Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hello from California

Well... we're here. No photos because I haven't set up my camera on one of the computers here ,but I hope to manage at some point. This morning I managed a good walk for the first time. Very positive. Not only do I need to walk for the health benifits, but I think it helps get over the jet lag as well. My dad lives one block over from the San Francisco Bay and there is a walking path along the water. You could not ask for a lovelier view to walk to.
Our trip here was rich in adventure as our trips tend to be. The flight (once we got on it) was good. We had great seats and it was the quickest flight from Frankfurt to CA that we have ever had. Only ten and a half hours. I don't know if our plane had turbo or the pilot thought he was Mario Andretti , but it was very pleasant. Our troubles, though, started at Munster airport as we were trying to board the first plane of the day and it was discovered that Alexander's passport had expired in March. This is one of those moments where one wonders what planet one has been living on for the last six months- certainly not this one! How could I have missed this? I honestly have no idea. The load master started to unload our bags and the woman who was supervising the bording , started making one phone call after the other in an attempt to find out if we would be allowed into the US with an expired US passport. The answer (at the last minute) was yes, and we were ushered onto the plane to the voice of the pilot explaining to everyone that we had lost our place in the take off line up because some people (us) where trying to travel on the wrong documents and the removal of our luggage was taking a few minutes, and as soon as it was off,we would proceed to take off. . He kindly explained this in two languages so that every one would know that we were at fault for any delays.
The plane actually took off only about three minutes late and one of the flight crew kindly (truly)informed me that in spite of what the pilot had said our luggage was still on the plane.

The rest of our trip was uneventful untill we reached CA- exept that we had to explain the passport situation to about twenty people, but they were all very nice about it. When we got to CA we managed to get ahold of a wrong suicase- which wasn't so bad for us ,but apparently the bag we had, had already been missing for three days and some poor woman was probably going nuts wondering where it was. The story of the exchange of bags is a huge blog in itself ,but I will leave you with the fact that the bags did get exchanged, although my bag had been "gone through" .

I then proceeded to spend HOURS on the phone trying to figure out how I am going to get Alexander back to Germany. I originaly thought- no problem. I will go fill out the form and renew his passport- no big deal, but no- because he is over 14 but not yet 18 he is in a passport no mans land. The requirements for a passport for a child of this age are a little wishy-washy. Partcularly if he was born and lives in a forign country. Also they kept saying things to me like :You just need his birth certificate and the fathers signature. There is no "just" about this, his birth certificate is in Germany and in German- they want a noterised English copy, and his father is in the Congo and not coming to Californina any time soon.
The fact that had I been aware that his passport was expired , I would have gotten him a new one before ever leaving Germany and as a consequence of this I left my home with out all of the proper documents to get a new one seems to escape everyone (in an official capacity)I talk to.

We have now decided to forget the American passport untill we are back in Germany and can apply the normal way, and are going with the German consulate who, while still wanting documentation, are willing to give him a one time entry document that will get him home.
For this I need his birth certificate, which my neighbour kindly went into my house and retrived and then put in the mail to me, a noterised letter from my husband and a noterised copy of his passport. and a couple of pix of Alexander. The documents from my husband are much easier to get to the German consulate than to the American State department because he can have them sent directly, through the diplomatic way , from Kinchase to San Francisco. Even there ,it is not his regular passport but a diplomatic temp that he is traveling on that I hope they will accept.
Is this complicated? Yes. Is it making me crazy? Yes. is it my own fault? Yes- but could sombody help me out herre just a little? I am supposed to be on vacation!!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

All you ever wanted to know about packing a suitcase ,but were afraid to ask.

