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

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


It's bad people. BAD.

I keep looking out my window hoping to see this:

Also, I'm thinking of getting this for the back of MY Volvo:

Okay, I'm not really thinking about getting it, but it made me giggle. I do have a Volvo though. And I love to drive fast. See how perfect Edward and I are together? I'm sick with this.

Monday, December 29, 2008

My vampire boyfriend

I have caved. I was adamant the I was NOT going to read it. I hate reading popular books. Silly of me, but there you have it. I actually resisted Harry Potter because it was too popular. Of course I finally gave in to peer pressure and the world as I knew it changed. When Twilight became the "in" books I sighed (dramatically), rolled my eyes (dramatically), and scoffed at how improbable the plot was. I mean really, vampires that live among humans, sparkle in the daylight and fall in love with the average girl next door? Pffffffft! Lame. No way would I like a book about that. I was far too cool for that kind of nonsense. Shortly after the move though, I was bored. Bored. Sure, I had plenty to do during the day, you know what with the homeschooling and all, and even in the evening I could watch all 9 of our TV channels and plot and plan where I was going to put our stuff, but I needed to read. I craved it. Reading makes me happy. I can step out of my ordinary self and find something...more. Something different. I read tons of blogs by people I respected and they all seemed to be reading (and loving) it. One day Indy and I were in our pathetic excuse for a bookstore (but that's a whole other rant, so I won't go there) and the new paperback version, the one with Rpattz on the cover, was in the best seller section. I heaved another (dramatic) sigh and bought it. The book sat on the coffee table for a whole day, Rpattz staring at me, begging me to read. Finally (with yet another sigh-far more dramatic than the others), I cracked open the cover and started reading. I read, and read and read. At one point, when I finally got up to go to the bathroom, I muttered "dammit" under my breath. M asked what was wrong. I told him I liked the book. He clearly thought I had lost my mind and went back to watching whatever beat em up, shoot em up, blow em up movie he was watching at the time. The next day I ordered New Moon from Amazon and waited for it. Our bookstore had books 3 and 4, but not 2 (see, complete nonsense this bookstore of ours). More dramatic sighing ensued. When book 2 finally arrived (stupid Christmas packages clogging up the military mail), I read it in a day and a half, rushed to our pathetic book store and...wait. WHAT? They were out of books 3 and 4! I sighed (with frustration) and may have stamped my foot, rushed home, ordered them from Amazon and waited. Again. Impatiently. In fact, I was so impatient I went online and read the plots. That's right! I totally spoiler-ed myself! I didn't care though, I needed to know what happened. I could read the details later, I just needed to know. But, I read the last page of Harry Potter 7 just to see if Harry survived before I actually read the book, so I shouldn't be all that shocked. I need to know this kind of stuff. It stresses me out not to know. I suck at surprises too. Also, I used to open and rewrap my Christmas presents when I was younger. Bad me! On Christmas Eve the books arrived in that familiar Amazon box (I love that swoopy smily thing). Huzzah! Unfortunately, with the whole holiday, family, celebrating bruhaha, I had no time to read! Argh! It was a conspiracy! The day after Christmas, while M was in a left-over-turkey and action movie induced coma and Indy played with the 800 million toys he got, I found time to read! Woooooo! The evening of the 27th, I started on the 4th book. Today, I finished it. I have to admit that the writing was not fantastic. It was far too wordy at times and really JKR could write circles around Stephanie Meyer, but the story itself was great. Edward was dreamy. I love him. I was so excited to finish the books but now....what? What do I read? What do I do? Where is my vampire boyfriend??????

Mmmmmm....he could bite my neck any time. What? He's technically older than me.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008-so pretty

For those of you who read my previous post and commented, I can say without a doubt that this Christmas was far better than last year. It involved no needles, no pain killers, no hospital stays or naked 94 year olds. It was quite pleasant actually. Fun even. On Christmas Eve we went to our lovely neighbors for an open house. We actually sang carols around the piano. It was all very Dickensian. Or maybe Rockwell-esque would be a better term. Whichever, it was lovely. Christmas morning dawned chilly and clear and incredibly quiet and calm. Let's have a closer look at our tree and the wrapped presents, shall we?

