Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

*A Fiji Vacation*

Recently while doing some research about taking a trip to Australia and New Zealand, I discovered that Fiji is also located in the South Pacific. The island is frequently included as a stop if you choose to book a cruise to Australia or New Zealand.

After looking at some of the information regarding Fiji, I thought it would be a wonderful destination. I discovered some Fiji all inclusive resorts that look fantastic.

There are many Fiji vacation packages available. It looks like an absolute tropical paradise.

Just imagine staying in your romantic villa with five course dinners included in the package. Once you arrive, the biggest decision you'll have to make it which spa treatment you want to do that day.

There are a full range of land and water based activities. Morning yoga, scuba diving, horseback rides in the jungle, and swimming with local dolphins are just a few of the things you can experience on your Fiji vacation.

What could be more romantic than a Fiji honeymoon or anniversary trip where you can enjoy world renowned cuisine al fresco with your partner on your private hanging bed or next to a hidden waterfall in the adjacent rainforest.

As winter gets closer, it sure is fun to dream about a tropical escape!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

We want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

I must admit, I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself lately. The work we are doing at Amazon has been more difficult for me than I anticipated. My arthritic joints are complaining.

However, today I am taking the time to remember all the reasons I have to be grateful. I am super grateful for our wonderful sons, a fantastic husband, and all of our family members. I am also especially grateful that we were able to fulfill our dream of fulltime RVing. We are so very blessed.

We are lucky to be in good health. Although my joints hurt sometimes, overall we are both very healthy and we are so thankful. I appreciate the many opportunities we’ve had over the past 19 months to experience first-hand the amazing beauty our country has to offer. Sometimes, the natural beauty has left me breathless.

So, no more complaining. We are two very fortunate people!

Last night we celebrated Thanksgiving with our friends Janie and John. I made a turkey breast with gravy, sweet potato casserole and rolls. Janie brought mashed potatoes, stuffing and an apple pie. We enjoyed a wonderful meal with great friends. After dinner we played the game, Mille Bourne. We discovered that both couples used to play the game with our kids, how fun.


Tonight it’s back to work. We only have to work 5 hours tonight, but it’s 10:30 pm to 3:30 am. We do get overtime because it’s a holiday. After tomorrow, we have 4 weeks left. Believe me, I am counting down.

Next week, the serious overtime kicks in. We’re working on Sunday, normally a day off. Both Sunday and Monday will be 11 hours. If the rest of the week is normal hours, we will have 52 hours for the week. Those checks are going to look so great in our bank account :)

Some of you have left comments wondering if we will pack any of your orders. Some orders get packing slips, some don’t. I have no idea how they decide which orders get a packing slip. But, if your order has a packing slip, there will be a line of small print at the bottom with numbers and letters. If the letters at the end of that line are ebreutz or kbreutz, your order would have been packed by one of us. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if that actually happened!

I’ll leave with you the gorgeous sunset outside of our window last night.


Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Half Way There

We’ve survived five weeks of working at Amazon and are half way done. The countdown to the finish line can now begin!

As I have said, the work is hard, but the paychecks will be very nice. My main problem is working the nightshift. I did finally get a definite answer that they won’t move me to the dayshift. So, five more weeks of sleep deprivation. Oh well, this too shall pass.

At least we don’t have mandatory overtime for this week. Since Thursdays are our scheduled night, we have to work on Thanksgiving. However, we don’t have to go in until 7:00 pm (that’s 2 hours later than normal) and we’ll be getting overtime pay because it’s a holiday. Tomorrow Amazon is serving a turkey dinner to the employees during lunch break.

Things this last week were pretty crazy. They were training about 40 new employees in our area, so everything was a bit mixed up. They keep talking about “peak” and how hectic it is. We’ll see.

The weather has been bizarre. We had several days of strong winds between 20 to 30 mph, day and night. All that wind noise didn’t help with sleeping. Then, yesterday it was in the mid 70s and we were wearing shorts. Today it’s cloudy and cooler.

We’ve still been able to ride our bikes to work most nights because lows are hovering in the 40s. We did have a few nights of near freezing temps, but so far haven’t had a need to take in or insulate our water hose. Kevin has bought all the supplies needed to insulate the hose, so when the time comes he’ll be ready.

Other than work, we haven’t done too much. Just relaxing. We rented Captain America from Redbox last night and both of us had trouble staying awake to watch it :)  The movie was actually pretty good, but we’re just so tired.

