Monday, February 26, 2007

Fasching Foray

Someone commented that they didn't know what Fasching was...I didn't know what Fasching was either six years ago! It's the German version of Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent begins. Fasching actually starts November 11 and ends on Fat Tuesday. Most cities have a parade and then parties, similar to Mardi Gras.

If you want more details, search "karneval" or "fasching".

The pictures on my last Thursday Thirteen (T13) were of a nearby village. Not one of the "million" people attended parades - too many people for me! This was a nice homey parade that lasted all of 45 minutes or so. There were many groups of girls wearing costumes and kind of marching/stepping, all the while yelling, "Ally oop!" The crowd would shout it back and then the candy would start flying! I was serious about wearing helmets next year!

I went with a good friend of mine and her kids. I hadn't asked her if I could post pics of her kids, so their faces aren't showing...Most of the kids dress up for the parades and her son was a dino and her daughter a vampire!

We watched from the beginning of the parade, so the kids caught lots of candy. I'm thinking we may just skip the treat-or-treating next year... It was crazy! There were parents running into the middle of the parade route to pick up candy. I was told that at the bigger parades, people bring umbrellas and open them upside down to catch the goodies.

It wasn't just candy that fell from the sky. Little tins of Nivea creme, samples of hair products, bakery rolls (that may have been from one friend to another, but it didn't matter as it bounced off of me to the recipient!!!) Coupons for jewelry, hair treatments, riding lessons...

One of the floats actually had people passing out cups of beer as it passed by! I imagine it was to wash the pea soup (yeah...I know!) that the German Red Cross was handing out as they drove by!

There were kids from the local martial arts haus and kids and ponies from the riding club, local community was very small townish! Just what I love! When we arrived people made room for our kids, when the goodies came most of them shared. Lots of smiling, laughter and good will were present.

So, if you're ever this way, this time of year - hit a fasching parade and don't forget the helmets!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #3

Thirteen Things About the Fasching Parade...

1. Get there early, at least 30 minutes, to get a good parking spot and be prepared to entertain the kids... (This is P.Blumen and friend rearranging the rock path!)

2. Be prepared to entertain ALL the kids... (This is P.Sunshine!)

3. If you don't entertain the kids, they will entertain themselves! (This is Little Man after crawling around in the grass...ewww!) Carry wipes, paper towels and baggies for the "gifts" the doggies leave.

4. Fasching is a time of letting loose...for EVERYONE! (This is some really tall man adjusting his do.)

5. What's a parade without horses? and horse poop...did I mention that the parade people are throwing candy?!

6. People in idea what they are...

7. Groups of girls in fluffy costumes...they just walked.

8. No fancy cars pulling floats here - bring in the tractors!!!

9. In case you needed some liquid refreshment...this man is handing out cups of beer from a float!

10. These are the Bunnys - ladies in blue wigs, shorts and tights...don't ask - I don't know!

11. Representing? They did play some "get up and move" rhythms and this zither guy was really moving!

12. And what kind of parade would it be without a balloon, of sorts?!

13. Did I mention they threw candy? little tins of lotion? bakery rolls? I got hit by all of those. Next year we're wearing helmets!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Karneval - well, almost

Ah, Mondays! Lucky me this isn't the typical, crazy Monday. Today is a holiday Monday! In the kindergarten, the kids celebrated Karneval. When I dropped off *P.Blumen (Prinzessin Blumen) , I was accosted by witches, fairies and dragons - oh my! Even the teacher was disguised in a sombrero and curly mustache! Face painting for the girls only (not sure why), candy (lots)and games were part of the fun.

Meanwhile at home, *Big Man and *Little Man were hanging out playing Sonic as *P.GG (Prinzessin GG)waited for her ride to the pool. *P.Sunshine (Prinzessin Sunshine) was MIA, hanging out with her friends. Me, I was anticipating the quiet for Big Man and Little Man were going out for a guys only afternoon after P.GG left.

It didn't last long. I started out paying bills, then decided to indulge and read some blogs. There are all kinds out there. I am still deciding which ones I really like and want to keep an eye on. I enjoy reading about the little things in life...other people's lives. :) (With 4 girls in the house, rarely is anything little!)

Here's a blog that I keep finding myself returning to - I finally put it on my page!Turning the Pages of Life by Gene Bach is a great blog! It has a little of everything - wit, humor, and drama (read the fishing boat story!) a style that is easy going; nicely done. Stop by, if you get the chance and say, "Hello!" to Gene.

Now that P. Blumen and P.Sunshine are home the quiet has ended. They are almost 12 years apart. What can they have to argue over?! Oh well - tomorrow the kids are out of school, too, but we will be visiting a chocolate factory in the morning and then a fasching(karneval) parade in the afternoon. Wish me luck - hopefully, I'll get some good pics to share!

*Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent. ;)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #2

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Thirteen foods that I've enjoyed while living in Germany

The food! Being part Italian, I grew up with family traditions that usually included some fabulous meal along with the friends and family. So, it only makes sense that I would take note of the wonderful German fare that's available here.

Disclaimer *grin*: while the following foods, may or may not be of German origin...this is where I've tried them first!

1. Kuchen - cake. More pastry than cake, but similiar to coffee cake, not as sweet. Sometimes with a drizzle of icing. I like it best with whatever fruit is in season. Wonderful with hot chocolate!

2. Jagerschnitzel - tender breaded pork, smothered in a sauce with mushrooms. Usually served with pommes (fries) or spatzle and steamed vegies.

3. Pommes - fries, usually served with mayo! Be careful if you ask for's usually seasoned with curry - just enough to make it slightly sweet and flavorful.

4. Spatzle - resemble pinched off pieces of egg pasta, delightful served with butter and herbs!

5. Sauerbrauten - braised roast with a sweet and sour sauce. Delicious with potatoes - roasted, mashed, however you like them!

6. the Brotchen - Crusty rolls, with soft, light middles, similiar to french bread, only in single servings. My little one likes to eat the fluff and share the crusty part with me! Saves on the calories...used for sandwiches.

7. Krauter butter - butter sold in sticks, imbedded with flavors and idea what all is in it - just know that it's wonderful on meat, bread and pasta!

8. Flamkuchen - It's grilled pizza sans the red sauce. Spread with what I think is creme fraiche and vegetables and meat, if you want. Mmmm...the smoky flavor of the grill *sigh* I am an outdoors kinda girl...

9. Bratwurst - tastes like breakfast sausage to me! You can find an imbiss (kiosks) that sell them along with the brotchen. Most places also offer pommes.

10. Doner Kabap - not German in origin, but widely available. Roasted seasoned meat is thinly sliced and served in a split flatbread along with vegies of your choice, feta, and tsatziki sauce (lightly seasoned yogurt sauce). Great when on the run!

11. Eis - this is ice cream, but not the American version...not so sweet, more creamy... lots of fun flavors...Schlumpf is my kids' eis named after the Smurfs!!!

12. Nutella - Okay...I knew about Nutella before coming to Germany, but it's everywhere here! Forget peanut butter! Nutella is used for sandwiches, crepes, waffles, pancakes... it's great for dipping pretzels!

13. Apfelstrudel - Apple strudel! This is one menu item that's great to start or end a meal! Flaky pastry, with chunks or slices of apples, raisens, served warm...Yum!

Guten Appetit!

Special "THANKS" to Kelly @ Diary of the Nello for sharing the great TT banner!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

So, jump already!

I'm a perfectionist at heart, so when I finally decided to start my own blog to stay in touch with family and friends, I started checking out what was out there. Boy, was I overwhelmed with the great blogs out there! The pictures, the graphics, the writing...the blog. So, I started out with a goal to learn html, so I could spiffy up the place, make it mine. After skimming a few books at the library and some docs online, I figured out it would take me a lot longer than I anticipated to learn the how, so I could do! So, if you've come to see the place, please make an appointment, if you've come to see me, come back often!

I thought about starting last Thursday, but I didn't know where to start. This week I decided to stop looking around and jump in!

A little about me...I'm a collector of hobbies, right now. Four kids (15, 9, 6, 4), a husband in the military and (me) going back to school all add up to a busy (aren't we all?!) life. Not a lot of time to do the things I enjoy, so I collect supplies for that "one day" that I can. My girls have used my scrapbooking stuff more than I have! One day is coming closer though...the youngest started attending a German kindergarten half day this year, so I have a couple of hours to myself. It's hard - no one to play with, color with, follow me around the house, sing to me, but I am learning to cope! LOL

So, if you have any advice or suggestions for a newbie to the blog world, please share! Happy Thursday!

The First Thirteen...

Thirteen Things about anGELA

1. I'm a stay at home mom.
2. I have 4 kids - girl, girl, boy, girl
3. I make lists for everything!
4. I'm an American...
5. living in Germany...
6. with my husband...
7. of 15 years.
8. I call Alaska home.
9. I love being a Junior & Senior Girl Scout leader.
10. I think the outdoors is a great place to be.
11. My favorite color is red.
12. 13 is my favorite number...
13. February 13th is my birthday!

I am so excited about Thursday Thirteen! With 4 kids and a busy schedule, it's hard to stay connected with people when you (me!) feel like you have to write a letter every time. Thirteen on Thursday feels so much more manageable! I'm looking forward to visiting other Thirteeners (is that right?!) and staying connected!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!