Notes from the road: day 5

I’m home. Finally.  That was the road trip from hell. 15 hours in the truck going to mom’s and 16 hours coming home. Rain, road construction, traffic accidents….

you name it, I probably encountered it.

Including the surfeit of skunks I mowed down in Mt. Pleasant,  TX. And the road closure due to high water.

Side note: surfeit is what a group of skunks is called. Kind of like a gaggle of geese or a sounder of pigs. My personal hope was that it would be called a skank of skunks when I looked it up, but nope…a surfeit.

My journey home started with mom’s roomba (which slayed me😆)

and a truck full of household items from mom & my sister.




I drove through @Spann territory (Birmingham AL, for those not familiar with the weather guy who became famous for staying on air for 15 or so hours trying to bring Alabamans safely through the tornado outbreak that tried to wipe Tuscaloosa off the map)

I passed over many rivers on my journey home. Including,  but not limited to:

The Mississippi

The Ouachita
the Red

I’m so sick of being in my truck (that now reeks of skunk) that I could yarf.


Notes from the road: day 4

I’ve spent a couple of days in Georgia,  hanging out with family. I’m out of clean clothes that mom approves of, so it’s time to head home. 

I’m not heading home empty handed, either. My sister & her husband have been combining households, and a lot of stuff is finding new homes. I’ve got myself a comforter set, some patio chairs, lots of pillows and towels, flatware, and the dishes we used at my childhood home.

I’ve also got a full heart, because I finally have a decent relationship with the family I put through hell for all the years of my active addiction. That’s a precious gift.

I’ve had a great visit, but it’s time to go home. I miss my husband and my furbaby Mollie. Home is where the heart is, and mine lives in two states.

Notes from the road: day 2

I’m standing here in my mom’s kitchen drinking coffee.

Side note: why didn’t I stop for half&half on my way last night? 0% fat milk just isn’t working.

Mom’s house is peaceful, and filled with early morning light. This isn’t the house I grew up in, yet it still feels like that save haven we all know as home.

Today would have been my dad’s birthday if he hadn’t died when I was a few days from my 14th birthday. 

Daddy was a firefighter, and he loved the job.

We’re not going to dwell on the loss, though.  We’re going to focus on the fact that today is my sister’s wedding day! I’ll be spending my morning recovering from a road trip from hell, my lunch at a meeting, and my evening with family. 

Side note: today is going to be as exhausting as yesterday. I’ll pay for it tomorrow  for sure. I’m already operating at a spoon deficit and it’s not even 9AM eastern time

I’m already close to crying, so I’m off to eat my feelings now. They’re going to taste like cinnabon. 

Notes from the road: day 1

I didn’t make it 40 miles from the house before I had to stop for gas in the glamorous town of Paris TX.

Aren’t you impressed with all that glitz?

While I was paying for gas, I couldn’t resist the breakfast of champions.

That’s right. Metallica + Donut Sticks = the breakfast of champions. 

I passed through the megalopolis of Shreveport,  which is always so depressing. 

It was over fast.

Just east of Vicksburg,  I20 passes through a slightly primeval looking bit of forest.

It was over fast, too.

Then I found myself in the middle of the Talladega forest.

The roads were dry at that point, so it was over fast, too.

The Atlanta skyline and traffic always make my heart sing.

That wasn’t sarcasm. I may hate driving, but I come alive in Atlanta traffic.

Side note: hell, if I didn’t, I’d get killed dead as hell for sure. I learned to really drive in Atlanta traffic.

Entirely too many hours, cheetos, Donut Sticks,  & Starbucks doubles hots later, I’m at mom’s. Calling a cinnabon dinner. Because that’s how I adult.

Packing my bags

I’m spending the day getting ready to head out early tomorrow, before the ass-crack of dawn. I’m heading to Georgia,  the place where it all began for me.

Side note: according to “The Walking Dead”, it will also be the place where it all ends with a zombie apocalypse, but that’s irrelevant today since I’m currently still in Texas.

I’ve got my bags mostly packed with all of the things one needs for a road trip; like Little Debbie snacks, peach flavored sparkling water, and the card with my sister’s gift money in it. You know, the important shit. As I sit here typing this, I realize that I almost forgot to pack the expensive-ass outfit I had to buy for this evening wedding, because that’s what kind of idiot I am. I’ll be staying at mom’s for a few days after the wedding, so of course I already packed enough clothes and shoes for a month, because obviously. 

Side note: a huge shout-out and much love to Angie over at youlookfab [dot] com for helping me pick an outfit of pieces that I look forward to wearing in the future! She is amazing, as are all the people that participate in the discussions there

It’s always anxiety inducing to head back to the place from whence I came. There are so many memories, and so much wreckage. Families can be dicey in the best of circumstances; I’m sad to say that the first 35 years of my life were not the best of circumstances. Then there’s the anxiety involved with being away from home, and Sunshine, and Mollie. Who will cook chicken for Mollie even night? Who will pack Sunshine a lunch every morning? Who will wash dishes and do laundry and… I’m already exhausted just thinking about the backlog of housework that will be waiting for me when I return.

