Sunday, February 28, 2010


What might you ask has been keeping me busy the last few weeks? Well I'm happy to finally tell you, and show you, exactly what has been occupying my time. I'll start at the beginning, which is always a great idea when beginning a story. When my Mom found out that I would be staying at her house, while Craig was training Eric, she started making a list of things she wanted done. First on her list was taking down wallpaper in her living room and entry way. A funny thing happened on the way to doing that..........She decided to take the plunge and remodel her kitchen. It wouldn't be an elaborate remodel, as the kitchen was way too small to change the layout, and let's face it, in these times of economic woes, there was not an abundance of money to spend. But after living with a kitchen with the original cabinets from the 1950's, with way too many coats of paint on them, it was time to do something. Oh....and should I mention that there were not one, but four layers of wall paper in the kitchen that would need to be taken down? Yeah, I thought that might get your attention. So first, my niece and I start the process of taking down the wallpaper, as my Mom relived some memories as each layer was revealed, and after two days, we finally reached the bare wall. Oh! and while we were at it, we took down the wall paper in the laundry room too, which only had three layers on it. Yes, I can hear some of you more decorating forward people out there saying, " But wallpaper is coming back into style", to which I will say to you....."never, never, never again" will wallpaper be put up in any house I live in! To make a long story short, we ended up redoing her bathroom off the laundry room with new paint, a new vanity and mirror, repainting her laundry room, rearranging and redecorating her family room, all while watching as professionals went to town on her kitchen. To say we were living in a construction zone and total chaos is an understatement. Three weeks later, after a fresh coat of paint in her kitchen, we are happy to report that half of her house is done, and she is so happy with the results. As for me? I'm happy to say that the living room and entry way, which has been taunting me now for weeks, awaiting my attention, only has one layer of paper waiting for me to take down this week. Let's hear it for small victories my friends!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Craig and Eric made their two deliveries in LA yesterday morning, and then hoping to be sent to the company yard in Bloomington, CA to await their next assignment, they were instead beeped immediately with a run down to San Diego to pick up bananas. Okay then, south they head, and end up in a traffic snarl on Interstate 5 from a grenade that was found near San Clemente. After a couple of hours of making like a snail along their route, they finally get into San Diego to pick up the bananas.

Having brainstormed with Craig on the phone about the best way to ensure that they get a good night's sleep before their load could cast a glimmer in the weekend dispatcher's eye for a swap or drop, it was decided that they would just stay put in San Diego for the night. So after going loaded around 5pm, they drove down the street, Eric hopped out to make an In and Out Burger run on foot, and Craig parked the rig for the night. They were determined to have full bellies and good sleep and then brace themselves and wait to see what Saturday would bring.On a lighter note, take a look at this picture they took while in Long Beach the other day. Seems this driver failed to make sure his 5th wheel had fully engaged and locked onto his trailer, and when he started to make a turn, the trailer became undone from the 5th wheel. That would tend to make for a start of a bad day.I had a good laugh the other day in Ripon when I met Craig with his donuts. He was in the fuel island, and as I approached his rig from behind, I saw what you see in the photo above written in the grime on his trailer door. It isn't so much that we are definitely more right wing then left wing, but Craig sure didn't want that staring people in the face as he drove down the road. He quickly went back and cleaned it off the trailer. I joked with him about what a great job he must have done on his last pre trip inspection, but as he said, he was more into looking at tires and lights. Might I suggest he add checking for political views written on trailer doors to his next pre trip inspection!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Before they were even done with their delivery in Long Beach, CA on Tuesday morning, they had another assignment waiting for them just 3 miles away. After going empty, Craig called the shipper to see if they couldn't get loaded prior to their 8pm appointment, and learned a couple of things: That this would be a drop and hook, and that they were welcome to drop their empty trailer there, but that the other trailer that they would be picking up, would in fact not be ready until 8pm. On a positive note, they were able to bobtail to a restaurant and enjoy a good meal and make use of their parking lot to park all day.

