Category Archives: Life

Life in General

Hey My Surprise Birthday Party is now Public! What will you do?

The idea is yes, Im taking my birthday as an opportunity to ask you for something.

Surprise me….with something that you do FOR YOU.

This is VIRTUAL people no excuses.
The location is Earth – you can all make it.

The idea is, that YOU, do something on June 19th, that you have been putting off, and then tell me about it. Privately, or if you wish you can post here.

Ive been doing a few of these lately and it has made me feel really, really good.

So, you know what that means to you.

Also, if you feel inspired to do something new, and you tell yourself, nah i dont have the _________ ($, resources, creativity, time, courage) – then PLEASE try and do that.

Inspiration to me is spiritual, and you shouldnt let those opportunities go by.

So please, honor yourself.

I will be in Arizona on this day, and I return Friday.

If you would like to do something in person, well, I will be in Arizona. BUT…maybe we can meet in Pittsburgh/Swissvale on Sunday or you can contact Adam about what we might do.

P.S. If you feel really stuck, Im working on a community sourced art project, so remind me to hit you up an dask for your help with that.  Literally would take as little as 30 seconds of your time, unless you feel compelled to do more.


Life is short. Are you happy? If not, are you thankful?

smiley-faceLife is short. Are you happy? Im not without my moments of sadness, but this post is about some major life decisions that made ME happy.  I truly believe that the move towards more positive things all have the same, not too mysterious thing in common. Opening yourself up to better opportunities by being thankful.

On work. At one company three of us would have pow-wows in a cubicle about how we needed to GET OUT.  Afterall, the workplace is where we typically spend a majority of our time. Why make it such a negative experience?  I was thankful that I could compare notes with others that life didn’t need to be this way. So two of us left. The third who stayed continued to be miserable.  Others I knew wanted to leave but were too scared. A steady paycheck kept them there. Leaving was scary for me too, but overall I was thankful for an improved environment, and no longer needing to witness the ego-centric director cutting employees down and not giving them room to grow.  Starting my own company has not been without its ups and downs, and screaming clients and co-contractors, but I’m thankful that I have learned to let this not bother me, to still be able do my work to the best of my ability, and seek to work with more positive people and organizations.  I am thankful for my clients, and the opportunity to work with new technologies, and freedom. They say 5 years is the test – and well, been-there-done-that-feel-confident.

On the personal side of things, I was married to someone where there was a lot of anger, jealousy,  and verbal abuse, as well as control issues. I told myself that life is too short to be miserable like this. I left, after feeling guilty for leaving. Growing up in a yelling household, it just seemed like that was normal. Im just so thankful that I woke up. That others told me to get out.  From what I hear, his life is better too, with one of the people who told me to get out.  Its truly amazing how life works out sometimes, I truly am wishing nothing but the best to them both. And am also thankful for another couple who had the opportunity to meet and have such an amazing love due to the shifts that were made.

I wasn’t sure at all were life would take me, if I would marry again, or have a family. I dated. I attracted others who liked my free spirit, but most would also want to keep it bottled up.  Im thankful that I had these experiences, I met some really great people, but it just didn’t work for me. Later I thought I met my soulmate, and with tears and puking, we said goodbye. I never really understood why, and the lack of closure made me uncomfortable. I didnt think I would feel that intense and safe about someone again.

Now I am with such an amazing man. Adam Lipinski Adam Lipinski Adam Lipinski. So nice I must say it thrice. He is kind, gentle, amazingly genius-ly smart with barely a high school education.  An amazing chef, mechanic, fixer-of-things-broken, artist, mountain biker, skateboarder and a ninja-neer.  When we were interviewed by a reporter from Yahoo News, for our uniquely “out there” wedding, he said “He’s a good one to have around for Armageddon”.  He is also so kind and gentle and patient with everyone.  It makes me cry happy tears when I think of how much I love him.  And Im so thankful that I never let degrees or titles stand between me and my amazing husband.  We just decided this past weekend, while surrounded by such loving friends and a beautiful burn at Scorched Nuts, to try and have a child. If it doesn’t work out, perhaps adoption. We both want to shower our child with love and help them to find their way – to foster their interests, to find a way to help them to learn and grow in a way that school didn’t work for Adam, and doesn’t work for a lot of people.

I am so thankful for the people that I know well, and even acquaintances.  I have met such interesting people who have touched my life in so many ways. I have amazing friends in and out of the burner, hasher, geeky, arty, and wine communities.

