Summer Thunder Terrors…

So, it would seem that we have entered the season of nightly thunder storms.  It is still an hour until sunset here and more than two hours until dark and it’s pitch black outside with high winds and driving rain.  That alone would be impressive if it were not for the crashing and booming of thunder.  I had to turn off my car alarm a few minutes ago! 


I’m not here to tell you that though…  I’m here to regale you with yet another dog story! 


I was making dinner when this latest storm started up.   Both boys came running and since I was cooking I told them it was okay and to go lay down.  I finished up dinner and then realized that Gandalf had stayed in sight of me the whole time but I hadn’t seen Yoda since the moment I shooed him out of the kitchen.


I went and tried his favorite places to lay down, but I couldn’t find him.  I won’t lie, I started to feel a little guilty… I was distracted and not as gentle as I should have been when I shooed him away and he really is a big baby.  In fact last year during a storm he shook so hard that he hyperventilated and passed out!  With all of these thoughts spinning in my head I started to search for him in earnest because one thought was coming to the surface over and over…


He’s old.  11 and 1/2!  It is my fondest wish that when it’s his time to go, he goes at home, naturally, and preferably in his sleep.  But the thought that he might have had a heart attack and died of fear in some corner made me feel queasy!


(How’s that for morbid?) 


I called for him and searched high and low… starting to feel just a bit of panic.  I even went into the basement wondering if I had accidently shut him in after their last walk and then just imagined that he came into the kitchen with Gandalf in the kitchen… 


And then I found him… You’re not going to believe this!


DSC_1902


He was sitting in the corner of the shower, shuddering…


Keep in mind that he passionately hates baths and this is the scene of the crime, and that he stayed put long enough for me to get my camera, in fact I had to pick him up to get him out!  So this picture truly does say a thousand words!


I swear that tomorrow he’ll be in the tub with a mattress pulled over his head! 


I’ll let you know if he does!


Courtney 


 

Summer Storms

I got to bed late last night.  I was working on my computer while watching a movie and the time simply got away from me.  It’s easy to lose track now… Sunrise is at 5:30am now and sunset isn’t until 9:30pm with full dark holding off until after 11pm!  So it was with a little jolt of surprise that I found myself not falling asleep until 1:00am!


Only to be awoken, violently, at 2:36am… 


I’m still not sure exactly what woke me.  Was it my schnauzer, Yoda, launching himself onto my chest, shivering and licking my face?  Or my enormous 110 pound Newfie, Gandalf, hurtling onto the bed right at his heels and laying across my stomach, whining?  Or perhaps it was the peal of thunder that actually rattled the windows and made the lamps shake and flicker?


In any case I found myself startled out of sleep and comforting two very frightened dogs in my not so empty bed.  It was actually kind of cute.  They were shuddering and whimpering and only my voice and touch could calm them down.  At one point I tried to get them to get off of my bed and the minute I said Yoda’s name to try to get him to move he nuzzled into my neck and hid his face…  and Gandalf tried to put his head under my pillow!  You could almost hear them begging …


“Mom, can’t we sleep with you tonight?”


DSC_0884


Ah my brave protectors.  That’s a lot of dog to hurtle onto your bed at 2:30 in the morning!


It went on and on…  Every time I would calm them down and start to drift off to sleep another peal of thunder would rock the house accompanied with pyrotechnic lightning and the boys would creep a little closer and shiver a little harder.  I think I finally comforted them enough to get them off the bed and drifted off to sleep for good sometime after 5:00am.  Unfortunately I still woke for the day at my usual time of 6:00am. 


Needless to say, I am exhausted today and have very little hope of getting anything done… ah well…


I haven’t seen a storm like that in years!  I love thunder storms but even I was a little bit frightened!


I’m off to take a nap…


Courtney

A Flurry of Flowers: Part II

A few weeks ago I awoke to another sunny day and a huge tractor mowing my back field!  They came through and mowed the grass then came back around with this attachment that threw the grass out evenly… A few hours later yet another pass scooped it into neat rows and then a fourth and final pass picked it all up, bailed it, and carted it away.


