Tag Archives: Ramblings

Summer Off / Autumn On

Though according to the calendar, Fall starts later this month, the meteorogical begin is September 1. This is the first time I’ve ever observed such a drastic change of weather here. Our August was unusually warm, all the way to the end, and just as if someone had pushed a button, from September 1 and onward we’ve been at about 55 degrees, mostly gray, with some rain and nighttime temperatures are beginning to endanger my tomatoes. I’m not complaining about the weather though, in fact, I’ve gone into autumn mode and yesterday, actually began to use some of our apples in a Tarte Normande Aux Pommes (a fancy way of saying a Normandy Cake with Apples).

It is baked in multiple stages – first the shell is half-baked, then the apples, having been tossed with cinnamon and sugar are partially baked, then a custard-like mixture is poured over them and it is returned to the oven. 10 minutes before the end, it is generously sprinkled with powdered sugar (which I then caramelized with my culinary torch once the cake was done).

The story featuring yours truly in the county newspaper was reprinted in the local (town) newspaper and I am now reluctant to leave the house, in fear of being recognised as the crazy butterfly lady. 😉

Yes, I’ve been knitting, too. I’ll do a separate post about that, there have been projects throughout.

Last but not least, a shoutout to Jen for sending me this lovely ceramic coaster out of the clear blue. I love it!


I’ve been very occupied with the state of things in the world recently, more so than usual, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the hurricane victims in Texas and Florida and to those in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, where over a thousand have died. People who are on the wrong side of climate change need not speak to me these days. Don’t even get me started about everything else that’s going on.

“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”
(RIP Heather Heyer and God bless her amazing Mom.)

That outdoor surveillance camera I bought has been interesting. I check the videos in the morning, hoping to see something interesting, but for the most, it has been cats, sometimes even two at the same time, seemingly hunting for mice. I was hoping for maybe a fox or a marten – maybe in time I’ll see something else. For now, it’s an interesting pasttime. And perhaps I should rest easy, knowing that there are no hordes of moose stomping through here in the night, trampling my flowers.*

At the beginning of the week, I mailed a photo of a freshly hatched swallowtail to the local newspaper, and a reporter came and interviewed me about all things caterpillars, butterflies, and the dropping numbers of their population. This morning, there was a half-page article about it in the newspaper – with pictures. I’m blushing at an alarming rate here.

Though glad that the butterflies are getting a bit more press 🙂

Anyhow, trying to get back into the “good” parts of the internet and will be checking everyone’s blogs this weekend. I’ve been much too distracted by current events recently. Apologies.

*There are no moose here. Just trying to be funny. It’s a wonderful picture in my head, moose trampling through 🙂

Still Here

No, I didn’t fall into a hole the last week or so, I just plunged into the glory of year-end closing accounting and spent wonderful days pushing numbers and paper and generally wishing I was cleaning the windows or sorting socks instead.

In the meanwhile, however, I did manage to finish a new knitting project, made with a blend of alpaca and kid silk. It’s a sweater knit from two rectangles, with sleeves. It looks a lot better on me than on the coat hanger, but I’m feeling ugly and refused to photograph myself. If you want to see how it looks on a person, click on the pic to go to the original picture and pattern.

Drops Winter Bird Square Jacket (click on the pic for a link to the pattern).

On another front, I know it’s fall because I have a strong urge to make my favorite oatmeal cookies. I’ll act on it.

Oh – and yay Cubs! I have such fond memories of Wrigley Field 🙂

Summer is Broken

It’s been this way throughout the entire spring and summer and we have been graced with a few days of sunshine and warm temps that are interrupted by 3-5 days of cool temperatures with heavy rain.

Around sixish this morning, I woke up because I was feeling downright cold, so I got up. No wonder – the outside temp was  49F – in the middle of August. Go figure.



Despite our wet and cool summer, my basil has turned into a small forest:


The owner of a favorite italian restaurant, who had an incredible amount of beautiful basil on his window sills, told me that basil needs three things to thrive – lots of room, water and light.

I bought a pot of basil at the grocery store some weeks ago, and split the roots in half, then in half again, and once again (I guess I carefully split it into 8 pieces). I then planted these into a window box, and well, here’s the result. (The basil is outside on a table on the south side of the house).

Since I was gifted with a small quantity of pine nuts at the market yesterday, lunch today will be spaghetti with homemade
pesto genovese.

I’ll be wearing a sweater, most likely.

We Didn’t Start The Fire

according to Billy Joel. But I think we’ve been overusing the bellows on it.

From the rise of Trump to the dead children washing up on turkisch beaches, from the bombing of schools and hospitals in Syria to the right wing hate and violence in Saxony. It makes me want to go back to bed permanently and pull the covers over my head to make the world go away.

