30 September 2006

I'm Back...Sort Of

It's been a long time since I blogged. So long, in fact, that I actually had to look up my user name and password. (I sometimes wish I would just use the same name and password for all my accounts across the web, but that's not safe so I'm left with a list of combinations.)

For the last couple of weeks, my husband and his d-o-g have been home. Not for a vacation, really, but because his truck (big, 18-wheeler) needed to be repaired. It all started with having the clutch replaced, because it was failing. Simple job -- drop the transmission and replace it. While doing that, the mechanic found that the transmission oil cooler was leaking coolant into the oil. Not good. So to get it replaced, I had to drive to Fontana, CA (90 miles away) to get a new one, but -- and here's the cute part -- the dealer said he had the right part but it turned out to be the wrong one. Well, when the mechanic called around to other shops and dealers, the only one he could find was in Atlanta, GA. So, sending it by overnight freight (for $160), I got to do a return trip into Fontana. (The new part came into another dealer, but I still could return the wrong part to the other dealer and get our money back.) Then when the mechanic test-drove the truck, he noticed a fuel leak out of the fuel pump and an oil leak from the front of the transmission. The fuel leak ended up being just a few loose bolts and the oil leak didn't seem bad. So, on Friday, we paid the bill and brought the truck home.

Over the weekend, we drove it down to Palm Springs to pick up some lights for the truck and to figure out how much oil it was using. We found out about a pint of oil in 70 miles. Since hubby will drive 500-600 miles a day, that's nearly 2 galleons of oil per day. At $12/gal, this gets expensive fast. So Monday it went back to the shop. The cause was some dumb gasket, which was available in Chicago. After another bill, hubby finally got a working truck and left on Friday.

The total cost was about $5000.

This is why I about killed myself getting some Xmas cards done this week. As I mentioned, the alpaca farm wanted another alpaca piece by last weekend, to take to a show. She had also told me that she wanted a set of 3 Xmas cards by early November. Well, a week ago Friday, she calls and says they took out a half-page ad in an alpaca magazine, so she needed the cards by Thursday. With all the stuff going on with hubby's truck -- namely the trips to Fontana -- I didn't get started on them until Saturday afternoon. I figured one a day for 3 days and then another day to make corrections. No problem to get them done. So on Monday, I get this call and she says the deadline is really Thursday morning for the ad layout, so she would need the cards by Tuesday afternoon. So much for my timeline! I ended up working most of Sunday and Monday on them -- even made hubby make my lunches so I could work on the cards. But I got them done.

And in the middle of all this, I've been trying to run some auctions, update my website, and finish of some portrait commissions. All with husband and d-o-g in tow. (Sorry to say this, but dogs are a real nuisance, what with their trips outside. With cats, just give them a litter box and they are set for the entire day!)

And to complete my annoyance theme, today my website seems to be down. No wonder I'm not getting any views on my auctions -- the pictures are gone!

So, here are photos of what I'm selling on eBay right now:

Trout Lily Art Card

Wild Roses Print

Anemones in Crock

Anyway, I'm now trying to get my life back into some order and get back to work. I've sorted out what I want to do and how I'm going to try doing it. I still haven't exactly figured out how to get it all done, especially when I have these interruptions such as hubby's truck and the website problem to deal with!

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