Welcoming Autumn – Our Weekend

This weekend we spent quite a bit of time bicycling.  Thirty-eight kilometers, to be exact.

Here is a little peek as to how we spent our weekend.  Saturday we visited some family which live a little distance from us.  It never seems so far going there and it is mostly along bike paths,over farmland and through a quaint village.  It takes 17 km there and only a few hills to tackle in the beginning.  Although, I always forget we have to trek another 17 to get home until I hop back on my bike.  But it is still worth being able to spend time with family and every time we go, it doesn’t seem quite so far.

Yesterday when we woke up, the weather was unseasonably warm for us.  As the sun was shining so bright we hopped on the bikes again and headed to a nearby town to check out a new subdivision that is being built.

Luckily, we have amazing bike paths along little creeks.

That is actually corn ready to be harvested on the right side there.

Here is a little peek at a nearby village along the way.

I enjoy these leisurely sunday rides.  The air is so fresh, town fairly quiet as everything is closed this one day of the week.  Just like the old days in America.  People are out walking or biking like us.  There is just a nice relaxing pace to end the last day of the week.  Or here, Sunday is considered the first day of the week, but I will always think of it as the last.

As we got closer to home, I stopped to photograph and share my favorite part of our town.  This area is practically in my back yard.

A lovely place to enjoy the sounds of the birds chirping and the occasional rooster crowing.  They just harvested the corn a few days ago.  This same photo would have looked totally different then.

 

The local train even came by.  I have never gotten a photo of it before…

Finally, Happily Mr. and I.  Sitting on a little bench, soaking up the sunshine.  Sometimes we sit here and have great conversation but usually we just hold hands, listen to the simple sounds around us and just enjoy being together.

xo

 

Merken

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Coffee Chat: Thoughts on Creamed Chicken, the Fifties Housewife & other things

Long time no chat.  Hi there!  Let’s just jump right in with todays chat,  I hope you have a cup (or pot) of your favorite beverage nearby.  Today, I’m drinking ice-cold sparkling water with a slice of cucumber.  It’s HOT! I mean, Africa hot!!  Its 28 degrees (that’s 82 in farenheit) in my kitchen right now and its early in the day.

I tried another recipe from the Betty Crocker Picture cookbook for the cooking-through challenge.  The key recipe for Creamed Chicken.  It was really easy and quick, especially having leftover chicken breast to use.  I poured the mixture over egg noodles as suggested and it looked nice but the flavor to me was quite bland.  As you know, I followed the recipe exactly.  If I do make it again, I would definitely season it up a bit.

Unfortunately, I have no picture  (sorry) as the batteries ran out on my camera, it only uses batteries and of course I did not have any of the right size in the house.

So with that said,

Keep or Toss?  Hmmm….. probably toss, but not sure yet.

Now on to other things as to where have I been?  We ended up having company last week and we did a bit of travel.  A river cruise on the Danube from Plattling, Germany to Linz Austria.  Absolutely beautiful!

 

We had about 5 hours on the ship, leaving at 9:00 a.m.  We spent the rest of the day exploring beautiful Linz. 

Then hopped on the train back to Germany.  Long, exhausting but wonderful day!

We also went to watch baseball in Regensburg to enjoy the Euro Cup games.  So wonderful watching the different countries compete.  I love that we live near a baseball city too.  One thing you may not know about me but my husband and I are baseball geeks.  In fact, he is so knowledgeable about the sport, including statistics and players from the early days, one would think he is American.

What else, oh, I finally got my garden finished.  Happy to say that I  have a few things actually growing!  We have had Barbecues and been enjoying visiting with extended family.  Also, did two 32K bike rides.  Finally, swimming at the beach.   It was a wonderful week!

But now… its back to the grind and as I mentioned, the heat.  I am not sure what I will be cooking for the cooking-through challenge for the rest of this month.  Normally, I have a plan and I do (or did), but I just can’t cook in my kitchen in these temps.  We do not have air conditioning, in fact, Germany does not do air-conditioning or ceiling fans even.  This includes many restaurants and stores.  I am not kidding.  I guess grilling, wasn’t quite a thing in the Fifties yet. The heat wave is only supposed to last the rest of this week, so we will have to wait and see what happens then.

