September 25, 2012

More birthday

The above photo was taken while hiking on the Rheinstieg on the left side of the Rhine, and the town is Oberwesel, Germany

We did have fondue - cheese fondue with bread and apples, and M wanted meat with his, so he made pigs in the blanket (little hot dogs baked in ready-made crescent roll dough), and it was delicious.  I used Gueryere and Swiss cheese, a dry white wine, some nutmeg and dry mustard, and it was perfect, and we ate every last bit.  Nicole was supposed to have joined us, but she had another baby scare, and opted to be checked (that sounds heartless, but she assured us it was mostly routine, every time she has a concern, they keep her overnight in the hospital, just to be safe), anyway the longwinded point is that it's a good thing she didn't come, there wouldn't have been enough!
We had chocolate fondue after, and we dipped apple pieces, pineapple, strawberries - oh so good! and grapes.  Yummy.  And fun.  And we wondered, like every time we make fondue, why we don't make it more often.
 We're at the dessert part of the fondue, chocolate dipped fruit - lovely

And with the chocolate we didn't even bother with a fondue pot, we just used the 'double boiler directly from the stove, I started it in.  I did the same with the cheese, got it to the right point in the kitchen and then brought it to the table over the sterno burner.

Somehow afterward we talked about going for a walk, and actually got everyone to agree to go to one of our favorite places by now, Hawk Watch.  And the kids parents had to agree, it is a beautiful spot that takes your breath away after the not-too-long hike through the woods.

We came home to find visitors in the yard, eating the bread that had gone stale.
You can see how close they come by looking at the picture with Matthew in the foreground.
I will upload now, please forgive me for being too tired to write in German!
Next time, I promise!

September 23, 2012

Children's birthday

Matthew is ten today!  I just called him, and asked him if he wanted to come over for hot dogs.  No, fondue!  he said.  With beans?  I asked.  No, fondue! he said.  So fondue it is.  They are coming over later in the early afternoon, and we will celebrate.  It's a gorgeous fall day, cool, but with what I used to call 'World Trade Center weather', where you could see forever from the top.
Anyway, we have to run to the grocery store, and get the sterno thingies to heat the fondue, we will have cheese and chocolate fondue!  And an ice cream cake.  And Matthew's mom is bringing a salad so we'll feel better about eating all that 'good' food.

Matthew wird 10 Jahre alt!  Heute ist sein Geburtstag und ich rief ihn gerade an, und fragte ihn, ob er hot dogs fuer seinen Geburtstag moechte.  Nein, Fondue!  sagte er.  Ich fragte mit Bohnen?  Nein, Fondue! war die Anrtwort.  So bekommt er fondue.  Er kommt mit seiner Familie spaeter am fruehen Nachmittag, und wir werden feiern.  Es ist ein wunderschoener Herbsttag, kuehl, aber mit 'World Trade Center Wetter', wie ich es nannte, wenn man bis in die Unendlichkeit sehen kann.
Wir muessen noch einkaufen, wir brauchen die Sterno Dinger, die den Fondue Pot warmhalten.  Und einen Eiscremekuchen.  Matthew's Mutter bringt einen Salad, damit wir uns nicht zu schuldig fuehlen bei all dem guten Essen.  Oh, und es gibt Kaese und Schokoladen Fondue!

September 17, 2012

Excursion Ellis Island, Liberty, etc.

The weather was gorgeous today.  We did our picking out of a place to celebrate yesterday, so today was a 'do-what-we-want- day.  And I wanted to go to Ellis Island, I hadn't been in years (with you, Edith), and M had never been.
 Is this the perfect shot?  Ist das das perfekte Foto?

This one of the boat?  No, not yet, I'm photographing skyline!

This one?  Maybe....
 The registry hall on Ellis Island.  All the immigrants had to wait here to be allowed into the country.
 One of the towers of Ellis Island
We actually had our picture taken! On the ferry, with the new WTC a little in the upper right

The trip is as usual, drive all the way to Liberty State Park on the Jersey side, park, walk to the former RR building, get the tickets, go through security (yes, it's like going to the airport, with the bag check and the scanner), and then get on the ferry.  Out on the water for a few fast minutes, barely time to get the 'perfect' shot of lower Manhattan, and you're at Ellis Island.
I just love the museum.  We went there the first time in 1991, shortly after it opened, and have liked it ever since.  Just like the World Trade Center, I've dragged all my visitors there, and everyone has been impressed.
We did go over to Liberty Island, and the crowds were amazing.  So many people!  No, we didn't go in the statue.  It's either newly opened or will open soon after restoration work. It's hard walking in the statue, especially when it's crowded, the steps are a little higher than normal steps, and you have to wait behind other people, we did it years ago, and we had a charlie horse that was of epic proportions!
 And one of the reasons I made the trip: to get the statue of Liberty in a picture with downtown Manhattan.
 In the case is a motorcycle made from copper from the statue of Liberty.
 My paparazzi
 and  yet another attempt at the perfect shot
 details: a friend of mine, a long, long time ago, actually made it to the torch.  A really long time ago.
  The windows below the crown.  That's what you look out of for 10 seconds before having to move on  after climbing all the way to the top.  Worth it?  Not really.  Do you have to do it?  Absolutely!

