Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Beauty of Nature

I took a trip down to SC to see the parents this week, one - to get away, and two - so my dad could take a look-see at my car and see if the brakes needed to be replaced.

But since they both work during the day, I had the house to myself and figured why not just go sit out on the back deck this afternoon and read. Their house, set far back in the neighborhood, is on a cul-de-sac lot - one such that our neighbors are far enough away since a few acres of land are situated in between each of them. The best part about their location is that the backyard is nothing but woods, solid trees. It's not uncommon to wake up in the morning with 5 deer staring you straight in the face when you step out of your front door, which is quite suiting since the name of the neighborhood is Deerfield Dr.

So I enjoyed myself. Leaning back in the porch swing, I rested my head on the back of the chair and closed my eyes before even opening my book. Breathing in the fresh air, I was as comfy as a lark. The temperature was near perfect, with ever so gentle of a breeze touching my face, playing in my hair. The only sound around was sweet birds vocally teasing one another in the distance. I sat in total solitude, gently swaying in the swing for an amount of time of which I am uncertain. As the clouds periodically let the sun's rays peek around them, and then covered them again, as if playing tag, I felt an overwhelming peace when the warmth enveloped me. Ahhhhh....what sweet moments....

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blog neglector

Yes, yes, that is me! I know I have not blogged in a long time! Or at least over a month...Anyway, I cannot believe this summer has flown by like it has. In some ways I'm glad and looking foward to the cooler weather, and in others I'm not because winter is our "busy" season at work.

Speaking of which, this past weekend was absolute madness at work. Well, Sunday it finally evened out, but Friday and Saturday were from hell. There is nothing like the feeling that your load is heavier than what you can handle! The most important thing is that your patients don't receive the level of care they deserve, and its an awful feeling to not be able to do a darned thing about it. That being said, I do pray that this weekend will be a ton better! I feel refreshed after my 4 days off, so I know I can handle it, with God by my side.

I'm also excited because my baby bro is coming up this weekend for SmartStart, and my Mom is coming along to get him settled (well, really to see us girls...haha). So it'll be good to have him around this year. I was thinking just today that he really is lucky to have two older working sisters. Working being the key word. Although I probably have a slightly better financial situation than Alisha does only because she's still in school, we both will have a little more money to take him out in his free time. Knowing myself, I probably will be more than glad to buy him dinner just so I can spend time with him. But that's what big sisters are for, right?! My Dad says I spoil him and let him off the hook too much, but I just remember all too well that feeling of being broke.

Well, my bathroom is now painted and fresh, and thankfully the toilet is in working condition since my gracious uncle has rescued me and retrieved the bottle I so stupidly flushed down. What a nightmare. I never realized how much I take being able to use the restroom for granted. I found myself holding it longer, which really isn't good for a bladder. And we won't even go into the other. At any rate, it's fixed.

Another blessing this week is that when I took my car in to get the oil changed, I had them check my brakes out as well since they were squeaking. I had prepared myself for a $300-400 charge, but fortunately it only turned out to be $37 for the oil change and to clean the brake pads or something. They didn't need to be replaced. Yay!

Well, guess my bed is calling me since 5 am comes oh-so-early! Good night bloggers (aka Missy and Amber...lol)!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Amanda's Wedding

I was in my 3rd wedding as a bridesmaid this past weekend. Amanda and I have been friends since the 2nd grade, so going back to Charlotte brought back many nostalgic feelings and memories. It was a jam-packed weekend of events, starting with taking her out Thursday night for the "Bachelorette party," which all we did was have a limo take us to a nice restaurant, M5, and enjoy a girls' night.

Then Friday morning we had a very nice Bridal Luncheon at the Parkers' house that included the Jr. bridesmaids. The food at their house is always amazing, so it was no surprise to me to have spinach quiche, raspberry tarts, cinnamon rolls, fresh fruits etc. Directly after this amazing brunch, Janet, Amanda's now mother-in-law, treated all of us to mani/pedi's, which was very thoughtful of her!

The rehearsal that afternoon was slightly stressful for Amanda because of the disorganization and what not, but many ladies told her that so many rehearsals are like that where the attendants are only halfway paying attention etc. We knew that everything would be pulled together in the end somehow.

