Friday, May 30, 2008

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane, Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again...

Oh, wait a minute, I'm already back! Today was my jet-setting, quick trip to Sacramento. I had to get my nursing license, and while I've always done this by mail in the past, in California you can get it in one day. If you go to Sacramento.

After comparing costs of driving or flying, with high gas prices, a hotel stay and the two days it would take to drive, I decided to fly. I had no idea if it would take 30 minutes in the office, or 5 hours, so I made my arrangements to land at 9am and leave again at 4pm. That seemed like a safe bet.

I got about 2.5 hours of sleep last night (you know, as a night shift worker it's sometimes hard to fall asleep before 2am -then I had to be up at 4:30 to shower and get to the airport to get through security in time for the first flight of the day). I made it to my window seat in the second row, plugged in my iPod once it was allowed, and settled in for a nice flight. When I landed, it was so nice to just pick up my shoulder bag from under the seat in front of me, and go find a taxi. I've never flown without checking baggage, and it's very freeing!

The taxi driver was friendly (more on that later...) and knew right where I was headed. It turns out that the Sacramento airport is about 20 miles away from downtown, and the Board of Nursing office is about halfway in-between. I had sort of hoped that if there was extra time I'd be able to walk around downtown and explore a bit.

Getting my license only took about 2 hours total. I had to wait for 40 minutes two different times, and the rest was pretty easy! Just paperwork that's usually filled out at home and mailed in.

When I finished, I looked at my watch and realized if I made it back to the airport right away, I could try and catch an earlier flight instead of just waiting around for a few hours. It would've been fun to explore a bit, but there wasn't anything to explore near me, and since I knew I had a lot of packing left, I decided it was worth it to get back home quicker.

I called my taxi driver back, and it turns out he gave me his phone number not only hoping I'd ask for a ride back to the airport, but that I'd join him for lunch... Since he was, well... at least 15+ years older and not at all who I'd be interested in, I was glad for the excuse of catching an earlier flight. It wasn't so much creepy as really awkward... I give him kudos for trying, but really? You think this would work?? He did ask me to keep his number for the next time I'm in town, but, well... I think it got thrown away at the airport...

I luckily got the earlier flight, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and was back home in my apartment by 3pm! I've had layovers longer than my day in Sacramento! What a strange day!

Since I still hadn't slept, I set my alarm for a quick nap, slept right through the alarm, and feel much more rested, but not at all packed... What was with that? I usually sleep GREAT on a plane (asleep before take-off, waking up during landing) but wasn't able to today. Then, I always hear my alarm, but I've missed it a couple of times lately. I have two alarms -I better start setting them both.

Well, this was a long-enough distraction from packing. I better get back to it! I'll finish packing up tonight, then load the car in the morning and leave Arizona. This has been a great apartment on Hayden Road.

That reminds me, did I ever tell you about my blind date with Hayden? It's a funny story. This was back when I lived in Arizona before and I was set up on this blind day by some friends. He took me to this restaurant called "The Salt Cellar". It's an underground seafood restaurant that was way too expensive (note to men: you don't need to spend a lot of money on a date with me -just plan something fun!). Well, as we were driving to the restaurant (on Hayden Road), I made some funny comment on how they named the road after him, and it turns out, I wasn't completely wrong! Hayden is his mom's maiden name and his great-grandfather was the first senator of Arizona! He did things like help create Grand Canyon National Park, he founded the city of Tempe, and there are lots of buildings, schools, roads, and even a mountain named after him. I guess he still holds the record for longest service in the US Congress. So, when I was driving around with Hayden on Hayden Road, I felt a little sheepish saying something! (Just for the record, he never told me all that stuff about his great-grandfather, I just read it tonight on Wikipedia --another procrastination moment.) As you can obviously tell, that date didn't work out. He's a nice guy but didn't really talk much. At all. I can usually carry on a conversation with just about anyone, but it was really a stretch here. I haven't thought about him in years, but living on Hayden Road has reminded me of him again. It was a fairly awkward date, but not the most awkward ever. That would have to be the date where I was proposed to on the first date that I didn't even know was a date. It's a HILARIOUS story that I won't publish online, but if you want to ask me about, ask away. I love telling it! (It's best told in person or on the phone, because there are specific accents and intonations used!)

