Monday, February 27, 2006

Driving is my favorite hobby-not

We had a three day weekend here. For those not familiar with the holiday- it is Rose Monday. The Monday before Ash Wednesday and almost the beginnning of Lent. Mardi Gras , Fasching, Carnival, it's all the same thing. I am not a big celebrater of Lent or Carnival so I only went to the small parade in our town. I actually LOVE parades (and fireworks) , but in Germany the purpose of Carnval seems for most people to get as drunk as possible. As having a drunk 16 year old puke on my shoes is not my idea of fun, I try to avoid a lot of the celerations on this day. What I did do a lot of this weekend was drive- Patrick, Alexander and Patricks friend from Koln. I have driven into Munster every day for the last four days- and made a number of other trips as well. All to pick up or deliver children. I guess it is part of my job as MOM , but sometimes it does get tiring.
Between the driving and the never ending laundry . I managed to finish the stitching on Peacock Cypher. All you stitchers out there reading this - prepare to cringe. I wanted to iron it before I sewed on the beads . The ironing brought out a stain on one side- I have no idea what it is, but I decided to try and wash it out. Bad idea. The whole thing got wet. The silk started to bleed etc.... now have it soaking in cold water, some fine wash stuff and some of that stuff that is supposed to keep the color that bleeds from sticking to the fabric. I hope it works. I will keep you updated. I am not a happy camper about this, as I am sure you can imagine. When the kids have gone to bed I will have another look at it. keep your fingers crossed for me.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Alexander's Haircut

Yes, I have been cutting the kids hair since they were babies. When my DH and I got married in the States, he went off to Super Cuts to get a trim and he was appaled to pay12$ for an electric razer run over his head. He didn't have a lot of hair to begin with :-) So, we bought a hair cutter thingy and I have been cutting his hair ever since. When the kids came along it just made sense to cut their hair as well. I am afraid the short style can not be contributed 100% to military influence-although that is definitly part of it- but it is also the only haircut I knowhow to do. Luckly it looks good on my kids and husband. Cut the hair short all over and then trim the around the ears and the back of the neck , finished. People ask me to cut their kids hair all the time and I am happy to, but they have to take "the haircut" . It's all thats on offer.
To cut the hair of an 18 month old- Make sure they're in a good mood, take off all their clothes exept for their diaper, set them in their highchair, have someone on hand to distract the child and take pictures, if the weather permits do it outside then you can just hose off the high chair, use an electric hair cutter with a length gage/gard. The person in charge of the camera should be prepared to whisk the child off and under the shower as soon as the haircut is finished as the part they hate the most is the tiny cut hairs tickling them. If you are doing the summer version outside, you can always hose off the kiddo as well as the high chair. I never used the scissors on my kids until they were old enough to sit still. The electic cutter means you can control the length and you can not accidentaly cut the child while you are dancing around them trying to get to their hair.. A must.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Zander Man

I have recently posted a couple pictures of Patrick ,and now I want to give Alxander some equal time-in case my Mom or Dad is reading this :-) The first picture is of Alexander helping me to put together a small wooden set of drawers for my stitching stash. The second is of him repairing the shower. It was only a temperary repair- long enough for him to take a shower, but not me. He is looking pretty human at this point, as I just cut his hair. I wanted to do a before and after of the haircut but he wouldn't let me. That's 15!

Monday, February 20, 2006


I was reading on Annemarie's Blog about how they were fixing up Jula's office , schlepping new book cases from Ikea and moving the old ones to Annemarie's office. While it sounds like a lot of work , it also sounds like fun. I tend to stay away from Ikea as much as possible because I know if I go in, I will come out with huge amounts of stuff. How can you pass buy those Napkins- what a great price- good enough to buy at least two packages!!! I can fill the back of my van this way. The point of this Blog entry is not Ikea though-It is books.

