Monday, August 31, 2009

New Ways to Connect

I am just going to say this out loud

There - I've said it.
I was really not interested in any of the social networks.  Mostly I thought they were for people much younger than the Baby Boomers.  I don't know why, but facebook seems to have changed that.

Facebook has allowed me to get back in touch with all of my Terlingua friends/family.  I miss them terribly out here on the road.  Not a day goes by that Tony or I don't say something like, 
"That girl looks just like Summer"
"Damn, Richard Sharpe would sooooo appreciate this." 
or even, 
"wonder what Taz is doing this summer . . . ?"

I chat with someone almost every day.  
It even allows me to have conversations with Micah on the same level as hollering from one room to the next - much more intimate  than a phone call or an e-mail that he would never open.

Late Saturday night, I noticed another Terlingua mama on someone else's friends list and sent her a friend request.  She responded and we gave each other the internet version of hugs and then promptly set up a date for lunch today.  I am just serendipitously (ha - didn't need spell check for that one!!!) passing through and stopping in Des Moines on my way to Illinois.  So, Kendra is on her way over with her little girl that I haven't ever seen and we are going to catch up and hug and cry and do all those things that I miss sooooooo much about my Terlingua friends.


it is 63 degrees here in Iowa. 
Oh Yeah


Can you tell we had a good lunch?

I'm heading out to Sterling, IL for my drop at Wal-Mart Distribution and will find out where I go next.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Smile - replay from 11/25/08

This quick clip is truly a truck driver nightmare.  
You can bet that I will always try to double check that the shipper has secured the load before pulling from the dock to close my doors.

This might seem simplistic, but actually it is not.

Often, we back into a dock that has a red/green light visible to the driver in their side mirror.
After the driver backs in and sets the trailer brakes, a mechanical "grabber" reaches out from the dock and basically secures the trailer to the loading dock so that a "brow" can be deployed to bridge the gap between trailer and dock.  At this point, the light will turn RED indicating that the driver cannot move the truck/trailer away from the dock.  The "brow" enables the forklifts to whiz in and out of the trailer either loading or unloading.  
As you can see by the black outline around the opening there at the dock in the video, the trailer has backed up INTO a sleeve that seals the trailer to the loading dock.  
In other words, the driver can't actually see into the dock to either make sure that the load has been secured or communicate with the dock hands.
Ideally, when the loading is finished and the load has been secured, the  "brow" will be  lifted and the light will turn GREEN.  Upon seeing a green light, the driver pulls away from the dock and adjacent trailers to be able to close and lock the doors of the trailer.

The first time I saw this, I sat with my mouth open in horror.
The second time I saw it, I laughed until I cried.
It is still funny.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Well, I am on the board and waiting for a dispatch.  
We always knew that the life of a solo driver is different from ours as a team.
I went on the board at 8:00ish this morning and as I post this, it is after 1:00 pm.  
I have 
puttered around the truck - lots more room with no one else in there.
Moved to a different parking space.
Done a load of laundry.
Shopped in the Company Store and bought 2 new shirts.
Talked to the Fuel Dept. and got new fuel cards and then activated them.
Piddled around on Facebook (stay away from Farkle . . . . trust me here!) and played a game with Kit from Denmark and WON.
Piddled around in the truck some more.
I am now #3 on the board, but they are moving pretty slowly now.
Ahhhhhh the life of a solo.

UPDATE - Got my dispatch.  Don't leave until Sunday evening - pick up here a load of pet products here in Joplin and head out with it to Illinois. 
Shouldn't be too bad.

Friday, August 28, 2009


We got a sweet dispatch from Austin to Dallas to Memphis to Blythe, California.  
Unfortunately . . . 
 Tony had a mishap while releasing the fifth wheel lever and he ended up in the ER with a nasty break to his arm/wrist.
So, now we are heading to Joplin where he will enter the unknown world of 
Workman's Comp
and I will head out as a 

Not in our plans, but what can you do?
Just do it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Micah In Three

So typical of interaction with twenty year olds.  
Catch them off guard 
watch them bristle 
away they go.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Something Fowl in Austin

We are going back on the board this morning.
Not a clue where we will go next.
Always  fun to find out where we will be heading.

I will leave you with this last pic from Boggy Creek Farm.
I can't wait until we get to have some chickens of our own.
I crave them . . . 

