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Not so Snug as a (Yuck) Bug

Day 2 of attack of the yuck bug.  

This unwelcome intruder has made itself at home, and appears for all intents and purposes to be as snug as a bug in a rug, or in this case one miserable little kitty head...ie, my head! Joy. It has proceeded to flood my nasal and sinus cavities with some sort of alien goop that is just viscous enough to irritate my nose causing a near constant sniffle.  Yet it is congealed enough to resist even the most Herculean nose blowing efforts on my part. 

Surely this thing must be an alien VAMPIRE yuck bug.  No matter how much I sleep it still manage to drain all my energy.  Further, where ever it comes from it must give off helium as a by-product of its bio functions, because my head feels like it's floating in the clouds, which honestly isn't that pleasant of an experience all things considered.  Makes me feel rather woosy and dizzy.  Tom, I said dizzy, not ditzy.

After repeated, and failed attempts to drown this sadistic little bugger with juice and water, then poison him with vitamins, Tylenol, and Benadryl, I admit defeat again tonight.  Maybe tomorrow this alien vampire yuck bug will tire of toying with me and move on to some other poor unlucky target.  For now I am going to sniffle and gasp for air in the darkness while I pray for sleep or some other form of unconsciousness to overtake me.

---Update--

I'm actually on day 4 in this battle against the alien Yuck Bug.  So far it is Yuck Bug 4 - kitty 0. Hope is not lost.  I still have hot tea. Allen bought me some Dayquil to add to my medicinal arsenal. And we were able take a long hot shower today.  Fear not my feline friends, or is it friends of a feline friend? Or... Oh who cares, I'm going back to bed! Yuck Bug wins another round. *sniffle cough hack*

~ Sierra Sugar

Clear hair, Cold nights


[For daily updates, more pictures, and humor follow me on Facebook and Twitterer (different content posted to each)  https://m.facebook.com/sierra.sugar ]


One of the hardest things to get used to while being over the road in a big truck is not being able to take a shower every day. When you're under a load that has a tight time table finding time to stop and shower isn't always possible. Every time we get fuel we earn shower credits at places like Flying J, Loves, Petro, and Pilot truckstops.  But we can't always stop at those when he has to drive until his time is out.

Last night was one of those no truck stop nights.  Instead we stopped on a "get on ramp" off the interstate in the middle of the desert.  It was late and dark, and the stars were so bright in the sky miles away from any city lights.  The Milky Way just jumped out at you like special effects at a 3d movie.  Despite the spectacular view I couldn't relax because my head was itching. My hair needed washing and bad!

This was the view to random passerbyers.  Me standing outside the truck, the top of my head barely reaching the bottom of the door. The desert winds blowing, dropping the already chilly air to near freezing while I used a spray bottle to wet my hair. Thankfully, I keep a small bottle of Dr. Bronners castille soap on the truck. It cleans and refreshes wonderfully, removing oil and dirt without tons of bubbles and lather to try and rinse away. The bad thing about it is, it has peppermint in it, which is cooling.



Scrubbing the soap into my wet hair, in the cold night air, my poor little fingers were frozen. Then the fun part.  He had a gallon jug of rinse water which he slowly poured over my head. So here I am bent over, head turned upside down, combing my numb fingers through my hair as he poured cold water over it right there off the side of the interstate. Yay for teamwork!  It didn't take much water thankfully and my hair was fresh and clean.

Clean hair finally, and I was able to sleep last night all snuggled up to him to keep warm.  Tonight we get a hot showers somewhere near Fort Worth, TX.

~sierra

Realities of living in a Big Truck



[For daily updates, more pictures, and humor follow me on Facebook and Twitterer (different content posted to each)  https://m.facebook.com/sierra.sugar ]

Its been a little while since my last update.  In that time we made it home for a few days. We are now back out again and currently making the long haul across Texas on I-10 heading to Southern California.  In just over a week we went from Florida, to South Carolina, to Indiana, to Dallas, to Corpus Christi.  When we left home in the Florida panhandle it was in the 80s. Today the high in Corpus Christi was 44.  44!!!  In what dimention is it considered normal for Southern Texas to ever be that cold?

So we are heading to Southern California which will take us right through the Mojave Desert.  Naturally I am excited. We have a lot of time to get to our drop destination.  That means time to stop and take pictures.  There is something about the southwest's desolate beauty that appeals to me.  Maybe because it is so radically different from where I grew up.

This trip out we have better organization in the truck. When we were home he installed a 3600watt power inverter.  This will help power the new refrigerator, microwave, and coffee pot. And of course we already had the crockpot.  We lucked out at Sams and found a nice fridge on sale.  Its about 2 feet tall, like the ones you usually find in hotel rooms. Now I'm able to keep fresh veggies, milk, and enough meat for two or three meals at a time.   We can now have fresh hot coffee every morning, home cooked meals, cold drinks, and healthy snacks.  He also installed some small dresser drawers above the bed for better organization and storage.

