Gizzy in Heaven!

Gizzy in Heaven!
I love you forever and ever, Amen!


Friday, December 31, 2010

Silvester or New Year's Eve

Silvester, Brandenburger Tor, Berlin, Germany

The last day of the year is called Silvester. It is named after Pope Silvester I who died on December 31 in the year 335. Because he possessed incredible healing powers and was believed to have baptized the Roman Emperor Konstantin (which was later disproved) he was declared a Saint and December 31st is his namesake day.

The calendar reform under Pope Gregor XIII in the year 1582 made January 1 in the Christian world New Year's Day and therefore Silvester became the last day of the year. Until then the 25th of December was in many parts of Germany the beginning of the new year.

The fact that so many people want to spell Silvester with a "y" probably stems from the American icons that are known for their first name of Sylvester. Sylvester Stallone is today more known in Germany then the Pope who died 1675 years ago; as well as the famous cat Sylvester who continues his unsuccessful quest in beheading the yellow canary Tweety.

Der letzte Tag im Jahr heißt Silvester. Der Name geht zurück auf Papst Silvester I., der am 31. Dezember des Jahres 335 starb. Weil man ihm wundersame Heilkräfte nachsagte und lange Zeit glaubte, er habe den römischen Kaiser Konstantin getauft (was sich jedoch als falsch erwies), wurde er heilig gesprochen, seitdem ist der 31. Dezember sein Namenstag. Erst die Kalenderreform unter Papst Gregor XIII. im Jahre 1582 führte dazu, dass sich in der christlichen Welt der 1. Januar als Neujahrstag durchsetzte und Silvester somit zum letzten Tag des Jahres wurde. Bis dahin galt in weiten Teilen Deutschlands der 25. Dezember als Beginn des neuen Jahres.

Dass viele den letzten Tag im Jahr Silvester mit "y" schreiben, mag - wie so oft - an den amerikanischen Vorbildern liegen. Dort heißt der 31. Dezember zwar ganz anders, nämlich "New Year's Eve", aber man kennt den Vornamen Sylvester. Und ein Hollywoodstar wie Sylvester Stallone ist heute wohl auch in Deutschland mehr Menschen ein Begriff als jener Papst, der vor 1668 Jahren starb. Ebenfalls bekannter dürfte Kater Sylvester sein, jene "böse Miezekatze", der es trotz zahlloser Versuche leider bis heute nicht gelungen ist, dem nervtötenden Kanarienvogel Tweety den Kopf abzubeißen. 

von Spiegel/Kultur/Zwiebelfisch

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's almost next year!

Gizzy is my model for this doggy coat (or cat sweater) that I finished this morning:

I woke him up to do this photo shoot, so he looks quite sleepy, poor boy!

This snowflake doggy/cat sweater is for sale in my Etsy shop. (I can also make it in other colors!) Again, any and all my followers get a 10% discount!

I also want to share a popular German New Years Eve alcoholic punch recipe with you, but it needs to be started the night before (Thursday) so you'll have it ready by New Year's Eve! The measurements are approximate and you can ad-lib, but for your first-time, I would recommend sticking to this recipe till you've tasted it once.

The punch drink is called Bowle and you can make it with different fruit and there are a lot of different recipes, but this is the way we made it at the Sturm household.All you need is this:

1-2 cans pineapple chunks or fresh cut up pineapple
1 bottle white wine
1 bottle champagne
1 bottle seltzer water
1 bottle 7 Up (optional)
some dark (or light) rum
3 Tablespoons sugar
Punch bowl set and ice (optional)

At home, we always made this with pineapple, because we all liked pineapple, but it also holds its shape nicely and absorbs the rum without getting mushy. You can make it with fresh strawberries (not frozen - don't use frozen fruits at all) and use pink champagne for a pink strawberry bowle for a Valentine's party perhaps -  and instead of rum, you could use cognac or brandy for it - the possibilities are endless.

Ananasbowl or Pineapple Bowle 
(don't you just love the German word Ananas? It means pineapple - how fun is that?)

Start the night before the party and place one large can of drained pineapple chunks in the bottom of your punch bowl. Sprinkle with about 3 Tablespoons of sugar and add enough dark rum (good quality) to cover fruit entirely. Cover punch bowl and allow to soak overnight!

Right before the party, pour in a bottle of decent white wine (such as Fetzer or Sutter Home or similar) and a bottle of Champagne (white, not Cold Duck or Asti Spumante) - and a bottle of club soda (for extra bubbles) and (if your punch bowl is big enough) a liter bottle of  7-Up....stir gently and serve. 

NOTE: You can add chilled beverages and place the punch bowl on ice to keep everything refreshing, but you don't have to...just don't add any ice cubes to the punch, please!

Serve each guest just 2 chunks of pineapple with each cup or else you run out of pineapple before the punch is gone...and everyone wants to taste the pineapple...if you really want to, you could marinate an extra can of pineapple chunks in a separate bowl overnight  with the sugar and dark rum so that you could add more fruit if me, this punch won't last!

Prosit Neujahr! (Pro- zit noy-yar)

Here you can read about some German New Year's customs and why we call New Year's Eve Silvester.

Growing up, we exchanged little symbols of good luck (tokens) made out of chocolate or marzipan to wish each other a happy/lucky New Year, such as:

toadstools (red mushroom with white dots)
chimney sweep
shiny new penny
little piglet
four-leaf clover

and sometimes my Oma would do a little led pouring (bleigiessen)

German New Year's always includes a big Fireworks display. Everyone gets fireworks and lights them at home. This is Germany's biggest fireworks time, because there is no Independence Day over there, so New Year's Eve is IT! --- BIG TIME!!!

