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Monday, December 31, 2018

Why We Should Thank Donald Trump

The US Republicans are turning their backs on democracy. Only dictator who has only contempt for the rule of law, not to mention that he is corrupt and probably in the hands of foreign powers. But he is also lazy, undisciplined, egocentric and incompetent.

No, I have not lost my mind. And yes, Individual-1 is a would-be dictator who has only contempt for the rule of law, not to mention that he is corrupt and probably in the hands of foreign powers. But he is also lazy, undisciplined, egocentric and incompetent. And since the threat to democracy is not just one man, but much broader and much deeper, we are even lucky that the forces that threaten America have chosen such a ridiculous person as their figurehead.

Nevertheless, these forces could still make the race.

Anyone who wants to understand what's happening in the US needs to read Steven Levitsky's and Daniel Zilblatt's “How Democracies die”. The two professors of government education at Harvard University point out that in recent decades, several nominally democratic countries have de facto become authoritarian one-party regimes. In none of these countries did tanks roll through the streets in a classic military coup. What we experienced there were more subtle coups: the takeover or intimidation of the media, electoral fraud that brought opposition votes to voters, new rules of the game that gave the ruling party overwhelming power even when it no longer had a majority in the people Diffraction of the legal system.

Chosen Republicans are not only increasingly acquiring the values ​​of Fidesz, the Polish PIS or other white nationalist parties, but they also share their contempt for democracy.

The classic example is Hungary, where the white-nationalist ruling party Fidesz has practically taken over a large part of the media. It has destroyed the independence of the courts, influenced elections in such a way that the votes of the supporters count and those of the opponents are not re-tailored, electoral districts in their favor and changed the electoral system, so that a minority of votes in the people becomes a majority in parliament.

Does that sound familiar? It should. Republicans in the US use similar tactics (not yet) at the federal level, but in the states where they have power.

The states are "laboratories of democracy," once said the former Supreme Court judge Louis Brandeis. As Levitsky and Zilblatt point out, they are now in danger of becoming "laboratories of authoritarianism," "if rulers, in order to stay in power, change their suffrage, redraft electoral districts, and even deprive people of their right to vote."

Screening out voters and deliberately restricting access to minority ballot boxes has become common practice in the US. Had the designated Governor of Georgia Brian Kemp - who was the Secretary of State to oversee his own election - won without these tactics? Not likely.

The GOP has also manipulated election districts on a large scale. Some were reassured that the landslide victory of the Democrats, thanks to the large majority of votes, actually brought with it a comparable majority of seats in the US House of Representatives. But nothing but reassuring is what happened in the states, because there, the majority of votes did not pull a majority in parliament after itself.

In particular, let's look at the events in Wisconsin.

The shameless grip on power that Republicans are currently pulling away in Madison has been widely reported in the US media. After losing all electoral posts in Wisconsin in November, the Republicans used the power vacuum until the new incumbents took over to dramatically curtail the power of these offices, leaving state rule in the hands of the GOP Majority has.

The fact is that the GOP, in its current composition, is ready for anything to seize power and stay in power.

Less attention was paid to the fact that the republican majority in the House of Representatives and Senate came about undemocratically. In the November elections, Democratic candidates won 54 percent of the vote, but received only 37 percent of the seats.

In other words, Wisconsin is just becoming a Hungarian on the Great Lakes, a state where elections are held, but it does not count because the ruling party clings to power no matter what voters do.

And worst of all, to the best of my knowledge, not a single prominent Republican in Washington has condemned this cramped hold on power in Wisconsin, nor a similar action in Michigan and not even the obvious electoral fraud in North Carolina. Elected Republicans are not only increasingly suited to the values ​​of Fidesz, the Polish PIS or other white nationalist parties, but they share with them also the contempt for democracy. The GOP is an authoritarian party in waiting.

And that's why we should be grateful to Trump. If he were not so underground, the Democrats might have won the House of Representatives only by a majority of 4 or 5 instead of 8.6 percent. In that case, the Republicans might have retained the majority, and we would continue on our way to a permanent one-party rule. Instead, we are heading for a time of divided government, in which the opposition party has the power to block laws. In addition, perhaps more importantly, she may issue compulsory summonses and investigate Trump's criminal offenses.

