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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Adventures in the Black Forest

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That´s my Eva, 20 metres up in the trees.
Another one:
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You´ve got to search her on that one :)

Though she´s usually not so much the sporty type, she really loves climbing and has done it multiple times allready, so when she figured there was a climbing park, she insisted on going there.

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There was a "Sqirrel" path, too, where the twins and their two younger cousins could climb, as well, and I adore how Miro looks in climbing gear and the far too big shirt he borrowed from Tim :)

This whole park, it was nestled between the mountains (like pretty much everything down there), and featured "Germany´s highest Waterfall".
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Oh, I am so tempted to photoshop this picture. Add a sparkling pink frame, for example. Soft-exposure. Or a unicorn. 
I´m not sure about this "highest waterfall" thing - the waterfall cosisted of an amount of smaller falls such as the one you see in the picture, and I think they added up all their individual heights to come up with their number. Nontheless, it sure was pretty.

Pretty, as almost everything in that region. Nicely kept gardens, small, super clean villages with no dirt on the streets and happily smiling wooden easter bunnies at every corner (those, or the ever so present Jesus on the cross), fresh air and overflowing nature and everything neat and in order, and regular looking caf├ęs that sell vegan breakfast with spiritually energized water, under dangling crystals. Or real German Schwarzwald Schinken and sausages sold by girls wearing ridicoulus hats to American tourists. That, too. And cuckoo clocks. Don´t forget those.

Can you hear I got a bit homesick for my wild town, where, in between the chicken coops and rivers, you can at least find the occasional cigarette butt on the ground and a healthy mixture of cultures and reality?

I liked to imagine how many murderers, sociopaths and suicidals live in those valleys:
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Ugh! Creepy! But you can really see it, right? The secret murder happening silently, hushed up in the barn? I guess I needed some fantasy to get me through all the family gatherings...

However, I survived, and it was nice, really. Tim and I went to a Sauna (frequented only by men in their 70´s doing strange Yoga positions, but with a "Flokati-Tent"), and we went out for dinner (and I had a mexican dish with chicken in a sauce of chocolate and sesame, which was really cool!), and we went for a five hour walk in the mountains where we got a little lost and rained on, and our nieces woke us up every morning around 5.30.

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I love where I live :)

Music:

On the road, surrounded by gigantic massive blocks of granite, I thought about the sea, and how we simply should have ridden to the Netherlands instead, where they have the sea, and minds as open as their horizon, so here´s some dutch music. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all of you!
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We´re in the South now, visiting Tim´s brother and all his family. We´re staying in the house of his in-laws, which is built completely from wood, super eco-friendly and clean, and has gorgeous wooden ceilings and a fireplace and smells fantastic. Also, they have a garden overflowing with flowers and sunshine.
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We went hunting for Eastereggs twice - this morning at home, and this afternoon, after a really long ride across the country in this garden that looks like something out of a painting.
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And then, like you do at family gatherings, we sat around the table, all 12 of us, eating and talking and eating pretty much for the rest of the day.

The scenery here is stunning - we´re surrounded by mountains, and you can find wild herbs all over the place - Ronnie and I are allready planning to pick some on our last day. But for tomorrow, we´re thinking about visiting the Rhine Fall, oh, and we were thinking about heading over to Switzerland, just because we´re so close... we´ll see what we´ll manage, in between being social :) See you tomorrow :)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

So free.

We´re on our easter break. That means, no school for me or the kids, no sceduled dates and utter freedom :)
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Tim dug a pond in our garden, and though it still needs some work, the girls love to use it to relax, the bees and chicken go there to drink, and the boys love to sink pebbles in it. And no, I don´t think Eva and Ronja colour-coordinated their towels to match their sundresses :)

Speaking of bees:
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They seem to be thriving. We allready added the honey space, and when we look inside, they seem to fill that - quite fast. We went to another meeting of beekeepers, and they told us we should maybe add a third box, because our bees seem so strong and fertile they are running out of space. Hence, we ordered a third box, but this time one with plexi glass, so we can see them :)

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We had friends over, often. Our typical days begin around 10, 11-ish, and when I step ut of the shower, there are usually the first folks sitting downstairs, making coffee, and then we chat and make proper food and soap and sit in the garden, watching our three hen.

Just because we´ve got the time.

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Mehmet and Miro came up with the awesome idea to dig a hobbit hole into our garden, and with Tim digging a pond, I can hardly tell them not to - plus, I find the idea pretty awesome myself. They involve the neighbourkids, too.

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Mehmet and I finally found the time to assemble the little model of Schloss Neuschwanstein, which was still missing in our collection. We´ve got around 15 models of famous buildings so far, including the Tower Bridge, the St. Peter´s Cathedral, the Statue of Liberty and some more, and we had found this cutie weeks ago - and never came around to assembling it. And I enjoy so much sitting on the floor with my gorgeus son, who´s patient and good with his hands and loves assembling things.

We went swimming.
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Oh, and I managed to clean the house, cook some jam, do all the laundry,  read several ??? books to the boys and finish a whole bunch of craft projects. Yay! Which, of course, makes me realize how much school takes away from life, time mostly spent waiting and cueing up and waiting, so, hmmm... I guess there´s not much I can do about that, right? Except make it better...

Tomorrow we´re leaving for the Black forest, to visit Tim´s brother. He used to live in London until this December which was way cooler, but hey, I guess the Blackforest will do, too :) And since I love posting from the road, you can expect me to post a few times more than those last weeks.

