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……….

Standard
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.

2016-07-01 11.58.38

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.

2016-07-04 10.32.452016-07-04 10.54.102016-07-04 09.38.48

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.

2016-07-04 09.39.07

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!

Standard
Travel Nursing

The Difference a Mountain Can Make

What a great last few days. Saturday we attended the Pleasant View City Founders Day Parade. It was so much like the parades I remember from youth. Antique/Classic cars, antique tractors local high school band, floats, and other assorted groups. And they even still throw candy!!! Perfect weather fo the parade. Met some really nice folks. Of course Ms. Morgana had to go in style with her new skirt.

IMG_8456

Later in the day we went by the Founders Day Car Show. There was a great selection of cars and trucks. Some some super nice stuff. Although we are HUGE Mustang fans, the Camaro we saw had an awesome paint scheme.

2016-06-25 14.55.29 HDR-2 2016-06-25 14.55.19-1 2016-06-25 14.57.44 HDR-2 2016-06-25 15.00.57 2016-06-25 15.02.47 2016-06-25 15.03.03 2016-06-25 15.03.39 2016-06-25 15.06.24 HDR-2 2016-06-25 15.06.32 HDR-2 2016-06-25 15.15.30 HDR

2016-06-25 15.07.17 2016-06-25 15.07.39-1 2016-06-25 15.13.22 2016-06-25 15.13.35 2016-06-25 15.12.17

Then there was this car……2016-06-25 15.08.19 2016-06-25 15.08.38 HDR-2 From Wikipedia:
“The Avanti is an American performance sports coupe based on the Studebaker Avanti and marketed through a succession of five different ownership arrangements subsequent to Studebaker’s discontinuation of the model. After the closure of Studebaker’s South Bend factory on December 20, 1963, cars carrying the Avanti nameplate were initially produced from left-over Studebaker components and later, by the Avanti Motor Company from General Motors and Ford chassis and engines.”

This car sounded like a beast in the parade. V-8 performance in a little car. I have never seen one of these before, but I was thankful I have!!! This is definitely a rare find. Unfortunately, they are no longer produced.

After the car show we took a ride through the North Ogden Divide. On this side of the Wasatch Mountains via the North Ogden Divide you have a sprawling metropolis of interconnected small cities. The buildings just keep going, divided by only “You Have Entered The City Of” signs. Then you take this narrow winding road that steeply goes up out of North Ogden and then back down the mountain into sprawling farm land and ranches around Liberty, Utah. These pictures are looking back over the city of Ogden.

2016-06-25 15.45.31

2016-06-25 15.46.07

 

2016-06-25 15.45.452016-06-25 15.45.422016-06-25 15.45.39

Saturday night my son and his family came up for burgers and brats. They ended up staying the night!! Our granddaughters first sleep over with us!! We are looking forward to next Sunday. Are sweet granddaughter will be getting blessed at church on Sunday.

Macee 3 weeks 1

The weather this week is forecast to be hot and dry. I guess that what we get for taking a summer assignment in the desert. We only have about 5 weeks left here. Then we are off to the Oregon Coast, I mean right on the coast. Dianne will be working 11 weeks in a hospital in Florence, Oregon. The RV park we will be staying at is right on Siltcoos Lake. This lake is fed by a mile long stream coming in from the Pacific. We are looking forward to the cooler temperatures and water activities.

Until next time, stay cool!!

Standard
Travel Nursing

Some Things Come and Some Things Go

So this past weekend was a weekend of highs and lows. About 2 weeks ago we helped with a Utah Friends of Basset Hounds event. There we met Buster. Buster was a spunky 4-year-old Basset Hound that needed a home. I do not know what it was about him, but I fell in love with that fellow. After 2 weeks of waiting, and not very patiently, to go through the foster process and getting our home inspected, we were finally approved to foster Buster. If all worked out we would be foster failures and adopt that rascal. Saturday evening about 8:30 PM we finally picked up Buster and brought him home. Now the family that was fostering him was kind of emotional about him leaving. No they were pretty broke up that Buster was leaving. They were foster failures and did not know it, yet. But they had 2 other dogs and did not want another one.

We got Buster home about 10:30 PM and all was well. Especially considering that my 12-year-old, grumpy, male boxer, who had dental surgery the day before, was okay with him. He checked the place out, marked every spot in the yard, and then finally settled down for the night. He slept right beside me all night. He never left my side. Buster was already becoming comfortable with his new surroundings. And I was falling more in love with him.