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Boggy Creek Dancers

Don't have a clue who these kids are - just love their dance.  

Monday, August 24, 2009

More pics from the Austin Farmer's Market

We bought such delectable stuff . . . 
 2 kinds of goat chevre (a sweet and a savory)
some lemon poppyseed biscotti 
2 kinds of handmade granola
baba ghanoush
heirloom cantaloupes 
1/4 bushel of perfectly ripe peaches.

Oh how I love Austin.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Smile

We went to the Austin Farmer's Market yesterday.
It was hot . . . 

TJ found a good way to cool off . . . 

I know you are smiling now.
TJ is too.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Boggy Creek Farm

What a delightful Saturday morning in Austin.
We collected Micah's girlfriend, Breanna, and headed out to this hidden Austin treasure.
Who knew that right in Austin was this little bit of Farm Heaven?  Five acres of intensive farming produce some amazing goodies.  We were not able to take any veggies or fresh chicken on this trip, but we did manage 2 dozen eggs, 2 loaves of freshly baked whole wheat bread and these great photos . . . 

If you get a chance to visit Austin, be sure to make time for Boggy Creek Farm.
It is worth it!



We are here for a little R&R 
spending time with Micah.

I was lucky enough to become an adult in Austin in the late 70's / early 80's.
What a trip that was . . . 
Armadillo World Headquarters
Turk Pipkin juggling weird stuff on the Drag
The original Whole Foods Market
Hippy Hollow and Barton Springs
Esther's Follies

So, when my son decided to attend University here, 
I was pretty happy to discover that Austin still vibrates with color and life . . .

This is truly just a random shot out the car window.  


Thursday, August 20, 2009


The last time we were in Asheville, we stopped at a fabulous chocolate shop.


Don't those look wonderful?

I didn't buy them.

Maybe next time . . . 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Portland at Night

I have really been enjoying taking and playing with night photos.  Which is good, since I spend soooooo much of my time in the dark.  Do you know how dark it can be at 3:00 a.m.?  

This is a shot of Portland, Oregon last night. 

Tony was driving and I was playing with the camera through the sleeper window instead of going to sleep.  I had the aperture set to let in a lot of light and then combined that with a slow shutter for this really cool effect as we went clackity-clack over the bridge into Vancouver, Washington.

  Doesn't the light reflected in the water look cool?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Under the Arbor

At yesterday's fruit stop, these grapes were growing out back.

I wanted to move in under them!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Translations May Differ . . .

When you see these signs

I can understand that you might think that they say

My mind translates them just a tiny bit differently . . .
I see them as 

So I did.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Smile

I dare you not to smile . . . 

The link to the article can be found here.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tipi of Light

Since I drive from daylight into the dark, I get to notice how differently things look at night.  The mundane can become quite startling and eye catching.  
I have driven past this rest area in South Dakota many many times.  In the daylight, the concrete tipi poles are interesting, but not outstanding.

At night however, they call to you from a distance.

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's Pretty but . . .

This is why we have crossed the Northwest off of our "Where do we want to live" list . . 

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Our Butt is Too Big

We are in the Seattle, Washington area for 2 days.  We are doing something that we haven't had to do too often, make deliveries.  
As in 5 different stops.  


I am ashamed to admit that when we received the drop schedule and they were all on Tony's shift, I was thrilled.  Even knowing that he has to do them makes my stomach hurt.
What's the problem?

Take a look at this picture carefully.
At first glance, it is a quaint street scene in a bustling town.
Then, you notice that there are NO big trucks. 



There is a reason for that - they don't fit!

And we have 5 of these to do.
Literally, we have to often stop in the middle of the street and someone unloads 1 or 2 or 10 pieces of whatever it is that we have.
This time it is doors and windows.

Oh, and did I mention that since this is Seattle . . . 
it is raining.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hiding . . .

When you drive through the countryside (not on Interstates), you get a much more intimate glimpse into the yards of America.  I especially like to look and see what might be hiding in the trees . . . 

This is from the countryside in Missouri.
I don't know what the info is on this hiding treasure, I just know that I like it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I am sorry if it seems like I'm the only one involved in driving our truck.  Tony is often asleep when I am taking photos and blogging.

Well, he wasn't this morning . . . 

