Profile For Homefire

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    9 years, 11 months ago

Homefire's Bio

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Posted:  9 years, 8 months ago

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New Trucking Family, New to TT

Starcar, I'm still around....lol. My man has been training OTR since the 7th of May and even made it home a couple of times. He took the road test for his CDL with the DMV and passed (Yay!), so now it is all a matter of cranking out the rest of the training miles to get into his own truck. The money has been slim (of course), but his earning potential will jump to a more reasonable wage when he gets out solo.

On the home-front, we have been keeping busy. Our kids are out of school for the summer. We all miss our trucker, but we are getting by pretty good.

Cole, It is awesome that you enjoyed the updates. Thank you. I really enjoyed sharing it all. I am still playing with the idea of another similar thread. I still feel like a bit of the oddball though...lol.

Posted:  9 years, 9 months ago

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Happy Mother's Day

I wanted to take a moment to wish all the ladies at home taking care of the kiddos on their own and all the lady drivers that are keeping the wheels turning to provide for their children a Happy Mother's Day!!

You are awesome! Enjoy your day!

<3 (>^_^)> <(^.^<) <3

Posted:  9 years, 9 months ago

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New Trucking Family, New to TT

I didn't get in my post yesterday (life....eh?) so let me first backtrack to Thursday.

The guys made a run with two training trucks and the safety manager of the company drove a brand new T700 (regular company truck yet to be assigned to a driver) to carry a few empty trailers down to a drop yard a few hours away. The drive was 3 1/2 hours each way and they started around 7:30am. They hit the rush "hour" (he he if only it was really an hour...lol) going and coming back. When they arrived at their destination and made the drop, my man was nominated to drive the safety manager back up with him. He said it was stressful to drive 4 1/2 hours through heavy traffic with the safety manager riding shotgun, but he got to have some great conversation and get to know the guy a bit. The safety manager said he drives well and that is a big relief. The day ended pretty well and my man was whoop dog tired when it was over. We caught up with each other on the phone and facebook; what has become our "usual" way since he has been gone.

I did my grocery shopping that day and all was well until I lost my vaporizer pen. My man and I quit smoking cigarettes a year ago. We still use a nicotine vaporizer (e-cig) to curb cravings and prevent a relapse. I had it before I got out of the van, but realized it was gone when I was heading to my next stop. I back tracked and retraced my steps but couldn't find it anywhere. I finally broke down and bought a replacement. $35 later I was just sick about having to spend the money. Money is soooo tight. Oh, well.

Which brings us to Friday! My man is officially a graduate of CDL school. The last day was very short as they only had to turn in some paperwork and get a training folder. Our timing was off when he called. I had a friend just arriving for a visit and he called just as I was letting her in the house. He had so much to tell me. He was excited that it was an early day and he was finished! He found out a lot of info about the medical insurance program he wanted to talk about, and he wanted to tell me all about his trainer assignment. Yes! He finally has a trainer assigned! We talked for a few minutes, but then I had to get off the phone because I was being rude to my guest. He seemed really unhappy about it. It was the first time I told HIM I had to go because I had other things to do. Darn!

I tried to call him after she left and it went to voice mail. I left a message and waited. My girls got home from school and I sent him a text. Still nothing. An hour later I tried to call again, voice mail. I sent another text. Another hour, another call, more voice mail. I was starting to get really worried. He has NEVER taken so long to call or text back. I facebooked him. No reply. Another hour passed. I was getting really worried and my mind was going crazy. Is he mad?? Did he get mugged and murdered? Is he on his way home for a surprise visit? Is his phone broke? WTH??? I finally left him another voice mail message saying I was getting REALLY worried and I was going to call the hotel phone if he didn't get back in touch with me soon. Finally, 4 1/2 hours later he answered the phone and it turns out he had fallen asleep! Here I was, all jumpy and ridiculous over nothing at all. He went back to his room after we talked and sat down to watch some T.V. and just drifted off.

