I can’t believe it! Huzzah!

Guten Tag!

I am so excited today!  Why?

My mom is coming for a visit…  She’ll be coming for two weeks, April 22nd through May 5th. 

I must say a tremendous thank you to the two most important men in my life, my husband and my father! 

My husband, because he decided that the break between Lynne’s visit (a friend from high school) and my Great Aunt Betty’s visit (a full three months to the day after Lynne leaves) was going to be too long.  So he arranged for my mom to come visit me for two weeks, smack dab in the middle to break it up! 

My father, of course, because he’s letting her come!  They both just retired in January and so this will be their first year foot loose and fancy free and he’s graciously giving up two weeks of their plans to let my mom come and keep me company!  

So I have five days until Lynne arrives.  (So excited for that!)  She’ll be here for one week.  March 4th – March 10th

Exactly six weeks from the day Lynne leaves my mom arrives.  She’ll be here for two weeks.  April 21st – May 5th

Five weeks to the day after my mom flies home, my Aunt Betty and Uncle Mike arrive for a two week visit.  June 9th – June 23rd

By the time my Aunt Betty leaves, the bulk of this deployment will be over and I’ll be in the final countdown to Ryan’s return!

I’m over the moon…  There is nothing that makes the time go by as quickly as having it broken up into pieces. 

So the ticket is purchased the plans are made and I can’t wait!

These two guys have made me a very happy person today!


I’m off to get ready for Lynne’s visit,

Auf Wiedersehen,


Old Wives’ Tales…

There is an old wives’ tale that states…

“Bad things always happen in threes.”

There is a not so old military wives’ tale that states…

“When your husband deploys, everything breaks!”

This past week has seen the combination of these two wives’ tales in my life.

It all started last Friday, the 15th of February.  I woke up that morning feeling full of vim and vigor!  After a full week of Emily’s presence and my subsequent neglect, the house was in desperate need of cleaning, and so I decided to hop to!  I told Emily to occupy herself for a few hours while I cleaned and polished.  I began by picking up around the house and getting everything in it’s proper place and then went down to the basement to bring up the vacuum.

  (I have to pause here to tell you that my vacuum is a Dyson.  It’s expensive, but awesome, and with no kids to occupy our lives a few gadgets are affordable.  Throwing them away, however, is not affordable!)

I hauled the vacuum and the transformer upstairs and began the task of sucking up the enormous amount of hair my dog can leave lying about in a full week.  I finished Emily’s room and then moved out into the hall.  Suddenly the vacuum stopped working…  It was on but wouldn’t stand up.  A little concerned, I laid it down and tore into it.  I finally decided that I needed to stop or I wouldn’t remember how to put it back together!  I figured that a vacuum that wouldn’t stand up was annoying and inconvient but I would just live with it until Ryan came home.  I started vacuuming again and it quickly became apparent that not standing up was not the only problem.  The vacuum no longer had any suction from the foot.  That would not do.  So Emily and I loaded up and headed out.  After a few hours of shopping around I bought the cheapest vacuum I could find… 75$  I love having such limited access, I must say!

We returned home, I built the vacuum, Emily went back to her book and off I went to vacuum… again.  When I got to my room a few moments later I decided to go ahead and wash the sheets from my bed while I was cleaning.  So I stripped the bed, carried all the bedding down to the basement, and started a load of laundry.  I then went happily (well more like annoyed but at least the problem was solved) back to my vacuum and the book loaded onto my iPod.

About 30 minutes later a boom reverberated through the house.  Emily and I both heard it but because I was vacuuming both of us dismissed it as a fancy.  About 20 minutes after the boom I went downstairs to check on the laundry.  As I turned the corner into the laundry room I felt my jaw drop open in horror.  My washing machine had committed washerside.  It had leapt off of the pedestal it stood on and managed to land almost six feet from it’s original position ripping the plug out of the wall along the way.  There was water, soap, and fabric softener everywhere!  I stood there for a moment in stunned silence and then started hollering for Emily!

(Oh how I wish I had taken a picture!)

She ran downstairs and gasped at the sight.  After a few moments of shock we wrestled the extremely heavy washing machine (German washers are loaded full of concrete to keep exactly this from happening) back up onto the pedestal and started cleaning it all up.  Once everything was mopped up and cleaned we started the washer to make sure it still worked.  It did!  Fabulous… so I put my laundry back in, shored up the foot so it wouldn’t rock any more, started the washer, and proceeded to watch it for about 20 minutes to make sure everything was fine.  Emily went back to her book and I, back to my vacuum.

