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Busy has gotten in the way of blogging lately and, of reading those blogs I’ve come to enjoy. For the past 4-5 days I’ve been catching up on my reading and am hereby posting a blog. My Anglican Priest, Foodie Critic, friend, http://diningwithdonald.com/ has kept me up on the food chain in Winnipeg, Anne Mehrling keeps me posted on her family and Maggie’s Valley @ https://amehrling.com/ As they say out west, “I’m back in the saddle again”.
There are numerous other bloggers who will take you on journeys in foreign countries as well as NYC and visitations to places one has no idea they even exist. So many interesting people with something to share. Just last week I learned how to do some planting from pots to earth. The Lord has certainly supplied the water of late to help promote that growth.
When time permits on a Sunday morning, at 0900 here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, I’ll turn on the TV to “CBS Sunday Morning”. There always seems to be something that piqued my interest, this morning was just such a day.
On most Mondays thru Fridays the wife and I can be found spending time with Alex Trebek and “Jeopardy” @ 1930. Today Alex was a feature part of “CBS Sunday Morning”. Alex has been treated for stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer lately. If your interested, here is the link to today’s show.
CBS Sunday Morning also featured a piece on Admiral William McRaven, https://youtu.be/_6hNIuaBo9w
Admiral McRaven gave a well known commencement speech at the University of Texas a few years back. The central issue of this speech was the making of your bed to start your day. Should you have a few minutes, fifteen (15) to be exact, here is that Motivational Speech @ https://youtu.be/TBuIGBCF9jc
If you want to start your day off right, make your bed.
This bit of news from France was posted on the “BBC” web site and forwarded to me by daughter Kathryn. I share it with you. Apparently, the young Fox, are not sly.
Chickens ‘gang up’ to kill intruder fox on a French farm
13 March 2019
Chickens in a school farm in north-western France are believed to have grouped and killed a juvenile fox.
The unusual incident in Brittany took place after the fox entered the coop with 3,000 hens through an automatic hatch door which closed immediately.
“There was a herd instinct, and they attacked him with their beaks,” said Pascal Daniel, head of farming at the agricultural school Gros-Chêne.
The body of the small fox was found the following day in the corner of the coop.
“It had blows to its neck, blows from beaks,” Mr. Daniel told AFP news agency.
The farm is home to up to 6,000 free-range chickens who are kept in a five-acre site.
The coop is kept open during the day, and most of the hens spend the daytime outside, AFP adds.
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Despite what you think, chickens are not stupid.
When the automatic door closed, the fox – thought to be around five or six months old – became trapped inside.
“A whole mass of hens can arrive together, and the fox may have panicked in the face of such a big number,” Mr. Daniel told the regional newspaper Ouest France (in French).
“They can be quite tenacious when they are in a pack.”
Rather than go with Sam’s “A Day In My Life,” I’m just plagiarizing, with her permission of course, and shall call it “Captains Two,” plus the four Greats. That will be Mia, Ana, Dax and Zoe. Enjoy the kid’s travels while in Europe for the next few years.
The Captain says:
Upon getting home from my work trip I learned it was time to pick up one of our two tables we had ordered. The table we would be picking up was in Northern Netherlands, or Holland, and was our new coffee table.
Kinderdijk was recommended to us by the man who built our table and we are so glad he did. The weather was perfect and the crowds were low. Dax and Zoe loved taking a vehicle ferry and then riding a boat to the windmills. One of the windmills we toured housed a single family of 14!
Next was another castle. Though the baroness was Jewish it survived WWII thanks to the wits of the staff left behind. They hid anything that could be taken off the walls in secret passageways. If they received news of German troops coming close they would begin to clean and manicure the grounds. When asked what they were doing by German troops, the staff would respond getting the estate ready for your leadership. Thinking their leadership was about to arrive, they did no harm to the property.
And finally it wouldn’t be a Davies Day Trip if we didn’t go out of our way to see Amsterdam and the dyke system that has reclaimed the lowlands of the Netherlands.
The longer we’re here the more we want to travel. This should mean more actual travel leading to more blog posts. Enjoy! -S
Where in the World?
