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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Nerve of Some People!

When Bud and I returned to the Netherlands from Utah, we came home to a few things not working in our apartment -
The elevator didn't work. We very seldom use it but since we had a lot of luggage to carry up the stairs it was not good.  And by we, I mean Bud!  
Our water heater didn't work - for the 5th time since moving into the apartment.  It makes this terrible groaning sound everytime you turn on the water.  It is very loud and I am sure everyone in the building could hear it.  The property management people had two repairmen come out that Monday and they fixed the problem lickety-split.  The pipe had come undone from the compressor pan, or baffle or thingamagig.  The pan came lose and knocked the pipe out. They reassembled everything and announced their quick success. Bud said, "I don't think its fixed!" They looked at him in disbelief and he said it again.  If any of you know Bud, you can imagine his deep voice sounding very unhappy!  I then reiterated that this was the 5th time they had been here in the short time we have been living here.  I then asked them if it was possible that were some bad clips or the like.  Huh?  Guess what, they checked the clips holding the pan and one was bad.  When the water would get hot it would make the pan expand and the clip would pop.  Can you imagine being a repairman and trying to find the cause, instead of just fixing the problem?!  Novel idea!!  Next thing I know I see one of them grab one of my wire clothes hangers.  I never saw the end result of their work but I did see about 5 inches remaining from said clothes hanger.  You know what, at this point I don't care as long as it holds that pan in place!

The final non-working item was my oven. Again!  The last time it was repaired the repairman said it was wired incorrectly.  Scary, huh?  He rewired it and it was working just fine, until it wasn't!  Same repairman and, I think, his twenty-something son came out again.  They don't know why it was not working but they disconnected it from the electricity and reconnected it again and now it works.  I asked the man what was wrong with the oven and he said, "Don't know but working fine now."  I am sure they will be back in the near future.  
In the meanwhile, his coworker, who I will refer to as his "son" was looking at our security camera monitor.  He walks over to it and pulls it out of the wall!  What the heck?!!!  He inspects it, looking at the wires, etc.  I honestly think he was just curious about it. He goes to put it back into the wall and guess what?  He can't get it to fit!  He works at it for 10-15 minutes, I kid you not, to get it to fit back into the wall.  He is adjusting mounting screws, pulling the monitor in and out of the wall.  I am just watching him in disbelief.  The father is basically ignoring the son's doings.  (I had asked the father a question about my refrigerator water filter and he was in deep thought about that.) Finally the son gives up and walks over to me.  I said, "That's not flush with the wall."  He walks back to the monitor, gives it a little push and walks back over to where I am with a "I don't give a crap attitude." The father says they are finished and they leave.  This is what I am left with -

The caulking strip is destroyed, the paint is pulled out and of course the monitor doesn't fit!  This isn't a itty bitty monitor - its 10 1/2" wide so its noticeable that its not flush with the wall.  I sent the property management an email with these pictures stating to them what happened.  It was a brief but factual statement as to what happened.  They emailed me back saying they would correct the repairman and send someone out to fix it.  Of course I haven't heard anything further from them.  

I was somewhat disappointed in myself.  I really wanted to get after the kid and ask him why in the world would he do something so bold.  Due to the language barrier, although I am sure he is like most young Dutch people and speaks English very well, I lost my nerve.  Plus Bud was out of town so I felt it best to just bite my tongue.  I still can't believe someone would have the nerve to do that!  Live and learn!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rockin' in the Hood - and other thoughts

I'm not sure how to label these pictures
of our son and his babe!
 Rockin' in the Hood!
What's with the 'tude?

Life over the holidays was quite hectic but very good.  We got to spend them with our children and grandchildren.  Bud actually took off work.  He hardly ever, ever takes time off from work.  I was impressed too; he actually relaxed and we didn't really do much of anything except hang out with the family.
 What a great way to recharge our batteries.
Now its back to real life.  I am finally back in the Netherlands after 2 1/2 months of being in the states.  I wasn't suppose to travel for two months after my surgery.  How many of you feel sorry for my son-in-law, having me live with him and my daughter all that time?  Actually I probably have the most easy going, pleasant son-in-law.  
He never acted like it was an imposition having me there.  My daughter was another thing!  JUST KIDDING, Snort!  (I just had to say that to get her goat!) They were great and I loved being part of their family during that time.  Especially getting to know their newest baby.
He is like his dad and just happy to be there!  Well he isn't just like his dad, since his dad is not fat and rolly!

Another joy was getting to know the newest grandchild.  She is a darling!  Our son and his wife are such cute parents.  Their wee one was really starting to coo and smile all the time. 

She has the cutest cry - sometimes sounds like a baby cougar - other times almost sounds like she is going to bray like a mule!  Don't know what that says about her personality except that I am sure she will have loads of it!

It is always very difficult to say goodbye to our children, but worse to leave our grandchildren.
 I Wish!
Especially our five year old, he understands what is happening - that he won't see us for a long time!  He starts to get sad when he realizes that we are going to be flying out soon.  His mouth turns down, his eyes look sad.  I understand how he feels.  The week before we leave, every time the thought of leaving crossed my mind my eyes started to water.  I have to just push it out of my mind! Then the day comes and we both work at not crying.  I still have not made it to the airport without shedding a few tears along the way - and its been two years that we have been living abroad!  You would think I would be used to it but I'm not.  By the time I reach the airport I am usually okay though.

It was a little difficult to land in the Netherlands after being in sunny, but very cold Utah.  It was and has been so dank and dreary here.  I am acutely aware of how pale everyone is!  A lack of sun will do that to you! (Having said that, Scotland was worse as far as sunshine goes.  Bud and I looked like zombies!) Of course this is typical for the time of year I think.  Raining and lots of dark clouds.  It doesn't help that the sun rises so late in the morning and sets early in the late afternoon. All things said, it is home for us!  Back to all the things that are familiar to me - my kitchen, my furniture, my bed - oh my I love that bed!

I realize that our blog has been lacking of posts lately.  It is always hard for me to take the time to blog when I am with my family and friends in the states.  Hopefully I will do better now that I am home!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Catching up - Our Christmas Gingerbread Houses

Every year our daughter and her family make Gingerbread Houses for the Christmas holidays.  Mom, dad and big brother were working away, when I happened to glance over and see this! I guess some things are just too tempting.
This gingerbread man is suffering from "I'm 2 and it looks too good not to eat!" disease.
Why do you have a guilty look on your face?  What are you hiding in your mouth?
The finished products.  The boys did a choo choo train,
while the girls worked on "The Massacre at the Candy House!"
Or some such nonsense.
I think they did a really good job.
And I especially like these guys!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!
We certainly got spoiled at this house by Santa!

(Disclaimer on the hair - she was outside in the snow, with French braids worn under a hat.   Consequently this is the results. One day I am going to do a post about this girl's wild hair!)