Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I've got the Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread sitting on my stove, rising the second time and waiting to go in the oven.
Hubby's making spaghetti tonight (he's part Italian- of course he can make it better than I can!) for our main course.
And the German wine is chilling in the fridge.

Christmas Dinner 2011 is almost here! :)

In other delicious news, I'm hosting a relatively impromptu New Year's Day Dinner. We're having a game night, so I decided why not adapt my two-person New Year menu to serve the five of us? I'm excited!! I've already got some ideas, and I'll look for recipes tonight to round out the menu.... sneak peak: Pork Tenderloin in a Cranberry Apple Glaze.

My mouth is watering already. :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

One of those Days...

Today was just one of those days. Seemed like everything that could go wrong did go wrong... and I hate it when that happens. My poor husband had to deal with it when he came home for lunch, and I felt so awful about it. But things slowly got better as the afternoon went on.

It may sound silly, but I took some time while cataloging my Christmas presents in Rav (can you tell I'm a librarian at heart?!) to sit and pet my new alpaca yarn. :) It's soft. And it's pretty. And then it's even more soft. And those two things combined make yarn worth it in my book. :)

Since we got married earlier this year, I've been struggling with my weight. It's been a struggle for me over the past few years: first to learning how to love myself and my body, then accepting the fact that I was losing weight, and then enjoying my new self that felt (and looked) better. And then we got married and bam. Factor in the week of eating out on our honeymoon, eating others' cooking and portion sizes, moving to a new city, learning how to cook for two people's entirely different palates, eating out more often than what I was used to, full-time grad school, and the holiday season, and hellooooo pounds. :( I hate that despite my best efforts (sometimes, I'll admit that other times I just didn't care), the pounds came back. So today, instead of moping around about it and sitting on the couch, I went for a walk. Some two miles later, I was back at home, feeling somewhat better about myself. Hopefully I'll be able to keep this positive attitude up!

Bible Study tonight also helped lift my spirits. It's always amazing how God uses His word and some fellowship to help me regain some perspective. I'm really enjoying the topic we're studying, and learning how to better communicate my faith and theological training with those in our congregation.

And then I came home and made some tea. Thanks Megan for that idea. Honestly, I've got some of the greatest friends I could ever ask for. :) I love how we've all stayed in touch post-college and continue to support each other during the good and bad. What a huge blessing that's been to me, especially in the past few months of life changes.

So overall, I guess today didn't end as poorly as it began. :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Knitting Update

I feel like blogging instead of writing out Christmas cards at the moment... so here's a little knitting update for you:

Love how this pattern is turning out!
Baby blanket: After unknitting 3 rows last night at Knit Night because I couldn't for the life of me figure out where I added an extra stitch, rendering the chevron impossible. Back on track now, although I haven't quite caught up to where I was when I had to start unknitting. I'm now at about 22", or 34% finished. I really need to start focusing on it more now that I'm done with classes.

Neck Warmer: Still about where it was a looooong time ago when I abandoned it to cast on the baby blanket. We're marinating at about 4.5", which is about 50% finished.

Mittens: Ha. Hahaha. I received the necessary needles in the mail a while ago, and have yet to start them again. I should get on that....

Oooh, pretty yarn!
As if my current knitting projects aren't enough, D and I went to the yarn store on our afternoon jaunt to Columbia to do some Christmas shopping and celebrate me finishing the semester this past weekend. I wound up purchasing 5 skeins of the lovely Black Currant colorway of Berroco Vintage. Gorgeous. And it'll look even prettier as this capelet. I can't wait to start working on it! It'd be lovely if I had it finished in time to use it this season.... :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Semester: Complete!

Just taking a few moments while the dryer's finishing to say : THE SEMESTER'S OVER!!! I SURVIVED!

It's been a long, busy semester... lots of changes and adjustments, with a few breakdowns mixed in for good measure. It's hard to believe that it's only been 3.5 months since the semester began- it feels like much longer ago, and I'm equally amazed how much we fit into a semester's worth of learning.

So now that my finals are complete, and I have a few minutes to catch my breath, let me tell you. I am so much more relaxed than I was, even yesterday. It's a wonderful feeling! Slept in until 10:30 today without guilt, am currently wading through the mountain of laundry begging to be clean, and am finishing up the last minute Christmas shopping. Planning on writing some Christmas cards this afternoon, wrapping presents, and getting a few packages in the mail. Tonight of course is Knit Night with the Ladies, and I'm really looking forward to that- even more than I have been in the past few months. :) (Not gonna lie, some times it felt like just another thing to cross off the week's list, but I was always thankful for that break from homework.)

Tomorrow I'm finalizing my weekend menu!! I've been looking forward to cooking and baking for Christmas since last year around this time. Although I've not planned anything extensive or State Dinner-esque, I'm still looking forward to spending some time in the kitchen and concocting some delicious things. Pinterest has been such an inspiration for all this! (And I'm finally admitting right here that I will not be Christmas Cookie Baking on the same level as my Mom this year. I've got two, maybe three to make, and that's about it.)

I'm currently debating between these mini peanut butter pies and this chocolate pretzel pie for Christmas dessert. The rest of our menu consists of spaghetti (easy and tasty) and this delicious Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread (at least I've heard it's delicious... I've yet to try it!)! I'm thinking the big Christmas meal will take place on Christmas Day... so maybe I should do the peanut butter pies for Christmas Eve? We could eat them instead of cookies while opening presents. While sipping Grandma Jo's Christmas punch. OM NOM. One of my favorite Christmas traditions- hands down.
And wine of course. I've got a bottle of German wine just begging to be opened on Christmas.

And now that my dryer's done, it's time to switch the laundry and start wrapping presents!! :) And listening to the Von Trapp Family Singer's Christmas Album. <3

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Because Apparently I Enjoy Making Lists...

It's finals week. FINALLY. I'm so ready for the week to be over, but dreading all the work that still needs to be finished. Such is life. And as stressful as grad school may be, as much as I feel I'm neglecting other aspects of my life, I'm really blessed to have the opportunity to work on this degree- even if from a distance. Although I've decided my next degree (you know.... whenever that may be!) will not be online. I'm not so sure I can do this whole online thing all over again. A class or two if required? Sure. But an entire master's degree? No thank you.

So, in an effort to procrastinate on the impending mountain of doom final projects and exams, I have created another to do list. Deadline? Christmas.

  • Legal Final Exam
  • Preservation Evaluation
  • Reference Final Exam
  • Order Christmas cards
  • Decorate apartment for Christmas- the tree's already up, but the rest of the decorations? Not so much. Yet.
  • Finish Christmas shopping- aka figure out what to give my husband for Christmas
  • Finish Christmas knitting- brother-the-younger's neck warmer and mittens, mostly
  • Plan Christmas meals/festivities
  • Pumpkin Baking. From the Great Pumpkin Adventure 2011.
That's all I can think of right now, although knowing me, I'm already working on a list of craft projects/reading materials to plow through over break.

