Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

I wanted to show you the road over La Veta Pass that we had to climb to get to Alamosa. This was just before the bad storm that hit the midwest so severely.Christmas Eve's Mexican Fiesta was a smashing success!! Sommer made homemade refried beans and wonderful pasole; Don brought tamales from a little market in Pueblo; Ron made green chile, beef tacos and cooked up some interesting catfish fish tacos. I'd never had fish tacos before and I was pleasantly surprised. Ron made a citrus salsa to go with it and it was a wonderful blend. Jim made our kielbasa snack with a sauce made from half and half apple jelly and yellow mustard. It sounds gross, but it actually makes a nice sweet and sour sauce. It was a hit and enjoyed. There were 12 of us and it was a grand time had by all. The brothers always serve up a super meal for Christmas Eve.

After we made up the kielbasa at Don's we put the extra kielbasa in a plastic bag and put it along with the extra mustard and jelly to take to Ron's in case we needed to add more. Well, when Jim brought in the bag to the motel there wasn't any kielbasa. Jim went back to the truck and sure enough the storage bag had been torn up and there wasn't any kielbasa to be found :) Poncho and Chorizo had a nice Christmas meal for themselves!!!

Christmas Day had us going over to Ron and Cindy's for breakfast. As we were driving back to the motel this is the scene we saw driving down the main drag.....deer feasting on someone's lawn.
In the evening Don had us over for a turkey dinner he made so he could have leftovers. It was so delicious and nice to actually eat a real roasted turkey. At Thanksgiving we went out to a restaurant for our meal and they served a rolled turkey; just not the same taste. When we get to Deming I'm going to make a full turkey dinner complete with cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and a pumpkin pie. I like those leftover turkey for sandwiches!

Yesterday we drove to Santa Fe from Alamosa and none too soon. It was extremely cold in Alamosa this year with temps at MINUS 13 with wind chill temps at MINUS 20-25!!!!!!!!!!!! We forgot about turning down the refrigerator and we had frozen milk, yogurt and beer. We found some pretty ugly black banannas and pears I forgot to take with us. And there was a little water left in the toilet that froze solid. We're not taking any water on board and have emptied and put antifreeze in all our holding tanks. We flush the toilet with windshielf wiper fluid as it has antifreeze in it. Here's Jim setting up the rig in Santa Fe --- please notice the snow.
We finally were able to personally see and hold our new great-granddaughter, Amity. That's mom, April, grandson, Maxx, and our adorable Amity, our great-granddaughter. Amity and I have the same haircut!


We also was able to spend a little time with our daughters and granddaughter. Christine was pulling a double shift at PC's Restaurant and Beth had to work that night and had just woken up...but we did get a little time together. We just couldn't spend too much time here as it is extremely cold being about 5-8 degrees and although our rig is a four-season model it isn't comfortable as the furnace and electric heater are constantly going to keep us warm.

So I need to close and get this rig on the road towards Deming and the Dream Catcher SKP Park. Bill and Lesle will join us Monday.

Remember, you are loved.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Arrived in Alamosa Safely

We are SOOOOOOO happy we decided to leave Coffeyville Monday instead of Tuesday!!! We traveled to La Juanta with Bill and Lesle then they broke off and drove north and were settled into the Air Force Academy Fam Camp by 2 pm. We drove over La Veta Pass and the snow was just beginning to fall. Driving west the roads were clear, but driving east was in frozen ice. We saw two accidents driving over....but we were OK.

We are staying at Day's Inn Motel as it gets too cold here in Alamosa to stay in the rv. The rv is parked at Jim's brothers garage out of town. We woke up this morning to the ground covered in snow.....the puppies aren't liking to go out in that mess.....and it is snowing as we speak. So it was very good we got here yesterday instead of today....the news just said there is chain law for traveling over La Veta and Wolf Creek Passes. We wouldn't have made it home coming in today as we definitely don't have tire chains with us.

So for all our friends out there ..... we arrived safely and are staying at a motel so we are warm and doing OK.

Remember, you are loved.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Garden City, Kansas

Bill and Lesle had chiropractor appointments early Monday, so we didn't get out of Independence till about 10:30 am; drove through Dodge City and although it looks like an interesting place to explore, but the SMELL!!! Too many cattle feed lots and the odor permeates the air. How do people ever get use to that?

We drove on up the road, taking Hwy 54/400, and arrived in Garden City, Kansas about 5:30 pm. We stayed at RJ's RV Park which is opened all year round and for $23 with Good Sam's discount. We found the local Golden Corral and enjoyed a good meal.

By then it was 7:30 - 8:00 pm and we were all tired from the long day of traveling....after not moving for two months we have to get back into our traveling mode. So I checked several weather websites and the snow will get us tonight, but hopefully we make it to Alamosa before 6 pm when it is expected.

OK, it's 8 am so we are off. Wish us luck....remember you are loved.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

We're Done, We're Done!!!!

We are FINISHED at!!!!! We checked the weather going into Colorado and saw that the snow expected Wednesday night shifted forward to being expected Tuesday night. So we got together with Bill and Lesle this afternoon and decided to leave tomorrow (Monday) morning. So we worked till "lunch" tonight at 10:30 pm and then left.

It was nice to receive all the hugs from fellow workampers and amazon employees alike. It was nice to be asked if we were coming back next year...."sure, if you'll take us back". Yes, we are thinking seriously of coming back. We made $7,000 for two months work, so it is hard to turn down. After you get through the first three weeks of "hardening up the body" it is manageable.

We'll take off tomorrow morning and head for Garden City, Kansas, to spend the night. Starting off early Tuesday should bring us into Alamosa late afternoon Tuesday. It all depends on the weather.

I'll probably not post to the blog for the next couple of days - so Merry Christmas everyone!!! Remember, you are dearly loved!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Met a Friend

Today I got to meet a friend who has been following my blog for a while. Recently she emailed me that she lived in Tulsa and maybe we could meet. Well, she was coming to Independence today for Christmas with family so we arranged for her to stop by the rv for a visit.

This is Maryann and Bill. They are Escapees and we found out we were close to each other last winter in Florida. We had a good visit today talking about fulltiming, Quartzsite, wives learning to drive their rigs, where to winter, etc. It was enjoyable!!! Thank you Maryann and Bill for a great time!Oh, I have to put up this photo of enchilada dinner Jim made the other night. It was soooooooo good. He filled the tortillas with ground beef and onions then used Old El Paso enchilada sauce and cheese and baked it. It was wonderful!! We even had enough to bring to work for lunch.

We have only one more night to work - that's tomorrow. We're going to pretty much skate by tomorrow - time to laugh a lot and say good bye to every one. It's been a good run; the work was hard; the hours were long, but the friendships made will last a lifetime.

Remember, you are loved!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Completed our overtime

We completed our 55 hour work week and really understand why we "opted out" of doing the overtime every week ----- it's too painful!!!!! After just a couple of hours last night the hands started to ache and tingle, there were shooting pain at the wrists, the back started to spasm and the brain started going foggy. All of us took extra breaks at our workstations to stretch, especially our backs and hamstrings. But we made it and earned our $562 for one night's work for Jim and I!

We were provided free pizza from as a "thank you" for an awesome week by all departments; we broke a lot of records for number of items received, stowed, picked and shipped. And when we left last night amazon had a box filled with baggies with different candies inside. The box said "amazon thanks our campers". There was a written note inside each baggy describing the contents:

  • Jolly Rancher -- Thanks for being so jolly
  • Smarties -- We can't do without your Smarties
  • Dum-Dum -- We're no dum-dum we know who to thank
  • Lifesavers -- You are a lifesaver
  • Payday -- You deserve an extra payday

Jim and I celebrated surviving the overtime by going out for breakfast at Shirley's. Good homestyle cooking at very reasonable prices. Two eggs, sausage or bacon, hashbrowns and toast is $3.75

After waking up at 1:30 pm it was really painful to stand up and walk...oh, my g How do those people work 55 hours every week? My feet feel like balloons and my hands are so swollen I can't even MOVE my wedding ring!

