EXPATS AGAIN! Experiencing other cultures while enriching our global view.



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Munich, Germany
I am married to the love of my life and am finally able to shower him with all of the attention he deserves. I am now retired and living the life here in Europe. I am an American, he is an Australian, and this is our second overseas address. The first was Shanghai, China and now Munich, Germany. Come along and live the life with us as we continue our adventure of discovering all Europe has to offer.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011


1. Who taught you how to cook?
Anyone who was willing to give me a lesson.  My mother, mother-in-law, her mother, my daughter-in-law,  a new mother-in-law, my sister and sister-in-law, and two new countries.  My first mother-in-law taught me Hungarian dishes, her mother taught me Jewish dishes.  My daughter-in-law is from Jordan and is a wonderful cook and has unbelievable patience with me in her kitchen.  Her dishes are truly indescribably delicious. My mother-in-law, now, is from Australia and is very generous in teaching me what her son likes, except for the whole Vegemite thing.  They can just keep that in Australia (hope I didn't offend any Aussies here, sorry.)  Now, living in Germany, I have a plethora of willing teachers, both German and from all around the world.   The International Women's Club of München, to which I belong, has an activity called "Clever Cooks" where members invite other members into their kitchens to learn how to recreate their favorite homemade dishes from there respective countries.  This has proved to be a great way to learn ethnic dishes.  I'm a cook learning in progress...

                                          My beautiful, Jordanian, daughter-in-law & son

                      My beautiful, Urguyayan, daughter-in-law with son and grandson #2

                                                            My lovely sis and myself

Australian mother-in-law and my American uncle together in Munich (were we trying to matchmake or what, just kidding.)

2. Have you been told you think too much? Are too much of a perfectionist? Are too sensitive? Were they right?

I don't have to be told that I think too much.  I'm still searching for the darn OFF button.

3. As a child did you have a favorite blanket or toy? Tell about it.

I did, but I haven't thought about it until Joyce posed this question.  It was a doll that was soft and it was my height as a child of four or five.  She actually was a Raggedy Ann doll with strips of elastic under her feet.  I would put my foot into the elastic which would make her shoes go over mine.  I held her hands outstretched and her head (soft doll) would flop on my shoulder and we would dance together the way I would dance with my dad while placing my feet on his feet.  What a great memory (tears here).  Thanks, Joyce, for conjuring up something I had long forgotten about.  Why don't they make that kind of doll for little girls now a days?  Would they like them as much as I did?

4. What 'institution' do you have the most faith in?
When I think of "institutions" I think of these guys, prisoners, because I once worked at an institution for the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation for the State of Ohio at this place, The Toledo Correctional Institution.  I don't know how much correction we did there, but I did teach and many convicted criminals (think medium-maximum level facility that houses 1,850 prisoners in the city of Toledo.) did get their GEDs while I taught there.

Oh, that word institution is fully loaded, isn't it?  Not a fan of institutions  so I guess I will have to say none.  Unfortunately, they are necessary in our society and have been forever.  

No, I prefer to put my faith in Him who will not disappoint or abandon me.  

                                                                            As if!!

5. Chrysanthemums, pansies, burning bush, ornamental cabbage...your favorite in an autumn garden?

Oh....the burning bush, for sure.  I just love them and fortunately I have them in the states.  We will go back in April to do a lot of new plantings and I am sure I will stock up on these beauties for the fall season.

6. What superpower do the kids in your neighborhood seem to posses?

We have a girl, age 3, and a boy, age 2, above us in our apartment complex here in München.  They are adorable little towhead blonds who keep their mummy and daddy very busy.  As far as the city of Munich goes, we are fortunate to have a large garden (yard for the Americans) so the kiddies are out of doors as much as possible.  They appear to have superpowers of unlimited energy as I look out to see a wearied set of parents.  Perhaps I ought to offer to help out/babysit once in a while and give these two a break!

