Oh my aching knees…

We visited Makers Mark (part of the KY Bourbon Trail) on a rainy Friday.  That was 2 for 2 – rainy bourbon trail days!  Makers Mark is a much larger operation than Four Roses.

The HUGE welcome center
The HUGE welcome center
this bottle was in a display case, it caught Bill's eye b/c our son used to be a member of a pack in this district when we lived in KY.
this bottle was in a display case, it caught Bill’s eye b/c our son used to be a member of a pack in this district when we lived in KY.
beautiful mosaic in the welcome center
beautiful mosaic in the welcome center
heading inside
heading inside the distillery
The still and bubbler
These are the spirit safes, they collect the distillate (white lightening) off the still and collects it in a container that they float a hydrometer in so they can monitor the quality
beautiful grounds
beautiful grounds
cool sculpture things
cool sculpture things
part of the ceiling in the barrel warehouse - I honestly forget the whole story (I need to blog about something the day it happens - otherwise I forget details) but it was a gift from the original owner to his wife
part of the ceiling in the barrel warehouse – I honestly forget the whole story (I need to blog about something the day it happens – otherwise I forget details) but it was a gift from the original owner to his wife
an old bottling line - reminded Bill of the one they had at Laird and Company when he worked there many years ago
an old bottling line – reminded Bill of the one they had at Laird and Company when he worked there many years ago
the samples!
the samples!
the wax station in the gift shop
the wax station in the gift shop
somebody dipping their newly purchased bottle
somebody dipping their newly purchased bottle
it was a grey rainy day, but you could still see the colors are starting to change
it was a grey rainy day, but you could still see the colors are starting to change

So, their process is very similar to any other bourbon maker, there are small differences that make it their own, Bill says their grain bill (proportions of grains) is very different and also they still make their bourbon in small batches, the old-fashioned way.  They still hand rotate their barrels in their barrel warehouses, to even out the aging process.  I gotta tell you, I did actually like one of the ones I tried, its called Maker’s Mark 46.  They put the bourbon in a regular oak barrel, like all of it, then when it’s 6 to 7 years old, they take it out and put it in another barrel, but this one has toasted french oak staves and the bourbon gets additional flavor from this process.  I actually enjoyed it.  Maybe I need to clarify that statement – I enjoyed the sample – but not enough to spend $48 on a bottle.

Saturday was a most awesome day!  We got up and had our coffee, then Bill went outside and worked on a couple things while I got the inside cleaned up – we were having company!  Friends of ours, Doug and Misty Stutz, were coming to see us!  We got to know them when we lived in Oldham County KY from 1996 to 2002.  We attended the same church and became good friends.  Doug is a math teacher and Misty is a pharmacist.  Their kids, Emilie and Wesley were friends with our Michelle and Billy, but sadly they have lost touch over the years.  Maybe that would have been different if they were older and FaceBook was around then.  Doug and Misty were a huge support to me when Bill was working far from home in Jamaica, and gone all the time.  We have missed being close to them, but now they were coming to see our home on wheels for the first time!  We had a great visit, I made a big pot of potato soup and they brought apple pie for dessert.  Best part was catching up with each others news!  It was like they say it should be with good friends, we picked up where we left off!  I’m sure we will see them again while we are in the area.

Misty, Doug, me and Bill - Bill used the timer feature on his phone!
Misty, Doug, me and Bill – Bill used the timer feature on his phone!

So, I wasn’t going to post this week, but here’s what changed my mind.
The title of this post is a clue – I am home today, on Thursday, yes, during the day.  UGH!   Let me explain.  I was so excited yesterday, right before leaving for work, we checked at the office and our number was turned over!  That means we have mail!  YAY!  Its our first of many expected packages – the heater thing for the water hose and our pedometers!  I was so happy!  I had Bill “program” it right away!  So, I did a total of 28,626 steps!  Sound good right?  NOT!  By the end of the night, my knees were SCREAMING at me!  Thankfully, I only had to climb the stairs once and only to the second floor!  I slowed down to a snails pace, literally.  People were buzzing all around me, and I was just plodding along.  I could not wait for 10:45 came along!  What actually happened was I checked my scanner screen for the next pick and it said “P-4-B (and the rest of the spot info)” and I said NOPE – no more stairs for me!  (the 4 in the middle designates the 4th floor) Thankfully, it was 10:35, so I just VERY SLOWLY walked to the punch out area and waited til it was time to punch out.  Actually, didn’t have to wait that long, it took me so long to walk there at all!

