Thursday, March 31, 2011


I have struggled with anxiety issues for a long time now. Pretty much since high school or I think maybe even middle school. The manifestation of my anxiety has changed over the years:

At first I had problems breathing during anxiety attacks. That lasted through college basically.

Sometime during high school, I also would lose my appetite when I got anxious. I remember there being times when all I would want to eat for days at a time was orange juice.

In grad school, the breathing went away and my anxiety caused all kinds of stomach problems. Acid reflux. Gastritis. Those combined to cause a big lack of appetite. And they were painful.

After grad school, my anxiety made me have hypochondriac tendencies. Whenever I would get anxious about something I would suddenly become intensely worried about getting cancer or something. The fact that Phil still married me even after seeing me go through this phase just shows how amazing he is. I was probably the most embarrassed about this anxiety phase. Phil, my mom and Joanna were really the only ones I really talked to about it.

I have been doing pretty well lately with my anxiety. I have a hard time on planes but even that has been all right. The hypochondria tries to creep back in but for the most part I have been ok. I have really been trying to work on the anxiety. I still have days when I get anxiety attacks but they are much fewer.

I had an anxiety attack today out of the blue. I think it started because I felt like I had forgotten to do something at work. I am pretty sure I didn't actually forget anything. But I couldn't shake the feeling. And then things kept making the feeling worse.

Thankfully tonight there wasn't much hypochondria. I was even able to watch Grey's Anatomy (which had been banned because I thought I had every weird disease presented on the show). But I wasn't hungry. We didn't eat dinner until late. Even then I didn't eat much.

Over the years I have found different methods of calming down. Crocheting seems to be the best one. I didn't really feel like crocheting tonight though.

But I am feeling better now. I think what got me out of the anxiety tonight was the idea that I could go get hot chocolate in the morning (I have the same motivation as my 3 year old nephew).

And I have rambled. :)

I thought I would share a little about something I have really struggled with for a long time (and today included).

Have you struggled with anxiety? What helped you cope?

Love, Mrs. Janney

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thankful for Asphalt Monkey Work

Having a rough day. I can't and don't really want to get into it on a blog.

As for asphalt...

I have been working on an asphalt design for a project for a while. I made this huge Excel spreadsheet as a way to analyze the depths needed. I am actually pretty proud of my spreadsheet. Only problem is you have to use SOLVER about a billion times, once for each section of the road. This means I got to spend a lot of time punching keys like a monkey.

Now I have to make some modifications to the design which means I have to do it ALL. OVER. AGAIN. More monkey work for me.

But on a day like today, where I am feeling BLUE and have already cried while watching an old episode of The Practice (which I have already seen), I am so grateful for my monkey work. I will be able to zone out with some music playing and type type type away.

Love, Mrs. Janney

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The BEST Fruit Salad

In my efforts to eat healthy, fruits and vegetables have been very important. Last week I over did it with zucchini to the point where Phil and I both don't even use the word in our house. Never knew you could overdo on that one but it turns out you can. I was actually a little concerned we were eating so much that it was unhealthy.

But I digress...

Here is a fruit salad recipe you just have to try. It is pretty easy to prepare and has so many good things in it. The best part: the fruit is in season which makes it relatively inexpensive.

At Safeway,

Mangos are $1.49 each

Kiwis are 3/$1.00

Blueberries are buy one, get one free

Mango, Kiwi, and Blueberry Salad

It is pretty simple: 2 mangos, 3 medium kiwis, and 12 oz. of blueberries.


Skin the mangos with a peeler. Cut off the top and the bottom of the mango and cut as much of the mango of the core as possible. It is pretty easy to tell which part is fruit and which part is core. The fruit slices off, but when you hit core you can hear it cutting. That is a horrible description, but you will know it when you hear it. Then just cut the mango fruit into small pieces.


Take off the skin. Slice the kiwi into small pieces.


Wash the blueberries.

