Sunday, 21 December 2014

Bring on the light!

Thanks to my #1 blog lover, AGLL, for bugging me continually about updating this thing.  I think I was having such a wonderful summer and fall that spending time on the computer ran counter to my desire to be out in the sun and clean air.  Summer was delightful, I was outside all the time, but fall was particularly spectacular in Saskatoon.  Seriously, I was still walking to work in a just a sweater, skirt, and tights during the third week of October.  Amazing.  Not so amazing right now, with all the fog and darkness.  But today is Solstice so the light will be returning...bring it on.

But now for the blog update.  Grab a cuppa (Typhoo?), this is going to be a long one.  :)

Where to start?  I'll give you a quick recap of the fall in Fine Arts at the library.  We've given the department a kick in the ass and did a bunch of programs, including public art talks, our book club, and an evening presentation about animation.  I'm involved in a music discussion group, which has been dubbed Wednesday Night Music Club.  It's like a book club but we listen to an album (yes, a whole shuffle, no skipping tracks), then have a chat about it after.  I was super nervous for the first session, but nine people out and we had a good evening.  Our subsequent sessions have averaged about five people and we've listened to anything from classic rock to country to the brand new album by Beck.  It's interesting to hear how different people interpret and talk about music.  It's been so much fun and we're looking forward to continuing on through the winter.  Another REALLY EXCITING thing we're doing is a music CD advisory service for SPL patrons, called SPL Music Quest.  Patrons fill out a form, online or paper, telling us what they like to listen to, all time favourite musicians/groups/composers, how adventurous they are when listening to music, etc., and we use that information to pick one CD a month for each participant.  Although readers' advisory is a well-known library service, music advisory hasn't taken off.  Getting everything organized and rolled out was stressful, but Fine Arts is home to some really great team players and we worked out kinks together.  We have about 28 participants so far and we're enjoying picking music for each person.  A couple of us have described it as giving a gift to someone everytime we send out a CD.  Feedback has been positive so far, and I'm hoping to speak about this service at a library conference next spring.

There was also live music performed in our art gallery this fall.  We had bass player Richard Carnegie come do a gig in October for Saskatchewan Library Week, then in November clarinet and percussion duo Carmine Jewel performed new music and traditional holiday carols on a cold, snowy afternoon.  Both performances were well-received and I would love to get more of this happening in the future. I'm in the process of hunting for grant money to make things happen.

After all that craziness, I headed home to Ontario for my first vacation in over a year.  I've never lived far from friends and family, so the whole idea of scheduling visits with a bunch of people was a bit overwhelming.  It was so great to see everyone, though.  I hit Toronto, London, and Strathroy on my nine day tour, and enjoyed catching up face-to-face with my folks.  My brother and his family, including new niece Alexandra, were visiting at the same time, so my parent's house was packed.  This view from the back step of the house always makes me happy...

My niece Lily made the nativity scene her own, by adding Play Doh accessories and an extra angel (on top of a shepherd or something...).  This picture sums up our five days together as a family: a bit chaotic but fun...


I also got to spend some quality time with my little boyfriend, Ryan.  Too bad he's not thirty years older, we really hit it off.  Here we are, watching Rescue Bots...

I was happy to get back to Saskatoon and the fur babies, but I could have used another few days off work just to chill out (extreme introvert needs her down time).  As it was I jumped right back into work.

I'm making more of an effort to take care of myself this winter.  I spent a lot of time last winter asleep or in a bit of a funk, so I decided to avoid that this year.  B12 and iron supplements everyday, and I fired up the SAD lamp again.  Exercising outside in the winter here is just not an option for me (bless all those year-round cyclists and runners), which could have led to a whole lot of doing nothing for months at a time.  Instead I got a six month membership for the Y and I'm okay with it.  Running on a treadmill is a bit strange, but the impact isn't as jarring so it's actually better than road running in a way.  I also use the bikes and rowing machines; boring, but it's better than nothing.  If I'm sweating and my heart is pounding, I feel better no matter where I am.  The winter blues are being kept at bay, although I still want to eat bread all the time.

