic stuff- I like tooling around for hours on the internet, saving money (ie being stingy), being a homesteader (I knit, can food, grow a garden, and I make my own sauerkraut, broth, and granola bars among other little projects, listening to all sorts of music, both cooking and eating new foods, singing karaoke, and dancing (of the non-grinding/hoochie variety).

I blog mostly about our European adventures and keep my family up to date on what's going on in our lives.

Whoa... sorry that got so long. Thanks for putting up with me!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blizzard Blog Hop

Household6Diva is hosting a blog hop. Check out her site if you haven't yet- love her photos!  Hopefully I'll remember to do this on Thursday. (Which I realize is tomorrow, but what the heck, it's 12:13 am on Wednesday, give me a break!)

Blizzard  Bloghop 2010 hosted by Household 6 Diva

On Thursday January 27th, at 12pm (Noon) Eastern Standard Time, (that’s 6pm here in Germany folks!), I will be posting a Linky for you to linkup your Blizzard Bloghop post! From that point on and through the weekend, we can “Meet n Greet” our way through the list and discover some wonderful new bloggers!

And there you have it! 

All you need to do is start working on your Bloghop introduction post! Just remember to be respectful of your visitor’s time - you want to introduce yourself and your blog, but keep things brief, and leave them wanting to come back for another visit!

So spread the word! Blog it! Tweet it! Share it on Facebook! Write a pre-party post inviting your readers to join us! The more we share, the more fun we'll have together! I do ask that you grab a button for your sidebar and check back as some lovely giveaways are announced! (In order to be eligible for a giveaway you will need to have the button posted!)

Let's get Snowed in for a "Blizzard Bloghop" during Blissdom!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Catching Up

Yes yes, slacking on the blog, I know. German class is back in full swing again. I don't speak much, but I do well on the written part. On Tuesday, our teacher handed back our tests, and commented that everyone did horrible on one section that was worth a lot of points. If I remember correctly, she said "my God!" Anyway, I pretty much aced the exam, and had no trouble with the section she was disappointed with. Can't say a darn thing without the class laughing at me- maybe I should just write everything down! It's frustrating. I'm starting to think I need to drink a few beers and head to a German bar to get the language flowing :-)

There's one girl in our class from Romania that speaks very good German and English, but because of her accent and the fact she speaks quietly, I'm always saying, "what?" "repeat that." Needless to say she's given up speaking German to me, and has resorted to English. I'm not in the cool club anymore I guess.

Oh about the class laughing at me- I told the class that my classmate (from China) met my husband in Shanghai in 2009, instead of HER husband. 

Oh another note, I just started selling Pampered Chef, so I've been also keeping very busy with that getting my business set up and getting trained. A lot of the same principals apply to this as did my job I had in feed sales, so it's nice to be somewhat familiar with the process. I'm excited to get out and meet more people and see where the business takes me. I have to brush up on my demonstration skills, though. Certainly brings back memories of doing demonstration speeches on my high school Forensics team. 


Lastly, a couple weekends ago, Craig and a lovely army wife I met online, and I went to Luxembourg. Pictures as always! We met a very informative tour guide at the American cemetery that told us about the beginnings of the cemetery and how the soldiers were brought there. I can't imagine being one of those people who had to do this. Prior to the marble headstones (which are from Italy), there were wooden crosses with their dogtags draped over them for identification. 

I enjoyed going to the German cemetery just as much as the American one. It struck me as completely German- from the stone used, to the more natural elements, to the fonts used on the monuments. I'd like to head back to Luxembourg City in the summer to get a different perspective. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Fill-In

It's funny that I never make the time to update my blog, but I always make the time to do the Friday Milspouse Fill-ins.

1. What are you looking forward to most in 2011?

Traveling around Europe and this side of the world. We've finally gotten out of moving-in mode, now it's traveling mode.

2. What is something random you do on a boring night when your significant other is away?

Watch movies he hates like "The Notebook" and shows like "19 Kids and Counting," well actually anything on TLC.

3. What has been your greatest adventure as a MilSpouse?

Getting married two days after getting engaged, leaving New Zealand to be with my husband in Georgia, and moving to Germany.

4. What is the ugliest fashion trend you ever bought into (I’d like to make fun of you, so can you please provide a picture as well)?

My mom has these pictures tucked away, just waiting for the right time to show them, haha. Remember stirrup pants? I used to wear them with big Converse hightops, and then large sweaters. My mom made those iron-transfer shirts, and I remember always wearing this over-sized orange sweatshirt with a pumpkin and black cat on it, with the outline in glitter pant. I remember there always being a debate about whether your socks should go on the outside or inside of the stirrups.

5. What was the high point of last month?

In December, my husband and I went to Nuremberg. I guess just experiencing Christmas as a whole in an entirely different place was the high point.