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Everything's in limbo....

Monday, July 18, 2011

Moving plans, that is. Everything's in limbo.....

So, we have had the house up for sale, and haven't had ANY interested buyers yet. But that is not to say it WON'T sell.... the right person just has to come along.

And we have been applying for my husband's Immigrant Visa, a very slow and drawn-out process. We just started the second step, to apply with the Department of State for that actual Visa, and now we can just wait for an interview....

In the meantime, here in Germany, some strange things have been happening. We have lived in this village for almost 3 years, and barely knew anyone. We knew a handful of people by name, and one family fairly well. But other than that, we were out of the loop....

Until now. A couple of months ago, I was invited to the birthday party of my boss at the cafe (who is super nice, BTW), so I went. That night, I met so many wonderful neighbors of ours, and got to sit and chat and mingle!!

Then DH and I were invited to a wedding. Then we were invited to a little traditional party a few days before the wedding, where the Germans build a huge heart-shaped wreath that they stand in the front yard of the soon-to-be-married couple, so we went to that. Then we were invite to another get-together a week later at another neighbor's house, and we had a total BLAST!!

Meeting all of these neighbors, and being included in the community has been so nice. My hubby and I started feeling very conflicted about leaving!! Especially after one of our neighbors, who is super nice and cool, told us we were not ALLOWED to move away!!!!!

And now, to top off all of the feelings of CONFLICTION and being TORN......

My husband, through some of the people we have met lately, is being presented with a very possible job opportunity here in Germany.

A job?? Really??

See, my husband has been working for his family's business, a car dealership. He is supposed to take it over, but has NEVER wanted to. NEVER. From the day I met him, he said he didn't want to do it. But yet, his parents talked him into moving back here and working for his aunt and uncle again, his aunt and uncle who are HORRIBLE employers. After only a couple months of being here (almost 5 years ago now!!), he wanted to leave and go back to the States!!

So basically, we have spent the last 4 years questioning whether we should've ever come here in the first place! It's been a constant battle, and the ultra-negative work environment has taken it's toll on us.

But even though he's tried to find another job, nothing has come of it. See, in Germany, the job system kind of sucks - most people go through a vocational school type apprenticeship to learn a certain type of work, even to be a salesman, or to work in an accounting office, whatever it is. And MOST employers in Germany WILL NOT hire you unless you have completed the EXACT apprenticeship for the job opening. It's so stupid. Regardless of how capable you are, or intelligent you are, or open to learning you are, you are basically screwed if you are trying to get a job outside your field!!

So, we came to the conclusion that my husband was STUCK, completely STUCK, in the car business. We sort of gave up hope of finding another job here.

Then we decided to try and leave Germany altogether.... And now this!!!

The job is completely out of the car business, and is something he didn't even APPLY for!! One of our neighbors and his wife own the business, and we got to talking about why we were wanting to leave (largle job-related reasons obviously), and they said they had been looking for someone for a while now, and asked DH if he would be interested!!! This opportunity has basically FALLEN INTO OUR LAPS! The pay seems about right, the hours would be 1/3 LESS PER WEEK for my hubby, and the work environment would be SO MUCH MORE POSITIVE!!! He has been invited to come in for a couple of days (today and tomorrow) to actually see what the job is actually like, and if he likes it. If it goes well, he may very well be offered the job, and will need to start VERY SOON......

I've been so torn about all of this. On one hand, I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to go back to the States. But on the other hand, I do love Germany, and the idea of my hubby finding a job with such a wonderful working environment for such nice people is just GREAT!!

I could go 100% in either direction!!! I have never felt so conflicted, never felt like the answer was so blurred. I guess the next couple of days will tell.

But that does mean, I don't know if I will be moving back to the States.....

Everything's in limbo, everything is unsure. And all of this "up-in-the-air"-ness doesn't sit well with me. But I am just taking one day at a time, and trusting the God does have a plan for us!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Sometimes doors/windows open when you least expect it. Crossing fingers for the right thing to happen.

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SEEHOLZ 7/18/2011 8:37AM

    Sometimes life throws you curveballs! This ones seems like a really cool one actually and while I can completely understand how you feel- I trust that things will work out the way they are supposed to. The best part is that even if this job - if it pans out- does not turn out to be as good as you'd hoped, you can resume with plan A, right?

My motto is: no regrets- maybe sit with your hubby and figure out which situation would cause you a potential regret or what would ultimately make you happiest!!!

Good luck!!!

