Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Charlotte -Into Day One!

She's alive!

I survived my flight- only an hour and thirty minutes I might add- and made it saftely to the apartment building. Since then I know how to get to work and how to get to the grocery store. Um, that's all I have found so far. I can succesfully navigate around the apartment complex and find my building. Over the next few days I'm sure I will figure more of my way around.
The friendly Avis people Joselyn and David. They were SO helpful in assisting me and my roommate in getting our rental cars:

Here is Mike our Avis driver from the airport to our actual rental cars:
(Just to add a side note- Mike was a police officer and a weight lifter in the past)
Look at my cute shoes in the reflection of the rearview mirror!

On to the apartment tour:

The Living Area-
My Bedroom-
(There's also a pretty good sized tv in there)


Laundry room-
Probably my favorite rom in the whole apartment (many of you know why)!

Dining room-

My Bathroom-
View from the balcony-

(It's been raining since we got here)

And the final, but super important part of my stay- My roommate Melissa!

Wickedly Wicked

Saturday my parents and I went to Wicked in Chiacago. It can be described with three words:
A. Maz. Ing. Seriously. Here are a few pictures from the day:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Crazy Ramblings of a Psycho Traveler

So I arrived in Charlotte today after a very smooth flight. (Pictures/Deatils to come.)
But for today: This is the conversation I had with myself last night and until 3:30 EST this afternoon:
  • I hope that I can fit everything into my suitcase. (Once I was packed-)
  • I hope that I don't forget my suitcase. (Once my suitcase made it safetly to the taxi-)
  • I hope that my suitcase isn't too big. (Once checked in-)
  • I hope that my suitcase isn't lost. (Once I picked up my suitcase from the baggage claim-)
  • I hope that I can get my suitcase up the stairs. (Once my suitcase was up the stairs-)
  • How am I gonna get this all home???

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Arm Update

For those of you who have been asking, I am happy to report that my arm is all better! The bruise is gone, except for a faint outline on one side. And as long as I don't smash my arm where the bruise used to be, it's not sore any longer! I am very thankful that it is gone! I admit it was kinda fun showing it to people, although it was very painful! (And there were some people that couldn't look at it without gagging!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Oh, the places you'll (I'll) go...

So, yes I am one of those crazy travelers. I plan days ahead, make lists, pack in advance. The goal: Make sure that no thing is left behind. So my preparations are beginning, the suitcases are bought, the lists are being written, the laundry being done, the adventures are coming...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Charlotte or Bust!

I'm off to Charlotte, NC! My job will be sending me and I will be gone for 1 week... TIMES NINE! I originally thought I would be leaving mid-September, but just a few days ago, I found out I'd be leaving August 26th and I'll be back end of October! Crazy right?!

I'll make sure to keep this updated with my travels! There's so much to do!

16 days and counting!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Day 7 (Don't look if bruises make you sick!)

This is one week later (after my "incident"). It looks much worse than it did a week ago, but I do believe it's getting better. What's really crazy is this picture that you are seeing is only showing you half of the bruise. The other half is a lot lighter and is well on its way to being much better!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Not for the faint-hearted

So, consider yourself warmed. If you might be a little queasy, you might want to skip this first paragraph and the arm picture. Yesterday 24 hours after my Red Cross incident, I actually called Red Cross. My bruise had expanded to a bruise of 2-3 inches. It was turning hot, and quite frankly, it was becoming one ugly bruise. The Red Cross woman on the phone was calm and very helpful. She did, however, tell me, you need to go see doctor as soon as you can- "It's not serious, but you should go as soon as possible." I was initially calm, well kinda. Running through the office building to my car and pealing out of the garage probably wouldn't seem so calm, but that's the way I express myself- running franticly. So, I went to the doctor for my "Blood Donating Injury." Turns out, when I had tried to give blood, the Red Cross nurse had actually gone through a vein and an artery in my arm! No good I tell you, no good. Good news, there's no infection, but I am now on a antibiotic to ward off any bacteria!

*Note: I think Red Cross is a great organization. The people that work for the Red Cross are great!The lady who was helping me at the Blood Drive was a really sweet lady who does a great job- unfortunately my veins just don't always cooperate!

