There is magic in Misery

Running in Foggy and misty mornings is one of my favourites.

Two days ago I had a long run and today I did my 45 mins progression run.It´s one of those days that I just run and pound the pavement.I made a few detours because my preferred path was blocked due to some tree cutting and repairs.It is the kind of run that I did not stop until I feel like I am done.I did not give in to excuse and did a 10 km stretch.Going for steady and easy runs of 6-8km on weekdays and 1 long run on weekend is the new challenges that I am keeping on track.

I want to challenge myself and plan to join a virtual Half Marathon this year so I am doing myself a favor to start training.

As I am writing about this, I asked myself if I am crazy?!

Indeed I am.

But then at least I am enjoying my morning views and magical misty mornings.

Views like these are the kind of things that I won´t trade off .

This goal for me is quite scary, I am afraid that I cannot do it or maybe I wouldn´t even finish it.I think I am still too weak and not that strong. Questions myself many times, is my body ready and prepared for it or it´s just a shoot in the star.

But then…..as I keep on running, I spotted something from the ground.Snowdrops!!!!

Spring is finally here!

Finally, they are here, Snowdrops is what they are called here and they are absolutely beautiful blooms that reminds me that Spring is here.

I have been continously running now for a year exactly. I remember challenging myself to run just when the world started to be turned upside down by Corona virus.Everybody stayed home in Quarantine and lockdown and I think I am not the only one who got hooked into sports.I still have so many other Hobbies but this one is far by my favourite next to painting.

Aside from running, I walked and walked a lot.I don´t know why, but walking makes my day always. Although I preffered running, It´s hard to find time for it.

This goal scares me.But I will try my best and let us see what happens in the end.Looking back from last year, I couldn´t even run 1 kilometer continously without breaking a sweat .I´m breathing deeply and I couldn´t go on anymore.That is how weak I was.I feel frustrated because I couldn´t hit a goal that I´ve set.

I am about to give up, many times.

After a long run and my whole body aches and my muscles are sore, I wanna give up. As I ride my bike, I feel like my joints are breaking apart.I feel miserable.

But this is the kind of misery that I love.

After a run, I feel like something is happening to my body that I cannot explain.

A quick pit stop to breathe in an early moring breeze from the lake.
The path of running into the magical mist

I couldn´t imagine myself if I totally give up and stopped running.What could have happen to me.

I wouldn´t even know that I am capable of doing what I am doing now.I don´t think I could ever run like I do now. Before, I thought runners are just sport freak .Why do they always run????

I remember in my early years here in Germany , I see people consistently running whatever the weather and I just shake my head. But then…..

This year was total turning point in my health life. I wanted to change my lifestyle and myself so I want to make changes in my routines. I have tried running and sweating hard in warm summer days, on foggy misty mornings of Fall, while its snowing and drizzling, and this year I had the chance to experience running on snowy pavements.There had been many simple moments in my running days,like the time I ´ve got my first running shoes and first 5K run. They were all happy moments.

Enjoying these quiet nature moments in the Lake while practicing breathing exercises.

They say that when there´s no mud, then there´s no Lotus, and as the days goes by, even if I am tired and depleted, I still believe that there is definitely a magic in misery.I know I am not yet there and I still need to do a lot of running and training.

But then, I am not giving up and I am keeping track of my progress.

No Mud, No Lotus

Lastly, I realized that if we do things consistently, our bodies are really capable of doing amazing things.

I´ll write more on my next milestone!

Happy Weekend, until then, Tschüss!

Always and Forever Graffiti and Street Art

Graffiti Art “ I will love you always and Forever ” by Zomb, of Moin Designs, Ingolstadt

Spotted this super cool Graffiti Art the other day and it looks like we can´t wait for warmer days to come. It´s fresh, colorful and yes, free. No masks, no restrictions, just no inhibitions.

It´s hard to get a full frontal view of this Graffti art since I still needto cross the other side of the road. Cylists came and fast cars behind me reminded me that I have to do my best shot quickly.Fortunately I managed to get some.

