Saturday, March 31, 2012

Trucker Steve tells us the hardest part of a truckers job

Trucker Steve talks But he also speaks the truth! America NEEDS truck drivers. More Trucker Steve to come, and I thank him for posting his videos. He is showing America what truck drivers really do and what the families really endure. I NEVER appreciated truck drivers before my hubby became one. I just didn't know and understand what they endured. I guess I thought they all just went somewhere close and dropped the trailer and someone else picked it up. That is so not true!!!!! Even when places have "local" drivers. The company Beloved works for has a few "local drivers" however they can't do much. The OTR (Over the Road) drivers count on them so that they can bring in a load late at night, and the local guys who deliver in a 150 radius can deliver the next day. However now they are short on "local drivers". That means that where the OTR (Over The Road) drivers would come in and drop a load for a local person to deliver 100 miles away so the OTR drivers could have a night at home..... Well that is not happening!!! Now the OTR drivers are not getting home, delivering and going right back out without ever seeing home! I thank Trucker Steve, and will be using more of his videos here. I thank him for showing how it really is. It is just flakes, not frosted flakes! In trucking, there are no tears and no frosting!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A new canning challenge

I have canned a few things for beloved to take on the road with him. We have found that pint jars are just about the right amount of a main dish. The downside? Well now he wants to know if I can do up some chicken and noodles or chicken and dumplings for him. UMM?? I have no idea. I know it seems like they wouldn't can well. I however have no clue. I guess I am going to be off researching that one! I know one can purchase canned chicken and dumplings. However, things change a lot when you tend to add a ton of chemicals to something. If anyone has ever tried it, I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Unsung American Heroes

There are many unsung Heroes. But I want to talk about one group. There is a very large group of them. Men and women who we seldom notice, and when we do, well we are usually not very nice to them. We seem to have a strange stereotype that these heroes are uneducated, lazy, dumb, dirty, rude and many other ideas that are so far from true.

But lets look at the truth shall we? Would you hire a stupid, lazy, rude, uneducated person as the first line of Public Relations for your company? NO?? Either would I!! Either would countless companies across America!

Who are these Heroes I speak of? Not ones you would think of I am sure! They are the people who make sure we all have what we need daily. You need fuel for your car? You need groceries? What about when you have things to get rid of? What happens to those things? If you use any goods in America, you my friends have these heroes to thank!

The Hero I speak of, is the American truck driver. Not that I want to diss any in any other country, but I don't know about other countries on this topic, I only know about America! Readers in other countries (and I know I have at least two lol) may want to chime in!

The American truck driver though is educated. They HAVE to go to school. They not only have to learn to drive these rigs, that drive NOTHING like anything most of us drive (if you know how to drive a stick shift, you actually have even more to learn to learn to drive one of these bad boys!). They have to be able to read, write, do some pretty wicked math, one mistake is a HUGE fine. In fact, one mistake can cost over $1000 in fines, cost more money because you are placed Out Of Service (no drive no pay), and in some cases, cost your license costing you your job!

The American truck driver does not go to school for six weeks like some commercials would like you to believe! Those six weeks just get you a license. They teach you to the test. The do NOT teach things like sliding tandems. Don't know what those are? Your truck driver does! They don't teach all the laws, that change constantly, and can vary by state. Do YOU know 10,20 or 30 sets of driving laws? Has not knowing one driving law ever cost you $1500? It can for a truck driver. A math mistake of 15 minutes on a log book can cost over $1000, and ding a license, meaning a possible job loss! Truck drivers have to stay on top of all these things. They have to know to the minute what time they started driving for the day, and what time they stopped. They have to know to the minute what time they stopped for fuel and what time they were moving again! In many cases, they go through several states in a day, and have to know exactly how many miles they drove in each state. When was the last time you kept track of that on vacation?

Yes, they tend to slow us down. In some states, the speed limit for trucks is less than that of cars on highways. MANY companies have the trucks governed (mechanically fixed) to keep them below speed limits of states. This keeps the insurance down for the companies. They also slow us down because it takes them longer to get going when they take off from a light. If your vehicle was moving 80,000 pounds, how long would it take you to get moving? I know LOL it wouldn't but think about it next time you are honking! And don't be fooled thinking that because that rig has no trailer that it should take off faster. It is actually harder for them to take off when they are without trailer (known as "bob-tailing").

