Have you ever seen the sun lately?

Snow -clad benches, winter is finally here!

We´ve all waited for snow….that real “snowy” kind of day.I tooked lots of photos of it from our daily winter walks . With us nowadays it´s considered a sin if we don´t get out and spend some time outdoors. Afterall, we need fresh air, lots of it, and of course we need movement—so we walk! Unfortunately, I only used my iPhone since I normally took walks with my daughter after our Homeschooling. She cant stand me taking and doing macros of every single nature I see .That was a compromise but then it all went well.

Last week we had a good amount of snow finally, but not that “Winter Wonderland” thing.This time we managed to feel grateful yes, Winter had finally arrived! I was already thinking how boring it would be if we wouldn´t have snow this year.It´s a refreshing sight to see whiteness in everything ,instead of dark, gloomy, bald, grey foliage and landscape.

Abandoned boat along the lake covered in snow

We took various routes, depending on the mood of the little Walker.The farthest she got so far was 8km, with short breaks, playing plus climbing trees and again playing with snow,plus eating it! She wanted to throw snowballs all the time and I just can´t get the hang of it.Snow fun is a must in winter, and yes, time to sledding!

Winter walks in the time of Pandemic

Here in Germany, we entered another “Lockdown” , which started last week.They made stricter rules, and more safety controls. Shops are opened but since Ingolstadt had more than 200+ Corona victims, we went under the 15km Radius rule.Travel is encouraged only if really urgent and necessary, and starting on Monday, we need to wear the PPF2 masks! I hurried up to the nearby Pharmacy and got ourselves some packs.These masks are not cheap, compared to community washable masks, they are expensive! One piece costs 5 Euros!

Our humble neighborhood was transformed into children´s little winter paradise.The moment it starts snowing, children runs outside and get excited.Too excited that they do rodeling and sledding even if the snow is quite thin!There is a nearby park from us where everyone flocked during Winter to slide in the slopes and rodeling.Some even do snowboarding and do all kinds of stuff. I guess we just felt lucky that we are surrounded with nature and simple adventure fun to do in Winter, especially during lockdown.

Winter and snow totally helped us ease the boredom and our exasperation of this pandemic.

Daily walks become a daily habit for everyone.
Frosty the Snowman is finally here

I guess if you haven´t experience Winter , then you won´t be able to understand why it brings such joy to kids…and adults.Despite the cold, fresh air is always a bonus! There´s something about snow and the landscape that is covered in white that really excites your inner self.I love the crisp sound of snow under my boots, the light flight of snowflakes in my face when I am running, and watching nature and trees covered with white foams of snow.It´s quite magical…

Family walks during Isolation and Pandemic

I tried running in snow and minus temps this year, and I find it really challenging and yet very rewarding. I have a lot of hesitation of doing this because I don´t like the cold but then I just push myself in doing it, and it was great.I have read that doing exercise in cold climates has actually some reaping benefits to health.But sometimes, a quiet walks in the woods is also very invigorating rather than an adrenalin pumping long run.With walking, I had all the chance to admire and look closely to my surroundings.

Ready for some rodeling and sledding

Since almost everything is closed in Germany, we don´t have really much choice but to spend some walking to exercise outside. I noticed that nowadays, my neighborhood becomes the walking capital, I guess it goes the same with other places.There is nothing else we can do..Everybody just walks!

Below are some photos of the lakes,parks and walks we´ve had.

We went through the lake and I was completely in awe of the lovely sight that surprised us. The lake was not yet frozen but the thin layer of snow that covers the water is quite amazing. The foliage were delicately dipped in snow and create such a magical winter nostalgia.Everything seemed to be so peaceful, quiet and serene. Out here in nature, we don´t have any place for worries.It´s like in another world where we forget about chores, virus, and catasthropes!

Our own Winter Wonderland

Nature is taking a break, in a very quiet, solemn retreat during Winter.

the view from the river Danube is one of my favorite spots, especially in Winter where everything looks like in another world.

I am sure everthing will soon be a history, and our lives will soon return to normal´ as well.But then I would always looked back to this chapter where nature becomes our refuge and snow memories are treasured dearly.Wathing the sun goes down in Winter was another beautiful memory…

When the sun eventually comes out and shines…we are grateful.

Stay safe and healthy everyone….Tschüss!

Why do you love watching Sunrises and Sunsets?

Shadowcast and David and Goliath fighting in Regensburg

Spaziergang , the German way of walking

Dinosaurs are out on the loose in Dinopark Altmühltal, Bavaria

Say Hello to one of thes giant of the Jurassic period, the mighty plant eating- Diplodocus

Happy New Year everyone! I know it´s Winter over here, but we are already dreaming of Summer.We are dreaming of sunshine, tulip fields, strawberries, funparks ,hiking in the mountains, and getting lost in some European cities.

