Archive | August 2015

Need better control


I wasn’t feeling so great this morning so I stayed home from work. When I went downstairs to the community room to use the microwave for lunch, I found this puzzle and decided to bring it up to my room. I love doing puzzles and consider them a relaxing activity.
Now some people think puzzles are either frustrating, boring or just a waste of time. I have never been able to really clear my mind enough to meditate so maybe doing puzzles is as close as I will get.  There have been studies done that say keeping your mind active is 1 way to prevent dementia. So I will enjoy this puzzle for my health. There is a website called “Ravensburger” that has a puzzle with up to 32,000 pieces, and it’s over 100 inches long. Don’t think I will be doing anything that huge for awhile.

Now while I was doing this puzzle, I ate crappy food. Then this evening I felt terrible and decided to check my blood sugar. I got a reading of 225. Wow! That just might be the highest I have ever personal least the highest I have ever tested at. So afterwards I  started drinking extra water. Not sure if you can flush out excess sugar or not, but water is always good for something.

It’s after 10:30pm now, so time to turn this tablet off. Hopefully I feel better tomorrow for work. Will check blood sugar again in the morning before I leave for work. I will have better control of my eating tomorrow at work. I assume there will be the usual chicken or fish and I will load up on the veggie salad.


Getting Ready For Work


I bought new shoes at Walmart on Thursday. I had noticed that after it rained my feet were getting wet inside my old shoes. I had worn them so much that the bottoms of them were wearing thin and had cracks all the way across. Standing in a gift shop for work, with wet feet was no fun.

I took my shower late last night, so when I got up at 5:30am today, I had crazy hair all over the place. Luckily I have barrettes & ponytail holders. I also found my earrings that I bought last month. I found them when I was packing to move into my own dorm room.

Checked my blood sugar level again this morning and it was only 85. Now I am having my 2nd cup of coffee and applesauce. I have a strange gadget that heats up water. I doubt that its “allowed” in our dorm rooms, but my friend gave it to my when she quit working here. It makes an extra hot cup of coffee. I will have scrambled eggs, bacon, and a banana about 8am, when I get to the employee dining room.

Tonight 1 of the employees is putting on a program with his barber-shop choir before the NPS’S regular lighting ceremony. That means I will stay to eat dinner tonight at work, and probably won’t get home until after 7:30pm. Well depending on how tired I am, I might stay for the lighting ceremony seeing as I have not seen it yet.

Good Morning


Yesterday I went on an employee trip to Walmart in Rapid City. Found out they are hiring “greeters” for $9.40/hour. The Subway inside Walmart is also hiring. I liked working at Walmart when I was in Vegas, but being a greeter seems like a boring job. Well I will apply for it anyways.

Anyways while shopping I decided to check on blood sugar monitors. Finally with the help of a random stranger waiting in the pharmacy check-out line, I bought the ReliOn monitor. I did not test myself until this morning after waking up late (if you want to call almost 6:00 am late). I got a reading of 101. According to everything I have read, results of 101-125 means you are pre-diabetic.

It’s about 9am now and I still haven’t eaten the apple. It’s hard to eat while busy typing on my tablet. But I will eat it before going down to the post office in Keystone this afternoon. I need to send out souvenirs to my youngest daughter for her 5 month old son.
While I am in Keystone I will probably get lunch at Teddy’s Deli. I haven’t been in there yet and a couple other people working around Mt Rushmore seem to like it. I will get a picture of it later.

Other news from this past week:  I finally moved downstairs in the dorm…in my own room!
Oh ( /) (\) (/) (\) that’s me doing a happy dance. I also got notified that I did not get the Winter job in Death Valley. 2 of the kids here had also applied there and they also got turned down for jobs there. I have other apps out, but really thinking of just staying in Rapid City for the Winter.

Blood Sugar Drop

I did not eat a real breakfast yesterday before work. I had the usual 2 cups of coffee, and then a vanilla pudding, banana, and a bottle of cran-grape juice. Soon after clocking into work, I was feeling light-headed, dizzy, slightly nauseous and needed to go to the bathroom every half hour, which is a bit excessive for me. I was also having a harder time concentrating on a conversation that I was having with a manager, but somehow faked my way through it.

I usually take my first 15-minute break about 10:15, but yesterday  I took it at 9:45, so I could hurry downstairs to have cereal and a peanut butter & banana sandwich. Peanut butter helps real fast when I feel like this. I was almost feeling back to normal by the time I got back up to the gift shop. Now I have been checked for diabetes  a few times and even though it runs in the family, I have never been diagnosed with it. Years ago  I had even bought my own  glucose monitor and used to check my blood sugar often. But with all my moving around, I left it behind. Few of my relatives have died from diabetic issues and my dad had taken pills for years but for about 8-9 months has had to take insulin shots.

