Travel Nursing

CH CH CH CHANGES

The last few weeks have been fast and furious in making plans for several things.

First, we are going to be Empty Nesters. We knew the day was coming, but here it is. Both our boys wanted to stay here in Washington. So they found an apartment, made all the arrangements, paid all their monies and will move in to their own place November 30. Chris has had his own place before, but this will be Brads first experience being away from us. We of course wish them both much success, but who is going to do stuff for me know? πŸ™‚

So why would the boys need to move out? Well, Dianne and I discussed leaving Washington. Our hope was to head East and land a contract in the Tennessee or Kentucky area. With both of my parents still alive and Dianne’s siblings missing her we wanted to be closer. Well that is not going to be the case for now. We are going East, but about half the distance. We are headed to Rapid City, South Dakota for 13 weeks. When we went there about a month ago to get our drivers licenses and tags for our vehicles we never imagined an assignment there….. in the middle of winter….. but hey we are always up for an adventure. We will be leaving Washington around December 10th, depending on weather along our route, and plan on arriving on the 13th.

We spent Thanksgiving with the Vogels. We attended church together in Georgia. And now we are in the same Ward here. John is in the Air Force and assigned here. We had a great time eating good food and playing cards with their oldest child. She is quite the cut throat UNO Player!!!

Dianne convinced me to do ceramics with her. We went the last two weekends. Watch the next newsletter for our finished work!!

We hosted Pie Fest again this year in the RV Park. Not as big a turnout as last year, but there was plenty of pie and fun was had by all that attended. Even had some homemade fancy pies.

We will be spending the next couple of weeks preparing for the trek to South Dakota. We are both excited to be back on the road, I guess it is in our blood!! Anyway, here are some random pics from the last couple of weeks.

Going Away Gift from Cora
My First Pair of Crazy Socks. Wore Them on Thanksgiving
Morgana Waiting For Dinner
Monty (L) and Mahana (R) Enjoying Snuggle Time
Monty Loves His Chris


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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Full-Time RVers, Travel Nursing

Time Flies When You Are Having Fun!!

Hello family and friends!!! It has been a few weeks since I last updated the blog. We did some really cool things over the past few weeks. Starting with Brad’s Birthday. Brad wanted to visit Wolf Haven International. This is a wolf sanctuary. The work they do here is awesome. They have many wolves here that are not part of public viewing. The hope is to release them back into the wild with their pack. This is especially true of the protected and almost extinct Red Wolf. They have a large and growing pack at the sanctuary. The hope is to be able to release them back into the wild. But this will not be able to happen until people have been educated more on wolves. Things like wolves are nothing like you see on TV or in the movies. Wolves actually fear humans and will avoid us at all cost, except for protecting their pups. Wolves do like livestock and farm animals so many farmers have to be educated in methods and ways to protect their life stock without killing the wolf. Wolves provide a much-needed role of thinning the herds of deer, antelope, elk, etc. This was a great experience for us.

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Great Dane Skull on right, Wolf skull on left

Mahana celebrated her 1st Birthday October 18. She is a hot mess, but we love her!!!

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Then came the whirlwind trip to South Dakota. We established residency there. South Dakota is a full-time traveler friendly state. Many truck drivers, traveling nurses, construction workers and full time RVers use South Dakota as a home base. No state income tax, vehicle plates are inexpensive, drivers license are inexpensive and sales taxes are very low. Perfect for the Gypsies like us! So Dianne and I loaded up the 3 hounds in the Trailblazer and off we went. We traveled 2296.6 miles in 4 days. Drove about 700 miles on Saturday then got up and drove to Mt. Rushmore on Sunday.

If you have never seen Mt. Rushmore in person, you have to add this to your bucket list. I have seen pictures all my life of Mt. Rushmore. But to actually see it in person is absolutely humbling. For a person to even think up this concept is hard to fathom. But we are a better Nation for it.

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The Man Responsible For Mt. Rushmore. Thank You Sir!

Just before we turned in we saw a mountain goat with its baby.

Sunday Night we stayed in Rapid City. We got up Monday morning with the intent of driving to Sturgis, SD to get our drivers license and then head to Missoula, Montana for the night. We got to Sturgis to find that the website was wrong. The driver’s license office is only open on Thursday in Sturgis. Not good. The only drivers license office open on Monday in South Dakota is in Sioux Falls. Unfortunately, we would have arrived there as they were closing. So we decided to stay another night in Rapid City and get our drivers license there on Tuesday.

We had a day to kill so, on the suggestion of a friend Amy Lemley, we went to the Crazy Horse monument. Another impressive sight just a few miles from Mt. Rushmore. This is a tribal/board/private owned venture. It is still under construction. Work is done as funds are raised. It is a wonderful tribute to a great Chief.