Then that evening we went out to a park on a lake and had a cookout, and the bridal party wore "Team Bride," and "Team Groom" t-shirts. After eating and conversing, we actually ran short of time to play many games since sundown was approaching, but it was still fun!

Sabbath morning we attended the church I grew up in and it was wonderful to see old familiar faces and talk to old friends and even teachers that basically taught me all I knew up to that point in my life. Memories came flooding back to me of when Mom taught Sabbath school or Adventurers in the downstairs classrooms, or the many potlucks we were in charge of. Seeing the rock wall outside that we used to climb also made me very sentimental. As I listened to the youth singing down the hall for song service, memories flooded of Darren Brisco leading us to "the Battle belongs to the Lord," or something of the like. It was a very neat experience going back and that church will always have a place in my heart.

Saturday night held a very neat experience involving a yacht cruise on Lake Norman for close family and friends of Amanda and Lyndon. They had catered Chinese food and it was just a peaceful time for fellowship, not to mention awesome scenery as we passed along the shoreline of immensely expensive houses. Though it was very hot until the sun set, the Bartletts were very kind for hosting this!

Sunday was wonderful. Amanda looked absolutely stunning in her dress, all dolled up and beaming. The actual ceremony itself was perfect, except for the fact that there was no air conditioning in the chapel (they will be requesting a full refund), so standing up front for 20 min sweating was not the most pleasant thing ever, but it was still a very beautiful wedding. The reception afterwards was held at Maggiano's Italian restaurant, and the food was delicious! I enjoyed watching the father/daughter dance, Lyndon's Air Force buds serenade Amanda to "You've got that lovin' feelin" (so funny), and of course the usual cake cutting, garter and bouquet toss (no I didn't catch it...:) ). I even squeezed out of Lyndon where they'd be heading for their honeymoon. It's a 10 day, all-inclusive Sandals resort with a personal butler in Antigua, by the way. :)

Seeing her roll away in her Rolls Royce (no pun intended) was bittersweet. I'm so incredibly happy that she's happy, but I'm also sad to think that there goes another one of my close single friends - all married now. :( I know that it's inevitable that change must occur, but sometimes I just want time to stand still, and for us to just go back to being giddy and silly girls sharing fun times and stories late into the night at a pj party. *sigh*

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lost on the mountaintop

So my Dad, being the bright-idea kind of guy that he is, decided he wanted to take me on a ride on his Honda Goldwing last week while I was at campmeeting. I said sure, thinking that it'd be a 30 minute little fun ride/excursion. Boy was I wrong! Now, I know he had the best of intentions when he said he wanted to show me the Blue Ridge Parkway, but I knew right off the bat when we started up this squirrelly back-road before we even got to the parkway, that it wasn't gonna be quite of a blast as I'd hoped. First off, it was raining. Not a hard down-pour, but a steady drizzle, which made these hair-pin curves kind of tricky on a 2 wheeled bike. Fortunately, Dad made me wear Mom's Frogg Togg's, which are a matching bright orange waterproof pants and jacket set (a totally hilarious scene in itself, I'm sure), so we really stayed relatively dry throughout the whole ordeal.

Anyway, we finally get up to the parkway, and after driving on it a ways, the elevation becomes increasingly higher, so along with it comes fog. Put this together with a rain combo = not so fun on a bike. Add in several dark, damp tunnels, and we've got a lovely afternoon. lol

So we drive and drive, stop at a scenic overlook to take some pics (managed to dodge some of the fog here), and drive some more, until we come up on this little black blob in the middle of our lane. So Dad slows down until we realize that...it's a bear! Yes, a BEAR!!! Ahhhh....My first thought was "Oh, it's only a teenager, she can't hurt us," but then I realize, I'm not in a protective metal car like usual. I'm on a bike, with all of my extremities exposed, and saying "Come get me. I know you're hungry." Then we think (because we can talk to each other via speakers in our helmets), Crap! There's got to be a mama bear somewhere! Fortunately, the cub starts running along side the road and eventually down the side of the mountain before we could be deemed its supper that night, but boy was my adrenaline going!

After this fun extravaganza and driving probably another 30 min, we come to this fork in the road. It says Canton 24 miles, Rosman 19 miles (or something). Do you think Dad took my advice when I suggested the Canton route, seeing as how I know where that is (or had at least heard of it, as opposed to this other city only Jim Bob knows of)?? Nada. So, we take off down this new road.

