August 20, 2008

6 Random Things About Me

Meagan "tagged me" to do this post next, so I'm going to give it a shot. I'm supposed to tag 6 people when I'm done, but I don't know 6 people with blogs, so I'll just see what I can pull together.

Here we go...

1. As I grow older, I become increasingly "germ-a-phobic." Which is probably really funny considering I'm a truck driver and find myself in some pretty nasty places. Or maybe my germ-a-phobia is because of truck driving. I'm not severe or anything, but forks and spoons and glasses get inspected at resteraunts, and I cringe to touch tabletops and such.

2. I've always felt that I got along with men better than women. Not saying I don't have some great women in my life, and I treasure them and am very close to them. But as far as meeting new people, I just hit it off with the guys a lot easier. I find this amusing considering that I was the one among my friends who never had a boyfriend, dated, etc. However, it works out pretty good for truckdriving, because there just arn't many women out here!

3. Unklike some people, I've always had a collection of friends from varying backgrounds and cliques. I had friends who were band nerds, miss popularity, "hippy" types, etc. I've known people who only stuck to one particular group and could only have friends who they had everything in common with, but I like diversity.

4. I really really really miss going to church. It is an increasingly frustrating, even heart breaking, longing within my soul. Truck driving complicates it, but when we're home, I find that the options are limited out here. I grew up with a "church on every corner" as they say about the south. I've learned that out west, its a bar or casino on every corner. And though I've visited churches and tryed to get in the routine of going againg, none of them ever feel "right." None of them feel like home, like Ooltewah Baptist did before our pastor moved.

5. I have an almost unhealthy attachment to Paris, more so than I have to any other pet that I can ever remember. And I don't know why her, and not the others, but I do. And I often think about the fact that she will only be with me a few years, not my whole life, and everytime I think about it, I can't help but start crying, just thinking on it. I'm even tearing up now. Carlie Jean is a doll and I love her, but Paris is my Paris, and I am going to be totally devestated and lost without her. Granted she's only two, or will be in a couple of weeks, but dogs don't live forever, and I truely dread it and know there will be some serious mourning, like losing a child I think, when her time comes one day. I don't know what I'll do without her. I'm serious about this, and I really break down and cry, and I don't know how I'll go on without her!

6. I'm afraid of the dark...at 31. And Mom says I'll get over that eventually, but several years later I'm still afraid of the dark. Like to the point that I'm afraid to walk from one end of my house to the other, and to take the girls out to potty in the middle of the night

Ok, so I'm tagging:
Angela and Greg...http://gregandangela.blogspot.com/
Mom if she has time (understanding if you don't)http://thethoughtgardent.blogspot.com/
Beth http://joshandbethchapp.blogspot.com/

That's not 6 but its the best I can do, as I don't know many with blogs yet

1.link to the person who tagged you
2.post the rules to your blog
3.write 6 random things about yourself
4.tag 6 random people at the end of your post and link to them (I don't know how to do this)
5.let each person know you tagged them by leaving a post on their blog
6. let the tagger know when your entry is posted

August 19, 2008

This Stinks

Allow me a moment to vent my frustration and dissappointment. On our way to our next pick up this morning, our broker called to consult Malcolm on what we wanted to do for our next load after this one.
If you remember, yesterday I mentioned that we were picking up a load going to Idaho, and from there, getting a load towards home.
Well apparently Mark forgot that Malcolm had told me we wanted to go home this week....so we're going to South Carolina instead. That is NOT on the way home! SO....it will be at least another week before we get there, maybe longer, because everything we've ever picked up down south, went to California, not into the northwest.
This stinks!

