Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I don't understand some people!

Today I went back over the the house with my inspector. We were checking to see that all the repairs had been done, so we would be all set for closing. I paid the inspector another $200 really just for my peace of mind to know that all of the repairs had been done. I told my real estate agent so many times I was going back over there. I was assured that all the repairs had been done. Unfortunately come to find out in the inspection that the foundation supports that I were to have been replaced had not been. I was soooo mad! We are supposed to close on Friday. Well after a quick phone call to my real estate agent, I was promised that it would be done by Friday morning. My sweet inspector then told me he would come back by and check it out for me. So hopefully it is all done, and we can still close Friday. I am learning so many lessons here, mainly not to trust anyone! Sad isn't it!
Ok, so if you need a home inspector. Jim Waddell is the greatest! He is soooooo thorough, and helpful. He is will A.B. Home Inspectors if you need someone!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Just for you Casey!

I have been a total blog slacker! I know, I know... sooo sorry. I ran into my cousin Casey last weekend, and she completely called me out on it. So I made an October resolution that I will start to blog again. I really hope I can start to keep up with it again. I enjoyed it so much while I was doing it, and was very surprised how many people cared to read it. So, here we go!

Things have been so busy in my life lately. The thing that is keeping me the absolute busiest is that I am in the process of buying a house. I am very excited. It is a cute little bity house in Homewood, that is just perfect for me. I was not letting myself get excited because I know that contracts can easily fall through, it something doesn't go right. I have finally gotten through the inspection and repairs, and mortgage approval. I am scheduled to close a week from today, and can't wait.

My family thought it was really funny to watch me go through this process. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a nurse through and through. I am not in any way shape or form a business person. I am not good at being firm and demanding. I had a few things that showed up on my inspection that I wanted to have the seller repair. Of course as in any business deal they tried to get me to give in any not have all of it repaired and to help pay for some of the repairs. I finally to my real estate agent that I was not afraid to walk away from the deal and that in order for me not to walk they had to make all the repairs. Haha! What a joke. I went directly to my Dad's office and told him I was "mean, scary, and demanding". He laughed at me and said, "I'm sure you were!" Oh well! I may not be mean and scary, but I was able to get the point across. They agreed to repair everything! So now we are just waiting on closing!

I am starting to get anxious though, because it is an older house. It was built in the 1940's, and there is a lot I would like to do. I have to keep reminding myself to be patient, and have fun with my very first house! Everyone is welcome to come visit! I was going to post a picture with this, but it is not working. I will post one later, I promise. I will keep you all updated on this adventure!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Reverting to Childhood!

Since I am officially back home. I had to decide what to do about a place to live. I am still trying to save money so eventually I can buy a house. Saving money tends to be difficult when I was taking a month or so off in between travel assignments. My sweet mother, of course, offered for me to live with her. I didn't want to take her up on that offer for many reasons. I have sponged off her too many times, I want her to have her own life without taking care of me, and she and I can get kind of cramped at her house. My Dad also offered for me to live with him, and to his surprise I took him up on the offer.
My Dad and Stepmother have a little bit bigger of a house, with an extra bedroom downstairs. It has a private attached bath and closet, so I really have my own space. I also am living with my step brothers (when they are in town, they have had a very busy summer). I have had so much fun living with this part of my family, and getting to spend more time with all of them. I have not lived with my Dad since I was 15, so it has been really fun.
My Dad seems to be enjoying it too. He has made me laugh because he keeps telling me "have I told you I'm glad you are living with me?". They have all really made me feel welcome. I am trying to do my best to help around the house, so I don't wear out my welcome too quickly.
I have also started my new job (more about that to come later), and my Dad has been so sweet. I still have not been feeling well so he has been trying to take care of me. Since I have been back to working 12 hour shifts he has had dinner prepared for me when I come home from work. He better be careful or I may never leave.
Sorry it has been so long since I posted, but I am going to do better keeping updating my blog!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I am so sick of this!

