Thursday, December 17, 2009


For a while now, I'm been contemplating my next professional step in life. Quitting my job as a Medical Technologist to be a stay-at-home mom has been such a wonderful thing, but as my kids get older I know I'll eventually get back into the work force. Not that I'm in any hurry or anything, but I do miss the money, the adult company, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with a job well done. Being a good mom, after all doesn't really pay the bills, and doesn't come with any sick leave or vacation time.

Soooo, I have tried on several different "hats" along the way, selling stuff on eBay, etsy, and craft shows, volunteering as a cub scout leader, a drama club leader, classroom aid, etc... I've read books, explored Internet sites, and recently I checked out a book from the library about career choices. The most recent thing I stumbled across was the Myers Briggs personality test. For those of you not knowledgeable about it, it breaks down personality types into 16 different types, based on 4 "type preferences: (Introversion vs Extroversion) (Sensing vs iNtuition) (Thinking vs Feeling) (Judging vs Perceiving). I took this test and got the answer "ISFJ". Reading about this personality type has been very interesting! And guess what... one of the top vocations for ISFJ's is medical technology. Seems as though I did my homework well many years ago when I decided to pursue this career. I took the same test in college even further back, and haven't a clue as to what I got back then, but this time around it really pegs me well.

Among other things, research says ISFJ's have the desire to serve others and to need to be needed. Can you say "doormat"?

We're also very loyal. Chris was happy to hear this ;-). We're "methodical and accurate", with "very good memories and analytic abilities"... sounds like a "med tech" to me! Uncomfortable in supervisory roles, yes, notoriously bad at delegating, yes, and good with people in small groups and one on one, yes... Families are the center of their lives, and they have high work ethics., with a few close friends, yep, yep, yep. Good career matches are religious work (my dad would have loved that), nursing, medicine, clerical, shopkeeping and home making.

I don't know why I was surprised to find that the career I had previously picked is still a good match for me, but apparently it is. I do enjoy "med-teaching", but for a mother of young children, it was and still is almost incompatible with finding childcare. With a husband who fights fire and is on call several months out of the year, my 24/7/365 hospital schedule isn't exactly what we can do right now, but hopefully in the future I'll be able to get back to it. I guess I was hoping to figure out a job I can do at home that involves my hobbies and interests (sewing, being outdoors, blogging (LOL), photography). Maybe I still can, but for now I'm letting my hobbies be just that... hobbies... Other than the demanding schedule, the stress and hazards that come with med-teching, medical technology work is extremely satisfying, mentally challenging, well-paid, and in high demand. I almost never had to take work home with me, and working within a medical team to help patients just made me feel good! I have always loved science, and the physical nature of the job fit me too (no desks to sit behind... just the occasional microscope or computer screen).

The test and reading about ISFJ also gave me a lot of insight into why I do the things I do. I know I have to take it with a grain of salt, but all in all, it was a very enlightening exercise.

So what about you? What type are you?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Under the weather

I'm afraid I've been a bit under the weather lately. But I think I'm turning the corner. I've also been swamped with the usual Christmas hustle and bustle... getting cards done, presents made, and eBay packages, from recent sales sent out.

Speaking of weather, Pendleton got hit pretty hard with a winter storm over the week-end and first part of the week. I think we got 4-6 inches by the time it was all over, but then we got freezing rain that coated already slick surfaces with ice. What a mess! I learned that I need a drivable car ASAP! Today I bought chains for the Honda, and after Christmas (and my root canal), we're going to try to get the Subaru fixed, so I'll have 4-wheel drive again. I'm so glad I'm not having to get to a hospital job like I was previously in Oregon. Oh, and apparently Pendleton does not have a snow plow. Curious... They do have a truck that comes and spreads sand and rocks, but that's it!

Sooo.... I got all of our snow clothes out over the week-end, and thought I'd share with you my own weather indicator. It's my boots!

You see, the length goes up as the weather gets worse, and snow gets deeper. In Michigan, the first pair of boots only got worn in the Fall and Spring. The other 2 pairs were worn during the Winter, which was pretty much 6 months out of the year. I consider myself fortunate here to have only JUST dug these out this year. I'm not sure I'll wear my big black pair here in Pendleton, unless we go into the mountains. I use these for my snow shoes too. Today, I have on the middle pair, as there is still a lot of slush on the ground, but it's melting fast! There's just nothing worse than stepping gout of the car and having your shoes fill up with cold slush!

That said, here's some pictures of our recent winter wonderland. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Tamastslikt Cultural Institute

The first Friday of every month is free open admission at the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, just an exit off I-84, East of Pendleton, on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. I decided to go with the kids as soon as school was out last Friday to take advantage of this.

What an incredible place this is! The word "Tamastslikt", means "interpreter". In the 90 minutes or so that we spent there we learned so much about the native people of this region and their rich history. The museum is arranged in a circular path inside a large round part of the building, that tells the tale of the native people from 10,000 years ago, up until the present and future. It is beautifully done, and is a sensual treat to hear and see. There are no photos allowed to be taken, so you'll just have to come see it for yourself. It's an attraction here that should not be missed!

The kids were impressed by the speakers hidden throughout the museum that had recorded oral history stories from native people. There was also a lot of beautiful sounds of nature throughout the exhibits. Being the seamstress that I am, I was really impressed at the amazing robes and intricate beaded clothing and attire that were displayed throughout the museum, as well as some of the basketry weaving.