As most of you know, granddaughter Samantha, Captain, USAF, currently lives in The Netherlands and works for NATO in Germany. It’s kind of like living in South Jersey and working in Philly, you just don’t need to cross the Ben Franklin bridge to get there. Sam’s husband, also a Captain, USAF and a pilot is stationed there with her. To maintain their family unit, their four children are there for the European experience as well.
Once again the lazy writer in me is using a recent post of Sam’s to share with you. I’m attempting to get a blog out every Sunday or Monday. Thanks Sam for making that possible this week. I’ll gather up an occasional picture or two and some links along the way. I’ve got to contribute something to the blog, right?
A Weekend Away
Zed and I had the amazing opportunity to spend a few days together in Europe. His parents were out visiting to help with the kids as I was away with work. Zed was gracious enough to drive me down and take the scenic route. In total we visited 8 countries in under 48hrs.
Our journey began in the Netherlands, as that’s where we live. We quickly entered Belgium where we passed through Liege, Bastogne, and Arlon. I love living in a place that holds so much history. When we first moved here we watched Band of Brothers to give us a brief history lesson. Then it was a quick stop through Luxembourg, which is smaller than Rhode Island.
France is where things became new. As soon as we crossed the border we saw the Maginot line, which I got no pictures of because my phone was away.
From that point on I always had it within easy reach and turned the auto camera function on. We were also greeted into France by seeing nuclear power plants. Their water towers are also some of the most unique I’ve seen (a funnel, a castle turret, and a mushroom). By this time we need some food. We like to visit the local McDonald’s to see what interesting things they have on their menu. We were let down, no unique menu items. Moments away from our next country we came to a border checkpoint. When they asked us if we had anything to declare I held up the McDonald’s bag and Zed said just fast food. I’d like to think we livened up the officer’s shift.
Switzerland was up and is a country of tunnels. In 2hrs we journeyed through a minimum of 20. I lost count. So far it has been the country Zed and I both agree we’d like to ex-pat to, if we were rich enough to do so. Their homes are unique and there are ranches everywhere.
The homes have huge roofs (guessing to manage the snow), numerous windows, and carefully decorated gables. They even decorate the under side of the roofs.
This is St Urban’s Abbey.
While in Switzerland we were also able to participate in a Latter Day Saint Temple Session. The Bern Temple was the first built in Europe.
Liechtenstein was a surprise for me. It was also our first passport stamp since being here, we did a few euros to get it. Our goal was to see Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein (from the movie A Knight’s Tale), instead we walked into their Carnival parade.
Now it was time for Austria. We ventured through a 8.5mi long tunnel that allowed us to bypass a mountain pass. One of the most interesting things we saw was a car from Swaziland. How it got there we’re still wondering. There were also wooden huts scattered throughout and we never could research a good answer as to what they were.
Germany brought us to the end of our journey. We stayed at the base of Neuschwanstein Castle and Zed dropped me off at my work location the next morning (another blog post will be coming on that). We were able to see the Zugspitze (the tallest point of Germany) and a few avalanches.
The trip was amazing. A great time to spend together and see new things. We were blessed with safety and clear roads both in weather and traffic. Enjoy the few pictures I took and stay tuned for more adventures. -S
NATO 101 with Sam and Zed
I had the opportunity to go to a course in Southern Germany to learn more about NATO and it’s interactions with different nations. I learned a ton, but the best part was having a class made up of 26 nations, and not all were NATO members. To learn how Ukraine views current world issues versus Denmark is just one example. Throw in my US mindset and a Dutch opinion and dinner conversation was never dull.
Part of the course allowed the opportunity to independent study. I used the opportunity to sight see.
My trip to the Disney castle was worth it. Unfortunately pictures inside are not allowed. It is worth the ticket price. Interesting note, the castle has been a museum since 6wks after King Ludwig’s mysterious death.
I also visited Kolfel mountain in Oberammergau, Germany where the story of Hansel and Gretel comes from. The story goes that a witch lives in the mountain and there are numerous documentations of kids going out to play and never coming back.
Oberammergau is a unique village situated in a valley. When the village was hit with the Plague the town promised God that if it would stop spreading and spare lives they would always do a Passion play. The Plague ceased and the people have put on the Passion play every 10yrs following. This is the longest running Passion play in the world. It has become so largely attended that only those born in Oberammergau or those who have lived there for a minimum of 20yrs are allowed to be actors.
