Monthly Archives: June 2011

Is that my radio or is it yours?

Two-Way radios

Two-Way radios

These are what Joe and I use to keep in contact with each other as we drive in separate trucks.  I used one of these radios to let Joe know his wheels had come off in our most latest bit of mayhem.

These radios take six (6) double A (AA) batteries and last over a week.  We bought them from a Cabela’s somewhere.  Since they are exactly the same we can’t tell whom had which one and put fresh batteries in.  Each of us will tell the other “But I just put batteries in mine!”

So while I’m waiting for the last bit of stuff to do before we leave town for California today I decided to just choose one and make it MINE!

MY radio

MY radio

I’ve used a strip of aluminum tape and ran it through a Tim Holtz embossing folder, liberally sprinkled it with Alcohol Ink, added some swirly pearls, and some Tim Holtz gears to the front.  On the antennae I’ve added two ribbons (don’t know how long they will stay on) and attached a metal tag that says “Journey” on one side and a key to the other end of the ribbon.

Thus, the “Key to the journey is to just keep shifting gears”.

Whatever.  At least there is no mistaking which radio belongs to whom now 🙂  No more whining by either of us that we’ve just replaced batteries in one of the radios.

I’ve also been able to do more creating the last couple days.  Check out my OTHER blog Message In A Fold to see what  I made for a friend of mine that has recently lost  her husband.  It started life as a momento holder.  A wood boxed frame to hold a medal or service pins.  This is a link to the post.

Okay, I’ve still got some things to do before we leave.  I can hear Joe calling “Are you ready yet?!”


I had NOTHING to do with the latest mishap.

Another damaged "Joe Toe"

Another damaged "Joe Toe"

I had absolutely NOTHING to do with this.  He did this all by himself.  Maybe it was a bit of self flagellation for running me all over tarnation these last few days.

Big honkin paper trimmer

Big honkin paper trimmer

This is my ginormous Tonic Studios paper trimmer Joe is fond of using.  The cushioned handle has a major flaw.  It keeps coming off.  He knows this from many other times of grabbing the trimmer by the handle and carrying it around unsupported.  It has hit the floor many times and each time he says the same thing….”I’m going to put Super Glue on this handle”.  Each time I tell him to not hold it by the handle because it is made to come off and be stored under the trimmer.

One of the corners landed on his toe and caused a gusher from the split it made 😦  I wonder how much longer his great toes will remain on his feet before they run off and hide somewhere?

We will be driving to Red Bluff, California come Thursday (tomorrow) or maybe Friday.  He was attempting to alter an inspection form for the upcoming jobs we will be doing.  Wal-Mart in Red Bluff, California is having more trucks moved to auction sites in Fontana, California and Las Vegas, Nevada.  July is already planned for us.

Just in case I have confused anyone.  Wal-Mart is NOT going out of business.  They are buying new trucks to replace the older ones.  They were going to eventually switch out their entire fleet from International to Peterbilts.  They have found that the Peterbilts are quite the fuel guzzlers and are now trying to get rid of the Internationals and Peterbilts to be replaced with Freightliners and newer models of Internationals.

While going through my emails the past couple days I found this little ditty Joe forward to me from a friend of his way back in March.  I’ve been holding it because it is cute and the recent events in our life…this seems appropriate to share with you now.

The email was titled “When the male has had enough”.

Be Quiet!

Be Quiet!

In light of my post of yesterday…..well, need I say more?

Whole Lotta Scrap sent me an email with an invitation to the classes being held this week.  I called to get in on the one last night.  I told Joe I was leaving for a few hours and would be back after the class.  If I couldn’t get any crafting “mojo” going at home I could get it started elsewhere.   I’m so glad I went.  This is the scrapbook layout kit for last night.  The ribbon “Sun” was taught at the class, along with how to make the pinwheel from a 2″ x 2″ square of paper.  Really cute 🙂

Ribbon sun

Ribbon sun

This is the layout.

Summertime layout

Summertime layout

The papers are from Little Yellow Bicycle.

Now…I’m off to my craft room for some much needed meditative creating.

Thankful for my friends.

Most of the time I get a good chuckle from them.  Sometimes they make me laugh so hard I have a coughing fit while I’m trying to hurry up and get to the bathroom before I have an accident….or as I heard from a public speaker once “I laughed so hard my water broke and I wasn’t even pregnant” (Jeanne Robertson

These past several days have been a whirlwind of activity.  I had been hoping for time to myself so I could be in my craft room playing around but that hasn’t happened yet.  Doctor appointments, following Joe to the car wash to plug in quarters while he gets the work trailer cleaned to be repaired, grocery shopping, a trip out to our property to get some items he will need for work he has yet to do on the work trailer after it is repaired.  Treks to parts shops, getting the work truck in for service, going to the office supply store for much needed supplies for the paperwork mess I have that keeps growing.  A trip to our lawyers office and another trip to our accountant.  My DOT Physical will expire on July 2nd and I need to have that taken care of.  Did that yesterday and have faxed off the appropriate documents to the companies we drive for to put in my files.