I have made a few purchases on Amazon using our 10% employee discount, so that’s been nice. I have several more items on my wish list, but am waiting to see if the price goes down for Black Friday. Yes, Amazon also has Black Friday specials. I ‘m not going to buy too much, though. Can’t be spending all of our earnings shopping :)

In case you were wondering what my last post was about, it was an ad through a site called Blogsvertise. I’ve posted ads for them before. Each ad I post pays between $10 and $15. They only send me ads to post every month or so, but it sure is easy money. The way for you to know it is an ad is that the title will have a star * before and after it. If you see the stars, you’ll know its an ad, and it’s up to you whether you read it or not.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Friday, November 18, 2011

*Taking My Daughter To See The Nutcracker*

Guest post written by Dean Cooper

My daughter is a real girly-girl. I guess that I shouldn't be surprised by it because her mom is the same way. I've even learned how to braid hair just so I can help her get ready for school earlier in the mornings. If only my fraternity brothers could see me now! (But I'm sure that some of them are doing the exact same thing, too.) So I thought that it would be fun to buy some tickets for us to go and see The Nutcracker together for Christmas.

We're going to go and see the ballet together just a few nights before Christmas, so I had to go ahead and order tickets to go and see it. While I was online looking up that stuff, I ran across the website I looked through it some and after that I decided to go and get fitted with some hearing aids. I've had the feeling that I need them anyway.

I haven't told her yet and am waiting for a few more weeks before I do that. But I went ahead and secured the tickets and I can't wait to see the look on her face when I tell her we're going to see The Nutcracker!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

And The Winner Is…

Last Wednesday Amazon had an event they called the Holiday Kick-off. We do not work on Wednesdays, but employees were paid to attend the event, so we walked over to see what it was all about, and get an hour of overtime pay.

It was actually a fun event. Members of management were dressed as elves or reindeer. They pulled a sleigh into the warehouse. In the sleigh was the plant manager dressed as Santa. Behind the sleigh was a local high school marching band playing Jingle Bells.

The event lasted for about an hour. There was a skit by some of the managers and some games in which plant employees were chosen to participate. They also drew names for about 20 to 30 prizes including cameras, Kindles, TVs and Xboxes.

Drum roll here…..Kevin won a Kodak Easyshare camera. Cool. We have a camera we like better, so the Kodak will be sold. But, it was nice to win a prize.

It seems Amazon tries to do some nice things for their employees. They announced there will be some meals served during the peak season between Black Friday and Christmas and more prizes given away. A little can go a long way for morale during a busy season.

We finished our fourth week and have received our second paychecks. Tonight we get to work our first mandatory overtime shift. I’m not too excited about that. I wasn’t expecting mandatory overtime until Black Friday. The plant was shut down from midnight Saturday until 5:00 pm today for scheduled maintenance. Therefore, our shift has to work overtime tonight to make up for the lost time. Oh well, the payoff will be nice.

I’m still struggling with the night hours. I don’t think I’ll ever adjust to it. But, only six weeks to go. And, being able to take the winter months off is the carrot at the end of the stick. It’s worth it to us. Quite a few people have left. This work is definitely not for everyone.

P1120100We’ve been riding our bikes most days. Highs have been in the 60s lately, with lows in the 40s. It’s beautiful riding to work, but a bit cold coming home. However, it’s only a few blocks, so not that bad. The full moon has been absolutely gorgeous the last few nights.



Last night we went to dinner with Janie and John Dean. They are also fulltime RVers, about our age with two sons. I first met Janie online through our blogs. Last November, we met them in person in Las Vegas. We’ve kept in touch, and when they heard we were working at Amazon, they thought they’d also give it a try.

We went to Jack’s Place in Liberty, Kansas which is just a few miles from the campground. Jack’s is a bar in a very small town. They serve food, and the burgers are quite good.

After dinner, we came back to our camper and taught Janie and John how to play Wizard and Sequence. It was a great evening spent with great people! Lots of laughter, which is always a good thing. It was nice to get out and do something fun. I even forgot how tired I was for a while :)

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Short Trip to Arkansas

This weekend we visited our good friends, Dick and Wanda, who live in Bella Vista, Arkansas.  They used to live in Wisconsin, and we met them about fifteen years ago when they joined the camping club we belonged to.

Several years ago they sold their home in Wisconsin and spent a year traveling in their motorhome. They found they really liked the Bella Vista area and bought a condo.

Bella Vista is a little over two hours from Coffeyville so we left Saturday early afternoon and came back last night. On Saturday afternoon they took us to Bentonville, Arkansas which is the headquarters of the Wal-Mart Corporation.

080There is a Wal-Mart museum in downtown Bentonville located in the first Walton’s five and dime store which opened in 1950. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera so I only have a few pictures taken on my phone.




It was very interesting to learn about Sam Walton and how he and his brother built the Wal-Mart empire. I know there are a lot of Wal-Mart haters out there, but I must say I got the impression he was a nice guy, with good values and an excellent business sense. Since he opened his first Walton’s store in 1950, Wal-Mart has grown to 8,700 stores worldwide with gross sales of $450 billion in 2010.

Our next stop was the Crystal Bridges Art Museum building site. The museum is set to open on November 11. Alice Walton, daughter of Sam Walton, had the idea to built a museum of American art in Bentonville. The Wal-Mart Foundation has donated $1.2 billion to make her dream become a reality. It’s really quite something and will made Bentonville a destination for many tourists and art lovers.  I read that part of the donation was to ensure admission to the museum will be free.

