Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sisterhood of the World, part deux

One of my favorite bloggers, Bevchen, recently nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award, which means I will receive a ton of money for being a really good writer. Hehe...just kidding. It's definitely more fun than that. I appreciate the nomination, Bev!

I was nominated earlier this year, and you can read that post here. Honestly, I find these posts (written by others!) interesting and fun to read, thought-provoking when I have to think of my answers, and agonizing when it's time to come up with questions to ask others.

So here we go.

Bev's questions and my answers:

Why did you start your blog?

I started it because I thought friends and family back in the U.S. might be interested in how different life is here in southern Germany and what I'm up to since we're not often together anymore. My parents and my daughter still read it pretty regularly. By now, though, I think most who find my blog worth reading are other expats and some neighbors and friends here in Germany, who have told me they enjoy reading about their home from the point-of-view of someone who didn't grow up here.

What is the best food you've ever tried while traveling?

Lamb chops in Scotland - specifically on the Isle of Mull at the Glengorm Coffee Shop after a day of strolling through sheep fields in June and watching gorgeous little lambs dashing about and calling for their mums when they got separated. I realize that sounds a bit twisted to non-meat-eaters, and no, I would not want to be involved with slaughtering lambs or anything else. But those chops were so delicious.
"Hamish! Don't just stand there staring at those 2-legged beasts.
For the love of mercy, RUN!"

If you could have a second home, where would it be and why?

I have one (besides my home town, of course, at my parents' home) - Esslingen, Germany, and specifically my Schwiegermutter's flat. My host mom from my high school exchange experience also lives in Esslingen, and she is family to me, as well.

If you were a ghost, which place would you haunt?

Oh dear. My original answer to this question back-fired on me. I woke up early in the morning thinking about the concept of haunting someone or somewhere, and I got freaked out! While I think a cool super power would be to become someone's conscience and prevent him or her from doing wrong, I'd be a terrible ghost; I'd rather sleep at night. :-)

Have you ever planned a trip just because a book/film was set there?

I adore this question because I have such a trip planned! My all-time favorite writer from my childhood is Albert Payson Terhune, who wrote brilliant stories about collies. His home, where he bred and raised his dogs, is in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey (USA). My daughter recently moved to Philadelphia, and Pompton Lakes is only about 2 hours from there. When I visit her we will go to Pompton Lakes. And from there we'll probably head south to Chincoteague Island, Virginia, the setting of many stories written by my other favorite childhood writer, Marguerite Henry. I've been dreaming of visiting these places since I was 10.

Terhune and Henry books

What is your favourite item in your home?

I found this incredibly hard to answer but very interesting. My gut response was "my pillow!" but my final answer has to be MY BOOKS!

What is your favourite pancake topping/filling?

Butter and maple syrup, I guess. I haven't had pancakes in years, but I used to like them.

Which song title best represents your life right now?

I can't imagine there's a song title out there that could represent my life. I'll go with "Caledonia" because we're headed to Scotland next, and a line from that song is "Caledonia, you're calling me..."

Which of your blog posts has the most views?

German Double Beds, but I have no idea why. It keeps coming up on the key search words that led readers to my blog. I guess those beds really are unusually interesting to non-Germans!

What is a book you've been meaning to read for a while but keep putting off?

I cleared that shelf a while ago, but there are two books I've started several times only to give up again: McTeague, by Frank Norris and das Haus in der Rothschildallee, by Stefanie Zweig.

And here are my ten questions...

  1. What is a blog post you wrote within the last year or two that you really like?
  2. What photo from your travels really makes you smile? Please share it!
  3. What is a career or profession you imagined having when you were a child?
  4. What type of blog post do you find the most difficult to write?
  5. Which book could you read over and over and never tire of?
  6. Do you have periods of writer's block where you feel completely uninspired? What do you do?
  7. Is there a German* TV show you enjoy watching?
    *(I mean a show produced in the country in which you live/d, not a show from "back home".)
  8. Where are you on your journey of learning the language of the country in which you live?
  9. Which dialect (of any language) do you really enjoy listening to?
  10. Make up a question you'd like to answer, and answer it! :-)

Yikes - now I have to nominate others knowing that some people hate this kind of thing. But hey - if nothing else it's nice to know someone out there really enjoys reading what you write, right?
Here they are, and if I've nominated you before but you didn't respond yet, feel free to mix and match questions to get to ten, or answer all of them from both nominations!

  Ali at Starting over in Stuttgart
  M and Abner at Adventures of La Mari
  Razorbacks and Bratwurst
  Around the Wherever
  Welcome to Germerica
  and my daughter, who wrote a blog during her study abroad semester and who should start another one!
   (if my questions about blogging don't apply, replace them with your favorite of Bevchen's questions!)


  1. I think "my books" is a little bit of a cheating answer. She said item, not items ;)

    Also, re: your comment about people from Germany enjoying reading your blog because they enjoy seeing another perspective on their country -- I am always shocked at the fact that so many Germans read my blog. Like you, I figured it would mostly be for people at home to catch up or helpful for other Americans coming to Germany. But I think the majority of my audience is actually Germans that like hearing me comment (or complain) about German stuff from a foreigner's POV. Funny.

    Oh, and thanks for the nomination :) I'll publish my responses in a couple weeks.

    1. It's totally cheating - you're so right! But if I had to, I could even choose one of those books. Wait, two. Crap.

      I think I would also enjoy reading a blog written by a German living in the midwest of the U.S.. I don't see any of your posts as complaining, and I'm guessing your German readers don't either. There _are_ some crazy things that go on here with bureaucracy and policies, and Germans recognize that as well. They're pretty good at laughing at themselves (something that is harder for many Americans). I'm looking forward to your answers. :-)

  2. Great answers. And books definitely count. I would never make anybody choose just one book!

    I love that you called the sheep Hamish - that's the name Jan and I want to give our future dog, who will obviously be a Scottie dog. It will happen one day!

    1. See, I thought you'd allow that answer! ;-) We call everybody in Scotland (sheep, highland cows, lads) Hamish. We once got behind a local driving on the crazy single-track roads of Mull for several miles, and it was great! M was able to keep a safe distance behind him, but keep up because when he went careening around a corner over a hill and didn't break, we knew no one was coming. We called him Hamish, and that's where it started.

      In the unlikely event I ever have another dog (M says I would have to outlive him for that to happen), it will also be a Scottish breed - but a big fluffy collie!