Sunday, May 27, 2007

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

We were at the park with our friends and they were raving at how beautiful the dandelions were right now, both kinds the yellow ones and the white ones. He even went so far to suggest that the city should use them in their flower beds around town. The whole time Marvin was thinking how much everyone in America dreads these pretty yellow flowers appearing in their yard.

Finished Upstairs

Well Marvin and I are pretty tired of remodeling right now and the last couple of days seemed to stress us out big time. I really am a patient person, but I wanted to literally hit one of the repairmen when he tried to tell me it was so simple to have a roll of linoleum in the middle of the kitchen floor. All you have to do is roll it to one side to get into the freezer and to the other side to get into the cabinets. I don’t know if it was the pregnancy hormones or what, but I seriously wanted to hit him.

So despite all this let’s focus on what is finished the upstairs, hip, hip, horray!!! I decided to snap a few photos of the finished rooms, which is harder to do than you think. These are the best shots that I managed to take, but at least you can see the wall paper. I keep telling myself that sometime soon the downstairs will look like this too.

Yard Work

Marvin has done a great job planting our garden and getting a few beds landscaped in the yard. This year Marvin planted broccoli (it’s been so long since we have had fresh broccoli!), spinach, corn, potatoes, carrots, peppers, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, we are trying watermelon again even though locals tell us it doesn’t grow here. We can’t wait to be able to eat some tasty treats from our garden. Marvin has done a great job taking care of the garden and it is looking great this year. Our strawberry patch is looking promising this year, and I can’t wait. I keep looking out our bedroom window each morning to see which one will ripen first. There is nothing better than a fresh strawberry straight from the garden. Marvin however needed some mulch for our pepper plants and tomato plants and he kept eyeing some overgrown grass in the ditch by our house, so he finally worked up the nerve to go cut some. We laughed at his gypsy move as we often see gypsies with their horse and cart in public areas that need to be mowed just helping their self to the grass.

Marvin has had his work cut out for him pulling weeds. Any free time he gets he is outside pulling weeds from the grass, and there isn’t just a few every now and then they are very prevalent. He has been making headway though and the end is in sight. Unfortunately he spent a little too many hours in the sun and turned a little lobsterish, but it seems the redness keeps going down, which is makes life more comfortable for him.


Perhaps is my new favorite word in this language, it seems to help when the odd suggestions keep rolling in. For example I was at language the other day and my teacher asked me if the morning sickness had stopped. When I told her it had she informed me of why I was so sick. Apparently there was something bad in my digestive organs and so when the new food mixed with the bad things in there I threw up. This is when I used my favorite word “Perhaps.” I seriously had to try to not laugh, she was very serious. I then told her that I read it was hormones and now they are different since the placenta is working. I am sure she had the reaction to my explanation.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

A day in the Park

It seems like smells really get to me now, but I am happy to say, I can now make it to the market without a Kleenex held up to my nose most of the time. So Marvin and I decided it was high time for a date out of the house. The beautiful weather lately inspired us to take a stroll through the park, something that most of the locals do regularly. It was such a busy day as everyone was out and about enjoying the beautiful weather. I also was very excited about stopping to get a fountain drink at the Coke Can Stand. Fountain drinks are hard to come by in our next of the woods, but during the summer there are there stands that are in the shape of a Coke Can that sell fountain drinks. It is a real treat every now and then, and saved me several times when I was standing out in the heat waiting on public transportation home, so I was super excited to see that a few had opened.

So Marvin and I were enjoying our fountain drinks when our friends Ute and May called to see if we wanted to go to the park with them, so we met up with them and took a long stroll through the park. We first took a turn on the turtle paced Farris wheel and then decided to take the lift up to a hill that overlooks town. After we finished the lift we walked along the river to the last lake in the park and got our share of views of men in their underwear/speedos. Apparently that is how you swim here. We finished out evening with kebabs near the lake and as we were making our way to a main street to catch a taxi we saw our first wild hedgehog. The poor thing was so afraid and wouldn’t unroll itself no matter how quiet we were, so we gave up and finally made it home at 9:30 to enjoy some strawberry shortcake! It was a great date!

