Sunday, March 28, 2010

cancelled hike

I was supposed to hike down to Indian Gardens yesterday, camp-out and then hike back up to the rim today. But just my luck I woke up with a headache , stuffy nose, and the feeling that a bowling ball would fall out of my head when I either coughed or bent over. So I didn't go.

Instead I went to Fry's in Flagstaff with a friend. Got a few pics of snow on the mountain but haven't downloaded them yet. Started today still feeling achy, so stayed home enjoying the strawberries I bought on sale yesterday...already finished the tiny container of blackberries last night.
It's a nice sunny day out, but I'm inside drinking Tazo Tea. Lemongrass & Spearmint flavor, even just the smell of it can make you feel a teeny bit better even when you feel like you need a head transplant.

I got a magazine yesterday "Natural Solutions" and am now looking up a bunch of stuff online that is mentioned in the magazine. The magazine also has a website (like everything else in the world)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Native American Dancers

I missed the dancers last year, but was able to go this week. There will be more dancers coming next month....hopefully more then just 3. I will try to go again in April and post more pics then.

I think this was called "The Corn Dance"

The Basket Dance

The famous "HOOP DANCE"
Now I would be tripping all over those hoops.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

3 years

Hard to believe I've been living & working at the Grand Canyon for 3 yrs now. Still not sure which is harder to believe...that this company I work, for hasn't gotten tired of me and booted my ass outta here or that I haven't gotten tired of work/location/people and just packed up and left on my own. Course now I have lots more to pack up. When I got here I had 1 old backpack and 1 I got a room full of stuff that I have collected and would need a U-haul truck to move it all outta here or just have a big yardsale when ever I leave.

I had orientation for my job here on my birthday (which is today) and had to wait a whole year to get my birthday off with pay. Many of my co-workers have been like family ever since I got here. I even call a couple cooks "uncle & Grandpa".

Many guests will ask me~ where is answer "well that depends on your definition of home, I was raised and spent most of my life in NH, but Grand Canyon is now every sense of the word".
Guest will then ask where my family I can list off where my brothers & kids live, and then turn and wave my hand to the front of the cafeteria and tell the guest that I work with my family everyday.
Then guests will ask what brought me answer "the greyhound bus"

After 3 years here, I am still sometimes surprised when guests ask me where the Skywalk would think in this internet era that people would do a google search for such stuff before they go on vacation.
2 of my favorite questions from a guest during my first year here was "what kind of meat is in your beef burgandy"? Geez I don't know it might be beef but would you like me to get the cook so you can ask them?
Or~ "Can I eat my meal by the river?" answer~sure if you want to carry your meal down the canyon for over 9 miles.

Some of my co-workers also have their favorite memories during my first year here. Around August 2007, I was a cashier, and we ran out of silverware. Some big group came in and I had a long line of people at my register and they were all sorta complaining about not having silverware.
Well (to make a long story short) I sat at my register and yelled for silverware loud enough for the dishwasher to hear. Well the dishwasher instantly brought it out and all the guests in line clapped and said thank-you. Unfortunately my manager was helping out at the burger station and also heard me yell. He was not as thrilled as the guests. That manager started to write me up, but threw the write-up in the trash later.

During orientation we were given a booklet with blank pages in the back of it, supposedly we were supposed to write a list of of things/places of what we wanted to see. I haven't done 1/2 of whats on my list. So this year, I hope to do alot more of whats on my list. You just never know when you will run out of time to do anything.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

WatchTower Tour

Had Friday off, so I decided to "play" tourist and go on a tour. Actually I go on some tour at this time every year. I have been here at Grand Canyon for 3 yrs now and went on my first tour before I even had orientation for the job.

This year, I went on the WatchTower Tour and Joe was our driver. First time I have gone on 1 of his tours. This was the first WatchTower Tour that I've gone on that did not stop at Lipan Point.

Think this was at Yaki Point

Joe told us quite a bit about about the spanish people that came exploring this area but I would have needed a tape recorder to remember it all.
One of these days I'll buy a history book.

a view near the watch tower

The watch tower still under re-construction.

If u look to the right of the watch tower...this is your view

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sun-Shiny Day

Breakfast was sorta slow today, which was ok cuz I was the only busser today. Dale came in right before lunchtime, and gave me 5 paperback books & 2 jigsaw puzzles.

But at noon, OMG, we got real busy. After lunch started it got busy and stayed busy for the last couple hours I worked.
We had a big group of school kids come in from Tuscon. At least these kids were all well-mannered.

It's about 3pm, and business has quite again (sorta). Today is Frank's first day at Yavapai. He just got back to the canyon yesterday. I met up with him yesterday when I was on my way to e-cafe.