Cameron has developed a lump on the side of his head, back near his jaw.  I was hoping the antibiotics the vet gave him would get rid of it, but it's still there.  Poor buy.  A biopsy might be coming up in the new year to see exactly what that thing is all about.  I go through periods of worry about what the problem is, knowing he's almost 17 and in the late stages of his life.  He doesn't appear to be in any pain or discomfort, however.  For now, we're enjoying daily cuddles on our favourite blankie...

Cleo is her normal self.  Bitchy one minute, affecionate the next.  I bought her a Furminator pet brush and took a ton of fur off of her the first three days I had it.  Lucky for me, she enjoys being groomed: lots of purring.  It's the best money I've spent on a pet accessory.  I'd share a photo of all that fur, but it looked pretty gross lying on the floor in a big pile, so I'll leave it.  Trust me when I say her ladyship Cleo looks much better.  FURMINATOR!!!  (Try saying it loud in a low voice.  It's fun.)

On behalf of myself and the beasts, have a super fantastic holiday season!  Today's Solstice combined with a new moon is pretty special, so I hope you're doing something cool to celebrate.  Light and love to all!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Time to get meditate?

*Someone* (ahem...initials are AGLL) is always on my back about updating this blog.  Most of the time I can't think of anything all that interesting to talk about, quite honestly.  My routine is pretty routine.  Meh.  So tonight I'll tell you about an emerging theme I've got going on here that I find intriguing.  You may agree, or you may prefer to watch TV.  :)

First of all, I'm really enjoying my first summer in Saskatoon.  Yes, spring arrived late and it took some time for summer to get rolling as well, but I really LOVE that there are no air quality issues out here in the prairies.  People complain about the humidity, but it's nothing compared to southwestern Ontario.  I don't have respiratory issues and still had a rough time in July at home.  In Saskatoon I can breathe deeply and easily (that forest fire smoke didn't bother me at all, which is a bit concerning, but whatever...).  It's delightful.  It also makes going out for some exercise much more enjoyable.  I notice it the most when I run. 

I started running again this summer after a 3 year break and I thought it would be rough getting back into a routine, but it's going very well.  I'm already back up to a 5:5 minute walk/run ratio (goal is 9 minutes running to 1 minute walking).  I think the clean air is making a difference: I huff and puff when I'm out, but I feel like I can breathe all the way to the bottom of my lungs.  The other big difference is that I'm running because it makes me feel good, not because I want to race or break a personal speed record or train for a marathon.  I read "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall last summer and it woke me up.  In a nutshell, it's about attitude and mindset.  Like most things in life, if you decide you can't, you probably won't.  The same goes for running.  I used to think I couldn't run in the afternoon or evening, after a day at work, in the sun, in temperatures warmer than 25 degrees, when I was bloated, blah blah blah.  All false.  As soon as I ditched the self-limiting thoughts, I had virtually no problems.  And when I got comfortable enough with what I was doing, running time turned into meditation time.  I make my best decisions when my body is in the groove doing something repetitive.  No surprise that I've solved a couple of problems already and I've only been back in running mode for 4 or 5 weeks.  I can sink into the run, let thoughts bubble up, and allow a solution to present itself.  It's pretty freakin' amazing.

I don't think it's a coincidence that this is happening at the same time that I put a mindfulness bell app on my phone, started pseudo-meditating in the morning before work, and reading back issues of "Shambhala Sun" magazine.  All signs point toward a life that I was living a decade ago, then fell away from (for reasons I won't go into right now).  McDougall also mentioned something in his book about not denying who you really are because it will come back to bite you in the ass sooner rather than later.  Uh huh, I get it.  So nice to be back hanging out with my authentic self again.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Probation is done!

Good news this week: my 6 months probation (why can't I *ever* spell that word correctly?) is over at SPL!  As Ricky on Trailer Park Boys would say, I passed with flying f*cking carpets.  I went out for a celebratory lunch with some library ladies and had the most amazing smoked portobello mushroom burger.  Seriously, I think I had a dream about it.  Anyway, it's great to have crossed that line.

