Tuesday, August 31, 2010


When Craig started driving Sunday morning, the sun had not yet begun to rise, but by the time he neared Eugene, OR and the sky was beginning to lighten, he had the pleasure of watching all the hot air balloons taking flight early in the morning.  It reminded us of one of our anniversary celebrations when we took our own hot air balloon ride in the Napa Valley.  It is definitely something on our list to do again!
After making the delivery at the Albertson's DC in Portland Sunday morning, Craig and Roy had a bit of a wait on their hands until their trailer would be ready for their trip to Boise, ID.  They dropped the empty trailer at the Fred Meyer DC in Clackamas, OR and bob tailed to a retail parking lot about a mile away.  Craig did a little retail shopping at the K-Mart to burn up some of the idle time until the trailer would be ready around 7pm.
By 8pm, Roy was in the driver's seat and drove to the Arrowhead Travel Center in Pendelton, OR, where Craig took over driving around 1am.  Four and a half hours later, they pulled into Boise, ID and began delivering to three different Fred Meyer Stores.  Craig said that at all of the stores, all the different departments were at the ready with pallet jacks to take their items off the trailer and stock their shelves. 

At 9am, about the time I started doing laundry, Craig called to say he was done and at the TA truck stop in Boise.  He was letting Roy continue to sleep uninterrupted for awhile before he woke him up to go to sleep on his bunk.  (While the truck is in motion, Roy sleeps on the lower bunk for safety reasons)  Craig took that opportunity to grab a hot breakfast before getting some well deserved sleep.
They had already been given a pre plan to pick up frozen french fries at AmeriCold in Ontario, OR at 8pm Monday night, with a delivery at 4am in Pleasanton, CA Wednesday morning.  After getting loaded, they decided to stay put and sleep for a few hours and start out early this morning.  Their routing this time will take them through Winnemucca and Reno, NV and drop down through Donner Pass on Interstate 80.  That is sure to be a nice change of scenery from Interstate 5.  With a plan to stage at the company yard in French Camp tonight, they should have an easy run into Pleasanton tomorrow morning.

Monday, August 30, 2010


I've made it a point to check out local yard sales while I have been at home the past few weeks.  This $1 chair was one of my first finds and I knew I couldn't go wrong with purchasing it.  My first order of business was to scrub and sand it down.  Then using Rustoleum 2x coverage spray paint, I gave it two coats of Oregano green.  I really like this color for it's subtle undertones and warm hues.  After letting the paint dry for a few days, I went about distressing it with some steel wool and then giving it a final once over with Minwax finishing paste.

I knew I didn't want to invest too much money into recovering the seat, so I went down to my local Ben Franklin store, and search through all their remnant table.  After not finding anything that spoke to me, I was just about to give up, when I found the one I knew would be perfect.  What was even nicer, was that the remnant was only about a yard, but I didn't need that much.  They actually cut it down even smaller for the size I needed, costing me only $4.
Armed with my screw driver and staple gun, I first went about removing the old stained, torn material.  Then centering my new material onto the seat, I cut around it leaving enough to pull up and around the seat to recover it.  Many staples later, the seat was recovered and screwed back into place.  I really love the way it turned out and for only $7 of materials, hope that someone in Walla Walla will love it as much as I do, when I take it to my friend's retail space to sell it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Wow, talk about great timing.  Usually at the Port, we are there at least 3 to 4 hours, but after Craig dropped Roy off at the front gate, he was in a dock, loaded, and scaled within 60 minutes!  That allowed them to head north out of San Diego well ahead of the Friday commute traffic, although it wouldn't spare them from hitting LA at 5pm.  Craig made the decision to take the less direct route, and head north on Interstate 15, taking multiple secondary freeways, to eventually get onto Interstate 210, which took them well north of LA. 

