The End of Portland!

Well, my time in Portland is almost up! I just worked 11a-11p tonight (I got off a little early) and tomorrow night, I work my last shift up here! I’m doing 7p-7a, which will be my first night shift ever, aside from when I was in Iraq!

I wish I could make an “overall” statement about Portland! I guess I would say that this assignment has overall been a pretty good one! I really loved my job here! I can’t stress that enough. I would come back to work at this hospital full time in a heartbeat. The doctors and the staff were fun! The ER is actually pretty well organized and similar to how we did things in Georgia. I felt like things were safe and effective, and honestly, I loved the slower pace! I could keep doing ER if I had a pace like that all the time! We had a max of three rooms no matter what the assignment is, which was the best thing ever! Great job. Great ER. Great people.

I only wish the weather had been better in my time here and that Jess could have come to this assignment with me! I think I would have enjoyed it so much more if either one of those had happened, but I’m still really glad that I came out here. I definitely feel like I’m growing as a nurse and even though I may not be getting all the critical care experience that I was getting in Georgia (and therefore feel a bit behind when I head back to such a busy trauma center), but I know that I’m becoming much more well rounded. I still find the differences to be so interesting, in management, patients, and just nursing stuff like the medications used.

I also have been getting so much better at IV sticks lately! Maybe better isn’t even the right word- but more confident. In general, ER nurses have to be pretty good at them. I put in anywhere from 2-10 on an average day. But I’ve had a lot of people ask me here to get a hard stick for them and go in and get it without any real problems on my first try. We had a respiratory patient the other day that I was told how hard they were to get a line and went and popped in two IVs without any difficulty, although I could see why he would have been a harder stick. I went and stuck one in this guy’s hand, and then it was pulled out in CT and the guy ended up with a central line cause nobody else could get one in (I wish I could have gone back to try again, but I was tied up). Perhaps I should just be thankful now, where the hard sticks actually still have veins, as opposed to when I get back to dialysis land in Georgia where their veins really are shit. But I used to always think, “Well, if you can’t get an IV, then I definitely can’t!” Now I know that I might actually be able to get it (and almost always do) when somebody else can’t!

I think that this assignment has made mine and Jon’s marriage much stronger. I feel like the first one tore us down a bit. I felt distanced from him and although I was still excited to be with him, I felt much more independent of him. I had a really hard time adjusting to being with him when I was back in town. I may still have some little hiccups in adjusting to being at home, but I really have grown so much more appreciative of Jon and so much more excited to spend time with him. I still wouldn’t quit traveling for good to stay at home with him (yet), but I’m excited to maybe spend a little more than 1-2 weeks with him in the next few months! It’ll be good to be by his side a little more often! We argued maybe a handful of times, and those arguments were extremely minor. When I was in Massachusetts, we had much more frequent arguments! Not even sure why, but we did! Over just about anything! I just miss him too much to not enjoy our time talking!

So that’s the end of assignment #2! Jon will be here in less than 48 hours (AHHHH!) and after 1 1/2 days in Portland, we’ll be headed down south through California for our trip home! Can’t wait! I’ll keep you guys updated with some beautiful coastlines over the next week or so!

Pittock Mansion & Portland

After tossing and turning for hours last night, I got out of bed at 11:45 so that I could spend my very last free day in Portland doing something better than laying around! I headed out the door to see the Pittock Mansion, which I’ve heard has good views of the city and was all decorated for Christmas! The mansion was built in 1914 by a couple who basically helped develop Portland as a city!

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The mansion was beautiful on the outside but no Christmas decorations! I was really expecting some Christmas lights on the outside or something! It was pretty neat though because all the snow was blowing off the trees, so it felt like it was snowing outside!

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You all know I love me some Mt Hood! Not only that, but I could see Mt St Helen’s and Mt Adam’s as well! My phone wouldn’t have captured them and I haven’t uploaded the photos yet from my camera, but this was the good one! Apparently Mt Rainier is visible on clear days as well!

The mansion was only $10, but I was really disappointed in it! The actual mansion itself was really neat, but the Christmas decorations were so gaudy! I wish I had taken one on my phone! In on of the bathrooms, they stuck two gigantic gingerbread houses that literally took up the entire bathroom so you weren’t able to see any of the original features. Strange. But I still enjoyed the afternoon! It was definitely much quicker than I had planned!

I headed into Portland to see the Ira Keller Fountain but all the water was drained for the winter! I was so bummed! I probably should have snapped a few photos of it empty, but it just looked like a bunch of cement blocks! I did buy a new scarf from H&M and get to walk around the cute streets of Portland again though!

