Yesssss!

I am thrilled to be able to share with you that I have accepted a part-time (for now) position as a remote Medical Editor/Medical Transcriptionist! The company I will be working with has a good reputation among MTs. I am awaiting scheduling for training on the transcription platform and then will be under mentoring for a while as I learn the platform, the specifications of my assigned accounts and the dictators on those accounts. Even with prior MT experience, this is the process that takes place.

It was weird/scary thinking about doing MT work again. After refreshing my transcription skills through an online acute care (hospital dictation, which I did before), I felt fairly confident; however, applying for employment and going through that process was a bit nerve-wracking. After all, I haven’t interviewed for a “real” job in 8 years. Narrow that down to a technical/professional position and it has been 9 years. Yoinks!

I always enjoyed MT work. It is fascinating, one learns something almost every day and there is a dark/silly sense of humor that one entertains working in the medical field. I’ve missed that.

You should have seen how excited and hyper I was the other evening after receiving the offer earlier in the day! Dave rode the wave with me in such a supportive and joyous fashion. He’s a good guy.

The profession of medical transcription has changed since I was last working in the field.  Back then, one listened to the dictation voice file and typed the document (known now as “straight typing”), sculpting it into a medico-legal document – correct not only in medical terminology, but in grammar, punctuation, etc. Typing, typing, typing.

Voice recognition – where the voice dictation is interpreted by a software program into a document – was pretty much in its infancy regarding widespread use when I worked in the field 8 years ago. Now, however, VR (or SR for “speech recognition”) has infiltrated to the point where the “medical transcriptionist” has become the “medical editor.” This is exactly that – editing the VR-produced document to match the voice dictation file.

This “old dog” will be learning some new tricks!

So, this week so far has been brimming with activity. A second interview, pre-employment testing, today the tech support guy tweaking my computer (installing the platform, etc.), paperwork, emails, phone calls . . . whew.

The result is one goal realized – land an MT job. Yay!

I continue to work my virtual assistant job, which is also part-time. I am learning new programs and very much enjoy working with my boss.  My vision has been to have 2 revenue streams with 2 part-time gigs, and that is what is coming to pass. We’ll see how that goes. It will be a while before things settle down and I get in a groove; both schedules are flexible to a point, so I see that it may be a really nice thing.

There have been moments of, “My brain hurts.” Bwahahaha!

This is a different type of thinking. With security work, the thinking was more physical (?) or action-oriented. “A strange car just entered the gates and headed towards the back. Better check it out.”  I could expect a phone call from the alarm company when an alarm would activate; we would then need to enter the building and check it out. Those are just some examples of the thought processes involved. Action-oriented. My thought processes are now of a more technical nature, i.e., learning software, reading/understanding written procedures . . . more of an intellectual process, if you will.

Yep, my brain hurts.

I am actually enjoying all this. Yes, in a perverse way, eh?

The focus so far – because it is happening so rapidly – has been on my securing MT work. We have yet to put the same time and energy into finding something for Dave. We are hopeful just the right part-time or full-time gig will come along for him. We know it will. In the meantime, he is enjoying the heck out of cycling here. He deserves that, as he took the brunt of the work load in South Carolina and did not sleep well at all there. In fact, he got very little sleep and was exhausted pretty much from October 2014 until now.  Yes, he is sleeping well now, thank goodness. All 3 of us are!

Hey, it’s early days yet. We haven’t even been here 2 weeks! I think we’re doing pretty darn good to be accomplishing so much in so little time.

We are managing to have some “together time” during the days/evenings, and that is important. I whipped up one of our favorite meals of chicken noodle casserole this afternoon, so we had a nice dinner with leftovers for tomorrow. Yay again!

Morning Maggie 10282015

Maggie is doing well and enjoys looking out the windows

I was working up until almost 10 PM and needed some decompression/fun time, so here I am blogging. It’s a hair past 11 PM now. I’m winding down and so is this post.

Thanks for stopping by! Ya’ll stay safe out there, okay?

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It’s Been a Full Week

Good heavens! We have been here a week and it has been chock full of doing “stuff.”

