Monthly Archives: September 2010

In Dallas, Texas Tonight

I’ll have photos to post in a later update.  I want to show the tree transition across the country from Georgia to California.  There is a definite place where they just stop.

We made better miles today…326 before we had to shut down for the night.  My truck is at Bruckner’s Mack Trucks in Dallas, Texas awaiting an air dryer that should arrive after 10 tomorrow morning.  They’ve had to order two of them.  Joe’s truck is not long before it fails and he has the same trouble as I’ve had.  It seems this is a Warranty part so the customer should be happy about this turn of events.  Joseph is still in Fort Smith, Arkansas awaiting his parts to be delivered.  Maybe he will have his truck fixed tomorrow and he can be on his way to California.

I just bet you guys all thought I was a whiney brat last spring when I lamented in one of my YouTube videos that I did not want to go back out on the road.  I even asked if throwing myself on the floor and having a temper fit might help but didn’t think it would work.  I think you all understand now why I whined a lot.  Oh well…I guess this is all part of making me into the woman I was meant to be.  Is there a short cut to get there?

Thank you all, so very much, for the love and support you sent Carissa’s way on her Squash Book Card.  Today I talked with her and she heard from the couple that had recently got married and the card was meant for.  Krystal loved it and appreciated the personal message that Carissa made for them.  Her husband, the other “K” name – Kevin I think – was over the moon with the card and was so amazed at what Carissa had done to personalize it for him.  I’m so glad she has had validation from more than just her “Mother” who is SUPPOSED to love and adore all she does.  You guys “TOTALLY ROCK” as some young ones are fond of saying.  I appreciate all of you for your kind words to her.

OMG!!! Nancy has done it AGAIN!!!!  That girl can create, I tell you.  She’s posted a new scrapbook page, that is awesome, on her blog and she has photos of her craft room.  It just might make you want to run out and get peg board after seeing what she has done.

Lynn has given us a very descriptive peek in her world in the UK with a new post on her blog and her husband, Rod, has supplied all the photographs for her post.  Totally amazing photos of butterflies that visit their garden.  I’ll have to get out my Stampin’ Write Markers when I get home (whenever that will be).  I have a new stamp, not even out of the box, of a butterfly that I sure would like to play around with the markers and maybe even some glitter *gasp*.  Yes, I did say glitter.

Shelly has a house brimming with munchkins now so I don’t foresee much stamping getting done right away.  She’s been the meany and taken them for shots!  Glad I was not at her home when all that was going on!!!  You can catch up on her blog to find out what is going on in her world.

Hmmmm, the only one missing now is MAUREEN!!!!  How can we entice her to dust off her old blog and make a post or two.  I know.  Maureen you can tease Joe with your cookies!!!!!  Each time you bake a batch you can post a picture of those delicious goodies and tempt him to no end.  She has sent pictures of her latest batch to my phone and I show it to Joe.  He groans and says “She is cruel, just cruel”.  If the cookies or baked goods are from family recipes handed down over the years I’d like to know about them.  How you acquired the recipe, when the cookies are made – seasonal or just anytime.  Me with my postings of restaurant food we have from time to time and your cookies we just might get Lynn stoked enough to go out in her neighborhood and try some of the other food offerings and she can tell us about her adventures.

Sounds like a plan to me.

Nancy can tell us about Canadian favorites, Lynn can tell us more about foods of her village in the UK, and Shelly can tell us what the Midwestern people like.  The holidays are coming around the corner.  What do each of you do for the holidays.  Joe does all the cooking of the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce from scratch, mashed potatoes and gravy, and sweet potatoes.  He loves the winter holidays and getting to do  his thing. The first year we were married I said I’d bake the pies.  None got made that year as I hovered over Joe’s shoulder watching what he did.  I’ve never made the turkey and stuffing Thanksgiving meal so I had no clue where to even begin.  I watched to see what he was doing and if he screwed it all up then maybe there was a chance that I might be able to get in and fix it.  Thank You Lord, Joe knows what he is doing and I let him have his head.

