Pastel Sky ...

Just a couple of shots from the other day.  Clouds like this are a common sight these days but the pastel patches only appear when conditions are just right.


Pha Dai on the Mekong River...

Having posted pictures of Pha Dai sometime before, I was reluctant to do so again.  I believe there is even a marker on my map.  It was a long time ago, however, and we had such a nice time there yesterday that I just could not resist.  It started off very overcast, plus it was late afternoon so I wasn’t confident that I would capture any decent images.  A zoom would have made things much easier but you make do with what you have.  In the end the weather was more cooperative than I had expected.

The 75 kilometer drive to Pha Dai is a little easier these days as most of the road has been repaired but it is still quite narrow as one continues on past Wiang Kaen, heading to the Eastern most point in Northern Thailand.  Arriving at Pha Dai there is a lovely little park and restaurant overlooking the Mekong River and Laos.  It is a bit of a long walk down to the waters edge this time of year.  The not so mighty Mekong was in a picturesque and docile mood with bold rock formations jutting from the gently swirling surface of the water, while the combination of boulders and fine powdery sandbanks made walking a struggle at times. 

With just a little effort you can make it down to the main channel and enjoy watching the fishermen in their tiny boats tending nets and navigating between the rocks.  While I was photographing nature my wife and her sister were photographing each other, jumping in the air, writing in the sand and generally have a good time doing whatever made them happy.  No doubt those shots will end up on my wife's Facebook page.

Being a bit off the beaten track one is unlikely to come across any western tourists at Pha Dai.  Those who take the river to Luang Prabang pass by Pha Dai without so much as a glance one might suspect.  There have always been a few Thai families whenever we have visited, though.  For us it is just one of many lovely places we have found on our explorations of this beautiful place we live.

I wasn't going to post this but it was just so cute and so Thai.

Süße Träume

Hallo,

am Samstag fanden wir neben der üblichen Wochenendwerbung auch einen dicken Briefumschlag in unserem Briefkasten. Ein schneller Blick auf den Absender... nanu, die liebe Biggi von den Biggibären hat uns etwas geschickt? Alles klar - ein Üüüüüüüüüüüü!!! Ha, Ihr wißt ja, im Öffnen von Ü-Päckchen ist keiner schneller als ich, und zum Vorschein kam das hier:
... Saturday we've found next to the usual weekend-advertising a big envelope in our mailbox. A quick look to the sender... hmmm, dear Biggi of Biggibären sends us something? Okay - a suuuuuuuuurprise!!! Well, you know, as far as opening of surprise-packets is concerned noone is faster than me, and this is what I've found:
     
              
Der Oberhammer!!! Erdbeerbettwäsche!!!!!!!!! Nur für mich... und so klasse, nicht nur weil der Stoff wie für mich gemacht ist, aber auch weil es so super gemacht ist. Biggi lernt gerade freihändig quilten, und dass hat sie hier gleich an meiner neuen Bettwäsche ausprobiert.
A burner!!! Strawberry-bedding!!!!!!!!! Just for me... and so fantastic, not only because the fabric is like it was made especially for me, but the making is so stunning, too. Biggi is learning to quilt freehanded, and she already tried this new technique on my new bedding.
        
             
Während ich noch meine Bettwäsche bewundert habe, kam Frieda angehoppelt, unser kleines Kugelnili, das Biggi für uns gemacht hat (Ihr erinnert Euch? Sie sollte eigentlich mit in mein Cottage ziehen, aber da war es ihr einfach zu erdbeerrot. Komisch, ist doch die schönste Farbe von allen! *grins*). Frieda wollte natürlich auch gucken, was ihre Mama uns Schönes geschickt hat. Denn Biggi hat auch an ihre Namensvetterin gedacht und dieses wunderschöne Geschirrhandtuch für Birgit bestickt. Die Farbe passt übrigens ganz perfekt in unsere 1:1 Küche. Und ein paar Goodies waren auch noch dabei.
While I was still admiring my new bedding, Frieda came near, our little Roly Poly Hippo Biggi made for us (Do you remember? She was supposed to live with me in my cottage, but it was too much strawberryred for her. Strange, because that's the most beautiful colour of all! *grin*). Of course Frieda wanted to see what lovely things her Mama sent to us. And Biggi even thought of her namesake and made the stitching on this lovely towel for Birgit. Btw, the colour matches perfectly with our 1:1 kitchen. And some goodies were included, too.
                
         
Einfach nur schön, oder? Biggi schrieb, es hätte ihr leid getan, dass die wunderschöne Bettwäsche von Maria leider farblich nicht in mein Cottage gepasst hat. Ist das nicht einfach nur lieb???
Simply great, isn't it? Biggi wrote she felt sorry for me because the beautiful bedding of Maria didn't match with my cottage interior. Isn't she a darling???

