At the Moment #6

It’s my birthday today. And for a few years I take a minute (or two) to do an annual check in. It puts the year in perspective. It shows all the good things that happened. And it helps me realize to what I wish for. What I hope for. And this time around hoping and wishing is much needed.

at the moment craftaliciousme seeking creative life

.I think:
… 2020 will be a very peculiar year. So much is happening – half of what we are probably not (yet) recognizing. Most we are missing and still it’s effecting every single person on this planet one way or the other it seems. Pandemic, civil war like situations in the U.S., refugees in camps, horrific fires in Australia, earthquakes… You name it. And this year is not even half over. So much living we have to do…

.I like:
… not having migraines as badly anymore. Just this morning I had an aura but usually they pass without any pain now. The shots seemed to really have helped.

.I don’t like:
… myself a lot of times. And that is a very sad realization.

.I feel:
… Weltschmerz. I don’t know any other way to describe the current wariness. The disillusioning of what is happening to this world. So much pain. So much hate. So many egocentric people.

.I wear:
… my Apple Watch daily now.

.I learn:
… Spanish and should pick up a regular routine again. Also trying myself to read faster.

.I need:
…more self-confidence

.I’m annoyed by:
… people being egoistic.

.I want:
… to be able to read faster. Imagine all the books you could devour.

.I hear:
… my favorite playlist called “my happy place”.

.I’m making:
… all the things. This years 100 day project is finishing up all those projects I started, never finished or never tackled. I have made quite a few things lately. Right now I am working on doing our wedding photo album. It drags on. I am not good at editing out.

.I eat:
… asparagus. As long as it is still in season.

.I drink:
… a lot of coffee.

.I gather:
… herbs and wild leaves to make my own herbal tea for fall season. At least that is my plan.

.I smell:
… the neighbors cat litter box. The disadvantage of a balcony in an apartment building.

.I miss:
… my best friend. Our monthly date has been canceled three times and I haven’t seen her since the beginning of March. I hope we soon will.

.I regret:
… not being able to listen closely. Not being able to express my thoughts correctly. Causing pain.

.I enjoy:
… my quiet mornings where I read and learn new things and drink my coffee. And finally I can do it on the balcony again.

.I appreciate:
… Mr. ♡ taking the day off even though he is drowning at work because I had such a crappy experience last year being all by myself all day on my birthday.

.I trust.
… we will see better times. I trust we will come out stronger as a society. I trust that history will not repeat itself and that the human race is actually able to learn from its mistakes.

.I dream:
… of house or apartment by the water. Still. Forever. Probably.

.I read:
… Pippi Longstocking. It seemed like the right time to dive into my favorite children’s book.

Well, this has been a bit gloomy. Didnt want it to be but apparently that is the feeling at the moment. I love checking back and comparing with previous years once I am done writing. Feel free to also have a look: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.

Happy birthday to me and happy day to you

Tobia

BOOKS I READ IN MAY

Books I read in May craftaliciousme seeking creatinve life

Another months staying home – another month reading lots. Or did you spent lots of time walking outside? Have you been too unfocused to read and dive into other worlds and listen to new stories? I had some days where I really couldn’t focus and reading was a chore. But In the end it was another very successful month and I want to share my finds and the books I read in May. Let’s go:

Eisiger Kerker by Bernadette Calonego | ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: Calista Gates, Detective from Vancouver is transferred to the deepest end of Labrador after an assault to her life and to give her a chance to fight her way back to the force. For er it feels a bit like being shipped to the end of the world. But an old case is re-opend when body shows up. Another one soon follows and investigation starts.
What I thought: I am not usually drawn to crime books but this is the third one by this author and all of them had me hooked from the beginning. I could not tell who the murder was until the last few pages and not a real suspicion could be formed as more and more was revealed. Still it was not too farfetched and believable while shedding a light on the live in the outback of Labrador.
Language: German also available in English
Recommend to: Everyone liking a good crime book, loving the Canadian outback and isn’t afraid of snow and tough people.

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich | ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: A family in rural Idaho. Or rather the rest of a family that was ripped apart by a tragic event. The struggle to keep on living and trying to fit in. To live with the shadow and find some humanity in all of it.
What I thought: All the thoughts and then none… this book left me speechless… no wordless. It is beautifully written and has an own flow almost like a song. And it is a book your really can’t read fast. Not sure why that is but it simply doesn’t work. I caught myself multiple times forming the words completely while reading. The story itself is interesting and kept me reading trying to understand the family. I struggled a bit with the immense number of POVs and the many time jumps. Despite many other reviews I believe the end is fitting this book perfectly. It underlines what this book tried to do.
Language: English
Recommend to: Everyone loving poetic literature, likes reading family portraits and lifes that are intertwined and has a love for the Idahoan landscape.