So, I am home.  Worst part is, my knees hurt.  Not as bad as earlier b/c I took a bunch of Advil and have been icing them.  Second worst thing is I am here feeling a bit like a failure.  I know, that is somewhat exaggerated, but the closest thing I could come up with.  I realize that is a bit of crazy talk, but I am “off” today, so that’s the best I’ve got.  Third, I had to take a point for this.  The whole week, at the end of our “start-up” meetings, there has been VTO (voluntary time off) available.  So, the plan was, I would go in, punch in, go to the start-up meeting, do our stretches, then take VTO.  Considering that’s been the MO since day one since we’ve started, that seemed logical right?  NOPE!  Not today!  UGH!  So, I approach Josh, the manager on duty, and I ask about it.  He says there MAY BE some available later.  Ok, how later?  He says, MAYBE after 2pm’ish.  At that moment, it is 12:23.  I talk to Bill and decide to try and tough it out.  My first pick comes up on the 3rd floor.  NO WAY!  I log out and log back in, “P-1-M”.  I can do that.  Except, after trying, it becomes quickly apparent that I CAN’T.  UGH!  So, I go back to Josh, who says I have to go to HR and figure out what my options are.  See, they did explain all that on our first day, but it’s the kind of thing you don’t think you will ever need, so you really don’t “listen”.  Short version is, if I want to leave and VTO isn’t available, I will get a point.  UGH!  I’ve never gotten a point for anything in my life!  50 years with no points and here I am getting a point!  I am NOT a happy camper!  But, my knees love me, so that’s what matters most, right?

So, here’s the rest of the deal – I was actually getting my head around this whole being on my own thing.  Not fully, but making good progress.  Since they don’t let us have iPods, I just played songs in my head.  Yesterday, I played the entire “Bat Out of Hell” album.  I told my friend Tracy about that, she thought it was incredible that I actually know the whole album!  I have plenty more where that came from!  HA!  I am still making up stories about the family’s I am picking for – Mom is getting a vibrator, baby needs diapers, Dad ordered some golf balls, older kid is getting a rated M video game, and so on.  Now that I have my pedometer, I don’t have to count steps anymore, as it does it for me!  Its been better.  Progress being made.

Then this!  I am annoyed at myself, but really, why?  I am really not a failure, I just have hurt knees.  I am taking care of them, what else could I do?  Not much.  Otherwise, I am possibly risking permanent damage, and I cannot/will not have that!  I mean, how many of you could walk 28,626 steps in one day with no repercussions?  Ok – and maybe one day do that, but I’ve done 7 days like that!

In case you are wondering – Bill, on the other hand is fine – his knees are completely happy walking over, up and down stairs, etc.  Now THAT’S annoying!

I wanted to tell you also about Dino, our RV-Dreamer friend.  He does a blog and did 2 awesome posts about Amazon – it will tell you a bit more about the whole workings of the place – in a hysterical way!  Read  Dino’s Blog – there are 2 specific posts – Preparations for War! and This morning I started life as an ant and went home a Zombie. Dino is a quiet guy when you meet him, but he is so funny in both these posts!  I look forward to his future musings!

I’ve also been looking for AK jobs.  At this point, I am just cold-calling, which isn’t working out too well, most places are shut down for the winter. I’ve also been just sending workamper resumes to any campgrounds that just sound good and have good reviews.  Now, after saying this, it might be strange for you to hear we actually turned down a job offer.  I think I’d rather not say which CG it was, don’t like to publicly “bash” b/c I have no personal knowledge, but someone we know, knew someone who worked there last summer and they, thankfully, gave us the inside scoop.  We were told that after spending 5 summer seasons and one winter season workamping up there, that is the only place he would not go back to.  That sounds pretty serious, so we politely declined.  Now I’m in this “must find job” mode, I’m hoping it isn’t like an offer on a house, first one is usually the best.  Time will tell…

Ok – my weirdest pick – a package of pencil sharpeners – shaped like guess what?  Noses!  So, you have to stick the pencil up the nose and turn!  Something my son and my nephew would have loved back in 3rd grade!  There have also been the fair share of “adult toys” – I mean seriously – I had no idea!  I actually had in my hands a “Vibrating, Inflatable Anal Relaxing Plug” – I am good with the stories and making stuff up, but I can’t make this up!!  Bill picked a “Pink Butterfly Tickler” – I mean really?  Does it come in other colors?

We shall see what next week brings – I’ll keep you posted – ha!  get it?  posted?