Monday, July 30, 2012

New Beginnings, Now with Old Stuff!

Hey guess what??

Remember a while back I wrote a post about how, when I was 20, I had more attitude than brains and I tried to be a firefighter? Then I grew up and got "smart" and figured out stuff and junk and decided I would try to stick with what I'm good at and do things for the right reasons? Unless I got side-tracked by astronaut school?

Well, I signed up for astronaut school. Only it's not exactly for astronauts. And it's not even school. We bought a junk store.

I am not even kidding.

A for real honest to goodness junk store. The kind of place that has everything from vinyl records and cookie jars to books and coffee makers. There's so much stuff in there I keep expecting to hear the theme song to Sanford & Son every time I walk in the door.

I am excited and slightly nauseous about being the owner of so much stuff. But mostly excited.

You know the term fixer-upper right? It's like that to the power of infinity times three.

But there are so many possibilities and it's a real part of the community. *And* all my dishes and glasses came from there and if it closed where would I buy my next mini-bundt pan that I could ruin?

So it looks like you won't have to hear (very often) about Safeway being out of chicken.

Although, today they were out of cucumbers.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cabbage, Criminals, and Cracker Jacks

As you know, the Tumbleweeds are off the road and home in their cozy (read:blazing hot) little Wyoming town and while I figure out the future of my life and this blog and also write really long run-on sentences, I thought I would share with you the latest Safeway outage:

Shredded cabbage.

Yes, this week they had all the chicken I would never need, but exotic shredded cabbage was nowhere to be seen.

Whole cabbage is cheaper, but I hate shredding it myself and it never comes out as thin and ribbony as the pre-shredded kind and my award winning fantastic vinegar-y cole slaw suffered as a result.


In other news, Himself and I are criminals. We didn't mean to be and it was a long time ago; I'm hoping the statute of limitations will keep us out of jail.

Kinder Egg contraband

On a trip to Germany several years ago, we smuggled brought back some Kinder Eggs to share with the neighbor kids, because we are the cool childless adults in the 'hood. Well, apparently it is illegal to bring these toy filled chocolate eggs onto American soil and we didn't just bring them in we distributed them. To minors. I feel so dirty.

I'm sorry America. I didn't mean to break your laws. I'm a rule following, tax paying patriot who believes in the American way--Mom and apple pie, (but not baseball because that is the most boring game in the world).

And Cracker Jacks. Where the cheap toys are mixed among sticky popcorn goodness, not tucked away in a plastic shell surrounded by fascist chocolate just waiting to choke some poor American child.

This is my
 George Washington-crossing-the Delaware-face
not a duckface.
Because patriots don't do duckface.

Friday, July 20, 2012

You Can Do Anything! And Other Lies...

Guess what happens when you take a 20 year old girl-woman with feminist ideals, self-loathing, and a whole lot of I-can-do-anything-attitude?

Find out at Studio 30 Plus today, where I am the featured writer. Featured writer! Doesn't that sound all fancy and important??

Go here. Do it.

A social media site for writers over thirty, Studio 30 Plus is where all the cool geezers kids hang out. Except they let me in, so maybe they aren't that cool anymore. Don't mention it to them though, maybe they won't notice.

Read it (please?) and tell me what you think. It's personal and kind of exposing (but not in a trench-coat-flasher kind of way), but since the Tumbleweed times are a changin' and the future is all bright and scary, it seemed appropriate.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Home is where the Heart is....for Good.

Well, it's official, we're no longer vagabonds. We are home and in the truck no more.

Jas doing an upside down
Snagglepuss of happiness.

The truck is a small space right? An upper and lower bunk, about 4 square feet of floor space, and the driver and passenger seats. So how in the Heckle and Jeckle is there so much stuff to take out?

No more peeing over kitty litter!

Jas was a big help during the
mass exodus of stuff.

Mr. Big emptied of stuff.

It took over three hours to get it all out, and that's not counting the tools. After five years of living in the truck, every nook and cranny had something in it and I swear the stuff was multiplying as I removed it.

Also, there were 4 weeks of dirty laundry, plus the bedding. I may have blown up our washing machine.


No more truck stop food.
No more walking across pee soaked parking lots.
No more trying to add and subtract numbers while bouncy up and down in the passenger seat.
No more heart-attack inducing traffic.
No more yelling over loud truck noise.
No more sleeping in separate beds like Lucy and Ricky.
No more breathing air in a small space with a farty dog.
No more weirdos hiding in the bushes with red-nosed pigs.
No more New Jersey.


