20 March 2010

What I've been doing (instead of blogging): Decorating, Classes, Listening and Luxuriating

  • We put up two wall cabinets in the kitchen, with glass doors, from Bauhaus. So now I know that the rest of the kitchen isn't from Bauhaus, because their Buche laminat has better grain than our other cabinets.
  • The German also put a face plate on the dishwasher, while cursing the entire time that the included template didn't work. Luckily, he has the heavy duty drill and the end result is great.
  • Only 30 months later (in Germany) plus a few years, we framed the INY posters I got from a co-worker who worked on the program and got them up on the walls. Beautiful. NY is such a fabulously diverse state. The framing was a journey of discovery, because framing is pretty expensive. We went looking for frames at Ikea, but their frames are expensive— even the ugly ones. And the size was way off: Standard German size is 100 x 70, but the posters were actually 91x61. When we went over to Bauhaus (they open earlier than the local frame-shop we were going to check out), we discovered that a custom frame would be in the 200€ range (with a mat being 40€+) and that even having it dry-mounted on styrofoam (styropur) would be 145€. However, Bauhaus had the strange size of 93x63. and the kind framing lady cut a piece of black stock to fit exactly: when we put it together, I'm not even certain the gap would have been visible, but it just went together perfectly. Each frame plus paper was under 28€. I'll e putting 1 more up and then a great Dragon (made of)  Origami poster.
  • I unpacked all four remaining (in the apartment) boxes in an (ultimately unfruitful) search for my last remaining missing appliance — now the German will need to check the cellar but at least the apartment is cleared. After we get back from the Easter hols we will do the clothing changeover and the plastic boxes waiting for the switch-over will also be gone.
  • No, not German classes. When B.1.2 kicked back in the week after we moved, I just didn't want to live in a tip. I contacted the VHS and they agreed to roll my enrollment forward until June, the next time that Berliner Platz 3 will be the text used. I am reveling in my time.
  • First was the sewing class. I have been wanting to learn to sew since before leaving the States. Hard to do when working and then with the baby and then packing up to come here. But a group I belong to had a member just start a series of one-offs and I saw it in time to sign up for the class this month. Fortuitously, it turned out to be sewing for kids and I made a pair of summer pants for T1 and sewed a matching embellishment on a T-shirt. It was fun! Amusingly enough, I found it far cheaper and better (because the instructions were in English) to order my new Brother sewing machine from the UK: even with expedited shipping it was only 2/3 the cost of buying it in Germany, and that with the bonus throw-in of a sewing kit and some extra feet.
  • Then was the Crepes class. It was booked up but I sent an e-mail off to the organizer and she had so many folks interested she ran a second class. Now I know how easy crepes really are, I also know why my stir-frys were always "ehh"— heat not high enough— and I have a large baggy of crepes in the freeezer to pull out, thaw, and use for either savory or dessert.
  • I recently read The Echo in the Bone and at the end, I was so annoyed by the cliff-hanger ending I wasn't certain if the book (in English, purchased in Munich) had been printed properly or if there was a missing chapter. So I started wandering about the Internet and discovered that, strangely enough, Diana Gabaldon would be here, in Berlin next week. Quite short notice to find a babysitter. At first, it seemed that both of our regular sitters wouldn't be able to make it and a friend stepped up and said she would take the girls overnight. But I was concerned that they would not go to sleep early enough on a school night and that it would be a real problem. Luckily, one sitter was able to clear a schedule and I wound up having a very full day: first the crepes class, then grabbing the girls, making dinner, driving to Mitte, finding parking, enjoying the lecture (which I will write up in another post) and then getting back, which was an experience in itself.
  • While running about yesterday (visiting the recycling center— close enough to the apartment that going there with large goods is easy— we stopped at our local McFit and the German fell in  love. An entire fitness center with only weight machines and cardio on the ground floor, with the 1st floor being nothing but free weights. So last night, while I took my first bath in the apartment (it's really deep! the water is really hot! the bathroom is really warm!— two radiators!) with a vanilla pillar candle burning and a Self magazine (is there a more frivolous read?), he went there, registered (in 2 minutes), and worked out for an hour.
  • After which we called our parents and watched Brothers and Sisters. This is what life is supposed to be like.
Earlier in the day I made chicken soup  and an avocado cucumber salad (thanks Alice). So now I have stock for the coming month and chicken for chicken salad. 

I love my apartment. I love my kitchen. I love my full-size standing refrigerator and standing freezer. 


Fiona said...

I am in awe of all of your accomplishments!
You have inspired me to sort out framing for some of our photos and pictures still languishing in boxes (and we moved house a lot longer ago than you.....).

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you've really settled in nicely. Your bath sounded especially inviting. Looking forward to reading about the lecture.