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Maybe ready, maybe not

December 17th, 2014 No comments

(try two – the first vanished which hasn’t happened to me in a while)

Procrastination has to end sometime and I hit my limit about mid-morning. Since I am leaving for San Francisco tomorrow I really need to finish packing and attempt to find places in all the luggage I am schlepping for my clothing and stuff.

Yes, I did send George with one bag of things for the kids but it certainly did not all fit into one bag. So here I am with a second bag packed for everyone else. Gummi bears, cookbooks, chocolate, various assorted fabric things, and some wool for friends in California (yes, you know who you are). The bag is not exactly light, but I can lift it. Besides since I have really excessive limits with Lufthansa, I see no reason not to take advantage of them. Duffle bag with stuff. My suitcase with some clothes, lebkuechen, nutella, a bottle of coke (don’t ask). The extra backpack as carry-on (which actually belongs to George) is stuffed with the rest of the goodies. Since the front section will hold a computer I am thinking of stuffing mine there since my normal backpack has all those essential electronic items like the extra GPS, cameras, chargers, lenses and yarn for padding. Oh, yes. Meds, cables and connectors, can’t forget those.

Now if I could just settle on which knitting projects for the flight, I would be all set. A couple of things are on fine, metal double points and I just don’t see risking losing needles to the security personnel. I can always start another hat on circs. Or a shawl, not that I don’t have enough of those.

Wait, I know! A Cowl to go with my hat! I have plenty of black and white…. which I might not be able to see on the airplane. Gee – I think 0500 is going to arrive awfully soon…..

Categories: home, Travel Tags:

and it is a crown!

December 16th, 2014 No comments

Went back to the dentist today since our attempt at placing what the dental lab said was my crown had not been successful.

I like my dentist, which I certainly can’t say about all the dentists I have had over the years. She is really young (late 20s-early 30s) which is really young from my point of view. Brisk and efficient, she explains what she is going to do, why, and then does it. No fumbling, no poking or hesitation, just quiet competence which I really appreciate. Unlike some other dentists, she doesn’t seem to have the need to fill silence with the sound of her voice or chat about non-relevant issues.

Perhaps other people like a chatty dentist. But for me, I want 100% of her attention on what she is accomplishing in my mouth. I view all the rest as potential distraction (kind of like driving and talking on the phone).

This crown is different than my others. It is porcelain backed on a metal base. It means that I don’t have another shiny gold crown which is more than fine with me. Not that I care that much about appearance at this point in my life but I would rather not have it appear that my teeth could be of serious value to someone else with the current price of gold.

Walked to the dentist, walked home and managed to have a significant number of my steps recorded by my FitBit (which is one of the few that still seems to be working of those purchased in Aug). Followed by a serious dose of meds which killed both my migraine and the rest of the day.

Categories: home Tags:

Living in one Room

December 12th, 2014 No comments

Sometimes I don’t understand why I get so hung up about having a house. About wanting to have rooms, and space and stuff. Well, let is back off about the stuff for the moment.

I have spent a significant amount of my life living in one room. In fact, I am willing to bet that most of you have done the same. If you are currently dealing with children, teenagers or college students – since the dawn of the electronic era, any of the above mentioned off-spring/grandchildren/etc would much rather be behind a door than out in public. Especially if it means that they don’t have to share.

Most of us growing up had a room (bedroom) which, unless you were an only or your family had money, was shared with a sibling. That room was felt to be yours and all jokes about Keep OUT! signs have some basis in reality. In either case, having a door that shut the rest of the world out at least sometimes defined your space as a room.

After high school/secondary school if you went on to college you had a room. Rarely could you afford more. If you headed off to the military, you thought back wistfully on having a room (barracks, no matter what you call them including Dorms, are not the same).

After that it varied. But the goal of most growing up was to have your own room/space/whatever. But then reality sets in. If you travel for work, that room strongly resembles a hotel/motel if you are lucky. If not and it is a deployment, well then you are stacked 2-4 high with dozens to hundreds of your new best friends. Senior enough and you might actually have your own room; something to be prized. (see 1998 comments on Hekkebine and Davidson Huts, 2003-4 discussion on trailer 1/2s and 2010-2011 about old housing areas with personal cells/cubicles vs shiny new with bunkbeds/roommates and down the hall plumbing.)

