Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Year in Review

Well, I figured I should write a quick list of things that have gone on this year. I'll start at the beginning because it seems a very good place to start. :)

I lost two roomies to marriage. Good for them, hard for me. That's life.
I moved home. See above.
I commuted 63 miles one way every day for nearly four months, or I commuted through eight construction zones each day, or I spent three hours each day in the car, or I memorized two CD's, or I drove roughly more than 300 miles a week, OR I spent about $180 in gas each week. Yeah, it's a little crazy. I truly had time to think about this during all those long drives.
I traveled to Phoenix. Yeah . . . I don't know what it is with me and long drives.
After searching near and far, I finally bought a place of my own (the near one).
Spent the better part of a month laying by the pool, reading and soaking up the sun.
Bought my first couch and real bed and dresser. Oh, I love them. Makes me feel grown up.
I finished my first five years of teaching and continued on to a 6th. Yay! I'm not a statistic!
Completed my English as a Second Language endorsement to add to my degrees.
I took a trip to Wales, was mugged of all my money, and lost my passport, without ever leaving the country. Yeah, I was hacked. Don't worry. Hacker: 0, Me: 1.
Lost my sweet, loving Grandma Wood. Saddest day ever.
I drove through California wine country and up the Pacific coast, visited the Redwood Forests and hugged a big tree (lifelong dream!) and saw the beauty of Oregon, and I was able to spend time in Seattle with my brother, Kevin.
I became a bit of a budding photographer.
Bought Miss Molly Mac, one of my better investments. Hello, Mac. Thanks for not crashing! :)
Successfully avoided another Halloween party.
Survived another year of directing the school play. My LAST year. Please remind me of that come oh, August. Please!
I participated in my first craft boutique and did well.
I gained a new nephew. Cutest baby ever.
Lost all my family. Okay, the just moved to California and Arizona. Not lost, just far far away.
I made my first trip to Simi Valley, Hollywood, and the greater Los Angeles area. Not my last.
Spent the holidays in Phoenix visiting family, painting my first set of kitchen cabinets, playing with babies, shopping, and staying warm. Gained another nephew. Lucky me.
I've met some great new people, made some new friends, and had my share of ups and downs.
Nothing too terribly exciting.
Overall, I guess life is good, but I hope that the best is yet to come.

Scaring Myself

So, there I was. It was between two and three in the morning, and I needed to get a little gas, just to be safe. As I came over the next hill, I saw a Chevron gas station with the pumps lit up. (Aren't 24hr pumps a great thing?!) I pulled in and proceeded to swipe my card, put the nozzle it, etc. I stood there quietly looking around. The place was as still and quiet as an empty building. Now, I compare it to an empty building, but that is only because there was no sound except for the soft elevator music playing at the gas station. I glanced back at the gas pump and became horrified! .53 gallons?! I'd been pumping gas for a few minutes now and .53 gallons was all I had? This was the slowest gas pump in the history of gas pumps. Seriously, it wasn't like there was a rush on gas at the moment or anything. Did I mention it was freezing outside? 20 degrees to be exact. I stood there, pumping gas, and began to look around. There was an older motel, lights off except for the vacancy sign flashing. There was a lone semi with the running lights on, pulled over for the night. Not a soul in sight. A slight fog was also creeping in. I looked back at the gas tank. I now had a total of $4.00 or about a gallon and then some. I looked again at my surroundings and thought to myself, "This is how people get murdered!"
I quickly hung up the gas pump, took my $4.00 receipt, jumped back in my
car, and drove off into the night. It's a good thing I didn't really need that much gas.

I've watched too many scary movies. I scare myself.

On a more humorous note, here's a billboard from that town. No, I didn't take it, just saw it. Someone else took this. Thought we could all use some comic relief.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Here, There, and Everywhere

I've been traveling. In 35 days, I've been home for 3. It's been fun, but at the same time, it's been exhausting!

I spent the week of Thanksgiving in Monroe, Utah at my sister's house. She had another kidlet. See the previous post on that cute kid.

I was then home for three days to do a boutique. It went well, but I think it could have gone much better. I don't think it was successfully advertised, the location wasn't the best, and it was pretty short notice. Live and learn.

I then headed to Simi Valley, California to help Kristin, Matthew, and Axton unpack their new house. I really enjoyed spending time with them and having a bit of fun, too. We made sugar cookies, caramel popcorn, went to the park (it was like Fall there all over again), played games, and we even went and had lunch on the beach in Malibu. A fab break from the coolness here.

After leaving Simi Valley, I headed to a car dealership to get my transmission fixed. My transmission range sensor to be exact. That's another story. I'll post it.

