Thursday, June 27, 2013

Rendezvous Run

My friend and running partner Larissa told me about this race a few days before it happened and it sounded really fun so we both signed up for it.  Apparently it was the 22nd annual Fort Union Rendezvous Run.  I didn't even know Fort Union existed, let alone that it had a rendezvous there.  So it was going to be a cultural experience all around!  And when we showed up Saturday morning I was SO excited!  There was a big start/finish line, registration lines, and LOTS of people!  So impressed and so happy to have a legit running event in little ol' Williston. 

Our friends the Merkley's were there as well because Sam was running too.  Emily was kind enough to share her pictures with me.  Most of these are compliments of her.  Just gotta make sure I give credit where credit is due.  So they had a kids 1 mile run, a 5k walk and a 5k run and then an 11k that went from Fort Union over to Fort Buford and back.  Here's the 11k crew.
We were running along in a big group of people and then at the 5k turn around 98% of the group disappeared.  Then it was just Larissa and I on the open, windy road.  Except for a lady a little ways ahead of us that kept going the wrong way.  She tried to turn down the wrong road but was redirected and then completely passed the correct turn.  We were yelling and trying to get her to stop but she just kept on a-goin', her and her music.  It was kind of a fun course actually.  You ran out on the main road and then turned into a field with a mowed strip that led to the other fort and then back up a different road and then back to the main road towards Ft. Union again.  And once we got back on the main road - man oh man was it windy.  Yikes.  Not my favorite running weather but we made it.  Victory. 

Tanner and Samson were great cheerleaders.  They were also some good entertainment for Emily and Sam's kids while we were running.

Once we got back they had refreshments for us, which was also super awesome and impressive.  All manner of beverages, fruit, muffins, bagels, donuts, etc.  Well done!  We wandered around a bit at the fort.  Lots of rendezvous-ers dressed up and loving life.  It was pretty interesting. 

 We stuck around for our medals.  Larissa and I both took first in our age group.  The amount of people in each age group is irrelevant. 

The moral of the story is it was an awesome way to spend a morning and see something around Williston that we have never experienced before.  Sign us up for the 23rd annual for sure!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Workin' It

These last few weeks have been crazy with work.  I am crazy and decided that because I now had 6 days off in a row every other week, a good idea would be to pick up more shifts.  So I got hired on with NMR - National Medical Resources - as a contractor.  The only reason I did it is because you aren't committed to any number of shifts.  They say what's available and then if I want to, I can say yes or no.  And the place I'll probably end up spending most of my time pays almost $20 more an hour than what I make in Williston.  So, it seemed like a good idea.  Well, it also seemed like a good idea to pick up 4 shifts basically right in a row a month ago.  These last few weeks were when I actually worked the shifts and I realized it wasn't a good idea at all.  When all is said and done (I only have 3 more days of my stretch), I've worked almost 21 12 hr days in a row.  I guess I've had 3 days off in there.  Next month I'm only picking up 2 extra and they are completely separated from each other.  That will be much better.  So anyway...Watford City.  It's a much smaller town than Williston about an hour's drive from here.  I thought I was just going to be working in the clinic but they had me work one day in the ER down there too.  Much slower paced for sure!  I think in my 12 hrs in the ER I saw 11 patients...vs the 20-30 we see in Williston.  But I was the only provider there which made me kind of nervous.  I have learned a ton but I'm still not 100% confident enough to be all on my own.  Luckily no one died :)  That I know of.  Clinic was much slower paced as well.  Had an hour break, time between patients, etc.  But I don't like clinic.  It's a COMPLETELY different mind set than ER and totally foreign to me.  So I guess overall I'd have to say I really didn't love it.  Or like it that much.  But I'll probably keep doing it just because I can.

That's the clinic.  Tiny.  And the hospital is just across the street.  The whole thing is just about the same size.  If I needed an x-ray for someone in the clinic, they had to walk across the street to get it, then I had to walk across the street to go look at it.  The resources were just so limited.  And I must say it made me love Williston.  The hospital and the town :)  This little bunny was right out side my office window the first morning in clinic.  He stayed and stared at me for a minute or two and then bounded off, never to be seen of again.  I thought it was cool.  Anyway - they set us up in these little apartments hooked on to the nursing home around the corner from the clinic.  They weren't bad.  This was the first one I stayed in.  Like anyone cares.  But memories for me someday, I suppose.
 This is the outside of the complex. 