Unfortunately my man woke up like a grizzly bear. He was bored, lonely, and dreading the long weekend. He didn't want to eat any more "slop from a can", but he didn't have enough money to spare to go get something from a restaurant. It was going to be "forever" before he gets his own truck. He is so "sick of this D@#% hotel room". Unfortunately I was having it a little rough too. His nap put me in a bad mood (because I let my imagination go wild) and it rubbed off on the kids. They were snarking at each other and bickering over nothing, like kids do sometimes. My man was grumpy and I was getting exasperated with it all. I cut our conversation short, because I felt like it was boiling up to an argument. I was not feeling patient and understanding. I was feeling frustrated and I just wanted to tell him to put on his big girl panties and deal with it, because that's what I have to do! I'm glad I didn't let things escalate like that. We haven't argued since he has been gone and I didn't want to start it up.

He sent a text after the kids were in bed and we ended up talking again. He was in a much better mood, though still lonely and missing home.

So this is it. My last post in this "introductory" thread that went horribly right (for me at least and hopefully some other folks eventually)...lol. My man has orientation for three days this week and will likely hear from his trainer on Monday. After he talks to him we will know whether he gets to come home first. Unfortunately, we don't yet know where his trainer's "home terminal" is and so we don't even know if he will get home before his training is over at all. If his trainer isn't from the terminal here close to home, he will have to stay on the truck when the trainer takes home-time.

I have enjoyed this daily posting so much and it has been a really helpful tool in navigating this change in our lifestyle. I am playing around with the idea of beginning a new thread to chronicle the experiences we have once he gets out with a trainer.

Thanks so much for your patience and understanding. :)

Posted:  9 years, 10 months ago

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New Trucking Family, New to TT

Good Morning TT Folks (Afternoon and Evening too...lol)

I am thankful to say that my man NAILED the parallel parking! I got a text before his call that the class was tested early and he aced it! I am so proud of him. He said he got it on the first attempt and just kept putting it right where he wanted it every time. The whole problem was his confidence. After a poor parallel park on Tuesday morning he just lost his groove and couldn't seem to get it back that day, but yesterday there was no problem.

I was so relieved and excited, but of course, by then he was well over his moping about it and seemed as if it was never even a problem. The greatest part is that this was the last thing that a student could "wash out" for and he is over that hurdle (as long as he doesn't HIT anything...lol). He had a lot of book work to complete last night and trip planning for a 3 1/2 hr haul the students are doing today, but he is IN!

He is still waiting to hear about his trainer assignment. The longer it takes the more likely he is to come home for a few days and wait here. It is hard to believe he could be home in just one week!! I can't wait to see him. I am trying very hard not to get my hopes up, because he still has plenty of time to be assigned a trainer and leave from school on Wednesday after orientation is ended. However, who doesn't get all excited when their trucker might make it home! On a little side note, I set (and reached!!) some nutrition and fitness goals for my self while he has been away so he gets to come home to a slightly thinner and better toned me :).

Two of our children had to go to the dentist yesterday morning (one for check up, the other for a minor procedure). I managed to knock that out and shampoo a carpet in our home that needed it. I also planned our weekly menu and made my grocery list (today is grocery day!). I was sure to include the ingredients for my man's homecoming meal, just in case :)

I am so grateful that we have found this industry. The clock is ticking down to when some money will finally start coming home. He could very well get a paycheck in as little as two weeks (three is more likely)! This is a huge deal, because even though his training pay won't be a lot, any little bit will help to give me some comfort when it comes bill time. Our children are tired of hearing me say, "Maybe when Daddy starts getting paid...." and the bill man (or woman) doesn't give a hoot when the money comes in as long as they get paid on time.

Just two more days of school (if I count today), one lonely weekend, three orientation days and my man ether starts his OTR adventure or gets to come sleep next to me :). A win in either case.

Thanks for listening :)

Posted:  9 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

Yesterday, things did not go well for my man.