Then there are the constant safety issues. How many times on the highway have you changed lanes and sped up to get around that semi truck? Lots I bet! We all have. And you know what?? There isn't a thing wrong with it! The drivers understand. But how many of those times did you then change lanes again once around that rig and slow down? Not sure?? Well MANY people do this, they think nothing of it. Ever try to stop 80,000 pounds? Well it isn't easy, and it can't be done quickly. The driver you are passing wants to live just as badly as you do! Please if you pass, do NOT slow down once you get ahead and get in front! It could kill you, the truck driver and others. The driver will do all he can to avoid you, but he only has so much control and if he looses it, well that rig can go all over the place.

Then there is the vocabulary. We all have it with our jobs. So if you have ever been bob-tailing on the flip flop in the hammer lane with a seat cover when a DOT bear was hungry and looking for a trough that wasn't A choke and puke, after he dealt with a tired slip seating tanker yanker who was mad at a rookie yard ape and you were a lollypop away from home yanked you at a chicken coop.... Well if you know what I just said, you my friend understand this misunderstood American Hero! And if you have no clue what I just said.... Well I wouldn't expect you to! It is trucker speak!

Allow me to translate! If you have ever been driving a tractor with no trailer in the fast lane on the way home with a passenger when a Dept. Of Transportation police officer was hungry and looking for a buffet that wasn't a place you really shouldn't be eating at, after he dealt with a truck driver who shares a rig pulling tankers and was mad at a new guy who moves trucks in a truck yard when you were a mile marker away from home and got checked out at a weigh scale.....

Folks they are heroes. They miss their families, they miss special days with their families. They sleep in a shaking, rattling noisy truck getting woke up by forklifts loading and unloading and then beating on the door asking them to leave the dock because this after all "isn't a truck stop", even though he/she is out of hours and it is the middle of the night after a 14 hour work day. They have sore legs and backs from shifting and seats that bump up and down all day. They have tired eyes from endless miles. They have tired minds from demanding dispatchers, brokers, spouses, children, truck loaders, lumpers (oops new word for another day!). They probably paid $15 for a shower last night in a truck stop. So please, just toss a little respect! Give a smile, maybe a wave. And PLEASE give a little extra space, we all want to be safe and our families to be also.

And if you enjoyed the little language lesson let me know! There is plenty more where that came from!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Being a Help Meet

I have been blessed to read Created To Be a Help Meet. I am going to order my husband the book Created To Need A Help Meet. Many people, even Christians don't really understand what it means to be a wife or a husband. But we are given roles by God in the Bible. We as women are taught to be independent or self sufficient. My son brought his newest girlfriend home tonight. She announced to me she is "independent". In some ways, I was happy to hear that. She is young and I hope she never marries because she needs a man. In other ways, I hated to hear it. Our girls need to learn it is ok to be dependent on a man, the right man. We as women need to learn to let our men lead. The fact we don't trust them, shows a lot of things. For one, our men and women have gotten away from God. Why don't we as women trust them? Simple!!! Our men are not raised by the hand of God. If they were, we would be able to trust them completely. Who is to blame for that??? WE are as women. WE have not raised our men to be followers of God!

When our men are followers of God, they are husbands, fathers, providers. That allows us as wives to stand behind them and support them. It also allows us to be true keepers of the home and work with the resources our husbands provide without having to go out and find more. A true help meet, works with what our husband provides and makes it work! She also NEVER questions her husband when push comes to shove, but lifts him up! I have taken so much flack for this in my life! But I can tell you, and promise you that it has not led me wrong to totally and completely trust my husband!

Yes, my first marriage was horrible. But I was not equally yoked. I jumped into that marriage. I went for the first man who I thought really loved me. I learned that love does not equal beatings. I learned that the father who I loved and admired was a good man, but not a good example of a husband!

