Saturday, October 31, 2009


After Lexi's recent trip to the water walker we've been investigating other options since the vet's office is a bit of a drive from here. In the US, the pet business is HUGE with doggy day care centers everywhere and all kinds of services made especially for pets. I assumed that we wouldn't have the same kind of options in Denmark and I'm happy to report, that at least in one area - I was wrong!

In our searching we discovered that there are many, many places in DK to take your dogs swimming, and no, I'm not talking about the local lake - I'm talking about indoor swimming pools just for dogs! The most exciting thing is that one of them is about 15 min from our house. We originally wanted to head there last Monday evening but when we called for an appointment we found that, apparently, we are the last to know as they were booked solid for the entire week! The first opening they had was today, Saturday, so at 12:30 this afternoon we took Lexi and Zoe to the swimming pool.

They loved it and we loved it, though we were both drenched from head to toe by the time we were done there. Lexi was a bit apprehensive about getting in the pool at the beginning, so we put a life jacket on her so we could help guide her, but once she figured it out, she was all in!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lost in Translation

I tend to forget now and then that a certain someone with whom I live, does not have English as his first language. We met one another speaking English, and we continue to do so 99% of the time. And let's face it, his English is WAAAAAY better than my Danish. So yeah, I forget.

Now and then things get lost in translation (mostly my jokes and puns). We now have a Wii and last night, that certain someone was surfing, checking reviews of the various fitness programs, calculating whether a certain game was cheaper in pounds, dollars or kroners (yes, he does this regularly - the currency thing) and trying to decide what to buy.

Along the way, Amazon put up one of those nice ads that tells you that if you sign up for an Amazon credit card, you'll get 15 pounds off your order, instantly! This caught his attention, and it needed to be read. After spending 15 minutes reading all the details of the offer he had made the decision to apply for the card.

If you've ever filled out one of those forms, you know there are a bunch of questions about how much money you make, etc. But, each country is different, so what may be a perfectly normal question on a US credit card application may not be on a Danish application or a UK application - different banks, currencies, rules, you know. For example, no one in a Danish bank knows what the heck you are talking about if you mention your 'credit score'.

Now all of this was happening on the computer next to mine, but I wasn't paying too much attention to it. Then suddenly he read a question out loud... "Time at your current residence"

Him: "Why do they need to know that?"
Me: "That's a pretty standard question on a credit card application - at least in the US"
Him: "But it's meaningless"
Me: "Well, they want to know how stable you are I guess - or something .. I can't explain it"
Him: "Makes no sense"
Me: "They want a picture of your financial security - and part of that is asking how long you've lived at your current address."
Him: ..... [lightbulb] OOOHHHHH

[Mr. Financial Brilliance thought they wanted to know what time it was at our house.]

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A guest post from Lexi

Hi everyone! I asked my Mor if I could write about my experience today and she has given me permission - woohoo!! Of course I can't really type, but I'm very good at expressing myself and Mor also agreed to do the actual typing. One day I will figure out that keyboard thing - so frustrating... I try to hit one key and end up with 10 things.

Let's get back to me. Almost two weeks ago I had to visit Jesper because I've been a bit stiff when I wake up and I limp a bit if I play too much. Jesper's the guy that sticks needles into me while he's feeding me, thinking I don't notice. I know what's going on, I just pretend not to because the food is good! Well, apparently Jesper met with Mor and Far and said that I have some problems with my hips, something called Hip Dysplasia. I have no idea what that means but I guess it's why I can't go as fast as my sister Zoe.

This morning Zoe and I had just finished our breakfast and were in the yard doing our thing when suddenly Mor yelled for me to come inside. I thought maybe I was going to get an extra serving of breakfast so I hurried in, but then she put that dumb strappy thing on my nose. She calls it a 'Halti' ... I prefer to call it a torture device. But, in all fairness, when that thing does get tied to my head it usually means we're going somewhere - and that's always exciting! I love the car!! For some strange reason, it was only me going - Zoe and Far were staying home. Weird!

So first we went to the big building with the big parking lot. I was here once before so I know the drill.. I have to just sit in the car and wait while Mor goes in. After about 3 short snoozes, she was back and we were on the way. Not sure where we were going but we'd already been to the boring building so the good part must be coming next!

