Dixie Peach: June 2006

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday Shuffle - Sweet Victory Edition

Our schedule in my home today revolved around the 5pm match between Germany and Argentina. All chores and errands were finished so that come match time we'd be set to watch.

And things were going really well. It wasn't as insane at the grocery store as I thought it might be and I was in, out and back home before an hour had passed. Two new books arrived today from - this and this. And if that's not enough reading material to keep me occupied for the next week or so, at the same time a box of books from my darling friend, Mollie, arrived. Mollie and I are addicted to thoroughly enjoy those fluffy mystery/detective novels that are usually part of a series so when Mollie's home is threatened to be overrun by them, she boxes them up and sends them my way.

It's seldom that I will only watch TV when I'm watching TV, regardless of what I'm watching. Most of the time I'll knit but when I think my concentration will be so compromised that I'll screw up what I'm knitting, I will instead flip through a magazine or a book. I chose to read the knitting book that came today and as I skimmed through the importance of swatching, Argentina scored a goal. I could feel my heart jolt a little but kept hope that Germany would even the score.

By the time the game was nearly over I'd tossed aside the book in favor of fervent prayer. I had such dread that Germany's ride to the final in Berlin was about to be over and I felt queasy over it.

Klose's goal made me start to breathe again.

During the overtime periods there was dead silence in my home punctuated by the occasional "Aaaagghh!" or "Ohhhh!". My heart pounded, my palms sweat and I know for certain that even on my wedding day I was no where near this keyed up and nervous. Either wedding day.

Shoot outs are even worse to watch and I have been known to cover my face and peek out through my fingers. To make matters worse, I really dislike Germany's goalkeeper, Jens Lehmann. I'm an Oliver Kahn fan and when Lehmann was given the top spot over Kahn I was bitter. Still and all, when I saw Oliver Kahn talking to Jens Lehmann before the shoot out started, my heart melted a little. I don't know what was said between them but I'm sure it was something that only a fellow goalkeeper could know and understand. That's sportsmanship. That's what makes a group of players into a real team.

In case you haven't heard elsewhere, Germany won. Jens Lehmann held off two of the kicks from Argentina and Germany now advances to the semi-finals. And let me say it here for all the world to know. I will never, ever say anything bad about Jens Lehmann again. Whatever crow anyone wishes to serve me up for being bitter over Jürgen Klinsmann choosing Jens Lehmann to be the number one goal keeper, I'll gladly eat.

But Klinsmann still can't be my boyfriend again.

The release of the tension and pressure was such a relief that I literally broke into tears - the emotion of it all was that strong. And the eruption of cheering, car horns, singing and general jubilation from those watching the game in the open air venue just a few blocks away from my apartment is still going on. Right now I believe the general feeling in the country is that we can take on anyone and win. It's great to have such positive, optimistic feelings all around.

We need music to celebrate. Bring on the shuffle.
  1. Tomorrow Comes A Day Too Soon - Flogging Molly
  2. Goody Two Shoes - Adam Ant
  3. Garden of Earthly Delights - XTC
  4. She's A Rainbow - Rolling Stones
  5. Gimme Three Steps - Lynyrd Skynyrd
  6. Turn The Page - Bob Seger
  7. '54, '74, '90, 2006 - Sportfreunde Stiller
  8. My Tennessee Mountain Home - Dolly Parton
  9. Do You Believe In Magic - Loving Spoonful
  10. This Old Heart Of Mine - Isley Brothers
Number seven is perfect. Now let it come true.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Great Lace - Challenge III

I'm still participating in the lace knitalong called The Great Lace and it's time for the third challenge. As of now I have four lace projects on needles - three at the halfway mark, which is the usual time for me to get itchy to cast on for something new, and one that I just cast on this afternoon. I tried to design a wrap and name it after my dog but I am way too busy watching the World Cup don't have the time right now to try out different patterns and figure out what's the best yarn for each so I've changed around my team strategy and have started knitting lace scarves.

Anyway, in this challenge we've been asked to write a poem about our lace teammate. As Sari will tell you, I like to goof around with haiku so my poem is an update on my lace projects and each stanza is done in haiku. Enjoy!