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MARATHON_MOM 7/18/2011 7:26AM

    Maybe this is the entire reason that your house hasn't had more interest. Maybe God intends for you to stay there... that this is His plan for you and Jan and your family. I can't say that I like it... for selfish reasons.... (LOL) but God knows better than we do, right?
I will be praying for wisdom for you both, to make the right decision and that he is able to get out of a bad work environment... no matter WHERE it ends up being... here or in Germany!

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JILLIANPRNCSS 7/18/2011 7:10AM

    It sounds like things are moving in the direction for you to stay. Things don't always happen the way our heart wants to go but someone has a bigger plan for us and it is easier to just follow where it leads. Just relax and let it play out. I look forward to hearing what he thinks of the job.

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HOPEFULSWEIGH 7/18/2011 5:57AM

    WOW! Funny that opportunities pop up when you least expect it emoticon!
Enoy the next few days, figure out what is important to you and your familty and move forward! Either way exciting stuff. Enjoy the journey!

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MUMMAMICHELLE 7/18/2011 3:23AM

    Wow, you guys have a lot to think about! It will be interesting to hear what you end up deciding and what your dh thinks of the job. All the best figuring it all out.

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KITTEN0908 7/18/2011 3:10AM

    Wow...goood for you guys that you have so many opportunities! And either way it goes it will be fine. Germany can be really nice, and people here (especially in the smaller villages) are usually really friendly, but I also know what it feels like to just not 'fit in' or being isolated in a foreign country no matter how much you love that country. Sounds as if things are finally going great for you. Best of luck with your husband's new job!

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P90X Wk 5: Last week??? TOTAL FLOP!! This week? Very positive!!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

As far as exercise goes, I am right on track. Last week was a "rest" week with P90X, so I did the Core Synergistics and Yoga, along with some light running and moderate biking. This week, I am doing something a little different. I dropped out one ST workout with P90X so I could add one BodyPump session back in.

This is my general plan:
Monday: biking, P90X Chest, Shoulders & Triceps and Ab Ripper X
Tuesday: Yoga (I did Jillian Micheal's Yoga Meltdown Levels 1 & 2 in stead of Yoga X)
Wednesday: Biking, BodyPump
Thursday: Biking
Friday: Back & Biceps, Ab Ripper X
Saturday: Long bike ride???

I was laying off the running due to my hip. It's totally fine now, but I wanted to give it some rest just in case. But then I got my new Garmin, and I was just DYING to run with it.... So I did!! 5K on Tuesday, and 8K+ today (in place of biking today). I really don't enjoy biking as much as running, so I might go ahead and run on Saturday.


OH THE EATING!!!!! GRRRRRR!!! So, one of the reasons I wanted to start P90X was because I was already having problems with my eating, and couldn't seem to get it under control! I did the P90X diet, then I changed gears a little and tried something similar, but yet different. But I just kept eating, and eating, and eating!! Then I kept splurging on high-calorie foods!

So FRUSTRATING! Then since it is just now the end of the schoolyear for us over here in Germany (actually yesterday was my son's last day), there have been all kinds of grill parties and celebrations and such. Not to mention my 2 sons had their birthday less than 2 weeks ago, then we had a wedding last weekend, plus a pre-wedding party last Wednesday night!! It's just one food party after another!! And I have eaten.... and eaten.... and EATEN...... and EATEN!!

This week, I decided ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!! Oh, I was all down in the dumps after this weekend, and was going to blog about my woes, but I decided instead to come up with, and INCORPORATE, a NEW plan!! Because, let's face it, whining about it doesn't get you results!

Both eating philosophies I tried put less emphasis on calories. Sure, there was a general range, but the idea of counting everything wasn't really high priority. One of the plans highly encouraged a food diary, where you right down everything you eat, and how you feel after you eat it, and how you feel a couple of hours later. The idea I think is good, but I just found myself THINKING AND OBSESSING about all the food, and if I felt hungry!!

You know what I have found???? I AM ALWAYS HUNGRY!! I can ALWAYS EAT MORE!! That is my problem. And I found, I need a numerical limit. I need that calorie limit that says, "Ok, stop NOW!" Maybe other people can lose weight by just cutting back here and there, or just incorporating exercise into their lives.... Must be nice. But I, I HAVE to count. Any plan I try that downplays the calorie-counting, I do poorly at, because I simply eat and eat and eat......

Ok, so NEW PLAN!! On Monday, I came up with a plan, and I have been sticking to it like MOLD ON A SHOWER CURTAIN!! (As Plankton says in one of the Spongebob episodes...LOL) Here it is:

* Eat every 3 hours - ca. 8am, 11am, 2pm, and 5pm. (Stretch it out a little if necessary, but DO NOT get super hungry!!)

