Friday, July 30, 2010

Marlboro Country

Well, I spent 2 great days in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. Did you know you can buy cigarettes practically ANYWHERE?

NC is a lot like GA - hot, humid, sweet tea available by the gallon. It was a quick trip but now I can say that I've been there!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

God's Country

I have been homesick. Like really bad. And not just for family - I have seen them several times over the last few months. I needed to be HOME. In South Dakota. Here's from our 2 days of fun!!! (Click on any individual photo to make it bigger and enjoy the detail of God's Country.)

LOOK AT ME!!!!!!!!!! This is the new tractor with quite the cockpit inside. Very high-tech.

The dream team...missing Uncle Keith of course. Jeff was not prepared to work that day (notice the nice shorts and shirt). Of course he did anyway.

Dad's purple rig and his ever present companion, Mason

This is in the plot just behind the house, nearest the drying bins.

I climbed up another bin to capture this shot - looking west from the farm, along WBC23

Bonding time with dad is better with a 2 was putting a ginormous propane tank up on blocks. Two payloaders, 5 guys, and one girl later, we got it done.

My favorite part of the Toy Shed (in addition to Lord Calvert)

The farm from down the road

Ahhh...prairie. Driving up to the north farm.

I love this shot. You could HEAR the corn growing.

Nothing beats straight from the stalk sweet corn. YUM!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back on schedule?

The Household is off schedule. Ever since that tricky 3-hour time difference in Las Vegas a month ago, we have been struggling. After that trip I was back for a week, then it was a 3-day holiday (aka sleep in). Then a week on German time (+6 hours). And here we are now.

The past month has been too much. I am tired all the time, but then can't sleep when I need to. Jeff snoozes when I am awake. I nap while Jeff is up. It just isn't working!

To top it off, our next Workout Challenge has been a semi-failure. Not a collossal failure, but we are not making the 5 days a week of working's probably been 3 days a week, at best, during this last month. Which is less frequent than the first Challenge. And that is depressing as well.

So the answer is easy, right? Just be disciplined to go to bed early, even if you're not tired, and wake up early and work out, just to get back on track.

But WHY IS DISCIPLINE SO HARD??? I would much rather watch an episode of NCIS than go to bed. And that snooze button is abused in the mornings.

I think discipline must be easier when you are on schedule. And schedule is easier when you are disciplined. So which one comes first? And how do I grasp it?

Friday, July 16, 2010

My last German post

I am on board the plane, getting ready to depart for JFK from TXL.
Hopefully this 9 and a half hour flight will go quickly. I tried to go
to bed late and get up early to facilitate readjusting to the time

I of course shopped at duty free and ALMOST purchased a new fragrance
- but I could not convert the price of 48 euro to find out if it is
more or less than the 67 USD. Oh well, at least I smell nice for the
flight ;)

I have a repeat flight attendant on this trip back who I talked to at
length during the trip over. She has brought me a bunch of extra water
and I think will be a great help during this long flight!

Well, I have just received a USA Today (and another water bottle) so I
think it is time to sit back, relax, and enjoy my flight. TA TA

Sent from my mobile device

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Berlin Canal Cruise

Last full day today before leaving tomorrow morning to come home. I
hate to admit I am homesick...for Jeff, my girls, American a/c,
salads, bigger toilet seats...

Anyway we made the last day worth our while and had it packed full
again with work till abou 1630. Then, a canal cruise (one-hour tour)!
This cruise went through the "old" city center, most which had been on
the East Berlin side of Alexanderplatz. A LOT of the commentary ended
with "this has since been rebuilt as it was destroyed in the war".

Some of the highlights we toured in further detail after the cruise:

Berliner Dom also known as the Berlin Cathedral. Protestant church and
home to one of the oldest organs in Berliner. The dome was bombed with
a fireball in 1944 and as it collapsed it damaged much of the inside.
Restoration was not completed until 2002.

Museum Island - most of the museum space, including 5 museum
buildings, are found here.
Television tower - overlooks the city and has a rotating restaurant.
When Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006, it was decorated like a
soccer ball.

We walked a bit more and stopped at the Block House where I had a
filet mignon. Not very German, I know but I couldn't handle any more
rich food!

Tonight I am sad to pack up and leave Germany. I think I will plan for
my family to return before Christmas to see the traditional St Nick,
decorations, and shop at one of 63 hand craft Christmas markets.

