Donnerstag, 28. November 2013

Meet Georgia


Tuesday evening our foster dog moved in with us. Georgia.
She's a sturdy mid-size bulldog mix with a very strong mind. It feels like she believes that now that she's finally out of the kennel all her wishes will be granted. She really is a dog with a majestic (or stubborn) mind. But so gentle and sweet at the same time that it's impossible to not accept her being that way. So now that her highness has moved in we're looking for the perfect place for her. A good family is hard to find. We don't want her to end up with people that might bring her back to the pound after a bit for whatever stupid reason.

Georgia was brought to the shelter 5 months ago. She was pregnant and in early august got her puppies there. Time went by and the last two of her pups went to a rescue about two weeks ago but she still was there - waiting for someone to pick her up while hating the small kennel she spent most of her time in more and more every day.

Looking at you with the most serious expression you can imagine, she is such a funny dog. She found out that lowering her weight by laying down makes it harder for people to pull her, so whenever she doesn't want to move forward she just lays down. The second phase of laying down is rolling over on her back which she did at the kennel whenever she had to go into her crate. "Pet my belly instead" was what her eyes said while looking so very pitiful.
She will walk up to you and roll on her back whenever she feels the need for some love.

Yesterday evening Sisto was looking for G and couldn't find her in the kitchen, the living room, our room, when he finally called after her. A second passed, then our blanket began to move and only her head appeared from underneath the big pile. (No, she was not allowed on the bed, she just saw her chance with both of us in the bathroom.)

Right now Georgia is the most tired of all dogs, crawled up under the blanket, ready to sleep, after we went on a really long walk with her just before sundown. Happy Thanksgiving, I guess...

Montag, 25. November 2013

Cookies, Kekse, "Orangenplätzchen"

This morning I got in the mood for baking. I really don't know how it happened, maybe because I've been going through a lot of recipes to look for ways to use up my pumpkin, that I baked last week.. the beautiful blue one. Or that I got stuck on ppk's thanksgiving recipes and had to bookmark chai spice snickerdoodles. Or that I've been thinking about which cookie I could put into our friends surprise package. Or that I collected the peel from the oranges from our yard. Yes, our oranges!
Or that yesterday it got a little cooler and windy all of a sudden and felt like autumn a lot. Finally!

So after thinking about them for the last couple of days I yesterday made those snickerdoodles. And despite my love for almost everything the great girls from ppk create, those are not really my thing. Just too sweet. Even though I already reduced some of the sugar, since I felt 1 cup + 1/4 cup of maple syrup might be a little too much goodness for me.

So with this just happened I accidentally found myself on veganpassion's blog entry about her favorite holiday cookie recipes. Went through them thinking that almond meal is nothing I have right here. Thought once again. And decided I should really try one of her recipes with ground chufas instead of almonds. I bought them in germany and sometimes sprinkled the meal on top of my cereal but wasn't too fond of it, but lets see how it does in those cookies:

It does great! I replaced the lemon with orange - we had that on hand / tree - and had to add one flax egg (1tbs flax meal + 2 tbs water) since the dough was a little too crumbly. Finally I got some not too sweet and wonderful nutty orange cookies.

Birds and stars. Aren't they cute?

Sonntag, 24. November 2013

Bleached and enriched

I got one more fact for you, in case you're still with me on my trip to obscure america..

Bleached flour. Bleached white flour to be precise. I always thought white flour is pretty white. But obviously it's not white enough. So when you look at the baking isle here, most of the white flour you can get is pre-sifted, bleached and enriched.
The color of this stuff is a chalky white. Not very appealing if you ask me. Just think about the chemicals they use to have it look like that.
Lets tell you something else: literally everything you can buy that has some sort of grains in it is fortified/enriched. Enriched bread, enriched pasta, fortified cereal, enriched flour and rice. (That seems so odd to me. I always try to find stuff that's not.) Makes sense here though. If fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains are abundant in the diet of a nation companies need to make sure people get at least a little vitamin somehow. If not, scurvy and diabetes would do their business hand in hand, I bet.

Freitag, 22. November 2013

One more unbelievable thing to add:

The common (white, I believe) american is possessed about his heritage. On one hand they are so american that they need to show off their flag whenever possible. Or celebrate thanksgiving, veterans day, independence day as if there was never another day to come to eat a dead animal.
On the other hand however one out of three times I told someone I was german the answer was "Oh, great, I'm german, too!" ... Oh really? So you've been to germany? Actually no, but I'd like to go.
For the other two cases you might as well fill in italian, irish, scottish or "half irish, half french".

(I kind of understand why they do it, it's just ridiculous to claim to be something you're clearly not.)

Just felt like adding this to my long list since it came to my mind today and it was something that I have been thinking about repeatedly - every time I came into that same situation.)

Dienstag, 19. November 2013

Unbelievable 'Merica

Someone posted a link the other day and when I curiously followed the promising title I found THIS ARTICLE.

Isn't it great?

