A virtual tour of the new house

There will be actual quilting content on this blog before the weekend is out (promise!), but I did also promise pictures of the new house! I took my camera on Wednesday when the girls and I went to see the house, but of course I forgot to actually use it! The lovely lady that lives in the house now was kind enough to send bunches of pictures so now I have some to look at and share and can dream about the house until we move. We’ll begin the tour at the front gate:

Front of the house and gate

This is the original brick front of the house that was retained through the renovation. I think from looking at the other pictures of the renovation process that the roof was raised by a foot or so which makes the top floor a bit easier to use for actual living space. Over the top of the gate you can see the roof of the cottage. The three windows at the bottom are in the kitchen and dining area, and the three above are in the front bedroom that’s on the second floor. Continue reading

Mustang Love: Speeding? Me?? Well, maybe a little…

You may have heard me say that one of the three things I’ll miss about Germany (assuming I ever get to move back to the States. Ahem.) is the Autobahn. I’m sorry, but I LOVE to drive my car pretty fast, and 55-65 mph just doesn’t cut it anymore. After living over here for 15 years, when I visit the States, I feel like I’m crawling along in my car on the highway.

One of my favorite commercials is this one: Continue reading

Patchwork Times: Ruby slippers and a gift from the house gods

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you may have read that the house hunt is on again. I’ve decided that I really can’t peacefully coexist with spiders that are 3″ across! No lie! They really are THAT big when spread out, with bodies to match; more like tiny tarantulas than house spiders I tell ya’! There have been others since the last time I wrote about the spider issue, and in fact they’ve only gotten bigger since then. We have no idea how they get into the house, or where they’re hiding before they show up on the walls or the floor at unexpected times.

Honestly, this house is so full of defects and actual holes that we couldn’t possibly ferret them all out to close them up to keep the house anywhere close to spider-free. When you consider all the other issues we’ve had with the house and the exceedingly freakish and totally unhelpful landlords, the spiders are just the straws that broke the camel’s back. We’re done, and we’re moving on! Continue reading

Patchwork Times: Eating, Dressing, Shopping

There are a couple of things I’ve been meaning to share for forever and a day it seems, but life gets in the way sometimes. I hate it when it does that. Anyway, here goes, in order of age:

Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties--Ami Simms

Way back in March (I think), Ami Simms said she would hand dye some of my panties, and I could become a panty-wearing member of the Yo-Yo Sisterhood of the Traveling Panties, an exclusive club of women (and one man, it turns out) who would recognize each other at quilt shows by flashing the secret “Sisterhood” signal: an index finger to the hip. Okay, to be honest, Ami didn’t just issue this lovely offer to me, she blogged about it, and I decided I’d take her up on it!

Time was short, so I did what any good Angel-card-carrying VSC shopper would do. I ordered panties online and had them shipped to Ami direct! I’m told she got a total kick out of the whole VSC panties thing. Anyway, the picture above shows four of the ten pairs I got back, each one prettier than the last. I LOVE my hand dyed panties, thankyouverymuch, and if you’re a member too, be sure to give the secret signal when we meet up at quilt shows!

In April (or maybe it was May, come to think about it), the lovely Glennis@ShiboriGirl was on her way to Japan to participate in the Silk Experience tour (her trip report is still unfolding on her blog, with great pictures from Japan!). Lucky lady indeed! Before she left, she had a Sayonara Sale on her luscious silk shibori ribbon, and it was just the opportunity I’d been waiting for to try some. Here’s what I bought: Continue reading

Spring Fever

Today feels a little bit like spring here in my part of the world. It’s only 45° but looking and feeling much warmer because the sun is shining! When it looks like that outside, you just get this “I want to go out feeling,” though sometimes once you get out there, it’s colder than it looks. LittleOne and I decided an after-lunch trip around the corner to the bakery was in order. (I realize that’s not exactly “going out” but hey, we’re homebodies, what can we say?)

Before we could get on our way, I heard a cat meowing, and I knew it wasn’t either of ours considering they were being total slackers, soaking up the sun in the wintergarden. No spring fever for those two. I looked out the window in the room where I have my beading table, and I could see a cat on the very top of the house around the corner, coincidentally between our house and the bakery. The cat was wandering around up on the roof of the house, meowing his little heart out.

Pretty soon, he was joined by another cat, and they were both wandering around up on the roof. I thought it was rather odd, as this is a two story house with an attic, so I had to wonder how they got up there. LittleOne and I headed out for the bakery, and when we passed the house, the cats came down to the roof edge and meowed at us, kind of like they couldn’t figure out how to get down.

I could see there was a window in the roof on the front of the house that was open, and I wondered if someone forgot it was open and the cats got out, and then couldn’t figure out what else to do, cats being what they are. Figuring we should do our good deed for the day, we rang the bell, and told the owner that their cats were on the roof, and she said it was “normal.” Hmm. Interesting. So much for doing the good deed. We left the cats to their spring fever party, and went on down the road feeling a bit silly, but I did take some pictures when I got home since they were still up there meowing and having their little party:

Cat on the roof

Cat number one, right on the corner of the roof.

Cat on the roof

Cat number two, back by the chimney.

I’m just not sure I’d let my cats do that. *shrug* Different strokes. Time for my afternoon snack:

German Brezel

Mmmm…nothing like a real German Brezel. Is it spring today where you are?

The Tax Man Calleth…

Though thankfully, not on me. In another installment in the continuing saga of our crazy landlords, my doorbell rang today in the early afternoon (there have been other episodes in the interim, but there are just so many and they’re so frustrating that I don’t have the heart to go on about every one of them).

As happens frequently, I opened the door and was met with a gentleman firing rapid German at me, and I stopped him to ask him if he spoke English. He said he did, and asked if Mrs. Landlord was home. I said no, she doesn’t live here. He looked completely perplexed at this, and asked if he could call her. I said sure, but she lives in Canada. Now he begins to look really surprised.

“In Canada?!?” says he.

“Oh, yes, in Canada.” says I.

“But for how long?” says he?

“Hmmm, well, we’ve lived here since last April, and they left in June or July, I think.” says I. “Who are you?”

“I am from the Sinsheim Tax Station.” says the Tax Man. (our little town is a suburb of Sinsheim)

{Oh, dear} thinks I.

“And her husband?” asks the Tax Man?

“Oh, he is in Canada, too. He works there.” says I.

And on it goes. During this short conversation, I was thinking back to the time that I talked to Mrs. Landlord on the phone and she told me that I couldn’t tell anyone that they don’t really live here, and that I shouldn’t say anything when the banker showed up to look around the house. And I was remembering the funny pieces of mail that I’ve gotten off and on in my German mailbox that are addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Landlord, and that they were from the Sinsheim Finanzamt (that would be something like the “Tax Station” I would think). But I don’t care what Mrs. Landlord wants, I’m not going to lie to the German tax collector on her behalf. Um, no, just…no.

I finally asked Mr. Tax Man if this was a problem that Mr. and Mrs. Landlord don’t live here, and he said “Yes, it is for the Tax Station.” Eeeeewww. Sounds like whatever game Mr. and Mrs. Landlord are running has now been uncovered, and the jig is up. I called the Army housing office to advise them of this latest strange development, and the woman that I’ve been talking to a lot lately about all the problems with this house said that at least it’s always interesting here. She ain’t kiddin’. Never a dull moment.