However, that could only be a delay. No matter what becomes of Donald Trump: his party has turned its back on democracy. And that should scare us.

The fact is that the GOP, in its current composition, is ready for anything to seize power and stay in power. As long as that is so and the Republicans remain politically competitive, we are only ever separated from the loss of democracy in America.

REMARK: This article was first published by Paul Krugman for The New York Times from where it was translated into German by Anne Emmert and re-published by IPG. (Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft) It was translated back into English by me.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Finishing Up

The End is near, so they say, only a few more sleeps and the year is 2019. Did I ever think of moving into the year 2019? Of course, I did not. Not when I was 19 or 29 or 39 or even 49. Never crossed my mind. But today, today I am thinking of it…a whole lot. Lately, I have been thinking of getting old so much that you might call it a senior life crisis. And I walked over to my book shelf and pulled out a very old album with pictures of my grandparents. And in it I found one yellowish photo where somebody had written the year 1919 on it. This photo is a full 100 years old. The passage of time is puzzling. Puzzling and scary it is. None of the persons from this album is alive anymore. It is an album of the dead. The next generation wasn’t born yet. There is my G-Grandpa, my G-great uncle, my dad as a small boy, my beloved G-grandma, which I remember vividly. Yes, it’s the one dying in a car accident in 1963. I was sitting at the kitchen table and was crying my eyes out. I had just seen her on our street, hit by a car.

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DSC_0530Her son, my Grandpa, had been sent into WWI, then in the thirties, that Hitler asshole came to power and my Grandpa hung a Nazi flag from his house and even his car, a Hanomag had the dreaded flag on the right side. I guess, as a business owner he had to do it to show that he was on their side, even though he might not have been. In 1940, my dad was old enough to be drafted and the third Reich sent HIM into WWII. Once, when he was stationed in Belgium he had found an American behind a rock. He could not speak English but he could say “Hands Up”. He had just taken a prisoner. Later he got engaged in the battle of the bulge. His commander stuck him and his comrades into American uniforms and sent the bunch in an American Jeep to the American side, where they were supposed to burn off the fuel depot the Americans had established. The episode is actually part of the American movie “The Battle Of The Bulge”.

DSC_0534        The photo in the middle is from 1919

He ended up in the hospital three times with gunshot wounds and grenade splinters in his leg. And when the end was near, Dad was in bombed-out Berlin where a professor had told him, sorry your splinter in your knee cannot be removed. And then it was all over and he walked home 400 clicks from Berlin.  And my Grandma and Grandpa were glad to see him come back alive. He married in 1950 and two years later I was there. I am not in that album. And I never joined the military, cause my eyes were catastrophic. Hell, the doc took away my glasses and I almost hit my head on the wall, before I could see the letters there. They thought I was faking it, but then they checked my glasses. Get outa here, was the message. Thanks be to God.

We carry those memories for our entire life. My Dad wrote it all down and so me and my brother know about it. It is water under the bridge, but it has sharpened my senses for watching out for other “Hitlers”. Hence my “love” of the current American President.

Thought, I wanted to point that out to you before we enter into 2019


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

It’s Christmas Day

Yeah..and it is very, very cold on Campobello Island. The mercury is lingering around –12C but if I step outside I fall victim to a sharp north-westerly wind biting my skin, bringing the wind chill down to –18C..

Dixie’s walk was shortened a bit today and I am sure I was looking like a polar explorer.

It took some hot coffee to get back to a more normal body temperature. Dixie has just “passed out” on her bed.

Hanging out on the sofa I was perusing the news. Getting to NBC-NEWS opened up for a surprise. Whoever is responsible for putting their content onto their news page might have had one or two toddies too many yesterday evening. It appears that NBC NEWS is already celebrating the 2108 coming to an end. I would not mind if they would bring a prediction of 2019 being the year of Trump’s impeachment, but being almost 100 years ahead might seem a tad too ambitious.

Photos Festive Christmas lights sparkle around the world - Opera 2018-12-25 101516 AMPhotos Festive Christmas lights sparkle around the world - Opera 2018-12-026

Well, we’ll see whether somebody is awake there to make the correction, otherwise Trump comes along bellowing FAKE NEWS!