DSC_1574 


It was such a pretty day that I decided to pack up my camera bag and strike out for a good long walk through my village.  I was delighted to see that the cows have been freed from their long winter in barns and are now happily grazing…



DSC_1587 


One of the major crops here in Germany during the early spring is Conola.  The seeds are turned into Conola cooking oil and even more commonly, alternative fuel!


In any case they are beautiful aren’t they?



DSC_1588 


My village church.



DSC_1594 


Along the way to the edge of the village there were a variety of flowers.


Fruit trees…



DSC_1595 


Lilac trees…



DSC_1599 


In several shades of purple…



DSC_1600 


This is the sign for my village…



DSC_1602 



The barn on the edge of town with a view of the valley… 



DSC_1605 



More Conola fields…  The smell of these fields is amazing.  For the first week or so they are in bloom they smell of heady flowers and then as the blooms mature and the sun beams down on them the air begins to smell like cooking french fries… it’s bazaar! 



DSC_1608


The Dandelions have lost their flowers and have become Dandelion clocks.  (Did you know that these are also called wishies here in Europe?)


DSC_1624


 The Winter Aconites have taken the place of the Dandelions.



DSC_1625 


As I reached the end of the village a stunning view of the B-50 valley opened up at my feet. 



DSC_1638 


Right at the edge of the old rustic barn.



DSC_1640 


Beautiful views…



DSC_1644 


The road out of town…



DSC_1646 


I do believe that this village was once the site of an apple orchard… there are ancient apple trees everywhere! 



DSC_1657 


The barn is home to a huge woodpile… and I caught a sparrow enjoying a moment in the sun…



DSC_1664 


The fields are full of blooming grasses…



DSC_1668 


It was a lovely day and walking around my village was rewarding.  I loved seeing a little more of what makes this place home.


Auf Wiedersehen,



DSC_1670 



 Courtney

Flurry of Flowers: Part I

 Forgive me for taking so long between updates.  It has been a rather busy week here and my heart has simply not been in writing.  I have now been alone for more than 120 days and I have many more to count down on the calendar before my best friend is again by my side.  This is the longest we have ever been apart at one time now.  It has had me a bit down this past week…  But, no worries, I’ll bounce back, get my second wind and keep on keepin’ on. 


On to brighter and happier things… I have many pictures to share and I’m getting far far behind.  So, today is a catch up day. 


These pictures were taken about two weeks ago, in the full bloom of spring, when my apple tree was bursting with flowers and buzzing bees.


DSC_1490 


 Isn’t it stunning?



DSC_1494 


The tiny new cherry tree was not to be outdone, however.



DSC_1498 


It too was heavy with blooms.



DSC_1500 


And the walnut tree was a slow beginner but it’s getting there!



DSC_1501


Okay, back to the apple tree… I couldn’t quite get enough of it…



DSC_1505 



 A warm afternoon spent under it’s shade…


DSC_1512


…Smelling it’s blooms…



DSC_1509 


…And hearing the bees as they buzz in and out in a never ending search for pollen.



DSC_1510 


Lovely day…



DSC_1511 


When I had my fill of the apple tree I walked around into my front yard to see what was new…


I found a beautiful Dahlia… 



DSC_1521


 A shrub in full bloom…



DSC_1523 


And the tender lavender shoots opening into full flower.


DSC_1543


Beautiful aren’t they?


DSC_1549


My little front garden (which is what they call the yard here) is a pleasant place to spend an afternoon or morning…  Just me, a cup of tea, and a good book.  I can’t wait for the time when Ryan can join me again…



DSC_1528 


But the tree takes the cake.  I have never before seen one just like it. 



DSC_1531 


To see this tree changing day by day is to understand why art was born.



DSC_1533 


These are the days that make me wish I’d taken a few more art classes… but photography will have to do…



DSC_1534 


Well, I have only 12 days until my Great Aunt Betty will be here for a two week visit.  This will be the last company I have before Ryan’s return… In fact it may very well be the last company I entertain here in Germany before we move home next summer. 


