The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Monday, August 31, 2009


We finally sold our house in Tennessee!!!!! We got an offer on it on the 3rd of August and closed it today! It's been on the market since March, and we had to lower the price by $11K (which meant we would make next to nothing off the sale) , but it's no longer ours and we are not paying a mortgage on a house that is empty. Huzzah! I didn't want to say anything, because I didn't want to jinx it, but our Realtor (my former team leader, when I was a Realtor) called a little while ago and said it was closed and we are no longer home owners! I know it seems silly to say we're happy to no longer own a home, but that extra thousand dollars a month that we will see back in our pockets makes us crazy happy.
While I'm glad it's no longer our responsibility, I look at the photo with fond memories. It wasn't a huge house or even a great house to be honest (though it was new when we bought it and served our purposes well), but it was the first house M and I have ever bought. We had good times there and I hope the new owners will as well. Now, what shoes should I buy first to celebrate? :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Random Thoughts Tuesday! No real title

Tuesday's child is full of...grace? fair of face? crap? Ah, who knows. I'm just glad Tuesday is here. Why? Have you never read my blog before? It's randomness all around!


*I was actually born on a Tuesday. Maybe that's why I like RTT so much.

*We're 3 weeks into home school and I'm already looking forward to our first break. It's not that it's hard or boring, I just miss loafing around on the sofa watching TV all day. :)

*Indy has a milk allergy (to the protein, not lactose), but loves yogurt. In fact I'd go so far as to say he's obsessed with it. He's okay with soy yogurt, but full fat milk yogurt is his favorite. He wants to eat it every day. Unfortunately, it does not agree with his digestive tract and is bad news for anyone within a 20 ft radius of him.

*Pepper had to go to the vet yesterday because she has a really bad cough. Turns out her trachea is partially collapsed. They think it's because she has a bacterial infection. If not, they think she may have asthma. My poor sweetie. She seems okay though, and despite her age (13) and being *slightly* overweight, she's in excellent health otherwise.

*Is it wrong that sometimes I watch SpongeBob even if Indy isn't around?

*The banana tree is not a true fruit at all but a giant herb and the banana is actually its berry.

*Sometimes I hate cooking.

*I heart Stephen Colbert. John Stewart, not so much, but Colbert, bring it!

*After my training session today I wanted Oreos so badly, I nearly wept. I did NOT get any, because it would have negated all that hard work I'd done, but still, I wanted them.

*Because of Force Protection all the roads in and out of our housing area are blocked off except for one road in and one out. Where we come in there is a dead end road (we turn to the left to get in to the housing complex) with a bike path the comes around the corner. Bikes come whipping around the corner very quickly and without looking to see if there is a car. M is always saying that there is going to be an accident. Yesterday when I was coming home from an errand, the way in was pretty much blocked by Polezei cars, MP cars and an ambulance. Up at the front I saw a car and bike. Not good. When I finally made it to the entrance I asked the guard what happened. He said a bike came around the corner and HIT the car. Yes, you read that correctly, the bike hit the car. Fortunately the bike rider was okay, but still. Maybe they'll put up a sign warning the bikes.

*The show ROME is awesome. I'm sad it only lasted 2 seasons, but they were an awesome 2 seasons. The show is naughty!

*I was so exhausted today (stupid anemia), I came home from the gym, showered and fell asleep on the sofa for about 2 hours. Oh, the horror! The dogs loved it though. They get excited anytime one of us lays down. Sleeping is their favorite thing to do.

Okay, I think I'm done for the day. Oh, no! I'm not! I forgot about the funny sign. Here you go:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dear So and So 8: I've run out of cool titles

Dear So and So...

Ah, Friday! Sweet, sweet Friday. Where have you been all week? I've missed you. You know you've become one of my favorite days thanks to Kat and her super duper "Dear So and So" party. Let's get on with the letters, shall we?

