Monday, May 20, 2013

A Gray and Green Day in Cologne

We had been planning to do some shopping today but it was a holiday (Pentecost) and the stores were uniformly closed. 

The skies stayed gray but as long as they weren't actually raining on us we walked about. We stumbled on the Antoninerkirche, and because we could hear the organ music rolling out into the street we went in. A very small, spare church, now Protestant, rebuilt after war damage in the most elegant grays.

And in one corner, this remarkable, bone-chilling sculpture called "The Levitation". It's just there hanging over a slab of marble engraved with the dates of the two world wars. And overwhelming organ music while we looked.

Next we went to the Composer's grandmother's neighborhood. He and his mother spent several summers staying with her in her apartment. This park is nearby; he used to play here. It's got sizeable green hills in it made from bombing rubble. 

And almost last, a very cozy dinner in a wood-panelled restaurant. Lots of diners eating sausage, of course! Bella had this plate of sauerbraten and potato dumplings (applesauce not shown),

and I ordered goulash, a specialty here. We marvelled at the menu offering 3/4 of a meter of bratwurst for dinner! It's got to be in links or that's a really long plate . . . 

And very last, a stop at the ice cream store (our third in two days). It does seem like a tour of European ice cream sometimes when you're traveling with the Composer. Tonight the sour cherry was the big winner.

Tomorrow we have ninety minutes to shop in before we run for the train. We have a battle plan drawn up and we implement breakfast at 700 sharp.

In the Far North

Well, we're in Germany for two weeks! We arrived yesterday morning and started pretending we didn't have jet lag--found a shady table near the Cathedral and ordered bratwurst. A bird arrived to take a bath in the fountain beside us.

The Cathedral (the Dom) is Cologne's landmark building. 

We looked in right after Mass was over and the air was still filled with incense.

Lots of votives burning.

A short walk took us over the Rhine.

An early supper in a Turkish restaurant--we were in a hurry to get out to the Westfriedhof Cemetery before the gates closed, so the Composer could visit his grandparents' graves.

Daisy commuting.

So many beautiful stones, trees, and plantings. And birds! Even the most downtown parts of Cologne are filled with birdsong.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

More Is More

One rose panel has become six, all the way around the dress. Hoping to finish next week and show it off here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Trucky Helps with the Mulch

I took the truck to the yard waste place and filled it with mulch to spread around the inside areas of the big front flower bed.

The Composer suggested backing up under the arbor to get closer to my work space. I could never have done this myself, but doesn't Trucky look so cozy, with an inch to spare on either side?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A River Rock for the Windowsill

Just to scratch that crochet itch one evening . . . tutorial found online somewhere, they're not uncommon. Rock found in the river (not uncommon either).

Monday, May 13, 2013

At Home Again, with a Brighter Mudroom

It seems like ages since I've sat here to type--such a full weekend with a lot of car time (stitching!), and now a full(er) house. It's so nice to have Clara home. We're currently bonding in the garden among the weeds, making things look better.

Right before we left I painted two of the mudroom walls. They had always been unpainted pine, which had darkened a lot over the years. This spring the Composer had to replace some wood from water damage around the door and the new boards didn't really match. At all. So I decided that white paint would cover all. It's so much lighter down there now! I used a semi-gloss in my favorite Atrium White, so when trouble marks the walls, which it will in this room that stores dirty boots, recycling, and who knows what all, I can scrub and repaint at will.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

On the Road

We're off bringing Clara home for the summer.

Back on Monday!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Bella Makes a Big Dessert

It's Teacher Appreciation Week in our town, and though my children don't go to school, our church does its best to support the teachers at one of our elementary schools. Bella and I were tapped to bring tomorrow's lunch dessert.

Phyllis assured me that something outrageous and chocolatey was the way to go; ideally there would be both Cool Whip and cake from a mix.

Bella could hardly believe it when I brought home a box of cake mix, four boxes of chocolate mousse mix, two tubs of whipped topping, and a package of candy bars. She made her first ever cake-from-a-box, then put together a huge tub of . . . dessert.

I asked her to show me how she felt about this kind of baking:

 but I think the teachers will like it.

Monday, May 06, 2013

White Lady Banks

Our first really good year for the white Lady Banks rose! She's blooming all over the arbor. 

This beauty thrives in deep shade--mine's planted on the north side of the house, literally in our gravel driveway.

Friday, May 03, 2013

A Spring Full of Orchids

My orchids are having a great spring--four of them are in full bloom, a bloom that's been on the horizon for months now, and a second set is a few weeks behind.

It's been a good week to get things done--Daisy finished school, my writing class is over, and no one went on a trip. I made some long-overdue tablecloths for the church, fixed a rug, organized the foster parent's closet at the church (a big mess, and my responsibility), and made a bazillion phone calls.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Dust Bowl

I picked up The Dust Bowl by Ken Burns at the library this week. Utterly fascinating, if you're interested in the convergence of social history and soil science.

The photographs of the families who lived through this will break your heart. The dignity and gravitas are humbling.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

A Fine Day for a Bob

Daisy got her Second Annual Spring Bob. Ignore that surprised look on her face--I think it has to do with macaroons. That she's eating.

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