Sunday, August 17, 2008

Big changes! Wonderful News!

It seems like John's been shirking his blogging efforts've decided to step in and post a few blogs occasionally myself. From now on this blog is officially John AND Deb's.

The last few weeks have been ones of changes (again) and decisions.

CHANGES-John is now back working rotating shifts. For the mostpart this is a really positive change. He did not like working as a mechanic on day shifts. It brought him down to say the least. From the moment he was told that he had to go back to maintenance work he had let the powers that be know that he was not happy. He wanted to go back to work as an operations technician. I am happy to say that after 8 weeks on days he was asked to go back to Operations and he is thrilled. He loves learning everything that comes with working in the utility department. He has even been assigned a new duty of learning the computer/control room operations associated with the power house. It has completely rejuvenated him! and...he doesn't mind the long hours and shift work. Me, on the other hand, I miss him and am not completely sold on the rotating shifts, working nights, and weekends that go along with the operator's job. But, I see such an improvement in his mood, that I will do what I have to do to adjust to his new schedule again.

DECISION-Again this year we have not been able to enjoy camping like we wish we could. Another drawback of the shift work is the loss of weekends to go camping! So, a few weeks ago when we were at Countryside Campground , John and I had a serious talk. We have always shied away from putting the camper on a seasonal site at one campground. We felt like that would really limit our experiences at other campgrounds. But, times have changed. John's shift work along with the price of fuel has really crimped our ability to travel with the fifth wheel.

Also...we love going to Countryside. Right up 395 in Griswold, it is close enough to be affordable to get to, yet, far enough away to know that we are not at home. The sites are spacious. The owners are wonderful. The other campers are friendly. We've always loved it there. When ever we are thinking of going away for a weekend trip, our first thought is to go here. Why not then just put the camper on a site there for the entire season? So...after weighing all the pros and cons, that's what we have decided to do. As of next year the Cougar will sit on site #9 at Countryside from May to October. We hope to be able to spend more time camping this way. Perhaps even during the week when John is off, I could go back and forth to work from there, no problem.

I am so happy! and excited and thrilled! First because we've made this decision, second because this is a beautiful site at the campground. In fact, for several years this was the site that Jane and Bob had. It is waterfront on the swimming pond and large enough for us to have lots of company at the campground! I am hopeful that next year will be full of fun, family times at our seasonal site at Countryside Campground!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Plans Don't always work out

Ok so the June vacation down south didn't work out, not the end of the world right?

So now it's the middle of July and my work schedule is just a mess. First I'm working shifts then I get put to into the maintenance shop on days. A 30K cut in pay, just what I need right now. There might be a possibility of going back on shifts but I'm really just tired of the flip flopping and the uncertainty of the future. Enough of that.

We finally pulled out for the weekend to our favorite local campground a pull thru site high on a hill overlooking the swimming pond.
And we had a special guest her first camping trip, We brought Annie with us here is a picture of Annie

Annie and Taffy were great, the only problem they don't like to be left alone so going swimming with Deb was not an option unless I wanted to have to barking dogs left on the site.

We did go to the pond with Deb and watch Friday night.

It was a very relaxing weekend watched the British open and played lots of cribbage and we realized how much we missed going.

Here is a picture of the girls watching Deb swim in the pond.

I think were going to go next weekend.

Friday, March 14, 2008

New Year new attitude

I can't believe it's been this long since I have visited my site. But I'm back and hope to visit and post more often.
The job is going well and shifts are still difficult but I'm still employed that's all I'm going to say about that.
Deb and I have talked about what to do about our camping, with the rise in fuel cost and working two weekends a month we toyed with the idea of selling our 5th wheel and truck, taking a year off or buy a motor home. So what we decided was to keep things the way they are, budget fuel into our trips and make the best of it.
So with that our summer vacation (June) is planned with a return trip to Williamsburg VA for 4 nights and then 3 nights in Washington DC.
So that is a brief update and it won't be long now that we de-winterize.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Warm Heart

I was thumbing through some old photos from my webshots albums tonight and came across this one, it really warms my heart and makes me feel pretty lucky!