I have not made cookies, candies, and pies for such a long time.  I’ve been a scrooge since the kids have all gone away.  Maybe this year I’ll get myself to the grocery store and stock up on all the flour and goodies to do what I used to do when the kids were home.  Gingerbread houses –  nothing fancy like the Food Network Contests – but fun and make the house smell so good.

Okay, I’ve put off getting my log book filled out and other paperwork for the day done.  It is time to get back to the real world.  I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna 😦


We’re Tearing Up The Highway


We didn’t get out of the hotel this morning until after 11 a.m.  Waiting for the road service truck to arrive and fix my air leak problem.  The guy was really nice and didn’t charge me an arm and a leg either.

He had figured out how to get under the truck and get at the air dryer that was causing all the problems.  I talked with him a bit while he was under there then I gave that task to Joe while I went back to the room to get our stuff sorted and repacked so we could leave when he was done.

The man had to leave to get another part, when he returned and climbed back under the truck to fiddle with things again he had me turn the truck on.  That worried me a bit since he was underneath that monster and I don’t know what kinds of moving parts there are under there.  He wasn’t worried though so I got it started.  I watched as the air pressure gauge slowly rose, still concerned with him under the vehicle.  Not quite sure if I should leave the truck running to fill the air tanks or shut it off.  I carefully climbed down so as not to rock the truck and cause him to be harmed under there.  I bent over and hollered under the truck “Should I leave it on and let the air build or shut it off”?  Without me knowing, he had made his way out from under the truck and was standing behind me while I was bent over hollering at him.  He gave me a start when he said for me to just leave it on.  We both had a good laugh at that.

We made our way through the remainder of Georgia and on into Mississippi.  The air conditioning in Joe’s truck gave out and he was being cooled by his window rolled down.  Thankfully it was not an overly warm day today.  We stopped near Jackson, Mississippi to put in more fuel and the afternoon was gone, daylight would be fading fast.  Joe and I don’t like driving after dark with these crazy trucks.  No telling what can happen when you can’t see so why take the chance.

I talked with Joseph while Joe was putting air conditioner fluid in his truck.  The route Joseph had taken yesterday, the one we had originally intended taking, had been shut down for almost four hours due to a tractor/trailer that had rolled over and wrecked.  He had made it to Tupelo, Mississippi and stopped there for the night.  Today he got as far as Fort Smith, Arkansas before his air dryer gave out and he lost all his air.  He called to tell me I’m a “Jinx”.  I told him he was a “Copy Cat”.  Just because I was having fun didn’t mean he had to go and horn in.

We’ve been told by our dispatch office that we have to be in Dallas tomorrow and go to a Volvo dealership to have the air dryer on my truck properly taken care of.  Joseph has his in a Kenworth Shop in Fort Smith.  The road service guy this morning did a “by pass” on the air dryer and the people that are getting these trucks want it properly working before we deliver it.  So who knows how long we will be in Dallas tomorrow.

Today, we’ve driven a total of 224 miles.  Slacker!!!!  Our normal days are 450 to 550 miles, or at least as close to 400 as we can get with the road conditions and whatever else pops up.  Too many problems and such a late start really put a crimp in our making miles today.

Tomorrow is another day.  Here’s hoping there are no problems tomorrow and we get to Dallas without incident.

Lynn, here is the real information on Grits and Nachos.  Hope this answers your question.

Volvo Trucks….

Volvo Trucks in Atlanta, GA

We have had more Peterbilts and Kenworths this year than Freightliners.  This trip we have Volvo trucks that are going to Compton, California to be put to work.

Whatever company these were from previously turned them in and auctioned them off.  The economy and fuel prices have hit many trucking companies.  Small companies just about can’t compete with the massive fleet trucking companies.

Our son, Joseph

We got our son, Joseph, into this business in 2007.  Some days he is thankful for it and other days he could chase us with a stick.

We met up in Atlanta at the same place and we will be going to the same deliver point in California.

Joseph got all hooked up and skedaddled trying to get a head start and on to other business.

The route we were going to take ended up being blocked for over three hours.  Poor Joseph, he got to sit through it while we found a different way to go.