Resilienz: Seelische Widerstandskräfte stärken by Brigitte Dorst | ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: Stress, anxiety, quarrels – some burdens throw you off course entirly. But others handle it surprisingly well. Is there a secret to it? In psychology there is the term resilience meaning mental resistance. A strength to balancing tough life situations. This book explores it’s scientific meaning and offers some hands on exercises to find inner balance and strengthening your resilience.
What I thought: The first half of the book gives an overview of what resilience is from a scientific point of view. Also some historic aspects and different point of views. It then explores the possible life situations where people might reach the end of their mental strengths aka resilience. The second half of the book is focused on how images and symbols can help overcome a tough situation. This part has a lot of different exercises to work through. The varariety caters to all kinds of perosnalties – from meditation to a more hands on approach with list making. Throughout the book you find references, quotes and poems.
Language: German
Recommend to: Wanting to learn about the human mind, who is into personal development and who is struggling with heartaches in life.
This book was sent to me by the publisher. The review and my opinion remains my own.

Sterne sieht man nur im Dunkeln by Maike Werkmeister | ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: A grieving husband is handed a box of tapes from his late wife which he listens to every Sunday night for 29 weeks.
What I thought: while the concept itself is nothing new it was a story I didn’t quiet except to develop like it. It was not the fast paced telling. It was not overly melancholy and sad. It just peeled back layer upon layer of a 30+ marriage with ups and downs. There were moments where I wondered if I was a bit too young for this kind of book but I still enjoyed it.
Language: English – also translated to German
Recommend to: everyone you likes to read a solid novel without teenage drama and realistic takes on life.

Spirit Woman & Fire Woman by Zara Quentin | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎ & ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: Family feuds, epic quests and the search for the stolen Dragon God to save the hurting people on planet Prymeth. In Fire Women and the final part of the trilogy we take the fight back to Taraq and Uncle Z.
What I thought: It was a lovely adventure to dive into and kept me well entertained. I was looking forward to seeing more of the planets and meeting more creatures. However it did not engage me as much as the first book. The third one was a bit stronger again, introduced yet another new world and shed some light on old characters. Overall a good series and fun to read.
Language: English
Recommend to: Fantasy lovers looking for a new universe of worlds to dive in inhibited by creatures between fairies and dragons.

Die Stille meiner Worte by Ava Reed | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: Hannah lost her words after her twin sister lost her life. But she still has many thoughts. She is writing them down and sends them to her sister. But silence is still all around her and she can not escape. Or can she?
What I thought: I was hooked by the topic of a non-speaking girl because of a trauma she experienced. The overall story was easy to read and entertaining. The beginning didnt really flow for me and I had the feeling certain thoughts were overly repeated which was almost annoying me. The final threads of the story felt rushed to me and a bit unrealistic. I think the whole idea could have been better executed. However I enjoyed it.
Language: German
Recommend to: Everyone wanting a quick YA novel that goes beyond the classic girl meets boy story and has some depth to it.

Things we never said by Nick Alexander| ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: When suddenly a lot of new opportunities present itself to Anni she feels overwhelmed. And trapped in her life. She needs a break from her everyday time routine. The postcard from an old friend running a café on a island is the perfect opportunity to spend a few weeks on the coast and clear her head. But past is catching up, old wounds are re-opened and life put into perspective.
What I thought: Now when you read the synopsis you might think “read it a few times before, nothing new”. I tint expect much when picking up this novel but was pleasantly surprised. It is not the standard romance – it is more grown up. More real. More true-to-life. It was a quick and enjoyable read with an ending you might not expect.
Language: German
Recommend to: Everyone loving a good beach read, some romance and friendship without being cheesy.

Boarderline by Andreas Brendt | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: Young student Andi needs a break and decides to spent all his savings to a trip to Bali. Here he is introduced to surfing. A passion he can not leave behind. Life goals are shifting and the next surfing trip becomes the thing to strive for. It takes him all over the world, lets him make friends and meet shady people. Only to realize it can get quiet lonely and there might me more to life than surfing.
What I thought: It took me two tries to read this book. I was definitely not the target group for this book. I found the main character not very likable. It focuses a lot on surfing, drugs and living in the moment. But really more in an egoistic kind of way? It painted a lifestyle I am not very interested in. However I wanted to learn more about surfing and the book delivered that. It is very focused on that. Talks about waves, ocean and the different spots. I also liked that with all the easy peasy surfer lifestyle there were some deeper thoughts peppered in about finding your self and questioning a few things in life.
Language: German
Recommend to: Everyone loving the surfer lifestyle, trying to break out of “normality” and looking for a fun way to dive into this lifestyle.
This book was sent to me by the author. The review and my opinion remains my own.

