Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On to a new year

And another year comes to an end.  I don't know about you, but I don't want to look back on 2009.   It's been a year that went by way too fast.  Memorable, but way too fast.   It's been a year that required a lot of serious decisions.  It's been a year full of surprises, of sadness and of happiness.  It's been a year of quite the realizations, the ups, and the downs.  For some, that's just how every year goes by.  It's been the first time that the year passed by me in such manner.

2010 promises already to be quite interesting and very much unlike any other year I've lived through.  I am looking forward to tackle it all, but I am also saddened and somewhat frightened by what's to come.  Knowing what's going to hit me though, and knowing myself, I will take on the challenges and will be just fine. 

I am not one of those who feel it necessary to inflict "New-Year's-Resolutions" on oneself;   I leave that to others.   However, I never grow tired of listening to the promise people make to themselves.  Do you have any New Year's Resolutions?

My dear family members, friends, and otherwise loyal readers, I hope you have enjoyed a wonderful and memorable 2009 and that you are looking forward to an even better 2010.  I raise my glass to you fine people and say: "Happy New Year !!! "  May it be all you need it to be and all you want it to be.  Tons of hugs and kisses and all that fun stuff !!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Good morning, my fine friends,

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, Frohe Weihnachten.  This year has gone by with lightning speed, so it seems.  Would you agree?  And what's with this weather?  I need to move to a tropical island or something.   An island where the weather does not dip below 90F, 30% humidity, and sun shine that just won't stop and where the Rum just keeps flowing.  [Maryyyyy...let's go!!]  This cold weather is ridiculous.  Yeah, you thought I am all that hardy kind of a German, didn't you?  I think I stopped to be that hardy when I moved to America.  My first destination for one year was Tucson, Arizona.  Now you understand, don't you?!

Anyway, Christmas is here and as always, we celebrate it twice.  Neat little perk when in a mixed cultured marriage.  We celebrate tomorrow evening, starting with a nice German dinner, followed by unwrapping the presents.  Unwrapping the presents has become my favorite part of that evening.  Not because I am after the gifts, oh no, not at all.  I just sit there with my glass of wine and watch my girls.  It used to be that I watched their faces change with each opening of a present.  These days, it is something different I see in their faces.  It's the joy of GIVING that I enjoy seeing in their eyes.  They now like to look into the faces of the people they give gifts to and their eyes explode when watching.  Jenny and Julia do not ask for anything.  It's so very hard to go shopping for them.  It is neat to watch and listen to them as they are trying to buy for their friends and for each other.  This is my Christmas joy, watching them understand that there is so much to this holiday and it is wonderful to see that they do not have a selfish bone within themselves.  I am padding myself on the shoulder for a job well done (Lewis has done that already, lol).  And December 25th will be celebrated the American way.

I do have to say though, I miss my "home" during the Christmas season.  Walking through all those Christmas markets, smelling the Gluehwein in the air, tasting the roasted almonds all while the cold air brushes up on your cheeks.  I have not been in Berlin during Christmas season since 1999. (wow, Prince just popped into my head).    Well, enough with dwelling in the past for this morning...

Oh, my GED thingy...  yes, i took it and picked up my test results the next day.  I actually fell off the chair when the lovely lady, named Jennifer, gave me my test results.  A few days prior to taking the test, when i actually signed up for it, the same lady took my information and told me, that I would do just fine.  I disagreed and was already sure to fail as I had no time to practice anything of what is required of an American High School student.  She insisted that I'd do fine and then made a bet with me.  She said, that I'd have to pay for lunch and that this will be the easiest win she had in a long time.  I disagreed with her even the next day when we met again for the ole orientation.  She told me to not pick up the results from anyone else but her.  During the sign-up process, all I can sign up for was Social Studies, Language Arts: Reading, Language Arts: Writing, and Science.  For some reason, Math was unavailable and so I'll take the math test January 12th.  The results for the writing test will be send via mail as we had to answer 50 questions and write an essay.  So, that leaves three test results to be picked up from my lovely betting partner.  I sit before her and she carries this huge smile.  She took my driver's license and walked over to the computer.  While printing out my results, she looks at me with a huge grin and asked me once more, what the bet was.  "Lunch. I failed, didn't I?"... She walked towards me and in mid way she said: " I told you, you'd lose."  No way, I made it?  Yes, I made it... not only did I make it, but my highest points were in Social Studies, followed closely by Science.  This is nuts.  Each time I bubbled in an answer in the Social Studies test, I told myself : "This is wrong".. "that probably isn't it".. "how the heck should I know"  as most of the questions where of the American Industrial Revolution.  Answering the Science test was similar, except my little voice in my head kept saying "I wish I had my dictionary at hand" while being sure to bubble in yet another wrong answer.  So anyway.. I passed at least those three out of five tests.  And Jennifer assured me that with the points I already have, I cannot fail the GED at all anymore.  I told her to slow down a bit, I have yet to receive the results from the writing test and I haven't even taken the math test as of yet.  She looked deep into my eyes and asked if i want to lose another bet.   Leaving the office, I had her phone number written on a piece of paper and soon, I will have to go on a lunch-date..lol.  So, WHOO HOO... I made it (thus far).

