Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Look!

I was inspired by Jenn's make-over of her blog, Much Ado.

I decided to go with a seasonal look for mine. If I get time in the future, I think I may use seasonal outdoor pictures from my own photos to change the background with the time of year - I just hope I can get the picture to look good when blown up this big!

I have also updated my School page on the blog with my upcoming schedule and the continuing education courses I've completed.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Resolutions - 2011 Goals Set

Last year I had 20 resolutions with more sub-goals than I care to count. This year I have one single resolution, with 14 distinct goals accomplish it.

Here we go!

2011 New Year's Resolution:
Life Balance for Improved Total Health

Measurable Goals:

Rock Climbing
To build my mental strength and physical power
1. Climb 3 times per week at the gym (or 2 times if climbing outside on the weekend) for 30 to 45 minutes, including antagonistic muscle strength conditioning
2. Lead a traditional 5.9 route
3. Lead a sport 5.10 route
4. Compete in the T-Town Pull Down

To foster flexibility in my body and serenity in my spirit
5. Attend a group class once a week

To develop endurance and self discipline
6.Run 30 minutes at my target heart rate 3 times a week, when not otherwise training
7. Train for and run competitively in any number of races, not to exceed a cumulative racing distance of 50K for the year

Combined Goals:

Family, Friends, and Crafting
To get my warm-and-fuzzies
8. Knit and sew birthday and Christmas gifts
9. Hand make birthday and holiday cards

Reducing Stress and Improving Health
To cover a few things not addressed above
10. Sleep no less than 7 hours a night - this receives priority over school work
11. Read Thrive by Brendan Brazier, a nutritional guide for vegans
12. Step down as President of SAC
13. Create new budget and set specific savings goal for the year
14. No caffeine. Seriously this time.

That's it!

I did not include any work or school goals, except wherein #10 & #12 aim to reduce school stress. That was intentional to try and correct the overabundance of library land in my life right now. I also know that I will still certainly be doing my best in both work and school, so I don't feel like I'm neglecting them by leaving them out of my resolutions.

I am going to try to post at the end of each month about how I am doing on theses goals.

Anyone else doing resolutions this year?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Resolutions - 2011 Brainstorm

So, I've been reviewing my goals for last year, and I've identified some problems:

  1. There are way too many goals to keep track of and accomplish
  2. In real life, Library Land gets what I think to be an inappropriate majority of my time and energy, and causes a fair amount of stress and hinders... well.. the entire rest of my life.
  3. Health problems were very disruptive in 2010 for me. And they shouldn't be - I'm a 26 year old fit female, I typically eat well, I exercise sporadically but with a greater than average frequency... I'm supposed to be healthy!
So based on these dilemmas, I've come up with a single overall abstract goal for the new year:

Life Balance for Improved Total Health

Next, I will break that down into a few manageable, measurable hard sub-goals. A few of them will be continual (ex: go to one yoga class a week) and a few of them with be completed when they are done (ex: make straight A's). Ideally these goals will be complimentary, but most importantly they will all be appropriately limited and all directed at improved health in some form for fashion - be it physical, mental or emotional.

Next post: set a few specific, measurable, BALANCED sub-goals!

Monday, December 27, 2010

New Year's Resolutions - 2010 Recap

Yes, I do New Year's Resolutions.

And I do them hard core. I brainstorm, I make lists and graphs and charts and spreadsheets and tables and outlines and calendars. And they are all color coded. I kid you not. I totally geek out with the resolutions thing.

So, this post will be a recap of last year's highlights and how I did with them. I won't go into major details. I have a 19 page document with the details. This will just be some highlights (still, it's a long post).

Later, I will post my resolutions for 2011.

2010 Goals - (Abstract versions)

I wanted more of the following:
Connection w/friends & family
Home cooking
Organized space in the apartment
Study time
Arts & Crafts
Job training/development
Rock climbing

I wanted less of the following:
Wasteful spending
Bugs (in the apartment, ew)
Romance novel reading (I figure I should be better using my time)

See why I'm just doing the recap here? I had very lofty goals. Here's how I did (don't worry, I didn't include the break down of how I would achieve the goals or the time lines or the outline or the charts or the...)...

I did okay with this. I got a gym membership and attended yoga classes irregularly.

