Friday, February 26, 2010

Packing the computer

I'm packing the computer. I will spend the next few hours watching a video with the kids and eating pizza. I guess I'll see some of you soon. Thank you for your prayers!

Rick I arrive on KLM 6033 from Amsterdam at 12:20

Give me peace

I'm trying to find my peace. The wind is blowing hard outside. I have to fly early tomorrow. We leave the house at 3am (fun). I'm actually anxious about these strong winds. I sure don't want to die on this trip! I'm happy to be seeing my family but I wish everyone was well. Rejoice with those who do rejoice and weep with those who weep. Please pray for a safe's so stormy here. Please pray for my mom who is having knee surgery today, and my nephew Gary who is in the hospital. I need grace…I need God’s hand of protection and favor to rest on me and my whole family. Juergen will have his hands full. It’s not so easy to take care of our 5 kids, and he plans to work part time. I filled the freezer, and cabinets with food. He won’t need to shop for awhile. The laundry is done. I’m going to run the vacuumed over the floor. Tonight we eat pizza and watch a movie together. I love my family. I have it really good here. I’m always a wreck before I travel, and then I manage to relax once I’m gone. You would think I would be pretty good at this…but I’m not. I’m a mess! It’s probably hormones screwing me up. It feels like mega bad PMS. I sure can not walk by emotions.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


They say when you are on an airplane and the oxygen level drops you should first place your mask over your own mouth, then help your child with theirs. I walked into the door from shopping when Juergen told me my brother had called and he wouldn’t be able to drive me to my parents house. He has a family crisis. It’s really very hard and awful, but I wasn’t thinking about him. I was grasping for breath. I couldn’t even begin to show compassion until I figured out a ride. Once I got the ride figured out (I’m taking the train to Oregon) I could breath. I wish I hadn’t responded so badly. My only excuse is how stressed out I am about leaving my own kids. I promise I’ll be supportive. I really do care. I just couldn’t breath. I’m almost 50 years old, and I’m not as flexible as I once was. But I’ll change hats. I’ll take off my party hat and put on my servant hat. I’m really so sorry for the pain, fear and grief my brother is facing with one of his kids. I’m not at liberty to share any details. Rick forgive me for how I first responded. I could put a sign on my back that reads kick me…but the only sign I should wear is human. It isn’t the first response that counts. Humans often respond poorly at first. It is how you walk, and were you end up. I am 100% on your side brother. I had to catch my balance (and that seems to be harder with age). But I am going to be there for you and I will not mess up.

If you don't agree sit down...we will do what we will do!

I'm listening to Obamas health care debate. I can not believe what he said to McCain!!! How rude! McCain had said there shouldn't be any sweetheart deals. Obama said John the campaign is over and you lost. McCain was almost speechless, and I was shocked. If he wasn't the President I would call him a....I won't write it because he is the president.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Life is funny

I was going to church to pick up Nicole from a Bible study. I drove by a new store that's having it's grand opening tomorrow. They have these super big balloons hung around the doorway. A bunch of the balloons broke free and hint my car. I stopped the car and grabbed the balloons. I carried them to a worker in the store. They said, "Oh let them go"! I said ok. So I took the balloons and put them in my car. I of course had no room for Nicole and her friend. I rushed home, dropped off my balloons and returned to pick up Nicole. Orange is the color of Oregon State University. OSU is in Corvallis ,Oregon, where my parents live. I'll be there God willing on Sunday. It's funny that a big bunch of Orange balloons hit my car!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A cool idea

I have a 5 1/2 hour lay over in Amsterdam on the way home. I decided to book a cabin in a place called Yotel. You can get a clean small room for 45€ for 4 hours. I can sleep, take a shower and watch TV. It also has wireless internet. Maybe I'll blog from my little airport cabin? After a 14 hour flight I know I'm going to need a nap. I won't need to watch my luggage. I hope my flight isn't delayed! Yes 45€ is allot for 4 hours but I figure I'm worth it this time!