Upon driving back to the shipper around 7pm, they found their trailer ready, and with only a 14,000 pound payload of electronics, there was no need to find a scale. This particular load was a straight over nighter to Tracy, CA with a delivery time of 5am. That gave them a small window of opportunity to get a couple of hours of non moving sleep, which they did in Santa Nella, CA a little after midnight.

After going empty, and not hearing anything via the QualComm, they headed to the company yard in French Camp. They no sooner arrived when the beeping started. When it was all sorted out, they were to pick up a loaded trailer of juice in the yard and take it to Auburn, WA by Thursday morning at 7am. Boy, the team loads just keep coming in for them. So, off they go to scale out the load and and start heading north, and wouldn't you know it? About three hours later the QualComm started beeping.

Now they get information to head to Chemult, OR and swap loads with another driver that is there waiting for them. They are to take a loaded trailer of meat and head right back the same direction from where they just came from and make the first of four deliveries in Sacramento this morning at 6am. So off they go with the plan to make it as far as Corning, CA where they will stop and get yet another few hours of non moving sleep.

After their delivery in Sacramento, their second drop is of all places Modesto, right where I am, but since they had a fuel stop in Ripon, about 15 miles away at the Flying J, I drove there this morning with a surprise box of hot fresh donuts and cold milk from our local donut shop. You should have seen the look on their faces. You would have thought Christmas had come early! After a short 30 minute visit, it was off to make the delivery and then head to Wheeler Ridge to grab some sleep before their first delivery Friday morning at 5am in Vernon, CA.

They sure have been getting a crazy amount of miles over the past 6 days and both of them are getting close to running out of driving hours on their 70 hour clock. I don't think either one of them will be complaining if after they finish with this load that they will finally get a day of rest.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Nine years ago today, Craig and I followed a path that fate was taking us down, and were joined in matrimony after knowing each other for only 6 weeks. When I met Craig, he was the first man I could honestly say that I couldn't find anything I disliked about him. Nine years later, I can still say the same thing. Each day with him in my life is pure joy and happiness, with a good dose of fun thrown into the mix. He has enriched my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined and each year we are together gets just that much better. The saying above brings to words just how I feel about my husband and how blessed I am to be able to call myself his wife. Happy Anniversary Honey
- I Love You!

Monday, February 22, 2010


I couldn't believe it, I was so convinced when Craig called this morning, that he was in Long Beach, CA waiting to get unloaded, that it took a couple of minutes of Craig asking me what I was talking about, to finally realize that they had just left Pasco, WA early this morning. If I'm this confused, I can only imagine that they have been reduced to literally looking outside the window of the cab to figure out where they are when they wake up.

In hindsight, I was only one day ahead of the schedule that Craig had run by me on Saturday afternoon, but when I'm not in the truck, and going about the daily routine at my Mom's house, it was easy for me to skip over a day and assume they were done with their last marathon run and hopefully getting a afternoon of rest. Instead they still have 15 more hours of driving out of the 20 they had planned for today between the two of them.

It's looking like Craig will be training Eric for about two more weeks, and then he is scheduled to be routed into Spokane, WA where Eric will take his exams to see if he will get assigned his own truck, and Craig is scheduled to attend a couple of recertification classes. We'll have to wait and see if Craig goes back out by himself or with some additional training needed for Eric.

In either case, I'm still scheduled to stay in Modesto until the 1st of April, where I will then pick up my best friend Cori and her two children in the San Francisco Bay area and drive them home to Walla Walla, WA and then swing by and pick up Craig at the company yard when he takes a week off that first week of April. We haven't been home since November and we are so ready to get back home and spend some time together!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


After going empty in Long Beach, CA on Thursday, and I use the term "empty" for both the trailer and the amount of energy that was left inside Craig, he sent a message in saying that they would like to wait until Friday for their next assignment so that each of them could get a 34 hour reset on their driving clock. I guess it was their lucky day, and just like that, they received a dispatch for Friday to head to San Diego to pick up a load of bananas destined for Puyallup, WA.

