20 July 2010

Class of '85 and other rambles

I have just returned from my 25 year High School Reunion!  What a blast......
I was a little apprehensive at first but, once I got there and started talking to everyone that all faded away.  It's hard to believe that it has been 25 years since we walked the halls of Jefferson High School.  We made friendships the lasted only during the time we were in classes together and some that have endured the test of time.
During those High School years you can't imagine your life without the familiar faces we saw every day, and now 25 years later, you recognize a face but, can't for the life of you remember the name.  At the beginning of the night I think a lot of us walked around looking at name tags or asking others "Who is that person over there?"
Either way we got over the initial insecurities and had fun.  That's what it's all about.  Right?

Now back to the road,
We have left Kaitlynn at Grandma and Grandpa's house this time out.  She will be starting Kindergarten in August and is so looking forward to it.
Herb and I are going to run hard for the next 3 weeks then I will be home for a couple of weeks to get Kaitlynn set up and started in school.
She will be attending a school that has a required dress code.  I'm not sure how that is going to play out but, I rather like the idea.  If nothing more that not having to argue about what she wears to school.  You have these shirts, these bottoms and these sweaters/sweat-shirts. Pick an outfit.  Makes mornings easy for Grandma.
Yep, she will be spending the school year with the Grandparents, this way Herb and I can run hard and get ahead.  The plan is by May of next year to be back in the area and start looking for a house.
I want to look for a job in the EMS field and maybe work in one of the local ER's.  I want to be able to use my skills and I believe that I will be more effective and useful in an ER setting than on the Ambulance, I'll leave that to the adrenalin junkies out there.  Although it is not out of the question, I will work where ever there is a place for me.

22 June 2010

I'm Back!.......

First off Thanks to my Ghost Writer!
I have been away too long.
This last few weeks have been crazy busy,

We picked Kaitlynn up from Grandma and Grandpa's and headed out. Now that we are running as a team, Herb drives mostly during the day and I drive at night which leaves very little computer time.
We were able to spend Memorial Day Weekend with a friend of ours in Oregon, he helps to manage a Dairy farm with about 150 head of cattle. 

He recently purchased 8 chicks, six were old enough to go out in the coop and the other two were still in the pen in the house so Kaitlynn spent some time playing with them and the kittens in the barn. She even got to ride on a four wheeler.

Kaitlynn also got to help milk the cows and feed the calves. Before it was time to milk she kept asking if she were going to be able to use a little stool and how big was the bucket and she kept talking about how she would pull the teats to get the milk out. She didn't know that this was a modern dairy farm and they use a double six milking system.

It is a pit with six stalls on each side and allows for 12 cows to be miked at one time. The cows come in and get washed by hand with an antibacterial solution and then an iodine solution is sprayed on the udder, the udder is then wiped with a clean paper towel and the milker is attached, when the udder is dry the milker drops off and the cow is sprayed with iodine again, when the six cows on that side are done they are released back into the corral area and given hay. After the milking is done any milk given by cows that had recently given birth and that milk is given to the new calves, youngest first then the older ones until it is gone then they are given formula until they are old enough to eat hay and grain then they are shipped off to another farm to be raised until they are old enough to be bred.
Kaitlynn had a blast, she was upset when she thought she had mud on her leg until we told her it was cow poop then she was OK with it.
Kaitlynn made fast friends with this little bull whom she dubbed Butterfly.  He was only a few hours old and was waiting to go to the other farm to be raised.
Over all I think Kaitlynn had a blast, she was upset when she thought she had mud on her leg until we told her it was cow poop then she was OK with it.  It was good to get out of the truck for more than just a couple of hours.

Leah was able to enjoy the farm too, she was allowed to run with the other farm dogs for the weekend. The only time we tied her up was when we went to town to get some supplies and when we went to lunch, then it was only because we were afraid she would follow us and get lost or go to the barn and we were unsure as to how she would react to the cows.

During our visit we went to lunch at a place called The Pelican Bar and Grill right on the beach, after lunch we took a stroll down to the beach and Kaitlynn and AJ's son played in the Pacific ocean for about an hour, by which time she was nearly frozen, yet we still had to drag her out of the water.
We even managed to get the truck down to the beach.  No easy feat.
We watched the fishing boats come in and along with the many people on the beach there were several horses.
All too soon it was time to hit the road again.  We headed to Texas where it suddenly turned into summer.  It was in the 60's in Oregon and when we got to Laredo, TX it was over 100 degrees.  More about that in my next post.  Thanks for sticking with us on this continuing adventure.

