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I’m at Sheep in the City this weekend. It’s a good weekend for any sort of fiber related activity up here in Wisconsin since it’s cold and snowy outside. I’ll have to venture out at some point to get some lunch, but most of today (Saturday) will be spent indoors learning some new things.

Like SPINNING!!! Yes! I bought a drop spindle and some roving. A very nice woman at the booth where I’ve also dropped a few dollars got me started. It’s not nearly as difficult as I thought and I’ve been spinning away for an hour or so now. Just as relaxing as knitting and as portable with the drop spindle.

I’m also working on a knitted garden gnome. You read that right. It’s another Amy Gaines pattern. In January, I bought three more of her patterns and am just starting work on them. After I finish this one, I plan to move on to a knitted bird and birdhouse…perfect for spring.

I’ve taken a few pictures, but photographing yarn is proving somewhat difficult for me. I’m not happy with how the colors are turning out. It’s good practice though in an area that I’ve never been as comfortable taking pictures.

Time to head back to the action. I think Guild Wars will be starting soon. Two fiber guilds are competing to see how can knit a scarf the fastest…from start to finish. Including carding the wool, spinning it into yarn, and the actual knitting of said wool. Exciting stuff!!! (I really mean that.)

Then my first class (well, it’s a make and take but I will be learning a new technique) starts in an hour. I’ll have a break for lunch. Then the sweater class is this afternoon. The rest of the day will be filled with general hijinks. Maybe I’ll break out the bathing suit and scare some people in the hot tub. *snort*

And for those who wonder, travel was fine yesterday. Some snow flurries developed as I got closer to Rockford and those continued throughout the rest of my trip. Traffic was fine. The interstates in IL left some to be desired. Wonder what Blagojevich was doing with all the money designated for highway repairs. Well, maybe I don’t really wonder. But there are some potholes you could lose yourself in.

And on the food front, I took advantage of the continental breakfast the hotel (Comfort Suites, btw) offered and had a decent, healthy, and filling start to my day. I think I could use another cup of coffee now. Or maybe a bottle of water.

I’ve been using the college’s small fitness center to exercise. It’s really rather underwhelming, but has the advantage of being free. However, I’m starting to realize that I need access to a bit more than is offered.
aerobic
Kewanee has a YMCA and I’m strongly considering becoming a member. Once upon a time I did water aerobics and really enjoyed it. They offer aquacize there (among other things) and I’d like to start taking classes again. There is also a dance-type aerobics class that I think I would enjoy and is offered in the very early evening.

Now that I’m figuring out the food thing, it’s time to start sweating. The benefit of aquatics exercise is it’s much easier on the joints but also offers resistance. I think I’ve got a bathing suit in IL. It’s not a pretty sight, me in a bathing suit, but I’ll suffer the humiliation for a good cause.

I was looking at the weight range for my height. It’s between 120 and 140 lbs. I’d be happy to be 140 – still have some curves and a weight I can imagine maintaining. The slimmest I’ve been as an adult was 160 lbs. and I remember feeling fat. It’s amazing how bad I allowed other people to make me feel. At that weight, my stomach was flat, I had shapely legs, and I felt good. I like at pictures of myself from that time and I really looked healthy. It’s frustrating to know that I felt huge and defeated about my physical appearance.

As you can tell, I’ve got some self-image baggage that I’ll be losing along with actual pounds. In a way, that stuff is more dangerous to my overall health than cellulite. It’s an interesting journey that I’ve started. Hope I don’t get tired and collapse by the roadside along the way.

I’ve updated my weight tracker page. This week I lost 1.6 lbs. I’m happy with that considering I’m still slowly increasing my activity level. And I’m not being as faithful about tracking my points as I should be. The eTools really do help, but when I’m running around doing stuff, or sick like I’ve been this week, it’s hard to be as focused. Not making excuses or complaining. Just stating how it is with me. This is a lifestyle change that I’m working on and it will take some time.

I am thinking about healthier choices and being more mindful of what I choose to eat. Today has been a fairly good day. I had some veggie soup from a can for lunch – only 50 calories a serving and 0 points. Added some Triscuits with cheese and fruit and it was a satisfying meal.

Exercise has not happened this week because my energy level has been so low. Perhaps it would help me get better faster. I don’t know. I’ll get back on track next week. Maybe I’ll even throw my workout clothes in the Xterra and take advantage of the hotel facilities this weekend. Knitting isn’t exactly a calorie burner. Although I wonder if I could knit while pedaling away on the recumbant bike?

I just keep telling myself slow and steady wins the race…or weight loss.

sick

I’ve been fighting a cold this week. I think the contagious part got out of the way Friday and Saturday, but since then I’ve become all mucousy sounding. I can live with that. The worst part of being sick is the energy drain. About all I’ve been able to manage this week is work. However, I have got some more knitting done since I’ve been hanging out at home on the sofa in the evenings. There is a silver lining!

