Monday, May 31, 2010

Ouch! Accidents happen...

I still can't believe the stupid thing I did last week. Everybody knows about the dangers of needles and sharp objects in general. For years I have been teaching the kids to stay away from my work area and not touch my sewing needles, unless I am supervising. So what did I do? I dropped a needle, and not a small one at that, on the rug in our family room. This needle got stuck with the rear end up in the air. And guess what happened next? I stepped on it. Not lightly. Not halfheartedly. Nope. I stepped on it hard, so hard that the "darn" thing penetrated a toe on my left foot. Not halfway. Nope. All the way through! Ouch! It was the weirdest thing. You know the sort of thing that, when it happens to you, you look at yourself and think: Oh, no! That's not my foot. No, no. This just did not happen to me!" The kind of situation where you separate yourself from your own body, because otherwise you could not stand it. Maybe like in childbirth. This hurts!

Since the other people in the room, I won't name any names here, showed no reaction to my plight - well it had been a pretty good movie, until this point - I hobbled out of the room to inspect the damage. After all you don't want to curse or bleed in front of the kids...

Good thing I did that mind/body separation thingy. Otherwise I would have fainted at what I saw. The needle was stuck right in the middle of my toe with the back end pointing up. Yessiree! How in the world? Shouldn't there be a bone or something? Must have gone right past it.

Whatever! I pulled it out. Sharp end first. Just the way it had gone in...Strangely enough there was NO blood. NOT a single drop of it. Can you believe that?

So I hopped to the bathroom to wash my injured foot. How do you wash out a puncture wound? How do you wash a wound that is on the inside of your body? Here I was, at 8.30 pm in the evening, standing in the bathroom considering my options. Images of the endless stream of bills for the ER room arriving at our house didn't help with the pain. I would have to make it through the evening somehow. So I went back to watch the rest of the movie. Can't remember what it was. Don't know how I made it through the night either. The throbbing went on all night. No doubt the bacteria were having a fun fest in my toe.

The next morning the family did appear a wee bit more concerned about my red swollen angry looking toe. At 7 am I managed to get a ride to Urgent Care. I love those people! The doctors and nurses are fantastic there. I got my Tetanus shot, painmeds, and of course, the usual round of antibiotics. If only it wasn't for those bills....I suppose I could have tried to tough it out some more, but my husband had a horrible skin infection a few years back. Out of body experience or not - I did NOT want to see a repeat of that show...
My friends, I am on the mend! Hallelujah!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Planting a Three Sisters Garden

So maybe you have been wondering what we are growing in our garden patch. The Dads had the idea to try out what is called a Three Sisters Garden.
You can find great instructions on how to grow one on this site:

What is a Three Sisters Garden?
Native peoples from different parts of North America have used a wide range of agricultural techniques. Perhaps the best known is the interplanting of corn, beans, and squash. This trio has often been referred to as the "three sisters."

The corn plant represents the oldest sister. She stands tall in the center.

A Squash plant stands in as the second sister. She grows over the mound, protecting her sisters from weeds and shades the soil from the sun with her leaves, keeping it cool and moist.

Beans are the third sister. The beans climb through squash and then up the corn plants to bind all together as they reach for the sun. Beans help keep the soil fertile by converting the sun's energy into nitrogen filled nodules that grow on its roots. As beans grow they use the stored nitrogen as food.

A pretty cool concept. We planted our garden 2 weeks ago. You can see some pictures of the kids playing happily amongst the garden patches. They pretended to be Indians defending the land against crop thieves with their bows and arrows...It was too cute.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Community Gardening/ Schrebergarten und Laubenpieper

A few months ago our family and a family of friends became proud renters of a community garden patch. It is a 15x15 feet piece of land that is owned and managed by the City of Greeley. Patches like ours are rented out to gardeners at an annual rate of $25. Originally the land was owned by the University of Northern Colorado, but since they had no use for it, the University donated the land to the Community Gardens project.

"In 2007, the city of Greeley, along with Steps to a Healthier Weld County, recruited a group of interested residents and formed the Community Gardening Advisory Committee. The goal of this group was to encourage families and individuals to enhance their health by growing their own food and getting outside to get exercise in the process." You can read more about this project here:

There used to be two sites with garden lots. Our patch is located on a site that is in very close proximity to the university and in walking distance from our home. There are 22 patches on the site. The program has become so popular that a third site was added this year. The new site has even bigger patches with drip irrigation, but we'd have to drive to get there.
I don't know if you have ever visited Germany. The idea of small community gardens is not new to me. In Germany they are called Schrebergarten or Lauben and have been around since the late 19th Century. When traveling Germany by train, you may notice large green parcels of land surrounding most towns and cities. On closer inspection, you'll see that the land is divided into many little lots, separated by fences. Many of the lots may even have a small cabin or structure on them.

The original concept was invented by school principal Ernst Hausschild in 1864. Together with his friend doctor Moritz Schreber, Hauschild promoted the idea that children, especially poor city kids, should grow up closer to nature and get more exercise. During the economic crisis of the 1930s the community garden idea really took off in Germany, and many lots were given to poor families, so they could grow their own food and be saved from starvation. During WWI and WWII the little garden patches became important food sources for starving Germans. As many big cities lay in ruins after WWII garden plots with shelters gained in popularity as housing units.

If you ever visit Berlin make sure to visit the large garden communities, Laubenpieper colonies, in various neighborhoods of the city. Laubenpieper is the name for the people who rent the lots. http://http// Am I going totally off topic here? Maybe not. The idea behind the new community gardens project in Greeley is not so different really. With so many obese kids these days, kids who spend countless hours playing Nintendo or watching TV, having a green garden patch seems like a really good idea.