Christmas Eve:

Look at all the pretty packages, wrapped lovingly:

Christmas morning:

Good times, my friends. Good times.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Last Christmas (I gave you my heart) and ended up in the hospital

Christmas 2007 is known around our house as "Worst. Christmas. Ever." Seriously, it was bad. About a week or so before Christmas I began having terrible chest pains. I assumed it was heartburn (though I never get that, but it seemed the most likely cause) and ate about 500,000 Tums. They did not work. I tried Zantac thinking it might be acid reflux, something I had suffered from in the past. It did not work either. The pain was sort of always there. In the day it was bad, but at night it was unbearable. I couldn't sleep because every time I laid down it got worse (see this is why I thought heartburn or acid reflux). I ended up sleeping in a chair several nights. On Christmas Eve the pain hit a zenith. I cried it was so bad. M tried to get me to the hospital, but I refused (I can be very obsinate-I know that's hard to believe, but it's true) because I just knew I'd sit in the ER for hours, see a doctor for 10 minutes and be sent home with Mylanta or something like that. No thank you. I could be miserable, but far more comfortable at home. I finally fell asleep (in a chair) and woke up the next morning to a very excited Indy and so much pain I could barely breathe. Indy opened his presents and immediately afterwards I went to the hospital. The pain was making me nauseated and dizzy. Something was up. When I got to the ER there were 8 people waiting. A couple of them had the flu and one kid had what was probably a broken arm (one of the hazards of getting a skateboard for Christmas). I sighed thinking I was in for a long wait, and went to check in. The moment I mentioned chest pains, I was whisked off to the back and surrounded by doctors, nurses and some scary looking machines. Apparently chest pains trumps broken arms. Ha! Take that skater boy! In the back they ran several tests including an EKG and told me they thought I was having a heart attack. Um, what? I was 34, a decent weight, ate right and worked out almost 5 days a week (sickening isn't it?). There was no way I could be having a heart attack! They argued that all my symptoms pointed to it and they were going to admit me. To the cardiac ward. I was so not happy. They gave me an IV, nitro glycerin shots (in the stomach!) and took me off to do some more tests. One of them, and I can't for the life of me think of what it's called, is where they shoot dye into the IV and put you in a machine. What is that called???? Anyway, about 30 seconds after the dye went into my IV I started itching. Everywhere! It was awful! I am allergic to the dye. Sadly, I found this out the hard way. I was covered in hives and in addition to the pain in my chest, I was on fire. They ended up having to give me a shot of benedryl, which knocked me out. I'm actually kind of thankful for that because I finally got some decent sleep.
About 3 hours later they wheeled me up to the cardiac ward where I was easily the youngest person there by a good 30 years. My roomate was 94. And naked. And flatulant. Fa-la-la-la-la! I spent 2 days in the hospital getting every possible test done, my vitals checked every hour on the hour (this does not make for a good night's sleep), drugged to the moon and being fed food with absolutely no salt. Blech. My tests all came back negative. See, I KNEW it wasn't a heart attack! Turns out I had something called costochondritis. It's an inflamation in the sternum. The symptoms mimic those of a heart attack and to diagnose it, heart attack must be ruled out. I was discharged and sent home with some mega pain killers. The pain lasted another 4 months, though never as severe as it was on Christmas. I feel totally cheated out of last Christmas. Christmas 2007: Worst. Christmas. Ever.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shoes: Fall/Winter sampling

As a commenter reminded me, I have been terribly remiss in posting about my shoes. How dare I? Did I not look at the title of my own blog? Crazy me. So, without further ado, here are some (just a few) of my fall shoes.

These are my absolute favorite boots in the world. You can see that I wear them a lot. They are looking rough. I've had the heels retipped 3 times and they need it again. They also need to be cleaned and polished. They are by Via Spiga and are super comfy. They were originally $370. TJMaxx had them at $250. I wanted them. I loved them. I coveted them. I went to check up on them every week to make sure they were still there (and try them on). Of course they were. Nobody in the podunk town the Army sent us to was going to spend $250 on a pair of boots, no matter how fab they were. I waited. They were marked down. I waited more. Marked down again. Finally, the day after T-giving 2 years ago, they were at $90 and I had a 50% off one item coupon. I rushed to TJMaxx, snapped them up, and they came home with me for $45! Woooooohoooooo!

These are a recent addition to my collection. M hates them, but I adore them. I get compliments on them all the time. Shows what M knows! They are Timberlands.

These I got at TJMaxx for $29! I know!!!! They are Marc Echo (IIRC-I'm too lazy to go check the label).

These little beauties are Anne Klein. Macy's had them for $175. TJMaxx had them for $40. Haha!