Just mix it all together. You don't need to add any sweetener. I am not sure, but I think the sugar from the kiwis sweetens the rest of the fruit.

The fruit in this salad is SO GOOD for you. Mangos are anti-inflammatory, rich in vitamins A and C and fiber. Kiwis are rich in vitamin C and fiber. Blueberries have TONS of anti-oxidents.

The other day, I put some Vanilla non-fat Greek Yogurt in with it and it was SO YUMMY and super filling.

I usually like to use foods that are locally grown. I don't really buy into the organic food craze, but local food I can really get behind. (Locally grown foods are better for the environment than organically grown foods that aren't local.) While Oregon does grow some AMAZING fruit, absolutely none of it is in season right now. Once the Farmer's market gets started again, I think I will use local fruit again.

Love, Mrs. Janney

Thursday, March 10, 2011

5 Minutes Late

Titanic is on right now and it reminded me that I wanted to share this story my Grandma told me. I wonder how many of my cousins actually know this...

So my mom's side of the family is totally Norwegian. Eventually they came over here and settled mostly in Iowa (I don't know why they picked Iowa but oh well). But I was always curious how my ancestors came over.

Apparantly, my grandmother's father (I think) had a third class passenger ticket for the Titanic. Now I am not sure how well versed everyone is with the story of the Titanic, but the third class passengers didn't exactly do too well in the crash.

Thankfully, my great grandfather was running a little behind schedule. He missed the departure for the Titanic by 5 MINUTES!! Five minutes. If he hadn't been running 5 minutes late, he most likely would have died on the Titanic, my entire family would not exist, and none of you wouldn't have had the joy of knowing me (just kidding about that last one).

But seriously... he was 5 minutes late.

Since he missed the Titanic, he caught a ride on the Carpathia which is the ship that went and picked up the survivors from the Titanic. He then landed in Canada and snuck across the border.

You just never know how much 5 minutes can change things.

Love, Mrs. Janney

PS - Truthfully I am not sure if it was my grandmother's father or grandfather or if it was me grandfather's father/grandfather. Either way, it was a direct ancestor of mine.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day)

For those of you that may not be aware, today is Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday). Breaking it down a little further... Ash Wednesday is the start of Lent. Even more break down... Lent is the 40 days before Easter.

Should I break it down further for my atheist friends? Easter is the celebration of Christ's Resurrection. ;)

The church I grew up in always had a Pancake Feast on the night before Ash Wednesday. I never really knew why, but now that I am older, my mom doesn't seem to have any memory of this tradition. So I put on my research hat and did what any excellent, educated researcher would do...

I Googled it.
Then looked at Wikipedia.

During the Lent season, you weren't supposed to have anything rich or decedent. So that meant no dairy, eggs, or sugar. Now you can't let this good food go to waste. In an effort to not be wasteful, you needed to use all of those items prior to Ash Wednesday. And what uses sugar, eggs, and dairy? PANCAKES!!

Pancake Day is an actual holiday in England. They still have work and stuff but it is a day that people know about, like Groundhog Day. A couple of English women I know put on Facebook that they were served pancakes at work today. How awesome would that be? Another reason to LOVE England.

So tonight we feasted on PANCAKES. I made regular, blueberry, and chocolate chip pancakes. They were yummy.

Not sure what I will be giving up for Lent. I don't always give up something for Lent, but I feel like I want to this year. In the past, I have given up coffee, soda, caffeine, that kind of thing. I was thinking of giving up eating out, but that just means I have to cook constantly. We may limit the amount we eat out instead. We will see. I have until tomorrow to decide.

Hope everyone enjoyed Pancake Day!

Love, Mrs. Janney

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My subconscious thinks I am fat

I went to Old Navy today to buy one thing and of course I bought like 5 things. But 3 of them were on clearance which made it a little better. One of those things was a pair of jeans. Who couldn't use a decent pair of jeans for $17? I know I sure could. So I grabbed a my size and headed to the cashier.

