I’ve been doing a little research on the web about Marietta…I’ve never heard of Meetup.com, but I’m getting really excited about using it. I guess it’s a website for a bunch of people who want to get together to enjoy a certain topic; and we’ve already found so many that look interesting: poker, stay-at-home-moms, Linux, web design, bloggers, etc. etc. etc. There’s even a Spanish group that gets together…I seriously need to consider going to that; I really don’t want to lose my (slight) grasp of the Spanish language.

In order to take advantage of the many opportunities out there Tj and I must make a change from the extremely home-bound people we are. That’s one of the things I love about him…he’s as much of a homebody as I am.

We often wish aloud that we weren’t such homebodies; but you know, I kinda like it. This next place is gonna be a change, though. I know that we’ll appreciate America so much more for having lived abroad two years…we won’t be able to believe our good fortune in moving to such a big city as Atlanta.

More on the plumbers; First, my bad: they asked me if there were any ‘unintelligible Spanish word here’ in our yard. After asking them to repeat the word a couple of times, and looking like a stupid foreigner one guy finally asked if there were “chu chu chu’s” in our yard. Now I don’t know about you, but that sound says ‘sprinkler’ to me. I told them no. They were annoyed the next day when they found pipes in our yard. We don’t have sprinklers, but there is a faucet on the other side of our house from our connection to city water. They told me they’ll have to come back Monday to finish up the yard work. Second, their bad: they didn’t see the bidet in the master bathroom. I don’t know how they could have missed it…every Spanish bathroom I’ve been in has had a bidet; and why would the guest bathroom have one and not the master bathroom???

We do have hot/cold water now, and the use of the guest shower. When they come back Monday they also have to hook up the shower head and bidet in the master bathroom, fix some tiles in the kitchen, and I’ve found a leak in the guest bathroom they need to caulk. Hopefully that’ll be it. In a way it’s nice to have the whole house to ourselves this weekend; but on the other hand I’m in a fix. Everything in this house is covered in dust from them jackhammering and tearing out tile; but I can’t clean it all up until they’re through here. Tj swept, I cleaned the guest bathroom and put the first coat of bleach on the moldy walls today; guess I’ll just bide my time until they’re out of here and then give everything a good cleaning.

The landlady came by a couple of hours ago…why does she think she doesn’t need to call before coming??? We’re both sick and the house is a wreck…a little heads-up would’ve been nice. At least she apologized for the mess; I was a little worried she’d be upset at the shape of her house.

Some good news: Tj got an email yesterday saying our next move is to *……drumroll, please……* Dobbins AFB in Marietta, GA!!!!!!!! There had been a very very slight chance that we could go to Germany; which I thought would be so cool. But I’m so excited to be going to anywhere in the US!!! I feel a little bad that it’s obvious that I’m so happy to be getting out of here…but I rationalize it because even when you’re on vacation, when it’s time to head home who doesn’t really ache to get back to their home and the norm? I miss fitting in; I’m tired of being a foreigner, I never realized how much hard work it was! I remember our Preacher’s wife telling us this story: She’s from America, and has lived here in Spain 15 years. Not long after they moved to Murcia (our province), and before she became as comfortable with Spanish as she is now, she had to go to her neighbor’s to call her husband because their phone was out. Her neighbor was amazed at how rapidly she spoke English…all the neighbor had ever heard was her halting Spanish, and here she was talking a mile a minute. When she hung up the phone the neighbor said something to the effect that she wasn’t as stupid as she sounded in Spanish! (Yes, that is how tactful Murcianos usually are.) I know I must come across just like that in Spanish…I’m always halting and searching for the right word; and although I do pretty well speaking in the present tense I never get the past right, and the subjunctive is completely beyond me. I’m ready to sound like an educated woman again, for pity’s sake!

Tj’s a little worried about this position. Although he’ll be working with C-130’s again, it could be his first step out of the AF. He’s worried that this will turn out to be an Active Duty advisor job to the Reserves, and since he worked with the Reserves already, and has been here on the sidelines in Spain for the last two years this may be the beginning of the end. He loves the AF, and we hope to stay in for many more years, but there’s no allaying his fears this weekend. He can’t find any info on his position on the internet. Although there’s a lot of info on Dobbins, none of it concerns his portion of the base. He’s tried calling the US for information, but to no avail. He’s sent off an email to Germany, and we’ll just have to wait until Monday when (hopefully) we’ll get some reassurance.

I’ve never lived in Georgia, but as far as I remember it’s a pretty state. Again, I think I’m just excited to be moving and would be happy with wherever they send us. From what we can tell over the internet Marietta is about 30 minutes from the Atlanta airport, so we’ll be living in the big city, baby!! I’m glad to be getting out of the boonies….ahhh….can’t wait to make drive-thru part of my weekly life again! (Isn’t that sad to hear!!!) I have a cousin living 1 hour away from Marietta, and one of my sisters is a 3-hour drive…I can’t wait!

