Our 14 middle school (7th & 8th grade) exchange students flew to Wisconsin for the second half of their experience, and while our chaperone is still on duty watching over them, my Schwiegermutter and I can relax while they have a ball in Wisconsin. The German students return next week.
In September we head to Scotland for two weeks, including one week on the Isle of Mull where we got married. My probationary Aufenthaltstitel (residency permit) expires while we're gone, so a few weeks ago we applied for an extension. We were told it would take 2-3 weeks and I would receive a letter from Berlin saying I can return to the Ausländeramt in Horb to pick up my new permit. It's been a month so far. I went to the Ausländeramt today to see where things stand, but nothing concerning my extension has been mailed from Berlin yet.
Anyway, on to my highs and lows of the month.
- celebrating my Schwiegermutter's 70th birthday by surprising her at a restaurant at the foot of Castle Lichtenstein, where M's sister and her family treated us to a meal. The chef fished our dinner right out of the stream that flowed passed our table!
This was M's meal. I ordered the expressionless fileted trout.
- the group (my Schwiegermutter, M's sister, her husband and 2 sons) spent the weekend with us, and we grilled shish-kebabs on Fire Wires (google it - they're pretty cool).
pork tenderloin, bacon, onions, peppers, zucchini, & mushrooms marinaded in a teriyaki sauce my parents bring or send me from the U.S.
- not all my highs this month were about food, but we also signed up for our next Kochkurs at Straub's Krone in October, where we'll be learning about Wild (wild boar or venison), pumpkin, and Quitten (quinches)
- our day trip with the 7th and 8th grade exchange students to Ulm
- spotting on Facebook that Straub's Krone was offering T-bone steaks for the weekend special. I called to reserve a table and happened to mention we were both looking forward to the steaks. It was a good thing, because when we got there the next evening, they had run out of T-bones except for the two the chef had put aside for us!
|T-Bone Steak mit Kräuterbutter, Röstzwiebeln, und würzige Kartoffelecken|
(with herbed butter, roasted onions, and tangy potato wedges (not pictured))
|warmes Schokoladen-Himbeerküchle mit Joghurteis|
warm chocolate-raspberry cake with frozen joghurt
- planning which walks we're going to do and which meals we're going to cook on the Isle Mull next month. We're also exploring what to do in the Trossachs, as we'll be there for two days on our drive back to Edinburgh. We have a fine weather plan and a bad weather plan for our day in Edinburgh and will be visiting the MAPA Scotland as well as Rosslyn Chapel and a castle ruin or two in East Lothian.
- taking a Sunday drive around the Nordschwarzwald, first to a trout farm in Höfen where M and his family went several times when he was young, and then just meandering around aimlessly and ending up in Nagold for ice cream. It was a beastly hot day again, so a drive in the air-conditioned car was a treat.
|me: "That does not look nice. I wouldn't want to live like that!"|
M: "Well, they don't live for long."
- finding this link to the U.S. Customs Declaration form (you know, that blue form every
foolperson traveling into the U.S. has to fill out on the plane) with these instructions saying one can fill the form out online, print it at home, and use it for the official customs declaration, telling our exchange families to have their kids do this to save time in Atlanta, and then learning that the forms were rejected by the border patrol at immigration in Atlanta as "invalid" because they don't accept copies of forms. I wrote 2 weeks ago to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to respectfully ask why forms they provide online are invalid. Their response time is 2-3 weeks and I haven't received one yet.
- going into the office to shut down my computer before going to bed one night and finding an enormous spider (big body, thick legs) on the wall very near my laptop. How long had that beast been in the office under my desk?!? Does she have family?!? When will I stop feeling like something horrible is crawling on me?!? Even M - my hero, who "took care of" the beast - said that was the biggest one he's ever seen inside.
- Thermomix fails for the month: chocolate brownies (delicious at the edge, raw pudding in the middle), chicken with vegetable sauce (bland and boring), salmon with mushroom-cream-sauce and potatoes (tasteless and dull), steamed potatoes (for the second time, they came out covered with a layer of slime), and - just today - zucchini and carrot ribbons (would have been tastier raw). Smoothies were good and hard-boiled eggs are perfect.
- Wasting too much time fussing about a situation that has been bothering me for years on top of wasting lots of mental energy being frustrated about Facebook and my participation in it.
- This shrub trimming fail:
"Do we still have the number for the landscaper?"