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I ran by work to grab my daily planner (I was lost without it and so worried I’d mess up my work days) and then headed to Whole Foods for some groceries. I threw together some stuff to take to work and then headed out to the gym! I ended up doing a mile run (I made it to 6.2 with no pain!) and then walked 3/4 of a mile at an incline. I get so much more tired doing that than running right now (since I’m still watching my pace till my hip is 100%) and I’m kind of liking the different challenge. I had planned on doing some legs, but a bunch of bros were taking up my leg area so I just did a few leg presses and a few planks and moved on with my night!

Not that I’m a foodie blogger, I figured I’d snap a quick picture of my dinner tonight (that I ate at 10:30pm)! I found some pretty good peppered deli turkey at Whole Foods and got some salami for my protein. I really would have liked some cheese on that spaghetti squash and on my meats, but I thought I had a lot left so I didn’t buy any when I went grocery shopping. Come to find out, I barely even have enough for my hash browns these next few mornings! Ah well. And I had more grapes but dropped them on the floor, and since the floor here is lived on by a 2 year old, I decided to just let those ones go.

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I’m going to chill for a bit and I’m really hoping to get to sleep around 1am! I’ve been relying on Benadryl for sleep a lot more lately and I really want to try to go without it, but I just don’t do well swapping back and forth so much with the hours that I sleep! I notice that I’ve been tossing and turning a whole lot more lately than I ever used to!

Tomorrow marks one week until Jon gets here and 9 days till I leave Portland!

Yummy Recipes, Cannon Beach, Oswald West State Park, and Bye Bye IG and FB!

I’m now 3 full days back to healthier eating and I already feel so much better! I’ve actually ended up cutting coffee out for these three days as well but I don’t plan on that going on much longer! I’m already feeling an urge to get all the Dutch Bros and Peet’s in that I can before I leave Portland in less than 2 weeks!

It helps that I made the best dish ever though…

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I know the picture sucks because it was night time and it’s super dark in the house, but for real- so good. I bought a bag of frozen, cubed sweet potatoes and one of butternut squash and stuck them in the oven at 400 while I cubed 2 apples. I also had walnuts cooking on the stove in maple syrup and cinnamon on medium heat. Once the walnuts seemed like they were all glazed and yummy, I added everything to the dish and threw on some nutmeg and cinnamon to all the rest of the stuff and put it back in the oven till everything was somewhat soft. I’m pretty sure this is one of the best things I’ve ever made. And thanks to the freezer section, it was also really simple.

Pretty sure that has helped me stay sane on this no bread/sugar kick (I’m not counting maple syrup) because it’s just so delicious.

Yesterday I headed out to the coast to Oswald West State Park! It was a little snowy going through the north end of the Tillamook National Forest and the snow makes me so nervous! I did get an awesome view of Mt St Helen’s though! It’s kind of cool cause while I was getting a photo, a woman asked if it was Mt Hood or Mt St Helen’s. You really do get to know what they look like though! Mt Hood is much pointier and the summit leans to the north. Mt St Helen’s is a lot more flat!

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You can see some of the snow that was on the trees right in the front. Mt St Helen’s is gorgeous too, but just doesn’t have the same appeal as Mt Hood for me! I’m still dying to see Mt Rainier though! I bet it’s magnificent (I can’t believe I used that word, but that’s what I picture!)

The drive put me out just north of Cannon Beach, so I decided to make a quick pit stop! The rocks were just massive coming out of the water! I stayed away from them for the most part since it just looked really crowded up close, but it was still beautiful! The town of Cannon Beach was adorable too! I wish I had decided to spend the night there!

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I kept heading down to Oswald West but over the side of the road saw a little area that looked really awesome! The next few photos are from Hug Point!

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I almost went back to my car but decided to walk up the beach a little! So glad I did, cause I found this waterfall!

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Hug Point

I finally made it down to Oswald West and started out on the Cape Falcon hike! It seemed easy and the elevation gain was under 200 ft, but it was 5 miles round trip! I decided I didn’t want to get sucked into a 5 mile hike since I was already seeing such amazing places and my daylight was getting limited, so I walked back to the car and drove on. I came to this very short hike next, which led me to some breathtaking views! Reminded me of Australia!

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Oswald West State Park

I just sat out there and enjoyed the view for awhile. It was just absolutely amazing to see the ocean from up so high and all the rocks and whirlpools! I love the PNW! I love being near the water and love being near the mountains and I tell Jon all the time that we need to live near one or the other in the future, but you win living up here! (Except for the m’f’ing RAIN!) After my mini hike, I drove further down the coast and saw another beautiful view!