In the meantime I am busy preparing for their visit, spending time in the garden and in the sun, and working on all the projects I have yet to finish.


May your days be full of sunshine, cool breezes, and moments that make memories.



DSC_1536 


 Auf Wiedersehen,


Courtney

Quirk

Strange fact about me #216


I believe with whole hearted sincerely that we need to adopt a new rating system for movies.  G, PG, PG13, and R, simply do not cut it for me as an adult.


The system should be much more in-depth.  It should take into account not only the content of the movie but it’s affect on the viewer.  It should be screened by different demographics and rated using the combined information gleaned from the focus groups attended by those audiences. 


In addition there should be a special warning system in place.  Something to the affect of;


“If you are a 27 year old Air Force wife living in a foreign country and your husband, whom you love so much that there are moments when you can’t imagine taking your next breath without him near you, is currently deployed to parts of the world unspoken, then this movie should be avoided AT ALL COSTS!  If you choose to ignore this warning the side affects may be, but are not all inclusive or limited too:


Uncontrollable sobbing, Snot and tears pouring down your face, Red puffy eyes, Raw sore throat, Difficulty breathing, Shuddering, An uncontrollable urge to go to bed early and pull the covers over your head, And, in rare cases, unbearable compulsions to watch any and all movies you may own that are labeled with this warning.


YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.”


Really how hard would that be?  I don’t think I’m asking a whole lot there do you?


I think I’m going to go bake a batch of brownies and put in something horribly sappy… maybe The Notebook?  No, I know, let’s go all out an watch Titanic! 


(Please insert huge dramatic eye roll, disgusted sigh, and a watery giggle here.)


Courtney


 


*EDIT*



*Okay since everyone is asking…*

 

Okay, okay… I had not intended to tell you what movie it was because I didn’t want to be laughed at but I can already tell every comment will include that question…. LE SIGH! 

 

Oh well…

 

It was… It… It was…

 

P.S. I Love you.

 

I know, I know… But please keep in mind the warning I wrote above, specific to my situation before you judge me too harshly.

Tea for Two: Part III

Guten Tag!


To continue…


One evening my mom and I decided to go out into my back yard and poke around.  During the two weeks that she was here everything changed on a daily basis… Every time we walked out the door there were more flowers, the trees had more leaves, a thousand little differences.


We were greeted by my apple tree breaking into bloom.


DSC_1474


 


DSC_1477


Beautiful isn’t it?


DSC_1480


The pear tree too! 


DSC_1335


The yard was teeming with little busy things…


DSC_1336


 Even my walnut tree was waking up… finally… I had begun to wonder if it was dead!


DSC_1339


 The blackberry brambles are filling out too and I find that my mouth is watering in anticipation! 


DSC_1341


We walked around poking into little nooks and crannies… looking for unusual things… and then we looked down! 


I know what you’re thinking right now…  something along the lines of… “Snails?  So what?”


DSC_1345


 It’s not the fact that they are snails it’s the fact that they are snails as big as my palm!!!! 