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They also have a culture hall/museum there of Native American Culture. Beautiful exhibits and items.

Got up Tuesday morning – bright and early – so we could be at the driver’s license office when they opened at 7 AM. In and out of there in 20 minutes and on the road. We were thinking that we were going to drive to Spokane, spend the night there, then get up early Wednesday morning and drive home in time for Dianne to make her shift at noon. Well, got to Spokane and thanks to XS Energy drinks and XS Energize I decided to drive the rest of the way home. 1146.3 miles later we were home. Been a long time since I drove 15 hours straight. We all were ready for bed.

Here are some random pics from the trip:

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Are We There Yet????

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Wide Open Spaces In Montana

And then there was the Basset Rescue of Puget Sound Howl-O-Ween Pawtry!! This is a rescue that is near and dear to our hearts. We have been active with them over the 2 years we have been here. We have helped with events and been given the privilege to foster a couple of hounds during medical procedures. I cannot say enough about this group and what they do for hounds here in the Puget Sound and beyond. If you want to help BROPS with their work go to their web page https://www.adoptabasset.net/ and click on “Donate Now”. We had a super time. They even had a cake for us thanking us for our help. This is one of the reasons leaving here is bittersweet.

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Super Hero Dogs

Reggae Dog

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Shrek Theme with the hounds playing Donkey and the Dragon

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And then there was the Spider Hounds with their pet Bumble Pig Bee. Yes that is a pig in the bee costume!!!!

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And finally our clan: Monty Gene as “The Gangster” with his sisters as Flappers

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Well that about sums up things here! Until next time, one more shot of Mt. Rushmore….

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Travel Nursing

My Visit To Amish Country Ohio Part 2

Sunday morning was laid back and consisted of family time. Most of the family needed to recover from the wedding reception the night before. My sister Betsy fixed finger foods and her mother-in-law brought some killer Apple Crisp. We spent the afternoon catching up and laughing about those childhood memories. Sunday Evening it was off to my other sister Tami for more family time with her crew. Enjoyed some left over BBQ and fixins’ from the wedding reception.

Monday morning I spent an hour visiting with my “other” mom Joan Light. We had a great time catching up. She showed me around her new condo. It was great seeing her and catching up on her family. After her visit it was back to Tami’s house and off to lunch at Ashland/Wooster A&W Drive In for homemade root-beer and coney’s for lunch! This is a ‘must have’ anytime I go home in season, they close between late fall and spring.

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A couple of coneys later and we were half to the hospital for dads hip replacement surgery. And boy did we have fun in pre-op. Mom, dad, my sisters and myself were laughing our tails off at the silliest of things. We brought dad to tears at least three times laughing so hard. Even the pre-op nurses were enjoying the humor. It was great for the five of us to just let loose and forget life for awhile. Dads surgery went well and he was in a humorous mood when he got to his room.

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Dad Pre-Surgey!! I will probably get killed by my old man for posting this pic in my blog!!!! πŸ™‚

Monday evening was spent at Tami’s house. The newlyweds came by to visit as did Blake, Dru and the baby. I was starting to feel that old pain in the heart that comes with leaving my family. I never thought I would miss my hometown of Ashland when I left for the Army in 1987, but man this trip left me longing for home and I had not even left yet.

Tuesday morning was busy. Mom came by to chauffeur me around and take me to the airport. Went up and spent time with dad. He had already been up and walking on the new hip and was walking farther than expected. Of course those that know my dad know he will push himself. He does not like being down for long. Left the hospital and made a quick stop to pick up some homemade chocolate peanut butter balls , or Buckeyes as well call them. Then off to the airport to catch my flight home.

Overall my trip home was pretty freaking awesome. I hated to leave, but knowing we are headed back East this December makes it a little better to deal with.

Things I did learn this trip about flying, 1) airplane seats are not made for big dudes. 2) Airplane seat belts are not made for guys with big guts….period. 3) Speaking of big guts, seat back trays don’t work real well if you have one. Especially if the guy in front of you leans his seat back. Otherwise I enjoyed my flights immensely.

I am off on another journey with the wife and family in Washington, until next time….

 

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LDS, Travel Nursing

My Visit To Amish Country Ohio Part 1

This past weekend was awesome!!!! I have not seen my family in four years. It was great to see them all.

So my trip started with my flight on Thursday out of SeaTac Airport being delayed. The delay left me about 55 minutes to get off the plane at Dallas/Ft. Worth and catch my connection to Cleveland. No problem, the departing gate is only two away, I got this! As I boarded the plane I check the American Airlines app one more time, gate changed. Now my connecting flight is another whole concourse away. Well this should be interesting. Finally got airborne. And the view of the Washington Volcanoes was awesome.