Bonnie Wrap is out
No luck designing pattern
I'm now Branching Out.

Not design failure
Just an underachiever
Banished to backseat.

Cozy's still on team
Lays limp and hot on my legs
Lace not always cool.

Can't knit when sleepy
My screw up is guaranteed
And I can't tink lace.

Have I yarn enough?
Can I get it all finished?
Me and poor planning.

Who gets finished first?
Wrap or scarves with wooly leaves?
Fickle attention.

Wow. This may lead to Haiku Thursdays. Entire blog entries done in haiku.

Alright. You back there. I saw you roll your eyes.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

New found freedom

One of the first blogs I read on a regular basis was AngryBlackBitch. I love her style. I don't agree with every single viewpoint she holds, 'cause frankly that would be a little weird and ass kissy anyway, but I love the way she expresses herself. I love her honesty and how she is an advocate (and not just an advocate but active participant) for getting involved personally in changing things in your world that need changing. Don't just complain when you can get involved and affect real change in the lives of those in your community and in the world.

In today's entry she talks about how it's perfectly alright for others in the world to dislike or even not have any knowledge whatsoever of things we may personally like and in passing she mentioned that while she may think you're nuts, she won't hold it against you if you happen to not have any love for Miles Davis.

That brief mention of Miles Davis has given me the courage to admit something that I often try to hide in an effort to cover up some of my tragic un-hipness. I shall confess it now.

I really don't like jazz music.

To be perfectly clear, I don't dislike all jazz music. I love swing and big band music. I like some jazz vocalists. It's instrumental jazz that I don't like and if you want an example of what I really can't bear to hear, it's Miles Davis. I know he was considered a genius. I know he revolutionized jazz music. I just can't hear more than maybe thirty seconds of him before I begin to twitch.

My idea of punishment in Hell would be me being stuck in a rickety metal folding chair next to the kitchen while a never ending Miles Davis record plays.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

In which I give you what you want

My dear, dear friend, Mollie, wrote in my comments from yesterday's post in regards to her own funky boil thing:

"Anyway, the thing popped and I swear a marshmallow popped out."

I can't top that (and I'm pretty thankful for that except to say that's one of the funniest things I've ever heard) but if y'all want details, by golly I'll give 'em to you. As much as I can stand to give anyway.

So yesterday my day was occupied by my pressing the gook out of this giant pimple thing. What had happened is that I have a cyst there anyway that is most of the time dormant but since it's been hot and I'm a world class head sweater, sweat and who-knows-what-else collected in the little hole that was left from the last time I had this cyst turn into some sort of sci-fi creature and thus it became the funky giant pimple. Anyway, every couple of hours I was pressing out junk that can best be described as technicolor and I didn't think it would end. Finally late last night before bed I was going to give it one last cleaning out for the night and I noticed some white stuff coming out that wouldn't wipe away.

Ugh. This was going to require more work.

Gauze and antiseptic at the ready I put some real effort into getting it dislodged and damn if that extra pressure didn't work. White chunk of who-knows-what came out, I felt an instant relief from the pressure and whatever was backed up behind it came out in a rush.

I stiffled back a scream. I didn't think 1:30am was the time to startle the neighbors with my gross out act.

Lots of technicolor grossness came out finally ending in bright blood and I called myself finished. I cleaned up the wound site and went to bed thinking that tomorrow would see me having more goo for the doctor to deal with.

As I sat and waited for the doctor I was dreading the incision part. An open gash in one's neck is never pleasant, even less so when it's very humid outside. Still I was looking forward to getting on the road to healing. My doctor looked at the what was now a very changed scene from the previous morning and said " got it out, huh? Well, that's good! No need for me to cut on it. Just keep it clean, use the antibiotic salve and keep taking the antibiotic pills. Come back if it gets swollen and painful again."


So far it's remained technicolor goo free - only a little oily, watery discharge. The swelling is virtually gone and the pain is definitely gone...only a little tenderness at the wound site and I'm hoping I've dodged the blade and it'll all heal up without further incident.

There now. I'm much better and y'all got some gory details. I'm positively high on the win-win of it all!

