Shortly after my post above, I disconnected from our wired connection.
I then went to PCC > Network & Internet > Remove a connection... and then removed the eth1 (wireless connection).
I restarted the machine and then went back to PCC > Network & Internet... and then Set up a new network interface ... and chose Wi-fi > eth1 > selected my home wifi network > (configuration for wireless settings) > Automatic IP > (configuration for IP settings) > (configuration for Connection control) > Do you want to start the connection now? > YES
Initially, I could not connect wirelessly (and was getting pretty tired already of that familiar message).
Without exiting PCC, I again clicked in Set up a new network interface ... and all of a sudden, the wi-fi was connected!
Just to make sure this was not a fluke or anything, I restarted this netbook, crossed my weary fingers.... and voila! Wifi connection was up automatically!!
Thanks for all who helped. Marking this thread as solved.