Other Things I Managed to Do This Weekend

1) Open a jar of Salsa. Having finally found a brand of salsa which is to my liking (Clarky’s from Plus), I will probably not bother with growing Jalapenos this year.

Either way, the jar was hard to get open. It didn’t even help to shove a knife under the rim of the lid.

So I drove a nail through the middle of the lid, breaking the vaccuum.

2) Ruin a perfectly good cake. I made a cake from scratch as I did some weeks ago; last time it as a pound cake type of thing with lots of coconut in it, this time with lots of ground almonds in it. I guess I used too little flour, as the upper part of the cake got stuck in the silicone baking form and the cake had a very greasy appearance.

I’ve put it out for the birds to eat.

3) Ordered a custom-made coffee mug with this picture on it (our bikes in Italy):


**sorry for shouting**

On Being a Worried “Mom”

Yesterday morning didn’t start out well. Tobi wanted to go outside at 7.30, which for him is relatively early (he usually sleeps until 9.30).

When he came back in, he promptly vomited three huge piles on the carpet. I felt sorry for him and went about cleaning everything up, reassuring him that I wasn’t angry about him soiling the carpet (which I put in the bathtub to wash). I later saw that he had spit up two piles outside as well.

He spent most of the day just lying around and feeling unwell and when I offered him a small handful of dry dog food, refused to eat. That worried me, as Tobi never refuses to eat. Poor thing.

In the evening, I decided to get some fresh chicken pieces at the store and I made him chicken broth from them. I filled his bowl with broth and some chicken pieces, and the poor guy looked at the bowl and puked again.

I then offered him just the broth, which he took. Over the course of the evening I gave him a few small morsels of the chicken meat every now and then and he managed to keep them in.

This morning, he got me out of bed at 4.00 a.m. to go out and when he returned, he snuggled up to me on the sofa (something he rarely does). His stomach and insides were grumbling like crazy, but he continued sleeping until 8, when I again offered him a small amount of warmed up chicken broth.

He got better over the course of the day and I think he’s gotten over whatever bug he had. Thank goodness.

Definitely Proof That I Need to Get A Life

(being excited at something like this I mean)

I was innocently grocery shopping at my favorite discounter yesterday evening and minding my own business, when I saw a vacuum cleaner on sale.

I had a closer look at it and without batting an eye, placed one in my cart.

It’s one of those new-fangled ones which doesn’t require bags but instead has a filter you empty and a hi-tech dust filter and all that. Additionally, it has a whopping 2000 W (I assume hamsters and other small housepets should be kept at a safe distance from the nozzle). I tried it out at once when I got home, and I am duly impressed. Quite a bargain at 59,00 € with a three-year warranty.

I am somewhat sad to relegate my old Siemens vacuum cleaner to the basement to continue it’s duties there; it still works quite well in spite of the fact that it is over 20 years old and I am a bit attached to it because my mom gave it to me when they moved stateside, lots of years ago.

Gotta go vacuum.

A Word About Rural Living, Togetherness and a WIP Finally Completed

(though not necessarily in that order)

I accepted a package at the office yesterday from one of the major courier services. When the courier was getting ready to accept my signature on his electronic thingy, he asked for my name. I told him.

He then said, “You live in (name of town), don’t you?”
I chuckled and replied “Yes, I do”.
He then proceeded to tell me the street and house number I lived in.
Made me laugh.
This either means that this particular courier has an excellent memory, or I have been getting too many packages.

I finally completed the scarf that I began to make for myself around the time that I began the pink one. This one took me ages because the yarn (Regia Silk) is very thin, but I am glad I stuck it out because now I have a most excellent scarf, pattern courtesy of Seitherin:

And here, proof that real friends always stick together in everything they do (in this case, it was eating crackers with me [yes, the cat eats crackers – she eats everything]):


For once, I managed to ignore the inner voice that regularly nags me about things like dust, dog hair and the saw dust which is inevitably tracked into the house when I get wood from the pile out back.

I’m fed up with vacuuming and the ensuing “attitude” problem allowed me to just ignore all of the housework and the state of my house in general and have a very lazy Sunday. Which is a good thing as I seem to have done something to my back. I suspect that I took a wrong step while walking along the icy river with Tobi; perhaps I tore a muscle or something – either way, I am a bit out of wack and a bit crooked, despite all attempts at self-healing yesterday with the help of heating pads and Voltaren creme.