The opportunity to learn more about my job, but also other nations perspectives is one I am so grateful to have gotten. Not bad to get it, and see Neuschwanstein either. -S
How did you sleep last night? How do you usually sleep? We all can answer these questions through personal experiences we have each evening. Some of us have done the rotating shifts in our career days, remember those 11-7 days? I personally remember some 6:00 PM – 2:00 AM shifts. They seemed to screw me up more than anything.
I’m always amazed when I’m flying somewhere and I look to an aisle ahead of me and there’s a peaceful soul, eye mask on, mouth open, a bit of spittle in view and dead asleep. “Really”? Why the hell can’t I do this. I’ve been across the pond to Europe a few times, England, Ireland and, Germany, should anyone be interested. I would be willing to bet I’ve had less than one hour of sleep collectively.
I recently got a new Fitbit. I track my steps, heart rate, for messages I get a buzz alert and the message scrolls across the Fitbit face. I’m kinda old, need cheaters to read and, never find my glasses fast enough to read the message, but it’s there. The thing will tell me my active minutes during the day, remind me to move periodically and give me a calorie burn.
What I find is the neatest thing is, it can track my sleep during the night and daily activity. It tells me if I’m awake, in Rem sleep, light sleep and, deep sleep. On getting out of bed this morning, I learned I was awake eight different times during the night. Bad weather, bad bones has been my nemeses for many years. Wasweather coming through the reason?
The below web site has a great video by Matthew Walker on the secrets of sleep. The video is a short five (5) minutes long. Hey, if it helps you gain a few more hours of sleep, take a look.
As for me and the Airplane, I’ve tried everything. I’ll stick to a Bloody Mary (1), a couple of movies and a three-hour nap on landing, to take care of the Jet Lag.
Have a great day, and, sleep well tonight.
Unless you live under a rock, it’s likely you heard about another mass shooting in America. Aurora Illinois, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
I recently read the following redacted E-Mail, just yesterday morning, actually. It certainly makes one think, or those that don’t, to wake up.
Our parish community has grown through the years, always attempting to meet the needs of our people of faith. In this day and age, with violence a part of our everyday lives, we find a need to upgrade our security for both of our churches.
This past weekend there was an alleged threat toward all Christian churches in XXXXX. The person of interest was identified and has been talked to by the XXXXX Police Department. Once hearing about the possible threat, we asked for the XXXXX Police to help us monitor the facility. We took the threat very seriously! There was a police presence at XXXXX Church all day on Sunday. The XXXXX Police, after a thorough investigation, has determined the rumored threat to be unfounded. We will continue to work with the XXXXX Police Department.
The rumor of threat alone was cause enough for our parish staff to take action to begin to develop procedures for future security issues. There will be individuals present at all masses who are familiar with the person of interest or credible threats on the property. Because of this incident and some previous incidents, the Parish has decided to form a security committee who can help evaluate and respond to future concerns.
What can you do?
- If you have the interest to serve on a security committee, please submit letters of interest to the parish office: drop off, mail or email to XXXXX
- Be attentive; see something, say something!
The well-being of our parishioners and guests in our churches are always a priority to us.
The following was printed in the on-line version of the Washington Post, I share with you.
A gunman opens fire in your building. What do you do?
What would you do if someone walked into the building you are in right now and started shooting? Through training programs and public awareness campaigns, law enforcement experts are asking people to consider this question so that they will be prepared to act rather than freeze if the unthinkable happens. Here are the basics of the “Run, Hide, Fight” program created by the Department of Homeland Security, with additional details from active-shooter survival trainers, law enforcement officers and a Special Forces veteran.
The first — and best — option is to get out if you possibly can. People have been shot while they froze in place a few steps from an exit door, said Scott Zimmerman of K17 Security. Encourage others to leave with you, but don’t let their indecision keep you from going.
Choose a route carefully
Don’t run willy-nilly or blindly follow a crowd. Pause to look before you enter choke points such as stairwells, lobbies and exits to make sure you can move through them quickly and not get stuck out in the open.
Doors are not the only exits.
Open a window; if you have to break it, aim for a corner. See if the
drop ceiling conceals a stable hiding place or a way to enter another
room. You may even be able to punch through thin drywall between rooms.
