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



My photo
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.

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon

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.  


Joyce said...

Good luck with the Dare...I still haven't seen the movie. Maybe hubs and I will sit down and watch it after the holidays.

I love the cooking lessons courtesy of your club-how fun!

The Henry Crew! said...

Good morning! Thanks for stopping by - I always love reading your sweet comments! What a wonderful Hodgepodge - your International Club for Women sounds amazing! And I'm right there with you on Fireproof - one of our favorite movies as well (and my youngest C, being completely obsessed with firemen, loves the rescue scenes!) Will be praying for you as you do the Love Dare!

Formerly known as Frau said...

I loved Raggedy Ann growing up, forgot about her! Your love challenge sounds interesting.....good luck!


I loved the movie Fireproof...hubby and i took the dare as did daughter and son-in-law...both couples married less than 10 years. It was good for us all. Have you seen the next movie? Courageous? If you have not...you must....every man should see it...for sure.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Love your photos. You have a beautiful family. When you find that off button let me know where to find it. What a sweet Raggedy Ann doll. Must have been fun dancing with her. I never thought about cranberry juice, I was thinking more like a Thanksgiving dinner item. Good for you with the Love Dare. I have had the booklet for a long time. I was going to do it to my husband without him knowing like in the movie. We have had some rough patches lately so maybe it's time to pull that book out!! I love Kirk Cameron too and saw them tape Growing Pains once. I still have the t-shirt I won!

Expats Again said...

@ Still, there's another movie? I am so downloading this from iTunes! Thanks!

Expats Again said...

@ Debby, now would be a good time to do the Love Dare if it's been a bit rough. Do it for him! You won't regret it.

Conny said...

Wow, you have such a neat, international family ... I guess I kind of do too. One day I (now American) was at my (German) cousin's wedding with my father who was at the time married to a Thai lady ... My cousin married a Serbian girl. His father (my German aunt's spouse) was Greek!! The 2 witnesses to the wedding were a German lady & her husband from somewhere in South America!!!!! :) What a wedding party!!

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

Oh my gosh...that sounds like one large raggedy ann doll. Even at that age. And if I saw one when younger, I most certainly would have begged for one myself. LOL

Loved viewing your family photos. And found interest in your job at the correctional facility. You're leading a productive/and selfless life...which is good!!!

Elusive Butterfly of Love is my post for today. Thanks for stopping by on Wednesday for my Hodgepodge.

LG said...

Good luck with your Dare..keep at it, I'm sure you'll find the benefits (..off to speak to hubbie about doing ours....)

And well done for the work you did in the Prison..that also takes commitment and care. Sometimes you see the benefits sometimes they are forgotten (perhaps)...


Rachel Cotterill said...

I can definitely identify with taking cooking lessons from anyone who's offering - I love to learn new recipes when I travel, if I can :)