I’ve been working my virtual assistant job a bit and hope to increase my hours this week. Seems there has been quite a bit to do settling in here, etc.

Keep your fingers crossed, as I had an interview with a medical transcription company this week. I sent out resumes to others and have heard back from some, so if the first one doesn’t work out, there are other possibilities. That process takes a lot of time, actually. Whew!

Primrose Lane dry ground 10262015

That’s at least 6 inches deep

As you may have heard, Texas was visited by what was left of Hurricane Patricia over the weekend. Our site essentially turned into a mud pit.

Primrose Lane mud 2 10232015

This doesn’t really do it justice, and it got worse after . . .

Rain radar 10232015

See the red marker towards the right top of the image? That was us. All that yellow and green passed through over the weekend.

We had prepared by making sure we had provisions and did not need to venture out. Walking Maggie was an adventure, and she received the Royal Princess Treatment, being carried down to the area where we walk her. She wears her pink jacket, which helps keep her dry, especially her belly. She was such a trouper during all this.

The rain finally stopped for good this morning. We located the Walmart and were able to get Dave a new waterproof jacket. Yay! After that, I ventured forth to a wee laundromat nearby.

Woodville Laundromat 2 10262015

Dave spotted this place and checked it out on a bike ride last week.

Woodville Laundromat 102562015

It beats the heck outta the on-site facilities at the park. I had the place to myself most of the time. First time in donkey’s years I have experienced a peaceful laundry setting other than my own.

Late this afternoon, Dave discovered a damp area by the head of the bed, which is in the bedroom slide. Rut roh. Quick check of the Montana Owners Forum and I found where this has happened to others. Examination of the outside caulking on that slide showed that the caulking needs to be redone. The next three days are to be sunny and dry, so Dave has a wee project! The storms this weekend were hitting us broadside, and there was quite a bit of wind. We have typically been inline with storms before, so we’re thinking we experienced a bit of a leak with the weather this past weekend.

WiFi is advertised as one of the amenities here, but it is nonexistent. We are using my hot spot.

Two of the three restrooms (the kind with toilet and shower in one individual room) now have no toilet paper. One of those has been out for a week. Dave is checking them now as a source of amusement and amazed, wondering how long it will be before they are restocked.

We have met a nice couple in our age range that are at the end of our row. They are here temporarily (as we intend to be) and are here because of lack of availability in other parks (as we are). We have enjoyed visiting with them a bit. She is originally from . . . wait for it . . Scotland, although she came over at a very young age. At any rate, it is nice to visit with others with whom we seem to have more in common in the way of lifestyle and expectations.

Guess I don’t know much else worth repeating, so I’ll toddle off for now. Hope you have a great week with amazing adventures and that you stay safe out there!

Thanks for stopping by!

Busy First Day Here

Gosh, I’ve been blowin’ and goin’ all day! Sorry . . . no photos today.

Spent quite a bit of time throughout the day sending out cover letters/resumes to various medical transcription companies as a start to my job search. That has continued into the evening, actually.

Dave plotted a bike ride and took off for a while this morning. After he returned, we went over to another RV park to check it out. No, we’re not enamored with our current situation. Looks like for an additional $20 a month, we could be in much, much nicer and better surroundings.  There are no monthly openings at this time (it’s Aggie football season, after all), but we put ourselves on the waiting list. We’re third on the list and are looking at mid December for a possible opening. We have pretty much decided we will move if we are still in this area.

Got back into my virtual assistant job this afternoon/evening. More duties coming along with it, so I’ve spent some time this evening doing preliminary reviewing of that prior to hearing more about that and training tomorrow.

Dinner, a couple of walks – just the two of us and then with Maggie – in the areas where we are comfortable strolling and wowsers it’s almost time to think about shower and blankies.

Let’s see . . . there was a phone call with a friend in there somewhere and a few odds and ends around here.

The day just flew by, and I feel like I could use about six more hours to do stuff. Oh well. There’s always tomorrow!

Speaking of tomorrow, looks like the rains are going to be moving in starting then. It has become cloudy and breezy this evening, and a bit cooler.

