Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Break

Our office is closed this year until January 5. I really enjoy this time at the end of the year to wind down. Russ was home for Christmas this year so we went to church with our neighbors on Christmas Eve then came home and opened gifts. I made the two of us a nice dinner on Christmas day. We had ham, scalloped corn, potatoes and pumpkin pie. Then on Friday we headed down to Smithville MO to spend the day and night with my God Daughter, Christy, and her family. She is due to have baby number two on January 5, so it was fun to see her at 9 months pregnant. She is really pretty miserable, so I'm sure Jan 5 won't get here soon enough. She is having a c-section so she knows when baby will be born. I'll be anxious to go down and see baby and family some time in January.

Russ has left for a short run so I'm busy getting things picked up around here. Going to make a trip to Perry tomorrow to check on the folks house and pick up their junk mail. Then I'm going to stay and have supper with a couple of friends and their kids. Just going to kind of hang out and pick up things around the house here. If I just do small tasks at a time, I get so much more accomplished rather than looking at the BIG picture. That really overwhelms me. But breaking down everything into small tasks helps me to keep on track and keep going. Everything doesn't have to be done in one day. I'm sure Monday, Jan 5 will be here before I know it. But I'm going to enjoy this time off while I have it.

Hope everyone has a great holiday season and gets 2009 off to a good start.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Baby, it's cold outside!

I am so ready for this winter to be over with and it just officially started this past weekend! Hard to believe that yesterday it did not even get above that's cold.

Our office will be closed for the holiday starting Dec 24 through Jan 4. I'm ready for a break. It will be nice to not have to get up early and go out in the morning cold.

I would like to get down to see my God Daughter in Smithville MO to see her and her family during the break. Will just have to wait and see weather wise when that happens. She is having baby number 2 on Jan 5. She is having a c-section so knows the due date. I would like to see her one more time before delivery...then I'll give her a few weeks after baby is born to go down and see how things are going.

Well, hope everyone has a great holiday and a safe and happy new year.

We are going to Vegas in February/March with a couple from Perry to see the NASCAR race. I can't wait for that. Give me something to look forward to. It should be warmer there than Iowa, right???

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Life of a truck driver!!

Russ started a new job last week with a company out of Fort Dodge. He was supposed to have gotten loaded last Friday and been home by late Friday night. Well, it ended up not getting loaded until Saturday, so he got home Saturday evening instead. His load was going to drop in Conrad IA...north of Marshalltown, so he did a good deed and brought the truck home and was going to deliver Monday morning leaving from our house. That would save the trucking company about 80 miles (not leaving from Fort Dodge). Well, we won't do that again. Russ had the truck up in the driveway by the house and had it plugged in...but it still gelled up on him. He went out at 3am on Monday morning to start it up -- no luck. I went out 3 different times to help but no such luck. He worked on that thing for 12 hours. A diesel company came out and they could not get it started either. So Tuesday the semi tractor was towed to Ames to get worked on. Keep in mind we are not sure who is paying the bill, but we are saying our prayers and hoping that the freight company will reimburse us as these charges are on our credit card at the moment. Russ talked to them and they said for him to just turn in the receipts and they would take care of it.

Anyway, today the truck got running and he is now out doing his thing. So let's hope that he is no where around the ice that they are predicting to come in tomorrow evening.

Oh yea, he also lost his only set of car keys. So I had to go to George White and get a set made this morning so when he finally gets back up to Fort Dodge he can drive home. So needless to say it's been a rough week for Russ. I do think that this company seems to be pretty good though. Again, time will tell on how we turn out with these extra expenses. They also told him that even if he would have left the truck running, it probably still would have gelled up. Diesel just can't handle the cold temperatures.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fun Picture

The picture was taken last year while at a scrapbook convention in Kansas City. We were actually at the Kansas City Speedway. The 'magazine' cover I saw on Walgreen's web site.

How fun is this? I'll have to try to get a picture of Russ at the Las Vegas race track in March and do a cover for him for next year for Christmas.

Kind of a neat idea for gifts. I'll have to keep this in mind for next year. I'm about done for this year.

Just thought I'd share..the pic kind of goes pretty well with the magazine cover, don't ya think?

Life has its ups and downs

Well, Russ didn't get the job at Decker Trucking. He probably should not have gone up there when he did as he was sick with sinus problems. But who would have thought that at the time it would have made that much difference. Oh well. We got right after it and applied at another firm, Oberg Freight, out of Fort Dodge and he has officially gotten hired by them. He went through orientation, physicals and learning their computer the first of this week and thinks today he will be assigned a truck and go out. So needless to say the past several weeks have had lots of ups and downs for us. I tend to get more stressed out by least I show it more. I know he internalizes it more. He gets very withdrawn and quiet when he's stressed. But he is more optimistic now.