Enjoy the Holidays!

Monday, December 24, 2018

The Christmas Posting

We finally made it again. It is December 24 – Christmas Eve and the most important day in European Christmas Celebrations. This is the day I always was looking forward to as a child. I STILL AM! The mornings were always busy with the last-minute preparations, but it all calmed down a lot around coffee time, which usually was around 3pm.Christmas presents would be exchanged at 5pm and then Mother would start getting dinner ready. It’s all long ago now, but we still live those traditions.

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After the recent warm-up in the weather it has turned pretty cold again. The large puddles have frozen and the ground is hard again. Sun is out, making this a pleasant day. Did the usual morning walk with Dixie, then settling in the couch, sending emails around the globe.

Our Christmas dinner, kale, smoked pork chops and glazed small potatoes is already pre-cooked and won’t take much time to get on the table. We will enjoy it with Norwegian Linie Aquavit and a nice Belgian beer. That is the traditional dish from the northern part of Germany.

And here is Bea’s take on things around the house: http://gosidewalk.blogspot.com

In finishing this posting we wish all of our readers a

MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Paradise In An Unhinged World

How did I ever come up with the idea of the above headline? Maybe it feels like this at the moment, maybe I feel like in paradise and I realize that my paradise is limited to a very small world. The world of this island can be paradise for some, but the rest of this world doesn’t seem like paradise at all.

If you are not convinced about it yet, I recommend to take a good look at reality as we learn about it every day through the news.

But it’s soon to be Christmas and I won’t destroy your Christmas mood. In the contrary, I love the Christmas celebrations, have always done so and will continue to do for the rest of my life.

Christmas is cozy hours in our home, storms may be raging outside, snow drifts might be growing and Bing Crosby is still dreaming of a White Christmas. Let it snow, let it snow and sing about Frosty the Snowman. I love it all. The aroma of new-baked cookies, the delicious smell of a juicy roast in the oven, the candles on the coffee table and my dog snoring softly on her bed. Not to forget the wonderful walks in nature with happy Dixie strolling through the woods and along the beach.

What are you saying? You are in a hurry to get all the Christmas presents? The congestion on your roads are killing you?  Maybe it’s time for change? Why not cut out the presents and the stress of running from store to store? We haven’t been buying presents for each other for years. We buy good food, listen to great music, talk to our family overseas, read a book, watch a great old movie and go to bed early. We have only one health and we need to keep it. 

Watching the weather is a big thing out here. F.ex. we had lots of snow here just a few days ago. But then the winds changed. We got some southern wind blowing right up from the U.S. and within less of 20hours all of the snow melted. ALL OF IT!

DSC_0457 DSC_0482      The change of the weather. within 20 hrs snow disappeared.

This morning I took aim on a forest trail. Dixie was ahead of me like usual. The trail was soft as frost was melting. It had been raining all night as well and temps had been in the low fifties. (Yes, there is global warming, folks) My feet were in leather boots, but the trail was wet. It was wet enough to use a boat, instead of a boot. We turned around and chose the empty campground instead. Did a round and went back home. Since the snow is gone I decided to go to Lubec with the Mercedes. I wouldn’t do that with slush and snow on the road, but it’s good for the car to be moved once in a while.

DSC_0481A new volume in our daily paradise started right after lunch. Dixie was due for her second walk. We went to the Cranberry Trail in the Roosevelt Park. Nobody else around there. But the trail was too muddy there as well. We chose the gravel road instead . No cars on this road for sure as fallen trees were blocking the access for vehicles.

Coming back home after well an hour, Dixie fell asleep between the couch and the coffee table. Later she moved to her own bed.

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It’s this kind of relaxing life which I deem healthy. I could have joined millions of others and be rushing from store to store. But why would I do that, when I have everything I need right here?

Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Presidential Amphibian

Amphibian named after Trump!

German news outlet TAGESSCHAU brings exciting news about naming an amphibian animal (picture below) after U.S.-President Donald Trump. (see translation below)

 Lurch

Präsidiale Lurchart benannt Dermophis donaldtrumpi

Stand: 19.12.2018 19:20 Uhr

Eigentlich ist es eine Ehre, wenn eine Tierart den gleichen Namen trägt wie man selbst. Weniger schön ist es, wenn man auf diese Weise als Missgeschick der Evolution in die Geschichte eingeht - so wie der aktuelle US-Präsident.