I signed up for the Watch Tower Tour for tomorrow morning. Usually I go on the Hermit's Rest Sunrise Tour sometime during this week (gone 07,08,09) So this year I wanted something different. So yes tomorrow night, I will have pictures.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Today: Occasional snow showers. Quite windy. Cold. Temps nearly steady in the low to mid 30s. Winds W at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 40%. Snow accumulations less than one inch.

Tonight: Snow showers this evening. Becoming partly cloudy later. Near record low temperatures. Low 14F. Winds WNW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 40%. Snow accumulations less than one inch.

Tomorrow: Generally sunny. High 42F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.

Tomorrow night: Clear skies. Near record low temperatures. Low 14F. Winds light and variable.

Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs in the low 50s and lows in the low 20s.
Work was slow today, so slow I went home a couple hours early today.
It was still a bit cold but not as bad as yesterday.
Got paychecks today and only had 32 hours out of my 80 hours vacation time on this check.

Sorry everyone but I'm using the park headquarters computer again and its time for me to head on home.
Just came in here to check a few things...schools, jobs, and emails.
The librarian told us about an interesting book called "Quicksand & Bluesprings"...and amazon has it for $14.95.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Stinkin' Snow

Now these first 2 pictures were taken by someone else. I came into work at 5am but Ray was able to go get pics of the canyon today.

This is the parking lot between Yavapai Cafe & the general store.
There were times today that when it was snowing today that you couldn't see the parking lot at all.
I guess Mother Nature thinks it's still January, instead of almost Spring.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Woke up late, thought I would be late for work. Just took the next bus and still got to work on time...had left a messege for manager just in case. Forgot my work hat at home and thought I lost my I.D. badge...found the badge as I was walking to park headquarters after work.
Boy, what a scatterbrain today!

We had a meeting at work for about an hour and a half.
AL made more "Sweet Potato Pudding" today, and made a copy of the recipe for me. I'm hoping it becomes a regular feature on the menu.

Robert came in today. He said he will be starting back to work here in the canyon again on the 15th. He had moved to Williams last Summer, but found out that 20 hour work weeks...can be hard when you have bills. So in his words "real life sucks".

Well seeing as I was running late this morning I didn't bring my laptop to work with me...I'm typing this at Park Headquarters (new lady working here). I'm checking out different online school places today...can't make up my mind if I want accounting/business type classes or Nutrition classes or photography classes though. I love photography, but what in the world would I do with a photography degree? oh heck I'll just send for them all and figure it out later.

I should head on home to do a couple things...first thing; plug in my alarm clock so I don't have to worry about missing the bus tomorrow.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

deer & elk are back

this elk was taking a stroll near my neighbor's window today.

I found this deer after I got home today. It was just getting ready to cross the road to meet up with the other deer.
Think there was 5 other deer across the road in the neighbors yard.

Deer just had it's snack...was chewing on the tree branches.

I was riding the shuttle bus on Thursday and got a quick shot of an elk from the bus window. First elk I have seen in quite awhile.
You would swear I was a tourist, the way I take pics of all the animals...
As I was riding the bus home today, there were quite a few deer out around the train tracks...but just my luck I didn't have the camera with me (yes a rare day) but grabbed the camera when I got home to get about 20 pictures around my neighborhood.

Our General Store

I liked the sign in the picture below. Actually the jacket hanging up under the sign is nice also.

I always wanted a chair like this. I don't remember what the price was but sure it was more then I can afford.
Lots of new cool stuff, that the store got in.

If you're crazy about cactus~from the gift section of our store.

Sometimes I like strolling through the gift section of the store just to see whats new there, even if I don't plan on buying anything.
The store actually does have a good variety of gifts & camping supplies....just wish they were not so expensive.
(took these pics back in November 2009 for some odd reason....oh yeah, to use in a blog when there was nothing else to write about...or when anyone got tired of reading about work or today's snowy weather)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Yavapai Cafeteria has re-opened

Yavapai Cafe re-opened yesterday at 3pm. I went in only to say hello to everyone and to get a salad from the salad bar...boy did I ever miss that salad bar during the Winter when Yavapai was closed.

The picture is the "specials board" and they forgot to add on the pot roast dinner.

We no longer have chicken parmesan or the creamed spinach. I didn't eat either of those, so its fine with me that they are gone.

We did get some new drinks juice "Naked Brand". Today I tried the flavor "Orange Mango Motion". It's pretty good but at $4 a bottle it's sorta expensive...glad I get a employee discount.
Our new Luzianne iced teas look pretty good too...4 different flavors. We also got a new brand of yogurt (stoneyfield Farm Organic Yogurt).
Today we had beef stew & homemade cornbread for a lunch special...I just wanted the cornbread. YUMMY!