I finally decided to vent about this. I am going to go ahead and put a disclaimer, that this is a long story, and will therefore make for a long post, and more than likely a pretty boring post, but as I said before I really need to vent. This all started about 5 months ago when I was in Shreveport. Anyone who knows me knows that I often struggle with fatigue. One day, though, I woke up from an average night sleep, and was exhausted. I was so tired I felt like I could barely move. I had no other symptoms but some aches and pains. I decided to go see a doctor to make sure it wasn't anything that needed treating. The doctor I saw there was very nice and decided to draw some lab work. I started feeling better in a few days, and then I got extremely busy trying to finish up my assignment in Shreveport. I never heard from the Dr. about the lab work, so I truthfully just forgot about it.
I came home spent some time with my family and then took off again to Iowa. After I had been gone about a week, my Mom got a letter in the mail informing me that I had some abnormal labs, and that they had been trying to contact me. This was a complete fabrication. I would have noticed someone calling me from a Shreveport area code. I finally get the nurse to call me back and she informs me that I need to come back in. Well I told her that would be difficult considering I was in Iowa! She told me that the labs that were abnormal were my Blood Sugar was low, my TSH was high (which means you could have hypothyroidism), and my ANA was positive (which is a test for autoimmune disorders). At that point I didn't know what to do because the Dr. who had drawn that labs was in Louisiana, I was in Iowa, and my general practitioner was in Alabama.
I called my general practitioner who requested me to fax the labs to her. I called the Dr. in Shreveport and requested she fax the results and she said she would do it right away. We went a week with me calling every day and them saying they would send them, only to find out they hadn't. Turns out they weren't sending them, because they didn't have a release (You've got to love HIPPA), but they failed to call me to inform me they couldn't send them. Once the labs got to my General practitioner, she said that it was nothing that was such a big deal that we couldn't wait 8 weeks for me to get back into town and redraw labs. I was very relieved, but as you can imagine continued to be slightly stressed out and concerned.
Over the 8 weeks that I was in Iowa. I continued to be achy, I had a generalized rash, and continued to have periods of fatigue, and just feel over all crappy! I then randomly took my temperature one night when I was at work, and it was 99.5! hmm, that's weird. I continued to take it, and it kept staying in the 99's. It lasted for 3.5 weeks. After I finally got home I had an appointment with my general practitioner. She ran more labs, and now it was time to wait again.
After 4 days I got a call back from my doctor. She told me that my TSH was still elevated, and that I needed to get started on Synthroid (a medication for hypothyroidism). As we were on the phone she realized that my reheumatology panel (a lab that can help us to figure out about an autoimmune disorder) had not come back and that she would call the lab and call me right back. I never heard from her, over the next 4 business days we called and harassed everyone in her office until we got them to call in the Synthroid to my pharmacy. Nobody new anything about the labs. I finally get a call from someone in the office who proceeds to tell me that the outside lab who was supposed to run the rheum panel had in fact run something entirely wrong! It was a lab for Syphilis! Thanks, that's really helpful! At this point I lost it. I was so frustrated. I then had to go back to the doctors office to let them draw more blood, so they could send it back to the lab. Everyone kept telling me, well we aren't going to charge you for the lab work. I thought, "Well I should hope not! It's not my fault someone is incompetent. " So, this is where I am now. I am waiting for this lab to come back. I still feel like crap, I have started to run a fever again, my joints and back hurt sooo badly, and I am so exhausted I could sleep all day. Hopefully I will hear back from my doctor early this week. I could find out a number of things. It could be all this is just caused by my thyroid, and I need to give the synthroid some time to work, or I might need to go see a rheumatologist, or it could be something else entirely.
Well, Thank you for listening to my rant! As you can tell nothing has gone right throughout all of this. I just hope we find out what is making me feel this way! Yuck! I just want to have more energy, and not be hurting, so I can't truly enjoy being home with my friends and family.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Crazy Week!

I have been home in Alabama for a week today. I have been so busy it feels like I have been home a month. My drive home was quite an adventure. It took me 13 hours of absolute boredom. I spent most of my time talking on the cell (I know, I hate people that do that too!) or jamming out to some tunes. I got close to Memphis and the sky fell. It was raining so hard I could barely see the road. I didn't know if I should stop or keep going to try to out run it. I called my Dad and told him where I was and got him to look up the radar on the Internet. It was not reassuring when he said "oh, crap you are in the middle of it". I said "Dad, am I going to get blown away by a tornado", and his response was "I hope not!" We decided together that I should keep going and luckily I out ran it. I also want everyone to know that I have a new found love for Corridor X. For those of you who don't know that is a newer highway that runs from Jasper to Birmingham. It keeps you from stopping at a ton of red lights. It also is nearly deserted, and flat. So you can absolutely fly. It helped me to cut an hour off of my trip. woohoo! I have had so much fun this week being home and getting to spend time with my family or friends.
Another thing I have had going on this week, is I had an interview at Brookwood Hospital. I have been saying my prayers that God would make whatever I was supposed to do work out. As I have talked about before I didn't know if I wanted to continue traveling or not, so I let God make the decision for me and went with what worked. I got the call this morning from Brookwood saying that I got the job. I am excited. It is a PACU night shift position. For those of you not in the medical profession this stands for Post Anesthesia Care Unit, or what the used to refer to as the recovery room. It sounds like a very interesting job, and the other people that work there seem very nice. It should be a great adventure. I very happy to stay home, and settle down a bit.
We also had Father's Day this week. I was so glad that I could be home, and actually be with my Dad on Father's Day. My Dad, Stepmother, and I all went to the lake. I haven't been to the lake in almost a year, which is a record for me. I have missed it soooo much. Overall we had a great weekend. We lazed around, took boat rides, got some sun, and grilled out. Very relaxing, and my Dad seemed to really enjoy it even though it has been so hot. Since I have been home it has been at least 97 degrees, very humid, and the heat index has been about 108 degrees. It can really drag you down, but I am glad because it finally feels like summer to me. Everyone try to stay cool, and have a great week!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go....

