Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Shelby Saves the Day

Our dog Shelby has been in Germany for less than a week and already we have gotten our moneys worth. And it was not cheap to fly her internationally but that is another post some other time.
Last night we went to bed with Shelby resting on her pillow next to our bed.  In the middle of the night I was awoken by noise in our apartment. Shelby was pacing back and forth between our bedroom, the hallway, and the living room.  The clicking our her pawnails on the laminate floor was so consistent it woke me from my sleep. Curious to see why Shelby was pacing the floor I got out of bed. In the hallway I found our Shelby standing in the living room illuminated by a glowing light. Two feet away from her I saw a candle left burning.  Halfway melted and inches away from Halloween garland, I'm not sure this story would have had a good ending if Shelby had not been pacing.
I'm not sure if she really knew the danger or if it was coincidence I woke up.  Labs are very smart dogs. Shelby probably notices our nightly routines of going to bed. Either way I am so thankful she woke us up.
From now on I'm going to have to go back to leaving myself a "Candle Lit" Post-It in places I will be reminded; doorknobs, toothbrush, bathroom mirror, etc.
What do you think? Did Shelby wake us on purpose or was it mainly sleep-apnea?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Oktoberfest Review

This year Husband and I visited Oktoberfest three times. Each visit was completely different.
1st Visit- On opening day we arrived at the Weisen around 10 a.m. to watch the opening ceremonies and parade. We luckily had a front viewing spot next to the beer tent where the Mayor of Munich tapped the first keg. The parade was filled with several Bavarian marching bands, horses dressed in their finest bells and flower garlands pulling old fashioned wagons with barrels of wooden kegs (Is there really beer in them? Anyone?), and then there were decorative floats carrying the mass drinking beer maids. I learned a beer maid can make up to 30,000Euros in just the two weeks of Oktoberfest. These girls carry sometimes 8 or more liter glasses of beer at once. Talk about power lifting! During the parade it started raining and we knew there was no chance we would get into a beer tent Opening Day. These tables have been reserved since January. After the parade, wet and cold, Husband and I started heading towards the exit. On our way we saw a back alleyway beside a coffee stand. Much to our surprise we saw a cozy warm, most importantly, dry tent. Husband and I hurried in from the rain and grabbed a small table. And this is how an Irish Coffee became our first ever drink at the World's Largest Beer Festival.

2nd Visit- Later that night Husband and I headed back to the Weisen to see what a sight it would be brightly lit from the rides and attractions. Rows and rows of rainbow flashing, chasing lights advertised the bumper cars, roller coasters, and tiny tick shows. A very cool sight. The not cool sight were the men laying face down in the grass on "pass out hill". Cops shining strob lights in drunk peoples eyes and bright yellow strechers wheeling people out in the midst of alcohol poisoning was not the best second impression of Oktoberfest. The good thing is this whole scene is kept at back of the Weisen. We only saw this because we turned down the back road. The other thing that grossed me out was the amount of trash and broken glass out on the streets. They definitely needed more clean up staff sweeping the streets. Still no beer this visit, just a giant chocolate waffer ball.

3rd Visit- Husband and his colleague, Benny, took off Thursday afternoon. This is normal to take off half a day of work to visit Oktoberfest. The three of us headed to the Weisen in hopes of finally getting into a beer tent. Husband and I were excited to have a true Bavarian show us newbies the Oktoberfest ropes. We spent the afternoon in the Spaten tent near the center in close view of the traditional Bavarian band stand. For lunch I had 1/4 chicken, potatoes, and chicken broth soup. I washed it down with Radler. This is a mix of Oktoberfest beer and lemonade. Everything was delicious and our waitress was awesome. We were joined at the table by two Englishmen and a newly married couple both just finishing their medical residency in Detroit. They now are spending a year traveling the world before beginning in the workplace. The couple behind us were visitors from Houston. All around we were in great company talking and singing along to songs like Sweet Home Alabama and Sweet Caroline. It was an amazing great time. The best part was nobody ended up on Passout Hill or with their head in a can at the train station. Just a good o' time by all. Hopefully next year I will be properly dressed in the traditional dirndl dress and Hubby in lederhosen!

So who is coming to visit us next Oktoberfest?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall in Love

Don't you just love fall? The sound of leaves crushing beneath my feet is a soundtrack only perfect for the changing seasons. There is something about crunching leaves, crisp autumn air, and harvest stands bulging in deep oranges, reds, and yellows that make me homesick. I'm not talking about 21st Century homesick, but 2 decades ago homesick. Circa 1992 small town, brown Wal-Mart, sneaking my mother's not so secret stash of candycorn, homesick.

In September my mother would start helping my brother and I put together a homemade costume. One afternoon I would come home from school and she would surprise me with a costume piece perfectly stiched or sewn with loving hands. When the entire ensemble was completed it was so hard to wait for Halloween night. "You'll get it dirty, you have to wait." My mother would say. The entire house would fill with excitement when the day would finally come that I would get to wear my new costume. A few of my favorite costumes was a pale tulle princess skirt, an Indian dress (before we were politically correct), and the classic plump pumpkin complete with a stump topper.

Someday I hope to put the same type of creativity and dedication into my own children's Halloween costumes. I will probably be crushed the day they beg for the plastic ninja outfit hanging in our local Wal-Mart.
What is your favorite fall tradition or memory?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bad "Bath" Shopping

Friday Husband and I went to Ikea. First we stopped in the cafeteria for caffeine. Husband got coffee and I got a cappuccino, twice! Whahaha what a rush! I also ordered an amazing marzipan dessert that was pink and called princess something or rather. If you go to Ikea look for the round pink cake and try it...

We walked around and picked up some things we needed. After looking at rugs I picked up a red braided one with various shades of lime, turquoise, orange, and purple.  At first Husband did not like it because it was too bright. Later on he saw the other bathmats and hated those as well. Me too. A little bit later we were back in the rug department and then Husband said "Do you still like this rug?" I said yes and then he replied "Yeah, I don't mind it actually." Yippee! He trusts my taste.

With the new rug we headed to the fabric and curtain department. There we, okay mainly I, picked out matching material for curtains that I plan to no sew. Husband stood back holding our goods. When I asked him "Do you like this material?" or "How about this one?" he gave me his opinion. In the end, it only took five minutes, we both agreed on a fabric that will coordinate well with the bright rug. At home I taped the material into the window to see how it all looks together.

The undersink cabinet and medicine mirror we bought used (looks brand new) from a wealthy family for 40E. We have to wait for the drill out of the crate to complete everything. The good news is our crate is in Hamburg, Germany. The bad news is we still have to wait one to two weeks for the German customs to look through everything.

When we do finally have our stuff, Husband has to put up an L Track on the ceiling to hold two shower curtains. We want to get red ones. There is just so much white in there with the tiled walls. Currently we flood the floor with showering a little bit each time.

I think the bathroom looks cheerful and that it is slowly coming along. We actually had a lot of fun at Ikea picking stuff out together. You just gotta feed a man coffee and dessert before you drag them around a store picking out textiles.