Saturday, April 30, 2011

113/365 Saturday, 04/23/2011

This is one of my favorite places to get lunch:Café Lilla's in Jackson, Michigan. We were there because we helping a friend shop for a new computer. I ordered this sandwich (spinach, different cheeses, mushrooms) - and it was good.
I went there again on Wednesday with another friend and got what I usually get--a half of another delicious sandwich and a cup of one their truly excellent soups: this time I tried their cream of asparagus and it was heavenly!! Yum! 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

111/365 Thursday 04/21/2011

Since I've been posting scanned pictures of various dead relatives on my mother's side of the family, I thought I'd post one from my father's side. And this one is dated "Easter 1931" -- 80 years ago! The cute little boy in the middle is my father Horst (Carl Friedrich) Grimm, who was born on October 7, 1928 in Stettin in the Prussian province of Pomerania. After the Second World War the city became polish and is now called Szcecin. But my father's family moved to Berlin at some point when he was still quite young. He always felt more like a Berliner than a Stettiner. The two men are his father on the left: Carl-Heinz and uncle, Ernst, on the right. I know very little about them. I remember hearing a story about how the two of them were orphaned at an early age and that they were adopted by different families. What is interesting to me is how Ernst, the uncle looks a lot more like my father than his actual father does....hmmmm. Carl-Heinz looks more like my father's younger brother, Peter,who was born nine years later. Carl-Heinz died fairly soon after the war I think. Uncle Ernst lived longer but my father never got back in touch with him, once he emigrated to Australia. (Which he did soon after the War). 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

110/365 Wednesday 04/20/2011

This was a new meal for us--and it was quite tasty--potato-mushroom gratin with blue cheese. 

109/365 Tuesday, 04/19/2011

And here is Tuesday's picture: two goldfinches on the feeder. The weather was slightly better as I recall, but still not very springlike...

108/365 Monday, 04/18/2011

The weather was really crappy on this day--there was snow and it was cold and wet.This did not deter the birds from getting their nourishment--we are seeing more goldfinches and woodpeckers at the feeders here than in previous years. This looks like a male downy woodpecker. (It had the patch of red on the back you just can't see it here). I think all the ones we are seeing these days are downys and not hairys. The hairy woodpecker has a longer beak and is slightly bigger overall--you can see both of them here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

107/365 Sunday, 04/17/2011

These are three souvenir lighthouses that we brought back with us from our 2008 Michigan holiday--we drive up to Frankenmuth and then stopped at different places along the way--Midland, Alpena, Drummond Isle off of the Upper Peninsula, Sault St. Marie (We stayed on the Canadian side) and Grand Rapids at the end of the trip.

The lighthouses are from left to right: the Presque Isle Light, the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse and The Lighthouse at Tawas Point.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

106/365 Saturday, 04/16/2011

I bought this book while I was in Germany in March. Its title is a pun. "Anständig" means "decent" or "respectable" -- upstanding. When put together with the verb "essen" it means as much as "a decent" as in full/square meal. The author, whose writing style is very funny in a dry, self-deprecating way, tested different kinds of diet regimes for months at a time--being a locavore, a vegetarian, a vegan even a raw-foodist. I've only read the beginning because I have two books I want to finish before I start it, but I'm looking forward to it. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

105/365 Friday, 04/15/2011

Here's another quickie of Sophie-she likes to sit on this table between our TV chairs. This position is called a "cat-loaf" and Sophie is very good at loafing!! I like how this perspective shows off her beautiful tortoiseshell coat. She's a very pretty kitty. 

