Time flies…

I have taken my vacation visiting my family back in the US. Was a great but too short visit though it was 2 weeks long. My parents have moved into a townhome in the city where my brother lives, so much of my time was spent helping get them unpacked and more organized. I did get to spend time with my daughter, son, brother and his family, and some friends. Many of those I saw I had not seen in over a year! Overall the visit was great!!

Of course this just proves to me how fast time flies. I last saw my parents 6 months ago. When I arrived at their home I was shocked. They looked like they had aged 10 years in those last 6 months. I think I really realized now that each time I have to say goodbye, I may not see them again. Of course this is true of anyone, but especially when you are dealing with aging parents. I know that I enjoyed this visit more because I came to the realization that they will never get to visit me and my husband in Denmark. They will never get to see my in laws, or see how I live, or most probably never see their granddog again.Time Flies

Time, it is what we have, yet it is limited. Those who say “you have plenty of time”, will at some point think there is not enough.

For now I am happy with the time I had with my family and friends and I look forward to the next time I can visit.

Be sure to make the most of the short time you have!

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Chances and Regrets

 

One of the many things I have learned in my 50 years is that you cannot keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different outcome! Maybe that works in theory if you are playing the slot machines….eventually you will get a win. But in the long run, haven’t you lost more than you gained in that one win??
I am a gambler, I have always been a gambler, not in a gaming way, but in my life in general. YOLO…”You only live once” has always been my motto before it ever became a saying, haha.

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The point I am trying to make, is that you never know if something is going to work out or not. But if you do not try, would you regret it later? Ok, so maybe you wouldn’t regret not trying the broccoli later, but you might regret not trying a new job, a new place to live, a new way to go to work……
Surely there are things that I have done that if given a second chance to do it again or not, I probably would choose not to do it. But that choice does not come from regret, it comes from experience and knowledge that the first time it did not turn out the best. I have learned and grown from every choice I have made. My choices have collectively made me who I am today.

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Everyone’s life is filled with choices. Some good ones, some bad ones, but they are all still choices. Sometimes it is best to make a scary and hard decision, than make no decision at all (same thing different outcome). For example, I made the very difficult decision to quit my job, sell everything I owned and move to a foreign country where I did not know the language. Even if this somehow does not work out, I would never regret this experience or this love that I have with my “Great Dane”.

Is there anything you regret not making a decision about?

How would you change it?

The Forever Student

So my blogging has been put off a bit. I have been busy with language school and other things around the house. Maybe that is an excuse for not having the thoughts at this time to write cohesively. Seems to be my life nowadays.

Lately I have found myself starting to learn and try something new with great enthusiasm, only to see much of that time wasted. I have hundreds of ideas that give me energy, to only fizzle out when I find it is harder or more involved than I thought it would be. I do not give up, but I will put it on the back burner for time being. Problem is I will get another great idea about learning something else and off I go.  For someone who is so organized and loves to see finished projects, I seem to have nothing but ongoing classes and projects that are awaiting my return.

This might be a real look into my life and how things are right now.  I am basically in a holding pattern. I am progressing in language school, but not able to progress anywhere else.  THE main focus right now is that I get proficient in my Danish so that I can get a job.  This is my goal, and sometimes it feels like a futile one.

So this has brought me to the point that I am trying to figure out non traditional ways to make an income. I have been learning more in depth the uses of social media, blogging, and even learning some Adobe programs like Photoshop and After Effects.  I am not sure whether these new found skills will translate into anything, but at least I feel like I am learning something. learning

My husband says I am boring.  Typically because I do not mindlessly watch tv or movies.  I am always on the computer or in books learning about one thing or another.  Animals, politics, travel, cultures,technology, relationships, etc.  I have a thirst to know more, though I do not always remember what I have learned, haha.  Things are so constantly changing that what I learned yesterday might even be different today.  So my quest continues daily.  The quest for knowledge.