It's a big world after all

I am having trouble calming my mind so I can fall asleep. I guess this is a good thing. I am already getting use to the 9 hour time change. On the one hand I’m thinking what’s the big deal. I’m just going home. I’ve traveled over the “big pond” a dozen times. I’m not afraid to fly. But it is a big deal. It is 14 hours home and 20 hours back. And I can not change that. I can not be here to help Juergen. I can not be here to take care of my kids. They will be 100% out of reach. That makes me feel really nervous. And then there is this awful sadness I feel. I am so happy to go home. My sister Shelley says I’m home sick. She is right I am. I always am. But its so bitter sweet going home because the time is so short. I have days, 10 days. And as much as I look forward to being there I already morn the goodbye. Only God knows when I will be able to go again. It is sometimes awful to live in such a big world, so divided from all those you know and love. The only way I can handle it is to focus. When I’m there I will be there. I will have to trust Juergen can manage everything …and he can. And I will just focus on every precious and wonderful minute I am with my family. I will not take them for granted…I can not. And when I have to say goodbye…I will cry. I’ll cry and then I’ll think about Juergen and the kids and I’ll be ok. I don’t know when I’ll be back again, but God is good and He will make a way.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I have heard you need to register online if you are coming to the USA. I guess this is for non citizens (that would be most of my family). I am carrying a US passport so I guess I don't need to do this? I also read I can buy flower bulbs in the airport in Amsterdam that the US customs will allow. I have a 2 hour layover in Holland, so guess what I will be looking for?


I can only bring one suitcase with me on my trip to Oregon (new airline regulations). It is now full of Easter candy for my family! I'll have to pack my cloths in my carry on bag. My packing is about done. It's amazing to me how easy it is to pack when it's just me. I could leave today! I guess I'll spend the rest of the week cooking and freezing meals, and doing all the laundry. Juergen is so great letting me do this, I want to make it as easy for him as I can!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

things have taken a turn

I changed my mind. I'm not going to the wedding in June. The cost of the ticket was keeping me up at night. I felt zero peace. I decided I would rather go now and help my mom. She is getting her knee replaced at the end of the week. I had a good talk with my brother. He forgives me for missing his big day. I am instead flying into Seattle to see his house (I've never seen it). Then we will drive down to Oregon together. He gets to see Amy, his soon to be MRS. I get to meet her (we knew each other in high school but that was 30 years ago). So Rick I'll see you on Saturday in Seattle. Family I will see you on Sunday or Monday. I need a ride to Portland on March 10 at around 7:30. My flight leaves at 12:15. Friends, I am sorry but I'll be pretty busy helping my parents so I don't have time to really visit anyone else. It will be a short and purposeful trip. I here it's warm in Oregon. How nice!!! There is no place like home!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

my summer movie

Chinese Garden in Portland Oregon

I'm going to go to my brothers wedding (God willing) in June. I want to camp out in Portland with my parents for a few days, just to have them all to myself (and to avoid pre-wedding madness). I'm also thinking of flying into San Diego first. I want to visit my best friend Cindy, and sister Donna. It is way better to get over jet lag at the beach...while eating good Mexican food....don't you agree?

Young Conservative Slams Obama - ABC News

Young Conservative Slams Obama - ABC News

Friday, February 19, 2010

love this

I use to buy Bob's gluten free stuff for Jessica. He makes the very best flour.

victory garden

What is a Victory Garden?

