Friday, September 30, 2011

Love Locks

I know these have been around for centuries, but the first time I ever saw a love lock was in Prague and after hearing the sentiment behind it I am bound and determined to lock one on this gate the 6th time I visit this city.

Legend has it when you find your true love you write your names on a lock and then throw the key into the river...

I didn't know this when I was there otherwise I would have been checking out the river to see if I could find a pile of keys down there.  Either way...I loved this idea..I find it incredibly romantic.

And since I've found the love of my life...well, I guess its time for a love lock.  :)

Can't you see the love?

Lennon's Wall

Prague Prague Prague...I've been there 5 times now and STILL can't get enough of that city.  This time we spent a few minutes tracking down the John Lennon Wall...Yep...he's got his own wall in Prague.

That's Christina and Matt adding a little something...

From Wikipedia one learns that the wall was a source of irritation to the communist regime as those crazy Czech youngsters would write grievances and western themed poems of love and peace...which eventually led to a clash between the students and the police on the nearby St. Charles Bridge. 

WOW...for just a peak behind the iron curtain....

Regardless...the wall is still there and continuously painted, decorated and adorned with anything and everything...much of it still centered around John Lennon.

And so I got out my pen and wrote a little thought right on the rainbow vomit of the unicorn.  Yep....apparently thats a significant symbol of love and peace.  :)

And then John took the pen and decided to add a little something too...

Oooops...going to have to get closer...


Still not quite there...

Ok...still can't see it!?

Hey! There we are...memorialized forever on the Lennon Wall. Its only appropriate since Prague is my favorite city in all of Europe so far...

Now sing this song to yourself and lets be thankful for freedom....just a little suggestion for the day...

Imagine there's no Heaven   It's easy if you try   No hell below us   Above us only sky

Imagine all the people   Living for today

Imagine there's no countries   It isn't hard to do   Nothing to kill or die for   And no religion too

Imagine all the people   Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer   But I'm not the only one   I hope someday you'll join us   And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions   I wonder if you can   No need for greed or hunger   A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people   Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer   But I'm not the only one   I hope someday you'll join us   And the world will live as one

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Progression of a postable picture...

It starts with Mr. Annoying deciding he wants a photo so he does something cute and I end up looking ridiculous.  Lets try again.

I'm not ready for a photo. 

30 photos later (give or take) I finally like this one more or less...

And that is why digital cameras were a great invention for those of us super picky about exactly what photos we will share with the world via the internet. 

The end.

Oktoberfest 2011

As per my promise of a few blogs ago....I can say that I have officially survived Oktoberfest.  So...while I had a great time...I must say that the rumors about what Oktoberfest is (drunken fest with idiots running rampant - just in case you didn't hear the same rumors as me) well, anyhow...all those rumors are absolutely true. 


But...its also a great big party with people who belt out songs and laugh a lot and cheer each other on and meet new friends from all over the world.  So, like I said...I had a great time.

First...the outfit.  Yep...John and I wore our traditional Dirndle and Lederhosen and felt quite Bavarian that day.

Second...I think I may have said this already, but Oktoberfest is all about the beer and the boobs.  I think you'll find the photos reflect this for the most part. 

We walked around the fest and I had to take some photos just to show how many people and how crowded and how HUGE this place is...


And our friends, Christina and Matt...who wore their dirndle and lederhosen too!

And then the party itself.  We ended up trying to get into the Lowenbrau fest tent, but that was a big joke...We were squashed together trying to get to the door...we waited for about 1/2 hour before deciding it just wasn't worth it.

This is the photo John took of me waiting in the squashed line...he said he had to take it from above because it was so crowded...

...squashed or not that didn't stop John and Matt from getting a hostess to serve them their first beer of the night...

I was starving so we all got sandwiches...mine was less than satisfactory.  I was disappointed...ended up eating the salami and cheese and dumping the rest.  Oh well...they never did say Oktoberfest was for the food.  :)

We ended up going to the Paulaner tent and ran into friends of John's that he works with.  They scootched over and we spent the next 5 hours hanging out there.

