Happy Mother’s Day

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Merry Christmas!

Sending holiday greetings to you and yours in the True Spirit of the Season!



Winter Wonderland 2010

I know it has been awhile since last time I posted – let alone since the last time I posted anything of substance. I have been quite busy in one way or another, but also going through some things, as they say.

While I was updating my other blogs (and discovering that the content of my main blog has magically disappeared whilst being transported from one server to another, I think: FML), I realized that I had taken a pretty good series of pictures showing how the snow has built up here throughout the season.

Since it’s snowing as I type – and has pretty much been snowing at least a little bit every day since November – it’s seem like the perfect time to share them.


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From: “The Union” (Elton John & Leon Russell)

Mom’s Trip to Germany…

Just Luther…

Why are the only men like this in real life gay? Because to this day this song brings me to my knees. And I know I am not the only one…

Good Puppy Gone Bad?

We’ve always had a problem with the pups running away. TheGirl calls it “running for freedom”. Usually they can be found somewhere digging happily in a field. Recently we’ve also discovered – after endless drives around the neighborhood and surrounding areas – that they can find their own way home, thankyouverymuch. Still there was the specter of them getting hit by a car or digging up someone’s prize roses to keep us hunting down errant pups.

Because of the way the old garden was built, it was impossible to keep the dogs in if they weren’t on their leashes/a chain. That made me really sad. I envisaged them just hanging out at home without being encumbered by anything as ChessMan and I enjoyed our evening sip on the terrace in the fading sunlight. Instead they either had to be hooked up somehow (and prevented from trying to jump up onto the main garden wall to escape into the neighbor’s yard) or kept inside, the moist noses pressed to the glass while ChessMan and I attempted to enjoy life without them.

Now that we’ve moved, we thought we’d finally reached that stage of pup nirvana. We can cordon off the back part of the house surrounding the terrace, and – with the recent installation of a fence between the kitchen door and the carport – we’d been able to extend that area considerably. Now we could leave both the kitchen on the side and the terrace doors in the back open and – with the middle gate also open – they could wander around almost 1/4 of the house, including the pond.

Fun days those were! Both dogs just resting on the lawn, stretched out in the sunlight.

Of course, dachshunds aren’t the tallest of dogs, but their good friend, Bella, soon proved that she knew how to unlock the gate – off go Rocky and Bella. But if Bella wasn’t here, they’d be fine, right? Wrong.

Yesterday they somehow managed to get out of the yard. I have no idea whether they got the gate open themselves or whether ChessMan inadvertently left the front gate slightly ajar when getting bread. In any case, he was the one who noticed two tails rush pass out fence from the window in the pantry. Off we go in the car to retrieve them. We quickly found a little boy with Termi in his arms. Seems he had tried to get into their garden. We didn’t find Rocky for awhile, but finally (actually, the whole episode probably took only about half an hour) he made his way home on his own accord.

But, that wasn’t the end of the story.

Just minutes after Rocky made his way back into the yard, there was someone at the door. It was a woman we had asked if she’d seen the pups while we were driving around the village. Seems that later Rocky had gone into their back yard, and attacked their miniature goats. He bit one of the mother goats on the udder. One of the young goats didn’t fare so well.

Yes, Rocky bit one of her goats to death.

She was understandable distraught. But – quite honestly – so are we! I guess we humanize our image of our pets to such an extent that we feel crushed when their natural instincts come through. Dachshunds were bred to hunt. Both of ours have shown the predilection right from the start. Though they are as gentle as lambs (ok, much more enthusiastic, but gentle all the same) with people and other dogs, when it comes to cats it’s a different story. And there was that incident with Termi and the rabbit…(this story also eventually had a tragic ending, but Termi wasn’t involved).

Of course, we went over later to apologize to both her and her husband. Of course we will cover the cost of the lost goat.

But just as if one of our pups had accidentally come under the wheels of a car, we know that no amount of money can replace the sense of emotional loss you feel when you lose an animal that was (like) a pet. Especially, too, because there are children in the family…


Is It Summer Yet?

Yes, I do believe summer has finally arrived in Germany. The last few days have been gorgeous – and even here in the mountains extremely warm (ok, compared to what we’re used to). The fact that it cools off considerably at night just means we get a good night’s sleep and are all rested and full of energy for the next day. Believe it or not, the weather reports say it’s supposed to stay this way at least into the beginning of the week!

ChessMan and I have either been on the road or piddling about in the garden. Tuesday we drove into Belgium, and the weather was fantastic! Wednesday and Thursday we both had work to do around here, but it was good all the same. Friday we went back to visit our old landlords (unfortunately it was a condolence visit), and I also got a peek at the “old” garden, which look quite good considering it’s not getting the regular care it was used to.  Especially the small side garden look wonderful!

Yesterday ChessMan and I were on the look-out for new plants and also bought a few more fish for the pond (to go with the snails our ex-landlords donated from theirs).

Here’s an update:

The Finishing Touches

It’s hard to believe, but for the last 9 (!) months ChessMan and I have been living out of boxes and suitcases. It all started in September with our 1st thwarted move. When we finally did move into this house at the beginning of March, the renovation on the 2nd floor wasn’t complete.

Needless to say, without a single clothes cupboard  and only a makeshift bedroom (we’re currently sleeping in what eventually will be the guest room) this place looks more like a squatter’s camp than a home.

But progress is being made! In about 10 days we should be able to move upstairs and settle into our master bedroom, respective home offices and new master bath.

Once we’ve done that, it’ll be time to paint the walls downstairs before finally – EXHALING!

The New Garden (1)

Ok, I guess I’ve been M.I.A. for long enough. Things are beginning to take shape in the new house, and although there are still some high mountains to climb, today I am feeling centered and full of purpose.

One of the interesting things about the new house is the new garden. As you know, ChessMan and I put a lot of effort into our golden in the old house. In the end, though, we both had to admit that it was simply too big a task for us. We neither has the time nor physical wherewithall to do it justice. That realization came slowly. When I first saw this house, I was a disappointed at the size of the garden. In the meantime, I realize that my first impression was misleading. The old house had its entire garden behind it. This house has a nice garden in the front, as well as a small patch in the back, and some ground to the left (where there is a small greenhouse) and to the right (where there is a carport).

This year’s gardening is mostly a watching and waiting game. We simply don’t know what’s planted, so we’re waiting to see what’s there before deciding whether we like it and want to keep it. Because the spring was so cool and rainy, we’re at least 3 weeks behind schedule, but now things are beginning to finally flaunt their colors.

I love this azalea!

Although the daffs and primroses are gone, the pansies are holding their own in this tub beside the front door.

I love this color of blue!

These were all taken in the morning, when the sun was on the front of the house. I’ll be taking more pictures this and tomorrow afternoon to show you what’s happening out back.

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