Wednesday, June 29, 2011

'11/#31 Blog Continued

Ok, let's pick up where I left off. Thursday Mary got up & her hip was feeling a little bit better. She decided to try work & see how things went. It was busy & as the day went along she felt better so we finished our shift. That night we got confirmation from family that they would be able to visit us here in Pigeon Forge. The only issue would be getting the 4th of July week off from Reds. Friday at work we spoke with our boss who was cool about it. Since we had worked with her several times on scheduling issues & had not asked for time off before she was glad to give us the week off. We are looking forward to getting together with everyone. The past 2 years it seemed like every time we were headed in their direction they were headed elsewhere. This time we will be together & for more than just a day or two.

Saturday was our one day off before going on a one-day-on-one-day-off week long schedule. We drove out to Townsend TN again, this time to see a crafts show sponsored by a woodworking store called Nawger Nob. There were quite a few talented people selling their crafts & I was once again amazed at the wood work in particular. I can't explain the attraction to different wood colors & grains or how I enjoy feeling the different textures in the grain of each kind of wood. Nothing beats the look & feel of a hand sanded piece of wood with a natural oil finish. Well before we left Mary bought me a beginners wood carving set & talked me into attending a beginner's class at the Nawger Nob. I am looking forward to it even though I don't expect to be as artistically talented as the craftsmen in the area.

We have to stop taking days off. Every time we have a day off we seem to spend it shopping. Besides Nawger Nob we stopped at a boot store that advertised "Buy One-Get 2 Free". This we had to see. We saw, we shopped, we bought. We now have 3 new pair of boots in the house. Go figure! The boots were good quality, the price was right, & we do wear boots so why not? Later that evening we met up with a group of the younger employees after they got off from work to go bowling. I haven't bowled in about 15 years with all my back issues & then back surgery but I figured why not try? After the initial hesitation I surprised my self by bowling 3 games all over 135. Except for some soreness in my arm & hand I felt pretty good. Mary also bowled after many years of not bowling & did well without any complications. We are not going on the professional tour but maybe we can again bowl occasionally just for fun.

Sunday I went back to work while Mary had the day off. Being shorthanded in the kitchen I get an extra day here & there. It gives Mary a chance to get caught up on cleaning the house & cook ahead a little. I get home & she complains that she worked harder at home than if she went to work! It was a slow day in the "Wood" & we were looking forward to our next day off. Monday we woke up & Mary felt like crap. Congestion, sore throat, ear ache, the whole thing. Dollywood's medical center(an employee perk) is a joke. It's not available until after 30 days employment & then it takes 2 months to get an appointment. When you figure most workcamper commitments are for 3 months....well you do the math. Anyway we found a walk-in clinic & finally got to see the doctor. A shot in the butt & a prescription for antibiotics & we were on our way. I know she didn't feel well but Mary was being much crabbier than usual so I sent her to bed & got the heck out of Dodge. The laundromat looked so inviting & peaceful compared to Crabby. She just needed time to get better. With the laundry done & Mary asleep I relaxed in the peace & quiet until it was time to eat. A thrown together dinner & I called it a night. We will see how Mary feels in the morning.

Tuesday the sore throat was almost gone, the ear ache was better, & the congestion clearing up so Mary wanted to go to work & see how things went. It worked out well. As the day went by she got to feeling better & was beginning to joke around like her usual self. Crabby was gone ! Yeah!! We went home & had one of Mary's delicious pre-cooked dinners. The rest of the night we watched TV, played on the computer, & just relaxed. Today Mary felt better still so we went out & ran some errands. We dropped off a resume, shopped at Wally World, & since Mary felt so good I took her out to dinner. Then it was on towards home.

Well I think I am all caught up so I will end this blog & just relax until bedtime in our home in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Sunday, June 26, 2011

'11/#30 Another Week, Another Blog

I've got a weeks worth of blogging to catch up on. I'll probably do some tonight & some tomorrow since I am kind of tired.

The week started on Sunday with what could only be described as a Smoky Mountain typhoon. The locals say that it isn't normal but we have been getting rain, no I mean storms that make it feel like the trailer is going to blow off the side of the mountain. The storms come up suddenly. The sky turns black, the wind picks up, & the rain starts. We have seen so much rain going sideways that I suspect gravity is not working all the time. Anyway the rain kept the crowds away from Dollywood. Rumor has it that they only had 800 people in the park that day. At Reds we stood around looking at each other with nothing to do. The boss had called all the early shift & told them not to come in & just kept the crew that was scheduled to close. Guess which ones we were. Yep we closed. We were glad that day came to an end. Nothing makes the day drag like staring at the clock.Monday the weather was beautiful & the crowds showed up with a vengeance. I think they were trying to make up for the previous day. It was crazy but the day flew by & we were looking forward to our days off.

