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Crazy looks like me some days.

Queen Big Lips

Queen Big Lips

“If you’re crazy, there’s two things you can do to make yourself feel better: One is to get yourself cured. The other is to make everyone you have to deal with crazy.” — Alan Dean Foster

I was having a conversation with some lovely women this weekend about mental illness. I’ve already talked before on the blog about mine, so I won’t get into that again.

But there are days when I feel like I’m barely hanging onto sanity. Not that I’m ever likely to go into some fun sort of craziness where I see things crawling on the walls or start talking to people who aren’t there. Nope, my crazy shows up in different ways. Like not wanting to get out of bed or not being able to deal with crowds. BTW, telling me to “cheer up”

Every day for me involves evaluating my mental state. Sounds exhausting? At first it was, but now it’s become habit. Why do I do this? To make sure that I’m coping well and not sliding into some sort of funk that will affect how I want to live my life. So far, just being aware and making minor adjustments as I need to has helped me maintain fairly well without any medication adjustments.

To answer the question, when will I stop taking medication? Most likely never. At least not any time soon. Our bodies chemistry changes throughout our lives and I do hope that one day mine will change to the extent that I won’t need the daily pill that keeps me stable. Hasn’t happened yet. That fact doesn’t depress me or frustrate me. It is what it is.

Despite all the mental/chemical/physiological stuff, I’ve reached a point where I’m fairly content and happy. Sure, there are things that could be better, different, easier, etc. Why worry about what I can’t change…or can’t change immediately? It is what it is.

So, yes. I’m a crazy person. I’ve embraced my personal craziness and am living my life just as I am. I am what I am.


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.
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.


“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chiff requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.” – Charles Kingsley

There is great truth in this statement. When I think about why I get up every day, it’s because I have a job that I’m generally enthusiastic about. In fact, there are several things in my life that make me look forward to a new day. It would be simple to give into depression and anxiety, but when I focus on the things that are good in my life, the things that I enjoy, it’s possible to keep on. Things like my work, knitting, family, friends, photography, dogs, etc. give me purpose and bring meaning to life. They’re aren’t very complex or worldly things. Simple pleasures suit me best. What makes you enthusiastic?



I’m really not sure what to think about the latest political scandal in IL. Not surprised because Burris couldn’t seem to actually get elected to the Senate seat. However, I’m not entirely sure that there was actual wrong-doing that is sufficient to remove him from the seat now. Does seem like the mess that is IL politics is not going to be cleaned up easily. I’m almost afraid to open the paper these days.

  • Although I listened to as much of the speech as I could stand without gagging, I want to go back later and reread. I'm hoping that it won't sound as bad as it did the first time. I wasn't inspired as much as angered by some of the insinuations and thinly veiled criticisms that this speech contained. Personally, I've long been proud of this country and my fellow citizens because of the potential we contain and the daily good that I see. I don't need to be reminded to work to make this country strong. As a military spouse and an American citizen, I understood my duty long ago.
    (tags: news)
  • Another knitting project for me to add to the growing list of TBKs. I love the color on this sweater, but I also love the design. Of course, I'd have to actually take the time to measure my gauge so I wouldn't end up with too much ease. I don't so much love the gauge thing, but it wouldn't be a bad thing to get in the habit of doing. Wonder if I could knit this before winter ends.
    (tags: knitting)
  • I really like the construction of this vest. I still like wearing vests in those in-between seasons like spring and summer. Vests are also a great layering piece under a jacket. I originally found this pattern via Ravelry. Wondering if I have enough yarn from an abandoned project to make this. Frantically doing the math in my head.
    (tags: knitting)
  • From Poppytalk. I love labeling things. Must be the librarian in me. These labels are really attractive and great for keeping your life organized.
    (tags: freebie)
  • Switchplates are an easy way to personalize any space…even if you're renting and can't make permanent changes. Just don't lose the ones that come with your apartment. Here is an easy tutorial on how to decorate your own switchplates.
  • Free recipe cards to print and use. This would be nice to use for a wedding shower gift. Put together some cooking or baking supplies and use the cards for your favorite recipes. Personal and likely to be much appreciated.
    (tags: freebie)
  • I had no idea you could felt into polyster. And that you could use non-wool stuff to felt with if you're using polyester. Let my internal felting monster loose!
    (tags: crafts)
  • "Members of Quilters of South Carolina have created one-of-a-kind bras for Breast Cancer Awareness. The exhibit consists of forty-nine original works of art which are unique, entertaining, humorous, and beautiful to make the public aware of breast cancer, to memorialize those lost to the disease, and to honor survivors."
    (tags: crafts art)
  • Cute chart for free. It's in French, but the DMC numbers are provided, so even those linguistically challenged people like me should be able to complete it. There are several other charts available as well.
    (tags: crafts freebie)

I’m self-diagnosing myself with Seasonal Affect Disorder. Or maybe it’s just holiday let-down. We’re entering that time of year when people tend to den, hiding out in their warm houses waiting for winter to pass and spring to appear.

When we lived in Alaska, I don’t remember this sort of post-holiday blahs. People often ask if it was difficult dealing with the darkness and cold, but there were so many things going on that I never really got the winter blues. The darkness seems worse here, maybe because there isn’t all the snow to reflect the moonlight. And the beauty of the northern lights makes up for all the cold and darkness.

