The countdown has begun…

to Christmas. We have finished with the Thanksgiving holiday, and we’re back to work as of today. We were supposed to come back to work yesterday, but there were some things that we just needed to do that we could only do on a weekday.

We had purchased a piece of culvert pipe for our land that DH wanted to get put in this weekend, but it was just tooooooo cold and the ground was mostly too frozen. On Friday we had gotten about 4 inches of snow and the temps didn’t get above 30 degrees for most of the weekend. My dad said that he would help him do it, and we have a couple of friends that would have helped, but it just isn’t happening, at least not yet.

Thanksgiving this year was a little different. We went to my parents house, which isn’t unusual, but DH and I did the turkey this year, which is unusual. I had read on The Pioneer Woman about brining a turkey, so I asked if we could and my mom said sure. We went shopping in Phoenix and found the ingredients that we needed to do the brining (thank you Williams Sonoma) and got the brining bags and the brining mix, although DH and my dad said it looked like we were soaking the turkey in creek water.  It was probably the best turkey that we have ever had…it was moist and flavorful, but not salty at all.

Something else that was unusual was that my cousin, who I haven’t seen in probably 20 years, and his family came and stayed with us.  His girlfriend has a son that is about the same age as DS and they had a great time playing outside, shooting arrows, sneaking up on deer, climbing rocks, and all things that young boys are wont to do.  They had a lot of the same interests and likes, so they were pretty compatible.  It was kind of cool to see my cousin, and we’ll probably be able to see him a little more often now that I know where he lives, and the fact that he and DH do the same kind of work, so they have something in common.  It also helps that they live within a few minutes of a truck stop that we all know the location of and we can meet them there on occasion.   Anyway, it was nice to see him and get to meet his family. Continue reading

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In Seattle

and surprise of all surprises, it’s raining. I was informed this evening that it only does that from November to February, but isn’t that enough? It’s a real pain in the backside when you have to untarp a load when it’s raining. You get soaking wet, the straps are wet, your hands and gloves get soaked and I personally believe that is miserable. But Arizona, here we come.

We are really trying to stay on this side of the Mississippi so that we can go to Colorado for Thanksgiving. My mom said she invited a cousin to come to Thanksgiving that I probably haven’t seen in 20 years, so that should be cool. DH also talked to my Dad about putting the culvert in on our land while we’re there. Progress, progress, progress. I can’t wait until I am able to get up in the morning and get a cup of tea and sit out on the porch and see these mountains:Sangres

This is the view that will be out the back door of our house, and out my picture window above the sink,  at least that is the plan when it’s built.
Continue reading

Running around the Midwest

It looked like we might be running around the Midwest, at least until Thanksgiving. But then we made a delivery in Colorado and were offered a trip to Seattle and I took it. We only had to go 3 miles to pick it up and then it was a 1300 mile trip to Seattle and we had all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday to get there. The only problem was that I took it before I had DH check his log book. He has just enough hours to get to Seattle by the time that we are supposed to deliver. Oh well, it’s a decent trip and we haven’t been to the Northwest in a while, and it gives us a chance to shop at a decent grocery store for the necessities of life…fruit, cheese, yogurt, etc.

I have been working on a sweater for our dog. I found a pattern on the internet that was supposed to be custom generated for your dog. You measure what they tell you, and then you press send and it comes back with a pattern for you to knit a sweater for your dog. The link for the pattern is here. It comes out with a pretty cool little dog sweater, but I don’t know if I plugged in the wrong numbers or what, but the sweater is about 3″ too big around for out dog, so the sweater is going to go to my mom’s dog when we go there for Thanksgiving. It should fit him admirably and I know to make the one for our dog not quite so big around. Besides that, the one I am finishing is done in blue, and I think our dog needs a red one to match our “Big Red Truck”. Continue reading

Come along with me

on a trip across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. We had to make a delivery in Portsmouth, VA on Halloween, and then go to New Jersey and New York to make deliveries. So in the interest of blog fodder, and the fact that it would only cost $5.00 more to go across the bridge/tunnel, DH decided that we could go that way so that y’all would have an interesting blog post for the 1st day of November.

This first picture is the official start and the place where they want money to allow you the privilege of driving out to the middle of the Chesapeake Bay and disappearing for several miles in a tunnel that is actually below the commercial shipping channel of the bay. If you were privileged to go through the first toll booth of the east bound lanes, you would have gotten to give your money to this little lady. She was all decked out in the spirit of Halloween. As you can see, she has her festive orange ghosty/Boo bucket hat on. To further the ensemble, she has added several strands of shiny purple and black garland with orange pumpkins as a necklace. She has completed the outfit with and orange T-shirt with black undersleeves and, though you can’t see them, a pair of black pants. Quite festive, if I do say so.