Yesterday while eating luch we are discussing, or rather dreaming, and (hoping!!) that we can fill our suitcases again and able to travel.Travel without health worries, because that is super important.But for now, we can travel back through time and dream away….to Jurassic period!

Have you ever dreamed of walking through the woods with giant dinosaurs in the view ?Those giant claw, magnanimous size, razor sharp teeth, and yes, the presence itself is quite overwhelming.With dinosaurs, we all know that the bigger..the better, the more realistic it is!

Well that is the experience we´ve had while walking and exploring through the Dinopark in Altmühltal.

Real life size Giant Diplodocus dinosaur and unbelievable huge !We couldn´t barely hug its legs!

Gigantic Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus and Tyrannosaurus Rex are just a few of the “friends” we met in this beautiful nature park.We were quite amazed of how funtional and cleverly designed it was , considering that we visited this place during Corona pandemic times.This is definitely one of the best open air Dinosaur Museum here in Bavaria.

Did you know that Brachiosaurus only eat plants ?They are one of the Plant eating dinosaurs, so do you think they are friendly?
It is so hard to get them all in one photo because this one is really a long and huge Brachiosaurus , so even the tail is humungous!

My daughter is crazy about Dinosaurs, she knows each dinosaurs with all their crazy names by heart.From the year they were discovered, and from each era , from Jura, Kreide and Trias. Hard to tell, but I really don´t know how and where her fascination started.We have watched couple of Jurassic films and we haven´t even finished it all becaused she got scared of all the screaming and bloody T-Rex manhunt. I guess children loved dinosaurs , adored them and gasped at their powerful statues ,bewildered, and thinking that they were heroes and lovable, or something like the best friend one could ever had, just like in the movie films “The good Dinosaur“, “Dinosaurs“, and” the Land before time“.

And myself only knows “Barney“, the purple dinosaur!

There is something about these claws and freaking sharp teeths! Finally a Dino fan meets T-REX

When she watched Peppa pig, she just loved how George adore his Dinosaur.We have tons of Dinosaur books and she always loved to read about them and yes, I think that´s how she got so hooked with it. So imagine her delight when she saw this giant disnosaurs in the park.She could even put them beside her when she sleep and no, I can never win with her Dinosaur Quizzes…She knows it all!

My daughter thinks that this is Alosaurus

The park itself is HUGE,We haven´t had the energy or the time to even explored it all.There were lots of fun playing activities to be found inside it,of course considering that we need to distance ourselves from the crowds as much as possible.There´s of course a Museum, play areas for big and little children, outdoor recreational spots, picnic areas, restaurants, Fossil exploration areas, shop, and much more.All these fun filled areas are with Dinosaurs views, and that´s what we find so engaging.I was really glad we visited this place, because not only the child with us is entertained, we as parents as well. We can´t complain any further, lots of fresh air, lots of greens, and children will never get bored because they have always something to see and explore!

Therizinosaurus looks like a big bird with absolutely unique elbows and long claws which is 1 meter long!
Spinosaurus we spotted near the playground

And about the Museum, here´s what it looks inside…

We paid 19,50 Euros each for adult fees and children are 9,5 Euros. This includes all access to everything inside the park.We are allowed to bring snacks and drinks so we never really worried about getting hungry.The beergarden were spacious, large enough for Dino-groups.I saw families even brought picknick bags and they just hang out there in the grass, enjoying full sunshiny day.TheParking lot is also admirable and the location of the park is easily accessible from Autobahn.

A take away cup with 3rd Dinosaurs design, a staple for having a quick break under the trees in the outdoor picnic area inside the Dinopark.

Another fun part of this Dinopark is the Fossil area where kids and adulhts have the chance to see, find and explore their own Fossils, with tools and everything! My kid is totally into this and could never stop hammering out from rocks looking for Ammonites! Now that is one way to let go of their energy!We even got freebies when we check-out since we mentioned that it´s her birthday!

Let the whole family enjoy looking and finding fossils and dig the sands!

Since we are observing Hygienic restrictions, I am perfectly impressed as well how the park observed these rules.There are plenty of clean bathrooms, outdoor sinks with sopas and disinfectant for children and families to frequently wash their hands.Mask is required when entering the shops, museums, and Restaurants.Only when wandering through the open air dinosaur park that wearing masks is not required.

The Birthday girl digging and looking for fossils!

I am really excited where would be our next family destination this year…

Meanwhile, while we are still on Holiday break, we stay at home and dream away our worries, hopefully this year would be a better one!

Crazy over Legoland in Günzburg

Adventure park Nature climbing in Beilngries

Cycling through the Danube Trail Adventure

Exploring the Donau Gorges

The taste of Biergarten Culture in Germany

Falling in love with the Romantic Roads in Bavaria

Until then, stay safe and Tschüss!

