Blog Archives

Friday Five: Spam Chronicles

Like most bloggers I get spam. I have occasionally had legitimate comments end up in my blog spam so I scan before deleting.

Recently my box has gotten a little more interesting, along with the offers to increase my Google page rank and cheap medication (but none for cheap insulin? Why not folks?) I’ve received:

  1. Offers for spy equipment. Like bugs I can put in pens or phones. Apparently my covert operations need some high-tech help.
  2. In the same day I got sequential comments on the same post: “Excellent article…” said the first. “You should bring more clarity to your writing to better explain the topic…” said the second.
  3. My favorite so far was this: Hi, I’m a scammer. Visit my website (link). I absolutely appreciate the honesty and the afternoon laugh.
  4. “Justin Bieber” commented on my blog….
  5. I’ve gotten more than 100 spam comments on this blog post. I have no idea why.

If you can’t get some enjoyment out of the crazy schemes on the internet, why bother?

This weekend we’re celebrating the marriage of another set of wonderful friends! What are you up to?

Related Posts:

Friday Five: Links

Friday Five: Human Behavior

Friday Five: My curse

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I wanted to be an artist

I feel like there are some common questions that everyone gets asked at some point in their lives. This is definitely one of them:

What do you want to be when you grow up?

In various stages of childhood, the answer changed. The first answer I remember giving though is artist. I feel like most children at some point in time decide this. I enjoyed drawing, painting and coloring (I was probably about 4 at this time too) and my masterpieces ended up on the refrigerator. I look back and laugh now, especially since I work with some really talented graphic designers, who prove that it takes more than liking the feel of a brush in your hand to make something beautiful.

My desire to be an artist gave way to wanting to be a cashier or a secretary (also at a very young age). Knowing these professions as an adult I can pinpoint why I wanted to be a cashier or secretary… I almost exclusively saw nice, pretty women doing these jobs and decided that I needed to be a nice, pretty woman when I grew up. Children don’t have contact with the wide array of career options early in life. They know what and who they see. I was talking with a friend who is a teacher and she was discussing how to apply the subject she teaches to her students lives and future careers. She made the comment that her students only really know of a few careers: doctor, teacher, lawyer, nurse… the ones that get Halloween costumes.

I got to know a few more professions the older I got and my answer to “what do you want to be when you grow up?” changed to writer, then photo journalist, then editor, then journalist, eventually to news anchor and eventually I settled into public relations when I was in high school.

Each of those options had some roots in things that I enjoyed doing… like writing, speaking and taking pictures. Strengths that ultimately help me do what I do [and love] today.

It’s interesting that I never wanted to be an engineer like my dad, or be a teacher, lawyer or doctor. For a fleeting moment I considered politics…

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Related Posts:

The weekend I partied away

Diabetes: My Childhood Perspective

Baby showers and crude books

I dropped a glass

After things were finally dry enough outside, Brad mowed the grass. While he showered, I cleaned up the clippings then launched a last minute assault on the morning glories and other assorted weeds that were taking over the shrub out back. It was warm and muggy outside so when I came in I was craving a nice glass of iced tea. 

A finger stick found me at 82mg/dL so I grabbed a couple of pretzels and poured the two of us some nice, cold iced tea and settled in the living room. When I picked up the glass for my second sip, it slipped out of my hand, bounced off the corner of the coffee table (shattering) and sent tea, ice and glass everywhere.

The sound of the glass falling and breaking frightened Holmes and Watson out of their standard afternoon naps and they ran away from the sound… then in their frenzy ran back across the glass (that had somehow managed to send shards flying nearly across the room) to hide behind the couch. Brad sprang into action, grabbing his slippers and the trash can, then tried to capture the cats and take them upstairs. In the chase process that I watch while helplessly trapped on the couch, the cats both ran through the ice/glass/tea mess a total of three times before being successfully wrangled into an upstairs bedroom.

Hurts worse than it looks

After ascertaining that my leg was bleeding due to a cut from falling glass and not a piece lodged in it, we cleaned up the mess. Brad asked me while searching for shards in the carpet, “Was it low blood sugar?” For all of the annoying, frustrating and inconvenient things in my life that I can blame diabetes on, this was not one of them. This was a sweaty glass in an unstable hand.

I cleaned up and bandaged my leg then checked the cats’ paws. Both of them were fine but still scared. Watson still hadn’t come downstairs over an hour later even though Holmes has resumed his nap right where he left off.

In other news, I revamped my About Rachel page… it was probably time.

