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  • My husband, James, retired from the army after 26 years in January of this year.  We've been married for almost 18 years.
  • My daughter, Catherine, is a freshman this year at Dayton High School.
  • My horse, Caledonia, Cali for short, is often the topic of my conversations.
  • My shaved English cocker spaniel, Aggie, she's always ready to get into trouble.
  • Our cat, Ellie, I can't call her mine, she claims my husband and daughter.
  • My old lab, Tallulah, who will be 12 in October.
  • Hacking in Germany.
  • This is one view of Mürsbach, the little village in upper Bavaria where I lived.
  • Another view of Mürsbach.
  • This was the Main Street into Mürsbach from another town.  The area was in a region called Oberfranken, or Upper Frankonia.  The Frankisch are fiercely proud of being Frankisch and speak a dialect of German different from the rest of Bavaria.
  • Each day when the bus dropped my daughter off, she and her friend would go to the store (the only store in town), get an ice cream, and sit here and eat it.
  • This is a Brunner, or well.  In the days before plumbing, people had to come here to fill their water buckets.  There are still two levers to pull that makes water come out of the pipe in the ceiling, kids loved to get each other wet with it.
  • My house in Mürsbach.  Although it looks big, the third floor was an apartment that we rented out and most of the ground floor was garage and mechanical rooms.
  • My beautiful patio covered in grapevines in Germany.
  • On the first day of first grade in Germany, each kid is given a schultüte.  It's a cone filled with sweets and small toys and even some small school supplies. These first graders happen to be my daughter and three of her friends.
  • All of the kids from Mürsbach had to take a bus to another small (but larger than Mürsbach) town for grades 1-3.
  • They take their schultüten to school with them.
  • After the first day, they go back to their kindergarten and share their sweets with the younger kids they left behind.
  • Every November 7th is Sankt Martinstag, where a rider on horseback dressed as Saint Martin, rides through the streets with a group of children following and carrying lanterns singing traditional songs.  The procession usually ends at the church with cocoa
  • My daughter's birthday is in February, which is during Fasching (a holiday very similar to Mardi Gras here; both celebrate the time leading up to Lent) so that meant everyone came dressed up for her birthday parties.
  • Right before we left Mürsbach, all of our friends and their children came to Sonnenbrau, the local biergarten, to celebrate with us and wish us luck.  In Germany, biergartens are restaurants and gathering places for locals.  Ours had a playground and san
  • These are my two best girlfriends in Mürsbach, my little village in Germany.  On the left in Manuela, or Manu for short, and on the right is Yvonne.
  • Manu and Yvonne
  • We visited Amsterdam several times.  I found that it is one of my most favorite places in the world.
  • The fountain in front of the Reichstag, a museum in Amsterdam, often has sculptures in it, but you and your dogs can always get in to cool off.
  • While in Germany, we visited the famous castle, Neuschwanstein, and opted for the less famous view of it.  Mainly, this was the best picture of my youngest son and my daughter.
  • While we lived in Germany, one of my friends was teaching at an international school in Cairo and we were lucky enough to visit.
  • I did not ride a camel at the Great Pyramids of Giza, the people trying to get you to ride were to aggressive for my taste.
  • I never realized that the Sphinx was so close to the pyramids.  Also, there was a Pizza Hut across the street just behind me.  They don't show that in the documentaries.
  • The Khan, a large marketplace with just about anything and everything.
  • The spices were very fragrant, a little too fragrant for someone sensitive to smell.
  • One evening, we rented a boat called a felucca, and had dinner on the Nile.  It was beautiful, but the Nile in Cairo is full of trash.

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