Rain, Slaid, jewel keepers and crutches. My life.

The rain is beating down on my skylight yet again.  It’s another damp, bitter night here in the Stu, but I don’t mind so much because it’s office time….I do mind that my heat isn’t working and my nose is cold and it’s May, but the tap dancing droplets are soothing.  I want to declare a song of the day but the one I want cannot be found anywhere online and it is driving me crazy.  That and I think the only people in the world that will know and appreciate the song are the people I went to middle school with.  That being said, I’m going to do it anyway. Today’s song of the day:  The Rain Song, Slaid Cleaves.  (compliments of one Ms. St. Pierre….)  I used to be in absolute LOVE with Slaid.  He came and sang to us when I was 13 and I was convinced I was going to marry him.  I used my allowance to buy his cd and I listened to that song hourly.  Probably even did something dramatic like cry over it.  I know I wrote him a few letters and he was just the sweetest, most handsome guy I had ever laid eyes on.   Dear Slaid, I bet if you played me The Rain Song, I would love you again forever.  Sorry, but we’re all 13 year old girls at heart…. 
If anyone can send me the song, I will send you something fun from Germany or anywhere in Europe I suppose.  Slaid, if YOU send me that song, I am sending myself to you, with or without a bow.  🙂  Any takers??

  Now, pictures of the week and random thoughts.  This is the inside of my keeper of jewels and trinkets and also my very first purchase at a German flea market.   We took my mom to one this Sunday and it was a somewhat successful event, as she bought me this, got herself some Swiss walking sticks and we had some brats.  All in all, a splendid, yet rainy day in Germany. 

I should clarify that she got herself wooden walking sticks with little badges or charm things carved in them…not those outrageously worthless type canes or crutches you see every third German over 40 walking with.   Now normally I would just think such an asshole thought in my head and not say it out loud, in case someone called me out for being insensitive to the disabled, (which reminds me of the time I called all of the Manning brothers SPEDs and someone I’ve never met said to me, Nice, Heather, the oldest one has MS.  I felt pretty awesome that day.) but true story, I have witnessed with my own eyes at least three Germans RIDING BIKES, in the HILLS OF EUROPE, with said crutches in their baskets.  I have also seen at least two of the three get OFF THEIR BIKE, strap on fancy crutches and take off like a bat out of hell.   Tell me how that makes any sense and I will take it back.  Actually, I won’t, so I don’t want any comments about me and my inappropriateness.  I stand firm in declaring these items idiotic.

Anyway, those were our two purchases.  I felt good about my flea market items, even though it was clear that their junk is just like our junk at flea markets only priced in euros, meaning expensive junk.

Ugh, I cannot finish this post filled with randomness.  I am helping a friend make some goodies for a retreat and it’s midnight and considering we already dumped a batch of mint brownies into the bottom of the stove and I have 60 purple hearts to cut out of card stock, I have to get all domestic like again and end with thoughts on crutches. 

Just another day in Aidlingen.

The Color Yellow

This is how I feel lately. And I know my eyes are closed, and I’m making some goofy face that wasn’t really posing and my hair is kind of crazy, but I think that’s me.  Me caught off-guard, oblivious, per usual.  And I love all the yellow. (ps, Linda took pic of the day today)

                               I drew a line
                           I drew a line for you
                         Oh what a thing to do
                          And it was all yellow

                               Your skin
                 Oh yeah your skin and bones
               Turn into something beautiful
           D’you know for you i bleed myself dry
                 For you i bleed myself dry

There’s a little Coldplay for ya, since that’s the only song I can think of that says the word YELLOW in it. 

Now, I’m off to bed.   I feel like I just lost a race or something…I’m exhausted and we still have a big week left ahead of us.  We have Hohenzollern, small villages to visit, food and wine tasting and a weekend trip to Salzburg and the surrounding area!  Should be a fantastic week and I need to have the energy to enjoy it all.

Until later…

Wednesday crushes

 So I’m crushing on a few things today. 

First thing.  The tulips in my town are beautiful (really, look at the picture I took).  I went to the blumen field again to pick more so I could put some in my mom’s guest room and I went a little crazy and broke my own rule about taking only my share.  I had to.  They are so damned pretty and they are my favorite.  And so now my house is filled with them.  32 of them to be exact.  I told you, out of control.  

