Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Just a Little Giggle for Today

The new flu virus stories on the news have me on the verge of tears several times a day.  
I don't understand my intense reaction to this particular world crisis.  We are not short on world problems these days, but I don't feel like crying over the financial situation or even global warming.  
Mostly just the new influenza virus.
I guess that is just a symptom of being a woman "of a certain age".

The good side of that is that some things just strike me as so funny I almost burst into tears laughing so hard.  
Usually they are not that funny, I don't understand why they strike me so intensely. 
This is what brought me to tears today
funny pictures of cats with captions

Gift Giving and Trucking

When we decided to become full time truck drivers, we made the commitment to live our life in an 8x8x8 space for as long as we could.  
The first gift giving occasion (Christmas '07) was easy because we still needed so many things for our new jobs.  Tony and I gave each other Full Blizzard Gear - bibs, jackets, snow boots, gloves and hats - whoopeeeeee!  
Our family also helped with additional driving type things.  Eventually we ran out of needed trucking stuff and then started wondering what to do.  Gift cards filled the gap, but still weren't "just right".  
My Mom and Sister hit upon the absolutely perfect thing for my birthday this year - a gift certificate to the Oasis Day Spa here in Joplin.  
The fact that there is even a Day Spa in Joplin is astounding all by itself. 
 The story from my sis is that Mom got on the internet and phone and sleuthed out this true Oasis by getting recommendations from women she spoke with in her search.  
So I made my appointment when we hit Joplin and got to go spend a wonderful afternoon lounging around in the serenity of this Oasis.
I had decided to kick in a bit extra and go for 3 treatments
Oasis Signature Facial - This facial includes: deep cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, toning, customized mask and a relaxing hand, facial, and décolleté massage that will leave you feeling radiant.
Moroccan Scalp and Hair Treatment - Using Rassoul mud, this hair treatment will leave you stress free, while cleansing and hydrating your scalp and hair. Includes an invigorating scalp message, mud mask and rinse in the Swiss shower.
Spa Pedicure - the usual pedicure yumminess.

On Tuesday, it was off to the Spa for my afternoon.
First I was ushered into the "Back Area", given a lush robe and slippers and sent into the Ladies Locker Room.
I changed and waited in the lounge with comfy chairs and a cup of Orange Spice tea.  My facial esthetician Julie was very helpful and took a couple of pics during our scalp and facial treatment.  I look like a mummy under the steam cloths.

Then, after the steaming, we went on to the mask phase.  It was easier to breathe during this one.
When I was all finished, my skin felt so soft and smooth.  I had had a facial before, but didn't enjoy it nearly as much as this one.  Julie massaged my neck, shoulders, arms and hands as well as scalp and ears.  Oh the ears . . . she did some amazing accupressure stuff on my ears and then actually massaged them.  You have not experienced true bliss until you have had your ears massaged.
A finish in the shower with spa products was a good transition back to the "Real World".
On to the spa pedicure and a finish coat of Conga-Line Coral for my tootsies
What a delightful gift. 
Thanks Mom and Brenda,
I felt truly special and loved.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Here's Mine . . . What's Your's?

When we stop in Joplin, there is often a visit to StarBucks involved.  Our hotel is close by and parking is no problem!  On the road, we pass lots of groovy coffee places and I look at them longingly as we pass by.  Even when they advertise a "Drive Thru", we just can't manage to fit our 8' wide 70' long ride into the parking lot - much less through the Drive Thru.
But in Joplin . . . Tony often makes a morning run for us.
He has to write down my order.  
It took me awhile to figure out the correct java jargon.
Here's mine

Triple Grande Sugar-Free HazelNut Upside Down Low-Fat Latte with 2 Splendas

What's yours?

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Horribly Wonderful Moment

When we have to wait for dispatches, loads, snow storms, etc, I spend time on the internet.  After I cruise my favorite 5 or 10 sites, I often turn to YouTube for mindless entertainment.  
Yesterday while listening to a radio program, I made a note to look up Susan Boyle and see what the fuss was all about.  If you are one of the other 3 people in the World who hasn't seen this most amazing woman sing, you should definitely go look her up and watch the video. 
That wasn't the Horribly Wonderful Moment listed above.

As I am wont to do when bored, I typed in TERLINGUA in the search box of YouTube. 
I'v done this before.  In fact, there a quite a number of Terlingua videos on there.  I even found a couple shot on the Porch in the Ghostown and my darling husband is singing and playing his guitar.

That wasn't the Horribly Wonderful Moment either.

I ran across someone Swinging Fire - those of you who live in Terlingua will know what this is.  If you don't live in Terlingua, you'll just have to find out for yourself.  So anyway, I found a post of a guy (I think, the video was shot in the dark) doing it.  That led me to a post of our wonderful House Sitter doing the same thing.  She has been practicing for a couple of years and is amazing!

That wasn't the Horribly Wonderful Moment either.

