22 January 2010


A serious burger - the result of my inaugural run

So I mentioned that one of my Christmas gifts was the meat grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer. I had been pining over it forever, but finally made my desire known to my husband this past year by stating, 'seriously, all I want for Christmas is that grinder.' He got the hint. Now I can make wonderfully coarse-ground hamburgers like one of our favorite haunts here in Stuttgart, the Block House.

13 January 2010

Sludge...and tall winter boots weather

Frozen Katzenbachsee
January 2010

Some have asked how hard we were hit with the storm that moved through Europe. Answer - we were hit, but not as severely as originally predicted. Don't get me wrong, we got plenty of snow and it isn't leaving anytime soon (the picture above is from earlier this month, so it doesn't reflect current conditions). I guess I would call this 'tall winter boots with jeans tucked into them' weather.

Walking to and from school has become a test of seeing how much sludge you can avoid. Sludge is a technical term that my son and I came up with. It refers to the nasty, brownish-grey snow slush that develops near and around road crossings and other high traffic areas. Some days we do better than others, but this morning was particularly sludgey on the walk home and my boots look as if I bathed them in a salt bath. Oh well, the joys of winter.

Note: I was also asked whether or not I managed to snap a few pics of the snowflakes. No sooner had I mentioned the lovely, perfectly shaped flakes, than the snow changed to small microscopic dots...which resulted in the blanketing that we received. But I promise, when the other type of snowflakes return I will do my darnedest to get a pic!

11 January 2010


I'm not one to have 'favorite' gifts. Come Christmas and birthdays, I am generally thrilled with any gift received, because I do believe it's the thought that counts.

But this year one Christmas gift stood out from the rest.

A Maasai cowbell!

My dear husband brought it back from a recent trip to Tanzania. He always finds the most perfect little gifts on his travels. I have to admit the trip also garnered me a pair of Tanzanite earrings (an anniversary gift). No offense dear, but I'm not sure which gift I treasure more.

I have it on display not too far from one of my family's cowbells. The contrast in appearance is striking, but the reason and use behind them is not. Our world is so small.

Yes, hands down, it is a favorite gift...well, it and the Swatch watch that my son gave me...and the meat grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid...and...

06 January 2010


Snow on moss
January 2010

It's snowing again. Apparently we are just beginning to receive what has been hammering the UK. This weekend were are to expect a good blanketing.

On my walk to pick up our son from school, I noticed how beautiful the snowflakes are. This storm is very dry, so the flakes are perfectly formed. I was catching them on my gloves, examining their intricate designs. They looked as if they'd been cut with a punch. No matter the size, they were exquisite. True works of art.

And yes, more than once I had to make emergency maneuvers to avoid running into people because I was too busy staring at my hands.

Note: After telling my mom this story, she said I needed to get a picture of these snowflakes. I am kicking myself for not having my camera with me. With any luck, I'll have a chance this weekend to capture some.

04 January 2010

Back to reality

A snowy view
January 2010

While we didn't have a picture-perfect white Christmas, the snowy weather has come back to remind us that winter is only beginning. Today is a not-so-balmy -3°C/26°F with flurries.

Yesterday my good friend asked if I was ready to get back to reality. With school starting again today and my husband returning to work, the chaos of the holidays has officially come to an end. The reality of everyday life has returned and that is fine with me. Holidays are out, normal is back.

We spent the better part of the weekend taking Christmas out of the house. Don't get me wrong, I do love having a beautifully decorated holiday season, but once the calendar turns to January 2, I'm done. No sentimentality here, when the holidays are over it's time for things to look normal again. And today, to finally put it all to rest, I am transforming the last of our New Year's ham into a pot of beans for dinner. C'est fini.