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First Stop – Oslo

September 2nd, 2014 No comments

You know you are in Norway when:

The alphabet sprouts new A and O diatrictical marks

When the cost of a cup of coffee is $7

When NOW means Norwegians on Wheels

When you find yourself watching young troops marching up then lining a parade route as an honor guard while military marching bands blast our ears.

Where most of the names on buildings could just as easily be found in Northfield MN

Where the coffee and ice cream places out number everything else

If you are on my postcard list, not happening here. As much as I might love you – between the card and postage it’s over $4. Even Italy is cheaper than that. Got back to the ship with the same amount as I left with.

Categories: Travel Tags:

Glass Doors

September 1st, 2014 No comments

It seems to me that large glass doors – oh about the size and shape of the one leading into the fitness center on the Legend – need to have a large sign on them at about face height. Most certainly they should not be so clear and clean that you don’t see that they are there. Is that enough said? My head is hard but my knee has a significant bruise on it.

In any case it put a slightly different end on the day than what I had planned. Not that I didn’t enjoy myself today. I slept, read, talked to a few people and finished the back on my Ypsilon Vest. I made it to the fitness center and pushed my number of steps past 10k for the day according to the FitBit.

I just hadn’t planned on sitting this evening with an ice pack on my knee and whining. So shoot me now!

Cruise -
Have met some interesting people: there is a couple from Canada a few hours from both Calgary and Edmonton who will be on ship until Quebec City. They are lovely, less polite than a few other Canadians and have the distinction of their parents having immigrated from Minnesota ~ 1910 since the US was getting too crowded (especially with their fellow Norwegians) according to family history. A sail away I met a couple of guys who live in Hamburg. One is German, the other came to Germany for a Master’s degree about 15 years ago and is still here.

And yes, there are a significant number of staff who are either still on board from last spring or have been on leave and have now returned for the trip back to the US.

Books -

In other news – I forgot to mention didn’t I that I dropped off 19 kids books at the USO on the way to the states last month. Put 10 on the shelves in Neuegasse last week on Thursday and another 11 on Friday.

Categories: Travel Tags:

Back on a ship!

August 31st, 2014 No comments

Yes!

 

just a few Norwegian Ports

just a few Norwegian Ports

 

Wouldn’t think that I was excited or anything (grin)

 

ITINERARY

DAY DATE PORT ARRIVE   DEPART
Sun Aug 31 Hamburg, Germany 5:00pm
Mon Sep 1 At Sea
Tue Sep 2 Oslo, Norway 7:00am 4:00pm
Wed Sep 3 Stavanger, Norway 10:30am 6:00pm
Thu Sep 4 Geiranger, Norway 2:00pm 10:00pm
Fri Sep 5 Alesund, Norway 7:00am 5:00pm
Sat Sep 6 At Sea
Sun Sep 7 Hamburg, Germany 7:00am
Categories: Travel Tags:

Off to Hamburg

August 30th, 2014 No comments

I was actually all packed and ready to go last night at a more than reasonable time. It really wasn’t all that hard: traveling clothes are easy and I had already figured out what I wanted for knitting projects. Then I remembered that this trip was northern across the Atlantic and didn’t need snorkel gear or beach wear. So out came some items and in went the umbrella, rain jacket and a variety of items for layering.

This morning, when the weather looked like rain I traded sandals for hiking shoes which meant I needed socks and perhaps the umbrella? Nah, and closed the suitcase for the third time.

The train trip was enjoyable featuring a change in Mannheim, a reserved seat, a wonderful young (and tall) man who boosted my suitcase up to the rack and only 26 minutes of delay. Hotel is another story. It is clean and basic with flaky internet. Did I mention the fact that there are no lifts? Wasn’t in the info on the booking site. My suitcase is sitting in solitary splendour in their luggage room since I was not about to carry it up two flights, long flights of stairs.

I’m across the street from the main train station and about 2km from the HafenCity port. I walked it today to check out the route noticing that there are escalators at both the U-Bahn station on mine and the ports end. If the weather is good I will walk, if not? Well public transportation is only 20 meters away. One of the Aida ships docked today; sailing out at 1800 with a crowd there to watch. None of the people with whom I spoke knew anyone on the ship. They just thought it was good fun to watch a sail away.

Check in is at 1100 – I asked! So am going to attempt sleep if the drunks in the next room chooses to shut up for a few minutes. I am not interested in thanking the idiot who thought giving the a room with a balavony was a brilliant idea …..

Categories: Travel Tags:

Worse than socks

August 29th, 2014 No comments

We all know and hate the sock problem.

You buy socks in pairs and somehow, over the course of washings one of those socks disappears. Now we all know very well that you put the socks in the hamper, after all what adult would leave his rolled up socks on the floor to escape under the bed. Which also might result in leaving the hidden behind as you travel. No, socks all go in the laundry basket. Then, somewhere between that basket and the washing and drying process one of the pair escapes.

 

Nah, he wouldn't leave socks on the floor....

Nah, he wouldn’t leave socks on the floor….

 

After a while, unless you buy socks by the bag guaranteeing that your socks will have to learn to live with cousins so that you don’t need to bother about matching with proper mates. Sooner or later your luck will run out, but that could be months or years rather than weeks down the road. You can deal with the lone single sock then. Easy, peasy. Toss it out. But most of us wind up with more than the single orphan.

Today I found out there is an item worse than socks for going astray. Gloves. Specifically black gloves. When we were packing out, I carefully grabbed all the black gloves I could find and placed them safely on a shelf. While packing for the next month I decided that it just might get cool in Norway, Iceland, Canada. Perhaps I might like to bring a pair of gloves in case? Hats aren’t an issue; I can always knit another hat.

This is what I found:

above are solo gloves, below are three pair...from 16 gloves

above are solo gloves, below are three pair…from 16 gloves

yes that is right – three pairs. Five stray right gloves, four stray black left gloves and a grey one that was lonely and snuck into the stack. I went hunting in the hallway drawers and turned up another five solos. I also found underwear, socks, single mittens and a really amazing collection of cords. But no pairs. Think about it. These aren’t all my fault, it takes a family to lose 1/2 of fifteen pairs of gloves.

And now you understand why I refuse to knit gloves or mittens for my family.

Categories: family, home Tags:

SABLE

August 28th, 2014 1 comment

No, not a coat. Just the knitters’ abbreviate for …

Stash
Accumulated
Beyond
Life
Expectancy

which I now have embroidered on this lovely project bag courtesy of Dagmar (NanaWolf’s Sister). She thinks I did her a kindness by giving her most of our pegged together bookshelves while I know she did me a huge favor by hauling them out of here and sparing me from lifting, toting and taking them to the charity shop. We are both thrilled at the results.

