Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Birthday Gift

Gravel Lake- LCS 2009
A colleague told me today that the best way to observe a deceased loved one's birthday is to give a gift to someone else in her honor. I think that's a beautiful idea. So I would like to share a memory with you about my mother. This is my gift to you--in her honor.
Over twelve years ago, I was going to wear my mother's wedding dress for our wedding. However, it didn't make it through the special dry cleaning. (They do a much better job with dress preservation now). So we went to a bridal shop and tried on wedding dresses. She bought one off the rack that was a size 12 and had to have a seamstress whittle it down to a size 6 (To be a size 6 again!) Well, it was really late to have it altered in time for the wedding but she did not tell me that. She kept the stress to herself and made sure the dress was ready and perfect for my special day. And it was. That was the kind of person she was, always planning and taking care of others.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Celebrating Twelve Years

Lori and Steve--July 26, 1997 Steve and Lori--July 26, 2009
Saturday night after LaSalle festivities, we visited our friend D. and hung out on his porch aka beach hut until about midnight. We celebrated with moonlight champagne and pizza. (Well, there were other spirits, but I was sticking with the light stuff.)
Sunday Steve and I celebrated our 12-year anniversary. I slept in until 1:00 p.m. I finally slept all night--no library nightmares! We dined at an Italian place called Papa Vino's and then hung out with my in-laws in their garden on Sunday. It was a nice day. One of the presents we received was a DVD version of our VHS wedding/reception. Steve's cousins from Hungary shot the video, so it was from a foreigner's perspective. Very cool. Haven't viewed it yet.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

At Last

Lori and Miss Jackson at the LaSalle Branch. -SJS 2009
"At Last." -Etta James.
Just like the tumultous journey from possibly closing to renovation to reopening, Saturday's stormy skies cleared up and smiled down on us. The LaSalle dedication and RetroFest went well. In fact, I think it was the best year yet. It was a special day on so many levels. The planning and work so many people put into remodeling the city branches are almost complete as Tutt will reopen in late September. Three of the four city branches are now officially open and running. Patrons and staff were so happy and enjoyed the day. We had over 600 people in attendance. The costumes people wore were beautiful and the music was outstanding. Miss Jackson's rendition of "At Last" seared through my heart and brought tears to my eyes. Little Frank and the Premiers provided wonderful blues and jazz to the branch. And Carol Keppler kept young audiences entertained with balloon art and face painting. My chapter on remodeling the LaSalle Branch is now closed. This is my happily ever after. At last. :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Adventures in Libraryland: Days Three, Four, and Five

Lori and T. at the branch--SJS 7.20.09
This is a photo of me and one of my favorite people in libraryland. T. is a friend and fellow manager and has traveled this journey with me so far. She's terrific.
It's been an interesting week in the new libraryland. People are so happy about the remodeled digs. Staff had the same reaction when it was first viewed it too. That's fun to watch.
It's wonderful to see children running across the field to visit us at the library. It's wonderful to reunite with patrons we haven't seen in 8+ months. All of the peaceful, positive energy in the branch is great. People caught on that we were open Tuesday afternoon and then we were discovered. So we hit the ground running. The soft opening was no longer soft. But for the most part it was smooth. Not too many casualties, just an incident involving a bloody nose in the girl's bathroom and out in the library. Yikes! We took care of the young patron, slapped on the latex gloves with disinfectant and put paper over the stains on the carpet in the library. We called maintenance right away to save the carpeting in the library proper. Who knew guarding blood stains on carpeting (so people wouldn't step on them) would be listed under "other duties as assigned?" Maintenance and IT staff have been visiting all week to tweak the facilites and equipment and assist the staff in whatever way possible. I am proud to say I only had one stress cry this week on Day 4 (moody Thursday) when I experienced my second consecutive sleepless night and the deams I experienced were about the library. The endless cash register tape dream was especially disconcerting. I could not comprehend the coin-ops and did not do something correctly on the cash register. Luckily, it was before we opened and I was behind the scenes at the time. I usually refer to the week of our festival as "retrohell". Add dedication and a soft opening and I have to say we're grateful we all have survived up to this point. And we did a good job. And people are happy. And that's the bottom line. Tonight I am preparing the speeches for tomorrow's ceremonies. I thought I would post a blog to warm up. Then off to a good night's dream.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day Two: Adventures in Libraryland

Deer in Vineyard--2009
Deer on Library Chair--2009
I am feeling like Alice in Libraryland. Especially since I received this gorgeous planter in the shape of an enormous teacup for my birthday tonight. Or maybe a deer in the vineyard sprouting horns. It's the second day at the branch and I feel like I have been shot out of a cannon. I'm hitting the ground running with working out bugs, figuring out the workflow, greeting patrons, working last minute details of RetroFest and Dedication, and a branch meeting in the p.m.. But so far, it's a smooth shot and I'm merely trotting. Working out the kinks in scheduling (must delegate), also figuring out new technology and doing basic accounting for the branch. If I can survive coin-op machines, I will be fine. A reporter from the newspaper arrived today. She interviewed me and patrons in the branch. Tomorrow there will be a photographer. Better glam up just in case. :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Today is a Day I Will Never Forget

