just like sweeties


Broadchurch” – I learned about it while watching the Graham Norton Show (I love that show – he’s a brilliant host and he gets his guests to open up without them even realising it) and I thought I’d give it a peek. From the first few minutes I was hooked. It’s like sweeties. Chocolate. You can’t have just one… I’m on to episode 2 and LOVING it. Gripping, different, twisty, lots of interesting side stories without being overwhelming and that’s just the FIRST EPISODE! Plus it’s English – so the characters are all strong and interesting and not necessarily “pretty” :)

It’s filmed really well, too. Almost photographic – lots of “moments”


and then it all changes again

I think I’ve waxed on about this point many times in other posts – military life means that you NEVER EVER know what’s going to happen from one day to the next.

My husband got news last night that his dream career in the army has COME THROUGH! Finally! The paperwork made it, at last, to the right place and got approved. After YEARS of struggling to get this done – being shut down and blocked by his unit over and over again – he finally jumped through the right hoops and crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s and IT’S HAPPENING! (He just told me now, this morning – there were things going on yesterday that made him wait to tell me as he didn’t want to stress me out more than he felt I already was) But of course now this means EVERYTHING changes. All the plans we were making for our travels back to the States are now, once again, in limbo. Does he leave in a couple of months? When does the school start? Where do we go? Or do we have to wait another few months here in Germany? And is it “we” or is it just him? Will HE go back for training and we stay here? Or do we all go together to the training place (not sure where/which one) and then move again when he is done and gets assigned to his new unit?

Plus we will most likely have a third dog, by that point. Odin will, as far as things are going now, be going to join us. It will be complicated – I will be doing the whole thing on my own, as my husband will still be away. And now this?

Interesting times. It’s all an adventure, right?


I’m watching Crufts 2015

Don’t judge me.

I watch it every year and every year I get all hyped up watching the agility and think “Azzie and Gina can do that!” Well, at least Azzie can. Gina likes to JUMP things, but not so keen on climbing things, so perhaps she could just do the jumping.

_RAC8824 _RAC8852

But now that we can’t go back to the dog park for spring/summer, due to the POOP everywhere and my dogs getting sick from it – not sure where we can do it. There’s only one other dog park (less traffic, so not as disgusting, or dangerous, as the main one) and nowhere else really that is enclosed – which is important when training them.

Ah well. Maybe when we move back to the States we can find a local group, and we will most likely have Odin then as well and I think that kind of thing would be great for him to learn to interact and get his confidence up. But we’ll get to that. We haven’t even left Germany yet! I do get ahead of myself sometimes.


Our dogs are doing better – slowly coming right. With no dog park visits their immune systems are becoming stronger and they are feeling healthier and happier (especially Gina) and we’ve been walking further distances and longer durations.

I’m being very careful to keep everything the same and not change anything drastically (or even just a little bit) – they get the same food, the same treats and the same amounts etc. I’m dropping their meal size just a little bit (at the request of the vet – two of them now! My girls are FAT!) each time though, but not enough that they really notice (less than 10%) so they don’t get silly about being hungry all the time. Azzie has in fact curbed her appetite quite well, and I’m letting Gina decide when she’s hungry – sometimes she misses 2 or 3 meals a day – but she’s been very good about eating her breakfast.

We’ve had some WONDERFUL walks the last few days – weather is changing, but thankfully still cool enough for us to walk at our “usual” time and for long durations. Azzie is still working on the “pacing” of her energy usage :)


In other dog news: Odin (the dog that my husband is “rescuing” from his awful situation) has now been diagnosed and he will be having his surgery (dislocated femur, torn cruciate knee tendon – they are pretty sure he was hit by a car) this week. Will cost a pretty penny, but my husband is adamant that he wants to do this. Then Odin will be flying to the US, to be “fostered” (and while I’m grateful that he will be safe, at least – I can’t say that I wouldn’t be happier with a different situation – but it’s impossible right now for us to take him until we get there) until we move back to the States (just a few months, if all goes well) and we can HOPEFULLY make him part of our furry family. He deserves that much. Of course I know that while my husband says he “shares a special bond” with Odin – we all know who will be walking/feeding/training the dog, right?

