Saw a wonderful musical last night, 1776. I think it’s wonderful that our NATO post has a theatre with first-rate shows. They did an awesome job, and I learned a few facts about the signing of the Declaration of Independence I never knew. Made me proud to be an American as me and the boys drove away from the theater. Today, I thought I’d brave the mall downtown. Yes, our provincial little Belgian city has one! It’s not anything to write home about, but it has a huge anchor store, Carrefour, which is the French equivalent of let’s say Wal-mart. If you can believe it or not, it is BIGGER than any Wal-mart I’ve ever been in! Why am I going on a Saturday, where it’ll be absolutely PACKED cause that is when the Belgians come out and shop in full force? Cause I am feeling the pressure of the mailing deadline back to the US to get things back home before the holidays. I like to buy Belgian treats and things for family and friends back home, and this is the one time of year I allow myself (and our budget) to go all out on that sort of thing. Maybe I’ll take my camcorder and film a bit. Any store with an entire aisle of French Fries is something interesting to see (I’m not pulling your leg). Before I go though, I thought I would run down my favorite blogposts for this week.
Repurpose Tension Curtain Rods into Pantry Dividers – You know, these curtain rods have a million different uses. I have some alcoves scattered throughout our house and since I don’t sew, I bought a few tension rods, some cloth shower curtains, some cheap plastic shelving and voila, instant closet (cause you know European homes don’t have closets). I just never thought outside-the-box to use the tension rods sideways. Brilliant!
Working in Italy as a Military Dependent – Yeah, that’s us wives and the kids old enough to work. Wherever we go overseas, there are these things called rules. Only certain jobs on post are available to us as American citizens. I know it’s strange. Did you know, after the war, when the US was negotiating with countries like Germany and Italy for jobs on post, it was actually determined that a certain percentage of jobs had to be filled by local nationals (people who are citizens of that country)? And today, you will still see this in effect. Find out how to navigate the red tape. Read this even if you are in another NATO country with our bases there. Most of these rules apply to all of us overseas.
Thanksgiving 2011: The Menu Plan – If you are totally in the dark and want step-by-step instructions and great menu ideas, you gotta stop by. I was feeling bummed by DH being deployed but perked right up when a good friend invited me and the boys over for Thanksgiving. I am hoping she will let me bring my favorite dishes over to share, but she already said it would be a joint effort. So happy to hear that! Thanksgiving is about being together, and if your significant other will not be here (or family is not around), don’t wait for the day to come and have nowhere to go. Not all of your friends and acquaintances will be as intuitive as my friend and realize you are alone. You’ve got two choices. Host a dinner yourself and invite people you know who also have no plans or ask around what others are doing. Start the conversation by asking what that person is doing for Thanksgiving. Good manners will dictate that they will also ask what you are doing. Most rational people will then invite you over when they realize you don’t have a plan….please don’t sit there and do nothing. Also, many churches and organizations on post have Thanksgiving meals they host. Check your community’s calendar and find out where and when they are (some are before Thanksgiving). Do not allow yourself to wallow in self-pity please and celebrate this imporatant American holiday with others.
Buyer’s Remorse is Inevitable – Gotta love that. How many times has this happened to you when you bought something? I’ve tried really hard not to impulse buy, although three weeks ago, I bought this 99 euro tablet computer from our tax-free shop on post. What was it branded you say? It was Carrefour, which is a GROCERY BRAND! Yes, it was an android tablet and when I got home, I thought I had flipped my lid as I unpacked the thing and put it through its paces. It was woefully inadequate of course (big surprise, right?), and thankfully, the store accepted my sob story and took it back. What was I thinking????? Next time, I’ll follow the tips in this post.
Lunch in a Box - Why I never knew about these Bento boxes is beyond me. OK, we’ve never been stationed in Japan, but I have friends from over there and no one ever said a word to me about these Bento boxes!! I LOVE THEM! I WANT ONE….OR TWO even! I am so tired of sandwiches and plain leftovers for lunch. I am in particular amazed with the artsiness of these food arrangements….all for lunch….for me…I hope I get one for Christmas:-)
Schloss Ludwigsburg: My favorite castle tour in Germany – Someone beat me to the punch. I used to tell everyone who would listen, to visit this palace and take the tour. It’s better than Versailles in Paris and the Nymphenburg in Munich IMO…I have never been so entertained in my life on a castle tour. I guess this blogger thinks the same way. I love the optical illusions, the servants’ quarters, the flea catchers and the stories about the philandering king where over half the current population of that area can name him as an ancestor….oh the stories the guide told! If you are in the Stuttgart area, this is a MUST SEE. Afterwards, hit the Fairly Tale Garden next door (great if you have little ones who love their fairy tales) or hit the cute pedestrian area in the city, right across the street with its neat shops and plenty of restaurants, a small mall and many quick and yummy eating establishments to choose from.
The World’s Best Airport Lay-over in Iceland – This brings me back to the good old days. I’ve been flying back and forth to Germany, at least once a year if not more often…for over 40 years. Back then, the planes would have to stop in Reykjavik, Iceland to refuel…yes, I’m that old unfortunately! Of course it was only a short stop for us, but I distinctly remember how their airport was made out of wood…the floors, the benches, the walls…everything! It was always dead quiet with nothing going on…my, how things have changed! Look at all the good things you can do there now if you lay-over…wow!
And since the holidays are rapidly coming upon us and many of your spouse’s military units probably have parties planned, I thought I would revisit something out of my archives, Things I Learned at my Unit’s Last Holiday Party.
Do you have any interesting blogposts to share this week?