First of All

a Birthday Wish.

Hop on over to Seitherin’s Site and wish her a Happy Birthday!

(I mixed up the date and it turns out that her birthday is today, not yesterday.)
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Second of all,

to finally dispel the abounding myths regarding my creativity and talent for once and for all, I present to you MY Painting over art.com which can be viewed by following this link.

Stuff

I have now finished the second of my Slipper Socks and am no longer having to switch the single one from foot to foot in order to have warm feet. 🙂

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My knee must be bothering me at night because last night I dreamt that I went to my orthopedic doctor (whom I swore I would never visit again after he issued me a statement for my insurer regarding my knee that went something like “had some trouble with…..a few years ago……without further examination it is impossible to determine whether the injury will recur….” and charged me 50 € for a complete useless medical certificate.)

Anyhow, this time (in my dream) instead of fitting me with inlays for my shoes, providing me a very good knee brace and getting his physiotherapist to snap my fibula bone back into place where it belongs, he sold me a very sexy pair of high heeled half-boots. I was a bit astounded, but tried them on and my knee was better right away.

And I’ve not even been eating pickles before going to bed.

Italy was closed.

Well, not the country itself but the border crossing over the top of the Timmelsjoch (pictured on the left) is already closed for the winter season. We were, however, able to drive as far up as the tollgate. Alone. We were the only ones on the road and it was spectacular, quiet and wonderful.

When we got to the top, there was a single car and a single motorcycle. Absolute silence – the only thing that could be heard was the light wind.

The view from the tollgate site is not as breathtaking as that from the italian border some 6 km further along and 400 meters higher up, but nevertheless quite impressive (click on the panorama for a larger image – it’s worth it):


Not being able to continue into Italy, we decided to return to Sölden and have a look at the Ötztal Glacier Road. We were pleasantly surprised to learn at the tollgate that the road continues up to an altitude of 2.800 meters (9,186 feet).

It’s a very steep road with signs for motorists warning that only experienced motorist should continue; there are many hairpin turns – well, have a look yourself:

We were quite surprised, once we got to the “top” of the road, to be next to a large glacier where there were lots of people skiing and snowboarding. And there was snow (obviously)!

By the time we reached the top it was almost 2:00 in the afternoon and I was absolutely famished. We didn’t want to stop at the skier’s place to eat as there were tons of people and descended half-way down and stopped at a single, lone “Alm” where I finally got something to eat and was thus very happy.

And last but not least, my nomination for the motorcycle of the year, being 11 years old and having accompanied me for 11.000 kilometers this summer alone, without a hitch:
(yes, that is snow in the background)


And me?
I feel like I’ve been born again.

Potpourri

For the celebration of Gisi’s birthday, she had invited me on Saturday for what I somehow assumed would be a small intimate family gathering. However, when I arrived, the living room furniture had been partially removed to make room for two large festively decorated tables. There were lots of friends and family and it was a really pleasant evening with excellent food, catered by my other aunt, Moni.

The knee which almost caused my current health insurer to refuse me coverage has been acting up again as of late, and so when I arrived at Gisi’s house I promptly managed to lie the Kiwi on it’s side. I’ve no idea why, I turned right into the parking space, probably braked too hard while the front wheel was slighly turned. If it weren’t for my weak knee I know I would have stabilised the bike, but so I let her down ever so slowly and gently – practically in slow motion.

And then I ran to get Gisi to help me get her up before anyone saw me. Embarrassing moment of the week, I guess 😉

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I’ve been knitting like a mad woman and have managed to finish the left front side of the sweater coat which I started on Sunday. Yesterday evening I decided to take a break from the big project and to make something small in between and so I knitted this:

It’s (obviously) the first of two Hüttenschuhe (slipper socks). The yarn I used is very thick and is 50% virgin wool and 50% acrylic. It is incredibly soft and touching it, you’d never know there is wool in them. It’s Italian yarn – they always manage to make yarn sooo soft.

I didn’t want to leave it white and so after knitting the ribbing at the top, I included some thin sock yarn to give them a bit of color.

I wore it yesterday evening while watching TV (alternately on the one foot and then on the other) and I was impressed with how WARM it is. Yours truly will have warm feet this coming winter. Hilde and my father saw it and immediately placed their orders for Christmas 😉

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My postings have recently been rare, I know. I have had an annoying and very trying time during the last two weeks with customers, banks and other unpleasant persons; when my head is full of worries I tend to stop blogging. All of this stress culminated in a nervous breakdown of sorts Monday evening. Thus, I am taking a break and will be getting up very early tomorrow to take advantage of our spring-like weather and accompanying the Kiwi to Italy via the Passo del Rombo (Timmelsjoch/Obergurgl). If time permits, a small stop in Merano may be on the schedule; the way home will take us over the Brenner, where this time I WILL buy tomatoes.
Gotta get out and get back up those mountains.
So nach dem Motto, “Welt, leck mich am ar…..”. Yes.

It’s Done

I finally finished the cable knit sweater which I made from yarn I gained from frogging the sweater coat. I thought I’d have lots of yarn left over since the sweater coat was much longer. Nope. The fact that I had many more stitches (size 6 circular needle instead of the 10 I used on the coat) it was just barely enough.

As it is almost pure wool, the sweater is NOT machine washable, but that’s no big deal, I have lots of others that aren’t either.

I used a total of 1400 grams of wool for this sweater (about 1 1/2 pounds).

Happy Birthday!

This little girl has a very special birthday today.


She is my favorite aunt Gisi. She has always been a bit crazy in a really good kind of way and was the first person to let me drive her van (when I was three or four years old – gosh, that steering wheel was big).
I love her dearly.