Liebe Biggi - auch von dieser Stelle aus noch einmal herzlichen Dank. Wir haben uns riesig gefreut über diese wunderbare Überraschung!!!

Und noch ein Geschenk haben wir bereits am Freitag bekommen, das habe ich zwar schon auf unserem neuen Nebenblog, der BiWuBären-Homepage, vorgestellt, aber das muss ich hier auch einfach noch mal zeigen. Die liebe Astrid von den Astridbears hat sich ein Bildchen von Fluttercino gemopst und auf ihre eigene unnachahmliche Weise digital bearbeitet - einfach nur schön. Wir haben uns unheimlich darüber gefreut, denn wir bewundern nicht nur Astrids schöne Bärchen sondern auch ihre fantastische Fotobearbeitung schon lange. Wir erinnern uns an einen Artikel über Astrid in einem Teddymagazin, wo ihre Bären normal fotografiert waren - da mussten wir schon zweimal gucken, denn so kannten wir Astrids Bären noch gar nicht. (LOL)
And we got another gift last Friday which we've already shown on our new sideblog, the BiWuBären-Homepage, but I have to show it here, too. Dear Astrid from Astridbears took a picture of Fluttercino and spread her special and unique digital magic over him - simply beautiful. This was so much joy, because we not only adore Astrid's beautiful bears but also her digital photoart for long. We remember reading an article about Astrid in a Teddymagazine some time ago where her bears were photographed the normal way - we had to look twice because we'd never knewn her bears like this before. (LOL)
           
         
Liebe Astrid - auch an Dich von dieser Stelle aus noch einmal herzlichen Dank für diese tolle Überraschung!!!

Ja, unser Fluttercino platzt nun fast vor Stolz - soll er, ich hab' ja meine wunderbare Erdbeerbettwäsche und werde süüüüüüüß träumen!!!
Well, our Fluttercino nearly bursts with pride now - but that's okay, I'm enjoying my fantastic strawberry-bedding and will have the sweeeeeeetest dreams!!!

Einen schönen Wochenstart wünscht / Have a good start into the new week
Flutterby

Kaffeeklatsch (Nr. 99)

Hallo,

an diesem schönen Sonntag, der sogar bei uns mal seinem Namen alle Ehre macht, geht es weiter mit dem letzten Mitglied unseres Auswanderer-Trios, das bei Birgits Tanten lebt. Angie ist heute an der Reihe, ihren großen Auftritt in unserer kleinen Reihe "Kaffeeklatsch-Tasse on tour" zu haben. Angie ist eines von mehreren Engelbärchen, die Birgit seinerzeit von der Nadel gehüpft sind und die kurz vor Weihnachten als Geschenke für liebe Menschen gedacht waren. Wie man auf dem Bild sehen kann, ist sie außerhalb der Weihnachtszeit incognito ohne Flügel unterwegs... ;O)
... on this lovely Sunday, who today carries its name with honor even at our place, we continue with the presentation of our runaway-trio living with Birgit's aunts. Today it's Angie's turn to be starring in our little series of "Kaffeeklatsch"-cup on tour. Angie is one of the angelsbearys Birgit needled as christmas gifts vor special people some time ago. As you can spot on the picture, beyond the christmas season she comes along incognito without wings... ;O)
   
           
Wir wünschen Euch nachher ganz viel Spaß bei einem gemütlichen Sonntagsnachmittagskaffeeklatsch, vielleicht bei Sonnenschein auf der Terrasse wenn Ihr Glück habt, in jedem Fall aber mit ein, zwei Tässchen leckerem Sonntagsnachmittagskaffee und ein, zwei, drei, vier Stückchen oberleckerem Sonntagsnachmittagskuchen. Habt einen schönen Rest-Sonntag und eine schöne Woche, unglaublich, dass es schon wieder die letzte ganze Mai-Woche ist. Dann kommt der Juni... und damit die Rosen und - viel wichtiger - die Erdbeerzeit!!! *yummy*
We're wishing you lots of fun at a comfy Sundayafternoon-"Kaffeklatsch", maybe enjoying sunshine on your terrace if you're lucky, but for sure with one, two cups of tasty Sundayafternooncoffee and one, two, three, four pieces of yummy Sundayafternooncake. Have a nice Sunday and a nice week, incredible we're already starting in the last whole week of May. And then comes June... and with June the roses and - much more important - the strawberry season!!! *yummy*
        
Liebe Grüße
Flutterby - der natürlich auch von Angie grüßen soll
Hugs
Flutterby - who shall say a hearwarm hello from Angie

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Classics #1 Review

Holy sweet nostalgia, Batman!  This is the best $3.99 you're ever going to spend.  If you're a Turtles fan, there's literally no reason not to buy this.  Even if you own an original copy of the 1984 Mirage issue by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, this will give you the chance to keep that copy nice and clean and use this fresh one for reading.  And, if you've never had the chance to read the very first Turtles adventure (understandable seeing as the back issues are expensive and graphic novels are costly as well), then this is going to be quite a delight.

