Monday, September 30, 2013

Sunshine Award

The beautiful Jen from The Adventures Of Our Army Life, who is currently enjoying some family time in Las Vegas, nominated me for this beauty:

Being sick and feeling like a blop, this award was just a little ray of sunshine in my sickness-ridden days  ;-)

Here are the rules:

1. Include the award logo in your blog post.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award.

Here are the 10 Questions Jen posted:
 1. What is your biggest fear?
Anything happening to the family. This is truly my biggest fear. They are my heart and my life, what would I be without them? 2. Are you a night owl or an early bird?
A very natural night owl.. But an early bird by necessity more often than not I'm afraid. 3. If you could change one thing from your past what would it be?
I believe in the butterfly effect, so I actually wouldn't change anything. Maybe be more careful to avoid some smaller mishaps. What I'd definitely tell my younger self is to be more relaxed.
4. Do you have any pets, if so what kind?
No, no pets yet unfortunately. But we'll have two cats, soon  ;-) 5. Did you do everything you wanted to do this summer?
I wanted to go to the pool more often than I did, and to a theme park, but besides those, yes, I did everything I've planned! 6. What is your favorite song?
I don't have a favorite song, but tons of songs I love. Today, it's maybe "Imagine" by John Lennon  ;-) 7. If you were on a deserted island what 3 things would you take with you?
A ton of sun protection, an e-reader, filled to the brim with books, sunglasses 8. Would you rather cook or go out to eat?
I like to cook, but at the moment I'd rather go out, just to avoid the clean-up.
9. What is your dream car?
For myself? The Smart Roadster, such a cute little car! Right now, I love the family van we have, very spacious. 10. If you could have any job in the world what would it be?
Work as a translator of fiction.

Here are my 10 Questions:
1. What is on your to-do list for fall?
2. Have you bought any holiday presents yet?
3. Pumpkin Spice Latte or Peppermint Mocha?
4. What is your favorite book?
5. Share something embarrassing.
6. What is your favorite animal.
7. What was your favorite toy as a child?
8. Apples or pears?
9. Are you going to celebrate Halloween?
10. Were you a mommy's or daddy's girl?

I'm going to nominate those 10 wonderful bloggers out there:

Melissa at Home On Deranged
Lizzi at Considerings
Pinky at P!nkPers!stence
Kristi at Finding Ninee

Can't wait to see all your answers, ladies!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Social - Jobs

Sunday Social

Sunday - time to link up for Sunday Social with Ashley and Neely, talking about jobs today:

1. What is your dream job?
Working in the job I studied first, as a translator, preferrably translating books!

2. If you had just won the lottery and wouldn't have to work for money, what would you do?
I would probably still work in my job, because I like my routine, I like my coworkers, and my company. But I'd probably cut back the hours to about 20 and spend a lot more times with the family.

3. What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?
Stay updated on the regulations, be exact and accurate, always double-check, ask others if you're not sure. If the result doesn't look right, it probably isn't.

4. What would be your ideal "just for fun" job?
Bartending. Loved it when I could sleep in as much as I wanted in the morning and loved to party all night. That's, however, not my life any more..

5. What was your first "real" job?
Working as a Admin Assistance for a mental health clinic.

Wishing everyone a good start into a new week tomorrow!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Week In Review - Ten Things Of Thankful (11)

Ten Things of Thankful

First of all, "I'm all well again" won't not be among my ten things, still dealing with the bronchitis, and still not sure if I will be up to returning to work on Monday. But nevertheless, there are plenty of things to be thankful for last week:

1. My hubby, who's taking care of me, and keeps everything going somehow while I drag along (while he is not feeling 100% himself)

2. The girls for their songs, pictures, cuddles, and pads on the back. And of course for their patience with their slow mom.

3. The sunflower on my porch, who hasn't realized quite yet that it's fall.

4. The mom at Lily's kindergarten who envited her for an afternoon of play because she knew that I wasn't sick.

5. That hubby's surgery was postponed (due to him being not completely healthy either). I wouldn't have known how to take care of him yesterday. Hope that we both get better soon and his surgery can be re-scheduled, soon!

6. My Dad not being mad at me for forgetting his birthday (remembered a few hours later and called again, SO embarrassing!!).

