End of year…

Guten Tag Xangaland!

Well here I am… it’s 7:30pm and I am alone.  Ryan won’t be home until after midnight so I’m catching up on a few projects I never seem to have the time to get to.  It seems as if this month has flown but and at the same time it seems as if it has always been September.    Sad thing is that I just realized that I missed my opportunity to play “Wake me up when September ends.” by Green Day.  it would have been perfect for this entry but there is always next year! 

Why can I not play it you might ask?  Well because I have a video I would love to share with you!  Please forgive me as it is a bit boring in the beginning but I thought you might like to see how vocal Gandalf has become when it comes to his walks!  He usually does it a lot more than this but of course this was the time I had the camera out!  We sat there forever waiting for him to do what he normally does right away but it’s just so cute I had to share anyway… if I ever get a better one I’ll put it up! 



How cute is that?  Well to me it’s priceless but they are after all my kids!  He only started howling about a year ago and since we have come here it’s gotten simply hilarious!!!  He does it when he wants you to feed him and walk him or just pay attention…  He’ll sometimes do it five or six times and it is so expressive!  But for some reason not annoying.  LOL

Well that’s it for me for the day… I’m off to finish working on some paperwork and then maybe settle in with a good book and a blanket…  It’s 56 degrees right now and raining… so beautiful.

Auf Wiedersehen!


Crochet and Pampered Chef

Guten Morgen Xangaland!

Welcome to an entry of shameless self promotion!

I have been crocheting my fingers off since we have arrived here in Germany and have managed to add a few blankets to our linen closet and scarves and hats to my wardrobe… I thought that I would share a few pictures of the more interesting of these today.

This hat is a bobble beret and it’s really a lot of fun! I can’t wait to wear it. When the weather gets colder you may just see pictures of me wearing it in the snow!!!


Please excuse my hand I really don’t know how else to display this without a mannequin head and those are a little hard to come by in the BX.


This blanket is the ugliest thing I’ve ever made and a part of me loves it! Every time I look at it I groan at the pure 60’s of it and at the same time I’m just thrilled…


It’s a new bow tie pattern which was so fun to work up and the colors do match my house but somehow the way it worked up it looks like it should be flung over a couch in ‘That 70’s Show’! Oh well… I’m enjoying it at least.



The other thing I wanted to talk about is Pampered Chef. I love it and I love cooking with it and I have been talked into hosting a party here in Germany as some of you already know. The lady that will be doing the show has been kind enough to put my show online due to the fact that almost everyone I know will not be able to fly to Germany to attend a cooking show!

So in the spirit of self promotion, I invite you all to attend my online cooking show. You can go here


to order from my show.   Once the website is loaded click on the picture of the stoneware that says Our Products in the bottom left hand corner.  It will take you to a page that says there are two ways to order invited and not invited.  Well you have been invited so click the boxes and enter my first and last name.  Courtney Laube and you’ll be set to get started.  If you have any questions feel free to email me and I’ll try to get an answer for you.

If you have never dealt with Pampered Chef before let me just say that I love everything I have from them… there is not a single thin I regret buying and if you like to cook at all some of these things are simply a must have!!! I also highly recommend the baking stones… You can not burn food on them and they make everything taste better and come out more moist or more tender, most definitely worth every penny.

My show closes on October 30th so if you want to order please do so by then. If you spend 60$ or more you will receive this new bar board…

bar board

For free!

And let me just interject a sentence that is far beyond shameless!!!

This show will close out just five days after my birthday and the more sales I have the move discounts and free products I get and therefore the more Ryan will be able to buy me for my birthday!

(((Snicker))) Told you it was shameless.

I would love for you to all attend (online of course) and make my first show a success!

(No worries I won’t make this a habit!)

Now of course here’s me again taking off my shameless promotion hat…  My dad raised us to never pester sell.  We didn’t even participate in the school fundraisers!  LOL  So please feel no pressure.  I would love you to participate but if you can’t you can’t.  Really!  This is all in good fun.


Okay now that that is over…. Only a few more days until end of year! Ryan will work 12pm to 12am on Saturday and Sunday and then he gets Monday off so that we can do appointments and get the bike finished and registered and then we are free! Well not completely free but free enough to be able to do weekend trips again.

I’m off to visit and catch up on emails!


I’m all caught up and what a feeling!

*End Edit*

Auf Wiedersehen!



Guten Morgen Xangaland!

