Taking the Scenic Route

Knit Knit, Frog Frog

15th May 2009

Knit Knit, Frog Frog

#135 Boring little knitting update. Gaining skill in backtracking to redo on the sock.

posted in Knitting, project 365 | 5 Comments

14th May 2009

Knitting Storage

#134 My fancy knitting storage…a $.10 pencil case from the after school sales for the 6in dpns, and and Zane’s old glasses case for the 4in dpns (and some crochet hooks that were my grandmas, and the ever needed fingernail clippers for yarn cutting and nail snags)

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10th May 2009

We have TOE!

#130 My sock is finally making it past the toe. The toe ended up frogged 10 times before I was happy enough to move on. OCD tendencies make knitting a cheap hobby because it takes forever to use up the yarn. lol.

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30th April 2009

Knitting “help”

#120 Knitting Helper. I am trying to learn a new cast on for toe up socks. At this point I have ripped about 5 times, and suspect it will be more. (my concentration stinks right now) Zora sees me knitting and wants to help, so she randomly starts sticking dpns into the knitting. *sigh*

posted in Knitting, Zora, project 365 | 1 Comment

5th April 2009


#95 Socky Swatchy. Swatching some sock yarn on 0s, 1s, and 2s to see what I want to use for making some socks. (haven’t knitted for a while, and never with sock yarn, so I needed to play a while to get the feel of it.) It is some of my stash from Germany.

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27th March 2009


#86 My Stash. Most of the top is the sock yarn I got from Germany, and the bottom is acrylic on the left, cotton through the middle, and wool on the right.

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21st August 2008

Wrapping this up here in Attendorn

We just came from breakfast, and I hope to make this post without the internet dropping me again, then I gather everything up and we check out of the hotel when Zach comes home for an early lunch. This afternoon Zach goes back to work, I buy a bit of chocolate to bring home and sit someplace and knit. When Zach gets off from work, the guy who drove us here will drive us back to Frankfurt, where we will spend the night. In the morning, we go to the airport and spend about 14-16 hours dealing with flights and airport stuff. We take off from Germany at 7am Kansas time, have a 2 hour layover in Chicago, then another hour to Wichita. We should land at about 7:15 pm (if I remember right…don’t have the itinerary handy) This is likely my last post from Germany.

Anyway, our last full day in Attendorn, Germany:

I finally got brave enough to try a “Donor” sandwich.  I got the small and it was plenty big enough for me.  It meat (I would guess lamb) shaved right off the rotating rotisiarrie, put into flatbread, with several kinds of cabbage, lettuce, some yogurt sauce, tomato, and I think Feta.  Qe got them at the shop next to the hotel.  Zach has had several of these over the last few weeks for lunch, but I generally am wary of food like this, but it was really good.

What do we have here?  Another yarn shop.  A little shop, but they had some nice yarn.  I got one skien of white wool to practice sock knitting.  I haven’t done a few of the techniques I need for socks in a while and it is always good to practice a technique with white/light yarn before digging in to the patterned stuff so you can see what you are doing better.  They had Addis in there for a whole lot less than I have ever seen them in the states.  I about cried walking away from them, but I can’t afford any more stuff right now.  lol.

The vending machine in the hotel.  The selection seems pretty par for the course here.  Coke, Fanta, Sparkling water (I don’t know what the deal is with sparkling water, but they don’t drink tap water here.  Everything is “water with gas”.  I can not wait to drink real water again.  This stuff makes me burp like crazy. lol), Apple juice with “gas”, and Beer.  Yes, beer in a vending machine.  Zach got one last night to see if it is regular beer or non-alcoholic.  It is regular beer.  German beer with lots of hops. 

Just for the record, if it says “Hallo” (Hello), you can get stuff.  If it says “Leer” it means that no matter how much money you put in the thing, it will keep spitting it back at you.  We thought there was a trick to it that we didn’t understand or that we needed “leer coins” or something.  The “trick” was that “leer” means “empty”.  lol.

“Trink Coca Cola”

The last night in Attendorn and we decided we had to eat at the hotel.  The food is great and we really enjoy the staff.  We did not know what we were hungry for, and since the place wasn’t busy, we asked Otto to make us what he wanted…without onions.  lol.  I like seeing what chefs do when given a little freedom, and don’t have the opportunity very often these days.  Plus, they know which ingredients are the highest quality that day, and are often able to create really spectacular meals because of it.  Chef Otto didn’t dissapoint.   

Here he is with the staff around him.  They are a neat bunch of people

And here is the magnificent meal he presented us with.  The pictures just don’t do it justice.  Both rustic and elegant, it was absolutely magnificnent.  It was a fish stuffed with an omlet.  In the omlet there were potatoes and mushrooms.  The seasoning was just superb, nicely layered and well balanced.  The whole thing just melted in your mouth.  I have never had fish that I enjoyed so much in my life.  I have worked in 4 and 5 star hotels and restaurants with world renowned chefs and can’t remember a dish I liked so much.  Especially surprising because I am more a “cream sauce and cheese make the meal” kind of gal (with the waist line to prove it) and this had nothing like that in it.  What an excellent end to a great vacation.

