Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This is a Man's World

Tegan posted this video on facebook this morning, so I thought I would take 15 minutes for "professional development" and watch it. I thought it was very good and had some great points.

Being a woman in a male-dominated field most of the time sucks. I am not even going to mince words about it. If I had known how challenging engineering was going to be mostly because I am a woman, I don't know if I would have picked it as a career. Don't get me wrong, I love engineering. I find it interesting to know how the things work and I love being able to understand things. But it is hard being a woman. Here are a few things I have noticed:

1. Men don't shake your hands. They will say hello to you and shake the hands of every man in the room, but they will not shake yours. They almost do like a smile and nod. This tends to make me feel like I am in the room merely as a decoration (which I am because I am pretty :) ) and to take notes. While I may take notes for my mental purposes, I am not the note taker. I have started to remedy the handshake issue by assertively sticking my hand out there so they are forced to shake it.

Half of the time, they give me a soft hand shake. And don't even get me started on the soft hand shake. It is creepy. I liken it to having a stranger whisper to you. I am not a petite flower. I am not saying you have to crush my hand, but I promise your hand shake won't break my hand.

2. Some male engineers won't even look at you. I was at a meeting with a city engineer and the other engineer in my office (a man) discussing a stormwater system that I designed. The other engineer from my office helped with the design, but the issue being discussed at that time was as aspect of the design I had done. The city engineer WOULD NOT LOOK AT ME. I would say something and he would answer back to the other engineer. This was mildly infuriating. And when I say mildly, I mean extremely. The city engineer wasn't even an old guy. You kind of expect that kind of thing from a white-haired engineer (who most likely didn't have a single woman in their engineering class), but not from a guy in his 30s. I still haven't figured out how to remedy that one.

3. When I state my opinion, I am considered a mean person. One might even say a "witch" but change the "w" to a "b". Now, a man states his opinion and he is professional. But I am bossy. Now I am very aware that in the past, I have had my "witch with a b" moments. For to the most part in the last couple of years, I have mellowed. And I should be allowed to state my professional opinion without being considered a female dog (if you catch my drift). To remedy this, I am currently working on what I like to call, "The Stroke and Slap" method of delivery. I got the idea from Phil's cousin Cathy who mentioned that in the South, you can basically insult someone as long as you include "Bless her heart" in part of the sentence. For example, "She smells so bad, bless her heart." Think about it... It works.

Those are just some thoughts I have on being a female engineer. The video is just under 15 minutes long, but if you are or someone you know is a woman, trying to earn her way up the professional ladder, it is definitely worth the watch.

Girl Power!

Love, Mrs. Janney

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

One of those days...

This week has been weird for me and I am definitely surprised by that because I was actually looking forward to some stuff this week. I think I need a good healthy attitude adjustment. Or a hormone adjustment. Feel like I could burst into tears constantly if I am being completely honest.

Evidence of how my day is going:

Nothing like dropping chocolate on my calculations. Man I am SO professional. Thankfully they were just the rough ones, not the final calcs.

Thought I would share some randomness with this post since I really have nothing to share.

Is this not a normal way to transport a bottle of wine? Cup holder... Bottle holder... It is multi-purpose. One more reason to love the Toyota Camry. They seriously should add that to the amentities list. (it took my 4 tries to type add. Kept coming out as "ass".)

I didn't want to grow any food this year because we don't have a fenced in back yard and our neighbors think it is fun to let their dogs run around and pee of stuff.  Then a couple of weeks ago at the farmer's market, I saw this herb hanger for sale from the cutest old man.  So, I am trying my hand at growing herbs. So far, I haven't managed to kill these. Give me another week. I am sure they will be goners soon.

Ok I am done for now.

Love, Mrs. Janney

PS - hard to come up with something to be thankful for when I am in the midst of throwing myself a pity party. Maybe it will help jump start my attitude adjustment.

I am thankful for the Pastors at our church who took the time to call us last night to ask about Phil's dad. Thank you Pastor Don (like he reads this). Just one more reason why I love Our Savior's Lutheran Church.

I am thankful for doctors. Even though test results might take time and sometimes they don't respond as quickly as I would like, I am thankful to live in a place where the technology and expertise is accessible.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tommy Emmanuel

For our first anniversary, I got Phil concert tickets.  I was super proud of myself because the traditional first anniversary gift is paper.  What on earth was I going to get Phil that was paper that he would be excited about?  Not to mention that I think Phil is really hard to buy for.  He likes guitars and fly fishing.  I know nothing about either of those.  So anyway, I was pretty proud of myself when I figured out concert tickets.

