Nature

Friday Flowers

FF - Green Market Bouquet

How quickly this week has flown by. We were graced with five summery days and 20ºC temps, which was unexpected and very much appreciated.

As mentioned last Friday, I went to a small fair showing food, drinks, design and knick-knacks made in Stuttgart, but my friend and I agreed it hadn’t really been worth the 10€ entry fee. We were in and out within an hour, I bought a mug and some wild rose syrup, we had a coffee, and that was it.

My other plans turned out way better – visiting friends on the border of the Black Forest. A definite highlight was the smoked pulled pork we got for dinner ❤, but we also had fun going for a walk in the forest on Sunday morning to pick mushrooms. I have no clue about what’s edible, I only know that the fly agaric is one of the most poisonous mushrooms, because that was drummed into us as children. We encountered many of them, and they’re as pretty as they are poisonous but we had an expert with us. While he almost ran through the forest in his enthusiasm, another friend and I took pictures.

Today I need to go to the Friday market, which I haven’t visited in two weeks, to stock up on vegetables and flowers. The above bouquet was bought three weeks ago at the market and only just started wilting this week, so I need new flowers.

Apart from that, my weekend will be a lazy one. I’ll try to get my new picture rails up but there are rawl plugs and drills involved, so I may have to wait until my sister the DIY queen is available.

Wishing you all a relaxing weekend!

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Nature

Friday Flowers

Hello & Happy Friday! Above flower is four weeks old today and still holding up. I couldn’t find a bouquet I liked at the Friday market and was about to leave when I saw these hydrangea that were so tall they came up to my hip. I mentally checked my arsenal of vases, and – yes! – remembered I had that large floor vase I rarely use. It was perfect, sitting on the side table next to my reading chair. Only that table is quite small, and after three weeks the huge vase started to annoy me, so I cut off about 3/4 of the stem and put the hydrangea in a smaller vase.

As announced last week, I went on a photography outing with a friend, our destination was the forest close to where she lives. We knew it might be raining – and of course it started as soon as I left the house – but were prepared, and as my friend said “we’re not made of sugar” so all was well. We had a couple of hours to walk through the forest, taking lots of pics, and when we came out the rain stopped. I always have my white balance on the camera set to “auto” and prefer to edit it in post processing, but no matter which setting I chose, a lot of my pics turned out too colourful (though not necessarily in a bad way), so I used a lot of presets on them. For a first proper photo walk in over a year, though, I’m quite content with the yield.

This weekend I’ll be visiting a small event called – to my annoyance – “Made In Stuggi”. Stuggi being a ridiculous abbreviation for Stuttgart that I can’t abide as it just sounds utterly stupid. Nevertheless, I’ll be going there with a friend as they will have consumer and lifestyle products on display and for sale that are made in Stuttgart.

After that I’ll be visiting friends near the Black Forest – my friend’s husband is going to fire up his smoker. Really looking forward to that.

What are your plans for the weekend?

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Greenery Enchanted

Nature

Greenery

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Nature

Friday Flowers

FF - Pink Cape Daisy Balcony

So I mentioned last Saturday that I’d been without hot water for two days and was expecting someone to come do something about it on Monday. That never happened, I had to wait until Wednesday afternoon. I guess it wouldn’t have been that terrible if those six days had been workdays, but they were six days off, so it was quite annoying. I now have hot water again, and I know to appreciate it even more.

Today’s flower was cut from my window box on the balcony. I have three different kinds of cape daisies in that box, and while this light pink one blossomed like mad in the beginning, it suddenly stopped producing new buds. At the end of September it just started coming alive again, so I’m enjoying that for hopefully a few more weeks.

Weather’s great right now, but we’re in for a rainy afternoon and weekend, it seems. Luckily I haven’t got much planned. Due to my five days off last week I’m ahead of the cooking game and have a few food post prepared, so no pressure there.

I have Monday off and plan to meet a friend for a trip to the forest, both of us needing to take our cameras outside. I wouldn’t even mind doing this in the rain, it might make it more interesting. I’d just need to find some proper rain gear, though, as this is something I think my wardrobe hasn’t seen since childhood.

Hope you all have nice plans for the weekend and a lot of crisp, sunny autumn weather!

