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.