Ok, so my bags aren't packed, but I'm ready to go! I just finished my last night at work at Greene County Medical Center. I am very excited to go home. I have missed all my friends and family at home so much. I am also sad about leaving here. I have made some really wonderful friends here, and will miss them. I am sad I didn't get more time to spend with them outside of work! We could never work out times to get together. Everyone here has made me feel really good, and like they are going to miss me too. I have learned two things here, the first being that I could never live in a small town. The second is that there are some great people here in this small town in Iowa, and I can understand why someone would want to live here. I am definitely a city girl! I love having everything that I could possibly ever want to do right at my fingertips. Never having to go to far to find what you need, and having lots of options. There are some great things about living in a small town. Everyone knows everyone, and you can really rely on your neighbors and friends. So in short...I will definitely miss Jefferson, IA; but I can't wait to be back in Birmingham. My own personal piece of heaven.
Now to look forward to the long drive home. I plan on taking pictures and posting them, so ya'll can feel like you were there for all the boredom. Then I need to make a list of all the things I have to do when I get home. Is it sad that the majority of the things on that list are places I want to eat? It's a miracle I don't weigh 400 lbs. I will keep you updated on all my adventures at home, including the search for the next job! Good night now. I need to get some sleep, before I pack.

Saturday, June 06, 2009


No, I am not going to come home looking like Nicole Ritchie, with her long stringy hair extensions! I am talking about my travel assignment. I have decided to extend my assignment by a few days. A few weeks ago I asked the hospital if I could extend my contract by two weeks. I thought this would be a good idea, because then I would be home right before 4th of July. Then I could make sure I would be at the lake with my family on the 4th. Which is my absolute favorite holiday. Unfortunately at the time, they told me they wouldn't need me to stay. So, I accepted that, and started to get very excited about getting home.

Well, last week I find out that they have decided they do want me to extend. My initial reaction was "no". At that point in time I was so pumped up about being home I couldn't imagine staying here one more day, no one more second, than I had to. I'm glad I didn't go with that initial knee jerk reaction. I decided to think about. The more I thought about it the more I thought I can do this. It's just 2 weeks.

I started to think about other things, and decided that the only way it would be unbearable to stay would be to have to stay in the Super 8. I have really gotten settled in at the Limburg House, and didn't want to move around. (Read more about this decision in a previous post.) So, that made my decision for me. I told On Assignment that I would extend as long as I could stay in the Limburg House. So, it looks like the house is booked for the weekend after I was supposed to leave. So I am going to extend my contract by a little less than a week. Yeah! So I will only be here about 5 more days than originally planned, but hopefully will get in another full week of work!

I think I have decided to buy myself a treat for extending even when I didn't want to. I know I am trying to save money, but I can't help but treat myself every once in awhile. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a purse-aholic. I could buy a new bag everyday. I love all shapes, sizes, colors, and brands. So this is what I was thinking....
It's Dooney and Bourke. It's cloth. I think it is sooo cute and casual. I figured it would be great for the summer, and I could even carry it into the fall since it's Red and White. It is close to Alabama Crimson Tide colors. Roll Tide! So, what do you think? I am sad it is going to be longer until I get home, but I am really just relieved that a decision has been made! woohoo!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Bloggers Block

