Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Little Piece of Truth

truth or lieSo, yesterday, I was in a game playing mood and joined in on the blogging bandwagon for 5 truths and 1 lie about me. I can’t even tell you how fun this has been! Even M looked at me last night after reading and said “What???”.

To take yet another page out of Aussa’s playbook, I’m going to drag it on for just one more post with the final reveal on Wednesday. My hopes in pushing it out a bit, is to give everyone a chance to play along given that this weekend has been full of holiday time, family time and many other things un-blog related. :-)

To refresh your memory, here is the bit from yesterday:

Have you ever played the game 5 truths and 1 lie? I bet you have, but just in case, all you have to do is guess which one of these 6 things about me is a lie.

*****Please, if you happen to know me and know the answer, don’t ruin it for everyone. Just comment with your vote, but don’t reveal that you know it’s the right one :-)

Here we go!

  1. My senior year of high school I had 33 hours of detention from skipping class.
  2. I dated my driver’s education teacher and still can’t parallel park.
  3. I’ve had brain surgery.
  4. I’ve never put my foot into a pair of high heels.
  5. I’ve had a gun pointed at me on two separate occasions.
  6. I have 13 tattoos with plans for more.

And here are two truths:

First of all, if you have read my personal about me section, you would know that #3 is in fact true; not that anyone has thought it wasn’t yet! This actually surprised me because when that somehow comes up in everyday life, people are usually shocked that I have had brain surgery! But, maybe you guys did some detective work before answering. ;-)

I couldn't miss a chance to throw out a Breakfast Club reference!

I couldn’t miss a chance to throw out a Breakfast Club reference!

And secondly, the other one that no one has guessed yet, #1 is also true. You guys just know I’m a rebel! ;-) I was a straight A, honor roll, Who’s Who, National Honor Society, student who hated school and cut class regularly! However, I also had an innocent face that came with a maturity teachers couldn’t help but like. The principal did assign me 33 hours of detention….but I only completed somewhere between 4-10! My health class teacher (a young guy), let me slide with grading papers for him a few days a week during lunch time. Yep. I had the sweet “I’ve never been in trouble before” look and it helped me countless times.

So, I hope those who haven’t had a chance will place their vote and see if they can guess the lie! So far, the majority is pretty confident that me never wearing heels is the winner….but what do YOU think?

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Do You Think You’re Clever?

If so, then you will definitely want to play this little game with me! I’ve recently acquired a new blog crush, Aussa, from Hacker. Ninja. Hooker. Spy. She writes some real stuff, some funny stuff and some real, funny stuff. Lucky for me, she found me first, so when I went to check out her blog, I stumbled upon her “reveal” post for this game first and after reading, knew I had to play along. Beverley at Confuzzledom is also playing along!

Have you ever played the game 5 truths and 1 lie? I bet you have, but just in case, all you have to do is guess which one of these 6 things about me is a lie.

*****Please, if you happen to know me and know the answer, don’t ruin it for everyone. Just comment with your vote, but don’t reveal that you know it’s the right one :-)

Here we go!

  1. My senior year of high school I had 33 hours of detention from skipping class.
  2. I dated my driver’s education teacher and still can’t parallel park.
  3. I’ve had brain surgery.
  4. I’ve never put my foot into a pair of high heels.
  5. I’ve had a gun pointed at me on two separate occassions.
  6. I have 13 tattoos with plans for more.

Ok I seriously haven’t been able to get this song out of my head since I started this which definitely dates me….no judging. ;-) You know you love the Eurythmics!

So which one is the lie? I will admit, since my blog is pretty much G-rated, I didn’t bust out the real skeletons and shockers. But, I think there are still some fun ones up there!

Can’t wait to hear what you think! And if you want to join in this lying truth-telling game, GREAT! Come back and leave me a link to your post so I can read it and list it in my reveal!

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I Hate Showering!

Let me explain….it’s more that I hate my actual shower here in Germany. Yes, I am seriously writing about this. Why? Because I just took a shower and I am so annoyed for about the 500th time that I just have to vent about it and what better place than here….right???

Let’s start off with a fab picture of the place where the most annoying task of my day happens.

shower

What do you think of that blue? Awesome isn’t it? I even got a loofah to match. {Yes that’s sarcasm and someone really needs to invent a font style for that.}

Anyway, I digress as while blue is not my first choice for stylish bathroom colors, it is far from the reason for my daily dread. You see, in Germany, while some apartments are similar to apartment living in the U.S., others are not. Many “apartments” are actually built inside one large multi-family home. In our case, we live with two other families; our landlords on the second level and another family on the first. We share a basement where our laundry facilities are located and we each have a separate, locked, storage room. Now that you can somewhat picture my living arrangements in your head, let’s get on with the complaining.

Water Pressure

Dear God of all that’s holy all I want is a little water pressure! This is by far my number one reason behind times I have actually screamed in the shower. No matter what time of day I attempt to take a shower, the pressure almost always sucks. One day, and of course the day I was washing my hair, I was literally standing under the shower head praying for water….ANY WATER! Why? Because it had completely stopped and was just dripping. I will admit that it is not always quite that bad, but usually the pressure drops significantly enough that I find myself standing there waiting for it to come back to a level that will actually get the shampoo out of my hair.

