Monday, February 28, 2011


It's going good... I am so pleasantly surprised.  I read on the forums about these terrible trainers and heard stories of others (including the one Gary had) and was thinking to myself - I can put up with a lot, but I won't put up with some of the stuff I heard about... I was SO determined to stand up for myself and jump the truck if need be.  No need... really nice guy.  He is having me back in and even (when we had time) practice backing just for the heck of it - LOL! I've done a couple refer sets (setting the temp) and he gets me to do the paperwork.  So nice that I'm not just a ride along and wheel holder.  He seems to be amazed that I want to work as hard as I do.  I guess he has had a few 'winner' students too.  So the road does go both ways.  I feel sorry for his gears though - LOL - I still grind them, although I am getting better and I'm not sweating the down shift like I was.  I even found a few gears without having to come to a complete stop - LOL!  Eating on the road has been a bit of a challenge... I've been getting in my morning protein shake (46gm) and using nuts as munching stuff as I'm driving.  However at the 'truck stops' there really isn't too much choice for a quick grab and go type of stuff.  Now this one that I'm at - actually had Muscle Milk... not the best, but its protein!  I have stretched my menu a bit - and paid for it!  I had a full peice of pizza - crust and all - OH THE GAS PAIN!!  I was driving and couldn't really get out and walk about - THAT wasn't too comfortable let me tell you - and my poor trainer - enclosed area w/the heater on... LOL - he probably wondered why I kept rolling down the windows in 20 degree weather.  The cab of the truck though has an insulated curtain that zips between the driving area and the sleeper - so I think he was spared the brunt of my 'attack' - at least I hope so!!  That is one thing - when driving as a team - one is driving and the other is sleeping.  So not too much interaction - about 2 - 3 hours per day really.  A bit more today - because there is a bit of time before we have to get to the next location.  He dropped me off so I could do laundry and pay bills (so here I am blogging - LOL - I get some paid!!) while he deals with a trailer wash out and getting the trailer fixed.  The chute was ripped and it was missing a mud flap.  Not sure who will get done first - then he will continue driving this evening.  OH that's another thing MY trainer is different from others (Gary's) - my trainer won't force me to do most of the night driving after my 2 weeks is up.  If needed then yes - I will drive at night - but he won't switch us up just so he drives during the day, making me drive the night shift.  Thank goodness - I'm finding it hard to figure out signs at night.  I'm just not use to the shapes and colors of the different highway signs.  He does have a GPS - and that helps - but it doesn't always tell you the right road, so I have to use common sense and I don't have much of that for truck driving yet  =D  Well my laundry should be just about done - so I will sign off for now.  I'm really looking forward to the time when I get caught back up with my husband and we are sharing this together!!  I have about 18 more days and counting!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lets see how I do...

I am typing this is a moving vehicle (the tractor) so appologies in advance for typos - LOL!  Well I started off w/my trainer yesterday.  What a pleasant surprise!!  NOTHING like Gary's trainer.  He doesn't listen to music or the radio... it is quite... he doesn't freeze me out... if he gets tired, he will get into the top bunk instead of making me move.  Yeah - I lucked out!! I feel bad (but secretly glad) that the trainer I have is treating me well, and Gary's didn't.  I already have 2 backs in (need 40+) and today I drove completely across New Mexico - Woo Hoo!!  I also figured out what I want next on our shopping list - satilite radio!! Found a station today and sang along - all day long.  It was a blast.  Trainer feels comfortable enough w/my driving that he slept for most of the day.  I'm expecting that he will drive all night - or at least a good portion of it.  So far sleeping has be 'OK'... not as sound as a bed that doesn't move, but good enough.  Last night he got tired about 2 ish (I think) and then the truck was still... so all in all a great day for me.  Now with Gary - I was fussing at him yesterday because the truck we were getting wasn't ready yet - and he was patiently waiting... well the shop guy (plus some of the other office folk) noticed that he was still there and got him a truck.  Well it turns out that its nicer than the one he originally was going to get.  Its a Kenworth 900 (not sure if that's the right number - but its a Kenworth) and it has a 13 speed.  He is so excited to get a 13 speed... and I can understand that... now that I'm driving one.  Its nice for the hills.  I do wish I had more time to continue playing on the computer - but I will have to concentrate on 'work'.  I'm sure there will be some down time - and I'll be able to play more then.  Oh I guess I should say where I am and where we are headed... started in Fontana, CA yesterday - I drove to Needles CA... woke up in Arizona... almost to the border.  Stopped at a Flying J and took a shower... that one wasn't bad - water got really hot, and the shower was clean.  Not like some of the horror stories I've heard of - but I'm sure they are out there!! I went back to driving and drove completely across New Mexico to Amoretto TX.  Not to shabby for a newbie :D