Monday, June 26, 2006

In which details are kept to a minimum

I'd been to my doctor last Friday for a blood test and while I was there I told the doctor the cyst I have on the back of my neck was inflamed again. That's the thing with cysts - you either do invasive surgery to dig the whole thing out or you deal with it getting inflamed once in a while and hopefully it dissolving itself.

She gave it a look and then gave me an antibiotic salve to put on it and to come back if it got worse.

It got much worse over the weekend...tripling in size and being very painful. I was downing 800mg tablets of ibuprofen in order to get some relief (and sleep) and since I was afraid that it would turn into the creature it turned into eighteen months ago I called my doctor early this morning to let her know things were not improving.

Unlike the last time when the cyst became a deep seated abscess that required outpatient surgery and daily follow-up visits, this time it's more of a...well...gigantic pimple. The doctor said "We'll need to lance it but not today. I want it to get riper."

Ugh. That may be the foulest sentence I've ever heard. The mental image it brings just isn't good.

She prescribed an oral antibiotic to take twice a day, advised me to keep the site clean and to keep using the antibiotic salve and to come back first thing in the morning for the drain event.

I walked back home and as it was still only 9am I layed down to rest. When I awoke a couple hours later, gigantic pimple had decided on its own that it was ripe enough.

This is where we shall skip the disgusting details except to say that I'm happy that due to my having a quadriplegic in the house I have lots and lots of sterile gauze pads and antiseptic. And that when you're trying to help drain a gigantic pimple on the back of your neck, it would be helpful to have something bigger to aid you in seeing what you're doing than the 2 1/2 inch diameter mirror in your face powder compact.

I know. You're grossed out. I'm grossed out and I can't get away from it. I suppose that more grossness for me today means less for the doctor to deal with tomorrow.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


This damn thing is back. With a vengence. It seriously hurts. Perfect since my dermatolgist retired six months ago.

Cue the raging infection to begin before I can get a referral to a new one.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Friday Shuffle - Completely Uneventful Day Edition

Well, perhaps I misspoke when I say "completely". I did drag myself in to the doctor's office early this morning so she could have my quarterly blood draw done. Things came to a virtual standstill after that though so by the time 9am rolled around, we were knee deep in the unamazing and utterly forgetable.

Shuffles can change a whole day though.
  1. My Baby Just Cares For Me - Nina Simone
  2. Something Changed - Pulp
  3. Atlantic City - Bruce Springsteen
  4. All That Heaven Will Allow - The Mavericks
  5. Sewn - The Feeling
  6. Convenient Parking - Modest Mouse
  7. Watching The Detectives - Elvis Costello
  8. London Calling - The Clash
  9. Adalida - George Strait
  10. Ain't That A Kick In The Head - Dean Martin
That shuffle was the best part of my day. The most remarkable, anyway.

Y'all have a memorable weekend.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Watermelon with salt

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn't it a pity
Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city

As I've been enjoying the summertime weather that's finally reached us I've been thinking back on summers from my childhood. When I think back on the better parts of my childhood I'm usually thinking back to something that occured in the summertime. Maybe it's because winter saw us all cooped up together as a family and our ability to be together in closed quarters before some sort of chaos broke out grew more fragile as the weather got colder.

Swimming was a big part of summer for us. My family always had a membership to the local swim club and until I had a summer job as a teenager I spent virtually every sunny day there. Swim team practice began at 8am until around 10:30am and afterwards we'd sprint home to watch I Love Lucy and Dick van Dyke Show reruns until after lunch. I remember afternoons being filled with slathering ourselves with Coppertone and laying out until the heat on our skin got to be unbearable and then we'd plunge into the pool and practice handstands and play games of Marco Polo. We'd stay until we were starving and then run the three blocks home to eat everything we could stuff down ourselves and hide in the curtain drawn coolness of the family room and watch the late afternoon movie until my mother would walk in and say "You'd better not be still in your bathing suit and getting that sofa wet!".