Most of the cooking is done in the crockpot.  I found these crockpot liner bags that make cleanup a breeze.  The clean bag goes in the crockpot, then the food for cooking.  After we're done eating I wipe plates, cutlery, and stuff down with paper towels to remove food particles and grease. Then wipe everything with lysol wipes with bleach which kills germs.  Finally, I have a spray bottle with water, which I use to spray everything down and dry with a clean paper towel.  It may not be as ideal as a dish washer, but it still kills germs and is less wasteful than disposable plates, bowels, cutlery, etc...  All the trash goes in the now empty crockpot liner and throw it all away.

Of course cooking while traveling down the road is great but presents its own challenges.  You don't realize how bumpy, crooked, or otherwise imperfect our highways are until you are balanced on one foot, on top of a spring mattress, reaching on tip toe to grab something out of a cabinet; or trying to cut veggies on a small cutting board on a small slide out table and keep said veggies from bouncing to the floor at the same time.  I feel like the girl on the flying trapeze.  And did you know a bed makes a great prep area?  It has become my assembly line. Everything gets lined up on the right side of me. As I use it, it gets moved to the left side.  Strap the crockpot down and put everything away again.

When you are confined to a 73" living space three things become important. First, you have to have organization. In small spaces it doesn't take much for trash and clutter to build up.  A cluttered space is depressing and unhealthy. We try to keep everything put away. Trash gets taken out evry day. He even installed an air hose in the cab to help blow out dirt and dust.

Second, you have to make time to get out and walk around. Sitting for long periods is bad for your health. It can create blood clots in your legs due to lack of circulation. Being sedentary is bad for your blood pressure and your metabolism, as well as bad on your joints and nerves.  When we stop at truck stops he always parks in the very back, which gives us lots of leg stretching time when we walk back and forth. Having Missy with us helps too, because we have to walk the dog several times a day.  And on the days when we aren't pressed for time extra stops for pictures and site seeing help too.

Third, its important to have hobbies. Being cooped up in a small space with nothing to entertain your mind causes cabin fever, grumpiness, high tension, and other forms of stress. He and I spend a lot of time talking and joking with each other. We talk about the things we see as we travel, as well as future dreams and plans.  I look up places we're going to and we discuss the history and other trivia. We listen to a lot of music. We listen to the news and have discussions on what we hear. I spend time blogging. Yes, I do updates and check ins with my friends and family on facebook. I read on my kindle app. I have my drawing materials for when we are stopped.  And currently, I am again trying to teach myself to crochet.

Also important I think, is for each of us to have time to ourself. Not that easy in such small confines. He gets up in the morning and shuts the sleeper curtain allowing me time to wake up slowly. This is his time to listen to his talk radio shows.  After I wake up we spend some time together talking and planning.  We plan the trip route together, daily stops, fuel locations, and work on paperwork together. Usually some time in the afternoon I will go back in the sleeper to read, cook, rest, or listen to music with my headphones on, and let us each have some "me" time again.

I think we are managing a good balance. We manage to be considerate and respectful of each other. There's always lots of laughter and I love yous. And overall I feel this adventure has been good for us.  Adapting to a new lifestyle isn't all smiles and sunshine. But when two people work together the bumps in the road don't seem quite so big.

~sierra


Truck Lag

Being sick when you're over the road sucks!

To be fair I doubt being sick at anytime is on anyone's list of top fun things. But when you are traveling it is even worse.  All you want is a dark room, a soft pillow, a comfortable bed, and lots of quiet. Instead you are in a big truck traveling 70mph down bumpy interstate roads, up and down mountains,  and often crazy traffic. Now imagine all that motion on top of four great big air pillows!  The cab of our truck sits on these, "air ride", it helps cushion the jarring from the road. But when you are laying down in the sleeper on a spring matrress it feels like being bounced around on a trampoline.  Fun.

I'm not really sure what was wrong with me.  It started sometime Sunday, but really hit me late Monday.  For a little over 24 hours I had no energy or appetite.  I didn't even want to drink anything.  At one stop before it hit full force we were walking back to the truck and I had to lean on him to help me because I suddendly felt overwhelmingly exhausted.  I wasnt sick to my stomach. No fever.  No sniffles or coughing. Just pure exhaustion. Oh and a whole lot of peeing even through I wasn't drinking anything.

He says I was probably suffering from road or truck lag. Essentially the same principle as jet lag. In the past 3 weeks I went from living on the east coast at or below sea level for most of my life, to traveling over the smokey mountains twice, across the midwest plains three times, up, over, and down the rocky mountains four times, and from the coastal pacific northwest, down through Texas, and back to the east coast. Thats a lot of time zone, climate, and altitude changes in a short amount of time; especially for someone who isn't used to it.

Thankfully today I feel almost normal. We stopped and got a long hot shower, a  hot cup of coffee, and a good meal.  Tomorrow on to new adventures.

~sierra