7. Being able to eat again.

8. The row of medications I have access to to help make me feel better.

9. An understanding boss, who doesn't try to rush me back into the office.

10. Feeling the first time like myself again this morning, not the sick clone of myself that has taken over the last weeks. Sick clone made a re-appearance later in the day, but it's a progress.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and thank you to Lizzi for hosting!

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Bravest Thing

Finish the Sentence Friday

The week is over, and it's weird, because it doesn't really feel like weekend yet. I was on sick leave from Tuesday on, and seriously wonder if I'll be back Monday. I'm going from feeling fine to bouts of elevated temperature, to sleeping all day long, to back feeling fine. It's annoying and obnoxious, and I really, really cannot wait to feel 100% again. Anyways, time still to link up with Janine and Kate for Finish The Sentence Friday; today's sentence:

The bravest thing I've ever done was...

... packing up our family and move to another country. Without any jobs lined up, with only my grandmother's mold-infested house to stay in, to say good-bye to friends who have become family, to leave a place that has become home to ensure a better future for our family.

And why? Because we felt that there was no real future for our family in Washington State. We loved the place, and we loved the people, but I was stuck in a job with little chance of improvment and a salary that JUST paid the bills when we were a family of three, and close to no job-options for Richard in that economic environment. Then the positive pregnancy test, the panic, the what-can-we-do's, and finally the decision to move back to my native Germany. Where we would have a place to stay at first (not knowing that this place would make us sick, but that's another story), some income from Kindergeld (a monthly stipend the government pays for each child) and Erziehungsgeld (yet another government stipend that is paid to parents for up to 14 months after a child is born), public health insurance, and the potential for a good future for our family.

It was scary back then, but today I am glad we did it. I was able to find a job that I probably would have never gotten in the U.S. I have full sick pay for up to 6 weeks in a row. I get additional sick days if the children are sick. We earn a better income, the kids go to better schools, and one day may have the chance to go to university, at a very low tuition fee. There is a lot more security and the knowledge that there is a network of social services and benefits that will support us in the worst case.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mean Kid

On Wednesday evening, Lily came to me, telling me that a new kid from her kindergarten class has started to bully her. Lily told me that the boy keeps telling her that her pants were always falling off, and that his father said that as well. She said that his behavior was making her angry and that he wouldn't stop.

First of all, I'm very proud of Lily that she didn't blow up at some point. I would have totally understood if she did. I thought about how to handle the situation. At first, of course, I ensured Lily that everything was fine with her pants, and that under no circumstances she should get in a brawl with the kid. We practiced telling him, with a very firm voice, that he was wrong and should please stop it. If he didn't, we agreed that she would simply get up and leave (or finish up her work and leave then), and if she became very upet, she should talk to her teachers. I emailed and talked to a friend about this situation and decided also to talk to her teacher about the situation.

I didn't feel good in the morning but went to pick up Lily from school, and luckily, we were presented with a pristine situation tothe head teacher. She was not aware of the situation, but confirmed that she could see the boy saying those things to Lily, also claiming that his dad had said it. She mentioned that she had never seen the dad at school, and therefore he couldn't have seen Lily ever, but that the little boy would make up things like that. She agreed to have a intervention with both Lily and the kid present, which would have been actually the measure I would have suggested as first step of intervention. On the way back to the car, I told Lily that she and the boy would be called out for a talk at some point, and that she wouldn't have to be scared that she had done anything wrong. I could see that she was so relieved that the issue had been brought up and that something would be done about it.

It is to be seen how the situation works out; I hope that the intervention shows the boy what his words cause and that he's going to stop his behavior towards Lily. Keep your finger crossed!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wonderful Wordless Wednesday - Not Always


I'm fascinated by The Doctor's unending optimism, and his trust in unending love.

Linking up with The Mommy Blog Hoppers

The Mommy Blog Hoppers

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Challenge 2013: Book 9 - Girl In Translation

After my intended book for this month fell through (longer line at the library), I accidentially came across this book. As I had nothing else planned (and since I've been an immigrant in the U.S. as well, even though the circumstances could not have been any more different), I thought why not give it a shot.