Before we'd be called in to eat supper the kids in the neighborhood would gather outside. Maybe we'd play kickball, the action being interrupted as someone would call out "Car!" and we'd move aside to let one of our fathers into a driveway. Sometimes we'd draw crooked hopscotch squares and impress one another with our one footed hopping technique. At times we'd sit together on the curb in a line, all of us eating whatever treat we'd purchased from the Good Humor man after we'd made him stop and screamed for our mothers to bring us some change. I remember a Chocolate Eclair bar being 35 cents and thinking it was insanely expensive.

When I lived in Virginia I looked forward to the two or three weeks we'd spend in Mississippi with my Aunt Cora. We had other cousins who lived just up the street from her and we'd spend every day up and down the street at one yard or another. We'd play softball or swim or walk down to the nearby Dairy Queen for a cone - mine was always chocolate. At least once during the trip we'd pile into a line of cars and drive to Pickwick Dam for a picnic and swimming in the Tennessee River.

Even rainy days weren't so bad. We'd watch old movies and TV shows and then when they failed to hold our interest we'd play our favorite rainy day game, Rock Band. I believe this was the brainchild of my cousin, Danny, who at that time owned the largest collection of records I'd ever seen. My cousin Wanda's big livingroom was the favorite location for this game as it could hold a dozen kids easily, plus our "instruments". An ironing board made an excellent organ. The upright vacuum cleaner was our mike stand. Buckets were used for drums and badminton rackets and flyswatters were used for guitars. Everyone wanted to be the lead singer and so we'd have to rotate that job. You'd get to pick a song from the vast collection of Danny's 45s and by far the most popular song for us to pick was the Loving Spoonful's Summer In The City. I never hear that song that I don't think of what we now refer to as the Flyswatter Band.

Cool town, evening in the city
Dressing so fine and looking so pretty
Cool cat, looking for a kitty
Gonna look in every corner of the city
Till I'm wheezing like a bus stop
Running up the stairs, gonna meet you on the rooftop

Summer evenings were even better. Mayonnaise jars with holes punched in the top were brought out so we could catch fireflies. We'd sit on the porch swing, radio softly playing in the background and talk about kid stuff - toys we liked or games or cool TV shows or movies we wanted to see. We'd eat Kool Pops, our mouths stained red or orange or blue, and discuss whether we'd play hide and seek or flashlight tag. The neighborhood was our kingdom and we'd play in every yard - finding everyone could take an hour and then we'd start another round. Afterwards we'd sit under a streetlight, filmed in a thin sheen of sweat, and wave off bugs until our mothers would call us back home for chillled watermelon, a bath and bed.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Which is more ironic...seeing the owner/operator of a homeopathic health center outside her office door wolfing down a Marlboro or three of the trainers from the women's gym out back doing the same thing?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My magic touch

It's not situations turning to shit that's bothering me today. Instead what's irking me is that things around me are literally falling apart. Cases in point:

~ I went to the grocery store this morning with the intention of buying milk for coffee and some bell peppers. I'd have normally hiked up to Karstadt to get these things but I'm just not really keen on buying produce in a department store. Since I was heading to Kaufland anyway I took with me a case of empty Coke bottles to return. Unfortunately as I got there one of the three bottle return machines crapped out, the other was occupied by a guy who literally had a 120 liter trash bag full of bottles to return and the rest of us poor schlubs were forced to stand in an endless line. I'm rather amazed that I stood in line for over twenty minutes to return bottles without resorting to huffy sighing. Instead I took my frustrations out by thinking badly of a guy's girlfriend who was sitting at a display of patio furniture waiting on him while he stood in the bottle return line. Her obvious worship of the bored, vapid look that Paris Hilton has perfected plus her giant sunglasses that made her look like a skinny, blonde, pumps-with-capri-pants wearing fly was inticing me into thinking rather ungenerous thoughts regarding her intelligence.

~ I've been knitting Branching Out with some half cotton/half acrylic yarn and enjoying it. I was reminded that I have some cashmerino that I have yet to make into anything because I don't have a whole lot of it and I thought maybe I have enough to make another scarf. This afternoon I began the scarf with the cashmerino and was amazed at how quickly I was progressing until I caught myself knitting where I should have been purling.

Y'all know I suck at unknitting. I had that thing bollocksed up and frogged before I could watch the weather report telling me it's going to be another humid day tomorrow.

