Apartment H

Stories from Charlotte with Kati Hurst.

December Days December 22, 2009

Filed under: Snippets of Home — Apt H @ 12:46 am

As I was reminded yesterday by the fantastically applicable sermon delivered by our fantastically gifted pastor, as Christians we are incredibly blessed (this is an understatement) to be saved from the punishment for our very grave sin by the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ.  These are not new concepts but it was truly wonderful to hear a sermon so close to Christmas that was about the necessity of the cross and Christ as the demonstration of the Lord’s righteousness.  Romans 3 says, “for there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received through faith.”  I don’t think I understood and grasped the severity of this passage until yesterday.

I like “aha!” moments.

I did not intend to start this post with some preaching, but I trust the Holy Spirit will use it well.  And if you want to hear the sermons from the past few weeks given by Dr. Barcley (prepare to have your face melted off) then stop on over at http://www.sovereigngrace.org/audio.

Joshua and I have been busy bees since our families left in November.  We had all the shopping done the first week of December, the presents wrapped that same weekend, and our two foot tree decorated too.  We had the help of some Caribou hot chocolate and our new favorite obsession, “How I Met Your Mother”.  In addition to all these things, we’ve finished up the semesters for our schools, worked 40 hours each week, managed to hang out with our friends on numerous occasions, and create some holiday traditions that belong just to us.  I think we’ve done pretty well, if I do say so myself.

Imagine the smell of baking cookies and the sounds of a Charlie Brown Christmas.

We have trucked right through the first and second seasons of HIMYM with three and four soon to be delivered to our door in time for lazy days off.  If you’re not already a fan check it out.  We love Barney because he’s definitely the funniest, but all the characters are pretty lovable.  It’s not anywhere close to the caliber of our newest show, “The Wire”, but I kinda think that’s ok.  Joshy and I have also started playing some regular games so that our eyeballs don’t cross from too much tv.  We bought Yahtzee awhile back and I got to teach Josh something for once.  He’s only beaten me once but he sure does try to whip my tail each time.  I’m sure he’ll catch up to my wins eventually.  We’ve also gotten into Bananagrams, a speed Scrabble type game that is challenging and fun.  We’re tied at this point but I plan to take the lead in this one (Don’t remind me that my husband was an English major and makes puns with words all the time.  I somehow think he’ll win just fine.)

Our friend Shalaine is a runner.  I mean the hardcore, can run for hours, kind of runner.  Her dad is also a runner and he came out to run the half marathon with Shalaine last weekend.  While Josh and I would not be supporting them by running with them, we did go out and shake our homemade signs and yell for them as they ran by.  I got a picture but I’m not gonna show you because they ran by way too fast and I only captured the back of their heads.  Suffice to say they were bookin’ it and I am jealous they were not even winded when they passed us at the halfway mark.

Remember that part about his clever way with words? We had three of these things and each one rhymed with Shalaine. I'm still not entirely sure how he did it.

Runners are a neat sub-culture.  These people were out quite early for a Saturday and it was freezing!  Literally.  It was very cold.  And they ran for hours.  All four thousand of them (I actually don’t know the number but I know it’s a lot.)  There were drummers, jugglers, crazy costumes, interesting methods, and incredible willpower.  It was totally neat to be there and cheer these folks on.  It makes me wanna run a little too.  Josh not so much.

Thanks to Josh’s generous grandparents, we were able to treat the Breedens to a meal at one of our mutual favorite restaurants as part of their Christmas present before they left for Tennessee.  We got some wine, some beer, a couple Fuzzy Navels for me, some food, and some good conversation.  We sure do like them a tremendous amount and we’re glad we were able to take them out and do it right.  Thanks Sam and Betty!

They like us too I think.

We had to go back to work the following day and earn some money but Josh and I were able to enjoy some television, pizza, cookies, burritos, and Avatar this weekend.  Not all on the same day.  I didn’t clarify that very well.  Steve has been groomed and is ready for his trip East in a couple weeks and I think we are too.  We’re glad for the opportunity to create some purely “young Hurst” traditions that we can share with the children we may have one day.

Hope you guys have had good weeks leading up to Christmas and the fast approaching new year.  Until next time.

 

Thanksgiving 2009 December 1, 2009

Filed under: Snippets of Home — Apt H @ 12:03 am

Josh, Steve, and I had the pleasure of hosting our families this past week as they visited us for Thanksgiving and Black Friday!  How only plans were a meal at Cracker Barrell, the Hurst family tradition of watching White Christmas, and shopping!

 

 

Our families are super gracious and quite wonderful (for many reasons), if nothing else, this is shown in their willingness to drive hours and hours to come see us.  Because of the rock fall in Asheville, both fams had to detour through Atlanta and it added a couple hours to each trek.  They arrived at different times on Wednesday and after I got back from school we had a late dinner and hung out in the lobby of their hotel trying to catch up on things.

