World Sleep Day

March 16th is not only my birthday, it’s World’s Sleep Day. But seeing as it’s a Friday, I will be working. I can guarantee that I won’t be sleeping in late that morning either. Did you know that this last Monday was National Nap Day? It seems that the Monday after most of us change the clocks ahead in the Spring is a day to take a nap. Course that day changes every year…and why is that now in early March? I can remember when I was a kid that it happened in April. Oh well, I am living in AZ now so I don’t have to change clocks. Even though I was surprised that the clock on my phone changed by itself while the one on my tablet did not.

I get email newsletters from the Mayo Clinic, and this week one article they sent me was titled “5 tips for a better sleep”. From their list, my biggest problem might be electronics. Meaning that I need to shut my phone and tablet off at the same time every night. Instead of staring at my screens, I need to just stare toward a blank wall in the dark until eventually I can stare at the insides of my eyelids.

One thing I have read about low-carb/ keto diet is that it helps you sleep better. A diet would have to perform a total miracle for that to happen with me. My sleep habits have been out-of-whack for many years. But even though I can normally spend 20 hours awake every day, doesn’t mean that I will be an energizing bunny all day at work. I have hardly ever been loaded with energy, no matter what kind of diet I was on.

Fatigue is, just basically, a lack of energy, and we get our energy from the food we eat. Our diets are largely dominated by carbohydrate – grains like rice and wheat, potatoes, root vegetables, fruit, sugar etc., and these are broken down into glucose.

It turns out there is another way to fuel your body, using fats.This pathway is largely switched off when your body has a regular supply of carbohydrate (ie. a standard western diet). Back in hunter-gatherer days, life was feast and famine – eat what you can while the going is good, then survive on your body fat reserves when food is harder to find. Nowadays we rarely give our bodies the chance to get truly hungry, often eating out of habit and want rather than need.

I laugh when people say 1. to only eat when you are hungry. 2. Don’t skip meals because your body will go into starvation mode. Oh Jesus christ people, make up your mind because you can’t have it both ways. If I only ate when hungry then I might eat once every few days.

Normally I have breakfast with my coffee in the morning. Mainly it’s a habit to eat then. Today breakfast was at 4am. It is now after 11:30pm and while I am waiting for the Tylenol PM to kick in and knock me into sleepy dreamland, I am munching on pork rinds dipped in Guacamole. No I ain’t hungry, just bored. I took the sleeping pill around 11pm and it usually takes about 2 hours afterwards to finally fall asleep. If I am lucky, I might sleep 5-6 hours.

Now if the wifi at home doesn’t let me post this tonight, then I will have to walk up to Starbucks and use their free public internet service tomorrow. Seeing as this is my weekend, I will also need to do laundry and finish organizing my closet but I just didn’t have enough energy or motivation to do it today.

And just to keep track of the weightloss: I am down to 172# today (Tuesday 3/13)


Pay Day

When so many companies pay every other week, you got to love a company that pays every week. There must of been a holiday that I forgot about last week because when I checked my bank account this morning I noticed my paycheck deposited more than I expected.

There are 5 paydays in the month of March, and a total of 12 paydays before I want to go on a mini vacation to attend a graduation in Nevada. That means I have 12 weeks to save money to get another car. I will need a car to attend graduation.

I am hoping 12 weeks should give me plenty of time to save enough money to get a nice SUV or mini-van. I want something that allows me to remove the back seats, giving me more space to camp-out in. I have already been checking out vehicles on Craigslist and some local car dealers online to see what they had available.

We got 4 new workers in the general store this week. 3 girls from Ecuador and 1 guy from Kingman, AZ. The girls will only be here for 2 months. I usually like working with the international kids, but it sometimes seems like it’s alot of hassle doing training and all the “Red tape” paperwork for someone who is only here for 2 months. I have been working here for 3 months now and there is stuff that I still don’t know how to do.

