What is a Kaffeeklatsch? Therapy with laughter and Coffee

Americans missed out on a good thing by not adopting the “Kaffeeklatsch”. Honestly, meeting friends at Starbucks for a sippy cup of coffee on a tiny table just isn’t the same thing. Kaffeeklatsch… friends coming together for coffee… maybe some cake… and good conversation, is such a lovely way to spend a few hours. In Germany, the concept of Kaffeeklatsch…

Smashing a few German Stereotypes – Or Just Clearing them Up

I’ve come out from behind my computer keyboard a few times lately to promote various projects, and because of this, I’m being asked some strange questions. Now, I realize that stereotypes come from somewhere… but you would think that a few of these stereotypes about German people would vanish because of their ridiculousness. Someone actually asked me if I play…

What is the Vogelhochzeit? It’s a song to Welcome Spring!

Germans do love to sing, and they especially love their Folk songs. One of my favorite German Folk Songs is the Vogelhochzeit. In German School I loved singing the fi-de-ralala part over and over. And with so many verses, the song can go on longer than the Twelve days of Christmas! (I have a feeling that’s why my German School…

German Nursery Rhymes and Children’s Songs

My mother didn’t recite Mother Goose to me when I was a child. I got the German Nursery Rhymes and songs  that she grew up with. “Alle Meine Enten”, “Hoopa Hoppa Reiter”, and “Backe backe Kuchen”. Funny thing, when I had children, I mainly sang and clapped my way through the rhymes of my childhood. Honestly though, it truly is…

Thinking about Muttersprache – Tag der Muttersprache

Deutschland.de reached out to me to do a piece for the Tag der Muttersprache (Day of Native Language) which falls on February 21. So I was thinking about Muttersprache, and it’s LITERAL meaning… Mother Speech. Although I grew up in California, German was my first language. The language of my mother. And after THIS MANY years of living in California…

Lessons I Learned from My Oma… Now I’m Sharing them with You

  What other Oma lessons did you learn?? We are coming up on my Oma’s birthday, and although she’s no longer with us, I will never forget all the life lessons she taught me. Now, don’t go thinking she sat me down in front of a chalk board and hammered this stuff into my brain. Oma was way more subtle…

Gifts for a German Host Family- American Gifts as Mitbringsel

  I think the question I get most often is one that many of us have wrestled with over the years… What to take along as a “Mitbringsel”? In other words… What are the best Gifts for a German Host Family? While you can never go wrong with flowers or a nice bottle, it is nice to bring something special…

What not to do in Germany- Tips for Enjoying German Culture

In many ways, Germany is very much like everywhere else, people generally put their pants on one leg at at time. BUT, some things are different, some things that the average American does every day are just not as acceptable in Germany. How do you know what to do? Here’s an almost complete lists of WHAT NOT TO DO IN…

Plymouth Junge Kameraden Band- An American High School Band Playing German Music!

  “So ein Tag, so wunderschön wie Heute“… when I heard those words sung, I immediately flashed back to my childhood. My mother playing this on her record player… my Oma’s radio… singing in German school. But the source was unexpected; the singer was a beautiful High School girl, standing in front of the Plymouth Junge Kameraden Band, the first…

When your Parents Are German… Recognize these?

I was born in America shortly after my parents arrived from Germany. When your parents are German you don’t grow up like the other kids in your neighborhood. It might not be apparent at first, but then suddenly, there are loads of things that make you stand out. Like the accent, having a lot of extra stamps in your passport…

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