Like that old Groucho Marx quote: "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." The good old clock most certainly has wings.
Firstly, I would like to apologize to those who read this blog for my lengthy absence. My summer was spent in the lovely lands of Germany and Spain, and I only got back a few days ago.
Germany was a new experience for me, and Spain a very familiar one. Germany is a beautiful country with lovely greenery, castles and churches. The people are friendly and beautiful, the food scrumptious, and the language simultaneously difficult and alluring.
The picture with the roses was taken in Konstanz, a city on the Swiss border, and incidentally relatively unaffected by World War II. See, since Switzerland was neutral, if it turned off its lights at night, it wouldn't be bombed by either Axis or Allied forces. Konstanz got word of this deal and turned off all its lights, and therefore wasn't bombed.
During the month I was there, I explored Freiburg, which is in southwestern Germany, and an enchanting town on the edge of the Schwarzwald, or Black Forest. I also visited Konstanz, Colmar, and Heidelberg, each lovely and charming cities. Amidst the joys of Germany and the World Cup, I managed to learn a bit of German, including but not limited to phrases involving payment, counting, scenery and classroom objects. It wasn't as difficult as I expected, but it was very different from what I expected too. I sampled a variety of German food, including many types of wurst, (my favorite being the tasty weiß wurst in a bread roll), Radlers (lime soda and beer) and one scoop hazlenut, one scoop mocha eis (ice cream).
Spain was fun, though familiar, and quite relaxing. Some of my favorite things about my home country across the pond are the food and the mountains. Coming from Texas, and South Texas at that, any sort of topography is a welcome change from the sheer flatness. I think that's why I love Austin's hills and tall trees, since they are virtually nonexistant in my home town. However, Spain has a myriad of hills, mountain ranges and other sorts of topographical features. The food is so lovely and tasty and filling. It's very simple food, with humble and ordinary ingredients, but splendid results. My favorites among the rustic Spanish cuisine are lima beans cooked with chorizo, manchego cheese on a slice of rustic bread, and paella. Mmmm.
This picture was taken on our farm, viewing the Sierra de San Vicente, to the north of the Tagus River, which lies just behind those trees. I love the farm, and it's a lovely sanctuary from the fast-paced lifestyle of big cities, both in the United States and in Europe. My favorite thing about the farm is walking out on a clear night and picking out constellations amidst the cloudy stripe of the Milky Way. I wouldn't trade that for the world.
On the crafting and 101 things in 1001 days fronts, there are quite a few things to say, which I will save for a future time. Suffice to say that cross-stitch has made a reappearance, Germany has a lot of sock yarn that made its way home with me, and I am striking things from my 101 list as I re-work it slightly. More soon!