I spent a lot of time in the past couple of weeks planning library programs for the fall.  During library school I kept going on to my classmates that unique programming is going to be one of the ways the library remains relevant as we move into the future.  Now I get my chance to try it out and I'm super excited, but also pretty stressed.  I put a mindfulness bell app on my phone that rings every half hour, so when I'm getting wound up over some detail about my plans it pulls me back into reality.  We're going to try out a listeners' advisory service this fall (likely continuing into the winter) where patrons can answer some questions about their musical tastes, and library staff find them recordings they may not be familiar with.  There will also be a listening party/discussion group happening once a month, where we play an album in its entirety and then talk about it.  I'm aiming to do programs that personalize the library experience for people and go a bit old school.  I think technology is great and we have lovely electronic resources, but there is something to be said for the personal touch and connecting with people in a way that doesn't involve a computer.

I bought these crazy things last weekend.  I don't think it's possible to buy running shoes that aren't vibrant colours.  If you're going to run, you really must have shoes that scream "LOOK AT ME!!!  I'M RUNNING!!!"  They came with two extra sets of grey laces, so if I feel like they're too distracting I can change them up.  I went out for three runs this week (there was a lot of walking along with the running, as I haven't done this for a while) and it was great.  No stiffness, only a bit sore, and I got my anxiety under control.  Niiiiice.  The best part was that even though I haven't done this in about 4 years, I seemed to slip back into it easily.  Hurray for muscle memory!  It's better than my regular memory...
It's Canada Day next week but I keep forgetting, as the weather is not particularly summer-like in Saskatoon.  In a way, I'm okay with that because this time last year I was questioning my need to shower every morning because I'd immediately start sweating as soon as I towelled off.  I just hope I remember not to go to work on Tuesday morning.  People keep talking about "next Tuesday" in a way that indicates that it's special, but it took me a while to remember it's a holiday.  Duh.   So I wish you a happy, and early, Canada Day because I may very well forget to say it on July 1st.  :)

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Expotitions on land and water

It's here!  IT'S HERE!!!!!  Spring, I mean.  My god, did it ever take its sweet time arriving.  It was still snowing at the end of April and I really started to wonder if it was ever going to warm up, while considering taking to my bed in protest.  But it's all good now.  The leaves came out in less than a week, and it's so green and pretty here now.  I'm about 75% less grumpy and practically skip to work everyday now.  Happy dance!

I've been out a lot on my bike and on foot in the past few weeks.  Unfortunately, I can't carry my phone with me when I ride so I don't have many pictures from my treks.  Here are a few, from one of the first warm days.  It was still pretty brown by the river, but there were definitely signs of life...

Not sure what these actually are, but I didn't really care the day I took the picture because it was such a relief to see something ALIVE.

The pelicans hang out by the weir to fish.  I was so excited to see them for the first time that I was practically jumping up and down squealing to the people next to me.  Ahem.  I don't think I've ever seen pelicans in a natural setting and I still love watching them do their thing when I pass by.

I think I took this on one of my 10k walks next to the river.  I was on the east side of the river; during the winter I stuck to the west side.  One morning I decided to take the trail right next to the water, but it got rough and steep quickly.  I ended up on all fours at one point, climbing up the embankment, and decided that perhaps it would be best to get back onto the paved pathway.  Falling in the river isn't on my to-do list.

I joined the canoe club here.  For a very reasonable fee I get the access code to the storage space where they keep a selection of canoes, kayaks, and other essentials for paddling on the river.  I have very little experience in a canoe; in the past I've aligned myself with men who know exactly what they're doing so I can just sit in the bow of the boat and look pretty.  I decided it was time to learn myself up, so I took a learn to canoe mini course this past weekend.  I got a handle on some basics, like canoe safety, how to launch (I excelled at this...tres graceful!), and a few essential paddling strokes.  It was fun and I learned a lot, but I was cooked by noon.  The instructor wanted to show me one more stroke and I had to tell him my brain was full.  I don't have pictures from the class as I was worried someone would tip the boat and we'd all end up in the pond (a smelly, dirty storm sewer reservoir...puke), so I left my phone on dry land.  If you want to see me in action, you'll have to meet me for a paddle.  :)

No blog post is complete without random pictures of cats...