Guten nacht!

Sent from my mobile device

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tiring out

Wow. We have been working SOOO hard and I am totally exhausted today.
Between the jet lag, the job duties in general, and the heat, I hate
to tell you I didn't even leave the hotel tonight when we were done
around 1730. We did walk around Alexanderplatz a little before
heading back but my heart was not in it. My colleagues braved more
walking tonight but I took a nap, then shower, then dinner at the

Tomorrow will be interesting as one appointment includes a tour of a
hotel still under construction - those are always kind of fun to see
in process. Hopefully tomorrow on our last full day, after working,
we will do either a city bus or boat tour. I'll tell you more later.
Bye for now :)

Sent from my mobile device

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Water, please

Today, I paid 8 euro for water. I am still thirsty and it seems like a
bottle does not even fill a tumbler glass. I have decided water from
the bathroom sink must be fine and have filled and refilled my
reusable purple one. Hopefully that will help as it has been sooo hot
and humid and I have barely peed today!!! (TMI? Tough. It's my

After a full day of work, my team and I went to see more sights tonight.

Land of the churches
I love looking at beautiful old churches and in Germany you can find
lots. We had the pleasure of touring 2 today, or really two in one.
Kaiser-wilhelm-Gedachtnis-kirche, a very old structure with beautiful
stained glass and whose steeple is missing from Allied bombings during
WWII, and Schuke-Orgel chapel built in 1962 and today was hosting an
organ concert which we were able to sit and enjoy for 15 minutes.

And shopping
KaDeWe is full of fun surprises! We walked Germany's most famous
shopping district where high end stores abound. Chanel, Louis Vuitton,
Gucci, Bulgari, Tiffany, Tod's etc were nestled together and
surrounded by stores like Zara, Benetton, Esprit, and Diesel. Heaven
for window shopper like me!

And the gays
Not quite like what you can see on the streets of Amsterdam but all of
a sudden we found ourselves by the Axel Hotel and where every store
contained a rainbow art photo in their storefront. Oops, we went a
little off path but got some local flair!

Food, again
Dinner was sauteed (fried) pork with mushroom sauce and Spaetle, plus
2 glasses of Mueller Thurgau. Best meal so far. I even went to the
supermarket to look for wine to bring home (no luck. Must go to
Reichenau for that I suppose).

After a short 10 minute walk it was back to home sweet hotel home for
the evening. A workout plus sleep will be perfect for the night

Sent from my mobile device

Monday, July 12, 2010


Hello Deuschtland! I left ATL on Sunday around 12:30pm for JFK and
connected for my first class seat to TXL at 7:00pm Sunday night. After
some great service and pretty good food, I settled in for an hour nap
during the 8-1/2 hour flight. Then of course it was freshen up time
and a granola and fruit breakfast.

We arrived around 10am and picked up a cab - a very unGermanlike free
for all to get a taxi outside. No lines, no order. It was crazy - my
bum blocking dudes in suits are the only reason we ended up with a

After settling into our hotel, I took a quick nap from about 11:30am
till 3pm, worked out on the elliptical, and met everyone for some
touring and traditional German food.

Tonight was 2 huge Pilsners, and a meal of 6 sausages, mashed potatoes
with brown gravy, and sauerkraut. I was going to do weinerschnitzel
but to continue walking and touristing in 97 degrees with fried food
did not seem like a great idea.

Next we saw Checkpoint Charlie, the only point where the wall could be
crossed. There is a museum and a TON of plaques etc to read so we
spent some time there. Then we saw the glory of East German
engineering, the stock car they gave to every family. We saw the
longest continuous remaining piece of the Wall and read the stories of
those who tried to escape. Then we saw Hitler's bunker which is just
kind of a grassy knoll.

A Haagan Daas sorbet later and I am ready for bed! Tomorrow is a full
work day but I am sure we will do something in th evening since it
doesn't get dark till almost 10:30. Bye for now!

Sent from my mobile device

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Inspiration for Creative Minds

The day after my new niece was born, I saw this great article about raising kids to have creative minds (and of course I took note, since there is a new baby around).

This mom is advocating saving your money to afford traveling, going on vacations, experiencing other cultures, and giving your kids exposure to new things. She believes her girls are more well-rounded, better versed, and much more creative after having these experiences. After reading this poem by her 11-year-old daughter, I might agree.

