Friday, November 30, 2007

the laundry saga

It all started with a squeak. At first it was an occasional chirp, then it started multiple chirping. Eventually, it will full on SQUEAK!!!!! No way could we run the dryer at night and it was obnoxious in the day. This will not do, cuz there is going to be loads and loads of kid laundry to do...... (This, one of those "Your life is gonna change" things we are constantly told about). Well, lets just say it was time to solve the problem.

Wiffy and I are internet ordering junkies. If it cannot be ordered over the internet, then it just does not exist. (and that is nearly true these days). So I click up some parts. I got a dryer belt, a new tension adjust pully thingy, and a new glide, cuz you need to replace that, whatever that is.
That should solve all the usual suspects for squeak, right? .....Wrong, put the new parts in ...still squeaks. OK, I say to self, just live with it. I put a load of laundry in, start up dryer again, strange ping sound, open door, and what do I see? Flames, FLAMES!!!! the friggin' lint caught fire and flames are shooting to the top of the barrel. I quickly yank the clothes out, slam door shut, and go grab the new fire extinguisher I just put in the kitchen (what lucky providence that was). Open the door and get ready to shoot, but flames are gone now. Black tendonous smoke billows out, escaping towards the celing.

After a few minutes, and opening up all doors in house to vent the vile stench. I poke my head in the dryer drum. There is only one heating element looking intact and there appears to have been 3 others, now broken. OK, that it! that dryer is out of here. Never dried clothes well anyway. I banished it to outside in the cold. (see pic).

Time for a new washer/dryer. Silly thing is in one unit so both have to go. I do my research, there are the new eco-friendly tumbler washers. And I can get them in stackable units (i.e. read: disposable when dead).

Water, a rare commodity in arid Utah, is expensive. We've had friends with new kids stay with us before and our water bills went up by 50 bucks. So there is your justification for spending more on the latest gadgets. I want one of them new fancy tumber washers! So, I found a set stackables at Lowes and I made myself 900 bones poorer. I started to put them in, .....then the troubles started.

UGH, The new units needed 110 outlet and there was no plug in room. OK, no problem, the light switch can be my guide to install a new line. I carefully cut into the old lath and plaster near the light switch, not wanting to strike the wires that must be hiding behind the hole. I get a cavity the size of my new outlet box. Behind it are those old "knob and tube" wiring from who knows when in the last century. Well obviously those are no longer active, right; this house has been completely retro-rewired by the previous owner, right? They are in my way, so I decided to dissect them out. Using gloved hands and a rubberized wire cutter, I pull on the wire and cut it. Sparks flash from the cut site and the light goes out...what the heck, this nearly bare wire is HOT! I rejoin the cut wires and the light fashes on. UGH! How much of this evil scorn is in my house?

Crawling around in the attic for an hour reveals this one room, the only one containing old lath and plaster walls, appears to be the only place containing this hot-wired abomination. Another trip to Lowes and two new wires later, the light switch works and there is power to my new outlet. I wrestle the new units into the closet. After a few aborted attempts they finally made it (see pic of tight space). Feeling somewhat satisfied I look down at my watch. Its 2 AM in the morning! What the..., where did time go? Last time I looked it was 5 PM! I am covered in itchy insulation from attic, there is lath and plaster dust on floor, cardboard boxes everywhere. And I am still not finished, for I need to install the power cord to the dryer. But I dont have one, because they don't ship one included. ....Who are these bone heads, why no powercord? And anywhere that might have a power cord is closed.

Grumpy, tired, and completely dirty, I'm thinking of bed. I shower up and there is a big old wad of glue in my hair. (must have come from the goop for installing the stupid glide on the now useless, abandoned old unit). I bust-out the dog shaver and get the stuff off my head. All of it, shaved, clean head now, 1/8th inch buz. Still grumpy, I crawl into bead, and fall off to fitful sleep. In the AM, its another trip to Lowes to get power cord. I attach the leads to the dryer and go to plug it in. The plug doesn't fit! What the @#$%, they dont make one type of plug!!!!? Back at Lowes the guy says "Oh, you got a range plug, you need a dryer plug" Oh, you tell me. Back at the house, reattach wire to dryer and finally, yes finally, the plug goes in and the "simple little" project is done.

Ali are you ever gonna know the things we do for you, .......and your not even here yet!

"Your life is gonna change" Oh, yes, I'm a believer in that.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

the adoption process

Two years in and we received referral. .......Yes, you heard right, we gonna have a child. So it is time to start The Blog. We are having a baby, but not in your standard way, we are adopting from Ethiopia! ....Yeahoo! Its a boy! Alemayehu Hopkins and he is so cute, just look at that picture! We are gonna call him Ali for short.

Our interpretation of words spoken to him right before the picture:
"Yep you heard it right kid, you are going to be adopted in Utah."
"Yep Utah, in the United States of America" (where?)
"You gonna fly half way around the world, sleep in an unfamiliar bed and eat unfamiliar food. And be loved by some people you have not met yet"
( what, the who, the where???? ...huh?)

Like the case for biologicals, it was 50/50 chance to have a boy, for the adoption procedure does not let you choose the sex first time around. So, like the couples at their first ultrasound, there was exciting anticipation of not knowing whether it would be a girl or a boy. Well, we have been busy getting his room made. (see video).

We fly Dec 4 to pick him up. 10 days spent in Ethiopia bonding with Ali and filling out paper work.

....Paper Work, those of you in the know, you know what that means.

For those of you who don't, Paper Work is forms. Forms filled out to get forms. Applications to apply for applications. See, you got your local, your state, the Federal, and your target country. forms for forms of forms. You fill form and request to be screened by a social worker who comes over to check you out.

"Are you gonna be good parents?"
"Are you gonna love your child?"
"Your not a creep are you?"

The creep check doesn't stop at a few visits from a social worker, no, there is more forms to fill, and down to sheriffs office to sit amongst other ....less fortunate peoples...... to wait in line to go get ink on your fingers. Finger prints, all of them, in duplicate.

"Your asking, Is that it?"

Oh no, once state gives you go-ahead, its now time for federal. Go down to Feds office. Lines, forms, forms for forms, and another batch of finger printing.

Creep check passed! Now time to actually apply, like a morgage loan, financial statements, proof of employment, letters of reference. (Dang, if the Biologicals had to go thru this to have child, this world would be a different place!) After confirming your confirmation to be confirm in complete commitment to raising a child, you wait....and wait ....and wait. And then the fog of uncertainly lifts with magic words:

"We have a referal for you." -so that is where we are at. ......It is actually happening. We will have us a child!