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Sat. Nov. 10 to 16th- Van Nuys CA

Saturday-  We woke up a little past six AM. I went for my power walk with double layers, hat and gloves, as the temp was 41 degrees. Fortunately, the sun came up!

We left just a little before 10 AM to go to Pasadena. The GPS told us to get off at Colorado Blvd. Okay, here goes, this will stick in your head all day! “It’s the little old lady from Pasadena… the terror of Colorado Blvd… go granny, go granny, go granny GO”.  Bob kept a close eye out for her….


Anyway, the architecture on Colorado Blvd was pretty! We found a parking space on the street, for $2, for a little less than 2 hours. The first pay station we went to was not working, but we went back down the street to another one and that one worked.




We visited some of the stores. They had some really interesting ones, like a paper store and a Hip Hop store, with some interesting stuff. Downtown Pasadena had become very run down, but the city  finally fixed up the area and it is very nice.

We wandered into a candy store and each bought one piece of chocolate for later! We ended up eating lunch at a restaurant called Barney’s. Bob had a 4” thick club sandwich and I had a BLT.


Both were very good. Bob said even the French fries were good, and he is really picky about his fries!

We returned to the car and went to the Gamble Cottage. The Gamble Cottage was built early in the 20th century for David and Mary Gamble ( Proctor and Gamble). It is an internationally recognized masterpiece of the turn of the century Arts and Craft movement in America, The house is listed on the Register of Historic Houses.  The house is the most complete and original example of the work of brother architects Charles and Henry Greene. The house was built for 50K with 10K worth of original furniture. All the furniture was designed and built specifically for the house.

Pasadena was a vacation resort for the rich. Before they had a lot of cars, the air was cleaner and people came, especially during the winter, to enjoy the good weather. The Gambles never spent more than 6 months in the house, so that they could not be claimed as California residents, due to taxes. Won’t find us in California for more than six months for the same reason!

The Gambles would vacation there every winter, so they finally decided to build a house. The Greene brothers specialized in Craftsman houses. The design and the building are fantastic. They do not allow you to take pictures inside, but our $10 each, one hour tour ( which lasted almost 2 hours) was extremely interesting.


The use of light is phenomenal. Notice the front door, how there is the Japanese looking design, This is throughout the house, and in the dining room, the colors just pop out in the window, with this design, making it look three dimensional. Note that there are two side doors, with screens, for ventilation.

Gamble House door.

They had sleeping porches, so that they could enjoy the outside. This view is from the side, but it shows the sleeping porches. . Side of Gamble Cottage

All of the bedrooms were large and had large closets. The ‘cottage’ is 8000 sq. ft. with 6000 sq. ft. of living space.  The third floor is the attic, where they stored furniture that was not in use, which is why most of the furniture is original. The house has most of the original fixtures, rugs,and lights. It has an oriental design to it; the Gambles had traveled to Japan and brought back items to decorate. The rooms all have a theme, based on some of the Gambles personal items.

They have a small patio in the back with an oriental pond. The rocks have been moved from the area, and are throughout the house.


The driveway was originally granite gravel, but Mrs. G kept getting the gravel in her shoes, so they put in a $2500 brick driveway. ( Houses at this point in CA cost about $1500) The driveway has a mound in the middle, so that water drains right off, and it is inset, so that you cannot see it from the road.


The book store is in the old garage. The garage held two cars and since there were no gas stations in those days, they had their own pump and holding tank. Here is the original gas pump.


The bookstore has a big supply of books about Craftsman homes. One day, the staff noticed a scruffy looking guy who came in and plopped onto the floor, looking at the books. They kept an eye on him, as he piled up books to buy. Finally, he went up the register to pay, and they realized it was Brad Pitt. He and Angelina Jolie have a Craftsman home somewhere and obviously he was doing some research!

We were really glad we had taken this tour, as it was fascinating. You can find more on the house and it’s style at:: www.gamblehouse.org. John Anderson and John Holdos, you both might be interested in the architectural tour, $75 ,where they discuss the type of construction and building!

We bought a walking tour brochure of some of the other houses in the area. The Greene brothers were famous for these houses, and built quite a few in this neighborhood. None of the others are open to the public and the owners have made modifications and put up hedges so you can’t see them very well.

We noticed that the house overlooked the Rose Bowl, so we drove past it. Note, due to the winds yesterday, you can actually see the mountains!


We returned home. While sitting in traffic on the Rt. 134, we ate our chocolate!

Sunday- A quiet day for us. We ate breakfast, paid bills, updated the budget, and went grocery shopping. We returned, ate lunch, and took a nap. We mainly just relaxed. It was a little too cool to sit outside, so we mainly stayed inside.

Monday-  Happy Veterans Day and thank-you to all our our veterans for your service.