Next.  I was cleaning my house for my mother with my headphones on and in the middle of dancing around my kitchen to some old school Run DMC,  the song changes and fuck me senseless, it’s the world’s most romantic song EVER–Unchained Melody, circa 1955.  Oh good sweet Jesus, there is nothing more that I love than a little Righteous Brothers.  *Sigh.*  Seriously.  I don’t even need to get into the movie Ghost because yeah, yeah, that clay clip is great but I mean he’s dead and she’s really by herself and so I can’t get all worked up about them but the song, the song I can get worked up about.  I LOVE THIS SONG.  Add it to the list.  So then it brought me to remember that I love this version as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qo5T0bs-JDY&feature=related  Bono, ugh, you kill me.  Seriously.  The desperation in his voice.  When he does the “I need your love” part, I lose my shit.  Being that desperate.  That angst of needing to be with someone.  Having time move so slowly….So great, really. 

Which led me to remember I wanted to look up a version of U2’s One that I heard while sitting in a bar in Sarajevo (City Pub, which I think is the exact location where the pneumonia started to attack me—great bar, though).  I love MJB and this version with Bono is really great.  http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1ylpy_mary-j-blige-u2-one_webcam  So, those are the songs of the day.

Now, I have to get back to cleaning the house for my mother.  It is very important that she doesn’t think I have let my house go to shit, but to be honest, I’m still the same messy little monster I was back at home.

When you find the perfect gift…

I am in gift giving mode lately and working on a few projects for other people (6 for June alone!) so I’ve been doing a lot of browsing online, story writing, painting, etc.  Things are coming along nicely and typically I try not to buy for myself but then I find fantastic things that I think I need or that I get a kick out of and then things get out of control. 

In this case, I was browsing Ann Taintor gifts again for some of my favorite gals and instead, I bought myself one.  How could I resist when I saw this gem?  And hurraaaaaaaaaay!!  It has arrived at my mother’s house just in time for her to bring it to me on Thursday. 

I just love it when I find something so fitting and practical.  🙂  Can’t wait to test it out…..

In other news today, it’s my mother’s 49th birthday (again) and I just wanted to say HAAAAPPY BIRTHDAY, Mom!  She’ll be with me in two days (FINALLY!)  and I have some great things planned for us.  Can’t wait to show off my fancy life in Germany.

Gotta run.  I have dinner plans in the Stu.  I’ll be sure to write more later this week….

Rain, horses and selling me

Today is such a shit day in the Stu.  It just won’t calm the fuck down with the rain.  It’s like cats and dogs and meatballs and whatever else anyone has ever compared big rain to and I hate it.  Last week we ended the week with two perfect days and now a week of shit.  Insert pouting.  Thank god for my sweats and my tea, my candles and my heat in the Land of Heather, aka my office, which makes rainy days perfectly acceptable. 
Now.  Speaking of dogs.  Not that we were.  I just mentioned dogs above and it reminded me to announce that my family has found a new way to make me want to jump out of my skin from across the pond.  Here is a conversation I had with my mother last night.  And David, I’m sorry, but we will be discussing this soon.
Me: Why is my brother holding a picture of dog on his wife’s fb page?  Please tell me that’s not his dog. (which I already know IS HIS DOG BECAUSE I AM A GENIUS)
My mother, playing the part of the neutral, innocent bystander:  “Oh, hmmm.  (INSERT AN INSANELY LONG PAUSE WHERE SHE PRETENDS TO CHASE HER DOG UP A CREEK)  Yes, why yes, that’s their new dog.”  She is actively working on some daytime televesion award, like an Oscar or something.
This is the part where she knows I’ve only called to freak out and she starts sighing and preparing herself to mentally shut off half during my tirade so that she doesn’t hate me enough to cancel her international flight here next week.
Me, playing the part of the angry, irrational but very rational and responsible older sister: “What the fuck is he getting a dog for?  He lives upstairs in your house and you have three dogs I hate that eat walls and what are you going to do with another dog?  That dog will be yours in no time and I thought we discussed that DOGS ARE LIKE PEOPLE.  You all just got yourself a new person, for probably 13 years and I hope you are all happy.”  (I am the only one unhappy about this whole arrangement it seems)

Me, continuing my I am so responsible, everyone should listen to me, tirade: “This is stupid, really.  What the hell kind of dog is it?”  In asking, I know full well that it will be no reasonable breed.  It’ll either be foreign and require something insane like to be fed parakeets every morning, or it’ll be dangerous and eat people or it’ll be generic as shit, meaning a lab.  (they are)

My mother, playing the new role as oblivious dog owner:  “Oh, it’s a Great Dane.”  She said it like you’d say, Oh, that? That’s just a horse.  Just a horse sitting in the kitchen.  Just a horse tearing up the backyard.  We just bought ourselves a horse.  Don’t you have a horse?

