Monday, July 30, 2007

we like to plan ahead

The 2007 Whiney Expat Blogger in Germany Meet-Up is just around the corner so please, please, please pop over to J's blog and get your location vote in if you're thinking about attending. Right now it seems to be a toss up between Nürnberg (Nuremberg), Köln (Cologne) and Dresden (Dresden) but the tables could turn at any time. No date set as of yet, some time between September and November is a good bet. Once the location has been decided upon (voting closes on August 6!!), we can go from there.

The two previous meet-ups in Marburg and Bonn were a hoot. You absolutely don't have to be living in Germany to attend. All are welcome. You can bring your spouse/significant other and/or your kids. You can stay as long as you like or leave after an hour. You can be bright and bubbly and tell everyone how much you looooove being and expat or you can be cranky and bitter and whine the whole time. You can talk non-stop at the top of your voice or sit in a corner nursing your drink and quietly observing your fellow expats. As you can see, it's a no pressure event.

To help you get your bearings, here's a handy dandy map of Germany that I stole from J.



We went from 6 participants in 2005 to 15 in 2006. Let's see how many people we can get to show up this year!

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

berry good

It's berry season now and we got a hold of some fat fresh blueberries during the week. After eating our fill out of hand, I used the rest to make this simple cheesecake type dessert. It looks quite rich but only has 227 calories and 6 g of fat per serving so you can eat a slice or two and still fit into that bikini.






Blueberry Yogurt Flan (from New Light Cooking by Anne Lindsay)

Crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup butter or soft margerine
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw frozen fruit)

Topping:
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups 1% or 2% plain yogurt
1 egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp grated lemon or orange rind
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp icing sugar

1. In food processor or bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, butter, egg whites and vanilla, mixing well. Press into bottom of lightly greased 10-inch springform or tart pan; sprinkle evenly with blueberries.

2. Topping: In bowl, sprinkle flour over yogurt. Add egg, sugar, lemond rind and vanilla; mix until smooth. Pour over blueberries.

3. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 60 to 70 minutes or until crust is golden. Serve warm or cold. If desired, sift icing sugar over top just before serving. Makes 12 servings. Can be made ahead, covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.

Varations: substitute 2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) cranberries OR 3 cups fresh or one 10 oz. (300 g) package individually frozen raspberries.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

have I trained him well or what?

We had a sign of life from our little camping sweetheart today. Not only did he write us a postcard, he wrote it in English! That pleases me no end since I am, after all, the only English speaker in his life.

Here's what he wrote. I have left spelling and punctuation intact.


Hi Mummy, Boy14 and Papa

I got your Card and i loved it. Im fine and its so much fun! I think the picture is the place where we went swimming! yesterday I like the fodd food! Today they had Bratwurst and smashed patatoes.

love, Boy11



Well, it sounds like things are going just fine, doesn't it? I'm really happy that he's enjoying it, I kind of had a feeling he would.

The picture on the front of the card is the Gartower See, a lake only a short bike ride away from the camp.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

happy campers all around

Whoo, it's been a week, I guess I should blog something, huh? Just been busy, busy, busy. Hard to say with what, exactly, but things have calmed down a little now and I can catch up on reading all the blogs I've missed.

Boy11 has been at summer camp since Sunday afternoon. It's a 2 1/2 hour drive each way which we'll repeat when we pick him up on August 5. He was a bit (OK, a lot) nervous before we got there, but started to relax when he met up with his friends and saw how things were going to be. The kids come from all over but it turns out there are seven campers and four counsellors from our little town this time so it's all just one big happy family.
This is a pretty rustic camp. Just tents for the kids and the most basic amenities. There's a field and a pond and a teensy little town close to the Elbe River. That's all. Everyone seems to have a good time, though, and Boy14 loved it the two years he attended. We're hoping we're going to have another happy camper on our hands in two weeks time.



