Sunday, December 1, 2019

Mosaic Monday #56: A Time for Thanks

Belated Happy Thanksgiving to all of my U.S. friends!

I am writing this from Ohio; today we will celebrate the baptism of a grand-niece, which was the catalyst for a week-long getaway here.  I am so grateful that we have been able to
1) reunite with our old neighborhood and former work colleagues, 2) enjoy time with #1 Daughter and #1 Son and their respective boyfriend/girlfriend,    3) visit with many family members, and 4) stay with my oldest sister, who opened her home to as many as 8 guests, and also hosted Thanksgiving dinner.  In other words, we are blessed!



But it also means my time to write this post is short.  I hope you enjoy the Thanksgiving-themed photos below.




While we are focused on blessings, let me say that I am gratified to have a faithful following of readers.  I didn't start this blog as a popularity contest, but it is deeply satisfying to see readership that is consistently over 130 visits.  Thank you for keeping me company on my adventures.


And for all my dependable Mosaic Monday participants, a special note of thanks to you.  Each time I type another Mosaic Monday #, I am shocked anew to realize we have been on this journey together for over 12 months.  Where did the time go?  I appreciate your consistent contributions, from Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, Trinidad and the United States (I hope I did not leave anyone out).

Every week, I look forward to the happenings in your life, photos of nature, quilts and other crafty endeavors, and of course, your creative collages.  You inspire, entertain, encourage, educate and reinforce my faith in humanity around the world.  I hope we can continue to be friends for years to come!   Thank you!


Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.
 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Mosaic Monday #55: An Autumn Amble

Derwent Water
A trip to the UK is not complete until we have visited the Lake District.  Also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, it is a mountainous region in Northwest England.  A popular holiday destination, it is famous for its lakes, forests and mountains, and its associations with William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter.  The Lake District National Park was established in 1951 and covers an area of 2,362 square kilometers.  It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017.  You can read other posts about the Lakes here, here and here.


Ladies' Wellingtons ("wellies")



This time, our day out commenced with a stop at the Mainsgill Farm Shop, a scant 30 minutes from my in-laws' house.  The number of farm shops in the UK has exploded since the mid-1970s, when farms began to expand from a simple stall at the farm gate to a formal shop on site.  It is estimated there are 3,500 farm shops nationwide, up from 1,200 a dozen years ago.  Many of these operations have become tourist attractions in their own right, with play barns, petting zoos and full-service cafes.  While on-site family attractions can be a significant draw, the core principle of quality home-produced food remains the key to success for these farms.
"We are a livestock farm producing our own meats and bakery produce"

Left and middle - so many beautiful tins
Upper right - kids' wellies      Lower right - chocolate Santa!

Top - look closely at the 'sausage mummies' and the 'spooky beef pumpkins'
Middle - we might not be in Montana, but the ski lodge followed us here
Bottom - I resisted the urge to buy the hedgehog notebook and the mead!
If you'd like to learn more, this link is an excellent article about the evolution of farm shops in the UK.

We parked near Ashness Bridge, one of the most photographed bridges in the Lake District, with a plan to walk to Watendlath.  This small hamlet nestles against Watendlath Tarn and offers a lovely tea shop to break up the walk.

Click to enlarge if you want to read the fine print
Quickly, we reached a view point overlooking Derwent Water, and it brought back memories of the hike to Cat Bells with my sister and her husband in the summer of 2017.  Cat Bells is the summit that you see through this frame of trees - how fun to think that 15 months ago we were on the hillside on the other side of this lake!
After climbing a bit more through the wood, the path emerges next to a stream, crossed by this lovely wooden bridge.  From that point, the stream was always on our left, and the land stretched away into farm fields until it abruptly rose to dramatic craggy outcroppings.  The photo opportunities were endless, but I will restrain myself and give you just the best of the views that day.


A waterfall marks the transition from the path to the hamlet of Watendlath, and you traverse another packhorse bridge to reach the tea shop.  The weather was kind enough to permit outdoor seating, and birds flitted among the tables, cleaning up the wayward crumbs.
After our break, we utilized the free (!) public restrooms.  A sign on the outside wall contained some deeply surprising information - Watendlath used to be owned by the monks of Fountains Abbey!  One of the largest and best preserved Cistercian monasteries in England, Fountains Abbey is another one of our treasured spots, and I wrote about our last visit there in June 2017.  So I was charmed to find that the two are connected, especially considering that Watendlath is 100 miles from the Abbey.  The monks of that day had a long reach!

