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.