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Less than 48 hours with Bill…

Bill got home from his latest TDY at about 7:00pm on Friday night. Unfortunately, he has to leave again this afternoon for another three nights in Bayern/Bavaria. At least it’s just part of the week. I hate it when he travels without me. ūüėČ March seems to be the worst month for business trips.

I was kind of hoping we could go out for lunch yesterday, but Bill had some errands to run, and the weather was kind of crappy. We had sun, but it was cold and windy. Today, we have a wintry mix. March in Germany is typically like this, with totally random weather. One day, it’ll be sunny and kind of warm. Another day, it’ll rain or snow, or there will be terrible wind. Friday we had wind so scary that Noyzi didn’t want to go outside. Then there are the days when we get sun, rain, snow, wind, and hail in the same few hours.

Anyway, the upshot is, as usual, my travel blog isn’t very interesting. I promise more engaging posts are coming soon. We have to go to Stuttgart at the end of the month, and that means if Arran is still with us, he will probably be boarded. Or maybe we’ll take him and board Noyzi. I hate to put Arran in boarding now, even though I know he’ll be well taken care of. He much prefers to be with us.

Speaking of Arran, he just had another chemo treatment the other day. He’s still pretty sparky and vibrant, although the tumor on his side is about the size of a large plum or a small peach. It doesn’t seem to hinder him much, although I have caught his scratching it a few times. He still eats, sleeps, wants to take walks, and even runs around sometimes. Again… he’s done amazingly well on the chemo, and totally surpassed all of our expectations. And the chemo has been affordable, and not that difficult for him to endure.

Of course, not all dogs react the way Arran has. We never had the chance to try chemo with our late dog, Zane, but I don’t think he would have done as well. The lymphoma he had appeared to be much more aggressive, and he wasn’t as strong as Arran is. Throughout his life, he had more health problems. Arran has always been very healthy and strong, having no problems with allergies or sensitive stomach issues.

In any case, you can see by the below video that Arran is still quite full of beans…

The boys were so happy to see Bill! So was I!

Meanwhile, Bill and I have been talking about places we might visit at some point soon. Most of the places we’re thinking about would probably require a plane ride. I haven’t flown since November 2019. I discovered some interesting places in the Baltics, for instance. Yes, we could drive, but it would take a long time. On the other hand, we drove to Germany from Sweden in the summer of 2019, so it’s doable. Just got to use a ferry for some places…

Sweet Noyzi from Kosovo… he’s come such a long way, and he’s absolutely adorable…

Noyzi just came in here and put his head on my thigh, asking for a pat on the head. He just had a much needed bath, and it wasn’t easy to get him in the tub. But once I got him in, he stood there and let me wash the stink off of him. He sure has become an adorable, lovable family member. Arran is being nicer to him, too. I think it’s because he knows that pretty soon, it’ll just be him here with us until another dog comes our way.

I don’t look forward to saying goodbye to Arran, but I am ready to travel again. This week, the most interesting things that happened were that I drove to the store and bought more beer… and they had a noticeable shortage of Hefeweizen. And then, I went to the vet with Arran for his chemo, and didn’t have to wear a face mask. That was notable. In fact, I wondered if I’d ever see the day.

Arran has another treatment on Wednesday… When I brought him home the other day, he actually ran around the house like a nut after I took him off the leash. Don’t ever let people tell you that chemo for dogs is like it is for humans. It’s definitely not.

The only other notable things that happened involve the sound system in our house. I finally managed to tame the four Echo Dots I bought, so they are programmed to play in groups. And I got a new HomePod, which I put behind the TV in our bedroom. The sound is a hell of a lot better on the TV now. It will make watching movies better. I might buy another one for the other TV. It’s that much improved.

Well, that about does it for today. Hopefully next weekend, I’ll have something more interesting to write about in my travel blog. Cheerio.

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The bed’s too big without Bill.

Sigh… Bill left a few days ago for his latest TDY. It’s only been since Monday, but it’s the third or fourth TDY he’s done since the New Year. You’d think after 17 years, I’d be used to this, but I hate it when he leaves town. I’m kind of a loner and usually end up spending a lot of quality time watching TV.

