Thursday, December 29, 2005

you vill shovel ze snow und you vill like it!

(Thank you all for your very kind comments in my previous post. I'm trying to stay positive and I'm sure everything will turn out for the best somehow or other.)

We got hit by a bit of a snowstorm last night. Not as bad as some parts of the country, but enough to cover everything again. And in Germany a covering of snow means shoveling and sanding the walkway to your house and a metre-wide strip of the street or sidewalk in front of your property before 7 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. on the weekends. Not because you're a nice person, but because it's the law. So I was out there at (ahem) 10 a.m. this morning shoveling as if my life depended on it. I have no idea what the punishment is for not doing it, but I'm sure it's not pretty.

For the past several years, a client of the company Mr. M works at has been offering free Christmas trees to X-Company employees. Because we use an artificial tree inside (evergreens make me itch) we put the real tree outside and decorate it for our feathered friends with apples, seeds and nuts. The birds really seem to like it.

This is what it looked like yesterday before the snowstorm.

And this was the tree this morning.

I'm using this photo as my Christmas/New Years picture of the boys because, no, I still haven't sent out Christmas cards. I've never sent them in time before, so why should I start now? It would only upset people.

Despite the sniffling and coughing going on around here, the kids got out for a bit, doing some sledding and throwing snowballs at each other.

What are big brothers for?

This little ivy-covered nesting house sits in our cherry tree. I thought it looked sweet with just a dusting of snow.


At December 30, 2005 12:27 a.m., Blogger Dixie said...

You know, I've always gotten out of snow shoveling since I've lived in Germany. When I first moved here everyone in our building was on a rotating schedule for snow clearing/outdoor cleanup and snow never fell when it was our week. Then we switched to paying extra in our rent to pay for cleaning the hallways and for snow removal.

Good thing too because I'm from Mississippi, dammit. Dixie don't do snow.

Like what you did with your outdoor Christmas tree.

At December 30, 2005 12:35 a.m., Blogger melusina said...

Ugh, I can't believe that is the law! Does it get enforced much?

I like snow, but HAVING to shovel would make me like it just a bit less.

At December 30, 2005 1:07 a.m., Blogger christina said...

Dixie - wow, way to go getting out of it until the problem solved itself. :-)

Melusina - I don't know how much they enforce it, but if someone slips and falls on your property or in front of your house because you haven't done your duty, you'd get fined, I think. We once had a snippy note from our mailman telling us he wasn't happy with our shoveling.:-S

At December 30, 2005 1:14 a.m., Blogger euro-trac said...

Lovely outdoor tree!
Happy New Year to you and all of your family!

At December 30, 2005 2:05 a.m., Blogger Cathy said...

Great photos. Great idea about the outdoor tree. I might do that next year. We have no snow right now and would love to have a nice storm. Only one, though. And then summer can come any time.

At December 30, 2005 2:40 a.m., Anonymous lillian said...

right now I wouldn't even mind shoveling snow lol.. only because there isn't a chance in the world I would HAVE to :-)

At December 30, 2005 3:19 a.m., Blogger Philip said...

No snow here. Wore shorts today . . .

Nice pics

At December 30, 2005 8:33 a.m., Anonymous J.Doe said...

When I lived in New Jersey, USA it was also 'the law' that you had to shovel the sidewalk infront of your house because if someone slipped you could be liable blah blah blah, but I remember that many people did not shovel at all (a small minority), and I never saw them hauled off to jail or have to pay a fine.

At December 30, 2005 11:02 a.m., Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

Yeah, well, we got some mild snow storm on Wednesday...but we didn't get anymore snow ever since.

BTW, I've done my first swatch with CABLES!!!!!!!!

Wünsche Dir und Deiner Familie einen guten Rutsch ins 2006!

At December 30, 2005 11:07 a.m., Blogger christina said...

trac - thanks! Happy New Year to you too!

Cathy - yup, it's kind of a toss up between wanting more snow and wanting summer to be here tomorrow. The tree really attracts all kinds of birds (and cats looking for a quick snack!)

lillian - When you're actually shoveling it's not that bad, it's just the thought of having to leave the warm house to do it that's not much fun.

Philip - shorts are sounding really good right about now.

J.Doe - I don't think they'd send anyone to jail, but I'm pretty sure we'd get a fine if we never did it. That's just the way things work around here.

At December 30, 2005 11:09 a.m., Blogger christina said...

Thanks, Elemm! Wow, you're doing cables now? Maybe this will be a new career for you! :-)

At December 30, 2005 3:14 p.m., Blogger Connie and Rob said...

Found you by way of Cathy, (Here I go again..).

I think it was such a wonderful idea for you to make a tree just for the birds. Even though they probably never send a note I wanted to tell you how nice you are to think of them.

Tough rules on that snow shoveling. If I was your neighbor I could probably tell you what the fine is cause I am terrible at getting the snow cleared.

Stay warm. Take care.

At December 30, 2005 3:58 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Thanks for stopping by, Connie! I guess the birds thank us by hanging around and coming back for more. :-)

At December 30, 2005 4:54 p.m., Anonymous mar said...

Happy New Year from the French Alps. It is snowing right now and I am loving every minute. According to Mr Mar there is no fine if you don't shovel, but to his knowledge you are liable if somebody falls down because you haven't...Happy shoveling and all the best for 2006!

At December 30, 2005 6:02 p.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

I love the pic of the boys. I don't think I've really ever seen a pic of them until today so it was a nice treat for me. I think you've said they are 9 and 12 but I don't want to be insulting if they are older. But they certainly look mature to me. :)

It seems Vancouver Island has been getting all of the snow. Whistler isn't doing all too bad either. And it's fine with me that North Van really isn't getting much at the moment.

At December 30, 2005 7:50 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Mar - Maybe if I shout loud enough you can hear me in the alps! Happy New Year and happy skiing!

Expat - well they'll turn 10 and 13 in Feb/March, and Boy 12 is very tall for his age - taller than me now and wears a mens size 12 shoe! They just *think*t they're mature, they're really still little boys inside.

At December 31, 2005 2:34 p.m., Blogger Betty said...

Christina, I LOVED seeing pictures of your boys! They are so handsome.. I am thrillllllled.

At December 31, 2005 2:40 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Betty - aww, you're so sweet.

At January 02, 2006 11:16 a.m., Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Just came back from a short trip to Vienna. Hope your Dad recuperates quickly. Nice pics of the boys. Wish you and your family all the best for 2006. Liebe Grüsse aus Basel!


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