16 December 2009

Cold, cold and more cold.

This last two weeks have been crazy and cold.  We have seen more snow and cold weather in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California then we have anywhere else in the US.

We were in Pharr, TX about as far south in TX as you can go without winding up in Mexico and it was snowing.  There was 8 inches of snow in El Paso, and we hit a blizzard that dropped 22 inches of snow in Flagstaff AZ.  Going into CA it was only 55 degress near Los Angeles and over 3 feet of snow up on Donner's Pass.

Herb and Kaitlynn decided that they wanted to take a walk in the snow.  It's up over Herb's knees and nearly to Kaitlynn's waist.  She had a blast playing in the snow.

Then of course it became necessary to toss her into the snow.  It was so deep she couldn't even stand up by herself.  We had to drag her out.  A good time was had by all.  Herb tried to throw me into the snow but wound up in it himself.
After leaving CA we went to WY a little town called Himes, it isn't even on the map it is half way between Greybull and Lovell.  There it was 10 degrees above zero with 20 mph winds and they were considering that a heat wave.  The day before it was 17 below with 35 mph winds.  This place was kind of neat because we delivered rolls of paper to one end of the buliding and loaded sheet rock (plaster board) out of the other end.  We took that to Denver to deliver.
It was only 500 miles from Himes to Denver so we had most of Saturday and all of Sunday off.
Sunday morning we went downtown and walked around the 16th street mall, then we called a friend in Denver and spent Sunday evening with him and his family.  Mrs. W. made Spaghetti and Meatballs with Salad and Garlic bread.  It was a wonderful change from truck stop and fast food then we played cards untill time for the kids to go to bed.
We went back to our truck and drove to the reciever and slept there for the night so we could be unloaded first thing in the morning.
After getting unloaded we drove to Pueblo to get a load of "Slinkies"  rolls of wire coils that look like slinkies.  We had 8 of them on the trailer and took them to Stillwater OK.  Even now it is only 23 degrees outside.
I wanna know "What is all the talk about Global Warming???   I am freezing my nooggies off.
We are picking up in Duke OK in the morning and heading to Arkansas, maybe it will be warmer there.
Looks like we are heading for Indiana for Christmas.  We thought about spending the holiday in Springfield, but it just dosen't seem like Christmas without friends and family (no matter how disfunctional they may be) around.


04 December 2009

More of Texas

Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We were able to make it back to Indiana.
Colin came down from his dad's house and spent a couple of days with me.  He is growing into a fine young man. (I cringe as I write this, he's my baby boy)  His manners and attitude have greatly improved.  He is a straight A Honor student and helps out in the school book store.  I am very proud of him.

Herb and Kaitlynn dropped me off in Lafayette, and contiued on to deliver the load we had in Conneticut, then they had to dead-head back, but they were able to make it in time for leftovers at the Townsend House where we spent part of our day then we moved on to my parents house for more leftovers.  Not a bad way to spend Thanksgiving Day.
On Friday we had to take Colin back to his Dad,then we went to Russellville, KY for a load going to Conroe, TX.  Then we got a load going to Taos, NM. (A ski town in New Mexico!!!??) 
Then out of Albaquerque (Yes dad, we saw Bugs Bunny and made the Left turn in Albaquerque.) we headed back to Pharr, Texas. Way South of Houston.

On the way to Pharr we passed through El Paso, TX and this is what we saw.

They got nearly 8 inches of snow in El Paso.  Yes folks that is in Texas.

This is the Mountains just over the Mexico boarder and all those clouds are dummping massive amounts of snow.

We are now on our way to Larado, TX to pick up a load going to Santa Fe, NM, Commerce City CA and San Leandro, CA.
This will add CA, and AZ to Kailynn's list of states.

Believe it or not as we head North the tempeture is rising. Go figure.

On our way to CA we will be passing through Roswell, NM and Lake Havasu City, AZ depending on time we hope to stop in both places so Kaitlynn can see the Aliens and London Bridge.

13 November 2009

Time Flies....

