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Jen
jensternal
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General Stuff

July 2008
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Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

Here’s all my nursing gear in my trunk:

photo of boxes with nursing gear in them and wound care gear laid out on floor

All the boxes go in my trunk.  Laid out on the floor is all of my wound care supplies–we do a lot of wound care, as you can see!

The boxes are arranged as follows: General supplies, wound care, IV/Lab, foleys, and ostomy care with some random supplies.

I think I could just about stock a hospital unit right now!

(photo taken with the new Iphone!)

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

I felt like I did good for a patient today.

10/10 neuropathic foot pain, and refusing all pain meds except neu.ron.tin.  Says that he doesn’t want to feel stoned.  I’ve been arguing with him over this for 3 visits…today, I finally thought of Lido.derm patches!  Brought them up, and he agreed immediately upon hearing what they were.  Hopefully by tomorrow, he’ll be out of pain.

Cancer patients can be so rewarding.

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

When I started this job, my friends and I took bets on how long it would take for me to get into a car accident.

Two months.

Edit: I guess I should probably remember to say I’m fine, it was just a fender bender. No worries.

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

My GPS is dead!

I’ve only had it for about a month, and now everytime we start it up, it says, “Updating GPS firmware,” counts up to 100%, says, “Firmware update complete”…and then does the whole thing again.  And again.  And again.

Garmin website doesn’t help.  Circuit city doesn’t help. My IT husband doesn’t know how to help.

Anyone with ideas?  I need a new GPS by Tuesday morning, because I can’t read a map at all!

xposted to the migraines comm.
So, I'm pretty sure I'm in a rebound cycle. I was doing so well before I got my last set of botox shots 2 months ago--down to maybe 1 mild migraine over 2 or 3 days. Then I got a new kind of botox, the Myobloc, and ever since then I've been miserable. Here's the relevant points:
-migraines daily for almost 4 years now
-seeing a neurospecialist at the cleveland clinic
-trying to get pregnant, so off all my preventatives(was on 4, plus fentanyl patches)
-taking midrin and morphine every day for the pain

I talked to my neuro's NP last week, and they put me on a 10 day burst of Depakote. They want to pull me into clinic for a 3-5 day IV treatment, but I just started a new job and can't take the time off. I'm a nurse, and I asked if I could do the treatment at home(I have a mediport for IVs, so it would be fairly easy), but the NP said no. The NP also said(well, insinuated) that I'm probably in a rebound cycle and I'm sure this is probably true, since the migraines come on at the same time every day and I feel so much better after the morphine and midrin kick in. The depakote doesn't seem to have helped at all.
Ideas, anyone? I really don't want to go to cleveland for the IV treatment unless I absolutely have to. What do you and your treatment teams do for rebounds?

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

When you find yourself stealing your wife’s fentanyl patches, you know there’s a problem…

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

So, after 5 weeks, I’m finally done with orientation/preceptorship.  I had my first day alone yesterday(Friday), and I think it went pretty well.  Saw three patients, spent about an hour on the phone, got all my paperwork done…overall it went well.  Once I got started, I was fine, however, making that first phone call was a little nerve wracking.  I know that will get better.

Monday I have another three patients on my schedule–including a wound vac that I’m covisiting on, a daily wound visit, and a pain management case.  Should be interesting.

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

One year ago today, my coworker Maureen died at work, after a 2.5 hour megacode.  I miss her terribly, and the horror of her code gave me PTSD that’s finally starting to ease up.

She wouldn’t want me feeling sad about her today, and yet…

Rest in peace, Maureen.

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much going on this week.  Classroom, classroom, and more classroom.

Busy day today: meetings at  Suburb Location 1 from 8-10, class at Downtown Location from 10-1230, one visit in Suburb 2, then back for class and paperwork at Suburb Location 1 from 215-4.  Lots of driving from place to place, which I guess is the way of the Road Nurse, yes?

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

So, remember how my first patient died?

8 days in the field, and already I’ve had a second unexpected death.

Jeez.  Even my preceptor says I have a black cloud now.