Ok, I wrote this yesterday and didn’t have time to post it, so here goes:

Tj flew today…man, if this thing turns around any more I’m gonna get dizzy! The word when he came home yesterday was that he wouldn’t fly until next Wednesday when he took the physical. Well, after he’d changed into his uniform this morning somebody came running for him saying he was needed to fly. It still looks like he’s taking the physical, but the #2 guy has authorized him to fly; the reasoning being that he shouldn’t be punished by not being able to fly until this whole thing is sorted out. Ugg…just decide already!

When the plumbers left yesterday they said we had hot and cold water; yea!!! I wiped down the cabinets a bit, and just generally enjoyed hearing the sound of water coming out of our faucets until I saw a pool of water in the master bathroom. I threw a towel on the floor; I figured I had enough time to wash some dishes (we were out of forks) and then I’d clean it up. I went back to check on it later and saw that now the puddle reached from the bathroom to somewhere under our bed. Great. Tj went out and shut off the water and I mopped up. Not too much later he thought he heard something fall; this is what we found:

      

Apparently the leak in the bathroom wasn’t the only one. Water was leaking so much here in the spare room that the cement couldn’t harden and just fell. This really doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in this plumber’s work, but that’s only my problem for a little longer. Another thing that’s not my problem: when I told Carm that they’re running the plumbing on the outside of the house she immediately said we should call the landlady…this sort of thing shouldn’t be done (like it goes against city housing code, or something). At first I felt bad for not keeping the landlady informed, but then I realized that if she’s gonna approve and pay for a repair of this size she should’ve been down here to check on the work long before now.

But then again, I guess I can. Tj just called; he’s grounded again! The Spanish AF is saying again that he has to take the physical!

And since they only perform them on Wednesdays he’s grounded until next Wednesday. So he had me call his US boss in Germany, and ask that boss to call him at work. Since Tj’s grounded he’ll be working the operations desk and answering the phone is one of his duties there. His Germany boss asked if we were finding this a little bit frustrating…it’s nice of him (after all the trouble this situation has been) to treat us like people, not just another problem to fix.

Tj was planning on asking for a week off this May, I believe. Fran and Teresa are going to the Canary Islands and have found cheap airfare and a hotel, and invited us to go along! It sounds like a lot of fun to me. Unfortunately, after all of this I’d be surprised if they let him go.

After this mess at work, and the mess here at the house (the plumbers showed up right on time this morning), it’s hard not to count down to our departure. 4 1/2 months left!!! It’s crazy to think that I could be pregnant when we leave here…the thought of a 9-hour flight, and then house hunting, and unpacking, coupled with the fact that we’re a 6-hour drive from my doctor right now…makes me want to move making a baby to a back burner. I guess there are always good reasons to postpone this, but it’s time we started. I’m estimating a 2-week countdown until the fun begins.

I know anyone who’s learned (or is in the process of learning) a new language will know what I’m talking about. It never fails…it must be one of Murphy’s laws…you always know the word up until someone asks you. Teresa and I were talking the other day and got onto the subject of Bambi, then she asked me what kind of animal Bambi was…what was that word in English? I immediately said “Bambi was a lamb.” What??!!! Even she looked at me kinda funny. I started to correct myself, but for the life of me I couldn’t think of the word ‘deer’. It took me at least 30 seconds. I always feel so dumb after stuff like that; but I know everyone does it. Carm, who was born in Spain and lived for many years in the US, speaks perfect English. The other day when we were getting our hair cut I asked her how to say the word ‘spoiled’ in Spanish. It took her about a minute…I guess it happens to everyone.

The plumbers have gone home for the night with the promise to return by 8:30 tomorrow morning. I had to make another urgent run to Carm’s house to use the bathroom before they left, but now they say we have cold water; yea! my own bathroom again! Fran’s coming over tomorrow morning to bring TJ to work…there’re showers there, so he’s taken care of. Guess I’ll just wing it tomorrow. Here are some shots of the damage:

This is the guest bathroom, you can see directly into the spare room closet from the tub now.

This is the forever unusable and ridiculously tiny closet in the spare room.

   

Left is where the demolition all began. Please notice the excessive dimpling of the stucco below our brand new pipes. This type of wall ‘treatment’ can be found all through the house, in addition to the frequent mold spots, also seen here.

Right is the guest room. Our bedroom looks about like this too. I’m not looking forward to cleaning it up (in about 2 minutes) so we can hit the sack.