What a beautiful day for a soft opening at a library. The sun is shining, the skies are blue, and my heart is happy for the first time in a long time. The patrons who came in are excited to see the staff, and vice/versa. There are a lot of hugs. A lot of laughter. A lot of tours around the new facility. It is such a treat to show teens the new cafe and hear them laugh out loud with delight. It is wonderful to see young kids leaving the library smiling, with stacks of books in their arms. On a personal note, turning 38 is painless. No one, including my mother, would let my day pass by unnoticed. Of all the days of the year, the soft opening for my branch is on my birthday. Staff surprised me with a potluck lunch, cards, flowers, and presents. A volunteer called me from her vacation spot in Wyoming. My father stopped by and I gave him the grand tour and he enjoyed lunch with the staff. My friends stopped by later in the evening. What floored me was that Steve took a day of vacation and surprised me by spending the day with me at the new branch. It is such a comfort to have him there. Colleagues and staff stopped by, dropped off cards, called, and IM'ed. And oh my goodness, Facebook. I received so many messages on my Wall between last night and tonight. I am humbled and touched and so fortunate to have such great family, friends, and colleagues in my life. What a beautiful day for a birthday. Today is a day I will never forget.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Last Night of Thirty-Seven Looking Up at Forty

Another Chicago Photo from the Sears Tower--LCS 2009
This is the last night and the last hour of my 37th year on earth. And I have to say I am looking forward to turning 38. A new year, a new start, a new perspective. And the new LaSalle Branch Library has a soft opening tomorrow, so I consider that her new birthday, too. It's been three years in the making of the remodeled building, so it's like a rebirth. This was a good weekend. My father made a wonderful dinner for all ten of us! We also had cake and ice cream, went bowling, and then off to an anniversary party. So today I slept in until almost noon, and then snoozed for most of the afternoon. It was cold and rainy, so it was a perfect day to perfect sleep as a hobby. This evening we enjoyed leftovers, went for a pontoon ride, and then snapped photographs on the way home. I'll post those soon, and more from our trip to Chicago for ALA.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Librarians Invade Chicago

Steve and I returned from Chicago last night and straight to our respective libraries this morning. I promise to blog more soon, but wanted to leave you with a photo. I am on the 103rd floor of the Sears Tower in the cube. This was taken on Monday.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Fur Friends

Quinn and Tongue--SJS 2009
Noodle the Cat-- SJS 2009
Duchess Getting a Treat--SJS July 2009
So far, I am taking the 365 day challenge and taking photographs every day. (Steve also shoots pictures, so between us, we pretty much do that anyway). Here are some photos from visits with friends (human and furry).

Friday, July 03, 2009

Hills and Valleys--Java

Java on the Porch-SJS 2009
Steve and I took Java to the vet this afternoon. I was so exhausted from the stress of the visit that I slept for about an hour. Something told me to go with Steve to take Java to see Dr. Harr. She actually has a small growth on her hip (benign) that grew. Java also walks with a slower gait. So we went to have that checked out and after telling Dr. Harr about her walking slower, she ran a series of tests. It turns out that Java has severe arthritis in both hips and has the beginning stages of kidney failure. So we have medication (kitty morphine) and new food to alleviate her pain and keep what's left of her kidney function healthy. Hence the valley. We've had Java since 1999 (and only two years into our marriage) and we really love her. She's a stoic, tough kitty. Hopefully we won't have to make any decisions in the near future, but Java's comfort and well-being is the most important thing to us.

Hills and Valleys--Lunch and Inspiration

I met up with my friend, M. We have not seen each other since high school. We dined at Doc Pierce's outside. It was a little windy, but a beautiful afternoon. She showed me a cool photography book her husband made. He took a photo a day... 365 photos for 365 days. It really inspired me to do the same thing--- except I may add poems or a word a day with it.

Hills and Valleys-DMV

Today is an example of experiencing the hills and valleys of living. The day started out on a hill. I went to the new DMV and my new driver's license was processed in a half an hour, which was great. I do, however, wish there was a way I could retake my photograph. In Indiana, you can no longer smile. The kindly employee told me gently that I had to hide my teeth. So now I look like I am going to burst out laughing. At least I am now registered as a redhead AND an organ donor (donate your organs, people! You don't need them in Heaven!) So if you want a good chuckle, ask me for my ID. It will make you smile. (And yes, you can show your teeth! :D) I also met up with one of my girlfriends and chatted with her for awhile. Then I returned home with time to spare before a lunchdate with another friend from high school.

Slip Dream

Setting up shop in the new LaSalle Branch is on my mind constantly. It is so much that it has permeated my dreams as well. In this dream I was standing as a greeter with the inside door open and patrons were walking in and out of the library. People were happy. It seemed normal--except that I was in a short, beige slip. And one of my colleagues took me aside and told me I needed to go home and change because I wasn't dressed appropriately. Then I woke up. Hmmn...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Women's pregnant bellies and drums have one thing in common: everyone assumes it's public property! Steve and I went to fetch my drums from the church and I saw my $500 conga drums out in the staging area. Someone moved my equipment and it wasn't me! (I was permitted to house my equipment in there so it would be safe from the wear and tear of tugging it around. Had I known people would be messing with it I would have taken it home a long time ago). Then much to my chagrin, my expensive yet well-used and loved Black Gretch drumset and hi-hat symbol were shoved into a closet. These drums have herstory, man. Have a little more respect. As Steve and I are clearing out my music studio to house my percussion again, I am looking around at the pieces in boxes. My Dad purchased my first (and only) Black Gretch drumset for me in 1988. Thank God I did not get the Hot Pink Tama drumset I was eyeing. (I like Tama, just not that color). I basically took over the living room with all of my percussion pieces. My mother and I purchased my conga drums at the now defunct Whitmer-McNease. We got a great deal on them, but are still in good condition and has a herstory, too. A drumstory.

National Lampoon's Garden Adventures, and Last Thoughts on 46

Update on Sake Sakura: We will be making an appointment to get Sake's MRI. It's been really hot and our schedules have been nuts,...