Friday, January 6, 2012

Putting it together.

I was going to call this, “Confessions of a nitwit”, but I might have used that one.


It’s Friday,  and that’s just fine since,  among other things,  that means Travelling Companion will be coming back down from the hinterland.   Well,  Gmünd isn’t exactly the “hinterland” in the Canadian sense,  but it is in an area they refer to as the “Waldviertel”,  or “Forest Quarter”,  although we would probably use the term “district” or “area”,  but let’s not get too far off course here.


So in addition to the usual Friday chores,  I figured on my way out this morning that I’d turf out the old set of scales,  which would then force me to look for something new.  Before doing that though,  it occurred to me that even though I had put in a new 9 volt battery,  I had never really tested the thing.  Somehow I missed that step,  which isn’t really like me,  since I usually will test a brand new battery just to make sure it’s working properly.   Of course I had to brave the winds and go to the upstairs storage to fetch my tester,  which meant bundling up,  which meant putting on clothes,  which meant taking a shower before putting on clean clothes.  

It’s never that simple.

Well.  I’m pretty sure I can put out more energy with a mean look than that stupid battery!  And it was a new one.   Unless I mixed it up with the one I took out,  but I don’t think so.   So somebody sold me a crap battery!  I can’t believe I didn’t test it when I put it in!  I should know better. Quel bonehead.

That changes everything.  Now we don’t know if the scales work or not.   Have to go out for a new battery.  No biggie,  there’s a place right on the corner.  Less than 20 metres from our front door.

You know that “purposeful walk”,  when you’re on your way out somewhere,  and you KNOW exactly where you’re headed and you know what you want?   Yup,  that’s the one.

Off I went,  just a truckin’ out the door,  until I couldn’t help but notice that it wasn’t very busy out on the street.  AT ALL.  

My thought balloon looked like this:

“Oh,  where is everybody?”

“Oh wait,  it’s a holidaaaaay.”

And then I can’t repeat the next couple words that popped into my head. 

I’ll just say,  “poop”,  and leave it at that.


THAT explains why my neighbour lady had done the big shop yesterday morning and was quite happy to let me help her get her stuff in the elevator and to the landing outside her door.   That ALSO explains why the church bells were ringing so annoyingly long this morning.

Well shiver me timbers,  it’s Christmas.   Well,  it would be if you happen to be in say,  Russia.  Or anywhere where religious holidays follow the Julian Calendar.

In these here parts,  it has more to do with the Epiphany, (or Three King’s Day if you prefer) and even though I’m sure not too many of the Austrians are flocking to church this morning,  it’s still a holiday.  They like their holidays.  

We used to only observe January 6th as “Put away the Christmas Stuff Day”. 


So that changes things a bit.  I’m not too worried about the grocery end of things.  I learned a long time ago to have a few things as back-up.  T.C. won’t be home any earlier than she normally would be,  since she has some presentation or other to do this afternoon.  So much for the “Austrian Friday Afternoon Program”.   Austrians don’t like to work Friday afternoons either..

I’ll root around in the freezer and come up with something. 

I’m thinking now that the set of scales has been spared it’s fate for at least one more day,  and I’ve just now gone down to the basement storage locker to fetch the bins for the Christmas ornaments.  Time to take down the pitiful tree.

I’ve been putting off any kind of photo evidence of said pitiful tree due to its, well…. glorious ‘pitifulness’.


we won't be seeing this thing again. .

It’s this stupid plastic thing that will quite likely never see the light of day again.  We really should have bought a real tree,  and used the new stand that I have intentions of using once we’re back in Canada. (You remember the nifty German one?)  The real trees here were actually not that expensive,  but I just didn’t want the additional bother that comes with a real tree.   In an apartment?  Um, no.

So today it’ll go back in its box,  and the ornaments will get put away in the two totes you see there on the cart.

The other slight irony of “Three King’s Day” also falling on “Put away the Christmas Stuff Day”,  is that the Three Kings don’t really get to hang around for very long.  They don’t come out until today (naturally,  right?) and then get put away again for another year.  Or to never see the light of day again.  It could go either way. 

I’ll explain.


You might be wondering just where the heck we got two totes of Christmas “stuff”?


On July 18th of 2008,  the movers showed up at our house back in Canada,  with all their boxes and bubble wrap and such.   There were three of them.   A fellow and his wife,  and his brother.   My impression is that perhaps the brother wasn’t necessarily the brightest bulb in the pack,  but I certainly wasn’t going to supervise him,  that was his brother’s job.  My job,  or actually OUR job,  since I made sure Travelling Companion came home for that event,  was to sort out and put out all the “stuff”  that these fine upstanding individuals were supposed to ship.    

Here’s what our living room briefly looked like.

The smarter brother.

The picture really sucks, since I was using this really crappy HP camera.  Don’t get me started….


..and later loading up the truck.

loading up.

Oh look, there’s even a date stamp.


In the turmoil of purging a few things up to that point,  there were these two totes sitting out on the upstairs landing,  and I suppose the brother number two was setting items out there to be catalogued and taken away,  and so we ended up with some Christmas ornaments when our shipment arrived.   This year we finally put them on a tree.

The rather simple little manger scene that we bought years ago at Canadian Tire hadn’t seen the light of day for quite some time,  since there’s a whole other set that we had been using for the last number of years.  You’ll notice that poor old Balthazar is missing his head?  I think it’s Balthazar,  you can correct me on that one.  Go ahead.   Somehow I seem to recall that an extra tree had been set up in our basement apartment,  and there was some need of a spare manger scene? Or maybe (and more likely) Daughter Number One was rooting around in the attic and failed to put away some things?   My memory is dim,  but my guess is that one day many of these things will need to find a new home.  There’s only so much room for so much “stuff”.


Oh!  I almost forgot!   Right along with the extra Christmas stuff that got shipped,  I ended up with three brand new door knobs that some day will get installed when ever I finish renovating the house. 


Still with the receipt from Canadian Tire

Needless to say,  unpacking everything when our shipment arrived in the Netherlands was at least entertaining.

It’s not like I was looking for some sort of volume discount or anything,  it’s just that at one point when I went back to Home Despot to fetch yet another one of the door knobs that I was working with,  they were no longer being carried!  Yikes!  Fortunately I still had the previous receipt with the UPC code,  so I was able to nip over to Crappy Tire and get some more.  I just bought as many as I knew that I’d eventually need.   I hadn’t really counted on shipping them to Europe though.


And before you say it,  yes I’ve had this thought of taking them home in my luggage so at least they would be within a few metres of their final resting place.   The thing is though, I usually don’t have room in my luggage,  nor do I have any huge desire to explain to Canada Customs just what the hell I’m doing with three door knobs from Canadian Tire.  It could very well be too complicated for them to grasp.   They already have problems with that whole,  “Duh, you live in Europe??”

Best not to complicate things.

We’ll just ship them home again whenever we bug on out of here.


Have a fine weekend.   Thanks for stopping by.




  1. actually I don't think the tree looks all that bad...:) many knobs in life eh? have a super weekend

  2. They have fairly big celebrations here in Mexico too for 3 Kings Day. Saw a beautifully decorated church yesterday, well maybe beautiful isn't the word (tacky maybe!) but it still looked pretty neat.

    Hope you are able to fix your scale.

    Kevin and Ruth

  3. What a story, rambling on and such but so entertaining. Thanks for the start to my day.

    Nothing happening around us re 3 Kings Day.


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