Sunday, June 28, 2009

Random Pics

Just a few pics to help illustrate the busy month I have had. Here are 3 bicycles, two of which are new from the flea market on the river. Logan has been asking for a bicycle for a long time, but they are too expensive to buy for the short time he could use it, so we lucked out and found 2 bikes in good condition for Logan and Caedon.

I bought new dishes to match the kitchen.

A bill we received from UPS for a whopping 1 cent. Apparently when one of our volunteer girls paid UPS to deliver her camera she under payed by 1 whole cent. Do I send the penny in the mail or make a 1 cent bank transfer?

This outlet fried just shortly before Jonah and Jason left at the end of May for Jonah's class trip. We hadn't yet gotten around to calling someone but the husband of the couple we had coffee with yesterday, came over last night and fixed it for free,yea!
The 1500 piece puzzle I finished about a month ago. I had to document the accomplishment before I broke it to pieces and put it up to do again later.
The kids just finished up school for the year (see Dindresden blog) and so we are about to enjoy our 6 weeks of summer before 3 kids begin school on August 10th.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Correction

Just a note to add to the swimming blog a few weeks ago. The child that entered my area was in fact a boy, and that would explain the staring. I found out that the school kids all go to the "women's" side to change. Oh well, I don't think he saw more than what his mom has exposed!

The Five List

Here is a top 5 list of the things about Germany:

Top 5 things I dislike: (in no particular order, not all inclusive)

1. No bulk items. I can only get large quantities occasionally and that of toilet paper, paper towels, and detergent.

2. No yellow squash. I really want a good squash casserole and some garlic sauteed squash.

3. Almost all bottles (coke, water, etc.) have to be returned to the store for money. One usually payes .15 to .25 cents for each and then given a receipt for the sum that is then redeemed at the checkout.

4. Recycling. I don't mind the plastic and food recycling, but I have to recycle cardboard, newspaper and magazines, and glass down the street. It collects quickly and takes a lot of precious storage space, till I can get it to the dump.

5. That everything is difficult here. Nothing is very easy. One has to go to several places to get things. There is no one stop shopping. It is not just shopping either, but pretty much everything.

Honorable mention: Carts at the store have to be "paid for" with a coin and then the coin is returned when you put the cart back. Powder detergent for the washing machine has no scoop. I don't know what germans do. Most Germans don't use deoderant or bathe regularly, so there is a very strong smell, especially in the summer!

5 Things I love about Germany:

1. CHOCOLATE!

2. The old buildings, the history that is thousands of years old, the beauty of the city.

3. The climate, there are 4 distinct seasons! Snow in winter, green trees, grass and flowers in spring, mild summer temps., and reds and oranges in the fall.

4. Dürüms. They are like a gyro or kabob but in a tortilla. Delicious!

5. CHRISTMAS! Dresden has the oldest Christmas market in Germany (probably in Europe) and it is so beautiful and festive here then.

Honorable Mention: Public transportation. It is good here, albeit a little slow. But one can get to the entire city with a bus or tram. Dogs are beloved here. It is very easy to travel with your dog and they are allowed almost anywhere, especially if they fit in a bag. The german alphabet has 4 different letters that make it distinct, ö,ä,ü,ß.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Top Floor

Looking straight into what we call the Nook.

My scrapbooking area. All the cabinets are full of just my hobby stuff.

The Library part.


The school part. The kids have their art supplies and school books and workbooks,etc. under the desk.

Our Room:

Our bed

Looking straight into the room from the door with the blinds up. The roof outside these windows is a metal one and doesn't allow for the rollladen like the other rooms in the house. Therefore, a whole wall of windows facing west can be very hot!

Dresser sitting under the eaves to the right of the room.. The stairs are behind the quilt wall.

Straight in with the blinds down and the tri-fold up. It helps keep some of the light and heat out.

The bed again. The color isn't so good here, but the bed is two shades of khaki. At the foot of the bed is a trunk.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My American Hang-ups

I went swimming for the first time today. I have been avoiding it like the plague but I needed an exercise that was easy on the knees (too many stairs in the last 3 years) and relatively cheap and something I could do with someone (meaning Jason). So, I braved wearing a swimsuit and tried hard to not think about the public pool water. But what I still can't get over is the nudity! I only have to see naked women (and men in speedos, that doesn't count, right?) but it still is shocking. I was not prepared and I don't know if I can ever be prepared to see it.

Here is a little about the day:
I went into the women's changing area, so far so good! I walked around looking the locker room and once I found it, grabbed my swimsuit and towel, swimming cap and goggles and went searching for a private place to change. I look right and a skinny older woman is drying her naked body. Ok, so I find small rooms that have numbers on them but several have the door open. I guess I can just shut the door and have a little privacy. I change quickly and walk through the shower area, get wet and proceed to the swimming pool. (First naked lady to be seen, 9 months pregnant!) Swimming was fine, no problems except some of the older folk showing me up. Now, comes the challenge. I need to bathe and wash my hair. There are 2 shower rooms, both with about 6-8 shower heads. All one big room, no privacy. (Just an interesting note, the bathroom does have stalls, so I guess you won't get shy bladder. But there is nothing for shy naked people!) I peak into the one shower room and see a naked young women showering. Ack. I think,okay I will use the other room, but when you finish and need to grab your towel, you might be seen by anyone coming out of the swimming pool area! Back to the more private shower room. Three ladies are now in the room, all older wrinkly ladies. I use the restroom thinking that might give them a little time to finish. I return to find only one woman, yeah! I take my bathingsuit down to bathe, but just can't work up the courage to take it all off. I bathe as best as I can and hurry to dry myself. I return to the locker room to find another woman naked and drying herself off. Ack! I grab my clothes and keep my towelaround me and walk through the coed walkway to the little rooms again. I go into the same room and try very hard to dry off and dress as quickly as possible. About half done and a child comes into the room. It looked like a boy but I think it must have been a girl. I said excuse me but she continued to stare for what seemed like a long time. "She"? left and said loudly, "We're early". So, I walked back to the locker room and grabbed my things and left, but not before I got peeks at at least 2 other naked women.

I think I have hit my naked people quota for a while, at least till the next time I swim. Why did I take up swimming?