I have been trying to decide what to blog about for a couple of days and then I realized I haven't posted for nearly Three weeks. Wow! I don't even know what I have been doing that has kept me from posting...
After leaving Miami FL, we loaded in Hosford FL heading to Ennis TX, then on to Weslaco which is about as far south in TX as you can go without winding up in Mexico.
We then went up to Laredo (also on the border).
The load of Carrier AC Units that we were to pick up on Saturday was delayed and we were unable to pick them up until late Sunday afternoon. We then began our drive to Alpha New Jersey. Where as luck would have it they had a crane to unload the smallest unit. It was taken directly from the trailer to the roof of the library and place in position for instillation.
We continued on to Somerset NJ, this was a Union construction sight and it was Veteran's Day so we were delayed yet another day. We used this time to do a little shopping and ate brunch in a nice little restaurant in the burrow of Somerset.
We were allowed to sleep near the job sight which was off the beaten path in what was almost wooded. Very quiet and not a lot of street lights and such so we had the windows open and enjoyed the quiet.
In the morning after getting that unloaded we went to Delair NJ, and picked up a load weighing a whopping 732 lbs. Yes that is 7 Hundred Pounds. A nice easy load going all the way to Waukegan, IL. This was the lightest load either of us had ever hauled.
En route to Waukegan we stopped in Cayuga, IN to see our 3rd grade Trucker Buddy class. (The Trucker Buddy program is an International program that pairs up Elementary classes with Truck Drivers in a Pen-Pal format. We exchange letters, e-mails and pictures to help the students learn more about the United States and improve their Geography and Penmanship skills. While teaching about the trucking industry.) The class presented us with "Star" a stuffed dog. Star is white with red and blue stars in his fur. His ears are red on the inside and he has a blue star on his nose. Star is the class mascot and traveling buddy. He will travel with us having his picture taken at various stops and then report his activities to the students. Near the end of the school year he will return to the class room with many tails to tell.
After leaving our Trucker Buddy Class we delivered to Waukegan IL. Then reloaded out of Rockford, IL making only 2 stops along the way, but it was enough. Herb lost his cell phone. After much time on my phone trying to get a replacement we finally decided to combine our plans and now we both have the same carrier. Less headaches and one less bill to pay each month.
In Rockford we were loaded with a load of Styrofoam insulation board. Another light load. We are loving our fuel mileage this week. We were having trouble with the rear tarp staying on so we pulled it off and decided to make a stop at the terminal in Springfield, MO. to take care of it. (It was on the way any how)
While in Springfield we did laundry, and got the truck cleaned up. The weather was cold and rainy and with our appointment not until Tuesday we spent and extra night in Springfield at the Hotel. It was wonderful to get away from the truck for a few hours and to sleep in a big bed.
Rainy days and Mondays get you down??? Well, Monday dawned grey and rainy. Herb spent the morning getting necessary items for the truck, new bungee cords, a few more straps, a couple of new tarps, etc. Stuff that we needed. I on the other hand was able to spend a couple of hours un-interrupted on the computer.
We left out about 6pm and headed to Grand Prairie TX, we got there about 7:20am and finally got unloaded about 3pm. Hurry up and wait was the order of the morning, then we were off and running to get to Cleburne TX before they left for the day.
We are on our way to Lubbock TX. for delivery. From there who knows which way we will go. We are hoping to get home for the Thanksgiving Holiday, then we will run hard until Christmas and take a few days off at that time. I promise to do better keeping you posted.

03 November 2009

Back to "Normal"?

After spending 5 days with friends and family in Cheyenne, it was time to get back to work.
We spent Wednesday night at the TA in Cheyenne, fearful of getting snowed in. Well, we were stuck there for several hours due to the road closings, and a power failure at the TA. making for an interesting evening.

We left Thursday Morning, driving through a snow drift exiting the parking lot and headed towards Denver on I 25, the only car we passed for miles was a State Trooper.

Continuing from Denver to Pueblo CO, we drove out of the snow by the time we got to Colorado Springs. In Pueblo we picked up 2 AC units weighing 12-15 thousand pounds each and taking up the entire trailer.

On our way to Naples Fl. we happened to be in Alexandria LA for Halloween, so we found a Wal-mart parked the truck and proceeded to make Kaitlynn into an orphan.

I put her hair in pony-tails and put freckles on her nose, dusting her cheeks with eyeshadow to make her look dirtier than she already was, we put daddy's flannel shirt on her and rolled up the sleeves and tied it around her waist. We got her a purple bandanna and used it to tie a bundle to the end of a stick. She was adorable. She and Herb set off to do some Trick or Treating.

Apparently not too many houses were handing out candy but those that were, were quite generous. After about 45 min they had, had enough and came back to the truck with a bag full of goodies. She had fun and was able to enjoy the holiday even though she was far from home.

We continued on through the night to Naples FL to deliver the first unit to a church. Upon arrival we found all they had to unload us with was a fork lift, and though this was the smaller of the two units a crane would have been more appropriate.

They insisted on using one forklift to raise the unit off the bed of the truck and then drive the truck out from under it. It worked well until the unit started wobbling and fell. It crashed against the rear of the trailer then landed on it's side on the ground. We got it upright and assessed the damage which was mostly cosmetic, but, it was defiantly a lesson in how NOT to unload an AC unit.

From Naples we continued on to Miami to deliver the second unit. They were also unprepared for the massive size of the unit.

However they were smarter about how to unload it. Using 4 fork lifts they each picked a corner and raised the unit from the bed of the truck and then we drove the truck out from under it. Then they moved the unit onto the drive, 2 forklifts driving backwards and 2 driving forwards. By working together they were able to safely unload an oversize AC unit. It was quite impressive.

Freight out of southern Florida being scarce we headed back up I 75 crossing a section known as Alligator Alley.

We stopped in a Rest Area/Recreation Area/Boat Ramp Area to take a break. Kaitlynn wanted to see an Alligator so we went to one of the Boat ramps on the advice of the security guard at the Rest Area. At first we didn't see anything then a "rock" in the canal moved and became an Alligator. Kaitlynn began calling "here gator, gator, come here little gator." Thankfully the gator did not respond.

In all we saw 5 or 6 gators ranging in size from 3 feet to 6 feet long. We also saw Buzzards and Cranes in the area. It was quite an experience to see wildlife in it's natural habitat.

We were dispatched to Hosford FL. where we picked up a load of ply-wood going to Ennis, TX. and we are heading west across the Florida panhandle to Alabama.

27 October 2009


First off, What is Family???

Family is unconditional love, understanding and accepting you for the person you are not the person they think you should be.
Allowing you to make decisions in your life that, though they may not agree, they support you and are there to pick you up when the decision you made turns out bad. Not to say I told you so but, to support you until you can deiced what the next decision (good or bad) is going to be.