~ And of course since it's going to be beastly humid tomorrow, the fan I bought one week ago decided it would just up and quit. And then start again. And then quit. And start. And continue to act like it would like to star in a remake of Poltergeist. Let's hope I can get it unassembled and back into its box for returning without making it look like a pack of monkeys have been at it.

~ I have to shave B so we use an electric razor. I have enough trouble shaving my legs without turning them into bloody strips of flesh so me blade shaving him isn't a good idea. Today his razor decided it wouldn't be all smooth and curve hugging and and instead the head was so wonky that the shaving job I gave him looks like I used a butter knife.

~ The nearly new mouse on B's computer tonight decided it would work with the same efficiency as our fan.

But my geraniums are blooming well:

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

and Germany won their game against Ecuador. The day is saved.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen

After a year and some months of growing my hair out I believe I have passed the point where I can offically claim that I have long hair.

Back in May, 2005 when I had all the layers cut out of my hair and I began the growing out process my hair was just below my ears. I'd be hoping it would be jaw length but to get rid of that final layer I had to lose another half inch. On that same day I had my photo taken to use on my German residency permit and it serves to remind me of the starting point of my transition from short to long hair.

By early autumn my hair had reached below my jawline. Still considered a short hairdo and I could make a teeny tiny ponytail.

Mid-winter had my hair reaching the tops of my shoulders and I could make a better ponytail. I'd gone from short haired into the murky reaches of "medium length".

Now my hair reaches the middle of my shoulder blades. All of stays behind my shoulders without creeping forward and when I make a high ponytail the bottom still touches my shoulders. I'll get a trim in a couple months (the ends have been trimmed twice since I started the process) and I'll let it grow a bit longer but that's it.

Years ago if asked whether I'd have long hair again I'd have answered with a resounding no. I'd convinced myself that long hair wasn't for me.

When I was in grade school I had long hair. Really long hair. Waist length long hair. Then one day when I was twelve or thirteen I cut my hair up to my shoulders and the following years saw it get shorter and shorter. Never pixie short but short enough. Once in a while I'd have a bit longer style - at one point it was a bit below my shoulders - but in the end my mother would convince me that I needed to cut it short again.

I've come to the realization that all these years have seen me style my hair in the way I thought my mother would like. I was convinced that long hair was silly for anyone over the age of fifteen and was too fussy and impractical for the likes of me. It turns out that it really wasn't for the likes of me but for the likes of my mom. Long hair isn't for her and I assumed it meant that it wasn't for me either.

So last May when I made the decision to stop cutting my hair I was really making a decision to break with what my mother wants or at least what I perceive she wants. I have spent so many years and have been in so many situations where I decided to do or not do things based on what my mother would do or would want. It had nothing to do with what I thought would be best for me - instead it was me taking the path of least resistance...the least resistance to my mother's disapproval. And when I say "my mother's disapproval", I don't mean the feeling of letting her down...I mean having to hear her harp on it. I can endure a lot of things but my mother's harping isn't one of them.

I've not told my mother that I have grown out my hair. I assume she'll see the photos from my sister's vacation and see for herself how long my hair is and my sister will likely fill her in on how long my hair actually is. And if I ever said "Mama, the reason I never grew my hair long again was because of you.", she'd deny it. Maybe it's true. Maybe she would have not cared one way or another but the perception that she would have disapproved was reason enough for me.

I like my hair being long. It gets a little wavy/curly/fuzzy-ish in the humidity, but I still like it. I like being able to put it up when it gets hot. I like curling it and using pretty clips in it. I like the feeling of it brushing along my skin. I like that it feels more girly to me.

And I like that it reminds me that I need to do things because they're best for me and they're what I want and not do them just to please someone else. All of my hair could fall out one day and I would have missed the chance to have long hair one more time if I'd kept to what I perceived was expected of me.

My MIL doesn't seem to like my long hair. I still go to the hairdresser every six weeks to have my roots touched up and to have my bangs cut and every time I do she says to me "Are you going to get your hair cut?". When I tell her "Not just yet." she purses her lips a bit and then gives a little nervous laugh to cover up that she's disapproving.

