Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Has This Ever Happened to You?

Have you ever been found by an old acquaintance on facebook, someone you haven't heard from in years, maybe from high school, and discovered they were married, and thought.....

"They found someone that can STAND them?"

Happened to me today.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day Off Continued

I spotted this little guy while enjoying some porch time yesterday.  He was hanging out on one of our tomato plants, hopefully devouring some of the aphids that have decided to devour that bush as of late.  I loved the little imperfection on his nose - he got into a tussle with something!

He was probably also enjoying the raindrops left from yesterday - we all are!  Boy did we need that rain.

Knockout Rose - we just got this recently, and it is SO easy to take care of!  Seriously - if you hate growing roses because of how hard they are to take care of, try a Knockout Rose.  WHY haven't I tried these before?!?

And my HUGE harvest from yesterday - a tiny oriental pepper!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's the Simple Things in Life...

Today I am enjoying a day off from school, thanks for our nation's Veterans.  I've had a blast re-discovering the joys of staying at home once in awhile!  I've gotten to spend some time with Miss Mollie -we went to the dog park, where she romped and ran and exhausted herself.  Of course when we come back, she lays down for about 5 minutes, then is ready to GO again!  It's been so long since I've had a puppy, I'd forgotten about how much work they are!  Sophie was always so....mellow.  You could literally leave a whole turkey on a table and walk out of the room for 5 minutes, and when you came back it wouldn't be touched.  Mollie once jumped in the air and grabbed a banana...OUT OF MY HAND.  Sophie was a great listener, I swear she could understand everything you told her.  If I wanted her to stop, all I had to do was hold up my hand and say, "stay," and it didn't matter how far away she was, if she could see me, she would do it.  And I never taught her to do any of that, she just did it!  But then again Sophie was a full adult when we got her.  Anyway, Mollie went out to the garage with me to do some laundry, because, let's face it, I can't even go to the bathroom by myself when she's around!  Usually she just sniffs around while I load our front-loading washer and dryer, but today she discovered that the world of swishing laundry is quite interesting!  She had her nose pressed up again the glass, her head making small circles as she followed the laundry being turned over and over.  It was so funny!  I'll have to bring a camera with me next time I got out in case she does it again.  It's just been so nice today to not have to HURRYHURRYHURRY through all the household chores - to slow down and actually enjoy them!  Thank you, veterans, not only for serving our country, but for letting me slow down and enjoy the little things in life!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Reflections on Germany

So much has happened since we got back from Germany in July. Two family weddings, starting my second year of teaching, football season....I shouldn't be surprised that it's taken me this long to post all of my Germany pictures!  I have a few last reflections on our trip before I try to catch up on what's happenend since I've been trying to catch up on our trip  :)

  1. The Germans are as complex as us Americans. Why does this surprise me? But as someone who's always had a keen interest in sociology, it was interesting to me to see how the Holocaust has shaped the German identity. Yes, there is the occasional delusional individual who still espouses the Nazi belief system, but they are about as common in Germany as they are in America.  Before I went to Germany, I read about the different "types" of Germans I would encounter.  Young people who seem almost apologetic about being German, afraid of showing too much German pride. Older Saxons who speak almost wistfully of the Old Communist days. Middle-agers who are almost TOO aggressive with their open-ness and acceptance, trying to overcome a stereotype put on all Germans.   I would say that yes, I saw all of those "types" of people, but more important than that, all Germans are still trying to deal with an event in their history that has affected every fiber of their being.  They may deal with it in different ways, and that is because they are individuals - a unique and interesting people!
  2. I was really surprised by how different Germans eat. It gave me a taste of how Nils must have felt when he first came to live with us. Hardly any fried food, but there is....gelato!!  It wreaked havoc on my stomach, which does NOT like change, but I tried to fix that with....gelato. 
  3. Certain types of stores are very abundant in Germany. Namely, pharmacies, bakeries, flower shops and.....gelato!!! Cheap gelato on practically every street corner. Love it.
  4. Germans are way more active than Americans. We could really take a lesson from the German transportation system. The Hampes live in what could be called a suburb of Hamburg, and they can bike to the train station and take the "tube" to anywhere in Hamburg.  Then they walk to their job, grocery store...or gelato stand.
  5. I like gelato.
But whenever I think of our trip, I think first and foremost of the wonderful people we met, who were kind enough to host us and show us their country.  I think of those who opened their homes to us.  Those who gave their time to us.  Those who took my heart and keep a part of it with them.  I think the coolest thing about the relationships we developed in Germany is that it is just the beginning.  Our lives are intertwined now.  Thank you SO MUCH to Christiane Hampe, Wolfgang Hampe, Benni Hampe, Julius Hampe (The Zealous!), Elke and Mattias Nilzschke, and Else and Wolfgang Hampe!

And of course, the boy who started it all....