Travel Nursing

2018 Is Here!

Well today I am bummed. I watched the Georgia ‘Dawgs’ lose the National Championship to Alabama. A great game played by both teams hungry for the title. Hopefully my true love O H I O State Buckeyes will be the team winning the Championship next year. 😉

Not much has happened thus far this year. We had the usual fun filled New Years Eve of protecting Morgana from the evil firework demons! The two pups did not even notice, but poor Morgana did. We also had our Southern Traditional New Years Day Meal of ham, collard greens and black eyed peas. Dianne also made a ‘mountain’ of cornbread. No, really it was a mountain!!!!

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uppies are growing like weeds. Monty is 8 months now and Mahana is 3 months. She got her first vet visit with us. She did well. No whimpers or whines getting her shots. And, this is unusual for a Basset Hound, had no problem with the vet clipping her nails. She is one tough little girl!

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ley starts back to school this week. He is on track to finish in the Fall. He is excited about one of his classes this semester, Asian Cuisine. If you know Brad you know he has a HUGE love of the Asian culture and food. I was disappointed that they are only spending one week on Korean Cuisine, but I guess Japanese and Chinese Cuisine is mor popular.

Chris seems to like his new job at Ashley Furniture. He is hoping to transfer to an Atlanta area store in the coming months and pursue some acting opportunities in Atlanta. Georgia has become a second Hollywood, The Walking Dead and MacGyver are filmed there to name a few. We are hoping the best for him. His true love has been acting.

Dianne got another extension at Good Sam Hospital in Puyallup. So she will be there until mid March. It looks like this may be here last extension there. They are starting there own Float Pool to cut back on the number of traveling nurses they use. It has been nice for the last year though. The hospital is only about 8 to 10 minutes from the RV!!

Weather here has been pleasant this year. Last winter by this time we had several days that started below freezing. This year, thus far, we may have had 2 or 3. (Insert me knocking on wood here). We have also had a lot less rain this year as well.

Well that about sums up what is happening here in the Pacific Northwest. Until next time…..

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Travel Nursing

Christmas 2017 Is In The Books

So Christmas wa spent with the Hounds and the boys. Dianne, Brad and myself loaded up Morgana, Monty and Mahana (Dianne’s Christmas Puppy) and we set out for Utah. Had a smooth ride both ways. A little snowy road conditions on the way there in the Boise Idaho area, but otherwise not a bad trip. The dogs did great. They seemed to enjoy the couple of days in a big house playing with Steven and Kayla’s Siberian Husky. We had a great meal on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Christmas Eve was awesome lasagna, salad, and French bread – a Carrigan Tradition (Kayla’s family). Then Dianne introduced the Carrigan’s to some Christmas games. Everybody had a super great time. Christmas morning was fun watching Macee open her presents.

Everybody enjoyed their gifts and fun was had by all.

Dinner was ham, southern green beans, sweet potato casserole, potato salad, deviled eggs, rolls and desert. Everyone made something, many hands make light work!! Pretty much wore everybody out having so much fun. Especially the Hounds!!!

2018 is just around the corner. Brad will be starting back to school and Chris is starting a new job with Ashley Furniture. I am planning on blogging more often in 2018. Steven and Kayla will be having their second child, grand baby number 4 for us, in July. Brad should be finishing Culinary Art School. And I am sure their will be some other big events that inquiring minds will want to know about.

Until next time, Make the most out of the time you have. Happy New Year!!!!!

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Travel Nursing

2017 – The Year In Review

So, 2017 was a year of ups and downs for the Leiter Clan. But we survived and look forward to a great year in 2018. Some of the highlights of 2017 included the birth of my first Grandson Wyatt Smith!! Malia and Steven added Wyatt to their already beautiful family. Willow is a super great big sister to Wyatt and is a huge help to mommy.

