Sunday, January 24, 2010
So Nate and I have been quite busy lately. Longs days at work have translated to falling asleep on the the couch in the first five minutes of any leisure time activity. Never-ending power point presentations have sucked up all of our time, and leave only the time after all of our Soldiers have gone home to finally start our days work....at 1800. Hopefully it should slow down a bit though. Tom and Frank have been putting up with our extended work days with great indifference. As long as they get their food on time after PT, all is well. We do apologize for not writing as often as we should, so I will catch you all up on our recent adventures.
Last weekend, Miller and I checked into a cute hotel in Garmish for a bit of skiing. The hotel was grand (but cheap, go figure) with a wardrobe in our room that could have held all of Narnia. We (well, I) enjoyed skiing some of the challenging terrain in the German Alps. I will forever thank my mother for turning me into quite a profficient downhill skiier, as the skill has been indespensible in later life. Although the skiing was great, with plenty of powder, the trails were crowded with Europeans who apparently think it is a waste of money to pay for a lesson, and would rather tumble aimlessly down a black. As funny as it is to watch, it can become rather trecherous to try to navigate around bodies that are quickly reaching terminal velocity. We enjoyed eating sausages and drinking beer on the slopes. Although I much prefer the trails back home, they do have thier slopes-side cuisine down to a science! After a mid morning binding readjustment, my new skis were great. Unlike my old sticks, they have a narrow waist which provides responsive turning with a greater length to increase speed. I think I would give Alli a run for her money on these bad boys. Nate did as well as a guy who is deathly afraid of heights would be expected to do on a 10,000 foot peak. He increased his carving skills on some of the gentler trails and was able to challenge himself on some of the steeper inclines. Although I would not call his experience, fun, I would say that he is slowly working in the right direction to make skiing fun. As everyone knows, it is never fun to ski when you haven't developed the muscle memory for it. Off the slopes, we did get some good shopping in. Nate also found a great restaurant that serves tex-mex food, Guiness, and Bulmer's. It was wicked!
This week, my beau and I spent our lunches getting in some great running, as work has been so busy, we have been working through PT. We also ordered new breaks for the VW. As I have to shift down to first to stop, I think it is time to drop some cash on these very necessary parts. On a very exciting note, we will be adding a new vehicle to our car quiver! Yesterday we ordered a new Volvo XC60 which will be rolling off the production line in Sweden in early April. Miller nearly died thinking about the money we were dropping on this car, but with all the repair costs I have been sinking into our silver bullet, it will be worth having a new car with a 5 year, 60,000 mile warrenty (which includes wear and tear, like breaks and windshield wipers). We will be keeping our VW, as we have to own at least on standard car. We wanted the Volvo in standard, but it is not worth it in an SUV. The gas milage is actually worse with a standard in modern cars, and despite being fun to drive, the benefits did not out weight the costs. So my beautiful blue beauty will have a steptronic transmission (same as in my mum's car). The XC60 will be dark metalic blue with black leather interior, extended moon roof (it is almost the length of the car!), heated front and rear seats, 3.2 liter engine, all wheel drive, and so much more! I wish we had it now, but it will be worth the wait. Also, it will be quite inexpensive to insure thanks to some great safety features. Okay, now I will stop talking about the car! Anyway that about catches you up!
If you want to check out our new car, build one here: http://www.volvocars.com/us/models/xc60/Pages/BuildYourxc60.aspx
Saturday, January 9, 2010
So Germany is full of a bunch of Sallies. At least when it comes to snow. Reading the BBC News website this morning, I discovered our dusting of snow to be front page news. "Germany Hit With Massive Blizzard!" The page read. I took one look out the window, and said to my dear husband, "What the heck are they talking about?" Yesterday post closed at 1200 due to weather. No business in Graf was open after 1400. Everyone battened down the hatches for the storm. Nate and I went out an skied. I get it, the roads get bad when it snows, but the reaction here is just a bit much. It has been consistently snowing for the last week or so, so we have taken the opportunity to enjoy it. Last Saturday we ventured out for a snowy cyclocross ride in the forests surrounding our little town. During the week, we went for various walks on the farm trails. Yesterday we cross-country skied in the darkness on the forest roads surrounding the town of Moos. All in all it has been fun, but a tad disconcerting that we have seen none of our fellow townsfolk (besides some hearty Americans) doing the same. This can only lead me to one conclusion...Germans are wussy. They seem to have the fortitude of the most warm blooded southerner. I never thought I would meet folks more afraid of the cold and snow than Southerners, but these Bavarian Germans have proven me wrong. Next weekend, hopefully we will be hanging with a more robust crew, as we have booked a place in the Alps so we can enjoy some higher altitude fun (aka skiing on some F-ing awesome trails).
On another cold-weather related note, Alli has been enjoying our place in Lincoln, taking advantage of mid-week ski rates, and a great vaiety of snow-shoe and XC trails. Alli had the privilage to see a pair of otter while snowshoeing in the back country. She couldn't get a photo of them, but has plenty of shots of their slides into the river. She also saw (ans smelled I am sure) a steaming pile of moose poo, which cut that hike short pretty quickly. I have been a bit jealous of the great snow conditions back home, but am happy with the activities here. Tom and Frank are now fast friends who spend the day sleeping in each other's company, vying for the sunny spot on the rug, talking to us in turn, or playing. They are truly fun together, and Tom has really welcomed Frank (except for dinner time at least, when Frank doesn't finish his food, Tom, being a fatty must lick the plate clean!).Anyway, housework beckons.
Friday, January 1, 2010
So Frank is offended. Very offended. Poor Frank has very long hair, and occasionally, when using the litter box he gets a bit dirty. Well, not dirty, just has some .....remnants....sticking to the fur around his bottom. Having dropped Nate's parents off at the airport this morning, things were quiet in the house. Well, they were quiet until we decided it was a good idea to throw our new kitty into the tub. We had no need to wash the whole cat, but just the rear area. I prepped for this by taking our the aroma-therapy calming lavender pet shampoo and turning on a gentle stream of warm, but not hot, water in the tub. It all started normally with the usually very pissed off cat clinging to my husband's shoulder for dear life. No surprises there. After wrestling a very squirmy critter into the water and trying to direct a spray towards his backside, we soon figured out that the particles were far too affixed, more like cemented, to the fur. I tried everything to break it up, including, but not limited to thoroughly molesting my cat. Never have I had my hand in such close proximity to my pet's balls for such a long period of time. All the while, Frank was pitifully meowing while Tom stood at the door chirruping a not-so-comforting "better you than me" sound. Eventually the molestation had to stop....out came the scissors. After what seemed like pounds of fur and fecal matter came of the ass end of the cat, Frank was finally clean. We put him on a towel, where he just looked at us with utter disgust. Tom took one look at Frank, with his half wet body, and just sat down and seemed to laugh. Poor Frank. But at least now he smells nice. By the way, aroma therapy for cats is a crock of shit!