Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Highs and Lows 2015

Well, that's it for January. I don't really like January, especially when it snows. To me snow means extra work, cold, and chaos and additional danger on the roads, though I admit it looks pretty from a distance if I'm snug and warm inside. It snowed again yesterday, and I'm hoping that's it for the season. M and I have decided we're going to tackle Ben More (the highest mountain on Mull at 3850 ft  / 1174 m) in September, and it's time to get training! When I was in Esslingen the other day I climbed the 350 steps to the Burg overlooking the Altstadt, and I had to stop to catch my breath three times! This is not good news.

On with the month's highs and lows...


  • New Year's Day duck dinner - it was fabulously delicious! One of last month's lows was forgetting to buy the pork roast for our New Year's Day dinner, but M saved the day by cooking duck legs (which were in the freezer) in the Römertopf. After my first bite I was glad I had forgotten the roast!

  • watching "Little Women" with my Schwiegermutter, which I gave her for Christmas. I wept. I always weep, dammit, and I've seen this movie several times! Ordered the book... (I read it when I was young but only remember being annoyed by my namesake and wanting to be Jo.)

  • learning about my son's good grades from his first semester away at college. I had been confident that this college was a good move for him, and he has obviously been working hard.

  • getting permission via email from musician Iain Thomson to use one of his songs before we posted the video M made of pictures from our trips to the Isle of Mull. 

  • hearing that my daughter was accepted into her first choice school for graduate school and earned a merit scholarship besides!

  • receiving an invitation for coffee from the mother of one of my Englisch-AG students. She said her son enjoys my class so much!

  • M's company's Christmas party - we went bowling and I didn't totally embarrass myself, and we ended the evening with dinner at our favorite restaurant.

  • spending three days in Esslingen where I a.) met a college friend for dinner, b.) met my host mom for lunch, c.) attended a meeting of applicants for the 2015 Esslingen-Sheboygan middle school exchange, and d.) stayed with and hung out with my Schwiegermutter.

  • reaching 15,000 hits on my blog the morning of 27 January. I'm not aiming to be famous or anything, but it's nice to know a few people beyond my parents read what I write. :-)


  • finishing the last four cream crackers in our possession, a stash we'd replenished in June. This is both a First World problem and a personal tragedy. They're insanely expensive on Amazon, but I think we're going to have to bite the bullet. I'd sooner give up chocolate than Jacob's Cream Crackers.

  • realizing three days after I published a post about Mull that I had already written about the island back in October. Well, that was embarrassing. But that's how much I love Mull! :-)

  • returning to our car with groceries and hitting the "unlock" button only to notice that the car didn't flash its lights AND it hadn't been locked. M has taught me well, and I always lock the car. Crap! 

  • realizing, as I reached for the back door handle, that it was not my car. In my defense, it was also grey silver, and a Combi (like ours). I'm calling this a low because M would want me to recognize our car next to another grey silver car. If they had been two silver grey horses, I would not have made the same mistake. But all grey silver Combis look the same to me. 

  • taking the entire month to finish Little Women because it just wasn't as satisfying as I expected it to be.

  • noticing, while reading over an email I'd just sent to a group of English- and German-speaking colleagues, that I had typed "to" when I needed "too." After a distressed and anguished moan of despair, eye cent another massage correcting myself and insuring them that eye due no the difference between to and too...

  • learning that the governor (Ministerpräsident) of my home state in the U.S. is proposing that one doesn't need to learn how to teach in order to teach. He says a bachelor's degree, some job experience, and a competency test in the subject area is enough. Apparently he thinks teaching is so damn easy, anyone can do it. I'd like to see him try - but luckily for the students he wouldn't be eligible because he never finished college and therefore has no bachelor's degree.

  • getting our water usage report for 2014. We paid €80 for rain. There's a charge for owning land fully or partially covered with cement - like sidewalks and patios, because the rain water that falls there ends up in the sewer system rather than in the ground.

Other Moments

  • cooking a vegetarian dinner but first walking to the store to get M some meat to go with it.

  • while sitting in his mancave outside during his lunch break, M heard someone vacuuming and wondered with a scoff and scowl who was disturbing the Mittagsruhe. When he came back inside he discovered it was his wife.

  • Overheard on the train: "Ok, aber sprechen wir von echten 10 Minuten, oder deine 10 Minuten?" ("Ok, but are we talking about an actual ten minutes, or your ten minutes?") The speaker was a man, and he was talking to a woman on his cell phone (like that wasn't obvious).

  • entering our bedroom after a two-night absence and realizing M had been enjoying an open window for sleeping while I was away. Holy beachballs it was cold in there!

1 comment:

  1. I could imagine having that conversation about the 10 minutes with Jan... except I would have the man's part! Jan's 10 minutes are more like half an hour (I'm not entirely convinced he's a real German ;-) )