Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

This will be an uneventful Christmas for me as I am in the middle of a major transition of life and living. I am blessed to be spending this Christmas with my fiancĂ© but as he is sound asleep and I am nowhere close to tired, I am watching my favorite holiday movie (The Holiday) and packing. And I shouldn’t leave out the 20 games of Words With Friends that I have going and the blog reading that I’m catching up on.


So, even though this Christmas is uneventful, it will definitely be productive and enjoyable.

I wish you all a very blessed and joyful Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Long Awaited Giveaway!

Forever ago, I mentioned that I was so inspired and motivated by the Blogalicious 2011 conference that I attended that i was going to hold my first giveaway at the end of November. Of course, I chose November because of all the online activities I was attempting to do, like Nanowrimo and Nablopomo. November came and went and although I managed to post every day during the month, I had absolutely NO follow through on my giveaway. And I have no excuses my friends. None whatsoever considering I did order the item and have had it on my bookshelf since it’s arrival.

So, to one of my very lucky readers will go a brand new Kindle Fire! <<insert applause here>>


To be eligible, you had to have been a follower of the site by the end of November or have commented on a post during the month of November. I put everyone’s name in a numbered list and used to pick a number and the winner is…

I’ve been following Nik’s blog for awhile now. She is a fellow knitter and a fellow STEM girl. Visit her on her site and consider joining to see her great projects.

I’m looking forward to the next Giveaway! Click that little follow button or comment often to be eligible. Thank you all for following along on this little journey known as my life.



The countdown is done. I am officially on holiday!!! I am officially done with my temporary 6 month assignment that turned into two years. And even though its not done, I am officially done with 2011. That may change tomorrow, but it’s how I feel today. 2011 was not a bad year by any means but it was a tough year, the worst of it being three trees hitting my house during spring storms. How I hate tornado season!

But 2012 will be here soon and although I expect it to be tough as well, I’m hoping for the kind of tough that strengthens me and not the kind that wipes me out. 2011 has wiped me out! So, what am I looking forward to in 2012???

  • Making a family cookbook with my grandma
  • Wedding planning with my mom
  • Our wedding in September
  • Becoming a wife, gaining a husband
  • New job?
  • Finishing a book
  • Buying into a business
  • Launching a new endeavor for engineers
  • Becoming a MacArthur fellow or winning one of their grants or at least putting in a proposal for something
  • Make the donation that will get me on the wall!!--more on this later.
There are so many other things on my list for the new year. Needless to say it will be a busy, busy, busy year and I’m praying for so many things for myself and for those around me. This is truly going to be a year of action. I can’t let 2012 see me as tired as 2011 saw me. I have to break through.
What’s on your Goal TO-DO list for 2012?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kanban Followup

Since I’m stuck at work waiting for a meeting to start (I started this post on Monday night), I figured I would update you on how the Kanban productivity system was working out for me.


For tasks that are repetitive or have very distinctive sections or parts, this system is a great aid. In the middle of using this system to produce a report, I got sick and needed to be out of the office for a couple of days. Upon returning, my Kanban was on my desk giving me a visual clue of exactly where I left off. I was able to quickly get back to my report with little time lost in trying to figure out exactly where I was in the process. Adding the HOLD box allowed me to delay portions that were causing me problems. The extra box under the Done column was added to allow me to quickly answer questions from my manager on a subset of items that fit a specific criteria.

The green post-it tags are inputs to the report that I am writing. The blue tags are sections of the report itself that need to be completed. I put the Kanban in a plastic document sleeve to keep from loosing my tags. As I moved items into the DONE column, I started to tape them down as the tags at this point were starting to loose their stickiness.

For regular usage, I would…

  • use the super sticky line of post-its so there is better hold
  • always use a plastic document sleeve
  • color code the task types to add to the visual value of the Kanban
And I do need to add that it is definitely a positive to have such a visual progress chart for coworkers and managers to fully understand your workload. I can verbally tell you that I am working on generating a report, but that doesn’t fully relay all the input documents that need to be produced and reviewed to generate the report as the Kanban above does.
All in all, the Kanban is an excellent tool for those job tasks with repetitive or distinctive sections. My next step is to evaluate using a Kanban for following a procedure flowchart.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Starting Over

I have been away from home for almost two years! I get to come back to visit every few weeks but there is nothing like just being in a space long term. Now that I’m going back home, I almost feel like I’m starting over a little bit. I have been in a tiny city apartment and that has taught me a few things about paring down into a small space. And since I will eventually be moving a husband into a space that was just a single girl’s space, some things will have to change going forward. For the past few weeks, I have been combing the internet looking for inspiration for revamping the look of the house. I saw this photo on the Anthology Magazine website and I have fallen in love with it.


I love the print curtains. I love the mixture of textures-leather, wood, fabric. I love the green walls--my living room is already green. I love the cushy chair. I love the pop of red in the room. And of course I love all the books.

When I’m back home and settled, I’ll be working on making my living room a little more like this inspiration piece.

