My Baby Sis

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She is so beautiful I cannot help myself and share this. My sis can give you the middle finger while looking smashing doing it. Photo shoots with live models are typically challenging especially as an amateur, but half the battle is taken care of when you have someone who is both photogenic and a natural superstar.

A few shots of her and her husband pre-baby days.

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Compliments of Poppy’s amazing photography skills with this one here at the EPL

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A timeless classic

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Hubba bubba hotel

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Giggling while reading a German children’s book

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I know right?

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I can’t wait to be an auntie again

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Back of Hardware Grill

I heart EPL

I heart EPL

Germania in Canadia

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The Bavarian Schuhplattlers

The Bavarian Schuhplattlers

“I am going to go in front of you, because I am older”.

This is the line our 86 year-old friend uses to bee-line in front of us. We exchange a few german words and before long he is off again to gently weasel his way to the front of the bar and successfully orders his 6 Warsteiners before the show.

Standing in front of us is the ex-consul of Germany and he asks Klaus where is from.

“Leipzig”.

“A fellow Leipziger! I come from Leipzig too! Let me buy you a beer”.

As I stand there with a grin, once again witnessing the all too familiar small world moments, we later find ourselves seated together with a fun group who are finishing their graduate studies at the UofA – a few Canadians, a Costa Rican, and an Australian.

Then the show begins. The Heimatabend was titled  “Cirque d’Ole” and the organized event is a fundraiser for the Bavarian Schuhplattlers, whose mission is to preserve the German tradition of folk dancing and culture.

As per Google, Schuhplattler is a traditional dance in the Alpine regions of Bavaria and Austria used back in the day for the men to impress upon young women.

As per Google, Schuhplattler is a traditional dance in the Alpine regions of Bavaria and Austria used back in the day for the men to impress upon young women.

Through our years dabbling with the German Canadian Cultural Association (we are guilty that it is rare), I’ve learned that they are a group of friends who have twined to be more like family, tied through common ancestry and/or interests. Apart from wanting to maintain a smidgen of German culture in a city 7280km away from the mothership, they are more about having fun and creating a microcosm to help some feel more at home.

The lion of the Cirque d'Ole

The lion of the Cirque d’Ole, in lederhosen

Back at the party there is traditional Schuhplattler dancing, live accordion music blaring across the room with elegant ballroom and not-so-coordinated dancers, a variety show with pleasant slap-stick humour, bonding with long-time-no-see friends and mingling with new acquaintances all the while drinking beer and munching on pretzels the size of steering wheels.

The Herr Klein and the ringmaster's assistant

The Herr Klein and the ringmaster’s assistant

Dancing in lederhosen, yodeling, beer and pretzels are representations of the southern part of Germany so that explains why I didn’t see any of this – other than the beer part – while living in Leipzig (East Germany). Although different, it was really nice to be able to practice my rusty German and to be reassured that we fit somewhere in-between.

“My grandfather still lives in Leipzig”, later says our long-time friend at the party. What a small world.

I can’t help but think again that the gap is closing between Edmonton and Leipzig.

Have a Happy Easter everyone!!

 

A New Home

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Germans love labeling too.

Some of you may know that Klaus and I have been recently on the move again and this time I think we will call Canada our home permanently – for now at the very least. Reflections and reasons? I think I’ll save that for another day, another post.

Planning for our next home has been a chore. Not that I don’t enjoy the simple pleasures of living in my parent’s basement with Klaus or anything. Other than the funny ring whenever we answer the question “where are you guys staying right now?”, it’s been not half-bad.

Living in Leipzig has helped us confirm a few things about us – we are city people who like to be central, we like trees, recycling and composting makes sense, and we really appreciate good city planning. We also like decent weather, but you have to give some to win some to live in Edmonton.

To remind us of some of the beauties that we’ve come across during our travels and to inspire our own happy living back in Edmonton. I think I might just tag happyiveson on this.

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A few things to have in your backyard: Mature homes, check. Proper lighting, check. A castle, check – Town of Wernigerode

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I love this home because it’s crooked.

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A proper city must have amusing signage.

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Alternative energy – Wind parks are popular in Germany.

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Barely plants to make the home comfy.

Whimsical pieces to make the home your own.

Whimsical pieces to make the living space your own.

Vibrant city life in the heart of downtown.

Vibrant city life in the heart of downtown.

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Encouraging everyone to share the roads.

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Street markets for people to take advantage of what the city has to offer – Christmas Market