My days have not been relaxing and I’ve been wound up tighter than an “8 Day Clock” (whatever the heck THAT is) and I’m getting grumpy and short tempered.  I did spend about 1-1/2 hours in my craft room on Friday and just could not find the interest or spark to do anything in there.  I gave up.  In between the running around and all the errands that have had to be done all that I have really accomplished (besides making dinner nightly) is reading through the gazillion emails I have and the comments posted on this blog.

Lynn Claridge from the UK “gardenpinks” had sent me an email June 9th that I finally had a chance to read.  According to this email the Canadians have a bit of a speed problem in their larger towns.  Being very familiar with potholes and the damage to their vehicles it is a common thing for the Canadians.

Potholes on Canadian roads

Potholes on Canadian roads

Seems “Pioneer Suspension” is lending a hand to the speed problem……



Those tricky buggers 🙂

Thank you Lynn for the chuckle I needed to have.  Also for the mental picture of your husband, Rod, tearing around in your gardens at night in his pajamas, bathrobe, and slippers with a pail or a jar hunting down the glow worms that have appeared.  It is so good to know the “boy” is still in the heart of the man 🙂 and still fleet of foot to capture the glowing treasures.  Glow Worms

My friend, Janice, who lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming has sent me an email that has made me take a look at myself and find me wanting 😦  Here is what she has sent me….

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things
were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and
wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one
problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and
placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she
placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed
ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying A word. In
about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out
and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her
daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”  “Carrots, eggs, and coffee,”
she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and
noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg
and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter
smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma the daughter then asked, “What does it
mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same
adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in
strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling
water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer
shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the
boiling water, its insides became hardened. The ground coffee beans were
unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your
door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

*Think of this:* Which am I? *Am I the carrot* that seems strong, but with
pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

*Am I the egg* that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the
heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial
hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my
shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff
spirit and hardened heart?

Or *am I like the coffee bean*? The bean actually changes the hot water, the
very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases
the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their
worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate
yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an
egg or a coffee bean?

Sadly, I have to report this week I have flip flopped from being a carrot and the egg 😦  Starting the days out being glad to be home with thoughts of spending time in my craft room.  When that didn’t pan out as I had wanted I sat in  my craft room and became a “mushy carrot”.  Throughout the remaining days I’ve become the hard boiled egg.

There are still errands to run for Joe today, and I’m getting increasingly more hard hearted at his constant interference in my plans.  We spend all of our time together 24/7 – 365 and some days – like these – the mean old witch in me comes out.

I have a very important task that I absolutely need to get done.  One single thing that is of the utmost importance to me.  More important than Joe’s damned errands.  Even more important than the paperwork that is piling up and needing to be attend to.

My friend, Leslie Haddad, owner of Whole Lotta Scrap in Norman, Oklahoma has lost her husband to cancer.  He had pain in his side and was running a fever in April.  Leslie got him to the hospital.  Tests found he had a bowel cancer that strikes ONE in 100,000 people.  By this time it had already spread to his liver, intestines, kidneys, and other organs.  He passed a week after the diagnosis.

You may remember Leslie from the “interview” I did with her last year as my very first in a series of Scrapbook Store Interviews.

The single thing I need to accomplish is a sympathy card for her and a small gift from my heart.  I’m torn at being so upset with Joe over all these stupid errands and knowing that one day he won’t be here any longer to torment me with places to go.  My ugly temper is part aggravation at all the running around and part shame for being so short with him.

So….until I have to take him to get our work truck after being serviced I think I will go spend the time in my craft room cleaning up in there and getting my thoughts in order and my emotions and anger under control.

Thank you, my friends, for being my friends.  I do appreciate everyone of you.



Would you be a good crime scene witness?

Well…..I would not be a good witness nor would Joe.  Today is proof that we live in a different world as is evidenced by the following photo.

Wearing two different shoes

Wearing two different shoes

We got home really late Thursday night.  Yesterday (Friday) we were all over town nearly all day long running errands.  Today we had more to do and Joe’s doctor appointment more than ten miles from home.  I’m so sick of driving I could just commit my own sort of foolishness and mayhem.

After we got back from the hospital where Joe had some kind of radioactive die injected in his arm then had to lie upon a table with a special camera beneath to view his kidneys we came home – only after a couple more stops.  I took my shoes off and put them by the door.

I’ve needed to vacuum the house but had not found time recently to do it.  One more errand of going to the bank and then we are home for the evening.  While vacuuming I came to the shoes….

