Saturday, October 15, 2011

the vacation before the vacation

As I mentioned before, I spent almost a week in Seattle and Tacoma.  Before I left, however, I spent a wonderful couple of days with one of my very favorite people, Cassie.  She came up from San Diego, and we worked on whittling down our Los Angeles "bucket list."  We definitely made a dent in it, and while doing so managed to enjoy some delicious food, great conversations, and some of the best coffee I have ever had.:o)

Venice canals

 Full of gorgeous houses and gardens

And (without question) less expensive than traveling to the originals:o)

 Venice beach

My bias is still toward Santa Monica but Venice is absolutely beautiful

Cass learning the cha cha cha at a local park

 A vanilla latte @ Cafe Luxxe

And for non-coffee drinkers there was apricot tea

And (of course) there was a visit to our fave local spot

Santa Monica


Come again soon Cass! I miss you already.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

the miracle of flight

Today I went from here:

To here:

In 4 1/2 hours.  And because my first flight was not until college (and my family frequently drove from Washington to Los Angeles), the novelty of it all was not wasted on me. :o)  It was a wonderful week and one that left me refreshed and ready for the next couple days of work. Now I'm off to bed so that I don't wake up feeling "jet-lagged", but rest assured that photos of my trip will be coming soon!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

and now back to days

Well my month of nights is over and I'm back to day shift. And it's a Saturday. And I'm off work! This week I survived what my sister (after having it herself) referred to as the "plague." This particular illness was one that my niece brought home from the nursery and can only be described (for the purposes of this audience:o) as a rather terrible flu. For some reason the immunity to disease that I've collected during my time at the hospital has not extended to pediatric bugs. And not only am I susceptible but I always seem to have a worse version of them than other people do. Curious... But I'm always thankful for illnesses...after the fact. They force me to slow down. To sit (or curl up into the fetal position) on the couch. To read. To watch a movie. And to think.

And as I thought I considered how busy I have been. Then I thought, "But what have I been doing?" A lot of what I've been doing has included fun memories, laughter, and of course my wonderful family. But then I thought of other things. Not necessarily bad things, but things that could have been skipped. Things that failed to maximize that time God has given me or to glorify Him. And I prayed. That God would give me wisdom in all that I do and that I would live each day to the fullest. Not that I need to be busier, but I do need to leave out things like time spent on Facebook or Youtube or any of the other time wasting and unedifying activities I choose to invest my time into. There are plenty of things to fill that time with and I can already think of a few. One is this blog. So here I am seven months later picking it back up again. And now I'm off to see what else the day holds. Thankful for my health but thankful also for all God taught me in this illness.:o)

A Saturday morning of crepes, coffee, and quiet time spent in God's Word.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cooking for One

There are so many things I love about my new place.  I love that I can hear birds outside in the morning.  I love that I can walk to Starbucks in about 5 minutes.  I love that I can have people over any time.  I love that my manager and his wife are incredibly sweet and go the extra mile to make sure I have everything I need.  I love how close it is to work and the beach.  I love the layout.  I love the wood floors.  I love that it's starting to feel like home.  One thing I don't love, however, is cooking.

I've always loved to cook.  I started in junior high and haven't stopped since, but cooking for one is an entirely different matter.  When I lived with my aunt and uncle I tried to cook once a week, and it was so fun to be able to cook for them.  When I'm at my sister and brother-in-law's house, cooking is always a blast.  They are always great "patrons," and we have very similar tastes.  When I was there Thursday Rebecca and I made Chicken Spaghetti and lemon bars.  They were delicious and so fun to make.  When I'm home though, making a whole casserole or dessert just isn't an option.  The casserole because I'd be tired of it, and the dessert because I'd eat it.:o)  Part of the problem is I lack variety in ingredients at the moment, but I also lack recipes ideal for one.  So - I suppose it's something new to work on and a challenge to overcome.  Regardless, in case you hadn't noticed, I love my new place!

P.S. - I did make something yummy tonight!:o)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Dad

Today I had the immense privilege of hosting my first (hopefully of many) visitors.  That is, visitors that do not have the last name of Brown and thus do not really count as visitors.:o)  Today my dad, mom, sister, and my sister's fiancĂ© all came to see my new place and go out to dinner.  It was so fun to see them, and since they all heartily approved of my new place they have been invited back!  We went to Wahoo's Fish Tacos for dinner (all I can say is if you haven't been: go!) and then came back to my place for brownies, ice cream, and coffee.  It was my first opportunity to use my oven, so quite the momentous occasion!