If you still need another New Year's Resolution, take a look on and see their German Word of the Day section. Now you can learn a German word each day - at your own pace - and if you get stuck, you can ask me or one of my other fellow German bloggers!

I want to learn Spanish and will give a try in their Start Learning Spanish section. Learning another language or an instrument is good brain acrobatics, did you know? It helps keep your brain churning and therefore more nimble for a longer actively thinking mind. (God knows I can use all the help I can get.)

Happy New Year! 

Gizzy and I are going to stay home, light some sparklers (outside, this time) have too many snacks, call a couple of people and watch a movie - or two! That ought to keep us out of harm's way!

Monday, December 27, 2010

December walk

I'm going to take you on a walk with us today and show you what it looks like here now. It doesn't look like most of your area, because we have no snow, in fact, you might think we still have fall as some of the trees are holding on to their leaves, like this pretty foliage of the ornamental pear tree out back. This is what I saw looking out my back door yesterday:

I took this photo yesterday (on Sunday 12/26) before Bruce (one of the residents here) raked them all up. Gizzy loves walking through the leaves - as do I. The building that you see in the photo is the clubhouse or rec room for us residents to use. Among other things, theres's a full kitchen and a piano for entertaining a larger crowd or just for us to sit and read. The back porch is screened in and has several rocking chairs and a couple of ceiling fans, so that's nice to use in the summer time.

Gizzy likes to investigate down by the water where the ducks congregate - just sniffing around and being a nosy busy-body. He thinks he's the mighty duck hunter now, because I allowed him to chase them back into the water a couple of times since they were following me out into the street. The cars drive really fast around that lake when the speed limit is posted at 15 mph, but it's never enforced! I'm surprised the ducks are still alive.

Gizzy takes his sweet time, investigating and sniffing each blade of grass - twice - making sure he's missed nothing, but since this is "his" walk, I just let him mosey along and do what he needs to do.

That is one of the blueberry bushes that gives us sweet blueberries in the summer. It's still very pretty in red, but I prefer it in blue!

I took this photo from the boardwalk (bridge) and I just love the pretty blue color. The water was exceptionally beautiful today. It sparkled and glimmered in the sunlight like it were covered with chips of diamonds.

I could watch the water sparkle for hours and hours...I imagine the sunbeams are little twinkling fairies or fireflies just joyfully dancing on top of the water's surface.

Here's Victoria, the Canada Goose on her peninsula!

Tossing a few treats to the goose and the two ducks!

Lest we forget the boy! He too must munch on a few kibbles and not let the ducks have EVERYTHING! (geesh! - he never even eats dry food!)

Can you see them? I'm near sighted, but I amaze myself when I'm in nature, the little things I can spot from far away!

This is His Majesty's "I'm done walking!" stance or "we are not amused" expression. That's when I pick him up and push him home on my rollator/walker.(see, how well trained I am?) I must say, that he's been walking a lot more since the weather's been cold(er). We both enjoy these temperatures tremendously!

My friend (and neighbor) Terri and I did a little trade this weekend and I'm very pleased with it. Her iron quit working and I had a brand new Black and Decker in my closet, so I gave her that in exchange for these:

I love them! Now I have some duckies that don't need to be fed. In the summer I'll put them on my front porch, but for now I want to enjoy them in here for now.

Also, when we got home, I couldn't find Gizzy - I called and called his name (you see, he's become a bit hard of hearing) and I couldn't figure out where he might I turn around and look where he was:

Yep, beside his beloved Pup-Peronis LOL - he's so funny! He makes me laugh every day!

Oh, and I thought I'd throw in a couple more photos of my Christmas tree before everyone gets fed up with Christmas, but I go for the whole nine yards:  the 12 Days of Christmas and the Epiphany (Holy Three Kings Day on Jan. 6th) before I even start to think about removing my Christmas tree.

Does anyone have any exiting plans for New Year's Eve? I remember when I wanted to see the ball drop in New York City for the year 2000 and I never made it there!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Gizzy's merry, little Christmas

besides going for my Christmas walk, I was

posing for pictures

visiting our neighbor and friend

I found something under the tree

Look, Ma, what Santa left me!

I can almost taste it!

Here it is...

Gizzy's stogy


Mmmm, delish!!!

Mommy and Me

NOTE: I know I call this blog Crocheting in Georgia, yet somehow Gizzy is the main feature here, but in all fairness, I am crocheting, really I am. I crocheted this scarf and fingerless gloves set for my friend and neighbor as a Christmas gift. Can you guess what her favorite color is? 

(I also made her that dolly on top of her TV)

And this is how I found Gizzy napping. Instead of sleeping in his bed, he must now guard his treats under the tree:

God forbid, I might get a sudden Pup-Peroni craving ;-)

Joy to the World

Silent Night, Merry Christmas Layout

Christmas Card Maker

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Winter!

Winter Comments and Graphics for MySpace, Tagged, Facebook
Share Comments & Graphics - Winter Layouts - Photobucket


I know that some of you are not as happy about winter as I am - seeing how I live in the South - but I still want to wish you all a very happy First day of Winter! Don't let it get you down. When life gives you snow, make a snowman... or a snow angel!

Blessings to you, my friends!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Last day of Autumn 2010

(taken th is morning.from the back of my apartment)

What I saw looking out my back door, ice on the grass and on the roof tops!

"Oh, no, not THAT again!"

I can handle it, I'm brave!  See?

What's on top of the mail box is more interesting than what's inside the mailbox!

crunch, crunch - lovely white frost everywhere!
If you say so, Ma!

I don't think so!


And that concludes our presentation of Autumn till next year. Tomorrow Old Man Winter will be here and hopefully bring me some more ice and dare I say, snow (flakes?)