Filed under: Germany
My assessment of German food, albeit a novice one. German fare is what one may expect from an orderly, industrious people. Straightforward. Well prepared; hearty. Noodles are frequent, thick gravies are rich and warm. Meat well done. Breads are fresh, grainy, cheeses flavorful, vegetables vinegary.
I’ve tried Schnitzel and noodle (hear-hear Julie Andrews!), and these balled-things called Knodel, once made of potato, once of bread crumbs. I preferred the bread-crumb one. Very much like Thanksgiving Stuffing.
The other day, my mother in law and I visited the convent. “Don’t come back a nun,” said my father in law to his wife. We went with a small group of ladies. The tour would have been better had it been in English (although my mother in law dutifully translated parts for me ) and had the tour guide not found it necessary to dunk herself in perfume before hand. Fascinating to see buildings from hundreds of years ago–back when the USA had….teepees?
Oh yes, a word on castles. Here, I’ve noticed they tend to become restaurants. Now, the American in you may say “They put a dishwasher in a castle?!” Yes, yes, they do. But then you can have a nice cappuccino and one of the best slices of apple pie you’ve ever tasted. The real crime comes from the Coke machine in the monk’s former dining room, or the Coke tables in the castle courtyard. Oh yes, they do that too. I suppose when your country is liberally doted with old buildings that demand upkeep…. well, Coke plays a part.
One may think, from my photos, that my mom in law has put us on an ice-cream-a-day diet. One would not be far wrong. There’s ice cream restaurants here–complete with menus. One particular one had a dish designed to look like Spaghetti. Delish, of course.
Germany and I have had an ongoing disagreement about the importance of a top-sheet, but we made peace today over a hazelnut ice-cream sundae and a cappuccino.
Today was a little outing with Oma & Kingston. I picked up some nice trinkets. Lucky lucky me, the Germans put out Christmas decorations in September. And if you’ve never seen German Christmas decor, well then. You do not understand my luck.
Tonight we had potato salad made with bullion (German-style), fish sticks with a homemade dip, that yummy tomato, basil, cheese “salad” that has a name to it I can’t think of. Fresh avocado, pickles.
Two days ago we were invited to a ladies Bible study, breakfast included. And what a breakfast! The bread basket alone was a work of miracles. There was butter in a tiny dish at each place, sugar cubes, cherry tomato halves placed on colored pepper halves. Strong coffee in tiny porcelain cups, with saucers. Meats, cheeses, fruits, chocolate to finish. And Kingston got his own bag of animal crackers and two whipped yogurts. My son is chub’ing up. He needed a little. At three today he ate noodles and chicken, and then a good size helping of potato salad at dinner.
We drove up to a little mountain the other day. Reminded me of Box’s Hill from Emma. It would, in fact, have been a perfect location for a picnic flirtation with Frank Churchhill. Or, if you are in fact married, a picnic and a novel of Frank Churchhill.
Anyway, there were mushrooms. And grass. Can we grow grass on our mountains, South Carolina??!
Tomorrow, my mother-in-law (bless her) thought to include me in a ladies’ outing to an old convent. Yes, please. I will wear a scandalously bright dress. There will be a lunch, and coffee.
Filed under: Germany
On June 23, 1984, there must have been an Unlucky Traveler Star blinking wearily over Barge Hospital. In other words, don’t travel with me unless you hope to miss your flight; be delayed; not get your baggage; get your baggage broken; have your in-flight entertainment screen broken; your reading light stuck “on”; get missed in the passing out of a breakfast-like substance; sit next to a smelly passenger; or have a gate attendant sitting on his fat rear, with no one else in line, anger you to tears by his rudeness. And my travel history is fairly short, at this point.
Our initial flight out of GSP got delayed, we missed our direct flight into Stuttgart, and had to be re-routed to London-Heathrow, AKA The-Dungeon-Complete-with-a-Bus-System. Our 5 hour or so layover there went by more quickly than expected due to Delta and British Air not sharing the same ticketing system. Once that got ironed out, we could relax and wait for our gate to be announced, which the airport likes to keep as a last minute surprise. They’re cool like that.
But, arrive we did. A great time of year for South Carolinians to escape the suffocating humidity and be instantly transported to fresh, fall weather. Everything is very green, corn still growing, window baskets full of flowers. The coffee is smooth, the bread is hearty and there was a brick of Brie on the table this morning. Be still, my American heart.
The house is nestled in a village–oh yes, they still call them villages. And next to it are rolling orchards, and clusters of black-faced sheep. There’s a paved walking trail, with Germans bicycling by, ringing their tidy little bells.