They pulled into the Petro Truck stop at Wheeler Ridge where they treated themselves to a hot meal and then hit the sack for some sleep.  Saturday morning had Craig starting the driving duties, but before they had gotten too far, he received a phone call from dispatch.  News had circulated that they were now in the super solo/team mode, and with another driver operating on limited hours, they would be dropping the trailer of bananas in the company yard in French Camp, CA and then relieving that other driver of his loaded trailer full of juice.

The juice needed to be in Portland, OR for a 10am delivery this morning.  Roy had the driving duties last night, and drove most of his driving hours to get them to Canyonville,OR where they shut down near midnight.  At 5am, Craig was once again in the driver's seat making the delivery.  They have already been given a pre plan to take a loaded trailer from the Fred Meyer DC in Clackamas and make several deliveries in the Boise, ID area.  This will be a run very similar to the one that Craig had a couple of weeks ago.  One thing we know, from now until they head in around September 11/12 for home time and Roy's mid term testing,  in the words of the Mazda commercial......it will be vroom vroom vroom!

Friday, August 27, 2010

3:10 TO YUMA

Well, I am striking out with guessing on what Craig's next loads will be.  After they went empty near Tucson, AZ Wednesday night, they stayed in the back lot of the Fry's they delivered to, and Craig took advantage of going inside and getting some fried chicken and some potato salad for dinner.  Suffice it to say, he had a very happy tummy that night!

With no word yet on a new assignment by 8am Thursday, they were told to go ahead and drive into Phoenix and await further instructions.  They took advantage of the down time and took showers and did laundry, and long about 1pm brought the information of a load of bananas out of the Port of San Diego for Friday morning.  As they performed their pre trip inspection of the truck and trailer, Craig found that the reefer would not start.  Since they hadn't had to use it with the case goods they were carrying, that kinda threw a monkey wrench into the plans to get into San Diego Thursday night.

Off they went to the Thermo King dealer in Phoenix to have the trailer looked at.  Worse case would be if they couldn't fix his trailer by 5pm, there was another TWT trailer at the ready that had just been repaired.  Come to find out, the RPM sensor wire had come loose, along with the sensor being bad. After the sensor was replaced, and the wire reconnected, they were on the road headed toward Yuma, AZ where their next fuel stop would be, and where they decided to call it a night at a road side rest area.  I have it on good authority that Russell Crowe was not sighted anywhere in the area.
This morning they were on the road early, with the first order of business to drop Roy off near the Naval Base, and for Craig to continue into the Port to pick up the load of bananas.  While they are busy in San Diego, I took off to visit a few yard sales in our little neck of the woods.  I didn't find anything major, but I did pick up a very nice turquoise blue half gallon Ball canning jar with a glass lid, along with a quart size one in a much lighter blue.  I also couldn't pass up a silver tea kettle made in Belgium which caught my eye.  Only spending a total of $3.00 on all three items didn't put a dent in my pocket book, and I just may get a good return on my investment when I sell them at my friend's retail space.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Well, so much for getting bananas after going empty in Poway on Tuesday afternoon.  Instead, they were told to head to the company yard in Bloomington, CA to await a team load from Clackamas, OR which would be delivered to six different locations in the Phoenix/Tucson, AZ area.  With an ETA of around 3am of the arrival of the trailer, they had a relatively relaxing rest of the afternoon/evening, trying to stay cool in 100 degree weather.  With the knowledge that they would be traveling yet further into hotter weather, there wasn't too much excitement over the new assignment.
Craig got the early driving duties this morning, taking off from the yard around 4am, and by the time he called me near 7am, he had reached the Arizona border, where they stopped at the Flying J for fuel in Ehrenberg.  Then it was off to begin a marathon of deliveries which would take them well into the afternoon and evening.  When I last heard from him, it was well over 110 degrees and they were arriving at their fourth stop of the day.  After having looked at the weather forecast for him, I hated to have to tell him that the overnight prediction was for it to only cool off to 90 degrees.   That is just not right.  Thank goodness for the APU, and that they will at least be able to sleep in comfort tonight.