An hour later the power went out.  After hours of trial and error we learned that we had lost the following;  the washer and dryer, the upstairs hall light and plugs, all the plugs and lights in Emily’s room, the lights in the upstairs bathroom (the only bathroom with a shower), the dishwasher, the kitchen lights, half of the stove top (someone explain that to me please!), all of the plugs in the basement, all the outside lights, part of the basement light, all the power in the garage, which included the backup freezer!  Eventually we discovered that what we had was a blown fuse. 

In a German power box there is a redundant system.  You have both fuses and breakers.  There are three fuses in a German house and each fuse controls a section of your breakers.  I know you’re thinking that a blown fuse isn’t that big of a deal right?  Just replace it you say?  Not possible.  Check this out!


Yep, you’re seeing that correctly.  It not only blew it melted the metal box!  It also fused all the wires and ruined the whole part which had to be replaced. 

So my first thought was to call CE (to whom the washer and dryer belong) but of course this all happened on a Friday afternoon… and Monday was President’s Day!!!  Emily and I stuck out the weekend and then I took her to the airport on Tuesday morning…  Then began my adventures in trying to put my house back together again.

CE finally came out on Wednesday morning to fix the washer and dryer.  Of course the power was out so they replaced the fuse.  When he put the fuse in the box it started hissing and spitting sparks!  He left it in just long enough to check that they had fixed the washing machine then took it out and told me that I could not put it back in.  That this problem could quite literally burn the house down.  So I set about getting ahold of our landlord.  She was not able to come out with an electrician until Friday evening.  He came, he fixed it, and everything worked again! 


Until I went downstairs to run a load of laundry.

The washing machine leaked like a sieve.  I had had my suspicions about how well the CE guys had fixed it.  They were only here for a few minutes.  I had suspected that I was getting pat on the head but chose to believe the best of them… Big mistake as it was still broken and here I was on another Friday afternoon!

CE sent two different men yesterday.  After 20 minutes of ACTUALLY looking at the machine they simply gave me a new one, bid me a nice afternoon, and that was that.

Everything is finally back to normal (knock on wood) ten days later.

So, long (and boring I’m sure) story short?  These two old wives’ tales proved true for me.  Do you think I should start eating more carrots?  Stop popping my knuckles?  Stop going out without a coat?  Maybe stop eating pop rocks and soda together?  Hmmmm?

Ah well…  That is where I’ve been all week… How about you?


In other news… Today marks one month since Ryan left.  I’m actually amazed at how quickly this month went by!

Off to do my grocery shopping and catch up on my laundry,

With that I bid you Auf Wiedersehen!


Mr. Darcy


Oh why not just tell the truth? 

I’m pining.

In the last two days I have had a veritable Jane Austen fest!

I have watched;

Colin Firth’s (for it really is his) Pride & Prejudice

The new Pride & Prejudice (which by and by is a fine substitution if you do not have the time to watch the 6 hour version)

Jane Austen’s Persuasion

Jane Austen’s Emma


Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility

Should I have had others I’m sure I would have watched them too…

For now I’m doomed to repeat, I think, until this is out of my system.  Yep, I’m pretty sure that tomorrow I’ll be starting again from the beginning… Darn the need for sleep or I would just start now! 🙂

*End Edit*


I have but two words for you this evening my dears,

Mr. Darcy



A Lovely Day… Or Twelve!

Guten Tag!

I picked Emily up on Friday the 8th at the Frankfurt airport.  It’s a two and a half hour drive from there back to my home and we spent the trip catching up.  It’s funny how we seem to fall back into our routine so easily.  In fact I don’t think we even hugged when she came out of the terminal.  I just smiled, she said hello, and we were off to find her bags…  We never seem to mention her trip or the time we spent apart… it’s really strange now that I think about it. 

Once home we settled right in to a comfortable routine and honestly never looked back!


Emily and I have been best friends since before either of us can remember clearly…  We have always teased that we are bossom friends… Just like Anne and Diana in Anne of Green Gables.  We have yet to decide who is who…


We spent the twelve days of Emily’s vacation doing absolutely nothing!


Our days were spent reading, both out loud together and alone, we watched movies in the evenings, cooked every meal, and we walked!


