Sunday, August 30, 2015

Animals Stitch By Stitch

Meet this little dachshund who, unfortunately, is still nameless. He enjoys to be outside and never misses an opportunity to smell the flowers. He's pretty sassy as well, but in a very sweet way. However, he doesn't like that he still doesn't have a name, and he wonders and hopes that you might find a good name for him? He would be happy if you let him know in the comments.

I found the pattern for this adorable little dachshund in our local yarn store, but you can also find it here. Rebecca Danger has several other patterns for foxes, birds, bunnies etc. as well. Some of the patterns on her blog are free - I just downloaded the one for the birds and will start that one very soon. The patterns are easy to follow.

As soon as the dachshund has a name he will be up for adoption at my shop. And of course I will let you know which name he picks!

I also finished another knitting project, and I absolutely love this one. I'm already at the third one! I've knitted a women's and a child's size of this little guy.

It is super easy to knit! My biggest challenge was to sew on the eyes and ears - I hate sewing! Currently I'm knitting a grey one that I will donate to a holiday bazaar.

Any projects you recently finished? I would love to hear what you did - let me know in the comments.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Driftwood Fence

The remains of a driftwood fence is more accurate, I think. I found this one at one of our beaches - we have tons of driftwood, but then I discovered that this wasn't just driftwood - it used to be a fence. I don't know how long ago that has been, and it doesn't really matter, anyway. It looks pretty cool and certainly is a "good fence".

In some of the old posts the huge rusty nails are still visible. Look here - can you see them?

This is one of the nails up close:

Pretty impressive, right?

Some of the posts were rather hollow...

... but the wood on top looked beautiful - worn and weathered for sure, but beautiful.

I'm linking up to Theresa's Good Fences!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Senior Parking

At Kaefer's high school the seniors may paint the parking spots in the first two rows of the parking lot that are reserved for them. It doesn't guarantee that they can park their car right here - but it's a great creative outlet for them before the beginning of the school year and it really makes the rather bleak parking lot way more beautiful.

Kaefer is a senior this year, and some of these spots were painted by her friends. I think the kids (they are still kids, aren't they?) were pretty creative!

I really like the octopus!

I took these pictures a couple days after orientation when the parking lot was rather empty. I knew that I wouldn't have any chance to find that many empty spaces during the school year.

You just have to like teenagers and their quirkiness when you see paintings like these!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Drunk Strawberries

When I told you about our garden party I mentioned a special German drink I made. This drink is called Erdbeerbowle or, as I simply call it, "drunk strawberries". It is one, if not THE most popular summer party drink in Germany. It's a true crowd pleaser, and it's super easy to prepare.

You only need 4 ingredients - strawberries, sugar, a dry Riesling and (dry) sparkling wine.

Start out with the strawberries - since I was expecting quite a crowd I prepared three baskets of strawberries that I got at the farmers market.

Dice the strawberries small enough that they can float in a wineglass, but not too small either.

Put them in a bowl that is big enough to hold the entire drink but that also fits into your refrigerator.

Add some sugar - I barely cover the berries and then mix it in. You don't want the fruit to become too sweet.

Add a bit of lime peel - this is optional. It enhances the flavor.

Then pour your first bottle of dry Riesling in the bowl until all the strawberries are immersed in the wine. It is important that you use a DRY Riesling and not a sweet one. The ones from Oregon, Washington and, even better, British Columbia are good choices.

Put the bowl in the fridge and chill for at least one to two hours. You can also leave it overnight (and get very drunk strawberries - yummy!).

Shortly before or when your guests arrive, pull the bowl out and empty another bottle of the same Riesling into it.

Now comes the fun part: Open the bottle of sparkling wine and pour it over the strawberries and the wine.


Get a ladle, fill into glasses, relax and enjoy.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Always a New Start

I'm joining Linda's Wednesday Wit and Wisdom again. The challenge is to post a picture, then write a short story or a poem about the picture as a writing exercise. My inspiration today comes from this photo, taken in 1995 in Israel.

