I’m a little late with the newsletter today, I had to take a trip up to Vaihingen to pick up the van.   Normally that’s a short drive, but the A81 is undergoing extensive renovations and today, well today it was stopped.  Luckily I had Dave with me and it gave us a lovely date.

The van, we call him “James”, has been slowly winding down for the last year.  A couple of weeks ago he suddenly really wound down.  We checked his fluids, opened the hood & peered inside once, then twice.  The second time we saw the problem.  His spark plug wire had been completely torn out, it even looked chewed on!

We speculated that maybe the crazy redhead’s cat had gotten in the hood and chewed on the wires, but that really made no sense.  So utterly confused, we brought him in to our mechanic and pleaded with him to bring James back to life, one more time.  Later that day we went off to the Baumarkt (think Home Depot) for some gardening tools, and Dave toys.  I’m happily browsing bulbs when Dave walks up bursting with excitement.  I had to stop browsing & come look.

And there, in the middle of Baumarkt was a big display for “Marderschutz”.  Complete with a photo of a marder (a martin?) chewing through car cables.  Apparently marders looooooove car cables.  When I told my neighbors, the moms at kindy, they all nodded their heads yes.  Of course they knew this, of course they took precautions.  Didn’t we know you can buy marder alarms to keep them away?  Or put a stiff broom under the car, or chicken wire, or a board with nails so they don’t climb into our engines?

No, we did not know this.  It seems we are far from done learning new things about our new home.

Dane at the playground

And the picture of the marder was kind of scary, very sharp teeth.  So instead a sweet picture of my Dane, our little ferret (which I think is a member of the same family as the martin).  Dane is our family ferret.  He is known for stealing all the new shiny stuff and hiding it in his lair.  If we are missing keys, coins, glasses, ipods, gameboys, or anything cool… the family ferret got to it.  A little annoying, sure, but better than a marder eating our car.