Monday, October 31, 2016

October Highs and Lows 2016

Here we are at the end of another month! Today is Halloween, a "holiday" I think I've always hated. Costumes and especially masks make me uncomfortable, I don't enjoy anything in the realm of scary, and I have vivid memories of my parents having to go through the candy I begged from strangers [because this one day of the year the "never accept candy from strangers" rule is nullified??] searching for razor blades, pins, and other tampering that parents were warned against back then. But tomorrow is both my birthday and a holiday in Germany (Allerheiligen, or All Saints' Day), so that's something to look forward to.

Bah Humbug, right? Sorry.

Let's get on with this month's highs and lows!


  • taking a riding lesson - and riding speedy Mallory - for the first time since spring. 

  • a short weekend trip to Breisach to visit family including M's sister and nephews who were spending their fall holiday week with M's mother.

  • while in Breisach finally getting my stupid absentee ballot witnessed by an adult U.S. citizen - a total stranger I bumped into along the Rhein.

  • meeting my friend and Sprachpartnerin, Hedda, in Tübingen for a few hours. She helped me find a fall/winter jacket I can wear even when I need to look a little dressy. I really hate shopping, but she made it fun.

  • having coffee and a chat with several of my former students, as well as meeting two of them individually for my interview project.

  • going out for dinner with M and another former student before he moved to another city. His moving is actually a low for me; he was really the first Syrian I got to know (and I was the first American he's met!), but it was nice to have one last chat with him before he moved on to better opportunities and a hopefully wonderful life.

  • spending a week at the Hotel Engel in Obertal, a Black Forest wellness hotel with Finnish saunas, Dampfbäder (steam rooms), Ruhezimmer (resting rooms), pools, a jacuzzi, a salt water floating pool, lawn chairs everywhere for resting, reading, and dreaming, a fitness pavillon, and a classy restaurant with very attentive and friendly servers and skilled and creative chefs. A more comprehensive post will follow.
Naturbadeteich, Jacuzzi, Erdsauna, und Kaminsauna
This was the view from our balcony.
  •  attending another Kochkurs, this one focusing again on Wild.
Wildschwein (wild boar) wrapped in bacon on a quince-pumpkin relish
Venison ragout wrapped in Wirsing (Savoy) with grilled carrots and Kartoffeltrofie


  • beginning about mid-month our yard has been a big, messy Baustelle (construction zone). We're having the stone replaced on our driveway, walkway, and patio, and it's been a muddy mess for two weeks. I'm sure this will be a high when they're finished and next year after the grass comes back, but for now, yuck!
This mudhole is where our Terrasse was and will be again, eventually.

  • on our first morning at the classy Hotel Engel, leaving our suite and striding down the hall, greeting the Zimmermädchen (cleaning crew) and marching into the suite they were cleaning, having missed the elevator to our left which would have taken us downstairs to the breakfast room. Oops.

Other Happenings

  • I have a granddog. His name is Albie and my daughter adopted him. Although he isn't a collie, I had to admit he's kind of cute.
  • I got a call from the VHS a week or so ago, and I will be taking over another integration course in mid-November. I know at least two of the students in this class, and from my previous students I already know that I need to be stricter regarding punctuality and Handy use in class. I hope it will go well.

  • a reporter with the Esslinger Zeitung briefly interviewed me about the upcoming election in the US, my thoughts about the nightmare, and what the mood is in Esslingen's sister city (my hometown). Her article will appear shortly before the election, which of course is Tuesday, November 8. If you're voting for Trump, follow his instructions and vote on November 28th.

I think that's it for the month. Have a Happy November!

1 comment:

  1. Lots of lovely highs. Those dishes look absolutely delicious!

    Awww.. Albie is adorable!