Monthly Archives: March 2016

What! Snow on the Siskiyous!

There had been no sign of snow two days earlier when we had driven up I-5 how could we be changing our route due to extreme weather over the pass? We decided it was best to avoid the snow especially since there was other ways to go that did not involve the white slippery stuff.  We drove the very scenic but much slower route down highway 101.  We stopped in Crescent City and enjoyed the beach.  Our friends that live there were busy working.  We were sad to to miss seeing them, but it still made a wonderful stop.  The kids enjoyed the drift wood adding on to an already existing fort.  


   We stopped at the Redwoods also.  Doing the thrutree tour and the Avenue of the Giants. Stopping at the National Park visitor’s center for a short time.  

    Highway 1 broke off from 101 and the scenery changes as we moved away from the beach.  We makes plans to return someday to drive what we can of hwy 1 and at least see Fort Bragg.  It won’t be this trip, or this assignment.  We spent the night near San Francisco so that our first views the next mornin were of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.  



 The kids were getting tired of their seats, but we wanted to finish out driving down 101.  

 We loved watching for the bells along side the road that marked the El Camino Real  

 We arrived back in Fallbrook at 9:30pm, safe and sound.  0415 came early, oh the joys of day shift and a long commute.  So thankful to be here though. 

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Spring Forward Sunday

I don’t know how many of you look forward to Spring Forward.  Getting up an extra hour early is oh so fun, not!  After going to bed around midnight, the new 0100 (a third late night in a row), I poutted to myself.  Sleep, at some point in my life, has got to start taking up residence a little higher on my priority list.  But, alas, this time like so many others I had made plans to try to squeeze in one more thing and would pay for it out of my sleep deprivation account promising myself to pay it back with extra sleep someday, maybe after I die.  We this spring forward day started at 0530 for an 0600 coffee date with Mary Beth.  I know that she too was questioning her sanity after agreeing to such an early meeting, but once we were there we realized it was worth it as there would be no other time this visit to see each other.  We found the warmest seating at Starbucks and cuddled into our coffee.  The next hour and a half of visiting flew by.  I headed home to get the kids up and ready for church buying Steph coffee along the way.  Chad headed out to get coffee for himself at Dutch Brothers (I know, I’m a bad wife.  I bought coffee for my sister and not my husband. It didn’t even cross my mind until I pulled into our driveway.) I got the kids ready for church.  We love seein our church family.  Today was no different.  Sunday school then church, Chuck was security in the parking lot so I was able to snatch up the best seat in the house beside my mother-in-law and former Sunday School teacher and mentor.  Arm in arm we raised our voices in praise and worship to our Lord and Savior, another think that I have so dearly missed.  My mother and father-in-law know how we feel about them.  We don’t let too many days go by with out telling them how much we love and appreciate them, but that does not diminish the feels of appreciation and inadequacy for the many blessings God has given us, one of the major ones being our parents and parents-in-law.  We visited with many people at church being the last ones to pick up our kids from their individual classes.  Stephanie, Jayson, Cyrus, and Great Grandma Brown joined us at Chuck and Donna’s for lunch.  The kids got into a mud fight, watched a movie and rediscovered all of the toys Grandma has stashed away.  


 We probably stayed later than we should have, but it is so hard to say goodbye.  I often think I’m not ready to come home for good, those times happen less and less. More and more I see how in so many ways it is time.  Our heart aches with the absence/distance from our loved ones. We miss them terribly, and are counting down six months until this adventure is over and we will be home.   


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Home to Cyrus

We probably slept in a little late, I’m not really sure.  As we had been up, showered and dressed.  I sent Caleb up to Grandma and Grandpa’s room to check on them.  Hannah followed and soon grandma was at our door.  We packed all of our stuff out to the car and then checked out grandma and grandpa’s room way up on the top floor.   

 The rain had started back up, I’m not sure it had really stopped, but it wasn’t driving rain more of a continuous spit.  The kids asked to ride in grandma’s new car to breakfast and that was totally fine except grandma didn’t have car seats.  Hannah’s car seat was ok to go in grandma’s new car but Eve’s was not.  She want too happy about that but maybe she will think about how much of a mess she makes of her car seat from here on out.  We met up at Pig n Pancake for breakfast.  We visited more there. So much to catch up on and so little time.  There were staying at the beach another day, but with only two days to be in Oregon we felt like we should head on to our house to visit with Stephanie, Jayson and Cyrus.  We left after breakfast stopping on our way out of town to get saltwater taffy and some sea foam.  We made plans to have dinner with Chuck and Donna after church the next day (Sunday).  We made it home to an eager Cyrus just before noon.  Stephanie was at work and Jayson I’m guessing had been cleaning the house because it looked pretty good.  I set to work folding clothes as the kids played in the front yard.  Soon all the neighborhood kids were coming out to play.  

