3.23.2011

Conversation #72: There's creativity and there's creativity

I think most of you know by now that I'm an engineer (still in training, I have to wait until December to apply to take the PE exam, but let's not talk about that - it kind of freaks me out).  Engineers are not generally considered creative, which I actually find sort of funny.  If you think about it, engineers have to be creative because we have to come up with solutions to problems, but I guess when it comes to artsy creative they tend to be lacking.

I sort of think I fall in the middle.  I love creating and making things, but I'm sure I do it in an engineer/analytical sort of way.  Take quilting, for example, it is really about geometry in the basic sense.  You can take different basics shapes, and make endless quilts by changing up the fabric or the layout just slightly.  I love that.

Anyway, I guess most of my colleagues still fall in the "not so creative" camp.  I had to create a sponsorship sign for a conference at the end of this week for my boss.  It was given to me last minute and I'm no graphic designer, but the main point was just to get the names of the companies onto a banner and print it out.  So I went to each company website, captured their logo, and inserted it into a template from another sign being used for the conference.  I arranged them in alphabetical order, and done.  Apparently, this is pretty creative for engineers.  I wished I had more time to make it cooler (even though "graphic designer" is not in my title), but apparently doing what I sort of assumed was expected was being "very creative" according to the email.  I'll take what I can get!

On a side note, I also find it odd that some of these companies that provide very technical services have very lacking websites.  Maybe that is that creative thing again...

3.21.2011

Conversation #71: Have you gone greek?

I don't mean in the sorority/fraternity sort of way.  Even though my alma mater was big on that, I actually sat that out.  It kind of intimidated me and I didn't really have the money to keep up with those fancy girls.  Anyway, I digress.

What I'm actually talking about is yogurt.  I know a lot of people have started trying the greek yogurt.  My mom, for one, really loves it.  I have been enjoying it for a while, but I change which kinds I like at different times.  My favorite way to eat it is plain flavored with a little honey.  Yum!

I go between brands, but when eating it one morning, I noticed on this particular carton it said: "Suggestion: Please do not stir."  I don't know why that struck me as funny, but I used to always stir it up.  Maybe that changes the texture and taste or something?  I have no idea, but I quit stirring it and I think it does taste delicious. 

Anyone else seen or heard this?  Know the reason why?  I mean I'm pretty certain nothing bad happens, but I do find it interesting.  Here is my proof:

What are your favorite kinds of greek yogurt?  How do you eat it?

3.17.2011

Conversation #70: Do you need to be pinched?

I most certainly do not!  Green is my favorite color so I had to really chose what I wanted to wear today.  My outfit isn't anything flashy today, but I like it.


What I'm wearing:
New York and Company cardigan, had forever
Black J. Crew tank, had forever
Lands' End Canvas skirt, $19.99 (plus additional discount with reward points and free shipping)
Lands' End Canvas sandals, $13.98 (plus tax)
Necklace, from an accessory store in my hometown, $4ish (can't remember for sure)

Also, I want to leave you with "The Breastplate of St. Patrick."  My minister shared this with us last year, and I really liked it.  I hope you enjoy it and your St. Patrick's day.

"The Breast-plate of St. Patrick"

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the
Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession
of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.

I arise today through the strength of Christ with His Baptism,
through the strength of His Crucifixion with His Burial
through the strength of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
through the strength of His descent for the Judgment of Doom.
I arise today through the strength of the love of Cherubim
in obedience of Angels, in the service of the Archangels,
in hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
in prayers of Patriarchs, in predictions of Prophets,
in preachings of Apostles, in faiths of Confessors,
in innocence of Holy Virgins, in deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through the strength of Heaven:
light of Sun, brilliance of Moon, splendour of Fire,
speed of Lightning, swiftness of Wind, depth of Sea,
stability of Earth, firmness of Rock.

I arise today, through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me,
God's host to secure me:
against snares of devils, against temptations of vices,
against inclinations of nature, against everyone who
shall wish me ill, afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.
I summon today all these powers between me (and these evils):
against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose
my body and my soul,
against incantations of false prophets,
against black laws of heathenry,
against false laws of heretics, against craft of idolatry,
against spells of women [any witch] and smiths and wizards,
against every knowledge that endangers man's body and soul.
Christ to protect me today
against poison, against burning, against drowning,
against wounding, so that there may come abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right,
Christ on my left, Christ in breadth, Christ in length,
Christ in height, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the
Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the
Oneness of the Creator of creation.
Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of Christ. May Thy Salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.