I'm not backing down though. I'm going to keep it long until it stops being good for me. And since my hairdresser doesn't want to cut my hair yet, it could take a while.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

This post is a lie

Well, it starts with a lie anyway. I didn't really write it at the time listed - it's actually two hours later - but since it's after midnight it'll show that it was written on Monday the 19th and while it is Monday the 19th, people in the US will read it on Sunday the 18th and they'll get all confused and it'll lead to much head scratching and limb twitching so I back dated it a couple hours and...

...whatever. Enough blathering on that topic. I'm starting to make my own self twitch.

Sundays used to be an immensely stressful day in my home back when we lived in our old apartment. Longtime readers will remember us being tortured by the jackass in the apartment above us and Sunday, being a day of rest and reflection and all, was his time to truly shine with his incredibly anti-social behavior. I spent Sundays on edge wondering what sort of profane name I could come up with next to scream at him while I banged on the pipes with the only wrench we own.

As an aside, do you know that our old apartment is still unrented? Somehow the rental company seems to think it's better to leave a 500+-Euro-a-month apartment empty forever than to evict anti-social freaks.

Now my Sundays are filled with things like deciding on whether to add tomato to my standard Sunday breakfast of a hot hard boiled egg sandwich on whole wheat toast slathered with mayonnaise and lots of salt and pepper. Holy smokes, I think I felt my arteries seize up a little more by my typing that out. I spend time reading the sales circulars and watching all the TV shows I've recorded during the week. I force myself out for a walk because taking a walk on Sunday afternoons is oh-so-German and I stop for ice cream because I tell myself that eating ice cream while out for a Sunday stroll is oh-so-German.

Is there a point to all this? Not really. My only point would be that I am caught in the groove of the ordinary and am either too lazy or too content to pry myself out of it. I feel a weird sense of guilty pleasure in being idle on Sundays. Idle and free of outside stresses. It's a good thing and I likely shouldn't tamper with what's good because it's working for me.

Want proof? While I was taking a break from my Sunday walk and sitting by a fountain near my apartment building eating a lemon ice cream cone, my anti-social freak of a former neighbor previously known as Herr Loud passed by me.

He stared me down.

I smirked and kept eating my ice cream. I resisted any name calling or rude gestures.

I can't, however, say what I would have done had I had my wrench with me.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday Shuffle - British Pop Edition

I like England. I've been there only once but loved every moment I was there (if you don't include the scary people at the rather creepy hotel in which I stayed). I loved the sights, I loved the people and I really loved the bookshops. I love pretty much everything about England except it's soccer team and Harrods. One has to draw the line somewhere.

But what I likely love best about England, excluding PG Tips and HobNobs, is their music. I'm a lover of cheesy pop music and British cheesy pop music is gourmet cheese so today's shuffle comes from Bixente the iPod's British pop folder. It's not all cheese but it's definitely all British.
  1. You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry and the Pacemakers
  2. Lady Godiva - Peter & Gordon
  3. Little Willy - Sweet
  4. Girl - The Beatles
  5. Rock Island Line - Lonnie Donegan
  6. Downtown - Petula Clark
  7. Come And Get It - Badfinger
  8. Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone - Smokie
  9. Carrie Anne - The Hollies
  10. For Your Love - The Yardbirds
Y'all enjoy your weekend. Cheer for England if you must.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


I know the year is officially half over when I change from bitching about how damned cold it is to bitching about how damned hot it is.

And I'm cranky on the verge of grouchy. The only cure would be lots of ice water and Vienetta given as an offering to soothe the cranky gods.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


As I recall, about this time last year I was a regular commuter on the highway to Dullsville. How is it that in the summer when there's so much going on I have little to write about?