Related Posts:

A high-tech life

What You Should Know

Rachel Takes on Cedar Point

Friday Five: Human Behavior

There are things that people do/say that I just don’t get. For example:

1. Wearing contacts but being grossed out by someone else putting in or taking out their contacts.

2. Going to the back door the very first time visiting someone’s home. Guests use the front door, if you’re visiting my home and not delivering an appliance, you’re a guest. Also, the front door has a doorbell, the back door doesn’t.  There is no line of sight for the back door in my home, so the only reason I know you’re at my house is because I saw your car in my driveway. I’m tempted to leave people out there and see what happens.

The front mat is the welcoming one

3. Saying, “I know” instead of asking. For example, instead of asking if you had a good trip they say, “I know you had a good trip” my question is how do you know I had a good trip? I feel like they are trying to address something without leaving the other person a chance to talk about their own experiences.

4. Leaving the toilet lid up everywhere but at their own homes. If you close it at your home, why not close it everywhere? (My cats have both gotten stuck in the bathtub in the past… an open toilet is a recipe for disaster.)

5. Driving like a moron the moment raindrops start… need I say more?

What human behaviors puzzle you?

Related Posts:

Friday Five: Words that Drive Me Crazy

My Curse

Friday Five: This Week

Stream of Thought

Have you ever felt like you were forgetting something? I had that feeling all morning. I mentally checked off my list while getting ready for work. Contacts in? Check. Feed cats? Check. Put on deodorant? Check. Grab lunch from fridge? check.

I was almost all the way to the office before I remembered… I only put one set of earrings in. I keep meaning to bring a spare set to work and keep them in my desk, but I basically never forget to wear earrings. Today I’m sporting half-naked ears.

Our trash is still sitting on the curb. Between Easter observed on Monday and a solidarity, one-day walk-off among sanitation workers (supporting sanitation workers striking in another community), our trash was not collected yesterday as usual. It was still on the curb this morning when I left. I saw a garbage truck on our street so I’m hopeful. What happens when garbage sits on the curb for more than a day is a mess. Between people who don’t bag their trash and just put it in the can and people who only bag their trash and don’t use cans, there is unpleasant debris in the street. Not to be a whiner, but I hate picking up other people’s trash out of my yard.

It’s never okay to tear your spouse down on social media. Airing a frustration over your wife leaving the oven on for an hour after dinner or your husband forgetting to fold the clothes out of the dryer is much worse  than the actual “infraction.” I know that a lot of people use social media to vent, and I’ve caught myself a time or two wanting to tweet about one of my husband’s annoying habits but it’s good to stop and think, “Do I really want to put this person, who I love, down in front of my friends and family?” The answer is probably no. Plus it’s easier to get past those things if they aren’t immortalized on the internet.

I’m afraid of potassium. When I was in the hospital when I was diagnosed with diabetes, everything in my blood was off including really low potassium. They gave me IV potassium and before I was discharged, I had to drink potassium powder mixed with juice (great idea hospital, make the person who’s just out of DKA drink juice). IV potassium currently holds the title for the absolute, most painful thing I’ve experienced. I’ve broken bones, had blood drawn what dehydrated, gotten a concussion, punctured my eardrum and has a spring-loaded canula inserted directly into a vein… and the potassium wins hands down. It was the only time I’ve ever thrown up from pain. The potassium powder drink was disgusting to drink as well.

Back to why I’m talking about potassium… My latest labs showed that my potassium was low-ish again. Knowing that I can do something about this immediately, I bought bananas. I hope to never need potassium in a painful way ever again.

A couple of my stories are featured on OmniPod’s blog, Suite D today as part of their Diabetes Foolishness series. People say and think the strangest things about insulin pumps, glucose monitors and the things that people with diabetes do to stay healthy alive.

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Friday Five: What I Learned

Sometimes I’m Amazed

Curb the complaining

Thanks Pam!

A funny thing happens when you officially change your address…

You start getting junk mail for people who don’t even live in your house.

We receive promotional mail (i.e. not official stuff like bills or letters) for my father-in-law, mother-in-law and brother-in-law occasionally. Things like special offers for Cleveland lawn treatment services (my in-laws don’t live in Cleveland) and tuxedo rental offers. These kind of, sort of, maybe make sense.

But then we started getting mail for Pam.

Bath & Body Works coupons started arriving for Pamela K (same last name as me). One day, I got mail for Pam (we’re tight seeing as how she lives in my house supposedly) that contained coupons for not only Bath & Body Works, but also for Victoria’s Secret. Both contained coupons for free stuff so I threw them in my purse.