Okay. That’s it. I’m going to have a bit of Words with Friends with Dave and then toddle off to The Dreamtime before long. My brain is tired, but I got a whale of a lot accomplished today!

Hope you’ve had a productive day . . . or enjoyed a day of chillin’ out. Whatever you’re doing, do it safely, okay?

Thanks for stopping by! Seriously. I appreciate you taking the time to visit!

Home for a Month

We departed Traders Village on the northwest side of Houston around 11 AM and headed on down Highway 290 West. Parts of it were under construction years ago when I lived in Houston and then later in Brenham and guess what? It’s still under construction an even longer way in what appears to be the addition of more lanes.

After getting really out of Houston’s reach, the highway became the 290 I remember, with no concrete barrier walls on the right side. Yay! We stopped at the Love’s I remember for a pit stop and a cup of coffee for Dave. I had a delightful conversation with a long-haul trucker while Dave was inside the store.

Scooting our way out of there, we were back on 290 until reaching Hempstead, where we branched off onto Highway 6 North. Now that was a pleasant drive! This took us all the way through College Station into Bryan, where we took the exit to get to Primrose Lane RV Park.

On our way here, we noticed how dry everything looked; the grass was brown, trees wilted and so forth. Entering the RV park, we noticed the same thing . . . even more so. The photos on the park’s web site are from days when there has been regular rain. That’s not the case now.

This park is divided into two sections. Up front there are some nice, long, concrete pull-thru pads for overnighters and short-term folks. There are back-ins for longer-term stays. There is another section behind a fence toward the back of the park that is a mobile home area. We took a walk this afternoon back there and decided we’ll stay up front in our section, as it really is . . . well, not our kind of area.

Primrose Lane site 5 10192015 1

I actually backed us in, with some great spotting from Dave!

Primrose Lane site 5 10192015 2

You can see how terribly dry it is here. Had to put our solar lights into cracks in the ground, as it was too hard to just put them anywhere. Yoinks!

We have a decent site, with tons of room between neighbors on either side. We do get some shade in the afternoons from the trees behind us. There is a street light across the street. Utilities seem fine so far; we were given converter boxes for the cable TV system. No TCM, but a better variety of channels than we have had other places. The manager was nice and helpful on our arrival, and we met a retired neighbor two sites down who came over to visit a bit.

This place really isn’t anything to look at and certainly isn’t nearly as nice as other places we have stayed; folks don’t seem to personalize or “cute up” their sites. There seem to be quite a few workers, but it is quiet out. That’s a good thing. The surrounding neighborhood appears okay; not fancy, but okay with some decent-looking houses across the road from the park. There is a nice H.E.B. about 2 miles away. The monthly rate is good and includes electricity (which is important in Texas) and I can get independent cable Internet if I need it for work. We have paid for a month and see how it goes.  We didn’t expect ritzy or upscale for the price we are paying.

We are expecting rain starting Wednesday with even heavy rain over the weekend. It won’t turn the grass green, but it should help the trees look and feel better. So incredibly dry . . . so sad. Guess you’ve heard there are wildfires in Texas again, even another one around the Bastrop area that was devastated not long ago by fires.

We did get settled enough today to go to H.E.B. for a few basic provisions and then I made quesadillas with guacamole for dinner. This evening I set up our converter boxes for the TVs and we’ve been enjoying having that on; right now we’re watching the series Fargo. Haha! It’s sooo Minnesota!

Well, we have landed safely and will use this as at least a starting point. I am grateful that the 90-something miles we traveled today were done in a safe and uneventful fashion.

Hope you’re settled and comfy somewhere and that you stay safe out there!

Thanks for stopping by!

Power Issue on Landing at Traders Village in Houston

We left Beaumont this morning about an hour earlier than usual at about 10:40. We boogied west on I-10 about 30 miles to make a pit stop at the rest area near Hamshire, TX.

Rest Stop Hamshire TX I10 10182015

Nice!

Restroom Rest Stop Hamshire TX I10 West 10182015

Grooviest ladies restroom I have ever seen at a rest area!