I don't even want to go out on a limb and speculate about what work assignment they will receive tomorrow, but I'll venture to say it may be a load out of Sara Lee in Tolleson, AZ.  But hey, I've been wrong before.  I'm just riding out what I hope is the last hot day (90 degrees) that we will be having up here in Washington.  The weather man is already saying we will have a drop of about 20 degrees by Friday.  All I can say to that is ......"bring it on!"

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I miss my husband.  As much as the extra income of him training is nice, it doesn't compensate for what we lose.  Craig called me last night.  I could tell he was in a down mood.  First off, he is totally bored by having to sit in my passenger seat all day, while someone else is driving, and he says his butt hurts.  Guess my seat doesn't compare to his cushy driver's seat,  plus he misses me on the truck as much as I miss being on the truck. 

To add to that, his trainee Roy, has prior experience, and is driving like a pro.  Craig has already called into the training coordinator to see if they can put Roy on the fast track for sign off.  Looks like Monday they will be driving what they call "super solo/team" until Roy completes his training cycle. 

Did I mention I miss my husband?  Yea, I thought I did.  About two weeks apart is about as much as we handle.  It's great up in Usk, WA at home, especially now since the weather is turning more fall like.  Heck it was just 39 degrees this morning when I woke up with the windows open.  Just how we like it too, but it's not the same with Craig around.  Guess I'll just have to drown my sorrows in a good on line game of mystery and adventure.

Onto the trucking news for the day.  Craig and Roy made the delivery of my favorite product....ice cream..... at Producer's Dairy in Fresno, CA  and then in Poway, Ca this morning.  All is going well with training.  It has been the best match personality wise so far of the 4 trainees that Craig has had.  They have done some backing practice, gone over paperwork and logs, and now just need to put some time behind the wheel. 

I haven't heard from them yet, but imagine with them being so close to San Diego, that a load of bananas is in their future.  If they go to the Port, Roy will have to be dropped off outside the gates as he does not have a TWIC identification yet.  Let's hope for his sake, that they visit Hector at the off site loading location, where he can remain with Craig and the truck.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Well it was a bust on Friday at the yard sales.  There were a couple of items I would have loved to have gotten, but alas our little house is so small, there is no room for anything extra, and especially if it is larger than a bread box.  Everything else that I found, was too expensive to try and resell at my friend's shop, but I did find a nice remnant to recover the seat of that chair I found for $1 a couple of weeks ago.  I think that just might be my project this week.

Craig met up with his newest trainee Roy at the truck stop in Weed, CA Friday afternoon around 3pm.  After a very short get acquainted time, they hit the road to make it to Halsey, OR to stage for their delivery of the bananas in Clackamas Saturday morning.  Craig was up and ready to drive by 5am, and drove into the Fred Meyer DC where they were unloaded by 8am.  Shortly thereafter, they were assigned their next load, but it didn't pick up until this morning.  They will be picking up my favorite product.....ice cream.....in Eugene, OR and will have two deliveries, one in Fresno, CA on Monday and the second in Poway, CA on Tuesday.

I really think this is going to be a great match up with Roy.  He is about the same age as Craig, he is married and lives in the Spokane area, he is retired from the military, attaining the next to highest rank that an enlisted person can be, and has a master degree in psychology  Unlike Craig's other three trainees, he wants to drive, and has a son in law that was hired about 8 months ago with TWT and their plan is to drive team when Roy is through with his training.