Sending you warm vibes for another weekend! Stay healthy and safe.

Interested about other Graffiti Art in Ingolstadt? Here are some more.

For the love of Graffiti

Graffiti Street Art in Ingolstadt

Street Art and local sightings

Tschüss!

Suspended Flower Garden in the Netherlands

Those days where we are free to mingle with plants and people..

This is a late post from our last visit in the Netherlands late last year.I am so looking forward already to Spring that I began searching my photos for our last Spring vacation and beautiful fragrant spring bulbs.I´ve bought some bulbs of Hyacinth, Daffodils and Amaryllis and they were all blooming now, their smell inside the house is so fragrant.Few more weeks and I know, Spring is here.

Anyway, yes, back to positive vibes and more Flower love! Last Spring I was really in the mood and wanted to visit a Botanical garden and at the same time to find a place where my daughter can play and not bored ogling plants! Orchideeen Hoeve in Luttelgeest is a perfect place that we´ve found!

When it comesto gardens, botanical ones or not, nothings comes close to the Netherlands .Plants and flowers here are totally of different level. I don´t know but plants grew there on a different level.The species are also so varied.

Beautiful flowers I spotted inside the Orchideen Hoeveee

There are many fascinating things inside the Orchidarium including these sculptured faces and animals out of tree branches and stems.

These crazy Orange Pink Flamingoes are carefree inside the Orchideen Hoeveee

It was freezing cold outside, barren, grey, ugly and most trees are still bare with its leaves long gone withered.But indoor gardens are a different thing. There is a place in the Dutch Lowlands , in Luttelgeest, that can transport you to a plant -paradise destination during winter season! In Orchideeen Hoeve, we had this amazing family experience that really worth the travel and money.

Have you heard about their Suspended Flower Garden?

It´s not yet Spring but I guess just like their Tulips charm, Holland always comes number one for me.I’ve written it many times, and will write once again– their Tulips and Keukenhof Gardens is the most beautiful Spring Garden in the World . It really is, but you need to see it for yourself to judge it. The Suspended Flower Garden in the Netherlands and its Orchid Farm is just extraordinary beautiful.The lay out of the whole farm is great, with lots of things to offer for all ages. No wonder it was really full of visitors during our time of visit.Here you can enjoy a day pass and enjoy all the Amenities.

All blooming plants suspended in the ceiling creates a magical plant paradise

Once we entered the garden, we were all open-mouthed, and drooling at all the hanging beautiful summer blooms. It is huge, vast and overflowing with different kinds of flowers you can imagine! I am sure my German neighbors will be drooling at all the beautiful cascading Geraniums, Fuchsias,Begonias, and Lizzies above our heads!It’s a different world inside in Orchideeen Hoeve.

A great family destination

Inspired by “ Hanami Matsuri” or the Japanese Cherry Blossoms Festival in Japan, the Suspended Flora Garden and it’s greenhouse is as huge as two thousand square meters and seven meters in height. A magical place that creates coziness surrounded with natural living beauties in all colors, flowing oases of fountains, ponds and Gazebos. It looks so summery, and have a mediterranean feel all over the place.Every nook is so picturesque so I can´t really resists to take lots of photos!

There are plenty of areas to sit to enjoy and admire the garden. Whether you come as a couple, family or elderly, the place is huge enough! In case you got hungry, there is the “ Sakura Bistro” that serves snacks and drinks as well.The bathrooms are clean and plenty and there are lots of benches and nooks to rest and wait for your child while they play in the Play areas.Talking about playtime, the Mangrove Forest Play paradise one of the most comprehensive Nature play areas for children that I´ve ever seen.There´s also a Lorraine Garden, Jungle Theater and a Caterpillar Farm.Here I saw their very impressive Citrus Farm as well.

