Thursday, June 30, 2016

Helping Hand

Since we now have a curtain side trailer (a flatbed with a rolling tarp system), it's been almost three years since Ed has had to tarp a load or fold tarps.

This week while waiting to get loaded, we were watching this guy in front of us take his tarp off to get ready for unloading.  It was only a few minutes before Ed hopped out of the truck and walked over to help the guy fold his tarps.

I love this quality of Ed's.  It's blazing hot outside, he's comfortably sitting in his air-conditioned cab waiting for our call to get loaded, and he does't think twice about helping a fellow driver.  I've seen him do this many times.  He's helped drivers throw straps and secure their freight, he's helped them tarp, he's helped them unload, he's helped them with folding tarps - which is a bitch when it's windy - and he does it all without asking.

I imagine this is how it was years ago, drivers helping drivers all the time.  Now, with the proliferation of cell phones, a guy broken down on the side of the road has help within the hour and when sitting around waiting on a load, those same cell phones (and computers) are being used to play games and surf the internet. Rarely do I see drivers venturing out of their trucks to give someone else a hand.

I'm proud of Ed when he reaches out and helps.  I'm not sure I would do the same.

But I will feed you and serve you refreshing slices of watermelon!

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Mickey Is Electric!

2014: High Floor, King Bed, River View
2013: Pitchin' Melon
2012: As If The Heat, The Dust, And The Politics Weren’t Bad Enough
2011: My Office Window
2010: All The Live-long Day
2009: What Every Child Leaves Behind
2008: What Happened To Being Human?
2007: I’ve Been Everywhere, Man
2006: Gulf Shore Toe Magnets
2005: Sorry, no post on this day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Monsoon Mountain

Earlier this week we had a hellacious monsoon storm.  Storm clouds rolling in late in the day, the wind whipping up, thunder, lightning, torrential rain.

In some parts of town, the severity of the storm had more impact.

The Tucson monsoon season typically starts in mid-June and finishes up at the end of September. July and August see the worst storms, but anyone who lives here knows when they're coming and what to expect.

And what to expect, is rain every day.

It doesn't rain for long, but the rainfall is heavy.  The water in the washes rise to dangerous levels, flash floods that can sweep unsuspecting motorists downstream.  There are mudslides in the mountains, and yards fill up with water that disappears hours later.  Two years ago we had this scenario in our front yard.

I love how the sky gets dark and although still uncomfortably warm, it feels like a stormy day back east.  I love rainy days and I like losing the blazing sun for a little while each day.  And during and after the rain falls, the air is heavy with the scent of creosote.  It's the most distinct after-storm smell I've ever encountered.  It smells like wood.  Earthy, wet, but on-fire wood.  In fact, my mother and I both asked Ed if he left the barbecue on because it smelled like he was still cooking something, or burning off the wood chips.  It's that strong.

I enjoy the monsoons.  And you just get used to knowing exactly when they're coming.  The sky is your guide.  In the more than a decade that Ed and I have been together, we're rarely home during the summer (we're smart), so we often miss monsoon.  And unfortunately, the day of this fierce storm was also the day Ed decided to power wash the porch, the exterior windows of the house, his pickup, and my mother's car.

Looks like Mother Nature is responsible for their spotty finish.

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Patriotic Blooms

2014: Someone's Going Home With This
2013: Hey Cutie!
2012: I’ll Have To Pry It From Her Dead, Cold Fingers
2011: Straight Talk
2010: Who Knew There Were Things To Do Other Than Eating Pie?
2009: 157 Years Of Light
2008: Call Me. We Have Telephones In Nebraska Now.
2007: Reach For The Sky
2006: Sorry, no post on this day.
2005: Sorry, no post on this day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Red Is The Color Of Desire And Love

Yesterday I went furniture shopping with my mother to a store that's been in Tucson for 37 years.  This was my first visit and I was pleasantly surprised at the selection and the quality of their inventory.

I wasn't in the door thirty seconds before I saw a leather dining room table chair that I decided I absolutely must have.  Thirty seconds later, I saw another one I loved.  And a few more feet into the showroom, I laid eyes on this gorgeous red couch.  That's when I felt a surge of desire and love for it.

