From Hater to Addict

Looking back on my attitude towards certain foods, I feel like the girl in the Pediasure commercial.  If you’ve not seen it, there is a mother and daughter walking through the grocery store and the little girl says she doesn’t like _______ as her mom picks up that item.  The worst is, “I don’t think I like waffles” in a snotty tone.  I worried I would wind up with a child like that and have to resist the urge to smack her.  Okay, I wouldn’t really smack her, but parents understand what I mean, I hope.  Tonight, I realized I’m the one who is like the little girl.  I won’t try many new things unless one of my few “trusted people” tells me to try it.  I may love it, but I freak about even trying it.

For most of my life, I haven’t liked tea.  I only tried it a couple of times and didn’t care for it.  My good friend, Heidi, told me to try Bigelow or Stash, just once.  Since she is on the trusted list, I bought some Bigelow Vanilla Chai.  Not bad, but not my favorite.  The next time I went to the store, I bought a box of Stash Lemon Blossom.  It was much better!  And that cup was all it took to get me addicted.  Next, I bought a sampler pack.  Each night, I have been trying a new tea, including ones that sound like I won’t like them because I don’t know how one of the components tastes.  I have yet to find one that I don’t like!

I’m truly grateful to Heidi for her tea wisdom.  I feel a summer cold coming on and a cup of Lemon Blossom is just what the doctor ordered!

Any tea drinkers out there want to recommend something for me to try?

Posted in Finding Heather | 2 Comments

An Interesting Observation

I like to think of myself as artsy.  I’ve told myself for years that in order to be truly happy and truly succeed, I need to find something creative to do.  Today, I opened my GED transcript and found an interesting result. Two of the areas I thought would be my high points weren’t and one of my highest shocked the hell out of me.

Reading and Social Studies were the lowest.  I know that part of the issue with the reading was me over-analyzing the passages.  Personally, I didn’t care for the way the possible answers were worded.  I gathered a meaning or tone that wasn’t listed when I read the passage.  I read it again.  Nope, still the same.  No clue on the Social Studies, I thought I was really good at that subject.  Then again, my lows were in the 86th percentile, so I shouldn’t complain.

Math was my next highest score, 90th percentile.  I think I did well on that one because I was sure I would do poorly and studied.  A lot!  Hmmm, perhaps there is a lesson to be learned there.  I will have to remember that this fall!

I scored 750/800 on the writing portion of the test.  This put me in the 99th percentile.  Not to sound conceited, but I damned well hope I scored that high!  Writing is something I love, I’d hate for a test to tell me I’m no good!

The kicker was science.  740/800 for the 99th percentile again!  Where in the hell did that come from????  I thought I struggled with science in high school, was sure I needed to steer clear of it in college except when forced.  How did I live to be 30 years old believing that I was bad at science?

By my calculations, that puts me on par with the top 8% of “traditional high school students”, by theirs, I’m in the top 3%.  Not sure how that happens, but I’ll take it!  I must admit that I’m kicking myself even harder after looking at these results.  (dad, please don’t read the next sentence)  My parents were right.  I’m damned smart when I apply myself!

The one thing this evaluation does is give me a bit more confidence in considering Psychology as a possible major.  I will admit that I originally thought Psychology was sitting and talking to people, listening, helping.  In the past weeks, I’ve learned there’s much more to it and that a very small percentage of Psychology majors go on to be in the counseling field.  Reading how much of Psychology was research intimidated me.  “I’m no good at science.  I’d never make it through that.” was the thought filling my mind.  Even though some would say it’s just a piece of paper or doesn’t mean much of anything, my GED transcript does mean something to me and it has shown me what I am capable of.

Posted in College with a family, Finding Heather | 2 Comments

A Space to Call My Own

Last year, when I was working from home, we shoved my desk into the “junk room” of our apartment.  Since we don’t have any storage here, it was the room where things went to be forgotten.  Since then, I’ve struggled to find peace in this space.

