Friday, September 7, 2012

The Crowing Contest and a Peruvian Fowl.

Well, at least I said it might be a while.
But I didn't think it'd be this long.  Since May?!  Too long, I say.  

Well here's a short little something to read. It's about the latest excitement in our village.  Our neighbor told us about a contest taking place in tiny, little Stambach.  I kinda thought she was joking, but no...this was the first ever (in our town)
Rooster Crowing Contest.

Germans don't kid, so I instantly knew this needed to be documented through photos.  We weren't going to miss it.

Leo took part. 
I hear him every morning.  Well, it more like noon by the time I hear him.  He's our neighbor's rooster.  He's #5.

And a little note...Germany is a mild-weathered land.  Heat does not visit us often.  Summers are comfortably dewy and sunny; the days are hardly ever sticky and blazing.  

This day, however...was the latter.

Just as Nate and I claimed our spot in the shade, we were asked to be "Official Counters" for the contest.  To be sincere, I just wanted to watch.  And sit in the shade.  But we did it anyway, and it was fun tallying up the crows as the time went by!  

Well, Nate did all the counting.  
I just snapped pictures.

I'm a Lover of all things Furry, Fluffy, and Feathery and so I was enjoying every moment of these 30 minutes!  Wait, no.  I wasn't entirely. The river of sweat running down my back and chest was causing an issue with me.

So the Rules were: 
1. Once the timer started, you counted the crows.

2. NO DISTRACTIONS to the roosters was allowed.  
As in, getting too close to the cage, flailing arms and limbs towards the cage, hollering of any sort, etc.  
Kurt, our neighbor, was vehemently enforcing that rule.

Jessica (granddaughter to Kurt and Gertrude) came along for the show.  She looks enthralled, right?  ;)

The winner from the BIG CITY was there too...and I think he intimidated Leo.  Check him out! 

His final count was somewhere in the upper 70's, I believe.  

A few other contenders:

Stambach was a happening place for a few hours!  I can't even remember the exact count for Leo.  Something like 24 crows.  Well, he did decent.  We were proud.

As we were getting ready to leave, someone was talking (in german, mind you!) about the background of Fowl #9.  The father of that rooster....came from....PERU!  Immediately, I felt a bond to him.  Rather, it's my mother who is Peruvian, I said to #9, "We hail from the same land, friend!"  He spoke to me. was more like a murmured cock-a-doodle-doo and a gleeful cluck, we'll say.

It was a hilarious morning.  We laughed a lot and wondered why do roosters crow so much??  Is there an explanation out there?  Our guy, Leo, doesn't do it to wake up the farm.  We're all awake before he crows.  

Maybe he's just proclaiming to the world how much he loves his Sweet Stambach.



Monday, May 7, 2012

A city that I love.

It's been a long time!

To be perfectly honest, I've been taking a break from the world of blogging.  It's kind of time consuming.  And with spring being here, and summer around the corner...I'm not sure how often you'll see me!  When the sun's out...Christine is out.  

Anyway, I thought I'd let you all know about the prettiest gardens in the UK.  

Kew Gardens, to be exact. 

A few weeks ago, I revisited London with a friend, and was determined to take as few pictures as possible. 

Yes, you read that FEW pictures as possible.  The reason for that is because I wanted to enjoy the city without the "burden" of camera gear.  I actually only brought 2 lens with me.  My prime 50mm and 10-22mm ultra wide angle.  Since I'd already been to this wonderful city a few months ago, I felt like viewing it through my own eyes, rather than the viewfinder of my camera.

We get to Kew Gardens, and it was simply too delightful.  Although I kicked myself, since I only had my 50mm with me, I tried to capture as much of London's early spring as possible.

So here are some pretties from the Royal Botanic Gardens :)

Truly, I could have sat here for the entire day.  I instantly felt like a poet with so much inspiration around me!

This greenhouse was incredible.  Except for the fact that because of the amazon-like humidity inside, my lens was completely fogged over.  It created a nice haze, though.

The perfection on these flowers blows me away.  Nothing comes remotely close to the creativity and precise detailed works of God.

{Alright, I know they're dirty birds, but the iridescent colors are so cool.  And a pigeon's walk makes me laugh.}

We only had time to see a fraction of these gardens, and I plan on a full day at Kew Gardens the next time I visit London.