Okay. Now I've procrastinated enough. I really need to pack! My next post should hopefully include pictures of my new apartment and maybe the beach? I guess I shouldn't promise anything, but I'll get to Jim and Marilyn's tomorrow night then move in on Saturday morning.

See you from California!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Family and Friends and Random Stuff

[okay, this got to be a lot more random than I even thought it might!]

I realized there are a few things I haven't posted about yet. Oops! Life is sure going by quickly, especially when you're only in a location for 7 weeks.

I'm still here in Arizona, but only for another few days. I work Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, then will sleep a bit on Wednesday, get together with a friend for lunch, then try and get all packed up. On Thursday, I think I'll feel like a jet-setter! I'm going to fly to Sacramento, just for the day! I've NEVER done that before!! I could get my CA nursing license by mail but it takes longer than I had available to start my next job. It is possible to get a temp license in one day, but you're required to be in person at the office in Sacramento. When I calculated the 800 mile drive one way, a hotel stay, and the two days needed for that trip, it turns out to be cheaper to fly. How fun! I'm going to land at 9:00am and leave again at 4:00pm. I have no idea if my appointment will take 30 minutes or a couple of hours. Have any of you spent time in Sacramento before? If I have lots of left-over time, are there any "Don't Miss This" things to see?

When I get back home Thursday night, I'll finish packing, then load up my car on Friday morning and take off for CA! I can't believe it's almost time!

Last Thursday, I was invited over to Forrest and Julie's house for a birthday celebration. I think I said this earlier, but it was SUCH a blessing to have a fun birthday WEEK! We had an evening of great food, fellowship, fun, family, and friends! It was a PERFECT evening to sit outside and enjoy the Arizona weather!

I always enjoy a good brownie sundae and was treated to one with a candle! Don't worry, though, about the candle melting the ice cream. I waited until after I made my wish and blew out my candle to add the ice cream!
Thank you to Forrest and Julie for hosting, and to Kathy for organizing this fun celebration! I really appreciate it and am so thankful for you!!

I have SOOOOO loved my time hanging out with Kathy while I've been here. I'm sure many of you know this, but I can't remember that I've said this on my blog before -Kathy and I were roommates for a year. We lived in a three-bedroom townhouse with seven women all together. Yes, you read that right, SEVEN women! Kathy and I shared a room and while we had known each other prior to that, we built such a fun friendship that year! I had long been telling my friends that they should marry my cousins so we could hang out at family reunions together. Well, the night before I moved out of the townhouse, Kathy and my cousin Joel were engaged! How fun! (He's a second-cousin, but in our family cousins are cousins, whether first or second.) It's been really great to spend a lot of good time hanging out with them during this assignment, and so fun to watch them be wonderful parents to their new little girl!

She's such a little sweetheart!

You can tell that Grandpa Forrest really loves his role!

Last Sunday after I woke up, I was excited to head over to Brian and Ronda's house for lunch and an afternoon of hanging out! They live about 45 minutes to the west of me, and with their busy schedules and my strange hours, we haven't gotten to see each other much. Ronda's not only my cousin but a kindred-spirit, so I've been especially excited to see her! It was great to see their home, be able to really picture where they live, and just hang out a bit. And, the home cooked roast and mashed potato meal was delicious! Ronda and I laughed a lot while Brian took our picture!

