My Spirit Animal is Actually a Bird: Raven

My spirit animal is the raven. There are many reasons I name this bird, among them the poem by Edgar Allen Poe where the raven says, 'Nevermore!' I believe I've been known to say that a few times myself, only to, sometimes, go and do whatever it was all over again. On my walks, I…

Tuberculosis and Tragedy in Iowa

At the end of summer, I came home from a book shopping spree at the local second hand shop run by the Lutheran Church in Germany, toting Thomas Mann's novel 'The Magic Mountain.' As soon as he saw the title, my German husband said, 'Oh no! Not THAT book.' I wondered what was so offensive…

Hipstered: A Browline Adventure

My husband suggested I try cateye glasses frames as my search for a pair of glasses to suit my aging (sagging and tired) face in Germany was proving fruitless. At the time, 2014, cateye, wayfarer and browline frames were found only in vintage shops, online at Etsy, and E-Bay as overstock from the 50s and…