He finally hit a hump that he isn't sure he can get over and it's name is parallel parking. His group has spent the week on the backing range and all was going well except with this maneuver. He was so stressed out about it. He said that he feels like he might have to come home with his tail between his legs. Parallel parking is a requirement to graduate from the program. The way he explained it is, he is holding a turn too long to place the trailer then isn't getting the truck lined up properly and he ends up curved out of position. I comforted him the best I could and asked if he was doing anything different from the other guys. I also asked if he was paying close attention to how they are completing the maneuvers. He got kind of grumpy with me but apologized for it afterwards. He says he was doing everything he could and his instructor didn't know what else to tell him except he is holding the turn too long. Thankfully one of the guys agreed to trade his practice time on parallel parking for my man's time in alley dock. My man can alley dock like a champ and is only concerned with the parallel parking at this point. I'm hoping that all this time, effort, and money hasn't been a waste and that he can complete this program. We literally sank every dollar we had left into this dream and if we can't make it in trucking I don't know what we are going to do :(.

I have complete faith in my man to get it done, though. I advised him to stay relaxed and don't sink every bit of hope we have into this one maneuver. I told him it is just like any other day and any other maneuver. I'm afraid that if he stays stressed about it his mojo will vanish and he won't be able to get it at all. He was able to complete this maneuver successfully twice on Friday, so I KNOW he can do it. Tomorrow is their test day for backing. Here is hoping he will be able to get it down in time.

I spoke with him again a while later and his mood was greatly improved. He went to dinner with some of the guys and had a belly full of good food and a heart full of good cheer afterwards. I think talking over his concerns with the guys was just what he needed.

I spent some time with my mother yesterday, but otherwise it was an uneventful day. Housework, laundry, pet care, kid care.....lol. A never ending cycle.

I'll have a change up in my routine soon though. I have been working a part-time temporary position three times a year for the last four years and it is almost time to go back again. By Monday or so I will be rejoining the ranks of the employed for a few weeks. I love my job and the people I get to work with. Generally I would work a full 40 hr week, but my lack of childcare will pare my hours down so I can be home for my children in the afternoon. I'm going to miss the money I made before, but I am happy that I don't have to quit all together and my boss is willing to work around my children's school schedule.

I'm thinking that it is nearly time for me to bring this daily thread to a close. Since my man should be through with training and orientation by the middle of next week, I think that may be time to start a new thread beginning with my life after he gets over the road with a trainer. The experience of sharing everyday has been comforting. As always I appreciate the listening ear. :)

Posted:  9 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

Well, the newly established pattern holds true again this week.

My trucker was in much better spirits yesterday after a long day of school. It is clear that "boredom + weekend = homesick" and "truck practice + weekdays = coping fine". It make me worry about how he will handle resets and layovers on the road.

My man spent the day on the backing range. They worked on parallel parking and offset backing. He says that backing is going well so far, but he had a hard time with the parallel parking at first. He said he kept over steering or under steering, but finally nailed it before they were done. He said he room-mate backs like it is second nature. He joked that he is a super trucker....lol.

My man complained of back issues and I told him it could be poorly adjusted seats causing the problem. He said he didn't think that seats were the issue and I wondered if maybe he was twisting his back funny when he gets in and out of the truck. I told him to be mindful of his body mechanics and maybe it will clear up on it's own.

Apparently my man got the impression that I got jealous of the housekeeper in the hotel...lol. Over the weekend he mentioned that he looked up the way to ask for more coffee packets for his room in Spanish, because the housekeeping lady that cleans his room doesn't speak/understand English very well. I recall telling him that it was very considerate of him to do and she probably appreciated that. He recalls me pausing in a significant way first. He said that he thought I was picturing a housekeeper like "Catalina" from "My name is Earl" (hilarious show and a very pretty girl), but he said the housekeeper was more like "Consuela" from "Family Guy"....lol. I had a good laugh over his misunderstanding and it made me wonder if he read about my little jealousy issue here and it has him spooked.

Yesterday was my biggest housework day of the week. It wasn't so bad, but it kept me busy for a while and it was a nice peaceful day. There is something very relaxing in the mundane household tasks. It keeps me busy without wearing me out and it makes me feel good to bless my family with a nice home. I look forward to my man's home-time when he can come enjoy it too.

