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Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Casa Nueva Update #31342

At the place that pays me I've picked more cotton in the past 2 weeks than I picked in about 3 months at the place that paid me in Germany. Along with the super secret shhhh...paperwork that I had to sign upon arriving here, it seems that Uncle LeRoy has added an 11th Commandment. What is the new Commandment, you ask?
Thou Shalt Not Associate With Blogs (read, post, etc.) Using Uncle LeRoy's Computer
Plain and simple.

Oh, did I mention that my laptop, Victor, frequently gives up the ghost? It does. It randomly turns off, then restarts when it feels like it.

I visit CasaNueva twice a day, once during lunch and once with P after work (the house is only 3 minutes from our hotel). It's coming along fine. Last week the light fixtures and flooring (except for the carpet) were installed. Next the inside doors will be installed, the walls painted, the appliances will be installed, and the carpet will be laid. The inside will be complete. The builder at the site told me that they will be finished with the whole house on 30 August.

Below are some pictures from Casa Nueva:

P standing near our favorite sign:

The applianceless/sinkless kitchen:

The living room...see the 2 holes above the fireplace? One is a power outlet, and the other will be the cable connection, which means I am FORCED to buy a plasma tv. Please pay no attention to the Bonjangles cup in the fireplace.

P FINALLY decided what she wants to do with her room. Since her bathroom is the beach (seashells), she's decided to have a surf theme. we were able to find everything at our favorite store, the Red Dot Boutique.

Next we'll hunt for a kitchen table (I didn't bring ours from Germany).

It's time that I get a little rest so I'll have enough energy can pick an adequate amount of cotton tomorrow at the place that pays me.

Posted by Margaret      3:17 AM      |

Saturday, August 05, 2006
Another One Bites the Dust

Last week, my laptop, Vincent, died a temporary death. It wouldn't boot, but only cycle through the start up process, never making it to the OS (techspeak). I mentioned the problem to one of the Super Hero Computer Dudes at the new place that pays me, and he told me that he would take a look at it before I bought a new one, which I had planned to do this weekend.

In about 15 minutes, SHCD had 'fixed' the disk error problemo, and I am at peace once again.

Last week, P lost another tooth. This makes the 5th tooth that she's lost in less than a year (I should also mention that she's got another tooth loose now, too).

I present to you, P, who is missing 2.5 teeth. The one on the bottom right is half in already (it came out about 3 weeks ago):

I must add that these pictures were taken at 0600 (that's 6am for your civilians) on a school morning. Yes, she's this happy EVERY morning.

Operation Casa Nueva update:

The house coming along fine, and they FINALLY put the 'Sold' sign on the 'For Sale' sign in the yard.

Only 5 more weeks of hotel living, and it will all be over.

The challenge of the week is:
What color or colors should I use in the kitchen?
I have NO ideas. Any suggestions?

P and I are still having a slight disagreement about her room, and I'm thisclose to just giving in to what she wants.
The new place that pays me is good. If you thought I was vague about my cotton pickin' skillz while in Germany, it will be FAR worse here, since I had to sign a Shhhh, Can't Talk About Pickin' Cotton Document. If someone asks,
I pick cotton, lots of it.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Posted by Margaret      9:11 PM      |

Saturday, July 29, 2006
The Car Has Arrived!

Thursday I found out that the No Name Car has arrived in the US. I shipped it on 21 June, and it arrived 26 July.

Yesterday, after dropping P off at her place of confinement (school), I was on the road, headed to Charleston, SC (2.5 hours) to pick up NNC. After turning in the rental car (the company charged me $1 a mile, plus the rental cost~it's a good thing that I'll be reimbursed!) and taking a taxi to the pick up point, there he sat, fresh off the boat. Once I signed all the needed documents, and inspected the vehicle, I was headed back to Fayvetteville.

Once I made it back, I realized that one of the employees at the pick up point did not put the maintenance manual in the car. Do you know how important a maintenance manual is to a new car under warranty? It's important, believe me. Monday, I'll call and hopefully they'll find it and mail it to me.

Just one more hurdle...my furniture, which is supposed to arrive on or about 30 August.

Yesterday evening, P had an announcement:

Me: How was your day today? What did you learn?
P: It was good, and I learned that I am my teacher's favorite kid.
Me: Oh really, how do you know that?
P: She asked me to take a note to the office and give it to the President, and she let me go all by myself.
Me: The President? Are you sure?
P: Yes, I'm sure, and I did it all by my self.
Me: Don't you mean Principal and not President?
P: Oh, that's right, she's only the Principal.