Cameron is a little too interested in my food.  Here, he decides if he likes cauliflower and red lentil soup.  Verdict: no, he does not.  At least he remained seated on the chair for the duration of the meal.

Cleo refused to get off the mattress a couple of weeks ago when I had to make the bed after doing laundry.  I covered her up in the duvet, where she growled and pawed madly at the covers...but then posed like her cute little princess self for this picture.  So deceptive.

This is my new friend, Hepburn.  I live right above another librarian and when she's away I hang out with her fur child.  She's very loving, perhaps a little aggressive in showing you the love, but it's nice to have a new buddy to cuddle.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

I'm my father's daughter

My dad likes to talk about weather A LOT.  Just as I use sports to connect with my older brother, I talk weather with Dad.  Saskatoon is providing plenty of material for discussion these days.  This post is dedicated to weather.

Late Spring

Um, hello?  It's the last weekend in April and I'm still wearing a winter coat!  I'm not amused and I'm certainly  not alone.  I was prepared for a later spring than in London, but my patience is wearing thin.  (I hear that spring is being a bit stubborn at home, too.  Brother in Manila is still basking in sun and warm temps, however.)  There have been a couple of 'teaser' days...17 degrees, sunny, warm breezes.  Gorgeous.  I went for bike rides and walks on those days, and was full of smiles.  I even saw pelicans on the river!  Now we're back to cold, damp, with a chance of wet snow overnight.  I'm resisting the urge to go back to bed (which is precisely where I spent Good Friday...).  I've got the laundry on this morning with three pairs of capri pants included.  I'm willing the arrival of spring any way possible.  Desperation is setting in.

Early Sunrise

Not exactly a weather topic, but sun times are posted on The Weather Network website so I feel it's a related subject.  I'm sure I was bitching about how late the sun was coming up here in December.  Now it's the opposite: sun comes up at 5:45am, and by the time the summer solstice rolls around it will be up and at 'em at 4:45am.  In London, 5:45am was the earliest it ever really got, so this super early morning is new for me.  I bought some blackout curtains and they're working well.  They don't stop the cats from getting up early to "remind" me that breakfast should be served, but it's nice not to get blasted in the face with bright light at some godforsaken hour of the day.  They're rather dramatic looking.  I feel like my bedroom is now a theatre and the curtains will part slowly to reveal a little stage, where there will be nightly entertainment before I fall asleep.  Fingers crossed this doesn't actually happen.  Freeeea-ky.

Tornado Alley

I was watching a couple of videos on The Weather Network website (yes, I spend a decent amount of time there...I'm sure Dad also has a healthy relationship with it as well) and was surprised to discover that Saskatchewan has more tornadoes per year on average than Ontario.  I was quite sure that southern Ontario was most frequently hit, but no!  Horrifying...yet strangely exciting.  The prairies are an extension of the tornado prone areas of the U.S., so if I want to go storm chasing this is the place to do it.  I might add that to my list of possible summer activities.

One thing that goes down well no matter what's going on outside is playoff hockey.  The Leafs didn't make it to the post-season this year (insert quiet sob here), so I've taken a new approach: I watch whatever game is on and cheer when any goal is scored.  Cameron agrees that this is an excellent idea, especially when he can share my lap with the computer.  :)

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Tick tock

That's my neighbourhood, City Park, today.  I was hoping for a walk in the sunshine this afternoon, but no such luck.  It's funny how a cloudy day here is so shocking; I'm getting used to the super bright sun of the prairies.  In Ontario grey skies were the norm and everyone kind of went bonkers when the sun decided to come out.  Anyway, the clock is ticking; the days of cold wind and snow must be coming to an end.  The Canada geese tell me changes are on the way.  I certainly hope so because I've reached a point in the winter where I don't think I could possibly become more dehydrated.  I need an IV or something.  It's ridiculous.

