Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Goodbye Easter, Hello Spring!

For the first time in a long time, I took the whole weekend off. It helped that I was kind of forced to by the Easter holidays. Here in Southern Germany, it is a 4-day weekend, so we had to hit the store for our weekly shopping on Thursday before everything shut down. I worked a bit on Friday, and then I could do whatever I wanted for the rest of the weekend. The world of possibilities was a bit overwhelming, to tell the truth. But I was able to narrow the list down pretty quickly by finishing a sewing project.

Baby blanket

I crocheted the last few rows, wove in the many, many loose ends, and washed the blanket, so now it is ready to go in the mail to another friend whose wife is expecting in June, I think. I'm thinking it should get there in plenty of time, but one should never underestimate the power of the Postal Service to screw shit up.

I also dug out a dishcloth I had started. I am trying to learn to knit, so I have been working my way through a book of 16 different dishcloth patterns. I bought some cotton yarn in bulk, and I think I have enough to make 8 cloths. Which is good, because Germans don't seem to use dishcloths--at least, I can't find any to buy--and ours are getting threadbare. This ends up being a two-fer for me.

knit dishcloths

Many moons ago, I started recovering the cushions on our dining room furniture but never got around to finishing them. That was the third sewing project I pulled out. Unfortunately, since it was Easter weekend and Germans take their quiet hours *very* seriously, I decided to wait to pull out the noisy sewing machine. But I will probably do that the end of this week or next weekend. Also, all that pinning and cutting of upholstery material was making my hands sore, so it was just as well that I only put in an hour or 2, tops.

The one thing I could work on without making a lot of racket, though, was cleaning the bathroom floor. I have become obsessed with getting the grout in the upstairs bathroom clean. I don't know who planned this place, but the rooms downstairs have light tile with dark grout, and the bathroom upstairs (there's carpet in the other rooms) has light tile with white grout, and it looks grimy all the time. So I bought some grout cleaner recently and have taken to working on small areas that look especially grimy in between my editing work. Then over the weekend I put in quite a bit of time and elbow grease scrubbing that cleaner into the grout and washing it back off. I haven't finished the whole bathroom yet, but the results are much better than I had hoped for. (A few weeks ago I made a similar attack on the shower stall. I guess Spring Cleaning is here.)

Hannah decided that there were certain meals she wanted to eat and she would cook them herself, so John and I are off the hook this week. She made up a meal list and grocery list, we took her to the store on Thursday, and she has been (mostly) in charge of the kitchen. So far, we've had delicious meatloaf and mashed potatoes, homemade meatball pizza, and a pasta dish with basalmico vinegar and turkey that she came up with herself. Talented!

In between all the scrubbing and sewing, I managed to put some time in to get my Animal Crossing account up to snuff. But then yesterday I actually had to work--the horror!--and by the time I was finished and wanted to play a little AC, John and Hannah had the tv tied up with one of the Dan Brown movies. So sad. But Hannah would watch Ewan McGregor reading the phone book, so it was to be expected.

Today I need to work on my course planning. The semester starts next week, and John will be gone at a conference, so I have to have my ducks lined up before then if I want to keep a grip on everything. And now I'm off to plan.

--Nee in Germany makes the other characters on Animal Crossing say "I suck" just because she can