Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Madness....Really???

Wow, has it really been since December since the last blog post?   Get ready because a new one is coming, until then enjoy a picture of the Iwo Jima statue.  I see it every time I drive to never gets old to look at!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Cheer!

Since I was unable to send out Christmas cards this year, I figured a blog post would suffice for this year. Also, thank you to those who sent me Christmas cards, it was fun to receive them.

Christmas seems to be full of traditions, so this year since I live in the greatest city in the world, I decided to start making some Christmas traditions of my own.  With that said, this weekend I will be going into the District to see some of the Smithsonians's followed by going over to the White House to view the National Christmas Tree along with the other Christmas decorations they do each year.  Of course, no holiday tradition for me would be fully complete if a trip to Starbucks wasn't in there, so be rest assured I will have a cup of Starbucks Christmas cheer in my hand when I head to the White House.  Already loving this tradition!

Now as this exciting year of 2011 comes to end, we reflect on some of the great things that happened, yet  we look forward to 2012 in anticipation of even better things to come, but first we start it off with a Duck WIN on January 2!   Go Ducks!!!       OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO........................................

Have a Merry Christmas and wonderful holiday season! 

As the legendary Ben Matlock always says, "You Got That!"

Monday, December 5, 2011

What's the difference???

Often times I'm asked if there is much difference from living on the east coast to west coast.  I have the same answer every time, YES!   Besides the obvious of sales tax, pumping our own gas, no deposit on cans or bottled water, and going to the polls to vote instead of mail in ballots, here are some of the differences I have encountered since moving here almost one year ago!  (can you believe it’s almost been a year?...Wow…I am having a blast and loving it!!)

These are in no particular order…

Driving – People are on a mission here when it comes to driving on the freeways.  You either go with the flow of traffic or get off the road.  There is freeway driving and then there is DC driving!    Driving in DC is well, a challenge to your faith sometimes.  It gives a whole new meaning to craziness.  West coast drivers are very conservative compared to east coast drivers.  When I am visiting Oregon, if you notice I start to drive like a crazy woman, don’t be scared, that’s the DC driving coming out in me.  Ha ha ha

Men….I want to first off say I am not criticizing anyone when I share this so please do not take any offense.  But in all reality it is one the most obvious differences I have noticed between the west coast and the east coast and it has nothing to do with your marital status.  I tend to believe it’s a culture thing.  It is not uncommon, in fact it’s uncommon when it doesn’t happen, to be in an elevator with a man and once we reach the floor we both are getting off at, that he will stand there and wait for me to exit first (even if the door opens right in front of him) as he puts his hand out gesturing for me to go first.  I love this and always say thank you. 

It also doesn’t stop at the elevator, when it comes to going through a door, men are always holding them open for women, and even the young boys do it.  I went to the Verizon store and had a 10 year old boy hold open the door for me and it seemed very natural to him.    This also just isn’t a ‘city’ thing; it’s an east coast thing. 

Those two examples are really just the surface of what east coast men are really like.  You have to come here to truly gain an understanding of what I am talking about.  Women are viewed by men differently over here is the best way I can describe it.

So please no offense to those of you in Oregon, there are some great men on the west coast.   I am just stating an overall synopsis of what I have seen and experienced. 

Parking at the mall…..for expected mothers.  I know this one is random but I noticed it the other day and thought it was rather cool.   I only noticed this type of parking in Oregon when going into Babies R Us.  Here it’s not uncommon to see parking spaces with signs, at the mall, that specifically state they are for expected mothers only.  The overall culture here is SO different.

Traffic ….yes I know I mentioned driving up above but traffic is a whole other topic.  In Oregon for those who think rush hour traffic on I-5, 205, or 84 is bad, seriously that is nothing compared to rush hour traffic on the Beltway here!  The Beltway is the highway that circles the DC area.  It is not uncommon to hear of people running out of gas on the Beltway because they have been waiting in traffic for so long, that usually happens if there is an accident and traffic is way backed up.  With all the different events that take place around here, you never know when traffic is averted to a new route, backed up, or there are those moments when traffic is actually normal.  You definitely learn when the right and wrong time to go somewhere or how long you should allow in getting somewhere depending on the time and the day.   Still love this place!

Greetings….When I first moved here I didn’t understand why so many people said “Good Morning” to me every day when I went into the office.   I am not talking about walking by someone in the hallway; I am talking about walking by someone’s desk who is already working.   You greet them as you walk by even if they can’t see you.  I quickly learned if you didn’t greet someone in the morning it meant you didn’t like that person.  (at least that is what I was told) Oh my!    Wow, I had no idea.