Our passage through Houston was uneventful and even easy up until we got onto Hwy 290 West. It wasn’t difficult, but a bit tedious; the right-hand lane had those construction barrier concrete walls all along the whole way with no shoulder. You know what I mean . . . makes the lane pretty narrow. We made it through just fine with no incident, although we heard a squeak/scrape sound at one point; Dave said he thought it was the truck behind us scraping the wall. Yoinks! I didn’t feel anything and checked our rig after landing here; it wasn’t us, as there was no sign of us caressing the wall.

Getting into Traders Village wasn’t as bad as I though it might be, although there was a ton of traffic. In case you don’t know, Traders Village is a humongous flea market with an RV park. We made it to our site with no problem and began our process for staying one night . . . lowering landing gear, putting out slides, etc. All was fine until . . .

No power inside the rig. Rut roh.

Power at the pedestal and into our power cord, but zilch inside. What to do? Called a couple of mobile services; it’s Sunday, so no joy there. Called Good Sam and talked with Technical Assistance, who was some help as to what it might be, but all they could do was give me phone numbers of RV service people. No joy there.

Opened all the windows and figured we’d just deal with it overnight and hit an RV service center in Bryan tomorrow (Monday).

Walking around outside, I saw two guys on the roof of a Class A two sites down. Walked that way thinking I might see a mobile tech van. Guy walks up and asks if I’d seen the owner of the coach; they were here doing work on roof and guy left his truck window down.

Nope, hadn’t seen the guy as we had just arrived. Asked him if he happened to be a tech.

Yesssssss!

So he came over and checked stuff with his voltage meter. After doing this, he right away determined it was our ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch), which is in a rig that has an onboard generator or is wired for one, which ours is. He found the box, opened it and voila!

The switch had melted. Yoinks.

He said this was probably due to low voltage. Well . . . our surge protector black box had shut us down a few times at the work site in South Carolina due to very low voltage like 105 (norm is 120). The facility manger had checked and said that everything was fine; however, by the time he would get to the spot to check it, incoming power would be back to normal ranges and our box would power us up again.

This happened several times during September. We weren’t totally convinced that our box was on the fritz, but there was nothing really to be done.

We did notice during our time there that our interior lights weren’t as bright as they had been . . .

So! Rhoan (the tech guy) commenced to fixing us. Since we do not have an onboard genny and have no plans to get one, he bypassed that portion of the ATS. Now power comes straight in and to the rig without going through that extra portion.

That boils down to power coming straight from the pedestal to the load (the rig). No middleman, so to speak.

Traders Village tech working on rig inside basement Dave watching 10182015

Dave watching Rhoan (inside basement) rewiring the ATS. You can tell we have no A/C at this point, because our door is open and so are all our windows!

Rhoan works at Demontrond RV but also works freelance on weekends. I tell ya, after checking voltage in a few places, he knew right away what it was. Said he has seen this happen quite a few times before. He said we would probably notice our lights were brighter since we were using straight power now and bypassing the ATS.

Turning on our living room overhead lights after dark . . . wow whee! Yep. It’s brighter in here again! We had replaced the regular bulbs with LEDs a few months ago and had commented on how nice and bright it was in here. We had noticed – while in SC – that it was dang dark in here and Dave was struggling to read or use the computer in his recliner.

Well, it was money we really didn’t need to spend on repairs, but taking it to an RV dealer might have cost us more, taken longer and might not have even been fixed.

Just Providence, good luck or whatever that I happen to look around and hook up with Rhoan.

So we’ve gone from looking at a relatively miserable evening and hassle tomorrow in getting to a dealer before landing at our spot in Bryan to being comfortable. A/C is working fine. I can charge my phone. The TV has picked up some sort of movie station (showing Gregory Peck movies).

Whew. What a day. I am looking forward to getting to our landing spot tomorrow, settling in, working my virtual assistant job and finding a medical transcription job. Hoping our life will settle down and we can get in a comfortable groove.

I am very grateful for today’s safe passage of a bit over 90 miles under beautiful skies and gorgeous weather.

Hope your Sunday was pleasant and that you stay safe out there!

