Not All Who Wander Are Lost

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

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Visit to AmCare

Amazon has an onsite health center called AmCare. On Friday night, I ended up visiting there four times.

Friday night was an 11 hour shift, and I was worried about how in the world I was going to manage it. I’ve developed blisters on the bottoms of both of my little toes. My little toes have a weird shape, and I’ve had this problem before when I walk too much. I’m dealing with it using band-aids and ibuprofen, but my feet were really hurting on Friday night.

About two hours into the shift, something very unexpected happened. I was picking Leap Frog toys directly off of a pallet. Sometimes you pick items from bins, and sometimes directly from pallets.

When you pick from pallets, you have to open boxes and take the items out. The load of boxes on the pallets are usually wrapped with shrink wrap. I was down to the bottom row of boxes on the pallet. I had put one foot onto the pallet to reach the boxes in the middle. As I stepped back, my foot got caught in the shrink wrap around the bottom of the pallet. I fell backwards onto my bottom and back.

I was pretty stunned, but got up right away. Although I fell pretty hard, nothing felt broken, just bruised. I finished packing my tote and put it on the conveyor. Then I headed to the manager to report the accident. We’ve been told over and over to report any injury.

She took me to AmCare where I was met by the EMT on duty. She had me fill out a report and had me sit on some ice for my bottom and back. She also offered me ibuprofen. How embarrassing. There was also a representative from the safety committee who came and had me explain what happened. Then I had to show my manager and the safety lady the pallet and explain how it happened. The next time I walked past that area, the shrink wrap was gone from that particular pallet.

I was told to return to AmCare every two hours for the rest of the shift to ice my sore areas. That meant four visits to AmCare where I sat for about 30 minutes icing my bottom and back for a total of 2.5 hours of resting time during my 11 hour shift. So, I think the fall was a blessing in disguise. I got paid for the full 11 hour shift, but was able to rest my feet for a good part of it :)

Yesterday my bottom was a bit sore, but not too bad. I think I probably bruised my tail bone as the soreness feels as if it is deep inside. My back is feeling fine.

While at AmCare I asked the EMT if she had any tips for sore feet. She gave me some mole skin pads to put on the areas that get blisters and recommended getting diabetic socks to help circulation in the feet.

Yesterday we went to Walmart and I picked up two pair of diabetic socks for $8.50. Wow, that’s quite expensive, but if they help it will be well worth it. I have good shoes, just weird little toes.

This week we start our 50 hour weeks. That means we work Sunday nights in addition to the regular four nights we have been working. We’ll see how it goes. Depending on when they release us, we have about four weeks or a little less to go. I will survive, and the income will allow us to explore Texas this winter without working. Still a good trade-off for us.

Kevin is doing fine. He seems to be able to handle being on his feet much better than I do. Sometimes I feel like such a wussy!

Our son Eric called us yesterday to tell us some good news. He was very happy to report that his boss had called him into the office to let him know that Eric is doing a great job and the boss is very happy with him. He thanked Eric several times during the conversation for doing a great job and being very reliable. He also told Eric he would be getting a very nice end of the year bonus. Congratulations Eric!!

You may remember I mentioned that Eric is an HVAC service technician. With the record heat this past summer, Eric worked many, many overtime hours and was quite exhausted. Its nice to know the boss appreciates and rewards that hard work!

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

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all. We’ve had another fantastic year and have so much to be thankful for.


Its been just over 2-1/2 years since we began our fulltime RVing journey. We are so grateful we are able to live this lifestyle. When my feet are hurting in that tenth hour some nights at Amazon, I remind myself its only for a few more weeks and so worth it to fund this journey!!

We are grateful for our family which will soon include our future daughter-in-law Cathryn. We are grateful for good health. We’ve been healthier in the past few years than ever before. This life sure seems to agree with us!

We are even grateful to The Goodyear Tire Company. Although we’ve had so much trouble with our 5th wheel tires, we just found out they will again cover the damage to our unit as well as pay for the replacement tire and the roadside assistance fee. We’ve had the fourth tire sent back to them and are waiting to see if they will also replace that last original tire before we settle our claim with them. Considering these tires are five years old, we definitely feel they must realize the original tires were defective or they would not be fully covering our damage five years later.

Tonight we are working a shortened shift at Amazon from 9 pm to 3:30 am. We get paid time and a half holiday pay so that’s a good thing. Tomorrow night we work an 11 hour shift. Then Sunday we start our mandatory 50 hour weeks. They’ve told us the next 3 weeks will be 50 hour weeks. Yeah for overtime pay! Last week they told us Sunday and Monday would also be 11 hour days, but a few days later they told us only Friday would be 11 hours. Last year all of those days were 11 hours.

Amazon opened seven new fulfillment centers this year. I think that’s the reason for the slower work here this year. The orders are just more spread out across the country. I heard on the news that Amazon is hoping to begin competing with stores by beginning to offer same day delivery. For that to happen, they need to have more facilities. We’ll see if we actually get the overtime they’re predicting.

As I walk around the warehouse for an average of 7 to 8 miles per shift, I’ve seen lots of different items. It’s amazing the stuff people buy. One new item this year is the "talk to me potty”. It’s a potty chair that praises the child for doing their business. Too funny. There’s also a DNA testing kit for multi-breed dogs. One of the saddest things I’ve come across is a test kit to determine if there is alcohol in breast milk. Really????

Thank you to all of you who read my blog and leave comments. I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Another Day Off

On Monday night at work we were told our shift would have a mandatory day off on Tuesday. That’s the fourth time we’ve had mandatory time off for a total of 31.5 hours lost.