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After getting back in the car and making one more quick stop in the town of Manzanita (also cute, but not as cute as Cannon Beach), I decided to head home! I was getting nervous about the roads icing over at night even though it hadn’t rained at all, but the roads were still wet in the mountains because of the shade. Instead of heading back north to where I came from, I headed way south in hopes of roads with no snow! Good call- I made it, despite an added hour of driving time! And I got to enjoy some new views as well!

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Today I headed to the Japanese Garden in Portland. I’m sure it’s beautiful in the summer, but all the leaves were gone and it was a bit of a disappointment! The Lan Su Chinese Garden wins for my Portland gardens!

I managed to get a great upper body workout in tonight and 16 or 17 minutes of going backwards on the elliptical (gotta work that butt sometimes). My hip only bothers me rarely these days, but still am not pushing the lower body workouts! Although I can’t wait for some leg workouts that just fatigue my muscles again! These baby leg workouts will do for now though.

And for my last news, I decided last night to deactivate my Facebook temporarily! I also deleted Instagram off my phone. I’m sure both of them will come back sooner than later, but I’m going to try to keep off of them until Jon and I head back on our road trip at least. It feels strange not picking up my phone and browsing through there, but I find Facebook to be kind of boring anyway and it’s just a time filler. I do like posting what I do cause I know mine and Jon’s parents follow it so it’s fun for them to connect with me while I’m away, but I won’t be doing anything other than working over the next week anyway! It’s probably good to disconnect for a bit and I’m hoping to start filling my time more productively for a little while and break the habit of just getting on Facebook out of boredom. What did I do before my iPhone, anyway?!

This was definitely long enough! Have a good night, everybody!

Downsides of Travel Nursing

I remember talking to Jon last winter right after we got married and telling him that we’d see how this next winter goes with my mood. I’ve told him before that I think that the older I’ve gotten, that I have seasonal affective disorder now (instead of just being depressed all the time). Last winter was tough, and you’d think right after an engagement and a secret courthouse wedding, we’d be happy! But I struggled.

I had a fantastic summer and I’m having a rough winter! This assignment isn’t quite like Massachusetts. Mass was awesome! The weather was wonderful, it was prime hiking season so all the hikes I did alone still felt safe due to having a fair amount of people any day of the week, I was really able to explore on almost every day off, minus a few rainy days here and there, and all the parks were very easily accessible. Portland isn’t the same. The sunny days are a rarity. I find the rain forest to be a bit scary to hike in alone, especially since it’s the off season and nobody is out hiking during the week. The state parks have all kinds of crazy rules about parking around here, and since I live on the Oregon/Washington border, I need separate types of passes in both states.

Despite all of that, I know I’m still unbelievably lucky to be traveling. I got to see so many things on the drive out here and Jon and I are about to drive down the California coast and back to Georgia together! I love the job I have out here. I am glad to be living with a friend from college! I still see some beautiful sights out here and still get to explore, even if not as often as I’d like!

But I’m just feeling kind of flat lately. I wouldn’t say depressed necessarily. I still feel more positive than negative overall, but I guess that “positive” is really just more like “even.” Not depressed. Not really happy, just not depressed. I miss Jon like crazy and am dying to see him right about now! I feel lonely. I’m tired of traveling for right now. (Side note: I know that this is a temporary feeling and I am not giving up on travel nursing.) I am so ready to be at home with Jon, cuddled up on our couch with him and the kitties, going to my own gym, making dinner for both of us, and hanging out with my friends. I miss Atlanta. I miss knowing where the hell I’m going and where I can park! I miss my life at home.

I was supposed to go to Vashon Island to see my sister today. I spent the day exploring Seattle since her flight didn’t land till way later in the evening, and then decided to get to the ferry terminal early since I read there was no parking lot at the ferry terminal (seriously, wtf). I couldn’t find anywhere that would let me park overnight! I mean, I did, but 2 miles away. I didn’t want to pay to take my car over to the island because I had no reason to pay for it. I just wanted to park my car and not have to walk back 2 miles tomorrow, up and down hills, through the constant drizzle! My sister told me that she landed (from Texas) and by that point, I was so frustrated with the whole thing! I was going to go stay with her and her fiancé’s family, but I was just getting so bummed out and I didn’t feel like dealing with parking or taking a ferry or walking back to my car tomorrow!