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

A quick note to my patients:

If we’re going to fill a mediset(pill box) for you, you have to take them in order.  Taking whatever day’s and time’s meds whenever you feel like it doesn’t work so well…

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

Had a mixed day today, with half of the day spent doing visits and half in the classroom.  We started off early this morning (7am, new preceptor) with 12 flights of steps to go up.  Yikes-I was half dead by the 10th floor. Rock climbing is not so good for cardiac endurance.  Next time should be easier.  The second and third patient weren’t too remarkable–a hickman blood draw and a general nursing visit.

The afternoon started off a bit slower, with someone reading  us slides on SBAR reporting, then a chat regarding the private pay aide service we run.  After that we moved into the diabetes education, which I was thinking would be dull–3 hours on a topic I feel I know pretty well.  However, once we got into it I found myself quite interested.  The CDE was very knowledgable, and though I knew about half of what we talked about, the other half was new to me.  Example: alcohol is a hypoglycemic agent, because when the body runs out of sugar, usually the liver will take over and push some glucose out.  However, when you’re drinking, the liver is processing the alcohol, and apparently it can only do one thing at a time(single minded liver).  So, hypoglycemia!  Also learned how to use an insulin pen, which I’ve always wanted to do.

After the talk on diabetes, I went out with the CDE to a patient’s house where she had scheduled some diabetic teaching to do.  There, we met with an older gentleman who, though fairly knowledgable about his diabetes, was still having some new troubles with high blood sugars and a skin infection that wasn’t clearing up.  Chatted with him for about an hour, left the house with a new plan of care and some numbers–I now know who to call for education, that’s for sure.

10 hour day today–100 miles put on between two cars, and I only saw 4 patients! Hopefully a shorted day tomorrow.  Classroom training all day.

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

Every day, the visits get easier and easier to do.  See, I have a fair amount of social anxiety, to put it mildly, and sitting down and chatting with my patients can be really hard for me.  The technical nursing stuff?  No problem.  Answering questions they ask me–piece of cake.  Small talk about the weather: oh god, kill me now.  As I posted previously, my first visit was incredibly ackward.   However, things are getting smoother.  Today I ran two visits, and both went quite well–I got everything covered with a minimum of long silences.

And then, after my two visits, the drama started.  First, we saw a patient who had an absolutely warring family–his child said that the patient’s wife was abusive, hysterical, and controlling.  The patient’s wife said their son was abusive, hysterical, and controlling.  The wife says he has a month left to live.  The son says the wife is cancelling appointments.  And on, and on, and on.  The planned 30-minute visit took us two hours to sort everything out.

Taking two hours at that house made us late to our next patient, a hospice patient with horrible pain on a CADD pump.  This patient is a medical provider, and has thrice called in his own prescriptions–including one for Ativan.  Trying to tell him, “No, X, you can’t do that,” has gotten us nowhere.  All we can do is call his attending whenever he does it and update that doctor, but it’s starting to get a little frustrating.

Drama, drama, drama.  Tomorrow I see three patients, including one whom I remember from the ICU.  Should be interesting…

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

I added the blogroll today–I think I have everyone categorized right, but let me know if I screwed something up.

Also, add Road Nurse to your blog links!

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

So, the first patient I saw yesterday, who I went out to see this morning?  He died overnight.

I think I have a black cloud.  2 days and already someone’s died.

:/

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

I need the advice of any home care nurses out there regarding my bag.  I feel like I’m missing some important things and that I have too many unimportant things.  So, here’s my list of what I’m currently carrying.  Keep in mind, I’m in palliative care.  Cancer, mostly, with wounds, IVs, ostomies, etc

First pocket:

  • Laptop
  • Stethoscope
  • BP cuff
  • Thermometer
  • gloves
  • notebook

Second pocket

  • tape measure(paper and plastic)
  • tapex2 kinds
  • lancets (not sure why, maybe these should go in the blood box?)
  • 2×2s, 4×4s
  • cotton balls (again, why?)
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Pill envelopes (I think?)
  • Bandage scissors
  • sharps box
  • Squirty saline
  • Paper towels
  • Reference book: Mosby’s HH Nursing Pocket Consultant

Third pocket:

  • Sterile gloves x2
  • tongue depressors
  • Qtips
  • Aprons
  • syringes c needles
  • suture removal kit
  • masks
  • bottle of saline
  • KY

Outer pockets

  • gloves
  • CPR mask
  • pens
  • Purell
  • soap
  • barrier

Trunk:

  • Scale
  • blood box
  • cooler with ice pack
  • stethoscope(I tend to forget mine)
  • isolation garb

What am I missing?  What do I have that I don’t need?

