Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday, Sept 26th

Hi all, sorry it has taken me so long to get back to this blog. We've been busy and on our off days have just been vegging. We finished our half day week and our full 10 hour a day week. Tomorrow we'll start our second full week. The work itself is easy, just repetitious. But, the toll on the body is tough, standing for 9 1/2 hours a day is not fun, my back hurts after awhile and my feet start hurting too. Friday, several times, I thought of going to medical for some Tylenol for my back, (it hurt even with the back brace on) and Biofreeze to put on my arm. But, I managed to just go on and pretty soon, the pain went away.

More than once, I think, "what are we doing here, putting our bodies through all this at our age?" But, the money is good and our camping fees are being paid. But, yesterday, my hands kept going numb and today, they are still stiff. I bought some new shoes called Sketchers Shape-Ups. They are the oddest feeling shoes, they "rock" back and forth and the heel really isn't hitting the ground. It's hard to explain if you don't already know about them, but, as the literature says, it simulates walking on sand. It's a good workout for the hamstrings and calf muscles. I talked to a friend last night and she told me to start wearing them exclusively for a week and even though my legs are really going to be hurting, to tough it out and after the week is up, I'll start realizing how comfortable the shoes are and my leg muscles will be stronger. It really benefits the back in the end, and I'm all for no backaches after being on my feet all day. So, I, personally, will give it about a month and see how I feel after that. If I think I can't take it no matter how long we're here, I may stop, or go part time. Ron seems to be doing fine so far. He has "graduated" to a position called a "water spider". Don't ask me where they get these names because it has nothing to do with water. He goes around and restocks our boxes that we are using and the thing he likes about it is he's walking, instead of just standing in one spot all day. The downside is he's not near any fans, but, as the weather is cooling around here, that might not be a big deal.

Speaking of the weather, two days ago it was in the low 90's, today it's in the mid 60's! Sheesh, what happened to gradual weather, today, we have the heater on. Tomorrow, should be about 7 degrees warmer and then by Tuesday, the temps will be perfect, in the high 70's. I am ready for more moderate temperatures, even though we've heard from co-workers that it is always warm back where we work. That's okay, warm is good, just as long as it doesn't get overly hot, like it did earlier this week. I was sweating even though I had a fan on my back!

The other nice thing about this weekend? We did not have to work overtime!!! Apparently, at the beginning of the week, we were backlogged on orders big time, by Thursday, we were way down, and everyone's overtime was cancelled, I'm sure the regular workers were thrilled to find that out. Looks like the added numbers of workampers coming in helped tremendously, for which I am glad. I would like it if overtime didn't start up again until sometime in October, only because I would like to get a little more acclimated to standing all those hours before adding one more 10 hour day to my schedule.

No new pictures to post because after standing on our feet all day during working hours, I just don't feel like walking around town to take pictures of all the murals. But, maybe as I get more used to being on my feet, I'll be out and about more often. For now, we have Wed, Sat & Sun off, but, if overtime starts up again, we'll be working Sundays.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday, Sept 14

Hi there, well, we had our orientation day at work, yesterday, which consisted of lots of paperwork and a safety class out on the floor. We did lots of walking all around the warehouse, showing us where the break rooms and bathrooms were. Of course, to us, it was a little overwhelming and we were getting all turned around. It was an all day thing, but, today, we went to our assigned depts and were trained in what to do. We are in single sortation, meaning we scan one item, put it in the right sized box and place it on the conveyor belt. We're only working half days this week, to get us used to standing and walking. We're off tomorrow and then work Thurs & Fri, then off for the weekend. Next week, we work our full ten hour shifts for four days. The week after that, we are on mandatory overtime. Last year, the workers didn't start working overtime for several weeks after starting, but, this year, their sales are way up and they desperately need our help, as the regular workers have been working overtime since June.

At first, before we actually started doing something, my feet were already starting to hurt, just standing around, but, as soon as we did start working, I forgot about my feet and did my job. I have to admit, I had fun today, it was amazing to see all the items that Amazon has for sale and here I thought, all they sold were books, CD's and DVD's...boy, was I wrong!!  As I said, tomorrow is an off day for us, and we will be back bright and early Thursday and Friday mornings for our 5 1/2 hours. I'll update you on Saturday on how we did....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This campground is part of the Walter Johnson city campground in and near the fairgrounds. This section has full hookups

We have a beautiful view out onto the soybean field

That one cone did both of my ears, so I still have one left if Ron wants to try it out....

anyway, here we are in Coffeyville and just waiting to start working. The weather has cooled somewhat, but, I hear it's still hot at work as there is no air conditioning in the working areas, but, the break rooms and restrooms do have air conditioning. To me, that seems counter productive. You're only in those areas a short time and then have to go right back out to the hot areas. Over the next few days, if I have any energy at all, I will let you know how we're doing. This week, we'll only be working half days for training, so maybe it won't be too bad....

and it goes to work, drawing the wax up and out of my ear

Jim lights the top...

