A Reason to be Thankful!

I just got a phone call…

The best phone call any military wife can receive!

In less than an hour I’ll be in Ryan’s arms again!

HE’S HOME!!!

What a Thanksgiving we’re going to have.

Since I’ll be too busy to come around tomorrow I’ll take this opportunity to say…

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Courtney

The fall of Winter before the end of Fall?

Oh what a weekend it has been! 

I have too many pictures of the snow from this weekend and I’ll apologize to those of you who are used to it, but please remember I’m from Phoenix, Arizona and the last time it snowed enough to stay on the ground back home I was in first grade!

So here you are, my weekend of snow in pictures!

The morning of my last post, it was still dark when I took pictures and wrote about it… but you should have seen the dawn! 

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 The sun came out on a world of white and the clouds actually rolled back to give us a few beautiful hours of blue skies!

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 Everything was so hushed… the whole village smelled of ice and wood smoke!

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The fields were blanketed and looked like something out of a Christmas book.

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So I took the boys out and they romped in the fresh snow for a while!

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I also figured that this was the day to introduce you to an addiction of mine. 

CLOAKS!

Most of you will remember the red wool cloak I got when I first moved here… well I also have this satin lined moleskin that I LOVE!

(Psst!  See how powdery that snow is?)

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 The cloak is lined with a chocolate brown satin and is unbelievably warm!  I was in a thin sweater and jeans and wasn’t even chilly!

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 The dogs love to wrestle when they get excited and they were having a blast!

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And then, with the sun still shining, the snow started to fall again. 

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 I took a few moments to take pictures of my rose bush though.  I desperately need to cut it back but this freeze took me off guard!

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 Look at the size of these rose hips! 

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Blue skies and snow flakes!

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Oh what a pretty wind swept snow day!

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As the sky began to darken that evening (which now falls at about 4:30pm) the snowfall was mixed with wind…  

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18 mile and hour winds!  It quickly became hard to see!

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And the result was stunning!  The snow just blew and sparkled in the wind.  Of course it was not fun to be out in it when the dogs had to go out before bed but hey, it’s better than driving ICE like last year!

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 This morning when I woke up the snow was beginning to melt but there was enough to take the boys out to play!

Oh how Gandalf loves the snow!

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He also loves to eat it!

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Yoda is pretty fond of it too!

(And for those of you who will ask, yes my dog has multiple hand made sweaters.  Yes I know that’s horribly stupid.  However, you have to see it to believe it, this dog LOVES his sweaters!  He hates being cold and if I don’t put him in one he’ll follow me around shivering until I figure out what he wants.  Then all I have to do is hold one up and he’ll start twirling and barking and trying to climb into it.  In fact if I hold up two he’ll pick the one he wants.  It’s quite hilarious, just ask anyone who has visited me here!)

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Sorry for this slightly indecent picture but it so completely illustrates the boys’ personalities!  Yoda launches himself at Gandalf with all the confidence of a much larger dog and Gandalf awaits the attack cheerfully having just swallowed a huge bite of snow!  They are such good brothers!

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There was a quick break for Yoda to prance in an untouched patch of snow…

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And for Gandalf to eat it of course!

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 And then it was back to playing!

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As I’m sitting here writing this entry it’s already begun to snow again!  I hope that this points to a white Christmas!  I would love for Ryan and I to have one this year! 

Well, I’m off, I have much to do this week in preparation for big events!  Tomorrow I’ll begin my holiday baking and laundry.  Then Wednesday is an all day clean-a-thon and if all goes well a quick trip to the base to pick up a very important package.  If that package arrives my Thanksgiving day will be complete!

Keep warm and enjoy your holidays!

Auf Wiedersehen! 

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 Courtney

 

Still Snowing!

And so the ‘dusting’ has become a couple of inches and there looks to be no end in sight! 

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I awoke at 0630 to find the quiet hush of a dark winter morning.  The only sound, the falling snow.

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What a gift for our last winter in Germany!

Well I’m off to enjoy the snow and the fact that I’m snuggled down in my warm and cozy home.   I’ve already done all my Thanksgiving shopping and picked up my mail so I don’t even have to leave the house until next week!  So come on snow!!!!

I just hope we continue to get snow so that Ryan and I have a chance to go and play when he gets home!

You can bet there will be pictures later!

Courtney

Holy Snowflakes Batman!

Ryan and I moved to Germany in the summer of 2006.

Our very first snow?  March 19, 2007.  We were shocked as we had expected a white Christmas and all the tales of this winter wonderland to be true but alas we arrived at the cusp of their warmest winter on record!

Until this past winter that is…

Our first snow of the very next winter?

March 21st!!!!  I was so excited that I posted pictures of it!

In all our two Christmas seasons here in The Land of Fairy Tales have been less than fairy tale perfect.  Instead of having snowball fights and making snow angles it’s been, ‘get up early to salt the driveway and slag through the ice and sleet everywhere you go.’

I just got in from taking the boys out for a potty break to discover….

SNOW! 

Not a lot… barely a dusting… nothing to get excited about… except for the fact that…

I AM EXCITED!

We have snow forecast all week long…  That’s right folks… for two years the first snow hasn’t fallen until we should be well on our way to spring and this year it happened BEFORE THANKSGIVING!!!!

Okay back to my quiet evening….

Courtney

A Pretty Fall Day

 So my few days turned into the rest of the week…  Oh what a LAZY week I’ve had!!! 