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

So I saw my first patient today, and it was…ackward.  Not with the physical nursing tasks; my nursing skills aren’t the question.  But the communication was, well, ackward.  I don’t know how to ask questions off of a form without seeming like I’m reading a form.  My preceptor can work it all into a conversation, but I don’t really have that yet.  It will come, I’m sure.

One problem was that I didn’t really get a good chance to prepare: I had time for a brief look-through just before we went in, but that’s it.  Luckily, I know the names of my patients for tomorrow (one is a person we saw today, one is new) so I can look them up.  I also am having problems–well, not problems, I’m just slow–with the computer program, the electronic charting, so I practiced that some more tonight.  Knowing what J, my preceptor, wants me to chart on helps.  In classroom orientation, we were doing the entire 25 page assessment–apparently it’s a little redundant and the forms we actually fill out(electronically) are much shorter.  So that helps.

I’m scheduled to see one patient tomorrow, but I’ll probably ask to do two, since I’ve got the advance info on them both.  Hopefully it goes a little smoother tomorrow.

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

…And I thought they overloaded me with stuff the first day!

Yesterday, I left work with my new nursing bag, a giant backpack to transfer all the nursing stuff into, a large rubbermaid trunk box full of supplies, the laptop, and my personal things: lunchbag, purse, coat.  I managed to get it all to the car in one load…barely.

I’ve been in McKesson training (electronic charting) for the past two days, and that’s overwhelming on it’s own.  Tomorrow I see my first patients with my preceptor–yikes!    Unfortunately, I have no idea who we’re seeing, so I can’t do any reading about the patients ahead of time.  I’m nervous about it, but hoping it will go well.  Wish me luck!

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

Orientation started today for me, and is totally overwhelming.  First off, I started a week late–this orientation cycle started last Monday, the day I was hired, and I had to do the physical, etc before I could start.  So I was behind to start with, and then they gave me:

  • a laptop + accessories
  • a cell phone + accessories
  • a four inch thick 3 ring binder full of papers
  • a benefits packet, all of which must be completed today
  • a folder full of random orientation paperwork
  • a folder with my orientation pathway
  • and homework! (HIPAA stuff, blah…such dry reading)

So I wound up tottering out to the car after work, just a little bit overloaded.

And oh, how dull it was.  “Here’s how you change this password…and this password…and this password.  Here’s how you plug your laptop in,” etc.  I love IT guys–hell, I’m married to one–but teaching and leading a classroom is not their strong suit.

But overall, it wasn’t so bad.  A little overwhelming and dry. but managable, and I think the next few days will go better as we get into the software we use(McKesson/Horizen Home) and then get out to see patients!  I do my first visits as early as Thursday, yikes!

Now, if I could only figure out where the lunchroom is–the building is so confusing, and I’m totally lost!

Originally published at Road Nurse. Please leave any comments there.

So, I burned myself out of the ICU.

And then I tried floor nursing–a stepdown unit, and lord, I don’t know how you floor nurses do it.  Four patients, 12 hour rotating shifts, no help from anyone…I lasted a month.

And then I tried other things.  Interviewed and shadowed in a GI suite, an OB clinic. Sent resumes to the PICU, the Burn/Trauma unit.  Considered going back to the ICU.  Nothing–not one of those things caught my interest.

So now, for something completely different.  Visiting Nurse Service–home health care–road nursing.  Call it what you want; from now on, I’m trying out something new and hoping for the best.  And hopefully, blogging my way through it.

Into the Unit won’t be up for much longer–the domain expires in a few weeks, and I don’t plan on keeping it up.  But as ItU ends, Road Nurse starts–orientation starts Monday, and I’m looking forward to it.  Here’s to new starts!

god, the ambien isn't working. 2 hours of sleep last night, and now, awake by 330am after going to bed at 130. wide awake, too. bloody hell.


Happy holidays from Jen, Emma, Hannah, Karli, and Chris

god, it's 4am, I've taken 15 mg of ambien(normal dose 5mg), and I still can't sleep. Fuck...

After the Ceremony

Five years of hard, hard work culminated Saturday: Graduation! I still don't know quite what to say about it, other than that it feels damn good. I'm officially a nurse now; I actually put "Nurse" as my title today for the first time (I tried to get Chris to take a picture, but he wouldn't.).