This is what started it all; this issue tells the origin story of the heroes in a half shell, Splinter and their most popular nemesis, Shredder.  Some might be surprised that this franchise wasn't for the kiddies at first.  Right in the opening sequence we see that the Turtles get full use of their deadly weapons, showing no mercy on thugs in the Big Apple.  From the battle on the first pages to the rooftop showdown with the Shredder, we're treated to some bloody and brutal encounters.  In spite of how dark the world is,  you can't help but have a smile on you're face as you read through this classic first issue.
I really have no serious complaints surrounding this issue.  Obviously, Eastman's style may not be for everyone, but I mostly love it and think the color brings so much more energy to these panels.  The proportions tend to fluctuate at times, and while most of the action is illustrated incredibly well, there are a few panels that don't do the motion and impact full justice... at one point it actually looks like Michelangelo attacks Shredder with a hug (a devastating attack indeed).  Overall, that's a very minor complaint, especially seeing as most of the art is fantastic.  The splash pages would make for awesome posters and the details on the war-torn Turtles definitely catch your eye.

If you even remotely consider yourself a Turtles fan, I highly recommend picking this up.

5/5

Ein Abschied für immer

Hallo,

mit Abschieden ist das ja immer so eine Sache - meistens tun sie furchtbar weh und machen ganz traurig... aber in unserem Fall ist der Abschied, über den ich heute berichte, gar nicht schmerzhaft, im Gegenteil, eher eine Befreiung - und der Anfang von etwas Neuem. Aber bevor ich weiter in Rätseln spreche *grins* lieber der Reihe nach...
... goodbyes are a thing of their own - usually they hurt very much and make you sad... but in our case the goodbye I'm talking about today doesn't hurt at all, quite the opposite, it's kind of a relief - and the beginning of something new. But before I keep on talking in riddles *grin* I should tell you one thing after the other...
   
         
Was vielleicht gar nicht jeder von Euch weiß - wir BiWuBären tummeln uns nicht nur auf diesem Blog, nein, Birgit hatte seit Jahren auch eine kleine, unbedeutende Homepage. Und über diese Homepage hat sie sich eigentlich nur geärgert - und seit zwei Jahren sogar noch mehr, weil sie durch Blogger gesehen hat, wie komfortabel so ein Blog ist. Allein das Hochladen irgendwelcher Bilder auf die Homepage führte regelmäßig zu Flüchen und der Nervenzusammenbruch war nur noch fünf Minuten weit weg - auch das Einfügen von Quellcodes... nicht möglich. Und für all diesen Ärger hat Birgit auch noch monatlich ein paar Euronen berappen müssen...
Perhaps not all of you knew about it - the BiWuBears could be found not only on this blog, no, Birgit owned a little, modest homepage for years. And this homepage was a source of neverending anger for Birgit - and since the last two years even more because she noticed how comfortable a blog is. Uploads of pictures always led to heavy curses and the nervous breakdown being only five minutes away - or including some codes or links... impossible. And for all this trouble Birgit had to pay a monthly fee..

Birgit hatte nun aber keine Lust mehr, sich zu ärgern, deshalb hat sie ihre Homepage gekündigt und die wird nun am 21. Mai für immer im Nirvana des Internets verschwinden. Damit wir BiWuBären (und auch Birgits 1:12-Projekte) aber unsere eigene virtuelle Heimat behalten, hat Birgit einen zweiten Blog erstellt. Trommelwirbel bitte!
Birgit had enough of being annoyed, so she terminated her homepage which will vanish in the nirvana of the internet at May 21st. But to make sure we BiWuBears (and Birgit's projects in 1:12, too) still have a virtual home, Birgit created a second blog. Drumroll please!


Viel besser als die alte Homepage - finde ich. Und das alles auch noch kostenlos... viel, viel besser. Vielleicht habt Ihr ja Lust, uns dort einmal zu besuchen - wir würden uns freuen.
Much better than our old homepage - at least in my opinion. And all of that for free... much, much better. Maybe you'd like to visit us there - it would be a pleasure.

