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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.

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Looking out

Posted on: December 2, 2008

From my new office I have an outside view. Finally!!! Although I don’t have an actual outside window, I do have a window that allows me a view into the library and out the library’s huge windows. It’s beautiful sitting at my desk and being able to see the outdoors. Not that I’m spending much time in my office. Lots to learn!

The roads were still a bit icy this morning so I drove slow. More snow is predicted for tomorrow. I didn’t make it up to the Quad Cities yesterday for my appointment with human resources. It’s rescheduled for tomorrow. Will I make it? Care to roll the dice? The thing with Illinois is that the wide open spaces make for fabulous drifting and the potential for white-outs. Not the kind of weather you want to be traveling in if you can avoid it.

I was amused last night when I was in the bathroom getting ready for bed and heard this noise. At first I wasn’t sure if I was hearing what I thought I was hearing. I have a electric wall heater in there and it was running at the time. But it’d never made a snoring sound before. It seems that my neighbor on the east is a heavy, loud snorer. Although I think Maddie and Ginger have him beat at loudest. I still remember the one night I had to wake them up because they were keeping me awake with their sawing.

The bathroom stalls at the college have reading material posted in them called “Potty Points.” It’s a little newsletter about things going on at the college. Good use of space where you have a captive audience.

It’s amazing how a cute outfit can make you feel good. I recently got a dark brown pencil skirt from Avenue. (Let me just say that I love Avenue. At least the online store.) Add a denim swing jacket with a floral tank underneath and my purple suede wedges and I feel stylish and sassy. The only bad thing is the pachyderm ankles due to hose. While most women have eliminated pantyhose out of their wardrobe, with my scarred up, dry skin legs, I really need to wear something when I’m wearing a skirt or dress. As the temps cool more, I’ll switch over to tights.

And the weather is cooling some here this week. The temperature on the computer says 61 degrees. I’m able to sleep with my window open a small bit which makes for better sleep for me. Don’t know why it is, but fresh air seems to help. My landlord came in sometime last week to turn the heat on, but it’s not running much because it’s really not that cold outside yet. We might get some rain tomorrow. I like rainy fall days. Perfect for sweaters, hot tea, and soup. And of course, knitting.

On the knitting front, I seem to have many WIP’s and not much FO’s floating around. I’m almost done with my second pair of socks. I’m almost done with my string market bag. I’m almost done with my pumpkin. I’m almost done with my vest. One of my 101 things was to finish a knitting project each month. Since I knit fast (when I’ve got uninterrupted time) this isn’t usually a problem and I’ve been doing well with this goal. But I got a bad case of startitis recently. Now I’ve just got to get the finishitis bug and get some things off the needles.

I finished reading The Historian this weekend. It was a really good book and held my interest. In fact, I was almost late to work Saturday because I was trying to finish the last couple of chapters as I ate my breakfast. A very different take on Dracula’s story. Less about Dracula and more about how the fascination in the vampire affected the lives of the characters. Throw in a mystery and a couple of doomed love stories and you get a fascinating read.

I recently got a $50 gift card for completing an online health survey for my work insurance. It was a pretty simple survey and there were some good suggestions for health improvements at the end of it. And a $50 gift card, did I mention? I got to choose the store. Of course I went with a bookstore, Barnes and Noble. Today I picked out my goodies and am pleased with my haul. I pre-ordered Stephen King’s new collection of short stories. Looking forward to that. I’m also getting a new box calendar for my desk at work. Knitting related of course. Someone reminded me of the knitting cartoon book. And there had to be some music in the order as well. It’s like Christmas in October.

On the job search front, I’ve got a phone interview next week for another possibility. The job is here in KS though. But I’d like to talk to them to find out more and see if it would be a good fit. In many ways I’m still torn about looking for a job. There are many reasons for leaving, but a few good reasons for staying put. If anything, it’s making me fairly cautious about what I’m looking at and where. I won’t be rushing into a new situation without careful thought and thorough research. In the meantime, I do have some interesting projects I’m working on. (Which is part of the reason I’m reluctant to leave. If I could basically be left to do my work, I’d be happy as a clam.) Something that just came up is doing SWARM International tours again for spring semester. I really enjoyed working on this before the fall semester started and now that I know how it worked, I’m ready to tackle it again. And I’m confident that I’ll be able to easily meet my tenure requirements as there have been some very positive developments on that front. It was a struggle, but I think we’re in a better place with how the process should work and how to interpret the requirements for librarians. Still…

I couldn’t wait to start assembling the Halloween goody bags for the student workers. It’s just too much fun. I’ve found little Halloween decorated cans of pop, Halloween stickers, tattoos, play-doh, pencils, and mini flashlights. All I need now is some candy and the bags will be ready to go. I’ve got to get candy to hand out at home this year. It’s the first time in years that I’ll be home to hand out candy. I enjoy seeing the costumes and hearing “trick or treat”. Since I’ve got Halloween on the brain, I’ll leave you with a Halloweenie picture:

Little Bits

Posted on: October 1, 2008

I wrote my first book review for the local paper. It should be published Oct. 10. Yes, family types, I’ll get a couple of copies and send it along. It’s really not anything spectacular, but I enjoyed doing it. The hard part was deciding which book to review. I chose Augusten Burroughs latest book, A Wolf at the Table.

Currently I’m reading Kevin Brockmeier’s A View from the Seventh Layer. It’s a beautiful collection of short stories. There is even a choose-your-own-adventure story! I love his writing and am very impressed so far. Highly recommend you grab this at your local library.

So far this week, I’ve not watched any movies. Television isn’t really an option since I don’t have cable. I’m rediscovering how incredibly relaxing reading and listening to music can be.

I’m working on increasing my meditation to 3 hours a day. Means I do some over my lunch hour. Almost three weeks since the retreat and I’m noticing a difference in meditating in the real world with distractions and noise. But I will persevere because I also notice how I’m dealing with life in a more productive and peaceful way. That’s a huge thing for me!

And I’ve been doing the vegetarian thing for a month now. It’s hard to find good fresh produce (and a good selection of it) here in LittleUtown, but I’m determined to stick with it. Overall, I do feel healthier and am still able to get all the nutrients I need. I found a great cookbook at the public library and am looking forward to trying out different recipes. DH might even find that he likes the food. *grin* He’s been great about this change in lifestyle. Just means we have to eat veggie or cheese pizzas on the weekend instead.

Life will be a bit crazier for the next few weeks. I’m working the next three weekends and have a few workshops and conferences coming up. Seems like it comes in spurts.

And the weather is starting to cool off. Still in the 70’s this week, but it’s lower 70’s. Means I can wear light sweaters and jeans. I’m ready for 50’s.

The weather was so nice this weekend that we sat outside on my brother and SIL’s patio (which is quite lovely btw.) Considering that it’s very humid and hot here in KS now, I’m glad that it was such a beautiful Sunday.

It is cooler outside today. I was able to drive to work with the windows open for a change. Thank you weather-god. Even if isn’t fated to last long, I’ve enjoyed the brief respite.

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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

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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