Sunday, January 30, 2011

Here I Am, Did Ya Miss Me?

Neither Mr. Trucker nor I have had a haircut since Thanksgiving and we’re both getting pretty shaggy. You should see Mr. Trucker! He looks like that kid from “The 70’s Show”. He says his hair looks pretty much like it did when he was in high school, and I can believe it! He has a really nice thick head of hair. I told him many men his age would be envious but he just poo poo’s it. His beard is starting to get longer, too, and he’s inordinately proud of it. He spends hours grooming it, and he strokes it while he’s driving. And they say WOMEN are vain!
You’ve probably all been wondering where I’ve been. We were stuck for nearly three full days in Mondovi, at corporate headquarters, having the truck worked on. They did NOT, alas, give us a new truck. We spent all our time sitting in the lounge watching TV and walking back and forth the few blocks to the only restaurant in town. They did put us up in a motel the one night that the truck wasn’t available to sleep in. The motel wasn’t bad, but the bedsheets were pilly, which I just hate. I can, however, tell you the plot of just about every movie shown on Lifetime Movie Network over that three day period. And do you know what the company paid Mr. Trucker for that “down” time? $75.00. That’s it! That doesn’t even cover our meals for the three days. 
We finally headed out of there on Thursday evening and when Mr. Trucker asked me what I wanted for supper, I said “Chinese”. I had been craving Lo Mein for three days, but there’s no such of a thing as a Chinese restaurant in Mondovi, Wisconsin. There probably aren’t even any Chinese people there to start one. As we headed out of town, we took a wrong turn (rather, Mr. Trucker took a wrong turn, I never would have) and had to go down a country road to turn around and we saw this:

That's right! That's a bald eagle. Perched in a tree right
next to some farmhouse.
Unbelievably, we were able to find a Chinese restaurant in Black River Falls when we stopped to scale the load. Even more unbelievably, there was room to park an 18 wheeler, because it was located in a plaza that used to contain a WalMart. We ended up getting the buffet and I spotted Rice Pudding on it, as I cruised up and down (at least I THOUGHT it was rice pudding). I LOVE rice pudding, so I was pretty excited, and I paced myself to be sure I’d have room. It turns out I was wrong, it wasn’t rice pudding. It was Tapioca pudding! This was a significant turn of events, and I’ll tell you why: when I was a little kid, anytime my Mom served us tapioca pudding, my mean, nasty big brother Steve would tell me that it was fish eyes! I of course believed him, being the impressionable, sweet, young child that I was, and totally adoring and looking up to him.  Even after, years later, when I realized that he was probably wrong, I just couldn’t bring myself to eat tapioca pudding because of this early first impression. I think it was just this past year that I actually could bring myself to try it. Mr. Trucker likes to keep little tapioca puddings in the truck for snacking and dessert. 
So the other night, I texted my big brother telling him that I had eaten fish eye pudding for dessert. And he knew JUST what I was talking about, the weasel! I also texted my baby brother, to see what he remembered, because being only two years younger than myself, I figured he was probably just as traumatized by the whole event as I was. And do you know what he told me? He remembered it as being our Mom who told him it was fish eyes! The poor little kid! What a terrible thing for a parent to do to a child! I wonder which of us remembers it correctly, or if either of us do? I do distinctly remember our Mom serving us eggplant slices, breaded and fried, and telling us that it was fish in order to get us to eat it. Our Mom was a wonderful, sweet lady, and I know that as a parent, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. I used to try to hide diced onion in meatloaf, but my girls were as expert as CSI in identifying miniscule pieces of objectionable vegetables, and they would invariably find me out. “Ewwww, is this onion?” “No, honey, it’s celery!” (yeah right!). It got to the point where I had to grate it on my finest grater setting to hide it in the meatloaf, and that worked so well that I used to grate carrot in there too.  Hee hee. They’re both still alive, so I guess it didn’t kill them.
Big brother Steve emailed me this recipe he found on the internet for Gramma's fish eyes:

We are on our way to the Bronx, and then Brooklyn and of course I’m pretty excited. I really like going there.

Late breaking update: We just spent over an hour-and-a-half in backed-up traffic in a detour off I-80 in Pennsylvania outside of Danville. From what we heard on the CB's, there was an accident involving three semis, one of which was a HazMat truck, so when there's a HazMat spill, they generally shut down the highway for a looooooong time. 

Liars! There was no scene. We never saw a darn thing!

Unless you count this. This was all we saw.

Wide load in orange and yellow!
By all means, let's just stand around doing nothing!

Oh, now I see. He's waiting for the emergency donuts to arrive!
There was all kinds of emergency personnel standing around on the interstate, doing nothing, but once we got off at the exit and into the 2 mile long line of cars and trucks, there was nary a one to be seen. It took us an hour and a half to go the 2 miles to the traffic light where we had to turn left to get on Hiway 11. It would have been nice if there had been a police officer directing traffic at the light to facilitate movement, but noooooooooooo! At times like these, truckers take matters into their own hands. They set up what's known as a "rolling roadblock" whenever two lanes of traffic are merging down into one, because otherwise the cars (known as four wheelers), which are smaller and zippier and can respond faster to stops and starts, all try to bypass the long line and weasel-whack their way back in right before the point at which it becomes one lane. This cobs things up so bad that the line of people who are patiently waiting where they're supposed to, barely moves. So one trucker takes it upon himself to get into the lane that's going to be ending, and drives slowly next to the other line to keep the "four wheelers" from zooming up around things. It's "technically" illegal, but it happens all the time. Saw this sign while we were waiting:

I wonder if there's a "Dutch Oven" in that "Dutch Kitchen"?

Soon we'll be in Jersey for the night, then up at 3:00 or 3:30 a.m. to drive into "Da Bronx".


  1. Your Big Brother agrees,
    It must have been that Steve, who traumatized you with the story about "fish eyes". He was real mean back then; but he out grew it. I remember one time when he threw a brick at my head! That was a close one. Of course, I'm not going to tell you what I did to him first to incite such a response.
    With love, as always. Bro Paul (signed in as anonymous)

  2. When were you in Black River Falls???? I WAS IN TOMAH!!! I could have visited you guys after training! There isn't really much to do at Fort Mccoy, there's no officer club, just one big bar, which due to the fact it's winter, contains no one.


    That Guy

  3. I missed you! Watching the Pro Bowl right now. Can't wait for the Super Bowl. This is so fun!!!

  4. We're parked in the Vince Lombardi service area on the New Jersey Turn Pike.

    Mr. T

  5. I am praying that you will go back on the road again just so I can keep laughing hysterically.

    My husband and I will giggle at the silliest of things you post on your blog. Sometimes, I bawl out laugh. What if they made a movie of your writings like they did in Julie & Julia?

    Don't stop bloggin' as I don't have very many (legal) things I can do anymore for entertainment.

    Your Sista (no, not that one, the other one!)