Take a seat and breathe in Nature

I decided to write about this because I really love the concept behind this garden. It is not just a place to admire and relax, but then it’s a place as well to appreciate nature. During Winter, we have limited places to go, especially something fresh as this. I am so glad that I had this experience before the Corona Outbreak happens! We would definitely check out this place once again in our next visit to Holland.

At further end of the Greenhouses, these is a wide place with parrots, birds and animals.Some cute animals that will surely attract your little ones are Meerkats, Ring tailed Lemurs, Ducks, Iguanas, Alpacas, jungle animals, some big fishes and Loris! It´s even like a petting zoo since you are allowed to touch them! I love the Flamingoes and colorful parrots .We enjoyed the butterfly garden and the turtles stretching their legs that looks like they are sunbathing on the banks of the river.In here I have seen as well thousands of swimming colorful Koi Carps in the grand river and waterfalls.

I bought a nice from here as a souvenir and until now, it still thrives!

Thinking of exploring the Dutch Lowlands? these Unique family destinations will surely not hurt your budget but will leave you exhausted, but happy. Have a great week everyone.Tschüss!

The Bicycle capital of the World

Exploring Utrecht with a Toddler

Out and about in the land of Windmills

The Cube Yellow Houses in Rotterdam

Wordless Wednesday : I smell Spring

Art Project : Salva Vida ( Saving Life)

A smudgy reflections in the waters of Kunnetegraben where venue of the travelling Art Project “Salva Vida” can be found.

I totally forgot about this post, but suddenly while searching my Drafts, this Title stood up. Good thing I was reminded of the on- going creative Art installations in my City. Aside from exploring my neighborhood through walking, I discovered much more Art nooks that I´ve never imagined that exists!

Anyway, the Art instalation´s name caught my attention as well. Salva vida in my native tongue means a swimming inflatables. You can´t do without them especially while swimming in the wild waves of the beach.Back then we only used or rent these things made upof the tire´s interior lining so mostly the color is black.Here in Germany, there are various kinds of inflatables.Children enjoy their colors and design as soon as summer begins!

This unique Art project is called “Salva Vida” or Saving Lives and arranged and initiated by Münich Artist Christian Schnurer. I am suremost of us are totally absorbed with other issues surrounding us. Corona virus, surviving Lockdown, Climate change, Vaccinations and etc., but how about the desperate cries of Refugees? especially during ice-cold temperatures ?

At first I was also confused why a pile of garbage were dumped in the waters.I was so ignorant and have no idea at all what´s it all about. This art installation awaken some curiousity in me and now I understand why .I respect this cause properly without the political alignments and totally amazed of the creative art behind it.

Inspired by the desperate situation that “Flüchtlinge” or Refugees are facing, Christian Schnurer collected around 4,000 pieces of old and disposed Life jackets used by the Refugees and disposed on beaches.The starting point of the travelling exhibit started in the Greek island of Lesbos in 2016.It finally arrived here in my small town of Ingolstadt together with Kap 94 last Fall.

Christian Schnurer explained in one documentary works that each of these Life Jackets represents a person and not just a pile of garbage. Every person who faced life-threatening hardships together with their loved-ones, struggling and bearing the fear for their lives and salvation.

Each of the orange -colored vests represents their cry for help and reminds the victims of failure to help.

We walked further and explored the place. So much chaos , many things lookedlike thrash, but then arranged like it was meant to be there.i noticed that most pieces are quite ” from other place”, seemedlike these pieces are managed to emigrate.

An old Piano with a red polka dot bicycle stands and in front lies a rows of pots.

A “Rikscha” in the middle of a potted garden.

Ever wondered how Art evolved during Corona Times?

What do you think about this piece of Art?

If you love Art like me, then maybe you want to read more about the Corona-Lab Here.

Artistic Ice Figures by Markus Jordan

Eiskunst by Markus Jordan(Ingolstadt,Bavaria) February 2020

My usual visit from the weekend Market last Saturday was extra special because of the Ice Figures Art exhibit by Markus Jordan.The Art made of Ice and Frozen water with Figures are installed directly in the heart of the City of Ingolstadt, just a stone throws away from the weekend market. Itwas totally eye-cathing and immediately drawn lots of visitors and people walking through the old city.

