Monthly Archives: June 2012

Young’s Dairy Farm – Yellow Springs, Ohio

Carissa, our youngest daughter, went to school in Greeley with Renée. Years earlier I went to school with Renée’s Mom.

Renée and Carissa would hang out at our house sometimes. The two girls giggling and whispering to each other as they passed through the house. Someone would ask “Where’s Carissa?” To that I would answer “Follow the giggles”. I think the same could be said when Carissa stayed at Renée’s.

About three years ago I found out that our little Renée has grown up, moved to Ohio, and married. Through Facebook, emails, text messages, and phone calls Joe and I made arrangements to meet with her to catch up on all the past years.

Young’s Dairy Farm is about 19 miles from our hotel. It is a favorite of Renée’s. Mostly for the goats. She loves goats.

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We met her husband, Travis, whom we think is a really great guy.

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After spending time with the goats we went to go play an 18 hole game of Putt-Putt Golf. I haven’t played this game since I was 18 and my hand eye coordination is not what it used to be.

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Joe sat this adventure out. We have both been nearly done in by the heat over the past two weeks. Both of us have a bit of heat sickness but I wanted to spend time with Renée to catch up on the intervening years. Happily, Renée continues to giggle and it is such a sweet sound.

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These four kids – Renée, Travis, Kimberly, and I’m going to rot in purgatory because I’ve forgotten the other young man’s name – were better at Putt Putt than I am. I kind of held up the young kids behind us trying to have their chance to play.

It was fun and challenging trying to get my pink colored ball close to the cup. I didn’t succeed in even getting Par on any of the holes.

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Today we are taking our last load of ABF trucks to Douglas, Georgia. We will deliver them tomorrow then head up near Knoxville, Tennessee for trucks going to a town near Madison, Wisconsin.

We have been gone from home a month now. In less than a week we are heading south to Fort Worth, Texas for trucks bound for California. After the trucks are delivered in Wisconsin.

We are running out of clean clothes, stamina, and brain cells. Plus my iPhone has reached the memory capacity and I can’t take any more pictures. Time to sneak home for a day or two on our way to Fort Worth.

Hope you all have a pleasant Sunday.

Leslie


Are you planning a road trip?

While waiting in a line for the next available stall in the Women’s room of a Love’s Travel Center and truck stop I thought about traveling families.

Joe and I have often remarked at the number of newer model cars beside the road. Some red tagged for towing and others with people standing around the vehicle or off on the embankment away from the faulty car.

Your family car is full of precious cargo and I want to leave you with a few tips to make sure you all arrive at your vacation spot then, later, home to your private sanctuary.

The first thing to consider is driving times. How long it will take you to get from Point A to Point B.

Since I do this for a living and we travel thousands of miles a year the best way to gauge how long your trip will actually take is to keep in mind one (1) hour for each 50 miles of your trip.

If you will be traveling 150 miles then figure three (3) hours.

Between all the summer road construction, slower speeds through major towns, and the occasional bottleneck resulting from a car accident up ahead, this formula of 1 hour for every 50 miles is a good one.

If you have the good fortune of arriving at your destination in less time then consider it a bonus and be grateful of your safe travels.

Next. Check your tire pressure. This I can’t emphasize enough. You have no idea how many vehicles we see on the shoulder changing tires.

This is the single most dangerous thing you can do. I’m serious!! The idiots we travel with that are on the cell phone, some texting while others are dialing, more often than not veer to the shoulder then correct to get back on the road.

Check your tires! Please! Make sure you locate the manufacturers recommended maximum tire pressure.

This is a photo of one of our tires.

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The maximum on our tires is 80 psi. Joe keeps them at 80 all the time.

Why? The friction of your tire in contact with the road surface (asphalt or concrete) heats the air in your tires as well as the rubber. Low tires cause the rubber to expand and weaken the sidewall of your tire. The result….bang. Flat tire and your butt is hanging out near traffic and has become a target for some yayhoo not paying attention to their driving.