Books are my favorite inantimate object. They have been as long as I can remember. I spend way too much money buying books and way too much time reading. I am passionate about what I like and what I don't like to read. I hate to lend out my books-although I do. I 'd rather people borrow almost anything else. I am cavalier about my car, my mascara, my floss- you need it, go ahead. But my books, (big sigh) of course you can borrow it . She says, crying inside. A life long wish of mine had been to have a wall of bookshelves filled with books. The picture is of my "wall". Sorry the picture is so bad but the room is long and narrow and to get a better pictue I would have had to go outside and take it through a window. I am not even sure that would work because the windows are so deep. If it was nice outside I might have tried it , but as it is raining you just have to live with the slanty picture. The bookshelves are from Ikea. I bought them when we moved into this house five and a half years ago. The color was being discontinued so while I got them for a very good price, I had to hit three different Ikeas in two different countries, to find them all, but as I was driving around anyway it was no problem. The bookshelves together are around three meters long and I even have the extensions on them to make them taller. Almost every shelf has a double row of books and most of them have books stacked lengthwise on top as well. Sometimes, if I am having a bad day, just going downstairs and inspecting my books makes me feel better. If you are thinking- that's not so many books- don't worry, I have more :-) This is just the BIG bookself.

A while back I was at Ikea (where else) with a friend and bought a bookshelf (what else) from the 'Fund Grube" this is the corner where they have things that have been on display etc.. and they are marked down somewhat. My friend seemed quite astonished that I would but something quite so large without consulting my husband and asked what I thought his reaction would be. I answered that he might be interested in where I thought to put the thing, but I had underestimated him. When he saw my purchase his only comment was- "You only bought one?" He knows me too well. I relly need to buy a couple of new ones because my book shopping never stops , but I am going to have to rearrange some other furniture first.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Alexander and I took a trip to town today to buy socks, underwaer and sport shoes for Alexander and a frame for Peacock cypher. We were succesful with Alexander's bits plus we managed to spend some money at the book store-we always manage this!! I bought a wood frame and some turquiose and silver paint . Unfortunitly I forgot to take PC with me and the frame is a bit bigger than I would like. I think I will try and find another one and save this one for something else.
We had a bit of a shock as we couldn 't drive into the middle of town . There was a Demo and the place was full of police. There were actally two demos going on, a "radical right "and then an "anti right" The whole thing was a little scary, but apparently it all stayed fairly peacefull.

Now, I have four beasties here for the night, each of mine have a friend over to spend the night. They have had their dinner and wil probably computer half the night. They are all good kids though and I enjoy having them all here.
I just have to figure out what I am going to feed them all for breakfast :-)

Friday, February 17, 2006

Johari Window
Hi I saw this on Dianne' blog- Kinda cool. Go there and select the words you think describe me.

Rainy Days

OOps- forgot to turn the picture and now I can't figure out how. Anyway, a little progress on Peacock Cypher . I love these blues. I know when I write comments on other people's work, I often remark on the colors. The color seems to be what draws me to any project. I do like certain subjects and styles, but color is most important.

Yesterday I managed a good walk , I even got Alexander to come with me. Of course he wanted to listen to his ipod . So we had a companionable walk together. He with the the music on his ipod and me with my book on my MP3 player.
I also got my new cell phone yesterday- a pink razor. I wasn't actually planning to get a new phone . I was quite happy with my old one. My contract ran up this month though and they just brought out the pink phone on the German maket and I had to have one. See, it's that color thing again- I had to have it because it was PINK.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


To begin, a picture of my Valentine's flowers. Michael put in an order with Alexander for delivery as he is in Koln (anything new?) He hasn't been home on Valentine's day for years but has always managed to have some flowers delivered. So I want to send him a public" thank you".
Thanks for all the comments about putting my leg up- I wish I had the time, but it isn't really necessary. It is still tender to touch or if I bang it ,but I don't even have to limp- I could walk today .However, it is pouring rain and I have to go to work soon. Maybe when I get home it will be a little dryer and I can do it then.
I had Patrick at the Neurologist this morning. The GP thought that one of his pupils was larger than the other, the last two times he saw Patrick . The Neurologist decided that Patrick has very light sensitive eyes and we talked about the placement of the lamps in the GP's office ,he said that ,just the fact that the GP has a desk lamp on one side could cause the pupils to dialate at diffent speeds and cause it to apear as if one was larger than the other. In the Neuro 's office with just one source of light ,there was no difference. He also checked Patrick's reflexes and poked him with a toothpick looking thingy and then got me up on the table and checked my eyes and even some of my reflexes. In the end, he said he couldn't find anything wrong or any reason to look further-very nice.