Last day of Magic, Tschüss 2020

Year end reflections and slowly saying Tschüss to 2020

For the past months, the ony highlight in my days were my runs, and long nature walks. I am already happy when I am out from the house and did my usual rounds.These are the only things that helped me ( a lot!) to survived each day.I am not complaining, but then it is just the plain truth since there´s nowhere else to go.At least we have this luxury, in some places you either don´t have nature, or you are not allowed to get out, at least without restrictions.At the end of the day, I scroll down in my phone for my photo gallery, looking for scenic nature views I have seen, wondering if I have caught a nice one. I am sure the nice ones landed in this Blog, if not in social media, or sent to encourage a friend.

You see, nowadays, my destinations are quite limited to errands.Short trips to random supermarkets and Drogerie become a norm.Here in Germany, we call a shop for Toiletries and stuff Drogerie, die Drogerie, a place to get toothpaste, bio products, vitamins and other stuff.Well I can get them as well from Supermarkets, but as I said, a little side trip to the shop already makes our day.They are one of the few chosen shops allowed to stay open against the 2nd Lockdown here which will probably lasts until the 10, January. Aside from Bakeries, Pharmacies, Tankstelle ( or Gas Stations), we spend lots of outdoors in small forests, sometimes to parks, and more and morrrreeee walking. We´ve got to use our hiking shoes anyway…

In few hours, this year ends with silence and I guess most of us wants it to end, or we are still in denial that it happened? Hard to believed it, but yes, it´s all coming to an end. It will be a silent goodbye to 2020, more like a long overdue wish.No party celebrations, no fireworks, we could at least settle with few sparklers and a sip of wine, and of course, a bite into one of those Berliners—a beloved, tasty German tradition during New Year.Berliners are also known as Krapfen, or doughnuts.Most of them are stuffed with sweet marmalade inside. I usually prefer the one without, I find it too sweet.Sometimes I really missed some Crispy creme glazed doughnuts or even simple Silvanas. Too bad they don´t exist here in our place.

The last day of magic this year

Talking about supertitious traditions in New Year, back home , we always make sure that we have several round fruits in the table on New Years. Putting some apples, oranges, melons, pears, grapes and more in a round plate is seen in most household. They say it is a sign of good luck, as well as hanging some grapes in the door.We also wear something with dots, or polka dots.Doesn´nt matter even if its your underwear or so…as long as you´re wearing something with dots then you are bound to attract good fortune.

” Es ist nie zu spät, das Gesicht zur Sonne zu heben, Das darf man nie vergessen…”

( It is never too late to raise your face to the sun…you must never forget that…)

Here´s the last sunset that we´ve watch today in Silvester, the day before New Year here in Germany. My neighborhood becomes alive when the weather is good,minus side but sunny, it´s two days in a row now that we have amazing weather which means perfect day to take long walks.So we did that, and most people here did as well.The streets are full of families, runners, walkers, cyclists,passer-bys, and yes, children.Everone is out to enjoy some fresh air, for us, it´s the only thing that we looked forward before staying in to wait for the New Year.

One fine Silvester walk in 2020

I suddenly remember that my mother always told us to put some coins in our pockets and scatter coins in the floor. It should be that our pockets should have some money before the year changes.I really dont know if it works, I just kind of go through with the flow.Also, I never ever imagined that in my life, watching and feeding ducks could be such a therapeutic activity during lockdown.It was really beautiful watching the ducks and doves fight for food, for survival, in a cold winter morning.They both want the same thing,again,nature does its magic.

Just like most of us fighting to stay fit and healthy everyday, trying not to be sick this year was the constant battle we have fought all throughout the year.I think we have managed to surpass big hurdles and moving on and now, we are finally saying Goodbye to this year.It´s just right time to say Tschüss to 2020 now.

I don´t make New Year´s Resolutions but I am keen on making goals, little goals that I believe could make a big difference in my life as I grow older.I think my fellow friend nailed it with her snappy careful moves, wanting 21 Things to look forward in 2021.This made me eager for fresh starts and joyful beginnings.It never hurts to add excitement for every fresh start,don´t you think as well?

It really doens´t matter, a new book to read, a new hobby to start, or even a new painting, or old painting to finish….maybe a new language or sport to learn for next year…I guess its all in the attitude.

People that I´ve met here in my Blog are precious gems that made this journey worthwhile.People who took their time to read and leave their comments, people who were with me through months of no activity and hibernation but then the moment that I write again, they were still there,with a warm welcome.

I am grateful for the nostalgic, joyful family stories from the Rabbitpatch, the soulful,simple yet carefree living with one beautiful soul in snowmeltssomewhere,or travel more like the humble spirit of travelling in two wheels into theaters and Operas, or just enjoying more pretty skies and landscapes!

Those are the moments of the last day of Magic for year 2020…I would be lucky if I see the skies lit and fireworks glam the skies…Happy New Year everyone!

