tirsdag den 13. august 2019

Goodbye Michigan


Dear Michigan

When I first arrived and suffered through the very first of your winters, when everything felt wrong because you did not resemble your beautiful cousin California, and when I sat there in the school assembly room without knowing a single one of the other parents, I really didn’t like you! In fact, I dreamt about writing you a goodbye letter listing all the ways you were all wrong for me and how I was SO not going to miss you – ever!

Fast forward 5 years, and here I sit in the middle of the space formerly known as the living room. Surrounded by boxes of stuff I didn’t have 5 years ago and with red eyes from crying and missing you even though I haven’t even left you yet. This space that I wanted to leave so badly, now suddenly echoes with memories of sleepless nights where I was watched by the dog, there are stains on the walls from kid’s birthday parties gone crazy, and so many dinners cooked for friends in the kitchen. And now it feels like you and I were made for each other.

Thank you for showing me Lake Michigan sunsets and the magic of fire flies in the summer nights. And thank you for toughening me up and making me forgive your winters every single one of your wonderful summers (sometimes I didn’t stop looking out for ice patches on the sidewalks until we reached August and then it was close to starting all over again……). Now my favorite tree is the red maple in the early spring when it lights up in nature. You even made me love geese! No sound predicts spring as much as geese making their honking way up north in February, when I had stopped believing that winter would ever end. And every time I see someone wearing blue and maize I want to run over and introduce myself and say “Hey, I am from Michigan too!”.

I am leaving you with a mitten shaped hole in my heart and I hope that I will still get to stop by and see you for a cup of coffee and a chocolate covered cherry. Actually – why don't we make it a dinner and I’ll join you for home brewed beers and venison roast!

Best
Henriette

søndag den 21. juli 2019

Escaping the heat (somewhat)

Another weekend - another few days to spend in Michigan. And this time I really appreciated the colder climate there. The temperatures have been roaring in and around Philly and despite getting some of the heat Saturday the weather has been much cooler today - Sunday. When I flew out it was so hot and humid that the air coming into the aircraft instantly turned to “smoke” upon being cooled down (I hope you can see it right underneath the ceiling)
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And the flight west turned out to be quite an adventure.First we boarded, then everyone de-boarded as Detroit airport closed down due to a thunderstorm. Then we boarded again, went on our way towards Detroit, that in the meantime had been closed again due to the weather and we were literally headed towards Columbus Ohio, when the plane got cleared to land. Phew! So I did make it back Friday night albeit it was late.
Saturday we headed towards Jackson, where a colleague of mine lives. He has a car lift and quite a bit of mechanic know-how, and he was kind enough to let us bring that ancient minivan of ours for a check.He even cooked us lunch! And it was delicious! (And a reminder that we should really think about getting that instapot ourselves....).Then it was time to hang out in the “garage”.Some of us fixed car, some of us cross stitched in a comfy chair
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And some of us sorted through buckets of used bullets:
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And then Luca was allowed to try and shoot with a BBgun. Or so I thought😱 This turned out to be the real deal
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Even I tried it - before I learned it was a real riffle🤦‍♀️ #dumbblondemuch?Needless to say - Luca was ecstatic, and is already begging to go back.
Driving back to Ann Arbor we passed a place in the so-called Irish hills where there is an abandoned prehistoric park with some creepy dinosaurs still being stuck there. Unfortunately the place was fenced in quite well and there was no place to sneak in. But at least you could see one of the dinos from the road:
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søndag den 14. juli 2019

