Thursday, February 26, 2009

Some things I can’t get used to…


Even after 7+ years in Germany, I still haven’t gotten used to feathers and poo on my eggs.  I would expect to have feathers on eggs that I buy from the “egg lady” that raises chickens in the village, but I bought these at the local supermarket.  Well, it’s more like a mom-n-pop market.  Things that make you go hmmmm.

Monday, February 23, 2009

In France, is this just called “bread”?

Feb 23,2009 001 "

Jon and I went to France this morning to go shopping.  (It’s just 25 mins away)  There are some things that you can get in France that you can’t find in Germany like canned soft drinks, real orange juice, Frubes yogurt, Pepperidge farms cookies (sadly not Milanos), Neutrogena face soap, Maybelline mascara.  I saw some French Bread and thought it would be a shame if I didn’t buy some “French” Bread while I was in France.  I should have found some “French” Fries, too. 

We really need to learn some French.  Every time we go there, we end up doing “charades” just to communicate.  Of course we know Merci, entree, sorti,  toilettes but I thought it was interesting that they actually say “Viola” when they hand you whatever you just purchased.  I always thought is was used for a magic trick or something.  But, it’s just like “here ya go”!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

REAL snow!

Snow 007

Take a look at the snow this morning!  At this point, we’ve received about 12 – 13” of the stuff (notice the border of the yard that hasn’t been shoveled).  It has been snowing for hours, and is still coming down.  The kids will love it because it’s the really wet kind… perfect for snowmen, snow forts and snowball fights!

This is the view of the front walkway leading from our house to the street.  I just shoveled it off five minutes ago and it’s already starting to be covered again.  Now it’s time for some salt!

They told us when we moved here that it doesn’t snow anymore in the Black Forest.  Apparently no one informed Mother Nature!

My liquid gold

Feb 23,2009 002

I just read a blog from another missionary about what she missed from the States. Someone sent her some Coffee Mate powdered creamer and some cooking spray. I can relate with this so well. The things that you think you can’t live without…cooking spray, coffee creamer, peanut butter, mac-n-cheese. Well, Jon & I got a package in the mail the other day that had liquid gold! It was a box filled with different flavors of “liquid” coffee creamer. Nah, nah, nah-nah, nah... I got liquid creamer! You may not realize how amazing this is, it is impossible to get here unless you can have access to a base somewhere. How fun!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Flaming microwaves!

Tonight when I was using our microwave/grill oven to grill some (American!) hotdogs, it started smoking after only 30 seconds.  I opened it up, gave it a quick wipe down with a wet rag (even though it looked clean) and turned it back on.

This time I walked away for a minute or two.  When I came back, it was belching out smoke… and it was a little extra “bright” inside.  Well I opened it up immediately to stop the cycle.  Not only did thick smoke come pouring out (reminiscent of a burning tire), the top – near the heating element – was aflame.

The fire extinguisher is downstairs, so I decided to try to put it out by myself.  I instinctively knew better than using water (yes, I know, I’m patting myself on the back), so I did the next best thing… I tried to blow it out.

At first, I didn’t blow hard enough and only made it a bit bigger.  Good news, though, after a few seconds I had it out.  Now comes the funny part.

It turns out my girls tried microwaving an egg while the babysitter was here and - yup, you guessed it – it exploded.  She cleaned the surface, but it turns out that there were egg remains above the protective grate that reacted to the heat.  When they mentioned the egg after we got home the other night, I never thought about the possible ramifications…

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lotsa Snow!!!

We had a Texas-sized snowstorm today… with HUGE snowflakes! We probably got around 3” altogether. The kids all had a blast playing in the snow during recess and lunch. Ryan’s street hockey game was cancelled, but that didn’t bother him because they apparently had the mother of all snowball fights after school.

When we first moved down here, we were told that it doesn’t snow in the Black Forest anymore. Apparently nobody told Mother Nature ;-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Black Forest Fog

Black Forest Fog 

This is another common scene this time of year.  The Black Forest mountains are famous for their winter fog.  It’s very thick and comes and goes as it pleases.  It makes for very beautiful scenery.  We love it here!



When I drove into town yesterday, this is what I saw… notice the underwear hanging from lines across the street. This is to celebrate Weiberfastnacht (or simply Fastnacht). It is the official last night of the Carnival season and the beginning of the Lenten season of “fasting.” It is also the night that, traditionally, the women take control. It is celebrated by a rule-free all-night party.

We are used to the entire Carnival season from our time in Bonn, but the underwear is a new twist for us… must be some sort of regional or local tradition. Either way, they had a major party last night in Basel… with incredible marching bands criss-crossing the city (and each other) and playing every musical style possible - and doing it VERY WELL!!! - culminating in all the lights in the city being turned off at 4:00am. Then you only hear the high flutes.

We accidentally ended up in Basel for the celebration last year while house hunting. It was amazingly fun to watch the bands… so much talent!