Enough about that - it will all be better by tomorrow. We need to do laundry and grocery shop today and then tonight we are all going out for dinner. Tomorrow we'll barbeque some steaks and then Sunday we go back for our last night of work. Only ONE more night to work and then we are off for Colorado for Christmas with Jim's brothers. We are really looking forward to being "home" for Christmas.......pray the weather holds for us to travel.

There are a couple of things we buy to stock up in our freezer from this area. One is St. Louis cut pork ribs. They are so thick and meaty here and we'll get a few racks. And there is a brand of link sausage we like and can't get anywhere else that we'll also buy extra of.

Remember, you are loved.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Burrrrrrrrrrrr Cold

When we got off work this morning it was 15 degrees with a wind chill factor of 3 degrees!!! It was mighty cold walking from the building to the car. Even inside working the Receiving line it was cold. People had their coats on working....usually we're in shorts and a tee shirt....not last night...we were bundled up.

Amazon gave us all this year's Peak Season. It's a navy, long sleeve and really cute.

This week we get another "I survived Peak at" shirt from Express Pro. We like to wear that shirt...we always get comments when we wear them.

Oh, remember when I posted that our water pipes froze last week? Well, now we trickle water from the faucets when we go to work to keep them free running. Jim also trickled water from the hose going into the "city water" input into the rig. Well, with the cold weather that trickle produced kind of an ice sculpture. Take a look--------------------

Needed to do it so we had water inside and maintain the trickle through the faucets. Kind of pretty don't you think?

Ugh, have to go to work....Remember you are loved.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Breaking Records

This last week we at broke all kinds of records! In Receiving we processed 1.3 million pieces of merchandise just last WEEK. And we shipped 1.4 million pieces of merchandise. That was a record.

Then last Thursday when Bill and Lesle worked overtime the Receiving Dept processed 230,000 pieces in one day....another record busted.

So business is really good!!!

Many workampers have left this last week. So to try and encourage people to stay amazon is making it worth our while to work overtime this week. If you work 55 hours this week you will get a $100 gift card. So you get $16.50 for 11 hours plus $100 - that's $281.50 each or for a couple that's $562 for just working that ONE SHIFT. Too, too good to pass up, so Jim and I will plan on working five shifts of 11 hours this week.

We are doing pretty well; we are recovering with a good day's sleep; but come 4 am with one hour to go you get pretty tired and your back is sore.

I looked down last week at about 4:30 am and saw my shoe lace was untied. My first thought was "oh, that's a long way down"! I laughed out loud when I realized what I was thinking. Jim has dropped a pen and stood there and looked at it on the floor. When I asked him what he was doing he said "I'm trying to decide whether it is worth stooping down to pick it up or just forget it". You think those things when your back is killing you.

Weather has been cooperating lately. We've haven't had our pipes froze again, so that's good. Days are bright and in the 40s. We usually have to scrape off the frost from the car's windows when we leave work, but the rig is staying warm and cozy.

Well, it's 6 am so it is time to go to bed. Remember, you are loved!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cold and Tired

It is burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr COLD. It was 16 degrees but with wind chill factor it was -3!!!!!!!!! We walked out of work this morning to that temperature and the wind was blowing 20-25 MPH. And WHY are we doing this????? Oh, yes, when we woke up this morning/afternoon all the water pipes were frozen AND, AND the truck wouldn't start and we needed propane!!!!!

How's that for a great time in Coffeyville, Kansas, working for

Nah, I'm not upset it's just part of life and you play the hand life deals with you. You just deal with it and go on. So we cracked the faucets and waited and pretty soon we had water in the shower, toilet and upper sink....but it is now 4 pm and we still don't have water in the galley. Bill came over and took Jim to get propane and jumped the truck. So we are all ok. has provided us two free meals the last two weeks. It's kind of their appreciation for all our work during "peak", which is what they call the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Food was catered and pretty good. First time it was chicken breast and last night it was baked ham.

Business is going very well for; items on order needing to be processed are running between 150,000 and 200,000 a day! And of course, we have to process all the new freight coming in to maintain the product flow. We process about seven semis-full A NIGHT. Last week between the day and night shifts we processed 1.2 million pieces of merchandise. And that is only in this one fulfillment center!

We are tired and need more sleep to recover each day. We go to sleep at 6 am and Jim gets up at noon, but today I woke up at 2:30 pm. But we only have 6 more shifts to work. Bill and Lesle will work the overtime shifts so they have 8 shifts to is too much for Jim and I. But we are handling it. There are many, many people leaving because of the cold. You know workampers and fulltimers don't DO cold. Luckily, our electricity is paid for us because we are using the electric heater non-stop.

Well, the beans with ham and fried potatoes are ready to eat so I best go. Be happy, stay warm and remember you are loved.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tired and New Friends

Tired is what we are. Last week we only worked 42 hours each and we didn't work the scheduled fifth night...Jim and I just can't/choose not to do the extra night of work. Bless Lesle and Bill's hearts they DID work the fifth night....they were on auto pilot and tired as dogs, but they made $364 between them for that one nights work. That's a month's rent at some rv park in Arizona this winter.

Orders are coming in at a heavier rate this year than last year....thanks to all of you who used for some of your holiday purchases. I bought myself two knitting book and they came in from Kentucky instead of from here in Coffeyville.....go figure.

I was scrolling through the Escapees discussion forum and under the Working on the Road topic I found a post from a person talking about the beet harvest and he said he was going to Coffeyville to work for I followed to his blog to find out more and found out he and his wife camphosted near Chama, NM. Well, American Land and Leisure (who we work for during the summer) have campgrounds in south-central Colorado near there. Sure enough more reading brought to light that Larry and Betty Harmon camphosted at Trujillo Meadows outside Antonito, Colorado.

So I emailed him and explained our similarities, and met last Saturday in Independence, KS and had lunch.

It was so much fun to meet someone who worked for the same companies as we do with similar backgrounds. Larry retired as police chief in a Arkansas town last year, both he and Jim being in public service. We all work nights at amazon but in different departments. Betty is a Picker and Larry is in Shipping which are considered Outbound department and Jim and I work in Receiving which is part of Inbound. We had a great time together.

Jim and I, as well as Bill and Lesle, have put in our two weeks notice. Our last night will be Sunday, December 20th; we'll get home morning of December 21st and sleep till noon and then break down and ready the rig for moving. After sitting in one place for two months things have kind of spread out and are not in their proper "moving" positions, so we need to "ready the ship" so to speak. Then early Tuesday morning of December 22nd we'll take off for Alamosa to spend Christmas with Jim's brothers. Don and Ron put on a fabulous Mexican Feast for Christmas Eve and we have missed attending the last two years. Of course, Alamosa being one of the coldest towns in the USA, we'll have to drain all our water, put a couple of gallons of anti-freeze in the holding tanks and use windshield wiper fluid for flushing the toilet while we are there. We'll stay at Chapman Campground, Ron's garage out by the airport, where we have electricity and water. It will only be for three nights, as Alamosa CAN get to 40 BELOW ZERO, we will leave quickly after Christmas and head for Deming, NM, Tucson and then Quartzsite.

We did go to another Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives recommended restaurant Saturday night, but more about that tomorrow. Off to work we go. Remember you are loved!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Back to Overtime

So we have two days of 10 hour shifts and then come Tuesday we are back to 11 hour shifts and back to 5 shifts a week. We'll do the 44 hours a week, but physically can't do the 55 hours. Guess we'll just call in Thursday.

Last night there were only two people on the Receiving line and the rest of us were Stowing all night. It wasn't too bad, but it sure was nice getting off at 4 am instead of 5 more hour sleep. I actually got 9 hours sleep and didn't get out of bed till 2 pm and now we have to go back to work at 5 pm; love the luxurious 3 hours in between sleeping and working ha-ha.

