lørdag den 16. februar 2019

Conferencing in Banff

Within my field of science there is a smaller type or conferences called Keystone meetings, and the more I go,the more I like them. They are often super specialized (this last one was “functional neuro-circuitry of feeding and feeding disorders” - rolls of the tongue easily, right?) and they have started to feel a bit like family reunions. In addition there is a lot of networking between academic and industry researchers and I often bump into former Danish colleagues, which is nice. The only thing I don’t like so much is that they are mostly hosted on ski resorts and that’s kind of not really my thing. The rest of the family thinks it is ridiculous that I get to go places like Banff, Snowbird, Keystone, and Santa Fe when I don’t ski, but well..... what can I do?
But this time was truly special as I got live on the Fairmont hotel, which is literally built as a Scottish castle:
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Complete with knight armors
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And stone carved squirrels looking like they are either from a horror movie or had a very bad night😳
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But my favorite place was by far this one:
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Outdoor hot pools are THE BEST! And I also got to see some fantastic views just by going downtown to eat lunch
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The scientific side of the conference was OK. There weren’t a lot of ground breaking discoveries in the talks but there is more and more interest in the hormone I currently work with (GDF15) and I am personally quite happy that my career has not yet put me in touch with super aggressive vomiting shrews, who play dead in the cage so they can attack you as soon as you take the lid off.
In addition I got to spend time with a few of my new colleagues as I am soon to start a new job. This is something that has been in the making for a long time and we have kept kind of quiet about it. But more about that will slowly start dripping in here as I move to the East Coast. Next week😱

søndag den 10. februar 2019

Master chef

We got ourselves a big surprise yesterday. The youngest teen in the family has started reading a bunch of manga books and one of them is this one:
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And even though he is not really the most adventurous when it comes to food (this is a VERY mild understatement......) he absolutely loves these books and spends all of his allowance on them. So yesterday he promised to make us omelets for breakfast despite having never ever eaten one himself. He followed the instructions in the book and created the fluffiest nicest omelet I have had in my life😳🤯 and with that success he immediately proceeded to Martha Stewart milk chocolate cookies which where awesome too. Kristian and I are in shock! I can’t wait to see what he decides to learn to cook in the next little while.

lørdag den 2. februar 2019

Frozen pipes

Well. This crazy winter polar vortex had a little gift up its sleeve - busted water pipes everywhere in our apartment complex! Yikes. A few doors down a foot of water accumulated before the ceiling caved in and flooded everything plus sent a stream down the street so we now have to climb over a thick layer of ice to get the trash out. We also had our share as we returned to about an inch of water in our bedroom and bathroom on Friday afternoon. We didn’t have any damaged pipes, but the neighbor did, and within a little while a carpet company came and sucked the majority of the water out and they promised to stop by shortly with a dehumidifier. Well........ That didn’t happen and I drove (in the cold! And the darkness! All by myself😱) by our friends place to borrow their dehumidifier overnight.
In the meantime we redecorated our living room:
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Doesn’t it look lovely?
And by Saturday the big industry sized dehumidifier finally arrived:
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It is humming away leaving our bedroom drier by the hour, while try not to stress over the state of our apartment. Honestly I am not too surprised because of they way this sh*t is built. These buildings have next to no insulation and right now I am SO sick of living here and having to deal with this😡
But I will end on a somewhat positive note. We drove my sister to the airport today which is always terribly sad and gives such and empty feeling. Because of this we allowed Luca to buy a bow with arrows (in the grocery store - gotta love Michigan.....), so if any of you have some scary snowmen attacking, just give us a call and we will make sure to take them down
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tirsdag den 29. januar 2019

Countdown to deep-freeze

A long time ago my sister decided to visit us at the end January. Once she told us, I was like: “well, she must really love us a lot because it will be COLD!” Turns out that I was not even close to predict what we are actually going to be up against in the next few days:
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and just to make sure it is clear - these temperatures do not even represent the wind chill factor which is expected to reach around -40 (at this temperature level it doesn’t matter too much if you use Celsius or Fahrenheit......)🥶
But on a positive note - the cold brings closed schools. And neither Luca nor Teresa are complaining about closed schools when moster is visiting. In addition we should have enough candy to go into a sugar coma to survive if necessary
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And I think we are ready to beat the cold. I am not too excited about going to work on Wednesday but since the busses never cancel I guess I’ll be fine as long as I wrap up appropriately.
Bailey is excited too. He can’t get enough of the snow and ice and even chooses to poop in the deep snow just because...🙄
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onsdag den 23. januar 2019

