City Girl Memories

Marilyn’s corner of the blog

Helena Reciting a Poem

Helena, almost 7 years old, has learned a poem by heart as a school assignment. She is proudly reciting it for her grandparents in Texas, giving them some good advice in German.

Helena Learning to Swim

Helena and Grandpa bought swimming tickets for the pool in the Congress Hotel Am Stadtpark, which was near the Freiermuth apartment in Hannover. They went over every day for a practice session, and by the time the tickets ran out, Helena could go all the way around the pool. She stayed close to the edge, …

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Tradition, Guns and Country Folks

My husband grew up deep in the cowboy country of eastern Colorado, on a wheat-and-cattle farm/ranch on the high plains near the Kansas border, 15 miles from the nearest small town. His parents were warm, friendly, loving people. When I first joined their family, they were still raising their younger sons (who were in high …

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Helena’s Birth Story

This is Larissa’s story about her first childbirth experience. It is presented here, in a slightly edited form, by Marilyn. Sept 21, 2010 Around noon, I was putting away the dishes in the dishwasher, debating whether to have fish sticks or a Kaho-smuggled box of Annie’s Mac and Cheese or (more likely) both of them, …

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2009 Trip To Europe

This was a visit to newly discovered family we had never met, combined with a trip to see our daughter and her husband. Meeting the Margutti cousins in Essex, England for the very first time! 2. Hanging out with Larissa and Hans Georg in Stuttgart and vicinity. 3. Speyer Cathedral, consecrated in 1061, has been …

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et tu, Levi? (Vanity sizing from an old friend)

JUNE 4, 2009 Controversy about women’s clothing sizes–and women’s body sizes–is well known to any woman, whether cute young fashionista or mall-shopping grandmother. Part of the shopping experience is the absolute necessity of trying on jeans and trousers before purchase. The occasional knit top might be bought on the fly, but a garment that has …

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Birdwatching in Texas

A visit from my sister (the dedicated birdwatcher) and her partner (the even more dedicated birdwatcher) has given us two days of trying to find birds in the dead of winter, and has taught us the following facts: 1. Of approximately 700 bird species in the United States, there are approximately 600 to be found …

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Picture of plumbing problems

Flood Day

Disaster today–of a small kind. An open tap, a clogged sink, some inattention, and a flood that covered the bathroom and progressed down the hallway. We’ve been saying for years that we need to replace the old carpeting. It was installed about 30 years ago, and has been looking increasingly shabby, but the thought of …

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Farewell to Billy Bob

MONDAY, AUGUST 18, 2008 Our beloved cat Billy Bob was put to sleep this afternoon. He had been slowly failing for several months (we see in retrospect), and reached the critical point on Saturday (two days ago). We took him into the Burnet Road Animal Hospital (where he has many fans), but the treatment he …

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Kaho’s beautiful wedding dress creation stars in Larissa and Hans Georg’s 2008 Summer Celebration in Ludwigsburg.

After a simple civil marriage ceremony in Switzerland in the autumn of 2007, Hans Georg and Larissa moved to southern Germany. It is the custom in Europe to have both a civil ceremony and a church ceremony. The civil ceremony is always first, because the church ceremony has no legal standing. The church ceremony is …

Kaho’s beautiful wedding dress creation stars in Larissa and Hans Georg’s 2008 Summer Celebration in Ludwigsburg. Read More »

Spring, the Sweet Spring…

In my earliest memories, when Highway 10 between our house in Pasadena and our grandparents’ house in Redlands passed mostly through farmland, smog was not yet a daily occurence. Our grandparents’ house was surrounded by orange groves, and sheets hung out to dry in the “winter blossom season” (as our grandfather called it) came in …

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Billy Bob Makes a Friend

Billy Bob lived up to his reputation as one of mellowest dude-cats in town yesterday. Seth, the new neighbor across the street, and his little daughter Leila (aged 22 months) came over to our yard for a chat, on one of our first sunny days in ages. When Leila saw Billy, she was very enthusiastic. …

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Birding Links

Since my sister Elizabeth and her friend Tom got us interested in birding, I’m collecting links for beginning birders.

picture of a sandpiper

Todays bird watching adventures

Today Elizabeth, Marilyn, Tom and I traveled to three locations looking for birds. The sites were Mount Bonnell, Emma Long Park, and the Wild Basin Preserve. All three areas are part of the Balcones Canyonlands. The birds that we saw were as follows: Kite (Emma Long Park) Sandpiper (Emma Long Park) Turkey Vultures (Emma Long …

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Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory

A visit to the Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory with Elizabeth, Tom and Marilyn. A chilly day, but sunny. We saw a number of ducks and some grebes: Eared Grebes, Northern Pintails, Northern Shovelers, Green-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Buffleheads, Ruddy Ducks, Coots. We also saw some turkey vultures and several sparrows we couldn’t identify.

calm sunny day in winter countryside

Winter Solstice

Last night the wind was blowing, the temperature was dropping, and I was thinking, “Thank goodness I don’t have to go out tomorrow!” Today the sun is shining, taking off that 27-degree chill quite rapidly, and it might actually become a nice day. But I still don’t have to go out if I don’t want …

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Edinburgh, Scotland in June, 2000

Edinburgh Castle Cramond Kirk tour with Willa Stewart Edinburgh was a special treat because we visited it with a native! Marilyn’s college friend, Moira Lees, often called Willa Stewart her “oldest friend” because Willa, at age 12, had braved the wartime blackout (without telling her parents) and had ridden her bicycle across town to see …

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Marilyn Visits Larissa: Bristol, 1995

Larissa’s Study Abroad: University of Bristol Marilyn’s Version: In 1995, Larissa chose to attend the University of Bristol for her year of study abroad from Scripps College. Bristol was an English-speaking university, and she could easily transfer the credits to Scripps. Another student, whose name I don’t recall, was also going to Bristol. Larissa’s friend …

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Larissa meets her Mischievous Uncle Bruce

Marilyn remembers best about the photo with Uncle Bruce is that it was taken one afternoon when Larissa was extremely fussy (probably from those teeth coming in) and she absolutely, positively did not want to take a nap.