First, I wanted to share the inaugrial load done with our new dishwasher. It’s not pretty but neither are dirty dishes piled in the sink. When it isn’t in use, the dishwasher fits nicely next to the butcher block island and is out of the way. (If you look in the background, you can see the microwave and it’s knob…mocking me.)
We nervously went to our appointment at the USCIS office this morning. Okay, I was nervous and Steve was laughing at me. I was convinced something would go wrong. We were the only people in the place with 5 agents sitting around playing solitaire on their computers. The appointment took less than 15 minutes. They offered us a government issued pamphlet on international adoption and what to expect…I laughed. They have no idea what many families go through while dealing with other countries. Then we went to get our digital fingerprints done. Same agency but across town because we wouldn’t want it to be convenient. We were not even close to the only people there. After about an hour, it was our turn. The people were actually quite friendly and personable – probably because they were required to give out customer service surveys after we were finished (great for the 15 people there who didn’t seem to speak English). So that is done and the wait for the I171H begins!
Then we went to the county office building. We were notified that the school district we live in was appealing our property assessment – they want more taxes. Having no idea what to expect, we went into our “hearing”. (The term hearing is used loosely…it was a guy wearing a headset and some schmuck lawyer. We were there for all of 8 minutes. Parking cost $7. LOVE the government.) We were against them raising the assessment because 1) We have no intention of selling the house until they pry my cold dead body out of the bed in 40+ years so the assessed value matters little to me (some day I’ll blog about the year 2004 when I moved 4 times) and 2) three months after we bought the house, with no disclosure from the previous owner (and she knew, I know she knew), they started cutting down all of the trees in the beautiful 10 acre wood next to our quiet little house and started building 50 condos. I think that seriously effected our property value – and it certainly yanked me off. We bought the house because we were close to the city but it felt like the country. Our next door neighbor’s family had owned the land since the civil war and he chooses to sell it at the exact moment we bought the house. We’ll be “notified” of the hearing officer’s decision by mail.