Thanks for stopping by!

Relaxing in Beaumont, TX

We were sitting outside a wee while ago and realized we are finally get the relaxation layover we intended first in Lexington, SC (where we extended our stay due to the rain event) and then in Hope Hull, AL (where loose dogs were an annoyance in the park).

Finally! Yes, indeed!

Yes, Phyllis, there is still construction on I-10. Isn’t there always? Traffic was not backed up westbound, so it wasn’t bad at all. (Check out Phyllis’ full-timing blog here.)

We did get up and out the door in time to mosey over and check out the free breakfast here. It really wasn’t anything to write home about, but Dave got a cup of coffee. I brought a biscuit back, warmed it up and ate it with a bit of butter. Not bad, but not outstanding. It is a nice gesture on their part.

We were out and about before 11 AM, stopping first at Hidden Lake RV Resort not far from here. I certainly would not call it a “resort,” but it was a nice enough park on drive-through and one to perhaps consider in the future.

Our next stop was the Walmart, which was a bit of a drive from our park. We picked up a few items there and then dropped into the H.E.B. for some groceries on our way home.  For those who don’t know, H.E.B. is a Texas grocery store chain. This was apparently a “super” H.E.B., as it was the biggest one I have ever been in, and I’ve been in quite a few. OMG. Was it delightful! We supplemented to our current stock of provisions, so we’re good for meals for quite a while again.

We even have lettuce in the fridge again and we each had a salad with our stuffed salmon for dinner tonight.

Lettuce! The quality of lettuce was so deplorable in South Carolina that we stopped buying it. We haven’t had lettuce in almost three months.  I was in lettuce heaven this evening!

When I attended Lamar University here back in the late 1970s, I had no real reason to come to this west side of town. I tell ya what, though, it sure has grown! “Stuff” everywhere and the traffic to go along with that. We had initially talked (well, I did most of the talking – haha!) about having a meal at Patillo’s (BBQ) today, but after our errands . . . well, all I really wanted to do was chill out here at home. Dave was definitely okay with that, so that’s what we have been doing.

I recognized so many of the street names – Major, Phelan, Fannett, Gladys, Washington – even though I frequented those on their opposite end closer to the university. I sort of wish now that I had scheduled us for a longer time here so I could go exploring a bit. If we were here for, say, a week, I’d be checking out old familiar places, seeing what’s been done/renovated/added. There is a lot to do and see in the area. Oh well. Next time!

I’m just really enjoying relaxing and hanging out at home and the park.

We’ve had some strolls around the park, some with Maggie and some just the two of us. This is a wonderful place to walk, as the streets are paved and the park is well lit and fenced. One feels safe walking here even at night.

We have one more day here, and our friend Rachelle will be coming up to spend some time with us. Yay! Even though she and I talk on the phone frequently, we have not been together since right before we hit the road in 2010. She and I go waaaay back, having worked at Exxon together back in the 1980s/1990s.

So tomorrow should be a fun day, with perhaps a visit to Tyrell Park and the Botanical Gardens (or not), hanging with a dear friend, fueling up the truck and then hitching up later in the day with a view to hitting the road to and through Houston on Sunday. The emphasis will be chilling out. Just be-ing.

We did find our “Welcome to Our Clan” sign and hung it outside, and Dave graciously hung our pictures inside, since we’re having company! Tomorrow is slated to be about 12 degrees cooler than today, with a forecast high of 80F. I imagine there will be a bit of sitting outside time.

We can tell we’re definitely in Texas, as we can hear marching bands and the announcer from a nearby stadium and what sounds like a high school football game. It’s a lovely, almost cool and cloudless night, and the sound carries. I like it.

Speaking of sounds, we did not hear the trains after about 8 PM (I’m guessing) last evening and not at all today. Yay!

Hope your Friday has been as relaxing as ours and that your weekend will continue to be so!

Ya’ll take care and be safe out there, alrighty?

Thanks for stopping by!

