27Jul, 2018

Hip Surgery: Some Insights from my Recovery So Far

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Cover image of my favorite children's book, given to me by my American grandparents in 1968 I feel like Cinderella these days as I am recovering from hip surgery: When the timer chimes, I need stop what I'm doing and lie down again. I can't be up, doing anything, be it sitting, walking or standing, for more than [...]

29Jun, 2018

The Best of New Orleans

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Not a place where we could eat, but it was still fun to see Paul Prudhomme's original restaurant still operational. I have his Fork in the Road cookbook, and his Spicy Turkey Loaf is one of my staple dishes. I've often felt that if only I didn't have expectations, I wouldn't suffer disappointments. This applies particularly to travel. To [...]

15Jun, 2018

Suicide Touches Almost Every Family

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My great-grandfather with my grandmother, Reichenberg, 1932 "A few days before Kristallnacht, on the evening of Thursday, November 3, 1938, my great-grandfather walked up the hill to the cemetery by the crematorium in Reichenberg, found the family grave, and shot himself." Jumping Over Shadows, p. 66 I was going to write about something completely different today, but then [...]

26May, 2018

Book Companion Post: Sanatorium Brey

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Siebenhäuser Liberec Reichenberg Stadt, Sanatorium Dr. Max Brey When I visited my grandparents' hometown Liberec (Reichenberg) in the Czech Republic in 2009 on a research trip for Jumping Over Shadows, I spent a long time wandering their old neighborhood, looking for the building that could have been the Sanatorium Brey. This institution figured prominently in our family's history: [...]

18May, 2018

My Grandmother’s Rice Pudding Recipe (Reisauflauf)

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For this weekend's Jewish holiday of Shavuot (celebrating God's giving the Ten Commandments and the Torah (five books of Moses) to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai) it is customary to eat a dairy meal, and my German, non-Jewish grandmother's rice pudding ("Reisauflauf") is the perfect recipe for that because in the Bohemian kitchen, a "Mehlspeise" (sweet dish) is often [...]

11May, 2018

The Ever Elusive Artist Date in a Japanese Garden

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I might be good at writing my Morning Pages, but I am horrible at keeping Artist Dates. These are two of the three pillars sustaining a creative life, according to Julia Cameron (see The Artist's Way); the third is daily walks, which I'm also not so good at. It is quite simply very hard for me to fit in an [...]

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