Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Car Trouble, Confusion, Conferences and a whole lot of COUGHING!

Ok, I have decided that I will never again say anything about ANYTHING before it's final EVER again. Remember how my last post was about how nice it is when things just "fall into place"? Weeell let's just say that things fell out all over the place right after I posted that.

Ryan and I have both owned Honda Civics for the last few years and have really liked them. They're great cars! Very dependable, good quality, etc, etc. Well, this year our cars decided to play a little game with us called "Let's Take Turns Getting Sick." So at the end of last year Ryan's car needed some very minor repairs. No big deal, his muffler just FELL OFF on one end as we're driving through Park City. Ok, fine, not a huge problem. We both use my car until it's done, end of story. Except THEN my car decided that it would be fun if her passenger window got stuck in the down position in the middle of winter. We didn't have the money to fix that one right away so Ryan custom-built a "Vote For Jim Matheson" window replacement. I mean, not that I don't LIKE feeling like white trash driving down the road, but it was a LITTLE hard to see through. Besides the fact that it was after the elections were over so it's not as if we looked like die-hard Jim Matheson supporters. No, we really just looked like white trash (for the second time that year if you count the muffler-dragging episode).

So we finally get that fixed somehow and we have two working cars again...for all of about one week. Thelonius (Ryan's car) remembers that it's his turn and decides to do something a little more exciting. The transmission...and about a zillion other little things. We almost decide to just part with him rather than spend all the money it will take to get him back in working order, but then we decide, "Aw heck, let's just fix him. We'll get another couple good years out of him and avoid a car payment." So, we do that. He's fixed. Two working cars again. For two weeks.

I bet you know who's got problems now! That's right! Little Goldilocks! Everything's good and then one Sunday after having already gone and come home from church in her, I go back outside to go to a meeting...and the car won't start. But it DOES start beeping and all the blinkers and tailights start blinking. Well, turns out, there was an alarm installed in the car before we got it, but it wasn't activated, nor did we have a control for it, it was just there. Well it picked this particular day to think I was breaking in (seriously? I mean did I like SMELL different or something?) and didn't let me start the car. And it messed up a bunch of other electrical stuff and killed the battery. AHHHHH!!!!!

Lucky for us, a friend of a friend that happened to come to our house that day was able to fix it a couple days later at very little cost. YAY! And things started to look up! That woman popped up out of no where when we needed someone to buy our contract, we got everything moved and got settled smoothly.

Two days after we moved, I'm headed up the canyon to go to a doctor's appointment and wrap some other stuff up. I'm in Ryan's car (yes, it is his turn at this point, but I thought the game was over!). Rattling noise...starts softly and then gets louder and the car starts shaking and I barely have time to pull over before it dies completely. Stranded at mile marker 173. Wonderful. After being rescued by AAA and my aunt I finally get into Park City (after having missed my appointment completely) and I get a phone call from the management company saying that this lady can no longer move in. Again...just wonderful.

Two days later we find out that the engine in Ryan's car has blown up. The mechanic tells me he'll buy the car from me for $200. Instead I opted to sell it on KSL and got $650. So, Thelonius now belongs to a man from Armenia. Happy trails Thelonius.

On another note, I went to the Writing and Illustrating for Young Reader Conference at BYU last week and it was awesome!! Every morning we met in small groups of 13 (and with and author) to read each other's manuscripts and give feedback. I had a wonderful group and our author was Lael Littke who is just amazing! She looks like Ryan's Grandma Pat. She's written and published 43 books and is still going. Besides getting great feedback about my own book, I learned so much about the publishing process and what it takes to really be successful as a writer. I feel completely driven now to do what I need to do to make this book great and try to get it out there! I've also been able to expand more on the ideas I already had for my second book, which is going to be completely different from my first one. So, it was definitely a successful week and really worth it.

But...this week I have the flu. Go figure.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Moving Stinks

So here we are. It's Monday morning and I no longer live in Park City. Yesterday we went to our branch for the last time and got released, which made me cry more than I expected to. Then we had to speak, and I cried some more. So silly! It's not like we moved to a different state! Changes just make me sad. Well, sad, disappointed and worried...but also happy, giddy and excited to see what's going to happen next. It's just a roller coaster.

What was amazing is that we found someone to rent our place so quickly. We still had 3 months left on our contract but felt we should leave now. I had tried to get a hold of the management company since the beginning of May to know what we should do and NO ONE called me back until like 2 days before we were going to be moving. Of course the nice woman told me we would have to continue to pay rent until we found someone to take over (even though they didn't keep up THEIR end of our contract in SO many ways...but that's a story for another day). So I freaked out for a day and then posted it on KSL. The next day I got a call from a woman who was interested. She came to see it that day, and wanted to move in the second we moved out. AWESOME! It just made me that more convinced that this is what we should be doing right now.

We are currently living in my grandma's basement while we're looking for a home just for us! So we have stuff here, and at Ry's grandma's and today the rest goes in a storage unit. I hope we find a place we can stay in for at least 10 years because after we move all the stuff in, Ryan will probably refuse to ever take it all out again. I'll have to negotiate the 10 years. Thanks to everyone who helped us so much this last week!