Thursday, November 23, 2006


Hi everyone- things are not good here and so I am going to take a break from blogging. I will probably still read your blog but not comment. Sorry.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Today is the official first day of Fashing or carnival- for those who are interested. The narren were out and about.

Here are two of the pairs of socks I showed in my last blog entry - but finished now.

I had to make a break in writting this entry to make spaghetti for 5 kids- where do they all come from? I am going to have to drive into town to pick them up from the movies at 11 pm. Blech- but I would rather go get them and know where they are than have them swaning around completely unwatched.

Talked to Michael today- Things are going well in the Congo. They have only had a little bit of shooting today - nothing to get excited about!

I also, have actually started christmas shopping. Have you ? :-)


Today is the official first day of Fashing or carnival- for those who are interested. The narren were out and about.

Here are two of the pairs of socks I showed in my last blog entry - but finished now.

I had to make a break in writting this entry to make spaghetti for 5 kids- where do they all come from? I am going to have to drive into town to pick them up from the movies at 11 pm. Blech- but I would rather go get them and know where they are than have them swaning around completely unwatched.

Talked to Michael today- Things are going well in the Congo. They have only had a little bit of shooting today - nothing to get excited about!

I also, have actually started christmas shopping. Have you ? :-)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Pay it forward

I have joined the Pay It Forward Challenge:The first five people to respond to this post (via the comments section) will get some form of "art" made by me. It will be a hand crafted item made from sewing, crocheting, stitching, decoupage-just about anything. I will try to make the item something special just for you. After you comment, please email me your snail mail address . In return, each person will post the same action on their blogs and pledge gifts to the first five to respond, and so on. I think this sounds like a lot of fun and a good way to improve your karma!
My email is rachael@gmx dot de - you know how the dot thing works.
These are the socks I am working on at the moment. The little pink and red one is for one of my god daughters, whose birthday is in ten days. The green one is for her mother. The green yarn is Austerman step which is super soft and the pattern is a baby cable which is one of my favorite patterns. The blue sock is a pattern I am making for the first time and I really like the way it is coming out. The blue and pink yarns are both from Opal. I am also knitting a sock on two circs for the first time and I have to say - I hate it- give me 5 DPNs any day. The only thing I can think of is that my cables are too long. I will finish these socks on the circs in the hopes that I will get used to them . They are great for taking with you. Scrabbeling around on the floor of a train after a dropped DPN isn't really fun.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Alexander in his new glasses- now if I could talk him into a haircut, he could be seen as well as see.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


For your enjoyment - A picture of the mess on my computer desk. Think of it as a still life. You can see it is geting cold here because I don't bother to drink tea everyday. I often go without caffeen if it is warm and/ or the weekend. The fact that there are 4 cups built up here since yesterday evening is a sign. Just in case your wondering three are from Starbuck's and one is a Harry Potter cup. All have had their day , but my absolute fave at the moment is the white one with the orange inside ( I almost called it "lining' ) I realy like the shape.
An aside for those who worry about this sort of thing. The cups have only been collecting for less than 24 hours and while the picure was loading to bloggger, I got rid of them and that juice bottle as well.

Well, I finished the poncho-- and I've worn it as well. It ended up with a bit of fringe. I have been trying some knew knitting technics on some socks- including mosaic knitting and knitting socks on two round needles.
I took Alexander to the eye doctor last week and then to Fielman for his first pair of glasses. I had made an appointment for myself at the eye Dr. as well. After writing Alexander's prescription he checked mine and laughed. They are practicly identical.
My husband called and asked me if I could find a couple of remote control boats to send him. He wanted something to play with in the flooded yard. I was just glad he didn't plan on useing them in the room he is living in. I managed to get a good price on a couple from ebay- it had to be at least two because as he said 'it's no fun playing by yourself!"
Yesterday, I ordered winter tires for my car. There is a new law in Germany that you must have winter tires in the winter. Now this sounds pretty obvious, but in tests, winter tires , unless they are very high quality (read expensive) rate very badly in rain. I hate to break it to people , but exept for in Southern Germany , you tend to have more rain than snow here. I needed new tires anyway ( of course, I'll need them again in the spring when the winter tires come off) so off I went to order the tires and get an appointment to have them put on. It was a madhouse. There were a bazillion people there , at ten in the morning, and they all wanted winter tires and they wanted them NOW.
I knew I would have to order, ( my car is fairly large and heavy for Europe) they never have the tires and rims I need in stock. So I wasn't disapointed to leave with no more than an order and an appointment for next week. However, I won't tell you how much those babys are going to cost. It would make you weep for the amount of stash that I will be driving around on!!
I learned that, not only are oil product prices are on the rise, but due to the growing economy in China, there is a steel shortage going on. And in all honesty- Californina girl that I am - when it snows and I have to go to town- I usually take the bus.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Okay all you knitters out there - be kind!
This is the first thing I have knit other than socks and one scarf. I didn't have a chart and it was my first time knitting cables ,I taught myself out of a book. The neck is wider than I really wanted but the length is just right, the points come right to my waist. the edges are not quite even and strait ,but I guess that comes with practice. I hope. I think it needs some fringe or a crocheted edging or something but I can't quite decide- any ideas? Plus any knitting /blocking tips would be very welcome.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ein Kleine Tropfen Wehmut

A little drop of melancholy- The translation doesn't sound as good as the original, but it describes the situation.
Michael Schumacher just drove in his last Formula One race.
I am a bit of a Formula One fan and have been for almost ten years. I have never had a "favorite " driver or team . I just like the exitement and the stratagy of the race- however. Schumacher is the most succesful F1 race car driver of all time and has been a large part of the sport for 16 years.
He is also a celebrity who has shown a lot of class over the years. He is married to his high school sweetheart and has never been "caught" with anyone else, he has kept his children and his private life, just that - private. He is always gracious in interviews and has nice things to say about the other F1 drivers.

Most of all he is an incredibly talented person who found his niche and filled it to the utmost and knew that the moment to make a change in his life had come. Respect.
F1 won't be the same with out him but I wish him the best.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


As some of you know I live on a farm. We have this harvest wreath hanging on one of the barns year round, and every two years it gets taken down and remade. This year was the year and the picture is of our farmer hanging the new wreath. The making of the wreath is a reason for a party and all of the family and neighbors get together to make the bunches of wheat. The farmers wife does the binding . when the new wreath is hung everyone celebrates with dinner and lots of beer as is the tradition in Germany.

You can see that I didn't get back to this yesterday and almost didn't make it today. My massage yesterday was medical and for my back which is still giving me a lot of trouble. Afterwards I took Alexander to Muenster- we needed a few things ,plus I had to pick op a box of books from customs. My sweet Papa sent a huge box, which we will have a wonderful time working our way through.
Then we had our tea at Starbuck's and did a little shopping.
Today I sent Michael a package with his Wellies . He called and said that the rainy season has begun in the Congo and as he wasn't planning on staying this long he wasn't prepared. It is raining both in and out of the house he is working and living in and he needed his rubber boots. I packed them up with a bunch of anis Fisherman's friends and took them to the post office. I hope he gets them soon.
The I had to give an extra english lesson and then take Patrick to the orthodontist. The good (bad) thing about going to the orthodontist is that there is a good yarn shop right next to his office. I have now started to knit a (don't laugh) poncho. They are pretty fashionable here right now and I have been trying to find a short one that I like . There was one hanging in the yarn shop that was the perfect size . So, now I am trying to recreate the size and knit cables for the first time and actually have no idea what I am doing so wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Here is a picture of Cheryl and I in Amsterdam. We are sitting in the outdoor seating from "Boom Chicago" on the Leidensplein. The weather was fantastic and we were having, as you can see, a great time.