I don't like to look at his often dirty ConWay Truckload "work" hat when we are on time-off.  So he switches to his UT hat cuz our youngest son is a junior there this year.  I guess it is only fair -  women have a wardrobe of purses and guys have a wardrobe of hats

We have had very productive time off and will be going back on the board early Tuesday morning.

I can't wait to find out where we will be going!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Magazines are My Catnip

I have always been a reader.  In the second grade, I turned in a book report on one of the pieces in my mom's Reader's Digest Condensed Book of the month.  We are talking some serious reading for a seven year old.

One of my greatest disappointments with truck driving is that I can't have stacks of books.  Stacks of books on end tables, book cases, beside the bed, all those places where I always had books.

But we do have a magazine rack.  So now I indulge myself with magazines.  Whenever I get to a bookstore, I head straight to the periodicals.  
This was my haul yesterday . . . 

National Geographic
Consumer Report
Mother Earth News
Crochet Today
Hobby Farm Home - cover article was "Get Started in Cheese Making"
iLife Answers - summer 09
Grit - Celebrating Rural America
Budget Travel
Real Simple

Just like catnip - always want more!!!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday Smile

Yo-Yo Ma makes me smile.

Bobby McFerrin makes me smile.

Together, they will make YOU smile . . . 

Enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Spare Time Color

This is what I do with my spare time.

New afghan for the truck .
Oh yeah . . . 

Friday, August 7, 2009

Favorite Pic

When I go back through my photos looking for "this picture or "that picture", I often end up looking at this photo again.

I really like the moment captured here.  
First you see the obvious chess game.  What a great stance that fellow is taking!  
Then your eye travels back to the center and you look through the chess game and on into the scene behind - so much going on.

This was downtown Asheville.

I have such a crush on Asheville!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This and That

By the time you read this, we should be in Joplin for some "personal" time.  

It will include some of this

and this

and this

and this   

and most assuredly some of this

and we have some paper work to do for Tony's mom.  
So it won't all be giggles and grins!
But mostly . . . 

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I Like to Look at Trucks

One of the more interesting changes that I have noted in myself since becoming a truck driver, is that I like looking at trucks.  
Let's go over that again . . . 
I LIKE looking at trucks.  
Actually, I love looking at trucks now.  
When we have to spend time parked in a truckstop parking lot, I always insist that we face the fuel islands if possible.  That way, I can sit in the front seat and watch trucks as they come and go.  I like seeing how other drivers move in tight or tense situations.
I like looking at the truck drivers themselves.  
I really like looking at trucks.

Especially this kind of truck . . .

Isn't that a beauty?  

Clean and polished and just pretty.  I know the driver would not like me calling his truck "pretty", but it is.  This is called an "Old School" Truck.  Big boxy nose, lots of chrome, and even more chrome.  Nice clean tires (who knew trucks could have clean tires?), polished chrome hub caps and wheels.  Lots and lots of nice polished chrome.  And a pretty paint job.  
All in all, this truck is a joy to look at.

So is this one . . . 

I can just imagine the wood flooring (yes, really) and Kozy interior on this rig.  
This rig is the kind that makes me wish we had started this venture 10 years ago when we would have been willing to make the $ obligation that a rig like this calls for.  
I especially like the detail of the paint theme carried up to the tractor.  

Some trucks just demand to be looked at and appreciated.

I do.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Am I the only person who wants to swim in these?

Who can walk by without running your hand through them?

They are in every tourist shop in America and Canada.

I would fill a pond with them if I could and never get tired of picking them up and looking at each one.

I hope I never outgrow them!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Smile

Okay - I'll admit, sometimes there is just something funny in other people's distress.  
Especially this . . . 

fail owned pwned pictures
I counted 29 of them.

There has to be a great story here!

Enjoy your Sunday and be thankful you are not in that car!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Some Days are All About Family

We are sitting in Abilene, Texas waiting for my folks to arrive.  They are in their motorhome heading off to cooler climates.  We are on our way to Duluth, Georgia with a load from Mexico.  Our trajectories are going to collide at the Flying J near Abilene.  
Within 2 hours of each other.  
We will definitely wait for them - can't have lunch with them very often.

Then . . . 

We will be meeting Tony's Sister and her Husband for dinner in Weatherford. 
 Don't see them much either.

I love it when the stars
load planners 
all line up.