As Craig and I like to say....."So far, so good", and we'll see how the next few weeks go before they head into Spokane for Roy's mid training testing.  He does have about two months of driving experience with another company, prior to getting hired with TWT, so everyone hopes that he will be signed off on his training by the time Craig takes off for Vacation around October 7th.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Well, it seems like it's all systems go for Craig to get another trainee today.  He received a phone call yesterday morning from Roy, who was hitching a ride with another TWT driver Bob, who used to work with Craig at his previous job.  They were picking up a load out of Wallula, WA, as Craig was making his way north from San Diego, after picking up a load of banana Wednesday afternoon.
One of the challenging obstacles when going into San Diego to pick up bananas, is this railroad crossing which is extremely busy during business hours.With the Naval Base across the street, crowds of pedestrians, and commuter trains, it is not a fun place for a big rig.  Never knowing exactly when the next commuter train will be coming, you need to time both the train and the traffic light, and not get the truck and trailer caught between the two.  Good times my friend.

Craig had spent the night Wednesday in San Diego, as he was the last one loaded out of the Port.  Leaving early Thursday morning, he first stopped by the company yard in Bloomington to fuel up, receive the above mentioned phone call from his new trainee, and also have the office electronically fix an error he had made on his driving hours on the new electronic log system.  He had inadvertently hit off duty driving, when he meant to hit on duty driving.  With a quick computer fix by one of the dispatchers, it was amended and he was on his way again.
He managed to pass this roadside fire near Avenal, CA before any emergency vehicle responded, and made it into the company yard in French Camp last night.  While there, he readied the truck for the trainee and called him to see what their ETA would be to Redding, CA today.  As it was, Craig would not have been able to complete this run, had he not had a trainee available to drive about two hours.  The delivery in Clackamas, OR at the Fred Meyer DC is for Saturday morning at 7am, and now they will be able to deliver without any problems.

All is calm on the home front.  With the painting complete, and the research done on the tiling project, all I have to do is wait until we have the extra funds to purchase the tile and proceed.  I think I my just head out and hit a couple of yard sales this morning to see if I can find any inexpensive treasures to give a transforming make over to.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Craig is always joking around with me, saying now that he has gotten me to live the trucking life, that joining the circus isn't that far off.  But I gotta ask......."“What do people in the circus run away and join?”

The painting has been completed in the living room and I couldn't be happier with the outcome.  That leaves me with having to do a thorough cleaning of that space, and then move onto the kitchen.  There are a couple of things I would like to do there, like replace the ugly kitchen facet, but more intriguing to me, is doing some glass tiles around the stove.  I think I'll start my research on that, take my measurements, and see just how much this little project might cost me.
Craig left LaPine, OR Monday afternoon around 3pm, after sleeping all day.  Being fully rested, he decided to drive all the way into French Camp, CA to the company yard where he arrived around 2am Tuesday morning.  After getting some sleep, he took advantage of the facilities there to take a shower and do laundry, scan his last trip information and then fuel up before driving into Avenal, CA, which was as far as his remaining hours would take him.
This morning he took off for Long Beach and his 1pm delivery appointment, where he planned on arriving well ahead of schedule in hopes of getting unloaded early.  He was advised that he will have a new trainee assigned to him today, and they will be working on a way to get the trainee to Craig.  We imagine that by Friday, he should meet up with him, if this one lasts long enough to even meet up with Craig.

Monday, August 16, 2010


No, neither Craig nor I am the least bit distressed, but our old cabinets in the living room?  Now that's another story.  I started in on the biggest of the cabinets Sunday morning, and this morning I was able to replace the doors and add the new hardware.  This look might not be for everyone, and I am trying to get away from so many different wood tones, but I am loving the shabby chic look, and I think the cabinet looks richer.  Now I just need to do the other two cabinets above and below the TV, and have Craig get home to hang the new pendant light and old window.

Speaking of Craig, he managed to do the three deliveries in the Boise, ID area Saturday morning, and by 1pm, he was done and parked at the TA truck stop.  He was already beeped with a new assignment by the time he called me, and knowing that he didn't need to be in Hermiston, OR until 10pm Sunday night, meant that he could lay back and rest, sleep, and play his favorite computer game to his heart's content.  He even used some of his frequent fueler points to pay for a nice hot dinner!