Finally, I just asked if she’d be upset if I went back to Portland (this was at 9:45pm). She said she really wanted to see me but understood. I feel so bad for letting my mood get in the way of seeing my family, especially since I only see her once a year usually, but I’m just over this! I’m tired of traveling, tired of being without my husband, tired of not having my cats, tired of looking for parking, tired of always paying to park, tired of exploring alone, tired of not having friends to hang out with… And I’m not somebody who wants to hang out with people when I feel down. Actually, I would have been fine with seeing my sister and wish I could have, but I didn’t want to deal with family members I hadn’t met before and the pain in the ass ferry.

So I called Jon and I cried. Thank god for my husband that answers my phone calls no matter what time I call him (I am not such a good wife- I get really annoyed when he calls me when I’m sleeping but I can’t help that I’m a grumpy sleeper!). I cried for a good 30 minutes about how much I miss him. I can’t wait for the next 14 days to fly by. I miss him so incredibly much. Then I had to get gas and looked at my reflection in the window (in the dark) and thought I didn’t look too bad! So I walked inside and made lots of eye contact with the guy working there while I tried to figure out if the door marked “Employees Only” was the bathroom (it was), only to find out I was looking like a hot mess when I saw my reflection in the bathroom mirror. Jeebus.

I’m home now (well, to my Washington home). I feel okay now. Still just ready to get home (to my Georgia home). I still would not trade travel for anything and am still so glad that I’m doing it. I’m not the type of person that needs to have her husband around all the time (clearly, I’ve left him at home for the last 6 months) at all… I think with this weather and the season (ugh, dang season) and all this birth control mess (and now getting my period back- pretty much exactly on time too), I’m just needing some comfort, and there sure isn’t much comfort when you’re traveling alone! I’ve been fairly isolated from anybody close to me for about 6 months and I’m really looking forward to an end to that, at least temporarily.

(Also, I promise I’m not just posting this to complain publicly! But I post tons of awesome pictures of my life and it makes it look like travel nursing is the best thing ever- which it kind of is- but there are days that aren’t so awesome too and since other travelers can read this, I’m just keeping it real!)

Mt Hood: Mirror Lake and Trillium Lake in November

I finally made it to Mt Hood yesterday! I’ve been some awesome places, but nothing amazes me like volcanoes! I just want to see all of them! I ended up checking online to view the roads on the webcams that are set up at the national parks up here and the roads were looking free of snow, so I headed on out!

I didn’t do anything particularly crazy or exciting, but I made my first stop at Trillium Lake! I actually went to the DMV for a Sno Park Pass (I wasn’t about to get another ticket after my last $100 lesson) thinking that I’d need it to park while at the park. I didn’t need it once. I suppose because it wasn’t snowing, they allowed parking all over the place. At least that’s what it looked like!

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It was beautiful there! I definitely would have loved some calm waters to make for an amazing reflection, but it was far too winy! As a matter of fact, it was a bit miserably cold! The wind was painful on any bare skin that I had!

After my stop at Trillium Lake (which I was able to park right at), I decided to head to see the Timberline Lodge from The Shining. Everybody says you have to! I find a lot of these roads a bit eerie in the winter since so few cars pass by and I’m already terrified of getting stuck in the middle of horrendous weather and not being able to get my car off a mountain! The clear skies eased my mind, but still!

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You get up close and personal with Mt Hood from the Timberline Lodge! It was definitely much closer to the summit than I was expecting!

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I wasn’t able to walk out to see many views, just cause the parking lot was so incredibly icy and I wasn’t about to bust my butt out there! I already have a hurt hip- can’t be doing that! I should have gone into the lodge, but I was anxious to start my Mirror Lake hike!

I headed back down to Mirror Lake and got a nice parking spot! I can see how parking would be difficult in the nicer months! The “parking lot” was right off the highway and allowed for about 10 cars total. I actually read that the parking would close on Nov 1 so was really worried about that, but it ended up being almost full at the parking area.

I headed out on a total of a 3.9 mile hike (I think)! It was all uphill to start so I was definitely working up a sweat in all my layers! Never wear a down vest hiking! Lesson learned!

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I was absolutely freezing by the end of my stop at Mirror Lake! I cooled off from that hike in no time and then my hands and face became unbearably cold! I was the only one at the lake and got a little scared when I realized I had no idea which trail I took into the lake! I started on the Tom, Dick, and Harry Trail (I really want to do this hike- but it’s 7 miles and I definitely didn’t have the time or stamina in that weather!) and realized it pretty quickly and made my way back to the right trail!

I was starving by then, so headed to a place in Portland to eat (Blossoming Lotus)! I got bibimap and it was totally weird. I was not a fan! I don’t get why vegetarian places need to put soy in every dish! Do people still think soy is good for you?! Weird. And it didn’t taste good. It’s hard to believe I was a vegetarian for 14 years and actually liked that type of food.