Now I don't know if I can pull off a red couch, but the leather was so luxurious and so incredibly soft, and it comes in so many color choices, I'm certain I'd be able to find something I like.

Realistically I'm months and months away from buying new furniture, as the house remodel hasn't even started yet, but I've already got a folder full of magazine clippings and a Houzz ideabook that's chock full of pictures.

I'm moving this couch to the top of my list.

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Cutting Through The Rain To Get To The Sunshine State

2014: Ed Drove A Million Miles To Get Here
2005: Playing Favorites

Monday, June 27, 2016

Our Neck Of The Woods

I LOVE the Images of America books.  I have several from the areas I've lived in New York and I pick them up and flip through whenever I find one in a place I'm interested in.  They always have great photos, and a lot of historical information.

This one covers the area we live in.

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Power On The Potomac
2014: Ma And Pa Kettle Lived Here
2013: "License, Registration and Insurance Card, Please"
2012: Welcome To Hell
2011: When She Passes Each One She Passes Goes Ahhhh
2010: The Key To Being Funny
2009: Wishes Really Do Come True
2008: Eddie Plays It Safe Friday
2007: What Road?
2006: I’m STILL Looking To Get Me Some Good BBQ
2005: Say Cheese!!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Short List

I found this illustration while flipping around the Power of Positivity website.

It was among several drawn by Gemma Correll to accompany an article about anxiety and depression.  Luckily, I've never suffered from either of those disorders, but I did chuckle when I saw the drawing because it made me realize that as I get older I say no to a lot of things.

My friend Kim is usually the one asking me to do those things.

"You wanna go to Laff's on Saturday night?"  


"What about Downtown Saturday Night?"

"Ugh.  I've been so many times.  I don't think so."

"How about the 4th Avenue Street Fair?"

"Why? So I can wander through crowded vendor booths looking at things I have no intention of buying while being harassed for money by homeless people with dogs? No."

"Well, what about the mall?"

"I don't really need anything. And it's so far."  It's ten minutes from my house.

"How about we hike Catalina State Park?"

"Did you just meet me yesterday?  Besides, two people died hiking in the park earlier this week.  Who goes hiking in the fucking blazing heat??  No."

"Wanna have Sweet Tomatoes for lunch?"

"Really?  A salad bar restaurant? I guess.  I'm not really in the mood for salad, but if you want to go.... Really?"

Don't get me wrong, Kim and I do a lot of things together.  But I do find myself saying no to a lot of other things.  It's not like I'm sleeping the day away or eating Cheetos on the couch, I'm just really more of a homebody and prefer to entertain myself (or others) IN my home.  

My entire life for the last twelve years - with the exception of the last few months - has consisted of being somewhere new almost every day.  I'm always on the move.  I'm always doing new things.  And I love that.  Miss it, actually.  But now that I'm home almost five days a week, I'm kinda getting used to being here.

Some people have a hard time saying no.  They need suggestions on how to master the task, or learn how to do it.  I'm not one of those people.  I'm not opposed to a "social life" or making new friends, but I'm very selective about who those people might be and where I have to go to meet them, and I don't like doing things I don't LOVE.  My time is valuable to me and I want to spend it mostly doing the things I like to do.

I need to start working on a list of things I can say yes to.

But I have a feeling it's going to be a very short one.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
From I Love Lucy To The Lily Of The Valley

2014: We Were Ear!!
2013: This Disturb's Me 
2012: Not Sure The Money Will Follow
2011: Trucking Al Fresco
2010: 3000 Miles To Squidland
2009: It Could Be Africa If It Weren’t For The Schlitterhahn
2008: How To Ace A Job Interview
2007: Diver Down
2006: Day Tripping
2005: Nipple Rock

Friday, June 24, 2016

Man With A Plan

Today we took our site plan for our house addition to the county for approval.  Ed looked very homeowner-ly with his rolled-up set of plans as we ascended to the 9th floor of the county's Development Services building.

