A Penguin for Your Thoughts?

penguin ornament

I wish I could say that I actually have a penguin to give anyone who reads this post, or to myself for writing it, but I’m guessing PETA would have something to say about that. Instead, we will all have to survive with only a picture of a penguin ornament as my slightly-awkward segue into this post about what the hell has been going on lately.

To say that life has been busy lately is something of an understatement. On the positive side, I’ve managed to pick up a bit more work. The timing was great, as some other work is/has been ending, and I was getting a little worried about filling the void. But things are looking up for next year, and finding a bit of work to finish this year off with was a very unexpected surprise. Not a ton of classes start right before Christmas, so I felt very lucky to fall into working with the school that I did.

On the downside, my three-week break will be interrupted by one day of work at the end of the month, as a company wants a trial lesson. What kind of maniacs are working between Christmas and New Year, you might ask? Hopefully the kind that really like me and want to have lots and lots of English lessons. I’m going to have to bring my A-game for that one, which may mean I need to find and dust off my A-game.

But of course, life hasn’t been all about work. Since my last post, BV and I have been either 1) working, 2) socializing, or 3) slightly ill. December kicked off with our hosting our fourth Thanksgiving together, with the usual chaos of a full house and all that goes with it. We took almost no pictures on the day (once again), but here’s the turkey….

turkey 2015

It looks a bit dry in this picture, but it was not. I’m basically a turkey ninja at this point. A big shout-out has to go to B (not BV), my sous-chef, who is an excellent chopper, and filler of cooking wine/prosecco. As an added bonus, we had enough leftovers for Thanksgiving II on the following day, when  BV’s parents joined us for lunch. Win-win!

Oh, and just in time for Thanksgiving, I finally finished painting/staining all of our new chairs. BV and I have been searching for wooden chairs since some friends gave us a new dining table two years ago, and as it turns out, it’s been a more difficult and time-consuming search than I anticipated. Now we’re shooting to have eight chairs at some point, but we are up to five, and they are all in service. It’s not a great picture, but here’s Marry die Katze modeling the table/chairs in the living room, where they are living until after his parents visit us on Christmas Eve (our kitchen has a dining nook, but it’s too small to actually use).

new chairs

That table is taking away half of our living room and making me nuts, but it makes more sense to just leave it in here over the holidays. Marry is mostly upset that it is temporarily replacing her favorite chair, so now she has to sit on the table to stare at us instead. Cats, am I right? Anyway.

Just a few days after Thanksgiving, the Christmas cookie factory officially opened for business when we hosted several of BV’s friends/colleagues for an evening of baking. We came out the other side with a few kinds of cookies, and a nasty cold for me. Luckily I recovered by the following weekend, when I headed south for the fifth year of baking with the Villagers. Their girls are alternately super helpful (decorating) and unhelpful (distracting me by standing on chairs/singing the ABCs at the top of their lungs on either side of me while I try to mix the tricky pink cookies with one hand and reread the recipe on my phone with the other hand. This led me to add waaaaaaaaaaaay too much vinegar, and then we had to start the whole damn thing over again.) but they are adorable enough to forgive most things.

My last week of work for this year was pretty enjoyable because the school feeling never seems to fade when it comes to Christmas vacation. That means movie time, and even Glühwein time in one group. Score! In my Wednesday classes, we watched an assortment of holiday videos, including A Charlie Brown Christmas, and a couple of different holiday episodes of The Office. Plus, I got some sweet goodies including…

bier book

That’s right, damn near 700 breweries and brew restaurants just in Franconia. Not in all of Germany, or even Bavaria… just Franconia. By that logic, we should have one in our garden. Just from flipping through, I already found one brew restaurant with my last name, so I fully intend on visiting it and staking my claim.

With work wrapped up for the year, BV and I settled into vacation mode starting last Friday. Preparations for the holiday are slowly being made, and on Saturday we went to visit our old tree man. He had a rough year due to the heat, and apparently a lot of his saplings didn’t make it though the year. We found a nice little tree though, and also enjoyed being followed through the “forest,” by this little cat…

tree lot

Slightly blurry, sorry. My iPhone isn't into focusing these days. Or working, generally.