Hopefully my hours don’t get cut at work after the boss makes out next week’s schedule. We have 4 cash registers (only 3 work) and now have 6 cashiers. Maybe later some of them will be put onto the morning schedule instead of the closing schedule.

I am calculating my future paychecks from working a full 40/hour week. $10.50×40=$420/weekly -minus- taxes(about $32) & rent ($30). So my take home pay should be around $352 at the most. Course I never get exactly 40 hours a week..more like 35-39 hours. So as long as I see $300 or more on a paycheck, then I count it as a good week. Actually whatever amount I get over $300, I treat as an extra bonus…to go out to eat, or use as a gift for myself or someone else. The $300 every week is what I am hoping to save towards the next car. So $300×12=$3,600 plus the $1,500 that is already saved in the bank. $3,600+$1,500==$5,100 should get me a vehicle that will last longer then the last 2 cars I owned.

Today my bonus money will go for instant coffee, as I only have enough for a couple more cups. I am going to end this post and go have another cup of coffee now. Also I will go zap some more broccoli with cheese in the microwave. Ha, broccoli for breakfast…now if that ain’t proof that I ain’t normal then nothing else I do is either.

Coffee, Chocolate and Dieting

As I might have mentioned before, I started on a low-carb diet this year. The plan was to go on the “Keto” diet. I even joined a bunch of keto groups on facebook for ideas to see how other people handled this restricted way of eating in our modern world.

On the #Keto diet, you are allowed <20 grams of carbs daily. Well after months of being homeless in Georgia, and having about 80-90% of my #diet being #carbs, this diet was a shock into reality.

When I was a young kid, my dad had gardens every Summer and we always heard him say “You are what you eat. You eat junk, then you become junk”. Of course the veggies in his garden wasn’t junk, that was real food. We were allowed to eat as much “real food” as we wanted.

Now the Keto diet promotes the theory of eating real food also..real organic butter, real bacon, eggs, avocados, really good expensive cheese..without added fillers, and lots of veggies (except the starchy ones). Actually it’s a diet that my dad needs now, to fight all his medical issues.

My problem with such a diet (or any diet) is:

#1. I haven’t worn my top dentures for over a year and now they don’t fit anymore. Without teeth I can’t chew things like celery, nuts, most pickles, steak, pepperoni/salami and bacon (depending on how it’s cooked). Basically anything that you have to bite through, I would need to put into my new blender. And yes, steak shakes are filling and yummy.

#2. I brought no kitchen supplies with me when I moved back to AZ. I still don’t even own a pan to boil water in, but the kitchen in my home came with a built-in microwave.

#3. I share a kitchen with 6 other people. There is not much space for me to store anything even if I wanted to. 1 refrigerator for 7 people is ridiculous. Imagine if we all wanted eggs, then that means 7 cartons of eggs in 1 refrigerator…imagine the same with milk…and etc.

#4. After traveling around so much, and time living in my car, I really am just used to the “grab-and-go” foods…course those are the types of food that are bad for you.

#5. With 7 people living in 1 house, everyone has different schedules. Some people hate to smell food while they are trying to sleep ( it’s 9:00am now and I think I am the only one awake).

#6. Lots of different diets advise you to only eat when you are hungry. Well I usually eat when I am bored/ stressed out.. enough so that I don’t really know what hungry feels like. Even though I don’t eat after 12noon (which is when I am getting ready for work). So my eating time is between 6am-noon on work days. So that leaves 18 hours every day where I don’t eat at all. Times may differ, depending on when I actually get out of bed in the morning.

#7. There is only 1 general store and 1 gas station in my tiny town to buy our own food. Both are expensive in my opinion. But when your brain still thinks like a homeless person, you want everything priced like the .99 stores that you can find in Phoenix or Las Vegas.

Well we do have restaurants if you want to pay over $20 for most meals. 1 hotel has a wonderful breakfast buffet that charges us local residents $10 for an all-you-can-eat breakfast. But I ain’t paying $70 a week just so I can have Omelets everyday.

