Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Moved

It's been a while, hasn't it! I never know if I want to go back to this blog, so I'm going to keep it active.

I'm still writing on the internet, but with a different approach. My new blog on Tumblr focuses on my journey learning programming. Most of the posts have computer language in it, but they at least include the output.

My New Blog

Enjoy!

Laura

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Hi, I'm back!

I'm ready to focus. Three area that should tie in to everything I do:

The Bible (and my faith)

Recording (and playing piano)

Vegan food (and budgeting for groceries and meal planning)


I'm heading to Chicago with my folks today, and I brought my Bible for the three and a half hour drive there and, same time back.

I am in the beginning of Numbers 26, and I hope to get through the end of Deuteronomy.

I'm working on hooking up my piano to my recording gear and start with simple exercises.

I have selected recipes and wrote a meal plan that runs from tomorrow to August 1. Tomorrow I will get groceries and start cooking for the week.

I'm looking forward to using my spare time efficiently. I am also cutting out TV except for watching new Simpsons episode with my family. We shall see how this plan goes. I know that I need to make what I want to do the as the path of least resistance. Tips, anyone?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eggplant cuit au four

I baked another eggplant for dinner. I seasoned it only with salt and pepper - so good! The thinner part of the fruit resembles chicken in its textures - makes me wonder if I can season it so that my meat eating friends might be fooled...


Step 1: stab eggplant many times


Step 2: create foil cradle for eggplant; bake in oven for 45 minutes @ 400degrees


step 3: split it open and scoop out the insides


step 4: enjoy!! (with seasonings if desired)


Quite delicious and filling I think.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Christ, Savior

This evening's Bible study triumphantly and amazingly changed my life. I knew Christ was my Savior. I knew the Bible quite well, but in the last few months, I was REALLY studying and finding consistent support for God and His Son even though I was arguing about the details and translations, etc. I had been studying that a person had to have a heart changing miracle to become a believer in God. Even though I had faith in God, I could not place a time in my life that I had a heart changing miracle. I was praying that I would have that miracle. I'd been reading the memory verses from CedarCreek posted in my cubicle wall multiple times daily.  The heart had to transform from a heart of stubbornness to a heart of flesh, wanting to be obedient to God. 


Tonight hit home, hard. John 8, Matthew 27:50 to the end clinched it, and I broke down. The Spirit had been gifting me with the wisdom of the word of God in the last few weeks and God had taken this time to show me fully that He loves me and I am in His hands forever. Wow.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

audition, stuff, stuff and stuff

Hooray, I was accepted into CedarCreek's music ministry! I'll be playing keys for their high school service and LifeSupport, a group for those with serious problems (divorce, abuse, addiction, etc).

Also, my heart is in great shape! Stress test found nothing wrong, I had no problems during or after while recovering from the test.

Went to the primary care doctor. She thinks I am borderline anemic, so she took some blood to test it. I should know the results today.

Now I suppose I should get up and get ready for work. I'd much rather go back to sleep.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

update

I'm very tired. Have been since 2/25. Could be anemia, low iron.

Thought it was heart related since my heart was intermittently beating harder and faster when at rest.

Went to cardiologist. EKG came back normal. Have to wear an event monitor until April 2nd. Tomorrow will have a stress test.

If stress test doesn't shed light, I'll go see my primary care doctor.  I know this isn't mono. I've had that before. Will let you know more tomorrow after stress test.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Look, I did some stuff!

Wow! I auditioned for keys as a part of the Music Ministry team at Cedar Creek.

I've printed course materials for the Earn1K course I'm in and I'll do some reading and researching.

I emailed a group leader to join a small group in Cedar Creek.

Hopefully my updates will come faster now that the audition is over!

Monday, February 15, 2010

the gigantic priority list

This is going to be large. Also, I'll be updating it often. At least, I hope often.

Priority #1: Practice for Cedar Creek audition on keyboards
Finished! Audition went well, but I won't know if I'm in for another month. (2/23)
#2: Go through Earn 1k course and be ACTIONABLE...DO something!
Printed out materials for course. (2/25)
Write out 5 Actionable things to do for today and tomorrow. (2/27)

#3: Write a song for Joe
#4: Read How to Listen to God - and write about my reflections.

Less important tasks in random order:

#5: Read New Testament (write reflections, nearly daily reading)
Read Desire (write reflections)
Read The Four Loves (write reflections)
Read The Inner Game of Music (write reflections)
Read Mere Christianity (write reflections)
Write music
Check out Skype and other idea for long distances friendships
Cook vegan food
I bought vegetables and sub bread for my lunches this week (2/22)

Do more photography
Join a small group Bible study from Cedar Creek
Emailed group leader, asking to join.