Right now, I'm settling into some restful days. Catching up on some sleep. Visiting S, my little peds patient with liver cancer, and waiting for her surgery. Looking through the pictures. Programming the PDA Chris got for me. Overall, it feels very strange, and I'm not sure what to make of it -- I'm a little ancy. I called my new boss today and asked when I could start work (June 6th, though I can go into the ICU as a tech. Haven't decided on that one yet.).

Getting My Diploma
The picture is dark, and I'm small, but here's me getting my diploma...

More graduation ceremony pictures here...

Me, My Pin, and My Flowers

See that -- that little pin on my chest -- that would be my nursing pin!
Nursing school is finally over, and I have threatened to wear that pin to the grocery store, to bed, out visiting people, and while on a walk. If I could figure out a way to wear it in the shower, well... I'm not much of a pin person, but this one has a coveted place in my life right now.

I am so elated that this program is done with: 2 years of blood, sweat, tears, and numerous other fluids less nice to describe have gone into this, and while part of me can't believe it's all over, part of me couldn't be happier.

Now, moving on with life. Graduation ceremony is next, and then onto work: into the hospital. Both excited and scared, but mostly I can't wait -- let's get moving!

On Stage at the Ceremony
Look at that smile....

The end of nursing school requires a party, of course. So, we went out with a bunch of friends to a little bar near the school.
Kathy and Marylin
Two of my (former!) professors met us there...

More pinning ceremony photos here

Heading into the hospital now...

Contact info:
Rochester General Hospital
1425 Portland Ave
Rochester, NY, 14621
I'm on the 7000 floor, it's a peds floor(not sure why they're putting me there, but, hey, whatever).

My cell: 585-747-6508, call me anytime, leave a message if I don't answer.

God, let this work. Please, please, please....

This is the problem with LJ: we all think we are so close, but in actuality we know nothing about each other. I'm going to rectify it. I want you to ask me something you think you should know about me. Something that should be obvious, but you have no idea about. Ask away.

how can this happen?

how can we let people who are so bigoted, so evil, so stupid run this country?  didn't we learn our lesson?




from the lovely ceejayoz

yes....so the meme where we post something about 15 people, and don't tell them who it is?  I'll put my things here, then click the cut below to see who it was.

1.Post more, damnit!  I miss your posts.

2. why do you stay with your husband, if you hate him so much?  Also, it seems like you're completely apathetic to/against the fetus...do you think that will change?

3.  I miss seeing you and wish we could hang out, but I'm not really sure if you like me or not.

4. I love your new kiddo's name.  there was a debate in my journal a while ago, and someone told you that the names you chose were silly, but I love them.

5. I feel for you and hope that you get to feeling better soon--you're one of the people I wish i had the balls to call on the phone.

6.  as usual, you rock my world.  I need to talk to you about stuff we talked about the other night.

7. I wish that you trusted me enough to put me on your list again.

8. God, I hope that you get pregnant soon.  I ache for you sometimes, thinking about how difficult it's got to be to get pregnant without a male significant other.

9. Honestly, I almost always skip over your entries.  I'm sorry.

10. I love your tatoos and the fact that you didn't cover them for your wedding.  Also, I cannot understand why you moved to the US.

11. You should come to rochester so we can hang out again--but there isn't as much to do here.

12. I don't have you on my list because I couldn't handle the way you posted about every little thing.  I do skim through your journal sometimes, though.

13. tell me why i should add you!(this one's kinda cheating, it's for the 4 people who have me on their lists who I don't know)

and, I ran out of ambition.
for the answers...Collapse )

ya know what bothers me?  those anon things.  i mean, yeah, they're kinda fun, but I'm always desperate to know who it was that said them.

so, I'll modify them a bit.  If you want to say something to me, say it now.  No, I won't shut off IP logging--if you don't feel strongly enough about it to stick your name to it, it's not that important to me.

I've made a new blog specifically for nursing school. Anyone want to read?

Jen, SN

livejournal feed (go there, click "add this journal to your friends list," read whenever I post!)

and, CJ rocks my world for helping me set this up.

*wheezes....*
“If you all don’t lower your voices and cease calling me Satan, I will have to sing show tunes.”