Yesterday morning, he decided to head towards Hermiston.  He stopped prior to his arrival there to get the light weight on the truck and trailer, so that the loaders know how much product they can load on.  He arrived at the shipper, with enough time to be able to put in a 10 hour break and have his full driving clock to work with after being loaded.  By around midnight he was loaded and scaled, but about 100 pounds over the limit on his trailer tandem axle.  A couple of hard brakes on his way to his fuel stop in Biggs, OR should do the trick, and when he went through the closed scale in Madras, OR, he was 75 pounds under the limit.

He decided to drive until he got into LaPine, OR this morning around 5am, where he is presently sleeping and will take off again around 3pm and head to Corning, CA.  The french fries are due to be delivered in Long Beach, CA on Wednesday at 1pm.  He should have no problem making that on time and still have available hours for maybe another load of bananas our of San Diego.  Now I think it's time for my rest break to be over, and for me to get back to my painting chores.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Would you believe that Craig got within 2 hours of getting a complete 34 hour restart on his hours?  We thought it was a done deal, with just under two hours of remaining time left on his driving clock until midnight Friday night, we were so certain that he would not have a new assignment until Saturday.  Boy were we wrong.  Yesterday afternoon he was beeped with a new dispatch to pick up a load at the Fred Meyer DC in Clackamas, OR and do an overnight driving stint to three stores in the Boise, ID area this morning.  Only problem was the limited amount of driving time available since the load was suppose to be picked up at 9pm.

After a few phone calls were made between Craig, dispatch, customer service, and Fred Meyer, it was okayed for him to pick up the load as soon as he was able to start driving.  He left Aurora, OR around 10:30pm and headed to Clackamas to pick up his loaded trailer.  Then it would be an all nighter to reach the Boise area by around 9am this morning for his first delivery appointment.  Loaded down with a couple of liter bottles of his favorite caffeine he headed out.  As of the writing of this entry, I'm still waiting to hear from him when he gets to his first delivery.
On the home front, I made the trek into Spokane yesterday, to visit my now good friends at the paint department at Home Depot.  I pushed aside my fears, and purchased the paint and supplies I will need to start the transformation of our cabinets in the living room.  I'm still working up the courage to actually start, but I figured if I left the paint and supplies next to the cabinets, where they can taunt me, I'll be more motivated to start in on this project.  I'm thinking by tomorrow I should have paint brush in hand and doing battle.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


After the trials and tribulations that Craig had with that last load of meat, he was due for some good stuff to come his way.  He was happy, after a long drought, to get a load of bananas out of San Diego, and this time, instead of going to the Port, he paid a visit to his old friend Hector, at the secondary receiving location, tucked tightly into a residential area.  But with his luck changing, when he called to see if his load was ready, he was told to scoot right on in, which he did, and found absolutely no one else in the dock area, which made for an easy back, load, and departure.

Leaving San Diego at 5pm wasn't exactly the ideal time to head north with his bananas, but luck was still on his side, and he managed to get back to the yard to fuel, escape LA, and still make the Petro in Wheeler Ridge, CA before his driving hours ran out, or any real traffic frustration hit.  The memory of that meat load was fast becoming a distant memory as he crawled into bed and called it a night.

Wednesday morning held the promise of a great day, as he drove north and stopped in Lodi to fuel up.  As he was fueling, he noticed a Nor-Cal Beverage service truck parked at the store.  That is the company Craig worked at for over 28 years before leaving to live life out on the open road.  As he was walking in, one of his best buddies Tommy, was walking out, and he was really thrilled to be able to spend a few minutes not only with him, but two other guys he used to work with.  Craig got one of them to use his phone and snap a picture.  It really was the highlight of his week to be able to meet up again with these guys.
With all that running around in LA and dealing with traffic, it ate away at his driving hours more than usual.  With that in mind, after receiving the banana assignment, Craig knew that he would fall a few hours short of being able to deliver them in Puyallup, WA Friday morning.   He will only be able to make it to Wilsonville, OR where the company has a drop yard, and he will drop the trailer there late this afternoon, and then be out of driving hours until midnight Friday.  At least he will be able to bob tail over to the TA truck stop in Aurora, OR where he can have facilities at his disposal while recouping some driving hours.