All I heard was horse.  Horse that will eat the rest of the house and ruin it and we will never be able to return to the house again because it has become not just a pound but a horse farm and holy god, my brother who is living in a bedroom UPSTAIRS at my mother’s house bought himself a two day old horse. 

“Oh well of course it’s a Great Dane.  That’s reasonable and JESUS WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL OF YOU?  You’ve all lost your minds.  Am I the only one that thinks clearly?  Who approved this and what did my sister have to say about this?”  Not one ounce of this will ever effect me but I am VERY unhappy.

And so my mother, in about two months, will be raising a horse in her house.  A horse that will befriend those assclown other dogs she has there.  The ones that eat walls.  Perfect. 

Back to things that don’t make me want to sedate myself. 

In relaxing upstairs in the office tonight, I’m trying to hang a bulletin board (requires a hammer, should be fun), trying to fill said bulletin board, finish a story, do this blog, and I’m still working on the new website, www.unapologeticmoxie.com.  I think I’ve finished the first go round with my “All things Heather” page, but shit, it’s pretty tough to package me up for the world in a few adjectives and one liners.  I asked three of my girlfriends for a few of their thoughts, but let’s just say I went with my own.  While their themes were similar, it wasn’t quite what I was looking for and god, am I REALLY THAT LOUD (and crazy)? Since the new site surely won’t be up for another few weeks, here’s the preview of the “All Things Heather” page–subject to change, of course.  Not that you don’t all know this stuff about me….
heather renee smith. 

Expert storyteller. New England gal.  Grilled cheese connoisseur.  International charmer.  Freelance drinker of gin for hire. 
Objective, you ask?  Conquer Europe, then the world.  All of it, one beer at a time. 
Lives simply for: Moxie’s kisses.  The sting of the Atlantic.  Championship titles in Boston.  Soft skin that smells of coconut.  Panty dropping accents.  The tickle of freshly cut grass.  Passport stamps.  The perk of hazelnut iced coffee.  Leaves that change.  The Dixon Ticonderoga.  Ritz sheets.  The color GREEN.  That neck thing.  Chicken pot pie.  Honeysuckle in pots.  Infectious laughter.  Lots of it. 
Will forever refuse to:  Do the dishes.  Tone down the aggression.  Tame my hair.  Make my bed.  Take it back.  Be agreeable.  Follow a moral compass.  Give up my sweats.  Calm down.  Be taken for granted.  Use my inside voice.  Answer to anyone.  Live like I have a second chance.
There are a few missing lines, yadda yadda, but I think you get the picture.
And so there’s that.  Now I’m on to picking pictures that are representative of me and my life.  Not that fun, actually.  Kinda tough, but a project I’m happy to work on…especially since I HAVE MY NEW PHOTO PRINTER AND SCANNER.  Yay!  That means all old pictures are now game on again. I think I’ll drag them all out tonight and have a look.
I’m also working on a writing project for one of those stories of sexy relations I was talking about awhile ago.  I want to finish it in June sometime, which shouldn’t be too hard, considering it’s half done.  This one still doesn’t have much dialogue, but the actual scenes are coming along in a way that makes me want to do myself.  I’m using my very vivid imagination. 🙂 Lack of talking?  I cannot do cheesy sex lines and who needs talking? Anyway, I’ll post a sample soon, knowing full well my mothers and grandmother read my blog.  Oh well, all is fair game in the memoir world.

Happy rain day.


**So about the dog picture.  Apparently this picture has been on a cake somewhere in the DC area after my friend’s husband finished a NIH study, which lead to a science article, which then led to two dogs on a cake–these dogs, and now she’s telling me this after I didn’t tag the photo like the asshole I am not because I can’t but because I don’t know how.  Is that a good disclaimer?  Eric Karlins, NIH study, Nature magazine, dogs.  Tag, you’re it.

How to kill your child in Germany


This is the warning that is stuck to the blinds in the hardware store in Germany.   Is there anything today that is better than this?  I think not.  Sweet jesus I wish every warning was like this.  I think it’s the teddy that really gets the point across.

And I do apologize for the state that the warning label is.  We’ve been carrying it around this weekend, showing people the sticker.  Inappropriate, I know, but at least I know what my new calling could be if writing doesn’t work out.  Inappropriate, “how your child might die randomly” sticker making. 