Leave me a comment...let me tell you what i think about you.

oooh...

Well, as previously posted, our first flight(with the primo seating, btw) got canceled, and so we were put up in a very swanky room at the airport hilton there--sounds crappy, but it was really nice. Didn't get much sleep that night, unfortunately(though, at the time, we weren't talking about how unfortunate that was...heh). Woke early, had (free!) breakfast, went to airport before the desks even opened(so we had to sit there and wait for a while, but that was ok). when the ticket agents, got there, we had the same lady we'd had the day before, which was pretty nice. got our seats. unfortunately, they weren't the nice seats we'd had scheduled on the first flight--still in enconomy plus(xtra legroom), but no spare empty seat between us. oh well. we did have our own row for the melbourne-sydney flight, so that was nice. from here on out, it was just a hoot.
*flight out of sydney was delayed because the runway fell apart, and they had to 1. fix it, and 2. run some lighter planes over it to make sure the 747 could handle it.
*while on the sydney-la flight, someone got sick and they were calling for docs, nurses, etc. poor guy was on oxegyn for the entire flight.
*customs took for-freaking-ever, for no apparent reason. the hall was incredibly hot. recall that i'm still on crutches, and i can't stand in one place for long while healthy, and that i pass out in the heat.
*the la-chicago flight was delayed for the simple reason that they were taking their sweet time getting the plane ready. they didn't tell us this until we were in the jetway, so we had to stand there and wait. and wait. for prob. 45 minutes.
*the chicago-cincy flight was fine-on time, etc. unfortunately, it started to storm as we landed(making for a really bumpy entrance, which did wonders for my stomach...). then, we couldn't get out of the plane until two storm cells went over. once we could move, we went 10 feet, and then they let us out. stupid. waited forever for our luggage.
but, we're back. I'm disappointed--when we got into LA, the sky was brown. not, faded blue, bu brown. gross. i want to go back to oz, with the spastic blue skies.

so, um, we were supposed to fly out of here about an hour ago...but the flight got canceled.
why?
bomb threats on the plane last night.
Yikes!
here's the linky...

edit: nevermind, that was a few weeks ago. not sure why today's flight was canceled. at any rate, blame chris for the bad info.

NO!!!!!
I'm so not ready to go home....

Ok, Friday, Chris and I lounged about for the morning and then packed up and drove down to Hobart for the night--stayed at the Lenna, a swanky hotel near the wharves. We had the best room in the house--the Honeymoon Suite(oooh...) It was quite nice--had a lovely view of the harbour and nice decorations, etc. once we were checked in, we went out to do some shopping(chris neglected to bring anything nice to wear here, so...). We had a dinner reservation at 7 at the Alexander(Lenna's Restaurant), which we made it just in time for--not that it would have mattered, the place wasn't very busy. It's not exactly the tourist season here. Anyways, we had a lovely dinner(quail, duck, and choc. creme brulee for me, scallops, steak, and mandarin tart for chris--mmmm...) and went back up to the room.
Now, for the juicy stuff that everyone's curious about--chris had mentioned getting married, oh, about 47 times that afternoon, so i kinda figured that something was up. That, and the, "well, maybe i've got a special present for you tonight..."
After we went back up to the room, we were lying on the bed and i said, "What are you thinking?"
"Wondering if maybe you'd want to marry me..."
*stomach drops* "is that a proposal?"
*pause, deep breath* "Will you marry me?"
(what runs through my head: "no, my husband wouldnt like it," from the comedy show the night before...)"yes."
he he, giggle giggle, glee.... He puts on my ring, we giggle and cuddle for a while, etc. we perform physical manifestations of our love.
Saturday, we woke early and checked out of the hotel, then walked down to salamenca market. This is a big, open air market full of all types of vendors: trinkets, photos, woodcarvings, fruits, syrups and jams, sheepskin stuff, shirts, etc... We pulled the full tourist bit and bought sheepskin slippers, framed photos, postcards, pressies for people, seeds..oy. that sounds like a lot, now that I type it. oh well. it all works out.
Sunday, we didn't do much--went into town so chris could pick up the coat he forgot(twas weird--we left it in a diner, and they called us--how they got the number, i've no idea. his name was in the coat, but its not like we're listed in the phone book....). Also got him and haircut and tried to get me a manicure--unfortunately, Hobart closes down on sundays. settled for a hand scrub/massage at the body shop and a manicure kit at the chemist.
had a birthday dinner for chris that night, with his grandmother, roy, alli, and the kids. much fun and tastiness.
Today, we woke early and drove out to Port Arthur, the old penal colony from the...penal colony days. It's about a two hour drive from here, but we stopped along the way to see the Tasman Arch, the Devil's Kitchen, and the Blowhole--all formations carved into the rock along the coastline, caused by erosion and various amounts of collapse. Pretty damn cool--got some nice photos that will be posted eventually. Made it to Port Arthur and tired ourselves out walking around(someone remind me that hilly destinations and crutches don't mix, eh?). Saw the cutest thing there: one of the people who worked at the info desk also raised orphaned wombats, and she had a little baby one with here--it was about 6 months old, and still needed frequent feeding and company, so she brings it to work in a basket and takes care of it(and shows it off) throughout the day. It was awake when i was there, and it was all playful and cute--it would arch up into my hand when i scratched it, and then it would grab onto my fingers with it's little paws and nibble at me...so damn cute. I could have taken the thing home in a heartbeat--she said it was about 400 grams when she got it, 3 months ago, and now it would probably fit in my two hands, with a little overflow.
Drove home around dusk, but alas--still no kangaroos. despite the road signs warning us that there would be both roos and quolls--nothing. Saw a kookaburra and a few little black lizards. Figures that i would come to australia for a month and see exactly one wild animal(the syndey koala). bah.
we leave for melbourne tomorrow, and then back to the states the day after that.
*sobs*
I want to go home--i'm quite sick of traveling, and I want to be in my own house--but I don't want to go back to the states. *sigh* 2-3 more years, if all goes well...