Where I’m From - By Carrington , Age 11.
I am from Italy
Where the hills of Tuscany rolled on and on
Where Viareggio’s warm water made my smile grow
Where I held up the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Where gondolas were seen at every corner

I am from Florida
Where mosquitos sucked while the sun set
Where islands surrounded me
Where rain, wind, thunder, and lighting collided with a BANG!
Where seashells floated around my feet

I am from Canada
Where cows linger outside my window
Where the sand is red, and not white
Where snow drops delicately on my hair
Where most moments freeze my fingers

I am from London
Where I spent a night at many hotels
Where I watch the London eye (and it watches me)
Where Christmas and snow create heaven
Where fancy dresses and coats are worn often

I am from Mexico
Where I watched jet skis zoom past me
Where I wrote my name in the sand
Where I walked a walked across water(only to fall in with a large SPLASH!)
Where I watched celebrities play poker

I am from New York
Where the Nutcracker astounds me each year
Where freshly cold air fill my lungsWhere exhibits amaze me every time
Where dresses and dancers waltzed across the stage

I am from California
Where family is everywhere
Where I opened my first book
Where I jumped under water before I could float
Where every song holds a treasured memory

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birth Day!

Happy Birth Day to the newest member of our (extended) family, little Madeline Olivia. She was born today at 12:57PM at a nice 7 lbs, 7oz.

(I better get busting tail on my two-thirds completed crocheted baby blanket.)

Yay! I am an auntie again!!! And I am so thrilled to buy pink...Madeline, prepare to be spoiled!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Should I audition?

Yikes. My reminder I set for myself about 6 months ago popped up. It says, "Call ASO for audition."

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Choir only takes choir member auditions in July. They also rehearse on Mondays - and I am ALWAYS here on Mondays so it would be perfect.

And Jeff pointed out that I am never happier in life than when singing in a group (preferably with lots of solos....just kidding. Kind of.). BUT - I am extremely rusty and out of shape, and know if I went to audition it would likely be hideous. And then I would suffer rejection and I HATE not being awesome.

BUT I really want a group to sing in. And not a sucky, community group, but one that does difficult-ish music and where I can be part of creating magical moments.

What are your thoughts, friends? Carpe Diem? Or wait till next time? (I am leaning towards Carpe Diem myself.)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Independence Day

Three words that are music to my ears: 3-day weekend. WOOHOO!

We started out Friday night like any other Friday - catching up on TV shows and going out for Greek food (yummy gyros).

Saturday was project day - Jeff decided to secure our house by purchasing deadbolts for our various doors. After a trip to Home Depot, a trip to Lowe's, and about 10 hours of work, our house now has new handles and deadbolts on our garage entry door, our basement door, and the patio door. We are almost break-in-proof!

Next, in a few weekends, I think we are going to put motion sensors up at the corners of the house. (BTW, did any of you ever watch "To Catch A Thief" on TLC? I loved that show. My hope is to make our house less appealing to break into than our neighbor's place.)

On Sunday we went to the new Twlight movie - Eclipse. It was AWE-SOME! Although less campy and more dramatic than the first (I personally liked the campy lines), it was still filled with plenty of young meat, er men, and their bare chests. (Favorite line, by Edward, to Bella as Jake walks up: "Sheesh, doesn't he own a shirt?")

We stopped by the grocery store and picked up grilling supplies, and then had over our neighbors for burgers and brats. We finished up the night with a campfire and s'mores, and plenty of fountain cones set off in our driveway.

Monday was a day of rest - my ass-mar was flared up by the firepit and smoke from fireworks so we just laid low, sitting on the front porch for awhile, napping, crocheting (pretty much my ideal day).

Did you blow off any fingers this weekend? Our household remains unscathed!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Teach for America

Is anybody in the mood to relocate? We are NOT. I don't think we will move again for quite a while!!! But, if you are, there is a great Supply Chain Management opportunity at a really impactful non-profit in NY. I received this lead from a colleague of mine and am pleased to pass it on to you.

The Company: Teach For America is the national corps of top recent college graduates who commit to teach for at least two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunity. Our mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting the nation's most promising future leaders in the effort.

The Job: Director of Purchasing. Responsible for strategic sourcing, contracting, negotiations, project management, supplier management, cost management.

The Prereqs: 3 years experience; BA/BS (preferably in finance, economics, engineering or operations management); MBA preferred; telecommunications experience preferred

Click here to read more and apply.