Saturday, June 30, 2012

The summer just keeps flying by and surgery for me

I picked Erica up from church camp yesterday.  She had a blast!  After a stuffed day and a half at the camp itself, her group left for North Carolina.  The main things I heard about from there were the tubing and the whitewater rafting.  This summer was her first at one of the "traveling camps" offered by the church camp, and upon return she has her heart set on more.  Next summer, she will be old enough to be a Teen In Training.  Where she can work at the camp and earn free weeks!  She is hoping to do that to earn part of the traveling group to Canada and the traveling group to West Virginia.  I may not see as much of her as I would like next summer.  I missed her a ton for her one week this year.  I always do.  But the memories, friends and things she learns are priceless.

I had the official test today for Carpel Tunnel.  I was told I do have a severe case in my right hand.  I knew that, have know it quite awhile.  Had to finally decide to get it done.  The next step is surgery.  But since it is starting to interfere with my daily life, it is just time.  They say it is a simple surgery, I had always heard it was hard and took lots of therapy afterwords.  I will learn more, but from what they said today that isn't exactly true.  They said expect to b 3-4 weeks without full use.  I hope I can recover that fast!

My garden is looking quite good, despite the horrid hot we have been having.  And it survived the bad storms that came through last night.  The winds were very high.  Many around here are still without power 28 hours later. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It has been a busy summer!

I have had a hard time sitting down to blog!  So much going on.

Erica is leaving for church camp this coming Sunday.  She will spend two days at the main camp, then they will be traveling to North Carolina and stay at a campsite there for tons of new activities.  This was her last year to get in on this session, so she decided to try it. She will be caving, whitewater rafting and many other fun new things!  Of course this means I won't be able to send her letters this year, as it will take much longer to get them to her so I am not sure she will get them.  But I don't think she minds that part a bit.  She is so excited to be going.

The garden is doing well.  In fact we are going to have our first banana peppers tonight on our salads!  I got such a late start on it this year, that we are very late getting any produce.  But I do have baby cukes, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, squash and tomatoes.  It is hard to wait to eat them all.  I wanted to get a picture.  But it seems the camera, much like everything else around here it seems is broken.  Why do these things always come in waves?  Everything will of course get fixed, but not all at once.  I do hear the chainsaw running, that is a very good thing, Zach has been working on it since it broke down in the middle of a job a couple weeks ago.  Not sure it is fixed, but hearing it running at all means he is getting closer as it wouldn't run at all before!

Beloved is driving again today as usual.  We sure miss him since he is never home.  We are glad the one day a week we get him.  The way things worked out, we had him two full days this last weekend.  It was great to have him home on Father's day.  We rarely get him home for two days in the same week, but his restart hours demanded it this time due to his hours last week.  I didn't complain a bit!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Product Review Time

It is time for me to share another Bzz report with you!  In a previous post I did a Bzz report for BZZ agent and it is time again.  If you haven't checked them out you should!  I get to try products and be honest about my feelings with everyone I know.  I don't advertise, meaning I don't say I love a product if I don't.  I am asked to be honest and if I hate it, I say so just as if I love it.  The either send me product, or coupons for free product and ask me to try them and share!

Today the product I am talking about is Private Selection brand ground beef, chips and ice cream.  The ground beef was great, and they have all the same different grades as any other brand.  You can get ground chuck, ground sirloin etc.  The beef was great!  We also tried some chips.  They were the salt and pepper flavor.  They got mixed reviews here.  The kids loved them.  Beloved thought they were way to thick.  I would like to have tried a different flavor I just don't love pepper enough to eat it on chips.  Come to think of it, I only barely like it enough to use it in cooking lol.  The ice cream, is a total mixed review here.  In one way we loved it, it was LOADED with pecans.  Gotta love a product with nuts where you can actually find the nuts, and this ice cream had that going on!  The thing I didn't like, was that it seemed to be so "airy" I am not huge on ice cream that tastes like it is made of whipped air.  In that regard, I thought it tasted like very cheap generic ice cream.

Anyway that is my Bzzreport for this time, I hope it is helpful for those of you with a Kroger nearby!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

More Driver Education

Since the day Beloved started trucking for a living, I have tried to educate with this blog.  The main reason being, we just don't know.  Before Beloved started driving a truck, I had no idea how complicated it was(is) and how little things that we all do in our four wheelers (cars and trucks) will not only make the life of a trucker easier, but the roads safer.  I have tried to do this in little posts here and there, so today's post is something else I have learned that I would have never thought of!

I know I have said here before that most trucks are "governed", meaning they have a set top speed.  This is for several reasons.  Trucking companies do it to try to hit top fuel efficiency, to cut back on tickets, to save on insurance premiums and I am sure there are many other reasons.  The problem is, this is a double edge sword.  There are times when it makes a truck very slow.  When a truck is going up a tall hill or mountain, the power is still governed.  That means the driver has no more power to pull from, the engine is putting out the max it has been allowed.  This can cause problems.  Many times, the drivers will get in the lane with the least traffic to try to get up to full speed when they know a huge hill is coming.  By getting up to full speed, they will still be crawling at the top of the hill.  If they do not get up full speed, and they miss a gear or somehow don't shift right going up the hill, the load can actually start to pull them in reverse!  So next time you are coming up on a huge hill, and a truck is in the far left lane not going as fast as you would like, please try to understand that very soon they will be in the far right lane with their flashers on barely moving and hoping to get to the crest of the hill!

