Sunday, June 26, 2011

Oh, Crab!

No, not a spelling error. Definitely not 'crap'. We had an awesome time. Wade's Uncle Jon and wife Carolyn had invited us to a "Crabs, Corn Hole & Cold Brews" party Saturday evening ... another pre-wedding celebration. The location was their weekend place near the River past Yorktown. The young people were encouraged to BYOT (bring your own tent to camp out overnight!) and the older generation (us and Wade's parents) were offered the guestrooms in the house.

It's a lovely place and a lot of property. At our arrival at 5:30 pm some of the tents behind the house had already been put up. 

Photo from the same spot in the other direction. Jon and Carolyn thought of everything including a shade tent, a keg of beer, and a porta-potty (on the very left under the tree) ...

... and fresh flowers in it.

The "boys" were clay pigeon shooting when we arrived.
Jon was working hard ... here piling oysters onto the hot coals ...

... and filling the pot with the crabs, freshly caught that morning.

Seasoning between layers of crabs. Steamed with beer.
The first batch ready and heaped on the newspaper on the table.
Sarah and her soon-to-be-mother-in-law Kathy tackling the first crabs and oysters.

Our hosts Carolyn and Jon, who worked so hard and made it look so easy. THANK YOU for a wonderful time. 
Looking at my pictures I decided that I had too good of a time and didn't do a good job taking them. I didn't really capture 'the moments'.
But it was fun standing at the tables and getting really messy cracking the crabs. I had to learn how to get to the delicious meat.
The neighbor was so nice to open the oysters for me. All I had to do is to enjoy them. Some were more cooked then others. Interesting.
I was also told what this is. I have lived a sheltered life.
Corinne and Sarah knew what to do with a Jell-o-shooter.
And there were games. Here: the corn hole.
Wade's sister Kate had brought a gift for them. 
Each bottle had a poem telling them when they should enjoy it. Katie read them and they were so sweet ... and funny ... it brought tears to our eyes.
The weather had been perfect ...
... and after the eating and playing there was also talking around the bonfire.
 Wade, Sarah and Katie.
The hosts finally relaxing too. Sarah on the left talking to Carolyn, Kathy (Wade's mom), Jon, Mike (Wade's dad).
And on the other side the younger generation talking way after we went to bed.

Breakfast the next morning under the old pine tree next to the kitchen door.
And when we left for home we had to make a quick stop to look at the river, which is actually in walking distance to their house.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Counting !

12 days until Helen and William arrive! Yeah!!!

15 days until my sister Ute and my niece Maren arrive from Germany!

17 days until three more lovely people (friends) from Germany arrive!

20 days until Jane, Kate, David and Jimmo arrive from England!

21 days to the rehearsal dinner and a lot of people arrive!

22 days to the wedding day!

We are quite busy! Helen tells us how much William has grown. James and I decided it was time to upgrade the sleeping arrangements for him. We bought a crib and Grandpa was busy putting it together. I am trying to bake things I can put in the freezer for our house guests. But it kills me that I have to be quiet about a good  number of the wedding preparations.

And today - - finally! -- THE dress arrived. Considering that it was ordered in January it is not a surprise that we started to get nervous about it.

So today was the first fitting! Behind the curtain of course.
And back to working on the garter. I very much enjoy it. Very often I can sit outside under the awning.  The bride's leg got measured. 22 repeats will take care of the circumference. So I guess anywhere from 33 to 38 repeats will do it. As of right now I have made 29 and a half. Yeah!

The question was asked: What is it with the binoculars on the table?

Have to take a closer look at the hummingbirds. Can you see it?

Cropped the picture!

Cropped it more! I am very happy with my camera, but it is not the right one for pictures like this. Still, good enough for my memory.

Got to get up from lacemaking and stretch once in a while .. and look.

 The Spicebush Swallowtail's underside.

What in the world is this? It flies like a hummingbird and behaves like it too. But it seems to be a bug.

And there are the cardinals, the wrens, the squirrels. If I only didn't have to worry about my mother. I hope my sister gets to come so I can spoil her just a bit. I try not to worry about that too.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

28 days to go!

28 days, she cried! Not enough time! I was so surprised but yes, Sarah would like a handmade lace garter for her wedding day. I should have asked and started when they got engaged.

Oh, boy, I hope I have enough time. 11 repeats as of Friday.  And how many do we need? Don't count too often or you get into a panic.
And this is what happens if you don't pre-prick the pattern. Christa, it's called a pricking!!! If you don't prick the wholes, the pins can get bend easily and ... your right index finger really hurts after a while.

