Good morning from Germany. Many of you aren’t up yet. I’m feeling happy, blessed and lucky this morning! So many small things have happened over the last two weeks. As many of you know the small wins are big wins at this time. This may be a long one. Sorry John I know that you hate that.
We moved into the house so we did not have to struggle in the small space of the hotel any longer. We have temporary mattresses from the homeowner we rent from. Since none of our containers have arrived yet, we went to IKEA and purchased the basics. Blankets, sheets, pillows, pot, pan, cups, plates, silverware & towels. So basically everything we would need to get by until the containers arrive. Each bed had been made in each room, but the kids did not like the emptiness of each room, so we moved all the beds to our living room downstairs and we are all asleep by 9! John and I are looking forward to the arrival of the containers so the kids are comfortable enough in their rooms.
I am happy to report that my dryer is AMAZING compared to the hotel dryer and it definitely dries everything faster. They are still smaller then the US though, so wash is a daily endeavor.
When we first got here, I was FREEZING during the day. John’s colleague came over and helped to read the directions on the heater (all in German of course) and he was able to set it so I am no longer losing fingers and toes! so Ralf was my savior! Thank you Ralf.
I have become a pro at making fires in our awesome fireplace! One of my favorite features of the house, as many of you know since I post an almost daily photo of my fires! Silly John said fires only on weekends! That has not been going to his plan. They sell wood at the local food store! I shop at Edeka and Lidl. Edeka I take the train to on my way home from dropping the kids to school. It’s the stop before my house. Other days I walk 5 minutes to Lidl. I try to break up the heavy items needed by day, since I carry everything home.
I have attended two morning coffee meetings and a PTA meeting at the kids school. Everyone there has been very nice and informative. I have met other parents and teachers and admins. Duncan’s class “mum” is so nice. This Monday she is taking myself and my new friend from SC (mentioned previously) to an area with local English speaking doctors and dentists, then to breakfast at a French pastry place and then to lunch with about 20 other moms from the school. I HAVE PLANS! So exciting. Last Friday I went SHOE SHOPPING! With Megan from SC! Found some cute boots, got to the register only to find out they do not take VISA or any other card, unless it’s from a German bank or cash. I had to put my boots back! So sad. Not to worry though on Saturday the family took the train back there and my boots were still there, plus a pair for Kendall and Duncan. Comfortable, waterproof, warm shoes are a must for Germany! John still has his squeakers, for those of you that were wondering. I have never been a part of the PTA, because I was always so involved with work and just never had time. It did not disappoint as there was drama from the first day. That’s a story for another time, but wow the way it is represented in the comedic movies, based on FACT!
The kids and I have been threatening John with getting a cat. The other night I was looking outside at the lake and I saw a shadow moving around the back yard (garden as it is called here) and it was a CAT! Duncan said quick get him! I did not. He was too skittish. He did come by another day. He is probably a neighbor’s cat but it’s ironic that he has been showing up. Kendall and Duncan think they are going to catch it and keep him or her!
Recycling is an education in itself here. You have Blue plastic bags for Paper, Yellow for containers (cans, milk cartons, chip bags…), Black for bio (banana peels, egg shells, apple cores…) maybe black again for all other items (not sure I get this one yet). I need to get inside bins for all of these items. All glass needs to be brought to the bins (luckily for me up the street by Lidl). There are specific bins for clear, green, brown glass. Soda and water bottles you pay .25cents per bottle deposit, so you return those at the machine for store credit. I think I’ve got it down. I’ve tried to figure out the schedule for when to put these items out for garbage pick up… the website is in German and I am finding that challenging. So that will be a job for next week!
I have also posted some photos of the sunrises on our lake, I love it! So amazingly beautiful! And we have DUCKS! They are afraid of me, I have tried to feed them twice. One time I saw one in our little cove, so I ran out there with some bread and he was so scared he dropped the little fish he just caught and flew away! Upside, I saved a fish!!! The next day two of the ducks came to the little pond right outside of my back doors. As soon as they realized I was there taking photos they left. I am getting some bird feeders, there are so many flying around and I am also going to get those ducks to like me! The setting of this house is like a dream, it’s so beautiful… I cannot believe it. I am amazed by it every day. Once it’s furnished it will be even more amazing!
Internet was hooked up this week! AMAZING, contact with the outside world and our tv. (we have a firestick, with Directv app, with a VPN, all connected through the internet) The internet technician and myself had some struggles communicating. My friend Tobias came to my rescue and called and spoke to the technician on my behalf! Thank you Tobias for saving the day! After the technician was done, he called his girlfriend to fill me in on what he did and give me directions. She is from the US and is at the university here in Germany. We found a way! It is frustrating so don’t get me wrong, while it all worked out with the help of others, I wish I knew German and it can be lonely and scary when surrounded by a language you don’t understand. It’s amazing to me how many people here do speak English. Every day I try to learn more from the kids and their friends and from strangers I meet. If you try to understand and try to speak German they are very helpful and want to help you.
Quick funny story, I am told that ice cubes are not a big deal here… so of course the first trays we saw we purchased. When talking to Megan about it, she said, so you have the fish shaped ice cubes from IKEA… must be the official ice cubes of ExPats! Because YES, those are the ice cubes I have and we are not the only ones. I have not seen any other kinds of trays! Hysterical.
Good news our containers (ocean and air) should be delivered on Thursday to the house, just waiting on confirmation. My Amazon Echo is working, so I can dance away while cooking, that was a happy win yesterday! We watched the Deadpool with the kids last night that was supposed to be child appropriate PG-13… it’s not really. Just a heads up for anyone wondering.
I will share some photos and I will try to write more often now that I have internet! Field trip this week with Duncan! It’s really great having this time with the kids and I am trying to make sure I am as involved as possible! OH yes and Kendall is on the Floor Ball team (indoor hockey) and will be in a tournament. She has also been added to the girls soccer team as a goalie! She has a tournament with them in Italy in the spring! Crazy! A lot of letting go here for me and you all know that is so hard for me.
Miss everyone! xoxo
Shout Out to Laila Boo! We love you! Happy Birthday!