104/365 Thursday, 04/14/2011

Not much to say about this one-just another cute picture of our fluffy girl-cat Mieze.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

103/365 Wednesday 04/13/2011

A friend gave me a copy of the paperback edition of the first book my mother wrote that she had found in a second-hand bookstore. You can see it in the picture on the left. The funny thing is--this is a copy of the defective first edition of the book that was printed en masse with about 10 pages of the end of the story missing!
And guess who was the one to find this out? My mother, the author of the book, who was sent a copy  in Germany many many years ago. I can remember her panic when she opened the back of the book and couldn't believe her eyes!  This was way way back before email etc... and we didn't even have a phone. (Yep thats right our family never had a car and did not even get a home phone till I finished high school). I remember my mother pondering her next move--which turned out to be a trip to the local post-office where she sent a telegram to her literary agent Virginia Kidd that ended with the memorable words: "Please raise hell!" -- which is I think more or less what happened. The whole edition was ditched and eventually a new edition with the much prettier cover and the complete text appeared.  So that was that.
It is a bit funny that the faulty edition still turns up in stores and on eBay--I always wonder what people must think about the ending--in the incorrect edition the book ends with a sentence that is a question --and thats it--it is obviously unfinished.
Eventually it would be nice to own a copy of every edition of all 11 of my mother's books. And at some point I'd like to set up a website that consolidates all the info on her that is available out there on the web, plus the info I have together in one place. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

102 Tuesday, 04/12/2011

Last Tuesday it was warm and sunny outside (unlike today, Monday, April 18 where it is in the thirties and snowy...) and so Hansi really enjoyed his walk. He seems to be ok with the leash-he doesn't love it but he seems to take it in stride if it means he can go outside. He loves sniffing and yes spraying --marking his territory-- yet another hint that maybe he was neutered a bit later on than is usual (the other is his behavior towards our other male cat George....I'll leave it to your imagination!--don't ask me why its George whom he does this to and not either of the girl cats...) He also loves loves loves rollling around in the dead leaves and messy undergrowth that our yard does contain in spots. That's what he's doing in this picture. I usually bring a book when I walk him, because there's often more standing than walking involved when walking a cat. He usually ends his walk by running up on the porch and sitting there - either on my lap or on the porch for a while. On occasion he's encountered a neighborhood dog or he'll try and catch a squirrel. For a 15 and a half year old cat he's still pretty sprightly. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

101/365 Monday April 04/11/2011

This was one of the first sightings of the year I had (and captured) of an American goldfinch. Now (I'm writing this entry almost a week later...) we've seen them a number of times. We have also seen downy woodpeckers, nuthatches, house-finches, lots of different kinds of sparrows, grackles and starlings, doves, juncos, titmice, chickadees and blue-jays.  Oh and of course there are always plenty of black squirrels...

100/365 Sunday 04/10/2011

So here is the other example of a cartoonist using the word Schadenfreude in their comic-strip. I like Non Sequitur, sometimes it's quite funny. I also read "Crankshaft" - which is above Non Sequitur but I don't read Peanuts. (which is below N S).  Not sure why--I used to like Peanuts when I was younger. (maybe thats why?)

99/365 Saturday, 04/09/2011

This is probably Sophie's favorite place to sit--except maybe for the cardboard boxes upstairs. She decided to claim the back of the couch as "her" territory. George has claimed Bill's chair as his-which is probably why he sits on Bill a lot--he thinks Bill is sitting in his chair. Hansi has a lot of places and Mieze tends to sit wherever the others let her. Sophie has managed to flatten the back of the sofa quite considerably. I try and poof it up again but inevitably it gets flattened out again by Sophs. I like how in this picture she is trying to claim the whole back of the sofa as her territory. Come to think of it I'm not sure she'd be happy with anyone sitting anywhere on it--she thinks it's all hers....  

98/365 Friday 04/08/2011

Today I had a bit of a hard time deciding what to take a picture of--I spent most of my time just getting things back to normal-unpacking, doing laundry and tidying. I fell upon my beloved book of Roz Chast cartoons, and decided to take a picture of a few of them. I eventually picked this one for my daily picture, in part because I found a comic in the previous Friday's newspaper (that I read on Sunday--playing catch-up) that also mentioned the German word Schadenfreude. Seems that its a popular choice for cartoonists!

