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!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Honk if.....

I decided to take a little different approach for this posting.  It’s random, so go with it.  J

For this blog I have developed a 3 ‘HONK’ rating system. 

HONK =  agree
HONK HONK = really agree
HONK HONK HONK = absolutely 100% agree

Mullets….yes I said mullets.  A few weeks ago, I was traveling with my team from work to Baltimore, Maryland.  The hotel we were in had free breakfast every morning along with free cocktails every night for happy hour.  Being the drinker that I am I downed glass after glass of ginger ale!  Oh it was SO good.  It was here that we saw the mullet men.  They were everywhere so we determined they were having a mullet convention.  In fact, one mullet man even asked a member of our team if he could buy her a drink.  Lol   Yes he offered to buy her a free drink.  LOL  Oh we still laugh about that one.  The funny thing is, we have to go back to Baltimore at the end of this month and are already wondering if mullet convention part 2 will be in session.   Stay tuned…..

**For all those mullet men out there….you’re rating is:  HONK

John Bevere....John Bevere was here, John Bevere was here!  Another church in The District recently invited us to a private Saturday morning/afternoon leadership session with John Bevere.  With about 200 of us in attendance, he spoke on honor and leadership.  He shared one thing in particular that really caught my attention.  He talked about faithfulness and asked us what it meant.  So we begin shouting out answers of what we thought it was.  However, John brought perspective of faithfulness I have never really thought of before but makes sense.  Yes all the definitions we gave reflected faithfulness but he said this “Faithfulness is also multiplication!”  Yes multiplication….multiplying leaders.  We are being faithful to the gift God has given us by expanding it beyond our own means.  If you are serving in an area you should be training others in the same department.  If you are gone one week the whole department doesn’t shut down or not function at full capacity, but rather you can be gone and not have to think worry about it.  It simply is a matter of multiplying (expanding) what God has placed in you to others to reach more people for the Kingdom!   So what are we doing to expand our gift?  Are we developing assistants or others to help and build the church?  In my opinion, great perspective.

**Let’s hear it for John Bevere…HONK HONK HONK

4th of July….Do you know how long I have waited to be in Washington, DC for the 4th of July!  And it didn’t let me down.   There I was headed out the door to catch the metro to see the Washington Nationals take on the Chicago Cubs.  Rumor on the street was they were expecting an estimated 600,000 people to use the metro  on this day.  But who cares let’s just get to the game.   Well  I arrived at the Pentagon to jump on the metro and after changing trains, I realized they weren’t kidding…people were everywhere!!  The train approaches the platform and throngs of people flocked to the doors.  They open, some people exited and then it was a free for all.  We all flooded in like a flock, I am on the end and I thought to myself, I sure hope my butt makes it inside the door otherwise I might have a new way of having lippo suction.  Sssqqquueezzzeedddd in and everyone standing in very close proxity of each other.   Ok, here comes the door (and they are not like elevators that open back up when you stick an object in front of the door)….suck it in and lean forward into an rather unique position with all the mass of people…and……the door…….closed!  Whew!  I tried not to breathe for two metro stops before getting off at Nationals Park, but I had to inhale and smell some interesting things I am not really sure I wanted to smell.  lol

After watching the Washington Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs in 10 innings, I made the journey back to my apartment to prepare to watch the DC fireworks from the confines of my own home.  After only being influenced by Molalla fireworks I have just one thing to say…. Wow oh wow!!!  Now that’s a grand finale!  I think next year I might join the throngs of people and head to the mall to take in all the excitement.  For now, this year was the year to kind of scope it all out for next year.

**Here’s to a good 4th of July.  HONK HONK

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Working for America

As part of our audit work, I recently visited a construction site in The District.  Even though I wasn't actually performing the construction work on the site, we had a good time as I posed for this picture.  DDOT, District Department of Transportation, even loaned me a pair of steel toed boots, hard hat, and vest!

The funny thing is, my job is sending me to Oregon at the end of August, along with my team.  After we have completed what we need to do, the team will fly back and I will hang around for a few extra days.  Let's hope it doesn't rain!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Apartment pictures have FINALLY arrived!

