Friday, September 30, 2011

My Super Handsome Man

Ed after a long day, still working to get things done. Here he's waiting for the water tank on the truck to fill up so we can take showers.

Even tired and dirty, he's the cutest trucker I know!



Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Sign For Sore Eyes

Not the best picture because it was taken while the truck was moving and it was a little overcast, but that can never diminish the joy I have crossing into New York state. I feel like a marathon runner crossing the finish line, exhaling and letting out an audible sigh. For me, it's the best feeling, to be home.

We deliver out near Plymouth Rock today (but with no time to actually see the rock) and then head out to Louisville, KY for a delivery tomorrow. Ed said we can try to get another load back up here for the weekend so I can enjoy more of the cool weather and the changing colors of the leaves.

Also,
our friends are in New York city this weekend, so we might just have a chance to meet up with them. They've recently leased on to the same company we're leased on to, and there are still a few things we want to go over with them. If everything works out, we'll be having another of Ed Godfrey's Fabulous Flatbed Bootcamp dinners. According to them, time with the Ed Man is pretty valuable.

Hmmm...maybe I should start pimpin' him out.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
A Primm Landscape
2 YEARS AGO:
I Am A Kandee Addict
3 YEARS AGO:
The Tiny Intersection Where The Colors Collide
4 YEARS AGO:
Loved Shack
5 YEARS AGO:
Holy Mother Of Pearl
6 YEARS AGO:
The Starfish Effect

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Paper Boy...And Girl

My cousin's two and a half year old twins heading back to the house after picking up the Sunday paper. How precious is this??



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hand Dipping Tastes Better

This weekend we went to the beautiful Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis. It's a gorgeous area with stately homes and tree-lined streets. In the section of town called Maryland Plaza, we found Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier, an elegant little chocolate shop.
There were so many choices, but before I arrived at the shop, I read about their chocolate covered blackberries. They're seasonal and always sell out, so I had to try some. But at $33.00 a pound, I decided to only get a quarter pound and try some of the other treats.

In addition to the blackberries, I got some 75% dark chocolate medallions, Almond Bark, and some salt caramels; the
Pear Balsamic ones for me and the Apple Ghost Chili ones for Ed. I haven't tried any of those yet but I did try the blackberries and they were delicious.

The shop had a beautiful seating area, a menu with many different options for tasting chocolates and an extensive wine list. This is the only chocolate shop I've ever been in that offers monthly chocolate and wine pairings.

Salud!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
The Skies Were So Dark, Even GE Couldn’t Brighten Things Up
2 YEARS AGO:
Not So Deep Impact
3 YEARS AGO:
My America. Your America. OUR America.
4 YEARS AGO:
Frozen In Time
5 YEARS AGO:
Ohhh, Paaablo
6 YEARS AGO:
Apparently, Aliens Tell Time With Their Ass

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dream Big. Live Bigger.

"Life is too short to be small."
- Benjamin Disraeli (British Prime Minister and Novelist, 1804-1881)

Happy Birthday to my handsome baby brother. May the best of your past be the worst of your future.

Yeah, I know that doesn't sound so great (with the word "worst" and all) but I read it online and if you really think about it, it's a good sentiment.

Here's to a wonderful future!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Always Merry When Around My Brother
2 YEARS AGO:
Living Outside The Touch Of Time
3 YEARS AGO:
Girls And Their Boys
4 YEARS AGO:
Living History
5 YEARS AGO:
Company On The Prairie
6 YEARS AGO:
Rack Eyes

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Wooden Shoes, Tulips, And Now This?

I just made this cool picture my desktop background. Wanna know what it is? Read on.
It's the view from under this cool chandelier that I saw in Anthonino's Taverna yesterday. I want this lamp hanging from my ceiling!

This is what I found on the internet about the chandelier and it's creator:

"Contemporary Dutch designers have been distinctly innovative in their experimentation with materials. As an example of this trend, Rody Graumans employed simple, readily available components — eighty-five black electrical cords, sockets, and lightbulbs — to create this striking chandelier. Gathered in a unified bundle at the ceiling, the cords flare out to accommodate the mass of bulbs below."


What a clever, unique and expensive idea!

Leave it to the Dutch.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lunch On The Hill

Today we had lunch in an Italian neighborhood called "The Hill" in St. Louis, Missiouri. The neighborhood is beautiful, tiny brick houses line tree-lined streets and the neighborhood is clearly cared for as it's remarkably clean compared to the industrial surroundings of St. Louis and despite the fact that it's directly parallel to a heavily traveled interstate.