Ein schönes Wochenende und liebe Grüße / A great weekend and hugs

Flutterby


"Sie haben Post"

Hallo,
       
bei uns in Deutschland ist heute ein Feiertag - aber leider haben wir grausiges Wetter... brrrr... Wird nichts mit schön auf der Terrasse sitzen und grillen, so wie das früher hier Brauch war an Himmelfahrt. Naja, Wetter muss man nehmen, wie's kommt - und so hat man doch wenigstens mal Zeit, die letzten Neuzugänge vorzustellen, die bei uns so eingetrudelt sind.
... it's a work-free holiday today in Germany - but sadly we're having terrible weather... brrrrr... No chance for sitting gently on the terrace and having a BBQ as we used to do years ago on Ascension Day. Well, one has to cope with weather no matter what it may be like - at least there's time to show you our latest arrivals.
      
Beginnen möchte ich mit unserem Giveaway-Gewinn bei Maria / Pretty Things Ireland, das gestern bei uns angekommen ist. Maria ist eine besonders liebe Bloggerin und wir lieben ihre Arbeiten und ihren wunderschönen Blog, darum haben wir uns riesig gefreut, dass wir einen Überraschungspreis in ihrem Giveaway gewonnen haben. Und das war vielleicht eine Überraschung, schaut mal:
I'd like to start with our giveaway-price from Maria / Pretty Things Ireland that arrived yesterday. Maria is  a darling blogger and we love her work and her beautiful blog, so it was a big pleasure for us to have won the surprise gift of her giveaway. And this has been some kind of surprise, have a look:
   
                
Wunderschönes Bettzeug mit passenden Körbchen aus einem ganz tollen, farbenfrohen Stoff. Ich bin echt traurig, dass das nicht so recht in mein Cottage passt - farbmäßig. Aber Birgit sagt, das passt hervorragend zu einem ihrer Zukunftsprojekte... na, mal sehen, in welcher fernen Zukunft die Bettwäsche zum Einsatz kommt. Aber das war's noch lange nicht, Maria hat uns noch viel mehr eingepackt!
Beautiful bedding with matching baskets made from a bright, colourful fabric. I'm a bit sad it doesn't match with the colours in my cottage. But Birgit says it will be perfect for one of her future projects... well, let's see in which far far away future this bedding will be starring. But that wasn't still everything, Maria added much more!
         
      
Ach, so viele wunderschöne Sachen - aber auch das war immer noch nicht alles, denn da war noch ein kleines Päckli nur für mich! Jipppiiiiieeee!
Ah, so many gorgeous things - but there was still more to come, because there was a little packet only for me! Yipppiiiiieeee!
       
      
Lauter kleine Charms für meinen Garten! Einfach nur klasse! A propos - ganz klasse war auch die Karte, die Maria uns geschickt hat. Ist die nicht lustig? "Rush Hour Ireland"! ;O)
Many little Charms for my garden. Simply great! Btw - simply great was the card Maria sent us, too. Isn't this funny?"Rush Hour Ireland"! ;O)
       
        
Dear Maria, we'd like to thank you once more for all those treasures - you spoiled us rotten! Thank you very much!!!

Aber wir haben in letzter Zeit nicht nur Post aus Irland bekommen, auch aus England trudelte ein kleines Päckchen ein. Tja, Birgit konnte wieder einmal den neuesten Wunderwerken von Nicky Cooper nicht widerstehen... ;O)
But it was not only mail from Ireland we received lately, there was a little packet form England, too. Well, Birgit couldn't resist once again the latest miracle work from Nicky Cooper... ;O)
       
          
Ich frage mich nur, wo Birgit mit all den Gremlins und Drachen hin will?! Der Hexenturm ist doch schon übervölkert... hmmmm... *grins* Jedenfalls hat Nicky uns auch wieder ganz viele wunderbare Extras dazu gepackt, ganz toll ist die Schürze mit dem Aufdruck: "Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy." Wie passend zum heutigen Vatertag! *kicher* Aber ich möchte Euch noch einen weiteren Einkauf von Birgit zeigen, der ganz aus dem fernen Hawaii zu uns gekommen ist. Eingeweihte werden jetzt vielleicht schon wissend nicken - genau, von Kiva, deren Arbeit Birgit absolut bewundert. Wir haben jetzt unseren eigenen kleinen, verärgerten Tintenfisch im Glas (verständlich, wenn man uns in ein Glas sperrt, wären wir auch angep... äh... verärgert... genau, verärgert wollte ich sagen). Leider war der Kleine ganz schlecht zu fotografieren, man erkennt leider schlecht, dass er vor Wut sogar Tinte im Glas verspritzt hat.
I'm really asking myself what Birgit is about to do with all those gremlings and dragons?! The Witch Tower is crowded already... hmmmm... *grin* Nevertheless Nicky included many fantastic extras, that apron is gorgeous with a print saying "Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy." How suitable for us having "Father's Day" in Germany! *giggle* But I'd like to show you another purchase of Birgit's, coming to us all the way from far away Hawaii. Insiders will be nodding already - yes, from Kiva who's work Birgit absolutely adores. We're now having our own little, angry baby squid in a jar (I feel with him, if someone put us in a jar we would be pis... eh... angry... yes, angry is the word, too). Sorry for the bad pictures, that little chap was hard to photograph, it's hard to recognize he even spread ink in the jar in anger.
    