Thank you for your patience as I finally have posted pictures of my studio apartment.  It's a fun little place to start out with.  It's nothing fancy but it works.  It's very easy in this city to spend most of your paycheck on rent and I determined I would rather have a middle of the road type apartment in a safe environment with flexibilities to do stuff than restrict myself financially by paying super high rent for luxury living, as they call it here.  One day that luxury living will come, but for now, I have chosen a place that isn't top of the line but isn't a rat's just right!

The amenities are nice, as it has a workout facility downstairs, a pool (which opens today), a private fenced in park area, tennis courts, 7-11 on site, 24 hour security patrol, and so forth.  It really is a good location.  My commute to work is now only 30 minutes instead of 2 hours, one way.  And I don't even have to drive, the bus picks me up from my apartment building and takes me right to the Pentagon where I get on the Metro which takes me right to the front steps of my office building.  (one block from Nationals Park...oh yes, I love this place!)

As far as other happenings....everything is good. I am finally feeling settled and I am happy!  I love this city and I love my church!

Have a great Memorial Day weekend. I am headed to the Nationals baseball game on Monday and then into DC for some festivities after.

One last thing.....Congratulations to Thomas and Nicole on moving into their new house yesterday!!!!  Can't wait to see it.

Try to stay dry if you live in Oregon....getting my sunscreen out here in DC.    :)

See you all soon.....

The best is yet to come!



I've come to really like this box shelf idea.  The bottom left corner is empty because the vase I had bought to put in there broke as I was bringing it home.  So for now it stays empty to until I decide what to put in there.  Also I still need to get some candles and add a picture to the frame.  Little stuff to do but that will come later.

The notorious couch!

Here it's not stuffed in the back of my car or being hauled up 11 flights of's in my living room!  On the back right corner you will see a blue ruffled pillow.  My mom made that for Granny and after she passed away a few months ago I was able to have it and will now always be a part of my home, no matter where that may be.  And of course, I can lay on the couch and shoot hoops!  LOL

Partial view

Well here is part of the view I keep raging about.  If you look to the left you will see a tall looking pencil thing, that's the Washington Monument and to the right you will see a little white dome thing, that's the U.S. Capitol and some of DC in between.   At night, it's so pretty as all the monuments are lit up in DC.  Truly spectacular especially if you are downtown.  If you ever come to DC, a night tour is a must!

Hopefully one day soon I will be able to post some more pictures of the view...remember I am camera  My digital camera actually died and it's not high on my priority list to replace it.  So the camera on my phone will have to do.

Entry way with a touch of Laurie Satrum.

Now what would an apartment be without the touch of Laurie Satrum and Uppercase Living!   Walk into my apartment and this is what you will see almost first.  The mirror is actually reflecting the bookcase which is near by.   With my past history of hanging shelving up on the wall, not sure I would actually hang a coat on one of the hooks.  LOL   But for now, it can simply be up on the wall and just look nice.

Granny with her fritters....

This one has nothing to do with my apartment but I am posting it because I want to.  ha ha ha  Granny was a classic and the BEST Granny anyone could ever ask for.  Here she is outside of Safeway with her notorious box of fritters!  I still miss her multiple phone calls everyday telling me what she ate and what she did.  Miss you Granny!!!


Pretty's my desk.  Now if it can only stay this clean.  :)

Blue bathroom.....seriously?

Yes it's a blue bathroom....not quite sure of the decorating skills of the person who put this all together but hey it works.  I have hot showers, a toilet, mirror and sink.  All the necessities one needs.  It's a classic I must say.  Originally I thought I was going to have an all green bathroom...I must of gotten lucky.  My blue bathroom makes me giggle but it gives it the apartment character as they say.


This is the bookshelf that sits right in between the entry way and the kitchen.  To the right of the bookshelf you can see my door and the entry way.  To the left is the kitchen.  I didn't take a picture of the kitchen, it's your basic kitchen, oven, fridge, sink, microwave, etc.  :)


This one isn't hard to figure out, it's my dresser.  On top of the small armoire in the middle of the dresser you can see a crystal apple.  My mom loved apples and it's the gift I brought back for her when I was in New York the first time.

To the right, which you can't see in the picture is my bed and then the window where I can open my eyes and see the Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol.  It's miles away and the monument is small from my view, but it never gets old to look at.

The decorated wall....with a great feature.