I drove through the evening hours and arrived in Gilbert, Az about 2 in the morning. I was able to spend from the 14th-27th in Gilbert and Surprise. While there, I went shopping and browsing with my mom, caught a movie, and spent time with my step-sister and her family. I even got to see her brand-spankin-new baby when he was born. Lance came down, and we were able to visit all of his kids during Christmas. It was fun, and the weather was beautiful! Even when it was raining, I thought it was a nice relief from the 75 degrees. Now that I'm back in Utah, and it's a blizzard, I'm not so sure. :)

Story Time:

Car Woes

So, there I was getting gas. As I went to drive off, my car wouldn't drive. It lurched, the engine light came on, and I may or may not have thought angry words. I tried driving forward again, and this time it worked. Not 100 percent oh-that-was-weird worked, but the this-may-get-me-to-a-shop worked.

I drove around the corner to where there just happened to be an AutoZone car parts store. I knew that they did free engine light testing at these stores. (Unfortunately I knew this from prior experience). When I got in the store, I told them why I was there. The man looked at me and was all, "Uh, we don't do that here. They passed a law in California that shops can't do that because dealerships were complaining that they were losing too much money." I said thanks, walked out the door, sat in my car, and cried. Cars make me so emotional.

So, I called the Suzuki hotline and found the nearest certified dealer, 40 minutes away. I followed my GPS there, and I couldn't find it. I looked up and down the street for the name the hotline had given me. No luck. So, I called the phone number that I had for the shop. It was one of those don't-blink-or-you'll-miss-the-entrance shops. Apparently, the shop name had been changed and it wasn't really a Suzuki shop anyway. Nonetheless, they could do repairs.

After speaking to the rep and telling him my situation, it was decided that yes, they could check the engine light, but no, they couldn't work on my car. Not until around 1:30. It was just before 11:30. He said, "See, well, it's almost our lunch, so we can't work on it until later. But there's a waiting room a few blocks down at our showroom if you want to go there." So, they did the diagnostic ($115! (no wonder shops complain about free ones) $52 in Ut.), and yadda, yadda, yadda, it's going to be a little expensive. I said to just fix it. I didn't really have a choice, seeing how I needed to get to Phoenix. I hate cars. So, I told them I was going and would be back at 3:30. That's when they said it would be done, and my phone was dead. I had no intention of sitting around for almost four hours.

I walked down the street, crying. The day had definitely not been what I'd expected. I found a store, bought a drink and some Exedrin, and got myself together. Then, I did what any girl would do. I walked into a nearby salon and got my hair cut. Hair therapy. It was totally worth it. Best money I spent in that expensive day. My long straight hair became layered and a little shorter. I kind of regret it, but it's just hair. I like my new cut, but I just have to find some new hairstyles because I have more short pieces than I'm used to.

Anyway, car seems to be running fine. I made it home safely after 2,000 miles and hours upon hours of driving. I guess that, all in all, my car has been good to me. With almost 90,000 miles in less than 5 years, I've been pretty rough on it. Still, I kind of hate cars.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Deal With It

So, I've been on vacation for awhile. Since the day before Thanksgiving to be exact. My car is a mess, I have bags and boxes of stuff in random places, and I've completely lost any sense of routine. I'm really ready to get home.


So, I've been working on this quilt while I've been in Phoenix. At the beginning of 2009, I signed up to take a sewing block of the month class with my mom. It was five bucks a month, and in December you have a quilt. It all sounds good, until you actually have to make all the blocks. This isn't a beginner quilt, and I am a beginning quilter. I think it would make some intermediate quilters shed a tear or two. Well, I'm proud to say that here it is, two years later, and I'm practically almost done! I still have some hand stitching to do, and I have to get it quilted. I want to learn how to quilt it myself, but that's a discussion I'll have to have with my sane self later.

So, my mom was at work at the clinic, and I was trying to do the second piano key border around my quilt edge. It wasn't working. I texted my mom and told her I needed help. She called on her break. I said something to the fact of, "Mom, this border just isn't working. I think one side of my quilt is like 2 inches longer than the other side." She replied with, "Well, Michelle. Some women have one boob that's bigger than the other. Deal with it."

Thanks for the advice, Mom. :)

Oh, and don't worry. I dealt with it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Another Holiday Baby

My sister loves having her babies around holidays. No kidding. Oct. 25 (Pretty close to Halloween), Feb. 29th (Hello Leap Year!), and this cute little guy was born on Nov. 24, and, coincidentally, his birthday will be on Thanksgiving next year and I'm sure for many more. Anyway, I took some newborn photos of him and his long skinny self. I miss his skinny legs already.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Boutique Stuff

By request, here are two things I'm selling at the boutique. Adjustable baby/toddler dresses and painted signs of all sorts. I have about 30 dresses but just chose a couple.