This week I have learned what it is like to be a part of a family with unconditional love and understanding.

We received a call around 3 am last Thursday morning that a dear friend of ours affectionately called "Grandma Bear" had passed away. We quickly made arrangements to travel to Cheyenne Wyoming to join with family and friend to be with and comfort "Grandpa Bear."

Upon our arrival and even as more family arrived I was greeted with love, hugs, and open arms.
Herb has been part of this family for nearly 20 years, and when he and I married, little did I know that I was to be given the same honor. In her acceptance of me Grandma Bear open the door and the rest of the family accepted me with no questions asked.

I had such a short amount of time to get to know Grandma Bear, but, I do know she loved God, Grandpa Bear, and her family, in that order. She believed that everyone was unique, and that God put people in your life for a reason. She loved helping other people and doing what she could to make her little corner of the world a better place.

She was a wonderful example of a Godly woman and I hope to be able to follow in her footsteps and become a woman she would be proud of.

Thank You Nancy. You will be greatly missed.

16 October 2009

I'm Back!!

You may have noticed I have been away for a while.

Just before I came back to Indiana for a visit I started having problems with my computer and my first day home it crashed............

I took it in and was told that my hard drive was toasted. Good news: they can fix it and it was under warranty so it wasn't going to cost a thing. Bad news: I hadn't gotten my pictures backed up yet and it was going to cost $100. to save my pics. What could I do? I paid the money and now my pictures are on disc and I have my computer back. The reason for the crash: unknown.

I have had a pleasant visit while I have been home.
I left Springfield MO, early on the morning of 9 Oct. and drove to Indiana in the pouring rain. I made good time and had a bit to spare so when I got here I stopped to get my hair cut. Not too much just 3-4 inches in the back and layered on the sides with long bangs in front. I like it, It will take a bit of getting used to.
Then I met up with my friend C. who had picked up Colin and brought him home for a visit. I got to spend some time with him before I was off to my friend M.'s house to spend the night. Colin and Kaitlynn got to spend the night with Grandma and Grandpa.

Friday night: I stayed with my friend M. and had a nice visit while she rooted for the Boston Red Socks in the play-offs. This was a side I hadn't seen of here before and it was quite interesting.

Saturday I spent the day at my old High School rehearsing for our High School Musical Reunion Program. It was great to see so many of the people I had spent so much time with during my High School years. To catch up and then to be able to perform that evening was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was also surreal being back on stage again. It was also a trip for Colin and Kaitlynn to see Mommy on stage they didn't even know I could sing. I spent the night with my BFF from High School and had some time to catch up with her also.
Sunday I went to church. It felt wonderful to be back in the arms of my church family. Sunday night I stayed at my parents house.

Monday: was to be a busy day when I found out it was Columbus Day and I was unable to do several of the things I had planned. I got what I could done and went to K and J's house for the night. I enjoyed the controlled chaos of their six children.

Tuesday: Kaitlynn and I drove to Merrillville IN. to see Colin sing in his 4Th grade presentation.
He had a speaking part to introduce one of the songs and only stumbled for a second when he saw me and then picked right up where he had left off. He just kept looking over in my direction and winking. I also ran in to my X-in-laws. We had a nice chat and even went to McDonald's for breakfast after the concert. I hope to be able to continue to keep in touch with them. Upon returning to Lafayette, I went to visit J. then returned to have dinner and spent the evening with K&J again.

Wednesday: After a slow morning, I stopped by my mom and dad's house. While watching the news I found out that the Health Dept. was giving out reduced price Flu Shots. I decided with Kaitlynn going back on the truck that she should have one. So, we go to the Health Dept. I told her we were there to get her flu shot and she told me she didn't want one and proceeded telling anyone who would listen that SHE was not getting a shot. When we got to the room, I pulled her onto my lap, held her wrist, the nurse wiped her arm with alcohol and gave her the shot. It was all over in less that a minute.....Except for the crying.........Kaitlynn sobbed for several minutes in the office, all the way to the car, and almost half way back to Grandma's before a phone call from Daddy finally calmed her down. Kaitlynn went with Grandma and Grandpa to Rockville IN to the Flea Market while I went to help K & H decorate the church for the Woman's Heart 2 Heart meeting. I enjoyed being busy for the afternoon. I spent the night at J's house.

Thursday: A lazy day, up late then to my mom and dad's house for a nap then back to J's house where she was sweet enough to allow me to do laundry. We had chili for dinner and just relaxed before bed.

Friday: (Today) A bit slow getting started but we did it. I got my computer back last night and met with C. today to figure out how to reinstall my spy ware and such. Then to mom and dad's where I told them that Herb had called and will be in town late Saturday or early Sunday. Most likely in time for church but definitely in time for Family Group. Then Kaitlynn and I will be leaving with him to deliver a load in Michigan on Monday. Needless to say mom is not happy about Kaitlynn going back on the road. On the other hand Kaitlynn is excited about going back on the road with Mommy and Daddy.

01 October 2009

Wow! It's Thursday already and I just realized that I haven't blogged since Saturday. Well....It has been an interesting and some what active week.

After having lunch with our friend and his family in Denver. (Thanks C.) We continued north passing by Longmont and waving to my "sister." She wasn't feeling well so we will get together another time very soon. (Feel better sis.)