 Hannah asked if she could have a play date with her best friend Hannah.  I called her mom and they just happened to be at the Gilbert House a perfect place for a play date.  They envited her to join them.  Chad and Jayson had some errands to run so the took her to her play date and Hannah’s dad dropped her back off on his way home.  As I folded clothes I called Becky one of my good friends and one of Chad and my favorite couple friends to hang out with.  I didn’t really expect that she would answer it was a Facebook messenger call and I hadn’t ever called her before.  Kailyn answered and I got to hear about what she had been up to.  I envited them to come over and hang out, which they said they hoped to when the girls wake up from their naps.  They arrived just as Chad and Jayson were headed out to get Chinese food for dinner.  They turned around and got Mark to go with them.  Stephanie came home from work at that same time.  Stephanie, Becky and I visited.  The kids all played together and with the neighbor kids who were over too.  All the laughter and activity so warmed my heart.  Hanging with Mark, Becky and the girls is like hanging out with my sisters and their families we have spent so much time together.  We talked about the new baby coming, the school year and work, but mostly we just laughed together and spent time together.  The boys came back and make macaroni and cheese for the kids and we grownups had Chinese.  Two of the neighbor kids stayed for dinner.  

   We enjoyed the time, it makes us look forward to the time when we will be back home and having friends over for dinner can be a regular occasion once again.  Steph and I visited for a little longer before crashing for the night…oh it felt so good to sleep in our own bed again. 

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Quick Trip to Oregon

We have all been dying to get home and see our family, all of them.  We were determined that at the first break in my schedule big enough to make the trip we would go for it.  The schedule was slow in coming out for good reasons as we do have several of our core staff on leave.  I recieved it on Wednesday and noticed that in the whole next two months I only had one long break off and it was the weekend coming up starting the very next day.  We had been in contact with Chuck and Donna (Grandma and Grandpa Owens) and knew that they were planing to get away for the weekend to celebrate their 39th anniversary.  It really wasn’t the best weekend to run home, but we had talked to the kids and they knew that we wanted to go home sometime during this assignment, those of you who know me know how much it does not sit right with me to not do what I say I will do.  No we had not promised, but we had given them that hope.  We let Grandma and Grandpa know what we were looking at and they we excited to see us and invited us to join them at the beach, not at all minding that we would be joining them for a traditionally couple only celebration.  Chad packed our bags while I worked on Thursday.  Jumping into the bathroom, changing clothes as Chad packed the kids and bags into the car we headed north toward Sacramento.  My cousin William and his daughter Trinity live in Sacramento in the house that my mother grew up in.  He had a guest room set up for us and gave us instructions on how to get in and that they would see us in the morning as we were to roll into their place around 0100.  The traffic out of Fallbrook was stop and go so we ended up taking some very scenic hilly/curvy roads out of town to bypass the freeway.  I loved seeing all the avacado groves, so amazing and so beautiful.  I have always heard that Fallbrook is the avacado Capitol, but as many times as I have been in Fallbrook in my life (besides the tree in the back yard at grandma’s house when we were growing up) I hadn’t seen the avacado groves that put this town on the map.  It was great. I want to drive those back roads ten more times before we are done with this assignment.  Once we were on the freeway the trip was uneventful.  We were thankful of that.  No hint of snow or foul weather.  We enjoyed the greeting from little Snickers their dog as we came in for the night. She cuddled up on our bed as we turned out the lights.  Snickers is just a few weeks older than Hannah.  We met her first on our family camping trip to the Redwoods when Hannah was not quite two weeks old and Snickers was just a tiny puppy.  A little beagle as sweet as she could be.  We were up early.  We wanted every spare minute to visit with William and Trinity before he headed off to work and she headed to school.  I think there are many times on this blog that I have mentioned the individual blessings that have been given to us through this journey of travel nursing.  One of the very biggest blessings of all has been visiting with family.  Much of the family we get to visit before travel nursing we saw them maybe once every couple of years and now we see them a couple times a year.  Some family on the east coast we hadn’t seen in 25 years.  This gift alone has made travel nursing worth it for our family.  We had some cold cerial and coffee sneaking in about 45 minutes of visiting.  We as a group headed out to the car each departing our different ways.  So thankful for the time although short that we had to invest in each other.  On our way out we drove passed another cousins house.  It didn’t look like they were home and knowing it was time for them to be dropping off four of their five children at school, we reluctantly passed.  We are hoping we get another chance this assignment to sit down and visit with them too.  We stopped by the hospital in Redding where my cousin works and stole a quick hug visiting for a few minutes before her pager went off and she had to tend to her patients.  We headed over the Siskiyous.  It was beautiful & green with out snow even on the peeks of the mountains.  We could see home in the distance tightening our seat belts and not stopping for any reason. 