Take care and see you all in 2021…:-)

Shadowcast and David fighting Goliath in the streets of Regensburg

Shadow captured in my street walk in Regensburg
David and Goliath wall mural in Regensburg, Bavaria

Two of the unforgettable scenic spot I´ve seen in Regensburg was these photos above.The shadow cast of birds on a tiny tower is quite perplexed, yet eye catching.I can´t recall anymore where excatly I have seen this or the location but then for me it is one of my favourite photo.Maybe I was just lucky that the sun perfectly cast its shadow on the birds to create this scenic shot. I tend to create a lucrative imagination out of simple things, or maybe I just thought of it as a creative spot.

One thing, the Goliath House turned out to be a surprise.We were walking on a narrow alley and then this giant mural of David and Goliath fighting each other came right in front of us, reminding us that not all tourist spots needs a grand entrance, this one particularly is amazing. Did I mentioned that it was also a World Heritage Site in Regensburg, impressive right?!Along with the House Heuport, it is the largest mansion house in this place.

Luckily this time I was not looking for the beauty of Manholes, rather, my attention was quite diverted to this work of art.

This building was build around 1260, and the painting was done by Melchoir Bocksberger in 1573.I suddenly remember our Religion lessons about the story of David and Goliath.Now who would have thought that this painting could be written in history.

Exploring the streets of Regensburg in Bavaria

Regensburg is breally a place of unique and rich traditions. Just like their exotic Wurstkuchl, a 870 year old historic sausage Kitchen!

Another beautiful post about Regensburg I found is here.If you want to know more why this place is a UNESCO World Heritage site, then you might kill time reading these Post below ;

Discovering the Streets of Regensburg

Guten Appetit, White Sausage for Breakfast

Until then, please wear your masks ! Tschüss!

Tschüss 2nd Christmas Day, Servus Mr. Sunday Frost!

A little Frostbite will complete this photo though! , Germany 2020

Today was cold, I felt cold when I went outside. I easily get cold feet so I am not a big fan of Winter. Ugly gardens, bare trees, big bulky jackets and freezing hands. We all miss that good kind of snow, the kind of a white winter wonderland snowy landscapes but I guess here in the Southern part of Germany is not that all white now…it´s grey but cold. Actually we already drooling and have plans on sledding and rolling down the hill once we have enough snowdays but then…. nothing!

We dreamt of that white Christmas, but we had only rains, wind and more rainshowers.

Still I am out for my daily nature walks and runs. See,I´ve learned to dressed up for the weather.I actually own now several types of Jackets, just for me to survive the seasons here.Weihnachten is gone, the 1st and the 2nd said Tscüss already, but there´s always way too much food during Christmas, most especially on Christmas day. Toomany Chocolate Santa Claus as well!

Here in Germany, we have 2 days of Christmas,imagine that. I really don´t know why one day is not enough, it´s just the way it goes here. The weeks before Christmas is already loaded with lots of Christmas cookies and Glühwein (mulled wine), then comes the Raclettes and grilling, and Fondues, and endless snacking….so we got to move!

Frosted Fall flower in the Park nearby

Anyway, after the 2nd day of Christmas comes Mr. Frost. But again, it was not the same as last year. I noticed in my Archives that I had more photos of last year´s Frosty days but then today was just a teaser. Well at least it makes the dead flowers and leaves look attractive.

I am still thankful of every sunrise view from my Kitchen window

So everyday, I decided to always have my morning run and take long leisure walks. You know those walks to help you calm down, destress, and just think of nothing. I also take a walk to help my body with all the digestion that needs to be done . Yes, there should always a reason to eat a slice of homebaked cake. Here in Germany, we always have the Coffee/Tea plus Cake time ( Kaffee und Kuchen) even if it´s Christmas, we´ve got to have a slice of cake.

As I am walking to the new track, ( I said it was new because the asphalt was new and the road looks well), I was really feeling well and relaxed. Normally in Winter I only do 5 km rounds but I decided to run further.The sun was out and it shines its golden rays on barren fields, casting shadows on thin wimpy tree branches, and setting a downcast mood somehow.

I actually find the views simply breathtaking.

I discovered new running tracks, this time with views. I am so glad that detours lead to great discoveries. I am already looking forward to running more in this new paths in Spring and Summer. I was completely alone, with only the chirping of birds that can be heard. The path was muddy and the earth smell like mud.When all the leaves of the trees are gone, you can see more of the area.Some areas that I never imagined that existed is now in full views like the hidden bridges, small pathways to the woods, and the treehouses.

The bird nests on top of the trees made me smile. I was reminded of the day where we took a walk in the misty and foggy afternoon just to feed the ducks.We brought stale breads with us and just enjoyed the crazy and chaotic sound of glutton ducks and birds all fighting to have the bread we threw into the lake.For us, that was simple pleasure.

I always watch the migratory birds in our area during winter. There can be quite of them and it´s really refreshing to see them once in a while. Looking at the swarm of birds flocking on top of stones in the middle of the Danube river gives me chuckle. Are they isolated too?!

