Happy New Year, a Little Late

I’m baaa-aaack. We had a long and lazy Christmas and New Year’s break, including a wonderful visit from family  (thank you, family, for visiting us in northern Germany in winter—-you’re very brave).

The picture above was taken on New Year’s Eve when the whole neighborhood was having a fireworks battle in the streets. The normally orderly Germans kind of go nuts on Silvester, as they call it, and make a huge racket with fireworks for hours. The air is thick with smoke, and the sidewalks in the morning are filled with trash. For more info on Silvester in Germany, check out this article.

Did I finish the sweater? Alas, no. A cold slowed me down, and a wrong turn made for a pitiful first sleeve, but the good news is I think I’ve found a way to fix it, and the other sleeve is finished. It’s been a learning process. Chug, chug, chug.

I’ve been re-reading the first Mason-Dixon knitting book (blog link here). It’s so funny. I love that conversational kind of craft book that is really more about getting you inspired than about specific projects (though it has those, too). I tend to like reading about knitting even better than knitting because I knit so slowly. I’ve got to learn the Continental method—-did you know Germans have a slightly different way of knitting that is much faster? Whenever I knit in public here I always get weird looks.

Anyway, I’m back in the swing, with all kind of things to share and all sorts of plans and ideas. I’ve got two writing projects going at the moment, the YA novel and a nonfiction project, and those are taking up the majority of my work time. The good news is they seem to be going somewhere, so I’m all juiced up.

 I’ll be back soon with more. Crafts! Food! Interviews with writers and creatives! Thrift store finds! German architecture! Can you tell I had a little much caffeine today? Let me know if there’s anything you’d especially like to see more of.

See you soon!

Ein Guten Rutsch!

This is a German expression, said at New Year’s, which means, literally, “a good slip” into the New Year. I’m guessing it has something to do with the icy sidewalks.

We just returned from a wild and woolly trip to the U.S. We started out with a 33 hour snow delay and an ear infection, and ended with bronchitis and a splinter in a hind quarter, enlivened in between by hand, foot, and mouth disease and a scary-looking eczema flare up.  Not all for the same person, thankfully. Whew!  

Despite the challenges, we had a really nice visit with our families and a few friends (please do not be miffed if we did not get to see you, as it was a really packed trip mostly focused on family).

Things I enjoyed in the U.S., besides, of course, visiting with loved ones and cheap consumer goods:

  • Sunshine! I didn’t realize how much I’ve gotten used to gray skies. I’m beginning to appreciate gray, truthfully, but it was a real treat to see the sun and blue sky and especially the pink sunrise and sunset. Our 3 year-old woke up one morning and said, “Hey, Nana, the sky is out. Look!”
  • Mexican food.  The food in Germany is great but the Mexican offerings are sad, sad, sad.
  • Chick- fil-A. No surprise there.
  • Did I mention Mexican food?

 Things I missed about Germany while we were gone, besides our friends:

  • Freshly baked bread on every corner
  • Quality cappuccino on every corner, including the hot dog stand at the playground
  • Lufting: Germans have to open their windows a few times a day for a few minutes, even in winter, because their windows are so well-engineered that there’s absolutely no air exchange otherwise. Fresh air is highly prized and considered to heal a variety of ills. I’ve become a believer and found myself constantly opening windows in search of fresh air.

I was a little sad at takeoff in Charlotte, but as my husband says, I must be happy to be home, since I’ve been singing and dancing around the apartment and laughing at bad jokes. Currently feeling that New Year’s itch to re-organize, purge old stuff, and feather the nest. I’ll be back here soon!

Happy New Year!