Friday, January 29, 2016

Birthday fun!

Doyle RV Park
Doyle, OK

We've been here two weeks already! 
Sunday we actually turn in our first time sheet,
and a week later money magically appears in our account :-)
For the next 3 days we'll both be working the same gate,
but two different shifts. 
George will go in midnight to noon,
and then I'll go in noon to midnight.
Wes and Mary Lou are going away for the weekend,
so we're taking their shifts.
Our shared gate will be ending soon,
then we will wait for another well to be started.
Hopefully there won't be too much down time.

Today we had a day off,
and it was great, as it was my birthday!
George let me choose what to do,
so I did a bit of research for something to do.

We took a drive about 50 miles west to the town of Lawton, OK.
I found a museum there that sounded interesting.
Not knowing a lot about Oklahoma,
I thought it would be a good start.
but packed full of information.
We were greeted by this huge metal bison sculpture at the entrance.

The inside is chock full of Oklahoma history..

There is a small theater with an exhibit about 'Terrible Tuesday'.
On April 10, 1979 an F3 tornado hit Lawton and did much devastation.
The theater is set up much like a cellar,
and there are flashing lights and loud thunder and wind noises
to give you the experience.
Along with that are first hand accounts from survivors,
and footage from the news that day.
It's a bit scary :-)

Another display is of famous Oklahoma natives..


and cattle roping :-)

Outside was a replica of a trading post, and train station..

We both really enjoyed the museum,
and thought that the $9 senior admission was worth it!

Afterwards we went out for a late lunch
to Olive Garden.
Of course George told our server it was my birthday.
After checking my ID (ha!), she told me I got dessert for free!

It was a very nice day.
Now back to our gate :-)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Our first day off

Doyle RV Park
Doyle, OK

We've got the whole thing figured out now.
Our job is pretty easy, really.
It's just a process of signing workers in and out.
We use pre-printed log sheets that record
name, company, tag #, date & time in, and date and time out.
There are times when a worker leaves the well pad,
so we have to note that he's left,
and when/if he comes back, note that as well.
Basically the company wants an accurate count
of anyone on the well pad at any given time.

The busiest time is between 5:00 am/pm and 6 am/pm
when the shift changes.
After that it's pretty much watching the world go by :-)
Surprisingly, time seems to go by pretty fast.

Here are a few pictures of my little area....
The guard shack, and Mary Lou and I get a pink port-a-potty.

Here you can see how close the guard shack is to the well pad.

The company supplies a table, chair, heat, ac, and log sheets
with clipboards.
The rest is up to us :-)
I'm sharing a guard shack with Wes & Marylou,
so all of this stuff is theirs.
They suggest buying a cheap microwave
when we get our own gate.

I pass the time listening to the radio,
reading (lots!),
watching movies on my computer,
coloring :-)

I bought myself a kids coloring book and pack of crayons.
I've seen some really cool adult coloring books,
I might get one of those at some point.

George's gate is very similar,
but he's not near the well pad.
He has nothing to watch outside his windows.

Our gates are about 1 mile apart.
My gate is 4 miles from the RV park,
so that's not too bad.
George drops me off at mine,
then goes on to his.

Today was our first day off.
We needed propane, groceries,
and George needed to chisel the mud off the truck.
I told him it's just going to get dirty again :-)

The weather here has been cold,
mostly at night it's been in the 20's.
No problems, really.
It will be getting warmer, almost 70 by the weekend!

Until we get our own gate we're making less $$,
but easing into these wild 12 hour schedules makes it easier.
The other 2 couples appreciate the break too!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Let the gate guarding begin!

Doyle RV Park
Doyle, OK

Well here we are :-)

The RV park we are staying in at the moment is a little place,
in a grassy field with full hook ups.
There are 8 sites, off N 3010 Rd, which is off Hwy 29.
They charge $15 per day, or $400 per month, all inclusive.
We had no problem finding the place,
our friends gave us great directions,
and the GPS found it easily.
George backed into the spot we chose,
but the ground was very soft and we sunk in a bit.
The owner of the park came out and had us move to 
another spot, and we're good there.