7. Are you a fan of the cranberry?

Mostly for it's medicinal purposes or as a a companion with vodka and lime on a sunny beach somewhere.  But my sister-in-law (see #1) gave me her killer cranberry relish recipe for our Thanksgivings and I really do enjoy this dish.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Hubby and I have decided to to do the "Love Dare" that was so popular a few years back after downloading the movie "Firepoof" with one of my favorite child actors, Kirk Cameron. We are not a marriage in trouble, but we have been married 12 years (second time for us both) and have learned how important it is to "Maintain" a marriage.  Sensing a need to revisit what is important in a marriage and what work (yes, I did use the proper word) daily is needed to keep a marriage strong and beautiful, we decided to try it.  We are on day four and it really is exhausting challenging to remind yourself each day of the things we often neglect in our busy lives that contribute to a wonderful marriage.  

Although it is difficult, we are so happy we are doing this for us.  Here is what hubby sent me today in an email from his office reminding me of our past four lessons:

                       Side note:  He has the most perfect handwriting, doesn't he?

Hubby is oversimplifying this a bit.  
Day 1 meant biting your tongue when you wanted to say something you shouldn't have.  
Day 2 meant doing an act of kindness towards your mate, even if you didn't feel like it or felt they didn't deserve it.  (See what I mean about tough?)
Day 3 meant going out of your daily routine to pick up a phone and check on your spouse just to see how they are doing.  (We do this a lot anyways, but if you weren't into this habit, it could be easily interpreted as "checking up" on your spouse--a touchy area as shown on the movie, "Fireproof."  Did I tell you we were both in tears at the end of this movie?)
Day 4 meant actually going out and buying something worthy of how much you love your mate, not something chintzy or cheap just to fulfill that day's challenge.  (Sorry, I won't reveal what he got me, but I will tell you it took a lot of thought and was just what I needed! He did good!  Oh, I will tell you I bought him two 100% cashmere sweaters to keep my loved one good and warm in Munich winters.  He loved it and it was a great pleasure to see how happy it made him,:-)

Today, we are to tell our spouse 3 things that we do to cause him or her to be uncomfortable or irritated with us.  (See what I mean about exhausting and difficult??  Can you imagine the work it takes to write this in a kind, loving, and not offensive way?  Prayers needed that we don't have to decide who gets the house and kids after this challenge today!!)

He is really taking this seriously and so am I. ( Only good can come of this 40 day challenge, right?).  Pray for us....please.  It really is work people and we will need all the prayers we can get to get us through this challenge.  I promised not to look ahead in the workbook, "The Love Dare," and I haven't, but God have mercy on my soul if it gets harder than this.  


                                                KRAÜTERGARTEN (Herbal Garden)
Monday, Nov.7th, I begin Intensive German classes, alas.  I say that with foreboding because of all of the horror stories I hear from expats about their forays into German language and culture.  But, not to be daunted, I will venture forth in my blissful ignorance of the myriad errors I will likely commit and do my best to become educated.  My classes are every weekday from 9 am until 12:30 pm.  Just enough time to rattle this old brain and challenge it's ability to still learn a new language.  (Most of the Mandarin I have learned has disappeared and is only used in Chinese restaurants.  I hope our lengthy years of living in Deutschland will imprint this language on my psyche so that I will not have it disappear as my Mandarin has.)

I am looking forward to being able to  speak without pantomime communicate effectively with German speakers while also learning how to read in my (fourth?) language.  I don't feel you can truly assimilate into a new culture without being able to speak and read the language.  Only then will I feel a part of this country and not just a bystander.  Also, I will learn the correct spelling, pronunciation, and names for the things I know have to "Americanize" for my family and friends to understand.

Wish me luck on this new adventure and cross your fingers that I will be able to pass the test that will allow me to travel overseas and guarantee that I will be able to re-enter Germany.  The necessity of this validation is what has spurred me on to this quest, but now that it is imminent,I am looking forward to seeing how I do.  

I will update you and share with you what will certainly be a difficult, yet rewarding, challenge.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


It was a glorious day today in München and a holiday too!  Temperatures hovered around 55° and the hubby and I could not wait to enjoy the great outdoors so we headed about 20 miles south of us to walk along the Isar River. Alongside of the river is a canal and we found much firmer footing there than along the side of the river that is made up of large stones.

Autumn is in full here in Bavaria and as you can see, we were not alone in wanting to feel the crisp air and admire the panorama.    People were walking, riding their bikes, roller blades, and horses.  We even saw a guy on skates using his ski poles to push him along!