As women, we are NOT weak if we allow our men to lead. In fact, we are strong if we trust our men to lead and guide us. I urge you to read the books mentioned above! We as spouses and parents have a ton to learn!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

When it rains, it pours

As if the car breaking down wasn't bad enough, so did my upright freezer! So now I am smoking meat for the weak, cooking sausage to can, make breakfast casserole, and to make chili to can. Other than that, well I will figure it out tomorrow. It is late!

Erica came in very late tonight after going with the youth group to a concert in Cincinnati of several Christian bands. She loves music and it was her first concert. She wanted a T-shirt, but being frugal as her mother is, she was not about to pay $20 for one! It is so funny when we give our children chances to earn money, and give them choices in how they spend it, how frugal they can be! Erica earns much of her own money. She mows lawns and shovels snow (none of that this year), cleans her daddy's semi, and any other odd jobs she can find. She also gets a very small allowance of $3 a week. I paid for her concert ticket, and gave her money for a snack/drink and told her anything above that came from her money. They were going to grab some McDonald's after the concert, but couldn't find one open. I had a very hard time turning her loose for this. But she was with the youth group, that made it much easier.

We also started some painting and repairs on the shed this weekend. That project has stopped. The shed is not a high priority right now. However when it gets put back up, I have help. Erica loves to paint and has been an awesome helper! I am sure she will be asking me to move it up on the list before I am ready.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A great day with beloved!

Beloved took off work today due to a dental appointment. I set it for late afternoon, and his dispatcher decided to just have him deliver his OTR load yesterday instead of dropping it for a local driver and do some local runs for the day and give him the day off today. So we had the day together. We did have to go to the shop to get his check, and check on his truck that he had red tagged for the shop. They may not have gotten to it today, in that case he has to deal with it tomorrow, so he can leave on Sunday. But we had a nice day together and went out to dinner together. The down side, there always is one right? Well my car sprung a transmission leak. We were able to get it home. And I am lucky enough to have a son who for some odd reason just enjoys working on vehicles. So he looked at it and thinks it is the seal. He thinks we can fix it for $100 including going ahead and dropping the pan and changing the filter since we have to replace all the fluid anyway. The bad part, well moving a transmission is never easy. But since Zach seems happy to tackle it, well I will pay him and a friend to do it if they want. It will be far cheaper than shop labor and he just wants to. I can't complain much. I have not had to put to much money into my car. It has done me very well since I bought it used. I still like it and plan to drive it into the ground lol.

On another front, I am enjoying my birthday gift. Beloved bought me a satellite radio that will work for home or car. I really thought it would be a waste. He loves the one I bought him for his Over The Road driving. He thought I would like one, because where we give I can't really get many channels in the house. I thought it would be a waste, but I have fallen in love with it. I hate to say that since it isn't exactly frugal. But it is cheaper than the cable we gave up. And I don't miss cable much, and this will fill in the gaps for me. I love that I can run it through my TVS anywhere in the house. So a TV I don't use much is going to be useful just for the speakers LOL. Seems silly I know, to be running a TV to listen to the radio. But I love the news channels and religious channels I get. Beloved just loves his sports channels lol.

Monday, March 12, 2012

27 times an hour

I guess that is what Fibromyalgia looks like. My sleep study shows I "wake" 27 times an hour. About every two minutes! Of course I don't know I wake up that often, because it isn't a you pop up and look around and check the clock type of waking. Just the type that keeps one from hitting a sleep cycle. So I never hit the true "REM" sleep that is required. So where does one go from there? Good question! The sleep specialist said since I don't have sleep apnea (umm, I told him that!), well he can't help me. It is a pain issue (told him that also). So now I have to try to get my Primary care doctor to send me to a pain specialist. My therapist sent me to a doctor who sent me to this doctor, but it has to be my primary who sends me to a pain specialist. He doesn't believe in Fibro. Hopefully he believes in sleep studies that show one doesn't sleep! That night of sleep study was AFTER two sleeping pills! My first sleep study, I didn't take them, and slept less than one hour all night, so the study was no good. One has to sleep at least 2.5 hours in a 6 hour study to make the results "good". Wondering how I hit that waking so often lol. So I could use your prayers. Prayers that after yet another doctor, I begin to find some end to my suffering. Pain, lack of sleep, depression and PTSD are a horrible combination! I really have to wonder if they are all tied together. But no one can say for sure. In the meantime, I have yet another prescription. I hate that, I have lost count of how many that makes. My dream right now is to be able to find a doctor who can get down my number of medications. I mentioned it to my Pharmacist today. Even he agreed that I was on a lot, perhaps to many. I feel for him keeping watch on the cocktail, though he does a good job of it. I love my little mom and pop pharmacy. Something to be said for when they know you when you drive in and bring your meds without asking your name. And when you can say "can I ask you about suchandsuch med?" and he says, sure but you have had it for awhile. I am beginning to think my Pharmacist is more important than my doctors, because he keeps track of my doctors!

