Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dear Santa,

I have been a really, really good girl this year... ok, I'm officially a WOMAN... but, you know what I mean... and I only want one thing.. ok, two things..

My GERMAN INTERNET CONNECTION to be working again.. so, I can post photos, and have time to think of witty blog entries...

oh, yeah... and WORLD PEACE... that would be good too.

and maybe a way for right sized plastic lids to float in the air and land on the counter.. when you are looking for the 'right lid' for a particular plastic container.


iwouldratherbeknitting... who likes to add photos to her blog entries...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow and more snow is on its way

Actually, make that 4 days in a row of snow that has been predicted. So far, they have been right everytime that they have said it was going to snow. I now have new SNOW TIRES on my vehicle... and I never thought that I'd utter that statement- or have the need to purchase SNOW TIRES!

We still have snow on the ground the last time that it snowed. Last Friday, we had about 5-6 inches of snow during the night and the ROADS HAD NOT BEEN PAVED!!! Yikes! I was a slipping and a sliding all over the road... even with front wheel drive! The snow was packed and slick! It had snowed that fine mist type of snow and you know what that means? SLICK SNOW

I was so scared... and here I was the FIRST TIME that I had ever driven on snow and it was on snow packed roads for 14 miles!

On other weather news... about 10 days ago- I checked the weather report for that weekend's weather predictions to see if we'd have good weather for a proposed drive to see a German Christmas Market... and I had to laugh out loud when I saw the following day's weather prediction:


It honestly said those words-- all other days had regular weather words: rain mixed with snow, cloudy, fog, windy/etc...

I could also argue that many days have already been dull and dreary... in the land of sunsets happening at 4:12pm... and total darkness by 4:30pm.

I'm hoping for no snow for this Saturday-- I want to go on the train to a Christmas Market and to see the city of Nuremberg all decked out for the holidays... and also to celebrate the first day of two weeks of FREEDOM... or school vacation!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Freak Blizzard hits...

I have always said that my school location has its own weather system. I will drive to work on fog free roads until I get one mile from the school and sure enough you look up ahead and there is a heavy fog enclosing the school cloaking it from view. Often it will be raining only at the school and this 'unusual weather zone' was once again proven yesterday morning.

I was going to meet some friends to car-pool at 7:30 Saturday morning, to carpool to a Christmas Market about 2 1/2 hours away. I needed to stop by the school to pick something up prior to meeting my friends at the base. I was almost 3 miles from the school and the gentle rain started turning into that rain/snow mixture. No problem.. the tiny amount of snow that was there- melts as soon as it hits my windshield and the temperature gauge indicates that the temperature is above freezing.

Well, in less than 2 minutes and only about a mile and half from the school, I drove into what could only be described as a suddenly forming blizzard. The roads become completely covered and all visual landmarks disappeared in the heavy snow. I can see nothing and it is 7am! I can't tell if I'm on the road or not- which is not a good thing.. because, there are no shoulders on the local roads here. I actually stopped my vehicle on the road and as I was wondered what I should do... all past news reports, movie and TV images, about motorists stranded in blinding blizzard conditions rush into my mind. I could just see the headlines: "School teacher becomes stranded in a blinding blizzard only one mile from the safety of the school."

I finally decided that even if I tried to turn around and go back the way that I had just driven... that in these conditions- I wouldn't be able to backtrack, much less find a road entrance to turn around in or on anyway... so, I keep slowly creeping along driving carefully- knowing that somewhere up ahead the school is only about 2 miles away. The snow was falling so fast- that it was piling up on my windshield along the windshield wiper edges.

I finally found the 'off ramp' exit, for the school, and took it... going as slow as possible since it is a very sharp turn and downhill during normal road conditions- I finally see the school and all the street lights that are standing guard along the family housing area that is next to the school. At this point, I decided that I no longer need to stop at the school and instead needed to get back to the base and lower ground to meet my friends.

I creep along in the blizzard for another 2 1/2 miles to the base and when I am one mile away... there is only rain falling gently on my windshield and no evidence of snow on the ground or road. The only evidence that I had just driven through a blizzard was the snow quickly melting along the sides of my car and on the car hood.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

If this is Tuesday, snow must be falling 'again' in Germany

I now think that the word: SOUTHERN is an oxymoron...