I’ve managed to impress four different physiotherapists this week with the hardness of the muscles of my neck, which are apparently responsible for pushing my vertebrae into each other. I’m loathe to do all of the exercises I’ve been shown, but I think it might be in my best interest to do so.

That is all for today.



Where Does Stuff Go?

I suspect that my house has been “eating” various items. Amongst the things that have completely disappeared in the course of 2015 are an expensive pen (I spent three days looking for it) and a manicure tool. I ended up having to replace both, as neither ever turned up again.

I need a crossover ethernet cable for a direct connection between my NAS and the MacBook and I actually have one. Somewhere. Maybe.

Way back in time, when my (previous) ISP wasn’t actually busy polluting the world with its omnipresent dial-in CDs, it was busy preventing its customers from accessing their internet connections from more than one PC. Yes, really. I had a desktop computer upstairs and the laptop in the living room, and both could not go online at the same time. The ISP didn’t allow it. Thus, I set up a proxy server, successfully circumventing this prevention, and at the time I recall needing a crossover ethernet cable to do that.

Wonder where that cable has been hanging around the last 17 years? I sure could use it now.

Ride a Motorbike in December – why not?

As a result of the work overload of the last few months, I’ve become decidedly scatterbrained. The smaller of my motorcycles was due for its bi-annual TÜV inspection in October, when we had mostly unpleasant, non-motorcycle weather, and in November, I forgot about it. Friday was a very mild day and I got an appointment for the inspection and drove the 20 km to the TÜV.  I was reminded of just how much I love that old (32 now) motorcycle.


Those are the saddle bags I once had, before the mice ate them in the winter. I now have other ones that get stored in the mice-free basement in the winter time.

I was a decidedly good girl during the week following black Friday, having kept up with the lightning deals of a major internet retailer. I managed to get a few really nice small stocking stuffers for the folks, and I came away financially undamaged, purchasing only the complete M.A.S.H series on DVD, which was seriously reduced in price and which I just couldn’t pass up on.

It’s amazing though, when you check the pages of that  retailer, to see all the stuff you really don’t need. It makes me feel very consume-resistant. But, I’ll keep checking the offers. I’m still on the lookout for a couple of items and, hey, if they appear as special offers, why not?


What a change

…in weather it has been. Last week, it was almost warm enough to have lunch outside in the garden, now, we have snow and last night we had temps of 21F. That’s quite an adjustment.

My love-hate relationship with my spine-friendly office chair continues.

No, I don’t work in the bathtub. The aspiring photographer in me tried to give the picture a relatively neutral background.

It’s by far the best chair I have ever owned. The base of it is a tire (I think I need to reinflate it just a tad) and the idea is that when you sit on it, you should be tipping and swiveling, keeping your spine from being in one position all day. Ever since I got it about a year ago, I’ve had hardly any back problems. So, yes, I love it.
But I miss slouching. I miss it a lot.

But don’t you just love the color? Reminds me of that green apple shampoo I was so crazy about as a kid.

Favorite sentence learned in a foreign language this week:

Je suis relativement sûr.

I love the sound of it.

1/2 of a Duck

Is what I ate yesterday, in fact, we all did. Yesterday was “Kirchweih” (a sort of church consecration day) and traditionally, roast duck and goose are served.

As it was also my stepmom’s birthday, we headed to our favorite local Gasthaus and yes, I did eat an entire half of a duck. Gosh, it was good. I should have photographed it but it looked so good and my mouth was watering so I just dug in.

I also saw this on the underside of my coaster, and it reminded me of Maribeth:

Translation: I have the best beer that can be found, far and wide. But I can’t take a drink because my dog Buzi isn’t here to drink with me.

And I saw a chimney-sweep friendly chimney that is properly labeled to make the sweep’s job easier, in case he is confused or has lost his bearings in terms of up and down:

"Oben" means "up" in german. I find the arrow a nice touch.
“Oben” means “up” in german. I find the arrow a nice touch.

This ‘n That

I think I am going to finally have to break down and see the orthopedic guy for the tendovaginitis that has been plagueing my right elbow on and off for the last six weeks. I received that wonderful new yarn for my cardigan in the mail and I don’t dare knit a stitch at the moment.

Warm temperatures have returned for a few days to my corner of the world, but it looks to be just plain old fall from here on out. Yesterday evening I hear my first real “fall” sound when the wind caused the fallen leaves from the birch tree to make scratching noises as they moved back and forth on the ground. It made me want to cook pumpkin soup.

If you think there are no good news on the news, yes there are. That syrian man who was kicked by the hungarian camera woman has been offered a job as a soccer coach in Spain.