snazzy sign



laying the foundation



3 busy beavers getting that tent up



This is what you look like when you didn't sleep a wink on Saturday night and still aren't quite sure if this was a good idea



the boys' side of the field



Part of the camp's postal address is Hinterm Kirchgarten - "behind the church garden", because that's just where it is. And the mail always gets through.



the kitchen, aka The Gourmet Temple



from left to right: kitchen, laundry room, dining room



a clay oven Boy14 says they built and baked bread in when he last attended camp in 2005

************************************************

In other excitement, my dear friend and part-time expat Ginnie and her partner Donica made a suprise visit to Hannover on the weekend so Ginnie and I got to chat over coffee and lunch on Monday and catch up on all the news on both sides of the pond.

And while I was downtown on Monday I bought the new Harry Potter book at Boy14's urging. And boy am I glad I did. If the new book hadn't come out last week I would have never found the very valuable (well, only to me in a sentimental way) bookmark that I had been looking for for absolutely ages and was convinced was lost forever. Today it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn't even finished the previous HP book. I know, shame on me. I'm so uncool. When I searched our bookshelves, not only did I find the book but also my beloved bookmark nestled sweetly between the pages. Yay! I'm a happy camper too.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

enter Alice Cooper, stage left

As Alice would say - school's OUT for summer!

You know how it goes: no more pencils, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks. Well, at least until August 30 when everything starts up again.

Phew. It's been a long, long school year. At 10:30 a.m. this morning with the handing out of year-end report cards, Boy11 and Boy14 were officially promoted to the 6th and 9th grades respectively. Not that we didn't think they would make it, but this is a tough school and there is much room for improvement. Isn't there always, though? You never stop learning, right?

Both kids came home and crashed out onto their beds for a brief nap before my English friend F and her 4-yr-old son came over for lunch. I had forgotten how exhausting such a little guy can be. I think I'm the one who needs a nap now.

On Sunday Boy11 heads off to summer camp for the first time. Two weeks of non-stop fun, sleeping in a tent with an old pal he's known since kindergarten and doing all sorts of interesting stuff. And how does Boy14 (who is too old for that particular camp and will mostly be hanging out at home this summer) feel about his kid brother being away for fourteen whole days? Turning cartwheels doesn't even begin to describe it. They are not always on the best of terms and as lovable as he is, Boy11 can be extremely annoying at times, especially if you're 14 and just want to be left alone, dammit.

For the rest of the week I'll be making lists, doing laundry and packing, packing, packing. Good thing that sewing name tags into people's underwear has always been one of my favourite pastimes. [Edited to add] NOT!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

things are heating up around here

Talk about hot and steamy! We went from about 17°C on Friday up to about 30°C on Saturday and right now it's 34°C in the shade. Ugh. The kids had Hitzefrei (heat free) today and got out of school an hour early. That's how hot it is. Thank goodness for my new best friend.



We don't have air conditioning, but we do have plenty of electric fans all over the house, including ceiling fans in the upstairs rooms where it gets the hottest, so we manage to keep our cool.

I don't even want to know how many people, in typically German fashion, suffered a Kreislaufzusammenbruch on the weekend. I didn't, but I still must be in danger of being assimilated because after reading the Biowetter report in the newspaper, I awoke with a mother of a headache on Saturday morning. It still lingers on today but I've gotten it down to a dull roar. The only upside of having frequent headaches is that you learn to ignore them and get on with it.

And get on with it we did. As luck would have it, the father-in-law chose to be born on July 15 and we were all expected at high noon to help him celebrate his 78th birthday. Wheee. You know that saying "It's hard to teach an old dog new tricks"? Well, I'd say it's also hard to teach old Germans new tricks. Same procedure as every year: tiny, stuffy 4th floor apartment, no elevator, piping hot midday meal, less than congenial birthday boy and the windows MUST NOT be opened under any circumstances. You get the picture. Fortunately Opa was eager to commence his afternoon nap so we didn't have to stay too long and got to take some cake home with us. Party on.