After all, I'm in SOUTHERN GERMANY and there is nothing warm and southern about this place. It did snow and snow some more the weekend that I was refering to in my last posting. It proceeded to snow again everyday for the next few days. It snowed some last night and right now there is a snow/rain mix out there.

It is only December 2 and I'm tired of it already.

On the good news-- I went by train to my first Christmas Market in Germany last Friday. After all, I was just keeping that American tradition alive... SHOPPING the day after THANKSGIVING!

I did buy a few ornaments including a couple for myself. I went back to the yarn shop and looked around. I had taken a skein of yarn with me- so, that I could get another one to go with my friend's Christmas gift (I had knitted her a hat and fingerless mittens and had planned to send the extra yarn so that she could knit her own scarf to match.) WELL, I looked and looked last night for this yarn so that I could package up her gift...

and... that extra skein was nowhere to be found. Guess what I finally figured what had happened to the missing skein? My non-knitting friend was helping me look for that particular brand/color/etc... and one of us accidently kept it in the pile of yarn, that was stored on the table, that I was purchasing instead of putting it back in my BAG that I had brought with me into the store... so, yes... I bought the same skein of yarn twice (the first time on Veteran's Day) so... I ended up still ONE SKEIN SHORT and with one skein that cost double the cost.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Weather Report and news at 11

Here's another photo-less blog entry... but, my almost 14 mile drive to work started out remarkable this morning: The roads were dry, no rain and there wasn't any FOG either! Boy, oh boy...

This afternoon? COLD AND DAMP... Actually, it's pretty nasty out there... But, at least I finally decided to start wearing a 'real winter coat' on Tuesday. Ok, it was the 5 minutes of sleet that we had on Monday morning while I was in line... getting my ID checked so I could come on base (to work) that might have had a little something to do with my decision that a cotton windbreaker wasn't going to work anymore as my outerwear??

oh, yeah.. snow is predicted for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

I think I'll make some soup this weekend and watch old movies and knit... on some of my Christmas gifts... which by the way... are now going to be far less knitted items that I had thought that I could manage... kind of like when you were a kid and you'd put too much yummy food on your plate and one or more adults would always say to you:

Your eyes are bigger than your plate. *Or maybe that was just in the south?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

News bulletin:

It was not FOGGY yesterday!

You might not realize how big that news is... but, I'm telling ya... we have fog so thick.. the phrase 'you could cut it with a knife' was probably invented here to describe the fog conditions. The fog will stay all day... ALL DAY... ALL DAY..

I took a train ride to the nearest city... Nuernberg (spelling probably isn't correct) yesterday... (Veteran's Day for the US Citizens working for the US Government here and elsewhere)

It was so nice to get out and walk about in a city. They were also getting ready for the Christmas Market that will open up soon-- they were setting up the stalls. I'm going to go back and check it out when it is open.

Still no Internet... I have been taking all sorts of photos that I will share when I can. I can't do it at the base library though.. which is where I'm typing this entry to let you know that I am still here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

apparently, if a spider bites you

and you are sleeping you don't wake up.

Yes, I have been bitten by a spider... during the night sometime on Friday... had a yucky, swollen, red, and red streaked arm... for the weekend... and now, I'm left w/ an ugy hard raised swollen bite area... w/ the brownish red circle around it...

SO, I am on my way to see a doctor to get it checked out. I'm sure it's fine... since, my arm would have surely fallen off by the 4th day (today) after being bitten- but, since I don't know what kind of critters they have here in Germany.. and I still have evidence of a bite wound... I thought that it would be a good idea to have a German doctor look at it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

raindrops keep falling on my head...

One morning this week, on my way to work, I heard that song on the radio... and yes.. it was raining at the time.

Still no Internet connection...

We had a mixture of snow/rain on Wednesday am....

My yellow mums, that I purchased for my front steps, are almost finished blooming... (photo on this site somewhere)

Looking forward to a day off from work on November 11... for Veteran's Day.

Did you go trick or treating on Friday?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

GRRrrrr Internet connection... or lack of- I should say?

The long awaited INTERNET connection at my house... has quit working- out of nowhere-- no more Internet on Saturday... I don't know what the problem is... I can't make it work no matter how many times I log off the computer... and boy have there been stories/photos to share...

Oh, and a weather report: Today, it was foggy in the AM and rainy in the PM... nothing new about that.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I can knit again...