So now we can look forward to our trip to Las Vegas and the NASCAR race in Feb/March with more enthusiasm since he has a job. Kind of puts a damper on things when you don't know where your next paycheck will be coming from.

Winter is off to an ugly start here in Ames/Nevada IA...we have had freezing rain and snow this past week. I was late to work yesterday, but better late than never. I usually wait until I have good daylight before venturing out after snow and/or ice.

Well, here's hoping for smooth sailing for the Mersman's in Nevada IA for at least the next year. I've had enough stress in the past couple of months to last all of 2009.

Hope all is well with everyone and that you're all staying healthy and happy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Russ home and new tradition

I took Friday off to head to Quincy IL to pick up Russ. Being the good wife that I am, I got up at 4:30am and was on the road by 5 to get there by 10. Well, it only took me 4 hours to get there. I beat him there so went to Big Lots and Dollar Tree to kill some time. We ate lunch there in Quincy and left there around 12:30pm. Got home right at 5...unloaded my car and stashed most of it in his car to take to his orientation in Fort Dodge next week for the new job. It will be nice to have him home this week.

Decided since Mom is not having Thanksgiving any longer at their house (first time in 40+ years it's not there) I would have Mom and Dad come up on Wednesday afternoon and spend the night. That way I get to spend a little extra time with them before they head south. Then we can get up on Thursday and get our last minute dishes prepared and head to Steamboat Rock where the tradition has been passed to Mom's great niece, Amy.

Now that we are at the other end of the makes you watch the weather channel more closely. Also, mom doesn't like to drive after dark, so we'll have to leave Amy's early enough to get back to get them headed back to Perry in good time. But that's OK. We will still have a great time visiting with the relatives and pigging out on the GREAT food that will be on hand.

So next week starts a new job for Russ and we are so in hopes that this company is the real deal and doesn't blow smoke to get drivers hired. It would be so wonderful if he could call this place 'home' until he retires. They sound like an awesome company, but time will tell. We are going to remain optimistic.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The List

If you want to play along, just copy the list and highlight all the things you've done.
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

That was fun. Great list to work off of. Makes you remember some good old days.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New opportunity!

Well, Russ is going to be starting a new job on December 1. The company where he is currently at, Sharkey Transportation, just didn't turn out to be what they had promised. Their equipment is certainly below par according to Russ. They also were not getting home weekends as promised either. He was only getting home for his 34 hours off. So he would get home usually on Saturday morning and go out around noon on Sundays. Just not enough home time to get anything done.

He will now be working for Decker Transportation out of Fort Dodge. They are supposed to be a family based trucking company and he is supposed to truly get weekends off. I'll post more later after he's been there for a bit.

So this coming week will be his last week at Sharkey. I'll have to head to Quincy IL to pick him that will be either Friday or Saturday. Then he'll take the week of Thanksgiving off. That will be great. That way I know he'll be home for Thanksgiving. That's not something that I have been able to say very many times over the years. He sometimes makes it home and sometimes he has not. So we will enjoy this year and then see how the company handles other holidays going forward.

So here's hoping that Decker is the cats meow and Russ can call this company home until he retires in 12-13 years. Wish us luck

Thursday, November 6, 2008

As the weather starts to turn colder, I am going to go back to these Hawaii pictures more and more often. I am currently working on my Hawaii scrapbook album. I need to get it done, so in the dead of winter I can pull it out and remember what a great time we had and how wonderful the weather was.

It was absolutely picture perfect the whole time we were there. We had so much fun and did a lot of great things. We saw lots of whales on the whale watching excursion we went on. The helicopter ride was worth every cent we spent on it. We both were a little hesitant about going up in the helicopter but it was so worth it to be up so high and see all the great things the island had to offer. We saw lots of waterfalls that you would NEVER see from the land. We always had some down time each day to just relax as well. I enjoyed going out by the pool and taking a book with me.

So it's dreary days like today that make me go to these Hawaii pictures and treasure the memories that Russ and I created on that anniverary vacation.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Another year almost over...

Can you believe that this year is almost over..gone..another one bites the dust! In less than 2 months we will be celebrating Christmas! Where did this year go? Where did all of the years go since the big Y2K hoopla?

My mom is not hosting this years Thanksgiving for the first time in about 40+ years! She decided after all the years she's done it, it was time to turn over the reigns to someone younger. It's a lot of work to clean and get everything ready for 20 some guests each year. She always did the turkey, dressing, potatoes and gravy and at least a couple other things..Pumpkin pie for sure. My husband, Russ, LOVES her pumpkin pie.

So this year she will get to take it easy and only take side dishes to the dinner. Mom's great niece, Amy, in Steamboat Rock, will be hosting it this year. She may find out what a task this is and try to pass it on to someone else for next year. She is married and has 3 small she's a brave soul for taking this on. But her Mom lives close by and I'm sure she will be of great help to Amy.

