Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Salad Life

At my age, I am noticing things.  Things that I haven't really seen before.  Things like...  the wrinkles that reside above my kneecaps, how my cheeks seem to be a little lower on my face than they were a few years ago, and the extra skin that seems to have taken up residence on the backs of my arms.  None of these are particularly all.  But they are there and they aren't welcome.  

Another thing I noticed...  my clothes shrinking. Rather, my expanding waistline that never did that before.  Ugh.  

I used to be able to eat anything and everything and never had to worry about fitting into my regular size.  That has apparently changed.  

Here is my new bestie:

A week in...  This is all I have eaten (low-fat croutons, by the way).  Let's see how this works out. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Maiden Voyage

And the truck is on the road....FINALLY!!!  I was starting to think it was never going to happen...that we would have this rather large, red beast sitting in our driveway (testing the patience of the neighbors, taunting them and telling them "go the big, bad, POA) for the rest of time.  

Oddly enough, just when I had started to give up the faith, a load.  Thank you, Trucking Gods!

I was ecstatic, as was my sweet Driver.  Finally, forward motion and money coming in, rather than going out.  Let's just say that we have launched some seriously high-dollar checks into businesses like the Peterbilt, the graphics guy, Thermo-King....  you name it.  If it has anything to do with trucking, it has received a lofty payment from our account.  

So off he goes in all his red glory...  and then the shit hits the fan.  He got a load, but it didn't exactly come from the guy who was supposed to find him a trailer 30 hours ago... and that guy didn't know jack about it.  He calls with information about a trailer that is God knows how many miles away (but we will pay him) and a "special project" that they want him to do.  There was no knowledge of this load that my husband had already headed out for.  Oops.  

Needless to say, this caused a bit of scattered drama and extra stress for my husband.  Since I have pulled my husband's account in the system and seen that he does have a load assigned, and that there is money on his Comdata card, the dropped ball is now between trailer-man and great-load-lady to figure out. 

So.... we are now looking at money coming in...  and I am beyond relieved to have my driveway back!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Concrete, Rock, Newspaper

Yesterday, there was this great commotion when I got out of bed.  It came from outside.  It was loud.  I heard several male voices.  I went to the front door, and what I found was a ridiculously large truck (not a real was a Ford), a utility trailer, and several pieces of heavy machinery parked in my driveway.  Four men were standing in the middle of the street, shooting the shit.  It took them just a minute to notice me, standing on my front stoop, hands on my hips, and a look that could make the Devil cringe on my face. 

Now, we have a HUGE driveway to accommodate the flow of cars to the three-car garage.  It is often used as a turnaround for the poor idiots who turned down this dead-end street expecting another way out (even though there is a sign at the beginning of the little road stating otherwise).  The driveway is often a playground for the little neighborhood animals...I mean kids...who feel the need to play outside of their own yard.  Often, you will find my dogs guarding it with fierce obedience when I get sick of neighbor dogs crapping in said driveway.  I am a fairly patient woman.

However, when four filthy men feel that it is their right to park their filthy truck, filthy trailer, and filthy (not to mention heavy) construction equipment in my driveway...  and didn't even bother to ring the bell and ask....  Well, that's when the shit hits the fan.  

I was not nice.  I don't care if anyone expects that I should be in that situation.  If you are so ignorant that you think my property is yours, you are sadly mistaken and I have a pistol in my drawer that will tell you just how mistaken you are.  I wasn't nice.  


These people who live across the street (asshole man and his very sweet wife...not sure how that one happened) spent a good chunk of money on this new driveway.  Looked pretty good when I went to bed last night, too.  The very sweet wife and I had a small conversation about why they needed it and how good it really did look.  What else was I supposed to do after taking out the trash?  Conversation with another adult isn't something that happens for me on a regular basis, so I take advantage.  

Fast-forward to this morning...  I back my car out of the garage to head to the UPS store and, when I turn to look at their very nice, new driveway....holy shit.  Right in the middle is a rather large rock...and their morning paper.  

