Saturday, December 31, 2016

December Highs and Lows 2016

The year draws to a close today, whether we're ready for 2017 or not. A lot of people are saying that 2016 totally sucked, and on the world stage that is surely true. Personally, though, I had an unexpected and really good year. Life has been grand anyway, but it was in January 2016 that I started teaching and getting to know quite a few Syrians who settled in our area. I also started working for the first time since moving to Germany after three years of doing not much! Ok, I had kept myself busy in the garden, writing and reading, walking, and traveling, but I was not gainfully employed. Now I'm making my own money even though it's only part-time work, and my job (teaching German to non-Germans) is easy because I truly love it.

My blog has slowed down since I started teaching at the VHS, but there's a point when an expat has pretty much written about all there is to describe about life in another country. By now life here is normal, and very little strikes me as significant enough to write about. Perhaps it's time to change the theme of my blog.

I thought about doing a "Highlights of the Year" post, but that seems redundant and I don't want to bore my five readers. :-) Here, then, are the final Highs and Lows of 2016.


  • having our neighbors over for drinks to thank them personally for letting us borrow a Stellplatz (parking spot) in their driveway while the construction was going on around our house. We had planned on parking at the office, which is only a 4-minute walk from home, but it was much more convenient to park next door and we were grateful. It was a really nice evening; we are lucky neighbors.

  • starting individual riding lessons (every second Wednesday) because teaching makes me miss the Friday morning Damenreitstunde (ladies' riding lesson). Mallory continues to be sassy, but I like her anyway.

  • joining M and several colleagues on an evening outing to the Weihnachtsmarkt in Esslingen. I only made it to two Weihnachtsmärkte this year! 

  • Christmas Eve with M and my Schwiegermutter. We do enjoy quiet, stress-free holidays, and we spent the majority of Christmas day reading. We had raclette on Christmas Eve and lamb stew on Christmas Day.

  • the holidays in general. M doesn't have to go to the office every day, and when he does it's just for a few hours. It's like a two-week-long weekend! We have lazy mornings and relaxed afternoons and don't do anything we don't want to do.

  • dinner at Straub's Krone - twice, actually. 
Gruß von der Küche

Vorspeise: Ziegenkäse im Speckmantel

Schweinesteak in Pilzrahmsoße mit Gemüse und Dauphinkartoffeln

  • Silvester - New Year's Eve - with M and his mum. It's only mid-day, but the soup for tonight's fondue is cooking, I picked up a fresh baguette this morning, made the salad for lunch, M will be making sausage rolls this afternoon, we'll enjoy a long, drawn-out fondue dinner with pork and beef tenderloin, watch "Dinner for One", play a trivia game, and wait for the neighborhood fireworks at midnight. I look forward to this night every year!


  • realizing I have only read (finished) 21 books this year. Dismal.

  • having to cancel a riding lesson last week - and M was going to come along to take pictures of me riding Mallory! - because of a night of stomach cramps. I had been so looking forward to that! Arg!

  • this Swabian housewife fail:

I tried to make Brioche buns for pulled pork sandwiches (M did the pulled pork, which cooked for 48 hours in the sous vide machine). The above photo shows Fail #1, Fail #2, and the buns we ended up using for the sandwiches. Humiliating. I need someone to teach me how to bake with yeast.

I hope 2017 is a better year for the world than 2016 was. 
and I wish you, dear Reader, a graceful start into the New Year!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you have such lovely neighbours.
    All the best for 2017!