I have had a really bad tendon injury in my left thumb... it was painful and I couldn't do much of anything... an the USA Hand surgeon put me in a cast for a few weeks, then in a brace for even longer... and told me NO KNITTING! Ok, I would have not knitted because it was too painful to do so-- but, doing what he told me to do and following it- also kept me from having to have hand surgery. I was even honest and asked if it was OK to knit. Of course, he said... "NO KNITTING!"

I have really missed being able to knit. A couple of weeks ago, being really tired of unpacking... every night and all weekend for 2 weeks- and having had just recently unpacked most of the yarn... decided it was time to take a break from the boxes and do some knitting.

I made this little baby set. It's for the first grand-daughter of a friend who used to teach at the same school as I did in America. She stayed there teaching when I moved overseas.

And a close up of the little booties. I loved the colors in this set-- and figured it would go with anything a little girl baby might be wearing.

This was made for an unknown child in the Alaska Head Start Program. Someone on posted about the need for warm (soft wool) mittens and hats for the children sent to school without them. No mittens or hats in ALASKA? The land of snow? How could I resist? I knitted a hat/mitten set.

I usually knit hats for the children in Afghanistan during the summer and send them over there early fall- but, my hand wasn't well enough this year... I'll still try to knit at least 2 or 3 and send them over there. I figured that there is always going to be a little girl or boy in Afghanistan who needs a warm hat, right?

AND this is my 8" x 8" knitted acrylic square sent to another poster on The squares will be put together to make a blanket for a little boy who was needed some extra love and comfort.

Now, you know why I haven't finished unpacking... I took a break for awhile and knitting is much more fun.

See, I do knit once in awhile! :D

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

IS running into a detour and not knowing how to get to work

any other way... an valid excuse to miss work?

Ring, ring... (pretending that I have my cell phone charged, with me, and have put in my work phone number)

"Hello work?" "Yes, this is: iwouldratherbeknitting.... and I was on my way to work and saw this sign in German... you do remember that I can't read German, right?"

"Well, I finally figured out that the word must have meant DETOUR." "Oh, no.. I'm a pretty quick study.. the road lane barrier was a dead give away." "Ok, the second road lane barrier was the dead give away."

"ANYWAY, this UNEXPECTED detour in the early morning darkness... on a major road- blocked off the ONLY TWO ways that I know how to get to work."

"I just wanted you to know that I don't know where I am... but, I hope that I'm not on the CEZCH border." "No, I don't think that I've gone as far as Northern Italy- I don't see the Italian Alps anywhere." "Yes, if I get as far as Italy.. I will buy a wheel of real parmesan cheese and we'll split it."

"Oh, wait.. my cell phone is dying... I hope that I'll be at work tomorrow... if I can make it home that is. And, my sub plans are........."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Unpacking surprises...

When it is time for me to move to a new location- my job sends 'movers' to my house to pack everything up. You would think that 'kitchen stuff' only would be in the boxes that were packed up in the kitchen/etc. However, this is not always the case.. As I've been unpacking, I put items that belonged downstairs or upstairs near the proper staircase. I've spent many hours walking up and down stairs to put the items, that I unpack, in the correct locations.

When my household goods first arrived, and I was still teaching... I could only unpack on the week nights and the weekends. About 4 days after the movers had delivered my household goods.... I unpacked a box to find this plastic container wrapped with 'packing tape' from the movers:

I took it outside so I could get a better look...

I didn't recognize this at all and I used my scissors to cut the tape so that I could see what was on the inside:<
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It was a plant! A plant that I had set aside to give away.... Yes, it is what is commonly referred to as a Christmas Plant. Yes, plants are illegal to mail and I'm sure to also ship in household goods! I quickly looked around to see if any of the neighbors noticed that I had opened up a plastic container holding a 'plant hostage.'

I was totally amazed that the plant was still alive. My household goods were packed up on June 4- spent a few months shipped in dark sea crates on a ship and then spent a month or so in a dark storage facility (and I'm sure it wasn't air-conditioned either) here in Germany and finally delivered to my house on Sept 4... and I unpacked this 'unexpected surprise' on September 8. I just can't believe that it was still alive- much less... 'green?'