We also lost an awesome Basset Hound, Flash. We rescued Flash last year. He was about 5 to 6 years old. He had some security issues. He was not fond of you putting your face in his. We all have scars from a Flash bite for just that. After 7 months of adjusting, feeling more secure, and just becoming a great dog, to mention he would bey on demand, I discovered a large mass on his chest. Further examination revealed all his lymph nodes were swollen. A trip to the vet and praying it wasn’t the worst case scenario left us all dreading the call with the lab results. The results were not what we wanted, aggressive Lymphoma. 30 Days, maybe up to 60. The diagnoses leveled us, especially me. Over the 7 months leading up to this diagnosis Flash and I had built a mutual respect and trust for each other. He got comfortable enough that if I approached from the rear of his head I could give him kisses. Wherever I went in the house or outside he was right there. He loved to ride in the truck. I spoiled him as much as I could over his final days. We got just shy of 60 more with him. He had burgers, fries, chocolate, steak, anything he wanted. I promised ol’ Flash that when he started showing signs of pain or discomfort I would not let him suffer or dope him up on pain meds. I have never put down a dog. All my previous dogs have just died. This process was so peaceful and loving. I miss this boy dearly.

Just before Flash passed away we were blessed to add a new puppy to the hound clan. We drove all the way to Idaho to obtain Monty. He is a spunky puppy. He is at 7 months now and is the most energetic Basset Hound we have ever had. Monty has been great for Morgana. She finally has a brother that plays with her. And play with her he does. She wears her out nightly!!!! He definitely keeps us on out toes!!!!

My parents celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in July. Unfortunately, I had to miss it. After one pay period on the job as a Fire Marshall with the Renton Regional Fire Authority, I was let go. It was a budget issue with a new agency. It was a blow to me as i have never been let go from a job. It financially hurt us as we had done some financial planning, including flying home for the celebration. It crushed me that I could not attend. But, my parents had a wonderful event filled with family and friends. My sisters did well planning an awesome celebration. I did take employment with a local security company. Because of my background and experience I was brought in at a supervisor level, got licensed for armed security, and became a part of their urgent response team. Good family owned company that has been around for over 50 years.

Dianne is still doing the travel nursing thing. Plenty of opportunities here to work as a travel and not have to move. This is a good thing as we will be here another year or so while Brad finishes school. She also enjoys working in the Nursery at church. I end up helping her on most days. I have as much fun as the kids do!!! Dianne has lost some weight. We started eating low carbs and we both are dropping pounds. Of course this time of year is REALLY hard to stay on a low carb diet. Overall she is doing great.

Brad took the semester off and will continue his quest toward his Culinary Art Degree in January. He stays pretty busy with his friends and girlfriend Payge. He worked at the State Fair this year for a vendor that sold Wombats (foam swords, axes, shields, etc) and light up wear (glasses, ties, masks). He made some good money and had a fun time doing it.

We will be ending the year with Dianne picking up her Christmas present December 15 and then traveling to Utah to spend Christmas with Chris, Steven, Kayla and Macee. Dianne’s Christmas present you ask?

Yup, another hound is joining the clan. We will be a three Basset Hound family, with two of them puppies. It should be a really exciting and fun filled holiday!!!

Until next time!!!!!

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Travel Nursing

Ok, Ok, It’s Been A Year….

So it has been over a year since we last posted to the blog. Many things have taken place. Over the next few days I will catch you up on all the details. We have had some changes in our lives, both good and bad.

So where are we and what are we doing now? We are currently residing in Puyallup Washington. We have been here a year. Dianne is still doing the travel nursing gig and I am working as well. We really miss our friends and family back East, we hope to be able to make some visits back there soon.

Brad decided to attend school here. He started his journey towards getting his AA in Culinary Arts. Chef Boy-R-Brad is doing well in school and is enjoying learning all the different cultures of cooking. He has been dating a very nice young lady, Payge. She puts up with him, so this is a plus!!!

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Chris is still in the Salt Lake Valley. He is a store manager for a cell phone accessory store chain called Tricked Out Accessories. He bought his first car, a Prius and is enjoying the joys of car ownership.

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Malia finished the first step toward her Nursing Degree. She and Steven also gave birth to Wyatt – my first Grandson. I am still glowing from that. This is her second youngin’. Willow is growing like a weed and is a super proud big sister.

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Steven is still in the Salt Lake Valley. He is doing fiber installs and conducting training for his company. Kayla is doing hair part-time and enjoying every minute of it. Macee is getting big.