I haven't been to this building in over 20 years.  I used to go frequently when I worked for a paving contractor - they always sent one of the girls in the office because the guys hated waiting in line when they could be off on another project somewhere.  I didn't mind because it was the perfect excuse to get out of the office and people watch - I was single then so watching cute contractor-types saunter in and out was a no-brainer for me.

Now, though, almost everything is online and our architect said that building still isn't back to where it was before the construction crash, so the office was very quiet and we were helped immediately.  We were in and out within 30 minutes and were told it would take a minimum of two weeks to do the review.

We're kind of excited and although right now it seems a little daunting, we're looking forward to getting started.

Fingers crossed!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: Don't Try This At Home
2014: This Place Is For The Birds
2013: Get Your Travel On
2012: An Art Deco Tower In The Panhandle
2011: Traffic Might Just Have Saved My Life
2010: Joining The Ranks
2009: The Daily Rant Goes Farther East Than Ever Before
2008: What He Does When I’m Sleeping
2007: Now You Don’t Have To Go To The Ghetto To Get Crack
2006: Satchel Pitches A Great Question
2005: A Night In Yakima

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Manly Ribs

I have no interesting "on the road" stories with this dedicated run, so I'm posting another photo of one of our meals - the star of our Father's Day extravaganza, barbecued ribs.

This was our first attempt - I, personally, have never in my life made ribs - making ribs and I am totally impressed with our success.  I got the four racks of ribs on sale - buy 1, get 3 free - at our local grocery store.  I couldn't pass it up, even though we had no idea what we were going to do.  This, plus grilled chicken breasts, were going to be the main course.

Chicken I can cook in with my eyes closed, but I had to do research for ribs.  Some people boil then grill, some people slow grill, some people do both.  Ed and I both searched online for just the right recipe but were undecided.  Eventually, because of time restraints, we decided to boil and grill because we didn't have time for the slow grilling method.

I didn't know what the hell I was doing but I cut the four racks in half and put them in my giant restaurant pot, added a bunch of stuff I thought might make the ribs tasty - onion, garlic, spices, herbs, vinegar - and boiled them for an hour and a half.  Then I took them out and slathered them with Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce (the one my southern friend recommends) before I handed them over to Ed for him to put on the 'cue.

He basted and grilled, flipped and grilled, basted and grilled some more - and after he inserted the ThermaPen I bought him to ensure absolute accuracy (remember, we're new to the grilling thing and don't want to kill anyone with under-cooked pork) - he determined the ribs were perfectly done.

And boy were they!  They were a huge hit and there were only a few left.

Fourth of July weekend is right around the corner and I'm already getting ideas for what to try next!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: My Brush With Nature
2014: Dear Summer,
2013: I Wrote This After A Day Of Doing Nothing, Sitting On My Ass, While I Watched TV  
2012: The Beautiful Strangler
2011: Art Enables Us To Find Ourselves And Lose Ourselves At The Same Time
2010: Even God Can’t Help Men
2009: My President’s House
2008: Don’t Give Up Hope If You Just Don’t Know What You Want To Be When You Grow Up, You Have Choices
2007: Alright, Mr. DeMille, I’m Ready For My Close Up
2006: Stone Magnolia
2005: Fitty Nine!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Saturday's Child Works Hard For A Living

Photo:  Romulo Yanes
Are you compatible with the one you love? Find out HERE.

If Channing Tatum were my boyfriend, sex and I would be friends too.

Exercise 101 - get the skinny on the basics.

Documentaries always make you smarter.  Here are six from NetFlix.

What does the day of the week say about your personality?  I'm a Saturday child.

I can't fully express my love of corn tortillas.  In my opinion, they blow flour tortillas out of the water. Here are some other ways to enjoy them.

Wonder where some of the sounds in the movies come from?  Check this out.

Even fatties can do yoga.

The genius of Kim Kardashian.  Yes, genius and Kardashian in the same sentence.  