But for now... it's back to the books. [Or, websites as the case may be.]

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dear Library Catalog,

When I give you limits, PLEASE USE THEM.

No love,
Frustrated Library Student Trying to Finish Projects

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

And in the end... it'll all get done...

I've been meaning to post, but we're in the last two weeks of school and suddenly everything seemed to happen. Papers and projects due every 4 days, the ensuing complimentary breakdown, my phone took a bath (and still needs replacing... whenever I can find time- ha!), you know, the usual end of the year stress.

Here's a run-down of everything that's due before the end of the semester:

  • Legal Quiz 4
  • Preservation Essay & Annotated Bibliography
  • Legal Final Project - Licensing Agreement Analysis (WHEE! Finished a good 10 or so hours before the deadline.... feels good to finally have it done, but now I'm nervous about the feedback...)
  • Government Info & Statistics Questions
  • Pathfinder
  • Legal Final
  • Reference Final
  • Preservation Evaluation
Plus, all the usual weekly assignments and posting requirements. It's definitely seeming more manageable than two weeks ago, and we even had time to put up our first Christmas tree last night! Now if I can just get through the rest of these assignments, I'll be able to finish decorating for Christmas and planning our meals!

I've got a long list of things I want to accomplish over break and I can't wait to start! Knitting, sewing (!), baking, reading FOR FUN! It's going to be a wonderful, wonderful month. :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks with a Grateful Heart

Over these past few weeks, I've found myself reflecting on all the blessings I've received over the past few months. These months haven't been easy- a new marriage, a new vocation, a new town, and a new church family. Different traditions I must now accept, a different culture, and in some ways, a different view on life. But as I realized once again during church tonight, different doesn't have to mean bad. Of course, I find myself not always appreciating the different, especially when it comes to traditions (not surprising there- I am very traditional and very much a proponent of my own traditions). But that doesn't mean God stops blessing me. Although the months haven't been easy, and there have been weeks I wondered if I could make it through, God continues to pour blessings down upon me, in ways I may not even realize at the time.

Aside from my faith, the biggest blessing I have is my husband. Yes, it's been a challenge at times learning how to live with someone who is almost my complete opposite in every way. But honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. I know that when I have a great day, he's there to celebrate with me. And when I have a rough day, he's there with foot rubs and hugs. He encourages me to be and do my best no matter what, and most importantly, to be myself. Living in a world different from many other married women- the realm of the pastor's wife- where it's not always easy to be my true self, I've been given a great blessing in my husband as an encourager. There isn't enough good I can say about him, so just know that I am truly thankful and can't imagine life any other way.

The Thanksgiving Dinner sponsored by our church last weekend also showed me another thing for which I have to be thankful- the ability to provide for others. Even though we're currently living on one salary, and have disgusting amounts of student loan debt looming on the horizon, we're still able to live comfortably and don't lack anything we need. What's more, we're able to help others through gifts of food, time, encouragement, and anything else we can give. What a blessing that we're able to help others in such a way!

We've been blessed to join such a warm, welcoming church family who cares about and provides for us, both financially and spiritually. When I find myself frustrated with certain situations at church, I remind myself that we could have been called to a very different congregation, which would have made the transition into ministry much, much more challenging. As it is, I'm blessed that although differing in some respects, this congregation is actually very similar to the congregation in which I was raised. And for that, I'm thankful. I'm thankful that members are so welcoming, that they're patient with me as I learn everyone's name and face and as I adjust to living in such a "small" town.

And finally, I'm thankful for my knitting group. Although I did feel somewhat awkward and out-of-place, this group welcomed me from the beginning, giving me a once-a-week-relief from all the other stresses and frustrations of life. It gives me a chance to be seen not as the pastor's wife, but as a normal, young wife living in a small town for her husband's job. And it's allowed me to meet other people in our town outside of church, which has helped me make all these adjustments more quickly.

For all this, and so much more, I give thanks with a grateful heart.

And finally, since tomorrow's Thanksgiving, I leave you with a pictorial representation of the deliciousness that came from my kitchen today: Pumpkin Apple Bread. Hostess gifts for the Thanksgiving festivities ahead (and the wrapping turned out surprisingly cute!).

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mondays: A Case of the Leftovers

As a busy, full-time grad student, I often find myself cooking big meals on the weekends (at least, that's what I try to do...) so I don't have to cook as much during the week when enmeshed in legal issues, preservation considerations, and reference questions. Over this past weekend, we had the huge Thanksgiving Dinner at church, with about a roaster and a half of leftover turkey. I took home a sandwich bag full of turkey, intending to use the leftovers sometime this week before the Thanksgiving festivities of the weekend. And I still had the leftover roast and rice in the fridge from the other night. Enter Mondays: A Case of the Leftovers.

Delicious, right?
Lunch time found me finishing the last of the leftover leftovers of turkey. Last night for dinner, I made Pillsbury's Savory Crescent Chicken Squares, substituting turkey for the chicken and omitting the pimentos (only because I didn't have any and didn't feel like going to the store for one item). I added onion powder, garlic salt, and paprika in the mixture, also omitting the fresh onion/chives (again, because I didn't have any). Delicious. I made these as a child, begging my mom to let me in the kitchen to make them for supper. So good, and 10 years later, they're just as tasty. I made D's by mixing Tastefully Simple's Sweet Pepper Jalepeno Jam with the turkey (instead of the cream cheese mixture) although upon trying mine, he declared it good, but not as good as his. Naturally. :)

Southwestern Leftover Beef Vegetable Soup
And now that the weather's finally gotten cooler and feels like fall (hurray!), and it's been rainy and foggy a lot lately, I decided tonight was a good night for soup. With my knitting group meeting on Monday nights, and D having to work half the time, I'm usually looking for quick easy supper ideas that aren't too filling since we eat earlier. Enter soup and garlic bread. So simple, and so good. I took a can of Campbell's Southwestern Vegetable Soup, added the leftover rice and chopped up roast (and bacon!), simmered it for a few minutes, and voila! Tasty soup, yummy garlic bread with cheese, and just the right portion for Monday nights.

As an added bonus, my fridge is now emptier of leftovers (anticipating the post-Thanksgiving fill!) and we had two delicious, healthy meals with little preparation on my end.

Tomorrow's task: making Hamentaschen for our Tuesday night Young Adult Bible Study at church. We finished studying the book of Esther last week, and the curriculum provided this recipe. I've also got a few loaves of pumpkin apple bread to make for hostess gifts over the weekend. Yum!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Culinary Adventures

Tomorrow at noon, our church is sponsoring a Thanksgiving Dinner for both our members and the residents of Sunset Village. Members of our congregation were asked to help provide various items for the dinner. Having never cooked a turkey before in my life, I wasn't about to have a wrestling match with the bird this year. So...

The mission: 10 pounds of mashed potatoes, pumpkin cake, and a beef roast for supper tonight. Not necessarily in that order.