Almost the moment Emily stepped off the plane the weather broke.  It has been dreary and grey for months on end and starting the day she arrived we had 12 days of almost uninterrupted sunshine! 


We walked and talked and enjoyed each other’s company.


She enjoyed the chill and I simply basked in the sunlight!


We explored the fields, cold and just beginning to green…


And the woods, dark and quiet…


It was fun to take the dogs and explore the area that is now my home…


Ryan and I haven’t had much of a chance to do that with how busy this last year has been.


I can’t wait for him to come home this summer so I can show him some of the places I’ve discovered.


The views from the top of the fields down into my little town were stunning.


Pictures of all of this sunshine don’t really let you in on how cold it was though.  At one point I looked over at Emily and she had tears streaming down her face.  I asked her why she was crying and she said she wasn’t her eyes must just be watering in the wind.


Later, when we arrived back home she had a rash everywhere on her face that there had been tears.  They had frozen to her face!!!


But you wouldn’t suspect how cold it was to look at it… so beautiful.


It gives me such a longing for true spring!


It was relaxing and refreshing to spend our days out in the glorious sunshine… just talking.


We spoke of our growing families, our nieces and nephews, new brothers and sisters through marriage…


Of politics and religion…  the things that God has done in our lives…


Of our hopes and dreams…. realized, discarded, and the ones we still hold out for…


Simply put?  Everything and nothing at all!


I think being outside in the fresh air and sunshine went a long way in refreshing both of our spirits…


Even Gandalf seemed to come out of the semi hibernating state that he’s been in since this eternal winter fell upon us in June!


One day dawned just as bright and cheerful but also almost warm!  So we walked down a dirt farm road to the little patch of woods close to my house.


We walked along the edge of the wood…


Peering in and wondering if we should venture in…


And made a fun discovery!


An old plow stored at the edge of the woods for winter…


All rusted and covered in moss!


We decided to strike out across the woods and explore a bit.


It was amazingly beautiful… so hushed and still…


I can’t wait to walk through again in the summer!


 Perhaps you are thinking to yourselves, that we should have done more with her time here…


But this was a very “us” vacation.  For years we took vacations together and they consisted of finding a place to camp (which always took me longer than it took her since I wanted the very ‘best’ place and was never quite sure we’d found it.) and then walking reading and daydreaming.


 We were blessed to have the chance to do just that one last time.


 It may be quite some time, if at all, before we are able to vacation together again.  Let alone a vacation just like this.


You see, Emily just bought a house back home in Phoenix!  I’m so excited for her!  But with a house come all of those boring adult things… like a mortgage payment!


By the time she recovers enough from this purchase, settles in and decides just what life has to offer her, Ryan and I will be gone from this place…  


Who knows where we’ll all be by then?


So we took full advantage of this trip… 


To enjoy the things that we had put aside as grown ups…


And make some great new memories!


Who would have ever thought that Emily and I would be sitting on a bench in Germany?  Especially after all times I teased her for taking German in high school!  I always said it was an impractical language to learn when you live in Phoenix… and now of course I’m jealous! 

We are not at all what we had dreamed and planned we’d be.  Our lives have not gone according to plan…  But our lives are good.  We are happy and content…


And no matter how much we have grown up, no matter how much responsibility we both carry… we can still twirl!


And so with that I bid thee,

Auf Wiedersehen,


Valentine’s Day


I’ve been asked who took these pictures for me…

I did.

And I have to say that it takes a lot of trial and error pictures with your arm held out to get a few good ones…

I have long arms! 🙂



Guten Tag!

I know it’s been quite a while since we last had a good chat… It might be a wee bit longer though… I dropped Emily off at the airport yesterday and have a ton of things to do around here to catch up my chores and get my house in order.  I have pictures and stories to share with you from the last few weeks.


On Valentine’s Day the doorbell rang.  I ran to get it wondering who it could be. 

Ryan had sent me flowers!  Pink Gerber Daisies and roses in a classic German bouquet!


You’re probably thinking that it’s no big deal right?  A lot of women get flowers on Valentine’s Day.  

Well you would be WRONG!  It’s a very big deal!


In almost 8 years of marriage these are the very first flowers my husband has ever had sent to me or even bought for me, for that matter. 

(Don’t blame him though… this stems from being so broke for the first few years of our marriage… flowers were simply not a priority… and by the time we could afford things like this we’d lived long enough without them that they just didn’t matter.)


I can’t believe he’s been gone almost a month…  The time has gone quickly so far…

But I’ve had distractions to keep me busy…. and we have more than five and a half months to go.