Von Wulf Rohwedder, tagesschau.de

Es ist inzwischen Tradition, dass Tierarten nicht notwendigerweise nach ihren Entdeckern, sondern nach deren Idolen benannt werden. Künstlern, Musikern und natürlich auch Politikern wird diese Ehre immer wieder zuteil. Allein der vormalige US-Präsident Barack Obama hat neun Spezies seinen Namen gegeben.

Ein Lurch, der deinen Namen trägt

Aber was macht man mit einem wurmartigen Lebewesen mit stark reduziertem Schwanz, bei dem sich Mund- und Kloakenbereich auffällig ähneln und das manchmal auffällige Farbflächen oder Streifen aufweist? Der britischen Artenschutzstiftung Rainforest UK kam die Aufgabe zu, eine Art der Schleichenlurche mit eben diesen Eigenschaften zu benennen - und beschloss, diese zweifelhafte Ehre zu versteigern.

Den Zuschlag erhielt für 25.000 Dollar (21.900 Euro) ein britisches Unternehmen, das die halbblinde Amphibie aus Panama nach dem amtierenden 45. Präsidenten der USA benannte. Künftig soll die Art, deren Klasse unter anderem in dem Buch "Missgeschicke der Evolution" verewigt wurde, die offizielle Bezeichnung "Dermophis donaldtrumpi" erhalten, sofern eine Expertenkommission diesem zustimmt.

Trump | Bildquelle: AP

Ähnlichkeiten selbstverständlich rein zufällig: Lurch-Namenspate Trump.

Die eine oder andere Übereinstimmung gibt es schon

"Seinen Kopf in den Sand zu stecken, hilft Donald Trump, wenn er den wissenschaftlichen Konsens über den menschengemachten Klimawandel ignoriert", begründete der Firmengründer Aidan Bell die Namenswahl.

Zudem würden "Dermophis donaldtrumpi" den Nachwuchs mit eigenen Körperteilen füttern, was man mit ein wenig Phantasie als eine biologische Interpretation für Nepotismus deuten könne. Welche anderen Eigenschaften der auch Blindwühlen genannten Tiere ihn zur Wahl des Namenspatens inspiriert haben mögen, ließ Bell offen.

Was allerdings nicht passt: Der Lurch ist in Asien, Afrika, sowie Mittel- und Süd- aber nicht in Nordamerika heimisch. Bis Panama haben sie es immerhin geschafft - mit einer Mauer könnte man "Dermophis donaldtrumpi" wohl von den USA fernhalten.

Über dieses Thema berichtete Deutschlandfunk Nova am 20. Dezember 2018 um 05:00 Uhr in den Nachrichten.

Named presidential Amphibian
Dermophis donaldtrumpi
As of: 19.12.2018 19:20

TRANSLATION:
Actually, it is an honor to have a species bearing the same name as you. It is less beautiful to go down in history as a mishap of evolution - just like the current US president.

By Wulf Rohwedder, tagesschau.de

It is now a tradition that animal species are not necessarily named after their discoverers, but after their idols. Artists, musicians and, of course, politicians will always enjoy this honor. Even the former US President Barack Obama has given nine species its name.

An Amphibian bearing your name
But what to do with a worm-like creature with a greatly reduced tail, in which the mouth and rear end strikingly similar and sometimes show conspicuous color areas or stripes? The British Conservation Foundation Rainforest UK was assigned the task of naming a species with these same characteristics - and decided to auction off this dubious honor.

The contract was awarded for 25,000 dollars (21,900 euros), a British company, which named the semi-blind amphibian from Panama after the reigning 45th President of the United States. In the future, the species whose class was immortalized, inter alia, in the book "Misfortunes of Evolution", the official name "Dermophis donaldtrumpi", if an expert commission agrees to this.

Similarities between the Blind Amphibian and Godfather Trump of course are purely coincidental.    
However, one or the other similarity already exists:
Donald Trump ignores the scientific consensus on man-made climate change, "founder Aidan Bell said.

