September 26, 2013

Cut off!!

We are in our new house!!! And we have our household goods back!! Life is good. It'd be great, if we were also connected to the outer world, i.e. the internet. But alas, we got assigned a brand new house (which is awesome) that has the flaw that there is no connection whatsoever to a phone or cable line. Therefore, we'll have to wait until mid November before we have internet or a landline at our house.

In the meantime, I have asked my friend Jenn (a.k.a. Free Range Mama) to host this month's Photography Challenge. Unfortunately I can't upload any pictures or do anything complicated at the ACS public computers, including configuring the link-up. But we will try our best to make it possible. Please stop by her blog!!

September 17, 2013

161 days later...

It's been 161 since we have seen our furniture, toys, pictures, pots and pans, in short: our household goods . 161 days of living out of suitcases in hotels or other people's houses (oh, and a camper for a 2 week period).

It's about time that we get our stuff back.

Time to have a home again.

Tomorrow!!!

Tomorrow, one week and one day after we finally arrived at our new duty station, after a nightmare of TDY and waiting on leave, we move into our new house AND get our household goods delivered. We won't have internet for a few days, but that's a small sacrifice compared to what we are gaining. Now let's hope that everything arrives undamaged and that the move-in goes smoothly. Talk to you in a few days!

September 8, 2013

September's Bible Verse

O LORD, I love the house in which you dwell, and the place where your glory abides. Psalm 26:8
Is this going to be easy or difficult? We'll see... Link-up September 27-30.

September 6, 2013

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August 30, 2013

Bible Verse Photography Challenge - August 2013

For thus the LORD said to me: "I will quietly look from my dwelling like clear heat in sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest." Isiah 18:4




When I took this picture, it was a very hot day, and we had just walked back from the public pool to my parents' house. I went back to this place to take the picture, and I was amazed by the peaceful, satisfied atmosphere there. The harvest was good, everything was good, God was joyfully looking down on us.




August 15, 2013

Herbs, Flowers, and Mass production

As you all know (I'm sure), today is/was the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. Here in our parish it is a big day, especially since we have a pilgrimage church consecrated to Mary. I was astonished, or shocked really, to see how many MANY people came to celebrate Mass. There was an evening Mass yesterday, and then Masses at 7 a.m., 9.30 a.m., 11 a.m., 3.30 p.m., and 7 p.m. And the church was full!! I went to the 11 a.m. Mass, and saw that during the Mass before people had to sit outside on benches to listen per speaker because there was no more room inside the church. But the 11 a.m. Mass was almost Christmas Eve full also!
I'm so happy so many people came to celebrate this Holy Day of Awesome (as my friend Meg called it). The grouch in me asks "Where are all these people on a normal Sunday?", but I'll take it. I'm sure the Holy Spirit worked in many hearts today. One reason for the huge numbers of church-goers today is certainly the local custom of the herb & flower bouquets. It's a very old tradition. Women bind together a certain number of herbs and flowers ("holy" numbers like 7, 12, 14, 72, or 99), especially those that you would find in a "Mary Garden". These bouquets are being blessed during Mass and taken home. This is an example:
Photo credit: www.sueddeutsche.de

Next year, I may get one too. Blessings to you!

August 12, 2013

The good old times

Yesterday I was here:
A farm house in the Black Forest that was built 400 years ago. Isn't it pretty? It's actually part of an open air museum where you can see how the people lived a long time ago. Sometimes, like yesterday, the employees there even show you how they milled, and cooked, and worked as craftsmen. I love stuff like that, especially since I tend to romanticize life in the old days.

Food was made out of quality, single ingredients. Life was uncluttered and focused. Faith and family were important.  

There is some truth to that. But I also learned yesterday that the people in this farm house only baked once a month, since it demanded too many human resources to make and knead the dough, and too much firewood to heat up the oven. In the days before the next baking days, when the bread was at best old and stale, or moldy and covered in little teeth marks at worst, they'd eat it as a soup to cover up the flaws. 

The kitchen looked like this:

It was drafty and always full of unhealthy smoke. The waffle iron wasn't used very often because the ingredients to make waffles were rare. It was uncluttered because the people didn't have much and when things broke it would take a long time until they could be replaced. Most farmers only had one set of clothes, maybe two for summer and winter. Life was focused because there was hardly any free time, and it was a matter of survival that everybody was constantly working on producing food or fixing and making things so that food could be produced. 

A little disappointing was also to hear that generally the parents - after handing over the farm to the next generation - didn't or couldn't trust their children to care for them, and therefore established elaborate contracts that specified how much food and supplies they had to be given. 

Very disappointing was listening to a video documentary in which an old lady born 1930, who had been raised in an old-fashioned Black Forest farm village, tell how she and her 11 siblings "had to" pray and "were made" to go to Church three times a week, and in general how faith was something forced on them through customs, but didn't necessarily live in their heart. 

There are very good things that our ancestors did and that are worth remembering and keeping in our lives. But today I'm very grateful for progress.