Well..... knowing I would arrive at church hours before my potatoes were expected to make an appearance and feed the crowds, I decided against making the potatoes before the crack of dawn. I may be crazy, but not quite that much! And so it was: I spent my afternoon puttering around my kitchen, and let me tell you, it smelled wonderful!

Herb-Crusted Beef Roast
First up, I decided that we needed a roast for supper tonight. Enter The CrockPot, one of my best friends. I may have mentioned it before, but I have this simple little cookbook entitled 365 Easy Slow Cooker Recipes with which my mother gifted me some time ago. Let me tell you, I have yet to be disappointed. This little book contains some super simple recipes requiring only 3-4 ingredients; other, more complex recipes may require ingredients not always available in the average kitchen. Regardless, the variety of recipes and simplicity of slow cooking keep me coming back to this book time and again. Tonight's selection was the Herb-Crusted Beef Roast (complete with bacon!), and it lived up to my expectations. D enjoyed it (of course, it had bacon), but we agreed gravy would have been an excellent addition. I did substitute a few of the herbs for ones I preferred and had on hand, but it took maybe 5 minutes to put together and turn on the crockpot (ignoring all the time I waited for it to defrost in my fridge this morning.... I may not have planned that one very well in advance). But that's the beauty of crockpots- there's not really a need to plan ahead. Just throw some meat and random veggies, maybe a sauce or glaze in there, turn it on, and it's ready by supper time.

Look ma! 12 cups of pumpkin!
Next up on the list: Pumpkin Cake for Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow. I wanted to bring a dessert as well as the potatoes. There's no rule against bringing more than one thing, and I have 4 QUARTS of pumpkin to use, thanks to my Mother-in-Law's "accidental garden" aka compost pile (and that's only half of what she gave me!). Well, 4 quarts of un-pureed pumpkin. So step one: Puree the pumpkin. Oddly enough, the puree button on my blender isn't currently working (sad face). 12 cups of pureed pumpkin later, I was ready to make the cake. I tried a new recipe for this one (although to be honest, all pumpkin cake recipes are new to me), from The Pastors Wives Cookbook, which I received as a wedding present. I wound up making two smaller cakes (8x8), and had enough left over for 6 cupcakes. D, who doesn't even like pumpkin all that much, bravely agreed to taste-test one for me. Rave review. Added a little cream cheese frosting (I cheated and used the store-bought kind), and they're ready to go for tomorrow!

Holy potatoes, Batman! 
And that finally brings us full circle to our potatoes. 10 pounds seemed like a lot, and it was. Especially for one who cooks for 2, and 1 of those 2 doesn't even like potatoes. He doesn't know what he's missing, poor guy. I went with the basic butter and milk, omitting my secret ingredients (you didn't think I'd give them away, did you??), although in retrospect, I kind of wish I would have. Oh well. They may not be the fanciest potatoes there, but they taste good, and they're made with love (sorry! not the secret ingredient).

I also helped decorate at church for tomorrow, and it looks cute! I've got one huge pumpkin (the second one from my Mother-in-Law's "accidental garden") that I'm bringing for final decorations. We're definitely going to have our hands full tomorrow morning, but I've enjoyed my afternoon's labors of love and thanksgiving for what I have that I can use to bless others.
Pumpkin Cake! Om nom!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Our Heroine's Thursday

It appears a common trend among bloggers to post reviews of their otherwise normal days. For lack of anything else to discuss that I haven't already, and because I felt as though I didn't get much accomplished today, I thought it might be good to prove otherwise to myself.

Our heroine began her Thursday a bit unusually. Needing the car for an appointment in the late morning, she actually woke before her husband and took him to work. Unlike last week, she had no stops to make on the way back home, and proceeded to busy herself upon arrival with the task of Organizing the Kitchen. After The Great Pumpkin Adventure 2011 last night (post forthcoming), there was still order to maintain. A breakfast of eggs and potatoes later, we find our heroine somewhat relaxing on the couch, combing through emails, checking class discussion boards, and catching up on the daily news.

Our heroine then visited the dentist (again) for a simple procedure (the first time dental work did not involve extractions!), and rewarded herself with some grocery shopping. A bottle of German wine (for Christmas!), cranberry white cheddar cheese, various meats, holiday baking necessities, and a Holiday Blooming Cactus later, she joined her husband for lunch and some good old fashioned Looney Tunes. The afternoon defined itself in an awesome $10 haircut, a few last grocery items, attempts at homework, and an indulgence in BOGO Starbucks Christmas drinks. Fortified with a delicious dinner of tortellini, salad, and breadsticks, along with the company of her good Italian husband :], our heroine settled in for an evening of more homeworking, knitting, and movies.

She looks forward to Thanksgiving break next week, The Great Pumpkin Baking Adventure 2011, finishing her knitting obligations on time, and the tasty vittles carefully stored away for Christmas.

Monday, November 14, 2011

This week...

296 total pages to read for ONE CLASS this week. (What? Really? Break can not come fast enough!)
40 pages for another.
2 court cases and accompanying materials for the third.

Additionally, working on various term papers and projects due beginning immediately after Thanksgiving.

Oh, and on top of that? I've forsaken all other Christmas knitting and decided that I need to make a blanket for a shower at the beginning of December. Yup. I'm taking on the challenge of knitting a blanket in less than a month. Crazy much? I think so. (Hey. At least I got through the border last night and can start the pattern body today! And it's a pretty purple color... whee!)

Looks like it's going to be a very. busy. week.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Christmas knitting (!) is coming along well. I'm unfortunately not going to post any pictures of FOs until after Christmas, just in case anyone that's receiving some lovely hand knits is reading (hi Mom!). I'm finding though that the knitting is keeping me sane during an otherwise stressful time of homework, final projects, church obligations, and the general domestic endeavors.

I'm also planning on going to the Show-Me Crafters Show today? (Yes, the question mark is purposeful.) Hopefully, if I can find some time. Never been to one, and maybe it'll give me enough of a mental break- at least for an hour. Then it's back to the homeworking and quiz meetings (although I don't dread those, just the constant stress of interpreting legalese and hoping I mentioned everything in our answers that should be... other than that, it's a good time.)

Other Christmas festivities and traditions (can you tell I'm my mother's daughter) are also already in the works. Cookies, meals, presents, stockings.... and no shame that I'm currently enjoying Starbuck's Christmas Blend. Sometimes, you just have to break the rules (No Christmas before Thanksgiving) and indulge. But I'm looking forward to starting some new Christmas traditions this year with our new family as well.

Definitely looking forward to Christmas break and the opportunity to have a few more adventures in domesticity and take a few days to watch movies, read, and knit- ALL DAY LONG. (I'm thinking it's about time to indulge in some Little Women again.) Twill be glorious.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Goldmine of Information [It's Mine!]

After a few fruitless endeavors, I am finally locating information for my Preservation term paper!! Expected, yes, since I am an MLIS student. Exciting- even more so- because I have a knack for choosing relatively obscure paper topics.... it's always been my bane during every term paper, but I can't seem to operate any other way. I think part of it is the knowledge that no one else from class will write on my topic. But honestly? It's also part of the fun. Hunting for information that may seem obscure, even though you know it's out there somewhere...