I haven't written in about a week, because I haven't known what to write about. I thought maybe I would just write an update. I am still here in Iowa for 2 more weeks. I am really getting antsy to be home. I absolutely love summer. I love spending time with my friends, laying out, going to the lake, going to the pool, and cooking out. I have felt very out of sorts because it is already June, and I have not layed out once! I have not swam once! Thanks to Jergen's I am not completely pale, but I think I need some Vitamin D. Working nights and being in Iowa away from my friends, has led to me having a Vit D deficiency. haha.
I am still on the job hunt. I am still considering traveling or staying home. I am just trying to put it in the Lord's hands and letting him to do what is best for me. I am not very good at that. I let myself get all worked up, especially when I can't really decide what I would rather do. I guess the important thing is having a job!
I have also worked the past 4 nights. As most nurses do I work 12.5 hour shifts, which means we only work 3-4 days a week. Usually your schedule works so you work 2 days in a row with some time in between. So, working 4 days in a row exhausts me. I get very emotional when I am tired, so me being this tired has led to a lot of tears over the future. I am just nervous. Hopefully I will get a good night sleep tonight and have a new prospective in the morning.
Another interesting thing I did during my four night stint, was I got the opportunity to help the emergency room nurse in the ER. I have never thought about doing ER nursing, but it was really kind of nice. You basically help the patient and admit them or send them home. It is kind of nice to have them for a short period of time and then pass them off. It is constantly different, which keeps you interested. Hmmm... have I found something else I'm interested in? Nope, I don't think I would want to do it full time. So, that is pretty much all that is going on with me! To all my friends and family I can't wait to see you soon!

On another note, thanks to all those people who have let me know they are reading. It has really kept me going to know that someone out there finds it interesting. Please ignore any misspelling or typos. My mom has made it her job to point out all my errors! (thanks, mom!) My problem is not spelling words wrong (spell check is great), but having wrong words in the wrong place. I for some reason have an issue with there and their. I promise I do know the difference, but sometimes I just get typing too fast. When I check it over before I post, I still miss things because I know what I was trying to say, so I think I read it in my head correctly even when it is still written wrong. I hope I don't offend any thing with my grammatical missteps. If so you are reading the wrong blog. If you see errors just keep in mind, I do know what is correct it just may not come out in my typing. (Does this disclaimer make you feel better mom?) So, if you enjoy reading please leave me comments, I love to read them, and join as a follower!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I cannot decide what I want to do with my life. I decided to become a nurse for many reasons. I love taking care of people. I love comforting people when they are going through a hard time in their lives. I even love helping a person through their death, I know that sounds weird, but there is a great blessing in holding a persons hand and telling them not to be afraid and that it is OK to go. One of the greatest things about nursing is job stability and availability. I loved the fact that there were so many opportunities to do so many different things. I also thought that nursing was an economy resistant field. After all, there are always sick people. Boy was I WRONG!
The hospitals control our industry, and what controls the hospitals? You guessed it, just like any other business, $Money$! Well I never thought it would get like this. I have enjoyed being in Jefferson, but as I am sure many of you have guessed, it is not my first choice in places to travel. When I first started to travel, you could really pick where you wanted to go. Now unfortunately you can pick from alot fewer choices. Hospitals do not want to pay for travel nurses, because as you can guess we are there most expensive staff members. It seems like now, they are going with less staff before hiring a traveler.
It has been interesting at home too. When I graduated nursing school, 2 years ago, a new graduate could get a job in any type of nursing they wanted. I had 2 offers to go to an OR. I had 4 job offers total. Now you get on the websites to the hospitals, and there are very few listings for nursing job opportunities. The ones that are posted all specify that they want a nurse who has experience in that field. I have been told that the people that are graduating from nursing school right now cannot find jobs at all. Can you imagine? You start school 2-4 years ago, and make a decision to go into a career where job availability and stability is the best of any other career you could go into. Then 2 years later you can't get a job at all!!! I am frustrated for myself, but that is just devastating for them.
So, I am at this crossroad. I would like to keep traveling, but I do not want to continue to have to go to places that I don't want to go to. There is a part of me that wants to go home, but I have always said I would go to the OR when I got done traveling, and right now that is just impossible. There are a few jobs out there at home, but they may not be the most exciting. So, the question is, Keep traveling to places that aren't so exciting, or go home to a job that isn't my dream job? What do you think?
P.S. I have decided that no matter what I do, even if I go home. I am going to have some great adventures. I am going to find fun and interesting things to do. I will quit ignoring the things to do around me, and enjoy Alabama. I have enjoyed doing random things to keep me busy. I should continue to do those things even if I am in a community where I have friends and family to hang out with.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

7 Quick Takes- 1st Edition

1- I got this idea from my fellow blogger Amanda. Thanks girl! It is great because there are quite a few things I want to blog about but aren't long enough to make a full blog post. So I thought I would give this a try.