August 18, 2008

Time Flys

You know that saying, "time flys when your having fun?" Well, I've determined, and I think you'll agree, that time just flys...regardless of whether or not your having fun. It goes faster every year.
Nothing much to tell, it was an average week in trucking. We delivered in St Joseph, MO this morning, reloaded this afternoon and are now on our way into a midnight run to western Kansas. We'll deliver and reload there going to Idaho, and then hopefully from there we're heading home for a short break, maybe not even a full week. We stayed home too long last time, so we feel the need to make up for it.
One thing I learned this week is that if you double click on the pictures on blogs, you can see a full screen version. Maybe you all knew that already. I'm catching on slowly. Anyway, I figured thats a nice thing to know for pictures of little things, like the one of the prairie dog I posted a few weeks ago. So now, you all know you can see my pictures in large format and get more detail.
Has anyone else noticed that fuel prices are going down? Wait, its probably in the news and I just didn't know. Well, we've observed that they are going down everywhere, and we are loving it. First we noticed that we only paid 4.34 in California, where we've been paying around $5 a gallon or more. And just now, in eastern Kansas, we paid $4.03. We feel like we stole it!!! Has anyone heard if this is supposed to continue? Is it possible that we'll see fuel prices slip back under $4?
My sister-in-law called yesterday when I was asleep, but she spoke with Malcolm and told him that our mare, Carrie, FINALLY had her foal. She had a filly, and she's a blue roan, like Reb. I can't wait to see her. And you can be assured you'll have pictures of her when I returnn from our break, though I promise not to drown you in horse pictures like I did last time. Beleive me, I restrained myself....you didn't even see a fourth of the pictures I had taken.
Ok, so I figure Malcolm will wind down pretty soon from fueling and hit the sack and it will be my turn to drive, so I'm going to get prepare for that. I lay claim to the pre-midnight portions because I do so much better at them, and Malcolm can drive forever as long as I get him past midnight. It works pretty perfectly. We don't have to do this much anymore, and after the last trip we're in pretty pathetic shape. We had almost 4 days to go 1700 miles, so we only drove like 500 miles a day, and stopped by 5:00 everyday. We were TOTALLY lazy, slept tons, and now we'll have to whip ourselves back into disciplined truck driver mentality.
Hope you all had a great weekend.
I hope to get into lesson two of my photography class before we go home, so I'll let you know when I get those pictures posted.
Till then...

August 10, 2008

Over The Weekend

We had a really neat weekend. First we loaded in Blackfoot, ID on Friday morning. The load was bound for Minnesota, roughtly a 1100 mile trip, but we had almost three days to do it in.

After stopping in Idaho Falls to eat, I got to drive my old route up Hwy 20 past the Three Tetons, and into the Yellowstone area. The road I usually took through Yellowstone was closed to truck traffic, but I used to drive the road they detoured us on as well. It cuts west from the state line through Ennis, MT. Its a really beautiful drive. Well, I couldn't see much of the scenery because I ran into the middle of one of those violent Montana mountain storms. I'm talking about horizontal rain, wind pushing the truck onto the shoulder, and 1/4 mile visabilty. Surprisingly Malcolm slept through the whole thing despite the wind slamming the rain into the side of the truck that his head was nearest. Also, the dowpour lasted about 15 miles, and even when it let up, the wind blew like a tornado for about 2o miles past that. It was exciting. I love storms...even when I'm driving.

We stopped in Billings that evening and spent the night with our friend, Brandon and Jessica. We had planned to leave Saturday afternoon and take our time getting to Minnesota, but the Montana State Fair was going on in Billings. Every night there is a different performance, and Brandon and Jessica had two extra tickets because her parents wern't able to go. So we went with them to see Bill Engvall, the Blue Color Comedy team member (you know..Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, and that crew...). We had isle 10 floor seats...real close...which was cool. There is one disadvantage to floor seats at Montana concerts.....COWBOY HATS! They are not easy to see around!

Afterwards we wondered around the fair. It was really neat. Totally the traditional fair, and we did the real thing...you know....footlong corndogs, funnel cake, and the giant ferris wheel? Well we didn't ride the ferris wheel, but I took a few pictures with the cell phone. The lights of all the rides were so neat, and all the food smells mixed with the livestock smells......very much the traditional fair.

There were also many different exhibits that we didn't walk through, many being closed, and also being limited on time. And if we had gone during the day, we would have seen the different livestock judgings, etc.

The Montana State Fair is a week long event. Saturday night was just the second night, so there was going to be stuff to see all week. I wanted to stay so bad. Next year we're going! You know who I missed seeing? Sugarland was Sunday nights performance!!!! Arg...as Charlie Brown would say!

Oh well....we were going to leave Sunday morning bright and early, but we ended up staying around till noon, watching CSI, one of my favorite shows, and Malcolm and Brandon were doing the "guy" thing.

Got to be in Shakopee, MN first thing in the morning to get unloaded and then get our next load, so it looks like a late night. And of course, as tired as we are from all the excitement this weekend, neither of us can sleep because we both have a lot on our minds and all that usual stuff that keeps you up when you really ought to be asleep. Soooo....

Anyway, the fair was really neat, and I can't wait to go next year. Also next weekend in Huntley, eat of Billings, there is an old fashioned Threshing Bee where they have competitions and exhibitions of threshing with old and new equipment. We wanted to go to that too, infact were planning to take time off for it, but have now decided to stay on the road a little longer.

