Sunday, September 18, 2011

Back Home Again

Surprise! Not only am I back here in Michelau

but I am actually posting something here after months of inactivity.

The month of August was spent visiting friends and family in Pennsylvania, Texas, and Colorado. I had a great time. Thanks to all of you who shared your time with us and made our time as memorable as possible. I do hope to write about those moments and post pictures here. In the meantime, here's a little about what we've been doing since getting over the jet-lag.

First, let me say this. If you leave home for four weeks, you are bound to return to a yard full of high grass and a garden full of weeds and rotten tomatoes. Those tomatoes could have been enjoyed by neighbors if they weren't also away on their vacations.  However, we did manage to collect almost a large bowl full of red, ripe tomatoes, several yellow squash, a red pepper, and a few zucchini which could have been used as self-defense clubs on our first day home (and lots more since).

So, one of the things we've been doing is preparing a variety of zucchini meals-- feta and tomato baked zucchini, zucchini and cheese omelets... I've got a whole book of zucchini recipes to keep us going. Next week I'll be making spicy sesame-zucchini stir fry and also a zucchini cake. So, if you've got some good zucchini recipes, please share. We love trying new things.

We also picked our first corn which we enjoyed with pork and veggies from the grill. Our basil had flowered but seems to be doing better now and the celery is growing well. One thing that didn't fair well were our grape saplings in the vineyard. They look pretty miserable. We're hoping they bounce back. On the other hand, the grapes in the garden look and taste great.

Next week we'll need to pick some apples. Our tree is full of them. Looks like we'll be making apple sauce, apple muffins, apple galette, Apfelstreudel...


Another thing we've been doing was preparing for the beginning of school. Katarina just finished her first week which had it's surprises and disappointments. She has two teachers she is definitely not fond of, but she is more than happy with her homeroom teacher, Mr. Stammler, who is also her teacher for math, geography and biology.

Here she is on the first day of school.

The class also held elections for Klassensprecher (class president). There are always two--one boy and one girl.  Katarina enjoyed doing it last year and decided not to run (even though I know she wanted to but wanted to give someone else the chance to do it). As it turns out, the procedure was a bit different this time around. Instead of people campaigning, classmates were told to elect people. They were then give a few minutes to accept or decline and say a few words. Katarina was elected so she accepted...and WON. This year a different boy won. So there is some constant, some change.  Seventh grade is a tough year, but we are off to a good start and hope it goes well. One of her assignments was to write an essay about her favorite day of summer vacation. She wrote about her day in Austin with my cousin Bob and his family. I will DEFINITELY be blogging about that at some point in the next month.

Other than that, we've just been trying to relax and enjoy things. The other day Stefan came home and said "Wanna get some flowers?" So, we went off to our favorite field. It is a place where you can stop and pick your own flowers. I've written about it on my other blog (click here).  This time instead of daffodils and tulips there were sunflowers

and gladioles in all different colors.

Aren't these gorgeous!

And there were red ones

and a bunch of other colors to choose from. It was so hard to decide.

Katarina went along and picked a few to put in her bedroom.


And I was busy snapping pictures. Here is one of my favorites.

The rain spoiled our plans today, so I guess I will just sit inside, write a bit, bake a cake and look at the  bouquet of gladioles. (Thanks, Stefan.)  Eventually, I will get around to those vacations posts. So stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Not so short "short note"

Hi, everyone! I can't believe how long it has been since I posted here--4 months. In the meantime, I have been

1) posting on my other blogs: where I discuss anything language/literary/writing related and which is where I post photos and little thoughts and observations called "stones".

2) spending time with family and friends. My in-laws were here for 4 weeks in May/June.

3) spending lots of time a various doctors for health issues I might discuss here at a later time

4) just basically chillin' (reading, writing, taking pictures, going for bike rides/walks, local events, doing a blog challenge, submitting material, taking part in the July River of Stones, playing with our pet, and whatever else came up along the way)

While I was busy doing all these other things, I got a nice blog award from E.J. Wesley. He posted some great material at his blog, The Open Vein, during the A to Z Blogging Challenge (which I also took part in) in April. You can visit The Open Vein here.  In any case, here it is--my no strings attached Real Trooper Award for supporting other bloggers during the challenge.

Thanks, E.J.

I also received this award for my work in the blog challenge.

Oops! That's not the correct one but I can't find it!!! It seems to be lost in the virtual world somewhere. In any case, thank you to Arlee Bird and the other blog challenge organizers. I'll be back in 2012.

I also received these awards.

Plus, I won a book from Nicole Ducleroir in the Sneaky Red Sock Giveaway contests on her blog One Significant Moment at a Time.  Thank you, Nicole.

Oh, I almost forgot. One of my blog posts was featured in the Language/Place Blog Carnival. You can read it here.

I received all these awards, posted once in May and then disappeared until July 1 when I posted a few stones. During that time, I received a few messages from followers (not family--people I only know in the blogging world) asking "Hey, what happened to you? I miss reading your posts." or "Where have you been? Everything okay?"  How sweet. If you were one of these people, thank you for checking in on me. I am okay and plan to get back to blogging on a more regular basis once again in September. Until then I will be taking a trip to the states to visit family and friends and to show my daughter a bit more of the land where she was born.  So, be patient. I'll be back again soon.

In the meantime, you can fill this post up with comments. If you are a blogger, tell me what keeps you from blogging, what helps you to blog regularly (LOL...sounds like a blogging laxative :-) or whatever else you want to say. Just post something in the comments section. I don't care if you tell me what you ate for breakfast. Just make me happy and post something. Just. DO. IT.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Long Time No Write

I started this blog in December with the intention of keeping friends and family updated with the goings-on in my life and to spotlight a bit of what it is like to live in Germany. I have fallen short of that. It is already March and I am just sitting down to write a post. Sometimes life just got in the way. Other times I was busy working on my other blogs. What other blogs? Well, in January author Fiona Robyn held a challenge called A River of Stones and I took part. The challenge: to notice one thing properly every day during January 2011 and write it down. These polished observations are called "stones" They can be just a sentence or a short paragraph. A haiku or poem. Whatever one wants. (A new blog was started to house my stones.) So, I know what you are thinking...why do it? As Fiona says, "Choosing something to write about every day will help you to connect to yourself, with others, and with the world. It will help you love everything you see--the light and the dark, the happy and the sad, the beautiful and the ugly." It's true. On a cold winter morning I found myself admiring the frost covered grass or the gently beauty of newborn pussy willow. Over 350 people across the world took part and a book has now been made with selected stones. One of mine is included and the book can be bought at

Of course, many other things happened in January---New Year's Eve and my 18th wedding anniversary, among other things. At the moment I can't remember all the events. And February brought birthdays, Fasching parades and Weiberfasching. It also marked the start of yet another blog which is more language/literary based. On my current post you can read about another wonderful event--the Lesewettbewerb in which Katarina took part.

Also, one of my pieces was featured on Writing in Wonderland. Check it out here.

I hope to add a post about Fasching in the next few days with some photographs. We currently have a week off from school so I figured there'd be time to get caught up...but you know how that goes. One just fills the time with extra tasks. So no promises on that. In the meantime I thought it best to at least write something here to let you all know I am still alive and intend to get back to this blog soon.

Now I am off to do one of those important 6 to 8 hour tasks...sleeping. Good night, everyone!