The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

RTT: Pug Pilfering Pensioner

This is a long one today, so let's just get started, shall we?

 *First off, did you notice I put up new photos of us over on the far left?  Somewhere over <----- there.   My photo was taken when we had to go to a NY reception.  I was goofing off for the camera and since, I'm kind of a goof (classy, but still goofy) I thought it was appropriate.  I have one of me in that dress wearing my super amazing zebra print pumps, but again, I was goofing off and it shows waaaaay too much leg.
James Bond's photo was taken in front of the casino in Monte Carlo.  Yes, the real Casino, like in the movies.
Indy's was taken at the ruins of the St. Antonin baths near Carthage in Tunisia.  It's a bit old, but he really, really wanted me to use that one.  Who am I to argue?  Besides, he's actually pretty good with his whip (he can pull chairs across the floor) and he might use it on me. 
The photo of my cutie pie Han Solo shows what we call his "Han Solo grin."  And Indy even came up with that blog name before Han Solo was even born.  :)
* Police Pinch Pug-Pilfering Pensioner. Whew, that's a mouthful!  I love alliteration.  The last line though is my absolute favorite: The dog declined to comment and has requested privacy following its ordeal.  Tee hee!  I wish there were a byline so I could read more by this reporter.  S/he obviously has a great sense of humor.

*BTW, I don't know if it will still be there by the time this posts, but there is another headline at the top of the above story that read:  Man dismembered and cooked after sex game.  WTF?  Of course I read the article.  It was icky.  If it's still there, don't read it.

*Indy lost a tooth 4 freaking days in a row last week.  The Tooth Fairy is going broke.  I'm beginning to suspect he might be pulling them for the money.

*Speaking of Indy, he broke my heart the other night.  I went to kiss him goodnight and noticed his stuffed animals weren't on his bed.  He's slept with 2 small bears (Teddy and Skokie-long story on Skokie's name) and a monkey (named appropriately, Monkey) as long as I can remember.  I asked him why they weren't there and he said "Mom, you know I'm getting older now.  I don't really need them on my bed anymore."  I just stared at him.  I didn't know what to say and was afraid I was going to burst into tears at any moment.  He continued though with "Oh, I'm not getting rid of them.  Not ever.  They're my very good friends.  They can sit over on my dresser and watch over me, just not on my bed anymore."  I swear my heart broke.  It was like watching Andy go off to college at the end of Toy Story 3 and leaving all his toys behind.

*I actually cried at the end of Toy Story 3 people.  Tears.  Big fat ones.  I looked around though after the lights came up and saw many (many) parents surreptitiously wiping their eyes.  We all knew that was going to be our kids one day.

*Sheesh, now I'm depressed.  I need Thin Mints.  Noooooooo! (I totally said that in Stephen Colbert's voice in my head). Evil Girl Scouts and your delicious, yet comforting cookies!

*Mmmmmm...Now I'm eating Thin Mints to push away my depression.  Chocolatey medication is the best kind. Good thing I'm typing and not talking.  My mouth is full of Thin Mints and I't tawk luk thes.  Plus, it's rude to talk with your mouth full.  Even if it's a mouth full of Thin Mints. Huh, totally typed Think Mints there (before I corrected it).

*Hmm, the evil GS might be able to sell even more if they called them Think Mints and marketed them as cookies that make you smarter.  Who's going to tell them they're wrong?  All they have to do is slap that little note that says something about the FDA not evaluating the claim or whatever it is and they're good.

* I talk way too much about Thin Mints.  Damn you, Girl Scouts!  Damn you! (again, Stephen Colbert's voice).

*BTW, the day after I wrote the above (you do keep a draft RTT post, right?) about the whole moving the stuffed animals to the dresser thing ended.  I went to kiss him good night and they were back in their normal spot on the bed.  I asked what happened and he told me they were lonely and missed him. Not so grown up after all.  Yay.

*After I called myself Judgy McJudgerson last week, I realized that, since I live in Germany, I really should have called myself something more along the lines of Baroness von Judgenstein.  Doesn't that have a cool ring to it?  Of course in German they'd pronounce it  fon Youd-ghen-steen, which kind of takes away some of it's coolness.  Still, I like it!  From now on you may all address me as Baroness.  Like the Baroness in the Sound of Music, only with a far less bitchy attitude sometimes.