One other thing Joe and I notice. Drivers of cars, more than pickups, have a tendency to steer where they are looking. You look at the disabled car and soon enough you have an up close view then you have to correct the steer back to the road. Sometimes there is an over correction and I often wonder if the seat got wet.

It may piss you off to no end having a big truck change lanes in front of you then get back in the right lane after passing a disabled car. This is done for safety and as a courtesy to the stranded motorist. When we pass a car beside the road we make that poor little thing shake, rattle, and roll from our turbulence.

A rocking vehicle on a jack is a tragedy waiting to happen. A catastrophe in fact. So if you see someone beside the road changing a tire…..give them room. You have no idea who is waiting at home for them.

Go to your local sporting goods store and purchase a Golf Umbrella. It has a span of nearly five (5) feet and can shade several family members waiting on the embankment for road service.

We always carry one. We’ve had one for over eight years and have had to use it twice. So it is a good investment. Provided you can find a place to store the dang thing.

While shopping at your local Target or Walmart pick up one of the travel size empty bottles to carry shampoo in your luggage. Buy an extra one and fill it 2/3’s full of dish soap.

If you purchase milk in gallon plastic containers clean one empty bottle out and fill it with water. Also purchase one of those cloth grocery bags while you are at the store. They cost anywhere from $.50 to $1.

While you are at it purchase, or bring along a roll of bathroom paper. Store the water, dish soap, and bathroom paper in the cloth grocery bag.

The soap and water is for clean up after changing a tire or fiddling under the hood.

The bathroom paper is for those times when a child, inevitably, says “I have to poop” and you are miles from the nearest gas station, rest area , or truck stop.

This is an oft seen road side emergency we encounter in our travels. So it always pays to be prepared.

There are many truck stops on your route. Love’s Travel Centers has an App for smart phones. You enter the state you are traveling through and a list of Love’s Travel Centers comes up.

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Tap on the Love’s listed at the exit you want then tap on the fuel price icon. You will see the current cost of diesel and unleaded.

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Love’s is not known for their “Gourmet” food choices but each store has fast food.

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Clean bathrooms, cold fountain drinks, hot coffee or tea, and even some cheesy souvenirs can be purchased at Love’s. There are also coloring books and other child entertainment things to purchase for your trip. Love’s has a selection of DVD movies for your viewing pleasure and/or CD’s for your listening pleasure. I’m not quite sure what they have for children but you can rummage around to find something.

One final bit of Bossy Business. If you find your vehicle has overheated taking on some of the steep terrain of the US and has shut down. Please, please, a thousand times please. Turn your ignition OFF.

The newer cars with fuel injection have a pump in the gas tank. This pump, while the ignition is on, continuously pumps gas (or diesel) to the engine. The dang thing doesn’t know the engine has stopped and keeps pumping away.

Gasoline spurting into an overheated engine results in an engine fire that will consume everything in a matter of minutes.

You don’t want to be totally stranded like that on any highway. So please. Turn the ignition off if your vehicle has overheated and died.

I want you all to have the best summer vacation you have ever had. And I particularly want you to have a safe one. Remember – you have precious cargo and we truck drivers want you to be safe.

Leslie


Back for round 2.

We stayed the night in Stockbridge, Georgia Sunday then headed back north on Monday.

Joe chose to take I-75 through downtown Atlanta so I could take pictures. Traffic was pretty heavy and picture taking was a bit impeded.

This is the skyline, or part of it anyway, of Atlanta, Georgia.

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Georgia Tech has a pretty building.

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Georgia Power and Light is a big black building that is kind of ominous looking.

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A beautiful old church is seen from the highway as well.

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Joe and I saw a billboard on our trip south in Tennessee for a Scrubs Shop and we had to stop on our way back north. Our current work scrubs are getting very grease stained and looking a but shabby around the edges.

Sweetwater Scrubs, located 1-1/2 miles east of I-75 at Exit 60 is a cute shop.