Yesterday, we went to a public pool, which everyone should do when they visit Europe. You get an up-front experience of the European’s relationship with nudity. For instance, there might come along a gentleman in a speedo and sit quite near you in the kiddie pool. Or, in the locker room (with plenty of private booths) there might be a woman a few feet from your husband, strip naked at the waist and towel off her unmentionables.
These days have been socially busy ones, as Sawaya’s brother, wife and 2 kids are visiting. Kingston gets to play with cousins that may not understand his language (but then, it’s not like he is fluent in English) but do share the same love of cars and balls. Boys are simple like that.
For now, here’s another picture of the breakfast table. In the spirit of the Pretend-Austrian Julie Andrews: One of my favorite things.
Filed under: Will Paint
My son is known to take wonderful naps. This has been my first week, minus maternity leave, as a stay-at-home-mom, or, if you prefer, painter in residence who happens to have a toddler.
My coworker, shortly before I left, stood in the tiny room where I lived out my part-time work life, and told me if she were me, she wouldn’t be there. As in, “you’re an artist; what are you doing in an office!” It was a timely comment, a nice little launching-pad to send me into the studio. I am looking at the next four months as an opportunity to pursue art. I have been pursuing it, but not at a gazelle intense rate (thank you, Dave Ramsey) and speaking of the finance guy, “The difference between a dream and a goal is a plan.” I am a fantastic dreamer. Now onto the work! I have four months or so til baby arrives and I am returned to the world of zombie-mama, with dark circles, and left-over maternity shirts covered in…liquids.
I’ve a smattering of projects ahead. Here’s some photos of what I’m in the midst of/recently finished. Etsy will be updated soon.
I’ve had a “maybe” epiphany. Is there such a thing? Maybe I am meant to do fashion illustration. 1. I love illustration. 2. I love fashion. 3. I have always been captivated by drawing beautiful women. Anyway, I’m going to do some watercolors combining fashion illustration meets pop-culture, and sell prints on my etsy shop. Here’s a couple drawings: please tell me you can tell who they are! And feedback on this project is welcome. P.S. Negative feedback, also known as, constructive criticism, is likewise welcome.
Filed under: Family
Up this Saturday morning shortly after 6 to work out. I know, it’s like someone else has inhabited my body. (Other than my little son, who actually is) Then, joined Sawaya who was studying outside, for coffee and breakfast. This morning was beautiful, fresh and cool. That didn’t last long-God bless South Carolina summers. UG! Picked blueberries, made fresh, icy, peach smoothies with some left over heavy cream. Now Kingston is in bed and my house needs tidying and dusting, and bathroom needs cleaning.
Last Saturday, Sawaya and I celebrated 5 years of matrimony eating Goat Cheese Grits. AKA, at Tupelo Honey. Need I say more? I do not. I have pictures.
Filed under: Illustration
…and I’m blogging!
I’m in an interesting/uncertain point of life right now. Since age 15 I’ve been working. Part-time, full-time, Over-time. I’ve worked in boredom; I’ve worked in stress; I’ve fallen asleep on my feet while cleaning. I’ve made friends, collected interesting characters for future writing, and learned the oh so annoying world of customer service. (We humans can be trying beings) And now, I’m about to retire. Well not completely, or certainly. I have 5 1/2 weeks of my job left, then I quit to raise my son. I’ve been a student wife for 5 years. Now my husband is one test away from being a Dr. He won’t start residency yet, but will be able to secure a job of some sorts (what are Dr’s qualified for when they graduate?) hence freeing me up to be a mom at home. AND… increase my pitiful little art business. Hurray! The catch, regarding the art business, is that I’ll only have 3 1/2 months til new baby… and taking a shower will become my quest. And who knows, I may end up picking up little jobs here and there in between retirement and baby.
Enough of that. Here’s one of my birthday presents from my wondrous hubby. :) Be.Ye.Jealous. But not for long…you can get one on Amazon.
Filed under: Sea Salt
Umbrellas for a rainy day… :)
Finished the artwork on a major project today, 22 illustrations for a woman who is self-publishing a children’s book. (photos to follow this week) In a week and a half, my painting is due for Artisphere. I ordered my frame and have a few days left to continue working on the painting. A relief, since I hurried through the bottom half and it showed. :)
May is around the corner, and with it work on my project Sea Salt. I’m doing a collection of sea-themed paintings and drawings, as well as children’s works. Stay tuned…