However,  my little sister is getting married, and I need to be there. No matter how awful, how insane I got during my active addiction, whenever I showed up at home for a visit my sister always showed up to see me. The least I can do is go to her wedding. Besides,  my sister is awesome and I want some cake.

Side note: I’m hoping that I don’t ever have to make good on my promise to hunt her groom down and make him regret it if he ever hurts my sister. Because that’s the sort of thing I don’t know if Sunshine would bail me out of jail for doing.

Since many miles of my drive (hell, whole fucking states) have no decent new-rock-type radio stations, I went to the pawn shops & the $5 bin at Walmart so I could go old-school on this trip–the CD player in my truck actually works, but I have so few CDS that I had to go buy a few. The playlist for this road trip includes lots of Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Chevelle, Nine Inch Nails, and a band out of Shreveport called The American Tragedy; and some Zucchero & Kenny Wayne Shepherd for when I need to lower my blood pressure after all that hard-driving music that helps me eat up the miles on I20.

I’ll be taking my tablet with me; and it has a data plan, so you’ll be getting my “notes from the road” while I’m gone, complete with pictures. Exciting, no?

New to me

Because my Volvo is likely dying, Sunshine and I have been low-key looking into a replacement for me. Since my boss is looking into the possibility of opening a second location, a sedan no longer makes sense.

side note: hell, it isn’t just the work thing that makes a sedan a bit senseless for me. I live in the buttfuck middle of nowhere, and could actually use a truck or SUV with 4-wheel drive and some cargo capacity.

He mentioned our search and my must haves to his mechanic friend in Shreveport (who also happens to be a used car dealer). My must-haves were pretty simple: four doors and power everything. Turns out that the mechanic had a four door, 4×4 truck available right now. Sunshine sent me pictures of it, and I wasn’t NOT interested in it.

I picked it up last week. It is quite possibly one of the weirdest things I have ever seen. It seems normal enough at first glance.

looks normal from the front

Then you walk around the side.

Is that not a bit strange looking? Especially considering the year. They weren’t making a lot of four door trucks back in 2000.

I’m hoping to get Sunshine convinced to take the odd little camper shell off of it. I don’t like it. It’s fugly.

This truck did not come from the factory like this.


Somebody (a company called Centurion) made this formerly two door truck into a four door. I’m not sure why, but the company that did it was famous (or infamous?) for taking Ford trucks and converting them into a Ford version of a Suburban back before Ford was doing Explorers, Expeditions, and Excursions.

Centurion took a two-door, mid-sized truck and made it into a four-door. Which works great for me. Because I wind up with a lot of shit in my vehicle at all times.

Because that’s just how I roll.

because this is how i roll

Don’t ask. I don’t know how to explain my behaviour to you. It is what it is, and what it is requires a truck with cargo capacity.

It wasn’t the SUV I wanted, but it’s weird and so am I and I like it and it likes me. In the end, that’s what matters.

Pieces Parts

We’re using a lot of freegan (and otherwise sustainable) pieces parts in our little house. The giant foam blocks (that will provide amazing insulation) we are using came from a marina that was being refurbished nearby. The exterior doors came from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. A lot of the wood cladding we will be using inside is freegan cedar and reclaimed pallet wood.

We had planned to use some plate glass doors as windows on the eastern side of our house. We were going to turn them from a portrait orientation to a landscape, and place them near the ceiling on that side of the house. However, the frames weren’t in good condition, causing the seal to give up and condensation to form between the two layers of glass.

side note: We want to let lots of natural light in, yet keep the heat out. We aren’t too worried about things like passive solar heating since this is Texas and it stays hellishly hot throughout most of the year; therefore, there won’t be a southern exposure to keep us warm in the winter. We don’t get much winter, so it would wind up causing us to get too much sun-baking during the summer.

A friend of Sunshine’s over in Shreveport had come into possession of some large, tinted plate-glass windows (probably from some skyscraper project somewhere), and told us we could have some of them for our house. Since I had several reasons to be in Shreveport anyway on Tuesday, I picked up three of them while I was there.

Sadly, one of them didn’t survive my driving intact, so Sunshine will have to go get some more of them. I think he has some reason to go to Shreveport anyway, so it isn’t necessarily a special trip. It still sucks that I broke one, but at least he took it far better than I might have if I were him. His unbelievable patience with people is one of the reasons I love him so.

final note: I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you about the new (to me) truck you can get a sneak peak at in the pictures.