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A Very Frankish Christmas

I was planning on keeping this blog updated, but had no internet access over the holidays (which was both scary and wonderful :-)), so you’re getting it all now.   First I’ll start with a photomanip.  I did two for January and never could decide which I liked better so I’ll give you both, one today and the other in the next week.

Here are my fab deviantart sources: Models: link by Katanaz-Stock and link by the-stock-project, Left side background: link by blackkitty666, Right side background: link by Tigg-stock, Owl horns: link by gurukitty, Squirrel fur: link by`radioPooh, Owl feathers: link by SalsolaStock, Fox fur: link by Momotte2stocks, Cardinal feathers: link by hortley, Snowdrop: link by Rita-Ria-Stock, Juniper branches: link by ~unpurrfect-stock, Ice: link by SusieStock, Berries: link by xcc-stock and link by marlene-stock, Texture: link by night-fate-stock Antlers: link by Irie-Stock

Winter:

The rain of Zeus descends and from high heaven

A storm is driven;

And on the running water-brooks the cold

Lays icy hold:

Then up! beat down the winter; make the fire

Blaze high and higher;

Mix wine as sweet as honey of the bee

Abundantly;

Then drink with comfortable wool around

Your temples bound.

We must not yield our hearts to woe, or wear

With wasting care;

For grief will profit us no whit, my friend,

Nor nothing mend;

But this is our best medicine, with wine fraught

To cast out thought. —Alcaeus

I spent Christmas with my friends in Franken again this year, and, like always, it was awesome.  They’re no-stress people, they stuff me full of pie and beer, and I get to sleep in front of a blazing traditional wood stove in a 200 year old half-timbered farm house.  The eggs for breakfast come from one neighbor’s farm, the bratwurst is hand made from another neighbor’s farm, last year another neighbor donated a rabbit for dinner. Kind of like heaven.

The view from my bed.

And then, after 2 years of celebrating with them, Martin finally decides to tell me that the area where they live has the most breweries per capita of anywhere IN THE WORLD.  And then his father suggests we get a case of beer and get different bottles from around the vicinity, which was the best idea of the year, as far as I was concerned.  We settled with beer from within a 20 k. radius around their house and ended up with these: 

I managed to make my way through all but the Bockbier and one of the darks.  Also, there was another kind of Göller we got.  Still, not bad for 3 days! :-)The only one I wasn’t so keen on was the Rauch Weizenbier, which surprised me.  Normally I adore Rauchbier (it’s a specialty of Bamburg where they smoke the hops before brewing the beer), but the Weizen version was a little odd.

In the Mosel region

Bingen

I also took some pictures from the train on my way down to see how my camera would hold up, and got some interesting results.  Unfortunately, most of the way I was on the boring side of the train (ie. the river and castles were not next to me)  Next time I’ll make sure to get a better seat :-):

This one is from the car from Bamberg to Unterküpps

And some of Christmas dinner.  Jess is one of the best cooks ever.  And yes, that is an oreo cheesecake. Don’t get me wrong now.  Germans do amazing cakes and sweets, but they don’t understand pies, and I love that Martin (who is German) and Jess (an Ami) still mix American and German holiday foods.

All in all it was a rockin’ Christmas! See you all in the new year! 

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