Thursday, February 24, 2011

Skin of My Teeth

I almost let stress overcome me yesterday and I nearly dropped the ball again big time at work. I was working on a SWMM 4.0 model that we received from another company for the purpose of making our proposed modifications to it for a watershed to see if there were any impacts. In a gist, this model based upon input will output information such as water level and flow rates where specified. Well the entire thing is text based and I f*ed up an input. I put the wrong value in somewhere. I didn't catch it either before both my supervisor on the project and boss were questioning that their must be an error in the inputs. They didn't immediately place blame on me though and my supervisor asked for my files to check them. I actually caught the error and fixed it before sending him the files but if I didn't have a reason to rerun the files I was still screwed.

Well, come this morning and my supervisor did find something but that something was that the company we received the model from changed a few inputs and he didn't previously notice it. So that probably was the real issue not my typos and I had an excuse to rerun the model. The results of the rerun were expected. In the long run everything came out just fine, whew...

To my flip out last night. This showed me how much stress I'm under and how work and home stress are snowballing on me now. Stresses from home are causing me to be distracted at work and then make stupid mistakes like the above. Then I bring the stress from work and it affects my attitude at home. Somehow I need to slosh all of this off and start from square one but I'm unsure where to start.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Layout

I've realized there is one big snag to my blogging directly from my phone. My current layout doesn't work well with the default picture sizes I send. So over this week I will be redoing the layout of the blog, doing some spring cleaning and maybe even a new header if I'm so ambitious. The graph paper scheme is just seeming a bit old to me now. I think I need something cleaner, crisper, and more modern. Any good suggestions?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My brown thumb

I love plants but unfortunately I don't have much of a green thumb. My problem is I have a tendency to forget to water them. I'm trying again though. Here is a picture of my new herb window box. In it is sweet basil, Italian parsley, and oregano. I had good luck last fall with a sunflower in this window. What eventually led to its demise was not lack of water but that it grew too tall on a small stock and snapped. FYI this is the kitchen window that gets great sun during the day and is right by the sink. It makes it easier to remember to water it. Hopefully within a few months I can share news of my success. I hope so because the front yard needs some serious landscaping.

Anyone have any good pointers?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A love/hate with tv

I love many tv shows but I hate them all at once. The spring is a hard time in our house because there is just so many good shows on. Sometimes I feel like all we do at night is watch tv. I mean tonight we have American Idol, Big Bang Theory, Whip Out, and Jersey Shore. We are getting this pretty crazy back log of shows on the DVR too. I guess there are plenty of worse things out there. TV is a great escape though. I guess it could be said to be one of my vices.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Calzone Hearts

I found this recipe for Calzone Hearts last week and decided it would be a great thing to do for the family Valentine's Day dinner. I prepped them on Sunday nightHeartCalzones_02-14-2011 003 because making the dough and forming the hearts took quite a bit of time. I won't kid you the dough is a pain in the butt. It is a very stiff dough and at times I almost wished I had a pasta machine to get it right. While watching movies with Hubby I put together all the calzones and it took me over 2 hours to do it all. First I rolled and cut out all the dough. I happen to have a heart shaped cookie cutter so I just used that. Once they were all cut I prepped the filling. For ours it's just mozzarella and turkey pepperoni. I chopped the pepperoni really fine first. Once I put the filling in I just crimped the edges with a fork. After I was done though I just covered them in plastic wrap and stuck them in the fridge to be baked the next evening.

HeartCalzones_02-14-2011 002 The next night I made garlic bread and threw the calzones in the oven. While they were baking I also make a berry cobbler like dessert for later. I got the recipe from called Easy Fruit Cobbler. I used strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. Yes, it was very easy to make. Based on the comments on the the site I added vanilla extract to the dough and some brown sugar on top of the berries before baking it.

BerryCobbler_02-14-2011 001

There it is sitting in the oven. It tasted great. Hubby had it with whip cream where I prefer vanilla ice cream with mine.