After a carnivorous barbeque on Saturday and plenty of meat for lunch on Sunday, I decided to declare the place a bratwurst-free zone Sunday evening and whipped up a cool finger food dinner.


goat cheese toasts with walnuts, honey and fresh rosemary



shrimp and mozzarella crostini with a balsamic vinegar dressing

And guess who needs to go out into the searing heat right now? I do. I've been invited to one of those Tupperware/jewelry/candle/racy lingerie/flourescent sex toy-type parties tonight at our neighbour's and need to buy some flowers for her. The merchandise in question this evening is anything but hot, unfortunately. We'll get to look at a selection of overpriced cleaning products. Whooo, doesn't that sound exciting? I'm usually pretty resistant to this type of sales pitch, but I'm sure I'll end up buying something or other because our neighbour is such a sweetheart.

So it's off the the market and back home again for a cold shower. Hope I don't melt into a puddle on the way.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

101 more things you didn't need to know

I don't have a single thing to write about today that wouldn't take a huge amount of effort, so I'm stealing this 101 Questions... Answered meme from Kim. Thanks, Kim!

1. How many keys are on your keychain?

Six.

2. What curse word do you use the most?

I guess the "F" word, but only under my breath and NEVER in public.

3. Do you own an iPod?

Yes, but I don't use it enough. The ear buds hurt my ears.

4. What time is your alarm clock set for?

5:55 a.m.

5. How many suitcases do you own?

Two of my own. As a family I guess we have about 10.

6. Do you wear flip–flops even when it’s cold outside?

Yes. Drives the Germany crazy.

7. Where do you buy your groceries from?

Usually from one of our two local supermarkets.

8. Would you rather take the picture or be in the picture?

Take pictures. There are very few people who've been able to take a decent picture of me.

9. What was the last movie you watched?

Umm...You've Got Mail (have I mentioned how much I love Tom Hanks?)

10. Do any of your friends have children?

Many of them do.

11. If you won the lottery, what’s the first thing you would buy?

A house in West Vancouver and four plane tickets.

12. Has anyone ever called you lazy?

Often.

13. Do you ever take medication to help you fall asleep faster?

No, even though I do have trouble falling and staying asleep.

14. What CD is currently in your CD player?

"Creative Visualization Meditations"

15. Do you prefer regular or chocolate milk?

Can't decide. I love both.

16. Has anyone told you a secret this week?

No, dammit!

17. When was the last time someone hit on you?

Several years ago, I guess.

18. What did you have for dinner?

We had lasagne last night.

19. Do you wear hoodies often?

Yes, quite often. They make me look sporty!

20. Can you whistle?

Yes, but I think I look silly while I'm doing it.

21. Have you ever participated in a protest?

Nope.

22. Who was the last person to call you?

Our youngest called me from the bus stop today on his way home to say that he was very hungry and could I please have lunch ready right away.

23. What is your favorite ride at an amusement park?

I don't do amusement parks and I especially don't do rides, but I did kind of like the Tilt-A-Whirl when I was a kid.

24. Do you think people talk about you behind your back?

In this town? Are you kidding? I KNOW people talk about me behind my back.

25. What area code are you in right now?

15109. Call me.

26. Did you watch cartoons as a child?

You betcha. Way more than was probably good for me.

27. How big is your local mall?

Mall? What mall?

28. How many siblings do you have?

Two younger brothers.

29. Are you shy around the opposite sex?

Not really. Depends on what mood I'm in and how attractive the opposite sex is

30. What is your biggest regret?

Classified information.

31. When was the last time you laughed so hard your sides hurt.

I read something really funny yesterday on the internet and almost bust a gut.

32. What movie do you know every line to?

Ferris Bueller's Day Off .

33. Do you own any band t–shirts?

No.

34. When was your last plane ride?

August 2006.

35. How many chairs are at your dining room table?

Four or six depending on how many leaves are in the table at the time.

36. Do you read for fun?

Oh yes!

37. Can you speak any languages other than English?

German, a smattering of French and even less Spanish.

38. Do you do your own dishes?

Whatever the dishwasher can't handle.