I had a moment yesterday where I felt about an inch tall. I use instagram for food pictures often and post them to our private facebook page from time to time. I made an especially delicious dinner last night and posted the pretty picture like I normally would. A little while later, he commented that his dinner was like dog food. His comment upset me so much. I felt so bad for posting it and actually took it off. I felt like I was inconsiderate for posting it, knowing that he is eating from a can more often than not, and it makes me want to stop with that kind of posting all together.

I'm sure I'll step in it again before I get a handle on it.

Thanks for listening :)

Posted:  9 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

Great advice Starcar!

It is my intention to keep home-time about home and family. I feel like he will get his fill of pressure out on the road and won't need a drop more when he comes home. I joked with him before he left that he gets to come home and be a rockstar/king!! The kids will be all over him and our friends and family will want to see him, he may need a velvet rope to hold court...lol! In all seriousness though I am looking forward to the challenge of making home-time special and relaxing. I am eager to cook for him and make over him. He is definitely earning some pampering. Not to mention, some good quality couples time between us ;) .

My man was so down in the dumps yesterday. He is missing home so very much. My heart just breaks for him. He misses the kids so much and he has so much time left to go before he gets to come home. He said he spent a lot of the day scrolling through our private facebook, re-reading all the old posts and looking at the pictures.

He did go have a nice big breakfast yesterday morning, but didn't eat anything else all day. No amount of coaxing from me could convince him to go get something, order a pizza, or microwave some canned food. He is so worried about money. He already figures he is going to be broke and uncomfortable with the trainer and when he goes solo.

I doubt seriously that his weekly truck budget will leave him hungry and miserable (it is pretty sizable), but the cost of things on the road is intimidating and he is still getting used to trying to pre-plan for his needs on his own. At home, I always take care of those things and I can't be there to do them for him now. In a different world, I could be there with him when he goes solo and take care of him while we travel, but the kids need me here more and it just can't be that way.

I will do everything in my power to gather the things he may need while out there on the road so he can take as much as possible at the cheaper local rate (I am pretty good at getting a deal).

The kids and I went to my step-father's birthday party yesterday. We had a nice time, but it is taking some getting used to, going to family gatherings without him. My camera lets me act as his eyes here at home and I take comfort in knowing I can show it all to him through the lens. I keep reminding myself that separation is part of the game.

What hurt the most is when he says he will only be a visitor here from now on. I just don't see it that way. I insist that his home-time isn't going to be a visit. He will be coming HOME. He says his home is going to be that truck. I'm not sure which of us is right and which is wrong. Maybe we are both right. Maybe he needs to think of the truck as home and I need his home to be here. Either way our devotion to each other and our children is the same.

We ended our lengthy conversation on a positive note, talking about next summer when the children can go with him on the truck for a few weeks. Our youngest has several years before she will be able to go, though.

I know he will be relieved to get back to the grind today. They are backing on the range for the entire week. He needs to keep busy so he doesn't have so much time to dwell. The more time passes, the harder some of it becomes and the easier some of it becomes. We just have to keep our eyes on the prize.

Thanks for listening! :)

Posted:  9 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

Yesterday was a bit busy for me, but not so much for my man.

He is the only student in the hotel again this weekend. Like last weekend, spending the day in the hotel room (bored) made him home sick.

I went to my mother's house for our belated Easter gathering. The kids and I had a nice time and enjoyed our visit.

I was missing my man a lot too yesterday, so when we talked that evening I just didn't want to let him get off the phone. He says it feels weird running out of things to talk about and just sitting on the phone. As far as I'm concerned, I don't mind. I still see it as spending time with him, even if we don't have much to talk about.