On the home front, I have completed painting two walls up in the loft, and figured out where to stop at this  point with the new paint color in the kitchen.  Good thing, because I had pretty much used up the can of paint.  Next up on my project list is to paint and distress the cabinets in the living room.  I'm a bit nervous, because it really is a point of no return once I start, but with some confidence building from my BFF Cori, I will be giving it my all maybe this weekend.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


You didn't think you had heard the last of the meat load that got refused did you?  I'm going to do my best to retell what we are calling "Craig's Great Adventure in Vernon".   He made his delivery in Oxnard, CA yesterday morning and by time he was unloaded, except for those 8 pallets of refused meat, he was awaiting what to do and where to go.  Would you believe that he was told to go back to the same facility that had refused the load and delivery it again.  I can read your mind, and I had the same thoughts when Craig told me the news.
Upon his return, and having to do a nasty blind side back into the dock, the clerk remembered Craig and was all smiles as he said he would gladly work him in and get him unloaded as quickly as they could.  Quickly turned out to be three hours later, and after getting his signed paperwork, and finding it all in order, he finds a box of strip steaks still inside his trailer.  What the hell?  He walked back in, stating that they had signed for the full load, but they would not accept that one box of steak because someone at the shipping plant had wrote on the box in Spanish.  The box, other than what was written on it, was intact and undamaged.  The Spanish speaking person who was there said that what was written didn't even make any sense, but refused it they did.

By this time it is 5pm, and Craig is told to drive the 60 plus miles to the company yard in Bloomington and that they would try and figure out what to do with it in the morning.  Guess what?  This morning rolls around, and after numerous phone calls between Customer Service, the shipping office, and the meat place in Vernon, it was decided that Craig would return there a third time to drop off the box of meat.  At this point, I am beside myself at home hearing all of this, thinking to myself, that must be one heck of an expensive box of meat, to be paying Craig all the detention pay and extra miles to babysit it now for over two days.

So Craig returns again, asks for the person he was suppose to ask for, that said person comes to the counter, and says "NOPE, not going to take that box".  At this point, I think I would start to look around for a hidden camera, because this is getting ridiculous.  Craig calls back into the office, they reaffirm that the person is to take possession of the box, but that person still refuses.  As luck would have it, a representative from the shipping office is in the area, and he is told where Craig is, and he responds there and takes possession of the box of meat.  Boy, was Craig happy to wash his hands of that fiasco and be done with it.

On the home front, I am now on day two of painting.  I completed the two walls in the living room, yesterday, and started on the upstairs loft area.  I still have some more painting to do downstairs, as our house has rounded walls, and I can't seem to figure out where to stop painting.  While I figure our my painting dilemma, Craig will be heading north after picking up a load of bananas in San Diego.  Oh, and his trainee he was suppose to get?  He already quit before even starting.  

Monday, August 09, 2010


No, I'm not talking about me, unless you take a look at my fingers, which I managed to pick and chew at all day, as I heard updates from Craig and the day he was having.  This first trip of his, out of Spokane, had a bit of a tight time schedule, with him driving to his maximum hours both Friday and Saturday.  Yesterday morning, he left Avenal, CA about 9am to make his way into Los Angeles for his 2pm delivery, and that is where his day would progressively get challenging.

Upon his arrival at his first stop in Vernon, CA and checking in at the office, it became suddenly apparent, that they had no record of the load of meat that Craig was delivering.  He watched, as they called their broker and spoke directly to the person who does the ordering, who in turn said she had no purchase order number for the meat Craig was delivering, and for them to refuse the 8 pallets of frozen meat.  After talking to Craig, and hearing that they had also refused a load just prior to his arrival, I'm thinking someone dropped the ball somewhere, and unfortunately, Craig would be left to deal with it. 

