Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sick but home (which is better, I think, than "homesick")

Hey everyone! So sorry for the lapse in posting. Three weeks ago my husband left for some work-related stuff, and since he'll be gone for a bit, I decided to fly home. It's pretty lonely over there without him, and I was tired of crying myself to sleep at night.

I caught a flight on Sunday with the children, and, while I still haven't recovered from the massive effort, I'm just glad to be back home. There's nothing like having my Mom to take care of me. My friend Jillian helped me fly back, and for that I cannot thank her enough. Her parents live a few hours from mine, so it worked out.

I'm sick with a fever and a headcold that has also partially stolen my voice temporarily, but I'm sure that I'll be on the mend soon enough. I've been working on the Sockapalooza socks, but in the lifting of luggage and wrangling of children, I injured one of the tendons in my left arm, and have to go REALLY slow right now, knit-wise. Unfortunately I'm not going to have the second sock completed by Thursday, but I've let my pal know about it, and hopefully she'll be okay with that.

No pics today -- I'm just feeling too ill do do much else than type, but I hope to be back blogging soon. For now, if you're a praying person just say a little prayer for me that I'll be well again soon and feeling strong. I want to enjoy my visit here!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


(This post contains large photo collages. If you wish to see all of these pictures and more, click on the collage and it will take you to that particular photo set. I created 5 sets for this trip, according to subject. Some of the pictures in Flickr have more description of things, in case you're curious.)

Honestly, when we decided to go to Berlin for a few days, I had no idea what to expect. I knew a tiny bit about the historic aspects of the city, but nothing more. My sister Hannah had been there though, earlier this year, and based on her recommendation and those of a few other friends, we booked four nights in a hostel called Odyssee, and set off.

As it turned out, the city was fascinating. We stood next to the Berlin Wall and started to understand it for the first time.
Berlin Wall
Strangely ugly and beautiful all at once. The painting of the walls began years before the two sides of Berlin were reunited in an expression of individual protest from the West (the free side, and the only side that was also free to touch it).

We bought some books about it, and have been learning more about it. (You can also read about it at Wikipedia here.)

The boys had a great time at the zoo. In the top left corner, you can see how Daisy was able to stay warm, even on that cold and rainy day (can you spot her?)
Berlin Zoo

We also visited a huge museum, and spent a whole day there.
I especially enjoyed the textile section (more notes in the Flickr set).

We also spent some time at Unter den Linden, saw the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtnis-Kirche (the roof was bombed out, but the church still stands, with modern portions built up on either side).

In this collage, you can also peek into the hostel we stayed at. Does anyone know the signifigance of the orange/purple/yellow mural in the bottom two rows below? It was painted across one wall of our room, and depicted some important Berlin landmarks (the Fernsehturm TV tower, for one) along with a woman in a purple hat. We couldn't figure out what it was supposed to mean.

And of course, there was the food. We ate at some hole-in-the-wall places and did a bit of fine dining as well. Quite honestly, the "finest" of the dining I found a bit pretencious, but at another restaurant just a step lower, we had some of the best Italian food we've ever had in our lives. Seriously.

In the top left corner, you can see Sparky enjoying a Kombucha Tea. This was the first time I'd found it for sale anywhere, and it's very tasty. I wish that I knew someone who would share a Kombucha mushroom with me, because I'd love to be able to make it at home.
Berlin Food
In the bottom row, you can see the chocolate shop we visited, Melanie (on the corner of Goethestrasse and Knesebeckstrasse, in case you ever want to stop by). Some of the truffle flavors we purchased included lavendar, thyme, rosemary, and curry. I'm pretty sure it was some of the best chocolate I've ever had in my life. The actual address of this place is Goethestrasse 4, Charlottenburg.

Alltogether we had a wonderful trip, and I'd love to go back sometime.

There are some fiber things going on around here -- I've completed one Sockapalooza sock, and am spinning something that I dyed myself -- but I don't have the energy to blog about it at the moment. Also, this was a really great mail week, thanks to some fun packages, but that'll have to wait as well. I'm having one of the roughest weeks of my life, and I don't know if I've ever worked so hard. (Someone remind me why I have 3 children?!) Anyway, I'll be back with more pictures in the next post...whenever I can get to it.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independance Day! (And the winners are...)

Happy Independance Day to all of my dear American readers. Happy Wednesday to all of my (equally dear) international friends.

We had a fabulous four days in Berlin.
Happy To Be Alive
I wanted to stay longer, but it was lovely to sleep in my own bed again last night. (Lots of photos to follow, but I don't have them all uploaded yet.)

We got in later than expected, so I'm late on the contest announcement, but better late than never, yes?

It was difficult to decide. Shoe shopping with all of you was way more fun and way more interesting than I expected (wow, has it been that long since I shopped for anything besides wool?!) Making it more difficult was the fact that several of you mentioned the same shoes, so I decided to just credit the "first" mentions (as close as I could get it -- forgive me if I'm making a mistake here). The finalists are as follows:

In first place, we have Mouse, with most practical, supportive, cute, and great treads (Keen Calistoga in Black)
In second place Faith, with adorable and comfortable looking (Dansko Giselle in Espresso)
And in third place, Noriko, with the most interesting, although a bit on the expensive side. (Earth Echelon in Bronze)

The trouble is...I like all of those. So. I'm buying all three pairs, and sending a little something to each of you. I'll email the three of you tomorrow (since it's bedtime for me now) to get your addresses (if you read this before you get my email, please feel free to email me the info). Prizes won't go out for another week or two, since the children make everything a little slow right now (just trying to be realistic with my deadlines here!)

Unrelated, but has anyone seen Stacy's new Etsy shop? I cannot believe how fabulous her jewelery is, especially this one. Unfortunately, I can't afford any of it since...well, see the above paragraph, where I'm buying three pairs of shoes. Right. I'll certainly keep my eye on the shop though, for future purchases.

To my podcast listeners: I'm working on a new episode, so don't despair! I've got the notes written out, and now I just need to find time to record.


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