Thursday, August 30, 2012

One Room at a Time - The Kitchen

Scott, Alex, and some friends did a great job of getting things into the house, now I am trying to put my personal touch on the rooms, find permanent homes for "junk," and get the house cleaned after being gone for so long.

First room I attacked, of course, was the kitchen.  I declare the kitchen finished!  Well, except for that fact that the new refrigerator and dishwasher don't arrive until Saturday.  But at least I feel like I know where everything is and that it is MY kitchen.  Sweet treasures to a woman's heart.  :)

A rare treat in a Spanish kitchen, space to have a table and eat.  My favorite place for my morning quiet time as well!  Now, to figure out how to put curtains on those windows - cause when the sun is shining, it is really, really hot! 
Standing in the doorway - you can't see that there is still a good deal of cabinets behind me - perfect place for the computer while I am in the kitchen - chatting with friends on skype, listening to music, or watching TV.

The empty spot is for the dishwasher, and yes, that is my washing machine in the kitchen as well.  The door you see leads to the dining room.  Loving the ample counter space and cabinets - another rare treat in a Spanish kitchen.  

I cannot wait to host my first cooking class - question is, will it be with children or ladies.  Of course, first I must finish Spanish lessons before I can start teaching English.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

To Do List, Update

  1. Go to bank to change address - well, the lesson I learned today is that you don't just change addresses - you have to get a new bank account number because we are now in a different province - so this makes our third bank account number (non-resident, in Alcala, and now in Illescas) with the same bank.  But my part of the address change is finished, Scott goes back on Monday to finish his part (yep, I can't change the address on his part and he can't put his name on the new account without my being there) - 
  2. Go to car shop - I think the guy at the car shop understands what is wrong - charades worked better than my Spanish, but I successfully made an appointment for Tuesday morning - of course, when I got home Scott asked if I had questioned if this was a warranty repair, and of course - I hadn't even thought of a warranty.  Thankfully he agreed to take the car in to the shop on Tuesday - he gets to ask!
  3. Refrigerator shop - SUCCESS!  I found one and it is coming on Saturday (even successfully changed the delivery date of the dishwasher so they both come at the same time).  
In addition, I almost finished organizing my kitchen, took siesta, fixed lunch, went to the post office, bought groceries, and am now watching TV.  All in all, a really good day!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cansado (Tired)

I keep saying one day I will learn, but probably not - American to do lists do not work so well in Spain.  Today I even declared I was working American Style - a long list of things to accomplish in one day - no mind for siesta or other schedules - I was going to plough through, no matter what!

To accomplish today:

  1. Make hotel reservations in Illescas for the team 
  2. Take Scott to get steroid shot - finally - but boy you won't believe what it took to mark this one off 
    1. Back up to yesterday - doctor prescribed 6 steroid shots
    2. Last night stopped at pharmacist and bought steroid medication
    3. This morning dropped Scott off at Public Health Center to get shot administered - was told because we have private insurance he needed to go a private clinic
    4. Scott walked to private clinic - closed for the month of August
    5. Called clinic where medicine was prescribed and told he could come there (15 minute drive) but would need to go to pharmacy and purchase syringes
    6. Drove to pharmacy from last night, but was closed for siesta - sign indicated which pharmacy stayed open
    7. Drove to indicated pharmacy, which was also closed for siesta
    8. Drove to town where clinic was and went to an open pharmacy, who was sold out of syringes
    9. Drove to other pharmacy that was told would be open - closed
    10. Drove to one more pharmacy that was also closed
    11. Gave up and started shopping for refrigerator/dishwasher (see below) and waited until after siesta
    12. Went to pharmacy that was now open and purchased syringes
    13. Went to clinic where medicine was originally prescribed, paid 10 Euros, and was given injection - using a syringe they provided - Only 5 more shots to go
  3. Get Alex a haircut   
  4. Make lunch 
  5. Update mileage book - we have to write down every kilometer we drive - I have notes in all sorts of places from our 3 week journey - one day I will learn to do better - about half way updated
  6. Purchase dishwasher and refrigerator - are you ready to follow this line of shopping?
    1. Tell GPS to take me to Eroski (kind of like super wal-mart)
    2. Arrive at destination to find a different store, and not one that sells appliances
    3. Use phone to go to the Eroski website and search for nearest store - it gives me the same address where I am presently located and finally see the abandoned building where the store used to be
    4. Use map app on phone to search for closest Eroski and it sends me 6 kilometers away to another town (which takes 20 minutes to drive because we literally hit every traffic light possible) - get within eye sight of the store and the road is closed
    5. Navigate around the detour and reach store, to realize this is not a "super" Eroski, but just a grocery store - didn't even know they had different kinds
    6. Navigate back to original town and stop at an "electrodomestico" store (sells appliances and other household electric appliances)
    7. Find the perfect dishwasher, but not refrigerator.  Spend 30 minutes writing up the purchase because a high priority in Spain is conversation (had a great time getting to know the salesman and even invited him to English camp - love this part of the Spanish culture!)
    8. Left this store and went to another "super" store that was on the way home - Carrefour - uh oh, discovered that they too have stores that are not "super" - they sent us back to another store, which by the way was next door to the appliance store we just left
    9. Shopped for a refrigerator and determined that I needed to come back home and re-measure my space before buying (thought I had the exact measurements in my phone, but apparently not - only the measurements of a refrigerator I had seen before we left for vacation)
    10. On way out of store saw a little table and chairs we wanted for our front "yard" (no grass, just concrete)
    11. Got to check out with table and 2 chairs and saw that one of the chairs was scratched so had to go back and get another chair
    12. Got to car with table and chairs and saw that 3 of the legs of the chairs were missing their rubber ends - had to go back in the store and get them
    13. Drove home with pictures of the two refrigerators I liked and found out the prices are different on line (more expensive) and not all the same model numbers are the same
    14. Oh well - back to the store on Thursday - when Scott needs a 2nd shot :)
So tomorrow, I only have 2 things on my to do list -

  1. Go to bank to change address (this SHOULD be easy)
  2. Go to car shop - ready to laugh?  Every time we unlock the doors on our car the hatch to the trunk pops open - who knows why?  Now whether they can fix it tomorrow or not is another question - but a lot easier to stop by and ask than call them.  I still hate the phone when I have to talk in Spanish!
Needless to say I am tired, but I am learning a lot about patience, laughing along the way, and enjoying the process as much as the accomplishment!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Back in Spain

My body has returned to Spain, my head and heart are somewhere between Spain and North Carolina.  Jet lag is still winning and my sleep pattern and hunger pattern matches neither country.  My clothes are in piles (as well as lots of other things from the suitcases).  In fact, yesterday I finally had to unpack the suitcase so I could repack it for a trip today.

We leave today for a 2+ week trip.  We will be at the SEND Spain Annual Conference for 5 days then we will be serving as the cooks for a youth leadership camp (yep, in tents) for another week, and finally we will spend two days pretending vacation is reality.  Finally we will return to our new house and get serious about making it feel like home.

I continue to process lots of emotions and thoughts from my trip back to the states.  Pray with me through this journey.  I'll share of the journey later, but for today, I'll wipe the tears away again, take a deep breath, and move forward.