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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Report From the Half Way Point

Location: Campbellsville, KY (High 61, Low 37)

Happily everything is back to normal at home. After our three days off last week went by without any altercations between the cats, we decided it was safe to leave them out together while we were at work (after clipping Ariel’s nails to be on the safe side). No problem. We’ve now gone all week with the cats out and about 24/7 and it is so nice to have the extra litterbox, bowl of food and water and cat scratching pad out of our bedroom! It took two weeks for us to get them back to reacquainted status after the one day at the vet’s office. Phew. That was an unexpected complication.

We have now finished week nine at work and are officially past the half way point now. Things are definitely starting to pick up. The only thing keeping us from being really busy is the fact that there is still a significant portion of the building which is empty and waiting for product. The process of bringing in the apparel has ramped up into serious high gear, with Inbound going into mandatory 60 hour weeks starting Sunday.

They had the employee meeting yesterday where they go over the projections for overtime etc for peak season, and it looks like we’re going to get five good weeks of overtime starting in mid November. Since we have been here, the whole facility has been on an abbreviated five day week with all of the shifts either working Sun to Wed or Mon to Thurs. That ends this weekend with the return to seven day operations on Sunday. So now we have to acclimate our brains to our new work schedule. Good thing my phone tells me what day it is.

Physically, I am still feeling really good. I have to say that picking is the job I have enjoyed the most at the facility. I like all the walking (55 miles this week), and after two months, my legs have acclimated pretty well so that they’re not even usually sore and tight at the end of the day like they were in the beginning.  I’ve also been very happy that I have managed to keep up my running on our days off. (Last week I ran 12.5 miles on our three days off.) With all the exercise, and keeping track of my calorie intake, I’ve lost 13.5 pounds since we started work on August 31st. I am hoping to get down at least 20 pounds before we leave here at the end of the year. I’m off to a good start!

Nine weeks down, eight to go!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Not Back to Normal, But Getting There

Location: Campbellsville, KY (High 79, Low 51)

Other than working this week, our main task has been reacquainting the cats with each other. There were several tips in the online articles I read about how to help the process, but basically the bottom line was that the “family scent” had to be recreated. Our method was basically to try to intermingle their scents as much as possible, and give them as much supervised time together as we could.

On our three days off last week, we seemed to be making progress. While they weren’t cozy, Ariel wasn’t making overly aggressive sounds or movements either. 12176084_10208389849010576_799610905_oBut she definitely seemed to be on the alert whenever they were both free, and we didn’t feel comfortable leaving them alone together. We had to take Crookshank to the vet for his last checkup last Friday, and even though we took both of them, by the time we got Ariel home she was not happy and wanted nothing to do with him.

While we were working this week, we continued the same pattern…keeping Ariel in the bedroom overnight and then switching them during the day so that they could each get a good whiff of each other’s scents. They tolerated each other in the evening.


I think we are past the worst of it now. It has been several days since Ariel made any sort of aggressive action. On top of that, her demeanor has been very different, much more relaxed and not on alert all the time. Definitely a relief to have things getting back to normal!






On the work front, things are going well. Neither of us took any time off this week, although VTO was once again offered almost every day. Another full week! Harry walked 64 miles at work this week and I walked 60. We understand that when the work picks up we will walk fewer miles each day. I’m making good use of these exercise days but I won’t cry if I walk a few less miles during a work day!

Eight weeks down, nine to go!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hey, I Thought We Were All Friends Here!

Location: Campbellsville, KY (High 74, Low 49)

It was another uneventful week at work. It hasn’t picked up too much yet, with VTO still being offered on a daily basis. Harry and I are still enjoying the picking job, and still doing lots of walking – 59 miles for me over the four days and 64 miles for Harry.

The bigger news around here is what’s going on at home. It all started last week when we took Crookshank to the vet for a teeth cleaning procedure. Both Ariel and Crookshank had previously had this done, so we were prepared for the aftereffects of anesthesia and having to doctor him up with medicine. The first evening we were focused on Crookshank. They had to pull four teeth so he came home looking a little worse for wear. We got him settled and left him to sleep it off.

The next morning he got up and was moving pretty good. We thought that it was over, and life could get back to the usual. But as he was walking around, Ariel started acting like a crazy cat, hissing at him anytime he came anywhere near her, and making yowling noises even when he wasn’t nearby. We ended up having to put him back in the bedroom so she would calm down.

I did some research and discovered that, unfortunately, it’s pretty common. It’s called nonrecognition aggression, and is caused by the fact that the cat that went to the vet apparently doesn’t smell like himself. And of course Crookshank doesn’t realize anything is going on, so he keeps trying to go over to her and do his normal “rub up against her and lick her up” thing. We’ve been trying to stay close but one time she did end up getting him in the eye, which resulted in another trip to the vet for a scratch. (We did take Ariel to the vet also so that she could get some vet smell of her own.) Luckily, the eye scratch was something that would heal on its own, although we did have to add eyedrops to our daily routine.