Ice days

If you are a kid in the Midwest school closures are the schizzle. And even teenagers get super disappointed if there are no so-called snow days during the winter. This morning we had an “ice day”
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The weather is mild today but yesterday the icy rain was falling to an extent where you could literally hear the drops of ice hit the ground and glaze everything. All the cars are covered in a thick layer, the snow looks like it had been candied and the sidewalks look just fine........ but they are NOT! And I am honestly quite happy that it so happens that we can all stay home today. Kristian already planned for working from home and I don’t have anything that requires my physical presence at the university either, so home day it is. Teresa already got told that school is cancelled and she happily turned to the other side and went back to sleep. We haven’t told Luca yet as that kid is just not capable of going back to sleep after being woken up early in the morning (he was a tough cookie as a toddler......). And I guess we’ll do some sort of raffle this morning to see who gets to walk the dog
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lørdag den 19. januar 2019

Winter living

With the first real snow of the year falling outside the windows it does begin to feel very wintery. And there are activities that goes well with that. Being stuck indoors has benefited my cross stitching and I finished up this lovely little fly swatting trilogy:
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and got started on the next project which is an outer space inspired picture I bought on Etsy
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Teresa has already asked if she can have it in her room once it is done. Awwwwww. Mom’s favorite teenager❤️❤️❤️❤️
Luca also enjoys the cold weather as it allows him (and his friend) to channel some of those hormones into destruction AKA “ice smashing”. All you need is a frozen pond and some serious sticks:
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And then you smash away! I really do believe that the youngsters of today get to smash way too little stuff in the real world and based on how popular this activity is when Luca has friends over, it seems like they agree. Here is some serious rock throwing going on:
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Bailey loves it too. I often unleash him and let him run around checking out whatever interests him, and every single time the boys throw a rock he thinks it is maybe an animal he needs to chase #funforall
This winter we have tried some culinary novelties as well. I present you with - drum roll please - dessert hummus
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Teresa spotted it in Aldi and was super excited. I must say that I was somewhat skeptical, but it is awesome. It tastes like brownie batter and you can eat it with pretzels or fruit or on bread.
So overall I think we are going to get through this winter with our sanity intact. Stay chill✌🏻
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fredag den 4. januar 2019

A visit to Chicago for new passports

We are on our way back from leaving a lot of money and 3 of our passports at the Danish consulate in Chicago. But in 4-5 weeks we will have new passports for the kids, that are not close to expire👍🏻I have been quite worried about this trip as it was hard to find a time where the consulate was open and we had the time to take the trip, with the kids being out of all their schools. And it was only really January that worked. And traveling in January in the Midwest can be treacherous depending on the weather. But check this out:
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Yes - that is beach life in January on the shores of Lake Michigan. We had some extra time to kill as we had reserved a parking spot downtown, but were due to arrive too early. I suggested we made a stop by the Indiana sand dunes, and it was beautiful.
In addition it was great to get a break from Michigan and soak up a little city life. One of my favorites is the bean. It changes with the season and the time of day - but always pretty to see:
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We also did a lot of walking up and down the magnificent mile. Primarily to get to NafNaf grill - the place where everyone in the family is happy with dinner. Including the person who gets to pay. Only disadvantage is that it is right next to the ehm Voldemort tower (our dear leader who I shall not name in this post).
We even found freshly made cotton candy
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This morning we got up early to go to the Hancock center for our 9AM appointment. Here we are - the 3 of us, who volunteered to figure out where you actually get in to that darn tower
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And 30 minutes later we were all done. Lucky for us the drive back is also in amazing sun shine, so we have planned accordingly and bought lunch at Whole Foods which we plan to eat by the water❤️