If you’re trapped on the second floor, consider dropping from a window, feet first, ideally onto a soft landing area. (But if you’re higher than the second floor, the drop itself could be fatal.)
Be quiet and stealthy
Try not to attract a shooter’s attention. Remember that edges of stairs are less likely to creak than the centers. Stay low and duck when you pass windows both inside and outside the building.
If you can’t immediately leave a building or room, you want to buy time — time to plan another way out, time to prepare in case the shooter forces his way in, time for the police to arrive.
Don’t just lock them, barricade them with desks, chairs, bookcases — anything big and heavy. Wedge objects under them at the farthest points from the hinges. Prop or wedge something under door handles to keep them from turning all the way. Tie hinges and knobs with belts or purse straps. A shooter doesn’t want to work hard to enter a room.
Turn off lights, silence phones
Make sure someone has alerted 911
with as many details as you can about your location and anything you
know about the shooter’s whereabouts. Cover windows if you have time; if
not, make sure you can’t be seen through the glass.
Choose a hiding place
If you know you will hide and stay hidden, don’t count on particle-board furniture to stop bullets. Get behind something made of thick wood or thick metal if you can, or stack several layers of thinner material. Make yourself as small a target as possible, either curling into a ball or lying flat on the ground.
Make a plan
Don’t just get under a desk and wait. Plan how you will get out or what you and the other people who are with you will do if the shooter gets into the room.
This is the last resort, a dangerous option to be used only if your life is at risk and you are trapped with a gunman. Different situations call for different strategies, but all of these turn the element of surprise against the shooter.
Throw books, coffee mugs — anything you can grab. Make noise. Keep moving. A moving target is much harder to hit than a stationary one. Greg Crane, founder of the ALICE Training Institute, which has worked with nearly 3,000 schools, said that even children can be taught to move, make noise and distract so they can buy time to get away.
Some experts teach a Secret Service-style
technique in which people wait beside the door and grab the shooter as
he enters. At least one person goes for the arm that holds the gun, one
wraps his legs and others push him down. Using their body weight, a group of smaller people can bring a large man to the ground and hold him there.
Move the weapon away
Once the gun is separated from the shooter, cover it with something such as a coat or a trash can. Don’t hold the weapon, because if police storm in, they may think you are the shooter.
This is last even among last-resort options. The ALICE program doesn’t even suggest this for adults, and none recommend it for children. But if you try to fight, choose a weapon and aim for vital areas such as the head, eyes, throat, and midsection. Don’t quit.
Things you should know to prepare for any emergency
Have an exit plan before you need it. Know where all the exits are in buildings you visit frequently, not just the exits you use.
Keep “real” shoes at your desk so don’t have to sprint in uncomfortable shoes.
Know how to call 911 from your building — do you need to dial out first? Should a crisis arise, make sure someone actually calls.
Don’t use code words on PA announcements, and be informative with as many details as possible, such as “A man with a gun is in the library” or “There is a fire in the third-floor utility closet.”
Let someone know once you’re safe outside.
Try to keep others from inadvertently walking into danger once you are safe.
Sources: Scott Zimmerman, chief executive of K17 Security; Patrick Twomey, formerly of Canadian Special Operations Forces; founder Greg Crane and spokesperson Victoria Shaw of the ALICE Training Institute; U.S. Department of Homeland Security; FBI. The math of mass shootings
So, 14 February is a time for lovers. Go back in time to 1954, use some of these words by the Penguins when talking to that special someone. Live Long, Love, Be Happy and be Kind. The inspiration for this post came from a friend in England, Thanks Thom. https://theimmortaljukebox.com/2019/02/14/the-penguins-earth-angel-street-corner-symphonies-subway-psalms/
From: Brunssum Netherlands and my granddaughter, Captain, USAF, currently serving in Geilenkirchen, Germany with NATO.
In case you ever wondered what being a mom of 4 is like…90 handmade Valentine’s complete. 2 I designed and made from scratch. 2 I used someone’s design and then made from scratch.
A blogging friend’s husband from down Carolina way, sent me a condensed version of a great undertaking by the folks in North Platte, Nebraska this past summer. I looked around as I often do and found this old article from the Wall Street Journal. All credit goes to Bob Greene, and the WSJ and, North Platte Telegraph for this content. Be you Red or Blue, here’s a feel-good story for you.
A Soldier Never Forgets North Platte
When service members pass through this small town in Nebraska, the community comes together to thank them.
293 Comments By Bob Greene July 22, 2018 4:01 p.m. ET
Community and service members in North Platte, Nebraska. Photo: Stephen Barkley/The North Platte Telegraph
‘We were overwhelmed,” said Lt. Col. Nick Jaskolski. “I don’t really have words to describe how surprised and moved we all were. I had never even heard of the town before.”
Col. Jaskolski, a veteran of the Iraq war, is commander of the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade of the Arkansas Army National Guard. For three weeks earlier this summer, the 142nd had been conducting an emergency deployment readiness exercise in Wyoming, training and sleeping outdoors, subsisting on field rations. Now it was time for the 700 soldiers to return to their base.
A charter bus company had been hired for the 18-hour drive back to Arkansas. The Army had budgeted for a stop to get snacks. The bus company determined that the soldiers would reach North Platte, in western Nebraska, around the time they would likely be hungry. The company placed a call to the visitors’ bureau: Was there anywhere in town that could handle a succession of 21 buses, and get 700 soldiers in and out for a quick snack?
North Platte said yes. North Platte has always said yes.
The community welcomed more than 700 service men and women, North Platte , Nebraska, June 18-19. Photo: Stephen Barkley/The North Platte Telegraph
During World War II, North Platte was a geographically isolated town of 12,000. Soldiers, sailors and aviators on their way to fight the war rode troop trains across the nation, bound for Europe via the East Coast or the Pacific via the West Coast. The Union Pacific Railroad trains that transported the soldiers always made 10-minute stops in North Platte to take on water.
The townspeople made those 10 minutes count. Starting in December 1941, they met every train: up to 23 a day, beginning at 5 a.m. and ending after midnight. Those volunteers greeted between 3,000 and 5,000 soldiers a day. They presented them with sandwiches and gifts, played music for them, danced with them, baked birthday cakes for them. Every day of the year, every day of the war, they were there at the depot. They never missed a train, never missed a soldier. They fed six million soldiers by the end of the war. Not 1 cent of government money was asked for or spent, save for a $5 bill sent by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The soldiers never forgot the kindness. Most of them, and most of the townspeople who greeted them, are dead. And now, in 2018, those 21 busloads from the 142nd Field Artillery were on their way, expecting to stop at some fast-food joint.
Photo: Stephen Barkley/The North Platte Telegraph
“We couldn’t believe what we saw when we pulled up,” Col. Jaskolski said. As each bus arrived over a two-day period, the soldiers stepped out to be greeted by lines of cheering people holding signs of thanks. They weren’t at a fast-food restaurant: They were at North Platte’s events center, which had been opened and decorated especially for them.
“People just started calling our office when they heard the soldiers were on their way,” said Lisa Burke, the director of the visitors’ bureau. “Hundreds of people, who wanted to help.”
The soldiers entered the events center to the aroma of steaks grilling and the sound of recorded music: current songs by Luke Bryan, Justin Timberlake, Florida Georgia Line; World War II songs by Glenn Miller, the Andrews Sisters, Jimmy Dorsey. They were served steak sandwiches, ham sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, deviled eggs, salads and fruit; local church groups baked pies, brownies and cookies.
Mayor Dwight Livingston stood at the door for two days and shook every soldier’s hand. Mr. Livingston served in the Air Force in Vietnam and came home to no words of thanks. Now, he said, as he shook the hands and welcomed the soldiers, “I don’t know whether those moments were more important for them, or for me. I knew I had to be there.”
“It was one soldier’s 21st birthday,” Lisa Burke said. “When I gave him his cake, he told me it was the first birthday cake he’d ever had in his life.” Not wanting to pry, she didn’t ask him how that could possibly be. “I was able to hold my emotions together,” she said. “Until later.”
When it became time to settle up—the Army, after all, had that money budgeted for snacks—the 142nd Field Artillery was told: Nope. You’re not spending a penny here. This is on us.
This is on North Platte.
Mr. Greene’s books include “Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen.”
Today it is raining cats and dogs as a big front moved east across the Delmarva. This has been a good opportunity to catch up on blogs I follow on three different sites, WordPress, Google, and Medium. I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve been keeping a Journal for a number of years, it will now take on a different look as I encompass some of Barry Davret’s ideas.
Each half hour I get up and take to a 40 step walk, ten times through our downstairs. Two rooms, Living/Dining combination, and a Bedroom. We also have a bathroom on this level. Yes, small by most standards and a big step down from our 3500 sq/foot previous home. We do have an Annex of 900 sg/feet that is also a guest house.
Upstairs there is the Sewing room where the quilts are put together, a bedroom where the quilts are laid out, my Office and another full Bath. We also have a loft, attic, garret, whatever is your pleasure. When the Grands were Wees we would throw the lot of them up there to sleep. “Go TO SLEEP”!
See, much like that daily documenting, things are stimulating memory. I’m just doing it here in the Blog. So, here you go with a couple of sites to pull up. Especially take a few minutes for https://medium.com/@Barry.Davret/how-an-experience-journal-will-turbocharge-your-daily-writing-and-ease-your-anxiety-9e1961eb3ec3
“A life worth living is a life worth recording”. Jim Rohn
Jim Rohn, the philosopher who has left an indelible legacy of time-proven principles says:
How An“Experience Journal” Will Turbocharge Your Daily Writing And Ease Your Anxiety by: Barry Davret
All You Need Is A $2.00 Notebook and 15 Minutes Before Bed.
Once again the Rooster is ever grateful for another family member making my Blogging easy. I share with you the most recent Blog of grandaughter,, Captain Samantha Berthiaume-Davies, USAF. Thanks Sammy.
20 years ago due to an airplane malfunction 20 Washington State Air National Guardsmen lost their lives on Geilenkirchen Air Base.
I had great plans to write this post on Monday night. Then on Tuesday I planned to write it, but from a very different angle. Today, I finally have some time to sit down and try to do this post justice.
I was asked to help with the execution of the memorial service. This being my first event of any scale I was on edge. 75 people had flown from the US to honor their comrades and family members lost on Jan 13, 1999. There was a 20 minute ceremony and a lunch that I was responsible for. Though the weather didn’t cooperate, the entire day went off without a hitch.
I didn’t realize how much of myself I had invested into the event until Tuesday morning. We forgot Ana’s book bag at the house (thanks to Zed for running home to grab it), forgot my cell phone at home (a whole day without a cell phone is hard), after my shower from the gym I realized I hadn’t brought boot socks or an uniform shirt, oh and I left my hat in my car so I got to do that walk of shame.
As I walked out the of gym in a smelly uniform shirt, with no hat on, and ankle socks I saw the school bus pull up. At that moment I just needed a hug from my girls. I got two amazing hugs before they headed off to school with their pony tails wagging behind them and went back to my car to figure out what had just happened.
Why was I in tears at 830am over such trivial things? It was then I realized how much effort I had put into this event to ensure the family and friends of ESSO 77 had a memorable time. For some of them this was the first time they had ever been to GK and for others the first time they had been back since their squadron mates had passed away.
It was also then that I remembered the importance of hugging those you love and making sure they know how you feel. And finally, it was when a new friend tapped on my window to ask if I was ok and gave me a hug.
So to ESSO 77, thank you for your service to not just the nation, but serving with NATO means you’ve provided service to the world.
Articles if you want to learn more about ESSO 77.
In order to put more information out in the Electronic Hemisphere, I’ve adapted to sharing loved one’s posts from the Netherlands. Thanks to granddaughter Samantha who gets to live there for a few years with husband Zed, ( I call him Sir Zedsalot), and their 4 Children, she provides me with ammunition of the written word to use. Sam has provided some great travel info and photos in this post, enjoy. Happy New Year all! theRooster
Though the title only really applies to one lunch Zed and I have had over the past 2 weeks it also explains our holiday break pretty well. We tried a little of a lot and saw some new things. Enjoy the long, but fun post to follow.
