Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween, one and all!

Sam's sew-tastic grandmother sent him a fantastic pumpkin costume for Halloween. Here is is, decked out for the big day. His matching cap was crocheted by Aunt Jane.

The fleece jumpsuit is going to come in handy now that it is getting colder. Even without the pumpkin life preserver, it'll be a toasty warm layer for outings in the stroller, bjorn, or backpack.

Black and orange? Might as well add some Tiger gear! Here his is with a Princeton cap.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Leaf Me Alone

It's that time of year in Cleveland. The wind we had last week brought down a lot of leaves. So Sam and the kids helped out with the raking. Thanks kids!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Covered Bridges

We decided to take a drive in the country today. The temperature is in the mid 70s- definitely Indian summer!- and the sun was shining. It was an easy decision. But where to go? We ended up in the extreme north-eastern corner of the state in Ashtabula county. We toured the back roads and visited four different covered bridges.

Many of the trees are bare of leaves already, but some still are resplendent in color. It was beautiful driving the small roads, seeing Amish returning home from church in their horse and carriages, and hoping for an ice cream stand.

Here we are at the State Road covered bridge over Conneaut Creek. Soon there will be steelhead in this creek- none today. Sam and I looked for them anyhow.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Go Tigers!

Princeton Football might have lost to Harvard today, but field hockey beat the Crimson!

And Tiger fans are pretty darned cute.

Sam is going to hedge his bets and root for the mighty Spartans as well. (And yes, those are his pearly whites in the grin below!)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Strolling in Style

Sam's new stroller arrived the other day. Santa decided to make an early delivery, since the time is right for a full size stroller, and REI had a nice fall sale going on.

With ladies' book club meeting at our house last night, the menfolk decided to give the new chariot (a BOB Revolution 12" AW, for those stroller aficionados out there) a whirl around the block despite the darkness and damp sidewalks. It rolls like a dream- so much so that Sammy slept the whole way.

He also tried on his first piece of CWRU kit, a full zip hoodie.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Company on a beautiful weekend

We had company over the weekend. Kim's Seattle apartment mate Brooke came to visit, on her way en route to points east. We had lots of great conversation, food and plenty of good weather to enjoy. The fall colors are just about at their peak here in the CLE.

So, a few pictures to share, of course!

Brooke and Kim with Sammy. We went out to the countryside for a short hike to enjoy the weather and the leaves.

Maggie, Kim and Sam and Brooke.

Maggie (new coiffure) and little brother.

Dad and lad.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Here are a couple of photos we'd like to share on a rainy morning in Cleveland. It's wet INSIDE too!

Sam has cut his first tooth- or possibly teeth. Bottom front two are poking through. Ahead of schedule. Precocious child!

The teething makes for a drooling, slobbering child. It's like having a very tiny Newfoundland dog.

And he's been practicing bubble and raspberry blowing. To whit:

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Updates from Sam.

In addition to the appearance of a tooth in his lower gums- broken through the surface and evident in its sharp, bony (not bonny) glory- Sam is now rocking the Exer-saucer. Here are a couple shots of him having fun in his plastic happy machine.

Gast in Bayern

Thirty years ago this fall, in the autumn of 1980, my family had an adventure that made a lasting impact on all of us. I thought I'd share a little of the story of our months in Bavaria. And what would a blog post be without a few pictures?

My dad met a fellow scientist at a conference he attended in Ames, Iowa during the 1979-1980 school year. The two of them had research interests in common, Dad had an upcoming sabbatical, and Herr Professor Busse, being a welcoming and generous man, suggested Dad come to the Hochschule der Bundeswehr in Munich during his leave. My dad was always up for an adventure (a few years earlier, he had consulted with a new university in Algiers and helped them set up their engineering program.) In short order the arrangements were made. Mom had just begun a new job and had to arrange an extended absence.

The three of us kids had mixed reactions to the announcement. I don't remember what I thought about it. Jane was supposed to start college that fall, so she must have been nervous. Ellen, in her senior year of high school, did NOT want to go. She figured it all out- she would stay in Cleveland and live with Grandma. Didn't happen. All of us went.

Dad left before we did and arranged for a rented flat in Ottobrunn, a neighborhood just south and west of Munich, near the university where he would be working. The government-run university loaned us dormitory furniture. It was rustic but comfortable. Ellen and I were enrolled in the Munich International School, which is even further south near the town of Starnberg. Jane went off to Murnau, just about as far south in Germany as you can get, where she spent two months studying German at the Goethe Institut.

We lived there from August through New Years. The adventure changed us as a family and individually. It's hard to believe it was 30 years ago!

And now, pictures!

The signature spires of Munich's Frauenkirche

Our new home town.

Inside our Spartan apartment. I brought a cassette tape deck and Army surplus headphones.

Mom in her kitchen.

The driveway of MIS.

The upper school, then housed in converted stable buildings of Schloss Buchhof. The campus is a little fancier now!

In a Regensburg alleyway, with Herr Busse.

Autumn in Munich means Octoberfest! Here is our favorite tent.

They make pretzels big.

They make beer glasses even bigger. Prost!

We took many weekend trips. Here is a view from the wine growing hills near Heilbronn.

We took an extended trip into Italy- Venice and Florence.

In Salzburg, at the house in which Mozart was born.

Charlie Brown Christmas tree in our apartment.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Redux, CLE blast from the past

In an earlier post, I shared two panoramic pictures from the 1930s featuring my grandparents. In digging through the family vaults, I found one more that I thought I would share.

This is another of the faculty of the Edison School, a school in the Cleveland Public School District where my grandfather Hoffman taught printing. This one is taken three years after the one featured in my earlier post. In addition to my grandfather, some of the faculty are recognizable in both photos, particularly the glowering face in the front row of the right hand grouping here. Surely he was in charge of discipline at this school for "incorrigible boys".

After scanning this photo, I was curious why there were two distinct groupings of the teachers. Closer inspection revealed a "seam" in the middle of the image, where two photos had been joined. My best guess is that the photo was taken during the school day, and the staff didn't want to leave the incorrigible boys on their own while the photo was being taken, so it was done in two sittings.

Here's a crop of Grandpa Hoffman, who stands near the center in the back row. He looks more like a father now than he did in the photo from 1932, now that he has a baby daughter waiting at home for him.

Like the other two originals, this one will go to the Cleveland Memory Project.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Some morning Sammy to go with your coffee and rolls.

(Or whatever time it may be when you see this, and whatever you may be eating!)

Dad and lad, out to inspect the yard work to be done.

A tough day at work for both of the men, a good time to read the local paper. Most of it is written at a 4 month old level, so it works out just fine.