There is a trail through a beautifully landscaped public garden to get to the viewing deck to see the museum. It’s a very impressive complex with two ponds formed by the Crystal Springs. Barbara Bush was there on Saturday for some type of special function prior to the opening of the museum. There was a police officer stationed at the viewing deck.



The fall colors were spectacular in Bella Vista. What a beautiful part of the country.

Saturday night we all felt a shaking sensation. Turns out there was an earthquake in Oklahoma, and we felt it in Arkansas. I’ll be interested to hear what people around here have to say about it.

On Sunday we played 18 holes of golf with Dick and Wanda. They belong to a couple of golf leagues so we were part of their outing. Kevin won $9 for the lowest net score. The skies were cloudy, but temps were in the 60s, so we had a pleasant day and a great time golfing with good friends.

After golf we went to a local pizza place, enjoyed some delicious pizza and watched the Packers beat the Chargers. We had no idea how many Packer fans there are in Arkansas.

Thanks Dick and Wanda for inviting us to visit. We had a terrific time!!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Technical Difficulties

This has been a week of technical problems. I had some eBooks on hold through the public library. I got an email on Sunday letting me know one of the books was available. That’s great as I has just finished a book.

I downloaded the book to my computer and they hooked up my Sony Reader to transfer the book. When I dragged and dropped the book to the Reader, it didn’t transfer and I got a message the program was not responding. I tried a few times, with the same result each time. As it was time for bed, I gave up and figured I’d deal with it on Monday morning.

When I turned on my computer on Monday morning, it wouldn’t start. I tried a safe mode start and some fixes I knew of, but it wouldn’t start no matter what I did. I have a four your old Toshiba laptop with Vista. I’ve never had a problem with it, but wondered if it would be worth fixing.

Since we’re in an unfamiliar area, I went online on Kevin’s computer and found a few places that do computer repair in the area. No one answered my calls, so I left a few messages. A young man named Mike who owns his own computer repair business in Independence, was the first to call me back. I told him the problem, and he said he would try to fix it. He also told me that Vista is a bear to work with. He even volunteered to pick it up at the RV park as he was driving right by.

He came by Monday afternoon before we left for work and said he’d have an answer for my the next day. We agreed he would call if the cost was over $55. Tuesday afternoon he called and said it was fixed. He offered to bring it back to us. The total cost with tax was $60. Mike sure knows his stuff and gave us great service.

Apparently, some spyware had gotten into my computer. I am pretty good about doing scans and being proactive to prevent this kind of thing, but this time they got me. Mike checked everything else out, and he said it all looked fine.

So, now the computer is working. I hooked up the Reader again, and still couldn’t get the book to transfer. I did a little troubleshooting online, and ended up uninstalling and reinstalling the program. Still no luck.

I emailed Sony and told them my problem. I couldn’t believe I had a response within an hour. They had me reformat the Reader itself. Still not working. I emailed them back and they told me I should call their customer service number because it was too complicated to handle via email.

We had to go to work, so that call had to wait until this morning. By now I’ve had two days with poor sleep, and I must admit I was a bit crabby about the whole thing. Kevin will confirm that :)

I called Sony Technical Support and told them of my problems. Jose had me to go a site where he could access my computer remotely. I could see everything he was doing. He did some checking and thought it was not the Reader, but something in the computer program or the connection. He had me switch the cord to another USB port. Still no luck. He asked me if I was using the cord that came with the Reader. I didn’t know. I found the box, and there was the cord that came with the Reader still in the box.

I had been using a cord that came with my cell phone to tether it to my laptop. It had been working fine, but apparently the cord had gone bad. I changed the cords, and presto! It worked!!!

I am so impressed with Sony’s service. Although my Reader was still under warranty, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get any help figuring out what was wrong with it. The response from Sony was excellent.

So, now all the technical gadgets are working well again. I love technology; but when it’s not working, it can be so frustrating. I’m surprised I didn’t think of the cord as the problem. I knew about cords going bad, just never thought of it. I blame it on being tired.

Things at Amazon have been a little slow this week. They actually asked for volunteers to go home early last night, and were asking for people to not come in tonight. We’re here to earn money, so we don’t volunteer to leave. I think people are waiting for the Black Friday deals to start, and then the shopping frenzy will begin. We did end up getting sent home an hour early last Friday, but that’s not so bad.

The items I’ve been seeing a lot this week are a new book by David Baldacci and CDs by Susan Boyle and Michael Buble. I may be strange, but sometimes I wonder what the story is behind the orders. Is it a teacher ordering multiple copies of a book? Who are these people buying all the gourmet cat food? Is the person who ordered $180 worth of cake decorating books starting a business? Why are so many people buying cereal and peanut butter from Amazon? Is there a baby boom, because I sure am packing lots of baby stuff? I know, I’m strange.

It’s raining today which is a good thing. This area is very dry. It’s the first rain we’ve seen since before we left Wisconsin.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!