It wasn't until like 20 minutes later that I realized that I haven't worn that size of pant for almost a year. I am actually a size smaller.

I knew I felt guilty about not going to the gym, but I think this proves it. My subconscious is already preparing for my butt to get bigger.

The sad thing is that they probably already fit (I am afraid to find out)...

Love, Mrs. Janney

Friday, March 4, 2011

I made a senior citizen angry

So part of my job is doing calculations for proposed buildings and putting these calculations into reports to be submitted to the city. A couple of weeks ago I completed some calculations for a retirement facility and then earlier this week I gave those calculations to the designer of the building, who happens to be my officemate (OM). 2 days later, he needed the calculations and couldn't find them. This is how that conversation went yesterday:

OM: Where are those calculations you did for me?

Me: I gave them to you the other day.

OM: Well I can't find them.

Me: I don't know but I don't have them.

[OM walks over to my desk and starts trying to look through papers on my desk]

Me: Quit looking at the stuff on my desk. Your calculations aren't there.

OM: [Slightly aggitated] Well would you mind looking on your desk for them because I can't find them?

Me: No I will not look for them because I know I gave them to you.

OM: [Officially angry with me] Well that is an interesting way of putting it. [Starting to yell at me] Well if they aren't on my desk (points at desk) and they aren't here (points at table) and they aren't here (points at chair) and I didn't take them home then WHERE ARE THEY?

Me: I don't know because I gave them to you.

At this point, the OM is pretty pissed off at me. He storms around. About ten minutes later, I hear this:

OM: I found them.

They were on his table.

Me: I figured you would because I knew you had them.

OM: Well it's not that I didn't believe you.

Me: It sure sounds like it because you were getting pretty pissy with me.

He hasn't spoken to me since.

Hooray for Friday!!

Love, Mrs. Janney

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I'm hooked!

So this last Sunday, I went on a cooking spree. I made all of our meals for the week, basically totally from scratch. That included prepping veggies to be steamed all week and making a fruit salad. It was awesome. It took me about 3 hours to do all the prep work and cooking AND clean it up.

So that has meant that every night when we get home, there is NO COOKING needed. Pop something in the oven and steam some veggies (that are already cut)! That is it!!

And all the meals have been healthy/low calorie thanks mostly to Gina's Skinny Recipes (click to open link). We had her light tuna noodle casserole last night and it was SO GOOD! The portions are HUGE and only about 300 something calories.

Last weekend I also went on a cleaning spree. Cleaned up most of the house. I LOVE having a clean house!! Got caught up on laundry and everything. So last night I threw a couple of loads in after I got home from the gym.

Did you read that? The GYM.

That's right, I went to the gym last night. I went to Group Ride. It was hard but awesome. I remembered why I liked it so much. I want to go again (maybe tomorrow morning? We will see).

I have nothing against the gym, but as I have mentioned before I have struggled with motivation since my exam in October. Basically waiting for the results had me super depressed. I know it shouldn't have, since there was nothing I could do about the results at that time. But even the thought of having to study again (and study even harder) made me want to burst into tears. This was about 12x worse than college or grad school. And I went to engineering school which is notoriously hard (we are talking homework 24/7). It was bad.

After I got the results, I still had a hard time with motivation. I was really hoping seeing Karla and going to Boston would snap me out of my funk. And I think it did!!! I am so relieved. Especially since Phil is really having to kick his research into high gear. I need to take over basically all of the household duties to make sure he can just work.


Saturday Phil will be in the lab ALL DAY (we are talking 7 in the morning to 7 at night) doing scientist stuff. MY GOAL is to get the house cleaned, laundry done, grocery shopping finished, and meals for the week prepared Saturday. That way Phil and I can just spend Sunday together.

I am pumped. So glad to be out of my lack-of-motiviation-itis.


Love, Mrs. Janney

PS- How awesome is this picture of my brother Nick, my dad, and me?

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