Mor played with some gadget that has little pictures and talks to her while she drives. The gadget lady gave Mor a few instructions and then we arrived at a doggy forest. Good lady! This wasn't my usual doggy forest and Zoe wasn't with me, so I wasn't sure what to do. I found some small mud puddles and splashed around a bit in them but Mor kept yelling "Nej" when I did that, so I moved on. Then a big handsome stud came around and I ran around the forest with him for awhile while Mor talked to another lady. After a bit, my new friend left and Mor said we had to go back in the car.

Then we drove to the little building with all the funky smells. I ran right to the door because I know this place always has food laying around. Where is it? Where is it? Ah ha, they hid it inside the spinning thing this time... found it! Ooooo, a cat! Hmm... that cat spit at me - not really sure what the big deal was, my cat buddies at home let me lick their heads.

Then a lady came and called my name - my turn!! We ran around to a new room that I hadn't been in before and it had some scary things and some fun things. There was a big ramp and I ran up and down and the lady kept giving me cookies - always a good thing. Then suddenly Mor went up the ramp with me and this is when I got a little nervous. There was a metal platform and I had to walk out on that and then step on this table that was up really high. The lady was still giving me cookies but now I wasn't so trusting - they were definitely up to something. But Mor kept saying it was okay and that I was a good girl, so I did what I was told. Next thing I know, the metal platform was gone and now I had no choice but to stand on the table.

Then it started. I was just standing there, being a good girl, when the table started going down and water started coming up. Don't get me wrong, I love water, but this was weird. When the water got deep I started swimming, of course, because that's what we dogs do in the water. But then the lady said not to swim, just stand... I thought that was strange. But then it got even stranger - the floor started moving under me. So naturally, I started swimming again! And again, she said just walk. It took me awhile, and splashing with my big paws got Mor pretty wet, but I finally got the hang of the thing. They tell me that all of this is so my hip muscles will get stronger. Not sure if that's true or not but I think I could manage to get in that thing again!

So anyway, Mor took a movie of me in the tank. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Just over 2 weeks ago I started with my radiation treatments. From start to finish there are 25 treatments. Viborg Hospital doesn't have a facility for radiation but luckily Herning hospital opened their new facility over the summer. Why luckily? Well, for me, it means that I only have to drive 30 min to my treatment - had they not opened I would have been driving over an hour each way to Aarhus instead.

Each morning for the last 2-1/2 weeks I have gotten up at 6:30 am to be in the car at 7:00 for the drive to Herning. The first few days it was light when I left the house but that's no longer the case - darkness has descended upon Denmark. I have had 15 treatments to date, which means there are only 10 left - woohoo! I have to say that all in all the drive hasn't been as awful as I feared.

Before all of this started, 'radiation' was just a word. I knew it was a treatment of some kind but I honestly had no idea what it was. As it turns out, it's rather uneventful. Radiation is basically a high-intensity x-ray. The treatment itself doesn't hurt a bit, but you can end up with skin that looks like it's been sunburned and that has now started for me. So far, not too bad, but there are still 10 to go!

This is how it all goes down each morning... (all times approximate!)

6:30 - get up and shower while Ole and the dogs stay in bed
7:00 - drive to Herning dodging potato tractors along the way (more about that later)
7:30 - arrive at the hospital and swipe my card to let them know I'm there
7:35 - go to cubby area and get my bag that contains my hospital shirt
7:36 - sit and page through year-old gossip magazines and will the door to the nurses to open
7:45 - door opens, my name is called
7:45 - go to changing room, remove clothes from waist up and put on hospital shirt
7:46 - nurse opens back door of changing room and leads me to treatment room
7:47 - remove hospital shirt and lay on machine
7:48 - lay on machine table with green laser lights shooting from all angles of the room
7:48 - listen to nurses tell me, in danish, to move my butt a little to the right and my shoulders a little to the left, etc., until I'm properly lined up in the machine.
7:51 - nurse says "94" which I assume is some setting specific to me
7:52 - music is turned on and nurses tell me they're leaving the room now and to lay still
7:52 - panic for a second while I figure out whether or not breathing is permitted while laying still
7:53 - lay there while machine makes funky noises and spaceship like parts move around me
7:55 - have obligatory hot flash while laying there
7:55 - nurses re-enter room and tell me it's now okay to move
7:56 - ride machine back to starting position
7:57 - sit up and put on hospital shirt
7:58 - walk to changing room, remove hospital shirt, put on burn cream, get dressed
7:59 - deliver bag with hospital shirt back to cubby room
8:00 - leave hospital and drive home