Having the rest of Thursday to relax, take showers, and do laundry, was just the trick to recharge some batteries that were getting low on energy. By Friday morning they were antsy to get moving, but had to wait until 10am for Eric's 34 hour reset. Then it was off to San Diego to play the waiting game at the non-harbor loading site tucked into the residential area. After collecting 6 hours in detention pay they were headed north.

Now on this particular load of bananas, it didn't have a delivery appointment until the 24th, so first thing this morning Craig tells the weekend dispatcher that they were available to drop or swap the load at any point on their travels. Shortly thereafter they get the following news: Take the bananas into our drop yard in Pacific, WA, hook up to an empty trailer, take it to the Tyson Meat Plant in Wallula, WA and drop it there to be loaded, then head over to our other drop yard in Pasco, WA and hook up to a loaded trailer full of frozen french and deliver them to Long Beach, CA Tuesday morning.'s going to be a couple of busy days for them again!

As Craig told me on the phone, they are both fully rested and raring to go, but I imagine come Tuesday their energy level won't be quite so high. But no fears, I'm sure I can entice them to carry on by promising them a nice hot meal brought to them again on their next trip through French Camp!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Why didn't someone remind me about about bringing Craig's super bright fluorescent jacket back to him when I met him in French Camp last night? Oh that's right. I never mentioned that after their trek through the mud pit in Arlington, OR at the HazMat dump site, that his nice new jacket was covered in mud as well, and that he so graciously dumped it in my hands to wash the next time he was through the company yard in French Camp. Wash it I did, and although for a few grease marks, which Craig seems fit to deposit on most of his clothes, no matter how careful he pretends to be, it is looking nice and new again......albeit in my bedroom at my Mom's house and not on Craig's back.

He so kindly reminded me of such this morning via an email while wandering around the streets of Long Beach, CA (sans jacket) waiting to get unloaded. Seems in my haste to pick up a few supplies for him yesterday, and then getting his special #6 combination plate, his jacket completely slipped my mind. I'm thinking even he didn't give it a second thought as he was downing that pile of chow mein. Guess I'll tuck it away in our pickup for my next trip to French Camp.

If you're wondering what I'm doing while at my Mom's house as Craig continues to train Eric, you must know by now, I couldn't let too much time go by without doing something crafty. I used some 6x6 cork tiles and then a couple of larger ones to use up some excess fabric, ribbons, and vintage buttons that have been occupying my Mom's button tin to make these. I also refurbished a picture and frame that my Mom was going to donate, by tossing the picture and painting and staining the frame, then using chalkboard paint and making a cute chalkboard. Only thing missing so far is buying some chalk to write something cleaver on it. With at least another three weeks of Craig training and me off of the truck, I'll have to start thinking of some other projects to keep me busy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


The cartoon has nothing to do with my blog entry, I just thought it was funny. So onto trucking news.........Freight is moving hot and heavy the past month or so, and Craig and Eric's log book would be proof of just that. As soon as they delivered the wine to RailEx in Burbank, WA, they were sent to Prosser, WA to pick up a load of frozen french fries. These french fries are to be in Long Beach, CA Thursday morning at 8am.

On the good news front, at least they took a much needed sleep break last night just outside of Biggs Junction, OR where they both got some non moving sleep. The bad news? They are pretty much having to drive straight through today and into the night to make their delivery tomorrow morning. To make it a bit tolerable for them, I plan on meeting them in French Camp, CA with a combination plate for each of them from Craig's favorite Chinese Restaurant. That ought to make the trip just a bit more bearable. I'm always happy to do my part as I sit on the sidelines when Craig is training.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


