Friday, July 31

Verloren: Kleine braune Pferd!

On Monday morning as the girls were waking up from the camp out in our back yard, a little brown pony trotted up from the road to the path behind our house. He was extremely friendly and playful and gentle, so I was worried about why he was out running the streets so obviously lost! We walk quite a bit around here and so I've seen most of the horses, and this time of year I usually notice the new ones. This one was unfamiliar though.
I don't know much about handling horses, just to be gentle with them the same as dogs, so I yelled to Mary (the troop leader, who was still asleep in her tent) "Do you know anything about horses?!" To which she replied groggily, "....They like carrots?" :)
She came out and kept an eye on him until I got back from running to the landlord's house to let him know there was a lost pony wandering around. Somehow she managed to get him into an open pen next to two larger neighborhood horses so at least he would be safe. The landlord said to let him be (??) I guess he figured someone would notice him in the pen and he'd be taken care of.
Tuesday morning I went to check on him and he still had no water and was just hiding under the apple trees in the shade, so Brenda and Cora and I walked over to a resident horse lady's house to tell her about the pony, hoping she could at least ask the owners of the two larger horses to share their water with the little guy.
Now he's got water and looks fine, albeit a littel bored. Not sure still who he belongs to but someone is taking care of him and I'm sure his owners will turn up eventually.
Chris asked the other day, "So, do we own a horse now?"
This is all a little nerve wracking because our German communication skills are limited and there is only so much we can do to find out where he came from. Victoria tho is a caring horse owner and will make sure he either gets back to where he belongs or a new home is found for him.


As I was walking today to check on him I noticed the plums are starting to ripen. They still have quite a bit to go, but I love the colors they are making at the moment.

On a less successful note, my tomatoes are starting to blacken like they did last year. Oh well, that's kind of why I went for the free range garden thing, I wasn't sure that even if I put in all the work they would do alright. As soon as the summer is over I'm tearing out every plant and turning the ground again, hopefully the disease will be killed off this winter and we can try again next year.


It's been an über langsam (slow) day but I've played a little on Photoshop with some other pictures I took while out and about today (and yesterday).

I love my pups!

Thursday, July 30

The Birds and the Bees.

We were able to spend some more time on Cora's tattoo today....a cute little chickadee for her Mum :)


Just some pictures we stopped and took today on the way home (working at cheering up a trying week).
Summer is the most beautiful time of year here, as long as the sun is shining!!

Curious Cora, wondering what the flowers are looking at!

Wednesday, July 29


A few great ways to start out a week: Camp out in your back yard and tie dye with some lovely little Girl Scouts! Then swimming! Yay!
But make sure to not get a phone call from the hospital saying your husband's been admitted.
He's had a wicked cough for 2 months, since getting back from a trip to the States, and I'm very relieved that he's getting it taken care of finally.

Yesterday I snuck him in a breakfast burrito ;}


Tuesday I was able to work a little on a good friend's tattoo. It's not nearly done yet, but it's a start. The Magpie is the perfect tattoo for her, looking over her shoulder like a little soul protector.

It'll be fun to finish as the month draws on. I'm so fortunate to be able to do what I love, and even more fortunate that I have people around me who let me be creative with it!!


I was able today to sneak in a shopping trip to Ramstein with the sweet and equally pregnant Tineke for some much needed underpinnings and maybe a few *less* needed baby goodies.
Lunch was Italian from the new base mall, which was delicious, topped off with a little coffee and impromptu table art!

It's pretty funny what you get accustomed to here, a slow paced dinner for one. I remember when we moved here four years ago the length of a single dinner seemed a g o n i z i n g. Now to be ushered in and out is a little off-putting! And I was a waitress! I hadn't realized how much we actually like to now just sit and linger and relish in the company, not just the food. It's hard to do when the check is brought to you before you even ask for it, a la Americana.

Never the less it was a nice, relaxing afternoon!

And Chris is feeling better, if not less bored... <3>

Friday, July 24

Loverly things.

This year I was the leader of a Girl Scout troop with girls ages 9-13. They were a ton of fun and we did a lot of interesting things (at least I think so). I'm über proud of them on many levels and have loved watching them grow up so much in just a year. This tho, tops the cake! They donated 400 Euros they had earned selling cookies (that's almost $600) to a hospital near here. Their money went specifically to the childrens' recovery and therapy center attached to the hospital, where the kids with chronic illnesses and cancer go to learn and play and feel a bit better. On Tueasday the hospital staff took us on a lovely tour of the facility and thanked the girls for their contribution.

I hope the girls remember what they did and know how much they really helped, since the center relies heavily on donations.