The Shunning and GCB, Simple living

We watched The Shunning at church tonight for our evening service. They are trying to do a movie night once a month. It was a good movie. I did loose a few tears. I didn't love the ending. But in the end there were some good things.

There are a lot of Amish in this area. I have learned a lot about them. I love their love for God. And unlike many, I understand why they try so hard to protect their children from "The English". Many things we have, such as TV can bring sin into the home. In fact, many of the things in our lives are pushing us away from God. The newest TV show for one. GCB. Good Christian Bit****. Really? Do we need yet another TV show making a mockery of Christianity? Making a mockery of wives and husbands fulfilling their roles as God intended? We have given up cable, but this is a network show. One that will not been watched in my house. NOTHING that makes a mockery of God will be seen in my house.

I am not saying I would find the Amish life easy. I am sure I wouldn't. But I think I may find it easier than being judged by the GCB women I know and live around! My last job was testament to that! A bunch of people who want to say they are "Christian" who want to mock people who live a Christian life. That my friends is the story of GCB. Those are the women that judge us! They turn up their noses at those of us who choose to live more simple lives, because they KNOW we are leading by example. GOD'S example!

In the movie, the Amish girl went into town. Everyone stared and snickered. She felt good when she for a few minutes tried their lives. In the end, well I won't give it away but a very wise grandmother helped her sort it out.

In the end, my grandmother had it right. "Buy, Buy, Buy". "Why does everyone need to Buy, Buy, Buy?". She asked. I didn't understand what she meant at the time. I was young enough not to get it. I do get it now. So many people think if I buy this or that, I will be happy. If I buy my children this or that, they will be happy. But that is so far from the truth!

A more simple life, buying less things. "Having to have" less things, I think that is happier! I have been trying it the last few years.

NO, I am not amish, nor will I ever be. But I try to take lessons from them. They work hard, far harder than most of us "Englishers". They have far less "free" time. Than most of us. Just as my daughter has less "free time" than some children her age. But do her schoolmates really have "free time"? I say that although she washes and hangs her own laundry, and has some other chores, she has more "free time". She isn't expected to go to practice for three or four sports a week, and the games or such that go along with it. She doesn't spend hours in the car each week getting to all those things. Her extra curricular things are manageable. One at a time. Right now, it is math club.

No, I have not watched GCB and I promise not to. I promise never to watch what I have been told makes a mockery of my God. I promise to continue raising my daughter in such a way she still has time for God, that she knows he is KING! That, is the love of a mother!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Want to do a swap?

I joined a swap on another blog. It is an apron swap. I love aprons!!! I thought I would also do one here! Just reply to this post. Give me your email addy, but spell out the dot com part. That way spammers hopefully can't get it so easy. All you have to do is be willing to make an apron to send, and get one in return! Other than that, there are no rules. You can use materials you have on hand, buy a couple yards of new material, re purpose materials (such as a skirt), but it should be a full apron with a bib and skirt. If we have a good swap, I will do another soon!!!!

I am sad

I may have to go to Kansas and help take care of MIL and FIL. The part that makes me sad, is that they are not my parents. They are my Ex husbands parents. How is it that your mother took care of you your whole life and you can't take care of her? I understand in some ways that he didn't care so much for his step-dad, but he helped raise him for a few years.