The Hard Facts:
Title: Girl In Translation
Author: Jean Kwok
320 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Trade; reprint edition (May 3, 2011)
ISBN: 1594485151

Find it on Amazon

The Story:
Kim Chang and her mother, who only recently recovered from tuberculosis, are brought to the U.S. by Mrs. Chang's sister, Paula, who years ago had married an Chinese American man. Back then, Kim's mother was supposed to marry the man from the U.S. herself, but opted for a love marriage with another Hong Kong Chinese and her younger sister ended up marrying the visitor from the U.S. After their arrival, Kim has to adopt the American name Kimberly and is deposited at a run-down, pest-ridden apartment in the Bronx, which are already set for tear-down. Kim is sent to a Middle School in a better neighborhood and her mom is given a job at her brother-in-law's sweatshop. The work is so hard that Kim has to go to the factory to help her mother finish up. Slowly, Kim learns English, she finds a friend at her school, and adjusts to the American lifestyle as much as her extreme poverty allows, always trying to hide her second identity from her friends. Once the language barrier is overcome, Kim shows extraordinary abilities in school, and is offered a full scholarship to a private high school. As Aunt Paula finds out, she is jealous but able to control herself, knowing Kim and her mother under her total control otherwise. During high school, Kim falls in love with a boy also working at the sweat shop, Matt. She sees boys from school, and as Matt starts dating another girl, Kim becomes more serious with another boy from high school, Curt, who she tutors as part of her tuition program. Towards the end of her time in high school, Kim realizes she wants to study to be a doctor at Yale and applies for a scholarship. One day, while Kim is at school, Matt shows up in tears, seeing her hand in hand with Curt. He runs off, but Kim follows him. He tells her that his mother, who had been the one holding the family together had died. Kim, who had known the woman well, is shocked and takes Matt home. There, they sleep together. From then on, they are a couple, enjoying a summer together. Suddenly, Kim finds out that she was accepted to Yale with a full scholarship as Aunt Paula presents the enrollment papers that were sent to her address. Kim calls her out on her jealousy and announces that she and her mother would be moving to a new apartment and also had another job in a jewelry company lined up. However, Matt is not excited about Kim's acceptance at Yale; he asks her to decline and build a life with him, while Kim asks him to come to Yale with her and start out new. However, she realizes that there won't be a compromise that makes both of them happy. She breaks up with Matt, and finds out she's pregnant. Kim panicks, seeing  the life she worked that hard for disappear. Her high school friend Curt offers to marry her to give her the financial freedom to study, but she declines, as she had already made up her mind to have an abortion.
Twelve years later, Kim is a noted pediatric surgeon. One day, Matt comes to her hospital to talk to her. They talked about their lives, and what could have been, if Kim had not had an abortion. Acknowledging the final closure of his relationship, Matt returns to his family, and Kim goes home to her mother - and 12-year old son, Jason.

My Opinion:
A strong book on a strong girl, who doesn't let anything get in her way in achieving her goals. It offers a glimps into the dark world of America, where men, women, and even children slave away for a far below living wage. But I love the message of education and determination being the way out of the slum. I liked the book!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sick As A Dog


The numbers are in, people: 8.5 hours or work without a break weren't the best idea. Had a fever of 102+ this evening, so I'm crawling into the hay, to be emerging sometime later this week. Please bear with my irresponsible self, people!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Social - Bag It!

Sunday Social

Linking once again up with Neely and Ashley for Sunday Social. I'm slowly feeling better and right now am prepared to brave work tomorrow. It'll be a short week for me anyways as I will take off to take care of hubby, who's going to have his surgery on Friday. 

Today's Sunday Social is all about most women's favorite accessory: bags!

1. What is your favorite hand bag you've ever owned?
Robin Ruth Julia "Berlin"

2. What is your dream bag you lust over?
Luis Vuitton Fantaisie
3. What are your daily essentials in your purse or work bag?
My purse is my workbag, rarely I get out one of my little purses for a dinner date or a concert. My essentials are wallet, keys, lip balm, my book for the daily bus rides, a pen, cell phone, case for my glasses.

4. What's in your purse (with pictures)?
No pictures, way too messy right now. Picture the above plus some lose receipt, eye drops, doctor's notice for my boss, some cough drops, a few more pens, a day planner, unglasses.