2- Mushroom hunting? Apparently here in Iowa this is a big sport! No, they aren't getting high off these shrooms! They collect a type of Mushroom called Morrels. Apparently they are very yummy, and grow wild quite abundantly. It has made me laugh to hear people start at story with last night we were mushroom hunting! I told them that if I did that in Alabama, I would more than likely wind up eating something poisonous! I'm still trying to talk someone into taking me to do this interesting activity.

3-I definitely have some of my grandmother in me. She loved birds, she always had bird feeders all over, and kept her birdbath perfectly clean. I can't say that I have a great love for birds, but I can say that I can't stand to see a bird and not know what it is. When I was driving down the road the other day I kept seeing these little black birds with orange on there wings. I thought they might be Orioles, I called my mom and asked her, and she agreed with me. I decided to look it up online, and I was completely wrong. They were Red winged black birds. So pretty. So I guess I still haven't seen an oriole.

(This is a redwinged blackbird)(This is an oriole)

4- I miss Milo's. Is it sad that when people ask me about southern foods I wind up telling them about Milo's? Yes, I give them the traditional answers about the best bar-b-que in the world, fried everything, and the best way to cook any vegetable. Then my mind wanders to things I miss, and I want to tell them about Milo's. Then the inevitable question comes. "What is the sauce like? Is it like a bar-b-que sauce?" Then you are in trouble, because as any true Milo's lover knows. The sauce is like no other, it is indescribable. Okay, I better stopping talking about it before I drool on myself.

5-Spring Lake is a state park in Iowa. I went yesterday. It was so much fun. Everyone takes their campers, and go hang out for the weekend. It is very pretty, and there is so much to do. Everyone takes there bikes and they ride around. They swim, fish, and go for paddle boat rides. They also have roller skating rink that opens at night. It felt like stepping back in time. It was an open air roller rink, that looks like it has been there forever. After everyone cooks out for dinner, they walk over to the skating rink and listen to the music and skate with the kids. It was so much fun, but needless to say I am sore today from skating.

6-Getting old stinks! It is still hard for me to understand that I can't do the things I did when I was 13. I remember going to skanks Skates 280 (for those of you that don't know, that's a nasty skating rink in Birmingham) and skating for hours, while never getting tired, sweaty, or sore. Last night I kept having to take a break. I am pretty sure I smelled like a pig, and it was hard to walk back to the car. Maybe I shouldn't blame it on being old, just out of shape! SAD!

7- Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to all those people who gave there lives for our freedom! Also thank you to any veteran of any war who fought for us! You are all hero's!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mall of America

Wow, have I had an adventure!?! On Tuesday I drove 3 1/2 hours to Minneapolis to go to the famed Mall of America. I have heard about it for years, but never had the opportunity to go. For those of you that don't know The Mall of America is a shopping mall in Bloomington, MN. Right outside of Minneapolis. It is 4 stories, boasts over 520 stores, has 4 department stores, a movie theater, a theme park, an aquarium, put-putt golf, and a ton of restaurants. It is amazing.
When I first walked in to this shrine to shopping, I must have looked like a moron, because I had my mouth hanging open, and my eyes popping. I have never felt so overwhelmed in my life. I went to guest services grabbed a map and took off. The first day I was there I only made it through one floor. It amazed me. This place has every store you could possibly ever want to go to. It even had stores that I have never seen inside a mall like Marshall's and Best Buy. My favorite store they had was a Nordstrom Rack. It's a Nordstrom outlet. It had everything from designer jeans to great shoes, and the were all discounted. Ohhh, I was in heaven. After I completely wore myself out I decided it was time to ride the roller coaster. I am not a person who really likes roller coasters, but I felt like it was a rare opportunity to ride a roller coaster inside. It was very fun, but what an odd feeling being indoors. Next it was time to go to the hotel and get some rest, to come back the next day and conquer the next 3 levels.
I went back on Wednesday, and did my best to conquer the rest of the mall. It is so big, that it is very easy to get turned around. You often feel like you have made a whole loop, and the realize you only have made it around half of the mall. It also is complicated because many of the stores have 2 or more stores in the mall because of it's size. So you turn a corner and see Victoria's Secret, and you get deja vu because you feel like you just passed it. It took me awhile to figure out it wasn't deja vu but I had already passed it. Well, as the afternoon wore on I was exhausted. I decided to was time to sit down and have some lunch, and hit the road back to Jefferson.
When I got in the car I really relaxed. My legs and feet hurt so badly. I was happy to be in the car sitting down for a good 3 hours. I got on the interstate, set the cruise control, and got on the phone. It is kind of nice being in the car when you are so far from home. It is a nice time to catch up with all my friends. I realized after I had been in the car for a little while that I only had a quarter of a tank of gas and would have to stop to get gas. Well then I got on the phone and forgot about it for awhile. I realized I had to stop soon when my little gauge told me I had 40 miles left in my tank. So I started looking for an exit with a gas station. No such luck. When my little gauge said I had 20 miles left, my car sputtered to a stop. OHHH NO! Well, I didn't freak out because I have AAA. I got out my card and called. When I called AAA the proceded to inform me that I didn't have service. Apparently the bill hadn't been paid. Ooops! At that point I turned into a basket case and cried to the lady on the phone about being in the middle of nowhere on the side of the rode. So, I had to pay to have it reinstated. They transfered me about a thousand times, before the finally had someone on the way to bring me gas. I came to find out that in the middle of nowhere in Iowa, there can be as far as 50 miles between exits with gas stations! They also do not have those lovely little signs we have in Alabama, that tell you if it is going to be a long stretch between stations. (You know they say: 17 miles to the next gas exit) Well I finally got my gas. They brought me 5 gallons, when the AAA service usually only brings you 2. I thought they were just being nice. Then they tell me that I had to stop at the next gas exit because it was 17 miles away. Well after a nice hour of sitting and sweating in the middle of nowhere staring at cornfields I was on my way again. I finally made it back to Jefferson. I was exhausted. What an adventure!