*Hey, why is it that when you say Rosetta Stone (and who doesn't talk about the Rosetta Stone on a regular basis?), most people think of the language program and not the actual stone?  Then when you explain what you meant (because in addition to being a goof, you're a bit of a nerd), they don't make the connection between the names?  I actually had someone ask one time (we were discussing what Indy was studying in school) if the Rosetta Stone was named after the language program.  I fear for our future. Fear.

*Have you ever heard the song You and Me by Milow?  It sounds all pop song cutesy and lovey until you pay attention to the lyrics.  I've italicized  some of the weirder bits:

I wish you smelled a little funny
Not just funny really bad

We could roam the streets forever
Just like cats but we'd never stray

I sometimes wish you were a mermaid
I could raise you in the tub at home
We could take a swim together
On weekly day trips to the bay

Oh you and met would be only you and me
Oh you and me
It would be only you and me

I wish you were a little bigger
Not just big but really fat
Doors you would no longer fit through
In my bed you would have to stay

I often wish that you had feathers
I'd keep you in a giant cage

All day long I'd sit and watch you
I'd sing for you and that would be okay

People say there are plenty of fish
In the sea, baby, all I do is wish

I wish you were a little slower
Not just slow but paralyzed
Then I could plug you into a socket
So you could never run away

I really wish that you were smaller
Not just small but really really short
So I could put you in my pocket
And carry you around all day

Holy hell!  How freaking insane is that song?  Someone should get Milow some therapy.

*I realized the other day that I should change the name of my blog to Mom in High Heels' Random Thoughts because that's about all I blog lately.  Darn it.  I feel like I don't have much to say though.  I'm not a decorating blog or an inspirational blog or a product review blog or anything like that, and there are some days I just don't know what to say.  It sucks.

*However!  I realized I have many unfinished drafts from our cruise back in 2010.  The last one I posted was Rome and I still have posts from Pisa, Corsica and Ville Franche/Monaco that need to be edited and posted.  I also have days 3 and 4 of the trip to Paris Indy and I took in June.  I'll be getting those ready to go so I'm not so....boring.

*Wooden iphone cases?  

 *Perhaps next time they'll do one of those old Mad Magazine style folds(remember those?) before actually painting the van.

Also linking up with TTUT. Click one (or both-preferably both!) buttons and link yourself up!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

RTT: Me and Johnny and Judgy McJudgerson

 RTT!  Best day of the week!  You know why.

*Yes, it's true.  I am the real reason my beloved Johnny Depp and that woman are breaking up.  He finally succumbed to  his deep and abiding love for me.  You  knew this would happen.

*Do you ever wonder if people judge you by what's in your cart at the grocery store? I don't buy a lot of junk food (much to James Bond's frustration), but when I do, I always think other people look at it and think I feed my family crap.

*BTW, I wonder about the whole judging by what's in my cart because I totally judge others by what's in their cart. Yep, I sure do. 3 cases of soda, 6 bags of chips, 15 frozen burritos and 52 packages of Ramen Noodles? Yes, I feel better about myself and my clearly superior cooking skills. I may have issues.

*I am oddly fascinated by Newt Gringrich's (current) wife's hair.  Seriously, look at it!  It does not move.  Ever.

*Even if it's food that's healthy and good for you, if you eat a ton of it, it's really not.

*Why is that in any movie or commercial where a kid or teenager gets hit by a car they always show a shoe that has come off laying in front of the car?  It's weird and creepy.

*I suppose if Obama doesn't get reelected he can always start a singing career.

*Speaking of Obama and Gingrich (I was, wasn't I?)  this cracked me up:

*Chuck Norris was once the Jewish Humanitarian of the Year. (Seriously)

*Remember how I was griping last week about the Girl Scouts and their evil, delicious cookies that you cannot get away from?   They're serious.  You WILL buy their cookies! (read the caption).

 *The Guinness world record for the most stolen book from public libraries is the Guinness World Record book itself.  Huh.

