lørdag den 25. marts 2017

Spring fever

It has finally come to the point where we actually start to believe that spring might be happening again! Yesterday it was 20C outside, and being able to walk out the door without fearing that nature might actually succeed in killing you is a huge improvement. I am back on the bike and enjoys the time right now, where I get to leave as the sun is rising:
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And as the birds are chirping.
And as the Huron high school students get off the public busses and flood the bike lane...... sigh 😖
Kurt is back from hibernating, and when he comes around as we are eating we leave a little treat for him. Here he is - gulping down crepes:
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Spring also calls for ice cream. Something that Bailey loves too. Not only because he gets to lick the empty cups, but also because the ice cream store is right next to the pet store. Where 4-legged costumers are very much welcome, and where you can buy treats in bulk:
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Spring also means that a new sports season has kicked in. We have spent hours with this view lately:
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And more to come, as Teresa has signed up for synchronized swimming at the YMCA. This means that she will be home for dinner several days a week - yay. And that she has practice late Friday night now - not-so-yay. But she just loves it, so I guess we'll learn to pick her up without complaining too much.......

søndag den 19. marts 2017

Random March stuff

The past week has been one of the slow good ones. I took some days off to hang with my sister, and we have been shopping, eating giant macaroons at "tea house", drinking coffee, and talking - a lot! Sometimes it feels like I am missing out on spending time with her because we live so far away, but in reality I would not give up visits like this for anything.
And while strolling in Ann Arbor we found the little puppet exhibition made by Lucas class. Of course he made the Bailey look a like to the right......
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We have been grocery shopping. Usually we go to Aldi, but because our cabinet were already full on the verge of bursting open, Kristian and I treated ourselves to a trip to Meier. And look what we found:
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For those of you who do not get it, it is a meat blend that we use a LOT in Denmark and whenever we have tried to substitute it has not tasted right. But Saturday we got to eat the best meatloaf ever in the US! Kristian and I  have also been to REI to get my birthday present. Since I broke my arm last year I have been terrified of falling. But now I have super sturdy hiking boots and no excuse to go on rough trails. Even in icy slushice
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And while we were out in the icy slushice testing my boots, we did find evidence that spring might eventually be here:
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And despite work looking like this for quite some days:
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I still got on my bike Friday morning to commute and was rewarded by this view at Huron river:
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tirsdag den 14. marts 2017

Birthday and llama spam

I have just started a new decade in life - the 40's.......... Which is actually not that bad. Especially not when my sister came to visit, and Kristian could go buy presents right after getting his yearly bonus and I got to throw a cocktail party.

Teresa and Kristian were busy in the kitchen all day Saturday to make Danish birthday cake and floedeboller:



Christine and Luca and I were busy at Meier where I have never purchased that many bottles of alcohol and helium balloons in one shopping trip before. As there was going to be quite a few kids at the party we mixed mocktails in pitchers and then had the booze on the side, so everybody could taste everything, which turned out to work very well. The best drink of the night was definitely the pineapple ginger sparkler (recipe here) with pineapple vodka added to it. Yum. And of course we also emptied Trader Joes for bitesize snacks to just stick in the oven.

It was a great party. My intention was to invite all my colleagues, but we could not get a room that was big enough, so it ended up being all the post docs + our friends. I even made a playlist, which kept Teresa busy all night as I had "pop it like its hot" with Snoop Dogg on it - in the unclean version!!!!! "Mom, when you are a white 40 year old you canNOT play a song at your party that contains the n-word". Unfortunately, I could not delete it on the playlist, and Teresa rushed to the phone to skip that song whenever it came on.

And here I am - with a distraction baby, to handle the birthday song attention just a bit less awkwardly.

Bailey was sent for a dog sleep over with his friend Buddy. We suspect that he spent all night wandering around this new place, as he almost went in a coma as soon as he stepped in the door at home:

Sunday we had invited ourselves were invited to Belville to visit one of the surgeons at work, who has several llamas (and goats and sheep and dogs and horses). Llamas are VERY observant:

and some of them like dogs and want to come over and say hi:

whereas others consider themselves the leader of the flock and does not allow anybody else to say hi to a dog:

Don't mess with me!


We even took them for a walk:



Luca was not interested in getting too close to these animals, so he spent time on the trampoline instead. Getting all static electric in the cold dry air:


Unfortunately this awesome weekend ended way too soon. But today I have the day off so I can enjoy having my sister over too. Ulrik is not feeling well today. He has some kind of stomach bug so as my sister is knitting and he is painting figures for a board game, I get to sit here with my feet up and write. Yay.

Too bad that I had so many cups of coffee already, that I had to switch to sparkling water.......

lørdag den 4. marts 2017

Working on a Saturday pros and cons

It's Saturday morning and I am at work. I admit that I try to avoid working on the weekends and that I am really good at feeling sorry for myself when I have to swap weekend morning coffee in bed for lab work. BUT there are some benefits though:

- I usually sleep in Luca's rock-hard excuse for a bed when I have to get up early as the only one. This gives me dog company most of the night as well, providing me with a wonderful deep sleep so I can excitedly jump out of bed when the first rays of the sun hit my face directly through the perfectly working blinds,  BUT sleeping somewhere else than  my own bedroom also means that I have to use the kids bathroom, where Teresa has her stash of amazing lotions and beauty products. And the trick is to forget to bring my own supply from my own bathroom so I kind of have to use hers.......