Monday, May 18, 2009

How Blessed am I???

Sometimes being away from home can be really hard! Travel nursing can be so much fun, and you have so many adventures, but often times it is lonely and boring. I have been feeling that way the past few days. I guess it is because I haven't been feeling well. I have been nauseated, and running a low grade fever. This means that I have felt like crap, but not bad enough to not work. Being at work when you feel like this takes so much more energy, effort, and patience (toward those patients). Especially for people like my poor confused old man who spent half the night last night yelling at me that I was holding him hostage, and about the planes flying over his head. Nursing can be soooo much fun!

Today when I was feeling this way I started looking at my pictures and realized how much I have gotten to do over the past year. It really has been amazing. Over the past year I have lived in 4 different cities. I have had 4 family members get married. I have been on the vacation of a lifetime with my Mom. I have partied with the Montreal Canadiens (NHL team, for all those crazy southerners like me who know nothing about hockey!). I went to Napa with my sister. I went to the beach with my dad and step-mom. I went to see New Kids on the Block in concert (om, I know lifetime dream come true!) I did Mardi Gras in Shreveport. It makes my head spin to think about it all. So I thought I would share a little bit about the past year with you.

This time last year we were less than 2 weeks til my sisters wedding. Life was crazy! My sisters wedding was so much fun. She had it at Lake Martin, AL which my family loved showing to all of my brother-in-laws family from Reno, NV. The weekend was one of the best I have ever had. I have so much to live up to when I have a wedding of my own. I have rarely been so happy. I loved seeing my sister so happy, and was so excited to have Tyler join our family.

Shortly after recovering from that. I was packing my bags to take my first travel assignment. I was so nervous. I felt like I was really leaving home for the first time. I was going to Reno, NV, and my sister and brother-in-law were going to let me live with them. While on my assignment in Reno I got to do many things. I went and spent the day at Lake Tahoe, went to San Fransisco for my cousin Jonothan's wedding, went to Virginia City, NV (old gold mining town) and went to Napa with my sister. I loved being able to spend so much time with my sister. We never spend much time together just the two of us, so that was truely a blessing.

(Mom and I in San Fransisco for Jonothan and Jenn's wedding)

(Napa Valley)

(Beth and Tyler's Dogs, Bama and Daisey didn't want there aunt to leave Reno)

When I left Reno I came back to Birmingham. I spent the money I had made for my mother and I to go on a fabulous vacation to St. Thomas. We had never been before, but it is so beautiful. It was wonderful to do a mother/daughter vacation. I don't think I have ever seen my mother so relaxed in her entire life.

(our last day in St. Thomas)

When I got home I packed up again to move to Shreveport. I lived there for 4 months, and made some good friends. My greatest adventure while I was in Shreveport was going to Dallas with my friend Rebecca to see a Montreal Canadiens game. Long story short (I will tell you the long story if you want, and trust me I will tell anyone who has ears) we wound up eating dinner in the same restaurant as the team, and next thing I know I am riding in a limo to a club with the Montreal Canadiens! Craziest night of my life! Shortly after that it was time to leave Shreveport!

