Ina and her housemaid

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Just a little background for those of you that are late to the party. As many of you know Kris and I are owned by Bentley Beargrass Meyer-McGarvey, an Airedale that turned 11 in January. I also have to mention our Roux, an Airedale-mix that we saved from imminent death through the encouragement of fellow rescuer Ellana from Texas Airedale Rescue Team in Houston, Walter the consummate Chihuahua that thinks he is an Airedale, and Bridgette the oldest Basset Hound mix in the world. We love our dogs. What else can I say? No breed is better than another.

I love the Airedale breed and through this love I met Ursula and Ina in a fund raising project for Airedale rescue. People from around the world vote on a daily basis to win $1000 grants through the Shelter Challenge at the Animal Rescue Site. Ursula and Keith (from London) are two of the biggest cheerleaders for winning these grants and trust me they do a lot of work to drum up votes. Big thanks to the both of them!

Last spring when we were in Germany I got to meet and visit with Ursula and Ina twice. Same thing this visit but an added bonus was that Kris got to meet them also the first weekend we arrived. Lot’s of fun and wonderful food too!

Ursula jokes that she is Ina’s housemaid and if you spent any time with them you would understand. Ina is energy in motion. She never stops. I wish I had the amount of energy that Ina has. Ursula isn’t too shabby either. They go for walks through the local vineyards and explore the mountainside every day. Ina loves to eat apples and pears from the trees when they are full of fruit. She chases the field mice and sometimes it appears she just might dig down to China in search of one. Ursula and Ina meet up with lots of canine friends on these walks and have great fun together.

I took the train last Friday to go visit with Ursula and Ina one more time before we left the Deutschland for the Netherlands. It was a wonderful day and I look forward to coming back to visit with Ina and her housemaid!


A game that Ina plays is with her ball in the grass between the rows of vines. Well, she is also obsessed with field mice.


The great tunnel to china starts.




Whose chair is it? Not the housemaids!


I delivered presents of sketches that Cheryl did in her art class after meeting Ursula and Ina last spring.


Ina is a smart one…trying to pick up her basket of toys.


Ursula left me with Ina while she went to get cake. Ina wouldn’t leave the stoop the whole time Ursula was gone. She would look up at me on the stairs but she wanted her housemaid. I was a poor substitute!


Let’s play ball!

I am always sad when it comes time to leave from such wonderful visits with Ursula and Ina. Kris says when we come back to Germany next time we will stay longer in Bad Dürkheim. I can’t wait!

To Ursula,  Ein herzliches Dankeschön. You are a wonderful lady and friend. And Ina, you are my other favorite Airedale in the world. Till next time…




Design of die Küche

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I figure most of you must think that I have lost my mind when you read the title of this post but let me assure you it is still intact. Overwhelmed but intact. Kris and I have been discussing remodeling our kitchen for awhile now and have decided to do the deed this spring. We have been in awe of the kitchen designs we’ve seen here in Europe at various friends homes. Efficiency rules. Storage and more counter space. Appliances hidden away but easily accessible. I have actually veered away from the homey style to a more modern look. Not completely minimalist though.

So Wednesday last week in Karlsruhe I decided to catch a taxi to a part of town I know nothing about to check out the kitchen design stores. The walk would have taken me an hour and half to reach my destinations and a taxi seemed smart though I spent more euros than I intended. The part of town the kitchen design stores are in is fairly industrial- not too many sidewalks and the train/bus schedule confused me. I had also found a large pet store in this area where I wanted to pick up something fun for Ina for when I saw her on Friday. After the pet store I walked to my initial destination. A kitchen design store with a great name- Grimm Küchen. The store associate at the Grimm Küchen was very helpful and allowed me to take pictures for later on when Kris and I need inspiration for our kitchen design style. In my wanderings, I found the equivalent of a German Home Depot/Lowes but as the afternoon was growing old quickly I decided to check out the German’s version of an Ikea style store called MOMAX. Yep- almost an Ikea which we have in Houston. I did get a few pics of their kitchens also.

Here are a few pics of my wanderings that day:


My German wasn’t sufficient to chat with the employees so we made do with pantomime and minimal words. Nice store!


Can you see the “Slow the hund down when he is eating bowls” on the two lower shelves? I need one of these for the Roux.


Also a few of these Bionic toys…


Seriously strong hund crates. I think you could keep the incredible hulk in one of these babies.


Grimm Küchen way over there. No pedestrian crossings nor sidewalks but I was determined.


Liked this a lot. It has my corner cabinet that comes up and out for easy access. The neutral color is nice too.


Not too shabby either.


I don’t care for the flowers but the color of the cabinets caught my eye. The question is- will we get tired of it after a while?


Nice contrast with not too much white.


MOMAX store


I keep going back to the grey. Do you see the vent hood and how it is tilted? That is for the tall person so they will not bump their head. Hmm…


My camera couldn’t get a clear picture of this one but it is the nicest blue.


Rug selection at MOMAX similar to IKEA.


Contemplated trying to catch a train or bus back but in the end decided another taxi would do.

I won’t bore you anymore with my kitchen fantasies but I just had to share. Till next time!