Other things… Remember back when I said I was going to try three months has a 50s housewife?  Well, here are the results of that experiment.  The 1950s housewife prided her self on running an efficient home and always looking and dressing modern.  She did not wear clothing or hairstyles that her grandmother wore.  I still have many of the core values I was raised with, I think I run a pretty efficient home,  I am frugal, although Happily Mr. is the king of frugal living.   As for clothing and hairstyles, I do have a vintage dress I love.  I can do pretty much any hairstyle if I so choose.  My hair usually has a mind of its own though.   I have stopped shopping though or should I say buying.  I do enjoy window shopping but finally don’t feel the need to buy.  I have enough to work with to look my best and that is finally good enough for me.

This experiement did make me reflect on a few things though.  Making do with what you have.  I learned it is more society telling  me I need  new and improved items and new styles, although, in reality, I don’t.   Sometimes, something a bit worn may just need a simple makeover or a needle and thread.  I also didn’t realize how much food I waste.  I guess I still am adjusting to buying only for two and having a european size refridgerater.  I have more recently changed my grocery habits a bit which ironically is very similar to the housewives of the Fifties.

As to limiting my internet usage and social media, since that wasn’t around in that decade,  I have to tell you, my hardest part was watching YouTube videos, I did not realize how often I will sit down in the middle of the day and watch a few!   Now, in the middle of the day, I do take a break, if I am home, but I watch a German soap opera.  I have to laugh as I remember my mom watching Search for Tomorrow!  I feel, this is a better use of my time as I really need to improve my language skills.

I still am online on my laptop though, or else I wouldn’t be posting this.  I just allow myself a certain block of time to answer emails and blog.  What I did learn is I need to have  another slot of time for reading my favorite blogs or watch my favorite youtubers and look at Facebook.  So what I do now is take only  half an hour 5 days a week to do this.  Which is usually between 10 and 10 30 am, again, if I am home.   I set my timer when I hop online.  Its a great way to keep track of the time.  The only social median I have now is FB.   Living so far away from friends and family, it is the only way, unfortunately,  that I can keep in touch.  Although, Facebook is a touchy subject for me as it usually makes me homesick and a bit depressed.  I am finding I prefer to email with loved ones, honestly, and may start doing that more often instead.  Darn, I am wordy!

So, to conclude, I don’t feel like I failed my experiment at all.  In fact, I feel more in tune to whats important in my life. I may not look or act like a fifties housewife but I guess that wasn’t what it was about after all.  I just am the best person that I can be.  I am proud to take care of our home.  Living in the moment, just being myself and keeping my husband happy.  If he is happy, than I always seem to be too.

Sorry, I will work on the length of my posts,  maybe stick to just one subject in the future.  I really need to get a bit more organized and I will!  Do I hear another experiment coming?  😉

Happy Summer my friends!

 

Merken

Merken

Fresh from the farm – a day in the life

Standard items on our grocery list are milk, butter, bread and eggs.  I thought today I would share our preferred way to pick up these items.

Now, we don’t do this often in the winter months as it is a 3.5 kilometer bike ride each way, but for the next three seasons we enjoy doing this.

My bike basket full of freshness from the farm & bakery.

Yes, you read that right, I bike for those four items because they are fresh from the farm.  With the exception of the bread, this time we stopped at a bakery on the way home.  You have to get there very early in the morning if you want to get any of the fresh-baked bread.

It doesn’t cost much more than going to the store.  The exception is the eggs were picked fresh that morning, the cows were milked then too.  The butter is homemade. The difference in taste is very noticeable.  I figure even with the extra fat in the milk, it is healthier for you.  On a side note, we do pasteurize the milk at home.  It is such an easy process, I don’t even have to think about it anymore.  Although, many of the people I know do not do this and they haven’t had any issues.

Here is a look at the butter.

Just simple and quite old-fashioned.

We usually ride out on saturday mornings to the farm.   The ride is so relaxing as half of the way is along the Danube River.

Just another day in our life … in Bavaria.

