This Bird Does It

Librarian ramblings

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A Year In Birdland

Today is day 365 of blogging for me. I’ve kept this thing going for a full year. Not sure that it’s any more entertaining today than it was on March 6, 2013, but it’s still here, and that’s saying something, right?

It’s also Ash Wednesday. Lent, Easter, and all the associated dates are so variable, that it’s hard to measure the years by those dates. Middle Bird’s birthday is March 28 and he celebrated his first birthday before he got to his first Easter.

The Girlie Bird’s first trip to church was on Ash Wednesday, that year it was back in February, and she pulled one of those baby power blows just as we stepped to the alter for the imposition of ashes. Yeah, you parents out there know what I’m talking about. When you’re holding your sweet newborn, and she’s sleeping so peacefully, then for just a second she screws up her tiny face for just a second, and there’s a rumbling that’s so deep and so foreboding that it doesn’t occur to you it might be coming from that bundle in your arms, then BAM, the explosion! And I just slipped out quietly hoping there hadn’t been a containment error.

Baby Bird was baptized on Easter Vigil. Actually, all three of the kids were baptized on changeable dates, the other two were Mothers and Fathers Days.

Babbling? Well, yeah, a little. But hey, that’s life. I just wanted to pop in and say it’s been a year. A full year of blogging, and that happens to end on Ash Wednesday, which is, of course, the beginning of Lent. I’m not sure what adventures Lent will bring this year. I don’t know what spring will bring. We’re not to spring, yet, but Lent is surely a good sign that we’re moving that direction!



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I’m a Book Nerd, and it’s not just that I love to read.

20140116_101454Classes have started again. I finished up my core classes last semester so now I get to move on to the more interesting stuff that drew me into the MLIS program in the first place. This semester I’m taking 60616, The Special Library, and 60665, Rare Books. Both are fascinating topics, and there is a lot of overlap in the material, I think. I’m already getting myself confused about which class I’m reading what article for, but that’s okay. I received one of the textbooks for the Rare Books class, An Introduction to Bibliographical and Textual Studies and yeah, I got excited! I turned it over and read the back. I found this quote:

To a reader of Joyce’s Ulysses, it makes a difference whether one of Stephen Dedalus’s first thoughts is “No mother” (as in the printed version)or “No, mother!”(as in the manuscript). The scholarship surrounding such textual differences — and why this discipline should concern readers and literary scholars alike — is the focus of William Proctor Williams and Craig S. Abbott’s acclaimed handbook.

YES! Yes, it matters! It so matters. The original matters, the changes matter, the WHY matters! If only I’d realized that such a study, such a field, actually existed when I was going to college the first time. Well, maybe not. I was pretty oblivious to much of anything then, but I know that THIS, this stuff, has always been fascinating to me!

I’m often engaged in discussions with Christians much more fundamental than myself. They often quote chapter and verse to support certain arguments and I sometimes find it extremely frustrating. Their understanding of what they quote is often very literal and very English based. Since none of the Bible was originally written in English, they are very often completely wrong (in my opinion) in their interpretation. I’ve always been fascinated by trying to study the oldest possible texts, and how translating scripture from the language it was originally written in (even after generations of oral tradition in another language) with some understanding of the original language can so totally change the obvious meaning of a passage. Take all this along with the historical context that scriptures were written in, and you get such a different meaning than a surface reading of a modern English translation. Again, author intent must be considered, especially since the Gospels often contradict each other. FASCINATING STUFF!

Yeah, I guess I’m a little pumped up. This semester is incredibly heavy as far as reading goes. Every available moment will be used to keep caught up on the reading assignments. It’s going to be a challenge, but one I’m excited about. And somewhere in there I’m going to have to get myself into some kind of volunteer gig, hopefully with the Ohio Historical Society or Worthington Libraries. We’ll see. Swimming upstream again, but at least the water is fine, the sun is shining, and I’ve got an excellent cheering section.

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Rainy day AND Monday

It’s not so bad.  We’ve had beautiful weather this week.  The kind of beautiful weather I moved to Ohio for.  Highs in the 70s, lows in the 50s.  Sunny, sweet, spring days.  The kind of weather a bride hopes for.  I’ve so enjoyed it, but after a week or so, I think we all begin to take it for granted, to forget that weather is something we have to plan around here in the midwest.  Don’t ASSUME you will have beautiful weather when you have time to do yard work, or a picnic, or any other outdoor activity.  If you’re planning more than a week or so out, you’ve got a 50/50 shot at best, depending on the time of year.

