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We got more snow yesterday. Not sure how much, but we’ve definitely a few inches on the ground with all that we got earlier in the week.

Seems like my first week here went fast and slow. It’s strange how life can be that way sometimes. The coming weekend means I’m that many more days closer to seeing DH again.

I plan to head to Bishop Hill on Saturday for the fiber guild meeting. If we aren’t getting more wintry weather.

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Withdrawel

Posted on: October 5, 2008

I can tell it’s past time for my weekly recharge of DH and dogs. I had to work this weekend. Usually I’d take Thursday and Friday off, but I decided not to go back on Thursday since I had a meeting and was planning to attend a conference in Wichita on Friday. (I didn’t get to the conference since I ended up being sick with a migraine on Friday.) So, I’m overdue for some home time. DH is off tomorrow, so it’s a bonus! Maybe we’ll get some golf in if it doesn’t rain. If it does, we’re thinking about bowling instead. Then it’s back to work for two days and I’m off again on Thursday and Friday since I’ll be working next weekend again.

Got a rejection on a book proposal a colleague and I put together. It was for a book about distance education. Not too disappointed about it since it wasn’t directly related to librarianship. There will be other opportunities I’m sure. And according to those who matter, I’m doing fine with my tenure requirements and shouldn’t have any problems meeting them. (It’s almost review time for me already.)

Watched a few good movies this week; Mrs. Dalloway, The Fountain, and The Painted Veil. I can safely recommend any of them. The Fountain was a particularly beautiful and moving film. Mrs. Dalloway was nice although I imagine the book is richer. I should probably read it, but I’ve always had a hard time reading Virginia Woolf. I loved the scenery in The Painted Veil. The ending was very sad though. Our public library doesn’t have a huge selection of movies, but there are some very good choices. And I upgraded Netflix to get 3 at a time again. Not having a cable is fine with me.

At some point I need to update my books on the blog. There hasn’t been as much reading this month now that I’m busier with other things. I finally checked out The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. The one thing I’m having a problem with is dealing with the books descriptions of Sitka and my personal experience. It’s a very fictional Sitka and quite colorful. I have to keep reminding myself it’s fiction. *grin* Other than that, it’s okay. I’ve also been reading Light a Penny Candle. It took me a bit to get into this book, but now I’m finding it hard to put down.

And although I’m not knitting as much, I’m still knitting. We were digging around in the basement a couple weekends ago and I came across a project that I’d started over a year ago. I ended up having to frog it and start over, but now I’m almost done. It’s a string grocery bag. It should end up small enough (when not in use) to carry in my purse. I also offered to make some mitts for someone and am deciding which pattern to use. I’ll likely end up making myself another pair for work. And I have plans to cast on this week for a felt pumpkin now that I finally got the needles I needed. You’d think with all the knitting needles I have now I’d never need to buy another pair. *laugh* I also still need to finish my second pair of socks. I’ve turned the heel already and am ready to start working on the gusset. The weather is finally cooling off enough that I’ll be comfortable wearing wool socks soon. Yay!

I’ve been finding some good vegetarian recipes. This week I had a good dish made with spaghetti squash. I also tried a stuffed pepper recipe. It was pretty tasty with beans, corn, and tomatoes, but I think the next time I make it, I’ll just cut the peppers and saute them with the tomatoes and garlic and serve it with rice and shredded cheese. (I kind of ended up with something like that anyway.) A whole green pepper was just a bit much for me. Now I’m anxious to try some things with eggplant.

One amazing thing I’ve discovered since cutting out meat is that I can drink milk with no problems. Interesting! In general, I also feel healthier and have lost a few pounds. Nothing drastic, but it’s a start.

One thing I’ve noticed this week is that I do feel more centered, more grounded. It was definitely a week that could have felt chaotic and out of control since I came back to a full week of instruction and desk shifts. There have been few moments when I haven’t been multitasking. While I like being busy, this can often lead to exhaustion and feeling unsettled. Unwittingly, I set my alarm incorrectly last night and didn’t have enough time to meditate this morning. And I can tell that I’m not as calm today because of it. This helps reinforce my commitment to the 2 hours a day minimum. Already, I’m thinking about how I can add another hour into my days.

Another thing that came out of my time at the retreat is a desire to start really improving my overall physical health. This means exercise. We have access to personal trainers here at LittleU and I’m looking into working with one. Hopefully this will make me more motivated. Often, being accountable to someone other than myself is a good motivator. I also plan to start doing Yoga. This will actually help me improve my ability to meditate.

On the work front, instruction is now in full swing. Between teaching, I’ve also had time to start doing some book/materials ordering. One area that I really want to grow this year is our selection of DVD’s. To begin I’m using the AFI’s Top 100 list. I had written a grant request for this purpose, but haven’t heard anything yet. I’m also working on plans for the KS One Book. We’ll be doing some discussion groups and other events. And I’m partnered with a very talented colleague in this project, so it’s pretty exciting. Might even turn into a conference presentation at some point if things go well. Besides all that, I’ve also got two presentations to prepare for that are coming up in October and early November. So the fall will be productive and full.

Still, there is always time for knitting and football. I’m slowly working my way to finishing the second pair. I have about an inch of cuff left before I start turning the heel. As to football, we are playing one of our rivals this weekend, so I’ll be staying in LittleUtown Friday night so I can go to the game on Saturday. Next weekend DH and I are heading of to HugeUtown for a book festival. I’ll be working at it for a couple of hours in the morning. Then it’s off to lunch at the local brew pub and shopping at the Yarn Barn. Fun!

DH helped me move the big stuff, bed and love seat, down to LittleUtown this weekend. So, I’m basically all settled in and enjoying the quiet. And I finally got some pictures to share with you.

This is the living room area. I like having a nice big window. And being on the second floor means that I look out into the top of a tree, kind of like living in a treehouse.

I have NO counter space in the kitchen which makes cooking interesting. And the front door is right there on the left side of the second picture.

Then there is the bedroom area. We had these covered shelves that work well to divide the space up. I have a nice window in the bedroom area also.

If you come and visit, here is the front of my apartment. I’ve got the welcome mat out for you.

I finally got to knitting group last night after a few months absence. It was nice to sit, talk, and work on my socks. I’m almost done! It’s good I haven’t finished yet because I forgot the new skein in BigUtown.

Last night at Kiwanis, I was inducted and made an official member. I got a little pin, a folder full of stuff, and a hat. The woman who inducted me was the first female member of the club here. Really quite the honor!

The students are now back on campus and classes started today. The library is getting busier, although it’s mostly people printing out class schedules and stuff like that. It’s good to see the campus come alive. We’re starting to plan our instruction sessions. I’m also working on some new displays. One is going to be about the National Book Festival coming up in September. One of these years, I hope to attend it.

Friday bright and early I’m headed up to see my brother, SIL, and parents in IL. While there I’m heading to Stitches Midwest. My plan is to bring only a small amount of cash so I’m not too tempted at the huge market. I’m also looking forward to checking out demos and generally being around other knitterly 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


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Upcoming

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Mar. 12 - Lincoln Reenactor performance at BHE

Mar. 13 - Annual budget due

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Mar. 16-21 - Spring Break

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Apr. 2 - Using Social Technologies in Library Instruction workshop

Apr. 6 - Weight Watchers

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Apr. 12 - Easter

Apr. 13-19 - National Library Week

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May 5 - Photography Class

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