My German isn't any too good either! However, my car is now in the shop, having it's transmission removed in order to have a rebuilt one put in early next week. (The shop is closed for the New Year's Holiday). I haven't been driving it much anyway, but you don't realize how dependent you are on a car until you don't have one. There is a bus stop near my house, so I have been trying to see if I can use the buses to get to where I need to go in the next week. It's an exercise in futility. I can get to church on Sunday, but it requires going to the mall in Columbia and catching another bus from there to the church. I could walk if the weather is decent, as it's probably less than a mile. I'm not sure the buses even run on Sundays. Anyway, I'll call the person who gave me the ride Christmas Eve and see if she can take me again. If not, I'll just stay home. Monday, I teach a ceramics class in Beltsville, which is about 10 miles away and in another county, which means different bus systems. It turns out that I cannot get to the Beltsville Rec Center by bus. The software they have to plot your journey informed me that it could not be done! Not too surprising, I suppose. Luckily, I remembered a class member who lives near me, so she will take me. Tuesday I have a ceramics class where I am a student. I actually could get there by bus, but it would take about an hour and cost about $6 round trip. Not worth the effort. I hope by Wednesday I will have my car back. It's an adventure, being without a car, but not one I would care to repeat. I can walk to the post office and the grocery store - both of which I did a few days ago. However, the weather is very cold and windy now, so staying home is the wisest choice. I will miss the regular Friday lunch with my long time friends, unless one of them is willing to drive way out of their way to give me a ride. I want my car back!
Well, enough complaining. So what have I been doing with all this at home time? Well, I have been doing a little discarding. I sorted out some winter clothes - slacks, jackets and sweaters - to donate to charity. There are probably more, but I find it very hard to discard things that I still like, despite not having worn them in a year or more. I didn't used to have pack-rat tendencies, but they seem to have developed over the years! I also went through some of the far-too-many unread paperbacks that I have in the basement. I tried to be ruthless and discard the older ones and ones by authors I don't know or don't much care for. It makes me wonder why I ever bought some of them. I have managed to find 23 that I will donate to charity. I didn't go through all the unread books, just the first shelf of them. (Yes, I know that I have far too many books!) There were another 29 books that I put on the list for trading via BookMooch. This is a wonderful online book exchange place. (www.bookmooch.com) Basically you list the books you are willing to send and get points for listing them as well as points for sending books. In return you can search all the lists of the other members and receive books from them. It's a bit more complicated than that, but it's a wonderful way to acquire cheap books. The only cost is the cost of mailing the books you send to others - averages about $2.50 per book, which is still less than the used book stores charge, and less than the online used bookstores that I have dealt with.
Of course, the books I list on bookmooch are still in my house, but they aren't taking up good shelf space, just piled up in the storage room in the basement. Of course, you can see the problem with using BookMooch - it doesn't reduce the number of books one owns, just changes the titles!
I think I will start taking down the Christmas decorations today. I have had enough of them, having seen them for a month now. I'm ready for a much less-decorated house. The winter pictures will stay on the walls, but the Christmas knicknacks will be gone from the shelves and tables. and lamps and everywhere else. I will replace them with items that are white or black with just a few red accents. (I might leave a few snowflakes hanging around....) Makes for a much less busy house - serene and restful after the bright, shiny Holiday stuff. I won't be taking down the outside decorations, however, as it's way too cold today for that.
I won't be staying up to greet the New Year tonight, so I'll wish everyone here a Happy New Year now!