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Mt. St. Helen


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Front – Mt. Adams, Rear – Mt. Ranier


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Mt. Hood

The flight was rather enjoyable. Small talk with my seat mates and got to see the Han Solo movie finally. We landed in Dallas and I checked my app again. My next flight was loading and I was still waiting to deplane….this could suck, and they changed my gate AGAIN. Now I have to get to the complete other side of the airport. As I get off the plane I am hit with heat and something I have not felt in four years heavy humidity. Thank my lucky stars they have a train. The race was on!! Made my next flight as they were doing the final boarding. I was a little sweaty as I boarded. I got to my seat and was ready to go and then the storm hit. We sat in the plane for an hour. Stale, and not cool, air blowing from the little vents. It was a long and sticky 60 minutes. We finally got the clearance to take off and all was good again.

As we approached the Cleveland Airport we flew by the Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Browns stadiums. Both teams were playing. As soon as the wheels hit the tarmac several guys were getting their phones out of airplane mode to watch the last few seconds of the Browns game. A good number of people on board must have been Browns fans because as soon as it was announced by one passenger that the Browns had just won their first game in two years several people on the plane began celebrating. I knew I was home!!!!!

Got off the plane and was greeted by my sister Tami, her husband Bob, and my niece Arieanne. Was great to see them all. Quick stop for car fuel and people fuel, I had not eaten since Thursday morning, and we were off to Ashland!

Woke up Friday morning and visited with my mom for a few. Then I was off running last minute rehearsal dinner errands with Tami and keeping her calm. Her oldest was getting married Saturday and she was a little stressed! Went by Home Depot and saw my dad. He was working his last day for several weeks. Was great seeing my the old man!!

Got to meet my 3 month old great niece Ellery, daughter of my Nephew Blake and his future Bride Drue. She is truly precious and my sister Tami makes a good Nana!

Tami (Nana) with Ellery

My Sister Betsy picked my up Friday afternoon and took me to her house. Enjoyed seeing her, Katy and John. We did dinner with Dad at Dorlo’s Pizza, pizza from my child hood!! And Katy was our waitress. And I got to see a thunderstorm!!!! We don’t get those in the Seattle area.

Betsy and I waiting for Dad at Dorlo’s

Went back to their place and watched the movie Ready Player One. The author of the the Book is a graduate of my high school and a good friend of my Brother-In-Law John. Great movie. highly recommend it if you have not seen it.

Saturday was pretty much laid back and getting ready for my Nephew Nick’s wedding. It was an absolute gorgeous ceremony. Got to catch up with some relatives I had not seen in quite awhile. Was a great Saturday night!!

Road Trippin’ to the Wedding. Betsy, John, Katy and yours truly.
Tami in a dress AND heals, a rare sight!!!
Blake with his baby girl. Such a great daddy!
Dru pushing the Flower Girl Ellery
Nick and his Beautiful Bride Erica
First Dance
The three Amigos!! Tami, myself, and Betsy
Tami and Dad
Mom on ‘Baby Duty’ at the reception

This concludes the first part of my trip. Stay tuned for Part 2, Surgery Fun!!!

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LDS, Travel Nursing

Ooooh, That Smell! The Smell of Food Is Around You!

The Fair!! Do the Puyallup!! The Washington State Fair!! The sights and sounds of fun and joy. And those smells, fried food, elephant ears, smoked turkey legs, pulled pork flowing through the fair grounds.

We enjoyed an evening at the fair as a family. Enjoyed some great food and the free shows. Toured the ShowPlex, vendors hocking their stuff. Enjoyed the hobby building. The talents of both young and old on display. Pretty cool stuff.

The fair before it opens. I love working early shifts. It is so peaceful.

The Plymouth Fury and the 90 model Mustang behind it are cars from the local Sheriffs Department. Both cars have been maintained and are fully functional, lights siren, radio. A deputy could show up, of course they can’t) and use either of these vehicles for a shift and not have to worry. The Deputy working the recruitment booth said the Plymouth Fury sails on the interstate.

So many of you may remember the recuse hound Flash we fostered. His Hoomans moved to Ft. Bragg a few months ago. They bought a beautiful beach home on Topsail Beach, NC. Topsail Beach was in the direct path of Hurricane Florence. We are still praying on a positive outcome of their new home.

Bored hounds as their hoomans prep the house for the Hurricane. Flash just sleeping away in the back while the girls watch the work.

This past Sunday we hosted a going away party for one of the residents here in the RV Park. Izabel is moving to Eastern Washington in a few weeks. She has been a great a friend and we wish here all the best.

Nothing else really new with the family. I am flying home to Ohio on the 20th for my nephews wedding and my dads hip replacement surgery. Looking forward to catching up with family and friends. Brad is looking for a full time job here and Chris is enjoying his position with his company. Malia and her little family are doing well as is Steven and his family.

Until next time, keep it between the navigational beacons…..