Tuesday was our errand day. We did some cleaning, some shopping, & some laundry. After dinner we took a walk to see one of our fellow campers we hadn't seen in a week because of our schedules. No sooner did we get to their rig the sky turned black, the wind picked up, & rain drops the size of your fist started coming down. We made a run for our trailer & got home before we were completely soaked. Two things happened on the way home. First there was a flash of lightning & all the lights in the park went out. The second thing was Mary lagging behind me on the way home & hobbling up to the trailer holding her hip. She has arthritis in her hip real bad & she thinks something may have popped. It started to get warm in the trailer so we took advantage of a wonderful feature we have in our home. A generator. We had A/C & all the comforts of home in spite of the blackout. The rain stopped & it had cooled off quite a bit so we opened the windows & went to bed. Mary's hip didn't feel much better so she took a pill & went to sleep with hopes that it would feel better by morning.

The next day it was hurting so bad I gave her a pain pill & sent her back to bed with her best friend in these situations, a heating pad. I spent the day reading & Mary spent the day sleeping. Her cute little sleepy head would pop out of the bedroom every once in a while but that was it. I made dinner, we watched some TV, & called it a night hoping that her hip would feel better in the morning.

I am falling asleep writing this so I will call it a night & hope to continue tomorrow or the next day. So we will catch up then from our home in the stormy mountains of Tennessee because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Saturday, June 18, 2011

'11/#29 Life Is Good

Wednesday we showed up to work & walked into some kind of insanity. We had the usual rush going on & we also had a group of English roller coaster enthusiasts in the dinning room. When I walked into the kitchen the burgers that had been cooked were gone & the broilers were running at full speed. Meals were going out the front as fast as we could make them & the managers were taking meals out the back door to our British guests. At no point for over an hour did we ever get caught up. Around 3pm the rain started & everyone came into Reds to get out of the rain. When the rain let up & word got out that the rides wouldn't be opening the park emptied. Then the typhoon started. Rain was blowing in under every door in the place & since all the guests had gone there was nothing for us to do for the next 3 1/2 hours except have fun just goofing around while getting things ready to close. Thursday again it was busy in the morning & slow in the late afternoon.

Friday was our first day off after 3 busy work days. They only give us 3 uniforms & having to go to the laundromat to do the wash it is so much nicer to have a day off to get it done. That is one of the down sides to not having a washer/dryer in the rig. The rest of the day was for running errands like making phone calls,grocery shopping, & raising hell with the incompetents at the Post Office. They just can't seem to get our mail, or notice of delivery, or parcel locker key into the PO box. I guess since we worked for the Post Office we should just know when our mail shows up & be able to tele-port it to our home. BUTTHEADS!!!!!!!

That evening a group from Reds wanted to get together & go bowling & we were invited. Now this group are mostly early to late 20 year olds & we get along great with them at work. They seem to like having us around & have invited us to hang with them several times. The rest of our coworkers are mostly workcampers & have been retired for at least a few years so they are in their mid 60's & up to 90 years of age. We get along with them also & have gone out with them on occasion. The 2 groups get along in a way I would call work-place tolerance. I'm not sure how or why we fit in like we do but we like it because we have made a lot of friends. Some we appear too old to hang with & some we are a bit younger than. Either way it means we have twice as many friends & twice as many opportunities to have fun.

Speaking of friends, I would like to send out & huge "THANK YOU" to all our friends who responded to Mary's call for help. Charlie, our youngest son, was in a bind with car issues & when Mary asked if there was anyone who knew somebody or knew somebody who knew somebody the call was answered. The calls, texts, & e-mails came in an avalanche that just proved to us what we already knew. We have the best friends in the world & just like George Bailey in "A Wonderful Life" we are the richest people in town. We may not be rich in money but we are beyond rich in friends. It's true, the best things in life are not things.

Saturday we got up early to head into Gatlinburg to check out a farmers market that Mary had read about. Not much of a farmers market. We had gone to a couple of these a few years ago in NC. They aren't much more than a dozen or so people selling what appears to be produce & flowers from their backyards. We were done in 10 minutes. Back to Sevierville to check out a few things & then head back to Pigeon Forge. The sky was darkening rapidly. We stopped at CVS & the rain & the wind started. I couldn't get out of the truck because the wind would blow the door shut on me every time I tried to open it. I finally timed it so I could escape. Once inside the rain really started so we shopped until the rain let up. These mountain storms pop up so quick & can be quite severe.

