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Archive for July 2008

…my husband.

Nine years ago today you bravely waited at the front of the church for me to walk down the aisle to you. In many ways, we barely knew each other. Yet, in other ways, because you were in Korea for most of our engagement problem, we knew each other well because we talked almost daily.

Corny as it sounds, I think our hearts recognized a like spirit from the day we met. It didn’t take long for the minds above to catch up and we knew there was no reason to waste time with something that seemed right and good.

We’ve definitely had our ups and downs. Thanks for sticking with it. You’ve shown that steadiness and loyalty that was one of the things I noticed at the start. And I like the laughter and fun that have always been there, even when things are tough.

Our life has changed over the years and I thank you for supporting my various endeavors. I would not be where I am today without your support and help. When I feel like the rest of the world is against me, you are always in my corner. Even when I’m off roaming the continent, I feel sure that you are thinking about me and caring about me.

I love you. I value you. And I look forward to whatever our future holds for us.

Happy Anniversary!

Politics. That’s what I’m not talking about. As a moderate conservative, it’s best to keep my thoughts to myself, at least in the world of academia.

Instead, I’d like to ask what is an energy envelope? I heard this term on NPR this morning. There have been some funny terms come out of the whole global warming/energy crisis hoopla. Meat footprint is one my favorite phrases. I envision a big footprint (think Yeti on steroids) covered in bacon or some sort of lunchmeat. I love some of these new phrases because of the pictures they create in my mind.

Any words or phrases out there that give you fun/odd mind images?

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I’ve mentioned before that I hate presenting. Not because I’m lazy or unmotivated, but because I suffer from performance anxiety in the worst way. Yep. I get vultures (not little butterflies) in my stomach. I think they’re waiting for me to die of fright, which is a possibility.

I present at 8:30 tomorrow morning. I’m talking about using free screen capture software (specifically Jing and Camstudio. I know, some people hate these, but they’re pretty easy to use.) And in the spirit of looking at the positive side, let’s talk about the benefits of presenting.

1. It’s good to practice. As a librarian, I do presentations in various ways throughout the week, whether I call it that or not. When I teach, I’m presenting. When I pitch an idea or program to colleagues, I’m presenting. When I share conference info at a staff meeting, I’m presenting.

2. It’s a great way to share ideas and get feedback. I work in a relatively small library at a mid-size university. So there is a limited amount of opportunity to get feedback and share in person. Getting out where there are people from other places with other types of experience allows me to expand my horizons. At this stage of my career, I learn as much from what people ask or have to say about info I’ve provided as I do from actually doing the presentation.

3. It makes me research and try new things. Not that this would likely be a problem for me because I like learning about stuff, but presenting does help me gather my thoughts into coherent form. It also keeps me a bit more focused since I tend to be all over the map with my interests. (I think I’m slightly ADD, seriously!)

4. Maybe someone will learn something from me. I think it’s important for librarians to share. It isn’t possible for most of us to explore everything we want to and conferences are a great way to find out what’s going on and what would be useful for us to try. And by presenting, I get to add to the platter.

5. I get to meet people. This is one of the best parts. When I put myself up in front of crowd, I make myself accessible to others. I’ve had great conversations with people after I’ve finished a presentation and have met some wonderful people. As an introvert, if I don’t force myself to be visible, I’ll contentedly skulk in the last row with a few seats between me and the next person. (If you know me and see me skulking, please invite me over to sit with you. I’m just shy, not unfriendly!)

With a large coffee in hand, I’m ready to demonstrate screen captures tomorrow. The hope is that the audience will participate with some questions so it’s more of a workshop and not just me standing up there talking at people.

…if you didn’t own a tv?

This post got me thinking about the things that I could do if I didn’t have a tv in the house to distract me. (Or if I turned the tv off.) And it’s timely because I’ve been debating whether I should get cable when I move into my studio next month. As it is, I really don’t watch much tv during the week anyway, but it was interesting to consider what I could do instead. (Right now I just stay late at work, and that’s not exactly a healthy alternative.)

1. Read more. There is always a stack of books on my nightstand, but I usually only devote a few minutes each night to reading because I’m usually too tired by the time I get into bed. I’ve always loved reading and there are so many more books that I want to read!

