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New Job


kkholt

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Oh my, it has been so long since I made an entry. An email from Sue prompted me to post and keep in touch. Rob's rehab and recovery this go has been slow. It has been hard. His PT shakes her head at him because he has the ability to make some movements but he gets used to taking the path of least resistance to sometimes just get things done. I started a new job last week. I am back on the North Slope working a two week on two week off schedule. I always wanted to go back after Elias was raised, and although Elias is only 17 I feel like I'm going back a little earlier than planned, but the opportunity came up, and I needed to take it. Getting jobs up North are hard. It seems Elias and Rob are getting along fine without me, and I know they will both benefit from me being gone. I came home to a house of dirty laundry, but I can deal with that. We're waiting to get some more snow so Rob can get out on his snow shoes and skis. We've had the snowmachines out a bit, but there really isn't enough snow to do much just yet. I'll try to come back on in a few weeks and get caught up - but just to let you know we're here, doing good. Greetings from Alaska! -Karen

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Karen, I read this and understood about a third, you will probably read mine on how an Australian election works and no doubt will find the same...lol.

 

What is "the North Slope"? I thought an oil field? How far is it from where you live? Do you have accomodation there? What is it like working there?

 

Glad to hear Rob and Elias are able to manage alone. Sad to hear Rob has not made the progress this time that he did after his first stroke. I can understand it though as you could say that for Ray too. The first one gets 100% effort towards recovery, the second not so much etc.

 

Smiled at the thought that there was not enough snow! I do not like snow, we had some in England and it always gave me croup. I hacked and coughed all winter. Give me a land without snow... oh, ok, I found one...lol.

 

Sue.

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Karen,

 

Glad to hear all is doing well for you guys. When we don't hear from someone for a bit, there's always that ? is everything ok in their neck of the woods?

Not enough snow...lol....I should send my kiddo to stay with you for a bit. She doesn't remember snow as she was so young when we relocated from PA to AZ. Now that we're back and settled in PA she can't wait for that "lumpy rain" to fall from the sky. We had flurries yesterday. She was as excited to see them as she was the first time to sit on Santa's knee about 14 years ago.

 

Best of luck on the job. Glad to hear the guys are managing in your absence.

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Sue - yes the North Slope is the Alaskan oilfield. It is called the North Slope because it is the North Slope of the Brooks Range (Mountain Range). I fly an hour and a half in a 737 to get to Prudhoe Bay. I stay at a camp for fourteen days and then fly home fourteen days later. While at Prudhoe Bay we work twelve hour days (sometimes more), every day for fourteen days. I live in a camp that is very comfortable. I have a room and share a bathroom with another woman. I don't have a permanent room because the company I work for is building their own camp, and when that is finished we will move over there and I will have a permanent assigned room so that I can leave all my things there and don't have to lug my clothes and personal items back and forth. I am working in a temporary office until the new camp is built and it is in the parking lot of the main camp. It is a little trailer that is very dirty and has no bathroom facilities. I make about a 300 foot trek across the parking lot several times a day to use the restroom and get food in the main camp. The weather changes constantly up there. The wind almost always blows. The day I left, it was blowing about 30 MPH and the visibility was next to nothing. It was 3 degrees below zero, very cold and hard to get across the parking lot to my office. I am the only girl on my shift for this company, working with about 30 men. The camp has a ratio of about 10% (or less) woman, the rest men. I LOVE the job, it is a lot of computer work, problem solving, and I like the fact I can focus on my job for two weeks and then come home and relax. While at work, our food it all cooked for us, our rooms are cleaned, and all I have to worry about is my laundry. They have great exercise equipment at the camp I need to check out. I used to work up here 17 years ago before Elias was born - but at a different camp. Some people that I knew up here 17 years ago, are still here. Hope that helps with a description of the North Slope. :)

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hey Karen:

 

so happy to see your blog, it is always nice to know my friends are doing good, your job in northslope sounds interesting but everything in Alaska is different and interesting. we had great time in cruise. we saw all the wild animals, saw lot of salmons, lot of whales, dolphins and few bears too. It was awesome trip going to last me for few years til I take another memorable vacation, I was too cold there to go and chill on the deck in the night sky to see those stars. hubby & kido would love to go Alaska again some day, I think I will convince them to go in summer.

 

Asha

 

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Asha,

 

So glad you had a good trip. I was thinking about you. Next time if you come into southcentral Alaska in June, it would likely be very warm. Alaska is an extreme place. Take care Asha. -Karen

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Sounds the same set-up as for remote mining camps in the North here. My next-door neighbour "works" in Northern Queensland 1800 miles from here, he is there three weeks out of three months but does everything else by computer. If anything goes wrong with their geo-stats he has another flying visit for an extra week. He works out the coal load from core samples ( well I think it is something like that!). The rest of the "hands on" crews work either ten days there, four days home or three weeks on, then eight days off, all to suit their lifestyle.

 

You are brave to venture out to the restroom in such cold temps. Guess I don't need to say "take care" to a girl born in Alaska? I guess you will be glad when it is all under cover again.

 

Enjoy your home time, it will just fly by.

 

(((Hugs))) from Sue.

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Hey Karen--You can keep the cold of Alaska. I would love to come and visit Alaska but I don't think I could live there. I really don't like the cold. BUT, I do like shoveling snow! Your job sounds strenuous and interesting. With the restroom facilities what they are, I wouldn't be drinking any water. Thanks for your blog. I love to learn about different places. Take Care.LK
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