3.11.2011

Conversation #69: Feeling Overwhelmed but glad it's Friday

I feel like this season of life has just been overwhelming for me and many people around me.  It blows my mind at church just how much everyone seems to be going through.  There isn't any one thing for me, but just life that is busy.  After this weekend, the next three are packed!  I'm either out of town or hosting people (or both).  It is all good stuff, but just a lot.

I feel like I lost all last weekend with our plumbing issues and then my foot and then our dog got a urinary tract infection.  I honestly don't know how y'all do it with kids.  I always ask my mom that.  Where does that energy come from because right now my husband, my dog, and myself are about all I can handle.

Looking back at the way I started the two paragraphs above, I think I might feel too much.  I actually got irritated with my husband a couple of nights ago because he kept telling me he thought I was off (female translation: emotional, unhinged).  I actually wasn't and felt very okay, but it seemed that I couldn't convince my husband of that and his incessant response of saying I wasn't okay drove me to not being okay.  Does that happen to anyone else? 

It might have been just a few weeks ago when I was telling people that not much was going on, but I kind of like those times. I like when I'm able to keep the house cleaned, spend time reading without feeling guilty, and just be.  I'm looking forward to the warmer weather, but now that means I better get out in the yard to get that cleaned up.  The vitamin D will probably do me good, though.  However, I must say that this weather transition of cold in the morning and warmer in the afternoon is making it hard to get dressed.  I love boots and jeans, but I think I'm ready to pull out the sandals and dresses (with no tights).

I don't have much else for this Friday.  I'll try to be a more exciting blogger again.  I have done some projects around the house I want to share, and I think I'm sort of finding my way back to my blogging voice.  Thanks to all of you who have stuck with me on this journey :)

3.10.2011

Conversation #68: An Update

(Photo from: battelle.org)

I just realized I never really gave an update to the crazy weekend we had.  Long story short, we had to go stay with family for Saturday night and all of Sunday because the poor husband ran out of steam.  I wasn't a ton of help with my silly foot, and he was covered in mud and muck for most of the day.  Crawling around under a house just beats you down physcially and mentally, especially when you think you have fixed it when you really haven't it.  Luckily we found an awesome plumber who fixed us up on Monday, and I have enjoyed a nice hot shower every morning since.  It really is wonderful to have water again!

Conversation #67: How do you nicely say...

"Please stop giving me your unsolicited advice!"

Has anyone else ever had that happen?  I'm sure you have, it seems to be very common for the pregnant ladies out there.

Here's what's going on:
A very nice lady at my church means well, I know that.  However, the last two Wednesday nights at Bible study she has told me how things I'm doing and my doctors prescribed are killing me.  We live in a large world full of many different people, and thus, opinions.  I sort of subscribe to the thought that I think you can find a study that proves almost anything you want.  One day you hear one saying coffee will kill you and the next day hear how a little a day is healthy.  My point is, I think you weigh the options and pick what works best for you.  (I don't apply that to my walk with God or the Bible - trust me, that is a post I'm working on for a whole other day).

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned to a different friend at church that I had been struggling with my migraines.  That prompted like 3 other women to share their struggles with the same issue.  We talked about different medications they had tried, and then that was it.  Well, nice lady tells me at the end of class that she hates that I'm so young taking meds and that I should look into a gluten free diet because that cured her friend of migraines.  Now hear me, I know gluten intolerance is a real thing for some people.  However, for some reason, I feel like lately that has kind of been the trendy disorder to have.  Not that people who have it like it or anything or that it is fun.  I just kind of think people have decided that gluten intolerance is the cause of a lot of symptoms lately, and if my doctor feels like that is a road we need to go down, I'll listen to her.  I have had migraines for a long time, and it has never followed a gluten/non gluten pattern.  Also, the meds I'm taking are in very small dosages, and guess what?  I have been headache free for a week and half now.  That might not seem like much to some, but for me that is huge!  I thank God that He helped me find a solution.  My sister is a doctor, and I am a science oriented person.  I believe God created some people to advance modern medicine, and I feel like that can be an answer to prayers.  (Wow, this post is getting into areas I wasn't expecting it to)

Okay, secondly, if you have been reading for a while, you know that I have some major dental issues I'm working on.  Right now, I'm in a waiting period.  All of the little cavities from erosion have been fixed, and we are waiting for my teeth that need crowns to crack or for my husband's practice to take off; whichever happens first determines the schedule on fixing the teeth.  So here's how that applies to the nice lady at church.  Long story short, she gave me a piece of dark chocolate (the only kind I really like) with almonds in it last Wednesday night (a week ago), and I nibbled a bit but set it aside.  It was hard and I worry about cracking my teeth.  She kept saying how good I was to resist it so I explained my teeth issues and that I was using a special fluoride rinse to prevent further damage.  That was the end of that conversation.