As we left the hamlet to walk back to the car, I paused to capture the packhorse bridge, and just then a couple passed over it.  With typical British humor, the male half of the couple posed for a picture.  What a character!
Near the car park, the Bark House stands with a fine view of Ashness Bridge and Derwent Water beyond.  In 1989, Spousal Unit stayed here with his scout group.  Can you imagine 19 young men in this small hut?
It is called the Bark House because it was used to store bark for the leather industry
The sun was drifting toward the horizon as we motored to the nearest village, Keswick.  Fortune was in our favor - market day in the village had brought scores of vendors to the marketplace in the center of town.  I was delighted to spy a representative of the Bird of Prey Centre, with a feathered companion.  We gladly paid the fee to get my picture taken with Fuzz, a southern white-faced owl that was bred in captivity and serves as an adorable ambassador for his fellow raptors.
We made the most of the remaining light to stroll through the park to Derwent Water.  We have passed this way many times, from our dating days to summer holidays with the kids to our last visit in the summer of 2017 with my sister and her husband.  It brought back such pleasant memories of putt-putt golf, and feeding the ducks and geese.  The gardens were past their prime, but I still managed to compose some colorful shots.
In a fitting end to the day, we had dinner at the George and Dragon pub.

Given our visit to Wainwright country, it was entirely appropriate (although perhaps a coincidence) that the men were drinking Wainwright golden ale served in a Wainwright glass.  I wholeheartedly endorse the advice printed on the glass - "Find Your Mountain".

Due to travel, I may be late in commenting on your blog posts, but I will be on-line this week.  Hope you can join in!


Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.
 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Mosaic Monday #54: October Odds & Ends

Is it too late to write about October?  I still have a mountain of material from our trip to Europe, but some odds and ends from last month are calling to me.  So, take a clue from the turkey - slow down, get a cup or glass of your favorite beverage, and read on!

We began the month in Missoula for Homecoming festivities at the University of Montana.  We are not alumni, but we miss the sentiment of hometown football games, especially the marching band.  For four years back in Ohio, we never missed a game.  We had quite a merry group of band parents, and relished supporting #1 Son in the drum line.  Spousal Unit and I both needed a "marching band fix", and were prepared to drive 2.5 hours to get it!

Coincidentally, downtown Missoula has a farmer's market on Saturdays, and we strolled among the vendors prior to attending the Homecoming Parade.

The University marching band led off the parade, followed by your customary floats, horses, Shriners driving miniature cars, dance troupes and politicians angling for your vote.



I admired the creativity of the "stage" float, with actors performing skits the entire parade route, and the "dueling" pianos.

Units were still rolling past with no end in sight, but it was time to make our way to the stadium, a 15-minute walk.  With our tummies rumbling, it was convenient that we would pass through the market once again - who could resist a waffle sandwich?
My blogging buddy Kit of A Montana Life is a stalwart UM fan, and she advised being in our seats for the pre-game show, which includes Monte (the team mascot) and the band entering the stadium.  She was spot on!  It was a special treat to see the skydivers land so expertly smack in the middle of the field.



We were glad to have our waterproof coats and a waterproof blanket as the weather alternated between light rain and blue skies.  UM's fortunes waxed and waned with the rain, but they ultimately dominated Idaho State 59-20.  We enjoyed the night life in Missoula that evening, and after attending Mass, returned home through the rolling hills the next day.
Band spells out G-R-I-Z

Harvested seeds in my "bucket"
At that point, only six days remained until our departure to Europe.  I focused heavily on my to-do list, which included planting flower and grass seed.  We had some native grass seed left from last fall, but it was not enough to cover the bare patches that required re-seeding.  I resorted to harvesting grass seed from our yard - it's not a physically demanding task, but it is tedious and I was repeatedly amazed at how quickly I spread what had taken me an hour to collect.  I didn't keep track, but I invested many hours in this process over those six days.


In my October 6 post, I wrote about some challenges with my tree skirt.  Before our trip, I created a new pattern and went to Hobby Lobby to purchase new burlap colors.  This allowed me to cut all the strips so they would be ready and waiting for my return.  I am going to cheat a little and give you some current pictures of the skirt in progress - I am thrilled with how it looks so far!