It will just seem strange to not have it at Mom and Dad's house, but I can certainly understand the pressures of making sure that everything gets done on time and that no one goes home with food poisoning! Mom always had the most moist turkey. I liked sneaking tidbits as her and dad pulled all the meat off the bones. You know, you always have to taste test before serving guests.

Just talking about Thanksgiving day and all the goodies that we enjoy makes my mouth water. We have so much to be thankful for in this country. I know I am a very blessed person to have such a great family and the best friends one could ask for.

Well, enough rambling for today. It had just occurred to me that Thanksgiving is 4 weeks from today.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Project time

I'm working on a 2009 calendar for my folks. This picture is of my great nephew that lives in Omaha. He is such a cutie and has the biggest dimples. He is 7 now. I haven't seen him for over 2 years, so was glad to get some recent pics of him to add to the calendar.

I'm assuming this must be before school one day. His dog Lena is out there with him.

I've got a few more Christmas projects to work on. I really like making hand made gifts for Christmas, but some times I bite off more than I can chew.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Time with Trevor

I can't believe that I went down there and came home and DID NOT TAKE ANY PICTURES! Christy is about 6 months pregnant and I meant to take some PG pictures of her. I also wanted to get some updated pix of Trevor. But I came home without taking my camera out of my bag. Shame on me!!

I had a great time visiting though. Friday night we were visiting and TV was on. All of a sudden Trevor perks up and jumps up and down and says "John McCain, John McCain". I laugh my butt off. Then Christy says "Ask him who is going to be president". So I do that and he says "Barack Obama, Barack Obama". Too funny. Christy says that they don't ever talk politics at home so she's not sure where he got that..but he definitely knows them when they show up on commercials.

Saturday Trevor went to his Grandparents with his dad, Travis. Christy, her friend Patty and I headed to Kansas City so the girls could get their hair cuts. After that we ate lunch at Granite City and did some shopping. We left Christy's at 8:30am and didn't get back to Christy's until about 6pm. I loaded up and headed home to spend a little time with Russ before he headed back out on Sunday.

Such a pretty weekend though. I could use several more days of sunshine like we've had recently. I'm not ready for the snow to fly.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fun weekend ahead

I'm heading to Smithville MO when I get off work at 3 on Friday. I am going down to see my God Daughter and her family. Christy has one son, Trevor, who will be 4 in December and I love spending time around him. He's at just a fun age. He loves his Pappa Russ but I don't know if Russ will make it home in time to go down there. Christy is also pregnant with baby number two who we are told is going to be a girl. I have done tons of 'thrift' shopping and clearance shopping and have that baby girl enough clothes to get her by her first year for sure. I also picked up some bargains for Trevor.

So I'm anxious to get to Christy's with all my goodies. I also picked her up some maternity pants and a top while in Quincy doing some shopping. Saturday we are going into KC so Christy and her friend can get their haircuts. Trevor will be along with us as well, so he and I can hang out while they are getting haircuts. Then we usually go shopping and out to eat and make a day of it.

I need to work on my Christmas list and see what I have left to buy. I have a good start though. I am hoping that it's a nice sunny day for our outing. If Russ should make it home, he can sleep in and watch TV at Christy's while we're shopping. Christy's husband Travis runs a golf course and they are having a tournament this weekend, so he won't be around much.
That's about it for now. Hope everyone is having a great fall...where ever you are.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I've been tagged

This is something new to me. But I guess I'm going to give it a try. Mary tagged me.

1.) I used to work in a meat packing plant many moons ago. My favorite job was picking the pituary gland out of the brain. They used it for medicinal purposes, so I always felt good when I found them intact and could 'pick' them out with the tweezers without causing any damage.

2.) My first job was as a car hop at Dog N Suds drive in restaurant in Perry at the ripe old age of 16. I was paid 50 cents an hour and when I got my first check of $6+ I thought I was in heaven.

3.) I had my appendix out when I was 4 but had my 5th birthday in the hospital. I remember the nurses coming in to sing happy birthday to me.

4.) I didn't marry until later in life. We got married on Valentine's Day of 2001 in Las Vegas and our wedding was on the internet so friends and family could watch (provided they had a computer). A couple that we are great friends with, Deb & Mark, came out and stood up with us. We had a great time.

5.) I like to watch NASCAR on the weekends. It's better to TiVo it though so you can fast forward through the commercials and back it up to watch the 'big one' over and over and over again. We went to a race in Charlotte NC several years ago and are going to the Las Vegas race on Mar 1, 2009. The couple that was with us when we got married, is going out with us. Russ and I are really looking forward to this get away with friends. We always have a great time with Mark and Deb.

