New York City’s Historic Steam System

Let Me Remind You…
About New York City’s Steam System

Everyone knows what happens if you put a whistle-top kettle on the stove, half-full with water, and turn the heat up as high as it will go. When the water starts to boil rapidly, it produces steam, when that steam escapes through that whistle, you know it’s done and time to make tea.
But what if you boil water to 305-450 degrees Fahrenheit in a closed system with strategically placed vents, like radiators and other systems of pipes throughout a building? You now have heating, cooling, steaming and in some instances, even sanitization.

Harnessing and controlling the power of steam is not a new invention by any means. The ancient Romans were one of the first to use steam to heat up their homes and baths.
A few hundred years later, in 1882, some businessmen in New York City started the New York Steam Company, providing steam heating/cooling to over 300 buildings. The city gave them a contract and they built the first boiler plant at the site of the world trade center.

But in 1888, a blizzard blanketed the city in snow, knocking out power lines and forcing everyone inside, trying to stay warm. This tragedy was an eye opener for officials. They saw how efficient steam power was for the 300 buildings and they extended the contract to service over 1500 buildings in NYC, which happens to be the same number today. Some saying closer to 1800.

Using steam instead of coal reduces carbon emissions (though I’m not certain they were overly concerned about that at the time), and changed how we see NYC today. If it weren’t for the steam system, the skyline would be dotted by buildings covered in chimneys and the power grid would be far more extensive and less eco-friendly.

1888 blizzard leaves the city blanketed in snow

NYC has the largest steam system in the world, larger than the other major steam-using cities put together.
Some of the more notable buildings that have always used steam include the Empire State building, The Chrysler Building, Grand Central Station and Rockefeller. Apartment buildings in NYC still have steam heating/cooling systems.
Having steam used in these buildings allows for other buildings like hospitals to divert the use of electricity for modern machinery like MRI’s and Xrays  etc. and using the steam for heating/cooling, sanitizing and laundry.
Museums even use the steam technology to help regulate the humidity in the galleries in order to help preserve the artwork, restaurants use it to sanitize dishes and laundromats use it for pressing clothing.

The great part about the steam system is that it can be tapped into without requiring your own boiler. Kind of like just attaching a pipe under your sink to drain in more than one place.
Obviously, it would be efficient to have your own boiler system, especially if you’re not near one of the boiler plants, and even though the entire system is completely interconnected, some places do have their own system. NYU has the largest privately-owned facility. These smaller plants are called “co-generation plants”.

But with the massive power of steam being forced through the pipes comes disaster. A user on a forum* said that he was speaking with a ConEdison employee about why residents on a massive stretch of the city didn’t have water leading up to Hurricane Sandy. The employee said, “ they’re doing it so that floods won’t hit the steam pipes and cause explosive rupture, with flying manholes to boot.”
Despite being made from heavy metal and getting serviced monthly, there’s still room for error, or fluke accidents, usually caused by a compromised pipe that’s decades old, affected by something called “steam hammer” or “water hammer”, which can lead to a faulty steam trap and cause explosion. this usually occurs when the hot steam is traveling through the pipes and runs into something cold, like water. These have happened a few times in the past. A couple notable ones happened in 1989, and another in 2007.

1989 steam pipe explosion

So next time you’re in NYC, If you see one of the iconic orange and white stacks in the street, shooting steam out the top, that means they’re working on some pipes below. If you’re lucky, you might have seen an (illegal) art installment by an artist, Mark Reigleman II,  who makes small houses to put over the stacks and it looks like steam is coming out the chimney. Though the city is aware of him, they haven’t been able to catch him yet.  

Mark Reigelman art installation: “Smokers”

fun fact: 1 gallon of water will produce 8lbs of steam.

Sources: (photo only)

As always, thank you for taking the time to read! Have a great day!

Kristina Moore is the Author of The Pecan Trees, available on Amazon.

Flour Sack Dresses

A group of girls in matching Feed/Flour Sack dresses

There once was a time when DIY and thrifting wasn’t just a fun thing to do and share on social media, but it was a necessity for survival.
During and after the great depression, it’s no surprise that a lot of people were struggling. People in rural communities were also hit hard with the dustbowl that came to follow. Money wasn’t something people had to spare and was reserved for necessities only.

So what happens when the only dress you own is slowly tattering away; or your bed sheets and curtains are full of holes? You get creative. Previously used for rags around the farm, women of the household now saw something already in their home that they could reuse: flour/feed sacks.