I let it sit outside in the 'sunshine' for a few days. I figured it needed to breathe some fresh air and feel some sunshine on its leaves? Then, I gave it a new place to rest its weary feet. I think it continued to lose a few more leaves- from the shock of being in extremely different conditions when it was removed from the sealed plastic container and box.

I don't think it will have enough time to recover from the unexpected 'travel ordeal' to bloom this Christmas... but, maybe next year for sure?

You just never know what you'll find when you unpack a box.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

One year of blogging...

who would have thought it? Certainly not me... I wrote my first blog entry... because of an event that was so funny... that only writing it down could give it justice... When this 'event' first happened, I was just bursting to tell someone. Of all the people that I knew- I thought of my best friend from High School- and called the states to tell her what had happened. Even though we haven't seen each other in years, after I shared the story with her, we were both in tears; laughing so hard that we couldn't talk. You know that type of laugh, squeaking sounds and a gasping of breath are the only sounds that you can make.

Pam was the perfect person to tell the story too because we have had our share of many funny/silly/stupid events happen to us through the years. When something this funny happens... you need to share it with someone who can 'laugh until the tears fall'... after all, funny events deserve a full belly laugh. We all deserve a friend that you can share 'belly laughs' with and I hope you are blessed in that area.

In case you don't know the story that I'm referring to... it's the first blog entry: Mystery Spice written October 8, 2007.

It's amazing how time can change and seem to stand still at the same time. Last year, I was living in Seoul, Korea a city of 16 million people. My laptop was in the living room and my view was of the Han River. (many photos of the river and Seoul can be found on my blog) I'd often look out onto the city onto the endless skyscraper after skyscraper views and wonder about the people living inside those cement walls and wonder about their stories.

We all have stories to tell. All of us. Most of the time, we are so busy that we forget to look past the 'to do lists', running errands, and daily routines to see our own lives... the life that is happening daily minute by minute. Not much seems to happen day by day... but it is exactly the day by day... that produces your life. Life really is in the little moments; the connections with others.

I often think back to one particular person that I met in April, 2008. I had gone with some friends and acquaintances to Cambodia and Vietnam during Spring Break. I had resisted many offers to go to either place during the other three previous times that I had lived in Korea. For a total of 9 years I had opted not to visit either country. I just wasn't interested in seeing places of such pain and recent destruction. However, my job was now taking me to Germany, and finally, I decided to make the trip, since I had no plans of returning to Asia.

The last day that we were in Cambodia, others in my group decided to go to one of the museums about the KILLING FIELDS. I am very sensitive about those sort of places. I realize that horrible events have happened in history and the Killing Fields was one of worst in modern times... I just don't need to see any displays, photos, or museums about these harsh events with my own eyes. I didn't need to stir up emotions by visiting actual places or museums to see torture devices or other items on display as a haunting and constant reminder about man's inhumanity against man. I also knew that IF I did go into the museum; that I would have those images in my mind for a very long time.

One of the other ladies also decided not to go into this museum. She was a genteel southern lady... of a certain age. We two southern ladies decided that we'd seek out a place to find something cold and refreshing to drink- because after all, it is hot and humid in Cambodia. We started walking down the street for several blocks but we never found a place selling bottled water or even canned soft-drinks. After about 30 minutes of searching, becoming hotter than we were before we started out, we finally gave up and decided to return to where the 'driver's van' was located at the entrance to the museum. That way, we'd be able to easily find the others when it was time to depart for our final stop to the airport.

When we walked back to the area- we noticed that all along there had been a little open air shop selling water and soft drinks... right across the street from the museum. We stopped inside and I purchased a drink for us both. I noticed that the lady had a table with 3 plastic chairs of various styles in her tiny shop. I asked her if we could sit down... since, we were quite hot after our walk and didn't know how long the others would be in the museum. The chairs were in direct view of the van and it would be nice to rest and have a chance to cool down.

The lady running the shop asked us if we'd gone into the museum. I had told her that we hadn't. I pointed to my heart and told her that I just couldn't handle it- that I was aware that it had happened- but, I didn't need any visual reminders to haunt me. She asked where we had visited in Cambodia and where we were from in America. We had shared that we were teachers and a few of the usual pleasantries that one shares when meeting strangers. It was just your typical 'tourist or stranger chit-chat.'

After about 20 minutes, the mood changed on that quiet, still, hot afternoon and she softly began sharing her story.