We were tired and a bit hungry, so we stopped for a little sweet treat.

I can't exactly remember the name of this white fluff of delight...I think it was something along the lines of Raspberry Froo-Froo Happiness.

London is one of my favorite cities.  For many reasons!
One, being the aforementioned treat.
China Town.
Fish and Chips.
Yes, the British Accent.
And Kew Gardens of course.

So, if any of you has the chance to see London, GO to Kew Gardens.  I can't imagine the beauty of it in late June or July.  I'm sure it's breathtaking!

The houses we passed on the way back to the Underground Stop, were covered with these beautiful, dainty purple flowers.  Really pretty!!

Our 2 day trip to London wasn't just gardens and cupcakes.  We did go to a concert.  In fact, that was the entire reason to go to London.

Rachmaninoff's Concerto no. 2 and Tchaikovsky's Symphony no. 6.

If you've never heard Rachmaninoff's Concerto no. it and listen to it RIGHT NOW.
It speaks to my soul.

Well, we also did a bit of site-seeing, and I took ONE picture.  The Tower Bridge.

I did manage to be a complete Harry Potter nerd and stop by King's Cross Station, too.

And that was London, second time around.  It was great, as expected!  Who else loves this city?

- Christine

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pretty Pink Weekend.

Last Saturday (yes, I'm a week behind in getting this post up) we went to the Mandelblütenfest, in the beautiful Weinstrasse.  Friends who live in Neustadt, invited us for snacks and drinks before heading out to the festival.

Oh, I suppose you're wondering what Mandelblütenfest is, right?  That would be, the Almond Blossoms Festival.  

So, pink trees were everywhere.  It was a gorgeous day.  The sun was shining, strolling through the little town of Gimmeldingen...the day truly could not have been any better!  And on top of that, we spent some quality time with dear friends.  

 Similar to most German Festivals, the candied nuts, ice cream, and handcrafted goods were present! 

These almonds were wayyy too good.  

Have you ever seen a dog walking in a straight line, and all of the sudden, it's like an invisible string pulls its nose towards the direction of something wonderful smelling?  (or in the case of last week's blog, it's not always something wonderful smelling.)  Well, you get what I'm trying to say.  
That was me when my nostrils caught the smell of sugary goodness from roasting almonds in melted sugar.  

 And the ice cream man was there!

 I was tempted to buy one of these little hens, which were filled with lovely lavender and herbs.

We stopped and stared at the this fellow rubbing sand, clay, mud, or something from the earth, all over his face and chest.  I suppose in the sun it dried and created the look a life-size statue.

 Oh.  I forgot.  THIS also smelled amazing.  

 I'm noticing an unintentional trend going on here!  Smells of Springtime is what I should have titled this!  Blossoming trees, candied almonds, lavender pouches, rotisserie meat.  Goodness, my nose was having a hay-day last Saturday!

And so was this little pup's nose!  Poor little guy couldn't help but reach as far as possible to catch of whiff of those smells.

Of course, there's a Wine King and his Princesses, and since the Mandelblütenfest is the kick-off of the Wine Festival Season, the king and his court of royal beauties was seen out and about.   

 Now THAT is a wine GOBLET.

The day was coming to an end, so we headed back.  I had to laugh, because little Jazzy was working on that ice cream cone for a long time.  

AND, this girl knows how to work the camera!  She's always aware of where the camera is, and is always ready with a smile.

Parking was basically, ANYwhere along these beautiful vineyards.  I can't wait to see this area in the late summer.  

Melissa had these delightful little cookies at the house.  She found them at the bakery near their house.  They're meant to resemble the Almond Blossoms!  How cute!

When the sun was setting, we took a short drive up to the Hambach Castle, and saw this incredible view of Neustadt.  I kind of forgot to take a picture of the castle.  It was cool, like always!

So, it ended up being a really great weekend.  I kept saying to myself, "We are so blessed" to be where we are right now;  the opportunities to see such unique festivals, castles, cultures, and traditions...God is so good, and we just can't stop thanking him for these memorable times.  

Thanks for reading, friends! 

Come visit us, and we'll show you the beauty of Germany!  We'd love to have you.  

Have a Happy Palm Sunday tomorrow!

-the Ogdens