And it is funny, so I don’t want to hear about it.

Today’s song of the day happens to be  “Two Step” , compliments of Dave.  Tonight alone I have listened to three different live versions of this song on YouTube.  Obsessed much?  Whatever.

I’m off now to work on my new “All Things Heather” page for my new site.  Need to catch up on that project, set up my NEW PHOTO PRINTER THAT ARRIVED TODAY!!!, and get back to those new iPod playlists.  Big creative week….

These are a few of my favorite things….

Picture of the Day–Moxie, sitting.  This is honest to god how she sits.  I have no idea where she learned such sitting behavior, but it’s awesome.  I can never be mad at her when she looks at me like this.  She’s the best.

Song of the evening:  Maxwell, This Woman’s Work, which I can only get to play from here, for some reason tonight.   http://www.metacafe.com/watch/sy-14246965/maxwell_this_womans_work_official_music_video/  This song gives me goosebumps like Rufus’ Hallelujah does, and it’ll be on my new playlist, which I’m working on tonight.  I’m big on playlists lately.

Now, getting the “things of the day” out of the way, I have a few things to report on regarding Germany. 

So the last four days have been a reminder of why I love Germany so much.  I never really give this country enough credit (they do it to themselves, really) but sometimes I get all lovey-dovey with this country and this is one of those weeks.  So here’s my TOP THREE REASONS TO LOVE GERMANY THIS WEEK list.  I don’t expect this to be a regular list, so let’s all enjoy my optimism while it lasts. 

3.  This is something I actually found last week at the store, but no matter, it’s going on this week’s list.  They sell this in the little grocer in my village and I LOVE IT.  I sent this picture to a few people and one said, “Well, they could be using it to open water.”  Now we all know that is just false.  It is especially false because on the package, it shows a happy, German carpenter, banging nails with a beer on his sawhorse.  So clearly it was made with beer in mind, as it should have been.  I was unaware that we actually had this in the States, probably because I can’t remember the last time I hammered something, but now I am going to find reasons to hammer the shit out of anything…right after I purchase this. 

2.  Fruhlingsfest 2010.  Celebration of the spring and beer for zi Germans.  It really is just like Volksfest, the cousin of Oktoberfest, but warmer, except it rained yesterday, so it was wasn’t warmer at all.  It was cold and rainy outside, and hot and sweaty in the beer tents, just how the Germans like it.  It was a great time, per usual with the Stu crew and it was kind of like my homecoming, considering I haven’t seen anyone since before I left for Sarajevo in March and most people either thought I was dead or had moved back home.  It was all you can expect from a German fest.  It was excessive amounts of beer, great outfits, rides and lots and LOTS of German snacks. (the corn on the cob on a stick is always my favorite, though it’s not a German snack)  I didn’t end up getting crazy at this Fest and ended up giving up the beer and being the driver.  I really don’t know what has happened to me.  Maybe the thought of ever having to return to the hospital here has scared me straight into responsible 30-year-old behavior.  I don’t like it, but it’s not all that bad. 🙂

 And now lastly, but most importantly…..

1.  Nurnberg!

So I just got back Friday from a work trip to a bunch of villages in Northern Germany (well, more north than where I live) and I am going to report back on a city that I visited in a timely manner.  The only reason I’m actually doing so is because I really liked this trip and not only were the little villages beautiful, but the drive was nice and I visited my new, favorite German city of the month.  Nurnberg!  It has officially moved into the top 5 in Germany–1. Uberlingen, 2. Fussen 3. Nurnberg. 4. Weil der Stadt 5. Kiel.  It could actually be number one for a lot of reasons, but Uberlingen and Fussen have that blue-green water I love so much, so I’m sticking to the ranking as is. 

Now, Nurnberg–one of Germany’s most quaint and romantic cities.  (said by them, agreed upon by me)  It has all the makings of a quaint and romantic city.  The city sits upon endless paths of cobblestones, smooth and dangerous, having rolled my ankle at least twice, very graceful of me.  It’s within castle walls, tall and strong, and not some bullshit castle.   A real castle.  A functional castle that looks worn and rebuilt in parts, brick and stone alternating in the stacking, telling stories of men who died to keep them intact and the people within safe. Now historically, it’s not so romantic at all, but we’ll just pretend I don’t know anything about the history of Nurnberg and get back to my description. 