*A few months back we went to the flea market in Heidelberg (as you can tell, we loves us some good flea markets-and proper English) and Indy saw an old rotary phone.  He looked at it curiously and asked what it was.  Realizing he had probably never actually seen one, I explained that it was a phone.  He looked at me skeptically.  He picked up the receiver and turned it around, wondering why it was attached with a cord.  Good heavens.  He asked where the buttons where.  I felt incredibly old and showed him how the dial worked.  He was incredulous by how long it took and asked where you stored the numbers.  I explained that there was no storage and that you actually had to remember someone's number if you wanted to call them.  He could not believe that people used to have to use a phone that was hooked to the base, took forever to dial and didn't store any numbers.  He also commented that by the time you actually got through dialing 911, you'd probably be dead.

*Is it wrong that I have more posts with the tag Johnny Depp than I do for James Bond?  

*The birds in Wiesbaden are freaky.  The black birds (crows maybe?) are freakishly huge.  I mean big enough to carry off our dogs huge.  They scare me.  The pigeons are also incredibly numerous and creepy.  There are a flock of them that sit on the roof of the building across from us and I swear they are plotting to take over.  Alfred Hitchcock would really like it.

*Someone just came to test our smoke alarms.  Of course this meant that they went off.  They are incredibly loud.

*I've noticed that Germans up here (like the guys that were here to check the smoke alarms) tend to say "chow" (which is Italian, right?) when they leave instead of "tchuss," which is German.  In HD, they said tschuss (chew-ss), but in not in Wiesbaden.  I wonder why?

*And now you know where their inspiration came from:

Happy RTT.  Click the button at the top to read the other RTT's and add your own.

In addition to RTT, I'm linking to TTUT.  Check them out. 

Seriously Shawn

Friday, January 20, 2012

The addiction: Transferware

It's no secret, I loves me some transferware. Love, love, love it. If you missed them, you can see some flea market posts where I scored some of my transferware here and here.
This past week we were fooled by the interwebs (what?  fooled by the interwebs?  yes, yes we were).  What was listed as a flea market turned out to be something like Goodwill, except that they had a little wine shop in one corner (I love Europeans!).  We were disappointed but decided to have a look around anyway and James Bond came upon a huge amount of transferware at a ridiculously low price.  He also spotted a red transferware coffee pot and some brown transferware cups and saucers.  Since I first told him I ♥ transferware he's become intent upon finding it.  He's got a really good eye and can spot it from a mile away.
Anyhoo, for the price, we had to have it.  Had.  We put it all in a big carton and hauled it up to the cash register.  The 3 brown cups and 4 brown plates had no price on them and the guy at the register (who also happened to be the owner) told us not to worry about it and didn't charge us for it!  We only paid for the blue pieces and the red coffee pot.  I won't even tell you how little we paid for it.  It's kind of embarrassing.  When we got home and unpacked the box there were 40 (FORTY) pieces in total-7 brown, 1 red and 32 blue.  Craziness!
We washed everything and then had to find a place to put it.  As I was shoving things out of the way praying we'd have room for it all I realized we might have an addiction.   I took photos of most of what we own so you could see how insane it's gotten.  I've sold several pieces on my etsy shop Tres Magnifique.  Each one I sold took a tiny piece of my heart with it. 

Here are our coffee pots and some of the sugar and creamers and a water jug we have.  The blue and red at the far right with the round lids are the same pattern.  The teal coffee pot and water jug (second row, left) are my favorite pattern.  Of course we have the fewest pieces of it.  One of the coffee pots is missing its lid (back row, center), but it makes a fantastic vase, especially for tulips.  I'd really like to have more tea pots (they are shorter and squatter than the coffee pots) but the coffee pots seem to be the most popular.  These aren't all relegated to a cabinet.  I have several of  them scattered around the house as part of the decor.  It would be a shame if they were never seen.

Okay, on to the cabinets.  These are our dinner plates and stacks of cups and saucers, bowls with handles (I adore those!) and random sugar and creamers.

You'll notice that there are multiple patterns. I'm not picky about pattern unless it's one that I find particularly unappealing.

Here's a close up of some of the cups, saucers and bowls.  Seriously, are those bowls not the cutest things you've ever seen?

Dinner plates!  I think there are 37 here and I have about 25 more not shown (yikes).  FTR, we actually use these as our dishes, which is why the patterns are all mixed up.  While there are several patterns, we do actually have enough of one pattern (same color) for a 12 piece service of dinner plates, salad plates and bowls and 8 cups and saucers.  We don't match them for our every day use.  It makes for a pretty and colorful table to have them all mixed up.