Slightly blurry, sorry. My iPhone isn’t into focusing these days. Or working, generally.

Tomorrow will be our main shopping day, and luckily we don’t have too much to buy. I’m also hoping the weather cooperates, and we can have a bit of a poke around the Nürnberg Christkindlesmarkt without getting soaked. The weather has either been rainy, or spectacular sunrises like this…

wed sunrise

…which then give way to more gray skies. The Wisconsin part of me hurts to say this, but snow would be preferable to rain. At least the Christmas markets would feel more festive. We visited the market in Fürth with friends last week, and the drizzle didn’t let up all evening. We still had a nice time, and handily the main Glühwein stand was covered, very full, and had a roaring fire in the center of it. We had a bit to eat, a bit to drink, and a bit of a wander around town.

When I look at some of the other bloggers in Germany, I feel pretty slacker-ish. I don’t know how in the world some of them manage to pack in as many Christmas markets and other festivities as they do, but well done kids! This year, I’ll just have to settle for two markets, but as you just read, it’s been a busy month over here.

Since chances are I won’t get around to posting again before Christmas, I’d just like to say I hope all of you readers have a lovely holiday and lots of time with family and friends! Enjoy lots of treats, good times, and maybe even a little snow, depending on your location. 😉

Frohe Weihnachten!

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14 thoughts on “A Penguin for Your Thoughts?

  1. Pretty tree! I’m not getting one because we’re away for Christmas and Jan doesn’t believe in having trees up before Christmas Eve. Booo!

    Have a wonderful Christmas!

  2. Some people must work between Christmas and New Year, like clerks in finance and accounting depts. I never spend too many vacation days because they would be better used and working is more stress- free. And you have enough time for doings like sprawling interviews.
    I’m not amused about the picture with this innocent bird, brutalised to crouch hogtied in an ignoble position, forced to be nude in public.
    I was only on the market in Erlangen and it feels like a Easter market. Maybe we have snow on Eastern! I hadn’t mixed either my Glühwein or my Jagatee because it’s not cold enough to savour. But, always look on the bright sight of live: The consumption of oil or gas to keep your home cosy is minimal!
    This book and the “Die schönsten Bierkeller und Biergärten in Franken” are the two catechisms of Frankonian paradise. Now you are baptised and as a Fränkin (with Wisconsin roots). Go thy way; from henceforth sin no more 🙂
    Have a merry and peaceful Christmas!
    P.S. And don’t forget: shops (even bakeries) will be closed for 3 ½ days! So gather grain (and beer) likes Joseph as the sand of the sea or you will starve!

    • This was also an industry that isn’t really allowed to take “off days”, but hey, whatever works for them. I can see the appeal of working those days, as it has to be much much quieter everywhere.
      Sorry about the bird… I hope that if you had a duck or a goose on Christmas, you didn’t force it to appear nude before your guests. 😉
      We had some Glühwein, but kept it to the evenings, which helped the Christmas feeling. Hoping we don’t have snow on Easter! That’s way too Wisconsin for me. I moved away partially to avoid winters that lasted 8 months out of the year, haha.
      Hope you had a great Christmas too, and thanks again for reading!

  3. Not just me that’s trying to find chairs then! I’ve yet to find any that are affordable, good quality and marginally attractive, very impressed with your 5. Merry Christmas and good luck for your trial xx

    • So weird how difficult they are to find! In our case, it was made worse by the fact that we wanted them all to be different… it’s a hell of a lot easier to buy a set of four or six. Agh. I may die before we get to eight. Good luck on your search, and hope you had a great Christmas as well!

  4. Pingback: 2015 Recapped | Heather Goes to Deutschland

  5. Pingback: Thanksgiving the Fifth | Heather Goes to Deutschland

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