(at the hockey game, the Habs Won!!)

I went home for a month or so, and then took off again to Jefferson, IA. Looking back over the past year is amazing. I have gotten to do so much, and even though I have spent a lot of time away from my family and friends, I have also spent so much quality time with all of them. I am so blessed to have them in my life, and to get the opportunity to do so many memorable things with them.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I just don't get it?

rAs you know I'm as southern as grits. So living anywhere outside to the deep south is a learning experience for me. So far living in Iowa has shown me many things, but one thing that seems to keep reappearing is rhubarb. I was sitting in my little room one day when my phone rang. It was the sweet little lady that owns the Limburg house. (See earlier post) She proceeds to ask me if I like rhubarb pie? Of course I had never had rhubarb in any form, but I was embarrassed to say so. I responded "oh, yes, I loooove it!" She said "well, I just pulled a pie from the oven, and I will bring you a slice up." I ate it,and it was delicious. Kind of sweet and sour at the same time. Yummy! Well I called my mom and told her about it, and she responded "oh, what does it taste like?" Okay, so maybe I wasn't just weird for never having had rhubarb pie.

Well then over the next few weeks I noticed rhubarb was every where. The cafeteria at work had it, a girl brought some in her mom had made, and people were talking about eating it. I was so confused. I proceeded to tell some of the girls at work, that I didn't think we grew it in the south, because I had never had it before I moved here. The looked at me like I was absolutely crazy!! Then I talked to a girl who has lived in Iowa most of her life, but spent a few years living in Nashville. (She is the only person here who understands how wonderful it is to live in the south) She explained to me that rhubarb does not grow well in the south. She said "I think it is that clay ya'll call soil." She had attempted to grow it when she first move to Tennessee and she was unsuccesfull.

Will someone explain something to me? Why don't people in the south make rhubarb pies? Surely you could get rhubarb in the grocery store? Well I don't know about that, because I have never looked for it. I do know that you can get lots of things that are not indigenous to Alabama at the Piggly Wiggly. For example we are famous in the south for our Nana pudding, and I know that we do not grow Bananas in Alabama. Someone look at the grocery store in Alabama, and tell if you can find rhubarb there? Also let me know if I am crazy, have any of you southerners out there ever made, or eaten rhubarb pie?

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Bridges of Madison County

You will never believe what I did today, OK I guess the title gives it away. I just found out the other day that Madison county is in Iowa, right outside of Des Moines. I figured this would be a good day trip, to give me something to do. I love to read, as any of you who know me know, and though it has been many years "The Bridges of Madison County" was a book that I adored. Unfortunately I have quickly discovered that Iowa is not nearly as romantic as the book made it seem. When I got up this morning I saw that it was a beautiful sunny day and the temperature was supposed to be in the 70's so I figured it would be the perfect day to go. I did a small amount of research and took off. I drove about an hour to Winterset, IA. Which is the county seat. I went to the chamber of commerce and got a map and took off. There are 6 of the original 20 bridges that remain. They are located all over the county. Some of them are down long dirt roads and some of them are right outside little towns. They were all very pretty. Many of them had been moved multiple times, and all of them had been restored. I also learned a little bit (which I guess is always good) so I will pass on one tidbit I learned. The bridges were covered because the timber they used on the floor was very expensive, so they wanted to protect it from the elements. Apparently the cost of the roof was less expensive than having to replace to flooring. Interesting, huh? I was waiting to meet some cute photographer on my journey, but no luck.
The second thing I did on my journey will interest you guys more than the girls. The Bridges of Madison County is kind of a chick thing so I figured I would do something a little more masculine. In my research for my little day trip I came across the fact that John Wayne was born in Winterset, IA. So of course, because I couldn't pass up the chance, I went to visit John Wayne's birthplace. He was born in 1907. So of course you get there and go in this little gift shop. And there are about 10 little old ladies there, giving tours to about 10 little old men. So cute, so I thought I would go along for the tour. They take you into the house, and tell you can't take pictures inside (I'm really not sure why). They then proceed to show you 3 little tiny rooms crammed full of John Wayne memorabilia. Very exciting! Then they have one room that has furniture that they "think" "might" have been like the furniture he would have had in the home when he was born. I'm telling you people it was fascinating! (catch the sarcasm, if you haven't already) Well needless to say I am now crammed full of useless John Wayne facts, so now I will share them with you! John Wayne was a 13 lb baby. Which is really no surprise given the size man he became. Though it makes you wonder how is mother survived childbirth in 1907 at home. I tell you how, because a female physician came to his house to help deliver him. My most hilarious fact of the day is that John Wayne's birth name was MARION! hahahaha. I just love that a man as rough and tumble as John Wayne was named Marion. I guess it's just proof that a child can survive any emotional trauma you throw at them. Oh yeah, Not far from one of the bridges was a little stone school house that was built in 1874. It is so cute. It has been restored along with the the outhouse, and little water pump.
Overall it was a really fun day. I think it is great that I am able to do things that I NEVER would have done in a thousand years if I hadn't have come to Iowa. It's not like I was so fascinated by the bridges that I would have made a special trip to the middle of Iowa for it, but I am really glad I got to see them.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Limburg House