In addition, "Dermophis donaldtrumpi" would feed the offspring with their own body parts, which could be interpreted with a little imagination as a biological interpretation of nepotism. What other characteristics of the animals, which are also referred to as "blind crawlers", may have inspired him to choose the name patent, Mr.Bell did not elaborate about

What does not fit: The amphibian is native to Asia, Africa, as well as Central and South but not North America. They did make it to Panama - with a wall you could probably keep "Dermophis donaldtrumpi" away from the USA.

Deutschlandfunk Nova reported on this subject on 20 December 2018 at 05:00 in the news.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Grip Of Winter

Yesterday, it snowed all night and that wouldn’t have been too bad, hadn’t it also been blowing like crazy. There was a snow drift right behind our entry door and a glance over to our garage showed an even higher snow drift in front of the garage door. This would be much work, I figured. And I was right. After making headway from our door to the driveway, I did the driveway down to the road. That darn snow plow had pushed up the usual barrier down at the road. After the driveway I drove down to the public library where I, as in previous years, have taken on to keep the walkway open. Next on the list was the wharf. By the time I was finished there, it was 11am. On my way back home I stopped at a neighbour’s house and cleared their driveway, which is much shorter than mine, and made a pass to their entry door.

DSC_0423 - CopyDSC_0426

Coming home, I saw that the darn storm had blown snow across the path I had made earlier from our door to the driveway. And that was basically going on all day long.

While I was working with the snow, Dixie was just having a blast.

DSC_0439DSC_0444 - Copy

On the good side we sold Bea’s Buick which had only been advertised 36 hours. We have to deliver the car today, as the buyer has no passport and can’t cross the U.S. to pick it up with us. But that gives us a chance to also register the new van in town. So we are going to have another busy day ahead.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Opinion | Trump’s Con Game Is Almost Over

By Josh Moon  Alabama Political Reporter

It’s all true.

All of the rumors. All of the speculation. All of the oh-my-God-have-you-heard-about whispers.

All of it is true.

All of the things that Donald Trump and his administration and family have been accused of doing … they actually did them. All of them.

Even the really dumb ones.

They did it all.

Oh, listen, I know that the typical Alabama conservative voter has zero idea what I’m talking about right now, because they have so fully wrapped themselves in the protective bubble of conservative opinion sources that they’re still talking about the Clinton Foundation. But I don’t care.

Because this isn’t speculation. Or partisan hopefulness. Or ignorant accusations.

This is under oath.

And right now, after the last two weeks, here’s what people under oath, facing the penalty of perjury and providing supporting evidence and documentation, have said about the conman you people elected president: He has lied repeatedly. He has directed illegal payments. He has sought to cover up affairs. He has bought off a tabloid. At least 14 members of senior campaign staff were in contact with Russians. And Trump — or “Individual 1,” as he’s known in court filings these days — was involved in it all.

Trump’s personal attorney has now been convicted and sentenced to three years in prison for a crime personally directed by the president.

That makes five — FIVE! — of Trump’s top aides or attorneys who have struck deals with Robert Mueller and are now working with the broad investigation into possible (certain) Russian interference and collusion.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Trump’s personal businesses are also under federal investigation. His campaign staff’s use of funds is now under federal investigation. And most of his immediate family is under investigation.

And absolutely none of this should be a surprise to anyone.

Because all of you should have known well before this clown was elected president that he is nothing more than a two-bit conman with an ego large enough to fill a stadium and less shame than a 90-year-old stripper.

You should know because we told you. We, the media. The actual media.

We wrote story after story on this crook and his shady business dealings — how he rarely paid his bills, how he left working men holding the bill, how he created a scam college to bilk poor people out of money, how he skirted laws and tax codes constantly and how he gamed the system over and over again to stay wealthy using taxpayer money.

All of it was right there for anyone to read.

But a good portion of this country didn’t care. They were too caught up in this buffoon making jokes and calling people names and kicking people out of rallies and saying offensive things. He catered to white men and claimed he could fix any problem just by saying he could fix any problem.

And they bought it. Just like the conman planned. You didn’t even make this dude show you his tax returns!

And the white, working-class folks are still buying it. Which would make sense if he had done even one thing to help them.

But he hasn’t.