It’s been a crazy week. They are still not back to normal. (From what I have read, more self-assured cats get over it sooner, but Ariel has always been on the skittish side, so that is not helping.) We have a litterbox in our bedroom in addition to our usual one in the living room and when we go to work, or at night, we have to have the bedroom door closed so we can keep them separated. When we are home we let them mingle but we have to keep an eye on them all the time. Supposedly, as they get used to each other’s scents again, this should pass. I am going to try a tip I read in an article today and give them each a good petting down after I douse my hands in tuna water. Oh, the things I do for the “kids”. It will be so worth it if it works!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Another Good Week

Location: Campbellsville, KY (High 80, Low 52)

Now we have been working six weeks. I got a little ahead of myself last week. 

Things seem to be getting back to normal, although they are still having occasional issues with the new conveyors. 12162612_10208311210924673_921100027_oThey are still offering VTO, which is a usual thing this time of year. Harry and I haven’t taken any more time off though, so we have had two full weeks in a row now. The new areas of the building are quickly being filled up with apparel, so we have been picking a lot of jeans, t-shirts, baby clothes and a whole big variety of undies.

12119468_10208311798419360_295768129_oWe had another huge week for miles. For the four work days, Harry logged 18, 15, 27 and 14 miles for a total of 74 miles.. And I walked 17, 17.5, 15 and 15 miles for a total of 64.5 miles! All this exercise is really helping me in the weight department. I lost another three pounds this week and got down into a lower size of shorts! I bought three pairs of shorts last year on clearance, but I have never been able to wear them. Yesterday was the first time! It felt so great!


The campground is really starting to fill up. I’m sure there will be more people coming in this weekend to start on Monday. The last time we counted, I think there were something like 25 sites left here. Last year it never filled completely, and then of course a whole bunch of us left to work in the other fulfillment center, but looks like it’s going to this year.

We now have six weeks down – ten to go.

Saturday, October 3, 2015


Location: Campbellsville, KY (High 56, Low 53)

First of all, I realized that I miscounted our weeks here. It’s actually only five, not six, weeks that we’ve been working. Time flies, but I guess not quite as fast as I was thinking it was.

A couple milestones of note to speak of…this post will be the 1000th one since I started this blog back on May 16th, 2010. Sure has been a lot of changes since then. I blogged all through our house improvements, buying the truck and fiver, learning about fulltime rv life and then through our house sale and actually hitting the road. It’s had 243,119 pageviews and 4,425 comments. It’s been an exciting five years and I hope the next five will be also!

The other milestone is just as exciting!


It was three years ago yesterday, October 2, 2012, that I started my weight loss journey.






12041628_10208202773613808_439868550_oI was on blood pressure medicine and tired by the least bit of exercise. I decided that enough was enough. It was time to start exercising and change my eating habits. I measured my portions and counted my calories, and over the next three years I lost 38 pounds.


This year I got sidetracked for a few months over the summer and gained seven pounds, but I’ve now gotten back on track and have lost the weight I gained. I’ve also gotten back to my exercising. This picture was taken after my four mile run this morning. It was a cold rainy morning and only 49 degrees but I got out there and did it!

I’m back at it and hoping this will be the year I lose the last 23 pounds to make it to my goal!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Six Weeks Down and Lots of Walking

Location: Campbellsville, KY (High 62, Low 52)

I missed my update last week! Recap - It turned out to be a really busy couple days off. Harry had been feeling some abdominal discomfort, so on Wednesday we took advantage of VTO offered towards the end of the day and made a trip to a local urgent care facility. We thought we already knew what the issue was – another run in with diverticulitis, and the PA at the clinic agreed with us, and gave Harry a prescription. He started taking it right away that evening, and by the next day he was already starting to feel better. We also worked five hours “overtime” on Thursday. It wasn’t really overtime because we had taken VTO on Sunday afternoon at the end of that work shutdown. But it brought us almost back up to a normal check. Then we had just two days to do all of our normal “weekend” type stuff.

This week was our first full back to normal type week. And the theme of the week was – LOTS of walking. Its actually the opposite of what you would expect. The slower times for orders are when the pickers do the most walking. That’s because we walk more in between each pick. The aisles are very long, and when you pick one item and then walk all the way to the end of the next aisle for the next product, and then repeat, it makes for many miles at the end of the day. So these are my mile totals for the week – Sunday: 14 miles, Monday: 16 miles, Tuesday: 17 miles and Wednesday: 17.5 miles for a total of 64.5 miles walked!! (Harry was right behind me with 61.5.) Sunday and Monday night my legs were pretty achy. But by the last couple evenings I was just feeling tired and a little stiff. I’m glad that we have good comfortable shoes. They may need to be replaced by the end of this season though.

We are grateful to have the college dining room for our dinners. We are going over there most days for our evening meal. After all that walking throughout the day, the last thing I feel like doing is coming home and making supper. The only meal I have to plan on cooking at home is on Sunday, as they have the main meal at midday.

Well, I can hardly believe it, but we now have six weeks complete of our third Amazon season. We expect to be here about 17.5 weeks, so we are a third of the way through.