When you all come to visit us, maybe we can plan some visits around fair time, and the threshing bee which is an annual thing.

The Fight

Friday while we were loading wheat in Idaho, I was playing with my camera taking pictures which you can see on my blog for my photographs.

While I was sitting around in the driver's seat waiting for instructions to back up and pull forward as needed, I took a few grain bin pictures, and then got busy watching Paris and Carlie playing. Well, Carlie was playing, and Paris was clearly saying "LEAVE ME ALONE!" Don't you think this expression says exactly that?

notice the the missing top front teeth?

Paris has not been much in the mood for play this trip out. She grumbles a lot when Carlie is trying to convince her, and I think Carlie has decided that if Paris won't play, she'll just make a game of antagonizing her. Here's another charming side of Paris. I didn't know a dog's nose could turn up at that angle.
Finally Carlie settled down with a "chewy," which immediatly caught Paris's attention, and all of a sudden, lounging by the winow wasn't all that important. And never mind that there are three "chewies" on the bed. She wants THAT one, of course.
Lots of times, Carlie Jean will get a toy and just flaunt it in front of Paris. Then when Paris is interested, Carlie will suddenly and without warning abandon the coveted piece, and make a wild attack on Paris.

She hasn't figured out yet, that Paris knows as soon as Carlie leaves the item in question, Paris only has to distract her a moment with a play fight, and then make a dash, snatch the item, and go back to lounging with the prize in possesion.
Its all quite entertaining, even to Carlie. Despite the look on her face here, she enjoyed the whole fiasco, and they did wrestle and play around quite a lot before Paris retreated with her prize.

Our girls really do love each other and we love watching them interact. They enjoy all the perks of sisterly love.

Since all the picture in this post make my child look like a demonic monster....I had to post one of her in all her sweetness. How could you not love this little angel?

August 7, 2008

The Storm

Thursday evening was rather violent in eastern Oregon and Idaho. Around 6:00pm we were crossing "cabbage" which is a LONG climb over a mountain in Oregon. I felt like we were running from the storm. It was beautiful, the darkness encroaching on the plains below us.

"in the shadow of the storm"

But as the storm developed the cloud formations were more and more wiched looking.

We finally got ahead of it with just a sprinkling of rain, only to discover upon rounding a bend in the moutntains, that we were heading straight into another storm that was dark and ominous looking. Winding our way through the eastern Oregon hills and forests, we watched the clouds change colors, admired sunligh beams that broke through, counted a total of 6 rainbows within an hour, and watched lightening on the horizens around us.

This was something I've not seen before.

"after the lightning"

It is now 9:30pm, dark, and we've crossed into Idaho. We are about 30 miles west of Boise. On all sides, lightening flashes and the smell of smoke is in the air. Its just light enough that you can see the edges of great thunderheads outlined against the black sky. The wind is blowing and occasionally the ghostly form of a tumble weed floats across the road in front of us.

We still have 5 hours of driving before our destination of Idaho Falls, and we'll probably stay ahead of the storms.

Happy Birthday Carlie Jean

On the way to our pickup the other day we passed a little business on the side of the highway. It was in a little "town" and I use the term lightly because the "town" consisted of three buildings. This business caught my attention, and on the way back I tryed to get a picture for you because it was SO hilarious to me...but....I kina forgot to turn my camera on. So even though sweet hubby slowed way down, holding up traffic I might add, still I have no picture to share. You can imagine my consternation when I kept pushing the button and nothing would happen. Anyway, I can still share the humor, though I doubt it will be the same without the image to go with it.

Picture if you will a quaint little wood building, painted rusty red, surounded by trees on the side of a two lane highway that has the river on one side and a mountain on the other. Now here is the sign out front... Centered is the businesses name, flanked on each side by their services. On the left..."tanning and toning." On the right...."saw sharpening."

Thats right ladies....now while you wait for your saw blades to be sharpened, you can work on your tan!!! Ingenious don't you think?

Today is Thursday August 7th and its Carlie Jean's birthday. She is one year old today. Here is a picture of the birthday girl, waiting for her cookie. Hard to believe...they grow up so fast.

This totally portrays her personality...you can't do ANYTHING without Jean having her nose in it. She can be very annoying, but we love her anyway.