Pretty fancy huh?  It would have been a lot nicer if the AC worked and the pillows weren't huge and hard.  Needless to say I didn't sleep great that night.  Then I went home for the weekend and came back and they had me in a new apartment.
 I think this sign is funny because 1 - not spelled right, and 2 - very much not a doctor.  Oh well.  I felt special for second. 
Basically everything was in one room in this place.  But I planned accordingly and brought my own pillow and one of the 4 AC units worked so it was a much better night.  Fun times.

In other working news - Tanner had a fun work party last week.  It was their summer fun picnic or something.  Just for the local Enbridge guys.  Who Tanner really likes, so that is cool.  I guess every year they have someone from the community come do a presentation or something.  This year he asked me to ask Guardian - a new life flight helicopter company - if they'd come and talk to them.  They said yes and that they'd even bring the helicopter.  AND they'd give me a ride over to the park in it!  Score.  Get off work early and go for my first helicopter ride ever.

It was a huge success I thought.  Everyone seemed really interested in the chopper and all they do and how small it was and how big a person they can fit in there, etc etc.  My flight over was short and sweet and so amazing.  There were windows all around so you could see things so much clearer and better than from an airplane.  And it was super smooth.  Then they offered to give me a ride back and I couldn't refuse.  So Tanner took a few more pics (the last 4) while we were getting ready to go and they actually flew around a little longer so that was sweet.  Then we had a bbq dinner and then went and rode go-karts at the little track they have up here.  It was a really fun evening and I really like his crew too.  His boss is awesome and I really like his wife, so it was a great time all around.  

In the ER, there have also been some funny, interesting, crazy, sad things that have happened over the last couple of weeks that I thought I'd share.  I took off from work about 30 minutes too soon one night.  They ended up bringing in a guy that had been part of a double motorcycle accident.  A van was trying to pass a truck and hit two motorcycles head on.  One flew into a ditch about 75 feet away and the other kid was struck by a passing semi. They brought him to the ER.  He was pronounced dead there.  Both of his legs were basically gone, but his upper body was completely intact.  It was insane.  And such a sad story.  They riders were cousins and both really young too.  I was sad I missed it from the medical brain side of things, but not from the emotional human side of things.  The doc took some pictures and showed me the next day and it was pretty unbelievable.  

On a lighter note - there was a young girl that came in the other day with a burn on her backside.  When I took a look at it I asked if she had clothes on when it happened - because it looked pretty bad.  She kind of nodded and said a slow yes, then hesitated and said kind of, then followed it up with a "no".  Apparently they were playing strip beer pong and she hit her butt on a propane heater.  Oops.  Dangerous sport apparently.  Careful.  

This is actually sad so don't judge me for writing about this.  But two days ago there was a little baby that came in that a sibling was walking by with a plate of hot meatloaf that had just come out of the microwave.  While walking by, she tipped the plate and the meatloaf fell on her face.  Such a cute little baby and she did have a couple minor burns to her face but she was okay.  Just kind of a random, weird accident.  

Then - there was this 8 year old boy that caught a baby gopher.  Wisely enough the gopher tried to escape and then when the boy tried to apprehend it again, the gopher bit him.  And then the family cat caught and ate the baby gopher.  Crazy story.  That was definitely a first time chief complaint - gopher bite.  Watch out.  

Apparently our ER has a mouse too.  There was a guy in there this week putting sticky traps with peanut butter in the middle of them around the ER.  Gross.  I hate stupid mice.  Haven't seen it yet, though.  

Last night probably one of the sickest things I've ever seen came in.  I honestly don't get grossed out by much but this almost did it to me.  An older gentleman that has been in the ER plenty of times before with multiple diabetic ulcers over his legs and a huge one on his right buttocks came in again by ambulance for leg pain.  It's all chronic stuff and the guy can't and doesn't take care of himself.  He's a mess.  But a really pleasant, nice, coherent man.  Anyway, you could smell him throughout the whole ER as soon as they brought him in.  Imagine a nice decaying human flesh smell permeating everything.  So I took some time to build up my strength to walk in the room.  When I walk in, he's just covered in ulcers - up and down his legs and feet.  The smell is AWFUL.  I ask him about what's going on and as we are talking I look down at his feet.  He's missing his left 2nd toe - amputated previously because of diabetes.  Well, as I'm looking there briefly, I notice something crawling around there.  I take a closer look and realize there are hundreds of tiny maggots crawling all over that open ulcer over where his toe would have been.  I quickly excused myself to grab some fresh air and keep myself from throwing up.  Just kidding.  I didn't really almost puke but it was nasty.  I had to go in and out of there quite a few more times but in the end we just shipped him to a bigger hospital because we really didn't have the resources to take care of all his many problems.  He did let me take a picture of it.  I'm debating whether I should put it up here.  Maybe people wouldn't appreciate it as much as I do.  Okay I'll spare you.  If you're dying to see it, I'll text it to you :)  How's that?  