I was working on this assignment earlier today, and finally grew tired of hitting dead ends. So, I went for a walk to clear my head, which produced some excellent results. Except for my poor husband- he was on the receiving end of what I'm sure were very cryptic text messages. Thank goodness for unlimited texting- I knew I had to write down the questions and ideas somewhere before they were but a fleeting memory.

Now I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere! And.... I should probably focus a bit on the assignment due for Monday, right?

Other reasons for rejoicing today:

  • I made breakfast, washed the dishes, got my husband to work, and finished grocery shopping all before 9 am. If that's not productive, I don't know what is!
  • I found my licensing agreement for my Legal Issues term paper, and it's (naturally) longer than others I located. But hey, what's grad school without the challenge?
  • No cavities. 24 years and counting. :D

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I'm feeling pretty good about the end of the semester. Not only is it in sight (finally!), but I'm pleased with my grades so far, I feel I'm grasping the material reasonably well, and my paper/project topics are finally established. Time to start hunting down resources, I suppose.

One of the things currently bolstering my spirit are grades on two of the papers I wrote over the weekend that was The End of October. Aced both of them, and even got some encouraging words from the professors in their respective feedback. Legal prof said I answered the question on licensing "like an experienced negotiator!" SCORE. Apparently I'm good at deciphering licenses-- I'm not quite sure what that says about my legal skills, but I'm quite pleased with myself regardless.

[So much that I think I'm going to answer the licensing question for our final project. Although part of me feels like it might be the easy way out? Considering the project is due three weeks from today, I'm not so sure if any of the questions are "easy."]

Anyway. The other paper currently boosting my self-esteem is the observation paper for my Reference class. Feedback stated that I asked a particularly good question (health-related), because with those types of questions, an interview is crucial to understand the true information need. Too bad neither of my "interviews" really consisted of much other than an initial question. TOPIC WIN.

Today, I'm thankful that school doesn't seem so unbearable and that I'm actually happy with my success for once. That's always been a difficult thing for me to deal with, which I suppose will happen when you're a super-over-achiever. But there are so many things to look forward to: getting these papers and projects done in a reasonable amount of time, fieldwork next semester (hopefully!), picking new classes for next semester (Archival Outreach is being offered! Yippee!!) and the rest of my school career (not quite sure how I'm going to fit in everything I want to take with the credits I have remaining, but we'll see what happens).

And finally, in other tangentially related news, I've been forcing myself to have some downtime, which I've found to really help me stay grounded with everything going on. As a result, I've been enjoying some quality time with Big Bang Theory, knitting, and reading (for fun?! When was the last time that happened??). Even though I read the series years ago, I'm immersing myself back into the time of settling the Red River Valley, with Lauraine Snelling's Red River of the North series. Heartwarming, and full of courage, these books are a delight to read when I need a break from the heavier reading of the LIS field. (Although I must confess I'm wholeheartedly looking forward to Christmas break when I can read and knit for my own enjoyment all day long. :D)

That's all for now, as I've got a few legal issues lectures waiting in the queue.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Is it break time yet?

Well, we've arrived at that magical point in the semester where brains are officially overworked and official break is not yet in sight. I suppose you could say we're in midterms, although so far in the program, I haven't exactly had those dreaded midterm exams in my courses. But I'm definitely ready for a break.

I survived the crazy-busy weekend that was The End of October, full of three different church-related events (two of which required us to be in two places at once, always a fun game to play!), an observation paper (which required cutting out about three pages of material to comply with professor-sanctioned guidelines), a set of 20 practice questions (not difficult, but time-consuming), plus all the various and sundry housewifery that comes with the territory of a newlywed housewife.

And tonight, I spent the past 2.5 hours going over the quiz with my two lovely quiz-mates for Legal. It was a productive 2.5 hours, and I'm glad we were all able to be there, but my brain is fried. At least for tonight. I was going to at least start on my readings for Preservation after we finished, but now I'm thinking it may just be more productive for tomorrow. Although tomorrow morning will consist of a crash course on Library Confidentiality and the USA PATRIOT before our semi-weekly chat. Can you tell I'm excited? :/

Thankfully, the reading load seems to be significantly less than the past few weeks, although participating remains the same:
Reference: Two articles. Required discussion.
Preservation: Three chapters. Two articles. One exercise. One discussion post, two comments.
Legal: Three statutes. One powerpoint (and only 159 slides this time!). Two lectures. One meeting/chat.
Also on the docket for this week: Officially begin panic mode re: not yet starting term projects due in a month.

In other, more exciting news, the schedule for next semester is out! And now I get to pick classes I love at the moment, but will inevitably loathe tire of by the end of next semester. I'm planning on doing fieldwork (woot!), so I've got two spots open with four contenders. And comps? Are we brave enough to take comps?? I don't feel near ready enough now, but I think I'd rather take it during Penultimate Semester than the Semester of Cap and Gown. I'd be terribly devastated if I took it the semester of graduation, failed, and had to take another semester just to pass. Although then perhaps I'd get to take more classes I wanted to, but couldn't fit in...

SIX WEEKS. The end of the semester is finally on the horizon.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Finally... FO: Wine Bottle Sweater!

I've been waiting to post this until after my good friend and surrogate sister received her package. And then, of course, it took me a while to get around to posting this even after she received the package. (Thank you, homework and general overwhelmingness of life.)

First sweater attempt: success!
My first attempt at a sweater could have been worse. Overall, it went pretty well, save for running out of yarn with the first skein (so much for using up leftovers!), which resulted in frogging the entire sweater and starting over in a different color. I performed some modifications with the ribbing because I changed the number of stitches for gauge. I'm still please with how it turned out, and more importantly, J loves it!

I think the little heart button adds the perfect finishing touch. I got the pattern from Pints & Purls: Portable Projects for the Social Knitter, which is such a clever book. Loved it when I learned it was published, and really enjoy the entire premise of the book. Everything from tips to knitting sober (or tipsy), drinking-related projects, and how to save your current WIP from wine stains.

As for other projects recently finished: I've got one Christmas present already finished. Super quick and quite cozy. Mom is sure to enjoy it. I'll post pictures after she receives it... in two and a half months. I've got the next Christmas gift on the needles already, although this one has been specifically requested by brother-the-younger, along with one other semi-coordinating item (don't you love all the vagueness by necessity here?). He just may get them when they're done instead.

Other than knitting, school is slogging along. I'm definitely ready for a break, which I won't get until at least Thanksgiving, maybe. Only a few more weeks to go, right? Trying to juggle three classes, church obligations, and married life has proved challenging, but not impossible. 8 weeks of classes to go this semester!