We took along a bottle of Wolfe Blass Australian Shiraz, a few wine glasses, cheese and apples for our mid-day snack.  Tossing a blanket next to the river, we sat down to enjoy the scenery while feeling the sun on our faces.

After a few glasses, we continued our journey along the canal until we came upon a Gasthaus with a bier garden.  The aroma of Nuremberg sausages and apfelstrudel was teasing us and it didn't take much for us to succumb.

Looking at this lovely salad, you might think I was being very healthy this afternoon, but this was just the starter.  Along with the salad, I had roast pork, a knudle (dumpling), and warm sauteed purple cabbage (think of sweet and sour cabbage).  Hubs had the sausages and then generously shared his warm apfelstrudel with cream sauce.  YUM!

I hope we have more of these weekends before winter arrives.  This week it will be sunny and near 60° so we plan to make the most of our days outdoors.  Crossing my fingers that the leaves stay on the trees and we can continue to see their vibrant hues for a while longer.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Before 1917, in the U.S., you could send a postcard for only 1¢.  After 1918, the price went up to 2¢, because of World War I. These postcards then became called "Penny Postcards."

The one above are of California, but each state, in fact each county in the U.S. is represented by a number of these historic "Penny Postcards."

This one of Buds Barbeque, Hilliard, is from Nassau County in Florida.

And from my hometown of Toledo, Ohio:

Yes, believe it or not, we DO have a yacht club and yes, it does have a marina today with proper yachts that sail in Lake Erie, along with other water craft.

I have spent the better part of the morning (shame on me) perusing this website:

Penny Postcards

If you would like to see how your hometown (or any town/city in the U.S.) was pictured and posted for a penny, click on the link above to see the website.  These postcards are not for sale, but they do take scans from collectors to add to their library if you are a collector or just happen to have a few of these beauties in your possession.

I warn you, it's a time guzzler but well worth the look!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I would like to apologize for the quality of these photos.  I didn't take my trusty Canon to the  Schleißheim Palace so I was at the mercy of my iPhone.  I thought it would work for me, but clearly the photos could have been much better.

The Palace started with a country house in 1598 and hermitage founded by William V close to Dauchau Palace.  His son extended the buildings between 1617 and  1623.  After heavy destruction during WWII, it was reconstructed.

A baroque New Palace was built in 1701-1704 as a new residence.  However, Bavaria was lost in the years of the War of Spanish Succession and the construction was interrupted.

Important works of art owned by the Bavarian State Picture Collections is exhibited in several rooms.  Famous Flemish Baroque painters such as Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck are here as well as the Italian artists Guido Reni, Alessandro Turchi and Carlo Dolci, but the Germans and Spanish painters also are represented.

The New Palace's East Side overlooks a spectacular park with a rare preserved baroque garden.  

The Schlrißheim Palace has been used as a location for several motion pictures.  The 1951 film, Decision Before Dawn,  1957 "Paths of Glory", and in 1961 "Last Year at Marienbad."

After the tour of the Palace we gathered for a lovely Bavarian Lunch at the Palace grounds.  It was a great day in Munich.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


1. What gives you goosebumps?
Misjudging a step on the escalator,  my husband's hand touching the skin on my lower back, hitting the brakes to miss a collision, swallowing pills that stick in my throat, an unusual noise in the middle of the night, an unexpected hug from a sweet grandchild, my son's telling me how much I have influenced them, John Mayer's, "Come Back to Bed," and the perfect Chardonnay.

2. Halloween-are you a lover or a hater? Okay, that sounds harsh...Halloween-yay or nay?
Nay all of the way.

3. Can you respect someone you do not trust, and can you trust someone you do not respect?

Absolutely not.  Neither can I love someone I don't respect--let alone trust them.  Been there, tried that.  It doesn't work! .

4. Apples or oranges? Yes, you have to choose.

Oranges, mandarins, clementines, tangerines, Minneola Tangelos, etc.  Yum!

5. What is something you wish was in your town? (shop, restaurant, attraction, etc)
A good bagel shop.

6. What non-food item is in your refrigerator or freezer?
Sorry, all food.  European refrigerator space is too precious to waste on anything but!

7. Are you at all superstitious?
No, but I do believe things happen for a reason and  we cannot always chalk it up to coincidence. (This drives my husband crazy, but I find meaning where he will only see chance.)

