Saturday, July 26, 2008

Roadside Agonies

When we get off the interstate, either to run smaller highways and byways, or to make deliveries; we often get to see into other people's lives.  Roadside fruit and vegetable stands are my favorites, because I can stop and buy something that only temporarily takes up room in the truck. 

Wonderful garage and yard sales are my least favorite roadside attractions.  Why?  Because I want to stop so badly!!!!!!!!!  

This beauty was in Kansas City, Kansas.  In the course of our delivery, we ended up going by this sale 4 times.  The first was hard enough, but 4 times was agony I tell you.  I would have bought those beautiful chairs.  I lust after those chairs.  Out with the ratty old Goodwill recliner and in with those babies.  Of course, I don't have room (or a ratty old recliner) in the truck and I doubt that they would fit in the storage compartment under the bed.  Damn.

As a result of regular fits similar to the one described above, we have decided to start thinking about looking for some kind of a landing spot up in the center of the country.  Now that I have discovered that there are in fact more states in the Union that just Texas, I would like to experience them more fully.  Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee and Western North Carolina are looking like likely spots.  

Tony would like to have his guitars in a more centralized spot and I, of course, need to have a place to utilize all the cool crap that I will find all over the country

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Texas Monthly and my 15 minutes of fame

My humble little blog attracted the notice of a former Texas Monthly editor, (thanks, Sarah) who sent it to a current editor, Pamela Colloff.  Pamela read through the archives and decided to waste some magazine space on life as a female OTR truck driver.  We spent 5-6 hours on the phone over the course of 2 or 3 interviews and out popped an article.  I am not savvy enough to know how to embed the address so that you can just click on it and it will take you there.  But I can copy it here for you to put in on you own.  The article can be found here: workinglife.php 

It is really late now and we are waiting in Santa Fe Springs, CA for a load.  Tony will get up at 4:30 (he gets to sleep 2 extra hours tonite!) and take us out and head us up the road to the Midwest.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Leo the Co-Pilot

This is the view I have of Leo when he is at his post and I am driving.  Is this the cutest Co-pilot ever?  I love the way his feet dangle over the edge.  Very casual-like.  I reach over and play with his feet, but then he pulls them in and turns around - I guess he doesn't like it when I mess with them.  The seat has a 3 point restraint system that allows him complete freedom in the seat.  Leo especially likes it that the seat raises him up to window lever.  He often rides with his front feet and chin resting on the window sill.  I wonder what people think when the drive by and see a dog looking out the window.
  You an just see a little bit of his harness.  It is lined with sheepskin and fits him nicely.  I have to say he actually looks dapper while wearing it and I would swear he swaggers a little bit when we walk in the truck stops.  Kind of like military pilots swagger while wearing their jumpsuits and gear.  (I briefly dated a 'Nam helicopter pilot and I can attest that that "swagger" is very much part of their psyche). 
You can see his food and water dish that attaches to the seat.  His seat is lined with a sheepskin pad which is good to hide treats under.  If Leo wants to save a treat for later, he goes through this elaborate ritual of burying it.  Sometimes the treat actually makes it under the pad, but mostly he "buries" them in plain sight.  But he faithfully scoops invisible dirt over them with his nose and even makes this little bob of his head as he is tamping down the invisible dirt onto the treat.  Usually this is mildly amusing, but one time he tried to invisibly bury a yogurt drop treat and it would stick to his nose when the tamping motion occurred.   The really funny part was that once it stuck to his nose, he had to scrape it off and bury it all over again.  This went on for quite some time until I finally hurt from laughing and ended the never ending cycle.
Leo is a great co-pilot, but Tony is still my favorite co-pilot.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Land of Fruits and Nuts

We are off to California. 

 Yeah!  I would have to say that California runs are our favorites and not necessarily for the reason you might think.  If we get a run to California, we are usually well west of the Rockies and California means a great long run (usually in the 1,500 - 2,000 mile range).   And just as good is the fact that once we are there, they are going to send us in one of two directions.  Either up the Northwest coast (damn, I hate to have to spend time in the lusciousness of Seattle and Portland) or they will send us zipping back to the eastern part of the country (usually well east of the Mississippi).  So, it is actually for the milage that we love California runs.
Of course, it helps that we get to buy organic dates that have just dropped off of trees that we can actually see.  I also don't mind having to buy organic strawberries from the stand that sits in front of the actually strawberry patch.  His mom's strawberry jam (2 jars at a time!) is another burden that I can bear.
Speaking of roadside fruit and veggie stands, we stopped in the Boston area a couple of days ago and I was able to coax Tony to stop so I could pick up a couple of homegrown tomatoes and 4 wonderful ears of Butter and Sugar corn.  I don't know if you have ever had this experience, but you can eat fresh picked corn RAW.  Yep, just tear into those babies as soon as you get them.  That is some kinda special, let me tell you.  We have to limit ourselves to only eating 1 then and another the next day (not sure what 2 ears of raw corn would do to the digestive process?!?).  We also picked up a pint of local blueberries and snarfed them within the hour.
Oh the wonderful days of summer. . . 

