Saturday, November 15, 2008
- Another slow-ish week. Here I was bragging about how we were doing a lot more sightseeing and going for hikes, and two weeks in a row we haven't done anything. This afternoon, we're planning on doing something, though.
- We did go to Carl's mom's last weekend. She got some medication for her bursitis from the doctor, so she's doing a little better, but still wasn't up to much walking around. It's helped more during the week, though, and yesterday she went to Omi's (her mother's) grave to put fall flowers on--there's a German Memorial-Day-like holiday sometime this month. We usually tend to meet her there, but since she went during the week, we weren't able to. We'll probably go sometime over Christmas.
It's always an interesting thing going to the cemetery. For one thing, German cemeteries are different from what I'm used to. The vast majority of the graves are about a meter square with a foot-square stone in the center with just the person's name and dates on it. Sometimes there'll be a flower or something on the stone, but no epitaphs or anything. Only cremated remains are buried there. The tending of the little plot is up to the families, or sometimes they'll pay a fee to have them tended to, so there's quite a variety of styles, and there are a few sad ones that are all overgrown. There are a handful of larger graves, of the type I'm used to, and then there are the cheap ones that resemble bus station storage lockers, with brackets outside for flower vases.
But the most unusual thing, to me, is that the graves are almost all temporary. Instead of buying a plot, you just rent it. And when the time is up, if nobody in the family renews the lease, the remains are removed and somebody else can rent it.
- Carl had Monday off, though Camden had school, so we took a drive to Kaiserslautern to do a bunch of errands. First, though, we had lunch at our favorite Thai-Vietnamese restaurant. The owner was happy to see us, and the food was fabulous as usual. Then we stopped by Diva's vet's and got her prescription refilled (she takes hormones for incontinence), then went past the Mercedes dealership to get an oil filter, and to the on-post garage to get the Mercedes's oil changed.
The reason for this is that oil changes cost over twice as much at a German garage, but the American garage in Heidelberg won't service Mercedes. The one in Kaiserslautern would, but they didn't carry the filters.
- Then Monday evening we went to see Disaster Movie with Camden. Click on the link to see my review. I really don't want to think about it again. *shudder*
- Camden and Carl both had Tuesday off, so we went to the Rhein-Neckar Zentrum so Camden could look for a Christmas present for Curran. We didn't find what he wanted, but I did find a cool pair of hiking boots , and we went to the cafe in the Karstadt and had Kaffee & Kuchen (cake & coffee). Well, actually, I had coffee, and Carl had cake. Camden and I had cherry-and-cream-filled cream puffs, and Carl and Camden had sodas. But it's the idea that counts.
- Even though I had a 5-day weekend--that is, 5 days in a row of not having to get up at 6 a.m.--I was more sleep-deprived this week than usual, and even getting out to walk Diva was a chore. So I didn't get any more raking or curtain-sewing done this week, and I seriously slacked off on the exercising. I'm determined to get things back to normal this week, because with the holidays coming up, I can't afford to end up with a relapse.
- We did a recon mission yesterday evening to the AAFES (PX) furniture store in Mannheim. We'd looked for it a month ago, but couldn't find it, but they're having a sale and we need a new mattress, so we were motivated to finally find it.
Unfortunately, Frances didn't like the GPS address provided on the website, and it required a lot of driving around and looking for signs. We did eventually find it, and then had Frances point us to somewhere to eat. We thought we'd go to Pizza Hut (yeah, I know--but we've been in Germany a long time, and sometimes it's nice to have American food), and Frances took us right downtown Mannheim, to the Fußgängerzone. The Pizza Hut was gone, but there were tons of döner stands. We found one that you could actually sit down in, and had döner (Camden) and lahmacun (Carl and I). The flavor and style was a little different from what we were used to in Miesau, but it wasn't bad, and the french fries were great.
- So this morning, we went out and bought ourselves a new mattress. We had to buy from the PX because German beds are completely different and don't have the same sizes--and the PX not only had a sale, but had a $100 off coupon if we got there before 11. It was 10:55 when we checked out. LOL Nice, though, we ended up saving $150. They didn't have it in stock, but we were able to buy it now and pick it up in two weeks. Not a big deal.
Then, while we were walking around checking out the furniture/toy store afterwards, we found the thing Camden wanted to get Curran for Christmas. Very cool.
- Speaking of picking things up in two weeks... I thought that was how long it would take to get my new glasses. I had my eye exam last week, but I got a phone call on Friday that they were ready already (another AAFES thing. There's no such thing here as LensCrafters or Pearl Vision, where you can get glasses the same day. And you really don't want to go to a German optometrist--glasses tend to be outrageously expensive here.)
So we stopped by the optical shop and I waited in line while an adolescent girl was trying her hardest to get her parents to give up on her new glasses. I wonder how long it'll take her to lose or break them. Her poor mom was at the end of her rope, you could tell.
And then I picked up my new glasses. (I'm not as good as Dagny at taking pictures of myself.) I'm not sure how I feel about the style, but boy, it's nice to be able to see again. I was really shocked at how much my prescription had changed in the past 4 years. My near-vision is still fine, though I could get bifocals or progressives if I wanted, so I could read without taking my glasses off, but my far-vision has gotten quite a bit worse. After 30+ years without my prescription changing at all, this was a big surprise to me. I kept thinking I couldn't see things because of the CFS, or, more lately, because the coating on my old glasses was all spotted and scratched.
The optometrist did warn me, though, that the new glasses would be difficult to use on the computer, and he was right. He did write me a prescription for computer glasses--less strong to make it easier to see the screen--but for now, I'm just using the old ones at the computer. I've ordered a pair of glasses with the computer prescription from Zenni Optical, and see how those work. They were $18. Good grief. If they turn out okay, I may just buy myself a whole wardrobe of glasses.
Categories: WeekendUpdate, AboutMe
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