Jospeh's "Talisman"

This is “Ellie”, Joseph’s look out on the road.

In around 2004 or 2005 his appendix burst.  Like his father, he kept working and ignored the pain until it nearly made him pass out.  We nearly lost him.

His Mom came from Kansas to Colorado to be with him in the hospital and she called to tell us about it.  We were on the other side of the continent at the time and could not get near him.

His sister, Tiffany, living within 50 miles came to see him and brought this stuffed animal that Joseph carries with him everywhere.  This big strapping, and no nonsense guy is not afraid to have Ellie in his window.  I think it is cute.

Joseph’s trucks had to be jump started because of dead batteries, as did Joe’s and one of mine.  The craziness of this job is either absolute or just a bit wonky.  There are no guarantees of getting in, starting the trucks, and just blissfully driving along.  There has to be some kind of a problem.  Guess it makes for interesting times and keeps us on our toes.

After we got on the road yesterday, we stopped at a Love’s Truck Stop in Waco, Georgia for fuel.  I turned the ignition off and the key head came off in my fingers.  The rest of the key was still in the ignition.  Now that has not happened to me before.  Of course, I spazzed out.  Tried to put a wad of chewing gum over the piece of the key just barely sticking out of the ignition.  Let me tell you…that does not work.  I just made the ignition plate sticky.  Now we have to find a Volvo dealership to get a key.  Joe figured out how to get me started with the piece of key left in and I did not shut that truck off until we got to Tuscaloosa, Alabama for the night.

Then….as if I have not had enough fun….when we took the exit for the hotel my air gauges started going down.  I was losing air.  We made it to the hotel before all the air ran out and I was totally dead in the water.  Thank God we had not followed Joseph on the route we were going to take or I’d have been stuck on the side of the road somewhere.

There is a Service Truck at the hotel this morning.  The air dryer failed and he is working at doing a bypass on it.  Joe and he are out there talking guy stuff so I know that the fix, temporary or full, will be made with my safety in mind and not just for a quick fix.

It is time to get packed up and out of the room.  So I’d better stop here.  Lynn, I’ve given you a “sort of” answer to your question of “What are Nachos”.  I hope you understand it.  Nancy, I’m looking forward to getting my hands upon the card you have made and chosen to send to me.  I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Everyone have a good week, keep safe, and those of you with migraines are in my prayers daily.  Jann, you and Royce remain in my prayers for his recovery from his recent ailment.  That “sassy guy” is wished out of his bed and back roaming your land.

Fall Is Ever Nearer

Alabama on US 78

The fall colors are beginning to make their entrance in the trees.

It won’t be long before the rest of the trees begin turning rusts and golden then the leaves begin falling from the trees to leave barren trunks.  Evergreens will be the only color left in the landscape.  Even the kudzu will turn yellow and begin to wither into dormancy.

Where has this spring and summer gone?  It has blown past this year.

The drought should be about over by now

This year it has rained more than the previous years.  The south has needed this rain to end the drought conditions they have been having.

The rivers and streams are up, aquifers and reservoirs are getting built back up.  The rain is good, but it sure is a pill to work or drive in.  At least the temperatures are getting cooler and early morning is welcome instead of dreaded.  Stepping out into low 70 degree temperatures instead of the 90 plus degrees.

Drying off

There was a constant drizzle while we unhooked this morning.  Although we had our rain gear on, both Joe and I were soaked through by the time we were finished.

There are trucks out of Atlanta, Georgia going to Compton, California that have been in the works for over a month.  Dispatch is working on four for us but the “Go Ahead” has not been given yet.  We needed to find some place to spend a couple hours, get something to eat, and make our phone calls.  There is a restaurant in Spartanburg, South Carolina called The Copper River Grill.  Joe found a nice spot to hang out for a while. In front of the low fire to warm his bones and try to dry off his back side.

This restaurant was recommended to us by the woman who runs the front desk at the Peterbilt – PacLease – truck center in Spartanburg.  She warned us ahead of time about the portion sizes.  She was not kidding.