O.k. I am once around the roller and all the holes are made now. Sigh.
What ... ? This picture is for my Colonial Lacemakers friends. I will explain in August. My HLG (Heartland Lace Guild) friend Lise asked on FaceBook "what lace are you working on?" Well, I did this while in Germany and on the planes.

Getting ready for the wedding?

This is a BEFORE picture. James was not comfortable in these chairs since we moved. In Kentucky they were used at a proper table.
AFTER picture (since yesterday!). Sometimes it takes a while to find the right thing. Now this is comfy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

More about Germany

Got to have your traditions! One of the things Maren and I enjoy when I am visiting is these ...-kuesse (kisses). We called them by a name which is not politically correct any longer. But they are sooooooo good. Similar to marshmallows inside but MUCH better ... softer ... smoother.

I splurged and went brand-name. Double as expensive. But if you only get them once in a year ...

 Like with Oreo cookies there are different ways to eat these.
I like to eat the bottom first and leave the best for last. It has a tendency to melt on your fingers though and you have to lick them.
Oh yes.

Ute likes to start at the top and eat the bottom last. My sister and I are very different in many ways. She is a brunette and I was blond for one thing.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Last blog from Germany

Thursday was a bank holiday "Christi Himmelfahrt" (Ascension Day) which traditionally is also Father's Day when a lot of men (fathers or not) go in groups for a long walk pulling carts with beer and picnic on it (more beer then picnic).
Most shops are closed so my niece Maren was off too and picked me up from mother at 2pm. We found an open bakery, got some rolls (Broetchen!) with cheese and headed for "die Halde".
The above link is in German but it shows some nice pictures. Even better if you google 'Halde Herten'.

This is the grounds of an old coal mine and a hill made with mining material (stones) from several mines. Dirt on top of it and grass and plantings and other things (described later). I should say here that this part of Germany is really all flatland, very flat.
We climbed steps and went zick-zack ways (easier) on the way to the 'Horizon observation' thing.

 Maren likes to take photos.
The top of the hill with the 'Horizontobservatorium'. Unfortunately it is surrounded with a tall fence since it was almost finished. It was never opened for use because of building mistakes which are still being debated by the politicians.
The lady in the front posing is my gorgeous niece Maren. We like to have fun.
We had a wonderful clear day and could see far. Maren pointed out lots of buildings like the church where her workplace is on the other side of the street.
A little left of the middle on the horizon are two water-towers. Ute lives very close by there.
The horizon observation thing gives off eerie 'music' when the wind is blowing. We tried to take a video with the sound but the success is questionable. You can hear mostly the wind on the mic.

The other side of the hill. You can see the white dome of the Chalke 04 stadium, an important German Fussballverein (soccer team). Some of the World Cup 2006 games were played there.
On the next hill is the ' Sonnenuhr mit Obelisk', a sundial.
Did I mention that Maren likes to take photos? 
This was so neat but none of the photos really turned out. My camera is probably not the right one for it.
The hill on the other side is still being built. Looks like a moon scape.

I did mention that Maren likes to take photos, haha. It's because she is a professional photographer. Don't know why she thinks her Auntie would make a good model.
 But we forgot to take a photo of the steps called 'Himmelsstiege' (stairs to heaven). This is only a small part of it (picture taken last August when we attempted a walk then but it rained so hard that we had to turn around).
New: the viewing plateau has locks attached to it. Some new thing people like to do for commemorating purposes, supposedly it started in France. Carving initials into trees is really "not environmentally friendly".

When we got back to mother she was wide awake and alert. Carsten was visiting with Sonja and baby Julian. It is just so amazing how mother suddenly finds new life. It lasted only for a little while after they left but babies do magic to her.

Friday's weather was glorious for Germany.The goal is to be at mother's everyday short after 10. Don't want to get in the way of the caretakers.

Smoked eel fillets and smoked herring fillet (or bueckling?).
So I went to the weekly market very early in the morning. One of the stands was from Holland with fresh and smoked fish. Had to buy some for supper. What a feast that will be.

I also was supposed to bring eggs. I knew which stand my sister buys those from but she didn't tell me that there are so many kinds to choose from. I thought may be the stand lady knows my sister but the name was not familiar to her. She asked whether I had a picture. I had my camera so I searched, almost gave up but then found one. Oh, yes, she knew exactly which eggs my sister always buys. I think this is so great.

It is Sunday and I have to say good-bye to my mother. On Monday I am flying back home. A very hard thing to do. But it is o.k. She seems comfortable and not in pain. And since she really didn't know who I was most of the time, she will not miss me. It's going to be o.k.