Set up piano in room
Continue nearly daily Yoga regimen
Work on Critical Listening Skills
Work on the Digital Performer book
Play music with Joe

Sunday, February 14, 2010

ugh, highlights

Sorry about the confusion over highlighted words in the last post. I didn't realize that the highlights would stay -  they appear after one clicks the spell checking option. I figured that when I posted the entry, the highlighting wouldn't still be there.

I was wrong. Now I'm irritated. Grr.

dancing with smurfs

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

who's worried?

So, what are the things that come between God and me?

Money. In particular the ability to obsessively worry about money. Money is a tool, something to use to get to your worldly goals, not a goal itself. I need to chill out.

Logic. I spend way too much time reading and amassing knowledge, and too little time actually listening to God and really thinking about his answers.

So, I bought a book called "How to Listen to God".

...

I hope some of you are laughing. Even though the book title is on a topic that will help, I would still be spending time reading as opposed to listening. Old habits die hard. At least I recognized it, right?

Next up: forming a plan to change the habits!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

funeral/biblestudy/church

Yesterday:  Funeral was good. Something simple, I'm sure what Uncle Louie would have wanted. I was honored to play taps for him.

Today: Bible study/church was thought provoking - what/who is in between God and me? I need to look for those things and change or remove them.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

all in all, good day

Grandma still doing well.

Uncle Louie passed away this morning. Honestly, I'm glad. Suffering that much is not good for anyone, and I'm glad he's free of it now. It's sad that he is gone, but it's for the best.

I was super productive at work, and really enjoyed it! After, I went to Barnes and Noble to read with Tiff and Niki.

I read the first 17 chapters of the book of Acts. I've studied Acts before when I coached quiz team, and it was a nice refresher. Also, I found new insights this time which is always fun.

It's time to head to bed. I'm tired. I have work tomorrow.

Laura

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

well...

Yesterday was sad.

Visited my uncle. He's not well at all. He has entered into Hospice. When he tries to talk, we can only hear faint mumbles.

I prayed for a while at his bedside that his exit from this world would be smooth and painless.

After all the emotional draining, I was exhausted, and went to bed at 8:30, falling asleep by 9.

This evening, I'm going to visit my grandmother. I hope to have enough energy to do some yoga when I get home.

Laura

Saturday, January 30, 2010

annoyed and underqualified

Important things:
Louie was still sleeping when I popped by.

Grandma is still in hospital, not yet sure where one of the infections is coming from. After they find out and get her all set up, she'll head to Fulton Manor as opposed to Swanton Healthcare. She'll get a private room, yay!

Slightly important things:
I moved from one cubicle to another! I'm now 15 steps from the ice and water machine! Yay! It also means that I'm about 30 steps from the vending machine, and I don't want to buy entirely over priced junk food, sooooo...

Non important but annoying things:
Kroger (midwestern grocery) ran a special - buy 10 qualified items and get $5 off. The "qualified" items were snack type things, canned chili and cereal. Before I got to Kroger, I decided what items I'd buy for the cubicle. At Kroger, I changed my mind a few times as to which ten items I wanted, but I knew I had to finish up, as I had pizza waiting to be picked up and dinner to deliver to the folks. I made my purchases, got home to realize that I only bought 9 items.

Yep. 9. I was so frustrated all night! I'm okay now.

Today: Bible Study, church, maybe make cinnamon rolls. Yay!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

work/sleep/yoga/KITTY!/read/sleep

Work was rather dull today now that I've rebuilt the project schedule my way and (gasp) it works!

Stopped by to see my uncle. He was asleep.

Did yoga for 30 minutes and a few other exercises.

Played with Elmer, and man is he cute! He also like to (playfully) bite. My hands look a little beat up.

I'm previewing a course by Ramit Sethi (iwillteachyoutoberich.com) and so far I think it is very informative. The course is about earning as a freelancer. I read the first three days of materials and now it's time to sleep.

Laura

Monday, January 25, 2010

work.hospital.yoga.write.sleep

Work was allright. I enjoyed my time with my co-workers.

Hospital was allright. Grandma is a bit better in spirits but doctors found a second bacterial infection. She'll have a scope down her throat tomorrow morning to see if her heart is the problem.

Yoga was good! It is tough to hold steady when a cat is running around the room, being silly.

Writing is fine but I'm not as jovial lately.

Sleep? Oh, I'm looking forward to sleep!