6.) Purple is my favorite color. I'm sure it comes from having a Grandma with the first name, Violet. Grandma Vi owned a restaurant in Jamaica IA and I loved going there as a kid and 'helping' in the restaurant. My cousin, Calli, and I went and spent a few days in the summer and we drove Grandma crazy I think. We were always rearranging her furniture..but after we went to visit friends, the furnture was back the way it was in the beginning! But I don't remember having hurt feelings over that. My Grandma died when I was only 27. But I have so many great memories of times spent with her.

The "Rules":* link to the person who tagged you* list 6 random things about yourself* tag 6 new people* let each tagged person know they've been tagged by posting a comment on their blog* link to the 6 people you've tagged* and let the person who tagged you know that you posted

I'm only going to be able to tag a few that Mary didn't already tag:





Jenni--oops I forgot she doesn't have a blog yet.....HINT HINT HINT

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

October is a crazy month for me

It makes me tired to just look at my October calendar. I have so many things scheduled. I have something going on every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for the whole month. I also have lots of weekend activities planned as well. Had to pick up Russ' cousin from the airport last Saturday and will take her back on Sunday, October 26.

So before I know it November will be here and Thanksgiving will be right around the corner and then comes Christmas...and so on and so on.

One weekend in October I am (and Russ too if he's home) planning on going down to Smithville MO to see my god daughter and her family. He son, Trevor, is my honorary grandson, since I won't have kids. He calls Russ--Pappa Russ, but for some reason the Nana Judy didn't stick and I'm just Judy. But that's OK. He's such a sweet boy. Christy is pregnant with number 2 and they are saying that this one is a girl. I have bought about 60 items of clothing for new baby. Christy isn't she lets me go to consignment shops and garage sales and pick up baby clothes for her. I've also picked up several things for Trevor. I've had great fun finding treasures for the kids. So I'll be making a delivery of those things when I/we go down. I can hardly wait for her to see all the things that I have.

Plus I have not seen her since she told me she was pregnant and she's due early January, so I'm looking forward to seeing her as well. She is like the daughter that I never had and in her adult years we've become really close.

I'll be anxious for baby to get here and see pictures of her. Hopefully, the winter weather won't keep me from getting down there after she's born.

Well, everyone have a great fall...sad to say but winter is just around the corner.

Getting up to date

I enjoyed my time in Quincy. The weather was absolutely perfect. Nice sunny days. I went shopping most days. I got some Christmas shopping done and found some great bargains.

I went to the local scrapbook store but they didn't have anything that tripped my trigger, so didn't spend a dime there. I know that is a shock to most that know me.

I loaded up the car on Wednesday morning and met Russ for lunch. Then back to Sharkey to unlaod all his stuff for his truck. They were getting their trucks assigned that afternoon. I then headed back home. It was a beautiful day for a drive. Not a lot of colors just yet but it was an enjoyable drive. I have my audio books to keep me entertained. I am addicted to them and can't go very far without have a book to listen to.

Russ then got home on Friday around midnight. He must have been one pooped puppy cuz he slept until 10:30..then fell asleep on the couch around 2 and I had to wake him up at 4:30 so we could go to Des Moines Airport to pick up his cousin who flew in from Phoenix.

We didn't get back home until 10 and he slept again until about 9 the next morning! I think he was refreshed when he left. He gets very frustrated at trying the learn the mobile mac (computer thingy) in the truck. He just is not very technically skilled. I helped him and wrote down some cheat sheet notes for him and I know he will do fine after he's done it all a couple of weeks or so.

Russ left out at noon on Sunday. Mom called to say that Dan, my brother, was headed up from Louisiana and would be at their house around 6 and asked if I wanted to come for the afternoon and be there when he got there. So I headed to Perry around 3ish. I had Russ' car, so Dan was surprised when he got there and I popped out of the house.

He checked out the new garage and we worked on the folks' motion lights. They have been messed up since they were installed. I tried to work with them when I was there last, but finally gave up and said Dan could work on them when he got here.

He also has the job of replacine the motion light above the back door that I broke when trying to adjust it. Handyman Judy....I'm not! I try but don't always succeed.

That pretty much sums it up for me. Today is a gloomy rainy day but I really think that we needed the rain so I won't complain as long as it goes away in the next day or two. I have to have SUNSHINE!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Update from Quincy, IL

We made it to Quincy by supper time on Saturday evening. We got a later start than I had anticipated...but we really were not on any time table, so no big deal on when we left or when we arrived in Quincy. The hotel where we are staying is really old..but clean. We are in a wierd sort of room. Our room is in the core of the building, so we don't have a window that faces outside..the window that we do have has frosted glass..but does not face the outside. So if you don't have lights on, it's pitch black in here. But it's fine for why we're here and the price was right for the one night we had to pay. Sharkey is paying for the rest of the nights.

Russ had a wake up call at 5 and headed down to get his ride out to the training center at 6ish. I rolled over and went back to sleep for a bit.

