Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Answers to your questions

Marcy said...

How did you get into scrapbooking and how long have you been scrapbooking?

I did a "scrap" book in grade school for a Girl Scout project... I cut out all the clippings with the Apollo-Soyuz space mission and taped them on construction paper. I still have it...but it's getting in bad shape.

My first real memorabilia scrapbook was done in the early 80s. I did four for birth through high school. One of my senior year. One of all my sports clippings/award/etc from high school. One for my trip to Germany. They are done on Hallmark albums, so they are acid free paper. However, I used Scotch tape to put down items except photos. Photos are all basic black photo corners.

My first "artistic" scrapbooking was done via....Creative Memories of course. The first page was of Amelia's first Christmas. I think I did this in 99 or 2000. I never looked back. I have 6 "Chronological" Creative Memories style albums completed... 1999 - 2003 with a gap of one year in there. I don't do much Chronological scrapping anymore, and have about 6 3-rings binders of miscellaneous themes and pages. I also have a cruise album (first one done non-creative memories style, but it was done pre SDU, so it's still pretty primitive.) In reviewing albums I have done, I am most proud of the fact that I have done so much journaling.

I'll find that first CM page and post a picture of it. Not bad, as far as CM pages go.

mindakms said...

How about If you could change one thing in your life what would it be?

Easy... I wish my mom hadn't died when I was nine. I wish I had gotten to know her as an adult.

Other regrets of things I did (not things that happened)...I wish I had played Cello instead of Violin in grade/high school. I wish I had gone to Stanford for grad school instead of Berkeley. I wish I had kept in closer touch with my nieces and nephews as they were growing up. They're all adults now and I'm not as close to them as I wish I were. I wish we would have sold and moved to a larger house in Linden Hills before the current real estate boom.

BonnieRose said...

What's one thing in your life that you have accomplished that u are extremely proud of?

I am proud of my career. I have a great job at a great company. I have advanced to a nice level (but not an executive my any means) and I make enough money that my family never really wants. (There are downsides to that, but I'm not going to whine about that by any means). I have helped design disc drives. There used to be some drives in the field that had parts in them that I helped to design. And I think my favorite accomplishment was transferring my first process line to Thailand (back in 1992, I think). It's always fun to see boxes going out of the factory that say "Seagate" and know that I had a part in it!

Susan Anonymous said...

So what does an engineer really do all day??? My dad was some sort of engineer for Control Data back in the day and I have no idea what he really did.

OK got me started. I'll probably talk way too long here...

Engineers basically solve word problems. We take problems and use math and statistics and creativity and innovation to solve them. Well, that's fine and dandy, but what do we do all day? Lots of different things there.

Some engineers support a production line or develop equipment to make things. Just think, someone had to figure out how to cut scrapbook paper into 12x12 sheets, stack them all up and shrink wrap plastic around them. Or design the die that cuts the cool shaped papers. And still make money at it. Some engineers design equipment to do this (i.e. sit at a computer and draw prints, or direct someone who does). In equipment design, you might have to go through a catalog of 100s of different air cylinders and figure out which one is best for your machine. Get one piece of equipment made. Maybe write the software. Figure out what data you want to take from the process. Get it up and running. Turn it over to the production floor. Train operators and technicians on how to use and fix the machine. Cool stuff.

Now imagine you have a paper cutting machine in your factory and it goes down? Or maybe is starts ripping papers? Maybe it's counting out 23 sheets of paper in a stack that is supposed to have 25? Someone has to figure out why that machine that used to be ok now is making bad product. Go out on the floor and look at the machine. Look at data from the machine. Check all the settings on the machine. Talk to the operators about why and when it is not working. So sometimes engineers are like detectives.

Or maybe as an engineer you write code. Someone had to write lines and lines of code to make Photoshop work. I don't know as much about this area of engineering.

Some engineers are number crunchers. Think about designing an airplane wing. There are people who do computer models of wings and model the stress the wing will see during takeoff, flight and landings. The vibrations it will see. Figure out how long the wing has to be to support the overall weight of the plane, etc. Same with designing bridges (how do they know it's strong enough? ) or water treatment plants.

Some engineers play with chemicals...or figure out a way to make Fruity Cheerios instead of regular Cheerios. Or figure out how to get tongue tatoos on Spiderman Fruit Roll-Ups.

Engineering is cool, you get to use math, work on your computer. spend time on the phone communicating with people, order stuff, put it together, troubleshoot it, make products, be a detective. You get to actually make things, add value to the world. Oh yeah, and go to meetings and fly to factories half way around the world. You get to keep going to school to keep up on new trends and innovations in how engineering is done! It's basically the best job ever.