She was 53 years old and had only been 16 when her life would forever be changed. Her father had been an officer in the military; he had trained in Paris, France. She told us with pride that he had spoke French fluently. She told us that one day- someone came to the door asking for him and took him away; he was never to be seen again. Soon many other neighbors became 'missing'..

She shared how all the teachers, military, doctors, those who knew the dances of the past, the artists, those with a history knowledge of the past, and professional people were rounded up first. The plan was to take away the leaders and to remove the history of the people left behind. A way to take control, to remove their identity, and of course to remove natural leaders. She was eventually sent to the rice fields--- that long term and failed attempt to grow rice of a great magnitude and where the name: THE KILLING FIELDS comes from.

She was all alone, no family, everyone that she knew was missing, she had walked miles, and months.

She said that food was scarce and that her food source consisted mostly of uncooked rice grains that she had hid in a piece of cloth. She described how she had folded a piece of fabric like a pocket and she had sewn it to her shirt on the inside. To anyone looking from the outside, because of her baggy clothing, it wasn't apparent that she had this secret pocket. She said that the soldiers would have killed her if they'd found the rice that she had hidden away. Many times she and others were searched for hidden food.

Many people were just shot and killed standing next to her- she said that those forced to work in the fields learned not to re-act or they'd be shot too. She said that you were in constant fear. One day, a soldier held a gun to her head and searched for hidden food. She told us that these horrible people could take her family away, her life- but, pointing to her heart--that they couldn't take God away from her.

They had to eat the uncooked rice, because... people working in the fields and those hiding couldn't light a fire to cook food because the smoke would give them away.

Food was in limited supply, so she ate the only food that was available to her... the hard, uncooked rice. This was her diet for years... so much that both rows of her teeth are worn to the gums in the front... 'like a cow' she told her with tears in her eyes.

My heart reached out to her... we hugged, both crying, for her loss, and the loss of all people who have had their dignity, love, shelter, sense of belonging taken from them.

I wanted to give her a simple memento for sharing her heart, story, and life with us. All my bags were packed and waiting at the hotel for our airport departure. She wasn't asking for money- and, I didn't have any money to give anyway- I only had enough $ to pay the airport departure tax. If I'd had some money with me-- I would have found a way to have hidden it in her shop-because... I know that she wouldn't have taken it from me if I'd openingly offered it to her.

The only thing that I had on me that I could give her was this:
I had made others like this and had sent them to my teacher friends... for holding those small tissue packages. One side tiny Sock Monkeys and on the inside: Dick and Jane fabric.

They are especially handy to carry in Asia since... most bathrooms don't have toilet tissue.

I took my well worn, now a little dirty and empty (I'd just used the last tissue earlier in the day) tissue holder out of my backpack and gave it to the lady in Cambodia. I told her that I had made one like it for my friends and one for myself and that I wanted her to have mine. She asked me again if I had made it and when I nodded 'yes' she held it to her heart and accepted it with fresh tears falling down her face.

She told us that she had returned to this place, the place of her birth and childhood, in the hopes that someday she'd find a relative.   She never did. 

I did not ask her name and I didn't take any photos... I didn't think about it, nor was it the appropriate time to do so. I didn't need a photo, because I knew that the moment would always stay with me no matter what.

I like to think that she carries the tissue holder to this day. I still carry the extra one that I had at home, all the time, and when I see it in my purse or backpack, I'm often reminded of her and I say a prayer for her life and health.

We learned more from her... than we would have learned if we had walked around in that museum for hours.

I wonder for how many months or years, how many people have stopped to buy something to drink in this same little shop, before or after entering the Killing Field Museum, without realizing that right there- taking their money or giving them change... was someone who had experienced the Killing Fields first hand at the tender age of 16 until just a few short years ago.

We all have a story... share yours and listen to others... people try to tell us their stories all the time and most of the time we are too busy, too pre-occupied, too busy looking for tomorrow. We carry our stories with us in our hearts and our stories are worthy of telling and hearing.

I often think about being in this city/town in Cambodia whose name I can't even remember... in a shop- much smaller than a typical American bathroom, just simply looking for something cool to drink while waiting for a ride to the airport. I found more than I ever expected that day. I could have simply purchased my drink, talked only to my friend, or walked away to wait elsewhere... instead I was blessed to have the opportunity to meet this amazing woman. To hear her story. It was the best part of my trip, totally unexpected, and I'm better for my visit with her.