2. Work on puzzles. Growing up I was never a big jigsaw puzzle person. Then in adulthood I discovered the joy of putting the pieces together to make a complete picture. It’s a relaxing activity, yet there is a sense of purpose and completion. Very satisfying.

3. Explore my creativity. One way I could do this is with scrapbooking. I also own a loom that I’ve yet to set up. (I got it almost 3 years ago!) I like making things with my hands (hence the appeal of knitting), yet I never seem to have enough time. I think of all the half finished needlework projects that I could finish.

4. Listen to and make music. Music has always been a huge part of my life. But I hardly play anymore. I’ve wanted to really learn how to fiddle and wouldn’t mind devoting some time to this. Let’s not even talk about the accordion and mandolin that are starting to collect dust. There also piles of CD’s that I haven’t listened to in years because the tv is usually the background noise. I’m sure there are some gems in there I’ve completely forgotten about.

5. Spend time with friends. I’m an introvert by nature and it’s easier to curl up on the sofa with the tv on. But I also have times when I do crave human contact. There are some people that I’ve met recently who I really enjoy spending time with and should make a point of hanging out with more often.

6. Watch good movies. Not that all the Oscar winners are really good (at least in recent years), but I’d like to watch all of them. And I have a huge Netflix cue of foreign and independent movies that look really great. Of course, when I’m watching some silly sitcom, I’m not watching a good movie. That could certainly change.

7. Exercise. I keep saying that I need to get in shape. Not much is happening in that regard. There is no reason why I couldn’t go for a walk, go to water aerobics, or spend some time at the gym. But once I sit down in front of the television at the end of the day, my energy seems to get sucked right into the screen.

8. Cook more. Cooking is another one of those activities that I’ve been surprised to find I enjoy. I like experimenting with different foods and flavors. Most of what I make is fairly simple stuff, but it beats anything out of a box or from the drive-thru. And I could freeze leftovers to enjoy on those days when I work late or am completely exhausted.

9. See more of my community. Living here during the work week means that I’ve not really gotten out in LittleUtown. It’s not a bad town and there are some pretty parks to enjoy. Give me the bug spray and turn me loose.

10. Learn new things. I have no idea what this might be at the moment. But I’m sure that inspiration will strike when I need it to.

I don’t blame the television for my overall laziness or the fact that I’m not doing more of any of these things. It’s really my fault for not having more imagination most days. When I’m old, I’d like to look back at my life and remember more than funny commercials and canned laughter. So, I’m going to start making more moments that have meaning.

Searching…

Posted on: July 29, 2008

Since getting the news a few weeks ago about DH’s deployment, I’ve been in a bit of tailspin.

He’d decided to retire at 20 years. He’s got a bit less than 18 in currently.

Considering that, I’d decided that sometime next summer, I would start the search for a job somewhere we’d like to live for the rest of our lives. (Honestly, Kansas summers are too hot. Maybe I’m a wimp, but I like being able to do things outdoors without turning into a puddle. And nice as LittleUtown is, it’s just not the right place for long term.) I get to pick this time. *grin*

Alaska is the dream location. Don’t know if it will ever be the reality.

So, we’ve had a few discussions about the where. Somewhere cooler definitely where there is snow in the winter and maybe not so much ice. States under consideration are Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. (Sorry all you southern types. I enjoy visiting, but that’s about it!)

DH’s retirement will be pushed back at least a few months because it’s likely that stop loss will go into effect. (Meaning no one gets out until the deployment is over…for almost any reason.) At first, I thought, I’d just wait until he returns to start looking. Or at least wait until later in his deployment.

Applying for the AK job seems to have inspired me to start the serious search…um…now. Since I’m okay with where I’m at currently, it gives me the luxury of applying where I want and for jobs that I’m really interested in. It’s interesting that many people I talk to always have their eyes open for a better opportunity, even if they like where they are at the moment. Wonder what that’s all about. Does it have something to do with being ready when opportunity knocks?

I can’t predict what the future will bring. I may be right where I am when DH deploys. I might still be here when he returns. Like always, I’m just taking it one day at a time. And like always, I kind of make it up as I go along. This is probably why I’ve survived so long as an Army wife. *laugh*

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Almost over

Posted on: July 27, 2008

I’ve got that vacation-is-almost-over depression setting in. A bit worse than the usual Sunday depression since I’ve had a wonderful week at home with DH and the dogs (and other house guests as well.)