These aren't really fall/winter shoes, though I have been known to wear them to a holiday party. This is absolutely my favorite pair of shoes in the world. I also have a leopard print version that is my second favorite pair in the world. These shoes make me feel like a very hip version of Cinderella. Though if I left one behind, I'd totally go back for it. I snapped this a while back. I had worn the shoes and took them off in the living room. When I went to put them away, I realized that real life had intruded on my fantasy.

I have many pairs of ankle and calf height boots, but they are in my closet, which is currently barricaded by a huge stack of boxes. Oh, that's right! Our stuff came. I'm not prepared to write about it just yet though. There's drama, trauma and a few tears. Maybe a bad word or two, but I'll try to keep that out. Stay tuned!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Little old young me

I've been told there aren't enough pictures of me on my blog. Well, that's because I'm usually the one taking them. I love to take pictures. I don't so much like being photographed. Okay, that's not true. I love being photographed (cause I'm crazy vain), but when I look at the pics I always think I look terrible. So, without further ado, here are a few random shots of me:

Well, this isn't just me, but it's one of the few shots I actually have with me in it. This is when we went to Tombstone, AZ right before we moved to Germany. We took a tour of a silver mine. Fascinating stuff that. More work than I'd ever want to do. Ever. I have to say, my girls are looking pretty good in this photo. ;)

A friend took these and messed around with the color. I look much better in b&w I think.

Okay, this is more about my hair than my face, but hey, I've got fab hair.

Seriously, these are the only photos I have of me on my computer. I should really be in more, I think. What happens if I turn up missing one day? They're going to have to use my senior portrait to show on the news. That would be humiliating.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Recipe for fun

This was so much fun. I hope you'll be inspired to do it with your kids.

Cranberries, popcorn, craft needles, thread

The "most super awesome terrific mom in the whole entire world." I'm not claiming the title,I'm just quoting Indy. He could be right though. (I'm just throwing that out there.)


Dogs waiting to catch whatever falls.

A little bit of concentration.

A little bit of blood (on me, not Indy).

More concentration.

And a whole lot of laughter and goofiness.

Here they are hung in Indy's room, along with the paper chain and snowflakes we made after watching Elf. Good times. Good times.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Food, driving fast and turf wars

If you read my previous post about the Battle of the Bulge (and if not, go read it and look at the awesome pics-you can come back to this), you know we went to Belgium over the weekend. We only did a day trip because I didn't want to kennel the dogs (the neighbor's kids took them out for us during the day) and because M didn't want to spend the money on a hotel. Here's something I love about living in Europe. We left Germany, had breakfast in Luxembourg, lunch in Belgium and were back in Germany in time for dinner. Now I ask you, is that not cool? We ate in 3 countries in one day. Amazing.
The drive to Bastogne is 210 miles from our door. Well, actually from our parking space, since our door in on the 3rd floor, but you know what I mean. We made it in just under 2.5 hours (including the stop for breakfast). Go ahead, do the math, uh huh, that's right, mama was driving fast. Really fast. Plenty of times were were well over 100mph and other cars were passing us! I was doing 100 in the slow lane people. I have to say, I think I was some sort of early racer in a former life because I love to drive fast. I don't like it when M drives fast (he's a scary driver), but when I'm in control of the gas pedal, hold on. Somewhere in the back of my mind I think I briefly became Lightening McQueen. "I am speed." Of course that could have been because we were listening to the Cars soundtrack on the ipod, but I'm not sure. BTW, the Sheryl Crow song, "Real Gone" is awesome to drive to. Try it sometime. But don't speed in he US because you'll get a ticket (believe me, I know of what I speak).
Before we started our 6k walk I had to go to the bathroom. Of course. There was one indoor bathroom (the rest were portables-ewwwwww) and it had 3 stalls in it. The line for the ladies room was about 25 women long. There was no line for the mens room. Of course. I had been in line for about 20 minutes and was finally getting close to the door (not the stalls, but the door to the bathroom). The 3 women directly behind me were also American and we were chitchatting. Just as I got to the door, a group of 4 Belgian women (all looked to be in their early 20's and perfectly healthy in case you're wondering) tried to push past us and into the bathroom. The woman behind me rolled her eyes and muttered "typical." She has been living at SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in case you were wondering) Belgium for 10 years and said that Belgians had no respect for lines. I don't know if this is generally true or not, but these 4 certainly women didn't. The woman behind me (and the 2 behind her) pushed closer and blocked them from the entrance (I was actually standing in the doorway and they formed some sort of shield with me as one of the ends). The Belgian women could not make it in front of us, though they pushed and shoved mightily. My butt was even grabbed once, but I did not budge. At this point I really had to go (it had just been a precautionary pee before, but now it was getting serious). I was also irritated because there were now at least 30 women behind me (still 6 in front of me) and we had all been standing in line for some time. No way was I going to let these 4 late comers push past all of us. I held my ground. When the women in front of me moved up I had to leave the door frame, as did the 3 other women, and the 4 Belgian women pushed their way in. They stood to the side of the actual line waiting for someone to come out. At this point there was much grumbling coming from the other women in line. Many different languages were being spoken, but you could tell what they were all saying. They were pissed (no pun intended). The woman in front of me blocked one of the Belgians as she attempted to go to a stall when it became empty. They all said a few things in rapid French and stared daggers at the woman. She didn't care. The woman behind me said "don't let them bully you." I was next in the actual line (not the faux Belgian line) and the stall directly in front of me opened. The first Belgian woman moved to step towards it, but I grabbed the door (blocking her with my arm, but not touching her) and made my way in. Someone shouted "yeah" from the back of the line. I could here the 3 Americans still talking. One of them was very pregnant and determined that these line jumpers were not going to get in front of her. She was very vocal about it. Seriously, when a pregnant woman has to pee, you'd better not try to line jump her. All those hormones. When I exited my stall, the Belgian woman were still waiting as apparently the rest of the line behind us decided that they too were not going to be jumped. You need to respect the line for the bathroom. It's just plain rude not to. I wonder how long it was before the Belgian women actually made it to the bathroom. I saw the 3 American women a little later on during the walk and they appauded my blocking skills. I then had to explain the whole story to M who thought it was highly amusing. Bathroom turf wars. A concept men will never really understand.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Living History: the Battle of the Bulge 64 years later.