I’ll be back soon with stories to tell and pictures to share…

Until then,

Auf Wiedersehen!



When You’re Gone

Who would have thought that Avril Lavigne could capture it so perfectly?

When You’re Gone

I always needed time on my own
I never thought I’d need you there when I cry
And the days feel like years when I’m alone
And the bed where you lie is made up on your side

When you walk away I count the steps that you take
Do you see how much I need you right now? 

When you’re gone
The pieces of my heart are missing you
When you’re gone
The face I came to know is missing too
And when you’re gone
The words I need to hear
To always get me through the day and
make it ok
I miss you

I’ve never felt this way before
Everything that I do reminds me of you
And the clothes you left, they lie on the floor
And they smell just like you
I love the things that you do

When you walk away I count the steps that you take
Do you see how much I need you right now?

When you’re gone
The pieces of my heart are missing you
When you’re gone
The face I came to know is missing too
And when you’re gone
The words I need to hear
To always get me through the day and
make it ok
I miss you

We were made for each other
Out here forever
I know we were, yeah yeahhh
All I ever wanted was for you to know
Everything I do, I give my heart and soul
I can hardly breathe
I need to feel you here with me, yeah

When you’re gone
The pieces of my heart are missing you
When you’re gone the face I came
to know is missing too
And when you’re gone
The words I need to hear
will always get me through the day
and make it ok
I miss you

Nothing much…

Good Morning,

Here I sit drinking my morning pot of tea, looking out the window at the damp and misty street… and I find that I have nothing to talk about.

I have a busy week ahead of me getting ready for Emily’s visit.  I need to get the house cleaned, the guest bed made up, the grocery shopping done, the fridge stocked, and the car all gasses up.   I leave to pick her up in Frankfurt on Friday morning and she’ll be here for 12 days.  I’m excited to have the company!

Other than that there really isn’t anything going on.

Ryan is where he’s going and he’s safe and sound.  I haven’t spoken to him for a week due to a cut cable in Egypt that’s been all over the news… You can read about it on www.egyptdailynews.com or just do a search for it on Yahoo news… It’s affecting communications between Europe and Africa/Mideast… 

I’ll try to keep up with everyone but basically I won’t really be around much until after Emily goes home.  Unless of course something comes up that I simply have to write about!

Hope all of you are well,



How Do I Love Thee?

Six days… it feels like an eternity already!

So because I’m missing him I want to share a little piece of who we are with you today.  You simply can not be married to a man like Ryan and not have a dozen quirky little stories…


When I was in high school I was obsessed with poetry… for that matter I wrote my fair share of maudlin prose and even saw some of it published.

My favorite poem of all time was “How Do I Love Thee?by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.”

When Ryan and I were dating I discovered that he was not the kind to spout poetry and that was fine with me since I’d had my fill of broody men with poetic hearts.  I was ready for something real… though I thought I would miss the poetry.  When we married I found that poetry never really mattered…

In him I find a man who is solid and real.  Who can make me laugh when I am brooding, who can make me giggle when no one else has ever managed it.


 A man who puts up a fight when I feel like fighting, or who can be tender when I’m feeling raw and empty…


 Who can still make my knees tremble with a simple kiss…


 A man who decided that this poem I had loved  my whole youth just did not quite say what it needed to say for us. 

You’re probably wondering why I’m writing about this poem of all things…  You see I was searching the other day for a card to put in the care package I’m about to send him.  I found one that has this poem in it and instead of causing those old teenage feelings of angst and passion to resurface it made me remember something that is just so trademark us.

I told him once how much I had loved that poem and he grinned his silly grin and grabbed my face in his hands.

He looked deep into my eyes and said,

“Courtney, How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways!”

“One…” and he kissed my forehead.

“Two…” and he kissed my cheek.

“Three…” and he kissed my other cheek.

“Fooour…” big smootch on the lips… “EVER!”


The man may not have poetry in his soul but he knows just how to capture mine.


Hurry home my love…



P.S.  Oh my… well I just got an email from Ryan letting me know he had read this post.  This is his comment.

“By the way, I do too have poetry in my soul.  Check this out:


“There once was a man from Peru,

Who worked in a world famous zoo,

He tripped on a stump,

And fell in a “dump”,

And now people say he’s the POO!”


I actually just made that up.  Shakespeare, eat your heart out.


All my love,