That led me to a post of the same guy from above (unknown fire swinger) titled, "The Terlingua Story, The story of how we came to find this amazing place on the Southern-most tip of Texas."  I clicked on the post and started listening to a young man tell the story of how he and his girlfriend were driving cross-country and ended up in Terlingua.

This wasn't the Horribly Wonderful Moment either, but we're getting close!

So a few minutes into the video (2:31 to be exact), HappyNathan pans outside the van he has been in and my jaw dropped open.  
I was looking at a corner of our house - propane tank and the YardGuard (metal sculpture).  
From there, HappyNathan proceeds to give a tour of Rancho Fandango. He, of course, thinks it is Mark and Shannon's house (no big deal) and walks inside and then outside again while talking about the wonderful place in the desert that they have landed.
We have not been home in 18 months.
In order to do this job and not get homesick, I have basically just blocked out "Home".
I had a bit of a breakdown in California one time over a Chorizo Breakfast Bowl and decided that that wasn't going to be happening any more.  So, I mostly don't focus on Home.
Well, there it was in all it's funky glory - my house!
The outside still looks ratty, but once you are inside - what a delight.  And that view! 
For those of you who know what my house looks like, you don't need to see it again.  
But for my new trucking friends, take the tour - compliments of HappyNathan.

I cried and laughed all at the same time.  
Tony described it as the Horribly Wonderful Moment.  
He was right.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


We got some unexpected leisure time this weekend in Memphis and decided to take full advantage of the fabulous Spring weather.  We parked the truck at our terminal and rented a car for the weekend.
After a quick stop at the Tourist Information Center, we were off to brunch.  
Everyone told us to go to The Arcade.  
So we did. 

The Arcade is Memphis' oldest cafe - opened in 1919 by Speros Zepatos a recent immigrant from Greece.  It is now run by the 3rd generation of Zepatos'.  We loved this place.  Our booth (the front one) had a little plaque announcing it as Mr Kennedy's Booth since 1950.  
We enjoyed his booth very much.
Tony had the Eggs Redneck (the Travel Channel Favorite) and I had The Food Network's Favorite, the Sweet Potato Pancakes with eggs and sausage.  The pancakes did not disappoint, they were rich and dense and full of sweet potato goodness.
What a great start to the day!
We strolled around to work off some of that great food and ran into these 2 characters . . .

After luring me into the shop and making me pick them up and hold them, they are now on their way to our grandchildren.  Oh yea, they each have a matching nap blanket.

Next, we rode the trolley around the downtown for awhile - just to get the feel of the area.

We heard music coming from Beale Street and had to investigate.  Since it was Saturday, the street was blocked off and the party was going on.  
We were lucky enough to see the Budweiser Clydesdales.  They were in town for a baseball game.  
They were beautiful.  
Almost as beautiful as the 3 semi's that hauled them around.  
It is fun to note how one's perspective changes with circumstances.
After a drink and some great Beale Street Blues,
 it was off to the Memphis Zoo.
The sky was overcast and it was a mild day - perfect zoo weather.
We started with the Big Cats.  Great displays for all of them, but the Tigers were stealing the show.  There were 3 in one area, a large male, a smaller female and a wonderful white tiger.  The large male decided to play with his toys.

The beer keg was his favorite.  
We saw a red panda lounging up in a tree and spent some time watching leopards stretched out in the sun.
They have a nice meerkat habitat.
 It was fun watching them watch us.
This zoo has a pair of Pandas, but all we got to see was Panda Butts.  
It was a nice day for a nap.
The Polar Bear exhibit was definitely the most lively.  A bear was swimming in the water and playing on the glass.  
Kids were squealing and I'm not sure who was having the most fun
the kids or the bear!

Time for food and beverages.
My online research paid off.
We had an early dinner at Automatic Slim's Tonga Bar.  
The name "Automatic Slim" comes from an old blues song, and the Tonga Club wa a local teen hangout popular in the early 1960's.
Since we were so early (6:00ish), we snagged one of the two outside cafe tables and got to do some great people watching.
We started with a "Mess o'Greens" salad and some really tasty Tuna Carpaccio.
The tuna was succulent and nicely dressed with wasabi mayo and sesame seeds.  Tony is normally not a "raw fish" eater, but he tried a bite and even had a second bite.
A trio of Pulled Chicken Flautas finished off our appetizers.
Well, that and the fruit infused vodka Tongatini that I had to go with them.
We split an entree of Grilled Salmon with wilted spinach, coconut pistachio cream sauce and cabbage peanut slaw.  They even plated them separately for us.  The salmon was fabulous.
Because we were before the dinner press, we got to spend some time chatting with Chef Patrick.  In fact, the entire wait staff was courteous and amiable.

Tomorrow we are heading to Whole Foods for some serious shopping - we have been on low rations for awhile.  Tony wants to tour the Gibson Factory and we will have to find someplace wonderful for Sunday Brunch.

I think this is going to be a good weekend!