I doubt if I could have been as brave as she was either- I just know that after hearing her story... I only hope that I would have it in me to be as brave.

What is your story?

Share it today or let someone tell their story to you.

You just never know what you'll find out... if you just listen with your heart.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

There's Frost on the pumpkin... errr... on the grass?

I woke this morning to a hard frost...

This is part of my yard from as seen out a window upstairs... that tree in the middle? My very own apple tree! I've never seen a triangular yard before though. The yard still has blooming flowers and trees in various areas. MY landlord lives next door (bottom left side of this photo- you can't see his house in the photo) and he planted both yards and did an amazing job. It looks like my yard will be a 4 season yard. I'll post more photos later of the yard.

This is actually the second time that there has been a heavy frost on the ground. The first time was around September 8th! Made me kind worry for the upcoming winter-since, I'd never lived anywhere where the frost came that early in the season!

I wanted to make my front doors more welcoming and found a beautiful blue glazed pot for the front steps. I also purchased a big pot of mums... full of tiny buds that have now started to open up.

My house is a light yellow color- so, I thought that this was the perfect touch.

I also bought some flowers for my kitchen windowsill. They made me happy to look at them- even though there were unpacked boxes elsewhere in the house.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Anyone still out there?

I am finally in my house... with a phone and CONNECTED to the Internet! *Notice that I did not mention anything about being completely unpacked..

Whew! It's been quite the ordeal... let's just say this... I signed up for the phone service about 3 weeks prior to moving into my apartment and it was about 6 1/2 weeks before a PHONE LINE was installed in my new house.

When the '30 something' phone guy came to my house... we had to go 'floor to floor' looking for where the phone lines might be located... (all I had were little plastic disks covering holes w/ wires in various rooms in my 3 floor house.

WELL... well... imagine my surprise when ONLY ONE PHONE LINE was discovered... on the third floor and not even in the master bedroom. Yes, I said: ONE PHONE JACK

When I said something to the German guy about it.. he said to me in his thick, heavy, accent... "You have ONE PHONE- you don't need anymore!" I think that my mouth was gaping open and that I might have had to push my mouth shut.... lol

OK, Maybe not... but, I had the wide open mouth 'expression' in my mind anyway.

Here are some photos... (yeah.. photos... did I hear cheers in the back of the room?)

The moving truck arrived w/ 11 of the sea crates. It started raining - so, the plan was formed (by me) for me to move my car out of the garage... so, that they could unpack one crate at a time to the garage and then haul the contents inside the house.

Curious as to how the unpacking is going? Enough said... (I have done a lot- but, I just stopped doing anything for the past 10 days... but, will have a go at it again tomorrow.)

And thank you so much to my faithful readers... who are still checking to see if there has been a new blog entry posted. I have missed posting to my blog.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I think that the boxes are multiplying in the dark...


I finally unpacked and put away things in the Living Room... so, I'd have at least one area that looked 'finished'... it really has helped too--- it was getting so discouraging to have stuff all over the rooms, waiting to find their new home, boxes ready to open, etc. It's just difficult to do much during the week- I have worked all weekend the past 2 weekends... (my things were delivered on a THUR and I had that weekend and then this weekend to unpack)

I know it will get done eventually... but, I'm ready for it to be finished now.


The other morning, it was so foggy you couldn't SEE ANYTHING... even the reflective line on the side of the road was difficult to see. I was glad that there was a truck in front of me for awhile- I could follow his fuzzy red lights.

I found out that when I turn on the oven... (electical) it trips the lights in the house and other things 'off'... I'm glad it wasn't dark when it happened- because, I didn't even know where the fuse box was located! I tried two times and decided not to continue trying to use the oven. Once the house is unpacked and 'landlord' visitor ready- I'll ask the landlord to come and look at it for me.

Last Sunday, I stopped unpacking about 7:00pm... (I had started that morning at 7am) and decided to watch a movie on my DVD player. Yes, I had hooked that up rather quickly- since, I didn't have a tv or a radio to listen to. :D

I watched one of the THIN MAN movies and knitted a little baby bootie for a gift. It was so much fun to finally have my hand well enough to knit something. Have you ever seen any of the THIN MAN movies?