And I will finish with two more shots of our home for the last two weeks.  I can’t recommend the hotel highly enough.  Even this former restaurant and hotel manager was able to relax and just enjoy myself, something I can struggle with because I have difficulty letting my critical eye relax.  No problem with that here. 

It was a great vacation, but I am so ready to hold my kids in my arms again.  I really miss them.  My heart just aches waiting to see them again.  Mom and Dad are bringing them to the airport so we can see them moments after taxing down the runway.  I can’t wait.  I am all teary just thinking about it.

posted in Attendorn, Food, Germany, Knitting, Travel | Comments Off

18th August 2008

On to Bonn, to search for Yarn

We did not discover until partway through our trip home that if you set the automatic navigation system to “short route” it is different than “fast route”. To us, shortes route is the fastest route, so we didn’t think much of it when we set it initially. What we ended up taking was truly the scenic route, weaving through the countryside and small towns. It was nice and showed us that Attendorn is a pretty typical smaller town here in Germany. We went past lots of old churches as the roads wound through the rolling countryside. We enjoyed watching small town life as we puttered through the streets. At one intersection, we saw a bridal party being chased and honked at by a line of cars. (it was cool to see they do that here too and it isn’t just an American thing to do) There were trees everywhere. My biggest impression of Germany is probably how green it is and how many trees tower over the roads and countryside.

Eventually, the architecture started changing slightly and the towns along the way became a little denser and gradually looked more and more urban, until we found ourselves driving in a large metropolitan Bonn.

One of the more unsettleing things is that the road share the same space as the trains in places. There wasn’t any choice but to follow the roadway, but dang, it made us nervous. As we got into town, the lanes of traffic split, with the rails in the middle, so you were right up next to any passing trains. The trains were really short too. I am used to freight trains, miles long at times. This is maybe two up to six cars long, painted brightly with advertisements.

Our first blip with the navigaton system came when we were in the middle of heavy traffic in downtown Bonn. The voice suddenly announced “You have reached your final destination area” with no further explanation and we were like “Where?” We are in the middle of traffic and no sign of the specific store we are looking for. We decided it might be on one of the side streets and maybe you can’t drive there. (a weird phenomena we have noticed around here. On the older, super narrow streets, they often block off all automobile traffic and you are only able to walk). We found a parking garage just before the train platform (and what appeared to be a giant outdoor escalator) and went down into that, hoping we would be able to figure out how to pay for the dang thing. lol. Faced with multiple directions we could go, pointing to, presumably, different streets above, we kept going left. We ended up finding a parking space about 5 spaces away from one of the exit doors down a level. I had to get out of the car so Zach could park because the space was so narrow that I would have not been able to get out.

We ended up next to an elevator, and when we came up to the street, we discovered we were across the street from where we went down. lol.

That was odd. It was the first time I can remember being in a group that big crossing a street. It was a wall of people and bikes pushing forward to the other side. We walked away from the train platform, trying to figure out where exactly it was that the navigation system abruptly announced we were there. As it turns out, we overshot it a few streets, but we did eventually find the street we were looking for.

Along the way, Zach was amused by the fake birds on the sign.

The shopping area itself was really amazing, although the crush of people made me know this is not a place I would ever want to come with Zane.

Zach is the one who spotted the place first. I was dazzled by all of the shops and not looking up at signs, but suddenly there it was, the meca of German Yarn: Wolle Rodel. (I don’t know how to put those little circles above letters, so pretend they are there) Oh.My.Goodness. Now THIS, my friends, is a yarn store. Whoa. The selection was dizzying. I read someplace on the internet that their in store brand is pretty good, but I ended up picking out things like Regina, and Lana and other magnificent brands. It was about half the price that I would pay for it in Kansas, and considerably more than the dozen or so various colorways I have ever seen IRL before. It was Yarn Nirvana. I had fun. They had all kinds of yarn there, but I was focused on the sock yarn because I don’t feel like spending the kind of cash I would need to if I were to make my plus sized body a sweater, but socks I can handle. lol (I will take pictures of the stash later, but they are in the car trunk at Zach’s work right now)

After the yarn, headed back to the street, we noticed Beethoven’s house and museum. We stopped there to look in the shop and at the building, but didn’t really want to spend the time going through the house, and especially not pay to do it when we had plans of going to the art museum in Cologne. (Had it been Bach, or Vivaldi, or especially Mozart, we would have spent more time there despite our other plans, but the desire to see a Monet and Rembrant IRL was overwhelming my desire to see Beethoven’s house on the inside)  I did, however, pee there. So, I can now say that I peed at Beethovens house. lol.

So, for those of you who found this blog searching for where to shop for yarn in Bonn, Germany, find Beethoven’s house and on the other side of the street, a few shops up (away from the main driving street), you will see Wolle Rodel.  On the street we drove in on, there was a big McDonalds on the corner across the street from the walkable shopping area.