Thanks to a landlord who really doesn’t care about the building but does have a heart, I was able to get some paint and add some color to my office.  I firmly believe there is a condtion called “white wall woe” which is a form of depression caused by needing more color in your dwelling.  I feel a peace when I’m not surrounded by white that is unexplainable.

Tonight, I put a coat of paint on part of the walls.  Thanks to the seriously uneven surface, I have to buy more than I thought.  After that dried, we hung a properly fitting blind in the window and I moved the papasan from the living room into my personal sanctuary.  For the first time, tonight, I feel at peace in here.  It’s nothing special, it’s not complete, but it’s all me!  It’s good to find this feeling since I will more than likely spend quite a bit of time in here once school starts.

Tomorrow, I will hang the roman shade after pressing it.  For tonight, I’m going to get a cup of tea and read.

Posted in College with a family, Creativity, Finding Heather, Life in General | Leave a comment

Wind Power

A blog post I read this evening talked about the health hazards and interruptions to daily activities that would be created by wind turbines being erected in our area.  A neon question mark appeared over my head upon reading the statement.  Health hazards?  Disruption to daily activities??

Being my father’s child, I decided to see if I could find out what these health hazards are and what disruption we should be expecting.  Surprisingly, the only health hazards I found when searching “wind power health hazards” dealt with a few situations. 

One was equipment malfunction.  Whether due to mere malfunction or sudden gusts of wind, the tips of turbine blades can fly off.  It would be interesting to further research this issue by talking to wind farmers throughout the country and turbine manufacturers to try and get an estimate on what percentage of turbines have had this issue.  To say it can happen doesn’t mean that it will. 

Another “health hazard” involved accidents during transport and construction.  It’s an unfortunate situation, but there are many buildings that have accidents during construction, sometimes even fatalities.  To count this as part of the health hazards seems a bit of a stretch.

I did find one study that listed true health issues from wind turbines.  Unfortunately, I’m a bit skeptical of a study that sampled 229 people within a 2 mile radius and lists the results without stating how many of those people lived in each group.  I also don’t feel that 14 people is an accurate representation to gauge health effects.  Yes, 13 of them said they noticed increased symptoms, but what would have happened if we sampled more people?  How far away from the installation did those people live?

As for disruption of daily activities, I don’t find much evidence of anyone suffering.  If I find some evidence of this, I will, of course, update.

There is still much research that needs to be done regarding wind energy, the benefits and the risks.  This can’t be done by a city trying to keep them away or by an investment company looking to change the landscape.  Until this happens, we will forever have tainted information and no one coming to a compromise. 

There isn’t a single source of energy that won’t have its drawbacks to the community.  It seems that everyone is for wind turbines as long as they are somewhere else.  Everyone wants to have electricity, but if that means putting a coal burning plant in their area, it’s out of the question.  Plain and simple, we live a complete NIMBY era.  Everyone wants solutions as long as they don’t disrupt their life in any way, shape, or form.

Posted in Evansville, Going Green?, Life in Evansville, Ranting | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Dreaded Sign

It’s never a good thing when there’s a sign on the daycare door that starts with “Attention Parents”.  Today was the first time I experienced this event since peanut started going to the center.  Apparently, there were two confirmed cases of head lice in the school yesterday.  One case was a classmate in her room and the other was in the room she was in when I got there.

I know it could be much worse.  At the same time, that sign gave me flashbacks of my own childhood.  I had long, thick hair as a child.  I know we had many bouts with lice, but there is one memory that sticks out.  I had to have been in first or second grade and I was taken into the school kitchen (sounds gross, but that’s where we went) and two aides were combing our hair looking for nits.  I remember feeling like I had done something bad.  I remember swearing to them that mom washed my hair.

The other thing I can remember is how awful kids can be.  I remember other kids picking on those of us who had lice.  I would go home and cry to my mom, asking why this happened to me. 

As I drove to work this morning, my head was racing.  Not that it mattered, but I started trying to think of who in peanut’s room has a sibling in the other room.  I was angry.  I shouldn’t have been, and I’m not now, but I was upset that my daughter could have them.  The protective mommy in me kicked in, wanting to spare her from the humiliation I felt as a child.  I know that children her age aren’t going to realize what’s going on, don’t have the mean nature that some will have in a few short years.  None of that mattered.