39. What color is your bedroom painted?


Boring ol' white. That'll be changing soon.

40. Have you ever cried in public?


Plenty.

41. Do you have a desktop computer or a laptop?

Both. The laptop is new and I still prefer the desktop for now.

42. Which do you make, wishes or plans?


Wishes for now.

43. Are you always trying to learn new things?

Every minute of the day. Use it or lose it, I say.

44. Do you shower on a daily basis?

Sometimes even twice a day!

45. Are you currently wanting any piercings or tattoos?


Never have, never will. Very unappealing to me.

46. Do you believe that the guy should pay on the first date?

If he was the one doing the inviting then yes.

47. Can you skip rocks?

Not very well.

48. Have you ever been to Jamaica?

No.

49. What to snack on at the movie theaters?

Popcorn and Diet Pepsi/Coke

50. Who was your favorite teacher?

Mrs. Hussein, 5th grade.

51. Have you ever dated someone out of your race?


My boyfriend in kindergarten was Chinese. His mom used to make us lunch at his house all the time.

52. What is the weather like?


Changeable.

53. Would you ever date someone covered in tattoos?

Nooooooo.

54. Do you have an online journal?

You're looking at it.

55. What was your favorite class in high school?

Latin.

56. Do you enjoy traveling via airplanes?

Not really. For me they're just a way of getting somewhere. I get airsick so I have to knock myself out with travel sickness medication and miss all the fun.

57. What personality trait is a must–have in your preferred gender?

Empathy.

58. Have you ever been attracted to someone physically unattractive?

I've been attracted to people who aren't conventionally physically attractive, yes, but it's all very subjective, isn't it?

59. When was the last time you slept on the floor?

1981??

60. What is your favorite alcoholic drink?

Bloody Caesar

61. Does your closest Starbucks have a drive–thru?

Starbucks? What Starbucks?

62. Do you like your living arrangement?

Sure. A bigger house (in a different country!) would be great, but we're comfortable here and the neighbourhood is nice and quiet.

63. What is your mother’s hometown?

Depends what you mean by hometown. She was born in Rome, Italy.

64. How many hours of sleep do you need to function?

I can function on 4 but I do way better with 7 or 8.

65. Do you eat breakfast daily?


I try to but sometimes I forget.

66. What was the last thing to scare you?


Weird noises outside the other night.

67. Are your days full and fast–paced?

No, and I like it that way.

68. Did you ever get in trouble for talking in class?

Absolutely. Got sent out into the hall all the time in second grade.

69. What is your favorite fruit?

Blackberries, raspberries etc.

70. Do you pay attention to calories on the back of packages?


Always. Doesn't seem to help, though.

71. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?

45

72. Are you picky about spelling and grammar?

Yes, although I frequently miss my own mistakes.

73. Do you believe in life on other planets?

Sure, why should we be the only ones?

74. Have you ever been to Six Flags?

I have no idea where that is.

75. Who was the last person to piss you off?

My husband. Don't worry, it didn't last long.

76. Do you believe that God has a gender?

This question presumes a belief in God, doesn't it?

77. What was the last thing you ate?

Kaiserschmarrn

78. Do you get along better with the same or opposite sex?

Sometimes I think I get along better with men. They're not as complicated.

79. What did you dress up as for your first Halloween?

Princess. Plastic mask, pink stretch pants, brown Oxford shoes.

80. How did your parents pick your name?

I don't know. I guess they wanted something German. (I've been using my middle name since I was in my 20's)

81. Do you like mustard?

Mmmm...mustard, but only in small doses.

82. What do you tell yourself when times get hard?

You create your own reality, only YOU can change it.

83. Would you ever sky dive?

NO!

84. Do you sleep on your side, tummy, or back?

All of the above. I'm a restless sleeper.

85. What character from a movie most reminds you of yourself?

I really couldn't say.

86. Have you ever bid for something on ebay?

Quite often.

87. Do you enjoy giving hugs?

Yes.

