Berlin

Back from Berlin and it was amazing. The weather was rainy and a bit chilly but I didn’t let it stop me from exploring the old city.

Even to my untrained eye, I was impressed with the architecture and the mix of old and new. East Berlin has undergone a huge growth spurt in the last few years so that you see really old historical buildings blending in with new high tech ones.

I was most excited about seeing Checkpoint Charlie and the parts of the wall that remain. So many of the historical things I see on my travels occurred way before I was even a twinkle in my Mom’s eye. But I remember the Berlin Wall. I remember it standing and hearing stories of people trying to get across and when it finally fell. I thought for some reason it would be taller or more … I don’t know more something. What is left is a not too tall, pretty average looking wall. I guess it was more of what it stood for and of course the guards that patrolled it.

I am so glad I didn’t let the weather keep me indoors and I cannot wait until can return and explore some more.

See all of my adventure at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/collyd/sets/72157602212040430/

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A bit of the Berlin Wall that remains

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Part of the wall that has been painted

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A finch lunching on someone’s leftovers beside me at an indoor cafe

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I don’t remember posing for this.

Mandalas

I made it home from Brussels last night. It was a nice, low key trip.

Today I unpacked and repacked for my trip tomorrow – Berlin- and hung out with Ellie. We went to the Peabody Natural Science Museum. It is only a few blocks away and on top of having loads of cool dinosaurs this week there was also a group of Tibetan Buddhist Monks doing sand painting. It was amazing to see and hard to believe that it was all done with sand.

It was so much fun seeing Ellie run from dinosaur to giant turtle to stuffed bird. I could barely keep up. What a great day off.

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Softball

Thank goodness that enough players showed up today to play softball or I would have had to go out and play. Ken plays with some people from work and it looked like they might have been short for today’s game.

Those of you that know me will know how funny that would have been. It is a miracle that I haven’t had a knitting needle accident yet, I am so uncoordinated. Me on a softball field would have been an episode of The World’s Funniest Home Videos.

Instead I had children duty. I kept Nate 1 1/2, Ellie 2. and Charlotte 2 1/2 occupied while the others played. We didn’t win but everyone had fun. Especially Nate, Ellie, Charlotte and Colly.

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Charlotte and Ellie

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Ellie, Nate, and Charlotte

Come and Knock on my Door

Julie and Gregg are in Connecticut this weekend for a wedding and swung by to see us. They stayed last night and were able to have breakfast with us this morning at a yummy local place.

It was so good to see both of them and Julie’s bump is coming along nicely, not too much longer till she will have her own bundle of joy.

Thanks so much for including us in your hectic weekend. We loved seeing you.

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Ellie took this one of Julie and Gregg and the bump

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Our front porch

Bye Bye Maxie Poo

Today we said good bye to a truly loyal old friend.

My parents’ dog Max had kidney failure and the decision was made to let him go. He was a part of our family for 14 years and will be missed.

You were loved Maxie Poo, bye bye old boy.

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Stars Aligned

Back before there were kids, and husbands, and dogs and life got so complicated, I used to only fly with my friends. Things were simpler and we didn’t have to trade and juggle to get on the same trip. It has been a really long time since more than two of us have been able to be on the same flights.

This week the stars aligned and Mel, Heather, MJ and I were able to get a London together. Our friend and Mel’s classmate Amy was already on the crew so we made her come out with us. The icing on the cake was that our friend Bryan was the Captain as well. We would have been complete if our Kerry-bug would have been with us (she’s still off on maternity but she was with us in spirt).

We did London. I mean we really did it, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the pub and everywhere in between. We even went to see a show – Wicked.

It was truly a special layover. One that makes me love my job.

Thank you my fly girls and Captain Bryan for making my trip so wonderful.

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Me, Bryan, Mel, Heather, and MJ

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Bryan, Amy,Me, Mel, Heather and Mj in front of the Queen’s abode

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the eye

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galley gab

Country Fair

One of the local parks had an English Country Fair today. It was actually really fun. The weather was cool but sunny a perfect fall day.

They had pony rides, balloons, bouncy castles and loads of food and games.

We came home and Ken watched football on the big screen, what a great way to spend a fall day.

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Ellie and Minnie (the pony)

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Earl

At the risk of sounding like Earl, boy I must have done something to piss Karma off this week.

Let me recap,  delayed and bumped off flights on Monday – never fun especially with a 2 year old, flat tire on the Mazda 5, skunk sprayed the side of our house, Ken’s bike was stolen off our front porch, rabid raccoons down the street, internet going wonkie and a call from Ellie’s school saying she is scratching other children in the face.

I am scared to say what next?  I guess I should start my own list and start marking off bad things I have done to try to counter act this trend…

6 years

Six years have passed since 9-11 became a date everyone would always remember.

In those years I have become a property owner and then a landlord, met and married my one true love, moved to England and back again, and have been blessed with my Ellie.

In six short years there have been divorces, marriages, births and sadly deaths. It seems like forever and strangely it is as fresh as if it has just happened.

Last week I began my 14th year flying. Six years ago I wasn’t sure there would even be a 10th much less a 14th. Even though flying has changed, it really has been the only thing to stay the same.

I spent today painting trim in the kitchen that my hubby painted this weekend. What a different way than six years ago when I spent it with my fly girls watching in disbelief as the towers fell. I couldn’t help reflecting how lucky I am to be alive and to have such a wonderful family and friends. Ones that have gotten me through everything the last six years and hopefully through the next 66.

Thank you all of you and know I love and cherish you all.

Trains, tractors and 80th Birthdays

Last weekend Ellie and I went to Roanoke for a packed weekend full of trains, tractors and family.

It is my Granddaddy’s 80th birthday this week and over the weekend we had a party for him. It was also the 125th anniversary of the Norfolk and Southern Rail Road Roanoke Shops (where my Daddy, Uncle, Granddaddy, and Great Granddaddy worked).

There was a special celebration at the shops and since my Uncle Barry still works there we got tickets to tour the shops. It was so cool!! We got to see trains that had been repaired and trains waiting to be repaired. The 611 and the 1218 vintage steam trains were brought down to the shops so you could see them. We sat inside a locomotive in the driver’s seat and Ellie got to ride on a minature steam train. She loved it and didn’t want to get off so they let her have two rides.

Sat. night Dad hooked up his little red wagon to the tractor and took Ellie and me for a ride. It was so much fun it had both of us yelling “one more time!”

Sunday was the birthday party for Paw Paw. It was great, the whole family was there. I got lots of baby Sasha time and Ellie got loads of cuddles.

We got home last night, both tired but full of stories of our exciting weekend.

Thanks everyone for making it so wonderful (especially Mom and Dad for having us and letting us use their camera).

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the 1218

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why my dad says never try to out run a train look how big they really are

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Dad in front of a wrecked train waiting to be fixed

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choo choo ride

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tractor ride

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Happy 80th Paw Paw

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kisses baby Sasha

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out for a walk

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baby Sasha