We were headed to Lincol City the first night bypassing Salem.  We arived at our hotel at dinner time calling Chuck and Donna as the kids were getting ready to dive out of the car and run to them where ever they may be.  They were picking up Pizza for dinner and we be there in 15-20 minutes.  We checked into our room and got Eve in the bath.  About that time there came a knock at the door and to smiling familiar faces filed in.  Grandma and Grandpa!!!! Yay.  It had been four months too long!  We visited and ate pizza.  It was dark already and raining, but we could listen to the surf and see the white wave tips in the moon light.  Grandma and Grandpa looked great! They always do.  Eve got out of the bath and back in a few times before we were done eating dinner.  Chuck and Chad discussed the business and how it was going, as well as some other life stuff like taxes.  Donna and the kids went on a mermaid hunt around the hotel stopping in the lobby to get cookies.  It was past bedtime Chad was going to put the kids to bed when they came back so I snuck out to visit with the Newport night shift girls.  I miss them and their positive attitudes, a hardworking not much complaining group (my favorite kind).  We visited until about 0100, I hated to leave but I knew morning would come early. 

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House Wide New Employee Orientation

I think my recruiter was slightly concerned when I told her I was on orientation this week.  I could hear her thinking “really, like what is wrong with you.  You are almost a month into this assignment.”  Now she is way too nice and would not actually say that to me, but I’m sure that her mind went there.  

No, although it hasn’t been a completely smooth first month.  We have now been here a month.  We missed the house wide new employee orientation by a few days last month so we had to wait a month and do it now even though I have already been working on the floor for three weeks.  I did love the personal growth and quality improvement focus of orientation.  It encouraged me to make assignment goals.  Everyone one can improve their quality of care/performance.  I’m all for that and I’m kind of sad that I didn’t start making job focused assignment goals with my very first assignment.  I was at first focused on learning as much as possible, keeping a list of the things that I learned at each assignment so to an extent that was an assignment goal.  I would like to turn my attention at this time to being a more proficient charter, and making sure that every single piece of my admission paperwork/checklist/assessment in both required charting systems is correctly and completely done on each patient. Also, I could always be more efficient.  I only want to be more efficient at the paperwork, I definately do not want to decrease the time I spend at the bedside of my patients. 

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Potato Chip Rock



 I had tried to mentally prepare myself to get my butt kicked by a hot hike longer than I have hiked in a long while, with no shade and a 1700 feet elevation gain. Let’s face it, I know I’m not in the shape I was in when Suzanne and I did our century bike ride in 2011…a long way from it.  But we have tried to continually hike throughout our time of traveling.  I don’t know that we did any on our last hike though and we were going with my fit younger cousin.  I didn’t want to lag too far behind.  I don’t think I realized that the incline would be continuous.  I thought it would go up and flatten out, up and flatten out maybe a little decline thrown in here and there.  And, I know I wasn’t prepared for how beautiful it would be.  Such an amazing view, such interesting enormous boulders.  So so so cool.  For some of the hike I alternated walking forwards and then backwards up the mountain.  But really didn’t stop much at all.  Chad carried out heavy pack full of water and the packed lunch.  Eve pulled on my arms like I was to just pull her to the top.  Seriously girl, you can’t be pulling on me…move your own two legs. Caleb and Hannah paced themselves with Samantha and were gone we would catch up with them a couple times when they stopped to climb a bolder and wait for us.  

  The weather was perfect,  we had managed to get out before the full heat of the day.  


Tired girl, using a rock for a pillow.             The line was long to stand on the rock, so we ate our lunch and people watched.  The kids climbed around but stayed pretty close.         This panarama shows the line, the drop off from the rock, and the amazing view.  Definitely is was an amazing experience and a hike we would all love to do again.  So so fun.                 

 The big kids and Samantha disappeared so we didn’t take the hike down any slower than the hike up.  That is one main reason I would like to do it again.  There was so many other trails and cool rocks to explore that we didn’t take time for.  The kids did climb on some.  But there are multiple trips worth of good memories and exercise/hiking.               


  So gorgeous!  I can’t wait to get out hiking again.

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Our Little Baker

Hoping to Follow in her Grandma Lawhead’s footsteps Hannah Banana mixed and baked this cake all by herself except for a little help deciphering the instructions.  


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