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Well there you have it, the quick up to date on the Gypsies. I will start posting some specifics since my last post back in September 2016. We have done some pretty amazing things and had some pretty sad events.

Until next time………

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LDS, Travel Nursing

The Edge Of The Nation

Greeting from the Oregon Coast!!! The weather has been just spectacular here. We have been enjoying being outside, especially at the dog park, as much as possible. The dogs are loving the weather and the new scents that come with fall. Flash is fitting right in with the family. Already ‘ruined’ to say the least.

Here is flash and Morgana coming back from the market on the pier in FlorenceAnd here is Brad Washington crossing the mighty yard at the pier!!!

We spent Labor Day at the beach. It was very relaxing to say the least. Although the water is cold the dogs and humans enjoyed the Beach Life for a few hours. The tide was coming in during our time there. We enjoyed seeing how much land got covered back up by the rising tide. It was quite mind blowing.

Bradley, Dianne, Flash, and Morgana enjoying the surf.

“Enough fun in the surf. Let’s go back and get sand all over dad” Flash and Morgana stated.

Back safely at the blankets…

Here is a little something you don’t see back East!!!

Bradley flew to Missouri last Thursday. He seems to be having a really great time. Michaela and him seem to be enjoying each other’s company and are seeing the sights in Springfield. Of course he has to give us daily reports so we know he is still alive. Yes we know he is almost 19, but he still mommy’s baby boy!!!
We also found out what our new destination will be. Dianne will have a 13 week contract in Tacoma Washington. We will be going back to Puyallup, WA to the Majestic Mobile Manor. The RV park is only 8 miles from the hospital and we know the park well. We were really hoping to stay here for possibly another contract, but that was just not in the cards for us. But being in Puyallup means Happy Donuts, which means happy Bob, which also means happy Dianne!!! Brad has several friends there as well from church and from working at Target last Christmas. This also means we will be there through the entire rainy season. Dianne wants to buy the dogs rain slickers, me not so much!

Friday evening found Dianne and I taking a road trip to Newport, Oregon. This section of Highway 101 takes you to the Edge of the Nation, literally. There are places where this town lane road has rock wall on one side and a straight drop down to the ocean on the other side. It also a curvy section of 101 so it makes driving very interesting. There are several places to pull off on the ocean side and observe the ocean. One such place is at Devils Churn. It is amazing what the forces of nature can do.

Dianne with her new hairdo at Devils Churn

Saturday we found ourselves back on Bay Street in Downtown Florence. They were having a big car show. Lots of classic cars. You very rarely see a Chevy Bel Air Nomad wagon, Saturday I saw three beautiful ones. Dianne and I, with Flash and Morgana in tow, decided to eat on the deck of the International C-Food Restaurant. We both enjoyed the fish and chips and crab cakes. It was quite good. The view of the Suislaw River and the ocean breeze made it absolutely perfect. Flash and Morgana enjoyed all the attention they got from the patrons!!! They also enjoyed the break from all the walking.

The rest of the family is doing well. We are staying busy with Dianne’s work and then building our business.

Until next time, do some good in the world!

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LDS, Travel Nursing

Things Are Sweeter on the Pacific Coast

Greetings family and friends!!! We have been in Oregon for 3 weeks now. I can say I have truly enjoyed it here. The weather has been in the upper 60s and lower 70s most days and the 50s at night. There is always an ocean breeze, and on some days ocean wind, blowing around here.

We are staying in a great RV Park called Darling’s RV Resort. It site right on Siltcoos Lake. The owners Rich and Lori are super awesome people. This is a family run business and they treat everyone like family. They even hired Brad part time in the Pub to clean dishes and stuff. The Pub has a fantastic simple menu. We have been liking the homemade pizza.

This is called the Chicken Sylvia!!! AWESOME!!!!