We had a row of days with cold temperatures up to approx. minus 16, and these Ice figures just came in time. The front yard of the Stadttheater was transformed into a little winter wonderland with frozen figures. It really depics our current frozen state,with the pandemic and lockdown as well. My most favourite figure was the man with dark cape holding a skull, the robots cycling and my daughter adored the frozen Dinosaur.

What a difference these icefigures could bring to a normal , Saturday market day indeed!

At night, visitorscan enjoy watching them with special lights and effects that makes it even more beautiful.more stunning shots and videos are seen here and here. Doing our daily walking routine was definitely more fun during our visit to this Ice Art Figures.

Today, we´re just thankful for the sunshine, snow and the chance to see this wonderful creative Art!

Also, I recently discovered this App called ” Too Good to Go” , the number 1 anti Food- waste app that is currently being raved by my neighbors so I finally decided to try it and I must say that it is really good.I love vegetables and I really dig in to the weekend offer in our nearby stores and finally I found one being offered in Viktualienmarkt, just in front of the Stadttheater. I arrange my order, the Vitamin C-Heimat, and I was totally satisfied of what I´ve got just for 8Euros! Lots of different kind of Veggies in one big bag.I certainly can´t buy that much with the same amount in a supermarket.

Have you ever tried this App?

Anyways, what are your walking adventures lately?

Walking on the Frozen lake

Walking on the Red Light District of Amsterdam

Walking in the Field of Dreams

Walking through my old City

Walking through Pandemic

Walking through the Vineyards

and have you ever practice the Art of Looking Down and eventually looking down upon Manholes?

Enjoy your week lovelies! Until then ,Tschüss!

Life in Color: Then there was all Yellow pt.2

After I posted my Life in Color : Yellow pt.1, today I discovered that I still have an unfinished Draft about “Yellow” . Just in time that I was rummaging my Photo Archives for “Yellow photos” which then reminds me that this month´s theme for Life in Color is all about Yellow. So I decided to complete this oldie one so here´s the second part.

I guess it´s never too much too add more brightness on this dark grey stormy weather we are having now here in Germany.This would probably the one of the lasts snowy days, soon days will get warmer.There´s few yellow things to spot on but then, take a minute to notice, there´s quite a lot of ordinary yellow things can still be found outside.Having lots of walking made me appreciate more my neighborhood , surprisingly we found more yellow!

Here is the second part of Life in Color: Yellow

Writing this Post made me remember my previous work with colors.I worked in a Lab and I am sort of in charge of the RAL colors for Powder Coating.I kinda know all these shades by heart and distinguishing the color and matching it with samples and required colors is quite a task , but definitely rewarding.Ral has all in all 213 colors and out of the 30 Yellow Hues, personally I find that only 16 shades is actually seemed to be yellow, the rest are just combination shades, if you look closely, it looked exactly not yellow, more like beige, .

The RAL Classic colors have a 4-digit number in combination with the letters ‘RAL’ (z.b RAL 1028). The first digit is a system code number (1: yellow, 2: orange, 3: red, 4: violet, 5: blue, 6: green, 7: grey, 8: brown and 9: white and black shades).

It is actually so hard to pronounce it in German so I normally just use “RAL” as the abbreviation of ‘Reichs-Ausschuß für Lieferbedingungen und Gütesicherung’. Those are really looonggg German words!

I am now so curious if I have captured every shade of Yellow, from Sand Yellow, Ochre Yellow to Sun Yellow.From my naked eye, yellow is yellow! I guess I haven´nt yet so the chase is still on.I am also quite astonished why all warning signs is in Yellow.Road signs and in autobahn though it is blue or green.

