Monday, March 30, 2009

The view out my window

Or more accurately the view from the second floor where my computer lives and in the room that someone day will be called the: "ENTERTAINMENT ROOM" sounds so much more than 'The Office/computer room' right?

Eventually, I'll have a love seat sized couch in this room (when my storage shipment arrives)....

an entertainment center (see.. I didn't just come up with that word out of thin air) that I bought in Italy many years ago- it will hold my TV, DVDs, board games, (again- notice the trend of 'entertainment'?) etc.

I also hope to put a basket with the 'unfinished' or currently working on knitting projects in it. OK, if I'm truthful, my plan is also that this room 'won't be where the company goes'... not if they are smart they won't... and as a result.. I'm not going to worry about the mess that I've made.. digging through the shelves to find a particular movie, book, or the knitting mess that I had made while looking through yarns and knitting patterns to start a new project.

I hope, that it's going to be a room that I can SHUT THE DOOR on... and enjoy the living room not being messed up in 5 minutes.. and since, I have no one to blame but myself.. (and also no one to clean up after me-- see, there is a downside) it will be nice to have a 'ready to greet visitors' living room downstairs.

I am always amazed at the mess that I can make.. in just a few minutes that ends up taking much, much longer to put it away. I have always worked on craft, art, knitting, wrapping presents, getting boxes ready to mail/etc. in the living room.. because that has been the only place to work on these projects.. well, admittedly a place that had floor space, a comfortable place to sit, and entertainment at the same time. A TV and stereo do have their own entertainment merits after all as background noise and since I tend to be a multi-tasker... I sometimes enjoy the background entertainment.

I won't mention that I live in the boonies and very few people 'just drop by' without calling-- since, they don't want to drive all the way here- to find me not at home. But, then again.. did I mention that my landlord lives next door and does sometimes pop over?

You know... if I could buy one of those little refrigerators, haul the microwave upstairs... I wouldn't need to go downstairs at all... except to go out the door to work... hummm

Isn't that a nice view though? It's a tower on top of a what I've been told by different people is a dormant volcano. Let's hope it stays dormant. I've already experienced one, 600 year old dormant volcano, that became an 'erupting volcano' thank you very much.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring finally arrives.. (at least inside my house)

If you've read the last few postings... you know that although the calendar says that it is spring... the outside weather is still wintry.

So, I decided to have a few friends over for dinner this weekend. I got rid of any evidence of winter and brought in touches of SPRING!

I knitted that little guy last year... and aren't those African Violets beautiful? I found them in a local garden store.

Look! It's a knitting bunny! *Click on any of the photos for a larger view.

This is the window that you see from outside the front of my house- and the window that I see from the inside by the stairwell. The little wooden chicks - I found in a German store. The flower is 'silk' that I purchased when I lived in Korea.

The windowsill in the hallway/guest bathroom. I put my bunny collection there.

So, did I succeed? Or does it look like a Gift Shop with their Easter and Spring decor items displayed for sale?

Anyway... Happy spring and especially to those still having 'un- spring like' weather like I am experiencing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Secret Agent Man.. alias... 1973 VW Karmann Ghia

When my VW finally arrived from Seoul, South Korea to Germany... I had to get it tagged and registered on the military base with the German Government.. since, I am a US Government employee (another fancy word for: school teacher) and am residing and working in Germany.. my car has to pass the very strict German inspections...

At one point, the 'inspection guy' was hanging in the air from my car's suspension system. He told me later that since my car was so old... he was making sure that it was safe. I won't mention that he also told me that he was SURPRISED that my car passed the inspection.. Before I got my car inspected, I was told by many to not worry- because most cars don't pass the first time. Case in point: The 3 year old Mercedes in line behind my car did not pass the inspection.

Guess which car did PASS the inspection the first time! You got it.. my car did!

And the next step? You are eventually (lots of waiting in lines as there are at any car registration place) issued German car tags...

I love my Ghia and I've had this car since 1989 and she/he has lived in various countries as I move about for my job.

However, when I moved to Grafenwohr, Germany, it was impossible to find a place to live close enough to walk to work if the weather turned bad or I have car trouble- which is how I've usually managed in the past and there certainly wasn't any public transportation in the 'boonies' where I was living- so, since I have an almost 14 mile daily commute to work each morning and then again in the evening. AND, then when I found out that they did indeed have a lot of snow.   After driving to work a few times; experiencing all the curves and hills that I had to nagivate along narrow shoulderless roads (there are no shoulders on regular roads in Germany)- I knew it was time to buy a new car that was better equipped for the driving conditions.

Since, I'm single... and as a result... due to US GOVERNMENT/MILITARY rules... I had to get special permission to own 2 vehicles. How could they deny my reason? My car is 36 years old!

I purchased my first new vehicle in 20 years. I bought a Front wheel drive Jeep.
*Yes, I did want a red Jeep.. but, there wasn't going to be a red Jeep in country until the end of DECEMBER and I needed a new car before the snows started.

