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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Growing Tomatoes: Day 7

As you know, Marco and I are hoping to grow our own tomato plants for our balcony this summer. So last week we planted some tomato seeds in egg cartons.

I was so worried for the first six days when nothing was happening. But, I kept watering them each day, hoping something would pop up... Then, on day seven, a bunch of sprouts appeared!

So here are some pictures exactly seven days after we planted the seeds. On the right, you see the little cherry tomato sprouts. I would also like to add that this is the half of the egg carton that I planted. ;)

Here are what the little sprouts look like up close:

And here is the other half of the carton. These seeds are for normal tomatoes, and unfortunately, there are no sprouts here yet. 

Although, you can see that something is starting to grow. They are just a little slower than the cherry tomatoes, I guess.

I'll keep you updated on whether I can get them to actually bear fruit. Although, I doubt anyone finds this as interesting as I do...

Let me know if you want a tomato plant, though. I am sure me and Marco will have way more than we can fit in our little flower boxes!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Preparing for Spring

Re-potting plants on the balcony
Since Spring is just around the corner, I decided to start preparing. We have quite a few plants that needed re-potting, and we want to start growing tomato plants for the summer. So, we got some dirt and seeds from the store. Then, I spent a day sitting on the balcony and getting it all done. Well, it was a little cold outside, so I didn't exactly sit on the balcony...

Here is a little gallery of all our plants and their new pots. Please excuse the fact that I don't know the name of any of them...

Valentine's Day roses

Small rose plant Marco gave me for Valentine's Day

Matching plants for the living room

Phoenix Palm

Phoenix palm in the living room. The pot (okay, it's actually a garbage can from Ikea) is a little big right now, but hopefully the palm will grow into it.

Basil in the kitchen

Basil in the kitchen

We rearranged the living room, so the TV table is now at an angle in the corner. Marco though it was a waste of space, so we keep a big plant back there too.

growing tomatoes in an egg carton

Tomato seeds planted in an egg carton (cross your fingers that they will actually grow!)

Marco has had this plant for several years, and it has looked half-dead for a long time. I put it into a much bigger pot in hopes that it would come back to life, but I found these weird balls all throughout the roots:

weird plant fungus

Does anyone know what this is? Maybe some kind of fungus? I squeezed a few, and they were just filled with liquid. I tried to get rid of most of them, then put the plant into new soil. Maybe I should just throw out the plant, though...

This is another one of Marco's old plants that I can't stand. I cut back two of the three branches because they were about three feet long with just one branch of leaves on each. It looked ridiculous. I am not sure it will survive my drastic pruning, but we'll see.

Are you looking forward to Spring? Have you done anything to prepare?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mistranslation Monday: TestDaF

As you know, I took the TestDaF last Thursday. This German fluency test has four components: reading, listening, writing, and speaking. The speaking section has seven different prompts, each of which gives you 1-2 minutes to think and then 2-3 minutes to speak. Everything was going great until I got to prompt #6.

Topic: Eheschließung

Okay, I had never seen this word before, but the good thing about German is that they love compound words. So I looked at the word's parts:


So, this probably means divorce, right? Alrighty. I then went on to talk about how divorce can hurt families with children, as kids that grow up in single family homes tend to have more behavior problems and don't perform as well in school. At the end of my 3 minutes, I actually felt pretty good about the whole thing.

That is, until I met back up with Marco after the test. As we were discussing the various prompts, I asked, "What does Eheschließung mean, by the way?"

"Marriage," he replies.

I went white. What?! Marriage?! So, I just gave a 3 minute speech about how marriage is bad for children? Great.

You see, I had the parts of the word correct, but I misinterpreted the meaning. Schließung does mean closing, but I should have thought of "marriage closing" as meaning that the marriage is official. Ugh.

Well, at least the TestDaF isn't graded according to your opinions and thoughts, but rather how you formulate them. So, maybe I still have a chance...

Oh, and by the way, you can now follow my blog with Bloglovin!

Thursday, February 13, 2014


YAY! It's finally over!

After taking my first German class nine years ago, I finally took the TestDaF today. Now I just have to wait around for the results. When I finally get them, which should be in about five weeks, I will definitely let you guys know if I pass. If you don't hear anything, then you can just assume for yourself...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Lidl's "American" Food

Last week, one of the popular grocery stores in Germany, Lidl, was advertising a special "American Week." They had a bunch of special "American" food products from the brand McEnnedy. Here you can see me in front of the big red, white, and blue display.

Lidl's McEnnedy brand

I am putting American in parentheses because most of these things aren't really American food, but rather Germany's interpretation of American food. For example, you can see me holding the "Hamburger Sauce" and "Sandwich Sauce" above. What the heck is that?

This next one actually is quite American, however. It is called an "American Snack Box," which is box of onion rings, mozzarella sticks, and chili-cheese nuggets. Mmmm, breaded and frozen goodness.

Lidl American food

I will admit that I did end up buying three things:

My American food from Germany
Butter-Flavored Microwave Popcorn | Cookie Dough Ice Cream | Peanut Butter

You might find this a little random, but here is my reasoning:

1. Germany loves sweet popcorn, so it is rare to find buttered flavor. 
2. I've never seen cookie dough ice cream before in Germany, and it's my favorite kind. 
3. I actually already had two jars of peanut butter, but I am an addict.

What foods do you think a German grocery store should carry for an "American Food Week"?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Mistranslation Monday: Damn Cloth

The German boyfriend and I recently got a panini grill. As usual, I decided to read the directions, while he was already ripping through the packaging and setting it up.

Cleaning the panini grill with a damp cloth

"Before use, wipe the grill with a damp cloth," I read aloud.

"A what cloth?" Marco asked.

"A damp cloth." I repeated

"A damn cloth?!" Marco asked, confused.

Thinking that he was being a smart-ass, however, I just said, "No, a damp cloth."


So I don't know if this misunderstanding was due to my poor pronunciation or his English skills, but long story short, Marco has learned a new word.

And now he enjoys saying, "Gotta clean my grill with a damn cloth!"
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