Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Public Speaking

I've heard say that our #1 fear is public speaking, followed by death. So yesterday, when the opportunity was dropped on my lap and too heavy to shift to someone else I accepted the challenge. I don't think I've spoken in front of a crowd since mandatory group projects in University.

I was asked to moderate an Ovarian Cancer Information and Support Evening. The moderator took ill and I knew it would make a good impression on my colleagues and boss. Important for the reference check in the future! I didn't have to make anything up, just introduce each of the panel speakers, make sure things ran on time, and lead the question period. Easy, right? I mean, if there is anything I can do well, I can talk!

I was a bundle of nerves prior to the event, so I went to the gym to work off the edge. The coordinators commented that I looked so relaxed and calm. Amazing for having only been asked that afternoon to jump in. I flubbed my way through the first few minutes, stumbling over a couple of words and telling myself to slow down my speech. But by the time the evening was over, I felt quite at ease and ad-libbing started to come easy. I received multiple compliments, and my self esteem soared.

The feedback I received today was all positive. Apparently I set the audience at ease and created a relaxed environment.

I could do this again!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Furnace Frustrations

This has been an expensive week. First of all, our stove blew. It's a long story, but the long and the short of it is that it can be fixed and its worth it to be fixed. Its just pricey. The Sears guys said they could send someone for a $65 diagnostic check on the 26th. A week of waiting. The Niverville guy said he could come for $40 the following day. He will have the part in and fixed by the 26th. Beat that, Sears.

Friday we'd planned to catch a movie. I was relaxing in the tub when I heard the husbands extra low and sexy voice (due to a cold) say "Honey, what temp do you set the house at?"

"68* Fahrenheit. Why?"
"It's 61"
Groan. "I don't want to know" *Head sinks under bubbles*

Sure enough, the furnace was trying, the fan was blowing, but no magical warming fire came. It was Friday night. Who could we call? The first call was made to a 24 hr heating and cooling guy. It would be $65 for a diagnostic check (geez, where had we heard this rate before?) and an extra $40 because it was the weekend, plus whatever part was required and an hourly rate.

We phoned friends. We phoned family. We phoned church connections. We were given names and numbers and we called those. At almost the same time, the Husband and I were given the same information from two separate contacts. Contacts who owned businesses in heating/cooling. Honest guys wanting to help.

"It's a little known fact, but you can call MB Hydro if you have any furnace problems and they'll come take a look."

We called at 930 PM. By 10 PM they were there, with no fee for diagnostic check. Our problem was diagnosed almost immediately. It would be $46 for the part. "It's your lucky day," Hydro guy from heaven said. "A heating guy would have charged you $100 to come out on the weekend and $200-$300 for the part."

And so dear readers, if you remember anything I post, remember this. It's a little known fact. MB Hydro will come out. For free. On the weekend. And you shall have heat.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cold Snap

I thought cold snaps were supposed to be short. Thus the "snap" part of the phrase. Instead, it seems we get "less cold snaps" where the temperature rises to -15*C or so. I did a search on phrases to describe cold and was rather unsuccessful. The one I found most often was "Freezing the Balls off the Brass Monkey". Interesting.
So I searched for synonyms and found:
acold, algid, arctic, frigid, gelid, glacial, icy, polar, bleak, cutting, raw, chilly, parky, crisp, frosty, nipping, nippy, snappy, frigorific, frore, frosty, rimed, rimy, heatless, ice-cold, refrigerant, refrigerating, refrigerated, shivery, stone-cold, unheated, unwarmed
Personally, I think "My mama makes me wear these dang boots when I go out" is most accurate. He may look foolish, but they work. And soon enough he forgets that he's wearing them. He doesn't pick up his cold, frost-bitten feet during a walk and he moves fast enough that he never shivers. I think it's adorable.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


So I had one cold in my first trimester, and two so far in my second. I hope that doesn't mean three in the third!

Here I sit, off work. Sniffling, snuffling, and coughing. Drug free, but not particularly by choice. I believe in drugs when I'm sick. I believe in sleeping through the night and working through the day.

This kid is kicking my butt. And it's only 2 pounds!