Picture Perfect Day

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The day wore Greek colors yesterday….

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Clear blue skies shone a flattering light on the lake

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The bird sanctuary was a surprise

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Herons nesting and my good camera was out of batteries, what a shame…

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I told the silly goose not to pinch me…

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Swimming coincidentally is only allowed for animals. 

To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure*** is the most perfect refreshment.

Jane Austen -English novelist, 1775-1817


***lush green vegetation.

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Clean sensations

Clean sensations

I have already posted my recipe for quick and sensational cupcakes for any occasion.
For days those raspberries in season have been speaking to me…I am also sick of the prefab jams, so I decided to make some jam.

Quick no fail raspberry/kiwi jam:

500 grams of fresh or frozen Raspberries
500 grams of Kiwi
500 grams of canning/preserving sugar
juice of one lemon
(some empty jam jars)

Peel the kiwi and chop into chunks, wash or defrost raspberries and place the fruits in a large pot. Mash the fruits with an immersion blender or pop into a blender first. Add the juice of one lemon and all of the canning sugar. Mix well! Put on maximum heat and keep stirring.
(As soon as the fruit mixture begins to heat….watch out – you are in for an olfactory overload!!! Your whole house will smell like heavenly raspberries!!!)
The fruit mixture has to bubble, then let it boil(still on maximum heat and stirring constantly) for 3 minutes. Cut off the heat, and remove from stove.
Fill the mixture into the prepared jars at once***, screw on the lids and put them upside down for 5 minutes.
Done!!!
This recipe can be used for almost all fruits and the combinations are endless. Just remember that the ratio has to be 2:1 ( 1000 grams of fruits to 500 grams of canning sugar!)

***Here is a little tip from Jamie Oliver about sterilizing jars.
Wash jars and lids, leave them to dry upside down on a clean tea towel. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place jars right side up on an oven tray,(not touching) and put them in the oven for 10 minutes. Place the lids into a pan with boiling water for 10 minutes.

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Mist

A few weeks ago I accompanied a friend to pick up her puppy from the breeder. An early morning drive to the suburbs of Kevelaer, 70 km North-West of Essen. It was a lovely drive on an empty Autobahn and then through the country side.
Who knew, that there are still wind mills around? I mean, everything is being replaced and outsourced…the mill appeared suddenly, dark and gloomy in a way, with those clouds rolling in the sky.
For a moment, I had don quixotic thoughts. Endlessly charging at the boundaries and challenges. Tackling one and another one appears.
Melodrama is not my thing, so I focussed instead on the freedom presented to me on this fine day. Free: from the tedious long hours of the work and the endless to do lists in my head.
Listening to some opera on the radio, the world was wonderful, the world speeding towards and away from us.
That is life, misty images appearing – coming closer – then suddenly clear, become memories.
The thing is, to always be able to use it to rise above it all!

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Under spring’s flowery spell

Under spring's flowery spell

Threshold: A point of entry or beginning

It seems that winter is finally behind us and nature is stretching it’s limbs everywhere.
What a joy to observe the flowering and leafing of trees, birds chirping and people all around awakening from their winter lethargy.
Life at once becomes pleasant, filled with colors, smells and sounds. Sunshine and blue skies propelling you into action. The sudden urge to leave the “lair” and spend time outdoors.
Spring the messenger of summer.

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A Tempting Delight

A Tempting Delight

A quick recipe for temptation:

Oven on 160 Celsius(hot air)

125 g of butter
125 g of plain Joghurt
180 g of sugar
a pinch of salt
some lemon zest
4 medium sized eggs
250 g of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
250 g of berries, alternatively a couple of chopped apples or other fruits

In a bowl mix together the joghurt, butter, sugar, pinch of salt and lemon zest
Add the eggs 2 at a time and blend with 2 teaspoons of flour
(before adding the rest of the flour, mix in the baking powder)
Blend in the flour
Last add the fruits of your choice and fill dough into cupcake tin with papers( 2/3 full)
Bake about 20 minutes(or till baking pin comes out clean)
Sprinkle with powdered sugar, or top with whipped cream
or ‘devour” as is.

Enjoy!
And remember:
The shortest way to another persons heart- is sometimes through the stomach!

Do not worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older it will avoid you.
Joey Lauren Adams – American Actress, 1968

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Treasure

Treasure

Treasured moments
are gifts of
time,
-spent in a special way
or
with exceptional people.

Treasure can also be
offerings from your children
unexpected,
unusual
and
can not be measured
by their shelf value -
but by the sense of pleasure
that fills you
as serotonin makes its
way through
the bloodstream and
rushes into your heart.

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selfie, unselfish

These so called selfies have become a sign of our times(well maybe not everybody’s time, but at least of the social network times). Unless we are talking of tripods and timers- selfies are the “little” boys and girls with pouting lips and “kissing mouths” or bare chested muscle showing bathroom mirror shots(to name just the most common place where the stage is set).
Setting themselves into a scenery which will be shared on smart phones. To invoke awe, jealousy and amusement. From a psychological view point it reflects that generations increasing infatuation with the “self”, the ego and in the truest sense of the word ΕΓΩ, with the ” I “.
A narcissistic development on a fairly large scale- this condition in which people have an excessive sense of self-importance, an extreme preoccupation with themselves, and lack of empathy for others – which is visible all around us. Probably not a bad thing for the age we live in, where as a collective, we also don’t seem to get anywhere anymore. The problem is though, that the first victim was civil courage, that need to step in and adjust an injustice, replaced by “what difference would it make, if I took action” and substituted for the record and later the share button on the phone.
A sad development in my opinion, but forgive my rambling, my self portrait taken by my son last night at the Parkleuchten at the Gruga Park. A truly “enlightened” evening stroll in a wonderland of lights.

Social networks do best when they tap into one of the seven deadly sins. Facebook is ego. Zynga is sloth. LinkedIn is greed.
Reid Hoffman

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Object

Object

Red:
of a color at the end of the spectrum next to orange and opposite violet, as of blood, fire, or rubies.

Object:
a material thing that can be seen and touched.

…the great distinction between the sexes. Men see objects, women see the relationships between objects.
John Fowles, English novelist, 1926-2005