Knowing that Fil broke his hip and has pins and the day he came home MIL broke her leg in two places I would think that their children would be there for them. One seems to be mostly. The other not at all. I had to tell Beloved that I may have to leave to help them. I am so happy he gave me his blessing. I hope I don't have to go. Erica needs me here. With Beloved being gone trucking and Zach in and out. But if push comes to shove, Zach will have to step up and help out some with his sister. I can't bear to think they won't be taken care of.

I am not sure what to expect from here, if I have to go help them. I have never been in this situation before. But I will go if needed. I dread the drive more than anything. I have made the drive before of course, but not alone. Right now, I am just trying to prepare and hoping for the best, planning for the worst.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The new chore system, wonderful new friends and other musings!

First of all, I promised to update on our new chore system. So far it is working very well, and I decided to add menu plans to it. That also is a work in progress. I decided to take yet more note cards, and write the things we eat on them. Each week, I can pull those cards and place them in my daily tabs and make my menu and shopping list that way. I think it will really help me out. I was making monthly menus, but then Beloved got his trucking job and it is just hard to plan monthly now. But I can usually start on Sunday and have some idea of how the week will look. So I am tweeking this system to try to add this! I hope it works and will let you know!

I had a wonderful email today from a new reader! I always enjoy hearing from my readers, and love new friends. I feel like I really made a new friend today! The conservative Christian lifestyle is not a popular one, and it always feels great to know that you have friends on your side.

I finished a walker caddy today for my Ex FIL. He doesn't know I am sending it, but since his accident and hip surgery he is on a walker and can use it. I am glad I kept the pattern I made when I made one for my neighbor! The sad part about it is that when his wife brought him home, she was getting him settled and fell and broke her leg in two places. She is set to leave the hospital soon after surgery, but will have to go to a rehab center since she can't care for herself yet, and her Beloved sure can't do it after his hip surgery. I hate being so far away and not being able to help more. All I can really do right now, is send flowers, cards, handmade gifts and pray. That is the hard part. I want to be there to really help. FIL does have family nearby who is helping him daily, and loving people bringing him meals. I still wish I could be there. If I could get away right now, I would go visit. But on the other hand they would want to have things perfect for me and that would not be the point. The point would be me making things perfect for them. But I really can't get away right now anyway. I really need to be here for my family and be taking care of my own medical stuff. Beloved has asked me to see this through. And I intend to do it. So if you could, would you send my MIL and FIL prayers?

Beloved has had an odd week this week. I hope to have him home an extra day this weekend. However it is trucking, so we won't count on it. We thought he would be home two days last weekend. Turned out he was home less than 24 hours. Sometimes, getting home early doesn't always pay off. And apparently either does having a reputation for always being on time! He seems to be in high demand since he always has his loads delivered early, and has only been late when it was not in his control (truck breakdowns) and even then he wasn't so late that it probably mattered. I am proud of him for that. But on the other side, his phone is always ringing! I am so glad that he deals with all calls on his cell and I never have to answer it! He gets calls from Brokers and Dispatch and many times a day. I am so glad his cell is 100% tax deductible (because it is used 100% for his job). It seems that when he is home we can't get a full nights sleep due to someone with his job calling. Tonight, he couldn't get one station on his TV! That was odd. He does have an indoor antenna, but he always gets plenty of stations. Here at home, he gets almost as many as we do with the one up in the air. But tonight he is in the boonies. So he is listening to his satellite radio instead. I am so glad I got him that for Christmas!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Have you voted? Fibromyagia and sleep!

We vote here in Ohio Tuesday. Some people don't think that the primary vote is important, but it is. The primary is where we choose who will be in the end vote. If we do not vote for the primary, we have no choice in who will be in the final running. It is important. I will not say who I am voting for, because I don't want to say who I think you should be voting for. But please vote! It is the Christian vote that will save our nation! It will save our values! PLEASE VOTE!!!!