Luckily Jim made a pot of chili for dinner and we have leftover meatloaf from last night to have for lunch tonight at work. Shopping and cooking takes up so much of our "free" time, but it is cheaper than going out for dinner all the time like we did last year.

Well, need to get ready for work. Know that you are loved, dear friends!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day and new great-granddaughter

We finished work at 5 am Thanksgiving morning, slept for 6 hours and woke up and went to a local restaurant for holiday buffet with about 40 other workers.....kind of like being with least with friends and people we know and work with.

Dinner was OK but not like our own homemade meal. So this weekend or next Jim and I will cook our own Thanksgiving dinner like old times, in the old days. It will have to be a small 10-12 pound turkey as that it all that will fit in our small 15 inch wide oven, but we'll have stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, asparagus, and mushrooms mixed with mushroom soup, cranberry sauce, homemade yeast rolls and pumpkin pie.

Jim went back to work Thanksgiving night for a mandatory 5th night of 11 hours, but he planned on coming home half way through at our "lunch" hour; however, they were kept till midnight. I couldn't do the overtime. At 67 years old I just couldn't do any more .... 44 hours in 4 nights is all I have to give. But we only have 16 more working days to go and then we'll be on our way to Arizona for the winter. Hopefully, we can leave here a couple of days before we are suppose to leave on Dec. 23; then we hope to go back to Alamosa for Christmas Eve and Christmas to be with Jim's brothers. Then we hope to go to Santa Fe and see the daughters for day after Christmas.

The money here at is very good, especially $16.50 an hour for overtime; after the loss on the market the last year this money really helps the coffers. We have two more years to "work" until Jim turns 62 and can get onto social security then the daily grind won't be so hard. Our summer job is great and offers us a lot and next year we won't have to do again. But it won't be so bad if we have to come back...after the first three weeks needed to harden our bodies it isn't so bad; you feel you really make a difference to a great company and you do feel appreciated. Us old folks make a difference with our work ethics; we may be a bit slower than the 20 year olds, but we are consistent and enduring. We show up for work every day and give good value for our pay. It's a win - win situation. The money we make here will carry us for the coming winter and spring - until we start our summer gig in April.

Oh, Thanksgiving Day also brought us our first great-grandchild - a girl named Amity Rayne Vigil; 5 pounds 15 ounces; 19 inches long and just beautiful, for sure!!! She'll be called Rayne, pronounced "Rain" and means "strength". Our grandson Maxx and his lady, April, are thrilled...Maxx is so proud and plans on being a fully involved Dad. They recently moved into a nice apartment complex. April is a trained pastry chef and Maxx works in an upscale restaurant in Santa Fe.

Now I have to get busy and finish up that baby quilt I made for them...the top is done, but it needs to be "sandwiched" and quilted.

Friday we went to Independence as Radio Shack advertised a Tomtom GPS XL330S, regular priced at $199 on sale for $99. Of course, they were sold out by the time we got there at 11 am, but then I remembered a Walmart tv ad that said they would match any Black Friday ad. So off we went and Jim got one there for the $99 sale price. I like it a lot as this model speaks aloud the street names. Then Tomtom's website is advertising a buy back if you buy a new GPS and with our old model we will get back $66, so we got a $199 product for $33 - not a bad deal.

Well, it's Sunday and we work tonight...happily we are back to ten hour shifts, so we'll get off at 4 am instead of 5am....that one hour makes a big difference to the body pain.

Remember, you are loved and cared for!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jim

Yes, my favorite man in the whole world turned 60 today!!! This morning at midnight while we were working, he and I stopped a sang "happy birthday" to him. After work we went to Shirley's Cafe for birthday breakfast. It wasn't much but it was our little celebration; we had to get to sleep because we only had 10 hours before we had to go back to work again. It is a continuous cycle of work, sleep, eat, work, sleep, eat. That's all we do day after day. But we only have 4 more weeks to go - 16 more working days - that makes it easier to invision.

We are scheduled to work a fifth night of eleven hours this week!!!! Sorry, folks, but I don't have another eleven hours to give you!! I'm giving them 44 hours this week but 55 hours just is not in my body to give.

Oh, our grandson's (Maxx) girl friend (April) went into labor this morning, so maybe, maybe we'll have our great-granddaught born on Jim's birthday. It not tomorrow is our granddaughter-in-law's birthday - our grandson, Kenneth's wife.

We are going to join another 20 people for Thanksgiving dinner at Lannings Grill, a local restaurant in town where they are having a buffet for the holiday. That should be fun eating with others - like having our own little "family" together. I'll try to take some photos as it has been forever since I've posted any photos.

Weather has been pretty awesome this year. Days have been in the high 60s and nights mid 40s. At least it has been warm enough for the denture adhesive to flow. Last year it was so cold I had to put our Fixadent on the furnace register to warm it up enough to be able to squeeze it onto our dentures!!!

Well, I have 45 minutes before we leave for work so I need to get some more caffeine in me to try to get some energy working. So y'all go online and buy a bunch of holiday gifts from cause we have a lot of merchandise ready to be shipped out to you and there are a lot of daily deals with great savings!!! This commercial has been brought to you by

Remember you are loved.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Doing Better, Thankfully

Yes, I am much better today. I haven't taken any medicine and haven't had but one coughing session all day. Unfortunately I gave my cold to Bill and he is down and out today. Lesle came over for dinner when Jim grilled steaks which we had with baked potatoes and a salad. I even made a mixed berry cobbler that came out tasty, although it looked like a wreak.

The body has recovered and no pain today. Oh, Oh, I got on the scale this morning and I've lost 8 pounds the last two weeks!!! I guess it is the not eating so often and smaller portions that did it. Plus the crazy physical contortions we go through in our 11 hour shifts. Whatever the reason, I'll take the weight loss! Now to keep it off is the real challenge.

Back to work tomorrow night...but we are almost half way through our assignment here only FIVE more weeks to go! We can do it.

Remember, you are loved.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Finished Our First 55 Hour Week

Yes, Jim completed the mandatory 55 hour week; since I took off sick Monday I completed 44 hours. The time and a half for an eleven hour shift brings in about $182 and if we both do that it is $364 which enough for a whole month stay at a campground with FHUs. That is very attractive incentive, BUT I don't think we'll worry about paying for TWO months rent, because it is just too darn hard. Both Jim and I would be good for an extra six hours on the fifth day, but no more 55 hours.

We processed over 60,000 items tonight in receiving. That is pretty good. The warehouse is bulging at the seams and very ready for all the orders that will come in day after Thanksgiving.

We probably not have to work for Thanksgiving so we are thinking of roasting a turkey so we can enjoy our own traditions and food; but we are also thinking of going to one of the nearby casinos and do one of their buffets. We'll see what happens.

Well, it's laundry and grocery shopping for us tomorrow and maybe a drive to Tulsa or somewhere on Saturday just to break up our week.

You are loved!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What's Wrong With This Picture?

We went to work Tuesday night and came home Wednesday morning knowing we had to go back into work Wednesday night earlier - at 4pm - because was having a big Peak Kick Off Celebration. Peak is "speak" for their holiday sales season. It's those five weeks before Christmas where all the buying is done, and as any retailers, it is their busiest time and where they make the lion share of their year's sales. The bins are bulging in the multi, multi-millions of items already stock and ready to be sold the next five weeks! You can pack a lot of %&*#@ in a million square feet of warehouse space!

So, Wednesday morning we get home at 5:30 am, go to bed at 6 am, but come 12:30 pm Jim is waking me up to get ready to go to work. What's wrong with this picture????????? We had to go grab something for "dinner" and find something for "lunch", plus since I was sick and in bed on our last three days off we had to go buy undies and socks, as we ran out. We had 2 1/2 hours to do all that and then met Bill and Lesle to drive to work at 3:15 pm.