The next several days are going to be very busy. I still have to finish preparing for my presentation at the end of the week. And then I’ll be home with enough time to do some laundry and pack for the trip to Denver.

I’m looking forward to the workshop at the end of the week, although I’d gladly do without making a presentation. Fortunately it’s just a 1/2 hour workshop format, so not as painful. Reference Renaissance promises to be interesting and informative. I hope to bring back some good information to share with work colleagues.

Also on the to-do list for the week is planning the training session for the university’s ambassadors (the students who provide tours to prospective tours.) I hope to finish the planning for SWARM International and start rounding up volunteers.

What else? I’ve got a program proposal to write for an upcoming conference. There is a program that I’d like to see us try with incoming freshman and I need to get the proposal/plan written for that.

I’ve also got a few follow-up things to do for the Summer Institute before I can officially declare my job done with that.

Then there is the usual job stuff, like gift books, reference collection weeding, desk hours, etc. And I’m the person in charge of the department for the next few days since our head is still on vacation. Whee.

It’s likely I won’t get much sleep tonight (which is typical for Sundays) as my mind spins through all the things I need to do this week.

I do think I was pretty successful about shutting that stuff off in general this past week. For me, that’s a huge accomplishment. It bodes well for the upcoming meditation retreat.

Yes, this is my life.

DH and I celebrated our anniversary early (since I’ll be workshopping on the actual day.) We went to see the X-Files this afternoon and then had dinner at Famous Dave’s. DH gave me a pretty pair of earrings that I’d seen in a shop window a few weeks back. So far, I’ve not got his present. Although I did have an inspiration today. Fortunately I’ll be in the neighborhood later this week where I plan to get his gift.

And KS is hot. HOT! And humid. I’m all done with summer now. kthxbai

News

Posted on: July 27, 2008

DH is deploying sometime between December 2009 and March 2010 to Afghanistan.

That is all.


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Upcoming

Mar. 10 - Photography Class

Mar. 11 - Quad Cities SnB

Mar. 12 - Lincoln Reenactor performance at BHE

Mar. 13 - Annual budget due

Mar. 14 - SnB trip to Galena

Mar. 16-21 - Spring Break

Mar. 16-18 - On the Front Lines library conference in Springfield

Mar. 19-22 - In Kansas

Mar. 23 - Orientation in Quad Cities

Mar. 24 - Photography Class

Mar. 26 - Spring Break for Academic Librarians workshop in Peoria

Mar. 27 - Supervisor Development in Quad Cities

Apr. 2 - Using Social Technologies in Library Instruction workshop

Apr. 6 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 6 - My birthday

Apr. 7 - Photography Class

Apr. 9-12 - In Kansas

Apr. 10 - College Closed

Apr. 12 - Easter

Apr. 13-19 - National Library Week

Apr. 13 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 14 - Photography Class

Apr. 16 - Evening Instruction Session

Apr. 17 - Information Literacy Summit

Apr. 18 - A Day of Books and Quilts at Toulon Public Library

Apr. 20 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 21 - Photography Class

Apr. 22 - Renegade Reference meeting in Bloomington

Apr. 23 - Illinois Library Day

Apr. 24 - Quarterly Supervisors Meeting

Apr. 27 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 28 - Photography Class

Apr. 29 - Supervisor Training in Quad Cities

May 5 - Photography Class

May 12 - National Library Legislative Day

May 25 - Memorial Day - College Closed

June 4 - RSA Users' Group meeting in Peoria

June 6 - SIL's birthday June 6 - Brother and SIL Anniversary

June 8 - Nancy Pearl at Bradley University

June 13 - WWKIP train trip to St. Louis

July 3 - Holiday - College Closed

July 4 - Independence Day

July 10 - Mom's Birthday

July 10-15 - ALA Annual Conference in Chicago

July 17-19 - Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair in Crystal Lake, IL

July 31 - 10th Anniversary

Sept. 7 - Labor Day, College closed

Oct. 6-9 - Illinois Library Association Annual Conference in Peoria

Nov. 23 - Brother's birthday

Nov. 26 - Thanksgiving Day, College closed

Nov. 27 - College Closed

Dec. 7 - MIL's birthday

Dec. 18 - DH's birthday

Dec. 25 - Christmas Day

Dec. 26 - Dad's birthday

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