Cabinet number 2 holds small plates (salad size), bowls, serving pieces and more cups and saucers and more random sugar and creamers.  The small salad plates (24) are on the left on the bottom shelf and bowls (19)  are on the right.  The bowls are shallow, but we've found we like them.

Closer view of the upper shelves with some lovely serving pieces.

Covered dish and gravy boat.

Close up of some of the cups and saucers and sugar and creamers.  Notice the stacks and stacks of saucers and dessert plates in the back.

I think we might need an intervention! 

We find these at flea markets all over Europe and honestly pick them up for a song.  James Bond and I both take pleasure in spotting these treasures among the other flotsam and jetsam sitting on tables or piled in boxes and James bond takes extreme pleasure in getting me to haggle on the price.  If he would learn his numbers in German he could do the haggling, but he says it's easier to stand there looking like he's unhappy with the price while I try to talk them down.  Whatever.

Oh, I should also mention that after I took these photos, I discovered that I had another cabinet below the counter containing 19 plates, 17 bowls and 18 salad plates.  Yikes!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

RTT: Chicken Knows Best

Hello all! It's my first RTT of 2012! Can you believe it? Me neither. I actually had to look at the calendar to make sure it was Tuesday. Monday holidays always confuse me.


*The Girl Scout Cookie Cabal is out in full force again.  You can't walk 20 feet without passing one of their tables laden with delicious cookies.  The Thin Mints call me.  Evil Girl Scouts.

*I wonder why the GS sell cookies in Jan.  Don't they know everyone just made New Year's resolutions to lose weight and get in shape?  I think GS cookies are the reason NY resolutions last an average of 2-3 weeks.

 *BTW, I did not make a NY resolution.  I figure why make one when I'm just going to break it in a few weeks?  By not making one I save myself the senseless guilt.

*Han Solo loves this Chicken Knows Best commercial that plays on AFN. I have no idea why, but any time it comes on he starts bouncing and laughing. Watch it and tell me if you think it's funny.

*Here's a tip for you, free of charge.  If you're using industrial strength adhesive, especially one that requires a spraying of water to set, do not get it on your hands.  Soap and water will not get it off, and you may end up using something like, the oh so skin friendly, CLR to get it off.  You're welcome.

*My very good friend Michele Feltman Strider, author of Homecoming, has written another book which I am lucky enough to get to pre-read and edit/proof for her.  She's hoping to have it out this spring.  When she does, I'll let you know.  It's quite good.  Just the right balance of Southern stereotype (which I actually happen to know are not stereotypes), food, raunchiness, and wit.

*I'm not an incredibly political person, but the amount of money spent running for office makes me mad.  What a ridiculous waste.

*Indy hears lie detector on TV and asked me what it was.  I explained and he quickly said "They should have used that on Casey Anthony."  He really pays attention to what's going on in the world.  He loves to watch the news.

*Me:  My mom doesn't think Johnny Depp is attractive!
James Bond:  What?
Me:  It's true.
James Bond:  Hell, even I think Johnny Depp is attractive.
Indy:  You know Mom would leave your for Johnny Depp, right?
James Bond:  Yeah, I know.
Indy:  Just so you're clear.

*Today's lunch consisted of cheese, crackers and grapes.  If only I could have uncorked a bottle of wine.  Somehow that seemed wrong, you  know, being home with a baby and a 9 year old.  Stupid parenting.

 *I don't have a funny sign today because this pic cracked me up so hard I had to share it with you.

I wish you all a happy RTT.  Click on Stacy's blog to read other RTT's and link up your own.

Oh, and I'm branching out and linking up to Talk to Us Tuesday.  I figure, why not?

