Summer Thunder Terrors…

So, it would seem that we have entered the season of nightly thunder storms.  It is still an hour until sunset here and more than two hours until dark and it’s pitch black outside with high winds and driving rain.  That alone would be impressive if it were not for the crashing and booming of thunder.  I had to turn off my car alarm a few minutes ago! 


I’m not here to tell you that though…  I’m here to regale you with yet another dog story! 


I was making dinner when this latest storm started up.   Both boys came running and since I was cooking I told them it was okay and to go lay down.  I finished up dinner and then realized that Gandalf had stayed in sight of me the whole time but I hadn’t seen Yoda since the moment I shooed him out of the kitchen.


I went and tried his favorite places to lay down, but I couldn’t find him.  I won’t lie, I started to feel a little guilty… I was distracted and not as gentle as I should have been when I shooed him away and he really is a big baby.  In fact last year during a storm he shook so hard that he hyperventilated and passed out!  With all of these thoughts spinning in my head I started to search for him in earnest because one thought was coming to the surface over and over…


He’s old.  11 and 1/2!  It is my fondest wish that when it’s his time to go, he goes at home, naturally, and preferably in his sleep.  But the thought that he might have had a heart attack and died of fear in some corner made me feel queasy!


(How’s that for morbid?) 


I called for him and searched high and low… starting to feel just a bit of panic.  I even went into the basement wondering if I had accidently shut him in after their last walk and then just imagined that he came into the kitchen with Gandalf in the kitchen… 


And then I found him… You’re not going to believe this!


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He was sitting in the corner of the shower, shuddering…


Keep in mind that he passionately hates baths and this is the scene of the crime, and that he stayed put long enough for me to get my camera, in fact I had to pick him up to get him out!  So this picture truly does say a thousand words!


I swear that tomorrow he’ll be in the tub with a mattress pulled over his head! 


I’ll let you know if he does!


Courtney 


 

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Summer Storms

I got to bed late last night.  I was working on my computer while watching a movie and the time simply got away from me.  It’s easy to lose track now… Sunrise is at 5:30am now and sunset isn’t until 9:30pm with full dark holding off until after 11pm!  So it was with a little jolt of surprise that I found myself not falling asleep until 1:00am!


Only to be awoken, violently, at 2:36am… 


I’m still not sure exactly what woke me.  Was it my schnauzer, Yoda, launching himself onto my chest, shivering and licking my face?  Or my enormous 110 pound Newfie, Gandalf, hurtling onto the bed right at his heels and laying across my stomach, whining?  Or perhaps it was the peal of thunder that actually rattled the windows and made the lamps shake and flicker?


In any case I found myself startled out of sleep and comforting two very frightened dogs in my not so empty bed.  It was actually kind of cute.  They were shuddering and whimpering and only my voice and touch could calm them down.  At one point I tried to get them to get off of my bed and the minute I said Yoda’s name to try to get him to move he nuzzled into my neck and hid his face…  and Gandalf tried to put his head under my pillow!  You could almost hear them begging …


“Mom, can’t we sleep with you tonight?”


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Ah my brave protectors.  That’s a lot of dog to hurtle onto your bed at 2:30 in the morning!


It went on and on…  Every time I would calm them down and start to drift off to sleep another peal of thunder would rock the house accompanied with pyrotechnic lightning and the boys would creep a little closer and shiver a little harder.  I think I finally comforted them enough to get them off the bed and drifted off to sleep for good sometime after 5:00am.  Unfortunately I still woke for the day at my usual time of 6:00am. 


Needless to say, I am exhausted today and have very little hope of getting anything done… ah well…


I haven’t seen a storm like that in years!  I love thunder storms but even I was a little bit frightened!


I’m off to take a nap…


Courtney

A Flurry of Flowers: Part II

A few weeks ago I awoke to another sunny day and a huge tractor mowing my back field!  They came through and mowed the grass then came back around with this attachment that threw the grass out evenly… A few hours later yet another pass scooped it into neat rows and then a fourth and final pass picked it all up, bailed it, and carted it away.


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It was such a pretty day that I decided to pack up my camera bag and strike out for a good long walk through my village.  I was delighted to see that the cows have been freed from their long winter in barns and are now happily grazing…



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One of the major crops here in Germany during the early spring is Conola.  The seeds are turned into Conola cooking oil and even more commonly, alternative fuel!