The sacks were originally made from burlap, or a rough fabric called Osnaburg, it started by simply cutting some holes for arms and your head. Even men would wear these as a tunic-type shirt. With the the sewing machine becoming a household item, it made things a lot easier to doctor into nicer designs. Fortunately the feed manufacturers started using a slightly softer, cotton-based fabric for the bags.

printed sacks. You can see the label on the front that they would have to soak off.

By 1925, a company in the UK called The Gingham Girls started printing floral and other patterns on the bags.
Now women were requesting their husbands pick up specific floral prints from the feed store to hopefully match one they got before. Because one 100lb feed sac was the equivalent to a little over 1 yard, people would usually need a couple bags to complete an adult-sized dress. If they didn’t have extra, sometimes a trade could be made with a friend or neighbor to get a pattern needed. At this time even magazines started printing patterns on how to make the clothing.

The manufacturers of the grains still had to print a logo on the front of the bags for sale, which was hard to remove in the beginning, but the trusty housewife figured out that soaking it in kerosene or lard overnight would help to dissolve the ink. Eventually the manufacturers switched the type of ink they used to be easily removed before use, and soon started to print instructions for removal right on the sacks.

A dress in the Smithsonian that was a 2nd place winner of one of the national competitions.

During WWII, cotton was in a shortage for most people because it was being diverted for uniforms and other war things, so grain manufacturers started using paper bags instead. The National Cotton Council and Textile Bag Manufacturing Association worked with McCalls and Simplicity to hold annual competitions nationally to see who could make the best dress. This was mostly a marketing tactic to keep promoting a healthy demand for the sacks, while showing off new design patterns and gave people a chance to show off their sewing skills. At this time, the dresses had molded into a sense of fashion rather than thrift.

In the 1960’s businesses started putting Disney prints on the sacs to try and entice the housewives to buy their material. From what it sounded like, it didn’t catch on quite as well. Slowly the use of the feed sacks died out, but the style of dress lasted for a bit longer. If you look back, there are many common styles still used today.

Do you or your family have memories of wearing feed sack clothing? I would love to hear your story.

Sources: (the smithsonian)

Kristi Moore is the Author of The Pecan trees, A fictional novel, set in Texas about family.
You can find it on Amazon or her website.

Thomas Crapper

Thomas Crapper

Let Me Remind You… about Thomas Crapper

When the American soldiers were serving in England during WWI, they came up with a clever new phrase we still use today: “I’m going to the crapper.” No need to delve into what it means, I’m sure we all know.
But how did this phrase come about?

In 1861, at about 29, Thomas Crapper, who was a journeyman plumber, inventor, and businessman started his first business as a sanitation expert and with his imagination, he invented the ballcock (It’s the round bulb part in the tank of your toilet that stops the water from filling too high). Though, this was used for syphon toilets (think the high wall-mounted tanks with a pull string), we still use them in the modern toilet.

syphon toilet

Eventually, he would open the very first bathroom showroom that showcased many of his items, which included not just toilets, but also bathtubs and sinks. While people were there, they could try them out, so-to-speak, and see just how they liked them. In a time where you could barely show your legs, actually trying the toilet out in public became a scandal. Eventually it would shut down, but his success was not tarnished by any means.
His wares were so high-end that word of mouth travelled and eventually he received his first royal warrant from Prince Edward for Sandringham palace. After that, he received many more royal warrants finishing the bathrooms for Westminster, Buckingham Palace and Windsor castle. Today, if you walk around London, you can still see his name on some of the manhole covers.

showroom advertisement

So why did Americans call it “the crapper”? Well, it was hard to miss the large

Valveless Waste Preventer
no[serial number]

On the front of all the toilet tanks, sinks, etc., emblazoned in large embossing. Thus leading to the calling of the toilet “the crapper”.

Eventually Thomas Crapper would give his business to his nephew, and business partner, which was sold to a rival company in 1966 until it was completely dissolved. After many years, a historian, who enjoyed antique bathroom fittings, started remaking the items as authentically as he could, and still sells them in a not-so-scandalous showroom today.

They are actually quite beautiful, and I would recommend checking them out here.

