Thursday, July 31, 2008


I just realized with my move to Germany and how busy that I was as soon as I returned from my trip- getting ready for a move and ending a school year--that I had failed to post some of my photos from my vacation to Bali, Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore.

Here are the rice terraces in Bali. I know that the Philippines has an amazing area of rice terraces- but, I was unaware, until my visit, that Bali also had some rice terraces. If you look closely- you can see the different ages of the rice plants that are planted between the terraced areas. They walk on the little earthen dams to tend to their crops and this also helps to hold the water for the growth of the rice plants.

After we stopped and took some photos- a group of people selling their 'wares' had gathered. I loved the lady that was selling the hats. She reminded me of the children's book with all the hats stacked on one of the character's head. Of course, I won't mention that she held out her hand for some $$$ after I had taken her photo. :D

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Germany scenic views

My new home in Germany, has lots of land devoted to Nature trails, forests/etc. You see a lot of signs warning of Deer crossings.

Here are just a couple scenes from some of the local roads in the area:

When I left the house that I decided to rent- I saw this GIANT WILD RABBIT in a neighbor's yard. *Click on the photo so you can see how big he/she is.

Monday, July 28, 2008

More photos of Germany

Here are some more photos... it truly is a beautiful area and I wish that there was some sort of 'see the world' plan for all citizens so that anyone who wants to travel gets to do so. I'm grateful that my job just happens to be in overseas locations.

You see flowers in windows and on balconies everywhere. *Also true of northern Italy.

Looks like many locations in the states, doesn't it?

Some of the houses in the small villages here and in Italy are often extremely close to the roads. I'm sure it was because the villages are so old- that they were around when horses, those walking, or wagons were the modes of available transportation and as a result- this was as wide as they could make the streets to accommodate the modern forms of transportation.

Now, I wonder... what was the reason or zoning situation that caused this to happen?

More photos to come.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hello from Grafenwohr, Germany!!

I made it here a few days ago--- it is so scenic here. I was taking photos from the plane as we were getting close... see? *CLICK on photos for a larger view There seems to be a little or big town about every 5 miles.

I went to the housing office on base and was shown 3 houses the next day that were available for rent. I loved the yard of the first house and it's views of the rolling Germany countryside and wheat fields below:

Front of house and also a view of the 'orange tile'... now, if orange was a person's favorite color... this would be the kitchen for them- however, I'd like colors like blue, green, yellows better in a kitchen.

AND then... when you got to the 'winter garden' (enclosed glass patio) you had this view of a very old church on top of a rock cliff...

However, there just wasn't enough floor space in the living areas... and I knew that there was no way that my furniture would fit.

So, I went to see another house after that and I loved the inside of the house- but, it didn't have a yard-- but, it did have a balcony and another outside living area off of the living room. HOWEVER, the walls were slanted and that would have been a problem with furniture placement. YOU can see the slanted walls in this photo of the front of the house. The top two floors went to the apartment that was for rent- the first floor is a business.

Every wall was like this... I could foresee alot of head 'hitting' by accident in my future and most of my furniture is taller than the height that the walls started slanting--- so, the only thing that I could picture doing would be to pull the furniture towards the center of the room away from the walls until it fitted--- and that would end up w/ very tiny available living spaces.

Both landlords of these two houses were adorable and I know that they'd be great landlords. Neither one had a fireplace to help w/ the heating costs. Both did have wooden floors. The first house even had it's own SAUNA built into the basement area.

After lunch, I went to see the third choice. It was love at first sight. All the features that I had wanted: Enough room for my STUFF, wooden floors (in the living and kitchen areas... maybe somewhere else?) tile in the bathrooms, and carpet in the bedrooms (I would have been fine w/ wooden floors or tile there too), a fireplace (well, more of a compact ceramic firebox... w/ an opening for the hallway, kitchen eating area, and the living room), outside patio areas (2), beautiful yard, a finished basement... (it's like an apartment down there!) and lots of light... and plenty of space. I also have a garage... (good in winter areas)

The landlord lives next door- it is was a model home and no one has lived in it! I do have to mow the grass-- but, I haven't had grass to mow in many years-- so, I think that I can handle it. The landlord does have a lawn mower that I can borrow- so, that will help 'cost wise'... I can't move in to it until SEPT 1... later, I'll send more photos- but, here are some that I took when I saw the apartment.

