Tuesday, March 25, 2014


With the best of intentions, I had promised myself and the flying lady that I would post at least once a week. I was going to post every weekend! I was!
And then we went back to work, and oh my word! I'm grateful! So very grateful, for the busiest January we've had in years! Literally, we did not stop or have a break of any sort for the first three weeks! We ran straight through the weekends. And the following three weeks were just about as extremely busy. There were a few breaks in there, but what little down time we had, I chose to spend sleeping or stealing a few private moments with my books. I apologize, but I was seriously so beyond any kind of mental creativity.

We spent those six weeks doing mostly southwest - central north runs.

A lot of time in Texas, which was warm and pleasant.
And then we'd head north. Not so warm and pleasant.

A time of two we ventured into the more southern regions, though we never got over to the east side of the Mississippi when in the south.
our company while fixing a tarp issue on the side of the road in the Arkansas Ozarks

And once or twice we ventured west, which is always pleasant, even if it's not warm.

At home, we spent three weeks recuperating. The truck had to go back to the shop. Did I ever tell you we were having problems with the rebuild? I should have reviewed my last post so I would know what I had told you already. Well, in a nut shell, the engine rebuild they did in December was leaking oil like crazy. Seriously, we were averaging about a gallon of oil every 1000 miles or so, give or take. They finally informed us that they had put the wrong kit in, and so we stuck it out the 6 weeks and then took it home to have it rebuilt again. Its been....an interesting experience....we'll leave it at that. 

But anyway, it's rebuilt, and seems to be working now. It took a week to get it back from the shop this time. That's more like it boys! And then we stuck around so Malcolm could do some things on the truck that needed attention and also get a break. 

My biggest and most exciting event of our home time was getting Reba back home. We'd delivered her to our trainer after Thanksgiving. And then with our breakdown and then leaving, we ended up leaving her there longer than the initial planned "30 days." Which, in the long run, was a good thing. She got extra work and training, which never ever hurts! It was so good to bring her home though, and she's amazing!

It feels so good to be back in the saddle, and on one of my own. For the last several years I was riding my sister-in-laws horse, which I enjoyed and appreciated, though I didn't ride often. But to finally be up on one of my own...there's just something different about it. Reba is coming 4 this spring and she's matured so well. She and Sky both grew a lot last year and I'm so pleased with how they have turned out. Reba has a really nice smooth movement, listens to her ques so well, and has the lightest mouth! I barely have to put any pressure on her at all, and she immediately turns or stops or backs.
We were so pleased with the results, that we left Sky with the trainer for a tune up training round. He was still rough around the edges and had a lot of time to lay around the pasture and forget stuff since we were gone so long last fall. So when we get home again in a few weeks, we will pick him up and I'll have two to ride. Lots of saddle time! There's some public land down the road from us that has trails on it. The neighbors ride there and have invited me to ride with them. I'm looking forward to joining them, and also to going out with Malcolm for afternoon rides together.
I also like to tease him that I need a fourth horse now, as I know Fancy will blow her top when we go out riding on Sky and Reba and leave her alone. She needs a friend. ;)
We left back for work last Monday and have been running our wheels off! We loaded in Alabama and headed to Wisconsin and have kind of been sticking around the area between Wisconsin and Ohio. We went back and forth through Chicago enough to last a lifetime. I'm done and completely over that city, as if I wasn't already before! Nothing personal, Chicago, but your traffic stresses me out. And it's really not you car drivers. Its the other trucks! They crowd me and zoom past and since I'm the only one on the face of the Chicago side of the earth driving even remotely close to the speed limit, it makes me unpopular with the other truckers and....well....I don't like driving around in the Chicago area.
From Wednesday morning till Saturday morning we rolled, the truck never stopping for more than 2 hours. It was magic! It was like a team is supposed to work! It was exhausting!
So, though it greatly bugged Malcolm and drove him nuts, I was not that upset that we didn't get a weekend load. We sat in Ohio from Saturday mid-day till Monday morning. And the whole time I kept thinking I really need to blog! But....I was held captive by a good book that I just couldn't put down. That, and being tired from last week really sapped the creative writing juices.

Monday we were sent to Cleveland, OH. That was an experience. We were loading deicing salt, and the only way to get to the load, from our location, was to plow through the middle of it all.

It was the sort of thing where we would normally be questioning if we were allowed to be there, if we had made a mistake, except that it was exactly the way the shippers recorded directions told us to come in. And so we did. 
The shipper was actually located near the lake, and was a huge facility. It just seems there would be an easier way to get there, than nearly touring downtown Cleveland, OH!

We got our salt loaded, and made yet another trip through Chicago to the north end of the endless urban spread. We're in Libertyville, and just unloaded here at the DOT yard.

We are waiting for the next load. It's in the works. It sounds like we are heading to Montana, and we are both relieved. These last loads were good money and we stayed busy, but we have had our fill of urban trucking! It's time to get west where we can breath and roll with ease! And best of all, not pay tolls! Tolls cost us over $400.00 in the last weeks time!
Our intentions are to work another three weeks, go home and pick up Sky and take care of a few things, just a short break or a week, then work another 6 weeks, at which time we should be getting home in time for the first cutting of hay. When we left last Monday, the daffodils were blooming, the lilies and iris were about 4-5 inches tall, and the red bud trees were starting to show signs of Spring. 

I bet when we get back, there will be baby leaves and flowers, and the grass will be in strong enough that we won't have to put out more hay! I'm glad. I'm ready for warmer weather and outdoor time!

So what have you been up to these past weeks?