Early morning, everybody seemed to be still asleep. Silently, she crept out of her hotel room and took the stony path down to the lake. Even the lake seemed to be asleep. Tiny waves lazily licked the rocks at the shore. On the other side the Golan Heights stood purple and silently against the background of an increasingly orange sky showing a few clouds that would disappear by mid morning at the latest. The lake mirrored the sky, changing the intensity and the shades of the color by the minute.

That's Syria on the other side, she thought. Such ancient lands. Such long history. And here I am, today. A dream come true. 

She hadn't come here for religious reasons. She knew that many people did. She had seen them in almost every place in this country that she had visited so far. She couldn't identify with them. She came because of the fascination this country held for her. The contrasts, the conflicts. The people - the Jews, the Christians, the Muslims. It was the melting pot that fascinated her.

Nothing of that she felt this morning. Instead she felt peaceful, watching the sun rise behind the Golan. She wanted to keep this picture, this moment in her heart. This feeling of being one with the world, no matter what you believed - if you believed.  This was the same to everyone - the sun rising over the mountains, spilling its light on the lake, on the land. The start of a new day in all its quietness, with all its possibilities. Always a new start. 

She would hold this memory in her heart for years and years to come. Whenever she needed a quiet place to go to, she just closed her eyes and dreamed herself on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Dog Days of Summer Party

I didn't write a single blog post at all last week. I just didn't have the time because I was preparing our garden party that took place on Saturday.

On the hottest day of the year up to then (Sunday was even hotter with a balmy 104 F)! It wasn't only hot, it was smokin' hot - literally. In the early morning, the smoke of the big wildfires north of us made its way down into our county and lingered the better part of the day. Thankfully it had disappeared mostly when our party started in the late afternoon, but the air is still hazy and a bit smoky. And it's still hot.

But I digress. I wanted to tell you about the garden party. Every summer I had talked about a garden party, but except for one summer quite some years back I never followed through with my plans. This summer, though, was different - and I finally had the party I was dreaming about all the years before.

Do you remember the clothesline the Geek built for me? It's perfect to change into a canopy sort of thing for shade for a party. I just threw a huge piece of sunny fabric over the lines, fastened it with my bird shaped pegs, set out a table and a few chairs beneath it - done! It was a popular spot to hang out during the party.

I had bought flowers to make little bouquets for the tables - that was the real fun part of the prep work. I love to arrange flowers in a casual way, and this is what it looked like.

I wanted to fill this lovely wire basket with flowers as well. I usually put my harvest in it when I walk around the garden picking the ripe veggies. I found these stunning gaillardias and a petunia in one of my favorite nurseries. I will plant all of them as soon as it cools down a bit.

And then we were just waiting for the friends and neighbors we had invited.

They came and most of them had brought something to eat or to drink. No one had to leave hungry!

I had made a special German drink that is very popular at summer parties, and I will tell you more about it in one of my next posts. I got a lot of ideas from Pinterest, the Geek created the wooden base for the lemonade and even Kaefer had made some of the food. Very soon the party was in full swing.

The girls had occupied a table for themselves and had such fun together.

The next morning didn't look much different than right before the party...

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Les Marchés

While writing about the Granville Public Market a couple days ago I remembered the lovely little markets in Paris. There isn't market day every day, but all the little shops - les magasins - display their food in the most beautiful way outside on the street.

Of course, there are lots of fruits!

Charentais melons are my favorite!

Flat peaches - they look odd, but they are delicious!

Des apricots...

et des cerises.

Lots of berries

But this is Paris, after all, and there is so much more to a market beside fruit and vegetable. Cheese, of course - le fromage.

I love love love the selection of cheese!

Yum yum yum!

I could live on cheese alone - and bread.

Then there's the charcuterie:

And, of course, the bread:

The Parisians are not strangers to the sweet stuff either.

And this being Paris, the city of love, the lollipops have to be heart shaped.

After all this eye candy in the markets we need a break and some sorbet, s'il vous plaît!