I keep coming back to the Leonardo da Vinci quote that I love…

” Learning never exhausts the mind”.

I am determined that I will continue to learn until I am no longer on this earth.  I will be one of the “forever students” of life.

 

Traveling with Sofie

“She pooped and peed”……..I just realized that I sound like I did when my kids were babies!  That was the headline of the day as a stay-at-home mom, haha.  This however is not for human babies of course, but my canine baby who made the trip from North Carolina to Denmark to live with us.

Sofie is her name, my sweet but feisty Dachshund.  She is our baby, and I can say she has brought so much laughter and love into our house.  She adores my husband and of course he calls her his “little girl”.

Her favorite place
Her favorite place
Sofie in bed
She loves our bed

It was a bit stressful thinking about moving her by plane, but it was by far one of the simplest things to do after I did my research.  I wanted to make the flight and being cooped up in a crate the easiest it could be on her, so I planned my trip around that.  You MUST start preparing months early when it comes to moving an animal because of regulations in each country.  In Denmark, a dog has to be micro-chipped, FDA papers filled out by a licensed veterinarian and approved by the FDA, had its rabies vaccination, etc.  Check out the regulations at http://www.pettravel.com/immigration/Denmark.cfm and http://www.expatindenmark.com/livingindenmark/pages/pets.aspx.  I also used the http://www.pettravelstore.com/ to get the necessary papers.  The pet travel store will charge you, but  I wanted to be sure that I had everything I needed at whatever cost.

The priors to the trip are a pain.  But I researched which airline was the best for transporting dogs in a hold.  According to the specs on the websites, she was too large to fit under the seat for a flight like that, which was fine because I wanted her to have room to move around and also not be crying or barking and bothering other people.  When considering traveling with a pet, check your airline first.  I flew SAS because I could get a direct flight meaning no stopovers, and the reviews said they handled animals very well.  I drove to Washington and spent the night before flying out the next day so that Sofie could have the shortest amount of time in her kennel.

  1. Check which airlines service where you are flying to.
  2. Check the reviews on their transportation of animals.
  3. Check the procedure and any regulations with that carrier. ( size of crate, stickers needed, etc.)
  4. Be sure to crate train your dog if they are not trained yet. You can get tips on that on plenty of websites.  Just be sure to test run the amount of time you think they will be in the crate on the flight.  Ad the flight plus 1.5-2 hours prior and about 20-30 minutes after.
  5. Be sure you have planned enough ahead to get the pet travel papers in order, etc. The FDA has to approve the pet papers within 10 days of your travel which means you have very little time to get papers back and forth from their offices.  I had to overnight my papers there and back to get my papers in time, and knowing I was leaving a day earlier from my location made it very stressful.
  6. I would suggest breaking your trip up if at all possible. Driving or flying to one place and then spending the night, then continuing on the next day.  If you cannot do that, it really is ok.  Your animal will be fine if you have crate trained them and you walk them prior to giving them to TSA or the airline.
  7. Before heading to the airport, be sure you have frozen a small bottle or the container for water for the crate.  TSA will always make a mess of this turning the crate over, so if at all possible keep the water to a minimum, but freeze it to keep from having it slosh everywhere.
  8. Check out the pet relief areas at the airport you are flying from beforehand.    Arrive early enough to check your bags in and then take your dog for a good walk.  Be sure to get your dog to the kennel and through the TSA in enough time for it to be loaded.  Most of the time they suggest 1.5 to 2 hours prior to the flight to be sure you can get through security and get to your gate as well. At this time, be sure to add the water to the crate.
  9. Let the flight attendant know that you have a dog in the hold so that they will let the captain know.  As much for your peace of mind as for the Captain to ensure the proper temperature in the plane.
  10. Try to relax on the flight.  Your dog will be fine and happy to see you on the other end. (I cried the first time I had to leave her with them)
  11. When you arrive on the other end, be sure not to pass customs as they will need to check all of the paperwork you have on your dog.  I would suggest attaching the originals in a pencil case (in a Ziploc) to the crate itself.  Then be sure to have copies on yourself in case of emergency.  These papers will need an official stamp from customs.