My Stash Treasure

My Stash Treasure

Now, SABLE can apply to just about any craft, hobby or indulgence in spite of the fact that the addict may be able to look you straight in the eye and lie:

“No, I don’t have too much [fill in the blank with the category under contention]”

when it is perfectly obvious that one man could never, ever, under any circumstances personally restore more than 110 antique autos even if he manages to live another 30 years. With certain kinds of collections – survival in terms of financial or life/limb may be seriously under question. I don’t recommend either poisonous snakes, scorpions or tarantulas.

Women are more often accused of having this condition (SABLE) than men. After all, how many 3.00 circular needles do I really need? Oh, wait! Someone just told me about one made of a material I don’t already have in the collection….

Or skeins of yarn, or fleece (which can lead to goats, bunnies and llamas none of which are particularly healthy for your budget or your lawn). Then there are the fabric fanatics who don’t restrict themselves to just fabrics. After all, you need thread and patterns and sewing machines and sergers and books and interfacings and notions and…

In traditional households part of the problem might also result from those gender roles and lack of understanding on the part of someone that both parties are working and therefore the outside income rightfully belongs to both, even if the he-man is the one drawing the formal paycheck. This brings a certain sneakiness to stash accumulation with an air of “I’m not really entitled” around the edges. Neither excess purse string controls or hiding stash are conducive to healthy partnerships.

Since I have a more than healthy income, buying yarn, fiber toys etc is my choice. I wouldn’t begrudge George his hobbies,,, if he had any. But that is a whole different story and why I think sometimes he is happy to see me traveling.

There are sanctioned activities which are socially accepted. If you are a bibliophile, no one blinks twice as you overload your house with books. After all, it is a legitimate passion. Until the firemen can’t get in the door or the smell of moldy books causes the neighbors allergies to erupt in full force.

Then there are the fly fishermen. Hundreds of flies, most exquisitely unique and hand tied in that tackle box. Why? Only one fits on the line at a time, right? So why worry when I need more than one knitting needle. We all know that one size doesn’t ever fit all circumstances.

For the purposes of my sanity, I am going to completely ignore the civilian gun nuts. 16 handguns, 2 shotguns and 5 rifles? In suburban Maryland? Why? Have you grown extra arms?

All in all, collecting is fun but not profitable and can cause the occasional bit of anxiety. I will carry my new project bag on the Legend of the Seas with pride.

(See Brad, you don’t even have to collect elephants to play! Other people have far larger collections!)

Categories: Books & Tapes, Fiber Tags:

Keybearer

August 27th, 2014 3 comments

It wasn’t until we were on the S-bahn between Mannheim and Heidelberg that I discovered the real reason my true love waited for me. We had been on different flights from the US; him flying first to SF and then home on Lufthansa, me straight from Denver on a flight that turned out to be significantly late.

“Do you have a house key?” he asks..

“Of course,” I reply, “Don’t you?”

No

Oh.

and with that, everything was clear. He has been this particular route before, stranded without a way to get into the house. The last time wasn’t pretty and involved waiting most of the day for the Eldest who was off in another city. Our friend who has an emergency key was tied up at work. I was not in country which either took me off the blame line or placed me square in the center of the bull’s eye.

This time around there would be a limited ability to be rescued. The Eldest is in California, our friend with the key might/might not be around today. But here I am, returning on the same day ad close to the same time. Rather than ask me for my key (or ask me to bring an extra from home before coming to the states) he chose to say nothing.

Isn’t it so nice to be loved?

Categories: Travel Tags:

Flight Delays

August 26th, 2014 No comments

One of the realities that I often choose to ignore is the fact that nothing in the world of aviation really seems to run on time. You can believe all the hype and numbers put out by the airlines about percentage of flights that leave on time. You can look below the surface at the definitions and find that leaving on time may mean actually leaving, or just closing the doors on the plane.

In any case, none of it matters if the flight that has just been trashed is YOUR flight. It is only an hour, right? And they let you know early so that you could do something else with your day, right?

Of course, you are also talking to the idiot who didn’t bother to get added to the rental car contract. The one who was thinking to about being nice to her dear husband when she had him take the car back last night so that he wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle this morning. The one who is now stuck without wheels and flying an airline which isn’t going to open baggage drop off till four hour before the flight. And, as I just found out – on the only flight for which Lufthansa is the actual provider of the aircraft so it is not like I can depend on them to have counters open for other flights.

What was I thinking?

Categories: Travel Tags:

Coin of the Realm

August 21st, 2014 No comments

One of the things that happened in clerking out the house for shipping was the number of coins that turned up in interesting locations. All together, I have pictures the amount several times. We had coinage from both before and after the advent of the EU. Then add in all the other countries to which I have paid a visit over the last 20 years or so. So I have shekels, lira, $$ from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, pesos, and coinage from the Middle East, South America and Africa.

In my suitcase this time I brought a small bag of US coinage. Small I. Terms of. OT taking up all of the suitcase, larger in that it added more than 2 kg to the weight.

When I went to the post office today, I decided to use my coinage to pay off the mailing. I had two priority boxed at the $12.xx each size and a coup,e of tevdek mailers, I was able to provide 38.60 in coins: quarters, dimes, nickels, pennies. One of the other counter clerks was also interested in change. He swapped $15 in paper money for 4 dollars in quarters, seven dollars in dimes and the rest in nickels and pennies. I also gifted him two coins -a penny forum Canada and one from her Majesty. This still left me with change in my ziplock.

As it turns out, Wells Fargo Bank has a branch here in Aspen. The nice clerk ran my remaining change through her machine. $4.07. She was also willing to convert a traveler’s check from 2001 into real money as well.

So there you have it: 38.60+15.00+4.07= 57.67 unless I can’t add in my head.

Categories: Travel Tags:

Thoughts on flying

August 20th, 2014 No comments

Thoughts on flying

There are an excess of middle aged and up men on transatlantic business sections on weekday flights. I will just for the sake of argument assume a fair number of the are executives by the way they act and treat the Lufthansa staff. There is a certain amount of arrogance that seems to occur in CROs and general officers|: a kind of center of the universe re attitude where theirs is the I pinion that counts. Their needs come first Now in ones own firm that maybe true, bit on a airplane it is amazing how much rudeness one sees in the huddle of folks waiting to access one of the toilets.

This leads me to the next comment. Exit row in business is a bad idea. Same rules apply as far as no seat in front of you to stuff anything under. Worse, on some of the planes you are afforded an opportunity to observe more of your fellow passengers than you might wish.

Next. Footwear on planes. It is rare to see flip flops in business. Instead everyone seems to walk around in their socks. Now this is far superior to exposed feet on the carpets but still leads me to question if anyone is thinking at all before entering the toilet. Walking into a public toilet in stocking feet – and make no mistake, this is a very public toilet which is gender irrelevant – is not something most would do in any other venue. Why on earth anyone would do so on a plane is beyond me. It is about as smart as sitting down without checking either seat placement or cleanliness. But why should I be surprised about failures to zip or tuck in a group that wears sock ( and most not even the airplane provided ones) into the toilet?

Probably that was more than you wanted to think about with your cornflakes.