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tomorrow is the day...

Unless its not - LOL! We are going through orientation today and in the morning tomorrow... waiting for our trainers.  Some are already here, others aren't here yet.  We don't know who has their trainers here or will be waiting, so we all get to pack up - bring ALL our bags to the terminal and wait... and wait... and wait... until they say either 'here is your trainer' or 'head back to the hotel, maybe tomorrow'.  Not sure which one I'm hoping for... if I leave out tomorrow, then I'm one day closer to being w/Gary... if I leave in a day or two, I can spend more time w/Gary now.  So its a toss up... and up to God.

On another note - a family member (on Gary's side) is having surgery today, and not a minor one.  We are waiting on pins and needles to hear how they are doing... That is NOT helping the stress level.  However its small potatoes to what others are going through I'm sure.  We were hoping to hear by now - but we are still waiting - sigh... (up-date: Surgery went well - but the real test will be in 24-48 hours)

Now another thing I have in the back of my mind - will I remember everything I learned behind the wheel - I can just picture myself behind the wheel of my trainer's tractor and grinding the #### out of their gears.  Sigh... My insecurity is popping up again - LOL! 

Well I'm going to spend some time with Hubby - all my bags are packed - I'm ready to go - <singing off key> - LOL!  I will BLOG when I can - but I have a feeling it won't be as often as I would like to :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What a relief it is!!

I PASSED!!  <sigh of relief>  I was really sweating it... I SUCKED yesterday.  Stalled in an intersection, lost the gears on a hill - grinding on my down shifts... I just was so worried that I would do that today.  The instructor was cool though - made me feel at ease and it was just her and me in the cab.  No other students - no other distractions... I did it!!  I was able to 'miss' up to 40 something... I missed 18.  I feel pretty damn good about that! 

Now Gary is here in Fontana as well.  He is all done with his trainer (thank God) and has done all the upgrade testing and has a truck assigned.  It needs some front end work done on it and it should be ready on/about Wednesday.  We will need to really watch the front tires for wear - but I think the shop will do a good job (I hope).  So I will have to put up being w/Gary until I ship out w/my trainer (tough job, but I'm up to it - LOL). 

Such a weight off my shoulders - we are thinking about what to do to celebrate... Mmmm maybe Disney Land - LOL!

This is a picture of our new truck... notice the passanger side bumper - that is what will need to be repaired. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Slowly but surely...

I'm starting to see the light from this tunnel... I'm getting better, and even I can see that.  Not that I'm 'super trucker' by any stretch of the imagination - LOL - however by the end of my run today - I was actually not grinding and was able to downshift!!  Woo Hoo!!  I did all my turns (with coaching) and didn't hit a single curb <silly grin on my face>.  On my skills - my straight back, got it - my parallel park, got it - my ally dock, that one I don't always get it, but I'm close.  Even with all of this though... you know what was one of the best parts of the day?? I got to see a picture of my grandchild <mushy smile on my face> and I got to see my daughter and her husband via Skype. <warm feeling in my heart> It sure does make this distance seem smaller.  It does a mother (and father) good to see what a wonderful woman we raised.  SO PROUD of her!!  Oh here let me share my first grandchild picture ... yeah you will probably get bored with my pictures (typical grandparent) - but oh well - LOL!

Early Morning....