So, there you have it, all you ever wanted to know... and lots of things you probably never cared about.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Tale of Two Lexis

You know how, on Facebook, when one of your friends comments on another person's photos, sometimes those photos show up on your own sidebar? For example, I have seen literally hundreds of pictures of Leonbergers because Amy own Leonbergers and happens to be friends with lots of other people who own Leonbergers. (I honestly never knew there were so many Leonbergers in the world!)

So one day I'm surfing Facebook and I suddenly see a picture, in my sidebar, of a dog that looks amazing similar to one of my own. A friend had commented on this woman's dog, which placed that picture into my own sidebar, and as soon as I saw the picture I had to take a look. Upon opening the picture, I nearly fell off my chair - the dog's name was Lexi, and for those who read my posts regularly, you know that MY dog's name is Lexi.

Ready to be a bit freaked out?

This is the 'other' LexiThis is my Lexi
This is the 'other' LexiThis is my Lexi

My Lexi is not a purebred dog, by any means! And that's what makes this all the more unusual, at least to me. Lexi's mother is a purebred golden retriever, and her father is a black labrador. The two dogs were bred and when the puppies popped out looking like neither mom or dad, it was then determined that the black labrador was part german shepard; hence Lexi's coloring.

After I saw the pictures of the 'other' Lexi, I just had to write a note to the woman who owned this dog. She wrote back after comparing the pictures and was as surprised as I was how similar the dogs appeared. But wait... there's more!

The 'other' Lexi with a catMy Lexi with my cat, Petey
The 'other' Lexi with a black labrador friendMy Lexi with my Zoe

I will leave you with one last bit of trivia about the two Lexi's - their birthdays:

My Lexi: June 7, 2008
The 'other' Lexi: Born June 1, 2008

Yep, 6 days apart.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Breaking the Benzine Barrier

Long, long, ago in a land far, far away, I regularly took my car to the gas station. I didn't really think much about it, just drove up, stuck the card in the machine and followed the on-screen instructions. Voila, gas flowed, car filled, receipt spewed out and I was on my way.

Then I moved. Far. To a foreign land. A land where they call it 'Benzine'. A land where the pumps don't look the same as the pumps I was accustomed to. These weren't tall sleek pumps with a credit card machine on each pump. No, no. They were short, and squat and, at many of the stations, there was just one machine in the center. A machine I feared.

I generally avoid doing things that would make me appear to be a complete fool; unless I admit up front that I will be a complete fool trying it, and then it's okay. But this was different. This was one of those things that everyone already knows - unless you're 13 - and even then, you've probably figured it out.

But the machine... with all it's funny foreignness, was daunting. What if I pushed the wrong button? Why was there only one machine with multiple pumps? Why was the lowest octane rating the 92 - that was always the highest, not the lowest! What if I somehow pushed the button for the wrong pump, would I then be paying for someone's benzine - someone that wasn't me?

But, I had a solution. I had a husband in this foreign land, one that understood the daunting machine with all it's funny little characters and words. And, he used the car much more than I ever did. And miraculously, the gar always had plenty of 'benzine' for me to consume wherever I needed to go.

So what began as just a fear grew into a bit of a challenge. How long can one live in a foreign land before one pumps their own gas?

Answer: 2 years and 11 months.

I have broken the benzine barrier and lived to tell about it. I pushed all the right buttons; I pumped the liquid gold...

Today's price after conversion = $6.68/gallon, but we prefer not to think in conversions. Instead we celebrate the fact that Benzine in Herning is only 8.95 Kr/Liter whereas the Benzine in Karup is 9.65 Kr/Liter - SCORE!

I did make a tiny fool of myself while returning the nozzle to it's holder but it would be impossible to explain. I figured it out and then scurried back to the car.

I no longer fear the machine. (okay, maybe just a little)
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