This morning, I finally decided to take my car out of the garage. It’s been ages since I last drove anywhere, and given that I almost hit the house as I was backing out of our little garage, my lack of practice really shows. Our house, like a lot of German houses, has a very small garage that fits the Mini Cooper perfectly. But backing in and out of it is a bit tricky.

We live very close to the Rewe, so I could actually walk there, but I knew I needed to pick up a few things. Also, I had a crapload of empty plastic bottles to deposit. I drink a lot of water, especially when Bill isn’t around. When he’s not home, I try to stay off booze. This week, I’ve had a bottle of wine and a couple of beers. So you can imagine, I went through a lot of mineral water with gas this week!

Now… ordinarily, this trip to the store wouldn’t be a big deal, except our Rewe was recently renovated because we got a brand new drink market. The construction workers spent all last year turning what used to be a field into a lovely new drink store, and they freed up lots of space that used to be taken up by drinks for the older grocery store. The work was done in early December, and yet I still hadn’t been in there. Let me just say, I was really pleasantly surprised at how nice the store is now. It’s a huge improvement. They have a much larger meat counter, a cheese counter, and a much bigger frozen foods section. There are more aisles and the crappy beer selection they used to have is greatly expanded in the drink market.

I took a few photos after I found the bottle depository, which is now in the drink market. I got 5,25 euros off my order, y’all! The bottle depository is also a hell of a lot nicer. It doesn’t mess up as much as the old one did and you can even get directions in languages other than German.

Germans are pretty serious about recycling, so everyone brings back their bottles for a “Pfand”. That’s the money you deposit for each bottle. I remember, as a kid, I used to collect glass bottles and turn them in for money. Then we moved to redneck Gloucester, Virginia, where everybody just took their trash to the dump. Here in Germany, you have to separate everything into different bins and I’m back to turning in bottles for cash.

I noticed that the store was stocked with pasta, toilet paper, and detergents. All week, I’ve heard that Germans have been panic buying everything– especially pasta, face masks, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer (and just a note from your friendly MPH– washing your hands is a better solution). Germans have a funny term for this type of purchasing– Hamsterk√§ufen. Yes, it’s akin to the fuzzy rodents known as hamsters, who are known for packing their cheeks full of food. In some places, Germans are likewise buying out stores because of the Coronavirus. But maybe they’re not so panicked in our neighborhood.

I picked up a few items I needed, along with a new rubber chicken for Arran. The cashier got a kick out of the toy and gave it a few squeaks before ringing it up. Arran was delighted to have a new plaything to destroy. He went freakin’ nuts with “crazy dog” when I gave it to him. But I think my most exciting score was sushi. Our new improved Rewe has sushi now! That will be a welcome change from the chicken I’ve been eating all week.

I think we’ll get through the next few days, while Bill visits his long lost younger daughter in Utah. They haven’t seen each other since 2004. There’s a long, painful, convoluted story as to why they’ve been apart for 15 years. I’ve written about it a lot in my original blog. I like to keep this one relatively tame whenever possible. Anyway, I suspect there will be an exciting reunion. He’ll meet his son-in-law and grandchildren. I’ll sit at home and eat sushi from the new and improved Rewe.

I suppose I could get braver and drive somewhere else further afield, but I think I’ve had enough excitement for one day. Besides, Arran went nuts when I left for the store, and I was only gone for about 30 minutes or so. I’ll wash the sheets, do some more writing, and maybe even record a song. I love it when I’m a busy bee.

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One week down…

I’ve been quiet on this blog since last week, mainly because I’ve had pretty much next to nothing to write about. ¬†I guess I could have written about last weekend’s wind storm, which blew dangerous winds across Germany and other parts of Europe for several days, but I’m not sure what I would have had to say about it. ¬†I mean, I pretty much holed up in the house for that.