In honor of Jeanie's birthday, Malcolm and I, after unloading our fertilizer in a quaint little isolated town on the plains of Washington, walked across the street to a very hip little espresso shop and had latte's and breakfast. I had an almond latte...maybe my favorite flavor now, and a huge apple muffin....ate the whole thing myself...again. Very yummy. We sat on the porch and watched the farm trucks go by, and turn into the drive through at the espresso shop as well. Even Farmer Brown likes his latte's apparently. And I sat there and thought once again, for the ten thousandth time, how much fun it would be to have a cute little coffee shop like that one. A few flowers in the yard, some birdfeeders, simple little patio furniture on the porch, a couple of tables inside...just oh so sweet and....well I just think it would be fun. I would like to run a little coffee shop. And I think I'd decorate with frame prints of my photographs, that could be purchased if desired. Too bad that adorable little coffee shops are a dime a dozen...yes...even in Montana.

I had a very enjoyable drive this afternoon, across Hwy 12 in Washington. Got to drive along a deep river gorge, through a dense coniferous forest, and got a glimpse of Mt Saint Helens AND Mt Ranier, in all their snow capped glory! And when I say "glimpse" I mean I was driving through the edge of Mt Ranier National Park, so you can imagine how close I was to it...and Mt St Helens, was life size, not miniature on the horizen! It was peaking out between two other forested mountains, so it was quite obvious which one it was.

August 4, 2008

News From The Road

Its hard to beleive its August already. So many people are going back to work and school, including my mother, sister, Malcolm's aunt, and if they arn't going back as teachers, they have kids going back as students. So everyone is busy busy busy.

Malcolm and I have been back at work for two weeks, but I've been posting stuff about home so you havn't heard anything from us recently. We've been trucking the country as usual. Mostly the usual trips to California and so on, but we did make one truck to Mississipps, loading just a few miles from my aunt and uncle, but unfortunatly without time to stop and visit. And we made it back into Idaho, close to our country, ending that trip in Boise. That's where we are now, or at least close to there, where we're reloading and about to high tail it to California. We have to be there by 3:00am of we won't get unloaded until 8:00 tomorrow night. Its only about 10 hours driving, but its taking a long time before our turn to load.

No big events to tell about. Maybe the only eventful thing thats happened was our AC quite working in Arizona where it was 117 degrees!!!!! MISERY! But Malcolm got it going again when we got to Las Vegas. It was a fuse or something.

Thought I'd share my reading with you. I read a couple of months ago The Other Boleyn Girl. I really enjoyed the book, and recommend it. I havn't seen the movie yet, but I plan to watch it soon. And on my iPod I listened to Roots, by Alex Haley. I'd seen the movie ages ago, but I was browsing through Audible.com looking for something to listen to, and stumbled across Roots and thought, "why not! Might be interesting." I enjoyed listening to it. The beginning when the setting is Africa was the most interesting. The rest of it moved a little slowly for me. And I thought the end was neat when he discussed his research and tracking down his ancestors. Over all I enjoyed it.

We stopped this morning for fuel before we loaded and the place had a little espresso shop in it. I got a "cafe almondia" aka: almond latte. It was really good. I havn't tryed it with that flavor before. I usually get vanilla or hazelnut. But almond may be my new favorite flavor. I also had a huge (and I ate it ALL) lemon blueberry muffin WITH the icing....I'm bad arn't I! It was yummy yummy and Carlie stood under me the whole time waiting for her bite, but I told her it was just too good for mommy to share...sorry doll! Mommy's being stingy today.

Carlie and Paris did well this time out on the road, as far pouting or depressed doggies. They sometimes are a bit down in the dumps when we first leave home, but this time out they never acted like it bothered them to leave home again. We have had some attitude issues though. Paris has not been a real playful puppy and Carlie is determined that Paris WILL play with her, and if she won't Carlie will just play with Paris anyway. Needless to say there's been a lot of grumbleing from both parties coming from the back of the truck. Also, Carlie has developed an incredible sense of jealousy when it comes to attention, especially when Malcolm's giving it. So whenever Paris is getting loved on, Carlie does whatever she can to make sure she gets inbetween the loving person and her non-playful sister, to the extent of throwing herself between you, clawing her way inbetween you, and so forth. So, I guess you could say we're experiencing some sibling rivalry!!! Its getting a little out of hand. This morning started out really bad for them because I decided their little faces were getting terribly fuzzy. We started out just shaving faces, but then they had fuzzy butts too, so I shaved some fuzzy patches on their backs and rear ends. Then, insult of all insults, I decided I wanted to see my sweet little girls dressed up today. So I put Paris in her sweet little pink dress, and Carlie in her little purple T-shirt. I havn't seen them since. They are both sulking underneath the covers in the back. Oh well...at least they arn't snarling at each other. So I'll miss seeing them in their cute clothes, but at least we have some peace and quite for some time! See...there's a silver lining on every cloud...at least for me! Carlie and Paris havn't figured out a silver lining for wearing clothes yet. And it makes no since to me why they hate it so much. Rachelle's naked kids love their clothes, or at least don't even notice when she puts clothes on them, but for mine...well lets just say it couldn't be worse if the sky was falling down around their heads. They'd probably rather that happen, than have to get dressed. But I guess I'm one of those ladies that tortures their poor dogs, because I just like to put their clothes on them once in a while, plus it makes it less of a battle this winter when they HAVE to wear them!

