The Library

>> Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The last time I was in a library was when our school staff went to work on a mass mailing project. I did have a library card for Rochester, but I don't recall ever actually checking out books. The Wheaton Public Library was marvelous, and provided lots of fun things for me during college, but they were mostly related to schoolwork. I own a lot of books and don't mind re-reading them; in fact, I get in moods when I must immediately re-read something from childhood. I read a lot of young adult books now, since I use reading and movies to escape the real world. They're interesting and have plots, but move quickly. And that's just perfect. Brain candy that's not sex-related. Brilliant!

Because I love to read and it's easy for me, something in my brain filed it under 'frivolous'. So I always felt that sitting around reading was irresponsibly ignoring something else I ought to be doing. I mentioned that fact randomly in a self-reflective paper as if it were normal and my prof gently reamed me out. So on my birthday I decided it was time and I stopped and got a Dorchester County library card. Apparently it's good for both Dorchester and Berkeley Counties without an out-of-county fee, but not in Charleston County. But that's okay. Isn't it lovely?

When I traveled to Minnesota I realized that there are a number of people there whom I admire greatly and would strive to imitate. One thing that these people all have in common is that they are willing to try new things, be adventurous, and are aware of the recent releases or news items or current issues in their areas of interest. I haven't read a new (to me) book in... probably four or five years now, always relying on others to hand me the latest thing they've read. So while I was at the library, being allowed to check out three items on a first-time/new card limit, I picked up a young adult novel that our Junior High students all wanted to read years ago, and then began my self-introduction to Agatha Christie. The Doctor says that she's the best writer of all time and had a copy of one of her novels published in the year Five Billion, so I figured that was endorsement enough.

I started with Miss Marple short stories; I figured if I hated it, it would end soon. But no fear... I'm hooked!

The following day we had planned to go site-seeing outdoors, but it was cold and raining. So instead, we both went back to the library and Lanse got his own card. I stood in the rows and breathed in the wonderful book smell and felt at home. Then I curled up on a sofa and read a City of Ember sequel while he browsed. He checked out two books on Victorian history and my book, since I was almost half way into it. He's so nice.

I hereby tentatively call this Library Excursion a success! But only tentative, because we have yet to discover if we can return them on time. I'll let you know around February 5th.


11 in 101 update

Here's how I'm doing (how about you?):

[begin cut-n-paste]
My 11 things for 101 days
(Deadline March 11)
(in no particular order)

1. finish the Christmas quilt on the wall Quilt came down off the wall and off the curtain rod and is sitting around in a corner. Haven't cleaned the quilting area enough to get access to the stuff I need.

2. shred the box of old documents in the attic Moving Christmas stuff in and out suddenly blocked in our document boxes. So now I have to clean the attic before I can do this. One thing leads to another...

3. buy paint and supplies for the livingroom loft CHECK...ish? I bought for the loft not the livingroom. I can't find the strikethrough font effect in blogger, so tiny and italic will have to do. I plan to blog on the loft painting experiment shortly.

4. have someone over for dinner I intended to have a Pampered Chef party for this past weekend but realized that most of my guest list is from church, and we're in a fasting month. Not the best time to have a party around food! So it'll be next month some time.

5. plant all the bulbs in the bag by the door (should be sooner than later) I planted some, but want to see if they'll grow in shallow soil before I plant them all. Previous owners apparently put a very thick plastic weed barrier not too far down in the front garden.

6. get an eye exam and new glasses (before the new year) I'm a slacker.
7. get an evaluation on my back (orthopedic?) Again, a slacker.

8. make good homemade soup CHECK! It was so good that we actually ate it a few days in a row and didn't freeze any for later as I'd hoped to! I'll have to do another one.

9. add at least two more color bands to my knitting project Back to the "I'm a slacker".

10. make some money As mentioned earlier, I sold some jewelry. I also have just sold a textbook. And I will be babysitting on Friday. Yay!

11. brush the cats twice a week With three cats, and some liking the brush more than others, it's been hard to keep track. I'm pretty sure I'm up to date on Kira, and not on the boys.

*Extra goal that's important: Play the piano at least twice a week Not even once a week yet. Not even once a month. I did run a scale the other day just to startle the cat...

Other things that could stand to be done that I'm going to list here before I forget them but that I won't count in the list unless I run out of stuff, which is unlikely...

  • clean the back porch
  • clean the house at least once a month as though my mother was visiting tomorrow
  • home cook extra food for the freezer
  • sort large box of old photos into books
I haven't done any of these.

[end cut-n-paste]

Something I realized today about this list, though, is that it's primarily things that I know I ought to do. I didn't put much on there that I wanted to do. I suffer from this odd thing that says when there's stuff that should be done, I'm not allowed to do stuff I want to do. If I am the grownup I should act like a grownup, and that's not any fun. But as I don't want to do the stuff I should, I do nothing instead. Thus this list. However, there are a few things that, in the wake of my 33rd birthday, I decided "Heck, I'm an adult so I can choose! I'll do the things I want to do! At least for a little bit." So here are some things that, the more I think of it, should probably have been added to the list because they're worthwhile:

1. I got a library card. I will blog on that shortly as well.

2. I have picked up some books that I had heard of and never read, and am very much enjoying them.

3. As previously mentioned, I grabbed paint for the loft. This was a big deal, since the original list said "living room", which requires hiring someone for the 15' walls either side of the cathedral ceiling. The loft, on the other hand, is one of those 'under the eaves' rooms, and I may in fact be able to paint most of it all on my own. This is unheard of, and a real emotional risk/fear/thrill for me. So the fact that I've bought the paint... tested it on the wall... and then put up a fuss at the store when the color wasn't right (I'm a huge conflict avoider as far as my own needs go, something about me not really being worth the effort... and yes, I do know better than that)... let's just say that this has been one of those emotionally groundbreaking experiences so far.