88. Would you consider yourself to be fashionable?

Not really. I'm not very good at putting together outfits and usually just wear whatever's clean.

89. Do you own a digital camera?

Two.

90. If someone you had no interest in dating expressed interest in dating you, how would you feel?

Like I had been sending out the wrong signals.

91. What celebrities have you been compared to?

Jane Fonda. Hee.

92. Who is your favorite Star Wars character?

Luke.

93. Does it annoy you when someone says they’ll call but never do?

Yes, but it's no big deal.

94. What books, if any, have made you cry?

Can't think of one specific one right now but there have been many.

95. Do you think you’re attractive?

I suppose I have my moments.

96. What are you allergic to?

Cats, rabbits, horses, guinea pigs, pollen, grasses, latex and nickel.

97. Are you a jealous person?

Sometimes.

98. What’s your opinion on sex without emotional commitment?

If both parties agree, why not?

99. Do you ever feel guilty after eating meat?

No.

100. If you were born the opposite sex, what would your name have been?

I haven't a clue. Possibly Owen or Alan - family names

101. Is it lunch time yet?

Way past. I'm hungry again.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

pills, pals and the introvert challenge

All the little things I had to do last week sucked every last bit of energy out of me and I spent the weekend recharging my batteries. That's what happens when you're an introvert. More about that later.

Last Monday saw me getting up at 5:45 a.m. to get myself and everyone else ready and out the door so I could be on time for my annual thyroid check in downtown Hannover. I really like my doctor, well, as much as you can like someone you only see for 15 minutes once a year. I've been going to her since I moved to Germany and she takes her time and seems to listen to what I have to say, most of the time anyway.

First came the blood test and then a bit of a wait to see the doctor because she is always Very Very Busy. About 5 minutes into my appointment her cell phone rang. She excused herself to answer it and started giving instructions to some unidentified person about where to find the frozen cakes (top shelf of the downstairs freezer if she recalled correctly) and how to set the table for the afternoon (definitely something flowery) and so on and so forth and no, no, she'd hop off the train on the way home from work and attend to that herself. When she finally hung up, I raised my eybrows and give her a bit of a look and she said "Heh. So sorry. It's my birthday today." Wow, doctors are human too! Let's get on with my appointment, shall we?

Doc: Sooooo, how have you been feeling? Your thyroid numbers are fabulous. Every patient's dream, in fact.

Me: Eh, not that great, actually. I recently got diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia and it's going to take many months of supplements to get that back on track. I'm dead on my feet.

Doc: Oh yes, not nice at all, and I'm sure you've read that anemia symptoms can mimic those of hypothyroidism. But I'm pretty positive it's just the anemia that's bothering you right now.

Me: I don't know about that. There are a couple of other things...

Doc: [does ultrasound while I whimper quietly to myself] Hmm, OK, things are looking fine here. [I whine a bit more] Oh, all right! I'll let you increase your medication just a teeeeensy bit. You'll need to get another blood test in 6 weeks at your regular doctor's and we'll see each other next year, OK? And hey, did I mention that it's my birthday? Heeee!

So except for the tiny prick of the needle (I'm one of those people who actually doesn't mind having blood taken - I like to watch!) it was fairly painless and I was out of there in under an hour.

But I had a much more pleasurable reason to be in Hannover that day.

About a month ago I got an e mail from an old friend of mine in Vancouver who I went through high school with. We don't really keep in touch but see each other every two years at the "girls' lunch" my very best friend in West Van always hosts when I'm in town. Then it's just like old times and we catch up on the news. M told me she was coming to Hannover for a few days because her partner has relatives there and she asked if we could possibly get together.

She got into Hannover on the previous Saturday and after a bit of telephone tag which involved a hotel register mix-up and talking to three different people none of whose mother tongue was German or English, we got things all sorted out and arranged to meet downtown around lunchtime on Monday. I talked to her on Sunday and asked her how her first night in her hotel room was.

Her: Well, I HAD planned on sleeping in but got woken up by a marching band going past my window at 4:30 a.m.