Back in Texas

We had a nice overnight stay in Duson, LA at Frog City RV Park. We really did enjoy this park and would certainly return for an even longer stay. Part of that enjoyment was the visits we had with our next door neighbors, a part-timing couple from PA and their 14-year-old dog.

Rolling out of the park just shy of 11:30 AM, we hopped on I-10 to continue our journey westward. We planned to make a pit stop at about 50 miles at a Love’s Travel Center; however, there was no convenient truck parking and we had a bit of a tight squeeze getting through the travel plaza pump area after deciding this was not a practical stop. Whew. We did it, though, with no harm/no foul. That’s the last time I try that, I tell ya. RV parking my ptooie.

I do dig my Pilot truck stops and hanging with the big dawgs. It’s easy. We’re courteous – pull forward to the line after fueling, don’t leave our rig unattended – and we’ve never had an issue; in fact, all drivers we have interacted with have been courteous and friendly, if not downright helpful.

Good thing I wasn’t desperate for a pit stop, as the Calcasieu River Bridge in Lake Charles was definitely kinda skeery. Well, not really. Well, maybe just a wee bit. Gee, that was steep. Dave did the sightseeing. I didn’t want to look down and I was focused on getting us up, over and down again safely. That sucker is steep! Did you know that the Department of Transportation has declared it structurally deficient? The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development says it’s fine and dandy. That’s according to Wikipedia.

A tad over 91 miles from our start, we rolled into the Texas Welcome Center. I think that’s a record for yours truly without a pit stop. The traffic on I-10 just whizzed (no pun intended), by while we took our stretch break.

Texas Welcome Center 10152015

Texas Welcome Center I-10 West

This wasn’t too far from Beaumont and Gulf Coast RV Resort, our home until Sunday.  This is a big place with paved roads and sites, Wi-Fi that is nonexistent (and we’re even in the first row by the office) and minimal TV stations, about 13 with really nothing to watch. Oh well. The park is well-lit and a combination of long-term workers, short-terms and overnighters. It is well maintained. The restrooms are clean, individual units with toilet and shower. There’s a free breakfast consisting of Texas waffles, biscuits and gravy, muffins, cereal, coffee, juice. Don’t know if we’ll make it for that, as it is served from 7 AM to 9 AM. There’s a pool, exercise room, playground and dog park.  Our site is concrete and plenty long with ample room between us and the site. We are on an end, so we do not have a neighbor site on our driver side.

Gulf Coast RV Resort Beaumont TX 10152015

We are in Site #77, convenient to restrooms and laundry. We also have a lovely power station in our site and a useless patio. Other than that, it’s cool. Well, only if the trains don’t blow their horns all night.

Guess the only thing I’d say on the down side is that the utilities are at the rear of the site. The pavement is only wide enough for the rig, so you step down into grass. There is a concrete patio with picnic table; however, it is at the front end of the site and essentially useless. Makes you wonder if whoever designed the place had ever set foot in an RV. All the sites are set up this way.

Maggie at Gulf Coast RV Resort Beaumont TX 10152015

Maggie is feeling much, much better and is chillaxin’ here. She totally rearranged the daybed to suit her comfort.

We were walking Maggie in the doggie walk area earlier and about jumped out of our skins when the train blew its horn. Yes, the tracks are pretty dang close. I’ll let you know if this goes on all night.

Traffic was heavy coming through Beaumont, so I didn’t get to look around too much, but I did recognize some landmarks such as the Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum and I certainly recognized names of the streets on freeway exits. We are on the western outskirts of town, and it’s nice not to be smack dab in the middle of things. We plan to go out tomorrow for a few provisions; not sure how much wandering around we’ll do. We’ll see. The washers and dryers in the laundry room are only a buck each, so I may do a load of laundry during our stay. Or not. Ha!

We’ve had a few strolls around the park, both before and after our dinner of burgers and steak fries here at home.

Again I am grateful for the 123.6 miles traveled safely and without incident today. It was in the low 90s here in Beaumont when we arrived but has cooled down nicely. Not a cloud in the sky all day.

We’re here for the weekend. Where are you spending your weekend?

Hope your Thursday was a good one. Stay safe out there, would ya?

Thanks for stopping by!