Yesterday Amazon had their Holiday Kick-Off event. They paid everyone an extra hour if they wanted to attend so we walked over. Coffeyville Community College had their drum line there to perform. They did a good job, although I was expecting more members. Our son Korey was a percussionist in high school so I’m very familiar with drum lines. This group only had 9 members, with 3 snares, a quad, four different sized bass drums, and 1 cymbal.

The general manager of the plant talked about the decline in business this year. He told us that orders are down 20% from last year at this facility. That’s been very obvious to us. He also said that overall Amazon is up 29% this year. I’m not sure if that’s business or profits or what. Apparently, they will be rerouting some orders to this fulfillment center to even things out. He  picked names, and they gave out fourteen $100 gift cards to employees. We didn’t win :(  We did get some candy the managers were passing out.

I feel bad for the people who work here year round. I’m sure having hours cut is a hardship for many of them. There is also resentment by some against the work campers. They are wondering why new employees are being hired when there isn’t enough work for the regular Amazonians. Once the Christmas rush starts, there will be plenty of work. I’m sure it’s difficult to get enough people hired and trained in time for the rush, and have to deal with all of those employees in the weeks before Black Friday.

We will definitely not be earning as much as last year, but we’ll be fine. My pension starting this year has been a big help. We try to earn enough to cover our expenses so we don’t have to dip into our savings. That’s our choice, though. We will be just fine.

I’m sure after next week, I’ll be complaining plenty about sore feet and being exhausted :)

Not much new on the wedding front. Cathryn is in the Doctorate of Occupational Therapy Program at Creighton University in Omaha. She is from Moorhead, Minnesota and that’s where Korey currently lives. The wedding will be in Moorhead. While Cathryn is home for Thanksgiving, they will be shopping for a reception venue. I’m sure we’ll know much more after next week.

Korey and Cathryn Engagement DayHere’s a picture of the happy couple on their engagement day. See the post-it notes on a string. That was part of the proposal. Korey has asked his brother Eric to be his best man. I’m looking forward to seeing all of my guys in suits. They’ll be so handsome! I know Eric will be taking his job of hosting a bachelor party very seriously!


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

Saturday, November 10, 2012

She Said Yes!

Korey and Cathryn Sept. 2012Our youngest son Korey got engaged yesterday. He and Cathryn have been dating for a little over four years. We are so happy she will become a member of our family. She’s a wonderful young lady!
Korey told us in September that he had bought the ring. Yesterday was finally the day. They called me on Skype and showed me the ring. You did good Korey!
Korey's Engaged 11-9-12
Its so wonderful to have the technology to be able to share this news with them “in person”. Their plan is to have the wedding sometime next summer or fall in Moorhead, Minnesota. I’m looking forward to the fun that’s involved with a wedding.
I would love to lose about 20 pounds before I buy a dress. I was sure hoping all this walking at Amazon would help me do that. So far, I’ve only lost a few pounds. I’m thinking I’ll have to starve myself. I’ve been wearing a pedometer. We are now picking throughout the entire facility, and I’ve been averaging around six miles per shift.
We finally worked a full 40 hour week. It definitely seems as though business is slower this year than the same time last year. It also feels as if there are less people working there this year. Next week they are having their Holiday Kick Off events. There will be drawings for gift cards and some other events.
We work the doughnut shift so we work Monday, Tuesday, have a day of rest, work Thursday, Friday and have two days off. My feet do very well the first day, but the second day they are hurting. I’m glad we don’t work four days in a row.
I haven’t noticed many big sellers so far this year. The best selling DVD has got to be The Amazing Spiderman. I’ve also been picking quite a few Kindles. It seems many people read Fifty Shades of Grey. Kevin and I have both picked many items related to bondage activities including how-to books, beginner kits of items needed, and naughty costumes. Kinky!
I’m surprised at the amount of CDs that are being purchased. With iPods and MP3 players, I would have thought CDs wouldn’t be so popular anymore.
The weather had been very nice. The last few days have still been warm, but quite windy. There is a front coming through tonight which should bring much needed rain to the area. After that its supposed to cool into the 50s for daytime highs.
Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Hits Amazon

When watching the devastation of Hurricane Sandy on TV, I never dreamed we would feel any consequences from the storm. It’s nothing compared to what those poor people on the east coast are suffering, but these types of catastrophic events have long reaching tentacles.

Shortly after the hurricane hit, orders started declining at all Amazon facilities. Its no wonder with such a concentrated population in the worst hit area. On Tuesday night we were sent home a little over an hour early. On Thursday night when we reported for work, we were told that we would only be working half shifts both Thursday and Friday nights. My feet were doing a happy dance, and I was glad to have two more nights of normal sleep. However, we’re here to make money. So far, we’ve only worked one full shift.

I’m not complaining. I know from last year’s experience that there will be plenty of LONG shifts soon. Thanksgiving is early this year, so within another week or two, we’ll be working plenty. In the meantime, we have time to relax. And, as a bonus the weather has been fantastic the past week. Sunny, calm winds, and highs in the 80s. The upcoming week is supposed to be similar with highs in the 70s. No complaints here.

Last night we attended a CamperForce get together at Pizza Hut in Coffeyville. They have a group room which was filled with fellow Amazon work campers. We met some new people and chatted with some people we already knew. Good food and good company. Here we are enjoying ourselves. I think Kevin was having an intense conversation about something.

Work camper get together at Pizza Hut

In my previous post, I had a picture of a converted bus that arrived at the campground. I thought it was the same bus that was here last year. But, I believe I was mistaken. These people have three daughters, and the bus last year had boys.

I received a comment from Greg letting me know these new people have a website at They certainly have an interesting set up. I spent some time reading about their adventures. Another example of people who seem to be very happy in a non-traditional life. Good for them!

The Green Bay Packers game is again not on TV this week. Can you believe the local FOX channel is broadcasting soccer instead. At least we have computers and satellite radio. Go Pack Go!

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