Again, it’s not like I am without sadness at times, and the passing of someone that worked for me this week rocked my foundation a bit, and just made me take stock.  I cried a lot. For her, for her young children, and for my own thoughts of how life is short and not wanting it to end anytime soon. I also cried too for those who I know who are genuinely unhappy. Those who make the same commitments to be saddened deeper – again and again. I wanted to try and inject some catalyst for them..something that could make them possibly start to smile. I read in a Buddhist book once, “The saddest thing is knowing you cannot help those that you love.”

I realize that for there to be real change, people must help themselves. I just hope that some might try to find thanks in the littlest things, because I know this advice helped me when going through my divorce.

When I look at when things have been dark in my life, when I purposely started to give thanks for even the smallest of positive things,  it set something in motion.  To me I would compare it to those who deny 11:11 having any meaning, but try to keep an open mind. (like celebrating 11/11 just because).  Later, they start to see 11:11 everywhere, and it becomes a positive for them. I believe so strongly that if you take stock and give thanks to the small things, it’s like placing an order with some higher being (with the Universe, with God, with yourself) for bigger and better things.

In focusing on being thankful for the small things, I feel I have attracted into my life some major big things. I know for certain it has worked for me. I know this has worked for others. If you are not happy, why wait? Why not *try* to find that small thing that made you even half smile today?

Feeling very philosophical and thankful this morning. Feeling like no matter what – I am winning.

Not competing against anyone else, but just comparing to how I could have been if I were not trying, not risking, not failing, not succeeding.  Winning my life. Adam asked me if I smoked something this morning as I couldnt stop gushing at being happy and loving him – and well, just saying some other very silly things. But, no, Im high on life.

Well, and maybe some caffeine.

Thanks for reading this. I hope you do try to give thanks everyday to something or someone.

If you have ever found, or find in the future, that being thankful works for you, I would love to hear your stories.

How I survived Carbon Monoxide poisoning

This is my yearly reminder for others to get a CO detector.

I survived Carbon Monoxide poisoning in 2005 – and it was extremely lucky as I did NOT have a CO detector.

It started with me feeling extremely drained and tired. This was over some period of time. I recall being out, and feeling energetic. I was excited to go home and get a lot of things done. But when I returned, I just couldnt move. I layed on my bed and felt ill. Super tired, and stomach nauseated but I really didnt feel like I was sick with the flu.

A friend called and I said, “I think I have carbon monoxide poisoning”.

I guess it was my experience in college working for two gas detection companies which left me with enough sense to know that the signs were there. My friend screamed at me to get up and open a window. I slept that night with the window open even though it was January 9th and very cold outside.

The next day I went to work and was falling over sideways and bumping into things. After work I drove to the hardware store and could not keep in my lane.

When I got the detector, I called my friends who lived down the street to talk to me as I entered the house.

It went off as soon as I put the batteries in. I tried to reset to be sure it wasn’t just a first time use thing, but it kept going off.

I walked down the hill to my friends’ house, and I was almost falling down as if I just drank ten shots. I guess college was good for more than just the co-ops, so that I could make this analogy. But I could hold my own back then, and I was sober, so I knew something was definitely wrong.

When I got to their house my speech was slurred and I wasn’t using the correct words.

My friend went up and the detector was indeed going off, it wasnt just my fumbling with it. They called the firestation, and took me back up to meet the firemen.

The chief was a childhood friend and he had a detector that he was using to go through the house.

In the meantime, the paramedics came and my oxygen level was lower than it should be. 91 I think? (meanwhile, I had been out of the house all day at work and had just returned to try out the co detector.)

While I was taken by ambulance, the gas company and firemen found my furnace had a cracked heat exchanger.

I was extremely luck, please, if you do not have a CO Detector go and get one.
List of CO Detectors on Amazon

I send this out yearly to try and warn and help others.
One year someone wrote back and said, please do not send me spam.
When I replied that this actually happened to me, Judy Herilla (Lipinski) then they took it seriously.

I will not stop.
Last year, two people wrote back to let me know how they had gotten detectors and were saved.

PLEASE. If you do not have a Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector – GET ONE.

This isnt just for those of us in winter climates, and not just for old appliances.

There are lots of sources of CO:
Brand new houses, anything gas, including furnaces, stoves, water heaters, connected garages, living in a house connecting to another.

And if you have one – change the batteries. If you think they are still good you can use them elsewhere.
Its not a life threatening situation if they run out of juice in your toys.