DSC_1344


We called it a night after the snail encounter, and went inside to watch a movie… 


~~~~~


The next morning dawned warm and sunny and it was the second to last day before mom’s departure… so we decided to do something fun!  We did yard work!  I know, I know, I shouldn’t put my mother to work on her vacation, how can I call yard work fun.. ect. ect. ect.  But the truth of the matter is, yard work is something that both mom and I love!  And it was by far the most perfect day for it.


We started in the backyard… Mom mowing and m wielding the weed eater!  After a good morning of that we took a break for lunch outside!  It was a beautiful day for it!


 DSC_1409


And then leaving the backyard and the boys…


DSC_1420


We started work on the front yard.  I was surprised to find that I had a tulip! 


DSC_1352


Pretty isn’t it?


DSC_1423


One of my mom’s favorite things about my house is the giant tree in my front yard.  During the summer it has a deep blood red (so dark it’s almost brown) foliage.  But in the spring when it just begins to get it’s leaves it’s as red as rubies! 


DSC_1360


 Even my little pine tree is getting new growth… 


DSC_1416


 I also found a group of these growing in my front flower bed.  I have no idea what they are.  They eventually bloomed into pretty stalks of purple flowers that I’ll post pictures of another day. 


DSC_1429


Isn’t that tree amazing?  I wish I could find out just what it was!


DSC_1434


And of course what would a day outside be if mom and I didn’t goof off… just a little?


DSC_1460


My tree over a field of dandelions.


DSC_1436


My turn!


DSC_1463


Looks like it’s on fire doesn’t it?  You should see it in the fall!


 DSC_1440


Ah… a job well done…  I love sitting here in the morning sun with a good book and a cup of tea!


 DSC_1413


Mom was off to the airport just a few days later…  We almost didn’t get her to the airport in time!  We were a bit late leaving but didn’t sweat it since we were leaving in time to get her there two hours before her flight.  But, as is always the case, on the day we were a bit late tragedy struck!  We were about 45 minutes out from the airport when we got stuck in a huge log jam of traffic.  Almost an hour later we got to the thing that had stopped us.  A tanker truck had flipped over on the bridge and blocked all three lanes of the autobahn.  They had just swung it over the free up one lane so we could get through.  We ended up getting the to airport five minutes after they had closed check in for mom’s flight but thanks to one very sympathetic man we got her checked in and to her gate just in time… WHEW!


It was a lovely two weeks… full of Jane Austen movies, quiet hours reading, lovely afternoon picnics, chit chatting, silly singing and just spending time together!  I’m glad she could come.


Well that’s it for me today,


Auf Wiedersehen,


Courtney

Tea for Two: Part II

Hello all,


I am flabbergasted at how quickly the time has gone this past week.   I have many pictures to share of my Mom’s visit but almost nothing to say since we didn’t do much.  Do you know how hard it is to come up with something interesting to say when your life bores even you?  Don’t get me wrong I am enjoying the spring and being out of doors but I can only subject you to my raptures for so long before I start repeating myself.  But, as I said, I have many pictures to share and much to accomplish here at my desk…  so I’m tethering myself down and working today.


Look for a flurry of posts over the next few days as I have to get all of these posted so I can move on!


So to continue the trip…


Let us begin with Dandelions…  A common little weed that we all struggle to keep out of our lawns and the cracks of our driveway!  Not here in Germany… Here in Germany the Dandelion or Löwenzahn is a celebrated herald of spring.  (Though they are really weeds here as well since they can choke out the vegetation in a grazing field.)


Coming from the desert I’ve seen Dadelions in twos and threes but this blew me away! 


These pictures are of my back field in bloom.


DSC_1228


Not only are there thousands of them but the heads reach 12 to 18 inches high!


DSC_1447


 They close at night so that when you first wake in the morning and look out the window there is nothing but a sea of green only to look again a few hours later and see blankest of flowers.


DSC_1451 


I never thought I’d live to love these pesky little weeds! 



DSC_1212



On the Sunday morning after mom arrived here in Germany we decided to break our the bikes and go on an adventure! 


DSC_1236


 The blue skies and dandelion fields were just too much to resist!


DSC_1237


The wheat fields had just begun to come in… and the clear air gave us a spectacular view!


DSC_1238