Around 10 I started working on the scrapbook stuff that I had brought with me. I finished that project around 12:30 and then headed out for an adventure and some lunch.

I went to a couple of strip malls, Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby and Ben Franklin's Crafts. Didn't buy a lot but felt good to be up and moving around. It's kind of sprinkly, rainy out.

Back to the hotel around 3. Not sure when Russ will get back. I asked him to call me on his lunch break..but he must have forgotten or got busy cuz he didn't call. So I have not idea what time to expect him.

Not sure what we'll do this evening. Will depend on how brain fried he is.

This is an interesting older river town. I hope to get out and go to some museums maybe tomorrow. Since I got my scrapbook project done, I'll need something to do.

Well, that's it for today.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Folks' fire update

Well, things have finally started looking up for my folks since their garage fire. Russ and I went down last night to get our trailer that they had been using for storage while the garage was being torn down and rebuilt. The garage is up and they finally got the garage door opener installed just this week. So just some last minute rearranging for the folks to do to get it all done. Then we have to finalize the spreadsheet of all that was lost and replaced and lost and not being replaced. Then it will be a DONE DEAL. I know my mom is ready for it to be over with. It has been real stressful on her to take all the responsibility on herself. Dad has been busy getting things put back but he has his way and only his way of doing you might as well leave him be and just let him do his thing. But all in all it's just about all done.

Just wanted to post an update since so many of you knew about the fire earlier this summer. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers during this process.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Russ is home

Russ got home at 5:30 this morning. He was finally done at Poly around 3 he drove straight through. He really likes his new car but the car alarm thing needs to be checked out. It got set off as he was coming in the house this morning and it sounded like the cavalry was headed our way. It must be some sort of add on thing and it has been causing problems. So when Russ gets rested, he'll take it in to our trusty car guy and ask if it can be removed.

We will be taking my Vibe to Quincy with us this coming weekend. The recruiter just called Russ and gave him the scoop. They are putting us up in an older hotel..reminds me of Hotel Pattee in Perry. But the pics of the place look really neat and the rooms look good as well. I'm hoping that they have wireless internet so I can take my laptop..but even if they don't, I'm guess that a library or some place will have wireless. Would also like a refrigerator so we can take a few things to keep my morning milk! But if there is no refrigerator, then we'll take a cooler. I'm pretty flexible. We only have to pay for Saturday night and they are picking up the tab for the rest and reimbursing us for fuel for the car as well. Then Russ says when he heads out, they hand him $300 cash to get started.

I am so in hopes that this is the job for Russ and that he can see himself staying there until he retires 12 years from now!

Well, that's my update on that part of my life.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Russ' start date at new job delayed

The company that he's currently working for is not being very cooperative in getting him back to Texas so he can get home and start orientation at the new job next Monday. So he will be starting September 29 instead. He should get home next Tuesday or so. Then Saturday we will head to Quincy and have the weekend there and he will start his orientation on Monday, Sept 29. He says he will be in orientation for 3 days, so I think I'll stay over there until Wednesday morning and then I'll head back to Ames and try to get a 1/2 day of work in .

We will both be glad when we can say adios to his current employer and embark on this new journey. I'm anxious to see if he really will make it home every weekend. That will take some getting used to, but in the long run it will be so much nicer having more regular routines that we can count on. Maybe next year we can get the camper off the farm!

Well, that's todays news. We are having glorious fall like days here. It has been in the upper 70's and low 80's for the past several days and supposed to keep it up for a few more. So I am going to enjoy them one by one.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekend of work

Russ got home last Wednesday afternoon..but then it rained and rained and he was not able to get out and get his mowing done. We finally got out and trimmed up the forsythia bushes that had grown about 4 feet during the summer. When they start to brush up against the house/screens and wake me up...then we know it's time to trim.

I was also hearing strange noises on the roof of the sunroom. Well, that meant a ladder and chain saw. Russ did a GREAT job of trimming that area above the sunroom and we shouldn't be bothered with those limbs for a couple of years.

I dug up my potatoes also. Decided to see what I had grown. I will post a picture of the bounty soon. We ate them last night with our cheesey chicken dish. We hope to enlarge the garden a wee bit for next year. Especially if Russ will be around more to help me with it. We have not had good luck with our pole beans the past couple of years. We need to figure that out cuz I miss not having fresh green beans during the summer. The years they've come on good, we had so enjoyed them. The tomoatoes didn't do very well either. I picked a small handful of these as well and ran through the blender with some onion and garlic and tossed in the freezer to use in spaghetti sauce this winter.