Then I would be demise if I did not mention the 25% of the business class passengers who are obviously there due to personal size and not by choice. This plane has been modernised but it is not one of those with acessible loos. For several passengers this was an issue.

I was glad to make Denver, get off the plane, find George and complain the whole drive to Aspen.

Categories: Travel Tags:

Unrecognized Changes

August 18th, 2014 No comments

There I was feeling all smug because I got to London City Airport early. Never mind that I had bought my ticket for the DLR and wandered off with my change, forgetting to pick up the ticket. Some lovely person grabbed the ticket and stopped me before I was a complete idiot.

Consider this foreshadowing for the rest of my journey. I got on the DLR in the correct direction. Two stops and one changes at Canning Town. This, of course, is provided that you can get through all the moms, toddlers and prams in time to exit the car. Failing that you ride one more stop to Star Lane, change directions and go back one stop.  Then there is getting from Platform 1&2 to Platform 3 (departure for Woolrich Arsenal not during rush hour). Elevator to the tunnel, Elevator up followed by escalator and dodging the crowds since the number of people hanging out on the platform is steadily increasing.

So there I am, London City Airport. Looking at the flight board – I don’t see my flight.  Huh? I did the online check in that morning and didn’t see a problem. I go to a kiosk which tells me that I can’t check in there for Heathrow flights…. What the hey?!?!? I didn’t book a flight out of Heathrow. I am not completely crazy; Convention at ExCel in Docklands = London City Airport.  I manage to get logged into the free Wifi. The flight on my reservation doesn’t exist.

I go to the desk and meet an absolutely wonderful woman. We look at my board passing. Sure enough, it says LHR. It is 1530. I could go to Heathrow, but I really don’t want to. There is a flight at LCY ~ 1700.  Miriam (great name, that) attempts to change the flight. No go as I am now booked out of another airport. Undaunted, she finds her supervisor and between them she gets me off the 2000 flight from Heathrow and onto the 1700 flight from LCY.  This is not exactly uncomplicated and takes a significant effort and phone calls to their central office with lots of explanations.

My suitcase gets checked, I sail through security and get to the gate with time to spare. The flight from Germany is late getting in due to rain and we are about 20 minutes late leaving. I don’t care, I am on the plane. I am even in an exit row – go figure. Frankfurt is no hassles, I catch the direct train to Heidelberg and am home just after 2200 (which is about 2 hours earlier than originally planned).

In the hour I have been home I have run a load of wash and packed my suitcase of everything that isn’t in the washer. Just started the dryer and I am now going to crash.

Moral of my whole story – providing an email for schedule changes doesn’t do you any good if you fail to read your email.  The fact that I fly Lufthansa a lot I think also made a difference. I can’t imaging British Airways making that kind of effort for me.

Categories: Travel Tags:

Hugos and scene around

August 17th, 2014 No comments

The Hugos

BEST NOVEL

Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie (Orbit US / Orbit UK)

BEST NOVELLA

“Equoid” by Charles Stross (Tor.com, 09-2013)

BEST NOVELETTE

“The Lady Astronaut of Mars” by Mary Robinette Kowal (maryrobinettekowal.com /
Tor.com, 09-2013)

BEST SHORT STORY

“The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” by John Chu (Tor.com, 02-2013)

 

Ok- and now that is out of the way. I spent a lot of the day restocking bookshelves, attending literary beers – Mary Turzillo; KaffeeKlatsches – Kate Elliott,  Michelle Sagara (West); and otherwise having a relaxing day.

 

Quiddich

Quiddich

more Quiddich

more Quiddich

Steampunk complete with striped socks

Steampunk complete with striped socks

The Iconic Costumers

The Iconic Costumers

Categories: Cons Tags:

Disguises

August 16th, 2014 No comments

or costumes or masquerades. That is what a lot of the day seemed to be about. However, you will get those tomorrow since Sunday is Hall Costume Day and it is more fun to batch the insanity in one place.

Rather, I am going to detour to talk about pants. For men, the styles haven’t changed much in decades or centuries. It is solely a matter of fabrics and textures, textiles. It is not a matter of length, blousing or tightness. Face it – doublets have been long gone. Instead the only challenge seems to be that of the younger make generation actually managing to keep their pants high enough to cover both essentials and underwear. Most adults don’t want to see sagging, boxer shorts or have a visual of naked buttocks skin burned into their mind. The thought of having a visual as persistent as that jingle which converts to an ear worm is enough to produce shudders.

 

And then there is women’s fashion. Pants that go to various lengths, change color, move zippers from front to side to back to more than one of the above. Men at least have the sense to place trouser zippers/buttons in a logical and useful place. Recently, apparently to better show off belly piercing, tattoos and make oversized guts more comfortable, there has been a change in the height of waistlines. Technically referred to as “low rise” many of these items feature 10-15 cm (4-6″ for those stuck on the English system) of height above the crotch of the garment. For comparison, hips are normally measured 9″ (~22cm) below the waist. Unless you are wearing clothing that is a size or more too small, there is a significant risk of clothing going south.  So here we have it – another clothing item designed to create equality  between men and women. And slide off the ass of both.

Can you tell I am not thrilled? What is worse? I found I had inadvertently purchased one of these evil pairs of trousers. Even more fun is that while I purchased my normal size, apparently these either run large or I have shrunk. The second is extremely unlikely so I will continue to grumble about the latter. It couldn’t possibly be my fault for purchasing clothing without trying it on. Not after having been able to do this from Jack Wolfskin for years.  Not accepting any responsibility here, not me. Must be the clothing.   Now, all you need to add to completely understand my joy is airline security. Belts aren’t worth wearing through airports and packing one would mean that you knew you needed a belt.

So there I am, in the middle of a Science Fiction convention surrounded by literally dozens and dozens of young men in jeans popping in and out of the gaming tent. They are wearing various appropriate to the Con T-Shirts. None of them are cool – their pants fit.  And there I am, having to wear my shirt untucked so as to not spend the entire day yanking at my trousers.

Photos

Categories: Books & Tapes, Cons, Knitting Tags:

Various Entertainments – WorldCon- LonCon3 – Day 2

August 15th, 2014 1 comment

Just assume that I spend time every day working Registration and I won’t bother to mention it again.

But I am also making time to attend a few panels, a KoffeeKlatsch or two and what are now referred to as Literary Beers. The first case involves daytime sit around a table with a limited number of people and an author. The second is the same, only usually in the afternoon and involves meeting in the fan hall (noisier) and with beer.

In the morning, I attended a fun discussion with CE Murphy and Suzanne MacLeod which focused on Urban Fantasy, how to avoid sparkling vampires and the challenges for authors with imprints, pseudonyms and branding. I was astonished that neither was booked out (we joined the tables) but perhaps it was the early hour.