Views from the Fortress

The Kitchen Hill

Over the last month the kitchen floor has been swelling. For some reason when they lay linoleum they don't rip out the old floor first they just lay the new linoleum on top of the floor and don't even glue it down. While this seemed strange to us when they first did it we didn't question it. Then a few weeks later the middle of our kitchen began to rise creating a big bump in the middle of the floor. Marvin and I think that there must have been water in the wood that was always there, but with the air circulation it was able to dry the boards out without them warping, once covered with linoleum there was no circulation and thus the bump developed.
The first picture you can see which boards where warping as they look them out so we weren't tripping over them. However they semi took up the linoleum, and left this roll in the floor that we now have to dodge when we are using the kitchen. The problem with this little roll is we can't just roll it up to one side, as we either can't get to the cabinets or open the freezer, so it remains in the center of the room. I about face planted into it the other night when I woke up so hungry and sleepily made my way to the kitchen for some milk. Apparently that isn't a good idea when you are extremely tired and there is a roll of linoleum in the middle of the floor.

Marvin and I decided it would make a great hill for matchbox cars races, or even a good step aerobics step, so that you can get some exercise while cooking. Unfortunately those are a thing of the past and they will have to rip up the floor and lay a piece of plywood/particle board down to fix the problem. This means that they have to take everything out of the kitchen once again. What a nightmare. The last picture is of the dining room where they ripped the floor boards out and while they were out getting buying the board for the floor I snapped a picture.

Bathroom Upheaval

Our friend "Sledge" was back to rip out all the tiles in the bathroom floor and he finally finished last weekend, so they started mudding the walls to prepare them for the tile work that will take place. As they were working they noticed a problem with the sewer line and began to investigate it. What they found was that the line did a little squiggly action for some reason and was starting to corrode, so in order to fix it they had to tear out the floor to replace the entire sewer lines, which lead to a huge pile of rubble in the bathroom floor. All of us were very perplexed at why they would put a sewer pipe that had so many turns, but like a lot of things here they just don't make any sense.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

A little Randomness

All the apple trees are blooming in our village right now and we have a few blooms on our strawberry plants so summer is very near. Even though we have had beautiful weather apparently it still is not sandal season, as I was scolded yesterday for not having my feet covered. Apparently all the locals know when it is time to change to the next shoe; they just don't let us in on this secret. It is funny because I saw a lady who was probably around 50 wearing fishnet stockings and sandals and apparently that is okay but just bare toes is a thing to be concerned about right now.

So the upstairs bathroom has been finished for over a week, and there is still water dripping from the lines of the toilet. Even if we turn the water off a drip persists, and our small bucket quickly filled up, so my brilliant husband constructed a water drainage system into a large bucket using a plastic Pepsi bottle, but when we forget to turn off the water, we have a wet mess on the floor. I forgot to turn off the water today and when we came home I was greeted to water everywhere in the bathroom. GRRR!!!! We hope the remodeling crew comes tomorrow to fix this problem.

The hot water heater is out of the downstairs bathroom, along with all tile that was on the wall, the toilet, bathtub, sink, and heater. So hopefully the tile work can begin this week and we will be closer to the end of this remodeling process. With the hotwater heater out we are having to boil water for dishes. I am sure the repairmen think it is crazy that we are using plastic plates at home, but I am all for the least amount of dishes right now without hot water.

Marvin got a few strange looks when he hooked up the sprinkler he bought. I haven't seen any sprinklers anywhere here, people just stand around with a hose and water everything.

I was on my way to class the other day and took the 18 to get there, which goes down a busy street and I saw a dog pooping in the middle of the road. I can honestly say I have never seen that before.

I also went to the doctor Friday and she asked me how I was feeling and then got out this needle like blunt object and told me to stick out my hand and she proceeded to poke my hand and told me to tell her if it hurt. It did so I told her it hurt and she asked me to point where it hurt, so I just picked a spot because it hurt in a lot of places and she looked at my hand and said yes it is your liver. Then she poked the other hand, and I wasn't going to tell her it hurt because I was afraid she might do to me next. So the conclusion of this little test was that only the right side of my liver has the problem. WHAT?!? Then she used this small needle object and poked my ear, and then massaged them and told me that I needed to do this every day. She also had my lie on my stomach and then popped my back and massaged my shoulder. The only good things that came out of this visit was she weighed me and measured my stomach. I left there thinking, did I just pay her to massage my ears and poke my hand? But she's the best we have in town, it's kind of scary!

You still can't tell I am pregnant and I am in my 16th week. Every night before bed I ask Marvin if he can tell yet, and usually he says stop arching your back. One of these days he is going to say yes and I won't even be arching my back. I am starting to feel better, or so I hope. Monday and on have been sick free days, PTL.

City League Basketball

Marvin was so excited when he was asked to play on a city league basketball team. He loves any chance he gets to play ball. Surprisingly a group of old guys with bellies won the league tournament today. If you just looked at them you would never know that they could play basketball, but everything they shoot goes in, it literally is amazing. He enjoyed playing with a few people who actually know a thing or two about basketball and he finished the season today with his big appearance in the all star game.