Other shocking news: I'm reading a book.  I've had a hard time reading this winter.  I either fell asleep a few pages in or didn't have enough focus to get very far.  It was easier to binge watch shows on Netflix or stare at the wall, which I knew wasn't nourishing the ol' noggin but think my brain was on overload anyway.  Giving the grey matter a few months to be a couch potato was okay.  But I'm happy to be reading again, if only because I'm being forced to read.  I'm leading the Fine Arts Book Club at the end of the month and really MUST finish the book in order to do so.  This is what we'll be discussing...

No, I didn't pick it because it's about a flute player!  It sounded similar to The Kite Runner (and potentially less depressing), which was confirmed by my favourite database, NoveList (every librarian needs to have a favourite database).  I'm about a third of the way through and keep laughing at the things the guru says to his student because the same stuff came out of my mouth when I was teaching.  For example, stopping some poor kid before she even started playing in order to lecture her on the need for a really good, deep breath.  I'm enjoying the story and will be digging up some recordings of traditional Indian music to share with FABC members.  Which makes me think we should have a music discussion group in Fine Arts...hmmm.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Happy Equinox and How to Retain One's Sanity

Sooooo....spring in Saskatoon means snow and temperatures into the -20s, apparently.  We had a beautiful week and then, just in time for the Equinox, things turned cold again.  No matter, it's clear that the weather is improving.  I'm looking forward to seeing the amazing summer that everyone says Saskatoon has to offer. 

Yesterday was the most hectic day I've had so far at SPL, capping off a busy week.  Not sure what happened, it's all a bit of a blur, but at least I feel like I accomplished a few things.  It seemed like I needed to talk to everyone in the building yesterday, mentally scheduling informal meetings at 1pm, 2pm, 2:30pm, 3pm, and 4:15pm!  I've felt behind the ball for the most part of the past few months but I think I'm starting to get on top of things.  I tell ya, if I wasn't into organization I'd be in big trouble.  I hope to find my stride's around here somewhere.

I've got my first Library programs starting this weekend.  On Sunday there's a recital in the Theatre, presented by local music students.  Funny how all the same issues come up when organizing such a performance, even when they're not my own students.  ;)  Should be fine, I'm not too worried.  The only snag I can see is that we might be short staffed in Fine Arts, which means I'll be running up and down the stairs a lot on Sunday afternoon in order to keep an eye on the program while not leaving my colleague alone at the service desk.  I'm feeling quite out of shape (I ran to the bus stop last night with my grocery wasn't pretty), so at least I'll get some exercise.  I've also helped to organize a last-minute poetry reading in the Gallery for mid-April.  I tag-teamed with a librarian mentor/buddy and it's coming together nicely, after a bit of bumbling on my part.

Speaking of exercise...  In order to stay sane (and sleep's been a rough couple of weeks), I've decided I need to start running again.  Not because I want to run a marathon or whatever, but because it was the best stress busting activity ever.  I miss it.  I loved getting all that nervous energy out and sweating and panting.  (The post-run shower and recovery snack were great, too.)  It was also a form of meditation; I could often get in the zone where I let my body move without huge amounts of effort and I was able to just go along for the ride.  I started reading ChiRunning and I think I know what I need to do to run pain-free.  So once the ice melts and the huge puddles dry up I'm getting back out there. 

Other ways to stay sane: play with puppets!

As you can see, Pete has made friends with the SPL mascot, PJ.  Pete has also developed a mild dependency on caffeine...he's trying to cut back.  Maybe he should start running too.  I'm envisioning Pete in a tiny backpack that I carry with me on the Meewasin, kind of like Luke Skywalker with Yoda.  (Cue the trip to the funny farm...)

I also need to post a picture of Cleo, just for kicks.  :)

My sweet girl.  She helps keep me grounded.  Too bad she still insists on sleeping with her bum in my face.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Hibernation, etc.