Total fail on this one

Connection w/friends & family
I did so-so on this one, depending on the month. I made several visits to SC, did a much better job of writing my grandma, and I sort of improved the rate at which I answer and return calls - haha - I really, really hate cell phones. Anyway - I'm glad I had this goal because I did make an effort and do a little better, but I know I can improve a lot here.

BAHAHAH. This one lasted... oh... about two weeks? I really wanted to make home cooked meals for Derek because he cooks for me all the time. But yeah. I still suck at this one. Poor Derek.

Savings & Budgeting
I lumped these guys together. Derek and I did make a budget and we updated for maybe half the year? It was good practice to know how much we spend and stuff, so I want to do it again. But definitely did not maintain it. For savings, we have more money in savings now that we did this time last year, so awesome. I still want to set some more specific goals here because eventually we will be buying a house and a second car.

I did good when I wasn't getting hit by cars or having intestinal issues. I actually met all of my running goals for the year though, so I'm pretty happy here. Now I just want to keep it up and make my running more consistent. I ran a half-marathon and a 25K this year, but I didn't train at all for the 25K and that was just dumb. Derek got me a heart monitor for Christmas so I am super stoked to start using it with my training. Plus, I still have the ipod he gave me as a wedding present, so I really have no excuse not to run :)

Ugh. It is really hard to recycle in Tuscaloosa. There is no glass recycling, and no recycling pick up where we live. Derek has been stellar by taking our recycling to work, so that's helped. But it also makes a mess in the apartment because we have these piles of stuff to get recycled waiting around attracting icky bugs.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHa. No, I did not succeed with any of my cleaning goals.

Organized Space
See the answer for 'cleaning'

Study Time
I over achieved on this goal, at least in terms of library school. The last month of summer was especially sucky. I swear I only slept 4-6 hours each night. No good.

Arts & Crafts
I did pretty good with this over the summer. I made several gifts of jewelry, scarves, a purse, and even a homemade chalk bag. Once school took over though, I definitely failed to keep this up.

Job Training
Even if we don't count school, I did pretty good here. I was able to take another cataloging class through work and I'm learning loads more about Voyager, MARC standards, and library life.

Rock Climbing
This one I will go ahead and post my sub-goals (I wrote up hard sub-goals for all of my abstract overall goals to measure my levels of achievement.) I had six:

1. Lead trad 5.9
I led three 5.7 on-sites, and led a couple 5.5-6 routes that I had climbed before. This doesn't seem like much, but I think I actually did more leading in the past year than any other year to date. So... improvement made, and more to follow :)

2. Lead sport 5.10
I actually attempted this!! It was so cool. But I failed. I fell twice and was too scared to continue.

3. Boulder V4
I came no where near this goal and don't really care. Bouldering is dumb.

4. Do a summer trip

5. Learn to rescue a leader or a second
Theoretically, done. But I'd like a lot more practice. And I need to go over some knots again

6. Do an all day climb
Note: not climb all day, but 'an all day climb' - a single climbing route that literally takes a whole day to do.
I think done? It took us all day cause I was there and I'm slow... :)

Overall, I'm pleased with the climbing improvement and I want to continue on this path. Like running and yoga, I want to make this activity a more consistent/regular part of my life. I seem to go in extreme spurts, where I train hard and do really well, then either get hurt or just fizzzle out. I want to maintain my momentum.

Less Negativity
I couldn't think of how to make hard goals and measure this one... any ideas for next year?

Less Caffeine
There were actually several weeks in 2010 wherein I did not have any caffeine at all. Aaaaand then there was at least one month (maybe two) when I ODed on caffeine almost every day to keep up with my school work... school seems to have had a bad influence on the rest of my life...

Less Wasteful spending
This got put under saving/budgeting.

Less Hypochondria
See the answer to negativity. I did have what seems like a ton of legitimate health problems this year - MRSA, shoulder sprain, getting hit by a car, acid reflux, tonsil infection, tonsillectomy... Maybe I should just try for a year of better health? That could be measured by sick days and doctors visits and stuff like that...

Bugs (in the apartment, ew)
Definite improvement here. After many discussions with the land-lady, Derek and I took matters into our own hands and fixed several structural problems with the apartment that had been allowing bugs to get in.