What is in YOUR bag?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Week In Review - Ten Things Of Thankful (10)


Ten Things of Thankful

It's weekend again, I'm on a unvoluntary break, because the sickness completely got me. But still, there were plenty of things to be thankful for last week:

1. Once again: the hubby, for taking care of me while being sick and right now hosting the traditional "Richtfest" (after the roof is completed). He's absolutely not comfortable doing stuff like that, but he still is, since I have to stay in bed for the weekend.

2. Sleep. Since I have to keep to the bed, I've caught up on weeks and weeks of work.

3. Coworkers, who encourage me to stay home to get fit again and are willing to fill in for me at work.

4. A doctor who doesn't blast me with whatever the chemical industry has in store but carefully weighs the options and rather prescribe natural remedies instead of chemical medication.

5. The girls, who are also wonderfully supportive and let me stay in bed all day.

6. Lily, for drawing a new picture for me every single day last week.

7. For the power situation at the house being solved - for now. The power box on the other side of the road is going to be installed on Wednesday.

8. Tea. Nothing to add  ;-)

9. Doctor Seuss, ingenious! I'm going to watch "The Lorax" with the girl this weekend!!

10. Soup, to keep me warm and helps me to eat at least a little bit.

Thanks so much for hosting once again, Lizzi!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Punch Lines

Finish the Sentence Friday

Linking up with Kate and Janine for another Finish The Sentence Friday. I'll be confined to my bed for the rest of the weekend due to jumping on the band wagon of the year's first flu-like cold wave, yay for me! Getting right to the topic:

I deserve a medal for the time I...

did not punch an old lady in the face who pitied me for "only" having a girl.

A little background: While we lived in Manhattan, KS, hubby and I went out for coffee at the Hastings cafe a lot. One time, just after Lily was born, we happened to hang out there again, when an older lady passed by our table, and started cooing over Lily peacefully sleeping in her stroller. After a minute, she turned around, looked me in the eyes, and said: "Well, you're young and still can have a few sons!". EXCUSE ME?? Seriously?? Her eyes were so cold, I think my smile just froze on my face. And I really had to control myself to not punch her. I definitely think that this is medal-worthy.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Lesser Of Two (Or More) Evils

It's election day next Sunday here in Germany, and honestly, I have never been this undecided before. If feels like no matter what, I cannot make a right decision. The political party landscape is a lot more divers in Germany as it is in the U.S. We have at least 5 parties in our Bundestag (equivalent of the Senate), and the government usually consists of a coalition of 2 parties.

So here are the choices on Sunday:

The conservative party: majority party right now, party of the current chancellor Angela Merkel. While I personally think that she did an awesome job during the economic crisis, I am really disappointed in her reaction during the NSA spy affair. Won't vote for this party, because I'm in general not on the conservative side.

The social democrats: on the center left, hottest contender for the majority party. Candidate for chancellor somehow sounds like a joke; I predict impossible embarrassments in the future shoudl be become chancelor. Some of the proposed changes would be not necessarily to the advantage of our family, and since I don't like voting for the big parties, I won't vote for them as well.

The liberals: used to be my party of choice, especially since they are the coalition partners of the conservatives and would ensure another term for chancellor Merkel. But since both parties are probably going to vote in favor of a free trade agreement with the U.S. (meaning Monsanto getting unlimited access to our markets; so far they would not get licenes for the E.U.). So that one will probably a NOPE as well.

The green pary: coalition partner of the social democrats. Theoretically a good approach, but oftentimes a little bit off the reality. Also: their comments on pedophila was SO off of things that can be acceptable, so there's a no as well.

The left-wing party: A lot of good approaches. I really like that during the campaign they were the only ones who defined clear goals instead of just blurry slogans. Unfortunately, they lose credibility because the are the ones who can make claims like that because they will never be in the position to be held to them; if anything, they will be the third, and smallest party in a ruling coalition with the social democrats and the green party; so no.