We grabbed a quick snack and cup of coffee before going back to our car, with my wool sitting at my feet.  We had cheesy bread and some pastries with bavarian cream in them.  We decided that “hey, I think these are what toaster pastries are supposed to taste like”

Along the way we came across a group of American (by the accent) college age girls all giggly trying to shuffle around and take pictures of eachother. I asked if they wanted me to take a picture of them all together and they were giddy. lol. I think afterwards it might occur to them…”hey…she spoke English”, but they were so focused on what they were doing at the time I don’t think it registered.” lol

Getting out of a parking garage is sort of weird. The “out” bar area isn’t manned. On your way to retrieve your car is a vending machine type thing. You put your parking ticket in there, then start putting in Euros until you have paid it. It stamps it and spits it back out at you. Then you find your car, follow the Ausfahrt signs (our nemonoic, of sorts, to remember which is “exit” is “the Fahrts exit out the Aus”) and find your way to the street. When you get to the exit bars, you slide the stamped ticket in and the bars raise up (and you sigh in releif that you figured it out)

This is where the navigation starts getting weird and you remember why you need to bring a map, a compass, your common sense, and a sense of humor with you on the trip. Right outside the parking garage we set the navigation for Cologne/Kohn.

Since the parking garage exited out onto a side street, we had to first get back on the highway and followed the instructions of the lady in the machine as we wound around the streets. At first, all seemed well, but as it kept telling us to “turn right/left at 100 meters”, then “turn right/left NOW” and it was directing us to turn into buildings, we first thought it was because we don’t have a really good feel for what “meters” is because we think in feet and yards, not the metric system. It seemed like it had us going in circles, and then, we as we pulled up to the exit of the parking garage, we discoverd it had, indeed, directed us in a circle, we pulled over and laughed heartily and tried to reset the navigation system again. It did it again. We decided maybe it thought we were on the highway above, so we pulled farther away and reset the system again. When it tried to take us back to the parking garage, we rebeled and found our own way back to the street. At this point, the navigation system is having her own little meltdown because she thinks we are lost, lost, lost, and keeps insisting that we are “off road” and “New Route, Make a U-Turn” in a sing-songy voice. After hearing this a while, when we are clearly back on track, we decide the lady in the navigation system is autistic, and very happy Zane is not in the back seat to pick up the phrase “New Route, Make a U-Turn” in a sing-songy voice over and over again when we pass something he wants to go to. lol. Eventually we get the navigation system reset and all seems well for the trip to Cologne. It still has us taking side routes instead of the Autobahn, which confuses us, but we can see on the map and with the compass that we are going the right direction, so we live with it.

On to Cologne/Koln

posted in Autistic Life, Bonn, Food, Germany, Knitting, Music, Shopping, Travel | Comments Off

15th August 2008

How to make my heart flutter in anticipation

Steps away from the hotel I see this window.
German Sock Yarn. LOTS of German Sock Yarn
An entire STORE of German Sock Yarn.
(for those who don’t know, German sock yarn is the top of the line in sock yarn)

You wanna know how to make me want to cry?

We leave Attendorn either the 20th or 21st (can’t remember) to spend our last night in Frankfurt for an early flight out. (and, if you will notice, that is our hotel in the reflection, that is how close it is)
Now I need to figure out how to say “Where can I buy Sock Yarn” and “Anyplace else?” *sigh*

posted in Attendorn, Germany, Knitting, Shopping, Travel | 3 Comments

27th May 2004

Knitting joy and Neighbors

It was a fairly good day today.  I found out my check didn’t bounce.  *yeah!* and Zach, knowing what a big deal to me to not having the right knitting needles to start Pam’s soaker, dug through all of our change and came up with enough for one and sent me to the LYS to pick it up.  He’s a good guy!

He had a test this morning in his class that he feels good about even though he went to it with only 1 1/2 hours of sleep.  We are both glad this class is only 10 days…the schedule is really rough on us.
Things that make you really wonder about your neighbors.

This morning I noticed that on the roof or our neighboring 2 story apartment building there was a pair of shoes on the roof.  Something about it really struck me as funny.  It would have taken some serious effort to get them in their particular location considering the balconies are covered.  The person would have had to have thrown them up there from the ground.  It just made my mind wander thinking of outrageous reasons why they would be there.  (maybe they were waiting for the mothership, but when they beamed them up, they forgot the shoes)

I hope these neighbors leave.  I assume they are the people from the upper floor apartment because those people are crazy.  One of them has a leg bracelet (house arrest kind).  It appears to be a mom with her grown children, their boyfriends/girlfriends, and their kids.  You really get the impression that nobody is married and the kids with kids can’t be over 18.  There is an insane amount of drive-by traffic with radios so loud it rattles our windows and neon crap all over the cars.

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  • Zane's age

  • Zane is 22 years, 5 months, and 2 days old
  • Zora's age

  • Zora is 18 years, 5 months, and 6 days old
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  • Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds. — JoJo Jensen, Dirt Farmer Wisdom, 2002

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