Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Post-Serbia blues

Hope you all enjoyed my blog and my photos from Belgrade, Serbia. Considering I had only one day for sight-seeing, I think still I got a real taste for the city. I so needed that trip, personally and professionally. If you want to know more about what I did there, professionally-speaking, email me -- I have all my training materials online, but not linked from anywhere (I give away too much for free as it is).

Stefan and I got to spend a whopping 30 hours with each other after I got back, and then he was off to North Carolina for work. He got stuck for half a day in Atlanta, which Mom claims is part of his American initiation. I pick him up tomorrow. We were supposed to be gone at the same time, which sent me into a frenzy to find someone to take care of Albi while we were gone. But, luckily, Stefan's trip changed, so one of us has been home with her this whole time.

Albi's fine. Delightful as usual. We're going on a morning walk that's just a little shorter than our morning walk back in Germany. We're finally meeting other dogs more regularly, which she lives for. She's bored with them within 60 seconds of meeting them, but she REALLY wants to meet them.

Several of you have asked about the weather. While I was gone, it got freezing, and below freezing, in the greater Portland area. Now, it's just wet and gray. There is a lot of snow all around us, but not here. It's not all that different from a German Rhineland winter, so far.

No, Stefan's still not a volunteer firefighter in the USA. My prediction is that he won't be until we get out of Canby. We plan on being here for a year, maybe for all of 2010, but it's not where we want to buy a home. And, no, he still doesn't have a title for his motorcycle. We will know if that's happening around my birthday.

I'm still volunteering with the Girl Scouts here. Well, with the leaders, anyway. There are several women who refuse to use email, let alone any other online tools. Some are my age or younger. I'm stunned at their resistance to email. It makes communications extremely difficult.

Since the vast majority of Christmas traditions precede Christianity by at least several hundred years, we decided we could decorate for "the season" and not be hypocrites. So far, all I've done is put a wreath on the door (a practice that probably originates from ancient Persian cultures), and I think it looks better than the inflatable stuff on everyone's lawns. We still need to get a Christmas tree (did you know the Puritans banned Christmas trees because of the pagan origins?). Can't wait to use my Han Solo ornament! I need to work on a Flying Spaghetti Monster tree topper.

Anne of San Francisco will be joining us for Christmas, which I believe I've mentioned before, but I'm so thrilled hat she'll be here!

I have taken a break from sending my grandmother's postcards. For those of you receiving them, I hope you are enjoying them. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about: while cleaning out my paternal grandmother's house for her move to the swingin' senior home "in town", I found a massive stash of postcards she bought during her travels following the death of my grandfather that she never sent. My sister-in-law said I should send them to all the grandkids as though I were traveling to those places. I've ended up sending them to some of my friends as well. It's been a lot of fun from my end, and my friends have had a good laugh about them as well (Mamaw has very interesting taste in postcards). I've sent some to Mamaw too, and she's enjoyed remembering all the places she's been.

This photo of Stefan and me has had more than 1000 views. Why? I don't have 1000 friends... do I?

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