 

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Triptych - Succulents

Triptych

Tuesday Triptych: Succulents

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Life

2017 September In Pictures

Surprise – I have good things to say about September 😀 . It seems like the good and the not so good balanced each other out perfectly well this past month. Brace yourself for a long post, or jump straight down to the pics!

The weather went autumn on us right at the beginning of September, but at the end when I had two very long weekends in a row it turned absolutely beautiful.

I started reading a book on mental decluttering, am still at chapter 3 after a month, and I haven’t felt so calm in a long time. Maybe just looking at the book title made me feel better 😂 .

While I only took my camera outside twice, the yield of pics I was content with was quite good, and I enjoyed both food photography as well as creating in the kitchen last month.

My lovely 91-year-old neighbour died. I only saw her about six or seven times a year, we had a quick chat in the hallway, but it was always a pleasure to see this little woman, always full of energy, always smiling, and her eyes would light up when she saw you. She’ll be dearly missed.

At her wake, I shared a table with 4 other neighbours, and oh my… it was enlightening, and maybe also a reason why I’ve managed to feel even calmer. I told a friend afterwards: There I was, living in my ivory tower on the top floor, suffering about all the noise and inconsiderate behaviour around me, thinking I was the only one noticing all this stuff, and feeling overly sensitive. And then it turns out everyone has the same issues – some with the same people, some with others. Of course, that doesn’t make the issues any less annoying, but it helps to see I’m not a nutter in an ivory tower 😀 .

Yesterday I worked from home because the hot & cold water meters were going to be exchanged. Guy arrives on time, guy leaves, I go shopping, I come back home and notice I have no hot water. In fact, when I turn the water to the warm position – no water at all. Naturally, it’s too late to call the janitor or the housing society. I check with a neighbour to make sure I’m not the only one with the problem, but of course I am.

In the course of the evening I connect with another neighbour who turns out to be not only lovely and helpful but also enraged on my behalf. It turned out the emergency number provided by the housing society was not the current one, so I’d have to spend the weekend using icy water. I know, I know, there really are worse things but it’s the principal that got our dander up, the not updating of an emergency number. This morning I woke up to a light bulb moment: when the meter people announced they’d be coming by, I took a pic of the phone number just in case. I jumped out of bed, found the pic, called the guy at 7:30 am and got a return call at 8:00 am. They would be coming round again in the afternoon, it seemed to be a defective part, and they would do their best to tide me over the weekend with hopefully at least lukewarm water. That’s more than I expected, so I’m good with that.

So now I’m off into my long weekend. It’s German Unity Day on Tuesday, so most people will have Monday off – hopefully not those who I expect to fix my warm water issue 😀 – so four days off altogether. I will most definitely take the camera outside to be ahead of the game to deliver pictures at the end of next month.

I hope your September was calm & enjoyable.

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Nature

Friday Flowers

Happy Friday, everyone! As you can see from today’s flower picture, I finally made it to the annual dahlia show on my day off last Monday. The weather was superb, there weren’t really many people out due to it being a weekday, and it was a pleasure walking among the dahlia fields. A sight to behold.

Each dahlia field had a name label to it, but I neglected to take note or a picture, but Mr. Google tells me this beautiful two-toned variety is call Be A Sport. I knew and love the burgundy-white dahlias but have never seen this orange version before. At Killesberg Park everyone can vote for their favourite dahlia, but I really couldn’t make up my mind. I would have loved to steal a few, though 😀 .

Many of us here will have a long weekend, as with Tuesday being a holiday we’ll be taking Monday off. Luckily I’ve already done my chores throughout this week, as someone will come round this afternoon to exchange some parts of the heating system.

As for the long weekend – I need to make a buying decision. Both my oven and stove top are defective, but boy is it difficult to make a choice for a new one. You have to really know what you want, what you felt your old one was lacking that you absolutely want in a new one. I looked online, went to several shops, dealt with unfriendly sales people… I now think I know what I want, so hopefully I’ll be placing an order and soon have new kitchen equipment.

Apart from that, as usual, I’m hoping to do some outside photography and some recipe testing.

Have a good weekend!

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Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Layered

WPC - Layers

After another long break from participating in the Weekly Photo Challenge, this one came about by pure chance. I’d been cleaning out the little bowl with my garlic stash, discarding the dried out cloves, when this old bulb fell into my hands.

I somehow saw a photo opportunity in the remains of this bulb with only a couple of dried cloves left on it and its tattered papery layers of skin. So I put it aside to photograph it this weekend, and then the weekly photo challenge popped up in the reader with Layered as the subject.

A good feeling to participate in the challenge again! See here how other photographers interpreted Layered.

 

 

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Nature

Friday Flowers

FF - Balcony Zinnias TALWL

Good morning! It actually is really good, so far. As of yesterday the weather has done a 180 and gone back to how we expect September to be – sunny, blue skies, a handful of fallen leaves already on the ground, and others changing colour in the trees. Weather’s supposed to be like this all weekend, which will be very much appreciated.

Today’s flowers are from my pot of homegrown zinnias. Last week part of the plants got terribly bent during a night storm, so I cut a few and put them in a vase.  The zinnias are pretty much the only survivors of this year’s planting efforts, which is why I can’t get myself to cut them all.

I’m having today and Monday off again for a long weekend, because I need to use up quite a few vacation days I have left until the end of the year. As I’m not going on a vacation this year, and I didn’t fancy hanging around at home for two weeks I’ll be taking more long weekends over the next couple of months.

For this long weekend, I’m trying to get some cooking and baking in for the food blog, because I want to make the most of the light while it’s pretty outside. Those days when you go to work in the dark and come back home in the dark as well will come soon enough, and time & light for photography will be limited.

Saturday I’ll be at a birthday BBQ, and Sunday my sister will be cooking for the family – a rare occurrence as she almost dislikes cooking as much as I love it. Monday I’m hoping to get a chance to finally visit the annual Dahlia show I mentioned last week. Fingers crossed.

Hope you all have something nice planned for the weekend. Happy Friday!

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Nature

Friday Flowers

Good morning on this first sunny day of the week. Heavy rain storms have been the norm up to today, so it was a nice surprise to wake up to sunshine even though the temps won’t go above 16ºC. Of course, our storms were nothing compared to the hurricanes in the US, and I hope if any of you are from those areas you’re well and still have a home.

Personally, I’ve had quite a decent week. I got a book recommendation on “Decluttering Your Mind”, which I decided to buy as it was only 0,99€. I’ve realised recently that I can’t go on like this – I can’t change the state of the world, but having access to and being bombarded with terrible news on a daily basis, together with your typical “normal” everyday thoughts and worries accumulating in your head, I felt like I wanted to sleep for a week just to keep my mind as close to switched off as it can be.

I was nodding my head at most everything in the book when suddenly there was talk about meditation. o_O If there’s one thing I dislike it’s meditation. However, I gave it a go – it’s only 10 minutes a day – and I can live with it 😀 . After only about a third of the book, I feel calmer. Let’s hope I can maintain that state.

On to photography. I finally – about 2 years after first thinking about it – bought a tele lens. It’s an 18 – 250 mm lens, but so far I feel like a total beginner! It shouldn’t be that difficult to get used to a new lens, especially after I’d borrowed a friend’s tele lens a few times. 98 % of my experimental pics taken handheld turned out blurry, and as this is a lens that I want to mainly use outside – without a tripod – I need to get a grip on this asap. Any tips welcome!

Plans for the weekend? Nothing firm apart from cooking for my sister. Also, there’s an annual dahlia show close to where I live to which I’ve never been, so if the weather stays nice I’m hoping to go see it. People can vote for the most beautiful dahlia, and around the end of September, shortly before the show ends, the dahlias are going to be sold off in bunches.

Speaking of dahlias – the above one is from my parents’ garden. When I picked up my weekly choice of vegetables I get from them, I cut this one but declined my mother’s offer to take a whole bunch. Somehow it seemed a pity to cut those beautiful things down just to display them in a vase for only a week, so I made do with this single one.

Happy Friday, and have a good weekend!

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FF - Raindrop Daisy

Nature

Friday Flowers

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Nature

Friday Flowers

Good morning on this first September day! I’m having today and Monday off, so I’ve got a long weekend ahead of me. After August went out with a mighty rainstorm yesterday, it’s cooled down considerably to only 16°C today, which – if I’m lucky and the forecast is accurate – will go back up to at least 22°C on Monday, so I might get one sunny day out of four.

I haven’t got much planned anyway, except meeting the family at the Friday market later today, and there I’ll be stocking up on what’s left of the summer fruits to freeze and do some baking. Other than that, I might try doing another DIY photo background, and hopefully take a few food pics.

Hope September will treat you well!

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Life

2017 August In Pictures

Welcome to the end of August! Quite a hot month here in Southern Germany, but I’m sure that as every year there will be people saying we didn’t have a proper summer. So I went to the trouble to look up the August weather in Stuttgart, which apparently was 24ºC on average, so definitely summer weather. We’ve been having a lot of days over 29ºC, but we also had lots of summer storms; luckily these were always followed by sunshine.

I definitely enjoyed the fruits and vegetables of summer, provided by my parents’ garden as well as the weekly market, and I made quite a few damson cakes. I’m going to freeze lots of summer fruit this year so I can “beam myself back to summer” with food when it gets colder here.

I took the camera outside a little more often in August than the previous months, as you can see; I went to a farm brunch, took a walk in the forest, and went to a friend’s birthday BBQ. I also met my friend E in the city for breakfast, our usual routine when she visits from Dubai. Let’s hope I’ll keep this up in September.

Although I’m in no way prepared to let go of summer, and I’m going to enjoy the last three weeks of it, I’m kind of looking forward to autumn photography.

How was your August?

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Life

Back To The Olden Days

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Nature

Friday Flowers

Good morning! Let’s start with the flowers first today. These zinnias are homegrown on the balcony, there are a lot, and they look gorgeous out there. When I cut off the wilting ones last night, I decided to put some in a vase but in the end they were just too pretty to cut. So I decided to just put these two half-alive ones in a vase and leave the others on the plant until it gets too cold to sit out on the balcony, then I can cut them.

The weather’s been great all week, about 29ºC mostly, and we’re in for a hot weekend as well. Tomorrow I’ll be having breakfast in the city with my friend E who’s visiting from Dubai. We haven’t seen each other for a year, but we always have breakfast together the first weekend she visits. Thank goodness for modern technology, though, because if it weren’t for chat apps and FaceTime I imagine it could be easy to lose contact.

On Sunday I’m invited to a friend’s birthday BBQ, and I’m always looking forward to those. I’ll be making a cake for that occasion, but other than that I’ll play it by ear.

What are your plans for the weekend? Can you believe it’s almost September already? I’ll definitely be enjoying the good weather on my balcony for the remainders of August.

Happy Friday!

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Wishful Thinking vs. Reality

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Beauty In Decay

Beauty In Decay

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Nature

Friday Flowers

What a week! The weather forecast was somewhat inaccurate, instead of all rain it was mixed with quite a bit of sun in the evenings so I was able to spend time on my balcony. Tuesday was the worst day weather-wise with ice cube sized hailstones flying around. My sister, who is a mail woman, had to hide in her mail van because it was really bad where she was, and when it was over she couldn’t leave the van for a bit because the sidewalks were hidden under golf ball sized hailstones. It feels more like April than August right now, I hope the weather will be more normal for the rest of summer.

Speaking of which, I see a lot of posts – mainly American food posts – where people start blogging about autumn food just because August is their ‘back to school’ month. It’s still summer, until September 22, so why not enjoy it?

I’m definitely enjoying summer, and I’m still receiving lots of vegetables from my parents’ garden. I make tomato sauce every other week from a variety of their garden tomatoes, and cook a lot with aubergines, zucchini, and green beans.

I also enjoy the flowers on my balcony, of which the zinnias are currently the biggest success of my planting endeavours. I’ve also recently been enjoying the above bouquet, which came into my possession in a roundabout way. My colleagues from another department get flowers for their birthdays, and the colleague who received these particular flowers went on vacation just after getting the flowers. So she passed them on to someone I’m friends with. This friend doesn’t really like pink flowers, so she handed them over to me, I managed to surreptitiously pack the whole bouquet into my lunch bag and leave the building with these beauties 😀 .

This week I’m hoping to buy my own flowers at the market, though. On that note – happy Friday & have a good weekend!

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Holding Summer

Holding Summer In My Hands | 6

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