Paying it forward

see myself as a strong independent woman who trusts no-one better than herself when things need to be done. And for a long time in my life I could get away with that. But with the bumps and twists of life I have learned that sometimes even the most strong and independent women find themselves I situations where help is much appreciated. And during our time here in the US, where it certainly feels like the downs have been more prominent than the ups, I have learned to accept help. And I have become humbled towards those who need it too. Again and again I have met people who have gone out of the way to help us without expecting anything in return and often there is no way for me to pay that help back. What I have promised myself instead is to pay it forward. It may seem cliche, but it makes so much sense, and it complete takes the awkwardness out of those situations where there’s really no way to return a favor.
And why do I ramble about this right now? Because I am once again on the receiving end of things. It is no secret that I do not cope well with my current living situation, and that my upstairs neighbor has been driving me crazy. He has been gone for more than a month (probably being back in India would be my guess) and this Friday he returned. With jet lag! Which means we are back to me being woken at odd hours in the night because of the noise from upstairs. The poor guy is certainly not a monster, but with a non existing insulation against noise, there is not much living he can do upstairs without me hearing (and feeling) e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g! And I have tried my best to find a way to deal with the last few weeks here, but yesterday I was rescued by an awesome Dane, who lives in Doylestown. She is letting me stay at their house as they will be traveling most of July and I am beyond relieved to have had my last night in this hole of a place. I still have to pay rent until the end of August and I am not moving my furniture until our new place is available, but no more sleepless nights due to heat and noise! ❤️🤩
I promised to bring a good bottle of wine with me tonight, but I think I will make that Aperol spritz instead. Can’t wait to sip that on a patio in Doylestown.
I promise to pay it forward when I get a chance!
And here’s a picture of bailey wearing fake teeth. Because it is awesome and because there really aren’t any pictures well suited for this post anyway
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mandag den 8. juli 2019

knackwurst und bratwurst

4th of July week means extra days off. Yay. And of course I escaped the east coast heat and humidity to hang out in Michigan. This year was the first time where Luca was the kid being gone. He is up north summer camping for 2 weeks in cabins by a lake together with his best friend, and no news are good news, right? The rest of us had BBQ and small fireworks with good friends
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Before watching the big fireworks in Burns park, where a rich local sets up an amazing show every year, which is not advertised anywhere.The following day we went to Hidden lake gardens, which is part of Michigan State University. It was hot! But nice
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And I also squeezed in a lunch with my former boss, whom I miss terribly but who is also willing to let me hang out with him when there is a chance. It felt good to talk through my current career change of getting into big pharma business from having spent so many years in academia.
And then - drum roll please....... Saturday we went to the one place in Michigan were I am ashamed to say that I have not been yet. The glorious town of Frankenmuth! Or a little piece of Bavaria outside of Germany. Where you can get meat with starch and sauerkraut for lunch
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Served by waiters in lederhosen or dirdnl dresses
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Absolutely a michigan experience one should not miss out on👌🏻😂
We even continued further north after this to visit the forest canopy in Dows garden. It was beyond beautiful and much larger than we anticipated. My favorite part was this little quiet amber colored lake with bull frogs.
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And I guess this was basically my summer vacation his year😳 Next time I have vacation days they will be spent watching our belongings go into a moving truck, clean down the apartment, and head east for good.