There is a couple myths that float around today:
1.”The word ‘crap’ came from him too.” It’s actually been around for many years before with some roots in French and Dutch.
2. “He invented the toilet.” The toilet itself was actually invented by a Game Of Thrones star’s distant relative: Sir John Harrington. Sir John invented a complex toilet system for Queen Elizabeth I using a cistern, a series of pipes and holding tank that would provide a flush of water to remove what was in the tank. 
We can also thank Sir John for the phrase, “I’m going to the John.”

youtubepedia on

Half-Hangit Maggie

Let Me Remind You… Half Hangit Maggie

Trigger Warning: child loss, possible infanticide.

The salty dampness of her palms ironed wrinkles into her apron as she twisted and untwisted the linen in her hands. Maggie Dickenson awaited her sentence from the judge. She knew she would be charged, but with what, she wasn’t sure. She thought about the little baby she laid on the side of the riverbank. Her stomach still hurt from the birth just days ago. With no family in Edinburgh and her estranged husband, a fisherman, who didn’t know where she’d gone, she was alone. She couldn’t count on the baby’s father, her employer’s son, to be at the birth—or the trial.
She had tried to conceal her pregnancy as long as she could, which is what ultimately became her sentencing: concealment of pregnancy. In 1724, this was a real, punishable law. But what choice did she have? She would have been run out of town, or at the very least, definitely fired from her job and chastised. After all, she was still married, and the baby wasn’t her husband’s. She just needed some time to save some money and figure things out.

She tried to smooth the wrinkles out of her apron, but it was useless. And what would it matter? Soon she would be hanging from her neck in the Grass Market, in front of a crown of men and women, who wouldn’t even be looking at the wrinkles on her apron. Men and women, who thought she murdered her own baby by drowning it in the River Tweed. What they didn’t know was that she could never do such a thing.* She and her husband already had two children; she would have more, given the opportunity– and a husband that didn’t hit her.

When Maggie arrived in Kelso (a town near Edinburgh), she got a job as a fish and salt vender, but when that wasn’t enough to pay the bills, she took a job at a local inn. The proprietor’s son was younger than her, but relentless, and so charming. Eventually she gave in to him and they had a lustful affair for months before she became pregnant.

No one seemed to notice her pregnancy and up until the end she thought she had gotten away with it. Even up until the moment she gave birth by herself and laid the child, bundled up on the riverbank. She had tried to fling the baby into the river, but she couldn’t, she was too weak. Or maybe she was too weak mentally. No one was supposed to find the child, but they did. And here we are.

Maggie thought she was almost free when they had no proof that she killed the baby herself; It was born stillborn. But the damned physician said that the lungs aspirated water. Even then, the admission of pregnancy that no one else knew about, that was still punishable by death.

She was sweating, her whisps of hair sticking to her forehead. The pounding of blood in her ears prevented her from hearing the judge, but as if it went quiet for just the right length of time, she heard:

“…Death by hanging.”

Her head dropped and a tear fell from each eye. One for her and one for her child. The guards came to her, grabbing her by an arm each, and dragging her out of the courtroom. She tried to walk, but her legs wouldn’t cooperater. Her body tingled with numbness.

A crowd gathered around the gallows as Maggie was brought through the town square. She tried to tell people that she didn’t kill her baby, but it was no use. They didn’t believe her, and anyways, that’s not what she was being hung for. Her throat tightened with each step towards her death, choking her before the noose was even upon her neck. The roaring of foul words and shouting from the crowd deafened her thoughts.

Grass Market, Edinburgh. The spot where Maggie was hung.

The executioner placed the bag over her head and noose was tight but still rested on her shoulders. It was heavier than she imagined. The twine poked and bristled her skin. Soon it won’t matter. She told herself. Without warning, she heard a THWAP and fell until she was dangling from a knot behind her head. The hangman had forgotten to tie her hands behind her back and she reached up and squeezed a couple fingers between the rope and her flesh. The thumping of her artery pressed against her cold fingers. Then the blackness took over.

The physician came to pronounce her deceased. Once he did that, her body was placed into a coffin and hoisted onto a carriage. Her family had fought against the doctors who wanted her body for study, and they won. She would be brought home to her birthplace of Musselburgh, just a few miles outside of Edinburgh.
despite what would be a 25-minute drive today, the men that were taking her body were apparently in no rush and decided to stop for a pint at a watering-hole just outside of town, body-and-all.