This looks weird, where are the other shoes?

This looks weird, where are the other shoes?

Seeing these shoes on the floor I thought they looked out of place….just plain weird.  That is until I looked down at my own feet!  I’m losing my mind I tell you.  Have I been wearing two pairs of shoes over the last couple days all the time?!

As I said, we got home Thursday night pretty late in the evening.  Just at dusk.  A hail storm had come through over a week ago while we were in Covington, Tennessee checking on the Mack trucks.  Our neighbor, Hugh, told us of the storm.  Flat straight line winds of 80 miles an hour with golf ball sized hail pelted our neighborhood for quite a while.  We were so far from home and there was nothing we could do except have Hugh take a walk around our home to make sure no windows were broken.

Seeing our home when we drove up…..I tell you this.  You’d think we lived on a military strafing field from the results of the hail storm.

Hail damage

Hail damage

As we drove through the neighborhood on our way home there was house after house with damage.  Some were only slightly damaged and others are riddled just like ours.

Three doors down

Three doors down

Not many windows were broken.  Thankfully none of ours were.  There is some damage to the outside vinyl parts of the windows but the glass itself is still intact.  I just can’t believe the randomness of it all.

Crazy, crazy, crazy stuff.

Wheels Up and Out!

Last night we got back late to the hotel in Cameron, Missouri after delivering my trucks near Peoria, Illinois. 10pm it was.

We slept in to 7:30 this morning instead of our normal 5 am. Outside of the hotel and on the street Joe’s trucks were parked. It took us just about an hour to get his chains, hoses, electric cord, and fairing straps off stored away then get him set up as a single.



Joe checked the tires on the trailer to make sure they were properly aired to carry the weight of our pickup then we went back to our room for showers and breakfast before checking out and leaving for Peoria.

As we neared the trucks, ready to leave, one of the trailer tires had gone flat. Joe brought out an air line and attached it to the truck’s supply line to get the flat tire aired up. Less than half a mile away was a truck shop so he headed over there to have the tire checked for damage. After a bit of work by the mechanic it was decided Joe had shoved some road debris into the valve stem which caused the air to leak out. No big deal to take care of. The mechanic reluctantly charged Joe $45 for the work done then we got on the road.

My Arizona daughter called me while Joe was taking care of business. She and I chatted for the next 40 minutes until all hell broke loose and I had to hang up on her.

It’s too bad I didn’t have the video feature of my phone documenting the next few interminable seconds.


Following behind Joe and trying to keep an eye on the trailer tire that had gone flat earlier, talking to Carissa also two black vertical lines rose from the right side of Joe’s truck to about three feet off the ground. What had he ran over?

The two vertical lines came down, hit the right shoulder and split apart. It was then I realized two of his wheels had come off his truck and are now running amok full tilt. Quick thinking I pulled on the air horn. Realizing that wouldn’t do any good because he was too far in front of me to even hear the blasted thing. Next I snatched up the two way radio and told him to shut it down he had lost his tires!!! That was when I hung up on Carissa.

The two tires stayed together for the next bounce rolled for a little distance then bumped into each other. The right most tire went off the road to the right and headed for a farm implement dealership. The left tire took off from the right shoulder across the left lane down the median and over into the oncoming traffic lanes. A tanker truck was coming at full speed and about to collide with the errant tire before it veered off into the ditch on the far left. Tanker truck and driver were safe and avoided the catastrophe unfolding right before my eyes.

Holy Moly!!! All this transpired in about 10 seconds and all I could do was watch it all happen in stunned disbelief as I too tried to get my truck safely to the shoulder and shut down.

Thank God no one got hurt and no accidents occurred because of all the excitement. There were three cars trying to pass me on my left but the drivers had enough sense to slow down and stay well back until the road was clear.

Now, as it so happens just about 1/4 of a mile behind us is a truck shop. Joe was able to get across the highway and go back a little way to get to the shop.

One of the wayward tires – the right one – had some how leapt a 6 foot fence and came to rest on a pile of water pipes stacked on some wood. The left tire had gotten lost in shrubs and weeds that were over 4 feet tall.

I had gone to the other side of the highway in search of that crazy tire. The weeds and shrubs were so dense that tire was totally obscured and hidden from view. I did brave chance encounters with an alligator (there are none in Missouri but this is my drama), snakes hiding in the brush (there are snakes in Missouri), ticks, and other unsavory insects like spiders in my search for that crazy tire.


4-1/2 hours and $450 later both tires had been found and mounted back on the truck. Off we went to get these trucks delivered to Peoria, Illinois.

If you find yourself on US 36 in Chillicothe, Missouri and in need of mechanical service Joe recommends this place.


These trucks are parked at the delivery point and I’ve had enough excitement for one day. I’m going to bed!