Annemarie tagged me with what seven songs are you listening to right now. No Annemarie- I don't mind you tagging me as it gave me a kick in the behind to write at all!
I noticed recently that most of the(very few) cd's that I have purchased are from women . The only cd's that I purchased with men singing are copies of stuff that I have had on tape forever ,nothing new as far a music goes. I tend to listen to the same stuff year in and year out anyway.
1.Put your records on- Corrine Bailey Rae
2.Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfeld
3.Snakes and Ladders -Joss Stone
4.Ain't no other mann- Christina Aguiera
5. Things- Robbie Williams and Nichole Kiddman
6. When Doves Cry- Prince and the Revolution
7.Dancing in the Moonlight- Top Loader
oops- I just realized I have a massage in 20 minutes and I am still in my pj"s- gotta go but I am going to try- realy hard - to get back to this tday. I think I am supposed to tag some people to do this list as well but I am not sure how many so I am going to go with Cheryl, Bine,andMom for now.
Gotta run

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Off to Amsterdam

I am off to Amsterdam for a few days- Meeting up with Cheryl, Barbara and Ashleigh. I hope to return with pictures and a clean soul. Tell you all about it when I return!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ha!!! fixed the camera problem

With a little help from my husband and a huge expenditure of patients on my part ,I both fixed the camera and found most of the missing pix. While I was in the States my camera battery got really low ,and apparently the date went back to it's original setting- which was in 2004. So I can find the pix stored under a date two and a half years ago, and any new ones are now to be found in the correct place. How clever is that!

To celebrate- a few pix- My new opal stash. I couldn't decide which of the new Opal hundertwasser sock yarns to buy- so I got them all. Plus a couple of others- as long as I was ordering.And, a picture of of Annemarie's RR. I hope you can see the rain drops .
Okay- I was a dork and posted this at the "Neighborhood of Make belive" blog - so now that I have copied it here I have to go delete it there.

Well, here I am again- trying to think of a good excuse for why it has been so long since I have written. I am sure I could come up with something good and even something true, but one day you are all going to realize that I am lazy, procrastinating, scum who has NO (make that zero) affinity for the computer. The computer does so much to make my life better- and I just can't love it.

Anyway.... I am still having a problem with my computer eating photos from my camera ( see- see!!!) So no new pix. You can see my finish on Annemarie's Neighborhood RR by checking out our" Neighborhood of Make Belive" link. I also finished a pair and a half of socks. One a red/orange/yellow Lornas Lace's, and the singelton ,which I finished last night is a pink stripey Treking XXL . I will cast on the mate this evening. As if by saying it I will make it come true:-)

I am thinking hard about what I want to stitch on Carol's RR. I thought I had it figured out and then I bought a new chart which I love, but I am not sure Carol will - so I am still thinking.

Nothing new on the husband front. He is far away and bound to stay that way for quite awhile. Safety is all we ask.

I do have some lovely "to share" kind of news. On Wednesday - Cheryl is coming from Virginia- Yea! She is flying into Amsterdam and I am going to meet her-Yea! We are going to stay in Amsterdam four days-Yea! We are going to meet up with Barbara- Yea! and maybe Ashley ? Reserving my yea for a conformation from Ashley but it definitly merits a yea if she can come. Anyone else? If I didn't ask you ,but you would like to come please invite yourself!!! Cheryl is then going to stay another week at my house, so lots of girl time coming up.

I actually preshopped for food for my boys for next weekend. Turned on the extra freezer and am in the process of filling it with frozen pizzas and chicken wings and mini Magnums- they won't eat any vegetables if they have to fix them themselves, so I am just not going to worry about it. As a continuation of trying to get my life and house in order (which seems to be an epidemic among bloggers the last few months) I went to the dump this morning (again, they are starting to greet me by name) and threw away another load of self recorded video tapes. Anything that no one has watched for more than 10 years- no one is ever going to watch again. I also burned a load of paper and applied nail strengthener to my fingernails.

I am going to start letting you know what I am reading- mainly because I love to know what everyone else is reading and really appreciate it when other people say what they are reading and if they liked it or not. I read a book about every day or two ( see where all my time goes) and I am always looking for a good book or an author who I have never read before. Barbara mentioned that she was reading "Extremely Loud &Incredibly Close" a few days ago, so I promptly ordered it from Amazon . It came this morning and I have started on it. I am also reading two Amsterdam guide books- both "Eyewitness" even though I have been to Amsterdam bunches of times. You can never be too informed. Also on my reading list is " The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield. I am rereading this. I read it for the first time last week ,but I really enjoyed it and so decided to read it again to see if I liked it as well the second time- I will let you know.
The other books I have read in the last week are- "Perfume" by Patrick Suskind. This has just been made into a movie and I always like to read a book before I see the movie. I am going to reread this and I will let you know what I think then. " The Historian" by Eilzabeth Kostova- This is an,eerie vampire story- not horrer- that was unexpected from the discription on the back of the book. " Delectable Mountains" by Earlene Fowler- This is one of her mystery quilting series. Fun ,but not requiring a brain.

Oops- my husband just called from The Congo- gotta go!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mini Message

The picture is of a wonderful mailart I received this summer from Lilian. The theme was :"Initials" Unfortunatly I am having a software problem and am unable to find any new pictures. They download from my camera and I can see them in one place but not in another. I can't find them to upload them -so for the moment I will have to make do with slightly older pix. To bad because I have made some serious progress on Annemaries's Rr. Which is a good thing because it has to go into the mail on Friday!
I have also done some yarn stashing- Hundertwasser sock yarn from Opal- I couldnt decide what color so I bought all 8.
I have been a bit out of touch as I have a pinched nerve in my back. . My left arm and sometimes my right have "pins and needles" It doesn't hurt but it makes it uncomfortable to do anything. Type, knit, stitch, cook ,clean - you get the idea. I am having some massages but I think it is going to take a while to get rid of.
Some other news here is that Michael's tour in The Congo was extended- first until December and then within a few days again until February or April. He will get a couple of vacations though.
Am off to work on Annemarie's RR .

Friday, August 25, 2006

A new blow dryer

If you are thinking of buying a new blow dryer, go for one of those ion things. I have very dry , loosely curly hair and it always looks a little frizzy. After using my girlfriend ,Terri's, blow dryer in the states. I realised that mine just wasn't doing for me. Her's does not have the ion thing but did have a cold shot thingy and was just better than mine. So off I went shopping, and as long as I was spending that much money on a blow dryer, decided to try one with ion drying- one use and I am a convert- my hair both looks and feels better.

On the "handarbeits" front I have finished one "Lorna's Laces" sock . It turned out really nice . I love the colorway and the yarn and finished sock have a nice soft cushy feel. The second sock is cast on ,but will have to wait and be worked on in "between" times as I am commited to Annemarie's Neighborhood RR at the moment. It is my priority until it is finished and sent on it's way.

On the personal side I have had a tough week. Aside from all the usual business, Patrick got sick and had to be taken to the Dr. , medicated and pandered too. Plus the dog kept throwing up. One night I got up about 16 times between Patrick and Nala- I am not sure why I kept bothering to go back to bed ! Patrick is still home from school but should be able to go back on Monday and I think I figured what was making the dog sick- just as I was about to break down and take her to the Vet , she got better. The only thing I can figure out is that we had been feeding her the last of a bag of dog food from before we went on vacation and perhaps in the heat it had gone rancid. As soon as we started feeding her from a new bag - she quit throwing up. has this ever happened to anyone else? Or their dog? I also had to take the car to get an inspection - everything was fine except I need new brake pads in the front. They had to order them but I assume they will be here in a couple of days. It feels good to know the car has fresh oil and filters etc...
Wednesday evening I had to go to 2 parent teacher evenings. One in each of the kid' schools. Contrary to my intentions but definitly forseeable , I volunteered/ let my self be voted into some office in both classes. Neither of them horrible or a lot of work and just someone volunteering makes the whole evening be over so much quicker. Wednesday wasn't a complete loss though, while the car was at the inspection I had a pedicure. Makes it all worth it!

A vacation tidbit for thoes who are still interested. We did not manage to do some things that we typicly do on every trip- visit the Jelly Belly Factory or Marine World but we did visit the Bay Model - which I loved and the kids found BORING!!! It is a scale model of th eSan Francisco Bay and all of the water ways atatched to it. With it they can study the effects that almost anything might have on the water and it's surroundings. For instance a new bridge or digging a channel deeper. Very cool.
The picture is of my Dad and the kids at the San Francisco Bay Model in Sausalito CA.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Birthday Boy

Alexander is the one with the sunburned shoulders ;-) The others are from left to right. Danell - a school friend of mine, who just became a step grandma. Alice,my stepdad's,brothers, ex wife who I hadn't seen since I was 9 years old. One of my Mom's best friend's Sharon and her daughter- the sweet Emily.

Sunday update.

