Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I'd like to say that I'm feeling better, but the bad/sad/blues have really got a hold of me.
Lately, a lot of bad memories have come to the forefront again and I think I need to deal with them.
Tomorrow I'm starting by making a doctor's appointment.
I'll be around, but I think I need some time to deal with all the crap I've kept bottled up that is eating away at me.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

In the week or so since I've returned from vacation I'm feeling overwhelmed and everything is feeling like a juggling act. Work seems to get in the way of all the other things that I need to do. I'd love to be able to take a day to clean the house, do the laundry, go grocery shopping, work on the garden at the house and at the trailer, make time for friends and family, blog, get my vacation photos sorted and printed, recover my dining room chairs, etc, etc, etc. I'm feeling like I can only get jobs started and then I am pulled away because there is something else that needs to be done, or the phone is ringing, or someone is popping by. I'm not complaining (or not EXACTLY complaining) but I do feel like there is so much to do and nothing is getting done. Or, when it does get done, in a few days it needs to be done all over again. Maybe I'm just not organized enough, or maybe I just need a few more days in the week to get everything done. Greg is helpful and he worked hard this past week and sanded and stained our deck in the backyard which looks great. The patio lights that I bought in Seattle are also up and they look adorable. My terra cota clay pots have been hung on the fence, but are barren of any flowers.
I think, what it comes down to, is that since I can't quit my job, that this weekend we will have to stay home and do work around the house.
For the life of me, and I've said this before, how on earth do people with kids manage? Especially these days when you're running kids from school to baseball practice to dance recitals to piano lessons? I know, I know...you just do what you have to do.
Anyway. It's 8:18am and I have to leave for work in an hour. I'm going to put in a load of laundry (that I think Dutchie has already peed on because that is her latest trick. She wasn't happy that we went away for two weeks and has now discovered alternative litter boxes. Usually the bathroom rug, but since I took that away it's now the clothes pile in front of the washing machine.) Sigh.
And, did I mention that I did go for that job interview? A one hour interview where at the end, the manager said that she didn't have a job for me, but thought she would interview me as there might be jobs at the end of summer. The interview was much more in-depth than I'm used to, and I left with my self-esteem at an all-time low.
So, this has been my week thus far: over-whelmed and low-esteemed.
Or perhaps it's just post-vacation blues.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I'm back!

We had an absolutely WONDERFUL vacation and I'm very happy to say that Greg made an excellent travel partner! I have been to Berlin many times but this time I really enjoyed playing tour guide and showing Greg the sites of my birth city. It has changed so much over the years since the wall came down. We went to the Berlin Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie to learn the history of the Wall and the many escape methods used by people over the years to gain entry into the West. Some very innovative ideas including tunnels, hiding in shopping bags, suitcases, amplifiers and even surfboards. There is very little left of the Wall these days, but one of the pictures below is a small slab left as a reminder. No trip to Berlin would be complete for me if I did not visit my most favourite fountain in the whole world, Neptune's Fountain at Alexander Platz. I could spend hours examining this beautiful sculpture, there is so much detail involved.

After a few days in Berlin we took the train to Prague. I would totally recommend taking the train anywhere in Europe as it is extremely comfortable and reliable. We stayed at a couple's home in the outskirts of downtown Prague. I can not even begin to tell you how nice these people where! Charles met us at the train station and had already purchases tram tickets for us. He brought us to his home, 10 minutes later we were back on the tram and he brought us to Old Prague Town to make sure that we knew how to get there and home again. He gave us a fantastic tour of his favourite places in Prague which were a little off the beaten path. He brought us to his family Church which is heavy, heavy Baroque and has not been renovated yet. The gold gilt on the painting frames were blackened with centuries worth of dust and grime but that just made the goosebumps so much bigger. The organ in that Church had been played upon by Mozart and Bach.
Prague was absolutely beautiful, however if I could say one negative thing about it, it would be that there were SO many tourists, that it felt a bit like Disney World. Overall though: a must-see.

