Quiet homebody.

  • Fort Lee,  Hikes

    James River National Wildlife Refuge

    For most military folks who have been stationed in Deutschland, nothing compares to Deutschland.  Heading out every weekend to hike another 1,000 year old castle ruin.  Heck, heading out after dinner to hike a neighborhood 1,000 caste ruin before the sun sets!  Ahh, to be back in my little village nestled below Kallmunz. But we are here now in Fort Lee, Virginia.   And I explained to the children, while we may not have thousands of years of history surrounding us, we do have unbelievable Civil War sites.  As for the natural surroundings, the flatness of eastern Virginia is a little hard for this Vermonter.  I catch myself when I call…

  • Fort Lee

    Fall Festival at Richlands Dairy Farm

    Forty-two minutes. Far enough away to feel you are leaving Fort Lee behind and getting out in the country but close enough you wont think twice about loading the kids in the car.  So why not head out to the last Fall Festival weekend at Richlands Dairy Farm in Blackstone, Virginia? Most of us first learned about Richlands in summer 2021 when a video of one of the owners went viral on social media.  The farm and associated businesses are owned and run by a brother and his wife, a sister and their parents.  The brother spoke in the video of possibly losing their homes or farm due to the…

  • Fort Lee

    Military Discounts

    Below is a partial list of businesses, some offering discounts for military families and some that do not. Please note those businesses listed as not offering a military discount is not done to shame the business but simply to educate military families when deciding where to spend their limited financial resources.  If we simply failed to list the business it would leave you wondering if they did not do a military discount or we simply didn’t know if they did a military discount.  By including them on this list, we can definitively state whether they offer a discount. Please remember discounts for military families should never be expected but appreciated…

  • Germany,  Hohenfels Day Trip

    Playground Day

    The request was simple.  Eva, the 10 year old, LOVES playgrounds and asked if we could spend one entire day of school spring break visiting playgrounds in the area.  Unlike America where life goes on as usual during the COVID-19 pandemic, here in Deutschland the lockdown continues in some fashion now in its 14th month.  And rather than discuss loosening restrictions, national and regional leaders are strategizing how to tighten the restrictions.  With this background we set out to do one activity that was initially banned in Deutschland early in the pandemic lockdown but was now allowed, visit playgrounds. Our first stop was Schwaighausen which is a ten minute drive…

  • Army Wife Network Blog

    What I Will NOT Miss About Germany

    Author’s note: As I near the end of my time living in Germany while my wife serves in the United States Army, this is part I of a III part series examining my thoughts and feelings as I prepare to head back to America and leave Germany behind. Part I examines what I will not miss about Germany. Part II examines what I will miss about Germany. Part III examines what I’ve learned during my time in Germany. My wife Jules, myself, and our three children Hunter (12), Eva (10), and Acadia (8) were scheduled to be stationed in Germany for three years, and the way my wife’s Army career was looking, it was possible we could…

  • Army Wife Network Blog

    Choosing Battle Lines

    Have you felt as if battle lines were drawn on the virtual learning front with your children over the past year?  I have some thoughts on that, but first, how I got there. Having left Facebook several years ago due to the incivility that was present (how tame those days were), I eventually found my way back to the social media platform. It wasn’t due to FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).  It wasn’t because I regretted my decision. Hardly. No, it was because the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, gymnastics, and a host of youth sports teams only communicated to families through Facebook. Technically, I didn’t have to rejoin Facebook. It would…

  • Germany,  Hohenfels Day Trip

    Burg Loch

    When your child has a birthday in the era of COVID-19, celebration options are limited. What a difference a year makes. This time last year we were celebrating Hunter’s eleventh birthday in Ireland. You can read all about that adventure here. For his twelfth birthday Hunter requested castle hikes–our family’s number one ‘travel’ adventure during lockdown. For this day I put two castles on the list that cumulatively were within 30 minutes of our home. For those with children you know how much better the moods are when the trip is shorter so that was a bonus. Our first stop was an urban castle remnant in Laaber. From there we…

  • Germany,  Hohenfels Day Trip

    Burgruine Sengersberg

    The weather forecast was cold with a chance for freezing rain, sleet, or snow but later in the day. What a great opportunity to get out before the bad weather set in. Jules hadn’t been able to join the kids and I on the last couple of castle hikes but even with the downbeat weather she was excited to get out and explore our backyard.  One of the permissible things allowed under Deutschland’s COVID lockdown–outdoor exercise. Burgruine Sengersberg was our third castle stop of the afternoon and I was hoping to visit one additional castle ruin before hitting up our favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Nittenau.  Turns out, this would be…

  • Army Wife Network Blog

    Empower Yourself Through Finance

    From a young age I have loved numbers. I suspect this passion for numbers contributed to my interest in finance. By the time I turned 15 and had my first W-2 job working as a dishwasher, I was ready to start investing in the stock market. What a different world it was back in 1987. Back then, there was no discount broker, no online, no internet. There were only full service brokers where you had to stop by your broker’s office or phone them and place your order that came with a commission usually in the $30-50 range per trade. My first investment was made on Oct. 19, 1987, a…

  • Germany,  Hohenfels Day Trip

    Burgruine Rossstein

    Nestled in the hills a stone’s throw from the American enclave of Hohenberg lies Burgruine Rossstein.  We chose to visit these castle ruins on a sunny, snow covered Sunday afternoon because they were a short 25 minute drive from our home. If you are coming from Hohenberg, it is just a 13 minute drive.  From Hohenfels the drive is 25 minutes and from little America one and two in Parsberg and Velburg, just 35 minutes. Hiking and visiting places of interest in Deutschland is very different than in the United States.  There is normally no designated trailhead nor trailhead parking.  This makes perfect sense as the Deutsche exercise in a…