After delivering in Gilbert, AZ Eric had the driving duties to drive them back into California and through Los Angeles. Once over the Grapevine Craig took over and drove to French Camp, CA to the company yard. With only a short 6 hours of non moving sleep, Eric was back at it driving into Oregon where they again switched drivers in Canyonville and Craig took over to get them into Toledo, WA where Craig got a few hours of sleep before heading into Puyallup, WA at 5am for their delivery. Immediately after going empty, they were beeped with a new assignment to pick up a load of wine in Auburn, WA and take it to the RailEx facility in Burbank, WA. From there it will be loaded onto rail cars to be transported to New York. Eric will be taking over the driving duties while Craig gets some well deserved sleep, however as most of you know who live the life out in the road on a big rig, trying to get decent sleep while the truck is moving can be a bit of a struggle, especially over rough roads. Their delivery time is set for 3pm this afternoon, and although you would like to keep this run of dispatches going, Craig and I agreed that with any luck, they would have the rest of the afternoon and evening to catch up on some rest. But with Tyson being not even a mile away from RailEx, I have a hunch that they will once again get an immediate dispatch to pick up some meat. One can only hope there is some extra time factored into their next dispatch to at least slow things down a little bit to get some much needed rest.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Craig and Eric drove all the way into Arizona last night from French Camp, CA. They set themselves up to be able to be at the delivery location by their 8am appointment, only problem was that the new Fry's store, and the area that is was built on, wasn't on any of the mapping programs they had. To add insult to injury, there was also a highway closure due to construction that sent them off on a wild goose chase. But I'm happy to say that the two little explorers did in deed find the Fry's and were only the second truck to make a delivery there as you can see by how empty their back storage area was. The store was anxious to know when the other trucks from TWT would be arriving, as well as several other trucks from another company. It wouldn't surprise me if they don't get a return trip there since the store doesn't open until March 13. I should also mention that Eric did a fine job of backing into the dock. Craig sees a bit of improvement each week, and really, that's about as good as you can hope to get with a trainee. They were beeped with a pre plan while on their way to Gilbert, AZ, to pick up a load of bananas in the company yard in Bloomington, CA and head them up north to Puyallup, WA. Their delivery time is 5am Tuesday morning, so with very little slack time they will definitely be doing quite a bit of team driving to get it up there and on time for their appointment. This pay period is shaping up to be a good one if they keep getting these types of loads with the quick turn around, and I'm happy to be able to put a little extra away for a rainy day!

Friday, February 12, 2010


Not too much to report the past two days. After leaving Biggs Junction, OR on Thursday morning, Craig and Eric were instructed to head to Wilsonville, OR to a drop yard we have never been to before. This is one of many drop yards that our company shares with Interstate Trucking. Craig dropped the dry van trailer and was then dispatched to the Fred Meyer DC in Clackamas, OR to pick up a load of general merchandise to be delivered to a brand new Fry's in Gilbert, AZ.

They made it as far as Canyonville, OR Thursday night, where they encountered some inclimate weather, but thankfully it was only rain and not snow. Leaving early this morning, and with both of them sharing the driving duties, they pulled into the company yard in French Camp, CA this afternoon around 4pm. It might have been an uneventful trip had it not been for the scales in Dunsmuir, CA pulling in as many trucks as they had open bays for inspections. Having already been through a level 1 inspection with Charles, and proudly displaying his sticker on the windshield, Craig was put through a level 2 inspection and was sent on his way.