          
Ich hoffe, Ihr habt alle einen schönen Tag, egal ob Ihr heute arbeiten musstest oder wie wir frei haben.
I hope you're having a great day, wheather you had to work or are having a work-free day like us.

Liebe Grüße / Hugs
Flutterby

Big Events: More "Night of the Owls," Less "AvX"


A big event should be something that the publisher is proud of and the fans should crave.  These are the pay-per-view events of the respective comic universes.  The stories should be inspiring and exceptional, the art detailed and fantastic, and most important of all, it should be something that loyal fans of the company will love as the event will further cements their support for the publisher. Unfortunately, it hasn't been that way for awhile.  I haven't enjoyed any of Marvel's big events since "Civil War," and it seems as though a fair chunk of fans agree.  In fact, many go a step further and loathed "Civil War." To make matters worse, the most recent event ("Avengers vs X-Men") is being bashed by a noticeable amount of comic fans I chat with, and I have to say I agree with their fading interest in the story.  However, over at DC, "Night of Owls" has been a huge success, generating lots of love and finding a fun way to mesh into other titles.  They're both big events, but what is it that makes "Avengers vs X-Men" so mediocre and "Night of the Owls"such a hit?

The Scale
I know this might be hard to swallow for Marvel, but not every big event needs to have massive scale or such drastic odds.  The Phoenix is coming (for the millionth time) and the world might be destroyed if Hope can't harness the power!  Do you really think the Earth will be destroyed this time around?  And, if Marvel's true objective is as simple as giving the fans some hero versus hero encounters, then why not just give us "Contest of Champions III?"  After all, that's the friggin' premise of the book and it does so without trying to come off as some grand event.  Sure, this event is appealing for longtime fans of Phoenix or people who have grown fond of Hope, but aside from that, we're four issues in and quite literally nothing has happened to make us give a damn.  To call that unfortunate would be a pretty big understatement.  On top of that, the primary titles alone don't suffice if you want a better grasp on the story.  The tie-ins are mandatory for extra details.  Otherwise, Cap doesn't seem like all that fantastic of a tactician if you're limited to his actions in AvX #1.  "Hey Wolverine, Phoenix is bad, right?  Alright, let's go steal that girl."

"Night of the Owls" has a very simple premise that allows it to seep into other books without feeling forced.  The Court of the Owls want to re-take Gotham, so they're sending out a flood of assassins to take out a host of targets.  Which will live?  Which will die?  How will Batman stop them?  This isn't shoving all of the characters into one big shindig while they're still off doing other matters in other titles.  Instead, it has managed to fit organically into every title it impacts (in this case: everyone in Gotham).  These tie-ins have a clear objective: prevent the Talon from killing his/her target.  While none have truly been great, so far each has been quite fun and it's enjoyable seeing how the assorted heroes would handle facing the regenerating assassins.  More importantly, they're not mandatory if you want to understand the majority of the main story.

The Creative Team
No, I'm not going to jump on the Bendis hate train.  While I'm not a fan of most of his recent work, there's no denying his time with Daredevil, the earlier work with New Avengers and Ultimate Spider-Man was some  quality material.  So, credit where it's due.  Then we have some other big names in Marvel (Aaron, Brubaker, JRJR), but despite these being the "heavy hitters" of the company, this event (just like the handful before it), don't stand out as anything exceptional.  Like I said before, we're already 4 issues into AvX and not much has happened to push the story forward.  And, seeing as I'm on a budget, the $3.99 price tag per issue means it's growing costly to stick around only to be continually letdown.  John Romita Jr's art is something that has grown on me a lot over the years.  I wasn't a huge fan at first, but I've come to really appreciate his incredibly unique style in many titles.  However, there's a significant lack of detail here, especially when a handful of characters share a panel.  This is a big-freaking-event and it should look great and it should keep our interest.  It shouldn't appear rushed (when it comes to the visuals, that is) and move at a snail's pace.

