Cookies, cookies, and more cookies!
Friday morning Nadine dropped Buddy off, so he and I hung out and played until Felix was done with his phone meeting. The plan was to go into Mainz to pick up my package from the Zollamt (customs office) and then register me with the amt in Nieder-Olm before Felix had to be home for his next phone meeting. Unfortunately his first meeting ran long by 45 minutes, so we quickly accumulated the documents we needed and got Buddy dressed in his harness and headed to the Zollamt. They are only open on weekdays from 7:30am-12:00pm. We arrived at 12:13pm and had a bit of a walk to the actual building from where we parked. Felix just has this air about him that seems to always make situations work in his favor. I waited out in the hall with Buddy since the floors had just been mopped while Felix went up to the desk and asked if they would please help us out and let us pick up our package. 5 minutes later, Felix comes marching out of the office with my package (and my purse :)) in his hands. Despite arriving 15 minutes after closing time, we were able to pick up my box of happiness.
My friends sent me a box of brownie mix, 3 boxes of cake mix, a bag of sugar cookie mix, a bag of blueberry muffin mix, 5 Christmas cookie cutters, cupcake liners, chocolate chips, marshmallow fluff, a sticker book of reusable Christmas stickers, mascara, cotton balls, and 2 nail polishes! They also threw in a few silly little kids toys referring to inside jokes and notes on the backs of business cards from the people in my old department at work. It was absolutely heart warming and so special. I already painted my nails with the green glitter polish and baked cookies using the brownie mix with some of the chocolate chips. Delicious. :) And the Christmas stickers are actually the perfect decoration for our apartment. I can't visualize a space that would be really good for a Christmas tree, but since Felix isn't religious, Christmas has never been a super special time in his life. He doesn't get into the decorating for holidays, but I do. I can't justify buying a bunch of Christmas lights (that are expensive here and cannot be used when we move to the States) or a fake Christmas tree (that we wouldn't have space to store or be willing to move with us later) or cute statues or figurines. So far I have accumulated the stickers from my friends, 2 little stuffed Santa heads complete with hats and wavy white beards, and a very cool tea light holder.
I put up a video on facebook of it in action, but in case you don't want to go check it out, it is a horizontal fan blade that balances on a spire with 4 reindeer that dangle off the blade. When you light the tea light below, the heat causes the fan to spin of its own accord. I LOVE it. It is very unpredictable though. Silly thing will spin as soon as I light it and continue moving until I come back to check on it later (make sure I am not burning the house down and all that) only to find that the flame is lit and it is standing still. I tried several new tea lights and it wouldn't move at all, so I took the whole thing apart, put it back together and the stupid thing kept spinning for the next half hour. I have no idea what fixed it, but as long as it keeps working, I am happy. (side note* I just lit it and it began spinning immediately.) I also picked up a string of purple beads and some small and mini silver ornaments to put on either a mini tree or a wreath. Most wreaths here that I have seen are set on a table instead of hung on a door or a wall and decorated with advent candles. The Winklers have 2 advent wreaths. One is HUGE and hangs from the ceiling and the other one is on the rim of a black wire bowl.
Back to the original story! The office for me to register in closes at 12:30pm, so we didn't make it back in time. The next attempt will be this Wednesday before I go into work I believe. Nadine came to pick Buddy up around 8:00pm or so and I was sad to see him go. He is roughly the size and personality of Holden, so it was really nice to have a dog again, even if termporarily.
Saturday we went shopping in Ingelsheim for the few things we have been wanting for the apartment: a rug for the bedroom, baskets for our bedside tables, a wall light to go above the mirror in the bedroom, etc. Nothing exciting. We came home and I set to getting the apartment ready for the evening and baked cookies while Felix went to play soccer with some people for an hour. At 5:00pm, Felix's dad, Jina, came over with our new dishwasher. I chopped the veggies for dinner while Jina and Felix replaced the old dishwasher with the new one and carried an old stove from our landing downstairs. We ate dinner, had ice cream, and then Jina left to go celebrate what was left of his 1 year wedding anniversary with Ranva.
Sunday we went over to the Winklers' to bake Christmas cookies with Iris. Felix was incredibly excited. Apparently these cookies are his favorite part of the holiday season, but for the last 3 years, he hasn't had any cookies because he was either visiting me or in Bali. I don't really like the cookies and cakes here, but I was interested to see how they bake without any baking powder. Because we didn't end up getting there until 1:00pm, Iris was already in the middle of making lunch. We sat down with Ralf, Iris, Niki, Nelson, Niki's girlfriend Chantale, her brother, Felix, and myself for a lunch of schnitzel, baked cheese, feld salat (field salad), and fried potatoes. It was delicious, like usual. Afterward, Felix, Iris and I got to work making 3 different types of cookies. One is coconut with marzipan and I don't really know how to describe the others. 3 cooks were too many, so when Felix's mom came by, she asked if I wanted to go with her to the Nieder-Olm Christmas Market. We walked ”downtown” and looked at all of the different booths, lingering at the jewelry and liquor stands. We tried a couple of the liquors and Manisha bought her brother Robert a birthday present. After we went back to the Winklers', Manisha left to go home while Felix and I stayed to finish watching the Mainz soccer game. We got home around 7:50pm and I talked to my mom and sister at 8:00pm.
All in all, it was an eventful weekend, but not particularly exciting. Today I am going to get the filling replaced that fell out of the tooth I had a root canal in before I left the States. Never a dull moment with this tooth. Wish me luck that this filling lasts!