Friday, January 25, 2013

Paperwork and more paperwork...

Note: I thought I'd hit the "publish" button yesterday when I finished this post, but apparently not. Or maybe the internet was down by that time. Who knows?! It was down for a good portion of the afternoon. ¡Es lo que hay!

While the neighbor's internet is working, I thought I'd get a quick post up.

We finally turned the air conditioner on yesterday. After getting it installed and working on Saturday, the weather cooled down and we didn't need it. Isn't that the way it goes? But we were thankful for it yesterday when the temps kept rising throughout the day. Not sure how much it cooled down over night, but it wasn't much and we were glad we kept the a.c. going when we walked outside this morning to hot and humid conditions.

I don't envy Ivan digging a trench around the house as he connects the gray water system. Within five minutes he was drenched with sweat. It would have been best if he could have gotten started first thing this morning, but he had to deal with some paperwork that could only be done in the morning, so it was close to lunch time before he started.

He's been working on this over the past few days, whenever he had the chance. Between handling what I call the "business of life"* and visiting with people, there hasn't been a lot of 'extra' time.

[*It's hard to explain how much paperwork is involved in everyday life when you live overseas. This week Ivan has had to deal with compliance of a new law, that we didn't even know about until a friend's car was impounded recently. Turns out that the green card for your car, which used to be good for as long as you owned the car, now has to be renewed annually if anyone besides the person on the title is going to drive it.

If you're stopped for any reason at one of the many, MANY traffic controls that the police conduct, they can impounded your car immediately if they find an infraction like that. On our last trip to Sta. Rosa, which is just over 100 km away, there were nine traffic controls. The police set up orange road cones and drivers have to slow down and await direction from those manning the control, whether to proceed or to pull over.

They look to see whether your headlights are on (required on any provincial or national road) and if you're buckled, as well as possible problems with your vehicle (like a broken head or tail light). You can be pulled over for any of those, and then they start digging to see what else they can find. You're required to have certain emergency supplies in your car, the necessary paperwork for the car and driver...

Believe me, they will find something! We've heard stories of missionaries traveling together, and the police saying that because the driver didn't have a chauffeurs license, they were out of compliance and the car was impounded. Or another missionary who kept getting stopped and cited for something, until he finally figured out all the requirements and made sure he had them covered, only to be stopped yet again and cited for not having a blanket as part of his emergency supplies -- and this in the subtropical north of the country which is always HOT. haha

Anyway, it took Ivan part of two different mornings to take care of this one piece of paperwork. And there's always something like this that has to be dealt with, whether for the car, the house, one or both of us... ¡Siempre algo!]

How was that for a rabbit trail?

I do get sidetracked easily.

Not surprising when we've got so many things going. This week between visiting other people, and having people visit us, I've been dealing with paperwork too. Going on two years, we're still faced with medical bills and insurance stuff. Ugh. But I think the end is in sight, at least in terms of knowing where we stand on the numerous statements. We were encouraged to learn that Aetna finally came through and paid my doctor. That helped offset the frustration with Metlife's intransigence on other bills.

It's also that time of year when some of our supporting churches want annual reports submitted. Thankfully once you do one, it's easy to use that as a reference for the others. And after being chronically behind on our monthly expense reports for the mission, I actually had December's done and turned in a few days before the deadline! Go me! 

Needing a break from all the paperwork, this morning I set up my sewing machine and took care of some mending. And this afternoon I'm going to make peach jam. It may sound weird, but I find things like that relaxing and rewarding.

I was going to make jam the other day but discovered we'd eaten too many of the peaches, and I didn't have enough left for a batch. Ivan picked up more yesterday; I'd best hurry up with the jam-making before the same thing happens again!

I'm also hoping we can get out to Sta. Rosa when the grapes are ready to harvest, so I can make jelly. Last year we didn't manage to get out there until after the grapes were over. I also discovered where I can get jars and lids to make cooked jam, rather than just freezer jam. Not the same kind of system that we're used to in the states, but hopefully I can figure it out.

Well, while working on this post I got an e-mail requesting more paperwork. *sigh* Guess I'd better go get busy on that. Or maybe I'll make jam first...


rita said...

Always happy to hear from you!
Not so happy about the ridiculous paperwork!

Skoots1moM said...

prayers for ease in getting the gray water handled...thankful for the air, I know ... it's been in the 20's here...north ga is getting ice today...surely wish we could get snow. would love to taste your peach jam...robin and i recently took an extension service class on 'putting up' food...and i bought their excuses now. i've been putting up corn and tomatoes
good to hear from you!

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

paperwork vs. jam....hmmmm, seems like an easy choice to me.....jam wins every time!