I'm cold.

Posted by J on Thursday, October 10, 2013.
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I am freezing. The weather is changing and I do not like it. My office still has AC running!

Of course I have a wool shawl with me, and if my hands were working (I haven't knitted in a week) I would be working on my Hue Shift over my lunch break instead of typing things.

Here is a photo of me sitting on the ground waiting for my husband to pick me up after work last Friday with my Hue Shift. I really love how it's working up. Maybe I'll take a better photo of it soon (you know I won't).

We had parent-teach conferences this week and I was shocked to learn that my children are "very quiet" in school. My kids? I'm glad they know how to act in public! Anyway, before the conferences we stopped at Lowes (which has all their Christmas decor out, I do not want to talk about it!) and saw this bird eating the bird seed off the floor inside the store so I took a photo. God bless smart phones!

Little bird in Lowes
My lunch is gross (just fat free yogurt and a little honey), and I want coffee. I might make that happen.

eta: I'm still trying to write about my NASA trip, I have a draft and everything, its just not quite right.

What could you do at Penn State?

Posted by J on Tuesday, October 8, 2013.
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I love this video, it was produced over the summer. I know some (okay one) of the students in it fairly well. I wrote an article about her, and she is a genuinely nice person. I'm going to be sad when I don't work at this college anymore.

I'm interviewing for another position at the University but each unit inside the University is called a college...so we have the College of Liberal Arts etc. Right now I work at the Eberly College of Science - just some information for those not in the know- 


Posted by J on Wednesday, September 18, 2013.
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Things have sort of gone sideways. I'm okay. More soon.

NASA Adventure - Day 1

Posted by J on Wednesday, August 21, 2013.
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It's freaking NASA! 
Last week I had the opportunity to attend an event at NASA Langley. It was a huge deal to me because I have never been anywhere on my own before for a number of reasons, one reason being that my Crohn's disease makes me super nervous to travel. I had to go this time, because when NASA invites you somewhere, you go, you just do, it's freaking NASA!

I seriously loved this car! 
I arrived on a Tuesday, a day early for the events, and thank goodness I did because my flights were delayed forever, but I arrived safely and picked up my adorable Nissan Juke rental car. Now this car was perfect for me, a person who doesn't really like to drive, because it was small and easy to maneuver. It would be completely impractical in my every day life because my dear husband and our children are all super tall, but for this trip, it was perfect. I got to my hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn at Coliseum Central, and pretty much went right to bed. Traveling made me so tired, I was also really missing my kids at this point an it hadn't even been 24 hours!

I slept until 11a.m and it was glorious! The first event didn't start until 3p.m. and that was meeting up with some of the NASAsocial attendees for dinner. We went to this really cute restaurant, The Surf Rider Grill in Hampton VA. I had crab (of course!) and there was this huge shark on the wall, which I took a photo of like the tourist that I was. Thankfully there were a few other people who were also in awe of the shark so we all stood there taking photos and I realized that I was going to be okay surrounded by this group of enthusiastic people who loved science, space, and taking photos just as much (if not more) than I did.

Virginia Air and Space Center 
After dinner we headed to the Virginia Air and Space Center. The museum had closed to the public and we were given full access. The first thing we did was stand around in a circle and introduce ourselves, I was immediately brought back to the first day of high school and I think I spoke way too fast, but it was fine. One of the engineers who is working on the Orion project gave a brief talk and then we were set loose on the museum. First of all I want to say that if you're ever in the area please go check this place out, it is awesome and admission is super affordable. I definitely want to take my kids here they will absoultely love all the interactive displays, I know I did! There were about a dozen full size airplanes suspended from the ceiling in layers. This place is three stories and it's all open, I'm doing a poor job explaining it but seriously, go.
An Orion Test Article at VASC

Planes at VASC
The Apollo Capsule at VASC

I wandered around for a solid 2 hours and I could have stayed so much longer. There was so much to see and to do. There were several flight simulators for many different aircraft including commercial jets and rockets. There was a whole section of the museum dedicated to the history of flight and another to the technology, history, and science behind space exploration. It was a nerd paradise (this is a good thing). I went back to my hotel, showered, and went to bed early. I set alarms on my phone, my ipad, and the hotel alarm clock, the next day was the main event: The Orion Stationary Recovery Test and there was no way that I was going to miss it...to be continued!
Holding the Earth!


Posted by J on Monday, August 19, 2013.
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This is very hard to write. Christmas came and went, my grandfather spent the holiday in the hospital but came home a few days later. Then he got shingles and everything went down hill from there. He started having trouble breathing, and ultimately my grandfather passed away in January. Since then things have been crazy and haven't slowed down. Right after he passed I was finally able to sleep again. I feel like he gave me that gift.

The week after he passed I started working at another position in the college, this time in the marketing department. I had the privilege of working on the college's magazine, Science Journal. It was a lot of fun and very challenging for me. The first article I was given to write was about astrophysics, so you can imagine that I felt pretty overwhelmed, but it turned out fine in the end.