Laura

Saturday, January 23, 2010

meh.

So my hope for spacing out the updates would mean more exciting things!

Not so.

In family news, grandma is still in the hospital, getting antibiotics for the bladder infection. Uncle Louie was sleeping when I stopped by and I didn't want to wake him. He mentioned that sleeping is about the only thing he can do to get rid of the pain.

My thoughts on Open Workbench:

It is the absolute WORST program I've ever encountered.

My experience over the last few days:

Even though I added the resources, the program won't let me choose from the ones I added, nor will it assign the ones that it added.

I had to get the resources in, so I added the Notes column and renamed it resources, adding my resources there.

The next day, I opened the program to add a few tasks and denote some others as key tasks.

The resources (formerly notes) were gone. Completely gone. I'm certain that I hit save multiple times. There are about 1000 tasks, so this is no short list to update.

I grumbled, went through adding tasks and denoting key tasks and putting the resources back in. I saved, and saved and saved. I didn't even close the program when I left for the evening.

The next day, I opened the program (restored, really since I didn't close the program from the previous day).

The resources, added tasks and denoted key tasks were all gone.

Gone!

I didn't even CLOSE the program and stuff got deleted.

At first, I thought the program was just not user-friendly.

Now I deem it unstable. This is ridiculous.

Today, my mother and I are going shopping in Indiana and then I'll be heading to church this evening.

It's time for yoga.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Visitation

Tuesday was a great day! The power went out at the office for two hours! Work went well but I didn't get as much as I had hoped.

The best part about Tuesday was my visit with my uncle, Louie. He was awake and wasn't in any pain! We had a great conversation, topics ranging from money management to the economy to farming to interest rates... I enjoyed my time with him, and he enjoyed his time with me. It was great!

Today, I worked hard all day except for lunch. I was notified by my father that grandma wasn't doing well and she was transported back to the hospital. Turns out she has a bladder infection. Not as bad as what we were fearing that she had. She'll be in the hospital for a day or so and have antibiotics to help clear up the infection. I visited my uncle again, and he wasn't doing as well as yesterday, but was still alert and awake. I hope he can become pain free and stay that way.

As for me, I am going to bed!

Monday, January 18, 2010

nursed out

Went to work.

Totally sucked at work. The three people that could have helped me weren't there.

Went to nursing home.

Visited my grandmother. She's doing a bit better. I'd love to see more physical therapy out of her.

Visited my great uncle. He is not doing well. He's moved from vicodin to morphine. Not good.

Visited my grandmother a bit more.

Cooked dinner.

Ate dinner.

Now writing. I'm so tired.

Laura

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Changed format

I've been busy!

Wednesday in the wee early morning hours, we got a call that Grandma broke her shoulder, so dad and my uncle went up to check out the situation, and an ambulance was called. She's currently convalescing in a nursing home in Swanton. She's doing better but she may be in the home for several weeks.

Wednesday night, I hung out with my friend Chris. He's a hilarious guy! I took pictures of his ridiculously long hair.

Thursday, my friend Niki came over and we ate spaghetti and did some Wii yoga.

Friday, I visited my grandmother and then relaxed at home.

Today I'm looking forward to getting some emails read and written.

Have you ever contested a charge on your credit card? How did it go? I have contacted a company through email (their preferred method of contact) three times and have gotten nothing. I've double checked my spelling of their address. In the third email I sent, I mentioned that if I did not get a response, I will call my credit card company to contest the charge.

This evening, I'll be going to church at Cedar Creek - I wanted to try a different service than the usual 12:30 Sunday afternoon service.

I'll be changing this blog from a daily blog to Monday, Wednesday, Friday and one of the weekend days. It's been difficult and I don't like posts that are two sentences.

And it's almost time to do some yoga.

Laura

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day #117: High Protein gruel

I'm all set for meals for the rest of the week. I bought Kroger Old Fashioned Oatmeal, Ramen and already made my gruel/mush/stew for lunches.

I ate the gruel for lunch today and it was pretty good!

Tomorrow, I'll be hanging out with my friend Chris unless he cancels.

I'm going to guess he'll cancel. He's a busy guy.

I did 45 minutes of a work out on the Wii. Now I'm tired.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day #116: Wii fail

Work was good but I'm quite tired still from the crazy weekend.

I didn't feel like working out, so I just weighed myself, ate dinner and watched a little TV. Tomorrow will be a better day.

