Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Practice, Practice, Practice

Today was a great day for assessment. The sun was shining, the birds were singing outside the window, and I could think of nothing better than staying indoors and studying for a final. I managed to run a few errands and do a little packing for my trip this weekend, but for the most part I just assessed things. My stuffed duck, my Aunt (multiple times), and even my Uncle once he got home from work. They were both so great, and vowed to "prepare me for all of those difficult patients.":o) I now feel fairly competent at assessing the posterior and anterior thorax and lungs, heart and neck vessels, peripheral vascular, abdomen, musculoskeletal, and neurological systems. I know all of the normal findings and how to test for exciting things like deep vein thrombosis and carpal tunnel. I'll stop here so as not to make you all too insanely jealous, but I was sure you'd like to know.:o) How was your day? (Btw...if you think of it you could be praying for my final from 2:30-3:30 pm tomorrow!)

Here is me looking like a nerd in my lab coat.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Why Worry?

It's difficult for me to comprehend that the month of May is almost over. Didn't it just start? As I was looking over my calendar for the past month, I suddenly felt a little tired. I definitely packed a lot in, and I'm very thankful for all that I had the opportunity to do. It did, however, make me think about a passage in Matthew. Several verses in chapter six talk about worrying, and verse 34 says, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Although I faithfully write future events down in my calendar so that I don't forget them, I have no concept of just how full each month, week, day, and hour will be. And that is a good thing. There is a reason God designed us without the ability to see into the future. He knows my future, and I can trust Him for it. I can make plans with friends and family, but they must always made be with the qualifier "Lord-willing" and then left, free of worry, in His hands. Now if only I can remember that as I head into the next week and finals.

Isn't it pretty?This picture is for Justin. (Just in case anything ever happens to them, a picture is important.)

My friend Cassie was in town the other weekend, and got a kick out of this sign. Apparently they ran out of speed bumps signs...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Weekend in S.C.

I had the incredible privilege of spending the weekend with my sister and brother-in-law in Santa Clarita. My Aunt and Uncle were out of town for the weekend, and they were nice enough to let me invade their apartment. We had a marvelous time together, and even managed to check a few things off their list. We did a bit of shopping, gardening, cooking, and even sleeping. It's so fun to hang out with them and just do regular things. One of the highlights of the weekend was Justin's orange juice cup when we went out for breakfast. In addition to realizing there must be an orange shortage in the world based on the size of the cup, we also concluded that the girl on the side who is supposed to be marketing the juice looks a little scared. Perhaps we should be too?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Observations of a Commuter

The following is a list of valuable things I've learned during my short time as a commuter in L.A., and I have no doubt they will aid you in driving should you ever come to visit:

1. Under no circumstances are blinkers ever to be used. This gives the enemy (aka other drivers) foreknowledge of your next maneuver and depending on how you view it this a) might give them a chance to adjust accordingly to give you room or b) allow them to keep you from merging into their lane.
2. The etiquette of stop signs outlined in the California Driver's Handbook is only necessary for other drivers. If you feel like going...go!
3. The traditional method of pausing when green lights turn green to make sure that the intersection is clear is unacceptable. There will be people running the red light. Deal with it. In fact, you really should anticipate when the light is going to turn green and start going prior to the actual change to save other drivers the hassle of having to honk their horn to remind you that green lights mean go.
4. Driving in the right lane does not give you the right to drive the speed limit. You should be going faster. If a driver pulls up right behind you, they are probably trying to pass on the right and therefore you need to speed up. If they seem to be getting too close to your rear bumper, do not be alarmed. L.A. drivers are very kind, and they are simply planning on saving you gas by pushing you forward.
5. The City of Los Angeles was experiencing technical difficulties when all of the speed limit signs were produced. They should be considered typos. Add 10 mph to the posted speed limit. This is the actual speed limit. Then drive 10 mph faster than that.
6. If you see a long line of cars backed up at your offramp and are worried that this will make you late, don't be. Those drivers are likely all from out of town and don't know the proper way to exit the freeway. Simply drive the two miles remaining before your exit in the lane to the left of all of the ignorant people sitting in line, and then merge into the lane at the last second. If the person behind you has a strange look on their face, do not be concerned. It is just dawning on them that they went about the whole thing wrong, and they appreciate your efforts to demonstrate the right way to do it.
7. If someone puts any part of their car anywhere in front of you in your lane, they have the right to be in front of you.
8. If you see a fender bender, major collision, stalled vehicle, a car, a pretty bird, or pretty much anything off to the side of road, be sure to slow down to a crawl and carefully observe every detail of it. The people behind you will appreciate you slowing down the speed on the freeway to 5 mph, which allows for a nice, leisurely, and relaxing drive home.
9. When making a left hand turn at a signal, expect it to be unguarded. This means that you are basically being encouraged to run a red light since that is often the only way to make it through the intersection. Refer back to rule number three for how to handle being on the other side of the intersection when drivers are running the red light.
10. Assume that nobody else needs to get where they are going as badly as you do. Drive accordingly.:o)