Amsterdam? What can I say? It is a beautiful city with it's canals and canal houses. Everywhere you look, is pretty. OK, maybe the red-light district is not so pretty, but it's worth a few minutes visit just to see what the hoopla is all about. We did visit Anne Frank's Haus which was for me, a very moving experience. I'm very glad that I read her diary last month and it was fresh in my mind. ~~~And Amsterdam...very relaxing ;)
We walked and walked and walked hours each day in all of these cities and I think we must have climbed miles of stairs, but none of the stairs were as crazy-steep as the ones in Amsterdam. OMG! It was 73 steps to our tiny, teeny-weeny room and by the time we got to the top we'd be huffing and puffing and fall onto our 3/4 bed! Greg could touch the walls when he spread his wings, that's how small this room was.
On our last day I had planned for us to take the train to go to Keukanhof to see the tulips. Unbeknownst to me, we were too late to see the spectacular bulbs so I was greatly disappointed when after an hour and a half of travel, we walked into the park and there were just a bunch of dead leaves. It was kind of like how The Griswald's must have felt when the rides at Wally World were closed!

This was the perfect vacation, the perfect amount of time and the perfect travel companion. We are already making a list of where to go next May...I do believe that hubby has caught the travel bug!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


... just when I thought I had signed off for two weeks, I headed over to Kristi's at Interrupted Wanderlust and was very pleasantly surprised to learn that I had been nominated for a Thinking Blogger Award ! To be honest, lately I realize that my blog is merely filled with travel posts and cat posts and that perhaps there is not a lot of thinking going on, but I'm honoured anyway that Kristi thought of me!

In random order, I'd like to honour the following blogs for making me think:
Pez at Pez Blahg is not only my BFF, but I've learned that being a Stay At Home Mom to three boys is the equivalent of THREE FULL-TIME jobs. She is a fantastic mom who is a terrific advocate for peanut-free environments in the classroom. She is smart, funny, crafty...and did I mention she is my BFF?!

Amanda at Putting Out Fires is a fabulous photographer with an incredible eye for detail. She writes so eloquently about her mom's struggles with leukemia and what a brave lady she is. She is also totally, completely, passionately, madly in love with her husband and I totally enjoy reading about their good times. Many of my family and friends are going through rough times in their relationships and it is so refreshing to hear about a good one.

Begered at Beeshive also has a lust for travel and has gorgeous photos of her trips to Iraq and Russia. Her photos of Iraq remind me that despite all of the turmoil that that country has gone through, there is a strength and beauty in family roots that prevails. I'm impressed that she is able to share a side of Iraq that most people don't have the opportunity to see.

Sher at What Did You Eat? introduced me to Weekend Cat Blogging and she has the most hilarious photos of her cats Upsie and Sundance. She is a wildlife rehabilitator and has shared incredible photos of the baby ground squirrels she rescued. An incredible chef, she has inspired more than a few tasty recipes with her mouthwatering photos and diverse menus.

Moon at Moonbeams in Cyberspace is a compassionate woman who cares for disabled adults in her home. She writes from the heart and recently is sharing her experiences of weight-loss. I know how hard that is!

Your turn now to share the love! Here are the Rules!
Tomorrow we leave for Europe! I just finished working a week of night shifts and while I thought I could get a lot done outside of work, I've of course left it all until the last minute. Yesterday I spent a few hours at the mall buying some generic t-shirts, a teesie-weensie umbrella, a voltage converter and a few gifts. Turns out that my first cousin, and my second cousin are going to make the trek to Berlin to visit us. I have a very, very small family and these are virtually the only relatives I keep in semi-contact with. It'll be interesting to see them as the last time I saw my 1st cousin was 6 years ago, and my 2nd cousin was about 20 years ago.
Spring has finally sprung here in Ontario and we've been spending a lot of time cleaning up the backyard. The forsythia bush is in full-flower and Mr. Mao has discovered a new perch on top of the fence. He was able to get up there, but then needed help getting down. Silly Kitty.
Last night I was packing for our trip and I suddenly realized that I hadn't seen The Dutchess in a while. Usually she is giving us the googlie-eyes begging for food every few hours. We looked in every nook and cranny in the house and finally came to the conclusion that she must be outside, although neither of us could remember letting her out. We ended up walking around the neighbourhood looking for her and just when we were about to give up we found her! She was sitting three doors down at a house that looked very similar to ours. The people there must have taken pity on her as there was kibble and water there for her. She must have been wondering why we (they) wouldn't let her in! Poor girl! I put a thank-you note on their door this morning...there's a new way of meeting the neighbours!
So, I'm off to Europe tomorrow, expect tons of pictures when I get back mid-May.
Posted by Picasa