Due to my special decorating abilities....I had these cute black shelves I tried to put up but after putting one upside down and the other fell off the wall when I put something on it, I opted to do the simple thing and buy what I could only hang up with a simple nail.  LOL   So here it is, most items strategically placed to hide the holes in the wall I made from the shelves....  :)  And of course one of the best additions and the "great feature" to my apartment, the Little Tikes basketball hoop that is, yes adjustable.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Yes it's true....I am in love!!!

You may or may not have heard the rumors.  It was pretty much love at first site.  I still lay in bed at night and almost can’t believe it.  It just gets better and better each day.   I never imagined a feeling like this could be this real.   It’s definitely been worth the wait.  Yes it’s true, I am in love………….with the view from my apartment!  :)   ha ha ha    Ohhhh, it’s beautiful.  I have a cityscape view overlooking the area with DC right in the mix.  Even though I am only able to see the Washington Monument and Capitol, I can lay in bed with my coffee and take in the beautiful view.   I absolutely love it.

On Thursday, April 14, Cheri and Mike arrived to help me move into my new place.  It was great to see them.   I am SO thankful for their help.  Then Friday morning came, moving day.  After picking up the U-Haul truck, getting everything loaded, with a Laurie Satrum cookie in hand, and the perfect moving weather day, we were off to Alexandria, Virginia.  It’s funny because the Lord reminded me how for years before I moved here how I always said I wanted to live in Alexandria and now here I am.  God is SO good!

Overall, the move went well except for lugging my sofa up 11 flights of stairs and literally shoving it through the door.  Oh what a memory.  By the evening time things were starting to look like an actual apartment instead of a room of boxes.    Wow, moving is a lot of work!!
The next day we were off to Arlington National Cemetery and the Nationals baseball game, but with the excessive rain, we made it through the cemetery but the game was cancelled.  However, with beautiful weather in store for the next day they exchanged everyone’s tickets for a double header on Sunday afternoon.  After going to church and the doubleheader, we went into DC at night to see all the monuments and such lit up.  DC is SO beautiful at night!!!  We were amazed at how many people were wondering around at that time…they were like ants! 
Monday was filled with more DC touristy stuff and then they had to leave Tuesday morning as I also departed back for work.

Speaking of work, I was excited this week as I was able to be involved in helping to write my first Congressional testimony the Inspector General (IG) will make before Congress next Wednesday.  Even though it was only a small portion, it was an interesting process.   Hopefully, I will get to do more in the future.

Ever since Cheri and Mike left, I’ve been getting more settled and I even recently stepped out of my comfort zone by attempting to do some simple decorating.  God help me!!  Remember no high expectations when pictures finally come.  :)  I learned really how talented I was when it came to decorating.  I bought these really cool shelves to put on the wall.  However, after hanging the first one upside down and the second one fell off the wall when I put something on it, I decided that wasn’t the route for me.  So back they went and I bought items that were much easier to hang.   Good thing Target is only a mile away.

Driving to church from a new location was yet another adventure.  I happen to miss a “slight right” according to Barbara, my navigation system.  GAP:  the roads and road signs here are absolutely weird and crazy.  Signs aren’t pointed in the right direction and a road can named one thing on your right and another on your left.  Oh so frustrating at times.  Back to my drive to church.  Missing the slight right wasn’t too bad of a mishap, as I went past the VP’s house at the Naval Observatory, the National Cathedral, and Embassy Row.  Then on the way home, not too bad, missed another "slight right" and went by the Iwo Jima memorial.  Gotta love it.  Although Tuesday night I made to church just fine and on time for City Group.   Progress.

Today I conquered the DMV, yes I did it with only ONE visit.  (pays to do your homework) The DMV here is interesting as you stand in line to tell someone at the service desk why you are there and they in turn give you a number.  Then the dreaded waiting begins.  However, their numbering system was interesting.  It wasn’t your normal 1,2,3, etc.  It was B760, A79, T389, etc.  I felt like I was playing bingo.  When I my number was called, I almost jumped up and said “bingo”, but the security guards might have hauled me away.  Ha ha ha

As I end I feel the need to share a newly discovered skill I have.  Since I only moved in 2 weeks ago there are still things that I am unpacking and moving around.  I needed to get my passport out of my security box, however I couldn’t find the keys.  Knowing I wouldn’t be able to register my car without it to prove my legal residency, I went on Youtube to see if there was a way to pick the lock for the type of box I have.  Sure enough there was.  I was able to pick the lock of my security box with a fingernail file!  Ha ha ha.  It worked, I got my passport, and my car is now registered with the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Until the next time…..lots of love to everyone!!!