Shortly after we got up Fathers Day morning our oldest son Chris got up, and he was in pain. You would have thought he had been shot in the stomach and lower back. He was miserable. So we load Chris up and go to the Prompt Care to get him checked out. The doctor there was pretty sure it was a kidney stone(s), but wanted to be sure. So off we go to the local regional hospital for a CT to verify the results. I drop them off and head to the store to get Powerade for Chris to start drinking when he gets done with the CT. What a Fathers Day thus far!

Then I get the text from my wife that the President of the Utah Friends of Basset Hounds has sent her a text stating the previous foster family was devastated and could she call her. Since Dianne was tied up with the hospital dealing with insurance issues, I made the call. With tears already in my eyes, I made the call. I knew what was probably going to be said, and I knew the man I am. And I was right, basically the call was to see if I would mind letting Buster go back for them to adopt him. It was totally my call. I even got the impression that she did not want to even call us. Now understand, I waited two weeks to bring that boy home. He stole my heart and after being my snuggle buddy for one night, he stole it even more. But I am also a man of compassion. Although I felt confident that Buster would adjust fine to his knew arrangements, I also knew how much the husband was affected by Buster leaving, I saw how Buster enjoyed playing with their other two dogs, and there are two children in that house. As hard as it was, I made someones Fathers Day at the expense of mine. They came within a couple of hours to pick up Buster. Sadly, some things come and some things go.

The CT did confirm the presence of a kidney stone. The good news was that it was already on its way out. He probably passed it later Sunday night or early Monday. Happily, some things come and some things go.

Fathers Day was pretty crappy for me to say the least. My wife did cook up some great steaks, asparagus, baked potatoes, and steamed broccoli so that was nice. We had a good laugh watching the season finale of “Chrisley Knows Best”. But once we went to bed I was already missing Buster being beside me. Maybe there will be another hound that will catch my eye needing a home…..

Standard
Travel Nursing

Time Sure Does Fly!!!!!!

WOW!! Hard to believe it has been over 2 months since I updated Da Blog!!!!! Life has been busy for us, that is for sure!!!

Our son Steven and his wife Kayla had their first baby about 3 weeks ago. Macee is healthy and enjoying life!!! Her 4 legged friend Buddy, a Husky, is VERY protective of her already. These two will have some fun years ahead of them!!

Ain’t she a cutie!!!! This is our second granddaughter!!!

In March we toured Union Station. It is actually 4 museums in one; railroad, local cowboy interest, Browning firearms, and Browning founders car collection! Really a neat place to spend the afternoon.

Dianne liked this car!!!!

Chris and Brad have been working on the Railroad….

The inside of the Depot is stunning!!

It snows here!!! Sometimes in to May!! This is from early April.

The dogs enjoyed Easter!!

So, one Sunday, we took a nice “Sunday Drive” after dinner. On our quest we found this little Ogden History Gem!!

We have found 3 very nice dog parks in within about 5 miles of the RV Park. Duke is doing well at these parks with other dogs. He is 12 and is sometimes temperamental, but he does his own thing. Morgana is not sure how to take the bigger dogs at the parks. She plays with dogs here size mostly. We volunteered at a Utah Friends of Basset Hounds event a couple of weeks ago. I had no intention on getting another Basset since Merlin’s passing earlier this year, then came Buster!!! Buster is a 4-year-old rescue and he is absolutely charming. I fell in love with him and tomorrow we have our home inspection to foster and most likely adopt Buster. He stole my heart…..what can I say!!!

We have been doing a driving LDS Temple Tours. I will do a separate blog with all the Temples and grounds pictures. They are absolutely stunning!! We did get to have a Stake Conference in the historical tabernacle in Ogden. That was a truly awesome experience!!

Our business venture is doing well. We have been blessed with some great business mentors. Their guidance has not only helped our business grow, but helped us grow as a couple.

Chris did not get to start school as planned in April. Financial Aid could not get worked out in time. He is planning on starting this September. He is working at a movie theater here in Ogden…..Like Mother, Like Son? He also bought a nice car with super low payments so he has freedom again!!! Brad is still unsure of what his next move will be. Culinary Arts School, Coast Guard, Church Mission are all on his radar, but at 18 the choices are a little overwhelming.

I sold my Jeep back in May!! I had Lil Red for over 5 years!!! The longest I ever kept a ride. I WILL have another in a few years. The Jeep just had become an impractical vehicle to do travel nursing in. I hope to get another, more fuel efficient, vehicle this fall.