I woke this morning to a cold gray day… It is about 50 degrees here at almost noon and still foggy and chilled…

This is what the view from my balcony normally looks like…


This is today.


Isn’t that amazing? Being from the desert I can remember one or two times in my life when I experienced “fog” and it was never anything like this! I really do love it here… as much as I miss home, and I do, this is the most amazing experience!

Our internet service seems to finally be fixed… obviously… Hopefully we will not meet with many of these problems… I know I’m an internet addict but honestly this is my only form of communication to the world… We don’t have a phone we have an internet phone so without it we can’t even contact family… not to mention we have TV through the internet as well… So without it we are utterly cut off.

Sadly enough after five days with no contact I find that I have nothing to say! End of year is fast approaching (only 4 more days) and then we will be off again…

Until later then…

(Me and Ryan in my mother’s home last winter)


Auf Wiedersehen!


Hello Xangaland!

The internet has been down here in the land of fairy tales for 4 days 19 hours 23 minutes… 7 minutes of internet in five days…

Considering this is our only means of communication with anyone and our only television… it’s been a trial…

I have no idea if this will get through or how long the connection will last… I just wanted to let you all know we are fine and that things are going well. 

If this lasts I’ll write for real tomorrow and try to catch up with everyone…

Until then…

Missing you…


Guten Morgen Xangaland!

The end of September is fast approaching and as a result Ryan’s hours are growing ever longer… on top of that he is studying every night when he gets home.  In the mean time I’ve been doing a lot of code work on my site, as you’ve seen, changing things up and giving it a new skin… that way it’s all ready to go when we begin to travel again!

I have been cooking like a mad woman the past few weeks… I’ve always loved to cook but since I’ve been here I’ve found my niche again and I’m taking full advantage of it!  Last night I made Jambalaya and tonight a Beef Stew…  I’ve learned to make Schnitzel and hollandaise sauce, different kinds of gravies… vegetable salads… ect…  I’m in love with cooking! 

Ryan is still working on getting the bike fixed… He thinks he has found the problem and it looks as though it will be much easier and much cheaper to fix than we originally thought.  We have been waiting on the parts and they have finally arrived… So we should know in the next few days how it will all turn out.

Nothing much else going on…

Auf Wiedersehen!


September mornings…

Sorry about the pictures of myself… I was playing with my camera this morning and exploring some program options… I love my camera!


Guten Morgen Xangaland,

Please excuse my fanciful moods of the last few days… chill weather and the first scents of fall always do this to me I’m afraid…


I find myself amazed at the fact that almost all of September has passed us by. Time is such a peculiar thing. Rushing forward and holding back… ebbing and flowing as a creek through different seasons with no rhyme or reason to it’s flow…I feel in some ways as if I have always been here and that I always will be… other times I feel as if three years will pass so quickly that I’ll be sorry to return…


The weather has turned chilly here in the land of fairy tales… Evening rains and morning fog… mists so damp that the screens on the windows bead with moisture that does not burn off until well into the afternoon… It’s a far cry from desert life… It won’t be long until the leaves begin to change and make, what I am told, is a beautiful fall season here.


My days are spent passing the time… writing, reading, crocheting… Waiting for Ryan to return home… Not much longer and the month will end… and with it the fiscal year… Then Ryan and I will be off traveling once more. I’ll have stories and pictures to share once more… until then however,


…I wait…





New Horizons…


Do you know what today is?

The two year anniversary of me coming to Xanga…



New look for the fall… What do you think?

*End Edit*


Guten Morgen Xangaland!

I’m back and feeling much better, thank you for all the comments.  I know the music on this post is bad for reading it but I couldn’t help it.  You’ll see why… though you may not understand my sense of humor!  LOL  Hope all of you are doing well.  I have missed you.  I went around and caught up today so you should all have comments!

Now for the real post.


In every new place I live there is always a moment when the frenzy of settling in and spreading about the things that make me feel at home, ceases and I see it. This place becoming more than an apartment, more than a strange new place, but at last, if only for a moment, home.

This morning the moment took place.

I was going about my house completing my chores and putting everything in order. I stopped to look at my family room, now adorned with growing potted plants, bits of colored glass in the form of candle holders and vases, my old friends my books, and pictures of my family, bathed in the rosy glow of a beautiful dawn in this land where fairy tales still live… And there at last I felt it, I was home.

A fanciful thought flitted through my mind and I couldn’t’t help but share it.

