Songbirds ... a family blogs!

Songbirds ... a family blogs!

Sonntag, 30. Juni 2013

Breaking up for summer

Am Mittwoch haben bei uns die Sommerferien begonnen.  Endlich!
Das hieß auch, dass Amelie ihren allerletzten Tag im Kindergarten verbrachte.  Jetzt, wo sie sich endlich eingelebt hat und gerne geht, ist die Zeit schon vorbei.  Aber ich bin überzeugt, dass sich ihr neuer Enthusiasmus auch auf die Schule überträgt.  :-)  Es geht ihr ja nur darum, ihre Freundinnen zu treffen, und da die auch alle eingeschult werden, wird sie weiterhin jeden Tag mit ihnen spielen können.

On Wednesday we broke up for the summer!
This also meant that Amelie had her very last day at Kindergarten.  Now, that she has finally embraced the idea of spending her mornings there she has to leave again.  But I am sure that she is just generally ready to go out into the world and that she will carry her newly found enthusiasm over to the school (which is just next door anyway).  All her friends will be starting school with her in August which will be great for her.

Nun, wenn die Ferien beginnen, gibt es hier bei uns zu Hause immer eine spannende Veränderung:
Die gesamte Dynamik des Tages verändert und entspannt sich und die Kinder sind unwahrscheinlich beschäftigt und zufrieden.  Morgens dürfen sie ausschlafen und aufstehen, wenn es für sie der richtige Zeitpunkt ist.  Frühstück gibt es später und kann in Ruhe, ohne einen Blick auf die Uhr, gegessen werden.  Die Kinder gleiten in ihren Tag hinein, suchen sich meist sofort etwas, was sie machen oder spielen wollen und das Wort "Langeweile" oder die Frage "Was kann ich mal machen?" existiert auf einmal nicht mehr.
Es kommt auch viel seltener zu Streitereien und die Geschwister werden zu besten Freunden, die gemeinsam  kleine Spielwelten aufbauen, in Deckenhöhlen herumkriechen, malen, toben und Spaß haben.

Well, at the start of holidays I always notice an interesting change here at home:
The atmosphere of the day is a lot more relaxed and easy and the kids are very busy and content doing what they want to do.  They can sleep in in the mornings, get up at their own pace and eat breakfast without having to glance at the time.  In this way the children are sort of peacefully gliding into the day and are always pursuing this or that, playing and occupying themselves without me having to guide them or suggest any activities.  It is great to see that the three of them are all of a sudden best friends and there is much less bickering and quarelling to be heard.  They create little play-worlds together, crawl in and out of their blanket-dens, draw and paint, play games and have a lot of fun.


Gestern war bei uns 'Backtag'.  Die Kinder haben mir geholfen und den Cookie-Teig gerührt und genascht und kleine Häufchen auf dem Backblech verteilt.  Nebenbei haben wir den Gefrierschrank abgetaut - was überraschend unterhaltsam war (nicht für mich, aber für die Kleinen).
Später haben wir noch ein bisschen im Garten gearbeitet.  Aber da es den ganzen Tag geregnet hatte, war es sehr nass, und viel war nicht zu machen.  Immerhin konnten wir Radieschen, Mangold, Salat, Löwenzahn, Giersch und für jeden ein kleine Rose mit nach Hause nehmen.

Yesterday was 'baking-day'.  Besides two big loafs of bread, the children helped making cookie-dough for double-chocolate cookies and peanut-butter cookies.  We also defrosted the freezer - which turned out to be quite an entertaining activity (not for me, for the kids!).  ;-)
Later we worked a little bit in the garden.  But as it had been raining most of the day it was really too wet and we couldn't do much.  At least I could take home some raddishes, chard, lettuce, dandelion, goutweed and a rose for each of us.

Samstag, 29. Juni 2013

Kleine Veränderung

...habe gerade erst herausgefunden, dass der Google-Reader bald nicht mehr zu Verfügung steht.  Also tu ich es Micha mal nach und folge Bloglovin.  :-)

...small changes.  If you want to follow my blog you can do it on Bloglovin

Freitag, 28. Juni 2013

100% organic?

Photo by: Eileen Delhi

Lately I am thinking a lot about the food we buy and how we could live more resourceful and 'earth-friendly'.
I had a few very intersting and informative chats with friends who know a lot about this subject - well, a lot more than I do - and it was quite eye-opening but also frightening in a way.  I didn't realize just how many chemicals are being used in conventional agriculture and what kind of effects they have on our health.  Organic produce makes up most of my family's daily food intake, but not all of it.  And sometimes it is difficult to afford organic, especially in the winter-time when everything is more expensive.
I do my best to grow some veggies in my garden.  But that's just a small amount, really.  Not enough to sustain us, just an addition. 

Whilst reading the magazine 'kontinente' I stumbled across a small article about the state Bhutan, saying that they are striving to be the world's first 100% organic country.  I hope they can set a good example to inspire others to follow them.
green futures magazine
Bhutan erhebt Bio zum Staatsziel

What do you think?  Is it possible to become 100% organic?
Do you buy organic - or do you think it is too costly?

Mittwoch, 26. Juni 2013

She's back!