I skipped the gym again last night due to hip irritation still. I feel like it’s not improving anymore now and that it actually seems to be getting worse! I think the insurance dilemma will be worked out sooner than later though, so I’m hoping maybe an MRI is in my near future. But I’m at the 5 week point now, so if it’s a sprain of some sort, then it’s still well within the healing range. And if I really did some damage, a few months is normal. Still not sure what good an MRI will really do unless it was surgical, which I’m doubting. So, maybe I don’t even care about an MRI. I don’t know. I’m clearly back and forth with it.

I’m now snowed into work! About to go to sleep in my Hotel Ortho. I hurried out the door early today when snow started accumulating in Washington! It was quick to cover the roads (it went from 0 to this in about 30 minutes) and it was slick getting out! I’ve never actually driven in much snow (aside from Crater Lake) so I was really hesitant to get on the road!

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Since I’m back to work tomorrow anyway and my roommate said Washington roads are still pretty bad, I’m camping out on the ortho floor at the hospital! I’m one of two, since Portland really isn’t too bad and most people working here live in Oregon!

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Time for me to go sleep tight before another day of work tomorrow! I’m hoping to wake up in time to finally go get brunch from a Portland breakfast place since I’m downtown!

Beacon Rock State Park, Lan Su Chinese Garden, & Stopping The Pill

Since I told you all about my $100 parking ticket, I figured I’d include my $100 photos in today’s blog! This is at Beacon Rock State Park in Washington! While the photos are pretty, this was really all there was and it was definitely not worth the $100! (Some parks, I’d be much more okay with $100 tickets- like Rocky Mountain or Arches- not this itty bitty “state park.”)

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I came home as it was starting to get dark, and Mt Hood was looking pretty spectacular! This is where I’m living out here, so on a clear day, Mt Hood is my usual view! It would seriously never get old to see her every day!

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Yesterday was definitely a tough day. I know I’m beyond fortunate to be out traveling all over the place, but I’m feeling like things have just been knocking me down lately! Thankfully, I love my job, so my job isn’t a contributing factor! I’m missing Jon like crazy on this assignment though, and so much is up in the air with him at this time, so I have no idea if he’ll be coming out here in December or not! I’m also feeling behind on bills (we have plenty in savings but I really try my hardest not to take money out of savings!) and knowing I’m about to spend much more heading home in a month than I did coming out here, and that I’ll be making WAY LESS money at home is a bit stressful! I’m glad to be going home for the holidays, but 8 weeks isn’t long enough to save up on a travel assignment! And getting that $100 ticket when I was already feeling a little down was just knocked me down some more! On top of all of that, my hip has been hurting a more over the last few days and I haven’t even been going to the gym (I also fell down the stairs tonight and irritated it even more!). I have a hard time dragging myself out of bed here since I tend not to flip flop my schedule very well either.

Finally, like I mentioned, this is my very first time in 11 years off my birth control! I’m only on my 2nd week off, so I had my usual “withdrawal” week, and now I think my body is just out of whack! I had been really emotionally stable over the last few months (aside from brief periods of time) and these days, I am feeling like a total wreck! After some googling, I’m realizing it’s pretty normal (also, a lot of women complained of headaches and feeling tired, both of which describe me at the moment also)! I’ve heard from friends who have gone off the pill that they felt great after and had no more mood swings! I’m feeling the total opposite! I’ve always been a little concerned about the effects of the use of the pill long term but never really researched it. I got my period when I was 15 and have been on the pill since I was 17, so I don’t even really know what my body is like without it! I’m hoping these moods even out! I did make it to the gym tonight and felt much better after going, but with my hip still bothering me, I’m trying not to go on a daily basis! It’ll definitely be interesting to see how things go for me.

Anyway, I slept till 1 today and then decided I needed to do something with my day! I started at Cup Coffee Co and had the best bagel ever! I try not to eat bagels because I try not to eat much bread, and that’s all a bagel is! So it’s been since NYC and I must say, it was a dang good first bagel to have!

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I think I need to go back there! I was feeling a bit happier after sitting at a coffee shop on a fairly decent day (meaning not so overcast)! I headed to the Lan Su Chinese Garden  next! It reminded me of the Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai but way smaller! (For any of you visiting Shangai, I very highly recommend the Yuyuan Garden!) It was a nice day for it and not too insanely crowded!