Me: Welcome to Germany!

Because she and her partner were coming to Europe anyway, they decided to see a bit more than just Hannover and had spent the first three weeks of their trip touring Italy. Unfortunately they ran into some pretty rude hotel staff and a couple of rip-off artist taxi drivers who made their stay less than enjoyable.

Her: Wow! I LOVE Germany! It's so clean and the people are so friendly. Compared to Italy this is paradise!!

Me: Heh. Well if you say so, but remember, you've only seen about 5 square blocks of the place so far.

M said that after eating Wienerschnitzel at the hotel for a couple of days she was kind of sick of stodgy German food already so we trotted off to Henry's, the old standby which turned out to be exactly the right choice. She took one look at the menu and said "Oh yeah, after all that Italian food a cheeseburger and fries will do me JUST fine!" Nope, nothin' stodgy 'bout that! We Canadians are simple folk.

We filled each other in on what was new and reminisced a bit about the good old days in high school - navy blue crested blazers, knee socks, tartan skirts and all that went along with that. "We are NOT a beach!" our Scottish headmistress used to say when we hitched up those skirts a little too high trying to catch a few rays during lunch break. Ahh, those were the days!

After the required four hours of non-stop gabbing we parted ways and I went home to conk out on the sofa. She still had trips to Hamburg and Amsterdam planned for the week and was eager to absorb as much European culture as possible. I sure hope the Dutch treated her well.

Tuesday I had a hair appointment (small talk and chit chat) and my final class for the year with the little monkeys at the school library (yelling and shushing).

Wednesday was a day of rest for me, thank goodness, although I did have to clean the damn house. My boys all headed off to the Schützenfest in the afternoon and brought back this photo of themselves having just tons of fun. Mr. M has repeatedly told me that he doesn't want his picture plastered all over the internet so I must respect his wishes.




Thursday morning the elementary school principal hosted a two hour "thank you" breakfast for the library volunteers. 15 people, lots of small talk and chit chat.

Thursday evening we attended a birthday dinner for Mr. M's 17 yr old goddaughter. 20 people, even more small talk and chit chat.

Friday afternoon was a three hour end-of-year potluck buffet for Boy11's class. Students, parents and teacher included. Masses of people, small talk and chit chat like you wouldn't believe. Gahhhhhh.

So here comes the introverted part - by Friday evening I was sooooo tired of small talking and chit chatting that all I wanted to do was take to my bed and sleep for three days.

It's not that I don't like people, I really do. They just exhaust me, that's all. Even if I think you're the cat's pyjamas, you STILL might exhaust me. Don't take it personally. It's not you, it's me. I'm an introvert.

Here's an informative article entitled Caring for Your Introvert. Read it and you'll understand where I'm coming from.

This week I have nothing going on. Nix. Null. Nada. And that suits me JUST FINE, thank you very much.

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Monday, July 09, 2007

strike two

FYI: Deutsche Bahn will be conducting nationwide warning strikes on Tuesday, July 10 from 8 - 11 a.m.

Expect delays. More than usual, I mean.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

on this day 17 years ago...

...I moved to Germany. I guess someone forgot to tell me it was for good.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

OK, I sort of lied about the wild and crazy

Can you believe that I, couch potato extraordinaire, have been too busy to blog?? Not crazy busy, just little bits of busy here and there that haven't left much time in between.

So yes, please forgive me for leading you on, but last weekend wasn't really wild and crazy at all. On Saturday we dropped Boy11 off at the in-laws for an overnighter so he and Oma could get up early and watch the Schützenfest parade on Sunday. Late Saturday afternoon Boy14 headed out to his end-of-year class party which was held at a classmate's farm in the next town. A few of the kids, including Boy14, stayed the night, sleeping in a barn and coming home looking like they hadn't slept at all. More than a few of the kids, also including the big guy, must have gotten hold of some dodgy potato salad too, because 11 of them stayed home from school on Monday with stomach aches.