Now, I know a little about concrete and wondered just how wet that stuff was when they poured it.  To me, it looks like it handled the newspaper just fine....but that rock.  I don't think that was a good thing.  

So...  Here I will tell you that there is a man who lives a couple houses down.  He used to be fairly harmless, sitting outside and staring at me as I mowed my lawn, looking pretty stupid in his black socks and ratty shorts.  Then, he actually found a woman willing to live with him (have no idea how that happened, either).  She came with six kids.  Six kids who have had what appears to be just enough home training to keep them from pissing themselves.  I have had several run-ins with these animals...I mean kids.  They have been caught climbing all over my husband's rig when it was parked here (which we got the law called on us for), they have been caught harassing my dogs, tormenting my dogs, teasing my dogs.  They have been caught throwing trash in my yard.  They are hellions, to put it mildly.  

That is the only place that big rock would have come from.  So now I wait.  

I wait for the asshole man to realize what has happened.  I wait for him to realize how.  And he will....  and all hell's going to break loose.  

This is the kind of bullshit that goes on every day.  And this is where the house is that I am trying to sell.  Think I will find a buyer? 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Come and go... Get used to it.

And the hubby is in Florida learning everything he needs to know.  

When we got married, he worked locally, so he was home every night.  I told him, over and over again, "Now, I'm not getting married just for you to go OTR and leave me home alone!"  Of course, I wouldn't be alone...  He has a daughter. 

And, of course, he went OTR shortly after we were married.  I have basically been the sole influence of "our" daughter for the past 9 years.  She is now as much mine as she is his.

The young lady and I managed pretty well and got into our own routine.  I am something of a perfectionist control freak, and if she wasn't before we spent all of this time together, I made her that way.  

Here's the thing...  If your husband is gone for an extended period of time (and I don't care if you talk several times a day over the telephone, ringing up bills that rival the national debt), then comes home, there is going to be friction.  I don't care if it's the one time that he doesn't rinse off the bar of soap in the shower, or if he leaves a sock by the bed...  You are bound to encounter this same feeling.  

Who is this man who thinks he can just come up in here and mess up my sink, leaving his glass on the side table, moving the lids to the coffee mugs to another drawer???  WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS???   

Of course, we always get excited when he's on his way home.  We can't wait for him to get here and we are always sad to see him go.  

BUT...  When he comes home and stays for weeks at a time...  Well, that's a whole different issue altogether.  Any other wife of a trucker is going to understand this.  Once you get used to things being a certain way, without a man around, you are just USED TO IT.  And it takes some time to get that way.  So when the man comes home and stays a while, you have to get used to that.   Then you know they are just going to leave eventually and you get to start all over.  

So now I am working on getting used to him being gone.  It's no easier than any time before, except for the fact that I know it will happen.  I know what to expect.  

Well...  most of the time.

Monday, May 27, 2013

That Wasn't Employment... That was Slavery.

Right now, at this particular moment, I am employed.  That is about to change.  

A good part of this blog may include my search for decent employment opportunities, of which there apparently are too few.  

I have worked for a certain shipping/printing company for about a month.  It took forever to get this job.  I applied and went two months with here-and-there interviews that happened sporadically and without warning.  You would have thought I was applying to be an agent for the CIA.  The guy seemed to be frazzled and in a hurry all the time.  I thought it was because he was just extremely busy.  After all, he owns two of these businesses.  Turns out, he's just an ass with a complex.

When I received the offer, I was a little surprised.  They needed a graphic designer (which I am) who was willing to help with shipping and production (which I was).  All at a whopping $12 per hour.  Now, I'm no Einstein here, but I'm pretty sure that designers make a little more than that... and that was confirmed when I learned what I was to bill clients.  