 

Thanksgiving day I was most certainly not going to cook so we went to Cracker Barrell and ate the meal that they prepare for everyone (they aren’t too willing to substitute things when you order the special- I guess they were just very very busy.)  Since there was no shopping to do in the afternoon and we didn’t want to waste the day, some of us went to the movies.  The first theater was sold out and the second was sold out soon after we got the tickets.  We sat in the very front row because it was the only available and ate out of a bathtub full of salted and buttered popcorn.  It was fantastic!

 

Then we all gathered in our tiny little apartment to watch White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney.  At this point, the Hursts know every line and song and I’m fast catching on.  Mom and Maurice not so much.  Some of us had some popcorn (including Steve and Alex) and ate some fudge while enjoying the family time and corny movie.

 

Friday we started the day off with Caribou hot chocolate and plans to spend the day shopping.  We visited the mall for about six hours and finished up walking and spending money by eating at Josh and my favorite restaurant, McCormick and Shmick’s.  We had alcohol, calamari, lobster ravioli, and apple pie for dessert.  Maybe the best meal ever.  Josh and I are gonna request it as a last meal, I think.  I guess everyone else enjoyed it too… we didn’t really come up for air to inquire.

 

The Hursts left the next morning so they could get back into the swing of things and Josh had to work all day.  What did Mom, Maurice, and I do?  Well, shop of course!  We started out the day with hot chocolate again and started earlier to insure we made the best of the time we had.  I think they were able to get the majority of their Christmas shopping done- at least that’s how it felt in the back of the car with the bags and boxes of things.

 

Maurice loves me and good food so we got to go back to McCormick and Shmick’s for a second best meal ever.  We had the same exact thing again and it was tremendous the second time around.  I love that restaurant not only because of the food but because of the leisure in which you get to eat your meal.  We had such a good time talking and eating and fellowshipping!

 

Josh and I are extremely grateful for the time we were allowed with our families and hope you all had as equally great times!

 

Autumn Means New School! October 25, 2009

Filed under: Snippets of Home — Apt H @ 2:55 pm

Hey friends!  We sure do appreciate our readers and we both apologize for the lack of updates here… even as good a writer as Josh is, reading his post many times over isn’t fun.  I am here to provide new info!

Mainly I wanted to let people know about my weekday evening activities.  I am attending a business school for a diploma in Medical Assisting.  I’m not entirely sure what a “diploma program” is, but I know that when I’m done with this eighteen month program I will be able to sit for the certified medical assistant test and when I pass will be eligible for a raise and more responsibility at work.  If none of that happens after I pass the test, I will at least know I’m able to get a similar job elsewhere.  This is a stepping stone for now, I don’t want to be a CMA forever, but I know with these classes I will have more knowledge and experience in the medical field that I will be able to build upon.  School is forty-five minutes from home, in North Charlotte, up by the IKEA and UNCC.  For those of you not familiar with Charlotte, it’s a little ways away.  I am now completely familiar with I-485 and when anyone visits I can now capably get us to and from places outside South Charlotte (ahem… Maurice.)  We have modules at school which are essentially semesters just shorter.  Each module I’ll have three classes for ten weeks and then I switch.  This time around I have Tuesday and Thursday classes at six and eight o’clock and Wednesday at six.  Thankfully, this first module is over in a week and I will get new classes.

I have a bachelor’s degree and I wrote a forty-five page thesis for Maryville, but this module I had to take keyboarding because I didn’t test out of it.  Now, I can type significantly more than the minimum for this class and if it had been up to my typing alone I could’ve tested out.  BUT!  There was this awful objective test that I didn’t do well enough on to test out of the class.  What objective portion of keyboarding could there possibly be, you ask?  Well, good question!  Do you know how many errors it counts if you transpose two letters in a word?  Or how many spaces you make after a colon?  Well, no (if you do, please do not tell me) why would you need to know this info?  I’m pretty sure you don’t.  In any circumstances.  Anyway, I took the two other tests and did my nineteen lessons of keyboarding and finished the class in three weeks.  And while that was wonderful because it was so tedious and boring, I have an eight o’clock class after keyboarding so I have dinner with my husband after work and drive up there for my Customer Service class.

Now this one is fun.  Dumb and a little common sense-ish, but fun because it’s seven women discussing service and communication with a really fantastic instructor.  We went on a “field trip” last Thursday to Carabba’s Italian Grill so that we could gather information on their service skills.  We’ll discuss it Tuesday and then we’ll be let go, ’cause Ms. D is too cool.