At this point you probably have no idea where I am going? I have been traveling by ship. A room there is called a cabin, but it is still that individual space. But this is not about sea going at all. It is more like my little corner of the world.

Similar to living in basically one room while in the UK even tho I had a whole house (well – never mind that no one could afford to heat more than one to two rooms which meant lots of wool and the highest indoor temps of 14*C) I find that once our bedroom is cleared out, I am perfectly happy there. Not that I wouldn’t enjoy a comfortable chair with reading/knitting light, but I have everything I need. Comforter, electric power strip for laptop and other assorted chargers. Ineffectual overhead lights are more than compensated by a really strong light near the headboard.

Since I found the second house phone charger (in the corner under a laundry basket) I don’t even have to chase down the house phone on the rare time that it rings. So here I sit, phone, laptop, iPhone, knitting, a very interesting course on networks (with math) being watched in 20 minute increments alternating with a weird audio book while I knit. I have just about everything I need.

Except George. He is in Switzerland.

Categories: home Tags:

The fridge is just

December 11th, 2014 1 comment

going to have to wait till tomorrow. Since I have’t done much of anything with it for a more than is reasonable time it is not like it really matters. All the lab experiments gone wrong and the left over Thanksgiving food hopefully will not explode out of their containers to stage a zombie like take over of the house prior to the morning.

And if they do? Well I will concede the field!

You see, I had a dental appointment today at 1100. It was to be my last with placement of a crown. (note the foreshadowing here?) Since it was cold and raining it seemed like a perfect day to hike and run all my errands. Right? After all, I am the possessor of winter rain jacket, umbrella, glove and hand knit hats. It really isn’t all that far. Really.

Except for the stop at the bank. It seemed like a good idea to have Euros rather than rely on Australian, Korea, US, UK or any of the other currency currently floating around my bedside table or in my wallet. It wasn’t that far out of the way.

When the crown didn’t meet my dentist’s exacting specifications a return appointment was made for next Tues. I really didn’t care about the color but she is right about it being a millimeter too high even after fussing. Long term that just means that my bite would be wrong and I would manage to crack it.

So there I was on the street with my temp cemented hopefully firmly in place. This made it absolutely easy to hike down Bergheimerstrasse and into the city center where I could make stops at Kaufhof (Galeria and other wise) looking for light weight/non-black pants for Africa, cashmere sweaters on sale and chocolate.

Further down the pedestrian zone I found a hoodie for me on sale (and put it on). Did I mention it was chilly and raining? Nothing exciting at Wolle Roedel so my next to the last stop was the Baerentreff, AKA the Gummi Bear store. By the time I managed to find places to put all the gummis – I was seven kg heavier in packages and decidedly not in the mood to tote boxes of Lebkuechen.

Failing to find any change in my wallet, pockets or bags I started my plodding way home. It was still raining so I walked down Ploch rather than deal with the main pedestrian street, hiked up and down stairs to get to Rohrbacherstrasse and ran out of steam just about even with Kashmir Take Away. It was warm inside. The Palak Paneer was fabulous as was the Tandoori Vegetables. Finishing with a hot cup of tea I watched a family obviously new to Indian cooking try to decide what to eat as well as feed to the one and three year old. The suggestion of Chicken Korma and Palak Paneer seemed to work out just fine as the kids were shoveling food into their mouths and the parents weren’t overwhelmed by scary spices.

I stayed warm past the cemetery. By the time I was cold again our corner was in sight. Just happened to have keys in my pocket so avoided stairs in favor of the elevator. Still, it meant I was most happy to make a warm cuppa and deal with books, computer and knitting for the duration of the day curled up with a nice comforter.

Perhaps you would enjoy contemplating gummi bears in 500 gm bags?

lots of 500gm bags

lots of 500gm bags

Or the Vienna and Heidelberg chocolate collections on offer when we reach California?

scored in Vienna

scored in Vienna


today's haul

today’s haul

Categories: home Tags:

I’m excavating today

December 10th, 2014 No comments

Not in the back studio which is still full of boxes only decreased by the dozen or so books I managed to foist off on Zandra in Nov.

those pesky boxes of books still hanging out

those pesky boxes of books still hanging out

Not in the piles of papers – those have already been sorted out. Since the paperbin was emptied yesterday by the lovely trashmen from Heidelberg there is plenty of opportunity for me to fill it.