tirsdag den 2. juli 2019

Weekend with blueberries, baby, and a bus trip to Manhattan

This past weekend has been my very last chance to do whatever I pleased before the rest of the family gets here. This is still 6 weeks away but with a few more trips to Michigan, having to be at work to run some studies, and actually moving out of this sh*thole of an apartment, then there is simply not any weekends left. About time!
One of my goals while living here on my own was to visit Manhattan on a day trip and I had originally planned for Saturday but the weather was not really collaborating with some intense afternoon thunder expected. Instead I went to work Saturday. Not really to work but rather to get some other computer stuff done without suffering from heat stroke in this “lovely apartment” of mine with the “amazing” air condition capacity🤦‍♀️And while I was at work a text ticked in:
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Not a hard choice at all when coming from a good colleague of mine. She even picked me up so I didn’t have to drive. And did we pick blueberries? Oh yeah. Never in my life have I seen that many blueberries on bushes before
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And I also got to use my avocado crocs
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That have no airholes........ it was an interesting experience removing those after several hours in humid heat......
And afterwards I went to meet this little guy
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Who surprised his parent quite a bit by deciding to have his birthday a month early. Oh my gosh he was tiny. And very very cute. Blueberries and baby - all in one day. Not bad at all.
Sunday I got up early as my Manhattan bus left at 7:20 from Doylestown. And exactly 2 hours plus a short walk later I was here:
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In front of lovely gooey tebirkes. Nomnomnom. It was very high on my list to visit Meyers bakery on grand central station and as I ate my pastry and drank my coffee I kind of realized that I had sort of forgotten to consider what to do with my time after the eating of said pastry......
But Central Park saved me:
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And maybe I happened to stop at Anthropologie to see if they had any good things on sale. Which they did. They sell dresses with pockets which is the best thing ever! Period! I had an amazing lunch
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And last but not least I walked by the Roosevelt Island aerial tram. I had no clue that one could go by air to Roosevelt island for the price of mere 3$
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And then I was just tired and kind of walked around a bit aimlessly until it was time to get back on the bus. But with a work week of only 2 1/2 days I think I’ll manage just fine. Tomorrow I travel back to Michigan to spend 4th of July in Ann Arbor. Fingers crossed for some nice weather allowing us to see the firework in burns park again this year

fredag den 28. juni 2019

When you are supposed to take a shower....

..... but there is thunder outside and you don’t want to get zapped through the showerhead - well then you have to find something else to do right?Such as keeping up complaining about this stupid apartment complex which feels more like a stuffy toaster oven. Never ever in my life have I had to cool down a cup of camomile tea in order to avoid sweating like a 🐷 before going to bed:
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Can’t wait to move into that house in Doylestown! And speaking of Doylestown I went there for a wonderful dinner last night . I got there early (so I avoided traffic) and bought tickets for the trans bridge bus, which has service directly to Manhattan✌🏻 (guess what plans I have this weekend?) and then I hung out at Starbucks for a bit on their giant outdoor space. Everything is posh in Doylestown apparently
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I even got to browse a second hand book store with an amazing selection of books for a very good price. Among other books I got this one for Luca, which I really hope he will like:
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Otherwise I have mainly been working. And I have spent a lot of time reflecting on how to make sure I don’t run myself dry. One very important thing, that has finally dawned on me, is that I can’t expect to constantly be on top of things in this job - and that this is OK. And I have been trying to be better at closing down my computer and go home at a designated time.
And I think I will end this blogpost with a little piece of nerdy art from the hallways at work: “the joy and heartbreak of drug development revealed by positron emission tomography images of A2a receptors in the brain”:
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You are very welcome😏

fredag den 21. juni 2019

Weekeeeeeend

What a week! I have to admit that I am on the brink of exhaustion. I am 4 months into this new job of mine and things are moving! Fast! When you are in academia and people talk about industry jobs they always talk about how fast moving things are, and well I get it now. It’s like everything hits you from all sides all the time and up until now I have gladly absorbed everything coming my way, but I can certainly sense that I will need to learn to handle this. ASAP. Luckily I have really awesome colleagues who knows how to do this and will take the time to share their experience.
As I write this I am in the airport. Quite a bit early as my brain stopped functioning and I decided to just get to the airport and avoid the worst of rush hour traffic. This has given me the time to walk all the way to the other end of the airport for this:
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Nomnomnom.
I can’t wait to be back in Ann Arbor and hang out with all my favorite family members. 2 legged and 4 legged
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And this time it feels SO good to know that I have secured us a house in Pennsylvania. So from August and beyond we will be Doylestowners (or whatever you might call that) as we are going to live right here:
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In a beautiful new house that even allows for a dog tenant. It is a townhome style house with a court yard in the back and plenty of green areas (and sidewalks. Ladies and gentleman - there are sidewalks in Doylestown🥳).In addition the school district is awesome and it is a really nice town. Teresa and I have been there and she has approved the posh high school (from the outside)
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Things are beginning to fall into place and even though there are still a lot of things that needs to be settled a home is no longer on that list❤️