Oh...I ramble on and on. Maybe I need to do a nerd website where I can wax philosophic forever and ever. Of course, then I would have 0 readers instead of 4.

Can you tell I love engineering? I am so proud to say that I have 1 niece who is a working engineer, one who is starting engineering school soon. Maybe I didn't spend much time with them, but I'd like to think that the fact that they had an Auntie engineer helped them to see that it was something they can do! Alas, in Mechanical Engineering, only 10% of graduates are women. Same as when I was in school. Maybe the math scare them away. Or the wrenches. Or the nerds. Oh well.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"I have Flying Monkeys....

and I'm not afraid to use them."

I saw this on a sign in someone's office at work. I chuckled. Isn't it strange how women like to find clever ways to call themselves b/witches. (I that's a bad thing)

Hey...sorry I've been a slacker blogger (almost as bad as Linda). I haven't even answered those questions...both of them. (But promise I will)

I did NOT even touch the treadmill in my hotel room (figures). I obviously got home ok.

Maybe I'll get back in the blog groove soon?

Monday, May 21, 2007

I made it.

The flight left an hour late. Then a gentleman developed chest pain so we had to sit on the plane a bit after we landed so the paramedics could get with him. (Pray for Larry. He's in some hospital in San Jose tonight for evaluaion. Threre were 7 Seagators on the plane. A few of them went to the hospital with him

I got my rental car (a pontiac Vibe...kind of fun to drive) and headed over and back down the hill to the coast. Uneventful. Not much traffic and no weather to speak of.

So I'm here in my ritzy Hilon Hotel room. There is a treadmill IN the room. She apologized and asked if I'd rather have a couch. Well....heck no! I want the treadmill.

In any case it is almost 11 California time. That's 1am for me. That means I'm tired. I will fall asleep very quickly.

I love you girls! Sing well tomorrow!

Ask Away!

Well.... Nicole did it first...or was it Bonnie? Then Zielske copied them. Now it's my turn.

You ask the questions. I'll answer them.

Don't suppose I'll get 90+ like Cathy did. But I hope for two or three. :-)

I'll be in California this week on a biz trip. Santa Cruz. (Better than Tulsa, Oklahoma, eh? Although I don't get to do anything as cool as visiting a bus plant.) I think I'll be able to check in, but won't have the camera. (Hence the question asking blog)

Friday, May 18, 2007


My six year old, Margaret, is at it again. She is quite the chatterbox and I like to try to remember some of the things she says and does and asks.

Here are some this week for my memory (and your amusement if you are so inclined):

One of the soccer teams in Margaret's league is the called the Momentum.
She asked me what momentum is. I said something like, "Well, it's when you get something started and it just keeps going".

"Oh. Like infinity" was her response.

Margaret will sit and read the schedule for her soccer league over and over and over. I taught her to read all the team names so she doesn't have to keep coming and asking me. There are fourteen teams, so each "set" of games has 7 games. One night next week, however, are 6 games. She went through and figured out which two teams are not playing. Good job Margaret! She also knows which friends are on which teams, and wants to go early or stay late so she can watch them.

Today is going to be the "Best Day Ever" (sing that if you are a Sponge-Bob fan). That's what Margaret has been singing. She has a field trip at school (to the arboretum....should be a great day for that) and then a Birthday party tonight. At a bowling alley. So it will be the "best day ever".

With the field trip the kids get buddies. Margaret's teacher sets it up so kids get to choose their buddy, and kids get to take turns to do this. If a kid chooses you, you are their buddy. No ifs, ands or buts about it. One boy chose Margaret. His name is Sawyer. She is bummed about having Sawyer as a buddy. She wants to be with Katie and Mirabelle. Plus.."He is one of the three boys in the class that I don't want to marry" said Margaret. "Why is that?" I ask. "Sawyer and Brendan and Max. She said. I don't want to marry them. They're goofy." " And I LOOOVE Cameron. He's my soul mate" (OK...where did she get that line?) "But Dominic is my best friend. And Katie is my next best friend. And Lily is my next best friend and then Mirabelle"

"We didn't get to hit the ball today in gym 'cause the guys were being annoying. And they all had to go to the bathroom. And we had to leave early, so we didn't have time to hit the ball. But I didn't have to go to the bathroom. And Cameron was first in line, but he had to go to the bathroom. So I got to be the line leader."

etc. etc.

Amelia is not a chatter, so we never got these type of incident details about the school day from her. It is really hilarious to just listen to Margaret go on and on and on about her day. I can tell when she's tired, because then we don't get the stream of stories. Last night she was definitely on her game!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Random Weekend Thoughts

Sorry no pictures lately.