Friday, April 15, 2011

97/365 Thursday, 04/07/2011

It is always good to come home to our four cats. They are always well-looked after by our equally cat-loving neighbors and so we know they are in good hands when we go away, plus they do have each other to interact with and so they are not completely alone, but still they do always seem quite happy to see us. Hans (pictured) our 15& a half year old is by far the most people-oriented and so he seems to miss us the most. (But he is also the one gets the most out of the visits of our neighbors...) Here he is sitting on Bill and purring away-happy and content and glad to have us both back (where he thinks we belong).

Thursday, April 14, 2011

96/365 Wednesday 04/06/2011

Everything went smoothly on our trip back to Albion from Vancouver. First we were up and at 'em at about 6:00am when we walked our luggage to the underground Skytrain.  We made it to the airport in good time and I'm glad we did because it turns out you go through US Customs AT the Vancouver airport....which still seems a little strange to me but whatever...that all went without a hitch and the first flight on our little puny airplane was fairly painless...then we had hours to kill in Seattle. We decided to have a nice sit-down meal for lunch. As we sat and waited I took pictures out of the window.  (We also took a couple of each other).

Bill thought the Alaskan Airlines dude looked like Bob Marley--I think because he (=Bill) mistook his hood for dreadlocks...I still think he bears a slight resemblance to famed Russian author & Nobel prize winner Alexander Solzhenitszyn...he is of course supposed to be a Native Alaskan. We were less sure about the Bobcat - and Bill did not believe me when I said I had seen an "M" logo to go along with it--we could not think what school/university it was referring to. Turns out it was logo for the Montana State I HAD indeed seen an "M"....

The rest of the day progressed uneventfully. We got home so late that Bill relented and we went to the McDonalds drive-thru to get a late dinner. We even got milkshakes, which, dare I say it...were quite good....I'm now paying the price for weeks of indulgent over-eating and am even contemplating going back on weight-watchers...if I do I'll do it on-line, which is an option. They have a new way of calculating the points. We'll see--maybe I can loose the weight without going back. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

95/365 Tuesday, 04/05/2011

Our last day in Vancouver started off cool and rainy--we took it easy and enjoyed our delicious complimentary breakfast in the Regency lounge--where platinum Hyatt members (aka the other half..) often spend more time than you'd think...comfy chairs, free beverages and snacks all with a pretty nice view of Vancouver, make it a nice place to hang out or regroup.

Later on the weather got better and so we ventured out into what turned out to be quite the hike. We walked mid-afternoonish to English Bay where we went to the Boathouse restaurant for "linner"--a midafternoon dinner/lunch/happy hour type meal. (picture) Once we were full of food we decided to head on up the seawall that goes around Stanley Park--here's a nice map.We started out at English Bay, which is way down on the left-hand side of the map and then walked all the way up and beyond the Lion's Gate bridge. I didn't quite feel up to walking the whole way around (many people seem to bike it) so at some point beyond the bridge we went inland into the park. The first section was more woodsy than park-like and I started having visions of us doing our own ""Blair witch project" and getting lost and stranded here, since it was getting a bit late. In reality we had plenty of time and after some hiking the park actually became a park....and after a bit more walking we were at the Lost Lagoon and well on our way back into downtown and our hotel.

We were happy and tired when we got back and didn't do much except pack and veg for the rest of the day. We knew we'd have to be up bright and early to get to the airport in time for our 8:45am flight to Seattle where we would then have an over three hour lay-over before our flight to Detroit. The picture of the day was taken just after we passed Siwash Rock--if you go back to the map you'll see where that is. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

94/365 Monday, 04/04/2011

In case someone missed it--I also finished the entry for 93/265-- Sunday.

Today was very rainy and it dampened our sightseeing possibilities a bit. I was s till a bit sick so we decided to take it easy. We did what it turned out a lot of Vancouverites seem to do on a rainy day-- we went to the mall...

