In the Bleak Midwinter.

Hello. So tell me, how are we doing with surviving January? Almost there you say? Right. God I hate January. And February. These are the hardest months around here and I get aggressive whenever I see fields of snow drops on all the Insta feeds. WE WON´T HAVE SNOWDROPS UNTIL MARCH BECAUSE I ALMOST MAYBE TECHNICALLY LIVE IN SIBERIA. GO AWAY.

Anyway! Yesterday felt a little spring-ish after a cold spell (there´s another cold spell around the corner, lest you thought otherwise) so the boys and I inspected the garden a bit. I have big garden plans this year since we can´t afford to travel so that means more time for the garden. We finally had quite a bit of rain in the past few weeks; I hope 2019 will be an easier year to grow things. 

We have a sparrow colony (please tell me these are sparrows, I am hopeless with birds! Why don´t we learn such things at school instead of f**ing algebra) living in the big climbing rose which is very charming. They are there because of the chicken food in the nearby run of course and they eat quite a bit but I don´t mind. Sparrows! Or maybe not sparrows! Definitely birds! Cute!

Today is Bruno´s gotcha-day, one year ago exactly he came to live with us. I feel like I should have a profound thing to say but I don´t really. It hasn´t been an easy year for sure. We´ve been through a lot with him, to make him happy and healthy. But it was worth it! I love him so much, and he actually loves me back (unlike other dogs in my home, looking at you Ludwig). Would I get a rescue again? Absolutely. My darling Bruno bear, trouble maker extraordinaire, lover of food, pillows and toys, snuggliest dog I´ve ever known. Onwards and upwards! 

January is good for one thing, and that is baking! I tried my hands at pretzels (Breze in German, NEVER Brezel) and did another trial of sourdough croissants (I forgot to take a picture with my real camera of the latter so this iPhone picture will have to do). Also I decided to teach sourdough courses at my home! That´s only relevant for locals though I´m afraid. 
Kay. Good talk. By the way I hope you got the Peaky Blinders reference in the title, if not I recommend you go and watch it, it´s one of the most brilliant series ever and also something that is totally doable in January. 


Christmas 2018.

I hope you had a lovely Christmas! We sure did. As you may remember we skipped Christmas last year (and it was wonderful) but maybe as a result this year I was really looking forward to it and wanted to make it special. I´m not a big seasonal decorator and I´m very picky with Christmas stuff but by my standards I went all out with "decking the halls". Not to blow my own trumpet but I loved the display in the dining room. Cheap amaryllis from Aldi and the wooden stars my husband made two years ago go a long way. Horse is very pleased.

Two pictures that have a deeper meaning to me as they show two of this year´s building sites. In the living room we had to get our chimney fixed shortly before Christmas (like 5 days before) and the builders had to open up the entire wall. With jack hammers, meaning there was coal dust everyhwere. Ugh. But all is well that ends well and we had a working wood stove this Christmas, yay! To the right is the little entry to the loft of our barn (which is now accessible from our deck). You may know* that we had to fix the roof of our barn this summer and we took the opportunity to convert the loft into a ... well we don´t know yet what it will be. Right now it´s a big room with beautiful large roof windows, bare brick walls, wooden beams and lots of character. But the great barn renovation of 2018 is a story to tell in another post! 

This year´s Christmas tree is my favorite so far. I was concerned about the dogs trying to eat the decoration so I bought felt ornaments and combined them with simple wooden ornaments that I already had. It turned out just how I hoped and all animals are thankfully completely ignoring the tree. For all of you wondering, these are fake candles which are very common in Germany! I´m thinking of starting an export business because I get so many questions about them every time I post a picture. 

I took some of my favorite "real" ornaments and put them on a mossy tree in the dining room, well out of reach for the dogs! Our cats by the way have never been interested in that kind of thing. 

I made that table decoration a few weeks ago for an advent gathering but used it again yesterday. I realized too late that I didn´t have enough matching candles but I think the white and yellow combo is actually very pretty! 

Christmas cookies! I am so proud I managed to bake eight varieties this year and they are all very good. 

Technically I wanted to show you the very beautiful birthday bouqet I got from my husband, but it doesn´t photograph well. Anyway here is a glimpse of the wallpaper we installed in the kitchen shortly before Christmas - it´s "Strawberry Thief" by Morris. I´m absolutely in love with it! I am going to post more pictures as soon as there´s more light in this room. Are we all glad that solstice is over and we will have more day light again soon? I sure am. And very soon it´s a brand new year in which I promise to blog more often. New years resolution!
*If you follow me in Instagram I fear everything here is repetitive... but at least there are better pictures! 


November still lifes.

The last of the dahlias in a ray of evening light.

Might be one of my favorite pictures this year.

Quinces, so many this year, what a joy to eat and look at.

Same goes for the pumpkins. 


October recap.

Hi! I remembered I had a blog. Here are a few favorite pictures from October. Above, pumpkin harvest wasn´t too shabby this year. 

The last of the cosmos. Spot the cat?

Wild vine in our drive-through, so magical this year. 

October garden. 

Dried coriander, corn, hydrangeas.

More October garden. 


September scenes.

A little post with my favorite pictures lately. All of the things you see in the picture above I grew in my garden. My husband walked in when I took this picture and said "it looks like Thanksgiving in here." Ha.

I successfully grew corn! Yay. These are just beautiful. To the right is strawberry corn which I discovered in a seed catalogue in spring. I want to mostly dry the corn and try to make my own polenta (to go into my sourdough!), and apparently strawberry corn makes great popcorn too. 

Ah well. I keep complaining how terribly torched the garden looks, and it is true, but there are a few nice corners remaining.

Pumpkins, so many pumpkins!

Roses flowering again.

In the last minute I decided to plant cosmos in the walled garden in spring; mostly because I didn´t have anywhere else to go for my seedlings. I´m ever so glad I did. Turns out the don´t mind the drought much and make for an excellent autumn display.

And my little rose bush in the walled garden is so very lovely right now.