Thursday, December 13, 2018

Grinding Less Gears

Happy Thursday everyone!

One of my hangups what I first drove the big rig on the road was an overdose of anxiety/worry. We've all seen pictures of accidents with tractors and trailers. I know up close what can result because three of my brothers have had accidents with their rigs. So I've been a little paranoid about it. But then I happened across this tweet from Donnie Wahlberg (AKA Danny Reagan on Blue Bloods)

I'm not going to quibble on the differences between anxiety and worry. Because this tweet helped me realize that as long as I'm focusing on the moment while I'm driving the tractor and trailer, then I'm being the safest and that goes a long way!! I can't control other drivers, just myself and as long as I'm controlling my rig, then I have a better chance of being able to react safely to just about anything.

Like I told Mr. Janney the other day - "I've got my Wonder Woman panties on, so I've got this!" I have the heart and spirit of an Amazon Warrior, just not the body! Aside from Avenger's Endgame, the next Wonder Woman movie is probably my most anticipated upcoming movie that just cannot get here fast enough!

Our skills/road test is next Tuesday, and nerves aside I think Mr. Janney and I will do just fine. We have three more 'practices' before then, two on the road and one more for the range to practice our maneuvers.

Until next time - much love and be safe!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Grinding Gears

It's been a while. I feel like I've been grinding gears...I'll begin a blog post, have to save it to walk away and do something else - and then never get back to finishing it! Like this one - I don't remember when I started it...

But I'm finishing it today.

In the middle of November, Mr. Janney and I started Truck Driving School. We had two weeks of intense classroom study - intense because they're trying to shove all this information into us in a short amount of time. Their main goal is to help us pass the road test, so it's really only scratching the surface of everything we'll need to learn. Whichever company we end up driving for will have a 4-6 week training/orientation period to train us in their preferred method for things like paperwork.
what my days off have looked like...

We've both had 4 out of 11 'drives'...Mostly in their range - which is a parking lot that could stand to be a hair bigger when there are two drivers in there each trying to learn the backing maneuvers. Backing up was always my biggest weakness when I was a school bus driver years ago, and it is still my biggest weakness. I can almost hear my old boss saying 'if you have to back up, don't do it - but if you have to, picture me in the mirror scowling at you...'

It is a thousand times different in a combination vehicle because the far end of the trailer goes the opposite direction of your steering wheel. I haven't been able to wrap my head around it completely yet, but each time in the practice yard it gets a little easier. Back at that part tomorrow morning bright and early.

Last night we 'practiced' out on real roads. As my brother said on Facebook, once you're on the road, it isn't practice anymore - it's for real. The first part of the night was 'easy' enough...they have some roads that don't get a lot of travel that form a loop and they kept us on that for about an hour, though they had us switch direction in the middle of that. Then 'well, do you want to get out of here and try some real roads?'

Sure. why not?

I'm not sure exactly where I was, just that I was in Binghamton NY somewhere. The streets seemed sooooo tiny and cramped! The turns even more so. There was one time, I slid into the 'straight' have people slide into the 'left turn only' lane to pass me!!! I realize the speed limit was 30mph, but with all the traffic lights, there's no way anyone should be doing that speed through that section. Oh well, I was doing as I was supposed to and they were the ones breaking the law and putting our lives in danger.

I don't have a plan yet for how to handle my writing and blogging and the like when I'm on the road as a professional driver. It's going to be something I'm going to have to make up as I go and I hope all my fans will be patient with me as I figure things out. You've all waited so long for a new book, but I promise you that it will be worth the wait.

Going to end now so I can run through the things I need to remember for the pre-trip inspection.

Until next time, much love!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

What's the Deal?

If you follow me on either Facebook or Twitter, you may have seen my pics where I've been showing off a couple of tiara's that I bought myself. And you may be wondering...why?

The shortest answer would be: Because I wanted to. But that would hardly make much of a blog post, now would it?

They popped up on one of the shopping apps I have on my phone, and since they were cheap and I had the money, I made the purchase. I thought to myself, why not? Jo March in Little Women had her writer's cap complete with a feather in it, why can't I have a writing tiara? Especially since sparkles make me happy?

Josephine March is probably one of my favorite literary heroines. I easily identified with her growing up. We were both writers, both women who didn't fit the typical female stereotype...although I wasn't quite the tomboy Jo was, I certainly had similar growing pains as a woman.

When your mom tells you to smile...
It may seem silly to some. They are free to have their own opinion and I thank them for keeping it to themselves. Where I am at in my depression, I will do whatever silly little thing I want to bring myself even the smallest amount of happiness. Especially since my husband says I look good in a tiara and thinks I should have worn my star and moon one to a recent wedding; he doesn't understand how that could be seen as upstaging the bride, and I didn't want to do that as I would like my new sister-in-law to actually like me someday.

Another thing I have done just to make myself happy would be increasing the Christmas decorations on my writing desk. It's October and some people think Christmas should stay hidden until December - or at the very least the end of November after Thanksgiving. They too are free to have their own opinion, but Christmas is my favorite holiday. So. It's not like I've put up a Christmas tree, just a few empty candy tins and a lit up house. And a sparkly angel. And the decorative tree I leave up all year. Just a few items that bring me happiness.

It's not going to make me a better writer, but I'll settle for happier. At least, less depressed. I've switched up when I'm taking my thyroid meds to ensure that they're being taken on an empty stomach. I was being very careless about that when I was taking them before bed, so I'm hoping once I adjust to the new morning time that my depression will ease up. If not, then I'll have to talk to my doctor about other options.

Because the depression I've been dealing with recently has been crazy! I'm going to blame it on the change of life hormones triggered by the loss of my ovaries. Sounds good to me, even though depression is something I've struggled with for as long as I can remember. I even logged into the Suicide Prevention chat line one night, just because I wanted someone to talk to...but there were 74 people in line ahead of me so I decided to just write a poem, eat my last fudgesicle and go to bed. I'm not sure that I felt any better the next day, but I am today so there is that much.
The wedding cake tower at my
brother's wedding last Saturday.

I have been splitting my time between proofing and editing the first two books and writing new material in the third. I've found the easiest way to proof the PDF or Kindle version is on my smartphone so I can take screenshots and write my notes on the pic. I questioned our pricey purchanse of the Galaxy Note 8 earlier this year, but for me, they were well worth the purchase.

Some days I am pulled in one direction more than the other - I'll get caught up in editing one day, writing new the next. And life is still happening around me...places to go and people to see. Weddings to go to and doctor appointments. We are one day closer to going to truck driving school, with a few more things to tick off the 'to-do' list so it's paid for. And then I'll have another new schedule to adjust to!

But I will manage somehow and my books will be finished and released. I just don't have an exact day yet.