Thursday, October 3, 2019

Life Lately October 2019

Although I haven’t blogged in what feels like ages, I have some ideas brewing. I’d like to say the reason I haven’t been blogging is because I’ve been spending every spare minute studying for my Jägerprüfung (hunter’s test), which I’ll take in May, but that wouldn’t exactly be the truth. I am certainly studying often, but my intentions are better than reality. Still, I have made progress. Ask me about Jagdoptik. Go on, ask me!

I thought I would put up a short report about what’s been going on around here since my last post.


M and I spent two wonderful weeks at Glengorm on the Isle of Mull in Scotland in early September. Took some new walks and some old ones, booked a wildlife boat tour, spent time in the nature hide watching wildlife, spotted eagles, buzzards, and even some red deer, spent a few hours with a falconer, had fish-n-chips, visited the Great Polish Map of Scotland, cooked with Glengorm beef and lamb, and I (with M’s help) finally learned the difference between a Fichte and a Tanne. I also now know the Hasel, the Buche, and that “gemeine Buche” doesn’t mean “mean beech,” but rather “common beech.”


Goodreads must think I’ve died. I haven’t finished more than a handful of books, and I have several (possibly 8) unfinished ones lying around. I’ve lacked the commitment in part due to the Jagdkurs. I feel guilty reading anything but my hunting books and magazines, but I’m hoping to finish one or two books for pleasure before the end of the year!


I’ve started a new class once a week (Tuesday evenings) with a colleague, teaching adults who have difficulty reading and writing. It is not just for foreigners; there are plenty of Germans who struggle with this as well. The class is called “Deutsch Spezial” and it’s open to anyone.

I also have my private student from the Philippines who comes for German lessons two hours a week, an acquaintance whom I’m helping with conversational English, and the now-less-than-weekly English conversation lessons with M’s employees.

The other day when I was having coffee with a friend and doing some English for his business English class, a woman overheard us and asked if I give Nachhilfe (tutoring) in English. I don’t really, but perhaps I can give it a try. Her daughter needs a boost with her 8th grade English class. It remains to be seen if I can help with 8th grade English here in Germany – I never taught anything like that in the US, despite teaching English for 16 years. Weird, huh? Language classes here are challenging, especially with regard to grammar. I'll need to be able to help her with present conditional, present continuous, gerunds, past perfect, future perfect, passive voice, etc. and under what circumstances those constructions are used. What do American kids in 8th grade learn in English class? That spelling and grammar don't matter - it's your thoughts that count.


We had our last portion of homemade Hirschgulasch last night. Good timing, since it’s now high hunting season and we’re getting to know more local hunters. J

We also reserved for “Ihabs Arabische Küche” at our favorite restaurant and had falafel, Guzi (a lamb dish) and veal steak with a delicious sauce and bulgur. Martin S. admitted the dishes had to be a little “eingedeutscht”, at times to Ihab’s dismay. Ihab is his Azubi (apprentice) from Iraq. I learned from him that Arabic food is not necessarily very spicy, but rather herbal (würzig) and full-flavored. That may explain why many Syrians I know don’t like German food: It’s bland in comparison. 


Well, M came home for lunch yesterday and announced, “I think we should participate in ‘Sober October’.” Say no more, I’m all in! Except that having a Gläschen Wein in the evening is my second favorite thing. That evening I had apple tea with honey. It was not satisfying.


M drove us to the Naturpark Schönbuch so we could take a walk through the woods and experience (from a distance!) the Hirschbrunft, or red deer rut. I wish I had known how to make a video with my smartphone, because that was really something! It's one thing to listen and watch on TV or YouTube, and quite another to be standing meters away from these bellowing beasts.


M and I were invited to the home of a local hunter for Kaffee und Kuchen, and we spent three hours there chatting with him and his wife (also a hunter) about my upcoming test, hunting in general, and falconry. He took us in his Landrover through his huge Revier, in which he organizes a Treibjagd (group hunt) every December. We both said we’re interested in participating, either as Treiber (who walk unarmed through the forest to flush out wild game) or as photographers. At the Jagdschule they worked hard to advise us against ever participating in a Treibjagd, but at the same time I’m expected to know details about it to pass my test. This hunter has also said I’m welcome to accompany him out when he goes to one of his Hochsitze during the coming months.

That's the most of what we've been getting up to in the last little while. Here's what's coming up...


Scott Kelby's World Wide Photo Walk:  This Saturday afternoon in Esslingen!

Celebrating* M's birthday: Dry, because it's in October. 
*We don't actually *celebrate* our birthdays. We go out or cook a nice dinner, have a toast, and otherwise spend the evening like every other. That's how we like it!

Trip to Breisach am Rhein: On the weekend of my birthday to visit extended family.

Treibjagd: 1st Saturday in December

What about you?!?


  1. That rainbow photo is stunning! Sounds like you've had a busy summer - but in a good way.

    1. Actually, most of this happened in September! After teaching in the US for 16 years, September will always be fall and back-to-school time. The summer was mainly student exchange business and Jagdschule. But you're still right - it was full in a positive way.

  2. I had to smile about the Middle Eastern cooking thing. My friend and I had another friend visiting. The first two of us eat spicy food as she's from somewhere with spicy food (though not quite as spicy as in India) and I'm not a basic white girl. Our other friend grew up in the UAE so for some reason we thought she'd like the food we like. Also, we don't perceive the food we make as all that spicy; we find it moderate. We were first going to serve okra, but as my friend was buying it, the visiting friend was like, um, I'm not into okra. Oops! I get it - it seems as if people really like okra (first friend and I love it) or it's disgusting to others. So then we had what is basically an Indian chili. As I started eating it, I was thinking, gosh, this is bland! I wonder if my friend who cooked it ran out of the spices? Our visiting friend was dying and choking down water because it was too spicy for her. Seriously, I could barely taste the spices :) It taught me the lesson to be more careful about coordinating with guests what will be cooked because of course one wants it to be a nice experience for them. (But dang, was that chili boring; I couldn't imagine it with any less spice than it already had!)

  3. Beautiful photos of Scotland! Do you only ever visit Mull? xx

    1. Thank you! For the most part, yes! :-) We truly love it there. We've seen other parts of Scotland and have enjoyed everything. But especially when we're traveling alone we end up saying, "Well, it wasn't Mull, but it was nice." I guess we are creatures of habit.