Sigh... another early morning... My roommate is a nice lady, but I guess I had it too cold for her last night so when she came in (I was sleeping) she turned the heat up - not just up, but all the WAY up... so I woke at 3 with a pounding headache... ARG... took some Excedrin (yes I know it has asprin in it - but I don't take it often at all) and tried to lay back down.  Now it's almost 4 and the alarm is at 5 so I figured what the heck, I'll just get up.  Plus I had the montra of tap/tap and take it out/rev it up/put it in running around in my head - LOL!  In class today we are suppose to have half a day doing skills (backing stuff) and the other half driving.  With driving we are going to head to a route that has more traffic - doing 'light anticipation'... so yeah, I need to work on my shifting because I will have control of 80K pounds of moving metal... and I want it under control at ALL times.  If I'm hunting and grinding, its not in control!! I did better yesterday than the first day - so I WILL get it.  At least that is what I tell myself.  There was a tip on of the intructors said too that I have found helpful.  Only at a stop to use the toes on the clutch, during shifting use the arch or heel of your foot.  That way even with the leg straight, the clutch break isn't engaged.  I think that helped. 

Tonight though - I need to take the time to get caught up on my 'bookkeeping'.  I have been so concentrated on schooling that I have put normal everyday stuff aside.  I don't want to get behind on that. 

Gary will hopefully upgrade soon.  I guess its the trainer that is suppose to say when he is ready to upgrade, but his trainer hasn't told anyone that yet?? Anyway - they are in SLC now and Gary typed/talked to his DM (dispatch manager) and so hopefully he will be able to upgrade SOON!! He is SO ready!!  I just hope I have a trainer that is a little more of a trainer than his was... and will have a little consideration for the guest in their truck.  Gary's has had NO consideration for his 'guest'... but that's Gary's story to tell.

Oh on the WLS front - getting into a routine to take my Vits - I'm finding to be a challenge.  I think I will try to save my iron until right before bed, because as I was taking them before I would do the iron in the morning, and then the Multi Vit/Calcium combo in afternoon and evening - well they have been ending up all in the evening and I'm not sure how well they are being absorbed so close together.  Protein wise - ehhh - doing 'ok' w/that.  2 scoops in the morning for breakfast - then some solid protein during the day - I should toss in at least another scoop in the evening just to make sure - but again its the remembering part there.  I've been so busy and the non existant cooking area has made it a challenge.  ESPECIALLY getting any veggies in... I miss my veggies!! 

Well I guess I will get dressed and around... this will give me time to have a cup of coffee or three - (one of those w/my protein in it) LOL!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Down time...

Such a nice day - beautiful (windy) weather - got in some studying w/new friends - a nice walk (needed some groceries and a new clipboard) - relaxing in front of the computer w/windows open and a nice breeze... no stress or worries today.  I'm still going to continue with some review of the PTI - 'just to make sure' - but I'm feeling more and more comfortable with it - well at least for today - LOL!  During this down time though I have time to think about the people I'm missing... Gary (he's sleeping right now - his trainer has him driving nights), Lynn and Morgan - I will probably call them later just to hear their voices, and yeah - I'm missing other folk too, but I didn't see them every day (except for the little one and family).  So its quite a transition... a good one... but different...

I must admit - its nice that the only thing I 'have' to do today is something I 'want' to do - and that is prep for tomorrow.  I don't have dishes/vacuuming, etc that has to get done - I did my laundry yesterday so even THAT is done!!  I'm glad I hooked up with a couple of nice folks though - it would be a lonely time otherwise.  Plus with us doing a 'study group' it helps enforce what we need to learn, and I can't put it off to the last minute - although I am stalling by doing my blog - LOL!

One thing I am having a hard time with today though is - munching... I'm not as busy today - so I find myself heading towards the little mini fridge.  Sure I have 'OK' stuff in there to eat - but I know its 'head hunger'.  I had a salad w/chicken for lunch... but I guess that was 3 hours ago (just now realizing what time it is) so maybe an apple w/peanut butter for snack is in order - LOL!  Not sure what I'm thinking of for dinner... but I will cross THAT bridge when I come to it...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ahhh feel better...

Careful this might be TMI for some...

