Love and the Great Outdoors!

I am living in Germany; I absolutely love it. I love the food, the people, their public transportation, their wildlife. Today I am sitting in my living room looking at the trees sway in the wind; it is magical. I want to go out for a walk; but I am enjoying just sitting here on my sofa with my cranberry juice tea.

Life is short; and I want to live as long as I can. I remember reading in the Bible that people would live for 500 years or something ridiculous. I remember the movie, “The Green Mile”. Tom Hanks’s character lived much longer than he wanted to. He outlived so many women that he loved as well as friends. I think that after losing so many people in my life; I would rather have a shorter life. Not that I want to die; it just hurts to have those people that I love die. I do not think my heart is strong enough for it; at least not at this point.

So; here in Germany, I am hanging out with Boo (the Bulldog). She is almost 9 years old; almost her expiration date, but she is as lively as ever. She watches the wildlife outside and barks; and I encourage it. I love her so very much and losing her may be the death of me; but I will be with her until the end!

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Boo

I have had many dogs in my life; but not one like Boo. She is what they call a “Miniature Bulldog”; but at 55 pounds, she is far from miniature. She is, though, like a little human. She knows when I am happy, sad, depressed… She is sitting with me in my living room right now. I took her out to *do her business* and she went straight to her bed. I, on the other hand, went to the kitchen to make my tea. I was sad this morning; why, it does not matter. She left the comfort of her bed and came into the kitchen with me. She is next to me now and I know that if I get up to even go to the bathroom; she will follow me.

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Saturday in the Park!

Today is Saturday; LOL, I woke up at 6AM and thought it was Friday and that my husband’s alarm would go off at 6:15AM. Boo had growled for some reason; not sure why, but it woke me up.

We have this HUGE house that abuts next to a German national forest. It is beautiful. When I wake up early, like I did today, I like to walk out there. We have these very interesting squirrels, Eurasian Red Squirrels (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_squirrel); they are endangered and are only out in the early morning. When I first saw them; I thought they were miniature rabbits – Ha ha. I looked them up. My friend, a nurse from my German hospital in Homburg, is helping to save their species. Boo was with me that morning and they (the squirrels) were taunting her. She barked at them and they chattered back to her. They were not afraid.

I love seeing wildlife in the wild. These squirrels were just so cute. I wish I would have video taped them; but I was afraid that if I pulled my iPhone out of my jacket, they would have run away. I was truly enjoying the moment.

I am going out now (it is 8:37AM in Germany) in hopes that I can find my little friends.

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Just another day in the Hospital…

It is 5:18AM here in Germany on a Sunday; my Mac is not displaying the date and I do not care. I have yet to take Boo on a train trip; but plan to do so this week. I have to! I have to for her, for Jim, for me, for Paul… mostly for all of you.

I planned to take her with me to Kaiserslautern last week; but I got dizzy on the way down the hill and ended up BACK in the hospital. This time; it was not the German hospital, but the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) where they send our wounded warriors from Iraq and other places. Since I had been in both a German and American hospital over the course of a month; I was comparing the differences.

Food; the American hospital gave me a private room and they had a menu. The German hospital gave me whatever “lactose free” menu option they had (which, LOL, included cheese most of the time). I made my husband, Paul, bring me Burger King at night when he came to visit me.

The room; well, as I said, the American hospital gave me a private room. The German hospital put me in a room the same size as my private room; but I had a roommate. There were no privacy curtains and doctors spoke to us in front of the roommate (speaking of our conditions and diagnosis). Obviously; since I was in a private room in the American hospital, it did not matter.

Bathroom; the American hospital had a toilet in the room. Anyone walking by my room could have seen me doing *my business* at any time. The German hospital had a private bathroom with a closed door and shower. I am still unsure where you would shower in the American hospital.

Blood; the German hospital only allowed doctors to put in IVs and take blood; on weekends it became very slow (I was there for 2 weekends). A nurse put my IV in at the American hospital and blood was taken by nurses. The only time I saw doctors at the American hospital was when they were doing rounds and none took blood from me (or, for that matter, put in an IV).

Staff; loved them all! At the German hospital, since it was a University Hospital, was staffed by students. There were some language issues (of course, my fault since my German sucks); but I loved the *kids* and they took wonderful care of me. At the American hospital; the staff were mostly military and they were great. I received the best of care at both places and cannot fault them on anything.

Finally; I am feeling great! I am glad to be home and am enjoying my time in front of the television – LOL! My experiences in the German and American (overseas) hospitals have been enlightening. I am glad to be alive and healthy!