We could not resist goofing off with the camera… of course.  So here are some head shots!


My mom…  Isn’t she pretty?


DSC_1245


Can you believe that she’s over 50?  (She’s gonna kill me for saying that!)


DSC_1248


Please let me have this woman’s ageing genes! 


DSC_1247


Then of course it was my turn…  I better be careful about scowling like that or I’m going to have premature wrinkles and kiss looking like my mom when I’m 50, er something, goodbye!


DSC_1249


I was laughing at her attempts to use my camera… 


DSC_1250


 She said something funny and got me really laughing… and then figured out the camera.  Figures!


DSC_1252


After our impromptu head shot session (*snicker*)  We decided it was time to get a move on and find a place to eat…


Wait did I mention we had packed a picnic? 



DSC_1259


After much scrambling about the countryside we found a quite clearing in an orchard that was blooming…  The perfect place to settle down for a quiet hour. 


DSC_1267


We had to leave the bikes at the edge o the orchard because the trees were too close to get them through.


DSC_1270


We settled in to eat…


DSC_1268


And I broke out the tripod to take a few pictures… 


DSC_1273


Isn’t this a beautiful spot?  I suppose it ruins the beauty of the story to admit that the picnic wasn’t all it was cracked up to be huh?  Oh well…  See all that tiny green growth on the floor of the clearing we’re sitting in?  Well turns out that was stinging nettle!  Which we found out at the expense of mom’s hand…  (Don’t worry mom, I got mine too… a few days after you left I slipped and stuck my whole hand into a bunch of it out in the back field… OUCH!!!)


DSC_1275


Oh well, it was fun and a great memory! 


DSC_1274


 After we had finished lunch, decided we had risked enough of our skin to stinging nettle, rescued our bikes, and climbed out of the orchard we discovered that we were on the top of a hill overlooking my whole town of  Mötsch.


DSC_1288


(Sigh) and of course we had to goof off some more…


Mom gazing with longing out at the beauties that surround her… 


“Ah the beauties of the forest!”


DSC_1295


“Ah me… yes, such beauties…”


DSC_1303


She catches sight of something unusual on the horizon and strains to get a better look…


DSC_1307


“Where?  I don’t see what you’re seeing mom!”


DSC_1311


Swelling music and suddenly she bursts into song  “A dream is a wish… you’re heart makes…”


DSC_1304


 Not to be outdone…  “Someday my prince will come…”


DSC_1309 


 The music fades and we realize that we truly are dorks… we mount our bikes in shame and peddle back home giggling the whole way…  (That’s not really true… there was a lot of panting and wheezing since it was all uphill on the way home!  It always is you know!)


But at last we made it and collapsed in the patio chairs to drink some cold tea and enjoy a nice breeze! 


DSC_1317


The boys were glad to have us home… They were really bored without us.  (LOL)


DSC_1318


Yoda wanted to know if we had saved him anything from the picnic… 


DSC_1321


I’ll end there for the day.  I hope all of you have a lovely day and find a few moments to put your feet up and enjoy life!


Auf Wiedersehen!


 DSC_1314


Courtney

Tea for Two: Part I

Guten Tag!


I can’t believe it’s already been more than a week since my mom went home to Phoenix.  The time is just flying now that the sun is out and The Land of Fairy Tales is coming out of hibernation. 


My mom arrived without anything interesting happening and was immediately struck by how different Germany looks now that winter has finally lifted.  (They were here for almost the whole month of December)  We had plans to travel a little, to take a few short trips and we simply didn’t get to it.  We spent every spare moment outside enjoying the sun and perfect weather!  Traveling just kept getting pushed back until we blew it off altogether.  We read and talked, walked and biked, and just enjoyed the spring!


I was so happy with the timing of mom’s visit.  She got to witness a full season in two short weeks.  Barely two months ago we were living with just a handful of hours of daylight and now sunrise is at just before 6am and sunset is at 9pm with daylight until after 10pm!  The change happens quickly here and so in the few weeks mom was here the extended daylight gave life to an explosion of spring!


So what, of course, do I have in abundance?  Why pictures!  What else?


This is the tree in my front yard.  Now just a few weeks after this picture it’s all green with no sign of the blooms…


DSC_1233 


Here is a close up of the blooms… unfortunately this was after a freak hail storm that knocked the blooms about a bit. 


DSC_1029


 My large shade tree in the front yard also began to bloom…  


DSC_1036