I think that this will pass as I continue to get more settled into life here in Illinois. Life is finally starting to get into more of a routine, which I’ve really lacked in the past couple of years. While I enjoy some variety, the older I get, the more I appreciate the comfort of knowing where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing most days of the week. Routine makes it easier to handle the unexpected. At least for me it does.

I do have my upcoming trip to Kansas to look forward to. And there is knitting on Wednesday night. I also discovered that the River Music Experience does a drum circle on the 4th Saturday of every month. I’ve always wanted to have a chance to participate in a drum circle on a regular basis. It’s one of those things I enjoyed in my former life as a music therapist.

But, overall, I’m doing just fine. I’ve been knitting and have a couple of almost finished projects that I’ll share soon. My Chia Hippo is sprouting and my Aerogarden is growing away. I’ve started reading Travels With Charley and checked out Lolita today. I ordered a handheld Garmin GPS device and a beginner’s book on geocaching, so I’ll be starting some outdoor adventures soon despite the winter weather. I also set up the Playstation to keep occupied when there isn’t anything on tv and I don’t feel like watching movies, reading, or knitting.

Life is good.

It’s interesting how much can change in a year. I don’t know why I’m often surprised because I tend to do things on whims…although I do that less and less the older I get.

At the beginning of 2008, DH and I were actually living in the same house. However the commute was getting expensive as gas prices started to climb higher, so I decided to live in LittleUtown during the weeks. This probably did save us some money and I know it saved quite a bit of wear and tear on the car. We’re trying to get these cars to last as long as we can.

Right at the beginning of the year I had my gall bladder out. The few bad gall bladder attacks were worse than anything I experienced from the surgery. My scars are even starting to fade. That was the only real health thing that either DH or I experienced. I’m always grateful for a year of fairly good health, minus a few colds and minor things like that.

Charley has been with us for over a year now. Maddie had that skin cancer thing, but has recovered just fine from that. Ginger has been her usual good self. It’s been over eight years since Maddie and Ginger joined us. They’re both slowing down and getting lots of white on their muzzles. It’s fun to look at pictures of them when they were younger. All three of the beasts have brought a great deal of laughter and happiness to our lives.

DH reached 18 years in the Army. Two more years until he can request retirement. I’m not sure which one of us is looking forward to it more. Although if he were to decide to stay in longer, I’m willing to support him. 2009 means we’re one year away from deployment. It’s still far enough away that it doesn’t seem like a real thing. I’m just focusing on a month at a time right now.

I never imagined at the beginning of 2008 that I’d be in charge of a library. Sure, it’s a smallish library but it’s still more than I was planning a year ago. I’m still in shock but as the new year begins I won’t have much time to really think about it. My schedule is quickly filling up and my list of things to do is getting long. Good think I like being busy and active in my career life.

Although the year had a few bumps and rough patches here and there (don’t they always?), it was a good year. I don’t know what 2009 will be like, but I’m ready for the new year and whatever challenged and blessings it brings.

Defy me!

Posted on: December 17, 2008

News sources are claiming that Blagojevich is being “defiant” by refusing to resign as governor.

Personally, I think the guy is being an idiot. He’s a selfish, immature, lying, poor excuse for a governor and a human being. And his actions are continuing to hurt Illinois.

He’s losing money for the state…and Illinois is not a state that can afford to lose any money right now. Schools are facing huge budget cuts, state parks and historic sites have been closed, and we can’t even keep our roads cleaned properly because of money troubles.

He’s making his party look bad. I wonder if a Democrat has a chance to be elected as governer when the next election rolls around in 2010. Not that I want one to be elected, but even if the Democratic candidate is the best person for the job, it may be an uphill battle after four years of bad policies and a federal indictment with the current governor.

He’s bringing bad press to the state. While I don’t think anyone would complain about national attention most of the time, this is not the sort of thing that most Illinoians want to be recognized for. Particularly after former governor Ryan landing in jail. For the moment, Illinois is a joke for SNL writers, pundits, and anyone else who finds the current situation humorous.

It’s time for Blagojevich to step down. His state has lost faith in him and there is little that he can do at this point to fix the situation other than to graciously leave. The citizens of IL deserve an honest person in office. Don’t know that we’ll get one, but it’s certainly time for someone with some integrity to live in the governor’s mansion in Springfield. Actually it’s just time for someone to live in the governor’s mansion, period.

A friend at work asked me to go for coffee this afternoon. We ended up hanging out at the coffee shop for a couple of hours and then decided to go have pizza for dinner. Yes! I played hooky this afternoon and it felt great. It occurred to me that this isn’t a bad thing to do if you only indulge occasionally. Really, it was great to sit and talk about different things that are going on in our lives and generally catch up. I will really miss hanging out with her…and we didn’t do this nearly often enough. Guess I’ll just be coming back to visit sometimes. She really has been a true friend and I’m going to miss that. It’s been such a long time since I’ve felt that cared for from anyone outside of my family. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a friendship that has felt this equal…with giving and receiving.

As I walk around the library and talk to students who I see frequently, I’m starting to feel a more sad about leaving. Don’t misunderstand…I have no intention of changing my mind and never did once I accepted the offer. But there are students who I’ve gotten to know a bit and will miss. There are a few who seek me out specifically when they need help. It’s a good feeling.

I’ve started packing up my office and it’s already starting to feel and look like an impersonal cubicle. It’s amazing how much stuff has migrated here over the past 15 months. Good thing I’m starting the process now. My office might take me longer than my apartment!


Thank you!

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July 2020


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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