Now to add to the hiccups that had just occurred, Craig knew that he would need a CommCheck to pay for a lumber at his next stop.  When he called dispatch, he was told that the electronic checks could not be issued over the weekend, and the best they could do was issue an advance on Craig's next check, and then he could put in for a reimbursement.  I know, I can already hear you thinking "what is the difference"?, but with not nearly enough in his wallet to begin paying for what lumpers cost, Craig had to start driving around Los Angeles trying to find someplace where first, he could park a tractor trailer rig, and secondly, would have an ATM machine.

By this time, I think it was probably best that I was not with him, because as I sat at home and heard about his day, my stomach was churning and I started gnawing on my fingers like a buzz saw.  As you know, what you imagine is most times, worse than what is really happening, but no amount of logic would calm my anxiety.  But Craig, ever the trooper, found an AM/PM which he could park around the corner, got the cash he would need from the ATM, and headed bravely to his second stop.

He arrived a couple of hours early of his 6pm delivery, due to the refusal at his first stop, and got in line behind two other trucks that were waiting to be unloaded.  He was informed that the unloader would not be there until 6pm, but was happy to see that he actually arrived at 5pm and started unloading one of the trucks.  Now Craig started his day at 9am, which meant that by 11pm he needed to be somewhere for the night before his 14 hour clock ran out.  He was planning on being in Oxnard, CA where he had his last scheduled stop at 7am this morning.

I don't think I even need to say what happened do I?  Okay, okay, if you insist, I'll go on.  Craig finally gets into the dock, where the slowest ever lumper went about unloading their 11 pallets and then ever so slowly broke down the pallets and inventoried the meat as Craig, and I at home, watched the clock tick away at his quickly dissolving 14 hour clock.  By the time he was finally unloaded in Vernon and on his way to Oxnard, he had just 1 hour to go 53 miles.  Now we're talking LA and weekend traffic, and we got ourselves a race against the clock.  Much to Craig's credit, he pulled into where he was going to spend the night, about 2 miles away from his last stop, with only 3 minutes left on his 14 hour clock.

Boy, talk about a nail biter......literally!  I was happy to hear he got to Oxnard, and parked safely at a receiver we  had been to before, and knew had an open lot that he could use for the night.  He'll only be able to do an 8 hr break, before having to be at his last delivery 2 miles away.  Then we'll have to see what they will have him do with that refused 8 pallets of meat.  Not only for his sake, but to save my fingers, I hope he doesn't have to run around all over LA trying to unload those 8 pallets.  I think now would be a good time for me to start painting!

Saturday, August 07, 2010


Don't think for one minute that I'll be sitting idle while Craig is busy driving up and down Interstate 5.......well, I guess I will be sitting......while I watch hour after hour of HGTV, but idle I will not be, as my brain will be busy thinking of all the things I want to do to spruce up the old homestead.

After dropping Craig off at the yard and getting him settled back into the truck, I made my way up Division Street in Spokane towards home, making several stops along my way.  First stop was at Home Depot, where I purchased some painting supplies and a gallon of paint, which I was assured, once the sample spot of paint on the lid of the can dried, would be the color I indeed picked out.  The jury is still out on that one, but we'll find out soon enough if it will be a winner or not, once it gets up on the wall.
I also managed to hit a few yard sales once I got closer to Newport, WA which is the biggest little town, (population 3,000), closest to our little hamlet of Usk, WA.  I struck gold on my third stop, where I found this little gem of a chair to repurpose for a grand total of $1.00 !  I already have some fabric I can use to recover the seat and paint to give it a new look with maybe a little bit of distressing to give it that perfect "shabby chic" look.
Yes, I got lots of projects like these to keep me busy for the next couple of months......that is if I can tear myself away from HGTV long enough to get started, and turn off the TV.   Now where is my remote?

