Spring update

I think it’s safe to say that Spring is now in full swing here in Franconia.

The Kellerwald had its official opening a few weekends ago and the weather was nice enough to sit out and enjoy it again. Here is a photo from that day. We ate very Franconian food to commemorate the occasion. I didn’t take a photo but I had Sauerbraten and Thorsten had Schäuferla, both dishes were served with the traditional Klöße (potato dumplings) and both of which have been featured on Cooking with Jola.

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Below is one of my favorite signs around Forchheim.  Wherever there is an informational street sign, you’ll find this one underneath it.  I think it’s great: a beer next to a tree.  I love that here in Forchheim, they always want you to understand your location in reference to the perfect place for beer and trees: the Forchheim Kellerwald.

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Yesterday we saw our first Rainbow of the season and we didn’t even have to endure a storm to enjoy it.

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Last weekend I planted the balcony: Basil, rosemary, dill, oregano, parsley, mint, tomato and trailing petunias. The kalanchoe re-bloom that was a gift to us from our downstairs neighbor has found a place on the balcony and our wedding orchid (a gift from Jola and Heinz) is still blooming after 11 months although it’s inside, not on the balcony.

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This year I missed the spring ephemerals from home so I took the liberty of planting some in front of our building. Even though this is a public area, I bought the plants and told myself that I’m giving them to the building as a gift. They are perennials (bleeding heart, forget me nots and lily of the valley) that should mostly take care of themselves and only bring spring joy each year.  They should create no real extra work for anyone except maybe a little for me, even then not too much. Digging the holes was the hardest work but luckily they are in a shady spot, where they don’t need to be watered that often and the earth was easy to dig. The best part of this experience was at the check out of the local plant shop.  The cashier was an older lady, whom I’ve seen every time I’ve shopped at this particular nursery.  This time I asked her if I could use a debit card to pay. (Koennen ich mit Karte bezahlen?)  She said yes and started the transaction and as she handed by card back she said, “Are you the daughter in law of Jola?” (Sie sind die Schweigertochter von Jola?) I was so surprised that she was talking to me because she is usually quite reserved and I was even more surprised to hear her ask me about Jola and to understand what she was saying!  She then asked how Jola was doing with her back etc.  I told her is doing great and is back from the rehab.  Later I told Jola about it.  She said that she knows her from her favorite meeting spot in Forchheim and that she is the daughter of the founder of the nursery.  You really never know where adventure will strike.

A family of birds (Amsel) has chosen our balcony for their nest.  They chose a great place for us as they are out of the way but we have a great view without disturbing them.  This has provided us endless fun and conversation as we “check” on them all the time. So far so good, there are three babies about a week old and I read that they start fledging or maybe complete the fledging process at around two weeks old!

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The most exciting news is that finally I got the results of my B1 test from language school….I passed!  My grade was 92%.  I did the best on hearing/reading (97)% and writing (95%) and speaking (89%.)  It’s interesting to note that the speaking portion was fun and pretty comfortable. Somedays I look at it and think it could’ve been better but other days I think, ok you really don’t need a 100% ability to have an understandable, even fun conversation with native Germans.

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