This time we're head back down the mountain. Dad now decides to pull Carmen out - his beloved GPS. Don't ask me WHERE this much-needed device had been this whole time! I was kind of worried that she would get wet in the rain, but not caring much at this point and just wanting to get back, we thought we'd give her a shot. She started taking us on little side roads, but when one of them we turned on was a gravel road that brought us back out on the SAME road we had started on, I started rethinking the idea of getting her wet (must be messing with her brains). To top things off, Dad starts telling me about the movie "Deliverance," where 4 business men take a camping trip out in the woods and end up getting shot and killed or something. Great, Dad...now's the perfect time to be scaring me! Geez....

SO, after we started seeing the same landmarks we'd already passed before, we decide to turn back around and go until we find someone that might know how to get back. ha! The next gas station in this backwoods hicktown was where we stopped. After snarfing down a snickers bar cause I hadn't eaten since my small bowl of cereal that morning, we find these 2 gentlemen sitting on the bench out front to ask directions. Assuming by their accents that they'd lived there all their life, we listen as they proceed to tell us "Well, you c'n go this way, or you c'n go this a way," and ramble on about this side road or that landmark. Gosh, this is no help at ALL! The one thing I did catch in all of that mumbo jumbo was the name of a town called Sylva. Yes, I know that one! So, after convincing Dad that I know what I'm talking about (and not really giving him much choice in the matter), we continue on that road for another 30 miles.

While it was refreshingly beautiful once the sun came out as we curved around the bend of the mountain with a river running with us, I still couldn't get over the fact that I was missing out seeing people at campmeeting seeing as how I was only there a few short days. But then, I realized that although we'd fought off the fog, rain, hunger, bears, hicks, and the possibility of becoming the next "Deliverance" movie all in one afternoon, this all didn't seem to phase Dad. He was enjoying my company and it didn't bother him that an hour cruise turned into over 5 hours. I tried my hardest to relax and soak in the beauty, although my butt was sore and I had to pee like a race horse! :) Again, like my last post, I reiterate, it's the little things in life that matter!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Little Things

I find it very interesting observing ordinary people at various places. For example, yesterday at a J&S Cafeteria, as we were in line waiting to pay, I subconsciously kept seeing this fast movement out of the corner of my eye. After a few moments of this, I consciously became aware of these speedy distractions and saw this young guy, probably a bus boy, zooming back and forth past everyone, clearing away the plates and silverware off of tables, running (not fast walking, running) them to the kitchen, and back to do the same thing over again. I watched him as he was in the zone – totally in focus of getting the job done. I thought to myself that this young man, probably not even 18, was dedicated to his work, co-workers, and job. Now it may be that he just has an extra load of energy ready to expend, but unfortunately, I don’t think his quickness will be awarded. He will not have more tips because of this, nor will it increase his hourly pay, but did this stop him? No. He was going to be prompt anyway, even if he did not gain anything in doing so. I thought this to be very neat.

It kind of reminded me of Pastor Hector Gonzalez’s sermon on Sabbath for the graduates at MPA. His main point was that it’s not the big things in life, but the little things that matter. This led me to ponder on the fact that not everyone can be in the spotlight, the star of the show. Not everyone is a good leader, or outgoing. The people behind the scenes are often the backbones of the whole performance. Many times in my life I’ve felt like I’ve faded into the crowd, or not been acknowledged for my efforts, but really, ultimately all that matters is my reward in the end for my good deeds. It doesn’t matter if I was given the Leadership scholarship, or if my name was on a plaque at school. Those accomplishments will not mean much when I get to the pearly gates. It’s the little things that matter - the little things like being speedy. Bless that poor bus boy. I do hope he will not go unnoticed in the end.

Scary man

There’s this man at work I’ve been wanting to write a blog about for quite some time. He works in the cafeteria, serving the main dish everyday for lunch. Most of the nurses, or any of the female workers in the hospital for that matter, refer to him as “Scary man.” They refuse to go to the line he serves from and will go without eating even if he’s serving the best dish of the day. Now this man, whom I’m sad to say I don’t even know his name, is an older gentleman, maybe pushing 60. His face is obviously ahead of his time, with a wind-blown appearance and pock markings on his face. His nose is rather large, and most, particularly females, are repulsed by him. I’ve observed that it’s not only his appearance that scares them, but also the way he addresses them as “Hey, darlin’,” or “What can I get for you, sweetie?” or “Hey, how you doin today?” – as if he’s known them for a lifetime.