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WoRMS and walks and ribs

Was reading an article about the WoRMS catalog (World Register of Marine Species) (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31851525) on the BBC, and while I am quite happy about their achievement (finally sorting it all and finding out what was duplication and what really is extinct) I was quite sad that the catalog dropped nearly 50%. I personally do not think that that is everything to find in the oceans. There are still so many places they’ve not gone, because at the moment it’s just not feasible (pressure/depth/light/etc) that I think there’s still so much out there still to discover. Humans need to keep exploring.  Space. The oceans. We are a curious species.


We also need to TAKE CARE of what we have already discovered :/ But that’s a whole different rant.

This morning was another awesome walk in the gorgeous German countryside. We walked with our buddy Ciara and her pooches and it was ICY cold to start. We had a rant, a chat, some conversations about things that only _we_ get. Dogs were brilliant – well behaved. I think they enjoyed themselves – the company. Their “mini-pack” of awesome. Sun shining, with a few clouds every now and then, crunchy frosted ground, an ice cold breeze, a good brisk hike.

and now – my weird totally NON-body-dismorphic-disorder moment (I don’t have issues, seriously) this morning: I found that, finally, after this latest (HEALTHY) weight loss… I can feel/see my ribs along the BACK of my body now as well. This might seem like a weird triumph, but when you’ve been “just slightly overweight” for a year or more it’s quite a warm and fuzzy moment. And I can see my vertebrae too, at the top of my spine. It’s not skeletal, it’s just there now, when I stretch or bend. It makes me feel like all the hard work is finally paying off and is becoming “visible” and that makes me feel good. This is how I _used_ to look – when I was fit and thin. I’m not bulimic, anorexic or anything else up that alley – I love food, i have a healthy relationship with it. I’m neither scared of it nor angry with it. It fuels me, fills me and keeps me going. Sure, I sometimes eat too much chocolate and pasta is STILL (and always will be) my food-nemesis, but I’m in control and I will never “give up” food. :)


Have a nice day!


What do people do?

This question has flitted into my brain quite a lot during my life.

When I was at school – I wondered what people did during the day, while we were all at school.

When I began working – I wondered what people did on weekends when they weren’t working.

And moving here, being a “house wife” – I wonder what people (other stay at homes like me) _do_ inside their homes during the day. And on the weekends, when everyone is inside and I walk by with my dogs… what are they doing? Do they have hobbies? Are they watching tv? Sitting at their computers? Studying? Playing games? Sleeping? Eating? What do they DO?


I know I am not what you would call a “normal” example of what people do behind closed doors, so I’ve always wondered. Pondered and thought and tried to catch a glimpse of people through their windows. Not out of voyeurism, but simply to see what “normal” people do with their lives when out of sight of other people.


What do YOU do?


On other topics: The dogs and I had a lovely walk – if a little bit anxious for  Azzie, as there was range fire coming over the hill, but she persevered and while she had an anxious demeanor, with a lowered tail and a worried expression, she did have a lot more moments of happy running around and rolling in the ever dwindling snow drifts left over on the path. Between kabooms, anyway.


the quiet afternoon

Finally, the range fire stopped and Azzie could breathe normally, and relax enough on the walk to poop! Poor girl. She was also finally hungry enough to eat something. G ate as well. I thought they would want more when we got back from our second walk of the afternoon, but neither was particularly enthused by the bowls I put out :)

So nice to see Azzie relaxing – able to sleep! She’s relaxing on the balcony with Gina, as well. Much happier. I feel very relieved.

A friend of mine also talked me into starting up the Javascript course on codecademy.com again. I logged in (actually remembered my login after all this time) and saw that I was actually quite far into the course. But I remembered nothing so I started all over again from the start. First part is pretty easy, so I got far quite quickly. Left my friend behind and he’s been on it for months!

And I’m also still busy with my Linux courses – going well!

fear phases

All dogs go through what’s called “fear phases” – where one day they’re fine with something, but the next day the same thing could cause them to be incredibly upset and scared.

Unfortunately, Azzie was going through one of those when the fighter jets started their dog fights over the town. Too loud, too low and I now have a terrified dog. We tried to have a nice walk this morning, but the range fire coming from across the valley had Azzie in absolute conniptions. Frothing, panting heavily, tail clamped flat down, wide eyes and MOTORING forward to get back to the car where she felt “safe” but still carried on panting heavily.