08 June 2010

UPDATE!! :o)

Hi... I'm a ghost writer for Rita...

Rita and Herb are very busy... running all around the U.S. and taking as many loads as they can.

They are so busy even I don't know where they are right now.

Sounds like Herb is driving during the day and Rita drives over night.

Not so funny... funny... Herb is no longer allowed to play with knifes... Long story short... stitches and bandages and he's back together again... at least for now.   Sounds like he filleted one of his fingers. 

Let's hope he heals up nice and no further medical attention is needed.

Rita promises she will update soon... but in the meantime... Let's wish them safe travels!!

28 April 2010


It has been a long time since I have not had to worry about anyone but myself.

I have been taking orientation classes here at the Prime Terminal here in Springfield, MO.  I was able to lower my BMI (body mass index) by 1.3 points by losing 20 lbs and Prime relaxed their regulations a bit so we are going to be able to run as a team now.
Not all the time, but enough to make better money, yet still be flexible enough to allow fun side trips with Kaitlynn.
She has been with Grandma and Grandpa since just before Easter and is more than ready to come back on the road.
Herb on the other hand has been driving solo, with his faithful, yet not so bright sidekick Lea, for the week that I have been in class.  He is getting used to, yet not liking the e-log system. (The D.O.T. has taken the log book out of the driver's hands and computerized it so there is NO MORE creative log booking going on.)
I believe this says that they do not trust us and believe we have no common sense.  There is also all kinds of bells and whistles on the trucks that tell the driver that he is too close to the car in front of him, that he is too close to the white/dotted line and will slow the truck on it's own accordingly.  I find this insulting and degrading.  If we are so untrustworthy why do they hire us.  It never occured to me to be offended by these "advances" until they effected me directly and now I am outraged. 
We are becoming a society of take no blame and do it for me.  Is anyone else upset or offended?  Am I the only one who is angered by this lack of trust?

04 April 2010

Happy Easter!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.

For us it was uneventful,  we spent the night in North Platte, NE and had a short visit with another Prime driver this morning before starting out.  The other driver has two Daschounds and they spent a few minutes playing with Lea, but the size difference made it difficult to play and she doesn't know her own strength so we had to cut it short.

We are heading for Fallon, MT to deliever this irrigation system on Monday.  The worst part is that Montana is Kaitlynn's last continental state to visit and she opted to stay with Grandma and Grandpa for Easter.  We will have to catch it next time I guess.

Looking forward to seeing Wall Drug and the Bad Lands next time through with Kaitlynn, maybe even introducing her to the loacal Prairie Dog population.

19 March 2010

Brighter Days and Blessings

Spring is in the air.  We were in Alabama most of the day and the weather was wonderful.  Not a sign of rain, and the Sunshine was a welcome change.
For the first time in a while I have a renewed feeling of hope.
On Wed.  we loaded our first Oversized Load in GA.  A couple of bulldozers going to Baton Rouge and Houston.  This being our first, we were a bit unsure of the proper securements, so Herb asked another driver and M. (the other driver) helped us secure the load.  Then we had to wait for permits and while we were waiting Herb was talking to another driver about where to get the Oversized Load banners and required red flags.  Instead of telling him where to get the items he needed he went to his truck
and gave us the 2 banners and 4 red flags we needed. 
We finally got everything taken care of and got on our way.  We stopped a few miles before we got to the Alabama state line and spent the night at the truck stop.(Oversized loads are only allowed to travel during daylight hours.)  We were also required to have an escort vehical with us while traveling across AL.
Early in the morning the escort met up with us and we started on our way.  We went about 16 miles before we encountered our first scale.  As required we stopped and took our papers in, then we
were told that one of the bulldozers had been loaded the wrong way.  In Alabama the blades must be facing the rear of the trailer and one of ours was facing the front.  The officer was very nice and did not give us a ticket, but, we had to go to the next truck stop and make arrangements to have it fixed.  So the next few hours were spent making arrangements to get this thing turned around.  We finally got the OK for a flatbed wrecker to come and help us.  They even had someone who knew how to drive a bulldozer!  Big relief....
We backed the dozer onto the wrecker, lowered it to the ground, turned it around, raised it back up and backed it onto the trailer.  No problem. 
While we were waiting on all the peticulars to be taken care of we met a small black dog who had apparently been abandoned at this truck stop, so while we were waiting we introduced him to Lea, it only took a few minutes untill they were friends and they spent the morning playing together.  This is another source of hope for me.  Lea has been a
bit agressive toward other dogs in the past and we felt that it was fear related.  So whenever given a chance we try to introduce her to other dogs.  Each time it has take less time for her to become friendly and this was the shortest amount of time yet.  So we believe that she is overcoming her fears.
In addition to this good news, as we were finishing up with resecuring the equipment, the manager of the truck stop came out and told us there was a phone call for the Prime driver.  Herb went in and found out someone had paid for the pizza special for us and would not give their name.  So we had pizza, hot wings and soda for lunch.
A big Thanks goes out to whom ever you are.  We will do our best to pay it forward.