 The morning after mom arrived we awoke to a beautiful clear day.  We looked out my upstairs window and saw that my neighbor’s garden was full of blooming tulips!


DSC_1231


 Aren’t they fabulous?


DSC_1038


We puttered around the house until it warmed up a bit.  Then we took off for a long walk.


Along the way we saw so many little signs of life.  Hedges…


DSC_1044


 Fruit trees…


DSC_1051


 Shrubs…


DSC_1055


 Trees…


DSC_1058


 and bushes.


DSC_1059


 Even the weeds put on a spectacular show!


DSC_1073


The grasses were beginning to bloom as well…


DSC_1074


 My little patch of woods that had been so silent and solum in February when Emily was here were also teeming with the signs of a new year.


DSC_1079


 In fact the forest floor was covered in a carpet of white flowers called wood anemone or windflowers.


DSC_1089


Look at how they carpet!


DSC_1104


Apparently the roots spread just under the ground rapidly and are one large organism, like aspen trees, and bloom in early spring.


DSC_1087


We took a few pictures with these amazing flowers as background!


DSC_1099


I have never seen anything like it.


DSC_1111


Quite a sight for two ladies from the desert.


DSC_1100


Simply beautiful!


DSC_1091


 As we walked deeper into the woods the signs of spring were everywhere…  there is just nothing like the color of true spring green!


DSC_1124


 We stumbled on the plough that Emily and I found a few months ago… now resting with flowers at it’s feet instead of snow.


DSC_1126


 We couldn’t resist goofing off… 


DSC_1132


We couldn’t resist thinking great poetic thoughts…


DSC_1130


And looking as if poetry belonged in those woods…. 


DSC_1134


 Yeah who are we kidding?  Not two seconds later my mom was yelling for me to get a picture of the tractors!  LOL


DSC_1136


 We kept walking… seeing fruit trees struggling to survive along the great conifers… 


DSC_1146


And little wild flowers pushing up in sunny places.


DSC_1179


When we were done romping through the woods we struck back our along the fields to enjoy the sun…


DSC_1152


And the view of my village from the hills…


DSC_1153


As we stood there drinking in the sights, a roar filled the sky.  I barely noticed but my mom was taken aback!  I looked up to see a C-5 roaring across the skies.


DSC_1176


And got my zoom attached just in time to get a great shot!


DSC_1157


 After the sound had faded we walked on… Enjoying the hedges in full bloom… 


DSC_1191


 And the summer sun…


DSC_1194


 We stopped to rest on a bench looking out over the woods…


DSC_1196


 And listened to the bees buzz in and out of the hedges at our backs.


DSC_1207


 We followed the winding paths back to the village and settled in for an evening of good food and good company.   


DSC_1216


 It was a lovely beginning to the time we had together!  Two weeks of spring that this ‘desert rat’ will never forget! 


DSC_1226


There is more to tell but the sun and warm breezes are calling my name!


So goodbye for now,


Courtney

Touching Base

Hi Everyone!


So, my Mom left to go home on Monday.  We had a wonderful time and I do have pictures to share…  However I’m so busy I don’t have the time!


I got back from the airport late on Monday due to traffic and was just too tired to do anything… Tuesday I had a major lazy day!  Sad huh?  Then in late afternoon on Tuesday I got a phone call from a woman who’s husband works with Ryan.  She wants to come over to my house and hang out… spend some time in the yard under my gorgeous apple tree… (You’ll see that soon enough) 


I found myself agreeing and cheerfully inviting her to come today… why wait? and of course I’ll provide refreshments….  All of that said while I looked around my house in a bit of panic.


So yesterday was housecleaning day and laundry day.  I woke up this morning feeling accomplished and then realized that in all the hustle and bustle of yesterday I completely forgot to run to the store to get the refreshments.  So…  I’m off to shower and then go get things and set up… she’ll be here at 1pm.


Which of course means that today is another bust day for internet and then Friday has to be a yard work day and possibly part of Saturday.  Everything is growing so fast now that it’s almost hard to keep up and I still have some planting to do before full summer…  So it looks like I’ll see you all on Monday!


Until then…


Courtney

100 Days

100 Days


 


100 days without him


More than halfway through


Still too many lonely days to go…


 


100 times I’ve woken in my bed alone


100 times I’ve sat down to a solitary breakfast


100 times I’ve sat down to a solitary lunch


100 times I’ve sat down to a solitary dinner


100 times I’ve gone to bed alone


 


1,000,000,000,000 times I’ve wished that he was home again…


 


Wishing the days wings…


Courtney