papers to be recycled

papers to be recycled

Nor am I speaking in general about a house decorated in hangered clothing –

shirts on most of the doorknobs

shirts on most of the doorknobs

No, I am tackling that portion of the bedroom which belongs to by husband. In his defense, he did start on it after we returned from Vienna. I don’t understand the tablecloth, either plastic container lid or  the  ….. but I am sure there is a good explanation

the guilty corner

the guilty corner

What I find infinitely more interesting is the contrast between men and women in hanging up shirts. It isn’t just that there are buttons on opposite sides of the shirt. I have no idea who the not-so brilliant fashionista who dictated such a thing, but it is a pain and results not just in a difference in how shirts are buttoned but which way they are placed on hangers. I would go further down that particular rant, but it really wouldn’t make any difference. It falls somewhere outside the realm of understanding. Just like the inability to button the top button on the shirt when placing it on a hanger.

one closet of his shirts

one closet of his shirts

my remaining shirts

my remaining shirts

I can understand the distaste of adult men for buttoning that top button. That is, when the shirt is worn because the only way it looks decent completely buttoned is when accompaigned by a necktie. No question why the presence of a noose around the throat is not a welcome addition. But seriously, the hanger doesn’t care. Shirts buttoned all the way up are more likely to stay on the hanger.  It also makes it a bit easier to fasten that top button when accessorized with the aforementioned tie. But what do I know? My shirts have buttons on the left and scarves are much more reasonable, especially since I need to keep those top few buttons undone.

But I have found the floor, folded most of the clothings – leaving only his suitcase ready for Sunday’s stateside departure. The empty clothing tree and a basket now full of empty hangers are still on my target list.

3/4 of the way finished

3/4 of the way finished

 

 

Bet you thought I was talking about the fridge. No, but stay tuned for tomorrow….

Categories: home Tags:

survived that one, or is it dodged?

December 2nd, 2014 No comments

which was not all unexpected. Back to the dentist today for the next to the last step regarding the tooth that went crook last Nov while I was in Australia. Cavity, broke. temp filling on return needed to be replaced. Root canal etc.

It has been a long haul but all the prelim has been done and should finish up with the crown next week. I would feel more comfortable about the end being in sight if the temp cap on my tooth would deign to stay in place. Failing that – I think that toothpaste as a temp holding is probably pretty safe.

I can think of much better ways to cut down on my non-exist use of chewing gum..

On other fronts, the Lufthansa pilots strike (my bad spelling and the word checker keep wanting to insert “polite” which I just don’t think is valid) should be over tomorrow sending me on my way to Vienna. I haven’t decided for certain, but am likely going to drive up in the morning. Leaving at 0600 give me a few more hours of sleep than the 0547 train and will make it easier for George and I to get home from the Frankfurt Airport on Saturday night.

Packing took all of 5 minutes.

Remember when I sent all that “stuff” to California? I was tired. All of it went. I have cruise clothes here which means that I have almost nothing for “nice” with regards to colder weather. Glad we aren’t doing anything that dark hiking pants/jeans and a nice sweater won’t suffice.

Of course, you remember I mentioned lacking the shoe gene? It means I am also lacking anything dressy for shoes……

Categories: home Tags:

Which jeans?

December 1st, 2014 No comments

I don’t have a fashion gene, a girly gene, shoe gene or dress up gene any where in my makeup. I have no clue how my three daughters have managed to survive and grow up in site of having me for a mother.

Fashion sense? Well, lets just say that I will never, ever be invited to join the Country Club or any group of “Ladies who Lunch.” I don’t do glitter, sparkle, bling. The fact that I am completely oblivious to fashion designers has not lent cache to my desirability as a table companion. It has also spared me the fate of the shivering twits who look great, or would look great if they were’t tuning blue while standing outside in a line during winter. I get that short is cute, but why not wear a coat when the temperature is below freezing?

Anyway, there are a few basic rules that somehow sunk in somewhere along the line. White shoes are for summer, dark for winter. So as I unpack my cruise suitcase and get ready to repack the small one for Wednesday I am left with an unanswerable fashion question. Does the same idea hold true for jeans? Does it matter? I certainly don’t care, but inquiring minds would like to know if I should I be putting away my comfortable pale denim jeans away for the winter in favor of darker blues?