Another interesting thing is when you get off the elevator, no matter who you are with, you always tell the other person to have a good day.  However at the office, it’s kind of funny because no one really says a word to each other in the mornings, but when it’s time to go home in the afternoon, it’s a completely different story.  ha ha   You hear those ‘have a good night’ greetings being expressed very exuberantly.  LOL

Rain….this one makes me giggle.    When it rains here it takes me back to my Oregonian roots and that sense of pride rises up.   The other day I was walking out of the office to go home for the day and there were a few sprinkles coming down, and do you know how many umbrella’s I saw….I giggled to myself and really wanted to say, “people there are only a few drops coming down”  I think I only felt 5 drops hit my head in my walk across the street to get on the Metro.  But then the best part and possibly most frustrating when it comes to rain.  People here do NOT know how to drive in the rain!!!  Oh my!!  In fact, when it rains, traffic slows to a crawl.   It is amazing to me.   I was headed to the church the other night for a meeting and as I was driving there, every freeway I saw was backed up.  One guy showed up to the meeting and said it took him 2 hours to get across town because of the traffic!  Yes, we love our city but people sure don’t know how to drive in that’s why you have windshield wipers people. J  It’s like people freeze and don't know what to do when it rains.  Lol   That’s when the Oregonian driver comes out it me and all the locals probably think I’m a crazy lady.   

Red lights…..have a different meaning here, but only certain places.  There is one thing I learned quickly, in some locations, red lights don’t always mean stop if you are in the flow of traffic.  I know of a few intersections, particularly in DC, that you just keep going and no one thinks anything of it and I have never seen anyone pulled over by a cop for it.  In Oregon, a lot of people will floor it to get through a yellow light, but here we don’t floor it for the red, we just keep going. 

There you have it, some of the differences I have discovered between the west coast and east coast since moving here.

Later this month I will be going out with some friends to see all the beautiful Christmas decorations around DC….going to try to post some photos….if I remember.   lol

The best is yet to come!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Honoring one of the all time greatest!

Honoring a phenomenal woman today, the world's best "Granny" as we celebrate her 1 year anniversary of being with Jesus! We miss her a lot but find comfort knowing she is with my mom and grandpa. You know they are having a blast up there. So to honor Granny today, make sure to have a Diet Coke or an Apple Fritter, she always had them in her apartment to share with others. (and believe me, she would let us know when she didn' We definitely can't forget Granny's trademark saying....."yah yah".

Love and miss you Granny!

Monday, October 31, 2011's been how long?

Wow, has it really been 2 ½ months since my last blog post?  I have to say life has been quite busy since then.  I made a trip to Oregon for work and then stayed for an extra week to visit with family and friends.    It was a good time of much needed R & R. After returning, it seems I unpacked only to repack a few days later for our next trip to New York.  Instead of flying we took the train from Union Station in DC, I had never taken the train before and found it quite enjoyable.

A week later we had our fall launch of City Groups at the church and our very first City Group Sunday.  Wow, was that a lot of fun!  I love City Groups!

Just recently I returned from being in Topeka, Kansas which now has officially marked the end of my work travel schedule for the year!  I enjoyed traveling but sure am thankful for the break.

We had a great time in New York and unfortunately the Yankees were out of town, yep you guessed it, they were in Seattle.  However I thought it was interesting that there was no little coffee maker in my hotel room.   I looked at the room service menu and saw that a small pot of coffee (3 cups) was $8.  Keep in mind this is New York, it’s expensive.  So I thought why not try it just once and ordered a small pot the next morning.  Now I have to tell you it was some of the best coffee I have ever had but by the time I was charged tax, room service fees, and a tip, my $8 small pot of coffee ended up being $20!  I made sure I drank every drop of it before I left for work that day….lol.    Oh the lessons I learn…New York is a great city, but I sure wouldn’t want to live there…SO many people, everywhere, all the time!  It is true, it is the city that never sleeps!

You will see some pictures below that I took of New York City and one yes one picture I took from my hotel room in Kansas.  I am quite the camera extraordinaire I know.   Ha ha

After being here for 9 months now, I am still find things I am adjusting to.  For example, when you buy a gallon of milk they put it in a separate plastic bag. I have learned to just say no thanks to the bag and carry it with the handle.  Thought that was weird?  Try going to the grocery store and using one of those plastic basket things you carry around and when getting up to the check stand you have the checker staring at you instead of scanning your items.   You both are looking puzzled until the checker says I need you to take your items out of the basket.  Yep, customers have to take their items out of the plastic carry baskets and place them on the belt before they get scanned.    Ha ha ha   Gotta love this place!

There is one last photo you will see at the very end of all the pictures (saved the best for last)….if you remember in one of my previous blog posts I shared a picture of a my bathroom ceiling that red tape covering the heat lamp socket to keep the cigarette smoke from the upstairs neighbor from coming into my apartment.  Thanks to Laurie Satrum, I now have the coolest “duck” tape on my ceiling.  Lol  I love it….Thank you Laurie!

This blog post wouldn't be complete without a great BIG shout out to my niece Heidi Axmaker and her volleyball team for making it to State!   Yahoo!!!  Congratulations Heidi!  Looking forward to Wednesday.

That should do it for now and since my work travel has concluded for the year, you won’t see so much time between posts.