Dear Italian construction crew working outside my building,

I understand that you're just trying to make my building a better, prettier place to live by using up the remainder of the DPW budget before the end of the fiscal year, and really, I appreciate it. I do. I really, really do. I have one teensy-tiny little favor to ask though. Instead of working from 7-3, do you think maybe, just maybe you could work say, 8-4 instead? Yes, I'm sure you want to kick off earlier in the day,and really, I can't blame you for that, but the sound of concrete being dumped into a bin at 7 am is really, really scary. I'm sure it would be scary at 8 too, but I'm usually still in bed at 7 (don't hate me) and being awoken to an earth shattering sound (which also makes the windows rattle, BTW) is so not cool. Could you think about it? Please? Also, why are you working in Germany?


Dear Arf,

I know you think you're a Rottweiler, but you're not. You're 4 lbs of fury and I respect that. Grrrrr! You're a big dog. Grrrrr! However, you look a little but insane when you try to attack a dog who's waste is larger than you. It's kind of embarrassing. Could you please reign it in, just a smidge? As a favor? Remember, I feed you.


Dear Dutch,

Happy Birthday, buddy! You've given us 9 wonderful years of love. You're dumb as a box of rocks, but we love you and don't mind that you occasionally run into walls.

Kisses and extra treats,

Dear Pepper,

I have no letter for you, but I didn't want you to feel left out. We love you too, even though you're pretty much blind and deaf and are starting to make weird smells in your old age.


Dear Kitchen,

YOU. ARE. A. MESS. I clean you and you're all pretty and clean and then BAM! you're a mess again. How does this happen?


Dear M,

When I asked you to clean the kitchen last night as I was writhing on the sofa in agony from food poison, I kind of meant for you to actually clean it. Stacking stuff in the sink and on the counter for me to deal with today, is NOT cleaning the kitchen. You know we're supposed to go on a date tonight right? Not cleaning the kitchen for me, does not exactly put me in a loving mood. Something to think about.


Dear Personal Trainer,

I know I gripe about how you're trying to kill me a lot occasionally, but I can see that the torture hard work is starting to pay off. I still hate to sweat though, so could we maybe find something else that doesn't involve me dripping onto the mats or machines? Cause I'd really appreciate it.


Dear Weather,

Could you make up your freaking mind? All weather stations were reporting 98-101 degrees yesterday and today we have a high of 69? This is very confusing and wreaking havoc on my sinuses, wardrobe choices and allergies. If you want it to be summer, be summer (though really, I'm so over summer), but if you want it to be fall (yes, please!), then be freaking fall. Quit with all the back and forth. I do not like it.

Hot (or maybe chilly, I don't know anymore),

Dear people from my mom's Gold Wing group,

Welcome to my blog. I must say I'm kind of embarrassed by the attention I seem to be getting from you. Feel free to look around. If you choose to leave a comment, please don't use my name. If you see something you think my mom won't like, please don't tell her. She doesn't read every post (thank goodness).


Well, I guess that's all for today. I'm sure I'll think of more stuff just after I post this. Don't you hate that? Don't forget to click on the button up top to head over and read the other letters.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Random Thoughts Tuesday: Socks, allergies and School House Rock


Ran-dom! Ran-dom! Ran-dom! <--- That's my "mental audience" cheering me on in my head. What? Don't you have a mental audience? If not, you should totally get one. When dh says something stupid I don't comment, but look to my mental audience and then back at dh. To be fair, dh does the same to me, though his audience doesn't get nearly as many looks as mine. :)

Hunh, that was pretty random. Yay me! On with the regularly scheduled randomeness:

*Can randomness be scheduled? Apparently it can: Tuesdays.

*I cannot wear socks when I sleep. I feel like I'm suffocating. Isn't that weird? I don't breath through my feet! I also have no problem with blankets being on my feet, but socks make me crazy.