My weight fluctuated hugely this week.  On Thursday morning I was at 190.4.  That’s almost 10 lbs down on WW, and nearly 15 total.  This morning’s official weigh in was not so lovely, though.  194.4 lbs, up a little less than a pound from last week.  Weird.  Well, not really.  I was not very careful this weekend.  I did not not track well, and completely ignored counting alcoholic beverages.  Must change that habit this week.  I know that deprivation doesn’t work in the long run, but I am determined to be at 185 or lower before I go to Florida for my BFF’s 40th Birthday Party in two weeks.  I won’t look like a super model, but at least I won’t look like a cow.  So, this week and next, I will be keeping my total points at least 5 points below my limit and I will not use any of my weekly points.  I will not drink alcohol (much), and I will keep my largest meal to lunch.  I’d like to say that I won’t eat anything after 7pm, but that may not be practical.  I can’t sustain that lifestyle for long, but I think I can do it for a couple weeks before a trip.

On the good side of this weight loss journey, I can feel the difference.  Clothes fit just a little differently.  I can cross my legs again.  My bras fit.  So, there’s that.


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One gorgeous kid!

Someday I’ll learn to really use this wonderful camera.  In the meantime, it takes some pretty snazzy pictures, almost by accident, don’t you think?  Of course, it helps to have such a gorgeous subject.

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Sunday Round Up

I have a lot to talk about, but don’t expect insightful.

Yesterday we took Girlie Bird to Michigan to see Daddy Bird’s Grandma.  Grandpa passed away last Labor Day, and Grandma is alone in the assisted living facility now.  She has fairly advanced Alzheimer’s.  We hadn’t seen her since Grandpa’s funeral, and since they will be moving her to a nursing home on Tuesday, we thought we had better make the adjustments to our schedule necessary to make the trip this weekend.  Because of her Alzheimer’s, I don’t really expect her to fully adjust to her new living situation.  I thought if we had any hope of her knowing just who we were, we should make the trip before the move.  So, we did.  We couldn’t imagine taking all three kids into the tiny assisted living apartment, so we just took the oldest, and left the other two at my mother-in-law’s, which is on the way.DSC_0025

It was a lovely and difficult visit.  She looked wonderful, and is obviously getting really good care from the nurse they have taking care of her most days.  She is alone at night, though, and often calls her sons in the wee hours of the morning asking about her husband.  Each time they have to break the news to her that he’s gone and isn’t coming back.  It’s heartbreaking for everyone.  She asked a few times while we were there, but it wasn’t like being told the first time during the day.  It was more like she just needed reminding and her reaction was more like, “Oh, yes, I thought I knew that.”  Still difficult for everyone.  Still, she knew my husband, and I think mostly knew me.  She knew my daughter was ours, though she asked a dozen times how old she was.  And over and over would say, “Now, you have two boys, too, right?  How old are they?”  I’ll take it.  She remembered how we all fit into her life and that she loved us.  I suppose she won’t always.

On to other topics?  Sure.

So, with all the driving yesterday, I didn’t do great with eating, but it’s okay.  First, you do need a day of not worrying from time to time.  Second, I was good enough through the week that I’d saved most of my “weekly PointsPlus” points, so I just snagged those.  And I didn’t go hog wild.  I had spaghetti and meatballs at my mother-in-law’s.  I resisted the Snickers minis my father-in-law passed out.  I only ate 2/3 of my chicken sandwich from McDonald’s, but then I did eat a cheeseburger that was for Baby Bird.  He fell asleep.  All of the McD’s stuff was awful, even though it was from our favorite one in Upper Sandusky.  Ugh.  Seems like maybe they don’t have their first stringers in on Saturday night.  But I did log it all, and as honestly as I could.  That feels like a victory.  This morning when I weighed myself (yes, I do it nearly every day and no, I don’t want a lecture about it), I was exactly the same as yesterday.  That feels like a victory, too.

SPRING!  That’s right, it’s finally here.  The windows are open, it’s in the 60s.  I can breathe!  Glorious.  It will probably rain later, but we’ll take what we can get!

I’ll be back later to tell you about today’s kitchen experiment.  Ice cream without the cream.  Yum.


The Fat Chick says…

Someday I’ll figure out my own head.  Not so much today, though.  I thought I would try to update “The Fat Chick” weekly, but tomorrow will be two weeks since I laid it all out there, and you haven’t heard anything from me, have you?  Well, don’t think I’ve just walked off and forgotten about all that.  No, I’m just having trouble figuring out exactly what I want to share.  I mean this to be a personal journal, yeah, but I don’t want to forget I’m leaving it on the table for everyone to read, either.  Forever, possibly.  I mean, you really can’t erase the internet, can you?

So, first thing is the basic update.  I’m under 200, again.  Just barely, but there you go.  199.8 at 7am this morning.  Let’s keep that trend up.

Here’s the big thing I wasn’t sure I was ready to share, but my brain isn’t accepting that.  I guess I want to talk about it more than I thought I did, but I kinda don’t.  See?  Can’t figure out my own head.  So, if I just put it out there, there won’t be anymore angst on deciding to talk about it, right?