We walked around a bit, but I wasn't really in a shopping mood. The only thing we did buy was a nice beret-style hat for Bill that he found at H&M of all places! I was the one that dragged him there in search of a nice cheap scarf or other accessory--he had never set foot inside an H&M before. It was packed with young ladies shopping shopping shopping and the line to try things on stretched all through the store. Anyway I was glad he found something.

After that we ventured over to the big food court where we both ended up getting bowls of Japanese soup-mine had won-tons in it and his had some kind of meat. They were good. We then did something a bit odd, but it ended up being interesting. We took the underground train out to the airport on a test run-since we had splurged on a cab coming in and had then found out about the train. After a while the train went above ground so we got to see a bit of the city. I'm glad we did it - it made doing the same thing on Wednesday very early with our luggage seem less intimidating.

We walked home from the mall, which is where I took this shot and rested up in the hotel before going out to a delicious Indian dinner at a nearby restaurant. I had the lamb korma and it was so yummy I definitely overate!! All in all another good day.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

93/365 Sunday, 04/03/2011

This is an actual picture from our actual seminar...taken on Sunday the last day--after we had all gotten to know each other and were pretty relaxed. It felt almost like a class--we were somewhat reluctant to leave. (Someone from the next panel walked in and we were all just sort of sitting there and chatting an he said: "wow you must really like each other!"...I think we did-we were a good group. Very interesting papers. I'm glad it all worked out as well as it did.

After the panel I walked home and Bill and I did a bit of sightseeing we went up the Harbor City Tower to grab a view of the city. The weather wasn't great but at least it wasn't rainy or foggy. We then went back to the first restaurant we had tried on Thursday for lunch--since we were hungry and we knew it was close. It was quite empty and so we got very good service (plus nice lunches).  Our waiter told us about two restaurants at English Bay (which is sort of where Stanley Park begins) that he would recommend, especially for their fish and chips. He wrote down the directions and we ended up going to one of them on Tuesday.  After our lunch, we felt a bit sleepy and the weather was not great so we just walked to the big bookstore called Chapters and hung-out there for a while. I was still feeling a bit under the weather so I thought I would buy a magazine or two and perhaps a book to cheer me up. When I'm sick I go for lighter fare than's callled "pampering" I guess...I got a copy of Oprah's magazine, a copy of Vanity Fair and a book by someone who I thought i might like: Philippa Gregory, who writes historical romances set in Britain. I bought her second latest book called "The White Queen", which takes place against the exciting backdrop of the Wars of the Roses and focuses (or has so far) on Elizabeth Woodville, the wife of Edward IV. It's is the perfect book to read while taking Hansi on his midday stroll through our yard.

That evening (I think after dinner, which was pizza and a salad at a nearby Italian restaurant) while reading "Oprah" I had an epiphany about my life. I'm not quite ready to talk about here though--at some point I will just not quite yet. I actually was not that impressed with the magazine--but perhaps I should have kept it because of what I have begun calling "the epiphany"...oh well...I did bring the Vanity fair back and I'm glad I did. I do enjoy reading the articles--all about Kate and William, JFK Junior etc etc...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

92/365 Saturday 04/02/2011

Today was a fun day--and it was probably one of the best weather wise too! In the morning was day 2 of the conference. Fortunately even though I indeed had a cold I nevertheless felt better after a good night's sleep. The papers and discussions went well. After our panel I went to have coffee with a friend at the starbucks in our hotel. Because of my cold I ordered a Chai Latte which was very good. I sat and chatted with friend and a bunch of her friends (she knew quite a few people at the conference) until it was time to meet up the people on our panel who had agreed to follow the lead of a German PhD student at Univ. of British Columbia who was going to take us to his favorite Chinese restaurant located in an "interesting" part of town. About seven of us met up and we ventured forth by bus to the restaurant. The food was indeed very good and the prices very reasonable especially for Vancouver. Here's a picture. After finishing our lunch with yummy apple pastries we all walked back to our various hotels and plans. My plan was since I was feeling a bit tired. I hate to say it but I did very little for the rest of the day....I was sick after all! At some point Bill came back from having walk and walked and walked all around the city--or rather the seawall/edge of it. So he was equally tired. I won't even tell you'all where I got dinner. (Bill had had a late lunch and wasn't hungry for dinner). Hence this "view from our hotel room" least it was a pretty nice view!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