This isn't really a holidya post, but I hope you read it anyway. Yesterday we did one of the most awesome things I've ever done. We went to Bastogne, Belgium and participated in the anniversary walk. This walk commemorates the Ardennes Offensive and Battle of the Bulge, which took place from 16 Dec 1944-25 Jan 1945. Bastogne was surrounded by the Germans but held by the US 101st Airborne and Combat Command B of the 10th mountain division. I hope this isn't boring you. Stick with me. Once the background is out of the way I'll show you the cool pictures. So, Bastogne was completely cut off from supplies and they had little in the way of food, medical supplies or even ammunition. The towns people shared what little they had with their protectors, including white sheets to camoflauge their uniforms in the snow. The German commander, von Luttwitz sent a telegram to General McAuliff, who was the acting commander of the 101st demaning that the city surrender. McAuliff sent back a one word reply "NUTS!" The city held out until Patton and the 3rd ID could reach them with much needed assistance. The Germans were bombed from the sky by the air force and bombarded from the ground by the 3rd ID. Of course we all know how the Battle of the Bulge turned out. The Germans were pushed back and the war would end in a few months. This historic battle was depicted in the Epic "Band of Brothers" (episode 6) if you saw that.
The walk has 4 different lengths, 6k, 12k, 20k and 40k that take you through the various battle sights and the town. We, of course, walked the short route, since Indy is only 6, but even the short route was amazing. Don't take my word for it though. Look at these photos:


Field surrounding Bastogne.

Indy with a reenactor.

Reenactors in the trenches.

Reenactors around a pot bellied stove.

Indy with a reeactor at McAuliff Square.

Army tents and hospital around the Church in Bastogne.

View from the top of the memorial.

It was so cold. When we started around 9am it was 25 degrees. When we ended our 6k around noon, it was 21 degrees. It was much colder the year the battle took place. We were so grateful to find a warm restaurant to grab a quick bite and something to drink. The soldiers who fought the battle did not have the same luxury. Many died of cold. They fought their way across the fields and through the surrounding forests for days on end. They fought not only the enemy, but the snow and bitter cold. They fought Christmas Day 1944. They fought New Year's Day 1945. These brave men helped turn the tide of the war. Hitler was never able to make such an assault again. If they had not endured what they did and fought as bravely as they did, our world could be a vastly different place today.
Most of the re-enactors out there were not American. They are almost entirely of European descent. The people of Bastogne have not forgotten what was sacrificed on their fields and in their woods 64 years ago. There were American flags proudly waving in the cold and welcoming smiles on every face. Every half hour (on the hour and the half), the Church bells in town tolled the first part of our national anthem "Oh say can you see?" It was touching. The monument built there was dedicated not long after the war ended. They have been doing the historical walk for 31 years. Every year they hold a parade and lay a wreath in honor of the Americans. These people have a long memory. They are, to this day, appreciative. As we celebrate this holiday season, we should remember to be grateful to those who have some before and sacrificed that we may enjoy today.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Wreath, MacGyver Style