I was in awe particularly when I spotted these birds, all hanging out together in a cold Sunday morning.They flew in batches above my head and the sound they made is outstanding. Who would have imagined that simple bird watching can be therapeautic, beautiful and yes, reassuring.

Reasurring me that there are still lots of beauty outside even if at one glance it´s ugly.I quickly snapped few photos before my fingers turned completely frozen.

Fallen leaves, but not actually forgotten.

Officially, winter had just begun here in Germany. Today , the 27th of December was actually memorable to us here. Happened today is the first local resident from Ingolstadt received the Corona Vaccine, a radical start of vaccination, a sign of hope from our struggle to stop Corona from continuously spreading.

It is not grand but the beauty of Frost is quite fascinating.

I guess I also found a new Miracle marvel, a walk into nature and inhaling fresh air is definitely invigorating.My Sunday is blessed and I hope yours too!

Walking on a Frozen lake

My Neighborhood covered in Snow

My Old Town In Winter

Unforgettable Winter Sightseeing

No Ordinary Year

Until then, Bis bald, schönen Abend.

tschüss.

It´s no Ordinary year

The photo we entered for this year´s Photo Contest finally made it into 2021´s Calendar

This year is not only all about the tons of masks we bought and wore, or the excessive disinfecting of everything we´ve touched and our hands turning into a resemblance of chicken skin. Aside from all this hygienic crazy mantra that becomes a new norm now, I realized that this year was actually a no ordinary for me, personally.

This year also is the year for the first time that I joined a photography competition here in our local town, hosted by one of our local Bank, the Volksbank Raiffeisenbank Bayern Mitte.I actually mostly forget its name because you know, its long and its kind of twisting my tongue. Well, that´s what German does to me.Anyway, turned out that loved our photo and included it for next year´s Calendar called “ Die schönsten Motive Fotowettbewerbs 2020″.

I was thrilled and excited.I was not expecting that my photo could be chosen considering that there were so many nice landscape photos who were chosen in the whole region.We just got lucky, I guess. We received a prize and donated half of it to another organization.It was a great experience and I think it made our year a certain mark, to remember, to be thankful for the beauty of nature who seemed to be the only one unaffected by depressing situations around us.

The photo that I took is titled “Glacisbrücke im Herbst” ,or the Glacis Bridge in Fall. I love this photo particularly since it caught the mystic beauty of Fall in my neighborhood, plus this bridge is quite fascinating as well since its one of the landmark near to where I lived.

Whenever I crosses this bridge, I am being reminded of this recognition.Who could have thought….?

The “Mushroom” Water Towers of Kuwait

When I was still living in Kuwait, I took pictures of most of the places where I visited. It´s pretty normal since I am an Expat working there and yes, the culture is different and there are so many things that is new to me.My iPhone Gallery was filled with snapshots, candid selfies and landscape portraits which I even used most of the time in my Blog articles.Using these Photos rekindled my memories of being in there and appreciating the unique beauty that Kuwait has, like for example this “Mushroom ” Water Towers .

At first glance you wouldn´t even imagined that it´s a modern water supply system, but then it was.The shape, the color, the size, everything about this symbolic reinforced concrete system is unique.Maybe to local Kuwaitis it´s just a normal water towers but definitely not for me. I am still amazed and perplexed of its function and design.Clever design from VBB , A Swedish engineering company, with Sune Lindström as its chief Architect.No wonder it won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, cycle 1980.

Mr. Antoon Kuhlmann from Hortus Nijmegen in the Netherlands along with Dominique Clement sent an email to me informing me if they can use my photo as a research material to be used in their upcoming manuscript about Mushrooms.What a brilliant idea!

This book really expains what special role Mushrooms played in Arts, Culture and yes, in Nature.I was totally honored to be a part of this book, to think even that Kuwait´s Water Towers was used as an example how Architects used mushroom as a concept for building a modern water system.

Just in time before Christmas I got a copy of this Book and couldn´t feel more proud than ever.It is cleverly done !Unfortunately, it´s only in Dutch language.

This post is not a promotion of the book mentioned above. I just felt grateful that one of my post and photo was used to compile all the amazing information supplied by this book.The Dutch Autors did a wonderful job in coming up to this phenomenal piece. If you are reading up until this part and interested to buy a copy, you can find the link Here.

Thought this year was only staying at home, social distancing and wearing masks…not for us actually.It was a no ordinary year because of this Online Art Project by the International Youth Library in Munich ( International Jugendbibliotehek München) called ” Kinder, malen sich Selbst” or the I-solation, Children ,draw yourselves, an online Exhibition initiative organized by this Library . The exhibition was joined by 800 participating children all over the world!

And my little daughter joined herself into this exhibition and by Spring of 2020, her drawing was submitted to the Library.By around June, we were invited to visit the Exhibition and had a Tour in their Library and see the beautiful grounds of Blutenburg Castle. It was her first, at the age of 5.