- working on the weekends means that there are not a lot of other people here which makes it kind of lonely (but on the other hand amplifies the feeling of being a true scientist making sacrifices) BUT I get to listen to Danish radio out loud without getting any sarcastic comments. Yay.

- the procedure I am doing today requires a lot of 10x5 minutes washing steps (which is an endless bore) BUT because it is technically weekend I don't have to pretend that I spend that time reading papers or do some other useful stuff. I can blog instead.

- and finally: working this weekend not only gives me a headstart on some experiments so I can take extra time off when my sister is here in a week from now (she is flying in for my birthday) BUT it gives Kristian and the kids an entire day to find some amazing gifts for me.

And finally finally - which is really completely unrelated - someone in the household finally finally finally got a smart phone. T mobile had an offer, where we could add an extra line for free, and we took full advantage from that. Here he is with his new BFF (I really don't know why he thinks that a phone should be carried everywhere all the time. He most definitely does not pick that up from his parents.......):

tirsdag den 28. februar 2017

From hate to love (sort of)

It is no secret that I used to hate geese. I once lived close to a big green area in the outskirts of Copenhagen and every morning I had to pass by massive flocks of super aggressive Canadian geese. It got to the point that when I pushed the kids around in their pram I would intentionally pretend to run them over, just to see them waddle-escape while hissing. Not to mention how much fun it is to step in a goosepoop as they usually look like something coming out of a doberman and not a bird!

And then we moved to Michigan..........

Where they winters are long, and grey, and cold - much longer, and grey'er and colder than we have ever tried before. And in February when you have given up every hope that spring will ever happen and that you are destined to live in a Narnia world with eternal winter....... then the sky fills with honks. They come in large noisy flocks and the battle for nesting places begin. There is a pair by the school bus that just loves to walk out on the road an honk at the cars. Others sit on the rooftops and honk their hearts out - especially if they have not found a mate. And the battle begins at work, where we have a courtyard that is to geese what downtown Detroit is to hipsters! They all want in - and they are ready to fight for it.

Geese are still not exactly my favorite animal, but now they represent to me that spring is near. Hail Geese!

\

lørdag den 18. februar 2017

A spring tradition

It is absolutely no secret that winter is not my favorite time of year. And by the time we reach the end of February I am close to desperate for sunshine and greens and chirping birds and iced coffees. The farmers almanac predicted frigid cold and it's usually right about 85% of the time. But this year we are having the 15% weather with a very mild February so far culminating with sunshine and 16C today. Nice!

Anyways, to wait for spring a little bit more patiently I usually go out and cut down some trees - well not the whole tree, but just those parts that fit in a vase. Today Luca went with me. But not until he after he made crepes! Luca in the kitchen all by himself for the first time ever. The kitchen is still standing and the crepes were really good
Then we went outside armed with sturdy scissors:

And played with the hopefully very last snow this winter - albeit I doubt it knowing how crazy the weather usually behaves:

And here are our 15 different kinds of cut-offs. It's always a pleasure to see them start blooming in all different kinds of colours and flowers. Let the wait begin




lørdag den 4. februar 2017

Mile after mile after mile after mile after.......... and February life

When you move from a small country like Denmark to a big country like the US, there is just a LOT more time spent in the car. And yesterday was absolutely crazy for Kristian. He ended up driving a total of 160 miles (about 250km) just to get to work, drop Luca off at an overnight birthday, and pick up Teresa from a party. No wonder he is constantly fantasizing about getting a replacement for our noisy dinosaur of a minivan. Here it is by the way (or at least the side of it, with an excited dog waiting to board):



It is one of our goals this year to get a second, newer, smaller, and less gasoline gulping car that would allow for a little bit more flexibility overall.

Otherwise there has been a magical shift from leaving January and entering February. When we woke up February 1'st after a month of endless clouds and grayness the sun was shining from a bright blue sky. It is colder though, but somehow life is just easier to handle in general, when there is a bit of sunshine involved. Here's a sunrise on my way to work, that proofs that there is actually sky behind the clouds:

I have been running some studies this week that has required me to stay at work late and go down to the animal housing several times during the evening (mice eat at night red.). Those hallways in the basement (dungeons) of the university seems endless. I did a timelapse video of them at about 9PM, when I was incredibly bored and tired. Enjoy here. I partly did this video as a service to myself should I ever start missing these hallways (as if.......!)

Sadly enough I have also reached the point in my development as a neuroscientist, that I begin to see rodent brain slices everywhere. Check out the similarity between Luca's breakfast and a mouse hindbrain. Kind of eerie right?



Well, Mount Doom of laundry is calling for me. Over and out for this time. Have a wonderful weekend out there