Seriously Shawn

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The suitcases: A story

Anyone who's ever been to my house knows I love old trunks and hard leather suitcases. You know, the kind you see in old movies. Currently I have 2 trunks and 10 suitcases of varying size. I'm not sure exactly what the lure of suitcases is, but I like to imagine where they've been and what adventures they might have seen.
When we lived in Heidelberg, there was a flea market held once or twice a month within walking distance of our house and we went as often as possible. To my joy there were always suitcases, but I didn't buy them unless they "spoke" to me (that's right, I'm the Suitcase Whisperer). One little old man, Joseph (mid-late 70's), usually had 1 or 2 great suitcases that I would snap up. He often priced them too low and I would pay him more, just because. Silly, I know to argue with a bargain, but I couldn't just walk away paying so little. It got to where he started calling me the Frau Koffer (Mrs. Suitcase) every time he saw me. One weekend there was a 2 day flea market and I went both days. The first day he had a small brown suitcase (12"x21"x6") that appealed to me. I bought it for €8 (he wanted €5). He told me to come back the next day, because he had something special for me.
The next day, I wandered over to see what he had, and he pulled 2 small suitcases from under his table (12"x21"x6" and 10"x17"x5") that I had to have the moment I saw them.  I had usually passed by all black suitcases, preferring brown, but there was something about these that made me want them.  He offered them to me for €10 together.  I told him that was too low and paid him €15, when he flat out refused to take the €20 I offered.  I took the suitcases to my car (we had errands to run later, so we drove) and went back to look around more.  When I passed by his little space again, he waved me over.   He said he had a story his wife (who was always there) said he had to "tells" me, but didn't want to tell me unless I bought the suitcases so it wouldn't seem like he was just trying to sell them.
He proceeded with his story and I simply couldn't believe I was understanding correctly as his English was broken, my German wasn't much better and there was loads of gesturing involved.  I had to know if I was hearing what I thought I was hearing and told him to wait a moment while I went to get a lady from another stall I was familiar with, and who I knew spoke both languages (don't worry, her husband was there to watch the stall so I wasn't taking her away from business).  She happily came (probably because I'd spent so much money over the months at her stall) and translated the story he told and the questions I asked.
The suitcases had belonged to his wife's parents.  His wife was Jewish.  She had not been born when World War II happened, but her parents were a young couple, married in the mid-1930's.  Her father was a tailor in a small town near Mannheim.  We all know how safe it was to be Jewish during the years leading up to and during the war.  In mid-1938, just a few months before Kristallnacht, her parents packed everything they could in those 2 suitcases and one other that he no longer had, and decided to flee to the Netherlands.  They then went on to Denmark and finally to Sweden where they stayed until the end of the war.  When they came back to Germany they found everything they owned had been confiscated by the Nazi party (and likely scavenging citizens) and the small tailor shop, with their apartment above, destroyed.   With the exception of what they had packed in those very small suitcases they had nothing.  With the help of the friends who returned, and Allied troops they rebuilt their lives, bought a small house outside of town (where Joseph and his wife live today) and the suitcases were  put in the attic and forgotten until they were pulled out a few months back and hauled to the flea market.  They were toted back and forth several times, before he decided they likely weren't going to sell.  Until he got to know me that is.
I asked him if he was certain he wanted to sell them, thinking surely someone in the family would want to keep them.  He said none of their children or grandchildren wanted them and he'd rather they be sold to someone who did, rather than toss them in the rubbish.
I thanked him for telling me their history and promised I would appreciate them and their brush with history. When I got home with my historical treasures  I pondered what I would pack if forced to flee my home with only a few small suitcases.  While there are wars raging across the world I feel confident knowing that there is an infinitesimally small chance that the choice this young couple made will ever be one I have to make and I'm grateful for it.  The suitcases now sit stacked with a few other in my home where they remind me every day to be thankful for what I have and the relative safety and security I enjoy.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Did you think I fell off the earth?

Well, hello! Nice to see you again! No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth, it just felt like it. With the move and the holidays and my insane addiction to my new iPhone I just haven't had time to blog. Okay, I have, but it's hard to blog during the holidays when everyone else is showing off how beautiful their homes are and you're just happy to have found the box where the ornaments are stored and don't have a clear surface to set up any pretty vignettes.  Sadness.  I hope you all had a lovely holiday season though. 
I actually have a really interesting blog post (at least in my mind) in the works, but it's really not a holiday kind of thing.  I'm hoping to have it up in a day or so.  It's the story of some suitcases I happened upon at a flea market and their incredible history.  Come back for it.    Until then, miss me and think about me as I try to get the Blogger App to function on my iPhone. 

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