The best is yet to come!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

The country in you NEVER leaves.

Well here it is spring and almost April (Opening Day starts this week!) and I woke up to snow!  Just 10 days ago I was in shorts in 83 degree weather.   Crazy!

I have discovered a new love in Cragislist!  Wow, that site is wonderful.  Just yesterday I bought a George Foreman grill with removable plates barely used, a microwave barely used, tv stand (6 months old) 2 new curtain rods, a toaster used once, and a dish rack all for $45.  I was exhausted by the time I was finished making my 3 rounds of stops yesterday.  LOL

Yet some sadness has overtaken me as I went into Costco the other day and realized they don’t sell sausage dogs and a drink for a $1.50.  Nope, only hot dogs.  However you can get Italian sausage dogs with peppers, onions, and others stuff for $2.75.  Not sure about this…. :) 

Last Saturday I was blessed with a touch from home.  I met up with Lori McKinley and Holly and Jesse Losli as they were in DC for the week.  Loved spending time with them wondering around the District in beautiful weather, drinking good coffee.   They discovered this place in Georgetown called DC Cupcakes that apparently has a show on TLC on Friday nights.  Below you will see a picture of people lined up outside that goes at least a block long.  Rumor has it the wait was about 2 hours just to get in.  Is it really worth waiting that long for a cupcake??? 

In less than 3 weeks, I will be moving into my studio apartment.  Yes, I will post pictures, with all my decorating and picture taking skills.  J  Mike and Cheri are flying out to help me move and we will spend a few days wondering around and of course going to a Washington Nationals game!  Go Nats!  Looking forward to a great time…. I am sure there will be stories.

In my pursuit of finding a couch for my new place, again Craigslist has come to my rescue.  Below you will see a picture of how the country just never leaves you, no matter where you go.  The guy I bought it from helped me load it into my car, I put an old sheet over the couch so no road dirt and debris would get on it, and we bungi corded the back down.    So off I went driving through town (not DC) with a couch hanging out the back of my car.  I knew if I got tired I could always pull over and take a quick nap.  Ha ha ha.    Sometimes I just laugh at myself….but bottom line….Mission Accomplished!!!!

Overall I am adjusting well.  My job is good.  I work with nice people.  I am now a member of The City Church.  Yet it is still weird that I am actually here.  Just the other day I started giggling as I walked down the street thinking…I live in DC!   Ha ha ha   What a great big God we serve!!

Stay tuned for pictures from “The Move” and of course plenty of stories.  Off to Capitol Hill again this week to hear Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood testify before a House subcommittee.

I am blessed in the country and blessed in the city!  (thank you Pastor Wendell)

The best is yet to come!!!


Couch in my car

DC Cupcake....LONG line

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It's official....

What a week….after spending 5 days in a classroom learning more about the audit process, (which was interesting) I received a phone call and officially will be moving into an apartment complex in Alexandria, Virginia sometime in the middle of April.  Thank you for praying, it was definitely effective and worked!  

I will be in a studio/efficiency apartment as I build up my furnishings.  I am not going to purchase much stuff at first until I know what I really I want and get a bigger salary.  J  I will get the basics and go from there.  Plus I want to see what I have and how it all fits with everything.   Not going to rush things.    Pictures will be coming in the future.  Be prepared to be overwhelmed by my natural decorative abilities…..ha ha ha.    I think a Wii might be a good accent to whatever I have….still thinking on that one.   J

Well I did it….I got on the wrong train and took a nice tour of DC, underground, Tuesday morning.  Oh how I just laugh at myself and my adventures.   Good thing I was early and had some time to spare.

I could devote a whole other blog to just stories of how the Lord has taken care of me and worked on my behalf since I have been here.  It’s been a truly amazing experience.  The things I have learned since being here are life changing for me.  I love it.  All of what I had to experience before I came, obviously prepared me for this time.  Never underestimate trials and tribulations in life.  You will get more out of them than you will realize.  Wow….I am in complete awe of our God!

That’s it for now…off to meet a great Pastor for coffee.

The best is yet to come!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's here!

