But tell me what you think. Do you like the new look of the blog or not? I took both pictures at the Grand Canyon. The header is of course the canyon itself. And the background, if it shows up on your screen, is the same picture I used in the old header of some fleabane near the entrance station. It may not show up for you though. I know it does on my computer, but on FabGrandpa’s it doesn’t. So, yay or nay? do you like it? too busy? unique and all me? Whadda ya think?
I was in town today and found these:
My daughter, Becca, is a graduate of the University of Alabama, and is currently enrolled in their Master of Library Science program via online classes. Yep, Roll Tide, Baby!
One of my blog friends, Whitney from It’s Gravy Baby, has issued a 31 Day Challenge. The challenge is to basically write a post each day from the list of prompts given, to let your readers get to know you better. While I think most of my readers know me pretty well, because, well, I tell you so much about ME all the time, I am going to take her up on this mostly because I think it will be fun. So, the prompt for today is to post a photo of myself with 10 facts about me.
This is me at about 4 years old. I vaguely remember this dress and in my head, I had always thought it was brown. A couple of years ago, my mother told me it was burgundy. I guess that my little girl self had no word for burgundy so my brain stored the information as brown.
I have two older brothers, two younger brothers, and one younger sister. My youngest brother was killed in an accident in 1979. I still miss him.
I have three children. My son will be 40 this year! In this photo, that is me on the left holding Becca. She was 17 months old. Seth, who was 3, is sitting on the car. My friend, Biba, holding Emily, who was 1 month old.
I also have a step-daughter, Becky. This is what she looked like when we first met. I love her just as much as I love my own children. She just got married last week and is so happy.
I worked for a large corporation for twenty years. I got dressed up and went to an office, and pushed paper around on a desk for much of that time. While it was a good job, had great benefits, and for the first seven years I could switch my schedule around so I could be with my children, I really hated that job. Being laid off, or SIPP”d as they called it, was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I was a Girl Scout leader for eight years when my girls were growing up. We did a lot of things, from camping four times a year; going on a 10 day trip on Amtrak to Washington, DC, Boston, and New York; to serving as pages at the Georgia State capitol. That’s me in the back row, far right next to the Georgia State Flag.
I bought a house in 1984. It was a good house, with room for me and the children to grow up in. It had a lovely fireplace, and almost an acre of yard. My husband and I sold it in 2000 and bought an RV to live in. I don’t miss that house.
This is my home now. We have lived fulltime in an RV since August of 2000. We worked in resorts and privately owned campgrounds in Georgia, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kansas until 2008. That year, we were hired by the National Park Service at the Grand Canyon. To say I love my life would be such an understatement, but I really don’t know how else to say it.
I have five grandchildren. This photo was taken before Amelia was born, so she gets one photo all by herself. But just to set the record straight–I love them all equally. And I think they are ALL the cutest grandchildren, ever!
Here I am standing on top of the world at Cape Final on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It was a four mile round trip hike to get there. I am proud to say that I have hiked on every trail at the North Rim, although I only went to the first bend in the North Kaibab Trail. I know my limitations.
You know that sound you hear sometimes in movies, that sounds sort of like a needle being dragged abruptly across an old vinyl record? The one they use just before they suddenly stop the action and back up to an earlier point in time? Well, imagine that you are hearing that sound right about now! And then back up to here.
On February 6th, when I wrote that we had decided to go to work at a campground in Missouri, and told you all about how beautiful the place was, and we were really looking forward to going there, and yayaya, inside my little brain I was really thinking, Missouri, eh. Blah. Not blah to that campground, just blah to Missouri. Then last week I wrote about how I was just not getting the things done I needed to get done before we leave. I am just not that enthusiastic about going there because I want to be somewhere else.
Since I was 12 years old, I have dreamed about working and living at the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Even before I knew that jobs could be had that would actually let you live inside of the national park, even before I knew how to go about applying for one of those jobs, I have longed to go there. Back then, when I was a kid, and had never seen a travel trailer, I used to daydream about going out there in a pick-up truck with a camper shell on it, because that was all I knew existed.
After Jim and I started living our full-time RV lifestyle eight years ago, and I had to start looking for a job for us every six months or so, I stumbled across a website called USAJobs.com. At first, I only searched for jobs, just to see what was available, because I did not think they had temporary seasonal jobs. I thought if we went to work for a national park, we would be tied to it for the long-term, and I could not ever get Jim to agree to that sort of job.
Well, about five years ago, when I was searching for jobs yet again, I came across a full-time RV’ers forum where someone mentioned that they had worked a seasonal job at a national park. So, off I went to the USAJobs site to look again. Oh. My. God! They did have temporary seasonal jobs, and lots of them, at all of the national parks out west. And so I started applying for any of the jobs I thought I could do.
One thing about our government, they do not make it easy to search. The job titles usually don’t have anything at all to do with what you think they might actually be. So, it was very time consuming, because I had to read all of the job descriptions and decide if the encrypted jargon equaled something I could do, or that I could convince them I could do.
Four years ago, I started filling out applications. Office Automation Assistant, Information Receptionist, Visitor Use Assistant, Volunteer Coordinator, even Laborer and Assistant Recreation Assistant (??). For four long years, I have dutifully filled in all the blanks, answered the questions written in secret code, and pushed the send button, to never hear from them again. Until last week.
On Monday of last week, a guy named Bob called me to offer me a job as a temporary seasonal Visitor Use Assistant at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The job has a very good rate of pay, it is for six months, it includes a full hook up campsite in the employee housing section, and it accrues annual leave. But, I had to decline the offer. I told Bob I really hated to turn this down, but that we also needed a job for my husband and he had not heard a word about his application.
I ended up talking to Bob for about half an hour, getting tips and information about how to apply so that both of our applications would get noticed. I ended the conversation with him by saying, “I am going to think really positive and say that I will see you out there next year.”
After I hung up the phone, I was depressed for a couple of days. I could not believe that after all that hard work, I had to turn down the job I had dreamed of all my life. So, I was sitting there minding my own pity-party business on Friday, when the phone rang again, and it was a different guy, Alan, asking for Jim. Alan offered him a temporary seasonal job in maintenance at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Jim said, “I really hate to say no, but my wife just turned down a job a couple of days ago. To which the caller replied, “What job was it? Who did she talk to? What is her name? I’m going to call Bob and see if the job is still available.”
So, Jim hung up, and a short time later, Bob called me back, and asked if I was still interested in that job. “Heck, Yeah!” was my reply. So, I interviewed with him over the phone, and he said he would call my references, and get back in touch with me.
Today, Bob called and told me my references checked out, and gave me a tentative job offer. Shortly after we hung up, Al called Jim and also gave him a tentative job offer. Now we are waiting for the package to arrive in the mail to fill out for a background check. But I truly believe, in my heart, in my little girl dreams, that I will be wearing that Smokey The Bear uniform in just a few weeks.
Sometimes the stars do line up just right.
Yeah, so last week I was sitting in the lobby of Unicoi Lodge, where they have wireless internet service, doing some surfing on my laptop, when this lady walks up to me and says, “Excuse me, but are you FabGrandma?” Of course, I said I was, but I was shocked that someone would recognize me. It was a weird feeling, but weird in a good way. I felt flattered that someone would not only read my postings here, but actually remember what I look like from my picture.
So, yeah, you are reading THE Fabgrandma!