Wednesday, June 12, 2019

2019 update from the cats

Whew, what a year it has been! Sebastian turned 19 years old and is doing great despite a diagnosis of kidney disease last year. He is guzzling water out of a new plug-in fountain recommended by the veterinarian, and takes lots of naps. He still likes to go in the yard on his leash. The German veterinarian admired Sebastian for doing great in his old age!
Sidney missed Jeff so much during the deployment, and she is happy that he's home. She is the only cat who sits in Jeff's lap while he is working on the computer at his desk. Sidney supervises the birds and squirrels in our yards, as they chirp, build nests, and carry around peanuts and walnuts from somewhere else in the neighborhood.
Ida spent very little time hiding during the deployment, spending most of her days on top of the bed. She is getting used to Jeff being back. Ida follows her routine faithfully: waking us up in the morning to be petted, breakfast, nap, and petting again at night before bed time. She doesn’t go outside like the other 2 cats, but knows what’s going on by watching out the windows.
All 3 cats have loved their regular cat-sitter, whose mom drives her over every day while we are traveling. We recently went to Israel and the cat-sitter was on the same trip, so the cats got to know another cat-sitter from the Chapel service.
The cats visit the basement briefly but don’t hang out there as much. Sidney likes the windows, with great views of the front and back yards. Our permanent cats were glad to hear that our almost-4th-cat is living the high life at the home of friends where we used to live. They were exhausted from being mad at him before we moved, and say that 3 cats is enough!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany (ON the beaten path)

How is it that I’ve been to Rothenburg 3 times in the past 4 years but haven’t written a post about it? Another time as a kid, but no digital photos in the olden days. The first time in Rothenburg we were on the way “home” from Vienna, and stayed for one night. We walked around the following morning, then completed the drive to Kaiserslautern. Last year I attended a women’s Bible study retreat, and didn’t take many photos, though the experience was wonderful.
This year I returned for the same retreat, and participated in a guided city tour. Learned some new things, so the tour was worth it despite the SNOW in May. There were tons of tourists (ourselves excluded, since we live in Germany) all 3 times, so Rothenburg is absolutely a popular place to visit. The typical cobblestone paths are surrounded by walls you can climb on and walk along.
There are still some hotels with antique features, and a good German common-sense umbrella holder in the room!
Restaurant food is standard German fare; plenty of shops are filled with toys, books, clothes, Christmas ornaments, and souvenirs. I didn’t care for the “snowball” desserts, so cannot recommend them.  
The cathedral is beautiful, and I’m glad that I participated in a daytime tour. Just keep exploring the little alleys and make interesting discoveries as you stroll around.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Life around Suttgart, Germany

Sometimes things aren’t too exciting, and that’s ok! I’ve written about an ordinary week last year, as well as the year before. This week I went to a bulk food health store in downtown Stuttgart, and look forward to going again! Check out these gorgeous (well, to me!) Portobello mushrooms
It’s asparagus and strawberry season here, and people just LOOOOVE their white asparagus. It’s like in Forest Gump: asparagus with hollandaise sauce, asparagus with ham, asparagus with potatoes and on and on. I just LOOOOVE green asparagus and was happy to find an assortment of fresh fruits and veggies at the bulk food store.
Earlier in the week, I got 500 grams (a decent sized container) of local strawberries for $1! Anyway, you can either bring your own containers or buy reusable containers to buy your bulk products. A scale weighs your empty container and spits out a small sticker so you only pay for the food items when it is weighed upon purchase, not the weight of the container.
I got dried peas, roasted peanuts, almond flour, and several other items. Parking is tough on Saturdays, but allegedly better during the week, and public transportation is always an option! Schuettgut will see me again soon- this is not a sponsored post (I wish)!
In other news, handbell choir is done for the season. I ended up being the director this spring, after the previous director got very short notice orders to move. Bible study is coming to an end, and travel season will soon be here. Yoga will be on break, though thankfully German choir keeps going until after the summer concert. Thinking of trying new things, like the swimming hall nearby, which has a large outdoor summer splash park attached.
The "pick your own flowers" stands are in full swing. Daffodils are gone, and tulips are blooming nicely. Peonies are already growing. The honor system seems to work ok: a sign lists the price per stem, and you put your money into the cement-encased lock box.