Saturday, March 17, 2012

Please Standby As I Try To Revive This Blog.

Exhale.

So, it turns out that starting two new jobs, moving into a new place and doing some home renovation projects at the same time is never a good idea. Just in case you were wondering.

In an effort to try not to babble, oh wait, who am I kidding. Prepare for some babble.

1) My job ... is intense. Here's what I do in a nutshell. I work for a company that provides overnight briefings to various government agencies, including the White House. I am a news analyst for the health care pod. This means I search every night for news & news coverage that these various clients (we have 24 right now) would care about. For example, the FDA cares not about their drug approval, but what did the big newspapers and big bloggers say about it. This is a lot of material to cover with a tight, tight deadline. My brain hurts every night and I routinely miss stories, but I realize (and I believe my bosses do too) that I am still in training. It gets more manageable each day; the job has a very steep learning curve and I'm probably only about 20% up it. As for the twilight schedule, I kind of dig it. My schedule fluctuates a little bit, but I tend to work 8:30pm to 6am, give or take. I sleep a hard 4-5 hours when I get home from work (yes, I am still making the God-awful commute to the DC area) and sometimes take a power nap before work. I know it sounds bad on paper, but I've been perfectly fine with it for the last month. There literally is no time to get tired at work and the company pays for all caffeinated and sugary drinks. I believe that helps.

2) J's job is ... busy. J's work at the trail center entails everything under the sun, which means that no two days are the same (the way he likes it). Nevermind that his task list has 486 items on it and growing. Every day, he has enough time to mark off 2-3 things. He basically never sits still for more than 5 minutes. In fact, he figured out that with all the hours he works, he makes about 5 cents an hour. As busy as it is, he (we) loves it. Every time we tell visitors we are the new caretakers, people ask, how in the world did you get so lucky to get this job??? He (we) run a campground, cottage and 35-bed lodge with a drop-in hiker hostel, so we meet all walks of life. It is very fun. Last weekend, we had 35 men staying at the lodge for a retreat. This weekend, we have a full campground, a cottage rental full of boy scouts and a lodge full of teenagers. Plus, we are starting to see more and more hikers dropping in. No thru hikers yet, but they are coming soon!!

3) We finally have our dresser and bed set up. We delayed the process of moving in because we decided we wanted to do some painting and flooring in our manager quarters. We thought it would take a day or two, tops. It took 16 days. But it is pretty much done and we are feeling at home. I plan to post pictures of the finished product when we finish ... no promises though.
4) We could not have gotten through this past month without the help of new and old friends. Fire Marshall and his family let us borrow cars and their catering truck for moving, let me sleep there, fed us and helped us lay flooring. The couple that ran the trail center for the past 4 years provided us with the tools for a successful change of hands and actually moved just up the road, so we are constantly bugging them with questions. It was such a natural friendship too. The volunteer network for the trail center has been unbelievable. We have had a volunteer, or a few, by our side since the day we started. These people cooked meals for us, helped us move in, fielded our numerous questions, helped with the cleaning as we get into a routine and just provided a really good support for us. We have made several friends and it feels like we've known these people for years!!!5) Did I mention there was an attempted break-in at our rental house in Danville? Thank God for ADT!!!!!

6) One last bonus wrench thrown in the pile. We decided we probably need a more fuel-efficient car, cause you know, gas is as expensive as a black-market kidney these days. And I am actually commuting 80 miles/day(night) for the time being. We couldn't be any more indecisive and non-committal about this idea, so that's as far as we've gotten on this decision. I'm not sure why, but J keeps showing me ads for VW buses ...

I think that about covers it. I will try to be more regular about blogging. I miss it!! But time is just very limited these days ...

4 comments:

Misti said...

Dang, I figured you were busy, but not *this* busy! Do you get days off from your job?

I do know there are some thru-hikers in Virginia right now.

Do you also run the trail center just north of there along the trail, the one with the shelter?

We're thinking of y'all!

Oh, we got our permits for the Enchantment Lakes, what Sherri and Randy from Backpacker were talking about. we're going in August! Until then Chris is working 12+ hours a day in the field and I'm holding down the fort.

*hugs* from Texas!!

Oh, Sandra Friend, well known Florida Trail writer and hikers (see Floridahikes.com I think that's what it is) is hitting the AT. I sent her your way...she was already planning on staying at Bear's Den.

Thaiguy in NH said...

We miss you busy peeps. There are too many states between nh and va. Not so many that a little overnight hike can't cover. Just catching up on your blog. It's been awhile. Tell deal to quit slacking. What did you end up doing with that nasty camp pillow "luxury" he had?
We missed the 500 blog comp since we were in se Asia. Bummer

Delightful Designs by Katherine said...

WOW. Can't wait to see the final pics. Make sure you are getting enough rest too.

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