I just noticed that today is Confessions of a Tumbleweed's second anniversary. My first post was July 18, 2010. Wow, it's like I have ESPN or something, to have accidentally picked such an auspicious day to share this post.

Know what else I just realized? The abbreviation for Confessions of a Tumbleweed is COAT. This blog could be like a covert ops for the CIA or FBI or at least the Men in Black.


I hope you'll stay tuned, because there's more to come. I still have stories to tell. And that's a good thing, because Safeway had chicken *and* ice cream this week.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Westbound and Down

Hey! Guess what??

The Tumbleweeds are going home!


For good. The trucking life is coming to an end.

What will happen?
What will we do?
Will Safeway have chicken*?

I don't know. But I am super excited to find out. And also to have my own bathroom again. Whoopee!

Jas hiding under a bush during a rainstorm
in Georgia. At least *one* of us
was dry.

* It's a recurring threat theme here, that once we get home I won't have anything to blog about besides the fact that the local Safeway is out of chicken. It happens a lot. But on the bright side, they are also out of milk quite frequently so at least there will be some diversity.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Taking a Road Trip? Try Mars!

Ever wonder what it's like to be a trucker during the summer, when the entire planet is on vacation?


Oh. Well then don't go here to the Douglas Budget and read my column this week. 

Why don't you just kick sand in my face while you're at it??

If you do go there to read my column (do it) do not be alarmed at the title; I am not a child molester. 

They don't use the titles I give them, in this case Holiday Road--the song from National Lampoon's Vacation. Did you know it was written and sung by Lindsey Buckingham, from Fleetwood Mac?

Anyway, you can go see for yourself what they called it, I just can't bring myself to type it.

Here is a gratuitous moose for your viewing pleasure:

Black River Falls, WI

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Random Things and Stuff: Hooker Edition

You may know by now that I'm a list maker and a writer-downer-of-things, and I always have something to research or look up so that I can share it with you on this blog.


It is so hot (and we're in Wisconsin for Pete's sake!) the lethargy is at an all time high in the Tumbleweed passenger seat I don't feel like doing any of the things on my list.

Combine those two things and you get this:

Random Things and Stuff.

Minus any real facts!


The other day we had to pick up a load in Hopewell, Virginia. It was company policy at this shipper that everyone, visitor, salesman, and trucker alike, had to watch a 15 minute safety video. Never mind that nothing in the video pertained to us, beyond basic common sense (follow the speed limit!), we were also issued hard hats which we were required to wear at all times.

Even in the truck.


We passed a billboard for the Pork, Peanut, and Pine Festival in Surry, Virginia, but their website is so boring and uninformative I don't recommend it.


We passed the Honeyspot Motor Lodge in Stratford, Connecticut off of I-95 too. It's probably more exciting, but only in the way that hourly motels can be.


A lot of truckers have this sticker (or some version of it) on their door windows:

It's supposed to represent a lot lizard, not a dress wearing alligator with a nicotine habit. A lot lizard is trucker lingo for hooker.

The stickers seem silly to me; I can't imagine that a hooker would even notice it, much less abide by it. We've been on the road for 5 years and have only had the middle-of-the-night-knock-on-the-door-by-a-hooker, a handful of times. We either ignore it or say no thanks and they move along.

Well, at least one trucker feels so strongly about it that he had the image tattooed on his forearm. I wish I'd have gotten a picture of it, but I couldn't find a way to do it without having to make conversation. He was a large fella and the tattoo was about the size of a dinner plate--I'm not kidding, he had huge Popeye arms. It was very big and very colorful and in a place where only long sleeves would cover it.

Why would anyone do that? Does he just wave his arm out the window when he gets a knock on the door? Does that work better than the sticker? Does he ever get tired of explaining what it is to people outside of the trucking industry? Just, why?


Conversation in the Taco Bell Express in a TA truck stop in Burns, Wyoming:

Me: "I saw an ad on tv for a $5 box of tacos, do you have that?"

Taco Bell Dude: "Our $5 box is $6.99."

Me: *facepalm*

Conversation with Himself:

Me: "What's the German word for home?"

Himself: "Haus."

Me: "No, the homey word."

Himself: "Heim."

Me: "As in lick maneuver?"

Himself: "What?"

Me: "like in lick maneuver?"

Himself: "No, heim."

Me: "lick maneuver?"

Himself: "What's heim lick maneuv....."

And we laughed and laughed.


Would somebody please turn out the sun?

That is all.