About Me

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Illinois, United States
I am a band director at five private schools in Kankakee. Music is a big part of my life, but knitting and crafting are right up there too. I own a ridiculous stash of yarn, which I am slowly using... and replacing with better yarn... I tend to knit and crochet a lot, in class, out of class, while watching tv, while driving, pretty much constantly. I have been involved with crochet romantically for 15 years, and involved with knitting for 11 years. They sometimes get jealous of each other. I think its funny. Along with knitting and crocheting, I quilt, spin (drop spindle) and design patterns!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Grundschule Summer Celebration/Night on the Town/Monkey Habitat/Lake of Constance

So in earlier posts I talked about heading back to the Grundschule for their summer fest celebration. We were supposed to dance with them, but we arrived a little late so we ended up just watching. (made me sad! I would have really enjoyed the dance again!

But even without us Americans, the celebration went on. It was a blast! All the grade schoolers danced the dance, and sang, and did skits about the four elements, earth, wind, fire, and water.

That dance was hilarious!

They brought in a fire blower for the fire section. It was intense!

My favorite part of their 'concert' was the air pipe orchestra. They played a symphony piece ( I cannot for the life of me remember which one it was...) and the children "played" along with their air pumps. Was it musical? Not at all. WIll I use it if we ever do an Earth/wind/fire/water show? Oh heck yes!
I really enjoyed their festival, but it came to a point (during the play) that we didnt really understand, we felt like everyone was staring at us, and it was really crowded, so we left.

We wanted to check out the celebration on the oldest street in Esslingen. (Remember the scavenger hunt last week? Well its a good thing we did this!)

My brother would be interested in this, they had a hookah booth on the street as part of the celebration. It smelled amazing while passing by, nothing fake like most American tobacco smells. Just ... good... I wanted to ask what they were smoking, so I could buy it for my brother, but I realized I had no idea to ask any of that in German. Oh well.

They had a live band playing, they seemed about my age. Then again, it seems that someone who is my age turns out to be 17 or 18. Everyone looks so much older here. And the other girls in the group found this out when heading out for some drinks!

I really enjoyed some of the decorations on the street. They had live music everywhere, and one guy playing the violin. He was really, really good. We got married and now he plays violin for me every day. (let's see if Steve, the boyfriend, is actually reading my blog... :) )

That night we went out on the town. We got all dressed up and ready to go experience the German night life, went to dinner, and then I started feeling sick and went back to the hotel. Cause I am lame like that. But I was able to talk to my family for the first time in 2 weeks. I love Skype. So much.

Today, we went to the Lake of Constance. It is a vacation spot for Germans, when they don't feel like heading out of Germany. And it is beautiful! They had stork nests everywhere. Literally everywhere! On top of roofs (or rooves? no roofs sounds better... right?) tall posts, everywhere!

Now this is where you need to get jealous. We got to feed monkeys. We went to a a monkey habitat, that houses endangered monkeys. There is a path that you get to walk around with a handful of popcorn. And you feed them. And they take their little cute hands and snatch up the pop corn really fast and then just eat it. No you cannot pet the monkey, and you have to resist the urge to just wrap him in your arms and go "MOOOOOOOONNNNKKKKEEEEYYYYY!!!!!"

Which was a very hard urge to resist...
^Bettina (our awesome professor)






We just chill. Thats how we do it.

Now lets talk about these salads. They are delicious. Amazing. Beautiful. Just absolutely everything you want in a salad. The onions don't taste like onions. They taste like pure love. The dressing is perfect. And it comes with potato salad under it, along with sliced cucumbers, carrots, radishes, and sometimes even noodles. American salads are boring, ugh. I am not looking forward to going home. I will miss the food dearly.
Now lets talk about my main dish. Felchen is a fish that is local in Lake of Constance. And I ordered it as my meal. not really knowing how it would be cooked. I had in my mind a bulging ugly fish with gross eyes, slimy scales, and giant teeth. Imagine my relief when it arrived Beer battered and delicious. And I ate it all.

Amazing how I can eat so much fried foods and yet look so slender. :) juuust kidding. I am sure I will be at least 5 pounds heavier when I get back to the states!

Look at how beautiful the lake is! No sand where we were, just painful rocks. Ouch!

We were right next to the Stone Age Village, which is 6,000 years old. Houses on stilts! It was an amazing view. We could have taken a tour, but decided to lay out in the sun!

Trying to get my tan on! You can see the tan line right above my suit top! Sweet!