Here are my finishe 1776 socks- I think I finished them on Thursday , but the camera was one of the few things I had actually put in the suitcase. I had to go dig it out from under the pile of stuff I had dumped on top of it. Am quite hppy with these as they came out close to identical. I need to remember to put the camera back in the suitcase now :-)
I am madly washing clothes, running the dish washer and trying to figure out what time to take my suitcases to the airport. Early check in is from 6-9 pm. but the F1 race is fron 7- 9. Pretty much however I time it, I am going to miss most of the race. I do want to do it though, it saves a lot of time in the morning, as boarding for our first flight is 5:30 am. I still have to finish packing , I just keep winging things in the suitcase and I guess when it is full I will stop.
Okay , I have to stop , I have jumped up and down about 14 times. I still have way too much to do :-0 My next post will be from CA.
Everyone enjoy your summer!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Not a good blogger

I am afraid I am not a very good blogger at the moment. The boys and I are leaving for California on Monday and I am trying to get ready. It is not really that much ,but I am feeling a bit overwelmed. I finally have most of my shopping bits done but Nala still needs to be brought to my girlfriends, the kids have their last day of school and I have a friend and her son coming for the day on Sunday.
I also need to clean things out of the fridge and put things into the suitcases. I put a bathing suit in one suitcase and then set it near my closet in the hope that the rest of my clothing would migrate to the suitcase in the night. Just in case you are considering trying this- it doesn't work.

Alexander managed to get sick on Monday evening and I had to call the Dr. at 10:30 pm and he stayed until 12:30am-it was quite exiting- not. Threw my my timing for the week of though. I usualy work at the library on tuesday but as I didn't want to leave him home alone- I traded woith someone for this morning. Which means that I should be getting ready to go instead of messing about with my computer:-) so here I go.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

More birthday presents!

Yesterday , I received yet another birthday present- I am such a lucky girl. Cheryl sent me the Red Velvet Sampler chart which I have been drooling over and some resd white and blue sock yarn that I couldn't find around here. Isn't she a sweet heart? I think so. Thank you so much Cheryl. The floweres are not a birthday present but an "end of the school year" gift from one of my English students. Sweet.
We have had a slight break in the hot weather- this is certainly due to me having purchased two fans yesterday. I even put them together myself, breaking a nail in the process , but never the less feeling good about providing my kids with some cool air. It is still very warm and we had thunder storms all night so it is very humid today. But, I always sleep well when it thunders and rains .
It is a holiday in Germany today so I slept late and am now lounging around in my pjs- must pull myself together and take my silly dog for a walk.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

More Birthday Stuff

Here are some wonderful bits I received from Annemarie. I have actually had them for a couple of days but thought they deserved their own post. I didn't have any of this , so not only was it kind and sweet of Annemarie to send me these birthday surprises (which it was and she is ) but she was inspired in her choices. Thank you sooooo much, Annemarie and Jula and Pelle.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Two more things I can cross off my list.

My finished square on Barbara's NRR and a pair of socks. The RR is based on a chart by Linda Meyers called "Willow Hill Farm". I changed a bit ,left out a lot and added the bunny who is of my own design. I was able to "design" my own bunny only after seeing one that Annemarie came up with, and then thinking really hard about what it looked like. There are probably a thousand charts with bunnies just like this out there - but i don't own one, I discovered after paging through about a meter of cross stitch charts, books and mags. I like it though and hope Barbara does as well.

The socks are my "Starbuck's" socks as that is where I cast them on.They are made out of Austerman Step with aloe vera and chestnut.They are really soft . I was worried that the colorway would be totally ugly but ended up liking it. They are very obviously fraternal ,but as I was worried about them being ugly anyway I wasn't too worried about that. Maybe the next ones will match.

Friday, June 09, 2006

5 things

Nabbed this from Barbara's blog
5 things that are in my fridge:
yellow American mustard,
sweet Bavarian mustard,
a jar of chocolate orange spread from Barcelona that soundd better than it tasted,
a bottle of Berentzen's that belongs to Cheryl

5 items in my closet:
a 22 year old, pink, sweatshirt that says "big weenie cafe" ,
my high school diploma,
a child sized violin that both my mother and my grandmother learned to play on,
a black knit dress,
my life jacket

5 items in my purse/handbag/ tote:
I am using a small purse right now and carrying a tote extra eveywhere I go- purse first:
prescription sunglasses,
German driver's licence,
three Clinique lipsticks,
pink cell phone,
a coupon for a chinese restaurantin San Rafael California from last year- used,
an Ikea card