Given the choices I have, I might just go ahead and listen to Lily's suggestion to vote for the Pirate Party. Yes, in Germany we actually have a pirate party, is that cool? I totally think so  ;-)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Modern Cooking - Preserving For Winter

You know what I like most about late summer and early fall? Lots and lots of local produce, some of which you can just pick at the side of the road. Unfortunately, right now there's too much goodness to be consumed immediately. So what to do? Even though I've always hated helping my mom with it when I was a child, I've now taken up preserving myself. In much smaller scale, but still. That's what I have done during the last weeks:

Blackberry Jam with Elderflower Syrup:
Inspired by Susannah's Blackberry Jam, I spontaneously took Lily out blackberry picking. Our loot wasn't the best, but I just loved taking her on a typical North-Western late-summer past time. So what to do? I asked my neighbor for some empty jam containers, and on we went on our very first preserving adventure. Since I had gotten a bottle of home-made elderflower syrup from my coworker a couple of weeks earlier, I scratched the sugar, and used the syrup instead. We mashed the berries with a fork, added the syrup and a few teaspoons of pectine, boiled it until it bubbled, and filled it in the glasses. The result? Not sweet at all, so fruity, and the special elderflower aroma. Delicious! Can't wait to put some on our thumbprint cookies for the holidays!
Yummie, let me tell you!

Apple Sauce
I personally can't stand the over-sweetened taste of apple sauces from the store. When I got a bowl of little apples from my neighbor, I took the opportunity and made some home-made apple sauce. It's SO easy! Peel your apples and cut them into small pieces. Put in a sauce pan, add water to cover about an inch  of the pot and some sugar (I used about 1 cup of water, 2 teaspoons of sugar, and 6 or 9 tiny apples). Bring water to a boil and cook covered until the apples are soft. Blend, if you like smooth apple sauce, or if you prefer chunky apple sauce, just pour it directly into a jar. If you like, you can add a cinnamon stick or some other pices to add extra flavor to the apple sauce. We just kept it simple and chunky.

Other things to preserve for the winter:
Cherries (as jam, baked into a cake and frozen, or remove the stone and freeze)
Peaches (as preserve, jam, or cut in pieces and frozen)
Tomatoes (as tomatoe sauce)
Bell peppers (grill under the broiler, fill in glass and cover with olive oil)
Cucumbers (pickled)
Pears (as preserve, pear sauce, in a rum pot, or cut in pieces and frozen)

Things you can preserve, but it's gross somehow:
Pig feet

 Are you preserving goodies for the winter? Please share your recipes!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Out Sick...

 Sorry folks, I need to call in a sick day, lots of sleep, rest, and tea. Hope to be back tomorrow!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Lily-isms To Live By

I have an incredibly wise-girl sitting at home. She regularly cracks us all up, and I have to admit - shame on me - that I should have been much better at writing them done, maybe make a compilation for her when she turns 18 - which will never EVER happen!!!  Here a couple of goodies:

We are a bilingual family, hubby speaks English to them, I speak German. Following conversation was therefore in German.
Lily: Mami, can you read "Curious George" to me?
Me: Go ask Daddy, it's an English book.
Lily: Mami, can you even speak English?
Me: Yes, of course. But can YOU speak English?
Lily: No, because I want to speak RIGHT!!

Just before Easter, the kindergarten covered the Christian Easter story:
Lily (very matter-of-factish): Mami, Jesus is a zombie!
Me: Why do you think so?
Lily: Well, the teachers said he died on the cross and then came back, that's what zombies do!
*A true nerd in the making*

Early in the morning, I'm getting ready for work as Lily walks into the bathroom.
Lily: Mami, I just farted, and the fart told me: "Lily, go poop!"

After one of her swim classes, walking up to her instuctor, who happened to be a young, good-looking guy:
Lily: Anton, you're pretty!
*Leaves a speechless swim instructor*

One night, while bruhing out her hair:
Lily: Mami, can I have another one of your hair clippies tomorrow?
Me: No, you broke the one I gave you this morning!
Lily (voice dripping with sarcasm): Mami, you'll survive it!
*Did I just hear myself speaking??*

On cheating in a game:
Lily: I'm not cheating, I just win better!
*Are you getting philosophic on me at age 3???*

Good night, everyone! And have a good start into a new week!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Week In Review - Ten Things Of Thankful (9)

Ten Things of Thankful

Fall is definitely here, with all its ugliness: rain, rain, and some more rain, because there wasn't enough rain before. But at least, I can sleep again at night. And break out the umbrella  ;-)

This weeks Ten Things I'm incredible Thankful for:

1. A very responsible Lily. I got home from work this week, when she grabbed me and took me her room. All her jigsaw puzzles were neatly stacked next to the books, her coloring books sorted on her little desk, and her bed made. WOW!!