Sweetwater Scrubs:
625 New Highway 68
Sweetwater, Tennessee. 37874

It is chock full of uniforms and scrubs ranging in size from Small to 5X. They have a large selection of Crocs as well. The patterned scrubs are cute with brightly colored designs.

Lab coats are plentiful and go from plain white to a rainbow of colors. Also in sizes of Small to 5X.

The young lady that helped Joe and I was very pleasant and helpful. She had an excellent knowledge of brands, fiber content, and which we’re on sale.

A bit of warning. The shop is located at the bottom of a hill. I got our pickup and trailer down the hill and turned around. I had to take up their entire parking lot to do it.

This is the view of uphill looking back toward the street. Yikes!

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Joe chocked the trailer wheels on the steep incline so we would NOT make a grand entrance.

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Good thing we came at a lull in shopping. We took up the whole dang parking lot!

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If you are in the area and need scrubs stop in and see what they have. You can check out their Facebook Page. They don’t have a website but I bet you can get your questions answered on Facebook.

Alright, time to get back on our heads. Have a fantastic Tuesday.

Leslie


Delivering the trucks in Douglas, Georgia.

I knew, from the map, the last 100 miles of our journey would be off the interstate. Travel through small towns on State Roads has more to offer than endless miles of pavement (Tarmac) and highway exits.

Bigger cities have all the shopping and dining establishments this city girl is used to seeing. Lots of “Blue Collar” and “White Collar” businesses.

You get off the interstate and venture into rural areas is where you will find the farmers and ranchers. The hard working people that are often thought of as hicks because they don’t have a Starbucks in their towns.

Joe, having dealt with farmers most of his adult life as a crop duster, says “This is where the REAL people live. The people who smell of rich soil and hard work.”

As a city girl I enjoy seeing what the rural areas have to offer in the sights of crops being planted, growing, then harvested. Would I choose to live far away from a Starbucks? No, sorry, I don’t think so.

I choose the “anonymity” of the bigger cities over the rural towns. I know, I know. “Girl! If you want to me anonymous then why the BLOG?!”.

Alright, I’m sure you are fed up with my drivel and want to move on. So I will.

Georgia has trees. Man do they ever have trees!

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A year or two ago I wrote about the logging that is done in the south and where trees have been cut and cleared new trees are planted in the cleared areas. These trees are “new growth”.

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Once off the interstate and on state roads the vista doesn’t change much.

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Mother Nature and her power is seen in rural areas. Homes that once held families, barking dogs, and laughing children at play have all but become swallowed up by the surrounding trees.

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Gas stations that once were the hub of commerce and gossip are now stand empty and forlorn.

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Schools, that at one time, held the voices of many children reciting ABC’s, running feet in the hallways as children moved about to their appointed classrooms now stand mute.

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The further we travelled toward Douglas, Georgia….

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The more I saw of how children leaving rural areas for bigger towns have left a mark on their home towns. Corporate farms have taken over the land to grow crops. One crop, I can’t rightly say is corporate or privately owned is a field of tobacco. Joe and I both had to ask what was growing in the field because neither of us recognized it.

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I have a confession to make. Through my “Bossy Knickers” half remembered written directions handed over to Joe….I was instrumental in getting us sort of lost. I told Joe to turn left at the only stoplight in Broxton, Georgia. This didn’t even phase Joe. He got us to where we needed to be while I was sure we were going to be eaten by all the trees.

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To my relief, Joe said “Don’t worry Baby Doll, we are nearly there”. Ya right! I said.

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And then we were, thankfully, THERE!

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Joe had a pretty good Father’s Day. Hearing from most of our kids. He even got to save a “Damsel in distress” 😀

Hope your Monday is a good one. Enjoy your day and don’t forget to give away a smile to all who pass you today. They might need one 🙂

Leslie


Trucks being exported to Vietnam

We finally got ourselves together yesterday.

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The shifting of Joe’s back truck 5th wheel was accomplished. It was moved up toward the cab. I, incorrectly, thought it was going back toward the end of the frame.