During World War I and World War II, the United States government asked its citizens to plant gardens in order to support the war effort. Millions of people planted gardens. In 1943, Americans planted over 20 million Victory Gardens, and the harvest accounted for nearly a third of all the vegetables consumed in the country that year.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

sack gardens

you can grow veggies on roof tops and balconies...that’s good for me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I don't think they should impeach Obama but maybe the drop in the polls might cause him to move to the center and away from the left. I do think he can do allot more to help businesses create jobs. It seems the only one in America working is in government. That just can not last!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love Apples from France

I won the bid on 4 more kinds of Tomatoes from France. They are called...
Tiny Tim
Green z├ębra
Ponderosa rouge

Juergen and I are asking about this large vacation house about 30 minutes from us. It's on the river and sleeps 14 (room for out of town guests). We think if we can get it, it will be a cool place for our 100th birthday party. They have good hiking in the area and canoes. Juergen turns 51 this year and I turn 49. It's only available July 4th weekend. That's a good weekend for a party. My tomatoes should be ready by then? I hope we can get the place. Anyway, I'm excited I got seeds for 4 more tomatoes. I have 16 varieties now.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

She will probably never be President but she makes me laugh

So how's that hopey-changey stuff working out for you?

-Sarah Palin

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

These are the Heirloom tomatoe seeds I just got on e-bay

I just got the seeds for 10 different Heirloom tomatoes on e-bay and a red carrot, a yellow and black and red bellpepper and a Chinese cucummber.

Tomate Kelloggs Breakfast * gold/orange

Tomate Mariannas Peace aus USA *

Tomate yellow pear*

Tomate Purple Russian*

Tomate Rio Grande*

Brandywine Yellow

Brandywine pink

Wild - Tomate aus Ecuador *

Tomate Napoli aus Italien*

Tomate Aunt Ruby German green

a great way to spend a cold day

Nicole, Jessica and I are all sick with a bad cold. I spent two hours with Nicole looking at you tube videos on growing tomatoes. She is very interested in plants. We are both excited about our garden. I pulled out the seed catalog. Now that I know I'll have the space, I can dream of what I'll plant. I want the coolest veggies ever! Heirloom tomatoes grown for the taste, and sweet pepper in a variety of colors. I also want gourds to dry so Nicole can paint on them(just like she did in Cyprus last year). There are huge varieties of basil for different types of cooking. There are also a wide variety of salad lettuce. Oh, and potatoes!!! I love red potatoes! They cost so much in the store! I want a good cooking pumpkin, and a good carving pumpkin. What’s your favorite garden plant?

Heirloom Tomatoes

upside down...only good for small plants

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Lent begins soon

There are traditionally forty days in Lent which are marked by fasting, both from foods and festivities, and by other acts of penance. The three traditional practices to be taken up with renewed vigour during Lent are prayer (justice towards God), fasting (justice towards self), and almsgiving (justice towards neighbour). During the early Middle Ages, meat, eggs and dairy products were generally forbidden. Many modern Protestants consider the observation of Lent to be a choice, rather than an obligation. They may decide to give up a favorite food or drink (e.g. chocolate, alcohol) or activity (e.g., going to the movies, playing video games, etc.) for Lent, or they may instead take on a Lenten discipline such as devotions, volunteering for charity work.
Lent in 2010 will start on Wednesday, the 17th of February and will continue for 46 days until Saturday, the 3rd of April. I’m thinking about what I want to do.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Good garden news

We are leaning towards staying in our house at least until summer 2011. I'm really fine with that, I just want a bigger garden. I have an old friend that lives right around the corner from a house I may want to buy (if they lower the price). My friend is very busy (too busy to do much with her large garden). I asked her if I could put raised beds in her yard for a large vegetable garden. I would do most of the work and we could share the fruit. She said yes!!! So I will be looking at the yard next week during the kids vacation. Perhaps we will build the raised beds and plant the garden during the Easter vacation. In the mean time, I washed all my extra starter pots. I cleaned up my green house. I am sorting seeds. When the new green house heater arrives in the mail I will plant seeds. I'm going to try to start most of my plants from seeds. That's to save money. I could have rented a garden, but I would rather invest in a friends yard. I will get fresh fruits and vegetables for my family- and her family. And the raised beds will improve her yard forever. If I rented a garden it would cost me more money, and the investment blesses the next renter. I hope to have my own big garden one day.

garden tip

Another great technique for medium sized pots that will help keep plants moist and cool is to place a disposable baby diaper in the pot and fill it with dirt for planting. The diaper will absorb moisture which will keep the plants roots moist and cool, releasing water as it dries between watering.

maybe something for us?