September 15, 2012

Plans, Hawk Watch, etc.

Today we pulled ourselves up and out, and since the weather switched to the more fall like temperatures, off we went to the Hawk watch.  And it was crowded!  All the Hawkwatchers were there with binoculars, cameras with the big lenses, all excited.  The fall migration of birds has started and there were droves of birds expected.  And they showed up!  Bald eagles were seen!  'Kettles' of birds, one with 15 birds!  Everyone was so excited!  Binoculars were pointed, cameras were switched on tripots, counts were verified or disputed, a very excited group up there!
(Deutsch unten)
And there they are
But ----- none of these birds were visible to the naked eye.  None.  I have no clue how these enthusiasts even managed to find them in the sky, never mind identify them!  I happened to see one.  Totally by accident while willy-nilly aiming the binoculars in the general direction everyone else was.  It looked like a bird far away.  That's it.  Both of us were a bit disappointed, we had hoped for a closer look.

 But I did get my camera to focus in on the new World Trade Center, which was way in the distance (just like the birds), but at least we could see it.  (more photos below the German)
Heute morgen standen wir auf, und ich hatte den festen Vorsatz mal wieder ein Stueck zu laufen, besonders da das Wetter endlich ein bisschen herbstlich wurde.  So los gings zur Hawkwatch, wo wirklich auf Habichte, Falken, etc. Ausschau gehalten wird, die auf ihrer Migration nach Sueden vorbeiziehen.  Im ersten Foto kann man die Menge der Enthusiasten sehen, die sich fuer dieses Ereignis gesammelt hatten.  Und die Voegel kamen!  Adler, Habichte, Falken, jede Menge Voegel, die begeistert gezaehlt wurden, und die von dernaechsten Person dann entweder bestaetigt oder bestritten wurden.  Helle Begeisterung!
Fernglaeser wurden gezueckt, stationaere Riesenkameras bereit gemacht, Aufregung herrschte....

Mit dem blossen Auge sah man nichts.  Absolut nichts.  Es wurde von 15 Voegeln auf einem Haufen berichtet  und mehr - gesehen habe ich einen einzigen, ganz weit weg, mehr durch Zufall.
 Tief enttaeuscht wanderten wir wieder zum Auto.
Es gelang mir aber, in der Entfernung das neue World Trade Center mit meiner neuen Kamera heranzuholen, garnicht so einfach, es ist ja 'nur' eine point-und-shoot, und wackeln darf man nicht!
Hier ein Foto vom Weg zur Arbeit
A photo from the way to work:

and below our cat drinking water from the faucet

And we just had to turn around and look again, the tiniest soccer players we've seen!
Tomorrow?  I'm hoping to go to Ellis Island.

September 14, 2012

Friday chores

Grass mowed, check.  Weeds under control, semi-check, they still have a chance to pop up.
Hedges trimmed, no, chore for tomorrow.  Flowers bought to make things colorful, check.  Enough?  No, I have to get more.

We did the kids this week.  Jim and Erika both were on business trips, and we stayed with the kids for a couple of days until Erika came back.  Got them off to school, supervised them making lunches and doing their homework, gently prodded them to get going, and walked them to the first crossing guard.

Then off to work, and goodness, I was hoping for a day off, the weather was so nice, I wanted to either go to Ellis Island or to the city, but then I got an order of 70 plus plus pieces, and there went that.  There went the serger as well, one of the loopers broke, and it had to go to the repair shop.

Plus I didn't feel good during the beginning of the week.  Thank goodness I feel better!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Not enough time to translate it into German today, I'm sorry!
Entschuldigung, bald wirds wieder besser!