Anyway, Mr. M and I couldn't get over the fact that we were actually kidless and had the whole of Saturday evening and right on into Sunday all to ourselves. So we did what most old married couples do on Saturday nights. We went shopping.

We really just wanted to pick up something nice for dinner, but you know how it is, one thing led to another and along with a couple of nice steaks to throw on the grill we came home with...

...a pair of new shoes for me



...and a new table for the terrace



Oh, and some lawn fertilizer. Can't get much more exciting than that, can you?

On Sunday a friend of mine and her 4-yr-old had planned to come over for the day, but she cancelled at the last minute, and I was, ahem, sort of glad since I had a million other things I really needed to do. We've since made another date that suits us both better.

I had almost forgotten that it was Canada Day on Sunday. There was still time to make pie, though, and I made one with some cherries from the mother-in-law's garden. Our handy dandy cherry pitting device made short work of those babies, but thinking I didn't have enough I also added a few stewed cherries to the pie. Those were given to us by a friend of the in-laws and I hadn't checked to see if they were pitted or not before I threw them into the pie. They weren't. There's no accounting for German logic. Damn. Had to get my grubby mitts in there and pick out what I could before baking, but Mr. M managed to get his fair share. He loved his pie, but he HATES cherry pits and other hard foreign objects in his food with a passion. It's a running joke around our house that if if there's even one pit in a cherry pie, cake or compote, he's ALWAYS the one to get it. Poor baby. And let's not even mention The Roasted Chestnut Incident of 1991. I'll tell you about that another time.


As Canadian as cherry pie?

More later on the busy week that followed...

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

all roads lead to Rome

I did the WHAT MAJOR IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
(created with QuizFarm.com) quiz that's going around and here are the results:

You scored as French/Spanish/OtherLanguage. You should strongly consider majoring (or minoring) in a foreign language, especially French or Spanish as they have a greater use in today's world. But other languages could be useful to you as well, such as Chinese, Japanese, German, Italian, or many others. With a major in a foreign language you could teach, or work for a company as a translator or foreign correspondant.

It is possible that the best major for you is your 2nd, 3rd, or even 5th listed category, so be sure to consider ALL majors in your OTHER high scoring categories (below). You may score high in a category you didn't think you would--it is possible that a great major for you is something you once dismissed as not for you. The right major for you will be something 1) you love and enjoy and 2) are really great at.


French/Spanish/OtherLanguage

94%

English/Journalism/Comm

94%

Psychology/Sociology

88%

History/Anthropology/LiberalArts

81%

Education/Counseling

75%

Visual&PerformingArts

63%

Religion/Theology

56%

HR/BusinessManagement

38%

Nursing/AthleticTraining/Health

31%

PoliticalScience/Philosophy

31%

Biology/Chemistry/Geology

25%

Accounting/Finance/Marketing

6%

Physics/Engineering/Computer

0%

Mathematics/Statistics

0%


Well foreign languages weren't my major at university but I guess in the Game of Life I DID sort of end up there, didn't I? This quiz is pretty accurate. Please note the complete lack of any kind of mathematical ability on my part. I worked in the office of a small, old fashioned publishing company once and when their accountant left suddenly they decided to let ME do the books until they found someone else. You know, add up all the columns with an adding machine and enter the results by hand. I would add three times and get three different answers. I only lasted two days.

So what did I really major in? Anthropology. Fourth on the list. Yep, I'd say that my laundry room qualifies as an excavation site.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

striiiiiiiiike!

No, nothing to do with baseball, just a note that the Deutsche Bahn has been conducting warning strikes since Monday so if you've got any traveling to do within Germany, inform yourselves beforehand. The strikes were supposed to be mostly in the southwestern Germany, but I know that the Hannover and Hamburg train stations were affected this morning and many people got to work/school late or not at all.

Lots more to say, just no time right now. We had a wild and crazy almost kid-free weekend and my Monday was quite eventful. I'll tell y'all all about it later.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

come on over and have a piece of pie

HAPPY CANADA DAY!




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