Thank you for the "welcome homes" . It is nice to feel like someone noticesd when one has gone "missing"
The daily grind has set in. My big project for today was to vaccume and clean out the car. I thought I might not be able to do it as it has been raining (in August!) off and on since yesterday afternoon, but there was a break and I trundled my new "dustsucker" outside and cleaned up the car. It feels good to have it done- I have to admitt that:
1. The car is 2 years old and has never been vaccumed before.
2. It has to go in for an overdue inspection on Wednesday.
3. Michael and the kids took the two back seats out to take stuff to the dump - so it was easy to do the back.

Just so that no one gets the mistaken idea that I am a clever and tidy person who ,like my neighbor, cleans her car every weekend! It always impresses me but I just can't get into it.

I have rearranged my teaching schedual to better fit my needs and my least favorite student quit- I was obviously his least favorite tutor- so I am pretty happy with that situation.

We don't know when Michael will be home from the Congo so I am not thrillled with that situation ,but I can't change it so I am doing my best to ignore it.

I am going to try and write a little bit about our vacation in each of my mails for a while as I didn't manage to write much while I was away. Alexander turned 16 on July 3rd and my Mom threw a pool party for him. It was a great day with cake, swimming, presents, and a BBQ. These partys are always fun and interesting as my Mom invites peple that we havent seen in a while. I have a picture of Alexander blowing out his candles for this post but I can't find it so I am going to post this with picture to follow!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I am still alive

Hi all. Yes, I still alive. I am not quite back with the program ,but almost. I have my dog back and Michael was here and is gone again. School has started and I am working again. I am stitching and knitting and not cleaning enough as usual. I hope to get back to reading writing and commenting on blogs soon. I hope everyone had and is having a lovely sunny summer.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hello from California

Well... we're here. No photos because I haven't set up my camera on one of the computers here ,but I hope to manage at some point. This morning I managed a good walk for the first time. Very positive. Not only do I need to walk for the health benifits, but I think it helps get over the jet lag as well. My dad lives one block over from the San Francisco Bay and there is a walking path along the water. You could not ask for a lovelier view to walk to.
Our trip here was rich in adventure as our trips tend to be. The flight (once we got on it) was good. We had great seats and it was the quickest flight from Frankfurt to CA that we have ever had. Only ten and a half hours. I don't know if our plane had turbo or the pilot thought he was Mario Andretti , but it was very pleasant. Our troubles, though, started at Munster airport as we were trying to board the first plane of the day and it was discovered that Alexander's passport had expired in March. This is one of those moments where one wonders what planet one has been living on for the last six months- certainly not this one! How could I have missed this? I honestly have no idea. The load master started to unload our bags and the woman who was supervising the bording , started making one phone call after the other in an attempt to find out if we would be allowed into the US with an expired US passport. The answer (at the last minute) was yes, and we were ushered onto the plane to the voice of the pilot explaining to everyone that we had lost our place in the take off line up because some people (us) where trying to travel on the wrong documents and the removal of our luggage was taking a few minutes, and as soon as it was off,we would proceed to take off. . He kindly explained this in two languages so that every one would know that we were at fault for any delays.
The plane actually took off only about three minutes late and one of the flight crew kindly (truly)informed me that in spite of what the pilot had said our luggage was still on the plane.

The rest of our trip was uneventful untill we reached CA- exept that we had to explain the passport situation to about twenty people, but they were all very nice about it. When we got to CA we managed to get ahold of a wrong suicase- which wasn't so bad for us ,but apparently the bag we had, had already been missing for three days and some poor woman was probably going nuts wondering where it was. The story of the exchange of bags is a huge blog in itself ,but I will leave you with the fact that the bags did get exchanged, although my bag had been "gone through" .

I then proceeded to spend HOURS on the phone trying to figure out how I am going to get Alexander back to Germany. I originaly thought- no problem. I will go fill out the form and renew his passport- no big deal, but no- because he is over 14 but not yet 18 he is in a passport no mans land. The requirements for a passport for a child of this age are a little wishy-washy. Partcularly if he was born and lives in a forign country. Also they kept saying things to me like :You just need his birth certificate and the fathers signature. There is no "just" about this, his birth certificate is in Germany and in German- they want a noterised English copy, and his father is in the Congo and not coming to Californina any time soon.
The fact that had I been aware that his passport was expired , I would have gotten him a new one before ever leaving Germany and as a consequence of this I left my home with out all of the proper documents to get a new one seems to escape everyone (in an official capacity)I talk to.

We have now decided to forget the American passport untill we are back in Germany and can apply the normal way, and are going with the German consulate who, while still wanting documentation, are willing to give him a one time entry document that will get him home.
For this I need his birth certificate, which my neighbour kindly went into my house and retrived and then put in the mail to me, a noterised letter from my husband and a noterised copy of his passport. and a couple of pix of Alexander. The documents from my husband are much easier to get to the German consulate than to the American State department because he can have them sent directly, through the diplomatic way , from Kinchase to San Francisco. Even there ,it is not his regular passport but a diplomatic temp that he is traveling on that I hope they will accept.
Is this complicated? Yes. Is it making me crazy? Yes. is it my own fault? Yes- but could sombody help me out herre just a little? I am supposed to be on vacation!!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

All you ever wanted to know about packing a suitcase ,but were afraid to ask.

Here are my finishe 1776 socks- I think I finished them on Thursday , but the camera was one of the few things I had actually put in the suitcase. I had to go dig it out from under the pile of stuff I had dumped on top of it. Am quite hppy with these as they came out close to identical. I need to remember to put the camera back in the suitcase now :-)
I am madly washing clothes, running the dish washer and trying to figure out what time to take my suitcases to the airport. Early check in is from 6-9 pm. but the F1 race is fron 7- 9. Pretty much however I time it, I am going to miss most of the race. I do want to do it though, it saves a lot of time in the morning, as boarding for our first flight is 5:30 am. I still have to finish packing , I just keep winging things in the suitcase and I guess when it is full I will stop.
Okay , I have to stop , I have jumped up and down about 14 times. I still have way too much to do :-0 My next post will be from CA.
Everyone enjoy your summer!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Not a good blogger

I am afraid I am not a very good blogger at the moment. The boys and I are leaving for California on Monday and I am trying to get ready. It is not really that much ,but I am feeling a bit overwelmed. I finally have most of my shopping bits done but Nala still needs to be brought to my girlfriends, the kids have their last day of school and I have a friend and her son coming for the day on Sunday.
I also need to clean things out of the fridge and put things into the suitcases. I put a bathing suit in one suitcase and then set it near my closet in the hope that the rest of my clothing would migrate to the suitcase in the night. Just in case you are considering trying this- it doesn't work.

Alexander managed to get sick on Monday evening and I had to call the Dr. at 10:30 pm and he stayed until 12:30am-it was quite exiting- not. Threw my my timing for the week of though. I usualy work at the library on tuesday but as I didn't want to leave him home alone- I traded woith someone for this morning. Which means that I should be getting ready to go instead of messing about with my computer:-) so here I go.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

More birthday presents!

Yesterday , I received yet another birthday present- I am such a lucky girl. Cheryl sent me the Red Velvet Sampler chart which I have been drooling over and some resd white and blue sock yarn that I couldn't find around here. Isn't she a sweet heart? I think so. Thank you so much Cheryl. The floweres are not a birthday present but an "end of the school year" gift from one of my English students. Sweet.
We have had a slight break in the hot weather- this is certainly due to me having purchased two fans yesterday. I even put them together myself, breaking a nail in the process , but never the less feeling good about providing my kids with some cool air. It is still very warm and we had thunder storms all night so it is very humid today. But, I always sleep well when it thunders and rains .
It is a holiday in Germany today so I slept late and am now lounging around in my pjs- must pull myself together and take my silly dog for a walk.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

More Birthday Stuff

Here are some wonderful bits I received from Annemarie. I have actually had them for a couple of days but thought they deserved their own post. I didn't have any of this , so not only was it kind and sweet of Annemarie to send me these birthday surprises (which it was and she is ) but she was inspired in her choices. Thank you sooooo much, Annemarie and Jula and Pelle.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Two more things I can cross off my list.

My finished square on Barbara's NRR and a pair of socks. The RR is based on a chart by Linda Meyers called "Willow Hill Farm". I changed a bit ,left out a lot and added the bunny who is of my own design. I was able to "design" my own bunny only after seeing one that Annemarie came up with, and then thinking really hard about what it looked like. There are probably a thousand charts with bunnies just like this out there - but i don't own one, I discovered after paging through about a meter of cross stitch charts, books and mags. I like it though and hope Barbara does as well.