Afterwards- to Patrick's disgust, I drove him to school. On the way he treated me to a tank of gas, I paid- he pumped and then I treated him to a round of Mc Donalds drive thru , I paid -he made me laugh.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Well, My resoloutin to walk this week hasn't happend yet. Sunday night, I got up to go tho the bathroom and on my way back to bed I sliped and bashed my shin on the wooden side of the bed. It hurt so bad I thought I had broken my leg. Of course I hadn't . I lay in bed freezing, shivering and wondering what to do , but finaly fell asleep again. It still hurts, but I think I can probably walk tomorrow. Today - as always on Tuesdays, I just don't have time. What I don't understand is how I could slip, I was barefoot on the carpet and I distinctly remember the feeling of my left foot starting to slide out from under me- wierd.
I have made some progress on Peacock Cypher and will try to post a pic this evening.
A happy valentine's day to all.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A working weekend.

Well- it was one of those weekends. Michael actually came home late Thursday night. He had flown from Koln to Potsdam in the morning and then back to Koln in the afternoon and then drove home. A lot of traveling but I think he was glad to have an extra night here.
Patrick went to visit the same friend who came to visit here last weekend. It was his first train trip all by himself. Things are so different here than in the states. My advice to Patrick was "Don't talk to strangers" etc.. and Michae'ls was-"Be polite to adults" It shows how differently Michael and I grew up. I am a real city girl and Michael grew up in a gentler time and place.
After we put Patrick on the train, Michael ,Alexander and I went and had our Starbucks- our little weekend treat.
Then we went home and watched the opening of the Olympics. Well, Alexander and I watched and made snippy comments and Michael read and tried to ignore us. We actually liked most of the show, there was ,as there always is, some "interesting" stuff ,like the women growing out of tables , with cages on their heads and the ballet segment . I really liked the rope climbers that made themselves into a dove and the dancers that made a moving picture of a ski jumper- very cool. And, you can't go wrong with Peter Gabriel singing John Lenon.
Most of our snippy remarks were for the athletes clothing. Some of the outfits were sooooo bad and not improved by the fact that they were being worn by a number of people. Our biggest laughs were reserved for the Germans who wore neon green and orange. The women wore those knitted caps with the braided bits hanging down the sides. We actually lay on the floor laughing. Now, I like those hats and almost bought one the other day and would deffinitly wear one if liked the color/design etc.. But in those colors and on that many people - OMG. The cut of the jackets was better than almost any other countries , but we just couldn't get past the colors.
The Swedish mittens that were blue with a yellow cross on the palms came in a close second on our laugh-o-meter.

Saturday morning came too early ,as my husband could not remember when the lease on his car ran out, nor could he remember where he put the leasing contract ( now you can all laugh at us) . The good thing about this was that it forced him to spend some time going through a bunch of cr*p and throwing tons of paper out. We actually burned a lot and this lead to a trip to the dump, with a neighbor, which got rid of some old furniture that had been growng mold in our garage. While Michael was at the dump, I remembered where I had seen the leasing contract (yea) . But we continued to tidy , took magazines to the paper collection bin, made a trip to the home repair store , bought a light bulb, a new lamp for Alexanders bedroom and a couple of spring plants. The light bulb and lamp were installed (miracle of miracles) , laundry done and in between we watched the Olympics- I am addicted to stuff like this -I like to watch the Tour-de France too.
Today I had an adventuresome day that consisted of more Olympics, more laundry, lots of ironing, sweeping and more dejunking, but almost no stitching. Bummer.
Patrick made it home safe and sound , for those who were worried :-) I played a game of Chinese checkers with the boys after Michael left and thay managed to get into a fight after the third round of moves- back to normal.
Michael won't be home for four weeks- this explains some of the mad ironing- he needed to take a lot of clothing with him. One week in Koln and then, next Saturday, he flys to Sweden for three weeks, maybe he can find some of those mittens to bring back as souvenires. What do ya think? The good thing abouot this is I should have lots of stitching time in the next four weeks- the bad things aren't going to get better by being discussed-so I won't.

My goal for this week is to start walking again.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

How old were you?

37 years old at the time of the 9-11 attack on America
35 years old on the first day of Y2K
33 years old when Princess Diana was killed in a car crash
30 years old at the time of Oklahoma City bombing
30 years old when O. J. Simpson was charged with murder
28 years old at the time of the 93 bombing of the World Trade Center
26 years old when Operation Desert Storm began
25 years old during the fall of the Berlin Wall
21 years old when the space shuttle Challenger exploded
19 years old when Apple introduced the Macintosh
19 years old during Sally Ride's travel in space16 years old when Pres. Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr.
15 years old at the time the Iran hostage crisis began
12 years old on the U.S.'s bicentennial Fourth of July
10 years old when President Nixon left office7 years old when Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace was shot
5 years old at the time the first man stepped on the moon
3 years old when Martin Luther King Jr was assassinateda 1 year old during the Watts riot

