You Can't Put Lipstick on a Pig...Or Can You?

It was around this time last year that I came down with a fairly severe case of what is known in Germany as Frühjahresmudigkeit. While I would like to equate the lapse in time since my last instalment at Harlem Hausfrau to this dreaded ailment, I must be honest to both myself and the wonderfully patient readers of this blog that it has in fact been a case of “meinen innerern Schweinehund(“my internal pig(schwein) dog(hund)”)  simply rearing its ugly head.

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Peering out into the 6 a.m. morning darkness, I registered with a shudder that the thermostat read a crisp -1 C (29 F.) Groaning, I quickly piled on my winter wear, preparing for the frosty, morning walk with our dog Rosa.  In rounding the corner of our building, I was immediately struck by the large, ground floor picture window of our new neighbor’s standing fully ajar.

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Learning Can Be Fun...But the Metric System is Something Else Entirely

I remember back when I was a kid in the fourth grade and being led to believe by my teacher that us kids were on the cusp of something great.  Our generation, we were told, were to be the first U.S. citizens to officially learn and ultimately adopt into our everyday lives ‘the’ universal system of measurement (drum roll please) - the metric system.

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Ain't No Mountain High Enough

I have what is known in the German language as Höhenangst or for my American readers,  a fear of heights. Thankfully it does not fall within the truly clinical range but it is enough to render a physical sensation that radiates from my feet up into my guts and triggers my brain to play out the various scenarios associated with that one misstep leading to my gruesome and untimely demise.

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It's Gettin' Hot in Here

For the last three days I have sat in my office, consumed by the sensation of my make-up as it makes its way down my face only to land on my desk like colored raindrops. Its 33 degrees Celsius today  (that’s around 96 Fahrenheit for my American friends) and there is no air conditioning - like anywhere.

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Honesty is the Best Policy?

“Oh look, you have gained weight,” MILO exclaimed. 

“Excuuuuseeee me?” I gasped in horror, as my eyes narrowed on my mother-in-law. 

Now one would think that based on the extreme altering of my facial features that MILO would have recognized this was not a ‘Harlem Hausfrau-friendly’ topic of conversation and it was time to change the subject at hand – fast.  MILO appeared not to read me on this – or did she?

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But What About Your Hair?

As a U.S. expat residing in Deutschland for over five years, I have devoted a respectable amount of time fine-tuning my practices as it relates to any and all State-side visits. Each trip home is a wonder in itself, painstakingly planned via a series of phone calls, emails and internet searches, ending in a calendarized agenda of the must-do activities taking place immediately upon arrival.

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Punctuality is the Politeness of Kings (King Louis XVII of France)

The Scene: Our apartment 4 or so years ago…

“Who in the world is ringing the bell?” I whispered, eyeing the door suspiciously.

“Our guests,” said V.

“Wait…who? Our guests? Are you sure?!”

“Yes I am sure.”

“What in the world are they doing here so early?” 

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Mother-in-Law-Olga...Better Known as MILO

At 87 years young and sharp as a tack, my Mother-in-Law is without question, a force to be reckoned with. Opinions ohne Ende (without an end)  and an array of off-color commentary to match, she is (hard stop) one of the most opinionated (albeit at times brutally so) people I know.  Ours is solid relationship, one that comes with an understanding and a level of warmth that five years in still leaves me laughing in disbelief one minute and gritting my teeth the next.

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Frühjahrsmüdigkeit - is that contagious?

A couple of weeks of ago I was lamenting to V that I was simply exhausted. No matter the extra hours of sleep I tried to lay claim to, I just couldn’t shake this incessant need of  more time in bed. At first I thought I was coming down with something but as I cycled into my third week of feeling the lethargy but nothing else materializing, I thought otherwise.  In explaining my symptoms to V, he was quick to diagnose...

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