Monkey See, Monkey Do

I guess Joe felt left out. Nothing exciting happening around him ;-). As if being with me isn’t enough drama.

Just to the right of where Joe is standing, inside and under the trailer….

The main support beam is cracked. This time only on the left side. Four years ago both sides cracked in this same area and we were done until he got it fixed.

We do a walk around twice a day on our equipment to check on it all. The crack was not in evidence when we loaded in Ottawa, Kansas at the Walmart Distribution Center.

Last night when we parked at the hotel in Cameron, Missouri we both were tired, hot, sweaty, grimy, and focused on getting to our room to clean up and cool off or we would have caught it last night.

The outcome would have been the same had we found the crack last night. We had to get Joe unloaded right there and then this morning. His two trucks were left at the hotel while we left to deliver my two trucks to Illinois. Joe followed in the pickup all 387 miles. My trucks, complete with my boom, have been left at the delivery location. Now we are heading back, in the pickup, to Cameron, Missouri and the hotel for another night.

Tomorrow we will get Joe loaded with a single and I will drive his back truck to the delivery point. There we will unhook my trucks and get the boom off.

Right now, had this problem not occurred, we would be on our way to Chicago, Illinois for JB Hunt trucks going to O’Fallon, Missouri then heading for home. That has been changed only by a delayed timeframe. Chicago trucks will be Tuesday instead. We will hook up my boom to two trucks and leave them there while we get two of the four delivered to O’Fallon. Drive back to Chicago for my boomed set and deliver them on Thursday or Friday then we can head for home.

There is a pad if 12″ x 12″ Graphic 45 Magic of Oz paper waiting for me at Whole Lotta Scrap. I got a call yesterday letting me know it is in. They are holding it for me until I can get back home.

I haven’t had ANY time to catch up on all my friend’s blogs nor see the delights that have been created 😦

I NEED A FIX!!!! A crafting fix that is. Paper, glue, ink, rubber stamps, glitter……..

Vickie’s Place – Tremont Illinois


Located at 500 West Pearl Street in Tremont, Illinois is a little home town cafe which is the favorite of locals to meet up with friends for lunch or dinner and for those that just don’t feel like cooking.

This little cafe seats about 50 people. The place was nearly full when Joe and I walked in the door. One thing we’ve learned in our travels is this. If the locals congregate at a restaurant then the food is good, prices are reasonable, and service is good also.

Vickie’s Place is one of those “If you leave hungry it’s your own fault”. Portions are huge as well as tasty. For example, the pork tenderloin sandwich Joe ordered and the mustard and dill pickle potato salad.


I had a burger and fries because I was eating badly, and we shared the onion rings recommended by other diners.



Monster portions are served so consider yourself forewarned 🙂

Time has run away from me lately. I’m not sure what day it is or where I am.

Wednesday we delivered the Peterbilts to Kansas City, Missouri. The place we left the trucks has a sister company in Omaha, Nebraska. The trucks will end up in Omaha where the sleepers will be removed from the cabs, the holes closed, and then be sold to farmers around Omaha as daycabs.

We had the chance to get four trucks out of Omaha, Nebraska going to Dallas, Texas. Joe was trying to get us home for his doctor appointment but he was going to be late for it and he called to let the doctor office know. “You snooze, you lose” and he did. His heart doctor is now on vacation until after the first of July. Joe has an appointment the last part of June with his kidney doctor (Nephrologist).

The Omaha trucks were put off for someone else to take and we were shuffled off to Ottawa, Kansas to another Wal-Mart Distribution Center for 24 trucks of which 16 are now ready.

We picked up four of them yesterday and took them to Peoria, Illinois today at Expo Gardens Fairgrounds. Just as we were getting set to start the unhooking process a man who manages the place stopped us to say we couldn’t leave the trucks because the area we were in was to be used for a Fair over the weekend.

After about 20 minutes and several phone calls by both Joe and the fairground manager we took the trucks 23 miles further to unhook.

Hungry and thirsty we hunted for a place to slake both and found Vickie’s Place.

Now we are on our way back to Ottawa, Kansas for more trucks. Traveling through small towns linked on US highways like a string of Rosary beads we see a lot of old buildings.


This old building once was a school. The fire escape was the chutes. I bet the teachers had to keep watch for the rascals (count me as one) who would try to sneak out the door and have a quick ride down before they got caught.


The chutes are now boarded up.


Four hours earlier these old downtown businesses in Rushville, Illinois were busy selling their wares and the street was filled with cars. Now it looks rather forlorn.


We will be working through this weekend. Encountered rain most of the way to Peoria today. Now it is cool and feels good. Hopefully it will remain cool.

Enjoy your weekend. Oh, and before I forget “Happy Father’s Day” to all the Dads out there this coming Sunday.