I was supposed to teach three back-to-back-to-back information literacy sessions tomorrow morning, but the professor has been sick this week also. We’ve rescheduled to next week and I’m very glad because I’m not as prepared as I’d like to be and I really wasn’t sure how I’d manage to get through 4 hours of teaching while coughing and blowing my nose constantly. Sure, I’d have managed, but being healthy makes me more effective and coherent.

It also means that I can work on a few other things today and tomorrow that I wasn’t originally going to have time for this week. Life will be busy up until spring break. I’ll be taking some time off in mid-March.

The weather today is beautiful. I’m enjoying it while it lasts. If I have to be sick, at least I don’t have to deal with really cold, windy days. Helps keep my spirits up a bit.

For now, I’m going to enjoy some pizza. A couple of my staff have had birthdays this month and I’ve been ordering pizza for the LRC to celebrate.

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Oh snap!

Posted on: February 15, 2009

Charley and I went driving today so I could get some pitchers pictures for my photography assignment. He was incredibly well-behaved and held still when I asked him to so that my arm wasn’t jiggled by the leash. It’s great because I like the companionship even if we don’t talk much. Here are a few of the pictures I got today.

Valentine’s Day was very nice. DH got home in the late afternoon and had a present for me. It was very unexpected! We went to IHOP for dinner. While it’s not a romantic location, we both like the food and it’s generally quiet enough that we can have a conversation. Which we did…about politics, dogs, and other stuff. Since I only get to spend about a weekend a month with him, that’s more important that some fancy schmancy dinner.

DH has been gone since 7 am today and won’t be home for another 2 hours, at least. The dogs and I slept in and napped most of the morning. You’ve seen the results of my afternoon. Tonight I plan to watch the beginning of the new season of The Amazing Race. It’s interesting to see the places they travel. I think I’ll work some more on my neck warmer. Looks like I might need it this week with the temperatures dropping again.

Tomorrow morning DH is bringing his car in for some work and I plan to follow him to town. We’ll have some breakfast and this great restaurant before I get on the road. I hope to have some time along the way to do get some more pictures…especially if there is still loads of snow left in Iowa.

Then it’s back to work and the usual stuff. I’ll be in and out of town again this week for meetings and training stuff. Yes, I’ll be glad when all this traveling back and forth to the Quad Cities is over. But I’m learning a lot about the college, which is extremely helpful. There is also an academic librarians meeting this week that I’m planning to attend up at our campus in Moline. So far all the librarians I’ve met here in IL and nearby IA have been extremely welcoming and helpful.

Now I’m trying to decide when I can travel over to eastern IL to visit my parents. I’m hoping for the first or second weekend in March. That sounds like it should be far in the future, but this year is moving along so quickly. Wow!

I finally made it to KS this morning. The 2-4 inches of snow that was predicted for central IA ended up being a snow storm warning. Um…whoops! If I had know the weather conditions were going to be that bad, I wouldn’t have attempted the trip. But, I’m safe and the Xterra is in one piece. I had one scary moment where I was certain I was going to become very friendly with the ditch. Thanks to low speed and no nearby cars, I stayed on the road and intact. I ended up stopping in Lincoln, NE around 12:30 am (still at least 2 hours from home in good conditions) because I was exhausted and strung out. Got up early and was on the road again by 7:30 am.

I picked up the dogs from the kennel this morning. They all seem glad to be home and seem like they plan to nap this afternoon. Sounds like a good plan to me!

When I talked to DH a bit ago, he was passing CapitalT. I expect he’ll be home before 3:30ish. The dogs will be happy to see him again, I’m sure. This is the perfect Valentine’s Day for them. All their people together with them at home…with dog treats!

That’s really about it for the moment. I plan to get out tomorrow to work on my photography assignment. DH will be gone most of the day for a job. I might bring Charley along. He’s wonderful in the car and the moment we got in the door today, he was waiting again to go for a ride or something. Out of the three of them, he’s the one who really seems to crave individual attention sometimes.

Last night, I drove down to WIU to hear Frank Warren speak. He is the creator of Post Secret. I don’t really know how to describe it. The secrets that he shared with the audience really made it a compelling talk. I also had to admire the courage of the college students who got up to share some painful or funny secrets of their own. It’s not easy to stand up in a room filled with hundreds of your peers and bare yourself like that.

I ended up picking up the four books he has out currently. I plan to donate them to the LRC here. While waiting for the evening to start, I thumbed through a couple of them and there were a few postcards that I could identify with. It sounds like many other people have that experience.

Being back in Macomb was a bit surreal. Most things are the same. But there have also been some big changes. The university/community now has a bus system. A complete block of nasty houses has been torn down and nice townhouses have been built in their place. Some of the stores that used to be on the square have moved to the east side of town where there is a Walmart Supercenter and a bunch of other stores that didn’t exist when I lived there. It’s good to see that the town seems to be doing well.