This morning I am on my second cup of coffee. I added a quarter scoop of chocolate whey protein powder into each cup of hot coffee. The powder gets a bit clumpy and takes a minute to stir it up good to mix/dissolve all the chocolate. Protein powders were made to mix with cold liquid but does actually work well with hot coffee. Supposedly it is better for you then Swiss Miss hot chocolate. Not sure how much better, seeing as they both have a bunch of man-made chemicals. I honestly think I would be better off putting a steak in the blender every morning, except that would cost to much and take to much time.

Yesterday was a day off, so I walked over to the gas station to buy a newspaper and a bag of plain pork rinds. The plain bag has only 2 items listed as ingredients: fried pork skin and salt (and zero carbs). You can get a bag of hot, spicy pork rinds with a long list of man-made chemicals listed as ingredients. Good thing I don’t like hot spicy food. Sometimes I will dip the plain pork rinds in whipped cream cheese but mostly I just eat them straight out of the bag..because the bag is sitting near my bed and I am to lazy to walk back to kitchen and look for the cream cheese in a crowded refrigerator. While I was at the gas station I decided to try a bottle of those chilled Mocha coffee Frappuccino drinks…yes it has 47 grams of carbs…more then what’s allowed on any Keto diet for 2.5 days.

While I can’t seem to follow any diet exactly they way their rules are written. If I want to eat or drink something then I will. One of my housemates got back from a little vacation to England yesterday. She brought back a small box of chocolate for us all to try. I tried 2 different flavors this morning with my coffee. It’s not anything I will ever want/need to try again, but I can say that I have tried fancy English chocolate.

Even with all my chocolate and extra carbs that I had this last week, I still managed to lose 1.8 pounds. I am down to 175.4, soon I might have to buy new pants because I have a few pair now that I don’t even have to unzip or unbutton to get on. They start sliding down while I’m walking or sitting, so it’s a good thing that my jacket covers while out in public or I would be hearing plumber jokes all day.

Reading Challenge and a Little Rambling

On the website “goodreads”, I signed up for a challenge to read 36 books this year..comes out to 3 books a month. I got a slow start because I forgot about the challenge, or just didn’t log into the site to keep track of what I was reading.

Anyways, seeing as I am awake super early today, I am taking time to read my current book “Walden on Wheels”, by: Ken Ilungas. I have followed the author on facebook for years and just started following him on goodreads. Even though I bought this ebook for my tablet a couple years ago, I am just now getting around to reading this book. I got interested in this author around the time when he got his first seasonal job in Cold foot Camp, Alaska. It is a location that I had also applied to and after reading of his experience I think maybe it was a good thing that I never got the job. Course he loved it enough to go back quite a few seasons.

While his many adventures are interesting and his experience with paying off his student loan debt was intriguing. I have a student loan debt from 30 years ago, that will probably never be paid off during my lifetime, but that’s because I choose to ignore it and pretend it does not exist. And I am not going to dedicate a whole post about my reasons for this, but usually if anyone hears me say that, then they come up with all kinds of negative events that “could” happen to me. But I just remind them that I lived in my car for about 7 months last year in Georgia…what financial gain would the government (or whoever is in control of student loans) have by putting a homeless grandma in jail.

Anyways, I have now finished reading this book and need to start another one..Ken has a few more books written about his travels, maybe I should look on Amazon to see what it would cost to download them. Except as I sit in my kitchen now, I have no wifi to download anything. I still have a few books in my closet, that I bought in December from the Goodwill store in Flagstaff. Yes, real books where you have to turn the pages..pages that I bend over the corners to remind myself where I left off reading. Which book do you like best…ebooks or the old-fashioned paper filled kind?


Thursday night I went out with a group of friends (a rare event) to sit around a campfire and drink a few beers. It was the last night that Kimmie and Susan would be here as they left yesterday heading for Denver. Kimmie was my roomie when I worked in Death Valley a couple years ago. Later in April/May they will be working in Glacier National Park. 3 other friends at the campfire will also be in Glacier for the Summer season. 1 friend would be going back to Crater Lake to work during the Summer. I was the only one there that had no idea what I was going to do all Summer and had no real plans.

