Friday, November 04, 2011

St. Paul's Cathedral, London

What a delight!  Having been to many churches, cathedrals, chapels, etc in Europe for somewhere to really stick out for me it has to be extra special.  First, the free audio/video guide is top-notch.  The touch-screen multi-media guide is easy, fun, informative and has maps you can 'pinch' to enlarge - wow factor of +10.
There were a couple of architecture students sketching (quite well) the interior.  That's the first time I've seen that inside a building and the reason is obvious, even to a layperson (of architecture) like me.  St. Paul's design is breathtakingly perfect.  The awesome mosaics on the ceilings above the quire were added later and the combination with the unadorned main aisle is a perfect balance.  It was great learning about all the ceremonial things held here like coronations and royal weddings.  My favorite fun fact is that during the women's suffragette movement, a fire was lit under the bishop's chair.  I thought that went well with the Occupy London protesters camped outside St. Paul's.  The down side to that was no tours on the upper floors.  Our tickets are good for a year, so hopefully we'll get back to visit the rest of St. Paul's.  You can take a virtual tour here.

But  the Number ONE thing I loved about St. Paul's was the American Monument Chapel.  From the website:
At the east end of the Cathedral behind the High Altar is the American Memorial Chapel. The Chapel is also known as the Jesus Chapel, as the space was known prior to World War II.
This part of the building was destroyed during the Blitz and as part of the post-war restoration it was decided that the people of Britain should commemorate the 28,000 Americans who were killed on their way to, or stationed in, the UK during the Second World War. Their names are recorded in the 500-page roll of honour encased behind the high altar. This was presented by General Eisenhower in 1951 and a page of the book is turned every day. 

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Teen who made encouraging video on bullying commits suicide

It is difficult to know what to do when someone you love is struggling with depression. This story reminded me that we should always watch out for others.  Even though we cannot control their thoughts and actions; cannot prevent tragedy - we can do some things and perhaps it will help.  Here are a few ideas to keep in mind:

  • Approach, don't stay away.  
  • Ask: how do you feel emotionally?  Ask: can you tell me a thought that seems to run through your head?  Ask: have you talked to a doctor?  Ask: what, if anything, seems to help?
  • Advise someone who is deeply depressed and/or suicidal to call their doctor.  If they are already being treated, urge them to call their doctor to give them an update.  If they don't have a doctor, see if they will call a helpline or let you call for them and find out how to get a doctor.  
Especially for teens, acknowledge the reluctance to get help.  Explain that it is necessary the same way that getting treated for a broken bone is necessary.  Make sure they have access to a hotline.  Have them put a post-it note on their computer.  They can write the number backwards and say it is a password.

SAFETY:  Someone who is having thoughts of suicide should be taken to the hospital.  Someone who is having suicidal thoughts should not be left alone.  Those who are suicidal don't get over it quickly - it takes time to treat depression.  Medication and counseling can and will help but not overnight so remain vigilant.

Note:  I am not a mental illness professional!  Please seek help from your doctor, pastor, school counselor or other professional whether you are the depressed person or someone who is concerned and wants to help.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Budget Trip to Prague

Our latest trip to Prague was enhanced by some money savers!

  • We flew WizzAir from Charleroi airport in Belgium.  Discount airlines do not use our local airport Findel.  Total cost for both of us round trip = 133.96 euros
  • To get to Charleroi from Luxembourg, we took the Flibco shuttle bus. Cost 5 euro pp each way = 20 eur
  • Since our flight left early (budget airline schedules often don't fly every day), we stayed at Charleroi Airport the night before our flight.  Hotel for 55 euros
  • We belong to the A|Club and stayed at the Ibis Praha Wenceslas Square for 4 nights (no breakfast, which was 11 euros extra)  Total price = 253.11 euros
  • On our way home, we spent the night before at the Marriot for 45.94 euros which I thought was a great price for the Marriot!

So not including our daily expenses for food, metro and touristy stuff our cost for the trip:   373.35 euros

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Cr-48

My Cr-48 arrived in December
When it came in the mail and I saw this box, I thought someone had shipped a Christmas present for one of the grandkids.  My son was there when I opened it and said you suck  "How did you get that?"  Well, you have to be hanging out on the internet instead of playing WoW all the time and jump on this kind of thing.  It's like getting a G+ invite.

So this notebook is not a computer - you need an internet connection.  It is easy as pie to startup.  All you have to do is open it.  Shut down? Close it. The new tab has apps you can use and a link to the web store.  As far as I can tell apps=links and an extension runs on the operating system.  But don't take my word for it - I am not a geek, I'm a grandma.  Perusing the message boards for interesting conversations about the Cr-48 I quickly find that the geeks are installing Ubuntu and I don't even know what Ubuntu is.  Developers were talking their techie talk and I am at the side of the road.  

So I download some apps that show up as icons on the new tab and some extensions that hide under the wrench icon in the upper right corner under tools.  Google urges you to use their products in place of Microsoft products.  Docs instead of Word for example.  I use my Cr-48 more than my Windows laptop because it is simple and fast and usually I'm just surfing the web.  But for things I already know how to do in Windows and to use programs like Skype, Slingbox and Second Life I need to use my laptop.  

When the Chromebook was released for sale to the public, it was a flop because people don't need something to surf the web if they already have another device that does.  If I were going to pay for a device that only allows downloading apps, I would get something smaller and more portable.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Top 10 Things I Love about our house in Luxembourg

10.   I have a gas stove. 
 9. There is a garbage disposal in the sink, apparently rare in Luxembourg.
 8. The cricket and rugby fields across the street where games are played often and when they're not, I've gotten some nice views of wildlife.
 7.  Rose bushes.  Lots of them.  Roses grow like weeds here.
 6. My fridge has water and ice in the door - score!
 5. The spa/fitness center is a 3 minute walk.
 4. Two bathrooms  
 3. Heat on the 1st floor is the floor.
 2. There is a nice, big oval bathtub in the upstairs bathroom.

And the #1 thing I love about our house in Luxembourg is....

    that it is in Luxembourg!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cucumber Salad- Gürken Salat | German Blog

This salad sounds good for our first dinner in our new house. Still have to come up with an entree and dessert.
First you will need two firm medium sized cucumbers and slice them very thin almost like paper, ( Papier) you will need some fresh curly parsley a lemon, salt, ( Salz) sugar and pepper.
Once you sliced the cucumbers, do leave the skin on, just make sure to wash it. Into a bowl, add half a teaspoon of salt, a tablespoon of sugar and half a lemon ( Zitrone) squeezed. With pepper, you will need to use your hands (Please wash them first) to mix the ingredients- do not overdo this, ones this is done you add the chopped parsley a hand full and mix again. Refrigerate this in a glass bowl and make sure you cover this for one-hour before serving and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Soon to be an Expatriate

1768, from Fr. expatrier  "banish," from ex-  "out of" + patrie "native land," from L. patria  "one's native country," from pater (gen. patris "father." Related: Expatriated expatriating ;expatriation The noun is from 1818, "one who has been banished;" main modern sense of "one who chooses to live abroad"is 1902. 

Yes, that's right - I am going to be an expat "choosing to live abroad." The preparations are being made; it will be a month or so before we are actually in Luxembourg.  In the meantime - Berlitz language training!!