Wednesday I have business math.  If you know me at all you know that I’m not too good at complicated math stuff.  However, I’m pretty good at adding and subtracting and other basic math skills.  (I’m especially good with my scientific calculator.)  I didn’t test out of this one because I’m almost positive no one ever taught me how to divide fractions and decimals.  Seriously.  We have this brilliant instructor who really lowered her standards when she started teaching at Brookstone and goes so quickly she leaves my classmates behind.  It’s the only time in my life I’ve been able to help someone else out in math.

So, like I said, the first of November brings new classes and I am so EXCITED already!

 

Supervising Shifts October 4, 2009

Filed under: Snippets of Home — Apt H @ 8:36 pm

projects_cvsHello, readers. Josh here. My dear wife/favorite blogger has been “encouraging” me to contribute to this blog for some time now, specifically to talk about recent happenings in my work. And now seems like as good a time as any, I suppose.

For those who don’t know, I was promoted to Shift Supervisor status at CVS about a month ago. This means that I work full time (~40 hours/week), get better pay, supposedly receive employee benefits (more on that later), have actual responsibilities, get my name grouped with all the cool kids on our store schedule, and, best of all, have a much better job title than “cashier.”

I was semi-in-training for a few weeks, with my two fellow shifts (Sharney & David) and our assistant manager Frank showing me the ropes. I also took a loss prevention class with our district loss prevention manager, B.K., a thoroughly intimidating ex-football player and ex-cop who eats shoplifters and thieving employees for breakfast. Last Saturday, I officially got my keys, and Sunday was my first night as manager on duty.

And I’m not gonna lie: It was pretty rough. We joke about the “first night curse,” wherein everyone’s first night as manager on duty goes horrifically awry, but my experience was far and away the worst of anyone’s, as all of our photo machines and come of our computer equipment broke, I couldn’t start counting the deposit until my allotted time way nearly half over, and, ultimately, I had to rush so much that I screwed up the counting and our store manager had to come fix it. Thankfully, he was a model of grace and patience, and was actually encouraging to me.

And after that, things got better. I was on duty Monday night– I’ll be on duty EVERY Monday night– and things went smoothly. Tomorrow, I trust/pray that things will go even better. It’s a stressful and complicated job that takes some getting used to, and I’m enjoying it, and also appreciating the charity and understanding of all my co-workers as they help me get the hang of things.

And about my benefits: I’ve been on the phone with HR several times trying to get that squared away. Apparently, my manager’s initial request for me to receive the healthcare package didn’t ever register at the corporate office because– get this– our Human Resources department is located on an island in the Indian Ocean, and my request was transmitted right in the midst of a tsunami, which caused the computers to fail. You can’t make stuff like that up.

But that aside, I’m loving the work, the newfound camaraderie with my fellow shifts, the increased responsibility, and the chance to mentor some of our new cashiers. It’s a fun gig, and I look forward to sharing some more stories about it later!

 

Grilled! September 14, 2009

Filed under: Snippets of Home — Apt H @ 9:55 pm

Recently, while visiting my parents in East Tennessee, Maurice was so generous and bought us Hursts a grill.  That’s right, Joshua and I, the king and queen of crock pot and baking, now own a charcoal grill.  We had to put it together (which was more difficult than it should have been) and then pretended we knew what we were doing with the charcoal and the cooking.

I started out with the Steve on the porch in the hot sunshine assembling this grill.  About three quarters of the way through I got really frustrated and started cursing and throwing things.  So, my husband (who doesn’t normally like screwdrivers and things came to my rescue.)

See?  Joshua is confused too.

See? Joshua is confused too.

We eventually got it together so we enjoyed the rest of the day relaxing, cutting Steve’s hair, watching movies, and generally doing nothing after a long week at work.  Then we started preparing our supper.  We had marinated chicken, macaroni, and peas.  There’s this thing though… it took like 40 minutes for the charcoal to heat so the other items were a little cold when we sat down to eat.  That’s okay though ’cause we’ll learn better for next time.  Josh has decided to be our grill master which I am so excited about!

Isn't he too cute?  A little timid but that'l get better!

Isn't he too cute? A little timid but that'll get better!

 

A 13 Course Meal. Prepared by Our Friend the Master Chef. August 27, 2009

Filed under: Snippets of Home — Apt H @ 10:44 pm

That’s right.  Thirteen courses.  You may be asking (as Josh did) what each course could possibly be.  Like salad course part III.  Thankfully, Joshua was not in charge of these thirteen courses, our friend Chris Brock did all the cooking with a buddy of his.  He’s prepared meals for us before, but the last time he told us that his four course meal was not a “real” meal and he’d have to have us over again for a bigger tete a tete.  Chris likes this guy Thomas Keller who operates a world famous restaurant in California called the French Laundry and the Keller guy has a book on pressurized cooking (at least I think that’s what it is- you’ll have to ask Chris for more) and we bought it for Chris on the condition that we get a “real” meal.  I think it was a fair trade.  A forty-five dollar book for thirteen courses?

