Redneck's Wife
Friday, March 25, 2005
  Energy is a good thing
I feel like I have some of my energy back, finally. I've also been feeling less sick (not at all today or yesterday!), and less picky about what I eat, like not wanting to throw up when I smell broccoli. It's really nice, although I don't want to get too excited, or too used to it, because I know it may not last. Also, I have to remember not to overdo it.

I've been really enjoying working in the yard, but digging holes, pulling weeds and planting things is pretty hard work for a pregnant lady. I can really wear myself out, and then I feel like crap for a couple of days. So, yeah, gotta stop doing that.

Tonight I spread some fertilizer and planted lettuce, tomatillos, basil and parsely in the back yard. And I'm feeling okay after having done all that. Hope it all grows, it'll be nice to be eating fresh salads and herbs this summer. We shall see. Now, time to relax, watch the Simpsons DVD from Netflix, and have some dinner.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
  A great week at work
I haven't really written that much about my job, I guess because it's not very exciting, just something I do to pay the bills. Not to say it's not a good job, it pays pretty well and I like my boss and coworkers. But it's, well, nothing to blog home about.

But this week has been different. When I went to Georgia this summer, it was for a training class for what I'm doing right now. It's a concept called Kaizen, and it works like this: You take a group of people from different departments and they spend a week dedicated to improving and streamlining a process. Everything that needs to be done is done within that week, and you try to put the new process in place by the end of the week. It's most often used in Manufacturing, but we're doing it with business processes.

In Georgia, we worked on improving a company's shipping department, and by the end of the week we had a process in place that would save the company about $100,000 a year. It took working about 12 hours a day and lots of gathering of information, and also cooperation from the upper management, but we were able to get it done. What's really great is that the group of people that I spent a week with in Georgia are the same people I'm working with now. We have an interesting mix of people: an engineer, a shipping manager, a complaint handler, someone from HR, a quality assurance person, and a tech writer (that would be me). We worked really well together during the week in Georgia. I went on vacation right after the training, and I kind of missed the team. That sounds weird, but it was just so great to work together and accomplish something, and be totally immersed in it.

So this week, I've been in a conference room for 8 or so hours a day, working on improving our material destruction process. Sometimes our plant has too much of something, or something is obsolete, or something is contaminated. So we have to get rid of it. The previous process would often require 5 people to sign off on destroying material that has zero value. Even stuff that was only worth a few dollars was still getting signatures from 5-6 people, some of them in upper management. So we worked on reducing the number of signatures, and making it easier to just get rid of this stuff, not tying up people's time walking around getting signatures. Basically cutting the red tape.

We definitely had some spirited discussions, but we came up with a new process that's much better and makes a lot more sense. Usually, my day consists of sitting in a cubicle, writing or editing manuals. This week, I was working with a group of people, sharing ideas, solving problems, joking around, eating together...
Well, it was really great. We have two more of these events this year, and I'm really looking forward to them. This might be my last year in the corporate world, at least for a while, so I'm glad I get to do these projects.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
  I can't beleive they're going to kill her!
Yes, I'm talking about Terri Schiavo. Is this horrifying, or what? I really don't care what political side you're on, how is it okay to deny food and water to someone when there are people who want her to live and want to take care of her? And there is no written record of her saying she wants this to happen?

I know that letting someone die from dehydration and starvation is legal (under certain circumstances), because I have witnessed someone die in exactly this way twice. But that doesn't mean it's pleasant.

My Grandpa had a stroke and was no longer able to swallow. He left a living will stating that he did not want to be resusitated if he was in a state like that. So we all sat by his bedside for a week or so as he progressively got weaker and eventually died. It was awful, and very painful to watch. But we did it, because he said in advance that he wanted it that way.

My Grandma was a little different. She had a seizure and was hospitalized, but she was still able to talk and walk around afterwards. She had some dementia, but she was mostly coherent. However, she decided that she was done living. She had never been happy since my Grandpa died, and she just felt like she had outlived her time here. We didn't agree with that, but she was adamant. She made the decision to stop eating and drinking. So for a couple of weeks, we sat by her bedside and tried to make her as comfortable as possible. We brushed her hair, talked to her, and played some of her favorite music. She died slowly, and it was horrifying to watch. I would not have chosen this for her, but I had no say in the matter. She would moan and sometimes she sounded distressed. Her skin got kind of translucent and she became less and less aware, until she was mostly unconcious. At the very end, she continuously moaned loudly for hours. Again, just heartwrenching and horrifying to watch. I'm sure she was in pain. The only thing that got us through it was that this was her decision. It didn't help very much, but there you are.

Now, in Terri Schiavo's case, there is no clear decision. Her "husband" says that she stated in passing that she wouldn't want to live this way, but there are no witnesses to back that up. Her parents want to take care of her, and there is evidence that her condition could improve with treatment. And yet, her parents have to sit there and watch her die, slowly and painfully. They have been denied the opportunity to get treatment for her, and the courts are refusing to help them. I lack the words to express how wrong this is. I can only pray that somehow she will be allowed to live and that her parents will be allowed to take care of her as they so want to. But this is not looking very likely. She's now been without food or water for 5 days. Please, God, intervene for this poor woman.
Monday, March 21, 2005
  The cravings have started.
Pregnancy is very interesting. Today at work I was in a conference room all day. We had one of the managers come in, and were asking him some questions, and it was lunchtime, so he had some chili with him. All of a sudden, I knew that I had to have chili for lunch, that was the only thing I wanted to eat. So I did. It was good. But it didn't end there.

Later on, the same manager stopped by again, and this time he was eating a Payday bar. After rummaging through my bag for some change, I went to the vending machine and got one of those, too. mmmmmmm, peanuts.

Somehow I doubt that I would have had the same reaction had he been munching on carrot sticks, or tofu, or something similarly healthy. Ah well.
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Location: San Jose, California, United States

I married the rarest of creatures, a genuine redneck who was born and raised in the liberal San Francisco Bay Area. I'm a technophile married to a technophobe.

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