But the final picture of what dinner looked like. HeartCalzones_02-14-2011 001

Voila!! Lil' R loved the calzones so I think I may go through the torture of making them every year.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Growing bigger

Here is Wee Rose holding her own bottle. She'll be 7 months tomorrow. Really that long has passed? Sometimes it feels like just yesterday she was born and other days I feel as if there never was a time before she arrived. It's the same with Lil' R. It's hard to think back to the days before I had him. Having children changes your life so drastically. I feel as if I was even a different person. As the kids age I'm sure I'll see the differences just grow with them. I love all of it though and know I will miss the day when Lil' R and Wee Rose are no longer little like this.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mini blogs

Maybe instead of beating myself up over not getting out enough full blogs a week I should instead just do quick mini blogs. Blogger just put out an app so now I can easily update from the convenience of my couch. The only thing that sucks is when the touch screen errors out mid sentence.
I wanted to sew tonight but we have to leave early in the morning. I save to prep all the kids stuff for the day. I'm wondering if I am ever going to get the diapers done. I guess I should get up off my butt and get to work.

Craft with Confidence: Rockin' Boy Slippers Tutorial

Instead of a blog that has Influenced me exactly, this one is more like "Hell I want to make these!"

I know Lil 'R would love a pair of these so I've book marked it and hopefully for the holidays next winter he can have a nice cushy pair.

Craft with Confidence: Rockin' Boy Slippers Tutorial: "These slippers were supposed to be part of Hero's Christmas. But then my machine decided to die. . . so I didn't get to them before the holi..."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Oh woh is Science

Somehow putting up a link on my Facebook turned an old friend into probably a soon to be lost friend. Somehow they became my first 'troll' in a sense too. As I learned long ago in my time on the internets to not feed into things like this and shut my mouth upon the second comment.

trolldoll What actually happened though is I put up a link to a science blog I read regularly with the title No, a pole shift won't cause global superstorms. I made my comment on it about, glad to know that this doomsday story has no validity.

Well an old friend who is now solely a Facebook friend commented with some rant that mostly involved Global Warming being untrue, the end of the world in 2012 theory, and how the Earth will end on us when she wants. Yeah, just to say I was blown away. I think what pissed me off even more was he then in turn copied his exact comment and posted it as a note on his own page. My response was to be defensive and tell him I didn't appreciate his pseudo science tirade to my sharing of a link. I attached a link from National Geographic that did a good job on talking about many of the points about global warming but overall I tried not to argue much of what he said. What was his response? That I was the one being rude to him (I guess the pseudo science comment got to him) and then proceeded on about how Stephen Hawking thinks the pole shifts are a big deal and how done of us were alive during the last shift so who  do we know what will happen. Also ending it with a very condescending remark about how I need to think of the many people who came before me.

WTF?! Where does any of that have to do with a scientific discussion? Yes some of those people who came before were scientists and they made great leaps in knowledge for those of us now. I'm not discounting a single one of them but I don't think many of them were talking specifically about pole shifts causing superstorms. They put forth magnetic theory and other scientific theories that tells us why it isn't such a big deal.

I made one last comment which was only to say I thought he was being rude and condescending with his comments. I had been neither and though I wanted to say more I was going to refrain from it. I almost typed "I will not feed the troll" but the smart me stopped.

Hubby added on in his not so nice voice about people full of themselves having read one book and now believing they were the end all to be all on the subject. Often he says what he knows I just can't bring myself too.

He just couldn't let it go though and came back with one more condescending gem,

"Otay(sic) sorry I often fail remember speculative thought is a seldom acquired ability like discretion it is a highly atribute.(sic)"

To define speculative means to engage in speculation which is:

To engage in a course of reasoning often based on inconclusive evidence. (

You speculate on subjects where there is a lack of evidence you don't just throw out evidence if it exists. It doesn't make you better because you can speculate. In my eyes if evidence is available and you refuse to see it or even consider it because you'd rather live in conspiracy type theories it just makes you ignorant.

My Facebook account is entirely private, if you are not already friended and wish to just send me a message.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Housecleaning both Mental and Physical

Nothing got made this weekend so I have nothing to put up to show off. Instead we got some much needed socialization time and then we got a lot done in regards to the house. Mostly it was some much needed deep cleaning.

Friday night I went out to a local Tex-mex restaurant with some other moms. All of who are the wives of men in Hubby's Stay-at-Home-Dads meetup group. It was really nice. It's been awhile since I was just out with friends having dinner, a couple of drinks and talking. We were there for 6 hours. It was pretty obvious we all needed that. It's a wonderful treat every 2 or 3 months and I look forward to the next one.