Last night, she comes in and says how she thought about my teeth all last Wednesday night on her way home, and how fluoride is just poison and she just hates that I'm using it.  She said, "you're only 24, 25 (I said I was 26), and your taking fluoride and migraine pills.  I just want you to live until you're 80 not 30."  Who says that to someone unprovoked?  I mean I know she meant well, but who wants to hear that you think they are going to die in a few years based on your own opinions? 

I know there are people out there that don't believe in modern medicine, don't trust certain foods, etc.  A lot of those studies are inconclusive and show things on both sides of the argument.  If I'm asking for your opinion on something, please answer.  If I have talked with my doctor, dentist, etc. and feel that what I'm doing is working best for me, please don't tell me you think I'm going to die in a few years.  I don't know if I really explained myself very well in this post, but basically, I just don't really care for people continuing telling me that things I have decided to (based on a lot of thought) are wrong and hurting me.  If I'm smoking or drinking too much or doing something that is universally proven to be harmful, okay.  If I'm doing something that is questionably harmful in your opinion, let it lie until I ask.  I realize, that person may feel strongly about it, but it just makes me feel annoyed.

Alright, that is all.  I just needed to get it off my chest.  It was probably a lot of brain drivel above so come back later for a shorter more coherent post about something different :)

3.05.2011

Conversation #66: Now we need a plumber and a doctor

plumbing 2

plumbing1

The pictures above are of the mess in my hallway leading to crawl space hatch and of  the actual hole in the ground in my hall closet right now.  I can’t wait to clean it all up – here’s hoping it is soon!

I just want to wash my hands.  Does that sound gross?  Sorry, but the anti-bacterial gel is just not cutting it.  I’m trying to keep perspective since there are millions and millions of people around the world without water, but our society in America doesn’t tend to except non-bathed people as much.

We went to the local H*me Depot last night to pick up the supplies the hubby needed to fix the link.  We were confident we knew what needed fixing and wanted to get it done before the cold front and rain moved in.  I guess if you are under the house with no lights, it doesn’t really matter if it is night or day.  Around 10:30 last night, we finally called it quits.  We thought we had fixed it, but when we turned the water on, it bubbled up from the ground still.  The only pipe down there is the one hubby had just fixed so back to the drawing board and another night with no water.

Oh, and I thought it would be a good idea to jack up my foot during all of this.  I mean, doesn’t an immobile wife/helper make it that much more fun?  I sort of rolled my foot (not my ankle) in the store parking lot and thought it would be sore, but now I can’t even walk on it.  No worries, it was my fault not HD’s.  I limped around last night to help not thinking it would get worse.  Just imagine a 26 year-old female in her PJ’s limping back and forth from the house to the curb in the dark trying to turn the water valve on and off – thankfully our neighbors are of the older variety and were already in bed.

Well, when nature called in the middle of the night, I tried to get up to use the toilet but not flush (because the water is still off) and pretty much fell to the ground.  My foot throbbed all night making sleep impossible and walking now too.  I had to crawl or hop on one foot to get anywhere.  Then, this morning I had to cancel my hair appointment because I can’t even walk.  All you women out there know it must be bad if I canceled one thing I always look forward to.  Hopefully I get in next weekend (keep your fingers crossed).

Now I’m laying in bed with the foot elevated and on ice waiting for my husband to say that I need to hobble back out to the curb.  If the foot doesn’t improve much today, I fear there is a minor emergency center visit in my future.  I don’t even have that good of a story to go with it.

Something struck me though this morning.  I always get sad when I think about elderly people.  I think it must be so frustrating to know what you want to do or say but be limited by your aging body.  As I used the necessary room again this morning and still not being able to flush it, I began to think if this is what happens to the elderly that live alone and have no family or friends around.  My water doesn’t work.  I can hardly move to clean anyway, and my toilet is just filling up with nastiness (this is sort of gross, but this is truly what hit me).  I just hope that everyone has someone to care for them and keep them cleaned up and healthy.