Our cat has been astray.  She doesn't usually walk off like that.  You see, she grew up as a housecat and it took her quite a while to discover there was an outside world, and to connect to her inner sense of freedom and independence after I had decided it was time for her to have a more 'natural' life. I don't think it's right to keep a cat (or any animal) just inside, but this cat was a rescue and she didn't know any better during her first year or so before we got her.
Well, I showed her the way out of the back window.
We are unfortunately living close to a main street and only the backyards of this row of old houses are safe for her to roam in.  So, the backwindow seemed perfect to get her out there and explore the world, and we soon found that my idea worked out fine, and from then on our little lady became just a 'normal' cat that could go outside and return whenever she wanted.
She would mainly disappear at night-time and a small 'Meow' would greet me in the morning when she would sit patiently on the bed-room window sill, calling me to open the backwindow to let her in.
Perfect.  This was our daily ritual, and I am rather fond of her waking me up - better than any alarm clock.
But then - all of a sudden she didn't return.
We waited one day, two days, three days and no sight of her.
Everyone said that it is normal for cats to disappear once in a while.  And of course, we knew that.  But in 4 years she had never done this and I grew more and more worried that something might have happened to her.
Maybe she hurt herself... or she got locked in by mistake in a gardenshed or a cellar room... or she had a deadly accident... or ate poison?  We started to inform the neighbours house by house down the road, but nobody had seen her.  My daughter put up messages in shop-windows and on trees with a picture of our cat and we waited.  Yes, we received quite a few phone-calls, and a some kind people who were sure to have spotted her came to our door to inform us.  But it was never her.  Many cats look similar to ours, you know, she's just that typical mix of colours with white, grey-brown, black and orange, tabby-striped.
But my daughter, Lisa, was very determined to follow up all the tips we were given and went out to the different areas to look for our little lady.
She bought a big box of special cat food (she told me it was a total bargain when I glanced with raised eyebrows onto the receipt), and went to different places to feed straying cats and maybe attract our own in this way.
Not far from here - literally around the corner - there is an open backyard of a company selling electrical gadgets.  Lots of cars are parked there and also, quite a few cats without a specific owner call it their home.  After receiving a phonecall that our cat might be there, too, Lisa passed by that place whenever possible.  She loved caring for and talking to those cats, some quite rough-looking, some quite thin; feeding them and stroking them.  All of them were named lovingly and every time she came back home she had an exciting cat-story to tell.
This went on for three weeks.
Then, all of a sudden - I was just working in the garden, pulling weeds in the summery heat - I heard an excited cry.  "Mom, Mom, I got a wonderful surprise for you!!!"  It was Lisa.  She entered the garden and in her arms she was carrying - our little lady!  She had found her in that backyard sitting on a tree, whining.
Lisa got her down and now she's back!  A little on the skinnier side and with an anxious expression in her eyes, but she was fine, totally fine.  We were all overjoyed and happy, and I think our cat is glad, too, that she has returned to her save haven, full of nice food, cuddles, comfy beds to lie on and laps to hang out in.

We don't know what exactly happened to her and why she hadn't found her way back home by herself.  But there are however other news that she brought back with her.  We are pretty sure that she's going to be a Mommy in about 4 weeks and we are so excited about it! 

Mittwoch, 19. Juni 2013

Our way to school

... today it was already very warm and humid on our way to school.  But I love this weather - it is summer-time; we smelled the fields and the hay; so many birds singing and flying about; air stroking our skin like a warm blanket.  Today we were very lucky to notice two fox cubs playing on the road.  At first I thought they were cats.  :-)  Unfortunately, they dissappeared too quickly in the fields to be photographed.

We also met this little fellow on the way - besides butterflies, insects and the like. ;-)

I love that our way to school has turned into something quite adventurous lately.  Even though I take much longer to go to and fro, having to cycle about has slowed down my life a lot.  And I truely appreciate that!

On my research on the web I found this exciting website:  The Family Adventure Project
This particular blog-entry is about an encounter with a lumberman in a German forest - whilst cycling through this country.  But there are many more articles about the travels of this amazing family.  You should check it out!

Hope you have a nice day and no thunderstorm later (as they prophesied in the weather forecast)!

Dienstag, 18. Juni 2013

It's been a while...

 ... but it is nice to have a little break now and then.  Especially when the days are as sunny and warm as they are right now.  We've been very busy and surprisingly active lately!  I mention that because we found out how lazy and unfit we really are.
You see - I lost my car.  It was 21 years old and much loved, but on the other hand it was rusting away underneath and became increasingly unsafe to drive.  I let a local mechanic have a closer look at it to tell me if any repairs are still worth it - first he said 'yes', but then he shook his head.  'No, not really.'
It didn't take me long to decide to get rid of it at once and be car (care?) free for at least a while.
So - we got our bikes out and are pedalling everywhere and anywhere now.  Mainly to school and back, which gives us a fair amount of training as it is situated in a village 5 km from here.  (Do the maths how many kms I ride each day at least! :-)
Well, in the beginning we were very tired at the end of the day and our muscles complained.  But now, after a few weeks we actually enjoy every bit of our cycle-tours.  It is great to notice our stamina increase and our energy levels rise.
Last Sunday we went on a long hiking tour (took us all day) and the kids were absolutely fine.  Me, too.
We had a great day, great views, lots of fun and laughter, delicious ice-cream, some sister-brother squabbling and sunshine.

:: playing by a little stream ::
:: signing the guest-book in a refuge hut ::

:: yes - we made it home!! ::