28 February 2010


It's amazing how much time can go by when you think Oh, I will do that tomorrow, pretty soon tomorrow becomes a week, then a month and before you know it you get to the point where there is so much to write it seems overwhelming and you don't write anything.
That stops today.
It has been a while since my last update, and on one hand I feel bad on the other, not much is new anyhow.
One new item is our addition to our family. Her name is Lea, she is about a year old now and weighs in at approx. 40 lbs.  She is a Honey Colored American Pit Bull Terrier.  We acquired her in Houston Texas, a man came to us while we were unloading and asked if we wanted a dog,(his wife didn't like big dogs)  She was already spade and had her puppy shots and best of all she was FREE!  We put her in the truck to she how she handled it, she woke Kaitlynn up who came down to say hello, Lea gave Kaitlynn a kiss or two then curled up on the floor and went to sleep.  We had a truck dog.  She is great with people but, she does not get along with other dogs, we are working with her on this.
Most of the time she is just as mellow as can be, she has even tried to be a lap dog once or twice, but that hasn't worked so well.
Kaitlynn went home for a few weeks to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa.  Then the first part of Feb. I went home for 2 weeks myself.  It was nice to get away from the truck for a bit, but by the time Herb was able to get a load back to get us we were both ready to get back on the road.  Kaitlynn even made Herb go with her to say good bye to Grandma and Grandpa so he couldn't leave without her.
We left Lafayette, IN and headed to Virginia.  There we got unloaded without incident only to spend the next three days fighting the weather.  We are currently on our way to Iowa and are hoping to avoid further snowstorms.  Winter driving conditions can get a bit rough at times, but Lea and Kaitlynn both love the snow so they keep each other occupied while we are loading and unloading.

10 January 2010


To continue where I left off on my last post.....
We were not able to get reloaded right away out of North Carolina and there was a driver in Raleigh NC needing to go home and still had part of his load to deliver so we were asked to help him out.  We went to Raleigh and traded trailers with him.  We took his load to Chapel Hill for delivery to a construction site on the UNC campus.  Then the fun REALLY began.  We were first directed down a long narrow entrance to the site which ended in a T intersection.  Then we were told we were in the wrong part of the construction site and had to turn around and go back.  With a 20  foot wheelbase and a 48 foot trailer and two other trucks in the same area, turning around was not an option.  So with a little help from me and a lot of prayers and, ok a bit of skill, Herb managed to back up over a hundred yards around a crane and up a hill out onto the street to await guidence to the correct site.  We were taken to the other side of the constuction site to get unloaded.  This time it was a cul-de-sac type area of the campus.  One way in same way out and we were blocking half the road.  There were all sorts of deliveries being made all around us and watching the traffic weave its way in and out was comical at times.  One of the delivery trucks was carrying electrical cable for the job site and Herb and the other driver got to talking and discovered the had served on the USS Nimitz at the same time and knew each other.  How cool is that?
When we finished unloading Herb was able to make a Y turn (although he had to nearly jack-knife the truck to do it) and got turned around to leave the job site.  Some of the other drivers didn't appreciate having to back up or detour into parking spaces to allow us to leave.
We then returned to Raleigh to leave off a forgotten bundle at the other reciever and continued on to Monroe NC to pick up a trailer loaded with PVC pipe going to Houston TX.
While on our way to Houston we talked to a friend from Lafayette, he and his family were on their way home from Orlando and was going to be in Atlanta GA near the same time we were.  So arrangements were made to meet with the Townsend Family for lunch.  They had been vacationing in FL and had visited Disney.  The lines at Disney were not very long, not too many people wanted to ride rides in 15 degree weather.
We swarmed the Petro Truck stop with a sqaud of eleven.  The three of us and they with their six kids!  It was wonderful to spend time with friends from home.  All too soon we had to leave, they headed North and we headed West.
Thanks Townsend Family for a wonderful afternoon.  Many Prayers for a safe journey home.
We will be in Houston on Monday, will it be any warmer there?  Stay tuned, the quest for a warm spot in the US continues.  LOL