Keep checking in... I'm sure that I'll have Internet and phone service soon... I'm sure of it. Really, I am... after all... 5 weeks have gone by since I first signed up for the service.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Living in a sea of boxes and no Internet

Makes one very tired and cranky... and...

All I can say is... I HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF...

I had my things delivered last Thursday and went back to teach on Friday- unpacked Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday. I am already tired of going up and down the stairs to return items to their proper locations... you find all sorts of items packed in the boxes that the movers in Korea packed up.

I don't have anything to hang clothes up in--- I need to buy wardrobes... sort of a small (some are big) free standing closet type of box w/ doors and a closet rod. I have found the pink top and bottom sheets and the yellow pillowcase. One pillowcase. They don't match- but, boy is my bed many times more comfortable that the military loaner bed. It was so hard- that nothing moved nor was there any compressing down of the mattress when you sat or laid down on the bed.

I did find my vaccum cleaner and it will come in handy to clean things 'once' I finally get the boxes unpacked.

Still no phone and/or Internet service at my new home.

Oh, and my American shower curtain is about 10 inches too short... and as you might expect there is some 'water spraying' along the floor. I plan to figure out something to fix this 'get the bathroom floor wet'problem.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Finally moving to my new home

and I'm without Internet access- I'm using the public library to write this entry... and of course... you can't download photos on the public library computers... so, once my home phone/Internet service is up and running- I'll post more of the photos that I have to share.

In the process of moving into my new home

and I'm without Internet access- I'm using the public library to write this entry... and of course... you can't download photos on the public library computers... so, once my home phone/Internet service is up and running- I'll post more of the photos that I have to share.

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day of School

Teaching the students that is... I'd already been working in my room the past month- my newly formed school in a brand new building-- was sent supplies from a couple of schools that closed in June.

This is the way that my classroom looked:

I opened up over 150 boxes... all full of a variety of supplies... including some items that did not belong in my classroom and it took several all day long days of unpacking items-- which wasn't easy w/ torn tendons in my hand.

SHHHh, don't tell my hand surgeon that I was unpacking boxes full of school supplies- and picking up items from the boxes and then finally to the shelves and cabinets once everything was unpacked.

I told him that I'd very careful with my hand and I will be more in the future... of course, my hand let me know when I over-did it too..

AND.. my movers will bring my household goods to my new house soon... and they'll need to be unpacked too. Oh well... it has to be done.

Eventually, it looked like a classroom. *I'll try to remember to take a photo and post it here.

Today was very busy and went pretty well. However, I'm sure that by Friday-- we'll all be tired... teachers and the students. lol

Sunday, August 24, 2008

You're craving: A Big Mac or maybe some fries and a small McDonald's Cheeseburger...

But, you don't live close to a McDonald's, or maybe your car is in the shop... or maybe you don't have a car? Ok, maybe you are too lazy to get in your car and drive to the local McDonald's drive-thru window... what is a person to do?

How could they get McDonald's quickly?

Without making any effort?


Apparently, call... McDonald's for delivery... of course... that would work if you lived in SINGAPORE!!!

Check out all the little pockets on the sides... I think that they might be for the cold drinks?

Photo shot from the TAXI WINDOW as we were on our way from the airport to the hotel. I wonder if the milkshakes would just be chocolate milk by the time they arrived by motorcycle delivery?

Other news:
School (teaching the children part- we've already been working a week- and I've worked longer than that to get my classroom ready) starts on Monday... as in: TOMORROW!!

Yes, I did buy some new underwear, notebooks, pencil sharpener, and pencils. I am READY! Maybe, I should wear my new sneakers too? :D

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ok, I've found a castle... now, where is my Prince Charming?

Granted... he'll need to be a Prince Charming familiar with tools and have a large cash flow for Home Depot purchases!

And, bonus... there is already a 'port-a-potty' on location. Do you see the HEART on the door? That ought to send 'some sort' of a message, shouldn't it? Personally, I think that by the time that you hike to the top of this 'mountain' and since, I did hike up to the top of the mountain- I can understand why someone was so happy to find a 'bathroom' at the top of this mountain... that they had an impulse to paint a heart on the 'outhouse' to show their love and appreciation for modern man's invention of the porta-potty and much less THANKS for the 'plan' to haul it all the way up the mountain!

*click on photos for a larger view....