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I enjoyed about 45 minutes there and then headed to do some shopping! Made it to the gym tonight and wore myself out with clean and jerks (a sad 45#)! I did the elliptical backwards with a high resistance to work my glutes since my hip makes it so hard to do anything to work them! I do sumo deadlifts also, but I can’t go heavy and I can’t hit the weight on the ground because of the hip, but the elliptical felt good!

Tomorrow I’m really hoping to wake up early for a Mt Hood hike, but it’s almost midnight and I’m not tired, so we’ll see!

Drift Creek Falls and a Quick Update

This past weekend I went out to see Ben and Kaitlin at their beach house again. I got there on Sunday afternoon and we headed out to hike Drift Creek Falls! It was a really easy hike (maybe 3 miles total?) and had a beautiful waterfall at the end! I’ve done a lot of waterfall hikes and this was actually probably one of my favorite falls I’ve seen! There was a lot of water coming down that fall! And the suspension bridge going over the little gorge area was so fun! We climbed up all the rocks to get back on the trail and my butt has been so sore! I suppose that’s what happens when you can’t squat anymore!

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I left around noon on Monday to go to Pheasant Creek Falls, but after not passing any cars for miles and off roading to the trailhead, I was a bit creeped out. I’m sure it would have been completely fine, but I was worried that random forest creatures would get me! It was only a mile to the fall and it had great reviews, so I was really a bit annoyed with myself for getting too creeped out to hike it and now am convinced that I have to go back. (By the way, this is where I’m really glad my car didn’t break down!)

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Despite skipping the hike, I still saw some beautiful scenery! All the trees in the woods are covered in moss and I’m still catching the end of the colorful leaves!

We reviewed my Terrible Tuesday already! Today is shaping up to be better than yesterday! (Not hard to do.) I woke up at 9:30 and headed out to the gym for a bit. I was only there for about 40 minutes and then came home to shower and make breakfast! I’m feeling a bit sluggish (as usual) before work and would love to lay down for a nap, but I have to head out shortly. I tend to wake up once I have my coffee and actually get in the hospital. Can’t see all the dreary weather then!

That’s really about it! Just dropping in for a quick hello and to share a few pictures of the hike!

Portland Assignment!

I figured I’d do some Portland updates! I’m one week in today! Woohoo! 7 to go! As far as work goes, I’m glad to only have 7 weeks left. Don’t get me wrong- I actually like this hospital, but something about only having to get through 7 weeks of work is really nice! I miss my Mass work crew a ton. They were just so fantastic and fun and had so much energy! I feel like my work crew here is just dragging. They’re boring. Time goes slow. Not a ton of interaction between coworkers. However, it’s a totally different pace here! I think Portland is slower in general. Nobody even speeds here! But really, the pace is way slower. I have kept my rooms filled back to back but lab comes to draw labs, we have people who specifically do our EKGs, and the doctors rarely order IV meds on patients, so I end up not even putting IVs in most patients. I think I’ve put in 4 IVs all week and at home, I put in 4 in an hour sometimes. I’m sure if I had a critical patient or a really sick patient, it’d seem busy here. I don’t feel like teamwork is up to par with my home job either, but I’m finding that they’re just really helpful at that job. I’m definitely liking it though! The time drags at work because I spend 12 hours at a much slower pace that I’m used to, but really, I needed this! I hope it stays this way for the whole 7 weeks! I’m actually considering coming back here in the summer next year because it’s just that nice!

Adjusting to the evening shift has been difficult. I’m exhausted at the end of my shift and these days are actually 13 hour days, not 12 hour days. I’m used to 6:45a-7:15p (or earlier), and here I do either 2:45p-3:45a or 1:45p-2:45a. Even more draining when I’m doing 3 in a row! Today I slept until 3:30p and was so drained when I woke up. I almost didn’t even get out of bed but knew I had a time crunch at that point (I had dinner with a friend- I’ll update the social aspect another time). I was dragging and not feeling well through the grocery store and finally gained some energy when I ate at home. I have worked 3-3 shifts in the past, but not regularly, and it’s actually a bit harder than I had expected! I’m feeling a bit zombie-like. I’m sure it will get better, but I’m definitely going to need to adjust!

The time change from Georgia is also strange! Jon and I don’t talk much (we really didn’t when I was in Mass either, though). I get a 10 minute break at work (their policy is actually three 10 minute breaks and one 30 minute break, but that’s excessive!) so I typically call him during that and then talk to him while I’m at dinner sometimes. Today I caught him for about 15 minutes while I was getting ready to leave tonight and he was on the bus on his way home from an air show. I don’t feel stressed about the lack of interaction though. I’m just happy to hear his voice when I do! And besides, we only have 7 weeks to go and we should get to spend a whole month together!