In any case they are beautiful aren’t they?



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My village church.



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Along the way to the edge of the village there were a variety of flowers.


Fruit trees…



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Lilac trees…



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In several shades of purple…



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This is the sign for my village…



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The barn on the edge of town with a view of the valley… 



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More Conola fields…  The smell of these fields is amazing.  For the first week or so they are in bloom they smell of heady flowers and then as the blooms mature and the sun beams down on them the air begins to smell like cooking french fries… it’s bazaar! 



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The Dandelions have lost their flowers and have become Dandelion clocks.  (Did you know that these are also called wishies here in Europe?)


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 The Winter Aconites have taken the place of the Dandelions.



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As I reached the end of the village a stunning view of the B-50 valley opened up at my feet. 



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Right at the edge of the old rustic barn.



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Beautiful views…



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The road out of town…



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I do believe that this village was once the site of an apple orchard… there are ancient apple trees everywhere! 



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The barn is home to a huge woodpile… and I caught a sparrow enjoying a moment in the sun…



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The fields are full of blooming grasses…



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It was a lovely day and walking around my village was rewarding.  I loved seeing a little more of what makes this place home.


Auf Wiedersehen,



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 Courtney

Flurry of Flowers: Part I

 Forgive me for taking so long between updates.  It has been a rather busy week here and my heart has simply not been in writing.  I have now been alone for more than 120 days and I have many more to count down on the calendar before my best friend is again by my side.  This is the longest we have ever been apart at one time now.  It has had me a bit down this past week…  But, no worries, I’ll bounce back, get my second wind and keep on keepin’ on. 


On to brighter and happier things… I have many pictures to share and I’m getting far far behind.  So, today is a catch up day. 


These pictures were taken about two weeks ago, in the full bloom of spring, when my apple tree was bursting with flowers and buzzing bees.


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 Isn’t it stunning?



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The tiny new cherry tree was not to be outdone, however.



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It too was heavy with blooms.



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And the walnut tree was a slow beginner but it’s getting there!



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Okay, back to the apple tree… I couldn’t quite get enough of it…



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 A warm afternoon spent under it’s shade…


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…Smelling it’s blooms…



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…And hearing the bees as they buzz in and out in a never ending search for pollen.



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Lovely day…



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When I had my fill of the apple tree I walked around into my front yard to see what was new…


I found a beautiful Dahlia… 



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 A shrub in full bloom…



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And the tender lavender shoots opening into full flower.


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Beautiful aren’t they?


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My little front garden (which is what they call the yard here) is a pleasant place to spend an afternoon or morning…  Just me, a cup of tea, and a good book.  I can’t wait for the time when Ryan can join me again…



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But the tree takes the cake.  I have never before seen one just like it. 



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To see this tree changing day by day is to understand why art was born.



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These are the days that make me wish I’d taken a few more art classes… but photography will have to do…



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Well, I have only 12 days until my Great Aunt Betty will be here for a two week visit.  This will be the last company I have before Ryan’s return… In fact it may very well be the last company I entertain here in Germany before we move home next summer. 


In the meantime I am busy preparing for their visit, spending time in the garden and in the sun, and working on all the projects I have yet to finish.


May your days be full of sunshine, cool breezes, and moments that make memories.



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 Auf Wiedersehen,


Courtney

Quirk

Strange fact about me #216


I believe with whole hearted sincerely that we need to adopt a new rating system for movies.  G, PG, PG13, and R, simply do not cut it for me as an adult.


The system should be much more in-depth.  It should take into account not only the content of the movie but it’s affect on the viewer.  It should be screened by different demographics and rated using the combined information gleaned from the focus groups attended by those audiences. 


In addition there should be a special warning system in place.  Something to the affect of;


“If you are a 27 year old Air Force wife living in a foreign country and your husband, whom you love so much that there are moments when you can’t imagine taking your next breath without him near you, is currently deployed to parts of the world unspoken, then this movie should be avoided AT ALL COSTS!  If you choose to ignore this warning the side affects may be, but are not all inclusive or limited too:


Uncontrollable sobbing, Snot and tears pouring down your face, Red puffy eyes, Raw sore throat, Difficulty breathing, Shuddering, An uncontrollable urge to go to bed early and pull the covers over your head, And, in rare cases, unbearable compulsions to watch any and all movies you may own that are labeled with this warning.


YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.”


Really how hard would that be?  I don’t think I’m asking a whole lot there do you?


I think I’m going to go bake a batch of brownies and put in something horribly sappy… maybe The Notebook?  No, I know, let’s go all out an watch Titanic! 


(Please insert huge dramatic eye roll, disgusted sigh, and a watery giggle here.)


Courtney


 


*EDIT*



*Okay since everyone is asking…*

 

Okay, okay… I had not intended to tell you what movie it was because I didn’t want to be laughed at but I can already tell every comment will include that question…. LE SIGH! 

 

Oh well…

 

It was… It… It was…

 

P.S. I Love you.

 

I know, I know… But please keep in mind the warning I wrote above, specific to my situation before you judge me too harshly.

Tea for Two: Part III

Guten Tag!


To continue…


One evening my mom and I decided to go out into my back yard and poke around.  During the two weeks that she was here everything changed on a daily basis… Every time we walked out the door there were more flowers, the trees had more leaves, a thousand little differences.


We were greeted by my apple tree breaking into bloom.


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Beautiful isn’t it?


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The pear tree too! 


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The yard was teeming with little busy things…


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 Even my walnut tree was waking up… finally… I had begun to wonder if it was dead!


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 The blackberry brambles are filling out too and I find that my mouth is watering in anticipation! 


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We walked around poking into little nooks and crannies… looking for unusual things… and then we looked down! 


I know what you’re thinking right now…  something along the lines of… “Snails?  So what?”


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 It’s not the fact that they are snails it’s the fact that they are snails as big as my palm!!!! 