With those friendly reminders from some of you, I have realized that too much time has passed since my last post.  My apologies.  I have been busy looking for a place to call home.  Hopefully I will have some good news to post soon on that front.  Thank you for your prayers, they have helped.  But please don’t stop, it isn’t over yet.

Before I go any farther, I have to give a great BIG shout out to my Uncle Arlie in Nevada.  Thank you for the letter in the mail.  I absolutely loved it!!!  It made my day. 

Things are starting to become more routine and I feel like I am getting more familiar with my surroundings.  I have advance and am able to get it to certain places without Barbara, my GPS!  Ha ha ha    Although this past weekend I was in Alexandria and oh boy was she busy telling me how she was “calculating route” every time I made a wrong turn.  I think I would still be driving without her assistance.   But thank the Lord, I made it back safely.

Last time, I informed you I went to Capitol Hill to attend a Congressional hearing.  What an interesting experience that was.  I love how DC has scripture carved into many locations and buildings throughout the city.  In the room we were in, not only was it freezing cold so you wouldn’t fall asleep (yes I am serious), Prov. 29:18 was carved on the wall, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” 

After the hearing we talked with the Inspector General, who happens to be Red Sox fan.  When I met him a few weeks ago I told him I would let that one slip by, we both laughed.   I really do work in a great place. 

As you can tell, I am getting more and more settled into my job at work.  This week I will be attending audit training, which should be pretty interesting.  It will be a good help as we get ready to start traveling to various states, which have yet to be announced, to begin a new stage of the audit for the department.  I am sure I will have some great stories to share once we start traveling…should be a rather interesting experience.

This coming week marks another significant point of each year.  It’s March….and for many of us that means ONE thing… not the Spring Showcase, nor Spring Break..….it’s March Madness baby!   Now that’s what I’m talking about.  Go Duke (men)  Go Tennessee (women).

With that, I think there is no better way to end…..

Thank you again for all your words of encouragement and especially your prayers.  They are felt and really mean a lot to me.

Until the next post…..The best is yet to come!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Capitol Hill

On Wednesday we went to Capitol Hill to hear the Inspector General give testimony for a Congressional hearing.  It's interesting because they make those rooms SO cold.  As you can imagine why...yes they can get boring so they don't want people to fall asleep!  Anyways, this is on our way into the hearing.  The guy on the far left, Jimmy, he is a Mets fan from New York who moved to DC recently, like I did.  You can just imagine the interesting baseball conversations him and I had throughout the day.   Overall, a great day of fun!

A little bike ride

This is a pretty cool's called Capitol Bike Share.  You can rent these bikes and ride them around or ride them to another bike share station.  With the weather being so weird, 40 one day and 70 the next, it's a great way to spend a lunch break....on the warm days of course!  Although I haven't done it yet I think about it every time I walk by them!

Friday, February 11, 2011


Today is the day……Yes the day I have been looking forward to all week.   Going to the post office and sanitize the inside of my PO Box.  It's all dusty and dirty and I don't want to go there and have 'dirty' mail when I grab it.   Please, we must proactive on sanitization!  ha ha ha  :)

Oh the uniqueness of people….went to Starbucks and as the lady was waiting for the computer to process my order; she scratched her arm with my Starbucks card.  I almost hyperventilated.  It was all I could do to ask her to please not do that.  I took the card back cautiously and wrapped it in a napkin until I could get to my desk for a full and complete Purell experience. 

Oh how I love my city….the weirdness, the uniqueness….it's the best.  I live in the best city!

I wish I could wear one of those hidden cameras on my head as I chase trains and run around trying to figure out where to go and what to take.  It's been rather comical to me.  Sometimes I just stand there and laugh at myself wondering what I must have just looked like.   Getting off of one train and running past people as they get out of my way to jump on the next, only to find out I was running after the wrong train.  All those people I ran by ended up standing next to me waiting for the same train.    It's happened more than once…. ha ha ha 
My stuff finally arrived last Thursday.  Not bad, only two things were missing, but they will replace them if they can't find them soon.  Now to temporarily unpack until I find the location I want to actually live in.  If you feel led to, pray for open doors and the right direction I am to take for living arrangements.  I have ideas and thoughts......however I am looking forward to getting 'settled'.

I am just finishing out my second week on the job as a Management Analyst.  I do enjoy what I am doing and the team I am on.  We are just beginning an audit process of one of the programs within the DOT (Dept of Transportation).  It's been rather interesting so far.   Most likely I will be traveling some to a few states as part of the audit. 