I’ve done my chores and gone to get the mail and all the other things I NEED to do but basically anything else has fallen by the wayside…  It’s been gloomy and grey with plenty of misty rain and even a bit of ice.  In fact we have snow forecast for most of this week!  That would be lovely because though still cold and wet, snow is NOT rain!  In any case, the gloomy grey days have given me the perfect excuse to get some reading in.  So I’ve basically been holed up in my house reading, drinking tea, and listening to the wind howl in it’s frustration that I’m warm and cozy!  It’s been lovely and much needed because this next week is going to be BUSY!!!

I have some fun fall pictures to share with you today.  The sad thing is that in the week I’ve procrastinated sharing them with you they have come to do nothing but hold the memories of beautiful sunny days and glorious foliage!  That is to say that the wind and rain has knocked every colorful leaf to the ground in this past week.  So I’m enjoying these pictures as much as you are today!

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This is the tree in my front yard.  I would truly love to have one of these no matter where I live for the rest of my life.  It blooms with yellow flowers and blood red leaves in the spring.  Then it slowly darkens to eggplant purple in the summer months and then this in the fall!  Just gorgeous!

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When I went out to take pictures this day I took along my trusty tripod.  I can’t believe so many of you were surprised that I use one!  It’s the most invaluable piece of camera equipment when your husband is gone half the year! 

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 My neighbors bush that bloomed so pretty and white this spring is simply covered in these lavender berries! 

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 The fields are beginning to green over again with our winter moss.  For those of you who have been reading me for a while you’ll remember that our ‘grass’ does not die.

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 My snapdragons are blooming still too!

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 So while I had my tripod up I decided to show you my new coat!  This thing has the most amazing skirt on it!!!  I’m in love!

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That of course is how I got this picture with the skirt rippling around me, that I have as my banner on my site.  Yes, I was twirling, and no, it was not a great idea to twirl in high heeled boots on a very steep incline!  I nearly died! 

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 The tree in my front yard that booms white in the spring blooms deep pink in the fall…  It’s the most unusual tree! 

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 Just a few more weeks and I’ll be out taking cuttings from this tree.  The cuttings make the best garlands around Christmas time. 

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 Isn’t this just the oddest bush? 

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 I saw it on one of my walks and couldn’t resist getting a few shots of it. 

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When I got home from taking pictures I let the boys out.  It was such a pretty afternoon.

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 Pretty blue skies!

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 And a lovely sunset…

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 I also took the time to run down to the base to take pictures of our static display.  We’ve never made the time to do that and I figured it was about time!

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 Pretty cool huh?

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 There are five planes in all…

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 It’s a very cool display…

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 This is my favorite plane… the F-15

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 It was a pretty day for it!

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 Well that’s it for me today… back to my book and my Earl Grey tea!

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Auf Wiedersehen!

Courtney

The last of my travels…

Good Morning! 

These are the last pictures from my trip and sadly enough only four of them are actually from the states!

On the morning I left mom, dad, and I woke early to get to the airport on time.

I got to watch my last sunrise in Phoenix, and there is nothing quite like an Arizona Sunrise…

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 Especially since here in Germany you don’t actually ever get to see the sunrise!  Ah palm trees and traffic control towers…

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My flights home were uneventful… in fact I truly believe I was granted traveling grace after my last trip!!!  My travels were smooth, everyone was polite, and the flights went quickly!  Heck, even the food was good, and there were no nuns!  Who could ask for more…

I landed in Germany bright and early the next morning and was met at the airport by Ryan…  We set out on the two and a half hour drive home.

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I was so pleased and delighted to come home to a bright, clear, sunny, fall day.

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 The colors of fall had just popped in the five weeks I was stateside.

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And then….  about an hour from home we drove right into the fog…

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It kept going and going and going…

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 Even when we were right at our doorstep it was as thick as thieves…

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 The next day Ryan and I ran down to Ramstein to do a little shopping and to try to keep me awake! 

It was another beautiful day! 

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 We had a fun day together!  We haven’t had many of those this year… (the together part not the fun part 🙂

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The next day we headed out to take some fall pictures together and maybe get one for our Christmas card!

We parked in a pull out…

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Set up the tripod…

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And got a few shots!

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 This was the one that won out for our Christmas cards! 

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 Shortly after that Ryan was off for the middle east.  He’s now been gone for over two weeks and I can’t wait to have him back home again!

I’ll be back in a day or two with some fall pictures from the last few weeks! 

Auf Wiedersehen!

Courtney

 

Comfort Food

There is nothing I like so well as finding a new recipe.  One that satisfies and becomes an instant addition to my family cookbook. 

Unless it is the knowledge that this new recipe will not only be an addition to the cookbook but also become instant comfort food.

I like even better when that thing turns out to be a warm soup on a cold rainy day!

I have found an easy, inexpensive, crock pot soup that just made my day today!  So I thought I would share it with you…

Kielbasa Stew

This recipe is made in the crock pot and will make a full 5 quarts!  So be prepared for tons of leftovers and it does freeze VERY well!  This is one of those things I will make and freeze for Ryan in single serving tupperware when I travel.

1. 4 medium potatoes diced (peeling optional, I use baby red potatoes so I don’t peel them)
2. 14 ounces of frozen broccoli florets (I thaw and then chop them into much smaller pieces)
3. 1 medium yellow onion diced
4. 2 (16oz) packages of Polish Kielbasa Sausage (I would suggest dicing the kielbasa into small pieces but you can also do the rounds)
5. 4 (10 3/4 oz) cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
6. 1 tsp salt
7. 1/2 tsp pepper
8. 2qts water

In 5qt crock pot add 2qts water and then stir in all the cream of mushroom soup and stir until smooth.  Add salt and pepper and stir.  Add diced potatoes, onions, broccoli, and kielbasa.  Stir well and cook on high for six hours and ENJOY! 

Courtney