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Valentine’s Day

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. I woke up early (around 3AM) and filled out the card that I bought for my husband (Paul). I put it on his bed stand and then went back to sleep. When I woke up; he was out of bed and the card was on his bed stand, moved and unopened.

He is not coping well with the death of his then, 19-year-old son. Suicide is tragic; young Paul’s suicide has affected not only the two of us, but so many others that knew him and us. I am saddened; well, devastated. I remember the last time I saw young Paul which was early March 2015. He was wearing jeans and a hoodie that I had bought him; apparently, the same clothing he was wearing when he died. I hugged him and said I would see him in Germany. I wonder if he already knew that he would never make it to Germany to visit us.

Valentine’s Day for me was nothing more than a day. Paul did not kiss me, did not tell me he loved me, barely touched me. I retreated to the bedroom (neither his nor mine since we have a guest bedroom that he sleeps in when he is in a particularly bad mood) and basically drowned my sorrows in a Patricia Cornwell novel. She mentioned suicide and called it one of the most selfish acts one can commit. I am not sure if it is true; but I know that it is truly destructive.

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Germany!

Well; I am remiss, I have not posted to this blog site in years. So much has happened though. My then husband, Jim, and I relocated to the Washington D.C. area in August of 2010; United transferred him to Dulles (IAD). We chose an apartment in Arlington Virginia; minutes away from Reagan National airport (DCA). As fate may have it; Jim passed away on Christmas Day 2010 (12/25/2010). I think all the chemotherapy and other procedures took its toll on his heart and he died in his sleep at home.

I went back to work after about three weeks; my first project was with Time Warner Cable (TWC). It was tough getting back into the thick of things; I remember crying in the snow logged parking lot of the TWC in Albany (NY), I was simply sad and lonely. My next project was in New Jersey with a company called GAF (a roofing company); I was there for almost five months. I ended up getting a hotel room at a place called the “Hyatt House” which became my home away from home and from which I made many, many great friends and experiences.

In October 2011; I decided to take a year long Leave of Absence (LOA) from Capgemini and travel the world. I started with Switzerland (five weeks) and then went to Dubai (UAE), Gurgaon (India), London (Great Britain), Sydney (Australia), Rome (Italy) and almost all of New Zealand. I realized that traveling alone sucked (I was with my friend Sylvia for the 10 days in New Zealand though); and decided to get on Match.com.

Well, as luck may have it, I met my current husband on Match.com. We had our first date on January 4, 2012 and we were married on January 10, 2014 (in Cozumel, Mexico). We just celebrated our two year anniversary where we live now in Germany. Ah, yes, Germany; Paul (my husband) works for the U.S. government (he is a retired Navy aviator) at Ramstein Air Force base here in Germany. When we met; he worked as a civilian in Arlington Virginia. He took this position in April of 2015 and we will be here until at least April of 2018.

I am still employed by Capgemini; I just took another LOA hoping to get work here in Germany. Unfortunately; I have to speak fluent German, which I do not (I am better at it than when I arrived here; but not good enough to converse in *business* German). As a result; I have decided to start a website/blog that provides information to travelers with pets. I want to provide short videos on processes and procedures, best places to go (e.g. hotels, restaurants, sites, events, etc), products, etc. I will start small; but I decided to do it because there is not a single site where I can find what I want. In fact; even going to several sites still does not provide me with the information that I need. I am, therefore, going to venture out doing what I love (traveling and meeting people) and create something that is not available now. Wish me luck, I will need it!

Love YOU all!!!

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Thank you…

to my friend Karolee for blogging – sometimes her blogging is the only reminder that I need to update you.
I’m tired right now and sitting in a hotel in New Hampshire. Funny, I travel and live in hotels with my job (which I love), but I still choose to do it in my personal travels. The REALLY funny thing is that one of the benefits of this travel is supposed to be FREE hotels, but the hotels where you want to stay are in cities you don’t want want to stay in. In other words; I stay in Starwood properties (e.g. Sheraton, Westin, W), Marriotts, Hiltons, etc.
So, we’re paying $200/night for a room in a small, family owned hotel – all worth it!
Jim’s a die hard Republican now, the Union stuff at United has disillusioned him. This stake in the heart that will confirm his loyalty to the Republican party. He will vote for McCain as a result.
It is all I can say for now – I’m in Jackson New Hampshire and blogging which is WAY wrong – CHEERS!
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