For whatever reason going into Wyoming Herb decided to take the scenic route off of I 25 and Thank God we did. On I 80 between Cheyenne and Laramie WY there were three accidents involving four 18 wheelers. If we had taken the interstate we would have been right in the middle of the accidents. There were no fatalities and no serious injuries. Just four big trucks that won't see the highway again.

Wyoming is such a beautiful State there are places the grass is brown and barren but it is covered in rich pine forest. The contrast makes for an interesting landscape. I am often in awe of the Indians who lived here and of the first settlers who passed through these areas. The land is rugged and rocky and the Buffalo grass grows tall and has sharp spines on the ends. Horses can't even eat it. To have walked for months through these conditions. It is a wonder the west was ever settled.

Now and then on our travels we come across some unusual sights.......This being one of them.

We know not where he came from or where he was going but he had the makings for a bunch of Pumpkin Pies. LOL
This is another picture of Wyoming.

The journey through Utah and Oregon were mostly at night and uneventful. When we stopped for the night, it was in the first rest area in California on route 199, and this is the view we woke up to. The smell of pine was almost overwhelming. It had rained a bit during the night and the sounds of the forest around us awakening was beautiful. There was a bit of mist over the mountain that we had to be aware of for most of the morning but it burned off by noon.

Upon entering California we also entered the Redwood National Forest. Much of which is untouched. Thank You President Roosevelt for developing the National Park System. The sheer size of the trees was incredible, I am grateful to know they are safe from logging and will be there for my children's children to enjoy. We hope to have Kaitlynn with us next time we are in that area.

We were traveling along Highway 199 and it runs in and out of the Redwood National Park, in the areas outside of the park there are a bunch of little "Burgs" (in CA small towns are called Burgs). In one of these little Burgs there were several signs boasting of an Elk herd that was descended from the original "Roosevelt Herd". We thought maybe we might see an Elk or two in a meadow or field, little did we know they lived IN the Burg. This young buck was grazing right next to the road. On the other side of the road there was about a dozen or so more lounging in someones front yard. Including a mature buck with a substantial set of antlers. Can you imagine waking up and looking out your window to find a 2200 pound Elk munching on your geraniums????

The 199 highway drops down on to Highway 101 The Pacific Coast Highway. One moment you are at 3500 feet surrounded by Redwoods and the next you are sitting on the beach listening to the wave crash against the shore.

We delivered our load to a construction sight in Eureka CA. We were so close to the Ocean that you could smell the salt in the air. Having gotten unloaded fairly early in the day and needing desperately to do laundry we decided to get a hotel room for the night. It was nice to get out of the truck and have a little time to relax. We had been pushing a bit to be able to unload in time to turn this load in for this weeks payday, so Herb went back to the room to rest after he walked over to "Mom's Laundry" to do laundry.. This place was neat, washers were a bit pricey $3.50 a load but the dryers were free. The lady running the place was extremely nice and very chatty. Made the work go faster. With laundry done, I met up with Herb at the hotel and we settled in for a restful night.
The next morning we headed back north to Sutherlin, OR. to get a load of hardwood flooring to take to San Antonio TX.
We are now traveling south on I 5 passing by Shasta Mountain and there is already a blanket of snow covering the summit. The load we are carrying is heavy and going up the mountains is v e r y slow. Coming down can be faster but, is dangerous due to the weight of the load, so this portion of the journey is a bit tedious. We will be stopping in Redding CA for the night and continuing south through CA until we get to I 10 about LA then turning East to San Antonio. This will take us through New Mexico and Arizona. Two states Kaitlynn has not yet been to. Maybe next time Baby Girl.
Speaking of Kaitlynn, she went to the dentist while visiting with Grandma and Grandpa, and he found a couple of pinhole size cavities that needed filling. (Yes they are baby teeth but she will have them for another 3-5 years so for prevention sake he filled them.) She called to tell me that she got to listen to "Hanna Tanna" (Hanna Montana) on the headphones while the dentist fixed her teeth. I love my kids dentist, I have never had any problems taking them to the dentist. They do a great job with kids. Thanks Dr. D, Dr. S. and Thanks to your Staff for taking such great care of the kids.

26 September 2009

Saturday Night

It's Saturday night and we are driving through Colorado on our way to Eureka CA. The route we are on is taking us through a lot of little towns.

We just drove through Springfield Colorado and it seems like the quaint kind of town you would want to live in. No traffic (yea OK it is 10:30pm but,) a small group of older teens (17-19ish) throwing a ball around in a corner store parking lot, a kid skateboarding down main street, no body looking for trouble just hanging out.

Today has been a bit of a lazy day, we watched the premier of NCIS and NCIS LA on Hulu. com last night so we slept in a bit this morning. After breakfast we stopped at Walmart in Decatur TX and picked up a few groceries. I got a small beef roast, a few potatoes, and a carrot or two and put them in the crock pot.

When we returned to the truck after our showers in Amarillo TX the truck smelled Amazing. About 12 miles outside of Dumas TX we stopped to have a picnic dinner. The bugs had other plans. Yes, even the bugs seem bigger in Texas. So we ate our first home cooked meal in our truck. It was really good. I was a bit surprised.

So for those of you who want to try this: 1 small roast, 8 small red potatoes, 1 med. onion and 6-8 baby carrots. Put everything in the crock pot add seasonings to taste and about a cup of water. Cook on High about 6 hours or 300 miles. Find a bug free picnic spot and enjoy.

