Week In Review

10 Sep

We’re at the halfway mark, folks!  Yep, this weekend marks 6 weeks for us here in Stuttgart, Germany.  And you know what’s strange?  Some days seem to drag by so slowly (the ones that are cold and rainy and just overall dreary), yet looking back at the whole picture, it’s just so unreal how quickly time is passing.  I suppose that’s often the case with all the good things in life though, right? 🙂

OK, so as I promised before, I’m here to keep it real, Randy Jackson style.  Although the week started off on the right foot, it pretty much landed firmly in the BLAH Zone…And that’s putting it nicely…Why, you ask?  Well let me start with the positives.  We got home from Berlin in record time, so stopped at the Turkish Bakery on our way into town to get some (human) sweets for Dulcie’s birthday party 🙂  No one there spoke English, so we decided to just get an array of little treats and try them all!

We just decided to fill a shoebox 🙂 Does anyone else think it's funny that the box is in English?

Different baklavas and donuts...Apparently ALL Turkish desserts are fried and doused in honey and oil. They were OK, but once is probably enough for us...

Although Dulcie’s 1st birthday was technically Saturday- and we did get her her own pink pastry in Berlin!- we wanted to throw her a little party just like we always have for Betsy and Max.  No, we didn’t invite the neighborhood dogs nor did we make her wear a hat (I’m definitely one for dressing up dogs), but we did make her a Beef Jerky Pupcake and sing to her as she blew out the candle! 🙂

Dulcie and Max really LOVED this cake- made with whole wheat flour, turkey bacon and beef baby food- so if anyone wants the recipe, let me know! It's SO easy to make!

Monday was SUNNY and warmer (maybe 65, but hey, we’ll take it!).  It was Andy’s last day here and John was off from work for Labor Day, so we spent the afternoon downtown with the pups.

Lunch at Weber, one of our favorite spots downtown...

Calwer Strasse

Off we go, in search of Pralined Cashews 🙂

If you remember from a post last week, Andy had found these awesome candied cashews at a street vendor at Wine Fest.  Well, intending to go back for more and not realizing that the festival ended over the weekend, he was determined to find them at one of the (zillion!) candy shops around town.  Um…no.  Apparently, they are only a ‘festival food’ (think cotton candy and elephant ears) 😦  At least the whole mission wasn’t lost, though…

He ended up with chocolate caramel truffles and caramel cubes. John and I chose the butter caramel pretzels. All were good...pretzels were sinful, though. 🙂

For Andy’s last night, I tried my hand, once again, at German cuisine, opting this time for one of my new favorites, Maultaschen (Swabian ravioli- stuffed with spinach, minced sausage and spices), Nuremburg sausages (skinny, small brats) and veggie Frikadellens (think of a sausage/beef meatball with veggies smooshed flat).

Not our healthiest meal, but definitely scrumptious!

Dessert fresh from the bakery...with Weight Watchers ice cream! Ha!

OK, this is the point where the week kinda falls into oblivion.  The two main causes?  I’ve been sick (not sure what’s going on there) since Tuesday and the weather.  The rain (and cold!) moved back in by Monday night…and haven’t stopped yet.  I know that most of you don’t really understand exactly what I’m talking about, but this is serious stuff, especially for Lowcountry (God bless Charleston) folks used to hot, humid and sunny!  It rains ALL THE TIME here.  Even when it’s not necessarily pouring- more often than not, it is- it’s still ‘spitting…’ The sky stays various shades of grey, ranging from near white to near black…Worst part?  Being cooped up at ‘home’ with the pups.  They (and their mom!) SO want to go for walk and to play in the gardens, but there’s just no dry spell long enough to do it!  We’ve asked around and apparently this is ‘normal’ for Germany- that it’s got some of the most unpredictable weather in Europe.  We’re told that ‘some years are rainy, others are not.’  Go figure.  Needless to say, I’m researching ‘sun lamps’ to combat any potential SAD (seasonal affective disorder) that could be lurking around…*If anybody knows anything about this, please let me know!

Not that the rain is anything new- it’s been rainy and chilly since we got here in late July- but I think it’s feeling like more of a big deal when combined with other factors, if that makes sense.  For starters, I haven’t felt well this week.  Secondly (and I know this wouldn’t be the case for many of you, but again, I’m an only), 6 weeks is a long time, especially knowing that you’re getting ready to do it again.  I miss my parents, my house, my 4Runner, my business, the English language…You get the idea.  It can just get tough some days, you know?

Don’t get me wrong, on the whole, John and I (and the pups!) are LOVING our time here.  We’re doing more, seeing more, and learning more than we could’ve ever imagined.  We fully understand just how blessed we are to be having this experience and wouldn’t trade it for anything, including sunshine and the Mustard Seed…OK, maybe the Mustard Seed, but still… 🙂 In the meantime, we just go to the Food Court on base or to the Home Depot equivalent (Obi) when we need a little slice of home :).

Just like Home Depot...down to the smell 🙂

Luckily, we’d already decided not to travel this weekend.  Instead, depending on how I’m feeling, we’re planning a Date Night for tonight- complete with our first trip to the baths (THE thing to do in Europe) and dinner.  Tomorrow is the Venetian Festival in Ludwigsburg (12 minute train ride), then Sunday, I’m headed to Tel Aviv to see our best friends!  Yep, sunshine, warm air and sand, HERE I COME!!!

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