Friday, August 06, 2010


It was a sad morning.  Not only did we have to wake up at 4:30am to head into the yard, but Craig would be leaving without me.  We get torn over the decision, when I stay behind, and he goes out and trains.  I enjoy the chance to putter around our home to paint and decorate, and we both enjoy the extra income that training brings us.  What we don't like is the being apart from each other, but we have decided to have Craig come in for a couple of days of home time after Labor Day, before heading back out again until our vacation time in October.

As far as his trainee goes, he is without one for now.  Word on the street is that there is a slew of trainees coming out next week sometime, so Craig will probably have time for a run south before heading back north for a trainee.  I had to smile to myself as I watched Craig put away all of his provisions and personal items when we got to the truck this morning.  Usually that is my job, but when he goes out by himself, he likes to put things away the way he likes it, so I just sat back and enjoyed our last moments together.

He was given an assignment right out of the gate this morning.  First he had to bob tail into Spokane and pick up a trailer that was being repaired.  From there he drove to the Tyson Meat Plant in Wallula, WA to drop the empty and pick up a loaded trailer of boxed meat, which he will take into LA for two deliveries on Sunday, and one delivery in Oxnard, CA on Monday.

He is now fully operational on the electronic logs, and if the last two weeks we were out using both paper and electronic logs are any indication, he'll actually get more driving time using electronic logs as you are not limited to the minimum 15 minute blocks to complete a task.  It seems that Craig is in the minority of the drivers that are embracing this new system.  But then that is how my husband rolls......he is a "can do" type of person.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


I'm working on perfecting the ultimate Lemon Drop Martini, while sitting out on our front porch, looking out at the river.  The weather is great, (not too hot), and the nights cool down to about 50 degrees.  I know we won't have any problems staying here for longer lengths of time, once Craig decides to stop driving truck.  We really couldn't have picked a more perfect place to call home.

I've been asked to post the recipe for the S'more Brownies, and seriously?...... they couldn't be easier to make.  But keep it your little secret when you take them to your next pot luck, because they really are the best thing that ever happened to a brownie!

S'more Brownies

1 package brownie mix (you need the 9 x 13 size and I prefer the Betty Crocker one) plus the ingredients listed on the box to make the brownies

3 (1.55 oz) Hershey’s milk chocolate bars

4 graham crackers (full size, you know as big as the Hershey bar)

1 (7 oz.) jar of Marshmallow Creme/Fluff

Mix up your brownie mix according to package direction and pour mix into a 9 x 13 pan. The Betty Crocker one says to put it in the 9 x 13 pan with the bottom sprayed with cooking spray. (the next batch I make, I'm going to line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to make it easier to cut and remove the brownies).Then bake according to the package directions. When done, let cool for 5 minutes. Then drop spoonfuls of the marshmallow creme/fluff down the center of the pan of brownies. Then let sit for a few minutes. The warm brownies will help the marshmallow spread out over the top of the brownies. You can gently use a knife to help it go to the corners if needed. Then chop up your graham crackers and chocolate and sprinkle on top of the marshmallow layer. Allow to cool and enjoy! 

I found the longer you can make yourself wait before cutting into the brownies, the easier they are to remove, but hey, I wasn't complaining about eating the crumbled warm ones I tried to remove shortly after they were done.  Someone has to make those sacrifices in a relationship.

Monday, August 02, 2010


We're finally home, and let the spoiling begin.  Exhibit #1
I have three more days to spoil him until he returns to the truck and takes on another trainee and I stay behind at home.  I have some projects I want to work on,  and I'm hoping Craig gets matched up with a good trainee.  I'll be sure to keep you all updated on the going ons at the house and out on the road.  Now it's time for me to start planning what my next culinary delight will be for my sweetie.


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