All of us were stunned at the brutality of much of the historical treatment of the native people as settlers came to their land. As a mother, the pictures and stories of their children being sent off to boarding schools was particularly disturbing. Seeing the exhibits and hearing the stories was a valuable lesson learned for all of us, and gave us new respect and concern for not only the native people of this area and other areas, but a renewed respect for how to treat and protect the land so that it protects us. Despite our collective histories, the story that continues is one of hope and co-operation.

The museum has an additional space for temporary exhibits as well as events and meeting held throughout the year. With such an incredible resource so close, I know I'll be returning soon!

La Grande and the Blue Mountains

This week-end, we once again got sick of unpacking, and headed to the mountains. This time we went a bit further on I-84, to La Grande, OR. This sleepy town is home of Eastern Oregon University, and is just over the pass from Pendleton. I say it's sleepy, because we went on a Sunday, and there was hardly anything open, including a very alluring brew pub, Mt Emily Ale House. But we did drive by the University, as well as the downtown area.

After lunch, we headed back into the Blue Mountains to find some snow, explore, find a spot to take a family picture, get Biko and the kids some exercise, and yes, Chris did a bit of elk scouting...

It certainly is a lot different that Southern Oregon, even Eastern Southern Oregon, where I lived for a brief 12 weeks many many years ago. But it's beautiful, and full of new places, and things to see.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanks for the award!

I just wanted to thank my friend, Laura for passing along the "Honest Scrap" Blogging Award to me! It is awarded to bloggers for their honesty, and asks that the award recipient (moi) pass it along to 5 other honest bloggers, link back the the award giver (I JUST figured out how to do out...), post it in a blog, and to disclose 5 honest things about myself. Whew! I'll try my best...

I must admit that this feels a bit like a chain letter, which leads me to personal fact 1. I don't ever respond to chain letters, and rarely ever forward any email that has been forwarded to me. Sorry to all of the friends who have sent me these....

But I feel incredibly honored that Laura sent this my way. So I'll pass this along to a few folks. Since I am very new to blogging (thanks mostly to Laura), I only know of a handfull of blogs, but I'll try to come up with 5....

I just have to send it to Dan, Laura's husband, who is yes, honest. For my own intentions, though, I'd love to get some "dish" on him (pun intended). His blog, "Wooing with Food" has some mighty fine recipes, and maybe this will motivate him to post some more (hint hint).

I love reading about my "cyber friend", Beth, whom I "met" on an on-line quilting group. I started reading her blog when she was living in South Africa for a month. Her photos are incredible!

She has a link on her blog to another blog site I've been enjoying also: 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Filler Designs, by Leah Day. She is a young quilter who is incredibly talented. I can't wait to try some of her design ideas, once I get my sewing machine going again.

And talk about honest... My old high school friend, Robin, whom I discovered recently on Face book (or did she discover me?), has a blog too, "Do You Know What Causes That". It's been fun catching up with her after many many years. She's a Pregnancy Childbirth Educator, author, and mom x 8 (or 9 if you count her husband... I always count mine ;-)).

Laura also has a link on her blog, to this blog, that I really enjoy, "Eat, Think, Drink" It has some incredible recipes, as well as (honest) restaurant critiques, mostly in the Portland, OR area.

Whew! Now the easy part.... 4 more honest things about me:

2. I know how to play the piano. But I have extreme stage fright. Being as the piano is a solo instrument, it isn't exactly the best fit, but at one time I was quite good at it. In fact I was the only non-music major (at the time) to be personally selected by the head of the music department at my college to be a student of hers. She was incredible, and said I had a gift that MUST be shared with others, but all I know is that I literally got physically ill and couldn't keep food down for a week or more before all of my recitals. I LOVE music, but HATE performing, even for members of my own family!

3. I know a lot about Tourette Syndrome, because I have a son with this neurological "disorder". This has consumed my life at times, in fact the additional anxiety "disorder" that sometimes consumes him, has also, consumed our entire family in ways that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. It has taught us much though, not only about TS and other neurological "differences", but how to find help, how to put things into perspective, how to be humble and sympathetic, not judge others, and how to help others with similar neurological differences, such as ADHD or OCD, simply by accepting them.

4. I can't smell. Yep, it's true. You probably won't ever find me blogging about food, because I have never been able to differentiate tarragon from parsley, or pumpkin from acorn squash, or tuna sushi from salmon sushi. Luckily, my taste buds still work, and for me, cooking is still a pleasure because I love to create things that nourish my family and friends. I'm a good cook, but I'm not too adventurous, and textures are a really big thing for me. And those 4 (or is it 5 now?) "tastes" really define what I like. I like things REALLY bitter (IPA, coffee, tea, dark chocolate), sour (I eat whole lemons by themselves), salty (I even put salt on watermelon), and sweet (especially "fatty" sweet... can you say ice cream?). I also like things spicy hot because I can taste it, and feel it (cayenne, wasabi). I must admit though, that at times (like when I worked in a hospital) my lack of smell has been an asset. I also will never judge a person by their BO or bad breath (or, ahem, flatulence). I'm sometimes shocked when I find out by word of mouth about these folks "characteristics", because I have never experienced someone's personal "smell".

5. Many of you know this, but I have a twin brother, and for the record, I have never felt things he feels, had any ESP, or any other "twin" experiences, other than having had the same friends, teachers, experiences (birthdays, learning to drive, going to various school functions, college, etc..)at the same time. And probably my biggest pet peeve is when people ask us if we're identical, AFTER I tell them he's my BROTHER. It is kind of neat being a twin though!

Whew! I never knew getting an award could be so difficult! LOL! Thanks again to Laura.