Three weeks is a long time to be away from friends, so visiting with my dear neighbor friend was a priority before our journey.  We kayaked on a misty morning, and later in the day she brought us some fresh cinnamon rolls, just ideal with afternoon coffee.  We walked the frosty hills, and that is when I snapped the picture of the turkey crossing sign, which stands to one side of a track through her property.  "What is this doing here?" I asked.  "Well, remember that this track used to be the county road before they developed the current route.  So, this sign was installed by the county to warn drivers about a frequent turkey crossing, and it was never taken down."  Oh.  Wouldn't you love to have your own turkey sign?

On one of my other walkabouts, I passed this snake on the road just outside our driveway.  With a sunny day, it was obviously trying to capture the last of the fall warmth.  Normally a snake like this will slither away on your approach, but it did not move, even when I crouched down to take a close-up.  I spoke to it, telling it to find a different sunbed or risk getting squished.  Maybe I should have been more proactive, because when I returned later, I found a snake that would not be slithering any more.  Sad.


To wrap my oddities post on a more cheerful note, I was tickled a few weeks ago that LeeAnna of Not Afraid of Color posted a moose in my honor.  Since then, I keep seeing flamingoes EVERYWHERE.  LeeAnna, this mosaic is for you.
Left - aren't these just ADORABLE slippers?
I always endeavor to close a post in a nice, neat way - this comic fell into my lap, bringing us full circle from turkey to flamingo!




Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.
 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Mosaic Monday #53: Hamburg, Part II

I am cuddled up in our log home, the barren aspen branches waving to me just beyond the windows.  We returned on Tuesday after a three-week getaway, and were greeted by the dramatic transformation from Autumn to Winter.  To quote Dorothy - "There's no place like home", but part of me is already missing the temperate environment in Europe.  So join me for part II of our Hamburg experience.

Give me a choice between sweet and salty foods, and I will lean salty every time.  Hence my pure enjoyment of a typical German breakfast - breads, cheeses, meats and fruit.  Eleven years ago, Dr. H. introduced us to Tete de Moine cheese when we visited her in Switzerland, and since then we look for it everywhere we go.  What a lovely surprise to see it on her breakfast table the second day!
The Tete de Moine is the frilly cheese in the center of the wooden platter.
You need a special device, called a girolle, to thinly shave the cheese
into these shapes.
A first-class tour guide considers her audience and their interests, and Dr. H. exceeded my expectations when she suggested the Ballinstadt Emigration Museum as our next destination.  She knows my family emigrated from Germany to the US, and correctly presumed that I would be intrigued to visit the former emigration station in Hamburg that served as the final European home for five million emigrants from the 1850s - 1930s.

The museum takes its name from Albert Ballin, who ran the HAPAG shipping company and prospered from advancing the idea of using the 'tween decks for efficient transportation of emigrants.


"Ballinstadt" translates to "Ballin City", and this resulted from Ballin's vision to satisfy the emigrants' leisure and entertainment needs.  The picture to the left shows Ballinstadt in "the day", with emigration halls, treed walkways, a church, a dining hall, playgrounds and a music hall.  Only three of the buildings remain today - if you look closely, you can see that three of the "C"-shaped buildings are colored a light green - these are the remaining buildings.  In 2007, the Museum was opened utilizing those three structures.


The emigration halls were extended several times from 1898 to 1907, and collectively were known as "The World's Biggest Inn".  Three thousand people could be fed in one hour; 8,000 to 10,000 bread rolls were consumed every day.  The steady influx of emigrants from Eastern Europe led to constant overcrowding from 1904 on.  Some days the halls were home to as many as 3,500 people - as opposed to the maximum permitted 1,200.  As recent world events continue to demonstrate, people will endure unspeakable conditions in the search for a better life.