It was my first day of work. Pretty boring, as it was the general orientation. Since West Hills is a for profit hospital, the environment is different. The majority of their patients have insurance vs. PG where approximately 48% do not. So it is very different. My hours today were 7:30 –4:00.

The agency would not accept my flu vaccination form from the Escapade, since it did not have a lot number on it. So they had me sign a declaration that I did not want the flu vaccination. The hospital says that if I do not have to have a flu shot I have to put on a mask whenever I am within six feet of a patient. So I was not a happy camper! When I arrive home, I pulled out the vaccination form and went online to my insurance company to retrieve the billing for the medication. Will take that to Employee Health in the morning  to get a sticker for my name tag which will take care of the issue, I HOPE!

Since it is the holiday, my glasses did not arrive. Hoping for them tomorrow.

Tuesday-  Day 2 of orientation. I clocked in and went to Employee Health with my flu vaccine documentation, so that fixed that problem!

Today I was in the Case Management office. I shadowed one of the CM’s. My regular hours will be 8:30-5:00. I have to punch a time clock, which I have not done since 1980, so that is going to take some getting used to.! They are very strict about lunch. Evidently it is a California law, and you must take your 30 minutes. Not 29, you can go over for up to 7 minutes, but do not clock back in at less than 30 minutes. So I am having to set up a timer on my phone to keep myself in line!

Bob took the CRV in to have the emergency brake repaired. We found out in Denver that the cables are rusted, so we had to have it fixed where there they have the cables. This is not a usual problem with the Honda’s. so they did not have any of the cables in the Denver area.  We are also having a clunking noise in the rear. Not sure why, so he is having that checked.

The Honda dealership wants to keep the car overnight, so they gave us a burgundy Kia mini-van. They were all out of Honda’s so they rented us one from Enterprise.

Still no glasses! I called the Walmart in Las Vegas, and they came in today in Vegas, so they are overnighting them and I should have them on Thursday.

Wednesday-  Day 3 of orientation. Shadowed a different CM. Bob had a job interview at 10:30 at UPS for a drivers assistant position for the holiday. Turns out that would not work for us as the hours are 11 AM to 7 PM, and he would have to catch up with the driver somewhere in the Los Angeles area. He could drop me off, but there would be no way for me to get home. There were only two positions available, and they went to people who have worked there before, anyway.

The Honda dealer wanted the car for another day, so we still have the mini-van.  Still no glasses!

Thursday-  Day 4 of orientation. They finally received all my passwords for the computer programs. They use two of the programs that I know,(Curespan and Midas) and  so that makes it a little easier for orientation. I started the morning off shadowing one of the CM’s, then in the afternoon, the CM Manager, Laura, sat down with me to go through the programs and to have me do a review and assessment. Their hospital program is different,(Mediteck) but easy to learn. Their MD program is also fairly easy. Their Midas is similar, yet has more modules and they use it differently than I am used to… they also do a lot more documentation than I am used to….  One terrific thing is that they are all EMR ( electronic medical records), so I rarely have to chase down a chart or print anything, except the Choice Letter and the IM (Important Message from Medicare). Also not a teaching hospital so no chasing after med students or residents!

Bob retrieved the car, but it is still clunking, so it goes back in on Monday. Still no glasses. So I called the Walmart again; they were sent regular mail yesterday, so hopefully they will arrive today. I had asked for them to be overnighted, which they did not do, and had told them that I would pay for the overnighting, but of course, poor customer service. I was pretty angry, when I was told that the manager paid for the postage out of his pocket, since I specifically asked for the glasses to be sent overnight and told them I would pay extra for this service!  Also, they actually arrived in the Walmart on Saturday!) I am really having problems seeing with the reading glasses when working on the computer.

Friday- Day 5 of orientation. Didn’t’ do my powerwalk this morning as it is raining. I have my floor assignment, I will be doing a med-surg. floor that is under construction and only has 20 beds. Yippee! This is going to be a lot easier than the Level 1 Trauma floor that I was on all summer. Of course, it will have it’s own issues, but I hope not to be as stressed as I was in the summer.

Initially I was supposed to only be doing discharge planning, but since I did so well on their UR test, I am going to be doing both. That is what I get for acing the test!  I thought it was funny that they wanted me to do the discharge planning, since I am not familiar with the area, but they have given me the list of resources and there are plenty of people to answer questions.

At around 4 PM, Susan from the rv park called me to let me know my glasses were in. I called Bob, and he had them in his hand when I called. So after work we ran over to the super Walmart to have them adjusted. I CAN SEE! It is unreal how much better I can see!

Bob has applied for a lot of holiday jobs, but so far no call backs. Waiting to hear… Also, someone tried to break into a motor home across from us, so Bob has locked up everything.

One Response

  1. Happy Thanksgiving; hope you have a great holiday and touring of CA; all is the same here at PGHC!


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