EXPATS AGAIN! Experiencing other cultures while enriching our global view.



My photo
Munich, Germany
I am married to the love of my life and am finally able to shower him with all of the attention he deserves. I am now retired and living the life here in Europe. I am an American, he is an Australian, and this is our second overseas address. The first was Shanghai, China and now Munich, Germany. Come along and live the life with us as we continue our adventure of discovering all Europe has to offer.

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Things I have been pondering:

  •      I heard on NPR yesterday about a new feminist movement where women will go back to gardening and  then canning their fruits and vegetables.  Now my mother, rest her soul, would get a chuckle out of this comment.  Isn't it going backwards?

  •      Also on NPR, a school district in Michigan is in dire straits and needs to let many teachers go this upcoming school year.  To make up for the lack of teachers, the administration has decided to purchase a computer software program for all students and have an aide monitor the classroom three days a week and hire teachers part-time for the other two days a week.  My father, a lifelong educator, rest his soul, would turn over in his grave hearing this one. 

  • Why can't someone invent an app that measures your blood pressure while you're on the cell phone?  I know nothing about electronics or how these things operate, but it seems like it would be a great app for people my age.

  • I hate the song, "Love Shack."

  • If Goldman Sachs made an astonishing amount of money when it took "short Positions" on --what some refer to as betting against--the products it was selling them, why can't we do the same?  Perhaps we can all bet that the mortgages we all hold will fail, foreclose, and collect the winning bets!  Why not?  If not, then we should at least be allowed to make bets on the performance of "Synthetic" financial products as the investors did on certain securities without actually owning them.  I just sayin'.....

  • If vaccines do not cause autism, how is it that children who are never vaccinated NEVER GET AUTISM?  Homefirst Health Services in metropolitan Chicago cared for thousands of Amish children in rural Lancaster (30,000-35,000) PA who have never been vaccinated; and they don't have autism.  Explain that!

  • ¡pɐǝɥ ʎɯ ɟo doʇ uo pooʇs ˙sıɥʇ pıp ʇı ʍoɥ ʍouʞ oʇ ǝʞıן pןnoʍ noʎ ʇǝq


     I don't always subscribe to Universal Truths, but this list is just too good to pass up.  If you have a Universal Truth to add, please leave it in the comments and I will add it to the list.

              UNIVERSAL TRUTHS

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this - ever.

15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What did you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

17. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

18. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

19. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

20. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

21. Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.

22. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

23. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.

24. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

25. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

26. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent an ass from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

27. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

28. Is it just me or do high school kids get dumber & dumber every year?

29. There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

30. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

31. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

32. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet my behind everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time!

"We can't all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by."

Iceland goes bankrupt, then it manages to set itself on fire. This has insurance scam written all over it.

Monday, April 26, 2010


For a kindergarten student to understand recyclables and a green environment, my grandson's teacher had them enter a "Trash Pet" contest.  Each pet had to be made out of 100% trash.  Above is the photo of "Milo the Dog" that my grandson made with the help of his father, my son.  His pet won the contest and as you can see, he is very proud.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Listen for dad's comment at the end--too funny.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Posted by PicasaYep, that's him.  The infamous Tillikum or Shamu (stage name) from Orlando's killer whale exhibit at Sea World.  It was particularly difficult for me to watch this show without thinking of Dawn Brancheau's, his trainer, death just weeks before.  I highly respect the men and women who work with these awesome creatures.

I am not so sure I could ever be so brave after knowing my collegue was attacked by a killer whale.

Much more to my liking would be to train seals and otters.  The pirate show at Disney was hilarious.

My grandson got a kick out of it.

Disney wasn't just about animals, we enjoyed the characters just as much.  My grandson loves King Louie (on the left) from the "Jungle Book."  We were worried that he wouldn't see his favorite character and were thrilled when we saw him. 

Another favorite is "Lion King" and Disney puts on a special Lion King show with all of the characters and songs.  My grandson got so excited that he jumped up and began to dance on the floor.  He was dancing all around when Security came and asked us to make him sit back down.  At the finale, one of the characters walked all across the stage to kneel down at my grandson's level and play with him.  It was a special moment for him and one he will always remember.

I'm not quite sure what the monkey is doing, but my grandson reckons he was picking bugs from his hair.  (He loves pretending he is a monkey). And to tell you the truth, it does look that way to me too! 

Monday, April 12, 2010


Posted by PicasaOver Spring break, my son, his wife, and their three children accompanied me to Orlando, Florida for what turned out to be the vacation of a life time. We had picture perfect Florida weather generally around the 83 F mark and believe it or not, perfectly mannered children. They exceeded our expectations considering we drove for two days averaging 12 hour days, including rest stop breaks. The week was so action-packed that all three youngsters came back to the resort each evening totally spent. When little ones ask to go to bed at night, you know you've succeeded in making their day unimaginably fun.

It was Easter week so the resort at Hilton in Orlando threw out all of the stops when it came to children's activities.  Face painting, magicians, balloons, games, crafts, and movies while swimming in the pool were some of the kids favorite activities that week.

We were especially thrilled with the fact that the weather was spectacular each day and the children were able to practice their swimming skills.  Within the ten days, both were dog paddling, turning sommersaults under water, and floating on their backs.  Having only just taken beginner swim lessons last summer and not having access to a pool for 8 months, we were thrilled with
their achievements!

Simo got free rides from Baba, but was able to touch the bottom and he relished in his new-found freedom.  He was all smiles and grins when near the water. 

This was one of the many pools at the resort.  The kids liked the waterfall and the cave at this pool the best.

When the little ones tired of swimming were ordered out of the pool, they had lots of other activities at the resort to occupy themselves

The play area was canopied and had the spongy, recycled rubber floor surface that minimized injury from falls.

Our suite slept 8, included a full kitchen, two screened in porches, a livingroom and two full bathrooms. 

This room included a large jacuzzi and a separate bathroom.  Since I left my hubby back in Munich, my son and daughter-in-law were pleased to have this lovely space. 

The bright and cheerful living room area as well as one of the bedrooms had pull out couches making sleeping arrangements very comfortable for the 6 of us.

My wonderful daughter-in-law and  cook extraordinare, treated us to amazing Jordanian dishes each day.  Fatoosh, hummos, salad fool,  Maqlooba, Labanee, pita bread, and spinach, cheese, and meat pies were just a few of the spectacular dishes she set before us.   Thank you, my dear, for all of your efforts.  We all appreciated the delicious dishes you created for us.

Baba, thank you for the entertainment!  We loved your Easter Bunny hat that played music and waved your bunny ears too and fro.  You make us laugh and we love you.  I loved having you, my son, and your family with me this Easter in Florida. I couldn't have asked for a more enjoyable time.


Posted by Picasa
We spent our Spring Break at the Hilton Grand Vacations Resort in Orlando, Florida this week.  I arranged for a special visit from the "Easter Bunny" on Easter morning.  I wasn't planning on greeting him at 7:30 a.m. and neither were the grandchildren.  Nee Nee seemed very welcoming (above), but Dido was traumatized waking up to this floppy-eared fellow.  So much for best laid plans.  He may be scarred for life!