The Peak Kick-Off was fun though. They had the local high school band come in in full uniform and played Christmas carols as they marched throughout the plant from back in shipping to up front in receiving. All the managers were decked out in antlers, some pulling Santa's sleigh. The three big bosses were dressed as cheerleaders, complete with makeup, wigs and skirts. Amazon put up a stage appropriately decorated and there were a couple of skits with an improv group from the local community college, with inside amazon jokes - pretty funny stuff.

The best part of the whole event was that we clocked in at 4 pm and with all the fun stuff we didn't start actually working until 5 pm....sure, I'll come in and stand there and watch and you pay me $11 an hour! The shift went pretty easy last night and we got to go home at 3:30 am. Seemed like a good time to celebrate again, so we went to Daylight Donuts.

Today is our mandatory overtime fifth day! We'll see if we can last that long. Mark from Express Pro told us to do what we had to do. If we couldn't make the fifth day, just call "point" in demerits, but we don't have that much longer to go before we leave so there won't be a problem accumulating too many.

I think we'll just do a KFC run today and get the bucket special and that way we'll get dinner and still have leftovers for lunch tonight. Did you get all that?

Well, bye-bye for now and we'll see you in the morning.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Finished Christmas Gift Knitting

I finished all my Christmas gift knitting. You remember the posts of our daughter, Christine's, gift of spa items with bag, scrubber, soap holder and loofa.

I already gave Maxx and April the layette set for their "yet to be born" daughter.

Then I knitted our granddaughter, Alyssa's, purple belt in a cable stitch. I made it long so she can wear it below the waist, as a high hip ornament.

Then again I just finished a snood for our other daughter, Beth, who has long dark hair. The snood will allow her to put her hair up in it when she doesn't want to fuss with it. On someone with short hair it gives the illusion of having long hair. The pattern is hard to see but it is called English Lace. The color is a hunter green with flecks of burgundy, which are Beth's favorite colors.

So that finishes my Christmas gift knitting. I'll send some soaps to Christine's gift, maybe a new blouse for Alyssa, and Beth, who loves Little House in the Prairie, will get a DVD of the third year.

I hope to get it all sent off this week to spare myself of the Christmas shipping rush and long lines at the post office.

Remember, you are loved!

Doing Better

It sure was hard to send Jim off to work yesterday as I decided to call in sick for work. I took my Sudafed and watched Dancing with the Stars, trying to stay up as long as possible to maintain our waking hours. I finally went to bed at midnight, got up and chatted with Jim at 5:30 am, took more Sudafed and then went back to sleep till noon. So I'm on schedule again.

That Sudafed is working well for me and I feel much better. My voice is normal and I even put on some makeup today. I made a nice pot of split pea soup yesterday, so we'll have that for dinner today and take sandwiches for "lunch" at 10 pm.

Jim came home with the news that we are working five days this week. So we'll work Thursday. "They" said it is only for this week, but we'll see. Working Thursday will give me back hours I missed being sick, but we won't stay if "they" impose mandatory five day weeks.

It's been very humid and the rigs are all "sweating" from the moisture. High today is 40 and overcast...most unpleasant. We are running the electric heater non-stop.

Remember, you are loved!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cold Still a Problem

I'm putting off going to the doctors as I'm not sure there is much they can do. It is a virus and basically has to run it's course. I can't take Tylenol products so that leaves out a lot of the over-the-counter medicines to dry out my sinus like Dayquill, etc. I'm also allergic to ibuprofen so there goes a few other medicines I can't take. Jim is buying me some Sudafed and we'll see how that goes.

I always eat yogurt, am drinking gallons of hot tea with lemon and honey, and I'm making myself some old fashioned split pea soup for dinner with lots of onions, celery and carrots.

I've had my pneumonia shot but haven't gotten my annual flu shot this year yet. I'm resting as much as possible and was in bed all three of my days off. But, alas, I had to leave work last night about 2:45 am because I just couldn't go anymore....the cold had just worn me out. They let to go to the in-house medical center and slept till 5 am when the rest of the crew got off work and take me home. I did call in for today, though, as I'm just too tired from coughing. We'll see how tomorrow goes.

Four shifts have gone to 5 x 11 hour shifts for 55 hours of work a week. Our shift isn't one of them, but that will be a deal breaker for us and we will leave. We just can't work that much at our age. Many people have left already - mostly day workers who are tired of having to get up at 3:30 am to go to work at 5 am. That's why we picked nights as you can sleep as long as you need to, going to sleep by 6 am and be up at 3 pm if you want. Most times Jim wakes up by 11 or 12, but I need to get 7-8 hours of sleep so get up at 1 or 2 pm. will lose a lot of workampers if they institute many more shifts of 5 x 11 hours.

I'm staying warm, with as much rest, wholesome food and hot tea as possible. Need to whip this cold somehow!

Remember, you are loved!!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Work is Hard But Express Pro Great!

I've been following a blog of a lady who is working for in Fernley, Nevada, and her experience has not been as good as we have had it here in Coffeyville.

There they are really being hounded to make your numbers, reach your quota; plus their temp agency isn't very nice to them. There they are hired as individuals by a completely different temp agency. Here in Coffeyville we are hired as workampers and Mark and Kym Kays of Express Employment Professionals (Express Pro) are wonderful to us. We are treated with respect, consideration, encouraged and cared for. That is the reason we chose to come back here and not go to Fernley. Mark is managing the workamper requirements for Campbellsville, Kentucky this year so that is another option for next year. Mark hires "coaches" who work all the shifts and they come by and check in with you every shift to make sure you are ok and don't have any issues that need to be addresses. The coaches are our liason with and work as our go-betweens.

I can't say enough good things, or pay too many compliments to Express Pro and how Mark and Kym are running the operation here in Coffeyville. We are treated like favorite family members with respect and caring.

We have had a lot of folks leave, especially this last week. The hard, physical labor is getting to them, I guess. It does take a good three weeks of work to get conditioned, so this is our fourth week, so we should be hitting our stride this week.

I've stayed in bed for the whole three days of our time off this week! I haven't done laundry or gone grocery shopping and Jim has cooked all the meals. I've slept as much as possible to try and get rid of this cold. My rib cage is so sore from hacking so much. Nothing has helped suppress the coughing!!!

Well, Jim just brought back some fried chicken for dinner, so best eat and get ready to go to work.

Remember, you are loved!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Feeling Better

This is our second day off and I didn't get out of bed till 2:30 pm and went to bed at 1:30 am so that's pretty good rest. I do feel better and my voice is back to normal, but I am still coughing and hacking all the time. I stirred up some honey and lemon juice and take a teaspoonful periodically and that seems to help. Jim went to get ice cream at Braum's - that's the best medicine. Getting ice cream is an old family tradition when you are sick....we did it since the daughters were small and Jim and I continue to do it till today. It cures all ills!

We had a fast dinner tonight and one I have got to tell you about. We are big fan of Trader Joe's and when we were in Albuquerque they were giving out samples of this "ready to eat" meal,

Chicken Marsala with Mashed Potatoes and Shitake Mushrooms. We froze this fresh meal and had it for dinner tonight - nuke it for 3 minutes and it was done and delicious. Now most of you know I am a "scratch cook" and I don't use hardly any packaged foods, but this was really, really good. If you are by a Trader Joe's give it a try. It amply serves two and costs $6.99.

Our friends Marie and Dave are leaving Coffeyville. Marie aggravated her carpal tunnel with the repetitive motion of filling single item bags and they won't let her do another job, so they will leave next week. We are sure sorry to see them leave as we have joined for happy hour several times and will join them again tomorrow for one last time. They will drive on to Queens Valley, Arizona, were they have a lot. We hope to visit them there before we drive on to Quartzsite in January.

Remember, you are loved.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Gotta Cold!!!

Jim generously gave me his mild cold and it manifested in me as an ugly, monster of a cold! All I do is cough and cough and cough - constantly. So I took off Tuesday from work. I lost my voice and barely could make myself heard when I called in on the sick line.