*Despite the fact that I know I can't wear socks while I sleep, I wear them to bed almost every night. Craziness! I know! Actually, I put them on because every night I put Vaseline on my feet to keep them soft. I have to put socks onto keep it from getting all over my sheets while it soaks in. My grandmother used to do this for both her hands and feet (she wore light weight cotton gloves to bed!) and had the softest hands. I don't know about her feet, but I'm assuming it worked because it keeps mine soft and pretty. When you wear high heels (especially high heeled sandals) you need pretty feet. I hate when people have that gross cracked skin on their heels. Ick! Get some Vaseline! I wear a light weight low sock (the kind you can wear with sneakers and not see them) and while I'm sure it sounds super sexy (haha!) dh actually likes that I do this, because other wise I would put my "icy feet of death" (his words) on him.

*At some point during the night, I take my socks off. I don't know how, but they are always off and on floor beside the bed when I wake up. WHAT? Do I do this with my hands? Do I do it with my feet? How do they end up on the floor? It is a mystery.

*Today Indy and I studied verbs for grammar. We watched the School House Rock segment about verbs and I've been singing it all day. "to run, to slide, to jump, to LOOOOOO-OOOOVE!" Man, I love SHR. Remember it on Saturday mornings when you were a kid? "As your body grows big-ger, your mind will flow-er. It's great to learn, 'cause knowledge is power!" If you don't own this DVD, you should. Make your kids watch it. I promise they'll love it. Who doesn't love 'Conjunction Junction?' *Allergies suck. A lot.

*My space bar is still sticking so I have to be very observant when I type. Stupidspacebar!Freakingworkalready!!!!!

*Albert Einstein didn't wear socks. Think his feet were sweaty?

*I lost a follower. It makes me so sad. What did I do wrong?

*M says 'Spaghettioes' smell like poor people. Um, what?

*I just watched the Today Show segment on flip flops and the germs that reside on them and now remember WHY I don't own any. GROSS! BTW, I get the Today Show at 1pm (7am in NY) so I watched it while eating. Nice. I'm totally going to go Lysol all my shoes now.

*I had a great session with my trainer today. She complimented me WITHOUT a backhand! She said I looked trimmer. It's true. I do. There is much less top to the muffin when I put my pants on. Too much info?

*And finally, I'd like to thank our Canadian friends for this little bit of humor. It is awesome. North Vancouver, you rawk!

Roman Fest in Trier: Part II

Did you catch what I did there?  That’s right, used Roman numerals.  I’m cool like that.  ;)

Anyhoo, let’s see what went on at the gladiator show, shall we?  After the teaser photos yesterday, I’m sure you do.  The show had a storyline about 7 scrolls that foretold the fate of Rome, but somehow ended up in Trier in the hands of the slave Antigones and how other Romans were trying to get them from him.  The story was of course all in German, so I didn’t get the jokes, but I understood enough to follow the story.  Or most of it anyway.  Antigones had to fight in the gladiator battles and ended up victorious. 

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At first we figured all this was scripted and would look just as phony as wrestling (BTW, if you haven’t seen The Wrestler, you should.  It is fan-freaking-tastic), but these guys were getting seriously banged up.  There were paramedics on standby just off to our left (we were at the far end of the stands) and they were patching these guys up left and right.  Bloodied noses, gashes, black eyes, you name it.  Holy cow!

This is how I’d like to travel; in a sedan chair carried by 4 nubile young men.  Think of how little it would impact the environment.


This is where the original seats would have been, built into the hillside, but our stands were directly in the arena.  Isn’t it lovely?


The heck with scenery.  Let’s get back to the fighting! 

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After some more story and preliminary battles to get the crowd warmed up, the empress reappeared (again with the awesome mode of transport) and the maid gladiators. 

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Oh, you know they got sand in places!


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After these battles, our intrepid hero, Antigones, is brought in to fight the hottie I showed you yesterday.  Remember him?  Want a refresher anyway?  Sure you do.  He’s the “bad guy".”

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He and Antigones fight. With FIRE! 