We are planning on cooking many more meals in the truck, I have a crock pot cook book that has everything from omelets to entrees to desserts in it and I am looking forward to trying many of these recipes. I have been doing some reading and finding that you can use your crock pot much like an oven. It only gets about 300 degrees so you have to adjust accordingly but we have nothing but time while we are driving.

Tomorrow will be another easy day, we are getting to our destination a bit later than planned but we still have plenty of time. We are hoping to have lunch with a friend in Denver and possibly connecting with my "sister" in Longmont CO. So it should be a good day.

22 September 2009

Well.......It has been a couple of days since my last post. Since leaving Washington, we delivered to Malvern AR, and immediately picked up a load in Little Rock to take to the Springfield terminal to be delivered by another driver on Monday.

We arrived in Springfield late, late Friday night. Saturday morning we switched out our tarps for yard tarps on the load we brought in and was preparing to transfer the tarps and some other equipment to the trailer we were taking when pulling between that trailer and another, we caught the crank handle on the front wheel splash guard of the truck and pulled it loose. Herb was driving, he pulled the breaks and jumped out yelling about "sunny beaches " and "stupid ducks". Kaitlynn came out of the bunk to see what was going on. I told her daddy hit "Pete" (that's what she calls our truck) on the trailer and he was upset and she needed to go back and sit on the bunk for now.

She went to the bunk and started Sobbing. Thinking she thought Herb was mad at her I called her up and put her on my lap and asked why she was crying. She said, "Because Pete got hurt!" By this time Herb was back in the truck and finished parking. We got out to show her that the damage was minimal and you really can't tell unless you know that, that particular section shouldn't move around like it does. Nothing a bit of adhesive won't fix.

After Kaitlynn saw that Pete was going to be OK she turned to the trailer and pointing her finger shouted, "Bad trailer, bad trailer, you hurt my Pete!!" How so you respond to that??? We just tried to not let her see us laughing.

After the drama of the day was over, we got the rest of the equipment transferred, went in and took showers after which we did laundry. I know real exciting, but it was good to have a day to just relax and get things done at our own pace.

I managed to get the truck cleaned up and packed Kaitlynn's things. Her toys and books went into her toy basket and clothes into another basket.

On Sunday we were dispatched to Russellville, KY to pick up a load going to Conroe TX. So we figured by going a little out of route and having Grandma and Grandpa meet us in Effingham, IL we were able to let Kaitlynn go for a visit.

She talked Grandma and Grandpa's ears off on the way back to Lafayette. Telling Grandpa how to drive and asking if he ran a red light when he turned right on red. Basically making a back seat driver out of herself. Monday afternoon she called and told me that she wanted us to pick her up "Right now." We explained we were on our way to Texas and would pick her up as soon as we could. She said "OK" then went on to tell us what she had planned for the day. I guess on the list of things to do was to take K.C. (my cat) to the vet for a check up, well I guess Kaitlynn left the vet speechless when he asked if she liked to dress the cat up in doll clothes and she told him that, "K.C. doesn't need clothes he has fur for his clothes." Then she gave him that "Duh" look.

The last couple of days in the truck have been rather quiet, we have actually been able to carry on a conversation without having to answer a million and ten questions. On the other hand we miss her tons.

18 September 2009

Leaving Washington

We have left Washington behind, but, as we were heading out we managed to get some beautiful pictures of Mount Rainier.

We have been dispatched to take a load of galvanized steel cable from Kent WA to Malvern AR. On the way out of Oregon we passed by Multnomah Falls. It is a double water fall over 540 feet tall. Our plan was to stop and take a couple of pictures. Once we got there we noticed it was just a short hike to the bridge. (.2mls.) So we hiked up to the bridge for some more pictures.

Once there we discovered there was a trail going up to the top of the falls. It was only about a mile, so what the heck, we started up the mountain. Kaitlynn has been asking to climb a mountain since she saw her first one on this trip. Well, she climbed a mountain. All the way to the top. 1.25 miles nearly straight up. The trail was only 30 inches wide in some spots with a wall on one side and a drop off on the other. It was an incredible, exhausting climb. But we made it, and the reward was this little waster fall at the top of the double water fall.

We took a few photos and headed back down.

Kaitlynn wanted to race back down to the bottom. We told her she could win we would just throw her over the edge. She didn't think that was such a good idea.

She found this large tree to take a break by.

She is growing so much each day, lately she has been wanting me to put her hair up in a bun like mommy's. So I found one of my clips and put it up for her.
Daddy said, it made her look too old and she should stick to pony tails. We'll see how that works for now. ;)

14 September 2009

Good Days/Bad Days

Today was a beautiful day.
the mountains in Washington are Awesome.

We stopped about 30 miles from the receiver and we were able to sleep with the truck off and the windows open, the scent of the pines enveloped the night and the quiet chatter of the forest was mesmerizing.

We arrived at the receiver on time but had to wait a while to get unloaded. There was a small river near by so Kaitlynn and I took a walk down by the river. We made "boats" out of Aspen leaves and sent them down stream on their own adventure.

We were unloading at a lumber mill where they process the logs for lumber. The machines where huge, yet the way they handled the logs seemed very gentle.

