Wednesday, June 28, 2017

San Francisco Pride

June is Pride month and last weekend the Pride Parade took place in San Francisco. Kaefer wanted to go, and so we took her and a friend of hers down to the city and watched the parade and the festivities.

It was a joyful affair. Of course it was crowded which I don't particularly like and even tend to panic, but the "panicky moments" were fortunately only few and most of the time I could simply enjoy this colorful event. It was rather cool in the morning with a chilly wind - rather typical for San Francisco - but it warmed up eventually and became a sunny day.

The mood was joyful and I felt a very positive vibe. I loved people watching, taking in the creativity many people showed. Of course it was colorful, rainbows everywhere!

The parade was fascinating, full of great music and laughter.

Here are some more snippets that represent the color and joy of this festival:

I especially enjoyed these two guys with their colorful dogs!

Even some of the police officers carried pink handcuffs. I loved this little detail.

While the girls enjoyed the parade on their own, the Geek and I strolled around the Civic Center where all the booths (and the food!) were until we ended up near the dance floor. The dancing was fabulous, and we even ventured onto the dance floor ourselves and learned some line dancing. How fun!

This definitely was my favorite part of the day!

After we had met up with the girls again it was late in the afternoon and we decided to bring the day to a tasty end by visiting our favorite German restaurant in the city, the Suppenk├╝che (soup kitchen). The food is very authentic here and absolutely delicious.

We had Wiener Schnitzel mit Bratkartoffeln and the Geek and I enjoyed some Erdinger Hefeweizen - the dark one was mine. Their selection of beer is so good - you can check it out here. Prost!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Escaping the Heat

We're currently having a rather bad heatwave here. Without any air conditioning we close up the house in the morning as soon as temperatures rise and only open doors and windows when temperatures are slightly lower outside, put on the fans and let the breeze get into the house and cool it down.

Last Sunday, on Father's Day, it was a 106 F. Way too hot for us, and so we decided to go up North to the coast. Our destination was Glass Beach in Fort Bragg where we enjoyed a comfortable 74 F. Bliss!

So what is Glass Beach and what are these people doing there?

Looking for sea glass of course! This used to be an area where from 1906 to 1967 garbage was dumped, especially glass. There are actually three Glass Beach sites and they have become quite the tourist destination. Everybody is looking for their personal favorite pieces. Before we headed out to find our own sea glass we made sure that it was okay to take it, but couldn't find a single sign that it wasn't allowed to collect sea glass.

The sea glass is everywhere. White pieces are the most abundant, but there was also green, blue and brown glass. I especially liked the white pieces with a faint blue shade - sea foam, I guess, is the color called.

The scenery itself is quite breath taking and wild.

We walked along the beach and the cliffs until we decided to have some fresh fish and chips in the harbor. It was nice to sit in the sun without breaking out in a sweat and desperately looking for shade.

This is not a person by the way.... Someone got quite creative here!

Back home I looked at my finds, enjoying that I found three tiny true blue pieces and even a red one. One day they will be added to some kind of artwork.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Veggies And Fruit And Eggs And...

One thing - among many others - Kaefer enjoyed in Davis was the farmers market. Two weeks ago, only shortly before her Freshman year was over, she asked us whether we'd like to come and go to the farmers market with her.

Of course our answer was yes! I love farmers markets, and the one in Davis is a gem. At the beginning of June it already had so much to offer since it is right in the Sacramento Valley which is part of the Central Valley. One of the regions that feed the nation.

There was fruit in abundance - and those peaches, though small, were incredibly sweet and juicy, exactly the way I like it.

Lots and lots of veggies from radishes to onions and beets and even mushrooms, and everything looked so very delicious.

I loved the scale that some of the vendors used - classic!

Herbs either freshly cut or in a pot to plant in your kitchen garden.

I loved this creative marker - great idea. Perhaps I will look for some old forks on my next visit to a thrift store.

Since this is California, there were avocados and raw almonds.

Did I mention eggs?

We were happy to find and eat real German Brezeln, and we could even taste some coffee.

And if you don't like coffee but rather a glass of wine - well, you could taste that as well, and it even was free!

What is a farmers market without lavender?

And when you were done you could sit and listen to the music.

Monday, June 12, 2017

A Year Ago I Thought I Was Done

It has been a year since Kaefer graduated, and it's only three more days until her last final and she will have finished her Freshman year at UC Davis. I still remember her graduation from high school so vividly. The excitement, the heat, the bittersweetness.

And I remember that I thought I was done with everything high school. Finally we would be able to take vacations in the spring or fall when schools all over the country would be in session. We could enjoy lower prices and lesser crowds. Ah, pure bliss.

Of course what followed didn't match that picture.

In the spring of 2016, while Kaefer was still a high school student, I volunteered at her school's library once a week. I enjoyed the work, the environment and the super cool textbook room that I re-organized at that time.

When in August - while we were in Hawai'i! - the school district started to look for a part time library technician for this high school library I didn't hesitate and applied for this position - and I got it. I started working in October, two days a week, which is just perfect since this gives me enough time preparing for my Saturday German classes and work for my Etsy shop. Only the last two weeks and the first two weeks of a school year do I work full time because there is so much to do.

We're pretty busy here. There are only two of us who work in the library and it can get rather loud when the students come in to hang out during break and lunch. Classes come here to study, the computer lab is also in the library and in high demand throughout the day. Most of the students are nice and quite funny teenagers.

While I do like the main library, my "true love" is the textbook room which is the part of the library with the books most often used. Here are all the big textbooks for science, math, history and foreign languages as well as all the reading material - novels, short stories, plays and poems - for the Language Arts. The textbook room is my realm, the part of the library I'm responsible for.

These heavy shelves are movable - just a short click on the handle and they move with a low mumbling sound up to the aisle where I need to get into to get the books a class or student needs. It's like magic and so far it hasn't ceased to fascinate me.

This is what it looks like when you stare through the shelves:

Well, and of course with this kind of work we're back to taking vacations during school breaks. I guess we have to wait to retirement for a chance to go on trips at other times. A big sigh in one regard, but I am also so happy to have found a job that I actually like.