One of the perks of being a travel nurse is that your agency finds and pays for housing for your assignment. Majority of the time that means a lovely furnished apartment. When your assignment is 8 weeks or less the company usually won't spring for an apartment. They book you an extended stay hotel. Well in Jefferson, IA there aren't many options of places to stay. I could have stayed at the Super 8, or I could stay at a Bed and Breakfast called the Limburg House.

As I am sure you can guess I decided on the Limburg House. It is a lovely bed and breakfast immediately down the street from the hospital. It used to be owned by a Dr. Limburg, and he ran is practice out of the house. Displayed throughout the house is some of his old timey doctors instruments. Of course this is much better than staying at the Super 8, and much more homey! It has a great wrap around front porch with a great swing and places to lounge. My room is on the 3rd floor. It is roomy and spacious, though I keep hitting my head on the roof. (It is an attic room, and has slanting ceilings in some parts)

As you would expect from an older house that is turned into a bed and breakfast, parts of it kind of creep me out. Some of the decor throughout the house is very old fashion. Including a antique doll that is on the couch in the living room. I don't know about you, but antique dolls have always freaked me out. The most entertaining thing in the house is in my room, and can be incredibly creepy. It is an antique wedding dress on a dressing dummy. So basically it looks like a headless bride in the corner of my room. You can easily turn around and think you have a woman standing in the corner. Freaky I know. Fortunately now that I have been here for 3 weeks, I have really gotten used to the headless Bride. My Mom has found it funny to ask me how the bride is doing, when we talk on the phone. We decided the other day that we needed to give her a name. Any suggestions????I also wondered if there are any ghosts stories that go along with the house. I have yet to ask the owner this question, but I did mention it to someone I work with. She told me that her grandmothers sister (I think), used to work for Dr. Limburg as his nurse. Apparently there was something going on between the physician and his nurse (surprise surprise, right? some things never change). Then the nurse, who was in her 20's, died mysteriously in the house. Rumor had it, she may have been pushed down the stairs. Well just so you know I haven't yet woken to a woman standing over my bed, except for the bride in the corner. Stayed tuned for more stories from Jefferson, IA.

Friday, May 08, 2009

New at this!!!

I am very new at this! I have never been a writer, or even been good at keeping a journal, so it should be interesting to see how I do at this. I have been a blog stalker follower for awhile now so I figured I would try to do it for myself. I guess I will start by telling about myself. I am nervous that I will not be witty enough to keep people interested, but I will certainly make a stab at it.
Well as the title of my blog tells you I am a travel nurse. I have been doing it for about 10 months now and it has been very interesting to say the least. I am a true southern girl at heart. I was born and raised in Birmingham, AL. I haven't strayed very far from home until I started doing this. When people ask me why I am doing this my answer is usually "because I can". I am single, and don't have anything tying me down. So I thought I need to see the world while I can. It is nice to be able to pick up and try out a new city without permanently relocating. I am learning more and more about what I want, and don't want, out of life. That is why I chose to do this.
Right now I am in the busy metropolis of Jefferson, IA. When people talk about the heart of America this is it. This town boasts one red light, a DQ, and a giant 25 bed hospital. It is the ultimate in small farming towns. I am used to working in a hospital that is 935 beds, so this has been an adjustment to say the least. I have many stories, but I will have to save them for future blogs.
Around here, all i get is people making fun of my southern accent. Most people say "LeeeAinn" (as if thats the way I pronounce it) thats sooooo cute! As anyone who knows me knows my southern accent is not that pronounced. The people around here talk like they are in the movie "Fargo". Do I say something to them? Nooooo! I guess my southern kindness just runs too deep. Keep reading, more to come from Jefferson, IA.