91/365 Friday, 04/01/2011

So during the first night in the hotel I started feeling a bit sick--the back of my throat felt scratchy and a bit sore--sure enough all the hectic of traveling had caught up with me in the form of a cold--so I spent the rest of the conference feeling sometimes more and sometimes less under the weather.  Everything still went well-I had a nice lunch with a graduate student from my former graduate institution and I still went to panels after our own (which had gone well) but I remember feeling more and more woozy and congested as the day wore on.

I did not want to roam far for dinner so we went to the Chinese restaurant in the mall that was adjacent to our hotel (you could get there without going outside) where I was able to order this fantastic bowl of delicious hot&sour soup, which was just what the doctor ordered! Then it was back to the hotel room for an early night--seeing as I had to be up and at 'em by 8am the next day!

90/365 Thursday, 03/31/2011

This is a statue of "Gassy Jack". No not THAT kind of gassy, but the windbag-likes to talk is to be found in what is today a touristy section of Vancouver called Gastown. Apparently it is where Vancouver "began"...

We had walked down and around the port of Vancouver (Burrard Inlet) and Canada place and then wandered over here. We then stopped for an early lunch at the Steamworks Brewing company. My seafood pizza was delish and Bill enjoyed his fish tacos.

After a bit more walking we went back to the hotel and rested a bit since we were still a bit tired from the flight. Eventually I went to register and to the welcome reception of the conference--where I was lucky enough to find everyone who had told me they would be there! It was fun. After that Bill and I found a nice Malaysian place where we had dinner. All in all a very nice first day.

89/365 Wednesday, 03/30/2011

This is the first picture from the trip to Vancouver. In a certain way it may prove to have been a fairly monumental trip (I had a personal epiphany while I was there and yes while reading a copy of "Oprah" of all things...more on that later!!)

Anyway this was taken on our short stopover at Salt Lake City. Flying west really through me off again time-wise--we got to Vancouver at about 5:30pm their time and we both felt jet-laggy. Our first meal was in the pretty pricey hotel restaurant-it was absolutely delicious, and we had a discount coupon -but the bill still came to $78 Canadian dollars.  (no appetizers, one glass of wine each and two entrees).
The good thing is that - since Bill is now staying at a Hyatt in Cambridge for work, he is a "diamond member" which, on top of paying for the room in "points" and not cash also entitled us to access to the lovely "Regency Club Lounge" which offered us free non-alcoholic drinks and goodies all day long...including a delicious breakfast buffet with excellent smoked salmon. We took full advantage of that!! And his Skymiles had paid for both of our tickets.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The haka

Here's a link showing an example of the haka as performed by the NZ National Rugby team: All Blacks

Monday, April 4, 2011

Updated 86/365

I finally got around to updating the entry for 86/365!

88/365 Tuesday, 03/29/2011

Today was a hectic day-I had an appointment in Ann Arbor so Bill had to drive me to Jackson where Adrienne would pick me up from work and we would both drive to Ann Arbor. (She had an appointment too). What made everything hectic was the fact that Bill could not find his passport and we were leaving for Vancouver, BC CANADA the next day. He started looking before we had to leave for Jackson. I got home at about 7 and we continued looking and looking but we also starting considering what we would do if we didn't find it. (I would have had to go to Vancouver on my own, which did not appeal to me one bit after being in Germany and on three campus visits on my own).

After a while I did find it --in his big many compartmented backpack and so all was well. I let Hansi out for a quick stroll which he did take advantage of by hiding under the stairs...Bill has bought materials with which to close off this area so that Hansi will not be able to do this anymore. We were busy packing and getting ready until fairly late--which seems to always be the way.