Okay - now I'm going to get back to my lazy relaxing day off. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Our furry canine kids

This post might not be appreciated as well if you're not an animal lover.  You might think we are a little crazy.  But I've been wanting to put a bunch of pics of our pups up here for awhile and to document some of our favorite things about them.  So proceed if you want :) It's long and there's LOTS of pictures!

Samson is 3 and a half now.  It's been almost 2 years since his leg was amputated. For those of you that don't know - he broke his leg when he was little and as he grew, the leg became more and more deformed and caused him more and more grief.  So we made the decision to get it amputated.

This is basically the picture that made me know I needed to get to know Tanner when we started out on our online dating journey :)
He wouldn't eat or drink for awhile after his surgery.  He wasn't that impressed with my coaxing either.

We took Samson on a trip to Escalante the month after he had his surgery.  Holy moly he was a trooper.  We sure wore him out but he is no quitter, that's for sure!

Samson is like the most loyal dog ever.  He just wants to please and is super obedient.  Always has been.  He's always been awesome around other people and dogs and kids.  He's way mellow.  He puts up with kids climbing on him or Rozzi stepping on his face, etc.  He just has the sweetest disposition.  He's a great cuddler.  He'll let you hug him and lay next to him and he won't move.  He loves it too I think. 

He loves playing with other dogs.  He gets along great with them all.  Sometimes he gets his butt kicked because he's so meek and also being down one leg and all.

Him and Rozzi play great together.  Rozzi is kind of a punk and always likes to take out his good leg.  But he definitely will egg her on as well.  I don't think we'll ever be able to only have one dog again.  It's so great for them to have each other.  More on the two of them later...

Samson has probably spent 80% of his life with a ball or toy or stick in his mouth.  Oh my gosh this dog LOVES fetch like nothing you've ever seen.  He'll poop out from walking less than a half a mile, but if you're throwing a ball in the park or stick in the lake - he'll go forever.

And he LOVES the water.  Oh my gosh, if there is an inch of water to be found, good luck keeping him out of it.  He would live in the water if he could.

I love how they both run in the water. 

He also really likes to leave the ball on the grass and roll over it give himself a back massage.  It's funny.  He doesn't do it quite as much as he used to because Rozzi doesn't leave him much time to himself with toys in any way.  She's kind of a pest, as previously mentioned. 

He is a really happy dog.  All you have to do is talk in a happy, high pitched, exuberant voice - or just say his name basically - and he is WAGGING his tail.  And he has a serious tail.  Like it pounds - the cupboards, the floor, your leg.  Anything.  And it actually can kind of hurt.  It's awesome. 
I love his color and his size.  I love how if he hasn't seen you for awhile and if he loves you (he's done this with us, my dad, Carson...), he'll run up to you and you start petting him a lot and he just whimpers like the most precious thing ever.

And Rozzi is just a completely different beast all together.  No two dogs could ever be more different.  Oh my gosh she is a spaz.  So much energy.  She's still a lot of puppy.  She's one and a half and is a fighter too!  Almost exactly a year ago she ran away while we were celebrating our anniversary and it was awful.  3 days she was gone and then one day - someone called and said they had found her wandering around over by the river. Best day ever.  She was covered in ticks and burs so we had to shave her...
Which was sad because her wavy, beautiful brown long hair is one of my favorites.  Even though it is constantly re-carpeting our floors everywhere.  And then Christmas day last year she was hit by a car and spent the night in the animal ER and it was one of the saddest, worst days of my life.  I know it sounds crazy over a dog - but we were completely at a loss and more heartbroken than I thought possible over the thought of losing her.  Oh man that was ROUGH.  But she beat the odds and is still kicking.  The van had much worse damage than she did - she took of almost the whole front fender.
She's still a little traumatized by loud noises (from her homelessness around the 4th of July) and cars  (which we couldn't be happier about) but mostly back to her old self.