I met him at the yard in French Camp and I stole him away for a couple of hours where we went out to dinner and enjoyed some time together. I also presented Craig with a little Valentines care package, jam packed with all things chocolate, including the new chocolate Cheerios and chocolate Goldfish. Of course it wouldn't be complete without some home made brownies and one very small box of chocolates. I left Craig one very happy guy as he was starting to delve into his bag of goodies as I drove away.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Unlike some other drivers who blog about some of their top secret high value loads, for the first time ever, Craig and Eric received almost the same type of dispatch. Top secret it was, but of high value? I think not, at least not to you or me, but I'm sure it cost the manufacturer millions of dollars. Along with two other drivers, they were dispatched to Liberty Lake, WA, just outside of Spokane with dry vans to pick up three trailers full of a product that shall not be named. This operation was supervised by a team of Federal Agents who watched over every pallet of this product being loaded into the trailers. When the trailers were sealed, and the paperwork signed for, they all took off in a convoy to Arlington, OR. In Arlington, they went go to a hazardous material dump site to have that same product unloaded and disposed of, again being supervised by the Federal Agents. Only problem was that not only was the dump site difficult to even find, it was basically a big mud pit. Craig had to admit to having a bit of fun trying to drive through the mud and managed to get quite a bit of it all over the tires, trailer, truck, and even himself. They finally get to where they will unload the unnamed product, and they soon find out that the lifts they use to hoist the trailers into the air will not handle a 53 foot trailer. Now what do they do? After some phone calls and the powers that be consult one another, they finally come with a pallet jack, and have the drivers move the product to the edge of the trailer and then off lift it with a fork lift. Needless to say, Craig got plenty of exercise today! Tonight finds them in Biggs Junction, chowing down on a foot long Subway sandwich and falling into bed bone tired. Since they still have the non refrigerated trailer, they will be routed to Salem, OR in the morning to either pick up some potato chips or transport some transformers to Oakland, CA. No matter where they might be sent, the first order of business will be finding a truck wash to get rid of the mud they collected on their rig.

Monday, February 08, 2010


Yeah, the Saints won, even though I was going with the Colts, being a Peyton Manning fan. And in a show of solidarity, since Craig could not partake, there wasn't a vast amount of snacks around our Super Bowl table. Nope, we chowed down on a weenie roll up and some veggie chips and enjoyed the commercials as much as the football game.

Craig and Eric got moving around noon on Saturday from Fresh Express in Salinas. By 3pm they were in the company yard in French Camp, CA and I was getting a good strong hug from Craig. I stayed long enough to watch Eric practice his backing skills, until the rain started coming down and I decided staying dry was much more fun. After the backing practice, they headed to Corning to spend the night.

Come to find out, their deliveries were not until this morning, so they had all day Sunday to drive and they made it Gee Cee's truck stop in Toledo, WA. At around 2am this morning Craig took off driving, first to their fuel stop in Tacoma and then into the Fred Meyer DC in Puyallup, and then a second drop at an independent distributor about 5 miles away.

Immediately after going empty, they were told to head back to the Fred Meyer DC in Puyallup, drop their empty trailer and await a loaded one around 2pm. By 1pm they were headed towards Spokane with a four drop assignment for tomorrow morning in the Spokane area and then into Idaho in Coeur d'Alene. With any luck they will find time for showers and laundry tomorrow after they go empty, before they receive their next assignment.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


You knew it would happen right? Big plans for a snack fest, ala Homer Simpson, and just like that on Friday morning, they get a phone call to swap trailers. Craig calls me right away to tell me not to buy all the snacks, as I was just about ready to leave for the grocery store. He hadn't yet received all the info via the QualComm about which direction he would be headed, so he couldn't even let me know if I would be able to at least meet up with him for a visit. As we waited for the additional information, I took off for the store to at least gather his items he definitely needed from the store when he did manage to make it through town.

Shortly thereafter, he called with the updated information. They would be swapping trailers with another driver in Corning, CA. They would take custody of a trailer full of apples at around 8pm Friday night and delivery the apples to Fresh Express in Salinas this morning at 7am. Then they would have a pick up of a loaded trailer from Fresh Express at noon today, and deliver to two locations in Puyallup, WA starting at 5am Sunday morning.

