Searches That Bring People Here, Part 1.

First of all, I am hardly ever mean-tati to anyone. That search landed in the wrong place. And, while I admit that I recently wrote about Bunte Teller, I am hardly an expert on them.

Yes, I did a post this past summer about a dead Ringelnatter which I found while riding the Kiwi through the countryside. If you are searching for Tati, you’ve come to the right place.

Dead mouse in the washing maschine? How did it get in there? And why? Was there something edible in said machine? Or was the mouse in someone’s jeans pocket? Ugh. Why do you need to google that problem – just get rid of the mouse!

Regarding “how can I be sure the christmas tree is sipping the water” – duh. Check the level. If it drops, the tree is taking a sip. If not, the water will evaporate in a few months.

It is news to me that barn animals sing christmas carols; perhaps if there’s been too much eggnog flowing it might seem that they are.

Hartz catch me if you can ball – well, I don’t quite understand the connection here. Hartz is that former chief of personnel at VW that blessed this country with the Hartz IV social plan, which leaves many long-term unemployed person standing out in the cold. The very same Hartz has now been forced to leave VW because of a huge scandal (see link here “Wheels come off in VW sex, drugs and money scandal“) I am sure they did have a ball, yes. But they caught him.

German pancake soup – guilty as charged.

Obligatur – huh?

Repairing couch dowels – why should you? Pull out the old ones and REPLACE them.

Weihnachtsgedicht – guilty as charged.

Blistex snow tires. Hmmm. Do snow tires get chapped surfaces in the winter and require balsamic care?

Dantschig – guilty as charged.
Vanillekipferl – ditto.

Perks of country living – yes. Meaning of November rain? No. Not sure what it means when it rains in November – if there is a special meaning to it.

me x tati? Who? What???????? (That one came out of Italy).

Began raining. What is it with the rain, anyway?

Weihnachtstrucker

As today is the first Advent, the local radio station has already played two Christmas songs and I’ve only been up for three quarters of an hour. But, hey, that’s ok.

Part of my ambivalence regarding Christmas is the massive consumption practiced. When asked, I will usually tell you that I abhor Christmas; usually somewhere in the runup to Christmas the true spirit of it will get the better of me. There are things I like about it – one of them is that at least at Christmas time, people generally get around to thinking about those that have less than we do.

Back to said radio station, Antenne Bayern. For the last 12 years, they have been carring out an action called the “Weihnachtstrucker”. The concept is very simple. You make a care package containing the following:

1 Present for children (coloring book and pencils)
2 kg Sugar
2 kg Flour
1 kg Rice
1 kg Noodles
1 Liter Salad oil (no glass bottles)
3 x Multivitamin fizzy tablets
4 packets of cookies
5 Chocolate bars
250 g Tea
500 g Coffee
500 g Cocoa powder
4 pcs. Curd soap
1 Shower gel
1 Handlotion
2 Toothbrushes
2 Tubes Toothpaste

The packages are collected at central points all over Bavaria, and on December 25, an entire convoy of volunteer truckers, in cooperation with the Johanniter (a german charity organization), leaves Bavaria for points in Kosovo, Rumania, Bosnia-Herzogovenia and Macedonia. The packages are distributed to the poor, to orphanages, etc. The photo gallery of last year’s action can be found here. The pictures are very impressive, but also quite humbling.

So, if you live in Bavaria, please take the time to participate. There are lots of people in need. Make someone happy with a bit of rice, flour, coffee and toothpaste.

Gebacken

My feet hurt. I had my first attack of “must bake Christmas cookies” today and spent all day in the kitchen.

Here some examples. I forgot to photograph the other two kind I made, Kokosmakronen and Mandelmakronen, before I put them away in a tin and am now too lazy to get up and fotograph them. Here a picture of my “Double deckers” and “Vanill’ Kipferl”. Ought to be proof enough 😉



Now, would one of you folks please volunteer to clean up my kitchen for me?

Mom, Geez!!!! (Thank You)

My things to wish for have changed a lot in the past 8 months since I have become a passionate biker.

Oil seals or stuff like that can make my heart beat faster. Lol. It’s true, it really is.

So when my mother called me some time ago asking me what I’d like for Christmas I knew immediately what I wanted. (No, not an oil filter – I’m not gonna chase Mom all around the state looking for the nearest Kawasaki dealer ;-P)

Long underwear. I asked for long underwear for Christmas. I guess this is a sign that I HAVE finally grown up at last. Knowing that I would also be riding the Kiwi in the winter, I wanted to have a way to stay at least a little bit warm.

Long underwear I got. Yesterday. In the mail. Made out of 100% SILK. I gasped. Touched it – what a dream!

I was skeptical about the “warmth factor” of silk however. Am now sitting here wearing just them. They are warm. They are an absolute dream – warm – silky – elegant! Makes me want to hit the local lingerie store to accessorize 😉

In the future, you MAY now ask what I’ve got on under my leathers. I might even show you.

RauhnÀchte

A post on Seitherin’s Blog about the 12 days of Christmas reminded me of our RauhnĂ€chte and I wondered if there was a correlation. Every two years or so, I ask my stepmom about them (because somehow that info just refuses to stay in my head). Thus, I decided to research the issue and here is a rough translation of what I found out about them in Wikipedia.

Quite a pagan tradition, it turns out.

“The “RauhnĂ€chte” or twelve Nights describe the 12 nights between Christmas Eve (December 24) and the Epiphany (January 6).