But as I wrote before, this year was actually a legendary year for all of us.Came December and we are still under stressed because of Corona infections, in Isolation and wearing Masks in School.Christmas Markets are cancelled and we entered a second Lockdown on Dec 16. Another melodramatic feeling of isolation creeps us, but then home is where we felt the most safe, well I guess, for everybody´s sake it´s the ony way out.

Nothing more to expect, we can´t change the tides.But then, we managed to have a meaningful Christmas season at home, without the frantic craze and glittering lights.

Here in Germany, children and adults are crazy about Adventskalendar. It´s literally a calendar, a coundown from the start of Advent to Christmas Eve.So this time, our local town hosted a drawing competition for children for the Adventskalendar with Winter moments as a theme. Once again, my daughter had her entry and yes, her drawing was chosen to be in the 15th day of Adventskalendar. On that day,she met the Christkind to receive her prize but of course, with a mask and distance!

Little clever Artist being proud of her Artwork.

I guess a Not Ordinary year means that we stopped expecting, and more of appreciating and giving.4 days to go til this year ends and I just want to document it here in my Blog what a meaningful year it was as well.There´s nothing much to tell of what we did, but we did the best of what we can do…

I think we´ll do this again next year if there´s another chance again!

Did you have a no Ordinary moment this year?

Alles gute und Tschüss!

There´s a kind of Autumn Hush

A walk in my neighborhood

I took a walk with my daughter last weekend through our neighborhood.The weather was great, I mean, for us here, it´s bearable than rainy and grey-cloudy days. Golden October finally said goodbye and we are finally approaching Winter. We are not really looking forward to the cold but Mr. Frost finally came,few days ago , he had a short visit, leaving us with a notice that he´ll stay longer next time.

Autumn in Bavaria

We have a beautiful Autumn feel in our neighborhood. I´ve seen far better views in other regions but during this Pandemic, the new norm is simply keeping distance, only-must-do travel and almost in isolation. I am still grateful.I am still in positive mind state so I am not complaining. Nature have graciously reminded me that everything will be alright soon.

Nature walks are far by the best…

My daughter goes to school now. She is an active first 1st Grade pupil .Here they normally refer to them as ” Shulkind“. A week ago, we received a letter from the school principal that one girl from other class have tested Positive from Covid-19. The next day, a teacher from the after-class day care is also Positive and then the following day, another pupil from another class tested Positive.

Do you get my message? It´s like a domino-effect and I just can´t stay still.

Children in school are separated in groups so the affected groups went to Quarantine.I think any parent would feel the alarm, a heartache, a tiresome worry that this Pandemic had brought to all of us. I was talking to my husband that you will never feel the weight of the stressfull times that Corona brings not until you are in that situation where you feel the threat for the life of your loveones.My daughter wears her masks from 7.30 am to 3.30 in the afternoon until she walks out from the school when I picked her up. they learn, they study, play and do everything with a masks!

Imagine that….

There is indeed a kind of Hush feeling all over the world.

But the loud silence we are hearing when we are out in nature is quite different..It is calming and somewhat juvenating.Of course we needed that, lots of it!

I diverted my thoughts and focus on the beautiful scenery in front of us.The small river in front of us is like a life size mirror with all the reflections of the trees, foliages and blue skies…It was magical! I imagined that it would be a total winter wonderland if this area would freeze and we can skate over here.There are ducks all over the place and they keep on doing their sounds.We forgot to bring old bread to feed the ducks so we just call them.

Quaacckkk Quaacckkk shouted my little girl!

I think it did the trick because the ducks and swans swam freely to us and made their stunts.They are beautiful…some things can be quite so simple and yet so meaningful!

Battling the cold battle…

While we were walking, she told me that she is waiting for her friends to go to the nearby playground. I explained to her that maybe they come or maybe they don´t. She said she hopes that everything returns to normal soon. I heard her…I wished that too.

As expected, a walk with nature always change our mood.We were busy looking for autumn leaves and looking at water reflections. The crystal clear waters of the Danube river and the area near the Glacisbrücke is really awesome. I walked further near to the bank and snap this photo.

Some trees are already bald, stiff and looked dreary, but some trees hold their leaves tightly, refusing to let go.Against the sunshine they remind me of my Autumn paintings.There is a lot of golden ochre yellows and rusty oranges colors that I see.I am telling you, as a self taught artist, I still find it so difficult to replicate the beauty of nature in landscape paintings.

I spotted these beautiful fragile beauties. I don´t know its name but hey reminded me of Cotton candy. It´s not yet covered in Frost but anyway they looked lovely.

My head can fit in this hollow hole of the Tree!

Have you taken a walk lately? How was it?

Please wear your masks and I wish you all a great start of the week!

Tschüss!