Categories: home Tags:

Not my cup of tea

November 23rd, 2014 No comments

I don’t know why I was so brain dead as to book this cruise. I like the ship. Don’t get me wrong on that. Rather I didn’t expect being overwhelmed by poorly behaved children old enough to know better. Or maybe I should just lay the blame where it belongs: on their parents who seem to abdicate their role in favor of being absent or “friends.” The first number I was given was 400…. but it turns out that 600 under the curfew age seems a lot more realistic. That is a significant number of school age children not in school. As it turns out – one of the Louisiana Parishes has school vacation this week. Makes sense – nothing is likely going to be learned in a three day short week. A week off now and in the spring is probably a better compromise than one and a half or two weeks in the spring. Most of the children, however, are just missing three days of school.

Now, I may not always have been the best of parents; but I have four fantastic young adults who, when growing up, were always welcome everywhere. It didn’t occur to them to run, scream and shove in public halls. They didn’t get on elevators just to hop back off after pressing all the buttons. And most certainly they didn’t spit, throw things or deliberately spill their drinks on the floor. I don’t think I can really take credit for them. Perhaps it was growing up in Europe. Maybe just that none of their friends severely acted out in public.

I just wonder what this new group of parents are going to be able to say in 10-20 years. Are they going to be as extremely proud of who their children are? Are they going to be delighted at their personalities, accomplishments and considerations of others? Or are they going to wonder why everything seems to have turned out like a Country & Western Song?

Categories: home, Travel Tags:

why couldn’t it have waited just one more day?

November 5th, 2014 No comments

There are those times when you think that inanimate objects might, just might, have a life and will of their own. Rationally it makes absolutely no sense what so ever but in reality, how can you otherwise explain things that break just when you need them the most?

Case in point. We have a good washing machine. Front Loading, energy saving and really quite cooperative as long as a few basic things are done. It is always smart to empty pockets, but I know that it doesn’t always happen. Things that are water soluble make a mess, but aren’t deadly to the machines innards. Coins, on the other hand, can plug up a hose. It has happened before. College Guy fixed it.

This morning I hauled a rather large basket of clothes to the laundry room, sorted out the first load and started it. Went back down an hour later to find that the load had stopped with the digital display saying “EEEEEE [some number]“. Plus half a tug of water.

I did mention that it is a front loader? After attempting to check the filter and cleaning up the water which spewed on the floor I tried to pull the filter out. Turn counter clockwise (anti-clockwise for you Brits) and pull. Nada. Waited a few hours till the West Coast checked in by Face-Time to confirm what I needed to do. Yep, pull the filter. It was not cooperating.

When George got home he proceeded to tell me to pull out the filter. A little while later, he came upstairs. Filter was stuck, but managed to empty out about a gallon of water.

So here I am, packed for tomorrow which turned out to be a rather creative undertaking. All my normal cruise wear was in the laundry basket as well as my favorite jeans and tops. Since most of my clothing is in SF, it makes in challenging. Perhaps I should just take this as an opportunity to pack more yarn?

Categories: home, Travel Tags:

Halloween

October 31st, 2014 2 comments

In case you are wondering – I am in Vienna attending an international conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases. George and I drove to the airport, my flight was fine but earlier than his. The CAT goes directly to Vienna Center and the Hilton is across the street.

What I had assumed was that Halloween is essentially (in the current commercial form) a US issue with creep into the rest of the world.

In the US – with Photos supplied by off-spring not counting on redistro –

What yo get in Vienna is pumpkin soup

with a bit of bite

with a bit of bite

and drunks with/without costumes out on the street making what to them is glorious noise till all hours.

Friday – should have thought of that!

Categories: family, Travel Tags:

Off! and done….

October 27th, 2014 No comments

I felt my self become lighter and lighter as I managed to get off the Oasis in spite of there being no directions and no signage. Now I can understand why they don’t print the Gangway the night before – something might change. But is there anything wrong with signage? With something in their TV announcements?

In stead there is a button in the elevators that says “Gangways.” Ok, that works for all the people who take elevators, but what about the rest of us? Or perhaps a sign or five when you get off the elevator? It is a rather large ship and that might eliminate scads of people randomly milling around knocking into everyone else with their baggage.