How lovely yellow is! -Vincent van Gogh
The Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands is totally gorgeous with yellow Daffodils and Narcizzen with bunch of lovely Yellow Tulips on its side!/ Justbluedutch2020

A simple quiet walk in this yellow fields always make our day.
According to Goethe, Yellow demands Violet.
I used it here in one of my paintings which depicts deeper shade of yellow, more like gold and the result is amazing. (JustbluedutchArt 2020)

I had lots of fun doing “Let’s paint the Town Purple” color photography post. Lavender, Violets, and different shades of Purple flowers is such a soothing subject so I would definitely be doing another series this coming Spring.

Yellow is such a happy color. It symbolize sunshine and freshness. It’s the total opposite of gray. Watching yellow-orange-burnt red sunrise is actually one of the best pleasures in life. Imagine a sunrise without that golden sunrays?! For me, yellow is bright, unsuperficial and brightness and positivity.

And here´s a photo of my golden Sunshine…!

Cycling through the Yellow Rapeseeds in Bavaria

One of my favourite sport is running and cycling.I cycled almost everyday except in Winter.When the snow is too thick and the roads are slippery, I prefer to walk. But in Summer, cycling through the yellow fields and sunflowers is a favorite family pastime.

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Yellow with orange fringe tulips 

Of course, this post won´t be complete without my favourite Yellow Tulips. Oh did you know that Tulips only blooms 3-7 days in Spring?They are really seasonal beauties, no wonder visiting a Tulip Garden is only possible in the early weeks of Spring.But anyway, how is it that I always see Tulips bundle in the supermarkets here in Germany? It´s like the all year round flower here , same as roses!

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Yellow and even more yellow…

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Sometimes the beauty of nature can leave you speechless…like it did to me.

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Yellow and purple can be a great palette, a color coded happiness.

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It´s not everyday that I can see a yellow beautiful bird like this. ( Orchideen Hoeveee`, The Netherlands)

What´s your favourite Yellow moment?

Until next time, Tschüss!

Wordless Wednesday

Life in Color : Yellow Pt.1

I love anything about colors and shades, the brighter, bolder and colorful, the better. But sometimes, a single, exuberant shade makes it all to brighten my day. Yellow is the theme for this month ( though many says it´s the red month because of Valentines! ) but then anyway, I am so so glad that I have found this wonderful Thread.Make sure to check it out!

I thought it is such an inspiring prompt and full of fun challenge to do so. So here it is, I gathered some of my “Yellow”.

I wake up and found that there was all Yellow.

Here´s some of my favorites.Enjoy!

What are the “Yellow moments in your life? Love colors, check out these worthwhile readings!

Until next time, Tschüss!

Keukenhof in Pink Colors

Seven hues of Blue

The Blue Flock Art Project

Es war eine Mutter ( Art + Work)

Original Aquarelle Artwork “Es war eine Mutter” /JustbluedutchArt 2020

This post is actually inspired by recent events in my life. I recently had this painting done inspired by current situations and I thought it might be a good idea to relate it to ” a day in the life of a Mother”. I have done quite a lot of painting to survive the lockdowns and so far, it has taught me great lessons about motherhood as well. Now you know why I love this subject for my artwork.

Maybe not everyone can actually relate to Motherhood subjects and all about Mother and son/daughter stories but then at least it´s our own story. Mother and daughter is not always full of sweet moments, reality can be tough, it can also be stressful, chaotic, tiring, and yes, just too much to handle.

All parents love their children, there´s no question about that but how to teach them to learn without the classroom. For a fact that in Germany, Homeschooling is actually illegal since 1919 ( European Court of Human Rights).But not in the times of Corona.This article even had quite notable explanations.

Homeschooling is not so “cozy” as it sounds. Because of Covid-19 Pandemic, we´ve been through so many Lockdowns, before and after Christmas actually. And now, in the middle of Winter, with zero public life, schools stays closed along with playfrounds and libraries. Lockdown is supposed to end by Feb.14 but there´s no bright lead yet when will our lives return to normal.We are waiting…

Motherhood in different colors

I realized that I don´t even have the right to complain.Afterall I only have 1 child. There are more parents who juggles between their dayjobs and household responsibilities, and yes, they are bearing more load than I do.I do have high respect for them. I´ve known a friend who even had twins, and had more children to handle.A dear friend of mine just had her baby recently born, and she also have another Grade schooler, a very active one.She bears all these with her two full hands.How do they do that is simply amazing and praiseworthy!