I haven’t worked out at all. Still missing it a ton but know that if I even step foot into the gym, I’m going to aggravate my hip because that’s the nature of a hip injury. I’m giving myself one more week and then am going to try and go in and at least do something! The pain is still not any better than two weeks ago and actually seems more irritated lately. A lot of tenderness with palpation and it continues to wake me up frequently through the night when I move.

I also am enjoying where I live. I mean, it’s free, so you can’t beat that. I actually haven’t even seen the girl I live with (Juliette) much. Since I went out of town this week on my days off and worked the nights she was home, we haven’t seen each other since last weekend. I was hoping to go to a winery with her today but ended up sleeping through it and she was still gone when I was up. But I’m very comfortable here and have taken time to help clean the kitchen up every day (she works full time and has a 2 year old son) so that she won’t have to do their dishes when she has time to spend at night with her son! And her son is adorable and reminds me of my nephew, so I love it!

So, assignment #2 is definitely going well! I’m very happy with the hospital and the living! I just wish my hip was better so I could get in some good hiking! More updates later!

Gym Time & Portland

I had to work 7a-7p yesterday (always a bummer going into work when Jon is cuddled up in bed). Luckily, it wasn’t awful. My first 8 hours was easy and the last 4 were busy, but I can do anything for 4 hours! I met up with Laura afterwards for some Mexican and then headed home. Jon was sound asleep when I got home at 9pm, so I hung out for a bit and then spent an hour (literally) watching the cats kill a cockroach. Such little killers. I headed to bed after the excitement ended with Tom eating half of the unfortunate nasty little fellow.

Holy smokes, I slept until 11:45 today! I woke up at 9 and was feeling somewhat motivated to get up, but then noticed Tom sleeping at the end of the bed. I got up for a minute and decided laying back down sounded even better than starting my day. It was dreary (I think I forgot how rainy Georgia is- at least Portland shouldn’t seem so miserable after this weather) and a perfect sleeping morning!

I barely managed to get up at 11:45 but decided I needed to get the gym in or would risk missing it completely today. I was completely unmotivated at the gym and was starving, but I didn’t wake up in time to eat. Fail.

Strength:
Squat Clean- 3 reps @70%, 2@75%, 2@80%, 1@85%, 1@90%, 1@90% perform reps every 90 seconds (I have no idea what I did, but I ended up at 90#, which was really surprising since that’s 90% of my bodyweight and I don’t even try to lift heavy these days)

WOD: (Finished in 7:53)
21-15-9
OHS-115# (I did front squats at 65# since I don’t do OHS because of my thumb)
Toes to Bar

Midline: (I did one round of this and then left since it was 1:10 and I had things to do)
A. 60 second Front Leaning Raise (Leaning onto rings)
Rest 60 seconds
B. 60 seconds of Hollow Rocks
Rest 60 seconds
X 3

It was a good workout and I was glad I made it! Afterwards, I had to head to the grocery store in the rain and traffic was so bad! I forgot how I always seem to time my grocery shopping perfectly with the rainy days, too (although, when it rains 75% of the time, I guess that’s easy to do). I ran into Whole Foods and grabbed some stuff and made a mad dash back home. I threw together some eggs and bananas and ate some squash from the WF bar, and then headed out to my eye appointment.

My eyes are still getting worse! No need to repeat my Lasik yet since they get worse every year still. I was tempted to get another pair of glasses with my new prescription, but they were a little pricey and since I only wear my glasses for driving and TV watching, I decided against it.

I’m home now, eating some dinner (bacon, maple sweet potatoes, and apples sautéed in coconut oil and cinnamon) and then probably heading down to see Kassie, Carly (Kassie’s friend from Spain- she lives in Cali now), and Gina. It’s always fun to see Carly when she comes in town so I’m excited about it, but I won’t lie- I’m tempted to stay at home in this rainy weather and just have a movie night/paper writing party (for my missed skills day at work) with Jon. Traffic is awful in the rain and I already heard a bunch of accidents on the radio report, so not looking forward to heading into the city. And I’m just sleepy and lazy after spending too much time in bed last night.

Oh, and last bit of news! Portland is a go! The hospital said they really wanted me and switched me back to evenings. I’m glad this is working out since it really would have messed up my plans had it not (with mine and Jon’s Cali trip and with the next assignment with Jessica), but I’m getting really sad to leave Jon on Monday. I hate that I have to leave him and it feels so good to be home for these two weeks. Part of me just wants to call it a day and end the traveling,  but I know I’m not ready yet. I need to save more money for grad school still and I’m not ready to be back at my job here for good yet. Still need more of a break! Once I get out there, I’ll be happy! But right now, leaving Jon is looming overhead!