There were exhibits -

Exhibit Costume

Exhibit Costume

Wizard of Pigeons - Megan Lindholm

Wizard of Pigeons – Megan Lindholm. One of the earliest real Urban Fantasy

Robin Hobbs - Wild Rain, Mad Ship & Dragon series

Robin Hobbs – Wild Rain, Mad Ship & Dragon series

John Clute's Study

John Clute’s Study

you can't call it Tardis - that name is copyrighted (and trademarked)

you can’t call it Tardis – that name is copyrighted (and trademarked)

Ok - this is what you were expecting to see

Ok – this is what you were expecting to see

and knitting in the afternoon

completely taking over the Fan Activities tent for a couple of hours

completely taking over the Fan Activities tent for a couple of hours

Knitters and Crafters

Knitters and Crafters

  

I also managed to snag a seat at Jon Courtney Grimwood’s Literary Beer table.  He is an interesting man, crossing the line between really intellectually written and mind-twisting science fiction and literature. As you might not be away – the official main stream newspaper reviewers detest genre and love “literary novels.” As a result, how your books are named and labeled affects sales, ordering and essentially your success.

I skipped the concert in favor of getting sleep.

Categories: Cons Tags:

Retro Hugos

August 14th, 2014 No comments

For those of you who are not familiar with Science Fiction & Fandom, please bear with me (bare? oh yes there are always a few of those.) The first significant gathering of SciFi fans, friends, authors and other serious devotees of the genre occurred in 1939, New York City. Apparently they had so much fun, they decided to do it again. With the exception of a few war years, this convention – now named WorldCon – meets every year. This year is the 72nd WorldCon aka LonCon 3 meeting in London. In 1953 the Hugo Awards were instituted to recognize greatness in the field. From novels and short forms, authors and editors, the list of categories has grown over the years to include semi-pro and fans (fanzines) and now the extensive lists includes fiction, non-fiction (reference materials), publications, podcasting, long and short form action (TV & movies), art, editors…

Tonight the production team presented the Hugos for 1939 along with several of the expected “presented at the Con” awards.

Presented as a live radio program

Presented as a live radio program

I made it till almost 2200 and headed back to the hotel completely wiped having worked registration for a good chunk of the day. I ran into dozens of convention friends and managed to finish the first 1/4 of my knitted top and headed around to the back making progress there as well.

Categories: Cons Tags:

Lost souls

August 13th, 2014 1 comment

It is challenging to find an interesting or exciting post name that isn’t a repeat when dealing with Frankfurt Airport and the various lounges. Since I am headed to the UK, it is Terminal B rather than the usual A or Z. Never the less, the lounge features all the same goodies – coffees, food, power drops, and booze (for those who indulge). So far I have had a couple of wraps, two different kinds of salad and a couple of lattes. There are also puddings, gelbe grutze and cookies. Could I be over caffeinated already?

For a change, the trip to the airport was quite entertaining. I boarded the S1 at Suedstadt-Westadt with a planned change to an ICE in Mannheim. At the Heidelberg HBF two couples complete with large suitcases got on the train, sat down (we were in the open bike/stroller/excess whatever section) and started to fuss about whether or not there was enough time for their train change in Mannheim. Was 16 minutes going to be enough? One doesn’t have to be a detective to guess that they were changing to the same train as I in Mannheim and heading to the airport.

The older couple appeared to be about my age and the younger were obviously daughter and son-in-law. Feeling like a nice person, I offered to help them find their train. Bailing off in Mannheim, we headed to the under-track passage and the elevator to Track 3. This is a change of one platform. The station is extremely well signed. Our connecting ICE was on time. We were lucky to have a car stop with a door directly in front of us. Shall we just say that the train was packed to over flowing? We managed to get all the suitcases on and ourselves jammed in at the head of the line, then played the reverse push and shove at the airport.

At this point, I figured the better part of valor would be the Lufthansa Rail-Fly desk in the train terminal. 10 minutes, boarding cards issued, all the luggage checked, and we were on our way to security. I said good-bye to Kim, Scott, Kathy, and Sal at the Z escalator as they are Sacramento bound via LAX. I am sure they will appreciate the Lufthansa Lounge for a much needed rest after the train. They enjoyed their 17 days in Europe: and were unaware that California has a reciprocity agreement with Germany – speeding points here will transfer home…

Since my flight goes to London City (got to love Docklands Rail since I only have to go two stops at the London end to get to my hotel), going through Passport Control is a requirement. 20 minutes in the passport line is unusual but – Hint – if you are from Asia and on a visa, don’t try to leave a day after your visa expires. Especially if you are going to a country that also requires a visa (which you don’t have). It also might help if someone in the group spoke either German or English. Not surprising, the Border Police can find translators…

No additional book drop offs this morning – I completely forgot since I normally bring a bag of books to the USO. But then I was in a hurry after making an emergency run once more to REWE…

The charcoal backpack, complete with embroidered Edelweiss

The charcoal backpack, complete with embroidered Edelweiss

the manly shoulder bag with insulated liner

the manly shoulder bag with insulated liner

Any

You see, I had sent a picture of the Pauliner display to the kids last night, inquiring if anyone was interested. Resounding yes from 3/4 with the request to include the beer. Well, I am not hauling beer to the US, it just makes for too heavy a load. But at 9.99€ each (including six bottles of brew) it seemed like a bargain. As it turned out, there were two choices, not one, in the display. Both are made out of sturdy felted material. The one is a cute backpack, the other an over the shoulder bag. I think I can fit them in my extra bag (sans beer) along with this year’s crop of hats and scarves when I head to Denver next week.

Update book guess list – (X-322)

Alison 4444 (cost of an object)
Carmen 4567
Cat – TNTC (but less than her, so I guess she is taking all the really high numbers)
April – 6289
Isobel – 4882
Mary – 5777
Steven – 5280 (feet in a mile)
Christian – 4997
Kim – 7012

Oh! The reason for London? World Con – LonCon 3 is at the Excel Center in the Docklands.

Categories: family, Travel Tags:

What got left behind

August 12th, 2014 No comments

When I discovered the first of the “oops” items not even an hour after the truck left, I thought it might be fun to start a list and see how it goes:

  • a basket containing parts of two spinning wheels which are in one of the containers
  • one & 1/2 boxes of books (surprise? not.) including a couple of historical books and a travel book from Israel
  • a sealed envelope marked “LLadro” which I know contains the arm which was broken off one of the statues about 2-3 moves ago.
  • one of the legs for my large embroidery stand.
  • the bag of cardboard spools for the warping rack
  • the zebra wood plate (over 30 cn across, it is not exactly small) that is mostly for display but is really nice to look at and feel
  • (and this is a place holder since I haven’t looked in the laundry room yet, the kitchen or double checked our bedroom….)

Siebenschlafer

Apparently the critters have scored another victory in their attempt to invade every wall in our house.  One of the more adventurous apparently managed to get a new access to the wall between the back hall and the living room. Haven’t heard them in that area before. Idiot apparently couldn’t find its way back out. When I went to bed last night, it was still wheezing and scrabbling. This has been an ongoing battle over the last several years. I think emptying the attic has emboldened them.