  But I do not believe in black cats, ladders,  or a Friday the 13th kind of superstition. 

 I do, however, think there are signs and we need to be perceptive enough to understand them--premonitions of things to come.  I have many circumstances in my life that I have documented that arouse thoughts that something good/bad will happen in the future and whoa.....then it does.  

I'm not psychic, rather, I think some people are just attuned to their surroundings while others are not.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I have taught about 8 gals the game of Chinese Mahjong and we meet every Wednesday afternoon to play.  We have an open chair policy and published an invitation in the "Munich International Women's Club Newsletter" for next month. Four can play a game at one table and we now have two tables of players.  I hope we can accommodate everyone.  It is so fun watching the girls learn the game and the strategy.  I'm looking forward to an active Mahjong group like we had in Shanghai with as many women who wish to play and a large enough venue.  Wish us luck!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


1. How do you typically react in a sudden, extreme, pressure-filled crisis? Would we want you nearby in an emergency?

No, I don't think I qualify as the best candidate in an emergency.  I panic, quite honestly, and then I go into shock mode.  Not the best in a bad situation.

2. Caramel apple-caramel sundae-caramel corn-caramel macchiato...of the four, which carmel treat would you choose?

Caramel sundae, yum!

3. Is there such a thing as destiny? Explain.
Biblically, yes.  Our Lord knows our future--it is a part of His plan.  I do believe in predestination.

4. What's your favorite piece of furniture? I'm referring to something currently in your possession as opposed to something on your wish list.

The lamp you see in the photo is one of a pair of floor lamps.  The other one is on the opposite side of the cabinet.  When we turn on the lights it gives the room a soft glow.  I would say they are one of my favorite pieces.  I purchased them in Shanghai when we lived there and they remind me of that time in our lives.

5. Wednesday night marks the start of the 2011 Baseball World Series. Did you know? Do you care? Will you be watching? Ever been to a professional baseball game? If you're not an American do you find the title 'World Series' annoying or amusing?

Sorry, baseball is not something I follow.

6. A sound that takes me back to my childhood is____________.
An ice cream truck.  Instantly, I'm a kid again.  (I'm beginning to see a pattern here.)

7. On average, once you've linked your hodgepodge post to mine how many other participant blogs do you visit? Do you ever come back to the Hodgepodge later in the day or even the day after to read posts?

I really do make an effort to visit each and every one.  It is my goal to know each blogger.  I am finding it much more interesting when I know a person's personality and circumstances in their life.  It makes their blog a personal experience for me.  I am retired, so I have the time to do this.  Also, I figure that if a person takes the time to participate in this, the least I can do is appreciate the effort they took to do so.  Guess that's the English teacher in me coming out.  I really do appreciate it.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Tomorrow I am teaching a group of ladies here in Munich how to play mahjong.  There will be eight women, enough for two tables.  Four of these women have never played before and I am hoping that they enjoy the game enough to want to continue playing with us.  We play weekly and it is a great game to play while having fun with your friends while complex enough to be challenging.  We have a great group of gals and a good competitive spirit.  I'm hoping all goes well tomorrow as it is a difficult game to learn at first, but then it becomes addictive!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


This is our little Miss Nee Nee, our 6th grandchild, photographed by me when she was four years old.  She has just turned 7.  It is one of the few closeups I have of her and her lovely eyes.  This gal will never have to wear eye makeup as nature gave her all that she needs.

I am told by her parents that she is a burgeoning soccer player.  This makes perfect sense to me because I have never known her to w-a-l-k anywhere, she is a natural born runner and loves to make haste wherever she goes.

Here she is in action!  Our little Nee Nee with the wind beneath her feet (at age 6).  It's a real job slowing her down.  After all, she has things to do and people to see, you know.

She's a climber too!  Actually, she is fearless and I would be two if I had a twin brother and another brother 11 months older like she does.  The boys are twice her size, but that doesn't stop her from holding her own.  She may be tiny, but she is scrappy and tough. Both boys have given up on trying to coerce her to do anything, physically.  She spins, she tumbles, and she weaves herself away from their grasp.  She stands her ground and will try any way she can to get her way, including batting those lovely eyelashes.  (Hey, a girl has to use all of her gifts  sometimes!)  I've never seen such determination and competitive spirit in one so young.  She wants nothing less than being the first at whatever she does.  Nothing will keep her from reaching her destiny-- if she has anything to do with it.