On another note, my last sleep study went well! I took my sleep aids and slept most of the night. I woke during my REM sleep. They didn't like that, but I think I always wake during my REM sleep. I hit it about the time I am due to wake DD up for school. DD gets herself ready, but I have to make sure she is up. That is my job as mom. But my bio clock says that is the time to sleep lol! I still have to go back for an appt. to see what my sleep study said. I don't think that it will solve my issues. It may be an aid to help. They were looking for certain things such as sleep apnea. I don't think I have that. But if they can rule that out, perhaps we can move on to see what the issue really is. Fibro is a touchy subject. Pain is not widely accepted as a reason to not sleep. Even when that is the reason. Even with sleep aids, they don't overrule pain and doctors need to come to understand that! Perhaps with sleep tests over and over again they will get it.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Prayers for tornado victims

I live not far from the Ohio tornadoes. I am asking for prayers for all the victims. They had told us for two days before this was coming. So I am glad we had plenty of warning. It wasn't that bad in my direct area. But just to the south of us was a lot of destruction. Also praying for the families of the students in Norther Ohio where the school shooting was. A natural disaster is bad, but when it is an intentional act, it is that much more devastating.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Funny how some things work

You know, when people who supposedly think you are to "old fashioned" or to "simple" continue to follow your blog! So to all of my Simple, homesteading blogger friends, we are making a difference! People may say they are not interested in learning. They may say there is no need to learn. But if we look at our stats, they are reading, trying to learn and keep coming back. So when they say they "don't like us" they really don't mean it. If they did, they wouldn't keep coming back! We need to keep teaching about our values, about the God we love, and they will keep learning! Christ is still the king, he is still reaching people through us. He is using us to spread his word! They will bash us, lie about us, spread rumors about us, but they keep coming back to learn about the real God that we worship, and the values that we learn from him. At the end of the day, it makes it all worth it when we know that it seems they win in some ways, yet we know that in the end God wins. They may jump up and down over small "victories". But those "victories" are not that at all. They really are losses for Satan. They are wins for God! God has the master plan! He ALWAYS wins! So today when you blog, remember that they are reading. "They" meaning the non-Christians. And when you blog, remember that YOU are reaching them! That is how we bloggers have been called to serve! God bless all the christian bloggers!!!!

A hard day

Today I got the call that my children's Grandfather had fallen and broke his hip yesterday, and had to have surgery today. Beloved did adopt the children, but their Bio grandparents are still very much in their lives, in fact Erica went to visit them last summer. This news is heartbreaking. "Grandma" beat cancer a second time recently. And now "Grandpa" broke his hip doing what he always does, doing for others. He fell and broke his hip at a neighbors house, doing for a neighbor when their dog came after him and he fell trying to get away from it. I am asking for prayers for them both in this tough time. He will miss work, most likely at least 8 weeks, and I am afraid that he will never be the same again, with the pins and all.

Tomorrow night, I have to go back to the hospital to redo the sleep study. I have the go-ahead to take my sleep aids this time, so that hopefully I will get the required amount of sleep needed for the test. Turns out, I only "slept" just over an hour last time. I really I not sure I really slept that much. But they couldn't test for the things they were really looking for. Sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome. It appears both go along with Fibromyalgia. Hoping I don't get yet another diagnosis! I would much rather them fix the issues I am having than finding more!

Yes, I am being very transparent about what I am going through with this. I am doing it for a reason. In my mind a very good reason! I know that many of us are going through this. And I know that just as many are having issues getting the medical care they need. I am fighting now for proper medical care, and will continue to. As I do fight for it, I hope that others with Fibro can also find ways to get the medical care they need. I want to share what does work for me, what doesn't work for me and together hopefully we can find ways to feel better.

Today I started working on a new chore plan in our home. The idea actually came from a fellow blogger, of course I am not using her idea exactly. I am in a way. I am using index cards. But I am using a combination of Flylady and Motivated Moms and just what needs done in our home to set the system up. It does take time to set it up! In a future post, I hope to expand on it and how it is working. Here is her idea over at Blessed Simplicity. I thank her so much for sharing it, and I hope to share how I make it work for us in the days and weeks to come, as I change it to fit our needs. It does, as she says take time to set up, and will be a work in progress for many weeks I am sure. But I hope it helps us get more organized!