 

Coffee

Which leads me to the high point of the day. I got this lovely toy to replace yet another non-functioning coffee maker. I don’t know what it is about this house, but coffee makers have an average life expectancy of six months. I was sick of continually running out of my coffee because someone else has no clue as to how much coffee to put in the filter, or balancing the cone on top of the thermos since the small broken piece that lets the coffee go into the pot rather than all over the counter has gone AWOL.

I saved up my little stickers from REWE and got my coffee maker at 40% of the normal price. Color me happy. Then I ran into a slight issue. They didn’t have the capsules. And, as it turns out, each fancy little machine has a slightly different shape and size designed to prevent you from buying anything other than theirs. Really, it is the same issues as printers – money is not made on the machine – it is made on the supplies.

Anyway – neither REWE nor Aldi had them. The Tschibo shop on the Hauptstrasse did. So off I went to buy coffee for my machine. Since I walked into town (and back) I figured to stock up. In the future, I will just order enough on line to get free shipping….

And the coffee? It was wonderful. I had two cups!

Coffee - 9 choices - no broken pot

Coffee – 9 choices – no broken pot

What I did find at REWE (no I didn’t buy any) was beer with carriers in anticipation of Oktoberfest.

For 10E you can buy a six pack complete with a Trachten Wool Carrier

For 10E you can buy a six pack complete with a Trachten Wool Carrier

Knitting

New project on the needles. This one is easy and portable. What more could I want besides a Hanne Falkenberg design (not her yarn) and garter stitch for travel?

right front - Ypsilon

right front – Ypsilon

Books

Only dropped off 72 books this morning. I hadn’t planned on making the run, but since I was awake I went. Put out all the garbage/trash containers while I was at it. Wonder of wonders – the rubbish was picked up today (say good-bye to three blue bags full of horrible, moldy stuff) as well as the recycle container emptied.

For reasons that you already know – I took a hike downtown around lunch time. Had five books which I was going to drop off at the local to the Cemetery Coffee Shop (they have a swap shelf) but they are closed. Both school holidays and looking for a new manager. So those five books were added to the Neuegasse shelves. It wasn’t fast – about 1/3 of what I had dropped off this morning was already gone – because there were about 10 people rooting through the shelves when I got there.

Categories: Books & Tapes, home Tags:

It is Monday, might as well clean

August 11th, 2014 2 comments

Well, the kitchen is clean. As clean as I can make it considering the water pressure in the sink decided to give up the ghost providing me only a trickle of water, a lot of buzzing with effort. To top it off, the temperature is somewhere between OUCH and cool without my having the slightest bit of say in the matter. I know for a fact that it is not the hot water heater that is creating the problem since the water in the downstairs bathroom (same circuit) is just fine.  So I gave up on even thinking about scrubbing the floor since filling a bucket might take me till I turn seventy. Since I have a flight to London on Wednesday, years before the above mentioned event, I will just sweep, vacuum and call it a day.

Did I mention scrubbing the sink? Some brilliant designer decided that every good German sink deserves baskets. Now, having a metal multi-strand basket liner to the sink just might have saved a few broken items over the years. In return, there are eleven rods in one direction and twelve in the other, crossing on the bottom to make a pretty diamond pattern. Lets see – (11 x 2)+(12×2) + upteen little diamonds on the bottom. See – look for yourself:

 

see all those stupid wires?

see all those stupid wires?

and every single one of those puppies needed to be scrubbed. I am considering hiding the basket. Some easy place like on top of the cupboard or in the broom closet where no one will ever find it. Now that there are just the two of us – I am willing to risk the breakage to avoid this particular shoulder pain.

 

notice the absence of litter

notice the absence of litter

But the kitchen hasn’t looked this good since, well it was renovated.  In fact, when I forwarded the picture from my iPhone earlier to certain family members they weren’t sure whose kitchen I was visiting.

 

Which lead me then to the next project on the list: trash. This is Germany where everyone is big on recycling.We have four separate bins: Gelbetonne (recycle packing, plastics and the like), Bio (garbage), Pap (paper, cartons flattened) and Restmuelle (which is exactly as it sounds). Not included in the above are batteries, electronics, clothing, glass. The upshot is that it is only the rare item that goes in that last bin. In due consideration of the fact that no one is supposed to have a lot of items that can’t be recycled, the Restmuelle is only picked up once a month. Right.

So after a fast run through the house grabbing all the bags and partial bags abandoned by offspring and hubby alike, I wound up with this pile to haul to the garage. Not included are two boxes of papers which desperately need shredding nor does it include more items set aside for those wonderful charity shop people.

six blue bags, two white, jars, boxes and papers

six blue bags, two white, jars, boxes and papers

In fact it was too much for the elevator -

first trip down

first trip down

which meant two trips down to the garage followed by sorting. Leaving about 50% of it as total and complete trash which is not going anywhere tomorrow since it isn’t a trash pickup day.

At this point, I decided I could rest on my laurels.

After all – I made the early run to

11 Aug, added 67 books

11 Aug, added 67 books

since if I go before 0600 I can drive the car to the shelves and not have to schlep all that weight.  178+67= 245 donated to the Neuegasse shelf

and the guess list grows longer:

Alison 4444 (cost of an object)
Carmen 4567
Cat – TNTC (but less than her, so I guess she is taking all the really high numbers)
April – 6289
Isobel – 4882
Mary – 5777
Steven – 5280 (feet in a mile)
Christian – 4997

And, since I didn’t think the impact was all that clear – here is a photo of the books-in-boxes through the window

yes, lots of boxes and there are 10 you can't see

yes, lots of boxes and there are 10 you can’t see

 

 

Categories: Books & Tapes, home, packing out Tags:

Reprise -

August 10th, 2014 No comments

Ok. I was going to give you a long and happy rant about how I finally have MY house to MYSELF. Sounds like a cat doesn’t it? Purfectly happy without all those pesky humans about who don’t deliver food on demand or proper respect. But it seems like everyone is still confused on what is going on.

Point 1: We are not moving. Repeat. Not moving. We shipped household goods because I had a shipping entitlement. Normally you have to make a final shipment within 12 months of military retirement. Exceptions are ok in some circumstances, but the Kaiserslautern Office is not granting them to anyone remaining over here unless they are a government employee on orders. I, obviously, am not.

Point 2: The stuff, as I have aptly named it, is going to CA because George owns a house there. There is a large garage which will become storage for the foreseeable future. This will not create a problem because there is no car in the US. The Eldest and College Guy will be living in the house while pursing further education.

Point 3: Except for the occasional visit, I have no intentions of living there. And trust me, my adult offspring no more want to share a house with George & I than we want to share with them. It is one of the joys of being an adult – not living with your parents. The flip-side is that few parents want to perpetuate adolescence even one day beyond the biological minimum.

Point 4: George is still working in Switzerland. Our home will continue to be Heidelberg for several years. I have lots of traveling yet planned for the next couple of years and most involves Europe/Africa or arrivals/departures from same on ships.