When we pulled in we weren't sure exactly how long 
we might be here.
The owner told us to wait until we knew if we were getting
a gate here in the area before we paid :-)

The gentleman that hired us came over
on Friday morning and told us about the job,
gave us our paperwork to fill out,
and generally welcomed us to the area.
There are two separate well pad areas being worked on at the moment
that the company supplies guards to.
Our friends Wes & Marylou are working one gate,
and the other couple, Lori and John, the other.
Then we come :-)
Our boss wants us to stay in this area,
as another well will be started soon.
We're happy about that, as we're farther south in Oklahoma,
where we hope it will get warmer sooner :-)
Because we are here with no gate,
they're rotating us in to give the other 2 couples a break,
and we'll all have a day off every two days.
Not as much money, but it will ease us in :-)

That afternoon we drove over to Duncan,
which is only about 20 miles away.
One of the requirements, besides the fire retardant clothing,
is a Fictitious Business Name license.
We are now L & G Owen Services :-)
We picked up a few things at Walmart
and headed back.

Yesterday morning we woke up to snow!

It only snowed a couple inches if that,
and by the afternoon, it was gone.

We started our training at the guard shack in the afternoon.
In a nutshell, the job entails signing workers in and out.
The company needs an accurate account 
of each person at the job site.
It gets a little hectic at shift change, as there are upwards of 60 people
to check in or out, but the other 10 hours are spent
hanging out in the shack :-)
In between shifts there are a few people that go in and out,
sand trucks, fuel trucks and the like,
but not many.
We're allowed to bring anything to keep us from getting bored.
Computer, Kindle, magazines, etc.

For now our schedule is a little wacky,
as George and I are working the same 12 hour shift 
but at two different gates.
Tonight we start from midnight to noon tomorrow,
then on Tuesday from noon to midnight,
then Wednesday we're off.
Thursday at midnight we start the rotation over.
This will all change when a new well pad opens up,
then we'll both be working one gate, two shifts.
Whew, it's complicated at first!

I'm going to try and take some pictures at the site
in the next few days,
and will have more to report.

I think we will survive this thing!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Almost time for our next gig!

Escapees Rainbows End
Livingston, TX

The two weeks here in Texas have flown by as usual.
I had a very nice visit with my new doctor.
My insurance changed from a PPO to an HMO,
which meant picking a doctor in Texas,
more conveniently, Livingston.
George came with me for my visit with her.
I had blood work done,
and the next day the doctor called me herself 
with the results.
Everything looks great,
so I'm good for another year :-)

We've also spent some time down in Houston
with Bill & Connie.
We had a nice lunch there,
then drove over to George's niece's house for a visit.
It was nice to see them again!
Bill drove us back to their house where we had a nice
dinner before heading back to the campground.

Our plans are set for our new gate guarding job.
On Thursday we'll be heading to Foster, OK,
where we'll sit for a few days and be training
under our friends Wes & Marylou.
We will be in a very small RV park for now.
There have been lots of parks 'thrown up'
for the frackers and drillers in the area.
Full hook ups, no frills, works for us :-)

We had to purchase flame retardant jeans and shirt,
steel toed boots and hard hat.
Fetching, no? :-)

After we get settled, I'll let you more about the job.

We're looking forward to padding our bank account more!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Some shopping to do

Escapees Rainbows End
Livingston, TX

Since we've been here in Texas,
the two of us have been busy catching up
on chores and other things.

I finally got a week's worth of laundry done.
We purged some never used clothing out of our closet, shelves,
and under bed storage.
This was something I do at least once a year,
but have a hard time getting George to do.
This time, HE suggested it!

We reduced a lot of space bags to just 3!

We had two big contractor bags full of clothing
that we dropped off to Goodwill.
I joked to George, now no replacing this stuff!

New Year's Eve night we watched movies,
and actually stayed up to midnight.
Being in central time, we watched the ball drop
in New York at 11 pm :-)
After that we watched the Houston festivities
since being in our 'home' zip code 
we can watch local stations on our Direct TV satellite.

Yesterday we drove down to Cypress,
which is just north west of Houston,
to visit George's brother Bill, 
and his wife Connie.
We got caught up with them,
and then we all went out to lunch
at a great Mexican restaurant.

We'll be spending more time with them in the next 2 weeks.

Today we need to stock up on groceries...
and my Mom gave us a nice check for Christmas,
so we have some things on our respective lists
that we want to shop for.

Our gate guarding job requires a few things as well..
flame retardant clothing,
hard hat,
steel toe boots..
so that's on our shopping list too.
We will get reimbursed partially for these things.

Weather here has been chilly, in 50's,
and has been raining off and on.
Supposed to get warmer by week's end..hurray!