Before I get to my wreath, I have to tell you what a fab time I had yesterday at Nester's Garland Shebang. It was so awesome to see how different people decorate. Also, it thrilled me beyond reason to watch my hit counter go up, up, up. I feel so popular! ;) Also, thanks to all who left comments. I tried to leave comments on most of the blogs I visited, but I have to say I HATE that verification thing, so I did refrain from commenting on many of those. Sorry.

Okay, onto the wreath. As you may (or may not) know our stuff has still not made it to our house. The last time I saw it was Oct. 14 as it was loaded into crates and sealed up for a voyage across the Atlantic. Here's a question: what would you do without your "stuff" for 2 months? I'm getting a bit stir crazy. I know it's just stuff, but it's my stuff and I want it. Not having it is severely cramping my crafting. Oh, and here's something interesting. Yesterday, I called the inbound shipping office to see if they had any news on when it would arrive. Guess what? It's been in country for almost a month! A month! They just forgot to contact us. I was so mad I nearly jumped through the phone to smack the lady I was talking to, who thought it was all somehow amusing. Whatever. It's here and it's being delivered next Thursday. I cannot wait!

So, since I did not have my stuff (grrrrrrr!) I did have to buy some things to decorate for the holidays. I bought garland, ribbon, berries and my super cool (and on sale!) IKEA ornaments. When I was done I thought the door was pretty, but somehow missing something. It needed a wreath! I was not about to buy another one, so I decided to make one. But what to use? Also, there's no Hobby Lobby or Michael's or anything like that over here (I fear Nester would not survive), so I couldn't just dash over to my local craft shop for supplies. They do of course craft over here, but their selection is rather limited. How do German people decorate? Curious.

I looked around at the scraps I had scattered on the floor in the house and a plan began to form. I think I might have looked something like the Grinch when he was planning his first trip to Whoville, but I'm not sure. I had a coat hanger from getting M's jacket cleaned so I decided to start there. After seeing that movie about Joan Crawford, I generally try to avoid wire hangers, but the dry cleaners don't care, which in this case was a good thing. I was going to twist it into a circle, but thought "Mom in High Heels (that's totally what I call myself in my head), why just a circle? That's so last year. Why not something awesome? But what?"After pondering this for a few minutes it finally came to me! I would make our monogram! How though? HOW? HOW Mom in High Heels? HOW???? As I looked at the various scraps, I suddenly thought, WWMD? That's What Would MacGyver Do, in case you didn't know. As I pondered this, RDA's (that Richard Dean Anderson who played MacGyver for those of you not on an initials only basis with him like I am) face flashed in front of me . I picked up various doodads and scraps and then, boom, just like MacGyver trying to get out of a locked room on the verge of being crushed by a crane I knew what to do! I think I may have even hummed the theme song, but I'm not sure.

First I opened the wire hanger and used two of the wire stems I had stripped the berries off of and used them to create my base. Not bad, huh? RDA would be proud.

It was good, but not sturdy enough so I rooted around for something, anything to make it stronger. I found.....a roll of painters tape, a stick Indy had dragged inside for whatever reason, and some cardboard that had been in the box of Christmas lights. Oh yeah! I broke the stick to a length of the long side of the 'B' and the center of it as well. I taped them in place and then cut strips of cardboard to go around the curves (taping them down too) and then began to wrap, wrap, wrap the entire thing with tape.

Here's a close up of the cardboard covered curve. Ohhhh, onomatopoeia!

And completely covered with tape. Seriously, I used almost the entire roll.

I took some left over garland (maybe 4 feet long) and began wrapping it around the base. I had a roll of floral wire and used it to hold the garland in place.

Some leftover ornaments, berries a few pine cones and voila! One monogram wreath. I'm sure I can hear RDA applauding somewhere!

Oh, I also had about a foot and a half of garland left so I put it around our hideous dining light fixture and hung a few ornaments and crystals from it. HUGE improvement.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...