I have looked online for Summer seasonal jobs on Coolworks and even on my company website. But even though I find jobs in locations that I might like..the #1 problem always comes down to money. You need money to travel to the next location, and if I travel by bus or plane then it takes money to re-buy bedding and everything else that I can’t take with me. I also compare the money I make here “VS” the money I would bring home in other locations. I know, money doesn’t seem to be that big of an issue for alot of people when they are choosing a Summer job…until you ask them if they would work in their chosen location for free. Obviously nobody likes their job that well, because their answer is always “no because they need money”. Well I ain’t so different from everyone else, as I also need money to live”.

Which is 1 big reason for my coming back to the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon really is my safety net, my comfort zone, my home. When I get really desperate for a place to live and need a job, any job to make money it seems like something at the canyon is always available. It’s also a location where I feel safe (maybe to safe… maybe like a grown adult child going back to live in their parents basement forever). Over the last 11 years I have worked in this location 5 different times. Obviously it isn’t perfect or else I would never feel the need to look elsewhere for new jobs.

For now, I seem to just drift on autopilot day after day. Every day seems to be the same thing. Wake up super early to sit in kitchen for couple hours (while all the housemates are sleeping) to drink coffee, have breakfast and read, then after housemates wake up I will go into my room to play games on my tablet for a few hours just waiting for the time to go to work. By the time I get home at night I am usually tired so I get ready for bed. Laundry, organizing my room, or going out to eat is usually done on my weekends. So it seems to me, that most of my time is spent doing nothing…absolutely nothing…at least not anyhing with a purpose or of any value. I really wish I could just sleep longer at night.

Without a car, I can’t even go into the park to see the canyon. I will be glad when the free shuttle buses start running in Tusayan (which should be in about a month). Once the shuttle runs I will go into the park every weekend to shop at the bigger store and visit friends living in the park. Because right now, I live with a house full of people but I wouldn’t really call any of them my friends. Sure I can tolerate my roommate, but I won’t be texting her next weekend once she leaves for Shenandoah Park. Then sometime soon after Arlene leaves, I will get a new roomie and have to get used to living with a whole new personality/quirks.

Day Off at Starbucks

Seeing as the USB cable (that I bought 2 months ago) stopped charging my phone or tablet 2 nights ago, I had to walk up to the store to buy another cable. I went into the connecting #starbucks to charge my phone.

It was so early and snowy outside, there wasn’t any customers at first. Later a big family came in ordering maybe a dozen different drinks. I would go nuts if I had to make a dozen different coffee drinks at the same time. I just know that I would get them all mixed up.



Just a random couple that came in. They were checking out travel brochures while having some coffee drink. The wet weather probably but a damper on whatever plans they had originally made for their time here. I had tried the “Coconut Vanilla Latte” before, but today I decided that I will stick to my plain black coffee.


I did enjoy a breakfast wrap while I charged my phone and typed this post today from my phone. It has spinach, feta cheese and egg whites inside. I couldn’t find the nutrition value of this on the Starbucks website, but probably more carbs then I need.

I have lost about 12 pounds since I arrived here after Thanksgiving weekend, probably lost most of it this year after cutting out most of the carb crap that I used to eat. Oh I still have moments where I crave carbs (obvious by my breakfast wrap).

Well my phone is all charged now, so I will get ready to go back into the store to buy things for lunch and then walk home again. For the moment it has stopped snowing outside. But rain and snow mixture are in the forecast all week.

Housemates and Work

(Sunday) Jess had gotten here around November 11, 2017, after 1.5- 2 weeks working in Wickenburg. She was supposed to be a supervisor in Starbucks but she ended up breaking her leg and having to work in the general store as a cashier. But she wasn’t happy living in Tusayan so she put in her 2-week notice after getting another job offer in Oregon. Then a few days later I heard her mention that the 2-month job got moved to somewhere in Northern California. After that job, I think she still plans on working in the Tetons for the Summer. Well Jess finally left (before the 2 weeks notice was up). Geez, and my family complains about me being flighty/irresponsible and moving around so much…lol.