She hasn’t eaten her food today (she did have her piece of chicken and her tablets this morning, and she’s still eating treats – but that’s it) and she’s listening and waiting for the next kaboom from the range. I’ve closed the balcony door (despite Gina’s annoyance) I’ve tried to remain calm and unaffected by the noise (as I did before) but now every time there’s so much as a thump nearby or from the range, she’s up and panting and restlessly pacing around the apartment. She comes to me, goes to Gina, goes to the kitchen, comes back to me. Then she relaxes and lies down… until the next thump or kawumpf. It’s just so unlike my brave girl, that it’s quite concerning. Even Gina was unphased by the noises on our most recent walk ( thought Azzie might need to poop, but she’s still too scared to! G pooped and it was good and she’s fine and had her tail up on the walk, despite the noises)

So I gave her two benedryl (they seem to help her relax – plus she’s been scratching because she’s been rolling in the grass) and hopefully they help her.

My poor girl. I’m trying to act like nothing is wrong, but this is so unlike her that I am feeling a little icky in my stomach. This is NOT how I wanted her to “grow up” and I feel so sorry for her. But I know you mustn’t coddle them when they go through these phases, so I’m just acting normal. Put some tv on, loudly, so it might cover the noises coming from outside, and I’m going on with my day. I was GOING to go out and do some errands, but I don’t want to leave her in a state of unhappiness, so we’re just going to chill today. Hopefully she will be ok tomorrow. That’s one thing I won’t miss about this place – the noises from the range and the STUPID FIGHTER JETS!

quietly growing up

I think Azzie is, very gently, very quietly, growing up…

She’s nearly 3 years old, which is apparently when BMD’s reach their emotional maturity (it takes them a long time, compared to most breeds) and she’s recently been … different. She’s calmer in new situations, calmer with new people, gentler with children, more responsive to me (especially on the short lead) and in the last week or so she’s also started curbing her appetite. She started this when Gina got so sick – she stopped grumbling to be fed, stopped grumbling to go out, etc. I thought it was just her being concerned for Gina, but she’s continued it even now when they are both much better.


So I’ve begun an experiment (Don’t Panic! I’ve not changed their food or anything else! I’ve learned my lesson regarding that, believe me)  – I feed them (put their food out – it’s just dry food now) and I keep an eye on the bowls. Gina ate when she wanted to this morning, before we went back to bed after early morning toilet break. Azzie ate about an hour after we got back from our long morning walk. Gina ate a little bit after that. She didn’t finish her bowl (and she only eats from one of the bowls, as does Azzie – another sign of maturity?) but she ate enough to obviously fill her up. I have to be careful – I have to keep an eye on the time they eat, so that I make sure we don’t do any exercise for an hour after they eat. So it will get tricky when they eat at different times. I need to keep an eye on them to prevent bloat as well. But if it makes them happy and they lose some weight at the same time – then I’m willing to go the extra mile for them, so to speak :)

We went on a nice long walk along a new path, this morning. It’s a path I’ve driven by many times, seen the start of it (and a place to park) but never been brave enough to actually go to. But today we did it. Dogs were AWESOME and so well behaved, it was perfect walking weather (cool, but not icy cold and not too hot) and the dogs had a great time exploring the new area. We did take a few shortcuts across fields, as I wasn’t totally sure where some of the path sections went, but now that we’ve been around there, I think next time we will just follow the path all the way around :)


Spring is definitely here – only a few bits of snow left in weird locations (Azzie made a point of rolling around in all of them, just to make them feel special for hanging around so long in the warmer weather – she’s sweet like that) and everything else was freshly tilled earth and newly budding flowers. Germany in springtime is quite a sight to behold.


Early morning walks

I might as well start getting used to getting up early to walk the dogs, as it seems the weather is starting to slowly change and we’re heading into spring.

Pretty soon the places we walk will look like this again!

The girls and I headed off for a lovely morning walk with our friend Ciara and her pooches, Django and Luca. We did a kind of a loop, and some return walking, but it was a good walk and the dogs were all good. It was crisp and the sun was out. I look forward to some more of these hikes together.

This was the road we took this morning, but now there is no snow.

The fighter jets are at it again today, and at one point it was SO LOUD it made the windows rattle and was even audible with all the doors and windows closed. It got so loud that Azzie was _terrified_ and she came and hid behind me on the couch and shook and shivered uncontrollably :( I distracted her by giving her the toy she’d found the other day on our walk – nice and clean now after a good scrub. It seemed to help, except that of course now she’s obsessed with it!