It's widely agreed that Snyder and Capullo have been dominating with Batman.  Introducing the Owls was a tricky move and risked making WTF-worthy retcons to Gotham's history; however, they completely pulled it off.  Their existence is believable and continually fleshed out as we carry on in the event.  To make matters even more impressive, almost every issue we get an interesting set of facts about the history of Wayne's family or the city itself.

What To Do?
In my eyes, Marvel is suffering from a quantity versus quality issue.  They're pumping out a lot of events, but none will really go down as a must-read story, and as a long-time Marvel fan, that's a huge disappointment.  There's no quota for big events, so perhaps it would just be best if Marvel took a step back and began reducing the volume of these stories and treated each one as their next masterpiece.  Yes, sales are incredible for them (how could the majority not want to pick up a book with Wolverine and Cap fighting on the cover?), but at the same rate, pulling in more cash doesn't mean all of that green should blind them from a pretty loud outcry from their loyal fans.  A big event doesn't need to feel big, and "Night of the Owls" is proof of this.  Now, this isn't to say DC isn't guilty of the same mistake and Marvel has never succeeded with "smaller" big events (Spider Island, Messiah CompleX).

What do you think?  Do you agree that Marvel needs to cool down with the big events and focus on fewer and better stories?  Or, are you loving AvX and think I'm a fool for believing otherwise?  And, do you agree or disagree that "Night of the Owls" should be a standard for more events?

Problem Solving Village Style ...

With the wife off to Chiang Mai with her sister for a couple of days, I am left with time to review recent events.  By building our house far out into the fields we have no next door neighbors to speak of, yet others do own the land on either side of us and try as we may, it has still proven impossible to avoid all disputes.

Now in any dispute there are various views and opinions as well as different styles of engagement.  Without getting into the details of who said what to whom, clearly something I find distasteful, lets just say the parties on either side of us wanted different things from us.  There were also those in the peanut gallery who suggested it was our land and we could do whatever we darn well pleased, with no regard for others.  Searching for a fourth way, we struggled to find a middle ground that all could agree to.

There is always someone who will try on an aggressive or combative approach.  Glaring looks, loud and aggressive tone, dismissive gestures and threats of going to the police.  Fortunately there are usually calmer heads in the mix and I for one was not going to let things go down that rancorous path.

I had been uncertain about my wife’s decision to order a backhoe for the day, as we had yet to come to any real agreement on what was to be done.  Turned out her move was the right one.  It got everyone off the fence and face to face, though a little excited at the beginning.  The village headman, assistant, neighbors, relatives and interested spectators gathered to help sort things out.  I usually stay out of village affairs but this time I felt it was important to show support for my wife and to clearly voice my position in a diplomatic yet firm well reasoned manner.  This was one of those situations where it was good to be me and extremely beneficial to speak Thai well.

There was quite a bit of back and forth on the day but at least something got done and it was all done village style with enough witnesses to attest to what actually went down.  No doubt some will direct an unkind remark in our direction when mother nature deals them an unwelcome hand but all agreed on what could and could not be done and we did what was requested and more.

With that behind us, it seemed like a good idea for my wife and her sister to head off to Chiang Mai for a little time away.  I of course stayed home to hold down the fort and care for our pet menagerie.  My wife and her family don’t always see eye to eye but lately the sisters have been getting along better, so I am pleased they are having a chance to spend time together to reenforce their sibling bond.  As for me going along, well no one would find much joy in that scenario.  I would be bored and they would feel overwhelmed by my presence and demeanor.

I dearly love my wife and like nothing more than to spend time with her, as attested to by our having spent very little time apart in our fifteen years together, but I do understand that it is not healthy to keep her too dependent on me, or me on her.  With that in mind I am trying to be supportive of her doing more on her own, even if it means I am lonely and miss her for brief periods.  Cookie misses her mommy, as do I, and she will not let me out of her sight as I move around this big empty house.  So in a very real sense I am not alone.  One more night of solitude and the house will once again be a home, filled with love and the swarm of activity that always surrounds my lovely wife.

