Saturday, February 27, 2010

2010 Carnevale in Venice, Italy

People are there in amazing costumes.. posing for photographs. It's not a drunken brawl or anything.. of course, I don't know what happens there after sunset... during Carnevale.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It's a blah day... I'm in a 'meh' type of mood...

Could it be because.. I spent over an hour shoveling the new snow (only 4 inches this time) off of the balcony? And, just as I was finishing.. it started snowing 'AGAIN'

However, I did feel kind of 'winter daring' to go out on the balcony in shoes without socks and wearing only a jacket. I also knew that I'd get hot pretty fast beating on the frozen snow, to break it up, with my pretty blue plastic snow shovel too.

Then, I chopped up some frozen snow on part of the sidewalk in front of my house.

Truthfully, I'm just really tired of the snow.. The snow that is currently on the ground has been there for weeks! It just gets deeper with each snowfall. I'm tired of seeing snow everywhere I look. I'm tired of the white, gray, and dismal skies.

I really think that 6 months of winter is just too long for my inner peace of mind. I already knew that I wasn't a big fan of winter.. I don't mind a couple of snowfalls per year. However, I do need to experience the gentle warmth of sunshine here and there. Sunshine seems to help - at least, I think so. Germany just doesn't have sunshine in the winter time ... except on rare, rare occasions. I mean it is so rare.. that people will comment about the SUNSHINE.. even carrying the comments over to a day or so after the rare bout of sunshine. Let me put it this way, you have no need to wear sunglasses in Germany in the winter.

Do you ever have those 'meh/blah' kind of days? Where 'even though you know it isn't true'.. that the rest of the world is probably having exciting days, fun weekends full of plans, a clean and organized home, clothing all ironed and put away in nice neatly folded stacks, no dying plants, and they also have a frost free freezer with an automatic ice dispenser?

I did finish up a knitted baby hat for an upcoming baby shower. I'd show you a photo- but, my camera battery is dead.. yes, it died on my way back from my Italy trip on Monday night.. yes, only 6 nights ago.. have I remembered to re-charge the battery yet? No, but.. I'm sure that those people with the 'exciting lives' would have already done so! ha ha

I don't experience days like this very often.. but, I always think that they are an indicator that your spirit is unsettled, it needs change, either that or I need enough money to hire a housekeeper! :D

*PS The photograph of the painting was in the entryway of a big fancy restaurant that my 'tour group' went to for a great lunch last week. I do have a funny story to tell about that meal.. and I will tell it.. once the 'blah mood' lifts.

PSS.. It is now snowing heavy. Sigh

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

ahhh... Italy in February...

is wonderful... Ok, Italy any month of the year is also wonderful.

I left the Grafenwohr area last Thursday night.. the temperature was 20*F and when our group arrived in Italy, early Friday morning, it was sunny and almost 50*F.

I tried.. but, I still didn't sleep on the way there.. I have never been able to sleep on any plane, bus, train, or any other form of public transportation.

We arrived early on Friday, dropped our luggage off in the hotel lobby (too early to check-in) and caught the train to Venice.

I hadn't been to northern Italy.. in ten years. My visit was long past due. Our tour group (a tour sponsored by the base's Morale Welfare and Recreation Department) was full of military members, their spouses or family members, and other civilians working for the US Government on either of the two Army military bases in my area.

We left the dark and dreay German snowy winter and arrived to beautiful blue skies, sunshine, much warmer temperatures, and no snow on the ground. It was also nice not having to wear gloves while we were there. Of course, I totally forgot to bring my sunglasses along.

Here are a few photos of one of my favorite cities in the world: VENICE

(click on photos for a larger view)
By the way, I'm not sure if you knew it or not.. but, cars are NOT ALLOWED in Venice.. you have to walk everywhere!!!

I took so many photos that my battery died on the way home. Check back often to see additional photos.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Since, the snow isn't leaving anytime soon... I'm running away from the snow...

If everything goes ok.. I'll be in Italy by Friday.. for a few days. I'm leaving on Thursday night.. riding a bus all night long.. (oh boy.. that should be a lot of fun- Try as I might, I don't sleep on public transportation) and we'll be in northern Italy early Friday morning.

Soon.. I'll be in just a NORMAL WINTER location.. and maybe some sunshine?? I can only hope, right?

I'll be going to some of the places that I used to visit and also very close to where I lived for 3 years before I moved from there ten years ago.

WHY you ask?

1. Too much snow here
2. It's my birthday on Monday the 15th (isn't it nice that others get to be
off work on my birthday this year too.. just trying to share my own
birthday in a way that will be appreciated by the most people.. I figure that
getting the day off from work.. is a good start, right?)
3. TOO MUCH SNOW.. I need some blue skies..

Update: IT started snowing again this morning about 6am.. and it has snowed all day long... ALL DAY.. fine mist snow.. = slick roads

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yep, it's still winter...

Last week, the weather forecast was for a blizzard! And, I did get almost 7 more inches of snow in one night. You know it's not a good sign.. when you open the front door and the winter snowman on the front porch.. looks COLD!

*I did feel so sorry for him.. that I brought him inside to get the snow off of him and to thaw him out.. I realize that he's just a cute little stuffed fabric snowman.. but, he just looked pitiful.

Local winter trees... pretty as long as you don't think about all the snow that you have to shovel.

The view out my living room windows.. about 20 inches or more of snow is on the ground. Nice wintery looking sunset.. rarely happens though- mostly it is just gray and dismal here.. but, I thought that this was a nice view of the pretty side of winter.... of course, enjoyed from the warm comfort of the inside of my house.

A brighter winter sunset.. taken maybe in December?

Friday, February 5, 2010

It's FRIDAY NIGHT, you just finished eating dinner with friends, you walk outside and notice that ONCE AGAIN IT IS SNOWING!!!

So, what do you do? You stop at the local grocery store to pick up a few essentials, of course..

So, what are the essentials that you should buy at the GERMAN GROCERY STORE.. to help you cope with ANOTHER WEEKEND of snow??

Greek honey yogurt, gummy bears, and some new sock yarn...

I know, I know.. some people buy: chips, toilet paper, and sodas for upcoming snowstorms.

Now, if I just had someone to shovel all the snow.. I'd be set.

I'd only want someone to shovel the snow for me PURELY for the reason that if someone else shoveled the snow.. it would give me more time to knit for others.. You believe that, right??