I had met Brian once in Arizona a few years ago, and then again at their wedding two summers ago in Seattle (can it already be two years??), but it's been really fun to get to know him better! Last night they came this direction and we went out to eat then came back to play some games but we ended up just chatting so much we didn't leave time for the games! Brian's a great guy and they are a wonderful match. And, though it doesn't show in this picture, he really does smile a lot! He just told me he doesn't smile so much in pictures... :)
Thanks again for lunch last Sunday, and for coming over here last night! It's been great to see you both, and I'm hoping it works for you to visit me (and the beach!) this summer!!

When I left their home last Sunday, it was really quite hot out. My car thermometer actually said 117 degrees, but that's because it was sitting out in the sun on their driveway. But, it really was hot! I think the high I heard on the news that night was 110 degrees, but my car showed 112 degrees after it cooled down out of the sun!

That reminds me, the forecast here for Friday, when I'm loading up and packing my car, is 100 degrees. Will you pray for me? I don't mind the heat -I actually get acclimated pretty quick and now the 70-80's have been feeling cool! But, 100 degrees while carrying boxes doesn't sound like fun.

Well, if you've stuck with me during this long post, THANK YOU! And, I hope that you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! One of the many things I miss from Fergus Falls is the great job they did of honoring our veterans, and encouraging a patriotic spirit. Here's a picture I took last Memorial Day of the great flag display they have, and you can see another post about it here.

I want to publicly thank each of our veterans and current soldiers for fighting for the freedoms we enjoy each day, and because it's specifically Memorial Day and we're honoring those who are no longer here on earth, I'm thinking of my Grandpa Swanson who served in France during World War II.

Friday, May 23, 2008

California Living

This past week I was able to find out where I'll be living while in California. It looks like I'll actually be living in Long Beach, since that's where my company usually houses travelers in the area. The apartment complex is found here. It doesn't have a fitness center, but everything else seems okay. Good pool, covered parking, and only 2+ miles to the BEACH! I've been checking out the City of Long Beach website, looking forward to the beaches, restaurants, and other fun stuff that's around.

And, the great news: because of availability, I'm getting a 2-bed, 2-bath apartment! This means I really WILL have great space for you to come visit! Yippee!!

I don't know my work schedule yet, but start making plans to visit!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Memorable Birthday Trip!

On Wednesday, I had a very memorable birthday! Jill and I made plans to go to the Grand Canyon, and go back home again via Sedona and it's red rock formations. It was a fun day! As you can imagine, I have a ton of pictures, so I decided to show them to you in slide shows, but here are a couple of teasers (and in case the slide show pictures are smaller than I'd like!) It was a great way to spend my birthday and I'm so glad that Jill was able to be here for a few days! I've had a fun couple days since then as well, and then have been back to work, so am finally getting these pictures uploaded for you!

As a big fan of national parks, it was REALLY fun to get a stamp from the GRAND CANYON on my BIRTHDAY!!! Whoo, who!!

We left for the Grand Canyon on Wednesday morning just after rush hour. It's about a 3 1/2 to 4 hour drive, so we got there right around noon. It had actually snowed in Flagstaff the day before (about a foot!) so we saw lots of snow around. I thought it looked cool (literally! -after our 90 degree days!) but since Jill is from MN I think she thought it was crazy to come to Arizona and see snow! Luckily it was mostly melted in the park itself.

It was REALLY fun to watch Jill experience the Grand Canyon for the first time! When I get to take someone to a place I enjoy, and see it through their eyes for the first time -well, that's pretty fun! We saw our first glimpse from Mather Point, then spent a little time in the Visitor's Center and bookstore. We started heading east along Desert View Drive. When Jill asked how long we'd be at the park, I said that we could spend anywhere from 10 seconds to many hours, and that some people spend many days there. I had decided that we would drive east on Desert View Drive to get to the east end of the park and head south from there. Well, we ended up stopping at lots of points along the way and Jill agreed that 10 seconds wouldn't have been long enough! I was glad she felt that way! So many of the pictures look the same, yet at each place there was something a little different to see, and really the whole thing is pretty incredible. Here's the basic slide show of the majority of the pictures I took:

A few of you have asked if we went out on the Grand Canyon Skywalk, but since it's a couple of hundred miles away (the Grand Canyon itself is 277 miles across) from the national park entrance, we didn't drive all that way. I guess it's closer to Las Vegas than Phoenix, and is located on the Huapalai Tribe reservation. I'd like to go someday, but the park ranger that told me about it said to wait until they pave the road that gets there. Another trip!