The Hill is also the birthplace of baseball great,
Yogi Berra. In fact, the web page for The Hill has a list of Yogi-isms; ones like "It's like deja vu all over again", "We made two many wrong mistakes" and one we all know, "The game isn't over until it's over".We had lunch at a place we found on Urban Spoon, Anthonino’s Taverna; a culinary homage to the Italian and Greek roots of the owners. They started us out with a delicious loaf of Italian bread and olive oil for dipping.

We had Toasted Ravioli for an appetizer (no picture, sorry!), ordered only after being told they were handmade in house. I was surprised that they were meat (I never eat meat ravi's) but they were suprisingly good.Ed ordered the Gabagool; an open faced garlic cheese bread topped with capacola (Italian ham). I think he ordered it because he liked the name. I ordered the Chicken Parmesan on Ciabatta. It was delish.

On the side, I had Sauteed Spinach, topped with grated cheese. It was amaaaazing. Ed even put some of it on his sandwich. Ed ordered Feta Cheese and Greek Olives for his side. The feta was in a mound and we didn't even finish all the olives, there were so many. They were also delicious.

Look at the pile of feta cheese! You don't have to guess that we were stuffed when we were done, so no room for dessert. So sad.

The rest of the day we spent at the Taste Of St. Louis, being held at the Soldier's Memorial at 12th and Market where they had music, art, wine and more food.

Photos to follow...


Friday, September 23, 2011

Aging In Soft Light

Ed took this picture of me when we were in the Turks and Caicos. We were at dinner, outside, and the only light available came from a candle on the table. It's not in focus but I like it, it makes it sort of soft and hazy. After I ran it through Instagram, I liked it even more. Although I do look like I'm raising one eyebrow; why, I don't know.

Today is my birthday and I'm forty-four years old.

I will be spending the remainder of my life in candlelight.



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rain Or Shine

Today we delivered our load in Illinois and Ed had to unload it in the rain. It wasn't torrential rain, but he still got soaked all the way through. In this picture, he's just finishing up, putting the straps and chains away. As you can see, he's already rolled up and secured the tarps that were used to cover the load.

What I don't understand, and this happens a lot, is why a customer requests that their load be tarped and then when it gets to them, they unload it outside, IN THE RAIN. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. If you're concerned about the expensive item that you're having shipped to you, and you pay extra to have it tarped, you probably shouldn't unload it in the rain.

It's a lot of work to tarp a load. Not only do you have to secure the item to the trailer, using straps or chains, depending on what it is, but then you have to lift the tarp to the top of the item (the tarps weigh about 100 pounds each) in order to unroll it over whatever it is you're trying to cover. Then come the bungees, all around, to secure the tarp. Loading can take anywhere from one to four hours, depending on what it is, and when Ed is done tarping, it looks like an artist was at work; it's so neat, it looks like a wrapped present.

After we unloaded, we went to buy new tarps, they're supposed to be lighter and rip-proof. They better be, because they cost twelve hundred dollars! They'll be ready for pickup tomorrow.

After that, I hope we'll be doing birthday stuff for me. We don't have a plan yet, but Ed is the master of last minute surprises, so I have faith!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
In My Dictionary, Team Is Always Spelled Without An I
2 YEARS AGO:
The Italian Energy Drink*
3 YEARS AGO:
Shroom
4 YEARS AGO:
Looks Fairly Serene To Me
5 YEARS AGO:
Taste, Smell And Hear The Memories
6 YEARS AGO:
Eddie’s New Ride

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Coming Soon

I found this photo on the internet, but it represents what I like best about this time of year - the colors.

And the cool weather. Helloooo, fall.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Feren Films Y’all Shouldn’t Miss
2 YEARS AGO:
This Guy Sucks
3 YEARS AGO:
Shine And Shine
4 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Hoots It Up Friday
5 YEARS AGO:
Eddie The Bird Whisperer
6 YEARS AGO:
Laundress

Monday, September 19, 2011

Come On In And Take A Seat

This is the waiting room I sat in while Ed was getting fingerprinted for his HazMat endorsement. It was like sitting in Cell Block A. The walls are slump block, the chairs are basic, the secretary is behind a wall of glass (probably bullet-proof) and you have the honor of paying $90 just so you can continue doing your job.

The sun was beating down through the windows (even though there were blinds on them) and the wall behind the seats felt as if they were up against a heater. There was no air-conditioning in the room either; or if there was, the vent was so small it was useless.