2. The hubby, for keeping my chocolate supply well stacked.

3. Sweetie, for being so absolutely sweet and rubbing my back.

4. Crap Weather tea (yes, it's called like that, Sauwetter-Tee in German).

5. My annual review going REALLY well.

6. Nice neighbors at the new house.

7. Our building site manager finally getting his nose out of the rule books and being creative to finish this house.

8. Champagne at work as a "thank you" for a job well done.

9. A second 10k finished despite a chest cold and sucky weather.

10. Hot showers.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and thank you for hosting, Lizzi!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Summer of 2013 - Memories

Finish the Sentence Friday

Linking up with Janine and Kate for Finish The Sentence Friday. Today, I was accused by Mr. P-Bomb that I was the one responsible for the current weather (overcast, rain showers, kind of coolish, not very nice), because I liked fall. Well, what I actually meant was the kind of mid-50s, sunny, breezy, earthy, colorful leaves kind of fall, but that's obviously too difficult of a concept for him to grasp. Anyways, summer is definitely past (for now), therefore, this week's sentence:

My best summertime memory this year was...

... the wedding we were invited to attend. The girls were in the wedding party, the weather was perfect, the couple glowing, just a very beautiful celebration of love and commitment.

There were many other beautiful moments, our family vacation, the summer concert, and other fun outings, but if I have to pick my favorite, it's the wedding, hands down  ;-)

Re-purposing the flower basket

Sweety posing

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Wakefield Doctrine Applied To Starbucks Execs

Clark from the Wakefield Doctrine blog mentioned to me at some point that it is supposed to be easier to classify others before classifying oneself in the three world view personalities. To me, it always seems easier looking at myself first before focusing on others; but since I tend to be a weird person, the thought of the worldview of the Starbucks execs, who have finally decided to introduce my beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte here in Germany after I was nagging them for the last 3 years about it, just didn’t go out of my mind.

Thinking about the three personalities, conveniently named Scott, Clark, and Roger, in connection with the Starbucks execs, it is not easy to determine which category they should be placed in; actually, depending on the different motivations of the decision, it could be either.

Scott (the predator or pack animal): The execs are a group of Scotts, who are once again targeting a new group to maximize their gain. This time, their victims are the not too insignificant group of expats and ex-expats (like myself), who are craving pumpkin-y goodness.

Clark (the outsider or loner): The Clark execs analyzed the marked situation and determined that there was indeed a market for this beverage. They give the crowd what they want.

Roger (the emotional one or herd animal): The Roger execs feel sympathy for their baristas, who are constantly harassed about Pumpkin Spice Latte, and probably also feel with the (ex-)expats far away from their favorite fall beverage, and therefore decided to finally introduce it (there is also a chance that the Roger execs crave it themselves).

What do you think, Clark, Denise, and others??

Cheers!  (Source)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wonderful Wordless Wednesday - The Doctor's Fate

It never gets old, and it's so powerful.

Linking up for yet another Wonderful Wordless Wednesday, and yes, Janine, I'm staying true to myeld (and The Doctor)  ;-)

The Mommy Blog Hoppers

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What's Going On In My Head?

Well, this is the question we'd tried to solve today. For years, I've been dealing with sinus infections all winter long. Last year was especially bad, and I have absolutely no desire to spent another winter like that. That is why I went to see a specialist a week ago, who referred me on to radiology, for a little CT shooting:

The result? Nothing. A minor deviation of the nasal septum, completely normal. A mild swelling of the nasal membranes, nothing unusual either. The sinus cavities are clear as well. So what is it?