 

Merken

Over before it really began – MSL

It was only two weeks ago, during a layover at the train station in Frankfurt to be more exact.  To kill some time, we took a stroll through the book store.  Large train stations have amazing bookstores.  I like to peruse the magazines to see if I can find the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine in the International section.  This time, I did not find it in english but in german!  As one who channels Martha at times, you can magine my surprise!  I was so excited and let out a little “woo hoo”!  I did get a few stares but I didn’t care.  I almost ran to the other side of the store to show my husband what I stumbled upon.

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I did not care that it was in german, even though my german is not really fluent.  I thought this would be a great way to improve my language skills too as well as get my monthly Martha Stewart fix in paper!

Unfortunately, my excitement was short-lived.  While happily reading my find, I flipped to the last page.  Well, my husband did and handed the magazine back to me.  Auf Wiedersehen… WHAT!??!! No way!

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I did not even know the magazine was being circulated over here until the last issue.  😦  This is the one magazine I would love to receive as it unfortunately does not deliver overseas.  I didn’t even care if I had to read it in german.  To have a family member send one to me, the postage is $20.00.  I’m not that desperate!  Am I?

I never saw an issue on the newstand here but then again, I do live in a very, very small city.

At least I can find her on the net but…. it is just not quite the same as sitting down with a cup of coffee or tea, curled up in my favorite chair and losing myself in an issue of Martha Stewart Living.

Auf Wiedersehen….

 

 

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Merken

Six years ago today…

…I packed up my whole life into 2 suitcases, a hockey equipment bag and 2 small boxes and moved to Germany.  Newly married and having no knowledge of the German language let alone the dialect used in my new hometown.

734I left sunny Detroit, a city I still love, to live in  sunny Germany, Bavaria to be exact.  It was love at first sight.  My “new downtown” area reminded me of Cinderella’s castle.   It seemed so relaxed and quiet and so “old-world.”039-2

I don’t think I suffered from too much culture shock as I was groomed at a young age to live abroad.  Who knew then that living overseas for 3 1/2 years in the seventies & eighties would have helped prepare me for the challenges that lay ahead in my life.  I am so thankful for that time, it truly made things a little bit easier.

On the other hand, some changes weren’t so easy.  A lifestyle without a car, dryer, Tylenol, Farenheit, Imperial measuring system (ex. ounces & gallons), TV in English,  A/C, ranch dressing or Cheese-It crackers, to name a few.  No family or friends, no job and the realization that English is not spoken or known even world-wide.  What in the world was I doing here.  Can true love be that strong to get me through the challenges I now faced?

Thankfully, my husband was so patient, caring, loving and helped me along the way.  Not only introducing me to his own culture and the “how-to’s” but to new and beautiful cities throughout Europe.  Also he showed me a simpler lifestyle which I find to be very satisfying now.  He is my best friend and I love him more than I ever thought it was possible to love another.

Now, I don’t think of my life as different, but normal.  I finally have accepted that things are different.  We celebrate not only German but the American holidays that I love.  I have learned to re-create my favorite American foods as well as make his favorite German dishes.

My language skills? Yes, I feel I can finally say that I speak German.  I can go to the doctor and dentist by myself.  Pick out a cut of meat at the deli area in a market.  Order a meal in a restaurant and discuss shoes with a saleslady.  I can watch a movie in German but…. the thought of an actor like Brad Pitt not speaking English, I have a hard time wrapping my head around.  Writing German is a whole other subject which I don’t do well…yet.

I feel settled now, it took a long time.  Even though, it is a harder lifestyle and takes more effort than life in America, I am happy.  I have learned so many important life lessons along the way.  I have been asked by many if we plan on moving back to America.  Of course, I would like to, I think my husband wouldn’t mind either.  But jobs and health insurance are the deciding factors which at this time don’t seem a possibility there.  I don’t know if I am ready to go back to that fast paced lifestyle and Iphones quite yet.

For now I will just live in the present moment, happily and proudly as a stay-at-home wife.  Enjoying every new day with my soul mate, living the Bavarian life with a touch of American flair.

Merken

Merken