*Disclaimer: I received no form of compensation, monetary or otherwise, for mentioning (slash, semi-reviewing) Pints & Purls.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

For better, for worse: Library Lessons

Working through my classes this semester, I've had some time (surprisingly) for introspection into my own thoughts and philosophy toward libraries. I've realized that, although not currently working in a library, I have definitely been shaped and influenced by those libraries in which I used to work. They've all been very different, and have each taught me lessons both good and bad.

First: A library is composed of two things: Information, and People. Without either, the library would cease to exist. You also can't ignore one or the other.

Second: Treating patrons with the simple courtesies and respect they deserve will get you far. At times, it may be difficult, especially with "those patrons." But extending a simple "hello" or smile as they enter the doors can go a long way in making the patrons feel comfortable in the library environment and also makes them more willing to let the librarians help them. Stop to greet someone you know as you're reshelving books. Make small talk at the front desk. Assure patrons they are neither interrupting you nor asking stupid questions. Put an emphasis on little things like these, and it'll make a huge difference.

Third: Office politics will happen. You have a choice: Keep it professional, or let it infect your staff. The results are drastically different. Differences of opinion are good and can be handled professionally. But if someone's not doing their job and you're asked to cover-- again? Fine. Bring it up with the management later. Word to the wise: no one wants to hear a string of expletives preface your help, not your employees, not your patrons.

Fourth: If you're going to hate your job, don't complain about it to your student workers. That's not professional, and it definitely deflates morale in a flash. It lowers your employees' opinion of you and makes it difficult for them to come to you when they have problems. It also makes your student workers complain more, both about their jobs and you.

Fifth: If you're going to have student workers, you must train them. Train them well, and TRUST THEM. Sure, you'll have a few along the years that disappoint and prove untrustworthy, but why would you not trust the student workers you interviewed, hired, and trained? Again, not being allowed to do the job for which you thought you were hired deflates morale quickly. I have worked in libraries where I was thoroughly trained. Awesome. I have also worked in libraries where I received haphazard training, and even where I received no training. Not cool, library "professionals," not cool.

Sixth: If you do trust your workers, it's a definite benefit to yourself, the library, and the workers. Having the privilege of working in at least one library where the administrative staff actually trusted the workers, I can say personally it was a huge boost of confidence to know that I was trusted with certain duties without being micromanaged every step of the way.

Seventh: Policies are good. Very good. They tell you what to do, and what not to do. But please, don't make the policies so incredibly convoluted that it actually prevents your employees from doing work they are certainly capable of if you'd only give them a chance. It's demeaning, it's frustrating, it's micromanaging, and... (confession time) it means some people still carry that chip on their shoulder. I left almost every shift at that library feeling like a useless employee and wondering why I was hired. On the bright side, this situation was an excellent reminder (one that I'll never be able to forget, honestly) of what not to do when holding an administrative position in a library.

The libraries which have formed good impressions on the library profession were such a blessing to work at. I enjoyed every day and the new challenges it would bring. Knowing that seemingly boring/meaningless tasks actually do have meaning brings a whole different sense of joy to both the jobs and the profession. It makes me excited to join these librarians as colleagues. And it means I will be forever thankful for the lessons they taught me about life and library science.

The library which has formed the majority of my bad impressions on libraries and the profession also came as a blessing. I doubt I would have seriously considered library science as a profession if I had worked there prior to settling on libsci as a career. But working there while knowing I would be attending library school the very next year gave me an insight which I truly appreciated. Seeing how this library treated its patrons, its employees, and its information taught me what not to do as a librarian. Perhaps even after these few years, I am still frustrated, mad, and hurt about my time there as an employee. It doesn't help that I find myself comparing their relevant services in my current courses this semester. But at the same time, I never forget those good lessons which it taught me as well. Perhaps this post did turn out more cathartic than intended.

But it's always good to look back and see just how far we've come.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I have not disappeared...

I have been so out of it lately. SO out of it. It's been about all I can do to keep up with my weekly homework, church activities, and attempting to keep my house in some sort of presentable order.

Here's a few things I've been trying to puzzle out in my own life:

- Which topic I should pursue for my Preservation research paper: photographs in archives (possibly preserving family photographs/albums as well); or preservation programs in small archives (religious archives?).

- I have food in my freezer. I have an entire pantry (well, what would be a pantry if we actually had the space for one) full of non-perishables. WHY can I never seem to come up with good, new ideas for dinner? I love cooking. Don't get me wrong. But I've definitely hit a rut here and don't know how to get out of it. (Hence having pizza for supper. Is it necessary? No. But easier than trying to figure out what to cook.) Problem #1: D and I have opposite tastes. Basically, what I like he doesn't, so on and so forth.... you get the idea. So where do I go from here?

- Why it's been so hard to get myself motivated to do my homework. I'm constantly distracted by other things (mostly internet related), and it's been really frustrating lately. Part of the reason is that I'm not overly excited about any of my classes this semester. Some are better than others, but they just haven't captured my interest like previous semesters have. I'm not used to this....... and trying to convince myself my brain isn't broken.

Things I'm currently loving about life:

- I have fall decorations up. A few vases of autumn colored florals, a cute little pumpkin crafted out of twigs, and a glittery wooden sign that says "Blessings". Fall-scented candles, and it's complete. I love autumn. It's my favorite season.

- Speaking of favorite seasons, one of the reasons I love autumn so much is because it's the beginning of SWEATER SEASON. I LOVE sweaters. So comfy, colorful, and fantastic.

- Sunday, I wound up with a little extra time, so I ventured into my kitchen and baked a crumb-top apple pie for the senior youth group meeting later that day. They loved it, and that was a welcomed confidence-booster for me. I also found myself with a little bit of the leftover pie filling, and didn't want that to go to waste. So, domestic adventurer as I am, I mixed it in with some beer bread batter and sprinkled the remaining crumb topping on top of the bread. DELICIOUS.

- I finally had a chance to get back to our local knitting night last night. It felt so nice to just get out of the house without having to worry about homework or anything else for two hours. Two hours of knitting, drinking chai tea lattes, and conversing with fellow knitters. Yay!

I suppose that's about it for now.... I really need to go for a ridiculously long walk today, preferably before supper and Bible Study tonight. Hopefully it'll help reenergize me and get me to focus a bit more on my studies this week.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Copyright & Fair Use

Among all three of the courses I'm taking this semester, I was most looking forward to my Legal Issues class. I've always been interested in copyright, but never had much opportunity to study it. (I mean, even I wasn't nerdy enough to study copyright law in my spare time...) The class, although different than what I expected, has turned out to be highly informative, and TONS of work. I almost feel like I'm in law school...

And so here we are, Fall Semester 2011, Week 2, and I'm determined to master this class, and especially the topics of copyright and fair use. I'm past the initial freaking-out-there's-too-much-information-to-absorb stage which accompanies the start of every semester. Coming from an academic/research library background, I've seen it in use already, and I know this training will come in handy down the road in my career... it's even applicable to archives! Imagine that.