Here are the pictures that show Jill and I having fun on my birthday, celebrating God's awesome creation. It's pretty easy to see why this is one of the 7 Wonders of the World! In some ways, it's so huge and amazing, that it almost doesn't seem real! If you've never been to it in person, I HIGHLY recommend a visit someday!

If you've been following my blog for a while, you know I love black and white pictures. It was so bright on Wednesday that I wasn't sure how they'd turn out, but thought I'd at least give it a shot. Here are the ones that came out okay.

After heading all the way east out of the park, we turned south, went back through Flagstaff, and ended the day in Sedona. We got to enjoy the beautiful drive down Oak Creek Canyon and arrived with a little daylight left. This was obviously my goal so Jill could see what Sedona had to offer! We drove around and looked at the Chapel of the Holy Cross (which had closed 15 minutes before), a few of the rock formations that I remembered, and then we stopped in at one of the visitor's centers to ask advice about dinner. I knew of a great Mexican restaurant, but we decided on something else for dinner. Well, the guy at the visitors center was in exactly the right position -with being able to carry on a conversation (read: long conversation) with anyone, but he did have some great advice for dinner. He suggested going just up the hill to the airport, and eating at the restaurant at the top, which would have a great view of the sunset. We stopped at the lookout for a bit (which was PACKED with people!) and then I enjoyed a wonderful salmon dinner for my birthday! It was the perfect end to a perfect day!

THANK YOU, Jill, for coming to visit, for celebrating my birthday with me, and for the really fun day! I'm so glad you were here!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, Lindy!

Tonight Jill and I got to hang out with the Schubrings! I was so glad she could meet this wonderful family and that I could see them again!

Lindy and I share a birthday, so we had a fun dinner and a GREAT chocolate cake that Dori made. We had candles to blow out and gifts to open!

Dori is such a thoughtful gift-giver, and she found this great cookbook that includes one recipe from each of the 50 states. I wonder how many states I'll hit before I'm done being a traveling nurse? The recipes look great, so I'm excited to try them! She knows how much I love to cook, so it'll be a fun present to try out!

It's been fun to get to know Niall a bit more!

He's a hoot, with a really great personality! He keeps us all laughing!

Lindy made her mom this great picture for Mother's Day. I think it deserves to be framed!

Have a WONDERFUL birthday tomorrow, Lindy! I feel so honored to share the day with you, and am so excited that we got to celebrate together this evening! I can't wait to see all the great things God does in your life! May God richly bless this next year for you!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Jill's Visit

Jill's here for a visit! She's officially the friend who has been able to visit me at each of my travel assignment locations so far. How fun! You know I've said that you're all invited to visit me, and I'm so glad she's taken me up on that offer. And, just so you know, she probably won't be able to come while I'm in California, so the invitation's open for the rest of you! Well, not all of you, that would be a lot, but you know what I mean! I really would love to see you!

She arrived on Saturday afternoon, after I slept a little from working the night before. We ate at a fun restaurant in north Scottsdale, Chompie's, then grabbed some stuff from the Farmer's Market next door. I wanted to take her to Camelback Mountain, and we arrived at sunset (which I thought would be fun) but it turns out they close the trail at sunset and it seems like we just missed it. Oops...!