The only constructive thing I did yesterday (besides knitting) was to ensure that all of my long underwear has been washed and is ready to wear, as the extreme cold temperatures which have been plagueing Moscow for a few weeks are now headed this way. The forecast for today is 22F (-11C), which reminds me a bit of Chicago.

So I will now bundle myself up, pack my earl grey tea, my ibuprofen, my eye drops and head off to the office.

Why Bavarians Are So Different From “Other” Germany

There really isn’t an explanation, really. But any Bavarian will claim to be a Bavarian before he claims to be German, as Mausi pointed out in her comment on my last post. Though I was born in Bavaria, my families, mother’s and father’s side, come from Silesia originally (which today is in Poland / Czech Republic) and were uprooted along with millions of others and forced to fled when the Russians invaded. Thus, I don’t consider myself a real bavarian. I will never manage to master that lovely dialect, either.

Bavaria first became part of Germany in 1866, through Bavaria’s defeat in the Austrian-Prussian war. From 1806 on, it was a Kingdom and at some point King Ludwig reigned, the king who built all those beautiful castles and died a mysterious death of drowning in three feet of water in the Starnberger See. His casket stands in the basement of St. Michael’s church in Munich and there are always lots of flowers that people leave there in honor of him.

Bavaria is rich in culture and tradition; those traditions are eons old and still practised today. The bavarian people are generally very conservative and very catholic.

Here a few nuggets I swiped from Wikipedia about Bavaria:

The beer riots in Bavaria between 1 May and 5 May 1844 began after King Ludwig I of Bavaria decreed a tax on beer. Crowds of urban workers beat up police, while the Bavarian army showed reluctance to get involved. Civil order was restored only after the King decreed a ten percent reduction in the price of beer. (complete article)

Social behaviour: In comparison to the elaborate formality in the rest of Germany, Bavarians can be extremely egalitarian and folksy. (complete article)

To read about the history of Bavaria, click here. For more information about the Reinheitsgebot of 1516 (Bavaria Purity Law concerning beer production) click here.

If you want to see the difference the dialect makes, have a look at this website from one of Munich’s major breweries. The site can be viewed in Bavarian (Boarisch), German (Deutsch) or English.

You Can’t Take Them Anywhere

nspired by the sunshine (which we had for the first time in over four weeks) and driven by intense longing to be back in the mountains, my father, stepmom and I got in the car with Tobi and decided to head for lunch in the mountains.

On the Hahntennjoch, we stopped by the side of the road to have a better look at the view; there was another car there with a man about 40 and a woman whom I assumed to have been his mother. Small talk ensued and it turns out that he too rides a motorbike.

We got back into the car to continue our journey and after pausing for a fraction of a second, my father rolled down the window and said “I bet you drive a Harley, don’t you?”*

Which, amongst non-Harley motorbikers in Germany is akin to saying “You are butt ugly, the little bit of straggly hair you have left is worn in a pony tail, you generally dress just in black and your beer belly is the size of Rhode Island.”

Embarrassed, I tried to disappear into the rear seat without success. Nevertheless, it turned out that the man drives an African Twin. Quite the touring bike for the Paris-Dakar rallye. **clears throat**

On an end note, remember that lake (Plansee) I went skinny dipping in this past summer? We went walking around on it and there were ice skaters. Lovely.

Pictures once I’ve had them developed.

*My father didn’t mean it the way it came out, he later said.
**Just for the record, I mean no offense to any Harley bikers. It’s just that 98% of the H-bikers in Germany really do look like that. I think they untergo a metamorphosis once they’ve bought the bike – who knows.

I, the Killer of Routers

On Sunday afternoon, my DSL stopped functioning once again, and I called the technical support at Telekom. They ran a quick check and there was indeed a problem with my DSL connection. As it was Sunday, I wasn’t expecting them to correct the problem before Monday and they didn’t, of course.

Meaning I started my Monday morning at 6:30 underneath my desk, switching cables and trying to get into the internet with a dialup connection. I succeeded after numerous tries and 20 minutes gone by. As I was rattled anyhow due to the fact that I had a few things I needed to get done before I left for my job, it was all but pleasant. At some point I was so deep in thought that I found myself standing in the kitchen to make myself a second cup of instant cappuccino, and when the water boiled I began pouring it into the can of instant cappuccino powder instead of into the coffee cup, where it belonged. The entire container of instant was ruined of course, despite my immediate attempts to remove all of the “wet” contents with a spoon.

What a way to start the day and week.

While the Telekom has since notified me that the DSL is back up, my router has once again bit the dust and will be exchanged. Blimey!