The staff told us of some unfinished projects where murals may be involved so I asked If I could help out at some point. Here's hoping they call me!


This week has been kind of dreary, this summer has been in general actually, but sometimes the sun comes out and beats down for a few minutes, at least long enough or me to take some photos.

I spent a few of those rainy hours learning to knit, not sure how I feel about continuing though!

Something cheery the German farmers do is plant small feilds of flowers in the spring and summer, put a money box and knife next to the feild and just let people have at it. I love driving by the feilds, and especially love the honor system involved in buying the flowers. I love even more when I have a handful of change and it's nice enough to stop, mingle with the bees and cut some fresh flowers! (Although I have stopped in the pouring rain!)

When our friend Meagan left a few months ago she left me a couple dormant orchid plants. This one popped up this week and I can't wait for it to bloom!


Today there were a few things going on: a movie date with Chris.... okay, it was a kids' showing for Ice Age 3... And then a going away dinner for some good friends. I figured dressing up a bit wouldn't be uncalled for (like I need a reason!). Michelle gave me a lovely wrap skirt the other day and I finally found Katie Corn's long-lost obi belt. I also just overdyed an old tanktop, so paired them all together and was quite pleased all day each time the wind caught my skirt and the sun hit my shoulders :) Don't mind my goofy face, I was laughing at the dogs playing off camera...


Oh yea, baby room hint #2:

Thursday, July 23

In search of the perfect vegan brownies

This weekend I made these:

They were really good, and I left out the nuts so Chris would eat them, but I'd suggest mixing the tofu in a blender first, not with a hand mixer. And next time I'm adding sliced almonds and sprinkling the top with chocolate chips and coconut! Brownie Almond (Happy, Happy, Joy) Joy!

*Picture stolen from

Monday, July 20

Yummy German Evenings.

Today I ventured with some friends to the local "city" to do some wandering and eating. Last weekend we glimpsed a Tapas restaurant and decided it deserved a try.

The food around here is almost always awesome, I've never eaten anywhere I wouldn't go back to (not like that Indian joint in the red light district of Amsterdam, yuk!). Tonight is was good, but the company was better. It's definitely the kind of place you can sit and drink wine and chat for hours under the large tree adorned with tiny yellow Christmas lights.

We learned a little about the history of "Beda" as well. There is a fountain in the middle of the square that has children dressed as goats. It's always been a bit of a mystery to me but Kirsi bought a book today that explains it.

Apparently during the 30 Years War the Swedish Army pillaged the town and camped outside the walls waiting for it to fall from lack of supplies. The villagers were almost out of food when they had the idea to let the children dress as goats and dance and play on the town wall. The army saw that the town obviously had plenty of food to last them a while and didn't want to wait any longer for them to give up, so they just left. The kids saved the town and now there is a fountain to remind everyone of it. The folks from town are still called Gäßestrepper, or 'goat skin wearers.'

We topped all this off with a heaping serving of Eis!


Today as well I found and called a yoga center in a town nearby to sign up for prenatal yoga classes. This is my second REAL excursion into the German economy (where I'm not shopping, eating or riding the train), the first being going to the pool a few weeks back and finding out about water aerobics classes there. I'm SO NERVOUS to try my German on anyone, or to possibly be surrounded by people who don't speak a lick of English, but I really feel that this will be the best way to learn and to get more comfortable in these surroundings. I'm very familiar with yoga poses already, even prenatal ones, and can watch a lot without at first necessarily understanding the teacher. We'll be here so much longer, it's time I leave my comfort zone! So I'll let you know in two weeks how it goes!

Sunday, July 19

Pups, Bebe Rooms and Accidental Gardening.

*Please excuse this gawdawful long entry, but I've had ideas building up in my mind for a week at least!*

I think that Sunday should be Pup Photo Day!
So, let me introduce you to the ones who run the show:

Nova, our 8 year old Husky/Lab mix:

Kato, our 12 year old Siberian Huskey:

And Luckie, our 2 year old Welsh Corgi:

They are chaos, fun, and often times the complete center of the household. And I like it that way.


Accidental Gardening.....

Last summer I had a HUGE tomato garden. By mistake I planted Hulk brand tomato plants, eight of them, and watched them basically take over the garden. By the end of the summer they had caught an apparently common tomato disease and most turned black and died before ripening. I did managed to get a few gallons of sliced green tomatoes for frying, and 6 small portions of tomato sauce out of it.

Ce la vie.

This year I was too tired and sick feeling to till anything up and Chris's work is notorious for being extremely time consuming so we passed on the garden.

What was that about life? It does what it wants?