One of the first things that has struck me about Copyright & Fair Use is the logic of it all... As part of the assigned readings for the first unit, I've been reviewing various different cases on the topic. At first glance, it appears like the courts can't make up their minds. This is fair use, this isn't.... no, this isn't fair use either, but that is. But applying a little critical thinking, lots of logic, and a healthy dose of morality/ethics, the decisions make sense, and are actually rather consistent.

I'm beginning to see how copyright isn't there to frustrate users and library patrons, but rather to protect them... it really all makes sense once you think about it. And now.... I should get back to those slides, lectures, videos, and cases.... because this superlibrarian-in-training has so much more to learn!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Impressions

Oh, Fall 2011. Here you are, and although I knew you were coming, I had also hoped you'd delay your appearance by a few days. The weather's finally nice, and now you request I stay indoors, chained to my computer, and reading legal case after article after legal case... And so begins the third semester of my MLIS degree.

I'm back to full-time student this semester... I decided it would be better for my sanity (perhaps??) if I didn't focus on finding a job right away and just settled into life here in Sedville at my own pace, which apparently means a super intense semester of grad work. Although the first day of classes isn't over (it never really is with this whole online deal...), I thought I'd give you some first impressions of my classes this semester.

First and foremost, I feel so dazed and confused simply because I do not know where to start. It seems all my classes want the readings finished and discussions started immediately, but I simply cannot do that for three classes at once. My Legal Issues class has our first online chat tomorrow already, and I feel he expects us to have a good portion of the cases and statutes read prior to our discussion. If so, I'm in trouble.... we'll see how that goes.

Reference: By far, this class is the most "traditional" library-based, and promises to be highly enjoyable this semester. The prof is balancing readings/theory with situational exercises, including discussions of best practices and recommended reference materials. Definitely a good class for librarians, and I anticipate it having worth for the archivists as well. There's really not much more I have to say about this class at the moment, except I'm loving how organized and logical the professor is. Readings, recorded lectures, and online discussions. Typical class structure, but for this topic, it appears highly effective. Some observations included, which should be interesting and informational.

Preservation: Naturally, I am interested in this class for its archival focus and merit. Although not a top choice at all when planning out my coursework in the program, the instructor is outstanding and really knows her stuff. She's incorporating Simmons' brand new Digital Curriculum Lab, which is perfect for an online course. I'm excited to explore this new feature, gain some hands-on knowledge, and practical experience all in one. Other than that, the format is typical for the instructor, and I really appreciate how she structures the class. We'll be covering all forms of information media, including my old friend digitization. I'm excited to explore digitization even more as a preservation method, considering I worked with it for a while, and wrote a paper on it last semester. Other topics we'll cover include disaster preparedness and recovery, security, environmental control, collections maintenance... the list goes on and on.

Legal Issues: Not to be cheesy, but this class just may give me issues. As seems to be the case, classes I am most excited about tend to hold my interest the least. And I was really looking forward to taking this class. I'm not saying I'm giving up on this course already, just that I know I've met my challenge. I had thought the class would be discussing legal issues as pertains to libraries and information managers without immersing ourselves in the technical language of court cases, statutes, etc. Of course, I expected to read these, just didn't think we'd be on our own to completely interpret/understand/comprehend them. Basically, the class requires about 8 times more work than I anticipated. Brings back the undergrad Political Science days for sure. Those days were reason enough not to apply to law school... In addition, I'm not entirely sure I understand how the professor wants us to proceed with the readings, casework, etc. I know I'll get out of the course the equivalent of what I put in effort-wise, but I also don't want to go completely insane with this legal stuff. Copyright. I'm here for the copyright. And it's at the beginning.... so looks like I'll be developing tangential interests along the way. Here's hoping this course will become a bit less confusing and a bit more friendly for us non-lawyer types.*

So there you have it. First impressions of the third semester. The race is on, and I'm focused on the finish line. Much to do before arriving there, but with husband, friend, and classmate support along the way, it'll totally happen. Hopefully without too much insanity... and a little bit of chocolate.**


*Speaking of lawyers, there are a surprising number of them in our MLIS program. I suppose I shouldn't really be surprised, as law libraries prefer to hire among their own...
** O.K.... who am I kidding?? It'll be a lot of chocolate, and probably some alcohol, too. And knitting. Perfecto.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Musings on Literacy

Just a quick post with some thoughts I've been mulling over the past few days. Recently, I came across the wonderful project Little Free Library, which has gotten quite a bit of press. I'm loving the idea, the execution, and most importantly, the purpose.

Seriously. Who wouldn't love to have a cute little library just waiting to be discovered somewhere right around the corner? It kind of makes me want to start one here in town... It would be such a great idea for parks, hospitals, nursing homes, doctor's office waiting rooms.... you name it. What other places can we think of to include these Little Free Libraries?

Literacy is such a huge issue in the world, even today.  Unfortunately, it seems that our society takes literacy for granted these days, often ignoring the needs of those not quite as literate. Yet literacy has not been forgotten by all. This project is just one example of how people are promoting good in their communities and encouraging others to pay it forward.

There has been quite a bit of debate in the LIS circles of recent as to the definition of literacy. Does literacy only include the ability to read and write these days? Or does it go further, grasping deeper concepts upon which our society has become dependent- namely technology and the internet? I personally know many people who are afraid of losing their job because the technology skills required have changed so drastically from when they entered their professional field. These days, social media plays a huge role in marketing, networking, and just plain communication. Many people argue that the true definition of literacy is that of computer (and technology) literacy. And while that is true considering how technologically dependent our society has become, let us not forget those who are still illiterate in the traditional sense of the word. Let us not forget those who still struggle to read, comprehend, and express their thoughts through the written word. Let us not forget the purpose behind the Little Free Library.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Forrays into Domesticity

Ah, housewifery. Before D and I got married, I dreaded the thought of being a stay-at-home-wife, clearly assuming that meant cleaning and cooking all day. I'm delighted to discover I was W-R-O-N-G. Yes, school starts up again in a few short weeks, which I am eagerly anticipating. But for now, I'm kind of enjoying the whole staying at home, relaxing, going on adventure walks, and settling into life in a small(er) town thing.

One of the perks I've enjoyed immensely from our Sedalia experience so far is that of farm fresh fruits and veggies. A member of our new congregation brought over some delicious tomatoes the other day. In an attempt to broaden my culinary horizons, I've also been wanting to make some homemade salsa. PERFECT TIMING.

Getting ready for a grand culinary adventure.
And so today, while my husband was at work, I decided to go for it. It didn't sound that difficult. In fact, I think the most difficult part of the entire experience was trying to find a recipe. Why bother googling something from (or some other site) when I received a plethora of cookbooks for my bridal shower/our wedding? After consulting all my cookbooks, I found two- count 'em, TWO, recipes. And after realizing my kitchen did not possess all required items for either recipe, I did what any good, seasoned cook (aka my mother) does- I improvised.

The result? Success! Although I was worried that two different kinds of hot sauce would make it too spicy for my liking (although D would most certainly approve), we agreed that its flavor is more tangy than spicy. I can live with that. And of course, because I improvised, there's no guarantee that it will taste the same next time. But that's what makes it grand. That's what defines it as culinary. And that's why it's an adventure.