Friday, July 20, 2007

July Ramblings

Well we haven't camped since our Maine vacation, mainly due to my schedule at work. There has been a lot of overtime and yes I have sucked it up and will continue for a while.
As far as work goes I have been accepted into the operations team of the Utilities dept permanently which in my opinion is safer than being in maintenance, I feel that there will be future cutbacks and typically maintenance gets hit first, that is not saying that operations will be left untouched, it just make take longer.

I'm not fooling myself in believing that I will reach my full retirement with Pfizer, I just need to hit the next milestone of 50 years old, which if past severance packages continue and include a 5 yr addition to age or service would qualify me for free medical for life and a discounted early retirement, (very important in my case).

I will continue to go to work and do the best job possible but the feelings I have towards the company have changed so much, they preach respect and value for people but all I see is corporate irresponsibility and the almighty dollar. while I know education is important, Pfizer manufacturing was a place where someone could go with a high school diploma, a good work ethic and make a decent living for his family, now it is all about degrees, there are many colleagues of mine that have give 20 t0 30 years of their lives to this company, very few of these colleagues will or have been able to transition to the research operation and those that have are engineers, managers and directors, What does that tell the average Joe? and Research is not the crystal palace everyone makes it out to be, they are in the process of cutting their own underlings and contracting out those services you can only wonder when you will be next. Because your not considered talented or creative and you don't have that parchment paper.

So my goal right now is to make as much as possible and set Deb and I up so if and when the time comes for me to part company we will be prepared for it and treat it as a new chapter in out life instead of the end of the world, which is what I thought this time last year, Right now I am one of the lucky ones, I found a different job and will be here longer than a lot of my co-workers, but I think of them a lot and think how unfair all this is.

The next outing with the camper will be to Stonington High school for the relay for life Aug 4th, hopefully the weather will be better than last year.

Diane is in Oregon with her nieces and we are taking good care of her pooch Annie, not quite use to the 5 am kisses or the 11pm "I want to play not sleep" she is doing fine thou and we look forward to Diane's return, and speaking of her return she will be starting her own new adventure as a homeowner, before she left Diane purchased a condo, a 2 bedroom town house hopefully I can do a couple projects before she comes home.

That's about it for now, keep plugging away, keep a positive attitude and don't let the bumps in the road give you a flat tire!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Freeport Days 6 & 7

Sorry its taken so long for us to post this final vacation blog. You know how it is. You get back home and its back to reality. Our final days at Winslow Memorial Park in Freeport were wonderful. Thanks again to Tom G. for suggesting this great campground. It's located right on the Casco Bay and it is just beautiful. Again we had a site on the water and it was really nice.

There's not too much to report on activities for these last two days. We basically spent our time just relaxing, chillin, enjoying Mother Nature at her finest. Of course we did find time for some ladder golf, some sequence, some soduko and some reading. We did take a trek into Freeport but as neither Deb or I are real big shoppers we didn't spend much time there. Even LL Bean didn't really impress us! Its gotten just way too big!

It was great fun blogging! Thanks to everyone for sharing our vacation with us.
Deb & John

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bar Harbor day 5

Well today was our last day full day in Bar Harbor before we head to Freeport tomorrow. First on the agenda was a canoe trip on long lake (pond whatever), we rented the canoe for 4 hrs figuring that would be plenty of time, Deb made some bologna sandwiches and we headed off. We encountered quite a head wind as we made our way to a section of Arcadia where we would go ashore to have our lunch, little did we know we were on the menu, mosquito's.... hundreds....thousands....ok more than a few. We gobbled our sandwich and headed back out to some calmer waters it was nice but we forgot how much work it was, we returned the canoe after 2 and half hours and were whooped.

On the way back to the campground we stopped at the Atlantic brewing company for a beer tasting a real highlight for me, we tasted seven beers and two sodas, (very small samples) Even brought some home to share.

After going to the grocery store to restock and and refuel the truck I took Deb to the pool, unfortunately with the canoeing and the pool she got sun burnt so she is not feeling very well right now, we are listening to the Sox play and she is cuddled up under two blankets on the couch.
We have had an awesome time, this will be the last blog until we get home on Friday because I don't think there is WIFI in Freeport where were heading tomorrow.

I hope everyone who has read our blog has enjoyed it, I know we have enjoyed sharing it with you!

Don't forget you can see all of our photos from this trip on our webshots album, just click the link on the right labeled our photo album.

John & Deb