Less Romance novel reading (I figure I should be better using my time)
Yeah. Once school started, this dropped off significantly. I still have binges and read 5 books on an odd weekend. But overall, I just don't have time for it very often anymore.

That's it for the recap! I'm way open to comments and suggestions for next year. Also, if you are doing resolutions and want to post them here or in your blog, I would love to read them!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Crazy Christmas Eve...

Today was day seven post-tonsillectomy. Because I had been doing so well and I was getting more than a little stir crazy, I was a bit less careful this morning when getting out of the shower. And so it shouldn't have been a surprise when I leaned my head over to towel dry my hair that my mouth filled with blood.

I broke the scab that was covering my right tonsil... well, the space where my tonsil used to be.

It was kind of a scary way to start Christmas Eve. I spit the blood into the bathroom sick, but my mouth quickly filled again. I walked out to the kitchen, grabbing my ice-water on the way to start my ice-water gargle as per our prior instructions from the doctor. I spit the next mouth full of blood into the kitchen sink. Ick.

I got Derek's attention and began my gargle. Only, every time I leaned my head back to gargle, I felt the blood draining down the back of my throat. My wonderful imagination shot between images of me throwing up all the blood I swallowed (because you do that with blood. ew. and ouuuuuch. and dang that would probably break open the scabs more and cause more bleeding...) and choking to death on my own blood.

Don't you loooove my imagination?

I altered tactics and started swishing the ice-water before spitting it into the sink. That helped a bit, but each spit was still pretty bloody. I grabbed an ice-pack out of the freezer and slapped that against my neck for good measure.

Meanwhile, Derek had been trying to get in touch with the doctor and been providing me with a continuous supply of ice-water. He got through to a someone who said they would page the doctor. We waited for the call back.

Thankfully, as I continued with the ice-water, the bleeding began to slow and by the time the doctor called back it had actually stopped on its own. I was gratefully surprised because the doctor had warned me if bleeding occurred, they may have to go in surgically to re-cauterize the wound.

The doctor gave us instructions for the rest of the day. All liquid diet, no laying down, no moving around, and of course lots and lots of ice-water. We followed it pretty strictly, with no problem. I did spent most of the morning with bloody tasting burps.

Fun eh?

It actually turned into a pretty awesome Christmas Eve, despite the rough start. Derek and I played a game, opened our presents, and watched Elf. And the Christmas episodes of South Park. We've been watching waaay to much South Park, haha.

That's all for now. I will be much more careful until the tonsils are fully healed!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tonsillectomy Update

Surgery went well on Friday and I am getting plenty of rest now. Derek and Mom are taking good care of me. No crazy-susan stories that I am aware of. No ill effects from the drugs. Will update later with Christmas crafts, but right now I'm going back to sleep :)

Thanks everyone for the positive thoughts and prayers. Things have been going much better than I expected :)

Friday, December 17, 2010


Derek and I are about to go to the hospital. We have to be there at 8:15, surgery is scheduled to start at 10:15, and we hope to be back home by 3:00. I'll post any funny susan-is-crazy-when-drugged-up stories if there are any :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Crafts: Dough Ornaments

Between school, work, and health issues I've had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year. We only just got our decorations up this past weekend, and even though Christmas is next week I haven't even started on my homemade gifts yet (except Ryan's - his I've been working on since this summer).

So, in an effort to jump start my holiday cheer, I'm going to post some of my favorite Christmas crafts from season's past.

Here is an adapted dough ornament recipe:

Dough Ornament Recipe
4 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Cup salt
1 1/2 Cups cold water
cookie cutters
Ribbons for hangers

In mixing bowl add flour and salt together. Slowly add water while stirring with a fork until soft dough forms. Turn out on lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, adding a small amount of water or flour, if needed. Roll dough on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Place ornaments 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. With a drinking straw, poke holes in the top for hanging. Bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes. Allow to cool completely. You can paint ornaments or leave as is.

The original can be found at:

You can make several little changes to 'spice' up the ornaments. For example, you can add cinnamon to the dough to make a scented ornament. While I haven't actually done this yet myself, I've been thinking it would be fun to make these ornaments with different spices and/or essential oils to use as air fresheners around the house.