We spent the better part of the day here, just watching everything going on around us, while waiting to get unloaded.
When at last they had finished we were dispatched to Kent, WA to get some Galvanized steel cable (11 spools) going to Malvern Arkansas. These had to be chained down and tarped. Herb and I are both tired from that alone. Five rows of 2 spools with in row of 1 spool. Each spool weighing about 4200 lbs. 8 chains, 8 binders, 2 tarps and about 50 bungee cords. Makes for a bit of work, although I am getting better at using the binders and it doesn't take as long as it did at first. Kaitlynn is a big help handing out bungee cords.
The bad part of the day, Well......I guess you could say I am homesick. We have a family reunion this coming weekend and I don't know if we are going to be able to make it home, I haven't seen Colin for a couple of weeks and I chatted with one of my girlfriends from church last night and I just started missing home. I also talked to another friend today and heard that the house that we had been living in for the past 6 years has been rented and has a new family living in it. I guess that makes the not having a home even more real.
I want to be home in October for a Musical Class Reunion at my High School, I just need to find a place to stay for a few days while I am there. Any volunteers. LOL
Over all we are adjusting to life on the road and Kaitlynn although she has about a million questions a day, is having the time of here life. She asked me today, "What do you have for me to see next?" This was after seeing the morning mist covering the tops of the near-by mountains. Every day she is excited to see what is new for her to see.

12 September 2009

Visiting and Remembering

On Thursday we stopped in Cheyenne WY and paid a visit to some friends of ours. Kaitlynn got to meet "Grandma and Grandpa Bear." They live just outside of Cheyenne and have a few acres, so Kaitlynn had a bit of space to run around on. By the time we left she was more than ready to go to bed.

All day Kaitlynn wanted to see the mountains, when we told her she was on the mountain she didn't quite understand. We left Cheyenne and moved on up the mountain to the top of Sherman's Pass where we spent the night. It had been nearly 80 degrees during the day but dropped into the 40's that night.

I woke up early enough take a walk and see the sun rise. While enjoying the mountain air I spent some time in quiet reflection, Remembering 9-11, and Thanking God for the beautiful morning. I knew that I would be without Internet most of the day and I thought about what I wanted to post for most of the day. I thought I wanted to say something real profound that would reflect how I felt 8 years later, but every time I started typing my mind went blank and tears came to my eyes. I guess that is not what I was supposed to write.

So I think I will just tell you what I remember about 9-11-01.

My day started off like any other day, I was going downstairs to make Colin (age 14months at the time) pancakes for breakfast. When I turned on the TV I thought their was some sort of movie on. After seeing the second plane hit the South Tower and hearing the kaoss that followed, I realized it was a news report and this was happening.

I was shocked, terrified and horrified all at the same time. I immediately picked up the phone to call Herb. He was in Trout dale Oregon and asleep. I had to call him several times before he picked up the phone. He thought I was joking when I told him someone had flown a plane into The World Trade Center and was waiting for the punch line.

When he understood I was serious he went into the truck stop to see the news for himself. We talked and cried on the phone for quite awhile. He then called dispatch to figure out how and when he could get home. He managed to get a load and headed home. It was a long two days waiting for him to get there.

I kept the news on all day trying to find out what was going on. It never occurred to me that Colin was watching it also until several days later when they started allowing aircraft to fly again. While we were outside talking to Grandma and Grandpa an airplane flew over and Colin started crying and pointing to the plane saying; "boom, boom". He was terrified. I talked to him and explained it as best I could to a toddler. Still it was nearly a year before airplanes no longer frightened him.

To this day I still cry when I think about the events of that day. I haven't been able to read articles, or books written in remembrance, nor am I able to watch programs dedicated to 9-11. It just hurts too much. My heart breaks for the senseless loss of life.

We must never forget what happened on American soil and Every day appreciate the Freedoms that we have.

Thank you to all the Men and Women serving in the Military, here and abroad.

Thank you to all the Police, Medics and Firefighters who put their lives on the like every single day.

God Bless America

09 September 2009

That's Truckin'

After our weekend of fun we got involved in a typical trucking snafu. We picked up a load in Fordyce AR, then headed back to Springfield to shower and rest. We left out late Monday so we could get to St. Joseph MO an time to unload early on Tuesday. This is where the snafu comes in. We arrived the required hour early to get un-tarped, and discovered due to a numbers error, we were on time, we had just arrived on the wrong day. It was scheduled to deliver on Wednesday.

So we sat in the Love's Truck Stop for 24 hours. We used our time wisely, I cleaned the truck, making the beds, putting things away, that sort of thing. Then we all laid down for a 3 hour nap. After we woke up, we walked about a half mile to Waffle House and ate dinner, then another quarter of a mile to Menard's to get a new American flag for the truck and then back to the truck stop.

After our showers, Herb took Kaitlynn to the truck to put her to bed and worked on getting the power inverter up and working, while I went into the Arby's at Love's and had a couple of quiet computer hours. This is where snafu #2 hits. The power inverter is not working. Either it was bad to start with, or their was a problem hooking it up, either way we still don't have power for the TV, and Microwave.

Not that we have a microwave right now, the one we had was too big for the truck. We need a microwave about 15 inches wide. If anyone knows were I can find a little one like that Please let me know.

And this just in: While I was posting we received a dispatch picking up here in St. Joe going to Darrington WA.!!!! Kaitlynn is going to get to see the mountains for the first time and with a little luck she may get to see the Pacific Ocean.

We will also be stopping in Cheyenne Wyoming to see some friends who will be meeting Kaitlynn for the first time, they are very excited.

06 September 2009

Holiday Weekend

This last week has been a mix of busy and lazy.