I did go back to work last night and just kept sucking on a cough drop all night. I even went and bought some on Godly expensive cough suppressant ($10 for 3 oz.) and it didn't help a bit. Took it again when I got home and promptly threw it up.

My back has been bugging me when I remembered a librarian friend of mine use to do back exercises every night. So before I went to work I laid on the floor and did some back stretches. Well, it worked!!! My back didn't hurt all night. You better believe I will be doing back stretches every night from now on.

Well, yesterday was our last day for the week - we call Wednesday's our "virtual Friday". And a little tradition we have is to go to Daylight Donuts when we get off work on "Fridays" and get a treat. Luckily Daylight Donuts opens at 4 am and there are a lot of workers who gather there after work most "nights" after work.

Weather has been very nice the last two weeks maintaining 70-80s with nights 40-50s so I think we will barbeque tonight for a change. Want to come over and join us?

Remember, you are loved!

Monday, November 9, 2009

First Eleven Hour Night

Oh, MG do I feel my age this morning or afternoon rather. That first shift of 11 hours of work was a killer. They sure didn't much out of us that last hour, that's for sure! The lower back is aching and the hands are throbbing this morning. This is only week three with six more weeks after this....I don't know's really hard on the body. Plus Jim gave me his cold and they are smoothing out the new cement road in front of the rv! Jim went to buy another pair of shoes as it really makes a difference if you switch off each day.

We're having homemade chicken soup for dinner tonight and the leftover meatloaf from yesterday for lunch tonight. Both came out really good.

Thanks for letting me gripe to you. Remember, you are loved.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Alligator bites

We hosted a happy hour yesterday with Bill, Lesle, Dave, Marie and their friends Maria and Tim. Marie brought soft tacos, I made shrimp dip and Lesle brought over alligator bites she bought in Alabama last spring. Jim breaded the bites in panko and deep fried them and then served them with cocktail sauce. Everyone really enjoyed this unusual treat.

Lesle noticed a group of four couples together chatting around an rv, so she went over and invited them to join us; in a little while they came over and we introduced themselves. So we had 14 for happy hour. As fellow workampers at we had the usual stories to share. On couple from Amarillo also owned a lot at River's Edge in South Fork, Colorado, where we send the summer. So we definitely will be exchanging social cards with them and plan on getting together next summer in South Fork. We had so much fun together we planned on meeting again next Saturday for happy hour.

Lesle and Bill drove to Wichita to deposit their paychecks at a branch of their bank. They found a good place to eat called Nu Way that have loose meat sandwiches. There is also a Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives restaurant called Brint's Diner in Wichita, so we may go with them next week to check it out. After next week the automatic deposit should kick in.

I'm cooking meat loaf for dinner today and will then take sandwiches for "lunch" tonight. Want to come over for dinner? There's plenty!

Remember, you are loved.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Is it worth......

I've got a new way in deciding to buy something or not. Is it worth an hour working at Last Wednesday when we got up and were trying to decide what to have for "dinner" Jim suggested going to KFC. I said "no" their food wasn't worth an hour of working at Then Thursday we saw a Pizza Hut ad for any size, any topping, any type of pizza for $10 - now that WAS worth an hour on my feet at It is surprising how many things I haven't bought based on this philosophy.

I had another "ah ha" moment when I was cooking pasta and almost made it mush because I was cooking it too long. Did you know water comes to a boil faster in lower altitude than a high altitude....of course, you do! I've lived in Colorado for 29 years at 7,544 feet and got use to putting water on to boil a good 20-30 minutes before you needed it because it took that long for it to come to a boil. Then I wake up in Coffeyville, Kansas, at 738 feet elevation and water boils in mere seconds! I don't have to add 1/2 cup of flour to a cookie or cake recipe or reduce the yeast in rolls so they rise too fast.

I woke this morning to a delightful smell! Jim was making beignet from a mix Lesle bought when in New Orleans. Oh, what a wonderful creation that is!!!! Better than donuts by far.

Yesterday was laundry and lazy day...did laundry just so I didn't feel completely out of it. Today is shopping and happy hour with the Dengates and Thomas-Borger.

Remember, you are loved.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Minimal Soreness

How do you like the new photo of the pups? They are seven years old now, but look pretty good. Chorizo especially likes to pose....Poncho says, "hurry up and get it over with already, Mom".

Jim and I are suffering minimal soreness when we wake up in the morning-afternoon. Now I'm not saying we don't moan and groan when we get off work and get in and OUT of the car. Oh, it is so hard getting out of the car when we arrive back home!!!

I took a new photo of my work outfit---this is Ninja Girl 2009---instead of a headband I wore last year now I use the bandanna as a kerchief.

Yes, we wear shorts and sleeveless shirts even when it is cold out as inside it gets hot.

Last night Jim and I were assigned to Stowing so we walked a lot. It is a nice change to mix it up between Receiving and Stowing.

Yippee we got satellite tv again. We called the "authorized DISH dealership" and a couple of new connectors here and tv adjustments there and presto we got a was aimed in the wrong spot. So it was good to happen as Jim learned a few more things to consider when we set up.

We worked on the new Receiving line the other night. It's a complete new set up with new computers, monitors on a poll, new handheld scanners and new tables, etc. The new line has a 2-3 inch lip on the top so you have to lift up the boxes instead of sliding the boxes across to the desk. Then you have to lift up the totes when you have filled them and carry it over to the conveyor belt to go on it's way. Before there was a little chute at the end of the table you pushed the tote on and there were rollers that took the tote down to the conveyor belt. It's harder on your back because you are carrying each full tote.

So it depends if you want a sore back from Receiving or "screaming puppies" as Jim describes his feet after a night of Stowing. But all in all I'm feeling good after a night's sleep; no soreness at all.

Well, that's another episode of the Tales of Remember, you are loved.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Second Week at

Only 26 days of work to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, we are counting them down every day when we drive to work.

After two weeks of overcast, rainy, dreary days yesterday was a welcomed change. It was 72 and sunny. The four of us celebrated by having barbeque steaks for "dinner" at 2 pm. Marie and Dave Dengate came over for a short visit. Marie's hands and carpal tunnel are acting up a lot and she is in pain...poor soul.

At when you start work and after lunch you have "stand up" which is meeting standing up. They tell you the last counts of product in, how many was processed, how many stowed, the picking numbers and how many are yet to be done. You also do exercises, bring up a safety tip each time, etc. Safety is a really big deal at, as it should be, and they are right on anything that compromises safety.

Well, last night at stand up a lady comes up to me and says "are you Bobbie Chapman?" Seems she has been following our blog and reads it every morning. I was flattered. She was the fourth or fifth person who has come up to us at amazon that told us they are following our blog. Maybe I should put a "hit counter" on the blog to see how many people are looking at it. Does anyone have a suggestion of a good "counter" to use?

I sure thank Carolyn Trout suggestion to get Girl Power or Get Toned shoes by Easy Spirit. Lesle and I both bought the Girl Power style with a very thick sole at an Easy Spirit Outlet store in Branson. My feet don't hurt at all! And that is saying something with the 10 hours of standing we do.

I'm really happy I switched from Stowing to Receiving. Yes, my back aches, but my hips are being punished with all the walking, climbing stairs, and reaching and stooping as I did with Stowing. Jim and I roll on the Bengay stuff and take two Doane's pills and tough it out.

Bill and Lesle are cooking pork ribs for dinner tonight. We're bringing over some potatoes and onions. You want to come over and join us?

Remember, you are loved.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

New Friends and Joplin

We had a very nice time having dinner with Jeanne and Jack Albers. We decided to go to Lannings and local restaurant downtown. As we were getting into the truck here comes a car that stops and a lady comes out saying "Chappy, Chappy is that you?" Turns out to be someone we have "chatted" with on Workampers News discussion forum with the handle "hisgirl". Her name is Monica and she was visiting relatives in Santa Fe the same time we were seeing our daughters there. We missed each other by one day from meeting there. So we invited Monica to join us for dinner and she did. So we had a table full of seven.