On Saturday night a close family friend came over for dinner to introduce us to her new boyfriend. We did a bit of a pot luck dinner. She cooked the entree, brought dessert and I made the sides along with some fresh bread. I'm happy to say that on first impressions we really like her boyfriend and we've discussed making the dinner party a monthly event.

I know in the past I've vented a few times about missing having a close friend but I think much of those came about as the result of me just needing some real socialization on any level. Between those 2 evenings and then some great time spent with Hubby I mentally feel refreshed.

Seems it was a weekend for freshening up all around both of my mental/emotional state and the house. :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tech Tools I Use: Evernote

I want to start a series that I'll write on occasionally about technology I use to not only write to this blog but also as a tool to help with my crafting. I was raised a complete geek and have been using computers from a very early age. My mother was a self taught graphic designer starting in the early 1990s and let me play around with many programs. I'm also a bit Obsessive about finding the best programs to keep myself organized.

This time I wanted to mention Evernote. This is a great program that can be used to piece together information from multiple sources easily. I use it mostly for grouping ideas.


First here is the front of Evernote that you'll see when you first come to it. The greatest thing with it now that I have a smartphone is that I can access my entries at home where I have Evernote downloaded, from my phone where I have the app or at work where I go through the web. Evernote is free to a point. There if you have the paid subscription service then you can upload as much as you want per month, if not there is a monthly maximum. I have yet to reach that monthly amount though so at the moment I'm still on the free service.


Your notes are sorted both by notebooks and by tags. On the left you can see my notebooks and in the center some of my notes I have within one. This is my hodpodge notebook, as you can see it contains recipes, decorating ideas, and clips from webpages.


Here I am creating/editing the entry on making this post. It contains all of the normal formatting options though really I wish they were a bit more user friendly. I often have to fight with it if I want something pretty. Really though I've learned to just live with it being a bit messy and think of it as part of the creative process. You can also attach files to a note which is great for .pdf patterns or photos from the computer.

Once I've collected everything I need then it's time to implement the project in whatever way is appropriate. If it's a blog post well then I turn to writing it. And voila, from idea to published.

It'd be great to here how everyone else composes there ideas be it on a scratch pad by the fridge, or in a word document. So tell me what you do in the comments section.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Out of the Stone Age

Sorry not much to write today, I've been very distracted for the past 24 hours. Hubby and I are finally out of the cell phone stone age and got smart phones. I'm a bit OCD about finding the perfect apps and organization for my homescreens so this may take a bit. When I first started in the world of online/cloud type working using a mix of portable apps and google apps I tested and tried 4 money softwares, 5 task managers and dozens of other little programs. In the end what do I use? Google Docs for managing our finances and Google Tasks for to do lists. The only nifty program I added on was EverNote. But that is all just an example that I will be tweaking this phone for awhile until it's comfy and worn it like a well loved pair of shoes.

Also I've added a chat window to my blog over on the right. You can easily catch me via yahoo anywhere as long as I'm paying attention to my phone. So go ahead and try it. :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cloth Diaper Madness

We decided to switch to cloth diapers for Wee Rose to save some money and I decided like a nutter to make them myself to save even more. I estimated I could probably make enough to last until she is potty trained (or needs training pants) for less than $150. Sounds great right? Well I don't think I thought the effort through.

What I've done so far:

  1. Made a pattern from an existing cloth diaper. An All-in-One BumGenius. I love those diapers but they are pricey.
  2. Ordered hook & loop tape along with PUL fabric from Kids in the Garden. From everything I read you don't want to use Velcro you can buy at Joann's or Michael's because it doesn't hold up well to washing. I've noticed this myself when I've used it before. I ordered Touch Tape. The PUL fabric will become the waterproof outer cover for each diaper.
  3. I visited 3 thrift stores looking for cheap sheets in either flannel or cotton knit. I found a fair amount. Originally I tried to see if a store would sell me their selvage t-shirts by either the pound or the bag but I had no luck. Quick change of plans led to hunting for sheets. I found what I hope is enough and a quilted mattress topper I think will be great for making the absorbent inserts.
  4. I started cutting everything out and Oh boy is it a lot of cutting. As of right now I have cut from the sheets enough for 18 diapers.

I'm hoping to be done with all the cutting by Friday so that I can start assembly this weekend. I do have a deadline. I have about 2 weeks before we run out of disposable diapers to have at least half of my goal done. I'm aiming for 40 diapers.

Online Sources I am using:

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