After my last post we got all the work done on the truck and we were dispatched on a quick turn load going from Monet, MO to Kalamazoo, MI we then re-loaded in Chicago, IL back to Springfield, IL.

We were able to make it back in time for the Labor Day Company Picnic but, unfortunately we didn't make it in time for the Truck Rodeo. We had fun at the picnic, there was plenty of inflatables for Kaitlynn to bounce on and a Coconut Tree Climb. (Like a rock wall, but, it's a coconut tree.) Kaitlynn was a bit apprehensive at first but, kept on trying and went a little higher with each try. She also got real good at the repelling down part. I think if her arms would have held out for another couple of climbs then she would have been able to ring the bell, but, her little arms and legs were so tired she just couldn't do it. As usual Kaitlynn made friend with everyone she met. Including the company owner.

After the picnic we made our delivery, Kaitlynn was right there helping with tarps and picking up bungee cords, doing whatever she could to help, as tired as she was.
We returned to the terminal to relax a bit and shower, it wasn't long after her shower that Kaitlynn insisted on returning to the truck to go to bed. It took about three seconds for her to go to sleep after her head hit the pillow. She slept at least 10 hours and took an afternoon nap. I think she was a bit wore out.

Today was a lazy day, Kaitlynn and Herb slept late. I was up early and couldn't go back to sleep so I went into the terminal lobby/cafe' area for a touch of quiet computer time. After they got up we did laundry and headed out to pick up the load we are on our way to now.

We are headed to Fordyce, AR going to St. Joseph, MO. it isn't a long run but we are moving and that is a good thing especially on a holiday weekend. There were a lot of drivers (mostly in the refrigeration division) who came in for the festivities and won't get a load until Tuesday.

It was nice to get some down time but we are glad to be moving again.

02 September 2009

Back to the Terminal

This week we left Chicago and delivered in Springfield MO, where our terminal is located so we decided to stop in and have some work done on the truck. We are getting our APU (Automatic Power Unit) installed. This will allow us to have power to run our microwave, AC and heat without having to idle the truck, thus saving on fuel and in turn saving money. (Dave Ramsey would be proud)
We are looking forward to this weekend. Prime is having a picnic with inflatables and other activities for the little kids and a Driving competition (aka. Truck Rodeo) for the big kids.

Herb is planning on competing in the Rodeo and if he does well he gets a monetary prize and will qualify to go to the State Competition.

For now we are back in the hurry up and wait mode.

31 August 2009

A Good Weekend

After hitting the beach we were dispatched to the Chicago area, for a Monday delivery so we decided to take advantage of the routing and pay a visit to our sons.

First stop was to visit Cody in Michigan on Saturday. We picked him up and had lunch then went to the local park to hang out and enjoy the mild weather, a welcome change after all the hot humid days in the Southeastern part of the US. Afterwards we headed on over to Lake Station/Merrillville IN.
Sunday after church we met up with Colin and spent the afternoon with him. We had lunch and then went to cruise the mall, after which we settled in to the truck to watch a movie together. It was nice to be together as a family if only for a short while. We didn't tell Colin that we were going to visit so he was totally surprised when they drove up to the truck. The expression on his face was PRICELESS.

As expected leaving was difficult but we both are better, him knowing that I will visit, and me knowing that he is OK and well cared for.

29 August 2009

A Delivery in Savanah GA.

Tuesday August 25th dawned bright, and we were up early to get this delivery made. So Kaitlynn choose a banana for a pre-breakfast snack and some energy so she could help with the delivery.

We were delivering aluminum coils and the tarps had to be folded and the straps needed to be rolled up and put away.
I rolled the straps

while Kaitlynn straightened the tarps so they could be folded.

It was a big job for one so small but she insisted on helping. (daddy is on the other end of the tarp).
We finished quickly and were off to find the Beach.

A Day at the Beach.

August 25th 2009

After finishing our delivery we headed out to find the beach. The nearest beach to Savannah GA. was Tybee Island, about a 30 min. drive.

Kaitlynn was so excited to see the Ocean. She loves the water and has very little fear.

The Ocean it' so big. Squeal!!!!!!

There were Pelicans and sea shells, but mostly.....

a lot of waves.......

At first she had to hang on to Mom and Dad for support.

Then in a short time she decided she liked the water.

There was the occasional time out for the obligatory shell search.

Then back to the waves.

In the end it was hard to say good-bye to the ocean.
Kaitlynn did ask why the ocean was so wavy, I just told her it was being friendly and as we were leaving she looked back and waved to the water and said good-bye waves.
This was her first trip to the Ocean. Now that we have seen the Atlantic we are on a quest to get to the Pacific and The Gulf of Mexico before our adventure ends.

25 August 2009

Just Truckin' Along

This has been a busy week. After leaving Rochester NY, we headed for Muscle Shoals Alabama.

Kaitlynn is learning all about trucking and is always more than willing to help out. Her designated job on the truck is trash. Whenever we stop she has to take the trash out, but she likes to help in other ways too.

When given the chance she "Helps" fuel the truck.

This involves her donning her gloves and "holding" the nozzle in the tank. (It's really held in place by a bungee cord.)

Occasionally we happen upon a bit of excitement while on the road. While driving South on I 71 we came upon what is commonly referred to as a "Car B Q". We stopped to render assistance but the car was beyond what a small extinguisher could handle. So we awaited the arrival of local firefighters and County and State Police to deal with traffic. No one was hurt but the car was a complete loss.