Wednesday, July 16, 2008







We were the "Two Headed Purple People Eater".  My mom made that 2 person sweatshirt and we had to spend the whole night with an arm around each other.  I can only imagine the power struggles that went on under that shirt!

Oh yea, that guy in there is my older brother - it was 2 against one most of the time.  Poor guy.



Sunday, July 13, 2008

The wonders of modern technology

Thanks to a comment from "terlinguamoon" I found out that this picture thing is a whole lot easier than I thought.  I am still learning about the iphoto program on the laptop, but now I'll be able to add pictures more often.  I cropped this photo, but haven't figured out how to save the cropped image - seems like a simple thing I know, but it is eluding me for now.
So. . .  as you can see, this is in front of the Clinton Library on our trip to Little Rock.

This is a photo from the farmer's market that we went to while we were in Little Rock.  There were wonderful smells and sounds as well.  Since we can't buy anything larger than a peanut because the truck might explode, we were only able to walk around.  I surreptitiously sneaked a few pets of some of the tomatoes and peaches - couldn't help myself!  We did buy a pint of homegrown blackberries for immediate consumption and then a small (tiny) bag of kettle corn that was being cooked in a large kettle right there on site.  It was sweet and salty and even slightly extra crispy in places - basically perfect!

Okay, now I'm getting the hang of this!
I especially loved the way these wonderful fruits were all mixed up and just set out.  I wish I was there right now so I could get another basket of blackberries!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Look Leo - we're in Kansas!

In our travels back and forth the country, we hardly ever get to Kansas.  We hit all the states around it on  a regular basis, but miss Kansas.  In the last 2 days, we have made 3 trips through the Sunflower State and I have to say, it was a surprise.
The colors as you drive through the state are a deep verdant green and a gold that shimmers in the sunlight.  This is, of course, the color of stuff growing and being harvested.  Kansas is most  definitely an agriculture state and leads the nation in wheat and sunflower production most years.  
I also saw lots of fields of what I think is sorghum.  I have no idea what sorghum is used for.  I do know that the Mexicans fed our horses sorghum when we did horse trips there and it turned their poop the weirdest color of orange. 
The landscape looks like someone took the Big Bend and covered it with well watered chia seeds.  Go with me here and think about it. . . lush rolling landscape, absolutely no trees, lots of wide open sky.  Tony laughed at the "covered with chia seeds" part, but understood what I meant.
I was able to stop at a Wal-Mart for a quick resupply in Colby, Kansas.  I think they must have invented white bread here.  Probably slathered with Miracle Whip and topped with American Cheese.  These folks are BLAND.  But since they are the center of the country, I figure all the blandness swirls around and settles here in the center.  Needless to say, I wasn't able to find some of the staples of our truck such as, wasabi peas, hummus and caramel flavored diet pepsi.  Good thing we travel around and can find stuff elsewhere!
We are on our way back to the hot again - headed for El Paso.  I'm sweating just thinking about it!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

124 degrees of hot in Calexico

Leo is back in the co-pilot's seat and we are back on the road!  We ended up spending alot more time out of the truck than any of us like.  As Tony says, "sailors belong on ships and ships belong at sea".  I guess that applies to us too.  
We had a quick run up to Memphis and down to Calexico, CA and then got stopped by the holiday weekend.  That is over and we are sitting in West Virginia having dropped at a Con-Way terminal here and waiting to pick up a load going to Colorado.  I can only hope that we stay up in the cooler weather for a bit.  
It was 124 degrees of hottness in Calexico.  We took a picture of the dash indicator, but I still haven't figured out how to get photos on to the blog.  I have managed to take pictures and get them into the laptop.  I can even edit them in the iphoto program, but I can't seem to get them out of it and onto this blog.  I know it is just a matter of working and learning, but my patience is worn thin with it right now.  I did get to spend some time at the photo center in Walgreens and printed umpteen copies of cute pictures of our delightful grandchildren, Zander and Sirena.  Those will be going out in the mail to family soon.  It is hard to write the note when we are bouncing down the road.
Right now, we are pushing 11 hour days each.  Con-Way terminal runs are always on a tight schedule and there really is just barely enough room to get them in on time.  I need to think through how to explain how our time tables work - it is pretty intense sometimes.
So, I'll put on my thinking cap while I'm driving across I-64 heading to Colorado. . .