But I get ahead of myself.  It was actually the day after Christmas that we brought her home.  She was a big, funny, fluffy, hard puppy.  Oh man there were some rough times in there that I didn't know if I was gonna make it.  It was well into 6 months before she wasn't waking us up more than 3-4 times a night to go out.  Before then it was just cleaning up pee ALL the time.  Maybe that was our fault but it was tough regardless.

 But how can you get mad at that face? Oh my gosh she is so cute.  Even after puppy times, Rozzi has still tried our patience - but we seriously can't imagine life without her.  Samson is awesome but Rozzi just has SO much personality.  She's hilarious.  She makes us laugh so much on a daily basis.  There are so many things we just love about her.

Her and Samson have been pals since the beginning.  They rough house constantly and it's so funny.  She had some serious kick in her even when she was tiny.

 We have some great videos of them play fighting.  They still go at it like crazy.  But one of my FAVORITE things about the both of them is how they cuddle with each other.  It is so precious.

 She looks so huge compared to Samson!

Those are kind of out of order but you get the idea.  So like I said, Rozzi is a spaz.  We'll take her to play fetch and she will run like crazy after the ball and then maybe pick it up, maybe walk it back half way - but she'll never bring it all the way back to us.  She likes to just go after it if Samson is.  She only wants toys that Samson has.  Very sibling like, huh?  She chases her tail a lot.  And she gets pretty intense about it and often will hit her face on the couch or counters in the process.  I don't think any picture better sums up her "person"ality. 
Like I mentioned about her awesome brown, wavy hair - I love how disheveled it is.  It cracks me up.
It just does that.  Even after getting wet.  Funny.  Also Rozzi is very mischievous.  For a long time we thought maybe she just was kind of a dumb dog.  We've learned that she's actually EXTREMELY smart.  She knows which food bowl is hers and which isn't and Tanner has caught her on film walking slowly over to Samson's bowl and taking a small bite out of it and then walking over to her bed to eat it.  And then going back for more.  She'll sneak stuff out of the garbage like that and then go eat it in her kennel or in the corner.

She is funny when she is trying to get our attention to go out or when she wants something.  She always rests her head on the ottoman or the side of the couch or on the side of the bed.

Please notice me...

Both dogs just want to be where you are.  They get jealous if you are petting the other dog.  They get up and move to wherever we are.  Right between the island and stove - they both lay there every time I'm trying to cook.  It really doesn't help. At all.  They might accidentally reap some benefits of being there though...oops.
Rozzi will eat anything.  She loves celery and broccoli stems.  Weird.
When the door is closed to our room or the bathroom - you can almost assuredly count on seeing Rozzi's little paws poking underneath.  She does not want to miss out on anything.  She'll poke her head into the shower when we're in there and the door isn't shutting her out.  She wasn't a fan of water initially but she loves it almost as much as Samson now.  Except she'll grab on to Samson's tail or paw his head and push it under the water when trying to swim out. 

For all her "punk-ness" she really is quite the lover too.  She loves people and wants to always say hi and be loved and loves touch.  She likes to get her little cuddle time in before bed.  She bugs us until we let her on the bed, then she'll lay there with us for a few minutes until lights go out and then she'll hop off.  She lets me stick my nose to her nose and she'll just stare at me.  She holds still while I hug her and I love that.

She's always laid really funny.  Upside down with legs up and out.  Loves wrapping herself around a toilet.  I think she just likes the cold tile but it's still kind of weird.

Another really funny thing about her is she loves watching TV.  But not just any TV.  Has to have animals.  If she hears an animal sound she comes running and will sit and watch the tube - moving her head with the movement of the animals - until they go away.  Then once the animals are gone, she's done.  She once watched a solid 10 minutes of Man From Snowy River with Tanner.  She's watched a bunch of horse racing with Tanner.  She's also been loving the North America series we've been watching the last few weeks.  We think it is hilarious.

I think the last thing I will mention specifically about her is she also loves music.  Maybe.  She loves to dance.  If she hears music playing she'll run over to me.  If she sees me start dancing, she jumps up to dance with me.  Without fail.  I love it.  
And if we don't have enough pics of our dogs, I'll add just a few more of our favorites.  They are so much fun and such a huge part of our lives right now.  I recently read an article from the American Heart Association about how dog owners have lower systolic blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels.  Tobacco use is less among dog owners.  And dog owners have lower increases in heart rate and blood pressure in response to stress and recover faster from stress.  And if you have any coronary vascular disease or have had a heart attack, dog ownership increases your chance of survival.  So basically - dogs are amazing.  Thanks for letting us share our love of ours with you :)

We LOVE our family :)