*Each meal is 300 calories. This keeps me well within my 1200-1550 range even if I do end up grabbing a little bite here or there, or drinking an extra cup of Joe.

*Each meal is to have a good source of protein coupled together with a carb/fruit. NEVER eat carbs by themselves. (This keeps the blood sugar more stable, and helps keep hunger at bay.)

So, that is my basic plan. It's actually been working AWESOMELY!! I love giving myself a limit of 300 calories for each meal/snack, because I find I think way less about how I FEEL, if I feel hungry, if I feel like I can eat more, and just eat and move on until the next little meal. I'm not obsessing about the food. I do allow for more food if necessary. For example, yesterday, I noticed I was REALLY hungry, so I added an extra meal/snack in, but still stayed within the overall 1550 calorie limit for the day. But most of the time, I feel like that meal/snack time comes just at the right time, before I am ravenously hungry, and it perfectly holds me over.

I have ALSO found, that when I overeat again and again, it only tends to make me overeat more. It's like my body craves being really full, and eating LOTS of food. And it seems SOOOOO HARD to go back to a 1,500 calorie/day diet.... BUT ON THE OTHER SIDE, if I spend a week being very disciplined, and keeping my appetite in line, sticking to lower calories and healthier foods, then 1,500 calories begins to feel like a LOT.

So, there's my plan, and I am STICKING TO IT! With my trip to London coming up in just a couple of weeks, I am REALLY hoping to burn off a few pounds!! And then return to Germany on a mission to burn off the REST! =)

Anyone else battling with a crazy appetite??? What's your secret? How do you come out on top??

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Since becoming more fit, and especially during marathon training and even now, 3 months later, I could eat all the time. I love your idea, though, of eating every few hours... I may have to incorporate that idea into my lifestyle. Thanks for sharing!

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CONFIDENTLY_FIT 7/10/2011 4:09PM

    Your plan sounds great! I have found that I need to listen to my body. If it's hungry then I need to eat. Yes, I have a tendency to over eat. But I move past it. I cannot dwell on it. Yes I would like to be 5 pounds lighter, but really five pounds is not going to change my clothing size or make me explode. It's five pounds. I am able to run much more than I ever have, lift way heavier than I ever have, look leaner than I ever have. So maybe this is the weight I am suppose to be.

Did you have a great time at the BBQ's? Did you eat really great food? Life is too short to not enjoy those types of gatherings:) For about a year I used to deprive myself. I mean really deprive myself. Like I was afraid of certain foods making me fat. Not any more. I still kinda struggle with this, but I am getting better. I have to really watch portions and there are still some foods I cannot eat because my portion control will go out the window.

You inspire me by all the running you do. I want to run like you do one day. Right now the most I can run at one time is 7 miles. I am working slowly at adding more miles:) I think you have a great plan! You work out hard, you need to fuel your body! Can't wait to read about your progress from this week

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SEEHOLZ 7/8/2011 6:28AM

    Awesome plan!!! I miss those grill parties.. I can smell them now, hahaha....

I know you are going to rock it this month Darcy!!!

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PSALM42 7/7/2011 1:15PM

    Great plan! You are very inspiring!

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KKINNEA 7/7/2011 12:57PM

    Smart planning, once I started doing the same, things got a lot easier.

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JUNEBUGABEE 7/7/2011 11:21AM

    I totally relate to you on the eating front! Sucks, because I can exercise like there's no tomorrow, but I can eat the same way. I want to reap the benefits of all that exercise, but the extra food hides my athlete's body. You have inspired me to restart and reenergize my own plan.

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MICHSTATE 7/7/2011 10:40AM

    I think that I have the same problem that you do, I feel like I could eat, and eat, and EAT!!!!! In fact, I did that yesterday, and took in at least 4000 calories!!!! Yikes!!! That is not going to help me lose weight. I also notice that the more I eat like that, the more that I want to continue doing it, which you would think I would be sick of eating after a certain point, but no!!!!
I am thinking that your plan sounds like a good one, I may try something similar.
Good luck to you!!!
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BIRTHDAY PRESENT and new toy!!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


I really wasn't expecting to get one of these, because I was happy with my 405cx, but the hubby, well, he REALLY likes to spoil me. ESPECIALLY with spiffy gadgets, because he is TOTALLY a gadget man!! Even he was in awe with all it's specs! My birthday isn't even until Saturday, but he couldn't wait to give it to me.