His economic policies have been a disaster, especially for the people of Alabama. And his tough talk has produced zilch in the way of foreign respect, better trade deals, lower prices for consumers or more American jobs. In fact, we’ve lost respect, have worse deals and higher prices and companies are still moving American jobs to other countries.

And yet, the supporters remain.

I don’t understand it. But you know what? I don’t have to understand it for much longer.

The walls are quickly closing around the conman president. Soon, the rest of Mueller’s investigation will drop, and the indictments will roll out. The full breadth of the Trump administration’s illegal acts will be laid out for Congress to see. Given what we already know from the few filings that have been made public, this will not go well for Trump and his closest associates.

I do not expect the Trump supporters to ever admit they were wrong.

But if there is justice in this world, and if the indictments break just right, those supporters will have to deal — at least for a brief period — with the two words that could make this whole thing almost worth it.

President Pelosi

Friday, December 14, 2018

2700 Clicks To The End

While yesterday’s travel was slow, everything went great today. No more congestion as I followed I-84 to I-495 and on to I-95. Every time I get back to Maine I am relieved to see traffic thinning out. There is just the highway stretching out before me. Weather was great as well and at 12 noon I reached Bangor.

I-95 Maine

Customs didn’t make any fuss over my van, got the paperwork done, paid my dues and off I went for the last 5km.

As soon as I had parked the van, Dixie shot out the door going totally bonkers of joy to see me home again. The joy of a dog seeing its owner, is just so heartwarming. Of course, Bea also was glad to have me back.

We celebrated with coffee and some goodies from ALDI.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Challenge

Today, breakfast was at 6am and I (again) was the first guest. This “Red Roof” was organized the same way as the one in Walterboro, though quality was somewhat lower. But so was the rate. Pulled the bed cover over my head at around 9pm and that was not too early.

It was still dark when I got the van rolling this morning. However it didn’t roll very fast. As soon as I hit the Interstate, I was part of the congestion. At 6:30am and still some 50miles from Washington DC, I was a bit surprised. And so it kept going, sorry, I mean crawling.

And it got worse. Alexandria was as fast as if I walk in a garden picking flowers. Then, finally, Washington itself. A sign beside the road warned of “Gridlock”. As if we didn’t know it. From a high elevation overpass I could see the Capitol. And lo and behold there, I swear to all political gods, right there in front of the stately building, I saw Trump puking all over the front stairs. The Cohen case must have been just too much for him.Capititol Hill

But albeit the journey was slow, I noticed signs to f.ex. “Pennsylvania Avenue”. (Number 1600 is soon to be vacated and may be ready for President Pelosi). Then there was “U.S. Senate”, “Capitol Hill”, yup - kind of interesting to see the places the rest of the world used to have respect of. Sad!

There was another much smaller congestion around Baltimore, but really hardly worth to mention and I hardly noticed Philadelphia staying behind. New Jersey was next and I wonder why those Jerseys put up signs at the toll stations sayin’ CASH right lane when the right lane is for E-Z-Pass only. Well, I just been sliding through there – who cares?

Manhattan was hardly visible from the Jersey side. The sky was very grey and a cold nasty air obscured the view. I followed through towards “George Washington Bridge”, and crossed it at precisely 1:15pm. Bridge toll is now $15 pr. car!GW-Bridge

And here I got into another congestions of sorts, yet I have to say that Washington beats New York, by far!

Heavy traffic continued all the way through Connecticut until I finally got onto I-84 towards Boston. But now it started snowing, not heavy, but steady. And it got dark. And one shouldn’t believe this, but if you remember the posting from March when I came from the west with a Mercedes from Manitoba and I had to get off the road at Sturbridge,MA, …..well it happened again. However, I was not going into that dreary “Days Inn” again. No Sir, this time I had set my mind on something better and chose the Comfort Inn. It is 70Dollars less than the “Days Inn” and super nice. A large comfy (and warm) room, a warm breakfast in the morning and friendly front counter staff ladies. And you wouldn’t believe that just another New Brunswicker was checking in when it was my turn. Small world.

Once I had set up in my room, I skype-called Bea. Told her about my day and she said she’d been out with Dixie for a long walk in the park and also had a great chat with our neighbour at their place.

Even though I had no plans for a big dinner, I changed my mind when I discovered that the hotel had a Cracker Barrel as closest neighbour. Me, I have never been in one, so had to check it out.