After heading back closer to my apartment, we went on a hunt. We had been talking about watching the "Anne of Green Gables" trilogy since they are movies I hadn't seen. I know, I know, I'm a few years behind since I think every woman anywhere near my age has seen them multiple times. The truth is, I know I had caught a few hours here or there when they were on a PBS mini-series, but never the whole thing start to finish. So, we headed to my nearby Blockbuster. It turns out Blockbuster doesn't carry them! How disappointing! So, we then went to Hollywood Video. Once again, no luck! Agghhhh!!! By then, I really had my heart set on watching them, especially since in the past everyone's always already seen them, and with Jill, she wanted to watch them again. So, we decided to stop at the one place both Blockbuster and Hollywood Video said to try: Scottsdale Video on Thomas Road. We were told this was a family place that often carried movies the other places didn't. Well, we drove to the location that we were told, and figured we must not have found it yet. Let's just say it looked a little questionable... Bars on the windows, really low lighting, just... well... not really the place we thought we'd find "Anne of Green Gables". Hmmmm... Should we even go in? Well, we really wanted to watch the movie, we were now at video store #3, so we knew we shouldn't give up. Luckily, we walked in and the guys behind the counter were friendly and helpful, and they knew right where to direct us. If you live in the Scottsdale area, this video store has thousands of videos, and most likely has any video that you won't find anywhere else. Believe us!

So, we made it back to my apartment, and watched the first half of the first movie before I was crashing to sleep (remember, I had only gotten two hours of sleep that day). Since church here is Sunday evening, we were able to wake up Sunday morning and finish the movie. I'm now officially in love with Gilbert Blythe! What a great guy, who was so faithful with his love of Anne! And, it was really fun to realize that many of the redhead quotes I've read over the years are from Anne! I feel bad for her, though, that she dislikes her hair color so much. Someone should tell her how great it is to be a redhead!

After the movie, Jill and I were able to relax by the pool a bit. My fair skin is now a nice shade of pink (ouch!), after only 40 minutes outside. Ah, the hot Arizona sun.

After our time by the pool, I took Jill to Old Town Scottsdale so we could grab some lunch and walk around a bit. We ate at The Sugar Bowl ice cream shop (but wow, didn't even get ice cream, just a great sandwich!) then walked around a few blocks. We found some cacti and thought we'd snap this picture:

It was fun to take Jill to Rock Church in the evening, so she could see what she's heard about since I moved here in 1999 to help get it started. It was also really fun to introduce her to my friends/family from the area!

After church we watched video #2 then went to bed. Today we spent a little more time by the pool (not as much as yesterday!) then went to Scottsdale Fashion Center for lunch and some window-shopping. I guess there was a little bit of actual shopping as well...! Then, I needed to head back so I could get to work (where I am now, on my break) and Jill was going to just hang out for the evening. I'm so thankful that it worked out for me to only work one day while she's here! What a blessing!

Tomorrow I'll sleep for a bit, then in the evening we're going to hang out with the Schubrings to celebrate the birthday that Lindy and I share. Yup, that's pretty special! I'll turn exactly 20 years older than her on Wednesday, and was really fortunate in 2000 to celebrate my 24th birthday with around twenty 4-year-olds at a Madeline party! One of my most memorable birthday's yet! I'm really excited for Jill to meet this wonderful family.

On my actual birthday on Wednesday, we're going to the Grand Canyon and Sedona! Yippee!!! What a great way to spend the day, so check back for pictures later!

When I was at the grocery store on Saturday, I found a really great deal! There were a dozen roses on sale for $8.88. I thought it would be fun to have some fresh flowers for such a great price, and since yellow roses are my FAVORITE of all flowers, and I'm always a big fan of red, I thought this was the perfect bouquet. Enjoy them with me!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!!! To you, especially, MOM, but also to all my "mom" friends! I hope that you have a wonderful Mother's Day, and Mom, I wish I was in MN celebrating with you! I'd love to enjoy a fun lunch with you!

Here is a video I've had in my YouTube favorites for a while, and have wanted to share it with you, and it seemed appropriate on Mother's Day! Enjoy the laughs!! By the way, it was fun to see it highlighted on Yahoo's homepage today!