This is what it looks like, the pointy end goes in your ear

On one of our days while we were there, we had gone to a store where they sell all kinds of organic stuff and I saw an object that looks like a long cone made out of beeswax and cotton. They are used to draw out the excess wax in your ears. I had bought some a few years to send to my dad and stepmom, because I knew my dad had problems with excess wax in one of his ears. I told them how to use them, but, I found out later, they never used them, which was a shame, because, as I now know,  it would have saved him from many doctor visits for just that one thing.

Anyway, I decided that I would find out for myself whether they did indeed work, so I bought two of them. Jim & Betty were going to show me exactly how they work. The following pictures is of me getting the excess wax out of my ears, which actually turned out to be only one...hmmm...the same ear my dad had problems with...

Seeing this duck on the roof was a surprise, usually their nests are on the ground. Maybe they do it differently in the south....

These men are replacing the grid under the bridge to catch anything that comes off the bridge to protect the canoers/kayakers below

War Eagle Bridge

Working water wheel to grind the grains

After leaving Eureka Springs we drove to War Eagle Mill, which is a working grist mill where they grind organic grains into flour, pancake mixes, biscuits, and other stuff that you can buy right there. This is a very historic mill which was first built in the 1830's by a local settler and miller, but, was washed away in a big flood in 1848. The second one was built soon after and it was used to grind grain to feed the soldiers of both the Union and Confederate armies during the early years of the Civil War. The second mill was burned during that same war and was not rebuilt until 1873. This mill is a modern reproduction of the third mill which no longer stands.

There is the War Eagle Bridge adjacent to the mill where normally you can walk on it and view the river, but, they were doing construction on the bridge that goes across the river. Twice a year, in the spring and fall, there is an arts and crafts fair held here and from what Jim said, it's quite the place to be. The fair features one of the largest varieties of authentic early arts and crafts to be found anywhere in America and is attended by visitors from all over the country, we'll have to come back while it's going on and check it out.

The chapel

One of many beautiful Victorian houses in the area

A hotel with hot mineral baths

You can't really see it in the picture, but, water is dripping into the pool

One of many springs around town

Jim, Betty, their daugher, Michelle and me walking back to the car

Ron found a frog!

This reminded me of the streets in the French Quarter with the wrought iron work on the balconies

Downtown Eureka Springs

Another view...notice the sun oven in the yard...

Their backyard is so pretty with all the plants

We parked right in front of their house for the weekend

September 11

Well, of course, I'm behind in my postings again. Right this minute, we are settled in the campground in Coffeyville, KS, ready to start work for Tomorrow, we go to a 2 hour social in the afternoon at the warehouse. I'm not sure I'm ready to go to work, as I've heard it is hard manual labor, but, we will either make it or not...we'll certainly try real hard, because the pay is good.

After we left Memphis, we took two days to get to Fayetteville, AR to visit longtime Boomer friends, Jim and Betty Roughton. After 23 years of fulltime RV'ing, they have bought a house there. They downsized their large motorhome to a cabover camper and take short trips here and there.

Just a note for those of you who like Japanese food and sushi. We found a great restaurant in Russellville right around the corner from the Wal Mart, excellent food!

We spent a wonderful Labor Day weekend with them, they took us to an art show in the downtown area on Friday night and Saturday morning we went to the Farmer's Market. The University of Arkansas, which is right there, was having their opening night football game for the season and they figured everyone would be on hand to watch the game so decided to take us to Eureka Springs and visit the shops. was a holiday weekend and other people had the same thing in mind and that place was crowded! Despite that, we managed to find a parking place and had a nice time walking the streets even though it was downhill to the shops and uphill back to the car, but, the weather was perfect for walking, . About the weather, we've been having really hot and humid days since we've been south and when we got to their house it was more of the same. However, a nice big thunderstorm came along that night and blew all the humidity away and the next few days were cool and beautiful.

When we got back to the car, they drove us through the areas around the town and there were dozens of Victorian houses that are B&B's, if we'd been walking I would have been able to take more pictures, but, as it was, I got a picture of only one of them. They also took us to a chapel in the woods, I think it was called Thornecrown or something like that. A guy in town decided to build a chapel so everyone could come and enjoy being among the trees. The chapel is built to make you think you are sitting among the trees, it is really pretty. They also hold services there for anyone who wants to come.