Monday, October 24, 2016

Trip to Germany: Part 1

Had a fantastic evening in Copenhagen. Met up with my cousin Doug who is loving life here, metro'd down to the Nyhavn and had dinner on the water front. We were joined at our table by a local woman out walking her dog, the woman then gave Doug and I a tou
Walking to the  Nyhavn in Copenhagen with my cousin Douglas. 
Germany 2016 (September)
On a day trip to the North Sea with Piercen brother and sister-in-law, we stopped by a museum that was getting a new thatch roof. 
Germany 2016 (September) Germany 2016 (September)
The Westerhever Lighthouse on the North Sea coast.
Germany 2016 (September)
Luther begged for, and got, a covered wagon rental for the walk to the lighthouse. 
Germany 2016 (September) #mudfordays #allthemud #northsea #germany Playing in the North Sea mud. #children #childhood #northsea #tidesout #germany #instasinclair #instaluther
Playing in the North Sea Mud. 
Germany 2016 (September)
Visiting their greatgrandfather's brother and sister-in-law in Böklund. 
Being chased by her great grandmother at her great great aunt's house. #family #traveling #germany #instasinclair #greatgrandmother
Chased by Oma. 
Swinging (of sorts) at his great great aunt's house. #instaluther #family #germany #traveling Germany 2016 (September)
Visiting family friends in Tolk. 
Germany 2016 (September)
Taking the back route home. 
Building castles in the sand with the cousins. #balticsea #family #travel #instaluther #instasinclair
A morning spent on the shores of the Baltic Sea. 
Germany 2016 (September)
Along the main street of Schleswig. 
Germany 2016 (September)
Germany 2016 (September) Germany 2016 (September) Germany 2016 (September) Germany 2016 (September)
With Oma, stopping traffic. As usual. 

You guys, we had such a good time in Germany last month! We started out by flying into Copenhagen (it's cheaper to fly there than into Hamburg) and staying the night there. We met up with my cousin Doug who's working as an architect, and he took us to the Nyhavn, the 17th century canal street where the fishermen used to live. It's filled with charming restaurants all along the waterfront, and during dinner we met a delightful local woman who ended up showing us her house and telling us all about the wonders of Copenhagen. Next time, I'd like to spend more time exploring that cool city. 

The next day we drove down to Germany and to Tolk where Piercen's family lives. Northern Germany is mainly farmland, and to us, Tolk is a tiny, tiny town. There's the gas station (which P's aunt and uncle own), a bank, a bakery, a butcher shop, and a dress shop. That's pretty much it. It's beautiful and charming. 

Piercen's brother and his new wife were visiting as well for the first few days of our trip, and it was lovely to spend time with them. We visited the North and Baltic Seas, putzed around Schleswig (the closest "big" city), saw lots of family and family friends, and ate. A lot. The Germans take their afternoon coffee and cake very seriously. Or at least P's Oma does. 

Part II of this trip recap is coming shortly.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Shop Update

Twelve Vintage Children's Toy Ornaments

Seven Blue Vintage Ball Ornaments
Three Vintage Small Baby Bottles
Three Vintage Large Baby Bottles
Two Vintage Jadeite Vases

New items posted this week in the shop. I also listed a stunning mid century Christmas tray, but I can't for the life of me find the pictures of it on my computer, so just know it's mid century, fabulous, and can be found HERE. I still have a few more holiday-centered items to post, so be on the lookout if you are already in the madness of Christmas decorating. Personally, I always feel that Thanksgiving gets the short shrift, but I seem to be, increasingly, in the minority on that view. 

So, happy Friday! It's been an ok week. Piercen pulled a muscle in his neck on Tuesday night (while watching the debate) and has been in some major pain. I'm fighting off a cold with my essential oils arsenal and lots of switchel and have so far managed to keep it at bay. Luther is loving school and Sinclair misses him when he is gone. I've been enjoying the relative quiet and the one-on-one time with her.  

We were planning on going to an fall festival on Saturday, but Piercen got roped into helping with a grant proposal at work and will probably be working most of the weekend. We also have a birthday party on Sunday to go to after church. 

Have a lovely fall weekend! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Life Recently

Kisses for Oma. #greatgrandmother #uhrgroßmutter #family #childhood
Saying goodbye to loved ones in Germany.
I went looking for the kids when I realized it had become too quiet. #reading #instaluther #instasinclair #children #childhood
Getting used to being home again. 
Took a picture of the kids to show @sailor3640 they need new handmade  robes and inadvertently got a shot of our "new" mid century hutch. #furniture #midcentury #danish #vintage #somebodyclothethosechildren #thanksmom #instaluther #instasinclair
Part of our unplanned furniture shopping spree. 

Hallo all, we're back from Germany and glad to be home. We had a delightful time, and I have some posts planned with all the pictures and details of the trip. It was very hard saying goodbye. When you are somewhere for that long, you get used to being there and it can be a hard adjustment getting back to the regular "normal." Everyone was bummed for a while, missing family, and it took us a good 4-5 days to get over the jet lag, but I think we are adjusted now. 

On Saturday, we went out looking for a used chair for the office for Piercen to work in at night. We found an absolute gem of an antique/vintage furniture store and came home with a mid-century hutch (see pic above), and mid-century coffee table, and one of the most comfortable armchairs I've ever sat in. Our living room is finally looking like adults have decorated and not Ikea-obsessed college students. 

Luther started back to pre-school again yesterday. I'm becoming a Sunday School teacher for the two and three year olds starting this Sunday so I'm jumping into the curriculum and getting excited. And besides that, there is Children's church and the various church committee meetings. 

Fall is here, my very favorite season. It's gotten chilly in New England, and I've never been more happy to put on pants. I'm behind on my annual making of the "Autumn Bread" but I hope to get it done in the next week or two. 

As for the shop, the holiday season is starting up,  I have an absurd amount of stock that needs to be photographed and listed. I also have some plans and new ideas for the shop going forward into the new year that I'm getting excited about. One thing that has changed already is that I decided to shut down my second shop, Vintage Soup Closet. It was a good little shop and surprisingly successful considering how little time I put into it.  I've just never enjoyed vintage clothing in the way I enjoy vintage homewares, and every time I worked on VSC, I felt like I was taking time away from my "real" shop. So I slowly let things expire over the past several months and finally closed it down yesterday. I feel better already. 

I hope you have a wonderful week. I'm looking forward to eating the finally ripened tomatoes from my garden, picking out a recipe for the "Autumn Bread," and photographing all the fall-ish items for the shop.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Garden Update: late August

Home Garden: Aug 2016
Basil plants, rehabbed into metal cans. 
Piercen loves basil. Fresh, dried, pesto-ed, doesn't matter. So I started a good number of basil plants from seed this spring. They were doing fine, until Buffalo Treehoppers discovered them and went to town sucking out the sap. I'd find my little seedlings turning yellow with a blacked stem where those little devils made their own buffet.  So each time, I'd dig the plant up, cut the stem right above the blackened area, then let the root tip sit in water for a couple of days until it developed enough rootlings to be repotted. Putting them in these metal cans (don't fuss, they are BPA free), seems to keep the BT away. Now, I harvest basil leaves every couple of days and am getting a nice supply of frozen basil-in-oil to keep P happy this coming winter. 
Home Garden: Aug 2016
Marigolds, lima beans, and nasturtiums on the retaining wall.