My life has been what you could call unstable for years…moving around so much without the ability to have medical Insurance or even see a regular doctor. Yeah, even with all the talk around about Obamacare I still have no insurance.  The nearest urgent care here is 1/2 hour away in Rapid City but without my car it might as well be hundreds of hours.  If I get the job at Death Valley, the closest medical facilities are in Las Vegas which is 2.5-3 hours away, and would be impossible for me to get to. I lived in Vegas for about 7 months but never saw a doctor. When I am in the right location then I have no money or insurance…so the right location makes no difference. I need location, money/insurance, time, and transportation to get to health stuff to happen all at the same time.

When I had first arrived for work at the Grand Canyon in 2007, I used to grab potatoes…baked, mashed or even the deep fried breakfast potatoes to relieve the strange symptoms. Now I hardly eat potato except when there is potato salad for dinner, or a rare treat of sweet potato fries. Real fresh produce (or healthy UNPROCESSED  food) is a rare thing in national park areas where I work. So I am not sure how a full-blown diabetic can survive long term in these places.

Today is my day off and I already ate crackers with peanut butter with my morning coffee and just zapped some mac & cheese in the microwave for lunch. It’s not a healthy meal, but on my days off from work, I hate waiting around for the shuttle schedule, to get a ride up the hill to the employee dining room (EDR), And most seasonal jobs in parks only have employee meals at a certain schedule, which never fits my needs. At least at the Grand Canyon I could eat whenever I wanted.

So Undecided


I keep wondering if I would be alright with staying in South Dakota all Winter. There is a rooming house in Rapid City for $300 a month. There is also a nursing home company with jobs & CNA training. Rapid City also has 2 Walmarts, so if I couldn’t get into any Healthcare job then maybe I could work at Walmart again. So many “what ifs”, “maybes” & “should I try'”. What if I stay and fail again, like most every time I leave the security of the national park jobs?

I did apply for work in Death Valley, Glacier Park & the little community outside of Grand Canyon. I was also thinking of checking out Big Bend and a place in Utah for Winter work. Yesterday at work, I got a little tourist book about Yellowstone. It’s a location that some coworkers  go for jobs but I have never been. They would all be secure but their rules about housing and meals would also be annoying.

One thing about staying in South Dakota for the Winter, is that “IF” I could get a job here then it would be easier to save money for another car. I found a lot of cars online around here that are quite a bit cheaper to buy. Then it would be easy to visit all the cool places in this part of the country. Yeah I never knew this area had so much stuff to see before I started working here in June. Makes me wonder why this state is not more popular.

So do I stay or do I go? I just don’t know. 4 more paychecks until this Summer season is over…and then what???

Is Food Your Entertainment?

Couple years ago, my brother made a comment about people using food as entertainment. In a way he is right. People have Summer BBQ’S with family or the whole neighborhood, coworkers will go out together on lunch breaks, and friends meet for dinner on weekends.

Food is probably the 2nd biggest bill (assuming housing is 1st) every month for most people. Grocery shopping, drive-thru windows at some random fast food place, countless snacks from the gas station or snack machines at work is where a lot of people spend their money.

Even here at Mt Rushmore, we get $140 taken out of our paychecks for meals (whether we eat or not), but most of my coworkers still pay money to go out at night to eat. For some reason food seems to be more enjoyable if you go out with other people to eat it. A couple places charge a cover fee to even get a seat, then you’re expected to tip, on top of paying for the meal and drinks. You could end up paying anywhere between $15-$45 for a meal.


This is a picture of a lunch I had last week, at work. Chicken, pasta salad & cantaloupe. It filled me up enough so that I saw no reason to go out and pay for another meal.


I did allow myself to go out for breakfast before going on a train ride last week though..picture above is part of the menu. The buffet was $10.99.

Well I should go get ready for lunch soon. It’s Friday, so I know we get ice cream for dessert.

Biker’s Heaven


There are bikes everywhere..even Alf got a ride through Hill City, SD. I had a guest from New Zealand say that he flew into Denver and then rent a bike from there just so he could attend our Sturgis Rally. He has done this every year for the last 10 years. I had never even heard of the Sturgis Rally until I started working here. I also didn’t realize that charm bracelets were so popular until this Summer. Today were sold the last motorcycle charm so I hope the vendor sends more tomorrow.



This was one of the many unique bikes around. Course I like the purple one.
Traffic is ridiculous here this week…and very loud. So far there have been 9 deaths from excessive speeding on the roads.

We get to wear Sturgis shirts to work this week…but I did not buy 1. Not buying a special shirt that I can only wear to work for 1 week. I have enough to pack.