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Valentines Day

Heart, Card, Pastels, Figure

I send Virtual Hugs to all who deem it appropriate on this day of affection, (Two Days late posting), but the thought was there yesterday. We have set our table for breakfast, and Mary Agnes is taking her morning walk with Ben, our Black Standard Poodle. She of 14-18,000 steps a day. Can you say overachiever?

My Place is set on this day.

The journal, I’ve been told, is to be kept in the car, and I am to jot down earthly happenings as I see them. Speaking of jotting things down, I picked up two new pens the other day at Staples. I love pens, and the Paper Mate Ink Joy gel 0.7 suits me well for the moment. I’ve been Journaling Daily since 11 June 2014.

My journal’s start out something liken this:

Sunday, 14 February 2021 – 30f, misty R, Valentines Day, 0452 hrs. Yes, we are early risers; today, I was the first up. There are in the house four of us, Mary Agnes, Ben (dog), Simon (cat), and yours truly, the-Rooster. Once up, heat on, fire in the fireplace, coffee pot on, the door unlocked to the porch, Ben out for relief. He will usually try to wake the neighborhood up as he barks at and chases a Deer or two outside our one-acre fence line. An occasional fox, gopher, raccoon, and even a coyote on a rare occasion will appear. I must mention that Simon goes in and out multiple times in the AM. A real PITA that one. Loves water out of a spigot also.

I must additionally mention the chickens. We have most often, for the past twenty years, had a Backyard-Flock of Hens and one or two Roosters. Presently this flock gracing our yard is 18 weeks old tomorrow. Their Guardian, named in a contest some Blogs in the past, is Gregory Peck. All indications are that he is a gentle giant. We have had a few roosters, Sadam Hussein for one, that went into the pot at an early age. A vicious fellow was he. Our grandson Thomas and his heels were a constant focal point for Sadam. May he rest in peace.

A great venue.

Today at noon (actually yesterday), we will head ton a restaurant named Mad Hatter Cafe. Those in attendance with us shall be daughter Kathryn & husband Jeff, daughter Sarah and husband Greg, granddaughter Abbi and husband Antwain and granddaughter Rachael. If ever in the Salisbury, MD area, I’ll give it a 4 * rating. The busboy was noisy and dropped a few things , otherwise a 5.

A tidbit from the Netherlands

L to R, Mia, Dax, Ana, and Zoe.

Some of you are aware that we have a granddaughter in the Air Force. Samantha is a USAFA grad and is married to another grad and classmate, and the couple has four children. The entire family has three-letter names: Sam, Zed, Mia, Ana, Dax, and Zoe. They presently work for NATO, the base is in Germany, they live in the Netherlands. They are in that Tri, come together spot where Belgium joins those two countries.

Sam, much like Art Linkletter many years before her, Sam often puts on Face Book, things our Great Grandchildren say.

Me – Zoe do you know what today is?
Zoe – Yah, tomorrow.
Touché kid

Our kids are currently playing Commissary. I guess when you’re military kids, it’s not called the grocery store.

Conversation while getting ready to go play in the snow

Me – Ana, what’s taking you so long
Ana – Mom, I had to get undressed some.
Me – Why? You were ready to go, you just had to put on shoes.
Ana – Mom I couldn’t reach my feet with all my clothes on.
Welcome to pregnancy/adult hood/etc at the age of 6

Dax flips over the back of the couch and Zed walks over, picks him up, and walks him out of the room.
Ana – Mom, are you going to send him to military school?
Me – Probably. I’ll send you too if you flip over the couch.
Zoe – I won’t flip over the couch
Me – That’s because you’re too short to reach. If you draw on the walls again I’ll send you to military school.
Zoe – I already go to military school mom.
Touché kid

It shall not be long and we can do a Where In The World is Jeff. Later this week he willbe heading out on a trip. This shall be his first trip since February of last year. Can someone say Covid?

That’s all folks!

Don’t forget to check on the elderly. B Safe & Mask Up!