Ah well, I had figured it that it was going to be Starboard (since my cabin was Port and overlooking the water) and midship figured to be a good bet. I didn’t quite dance down the gangway but it was close. Since all I had was my 19″ suitcase and a backpack self carry turned out to be brilliant. There were issues getting the luggage off the ship….

Anyway – took the shuttle to MIA. Took the Hilton shuttle to the MIA Hilton. Left my suitcase with the Bell Captain and hiked to the Post Office via Office Depot. They were out of tyvek mailing envelopes, but had bubble nylon envelopes. Since the Post Office turned out to be out of the good mailing envelopes (must not be the only one who turns them inside out…..) this also turned out to be a good idea.

The clerk at the next counter was a local young woman, my clerk with 28 years in the system is originally from Peru. We discussed hats, scarves, real winter and to remember that Lima is not characteristic of his country (big city = bit city). They both found the idea of someone walking in with $56 in change as a welcome event (me in Aspen). Meanwhile, packages to Coral Springs, Touano, Annadale, Brooklyn, Chicago and Berkeley to arrive anywhere from tomorrow to Sat.

I’m about to take the shuttle back over to the airport and hang out in the military lounge till Lufthansa opens its counter ~1400. Free Wifi is always good…..

Categories: family, Knitting, Travel, yarn Tags:

Packed again.

October 12th, 2014 No comments

I have been home for over a week which leads to the obvious follow on question. Yes, that one. And the answer is that I am off to Rotterdam tomorrow morning. Given a choice of 5-6 hours on trains or dealing with Heathrow and Southampton – it should be obvious which I picked.

This time it took me the better part of the day to get organized. Finding and packing clothing wasn’t all that hard. Sorting out which yarns to take along to mail in the states for gifts took a bit longer. Please ignore the time spent printing out patterns, sorting knitting needles and otherwise digging through my hard drive. So I will not discuss the new books downloaded from Amazon, Audible or both.

This trip is only 13 days – Rotterdam to Southampton to Vigo (Spain) to Ft Lauderdale. Translates to a lot of sea days in a row which is just fine with me.

In other news – I finally fond both the charging cable and wrist band for my FitBit so back on line with that. I also located both parts of my Jawbone Up and am thinking about comparing their sleep logging function.  George also talked to the lovely folks at Host.de. I now have double the server space at ….. wait for it…. the same price as before. Apparently the tariffs have going down and I didn’t notice.

Just like I didn’t notice where I had tucked my electronics when I unpacked. Nothing like spending an hour or so tearing apart several rooms in a frantic search for an external hard drive. Not any one you have to understand but the specific one that has all my patterns and audio books and Coursera Vidoes… It was in the living room cupboard along with the 5D that is not coming along on this trip. Smaller backpack, 19″ carryon and perhaps a small bag. Backpack should be empty of all the yarn by the other side of the ocean which should give me space in case I need it….

Categories: home, Travel Tags:

Of course their plane was early

October 7th, 2014 No comments

I meant to check the arrival for DL14 from Atlanta last evening. Oh, wait! I did check it, and it said it was on time. Due to arrive 0740. So when my alarm went off at 0600 you would think I had a lot of time. Pick up friends at the airport? Easy-Peasy.

Then I reloaded the webpage. Flight now due in at 0650. Doesn’t compute. Even given that it normally takes 40-60 minutes to hike from the far end of nowhere, get one’s passport stamped, tramp to the baggage carousel, wait for luggage. Wait for luggage some more prior to man-handling it off the belt and escaping to arrivals Hall D.

So, let’s say that if I leave right now (which I did) I should just about make the drive, park the car and be there about 0745 (right when that plane should have landed).

I didn’t know about the construction involving the access ramps onto A6 from B656. By the time I was hung in traffic 2 km short of the Autobahn it was a bit late to change my mind. We also will ignore all the insane sludging and slow downs that occurred for no apparent reason. (Dominos falling anyone?). And the back up involving all four northbound lanes of A5 (don’t ask – A6 seems to vanish and become A67 which goes to Wiesbaden at the juncture of A5 & A6) which lead to still more delays.

Terminal 2 – I can find Terminal 2, where it would have been nice to be able to easily find parking rather than having to jam my car into the only remaining place on the entire deck. Right next to the guy who didn’t manage to stay within the lines. I might not color within the lines – but parking in someone else’s space is just rude.