The socks are my "Starbuck's" socks as that is where I cast them on.They are made out of Austerman Step with aloe vera and chestnut.They are really soft . I was worried that the colorway would be totally ugly but ended up liking it. They are very obviously fraternal ,but as I was worried about them being ugly anyway I wasn't too worried about that. Maybe the next ones will match.

Friday, June 09, 2006

5 things

Nabbed this from Barbara's blog
5 things that are in my fridge:
yellow American mustard,
sweet Bavarian mustard,
a jar of chocolate orange spread from Barcelona that soundd better than it tasted,
a bottle of Berentzen's that belongs to Cheryl

5 items in my closet:
a 22 year old, pink, sweatshirt that says "big weenie cafe" ,
my high school diploma,
a child sized violin that both my mother and my grandmother learned to play on,
a black knit dress,
my life jacket

5 items in my purse/handbag/ tote:
I am using a small purse right now and carrying a tote extra eveywhere I go- purse first:
prescription sunglasses,
German driver's licence,
three Clinique lipsticks,
pink cell phone,
a coupon for a chinese restaurantin San Rafael California from last year- used,
an Ikea card

In my tote:
knitting project,
stitching project,
bottle of water,

5 items in my car:
bags of shoes for the old clothing collection,
a small pillow liberated from a large airline
a blanket liberated from a different large airline, but from business class-quite a nice one,
a cool pack from when Patrick hurt his knee
pink, blue tooth head set that matches cell phone

5 people to tag:
Any one who likes this kind of silly, time waster- like me:-)


Sorry if I haven't commented on your blog lately- Blogger, my computer, the stars, all seem to have been playing against me . I hope things have taken a turn for the better.
I think this will be a short entry- I should be getting ready to leave for my hair appointment-by this I mean I should at least put on clothes and brush my hair. People here are quite critical of others who run around in their pjs .
I did not get as much done over the four day weekend as I had hoped- do these things ever work out the way one hopes?
Oops- the post man just showed up with yet another package from Amazon, with yet another sock knitting book. Just happily combining my hobbies.
Okay , while Blogger was uploading my fotos , I managed to get dressed and brush my teeth and hair. Each with the proper brush! I even managed to find a top and bra in the same colors. Important because I have no shoulders and people are often treated to the sight of my bra straps. If they are the same color as my shirt I can pretend it is part of my look- right? Okay maybe not.
The scissor fob for is for an exchange and has been sent to Australia- I haven't heard that it has arrived yet ,but I don't think the recipient reads my blog. The socks are for Moni and I mailed them on Wednesday- they didn't have to go very far and should have gotten to her on Thursday ,but I haven't heard from her either. She should definitly get them today, but I don't think she reads my blog either:-( I was able to cross one project off my list as it was a replacement for someone else and they are going to do it themselves. In this way my list is actually getting things crossed off of it. I was going to say shorter, but I keep adding things to the bottom.

I would also have more time for stitching if a certain person (can you guess who?) wouldn't break ketchup bottles in the family room and cause his mother to spend two days cleaning the sofa, carpet, walls etc.. because we keep finding more drips and splats. Maybe the kids could just stop eating atogether- think of how much time that would save- shopping, cooking, ceaning up after- no, it's not going to work. Ah well., off to the hairdresser.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Michael has made it to the Southern Hemesphere

First of all - as you can see I am trying a different font and color. I must be feeling creative today.
The picture is one of my favorites- My three "men" taken Christmas 2004. I use it on my monitor as wallpaper and I never get tired of seeing it.
On Thusday, the first, Michael and his boxes and bags were picked up by car and driven to Brussels. The next morning he flew from Brussels to Kinshasa, which is the capitol of the Congo- the bigger of the two that is on the right when you look at the map. He will be there for three months ,helping the Congalese goverment organise and set up an IT system. I have talked to him twice and he seems quite stunned by the whole thing.
We are medium well traveled people ,but he says it is like nothing he has ever seen or experienced before. The first thing he said was : It is hot and dark. The heat was expected but the fact that he is right below the equator and the time of year, mean that it is pitch dark by 6:30 pm . The other thing is that he (we) have never experienced people that poor before, and the amazing contrast of people who either have nothing or live in mini palaces and drive Rolls Royces. The other thing that he noticed right away is that everyone seemed happy and friendly. A lesson for us in that it is proof that wealth and happyness are not the same.
My four day weekend is not going quite as I planned as I have ended up driving the boys to the movies, going bowling with them and promising Alexander a movie tomorrow. I have also done tons of laundry-it feels kind of wierd to be washing Michael,s clothes, ironing his shirts etc.. and knowing he won't need them for three months- and also that I won't have any laundry from him in that time.
It makes the three months seem very real.
I did manage to walk both yesterday and today and to get some things on my "finish" list finished or at least worked on. I will save all of that for tomorrow or maybe I will wait untill Wednesday and give a report about all that I have finished in the last week. I would like to be able to repot then that all seven things on my list are finished and things in the mail etc... but I would be content if half were finished. LOL
I just remembered I wanted to say something more about the peacock. Yes, he is very loud- but I actually like it. I am not a peson who sleeps well and I enjoy the screaming peacock day and night- makes me feel I am not alone. Also- I said "our" peacock but he doesn't belong to us , but is part of the farm we live on. Right now we just have one peacock and one peahen but have at different times had up to five.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The promised peacock picture

Here is the long promised picture of our peacock. Every time I went out to take one, either he would disapear or it would start to rain. I think the only times it has not rained in the last 4 days is when I was at work or while I was in the shower. Anyway- he is lovely , isn't he!!
Michael is leaving for Brussels tomorrow and then on to The Congo on Friday morning We went to Munster this morning to have breakfast and do a bit of shopping. We were finished eating and moving on to the shopping bit when my phone rang and it was (surprise) Patrick's school. He had hurt his knee and needed to be picked up. Are cell phones a blessing or a curse?

Know he is laying on the couch with his knee iced and up ,but it doesn't look too bad and I assume that he will be okay buy tomorrow- or this afternoon if anyone calls with a good idea -like going to the swimming pool.
We have another four day weekend coming up and I plan to finish Barbara's RR- knit a sock, stitch and finish a scissor fob for an exchange and work on the newly started gift sampler. let's see what I say to this ambitious list next Wednesday.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Drying floss

I rinsed this blue floss for a sampler I am working on. My poor family is so used to my strange goings on that they did not even think twice about floss drying in the middle of the living room. Now that it is dry , I have it hanging over light fixture- thay haven't let that bother them either.
I had a lovely birthday - thank you Barbara, Annemarie and Dianne for the birthday wishes.
I had a whole houseful of wonderful friends as guests from Saturday to Sunday. I knew that some friends were coming , but Anja and Roman and the kids showed up and surprised me. Which is the kind of surpise I love. We BBQed and drank wine and beer, and the kids ran in and out of the house, even when it was raining and after dark. At midnight everyone seemed to disapear. Then the lights went out and they came back into the dinning room with a cake with 42 candles, sparklers and presents- totaly fun. I received a book , a necklace, a ring, a vase, flowers, nordic walking poles, a poem and a picture from my boys, and lots of lovely bits of colored, cut and pasted paper from the little girls. In the morning we all had breakfast together before everyone left- today is not a holiday here :-) We spent the day lounging around and watching the Formula One race. What I didn't do was stitch or knit as I was tired and afraid of mistakes.
I have to work today , but now that I have given notice, I can count the days- not just until vacation, but also until my last work day!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Birthday traditions in Germany

Tomorrow is my birthday ( 42 if you want to know) . In Germany, a day with rules, like any other here in his country. The first is that it is the birthday persons responsibility to celebrate. Birthday partys are seldom given for someone. As the birthday girl , I must shop and clean and cook and bake in preperation for any amount of people. This I have accomplished with the help of my DH over the last two days.
The other rule is that it is considered unlucky to celebrate or even wish someone "happy birthday" before their actual birthday. This often complcates the situation- you are expected to provide for everyone -sometimes on a Wednesday evening! There is a small saving grace to this rule. It doesn't help you on Wednesday ,but in years where your birthday falls on a Sunday , you may cheat by inviting people on Saturday and then "celebrating" after midnight. This is what we are doing tonight.
A few out of town friends and the neighbors are coming by and Michael will BBQ (never let a little rain stop you) . To go with the BBQ I have baked a couple of loaves of bread and some brownies. I am also planning some American style coleslaw and an insalata Caprise. If I can get ahold of some nice strawberries I might make a shortcake as well.
To sweeten the situation a bit (ha ha) Patrick got sick Thursday evening and we ae still not sure if he has Mono or "just" tonsillitis. Which ever it is he is taking antibiotics and is no longer contagious - he is also feeling much better , if sleepy.
I have already received some lovely birthday presents and cards, My gemini exchange , bracelets, earings, and a darling inlay wooden box from my Mom , a card and money from my Dad and a card, and money from my in-laws. The money from my in-laws was almost exactly the amount that I needed to pay for the stack of books and cd's that have been piling up in my shopping cart at Amazon for the last month or so, and so I hopped over there and hit the
" one click order" and will have something to look forward to in the next week.
Tomorrow on my actual birthday - I am planning on watching the Formula One race in Monaco and relaxing with my stitching and knitting- we'll see!