Portland No More? Fall Day!

Just a quick update! I’ll go into more detail later most likely, but this morning my recruiter called me. She said the hospital in Oregon sent her my schedule and that it was for night shift! …?! She was in Vegas at the traveler’s conference so I guess was just catching up on work today and saw it and knew that I had accepted the evening position, not the night position. As a matter of fact, I expressed during the “interview” that I would only work the evening shifts so that definitely should not have happened. I basically said I wouldn’t go there if I had to work nights. It’s not what I accepted and I’m not working for a place doing something that I absolutely did not agree to. She’s going back to them on Monday and telling them that I won’t work there if they don’t switch me back to evenings, so I have no idea what will happen. This means that I may be out of a job in Portland now and have to look for a new one, which is a total bummer because I was really excited about being able to take a Christmas trip with Jon and to make it home over the holidays with the rest of the high school crew. I’m just going to go with the flow though. I know these things can happen while traveling and it’s exactly why I still have a job at home. We’re short staff all the time so I should still be able to get any hours that I need on short notice until I lock in an assignment. 8 week assignments aren’t nearly as common as 13 week assignments though, so I’m thinking the California trip is out.

In other positive news, I managed to make it to the gym yesterday after an 8 hour workday! Totally surprised I made it, especially since I was exhausted on my drive home and even laid down to take a nap when I got home!  The workout was as follows:

Strength:
Power Snatch-3 reps @80% of 1RM every 90 seconds x 8 cycles (I don’t do anything with a wide overhead grip, so I did clean and jerks at 65#, which ended up being fairly light)

WOD:
3 Rounds For Time: (I finished in 5:35)
2 Rope Climbs
15 Double KB/DB Swings-2x 35#/20# (I used 15#)
15m KB Front Rack Lunge- 2x 35#/20# (15#)

It was a good workout and I definitely am glad to be back doing some CrossFit again, even though I was loving my gym time in Mass too. I’ve been really sore since I’m back to doing a lot more varied movements and I’m able to actually do some oly lifts without worrying about dropping my weights.

After the gym, I rushed home to shower and get ready. My roommate Marianne and I headed downtown to meet up with Lizzie and Gina for dinner at Bone Garden Cantina! It was a good time but we sat inside and it was so loud! I may be showing my age here, but I just want to eat in nice, quiet places so I can actually hear what people are saying to me! Aside from that, my burrito was so spicy and there was no indication on the menu that my bean burrito would be spicy!

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Me, Lizzie, Gina, Marianne

After dinner, Gina left to go meet up with her boyfriend and Lizzie and Marianne and I went to a bar down the road, where Laura met up with us. We enjoyed a drink and then we were all tired and decided to head home. Lizzie and I laughed about how this time, we were both so tired and the last time we hung out (two years ago), I got so drink that I slept naked in Gina’s bed and threw up sushi in her sink. Not my best days. We’ve grown up so much (don’t worry- that was not normal for me 2 years ago, either!).

Today I went hiking with Jon, Crista, and Billy in north Georgia. We went for a 3 hour hike out at the start of the Appalachian Trail. It would have been nice to make it out to Springer Mountain, but it was later when we arrived and we were all wanting to go apple picking still! I’m not sure how far we went! Maybe 7-8 miles? It wasn’t strenuous by any means where we were, but it was definitely an uphill battle most of the way! Good hike for sure.

After that, we headed out to go apple picking! As soon as we arrived, I got my first bee sting ever! Right on my forearm! It swelled up like crazy and was so painful. Most of the swelling has gone down but it is still really painful. Anyway, we had an awesome apple fritter and ended up grabbing some apples from the orchards. It was a lot of fun and definitely good to hang out with Crista and Billy! And of course, a day with Jon is always enjoyable!

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We stopped by the Nike outlet and spent money that I definitely shouldn’t have! I didn’t buy any workout clothes for almost a year while my thumb was injured, and then I wasn’t really getting into the gym as much so I bought only my running pants and running shirts, so it’s been awhile since I’ve gotten anything else. I loved one of the hoodies I bought from Nike. Good hiking hoodie for cold weather!

Now Jon and I are home and I’m about to get ready for bed since I work tomorrow. I hate working on weekends when Jon is home (at least while I’m traveling). I’m considering picking up a few hours at work this week since I’d go into overtime and I’m wondering how long I’ll be home for now! Might as well get some hours in! I’ll have to see what’s available tomorrow when I get there! I want to enjoy my stay though and not work too much! Just have to find that balance!