I thought of the Victorian women who traveled to the ends of the earth with their explorer husbands. Whether they called the jungles of South America or the Deserts of Egypt home, there was comfort and beauty with them…

I can see this woman in my mind’s eye, adorned in expensive fabrics, quietly sitting in her canvas tents, with billowing yards of mosquito netting blowing in the stiff breezes. The hot desert sun glaring off the white sand just inches from the expensive Turkish rug her sofa rests upon. There are stools of mahogany and pillows of silk placed tactfully around the room awaiting her guests. A gramophone with the latest Gilbert and Sullivan opera playing softly upon it, a gleaming silver tea service placed on a low table in front of her and a cup of the genial beverage cooling at her elbow. She sits reading the latest Rider Haggard novel, a bit guiltily, hoping that her husband doesn’t discover it. For a lady does not read such tales of werewolves and vampires, but she secretly cannot put the book down and her dreams are haunted despite herself.


She has made a home here.


It occurred to me that there is a bit of her in me, and in all the military wives that are called to leave home and country and make a home for their families wherever they land. With a small bundle of trinkets, a few sticks of furniture, and a coin purse sadly lightened by the move, we are called upon to create a home that will both make our husbands (and ourselves) proud should a colleague come to call and make our family feel as if they never left their home behind.

So here I sit… Even though we are very different, she and I, and a century separates us… I still have a Turkish rug under my sofa, I’m listening to music, reading a book that will give me nightmares and drinking a cup of the genial beverage. (Earl grey tea) Though of course my music is Day of Fire and my book is by Steven King… but it is my home away from home…


I am content.

The song of the day is naturally a Gilbert and Sullivan piece called “When I was a Lad” from the opera U.S.S. Pinafore 

(You didn’t think I made that up did you?)


The Burning…

Guten Morgen Xangaland!
In the last few days the fire department has been burning apartment after apartment in the building across the way from us.  (We found out that the building has unrepairable sewage problems so the Air Force is tearing it down and building it new.)  They  finally moved into a section we can see from the porch and so we, along with all of our neighbors, sat out on our porch and watched the show!  And of course I got pictures to share with all of you!
The first picture is just after they set the fire… the smoke is just beginning to billow, and you can see the men running around and getting ready.
The fire has just broken out the window.  You can see the men getting suited up to begin the fight.
The fire is going full force now!  You should have seen the kids all around the building…  Straining forward in the lawn chairs their mothers had put out for them as yelling and laughing at each big pop and blast from the diesel trucks…  Kids make everything fun!
Bleeding the truck and going into the building! 
prepping the trucks
The firemen were actually fighting the fire from inside the building but the fire got so hot that a few of the veterans got geared up and hosed off the windows above the blaze, I assume to contain the fire to the apartment they were using for training on that day.
 I even got a few seconds of video of the fire fight for you.

The beginning of the end…  the fire was beginning to die out and every once in a while you could see a stream of water shoot out the window as the firemen inside continued the fight. 
Nothing left but steam and smoke.
Victory!  You can just see the fireman standing out on the porch getting a breath of fresh air.
Yoda absolutely refused to watch the fire with me.  He was instead intrigued with watching the neighbors dog walk around his porch while his family watched the fire too…  After noticing his frantic low crawls toward the separating door I though that I might as well as share the sight!  I have to keep pulling him back because he kept sticking his head under the gate and as much as he thinks he’s a big bad brawler (he does have Gandalf throughly under thumb, if he had any that is!) this dog is a much bigger dog and a stranger to boot. 

Well there you have it… our little weekend adventure…  And I must admit a taste of home… The warm air blowing off the fire felt almost like the desert heat!  And watching the firemen fight fires will always remind me of home… since my Father, three uncles, two cousins, best friends father, and countless others in my family call this their profession.
In other news… sad news…  Ryan got the bike up and running but before we were able to take the much anticipated ride he noticed a leak.  After a panicked phone call to my father he checked many alternative possible problems… but alas the original fear is true… we have blown a head gasket…  Not a big deal on a car but a HUGE deal on a bike.  (SIGH)  So it needs repairs and though TMO says to claim it since there were NO problems before we shipped it, they say it’s very unlikely we’ll get paid for it since it’s a mechanical problem we can’t prove they caused  (Grumble)
So our bike riding days are postponed for now.  We are hoping to get it up and running soon.  It’s only money right? LOL
Well that’s it for today!  Hope you are all doing well.
Auf Wiedersehen!