When I went in yesterday, Adam showed me the revised schedule. So I am working morning shift now and Sheri will be on nights. Wonder what they woulda done if I had not walked in on a day-off and seen the new schedule? After Brenda got out of work yesterday, we picked up Jack and went down to "WE COOK PIZZA" in Tusayan. Brenda was craving fried zucchini and Jack has been missing their fried ravioli.

This morning I got to the bus stop at 4:45am and the bus got there at ears were freezing by then.
Yavapai has the wireless internet turned back on, so I'll bring laptop in with me tomorrow.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Picture Day

COLD , cloudy and very windy today.
Took this pic while waiting for the "red route" shuttle bus.

I met Sharon & Steve while waiting for the bus. They are from Eastern TN. Steve is a shutterbug like me.

Steve took my pic at Powell Point.
Sharon says my eyes smile more then anything.

a view near Mohave Point...first stop I went to where I could see the Colorado River. steps were covered in snow here.

sign to show where the bus stops are on the red-route.
*(click on the pic to enlarge it)*
I only went as far as the Mohave Point was to cold to stay out any longer. And besides I had to go meet the Yavapai manager this afternoon, so wanted to make sure I was back in time.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Conspiracy Theory

Brenda went to clinic this morning and then got the rest of the day off work. I went to HR to talk to the benefits person about the mess-up on my vacation time pay....benefits and the assistant F&B director reassured me that I can get a temp extention to turn in a corrected vacation form. I'm guessing that my manager won't be to happy that I went over his head; but that's his problem not mine.

So seeing as Brenda was home I went to visit her and we watched the movie "Conspiracy Theory". It's an old movie but it's the first time I ever saw it. I liked it.

In the morning, I plan on taking the bus down Hermit's Rest road....I need to get unstressed and I'm guessing that will be relaxing. The road has just been reopened this week. Hopefully the weather is nice enough to get some pictures. I haven't seen any elk for awhile lately...I guess they have gone on vacation somewhere.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Stress & Time Management

I went to a 3-hour "stress & time management class" this morning. The instructor was fun and class had some good points. Liked the idea of breaking the day up into a 24-hr pie...but after leaving and walking home, I got to thinking that I still need extra help in certain areas that probably could of taken an extra hour.

Then when I got home again, there was a notice on all the doors telling us that tomorrow the building is getting sprayed. WOW! 1 day notice to move everything out from under the beds and around corners. Guess I will be staying up ALL night when I get home from work to make sure I'm ready for them in the morning.

Then when I got to work...I mentioned to a few people that today was all overtime for me. Well guess again.!! The managers messed up on my 2 week vacation time. I have 2 weeks (10 paid days) vacation every year.
But like for this week...the schedule that's posted up on the wall at work has me on vacation for 4 days & working 2 days===which would mean paid for 6 days, which would mean overtime. The week my vacation started, the schedule that was posted at work also had me scheduled for overtime. I'm sure my managers higher-up boss would have complained about me getting overtime and seeing as my managers don't like getting in trouble by their bosses, they had to fix their mistake I have to pay for their mistake.

So anyways, all total I will only be getting paid for 7 days of my vacation instead of 10. I have to miss out on 24 hours of vacation pay just because managers don't know how to make schedules. Now my paycheck is already getting garnished by the state of NH, so my paycheck is always low to begin with, so I was counting on ALL my vacation time.

It would seem that because I get sent home often in the winter months anyways, (including days before my vacation time started) that ALL my vacation time should be allowed. I would even except the missing 24 hours of vacation pay without adding in any overtime.
A friend says they can't take vacation time/pay away...but 1 of the cooks here said that they did it to him a couple years ago. The cook works in this same cafeteria.

~EDIT~managers might not like getting in trouble with their boss, but I just emailed a copy of the above blog to headquarters in Colorado.

So much for stress management turned into a stressful day.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March came in like a lamb

It's a really great day so far. Even though I didn't get much sleep last night, I woke up still excited about my plans for my June trip I made yesterday (now trying to arrange time to see 2 of my brothers while I'm back East also)...and it's a nice sunny day outside, which is good cuz I'm ready for Spring.
Course as the old saying goes. "If March comes in like a lamb, then it will go out like a lion".

Today is the start of the new "Guide paper" on the shuttle buses but seeing as I didn't ride a bus today I haven't seen the new schedule for any new ranger programs. Also means that some of the seasonal drivers should all be back in the park now.
~EDIT~I want to attend the new/full moon walks later this spring and the wildlife show on May1st.
My schedule is finally posted for Yavapai. I start on Saturday at 1pm. Sheri will be a busser for morning shift....oh boy, I can hear her whine already.

Today's special at Maswik is Nachos Supreme; which looks pretty good. Well I think there's 5 line servers scheduled to close the front line tonight...but wonder how busy we will be. Right at this moment the dining room seems busier then it has been when I stop in here lately.