lozzy_pop: our plan for melbourne is: get in around 145, then i have to go to the hospital and pay my bill there(eek!) and take care of a few other things(ok, shop for timtams), then we've got dinner with the morton's on lygon st. we need to be at the airport by 830 weds morning, and i have a shitton of packing to do...not sure if meeting up will work out. I'll call you tomorrow when i know more, mmmkay?

One last update for the day, I promise...
1. All of the shingles on the houses are different. At home, roofs are very smooth--here, they're quite corregated.
2. Oz=very family friendly. We see many more kids and facilites for kids(diaper change stations, bottle warmers offered, high chairs offered) here than at home.
3. I still have not seen a bloody wild kangaroo!!! This frustrates me to no end. Wait, actually, we did see what may have been a dead wallaby on the road. I maintain that this does not count.
4. The forecast states that it may snow on Chris's birthday. *snicker, snicker*

Had a good day yesterday--much fun.
Thursday morning, we went to the Cadbury Chocolate Factory. There's a tour you can go on, where they lead you all around the production facilites and show you how they make and package the chocolates. Additionally(and no, this is not why we went...not at all...) you get lots and lots of free samples, and they have a ton of cheap choccies in the gift shop there. mmmm.....i think chris wound up spending, like, $40 on chocolates. oy. and i was planning on losing weight when i got home?
Went for a nice lunch at Mures, a seafood place right on the Harbor. they catch all their own fish, so everything is very fresh and tasty.
Dashed back up to Fern Tree to grab the camera, then headed up the mountain(finally! the road was open!). It was a beautiful drive up, but it was so cold up there!!!! The wind was blowing so hard it nearly knocked us both over--we were planning on climbing the little rock pile that makes up the summit(just to make sure we hit the highest point) but decided that it was a Bad Idea(tm). Stayed to the lookout points, instead. Unfortunately, the digital camera's batteries died after about 3 pics, and we didn't have the spare, so you'll have to wait for pictures until i get film developed. Sorry. Stayed at the top for about 15 minutes, then headed back down.
Peaceful evening--stayed at home, ate dinner, quilted.
Going to the <a href="http://www.lenna.com.au>Lenna</a> tonight for a nice night out, Salamenca Market tomorrow, etc, etc. Only 4 full days left in Australia!!!! :( :( :(

Still alive...yay. just on dialup access that lj doesn't like.