Now let me hear about your favorite book of may in the comments. Always looking for stacking more books to my TBR. Also let’s be friends on Goodreads if you like.

Happy reading

Tobia

Corona Diaries – Week 9&10

Here we are at the time and place where it feels like the pandemic is over while we are actually right in the midst of it. I have to admit I am not immune it it. I have to fight the urge to downplay it, to forget to wash my hands when coming home, to keep my distance because everyone else is being lax about it… And I can feel it in writing about it in the diary. It feels like old news as I have mentioned before – hence the skip last week. But it is still here. And so we, I, continue in documenting this pandemic life. Here it is:

craftaliciousme-seeking-creative-life-corona-dairies-I

Number of days at home?

69 days – well I am not sure if I can call it days at home. Let’s switch it to “Day since the pandemic started”

How is the political situation?

Pfff… who knows. Honestly I have not been too involved in keeping track. Restaurants are open again. People go there – I don’t. All shops are open. Swimming pools and fitness studios have opened again. Churches hold service again. Only cinemas, nightlife and concerts are still closed.

How is the work situation?

I had to do some math and unfortunately after checking back with my tax guy I have to pay back the financial aid I received from the government. I had some projects paid in March and therefore some income which is now contra-productive… Also all my inquiries didn’t pan out. So we’ll see what the future brings. I am glad money is coming in but I also know it’s just time-displaced for a few months… On the other hand I had a really productive week here and that feels good.

How is the mood?

Pretty good overall. I really can’t complain. Weather is nice so sitting on the balcony becomes a habit again. Windows are open, light is nice.

Any favorite moments?

  • FaceTime call with my friend
  • Call with my mom
  • A little photo walk while the care got serviced
  • Some driving and exploring with the husband

What was the worst moment?

A rather personal experience from back in the day came up and needed my attention for a day.

What is stressful right now?

We are back at the shopping experience. Saturday morning in the grocery store is a nightmare. Do people really don’t have the decency to stay away? Do they need to push your cart around, slip through three people because well the need to get that carrot right now? And do we really hear better when we take of the mask… seriously I just wanted to scream and throw a bomb.

Any makes/DIYs this week?

Wrote 4 letters, mended some garments, practiced some lettering, another bath of face masks for donation, some image editing…

What’s for lunch/dinner?

Eating schedules are a bit off again as the husband is at the office two/three days a week and so its everyone for itself.

  • 2 x grilled cheese sandwiches
  • his: cereal | hers: grilled salmon with rice
  • 2 x his: pizza | hers: asparagus with tomato and feta cheese
  • his: pizza | hers: tomato soup with shrimps
  • his: Döner | her: Turkish pizza
  • Tortellini with cheese sauce
  • her: Quarkkeulchen (very regional dish with dumpling dough and quark, apple sauce, cinnamon – do you want a recipe?)
  • ???

Ten weeks. That is 2,5 months. It is crazy to think it’s been this long. I keep thinking how life would have felt with a pandemic in a different time area. And I come back to the setting of “The pillars of the Earth” We are lucky to life today.

Take care and stay safe

Tobia

VIRTUAL COFFEE DATE | MAY 2020

sipping a coffe at the window sill craftaliciousme seeking creative life may coffee date

And just like that we are here for our May coffee date. Again Lecy is hosting and I am glad you stop by in my little corner. Today we kinda meet in person but only with feet apart. We bring our own coffee and stay on our own side of the fence. But we chat and we see each other and that is kinda of a good thing.

While we sip our coffee…
let’s discuss the phenomenon I recently came across more often. I listen to a podcast and next time I am on Instagram I receive an ad from the host selling some online course. I sit at dinner with friends (pre-Corona) and she tells me about a new product I have never heard of, never googled and never seen before online yet next time I am, I see ads everywhere. Well my phone was on the table during our gathering. So it’s not surprising that when I look for something on Pinterest I soon get infos about it on other social media. While I know all this is happening (and am not totally opposed as I work in marketing) can I say it is still a bit weird. Or better it’s grounding as it shows me that I am quiet transparent in case someone wants to know anything about me. So in a way it is kind of humbling and it makes me reconsider every once in a while what I put online. What are your feelings?

While we sip our coffee…
I talk about our not happening family reunion on the first weekend in May. Usually we meet up at my late grandparents house in the countryside for a weekend of bbq, playing talking and some exploring. Obviously it did not happen. It’s a bit sad. I decided to go down there on my own on May 1 (a holiday in Germany) to visit grandpas grave as it is his day of death. It was a good decision. I sat at the cemetery for an hour enjoying the sun and listening to the birds sing. Then, after spending two hours in the garden (secretly waiting for my parents to come back from their little drive) I left to go back to Berlin. So no worries the social distancing was still intact.