We will be leaving Ogden the end of July. Dianne has taken an assignment in Florence, Oregon. Florence is right on the coast, so we will be spending some time at the beach for sure!!!

So there you have it, the quick catch up on us.

Until next time………Choo Choo

Standard
LDS, Travel Nursing

Ogden Utah, A Gem of a City

Ogden Utah has a lot of cool stuff to see and do. Shortly after we arrived her we went to the Hill Air Force Base Museum. They have a lot of neat aircraft and vehicles on display. I especially found it cool to actually see the SR-71. I remember growing up that the SR-71 was a very secret aircraft.

Dodge Ambulance

Dodge Ambulance

 

Kaiser Jeep Fire Truck

Kaiser Jeep Fire Truck

 

SR71 Blackbird

SR71 Blackbird

 

SR71 Blackbird

SR71 Blackbird

 

Flying Tiger

Flying Tiger

 

F-15A Eagle

F-15A Eagle

So some very exciting news, Chris has been accepted to Brigham Young University-Idaho (BYU-I)!! He will be study Physics working toward becoming an Astrophysicist. He moves into housing April 16 and starts classes April 18. We could not be happier for him. Please keep him in your prayers that he will have an awesome college experience at BYU-I.

About two weeks ago Dianne and I had the wonderful opportunity to clean the Ogden Temple. We arrived at 9:30 PM and left about 12:30 AM. It was interesting to be in the Temple with no one around except some fellow members cleaning. It was a humbling experience and the Ogden Temple is absolutely beautiful.

Last weekend we joined the Utah Basset Hound Rescue in the Salt Lake City St.Patrick’s Day Parade. Morgana  had a wonderful time being around so many Basset Hounds. She was not fond of the patrons along the parade route. We must have been in the company of about 50 other Basset Hounds. After the parade we took Morgana to Pet Smart to get her nails done. Once she got home she crashed HARD. A worn out puppy is a happy puppy.

We are still adjusting to life without our sweet Merlin. We got a beautiful keepsake of his paw print as a remembrance of him.

2016-03-11 19.17.42

He would have LOVED being in the parade. Morgana and Duke have been clinging to us more since his passing. They also are playing with each other more than before. We all mourn in our own way, including pets.

As for Dianne’s assignment here, she has already been asked to extend her contract 13 more weeks when this one ends. This means we will be here until August….this means we will be here when our son and his wife have their first child in June!! This will be our second granddaughter!! We are pretty excited to say the least. Dianne seems to have made some friends at work and has enjoyed going to work.

We also found the best Soda Shop ever FiiZ Drinks (http://fiizdrinks.com/). This is the Starbucks for Mormons!!! LOL!! Check out their website and see some of the flavor combinations they make with various sodas. Off the chain drink experience!! We also found the buffet Chuck-O-Rama. I could get into some serious trouble there!!! Better than Ryan’s and Golden Corral in my opinion.

The boys are enjoying their Young Single Adult Ward. They have made some friends there. Dianne and I are enjoying the Farr West 6th Ward. Great folks.

Look for our next blog as I will have the pictures from the parade off Dianne’s Phone…..

Standard
Travel Nursing

Our beloved Merlin has crossed Rainbow Bridge

This passed Thursday, our beloved Bassett Hound Merlin, passed away from liver cancer ne was 11 years old. I cannot begin to tell you the sorrow we felt as he took his last breaths. I am so glad he was here at home and we were here with him. It has been a difficult last few days, grabbing 3 treats instead of 2, saying his name when getting ready to take the dogs for a walk, not feeling him snuggled up against my legs at night. Some will say “it is just a dog”, but to us he was our fur baby. He was a “son”, a “brother”, a “companion”, a “friend”.

  
To my wife he was her best friend. He knew when she was hurting from her trigenimal neuralgia, he knew when she needed some extra love. He always had a way to comfort her. She could come home from work and no matter where he was in the RV his head would pop up, his tail would start wagging, and he would wait for her to come over and scratch his head. He absolutely loved having his ears rubbed, deep rub. He would actually nudge my arm to get me to do it if I stopped.

  
He absolutely loved walks. And the more smells the better. He would get a scent and be off, so you always held the leash tight. He loved to lay in the sun and get his tan on. And snow, he could not get enough of it. Hopping through it like a rabbit. Merlin loved to forage in the bushes and thick grass.

  
Merlin, our beloved friend, you are and will be missed. But I know you are no longer suffering. Enjoy your time on the other side of rainbow bridge. We know we will see you again. We love you old man.

Standard