We didn’t get any serious weather except for high winds yesterday. But, there is a snow storm headed this way tomorrow evening. I hope the meteorologists are wrong and it will arrive sometime on Saturday when I won’t be traveling. I’ll have to keep a close eye out tomorrow. As much as I want to see DH and the dogs, I also don’t want to get stranded on the road or end up in an accident.

meh
The weather outside is amazing today. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to get outside to enjoy it before it gets cold again tomorrow. It’s a reminder of what we have to look forward to when spring really arrives to stay.

DH is at Ft. Campbell this week. I guess the band there is deployed, so they had to go play for ceremonies and stuff. Of course, it doesn’t mean a great deal for me, except that I don’t get almost daily updates on the dogs. They’re kenneled right now. I’ll pick them up on Saturday morning since DH won’t get back from TDY until the evening. Happy Valentine’s Day to us. Eh! I’m thinking about making something good for us to eat at home that night since he’ll have eaten out all week.

Then DH will be gone most of Sunday since they have a concert somewhere in north west Kansas. I really won’t see much of him this weekend, but it’s the only 3-day weekend I have this month. Trying to save the vacation time for March.

The count-down has started in the Sheep in the City Ravlery group. I think it’s 17 days away now. I have my roommate, classes, registration all take care of. I’ll stop by the LYS in BigUtown to pickup yarn for my top-down sweater class while I’m in town this weekend. This trip is my early birthday present. I didn’t go to the knitting weekend that I wanted to last year and am glad that I get to do something like this finally. It should be fun and I’ll get to learn a few new things while I’m there. Maybe I’ll finally get a sweater knit!

Work is good. Here’s a quick update:

  • We’ve got a great student employee in here who is learning the ropes quickly. Certainly helps to have another set of hands when things are busy. A faculty member also approached me about a student who needs to finish up some internship hours. I have some projects that I want to work on and will be glad for the extra help.
  • I’ve been asked to sit on a search committee and said yes. It can be time consuming, but it will be a good way to get to know some of the other people around here. I’ll be going to the Quad Cities campus Thursday morning for a training about how to use our application system.
  • The Weight Watchers group at work is really fun. Soon, I’ll be in the midst of budget stuff. Hopefully I’ll stay motivated this time. Our leader is a hoot and she really makes it entertaining. My last leader was kind of odd, like she’d joined the cult of WW. I have a hard time relating to people like that.
  • Right now I’m working on the last major book order for this fiscal year. We have some specific gaps that I’m looking to order for. We’ve got about $4000 more to spend. It’s not a lot when you start adding it up, so it takes some serious evaluating.
  • I like having weekends off. It’s nice to be able to take care of personal stuff and not feel rushed because of work or travel. It also makes my regular work schedule very stable, which is something I enjoy.
  • I’ll be going to a conference sponsored by the state library in March and another in-state conference on information literacy in April. That’s the extent of my travel for the next few months. It will probably be 2010 before I do any major conference travel again.
  • Getting really excited about Sheep in the City at the end of the month.

    I’m looking forward to the classes I’ll be taking.

    I’m also looking forward to the vendors! Saving my pennies for new yarn. Yeah yeah. I don’t need new yarn…but…well…knitters understand.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about food and weight this week. Trying to change your habits does that to a person.
    mbcn728l
    I realized that part of my problem is not being able to imagine myself anything other than heavy. I’ve been overweight for so many years that the very idea of ever being slim is mind boggling. It’s just a fantasy for me. How can you imagine something that you don’t remember being?

    It’s a mind-set that I’m going to have to work out of because it doesn’t lend well to success.

    Anyway…
    cartoon2
    It’s been a fairly busy week around here. I was in Peoria for a grant workshop yesterday and will be there again tomorrow for a training on the Outreach module of our circulation system. In plain language, I’m learning about the part that will let us have books and other things at our building in town…and still keep track of where they are. Yay for college vehicles, so I’m not burning my own gas all the time.

    I did get to SnB last night. Things were pretty low-key and I got a slipper almost finished. One of the women in the group recently was diagnosed with cancer. So some of us are working on projects to give her as part of a big gift basket. I’m making some slippers. I also picked up a couple of books that I hope will cheer her up.
    the-host
    Although I shouldn’t stay up late to read, I keep picking up good books…or at least interesting books. I finished reading The Host this week. This is by the same author who wrote The Twilight series, although this book is not a YA book. It was a fairly predictable story with few twists, but I still enjoyed it. If you’re not into sci-fi chick lit, I wouldn’t recommend it.


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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

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    Apr. 7 - Photography Class

    Apr. 9-12 - In Kansas

    Apr. 10 - College Closed

    Apr. 12 - Easter

    Apr. 13-19 - National Library Week

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    Apr. 20 - Weight Watchers

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    Apr. 23 - Illinois Library Day

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    May 25 - Memorial Day - College Closed

    June 4 - RSA Users' Group meeting in Peoria

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