In my tote:
knitting project,
stitching project,
bottle of water,

5 items in my car:
bags of shoes for the old clothing collection,
a small pillow liberated from a large airline
a blanket liberated from a different large airline, but from business class-quite a nice one,
a cool pack from when Patrick hurt his knee
pink, blue tooth head set that matches cell phone

5 people to tag:
Any one who likes this kind of silly, time waster- like me:-)


Sorry if I haven't commented on your blog lately- Blogger, my computer, the stars, all seem to have been playing against me . I hope things have taken a turn for the better.
I think this will be a short entry- I should be getting ready to leave for my hair appointment-by this I mean I should at least put on clothes and brush my hair. People here are quite critical of others who run around in their pjs .
I did not get as much done over the four day weekend as I had hoped- do these things ever work out the way one hopes?
Oops- the post man just showed up with yet another package from Amazon, with yet another sock knitting book. Just happily combining my hobbies.
Okay , while Blogger was uploading my fotos , I managed to get dressed and brush my teeth and hair. Each with the proper brush! I even managed to find a top and bra in the same colors. Important because I have no shoulders and people are often treated to the sight of my bra straps. If they are the same color as my shirt I can pretend it is part of my look- right? Okay maybe not.
The scissor fob for is for an exchange and has been sent to Australia- I haven't heard that it has arrived yet ,but I don't think the recipient reads my blog. The socks are for Moni and I mailed them on Wednesday- they didn't have to go very far and should have gotten to her on Thursday ,but I haven't heard from her either. She should definitly get them today, but I don't think she reads my blog either:-( I was able to cross one project off my list as it was a replacement for someone else and they are going to do it themselves. In this way my list is actually getting things crossed off of it. I was going to say shorter, but I keep adding things to the bottom.

I would also have more time for stitching if a certain person (can you guess who?) wouldn't break ketchup bottles in the family room and cause his mother to spend two days cleaning the sofa, carpet, walls etc.. because we keep finding more drips and splats. Maybe the kids could just stop eating atogether- think of how much time that would save- shopping, cooking, ceaning up after- no, it's not going to work. Ah well., off to the hairdresser.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Michael has made it to the Southern Hemesphere

First of all - as you can see I am trying a different font and color. I must be feeling creative today.
The picture is one of my favorites- My three "men" taken Christmas 2004. I use it on my monitor as wallpaper and I never get tired of seeing it.
On Thusday, the first, Michael and his boxes and bags were picked up by car and driven to Brussels. The next morning he flew from Brussels to Kinshasa, which is the capitol of the Congo- the bigger of the two that is on the right when you look at the map. He will be there for three months ,helping the Congalese goverment organise and set up an IT system. I have talked to him twice and he seems quite stunned by the whole thing.
We are medium well traveled people ,but he says it is like nothing he has ever seen or experienced before. The first thing he said was : It is hot and dark. The heat was expected but the fact that he is right below the equator and the time of year, mean that it is pitch dark by 6:30 pm . The other thing is that he (we) have never experienced people that poor before, and the amazing contrast of people who either have nothing or live in mini palaces and drive Rolls Royces. The other thing that he noticed right away is that everyone seemed happy and friendly. A lesson for us in that it is proof that wealth and happyness are not the same.
My four day weekend is not going quite as I planned as I have ended up driving the boys to the movies, going bowling with them and promising Alexander a movie tomorrow. I have also done tons of laundry-it feels kind of wierd to be washing Michael,s clothes, ironing his shirts etc.. and knowing he won't need them for three months- and also that I won't have any laundry from him in that time.
It makes the three months seem very real.
I did manage to walk both yesterday and today and to get some things on my "finish" list finished or at least worked on. I will save all of that for tomorrow or maybe I will wait untill Wednesday and give a report about all that I have finished in the last week. I would like to be able to repot then that all seven things on my list are finished and things in the mail etc... but I would be content if half were finished. LOL
I just remembered I wanted to say something more about the peacock. Yes, he is very loud- but I actually like it. I am not a peson who sleeps well and I enjoy the screaming peacock day and night- makes me feel I am not alone. Also- I said "our" peacock but he doesn't belong to us , but is part of the farm we live on. Right now we just have one peacock and one peahen but have at different times had up to five.