Creative DIY : A Plantlover´s Adventkranz

My very first DIY Plantlover themed Adventkranz

Well finally, after 5 looonggg years, I finally embraced another old German tradition—der Adventkranz, or simply the Christmas Wreaths! I never bother to have one of those because I thought it´s just a waste of money.This time, I have made one for us this year, with a twist on a Plantlover´s theme since I loved candles, and of course, Plants and everything about Green nature.If you´re not from Germany, you might wonder what is it. If you live here, I am sure you will not miss this one out!

Let me share with you something about this wonderful, cozy and beautiful, another Christmas-sy tradition that Germans love!

My first DIY Adventkranz, a Plantlovers Pallete theme. With a pot of Succulent in the middle and bronze balls to complete the setting!

First, let me tell you a little something about Adventkranz or Christmas Wreath. I thought that “Wreaths” are something very American and only for decorative purposes.I was mistaken because I read that even from old Egyptian myths and traditions, wreaths made of flowers are widely used in Egypt. Same thing with wreaths made of olives, pine, and palm leaves are also widely used in ancient Greece, especially after winning in Olympic games.In Architecture, laurel wreaths are also widely used as ornamental motif as well as in furniture and textiles. I realized now that most wooden furnitures have this ornament!

On the other side, when it comes to “Weihnachten” or Christmas here in Germany, Wreaths or Adventkranz holds a different meaning. A Pastor named Johann Hinrich Wichern (1808-1881) thought of something for the children and teenagers without parents in an institution called ” Rauhes Haus“. To educate and teach them to wait for Christmas, he decorated an old cartwheel with 19 small red candles and 4 large white candles.Everyday during Advent, they lighted the small candles and every Sunday , they lighted the big ones. As time goes by, he started to decorate the wheel with green Fir.Branches of Juniper, firs and mistletoes are said to be symbol of unbroken power of life. In Philippines, we have the same tradition of putting a blessed ” Palaspas” , ( in accordance with Palm Sunday) a branch of a palm tree decorated with flowers hanged on doors to “protect” the household from “harm”.

In the early 14th century, candles also holds a significant meanings. They symbolized for new and brighter times. The red candles also signifies the color of blood that Jesus Christ shed for humanity. Things got so modern, nowadays we even have LED candles that lights our houses all the year round without the fear of something get burned.Adventkranz are normally placed in a center table and during Adventzeit, they light the candle and enjoy quiet family times. So from Hamburg, this tradition goes to other parts of Germany and now, even to the world.

My DIY Creative Project : A Plantlover´s Palette Adventkranz

As soon as November approaches and nearing to Adventzeit, Germans have this tradition . I ignored it before but suddenly it caught my attention.Almost every shop that I visited have different design of Adventkranz.And yes, they can be very expensive and I thought that its quite a pity to light up the beautiful candles!

So I decided to made one for myself, another creative DIY Project i said to myself using some materials that I already have with me.Last Saturday I went to our local weekend market and I got a glimpse of natural elements and materials.I love visiting local markets because there are really nice finds there. Look at these Golden mistletoes! They are painted real mistletoes, it costs 5 Euros and the nature wreaths are ranging from 25 – 35 Euros! Yes, they can really be expensive. From shops, they can be more because of those shiny decorations.I thought I made a handmade Adventkranz for myself with recycled materials so I can save more money!

Take a look at this pink Eucalyptus leaves, they are very much in a trend nowadays!
Some of the materials that I have already on hand. An oldie but goodie gold platter, a plastic fir wreath that I´ve decorated yearly as a Door Wreath and a bunch of Green scentless candles.The candle holder I got from Depot.
The bunch of painted Mistletoes and red berries stems that I am going to used to adorn my vases and decor for my Adventkranz.

I experimented with different designs, using different decors and motifs.This one is with a heart-shaped Christmas balls and some Poinzsettia and rose with glitters. I thought it was nice, and looked very Christmassy!

I think it is a great idea to pair your Adventkranz with the motif you have with your Christmas tree or other decorations so it won´t overload your overall Christmas decorations. I don´t like too many decorations and colors especially if you have a small space. I find them messy so I try to minimized to tone down the shimmers and I stick to neutral colors.

Would you like some bright lights in your table Wreath?

Since I loved plants and I have many potted indoor plants, I thought it would be a nice idea to incorporate them in a simple plant-inspired Adventkranz like this photo below.Plants are great accent to anything! It looks even more raw, natural and simple.

White Christmas Adventkranz

With a simple large round candle, a gold owl deco piece, plus a cute succulent plant in one wooden tablet, then its all set. Isn´t it uncomplicated?

What do you think of this design?