We munched on burgers and sandwiches and it was pretty good. Lannings is one of only a few independent restaurants available and it is frequented by locals. We had a good time "introducing" ourselves and telling our story of becoming fulltimers. Monica works the same shift we do and the Albers work days on the "donut" shift - Monday, Tuesday, off Wednesday and work Thursday and Friday, thus it is called the "donut" shift.

Today we took off for Joplin to return the XM radio boombox we bought last week. It was nice to just get out of Coffeyville for the day. After returning it we stopped and ate at Ryan's Buffet and I savored their pulled pork and fried chicken.....they do them very well.

Now it is just lazing around, napping and enjoying a sunny day. Got a call from Larry and Claudia King who work for amazon last year. They are on their way in from Joplin and called to see if there were any spots opened here in Heritage....sadly there isn't, so they will have to go to Walter Johnson. Spots are getting hard to find now.

Jim walked the dogs and heard one of the amazon folks say that he was told last night that Stowers were going to go to mandatory five day weeks - hopefully it will only be ten hour days. The week after that we are suppose to go to eleven hour shifts in In-Bound.....they will have some problems if they impose mandatory 55 hour weeks.....I can't do it, I know! Overtime money would be good but-t-t-t-t....the body can only do so much at my age. I'll let you know.

Remember, you are loved.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Amazon First Week Done

We survived the first week of work at!!!!!!!!!!! And the aches and pains aren't too bad, thank you very much. For me it is my lower back and for Jim it is his legs. My being short makes me have to lift a box and slide it into my work station off the receiving line. So I guess I am lifting with my lower back. You can't really use your leg muscles as I am leaning forward to grad the box.

I need to look up lower back exercises on the internet to help strengthen them and also to warm them up and stretch them out before I work. Any body have any suggestions?

Yesterday we went to Walmart to buy a bigger lunch box, Doane's pills and some roll on Bengay stuff. Also bought a clear plastic cosmetic style bag to use to carry box knife, work gloves, small Purell and lip balm. Anything on the floor has to be in a see through type bag or purse for theft prevention.

Yesterday was "Slug Day", our first day off of three. You don't do much, just be a "slug" and move slowly and recover from the hard four day week. Then today is "Back to Human Day" where you are feeling pretty good and do the laundry and grocery shop and run errands. Then tomorrow is designated "Tourist and Travel Day" where we will travel to Tulsa or Bartlesville, OK or venture to Joplin, MO as they are all within 75 miles from here.

Tomorrow we will go to Joplin to return the docking console we bought for the XM radio last week. We found out it was the XM radio itself that was bad and our boombox was fine, so replacing the radio made everything work OK.

Now we are dealing with getting our DISH satellite tv to work. After three hours of working with a independent technician and numerous calls to DISH technical support and hours of frustration we made an appointment with an authorized technician to come out next Monday and finally get us hooked up. We have been able to get CBS on the antenna in the bedroom tv but that is all. With working nights we are missing a lot of our favorite shows - like Dancing with the Stars, but that is the choice we made. But I would like to be able to watch tv in the living room, while lounging in the recliner instead of sitting up in bed to watch tv.

I need to go do laundry today and then tonight we will be having dinner with "yet unmet" friends at Hog Heaven. Jeanne and Jack Albers are friends of Rick and Terry Travers and all have lots at Saguro RV Park in Benson, AZ. When Rick found out the Albers were also coming to work at here in Coffeyville, Kansas, he emailed us. So Jeanne and I have emailed each other a few times and are going to finally meet for dinner tonight....that will be fun as the Albers first lived on a sail boat for many years and traveled and now are fulltime rvers. They will have many interesting tales to share.

That's the best part of this fulltiming lifestyle - meeting all these interesting people! Yes, seeing all the different places and sights is wonderful and exciting, but it's the PEOPLE you meet along the way that makes it all worthwhile. We are such a diverse group of nomads who band together like one gypsy family meeting and caring for another gypsy family you meet along the road. We have sometime been to the same places and seen the same sights, but mostly we hear about new places and things to do and see from fellow rvers. We have much in common besides being fulltime rvers - we are knitters, grandparents, NASA car fans, restaurant eater outers, snowbirds or move every two weeks, some workamp, some don't need to. There are many levels in which we connect and find common ground. You get to KNOW people in this lifestyle. There is no such thing as living next to someone for a period of time and not meeting them or knowing them like in a stick and brick house. You know your neighbors when you live this lifestyle.

Well, off my soapbox and onto laundry. Remember, you are loved!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Stow School

Yesterday at work we had "Stow School", which was a direct result from the comments made by workampers at the end of last year - "we need training" we said. So they set up a complete simulation of the stowing operation with labeled bins, numbered carts, scanners that would go into a training mode and a written script that was read as we followed the instructions - step by step. IT WAS GREAT!!!

Jim and Lesle had been thrown into Stowing at the end of last season and they floundered around and in some cases very frustrated. But we all took the school last night and it was very accurate and informative. Some of the scanner tools have been changed and much easier to use.

Our shift that was designated for In-Bound are all Stowing for the first two weeks or so as that is what is needed right now. After that Bill, Jim and I will be trained for primarily Receiving and Lesle will do both.

This year amazon ambassadors (trainers-helpers-problem solvers) will stay with us for the first two weeks and answer questions as they arise before they send us off on our own. That is very good because we will all feel much more secure in knowing what we are doing.

Last night was our last short shift of five hours - hardening they call it. We chose to start our ten hour days tonight. We stayed up till midnight last night and unfortunately I woke up at 4:30 am and so I'll basically be up 24 hours before I go to bed tomorrow morning after getting off work at 3:30 am.

Come Nov 8th we will be working 11 hour shifts - so that's 44 hours a week. So figure this out with me: get up and take 1/2 hour to shower and get dressed, one hour to prepare and eat dinner at 3 pm, leave to work 1/2 hour early, work eleven hours, 1/2 to clock out and drive home, suppose to stay up an hour before going to bed when you work nights, sleep eight hours....ah, ah, ah, half hour plus an hour, plus.......that adds up to 24 hours and leaves us a hour and a half to enjoy your day before you go back to work! Oh, bother!!!

Our choice, our decision, good money and it's only for eight weeks! I guess we can do it.

Remember, you are loved.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dearing, Kansas

We joined Dave, Marie, Bill and Lesle at King's Table in Dearing for lunch yesterday. King's Table is operated by a church and they make homemade breads for their sandwiches, make wonderful deep dish homemade pies and have a full expresso bar.

The walls are enhanced with beautiful painted murals of Jesus playing soccer with a bunch of children, etc. They have a small stage where they have live music bands on weekends and a patio for wonderful outdoor eating. We frequented King's Table a few times last year and will go there more often this year I think.
After lunch we drove down a side street to one house where they have a good sense of humor. On the side of the house they have recreated an old 1930s gas station.
Isn't it nifty!!! It's right there in the middle of a residential area.

The house itself is very interesting also. They have this spiral chimney; see it has a twist in it; and then it looks like a stain glass piece below - right in the fireplace area.

Pretty nice looking.

Well, that it is for today. Remember, you are loved.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Got Our Work Schedule

We got our work schedule tonight. We'll be working In-bound, Shift 6, Sunday through Wednesday 5 pm to 3:30 am - exactly what we asked for!!! Returning workampers pretty much got what they asked for in our group. Bill and Lesle have the same exact schedule as we do, which is nice as we can carpool together and have the same days off to do things together.

So-o-o-o we have to start to work tomorrow night. That means we have to stay up as late as possible tonight and then take a nap tomorrow afternoon for a little while. The first couple of days we will only have to work half shifts to "harden" ourselves and then go to full shifts. We can tell them when we are ready to go to full shifts so we'll probably do that right away. We are only here for 8 weeks and need to maximize our revenue as much as possible.