Eichler-like home in the Volunteer State.  Kinda awesome.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~2015: Along The Shores Of The Unpredictable Cat
2014: I Think I Saw A Nimbostratus
2013: Ed Breaking Bad In The Lap Pool
2012: View From The Bridge
2011: Small Place, Big Flavor
2010: La Vita รจ Bella
2009: He Looks Much Better Here Than On The Penny
2008: One Of The Few Places In Iowa NOT Under Water
2007: We Need A Manager On Register Three Please!
2006: Mobile Misses
2005: Idaho?? YOU Da Ho!!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Stick It To 'Em

My brother has always collected stickers for the storage cabinets in his garage.  The shop at Carpenter Avenue Classics is no different.

Over the years I've given my youngest nephew - the one who loves the garage and these stickers the most - whatever stuff I've come across in my trucking travels.  Attending truck shows is a big deal because the vendors give out swag like candy.  We always came home with stuff for him.  Even in the course of our regular work day, I'd find a sticker for him - see that Non-Flammable Gas 2 sticker?  That's one of ours.

He even has a "Say No To Cheap Freight" sticker somewhere.

You're never too young to know how your product gets from manufacturer to consumer.

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Links To Food Dominate This Post

2014: 30 Miles To Spokane
2013: Truck And Sky
2012: Not Despicable At All
2011: Slice Of Summer
2010: Time Suck
2009: The Spirit Of Sharing
2008: Sailor Boy Friday
2007: Cozy Dining
2006: It’s All About Me
2005: Alien Land   

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Dinner On A Stick

Last night we had kebabs for dinner.  I marinated sirloin steak in garlic, oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, ginger, black pepper, fresh rosemary, and brown sugar and then speared the chunks of meat with bamboo skewers.

I tried to make vegie kebabs too, but didn't have the patience to skewer pepper, mushroom, onion, pineapple, pepper, mushroom, onion, pineapple, pepper, mushroom, onion, get the idea.  So I put them all in our Weber grill basket and Ed put them on the grill until they were charred to perfection.  I served it all over Jasmine Rice and called it a meal.

I'm really liking Ed doing all this grilling.

It cuts down my cooking by fifty percent.

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The Good Deeds Of Summer

2014: The Mountain Was Out
2013: Small Town Bullshit. Big City Nothing.
2012: She’s Political Coming And Going And Doesn’t Even Know It
2011: Old As She Was, She Still Missed Her Daddy Sometimes
2010: Crafty Little Bugger
2009: Beauty For A Buck
2008: What My Thoughts Sound Like When Left Uncensored And Ultimately, Formed Into Words
2007: New York Style
2006: I.H.O.P.G.
2005: Sorry, no post on this day.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

May The Best Friend Win

Ed recently turned me on to Words With Friends.  I play against myself, with a few strangers, and him.

The occasions where I win against Ed (in Scrabble or the Words With Friends app) is so rare in the 12-plus years we've been together, I can count them on one hand.

He's a master.  Strategic, really.

All those little groupings of two and three letter words?  That's him.  Words I've never heard of? Him.  Words using all seven letters.  Also him.

The words they allow here are a little different than Scrabble, but it's a fun and challenging game and playing against others and against the app (called Solo Play) really gives one the opportunity to learn new words to use in future games.

I'm getting better, but I'm not yet good enough to beat Ed. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2015: 140 Characters Just Doesn't Cut It
2014: Wyoming In June
2013: I Will Not Be Decaffeinated
2012: Sweeeeeeet
2011: Summer On The Farm
2010: This Should Be The Next “New Parent” Handbook
2009: Would You Like A Little Screech To Go With Your Whine?
2008: Jane’s Anatomy
2007: Plus People Are Here To Stay
2006: Baiting The Hook
2005: Purgatory

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

There's A Steak Sandwich Waiting At The Intersection Of 82 And 83

On our trip to Sonoita, we stopped at The Steak Out restaurant.

It's not really like we had a choice.  Arizona State Route 83 South essentially runs right into it, at Arizona State Route 82.

The place has been there for over 50 years and I have to say, the experience has taught them how to cook a mean steak.

I had a burger, which was delicious, but Ed had one of the best steak sandwiches he's ever tasted.

So if you happen to be in the middle-of-nowhere Southern Arizona, you know a place to get good grub. 