We spent an entire day in Maastricht, NL while the kids were at daycare. If you’ve been to Georgetown, MD imagine a European version and that’s Maastricht. Their Christmas market was still going, but everything was on sale! We rode the Ferris Wheel, walked the shopping district and ate at a small burger place named FAB (Famous American Bistro). Sharing 5 sliders and some deep fried Mac & Cheese we felt a little piece of home, except for the glass bottled waters.
The church on the left has been restored from the 1700s to its original painted color and structure. The church on the right is from the 1500s.
View of Maastricht from the top of the Ferris Wheel.
Another view from the Ferris Wheel of the two really old churches.
This book store has taken up residence in an old church. The vast cathedral houses three stories of books in a multitude of languages.
Zed and Ana went shopping at Rammstein, aka as American as you can get in Europe. They saw Mary Poppins, bought discounted Christmas decorations, and visited Bastogne.
New Year’s Eve Day, we stayed local as I had about 5hours to play in between my shifts. Heerlen is where our ward building is located, but also a really neat town close to home. We enjoyed the site, shopping, and some yummy sushi before I headed back in to work.
These bricks are found in the sidewalk outside of buildings Jews lived in. They say the name, the birth year, when they were deported, when they died, and the camp they were sent to.
During the winter a sledding hill and ice rink are set up in the square.
Pock marks from bullet holes can be seen in the bell tower left over from WWII.
New Year’s Eve was quiet inside our home, but the Dutch sure know how to celebrate. The firework display was a 360 degree show that lasted from 11pm to 3am. This display was put on by everyone, but us. We were not aware that to live in the Netherlands you are obligated to set off fireworks on New Years…we have learned for next year. The fireworks set off also are not able to be purchased in the US. The rockets are large and fuses short.
Jan 2nd brought another date day where we got to test out our new GoPro at the indoor ski slopes. Completing 12 runs in two hours, we were pretty tired and ready for some lunch. Back to Maastricht we went to enjoy some Fish and Chips at Jack White’s. Here is where the title of this post comes in. We enjoyed gourmet fish with a tray of five different sauces to choose from. Zed ordered the cod battered in the traditional seasoning. I got Mackerel battered in various herbs. Our tarter sauces consisted of traditional tarter, curry lime, spicy beetroot, mango, and garlic. The mango was our favorite and the garlic made an amazing dip for the chips. It was at this restaurant we learned the best way (cheapest) to drink out is to order the largest water they have and split it. We also stopped in a costume shop to begin our Carnival costume planning. Here’s what Zed is considering.
The 3rd, on a whim we went to Trier. This is the oldest town in all of Germany with many Roman ruins still present. We ate in a historic cellar that displayed numerous crests from the region. Unfortunately both of our phones were unusable halfway through the day so we didn’t get pictures of everything…guess we’ll just have to go back. We intend to bring family as they come to visit because we enjoyed the town so much.
One of the many churches in the town. I am standing at the opposite side of the square in order to capture the full height…at least 12 stories.
Better lighting and side view of the same cathedral.
Inside the Constantine Basilica. The most interesting thing to me here was the history of the church. In the history it explains how many times the church was rebuilt (at least 5) due to different ownerships. The most recent reconstruction of the Basilica was due to “the necessary consequences from the Nazi era”. The altar is the place of the previous Roman Emperor’s throne. It was the plainest church we saw in Trier, but according to the guide “it has been divested of its former pomp and splendor. Marble and treasures have no place in it.” The guide made us wonder who was responsible for writing it due to the blunt nature of the words.
Ironically, this is connected to the back side of the Basilica. Covered in pink paint, gold leafs, and Roman statues the electoral college had ownership of the building at one time. This opens up into what I can imagine is a gorgeous garden in the spring and summer time complete with fountains and reflection pools.
Porta Nigra. The one remaining port entry gate from the Romans, there were a total of 4. This is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. My first ever to visit.
After this picture my phone died. We also saw the amphitheater which felt much life a Division 1 football stadium and the main bath house. Oh, and we did some shopping of course.
We put some miles on our shoes, checked a few stops off the bucket list, and enjoyed some quality time as a couple. Because of these small trips, Zed and I have realized we need to make a list of places to visit based on driving distance so as we have a random day or long weekend off we can hop in the car and go.
I’ll be sure to have a phone charger in the car and the GoPro always prepared from here on out so you don’t miss any of our travels.