Over time, I guess we will have more conversations that go that way. Since we talk everyday at least twice and I post lots of updates to our private facebook about what is going on at home, we aren't missing much of what is going on with each other. As a result, our lengthy phone conversations stray to small talk and other less important subjects. I have read other women's accounts of their experience that say they will just sit and watch T.V. "together" with their man while on speaker phone and they enjoy hearing the room noise around them. I think I am going to end up this way as well. Knowing he is right there on the other end of the phone makes me miss him less.

He told me he may come home before he meets up with his trainer and if so that is only 1 1/2 more weeks!! I am keeping this news to myself until we know more. I don't want to get the kid's hopes up too high when he could still get a trainer straight from school. A week and a half is a long time for planning ahead in trucking....lol

He is calling a few relatives and friends today to catch up on how they are doing and heading out to the terminal/school to do his laundry. Tomorrow begins a full week of backing practice and the last week of the "school" portion of his training.

Thanks for listening!

Posted:  9 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

My man began backing practice on the range at the terminal/school yesterday. He said that things went pretty well and, like most skills he has been introduced to, backing is coming along well. The backing portion of the training will continue on through the last week of school. The guys have to learn straight backing, alley backing, serpentine backing, and parallel parking.

My man posted a few pictures from the range on our private facebook. I was like a little kid, excited and in wonderment of all the neat "truck stuff". He had a scary moment though when he was exiting the truck he dropped his phone to the ground below. The back came off and dirt got all inside and he had a hard time getting it cleaned out. It still worked for him, but he was sure he had broken it all together when it happened. Thank goodness it didn't, a new cell phone is not in the budget right now.

He still hasn't heard from a trainer, but he estimates that about 1/3 of the class is still waiting to be assigned. If he performance hadn't been so good, I might worry, but i'm grateful that the company takes the tme to find a match that they believe will fit.

He was so very tired yesterday evening. He said he wasn't even sure he was going to attempt dinner. He hadn't ate by the time I spoke to him for the last time, but I encouraged him to fill his belly and I sure hope he did. Going hungry will just make him feel more lethargic.

I had a very empowering moment yesterday. I have a cat that just loves to chew cords and my son had recently bought a new game controller. He or one of the other children left it out and the cat happily chewed through the wire. My man is always the handy one that knows how to fix things like that. I on the other hand usually just set these things to the side until he can get to it. I decided that I was going to fix it myself. I talked the project through with my man on the phone the night before. He gave me a basic idea of how to do it and where the tools to do so were located. I came in from my gardening (relocating those accidental pumpkins :) ) and pulled out everything I needed for the project. An hour later I had a repaired and fully functional game controller. Yay, me!! I was so excited I even did a little dance (scared the dog to death I think she may have thought I was having a seizure...lol).

So far, I am embracing my handier side. I don't want my man to spent all of his hometime working on projects that I could attempt on my own. It is a real confidence boost to "take matters into my own hands" and get something done.

I heard a song yesterday that really spoke to me. It was a super sappy love song and it brought tears to my eyes. I had to sit on the bed and hug my man's t-shirt covered pillow and cry a while and just miss him. Being apart can be like a roller-coaster ride, sometimes. One minute I'm doing the happy dance because I got something accomplished on my own, the next I'm hugging his pillow and crying. Missing him is always going to be part of the equation. I give myself permission to cry and hurt sometimes, but not to dwell on it. When the song was over, I wiped away my tears, made a cup of tea, and moved on to the next thing.

My man is going to be the only student in the hotel again over the weekend. I hope it is better for him than the last one was. It breaks my heart to hear him down in the dumps. He will be heading back to the terminal to do some laundry at least, so he will have a few drivers here and there to talk to. We will try to talk more over the weekend too, but today he is sleeping in and I won't hear from him until at least 10 or so.

As always I appreciate the opportunity to share my experience. :)

Posted:  9 years, 10 months ago

View Topic:

New Trucking Family, New to TT

Such a busy day for our family yesterday!

My son had a dental appointment first thing. I sent his sisters off to school and went over on our own. We scheduled a follow-up visit for him to have some minor dental work taken care of.