Meanwhile we continued on toward Alabama passing through downtown Cincinnati, OH.

Kaitlynn is adjusting well to life on the road, although at times she seems a bit older that her age. For instance: Laying on the bed, talking on the phone to Grandma and watching Wall-E on the computer.
Life is Good.......

We arrived in Huntsville Alabama early in the day on Sunday and because we couldn't deliver until Monday we decided to kill a few hours checking out the Space Museum.

In addition to all the rockets and space displays they have there Kaitlynn was thrilled to find a Huey Helicopter

and a mock moon to play on with a model of the Lunar lander. She thought being able to walk on the moon was pretty awesome.

These are just a few of the Rockets on display on the grounds outside of the Museum.

This Center is also home of Space Camp where kids from age 7 to Adult can come for a real live space training. They have age appropriate simulated training and missions just like real astronauts. There is even an underwater training area to simulate weightlessness like in space, and a Space Shuttle simulator to fly their missions in.

While there we discovered Kaitlynn likes rides that bounce. I lost track of how many times she rode this one. (Similar to the Frogger Ride at Indiana Beach) She was the only one on it most of the time and made friends with the operator. Notice she is not wearing shoes. The ride operator E. took them off and was tickling her feet when she came near enough. Needless to say Kaitlynn had a blast.

We spent the better part of the day here at the Space Center. I would highly recommend it if you are in the area.
Mommy and Kaitlynn taking time out to be goofy.

This is the Shuttle Pathfinder taken as we leave the Space Center behind.
We continued on our way to Muscle Shoals, AL where we spent the night in a Wal-mart parking lot. We were able to find a darker corner, shut the truck down and open the windows to allow a breeze to flow through. It was nice to sleep in relative quiet.
Before bedding down for the night Kaitlynn and I made the trek into Wal-mart for a bathroom break, on the way back to the truck she discovered "Her Echo". There were several buildings in this same parking area and they created the perfect echo chamber. Needless to say she had to test it all the way back to the truck. People probable thought we were crazy a small child yelling "Hello" every few feet and listening for the hello in return. She was thrilled with this new doubling of her voice.
The next morning we found our receiver got unloaded and was dispatched on another load. Picking up spools of aluminium in Russellville, KY going to Savannah GA. We spent the better part of the day in line waiting to get loaded and then had to tarp the load. I didn't realize how much work was involved in tarping. My arms are sore today, I could feel it in my shoulders as we untarped and folded the tarps.
Kaitlynn was a trooper while we were loading, she was not allowed out of the truck at the shipper, so she stayed in the bunk and watched movies while we loaded. Today while unloading she was able to get out of the truck and did her best to assist in the untarping and putting things away. She gathered all the bungee cords and put them in a pile and carried the straps over to the side box so I could put them away. She was very proud of the fact that she got her hands dirty and was able to help. She is greatly enjoying our adventure.
Today with luck we are going to go to the beach near Savannah and put her feet in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. I will post pictures.

20 August 2009

Busy but uneventful days.

The last three days have been busy, but for the most part uneventful.
On Tuesday we were in Pittsburgh, PA, to unload the second portion of our load and then on Wednesday we went to Philadelphia PA and Jackson NJ for the third and forth parts. We ended this load in Caldwell NJ dropping the last and the largest of the air conditioner units we were hauling. They were industrial AC units and had to be unloaded with a crane.

We then picked up a load of PVC pipe in Muncy, PA and drove all night to Solon, OH to deliver it at 6 am this morning.
After sleeping a better part of the morning we were off to Wooster, OH.

There they loaded us up with a load of field stone used for patios, walkways and such. While we were securing the load it began to rain, not a sprinkle or a drizzle, I mean Rain. The big hurt when they hit you soaked to the skin in seconds rain. We took refuge under the trailer and waited for it to pass. In less than 15 min it had nearly stopped. We finished strapping the load and after changing clothes started making our way on up to Rochester, NY where we will deliver at 8 in the morning.

As I have been writing I glace at the sky and there is light pink scattered among the blue and white clouds. It is a truly amazing sight to behold. The farther North and West we travel the closer we get to the storm that passed earlier and the lightning is putting on quite a display.

I Thank God that I have this privilege to be able to spend this time with my husband and daughter, while my heart aches with missing Colin, I know that he is doing well and has had a great first couple of days at his new school. He is making friends and doing well with his studies and I am comforted knowing he is happy and well cared for.

Kaitlynn is enjoying this time with daddy and mommy, her speech is improving daily and she is seldom quiet. She has made many friend along the way and has yet to meet a stranger.

18 August 2009


We decided that we would like to keep track of where we are going, well more accurately Where we have been so I have created a map of Kaitlynn's Adventures.


Please check it out and you can see how many miles we have gone.

17 August 2009

Weekend Fun

Our adventure began at Ruby Falls near Lookout Mountain TN.

Kaitlynn looks a bit lost at first.

This is the Mirror Pool down in the cavern.
Ruby Falls light show.
Mom, Do I really need to stand here?
Rock Garden at Rock city.

A view from the top of Lookout Mountain.

Checking out the Seven States
A family photo.

Fairy wings at Last.

The End of a Long Fun Day!!!

We thoroughly enjoyed our time out of the truck and Kaitlynn loved exploring Rock City and Lookout Mountain.
For more photos check out my album on Face book.