Thursday, August 16, 2007


No apartment stuff, but this.

More Dads making use of the opportunity to take parental leave with the new Elterngeld.

8,5% up from 3,5% in one year. How cool is that?!

I won't go into all of the reasons that this is fabulous, but I do want to add that it has strengthened the resolve of some fathers we know to take time off, and one father I know is splitting the time 50/50. He loves it.

On a much, much sadder note, I am waiting for an email from Lima to find out if a friend and his family are all ok.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Scattered but good.

Lawdy. I do not want this blog to turn into some kind of emotional Twitter.

Things are not any better than they were, and my German and I find ourselves older, wiser and back at square one, but I am strangely relieved to face it all (the housing search) with a clean slate. I am headed to Paris for the first time in two days - how sad can a girl allow herself to be?

MG left his wallet at a wedding on Saturday and it was safely recovered by S., the most organized bride ever. Even the weather bent itself to her overwhelming planning powers. (There will be pictures when we get the camera back!!) We spent Sunday afternoon with more amazing folks in little America-in-Germany. We had our rental car searched with mirrors and I touched all of the couple's American major appliances. They fed us and spoke English and once in a while, I noticed a big word coming out of my mouth. I didn't know words like that were still in there somewhere. Tonight I am headed off to yoga class with a young lady of superior courage and wit. And the weather is gorgeous.

Clearing my aborted blog posts, here is my jotting from yesterday:
Reading this my be nearly as depressing as having it happen to you. My apologies. We didn't get the apartment, but thank you for being so kind and wishing us well.
More from last week
This isn't a rant. It's a whine. Even finding a place to rent is complicated. We missed a good chance a few weeks back, and missed another one I got really excited about over the weekend. My dear German is going to one open-house tonight - the "last" one, but I don't have the impression that we are so appealing that a land-lord would be looking to take us over the "competition".

I want guests, or at least just to be able to extend an invitation instead living in my house of moldy shame. I should just be excited an glad that there are dream apartments out there, and not so disappointed because there is always a little something wrong with each of them (5th floor walk-up, no balcony, too loud) we don't look at places with yucky bathrooms anymore. I really -really- want to move on to the next big step in my life and we don't do that until we do this. So we will continue doing this.

In happy news 3 days of splendid weather and a totally decadent brunch followed by several hours in the Landesmuseum with concepts of Egyptian beauty followed by lots of Egyptian-influenced work by the Beuron School, which totally rocks, btw.

A link to the St. Hildegard Abbey near Rüdesheim - photos of the chapel.

Even if we had a place, I cannot move on, i.e. even think of reproducing until I am out of my frieky name phase. At the moment I am all about "Traudl" and "Lorelei" and "Tristan"*. We cannot give our children these names without everyone thinking we are great big na$i's**, and that couldn't be further from the truth.

* The "Tristan" obsession is not a new one. I had a secret crush as a child on Tristan Farnon from the "All Creatures Great and Small" series. The actor went on to play another BBC fave of mine - Campion.

The best part is that Tristan has become strangely popular in the past few years, breaking the top 150 names, and making me slightly less of a dork (ok, I can dream).

Want to see how popular your name was in the past 15 years (in the States)? Thank you Social Security Administration.

** Google searches amuse me, but I don't want anyone looking for neo-you-know-what material coming here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

All quiet on the Wohnung front

We are still waiting to receive word on the apartment. I didn't leave the interview with a particularly positive view of our chances, but I felt a great deal better once the interview was behind us. The landlady was quite pleasant, but I didn't get the sense that she was in any way convinced by us.

keep holding those thumbs, and thank you!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

You, press me your thumbs. . .

and I will try to keep my ears stiff.

We are going to chat with a land-lady tonight who has an apartment we'd really like to rent. We're the last ones, so we have no right to the place and although I think we would be a fabulous addition to their building (what with my objectivity and all), she may not agree.

I feel better just have written that. Nervous panic abated, I will return to the task at hand. Stay dry all you folks in the West - it is a wet one out there.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

No worries folks. We're off to Paris for a few days in two weeks and in 1 week, I get to see a friend from the States whom I haven't seen in 4 years, so it's gonna be alright.

Just Say "No" to Crack

This post could have had so many alternative titles.

Eating Mohnstreusseslschnecken to Dull the Pain
RIP Traumhaus
What Happens to a Moose Lodge Delayed?
Back to Square 1
etc., etc.

In our last stages of deciding about the apartments we wanted to buy, My German contacted neighbors from the surrounding buildings to obtain their approval for the modest deck/dachterrasse we wanted to put in off our kitchen. Monday morning he sent a fax out to one of them with some drawings. Last evening at 18:30 he got a call back from the owner of a neighboring property who lives in Offenburg saying that there had been a 6cm-crack in the shared bearing wall at some point in the past. The crack had been repaired only with difficulty and, furthermore, at that time their construction engineer (statiker) told them that no further weight should be applied to the wall. Why he couldn't have told us this on Saturday, when we spoke to him by phone is unclear to us, but there it is.

So ixnay on the achterrasseday.

From day 1, the dachterrasse was non-negotiable for us. The garden is extremely small and quite shady and I would never have appropriately managed my jealousy of the downstairs neighbors with theirs if we couldn't have one. On the day I finally decided we should go ahead and do it, we found out we won't be getting the apartment after all.

We know that we are lucky for finding this out now, and all that was due to the hard work of my dear, dear German. 75% of my little heart-break at the moment is for him. He is so disappointed. We had our (Ikea) kithcen planned! We know what we are mourning is the dream and not the reality of the house. We know we are fortunate in eachother, and that we still have what matters, but we are going to have to work through our disappointment for a few days.

Re: work
I have sent out two apps for positions at the university, but generally we have decided to stick it out where I am for the moment because maternity leave will play a role in our future IF (when, when - it just feels like if) we can ever find a place to live. Give us a few days to get emotionally back on track, and we'll get back to looking, maybe this time for an apartment to rent. I worry there about not being able to rent anything in 7 or 8 years because a lot of landlords refuse to rent to people with children, but today's struggles are enough to busy me for today.

. . .doesn't kill you .. .stronger
darkest. . .dawn
humor best medicine
At least we have our health. . .

They may all be true, but I am going to eat some more Mohnstreusselschnecke.