AND, we had to drive across town, in morning traffic to get there. We were actually in the car, which was good, since there was no truck parking. You think they'd tell you that when you mentioned that you were a truck driver coming in to get printed for your background check.


Ed is squeaky clean, so they're not going to find a thing to disqualify him, but if I had to sit there another minute, they might have been fingerprinting me at the police station because I may just have gone bat-shit crazy on everyone.

Heat does that to a brain.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Doctor Recommended For Sure Death
2 YEARS AGO:
Wardrobe Malfunction: Intentional And Uncensored
3 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Friday: Outlined
4 YEARS AGO:
Modern, Yet Not So Much
5 YEARS AGO:
Why Higher Education Is Desperately Needed
6 YEARS AGO:
Does A Bear Shit In The Woods?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Things You Do For Love

Today I went to see my nephew play baseball. I was out with my friend when my mother called and said he had a game and she was thinking of going. It was very last minute and since I was here and hadn't seen my brother or the kids for a while, I thought it'd be a perfect place to say a quick hello, so I joined her.

The act of attending a baseball game in above ninety-degree heat in a desert, in a place that typically has no shade, is truly an act of love on my part. I don't like sports, I don't like dirt and I absolutely, unequivocally do not like heat.

I don't even know what the temperature was because I couldn't really think straight. I think my feet were burning. Usually, I have to sit on the uncomfortable metal bleachers (yeah, metal in the desert - great idea) but Ed threw the folding chairs into the trunk, so we had super-comfy seating. We were stealing the shade of another person's shade tent, each of us holding an umbrella to block out any wiley rays, and trying to pinpoint my nephew on the field. I don't really know what the hell they're doing out there. I don't ever know the score because there's no score board and I never hear who does what or gets on which base.

I do know that my nephew did an awesome third base slide (on his belly!!) and was safe. And I also know that he hit the ball which such force that the audible crack of the bat made it feel as if I were at a professional game. You can hear it here (my youngest nephew took the video):



video



My nephew often plays (mans?) the catcher's position. I don't know how he's not a little scared with the bats swinging over his head and balls being hurled right at him, but he's really pretty good. Honestly, I don't even know what good is, but I'm guessing if you catch most of the balls, as a catcher, you're probably good.

His team didn't win the game but they played very well and I'm really glad I was able to be there. I love those little guys - the intellect of the oldest, the gravelly voice of the middle one and the mesmerizing eyes of the youngest.

I see them all in my dreams.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Sweating Profusely From The Head Is Clearly A Sign Of A Highly Intelligent Individual
2 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Watching Boats And Waiting For Brisket Friday
3 YEARS AGO:
It’s Probably Best Not To Piss Off The Devil
4 YEARS AGO:
Reminders For Morons
5 YEARS AGO:
Feasting With Saints And Sinners
6 YEARS AGO:
We Live In The Signpost Forest

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

What Do You See?

I was in Arizona, sitting in line waiting to get the truck washed when I saw this on the concrete. It was a reflection off the doors of the trailer in front of me.

I thought the pattern was great. It reminded me of a few things; a swimming pool, a Rorschach test, or an elementary school art project. Remember when we were kids in art class? We'd fold a piece of paper in half, and then drizzle that tempera paint in the middle and then fold the two pieces back together, squishing the paint in between. When you opened it, the design would be mirrored on both sides of the paper.

In this case, the blazing hot, blinding sun created the effect on the back of the trailer, the design spilling onto the ground in reflection.

Is it human, nature, animal, or abstract?



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Making Places Beautiful With Sarah + Bessie

''Some people look for a beautiful place, others make a place beautiful''
~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

Many of you will remember my friend Kelly, The Lipstick Trucker. Well, she's still truckin' but she's given up her Lipstick Trucker blog to follow her true passion; home decor.

She started a new blog called Sarah + Bessie. It was named after her great-grandmother Sarah, and Sarah's daughter Bessie. I think it's a fabulous idea and I love where her inspiration for the name of her online store came from.

She's just starting, but she's destined to be successful. She's able to travel the United States and Canada (she's Canadian!) which allows for inspiration from hundreds of places and the ability to pick up unique products to sell (or keep, if they're truly fantastic!).

So go on over and check out her new blog. There are only a few posts right now, but there will be more. Follow her on Google, tell your friends and leave comments.