So I got him tickets to 2 shows.  The first was Tommy Emmanuel.  He was playing at the Elsinore Theater in Salem which was perfect.  It was really nice to not have to drive an hour for the concert.  And I hadn't been to the Elsinore since about the third grade.

I hadn't heard of Tommy Emmanuel when I bought the tickets, but I knew he was a guitar player.  I love Phil so much that I would endure listening to anything for his happiness (for a maximum of 2 hours).  So I bought the tickets.  After I bought the tickets, I googled him. 

I found this:

After I heard that, even I was super excited to go.  I was even more jazzed about my gift for Phil.  I had a hard time keeping it a secret from him.

The concert was last night and it was SO GOOD!!  Loved the songs.  He is quite entertaining.  The concert was almost two and a half hours and it flew by.  I think that is a mark of a entertaining show.

I think Phil liked the first concert.  The next concert I got him tickets for is Carbon Leaf in September.  I am pretty excited about that one too.

Love, Mrs. Janney

PS - I have been feeling pretty down lately.  There have been a few things going on that have me seeing the glass half empty.  I struggle with pessimisn a lot and it is something I would like to change about myself.  Therefore, I am going to start stating at least one thing I am thankful for each day (or at least the day of the blog post).

Today... I am thankful that Trader Joe's is finally open.  And I am also thankful that my dad took me there already today.

And I am thankful I got to see Tommy Emmanuel play live last night with my honey. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cute Little Man

This is an old story.  I may or may not have already put it on my blog.  I briefly looked back over old posts to see if I had and I couldn't find anything.  It is TOO CUTE and I had to share it.

So my family LOVES the Oregon State Fair.  We have gone every single year.  I think my dad has gone every year of his life.  The last couple of years, we have organized it such that my entire family all goes together.  This is pretty fun because of the little boys.

This year, David was tall enough to go on rides, but some rides, he needed to be accompanied by an adult.  I was elected to go with him.

David at the State Fair

The boys all wanted to go on the tiger roller coaster thing, so David and I got in line and got our seats.  I thought to myself, "This could either be really good or really bad."  What if he got totally freaked out at the beginning of the ride and then I had this screaming kid freaking out for the next minute and a half.

So we are in our seats, I lowered the bar over our laps and said to David, "Here we go!"

David turned back to me and said, "Are you ready?"

I almost died.  It was the cutest thing EVER!!  He LOVED the rollercoaster and I even got him to let go of the bar and put his hands up during the ride.

This year, he will be big enough to go on the rides without me.  It will still be fun to watch.  :)

Love, Mrs. Janney

David like the caterpiller Phil found (just as long as he didn't have to touch it)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Holy Guacamole!

Ok, so this guac isn't sacred in any way. But it rhymed, so I went with it.

I make some pretty darn tasty guacamole (if I do say so myself). Whenever I make it, it seems to go pretty quickly. In fact, at the Super Bowl get-together we had this year, it was GONE before the end of the game.

So I thought I would share this yummy recipe. Because avocados are super good for you.

Guacamole Recipe

3 ripe avocados, mashed
1 roma tomato, chopped (I use the mini food-prep machine)
1/2 to 1 TBSP cilantro, chopped (that's coriander for you British folk)
1/4 onion chopped (I use the mini food-prep machine)
pinch of salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large lime, juiced (or 2 smaller limes)

Just prep and mix together. The lime juice helps keep the avocado from browning.

I recommend serving them with Juanita's Tortilla Chips because they are the best EVER!!
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I read all of these fabulous blogs and they all have links to bloglovin' so I thought I would check it out and register my blog with them.  Might bring in some new readers.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I work at the circus

We are always thinking at Multi/Tech.

What will set us apart?

Here's an idea:

A popcorn machine!!

That is a full-on popcorn machine in my office.  (Don't mind the mess, we are in the middle of scanning some files.)  We didn't buy the machine.  One of our employees was given the machine for free and he decided to bring it into the office.  I am not sure if maybe his wife wanted him to get out of the way or what, but we have it now.  It was in the plan assembly room, but another employee got frustrated when it was in his way, so I had him move it to my office.

Now, if you come in at the right time, we will offer you water, coffee, and popcorn at our meetings. 

Just like Les Schwab.

I think it is proof that I now officially work at a circus.

Love, Mrs. Janney

Monday, June 13, 2011

You don't see this every day...