P.S. My new hand blender? Awesome.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Still 5, but Wiser

When I was 5 years old, I got my very first library card. I remember the thrill of having my own card! The doors now swung widely and beckoned me into that blissful world of information (and I could check books out on my own card!). I also remember the impatience at having to wait for the library to process my application, make the card, and notify me of pick-up availability. I'm pretty sure my mom got very tired of my daily query as to whether or not we could go pick up my card. (Shame, shame for making an eager 5-year-old wait to receive her very first library card...)

No longer 5, but still excited.
Yesterday, I reverted back to my 5-year-old self and got my new library card for our public library. (Applied and received it all in one day! Imagine that...) Amidst my excitement at the new privileges now bestowed upon me, I also experienced a bit of trepidation which I have come to accept as part of the degree-seeking MLIS world. Would this library meet the needs of their patrons (and consequently my needs)? Would the collection be relevant, up to date, and broad yet deep? Would the librarians be friendly and helpful? How many are degreed librarians? (Will I find a colleague among them?) Will the patrons be polite and possess the ever-elusive library etiquette?

I chuckled to myself at how differently I now see the library from that first library card experience. Dare I say I even view the library differently than I did in high school, or my first few years of undergrad? It's encouraging that I've grown up, recognized greater information needs, and can now assess and critique things on my own. But it's also a bit disheartening. I'm no longer the care-free, happy-go-lucky 5 year old that sees the library as the brand new playground. Now I immediately identify positives and negatives, things I love, areas of improvement, and the ever-present "If I were the Librarian of the Universe...."

What? I like books!
I'll save my critique of my new public library for another day. For now, I'll leave it at this: The library may have changed dramatically since my childhood summers spent idly with books, but the information world still beckons in its many forms. And for now, I've happened upon an armful of books to keep me entertained for the next two weeks.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Today is a day of cute

My friend M shared this link with me, and I thought it was too cute; I had to share! I'm definitely keeping this idea in the back of my mind for any library parties, birthday parties, library school graduation events in the near (or distant) future.

I am constantly amazed at how creative people can be, and this is something I never would have really come up with on my own. I love books, I love reading, and I love book-related crafts, snacks, and decorations.

Cute Little Library Books! And the best part? They're made with fruit and without corn syrup. They have to be healthy, no?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Archivist to the Rescue!

As I've mentioned in previous posts, we're settling into our new apartment in Sedalia. Although the apartment buildings are relatively new, we've been coming across lots of little problems with the place, as any new tenant is wont to discover. One of these problems is the dining room corner appears to leak every time it rains, just a puddle on the floor by the air conditioning unit, and easily cleaned up with a towel. Now, we've had a ridiculously dry summer, and the farmers are all starting to suffer for it. Thank God that it's finally starting to rain and substantially at that! However, that means we're also discovering the extent of our puddle leakage.

Today the puddle, apparently with a mind of its own, decided to travel along the wall and get the other corner wet. Not that big of a deal, except I had a bag of Library Journal back issues, assorted knitting magazines, and bank statements sitting in that corner. Oh. No. Shouting "Save the LJ!!" and dashing toward the mess, I unpacked the bag and discovered that only the bank statements suffered water damage (and not all of them at that!). Thank goodness. Immediately springing into action, I set up my own little preservation lab. Although not professional by any means, I am quite proud of the creativity which this little lab involves. The not-so-sodden pages are currently drying courtesy of my Vornado- seriously one of the best fans ever. Other ridiculously-sodden-but-not-yet-ruined pages are drying in front of my other two A/C units in the living room and bedroom, which have longer vents and therefore better drying capabilities. Finally (the part about which I am most pleased), the rest of my pages are hanging up on hangers over my bathtub. I always knew there were good uses for those little hooks that hang off the plastic hangers!

Of course, true to Information Professional form, I attempted to keep all the papers in some sort of organizational form. And as I was hanging these papers up, I decided our household needed to come up with a disaster response plan for our own information media. Nerd, party of me. Perhaps it is time to go paperless. [Cue post about ERM... but maybe at a later date.]

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tomorrow is August?

Where is time flying? That means only about a month left until school starts back up again! So many changes this summer... so much excitement! I'm hoping that once the school routine settles in again, I'll feel like life is slowing down a bit.

Right now, I'm signed up for Intro to Reference Services, Preserving Information Media, and Legal Issues for Library and Information Managers. I'm actually really looking forward to the Legal Issues class (Surprised? Yeah, I am too.) and am hoping it won't disappoint. Preserving Information Media should also be very informative and enlightening. My advisor is teaching this class. My advisor is fantastic. Hence, I'm looking forward to it, even though it wasn't one of my first choices class wise.

I'm wondering if my late registration has something to do with the career path ahead of me. I'm inclined to believe this is God showing me the next part of His plan. I'm not taking two of the three classes I was hoping to: Cataloging and Management of Library & Information Services. Don't get me wrong. I still want to take these two classes. Cataloging because it sounds fun- and don't think it would be too hard (ha!). Management because it's the prereq for Academic Libraries-- which is where I'd eventually like to end up. But perhaps there are plans for me to do archiving and things more along the lines of records management. I don't know if I'd mind RM so much, but it just doesn't sound as intellectually stimulating to me as archiving or librarianship do. I guess I just need to be patient and see where God's leading me.

P.S. Jimmy John's was the perfect idea for dinner. Thanks, hubby. :-)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Moving Update

Well, we made it! We've got everything in our new apartment, we're slowly unpacking everything, and settling into life here in Sedalia. What a blessing that about 15 people showed up from our new congregation to help us unload our moving van. It was a nasty hot day, and with everyone's help, we got the entire van unloaded in about 30 minutes. Amazing!

I've been planning this post in my head for a few days now, thinking of things to mention about how thankful I am for what I have right now. And of course, I can't remember every single one when I finally sit down to write. Here's a few brief highlights of our first week in Sedalia:

1. We had our first (unexpected) visitor the first morning in our new home. A member of the congregation who works just down the block stopped by to say hello. We were a bit flustered at the presence of the unexpected houseguest while our abode was still in boxes and piles, but glad he introduced himself anyway. We're finding that people here are quite the friendly bunch.

2. I've met two ladies my age who seem really nice and sweet. The one is a crafter, which scores automatic awesome points in my book. I've run into the other one a few times while running around town, and I'm always glad to see her friendly face.

3. Drew made brownies for me the other day. Just because. The super fudgy ones too!

4. My first cooked meal in our new home was a success. Which made me feel really good, because all I did was throw chicken and vegetables in the fry pan and serve it over rice.

5. While we've been cleaning our apartment (because really, don't you feel better knowing that the dust and dirt is your dust and dirt??), we've come across an odd assortment of items that belonged to the former occupants. Such oddities include a red and white striped sock under the fridge, Heineken bottle caps under the stove, and sequins, beads, and earring wires embedded in the carpet. Um. Weird.