After the magazine came out I started training to take photographs and took over the social media for the college, which has kept me very busy, and now we are working on another issue of the magazine.

I think about my grandparents often. I know that I was very blessed to have them in my life as long as I did, but it does not make it any easier. My littlest daughter grew very close to my grandpa while he was living with us. They would sit together and eat Oreos, after he passed away she told me that she didn't know if she could eat Oreos anymore. We've caught her more than once in the weeks right after his death in the room he stayed in, sitting in his spot on the couch, having a snack and watching TV. She said that he'd want her to do that, and I think that he would.

Posted by J on Sunday, November 25, 2012.
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I've been avoiding this, I like to present myself as put together, as confident and ready to tackle what the world was going to serve up. In truth, I'm feeling a little lost.

I've been looking for a (full time) job since March, I still have not found one, but I am working part time and I love the work I'm doing. I'm writing and creating documentation, I get to be creative, I'm writing, which is what I wanted to do, and I'm getting paid to do it. Sometimes the information that I have to deal with is a little dry but I made the decision to (try) to bring passion to everything I'm doing. If I think it's boring that will come through in my writing, so I strive to get myself interested in it and then the words flow more readily.

Every day I look for more job to apply for, and once a week I sit here and apply to them. I write a different cover letter for each one, I tweak my resume almost daily. I'm showing up, I'm doing the work, and I am still hopeful.

Of course, I have my moments. I joke that I'm completely unemployable. I say to my husband, "it's a good thing you've got a couple of job because your wife is unemployable" then I make a sad dog face. I still pray daily, and I have this deep feeling of peace. I feel like it's resting right at the bottom of my belly that everything is going to be okay and I'll find something to do with my life.

Back to my first paragraph, I'm feeling a little lost. I feel like I'm waiting for something to happen to me, and I hate waiting. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be doing something so I'm waiting for a sign, or a phone call, or something to tell me what direction to go. I'm longing for something more and I'm searching for it every where, quietly.

and I'll say it's a good tired...

Posted by J on Sunday, October 14, 2012.
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So I'm tired, that's sort of normal, ha! I'm not a morning person, and I like naps but it a good sort of tired. I'm not sure how to explain it, it is what it is, to use a cliche.

Right now my littlest daughter is sitting on my right hip. It's sort of uncomfortable, in sort of the way that I'm tired, it's a good uncomfortable; holding her weight on my hip, I know where she is and she wants to be near me. I know this will change soon and no matter how uncomfortable it might be to have her perched on me while I also have a computer on my lap trying to steal a few moments to myself, I'll take it.

This weekend was so busy, my brother came up so we took all four kids (my three and my brother's) to a pumpkin patch to pick our own pumpkins. We've never done this before, and I hope it's going to become a tradition becuse I really enjoyed it. We never did things like that when we were kids and I was very hesitant to do it with my kids (I don't like crowds, and my father never allowed us to wait in any sort of line, we would just go home if anything requried a wait), so this weekend we dealt with both. My husband and my sister-in-law both came from families that did a lot of these things, so it was good to have their support.

Hubs, Eldest, and Middle Girlie checking out some pumpkins

Anyway, the kids had a good time stalking around the pumpkin patch looking for their pumpkins and we ended up with a huge 31 pounder, a 15lb pumpkin, and one that wasn't quite ripe (although I think the green pumpkin looks really cool, it's something we've never had before). In years past we'd just buy pumpkins from Wal-Mart, and took whatever they had.

Today my Middle Girlie had a birthday party to go to, and we did some running around in town after we dropped her off. We then came home and all the kids played outside, it was over 70 degrees here which is crazy for mid October in our area. So all the kids (and the dogs) were playing outside when my little nephew (who will be 1 next week) whapped Middle Girlie in the face with a magnifying glass. I'm pretty sure she's going to have a black eye come morning and I know she understands that her cousin didn't mean to hit her but she was still pretty shook up. Poor kid! She was fine a little while later but now when she's moving her hair she ends up touching her sore spot and it stings. My poor girlie!

Anyway, I've been tired, I mentioned that, because we've been so busy. I'm still adjusting to working and taking care of the kids/house/dog. We leave at 7:30 AM and we don't get home until 6PM. I'm not a morning person (I mentioned that too) so I get up around 6:30 to shower and get ready for the day. The kids get up at 7, and it's pretty rushed to get lunches packed and whatnot and out the door. I don't get much done in the morning. I know I should get up earlier but it takes a lot to convince myself to do so. Needless to say I spend most of my weekends catching up on laundry (I did 9 loads in the past two days, and there is still some that needs done). When I get home at night I end up eating dinner, helping with homework, bathing kids, and then I just veg on the couch until about 10:30 when I send myself to bed. I'm adjusting, it's hard, and I love it. I absolutely love working and being out of the house. I'm tired, but, as I said before, it's good tired.