This weekend I started the painting project...our bedroom. It had last been painted 16 years ago when we first moved into the house. It was dusty mauve and cream with a "rag painting" technique and a lovely chair rail.

We had two minor water damage occurences in the meantime. Plus some minor construction in the adjoining room. Plus the house is 76 years old. All this to say that I spent several hours each day this weekend scraping, repairing, sanding, more spackle, more scraping, more spackle, more sanding, lots of clean-up. I believe it is now ready to prime and then paint. Whew. That should be the easy part. Pictures will be posted when it's done. (Should take a week, since I have some prior commitments this week in the evenings). The color is "Nutmeg Frost". An orangey brown. Then I may actually decorate so it's like a grown up adult room and not early american college. I think it is the only room left with that decor style.

My Jenni Bowlin kit came, and alas, is still sitting in its bag. Lovely papers this month. That's ok. I've really been wanting to paint the bedroom for some time.

Mom's day morning was great. Margaret brought me toast on a purple tray (your favorite color, mom!) She was sooooo proud. I know she did it all herself because Charlie was still snoozing next to me when she arrived with my toast. She also had made me three cards (one at school, one at daycare, one at home) and two little presents. Then she wanted to cuddle. Just perfect.

Daughter two had her stuff all laid out on the kitchen table. Cards and homemade pictures. She was not as "into" the whole pampering of mom thing as much as Margaret, but she did insist I choose our ice cream location....Libery Custard, of course.

Margaret started a loose tooth this weekend. Her first one. She is not excited about it, however. She knows she has to stop sucking her thumb for good when the new tooth comes in...and she is not ready for that. She was very distraght to discover the loose tooth.

Amelia spent the weekend pretending she was a pioneer girl. We have been reading the "Little House" series to the girls, and we are now on Little Town on the Prairie. We just finished the chapter where Laura gets a buggy ride to school with Almanzo, they exchange name cards, and Nellie is absolutely GREEN with envy when she sees Laura pull up in Almanzo's buggy. Charlie had never read the books before and he is constantly commenting about what excellent books they are, and how rich a picture they paint of life during that time of US history. He especially liked "Farmer Boy" (always my favorite, too.)

Amelia is all over the one-room schoolhouse concept, and all the peculiarities(to us) of pioneer life. Sun bonnets. Aprons. Farm Chores. Lots of thing for her to do role playing around. And Amelia's entire play life is pretty much role playing (and setting the stage/environment for that play). Maybe she will be a set designer? Or maybe a museum curator? Hmmmm.

Another comment from this weekend? Margaret looking at the calendar and then happily exclaiming that there are only three more days until her next soccer game. (She had one on Saturday and loves every moment of it! She runs hard the entire time she's in there. Good to see. I hope the enthusiasm keeps up.)

Amelia's school had a band/orchestra presentation on Friday. Fourth graders can take band or orchestra after school at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church next door. I would like her to do piano or a nice choir, but she is totally set on taking the violin. We had my violin and cello out and the girls were trying both. I really do miss playing cello. I am half inspired to get myself to cello lessons again. Not sure I would be able to find time to practice, however, so I'm sure this inspiration will sit idle for awhile.

My doctor was quite effusive this morning over the weight loss/exercise and accompanying benefits. Lower BP. Lower Pulse. She even commented that my heart sounded in good shape. She said something about a murmur that develops in exercising hearts due to the muscles getting more efficient (or something like that). Anyway...I didn't realize you couldn't fool the doc on that old exercise line. I guess they really can tell if you do or don't. (I asked if that murmur goes away after more and more exercise...she said.."nope. Only if you stop exercising. It's actually a sign of good health").

"Come back in a year." I can't imagine only seeing the doc once in a year. (assuming the girls don't get sick) It will be super!

Friday, May 11, 2007

I bought a belt today!

I haven't worn belts in ages. Any I had were too small, and I really didn't feel any need to get any (Well, I did one day, and the 2XL was too small. I left embarrassed and vowed to never try on a belt again.)

I purchased four new pairs of pants at Target today, and as I was leaving I saw some cool belts. So I tried some on. And the XL fit!!!

I feel like a new person. I actually looked good in the clothes I tried on. And I'm going be wearing a belt.

I guess I've kind of been patting myself on the back about the weight loss thing. But it's been a real journey for me. It took a series of revelations for me to realize that I was actually doing something to cause the overweight-ness. I was so busy wallowing in self-pity (not fair that I can't eat anything I want to...but I'm too busy to exercise...I'm a working's my medications...blah blah blah) that it took me six months at weight watchers to realize...I have to actually change something if I really want to lose weight. Really change. Work at it. Do something.