Now, that you've made it through the photo album... yes, I did take a lot of photos of my first ON SITE castle experience and trust me... "I DID HAVE MORE PHOTOS" that I could have put here-- but, I didn't want to go into 'over kill'...

The castle is very close to where I live and in some of the photos you might NOTICE a large-ish mountain with what looks like a castle tower on it? If not, go back and look again... I'll wait.... *Good for you... you did find the photo/s that I was referring to... if you'll look closely- you might remember a reference and photo of a castle tower that is visible from my 'soon to be new place to live' (if you don't remember or know what I'm talking about, scroll down a few entries to the photos that I posted about the house that I'm going to rent) See it? You can see that same 'tower' castle from this castle ruins.

I wonder if these two castles were around at the same time? I wonder if they were on friendly terms with each other? I wonder if they visited each other's castles for festivals and the such?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Still busy

Moving to a new place takes so much time and energy to get everything done. I am not good at paperwork in the first place-- Ok, the truth is... I am paperwork 'challenged.' Sometimes it seems that you go backwards and don't get much done in the first place... and trust me on this... when you work for the US GOVERNMENT... you do have paperwork to do! :D

Other news:
I do have a place to live and will move in on September 1. (photos of my new home are in a previous post) My household goods will be delivered on September 5. I will get a loaner bed, sofa, coffee table, dining table and chairs on September 1.

This will also give me a chance to: clean and figure out where I want the furniture to be placed a few days later- after all, it is a 3 story house and it won't be a simple drag things down the hallway or into another room if I get an inspiration to switch things around.

I hope that my new house will qualify for the American washer and dryer... not that there's anything wrong with the German models... but, I prefer the top load, larger sized American machines and ok, the big reason? You can do a load of wash in the typical 30 minutes instead of an hour and a half in the German washer. The American dryer dries much quicker and faster too. The office that loans us the appliances will determine which type I get to use (after they visit my laundry room in the new house), during my stay, and I'll know when they deliver the appliances. I had the European washer and dryers when I lived in Italy a few years ago. I AM ALSO SO EXCITED THAT I WILL HAVE A LAUNDRY ROOM!!

The new kitchen already has built in cabinets, including a refrigerator- I was fortunate in that respect and I also did decide to request an American refrigerator to be placed in the basement- so, that I'll have a larger freezer space. I don't even know if this particular German model has a freezer in it or not? All, I know is that it was a little shorter than I am- so, it is possible that it doesn't have one or if it does-- it will be small in size. AND, I'll be truthful, I'm from the south and I need ice in my drinks- even in the winter. In Europe, you don't get ice in any drinks unless you ask and even then -- they might give you 2 or 3 cubes.

I am in a nice hotel and it's been fun to have meals with my new co-workers who are also staying in the same hotel and other hotels in the area-- however, I have been here for 3 weeks and I am ready to be in my own house and have more than one room to walk around and have my own things around me too. I am looking forward to sitting outside in the last days of fall on my patio. Of course, there is the question if I sent my plastic table chair set to storage or did I send it to Germany? While I know that my plastic table and chairs are perfectly serviceable- There is that part of me that wants something really nice for my patio too- after all- I have a wonderful backyard to gaze upon... and you know the kind of patio sets that I mean... metal chairs with cushions and a glass topped table? Maybe even a fire pit to chase off the early fall cool air??

I have also purchased a cell phone. I bought a cheapie brand... about $28.00. In the foreign countries that I've lived in so far- you can just buy a phone and purchase minutes that you can put in your phone and then buy more minutes when you run out. They also have the fancier cell phones with all sorts of calling plans/etc.

However, right now, this basic type of phone is good for me- since, I've only managed to answer any calls to my cell phone 3 times. Not a good track record for over 12 calls that have been placed to my phone. Of course, it would help if: I could find the phone before it stopped ringing or even had the phone with me in the first place. Let me say it this way, it is very doubtful that you'll ever find me, walking around with one of those phones stuck in my ear all day long... looking like I'm talking to myself.

I realize that I am cell phone challenged. Is there a support group for this? And will someone do my paperwork for me?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Flowers in Germany

All around in this particular area of Germany, (balcony/window flowers like this are also found in northern Italy) you see window boxes or balconies full of flowers. It is going to be hard to decide which type and color of flowers that I'll want for my own house next spring/summer.

Aren't they amazing?