As we moved from the first building, we found that the subject shifts from a Hamburg-centric view of emigration to focus on the phenomenon of emigration on a world-wide scale, studying the causes of emigration and its implications.  According to a 2014 report, 59.8 million people were fleeing throughout the world - flight being one of many forms of migration.  Of those 59.8 million people, 38.5 million were displaced within their own countries, 19.5 million were border-crossing refugees, and 1.8 million were asylum seekers.
In a series of well-appointed rooms, the museum presents the "pull-factors" (Gold Rush, popular literature, the American Dream, letters from other emigrants, giving away land through legislation such as the Homestead Act in the US) and "push-factors" (lack of job opportunities, racial discrimination, wars and political intolerance) associated with emigration.  I was fascinated to find that Canada has utilized the catch-phrase "Last Best West" to attract people.  Montana today is commonly referred to as the "Last Best Place".  Go figure!
Top: Desk (cool how it was attached to the wall) with letters from emigrants
Lower Left: Boys can dream of being President!
Lower Right: Letter from Emigrant in Cleveland, February 16, 1911
The final building of the museum highlights the experience of emigrants once they reached the US, as well as the evolving state of migration around the world.  For example, the "green card" was introduced in Germany in August 2000 to attract foreign experts in information technology.  Here I learned that the US celebrates more Oktoberfest than Germany! (By the way, we did not attend Oktoberfest while in Hamburg, due to a scarcity of tickets.  In the end, I am glad - I learned more about Hamburg through Dr. H. and her choice of destinations than I ever would have learned from Oktoberfest!)
And last but not least, the museum offers free access to Ancestry.com via a bank of three computers conveniently located next to the cafĂ©.  I was delighted to find the records of my father's family, who emigrated from Bremen, Germany in 1834.  I was already familiar with their emigration story, but it was still exciting to see it here after four fascinating hours in the museum.  My heartfelt gratitude to Dr. H. for a unique educational, mind-expanding experience!

There was a down-side to the museum - Lola was not welcome, so when we returned to the apartment we retrieved the faithful sidekick and strolled to the market for some foodstuffs.
Along the way, we passed the TRUDE, the head of the boring machine that was used to create a tunnel under the Elbe.  As you can see in the picture below, it is almost four stories tall.  The TRUDE is displayed here because the Museum of Work is across the courtyard - although we did not go in the Museum, I think it would be worth a visit in the future as it explores the social, cultural and economic impacts of changes in work over the last 150 years.
Dr. H. prepared a delicious dinner for us, and we rounded out the evening playing cards, drinking wine and doting on Lola.  Soon enough it was time for bed to ensure we would have the energy for the next day's plans.
In my experience, cities are always undergoing transformations.  Some neighborhoods decline; others become trendy.  On our third day in Hamburg, we ambled through Sternschanze.  From the 1930s to the 1970s, the quarter was home for a large number of working-class people.  
Currywurst is a fast food dish that can be found on many street corners throughout Hamburg.  Hubby and I shared
 one from a shop front near Sternschanze.  Each vendor has its own spin on the dish.  Some blend the curry flavor into
the sauce (as shown above) and others sprinkle curry powder on top.  Push the boat out and get it with French fries!!!
In the 1980s, families and students started to move into the area.  Since the beginning of the new millennium, Sternschanze is in vogue and runs the risk of pushing out lower-income residents as more affluent people drive up prices.  Nevertheless, political demonstrations, mostly by leftist groups, take place here and sometimes lead to clashes with police.  





The center of this activity is often the building Rote Flora (shown below) which was squatted by leftist groups in 1989.

As you can see above, graffiti is common in this quarter to the point of being one of its hallmarks.  What are your thoughts on graffiti?  For some people, the very word evokes a negative reaction.  Generally, I don't like the look of graffiti on buildings, but in Sternschanze, it goes beyond "normal" graffiti to works of art and murals four stories tall. I admire the talent and creativity (and the willingness to work at great heights).  
From a distance, this mural gives you the impression of a leafy jungle with bright flowers.  A closer look 
reveals faces within the mural, and bottles/drinks in place of the flower stamens.  Clever!
Restaurants and cafes abound in this quarter, and as a light rain began to fall, we opted for coffee and cake at one of Dr. H's favorites.  Our table was tucked under the awning on the front sidewalk, and I was pleasantly surprised to find blankets on each of the chairs.  Dr. H. pointed out that Hamburg residents love to be outside in all manner of weather, and restaurants have adapted by making blankets and warmers standard equipment.  Right up my alley!

As I relished the total civility of coffee and cake while snuggling under a warm blanket, I reflected on the contrast between the emigration museum and this avant garde section of the city.  Some people emigrate to find a better life, and others work to make a better life from the inside.  We may struggle with their methods, or how they choose to express their opinions, but it is clear that the intention springs from the same hopes and dreams.
Morning Glory in a Sternschanze garden


Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.
 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter
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