Look at my last post. So, is losing weight a society driven self improvement thing? Yeah. In many ways it is. And losing weight so you can just look better in jeans and wear size 14 trousers... probably not enough of a motive to move it into the "being me" category.

But I wrote down many other reasons. Mostly around health. Health now, Health later, Health for my children. And I realized I had to change. Really change. Not diet. Not deprive myself. But change my relationship with food and with movement. I now realize I will have to work on this change my entire life. I'll probably always have to force myself to go for the walk. Force myself to eat only one cookie. Reprogram my mind to get to the point that I don't have to eat food if it's offered or available.

And that's why the 35 pound star earlier this month and buying belts and size 14 pants are such a big deal to me. They are signs I have changed. I actually have done something. I went after something I wanted instead of sitting around whining about how it was never going to happen.

So...I promise no more weight loss posts for awhile. I just felt like this past week has been a real positive time for me, and writing stuff down makes it more real in some ways. (Oh...and I go in for my annual exam on Monday. My doctor had better say something about my weight loss!!! I bet she will)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Self Improvement ... with more thoughts

I found this link embedded in Ali Edwards' newsletter. The site is touting "Freedom From Self Improvement Day".

I am pondering. Some deep thoughts will emerge eventually. Perhaps I will post them.

But I am posting so you can read. And ponder.


"Whatever you are, be a good one."

That's what I think. Self Improvement is good, as long as you are trying to improve you (be a better you) and not be something you're not. Say that you have always loved to read and somehow you just haven't made time for it lately. Setting a goal to read 5x a week would be a good goal. If you don't really like reading, setting a goal to read 5x a week is stupid. Yeah, it could make you a better person, but it be being you?

The thing I like about the above quote is that is says "be a good one" not "act like a good one" or "your actions should show it" etc. It is a quote about being and about self improvement.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Soccer is BACK!!!!

It's here. And my little girl was sooooo excited about soccer that she wanted to skip Daisies so she wouldn't miss a second of the game. We bought her soccer shoes and shorts Sunday night. She had them sitting in a nice pile and couldn't wait to put them on.

Here we are at the start of the game. Too bad that you can't see the shorts. They are really cool. (shiny red)

Here she is after the game... all mud spattered. I have a question for my soccer mom out there. What is the best way to get caked up mud out of cleats? I tried using the cleats on the other to get them out. Then I settled on pounding them together. The pounding? Not so good. I got pretty splattered.

Oh. And here is the big sister. I know she kind of looks like she has a lilac growing out the side of her head, but I love her smile!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Math example

Amelia has a story problem in her math packet each week. This week's had a table with ice cream types (chocolate, vanilla, etc.) and the number of students that liked each type.

You had to make a bar chart of the information, answer some questions (mostly around fractions) and then there was a place to answer "What else does this information tell you?"

Amelia wrote, "Most kids like Chocolate Ice Cream. I like Chocolate too."

Not sure that's what they were going for.

Crocs and the Scary Closet

Well, it took us long enough, but we finally got Crocs. (All the girls in the house, that is.) We were out getting soccer shoes and summer sandals for Margaret. She said, "Look Mom, Crocs." I said, "Would you like some?" YES!!

So we all got them. Pink (Margaret's), Blue (Amelia's) and Green (Mine). They are quite comfortable. Surprisingly so.

And I started on the first box from the scary closet. And it's a scary box. I think because it's in the front is gets miscellaneous memorabilia stuck into it. Anyway, I found Amelia's second grade pictures and could make the cover page of her school album up-to-date.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Thirty Five Pounds!!!

I earned my next 5 pound star at Weight Watchers today! A total of 35 pounds lost. (Good thing I only had about 4 of those Wendy's French Fries last night!)

I was 0.2 pounds short so she had me run to the bathroom, and then take off my watch and socks (in addition to the shoes and cardigan that I had already removed). I was laughing, but it worked!!

Little by little. Now I'll worry about the next 5 pounds. I see lots of walks around Lake Harriet over the next month until it gets too hot. (I'm an exercise wimp, and will use any temperature excuse I can to not walk!)

Yay me!

Do you remember Third Grade?

My older daughter had a poetry morning today at school. Parents were able to come to class at the beginning of day and read through a book of poems our kids had done. Then the kids that wanted to were able to read a poem they wrote.

I enjoyed seeing Amelia's school environment; I enjoyed reading her poems. (I'll have to post a few after she brings home here booklet today. You'll enjoy them, also.) I also enjoyed seeing the classroom and trying to remember what third grade was like.

Here's some pics from this am. (Margaret came along since she is in afternoon kindergarten.)