Neues von der Cottage-Baustelle

Hallo,

ich bin gerade fertig geworden mit dem Mähen meines neu verlegten Rasens... Jahaaa, wir Gartenbesitzer haben halt auch so unsere Verpflichtungen! *zwinker*
... I've just finished mowing my new laid lawn... Yesssss, we garden owners do have our obligations! *wink*
            
           
Heute möchte ich Euch mal wieder Neues von meinem Erdbeer-Cottage zeigen. Drinnen ist es ja schon ganz gemütlich, aber mir fehlte ja noch ein Dach über dem Kopf und natürlich der Garten. Vieles, woran Birgit gerade werkelt, ist aber leider nicht besonders fotogen, z. B. das Fertigen von Bündeln für mein Reetdach. Oder die vorbereitende Bemalung des Daches - das ist nur fotogen, wenn ein Flatterbärchen auf dem Dach sitzt. *kicher*
Today I'd like to show you something new about my Strawberry Cottage. Remember, inside it's already quite comfy, but the roof over my head was still missing and of course the garden. Most of the things Birgit is working on are not very photogenic, for example making bundles for my thatched roof. Or the prepapring colouring of the roof - that's only photogenic if there's a flutterybeary sitting on the roof. *giggle*
              
           
Einige Bündel hat Birgit schon verklebt, nun muss sie erst mal wieder neue vorbereiten. Aber ich glaube, Ihr bekommt schon eine Ahnung, wie das mal aussehen wird, wenn's irgendwann fertig ist.
Some of the bundles Birgit already glued, but now she has to prepare new ones. But I think you can get an impression how this will look like when it's done some far away day.
              
                
Und nicht nur am Dach wird gewerkelt, auch außen am Haus gibt's Neues. Birgit hat meine Fenster mit Gardinen und Fensterbildern verschönert, erdbeerrote Schmetterlinge - mehr geht nicht! Und schöne Blumen habe ich auch schon vor den Fenstern... herrlich! Natürlich hat Birgit die Pflanzkästen angepinselt, damit sie zum Rest des Cottages passen.
But there's not only working on the roof, there's news about the outside, too. Birgit decorated my windows with curtains and suncatchers, strawberryred butterflies - what more could I ask for! And there are already pretty flowers in front of my windows... great! Of course Birgit painted the flower boxes to match with the rest of the cottage.
         
            
Die Gartenmauer steht inzwischen auch, d. h. nur die beiden langen Mauern, die beiden kleinen Teile und das Tor sind noch nicht fixiert. Clever ist sie ja, meine Birgit, so kann sie immer noch problemlos überall rankommen. Der Rasen wurde inzwischen auch verlegt und meine Terrasse ist auch schon fertig. Sieht auf dem Bild irgendwie wellig aus, aber glaubt mir, das ist eben.
The garden wall was fixed in the meantime, i. e. the two long walls, the smaller parts and the gate are still loose. She's really clever, my Birgit, so she's still able to work everywhere without problems. And the lawn was laid and my terrace is ready, too. It looks a little wavy on the pic, but believe me, it's flat.
     
            
Ich hoffe, das kleine Update hat Euch gefallen. Nun wird's langsam Zeit für die Blumen...!!! *strahl*
I hope you enjoyed this little update. No it's time for the flowers soon...!!! *beamswithjoy*
          
Liebe Grüße / Hugs
Flutterby

Kaffeeklatsch (Nr. 98)

Hallo,
  
heute gibt es mal einen ganz besonderen Kaffeeklatsch - und aus diesem Anlaß haben wir mal getestet, wie viele BiWuBärchen in unsere Kaffeeklatschtasse passen. *kicher*
 ... today we're having a very special "Kaffeeklatsch" and for this occasion we tried to find out how many BiWuBearys fit into our "Kaffeeklatsch"-mug. *giggle*
      
  
Klar, werdet Ihr jetzt vielleicht sagen - in Deutschland feiern wir ja heute Muttertag. Und natürlich möchten wir bei dieser Gelegenheit allen Müttern alles Gute zu Eurem Ehrentag wünschen. Und unserer Mama - die bekanntlich auf den Namen Birgit hört - auch.
Maybe you're nodding now - remembering it's Mother's Day today in Germany. And of course we would like to take this opportunity to wish the best to all mothers on their special day. And here's to our Mommy - who is usually known as Birgit.
      
Aber heute ist auch ein besonderer Geburtstag - unser Blog ist nun schon stolze zwei Jahre alt! Als wir vor zwei Jahren gestartet sind, Birgit und ich, hätten wir nicht mal im Traum geglaubt, dass sich das alles mal so entwickeln könnte! Wir sagen heute allen, die unseren Blog besuchen - und ganz besonders denen, die uns mit Kommentaren erfreuen - ganz herzlichen Dank! Ihr seid der Grund dafür, dass Blogland etwas Schönes ist! Und deshalb gibt's jetzt Blumen für Euch!!!
But today we're celebrating a special birthday, too - our blog is now two years old! When we started two years ago, Birgit and I, we would never have expected things to turn out this way, not even in our dreams! And today we would like to say to everybody visiting our blog - and especially to those who brighten up our day by leaving a comment - a very big "Thank you". You're the reason why blogland is a special place! And therefore I brought some flowers for you!!!
    

