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!