Maggie was in a state of delirium. Like that feeling you get after you wake up from a nap. The pain on her neck reminded her of what just happened. Her eyes blinked open to nothing but black. She assumed with the pain in her neck, her throbbing headache and the confinement of the dark space was an indication that she was in Hell. But she could  hear voices outside of the space; men laughing and glasses being placed on the table, the clinking of coins at a nearby card game. That’s when she started banging on the sides of the wooden coffin. She tried to scream, but nothing but a high-pitched whisper was coming from her sore throat. She kicked and punched until she saw a crack of light coming through the lid; three sets of eyes peering in. The men removed the top of the coffin and Maggie propped herself up on to her elbows. Before she could speak, the men screamed and ran off.

Eventually she was taken before the Judge again. No one knew how to handle such a situation and Maggie herself didn’t know what to expect. To her relief, the judge declared that she had fulfilled her sentence: She was hung until pronounced dead and now she was free to continue her life.

Maggie did continue her life. At some point her husband returned to her and apparently turned a blind eye to the whole situation because they continued their marriage and had a few more children themselves, the first coming just 10 months after her hanging.

Within the years to come, the concealment of pregnancy law was laxed, but they did change the wording: “to be hanged until dead” to “Death by hanging” in order to make sure that any future death penalties would result in an actually dead person.

Over the years, Maggie became a bit of a sensation through Edinburgh; a celebrity, you could say. She made money off of just being the woman who survived a hanging, people would send her jewelry and other things so she and her husband lived a very comfortable life. Maggie ended up living another 40 years and even had a pub named after her in Edinburgh. Right in the Grass Market, where she was hung.


*It’s unknown for sure whether she killed the baby, or it was born stillborn. For the sake of the story, I picked one.

***This was written to be a dramatized version of the real story. While the facts are there, artistic license was taken.


Unearthed podcast


Welcome to an infrequent little off-shoot of your regular programing. The Let Me Remind You (Quickly)… will be just a shorter read compared to the regular one. A tid bit of knowledge, if you will. Enjoy.

Let me remind you (quickly)… about Play-Doh.

If there’s two things that we don’t use a lot of these days in our homes, it’s wallpaper and coal. But back in the early 1900’s and before, it was common to heat one’s home with a coal-fed boiler or furnace, or even cook over a coal cooking-range.
Unfortunately, a by-product of all the coal usage (aside from the asbestos and lung cancer) was soot on the walls. It wasn’t easy to clean off either as you can imagine, and if you’ve ever tried to use a wet rag on wallpaper, you will have found out fairly quickly that you shouldn’t… unless you want rubbed off bits of paper.
What people would use, though, was a compound clay or putty that could be balled up and either rubbed on the walls or rolled over the area with the soot to clean it up.

This product was the money maker for the 1912 Cincinnati soap-making company called Kutol, owned by Noah McVicker. But after WWII when natural gas options for heating were adopted more widely used in residential homes, along with the transition from wallpaper to other materials, including paint or a washable vinyl material, the Kutol Products Company started to become obsolete; their biggest asset was no longer needed.

Noah called on his nephew, Joe McVicker to come help save the company from becoming bankrupt, but what he got was something he least expected. Joe’s sister-in-law, Kay Zufall, a school teacher for young kids read an article about using this wall-cleaning putty as a kids craft for molding things into different shapes (sound familiar?). When she brought it to her school and the kids loved it so much, she took the formal idea to Joe and it was a hit.

Originally Joe wanted to call it, “Rainbow modelling compound”. But luckily Kay swayed him in to calling it “Play-Doh”.

In 1956, McVickers took it to a school supplier and some trade shows here and there. By 1958 they made over 3 MILLION dollars (over $77 million today!). General mills originally bought Play Doh from McVickers for the 3 million shortly after, but since then its traded many hands and now resides in the palms of Hasboro.

Did You Know: Play-Doh’s scent is trademarked?

Online sources:

Short Story: Black Eyed

This short story was written for the small short story group I’m in. I suppose I like to write more fictional, ‘horror’y’ type stories, so heres another. The next wont be. Promise.

*These Short stories are a few that I have written on my own, or as a part of a private group. I’ve decided to share them now in an attempt to free them from my computer.



“Okay, Mr…”
“Connors. Stanley Connors, I go by Stan though. Call me that.”
“Mr. Conn– Stan, tell me what happened. Start from the beginning. Everything you can remember.”