Good news, she said yes

My brother Rick asked his friend Amy to marry him. The good news is she said yes. We are all very happy for them both. I haven't been around to meet my new sister (I knew her in high school)...but I've observed her from afar. She seems to be the sweet, spiritual, strong and sensible sort of women I know my brother has been praying for. I'm very impressed at how well she has reached out to my whole family. She isn't the kind that wants to pull Rick away from his life, family and friends. Instead she has sought to fit into all he feels important. I'm certain he also embraces her world. That's really how it should be. I am shopping for airline tickets. I hope to be there this summer to give them my love and support. If you find a good wife, you find a good thing! Congratulation Rick and Amy!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

I think we will wait

I have been thinking of buying a new house, one with a big yard. We haven't had any clarity about this idea. It seems like a good idea, just not the right time. Jessica and Nicole both finish high school next year (spring/summer 2011). It seems wise just to wait until they are done before we make any big changes. I also think it's not a good time to sell a house. We could get a better price for our house if we have it painted and do some minor repairs. All that takes time/money. There are a few other reasons, but I'm thinking the clear answer is wait. I'm ok with wait. In the mean time I'm making plans for my small garden. I am also going to ask a close friend if I can build raised garden beds in her big yard and grow some vegetables. She works as a teacher. Her yard is very large and she doesn't have time to do much with it. We could share the vegetables. I'm pretty sure she will say yes. I though about renting a garden, but I couldn't find one very near. If I am going to spend the time and money for raised beds, I want to invest in my friends yard. So I feel peace about waiting until next year to sell my house, and move. I also feel happy because I can now make some plans with out the idea of having to save my vacation time to move and renovate a new house. It's a big weight off my mind.

Garden Art

I was able to work an hour in the garden today. I added some torn newspaper to my raised beds. I also started to clean out the green house. I'm looking forward to spring. I found this garden art project. You can make cute markers for your plants. This is something I can do now, while I wait for the spring.

burlap garden

Burlap Bags Close Up Pictures, Images and Photos

I saw a few videos on you tube about garden sox’s. They are very cool giant sox's that are filled with high quality compost mix. You can put them anywhere to grow a garden. You just need to cut a hole in them and stick in a plant. Well, the idea is super but the sox cost allot of money. I thought about it, and figured I could fill burlap bags with good garden mix to get the same effect for much less money. I just went on e-bay and found a good deal on burlap bags. I bought 25 bags for 17 Euros. That should give me enough bags to plant two balcony’s. I will have a dozen tomatoes and another dozen peppers, lettuce and who knows what else. Maybe I can even plant out the roof of our garage? I would need to lay down something to protect the roof...but maybe it could work? When you live with such a tiny yard you have to get creative. I will also look into drip irrigation for these sacks. I want them to be very low maintenance.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Best picture

Up is on the list for "Best Picture". It's a long shot. I love this movie. The old guy reminds me of my Dad. I'm glad he still has mom. I hope they never have to face losing each other.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

6 more weeks of winter

So if the groundhog is correct we will have 6 more weeks of winter. This does not surprise me. We have had a cold and white winter. I don't think we have had this much snow since we moved to Germany. And it's suppose to snow more tonight. I'm spending allot of time inside. I have a cold. I feel a little trapped. I did buy all kinds of seeds to plant in my tiny garden. I also ordered the wicks for our greenhouse gas heater. Maybe I'll start some seeds in the greenhouse next week? I had hoped to be planning a garden in a new house with a big yard. These things take time. I just don't know if we will ever find another house, or that's even God's clear will for us. I keep looking and keep praying. But I plan to plant flowers and vegetables in my small garden. You need to live where you are...and I are here (am here). I will keep making the most of what I have. That is the right thing to do!