Laura

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day #115: Some answers

A few things I learned from yesterday: I can't fast. That's why I got a migraine. I slept in and missed breakfast. Then I worked out on the Wii, decided to take a nap. Fell asleep for five hours. Skipped lunch. When got up, worked out again. Laid on the couch for a few hours, thinking about getting dinner. Got a migraine instead. Ate. Didn't feel better. Got insomnia.

I did watch the film Hair, though. Rather entertaining. The stuff at the end seemed abrupt. I mean, I know it was the ending, but I figured there'd be a bit more than just suddenly having the group hanging out at Arlington National Cemetery.

After the film, I went to bed. 5am. I slept pretty well! Got up and cleaned myself up and worked out on the Wii. Went to church with Tiffany and Niki. (Yay!)

I worked out on the Wii for a total of 1 hour and 20 minutes and burned over 250 calories.  Didn't do much after that.

Tomorrow:

Work! (I'm excited)
Wii! (Still excited)

Good night!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day #114: lost day

I slept most of the day and suffered a migraine. Bleh.

I did work out for 45 minutes.

Tomorrow:

church

Friday, January 8, 2010

Day #113: Busy

Got up for work at 7. Showered, dressed and all.

Went downstairs.

Realized that tennis shoes were upstairs.

Went upstairs.

Grabbed shoes.

Went downstairs.

Found other pair of tennis shoes.

Put on shoes.

Grabbed lunch.

Forgot phone.

Went upstairs.

Got phone.

Went downstairs.

Put everything in one bag.

Got to car.

Put bag in car.

Forgot pill bottle.

Went back in house, upstairs.

Got pill bottle.

Went to car.

Fought with garage door. (It doesn't like to open fully on cold days.)

Drove to work.

Focused at work. I completed two test packs for surveys (approx. 250 surveys), had an introduction to Open Workbench (anyone know about this program?) and I answered some client requests. Busy day!

After work, I began to make the dessert for the potluck. I was stirring the Corn Flakes into the melted chocolate and butterscotch. It was looking good!

Then the bowl slid off the counter, flipped upside-down and broke all to pieces.

Sigh.

I picked up the pieces and scrubbed the chocolate mess off the floor and cabinets.

Grabbed another bowl, melted the chocolate and butterscotch pieces, and stirred in the Corn Flakes.

I was able to keep this bowl on the counter the whole time. Found a large tupperware bowl and spooned in the dessert, put a lid on it, and placed it in the car.

Went to the potluck and had an amazing time! There were pretzels with honey mustard dipping sauce, fruit with fruit dip, jalepeno poppers, meatballs, salmon patties, pasta and cheesecake. All so delicious!

We played Last Word and Apples to Apples.

Tomorrow:

Read a few chapters in Mark
Yoga
Laundry

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Day #112: Never mind, 6:30. I'll just have to see you in the PM.

So, the alarm went off at 6:30. I hit Snooze. I woke up at 7:15. Apparently, I hit Dismiss instead of Snooze.

Oops.

Anyway, I'm just going to get up at the usual time for work and continue doing yoga in the evening.

I'll be busy for quite a while at work. They'll be giving me a great high exposure job that will keep me on the straight and narrow for quite a while! I'm excited.

After work, the book club cancelled the meet up, so I just went home. The snow made driving a bit difficult. The Fit handled well!

I did a half hour of yoga and ate dinner. Right now, it's time to make dessert for the fun potluck on Friday and read a chapter of Mark.

Tomorrow:
Potluck!

«Laura»

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day #111: So close

I woke up at 6:30, stretched, rolled over, reset the alarm for 7 and looked at the ceiling. I knew I wanted to get up. I just had to get up, put on work out clothes that I laid out and walk downstairs.

That's all. Just put on warm clothes, walk downstairs. The barrier would be broken.

I rolled over. It's entirely too dark. I rationalized with my mind - It'll be dark at 7, too! Should get up.

I blew my nose. Rolled over again. Struggled to either fall asleep or get up.

Did neither. laid there until 7 when the alarm went off.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll actually get up!

Work was wonderful. I got a compliment!

After work, I worked out on the Wii for an hour and 45 minutes. Boy am I sore! I'm looking forward to going to bed.

Here is my UTMC professional stroke video and summmary:

Laura's UTMC stroke video

Enjoy! I thought it was great.

«Laura»

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day #110: Wiied up

Work was steady and fun. After work, I washed dishes and worked out on the Wii for an hour and a half. I'm really enjoying the yoga and strength exercises, and I'm increasingly doing better.