If you do decide to break up your trip and stay overnight, you can use a website like http://vacationpetfriendly.com/  or http://www.bringfido.com/ to find hotels that will allow you to have your dog.  Hotels are becoming more pet friendly so it is not too difficult to find one that will accommodate you.

I hope this information is helpful in some way.  If you have other questions, I can try to help if you contact me.  I am not an expert, but I have traveled with my pet twice on overseas flights.

Spring in….Tivoli on

The wild flowers are popping up in the fields and the sun is finally warming our home.  Longer days are here and I could not be happier.  I survived my first Scandinavian winter!

Spring is a time to clean out, clean up, and feel fresh again.  If it weren’t for my allergies, I could live in spring forever, ha.  I love how it is not too hot, not too cold, lots of sunshine, lots of people finally coming out of their hibernation and into the world again.

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I love the gardens

One thing I love about the Danes….they know how to take advantage of the good weather.  There are outdoor markets and concerts and all the restaurants with their outdoor seating.  There are festivals and then there is Tivoli!  My favorite place in Copenhagen.

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Of course I love theme park rides, but Tivoli is the most magical because of the history, the buildings, and the landscaping.  It is the second oldest theme park in the world having opened in 1843.  There are restaurants, shops, games, and outdoor theaters.  This place is a must see for anyone visiting Copenhagen! The park is unlike any American theme park I have been to.  And possibly for teens, it would not be as exciting as an American theme park.  But for people in general who enjoy a variety of things, this park is unique and a must see.

Tivoli is easy to get to for all.  It is located right across the street from the Central station in Copenhagen.

Check out the link https://www.tivoli.dk/en/  to get all kinds of information about Tivoli, and be sure to check the schedule for fireworks!   If you happen to be travelling to Copenhagen in December , be sure to go to and see the decorations, the lights, the huge Christmas trees, and have a glass of Glugg!!!

My personal favorites in Tivoli

  • Groften- traditional Danish restaurant.  Great place for frokost (lunch).  I love the foods here and the service is the best I have had in Denmark. This is a favorite spot for tourists and Danes alike.  In fact, we ate there yesterday and behind us was Mads Mikkelsen having his lunch.      http://www.groeften.dk/uk/welcome/    This is their site in English.
  • Vertigo- a ride, not for the faint of heart.  I am a thrill seeker, and this ride delivers even for American standards.  If you are not into rides……this is NOT for you, lol.Vertigo
  • Grand Prix-  put a coin in and see if the mailman stops on your number.  Win CANDY!  This is one of the oldest games in Tivoli, and it can take you back in time to the old timey Coney Island games. There is a whole narrow path of beautiful old buildings with games that really give you the feeling of being in another world and another time. There you can shoot arrows, throw darts, or play your number for a HUGE candy bar.
  • Jackpot-  Yes, slot machines and gambling is legal in Denmark.  But, slot machines here are different than in the US.  They are not by chance, they require an understanding of strategy to really win them.  I do not play, I give my money to my husband because I cannot figure out how to play the games, haha. But I have at times, just played them like the normal American slot machines just for the fun of it.  We stopped by after lunch for a few minutes yesterday and came out a winner, woohoo.
  • The Open Air Stage-  I have seen many concerts here from Danish pop singers to American DJ’s.  Some of the biggest stars in the world perform on this stage like Pharrell Williams, Sting, and Elton John just to name a few.  This is fun for any age.  The people younger than I tend to stay in the middle of the crowd on the grounds. I  like to sit outside at Fru Nimb, have dinner and stay for drinks and the music. (you must make a reservation for the restaurant if that is what you choose).  You will see people of all ages from small children to senior adults enjoying the music and the festive time.

These are just a few of the things I love to do in Tivoli.  There is so much to explore no matter how many times you get to visit, you are sure to enjoy.