Constipation - not fun!!  Since I'm not eating like I was before (veggies and other ruffage) - and am finding it hard to stay up on my water like I should - there have been (when there is something) rocks and boulders!! I finally had to take a laxitive - (took 1 pill the day before - not strong enough) took the max dose of 3 pills yesterday and FINALLY had relief!!  Of course we were on the 'range' all day and the only place 'to go' there is a blue room - but hey, I feel better - LOL!  Just thought I would share :) HYDRATION IS VERY IMPORTANT!!

Anyway - we went over and over the break test (that is the one you can NOT miss a single step on) and the PTI (pre trip inspection).  I do fine in cab, and OK with the front and engine compartment... Ok with the side of the tractor, but get me to the 5th wheel!!  I can't remember the names of things for the life of me... :( ... so guess what I will be doing on our 'day off'??  You got it studying.  We have a group of four of us that have been in this one truck working together.  So we will be getting together tomorrow as well and going over it again and again and again and again... repetition is the key to this course. WHEN (if) I pass this - THEN we will be able to actually go forward and backwards in the trucks.  You know once you are in the seat - yes it does seem bigger than a 'pick up' truck - but not MONSTEROUSLY big.  I really am beginning to think I can do this.  I am picking up the info - I am repeating it back ok... now the prayers will be that I don't freeze on Monday - and that I will be able to pick up the actual DRIVING of this thing!!

Well my roommate is with her trainer - so I have the room to myself (at least for tonight) so I'm going to take advantage of it... doing laundry now and when I'm done - going to take a bubble bath and kick back and watch TV and VEG OUT - at least until tomorrow :)

Bye for now :D

Friday, February 4, 2011

First day of training...

Well I think I did OK for a newbie... needing to remember numbers and the sequenses... so far so good.  Just wish I could do it over and over - but there are 3 others in the truck with me.  I need to let them have a chance - LOL! Two of the folks either already went through this or at least were in school before.  The third I think will need time - and I'm not sure if this school will be able to grant that time.  I will need to be able to do this on MONDAY!! ... So not much typing here - I will be typing out the 'dialoge' that I will need to say - and try to remember what to do as I say it.  It just might help me remember :D (at least I hope so!!)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mush Brain...

Man today my brain turned to mush - when I was able to work on my own, I did ok... it still took me a bit, but I got it... throw other folks in the mix - and with the distractions of some of the folks thinking this is all just one big joke - it was a bit of a frustrating experience. So right now I'm decompressing back in the motel... thinking of the mass of stuff I still need to shove in this little tiny brain of mine - scares the <_____> out of me... have you seen that list I'm going to have to memorize!!  Well its 7 pm... I can get in a couple hours of studying - or at least that's the plan right now - LOL!

On the WLS front - not eating/drinking like I did at home - things are slowing down and getting rock hard... I sure hope things start moving easier - this sucks!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day two...

This is cut and pasted from a 'Trucker's Forum' I'm on, and I'm keeping them informed as to what we are doing in 'our thread'...

Well today - Gary headed back to the yard to wait for his trainer - the trainers truck got signed off and now they have a load that picks up in Riverside and go to Bakersfield then Delano to WI... by his calculations he has about 2500 +/- miles to go until he can upgrade.  He won't be able to be on as much - because I swiped the MiFi - LOL!  Bills - ya' need it to pay bills!! Feeling sorry for him though - stuck at the yard in the trainers truck - trainer is snoring and he is board silly... sorry Honey!!

For me - practice test after practice test!!  I know why they do it that way - repetition - memorization of the answers to questions - I'm just frustrated that at time I don't know WHY I'm answering the way I am... sigh... Toward the end though I was getting 100%s on the practice tests so I feel OK heading in to the 'real' test tomorrow... just need to brush up on my C and M1 - taking those too.

Well since my 'roommate' (Gary) isn't here - getting a new roommate for tonight - what's cool is she is also on TTF!!  So I can add a new name to the bottom of my signature - Woo Hoo!! She is doing the 'orientation' now - already having done her schooling.  <color me green w/envy - LOL> Well I'm going to read a few threads, fix some dinner, read up on my M1 (they had a C study guide at school) then hit the sack... Yeah I know I won't see Klingon for almost two months now - but its for a good cause.