As you leave the toll booth, you are greeted by a bridge that seemingly stretches on into eternity. But let me tell you right here and now, it does not. Oh no….you go out a little island and enter the area of the tunnel. Here is a picture, stolen directly from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Website (because I can’t fly), that shows how you go out on a bridge and the shipping channel passes over you while you are down under the water in a 1 mile long tunnel (both are approximately the same length). On the first nice little island that you come to, there is a rest area, a fishing pier, and a restaurant. You can go out there and watch the ship traffic go by, cast a worm or other fish enticing delicacy, and grab a bite to eat, all in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. How cool is that. Not that we were able to do that, cuz you know, no truck parking. But we could have, theoretically.

The first tunnel, the Thimble Shoal Channel Tunnel, was reached after crossing approximately 6 miles of bridge. It was 1 mile in length and this is the approach. Here we are actually in the tunnel and here is the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel”.We did this twice, the second tunnel is called the Chesapeake Channel Tunnel as evidenced by this picture. We saw quite a few ships, both coming and going down the bay and back into the ocean. Probably the coolest photo I took was after coming out of the first tunnel and looking back in the mirror to see the shipping channel we had just come under. One of the ships had been getting ready to cross over the channel as we were coming across the first bridge. We watched him getting closer and closer and then figured that he would be gone when we came out of the tunnel. In reality I got this really cool picture, taken in the passenger side mirror of him getting ready to cross over the tunnel. Isn’t that a cool picture? I made it bigger, because the small size just didn’t do it justice.

From shore to shore, we traveled 17.6 miles on bridges and in the tunnels. If you add in the approaches to the tolls and everything, it is 23 miles long and from toll booth to toll booth, it is 20 miles long. The north bound lanes were completed in 1964 and the south bound lanes were completed in 1999. The north bound took 42 months to complete and the south, without having to dig any tunnels, only bridges, took 46 months. The original north bound side cost $200 million dollars and included the cost of doing the tunnels. The south bound side cost $250 million. The water ranges in depth from 25′ to 100′. One of the interesting things is that neither the north bound or south bound was paid for with any tax dollars. The first was funded by revenue bonds and the second was funded by revenue from the tolls and revenue bonds. The bridge/tunnel connects Virginia Beach with the DelMarVa peninsula and saves 95 miles to points above Delaware. All of these facts were stolen from the facts page of the official website of the CBBT.

As you cross the final bridge, you come on shore in the Eastern Shore of Virginia. You get to see all of the things that you typically think of at the shore, but what is cool is that it’s surrounded by water. On the east is the Atlantic Ocean and on the west is the Chesapeake Bay. To the east is this lighthouse that you see for miles and miles as you are crossing the final bridge.
As you head up US 13 onto the eastern shore, you see several of these little gems where you can pick up anything from soup to nuts and everything in between. There are many of them and they all have in common the bright yellow paint and the gaudy signs. some of them advertise more food and less fireworks, but they are all pretty much the same and all are tourist traps for the shore vacationers.

There are all kinds of neat houses in Virginia, and the eastern shore is no exception. I am really drawn to the low country style of house and also to the Federal style of house. I took some pictures of houses:
I love these big old houses with the huge porches. I wouldn’t want to have to clean any one of them, but I can admire them and wish that when we win the lottery, I will buy one so that I can have a house at the shore, although I think I want something a little smaller.

We tried to stop and have some seafood; Maryland crab cakes sounded really good; but there is just no place for a truck to park that might have some decent food. We stopped at a little truck stop and had some decent spaghetti, which was okay.

We drove up to New Jersey last night and parked at the customer that we were delivering to and this morning I called a friend of ours that we haven’t seen in several years because we were 2 blocks from her house. I chatted with her for a while and then she kindly brought us some coffee and said that she wasn’t going to let us get away without coming the two blocks to see us. Her first comment when she answered the phone was not Hello, but “There’s no _________ way.”

We finished the trip in Binghamton, NY and saw some very pretty colors in the leaves on the hillsides.

There hasn’t been all that much knitting going on, except for the dog sweater, but that should change in a couple of days. I am trying to figure out what I want to knit next and I’m sure something will catch my attention.

Oh…when we were in Portsmouth, we called all of the kids down there and we all got together for dinner. I took the baby socks I had knit for our daughter-in-law and gave them to her at dinner. I kind of think that she liked them. In a couple of months she will have her second sonogram and will find out the sex of the baby. That will make knitting so much easier, although the colors of the yarn that I picked out for the BSJ are unisex, so I’m good there.

Until next time….sayonara!