I have joined Weight Watchers.  Yup.  I have paid money to get help to lose this weight.  And it ain’t cheap.  I am not convinced it is actually value priced, but I got in on that deal where they waive your Sign-Up Fee, so that’s not so bad.   I won’t be going to any meetings, or weighing myself in public (not sure why that’s so much scarier than posting a scale picture on the internet), online only for me.  It has only been a few days, but it is a pretty neat tool.  It’s well set up, with a slick website, and no other program gets reviewed as well for actually working.  But I just can’t get my head around the fact that I paid money for this.  It seems like an admission of failure.  Maybe that’s why I didn’t want to talk about it here?  It feels like I’m saying, “I couldn’t do what should be easy, so help me.”  And I guess I am, except the part about it being easy.  I know it’s hard, I’ve been doing this for a couple years now, and nothing else has worked.  There is the part of my brain that says, “Yeah, but you didn’t try THAT hard, did you?”

So, now you’re privy to the internal dialogue I’ve had over the last week or so.  The upshot is that I’ve accepted that I need more help than just a good food tracker.  WW is essentially just that, but they make it much easier.  And as a lifestyle change, it makes much more sense.  I’m not going to be able to sustain a long term lifestyle requiring me to count calories.  The PointsPlus thing is so much easier.  So far, anyway.

And then there’s the whole thing about getting off my butt and moving more.  I’m feeling the urge to get outside, and that’s good.  I’m sure it’s just the same thing everyone is feeling this time of year, especially when the calendar says it’s the first week of April, but it feels much more like the first week of March.  I WANT to get outside and move.  I think I’m going to bundle Baby Bird up and walk to pick up the big kids after school today, even though it’s only supposed to be about 45 or so at pick up time.  It will be good for all of us.

I want this.  And I’ve started to visualize the end result.  I can see it, it’s real.  Just have to not get distracted.  I hope to have a lot of habits changed before my classes start up again the first week of June.

If you’re still reading, thanks!  I know I was gone for a few days, but my buddy in Germany checked in everyday.  Thanks, to you, whoever you are!

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Ahh, The Weekend

Of course, I don’t get the weekend I used to.  It’s not down time, anyway.  They’re all here all day, wanting three meals, or at least two, and snacks, and changing clothes, and tracking in mud, and fighting, and laughing so loudly, and just filling the house with chaos.  I’m starting to sound like I have a low tolerance for chaos, aren’t I?  Not really.  I just have VERY chaotic children.  And my poor husband, well, he does have a low tolerance for chaos and he’s here all day on Saturday, too.

But the main reason I don’t get a weekend is that my weekly school work is due on Sunday at midnight.  And though the house is hoppin’ all day on Saturday, the co-parent is also around, and he can at least run some level of interference.  I always try to get some work done during the week, but the bulk of it is usually not complete by Saturday morning.  So I sit at the kitchen table and try to work.  Or on the bed, or in the dining room, or sometimes on the living room sofa.  There’s no good place, but whatever.  It gets done.  This week I got enough done during the week to take the pressure off.  Well, mostly because of last night’s lack of excitement, I guess.  Today there was time for cooking dinner, and a few loads of laundry.  And I took down the end of the Christmas stuff.  It was just a couple snowman things that were more “winter” than “merry.”  It’s time to put up the spring stuff.  I drug some bunnies up from the basement, and they make me smile.

Just a little spring to replace the snowmen.

Just a little spring to replace the snowmen.

But it will be Monday morning when they all trot off in their various directions that I will get my break.  The bigs at school, and Daddy Bird on the way with the little guy to preschool and on to work, I will have the house to myself by 8:30.  It won’t last long.  I’ll have to leave here by 10:45 to pick up Baby Bird.  If I don’t have any errands to run, and I’m not due for a shower, I might get just over two hours to do nothing.  Of course, I don’t do nothing.  Who can do nothing?  I’m not saying I always use that time wisely, or that I am remotely productive, but I just know it always seems to be over before I really get done what I wanted to do. More often than not, I spend half the time on the phone with my mother.  By Wednesday when Baby Bird heads back to preschool, I’ll feel like I should get some school work done, so I’ll spend the time on the computer, probably writing a blog entry or facebooking.  And by Friday, I’ll likely spend at least some of the time on actual school work.  But Monday?  I don’t know what happens to Monday.  And I don’t have to know.  It’s the only time I am allowed to be completely unaccountable   It’s like my whole weekend rolled into two hours and fifteen minutes each week.  Ironically, it’s the same time block that the rest of the world spends complaining about the end of their weekend.

Better supervise a bit of this bedtime thing.  It’s the beginning of Daylight Savings Time tonight.  Turn your clocks back and tune in tomorrow for my lengthy rant on THAT!