We did get our XM satellite radio back to working. Found out the Belkin boombox has a faulty connector and will burn out the Roady XT receiver. The comments on different discussion forums talked about the exact problem we were having - receiver shows the display but no sound from the boombox. We tried to make our old Roady work in the new boombox we bought at Best Buy on Wednesday and although we got it to work in the store wen we bought it, we couldn't get it to work here in the rig. So we went to Walmart and bought a new receiver and used the same boombox and now all is well. I can listen to my 40s music again - happy day! Now we have to bring back the $160 boombox we bought.

When we go back to Joplin we'll stop in Baxter Springs and eat at one of the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives recommended restaurants, Cafe on the Route; that's Route 66, folks. I remember that episode so that will be fun.

Well, the ribs are about ready to come off the grill and the satellite tv guy is still trying to get out DISH working - it's been three days of trial and error, poor guy, so I guess I'll say goodnight for now.

Remember you are loved!!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

NuWa RV Plant - Chanute, Kansas

Yes, we went to Chanute, Kansas, Wednesday to check out the Hitchhiker manufacturing plant and were part of the tour guided by the owner, Mike Mitchell. He was very interesting and sure knew his stuff; answer all our questions very honestly...we were impressed.

And yes, we fell in love with the Hitchhiker LS 32.5 FKSBG. The living room area is very open and with the two opposing slides measures 14 feet across from the window of the dinette to the back of the recliners on the other side. I couldn't find a way to copy the photo but here is the website address to look at it. It is a beauty!

The kitchen is on the side

With a pantry next to the entertainment/desk area

We will look for a 2008 or 2009 model, preferably used to get it into our price range. Maybe Arizona will have something in January.

It was only a 60 mile drive North to Chanute and easy. It started to rain on the way home and continued all night and into this morning. Everything is saturated as they have had a lot of rain already the last two months.

We had a pleasant surprise around 2 pm when Marie and Dave Dengate came by to visit us. We met the Dengates the summer of 2008 at the Colorado Boomerang in Buena Vista and traveled with them for about a month. They volunteer at the Great Sand Dunes National Park outside of Alamosa and so we saw them again this year when they came and camped in Big Meadows for a couple of days. We told them about and so they signed up and have been here in Coffeyville, Kansas, since mid-September. They haven't been very fond of the weather here in Kansas - too rainy and dreary - but will stick it out till the end. We may join them for Christmas in Queens Valley, Arizona, if we can't get back to Alamosa in time or because of the weather.

After a little visit the Dengates invited us and Bill and Lesle to come to their house for happy hour. Boy did Marie put out a spread of snacks! We all enjoyed ourselves and learned about the changes at this year.

Today is another rainy, dreary day - another Ho Hum day of knitting, washed clothes in town, napping and watching local tv - No Jim has not been able to connect the satellite; I've called the DISH guy to come to it....Jim is very frustrated about it, but it's been five days and the local channels are pretty *&^%$#@*.

Remember, you are loved.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ho Hum Day

Today was pretty much a ho hum day. We stayed around the rig mostly. We did go to the Wonder Bread Thrift Store where we got great buys on hamburger buns, English muffins and raisin bread. Jim chugged out early this morning to get donuts....we crave donuts and haven't had any since last donut shops in South Fork this summer.

Bill and Lesle had us over for spaghetti dinner tonight using great sauce we bought at Trader Joe's in Albuquerque. We stayed and watched a little tv and then came home. We are trying to stay up later every night to get ourselves acclimated to being up all night and sleeping during the day. It is hard to stay up though.

Tomorrow we are going to Chanute to visit the NuWa plant and check out all the different Hitchhiker models....we like that brand.

Remember, you are loved.

Express Employment Professionals

We had our hiring appointment yesterday at Express Pro in Independence, Kansas. This was the sign that greeted us when we arrived. Nice to see!
It didn't take long to do the little "picking capability" test - you are given a list of book and music titles and then they had photos of the items on the wall and you had to answer questions about them, like what edition is xxx book or who is the author of xxxx, or what format is xxx music. Being an old library worker I did pretty good....but I don't want to be a "picker" they walk 10 to 20 MILES per daily shift!!!! That's way too much for me. Last year I barely made the 5-7 miles I walk each night as a "stower" - putting items in bins.

Lesle and I subscribed to different local newspapers, drove around town to see what was new, opened, or closed. For those of you who worked here last year, like most small towns there wasn't much changed; pretty much the same. There is a new restaurant on the main drag called Phelps Hog Heaven.....barbeque, of course. Sunday we ate at The Stockade buffet which was pretty good - great salad bar.

There is a new super Walmart being built at the junction of Hwys 166 and 169 on the way to The building is finished and they are working on completing the inside now. Suppose to be opened after the first of the year.

We lazed around the rest of the evening. Jim spent hours trying to get the Dish satellite to bring in both 110 and 119 satellites to no avail. He got 110 set so we can watch the three main networks, but 119 eludes him. One of the workampers told me that most of the folks are having problems setting up their satellites this year......wonder why? Guess we'll have to call for a technician to come help us out.

No plans for today - do some more scouting around, go to the library, etc. We do want to drive to Chanute to tour the NuWa plant - they make Hitchhiker rvs - we want to look at all the different models.

Remember - you are loved!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Arrived in Coffeyville, Kansas

Well we made it OK on our drive from Hollister/Branson to Coffeyville, Kansas. Gratefully, it was another uneventful day - no mishaps or mechanical problems - those kind of day are great. The rolling hills of the Ozarks are really spectacular and although the trees were past their "peak" of colors they were still very colorful.

The only problem we are having is that our XM radio is not working. We use a boombox to use our XM and all of a sudden it stopped putting out sound. The XM is playing and you can see the channel you are on and it changes titles of music as it happens....we just can't HEAR anything.

We'll have to take a trip back to Joplin and bring it to a Best Buy and see if we can figure out what's wrong. I cleaned the connection posts with alcohol and reseated the unit but still no sound. I'm bummed because I really enjoy listening to 40s music and Seriously Sinatra!

Here are two more photos of the fall colored trees as we drove through some small town outside of Joplin.

It was cold and damp, humid when we arrived. That morning it had been 32 degrees and there was frost on the truck windows. Going to be an early and hard winter I fear.

Today we go to Independence to do all the paperwork for our job at amazon. We should start next week, so that gives us the rest of this week to check things out and get ready. I bought some Easy Spirit Anti-Gravity shoes in Branson. They were recommended by my friend Carolyn because they have a really large sole, weigh next to nothing, and are very comfortable. Next we'll get some Dr. Scholl's Back Ache inserts and bring out the heavy soled socks to cushion our steps.

We asked to both be put in Receiving so we'll see if we get what we want and requested. Hopefully being returning employees we can have a little pull.

Remember, you are loved!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Clanton's Cafe

The photo above is early morning at the balloon fiesta. It's "Main Street" at the balloon park where they sell all the breakfast burritos and Tom Thumb donuts. I liked the moon peaking over the mountain.
We traveled from Norman towards Branson/Hollister, Missouri, to stay at the Escapees RV Park for a couple of days of relaxation before going to work at in Coffeyville, Kansas.

Thursday as we drove to Vinita and saw the "former" largest McDonald's in America. It was a large arch over the highway but inside I understand there is a regular size McDonald's and the rest of the building is other shops and stores. The current largest McDonald's is in Orlando and is built to look like a large bag of fries.

Some people who fulltime, have "themes" for their see national parks, to see all NASCAR race tracks, or historical homes. Bill, Leslie, Jim and I travel to see as many restaurants as possible that have been visited by Guy Fieri in his "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" Foodnetwork tv show. We've been to quite a few of them from Florida to Arizona. So in Vinita there is Clanton's Cafe and Guy was there for their Chicken Fried Steak and their Calf Fries.

