Tag Archive | routine

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.


Good Morning

I am up again earlier then any sane person should be. 3am and I have my coffee and instant oatmeal…I mixed a blueberry &  banana flavored packages together. I also have a banana  that I bought yesterday, after work. I can see the shadows of the palm trees outside blowing in the wind, so I know I will need to dress warmer for work today. This will be day #7, working an 8-day stretch.

Now what does a person do when they wake up 3 hours before they have to leave for work? Well obviously they type out a new blog post, while drinking a couple cups of coffee. I will jump in the shower around 4am, and will linger enough to apply moisturizer because dry skin has been driving me crazy lately. I even remembered to take my vitamins/supplements this morning. Need to make that a priority again because waking up in the middle of the night with leg cramps (Charlie horses) for 20-30 minutes is no fun at all.


The above picture was yesterday’s breakfast during my break at work. When I start work at 6:30, I get a break around 7:45am for breakfast. I love the fact that we can have fruit offered everyday. Sometimes there is cantaloupe but not yesterday. I am just hoping that Yellowstone also offers so much fruit everyday for its  employees.

So yes, I will get 2 breakfasts, the one I ate at 3am & another one about 4.5 hours later. I have been trying to be good and skip the blueberry muffins and french toast.

Schedules & Routine


That picture above is the schedule for the shuttle that takes us up the hill to work & meals (in the concessions building) or 2-3 miles down the road to the little community of Keystone. Now if you can follow that schedule then you are doing better then some people who work here.

I usually start work at 8:30am, so I usually catch the 7:35 bus to have breakfast first. I am saying usually because this morning I overslept, and did not even get out of bed until 8:20am. So that meant I was going to be late to work because the next shuttle would not be at the dorm until 9:00. I was not walking up that hill.

Oversleeping enough to miss work is a rare thing for me. I think I only did that once in the whole 6 years that I worked at the Grand Canyon. At that time, 1 manager was soon shocked that she refused to write me up for it, but did get concerned enough to ask me what happened. Well this time my only reason is that I was so busy last night downloading pictures that I stayed up till around midnight. At Mt. Rushmore I don’t think they ever write up anyone for being late to work.

Tonight, I already took a Tylenol PM, to make sure I will be snoring away by 10pm at the latest. I want to make sure I don’t get so distracted by anything on the Internet that I lose track of the time. So now I will go make sure I have my uniform ready for tomorrow. Life runs smoother if I get ready ahead of time, Instead of jumping out of bed late in the mornings and running around with some type of brain -fog and always forgetting stuff.

Good Morning


I woke up about 4:30am, and made my first cup of coffee around 5:10 today. When I first arrived here my roommate offered me some packets of Truvia. I used 1/2 a packet . Sorry I would rather have black coffee. She tried to get me to use her vanilla creamer too. Funny how people always think I am missing something in my coffee cup. Sometimes I do like putting a bit of Swiss Miss hot chocolate in my coffee though. Just something I learned from an elderly lady in a nursing home I worked in years ago.

Well today is Tuesday, it’s usually our busiest day at the gift shop because that’s when most of the tour buses come in. I worked in the gallery for the last 2 days…which is alot slower paced. The area we call the “bull pen” was crazy yesterday. Hopefully I am not there today. I am hoping to be back in the gallery or over with the Black Hills gold jewelry. Or maybe they will give me a break from cashiering and just have me stock shelves all day.

I will catch the 7:35 shuttle, so I can go eat breakfast before work. There is not many options for breakfast here, but it’s food If I go upstairs to the guests cafe then I can grab hot chocolate otherwise if I just go to the employee’s dining area, I will only get watered-down coffee.. Then I get a 15 minute break around 10:15-10:30 for more coffee & toast with peanut butter. I usually grab lunch around 12:30-1:00 (mostly salad, fruit & dessert) and I get my last break about 3:15-3:30pm. If I am on a cash register then I will be relieved at 4:30, so that I can go downstairs to count out my drawer.

Most of the time I skip dinner, and just catch the 5:05pm shuttle back to the dorm. Even though I don’t eat dinner I still have to pay for it. Which drives me frigging nuts. It would be like Safeway sending you a grocery bill whether you went shopping or not. I can not get used to paying for anything I don’t use.