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We travelled through the Appalachian Mountains yesterday. Crossing the Ohio river into Kentucky was the start of it.

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Trees and hills everywhere.

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Beneath the trees, in some places, are granite mountains that have been cut through for the highway.

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Through Kentucky and Tennessee the “Underground Railroad” from the slavery days is still represented by quilts designating “safe houses”.

Back in the times of slavery some Mennonite families would hang a quilt from a porch or on a barn as a flag, of sorts, to guide the people toward freedom. Today those quilts are displayed in painted images on barns mostly.

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These day cab trucks are bound for a long journey of their own. The 12 we are taking to Douglas, Georgia will be going to Vietnam to finish their life working over there.

We will be delivering this afternoon and heading back to Dayton afterward. I have a young woman waiting in Ohio to see us. She is a long time friend of Carissa’s – the girls went to school together in Greeley – and the daughter of one of my school friends.

Renée and I are trying to coordinate the time and place to meet up and get reacquainted. This is the best part of my job 🙂

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. Hope you manage to get a good tie this year, or a handy tool for your home projects.

Leslie


We spent the day going in circles.

Today, Friday – June 15th – has been one of those days. More running in circles than working. Kind of playing “Ring around the rosey” or “Pop goes the weasel”.

Upon arriving at the ABF yard we found our trucks will be single axle day cabs. Very short framed day cabs at that.

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In order to allow Joe’s trailer to work properly with these short axle trucks the 5th wheel needs to be moved back a few inches. The shop at the Kenworth service center said they could do it.

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After getting Joe’s truck checked out and signed for we went to Kenworth so Joe could tell them what he needed done.

Arrive at ABF. Leave ABF. Arrive at Kenworth. Leave Kenworth. Arrive at ABF.

Arriving back at ABF I got our other three trucks checked out and my boom set hooked up. I’ll have pictures of that tomorrow. We then, once again left ABF.

Arrive at Kenworth to find no work has been done on Joe’s truck. The reason is someone in the shop had a conniption fit over the 5th wheel no longer being DOT road worthy.

Now don’t get me wrong. That person should be applauded for knowing this information and raising the alarm to keep Kenworth from assuming any liability in an accident.

The only problem is that Joe’s request, and the adjustment of the 5th wheel for this application, is not against DOT rules. Mainly because the truck and its 5th wheel will be converted to a “trailer” once it is attached to Joe’s contraption.

The only thing the 5th wheel is for at this point is an attachment device. The whole truck will be chained and attached to the trailer then pulled along on the steer tires.

Once that concept was explained to, and understood by, the Kenworth shop foreman then all was hunky dory. The only problem is the truck won’t be ready now until early tomorrow morning.

Circle running is done for the day. We are in our hotel room cooling off with the A/C cranked to “freezer”.

Just for your reference. This is a “Tandem Axle” truck with a 5th wheel set between the two rear axles.

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This is a “Single Axle” with the 5th wheel set over the axle.

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This could prove to be quite an exciting ride. So stay tuned for updates of our journey. There may be an upcoming post from “Crabby Gert” as well.

Have a great weekend.

Leslie


Read any good books lately?

This Saturday, or any week day you have off, get yourself to your local library. Go see what it has to offer in audio books.

Whatever your reading enjoyment is can be found in audio books. History, biographies, science fiction, mystery, romance.

The best part. At your local library audio books are FREE. Signing up for a Library Card is FREE.

Joe and I have been listening to Michael Connely’s “The Drop” featuring one of our favorite detectives, Harry Bosch.

We download audio books from iTunes and listen while driving the unending miles we drive daily.

For the both of us to enjoy listening we have been able to use the Bluetooth feature of our Jabra Hands Free device in our pickup. The Jabra links to our FM radio and we can listen to the book as we travel the highways.

Our CD player in the pickup gave up a few years back which curtailed listening to audio books until we figured out the ability to link our iPhones to the Jabra.

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The genre of books we listen to are mysteries. Chime in here and let me know what books you read. Also let me know if you already are an audio book fan.

Leslie