The picture above is of Jess, when she came into the store on a day off. The cashier is another housemate that has been here 2.5 years.

My roommate, Arlene, has a job offer to work in Shenandoah National Park for a long Summer season. So she will be leaving around February 24th. She has to drive up to Washington first to get her Summer clothes before she meets a friend in Colorado and they both drive across the country to Virginia.

So for now I will have Tuesday and Wednesday off, instead of Monday and Tuesday. So today should have been my Friday but I will have 1 extra night to work before my weekend. Unfortunately it won’t count towards overtime because the pay week ends tonight. Oh, Oh, if anyone is wondering about the extra money on my last paycheck…it was because we got holiday pay for Marin Luther King DAY. I didn’t realize that was a paid holiday before.

Arlene let me know that because Jess is gone and she plans on leaving in less than a month. Emma and Sandra will be moving into the new Starbucks housing soon. That she overheard some of our company bigwigs talking about getting some international kids in to work for a 3-4 month season, starting February 21st. So far I have not heard anything about the jobs I applied for inside the national park yet.

(Tuesday) Oh so thankful for a day off. Even if the only productive thing I do all day is laundry. Last evening while at work I wasn’t feeling good, so I am just taking it easy today. Because I wasn’t feeling well at work yesterday I forgot to ask about getting sick pay for the 2 days I missed, which means that the next paycheck will be alot smaller. Emma and Sandra are both cooking lunch now, so they either worked an early morning shift or have the day off also.

Spinning Out of Control

( Wednesday) Was the ground moving, was I moving? Before I could figure out what was going on I found myself laid-out on the snowy driveway. This happened twice on my way to work. I had a headache and sore knee by the time I arrived at work.

My supervisor found out I was dizzy and fell on the way to work so he had a co-worker drive me to the clinic in the park. I had just been there 2 weeks earlier for the flu and an ear infection. Now I got a case of vertigo which the doctor suspects was brought on from the ear infection. I had been given an antibiotic called “Azithromycin”. On the information paper that came with the antibiotic, it mentioned allergic reactions…and guess What! Severe dizziness was on the list of reactions. So did the ear infection cause it like the doctor assumed or was it caused by the medicine he prescribed? Or was it just me being the usual clutzy scatterbrain that I am?

The co-worker took me back to work, so I could give the supervisor the note saying I could return to work in 2 days. Hopefully, I get paid for 2 sick days. While I was at the store, I bought ice cream and Gatorade because the doctor told me to stay hydrated while I rested at home. Somehow on the walk back home I did something to my foot/ankle. It hurt like hell to move or even flex my toes.

When my roommate got home a few hours later, she lent me some aspercreme with lidocaine to rub all over my ankle. WOW that stuff worked great. I even ordered some on amazon for under $7. While I was on amazon I started looking for other stuff that I thought I needed and/or wanted. I was surprised at how fast I can come up with an order for $100. I ended up deleting half the order. One good thing about terrible wifi service…gives you time to change your mind about shopping online before you get the chance to click a button that will send an order in.

It was just a few days ago that I was thinking about budgets and saving money. Well I did admit before that my money usually went to Amazon and food eaten out somewhere. Not much I can do about the food issue at the moment, but I really need to get my online shopping under control. If my wifi connection would stay on long enough, I could check my bank account to see exactly what I spent at Amazon this month…but that will have to wait until my day off when I can use McDonald’s wifi.

(Friday/Payday) I just checked for my paycheck online. Wow was I ever surprised… $434.17 for 1 week. Someone messed up somewhere. $10.50 X 40/hrs==$420 before rent and taxes are taken out. So how in the world did I get more? I will find out when I go into work today at 1pm, and receive the actual paycheck stub. But I am hoping that they don’t it out of next week’s check to correct their mistake. Actually I will have to put in for 2 sick days.