I saw this on Diannes Blog and found it quite interesting. I don't just remember many of these events but I have actual memories atatched to them. One of my earliest memories is of learning to write my name, in the TV room at my grandparents house, while watching Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.
Of course I remember 9-11. What adult doesn't?
Wierdly enough , Michael and I were in London the day Princess Di died and were traveling home while it happened. We got home at around 5 in the morning. When I got up and turned on the TV. the first thing I saw was a picture of Princess Dianna with her birth and death dates. I just couldn't prosess it. I thought about going back to London for the funeral but the ferries etc.. were all booked out.
The one thing on this list that made the biggest, lasting impression on me was the Challenger explosion. I can't even write it without my eyes starting to tear up. I think part of it was my age. 21 is the beginning of adulthood. I was working, going to school and had already met my husband. Life was so full and then something so terrible happened. It was the first time something on the news felt like it was happening to me. I will always be able to picture the smoke trail in my mind.
And, a good one for the end. I was living in Germany and pregnant with my first child when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down- Germany won the world cup in soccer (football) too :-)

Monday, February 06, 2006

My Baby

Here is my Baby: Thirteen years old today. Hard to belive. It doesn't seem it could possibly be that long ago. He was born on a night of snow and last night was also a white one. Our Patrick Tobias. The sweet one , The wild one, the cuddly one, the adventuresome one. Happy Birthday Baby- I love you.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Weekend report

Here is a picture of Patrick's pre-birthday party. His birthday is tomorrow and it is considered bad luck in Germany to celebrate before the actual day , but some things just can't be helped. Michael was home for the weekend and we had Markus here. Another of Patricks friends dropped by and what was just meant to be lunch with cake turned into a mini party! We sang "Happy Birthday " and Patrick blew out the candles and cut into the cake. He was armed with the silver cake knife from our wedding and a plastic Pokeman cake server -I think it is a left over from his tenth birthday. He cut everyone huge pieces but managed not to drop any on the table. We are saving the presents for tomorrow morning. He wants to wake me at 5:30 am but I have managed to convince him to wait until at least 6:00- I am not a morning person.
The rest of the weekend was quiet. I worked on the Just Nan and the heart wall hanging.

We did take the kids to the movies on Saturday evening. We saw "Dick and Jane" . Anyone else? The kids really enjoyed it. I am an evil Mom who asks questions after movies- Did you like it? What did you like the most? What did you like the least? etc...So I know they think about what they watch. Michael and I enjoyed it as well , but neither of us is that fond of Jim Carrey . I actually think that he is a good actor-and he dresses really well (LOL) but I dislike those "Jim Carrey " faces and movements. They seemed unnecessary. I also had to explain the Dick, Jane, and Spot references to my husband and the kids. I am sure most people in the audience didn't "get" it either but it didn't detract form the film. The kids didn't get the Enron references and it was way more than I wanted to explain at that time of night. I think I will have to convince them to watch the news once in a while. Nice to get out- It was our second trip to the movies in two weeks- more than we had seen in the last six months.

Now I am off to put the beasties to bed and work a bit more on The Peacock cypher.

Friday, February 03, 2006

No time to stitch

Busy , Busy, No time to stitch. I feel like I have spent the last three days on the phone. It was wonderful to talk to some people that I had been out of touch with for entirely to long. Kim, Moni, Alina, my Dad Love you all.
I managed to get most of what I need to start my wall hanging- maybe I can work on that tomorrow. Took Patrick to the orthodontist- AGAIN.
Saw the Dr. this morning as I am still coughing. He offered to send me to a lung specialist, but I declined , at least for a couple more weeks. I had visions of cat scans and blood tests , all to tell me that it will get better by itself in a couple of weeks. In the meantime he gave me an inhaler. One with cortizone that people usually use for Athsma. I hope that it will do the trick and soon my cough will be gone.
My younger son has a house guest this weekend . Markus , who we have known since he was born but haven't seen for over a year. We are quite happy to see him and I hope that the two of them have a great time. It is amazing to think that when we met Kim and Jim , Patrick and Markus weren't more than the proverbial twinkel in their fathers eyes. And now, Markus took a two hour train trip, by himself, for a weekend visit. They grow up too fast!!
Everyone seems to be busy and content at the moment so I think I will take advantage andl go sit in my stitching chair and try and get something done.