Well, this is Russ' last week with Poly Trucking. Next week we will head over to Quincy, IL for his orientation. I plan on taking my laptop with hopefully I can post some good news from there.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New opportunites for Russ

Well, my husband finally got fed up with his current employer and found himself a new trucking company to work for. The old company is Poly American out of Grand Prairie, TX. The new company is Sharkey Transportation out of Quincy, IL. He will go to Quincy on 9/22/08 for orientation. I'm thinking that we'll go over on Saturday and bum around and then I'll stay until Monday or Tuesday with him. I'll need to bring the car back home as he will be assigned a truck and will more than likely be on a 'run' when his orientation is completed.

I'm looking forward to a nice weekend away. There may be some fall colors to see by then. It's only a little over a week away, but the trees around here are already starting to turn a wee bit. It looks like Quincy is right on the river, so that may be neat to see as well.

We'll be without insurance for 3 months..but we've gone longer, so not too worried about that. When he does get insurance it will be paid for by him employer and will cover Russ and myself. Right now we are paying over $300/month. The new insurance company will be Blue Cross Blue that will be a BIG improvement over what he has now.

So just keep Russ in your thoughts in the weeks to come that he settles in with this new company and his stress levels can go way down. He will be home every week so that alone will be an adjustment. He said last night that it had been 24 days since he was home last. His tushy was a wee bit sore. Hopefully, this will help his tush to not get so sore he'll have a couple days of easy chair a week now.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Summer Flowers of 2008

These are some of the blooms from my summer flowers. There are rose of sharon bushes, hibiscus bushes and lots of lilies. There were really pretty this year.

Can't say the same for our garden. For some reason it didn't do all that well this year. Russ had a few tomatoes one time when he was home. But they seemed so small. I did put some through the blender with garlic and onion to use in sauces this spaghettie sauce, etc. We also planted potatoes and when Russ gets home next time, I'd like to dig up a couple of them to see what they look like. This is a first for potatoes. So we'll see how that goes. Next year's garden will be a tad bigger and designed better than the garden we had this year.

This climatis was really pretty. You can see Russ' big red truck in the back ground. We are hoping that he won't be driving for the big red truck company much longer. But I'll save that for another day.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Russ got a 'new' car

The old Buick that we had that had belonged to Russ' mom was down in the 'yard' at Texas so when Russ got in down there and was held over for a few days, he would have some wheels to run around in and not be stuck in the semi for 48 or more hours. Well, the Buick had major problems so we had talked about him getting a different vehicle. He just called and he went shopping and found himself a new car.

This is a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am and only has 52,000+ miles on it. He is pretty excited to have wheels down there that he can depend on.

He says that he has gotten a call from his supervisor regarding the fuel charges. Let's hope that meeting goes OK. I told Russ that I had a print out of our credit card that I could fax down there if they needed something right away. I just have to keep being optimistic and hope that it all turns out for the best.

Anyway, I just wanted to post a pic of the new car. I got this pic off the internet site where he bought the car. I actually downloaded all the pics from the internet sight so I can scrapbook about Russ' new baby.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My husband faced Hurricane Gustav

What an eventful weekend my husband had. He is a truck driver and had a load to deliver in the panhandle of Florida last Friday. Well, anyone watching TV knew that hurricane Gustav was headed into the Gulf Coast over the weekend. His next load after Florida was Houston, TX for a delivery on Tuesday AM! Well, if you look at the map of the US and figure it out..he would have gone right through the thick of it while going east to west. I told him to be sure to tune his XM radio in to the weather channels down there so he didn't head into the eye of the hurricane. He did major zig zags up into Mississippi and then down to the coast west of New Orleans. When he called Monday to say that he was on Interstate 10 west of New Orleans...I about wet myself. I said, "Oh honey, I think you better head for higher ground..from what I'm hearing you are right where Gustav is headed". He called later to say that he was heading north on I49 up into Louisiana. He got not quite halfway up the state and had to stop as he was going to run out of fuel and there were no truck stops open! He hadn't eaten for two days and only had enough water left to take his AM meds on Tuesday!

I was in panic mode which is nothing new for me. I tried to google on the internet to find a station open for him to get fuel. I called more than 5 stations and no one was answering. So he finally pulled over and just waited for Tuesday morning and hope that something would open close to him. Well, the truck stop where he was at, opened the pumps to credit card purchases only..which meant he had to use OUR card..but at least he could get some fuel so he could get the heck out of there.

He went a bit further north and fueled up more (again on our credit card) and then headed for Houston TX. I am glad to report that he called last night and said that he made it to Houston and has one more drop in TX then he goes to the 'yard' in Grand Prairie and get the truck serviced and hopefully they will send him home to Nevada, IA.

Now we just need to hope and pray that we don't have to fight to get reimbursed for the $700 worth of fuel that we just paid for!! The first station had run out of receipt said to see attendant...which there wasn't one. So all we have is our credit card statement. Russ assures me that they will reimburse us. So I will remain optimistic.