The Garmin Forerunner 610 is just amazing!! The design is so sleek, and MUCH less bulky than the 405 CX that I have. I really love the vibrating thing that it does for your intervals or laps. I already took it out for it's first little spin, and was so excited, I forgot my music!! Just me, my Vibrams, and this sweet new watch!

Yes, the watch's face is a somewhat big, but my wrist is also really tiny.

The new HRM is also so much better!! The older HRM with the plastic all the way across the front never fit well, because my ribcage isn't so big, so the sensors sort of pulled away from my skin, because I had to pull it so tight. The new one has the sensors in cloth and it lays perfectly against my skin! No more problems with the HRM starting to fall down during my runs! Or that it can't pick up my heart rate, because of not laying right against my skin.

I'm so excited!! I was going to take a week off running to let me hip get some rest (not that it is hurting at all, but I just wanted to play it safe before starting training for me next marathon), but now I am SO DYING TO RUN!! I will keep it mostly to biking at the moment though....

Spark on, Friends!! Happy running to all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Awesome..Have FUN!new toys

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NYC_NATIVE 7/7/2011 4:25PM

    I love your present! Happy birthday! And I'm really eyeing this now, too, esp. because of the new & improved HR monitor strap. That danged thing keeps slipping with me as well.

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NOELLIEMAE 7/7/2011 4:05PM

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! and congrats on the new toy ;)

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    Awesome! Happy birthday to YOU!

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SEEHOLZ 7/6/2011 4:26PM

    Happy pre-birthday!!! I can feel the excitement jumping off the page!!!

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RUNTRILAUGH 7/6/2011 1:26PM

    I have trouble with the 405 bezel in the humidity or even light rain... Can't wait to hear how the 610 does in these conditions...

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MICHSTATE 7/6/2011 12:30PM

    That looks nice!!! I have never used a Garmin, I was considering getting one, but now have an I-phone, so can use my log my run app to figure out mileage, speed, and all that stuff!!!!
Happy Early Birthday!!!!
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SLEEPYDEAN 7/6/2011 12:09PM

    Ohhhh ahhhh that is nice. I love my 305, but I have some of the same issues that you noted with the HR strap for your other one.

Enjoy your new gadget!

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DMGABBETT 7/6/2011 11:59AM

    Everything I have seen about the 610 looks good, enjoy your awesomely cool gift. Oh yeah, and Happy Birthday, too!

Comment edited on: 7/6/2011 11:59:49 AM

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FANGLE 7/6/2011 11:39AM

    Awesome present.

I need new toys

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KKINNEA 7/6/2011 11:31AM

    Happy birthday early!

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KAREN_NY 7/6/2011 10:59AM

    Fun stuff!!! Happy birthday!!!

Lovin' the new garmin I got for my bday last month too :)

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REDDIRTRUNNER 7/6/2011 10:28AM

    Awesome! Happy birthday to YOU!

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MESEATURTLE 7/6/2011 10:26AM

    What a fabulous gift!!!!!!!

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ELYMWX 7/6/2011 10:00AM

    I'm thinking of putting it on my birthday list. I can dream :-)

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JOPAPGH 7/6/2011 8:54AM

    Looks like a beautiful gadget. Enjoy!

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MARATHON_MOM 7/6/2011 7:14AM

    So AWESOME! I still have the 305... and while I LOVE it, I would SO not complain if I got the 610! LOL
What a fantastic hubby!!!

And, even though I will tell you again Saturday... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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SUGIRL06 7/6/2011 7:04AM

    OMG!!! Awesome hubby!!! I got the 405CX and LOVE it! But who doesn't always want a new one?! LoL. Have fun with your new toy!!!

PS. Like the vibrating feature. Half the time, I don't hear the beep.

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GIVENTOFLY_ 7/6/2011 4:58AM

  That is such a great gift! I think I might head the way of a good HRM in the next couple months, so if you have any suggestions for a beginner, let me know!

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Update on moving plans!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blogging from my iPhone again! Oh joy! LOL

So for those of you who have followed my previous blogs, and are interested in how our Germany-to-America move (or "Operation Pursuit-of-Happiness") is going, I haven't mentioned moving lately, because nothing has been happening in that area... Yet!