The best is yet to come!


Enjoy the pictures below....

This is the entrance to our hotel in Manhattan, yes it is indeed the Waldorf Astoria!  That hotel was so big, I can't tell you how many times we got lost.  lol

 What EVERY hotel should have in it...Starbucks!

Little sight seeing after work at Rockefeller Center.

The infamous Radio City Music Hall.

For those of you who think New York is this clean fantastic city, well it's fantastic but definitely not clean.  Garbage bags pill up on the side of the streets waiting for the garbage truck to come.  Not all streets are like this, it's mainly the side streets that have the garbage bags.

At Times Square they have this live camera where you can view yourself on the sidewalk....can you find me?  (yes I am there)

This was also in Times Square.  I thought this was pretty interesting. People sit in it and just hang out to talk, eat or whatever.

This was my third trip to New York and I have never been able to go up the Empire State Building, but finally I did it!  It's pretty cool being up so high overlooking the whole city.  Here you can see the city and Central Park off to the left a little.

This picture is actually one of my favorites.  This is looking directly down on the city from atop the Empire State Building.

No trip to New York is complete without paying tribute to our brave men and women who risked and sacrificed their lives on a day we will never forget, September 11, 2001.  Ground Zero is simply indescribable.  While I was their, the 9/11 Memorial opened up but I was unable to get tickets.  So here is what I could see as they continue to rebuild Ground Zero.

This is it,  the one photo from my hotel room in Kansas.  Yes the photo says it all, Kansas is very flat!  I was literally clicking my heels when I got home....truly there is no place like home!

Thanks to Laurie Satrum, I have the best bathroom ceiling in the DC metro area!  I love it!  Thank you Laurie!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Habits I have developed since moving to DC

·         I sleep with the a/c and with my electric blanket on.  

·         I stay in bed past 6:00am on weekends and lay in bed watching I Love Lucy while drinking my morning coffee.  

·         I decided to finally start working out regularly.  Now I miss it when my schedule is thrown off.  J

·         I hand wash my dishes (don’t have a dish washer) every night and put them away first thing in the morning before making my bed or having coffee.

·         I take the screen off my windows so I can hang out of it while I shake my bathroom rugs out.  Hey, I’m 11 floors up, why not!  

·         I started acting like Granny.  On my commute home, I have my keys out and in my hand miles before I get to my apartment complex.

·         I vacuum my apartment at least twice a week.  I love to have a freshly vacuumed carpet.  So clean looking.  J

·         I have become a true lover of coupons.    I recently paid a $1.80 for 3 boxes of Kellogg’s cereal and saved 86% off my grocery bill recently at Safeway!  What a feeling of satisfaction.  Sales + double coupons make for a happy Patti.

·         I will stop everything I am doing to watch thunder and lightening storms. They are incredibly cool unless you get stuck in one, which recently happened.  I ran as fast as I could and I still was soaked when I made it to cover.   I have never seen rain drops SO big!

I love this place! 

The best is yet to come!

Monday, August 1, 2011

What is that???

They say every home has it's own character.  Well, that would mean my little efficiency apartment too.  So what is that and how did it get there?

As I was laying in bed, I periodically would smell cigarette smoke coming from the bathroom.  I knew I wasn't a secret smoker who hides in the bathtub to lite one up and then cover up the smell with bad perfume.  Nope, not me. So where was it coming from?   Determined to find out, I was on a mission.

When I first moved in, I noticed this portion of the bathroom ceiling that was supposed to have some type of light bulb in it.  After inquiring at the front desk, I found out it was a heat lamp and the bulbs were on back order.  No problem.  However with summer here and temperatures consistently in the 90s, I am not rushing down to remind them I still haven't received one yet.

One night I am getting ready to go to bed and there it is....that smell.  I rush into the bathroom and start sniffing away like a bloodhound to find out the source of that smell.  My nose lead me to the ceiling where this heat lamp bulb was supposed to be.  The people living above me smoke and it was somehow filtering down into my bathroom through the fixture without a bulb.

At first I tried stuffing an old towel in there but quickly learned that didn't work.  But then it occurred to me, ah, duct tape, that's what I need.  Inspired by MacGyver, who seemed to use duct tape in every episode, I went to grab it out of my utility closet.  But sadness suddenly came upon me when I thought  I was all out, but wait, who said duct tape had to be gray, I have red duct tape. Yes, red duct tape.  I had bought it when I was packing to move here to DC.  There wasn't much left so it might be a stretch to get it all covered.   Well as you can see there is this little strip of brown.  I ran out of red duct tape but had some brown packing tape that saved the day to finish off the job.

Now the moment of I still smell smoke in my bathroom?  Nope!   Mission Accomplished!!!

When all else fails use duct tape, no matter what color it is!

On an additional note....I would like to know why those people in workout dvd's aren't sweating and are always smiling?  I am about half dead and dripping in sweat and ready to kickbox the tv!    Gotta love a good workout!