Well we made it home & are going to relax the rest of the day. Catch up on e-mails, blog, watch a little TV, & have some dinner. Life is good here in our home in Pigeon Forge because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

'11/#28 Days Off Are Good

Two days off, Yee Haw!!!!!!!!!!! Yes we say we have fun working at Red's, & we do, but as the saying goes...all work & no play yada yada yada. So we do look forward to our days off. There are so many things to do & see in the area it will take most of the summer to do them. Two more perks of working while "touristing" is that we have a few extra dollars to do more & we can take our time & not have to run around like the proverbial chicken with it's head cut off to see everything in a short period of time. We also get to sleep in instead of having to get up at the crack of dawn to keep from "burnin' daylight" as some people have been known to say. So instead of burnin' more daylight on the computer let the bloggin' begin.

Our first day off we didn't want to do much of anything so we did sleep in. After a leisurely breakfast we checked e-mails & tried to figure out what we were going to do. It was finally decided to got to the Christmas Place. It is a Christmas store with all things Christmas & who doesn't like Christmas? Well maybe not all year but we did get some things for this Christmas. We spent a bit of time there & then stopped at another store that I can't mention because someone may be reading this who is getting a surprise for Christmas from this store. Needless to say we did find what we were looking for & will be back to spend a little bit of our hard earned Dollywood paycheck. Homeward bound & dinner. We talked about what we would do the next day & narrowed it down to a few things that we would sleep on.

After snuggling for a while we finally got out of bed & started moving. Mary's hands didn't feel so good so this was going to be our first day touring "two-up". I have no problem riding with a passenger & Mary was looking forward to taking lots of pictures(what's new) from the back seat of the bike. Our destination today...Cades Cove TN just outside Townsend TN. The road was a twisting & turning motorcyclists dream. I was having a blast riding while there was the continuous clicking of Mary & her camera. Photos of mountains, trees, & cabins on the mountainside will undoubtedly fill the Internet soon. We arrived at Cades Cove & got in line to take the scenic loop. Except for the few tourists that had to wait for deer to strike the perfect pose the parade of tourists kept moving. There were plenty of deer & pictures. We stopped at a preserved cabin with more pictures. There was an old church & even more pictures. Of course there was the obligatory stop at the ranger station/store to buy a token souvenir & some postcards to send to the grand kids & those without access to computers. After checking out the restored homestead we got back on the bike & headed for home. Mary took more pictures of the same road just headed in the opposite direction while I enjoyed the riding the curvy roads. We Got home relaxed, had dinner, & Mary downloaded her pictures to the computer, almost 600 pictures. The memory card was almost full & 2 batteries had given their lives to the cause. It was a good day!

Tuesday we went back to work. We shared our days off with our coworkers while enjoying a reasonably slow day prior to the insanity that is known as Kidsfest here at Dollywood. There are all kinds of special events & shows geared even more than usual to kids along with promotions to bring in more guests & Miss Dolly will be there to kick it off on Friday. It is supposed to be beyond busy so bring it on. Our schedule looks better but we still are going to talk to the boss & see if it can be tweaked just a little bit. So until then have a good day as we plan to from our home in TN because .....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Sunday, June 12, 2011

'11/#27 We Need A Revolving Door

This is the week that our schedules don't match up at all. Well lets see how that goes. Wednesday the weather was nice so Mary took the truck to work & I followed a few hours later on the bike. If the weather cooperates this schedule shouldn't be too much of a problem. It sucks that we don't come & go together but it will work out.

Tuesday was an off day & Mary's hands were feeling good so she wanted to take the bikes out. We both know that she will miss riding but she will be better off not riding in the future. This time we headed away from the Smokey Mts. We read about a covered bridge & decided to go check it out. These one lane wooden covered bridges are kind of neat. They have been maintained & are still used by all the local traffic. Height & weight restrictions allow most vehicles to pass through. Even our F550 would have fit without the spoiler on the roof. After the usual photo ops we kept on traveling east towards Chestnut Hill Tennessee, the home of Bush Beans. Yes the factory that keeps humans fully stocked in methane is right here in Central TN & there is a museum & video tour of the factory. The Bush family has quite a history in the retail & wholesale food industry & has been operating a cannery for a number of decades. We even got our picture taken with Duke the unofficial spokes"person" for Bush beans. A few purchases at their museum store & we headed home. We didn't want to push Mary's hands too far & ruin a wonderful day riding through the TN countryside.

Thursday we were back on our screwy schedule. I had to work & Mary had the day off. As spouses are known to do I left her a "honey-do" list that basically had her looking at my computer. She had her own list that kept her busy all day. When I got home she had grocery shopped, gone to the bank, fixed my computer, cleaned, vacuumed, organized the cabinets, & had dinner ready. What a woman!!! She was exhausted & said that she would have rather gone to work. On Friday we both worked but Mary went in at 9am & I didn't go in 'til noon. Another couple from the trailer park had the same schedule so we carpooled with them. Again, we would rather work together but it worked out. We have talked to the boss & the next weeks schedule looks a lot better.