Home Garden: Aug 2016
Back in March I ordered the "Companion Plant" collection from Annie's Seeds. In the collection were seeds for a plant I had neither seen nor heard of; nasturtium. So I started the seeds indoors like the packet said and went about my business. Up popped these little plants with lovely lilypad-like leaves. I planted them in the retaining wall area off the porch and went about my business. The nasturtiums did great until one day I discovered them covered in black tiny dots. Aphids had come to town. I did some research and discovered that nasturtiums are aphids' favorite food. Nasturtiums are used as companion plants because they attract the aphids away from the more valuable crops (note: nasturtiums can be valuable; the flowers and leaves can be eaten and the flowers are good for sugaring). For the next couple of months, attract aphids they did and most of the plants suffered. The one on the end of the wall though, seemed to weather the aphid attack quite well and, as you can see above, has become the star of the flower show. 
Home Garden: Aug 2016
Fall Cover Crop
Since we're going to be gone most of September, I decided to start a fall cover crop a bit earlier than I would normally to make sure it gets good and watered before we abandon it to the whims of the weather gods. 
Home Garden: Aug 2016 Home Garden: Aug 2016
The birds have finally (and inexplicably) decided to leave some of the ripe strawberries alone. They are not very large and tend to look a little wonky, but oh man do they taste good. Sweet and with a strong strawberry flavor. 
Home Garden: Aug 2016
Luther's tomato plant (bought from the store back in June)
Home Garden: Aug 2016
Big bed. 
This big bed was originally planted with arugula, spinach, peas, broccoli and some cabbages. The arugula and spinach bolted early when we had a unseasonal week of heat in May, but I was able to save seeds from both. The peas were amazing and some of the little peas that dropped out of pods before I could pull them are already starting to grow. The broccoli and cabbages were ravaged multiple times by Boris the Groundhog and never stood a chance, so I cut down the parts above the soil and left the roots in the ground to continue feeding/harboring soil microbes. I have since replanted the bed with lima beans (which are doing splendid), sunflowers (which like to fall over but by splinting the broken bits with sticks and first aid tape, I've managed to save), marigolds, basil, and borage. I also just planted seeds for a fall cover crop in the bed. 
Home Garden: Aug 2016
The sunflowers are a beautiful orange gold color.
Home Garden: Aug 2016
Lima bean pods.
Home Garden: Aug 2016
Borage; looking a little unfortunate. 
Home Garden: Aug 2016
These next two beds originally held mainly cabbages and cauliflower but Boris had his way here too. In their places, I've put in more sunflowers, marigolds, cucumber, and some dill. 
Home Garden: Aug 2016
Cucumbers are doing great. Next year, I would like to do a stronger flavered cuke.
Home Garden: Aug 2016
This bed held the most cabbages and cauliflowers and thus was the most damaged by Boris. 
Home Garden: Aug 2016
Gardener's Delight Cherry (on the left) and Wisconsin 55 (on the right) tomatoes. 
And now for the main event: tomatoes. So my tomatoes plants have gone insane. They have far outgrown their 5 ft tall rebar cages. That cage on the left has fallen over twice, and we've had to brace it with boulders. I spent a good half hour yesterday tying branches to the cages in creative ways to keep the branches from breaking. Those that have broken have hopefully been saved by splinting with sticks and first aid tape. 
Home Garden: Aug 2016
Wisconsin 55 
I think it was just last week that these babies starting turning red. There's a ton of fruit on each plant but all had been stubbornly staying green. I have a friend coming to pick the ripe ones while we are gone. 
Home Garden: Aug 2016
Wisconsin 55
Finally! I didn't think they were ever going to turn! And of course we're leaving the country soon for 2+ weeks . . .  #perfecttiming #tomatoes #homegarden #gardening
Wisconsin 55.
Even the deformed one that split early in the season made it through and was delicious. 
Home Garden: Aug 2016
Back beds: green beans and scarlet runner beans (on the trellis); sweet potatoes in the ground. 
Boris also ravaged the sweet potatoes (and before that, only two of the four original plants survived shipping and planting in my garden). They have come back but it will be interesting to see how they turn out.
Home Garden: Aug 2016
More beans on a trellis; red potatoes in the ground. 
I've read that once your potato plants starting looking real rough, the potatoes can be harvested. Clearly we'll be harvesting soon.
Home Garden: Aug 2016
Green beans and scarlet runner beans on a trellis. 
The last beds in the back of the garden hold the beans on trellises and sweet potatoes, and red potatoes. The beans are doing ok; they are not producing as much as I had hoped. I think the lack of rain has affected them.

Thus stands the garden as August ends and September begins. We leave for Germany very soon so the garden will have to fend for itself. I'm a little anxious to see what I will return to at the end of September! 

Which reminds me, if there's something in the shop you want in a timely manner, grab it now (or at least before noon tomorrow); otherwise, all shop orders will be shipped out upon our return. For more details see T-Minus Nine Days 

Friday, August 26, 2016

T-minus Nine Days till Germany!

Lübeck, Germany, 2013

I'm at the point where I have no other big event coming up or visitors arriving before we leave for Germany. And so there's nothing to distract me from my dread of traveling so far with the kids  (let's just say that last time, all three changes of clothes ended up covered in kid vomit before we had even embarked on the Atlantic flight). However, that need not concern you. What may concern you is that I will NOT be putting the shop on vacation while we are gone. You will still be able to view product images/listing pages and purchase items; I will just not be shipping them out until we return at the end of Sept. That said, if you do order doing that time, I will be offering a 15% off discount code, WithLoveFromGermany, as a way of saying "thank you for putting up with the shipping delay!"

The Deets:
-Friday, Sept 2nd is the last day to purchase shop items and have them shipped before we leave (must purchase before noon). That afternoon I will make the coupon code live (again, it's WithLoveFromGermany).
-Any purchase made between Sat, Sept 3 and Thurs, Sept 22 will be shipped on Monday, Sept 26.
-To use the coupon code during that period (one last time, it's WithLoveFromGermany), start the normal Etsy checkout process, and you will be given the option to use a coupon code.
-I am hoping to at least have some spotty internet service and will try to respond to questions via convos that come in during that period. However, if you don't hear back from me, I promise I'm not ignoring you, and I will respond ASAP upon our return to the States and widespread wifi.

And if you are the praying type, or the good vibes from the universe type, please start sending it our way. I'd love for this visit to be free of vomit, visits to foreign hospitals, major flight delays, etc. A girl can dream . . .