In some areas, the Thomas Night (December 21), the longest night of the year, is added. There are differences in the number of RauhnĂ€chte (3-12). In some areas, different time spans are depicted as the RauhnĂ€chte, such as from Thomas Day to New Year’s.

According to old tradition, at least on the four very important RauhnĂ€chte (Dec. 21, Dec. 24, December 31 and January 5), homes and barns were “cleaned” by the man of the house with the use of holy water and frankincence, candles were lit and prayers said. These four RauhnĂ€chte were, in some places, considered so dangerous that they were spent fasting and praying. The house was not allowed to be untidy, laundry was not allowed to be hung out to dry, and women and children were not allowed unaccompanied on the streets after dark.

The twelve nights were also known to the germanic tribes. During these nights, it was believed that the land of ghosts was open and that the souls of the dead and ghosts were able to exit into the “real” world. Demons could hold processions or scatter across the countryside in large groups. Barn animals were said to be able to speak the human language at midnight and tell of the future. Those who might hear the animals talk, however, would die an instant death. According to traditional beliefs, the RauhnĂ€chte are very suitable for carrying out oracles. This belief is still being practised today, with the traditional New Year’s Eve “Bleigießen”. ”

*Bleigießen=Lead casting. Carried out by all persons present at a gathering just after midnight on New Year’s Eve. A small piece of lead or pewter is placed in a special spoon and melted over a candle. Once liquified, it is quickly poured into a cold bowl of water. The random shape of the resulting “object” is used to “tell the fortune” for that person for the coming year. For instance, if the shape looks like a ship, that person might be traveling to far away lands.

There’s Something Magical

about the first winter landscape of the season. The trees, some of which still have orange colored, wilted leaves, covered in snow against the backdrop of a mouse grey sky, the very silence of the snow falling – it always takes me back to the winters of my childhood at my grandmother’s house.

I guess the magic of winter is somehow firmly connected with the magic of Christmases Past.

Christmas Eve at my grandmother’s house was always the best day of the year; and the routine was always the same. After dinner, the living room was off limits to ALL children in the family – in order for my grandfather to have time to get the Christmas tree up and for my grandmother to decorate it. Dinner was always the same, sausages (wieners) and potato salad. I was never hungry Christmas eve, instead, hoping that the minutes which seeemed to be passing sooooo slowly would hurry themselves up so that the “Christkind” would finally come, bringing us presents.

The grown-ups present were given the task of cleaning up the kitchen and washing the dishes, while the children present, usually me and my two cousins, Sylvia and Alexandra, were banned to the bedroom to go play. In our growing impatience, we would sometimes leave the bedroom for the hallway, where we would try to sneak a peak into the living room, hoping for a glimpse of the “Christkind” through the keyhole; when we did succeed, we never saw anything – probably because of my grandmother’s foresight in covering the hole from the other side.

I STILL have the imagine in my head of the view granted us when finally a bell ringing in the living room signaled that the Christkind had been there. Omi, my grandmother even used to open the window in order to cool down the room a bit to make the Christkind’s visit even more “real” to us children. (The Christkind would come through the window, as there was no fireplace). I am not sure which year it was – perhaps the memory is a combination of many Christmas Eves at Omi’s house. The living room door was opened, and I saw a tree in the living room, decorated with silver glass balls, heavy silver icycles, and what seemed like hundreds of small white candles, every single one of them lit – only their flames lighting up the room. Off in another corner of the room, neatly wrapped presents and lined up on a sideboard the “Bunte Teller” – a plate full of various nuts, special Christmas chocolates, oranges and tangerines. Every one got their own “Bunten Teller” – a tradition I loved so much, that I carried it with me as far as Chicago.

After the door was opened, it was time to sing Christmas carols, “Silent Night” and “O Du Fröhliche” were always sung. My grandparents had six daughters, so there were always more than enough voices present to chime in. After the singing was over, everyone wished one another “Merry Christmas” and then it was time to exchange presents.

But it was that moment, that very moment when the living room door was opened for us children and we could see the tree and the candles and the festive setting – that moment was magic. I think know it’s the best magical moment I’ve ever experienced.

Christmas at Omi’s house was the best. I haven’t experienced a single Christmas since those days which could even come close to Christmas at Omi’s.

Which is also the reason that the I spend the “blue” hour of Christmas eve (when it begins to get dark and the sky and all surroundings take on a deep shade of blue) usually sitting on the floor next to my Christmas tree with only its lights on in the entire house, sipping a glass of wine, listening to “Oh Du Fröhliche” and thinking of my Omi.

Things That I Have Learned Thus Far This Week

1) That Win Media Player is a completely useless piece of sh.. when it comes to buying music online and wanting to transfer that music to your mobile phone which contains a built-in MP3 player which WMP refuses to recognise as a device needing synchronisation.

2) That I am completely stubborn when setting something in my head and will spend hours trying to MAKE WMP do what I want and surfing the internet to find a utility program to help me get around WMP.

3) That I will not let it rest NOR go to bed until I’ve managed to get Lenny Kravitz’s “Fly Away”, Madonna’s “Frozen”, Limp Bizkit’s “Behind Blue Eyes” and Robbie Williams’ “Let Me Entertain You” on said mobile phone.

4) That my priorities are completely screwed. I will have learned how to take video clips with my phone, take snapshots, play MP3s, watch TV on my phone and only a day later realize that I have yet to transfer my adressbook to the phone or know how to actually make a TELEPHONE call with it.