Seven days into the school year, and P is already the teacher's pet. It's going to be a long year!

Posted by Margaret      4:18 PM      |

Thursday, July 27, 2006
Pay, What's That?

Today, I received my bi-weekly email letting me know that my pay statement was available for my viewing pleasure (pay day is next week). Imagine my surprise when I logged in and noticed that my pay was
  • Zero
  • Zilch
  • Nicht
  • Nada
  • Nothing
It seems that SOMEONE who shall remain nameless can put a man on the moon, but CAN NOT seem to transfer one dedicated cotton picker from one payroll office to the next without wreaking havoc with the dinero.

To make a long story short, when I was leaving Germany I was advised to handcarry at least a month's worth of pay statements for the new HR department so they could see what needed to be transfered (401K, annual leave, sick leave, etc). When I inprocessed here, I informed the Head Inprocessor that I had the Very Important Documents. She in turn informed me that she didn't need the VID and everything will transfer correctly. She was wrong!! Not only did nothing transfer correctly, NOTHING TRANSFERRED AT ALL!!!!

Sidestory: In 2003, just the opposite happened. I transferred from one agency to the agency I currently work for, and I was paid twice in one pay period. After informing the old agency of the error, I was told that I could't return the money, I had to wait on them to audit their payroll ledgers. It took 8 months for them to 'realize' the error.

I'm convinced that if the HI had the VID as a reference, there would be no pay issues this time around.

Honestly, I'm not too upset about the situation because I said to myself
Diane (I call myself Diane), none this time means twice as much next time.
This morning I will talk to the HI and my first question to her will be "Do YOU believe Uncle LeRoy put a man on the moon?"

Her answer to my question will set the pace for the entire meeting.

Update on Casa Nueva~

I upgraded all the kitchen appliances to stainless steel. I think they will look nice with the cabinet tops that I selected (with P's help, of course).

Friday I will pick out the light fixtures.

I also need to purchase a washer and dryer, but there are a couple of questions before I spend the cashola (that I DIDN'T get paid):
What do you recommend/suggest?

Posted by Margaret      1:47 AM      |

Sunday, July 23, 2006
Operation Casa Nueva Update #2

I am pleased to announce that the contract that was submitted on my behalf for the house was accepted (along with the wad of cashola). That means that technically, the house is ours. The closing date is 15 September. We will move in soon thereafter. Anyone willing to help unpack will be welcomed.

The only downside is that P and I will be living in a hotel until then. At least someone makes my bed everyday.

Yesterday, I picked out all the flooring, kitchen cabinets, and counter tops. Next week, I will pick out the appliances and the lighting fixtures. I have already decided that I will upgrade all the kitchen appliances to stainless steel.

Now I must decide on the color schemes for the rooms (P wants a beach theme for her room). It's good that I have a few weeks, because I have NO idea as to what to do with the rest of the house. As before, I welcome any suggestions.

Posted by Margaret      5:54 AM      |

Friday, July 21, 2006
Operation Casa Nueva Update

After looking near and far, to and for, and here and there, I FINALLY found a house (I looked at about 12).

Yesterday afternoon, the realtor drew up the contract, and it will be delivered this morning (along with a gigante wad of cashola). My fingers are crossed.


Back (and Inspector P~in her school uniform)

Once the offer is accepted (I'll find out by close of business today), I will pick out the paint colors, light fixtures, and kitchen cabinets.

The house is expected to be finished by the end of August, which is ok, because it gives me plenty of time to make decisions concerning other stuff, like what kind of cable, which internet provider will not gouge my pocket, and if I should put up a screen around the covered patio. As usual, I am open to all suggestions.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I went with Cingular for a cell phone, mainly because they have roll over minutes. Thanks for everyone's suggestion.

Posted by Margaret      11:57 AM      |

Thursday, July 13, 2006
She's Got Crabs!!!

I forgot to mention that during our last week in Germany, P lost 2 more teeth, so now, she's got a set of 'stand alones' at the bottom front. Also, one of her top front teeth is loose. Wiggly loose, but not wobbly loose, so it'll be at least a month before it's ready to come out.

P and the stand alones:

While attempting to convince P that Crazy Dog would be better off with a family in Germany, I told P that she could have a crab for a pet once we arrive here in NC. Little did I know that there would be a kiosk in the mall here selling hermit crabs.

To make a long story short...there are 3 new nameless family members.

This is one of the 3:

P, the stand alones and the nameless crab:

Posted by Margaret      4:09 AM      |

Name: Margaret
Location: Kaiserslautern, Germany by way of St. Louis, MO

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