Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year 2008 in a Nutshell: A Bittersweet Symphony

In-between the visit to the bank and Salon Rouge for intense hairapy (color-cut-straightened), Greenie and I rocked out to Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve. It's a pensive song with an intense blend of percussion, violins, and vocals. Although The Verve released this song in June of 1997, the name of the song describes 2008 for me. Bitter and sweet. Mostly sweet but with a strong resonant taste of bitter. Tonight I'll be rocking out at home with Steve and friends, but I'm also waiting on news from Indy. I hope it's good news for Mom, for all of us. I'd rather have a New Year's wish than a resolution: for Mom's good health. Cheers.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Restless Sunday Night: Footprints on Hearts

"Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same."
-Anonymous
It is a pleasant day and a good evening. Our snow angels treated us to lovely snacks, coffee, and wonderful mouse wood carvings. They're perched up on the Hoosier cabinet next to the Nambe and our wedding photographs. Perfect. Another friend called and left a message and told me she wanted to make Steve and I dinner. We opened our gifts from family and extended family and enjoyed the sauces, the book (You: The Owner's Manual), and Naughty and Nice Christmas Ornaments. Tee hee hee. Perfect. The simplicity of a phone call, food prepared for us, cards and gifts in the mail, and the thought of making dinner for us is so touching, overwhelming, and kind. It's during challenging times with the holidays, the brutal weather, illness, and adjusting to a temporary new job environment while my branch is blossoming into a new place when simplicity is most needed. I visited my workspace today and one of my staff members sent me a black faux fur hat. I donned it on the way home. These significant little kindnesses keep a spring in my step and a sparkle in my eye. While Java kept watch downstairs (Steve played at a postponed game tonight), Latte and I listened to Enya's new CD And Winter Came. The CD is lovely: picturesque, haunting, dreamlike, lyrical. And her music will sometimes make me cry. Like tonight. And sweet Latte is chewing on the ends of my hair.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Licking Cards on Christmas Eve

(Java Reading the Christmas Cards LCS 2008) (Java Licking the Christmas Cards LCS 2008)
Miss Java is the reason why we do not have our Christmas tree up in the living room. She loves Christmas! She would paw the ornaments and scale the tree. I was looking for a place to put all the wonderful cards and pictures and thought the dining room table was a safe bet. We were hoping more things on the table would deter the cats from jumping on the table. Hmmn. From these photographs, I don't think so.
Yes, I fell behind with Christmas this year. We didn't put up the tree. We're really not here for the festivities anyway, and in the big scheme of things, it's no big deal to us. In my opinion, it's just one more thing to worry about. Yes, I have cards I haven't sent out yet and gifts for staff I haven't seen yet and a few packages I still need to mail out. But it will be done in good time and that's okay. Just spend time with the people you love the most and that's all that really matters, isn't it?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Early Winter Morning and Winterscapes

(RAT in the Wreath LCS 2008)
Good morning! It's 4:30a.m. and I'm making the most of waking up at this hour. Java cat was sleeping with her paws together and twisted so they are facing the ceiling. Very cute. The bright light from the Tiffany lamp didn't even wake her up. She did arise a few minutes later to leap onto the dining room table, lick the Christmas cards, knock a few over in the process just for fun, and leap back up to the ledge of the couch to settle in again. Ah, the life of a cat! Latte is most likely upstairs nestled in the spot I just vacated.
I am fortunate to have taken some time off this week to finish Christmas cards, shopping, and sending packages in the mail. I'm really exhausted (but happy) with work and trying to prevent acute bronchitis from worsening. It knocked me out and woke me up to take it easier. I even slept through church this morning because of my medication! (Oops.)
I may even muster the gusto to put up my Christmas tree and the Christmas wreath and that should be good enough. I usually don't overdo the whole Christmas thing, although I love spending time with fam and friends, like I did this weekend. (Oh, and a word to the wise: people will actually read blog postings, and I accidentally announced a gift here on the blog. Oops.:P)) Steve and I were spoiled by my friends. I'm wearing the green and red socks that totally clash with my current black and white checked pajamas, but I don't care. They are happy socks from my wonderful happy friends and I feel happy wearing them. I was touched by a gorgeous necklace that M& R picked out for me up in Beulah, Michigan. Not only is it beautiful and matched my other Lia Sophia necklace, but it brought up the memories of Lake Michigan and camping and how much fun we had. And we're doing it again in the Summer of 2009! One more thing: I'll be doing a winter photography exhibit entitled Winterscapes at the Bittersweet Branch Library in the window cases as a featured artist in January! I think it will be fun opportunity to get my photography out there.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Late Night and A New Earth

