Life has definitely taken me to places I never thought I would go to....but nothing more exciting than where I am right now! Welcome to my world...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

And the winner is...... and Mama didn't have no stupid girls!

First let me share a photo of my husband trying to get his passport stamped properly, reentering South Africa at the Lesoto border, the top photo, shows NO ONE, and I mean no one at the passport control we did what law abiding people do....we walked over to the other side of the building, where people are getting stamped to LEAVE South Africa. We got into major trouble not realizing that the passport had to be stamped, EVEN IF NO ONE WAS THERE TO STAMP IT... the day before this was taken. paraphrase a very smart girl I know, A lovely country, but the land of EVERYTHING not quite right!These photos make me laugh though. I have also included a photo of the policeman at the border check.He was so friendly.

OK, a very special congratulations to ANNIE ...she is the lucky 50th post winner. So please, Annie email me your details...then in about 3 weeks when I get back to the states...will send off your "lucky draw" package. I almost grabbed two names stuck together...but one dropped off. I guess using scrapbook papers for "scratch" may have not been such a good idea. I have done little else besides pack....and call movers. It is not like at home...where you call them and they come by to see what you have. NO ....that would be too easy! Here I had to call ...only to be given an email address...that I was to send my details to....?????? then that would be forwarded to the closest branch.....hmmmmmmm??????? ..... then they will contact me to get the " Inventory sheets" to me.....????? then after I fill them out....they will ...recontact either set up a time for a person to actually show up and ....figure out the quote....OR....based on what I sent them on the inventory sheet.....they will get a quote to me...which may or may not be accurate. BECAUSE we are rural!!!! NOW ....we are in fact two hours from the bigger cities....but SOUTH AFRICA is only twice the size of TEXAS!!!! NOT AS BIG AS THE US! I actually contacted about 5 companies....and have still only had 1 person physically show up here in my that is because I knew she gave quotes, ran into her at the grocery store...asked how I could get one from her company and was told I had to call the OFFICE, 2 hrs away to set up ....her coming to see my stuff????? Does this seem like layers of Bureacracy to you....???? or is it just me? This isn't the end of the world...and remember that the county I live in...( or local municipality as it is called here) ( about 50 miles across) has almost 200,000 people living here! It is true that the majority of those people still live in one room houses of cinder blocks....but amazing the HOOPS you have to jump through to get something done! AT any rate...hoping the girl who came will come in with my magic number....I have one in mind that I am willing to pay to ship my African treasures home on, again recognising it could take a year for the stuff to get there... as everything here is dependent on other people wanting to ship Partial containers to the same area. Tennessee isn't a huge immigration center I don't think.
On to other things...... I actually was going to ask a question about HUSBANDS, and mine is wonderful...truly! But now have forgotten what I was going to ask. These senior moments come way too often. On to something else. My dear husband...being the City Manager, he used to be, and the Accountant before that... is absolutely killing me. Not sure whether to blame it on the paper pusher, bean counter mentality or the "managerial" demeanor, but following much discussion about returning to the US....and the fact that while I finished off working, he was packing us up to move, and as in all moves prior to this one, there were many items he really didn't see the need to keep long term that is. He "rid" us of ALL kitchen appliances, most of the furniture, ( telling me, convincingly I might add, that storing it...there would be bugs...and other critters who might get into it, and anyways most of it was older than the we'll just get new when we come home) It sounded so good at the time. I only kept a few antique pieces, and the washing machine, a Maytag that was only a couple of years old), photos, and dishes, silver, etc. I didn't even keep towels or sheets. To make a long story short....we were discussing all the "stuff" we needed to replace...and my sweet little BEAN counter....said I think you need to draw up a budget. I think the daydreaming on my part was beginning to scare him....just a wee bit!
So I asked what were the NON line items.... being an accountants wife...I know how to ask the right questions! and we quickly began negotiations. Suffice it to say, I put the bare minimums, and presented it to him as a MINIMUM budget....complete with contingency fund and all! As I have told my friends many times, "MY MAMA didn't have any stupid girls!" He accepted my budget...of course it is a bare bones one.... we are only buying 4 towel sets...if we have company I will have to go out to buy more! I say this because it is with great anticipation that I am preparing to buy "stuff"! I havent set up a complete household, since we were young newlyweds...and we were poor! I don't think I had matching silverware for several months...and that was only with my BETTY CROCKER coupons! Remember those? I had a lovely pattern...MIchaelangelo....for quite a while...until the youngest boy, was a toddler..and they disappeared into the sand box...and never made it back into the house. Of course everything else was in Avacado Green.... since I did get married in early 70's. Had gotten rid of the Percolator coffee pot long ago, but think it will be fun, to scratch at bargain stores to get my house fitted out properly. I am certainly not above shopping garage sales...looking for a small plate hutch, and yes it is in the budget!The scariest thing about planning my purchases, was I can't remember what we have actually stored...its been in storage so long! Think we kept our baking sheets, and pans... but just not sure anymore. So I may miss the wonderful garage sale "season" because the "stuff" is stored in Texas, a long way from Tennessee, where I will be till dear hubby gets home! At least by the time he comes home we may know where we will be living. I am happy to announce that he did get an acceptance from one of the Universities that he has applied to for doctorate program. So it looks like I will be living with a college boy next year! Have a great week.



Libby said...

Oh how exciting . . . to reoutfit yourself nearly from top to bottom. I have long maintained that 'bridal showers' are wasted on the young. Being doe-y eyed and in love - they care not one whit about cookware, sheets and towels, yet after nearly 30 years of marriage,a near threadbare linen cupboard and still some hand-me-down pots and pans, I would revel in just such an occasion. Happy shopping *s*

Kathy said...

Can't wait for you to come back! Sounds fun! I would love to go to garage sales with you!

Sandra ;) said...

Oh my - the bureaucratic nonsense would make me crazy, YIKES! LOL!!

Hopefully you aren't starting any new projects right now ;) I started one new crumb quilt on January 1 but none since then - thats no new projects in 2 weeks - almost a record for me! ;)

Sandra :) (PS loved the hair dye/tub story in your blog, HAHAHA!!)

Nan said...

Hi there. Thanks for stopping by my blog. It's so nice to meet you. I am so glad to hear that you like the Green Bay Packers.
Please stop by anytime for a visit.

Ruth's Place said...

Sorry you're having such a hard time. The red tape here drives me insane! I know Stuttafords give quotes, but I still had to do the stupid inventory thing. Good luck!!

Jeanne said...

Loved reading your blog and seeing the scenery pics. Sounds like quite an adventure. Thanks for visiting my blog, too.

Tanya said...

Hi Colleen,

I lost all my links back in December so I'm reconnecting through comments again. So glad to hear from you.

I love that comment about things seeming "not quite right". I feel that all the time and I live in very modern, very westernized Japan. Still, some things seem strange, or am I the strange one?

Looks like you are in for a busy next few months. Loved that picture of your husband trying to get his passport stamped!