By Tuesday, the winds had died down. ¬†My dogs badly needed a walk, so I took them for a quick one on Tuesday morning. ¬†When I got home, I was confronted with a notice that the GSL delivery guy had tried to drop off a bottle of butterscotch liqueur I ordered from Amazon. ¬†Naturally, he showed up during the 30 minutes all week that I wasn’t in the house. ¬†Murphy’s Law was at work! ¬†To get the liqueur, I’d have to drive to a kiosk in Bierstadt, an area with which I am still sadly unfamiliar, and present my passport and the notice slip within 8 working days. ¬†I suppose I could do it, but I don’t really want to. ¬†The liqueur cost about 15 euros and I’ve been on the wagon all week anyway, so I think I’ll just let them return it. ¬†I’d call them to attempt a redelivery, but I didn’t see that option listed, which, to me, is a real con to using GSL for shipping. ¬†Seriously… I could go and get the liqueur, but what if I couldn’t? ¬†What if I had no way to get to the kiosk? ¬†Seems to me, they should at least attempt one redelivery.

One thing I tend to do when Bill isn’t home is regress to childhood eating habits. ¬†Before I was married, I used to make nice meals for myself in my kitchen. ¬†Now, when Bill is TDY, it’s all I can do to just get through the meal. ¬†So I tend to eat a lot of soups and sandwiches. ¬†This time, I’ve been especially bad. ¬†I actually ordered Kraft Macaroni & Cheese from Amazon.de (rather than going to the commissary to get it). ¬†I was kind of curious to see if it had changed since my college days, which was when I tended to eat it, or a generic equivalent, the most often. ¬†As you can see… it’s the same stuff. ¬†It tastes the same. ¬†And yes, I make better mac & cheese from scratch, but for some reason, this chemically laden crap is, oddly, a comfort.

I bought five boxes because they came in a set. ¬†Once they’re gone, I’ll probably not try it again for another twenty years or so… ¬†If I’m still alive and have teeth. ¬†This stuff is definitely kid friendly and I don’t mind it when I’m feeling like a baby. ¬†I may have to make some from scratch later, now that I’ve learned how to use the oven. ¬†

A couple of shots from one of the balconies, showing the mercurial skies after the windstorm.  The sun was finally making an appearance.  Our view is less enchanting in this house.

 

I have filled the time reading, and rebuilding my main blog, which I moved to a new address a couple of weeks ago. ¬†I’ve also been watching movies. ¬†Last night, I had a Richard Pryor double feature: The Toy, from 1982, which also starred Jackie Gleason and future porn star, Scott Schwartz, and Critical Condition, from 1987, with Rachel Ticotin, Bob Saget, and Joe Mantegna. ¬†Both were pretty crappy films, although I made up for their crappiness by also watching Children of a Lesser God and Broadcast News,¬†both of which starred William Hurt.

At about 4 o’clock yesterday, the doorbell rang. ¬†I opened it to a man bearing flowers sent by my long suffering husband, Bill, who is enduring overnight work shifts at Grafenwoehr until March 26th. ¬†I am fantasizing about our next “real” vacation that lasts over a weekend, requires airplane travel or even train travel, and doesn’t include our sweet, but demanding dogs. ¬†This morning, I was awakened at 3:00am, 4:55am, and 6:30am by my pooches, who needed to go out to do their business and then demanded to eat. ¬†Bill usually handles them in the wee hours of the morning, because he’s often awake anyway. ¬†When he’s not here, the duty falls to me.

And yet, as wonderful as Bill is to have at home, he sends me flowers when he’s away…

 

Well, I’ll try to be productive over the next week. ¬†Maybe I’ll come up with a list of travel tips or some other newsy topic that doesn’t actually require any travel. ¬†Eleven days to go until this nightmare TDY is over and spring is here.

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When Bill goes away…

I run out of things to say…

Sorry the travel blog has been slow this week.

Bill got home yesterday from his latest business trip, but he leaves again next Sunday. ¬†I’m hoping we might venture out today, but it’s kind of rainy and Bill doesn’t feel well. ¬†He’s very tired and has a cough. ¬†He no doubt picked something up in Africa that he will pass to me, though he claims the air quality just sucked in Burkina Faso.

I will admit that his picture of a public toilet in Burkina Faso was funny.  It was basically a hole in a slab of concrete.

Anyway, with some luck, we may go to a restaurant for lunch or something. ¬†Or maybe not. ¬†I think I’ll be glad when the winter is over and I feel less like I need to hibernate.

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