Möge das Jahr dich
mit seinen Geschenken beglücken:
mit den Veilchen des Frühlings,
mit dem Bienengesumm des Sommers
und den rotwangigen Äpfeln des Herbstes.
Der Winter aber schenke dir
die Früchte der Stille für die Seele.

Feier schön, liebe Gisi!

A Tobi Weekend, of Sorts

Late Friday afternoon, Tobi came racing into the house and snuggled next to my legs while I was sitting on the sofa. Suddenly, he raced around the coffee table and again, snuggled next to me. Miez came in, he ran to her to say hello, and ran back to me.

Somewhat perplexed by his behaviour I got up and noticed droplets of blood on the carpets. I made Tobi lie down, checked him for injuries and found none. His strange behaviour continued so I took him next door to Hilde and my Dad’s, where we checked him again and discovered that the source of bleeding was, in fact, a split claw, which was obviously causing him extreme pain. He’d apparently been digging holes in the garden (he seems to be in a digging phase at the moment) and injured himself.

Off to the vet. There was no other remedy than to remove the tip of the claw, which she thankfully accomplished with one quick move. Poor Tobi yelped at the top of his lungs and just quivered. The vet bandaged the paw, gave him a whole handful of treats, and sent us on our way.

Notice the cute Sesame Street “Ernie” sock which she used to cover and protect the bandage.

Poor Tobi limped dreadfully. We felt incredibly sorry for him, of course.

Despite his injury, we took him with us yesterday for a wonderful lunch at the Restaurant which is owned by the woman we got him from. We hadn’t dared appear there for a while, as in the winter of 2004, Tobi’s mother Nicki and his brother Wuzi were shot by a hunter and we didn’t want to open any scars which were not yet healed. I posted about that incident here.

Mrs. M was thrilled to see Tobi, who immediately recognised her of course. After a joyful reunion with one of her “little ones”, she sat down and chatted with us for quite a while. She now has a new dog, a Lab, but still misses Nicki immensely. We learned some dreadful things about the incident in 2004, and it almost broke my heart when she told us of how, the next day, she went to retrieve the two dogs’ bodies from the hunter’s garage, where he had put them.

In the evening, I debated on whether to take our poor limping dog down for a walk by the river, not sure if it would be a good thing or not. I headed to the grocery store on my bicycle to purchase a few things I needed for the weekend and when Tobi saw me pushing my bike onto the property, came RACING up to greet me. Without a limp. Once I was in the kitchen putting away my things, he was limping again.

Down by the river, he ran around like a puppy. No limp in sight.

This morning at 5 a.m. I was awakened by whining sounds – he needed to go out. I let him out, and sat down in the dark living room, waiting for him to come back in so that I could crawl back into bed. It was then that I noticed his bandages were lying around the floor in a gazillion pieces. He’d managed to remove the sock and chew the bandage off.

This morning, I re-bandaged the paw for him and covered it with a plain black sock out of my collection (as Ernie was soaking wet). Wonder if it will be a limping or no-limping kind of day 😉

Pancake Soup

I have not managed to find a picture of it on the internet, but I posted the recipe for pancake soup some time ago here.

For those who have never seen or tasted it, it seems odd, but believe me, it is delicious. The pancakes in question are made with lots of eggs and are very thin, so their consistency differs from their american counterparts. If you tried putting strips of american pancakes into broth, I am sure you would have a mess quite quickly. That is not the case with these pancakes.

It is a quick and easy recipe, and perfect for a cold fall evening meal.

If anyone tries it, let me know how it turned out!

The doughnut recipe will be posted this weekend.

The 10.000 km Mark

The *hatchoo* Kiwi and I passed the 10.000 km mark yesterday while descending the Achenpaß into Austria south of the Tegernsee.

*Sniff*We decided to make use of the lovely albeit cool fall weather to make what is likely to be our last trip into the mountains this season *hatchoo* and to explore the higher points of the Zillertal.

By the time we got the Achensee just south of the pass *sniff* with the same name, I was well chilled and fought with a sudden sneezing attack, so we stopped at a gaststätte by the road for coffee and something warm. Before I could even open my mouth, Hilde ordered three “Fritatensuppen”. *hatchoo* I didn’t have a clue as to what kind of soup that might be, but she shushed me up and said I would like it. We had quite a laugh when I discovered that it was, in fact, pancake soup. It is quite amazing what an effect 100 km distance and a border have on culinary names.*sniff*

Warmed up, we continued into the Zillertal and found the signs leading to the “Zillertaler Hochalpenstrasse” (Zillertal High Alpine Road). *hatchoo* It was little more than a paved path through the forest, quite narrow, curvy and steep, with hairpin turns that *hatchoo* were not marked at all in advance, causing us at one point to continue straight on to the edge of the road while the road curved sharply to the left at a 180° angle and up the mountain. *sniff*

There was little or no traffic to speak of (thank goodness) and the road seemed to continue on forever. *nose blows* I never got out of second gear and at times, had to stay in first gear – average speed was about 30 kmh. Seeing around most of the curves was not possible, and I was glad that there wasn’t much traffic from the opposite direction.

Just before we got to the very top, we stopped for a breather *sniff* and had this view of the Zillertal:


At the top, there is an Almhütte where we stopped and had a tasty lunch, basking in the sunshine and admiring the snow-covered 3.500 meter high peaks in the distance.

The road down the mountain was similar to the road up; *hatchoo* we slowly made our way down to Zell, admiring the Berghütten we saw now and then, such as this one:


We headed for home and made good headway until we got to Bad Tölz, where we got into lots of commuter traffic which accompanied us most of the rest of the way home.

And now I will be spending today on the sofa with my vitamin C and lots of tissues. *sniff*