I read Mark, Chapter 4 and one verse stuck out at me. Jesus said that he spoke in parables when teaching common people, but to his disciples, he shared everything. I wonder if they were any better at learning the word of God or if they were just excited to be early adopters. Many times Christ must have shook his head in sorrow when the disciples were being petty, like quarreling with each other to find out which was the "best disciple".

Tomorrow, I'm going to do my best to get up at 6:30am. I'm going to do yoga! All I have to do is get up, put on a shirt and my sweatpants and walk downstairs. I hope to have success actually doing it!

Friday, I'll be having a potluck with some friends, and I'll be bringing the dessert. I'm considering buying a box of cornflakes, a bag of chocolate chips and butterscotch chips and melt and combine the mixture. I don't think that will cost me more than 6 dollars if I go the generic route.

«Laura»

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day #109: Excite-less

Work. Light work day. Lentil soup - delicious! Wii workout - 1 hour, 20 minutes. Stomach - feels flatter. Yoga - I'm slightly stretchier!

It's nine pm, and I'm going to bed.

Laura

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day #108: Work tomorrow

After being off of work since December 23rd at 3pm, part of me is saddened to return tomorrow at 8:30am.

I went to church, worked out on the Wii Fit for an hour, read Mark 1-3, read another chapter of Mere Christianity and visited Uncle Louie. He's not doing well, his esophagus cancer might be spreading. He'll be 96 on the 19th of this month, getting up there in years.

Tomorrow... work. Medical bills. Read Mere Christianity. Work out on the Wii Fit.

Yep
«Laura»

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day #107: A Saturday full of good activities

I burned a few calories on the Wii using the newly purchased Wii Fit Plus.  It was rather entertaining! I ran, skied, hula hooped and laughed at my mistakes.

In Mere Christianity, I read the first 2 chapters. I find C.S. Lewis' book quite good so far! I'm also interested to know why his middle name is Staples...

I'll be on a "cash diet" for my food for the next three months. This month, I want to work on only eating foods that I cook and not eating out. I'll be eating the last of the lentil soup today and tomorrow. On Monday and the rest of the week, I have my lunches already prepared and frozen. I made a large pot of... well, honestly, mush. I wanted to use the split peas before they expire.

I combined:

6 c water (1 c to rehydrate the TVP)
4 c split peas ($2.26)
4 c crushed tomatoes ($1.23)
2 c celery ($0.50)
1 c lentils ($0.60)
1 onion ($1.35)
1 c TVP ($1.00)
3 tsp chili garlic sauce ($0.10)
2 tsp cumin ($0.10)
2 tsp mustard seeds ($0.30)
Total for all: $7.44

I sorted through the dried peas, threw them in a pot with the lentils and added hot water while I chopped the celery and onion.  After the onion was chopped finely, I grabbed a small pan, added canola oil and when it was hot, I threw in the mustard seeds, just to listen them pop.  I put in all the onion and then put my large soup pot on the large back burner, added 5 c water and when it started to boil, I put in the lentils and peas.

I rinsed out the middle pan that previously held the peas and lentils and added TVP, 1 c water, and 2 tsp cumin, set it to high and stirred constantly until the water had been absorbed. I added it to the stew/soup/mush and mixed in all the rest of the ingredients well. I simmered the whole thing for a few hours, got a small bowlful and deemed it edible.

Weird, but edible. I can get 10 or more servings, which makes each serving at most only $0.74. Pretty good!

I am not going to post a picture of it because it just looks like mushy peas with a few diced tomatoes. Nothing exciting.

Tomorrow, I'll be going to church, reading more of Mere Christianity and getting through more medical bills and eobs.

«Laura»

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day #106: Another trip around the sun!

We're also getting closer to the sun by inches each year. Or farther. I can't tell, and these astrophysics forums from my Google search are no help.

I made lemonade, watched the ball drop in Times Square (I turned the TV on at 11:56... I don't see any point in watching hours of TV personalities trying to come up with something interesting and restating the current time as much as possible), did laundry, played with Elmer and enjoyed sleeping in.

I read about half of The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing and it looks like I'm currently doing things right - starting early, putting away more than 10% and investing in a diverse set of low cost index funds. In 2010, I have goals toward saving more in my retirement funds. I skimmed the rest of the book and found that the rest was more attuned to the work I'll have to do with my portfolio in my 40s and 50s.

My mother requested waffles for breakfast, and I'm the designated waffle maker. Fortunately for (lazy) me, I made extra batter the last time I made waffles, so I just had to defrost the frozen batter.

I've decided to read Mere Christianity.

Tomorrow, sort through more medical bills. Buh.

Laura