About six weeks ago I went out to the yard and with my super-powered pregnancy nose discovered a familiar smell. I looked down and there at my feet were about 12 tiny tomato plants! I decided to leave them be and see what happens. Viola! A mere month later there were easily 20 plants, so I thinned them out a bit and replanted a few farther apart, and today....
Lovely! And fragrant! And fruiting!

I only hope they last this year, I'd love to have batches and batches of tomato sauce in my freezer by the end of the summer.
They are very weedy since I am doing this free range gardening thing, but grow none-the-less and I think in a few short weeks we'll have our first bright red, juicy, plump, delicious, ripe tomato!

The extent of my confined gardening this year consists of a tiny flower pot stuffed with Hens and Chickens and a little bit of happy randomness; a hedgehog from Prague courtesy of Katie, a walnut Luckie dropped at my feet, and a rubber lizard pilfered from Cora's car.


On to Bebe Rooms.....

This summer was supposed to be my summer to "nest". I was going to spend months and months getting Baby J.'s room juuuuust perfect with murals and handmade curtains and the most convenient arrangement of repainted furniture. Boy, it was going to be awesome! The theme was...... nonexistant. Zip, zilch, nada. No ideas, too many ideas, something has kept me basically out of that room all together. I love that room and can't think of a better purpose for it honestly, so why the lack of creativity?

Here's where my normal path deviates and I result to list-making: What kind of attributes do I want this room to hold?

1. It should be basically cost free. Not that I'm cheap (no, really....) but I think that we can decorate a small baby's room without going into a hole. That's pretty much in line with the rest of the house too, nothing was procured at high cost, a lot of it was found on the side of the road!

2. It should be fun! And unique! And thought provoking! Okay, the last one doesn't fit per say, but I have this crazy idea that what we insert into this area will form the earliest impressions of our son's active mind. I want it to be natural and free flowing, allowing for his creativity to blossom from the earliest possible point.

3. It must be utilitarian as well. Not cluttery, not unnecessary, and certainly not frivolous. Anything I can do to make it easier to do the day-to-day routine I should certainly factor into the room. This does not mean wipe warmers and diaper genies, just that there needs to be a place for everything, nothing randomly stuck in there because I think it's cute (this is very different from the rest of the house!).

So with all that in mind, I set out one big trash day with Meagan before she left for the States. I found some old wire farm baskets that were pretty ratty, but I figured that was a good place to start, nevermind the "theme". Maybe they would make good storage if attached to the wall (where little baby hands can't get caught in them of course)...

Now they've been sitting in my garage for a few months and yesterday I finally sat down to refinish them:

A very stiff wire brush was used to knock off most of the rust, and then Zak, our Compound neighbor, was nice enough to primer them for me.

Once the rusty spots were nowhere in site nd the primer had dried I painted them with a dark green paint (in a very well ventilated area- the middle of our yard).

After a few coats and a couple hours drying time, I am very happy with the results! I think they will make great places for diapers and towels, ect.

P.s. I do have a theme in mind now, but it will be revealed in time as I prepare the room bit by tiny bit!


To you~

Most of you already know me, or e-know me, but this is just an introduction to upstart this new blog. It's the same happenings as what was going into the MySpace blog, just more stream-lined and less, well, MySpace.

I've lived in Germany for nearly four years now, and have had the opportunity to get to know a huge handful of wonderful, creative people. That's the beauty of this military lifestyle we've been immersed into. The downside is the fact that we all move, a lot. With the luck of the draw Chris and I have received orders to stay for an extended amount of years- double the normal tour. So here we are, waving goodbye to about 80% of our friends but with no change of scenery or routine to occupy us!

I really shouldn't complain! This is an amazing place and I know that we are the 'lucky' ones to be staying, but when it comes down to it we have much more time and a lot less fun. We do still have friends here who keep us on our toes, and I am constantly trying to make new ones however hard that is for me being kind of shy around new people.

What I need is motivation! Being six months pregnant and alone a lot I like my couch a little more than is warranted. I keep drifting back to last summer- craft fairs, flomarkts (flea markets), apple and berry picking, gardening, cooking, canning, traveling.... and now I'm wondering where this summer is going so quickly without me?

This is the place that will keep me going now. I will have to DO something before sitting down with my laptop for the day. If I don't then I'll have nothing to write about for all you lovelies who actually like reading about this random life we have here 'over the pond'. Even if you don't know it, you will all help keep me motivated to use the skills I learned last year to live this year, and the next, and the next.... I owe it to myself, to my husband and to our new baby boy, who will be here in October.

So, thank you ahead of time for following this, for allowing me to voice my opinion and for any encouragement you may throw my way :) Don't be afraid to comment on here as you did on MySpace!


Kari B.