So to sum up – stuff shipped. We aren’t moving. I would move to California and start paying state income tax because?????

Ok – on to the house. Today’s joy was to start on the kitchen and laundry. This was after I finished sorting out all the kids books and the left over boxes from the terrace. Several hours, a bit of screaming, and a late night snack later most of it was accomplished along with listening to a series of history lectures, dealing with audio files and knitting. Can’t forget the knitting.

Tomorrow I need to update Roll Calls for two cruises, finish the kitchen, see how many bags of trash can fit into the garage and drop off more books.

Next – the guess the  book count list
Alison 4444
Carmen 4567
Cat – TNTC (but less than her, so I guess she is taking all the really high numbers)
April – 6289
Isobel – 4882
Mary – 5777

I dropped off 130 this morning. So that is 178 gone and no visible dent in the pile of boxes. I think I will take another couple of pictures of the incredible non-shrinking box heap in the morning. Seeing is believing.

Categories: Books & Tapes, home, packing out Tags:

Loose ends

August 9th, 2014 2 comments

My muscles this morning announced with no uncertain creaking that I was not going to be doing a lot of heavy lifting today. Revising my plans – I still dropped off the first batch of books at Neuegasse (148 books), drove by Wilhelmsplatz (but their bookcase is full) and came home to organize.

Given it is Saturday, I gathered up my projects and took a hike to red where it turned out I was the only one.  After a nice lunch and finishing most of a hat, I headed back home, went to the store and came back to a pile of projects.

 

projects and treats

projects and treats

 

Most only needed ends woven in and photos taken, and three were in desperate need of returning to the frog pond.

just not pleased

just not pleased

one is left over from an earlier start on Sun&Moon. Little bit of purple was the start of a shawl and the grey/red is Rauma 53. I decided that the contrast just wasn’t doing it for me. I am going to swap out the red for Kauni or find a much lighter grey. Both colors are the same value which just isn’t pleasing.

019A1094 019A1095

I finished the last 1/3 of this hat today

another exeter

another exeter

then took photos of all of these, a few of which you might already have seen. Now I just have to update Ravelry…

Books

So far, by email Alison picked 4444, Carmen 4567. Cat doesn’t think it is anywhere as many as in her house. I think everyone so far is underestimating the number of books.

X – 148 so far….

Categories: Books & Tapes, Fiber Tags:

Books

August 8th, 2014 3 comments

Ok, so the house is now almost as empty as when we moved in. The three flew out yesterday which means I am here, all by my lonesome. I could get really snarky and make nasty comments about moms being left with cleanup but I think you already know my feelings about that. Should I mention that I had also organized help for the next two days through one of the charitable organizations that I know in Rohrbach. The young man made the mistake of showing up to check on dates/times late Monday afternoon while I was taking a nap. The DH mentioned it to me more than a day later: I have no idea why he drew on his German ancestry to be haughty, prejudicial, and nasty. But he decided that the kid didn’t “look good” and sent him away which is likely going to mean that there is no way I will have any help. The kid should not have stopped by – I told him specifically NOT to come back before Friday but if anyone had bothered to ask me…..(off soap box. Do I look like someone with no brains or in needing of “male protection for my own good?”

That leaves me with thousands of books in boxes which need moving, shelves to be dismantled and an incredible amount of trash to be policed up and sorted on my lonesome. Not a happy bunny here…  First, the starting point

first batch of shelves headed to garage

first batch of shelves headed to garage

more empty space

more empty space

empty studio

empty studio

 

By partway through the day, I could see visible progress, both on the terrace and in the studio

 

about 1/3 of the way through moving the boxes

about 1/3 of the way through moving the boxes

 

 

I started  at 0800 this morning and did fine till I was down to the last 50 or so boxes of books when I found a number which still have to be sorted by separating out the German and English kids books since I have specific places to take those. I also managed to identify a number of cartons that will go to Kleber Library either end of this month or in Oct. The rest of the books are just going to have to be donated/swapshelved at the rate of 50-100 a day on those times when I have enough energy to get up before 0600 while parking is still available to accomplish the drop offs. There are two swap shelves, so it should take me only a year or two….

 

On my right side

On my right side

on my left

on my left

 

while I was at it, I put the dining room and living room back together and took a picture of the terrace

living room

living room

dining

dining

terrace with all book boxes gone

terrace with all book boxes gone

 

The next large task is to tackle all the window ledges followed by the rooms downstairs…..

 

 

<h4>Contest</h4>

It is been a long time since I did one of these. The payout will/be dinner for two or = value in yarn. I looked at all the boxes of books and realized I have no idea how many there really remain to find new homes. So my proposal is simple – make a guess before the end of Aug on how many books there are in all the boxes. I will post numbers as I distribute them as to how many each time. At the end, we all can add the numbers.

As a general rule, 95% are paperbacks. The Xerox boxes on the one side number 54 and have an average of 30 books per box if you want somewhere to start. The larger boxes in front them of which there are two have about 80 paperbacks each. I didn’t make a count for any other box, but they range from small publishers boxes which contained 4-6 paperbacks on inbound to wine boxes, beer cases and some pretty hefty filling boxes (just ask my aching shoulders).

I mentioned the boxes on the left.  The brown box piles  average of 49″/117cm tall in the front.  That portion of the piled boxes front is about 95″/228cm deep from the back wall. I have yet to haul in the five boxes needing to be sorted. Additionally, there are 73 English language kids books that have already been separated out.

No guesses below 4000 will be accepted…..

 

If you are a fellow cruise person – specialty restaurant or shore side. Non cruiser? Gift certificate

Categories: Books & Tapes, packing out Tags:

Bye Bye Truck

August 8th, 2014 2 comments

I was fairly awake this morning when Nicko, Mike & Cisco – aka the moving guys – arrived shortly after 0800. This was about an hour early than we had seen them on prior days.Their plan was simple – load five containers this morning. While the truck makes a round trip to the warehouse with a driver, the three will pack the remaining household goods. When the truck is back, they will finish with a load and go.

All of which sort of went over my head since I was still recovering from seeing the rest of the family off at 063o this morning. Made sense, given three people and full luggage to just drive up. Rest of the plan is for me to take the train to Fraport and pick up the car when the movers are finished.

The packing list for today isn’t all that long – clothing/linen. Three locations – College Guy’s stuff, our bedroom and the trunk in the back hall.  Take apart the beds and furniture that are going and pack/wrap them.  Prep a few (more than three) spinning wheels for transport.

Let me just detour for the photos here…

living room with books gone and couch yet to be done

living room with books gone and couch yet to be done

corner couch being packed

corner couch being packed

backhall empty

backhall empty

ze couch in the container.

ze couch in the container.

half of the garage completely empty

half of the garage completely empty

 

The guys were completely done by 1800 and I was on my way to the Bahnhof. My attempt to buy a ticket and depart from Suedstadt/Weststadt was foiled by bright sun and an unreadable electronic delay never mind that the system was convinced that I wanted the rail/bus combination through Darmstadt (answer – not in this lifetime). Did I mention that there is rail maintenance work being done of the line between Mannheim and Frankfurt? I thought not but the end result was a 20-30 minute delay in all the main trains. It was after 1900 before my 1846 train to Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof actually arrived which then left me with a train to SBahn change.