But as rough and tumble as she is, she still likes to be the only little princess in the family.  And that is a good thing too.  I know she has captured my son's heart. He never had a sister and this little girl has got him wrapped around her little finger.  Daddy's little girl all of the way.

Here she is last Halloween in her costume in the classroom offering her father a Halloween treat.

This picture says it all.


macrumors newbie

Join Date: Oct 2011
Divorcing wife. Thanks iPhone 4s and Find My Friends

I got my wife a new 4s and loaded up find my friends without her knowing. She told me she was at her friends house in the east village. I've had suspicions about her meeting this guy who live uptown. Lo and behold, Find my Friends has her right there.

I just texted her asking where she was and the dumb b!otch said she was on 10th Street!! Thank you Apple, thank you App Store, thank you all. These beautiful treasure trove of screen shots going to play well when I meet her a$$ at the lawyer's office in a few weeks.

thankfully, she's the rich one.

Whoa!!  The above post was posted to "MacRumors."  

I have an old Apple 3-G and I am very happy with it, except I would like a camera upgrade, but that is no reason to buy the new 4s.  I don't know if the app "Find My Friends" can be put on any phone, but this poor guy uploaded it to his wife's new iPhone that he bought her and then used it only to find her in a lie.


Some people have commented that this may be a fake post, but it easily could be the truth in many people's lives if they use this app.

Technology sure has opened the floodgates. It boggles the mind to think of how something like this innocuous app can be used for stealth.  I can see it used by prosecutors in the courtroom.  "Your honor, we have evidence from the accused's iPhone app that he was at the location of the crime at the very time the crime was being committed."  

It gives me chills....

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Leaving Italy and driving north to Germany requires driving through the Dolomite mountains.  In summer, this is usually a rather safe and scenic drive with some perilous twists and turns, but overall very enjoyable.  In autumn, it's anyone's guess what the weather will be like in higher elevations.  Good road travelers can get the early weather forecast and plan accordingly.  But as we were due back from our week's vacation, we had to deal with whatever Mother Nature gave us, and she was in a foul mood on our return.  Look carefully at the left of the picture above.  That is not a large cloud.  That, dear readers, is a mountain covered in SNOW!  I know, right?  Beautiful green grape vineyards in the foreground, and the Arctic in the background.  

The more we drove, the more evidence there was that we had left the land of sunshine and sandy beaches in Sardinia and were headed towards the snowy mountain caps of Innsbruck, Austria and were were just barely four hours into our drive home!

A few miles up the road and the vineyards disappeared into mountains covered with evergreens.  Evergreens, covered in snow!

I am talking about LOTSA snow!   Check out the tire on the back to the SUV and look on his roof top!  This is some serious snowfall for the end of September.

We clearly weren't prepared for this.  I was still in my capris, tank top, and sandals from having breakfast poolside in Sardinia.  How was I to know I would need a parka and boots by afternoon?

So long sunny vineyards, winding brooks, and olive trees.  Hello winter?

I am so happy that we didn't relocate to the mountainsides of Austria.  Imagine having to see this outside your door and look into the valley and see people in shorts throwing a frisbee!

Unfortunately, the snow fell harder the closer we got to Innsbruck and as the sun was setting, it was turning into a white knuckle drive for my husband (I refuse to drive through the mountains.  Fly over them,ok, but driving through them is not  going to happen.)  As you can see, things are getting less visible by the moment.

This shot shows you that we are not just in a snow storm, but above the clouds that are making our drive more frightening each second.  This photo reminds me of many I have taken from an airplane, it's that high up!

There is no choice but to push on and pray that the closer we get to the German border, the clearer the weather will become.  So on we go, leaving Innsbruck and heading for München, weather be damned!  Rally the troops and forward ho!

This is a look back out of the rear view mirror on our descent from the last tall mountain.  So long snow, fog, clouds, and big mountain tops.  We are on our way home and all of the scary driving is behind us.

And to think that we had left this just hours before...Next time, I will bring along my mittens and my muck lucks.