This is the view from our RV!!! FYI: If anyone is interested….. The island you see out there is for sale. $675,000 dollars gets you the 5 acre island, 3 bedroom house and pool. 🙂

We are surrounded by several state parks and the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. We are right off HWY 101. If you are familiar with the west coast the 101 runs along the coast from northern Washington to Southern California. There are numerous lakes and rivers that come inland from the ocean. This area is a boater and fishermans paradise. The town that Dianne works in is called Florence Oregon. It is a retirement hotspot. Still pretty old school type community. While they do enjoy some modern grocery stores and many mom and pop eateries they do not have a Wal-Mart!!!! The closest Wal-Mart is a boy 55 miles away. Needless to say Dianne is happy because I cannot spend money.

This is a view a few miles from us on the 101. Can you see the Umpqua Lighthouse out there in the trees?

There, I zoomed in, now you can see the top of the lighthouse. We planning on visiting the light house soon.

The hospital Dianne works at is a 21 bed hospital. Very SLOW pace. They averages 3 cases a day in the recovery room. So needless to say it has been a nice break for her. She has made friends with some other travel nurses there.

We have been enjoying inexpensive seafood here. You can literally buy the stuff fresh off the boat. One fisherman sells fresh tuna $3 a pound and $5 dollars to clean it. Crab is also in abundance here. We have several residents that have offered to loan us there crabbing stuff so we can go catch our own. Looking forward to that fun!!

Here is a low country boil Dianne made a week ago.

Crab we had today compliments of Rich here at the RV Park.

In other exciting news, our family has grown by one. We rescued a 5 year old Basset Hound named Flash!! I know, I know…..Roscoe, Dukes of Hazard….. He is a talker. Flash loves to Bay. You start a and he will join you!!!  He is easy going and loves going for walks. He is definitely a snuggler as well. We are looking forward to many years of his Baying and love!!!

Flash being himself!!

Flash after his visit to Petsmart yesterday. He got a bath, nails trimmed and grinded, ears cleaned and a tie die bandanna!!! He loved all the attention he got from the staff as well. Spoiled hound already…and only been here a week!!!

The family is doing well. The kids are all enjoying life!! My daughter and her little family are doing great.

My granddaughter Madelyn Faith “Willow” Smith with here mommy and daddy.

Chris stayed in Ogden. He doing well in his job. He is planning on living and working in Ogden until January. Then he will finally be starting his path toward being an Astrophysicist at BYU-I. 

Steven started a new job in Riverton Utah. He is making better money. Kayla and Steven are hoping to but there own house in a year or so. My granddaughter Macee is growing like a weed.

Macee at 3 months!!!

Brad is enjoying his job at the Pub. He is going to be visiting with a Culinary School in Portland in October as well as the Coast Guard Recruiter. He is looking at one of these two options. He is going to visit a ‘friend’ in Missouri for 3 weeks in Septemeber. His ticket was a birthday present for his friend from her dad!! We tease him that her dad bought her a “Boy Toy” for her Birthday!!! He is really excited about going. And, there are several Waffle Houses where he is going so he gets to partake of the scattered, smothered, covered, topped and chunked hash browns. Dianne and myself are very jealous. Brad went with the youth at church to Youth Conference. He had blast. He is suppose to be doing a blog post about his trip…..

The Ward here is great. The Bishop is pretty awesome. He definitely loves his members.

Well, that is all for now. Until next time……….

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Travel Nursing

Independance Day Weekend Fun

What a great weekend we had. Fun food and fellowship!!

We started out on July 1st in downtown Ogden. Everyday at lunch time, right outside the city government building, are two food carts peddling Mexican cuisine. We decided to have this for lunch. This turned out to be an awesome choice! Tacos and Tamales to die for, traditional Mexican style sauces, and very low-cost! As we sat there on some benches eating I noticed a memorial to Firefighters. Not much history behind it, but cool none the less.

We also discovered that Augusta, the birth place of James Brown,  is not the only place with a James Brown memorial.

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Okay, so maybe this is not the ‘Godfather of Soul’ James Brown, but it is “a” James Brown.

After our lunch we went to the Farr Ice Cream Parlor. Farr Ice Cream has been made here in Ogden for many years. The parlor has a 50’s feel with memorabilia and Farr Ice Cream ads from the 50s and 60s. The ice cream is absolutely awesome. Probably some of the best ice cream I have eaten in quite some time.