WHEN I went back to the car registration place on base.. to register the new Jeep.. I soon  noticed that the man at the counter was checking my ID/Name/Social Security number in his computer for what seemed like a long time.. I knew something was up by the look on his face.   And, I really KNEW that something was up when he called a couple other employees over to check the computer screen.  (I am if nothing else... able to notice the 'big clues')

After several minutes, he asked me if I had a VW car by tag# such and such.. of course, I didn't know my tag number- but, since he could look up my information on his computer.. I knew that he ALREADY knew that the TAG NUMBER that he was quoting me was indeed the tag number registered to my 1973 RED VW.

I asked why.. (good question, right?) AND.. it seems that my sweet little innocent car had 'accidently' been given UNDERCOVER SECRET GERMAN POLICE CAR TAGS!

Of course, hearing the above statement and "Well, look at that, (as they check their computer data base) you're our 33rd millionth customer, and as a result your vehicle tag cost will be free for life!" are probably the least likely things that any CAR TAG employee is going to tell you, right?

Ok, maybe it wouldn't be the most 'easy to blend into the crowds' secret agent man car?

No wonder my VW's gas milage wasn't as good as I thought that it should have been.. my car was doing SECRET AGENT MAN missions at night.. while I slept peacefully.. thinking it was parked innocently in my driveway.

Now, if I'd only known...  I could have been really breaking the rules by parking 3 hours in the 1 hour parking spaces while having my tires sitting right on the white painted lines marking the proper space.  I drove for over 7 months with my German Secret Police car tags!

ok, sing along with me now
.. (here's the actual song.. in case you have now started singing the song and you can't quite remember how it goes)

Weather update for WEDNESDAY

Grafenwohr, Germany (Bayern)Hour by Hour™ Forecast Wednesday, March 25, 2009

21° F
Mostly Cloudy 8am

24° F
Mostly Cloudy 9am

28° F
Mostly Cloudy 10am

31° F
Mostly Cloudy 11am *I go out on playground duty at 10:45

32° F
Mostly CloudyNoon

33° F
Snow 1pm

35° F
Snow 2pm

34° F
Snow 3pm

1° C

1° C

1° C

1° C

1° C

1° C

1° C

1° C

*guess who will be wearing a WOOL sweater this morning?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I realize that I don't have any tv channel reception in my new house

(another story as to why) and I've not seen a current news show in MONTHS.. but, I have been able to check the news on the INTERNET off and on... but, I don't seem to remember anyone announcing

THAT WE HAVE ALREADY experienced the melting of the ice caps, then the resulting major worldwide flooding, and apparently NOW WE HAVE entered the RESULTING DEEP FREEZE ICE AGE ERA????

I only ask because... today's date is: MARCH 24/25 (depending on your timezone), right? A few days past the official calendar starting day of: SPRING

and as I was driving home it started snowing... and in 5 minutes the ground was almost covered... and in 50 minutes? I just checked and there are 3 inches of snow out there! MY backyard is completely covered in snow! (It's been so long since I've been able to post photos that I'm not sure where my camera cable is right now?)

ANYWAY.. I should have known that the day might end this way.. because:

Light dusting of snow on my car when I first woke up (no problem)

WHEN I LEFT FOR WORK (about 45 minutes later)
It was snowing so heavy- that I had to wipe down the windows 2 times before I
could pull out of the driveway.

I went out and did my DAILY (grr) 20 minute lunch recess duty- light snow
off and on and then some 'more snow' started falling

THEY (the powers that be) canceled the rest of lunch recess for the other
grades (after my duty time was over.. OF COURSE)

Within 5 minutes.. of canceling recess... it had stopped snowing and the SUN
CAME OUT ... very bright SUN... for the rest of the hour left on the lunch
recess time slot.

IT STAYED SUNNY UNTIL about 2:20 pm..

2:20 pm
... It suddenly started snowing.. so hard that the ground was covered in 5
minutes... even the big blacktop area (out my classroom window) was completely
covered in 10 minutes

2:30 pm..

THE SUN CAME OUT and evaporated the snow

2:40pm it started HAILING!

2:50 pm..



5:50 pm... started driving home... and it started SNOWING LIKE A SNOW BLIZZARD again!
I could barely see the road!

one hour later... 3 inches of snow and no sign of it stopping..

After living in BAVARIA, GERMANY for one winter season... I now have:

A SNOW SHOVEL (blue, of course)
4 SNOW TIRES (glad that they are still on the car)
A NEW FRONT WHEEL DRIVE JEEP (glad I bought it too- my little Karmann Ghia VW w
would be having staying on the road issues by now)

anyway... if the prediction of an impending ICE AGE is upon us.. please do post a comment and let me know.

At least I do have enough wool yarn that I can knit some new wool sweaters- I knew it was a good idea to buy all that yarn that I didn't currently need.

AND.. thank you faithful blog readers who did not give up on me... and are as happy as I am to have INTERNET CONNECTION again!!

I PROMISE PHOTOS will be coming soon.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hold the presses...

iwouldratherbeknitting is back on line!

WHEN? Tonight 9pm Germany time
HOW? Computer Joe, simply a computer genius

ALL I know is... tell your friends and neighbors... to stay tuned ready to check out my blog-- because I have photos to post and stories to tell.

Why? It's almost 10pm and it's a school night (teachers have school nights too).. so, this short posting shouting the GOOD NEWS will have to do.

I AM ON THE "INTERNETS" again... Yippy, kai ai (close enough) ;D