Creamed Spinich Nachos

When this “appetizer” arrived at our table I thought they were kidding.  This is HUGE and enough there for four people.  This photo makes it look like a green blob.  I like spinich, as does Joe, but this was over the top and way too much for the two of us.

We had to have it boxed.  This will do for a later snack or something in our room tonight.

Our server, Veronica, was delightful and very helpful.  We could not have chosen a better place to spend a couple hours and feel welcome while we tried to wait out the rain and get confirmation on our dispatch for California.

Bread Pudding

Joe had asked our server what they had for dessert.  She cautioned us, more than once, on the size of the dessert portion.  I was so full that another round of food would not be the best thing for either of us.

When she mentioned Bread Pudding Joe perked up and decided we would give it a go.

Once again, there is enough there for four people and we could not finish it.  At all.   Way too much fantastic food for one sitting.

Groggily we made our way near Atlanta where we will spend the night.  Load up tomorrow and begin the trek west.  Rain pelted us for a while then it came down in torrents.  By the time we made it to the hotel the rain had mostly stopped.

I gathered up the stuff I take into the room while Joe was getting his stuff together.  I was in a hurry to get the door open.  I had to use the facilities.  Just as I was opening the bathroom door, to come out, I heard a crash and a groan.  In the doorway, my husband lay upon the floor.  One shoe on and one shoe off.  Frightened I ran to see if he was badly hurt.  After we had worked to get him up off the floor he told me his foot had not got high enough on the entrance step into the room and his shoe had caught of the threshold sending him careening in the door.  Not seeing blood flowing freely, he was walking and talking in a normal manner, I could not stop the giggles that erupted.

Poor Joe.  He had his hat caught at a strange angle in his rain coat, his glasses were askew on the top of his head, one foot wore a sandal while the other foot was bare, the sandal was still outside the door.  Man what an entrance he made 🙂  I can’t say that he feel all over himself for me since I was not in the room when it happened but he sure tumbled for some reason.

He is alright and that is all I care about.  A bit chagrined but fine. Thus ends our day.

Here’s hoping the rest of you enjoy your week and everyone in your family is glad to see summer end.  And as Joe says “Be well and do good things”.

Flipped My Lid

Well….not me but my back truck did.

Passenger Side

It took Joe and I over five (5) hours to hook up yesterday.

We left the house at about 8 a.m.  It was nice and cool outside, a slight breeze wafted that felt really good.

When we arrived at the Coldiron yard in Oklahoma City our trucks were no where to be seen.  Upon checking with the yard guy we learned the Peterbilts were not ready yet.  Come back after lunch and they would be ready.

Joe and I went back to the Ford Garage to have them check on the windshield washer fluid reservoir.  Oh, before I go there….we got our pickup out of the Ford Garage on Thursday.  Seems one of the injector cups had a crack in it. One so fine that it took quite a bit of work by the repair person to suss it out.  Once he did  some mechanic guy work and isolated the injector whooz-it stuff, then pressurized the system he found the leak.  Couldn’t miss it then, the diesel fuel came spraying out everywhere from the crack.  Took them three days to get it fixed and all put back together.

When Joe looked under the hood to see where they had been working he found a cover mat thing missing and there were some spare parts in the engine compartment.  Joe found the shop manager and had a talk with him, the mat was located and the spare parts were talked about at great length by Joe, the manager, and two of the mechanics.  Guess they all decided that the spare parts were no longer necessary because we paid the bill – $1,545.00 and left.

Okay, back to Friday and our trucks not in the yard.  I had tried to use the windshield washer before we left home, to no avail.  I had a bottle of fluid in the back of my Isuzu Trooper and Joe poured it in, which it promptly ran out on his feet.  Ah, I didn’t need to see where I was going anyway.

So back to the Ford garage to have that looked after.  A mechanic guy came, had a look, did something under the hood, poured another gallon of fluid in the reservoir and told us we were ready to go.  About a mile and a half later Joe tried to use the windshield washer.  No squirts.  Make a U-Turn and head back to the garage for further investigation.