At first, and I’m ashamed to admit it, I myself was also a little put-off by this, wondering if this old creepy man was hitting on me or not. But then one day, instead of choosing to bypass his line of what looked to be a delicious tofu stir-fry, I decided to go ahead and get it and risk an uncomfortable pass from him. As I was the only one in his line, I didn’t have much choice not to respond to his usual, “Hey sugar, how’s your day goin?” So I proceeded to tell him it was going fine, but that I was ready for the weekend since my sister was graduating. His eyes lit up when I told him this, as it paved the way for him to tell me that HIS daughter was also going to be graduating, with a Respiratory Therapy degree. He went on to tell me that he was very proud of her, and how much he looked forward to watching her achieve this goal. My heart felt a mixture of feelings after I left his line. Guilt mostly, that I’d even followed everyone’s assumptions of him in the first place. He’s just an older lonely man that gleans joy from talking to the people in his lines. I came to the conclusion that he’s not hitting on them, but merely striking conversations to perhaps make his day less monotonous. Though it made me sad and a little mad at myself for skipping his lines in the past, I am no longer going to do so and will stand up for him in the future on the floor when he comes up in conversations as “Scary man.”

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cruise for Christmas

Look like a dream? Well, mine's about to come true, in less than 8 months!

I sat down with my parents last week and we booked a family cruise for right before Christmas. I am pretty ecstatic, seeing as how I've never been on one. It docks from Miami, FL, is out at sea for a day, then off to a private island called Labadee, in Haiti. Then we'll depart to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and from there we'll be another day at sea, and then back to Miami. So there's a total of 5 nights.

In Labadee, one can rent jet skis, go parasailing, ziplining, shopping, or of course, just lounge around in the sun, floating on a mat in the ocean. Sounds good to me.

Then in Ocho Rios, they have this 600 ft. waterfall.

Or then there's my personal favorite.

I have a guess I'll be doing a lot of this. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nurses vs. Bowling Pins

Last night I was talked into going bowling after working all weekend with my friends from work. It was the "Weekend Warriors" on our floor, Pediatrics, and the Respiratory nurses that are on the same hall through our locked double doors. We had a blast, although I must say this was the worst night bowling that I've ever had. My first game I only got a 49. 49!!!! "Gotta get it together Tandra," I'm thinking. Second game, I finally at least got a spare and ended up in the upper 60's. And since each game is only a quarter after paying the initial $5, we played a third game where the lights went low and black lighting came out. This time my first roll I got a strike! YESSSS!!! I'm thinkin' I'm gonna own this game now! But then every other set after that was only mediocre, so I only ended with a 73. How disappointing seeing as how I usually AT LEAST break 100 by the last game I play. Oh well. It had been a while since I'd played. Better luck next time. We're gonna try and make it a monthly thing to have a girls' night out.

A fun bunch of Nurses!!

Yes, that is a bowling ball. :)

On another note...believe it or not, Rhodora, my 63 year old co-worker and side-kick hadn't ever been bowling in the States. She's originally from the Phillippines and said they played a similar game there with coconuts and something about ditches. Ha ha...that cracked me up! She was so cute. Before we left the hospital to head over there, she said she'd have to go home first, and I asked her why. She said she'd have to change her shoes and I told her that they gave you shoes there. She gave me this shocked look and inquired if they cleaned them in between people, and I assured her that they did spray them. It was funny. I think she even bowled better her first game (beginner's luck of course) than I did all 3. A neat experience, indeed.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bad drivers

I confirmed on my trips to and from Fletcher this week that I definitely am annoyed by bad drivers. More specifically, the impatient ones. One scenario happened to be when there was heavy traffic and of course we're all wanting to get to our destinations, but some are just more impatient than others. I was in the passing lane, patiently waiting as this 18-wheeler took his time passing an even slower car. There were long lines of traffic in both lanes. The stupid guy behind me - I presume to be a young college student, judging by the University of NC sticker on his SUV, decides he's gonna swerve over to the right lane, pass me and the guy in front of me, and dart back in front of my leader. To me, this was idiotic! What does gaining 2 car lengths do for you?! We're still all waiting behind the slow truck! Seriously. So, he proceeds to do the exact same thing again to the next few people in front. This goes on for a good 20 mile stretch, and I just had to laugh. It was either that or curse, but that would've gotten me nowhere. I wonder, if we had the same destination, this ignorant guy and me, how much time he really saved by dangerously darting in and out?!