Anita Renfroe is the woman in the video, and she's a Christian comedienne who is often at Women of Faith events.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hanging out in Phoenix

One of the things I've enjoyed the most while being here in Phoenix, is just hanging out with friends! It's been great to catch up with old friends, and get to know some new ones!

On Monday I had the chance to hang out with Kathy and Taylor, and enjoyed putting Taylor to sleep!

She's such a sweetie!

Last night I was able to have a few people over for Game Night! That's always been one of my favorite things to do, so it was great to host people again! One of my friends had to leave before I remembered to take a picture, but we were able to enjoy a fun few rounds of Catch Phrase before moving on to Trivial Pursuit 90's edition.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Nurse's Day

There are quite a few nurses who read this blog, and I'd like to say Happy Nurse's Day to each of them! May 6th is Nurse's Day, which actually starts off Nurse's Week each year. It ends on May 12th, which is Florence Nightingale's birthday. (No, I didn't remember this from nursing school, I had to look it up!)

So, to the 2.4 million registered nurses and 531,000 licensed practical nurses (from the US Census website) out there, THANKS for what you do! You affect many people's lives and are a blessing to your patients and their families! (At least, that's always our goal!)

Sunday, May 4, 2008


So I'm at work, and listened to my cell phone messages on my dinner break. It turns out Julie was taken to the ER for severe abdominal pain and vomiting.

I waited to call and find out more until I knew someone was awake, and it turns out that I could've called earlier since Mom and David have been up all night at the hospital with her.

She just got out of surgery for an appendectomy! I guess the doctor just came and talked with them saying that everything went well, but let's all pray for a quick recovery for her. She has an active one-year old that will want to be held! I guess when my dad brought him to the hospital this morning, he really didn't like seeing Julie in a hospital bed.

I wish I was home! My permanent job was on a Surgical and Pediatrics unit, and that's still where my heart is. I've cared for hundreds of appendectomy patients. I could help nurse her back to health! I guess telephone-nursing will have to do for now...

Thanks for praying!

I Wish They All Could Be California Girls....

I've had that song running around in my head ever since I drove to California on Monday for some R&R (I know, rough life, huh?). I was thinking about it because of spending time in California, but it also now will be my theme song when I live there for the summer. Yes, you read that right! But, more on that in a minute... First I'll tell you all about my mini-vacation.

That's right, I got to spend a few days hanging out with some of my favorite people, who happen to live in California! Here in Phoenix I've been scheduled for four weekends in a row, which isn't so great, but it means that I have my weekdays a little more free. (Gotta love 12-hour shifts!) So, this past Monday after I slept a little, I packed up and headed to Cali! Since I've actually gotten to spend quite a bit of time there in my life, I didn't have any "California" goals, only "hanging-out-with-family goals". These goals were met wonderfully!

Leaving Phoenix, it was 101 degrees out. I was looking forward to cooler weather in Cali!

The drive takes about 5 hours, and it's across the desert with mountains on either side. When I lived here from 1999-2001 I made that drive quite a few times, and was pretty amazed at how quick it seemed to go. I could leave Friday afternoon after work, and arrive at friends or family's places that evening, spend all day Saturday and part of Sunday hanging out, then head back again. It's funny how you associate music with certain things, and for me, listening to Fernando Ortega always reminds me of driving across the desert. His CD "Breaking of the Dawn" was my standard CD choice and it was fun to listen to it again this week! (He talks about the Arizona desert in the CD.)

On Monday night, I arrived at my Uncle Jim and Aunt Marilyn's house! I have been missing them ever since they moved away from Fergus so Jim could become pastor of Calvary Community Church in Fullerton, CA. It was really hard for me to have them leave Fergus, so really wonderful to see them again and spend some good time with them! They are two of my favorite people, and their opinions are two that I value almost more than any other. I was really looking forward to talking with them about a couple of specific things.