Well, I don't know if the things people mention within are great. At least there are a lot of questionable values reported so no wonder people from out of country cannot believe this is true unless they have seen it. But putting apart my always judging mind those people sure talk about a lot of things I experienced myself. However here's my personal list (sorry for any repetition..):

This country's got so many crazy religious people and everything is influenced by (mainly christian) religious believes, even the constitution, which is probably why the US gets into so much trouble with countries of other major religious believes and despite the fact that this country presents itself as a liberal one.

Lots of kids get pregnant in high school or shortly after - because they are bored and they didn't get educated about birth control (for the super religious crowds that permit lots of schools to do sex education and tell their kids to wait until they get married instead).

More people are fat. Being fat is supported by the government. By subsidizing corn (as an example) unhealthy and fattening products like corn syrup that cover the supermarket shelves over here are so much cheaper and the big companies get so much more money out of producing them (and adding tons of corn syrup) than lets say apples that people buy almost exclusively crappy food. Being fat is also supported by supermarkets who provide electric scooters for exhausted people to shop more crap. But that doesn't surprise us, it helps people to shop more..

Cars are huge. A midsize car here is in the XL class in europe. And it will suck probably two to three times as much gas. So basically if you drive around in one it's like you always take two cars for a ride.

But that's not a problem because most of the people do not think about energy as something valuable anyways. Instead it seems like an endless good so switching off the TV or the lights when you're not in the room or checking the energy efficiency when buying a new fridge is no common thing to do. Oh, does the word energy efficiency exist here?

By the way fridges are huge, too. Almost as big as a small german car.

Here in Florida a four person household usually has at least four cars.

Nobody rides a bike to go to work. Some people ride bikes but only as exercise/amusement. Most people here in Inverness ride tricycles. The ones you lay in. It looks like cycling on your couch. Where's my bag of chips?

People have chips for lunch. - And a huge soda. (Out of a styrofoam container.) I guess I need to repeat the first part: People have chips for lunch.

People celebrate other people who went to other countries to kill people in the name of freedom (and god). Those people are called veterans. Almost everybody was a veteran or is related to a veteran. They are heros. (That's what most people believe.)

Knowledge about the rest of the world is not a thing here. I forgot the details but when I was canvassing I met a lot of funny ideas about european geography and what people in germany do or don't do, have or maybe not have? Like microwaves...
People do not read the international politics pages in the newspaper that anyways are kind of slim.

Toilet paper is expensive. Recycled toilet paper even more so. I don't understand!

Everybody is on pills. If you're not sick you take them to not get sick. But you probably are so you will take your meds.

Some health food stores do not sell healthy foods at all but "healthy pills" instead: food supplements and vitamins.

Places that call themselves pharmacy don't just sell medicin but also junk food and cigarettes. Well, you just need to think of pharmacy as drug store and voila it totally makes sense!

Baking means to throw together a cake mix according to the directions and bake it. How else would you do it? No really, Sisto came back from work the other day and told me about a recipe that had been laying on the table which literally told you to throw together this and that baking mix. "You really need to try this cake, it's sooo good!"

Good beer exists. It's not the cheap big brand stuff, that actually tastes like lemonade to me, but there's a whole universe of micro brews (as they are called) that can be quite different and experimental. Like all kinds of pumpkin ale just to name a seasonal and common variety.

I haven't found downtown areas like they exist in europe where cars are not allowed and small(er) shops line the streets. Everything is accessible by car. So this is one reason why it's hard for me to explain how living "in town" right now (which anyway is just a small village) is different from not living in town. Maybe just because the distances to stores are shorter.

Raw vegan food is kind of big in the healthy alternative lifestyle scene (which you can also find over here). You can get raw foods at health food markets and there's raw food restaurants all over the U.S. Probably not everywhere but in a lot more places than you'd think.

These days too many people of my age cannot live by themselves because the wages are so shitty that they are forced to live either with their parents like the folks Sisto works with or in shared houses like people in Portland.

This country is incredibly large, includes vast areas with very little people and unbelievable nature. you should definitely come and see all of that!

//This is just my personal point of view no more or less. I currently live in Florida and there sure are some things that are less obvious in other states or do not even apply at all.

Donnerstag, 7. November 2013

Driving home

Yesterday evening we played a show in Orlando. We had to drive back afterwards since Sisto had to work today. We just went down the road out of the city when a cop pulled us over. He wanted to see drivers license and registration and asked if we'd be aware why he pulled us over. Nope.
Because of our broken tail light cover. It has been that way since we got the car and no, we never new that might be an issue. We weren't told when we registered the car (twice) and never got pulled out before. But there's always a first time. And if he would have been in a bad mood he could have ticketed us with up to $ 140. Just because our light is white instead of read. Wow. A LOT OF MONEY. We got lucky though and he just gave us a warning. And literally told us to go get some red tape at wal-you-know-who to cover it up so that it doesn't shine white any more. That should be ok, was his statement. Alright. Lets go for that then.
The sad thing about this whole episode is that there so many people speeding, with no lights at all or driving without lights when it's already dark and driving drunk that do not get pulled over which really are a road hazard. But today I'm not complaining.. "just sayin".

Apart from that I just want to mention, I'm not really in the mood for blogging at the moment. But you might as well have already figured that out. Thanks anyway for hanging on to here.