1. William Shakespeare's birthday is celebrated on April 23rd...when did you last read Shakespeare? What's your favorite Shakespeare play?
Honestly? The last time I read a book from Shakespeare was in high school. I am not sure if it is the way it was presented in school or just the difficulty of reading a story in Old English, but I never caught the Shakespeare wave, so to say. If I had to pick a play, perhaps it would be MacBeth...gotta love those witches with their "bubble, bubble, toil and trouble."
2. What food(s) would you recommend a foreign visitor try when they visit your home country?
I feel that when visiting a foreign country (or even just another state or region) it is important to try the local foods. Culinary specialities are one of the cultural aspects that make a place worth going to, and I have an adventurous palate. For those who also enjoying trying new dishes, I could make a long long list of German foods to consider. In our region, a few items would be Maultaschen (a filled noodle that can be prepared in various ways), Flädlesuppe (pancake soup), or one of my favorites--Zwiebelkuchen (onion tart). And one can't forget the Swabian specialty that all kids (and grown-ups) love--Spätzle. These are homemade "noodles" that many old Swabian might argue are not really noodles because they are scraped into boiling water instead of rolled out and formed beforehand. One can eat them as a side dish on Sunday with a roast and gravy. One can make Kässpätzle (with cheese) or they can be fried in a pan with onions and egg. The options are really unlimited.
Other German foods include the Brezel (sort of like a soft pretzel but so much better) or other breads. The baker has so many different ones to choose from, and they are all delicious. Also, I enjoy Christmas time in Germany, because the cookies are spectacular. My favorites are Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars), Spekulatius (a pressed spice cookie) and, of course, the well-known Lebkuchen (gingerbread spice cookies).
I could go on and on, mentioning all sorts of main meals, side dishes, even condiments. Let me just say, if you have a broad palate, you won't be disappointed with German food. And be sure to wash it down with some red wine. Many people know of the vast vineyards and excellent wines of Germany, because we don't export many of them. The Germans are smart and like to keep some of the best for themselves.
3. What's a lie you often tell yourself?
I have no time for (insert whatever task here). Sure, my life is busy, but as they say, sometimes you just need to make the time instead of making excuses.
4. What's something you're good at that might surprise us? Remember this is a family friendly blog!
Hmmm....I'm not sure. I tend to think I am awful or mediocre at most things. So I asked a few people and got these answers: taking photographs, being a friend, writing poetry, making people laugh. However, if I were to ask my teenager daughter, I am sure the reply would be "Annoying me". :-)
5. Who is your favorite animal character from a book?
I'm not sure I have an absolute favorite animal character. However, I recently finished reading "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein. Not only had my mother sent the book to me saying it was a great book, but my friend Nancy (who is a wonderful writer herself and has a blog where she reviews books she has read) recommended it. It only took me two days to read the whole book. I love that the book is narrated by the dog, Enzo. What a smart dog he is! Funny as well. If you love dogs or racing or life or just a good book, you should read it. Though it hasn't made its way here yet, I hear it was made into a movie. But read the book first. The book is always better. Right?
6. April showers bring May flowers...do you have a green thumb?
Not green and not brown. Somewhere in between. My orchids are forgiving, never failing to bloom again. They are beautiful on my window sill.
7. Speaking of rainy days...which one of the following activities would you most want to spend time doing on a rainy day?
sort photos and create albums
read a good book
hold an all-day movie marathon
organize closets, cupboards, or bookshelves
try a new recipe
fix something that needs fixing
Well, that's a difficult question. Why do we just have to pick one. Why not try a new recipe, perhaps in the Crockpot, and while it is cooking I can read a good book while the hubby fixes something?
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Yesterday I took part in a blogsplash called My Most Beautiful Thing. To see my post, click here. Every day life is full of good things. One thing I always enjoy this time of year is the chirping of birds. I often wake up to their sweet song. It helps me start the day, especially when the weather is bad. We have a few nest in the bushes in our garden, and the bird sort of get used to me being around, watching them from afar. Last week one hopped over, within about 4 feet of me, cocked his head, stared at me for about a minute. As is often the case on a nice day, I had my camera by my side. I slowly removed the lense cap, brought it up to my eye, focused and CLICK! Then, instead of flying off, he just hopped over to the other side of the yard, started picking for worms in the lawn. Here's the photo. I hope you like it.