The pain in my cheek bones and forehead may be due to cramped up muscles in my neck. But the constant congestion? It might be an allergy, but I don't believe that. I'm going to have another appointment with the specialist after she's back from vacation, can't wait to finally get an answer!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Nazis On The Loose

I hope you all had a great weekend. We sure did, so Monday was bound to suck. And so it did. What happend? Nazis, that's what happens. And not simply those nasty skinheads you see from miles away and can avoid. No, it was those even nastier kind, the pig-faced, suit-wearing kind of nazis that hide behind a fringe party that around here no-one wants to see or listen to. On their "March through Germany".

A little background info on the issue: Germany is currently taking in thousands and thousands of refugees from Syria. We are not really prepared to take in so many people. The refugee laws here need revision (especially when it comes to allowing the people to work) and many small back-country communities are hesitant (to be polite) to accept emergency quarters for those poor people being set up on short notice. A lot of prejudice still prevails, of an increase in crime, a lack of knowledge and a portion of hesitance meeting a completely foreign culture and traumatized people.

And this is when those pigs step up. Feed those fears, tell people that most of these refugees are not really fleeing for their lives but enter the country to feed off the social benefits, to have an easy life on our taxes, while German retirees are living at the poverty line, while our health system is crashing, and our jobs are insecure. Yeah right, morons!

So I arrived at about 7:30, just when the first police cars pulled up. They spent hours of putting up gates as more and more cops arrived. At the end there were al least twice as many cops a a couple of weeks earlier, when Chancellor Merkel was in town for a campain speech. Forty cops, a full intersection blocked off, our entire building locked up (not to forget cost of several dozens of our people getting coffee more frequently than usual to check on the progress out there). For the cost of this bizarre spectacle, they could have provided the necessities for at least a hundred refugees for a whole month.

And how was the demonstration? Well, a 5 ton truck with disgusting slogans, one moron blurting out his bs through a microphone, about 20 counter-protesters, a ton of noise of all the church bells in the area tolling to drown the nazi, and about 40 or so bored cops in full battle equipment.

Why do I feel so strongly about it? Because I am married to a foreigners, because my daughers have foreign passports, because their skinheads friends would gladly beat my entire family to pulp while the pig-faced suits are watching, just because they have different passports.

You will never hear me say that I am ashamed for being German, but today, I was ashamed of those barely-humans being Germans.

Sounding out for now, good-night everyone, and have a peaceful night.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday Social - Fall Is Coming

Sunday Social

Ashley is out sick today, so I am linking up with Neely for Sunday Social, this week it's all about my favorite season, coming this months!!

1. What is your favorite fall activity?
Walks in the forest, collecting colorful leaves, acorns, and chestnuts. I'd say the corn maze, but our local maze is going to be cut down next week or the week after. Hope we'll make it before that!

2. Do you follow a football team? If so, which one and why?
Easy and simple: Nope. No football fans in our house!

3. What is something fun about fall in your area?
The woods, definitely. And in early November the lantern walk the kids do in kindergarten  ;-)

4. What are your favorite fall staple outfits?
Ohh, fashion again  ;-)  I'd say corduroy pants or jeans, layered sweaters, sneakers?? Definitely time to break out the scarves again!

5. What things are you looking forward to most about this coming fall season?
The progress on the house, fall crafting, crisp, maybe even some frost. Candles and of course Pumpkin Spice Latte!!

6. What is your favorite fall holiday or tradition?
Thanksgiving. We are hosting a dinner for friends and family each year, and I can't wait to have a really big bash next year at the new house. It's specially important to us as it is a tradition we're treasuring in Germany to help keeping the American traditions alive for the girls and, of course, the hubby.

Have a wonderful new week, everyone!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Week in Review - Ten Things of Thankful (8)

Ten Things of Thankful

Yes, it's that time of the week again, and I'd like to give a big "heads-up" to the wonderful Lizzi (aka Considerer), who came up with this awesome link-up, and who definitely seems to need the support this week. Hugs to you, Lizzi!!

Luckily, the 10 things I am thankful for this week are going to come much easier this week than last:

1. Having lots of work to do every day, makes the time at work go by faster.

2. Yet another box of chocolates under my pillow (love you to pieces, hubby!!)

3. Having a hubby who has such a wonderful sense of humor. He got his first set of braces this week (not regular braces but a contruction that stretches across his upper jaw and is fixed to his canines and molars, it looks scary!!) and cannot talk. I felt so sorry for him and tried really hard not to giggle. He noticed, picked up a book and started reading to me until I couldn't contain myself any more. Love him even more for THAT!