(Java Vegging on the Couch 2008)
Good morning! It's 1:30 a.m.! Do you know where your meds are? Acute bronchitis snuck up and bit me again. My only symptoms are that I am winded and exhausted. (Guess that's a red flag smacking me on the keester but tend to ignore it. Oops.) At least the cooties will be cleared in time for the holidays next week. Steve has been on my case to eat soup and drink hot tea, and I am grateful for it. Steve took me to the doctor and to the pharmacy. And no, I did NOT behave. I teased my doc and quipped that he played a doctor on tv. Then at the pharmacist's office I told the overly perky pharm tech that I wanted drugs. (And she laughed. Then she id'ed me for the cough medicine since it's a controlled substance. Where was she when I was buying Christmas wine as a present last week?My older (yet younger-looking) sister and my husband get carted. It must be an oldest/first-born child thing. I thought they are supposed to LOOK more mature as well. Hmmm.
Even my dreams are misbehaving. As indicated on my FB account, I dreamt that I was playing my black Gretch drumset at Martin's Supermarkets. Alone. And then I fell off the drum stool. Just fell right over. And a friend asked me if I was nude! Please, don't give my brain ideas for more crazy dreams. Yes, I was fully dressed. Just tipping over in front of everyone at the supermarket was horrific enough. Moo.
Anyway, in-between sleeping with Latte and writing Christmas cards with Java watching carefully, I am reading A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purposes by Eckhart Tolle. It's a terrific read. It's a book on spirituality. Tolle talks about transcending one's consciousness and living a more fulfilling life. Definitely a book to purchase for home.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Facebook Musings and Christmas RAT in Kalamazoo

(RAT on Mantle LCS 2008) (M,C, and Lori 2008)
(Lori and Steve 2008)
The interesting aspect about sites like Facebook (FB) is the realization of how much people are truly connected. Not just virtually through the Internet as a catalyst, but how people know eachother in reality. It's circular. I know this person through music and that person through college and then they know each other through a school they attended, and so on. It's also a way to start over with some relationships. I've reconnected with a lot of wonderful people this year and rebuilt some friendships from past acquaintanceships. And I think that's terrific!
Saturday night Steve and I attended a Christmas cocktail party in Kalamazoo. My friend, C., is one of my best childhood friends from Gravel Lake. I love him dearly. My folks met us up here and we saw people from the Lake. It was so funny to see people dressed, since we are usually in totally casual garb when we are up there. Of course, RAT made a holiday appearance.
We arrived home around 1:30 a.m. I managed to haul myself to church this morning and play the congas and triangle. (Someone mentioned I add more cowbell! Moooo.) Had brunch with my parents. Mom wasn't feeling well, bless her heart. Damn cancer. :( So I visited them at home and then I arrived Chez Sigety. Crashed for 4 1/2 hours. Marathon siesta, baby.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hourra Pour le Livre! (Hooray for Books!)

