Tuesday, August 28, 2007

tackle one challenge at a time

That's the lesson I learned yesterday. There are so many things to get done, which is not out of the ordinary for anyone, but suddenly some of the simple daily tasks are more challenging living in a new place. We had some great success and some failure yesterday as we tackled several new things.

First, we walked to the little neighborhood store, the CBA. We have been to two of the big grocery stores with other people since we've been here, but this was our first time to go by ourselves and to this little one. Since it is so small, it's not so overwhelming, but trying to figure out what things are if there isn't a picture or any word you recognize is quite the challenge. The meat lady asked me something, and I responded to her, although I have no idea what she asked me. I assume it had to do with asking me if I wanted something or needed help. If it was anything else, my answer made no sense to her. Overall, though, I thought it was a success.

Second, we cooked in our oven for the first time. I have shared with a few people how stressed I am about cooking in that oven. We have to light it ourselves with a match and everything. We need to invest in some longer matches so that we don't burn ourselves, but we did successfully light it on our very first try! That isn't the part that stresses me though. It's the size of a matchbox, which means that not all of the pans will fit in there. Another thing is that there is no temperature gauge. We light it and leave the gas running until we think it's hot enough. We were fortunately given a thermometer to hang in there so that we have an idea of how warm it is. There aren't any settings on the knobs or anything like that to control the temp, so we just have to keep looking and make sure it's heating up to the proper temp. If it gets too high, well, we just open the door to help it cool off or something. And even though it is so small, it takes almost 20 minutes to reach even 350 degrees! Of course we don't cook in Fahrenheit, only Celsius, so I am constantly converting the temp to figure it out. I need to just memorize it! I told Kevin not to get too excited about me cooking because I am going to either burn all of our food or undercook it. He said he'll still eat anything. What a good sport. Anyway, we threw in a frozen pizza (we don't have any meat or anything like that yet), and it did cook all the way through, just a tad on the overdone side. Although the pizza itself was disgusting, I felt that our first experience with the oven went well.

And lastly, we needed to tackle the laundry situation yesterday. We are running out of clean underwear, which is a good sign that we need to do laundry. After it took two hours to run through the entire wash cycle, our clothes were definitely not clean and just sitting in water. It took us a good 10 minutes to figure out how to even work the thing, which apparently we did not do a good job at figuring that out. Plugging it in was the first challenge, figuring out the soap/softener/water/rust remover compartments was the second, starting the machine the third, and finally, getting clean clothes was the last challenge. We did figure out how to plug it in and get it working and also how to start the machine. As far as the compartments or actually having clean clothes, well, those were huge failures. The person we need to help us with this process is now in Macedonia until the middle of next week. Our dirty clothes are still sitting sopping wet in the machine since they're not clean, and now we have to figure out what to do with them. It looks like we'll be begging someone to let us use their machine to wash. No dryers to dry the clothes here means that it's a long process of having to hang them out to dry, so it takes a good two days to get just one load done. We have two pairs of underwear left, so this is an emergency we need to get done today!

Well, that was yesterday evening. And now it's a new day. Perhaps by tonight I will have tried to cook something else in the oven and have some clean wet clothes hanging out to dry. Who knows. But desperate times call for desperate measures...or something like that!

5 comments:

WHITTINGTON MCLEMORE said...

hysterical. You are MORE than welcome to use our washing machine!

Greg in Dillsburg said...

Kristen;
Love your blog. Glad you guys are getting adjusted. Tell Kevin to switch to Blogger! Oy!
--Greg Clarke

Boo Boo's Mom said...

I was jealous that you got to live a simple life...but after reading that...our washing machine and oven are MUCH simplier!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kris!

If you wash your clothes by hand then you'll have something to tell your kids and grandkids, just like my mother would always tell us how hard her grandmother worked without modern conveniences. Of course she never wanted to give up her appliances so she could be like her grandmother! HA!!

Love, Mom Y.

Dad said...

You know what they say - when they get hungry enough, they will eat anything - wall right Kevin! Maybe that familiar phrase started in Hungary! Love, Dad