Friday, July 3, 2015

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

It is as hot as the flaming bowels of hell here with no end in sight according to, and I think I'm slowly losing the will to live. Once the concrete walls of our house finish absorbing the heat, the only place that will be almost tolerable is the cobweb jungle of the basement with the carcasses of forty big formerly furry black spiders I decided not to sweep up earlier. At least the beer is down there.

I've put a ban on hugging - one of my favorite things! - until this heat wave is over, I'm not using the oven, and I'm keeping the Rolladen (rolling shutters) down during daylight hours and living in relative darkness. Since the shutters are down anyway I would just stay naked in the house, but I don't want to sweat on the furniture. I can totally handle a few days of scorching heat, but two weeks or more is a bit much. Thank God the car has air conditioning. I might try driving again.

Meredith from Kaffee und Kuchen (a Stuttgart-based expat blog) nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award last month - thank you, Meredith! I do enjoy these types of posts where I get a closer look at the personalities of the bloggers I like to read. I'm going to take this opportunity to take my mind off the heat by finally responding to the nomination!

For the Sisterhood award fellow bloggers answer questions about their preferences, personalities, and lives, nominate other bloggers, and pose ten new questions.

The rules are:
  1. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and share a link to her/his/their blog in your post.
  2. Answer the ten questions you've been sent.
  3. Write ten questions of your own.
  4. Spread the love and nominate up to ten bloggers!
Here are the ten questions Meredith sent, along with my answers:

1. What do you mostly blog about?

I mainly write about everyday life in southern Germany. I originally aimed at an American audience and described how life here differs from that in the Midwest of the US. I think that got dull quickly for everyone but my parents and my daughter, who loves Germany almost as much as I do, and now my readers are mainly expats and Germans. I've been told often by Germans that they are surprised how many things I find that are interesting enough to write about that are just normal for them.

2. What is the best city you have travelled to and what are your recommended "must sees" in that city?

I'm finding it more and more difficult to rank things, but I'll say Wien/Vienna. As far as "must sees," it depends on the traveler's interests! I was fascinated by the 10 or so churches my Schwiegermutter and I visited - each one is so different! The Hofburg Palace was a highlight, as well as the Kapuzinergruft with the tomb of Sisi and Kaiser Franz-Josef. An extensive, self-guided walking tour is always a must for me no matter where I go.
Stephansdom, Wien

3. What three items do you always pack on a trip?

A book, both of my cameras, and an umbrella.

4. What is the best meal you've ever had and where did you have it?

Any meal that induces what my husband calls "food noises" could be considered a best, and I've had many of those. Pretty much every meal I've eaten at Straub's Krone right in our tiny little village ranks as the best. At home I'd have to say it's my husband's grilled beef tenderloin. This is a recipe - or rather a technique - handed down from my grandfather, and there's nothing better on the grill.
Cheeks of a calf in cream sauce

Bambi (seriously - fawn) with parsnips and chestnut potatoes

5. Which destination is on your "must see" list? Why?

Scotland - as much of it as possible. I am intrigued by its rich history, the wild beauty of the highlands, the remote life on the islands, its music, and its spirit. We've vacationed in Scotland several times, mainly on the Isle of Mull, but there is much more to see!

6. What's your favorite way to spend a free weekend afternoon?

Napping, I'm afraid (what a waste of time!). Or going for a long walk with M.

7. Whom would you pick to go on a cross-country road trip with you? Why?

My daughter. We are so much alike and have similar desires and habits when we travel. We could care less about the bar scene or night life of a city and prefer to retire early so we can get up and go the next morning. She's willing to walk all day and agrees that you get to know a city best on foot. Neither of us is interested in art museums, and we both like history and learning. She is also very frugal. Neither of us enjoys shopping! I would not enjoy travelling with someone who wants to go into clothing, jewelry, or shoe shops.
mother-daughter trip to Rome, December 2014

8. What are your blogging goals for the coming year?

Oops. We're supposed to have goals? I never thought about it. I guess I would just like to write interesting and fun posts.

9. What's your favorite blog post that you've written? Please share the link!

This question held me up for a while. This one about Fasnet was awfully fun to write, and this advice to my kids on the more serious side.

10. What's a new blogging skill that you've learned recently?

Oh dear. The most recent was probably a year ago when I added a table on a page for my "Frequently Used Terms." I'd like to learn how to create and insert a photo caroussel, but I don't think that's possible within Blogger. 

Now for my questions and nominees!

  1. Would you like to be famous? If so, in what way?
  2. Would you like to know the date of your death? Why or why not?
  3. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  4. Have you ever heard a false rumor that was spread about you? How did you react?
  5. If you were given €500,000 but could not spend it on yourself, what would you do with the money?
  6. Where in the world do you not want to travel to?
  7. What is your favorite meal to prepare?
  8. What do you fear most?
  9. What would you name as your all-time favorite movie (or book, or both - your choice)?
 10. What is a movie soundtrack that you really, really like?

My nominees, if they so choose to participate, are:

  Around the Wherever
  Speaking Denglish
  Starting over in Stuttgart
  A Different Piece of Sky
  Traveling Hopefully
  World Traveler in Training
  Razorbacks and Bratwurst


  1. Great answers, Beth! Vienna is also one of my top favourite cities. I'd love to go back someday! I went in February this year when it was still really cold so I'd love to visit in the summertime.

    Scotland is also very high on my bucket list - I really hope to make it there in the next few years.

  2. We were in Vienna in September, and it was really beautiful. Still warm and green, cool in the mornings. It rained a LOT, but we didn't let that dampen our enthusiasm or plans. We'll be in Scotland this September, and I can't wait.

  3. I love these types of posts and thanks again for the nomination!

    I have to admit, I don't think I've ever even owned an umbrella, let alone taken one with me on vacation. I'm not sure why, because it's definitely a practical accessory to have, haha.

    1. We absolutely needed our umbrellas in Vienna last September - it poured down the entire first day we were there, and we were glad we had them. Our shoes were soaked through within an hour, but we kept going. It's funny when our American exchange students are here and we tell them to bring umbrellas for our day trips - they think they're SO uncool! :-)

  4. Anonymous6/7/15 11:52

    I love Scotland. Great choice.

    1. I'm glad you agree! P.S. the only reason I didn't nominate you was because I saw that Meredith already had!