To celebrate our first anniversary, Phil and I went to Salish Lodge at Snoqualmie Falls in Washington.  We left early in the morning, had breakfast in Portland and then headed north.  There were a ton of people riding motorcycles that weekend.  I think it is because it was one of the first nice weekends, but who knows.  There could have been a convention or something for all I know.  But I digress...

All of a sudden, I look over in the other lane and notice this guy:

This doesn't look like anything strange, until you look a little closer...

In case you were wondering, that is a small dog in that motorcycle guy's lap.  And the dog is wearing goggles and a helmet.

And every few minutes, the motorcycle guy would use that free gloved hand to gently rub the dog's chin.

He's looking at me!

Just thought I would share that experience.

Love, Mrs. Janney

Livers are Important... Prayers Requested (Part 3)

Ed had another scan done this morning and the news wasn't the greatest.

They found another tumor, maybe 3.

His case goes before the Tumor Board at his treating hospital on Friday and we will hear what they think on Monday.

I am requesting prayers for the following things:

-  Comfort for Ed, Faith, and Phil as they cope with this less than stellar news.
-  Knowledge and guidance for the tumor board as they meet and determine the best treatment path.
-  And healing for Ed and his body (obviously).

We still don't know the details of the scan.  The radiologist (who isn't my favorite) only looked at the liver scans before he met with Ed and Faith this morning.  We don't know if the cancer has spread, which is one of the main things I am worried about.

Thank you for your prayers and support.  I think every prayer helps.

Love, Mrs. Janney

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I am funny

Have you noticed those people on street corners holding advertising signs? 

I think it started with "Little Ceasars" have other people thought it was a great idea.  Round Table Pizza does it.  I have seen Tax Prep places do it.

The one that I really don't understand are the people that hold up mattress store signs.  The Pizza sign one makes sense.  You are driving home from work, tired, and wondering what you are going to do for dinner.  You see the person (who often looks like they haven't bathed in a week) dancing like an idiot with a sign saying they have pizzas already made, nice and hot and for only $5.  You pull in, pay $5 and you are on your way home within a couple of minutes.

But that logic doesn't hold true with a mattress store.  You are sitting a stop light one day when you notice out of the corner of your eye, a person waving around a sign promoting the mattress store down the street and think to yourself, "Hey!!  I could use a new mattress!!  Thank heaven for that sign."  Yeah no.  Mattress aren't exactly impulse buys.

So I thought that joke was pretty funny.  I told Phil when I become a professional stand-up comedian, that joke was definitely going in my act.  He thought I was pretty funny.  Then he informed me the other day that he heard the same joke on the radio by an already legit comedian.  He stole my joke!

But Phil said I should feel pretty good about myself and legit because an actual comedian used my joke.

So I think I am officially funny.

Love, Mrs. Janney

(Yeah... none you probably agree with that)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Unhelpful Suggestions

As mentioned earlier, I have been working on retaining walls for a few days.  A couple of days ago (when the wall parameters were really strict), my dad came up to me and was telling me about some of the information my father-in-law gave him when they were visiting a couple of weeks ago.

Apparantly, my father-in-law told my dad about how they used to use MathCAD for completing calculations (like retaining walls).  He kind of suggested we look into such a program for our design.

Let me just say that retaining wall calculations, while confusing and long aren't impossible to do by hand or in Excel.  And MathCAD costs LOTS of $$$$.  And we are in a recession, with shrinking staff.  Why on earth would we spend lots of money on a program we DON'T need?

My in-laws do this ALL THE TIME!  You don't ask for their opinions, but they tell you anyway. 

My mother-in-law has done it before with when we should have children.  I dare her to give me her opinion on that again.  I'd love to give her my opinion on her opinion.  :)

Love, Mrs. Janney

Friday, June 10, 2011


I didn't watch this show when it was on television originally, but it was suggested to me by Hulu.  On my lunch breaks at work, I like to watch old television shows.  I usually watch current shows that I missed on television.  Usually, I watch shows that Phil HATES (i.e. 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, etc.).  But when I am caught up on those, I watch old shows.

So I started watching "Commander In Chief" and I LOVE IT!!!

I am so bummed there are only 18 episodes.  I know it has been off the air for a couple of years, but can't they bring it back?

In addition to loving the show, it makes me want to run for president.  I always wanted to do that when I was little.  Pretty sure that won't happen.  I have a hard time with people liking me, so there is no way I could win any kind of election.




It has a certain ring to it.