While we sip our coffee…
I share with you my new practice of writing letters. Just last Sunday I wrote three sitting on the balcony. It is such a nice thing to do. And I really do miss having a slow conversation with people. To wait until you receive the answer. Of course I still like the internet and immediate responses too. I guess it’s the combination of it all. It looks like I am developing a new penpalship with an OLF. And so letters are flying between Prague and Berlin. Have you written more letters since the pandemic?

While we sip our coffee…
we just enjoy the warmth of the sun. After a few really warm days it has been rather cold here. But temperatures are climbing again and when you are in a spot of sunshine it gets really nice. So we soak up all the vitamin D we can get.

While we sip our coffee…
I share with you that I have not eaten any cake, chocolate or candy since late February. I am working on crossing of my #74 on my goal list. Basically I try to reduce the sugar intake. I have to admit I had spoon of Nutella once or twice (realizing I really care for it) and I had some semolina with cinnamon sugar and what ever is added to the store bought yoghurts. But besides that I have been good. And my migraines have reduced noticeably. It could be the new treatment with the shots though. I will start having the occasional cake starting in June then we should see but I can’t deny that the sugar is not my friend. I feared that outcome…

While we sip our coffee…
asking you if you keep a regular journaling practice. I have been doing a gratitude journal combined with some habit tracking for years but it looks like the system is not working for me this year. I have hardly filled the pages of my calendar. I used to do it in the morning but now I rather read. And at night I am too tired, keep forgetting or don’t feel comfortable writing in bed. If you keep up that practice please share some tipps.

So much for now. It is getting late. We end our coffee date for today but will be seeing each other next months for sure. And of course in between you are welcome to stop by as well.

Happy May

Tobia

Corona Diaries – Week 8

This whole corona things just feels old… Everything is same same but different but than lots is going on. Life seems to slip back to “normal” with new habits that are taking shape. I really don’t know how to feel about it all. Well, gathering my thoughts by answering my own little questionnaire:

craftaliciousme-seeking-creative-life-corona-dairies-I

Number of days at home?

55 days – however I have to admit last week didn’t quiet feel like staying at home so much. I went as always grocery shopping. And I had my first business meeting in person since March. The husband was going to the office on Monday and Tuesday too as they try to establish some sort of office routine again.

How is the political situation?

So face masks are mandatory in public transport and shops. Besides that a few new rules are taking place here in Berlin: all shops are open again, more classes start in schools again. More to come in the following weeks.

How is the work situation?

I was busy most the week. Also I had a received a contract for a new project just to realize during the kick-off meeting that they actually thought I can provide skills I most defiantly don’t have in this depths. It was a misunderstanding on their side as I was open about my skills. Unfortunately it was a very unpleasant meeting. One person made me look like a fool because I couldn’t answer the questions he asked. Apparently he just wanted to demonstrate my lack of knowledge in that area. Finally said I can’t do that and I never said I could. Then he left the meeting to write multiple text messages saying I can’t do the job. Really unpleasant experience.

How is the mood?

I am ambivalent. I can see all the rules being relaxed and people start getting back to pre-corona life. However I feel it’s false security and somewhat denial to just keep on as before. On the other hand I can feel the need to be more outside and had a couple thoughts about seeing friends and family. And obviously I don’t want to continue this state for the entire year. So I don’t really know what to feel right now.

Any favorite moments?

  • relaxed hours with the husband
  • reading in the morning
  • learning about the little sparrow that sits on my window sill every morning 8.30am
  • FaceTime with my sister & the kids

What was the worst moment?

That unpleasant business meeting. A rather depressing doctors appointment.

What is stressful right now?

Feeling like I need a new project contract now that one fell through.
A decision I suddenly need to make – and I am not quiet sure I really need to but I am not knowledgeable enough to really know. Arrrgh.

Any makes/DIYs this week?

I worked on a new shirt. Didn’t have much time so sometimes only one seam but little steps will get me there.

What’s for lunch/dinner?

  • Pesto Pasta
  • his: fish fingers | hers: grilled salmon | both: mashed potatoes and cucumber salad
  • his: pizza | hers: salad with veal
  • his: potato salad with wiener | hers: potatoes and quark with linseed oil
  • grilled cheese sandwiches with apple wedges
  • Omelette

I have to admit I am pondering how long I will keep the weekly reports because quite honestly, this will be somehow the new reality for some time to come – the shopping with masks. The not shaking hands and hugging when you see people. The distance you try to keep to others. And I can’t write the same things every week. Maybe I switch to monthly updates? What you think?

Take care and stay safe

Tobia