But TODAY we got a letter from US Immigration offices in Frankfurt Germany!! My hubby's petition to apply for his Green Card (the form I-130) has been approved!! This is good news. We sent that in 2.5 months ago! Step 2: we have to apply for the actual Permanent Resindency/ Green Card. Once they receive that, they'll set up an interview with us and determine if he's admissible into the US. The only reason he may be determined inadmissible is because we stayed here in Hermany too long, and didn't give up his Permanent Residency status after a year, which led to him being "ordered removed" by a judge in the US, even though we were living here the whole time. So we're not sure if it will cause a problem. If it does, there is ANOTHER petition we can file to override that, but it will cost us another $500 or something... So we're praying all goes well with this app that we're sending in now!!

We haven't had any serious interest in the house, which is a little disheartening, but I knew starting out that our house wouldn't be the hottest on the market. We live WAY out in the country of Germany, in a tiny village, way out of the way for most people. And Germans HATE long commutes (if you look at what we pay for gas, you'd know why!! You think you guys have it bad in the State?!?!). We are just totally relying on God, and praying about all of this. We may drop the real estate agent (who always seemed a little iffy to begin with) and try to sell the house ourselves.... We're not sure yet. We know that none of this is in our control anyway, and what is meant to happen WILL happen!

On another note, I've decided to homeschool my oldest son, Mikah, who just turned 10. I was a little concerned about the whole moving thing and how difficult that would be on him! He's only gone to school here in Germany! He can read and speak English, but his spelling was way off. So I gave him diagnostic tests to see where he was, and already ordered the materials, and started him in it a little each day. During summer, I'll do summer school with him and work on establishing a routine like we'd have when we get over there, and also work on getting him caught up to his grade level in all subjects. We've been doing it now for 5 weeks, and he really loves it and us excelling quickly!

I'm still planning to finish up my schooling in October here, not to mention run a marathon in October here, and I'm will continue working at the little German cafe until we leave (which I totally LOVE btw!!!). That's where we're at at this point!! Don't know when we'll make the move for sure, but I pray it's before Thanksgiving!!! I'm ready to come home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Sparking!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARRONVC 6/30/2011 3:04PM

    See ya back here soon.

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MICHSTATE 6/30/2011 12:37PM

    Good luck!!! I have always admired home schoolers!!!!!

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RDARLING 6/29/2011 1:41PM

    I hope everything works out for you and your family.

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KKINNEA 6/29/2011 1:27PM

    Whew, hope things keep rolling along for you.

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    Wish you the best. Keeping fingers crossed for you

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MRS_LOOMIS 6/29/2011 1:01PM


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JOPAPGH 6/29/2011 1:01PM

    Hope things work out for you and your family. Sending positive vibes your way...

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So I forgot to log in yesterday, and I killed my 120+ day streak!! Boooo!

On another subject, our Internet provider has totally crapped out on us!! I would love to reply back to everyone who has left wonderful comments on my blogs lately (especially about my last race), but I can't get connected on the computer!! So frustrating!

Our little German village is not wired for DSL, so we were on dial-up for a while. Like living in the Dark Ages, let me tell ya!!! Then about 8 months ago, we were overjoyed to find a cellphone company that offered high-speed Internet at a very reasonable price, so we jumped on it. Worked great for several months, but the past 2 months have been horrible, and progressively getting worse, though some days, it worked ok long enough for me to get a few things done online.

But the past week has been HORRIBLE, and I've barely been able to load ANY pages! We've calked the provider several times in the past 6 weeks, and NOTHING they've suggested has helped. So now, we are canceling our Internet, and my husband found a new option that we will be trying. But for about 10 days, we will only have slim reception through our phones and iPad to use.

So, my fellow Sparkers, if I'm a little quiet over the next couple of weeks, that's why.... Boooooo, Podunk Germany! LOL

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIVENTOFLY_ 6/28/2011 9:56PM

  Oh nooo - both of those things suck! I've never been able to get more than a couple weeks strung together, so I admire 120 days!

Internet troubles are so frustrating...don't you just love spending hours on hold while they try to figure out the problem for you?

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NYC_NATIVE 6/28/2011 6:40PM

    I'm actually surprised to read that Germany has spotty Internet. An obscure tiny Baltic Sea nation, sure, but not Germany!

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KKINNEA 6/28/2011 4:24PM

    We need to mount a campaign to get your login credit back!

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RUNTRILAUGH 6/28/2011 4:01PM

    Yikes! Can't wait for you to get back "home"! LOL

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GYMRAT_AT44 6/28/2011 3:17PM

    Write your blogs in word or another word processor and then when internet is cooperating all you have to do is cut and paste and post - takes 1 minute! Can imagine just how frustrating it can be!!!!!!!!!!!

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