  A river rolls through the village quietly, with its tiny wooden bridges leaping from one side to the other.  The river was pretty in general, but prettiest at night, with the moon’s reflection lit up the city.  It was clear and warm the night I was there, and as I walked this path on the river, the willows rustled in the cool air and blew from side to side like hair in the wind and the swooshing sound it made was peaceful.  I found a story about the willows in Nurnberg when I got back the following night, a Hans Christian Andersen story “Under the Willow-Tree), and here’s the part I liked best:

Winter came; the water was frozen, and everything seemed buried in a cold grave. But when spring returned, and the first steamer prepared to sail, Knud was seized with a longing to wander forth into the world, but not to France. So he packed his knapsack, and travelled through Germany, going from town to town, but finding neither rest or peace. It was not till he arrived at the glorious old town of Nuremberg that he gained the mastery over himself, and rested his weary feet; and here he remained.

Nuremberg is a wonderful old city, and looks as if it had been cut out of an old picture-book. The streets seem to have arranged themselves according to their own fancy, and as if the houses objected to stand in rows or rank and file. Gables, with little towers, ornamented columns, and statues, can be seen even to the city gate; and from the singular-shaped roofs, waterspouts, formed like dragons, or long lean dogs, extend far across to the middle of the street. Here, in the market-place, stood Knud, with his knapsack on his back, close to one of the old fountains which are so beautifully adorned with figures, scriptural and historical, and which spring up between the sparkling jets of water. A pretty servant-maid was just filling her pails, and she gave Knud a refreshing draught; she had a handful of roses, and she gave him one, which appeared to him like a good omen for the future. From a neighboring church came the sounds of music, and the familiar tones reminded him of the organ at home at Kjøge; so he passed into the great cathedral. The sunshine streamed through the painted glass windows, and between two lofty slender pillars. His thoughts became prayerful, and calm peace rested on his soul. He next sought and found a good master in Nuremberg, with whom he stayed and learnt the German language.

The old moat round the town had been converted into a number of little kitchen gardens; but the high walls, with their heavy-looking towers, are still standing. Inside these walls the ropemaker twisted his ropes along a walk built like a gallery, and in the cracks and crevices of the walls elderbushes grow and stretch their green boughs over the small houses which stand below. In one of these houses lived the master for whom Knud worked; and over the little garret window where he sat, the elder-tree waved its branches. Here he dwelt through one summer and winter, but when spring came again, he could endure it no longer. The elder was in blossom, and its fragrance was so homelike, that he fancied himself back again in the gardens of Kjøge. So Knud left his master, and went to work for another who lived farther in the town, where no elder grew. His workshop was quite close to one of the old stone bridges, near to a water-mill, round which the roaring stream rushed and foamed always, yet restrained by the neighboring houses, whose old, decayed balconies hung over, and seemed ready to fall into the water. Here grew no elder; here was not even a flower-pot, with its little green plant; but just opposite the workshop stood a great willow-tree, which seemed to hold fast to the house for fear of being carried away by the water. It stretched its branches over the stream just as those of the willow-tree in the garden at Kjøge had spread over the river. Yes, he had indeed gone from elder-mother to willow-father. There was a something about the tree here, especially in the moonlight nights, that went direct to his heart; yet it was not in reality the moonlight, but the old tree itself. However, he could not endure it: and why? Ask the willow, ask the blossoming elder! At all events, he bade farewell to Nuremberg and journeyed onwards. He never spoke of Joanna to any one; his sorrow was hidden in his heart. The old childish story of the two cakes had a deep meaning for him. He understood now why the gingerbread man had a bitter almond in his left side; his was the feeling of bitterness, and Joanna, so mild and friendly, was represented by the honeycake maiden. As he thought upon all this, the strap of his knapsack pressed across his chest so that he could hardly breathe; he loosened it, but gained no relief. He saw but half the world around him; the other half he carried with him in his inward thoughts; and this is the condition in which he left Nuremberg. Not till he caught sight of the lofty mountains did the world appear more free to him; his thoughts were attracted to outer objects, and tears came into his eyes. The Alps appeared to him like the wings of earth folded together; unfolded, they would display the variegated pictures of dark woods, foaming waters, spreading clouds, and masses of snow. “At the last day,” thought he, “the earth will unfold its great wings, and soar upwards to the skies, there to burst like a soap-bubble in the radiant glance of the Deity. Oh,” sighed he, “that the last day were come!”

And so I love Nurnberg.  I could give more reasons, but it’s not the Nurnberg report, so I’ll just leave it at this for now….and say that I’ll be back.

And that’s all I’ve got tonight.  Happy first week of May!