Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Being a kid in the summertime is a wonderful thing. You sleep in, make your own fun, and are generally care free. I love watching the kids make their own summer memories.

I love little feet and the little people they belong to

They never use rain boots for their intended purpose. They always fill them with water and slosh around.

Slosh, slosh, slosh

And then, of course, one must jump and make the water splash out.

Doesn't it look like she is balancing on little icicles?

It really does look fun

See? Don't you want to try?

Anna's turn

notice that there is a constant line for "refills" in the background

happy little clouds

A raincoat completes the outfit

He takes his job  very seriously...

most of the time. Everyone needs a break now and again.

"I finally got a turn with the hose!!"

 On this hot, sunny day, we walked down to the market. The kids are forever asking me to stop at the park. I always say no. Today, I said yes. There is a slide, two swings, and not much else. They quickly tired of that and went exploring down the gravel path. It was in the shade and smelled of damp earth and crunched under my shoes in a most nostalgic way. There was a little wooden bridge that arched in the middle over a tiny creek. The muddy creek was canopied by trees, where eight ducks were bathing and swimming in the same carefree manner of children with nothing to do. Anna managed to slip on the slimy rocks and get her shoe firmly stuck in the muck. Jack pulled her out and that was our cue to actually go pick up our groceries. The walk home was hot, humid, and filled with the kind of whine that one cannot drink. Time for ice cream! With a cone for each kid and maybe one for the mama, we headed up the hill, in a much better mood. Still very sweaty, and don't forget the muddy shoe, I turned the hose on the kids. These are the kind of days that I want to always remember. So here I am, writing it down!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Quoting Cather

"The people have loved miracles for so many hundred years, not as proof or evidence, but because they are the actual flowering of desire. In them the vague worship and devotion of the simple-hearted assumes a form. From being a shapeless longing, it becomes a beautiful image; a dumb rapture becomes a melody that can be remembered and repeated; and the experience of a moment, which might have been a lost ecstasy, is made an actual possession and can be bequeathed to another."

- from "Shadows on the Rock" by Willa Cather

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Yarn Along

I was channeling the little old lady that lives inside me this week and knitted a doily with a crocheted edge. As this is my first attempt, I have some questions for any seasoned doily makers out there.

First, I loved how it looked all blocked on the mats. But after it was dry and I started to remove it, it immediately curled up a bit. Is there anything I should have done to prevent this from happening? I recently bought some antique doilies here in Germany and they seem to have some kind of starch or something because they don't curl up or become misshapen. Is it old age and dirt? I don't know.

As for reading, I made tremendous headway this week. With the temps in the 3 digit category, we took the kids to the village pool. The water was so cold that Peter's lips were as blue as the water after thirty minutes. I took him back to our towels laid out on the grass and wrapped him up, where he fell asleep almost instantly. So for one glorious hour, I sat in the shade of a tree with my son sleeping next to me, reading. I can safely say that I am enjoying Willa Cather's "Shadows on the Rock", though I wish I could read French or that they would translate the French passages.

Joining Ginny, as usual.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Mining Day

In my heart, I truly am a southern gal. And I would like to think that I can handle the heat, as in the hot, hot days of July. But this southern gal is used to having an air conditioned house to return to after braving the summer heat. These past few days definitely bring to mind the sweltering summer days in Tennessee growing up. We did not have air conditioning then, nor do we now. Box fans in the windows and lots of pop-cycles was the preferred method of cooling off way back in the '70's. And things aren't so different here in Germany. We close the shades to keep the sun out, we have fans and pop-cycles. We bought water guns this weekend to have fun and cool off, including our tempers, which seem to have short fuses when the heat rises. With the outdoor temperature at 100 degrees today, and the inside temperature rapidly rising, we needed to get out and get cool.

Today was Mining Day in Imsbach, which is  3km from our own charming village. The flyer stated that we could take a tour of the mine and there would be food and activities for the kids. So, we climbed into the van and made the short 5 minute drive over there. After paying the small entrance fee, we grabbed some bratwurst and coke and snacked while we waited for our turn in the mine. Then, grabbing some mining hats, we headed to the mine entrance. Oh, my goodness. There was a marvelously cool breeze coming from inside the mine. I could have stayed right there and been perfectly content, but our guide showed up. It was one of the best tours we have taken so far. Fun, interesting, and informative. Emerging from the mine, there were many hands-on booths set up for the kids. All in all, a great day!

A very sweet gentleman carved these little figures. He also gave me his phone number because he has his own little museum nearby where he has more displays like this and he said he would show the kids how to cut into the rocks. I am thinking a great science day is in our future.

copper ore inside the mine

They built this adobe oven specifically for Mining Day. Here they are breaking it open to show how the ore melted down.

"Panning" for minerals. Each bucket we purchased for them to sift through had a guaranteed five rocks in it. I will not tell you how many buckets were bought. Let's just say we spent lots of time under this tent.

Farmland between villages

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Yarn Along

Sometimes what seems like a good idea just isn't.

I thought that using a sport weight yarn to knit a bunny would make it easier on my hands. After all, I usually am knitting with worsted yarn and US2 needles. It makes a nice tight fabric for stuffing bunnies. I figured the little bunny would just be a little smaller.

Sometimes the results are surprising.

Not only was the bunny not smaller, she just kept expanding but not holding her shape. (which is what no lady ever wants!) So sorry, little bunny! Therese loves her just as she is, which is as it should be.

To make sure my knitting skills were not to blame, I made another bunny with worsted yarn. He is probably the nicest looking bunny to date.

The other experiment was part success, part proof that sometimes it pays to be a little snobby in the yarn department. Not that I am condoning snobbery in other parts of life. Though when I think on it, quality ingredients in the kitchen are a must as well.

I had a rather vast quantity of blue acrylic yarn that I probably should have just donated or given away, but I tried making a shawl, knowing that it probably would not have the drape I wanted. It is pretty, but I was right, it is scratchy and does not drape nicely. It does keep me warm on cool mornings while sitting out on the patio with my morning coffee. The pattern can be found here on Ravelry.

I started reading 'Shadows on the Rock' by Willa Cather. I like her other stories, so I suspect that I will like this one too.

Joining Ginny, as usual.