And Kel - when I'm ready to furnish my new place, you're invited for dinner so I can pick your brain. Oh, and take you shopping with me!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
High Class High
2 YEARS AGO:
Not Such A Bad Idea, This Man In Chains Thing
3 YEARS AGO:
Razz Ma Taaz Me!
4 YEARS AGO:
Casa De Cambio
5 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Birthday Suit Friday
6 YEARS AGO:
Goodbye Alaska

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

They May Look Pretty, But They're A Bitch

The Colorado Rockies. Songs have been written about them. A baseball team has been named after them. Skiers revere them. Truckers fear them. OK, not really, but it rhymed.
The Rocky Mountains are beautiful year round, although I prefer them when they're covered in snow. Driving them when snow covered is challenging, but going through the mountains with a heavy load any time is no picnic. There's a lot of shifting involved, switching your jake brake off and on, making sure you don't use your service brakes too much, as I did on one hill, leaving a HUGE cloud of acrid smelling smoke behind me.

We were heavy, about 75,000 pounds. For me, climbing the mountain isn't as bad as descending. I don't mind staying in the right lane, creeping up the mountain, flashers blinking as cars, trucks and motorcycles speed around me. It's not as if I have a choice, so I just plug along. But going down? It's an intense ride that requires me to pay attention to several things at once; my speed, my RPM's, the percentage of grade on the hill, road conditions, escape routes in case my brakes fail.Signs are typically posted for what the grade of the hill is, but rather than having to do math (the increase in elevation per 100 feet determines the percentage of the grade), I just know that if I see a sign with a number and a percentage sign after it, there might be a crazy hill coming.

But here in Colorado, they not only tell you there's a crazy hill coming, they erect signs specifically for truckers. This sign is on Interstate-70, at the 211.5 mile marker. It's at the top of Loveland Pass, just after you get through the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel. With a maximum elevation of 11,158 ft above sea level, it's one of the highest vehicular tunnels in the world.


And just in case you didn't see the first sign, there's another to make sure they're getting through to you. This sign lets you know they're not fucking around. You better slow the hell down if you don't want to wind up over the side of a mountain in a heap of twisted steel. No matter how low your gear is, or how strong your jake brake is, a truck weighing almost 80,000 pounds is gonna roll. And sometimes, it's easy for it to get away from you. The longer you're driving, the better you are in these kinds of situations.

Ed is much better navigating hills than I am, but he's pretty good at helping me when I need it. Which is usually when he hears the engine screaming, so he sticks his head out of the curtain and says, "Shift!".

Uh, thanks, Baby.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Eureka! Sand For The Golden State

Our load out of Eau Claire, Wisconsin was sand going out to California. When Ed called about the load, he said to the agent, "They don't have sand in California?"

Apparently,
Red Flint Sand and Gravel, has what Exxon Mobil Oil Refinery in California needs.
In these "bins" were colorful rock with names like Pink & Pepper, Ginger Gems and Almond Drop. But we weren't getting any of that pretty stuff, we were getting sacks of sand.

Red Flint Sand & Gravel provides industrial minerals and water filtration media. At Exxon Mobil, the guy Ed talked to said they use it to create "beds" to filter jet fuel through. Who knew?

It's interesting though, what we haul back and forth across the country. One year we hauled lumber from a Home Depot in Washington State to a military base in Delaware. They don't have a Home Depot in Delaware?? We often joke about how you'll see, for instance, trucks hauling logs, passing each other on the highway, one of them going east, the other west. The good thing about our business is that there always seems to be an endless supply of stuff that needs to go somewhere else.

California needs sand? We're on it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Through Chicago To Cheese Country

After purchasing our new, fresh-smelling refrigerator in Shipshewana, Indiana, we headed to Wisconsin to pick up our next load. I love Wisconsin. And I love driving through Chicago. I'd love to stop and be able to get a proper picture of the skyline, but I never have the time. I was only able to get these two shots because Ed was driving.
Monday will be our first day back to work since August 5th. We've been off for over a month. Getting back into the swing of driving is always a little bit of an adjustment. Our first run will be a team run to California, so usually we try to adjust our sleep pattern just a wee bit before we head out.

Once we hit California, we'll have two days off before we pick up our next load, which will take us through the house and then back out to the east coast. My birthday is next week and my only request was to be in cooler weather, preferably seeing fall foliage.

Bring on the cool weather!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Ghost Rider
2 YEARS AGO:
I Only Think I Know A Lot Of Things…Here Are Ten Of Them
3 YEARS AGO:
Texas Love Bugs And Hurricanes
4 YEARS AGO:
Pimping For Presidency
5 YEARS AGO:
Demographics Of A Lifetime
6 YEARS AGO:
Glacial Impact

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In The Pink While Manning The Wheel Of A Big Rig

Yesterday at the party supply store, in between snapping photos of Ed in halloween masks (they'll probably show up here shortly) and my trying on clown shoes, I also tried on a few halloween wigs.