Eigentlich hätte ich ja diesen schönen Anlass gerne für ein neues Giveaway genutzt, aber Birgit hat im Moment so viele Dinge um die Ohren, dass sie es leider nicht schafft, einen schönen Preis zu zaubern. Aber aufgeschoben ist ja nicht aufgehoben... ;O) Und nun wünschen wir Euch wie immer an dieser Stelle nachher viel Vergnügen bei einem schönen Sonntagsnachmittagskaffeeklatsch mit ein, zwei Tässchen leckerem Sonntagsnachmittagskaffee und ein, zwei, drei, vier oberleckeren Stückchen Sonntagsnachmittagskuchen - und eins extra für Mama und in unserem Fall noch eins extra für das Geburtstagskind... *zwinker*
This would have been the perfect occasion to start a new giveaway, but Birgit is very busy at the moment and didn't have the time to even think about a nice price. But delayed is not canceled... ;O) And now we're wishing you as usual later on much fun celebrating a fantastic Sundayafternoon-"Kaffeeklatsch" having one, two cups of tasty Sundayafternooncoffee and enjoying one, two, three, four pieces of yummy Sundayafternooncake - and one extra for Mom and in our case still one extra for the birthday child... *wink* 
          
           
Eine schöne Woche Euch allen und "Viva la Mamma"!
A great week to all of you and "Viva la Mamma"!
  
Flutterby und die BiWuBären / Flutterby and the BiWuBears

Butzeleien und was Feines

Hallo,

auch wenn Birgit im Moment einige Baustellen zu betreuen hat, so arbeitet sie natürlich auch weiter an meinem Cottage-Garten. So hat sie vor kurzem wieder mal mit ihren Materialien gespielt - schaut mal, so was hier hat sie zum Butzeln genommen.
... although Birgit has many projects under construction at the moment, she's of course working on my cottage garden. She was playing along with her materials some days ago - have a look what she's chosen for crafting.
   
            
Na, habt Ihr eine Ahnung, was daraus werden soll? *schmunzel* Auflösung kommt gleich, aber zunächst einmal etwas aus der Backstube. Man glaubt es nicht, aber Birgit hat tatsächlich ihre allerersten Cupcakes aus Fimo gebacken.
Do you have an idea what she's up to? *smile* Well, clearance is on its way, but first we have something to show from the bakery. Hard to believe, but Birgit managed to bake her very first cupcakes made of Fimo.
          
        
Na, so was kann sie ruhig öfter backen. Ich hätte da auch gleich einen Verbesserungsvorschlag - statt Zuckerherzen lieber ordentlich Erdbeeren drauf... *kicher* Aber nun zur Auflösung, was Birgit so gebutzelt hat - tadaaaaa:
As far as I am concerned she could bake something like that more often. But I have a suggestion for improvement - instead of sugar hearts she should use strawberries for topping... *giggle* But now I'm going to show you what Birgit made - tadaaaaa:
          
        
Ich bin begeistert, ich glaube, mein Garten wird richtig schön, wenn schon die Accessoires so toll sind. Begeistert ist ein schönes Stichwort, denn gestern ist unser toller Giveaway-Gewinn von Nina / Larimar angekommen.
I totally like it, I think my garden will be beautiful, must be if the accessoires are that gorgeous. And liking it is a good point to turn over to the fantastic giveaway price from Nina / Larimar that arrived yesterday.
        
    
Ist das nicht klasse - eine ganz tolle Dose. Birgit, die ja aus gesundheitlichen Gründen weder stricken noch häkeln kann, ist immer wieder beeindruckt, was andere so Tolles können. Aber ich wollte natürlich auch noch mal gucken, wie die Dose von innen aussieht - und da habe ich noch eine Überraschung gefunden:
Isn't this great - a lovely box. Birgit who isn't able to knit or crochet due to health problems is always impressed what others are able to do. But of course I wanted to have a look at the inside of the box - and found a surprise:
       
      
Ist die Schildkröte nicht süß? Und das Bärli auch - im doppelten Sinn. *höhö* Ob das schokoladige Kerlchen hier lange überleben wird, ich habe da so meine Zweifel... *zwinker*
This turtle is cute, isn't it? And the bearie is sweet - in a double meaning *harhar* I really have doubts if this chocolaty chap will survive very long around here... *wink*
          
    
Liebe Nina, auch von dieser Stelle aus nochmals vielen herzlichen Dank für diesen wunderschönen Preis - wir haben uns sehr darüber gefreut!
  
Euch allen wünsche ich ein tolles Wochenende!
A great weekend to all of you!

Flutterby