Love, Mrs. Janney

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Nerd Speak

I have been working on a retaining wall design off and on for a few days.  I am starting with the worst-case scenario for the design and then I will adjust the design for shorter wall sections.  My design parameters were tough:  the wall is tall, the backslope is high, the interface angle is ok.

The reason the design is taking so long is because it is hard to achieve the neccessary safety factors.  Not to mention, the wall has batter built into it, so the geometry of it is confusing to me (when things are tilted, I get slower).

Yesterday, I did calculations for the wall probably 6 times.  I finally got the overturning to work, but then I could not get the sliding to work.

I was about to throw in the towel when my dad came in today and said that the backslope can be altered to be practically flat.  Will that work? he asked.  Well, yeah!  That is a completely different wall.

Now I am starting over from scratch.

But this time, the tilt in the geometry is no longer confusing and I have a much better handle on the equations.


Sorry that was so nerd-filled.

I love doing hand calculations.  :)  Seriously.

Love, Mrs. Janney

Sunday, June 5, 2011

1 Year Anniversary

[WARNING: Sappy, Sentimental Post]

I will confess, I actually wrote this post a few days ago.  Obviously I am not spending my anniversary on the internet.  I am spending it with MY HUSBAND.  :)  If things work out the way we have it planned, we will be in Portland having breakfast or on our way north when this posts.

I will recap after we get back.

I honestly can't believe our wedding was a year ago.  In a way, it feels like it was just yesterday.  But in a lot of other ways, it feels like we have been married for longer than a year.

Our wedding day was perfect.  Even though I was crazy nervous/anxious and we were so busy we couldn't fully enjoy it, I know the day went off without a hitch.  The weather even cooperated.  The entire week before the wedding, it rained like crazy.  But on our wedding day, it was mid to low 70's and sunny.  It was wonderful because people were able to hang out on the deck of the winery at the reception and enjoy the view.

This past year has been full of craziness:

- Baby Shower
- Painting the duplex
- Watching Braxton be born
- Phil's Prelims
- Ed's Liver Cancer
- The PE Exam
- Thanksgiving in Georgia
- Christmas in Virginia
- Karla's Wedding in Boston
- Phil's Parents Visiting
- Getting ready for Tegan's Wedding/Wedding Festivities
- Owning a business in a horrible economy

And many more I can't think of at the moment.  Through all of that, the one thing that never been difficult is being married to Phil.  I honestly think he is a saint.  I am not easy to put up with, I realize this.  He not only puts up with me, but loves me and supports me in every crazy idea I come up with.

This year has been the most challenging year of my young life.  We have faced challenges together I didn't think we would have to face for a LONG time.  And I know there are many more challenges in store for us.  But I can't think of a better person to face those challenges with.

I love you, Phil!  Thank you for asking me to marry you.  Happy Anniversary!!  I hope you life your paper gift.

Love, Mrs. Janney

PS - Sorry for the mushy post.  At least I warned you :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Guess what my dad said?

We were on our way to a meeting in Albany today, discussing when my oldest brother will get married.  I told my dad I was accepting the idea that my brother will get married in like 10 years to a 22 year old woman.  I will have a sister-in-law that is like 15 years younger than me.  Currently, she is 12 but whatever.

So that caused my dad to ask the following question, which I found hilarious:

"If an older woman with a younger guy is called a Cougar, is a younger woman with an older man called a Cub?"

I think he is on to something.

He is funny.  Love that guy.

Love, Mrs. Janney

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Laundry Soap

I am a reality show junky.  I don't watch all of it.  I can only take one show based out of New Jersey.  I can only watch a show about the Kardashians when I am in just the right mood (which isn't often).  And I don't like the Bachelorette, but I love the Bachelor.

LOVE Big Brother.  Seriously.  I think it is the best part of Summer.  The year of the writer's strike, they had 2 season of Big Brother in one year and I LOVED IT.

And I pretty much love any show on TLC which involves large families:  Quints by Surprise, Sister Wives (man that show is fascinating), 17/18/19 Kids and Counting.

So I was listening to an old episode of 17 Kids and Counting and they were discussing how they save money with such a large family.  I took notes because I am CHEAP.  And Phil and I have some large purchases in our future I think (i.e. cars since both of our are getting up there in age/miles).

So of the things, I already do like shopping at thrift stores.  I haven't gone thrifting yet because I haven't had time, but I have been shopping clearance.  Tegan and I have been shopping clearance racks for a while.  I got some pretty good deals at Old Navy a few weeks ago.  I will talk about those in another post.