Temperature

In the summer, you would never hear me complaining about this one bit. We live in the roof so it gets hotter than Hades up here so I usually took a cold shower by choice. But it’s winter! Aside from some hot tea, a hot shower is about the only way I can defrost my bones. I tend to get very cold living here and a hot shower is just what I need to resolve that problem. Well, not in this apartment and not in this shower. I have two options: scalding or lukewarm/cold. On a really good day, I get the perfect hot temperature and just as I’m enjoying it, I lose pressure and then it goes to lukewarm and it’s over. And I cry.

Size

This really isn’t a huge deal, but while I’m complaining about a shower for crying out loud, I might as well get it all out. I’m all for utilizing space well and it’s one of the things I love about German homes. They utilize small spaces very efficiently! But this shower just drives me nuts! The little shelf they actually built into the wall is only big enough for a single person’s items if you don’t want to play Tetris and Jenga every time you want your soap. It’s pretty difficult to turn around and definitely not big enough for two people {not that we do that in our house!} ;-) The only plus side to this small space is that now that it’s winter, we have been completely wiping down the shower after each use to prevent mold. German bathrooms don’t have ventilation aside from the windows. We were opening them, but that wasn’t helping, so we just completely dry it off and being small helps this happen quickly. Although, I also have times like the other day where I was drying it off, hit the faucet with my arm turning the shower back on and spraying myself and the wall of which both were dry already. It was great.

Well, that’s pretty much my venting session for today. I will say that this has been far from my experience with other showers in Germany. I’m just lucky enough to have this one as my own.

Anything about where you live now that drives you nuts?

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The Countdown To My Sanity

25 weeks. 175 days…..until….

I can go grocery shopping (or any kind of shopping) alone!

I can vacuum without a battle of wills.

I can mop without strategic maneuvers.

I can do laundry without having to hear blood-curdling screams.

I can have time for myself (what is that?). 

25 weeks. 175 days….until….

He has more educational playtime.

He has more social engagement and interaction.

He is submerged more into the German language and culture.

He has more intellectual stimulation and less time in the house. 

He walks to and from school with Mama with picnic lunches and playground time on nice days.

25 weeks. 175 days….until….

We have a two year old and kindergarten begins! But who’s counting?

toddler

Perfection Pending

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There Aren’t Enough Words

Have you heard of Emily who is the author of the blog, The Waiting? If not, you have been missing out. She is witty, funny, down-to-earth and presents a style and charm through her online presence like no other. She is an excellent writer and has the credentials to prove it. 

Well, once a week she hosts a link-up called “Remember the Time” with each week having a different theme. I have never joined in and I’m not sure why since I am such a big admirer of hers. This week’s theme is last days and it really got me thinking so I decided to join in. 

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Once upon a time, in my pretty distant past, I had the blessing and opportunity to work with children who had both chronic and terminal illness. The diagnosis could range from behavior issues such as Attention Deficit Disorder or Oppositional Defiance Disorder to seizure disorders and cancer. I started on this path in 2007 before I knew I would move to Germany for the first time in the early part of 2008. Sadly, I was only able to work with these amazing children for approximately 9 months. It was the best 9 months of my social work career. Granted, I loved working in the hospital and that too was both hard and wonderful work, but working with these kids on a regular basis is inspiring and not just in the moment, but for a lifetime.

Hardly a day goes by where I don’t remember the children that I came to know, but most importantly, the ones that I lost. People are typically shocked when I say how much I love working with terminally ill children. I’m sure you are shocked just reading that statement. It couldn’t be more selfish or more true. And here’s why: those kids are AMAZING.

As adults, we tend to underestimate the strength in children. We see them as innocent, beautiful creatures who also lack the life experience to make big, bold decisions. It’s in our nature to want to protect them, to shield them from the nasty evil in the world. So what do you do when your child is diagnosed with a terminal illness? More importantly, what do you do when you know your child is dying? It’s an unfathomable question, I know. Having my own child, I can’t even begin to think about it without my stomach doing all sorts of flips and being on the brink of tears. But it happens and these poor families struck with this tragedy have to deal with it.

So you’re probably still wondering how in the world I could enjoy such heart-wrenching work? Well, like I said, these kids are amazing. They have a spirit like no other and if spirit alone could cure their disease, there wouldn’t be loss. They fight the hardest fight anyone could have and they do it with smiles. They are still children and show it through the hope in their eyes, but they become so wise in a short time. They understand their illness and they know when they are ready to stop fighting. But until then, they will make lemonade out of lemons.

They will decorate their hospital rooms for Christmas. They will go trick-or-treating in their hospital ward. They will play games and laugh. They will remind you how precious life is and how much is taken for granted.

Of course there are bad times when they wonder what it’s like to die. When they realize they will never get married or have children. When they know their disease is winning and they are just tired. When they cry the tears of a child who just wants to be a “normal kid”. Those days are brutal, sad, heart-wrenching.

There aren’t enough words to describe the pain.

There aren’t enough words to describe how inspiring they are to others.

No words can accurately describe their hope, their dreams, their love.

In the end, these children accept their fate and their only concern is their loved ones. They become the protectors. They become the strength as their family is brought to their knees in despair. They become their own voice in telling the doctors to stop treatment. They become empowered. In the end, they get to have that last bit of control over their beautiful short life. 

It’s like nothing I have ever experienced and I feel so privileged that I was ever allowed to share those moments in a child’s life. They are my heroes, my inspiration, my hope. They aren’t here anymore and I am not there, but they have never, never left my heart. They changed me just as I’m sure they changed everyone they met.

They are angels here on Earth.

footprint

 

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