Do it yourself Adventskranz or Christmas Wreath

All the deco pieces that I used are already something that I have so I didn´t buy new ones anymore. I love candles, especially the scented ones so that is also no problem. Even in summer I always light them, I just love the serene feeling I got when I see the burning lights

Minimalistic White Christmas Adventkranz

The Adventkranz symbolizes the anticipation for Christmas. With us here, once we lighted all the candles, it means that Christmas is on the door. It works well with children, it´s like a magic show, it is a great motivation to keep them looking forward to opening their Adventskalendars and yes, naturally, the gifts under the tree! Its like a countdown to Sylvester or New Year, only this time, maybe Christmas and New Year would be a little weird!

This year, Christmas markets are already cancelled and considering the part-Lockdown we are having, we are still not sure if we would be able to celebrate Christmas with families and friends because of social distancing rules.But then….we don´t lose hope.It will get better soon.

Germany´s Chocolate Santa

My Taste of a German Christmas

Christkindlmarkt in Germany

Winter Wonderland

How about you, do you something like Adventkranz?

Stay safe friends….Tchüss!

Mushroom Passion in Autumn

Passion in Autumn, Hunting for Mushrooms in Bavaria

Did you know that another Autumn highlights that many Germans loved to do in Autumn is Mushroom picking,hunting ( also known as Foraging)!

Autumn or Herbst is the perfect time to look for Mushrooms (in German it´s called Pilz).Mushroom is at its peak growth from September up to November, just before when it starts to frost, and the temperatures drop around 10 to 15 degrees. Mushrooms needs a combination of air, moist and light and the overnight air to become misty and moist.This season is the time of the year where you can see them in abundance! They just sprout everywhere! I haven´t really had this experience before, not until I lived here in Germany. I guess I just goes along with the fad. I know for sure that many Germans loved to enjoy themselves going into wilderness, soaking the Golden October, going for long walks and “Spaziergang” in Autumn, at the same time looking, ( some picks!) for Mushrooms!

I said to myself that I would try to look for mushrooms this year.Now I finally did it. Whenever I take a walk nowadays and do my routine running, I saw beautiful foliage , colorful nature, and it´s more like I am walking in a yellow arcades full of yellow, orange burnt brown leaves.The Foliage as well are bursting with colors of red and golden rust.

Crazy over Mushrooms!

Also, do you love to eat Mushroom?

Did you know that Germans love and adore Mushrooms? All year round, edible mushrooms are available in supermarkets.I´ve read that an average German eats at least 2.9kgs of Pilz ( Mushroom) per year more than any other countries in Europe! Come to think of it, last Sunday, I just devoured a giant Schnitzel with Champignonrahmsauce ( Mushroom sauce) and it was really delicious!

Sorry but I don´t know their names in particular order so I cannot educate you about their species. I just took notice of their size and key features. I noticed that in our area in Southern Germany, we don´t have much of the other varieties or the colorful ones. I guess they grow in other region. But then I found some interesting ones and I took a photo to make a journal of them, of course to share here in my Blog!

Mushroom Passion in Autumn season

I love to use fresh edible mushrooms when I cooked Pasta or as an an added ingredients in gravy sauces with meat. I love to sautee it together with vegetables because the flavour is really good and it is simply delicious.I never have tried eating a wild mushroom because I heard they can be poisonous.Rule of the thumb is that it´s better to really be careful handling them and leave it to experts. If you don´t know it, then it´s better to stay away from it.I found a very informative site about mushroom but it´s in German. I saw that some of the mushroom that I saw from my leisure walks are listed in this site, and it seems that 2021´s year´s Mushroom is the Grünling or Green compact Greenling.

I found the information stated in this site very useful since deaths caused by mushroom poisoning is really scary and tragic.

Autumn weather means more rain, moisture, and damp weather which paves way to their growth.Many days it is very foggy over here in Southern Bavaria so I think it adds more to the moist weather. I even see sometime a tiny mushroom in my indoor plants!They are like tiny creatures who pops up beneath the fallen leaves and trees.It is such a delight to see them in different sizes and shapes.

Generally speaking, colorful mushrooms are very toxic.They are nice and cute to look at but it´s better to take precautions handling them to avoid intoxication. Make sure not to touch them with your bare hands or for little children to play with.Never let your child pick it with bare hands if you are not really sure if its ok to touch.Remember that these Fungi are scary if its toxic.If you are in an area with lots of growing mushrooms and you wanna gather them, then it´s better to gather up some knowledge about what to do and what to get.

Autumn won´t be complete without Mushrooms
A Tiny mushroom buried in the bed of fallen leaves
This is literally a Mushroom Cloud!

Some are actually hard to spot since they are almost buried with the rest of the fallen leaves, but the cream, white caps are quite easy to see.

I really had a great time doing this and I´m sure I´ll be doing this every fall.I think this is also another reason to go out more into the woods and just enjoy the simple pleasures in life.Autumn is actually a beautiful season to reflect and meditate.

How about some more quiet readings ?

Blue and White Mushroom Towers in Kuwait

My Nature Walks in Autumn

Glacisbrücke in Autumn

Stay safe everyone. Wear your masks please! Tschüss!