I was happy that the kitchen was a finished kitchen w/ cabinets--- that isn't always the case when you rent a place in Europe. They don't have closets built in either.

I've been without the INTERNET for days... but, now... I'll be able to post photos and blog entries more often.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Need a little bit of 'awe gee whiz' in your life?

Last week, I was visiting one of my friends, who just happened to also be a former college friend who still lives in the area that we attended college. She had a couple of friendly next-door neighbor cats that considered her yard as their personal yard. The female tabby considered herself the 'queen' of the yard and imposed her rule with a strong arm... as in: SMACK DOWN with this strong kitty arm to any other animal or cat that tried to visit the yard... oh, excuse me.. 'her kingdom!'

The queen cat was a very sweet cat to humans and was always looking for some extra head scratches and tummy rubs; however, this sweet nature only extended to the humans.

The second day that I was at my friend's house a skinny male grey tabby cat (a male version of the queen tabby cat) showed up. He was a 'talker' as in: he meowed a lot! Of course, the queen cat extended her 'non-welcome' towards him nor would she let him eat any of the kitty chow.

I gave the sweet male tabby his own food supply away from the 'queen cat.' He loved being petted and purred his thanks for the private food supply- even if he ate very little.

The male tabby disappeared for a couple of days and when he showed up on the third afternoon. He was hiding behind a bench in front of my friend's house 'meowing loudly' and I brought him some food to eat- that he barely touched. After he was finished, I picked him up and started petting him--- and noticed that he had two very large protruding places on his head and the area above his nose was also swollen. I could tell that either he had been hit with a car or he had been injured and the area had healed-- leaving infection and 'bad stuff' on the inside.

I told my friend that if she would take the kitty to the vet that I would pay for his medical care. So, we grabbed a towel (to wrap the kitty in it to prevent bad scratches to the human (ME) carrying the cat.) He did start freaking out in the car and started meowing loudly. When we got to the vet's office... there was a big yellow lab in the tiny waiting area. (Enough room for 4-5 people to sit down) So, I stood with the injured cat in my arms facing the corner of the room, in the hopes he wouldn't see the big dog and freak out more than he already was. Wouldn't you know it - that in the hour that we waited to be seen... that two more huge yellow labs came into the waiting area for their appointments?

My theory was correct- he did have really bad areas full of infection on his head that covered about an 4-5 inch area. The doctor had to cut the cat's head open, drain out the bad stuff... while I'm holding the cat down (w/ the one arm remember) By the time it was over, he was physically drained from fighting against us and of course was giving me the 'stare of hate' because all he knew was that I was the one that had brought him to this place of pain and injury.

We were given liquid antibiotics to give to the cat daily-- and the plan to put it in about 3 spoonfuls of tuna was a wise decision-- since, the doctor told us that this particular type of antibiotic was nasty tasting. My friend, gave the stray her garage area--- so, he'd not be attacked by the 'queen of the yard' cat... and also so she'd know where the cat was to give him his daily meds.

I made sure to visit with the cat several times that night in the garage, so that he'd be reassured and anyone (animal or human) needs some TLC after they've been sick or hurt. I scrambled him a egg for his dinner. I also found an old cat bed in the garage and placed the cat on the bed and in the kitty litter tray so, he'd know where they were located for later.

The next morning, after a night of restful sleep in his 'garage kitty hotel', the cat was feeling much better and had an regular kitty appetite again. He was thanking me the only way that a cat can... by purring and rubbing his head on my hand and my leg. The photo was taken the next morning. His little face/head is still swollen in this photo-- but, much, much less than it was when I took him to the doctor.

I had to leave and go to another location before all the meds were given to the cat- but, my friend tells me that he is doing so much better and continues to improve every day.

If I lived in the states- I would have adopted this cat. He has such a sweet personality. I'm so happy that my friend is going to keep him as one of her 'adopted' cats and she'll take him to get his 'surgery' when he gets well.