I was reprimanded via text message by a friend (hugs, AG) for not doing a blog post lately.  I hadn't realized it's been almost two months.  I blame winter.  I went through a period where the only things I could manage were work, basic housework, and sleeping.  Zero motivation.  I took that concern to BodyTalk and had it addressed.  I'm feeling better now.

I've also been taking care of boring business, like getting my banking set up, transferring investments, getting my driver's license changed, blah blah blah.  At least in Saskatchewan you can have a hint of a smile in your license photo ("but no teeth"); I look marginally less criminal here than I did in Ontario.  I don't get the points system out here for drivers.  Apparently right now I'm neutral, then I gain points for accident-free driving.  If I get documents sent out from Ontario, my status could be improved...but without a car to drive, I don't really see the point.  I'm happy just to have valid ID, honestly.  I also bought a table and chairs.  So nice to have a place to eat.  And look!  They're so retro!

I've also been working hard on not planning the bejeezus out of my weekends and remembering that I have no schedule on my days off, so there's no need to panic about how long things are taking.  I don't have to rush or structure things too much.  I'm enjoying sleeping in (the cats like it too, although they still demand breakfast at 6:30am), using my tea pot on Saturday and Sunday mornings so I can linger with Typhoo rather than gulping it down before dashing, and rewatching Twin Peaks on Netflix.  I even managed to have a semi-spontaneous night out with some librarians last weekend.  It was supposed to be drinks at the jazz bar across the street from the library to discuss serious library stuff...but then I ended up eating a delicious dinner and going to two other bars before arriving home after midnight.  (On-the-fly bar crawl brought to you in part by wind chill in the -40s...)  I did something without planning it all out!  Small steps forward. 

Cameron and Cleo have settled in.  Cleo is finishing up a round of antibiotics and steroids for her itchy skin (the vet thinks she has an allergy, but I'm starting to wonder if she's just plain crazy...kitty prozac is in her future, I think).  She's still taking good care of me at night (I get kind of lonely at night) by lying right next to my head, always to my left.  I don't find cat bum in my face particularly appealing, but she's doing her best.  Cameron spent Tuesday barfing all over the apartment, but seems to be better now.  He turns 16 this month; I don't know his exact birth date, so I just pick a day and declare him one year older.  He's doing well for such an old boy.  Other than that, it's been nap nap nap, snack, poop, nap nap, purr, snack, nap nap nap, stretch, purr, nap, and nap.

Work has been a blur.  Busy and challenging, but enjoyable.  My work load will change again when a new full-time staff member starts in just over a week.  This week was interesting, as everything seemed to be focused on money.  How much is there?  Where did the budget for this/that/the other go?  Why is that magazine subscription going up 256%?  My brain was basically oozing out my ears by 3pm on Friday afternoon.  *sigh*  We've also been busy in other ways.  Fine Arts had a very successful Women's Day program this week.  My colleague did a lot of work to organize the evening, and even did an interview with the newspaper and appeared on local TV to promote it.  About 95 people came out to see the documentary, listen to a speaker, and enjoy delicious treats...awesome!  We have another interesting program coming up next month called "On The Table."  A local artist, who is becoming well-known internationally, is coming in with some of his art to meet with members of the public and talk to them in an informal manner about his art.  I love this idea, as it breaks down barriers and allows people to have a casual interaction with an artist and his work in a less intimidating manner than attending a gallery reception.  I'm organizing a couple of music recitals in our theatre later this month, presented by local music teachers and their students, and I just agreed to help facilitate a poetry reading in the Gallery as well.  The deadline for Gallery submissions is next week, so then it's time for our Curatorial Committee to select new exhibits.  Interesting stuff, for sure.