Our peacock has been released from his cage, as some entity decided that the bird flu danger in our area is more or less over, and he is quite happy to be out and about. Once I am showered and dressed I am going to go out and see if I can get a picture of him with his tail open, to post here as a treat for all who are patient and kind enough to read my blog.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Some finishes

I have had A few finishes lately but as they are all gifts, I can't show them right away. This bear was an exchange in my mailart group. I bought the bear at Ikea and then dressed him as a pirate. Note the hook inplace of his right paw- this was my DH's idea- cute huh!! I packed him in his own little bag to send him to his new owner and he arrived today. The yellow socks are for my Mom. I finished them on Sunday and mailed them to her on Monday. She knows they are on there way so no real surprise there. They are such a pretty soft yellow- I really like them. Alexander picked out the pattern. I started a new pair of socks for my friend Moni. Worked on Barbara's RR last night- it is coming along nicely. I am planning on starting a new project tonight or tomorrow- a sampler for a special occasion for a special person. I received the chart in the mail today and am looking forward to seeing it grow. I also have another pair of socks on the needles- another gift. I seem to be doing a lot of stuff for other people lately- but it feels nice:-)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mothers day

Here is a not very good picture of my beautiful mother's day flowers. The kids did a great job of picking them out and I was thrilled to get them. I also received a cup of tea, breakfast and Alexander Bbqed dinner. Pretty nice! Monday things were back to normal. At 7 am I had gotten up, woken the kids, laid out their clothes, made breakfast, made lunches, cleaned up from the same, started the washer, started the dryer, started the dishwasher, made sure the dog got water and food and let her out the back door, swept the kitchen , yelled at the kids to brush their teeth and was standing at the front door to kiss the kids and wave good bye to them.
As they rounded the corner, I decided to call the dog in. I called and whistled a couple of times and was getting a little pissy and decided to just close the door and wait for her to come home. I closed the door and turned ,to see the dog lying behind me in the hallway . She was looking at me like "yes?" I guess she came in the back door. I went back to bed!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

New socks

The pink socks are finished! I love this color- reminds me of cotton candy. This is the first pair that I have made with a cuff to turn down. AThe yarn is a cotton/wool mix from Regia. The next pair I cast on is going to be for my Mom- yellow.
Right now I am working on finishing up a mail art. It needs to go into the mail on Monday, which shouldn't be a problem.
The bee scissor fob and the scissors are part of what I sent to Von for our Gemini birthday exchange. As she has received it and opened it ;-) I thought I could post a pic now. When I picked up the colors, I was afraid I was going to hate it ,but when it was finished I was so pleased with it that I think I might have to make one for myself.
I did manage a walk already this morning so I can spend the rest of the day between stitching and laundry.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Gemini Exchange

Well, You guys convinced me:-) I was being strong ,but then at about 11 pm I jumped up , grabbed the package and ripped it open. Was I ever glad!
Absolute tons of wonderful stuff. DMC, charts with beads and charms and even a skein of Waterlillies in a yummy green and white with a touch of pink. The charts are all to my taste and I own none of them. Two of them are "Just Nan's" and include the beads and charms. I love these and they are just not available in Germany. Thank you so much Connie. It was a great package and I will have lots of fun stitching all the charts and useing the DMC over the next year. Okay I am dreaming- I will never get to all of these charts in the next year, but a girl can hope.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A small rant

This is just a small rant. For me anyway as I am known among my friends and family as quite the ranter (is this a word?) .
Why, oh why , would anyone in their right mind publish a "how to " book that is not bound in such a way as to lie flat?
I am a huge book lover and own many of the things (this is an understatement) . My novels tend to be treated as royalty- I usually use a book mark to mark my place. This can be an old receipt or a ticket stub ,whatever. I would never put a stitched book mark in a book. I would be afraid 1) of ruining the stitching and 2) ruining the book. See , this is why my family runs and hides when I start to rant. I have trouble staying on the subject. You guys are lucky , you can just click off my blog if it is too tiresome to read any further. Anyway..... although I have seen many beautiful stitched book marks I would collect them and not actually put them in a book.
Back to the laying flat thing. I just don't get it. Why print a book on knitting, stitching, cooking , home improvement, piano notes, that someone will need at least one hand to hold open ,while they are trying to do something that they don't know how to do (Otherwise they wouldn't need he book . Right?) that probably already requires two hands. ( I had to go look up how to spell "require" don't want to be the subject of someone elses rant about people who rant,but can't spell . Which I can't ,but I like to pretend) . I can't tell you how many times I have tried to hold open a knitting book with my elbow or knee while reading how to slip some stitch that isn't happening for me any way,and the dang book keeps flipping closed, or watched my son try to keep a book of music open on the book holder thingy ,while he tries to learn a song on the piano. I mean they give you notes for both hands, how do they think you can see the notes if thebook keeps flipping closed?

We have a small advantage here ,in that I own a pretty good, copy , printer, scanner. My excuse is that I need it for my english lessons .Which I do . But, the real reason I bought it was to be able to print out free patterns from the internet and to copy pages fom "how to "books so that they can easily be clipped or taped to something at eye level . Some books, though, are bound in a way that prevent things close to the binding from being copied without hurting the book.
You all just got lucky. My next English student just showed up so I am forced to stop this. If anyone has an answer for me I would love to hear it ,but I am afraid there just isn't one.

Gemini Exchange

Ohhhhh- I am quite excited. I received what I think is my Gemini exchange pressie today. Thank you , thank you Connie! Is there a protocol on this? Can I open it now, or do I have to wait for my birthday? I can at least open the card- right?
I tend to be a waiter on stuff like this. I like to be the last to open my christmas presents and I like to be surprised about what I am getting. But, I am not sure I can sit here and wait another 19 days to open this. If I don't do it now I will probably have to get up in the middle of the night ,some time next week, and rip it open. LOL !!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Gemini exchange

I just wanted to mention that I did put my Gemini exchange in to the post last week.

mixed nuts

Here is the picture that I wanted to post a couple of weeks ago on my Dad's birthday. It is from last summer and we are at Marine World. Looking at it I am amazed at how much the kids have changed in the last 10 months. I think that my parents are going to be quite surprised at how grown up they are this year. I will try and remember to take a picture in the same place this year so we have something to compare it to.

it took me so long to post this picture because for some reason ,completely unknown to me, all of my summer vacation 2005 pix ,landed in a different file than all the other pix. I could only ever find them on accedent. I had my husband reunite them the last time I happened upon them and he was home at the same time!


I found a new vegetable, well new to me. I discovered ,while visiting Anja , that I love raw kohlrabi. I had only ever eaten it cooked and found it kind of slimy. I always ate it when it was on my plate ,but certainly never bothered to buy one and cook it myself. We also never ate it at home. This surprises me as I am from Califonina and my Mom is big into vegetables. I would always choose to eat broccoli, for instance, over an apple. Anyway ... While I was visiting Anja ,she cut up a kohlrabi and set it out and I discovered a "new" low fat, healthy snack. Yea!! Does anyone know if it is called kohlrabi in English ?


It is Formula One Sunday which means that in spite of the lovely weather ,we will be spending some time in front of the TV. We did however manage to get in a good...


walk. The dog was quite exited when she saw us putting on our tennies and ball caps. We had quite a nice walk and met a lot of families on bike's. The only problem was that it is quite windy and as we were going over an overpass my hat flew off. It landed on the "schnell strasse" below" . It is one of my favorite ballcaps- I think that is sort of a dumb statement because if I didn't like it I guess I wouldn't wear it -or even have it... Anyway, there are some stairs down to the street and we went down and Michael risked life and limb to rescue my hat. It didn't even get run over.

No peanuts ,because Patrick is allergic, and no hazelnuts because, I think they are yucky :-)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Michael"s socks

Here is the promised picture of Michael's plain black socks. I think the shadows are the most interesting hing in the photo :-) I have number 1 of a cotton candy pink pair on OTN.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"The stitching area "or "It's Rachael's -don't touch it"

I thought I would treat you to a picture of "my chair" today. This is where I always sit to stitch and knit. Other people are allowed to sit here, but only when I am otherwise occupied. You can see two lights here ,but I actually have four! The one attached to the bookcase was the last purchased and is a daylight lamp and my favorite. The chair and footstool are gliders and the knitted wrap on the chair is " Big Blue" .

Big Blue was knitted for me by the lovely Cheryl . It started out as a kind of shawl, but due to a small miscalculation, ended up being so big that when I put it over my shoulders I have a train. I love it though and use it to cover myself when I take a nap on the sofa :-) On one side of my chair is "My table". If people have to sit in chair I can live with it, but my table is pretty much off limits. I try and tidy it up regularly ,but as you can see it is overdue. The glass is a huge canning jar that I stole from my neighbor and I use it to drop my orts in. On the other side of the chair is a basket for sock wool ,a box for whatever stitching projects are in the holding pattern, and a frame/chart holder. Next to that is a bookcase with all my hardback stitching, sewing, and knitting books. I have to admit that while I am flexible about many things , my hadwork is not one of them. Please let me sit in my chair with my light just so and my books within arms reach. I do have more stash areas including a large bookshelf a small rolling cart, a small chest another rolling cart and ...oops I keep thinking of more stash areas. Better not to think to hard on this.

On the chair seat you can see my almost finished project of the moment. Michael's plain ,black socks. Not really interesting and kind of slow going, but I should get them finished tonight or tomorrow. I will post a pic when they are finished-however boring. Happy stitching.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A very quiet week.

It's Thursday and no one here has been in the hospital- had a birthday-made a major purchase or anything else truly worthy of notice.
I have been to work ,washed the floors and painted my nails this week (toes pink and fingers clear). I am also working on a black sock for Michael, as so many men have told him that they hate to wear anything but handmade socks. He is now willing to try them. For some reason though I misscounted the heel and had to redo it four times. The knitting part doesnt take that long,but the pulling out of the mistake and not completly losing my place is tough and takes ages.
Today is my Dad's birthday- Happy Birthday Dad, if you are reading this. Michael is going to Dresden this weekend for his free weekend- I had mine last week ,remember? It seems so long ago already. Tomorrow morning I have my last stitching class and afterward am going to do the last bit of shopping for my Gemini birthday exchange.
I found a nice picture of my dad and the boys from last summer but once again I can't get it to download - i will try again this afternoon.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The promised pictures

Here are the promised pictures. A pair of socks , finished in a race with the Formula One drivers in Imola. I watched too much and knit too little and lost. LOL . The yarnis for four pairs of socks- a black pair for Michael,which I started last night, the blue strip is for Moni. The other dark yarn is actually a dark blus silk mix with sparkle. I hope to find some dark blue beads to add to the cuff of this pair. I don't yet have a plan for the off white and blue yarn. I just liked it. I also bought three pairs of circs. One pair is Inox and the other two are Addi premiuns. I have read so much about these needles that I have to try them. I have been ironing this morning , but Larry King live is on so it is my knitting/stitching time.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Vacation bits

I made it home safely from my mini vacation- a day late and but in good time to see the Formula One qualifying ;-) . Had a very relaxing trip ,not hurrying to go anywhere or do anything in a short time frame. I did have a couple of small set backs ,but nothing tragic.
On Wednesday I drove to Moni's and on the way tried to go to a LNS that I had been meaning to visit for about three years. I have ordered things from there and spoken to them a number of times and thought I would take the opportunity and drive out of my way to actually see the shop. When I got there it was gone! I spent about an hour trying to find out if I was in the right place and if so what had happened to the shop. I finally found out that it had suddenly closed about a month before. Sad- and a pain for me. After I had lunch and a cup of tea ,it was off to Moni's. The weather was so nice that we were able to sit outside and chat and dringk pots of tea until about 7pm. Lovely.
Then next afternoon I continued my trip with a visit to Annemarie in Maastricht. I had a little adventure in driving in that I was almost to her house when I decided that I must have gone wrong somewhere and turned around. I quickly found a place to park and called her . With a little encouragment I made it all the way to Annemarie's house and even managed to park my car in a small space behind her house. It was fantastic to meet Annamarie and Pelle ,of course- I had a wonderful afternoon and hope she did too. We had lunch in a little cafe in front of her house and then we walked into the center of Maastricht- which is a town I aways enjoy. We hit all he LNS/LYS in the hopes of finding some nice sock wool- which we didn't, but it was fun anyway. We then ate an ice cream at an Australian ice cream shop- mmm yummy. We then walked back to the house . Jula was home from work so we got some Chinese for dinnner, another of my favorites, We then talked until far to late. Poor Pelle should have been in bed ,but was remakably good tempered, and I should long have been at Anja's. I did have a chance to show off a few bits of my stitching and knitting and to check out what Annemarie is working on. She stitches beautifuly and has chosen a super chart for Carol's RR. Thank you for the lovely afternoon and Evening Annemarie. I hope we can do it again soon.
Friday I spent with my friend Anja and her kiddies- Ciara and Mika. In the afternoon we mananged a trip to Aachen to the big Junghans craft store-where-hooray- I finaly found a great selection of knitting needles. They also had a good (not great) selection of sock yarn and stitching bits, pluss tons of other fun stuff. All of which made it definiatly worth the trip.
Friday evening was another beautiful one and we were able to eat outside and even sit out until after 10 pm- wonderful.
Saturday I drove home and managed not to get a speeding ticket so it was an all around successful trip.

This afternoon I finished the second of a pair of socks while watching the Formula One race. I thought I could get it finished before the race was over and was knitting like mad ,but they were to quick for me. I had it finished before the interviews were over though- so I was close.
I thought I had downloaded a picture of the new socks and my stash to this blog ,but they seem to have disappeared into cyber space. I will have to go searching for them.
Well, I have downloaded my pix twice and blogger keeps eating them ,so I will try again tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Going to have a couple days of vacation!

Here are my three Easter Bunnys. We had a lovely lunch in a hotel and they provided some child care and amusement. They even hid eggs in the hotel entrance hall and had an egg hunt. After lunch all thelittle kids lft and my kids ,and Leonie, took over the craft corner and amused themselves making rude bunnys and hanging them on the wall of the otherwise elegant conference room.

alexander was at the doctor this morning and was given a clean bill of health ,and Patrick is in Koln visiting a friend so I have decided to go away for a couple of days.

I am going to drive to the German/ Netherlands border where I have friends. First to Moni ,who has sprained her foot,and then tomorrow I am going to meet Annemarie- in person (woohoo) , and then I will spend a night with Anja and then back home again. Between visiting friends I hope to hit at least one LNS and one LYS both of which I have never been to before. So I might have a stash report when I get home. Now I better pack a few things and get going before someone comes up with the idea that I should do something else before I go:-)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Are you ready for Easter?

We are- or as ready as were going to get. The boys dyed the eggs , to help out the Easter Bunny , I baked another easter bread-the first two have been eaten already. And Michael made arrangments for us to meet friends for brunch tomorrow .
Watching the boys dye eggs made me remember one year when Michael was deployed in Jugoslavia over Easter.
Friends of ours lived in Amsterdam and I took the kids there to spend the holiday. Their idea of Easter was brunch in a nice hotel . I like this idea too ,but the kids required an egg hunt first. After the kids were put to bed Saturday evening , I unpacked the egg cooker, the eggs and dye that I had brought with me. Both Judy and Jun rolled their eyes and made that "this is why we don't have kids face" . I begged them to help me and they both agreed, although I don't think Jun ,who is Japanese, had ever dyed eggs before. Sometime around midnight I gave up and went to bed and left the two of them happily creating tiny works of art . I had shown them how ,if you color on an egg with crayon and then dip it in the dye , the dye will not stick to the egg. I use this techniqe to do things like write "Happy Easter" in block letters. They took this and ran with it. They made really wonderful eggs with names, animals and fantasy designs. The kids were thrilled with these eggs- me too.
They are divorced now and we haven't seen them in ages, although I spoke with both of them less than a year ago. They helped make a holiday that could have been difficult, with Papa away, into something special.
I wish everyone of you a Happy Easter, Passover, or just a lovely day .

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Promised updates

Here are a couple of pix , to show what I have been up to on my "holiday". My goal was to be somewhat further along than I actually am, but things will happen.
Alexander needed new clothes -again. We have been invited to go out to brunch on Sunday and realised that A has only lined ,winter pants. Until now that has been good ,but it is spring! Also he has outgrown all of the nice, button down ,oxford shirts that my dad bought him last year. So off we went to Munster , in the pouring rain , to fight the crowds, with our still limping son , to buy him clothing. We managed two pairs of jeans, a pair of "nice" pants , his first adult shirt and tie and a nice-ish sports jacket. . I will try and remember to take a picture on Sunday when he is all dressed up.
I am off now, to watch "Law and Order " and work on Barbara's RR some more.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

An important finish

I am letting out a sigh of relief. I have been messing around with a mail art for weeks and it is finally finished. I am not sure why I had such a hard time getting it done, exept that I wanted it to be "just so" and a large part of getting it right was in the finishing-which is not my strong point. I can't post a picture yet because it is supposed to be a surprise ,but as soon as it arrives at it's home I will put up one ..or two. I am very pleased with the way it came out and all of the thought that went into it shows.

Alexander is doing well and now just has to avoid being overactive for a week or so, and as my house guests have gone home (sniff,sniff) I have some time to work on Barbara's RR and my socks. Hope to have an update picture on those tomorrow.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

It wasn't Patrick this time.

To start with- here is my latest sock finsh. I am very happy with this pair. I tried a bunch of new stuff while knitting these socks. I used bamboo needles for the first time, I went down a needle size, used a yarn with a coton content, knit a pattern for the first time and a different heel and I tried grafting the toe. I was pretty happy with the way everything but the toe came out. I think it just needs practice though and will definitly try again.

On the personal news front. Yesterday I was in Munster for a stitching class afterwards I was going to do some sock yarn shopping when my handy let me know. I had received a message. I actually read it which is quite unusual for for me. It was a message from my DH asking me to call right away. I did and when he answerd the first thing he said was "everything is all right" by which I knew it wasn't. He them proceeded to tell me that our oldest son was ,at that moment ,being operated on. DH was packing a few things for DS1 while I drove home to pick him up and we managed to get to the hospital before he came out of recovery.
The story I have been able to piece together is this: Alexander woke up with some pain in his abdomen, but not too bad ,so he didn't mention it. I have to say here that he looked fine to me. At some point in the morning it got so bad that he went to the school office and they tried to call my DH and myself. We were both carrying our cell phones ,but for some reason they could not reach us. The school then called our neighbors ,who also have my cell number,but they had just left on vacation. Then the school called our GP's office , he was not in ,but only his partner. I don't know who decided to call out GP at home ,but "thank you" to whoever it was. Our GP , the lovely Stefan, actually got into his car and drove to my DS's school , examined him and then drove him to the hospital. I think nothing will get you into an operating room quicker than showing up with your own doctor! They discovered that Alexander had a twisted testical, which needs to be fixed ASAP , if it is to be saved. So they did. It turned out that I actually know the doctor who did the surgery , which is a nice feeling. I sat with Alexander untill about 8pm and as I am writing this at 9 :55 am, he called and said he could be picked up from the hospital. DH just went to get him .
We took our GP a bottle of wine last night , but the poor man was still doing home visits at 9:30 pm, so we drank a glass with his wife. I think I owe him some huge thanks and a home baked bread or something. Thank God we live in Germany where doctors still still make home (and school) visits and hospitals only wonder about who will pay ,after the fact. . A huge "thank you" as well ,to all who took the initiative to get my child the help that he needed ,even though they couldn't find us or "get our permission'.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Husband living at home

I know- most husbands live at home -but mine doesn't usually. His job and the age of our kids has made it a neccesity for us to live in different places for the last couple of years. That he travels a lot in his job means that he also doesn't come home every weekend. It can be tough,but I sometimes think that is is even harder when he comes back for a while! We are glad he is here though.

He will be spending 3 months in the Congo,working, this summer . Until he leaves ,he is taking a French course. French is the main language in the Congo and while his French works for a short vacation in France (mine does too-and I have never had a French lesson , so this isn't saying much) he can't converse. Anyway...... It just so happens that there is a military language school near where we live. Which means that he will be living at home from now until he leaves for the Congo. Pretty cool. I just have to get used to finding his shoes and coffee cups strewn about the house on a daily basis again. A small price. I guess ;-)

We had a lovely weekend. Visited Anja and Roman, went to Charity Night and Danced for hours. My idea of fun!!Charity Night was much better than last year ,but not as good as years ago when Anja and I were on the organizing commity ( of course) they have found a better band though and that is great as the music can really make or break a function like this.

One huge complaint I have, has nothing to do with the orginization and everything to do with people just lacking sense. Charity night starts at 7pm and consists of food eaten from booths, dancing with loud music and lots of alcohol. Why do people bring their children? I would never have subjected one of my children ,as an infant, to such loud music. It can't be good for their little ear drums. And in my opinion ( I am pretty opinionated) no child under 16 belongs at a public function, after about 9pm, where huge amounts of alcohol are being consummed. A four year old doesn't belong there at all. It's just too dangerous. I always ask myself why, why do people bring their children places like this. I have yet to come up with an answer.

A little stitching news- I have made some progress on my sampler mailart ,but can't post a pic as it is a surpise for the recipient. I have also worked on Barbara's RR- maybe I will have enough progress by tomorrow to post another pic and, I have finished a sock and cast on the second.
Everything about this pair of socks is a new experience. I have gone down a needle size, am using bamboo instead of metal, a yarn with cotton in it, a reenforced heel , and this sock has a pattern and is not "just" stockinett stitch. All of this for the first time. Plus I am actually working from the book that Cheryl , so kindly, brought me. The first sock came out great and I am exited to get the second one finished and start another- something new!!

Monday, April 03, 2006


You Are Karamel Sutra

Plain on the outside, but once someone gets in, they're stuck
I rarely eat ice cream but ,I love Ben and Jerry's. Good thing it is hard to get here in Germany.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

A peek at Barbara's RR

I am still stitching and not just knitting!!!
This is the house that I am working on for Barbara's neighborhood. I hope she likes it.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Big boys have bithdays too.

Michaels 45 th birthday was on the 25th of March . I think the best present was that it was on a Saturday this year,so we were all at home. Even Cheryl and Rick were here from Virginia. Birthday presents at our house happen at the breakfast table, or in Mom And Dad's bed if the kids can't wait that long.
We had cake with candles at coffee time and in the evening a small party with neighbors and friends. I love cooking for guests and always feel good when people complement my party meals. One of our neighbors is a professional cook and so I was thrilled when he ate three helpings of chile . Also got lots of complements on my homemade breads.
All in all ,a very nice day for my DH!!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Socks number four- these have the official name- Cheryl's Sedona Socks. The next pair are going to be something different. I want to try a pattern that has some other stitch combination in it.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Here but not here.

Hi Everyone,
I am here but not here. I have house guests and my DH who is here so seldom, is home and it is his 45th birthday this weekend. I am sontinuing to stitch on Barbara's RR and work on socks- and I MUST start my Sampler mailart. I t will be a couple of days though before I can get back to my Blog with any regularity. Have a lovely weekend.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Das Wochenende im Uberblick

In English- An overview of the weekend. I finished my third pair of socks yesterday. One is slightly larger than the other -gotta get one of those little counter doohickys. Aside from that this is the best pair so far. The heels look good and the knitting is even with no bobbles and best of all I did them all by myself. I am starting to understand the directions in the sock knitting pamphlet. Amazing. I think Cherly is bringing me a knitting book and a sock knitting book so maybe I will soon be able to knit socks with a pattern and not just your basic k2 p2 cuff and a stockinett stich rest. I would love to do some of the lace socks and beaded cuff socks I have seen out there.
Barbara's RR showed up this morning so even though I started another sock last night , her RR gos to the top of my list of projects. After that is to get my Sampler mailart going. Then come the socks, the heart wall hanging, several Chatelains etc.... I think I need to give up my job to keep up with all my stitching :-) But then how will I pay for it. A teufels kreis (devil's circle) if I ever had one.