...and making friends with the Brits...

and the belgians...

...and some Germans until someone said the word Nazi and then security came and started throwing people out.  Yeah.  Fun.

Then there was a girl at the Belgian table that lifted her beer stein and hit herself in the nose and gave herself a bloody nose.  That was actually quite funny. was an experience I won't soon I got to wear my dirndle and that totally made it all worth it.  :)

Two little green tomatoes

I want to tell you the story of two little green tomatoes. 

It started in February this year when the expectant gardner got all her gardening stuff ready to go so that in March she could start her little tomato plants.

Then an unexpected trip that lasted the WHOLE MONTH OF APRIL came up and instead of starting her tomato plants and hoping they'd survive under the care of someone else...she waited and didn't plant them until May.

Well, as most tomato plant stories go...the plants grew and were green and beautiful...

But there were no tomatoes.  And even though the gardner was sad she got no tomatoes she was glad that she had tried because it brightened up her backyard and gave people the impression that she had a green thumb even though it was apparent that her plants were "special" and just kind of did what they wanted.  (kind of like her child...who just happens to be extra stubborn these days...)

And then one unsuspecting day at the end of September when tomato plants should be done and dying she found to her great surprise and delight...

Two little green tomatoes.

I don't suspect they will actually grow and ripen...but we are having some unexpectedly warm weather right now....?

And in the end instead of giving up on her garden this gardner is already thinking and planning her next year's foray into tomato plants and zucchini plants and strawberry plants. Yummmmmmmmmm....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I decided to start running.  Yes.  It was spur of the moment.  Yes.  It was a little ridiculous, at first.  Yes.  I hate it still.

See...everyone I know thats "taken up running" has become a life-long fan of it and declares it the greatest stress relieving exercise since slicing bread.  ha ha ha.

Plus...what if there ever WAS a zombie invasion?  Us non-runners are doomed.  We're the meal as the runners leave us in their dust.  Not exactly how I want to go...

Anywho...I've never liked to run.  Ever.  Not even in 9th grade when we'd do the "short run" through the neighborhoods...meandering through the local homesteads as a pack of teenagers...I think our gym teacher loved to torture us that way...and I especially hated the "long run" that took us double the length. 

But...since I'm still on this get healthy kick and will be for quite some time I decided it was time to figure out if running was going to be a long-term part of my repertoire of exercises.

So...three and 1/2 weeks ago I just up and started running following the C25K program.  Its designed to get a person up off the couch to a 5k in 9 weeks.  I figured I could do this program and then I'd know if running is my thing.

So...I just finished week 3 and I'm redoing it.  I'm redoing week 3 because I had a bad cold last week and running with congestion is a bit of a joke so I'm hoping I can improve my time/distance this week by redoing this one week. Plus...week 4 is scaring the bejeebees out of me right now...

Week three is 5 minutes of brisk warm up walking followed by two sets of 90 seconds run then 90 seconds walk then 3 minutes run and 3 minutes walk with another 5 minute cool down walk.  Adding that all up its about a total of 30 minutes of exercising.  I usually add more walk/cool down time...partly to get all the way back home and partly to stretch my muscles out. 

I do this 3 times per week.  On the days inbetween my friend and I run lightpole sprints on the "short run" that I do around here.  Can you hear my gym teacher cackling that I'm doing a short run all on my own?

Week four is crazy.  Its 3 minutes running 90 seconds walk then 5 minutes running and 2.5 minutes walk...repeated twice with warmup and cool down walks on each end.

I still don't love running, but I'm getting an appreciation for the accomplishment of actually doing it.  Like every time I finish a 3 minute section of a run.  Holy cow...thats more sustained running then I've done in years.  GO ME.

Plus I've signed up for a "virtual 5K" run during the week of halloween...meaning on my own I plot out and run 3.1 miles and time myself to see how I do them log it on the virtual 5K site.