But imagine the chaos…. the “heartfelt” agony.

Homeoffice seemed to be the newest trend nowadays. Working from home has its own benefits, but hey, have you ever tried working while your kid shouts and screams on your videoconferences? Funny as it may sounds but with us, life and struggle during Lockdown is real. I am sure I am not alone in this.

The moment we sit together in the table to go with Home study program doesn´t eventually ensures success in every subject.There has been fights, screaming, yelling and yes, pencils and papers flown in the air. The drama is real and so as the dilemma. The biggest problem that we faced is maintaining her focus and this has been challenging for both me and my daughter.

When I was in college, I did a part-time job tutoring kids from 6-10 years old. I normally help them with the main subjects and help them with their homework. The stress was different. With this Lockdown, the challenge was different as well.

No I was not blaming the virus. Honestly ,sometimes I blame myself as well. Maybe I was not prepared for this and my patience limit is so small that I excuse myself for a meltdown as well. I am tired and in need of a break but yes–motherhood knows no such breaks.I don´t like this isolation anymore and I wanted it to end.

Anyway,one time while we are learning about the seasons of the year ,we encountered this song ;

Es war eine Mutter” song by Nena ( originally in German)

Es war eine Mutter ( There was one Mother)
Die hatte vier Kinder ( She had 4 children)
Den Frühling ( Spring)
Den sommer ( Summer )
Den Herbst und den Winter. ( Autumn and Winter)

So motherhood and seasons of the year have one thing in common, right or maybe I just carried away by nature that I correlate them with Homeschooling and everything.The great thing is, life evolves and I was reminded that this too, shall pass and everything should not be permanent.Soon, everything will be over and chapters of our lives will also evolve, in other words, we are in a journey together.

Homeschooling might feel like Autumn and Winter right now.Parents struggled as well as children but then its not the end.Spring soon will come and Summer too.

Der Frühling bringt Blumen ( Spring bring flowers)
Der Sommer den Klee (Summer brings clover leaves)
Der Herbst bringt die Trauben ( Autumn brings the grapes)
Der Winter den Schnee. ( Winter brings snow)

Und wie sie sich schwingen ( and how they swing together)
Im Jahresreihn ( all year around)
So tanzen und singen ( Dancing and singing)
Wir fröhlich darein. ( we are all happy with it..)

Original Aquarelle artwork “Mutter” / JustbluedutchArt 2020

Homeschooling and on line learning is something that we´ve all embraced this year.There were more time spent in front of computers and tablets instead of actual class participation.Here in Germany, I must say that they had quite handled the crisis well when it comes to distance learning.My daughter spends almost 8 hours in a mask at school before.Washing their hands and divided in groups were her previous routines, then she was confined at home, with homeschooling and with me. I am grateful that the school had a precise plan for this crisis and have given us enough support that we´ve needed and another thing is, we have an access to technology which can be challenging in other countries.We received a weekly Plan for each lessons, and even with a timetable to achieve every day. There was enough Learning Platform offered and the activities listed are varied ,so children won´t feel bored and too squeezed. I particularly appreciate the online help and daily accountability as well. Some of the apps that helped us go through Homeschooling is Antolin app and Sofatutor.They even have Tablets to lend if families are without so everything comes handy.

Mother and son original Watercolor Art by JustbluedutchArt

Lessons learned and experiences gained, so as struggles were credibly overcame.Yes, we´ve been tired and fatigued, but we´ve never given up.As a mother, teaching my child is like feeding them. Its like nourish or undernourish them.Once again, it´s the choices that we make that affects us the most.We´re not yet there but I am sure, the end of the tunnel is not far behind.

Have you had any experience about Homeschooling? How was it?