Suffice it to say, they have been, and will continue to do some continuous driving over the next 24 hours. By 6am, they had delivered the apples in Salinas, CA and were waiting for their new trailer to get loaded. It will then take a bit of team driving to get the produce up to Washington, but not without a swing by the company yard in French Camp, where I will be waiting for a quick cuddle and a clean hand off of some goodies for Craig, even if he won't be enjoying them during the big game on Sunday.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


In what is destined to be a repeat of one of the first runs that Craig and Eric were dispatched on, they will be returning to Columbia ColdStor in Othello, WA to pick up frozen french fries and take them to Oxnard, CA. But unlike last time, where they dropped the trailer in the Company yard in Bloomington, they will most likely actually be delivering this load Sunday morning at 8am. Am I certain of that? No way, because we all know how quickly dispatches can be changed or swapped, especially on the weekends.

Speaking of weekends, Craig is thinking that if they do actually deliver this load on Sunday, that they may end up in the company yard waiting for a load come Monday morning. That can mean only one thing....being able to watch the Super Bowl! Now that activity might cause most men to salivate at the thought of it. An undisturbed afternoon/evening of uninterrupted, male bonding,football watching. Not so much my husband, who thinks of it as the perfect opportunity to eat snacks for hours on end, than cheer on one team or another. Oh sure, he'll throw in a cheer or two just to fit in, but don't let him fool you, he's in it for the food.

With them driving through French Camp tomorrow evening, I am off to the grocery store to buy Craig the mandatory chips, salsa, dips, and other appropriate snacks for such an eating event. I'm just hoping that they won't have a dispatch waiting for them when they go empty on Sunday. It won't be so bad about not being able to see the big game, I doubt Craig even knows who is playing in it, but I'm sure people will be able to hear Craig cry for miles away, as I try to console him about having to delay his snack fest.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


After getting those four new tires put on yesterday afternoon, Craig and Eric made it as far as the rest area just outside of Cle Elum, WA, but not before stopping at the Subway in Ellensburg for a good old $5 foot long. Those Subways are a truck drivers best friend for a decent sandwich out on the road. From the rest area, they only had about 90 miles into Seattle for their delivery this morning at 8am. All of the trucks that they had seen at AmeriCold in Wallula while loading had also made it into the port area this morning when they arrived, so it took a few hours for the meat to get off loaded and put into containers bound for Hong Kong. They had a decent view of the Space Needle while they were there, along with getting an eyeful of the vast amount of containers being loaded onto ships and the cranes that are used in that process. This is the third time that Craig has been to this particular receiver, and each time without me. I would have loved to have been able to take some better quality photos with my good camera, than rely on Craig's cell phone. They had already received a pre plan yesterday, so when they went empty, they headed to Chehalis, WA to the Fred Meyer DC to pick up a loaded trailer. They have two stops this evening, one in Richland, WA and the other in Kennewick, WA at the local Fred Meyer store. From there they will head over to the truck stop in Pasco to await their next dispatch in the morning.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


That was the question pondered by Craig and Eric when they were given the assignment to head to Wallula, WA to the AmeriCold facility across the street from the Tyson Meat plant, and pick up a load of frozen meat. While inspecting the trailer, they saw a couple of tires that looked pretty pathetic. Calling into road service, they were sent to a repair shop in Pasco, WA and evidently they would need all four tires on the trailer replaced. So four would be the answer to the question.And as to the other burning question as to whether Eric would come back from home time to continue his training? Just like the swallows that return to San Juan Capistrano, CA every March, Eric came back to the truck this morning. But I guess you already figured that out after the first sentence of this entry.

Craig was well rested after his day of lounging and sleeping, not to mention catching up on all the gossip being tossed around in the driver's lounge. He also caught up with a guy he used to work with that just finished his training and had completed his first three weeks solo out in the truck.After getting the new tires put on the trailer, they are headed to Seattle, WA to the port area to drop his load of meat destined to some foreign country. Their appointment time is for 8am tomorrow morning and from there our guess is maybe a load of apples or another load of meat headed to the Los Angeles area. With them heading south, at least I'll be able to meet up with Craig again for a little cuddle time and to given him his new reflective fluorescent yellow safety vest I ordered after he was so pleased with the new jacket. After all, safety first before fashion!


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