So...I'm encouraging you to check out the C25K running program and get off your couch and RUN.  Here is the link to it... - this site explains the program some...the actual running program is on Cool Running and can be found here:

Do you hate me now?  Have I made you feel guilty?  Well, if not...just remember YOU are going to be the zombie meal while I'm hightailing it out of town on my feet.  :)

Monday, September 19, 2011


Germany is famous for lots of things...Autobahn, Volkwagen, Nazi's and all that goes along with that tragic historic time and BEER.  Yep.  Beer.  Whether you drink it or order to truly experience the culture of Germany you have to embrace the fact that they love their beer.

And so this weekend I get to participate in one of the most well known and widely appreciated and celebrated Germany holidays...


Our friend Christina and her boyfriend Matt are going to be attending with we're meeting another 2-3 couples in Munich for the festivities.  I'm really looking forward to this.  Yep...and guess what we're wearing???

Traditional German clothes.  John will be in lederhosen...

I'll be wearing a Dirndle similar to this one that Christina decided on...

Nope..sorry...the unveiling of what I will be wearing exactly will be next week after the party.  Here is a little preview dress matches the shirt John ended up getting....

Don't expect me to come home being able to yodel or anything....but I am SO excited!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A look into the future...

The other week while out at a local DEEELISH chinese restaurant...(yes, they do have good chinese food in Germany!)...we got these fortunes.

Yep.  We were just as troubled by our inability to understand what the future had in store for us.  So, we asked Bella to do the fortune dance...and she did this...

So I did it too...

And, of course John needed to take his turn.

And then a magical thing happened...we turned the fortunes over and all was made clear. 

ha ha ha ha...ok..dumb, I know...but it was good chinese food...check it out!

Friday, September 16, 2011

When your mom calls you out...

You know you better write a blog when...

Your mom calls you out on not blogging.

Ok...Ok...its been a long time and its not exactly that I don't WANT to blog...or even that I had nothing to say, but these past few weeks have been crazy busy and hectic...but that really is no excuse...its just that at the end of the day I didn't take the time to blog. 

Well, all thats changing.  I've got a whole list of blogs that I want to write...I'll start with recent happenings....

Like the acquisition of a scooter for Bella....she's been riding this thing for two days straight...literally...nearly 48 hours on this scooter.  You should see her calf muscles.  :)

Speaking of calfs...calves...whatever.  On Monday my calf appeared with two big red bites.  I figured they were just mosquito bites until the next morning there was a large red circle around them and they were painful to touch.

I'm guessing a spider got me.

True to form...I chose to not visit a doctor until the gangrene sets in.  We're still waiting for that to happen.  Actually...these photos were taken today (5 days after I got bit by that buggie) and the swelling has receded and the big red splotches are disappearing.  I think I'm in the clear.

Similarly related was John's wasp sting in the eye.  Poor guy.  I told him to not place any bets or buy any lottery tickets.  This little wasp flew into his eye and he squinted out of reflex...the wasp got stuck IN the squint and stung him.  (try not to laugh...really....try really hard not to laugh....I didn't make it and got "the look.")  Here is the aftermath of his wasp sting.  PS...the scratches are from him trying to get the wasp out of his squint AFTER he got stung.  Its like adding insult to the injury isn't it?

And last, but not least...we went to dinner the other night with our neighbors and I ate the BEST food ever.  Pork fillets with mozarella and tomato on top and a big plate of steamed veggies...had to share...doesn't it look incredibly YUMMY?

Saturday, September 03, 2011

When life throws you lemons...

When life throws you lemons it sure is nice to have some sugar in the house to help make that lemonade.

Yep...the Larsons are in a state of change.  Lots of things to worry about, take care of, think about, resolve and fix.

We're all tired.

Its also why I've been a sporadic blogger.  Too much on my mind and plate. 

However, we are slogging through and it will all resolve in time.

Until then...patience and understanding and I'll be a blogging fool before too much longer!