I’m excited!



The Poundcake and I are packing up the apartment and getting ready to move out. My temporary assignment is over and I will be returning to the homestead. Poundcake will move into a temporary apartment in the city until after the wedding. I am sad to be apart, but I am oh, so happy to be back in the home that I love so much. I am looking forward to cooking and sewing and redecorating some spaces to make room for a husband.

I hate moving, but I am happy that instead of having to hire movers and get this furniture to the house, it has all been sold. Now we just need to deal with all the clothes, yarn and books that have amassed in this small space. It’s a lot more than I would have thought.

2012 will truly be a new start for me. How are you finishing out the year?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Another Finished Project


Using this Hot Pad Pattern, I crocheted this little ditty to use as a soap sack. I took all the little bits of left over soap pieces and stitched them in the middle of the double thick pad. I will use this in the shower until all the soap is gone and then wash it and use in the kitchen as a hot pad. I like the idea of getting two uses out of this item. This is much more practical than the first one (Ravelry Link) I made. It is much too small to comfortably use. But I will add it to the hand knit scrubbie collection in the kitchen.soapsackcollage-2011-12-10-22-56.jpg

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sick Day #2 Part 2

From the bag of unfinished projects, I pulled out this crocheted basket. I don’t remember when I started this project, but I’m happy to see it off the hook before the end of the year. Now I just need to figure out what to use it for. I finished it off with a white rim. I didn’t add a handle because I think this will end up sitting on a counter rather than hanging. It’s made out of standard cotton that I bought from a craft store. I bought tons of it and still have quite a bit left so you’ll see more cotton projects coming up.


I do have some pot holders and soap sacks in the near future plans.


Sick Day #2

I’m on the mend, but by no means 100%. I’m still trying not to talk so I can continue to heal and not go backwards. I’m still working on the agenda from yesterday, but I have pulled out my bag of unfinished projects to work on something else while I continue to read through all the posts in my RSS reader. I know RSS reading wasn’t on the list of things to do, but I’m going to do it anyway!IMAG0547-2011-12-9-13-23.jpg

Hope you all are being productive today, whether you are at work or home.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sick Day Part 2

The last load of laundry is in the washer and the socks are done!!!!! yay!


Now, it’s time to work on those lists. I do feel rather productive.

I still can’t talk and my fiancĂ© is taking this as his chance. His time is coming though. Just wait till my voice comes back…

just wait!

Sick Day

For the past few years, my allergies/sinuses bother me enough that I sneeze and cough to the point of loosing my voice. This happens once or twice a year, but this time is different. This is the first time this year I’ve lost my voice and unlike any time before, I have lost it COMPLETELY! Usually, I’m just very hoarse and I can still have a squeaky conversation. Right now, one word and I am at the point of choking. I took the day off so I would not be tempted to talk and I have asked everyone not to call me.

But, I’m determined to be at least a little productive while I’m home. My list for today…

        ❑        Finish the socks! I just have the toe on sock #2 to go.

        ❑        Make my 2012 focus list! I’ve got a lot going on next year…wedding, husband, new business?

        ❑        Laundry

        ❑        Packing Plan

        ❑        Assignment Reflections--when I walk away from this assignment, I want to leave something behind

So, just to show how serious I am…


The laundry and the sock are making progress!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wedding Prep Has Started--The Dress!

This past weekend, I accomplished the next big item on the wedding 2012 list. I bought a wedding dress. After watching episodes of Say Yes To The Dress, there were a few things I was expecting.

  1. Everything would be expensive.
  2. Nothing would fit me. I am a plus size bride.
  3. I would leave the shop deflated and with no dress.
I’m happy to say things did not turn out that way. My maid of honor and I decided to try David’s Bridal as the first stop. I was really, really surprised at the selection. Everything I wanted to try was in stock and in my size. Everything fit and all the dresses I tried on were flattering on my frame. If you’ve seen Say Yes To The Dress, you’ve seen the girls in there hurt when every dress they try on can’t zip up and they have those awful clips holding in fabric pieces to cover the gaping hole in the back. Considering how expensive those dresses are that they carry, you would think they would make sure to have one in every size so no bride feels like crap.

Don’t worry. This is not the dress I chose. You’ll have to wait to see that. it was a strong contender but in the end, there was too much tule for me.

Kudos to David’s Bridal for not only carrying flattering dresses for the plus size bride but also for having reasonable prices. In the end, I bought two dresses for less than I expected to pay for one.

Yes, I’m that girl that has two dresses!

I just looked at the Say Yes website and they have clips they labeled as Big Bliss. Watch these plus size brides and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Kanban Trial

Today, I am trying Kanban for the first time. This really seems like a good system for engineers to organize themselves. This could apply to anyone really, but my goal is to find solutions for engineers. I’ll let you all know how it works. I’m a little worried about loosing some of my little task flags, but we’ll see.IMAG0532-2011-12-7-10-27.jpg

How are you getting things done today?