The shop manager comes out and takes a look.  He pours another gallon of fluid in the reservoir.  Result…his feet got wet this time.  He called a mechanic over and that person reached into the engine compartment and did some fiddling.  Seems the hose had come off.  He reconnected the hose, poured in a gallon of fluid (now this is the 4th gallon of fluid).  Joe turned the key on and tried the washer business.  The mechanics feet got wet and he watched as the hose shot clean off the reservoir.

When all the diesel had been spraying out of the injector cup it had spewed on the windshield washer hose doo hickey, thus causing the rubber to swell and become misshapen.  The fix…a tie wrap.  It would be another two hours to get a new hose installed to solve the problem and Joe didn’t want to wait that long.

By this time we had eaten up most of the morning.  Time to go get some lunch then meander back to Coldiron and see if our trucks were in the yard.  Upon arrival there were three in the yard.  Only two had the assigned VIN numbers we were to take.  Several phone calls later and a lot of “Okay.  Yes we can do that.  If that is good with you.” went on Joe’s end of the conversation.  We were to take what came out of the lot and into the bull pen.  The fourth one would be along soon.

Someone had stuck a fork, I kid you not, through the grill of Joe’s other truck and a replacement had to be found.  That is what was taking so long.

Now the cool morning had turned to a hot afternoon.  The cooling breeze was gone, the sun was beating down, and it was time to get to work.

6:30 p.m. was when we rolled out of the yard and headed for home.  Before we left the yard I took the ignition keys out of the back trucks and made sure all the doors were locked.  Of course there has to be some kind of a problem or this job would not be normal.  The passenger side door on my back truck won’t close and latch.  I slammed it, held it shut and turned the key in the lock and tried to lock it shut.  Didn’t work.  I had Joe come and help me out.  He slammed it and held the door shut while I turned the lock.  Door popped open as soon as Joe let go.

Joe being my “Fix It Guy”, had to stick his thumb in the rocker whats-it on the door.  The rocker thing that clamps around the post and latches the door.  I had visions of the rocker thing snapping on his thumb while I had my face up there trying to see what he was doing.  Had it snapped on his thumb and he jerked his hand out of the pinch spot I might very well have two black eyes, but I had to see what he was doing.  You know…Nosey Parker me.

No thumb pinching went on, and we had some success in getting the door slammed shut and the lock went a bit further closed this time.  At least enough so we could let go and it didn’t spring back open.

We got home about 7 p.m. and I got our clothes washed and ready for today. We left the house around 8:30 this morning and headed east on I-40 on our way to Spartanburg, South Carolina.

I had been checking in my left outside mirror frequently.  Watching to make sure the passenger door of the back truck would not decide to come open and flap around from some of the bumps in the road we hit.  Had I not been diligent in watching for the door to open I would not have noticed the hood of the back truck had come open and fallen on the ground.

We had gone through the last road construction bit in Oklahoma and had entered Arkansas.  A tow truck was on the right shoulder with a couple of vehicles and I maneuvered out of their way.  About another mile from that I looked in my left mirror to see something really odd going on with my back truck.  It took about 15 seconds to realize the hood had come open fully and it was dragging on the ground.  It wasn’t like that when I checked traffic on my left to go around the tow truck on the shoulder.

Faulty hood

A man with a pickup truck stopped to give me assistance while Joe pulled up behind me on the shoulder.

This man I tried to lift the hood and get it closed.  No way was it going back up.  Joe came and looked around, found the problem and told me what to do while the two of them hefted that heavy sucker back up into place.

I don’t get after Joe any longer about all the junk he brings along and we don’t use.  I’ve learned over the years that Joe, like a good Boy Scout, prepares for any and all problems.  That big yellow strap has been in one of the tool boxes for a couple years now.  Sometimes it gets in the way of the other things we need and use and I complain under my breath about it.  Today I was glad that bugger was there.

Grab Handle Damaged

Aside from a bit of the inner workings of the hood being bent and sprung the only visible damage is to the grab handle on the hood of the truck.

That piece took a grinding while it was drug on the pavement.

Had it not been for this piece of aluminum the fiberglass of the hood would have been mush and totally worthless.

I’m probably looking at a ding from Coldiron of about $1,000 to have this hood replaced or repaired.  Won’t matter that on the truck I’m driving the right latch on the hood locking device is broken.  All of these trucks are that way.  Some faulty thing with the latching mechanism.  We trusted that the hood was latched and did not take proper precautions for “Just in case” and it will now bite me in the butt.  Oh well, cost of doing business.  We put a strap on Joe’s back truck hood for “Just in case” before we got back on the road.

Damaged Light Bar

My light bar took a hit also.  There is some damage to it.

The good thing in all of this is that no one was hurt.  There was no crazy person in a car riding my butt, as they are want to do, when the hood came open.  It was daylight out so I could see there was a problem and we were able to get it at least fixed after a fashion.  My light bar only suffered some damage.  It still works so I can continue on doing my job until we get back home and get it replaced with a spare we have…which I’ve complained under my breath about because all that stuff is taking up space in the shed on our yard and the lawn mower has to be out in the elements.  Once again, My Hero has come to my aid.

We have to have these trucks delivered on Monday.  Here is hoping that tomorrow will arrive and end with no problems.  Fingers crossed.

My Daughter Is Going To Kill Me

But…..I am so proud of her.

Do you remember, way back in July, the story of a couple friends of my daughter that were getting  married?  The couple that had known each other for over 10 years and were best friends?  Then, do you remember when I was at Carissa’s home in Arizona and we worked on her Squash Book Card?

She finished it the first of September and had it completed for her friends wedding.  Just in the knick of time, too.  I’ve been begging, wheedling, whining, doing guilt trips on her, and anything else I could do to persuade her to allow me to put up the video she sent me of her completed project.

I finally have her permission to do so.  Bout wore me out though 🙂

This video is NOT PUBLIC on YouTube.  It won’t be listed on either of my channels.  You can see this video by clicking here.

Carissa, I am so proud of you.  You have done a wonderful job with your VERY FIRST SQUASH BOOK EVER!!!!  Creating the record all by yourself and making it look so real…SUPERB.  Using the things you have on hand and making them work for you is so great.

You think there might be room in this world for a “Mother Daughter Team”?

Love you my Precious!  OUTSTANDING!!!!

My Daughter-In-Law Sent This

Okay, I know I probably should not be doing this but…..


After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her
trips to Target. Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring
and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunate, my wife is
like most women – she loves to browse. Yesterday my dear wife received
the following letter from the local Target.

Dear Mrs. Samuel,

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a
commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been
forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your
husband, Mr. Samuel, are listed below and are documented by our video
surveillance cameras.

1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in
other people’s carts when they weren’t looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at
5-minute intervals.

3. July 7: He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading
to the women’s restroom.

4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official
voice, ‘Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away’.. This caused the
employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her
Supervisor that in turn resulted with a union grievance, causing
management to lose time and costing the company money.

5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of
M&Ms on layaway.

6. August 14: Moved a ‘CAUTION – WET FLOOR’ sign to a carpeted

7. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told
the children shoppers he’d invite them in if they would bring pillows
and blankets from the bedding department to which twenty children

8. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began
crying and screamed, ‘Why can’t you people just leave me alone?’ EMTs
were called.

9.. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used
it as a mirror while he picked his nose.

10. September 10: While handling guns in the hunting department,
he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.

11. October 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly
humming the ‘Mission Impossible’ theme.

12.. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his ‘Madonna
look’ by using different sizes of funnels.

13. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed
through, yelled ‘PICK ME! PICK ME!’

14. October 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker,
he assumed a fetal position and screamed ‘OH NO! IT’S THOSE VOICES

And last, but not least:

15. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited
awhile, then yelled very loudly, ‘Hey! There’s no toilet paper in here.’
One of the clerks passed out.

If you don’t send this to 12 of your dearest friends, your
property taxes will go up, your stocks will go down, and your middle
will spread. (How’s that for a curse?!?) What? It’s already come
true? Then send it anyway–you’ve got nothin’ to lose!