Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Do you Dance?

I wish I had learned how to dance when I was a little girl. It was never part of my world. There were no dance studios for learning classical dance in the area where I lived, and even if there had been any, my parents would never have been able to afford it. When I was growing up, dancing was limited to a ballroom dance class you took when you were 14. The class was intended to give you an intro to couple dancing, so you would know how to waltz at your wedding. Other than that, you went to the Disko (dance club) on weekends and moved to the beats as best as you could. Hmm, I am glad there are no videos of me doing that. Since I lived in the German countryside, the nearest Disko was about an hour's drive away. It was called Revolution Number 9. Oh boy, did I get in trouble with my dad for sneaking out for an evening of dancing when I was 16...

I am definitely having a blast sending my girl to classical dance classes and watching her grow as a dancer. It is hard to believe that she has been dancing for 10 years. I am so very proud of her for being promoted to start Pointe this summer. She has worked so very hard all these years. It's tough going when one is not naturally gifted with a flexible body. I am sorry, baby! I wish I could have passed down that gene to you. I think, generally, Germans are stiff people and more suited to marching.

Three years ago I did take a dance class with some friends. It was a lot of fun but unfortunately I didn't last past my first recital. I mean, I am really glad I tried it. It took a lot of guts to get up on that stage and dance with the youngsters. I am definitely not blessed with that talent, and when you are older it's an even greater challenge...

Maybe down the road I'll try again. I saw this pair of red tap shoes in this year's recital. They really seemed to be calling to me: You need to dance again...We shall see. Have you ever tried dancing?

Other than that, it's been a rather slow start to the summer. We had to wait to plant our garden since it kept raining over here. We have enjoyed having fresh lettuce from the garden that we planted earlier in the spring. I hope you are enjoying the sun and time with your family - maybe even a trip somewhere nice?

Friday, May 29, 2015

Hello, Summer!

May has been a crazy month for me. What is a Waldorf doll? Hmm, I forgot. The doll shop with sweet handmade dolls has been pretty much abandoned this month... Poor babies!

I could have spent every single day at school helping out as a substitute teacher. I ended up working around 15 days total. It has been a total eye-opener and makes you appreciate teachers so much more. Frankly, I don't know how folks do it when both spouses have a job? Who cooks dinner, does the laundry, picks up the house? In our household it appears that DH didn't mind the cooking part. He cooked us many a delicous dinner when I came home.

But laundry? Not much help there. Is it true that I am making a huge mistake by still doing my teenagers' laundry? At least that's what I am being told by the office staff at school. I suppose my thinking is: Soon enough they will move out and leave for college, and I will miss them so much. I may even miss those mountains of laundry... Sniff!

But for now summer is on, and we will enjoy every moment of it. Yesterday we went out and bought a board game to enjoy as a family. Who still plays board games? There must be folks since there is a thriving business in our otherwise dead downtown neighborhood, selling mostly boardgames and other nerdy items. Have you ever played Settlers of Catan? I have always wanted to since I heard a lot of good things about that game - AND how could one go wrong with a game MADE IN GERMANY?

We were finally able to turn our garden plots after the torrential rains stopped here. All of May was pretty much a muddy mess in these parts. But how can one complain? I, for one, love the rain. One rarely meets like minded people in this town. They are all miserable and grumpy while I happily skip over puddles. I think to myself, you just wait. Once the thermometer hits 100 you will think back and wish for a cloudy grey sky.

Dolls? What are dolls? I have not had time to make any. I did take some photos of little Wilhelmina over here though. We agreed that she looks super cute in her patriotic outfit. I had to take the photos indoors. Once the ground dries up we will have to have a photo shoot outside...

Have a good summer or HAGS - as the kids write into yearbooks. Definitely an acronym I had never come across until I had kids in school in the US. Here I was thinking they were talking about old ladies. What about old ladies? Do you know how to say old lady in German? Alte Schachtel would be the equivalent. Well, take care and HAGS to you!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Gutes Buch

For Christmas this sweet friend of mine in Berlin sent me a box filled with German books. Danke, Nanette! Du bist ein Schatz! It's tough to get in some time for reading these days. As I get older, I find that I am much pickier and that it takes a sehr gutes Buch (very good book) to make me want to read. Especially since I am having a hard time staying up past nine pm in the evenings. At first I struggled with the novel Die hellen Tage ( Bright Days) by Zsuzsa Bank. I am glad I didn't give up on it. Now that I am half-way into the story, I have barely been able to put it down. I am not sure if it is available in English translation yet. But if you speak and read German you should definitely give this beautiful novel a try.