I was a bit behind, so after dropping him off at school I had to backtrack home and finish my grocery list (it was grocery day). While looking at my finances I realized that I didn't have enough money to buy food for our dog. I had fed her the last of it in the morning and had to reach out to my mother for help.

Getting a job in the trucking industry isn't like getting a regular "around-town" job. It takes much longer to start earning when you are starting with no experience. It is considered a low-skilled job, however it requires a high level of skill and professionalism in order to be safe and successful. The effort required to learn the industry and equipment is similar to many other skilled trades. The sum of this is you can't get started today and get a paycheck next week (and the Department of Labor needs to re-examine it's label of the trucking industry).

Financial hardship (unless you have had another profitable career and savings to use) is a certainty for the first couple of months. Although we are managing with help from our family, it is hard to keep going to them and putting my hand out to ask for help. It will be such a relief when my man starts getting paid and I can repay those that have lent financial support when we have so desperately needed it.

I had housework to do and got a start on some gardening. Along the way I discovered pumpkins growing in my flower garden. In the fall I set my children's Halloween pumpkins (whole uncarved) in the garden and allowed them to rot there with the intention that it would enrich the soil. They were turned under about three weeks ago. I wanted to tell my man right away about my accidental pumpkins, but alas, I had only facebook to tell (through our private group). Whenever something happens that I want to show him, I reach for my camera. Having this kind of outlet makes me feel closer to him over the distance.

My trucker called a little later than usual and I was so eager to talk to him. I always ask him about his day before I start catching him up on ours and our conversation went something like this:

me: "Hi Baby!" him: "Hi" me: "How was your day?" him: "Good" me: "What did y'all do today?" him: "Drove" me: "Where did y'all go?" him: "Around"

This was so much different from the other conversations we had and I pressed him for more information. He just kept giving me these short one or two word answers. I was starting to feel like I was talking to my teenagers instead of my man. He got a little frustrated with me and finally started to give a little more detail. They drove a lot of back country roads and a little more mountainous areas. He said "everyone was a little off today" and then quickly wanted to speak to the children because one of the guys was supposed to come to his room and get him to go to Wal-Mart. I handed him over and the children talked to him. He seemed relaxed and unhurried when he spoke to each one. He got off the phone with the promise to call back later.

I was a little puzzled when we got off the phone. IMHO I have been supportive, understanding, and strong for him. I stay positive. I don't nag or complain. I had the impression that he just didn't want to talk to me. My mind was all over the place for a little while. Why was he in such a hurry? It wasn't like the guy was at the door waiting for him to go. Maybe he didn't want me to hear the voice of the person coming to the room? Is it a woman? Maybe he is heading out to Hooters for dinner (one is nearby the hotel) with the guys and he doesn't want me to know because he thinks I'd be mad? My mind was going and I was thinking all kinds of crazy things!

I decided that I needed to SLOW DOWN. He was probably having a crappy day and it was effecting his mood. Not everything is about me....lol. He is human, he is going to have a bad day from time to time.

My rationalizing turned out to be true. When he called back a while later he was ready to talk about the day. He said that most of the guys were struggling with the truck today. He was not satisfied with his own performance because he had a hard time shifting through some turns. He forgot to take his allergy medicine in the morning and spent the whole day with itchy eyes, a runny/congested nose, and a dry itchy throat. He had decaff coffee instead of regular coffee hoping to lessen his necessary bathroom breaks and although it helped with that, he felt like he wasn't as energized and AWAKE as he usually is. The other guys had several mistakes too and it sounded like it was a stressful day all around.

He was also stressing over his money. He said that every place they have stopped is so expensive. He wasn't well prepared for the "on the road" week and ended up spending more than he intended to eat lunches. He still has enough to get through, but he is disappointed that he won't have as much surplus as he was hoping when he finally gets on the trainer's truck.

When we got off the phone, I was so thankful that I hadn't become reactionary and set in on him with accusations about his motives. It is so easy to slip into a negative mindset and assume that something bad is going on. Acting this way would be so bad for our relationship and his career.

Thanks for Listening! :)

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