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I Have Turned Into My Mother

2014: Ed Drops A Bomb
2013: Guarding The Life Of My Eddie
2012: Crash Test Dummy
2011: No Fudd Found Near This Fountain
2010: The Very Thoughtful Man
2009: SPAM: Not The E-mail Kind
2008: How Casting A Memory Begins With A Fish
2007: A Weekend At The End Of The Rainbow
2006: If I Were In People Magazine
2005: Free Mudflap

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

I've Still Got It

Ed and I were talking yesterday about typing speed.  For a guy, he's got pretty nimble fingers.  I'm impressed.

I decided to take my own test to see what my speed was.  I figured it'd be slow since most of my typing is now done on my iPhone, and I don't type any significant paragraphs with the exception of my emails to Marlaina.  I was pleasantly surprised by my speed.

So, yeah, that was fun.

Why don't you try?  Click HERE to take the test.

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2015: It's Peony Season
2014: The Long Haul Home Stretch
2013: The Power Is Everywhere
2012: A Patchwork Of Farms
2011: Dwarfed
2010: Kansas Needs A Few Other Representatives
2009: Something’s Afoot
2008: The Color Of Aging
2007: Ahhhhhntipasto
2006: The Great Equalizer
2005: Almost My Town

Monday, June 13, 2016

Just Another Day In America

Yesterday, 50 people were killed and 53 more were injured at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  A hate crime and yet another act of gun violence rolled into one.

If you haven't heard about it yet, you live under a rock, don't watch TV, or haven't discovered the internet yet.

Two days ago, a very talented 22-year-old young woman named Christina Grimmie, a contestant on The Voice, was shot and killed outside a concert venue (also in Orlando) just three miles from Pulse, the nightclub where these mass killings took place.

So in just two days, over 50 people are gone.  Countless lives are going to change because of those deaths.  The friends, family, and in Christina Grimmie's case, also fans, are and will be affected for years to come.

I don't understand people who think it's more important to have a gun than it is to protect the lives of children, churchgoers, moviegoers, or people going out for a fun night of music and dancing with their friends.  When you go to school or make a choice to engage in entertaining activities, you don't expect to die.

In 2012, we lost 26 people - 20 of them children under the age of 7 - when they were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

If things didn't change then, if people weren't moved knowing 20 innocent little kids lost their lives, I don't expect anything to change now.

But I can still hope.

We don't need prayers.

We don't need endless hours of people on television talking about it.

We don't need the empty bullshit spewed by politicians, especially the ones who consistently vote against gun control measures.

And we don't need memorials and dedications.

We need action.

So, act.

I am.


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2015: Five Fabulous Foodie Finds
2014: And Just Like That, It Happens
2013: The Midday Bird Got The Worm
2012: Keeping Time In A Place That Goes From Salty To Sweet In Less Than A Mile
2011: Pride Of The United States Air Force
2010: The Dinosaur Rears Its Ugly Head
2009: Kidnapping Is Obviously Not Their Forte
2008: Eddie Friday On Ice
2007: Having Influence Where It Matters
2006: MacGyver To The Rescue
2005: The Weekend

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Cough Cocktail

First day back in town and this is how I went to sleep...medicated. 

A cough/hack/sore throat crept up on me and reared the ugliest version of its head yesterday.  

This treatment was the only way I knew I'd get two,  maybe three, hours of solid sleep.

We can't have any of this stuff in the truck because it has alcohol in it - I'm not sure who's getting buzzed on NyQuil, but apparently the DOT thinks it's serious enough to write into an actual regulation - but once I'm home, it's NyQuil shots for everyone!

Thankfully, I was feeling fine until the last leg of the run when the cough started.  I knew something was up when I started to feel a tickle.  It went into full-on hack mode once I got home.  I'm pretty sure Ed thinks he's living in a nursing home.

A weekend of fluids and rest should do the trick.  I think I'm on the path to wellness, because yesterday I drank enough tea to keep up with Mick and Ali.

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2015: 7 Great Travel Related Magazines
2014: Frozen
2013: Working Man And Walking Man