I also hope a warm shower is in my near future.  Okay, sort of weird ending to the post, but that’s just where it went.  Hope everyone is having a much more relaxing weekend than me.

3.04.2011

Conversation #65: We need a plumber

(Photo from: lumbertonpolitics.blogspot.com)

Actually, the husband is pretty good at fixing things, but I sometimes I wish we could just pay someone else to do it.  Being a homeowner is great, but somedays it just feels like the whole house is going to fall down.

We were just going along living life like normal, and BAM!  Okay, well really it was more like we got our utility bill in the mail and it said we used 3 times as much water last month as the previous.  Yeah, that wasn't normal.  So the hunt for the water leak began.

Our house was built in 1955 and we live in TX so that means no basement and it is pier and beam, which also means we have a creepy crawl space that houses all of our plumbing.  Also, they used to say you should go there during a tornado, but I'm pretty certain that will never happen.  It is so creepy!  I think I'll take my chances in the closet, but hopefully no tornadoes hit our house!

Anyway, I guess the leak was a good thing because it forced us the hubby to get down under the house and we found another major issue.  Our shower drainline was completely broken off and all of the water was draining under the house.  If you have never dealt with drainlines - they are gross!  This happened to us once before with our kitchen drainline and that was probably even more gross.  Anyway, I always thought our hall closet smelled weird, but we had no idea it was because the shower was draining underneath it.  This was not the culprit of the leak since it was a drainline not a waterline, but we are so glad we found it.  The hubby had to wet-vac it all up, and that is a dirty job.

We actually had this fixed when we first moved in, and basically they didn't fix it.  So the hubby did!  He really is quite handy.  Okay so basically, we fixed one problem we didn't know we had and now we still have to find this leak. 

We felt faced with having to dig up our front yard to find it, but luckily the hubby found it.  I don't even know how, but he at least found that it was near our faucet for the backyard.  Upon further investigation this morning (yep, he crawled under the house before work), he found that it is right under the house underground.  My poor hubby has to dig up the pipe under our house (the crawlspace is maybe 2' tall if even) and fix this pipe.  Then we turned our water off over night and the water heater to stop the leak, but then the water heater pilot wouldn't ignite this morning so we had to take quick showers with the water that was still in the tank.  It really wasn't too bad, but sometimes I just think "will this house ever just be in a state of just being?"

Hopefully we'll be able to get the leak fixed first thing tomorrow morning.  Sometimes I hate that we do it all ourself and wish we could call a "professional" to come do the work, but the amount of money we have already saves makes me so happy that the husband is willing to get dirty.  We have already saved at least $745 and that was the quote we got without even fixing the leak.  That was just to find it!  I know someday the hubby will be too busy with work (once his practice takes off) to be able to do these things and we will have to call someone.  But for now, it sure is nice to keep that money in the bank!

Hope y'all have a wonderful Friday :)

3.01.2011

Conversation #64: Hmm…

Not much too exciting going on here these days.  The headaches are about the same, but a talk with the doctor today gives me some hope.  We are adjusting the meds so I hope that helps!

Since I haven’t been feeling well, I haven’t really tried too hard on my outfits.  I was home sick last Wednesday with a migraine and pretty much got one everyday last week, and I was on the path for that this week.  I’m hoping tomorrow will be a better day.

I haven’t been political lately, but I do have to say one thing.  I think the Democratic senators in Wisconsin truly are being immature children.  Just because you won’t get your way doesn’t mean you run and hide.  Our Republic operates based off those we vote into office, and in Wisconsin, it is pretty clear what the majority wants.  The Governor, Senate, and House were all voted to be mostly Republicans so the rest of the state needs to accept that.  The senators claim that it isn’t fair for the voices of the teachers union to not be heard, but it isn’t fair for the to ignore the majority of the rest of the state because they don’t like it. 

Republicans have had to sit and take it for the last two years in the federal government and they never ran and hid in another country.  Also, wouldn’t it be better to have a job and pay more versus than having no job at all, which is exactly what will happen to many teachers if they fight the proposed budget changes.  Unions aren’t my favorite thing, and I think they have outlived their usefulness. 

Okay, that is my two cents for now.

Hopefully I’ll be feeling better from now on and more excited to blog often.  Until then, take care my BF’s!