About Me

I’m Julie.

Volker and Julie

I’m the chick.  The handsome guy is my husband, Volker.  I was raised in a tiny town exploring creek beds and fishing holes in Northeast Oklahoma.  He was raised in a large metro area in Germany exploring museums and all of Europe.  It’s almost the same.  Ten years ago he loaded up the truck and moved to Bentonville;  Arkansas, that is, swimming pools and Wal-Mart.

This is our daughter, Rachel (technically, she’s Volker’s step-daughter but don’t tell him that).  She’s laughing.

Rachel Laughing

She laughs a lot.

I have three sisters and two brothers.  My youngest brother died in a car accident in 1998.  The other one just finished a tour in Afghanistan.  Two of my sisters are twins and my oldest sister is a princess.

I’m the middle sister.  My mother said I was often overlooked, between Paula the princess and the wonder twins, so she gave me extra attention.  Suck it, sisters!  I totally worked it.

Sisters and Cygen

Full disclosure:  I have a few diseases.  I was diagnosed with SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) in 1991 and treated for that until 2005 when Mayo Clinic decided that I didn’t have SLE but a giant list of other ailments, including but not limited to:  Fibromyalgia, undetermined autoimmune disease (Really!?), chronic migraines, IBS, degenerative arthritis, allergies, asthma, and general irritability toward doctors.  Now, my rheumatologist calls it Lupus again – medicine is a practice, right?  I take a billion pills a day and spend most of my time in bed.  Twice a year I get a super powered steroid shot and pretend I’m almost normal for a month or so – Christmas and June-ish.  Yay modern medicine.

That’s it in a nutshell.  This blog is random rants about travel, culture clashes, illness, family, goofy crap.  OH, I almost forgot…my very German, 77 year-old, super human, very proper mother-in-law lives with us.

She grabbed this hat to walk the dogs because it was raining.  I immediately snapped a photo.


She really likes to iron, knit, and judge me.  You’re gonna love her.