Two of us shared a luncheon portion of Chicken Fried Steak and an appetizer of Calf Fries. They are "An Oklahoma delicacy, known as the 'cattleman's hors d'oeuvre,' served fried, boiled, battered, grilled, and seasoned." Both were very good. We got one of the owners to sign a take-out menu as a souvenir. We actually got Lesle and Bill to try the Calf Fries...and they ate quite a few of them :) These were cut smaller and were much more tender than Rocky Mounain Oysters, which Jim and I really like a lot.

We were getting tired and decided not to try to go all the way to Branson and another customer at Clanton's told us to stay at Downstream Casino at Exit 1 in Missouri. So we did just that. Downstream Casino had a separate rv area with electricity and water and you can stay for three days FOR FREE.

After a restful night we drove on to Branson/Hollister and are staying at the Escapee rv park for two days to rest up a bit. Then we go to Coffeyville on Sunday where we start working at amazon the week of Oct 25. Don't know what shift we will have but know it will be nights. We managed to get reservations at a FHU commercial rv park in town, so no more being woke up by the "honey wagon" three days a week.

I'm not a big fan of Branson but Lesle REALLY wanted to see it, so we came. We went to an Easy Spirit store and bought Anti-Gravity shoes to wear at Then we took a tour of downtown Branson. I'll have to ask her tomorrow what she thought of it. We saw that Rib Crib was having a "two meat all-you-can-eat dinner for $10.99", so no need to ask me twice-----ribs and pulled pork it was!

Tomorrow we just rest!!!! I want to sit and knit our daughter Beth's Christmas gift. We all finished our summer jobs, attended the Colorado Chapter Rally, drove immediately to Albuquerque and "worked" every day crewing for a balloonist, then drove six plus hours everyday for four days......we need a rest!!!

Remember, you are loved!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Norman, Oklahoma

We had a grand time in Amarillo, Texas, visiting Rudene and Wales who were our camphosts at Big Meadows this summer. We met them for dinner at Cattle Call and had a great barbeque dinner. We shared with them the map of how Big Meadows will be redesigned. Hopefully they will be able to come back to work with us in years to come.

We normally stop in Oklahoma City to visit some campers who stay with us at Big Meadows for about two months. However, they were all going to be out of town this time when we were coming through. So Wednesday we drove through heavy, laborious fog all day on our way to Norman, Oklahoma. The drive was hard and tired us all out. We came to visit other campers who spent some time with us again in Big Meadows this last summer. We made quick friends with Susie and Dave. Susie and I have a lot in common and she was interested in learning everything about fulltiming. I gave her a book on fulltime rving and she devoured it! We shared a few meals this summer and loads of laughs....they are fun people to be around. So we parked at the Riverwind Casino in Norman and Susie and Dave came by and guided us to BJs, a pizza extravaganza. Great pizza and microbrewery. After dinner Jim and I went back to Susie and Dave's and I helped Susie work on her blog settings.
So here we are today, Thursday, driving up towards Vinita, OK, to eat lunch at at Clanton's Cafe recommended by Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (DDD), foodnetwork tv show that we follow. Clanton's is known for their chicken fried steak - which is a favorite of Jim's and Bill's. I'll let you know later how it was. Vinita is also known for having the largest McDonald's and the largest crossword puzzle....we'll see!
This is pretty neat!!! Jim's driving and I'm sitting here typing along on our blog. We have an "I Go" adapter to plug in the computer to the cigarette lighter and with our Verizon Air Card, I can be on the internet as we drive along.
Hope you like the color changes to the blog. Remember, you are loved!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Amarillo, Texas

We had a good run to Amarillo, Texas, making it in six hours. Staying at the Oasis RV Park. They are having a "Stimulus Rate Package" with rates of $20 a night for Class A, $17 for fifth-wheels and $15 for Class B and vans. We got the Passport America rate of $16.50. We heard about this place on the Boomers BB and it is very, very nice. All concrete slabs, wifi and cable. They even serve dinner and a breakfast as you are about five miles west of town.

We are going to dinner with our Big Meadows camphosts from this summer, Rudene and Wales. We care going to the Cattle Call Barbeque Restaurant. From the reviews on line it should be good vittles!

Had to put in this photo of what the guy next to us at the balloon fiesta put out in front of his rig to fake out every one. Isn't that funny? The wood pole sits in sand in the can. He had the "electrical cord" going between the tires....makes everyone think he had "full hookups" while everyone else was boondocking. Hysterical!!! Looks like something our handy friend Joe could make up....matches his sense of humor also.

Well, we are off to dinner.....tomorrow we aim towards Oklahoma City/Norman area.

Remember you are loved.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Go Up in a Balloon!!!!!!!!

After working as a crew member on Stan Wereshuk's Canadian balloon "Northern Lights" I finally was asked to jump into the basket and go up for a ride. Jim kept the camera so all the flying shots I took with my phone and then sent to them to our email address and put them into Picasa Web Albums. I am so happy I finally figured out how to upload photos to Picasa Web Albums and how to embedd them into the blog.

Here is a slideshow of the Special Shape balloons. Most of these are huge!!! Take a look.

We moved from the fiesta grounds down the road to Enchanted Trails RV Park so we could dump and also just to rest up. Tomorrow we travel to Amarillo, TX.

Remember you are loved!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dinner with the Kids

Yesterday morning we awoke to RAIN...glorious, wonderful rain...which meant the balloons wouldn't fly, they would cancel the activities and we could sleep IN!!!! I didn't get out of bed till 8 am.

We lazed around, ate breakfast but then at noon we headed out to the zoo for another party. The zoo hosts a big hamburger feed and gives you free tickets to the zoo, botanical gardens and the aquarium. There sure were a lot of people!!! Jim and I didn't walk around looking at the animals, but I did have to take photos of my beloved flamingos, you know.

We bid goodbye to Bill and Lesle and Jim and I picked up the dogs and headed to Santa Fe to have dinner with the girls and grands. Beth is going to move next door to her sister, Christine so I stopped and bought her a new set of sheets as a housewarming gift. We picked up some hamburger patties and buns and arrived at Christine's just ahead of our grandson Maxx and his very expecting girlfriend, April. She is due Nov. 29th. Can you believe that little "bump" is only 6 weeks shy of delivering? Remember, the yellow knitted sweater, cap and booties I made for them? Well, April was delighted and Maxx cried. He said he was so touched that I would spend so much time knitting an outfit for his little girl. Isn't that a nice thing to say. Maxx has certainly changed from being a pure thug to being a very, very nice and considerate person. He helped his mom to serve refreshments, offered to light the bbq grill, even escorted April to the restroom and waited for her outside to help ease her back into her chair. He said when he was out on his own at 17 he figured he was the only one making his life miserable and there wasn't anybody else to blame or rebel against. He said life is a whole lot easier when you are just nice to people....they are nice back. Profound, huh?

Next big thing happened with Beth's boyfriend, James, asking Jim for Beth's hand in marriage. Jim said James hymned and stammered for a good two minutes with "Sir, there is something I need to talk to you about. Sir, ah, well Sir, I mean, well Sir." You can see it was a very serious talk of what will happen to James if he doesn't take care of Beth and make her happy....let alone the things that will happen to James' anatomy if he hurt Beth in any way :) Next Beth had to go out and receive Jim's blessings and hear the good news, as Jim wiped the tears of joy from his eyes. Happy, happy day.

Add to this that we were celebrating our granddaughter, Alyssa's, birthday and it made for a very full day. Here she is blowing out the candles on her birthday cheesecake.

We so enjoyed being with our family again, told old stories of "remember when you........." and laughed till our sides hurt. After a few hours we all left as Beth had to go to work-she works nights in a battered women's shelter-and Jim and I need to get back and to bed because 4:30 AM comes very early in the morning.

Remember, you are loved!

P.S. I told Jim when I die and they are trying to find photos of me for the memory board they will have to put up photos like this and say "Bobbie was behind the camera on this one, and this one and she really attended this function, but she was behind the camera on this one too."!!!!!!