09 January 2010

Catching up since the New Year!

I was trying to think of something profound to write about for the New Year's blog, but, the words never came. I guess that I am not much of a profound writer.
Since my last post , we left OK and headed North to Bangor Maine. It was still cold in ME. They have Moose crossing signs instead of the usual Deer crossing signs that we are used to in Indiana. We continualy looked for moose but never saw any. After getting unloaded in ME we were dispatched to pick up a load of "kiln dried" lumber in Brattleboro VT. Loading at the same place was another Prime driver and his wife, Lloyd and Coral H. we chatted briefly with them and then went on our way. Our load was delivering to Warroad MN just 7 miles South of the Canadian Border.
On the way to Warroad MN we made a small detour to Lafayette, for Christmas.
We arrived early on Christmas Eve day, Kaitlynn went to visit with her Grandparent's and Aunt A, and Uncle D, while Herb and I did all of our Christmas shopping in about 4 hours. We then went to Elston Family Church for the Christmas Eve service and it felt like comming home. We were able to briefly catch up with friends before everyone was off to their family Christmas Eve traditions.
Christmas Day was spent with family at my Mom and Dad's house. Kaitlynn recieved the two things she wanted most for Christmas......Clothes and A Puppy in a Purse. Those were the only things she asked Santa for. She got several pairs of jeans and a couple of shirts as well as desperatly needed snowpants and the Puppy is a little Yorkie named Bo, who has now taken residencey on her bed along with a pretend horse named Rainbow, a (pretend) Husky dog and an invisible baby cow. We have quite the entourage.

This is the new Paris Kaitlynn as we were leaving Grandma's house after Christmas.

The day after Christmas we continued on our way to MN stopping in Merrillville IN to have a short Christmas visit with Colin. It seems like he grows a foot everytime I see him.

We then continued on to MN, stopping in Hampshire IL for the night.  The moon was full and it had been snowing, it was actually really neat.  I enjoyed a short walk in the brisk night air, it was the kind of cold that made the snow "squeek" when you walked on it.
The next morning we awoke to find we had parked next to the couple from Prime, Lloyd and Coral.  We found they were going the same place we were so we decided to travel together.  It was fun to be able to talk back and forth on the radio and to have another couple to "hang  with" when we stopped.
When we got to Warroad MN, it was only 6 degrees so we all helped on both trucks getting them ready to be unloaded.  It was so cold that the tarps had to be folded instead of being folled like we usually do.  With four of us helping we were able to get both trucks unloaded in about an hour. 
After leaving Warroad we were sent to Minneapolis to load Bobcats going to Mississippi and Louisiana they loaded the same place only going to PA and NJ. So we were able to spend another day and a half traveling together.  We parted ways in Rockford IL and continued on to MS.
We were able to get the first two stops unloaded on the 30th and the last one off on New Years Eve.  We had hoped to toast the New Year with Sparkling Cider and watching the ball drop in Times Square on TV, but we didn't find any cider and the TV was on ESPN, so we sat in the restuarant at the TA and talked with a few other drivers and had a subdued celebration.
We picked up our load in Leeds AL and headed to Cleveland TN from there we reloaded in Knoxville and went to Bridgeport CT.  Then to Philladelphia PA to deliver in Greensboro NC.  It was even cold in NC, they said it was only 16 degrees when they came to work that morning but it had warmed up to 52 while we unloaded.  To us that seemed like a heat wave.

01 January 2010


Goodbye 2009!

Welcome 2010!!!