Fortune Cookies

Fortune Cookies

Collection of our Chinese Food excursions. Wonder what it will be today?

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Whoa!

Whoa!

FL thunderstorms and lightening are frightening. Last night we experienced it first had as a bolt of lightening and ginormous clap of thunder hit at the same time plunging us into darkness. After we picked ourselves up off the floor, changed our pants (lol) we discovered our entire block was out. Jon found the top of the Street light across the street in our yard, gigantic pieces of glass from the globe everywhere and the post base basically shattered with blocks of concrete blown into the street! The transformer next door was mushroomed with oil seeping  out. So here we were at midnight standing in the rain with no lights, no a.c. drinking an evening libation with our neighbors and mulling over the power of that storm. Who ever said life is boring?

Launch Day!

Launch Day!

It’s been a dream of mine forever to see a space launch. So on Sunday we were planning to go to Cape Canaveral to watch the Space X launch. What a perfect way to end our anniversary/birthday celebration week! Due to mechanical issues it got scrubbed from Sunday to Wednesday. Plan B kicked into place and on Wednesday we packed up the car with our chairs, snacks, drinks, and the 4 of us. Off we headed to our adventure- Disney Springs first for lunch, over to Cocoa Beach and Rn Jon and the launch at 6:34. It rained, and cleared, and rained and cleared and as the sun came out on the beach and we stood their with our binoculars and cameras…. it got scrubbed with 30 sec. Left in the countdown!  Dang! But, we had a blast anyway. So a space launch is still on our FL to do list! 

Looking for a little something extra?

Looking for a little something extra?

A while back I was looking into various ways to bring just a little bit of extra income into our household.  Considering the fact that Jon was getting ready to “retire” out of an organized congregation but still active in our mission work and Waterside Community I really wanted something that I could do whenever and wherever.  I tried on-line juries, but nothing ever really came of them.  Then I ran across something called usability testing.  If you aren’t familiar with what usability testing is it is a way that companies will see how easy something is to use by testing it with real users.  As part of a panel I will receive a test with screener questions.  If I qualify to accept the test I will be asked to complete tasks either on my computer, laptop, phone or tablet all while speaking my thoughts out loud.  Sometimes it may be a live test but most of the time it is a test that will then be uploaded and reviewed by the researcher.  The purpose is to see where I as a tester may have encountered problems, experience confusion, how easy or difficult the site was to use, etc.

I love being part of a panel of testers.  I will admit I’m not going to get rich doing this but it does bring a little bit of extra “pin” money into our household and gives me a chance to try out some new website prototypes.  I’ve run across some very interesting websites through my testing!

So, which usability sites do I use?  For the past several years I’ve mainly used UserTesting.  Not too long ago I signed up for Intellizoom.  Just recently I’ve become a tester for Userfeel and Userlytics.  I either receive an e-mail inviting me to do a screener test or I keep my eye on the website during the day to see what tests are being offered.

So if you’re looking for a little bit something extra on your own free time, whenever and wherever I’d invite you to check these out!

Ancestry

Ancestry

 

Thoughts of my immigrant ancestors have been running through my mind lately, especially with everything that is going on in our country at this time.  I think about my Irish ancestors and how when I was growing up it wasn’t a good thing to be a descendant of someone from Ireland. My great grandfather was from Ireland and it was just something my Grandma didn’t talk about.  We all knew that we were Scotch/Irish on my dad’s side and English on my mom’s.  But to get my Grandma to really talk about the immigration of her family to the United States was a road we just didn’t go down. I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland that was heavily Eastern European.  I knew more about Hungarian or Polish food and culture than I did my own culture.  Cleveland is a melting pot and it was embraced by the people living there.  It wasn’t until we were living in Wisconsin and almost 100% of our church was from Norway that I learned the importance of really knowing where you come from and how to embrace it.  The pride in their heritage and the ethnicity was incredible.  It was something that was celebrated and lived everyday.  Not something to be ashamed of as I felt as a part Irish lass.  I became more aware of my heritage and wanted to know more.  When our son had the opportunity to study in Ireland we were so excited to visit the country where my Great-Grandfather came from.  I started digging into what I could find out about my Grandma’s family, which was a very difficult task when the particulars of births, deaths, date of immigration were unknown.  It was at that time that I regretted and wished I had pressed my Grandma more to find out more about her family.  I wish we had learned to celebrate our heritage as the people of our church did.  But, it was too late as my Grandma was no longer with us and all those memories and information were never discovered. I am saddened that she was embarrassed to talk about being Irish.

We live in a country that was built on immigrants.  If it weren’t for my great grandparents on both side coming to the US or Canada (my Scottish grands immigrated to PEI) I wouldn’t be here today. We have the opportunity to embrace and learn about so many different cultures that make us who we all are.  Each one different, but the same in some way. So I guess my bottom line is that we should all be proud of where we come from. Don’t be ashamed or intimidated by the “go back where you came from”.  Well, wait a minute!  I did kind of go back to where I came from when I visited Ireland and I’m so grateful and thankful that I’ve had that chance not once but several times.  It’s the homeland where I instantly felt a connection.  . So, I guess maybe we could take the “go back where you came from” and turn it into a positive phrase by ignoring the hateful meaning behind it and turning it into a time to really discover where we came from and who we really are!

We Did It!

We Did It!

 

This past Friday we got our 3rd 5K under our belt by finishing the Star Wars Rival Run at Epcot!  Now, for some, running a 5K may not be any big deal.  But for us, at least me, it is a pretty big deal considering that I was never a runner and really still don’t consider myself a runner (my best time was 41 minutes in the ArtFest run in February).  But, we consider this a real accomplishment!  The run on Friday has been highly anticipated since we registered back in 2018.  One of my dreams has been to do a RunDisney and being big Star Wars fans this sounded like just the perfect one for us.

So onto the race- the big weekend started out Thursday when we headed up to Orlando.  It was the day to pick up our Race Bib, t-shirt, check out the health and fitness expo and call it an early night as we had a 3:00 am wake up call.  Of course, I was up before the alarm, we donned our race clothes and were in the Epcot parking lot by 3:45.  We weren’t the first to arrive that early.  Anticipation and excitement was growing.  There were tons of folks in costumes from both the Light Side and the Dark Side ( I think the Dark Side won!) Photo ops with characters were available and soon we were headed to the start corral.  But, wait… we still had over an hour before race time.  Soon.. 5:28 on my watch- almost time to get going, stretching muscles, trying to stay moving in the morning chill and then…. “Runners, due to inclement weather the start of the race has been delayed.  We are evacuating the start corrals.  Please follow the instructions of the volunteers and we will get this race underway as soon as possible. Your safety in first and foremost important”.  Now, for anyone that lives in FL. you know that lightning can strike up to 10 miles from the core of the storm.  The storm was situated just north of Orlando.  Off we went to buses to wait it out.  The rain came, in droves, lightened up a bit, then came in droves again.  At 7:00 we received the all clear to continue the race.  Back we went to the start corral and we were off- all 14,000 runners in the pouring rain, through puddles or small lakes, through Epcot, around the World Showcase, rain still pouring down, tons of volunteers cheering us on, and on to the finish line!  It was amazing!  It was a blast!  It was exhilarating as we heard Star Wars music blasting throughout the park, Storm troppers, Ewoks, Darth Vader, The resistance everywhere!  And for anyone that knows me and how much I really detest being out in the rain- this was an uber accomplishment to complete the race!  We were soaked, but happy at the end!  Woo Hoo!

The Force Was With Us!