Well as it is I'm in my Ennuimobile and we're headed down the Uneventful Highway with a bulleted list.
  • I'm still working on my Cozy wrap as part of my Amazing Lace projects but for the time being I've given up on designing my own wrap. I just haven't as yet hit on the right combination of pattern, yarn and my skill level to do something decent. I still need more lace practice (and in this heat the only thing I can fathom knitting would be either lace or socks and I can't knit socks) so I grabbed a pair of needles and some leftover merino wool and started the Branching Out scarf from Knitty. This way I get lace practice on a project that goes more quickly than a wrap.
  • Natreen ice cream tastes like feet.
  • Thank God and all His chubby little angels. Germany finally made a goal against Poland. And it's offical. I normally can't stand Oliver Neuville but I will never say another bad thing about him again. He can't be my boyfriend though.
You know, you'd think some of my favorite thing - knitting, ice cream and soccer - would add up to a bit more than this.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I hadn't realized that taking a two week break would cause me to get out of the swing of blogging. Perhaps I'm in one of those post-visit funks and it'll take me a bit to get back into form.

So in the meantime, take a look at my redecorated balcony. It's changed from being the dull place where I stored my mop buckets to a little seating area where I can enjoy the summer weather.

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The stark bare metal floor has been covered with some lovely green outdoor carpeting and I have an awning to block the hot morning sun. I've hung flower boxes from the rail and on an old hostess cart I've put more flower boxes that I used at my old apartment.

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I was able to take advantage of my MIL no longer having a balcony at her new place and was given her old balcony chairs. Very comfy for knitting alfresco.

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This bit of funky art was purchased by me last week when my family and I visited Wernigerode.
Here! Look at a photo of the Rathaus in Wernigerode. It's funky too!

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Anyway, I collect antique keys and so when I found this hanging in an off-beat sort of gift shop in the artisan quarter of the town, I had to buy it. B hates it. He thinks hanging rusty antique keys on the balcony to be tacky.

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He does, however, approve of the garden gnome. My sister thought that if I was going to have a garden-like balcony that I needed a garden gnome and so she surprised me with one. He sits peering into the livingroom through the plate glass window holding his little bucket in his little gnomey hand. I think he's hunting for beer. His name is Schweini. B named him after Bastian Schweinsteiger. Antique keys are tacky to him, having a garden gnome named after a midfielder for Bayern-München apparently isn't. least Schweini doesn't have some sort of creepy, demented look on his face. He looks friendly. Must be from all the beer in his bucket.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Come and Gone

What is it about getting much-wanted visitors? You wait and wait for that planned visit, it finally arrives and then the time of their visit flies by at breakneck speed.

And so it's been with my sister and her family. I couldn't wait for them to arrive and once they did, we didn't have time to do everything we wanted to do.

It was a busy visit so I'll try to hit the highlights:
  • Within an hour of their arrival my nephew locked himself in the bathroom and couldn't get the key back in properly to get it unlocked. There's no doubt he and I are related.
  • My sister, not one to be idle, took advantage of the windy, chilly and rainy weather during the first week of their visit and reorganized my bathroom and pantry. We also rearranged furniture and hung pictures. And washed all the crystal. And reorganized my towel cabinet. And the shoes.
  • My BIL put down the outdoor carpet on my balcony and installed an awning.
  • We attended Magdeburg's four-day-long city festival and drank a lot of beer.
  • We discovered that once non-German speaking Americans consume enough beer they're able to sing along with German Volksmusik.
  • We also discovered that it's very good to live 150 meters from the beer tent when it's time to rid oneself of all that beer.
  • We visited Wernigerode and I bought some antique keys that now hang on my balcony. My husband isn't as enchanted with them as I am.
  • Lots of ice cream was consumed.
  • My sister and BIL are beginning to understand our love of soccer.
  • I managed not to cry like a lost child when I left my family at the airport this morning but only because I didn't want to explain it to the driver. At least this one didn't drive like a maniac.
And now for some photo highlights:

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The Pfingsten parade that ran in front of my apartment building.

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The one-man-band that was playing at the city festival. He appeared to be from somewhere on the North Sea coast.

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The Native American flute players at the city festival. They appear to be from North America but the tags on their van say they're from Leipzig.

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My sister and BIL digging on some Weißbier.

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B and I at the beer tent. While I'm holding him tight out of love, I'm also doing it so that I don't topple over.

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My nephew and me. I wasn't holding him so as to not topple over. I was already sitting.

It's all back to normal around here now and even though I miss my family like crazy, there's also something good to be said about getting back to a happy, familiar routine.