The next time we were at the mall I stopped in both stores and redeemed my free items, courtesy of Pam.

I ended up with $15 of free stuff, all because someone thinks I have a Pam at my house.

Thanks Pam!

I’m Linking Up!

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What’s in a name?

Hi! I’m Rachel Engel…stetter

Ask and you shall receive

Mental Hang Ups

Are there any phrases or expressions that just bug you? Even when used “correctly” there are some expressions that for some reason annoy me. For example:

“Full-heartedly” 

I will never use this phrase (other than above). It’s completely possible to refer to a full heart in some way or another, but wholeheartedly is not only more common, it just sounds better in my ears.

“Notion”

Rhymes with “potion” but for some reason feels foreign to say.

“Goes up” (conversely: “Goes down”)

Elevators and escalators do go up and down, but in other references I will always opt to use: increase, decrease, climb, fall, rise, etc. in whatever conjugation is appropriate. When the level of something rises, it’s not inappropriate to say that the “level goes up;” it just sounds elementary to me and I feel like there’s always a better way to describe something.

Watson creeps down the stairs

“Supper”

I always prefer to say “dinner” (or “lunch” according to some). This word also reminds me of Snoopy.

These are just some of my mental hang ups when it comes to words. Our brains are very strange places to say the least!

What are some of your hang ups?

Related Posts:

Words that drive me crazy

The red door

Strangers

Conversation Skills

I was chatting on the phone with my brother (Seth) last week and he gave the phone to my 2-year-old niece. The conversation went something like this:

Seth: Say hi to aunt Rachel.

*crickets*

Seth: Can you say hi?

*crickets*

Me: Hi honey. How are you?

*crickets*

Seth: Can you tell aunt Rachel what a lion says?

Niece: RAWR!!!!

I’ll take what I can get. Read the rest of this entry

Checking In

The other night we got a call from the animal shelter to see how things were going with our cats. I can’t believe it’s already been five months since we brought Holmes and Watson home with us (in fact, I can’t believe we’ve lived in our house for five months already!).

Brad spoke with the shelter for a few minutes and mentioned that after the little scare we had when we first brought them home, everything was going well. Even though the shelter took care of the vet stay, the lady on the phone wasn’t aware of what happened. Brad briefly summarized that the day after we brought them home, the cats would not move from their carrier. They weren’t eating, drinking, using the litter box or purring. They also flopped over when we stood them up on their feet. There was obviously something wrong so we called the shelter and took them to the vet that works with the shelter.

Our kittens had to be kept there for two days and given IV fluids and medication. They had calicivirus. Something that they’d been vaccinated for, but much like the flu there are different strains and the stress of moving to a new environment made their immune systems unable to fight it off without some help.

It was sad to have them for one night. Then have them “hospitalized” for the next two, be allowed to bring one home, then have to wait a day for the other to come home.

The shelter volunteer who called was happy to hear that Holmes and Watson were active, affectionate cats and that we enjoy having them around. When Brad got off the phone I asked him, “Can you imagine what it would be like to be her if our cats hadn’t made it?” It would have to be the worst feeling to check-in on adopted animals to find that some form of tragedy had struck.

It made me thankful for our healthy little guys.

[and now is the part where I post cute kitty pictures]

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Because I can’t take them all home

Thankful in November

Friday Five: Safari Edition

More Thanks

It’s still November, so I’m still thankful!

1. Family that’s family. Those people with whom you might share DNA but definitely share a warm relationship. They’re the ones who make the holidays enjoyable. The reason Brad and I don’t mind traveling for Thanksgiving is because it’s a day we associate with family.
2. Laughter. Jokes, stories, cute kids or crazy uncles tend to bring it on.
3. Traditions. Brad and I are building our own holiday traditions together, and as my house becomes filled with holiday decorations, the traditions become apparent.
4. Leftovers. Lunches, snacks and a quick bite of good food are great. It also means less cooking.
5. Hand-me-downs. My home is beautifully decorated for Christmas with a mix of new things and lovely things that have been passed on by others.
6. Tea. I’ve been drinking a lot of green tea for comfort and relief while trying to kick the cold that’s slowly going away. It’s calming and enjoyable. Almost as much of an emotional beverage as coffee.
7. Opportunities.

As November is heading toward it’s end, I’m curious: How do you give thanks all year long?

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Thankful in November

Week two of thanks

Doomed but still thankful