4. Although we've both been in a bit of a slump in this area, I've been trying to do more around the house. I've cooked more, and done more dishes, and done more laundry. Some things Lanse still does, but when I'm despairing I tend to ask way too much of him, and I've been trying to be aware and take more responsibility. (Dearest, thank you, and I love you!)

I think that's it for now! If you have a list, how is it going?


Missy Princess Kira

>> Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My coworker's husband worked at a military base in upstate NY. The base had a stray cat that the soldiers looked after. One day, they discovered that she'd had a litter of kittens in the wheel-well of a Jeep, apparently right around October 1st. So he brought them all home to be raised to weening point. It was a pretty crazy household: four people, two dogs, nine cats, a hamster, a couple of birds, and some fish. For a while momma and her kittens lived in the laundry room, then were moved upstairs to a guest room. There were two black girl kittens and a few gray ones, a couple with stripes, and all were short haired except two little gray fluff balls. We fell in love with the little black girlies, and right after our January trip picked one up to bring home. They had named her Princess, but we renamed her Kira, "the Gelfling, not the Major".

Upsidedown kitten girl, about 15 weeks old

A rare snuggle kitten moment, about 15 weeks old

I'm not sure exactly what influenced her demeanor, but when she came home she was skittish and terrified of everything, and hated to be touched. She also had trouble with her litter box - she'd enter it and then hang her backside over the edge. When we moved the box out to the utility room, she refused to go out. We figured out since then that she didn't like anything touching her face, and so she wouldn't go through a cat flap.

But over all, she's been dainty and careful, very much a delicate lady. She started to grow up and lose some of her fear, though any dramatic event would cause her to hide for a day or two. She's still that way, but she's less so with us now which is nice. It used to count for everyone!

Still a little kittenish, about a year and a half old

Now we're in SC and she's all grown up! She lets us brush her and rub her cheeks, and since the cold snap this winter she's come up to snuggle on us. She continues to have trouble with doors, and since we have a screen porch we like to let them out on, I spent time training her to meow to go out instead of scratching at it. Her brothers have scratched at the back door often enough that parts of the padding strips were torn off and eaten and now you can see daylight in the gaps when the door is closed. We also got sick and tired of having the litter box in the bathroom and decided, since there's a perfectly good cat door in the door to the garage, it's going out there thankyouverymuch. Box or no box, she continued to go in the bathroom. At least that was cleanable. And then one day, when we didn't notice her standing silently by the garage door, she wandered over and pooed in the dining room. Loooovely. So we upped the 'meow' training.
Kira, with brother Spook, by the porch door; 3 years old

So our little Miss has just this week shown how wonderfully well-trained she can be. She now meows at the porch door when she wants in and out, and meows at the door to the garage when she needs the box. She also meows at the closed door to the guest room where she likes to roll on the carpet, and she meows at Lanse's office door when he closes it for a meeting, and she meows at our bedroom door if she has to go out to the garage in the middle of the night. I probably got about six hours of solid sleep between Friday and Monday, because she's so very well trained. She has taught me, based on my mood and attitude yesterday, that I definitely need more sleep than that to be a happy and productive person. But at least she doesn't poo in the house anymore.

What the princess cares about that. 3 years old


First post of 2010

>> Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wow. It's 2010. I wrote it on my wet-erase calendar a couple of days ago and it was very strange. But kind of exciting at the same time.

It's now been a while since I went to Minnesota, and the holiday chaos plus slow internet plus the post-holiday slump means I haven't posted anything new since then. For those who may be concerned, I am alive... I'm doing okay. The cold, the messy house, and the holiday exhaustion left me a bit depressed so I took a few days hibernating in front of the television. I think I'm over it, at least until it snows on Friday and all of The South shuts down in a panic.

11 in 101 update:
I fail, at least so far. The only one I've accomplished is #10, "make some money", because I was able to sell some of my jewelry prior to Christmas. If anyone is interested in buying any, please let me know. I've got a website where you can see what I do, and a few photos on Facebook too. I may throw some things up on Etsy, but I haven't decided yet.

Incidentally, 101 days from my initial post will be March 11th.

We went to my grandparent's house in Florida, two hours South of Orlando. My folks came down Christmas Eve afternoon, we had dinner and gifts and went to bed early. Woke up Christmas Day and were on the road by 6:15 for the 8 1/2 hour drive. My grandparents are around 90 (Grandpa just over, Grandma just under), and they're trying to clear out their house a bit ahead of time. Grandpa's struggling a bit in mind and Grandma's struggling a but in body, so it was hard from that perspective. My uncle was also there, and we did a Christmas dinner and exchanged gifts and just spent the week hanging out. It was good to see family again. But it was exhausting, and I'm recovering slowly. Here's two of my favorite shots; click for the set.


About This Blog

Life is about changes; transitions from one place to another, from one purpose to another, from one being to another. They say that the person you are today is a completely different person from who you were ten years ago and who you'll be ten years from now. So far, at the age of 33, I've had four major transitions in my life which redefined who I am. Two years into the results of the most recent transition I am again - still - exploring how God is shaping me. Over the next few months I hope to review my past and set goals for the future, and embrace the next adventure of rediscovering me.

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