After I receive my GED, I will have to take yet another huge test... a placement test, and with that, I will receive my full college credits of what I already have minus two full credit points, which is good as I thought  I'd lose more than that in the transfer.  When I picked up my above mentioned test results, a girl from Mexico stood in front of me in the line.  Our conversation was reassuring that I didn't just waste a lot of time and that I have made the right decision.  She had her high school diploma from Mexico as well as her college education.  GA does not recognize the Mexican High school education and therefor, she had to take a GED test; unfortunately, she didn't fair too well on it and has to retake some tests, as does the girl in front of her and I was sure to join them.   Taking the GED has saved me a lot of money and time and therefor, I don't have to wait until summer to start classes.  Instead, my first day will be March 29th, yippee.  

Enough of my yackin'.    Tell me, how will you fine people celebrate Christmas?  And how about your weather?  Lots of snow?   

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Frohe Weihnachten and may this day be all you want it to be and  may you have the chance to celebrate with those you love.  Tons of hugs and kisses on the cheeks and all that fun stuff from me to you fine people.   Cheers/Prost

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Too freakin' busy...

First, I thank you all fine people for all those lovely birthday wishes via here and e-mail, facebook, sms, phone calls, e-cards etc... Tom, you made me smile each and every time with your random messages using more than just one medium ;-)   Thank you, thank you, thank you  ;-)   It is always nice to see that you all think of me, if even just for a second or so ;-)  And trust me, I do return the favor and think of you guys a lot.

My ear ache is gone and my hearing is back to normal again, so you can gather around and even speak into the right ear without shouting.  My birthday was a rather busy but good day.  I can't complain and I better not as that's the start of being a bickering old lady, right?

I have been so busy as of late.. this going-back-to-school-thing has me going nuts.  GA and their silly rules... I have to present them with my German Education, proof that I have completed High School and attended college...  Your transcripts then have to be translated and evaluated...  keep in mind, that I have attended college here in the U.S.  as well, but that does not count as of yet.  Nobody could explain to me what exactly needs to be send for evaluation and each phone call was more frustrating then the one before...  finally, Lewis and I decided to go directly to the Administration office and talk to a person there.  Voila, we found Linda... a lady who actually is responsible for international students.  She told me to not waste my money as GA declines those transcripts anyway.  Great!  Now what?  "May I suggest something?" , the lovely Linda asked...  So, yesterday, upon her suggestion, I went and took the GED test.. only days after sitting with Linda.  This way, I save money and time and can jump right into my college classes (at least that was the thought).  Today, I will pick up my results...  I am not so sure about having passed... this all looked so darn foreign to me....  7 hours of freakin'  testing...

I hope you all are doing great... what's new with you?  Catch me up!!!  and hopefully, soon, i will find some time to sit with you all again for a bit longer than just a quick update....  Kisses on the cheek!!!!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The day has come... Happy birthday to moi ;-)

 I raise my glass and say : " To another year !!"   Cheers (Prost)..  Tons of hugs and kisses from me to you fine people

Monday, December 7, 2009

A quick note...

Being sick is most definitely no fun.  No fun at all.  I am not sick with any type of flu, not even with a harmless cold.  Of all things, it's an ear ache.  An ache, so strong that shackles me to the couch.  Oh I have tried to ignore it and went out into the cold winds of Hotlanta.  Boy, was that a wrong decision.  On to the couch again.  Yesterday, I felt fine and thought, I had beat this weird thing.  But no, I was mistaken.  Time for bed late evening and my ear starts to act up again.  It's only effecting the right ear... so speak up and please into my left ear.  Better get used to it, I hear, old people have quite the issues with their hearing.

Dealing with the administration for college has been yet another pain in the you know what.  GA has some weird regulations, and even though I have been to college here in the U.S. already (several different ones actually), they say it's not enough and I need some paper work from my schools in good ole Germany.  Then, they have to be translated and evaluated, for which they use a firm in Florida... this comes with quite the price tag, but worse, I am running out of time.  I won't have my paperwork together by the deadline given, which means, my first day of school will not be this January, but some time in the summer.  Karma at play?  But I have been a good "girl".. I truly have.. so this cannot be a sign from Lady Karma.  Whatever it is, I shall stay focused and just tackle what's to be tackled until Summer then.

Birthdays are knocking on the door.  Jenny is turning 18 this 10th of December.  It's crazy... I will just ignore how old I will turn on the 12th of this month and then there is Lewis, finally turning 40 on December 17th (oh yes, I can mention his age!!!!) .  Why is time running so gosh darn fast?

Well, my ear is killing me and I should just lay down and feel sorry for myself some more... Sure hope you all are doing great!!!  I know I have quite some catching up to do as you people just won't stop blogging whilst I am laying on the couch covered by self-petty... I promise I will make it to your blogs soon as I feel totally out of loop. I PROMISE!!  Tons of virtual hugs and kisses from me too you (pretty sure you can't get sick from those virtual thingies)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

And so I finally...

... filled out and sent my application to go back to school.  WHOO HOO.  I get to finish what I started quite the years ago.  But, as it often is for Lewis and me, our children come first.  With Jenny leaving next year for college and Lewis doing something that I will share with you fine people at a later time, I find myself with enough time on my hand (without having to kill any of Julia's activities) to get my doctorate in cultural Anthropology (with a second in Archeology).  Can you say "Dr. Liane"?  I like the sound of that .. but it will be a while before I can call myself that, after all, I am still a mother and a wife, but will make it all happen.  It's about time, I say.  An early birthday present for me ( I have 12 days to go, not that I am counting or anything).. whoo hoo.. I am excited.  Classes start in January 2010.  It's, for now, a community college where I get the rest of my classes I  need under my belt and then shall transfer to Emory University.  Again, I am very excited.

So that's my news (a part of it anyway)....  what's yours?  How was your Thanksgiving and your weekend?