On Tuesday afternoon I left Fullerton to head to Pasadena to see my mom's cousin, Penny. She is another "favorite person" and I've been so looking forward to spending time with her! Her husband, Chuck, needed to be out of town for the night, but Penny and I had a lot of fun catching up. She invited my cousins, M&B, over for dinner that night, and it was great to see them again. It had been a few years, and while keeping in touch through blogging is one thing, it's always better in person! It's really fun that they live nearby, and I'm so excited to spend some good time with them this summer!

Here Penny and I managed to get a pretty good picture using the camera timer! We had enjoyed a wonderful omelet and fresh fruit brunch before I took off for Fullerton again. THANK YOU for hosting me, and I can hardly wait to see you again soon!

When I got back to Jim and Marilyn's on Wednesday, we had a delicious dinner and then got ready for the weekly Bible Study that they host at their home. It was fun to meet some of the people from the church, and so good to be at a Bible Study again.

On Thursday morning, I drove to Jamie and Krista's home to see them, and meet their new little boy, Jayden! He's over a month old, and such a cutie! They have a wonderful home and it was really fun to catch up a little with them, and see how much they love being parents! Jayden is really blessed to be born into his family, with loving parents who have been praying for him, and will teach him about Jesus. I'm going to really enjoy watching Jamie be a dad!

I've been missing David a lot while I'm gone, so even though I'm a pediatric nurse and get to be around kids every day at work, it was so much fun to cuddle with Jayden! He's a great kid with a great smile. I know, he's not smiling in this picture, but you can see better shots at his parent's blog!

On Thursday afternoon I headed back to Fullerton where Uncle Jim was gone but Marilyn and I had a fun "Girls Night". We had a wonderful salmon dinner, did a few other things around the house, then watched a fun movie I ordered from Netflix, called "On A Clear Day". British humor can be different from American humor, but it was a cute movie I'd recommend.

Friday morning I had to pack up and get back to Phoenix so I could work that night. It was a good drive, and I even met a guy from Burnsville!!! who was riding his motorcycle to California to go visit his first grandchild. He was asking me questions about my RAV-4, and it was fun to realize what a small world we live in!

THANK YOU to some of my favorite people for the fun week, great conversation, good food, and for helping me feel at home again!! I'm so excited to spend more time with each of you this summer!

That leads me to my next assignment. Last Friday I interviewed with Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, CA and was offered the job over the phone. Since I never count on anything until the contract comes, it was really fun to receive it and get that signed on Monday and have it be a done-deal! Torrance is located 3 miles from the beach, so that's right, I get to spend my summer on the beach in California! Who wants to join me??

(I tried to copy and paste a Mapquest map of Torrance -so you could see how close to the ocean it is, and to show that it's only 25 miles from Jim and Marilyn and 35 miles from Chuck and Penny -but I couldn't figure it out. Anyone know how to do that?)

I had my application in at a few different hospitals, and I thought it could be pretty fun to be in CT or MA for the summer, hanging out with friends there, or in my favorite state of Montana, or of course back near home again, but after one of the harder months I've had, I'm really excited about spending the summer at the ocean!!

I'll be working 12-hour nights again, this time on an adult med-surg floor. I'll miss pediatrics for the summer, but I enjoy working with both adults and kids so going back and forth is something I plan to do. In fact, I enjoy the assignments where I get a little bit of both. California has staffing ratios that are mandated by law, so working adult med-surg should be okay -better than some places where you end up with too many patients. I'll never have more than five, and that's very manageable.

So, my standing offer still stands. If you want a vacation to California this summer, you'd have a place to stay! Let me know when you're coming!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Julie!

Happy 29th Birthday, Julie! I figured I'm allowed to put her age on here, since I'm the older sister... And, because I realized how strange it is that she's turning 29, the last birthday in the 20's! My "little" sister will be in her 30's next year! Wow!

I hope that you enjoy your day, Julie! I wish I could be there to celebrate with you!

(I know, a couple of older pictures, but ones you haven't seen, and some nice ones of Julie!)