Some of you may know that Derek has pretty extreme allergies, so we cannot use traditional air fresheners or anything with perfume in it (even your typical house-hold cleaners and detergents will aggravate his allergies). However, cooking spices and the scents caused by them do not bother his nose at all. I think this will be a fun way to add Christmas smells and other scents back into our home :)

Here are some pictures of different flour ornaments to get some creative ideas going. All of these photos are stolen from the internet (google image search).

You can see that you can do a pretty wide variety of things to make different ornaments. Hope y'all give it a try and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Happy Hump Day

This morning was my pre-admission appointment for Friday's surgery. At this point, I've heard enough horror stories from Jim-bob and Betty-sue that I'm ready for a good old fashioned freak out session. Thankfully, they're gonna knock me out for the whole thing so I won't have the chance to wig-out during surgery (as I have done before...).

Interesting tidbit that I guess I should have expected:

I will have a breathing tube (be intubated? sp?) for the surgery. That will be a first for me

In other news, tomorrow is our work Christmas party - pretty much an all day eating-fest. I'm pretty happy about that. Going to bake some cookies for it tonight with Derek & Garrett.

Garrett is here for a short visit, then when he heads home to his folks' house my mama will be coming. She's going to help Derek help me post-surgery.

I think that's all the big news I have right now.

Monday, December 13, 2010

School Update...

... I officially lost my 4.0

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tashka Trail Run - Done!


Haha, I'm quite happy to say that I finished the race. It was a lot of fun, but I really need to train if I'm going to keep doing this. I am soooo sore!

I finished the 25K (15 miles) in 3 hours and 30 minutes (13:31 mile pace), and I placed 64th out of 84th racers (male & female). So yeah, I came in closer to last that the middle. But, I actually did much better than the last race where I ran 13 miles in 3 hours and 23 minutes (15:40 mile pace).

Here's the link to the race results:

And because I did this for the last race, here were my thoughts during certain points of the run:

Start of the Race:
Why am I the only person with a backpack??

Mile One, I'm at the head of the pack:
Hahaha, suckers! I'm gonna crush this race!

Mile Two, I'm getting passed by everyone as I slow down:
aaawww craaaaaap....

Mile Four, 1st aid station, where I was informed that it was 'mile 7 or 8':
I am making AWESOME time! This is AWESOME I'm halfway done and I only feel like I've run 4 miles!!!

Mile Eight, 2nd aid station, where I was informed of the correct mileage:

Mile 10ish I almost tripped over this runner who collapsed on the path in front of me from leg craps:

Mile 13, I was informed "You're almost done, only two miles left, and they're a lot of fun":

Mile 13-15 turned about to be the hardest two miles of the course, with hills so steep it would be pretty much a death wish to actually try and run them:

Mile 15, flat road race finish:
Thank you sweet perfect little baby Jesus!!!

Derek met me at the last quarter mile and ran to the finish with me. And then he took care of me all weekend because I was completely destroyed. He rocks :)

Not sure if there will be any pictures - the photographers took some during the race, but I don't know if I'm in any. Will post if I see some.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tashka Trail Run - Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the Tashka Trail Run. I am just going to do the 25K instead of the 50K. The weather looks like it will be chilly, but the rain should hold off until the race is done - as long as I run fast. Cold rain = good motivator to keep moving.

I'm off to go pick up my race packet and get in a good meal! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

umm... stuff


Last night was my last night of class/exams. Pretty sure I dropped a letter grade in 507... it was bad. WHAT THE HELL IS LION?!?!

Has been crazy busy. I now know the extreme importance and/or lack thereof of MARC21 fields 020, 100, 245, 246, 300, 500, 505, 700, 710, & 856. I also know that the indicators are kind of a freaking big deal.

Hasn't happened in way too long

I run the Tashka Trail Run this coming Saturday... or I might just go climbing instead.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Webmaster Position

Yeah, I'm giving up on the 30 day challenge thing. I've got news!!

I am one of the two new Webmasters for the Library Student Journal!

It is a volunteer position, and I will get to learn & do all sorts of cool web things. I'm really looking forward to being a part of the student team that puts the journal together. Since it is going to require so much work, I'm thinking about only taking two classes in the spring rather than three. The class I would have to give up is my computer class though, which would actually help me do the job a lot better... so I'm not sure.

Anyway, YAY!!!!!! I'm so excited!!!