But another thing they mentioned was making their own laundry soap.  They went through it on the show and it looked super easy.  AND it was super cheap.  Basically it will work out to being $2 for 640 loads of laundry.  It won't save us a TON of money, but I think it will add up. 

We just bought some laundry soap on sale a few weeks ago, so we won't be needing to making any laundry soap for a while.  But I am going to start looking for the supplies so that we can make it probably in a month or so.

I am guessing I will have a little more soap than Phil and I will need in like a year.  So if anyone is interested in trying some of the laundry soap after I make it, I will sell you some.  For the cost of the soap (aka 20 cents a gallon which is about 64 loads).

Love, Mrs. Janney

Lyme Disease

From another blog I read, I found out about a documentary on Netflix called Under Our Skin.  It is a documentary about Lyme Disease and the medical controversy involved in diagnosing and treating Lyme Disease.

The documentary shows people with signifcant Lyme Disease and related issues.  These people can hardly walk, some can barely feed themselves.  They talked about how people with severe, untreated Lyme Disease can develope Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.  One woman who didn't know she had Lyme Disease while she was pregnant ended up having a baby with brain damage.

These people go YEARS without knowing they are infected with Lyme Disease.  Only 80% of people develop the "bullseye" rash when first infected with Lyme Disease.  Without the rash, Lyme Disease is mostly diagnosed through a process of elimination.  The tests for Lyme Disease aren't super accurate unless you have REALLY high bacterial loads.  Not to mention, there seems to be a battle going on between doctors about Lyme Disease and insurance companies don't want to pay for extended Lyme Disease treatment.

It has been just over 2 years since I got Lyme Disease.  Thanks to me ridiculously fair and sensetive skin, I developed the bullseye rash (even though it was hard to see because I had 2 bite marks).  In addition to the rash, I got the sickest I have ever gotten in my entire life.  Fever, chills, horrible headache, vomiting.  I thought I was dying.  Plus, I wasn't sleeping.  Even though I was completely exhausted, I would wake up every few hours at night and not be able to go back to sleep.

I went to Urgent Care a couple of days after the rash started.  The doctor told me I had a bacterial infection and prescribed Doxycycline.  Four days later, I was trying on wedding dresses with my mom and Joanna and the rash was unbearable.  I went back to Urgent Care and was diagnosed with Lyme Disease.  Thankfully, the first doctor had put me on the correct medication for Lyme Disease so I was all set.

I still can't sleep through the night.  Sometimes I can sleep well, but not real often.  And I have some light sensetivity that didn't used to be there.  Other than that, I am extremely lucky. 

I am so thankful for that painfal rash.  I am so thankful for those doctors at Urgent Care.  My primary doctor still doesn't believe I actually had Lyme Disease, but he seems to be coming around.  Thankfully, he was in Europe at the time so I had to go see Urgent Care.

My doctor said they don't spend much time on Lyme Disease in medical school (or at least they didn't when he was in school).  I hope that has changed.

I am just over the moon that mine was caught early.

Love, Mrs. Janney

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Livers are Important... Prayers Requested (Part 2)

So I first wrote about my Father-in-Law and his Liver Cancer HERE.  He has had another scan since then and the news was good, but not great.  The spot chemo on his liver tumor was successful.  The tumor looks complete dead.  So as of that last scan (in March), his liver is tumor free.  Great news!  Also, there were a bunch of spots on the scan that they weren't sure if they were tumors or just residual chemo.  This last scan didn't sure the spots, so they are pretty sure they weren't tumors.  More great news!  However, they did find a spot on one of his kidneys that they are a little concerned about, so they are keeping on eye on it.  Not so great news.

The problem is that I guess Liver Cancer is really only cured with a Liver transplant.  And if the cancer spreads to outside of the liver, Ed won't be a great candidate for a transplant.  Apparantly he already isn't a great candidate because of the way his liver ruptured (or something like that.  I am not clear on the specifics). 

If he doesn't qualify for a transplant, they will treat the tumors as they come with the spot-chemo method they used last time until it doesn't work anymore.  And that could work for a really long time.  Hopefully Ed's cancer is super slow growing and so if he couldn't get a transplant, he wouldn't have any new tumors for a while.

So... Ed's next scan is scheduled for June 13th.  Obviously the scan will show what as already happened.  But I am asking for prayers for Ed, Faith and Phil for this next scan.  I am hoping for some super great news. 

Thank you for all of your prayers!  This is definitely not something I envisioned Phil and I would be dealing with so early in our marriage.  All your support means a lot to me.

Love, Mrs. Janney

I just thought this post needed a picture.  I can't remember where I got it from.
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