You brighten my day..

Friday, September 30, 2011

Charles Knie Zirkus has come to town(and also left).

Got up with the sniffles yesterday accompanied by a nice body ache. Glad that I was down with the sneezes and sore throat, just like a little child I took hold of the opportunity to not attend class. The thoughtful person that I am, I didn't want to spread the nasty germs to my fellow classmates. Wanting to get rid of the soreness from the throat, I headed to the doctor. Imagine my surprise when I saw these tents on the way. Our's is a pretty small village, really, but being clueless about this really took me by surprise then followed by excitement. Are you the kind of mommy who upon discovering something can't wait to tell the kids?? Well, I am!!

Unfortunately, I had no cam with me. Though the thought did cross my mind to take it along, the doc on seeing me would definitely have thought that I had gone bonkers lugging heavy equipment round my neck(no, I do not like to carry it in a bag).

Appointment done with instructions to not spread the germs to family and yes, also my classmates(happy smile) I dashed home, popped a pill and headed back with the cam all the while thinking that the kids will be so excited to know that a ZIRKUS is in town.....:D

The angry tiger seemed to be pacing angrily up and down the cage while its partner was in a deep slumber. And the Llamas below, they were very beautiful(all pics taken from top of a bridge).

Look at the colorful cages this zebra and llama share. 

Now satisfied that I had pictures too to share with the kids I headed back home to rest.

For the record, they already knew about the zirkus and forgot to tell me!!!! So much for surprises and excitement...:D
P.S: Now we have come to know that it was here only for 3 days. They pack up and leave today...:( 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Plum Crumble

For those of you who have been reading my posts, you will know that we were invited to the night watchman's tour of Lohr am Main. After the tour we proceeded to celebrate the 13th birthday of our good friends T&S's daughter. T is British, S German. So they always have a mix of both german and british cuisine on their table. The desert for the night was British Plum Crumble. It's a kind of plum pudding with plums(or any other soft fruit) for the base and a crumble mix of flour, sugar, and egg sprinkled on the top and baked.  It sounded very easy to prepare and I was determined to bake it this week. 
By now, you must also be aware that I am home alone with my daughter. Well, today sonny also joined us and so we were a trio!!  Home early meant plenty of iPad time or that's what he thought. He loves reading(I know its a good habit), but he has given up his books for the little pad. Determined to reduce the time spent on the electronic tablet(I had hid it) I invited him to join me in baking. 
The pitting of the first 5 plums were like this:
Sonny: Where is the iPad?
Me: We are baking now. Forget the thing.
Sonny: Once I am done pitting the plums will you tell me?
Me: Will see about that.....
By the time he was on the 10th, he not only was engrossed, he wanted to do the whole preparation all by himself. I let him...:) So here's how he did it....

Wash well and pit 3 pounds or one and a quarter kilograms of plums. Cut them into halves.

Combine plums and quarter cup brown sugar to blend well.

Lightly butter a baking dish..

Arrange plums in them..

Sift together 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, half a teaspoon each of salt and cinnamon powder. Beat an egg and stir into the flour mixture stirring lightly with fork until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the plums.

Melt half a cup of butter and drizzle over the crumble(I did this step). Bake plum crumble at 190 degrees celsius for 45 minutes or until lightly browned.

Serve warm with whipped topping or ice cream.

That night we had it with ice cream, today as it is. Either way, it tastes delicious. Not only did sonny enjoy the whole episode, he wants to try his hand at whipping more dishes. I think some day, his wife is gonna thank me...:D

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Autumn colors

My Moment, yes exclusively mine...being treated to this beautiful autumn foliage in the morning..

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.  ~Stanley Horowitz

Beauty is where you find it

Monday, September 26, 2011

The night watchman's tour in Lohr am Main

Over the weekend, we were invited by a good friend to the night watchman's tour of Lohr am Main. Call it strange but we had never been on a tour to get to know our village a lot better. We just took it for granted that Lohr is gonna be our home for a while and that was it!! Though it was to be in German I nevertheless was excited to be walking around the dark alleys with my cam. We met the tour guide who was dressed in a typical nightwatchman's costume and with a lantern in hand. Pretty soon I realized that the clicking sounds from my cam were disturbing him and so I had to put it away(I did sneak it out here and there).

(The kids had a great time helping the night watchman carry his lantern)

In the early years(middle ages to 1933) the night watchman was responsible for the safety of the inhabitants of the walled city Lohr am Main. He made his rounds from 9pm to 3am, singing his hourly song which reminded the people who were sound asleep in their homes that he was very much around and taking care of them. Back then, a fire was one of the worst disasters and if one ever happened, it was his duty to blow his horn and alert the villagers.

As we walked the dark alleys, we were told that feces and filth from hundreds of animals filled the streets. People also emptied all their pee and poo from their pots directly onto the streets with an occasional warning of watch out!!! This in turn attracted the rats which led to the BLACK PLAGUE killing more than a third of Europe's population. With all this information, it was pretty hard to imagine the life of the people in the years gone by.

(Hotel Gasthof Krone, oldest inn in Lohr)

Another amusing story was about the men in the villages not being worried if their wives fell sick but if the cows did!!! It was very expensive to buy a new cow than to find a new bride(if the ill wife died).
  I have come to know that we also have tours by the baker's wife, the washer woman and also the last countess of Lohr. We will definitely be attending these tours too, so watch out for more stories.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

It's Sunday again

It has been a great weekend! And we are told it will be a great week too, of course by the weather man..:D Husband was told of this beautiful path and I had been wanting to see it myself.