Stan sat up straight in his metal chair, making it scratch against the floor. He cleared his throat as if that would make him appear less anxious. His hand moved the greasy curls brushing his face and noticed his hands vibrating like a recovering addict going through withdraws. He pushed his clasped fists further under the table, rubbing them together for warmth. It’s cold in here, he thought. Why is it so cold? Is he not cold? He looked at the detective in his short-sleeve button-up.
The detective noticed Stan’s shaking hands and peered into his eyes. Checking my pupils Stan gathered and cleared his throat again.
“Um, well, the tonight started with me and Julie–”
“Your wife?”
“Go on.”
“It’s the second night in our new house. We were eating some pizza, having a glass of wine and unpacking boxes.
“How many glasses of wine?”
“We hadn’t even finished the first before — before it all started.”
“Have you taken any other substances tonight?” The detective glanced to where Stan’s hands would be under the table.
“No! I mean, no, we don’t do that. Never have.”
“Never?” The detective asked, skeptical.
“No. Both of our families raised us very religious; kept close tabs and all that.” Stan shook his head and glanced at the detective, waiting for more questions.
“Ok, go ahead. I’ll keep the questions to a minimum; just focus on your story.”
Stan watched him briefly, not believing he cared. He just looked untrustworthy, the type of detective that needs a power trip and closed case with a guilty suspect. Stan’s dark, shaggy hair hid his eyes when he looked down.
“Look at me, Stan. What happened after the pizza?”
“We–We were just sitting there. We don’t have any cable or Internet or anything yet and so we were just talking, unpacking boxes,” The detective wrote something in his little notepad. “We were in the kitchen when we thought we heard some little kids playing. Our house is not in the middle of nowhere, but there’s enough of our yard around the house that no one should be close enough for us to hear. We didn’t think much of it, maybe the old owners let the kids play in the space; or maybe they didn’t know we moved in; the place had been vacant for a long time and we have a lot of big old trees that would be good for climbing.
A few minutes passed and we didn’t hear anything so we forgot about it. Then there was a loud bang from upstairs. I told Julie to wait, I would go check it out.”
“How heroic of you.” The detective murmured.
Stan looked at him through pinched eyes and continued.
“I went upstairs to the master to look around. I noticed a slick smudge on one of the windows. When I looked out and down to the ground I could see there was a dead bird on the grass below. It was getting dark out and hard to see details.
I went downstairs and told Julie. She asked me to go get it and dispose of it just incase of animals or something. So I left her in the house to go out to the garage where we had our shovels and things. I didn’t want to touch it, you know. By the time I got a bag, shovel and our garbage bin out, it was pretty dark. I walked to the side of the house where the bird was.
I could hear the kids talking again. They seemed so close, but I couldn’t see them so I figured they were off in the distance. When I leaned down to pick up the bird, it was covered in gasoline and had a red piece of string around its neck.”

The detective furrowed his brow at Stan but Stan continued, “At this point, I didn’t know if I should just throw it out or report it to the police. I put it in a bag and put it in the empty trashcan until I could figure it out.
I heard the children laughing. This time they sounded even closer. I didn’t put two-and-two together until after it all happened.
I went back inside and Julie was looking out the front window to the trees in the front yard. She reached for me. She was shaking so I hurried towards her to see what she was staring at. In the tree about 20 feet away there was something hanging from the branch. At first it looked like a little boy, but then you could tell it was just a doll from the hair; it was like rope hair on those old stuffed dolls– or cabbage patch kids.
I was about to go back out there but Julie stopped me and said we needed to call the police.
We walked back in to the kitchen to get our cell phones and then there was a knock on the door. We didn’t go to it right away because we were afraid. Then they rang the doorbell.
We don’t have a peephole, so I slowly walked out and peeked out the living room window. It was a little boy, maybe 10. He was wearing long, cut-off jean shorts and a white t-shirt. I looked around and there wasn’t anyone around him, he just stared at the front door then rang the bell again.
His shirt looked torn and dirty and I thought he could be in trouble. I decided to open the door while Julie kept the cell phone in her hand.”

“When I opened the door, he was just staring at my face, like he knew exactly how tall I was already, you know? Like he saw through the door.” Stan buried his face into his hands, shaking his head and digging his fingers into his hair, like he was digging the memory from his brain.

“Do you need a minute, Son?” The detective asked.