On the lighter side, a comment was made (before I left work to speed quickly, yet not dangerously to the doctor) that hopefully my arm wouldn't get so bad that I would end up losing it. That of course led to a day dreaming moment with myself in my car. I began thinking of a headline, "Girl Donates Blood, Loses Arm." And then I began thinking about all the plans I had with my arm- my right arm, and how I really couldn't bear to lose it. I began thinking, if I only had one day left with my arm what would I do, where would I go. I started thinking about the games I wanted to play, the songs on my piano I wanted to learn, the canoes that I wanted to paddle- all of which would be hard without a right arm. And I thought, well, why am I waiting until tomorrow to play a game, learn a song, paddle a canoe? Then I began thinking about life, and why there are so many things that I am waiting to do until tomorrow. So my car ride, in between calling people spreading my love (just in case - you know- something were to happen) I started reviewing the comparison between my arm and my life. There are a few things that I came up with:
1. I have plans for my arm.
God has plans for my life: Jeremiah 29:11
2. I like my arm attached to my body rooted into my shoulder!
I should be rooted in love: Ephesians 3:16-18
3. I can't wait until tomorrow to use my arm.
God never promised us tomorrow: James 4:13-15

These are not any fantastic or new discoveries, they were just things that struck me. I am always thinking of what I want to do, who I want to be, where I want to go and yet there are so many things that stop me. I'm scared and afraid. I can't do it, or won't be able to do it. What if they don't like me back. But then, there's this things inside of me that also says, don't wait. Do it today. Go for it now. Say it while you have the chance.

So I get to keep my arm for another day. And man, do I have plans...

Friday, August 01, 2008

Going Green, Giving Blood, Getting I-PASS and a Ficus named Blanche

So, obviously from my title above this current article is relating to all sorts of miscellaneous information- fun little tidbits that I would like to share.

Going Green:
Now I heard this report, keep in mind the numbers could be wrong, but what I heard was enough for me to decide to make a change. Allegedly, only 1% of all plastic bags are recycled every year. And, I admit, I have been guilty of not recycling them. Instead, I have used them as trash bags, or just thrown them out. So, I decided to "Go Green," and instead of using the plastic bags that the store gives, I now have a bag that I take to the store with me! It works perfectly for clothes, food, or whatever. I just keep the bag in my car. It's a small thing I realize, but any little bit helps, right?

Giving Blood:
Okay, so I had an incident at school in the CBC gym where I nearly fainted from giving blood. (A namless school friend-you know who you are, my salsa buddy- and I decided we wanted to get the free mug and cookies that are given out to the donors.) But, now my job has a blood drive several times a year. I decided to try it again. Now, it was very upfront in my mind that I don't really have good veins for this sort of thing (Doctors/nurses have trouble- the dude taking my wisdom teeth had trouble, the lady in the CBC gym had trouble...) but like I said, I wanted to try it out.
Initially all seemed to be going smoothly. Of course, how hard is answering questions regarding miscellaneous travel facts; "Have you been in Europe for a total of 5 years or more..." After the finger prick I figured the worst was over. Not so my friend, not so. The nerves settled in as soon as I was sitting (stretched out) on the nice little cushy couch thingy. "Squeeze this in your hand dearie, don't stop." The pressurized sphygmomanometer (the inflatable cuff) was wrapped around my arm and I was squeezing away- little did I know it was to my impending doom. I was prepping myself, "Look away, think of your plant, smile at Kelley, think of the beach, think of something else other than what is about to happen..." But, then it did happen, the arm was poked. Usually, past experience has taught me that once the poke is done, it's all uphill from there. This time something went wrong. Instead of relief I felt something akin to fire running through my entire arm- something was going terribly awry! I could tell something was wrong- the nurse knew it, I knew it, and I was trying to not panic. I was continuing to smile and nod, and at the same time saying, "something isn't right." So, my CBC nightmare came true again, laid back on a couch, staring into the distance, feet in the air, only this time I didn't donate. I could have been given a sticker that said "I tried, but failed." At least I did try. Next time, maybe I'll actually GO to the Blood Bank. Hopefully I'll have better luck there.

Getting I-PASS:
Did you know that if you blow a toll (by mistake) and then forget to pay it online you become subject to a $20 fine- for EACH instance! So, yeah, that's what happens. I happened to receive a letter in the mail from the Illinois Toll people. They were nice enough to grant me a $60 dollar fine, because, yes, I went through 3 tolls, forgot all about them, and never paid online. So I quickly paid my fine, and now I am the proud owner of an IPASS! That handy device works in 10 states (ish). I'll be Free Flying from now on!

And a Ficus named Blanche:
So Cindy went to Jewel and found this this beautiful plant and bought her for me! She was in my apartment, BUT, I was worried about lighting, and I was also going through withdrawal. Seeing as I am only home for a few hours tops a day, I only was able to see her for a few hours tops a day. Now that she is in my cube I can look at her all day long. She has been introduced to many people already- I think she is gonna like it here... Now some miscellaneous facts about the Ficus- she could potentially grow to be like, 100 feet. Once she reaches four or five I'll probably be taking her back home. Eventually maybe I'll need a yard to plant her in!