Friday, November 21, 2014

Swamp Visit

Having people come visit us out here is the best. Mostly because I miss seeing family but also because it gives Scott and I the excuse to go do things we haven't tried before! Tamara and Shannon came and stayed with us last weekend and Tamara really wanted to hold a gator so we found a swamp tour to try out.

It was gorgeous out there. Not a normal Utah fall mountains gorgeous but a Louisiana swamp gorgeous that can only really be appreciated in person. The only downside was the fact that we were doing a tour in November which meant that there were no really big gators out and about. When it gets cold they basically hibernate.

Gator on a log! He's trying to warm up, it was a chilly day.


The water was perfectly still and this tree had the most amazing Spanish moss.

We did see quite a number of birds on our little swamp tour. Isn't this guy so picturesque?

Behold, the gator! She was a little baby one.

This is the only picture of all four of us from the entire trip. How pathetic is that?

Our tour guide was this awesome guy who knew everything and anything about the swamp. He actually lives in a swampy area called Lafitte that is south of New Orleans and he is Cajun. It was so interesting hearing about his life and how he was brought up speaking French and living in the swamp. 

I'm definitely planning on going on another swamp tour in the spring when the weather warms back up and the big gators are out! Friends are always welcome too. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


I thought finding a job was going to be really easy for me out here. In my mind I was going to immediately get a job at the sports medicine and orthopedic clinic that's literally three minutes up the road from where we live. It was going to be great. It turns out that my job field is very limited up here, not a lot of jobs, and many of the places want an x-ray tech who is also certified in CT and has worked at least three years. I had only worked a year and a half with my license before we moved. And in order for me to do CT I would have to go back to school and probably commute an hour to go to a teaching hospital.

I'm done with school. I payed off all of my school loans over a year ago. I don't like CT. 
I never heard back from any other job I applied to. I even applied to random stores like Barnes and Noble and Hobby Lobby but I'm over qualified. 

I took the job hunt pretty hard. I felt like I was suddenly a worthless tech who no one wanted. They didn't know me but they knew enough apparently to not want me. 

I finally decided to just start doing some volunteer work at a hospital to help keep me busy and maybe get a foot in the door. 

Best idea ever.

I chose to help out on a couple of the patient floors answering the phone, patient call lights, helping out where I can and also working on the comfort cart. Oh yeah. I take this cart around to every single patient and pass out coffee, tea, juices or water. It's actually really fun and people here in the south are the best. "No thank you sugar." "Thanks so much sweety!" "Oh thank you baby." They really do call everyone and anyone things like that. 

I was also introduced to the radiology manager on my first day who told me to bring her my resume and she would look into things for me. There's a hiring freeze right now though at that hospital which is a bummer but she totally gave me a hug when I gave her my resume. That's how friendly people are here!

Now I should have realized this but for some reason it didn't cross my mind, but all of the volunteers are at least 70 years old. And then there's me, little young looking me who they all think is 18. The old volunteer men like to make the joke that I brought down the average age of the group to 50 now. I've had a couple doctors even do double takes at me, they have a confused look, "Wait, why isn't your hair grey?! Why are you volunteering? You're not 80!" They're normally really impressed actually when I tell them I'm keeping myself busy with volunteering until I can find a job. Just the other day I had a surgeon sitting by me and we went through the routine about why I was volunteering and how I'm a certified rad tech when suddenly he pulls out his prescription pad and writes me a "letter" of recommendation to take to another hospital! It blew me away! He also told me he was going to talk to the radiology manager again for me.  I'm grateful for kind people like that in this world. 

I took his prescription to the other hospital and talked to the HR department. They only have an opening for an MRI job so no luck there. But I'll keep looking. The HR girl was completely confused about the prescription letter of recommendation. haha It was so great. I doubt she's ever seen anything like that! 

I don't know when or if a job will come out of all this, but I'm enjoying my time volunteering. It's good to socialize with all these people of different backgrounds. I love the southern black women, all of their "mmhmmm!" It's just fun to make some friends. My favorite is an old lady named Margaret who is a volunteer and trained me on the comfort cart. She's a retired nurse from England. Her mother was a nurse as well and a midwife! (If you've seen the tv show Call the Midwife, then you know that I was dying to find out that her mother was one of those women!) She's a hoot and her England accent is the best thing to find in the deep south. I love it.

Anyways, I'm glad things are happening the way they are. I know it wasn't how I wanted but guess what? Heavenly Father knows way more then I do! So I'll just keep going along with his plan.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Oklahoma Camping

Yes we did drive seven hours through three different states to go tent camping this past weekend.
Scott got wind of a great river to fly fish in and he had to go. I think it's a safe bet to say that it's the closest place to go fly fishing around here. But it worked out perfectly.
Scott's friend from BYU who was also in the masters program with him lives in Oklahoma City now with his wife and little girl so they drove four hours and met us there for a couples camping/fishing trip. We were in an oak forest and it was so beautiful. I absolutely loved it. It was great feeling like you were up in higher elevation and stepping on solid ground with running rivers that aren't brown and stagnant and have potential gators in them.

We had quite the number of critters that visited us. First was a woodpecker. I have actually never seen a woodpecker in real life. Watching him made my face and neck hurt. He was going to town on that tree though and it made me think of the movie Fox and the Hound.

This little frog decided the handle of our cooler was a comfy little spot.

There was a stray cat that would come hang out with us in the evenings. It looked young, not even a year old and was really friendly. It was a pretty kitty and hung out on my lap in front of the fire. Scott wouldn't let me take it home. :( 

There was also a fatty raccoon that would come to our table every night as well looking for food. He got rocks thrown at him and then our food promptly got put away in the cars.

I don't know how to fly fish so I just hiked along the trail next to the river while Scott was out being a fisherman.

 Best catch from day one.

Day two I stayed back at camp with Kara and her little girl and we explored there while the husbands went to tackle the river again. It was a frustrating day for them with either no fish or little baby ones.
But then this happened... bam! Best catch of day two!
He's very proud of this beauty. It was almost 20" long.

Don't ask me what it is about mushrooms but I just think they are so interesting. (Hence the mushroom photos...).

We had a great time. It was definitely on the chilly side and I was always wearing at least a couple jackets but we managed just fine. I would never go camping this late in Utah though. Cold!
It was fun seeing our friends again too. We love doing things with them! 

A word of advice though. Don't go camping over daylight savings weekend. I don't know about you but I can never sleep in very late while camping. And Sunday we woke up around 7:15 am but in all reality it was now 6:15 am with the time change. Gross, so early!

The only downside of this trip was I started getting a cold right at the beginning. It wasn't bad but in the middle of the last night I woke up and could not breath at all through my nose. Had a little bit of a panic attack there trying to sleep and breath through my nose like normal. The stupid head cold at least waited until we were leaving to make a full blown entrance making the car ride home absolutely miserable. Paper towels are about the quickest way to make your nose raw by the way. I finally figured out that folding it up and getting it damp with cold water felt awesome on my poor raw skin.

But now we're back home and I'm making full use of cold medications and the neti pot along with heaven sent keenexes.

Every time I get a cold I feel the need to watch You've Got Mail. Anyone else in that same boat?