6. I'm finally starting to decorate a bit. And, I found a super cute tablecloth on clearance for $3. Score!

7. Yesterday was quite the productive day. Paid the rent, started the official name change process, took a huge load of boxes to the recycling center, and shopped for some home supplies. It felt good to get things done. :-)

That's a good list for now.... I should get back to my logic puzzle while I wait for the dryer to finish. So much for going to bed early today.... ah, the life of the domestic.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Moving Day...

Don't have much to post today, except that it's moving day. I'm a mixture of nervousness, anticipation, and a bit of excitement. Moving to a small town is something I honestly never really saw coming when I planned out my future as a child. Some days, I still have doubts about this city girl's ability to make it in a small town... but I know God has a plan for our lives, and that I'll learn and grow as everyone else does. Everyone else seems very positive about our move, and I've received multiple comments from people about how exciting this all is....... I suppose I should trust them, right? :P

Aside from the general moving anxiety I seem to have, I'm also still contemplating what this move means for the half-baked librarian/archivist I am. Yes, we won't be too far from KC, but I still feel kind of like I'm leaving my professional net, my colleague support group, not that I have a very extensive, tight group here. I think it's more the concept of things. I'm viewing this whole life-altering move as an adventure, something that will give me experience both personally and professionally. Another puzzle piece in the life of BiblioBleez.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

Today is National Ice Cream Day! Of course D and I celebrated-- how could we not?! But that left me wondering... how did National Ice Cream Day become, well... National?

So off I went on a librarian search through the catacombs of Google (what else?! :P). After a little digging, I discovered this Presidential Proclamation from 1984, in which Ronald Reagan declared July National Ice Cream Month. I mean, Reagan himself declares ice cream as a "nutritious and wholesome food." I'm not arguing.

Happy National Ice Cream Day, y'all!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What a yarn of a tale...

Why yes, I am moving in a week.
Why yes, I do have more things to pack than I realized.
Why yes, I am worried about everything fitting in our new apartment.
Why yes, my nearest Jo-Ann's is moving to a larger location, and consequently having a HUGE "Everything Must Go!" sale.
Why yes, I did find yarn at 50% off.

Why yes, of course I needed to buy the 8 skeins of yarn I found.....

[Not to mention the 5 I picked up at Michael's yesterday, plus the 4 I ordered for my brother's requested projects! Or the yarn I received as bridal shower gifts.... or the yarn I bought on our honeymoon.........]

Grand total added to stash within past month and a half: 24 skeins.

Why no, I don't need help!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Onward and Upward!

Friends. So much has happened since I've last posted, very little of which is library-related in any form. Sitting next to my husband tonight, watching the All-Star game, I thought I'd provide a bit of an update.

First, and most importantly. D and I tied the knot back in June! In fact, we've been married for a little over a month already. Our wedding was absolutely perfect, and everyone enjoyed the day immensely. After the reception, we ventured over to Ted Drewes for some delicious St. Louis custard. Turns out the bridal party gets free custard and we saw some fireworks. A perfect end to a perfect day. We thoroughly enjoyed our extensive honeymoon to Pennsylvania and DC. Of course we visited the Archives again. I couldn't resist! And of course I bought yarn. That alone is a splendid trip all around. :-)

We're finalizing up plans for our big move to Sedalia in a few weeks. Now that we have a place to live, which we're very happy with, we can focus on packing, packing, packing. Not my favorite chore in the world, but it needs to get done. And I'm excited to start unpacking and organizing and making our place a home. Like, really excited.

Sorry I don't have much library-related to discuss right now. The rest of life seems to be more important at the moment. :-)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Why I'm Excited to be an Archivist

Sifting through historic documents, arranging and describing them to the best of my ability without bias, so that others may discover, interpret, and learn from them. 

Funny how my years of writing papers in undergrad and trying to give a fair portrayal of the events, namely not take sides, has turned into something I enjoy doing for my career. I'm thinking I'm might really enjoy A&D, even if it does get tedious, monotonous, and somewhat boring at times. 

Funny how I enjoy it, even when I'm not working with collections that pertain to my personal historical interests. Economic history? No, thank you. Never thought I'd be interested in it, much less working with it. But I'm still enjoying it anyway. And I consider that a huge step in the right direction for my career. 

Another part I'm also looking forward to is reference and outreach. Having that background of A&D gives me the in depth knowledge of creating the finding aids, so I can better collocate collections for researchers. I suppose in a way it's similar to RA, but not quite the same. I'm excited to see how these different aspects are all coming together for me, and how this job has given me a better glimpse into what it's like to be an archivist. I know it's not exactly the same thing, especially as I'm not technically working in an archive, but special collections can come pretty close to that, don't you think? In a way, I'm kind of seeing myself here as a Lone Arranger, which makes me giggle. 

Sitting at my desk yesterday, I realized I'm excited to see where this path leads. Records Management? Archivist? Special Collections? Arrangement and Description? Reference and outreach? Or will I find myself in the digital projects realm? It all kind of comes together.... scary but thrilling at the same time. 

Will I survive as a half baked Master's student in a small town without the immediate support of fellow colleagues? I'm praying it's true.... and I'm about to find out.

Monday, May 23, 2011

And the results are in!

This semester: 4.0

I am quite pleased, if I do say so myself.

Drew and I were discussing this in the car the other day. It's funny how in college, and even my first semester of grad school, I felt like I never worked hard enough and my grades, no matter how outstanding they were, were worth more than the amount of work I put in. Basically, I felt like I should always do more, and better, work to earn the 'A' I received. Ridiculous. (Granted, there were a few classes that I felt the grade truly reflected my effort and work level for the class.) I'm glad to say that this semester, I'm finally feeling like I'm putting in the level of work to receive the grade I do, which is a nice feeling... in a way. But I still admit I set ridiculously high standards for myself. And with all that being said...

Am I really crazy enough to set my standards for another 4.0 next semester, being newly married, living in a new town, and going back to full time status? Yes. Bring it on.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Year 1: Complete

Hard to believe, but it's true! I've already got a whole year of graduate school under my belt. I'm a year and a half away from graduating with my MLIS, and I'm looking forward to it. Looking forward not only to the degree, but also to the learning that will take place before and after receiving my degree. Overall, I've enjoyed my classes this year, although I will admit to some frustrating and "What am I doing here??" times.

It's been a learning curve indeed, and that's not about to change any time soon. I'm glad. Learning how to adapt my learning style to an online class format, learning to communicate and articulate better, learning patience with myself, peers, and others during this journey. This blog is intended not only as a forum in which to further discuss topics raised in class, but also about the library and information science profession as a whole. And the archives profession. And most importantly, my journey as I find my niche in the biblio world. Because, you know, I can't just do one thing. :-) As long as you stay for the ride, I can guarantee there will be side excursions into knitting and all things Bleez. Enjoy, and here's to a wonderful summer!