Semper Fi

Travels with Sam

Related image

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.

Image result for quiet feathered quill

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.

Image result for maginot line

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.

File:France Switzerland border 2.jpg
Wiki photo of France checkpoint into Switzerland.

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

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Happy Valentine’s Day

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/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuSrlboCQgc

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.

#momlife #cricut #adayinmylife

No photo description available.
Thanks again Sam, you add great content to my Blogs.

My (4) Great Grandchildren are collecting Box Tops for a School project and are trying to get 75,000. Should you wish to help out, collect and send them to The Rooster, no later than April 15, 2019:
The Rooster/Boxtops
P.O. Box 54
Allen, MD 21810


Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Settleing In

Deutschland Mietbremse Symbolbild

Sam’s post from Facebook yesterday

We’ve officially been here for 2 full days…all 4 kids are enrolled in school and medical, We have 1 of our 2 vehicles, have a German cell phone number, have 3 additional IDs, have a Rations Card, toured 1 house, and I have had my first funny international encounter.

Image result for italian grandfather

Italian – “Hello I’m Grandpa”
Me – “Hello”
Italian – “You’re going to die”
Me – Image result for female emoji what
Italian – points to the car behind me that is trying to back up!

What is a Ration Card, you might ask.

RATION CARDS

Because of host nation tax laws, some items are rationed in the Commissaries and Exchanges.  Gasoline is a big one.  Other rationed items include cigarettes, distilled liquor, and coffee.  You will be issued a ration card.  You will need your ID card to obtain the ration card and must present the ration card and ID card anytime you buy a rationed item.  Separate cards are issued for each adult family member authorized privileges and should be more than adequate for your needs.  DO NOT abuse the privilege.  Using your ration card to purchase items for someone not authorized privileges, except as a bona fide gift, is a violation of both military regulations and host nation tax laws.  A result of abuse may be loss of privileges, fines, and disciplinary action.

GASOLINE

Gasoline is VERY expensive on the economy.  The NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) allows the sale of fuel to authorized members of the NATO forces free of local country taxes, on a controlled basis.  When your register your vehicle, you will receive a certificate which conveys your gasoline allowance and is used as your ration document for gasoline.

Geilenkirchen today From: https://www.geilenkirchen.de/en/home/

Center of Geilenkirchen Center of Geilenkirchen
At the southern edge of the Heinsberg district, where the B 221 (Aachen-Kleve) and B 56 (Bonn-Sittard/NL) trunk roads cross, lies the modestly sized town of Geilenkirchen. Surrounded mainly by rural countryside, the town has a population of over 28,000. Geilenkirchen owes its traditional key position in the daily life of the surrounding region to its convenient location and easy access.The face of the town centre has dramatically changed in the course of extensive renovation work. The extension to the Town Hall and the redesign of the Market Place put the final touches to this phase. Without a doubt, the town has benefited tremendously from this facelift.
Wurmauenpark todayWurmauenpark today
The town centre is surrounded by dozens of well-maintained villages that pride themselves on their cleanliness and are home to a particularly easy-going lifestyle. Geilenkirchen offers its inhabitants a high standard of living and above average leisure time activities. Apart from its excellent shopping facilities, Geilenkirchen has the full range of educational institutions and a whole range of social and care institutions – a modern hospital, old people’s homes and nursery schools. Making good use of one’s leisure time is hardly a problem here, with sport centres and gymnasiums, swimming baths, both indoor and outdoor tennis facilities, indoor riding, gliding and model aeroplane aerodromes and numerous recreational and sports grounds round off the options.Those in search of peace and quiet will find the town in the valley of the River Wurm – nestled between hidden castles and stately homes, old water-powered mills and impressive farm houses – the ideal choice. A particular attraction is the nearby Teverener Heath.The pleasures associated with this town are appreciated by, among others, the German Army and NATO, whose soldiers are stationed close to Geilenkirchen. Relations between the local population and these “visitors” are extremely convivial.

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.