Stan took a sip of his water, nearly crushing the Styrofoam. “His eyes, they were so dark–black– like there was nothing there. Almost like little black holes that were sucking me in. I was scared.”
“Of a 10 year old?”
“He wasn’t just a 10 year old.” Suddenly Stan’s voice became clear and uncracked. “Have you heard of the Black-eyed people, Detective?”
“No, I haven’t.” He said, indifferently.
“Well, they are little children,” he said, making air-quotes, “or at least they resemble children. They have hollow, black eyes, blacker than night and usually approach you in places you feel comfortable. Even if it’s the gas station or your home. They will ask you for a favor like a ride home, or ask to come in to use a telephone.”
“What happens if you let them in?” The detective asked with more enthusiasm in his voice.

“I don’t know. I’ve never heard from anyone that has. I’ve just heard that under no circumstances are you to let them in to your personal space.”
“What if you don’t?”
“Well, usually they will go away. I’ve only heard of one lady–at a gas station– who said no to giving the boy a ride home. He turned around to leave, and so she thought nothing of it, but when she was done pumping gas the little boy was in her car, playing with her child. She called her husband because she was so frightened and by the time he got there, the boy was gone. She was so scared she made her husband drive her car home and on the way the tire blew out and he crashed on the side of the road. Luckily he wasn’t injured badly, but the window on the side the child had been sitting was smashed and a branch from the tree pierced across the back seat, through both windows.”
“So, Did you let him in?” The detective changed the subject back.

“No. I knew what he would ask next and sure enough he asked to come in to use the phone. I asked if his friends had left him, was there someone I could call? He said no, he wasn’t with anyone and asked again if he could use the phone to call someone. He said he was lost.
I looked at the tree and the doll was gone. When I looked back at the boy, he was staring at me again. This time Julie said to let him in. I told her no, but reached for her phone, I told him he could use it outside on the patio.
He asked to come in again. He said that he was cold and thirsty. It’s 85 degrees out tonight, so I don’t think he was cold, but I asked Julie to get him a glass of water.
I handed the phone to him. He took it, and slowly walked off the steps. I could hear him talking, but it didn’t sound like English. I couldn’t make out any specific dialect though.
After a few seconds, he came back up the steps and handed the phone to me. Julie handed him the cup.
I instructed him to wait on the patio and knock if he needed more water, but he couldn’t come in. I apologized to him and closed the door.
Julie and I looked at each other for what I remember to be a very long time. I peaked back out to see if he was still there. He wasn’t on the patio, but past our tree I could see the silhouettes of 3 boys– one looked like the boy we let use the phone & the cup of water was sitting on the bannister of our porch.
That’s when we decided to call you and that’s when we saw what he did on the phone.”
“Which was?” The detective questioned.
“The numbers 666 typed into the keypad, but they hadn’t been dialed. Nothing had been dialed since 10am that morning.”
The detective looked unimpressed. “Stan, do you know why you’re here? Do you know why your wife is being questioned in another room while you’re in here?”
“I figured maybe protocol, albeit a little extreme for just a weird incident like this”
“Mr. Connors, this is not just a ‘weird incident’. We found a boy– maybe six years old, outside your bedroom window. He had red yarn wrapped around his—”

“No–” Stan interrupted.

“Yes, Mr. Connors and he was wearing a blond, yarn wig. Oh, and there was no bird in your trashcan, like you said. Nor was there any incident of a cup, or shovel, or bag or even a glass of water. So we need you to tell us the truth.
Stan looked up in to the detective’s eyes.

The detective pushed back in his chair when he saw his eyes, blacker than night staring back at him. Stan lunged.

Dealing With Creative Minds … & other expansive thinking people


When I was in junior high, I was sitting in the front seat of the school bus with one of my best friends. She spent a couple minutes digging through her lunch bag and pulled out a chocolate pudding cup and spoon.
“You want some pudding?” she asked.
“Sure!” I replied. Excitedly, I took the pudding cup and spoon, peeled back the top and devoured the entire thing. She sat there, quietly, only kind of watching me.
I’m not sure how it came up, but soon after she said that she wasn’t planning on giving me the entire thing, she was just being generous and offering me a couple bites.
I immediately felt bad and wished I could have somehow removed the pudding perfectly from my stomach for her. I still, to this day feel bad about that (sorry Tracy!).
Somehow, in my mind I interpreted her spending the time looking through her lunch bag and handing me the un-opened, un-eaten cup as her not wanting it at all (weird, I know). I thought she was looking for something else that wasn’t in there.  I thought her searching through her bag and offering me the first bite was meant to say “here, I don’t want this”. In retrospect, this seems like an odd thing to assume.