Also considering the current economic crises, interest in vegetable gardening is booming. Have you been to your local gardening center lately? They seem packed these days. More and more people are thinking about growing their own food to save on grocery bills.

Luckily our two families are not in financial distress, and we are thankful that we don't have slave away on our small lot with empty stomachs. The main reason our families decided to rent a garden patch is to grow healthy organic food and teach the children about gardening in the process. We have had a small vegetable garden by the side of our house for years. We grow tomatoes, basil, herbs, squash, and salad greens in the spring and fall. But it's not very big and this year the dads had the great idea of growing a Three Sisters Garden. Since this post is already quite lengthy I will safe that topic for another day...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

sleeping babies

sleeping babies, originally uploaded by germandolls.

I followed everybody's advice. I kept breathing. I did lots of house cleaning. And when all of that did not help I made these little ones to take my mind of the sadness.
Nothing like needlefelting and creating beautiful things to make oneself feel better...

Friday, May 21, 2010


I haven't posted in over a week now. A lot of stuff has been going on here - mostly not good. Do you ever have those days or even weeks where everything goes wrong? When you get really depressed and the world is such a sad place. In German we call it Weltschmerz. I looked it up in my dictionary and found no translation. Looks like it's been incorporated in the English language.
First we had this stupid snow storm destroy everything. Then I got some bad news from Germany. Nothing is selling in my etsy shop or sales keep falling through. The news of the oilspill and bad economy are not helping either. But what is all of that compared to this story:

About two months ago a 12-year-old girl disappeared from our community. Kayleah Wilson was her name. It was right around the time of my daughter's birthday. Pictures of Kayleah were posted in the movie theatre where we celebrated my child's birthday. In fact, Kayleah went missing walking to a friend's birthday party - 8 blocks away from her house. Her body was found yesterday - after torrential rains from the night before washed it out from a shallow grave or hiding place.

How do we explain that to our children? How is it possible that a little girl my children's' age could come to this horrible end in a small town like Greeley, Colorado?
It seems like not too long ago I had been discussing with other parents, at what age we could let our kids ride their bikes to places alone. Now I feel like saying: Never! It's not safe.

Please, pray for this little girl and her family! Pray for our community, that the killer will be found and brought to justice. I used to think of this town as a sleepy little place. I missed the excitement of the city. But heck, at least I felt it was a safe place to raise children. What of it now?

Sorry for sharing my weltschmerz with you. Maybe you can help me get out of this funk with some good news and uplifting comments.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nutcracker Music in Midmay?

You know there is something terribly wrong when they play music from The Nutcracker on the radio in the middle of May. Even when you live in Colorado...
I am so depressed. We had just planted our tomatoes. Will they survive under their plastic bucket covers?

The heavy wet snow also destroyed the kids favorite climbing tree/ tree house. I assessed the damage with camera but I am too depressed to post those pictures here...

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Winner is...

The Winner of the blossom guessing contest is Kim from the Netherlands. Of course being a florist she had a bit of an advantage here...She is the only person who guessed and posted her correct answer in the comment section. I had one other correct answer but it wasn't posted in the comments. Hmm. Should they win a price anyways?

The correct answer was
1. Pear


3. Apricot

Our apple tree did not bloom at all this year - unfortunately. Sorry, if I threw you off with the many choices. I will have another giveaway in the near future. I promise I'll make it a lot easier next time!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

This is one of my favorite pictures of my kids and me. It was taken a few years back in the summer...Can you tell how happy we all were playing in the grass?
I've been kind of distraught all week because I misplaced a box of pictures from when I was little in Germany. I was going to post a picture of my mother for today. So I'll have to go with this one for now...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Old Doll Clothes - New Ideas

A dear customer of mine sent me a pile of old doll clothes recently. For inspiration ...I think it worked. I took some pictures of the pretty clothes she sent me. Some of them did not have any labels. So I don't know where they came from. But I particularly loved the old bloomers and pantaloons!
I got some great ideas how to spruce up my inventory and offer some new clothes that fit my style. The ruffled bloomers I posted yesterday where inspired by the old fashioned doll clothes you see in today's pictures. My mom made doll clothes like that for me when I was little. Unfortunately I wasn't able to save any of them. They got lost when I moved to the US. =(

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Dress Design

I have been working on this new dress design. I wanted to make a shorter summer dress or top with the pocket, so the dolls can carry their babies around even when it's hot out. =)

What do you think?

I also made some oldfashioned type of bloomers. I think this little ensemble looks cute. I may have to widen it around the belly section, since it is a wee bit tight when I add a baby to the pocket...

Monday, May 3, 2010

justyn rebecca's w0nderful Foto

That's another photo from a while back. It still makes me smile every time I look at it.

One Happy Customer =)

Look, what I got in my e-mail today! Isn't that a sweet picture? It totally made my day this morning. When bad news strike about wars, bombings, oil spills and such - a picture like this will inspire me to keep going...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy May Day Fruit Blossom Guessing Game

Here are perfect pictures for May from my garden for you. I had to take them quickly before it snows again...Can you believe that we had snow again two days ago? I know it's Colorado. I have been living here for nearly fourteen years. It still throws me off every time. One always has to worry about loosing all the fruit on the fruit trees. We have plenty of them. What use is a garden if you can't eat what grows in it? Can you guess which blossom is from what kind of fruit tree?Your choices are: prune, apricot, pear, cherry, or maybe apple. You need to identify each of the three blossoms. Picture number one is...Picture two shows...Picture number three is a ....Leave your answer in the comment section for a chance to win one of my sweet Pocketdolls. Happy guessing! You have till midnight next Sunday, May 9th, to polish up on your botany. =)