The most interesting part of the visit, however, was my dad's assistance with the evil non-user friendly corporation known as Verizon.  Now let me state for the record that I have had a Verizon cell phone for years and constantly recommend it to all my friends (mostly because I want to be able to talk to them for free within the network:o). experience with their land line/internet service has not been the same.  I'll spare you most of the long, boring details and just say that I have lost track of the number of times I have talked to them, gotten different answers, and waited on hold for over 45 minutes.  As of yesterday I would have said the most annoying part of the whole thing has been still not having internet two weeks later, but then today I opened my mail and found a bill for $230.  Say what?  You want me to send to you a check for $230 for internet and phone service I don't have?  Enter my dad.  My dad is amazing.  In so many ways really.  One of those ways is his ability to navigate the world of "consumer."  He can purchase things for far less than anyone I know by pointing out a blemish or problem or somehow haggling with them, but does it in a way that the person selling it to him feels that it was a terrific sale and probably adds him to their Christmas card list.  No, I'm not exaggerating.

It's incredible really, and sadly not a trait I inherited.  I'm more of the, "What's that?  You want to rip me off and sell me that broken item for much more than it's really worth?  Ok, but can't I pay you a little more for it?"  Really.  I'm bad at it.  If you'll recall, the only reason I am paying less than the listed price for my apartment is because Becky was there when I applied.  Anyway, when I opened the bill I panicked.  I called Becky and Justin who were super helpful and supportive and told me to call Verizon right away.  Then I happened to talk to my dad to give him directions to my apartment and mentioned it to him.  He offered to help and given his history, how could I refuse?  He actually sat on the phone for close to 2 hours, and they have now dropped all of those charges and are billing me less per month for my service.  And I'm related to him - by birth!  I also have to point out that the rest of my family was so gracious, and didn't complain about going to dinner far after the time we had planned.  Kate made a few noises when she realized Wahoo's was going to close (which is reasonable considering how amazing their fish tacos are!), but they were just as gracious about eating late as they were about sitting on the floor to eat dessert.  Oh family, aren't they just wonderful?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

8 Minutes

     In 8 minutes I can cook pasta, run a mile (or at least half a mile:o), and now - drive to work.  Yes ladies and gentleman, the rumors are true.  My commute time is now 2/15ths of what it used to be.  And that's just in the mornings!  In the evenings it's about 1/32nd of what it once was.  People have been asking me, "What will you do with all of that extra time?"  Well today I got a library card, checked out a classic Carey Grant movie, bought something at Goodwill, took a walk on the beach, and drove home in the amount of time I once spent commuting.  Location, location, location...:o)

The view from my walk.

Amazingly refreshing after 8 hours in a computer class.:o)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Thank You Starbucks for Free Internet

     I love setting realistic goals.  They're just so easy to meet.  For example, I made a goal of blogging within a year of my last post.  And look: I'm a whole 2 1/2 months ahead of schedule!:o)
     Not to worry though, you're not too far behind.  My niece (who was not yet born in the last post) is now 9 months old, has two teeth, is eating solids like a pro, and will soon be crawling. 

     I graduated from nursing school, got hired on my first choice unit - neuro/trauma ICU - in their new grad program, finished my job as a care partner and said goodbye to the float team and vascular surgery, and started classes for my new job (this morning).  I moved out of my aunt and uncle's house, moved into and out of my sister and brother-in-law's condo, and moved into my own apartment.  I celebrated another birthday, celebrated snow in L.A. in January, celebrated passing my boards and becoming a fully licensed nurse, and celebrated becoming a car owner. 

     I had a few months between finishing school and starting the new grad program so I went on fabulous adventures with my sister, brother-in-law, and niece (including, but not limited to, the Getty museum, apartment hunting, my first meal at Chick-fil-a, driving from NorCal to SoCal after Christmas, and grocery shopping trips).  Everything is exciting with an adorable baby.:o)  Between these adventures I squeezed in a trip to Seattle to visit a former roommate and her family, a trip to San Diego to see a friend in the Coast Guard, and a trip to New York (my first visit to the east coast!) with friends.

     Whew!  Well I think you're up-to-date now, but there is a slight possibility that I may have missed an event or two.  Through every one of these adventures I saw clearly God's grace and sovereignty prominently displayed.  Not sure how I managed to be surprised by how awesome He is yet again, but somehow I find my limited human understanding requires constant reminders.  He provided in ways beyond anything I could have imagined and I hope to someday go back and share a few specific examples.  For now, however, I am considering myself caught up on blogging and will be moving on to tales of adventures as a new grad and other current events.  At the moment my internet is not working, so my ability to check e-mail and blog will be limited by my ability to fit Starbucks into my budget.;o)  Oh, and for all of my faithful readers, you should excited to hear that my current rather ambitious goal is to post within the next 6 months.  Just kidding...I think.:o)