4. Sleep, when I get it.


6. A new running buddy, who even though she had troubles starting into round II finished all three laps of the race!!

7. The girls singing songs.

8. Peaches from the neighbor's tree.

9. The absolutely best stuffed zucchini, also courtesy of our neighbor's garden.

10. For my friend's husband to be home, even though it's only for 2 weeks, and being able to get to see them tonight!!

11. A fun playdate this morning.

12. Home-made latte in my gigantic mug.

Looking forward to reading everyone's responses and wishing everyone a wonderful rest of the weekend!! Thanks, once again, for hosting, Lizzi!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ready For Fall!

People, it is actually happening:


Yes, I have learned today that starting October 1, my local Starbucks is going to have Pumpkin Spice Latte! I'm beyond excited. I had to do without for the last three fall seasons, but finally, my craving will be served. Three years of nagging and constantly trolling th Erlangen Starbucks seemed to have worked. You know where you'll find me come October 1!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - One Of The Best Love Stories Ever...

By general request (ok, Janine's request), another Doctor-inspired Wordless Wednesday. If you like a love story, aver very, very good love story, this is the one for you!


No link-up today, it seems, but that won't stop my Doctor Who craze.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

MIA - Translating

I'm out today, ending my procrastination spell and doing some major translating for one of my best friends.  See you all tomorrow.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Monday Lists

What am I doing on a fall-ish Monday, with little motivation to get to the job I've actually planned for tonight (i.e. some translations that need to be done by Saturday)? Procrastinating watching some Top 10 Lists on YouTube with the Hubby (for a lack of good movies). Here are my favorites (not suitable for children or weak stomachs!!):

Can't wait to watch Leprichaun for Halloween!

Feels more real.. Unfortunately..

Just LOVE Quentin Tarantino!

Definitely no sparkling here!

Weekend morning favorites for me and the girls  ;-)

For more lists (and to be honest, lists are awesome!!) check out the WatchMojo channel on YouTube!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sunday Social - That A Summer!

Sunday Social

Sunday already?? No way! Ok, reality sinks in; I was somewhat productive this weekend, getting some chores out of the way I'd been procrastinating on for way too long. This afternoon is spent indoctrinating the girls with my love for Bollywood movies; and honestly, what is there NOT to love about all those colors, the dresses, music, dance, and songs? Except that I am now obsessed with attending a Holi fest. Hope the hubby won't let me  ;-)

As today is the first day of fall, (in the meteorological meaning, not the astronomical), let's have a Sunday Social review of this summer (hosted as usual by Ashley):

1. What was your favorite trip/vacation/activity this summer?
I have to say our trip down to Weiden for the wedding was the best. We were so glad having been invited to witness two people pledging their lives to each other, and our girls being in the wedding party :-)

Our vacation in the Bavarian Forest was a close second though. Just getting out, away from the computer, spending time with each other, I'm very thankful we had the opportunity to do this!

And in terms of activities, I have to mention the family summer concert the hubby played in, so much fun for everyone!

2. What was your favorite outfit/look/clothing item this summer?
No, please not a fashion question. Everyone knows that I cannot do fashion. I definitely loved my crochet lace flats and the dress I bought for the wedding, even though it took me a while to get used to it.

3. What is one thing you wished you'd gotten to do this summer?
Going to one of the fun parks around here. And visit my cousin. But there's still time while the weather is nice!

4. What was your favorite song of this summer?
Since yesterday was the official last day of (meteorological) summer, I will say Felix Meyer and band. They were playing in the street yesterday (I'm happy they still do that, as they start as a street performance act and made it into the charts here). This recording is not the best acoustic-wise, but I loved them from the beginning, especially that song! (Joy, keep your eyes out for them!!!)

5. What was yor favorite movie/TV show of the summer?
Caught again! We don't get to the movies much (as in: not since last year), and I'm not a fan of most TV shows. Probably go with "A Game Of Thrones", because the last season ended somewhat summer-ish.