Now that spring is here and I have my Tivoli card (allowing me entrance free when I go) , I am looking forward to spending many days and evenings there!

My American Smile

I am finding some things difficult for me to get accustomed to here in Denmark.  The biggest one being that Danes are more closed off and private than Americans.  It is hard to make Danish friends for someone who is an outsider.  Other than family, most of the friends I have made have been from other countries and are living in Denmark.
Danes have a way of existing without acknowledging others at times.  There is an unspoken rule that you do not smile at others when passing, you do not ask them how they are, you do not strike up a conversation with someone on the train unless you know them.  It sounds odd, and I am sure not all Danes are like that, but to this expat it was explained as respecting another’s privacy.

Coming from the south in the U.S., it was impolite to not smile or greet people even in passing. Having courtesy, respect for another, and just acknowledging someone could make a difference in someone’s life. The acknowledgement IS showing respect for another person.RESPECT

I remember when my husband and I were vacationing in Florida and we went out to a restaurant for dinner.  The waitress asked how we were and took the time to acknowledge our answers. This is common practice in the US, yet my husband thinks it is hypocritical.  He thinks that people really do not care how you are but are conditioned to ask anyway.  That may be true for some, but I do not believe you can fake respect for a person.

Many times I have struck up conversations with people just by inquiring how they were.  Openly and honestly people need to be heard and understood!  This has even happened here in Denmark which amazes my mother-in-law and husband.  Strangers will carry on conversations with me and tell me all kinds of things.  (Some things I probably should not know..lol)  Maybe this is because I show them respect by listening and actively engaging with them.

I know there are differences in how we show respect for one another but I know mine will always start with my American smile.

“Living together is an art” Pope Francis

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“Women who say that they have met the most amazing guy in the world are only saying that because they haven’t lived with them yet.” ― Heather Chapple

 

Why is it that men tend to ask their wives where THEIR things are?  As if I used his cell phone last, or wore his coat, or used his cycle key, lol.  But apparently it is universal because every man I have ever been around has done the same thing, including my father.  Maybe because it is easier to ask than to look for something.

Learning to live with someone is always a challenge whether it be roommates, or spouses, or even if you have to move back in with your parents.  Each person gives and takes. Boundaries will be set and readjusted.

After living alone for 9 years I am learning to live with a husband in a different country with 1/100 the things I had in the U.S.  He has it great if I do say so myself.  He goes grocery shopping and cooks, but I do ALL the cleaning and laundry in the apartment as well as taking care of the dog’s walks everyday.  This works out for us because I hate cooking, he hates my cooking, and I love cleaning!  EXCEPT when he cannot seem to pick up his dozens of dirty socks laying on the living room floor, or find the sink with his endless amount of milk glasses.  The arrangement works until he cannot even find his own things that I do not touch.  His drawers and dresser top and bookcase, etc, could drive anyone mad!  Not one bit of organization or even a reason to why something is there.

I keep harping on the subject of being organized to my husband to the point that he mocks me when I have put my phone on the kitchen table where it doesn’t belong.    For my entire life I have been a very organized person.   That “stuff” makes me feel anxious and stressed.  I do not think I am OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), though I enjoy cleaning, throwing things away, and being organized.    What I am getting to is that I just realized why I have always been this way!  I have been compensating for my problem with my memory.  I have the WORST memory about anything and everything!  So I keep myself organized and clean in order to be efficient and not be stressed about trying to find something.

What is that saying….. “a cluttered home makes a cluttered mind”?     So my stress is doubled because I have moved into my husband’s fully furnished and packed to the brim apartment. He did clean out 2 drawers for me, and a decent size closet for my hanging things, but he cannot find anything of his own because he is so unorganized.  Love him to death, but there should be one place where you put your keys and credit cards….one place only.  Then you will ALWAYS know where they are!

Well, Ok, that is in my perfect organized world.