Chris asked us to provide a bottle of wine, which we did along with the other couple that was fed.  In total we had six bottles of wine- just ask Josh.  Although, now that I think about it, he may not remember all that wine…  We showed up and the food got underway.  Chris and his friend Nic shopped for like, three weeks to make this dinner.  Nic’s got cool pictures of the fridge beforehand and I’m sure it’s terrifying.  I took pictures but my camera/phone decided to peter out on me so some of the courses got left off.

We started with a white truffle and black pepper… something.  Chris cut off the top of an egg, poured out the insides, made his concoction, poured it back in the egg shell, cooked it, and served it to us.  We then moved on to the sweet summer corn soup which is my new favorite way to eat corn.  That stuff was good!  We had a scallop that was incredible (I got seconds ’cause they’re my fave) and fourth we got braised lamb belly with a fig and onion marmalade.  Rabbit pate came next, followed by grouper (which Josh got seconds of) and a sweet potato ravioli with prosciutto.  Eighth course had quail, with the breast sous vide (the pressurized bit) and confit leg (which essentially means salted and fried) followed by beet salad (the best beets I’ve ever had- in fact the only beets I’ve ever had), Cote de Boeuf, fluffed cheese that was made to look like bread, and TWO chocolate desserts.  Oh yeah, then shortbread cookies and coffee.

Needless to say, we were not hungry for about 24 hours after that meal.  It took four hours, six bottles of wine, and thirteen courses.  And, we had some pretty excellent conversation.  We’re thankful the Brocks could feed us so well and host us for so long!

The scallion.  It didn't last long before getting it in my belly.

The scallion. It didn't last long before getting it in my belly.

Braised lamb belly.

Braised lamb belly.

Quail with cara cara gastrique (some African orange... sauce)

Quail with cara cara gastrique (some African orange... sauce)

Roasted beet salad with fennel and blue cheese.

Roasted beet salad with fennel and blue cheese.

Dark chocolate ravioli with hazelnut ice cream and white chocolate blackberry trifle.

Dark chocolate ravioli with hazelnut ice cream and white chocolate blackberry trifle.

The six notorious bottles of wine.

The six notorious bottles of wine.

 

Illness Roundup August 23, 2009

Filed under: Snippets of Home — Apt H @ 9:51 pm

Joshua turned out to have MRSA in his lip.  Good news is it’s going away because of the antibiotics they’re giving.  Oh, and the cut they made in his lip so the thing would drain.  They knew it was a staph infection Monday but drew a sample so they could run cultures on it.  The first doctor said it needed to be cut into Monday but the second doctor said medicine would be the first route.  So he took his meds until Wednesday when he had to go back and they cut it open anyway and drained it.  They gave two shots to numb it and then started cutting.  J told them he could still feel it so they gave him another shot and cut into it.  It bled and seeped pus (sorry for the detail for those of you who are queasy) and then he threw up (again) because of all the numbing stuff.  Then they let him drive home (I was a little frustrated with that.)  He came home, rested, and made it to work on Friday.  His lip looks all better now!

Look!  All better!

Look! All better!

Steve a few weeks back had an infection himself.  It was a boil like thing on his foot that he couldn’t stop licking for two days and managed to pop the thing so it too seeped.  Unfortunately, it got inflamed and did not get better so we took him to the vet who gave some antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory that we gave for two weeks.  He didn’t get any better so we took him back and the doctor gave another med that we were to give for a month.  Well, we did and things didn’t get better so we took him back a third time.  This time I made sure to inform them that they needed to remove the thing not keep giving meds.  So, the vet did a surgery, removing the boil/abscess/cyst thing and a toe nail that had twisted off.  They wrapped it up nice and good and gave him a cone.  Except, it wasn’t really a cone, more like a bonnet because it was floppy.  Steve tolerated it for a day and a half and then chewed the bandage off.  We took him to the vet again, they re-wrapped it and but this weird yuck stuff on it and he left that one alone for two days.  Then he chewed it off and actually managed to keep away from the stitches.  He got those removed, we finished up his meds, and now he’s all better.

He looks real pitiful but he's all better now.

He looks real pitiful but he's all better now.

As you may be thinking, the two infections are not related (at least as far as we know.)  Josh probably got his from money at CVS and then biting his nails (which I attribute the MRSA to because I want him to stop biting his nails) and Steve got his from some bug bite or splinter.

Anyway, things are all back to normal around here, with Josh recovering and Steve back to his normal and very obnoxious self.  We wanted to let people know Joshua is good to go, we just threw Steve in there for some comedic effect. 🙂