September 11, 2012


No, not being morbid or wallowing in grief.  But sad.  Remembering being at the WTC, either arriving by subway, and going up the endless long escalators, rushing with everyone else, and then standing and waiting in the lobby for the next available elevator that got you to the top in one minute, and made your ears pop.
The incredible view walking up a little from the elevator, then the step down in the wall of glass which gave you a sense of vertigo.  You could sit and tarry for a moment, or make the circle through the fast-food shops ad souvenir shops to the elevator to the  top, if the weather allowed, a couple of times it was either to windy or too wet to go outside.
It was so high my son Chuck got dizzy and had to sit down on the benches, away from the railing when he was little.
You were a quarter mile up in the sky and it felt like you could look forever.
And yes, I've had dinner in the evening at the Windows of the World restaurant, and once the entire family had Sunday brunch.
It was another case of not 'have you been there', but 'how many times have you been there'.  It was familiar because all our visitors wanted to experience it.
You used it to gauge the direction when getting out of the subway in the city, you saw the towers and you knew they were south and you could pick your way by that.

I still miss them.  I miss the crowds, I miss the familiarity, I miss knowing where to go for twofers in the towers, I miss the customs building where my husband used to go to work.

Anyway, today was a time to remember it all, and here is the empty spot where the WTC used to be:

September 2, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

I have a hard time with titles.  I also never look back on the posts I've written and I don't link to them, like some bloggers do.  Oh, well, I try my best.
The weekend is nice, and thanks to Labor Day, not finished yet.  We still have tomorrow!  M is sick, not feeling good, he caught a cold from all the kids we were around.  But that's a small price to pay for the company!
We missed seeing the Maryland branch of the family.  They are growing up like weeds, Noah is going to school now, in a school uniform (can I post his picture, Sue?), and he looks adorable.  Kate too, is growing.

Jackson and Evan will start a new school on Tuesday, I wish them luck!  Jackson will start Kindergarten as part of his program. Big changes!  And the older two will go back to school, into third and fourth grade!

I had no idea where this post was going when I started to write - does that happen to others?
I wanted to hold on to the memories of our trip, and tell you about the wedding we came across on our third, the kids first day in Germany.  M and Erika  I took Matthew, Jessica and Jackson up to the castle on foot.  Steep hill, over 300 steps, jet lagged children, but it was fun.  Once in the castle we saw the bride and the groom with all their wedding guests posing for a photo:

The photographer was standing just in the left in the photo, with enough room behind him.  We carefully started to go behind him, as not to be in the way.  I couldn't resist looking at the entire group and I let out my inner child and jumped up and down behind the photographer.  The group cracked up!  I served my purpose.

Today I worked on my quilt, I'm almost done.  I am by no means an expert.  But I finished my first quilt!  It's colorful and I love it.  What will I do next?  I haven't a clue.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Ich weiss nie so richtig, wie ich meine Post titlen soll.  Mir faellt nie was gutes ein, und so wird es eher langweilig.  Auch finde ich oft, dass ich vorhabe etwas zu schreiben und meine Gedanken dann total irgendwo anders landen, und ich ueber etwas total anderes schreibe.
Es ist Labor Day weekend, oder Tag der Arbeit (die Amis mussten es ja auf ein anderes Datum legen, der erste Mai waere ja unmoeglich gewesen).  Nach diesem Wochenende geht der Ernst des Lebens wieder los, die Kinder gehen zurueck in die Schule, Matthew und Jessica ins dritte und vierte Schuljahr, und Jackson faengt mit dem Kindergarten (Vorschuljahr) an.  Noah fing schon mit dem Vorkindergartenjahr an, und Kate ist auch am wachsen.

Eigentlich wollte ich ja die Erinnerungen an unsere Reise festhalten, und vom ersten Tag, an dem die Kinder da waren, erzaehlen.  Wir trafen Erika in Bacharach, und gingen mit drei flugzeugmueden Kindern zu Fuss die ueber 300 Stufen hoch zur Burg.  In der Burg angekommen, sahen wir diese festlich gekleidete Hochzeitsgruppe aufgestellt fuer den Fotografen, den man links im Foto erahnt.  Der Fotograf hatte freundlicherweise ein Stueckchen Platz hinter seiner Position, sodass man an ihm vorbei und an die Aussicht konnte.  Ich konnte mir leider nicht verkneifen, bei dem vorbeistreifen hinter dem Fotografen wie ein kleines Maedchen mit Haenden hoch in die Hoehe zu huepfen.  Ich glaube, es wird lange dauern, bis die Gaeste den Anblick einer etwas aelteren, dicklichen Frau Haende hochhaltend hinter dem Fotografen vorbeihuepfend vergessen!

So, genug fuer heute, von meinem ersten Quilt, der bald fertig ist, erzaehle ich ein anderes mal.
Schoenes Wochenende an die von Euch, die morgen noch frei haben!