(Antique French Children's Book for Carrie LCS 2008)
It's Saturday morning again. Where did the week go? I divided my time between the Tutt Branch and the Main Library. I helped close the Tutt Branch this Friday. It's a good feeling to see this accomplishment. I also learned how to order non-fiction books in acquisitions, which is fun. Shopping for books! Next week I will be dividing my time again...I will help the Tutt Branch pack up books for part of the week and then work in Acquisitons the rest of the week. After I take some time off, I will return and start in Reference. That will be a lot of fun, as I will have the privilege to work with one of my closest and dearest friends and other wonderful people!:)
In-between libraries, I worked out with a physical trainer, wrote a few Christmas cards, did some on-line shopping, hung out with Steve and the kitties, and then entertained a friend last night. We consumed large amounts of carbohydrates, listened to French music (Edith Piaf) and played three rounds of Scrabble. It was a fun, relaxing evening. Tonight Steve and I will trek to Kalamazoo to a holiday party with extended family from Gravel Lake. Perhaps RAT will tag along? We shall see.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Weekend of Wintry Festivities

(Friendship Quilt LCS 2008) (New Western Branch Library SJS 2008) (RAT for Sale 1 SJS 2008)
(RAT for Sale 2 SJS 2008)
My weekend was a flurry of fun activities. Saturday morning, Steve and I took RAT to the LaSalle Branch Library and worked the garage sale. Despite the icy and snowy weather, people lined up at the door. It quieted down around 10:00 a.m.. We stayed until noon and then locked the doors.
I took a nap to fight off the sinus demons and then Steve and I attended a Christmas soiree through Steve's work (IU). It is an annual, elegant celebration and we stayed and chatted for about two hours. I didn't realize the punchbowl was spiked and wondered why the punch tasted especially delicious.
Sunday I missed church because of my plans today. I wanted to keep my energy up for the activities. Steve and I arrived at the newly remodeled Western Branch Library around 12:45 p.m.. It is beautiful! J. did a wonderful job with the introductions and the ceremonies. I was in charge of passing out the chocolates. It was a nice touch. I finally introduced myself to the mayor and accidentally called myself mayor instead of manager. Great. (Then I quipped that I just gave myself a raise. Hopefully that was a good recovery line.) The dedication lasted until 3p.m. Steve and I left. I came home and napped again before my friend's baby shower.
The baby shower took place in an elegant home in the woods. Jazz music played while everyone had beverages and chatted. Dinner was presented at 6p.m. Then the presents. My friend C. opened up her presents and giggled the whole time. She is such a lovely, caring person and it is great to have so many friends and family surrounding her. The most fun gift of all was the friendship quilt. Everyone decorated a quilt square and one of our friends put it together. It was gorgeous. And a sign-in book describing the squares was a great touch. It was a fun shower, and a great way to start the week! :)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Saturday RAT Live, Conga Chick Crashes Church, and a Stroll Down Miami Street

(RAT Playing Guitar LCS 2008)
(RAT on Drums LCS 2008)
On Saturday, Steve and I visited friends, feasted on snacks and treats, drank lovely coffee, and played Rock Band. We actually closed out the soiree. We also brought RAT with us and she played pretty well. :)
On Sunday, the new music director didn't realize I was playing with the folk music and guitars, so I surprised him as he saw the conga drums. Luckily, it was a pleasant surprise and a fun service. It was great to perform again and he welcomed me back.
(The third part of this blog I actually wrote on a napkin while lunching at Cira's).
I usually bring a journal but forgot today. Actually writing on a napkin makes it more creative for me. I visited my old stomping grounds at the Tutt Branch Library today, as I am helping with closing and renovation. I passed the salon where S. used to have her salon and Buffy the cat used to greet me. One of the stylists is the owner now. I stopped in and saw him. We chatted for awhile. I walked to Cira's where H. greeted me at the door with a hug. She remembered my house, Steve, and our wedding day! I also saw V. He hugged me too! It's nice to reconnect with them again. They were a part of my formative years at the library. It turned out to be a nice afternoon after a sleepy, groggy morning under the concrete wintry sky.

November Musings and Happy Early Thanksgiving

Has it been two months already? Happy autumn! In about a month, winter will be here. It's starting to feel like it outside. Enough ab...