We'll be going home again here in a couple of weeks. I hear from there that haying is almost done, its rained a few times since we left, including the last two nights. And as far as I know, Carrie still hasn't had her foal. Maybe she decided to wait till I get home. She must be feeling guilty for holding out on my in July. (doubt it)

I got my pictures of the stud re-downloaded and played with them some. So I wanted to post my favorite picture. I'm considering printing and framing it with some others maybe. I was just really pleased with how it turned out. I also changed it to a sapia (sp?) color and a black and white to see what it looked like. I think I like the sapia better than the b/w. What do you think?
I also changed a couple of others to see what they would look like in different coloring.

August 1, 2008

All The Pretty Little Horses

I saved my favorite for last. The last day we were home I went back up to see if Carrie had delivered her foal yet. Of course the answer was no. She undoubtedly heard that I'd be leaving soon and decided to wait until I was gone. Last I heard, she still hadn't foaled. Here is Carrie, "great with child." That looks miserable! She runs around at a full gallup too. How I don't know, but she does.
The other three mares had their foals before we got home, Lajar being the most recent to deliver. And I was up there in the evening with perfect sunlight, and they were unusually cooperative. (the bucket of grain helped) So I had a hay day with my camera.

This is the foal out of Rachelle's appaloosa mare, Bunny. I can't remember if its a filly or a colt, but I think a filly. She was the most cooperative and photogenic out of the bunch. Three of my favorite shots of her....

Justine has a mare named Sunny. She is a full registered Mustang, with the number freeze branded on her neck and everything. Sunny hasn't foaled in several years, but her daughter, Misty, is still a member of the herd and this year Misty gave birth to her "twin." This adorable little filly has a very curly mane and tail.

This is Rachelle's yearling filly that she kept. Twister, named after the blaze down her face that looks like a tornado, is half sister to my two boys, whom you met in an earlier blog. She started out a nice buckskin, but seems to be fading into a roan color. Her mother was an appaloosa, Rachelle's an appaloosa person, and Twister doesn't have spots, but she has the appaloosa eyes.

And last, but not least, is Lajar and her colt. He was born in mid-June and is the youngest of the bunch for now. He is dark now, but will be a blue roan like his brother, Reb. In fact they have the same hind leg sock and a single star on their forhead. Don't be fooled by his cuteness. This little fellow hauled off and kicked at me several times, almost getting me once when we had Lajar in and haltered. He looks sweet, but I somehow beleive he got his mamma's attitude.

The stud had been delivered the day before I took these shots. He lives at another ranch part of the year. He is surprisingly gentle and friendly. I've never been around stud horses much, but from what I've heard of them, this stud seems really easy to be around. He was the first to come see me and the bucket of grain, and for a stallion that's not handled much, I'm surprised that he's so gentle and even lets me pet him some. I tend to be less wary of him than I think I should be. Last summer I got really comfortable with him and all the mares crowed around me to get grain, when someone got mad and the next thing I knew, I was in the middle of a kicking, biting, squealing mob of horses. Luckily I was able to slip away from the main brawl and didn't get hurt, but I'm a little more watchful now. I have an incredible shot of the stud, one of my favorites, but I accidently deleted it off my computer. Its still on my camera, thank goodness, so I'll have to download it again, and I'll post it another time. And I keep referring to him as "the stud." He's a registered quarter horse, but I have no idea what his name is. I just call him "hey you," "big guy," or "studdly," depending on what mood strikes.

This was my parting shot. After the grain was gone, the mares got tired of me and decided to leave, with the stud trailing behind. The sun was setting and it was time for me to leave too. We were heading out the next morning, and I still had some packing to do. It was a good way to end our stay at home.