Category Archives: Family

Hoighty Toighty

I have connected with several members of my mother’s family over the past four years, both in the US and in Germany. The family name is Bartels, which is a patronymic name that is short for Bartholomew in German.  My Grandfather Bartels and his two brothers and four sisters all settled in Minnesota in Rock and Pipestone counties in the early years of the 20th century. They all lived within 20 miles of one another.

The name is properly pronounced BARtels, with the emphasis on the first syllable.  When my grandmother married my grandfather, she changed the pronunciation to BarTELS, which she considered more posh.  She was a city girl from Hamburg and considered my grandfather’s family too rustic for words.  It  only served to distance her from the family, and caused some hard feelings. After all, they were all in the same boat and were all starting over in a new country.  It didn’t much matter what you might have had over there, since now you were over here with not much. Grandma considered herself superior because she spoke formal German, not Plattdeutsch.

We have the same issue here with a German-Hungarian family with the last name of Lefor.  It is rightly pronounced Lefor, (like leper). The more hoighty toighty members of the clan pronounce it LeFOR, as though they are French.  They all live in the same county, and it is quite amusing.

I like the words hoighty toighty. I don’t know its derivation, but it sure captures a concept.

Who do you know who is hoighty toighty? Why do you think they do that? What makes you think well of a person?

 

 

Helpful Hints When You Travel

I ran across a little book belonging to my father INSTRUCTIONS  for AMERICAN SERVICEMEN in BRITAIN 1942.  It was issued by the War Department, Washington, DC.  It is a delightful little manual for good relations when you visit Great Britain.  I feel like I should send it back to Washington so they can reread it. Here are some of the headings:

NO TIME TO FIGHT OLD WARS

BRITISH ARE RESERVED, NOT UNFRIENDLY

DON’T BE A SHOW OFF

THE BRITISH ARE TOUGH

AGE INSTEAD OF SIZE

REMEMBER THERE’S A WAR ON

BRITAIN, CRADLE OF DEMOCRACY

WASTE MEANS LIVES

KEEP OUT OF ARGUMENTS

BE FRIENDLY, BUT DON’T INTRUDE ANYWHERE IT SEEMS YOU ARE NOT WANTED

IT IS ALWAYS IMPOLITE TO CRITICIZE YOUR HOSTS; IT IS MILITARILY STUPID TO CRITICIZE YOUR ALLIES

I think this is a nice quote ” When you see a girl in khaki or air force blue with a bit of ribbon on her tunic, remember she didn’t get it for knitting more socks than anyone else in Ipswich”.

Well, that sort of sums up a lot, doesn’t it.

Do you have any advice to add to the list? 

Surprise!

Our daughter phoned yesterday, full of excitement about some wonderful Chevre goat cheese and creamy Brie she had discovered at a farmers market, as well as the thrill of being held up as an exemplar of paperwork perfection at her work during a Medicaid audit.

This surprises me. In elementary, middle school, and high school I could have presented her as an exemplar of the biggest flibberty-gibbet, fly-by-night slacker of my acquaintance.  I guess maturation happens, but I never expected this from her!

Who or what has surprised you, for good or for naught?

Haute Eats

In three weeks we are flying to Tacoma to see our daughter and celebrate the successful completion of her first semester of graduate school. She is aiming for a Master’s Degree in Social Work from USC.  She has done very well thus far. If all goes according to plan, she will be done in May.

Daughter decided that the Washington wine country around Woodinville was the place to spend the bulk of our visit.  She booked a dinner there for us (at our expense, but we don’t mind) at a place called the Herb Farm for a nine course dinner lasting four hours, with foods and local wines sourced within 100 miles of Woodinville. She says we are taking Uber so we don’t need a designated driver. We will dine, in an intimate group,  with other people we have never met. I think it sounds fun, and possibly alarming.

Daughter hates fish, but is willing to try Geoduck with turnip, Dungeness crab with shiso, purslane, and cucumber, along with Fried oyster with spicy egg yolk sauce, not to mention Lummi Island Tribal Reef-netted sockeye salmon in Zucchini blossom and green coriander sauce. She says she can tolerate it because the portions are small, and she will be brave.

We are to dine on 7-year old, pastured Snohomish Valley Black Angus (I think that means tough, chewy cow) with black currants, bone marrow, beets, and bachelor buttons.  Let us not forget the marigold buttermilk sherbet, Skagit Valley purple barley malt Ice cream, Gravenstein apples, cabbage with crispy duck confit, green field-burned rye berries with mushroom sauce,  house-churned Holstein butter,  and sourdough loaf.  I have left out many other things we will be served, but you get the picture.

We never eat  like this, and I don’t expect we will do it again, but what fun!

What is the hautest of cuisines you have eaten? What makes for good food in your book?

 

 

Crazy Eights

Husband and I received a lovely clock for our wedding almost 35 years ago. It plays Westminster chimes, and has traveled with us from Winnipeg to Indiana to North Dakota.

The clock worked quite well until last year, when it just stopped. We took it to the nearest clock shop in Fargo, where they told us that the innards were all worn out and it needed new ones.  We had a choice of digital or traditional.  I like to wind it, so we had them install new inner workings from Germany. It keeps time again quite well, but it has some quirks that I find alarming.

Some days, randomly, at  8:00 am and/or 8:00 pm, it chimes  continuously for up to three minutes. It plays the Westminster chimes over and over, and then plays variations on the Westminster chimes. When it has got it out of its system,  it rings eight times and gets back to its quiet ticking. It only happens at 8:00.  Some days it doesn’t happen at all.

I don’t know what to think about this.  Ghosts?  Odd German clock maker humor?  Who knows?   I don’t feel like driving it all the way to Fargo for a repair, so we will just put up  with the “Crazy 8’s” and see what new Westminster variations we get.

Tell about some infernal machine problems. What do you think it feels like to be in a time warp?

 

Over the Hill, Not Over the Thrill

I’m all set for my birthday week. As an adult, I don’t expect everybody to get all worked up about my birthday.  In fact, when I came home from China with Baby, my mother said to me “You know, it’s not about you anymore.”

Several years ago I started cultivating companies that will help me celebrate. If you sign up online, they’ll send you a coupon on your birthday.  This year I have coupons from Panera, Jamba Juice, Ben & Jerry’s, Brueggers, Nothing Bundt Cake, Noodles, Caribou and Dairy Queen. Except for Caribou which needs to be used on my actual birthday, I have planned to spread the others out over the upcoming few days.

I don’t give myself a card; it seems a little overkill to make a card and then give it to myself. However some years I do bake myself a birthday cake or a birthday pie; some years I even throw myself a party.  No party this year and the jury is still out about the cake/pie.  I gave my BFF theatre tickets for her birthday and turns out that the date that was good for her was my actual birthday, so I guess technically I gifted myself with theatre tickets this year!

What’s a great gift you’ve received?

 

One Day You’ll Thank Me

YA and I went to Fawn-doe-Rosa on Saturday. Standing in front of us in line was a family of five – two parents and three teenagers.  It was clearly not a happy family outing with a lot of rolled eyes, big sighs and snappish comments.

What made you finally realize your parents were smarter than you thought?