I tried on a very long, platinum, almost white "Lady Gaga" wig (I liked that one), a honey blond shag, a Marilyn Monroe wig and this pink one. I have to say, I am really kinda digging the pink one.

I like the color. I like the length. And I love the bangs. I think I might have found my "unique" trucker look. I mean, how many truckers have pink (fake or not) hair?? In seven years, I haven't seen any.

So not only will I get double takes because I'm a girl driving a truck (which is becoming more common), but I might get triple takes for being a girl with pink hair driving a truck.

Whadya think??




~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Still Standing
2 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Dumps It Friday
3 YEARS AGO:
Vicki Goes Hollywood
4 YEARS AGO:
Market Flora
5 YEARS AGO:
Now Where The Hell Did She Park My Truck???
6 YEARS AGO:
Channeling Angelina Jolie

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Clowing Around

Ed took me shoe shopping today in Mishawaka, IN. I know you're all jealous of my super-fashionista life and my obviously good taste in footwear. But you can have a pair too...just head on over to the party supply store and check out the halloween costume section!

I wish I had these a few months ago when I was told I couldn't wear flip-flops into the facility we were picking up from; they said I needed "closed-toe shoes". These would have been perfect.

Do you think they'd believe they had steel toes in them??



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
Smolder
2 YEARS AGO:
Comrades In Driving
3 YEARS AGO:
Black, White And Tan
4 YEARS AGO:
If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Fart At The Speed Of Light
5 YEARS AGO:
Draped In Sarcasm
6 YEARS AGO:
Feast Your Eyes

Thursday, September 08, 2011

End Of Summer Rainbow

Ed took this picture yesterday afternoon in Shipshewana, Indiana; it was actually a beautiful double rainbow, with both sides in view. It's nice and cold here, pretty much signaling the end of the summer, which I am thrilled about. We're still getting a few things done on our truck and then we'll work on getting back to work.

The hardest part about going back to work is deciding where to go. There are still plenty of places in the country that are hot and I'd like to stay out of them if possible. My birthday is also this month, so I would like to end up somewhere fabulous to do a couple of days off to celebrate. Ed always makes sure we do something great for my birthday. And a visit to see my best friend in Nashville will be in the works after that - it's been way too long since I've seen her!

Boy, it's shaping up to be a busy September already.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

And We Have A Winner!!

First I'd like to thank everyone who entered the Justin Boots Giveaway Contest. I was more than thrilled to be contacted by Justin Boots and given the opportunity to give a great product, a pair of boots from their J-Max Collection, to one of my readers. I was even happier that they allowed me to include my Facebook fans and friends, and readers over at LOTR in the giveaway.

After pooling together all of the comment entries, I entered the list into the "randomizer" over at Randomized.com, and they spit out a winner for me. Easy peasy!

So now I'd like to extend my congratulations to BJ Moody, the winner of the first Daily Rant giveaway.

Bobby Jerome Moody is from Phenix City, Alabama and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas. His answer to the giveaway question "Where is your favorite place and why?" was "My favorite place is the Texas Hill country -- places like Kerrville, Bandera or Fredericksburg - great food, great scenery and great entertainment." Now anyone who has been to Texas Hill Country, knows that's the ding-dang truth! It's a pretty area, and it's one of the places in Texas you'll be sure to see an abundance of the beautiful deep blue blossoms of the state flower, the Texas Bluebonnet.
BJ Moody, according to his blog
Milkmandog (I'm not really quite sure what that means), is a worship paster at Grace Fellowship Baptist Church down there in good 'ol Alamo City. He's been married for 28 years, has two daughters, one graddaughter and a whole passel of dogs. He notes his heroes as Clarence Jordan (who was instrumental in the founding of Habitat For Humanity), Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson.

I look forward to hearing from Mr. Moody when he comes-a-callin' for his boots. I hope he enjoys them and I hope he's as excited to win them as I was to have held the contest.



Yee-Haw!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
1 YEAR AGO:
So What’s Wrong With A Good Idea?
2 YEARS AGO:
Where Is A Palm Reader When I Need One?
3 YEARS AGO:
Fred’s Plan Appears To Have Backfired
4 YEARS AGO:
Eddie Plays A Round Friday
5 YEARS AGO:
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
6 YEARS AGO:
50 Little Facts About Alaska