 

2030, at the airport – the car wasn’t hard to find. The Eldest had done this:

the space number

the space number

the section, row and level number

the section, row and level number

and I was home, exhausted around 2200. Why go through this? Gas up – a few liters, parking 25E, train 18E, gas back. shuttle doesn’t go early enough would have cost ~20E/pp and the train the same. In either case luggage can be a real pain. They had a fine time….

if you note the large amount of space due to trading miles for upgrades

if you note the large amount of space due to trading miles for upgrades

And the end result on the shipment?

Total weight? 17457.  My limit is 18000, but the previous number includes ~500# of professional books so I actually could have packed & shipped more!

Categories: packing out Tags:

and the next step

August 6th, 2014 No comments

There were three packers today – the two from yesterday plus one more. Their plan today was to pack – just pack and they split up the load accordingly

Lets take for example the back hall. This is where we were at the end of yesterday.

yesterday with most of the media still to be packed

yesterday with most of the media still to be packed

and here is where we were at the end of today with everything prepacked and clothes positioned for the morning.

looking toward the rest of the house

looking toward the rest of the house

the back hall, looking toward the kitched

the back hall, looking toward the kitched

then there is the living room where the only thing left to do is take apart one couch and wrap two chairs.

the living room

the living room

The dinging room is now packed completely

the dining room

the dining room

and both the downstairs hall and the bedroom being used as a consolidation location is packed

 

the downstairs hall

the downstairs hall

the plan for the morning is that once again, our three musketeers will arrive, load up five containers and one will head with his load for Wiesbaden while the other two remain and disassemble furniture and pack the small amount of clothing that is going into the shipment. By the time the truck has made a round trip, the rest should be ready to load.

Meanwhile, George, the Eldest and College Guy area headed to the airport in the car. After looking at all of the options considering that there are three of them with “relocating luggage” at least on the part of one, it turned to out be easiest just to have them drive and I will take the train to pick up the car when through here for the day…..

I am looking forward to a nice, relaxing train ride.

 

Categories: packing out Tags:

Loading – Day 1

August 5th, 2014 No comments
the truck

the truck

Imagine my surprise when the two man crew showed up with their van. Not a small one this time, but a larger one loaded with five containers. Four of these were empty and the fifth was loaded with packing materials. The usual drill on these moves (trust me I have completed more than an handful) is pack for multiple days, then load and go. Not this time apparently. They felt that it might be nice to have some room to move around. That and our road prevents really huge trucks. Add in the fact that their staging warehouse is Wiesbaden more than an hour away and you start to see the challenge.

End result is that for the first couple of hours, they loaded containers from the garage. One contain completely full of plastic bins and boxes – almost all of which were generically labeled wool on the inventory. The outside of this container was marked as Studio/Garage unlike the next two which were simply labeled house and hold furniture. That is 3/5. Then there are the endless inventory lists – as each and every item gets its own numbered sticker and entry on the list.

my rubbermaid tubs

my rubbermaid tubs

mostly furniture

mostly furniture

furniture

furniture

The next couple of hours – the guys loaded out from what was already packed before tackling more bookcases after lunch.

studio

studio

and so – here we are at the end of moving day 2.

empt book cases

empt book cases

more empty bookcases

more empty bookcases

empty living room bookcase/schrank

empty living room bookcase/schrank

Tomorrow – they claim it is only going to be packing with three guys to load on Thurs….

 

Categories: packing out Tags:

Prepostioning

August 4th, 2014 No comments
the studio

the studio

It isn’t like we haven’t moved before, multiple times in fact. So it shouldn’t surprise you at all to find out that I have a few opinions on how I like things organized (a few? eyes rolling from various family members). So it occurred to me that it would be best to have things organized into groups and those groups needing to stay together in common locations. I have already mentioned at least some of this organizational frenzy, I am sure of it.

As you noticed – College Guy moved most of the studio/craft materials that were already in bins down to the garage. I had moved all my professional books to one location. This left multiple opportunities to go for more of the same.

small stuff

small stuff

So we moved (the Eldest and I) all the kitchen stuff into the dining room (which first required George and I to unearth the table) to join dishes and other dining essentials.

kitchen stuff

kitchen stuff

We emptied the remaining items from the office shelves to the living room, along with all the collectables that were hiding in various cupboards (with hedgehogs getting tucked in where ever there was room). Added additional photos found to the photo bins.

opps - lots of mugs and headgehogs

opps – lots of mugs and headgehogs

multiple  years of photos.

multiple years of photos.

Which just left the upstairs issue of media. Solved that one by hauling it all out of the living room and into the back hall.

all the media on shelf

all the media on shelf

looking forward to the morning.

Not.

 

Categories: packing out Tags:

What is up with all the rain?

August 3rd, 2014 2 comments

This is not Hawaii where the temperatures are always the same and it rains every morning between 0200-0400.  This is Germany. It is not supposed to have consistent weather. And it is most certainly not supposed to rain each and every evening complete with frequent enough thunderstorms to interfere with my life. There is enough going on in my life, thank you very much.  I keep thinking that after a day of attempting to deal with house and packing preparations it shouldn’t be too much to ask, a few hours of quiet and nice weather.

I could sit on the terrace after supper and just relax. Ok, with headphones on to drown out George’s high volume NPR from his iPad but still I might just like to sit for a few minutes. Or take a nice walk down the street without having to be drenched, carry an umbrella or have the light coating of dust accumulated from the day turn from light zombie grey as I stagger from sidewalk to shelter to slimy mud. Better to be thought the walking dead than lack of hygiene, never mind that one gets completely filthy when clearing out cupboards from which I am unearthing treasures not seen for years.

A dragon might well be happy here: I have this glass/crystal ship from Kuwait (tucked away in 2004); there are multiple DvDs of TV series from Battlestar Gallactica through Xena, Wonderwoman, MASH and CSI; there are CDs with and without cases; there are records – as in Vinyl dating from the 1960s and 70s. It is our horde of media and I haven’t even told you about the cupboard of movies.

The young man who spent the afternoon on Friday attempting to pack out the back hall and succeeded in boxing audio books and five shelves worth of books is going to find them completely filled again. The downside is him feeling like he has lost ground. The upside is that he isn’t going to have to empty cupboards, balance on ladders to avoid falling into the flatscreen which is strategically placed to block all access to the living storage which just might explain the lack of cleaning. But it is progress.

vinyl, movies, tv series.... on what was empty shelves

vinyl, movies, tv series…. on what was empty shelves

 

In the morning we “simply” need to clear off the dining room table and preposition any/all of the kitchen contents that might be getting packed as well as rounding up the rest of the shelf critters and a thousand and one hedgehogs. I am hoping it takes less than all day.