Food was great, but their merchandise is expensive and…well kind of not my taste. You go there for gifts, you increase the clutter in your house.

And that,friends, was all about today. I’ll be home for Christmas, and not only in my mind.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Rollin’,Rollin’, Rollin’……

Is it a wonder that I slept a lot last night? Called it off early and slept until 6am. That gave me 30 minutes to get ready for breakfast. Stepping outside was like stepping into a freezer. Since my room was at the very end of this long building, I moved the van to the front entrance. The receptionist lady just opened the door, so I was the first guest in for breakfast. It was all rigged up in a former double hotel room. There was much more than one would expect in a motel. I could have made pancakes, had some cereals, and toast with a small burger patty and egg. I chose the toast, the patties and the eggs. Coffee, tea, juice or milk, what ever one might wish. Did I mention that I paid only $59+tax for the room? Not much to complain there.

I left town at 7am rolling north towards North Carolina. First daylight was soon replaced by bright sun. Traffic was light to begin with, but got more dense every time I got close to a town.

Reaching the northern parts of North Carolina I saw snow in the woods and fields. Once in Virginia, snow amounts increased. The chaos of the last weekend was still visible here, though the roads were clear and dry.

I avoided getting sucked in to traffic at Richmond, VA, by choosing the I-295 around the city.

But now I am back on I-95 and the next challenge is the Washington/Baltimore area. But I have saved that for tomorrow. Tonight I stay at another Red Roof Inn in Warrington, VA, which supposedly is part of Fredericksburg.

paradise-diner-americanBeing hungry, I rolled down Main Street and discovered the “Paradise Diner”. Had to make a 180-turn to get there, but it was worth it. The place is serving Greek and Italian food besides of a few American dishes. I had a Souvlaki sandwich with a Greek salad, and let me just say they don’t save on feta cheese! The marinated pork was doused in Tzatziki sauce and served on a Pita bread.  While looking around, I saw a Greek looking nose walking back and forth behind the counter, so I asked the server. Yes, the owners are Greek. Of course they are, nobody else is using the same amounts of feta cheese and garlic. It might be a good thing that I am all alone here and nobody is gonna join me in the van tomorrow!!!


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Continue for 900kms…

…that was what my friendly GPS-lady told me after I had crossed the northern Part of Florida today finally reaching the east coast and I-95. And that was all which was necessary to get me settled in on the old routine of eating up mile after mile. And boy how did that ever feel good. I was in for the home run, the destination was set and I cozied myself into the driver seat. I had thrown in a nice CD which I had taken along from home, and thoughts were spinning from long gone days on the road to future adventures. From my position, this van felt just like the big motor home we once had, just comfy and quietly sliding along on my way north.savriv2                                The Savannah River, as I saw it from the highway

I left Florida behind and still had Georgia on my mind, when I crossed the Savannah River sliding into South Carolina. The sky was deep blue and the sun started to warm through the windows, so I had to turn down the heater. welcome SCA few stops for gas and before I knew it the little hand on my watch was pointing to 4pm. The sunlight turned golden and soon it would be dark. I had done enough and asked the GPS-lady for a place to sleep tonight. She offered the Red Roof Inn in Walterboro, SC, and that was only 10 more km. And that’s where I shut her down. I had started the day shortly after 9am after finding out that Fruitland Park,FL had an ALDI-store. I can never resist to visit German ALDI places. They have all the German Goodies I know from long-gone era of German Christmases. But I had to hang around their parking lot until they opened up at 9am. I won’t have to do that tomorrow, as breakfast here at the Red Roof Inn is ready from 6:30am. So I should be out early enough.

Now, being the only person in the van, I could not snap off any pictures. So what ever is here, I found online.

And if you want to know what Bea has been doing meanwhile you can click on her blog: http://gosidewalk.blogspot.com/2018/12/up-and-down.html

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Here I Am …. In St.Petersburg, FL

The flight was less than 4hrs. We landed 20minutes early, so I had to wait a bit for my ride. A former neighbour, living down here now came to the airport to pick me up.

Slept like a baby until 7:30am, after first coffee we went for a Mega Huge breakfast in one of those eateries. Then it was time to meet the dealer. Van was parked outside lookin’ good. Had it for a test drive and finished the deal.