What I didn't know before I accepted the offer was that I was being hired to be abused by the owner's rather large and hateful wife and be a scapegoat and punching bag for everyone who was having a bad day.  Umm....they hired the wrong girl, let me tell ya.  I'm not the person who sits quietly while she is bitched at, thrown under the bus, fed to the wolves...  nope.

So, I'm done.

Now I just have to do something else.  Draw maybe.  Freelance design.  Something that I love, but without the worlds' biggest a-holes to suck the love out of it.  

Sadly, this kind of environment seems to be the norm in this area.  I have several friends who work for different companies that are treated much the same.  I think it might be book-worthy...combining the experiences of the "hourly worker."

Now there's a thought....   

While the Hubs is in Florida, preparing for his new Owner-Operator gig, I am stressed like never before.  Must find work.  Must make money.  God knows if this is OO thing is going to work...

Wife of a Trucker with an Artist's Perspective

So here I am.

Who am I?

I can answer that one.  I am the wife of an over-the-road truck driver.  I am a mom to our children and three dogs.  I have a comfortable home, though it isn't one of those fancy looks-like-the-CEO-of-Walmart-lives-there home.  It's nice, but not extreme.  And it is now for sale.  The reasons why will come later. 

I am also an artist.  I draw and create cool stuff on the computer.  I do a little bit of everything; knit, crochet, sew, draw portraits, draw other things, attempt to paint, make business cards and websites for people, and all sorts of other crap.  I love to do it, but it doesn't really pay the bills on it's own.  Artists really do starve, people.  Were it not for my husband, we would be living in some remote area of these Ozarks, in a camper that has the same status as my home...for sale.  We would be eating cans of pork and beans with plastic spoons that I would repeatedly wash.  Our dogs would eat whatever cute little furry animals they could find and kill, dragging them back to "camp."  Yes...  It could be like that.  Easily. 

I have had several jobs... some where I work from home, and some where I left and endured the relentless NW Arkansas traffic, bumper to bumper at rush hour, that made an eight minute trip last a good 45 minutes.  In fact, I still have a job, but that's only for the moment.  I decided that I won't be returning to that particular Hell after the holiday.  The reasons for that will also come later...and the reasons that I won't be going back are seemingly becoming more common wherever you go to work.  

You might ask yourself, "What is this leading up to?  What is her point?"  Well, I have a lot to say about a lot of things.  I prefer not to bitch and whine to people who might not care.  That's not my style.  Most people who meet me would probably think that everything is smooth like cream because I prefer to smile and keep people believing that.  Here, I can just let it all out.  Like a crazy B.  And I like that idea.  

Don't get me wrong...  I have a really good life.  I have a husband who loves me, kids who think I'm a pretty good mom, a nice home, family, and I have talent that allows me to do something that I love, even if it doesn't yet pay the bills (I'm working on that part, though).  

I am doing this because I am not the only "Trucking Widow" out there.  I am not the only mom out there.  I am not the only artist out there.  But, some of the things that happen in my life should be made into a comedy/drama, where the protagonist (being me) finally ends up winning the lottery and moving to a small tropical island and has no worries or neighbors or time away from her husband and everything is "normal" at the end, aside that she is living the dream (which we all should be) and has few worries outside of her family being happy.  

The things that I experience from day to day are not uncommon, although I sometimes have unique way of handling them.  You will learn a lot about me once I get rolling.  

I feel like we should all share.  If I can make someone laugh, or feel less alone in their experiences, or just give someone something to read that doesn't make them go to sleep, I am a happy woman.  So here I am... doing something that I think might connect with other people, make some people chuckle a bit, or just make me feel better about whatever by getting it all out of me.  

By the way,  I may not be good at this.  I may completely stink.  However, I am going to do it anyway and nobody can stop me.  This is the one thing that I can do where nobody else has any control.  And... I have to get better, right?  I mean, it could really, REALLY stink, and just start stinking less with the more I write...  So let's have a little patience and see what comes of it, okay?  I just have to try this...  

So...  Shall we begin?