This is how we spent the last half of the day, and it was totally worth it. Thankfully no burn. That I know of. But from what I learned from Florida earlier this year, I probably won't notice a burn until tomorrow!!

Good night all!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


We traveled (yesterday) to Ludwigsburg! We got to walk around, and see the Baroque palace! It was one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen. (at least on the inside...)
I will give you a little tour!

Look at those chandeliers!
The paintings on the ceilings were different and amazing in every room!
That fat man, is the man who lived here. Lucky fat man!
Look at that bedroom! Can you say jealous? That was the Dukes room
This is the queens room. Yes please. I could live there!
We kept interupting wedding pictures while taking our tour. This is another moment that I was seething with jealousy! I only wish I could take pictures on my wedding day in a palace!!!
Look at that ceiling! I could be quite content laying on the floor looking up for hours!

Beautiful hallways, everything so colorful and ornate.
I just cannot get enough of the ceilings...
Funny story about this room. Mirrors were quite expensive years and years ago. People who were worth something stocked up on mirrors, and most palaces have a mirror room. One of the dukes would use this room.... with his mistress. As the tour guide said, he wanted to "see" what he was doing. One of the times the duke was looking for some hanky panky, he popped a "viagra" type pill, and then had a heart attack and died. In his mirror room. Before his mistress made it to his side. If FML.com existed back then, he would have a perfect story to tell!
Look at the gardens!
This was a pond behind the palace, before heading into the fairytale land. The fairy tale land was a trail of German fairy tale stories. German fairy tale stories are quite dark, and dont always seem to have a happy ending. Actually they never seem to. Disney just kills what fairy tales really are!
The lizard before we headed into fairytale land
Oh yes. And it seems that Micheal Jackson finally was able to find his place in the world. With 7 very short men.... :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

I find myself having an odd fascination with German food....

German 9 pin bowling!

"This game is one in which a player brings a plastic or wooden ball that is rolled down an alley to nine pins. The "bowling ball" is smaller and lighter than in ten-pin bowling, and the ball may have two or no finger holes. Being smaller, the ball will actually roll, rather than slide, down most of the lane distance. The lanes are shorter than those for ten-pin bowling. The nine pins (cones) are placed in a diamond shape on the alley. In most lane systems the pins have a rope on top, as part of a "string-setter", to pick up the pins and replace them back in to the diamond shape for the next roll.

In Germany there are three kinds of bowling lane systems in different regions of the country (not counting ten-pins which has made some inroads). The systems differ both in their measurements and in the materials used for construction. One of the systems uses a lane that starts out narrow, but widens when approaching the pins. One uses flat asphalt lanes, while two use wooden lanes that are slightly elevated at the outer edges. There is one more special lane system only used in a small region of eastern Germany (Mansfelder Land), in this a very heavy ball is literally thrown at rather than rolled towards the pins; it is usually played outdoors. The different lane systems require noticeably different throwing techniques for successful play."

Look at our little lane!!! It was literally a a three lane bowling alley, and each lane had its own dining area. Mind you the dining area was as narrow as the lane!

We played a couple rounds of games, which were sort of like battle ship. I really enjoyed this game more than american bowling. Considering the balls were lighter. So they hurt my wrist less!
Yay bowling!
For the record. Every team I was on won. So uh. I'm amazing! :)

I ate alot during this bowling session. Sarah and I shared the bruschetta, which was absolutely amazing. And then I ordered a Rustic pizza. Which... was... you guessed it... amazing. So good!

We went to Munich, after the concentration camp yesterday. We grabbed dinner at the Beerhaus

I ordered beer roasted pork, potato pancakes, and sauerkraut. I love food. I love new foods. I love German food. I am so going back on my diet and exercise plan as soon as I step foot on American soil. I have to get back into my routine, rather than eating rolls upon rolls, upon meat and noodles. But it is so worth it now.

We walked around Munich shopping and hanging out for a couple hours. Some of the architecture was amazing. For example, this building (which I have no idea what it is to tell you the truth. My guess is a church...):

Is it not beautiful? It took our breath away when we saw it!

Munich is all about Dirndl's. It is the German dress for woman. My mom has one, from what I remember. Because I remember wearing it. I went out and bought myself the blouse that goes underneath it, just in case I still fit into it when I get home. It was a few years ago, and my mom was much smaller than me when she was my age. So we shall see!

The luckiest girl in the world was able to convince her mother to buy her a full set though! I was so jealous!

Thats what you get when your parents are the two coolest parents (and professors) in the world! :)