<h4>Joris = Tabaluga</h4>

I will let you judge for yourself. There is this critter/dragon that I thought might be kind of fun/cute to knit after seeing him at Schoppel. His Dutch Designer has the pattern available in Dutch and English through Ravelry. Apparently if you want him in German, you have to buy the Schoppel Knitting Magazine (which turns out to be cheaper than buying the pattern direct and includes a number of lovely other ideas). Tabaluga is a character designed by Peter Maffay who debuted in 1983. I know we still have a couple of the albums that we got when the Eldest was little.

Head and body down to the arms

Head and body down to the arms

This afternoon when I started, then finished his head I was struck with the similarities. I’m planning on finishing the body tonight, just leaving arms and legs for tomorrow as my reward knitting for being prepared for Tues.

almost finished with the body

almost finished with the body

Categories: Books & Tapes, Knitting, packing out Tags:

Taking a break

August 2nd, 2014 2 comments

Well, sort of. Maybe. Mostly managing three websites, sorting email, downloading files and spending the late afternoon at red*.  There were 8 of us, mostly regulars with a brand new person added. It was the usual conversation: Wollmiese vs Madelyn Tosh and what do you do with 60 kg of sugar.

No, I am not kidding about the sugar. One of our members words at Sudzucker. Apparently there is “distribute free sugar & recipes to employees” on a regular basis and she brought a few kilos to share with the rest of us. A couple members of the group are in the middle of putting up preserves and were more than happy to take bags and boxes of sugar. Me? I just like to add it to my coffee and would rather have brown crystals than white regular sugar.
So mostly I started on a new project and just listened to the conversations.
five fiddly points around the center point

five fiddly points around the center point

 

the yarn is crazy zauberball and the dps are 2.25

Categories: computers, Friends, Knitting Tags:

Cat & Elephant run from the Packers

August 1st, 2014 2 comments
Cat & Elephant

Cat & Elephant

 

And here it is – the first day of packing. The pre-inspection guy took lots of pictures, made an estimate of what was to be packed and agreed to have two packers start today with the specific purpose of packing all the books.   Of course, when the two showed up this morning from Wiesbaden, they had been told almost nothing. Certainly they had no idea that they would be packing out a household that was going to be close to the weight limit with more than 1/2 of it books.  Not being any dummies – they called for more boxes and started on the studio.

looks different?

looks different?

Besides the studio, they also finished the side hall.  To make things better, I took apart the pegged bookcases since they were about ready to collapse anyway.

just the books, man

just the books, man

After lunch, George’s office and the back hall (main bookcases) were on the agenda for the afternoon.  And that was the point at which we started moving around the critters living on the office shelves.

hedgehogs, fund blocks, ships blocks and mugs

hedgehogs, fund blocks, ships blocks and mugs

You see, we have things, stuffies, critters living on the various bookshelves. Perhaps they are there to guard the contents, landed there for lack of a better place or sought it out themselves to play hide and seek.

mostly Sigikin

mostly Sigikin

Some of them are new – such as these various ships’s blocks.

Independence, Mariner, Radiance

Independence, Mariner, Radiance

Some have been around for a fair number of years – like this mug that the Eldest and George bought for me when we lived in St Paul.

Elf Mug

Elf Mug

There are hedgehogs

critters no longer able to hide behind books

critters no longer able to hide behind books

& and beer steins both from Oktoberfest and some that just might have come from one or another of George’s long since died relatives.  But then I came to Cat & Elephant. They were hiding among the hedgehogs and Rosenthal mugs to avoid being packed up with the books.

After inquiring to all four offspring – Ms Marathoner acknowledged that she was probably responsible for Cat but couldn’t see that it would be safe living with a golden retriever. Maus declared it wasn’t her. College Guy said he was responsible for a handmade mug out on the terrace but he didn’t remember Elephant. The Eldest said it was College Guy and the other two agreed.

Meanwhile – the characters awarded themselves a trophy along with the right to a California move.

probably from about the same era

probably from about the same era

Categories: Books & Tapes, family, military, packing out Tags:

Comparison

July 31st, 2014 6 comments

This is going to be short – and mostly pictures from the end of today vs what I might have started from or perhaps the all time low of in the middle of the whole mess.

And yes, the packers should arrive to start the process in the morning. I have no idea if I will still be sane tomorrow evening!

But first – a small hat -
Solid color sock yarn on size 2.25mm needles. 108 Stitches. Smallest size. The original pattern is “berry” so this became Snowberry. Pictured on a doll before being sent off to the newborn it was made for.

smallest size

smallest size

Snowberry, pattern from Drops

Snowberry, pattern from Drops

But what you really need to see is the following:

First – George’s Office -

as it is

as it was

as it is

as it is

The downstairs hall -

partway through before

partway through before

after

after

The back hall -

several days ago

several days ago

today

today

also today

also today

The Studio

Studio last week

Studio last week

studio now

studio now

Then I had to find all my professional books (they don’t count in the weight allowance)

hall

hall

professional books consolidated

professional books consolidated

and while we were at it, rather than take a risk of packers dropping photos – I took a few extra plastic bins….

photos

photos

I’m not bothering at this point with showing you the dining room or living room. Those shelves are sorted, but I will do the “empty shelves and piles of boxes tomorrow….”

Categories: Knitting, packing out Tags:

Less than 48 hours

July 30th, 2014 2 comments

Till the packers come and I am much more interested in playing the occasional computer game, reading a book or making sure that I have a high quality copy of my audible purchases on a backup drive.

There are those times when the brain just gets a bit overwhelmed and I don’t want to even look at any of my dozens of free floating lists or the anxiety will just scale up sooner. Of course there are always those other errands to run which get in the way of doing what I want.

What do I want anyway? Oh yes, for it to be the 11th of August and have this whole mess behind me. Meanwhile, I walked another loop of the house making sure that the appropriate cupboards are all emptied, that a few more containers are packed and stacked, that another few bags of “stuff”are leaving for the charity shop.

I even restrained myself. No holler, yelling or screaming today. Just mostly begging. That seems to work. Flattery – that works even better…..

Categories: packing out, Travel Tags:

More coins – still no fountain

July 29th, 2014 4 comments

Where is the ability to make a wish when you need it? I have a variety of coins to contribute to the cause, but no flashing, falling, shiny water in which to pitch my bounty.

Not a marble gargoyle spitting, a stone maiden pouring or even a carved young boy peeing into a basin any where near here. Other sources of water, yes but I can’t see turning on the outside faucet and tossing coins at it only to have them all land back in m face. Dealing with any like situation in the house is what led to the washing machine catching repeatedly in the middle of a cycle and refusing to rinse clothes for the Eldest.

Coins, as we found, are not welcome in washing machine innards.

So I will just have to stare at my multiple pots of coins and make a wish – that perhaps they were all in a currently negotiable coinage?

Categories: packing out Tags:
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