So the Iowa boy got a hurricane education. Next time they predict one close to you...get food and water and park the truck out of harms way and RIDE THE STORM OUT!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Oh, did I mention that I fell this week...

We have been drinking smoothies for lunch at the office to help with calorie intake and weight loss goals. My boss brought in a dorm refrigerator to put in the bathroom ... and put the ice machine that he bought me last year for my birthday on top of the refrigerator.

Well, Tuesday late afternoon I decided to have my smoothie--wasn't hungry at lunch time-- so went into the bathroom to retrieve the fat free yogurt and strawberries. Well the refrigerator door gets hung up on the shelves inside so it needs an extra nudge to close. Well, my hands were full, so I stuck my foot in the bathroom door to nudge the fridge door shut, and the bathroom door came back and 'grabbed' my leg/foot...and DOWN I went. I mean to tell you I hit my head HARD on the floor. My boss was out but Roger (another advisor in the office) was in and he came running around the corner and asked if I was OK. At that point I thought my head was going to burst with the the wind had been knocked out of me. I just laid there and rubbed and rubbed and rubbed my head where it had banged on the HARD floor. I had scraped my arms, hurt my butt and really whacked my head. I finally got up and made it back to my chair. I made it to the end of the day...but really hurt. My back started to ache as well.

I woke up at 4:30am on Wednesday and could hardly move! My neck felt like I would assume it would feel if you had whiplash. I pretty much hurt all over. I didn't make it to work on time..but finally straggled in. I started popping the advil every 3 hours. When I got to the office, I told Roger and Craig (boss) that it felt like I had done 500 hundred pushups, gotten whiplash, been hit over the head with a frying pan and been kicked in the tushy!! Other than that I felt pretty good. HA HA

I kept popping pills and did leave early Wednesday. My mom was afraid that I would feel worse the next day, but actually on Thursday I felt a bit better. Still sore, but not nearly like I was on Wednesday.

Funny--when I told Russ what I'd done..his first comments was "Were you wearing slacks?" What a hoot... I said "Yes, dear, I was not wearing a skirt that flew up over my head."

Well, that should about get me caught up for this week. I may post more this weekend. I'd like to post some of the flower pics I took a few weeks ago.

Not much to post about...

It's been kind of a crazy last week or so. I went to my folks house in Perry last weekend to help Mom some more with her inventory list for the garage fire. It's amazing how many more things you think of that went up in smoke after the fact. We are still thinking of things that got bulldozed away this past week. So the garage is down and they have OK'd the foundation to build the new one upon. They came and power washed the floor, driveway and walks. Now they are ready to get moving with the building process. Hopefully, they will begin that next week.

A good family friend passed away this week. Clifford was the husband of my mom's best friend, Gldays Read. He was not quite 87 years old. He had been having a lot of health problems lately, but you're still never ready for them to leave this earth. Gladys and Cliff had been married for 58 years. She will have a tough road ahead, but there are lots of family and friends for her to lean on. They lost their son David (close to my age) in 1992 and their daughter Karen (several years younger than me) in 2005 and still have one son, Keith (a few years older than me) living in Olathe KS. We lived by them until I was 8 and we moved where my folks now live. But Mom and her have stayed friends all these years. My mom just aches for the sorrow that Gladys will feel in the days to come. Anyway, I went to Perry on Wednesday afternoon and went to the visitation that evening and stayed with the folks Wednesday night and attended the services yesterday morning. It was a hard day...but the hard days are ahead for Gladys. Please pray for her. She has great faith and she knows that Cliff is with David and Karen now and pain free.

This is the holiday weekend and Russ is down in Florida, so I will be spending it mostly alone. But that's OK, with the week I have had, I could use a little down time. Well, I hope everyone has a good holiday weekend...BE SAFE.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My boys

Here's a picture of my lazy boys relaxing on the mattress cover while I'm washing the sheets. They are so much fun to have. I'd only had one cat at a time until these two. I had Felix (the black and white one) first, then came Grayson. They really love each other and play nice--most of the time.

I would be lost if I didn't have these two boys to come home to. We also have a black lab, Garth, that toughs it out in his HUGE pen outside. His pen is probably more square footage than our house. He has a nice dog house that was built by my dad. It has double walls, so warm in the winter and it must be fairly cool in the summer, cuz I'll come home a lot of warm days to him tucked up inside. We do put swan bedding in there for him during the winter months. When we got him, we also got his brother, Will, but we had to put Will down 3 years ago on July 4. Garth adjusted well, but loves it when Russ comes home. I let him out when I mow, but he loves to hang by Russ when he's home and outside. He LOVES to be around people, but he also loves to jump up on ME...and he has wicked toenails.