I should also mention that I dug out my tarot cards again last weekend, motivated by a lack of internet.  I stopped using them for a while, it was getting overwhelming and I needed a break, but I'm glad I spend some quality time with them again.  The Seven of Wands made another appearance, and I drew the Hermit...twice.  I couldn't help but laugh.  The cards 'get' me.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

It's taking shape

What a difference a weekend makes!  Last week I was dragging my tired butt around the library, trying to stay awake and attempting to get kinda (sorta) organized.  My head was foggy and confused, I wasn't sleeping well, and it took all my strength not to crawl under my desk for a meltdown/nap combo each afternoon.  Not cool.  Then the following Monday rolls around and I turned into Little Miss Productive, managing to make a coherent to-do list and check things off of it.  I was on fire, man.  I think most of this has to do with a Sunday afternoon visit to the New Energy Lady (her name is Dana and I love her already).  I'm not entirely sure what she did to me, but it had something to do with dialing back my sensitivity to being in the company of other human beings.  Sounds horrible, I know, but they wear me out sometimes.  This is why I have cats and not a roommate.  Anyway, I'm feeling better now.  We can resume social contact!

I had a feeling when I took this new job that it would be one that allows me to make it my own, rather than adhering to a strict job description.  So far it's looking like that's the case.  I've got a bunch of stuff lined up and I'm so excited to be creating as I go.  I'll be teaching a drop-in iPad class for older adults at the end of February and can choose the topic.  I was also asked to share the facilitation of the Fine Arts Book Club that was recently created, so I'll be doing the discussion in late April.  It hasn't been especially well attended yet, but I think interest might increase with the creation of a nice display advertising the upcoming books.  I'm organizing recitals for local private music teachers in our library theatre, which is fun because I've done so many of my own.  They're well received, library patrons love coming out to listen to the kids perform, and I'm looking forward to meeting some music folk. 

I'm also quite pleased that my coordinator and I are really hitting it off.  We see eye to eye on a lot of things and we've been doing some artsy things outside of work together (this week it was taking in a performance of Romeo and Juliet by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet...lovely!).  Someone in the department said to us this week "wow, you two might want to think about getting along better since you have to work together."  It was pretty funny.  It seems our entire department is on the same page about what we're doing, which is fantastic.  Lots of support and laughs (and treats...these ladies love food).  Exactly how it should be.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

New year, moments of beauty, and snow pants

Happy 2014!  I'm not sure what to say about 2013; it was long, challenging, heartbreaking, and surprising.  I get tired just thinking about it...I think I'm still recovering from the year that kept me guessing right up until the very end.  Nothing really went the way I thought it would.  Things I thought might go reasonably well ended up being crazy fantastic, the difficult things were harder than expected, and some stuff came out of left field.  (Ahem: I'm now living in the prairies.)  I think it might take until the spring to get my energy back fully, but that's okay.  Winter is for resting.

But not too much loafing around, because there are beautiful things to experience.  Like this...

To help ensure I get more of these gorgeous moments without risking frostbite or hypothermia, I coughed up the cash for insulated winter pants (colour: bright pink.  I had to break out of my black rut).  I think they're really just snow pants, but we won't tell Sport Chek and burst their bubble.  The pants work dandy: I walked for an hour yesterday and didn't get chilly until the very end of my jaunt.  Swish, swish, swish...I feel like I'm 6 again.  I'm very happy to know I can still go out for fresh air and exercise even when it's very cold.

Other beautiful things: there's a fantastic art exhibit going up in the library gallery this weekend.  The artist, Alexa Hainsworth, does huge textile creations, I don't even know how to describe them, but they're amazing.  I can't wait to see what it looks like after she's done installing her work.  The gallery reception is this Thursday, I'm responsible for overseeing it, and I'm willing to bet it will be a busy night. 

And Downton Abbey is beautiful too.  I crammed in three seasons in a week (the holidays were good for one thing...) and was riveted the whole time, which is unusual for me.  I'm one of those take-it-or-leave-it TV watchers.  The fourth season starts tonight and there was rumour of a library staff gathering to watch it, but I think it was too darn cold today for anyone to leave their houses, snow pants or no snow pants.  Hopefully someone PVRed it and we can all catch up later when the threat of frozen eyeballs passes.   :)