I do the Mister Rogers thing every morning.   I wear sneakers with my work clothes to and from the office….then once I get there I change my shoes.  Maybe Monday I will toss them in the air like MR used to and sing "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood".  Ha ha ha    It's interesting because tons of people do it considering the amount of walking you do, plus you don't ruin your shoes!  So I don't look like an out of place dork.   With all the salt and stuff they treat the roads and sidewalks with, shoe protection is in effect.

Next Wednesday I am spending the day on Capitol Hill.  The Inspector General will be giving testimony before a Congressional Committee in the morning.  After lunch we will roam around the Capitol building checking things out.   This should be a fun day.  Oh which suit do I wear........

Well that should do it for now….I feel like I am getting used to my surroundings and have some type of grasp of the concept of living in the DC area.    It's so cool.  Everyone needs to experience this place!

Thank you for your prayers, love, and support.  I am SO grateful.  You're wonderful!!

The best is yet to come!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The first day.....the first week

With my right hand raised, standing in front of the American flag, I took an oath and officially became a federal government employee Monday morning!  Joined my team of all women at the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Transportation and started learning my way around the building.  My biggest accomplishment Monday morning…. learned where to find my desk and where the bathroom was!   Next, going to join the coffee club Wednesday morning.  Priorities!

After being away from my stuff for almost 3 weeks, it looks like it will arrive around Thursday.  Oh how it will be nice to wear a different color sweatshirt or even a different one for that matter.  Thank you Jesus!  Now if I can just remember what box everything is in.   Angie and Aimee did you label my boxes?  Ha ha ha   

Over the weekend I attended The City Church DC, not as a visitor, but for the first time as a resident of the area.   Wow, that was a long time coming.  I even made it without getting lost thanks to Barbara my gps.    I was welcomed with warmth and open arms.  Pastor Heather even announced my arrival from the pulpit and I stood as they welcomed me and I gave the “thanks folks” wave like that guy did in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, at the barn raising.   Ha ha ha   Literally, I was thinking of that guy as I was standing and waving.  Love the excitement, momentum, and atmosphere of my new church!  This is going to be fun.

Looking forward to what's ahead. 

Go Packers!!!

That seems to be it for now………

Miss you all.

The best is yet to come!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

New office building

It's just the beginning....

Hello from your snow covered Nation’s Capitol….

I arrived a little before 7:00pm on Tuesday evening and my car arrived a few hours later at 9:45pm.  With a few hours of sleep, I was off to DC Wednesday morning to take care of some logistical stuff.  

With no winter clothes in hand I bundled up with what I had and headed out.   Thank God my coat was waterproof and Starbucks was right next to train station.  After getting warmed up, loaded with caffeine, I jumped on the Metro for a 2 stop, 4 minute ride to my new office building to check out the area.  

While sitting in the bank, I looked out the window and felt peace in my heart as I saw some beautiful scenery.  I know many thoughts are going through your minds as to what monument captured my attention so intensely.  No, it wasn't  the Capitol building, the White House, or even a Smithsonian, it was the Washington Nationals new baseball park.  It’s only 2 blocks from my new office.  Have I mentioned my office building has a Starbucks right next to the front door???   

That evening it was fun to watch it snow sideways, as it accumulated an inch every hour.   Wow, it was building up fast and we got around 6 inches.  I literally shoveled it off my car this morning.   It’s great because VDOT really knows how to take care of the roads.  The roads look like it never snowed.  So, driving was never a problem.  

Today, I obeyed my sister.  When telling her my stuff wasn’t coming until February 2 or 3, the first thing she said to me was,  go buy some sweaters!  Ha ha ha   Apparently she was tired of the 2 I was wearing after my stuff shipped before I left.   So I hit the mall, oh joy and how I love shopping.  (insert sarcasm)  Went to Macy’s, got some killer deals, 4 sweaters for $45, then picked up some cute shoes at another store.  Mission accomplished!

THANK YOU to everyone who has shown support, love, and interest as I venture on this new and amazing journey to be a part in reaching DC for the Kingdom!  It's been encouraging and means a lot.   I start the new job on Monday.

And yes, more pictures will be posted soon…. I am challenged in this area.  :)

Talk to you again soon.....

The best is yet to come!