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We called it a night after the snail encounter, and went inside to watch a movie… 


~~~~~


The next morning dawned warm and sunny and it was the second to last day before mom’s departure… so we decided to do something fun!  We did yard work!  I know, I know, I shouldn’t put my mother to work on her vacation, how can I call yard work fun.. ect. ect. ect.  But the truth of the matter is, yard work is something that both mom and I love!  And it was by far the most perfect day for it.


We started in the backyard… Mom mowing and m wielding the weed eater!  After a good morning of that we took a break for lunch outside!  It was a beautiful day for it!


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And then leaving the backyard and the boys…


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We started work on the front yard.  I was surprised to find that I had a tulip! 


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Pretty isn’t it?


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One of my mom’s favorite things about my house is the giant tree in my front yard.  During the summer it has a deep blood red (so dark it’s almost brown) foliage.  But in the spring when it just begins to get it’s leaves it’s as red as rubies! 


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 Even my little pine tree is getting new growth… 


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 I also found a group of these growing in my front flower bed.  I have no idea what they are.  They eventually bloomed into pretty stalks of purple flowers that I’ll post pictures of another day. 


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Isn’t that tree amazing?  I wish I could find out just what it was!


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And of course what would a day outside be if mom and I didn’t goof off… just a little?


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My tree over a field of dandelions.


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My turn!


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Looks like it’s on fire doesn’t it?  You should see it in the fall!


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Ah… a job well done…  I love sitting here in the morning sun with a good book and a cup of tea!


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Mom was off to the airport just a few days later…  We almost didn’t get her to the airport in time!  We were a bit late leaving but didn’t sweat it since we were leaving in time to get her there two hours before her flight.  But, as is always the case, on the day we were a bit late tragedy struck!  We were about 45 minutes out from the airport when we got stuck in a huge log jam of traffic.  Almost an hour later we got to the thing that had stopped us.  A tanker truck had flipped over on the bridge and blocked all three lanes of the autobahn.  They had just swung it over the free up one lane so we could get through.  We ended up getting the to airport five minutes after they had closed check in for mom’s flight but thanks to one very sympathetic man we got her checked in and to her gate just in time… WHEW!


It was a lovely two weeks… full of Jane Austen movies, quiet hours reading, lovely afternoon picnics, chit chatting, silly singing and just spending time together!  I’m glad she could come.


Well that’s it for me today,


Auf Wiedersehen,


Courtney

Tea for Two: Part II

Hello all,


I am flabbergasted at how quickly the time has gone this past week.   I have many pictures to share of my Mom’s visit but almost nothing to say since we didn’t do much.  Do you know how hard it is to come up with something interesting to say when your life bores even you?  Don’t get me wrong I am enjoying the spring and being out of doors but I can only subject you to my raptures for so long before I start repeating myself.  But, as I said, I have many pictures to share and much to accomplish here at my desk…  so I’m tethering myself down and working today.


Look for a flurry of posts over the next few days as I have to get all of these posted so I can move on!


So to continue the trip…


Let us begin with Dandelions…  A common little weed that we all struggle to keep out of our lawns and the cracks of our driveway!  Not here in Germany… Here in Germany the Dandelion or Löwenzahn is a celebrated herald of spring.  (Though they are really weeds here as well since they can choke out the vegetation in a grazing field.)


Coming from the desert I’ve seen Dadelions in twos and threes but this blew me away! 


These pictures are of my back field in bloom.


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Not only are there thousands of them but the heads reach 12 to 18 inches high!


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 They close at night so that when you first wake in the morning and look out the window there is nothing but a sea of green only to look again a few hours later and see blankest of flowers.


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I never thought I’d live to love these pesky little weeds! 



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On the Sunday morning after mom arrived here in Germany we decided to break our the bikes and go on an adventure! 


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 The blue skies and dandelion fields were just too much to resist!


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The wheat fields had just begun to come in… and the clear air gave us a spectacular view!


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We could not resist goofing off with the camera… of course.  So here are some head shots!


My mom…  Isn’t she pretty?


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Can you believe that she’s over 50?  (She’s gonna kill me for saying that!)


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Please let me have this woman’s ageing genes! 


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Then of course it was my turn…  I better be careful about scowling like that or I’m going to have premature wrinkles and kiss looking like my mom when I’m 50, er something, goodbye!


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I was laughing at her attempts to use my camera… 


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 She said something funny and got me really laughing… and then figured out the camera.  Figures!


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After our impromptu head shot session (*snicker*)  We decided it was time to get a move on and find a place to eat…


Wait did I mention we had packed a picnic? 



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After much scrambling about the countryside we found a quite clearing in an orchard that was blooming…  The perfect place to settle down for a quiet hour. 


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We had to leave the bikes at the edge o the orchard because the trees were too close to get them through.


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We settled in to eat…


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And I broke out the tripod to take a few pictures… 


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Isn’t this a beautiful spot?  I suppose it ruins the beauty of the story to admit that the picnic wasn’t all it was cracked up to be huh?  Oh well…  See all that tiny green growth on the floor of the clearing we’re sitting in?  Well turns out that was stinging nettle!  Which we found out at the expense of mom’s hand…  (Don’t worry mom, I got mine too… a few days after you left I slipped and stuck my whole hand into a bunch of it out in the back field… OUCH!!!)


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Oh well, it was fun and a great memory! 


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 After we had finished lunch, decided we had risked enough of our skin to stinging nettle, rescued our bikes, and climbed out of the orchard we discovered that we were on the top of a hill overlooking my whole town of  Mötsch.


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(Sigh) and of course we had to goof off some more…


Mom gazing with longing out at the beauties that surround her… 


“Ah the beauties of the forest!”


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“Ah me… yes, such beauties…”


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She catches sight of something unusual on the horizon and strains to get a better look…


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“Where?  I don’t see what you’re seeing mom!”


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Swelling music and suddenly she bursts into song  “A dream is a wish… you’re heart makes…”


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 Not to be outdone…  “Someday my prince will come…”


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 The music fades and we realize that we truly are dorks… we mount our bikes in shame and peddle back home giggling the whole way…  (That’s not really true… there was a lot of panting and wheezing since it was all uphill on the way home!  It always is you know!)


But at last we made it and collapsed in the patio chairs to drink some cold tea and enjoy a nice breeze! 


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The boys were glad to have us home… They were really bored without us.  (LOL)


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Yoda wanted to know if we had saved him anything from the picnic… 


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I’ll end there for the day.  I hope all of you have a lovely day and find a few moments to put your feet up and enjoy life!


Auf Wiedersehen!


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Courtney