HOWEVER....  The problems do not go away at the crest of that hill!  They can get bigger.  This is where you really want to try again to move out from in front of the big truck!  That truck's brakes are run on air.  Many people don't understand this, the air does not close (or apply) the brakes.  The air keeps the brakes open.  Going down a big hill, if the driver uses the brakes to much he will run out of air and the brakes will lock up putting him in a skid.  There is nothing he can do about this, except to not over apply the brakes and therefore not run out of air.  But if someone is in front of him riding the brakes all the way down what is he to do?  He will try to change lanes, but that isn't always possible people won't let him in at all times.

Why do I continue these posts?  I do it because I know that before my Beloved started driving a big rig, I had no idea of most of these things.  I think that most people don't share the road with Big Rigs well, because they don't understand how!  I hope through the posts here, I can share what I have learned.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Still learning about soap, work in the garden, trucking news

So today I looked at my first batch of soap again.  It has been maybe three weeks since I made it.  It is solid, but still softer than I would like to see.  The harder it is, the longer it will last.  I am a little worried about my ratio of solid fats to liquid.  But I will let it harden another three weeks or so.  I am working on another recipe.  This first recipe has nothing in it for dyes.  The next one I am going to experiment with some natural dyes.  I will be using herbs to dye.  I want the recipes to be all natural.  I am hoping to make a good body bar and a good shampoo bar.  I also want the shampoo bar to be a nice conditioner if possible.  I am still researching all these things.   If I get to where I am happy with the end product, I plan to use them as gifts and maybe at some point sell them.  Above that though, I hope to solve my own skin issues.  I am on medications yet again due to my rash.  The third time in a year I have a rash that neither I nor my doctors can answer for.  I can tell you it is itchy, painful and leaves scars.  I am trying to mix my own personal body bar that cuts my skin issues.  I have yet to be able to try even my first batch, as it is still hardening, but I know that less chemicals can't hurt, and I can pronounce everything in my bars.

Today, we also put straw on the garden.  The garden is planted and mostly coming up now.  We picked up straw to cut the weeds down.  It is about 3" thick in most of the garden, except where I still have things waiting to come up.  There, instead of putting thick "flakes" of straw, I spread it over more.  But I have another bale left to fill in where needed.  This is the first year I have put the straw in the garden.  Every year I have fought weeds and this is a new trial for us.  I know it will hold moisture, I hope it will cut my weeds way down, and it can be tilled in next year to mulch the soil. 

Today Beloved and I went to move some stuff from his truck into the one he will be using this week.  His is in the shop.  He put it in Friday, hoping for a quick fix on his fifth wheel.  Turns out they have to order parts, and it isn't safe to drive it without the parts.  He had issues with it last week and would not use it again until they checked it.  He was hoping for a quick fix, but since the parts have to be ordered it will be at least a few days.  So he is giving up his comforts, his fridge and microwave, his TV and his food storage.  Looks like a week of sandwiches for him.  We had to move some things, his electric cooler, his GPS;s, his Sat. Radio and his bedding.  I hate him being out of his truck, but safety has to come first.  When your vehicle weighs 80,000 pounds, you can't take chances.  On the other hand, we met one of his co-workers.  Beloved doesn't know a lot of them, since they all come and go at different times.  But we met another one today.  She is sweet as pie, and has only been driving a few months.  She got her CDL after her beloved's job left the country and he couldn't find work.  Before that, she was a SAHM, and they traded roles.  It was nice to meet her and hear how it is from the mother being gone side of things.  One thing I have really learned is great respect for the people how make goods move in our country.  This country would stand still if not for our truck drivers!  It is easy to think that things are flown.  We look at companies such as DHL and UPS and we think they fly much of what we ship.  The truth is, they have drivers like my hubby who move most of the stuff across country.  They fly far less than we think!  I really thought they flew more of it, until my Beloved started picking up at one airport and delivering across country to another.  I am amazed at the amount of goods shipped "overnight" are shipped by truck!  I really thought they were all done by plane.

Erica worked on her bike today.  She has more trouble with her bike.  She has a very good bike, a Schwinn.  They are awesome about replacing parts, but she has needed so many!  And the one she needed now was one that she lost because it was off for replacement.  Well today we were at a garage sale where they had a Schwinn for $10.  Almost the same as hers but older, as these peoples kids had moved out and they were clearing out the garage.  So we bought it for Erica.  She has her bike almost fixed.  Her brother is going to help her finish it, but he hasn't been feeling so well, he is down with allergies.  She is however learning a lot in the process.  Tonight she did all the work with a little guidance from her brother.  We have told him not to do it for her, but to teach her.  She is learning a lot.  She already checks the oil and washer fluid in Beloved's semi.  And she hooks and unhooks his trailers for him when she goes to drop off and pick up.  She loves to help with those things!  I just hope she wants to do these things to her car when she gets one!