Music:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Homemade bubble tea

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I am a HUGE lover of bubble tea.
Yes, I am.
I know people claim it´s an artificial, unhealthy drink that contains blablabla and can cause blablabla. 
But.
I loved that little store we had in our hometown. It was run by a friendly, chinese family that once even helped me out when I was babysitting a three year old Couchsurfer-kid from Taiwan. I loved the coconut-earl grey tea mixture, so sugary I could feel it stain my teeth, the gluey Tapioca bubbles, and I loved stopping there on my way back from school regularly, almost daily, until they went insolvent. Which happened after about three months. Apparently, having me as their sole customer wasn´t enough.

Ever since they closed their shop I´ve missed their delicious products and tried to copy them - and I´m glad to announce I finally succeeded.

The key - bubbles, of course :)
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It took me a while to figure out I can get them on amazon - I should have realized that earlier, really!

It is indeed interesting how they are boiled, and evolve from light brown and hard to black and soft.
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As for the tea - mine and Eva´s are Earl Grey tea, with coconut milk, lots of sugar and crushed ice, while the version for the little ones it crushed mango, crushed banana, honey and oranges juice. You can pretty much just pour your favourite drink over the bubbles - as long as it´s nice and sweet and chilled.

Music:

I must admit I´m tempted to post Colbie Caillat´s Bubbly, just because I always love when the music fits the post, but really - I´m so, so over that song, and I guess, so are you. Better have some JM instead :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The bees are here!

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We did it - we brought our two tribes - 120.000 bees - home with us, on a three hour car ride with three kids in the back(Eva spent the weekend with her friend). And it wasn´t nearly as complicated as I had feared, rather the contrary.

The guy who sold us our bees was a friendly guy of russian origin, with a fun accent and very open. He has around 120 tribes, but he wants to step down a notch, so he can spend more time with his grandkids. His many, many tribes are scattered all over the land, so he took us to this unbelievably gorgeous place:
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Our two tribes waited for us right behind this beauty.

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We inspected them, and they seemed lively and healthy enough, so we began moving the frames from his boxes into ours. That made the bees a tad fuzzy, but we´ve got Buckfast bees, who are very friendly, and we were all wearing proper gear, so no harm was done.
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After that, we went for a walk, and spent a while chatting about life with the nice guy who sold the bees, standing in the sunset while the kids dipped their feet in the icy creek, trying to pass an hour, so the bees would have time to properly settle in their new environment. See, the working bees go wherever their queen is. By transporting the frames - with their queen on it -  into a new box, we sort of forced them to move, and it took about an hour until they all crawled into their new home.

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Almost there - look, we can allready begin to wrap them up :)

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Before this endeavour, I admit I had some respect of the idea spending 3 hours in one small car with 120000 bees and three kids, but look, it went really smooth. The bees sat in their boxes, patiently aiting to be let out again, and we all arrived home savely. It was pitch dark when we came home, and when we carried our ladies up to the pallet which is now their new home. During the day, they are humming, oh, how they are humming!
It sounds like sitting next to a huge, smoothly running engine sitting there in the grass next to them. Tonight, we´re adding the second story on their homes - the honeyspace. I sincerely hope the ants keep apart from them.  

As for our other animals: 
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They seem to be adjusting just fine - and finally, I get to show you a picture of Svetlana, who was still really shy last week. Well, she isn´t anymore :)
They are all interested in everything we show them, they like picking at Eva´s shoelaces or Mehmet and Miro´s Playmobil people, and they are as curious about us as we are about them. 

They´ve given us 7 eggs this week: 
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The 3 small ones are from our chicks, the other ones are  store-bought - you can see a clear difference in size - our eggs are much cuter :) The other four went into this morning´s breakfast - the first scrambled eggs from our backyard ever - what a feast!

I still need to work a little - I need to prepare the easter treasure hunt for the kids at school. I´ve got a nasty cold and I´m much rather in the mood to snuggle up with my boys and the new 3 ??? volume - or at least sit behind my sewing machine. Next week is going to be so exhausting - I´ll really have a lot of work, and this cold makes me tired allready. 
But hey, the good thing is - after this week, we can look forward to TWO FULL FREE WEEKS with no school whatsoever, with time to sleep in and to write and to craft and sew and watch the chicks and bees and cook some syrup. Man, am I looking forward to that!!!

Music: 

For a busy week I need some Mr. A-Z  - and just in case you don´t feel patient enought to wait for the screaming to end - the song starts around 1.40 :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Want some sweets?

Look what Ronnie made for her two cousins:
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They look yummy, don´t they?

Well... they are made out of plaster of paris, as toy sweets - an easter present for two little girls, to play-pretend sell, buy and enjoy.
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Ronnie simply put some plaster of paris into chocolate molds...

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and then artfully painted all of them.

And aren´t they sweet? :)

Music:

Okay, I promise this is the last "Talk dirty to me" cover I´ll blog. But isn´t it amazing how one song can have so many different faces? And I didn´t even like it, in fact, I find the original quite annoying, but still, I´m fascinated by the way all those artists make it their own.If you´ve missed Tyler Ward´s garage cover of this, or the Postmodern Jukebox cover, well, check out my last two posts, you´ll find them there, and they are so worth a listen :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Let the season...

...begin again:
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Our first strawberry juice/jam session of 2014.

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Let the cooking begin :)

Music:

Remember that terrific Klezmer song I posted two days ago? Well, check this one out, as well :)