Friday afternoon took us out to Smith and Edwards. Painted on the wall is “We Have What You Are looking For, If we Can Find It.” This building is several acres of open space with a complete Ace Hardware, largest stock of Army surplus I have seen anywhere, full gun shop, full western tact shop with about 50 saddles to choose from and custom leather work to your specs, bulk candy, several aisles of canning and food preservation stuff, kitchen gadgets galore, large selection of outdoor gear – hunting, fishing and camping, and just several aisles of miscellaneous stuff. It is an experience. I see a couple of trips back before we leave.

 

Saturday we went to the market on Historic 25th Street in downtown Ogden. Pretty cool selection of stuff. I bought a bottle of a locally produced cooking sauce, Grandma Sandino’s Sicilian Sauce – You’ll Love It Or Else. This stuff is awesome. It is an olive oil and garlic blend sauce. It takes just a little to liven up any meat or seafood and. use it as dipping sauce for bread. Check them out at http://www.GrandmaSandinos.com, you will not be disappointed.

As the community prepares for Pioneer Day, Ogden has placed out horse statues painted with various themes, Here are some of our favorites.

Sunday was an awesome day! We attend the blessing of our granddaughter Macee. It was truly a spiritually uplifting time. My son did an outstanding job blessing his daughter. She was absolutely beautiful in her dress.

Here she is with her parents and both sets of grandparents

After church we enjoyed some awesome pork and both hot and BBQ wings cooked on Kenny’s Traeger Grill. We enjoy eating at the Carrigan’s! Kenny can work the Traeger like a pro. And the fellowship is awesome too!!

Monday morning found us enjoying the Cherry Days Parade in North Ogden. The Carrigan’s and my son and his family came up to join us. This was a truly great parade. The parade started with a flyover by a pair of F35 Lightning IIs from Hill Air Force Base. The parade had your typical patriotic themed floats and walking groups. What really impressed me was right behind the colors were three floats from different veterans groups. As the passed by the applause and cheering was overwhelming. This community has a true love for their patriots. There was definitely a lot of cowboy themed stuff as well including several horse and riders and rodeo queens. Some firsts for me was an Angel Moroni float. Angel Moroni sits atop Mormon Temples. Seeing one in parade as a float was interesting, but then again I am in Mormon Country. Also, the entire Utah Logan Mission was in the parade. The young missionaries walked and the Mission Presidency with the Senior Companion Missionaries rode on a float. Never saw church missionaries in a parade as a whole mission before, pretty cool.

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Even our Morgana enjoyed the parade in her patriotic best!! She especially liked the floats that were passing out popsicles on this rather warm day.

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After the parade found us back here at the RV Park. I had reserved the club house. Kenny Carrigan (my son’s father-in-law) cooked up his ‘World-Famous” Kenny Burgers (okay, they may not be world-famous, but they should be). These one pound behemoth burgers are a mix of ground beef and other Kenny approved ingredients. We had the other usual picnic fixin’s and everyone enjoyed swimming in the pool. It was nice to host them for a meal as the Carrigan’s have fed us on several occasions.

Other happenings for the Leiter/Holt clan, Morgana has found a new love of riding in the truck. When we get to a stop sign or a red light she rolls down the back window and barks at the folks in other cars. It is quite comical. And going through the drive through at McDonald’s, she will bark and bark. Mostly because she knows here and Duke are about to share a soft serve ice cream and partly because she just love McDonald’s employees!!!

Duke has recovered nicely from his tooth extraction and dental work. He is back to being a puppy….at 12!!!! Who knows how long that tooth had been bothering him. Chris is doing well at his job. It looks like he has found a place to rent and will be staying here when we leave on the 29th. This will keep him close to BYU-I when he gets ready to start school. Dianne and myself have been doing well. I am fighting allergies. This bowl holds in all the smog and dust of the entire valley combined with very little rain in about 2 months is a sinus wrecker.

On a sad note, a friend and fellow Jeeper lost her battle with cancer this past week. Pam Cannon and her husband Steve are true Jeepers. They loved everyone and would help ya in a heartbeat. I know Steve will continue on as all Jeepers do. We have been keeping him and his family in our prayers. If you feel so inclined, please do the same.

Well that about wraps up it up for this update. Stay frosty my friends!

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