Dashing into the Terminal and beating feet upstairs, Clint & Zandra weren’t in Arrivals D. They weren’t in Arrivals E either. On my third pass from one side to the other I spotted them. Easy? (grin) Two very American looking people with backpacks and a couple of large suitcases complete with yellow Cruise Critic Straps.

Trip home was a picnic after that.

I only get to keep them till Friday. Tomorrow we will tour a bit of Heidelberg, Thurs a look around Speyer.

Would you believe that I even cooked dinner?

Categories: Friends, home Tags:

Bags!

October 5th, 2014 No comments

Luggage, Suitcases, duffle bags, whatever. They had been located yesterday, escorted to a Lufthansa flight and directed to behave themselves till disembarking in Frankfurt. Lufthansa has a delivery service. My bags will be brought to me.

Bags? Yes, two. Normally I don’t travel all that heavy and certainly I didn’t start out that way at the beginning of the trip. But this was the northern crossing. The one that stops in Norway, Shetlands, Faroes, Iceland. How could I possibly visit these ports and not pick up wool, books or both? And then there were the sweater requests. Several were mailed off by friends in the US leaving me with just two that made the trip with me.

But still, there was wool. And books. And finished projects that came back to Germany and unfinished projects which weren’t completed through lack of the correct yarn. All of which meant I was coming home with more than planned.And towels. Remind me, exactly why do I persist in having towels be my gift from Royal? Perhaps we actually have enough towels for now….

Categories: home, yarn Tags:

Home

October 4th, 2014 No comments

Yes, plane last night. Boarded, took off, stretched out and didn’t bother with knitting, reading, food or drink for the entire flight.

Arriving in Frankfurt, George came to pick me up and waited patiently while I stood at the baggage carousel. After hanging out for a long time and feeling quite stupid, plus dizzy from watching all those bags (none of which were mine) go around and around I looked for Lufthansa’s baggage office.

For once, I actually found my baggage check tags which netted us the information that my luggage was in JFK. Not much use to me but I hoped it had a nice time visiting with all the other bags. Obviously my luggage was having too good a time to make the flight. No question (I asked) that my bags were tagged for Frankfurt. The guy helping me thought it might be the changing from Air Canada (I checked the bags in Quebec City) to Lufthansa; Terminal 7 to Terminal 1 or just the amount of time between flights. Apparently too much time might be just as risky as too little. In any case I didn’t see any point in hanging out till morning and gratefully accepted my ride home.

I really don’t remember much of the rest of the day. My rhythm was completely thrown off – what with no laundry or unpacking to capture my attention. So perhaps there might have been sleep, or Thai food or both.

Categories: home 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:

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:

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:

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:

Found objects

July 28th, 2014 7 comments

It is totally and completely amazing how many treasures appear when one is organizing and cleaning. Now we will completely ignore the yarn, fiber, patterns and fabric treasures. We all know about those hidden jewels, most of which are not all that hidden but easily forgotten: yarn bought by the bag at Ally-Pally because it was such a good deal with no project in mind; the rest of the bolt because it cost the same as 4 meters, those bright pretty braids of hand dyed wool seen hanging at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. All of which tells you how long some of those treasures have been hiding in bags, bins or cabinets.

But some found objects bring back good or interesting memories –

the long missing US pay-as-you-go stateside phone

the long missing US pay-as-you-go stateside phone

For example, there was this phone I purchased in Reno while at Renovation in 2011 which disappeared into the house sometime last fall. So there I was in the US this past Jan without a stateside phone. It turned up in the “important basket” on the dining room ledge. Now I remember putting it there, in a place where I could easily find it.

Then there are the various knitted objects – socks which saw a lot of use and a couple of hats which I think may still be pristine!

There is a princess dress still to be hemmed

costume for one of the girls? some time in the 90s?

costume for one of the girls? some time in the 90s?

A mitten (one of four) which I remember being on small hands that first winter we lived on Schlossberg and the kids went sledding down the cobble stones directly in front of the house.

hand puppet/mitten also mid 90s

hand puppet/mitten also mid 90s

And then there are the treasures which I brought back from various deployments, including handknits from BosFam (Bosnian Family Coop) of which Alison is going to have her pick this coming Decemeber

socks bought at BosFam ~1998

socks bought at BosFam ~1998

Categories: Knitting, packing out Tags:
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