If you look really closely you can see the buildings of downtown Los Angeles in the distance cleverly muted by the lovely brown overtones of a crisp morning smog.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Bunch of Random

The title of this post pretty much says it all. Between midterms and life I haven't gotten to post about several things I've been wanting to, so welcome to the blog of a procrastinator.:p

I had the privilege of rooming with Kristen for a year while I was at Cal Poly. She had just recently become a Christian, and her passion and enthusiasm for growing in her knowledge of and love for the Lord was a continual encouragement. She is now residing with her new roommate (her wonderful husband) in Seattle, and I get to talk with her every so often. For Christmas last year she gave me an incredible bracelet that I absolutely love, so I thought I'd share a picture. The inscription is "Pray," and I'm always thankful for the visible reminder as I go through my day. It also makes me think of Kristen, and I often end up praying specifically for her.:o) You can check out her blog "The Jolly Wife" in the sidebar to the right.

Too Cute!

I have discovered over the past few weeks that Los Angeles is a wonderful, central location that allows me to see people more often than I have in the past. I have a friend from high school who is coming here for an internship this summer, and another former roommate from Cal Poly who will be here in a couple of weeks for a track meet. I am thrilled to be able to see them and get all caught up on what's been going on in their lives. I am also thankful that there is always plenty to do with people who come to visit. L.A. is certainly not lacking in the tourist attraction department, and I always have a good time seeing the sights (often for the first time) with them. So who's up for coming to see me next?:o)

(This could be your picture here. Hint...hint.:o)

There are also several people living down here who I am LOVING living closer to. This past weekend provided time for hanging out with my favorite older sister and brother-in-law. My sister and I hung out while Justin went to the library to study, and then I had dinner with them. Below are some pictures of our our efforts at making homemade pizzas, which actually turned out quite well.
Justin works tirelessly to roll out the dough into a perfect, round shape.

Becky proudly displays her masterpiece.

The incredibly well-made pizzas were cooked in the Brown's amazing new oven!

My sister, the lovely gardener:o)

Last week I went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (although I found out it's LACMA to the locals) with Justin's siblings my "brother and sister," Micah and Stephanie. I have to admit I'm not really one for museums, but it was so great to hang out with both of them for a little while. Steph and I went out for pizza afterward, and it was so wonderful to hear about what's been going on in her life and what I can be praying for. Upon returning to her car she discovered that she had received a ticket, and I have included a picture of what has to be the MOST ridiculous parking sign I have ever seen. Perhaps this area of L.A. is in need of making some money on parking tickets?

So what exactly are you trying to say?

Finally, I also have a couple of pictures from my time at The Master's College two weekends ago. After attending for a couple of weeks back in January, it's a little ironic that the only pictures I have are from after I went there...but that's ok.:o) I had a nice "old-fashioned sleepover" in my old dorm Sweazy with my former roommate and a few friends, and went out for an amazing breakfast at the Egg Plantation in Santa Clarita the next morning. My parents and sisters also came into town that weekend, and it was wonderful to see them!

I ended up being just in time for a girls vs. guys water fight. ("Unfortunately" I couldn't participate since I didn't want my camera getting wet.)

Paula got a little excited.

The girls talk strategy while waiting for the tardy boys.

The heat of the battle.

My wonderful former roommate Leanne.

Believe it or not in between all of this fun and frivolity I actually have found time to study, and my midterms went really well. I can't believe the first quarter is rapidly coming to an end already, and I have already registered for my summer quarter classes. I start my clinical in a hospital next quarter, and I can't wait to have real, live, non-mannequin patient contact. I'm sure I'll have lots of fun stories to share at that point... I hope you're all doing well, and I promise to do my best in the future to post as things happen rather than all at once.:o)