Well, I just wanted to share a picture of my indoors buddies. They are my kids!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Gal Pals in Branson

Last December I used a week of my boss' time share to spend some time in Branson with two of my good friends--Deb and Connie. We were there for Deb's birthday on 12.3..and had her celebratory dinner at Shorty Smalls, a great BBQ place.
This picture was taken at the Grand Village Shops. What a great time to get some Christmas shopping done. We had so much fun. I love going on trips with these gals. We ALWAYS have the best time. We laugh a lot and share great memories of a long time friendship. I have known Deb since she was a wee one. I lived next to her until we moved to a different house in Perry, and got reconnected later in life through tap dancing classes. I helped to coach Connie's daughter in the 80's and then we reconnected as well through tap dancing classes. The three of us have done a lot of traveling together. Even gone a cruise with these two fun loving gals. It's so nice to have friends like these. Everyone needs to cherish all their special times with special friends. Deb and her husband are going to Las Vegas next year to the NASCAR race. That will be a great time as well.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Busy Day

I took the day off of work and my folks came up to the farm to help Russ and I with the 'honey do' list. Boy did we get a lot done. We worked in the spare bedroom and moved the extra dresser out and put my small oak desk that Dan gave me in there. Then we pulled the wing back chair out of the computer room and put the platform rocker that was in the scrapbook room in the computer room. I need more room in the scrapbook room and also the computer room. The wing back chair took up too much space. So now I have these two extra pieces of furniture that I need to get rid of. Need to take pics and post to see if anyone wants to buy either. I may keep the low dresser...just need to get in the scrapbook room and organize and then I'll see if it's something that I can use in there. But I know the wing back chair has to go. Just no room for it.

I grilled hamburgers on my new birthday grill. It's just an inexpensive little grill but it has the dual burners and the upper warming area..that's what I was looking for. We also had some WONDERFUL sweet corn.

Then back to work. We went outside to the little shed and did a clean sweep kind of thing. Took 99% of it out...pitched and cleaned up then put back my flower pots, etc. It's so much nicer now. Russ will put the snow blower, lawn mower (walk behind one) and tiller in the old garage. Now I can do some plant potting in there.

I actually then cleaned up and went to the office for a bit in the afternoon. I told my boss that I had to come to the office to get some rest. My arms ache, my back aches and my feet hurt..but it was a good feeling to get so much done today. My folks are the best helpers.

They finally got a bid and the OK to have a new garage built..the old one had a little mishap with a HOT lawn mower. So within a couple of weeks they will have a new garage! Then they can go new car shopping. Then once we get the 'stuff' put back in the new garage, that episode will be a done deal. What a learning experience and something that I hope we don't have to go through again in my lifetime.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Russ is home

Well, Russ got home yesterday after being out for 3 weeks. I thought he had been gone longer, but he said it was actually just short of 3 weeks. Too long in my book! He really needs to hop on his John Deere and get the back 40 mowed...but of course since he's now home to do it, it rained a good part of yesterday at the farm. But today is a new day and it looks absolutely gorgeous out so he should be able to get his mowing done.

My folks are planning on coming up tomorrow to help with the big 'to do' list that I created while I was at their house in Perry this past weekend. Just lots of little things that I can't get done alone, and Mom LOVES to help me switch things around and help me toss things. Sometimes she gets too aggressive with her tossing skills..but she's getting better at asking before the final pitch in the garbage. I think I acquired my cluttering skills from my dad...he tends to save as well, because you just never know when you MIGHT need that little something.

The folks had a fire in their garage a few weeks ago so have been busy helping with the details of that whole process as well. I think they will end up with a new garage out of it. They have a guy that has bid on bulldozing, hauling away and putting up new. One guy to do it all seems the way to go, so you're not waiting on each step to get done before starting the next.

Their car also got totalled since it was in the garage. Their car insurance company didn't even look at it..just said that if it was in the garage when it caught on fire, they would total it. They came the next day and towed it away. A friend of mine bought it as a buy back option and they got a really good deal as the car only had a few bad spots on it where stuff overhead and fallen on the car. Other than that, the car is in great shape. Glad that someone will get some goodie out of it. We had thought about it ourselves..since Russ' car that he keeps at the 'truck yard' in Grand Prairie, TX has now decided to cause us big grief. Russ will have to do some used car shopping the next time he's down there for a few days. He really has enjoyed having a car down there as a lot of the time he is there for 2-3 days while the truck is being serviced and they are lining up his next route.

Well, I guess this should do it for today's post.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Something new

I've wanted to start a blog for some time now. Most of my close friends know what's up with me most days anyway, so this will be a way to keep those not living close by in touch with what is happening at the Mersman household.

This will be a short initial post, but will try to add more as ideas occur to me. I'll also try to learn how to add pictures. I took some awesome pictures yesterday of all the tiger lilies, rose of sharon bushes and my beautiful hibiscus flowers. Will try to share those in the days to come. Talk about a range of colors!