Freitag, 16. Januar 2015

How to transform gray January days into green January days.

It’s been days since the dreamlike snow has melted, and apart from a few moments January remains grey – remedies are fresh-cut flowers and winter blossoms, simple decoration, visits to the museum with the kids, the world’s best oatmeal cookies and hot lemon ginger water! 

When I sit at my desk working, I easily get cold – instead of having the third cup of coffee or tea I cut 3-4 slices of ginger (unpeeled) and chop ½ of an organic lime in chunks, squeeze out some of the juice and fill it all up with about half a quart of hot water. 
I drink this, slightly sweetened, several times throughout the day, it warms me wonderfully from the inside! 

By the way it also tastes delicious with grapefruit (instead of lime) – unfortunately this type of fruit is hard to find from organic growers. 

Have I mentioned before that I am grateful every day over and over again that I have the privilege to work from home? 
I am flexible with my time, which means in plain language that I – as soon as the children come home from school – can spend an afternoon in town with them, if I feel like it. 
And as long as THEY feel like it (can change suddenly and anytime with regard to teenagers), I make good use of it and do this at least once a week. 

Most of the time we visit some kind of exhibition, museum or – as we did yesterday – an art gallery, followed by drinking hot chocolate in a favorite coffee shop, browsing new releases in a book store and talking about all sorts of things. 
(note to all people who live in Stuttgart: you can visit most of the city’s cultural establishments for free every Wednesday. I always forget this and am always surprised to find out again ;)). 

What’s best about it:
During the week in the afternoons the museums and galleries are almost void of people and not as crowded as on the week-ends – the atmosphere is second to none in terms of beauty and peacefulness, and you feel as if you are in a private exhibition. 

My advice: 
Instead of checking out the whole nine yards, rather plan to visit only a few of the rooms and rather enjoy everything in depth – that may well mean that we stay in a room for 20 minutes, because we like it so much. 
Yesterday, for example, we skipped the Gothic and Modern Art altogether and dedicated our time extensively to the Flemish artists instead.

Can you imagine that most people can spontaneously name all the main characters in the Simpsons/GameOfThrones/Friends series – but stand perplexed in front of a painting and can neither determine its place in history nor the artist? 

It is understandable, though, as even if you learned about the subject in school (or maybe took a field trip to the National Gallery with your class), it will always be accompanied by the thought “we will later have to take a test on this and I have to remember it”. 

(My personal nightmare: one of my daughters meets an educated young man from a noble family rich in tradition (happens all the time!), who then falls in love with her, gives her a Monet for her birthday and she says something along the lines of : “Oh, thanks. But you can’t even make out what this is, can you?”. Same goes for my son.  
Is this what you want?
Is this what you want?!)

For if you dive into these subjects outside of the classroom, you will find that they are absolutely fascinating and entertaining – at any age, no less. 
It is only logical that the experience then stays with you without even trying. 

Apart from our outings I like to obtain accompanying books, so today I have a recommendation for you: in my opinion one of the best series of books in this area. 

It is called:
"13... children should know” (artists, paintings, buildings, modern artists, art techniques, painters), and it is done really, really well: everything is packed with pictures, with easily understandable explanations and quite effortless to remember. 
I would recommend the books for children of about age 6 and up. 
And up to 99 –  honestly, I also learn an awful lot here. 

For should I myself meet a young man of nobility…

In the past weeks we’ve devoured these 3 audio books on the subject of history – ideal for long car rides! 
(10 CDs of altogether 700 minutes! We are far from finished;))

I have Homer’s Iliad down pat now (even if I personally had never attached any importance to it – it was Ben’s first choice). 

Ball Jar glass, green: Blueboxtree

Book series:

(all available at Amazon)

Unfortunately I did not succeed straightaway with the oatmeal cookie recipe. 
Noelle optimized it and now it is so unbelievably delicious that we had to gobble up everything instantly (for test purposes!). 
Will be up soon, though. 

Until then you can educate yourselves to make sure you don’t make a fool of yourselves, if a noble young man …um…smiles at you when you are buying bread rolls for breakfast. 
Happens all the time! 



This post was translated by Ginnell Studio.

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