Luckily, other events of the day took precedence and the lice became a mere annoyance.  I’ll be sure to check her and keep an eye on things, but it’s not the end of the world.  And in hindsight, it’s better that I know what’s going on, that way if I did notice anything, I wouldn’t automatically wonder what I’m doing wrong at home.

Posted in Mommyhood | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Don’t Let Motherhood Cheat You Out of a GOOD Education!

This summer has been a time of research for me.  I made the decision to return to school, but wondered how I was going to be able to with a young child.  It seems like every click you take, there is a website offering a bachelor’s degree in this or that.  Many times, you don’t have to leave home.

Some of these schools look completely legitimate.  They flaunt their national accreditations in your face to show you what a great deal you’re getting.  And yes, when you graduate, you will have a piece of paper declaring that you have a bachelor’s degree in _______.  But what is that piece of paper worth in the real world?

A couple of years ago, my husband almost enrolled in one such school.  Luckily, their in your face tactics made us think twice.  Most credible schools will not call you nightly to find out when you’re going to complete paperwork and such.  They trust that if you want to go to school, you will take the initiative to get your ducks in a row.

As I researched schools, one thing became apparent.  Most “brick and mortar” schools don’t hold much value in a degree from most online schools.  If you are considering getting your bachelor’s online and then going for a higher degree from another school, you need to do your homework.  If you have an idea of where you will be going, call and ask them if the credits will transfer.  Don’t take the word of the school you’re currently looking to enroll in.  Even if you are going to a traditional tech school, the same rule applies.  You will always be better off if you ask both sides of the equation.

Also, talk to people in human resources departments with companies you would like to work for after school.  What will they say when they see a degree from a school such as Penn-Foster, University of Phoenix, American Intercontinental University, etc?  Will they view that as a valid degree?  If you start hearing negative answers, it may be time to reconsider.  I asked a few hiring managers I know in various fields and didn’t hear a single, “Yes, that’s great!”

There are many options to obtain a degree online if you simply can’t find time to attend face to face classes.  In the Madison area, MATC offers their Administrative Assistant associate’s degree entirely online, although there is usually a long waitlist.  University of Wisconsin Colleges offers a Bachelor’s of Arts and Science completely online.  You may pay more, but the peace of mind is worth it.

Just for giggles, I did a web search on a few online schools with “bad experience” and “good experience” after the school name.  Maybe it’s just that people are more likely to talk about bad experiences, but there were many more negative comments than positive.  I’m just sayin’…..

Posted in College with a family | 2 Comments

Means to an End

That’s all my current job is and all any job I have for the next few years needs to be.  Today, I officially became a college student.  This means that there is an end to the dead-end job tunnel.  Someday, I will have a degree and a better job.

I’m still undecided about what I will major in or where my road is going, but we’re traveling!  I thought it was interesting that my adviser pushed for me to enroll in Intro to Psychology.  She said she thinks it would be a great course for me and that there are many higher level courses she thinks I will enjoy in the psychology field.  I have recently looked at this as a possible major.

After our discussion, I did some more research on possible career matches for a psychology degree.  One area that slapped me in the face was Autism research.  I have no clue why, but I have been obsessed with Autism for about a year now.  I’m blessed that my daughter is perfectly healthy and don’t have much experience with this exploding condition, so it’s been confusing to me.  Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but perhaps pieces to my life puzzle have slowly been appearing.  I’ve rolled my eyes when I’ve heard people say they were called to do something, but now I have to wonder.  For now, I will continue absorbing information like a sponge rather than put on blinders and say this is it.

Now that the pieces are falling into place, I’m chomping at the bit.  I want school to start NOW!  For now, I’ll settle for the fact that every day I wake up dreading work, I can remind myself that this is not my forever job.  The time is coming when I love what I do and feel I’m contributing to the world.

Posted in College with a family, Finding Heather | 3 Comments