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

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!!!

So the last couple of weeks have been a mixed bag of weather. It can be sunny and in the 50’s one day and a cold snowy day the next. Of course the last few days and the next 10 days look to be highs in the teens and lows in the single digit to negatives. Been awhile since we have been in temperatures like that.

LET IT SNOW, (JAN 18, 2019)

LET IT SNOW, (JAN 22, 2019)

LET IT SNOW!!! (Feb 7, 2019)

We have not done much the last few weeks. Did visit a local candy maker Mostly Chocolates. They have some delightful selections there. We bought some to sample and they did not last long!!! We also found a pizza buffet, Pizza Ranch. Good pizza for buffet pizza, plus they have salads, hot veggies, various potatoes and chicken on the buffet as well.

Dianne flew home to Georgia January 25th to the 28th. She got to see family and friends. It had been for years since we left so it was awesome for her to go home. She had a good time and thanks everyone for the visits and meals.

We had a good snow over the last 36 hours. Most snow I have seen in years. Been pretty cold too, -11 degrees this morning and only warming up single digits. Life Lessons learned over the last few days, car batteries that are cheaper work in Georgia and the Pacific Northwest, but boy do you want those cold cranking amps in negative weather. Hoping to not have to buy a new battery to deal with the cold, we shall see.

RVing in the cold has a new set of challenges. Under-skirting the RV has been a huge help. The heated water line has also been an asset. The metal door frames and window frames frost over every night. Had to install a heat lamp to keep the black and gray valves from freezing closed. For anyone who does not RV: the black valve empties your black tank, the tank where all your toilet water goes and the gray valve opens the gray tank where all the sink water goes.

Anyway, a few more pics from the last few weeks. Until next time, stay warm!!!!

Mahana and Monty
Squirrels, Deer and the Neighbors Dog Scents
All 3 that close together, MIRACLE!!!!
Travel Nursing

Empty Nest Awakening

We are finally getting into a ‘normal’ in South Dakota. We got here just before the Holidays and were busy finishing our shopping, getting stuff shipped, getting the RV set up, and figuring out Rapid City that we were surprised how fast we found ourselves in 2019. The dogs are loving the colder weather and all the smells out here in the sticks. We have heard Coyotes twice over the last week. They sounded fairly close, but then with the way sound travels through the hills here, they could be farther than we think

The one thing that has become obvious since the Holiday slowdown was that fact that we are truly Empty Nesters. It is awfully quiet around here. Especially when Dianne goes to work. The Hounds fill the void, but not having at least one youngin’ in the house is kind of depressing.

I also have been thinking a lot about mortality lately. A great friend from high school lost his dad this past week. It really got me thinking about my parents, whom are both still alive, and how I need to spend more time with them. That is one of the reasons we are heading back East. Dianne’s parents have been dead for awhile, but her siblings and mine are still alive and kicking. Our nieces and nephews are now starting their own lives and we want to part of that. We also want to be closer to our grandchildren in Alabama and still be in range to visit the grands in Utah as well. We will see where our travels take us.

We spent the past Saturday night in Billings Montana. We had a business dinner to attend. Great meal and awesome speakers. Great way to kick off 2019.

The weather here is looking to be fair for the next 10 days. Unusual for here from what we have been told. I’ll take it, as the cold and wind messes with Dianne’s Trigeminal Neuralgia. We are planning our trips to historic sites we want to see before we leave, so look for those updates over the coming weeks.

Until next time, be safe and look for us on the open road……

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

East Bound and Down, Loaded Up And Truckin’

Happy New Years!!! It is 2019, and I thought I would write a Blog Update!

Well, we have been in South Dakota for a couple of weeks. It has been interesting to say the least, but more on that later.

As we packed up the boys and got them moved in to their own apartment, the realization hit us that for the first time in our marriage it was going to be just Dianne and I and the Hounds. On one hand you are glad to see your kids do their own thing, but on the other it means not seeing them everyday. Compound that with the fact that travel nursing took us to South Dakota, leaves us about 9 hours to our closest child. We shall see where this exciting new chapter takes us.

Dianne’s work in gave her a pretty nice send off. Everyone met up at a local restaurant called the Ram. Fun was had by all. Dianne received numerous going away gifts and is going to be truly missed by the staff at Good Sam in Puyallup.

With the boys working retail, we had to do some finagling to get a night together. It worked out and we had some Christmas fun. We did finger foods and made ugly sweater sugar cookies. We had a little more time with them before we left. We helped them get moved in their new place. It was bitter sweet, leaving our youngest behind. He has been in our home for 21 years. We knew the day would come, but we did not imagine it would be this hard.

And so the road trip to South Dakota began. With Dianne in the Trailblazer with Morgana and Mahana following Monty and I in the GMC pulling the RV. Day 1 was fog, like hours and hours of fog. And not just fog, but fog and twisty mountain passes. And then there was the rain as well. We made it to snowy Spokane. Next day was travel across Idaho and into Montana. Other than a little snow, it was a pretty good drive. We arrived at our stop from the night and the wind and snow was intense.

Day three was extremely challenging. The wind was horrid. In the four years we have been doing this travel nursing, I have never been as challenged towing the travel trailer as I was this day. When we finally stopped in Wyoming I was ready to be out of the truck. The last day was sunny and cold. We had a little wind at times and I90 in Wyoming was snow covered in several places. But by early afternoon we were safely in Rapid Safety and setting up the house.

Dianne is doing well at the hospital here. A lot of the staff seems to be Travel Nurses. This assignment has her doing call. It has been awhile since she has done call. Her first call in on a Saturday she ended up being there all night, 12 hours! She slept good on Sunday.

We have had two snow events. The first was good snowfall, but nothing too bad. But this past weekend was a Blizzard. Several inches of snow with 40 to 60 mph winds. Been several years since I have experienced that. And then I had to drive Dianne to work, in the middle of it, at 0500 in the morning. No biggie. My daddy taught me well!!

Christmas was different for us this year. For the first time in our marriage we were alone. Just Dianne and myself with the Hounds. We enjoyed finger foods and Christmas movies on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day I spent working on skirting the RV. I was surprised to find how much of a difference skirting actually makes in controlling the climate in the RV. Overall, it was a really laid back and relaxing holiday. We did miss not being around family.

New Years Eve and Day was finger foods and BYU TV Relative Race binge watching. Great show. Very relaxing day. The afternoon was sunny and the temps got out of the single digits to the mid 20s so we took the dogs out to play in the snow. It was funny watching these short legged Basset Hounds running and romping through the high snow drifts. Their sweaters were covered in snow when it was all over.

We are enjoying the people here in South Dakota. The folks here are very friendly. Seen several cowboys here as well as lots of Native Americans. We are part of the Mount Rushmore Ward at church. The folks at church at super friendly. We are looking forward to seeing what the next 11 weeks holds for us here. Until next time, may 2019 be your year!!

Travel Nursing


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? 🙂

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

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 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!!!! 🙂

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….


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!!!