Everyone else here is still asleep. I think they are waiting for the repeat of the qualifying for the formula one race to begin before they show thier faces. This will give me a chance to start pulling flosses for Barbara' s RR.
Other than that - Michael is home. Maarcus is here for the weekend and it's not raining and I think my bread came out okay. So life is good!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The earth is flat

Here is a picture of my (more or less) finished square for my RR. I is going into the mail this morning.
I seem to have been having a series of slightly "off" days lately. Or maybe I am just noticing because I am writing about them in this blog?

Yesterday morning, Patrick said to me at the breakfast table: A picture fell off the wall on me last night. I asked if it had broken etc.. Oh yes- he answered- didn't you see it? I went into his room and stared with horrer at the shards of glass lying on his pillow, the top of his bed and the headboard. It was quite a large framed poster and the frame gave way and the whole thing fell on his head in the night. Patrick being Patrick just got up and came and got into bed with me. There was not a scratch on him, he was so lucky!

After the kids went off to school, I had a couple of appointments. First to bring Michael's car to the dealer for a saftey inspection. This is known as the "TUV" in Germany. I drove over. realized I had forgotten the car papers, drove home and retrieved them. Discused when the car would be finished. Me, insisting that I didn't need it before two thirty and the mechanic, insisting it would be done much sooner. No matter- off I went to the dentist. There, thank goodness, all went well. Check up, x-ray,cleaning, finished. I did have the usual facinating conversation with the dental hyginist. Her son is in Patrick's class at school , she talked and I went hrmmader dvrbsa.

I mailed two packages, bought a pair of jeans, and went to the bank and then started to walk home, on the way , I decided to swing by and see if the car was actually finished. It was not .But
they promised that if I waited 15 minutes it would be. HAH. An hour later, the car was finished. It passed it's saftey inspection exept that the airbag light wasn't behaving. They were able to fix this by removing two coke bottles from under the drivers seat ( I did say it was my DH's car) which were banging againt the plug and causing it not to have a good connection. I paid my money ,got the stickers and the car is good for another three years- by which time we won't own it anymore.
Once I got home I decided to take a short nap. The phone took this as a signal to ring every two minutes. My office telling me one of my classes was canceled, Patrick, telling me that he was at a friends and would be home by seven. The physical tharapist asking where Patrick was. Oops- now Patrick was in trouble.
Decided the nap wasn't going to work and got up to get ready for work , when the doorbell decided to take a turn. I opened the door to four (yes four!) police in a van who were returning Nala, who had apparently decided to go to the gas station and see if anyone there would give her a treat. Someone had called them because she was too far from home , but they were pretty sure where she belonged. Thank goodness. There were some questions about , insurance , chipping and tatoos ,but as they had not found her in the street and Nala has all of the above , there was nothing they could do. We once called the police here to report pistol shots fired and had to fight to get them to even come out, but let your dog leave the yard and they show up with four police and a van.
Work was uneventful, well nothing involving several three year olds is uneventful ,but nothing out of the ordinary. On my way home,I dropped by the grocery store and when I came out someone had "parked in" half of the parking lot. The half where I was. I asked to have the car owner paged and by the time I was finished packing my grocerys in my car she had moved it -to an equaly bad place. I made her move it again. There were empty parking spaces but she was insistent in parking in the drive way. It's only a very small lot. I won't even go into my rant about the driving skills in NRW.
Afterwards I had a cup of tea with my neighbor/house owner, brought Andreas home with me to get him to look at my shower door which keeps falling out, found the piano teacher at the door- two days early ,but who's counting- opened the door, called for Alexander, ran for the phone, which was ringing, trying to direct Andreas to the bathroom the piano teacher and Alexander to the piano, while getting out an extra chair , open the window and make sure there was nothing disgusting lying around the great room. I usually try to check this before the piano teaches comes- but not two days before. Andreas did decide against fixing the shower door. He is going to install a new one- very good.
The rest of the day went smoothly, chatted with Michael, fixed dinner, chatted with Cheryl, finished my RR, went to bed too late. At the end everything came out fine today ,but it seemed like quite the trip to get to the end of the day. Wouldn't want to be bored!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

More and new stash

I have a new hobby- sock knitting. One of the best, or worst things about this is that it gives me an excuse to buy more and different stash. Sock yarn is incredibly cool. It comes in all sorts of different color combinations. Solids, self striping, melange. All kinds of stuff out there. Plus while it seems there are not quite as many notions used for kniting as for cross stitching, I am starting from scratch, so still lots of stashing to be done. You can even buy ivory colored, plastic knitting needles that are flecked with gold. Very pretty -although I think I like the 50s style, colored aluminium ones better.
Don't worry , I am not about to stop cross stitching, but I have never been good at taking my stitching with me. I seem to need my space to stitch in ,but socks are easy "on the go". Giving me something for Dr.'s offices and vacations. I am always amazed at people who can sit patiently and wait to be called in a waiting room. I am not good at waiting and without a book or a project, I go nuts. The only place I am able to sit and stare at nothing is on an airplane-and that is because I take "medication" to get me through the flight.

A small change on my blog- I have a counter-YEA. I signed up and filled everything out by myself but then couldn't get the HTML code thingy in the right place etc.. on the Blog. While my husband was here on the weekend ,I asked him to have a look at it. I showed him where I had inserted the code and he looked at me with a strange expresion on his face and asked why I had put it THERE. I had no good answer other than I figured I could always change it. He shook his head ,either sadly or in wonderment at my logic and fixed it for me. I wouldn't want him to think I could get away without him :-)

Friday, March 10, 2006

A plea to all parents

I just mopped my floors- and my son walked across the hall with dirty boots before it was even dry. Truly- I am not sure it is worth it. LOL- ya gotta laugh or cry and I prefer to laugh- most of the time!
I am back to working on my RR so that I can mail it out on Wednesday at the latest. It will go in a padded envelope , registered mail ,air etc... I had taken a break from stitching on it because I couldn't find a peacock that I liked. I love the fact that we have peacocks on our farm and it was terribly important to me that I have one on my RR. I found just the right one this morning,with some help from Dani. Thank you Dani!!!
I have it almost stitched , although it is slow going today. I have a headache that keeps going and coming. Headache and over one stitching are not mutually condusive.

Thanks for the encouraging words for Patrick on his nerve removal. He had no problems at all. He went to both appointment on his bike and came home happy as a clam (can clams be happy?) ,the second time with the nerve sealed in a little plastic bag thing. It is sitting in front of me. Do you know what a tooth nerve looks like? Do you want to know? Shall I post a picture? I thought not. I think I was wrong in calling what he had a root canal. He HAS had a root canal on the other front tooth though. I am 41 years old and never had a root canal or a nerve removed from a tooth. How can a thirteen year old have had both?

On to my" plea to all parents". As you may know I give English lessons. I have discovered that there are children out there ,over the age of 10 ,who do not know how to look up a word in the dictionary. So , if you have a child who can read , please get out a dictionary and make sure your child knows how to do this. Even if you are pretty sure they can , give them a refresher course. I t will make their school lives soooo much easier. I am declaring theis weekend - International use the dictionary weekend.
Have a good one!!!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Is it a full moon or what?

Here is a picture of my friend Wilma, whose birthday it is today and her daughter Leonie whose god mother I am.

I am in a very wierd mood- not good. Is it a full moon? I guess I could google it or find a calender that tells me. Most of the calenders in my house are not for this year- I just keep the ones that have pictures that I like. I keep them on the right month , but the wrong year is the wrong year- there is just no getting around it. I do have a date book to keep my appointments , but as I work with school kids , I use a school date book. One that runs from September to September and this one has no moon schedual. Anyway -wierd mood stuff- does anyone besides me have trouble with the word verification thing on Blogger- or Yahoo for that matter? Sometimes I just can't decide what the letters are . Is that an l or an i , a v or a u? I often have to try twice and at least once, three times to post my comments. The other thing that happens is I think the letters look like they should be Dutch words, I sit here an d look at them and wonder what they might mean! I don't really belive this and I have a dutch dictionary if I really wanted to look a word up , but I am afraid the thought alone makes me a bit wierd.

Patrick (who else) is having another tooth episode. The tooth that he broke off at xmas 2004 ,decided to go wonky. The nerve got infected and had to be removed. Otherwise known as a root canal. This involved two days of missed school due to pain (before the root canal, since he had it done he is fine). Two visits to the dentist , so far, we're not finished yet, and numerous phone calls , notes, and rearanging of scheduals. Just the usual crazy goings on.