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Somehow Antigones wins. I’m not buying it.  Did you look at that guy?  Have another peek (you want to, don’t deny it):


After this, the storyline gets weird and murky and I had a hard time following it.  Probably because the words were not common words I would use in German.  It involved Poseidon, and Jupiter, and a weird bird man and a fire wheel.  And we never quite figured out what happened to the scrolls.  They got burned (that was fairly simple to figure out) but the reason behind that was unclear.  It was an awesome show though (2 and a half hours!) and we enjoyed every minute of it.  I can totally understand how the Romans got into it as a blood sport.  I’m not sure I would have enjoyed it had there been actual blood (other than the cuts and scrapes they were getting by beating up on each other), but I have a sneaking suspicion that I might.  Scary to admit, but there you have it.

M told me he was not going to let this show be ruined by a comment that I made a while back while he was watching ultimate fighting or something stupid like that.  I told him it was incredibly homo-erotic, what with 2 almost naked, sweaty men grabbing all over each other.   He hasn’t been able to watch it sense (pity, that). 

Oh, and after the show, the actors were down in the arena signing autographs and taking photos.  Of course Indy had to have his photo taken with them.  Here are a few:

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He was so excited!  After this we walked back towards town, had a gellato (heaven) and I snapped some photos of the city in the twilight and we piled back into our cars (kid free for the ladies again!) and headed home.

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I hope you enjoyed traveling with us!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Roman Fest in Trier: Part I

Trier, Germany, which sits just inside the German/French border was at one time the capitol of the northern Roman Empire.  In short: it’s old.  Really old.  Every year they celebrate their history with a Roman Fest called Brot and Spiele (Bread and Circuses-why? no idea).  This is the first time we’ve been, but it won’t be the last. Nine of us (5 adults and 4 kids) piled into 2 cars and off we went.  BTW, we ladies stuck the men with all 4 children in their car (we did provide a DVD player with 2 screens).  M and S were so not happy with us, but we (the ladies) ALWAYS have the kids when we go off, and we figured, why shouldn’t they have them for a change?  It. Was. Awesome.  My car was a kid free zone!  Girl talk and bitching. Trier is about 120 miles from HD so we were in the car for about an hour and half.  Haha!


The original Roman gate to the city The Porta Nigra (Black Gate), buitl between 180 and 200 AD still stands and is a designated World Heritage site.  It is awe inspiring.  Here is the interior from the ground and us in front of it.

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We walked down the hauptstrasse from the Porta Nigra through the Kornmarktplatz.  It was market day (Saturday’s are in most towns).

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We went over to the Cathedral known as Dom St. Peter, which is also a World Heritage Site.  This place it HUGE and you can see hundreds of years of different styles of architecture.  The original church was built during the Roman period by the Emperor Constantine, the first Christian emperor of Rome.  The original church, damaged in the 4th and 9th centuries, was four times (FOUR TIMES) larger than the present structure.  Can you imagine?

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The last picture above is of the altar that houses the Seamless Robe of Christ, which he supposedly wore at his trial.  You can’t see it except on special occasions.

If you exit the Cathedral through the right transept, you enter the cloisters, which are also part of the Liebfrauenkirche (Church of Our Lady).  The nuns of the order are buried in the courtyard of the cloisters. 

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Isn’t that stunning?  I took about 150 photos just in the Dom and cloisters.  I won’t bore you with all of them.  We left the cool interior of the Dom and walked in the scorching heat towards the ruins of the Kaisertherme (Imperial Baths) where the bulk of the Roman Fest was held.  On the way, we passed the remains Constantine’s palace (today a Presbyterian church) and the Electoral Palace (you can see Constantine’s palace behind the Electoral Palace in the first photo.

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It was just a short hop over to the Imperial Baths from here and back in time.


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Ah, the smell of roasting meat, ale and unwashed bodies!

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After we ate (and drank a bit) in the shade, we headed over to the ruins of the amphitheater, where the gladiator show was to be held.  As this post is really long and picture heavy, I’ll save those photos for tomorrow.  Just to keep you interested though, here’s a little something for the ladies:

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