So, Tasmania....
It's beautiful here. We're in Fern Tree which is sort of a suburb of Hobart, about halfway up Mount Wellington. Looking out our bedroom window, I look up the mountain--we can just barely see the little visitor kiosk at the top. We keep trying to get up there but the road keeps closing due to snow/ice/wind.
There was snow on the ground when we woke up on Monday--blech. It did melt by midday, but...still. August 9th! and snowing!! It wound up raining most of the day, so we had a pretty quiet day--went to the bank to deal with CJ's oz. accounts and then to a driving school--chris got a one hour lesson on driving on the left side of the road. After that, we went to the Cat and Fiddle Arcade, which was just a cute little shopping center that had a little dancing cat and fiddle clock that rang on the hour.
Tuesday was a beautiful day--sunny, nice temp. We drove down to Richmond, which is a historic little village around here. Had a wonderful lunch and then went into a few shops--a lolly shop full of homemade candy and ice cream(we got a bunch of stuff, including Eucalypties--little crystalized eucalyptus surrounded by a candy shell. quite tasty, in a cough-drop sort of way) and a little trinket shop full of stuff that would either break before i got home or cost too much. unfortunate. After that, we went down to the Richmond Bridge, which was built in 1893(or maybe 1823, i'll have to check out the pics) and spans the Coal River. It's a lovely bridge, surrounded by nice shores, a photogenic old church, and lots of friendly ducks who would eat out of your hand.
Wednesday(yesterday), we went to the Bonorong Wildlife Park, which is a (mostly) free-range park full of Tasmanian animals--lots of kangaroos and wallabies, and some tas. devils, wombats, birds, quolls, possums, koalas, emus, etc. They give you bags of food at the door, and as you walk through the park, roo's and wallabies will come up to you and eat out of your hand, let you pet them, follow you around. quite cool--at one point, i had one eating out of each hand, one(well...two, she had a baby in the pouch--squee!!) behind me, and one going for the bag of food in my lap. I think it's coming up on mating season for kangaroos--there were 4 big males that fought pretty viciously, grunting and kicking and wrestling--pretty cool. They settled down after the keeper came over and gave them a talking-to(which was pretty funny). There was a little feeding tour, when the keeper walked around feeding some of the animals and giving a little talk on them. Got to pet the wombat(who just laid in the guys arms like a little puppy--apparently they're as intelligent as dogs), the koala(who felt kinda like a sheep, actually--very fluffy and kind of lanolin-like, kwim?), and see possums and tas. devils feeding--the devils were pretty cool, the one crawled up the guy's leg to get at the food. and the possum was very cute, eating it's sandwhich. looked very delicate. I was also given a present by a cockatoo(no, really! it very deliberately reached over, broke off a stick of a tree, and handed it through the cage to me. wouldn't give up until i took it!).
Went to Roy and Alli's(chris's aunt and uncle) for a nice dinner last night, got lots of nice conversation and even a few snuggles from Ryan, the three year old. Chris got his butt kicked by a 7 year old on the playstation...heh.

Heading out to the Cadbury factory today, and maybe up the mountain(if the road's open). Tomorrow, we stay at the Lenna, a very swanky hotel in Hobart. Saturday: Salamenca Market. Sunday or Monday: Port Arthur. Tuesday: Back to melbourne.

lozzy_pop--you still want to meet up in Melbourne? let me know.

Whoops, i forgot to post this...

The last day in Sydney was actually quite nice--Dee took us down to Bondi Beach in the morning, which is pretty much the beach in Oz. Lots of surfers there, but not very many swimmers--i think it said the water temp was about 60 degrees F. A bit too chilly for me!! There were some nifty tide pools there that had bright red sea urchins in them--pretty cute. No starfish though--lots of snails and stuff like that.
That evening, we went out on the town for a while--down to the Rocks for a very nice dinner, and then out to see Othello at the Sydney Theatre Company. It was quite well acted, but way too long--but, what can one expect from shakespeare? I love how he makes sure to pile up all the bodies at the end--very nice and tidy.

After the play was over, we went outside to wait for Greg to come pick us up. WHile we waited, it seemed that there was a bit of an inpromtu pimped-out car show--all of these cars that had been done up drove back and forth, back and forth. THe funniest part was that there was a rather large speed bump, and so all of these cars that rode low to the ground were inching over it as slow as they could. Chris and I snickered loudly when they scraped, anyways.

Went home, packed, went to bed way too late, got up in the morning, hopped a plane to Hobart!

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