There was a pretty stream running through. I spent some time just sitting and listening to the gurgle of water flowing while the kids kept themselves busy picking acorns.

It's strange how a foreign land teaches you to appreciate the best of good weather unlike your homeland where it is taken for granted as you know for sure the sun will be shining all the day long(except during monsoon).

Before we arrived, I had heard a lot of stories about people feeling depressed during the winter months. Now I understand. As much as the beauty of snow mesmerizes you, after a while you tend to miss all the green, the blue and the color!!!

Unknown Mami

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just the two of us.

(theme for 'anything')
It's a week since school began, and this year it's different. The kids are no longer in the same school. My oldest now goes to the so called german secondary school(Gymnasium). He has to spend the entire day there(8 to 4) which leaves his little sister no choice but to be home alone with ....... you got it right......ME. I didn't realize for a few days that she was missing her brother in the afternoons. Formerly, eighty percent of the time they fought and the remainder they would be playing together along with their friends at a park. It also meant that our house did sound crazy once they got back together from school!!!

     I had begun to enjoy the quiet and calm and thought that she too felt the same way as she would keep herself busy in the bedroom with her dolls and paints. Till, I noticed that the moment the door bell rang she ran with glee to greet her brother!!! I realized that a few hours of separation did kindle sibling love between them...:)

Next year, she too will join her older brother and then I am gonna be home alone all day long. This does not sound appealing at all. Now, to make the best use of the time we have together, we have begun going on mother daughter walks when and as the weather permits. I walk, she bikes. I love the fact that every few metres she patiently waits for me as I pause to take in the changing colors and also capture our moments for memory.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back to school

A new year, a new, they are back to school....

They are back to being their old selves, smile and laugh a lot more...:) The kind of excitement little kids have, its back. They told it to me themselves "We cannot wait for school to start, to meet our friends and make new ones".

They both share a passion for learning, eager to know something new. 
Life of an expat child can be hard. Very... There are a lot of outbursts, everything is new and strange, it can be very tough for children and parents too. Time is a healer. They learn to slowly pick up and move on with gentle love and words of encouragement. 
We are very proud of both of them and pray this year is good and holds a lot of promise and surprises too...:)

Would you like to join me at Communal Global and share your world? We love to have you over..


Monday, September 12, 2011

The last of the colors of summer.
What will you miss?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Summer's coming to an end..:(

Can you see what i see? What do you mean you don't? Okay, here you go, a close up..

No, not the church steeple, not the town tower too....

Now do you get it?? Yes, the green slowly disappearing, the brown and orange patches appearing!!!

So now do you know what does this mean? Gosh, I don't want summer to end...:( Really!!

Head on over to Unknown Mami to see what's happening around the world!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Restless me...

Today, I was restless..........
I twitched, fiddled, my mind wandered......
It was all work and no play...:(
and to make it worse, every second just dragged on!!!

What did cheer me up was listening to what my Deutsch teacher had to tell about the weather in Deutschland...."Ich finde das Wetter in Deutschland schlecht", to translate "I find the weather in Deutschland bad". So here was a german telling us what the weather in her country was like in comparison to others!! And boy, was she right, though i would have said "night so gut!!!"....:D

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday's around the world.

(The village of Manarola in the Cinque Terre, Italy)

Whats your today like? Well, mine is busy getting the house back to shape, the laundry done, hot food on our table, last minute shopping for school supplies...basically back to our normal lives. Holidays with family are such fun. It feels great not having to live your routine life for a while. 

Do link up with us at Communal Global and let us know what's going on in your part of the world...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The drive back home

Yesterday, we drove back 875 kilometers(544 miles) to get back home. What looked to be the start of a pleasant drive turned to be a very long one, thanks to all vacationers returning home.

The sign indicating that there is a stau(traffic jam or block) gives me the shivers!! Cause these stau's can run into miles with no respite, no looking back. You are stuck there, like forever!!!!

Barely into the drive the questions begin........
Daughter : Are we in Germany? (The drive has just begun and we are a good 4 hours away from the border)
Sonny : What speed are you driving at Dad?? Can't you go any faster??

Daughter : How much longer to reach??
Me : 7 hours to go.....
Sonny : But you told that a long time ago.......

Me : Why don't you look out the window? It's beautiful outside....
Sonny : Everything's too green....It's only vineyards and ruins......(huh??)
Me : Look, I spot an apple orchard!!
Daughter : Why does mommy get excited on seeing plants??

The questions then take a different form....
Daughter : Are we still in Italy??
Sonny : Why are the other's driving faster than you?? Please go fast Dada!!! I wanna reach home..
Me : The next person who ask's a question will be labelled a donkey for the rest of the drive!!!!

There's peace for a while...:) Look's like nobody wants to be a donkey......till we hear a voice from the back saying...."I got to pee!!! Now!!!"

Do not forget to visit Unknown Mami for more interesting weekend stories..:)

Friday, September 2, 2011

There's something about drying laundry..:)

There's something about drying laundry!!! And to imagine that such a sight gives me a thrill!!! Guess I have been living in Germany too long where most of the time I am forced to use my dryer...:( 

Thanks to the the mediterranean climate, Italians hang their laundry out adding to the color of their villages. A stark contrast to the hanging geraniums of Germany. There's something about getting crisp, dried, folded laundry into the home. A friend once called me crazy for not enjoying the convenience of a dryer. Crazy I may be, yet, I would give anything for that sunshine to dry my laundry!!! 

(Pictured above are the villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola, Cinque Terre)