Now the doll children are quite mad at me for not spending enough time with them. Little Miranda and her baby bunny commented that the book cover is all right. But personally, they would prefer it if I spent more time on finding them a good home... Dolls.
Today it is overcast and the weather looks very much like German weather. In other words it is the perfect day for curling up in a chair with a good book and getting lost in the German language...

Monday, May 4, 2015

$1 Dress for your Waldorf Doll

More fun coming your way this week. I made this cute artsy collage of one of my Waldorf doll dresses. I made it to fit my 10 - 12 inch Waldorf baby dolls. I love this romantic roses fabric. It's perfect for the dolls as it is getting warmer now. What do you think? If you would like to buy this cute doll jumper for only ONE Dollar please visit my Facebook Fanpage today and enter in the drawing! Don't forget to read the rules. You must follow all of them to be entered in the drawing.

I hope you have a great week! I am still a wee bit tired from last week. Why do the weekend seem so much shorter now that I am teaching?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

German Almond Bread

If you are following me on Instagram you may have seen photos of this delicious German bread I have been baking.
When I was growing up in Germany we always had a sweet treat for our Sunday morning breakfast. My mother or one of us girls would bake it on a Saturday afternoon. I believe it was a great tradition, and I have been trying to continue this tradition in my own family. It's a little piece of home that I was able to carry with my to America. The good thing about traditions is, that you can carry them in your head and heart, and they don't take up too much space in a suitcase...

So here is the recipe for the amazing almond bread.

Preheat oven to about 400 degree Fahrenheit

500 grams wheat flour
2 tsp dry yeast
50 grams sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
250 ml milk
1 stick of butter (unsalted if you have it)
200 grams almond flour

The original recipe asks for 100 of almond flour and 100 grams of skinned chopped almonds. But since I found these giant bags of almond flour and blanching, peeling, and chopping almonds is not my favorite thing to do, I just use almond flour.

How to make it:
Put milk in a small saucepan, add the stick of butter to milk, melt the butter on low temperature on stove top.

Mix all the ingredients together. You can knead it by hand but a Kitchen aid mixer with hooks will greatly simplify this task.

You may want to add a bit more flour if the dough is very sticky.
Cover with a towel and let the dough rise for about an hour or until it has visibly increased in size.

Knead the dough and braid it or twist it into a pretty knot. Brush with milk. Bake at about 400 degree Fahrenheit in preheated oven.

Do you know how to say breakfast in German? It is called Frϋhstϋck. I hope you have time next weekend to bake this treat for your family! It is wonderful sliced and slathered with some homemade jam, Nutella, or just some butter.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Win this Doll!

Remember Agnes? She is the sweet little doll in the surgeon outfit I made for the fundraiser to help out dollmaker Alexandra Boyle.

Today you will get another chance to win her in an auction on Hyena cart! It's a wonderful website. If you have never visited please do sign up today! Bidding on my doll starts at ZERO. So if you have been ogling my dolls for a while but not able to afford one THIS IS YOUR CHANCE to own this wonderful doll! Agnes was made with tons of love and will bring many hours of fun play time to a child.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

German Teacher - Deutschlehrer

Who is the German teacher? That would be me this week. I had the privilege of substitute teaching German at high school this week. I had a blast! I snapped a few photos of the classroom as proof for you. Oh boy, was I nervous about the whole affair. I mean really. It's my mother tongue. And after utterly failing at substitute teaching some math classes I should have felt great about this. But I was afraid of the high expectations that came with the subject. Turned out the kids really liked me. I talked about the German education system with the first year German students. The older students were excited to hear about what it was like to grow up in Germany - including my story about the fall of the Berlin Wall...

I had so much fun. But I am pretty tired. How do these teachers do it every day? When I get home I am just plain exhausted and want to fall asleep on the couch. But then the house does not pick up itself, nor do the dishes do themselves, and let's not even mention the pile of laundry in the basement. I suppose that is what weekends are for.

Well, wish me luck! The way it looks there is more teaching German in my future... I am happy! Really happy! I mean I miss my sewing machine and the dolls. But I feel that this is a wonderful opportunity for me.

Some of the kids I teach are a bit loud and rascally like little Miranda here. But I am sure that in no time I will figure out the ins and outs of class room management. If you are a teacher and reading this post of mine, maybe you can give me some pointers.