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This van is a pleasure to ride. Suspension soft and comfy, seats like in heaven. It is an Explorer Limited version.

Planning to leave town tomorrow morning, even though it is tempting to stay to explore the city. But I’m gonna see two RVers in Fruitland Park,FL which is only a couple of hours away. So no long drive tomorrow!

Tropical Garden in FloridaWaking up to this scenery wasn’t so bad either

Friday, December 7, 2018

December Is Finally Here, But Snow Is Gone For Now.

After the snow, came the cold. We don’t see our neighbours anymore, unless zipping by in their vehicles. It has been chilly on the beach, so more and more of our walks with Dixie has been happening in the woods. Some times we meet up with Dixie’s friend Beau.

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                                     Oops, did I kill him…?

The other friends of her, the poodles, are gone. They are on the Florida panhandle with their owners.

Flooded by the low light of the sun the forest is changing character

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                          Lots of nice trails in the Provincial Park

Tomorrow, I will be boarding a flight to St.Petersburg,FL where I will pick up a new vehicle, replacing Bea’s Buick. It’s a beautiful Chevy Conversion van. So there will be days spent on the road next week. So far the weather forecast is looking favorable for traveling.

A bit of a downturn today were the evolving headaches and nausea. I have been spending most of the day on the couch tucked away under blankets. Whenever I get these problems they last just one single day.

DSC_0118 DSC_0129                    Winter sunsets are the most beautiful

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Love Story

While another storm blew across the island we cozied up in the house. The most giving moments we live and experience in our own home, in our own surroundings.

Dixie plays a major role in my well-being and I savour the moments of interaction.

The photos taken by Bea the other day show just a few of those wonderful moments and words are not necessary.

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And what you see above is Dixie’s new bed. I made it off 2 headboards I had sitting around in our basement. We are now looking to buy a fitting mattress for it. Until that we filled it with blankets. It took a few days until she accepted it as her new cozy spot.

I recommend to look at what Bea wrote about this. Her captions are extremely entertaining. LOL.  http://gosidewalk.blogspot.com/2018/11/couch-time-is-over.html

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Oh So Pretty, But So Much Work!

Dixie is really enjoying the snow, and let me tell you, we got a whole load of it. This morning we woke up to 4inches, spread evenly on the grounds. Luckily we did not get a major wind with it, so no snow drifts. Our vehicles were only white heaps in our driveway and of course, that damn snow plow had created the usual barrier down at the road. Good thing it wasn’t frozen yet.

After shoveling our 80ft of driveway I went down to the wharf and shoveled 600ft of our floats. I needed a break after that and we had lunch.

It is only under the most extreme weather conditions that we will drop the dog walks. And this snow doesn’t qualify. So off we went in the early afternoon. Down to Herring Cove and then up into the campground where we could enjoy the beautiful makings of winter. The tree branches were heavily loaded and many were hanging low across the trail. The going wasn’t so easy for me, heavy boots and all, but Dixie raced ahead and really had a ball.

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Saturday, November 17, 2018

We Got Some Snow And Dixie Loves It

After trying over and over again I found that the Open Live Writer application again works with Windows 10. What a relief, being able to write my blog postings offline. Finally, I can format and place pictures where ever I want, then doing the upload.

Weather has been full of surprises lately. After lots of rain and wind it got colder and rain turned to snow. Yesterday it snowed most all day and with the wind still blowing it was not a day for being on the road. So we stayed put.

Except that Dixie needed her exercise. So I drove over to the Provincial Park and we had a walk in the forest. The fresh snow looked beautiful, but we were both getting wet. However, Dixie was going totally bonkers in the fresh snow. She was racing around like a bullet.

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Today we woke up to utterly blue skies and after breakfast Dixie and I went back to the forest trail. The sunlight was making this forest into a fairy-land with snow crystals reflecting the light. There is something so incredibly peaceful over a wintry forest.

DSC_0113DSC_0114Thoughts were wandering into early childhood days when winter always was a great time for sledding and playing outside.

Ah, those memories….

Afterwards we went down to the beach and the bright sunshine was so intense that I could feel the warming rays in my face.

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