We have 2 days off in a row & are planning a few excursions to check out some more of the local scenery. So until I blog again know that we are having a blast in our home in TN because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

'11/#26 It's Work But We're Havin' Fun

Here I am sitting all alone waiting to go to work. It is one of those days where Mary's & my schedule don't match up. Rather than turn the TV on I opted for the computer. At least I will use part of my brain. I will pick up where I left off which was Friday.

Saturday was another day at Red's. It was slow even though they were expecting major crowds. It is Sevier Days at Dollywood. The residents & people who work in Sevier County get in at a substantially reduced rate plus school is letting out sooooo. Well the crowds never showed up so the boss asked if we wanted to go home early & of course we said yes. Mary tried again to close out her drawer & I think I heard a blood curdling scream from the office. She is going insane over this. She has had it with all the "help" & is about to lose it. We finally got out of there, we stopped at the PO for our mail, & headed home. Went through the weeks worth of mail, checked e-mails, & watched TV while dinner cooked. After we ate we watched a little more TV & called it a night. Mary has finally calmed down about the drawer but there is tomorrow.

Sunday we went to work expecting a busy day. Again the crowds never materialized. It turned into an easy day but there was still the cash drawer to cash out at the end of the day. Mary disappears into the office & I cross my fingers. Will this be the day? I hear voices from behind the closed door but have no idea how it is going. Finally the door opens & Mary emerges victorious. She had it out with one of the girls who wanted to help when all that Mary wanted was to be left alone. The drawer is now Mary's friend, yeah.

Monday was our day off. We got up, had breakfast, & decided to do nothing that day. So after breakfast we sat around a while. Mary was tired so went to take a nap & I decided to finish reading my book. Then I went on the computer & eventually turned on the TV. I started cooking dinner while I caught up on the shows on the DVR. It was time to wake up sleeping beauty since she had been "napping" for 4 hours. After dinner Mary baked some brownies that we enjoyed before calling it a day. We planned on doing nothing & I would say that we succeeded.

Monday the crowds showed up but they all came as 2 groups. The first group was one family that ordered 28 meals on 1 order. We went crazy trying to fill the order in a timely manner. Once that was done the rest of the day was steady but busy. It was getting close to closing time & we had started our clean up in the kitchen when the bus from camp showed up! With the broiler re-fired & the fries dropped in the fryer we were ready for the girls at the register to do their thing. Over 40 individual orders in 15 minutes & we were ready to close the doors. Tuesday was a much easier day even though we were busy. Mary went home at 6pm & I stayed until 8pm to close. It was a long day but we are off tomorrow.

This day off we will do something. I don't know what but we will get out of the house this time. So this is good night from our home in TN because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

Monday, June 6, 2011

'11/#25 Settlin' In

I can't believe how time flies. We are so busy that I barely find time to get on the computer never the less blog. Well here goes another week's worth of babble. By the way, I am sitting here having my breakfast of bagel & lox & a thought pops into my head. Why is lox considered a Jewish food & smoked salmon a gourmet food? Huh? I think I need more coffee. And yet I babble some more.

Tuesday was a day off for us & we had plans to enjoy it. We went out to breakfast at Mel's Diner for pancakes. I don't know what it is with pancakes but there seems to be a pancake house on every other corner here in Pigeon Forge. Go figure! Some laundry & grocery shopping was next. Woohoo! We now have enough shopper points from Kroger to get a 10 cent per gallon discount on fuel. When you consider that we pump 35 gallons at a time it adds up. That evening we got together with a group of Dolly's work campers for dinner & a show. Good company, decent pizza, & a '50's to today musical review. Who could ask for more than that?

Wednesday we were off to work. While stopping at the office to pay our rent we saw a group of Asian girls waiting for the trolley to get to work at DW. They jumped at the offer of a ride & we made new friends in our impromptu car-pool. At work the new schedule was posted. One week was fine but the next had our schedules totally out of sync. We will see. The next day was busy & before we knew it the day was over. The people are fun to work with & there is no staring at the clock. It's just the way we like it. Mary has been having issues with closing her cash drawer. She has done this many times over the years for different companies but the Dollywood way is giving her fits. Combine that with different people giving her different instructions the frustration is getting to her. I know she can do it & she knows she can do it so it is just a matter of time.

Friday was another day off & another day to get things done. We went to the "Wood" as the employees call it to pick up some freebies for the Titanic Museum, stopped to get some pictures printed, & headed over to our local bank to take care of some business. After that we headed home. We cooked some meals for the days ahead & just relaxed for the rest of the day.Aaaaah.

I want to get going & enjoy our day off. I have no idea what we will do & that is fine with me. So have a good day wherever you are & we will do the same from our home in Pigeon Forge because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary