Friday, December 03, 2010

Busy, busy

Today I spent the first part of the day running errands. Xmas is just around the corner, you know, plus I needed to pick up some medicine, do some insurance stuff, buy some shampoo--you know, errands. I was mostly successful, so that was nice. I came home tired but with a feeling of accomplishment.

When John went to clean the stairwell this afternoon, he realized that the bucket has been sitting out on the balcony, in the sub-zero temperatures, ever since we had our shower repaired. Sitting full of water. He thought it was frozen solid, but it turned out only the sides and top 2 inches were frozen. So now there is an enormous ice cube (or partial cube) melting in the bathtub.

Hannah has been watching the adventures of Chad Vader on Youtube. She got a Star Wars (Clone Wars) advents calendar this year, even though it has no chocolate in it, just cheap plastic toys. She has been bitching about the makers' sloppy attention to detail vis-a-vis light saber colors, etc, yet happily drags the bits of plastic around with her the whole day at school.

After the recent round of antibiotics, I have been feeling great energy-wise, but have recently started having digestive discomfort. I read that is pretty common until you build the flora in your gut back up. Since I originally came by my intestinal flora by passing through my mother's birth canal, and I don't think I'll manage it again that way, I have been drinking priobiotic yoghurt drinks, but I probably need to be drinking them more often. I asked John if he would share his flora with me by taking bites off my food.

I need flora, any flora!

John did not seem disposed to help me, for some reason. So I'll just have to do it on my own. Plus, I picked up the proton pump inhibitor my doctor prescribed me. That keeps you from making too much stomach acid, so I'll see if that helps, too.

And now I am off to watch the first movie from the Netflix-type service John set us up with.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Many returns of the day!

Happy Birthday to my seestor Kee! May your family and your ulcer be well-behaved. *smooch!*

Disaster strikes!

In a small way. Hannah cooked us a delicious spaghetti dinner on Monday. She put the noodles on the table. She put the sauce on the table. She went to close the leftover container of tomato sauce and managed to knock it off the counter, sending the plastic lid onto the hot burner and sauce down me, her, and the length of our galley kitchen. Luckily, John was making salad behind her, so he avoided getting splattered. Hannah and I had to strip off and soak our clothes before sitting down to eat.

The next day, I put the wet clothes in the washing machine on the spin cycle before washing them (otherwise it gets unbalanced), and in the 10 minutes they were spinning, I splattered my sweater with ketchup. (My pants, too, a little, but I didn't notice until later.) So that got rinsed and thrown in with the other bespattered clothing.

Speaking of laundry, I may have to murder our cats. They are inveterate pukers (one is long-haired, and hairballs are now the bane of my existence), but when I found cat puke in one of my shoes recently, that was the last straw. I don't mind them puking on the rag rugs (which is part of the reason I bought them), because those can go into the machine, or on tile, which is easy to clean, but when they start puking on other things, then I get hacked off. I've started threatening to turn Eliza into a muff after she dies.

I finally had a chance to pick up all the leaves that had fallen off my citrus plant. It had dropped over 50 leaves in about a week. I didn't even think it had 50 leaves on it. It is looking rather threadbare at the moment, but the poinsettia is looking good.

This year, I planted a slightly different variety of flowering plants in my window boxes on the downstairs balcony. There was still some statice and lobelia alive at Thanksgiving, so Hannah made a tiny bouquet out of them for the table. When I planted the carnations, I didn't realize they only bloom in the second year. The poor things are partially covered in snow at the moment. I have no idea if I should move them, cover them, or what, but if they survive this winter and my half-assed care, they will be the hardiest flowers I've ever had.

And it is snowing again. I need to return the key to the people I was catsitting for, but I really don't want to travel around in the snow if I can avoid it. Maybe I can take it by tomorrow when I am already going to be out and about (if I manage it).

-Nee in Germany has petty complaints, in the larger scheme of things

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The freelance life's for me

I am finishing up a freelance translating job that is pretty big--an 84-page (photo-heavy, it is true) promotional piece for the nearby university hospital. This is after finishing a different promotional piece for them that was also 84 pages long, plus plenty of photos. Now I've been asked to give an estimate for another translation from one of the hospital's departments. So I guess they liked my original translation enough to pass my name on.

When I am wrapping up a project, I start to get a slight panicky feeling, in case the work dries up. But so far, that hasn't happened. Small jobs pop up here and there, during and between bigger jobs, and the bigger jobs show up fairly regularly. So I guess I shouldn't give in to despair about the irregular nature of the job.

Editing is my real love, my vocation, but translating is starting to grow on me as well. At first, I was worried that my German wasn't up to snuff, but I didn't take into account the fact that I am as stubborn as a terrier when it comes to figuring things out. I might not know what a certain term means, or have seen a certain expression, but I will take the time to look it up in several places and tease out the meaning, and then take the time to look up the context in English and figure out how it is talked about there. I love looking things up, so this is rather up my alley. Plus, the proof of the pudding is in the English, not the German, and I can totally rock the English.

I am not rolling in dough with this job (at least, not yet), but it has kept us from being pinched when things like John's dental bill or our car repairs have come up. All in all, I am glad I have started doing it.

-Nee in Germany works in her jammies part of the day

Monday, November 29, 2010

Free from the tyranny of the cat!

Well, just the cat I have been sitting. Her owners should be back from a delightful snorkeling vacation in Egypt later today, and boy, will they get a shock. It has been snowing since the day after they left. We got a break yesterday, and the sun even came out in the afternoon, but it has been snowing non-stop since after Hannah left for school this morning.

Except for making the daily run to feed the cat and translating, I haven't been up to much. It was John's turn to wash the dishes and do the grocery shopping over the weekend, so I didn't even have to do any of that. I spent most of the weekend curled up in the armchair, powering through the last phase of a sewing project. The rest of the week's worth of evenings should see it done. Then I already have another project in mind--a friend's daughter is going to have a baby in February, and a crocheted baby blanket should keep me out of trouble for another month or so.

Poinsettia watch 2010: I added a second plastic bag at night (an IKEA shopping bag), and the pink leaves are getting even darker. I don't know if it'll make it all the way to red (or if this plant was even red when I bought it), but it is still an encouraging development.

-Nee in Germany has an unobstructed view of the snowing, snowing, snowing...