Saturday, February 28, 2015

February Highs and Lows 2015

I'm never sorry to see February end. At least when it's March, we can say it's nearly April. There's just nothing nice about it, although I'll take February in southern Germany over February in Wisconsin. It's flippin' below zero (-18°C) in Wisconsin this morning and was colder earlier in the month! I definitely prefer "below zero" temperatures in Celcius. It's been around 2°C here lately, and even I am thinking it's time to start keeping the window open at night again.

Here are this month's highs and lows.


  • watching the miniseries Pillars of the Earth. I read the book a year ago and loved it, and the movie has now refreshed my memory so I can read the second book, after which I'll watch the second part of the miniseries. Ken Follett is quite a writer!

  • Monday afternoon phone calls with my parents, two of which lasted 2 1/2 hours!

  • this conversation in our living room, stemming from my reading of World without End:
    B: "M, do you know what the Latin phrase 'Caput tuum in ano est' means?"
    M: "Hm..." (works through words in his head) "Head of yours, in ass is."
    B: "Yep, it's translated here as 'Your head is up your arse.' How would I say 'Head of HIS, up ass is'?"
    M: (more calculating) "Caput suus in ano est."
    B: (writing that down) "Thanks!"
    M: "Benefits of a classical education..."           (<== bonus points if you can name that movie!)

  • receiving the final multi-thousand dollar bill for my daughter's final term in college! (She graduates in June.)

  • an insanely delicious three-course Valentine's Day dinner at our favorite restaurant

  • trying a new recipe that I didn't completely botch; Überbackene Schweineschnitzel, with peppers and onions, garlic, crushed walnuts, mashed potatoes, and Gouda cheese. I only made a half recipe so we wouldn't have leftovers in case we didn't like it.

  • having to stop at the crosswalk near our house to wait for a woman on a big black Friesian to cross! Horses make my heart stop. I may or may not have put the car in the garage, grabbed my camera, and run down the street to where I thought they were headed. Yep, got 'em (sort of)!

  • participating in our second Kochkurs (cooking class) at Straub's Krone ("our favorite restaurant"), which we are doing right now, on the last day of the month. I know it will be a highlight.


  • driving home from the store in a brief blizzard with a big truck in front of me struggling to make it up an incline in the road - I never got out of 1st gear, we were moving that slowly, his cab going kind of sideways-like. I worried when I saw another big truck in my rearview mirror, but not for long. He just stopped right in the road because he couldn't even get up the incline and disappeared from my view within a few moments.

  • seeing part of an episode of the American TV show "Moonshiners," starring three hicks named Tim, Tickle, and Jim Tom. Tim wears denim overalls, no t-shirt and a felt hat. Jim Tom makes stills. Tickle is...his name is Tickle. Why, for the love of mercy, is this show aired in Germany? 

  • catching the plague a nasty cold - though the first one since I moved to Germany 2 1/2 years ago - probably from the germ-infested train. Can't you sometimes just feel the bacteria or viruses crawling into you when you have to touch something on public transportation during Grippewelle season?

  • Finding surface mold on one of our bedroom walls just before bedtime last night. This came from having a virtually air-tight house and not doing Lüften every day, and/or not keeping our bedroom window open because I kept whining about being cold. They say the risk is especially high in the bedroom because of the humidity our bodies emit while we sleep. That's it - I'm sold on Lüften, and I will follow our neighbors' example and do it every day.

  • almost finishing World Without End. I put this as a low because I have really liked this book - all 1235 pages of it! - and I'm sad to come to the end of the two-book series. Luckily I have my next book lined up already, which arrived this week: die Stadt-Ärztin, the story of the first female doctor in Germany (16th century), Agathe Streicher of Ulm.

Other Moments

  • waking up one morning as whatever I was dreaming about faded away into the mystical sleep world, and hearing my own voice in my dream say, "Those darn sheep!" I'm still wondering what those sheep did, and whose sheep they were.

  • waking up in the early morning to M's teeth grinding and somewhat abruptly reaching over to rub his shoulder (which usually gets him to stop grinding at least temporarily). Unfortunately he was closer to me than I realized, and I ended up punching him in the back. Oops. He stopped grinding, though.

  • Reading that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who is very likely going to run for president of the U.S., had this to say at a political conference: "If I can take on 100,000 [Wisconsin union] protesters, I can take the Islamic State." Really?  Really?!? I say we send him over there and let him have a go.  Please, please let that be his presidential campaign slogan.
    Washington reporter Chris Cillizza makes a good point: "As soon as you are comparing something that doesn't involve mass deaths and unspeakable atrocities to something that does, you've lost the argument."

I hope your highs outnumbered your lows this month.

Bring on March!


  1. Can I have the recipe for that Schnitzel please? It sounds amazing!

    1. Surely! I'll send it in an email. You'll get a peek at my crazy recipe-writing technique...It's a misch-mash of English and German, and I type each step separately because otherwise I often miss a step! :-) Fair warning, though - it was fine, but we wouldn't have wanted leftovers. It's frustrating when I try a recipe that only includes ingredients we like a lot, but the result is only...merp.