Then there are the ones that think they own the road and don't even pay attention. They have the whole road wide open and yet they still ride in the passing lane. I mean, that's one of the first things I do when I'm clear of the person I'm passing - get over! That is definitely a pet peeve of mine. Also, if you're gonna pass, speed up while doing so, then you may slow back down once you're over. This one guy went like 1 mph faster than the slow lane and took like 30 min. to pass the long line.

I'd like to think that I'm a good driver - somewhere between conservative and moderate. And though I do like to speed a little, I cannot stand bad drivers. Just can't. Maybe the impatience slows down with age, but sometimes these young people annoy the heck out of me! (haha...I talk about college students now as young...lol)

Thursday, April 9, 2009


So, I just found out that one of my favorite all-time bands, Rascal Flatts, just had a new album released on the 7th. It's called "Unstoppable." I can't wait to go pick it up!!

I was able to see them in concert the year before last, and I loved it! Would love to go see them for this year's tour, but I looked at the dates and I'll probably be working when they come through Atlanta. Poopy! :( At any rate, they're great!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Parentals visit

So, my parents came up this weekend. It was Mom's 35th (long time, I know) high school reunion at GCA. I was pleasantly surprised when Mom surprised me after her reunion festivities at work yesterday. I hadn't seen them yet. She hadn't seen my hospital or the floor I'm on before, so I gave her a tour and proudly showed her where I spend my weekends. Everyone said they had no doubt she was my mother - I guess I resemble her a lot. No surprise there.

Then after eating with Aunt Joni and Uncle Bud, my sis, parents, and I went back to our condo and Dad helped us do fix-it stuff. I had a list of things that only someone handy (namely my Dad) could do. We hung rods on the kitchen doors so I could finally put the curtains up that have been laying there for about 6 months. Then, the built-in microwave that came with the condo stopped working a while back, so Dad demounted it (not sure if that's a word - ha). There's this awful nasty wallpaper behind it. We're hoping to replace the old one soon with another built-in - something my Dad will of course have to come back down for. Maybe then my sister will stop having a cow over how bad that empty area looks. geez! We also did a few other things, like fixing my leaking toilet, and I'm so thankful for my Dad and his knowledge of handyman things. It truly amazes me how he can take just about anything and remedy/fix it up somehow. I definitely took those things for granted growing up. Now that I'm on my own, I realize it.

Their visit was short and sweet, but we ended it this morning with a good ol' fashioned breakfast at The Cracker Barrel. mmm..mmm...good. It was such a beautiful day! I enjoyed having the morning off, but then went in at 1 to split the shift with Rhodora, the other RN on weekends. We had 4 patients when I arrived, but then sent 3 and were down to the last one, so I sent Jenni (the 3rd nurse on weekends with us) home 2 hours early. Not a bad afternoon at all. Thankful for my job and the hours I DO get to work in this crazy economy! Overall, good work weekend, good visit with the parents...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Amanda's shower

This past Sunday I attended my good friend Amanda's lingerie shower, so thought I'd share a few of the pics from it. It was theme'd "Audrey Hepburn," and so therefore was a very classy atmosphere. The brunch involved a variety of foods including quiche, special k loaf, a fruit mix, cinnamon rolls, cucumber sandwiches, sparkling juices, tea, or coffee, and of course, the cake. I enjoyed it a lot and the other guests seemed to as well. The battery in my camera, of course, didn't last long enough for me to get photos of the gifts (not that I would post them anyway huh)....Anyway, here they are.

New at this

So, inspired by the blog of my dear friend Missy, I have decided to start one as well. I thought it might be nice to kind of keep a 'cyber journal' of my life (however exciting it may be). ha...so here it is.