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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 took my time driving back to IL today. Mostly because I sat and ate lunch and supper while reading a book and because I got off the main road to take some more pictures along the way.

I really thought there would be more snow on the ground in Iowa, but maybe the sun the past two days helped melt some of it. There were still a couple of cars left in the ditch from the storm.

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.
  • Weathered

    Posted on: January 17, 2009

    Last night (and into the morning) was a small adventure in waiting patiently.

    Weather can play havoc with all methods of travel, including train travel.

    My dad came over to Kewanee yesterday afternoon to drive me to the train station in Princeton. The train was due to arrive at 5:01 pm. How do they get this down to the minute? After about an hour of waiting, I decided to check the train status through Amtrak’s 800 number. The word there was the train was running late and would arrive at 8:18 pm.

    The train got in the station near 10:30 pm. Things were already backed up a bit because of an previous derailment earlier in the week that had one track closed. Add that to switches freezing and you had a recipe for delays.

    Fortunately the station was warm and had seats, I had packed some snacks and plenty of things to keep me occupied, and Dad was willing to go grab me a salad later when my hunger got to be too much. That food run seemed to be the catalyst to get the train there, because I’d just started eating when the word came that the train would be there in minutes.

    The lounge and dining cars were still open when I got on. So I headed down to the snack bar on the lounge car to supplement my salad with a cheese and cracker tray. I sat, ate, and read for a bit then headed back to my seat.

    Upsides: I finished reading Mary Poppins while we were hanging out at the station. I got to spend a bit more time with my dad. I still made it to KS and had a delicious omelet for breakfast. And I made it in safely.

    Downsides: Trying to sleep in my seat. If I ever actually planned an overnight trip on Amtrak (which I’d like to do someday), I’ll definitely pay for the sleeper. I’m just not a good seat sleeper.

    So, I’m in KS. I’ve been sleeping on and off most of the day, but it’s been with dogs and/or DH beside me, so it’s not wasted time.

    I started reading Slaugherhouse Five while on the train and am about halfway through. Good book!


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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

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    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

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    Nov. 23 - Brother's birthday

    Nov. 26 - Thanksgiving Day, College closed

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    Dec. 18 - DH's birthday

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    Dec. 26 - Dad's birthday

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