This is how my life has seemed to transcend through time: a constant misconception of what was portrayed to me through words.
The problem is this: my mind has no boundaries. A normal, logically thinking person might create and build their mental boundaries, keeping them a little closer to home so there’s no confusion or maybe even, no room for error.
Not me. In fact, my boundaries reside in space somewhere. Perhaps even in another galaxy. Actually, I don’t have a clue where they are.
For example, if someone were to say to me: “Hey, want to move to London?”
I’d say “Hell yeah! Let us just sell our house, quit my job, find another job in London, sell our belongings, car, etc. Maybe get a visa or something and then lets go!”
In fact, I have indeed told my husband that I would like to move to England. I was actually serious (if he starts questioning my sanity though, I was ‘just kidding’).
Of course he said that would be “impossible”: we would have to ‘sell our house, quit our jobs, find other jobs in London, sell all our belongings, car etc. & maybe get a visa or something, so we can’t go.’ See what I’m getting at?

This only recently made me realize that this boundary issue could be a result of being a creative person. I wonder: do other creative people have this problem? Do not-so-creative people have this problem too? Does this issue transcend different personality types?

Don’t get me wrong, I take direction very well and efficiently. I can be trained very quickly & easily. This could be a product of having a decent work ethic and being keen to learn (plus asking many questions to be ‘sure I have it right’). However, on the other hand, sometimes taking direction can be confusing (for lack of a better word). At work, at home, at yoga, verbal instructions sometimes just aren’t clear enough.
I’ve had superiors and even my husband struggle with my ability to turn instructions in to their reality. I always thought it was just their inability to GIVE the instruction well enough I can visualize it, and maybe part of it is, but I also think it’s me.

See, when the creative mind is given a vague instruction, it will interpret it to what it creates itself. If the instructor had a specific direction with their task, it may not be done that way. For example: If someone gave me a lawn decoration and told me to put it at the front of the house, I may take it and put it near the front window (nearest the house), when in reality they meant the very front of the lawn next to the sidewalk by the street.
Adam and I struggle a lot with this issue when it comes to driving. When we first moved to Dallas, I got mixed up a lot. I found my way to get from most point A’s to most point B’s, but when he was in the car, I always asked which way HE wanted to go because I knew if I turned right too soon, I would be asked “why are you going this way?” but if, in the future, I went his way, I would again be asked “how come you’re going this way, it’s Tuesday.” Like, what?!
Then you get me in to a yoga class with a vague teacher and forget it. When I find a teacher I like, I do not let them go!
Have you had a vague teacher? One that says, “OK, we’re going to sit, bend your leg and twist. WHAT? What leg am I bending, and what am I twisting? A look around the class shows some confusion but mostly that we have now actually bent our right knee up, not out to the side, and we’re twisting our body towards the bent knee– not away.

The problem then lies in getting instructions that you know have a specific outcome from someone who is very particular or Type-A. Sometimes a very specific idea of what they want can be overwhelming in a sense, because the creative minds want to make sure it’s perfect for them. Or, in other words: their expansive mind is forced to be narrowed down to the specific request, which can also equal to many questions, just to ‘make sure it’s done correctly’.
On more than one occasion, I have told people: 2+2=4 and 3+1=4. Meaning: the outcome is the same, but the way of getting there is interpreted differently by each person. And as long as the outcome is the same, what difference does the journey make…
Unless it’s an actual journey and you do something like not turn the map upside down to head the way you came from and end up going deeper in to Niagara, instead of back towards New York. Ooops. That was not part of my creative mind, that was just me being a dumby.

We also have a tendency to over-explain how we came to that conclusion, so you can understand the thought process and many tangents our own mind went through to get to that 1 conclusion, which you thought was ‘obvious’. The response is usually “ok, yeah, I can see that.”

What I’m getting at is that everyone has a different way of thinking; they have a different journey and maybe they don’t care about the fastest way (unless that is a requirement), maybe they want to take the scenic route in life.
Most people’s thoughts are not usually meant to be hateful or malicious, so before you judge someone because they think a little differently than you, remember that they may have a different journey, mentally and maybe even physically. And if that person happens to be creative, add on 3 or 4 different parallel universes for them to maneuver through because they are already trying to figure out which one you’re in.