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LDS, Travel Nursing

Ceramics and Dog Parks Make for a Fun Time

Not a super eventful week. Fair started last Friday here in Puyallup. This is the ‘unofficial’ State Fair. The fair is 20 some days long with live acts almost every night including Florida Georgia Line, Toby Keith, Fluffy, an 80’s night and others. Of course with the fair means overtime for me. My company has the contract for the fairgrounds year round.

A staple of the fair for decades are the Fisher Scones. These little delicacies leave the fair by the bagful. They are so popular that in the fair off season, they will park their truck in various locations throughout the Puget Sound. People will line up 40 to 50 deep, in the cold and rain, just to get these babies. During the fair they have several locations throughout the grounds. They stay lined up throughout the day. We have developed a liking for them as well. So when I work I have to bring a bakers dozen for the house!! It is not like the scones we are used to. It is more of a biscuit with their raspberry jelly in the middle. Mmm Mmm!!!!

One of the posts I worked this past weekend at the fair had a beautiful flower arrangement. I could not resist taking a picture.

As I said in a few previous posts, dianne and the boys have enjoyed doing ceramics, and this past week was no exception. Here are some pics of some of their creations to date.

Labor Day we went with our neighbor Izabel and her three fur babies to a new dog park in Puyallup. Unfortunately, they did not have a small dog area so her 3 babies did not get to play the whole time. Several larger and hyper dogs showed up to play in the park as well. Are three hounds had a great time though.

The weather has been absolutely perfect. They are calling for several days of rain starting late this week. It is getting to be about that time, Rainy Season. Not my favorite time of the year here.

We are suppose to be going to the fair with Dianne’s employer this Saturday. So look for pictures of our fun and food filled day!! We had a great time last year and are hoping for the same this year.

Until next time, may the odds be ever in your favor….

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LDS, Travel Nursing

Vampires and Hounds

Greetings from Washington!! Still enjoying our time here! This past week we saw the smoke clear and even had some rain. Brad, Chris and Dianne made another trip to the ceramics place. Once they get this next batch of stuff picked up I will do a quick blog showcasing their work.

So Dianne and I took the hounds and headed off to the Olympic Peninsula and through the Olympic National Park. Highway 101 loops around the whole peninsula so we did the loop. First stop was Forks, WA. Forks was made famous by the books and movies titled “Twilight”. You know the Sparkly Vampire Movies. The written story was based in Forks, but virtually none of the filming was done there. Most of that was done in Oregon. We did take a photo of the high school, which was not the high school used in the movie. But the sign out front, yes an old wooden sign was superimposed onto the film. You can see it below.

Next stop was the rain forest. Of course most of the peninsula is very green. They gat massive amounts of rain over there. Moss, ferns, massive cedar trees, vegetation – a far cry from the dried up Seattle area. Absolutely stunning.

Next stop was Ruby Beach. Even though it was a dreary and misty day, there were lots of folks checking out the beach. Drift wood was everywhere, rock and sand made this a magical place. The hounds enjoyed the beach as well.

Leaving Ruby Beach and heading home we were caught up in some road construction. As Dianne was talking with the flagger, Monty took the opportunity to squeeze between the door post and the seat to come up front. He is the only hound skinny enough to fit there. The barricade between the seats keeps the other hounds in the back.

Of course this reminded me of a little over a year ago when we drove to Idaho and picked up a Monty Gene. He still loves to snuggle with mommy.

Finally got the ‘manufactures defect’ (they forgot to screw one side of the slide floor to the slide wall on the RV) fixed. Fixed better than new! Could not be happier. Will be working on getting the RV travel ready over the next couple of months. New tires, Bearings greases, brakes checked….. Getting ready to move when you have sat for 2 years requires a little maintenance and several checks. But I want to avoid any potential problems on the move East this December.

The Washington State Fair kicks off this Friday. This will mean overtime for me. My company has the security contract for the fair grounds year round. Lots of help hired for the State Fair: Security, bag checking, alcohol enforcement and event staff. The weather looks to be absolutely perfect this year. Last year the temps were a little on the warm side the first week of the fair. Of course I love to imbibe on the VERY unhealthy fair food.

Bought my plane ticket to make the trip home September 20th to the 25th. My nephews wedding is Saturday the 22nd. I was originally only going home for the weekend. But they moved my dads hip replacement surgery to the 24th, so I extended my stay to be there with my mom during the surgery. I am soooo looking forward to seeing my parents, my sisters and the rest of my family. Hoping to catch up with some friends as well. It has been 4 years since Dianne and I have seen our families. She will be definitely seeing her’s this December.

Dianne is still enjoying her time at Good Sam Hospital. They treat her really well there and the staff likes her. Probably been one of her better traveling assignments thus far.

Well, that about sums up this update. Hope y’all have a great week. And remember life is a journey, not a destination!

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