Spent some time at Stuttgart Markethalle. I bought everything. (Not really, but I wanted to…)

There’s a restaurant, and a bunch of houseware shops. Homemade soap, fabrics, etc. I could have easily dropped a few hundred Euros, but you know, responsibilities..

Got baklava? We do.


This was my face when my tween complained we woke her up too early … at 10:45 a.m. this morning.

“You should let me sleep in!!!”

She was NEVER a late sleeper. Always our early bird. This is baffling to us.

German Wasps


I learned a few interesting things about wasps today when the German exterminator came over.

1) The type of wasps that built their home in our window roladen are known as “German wasps” although they are found in other parts of the world. They are so harmful to humans, they’ve actually hurt tourism in Australia and New Zealand. It was absolutely appropriate to poison the wasp nest since we would disturb it every time we open our window.

2) There will be no effort to remove the soccer-ball size wasp nest from inside the roladen because the vacant nest and dead queen will prevent other wasps from shacking up in there. This is going to drive me crazy for the rest of my time here.

3) The type of wasps that built their home way above our kitchen window (in a corner of our roof) are known as “field wasps” and because they did absolutely nothing when the exterminator poked at their nest, it is actually illegal to poison them. By law, the only way an exterminator can do his job is if there is an actual threat to life or property, and since these are less aggressive wasps, and they are living in a place beyond our reach, there’s no issue. When the exterminator saw my face, he pointed out that he didn’t see any flies in our house, despite being near farmland and cows. “You can thank those wasps,” he said. Okay. Those wasps can stay.

I forgot to mention that the name of the German wasps over here literally translates to “mean wasps.” Throughout the week, when we would check on the window and pull the roladen up a little bit, a few dead wasps were attached to the cord as it came out of the wall. I told Martin they were sending us a message.

*A German wasp selfie from a German nature site. *shudder*

Crime in Germany


My sister and I were chatting about crime in Germany.

Sister: One report, early on, said it was gang related and I thought Germany doesn’t have gang activity.

Me: Oh, yeah. The Schnitzel Mafia is particularly ruthless. They attack their enemies with pretzels … or wurst.

Toughen Up

Leave it to a former Marine to advise on how to toughen up my frosting. Thanks to my friend Jennie, I think these Black Forest cupcakes pass muster now.

The Cupcake Cure

This guy was helping his Dad carry out some items yesterday, and in his haste, he tripped and hit our front step, resulting in a bad cut on top of a shiner. We felt his efforts earned him some cupcakes.


Wasps built a nest in one of our rolladens while we were on vacation.

I went to pull it up just now, and the movement totally obliterated it, with chunks of wasps and nest pulp raining down just outside the glass before the survivors stormed out looking for their enemy, who had her nose pressed up against the glass, staring in awe.

Mother Nature, dude.

Welcome Back


Nothin’ says “welcome back to work” like 2,000+ unread emails and the *invite* to participate in a “random” drug test urinalysis.

The drug-testing folks insisted that my notification is completely random. I just LOLOLOLOLOL’d and tried not to miss the cup.

Friends Forever

Our friend Lia snapped this photo last night after we had dinner with her family. Lia was first my father’s friend through their professional network. When I got assigned to Aviano, she became our friend, as well as my own work colleague as we worked right down the hall from each other. She also stepped up as our “honorary Italian grandma” during my pregnancy with Miss C. She adored our baby girl, and took care of us right up until we left for our next assignment in Washington DC. Continue reading