30 November 2010

183rd Day

This is what my productivity looks like.  I'm a scatter/throw things on the ground sort of worker.  Roommates and guests be warned. 

Day 183

There's something magical about the first snow of the season. It can get you through anything
-- even playing trombone for an elementary school Christmas pageant.

29 November 2010

Day 182

I almost killed myself putting up these Christmas lights last night. I guess that's why you should use a chair instead of attempting to stand on the kitchen counter. I've lost my touch since last year when I climbed on top of my refrigerator. But tonight, my bruised knee and I can enjoy my festive apartment.

182nd Day

Oh my darlin', oh my darlin', oh my darlin' clementine. 

28 November 2010

181st Day

 Zoo Lights!

"Someone told me it's all happening at the zoo. I do believe it. I do believe it's true.  You can take a cross town bus if it's raining or it's cold, and the animals will love it if you do.  The monkeys stand for honesty, giraffes are insincere and the elephants are kindly, but they're dumb. Orangutans are skeptical of changes in their cages and the zookeeper is very fond of rum. Zebras are reactionaries, antelopes are missionaries. Pigeons plot in secrecy and hamsters turn on frequently. What a gas! Come and see at the zoo!"

Day 181

It was Christmas decorating day at our house this afternoon -- complete with the old school musical stylings of my sister's Bing Crosby Christmas record.
Our wreath from Talbott's Christmas Tree Farm -- it's probably less than a mile from our house. I drove by it every day on my way to school growing up.

27 November 2010

Day 180

I have a thing for wind farms. They seem lazy to me -- like they are just enjoying the day. My sister thinks they're ugly, but I find them oddly beautiful.

180th Day

Back on the train to Chicago. 
X marks the spot.

26 November 2010

179th Day

There's not much to do on a Friday night in Pittsfield, so I returned to J. Harold Voshall Gymnasium to watch the beloved Saukees hold off the Liberty Eagles in the Saukee Turkey Tourney.  I calculated that it's been five years since I last took in a basketball game there.  I have a completely different relationship with the hardwood, but I rarely missed a game, as I was always the avid fan or anthem singer.

Day 179

I spent the afternoon working on my family history paper and scanning family photos. These were some of my favorites -- my great-grandmother, Lola, on a tricycle in Iowa and my great-grandfather, Alvin. His wife, Edith with her siblings at American Distillery in Pekin, Illinois (looking very Grapes of Wrath). And my grandparents, Bruce and Sharon (I'd never seen this photo before!). I love old photographs!

25 November 2010

Day 178

It wouldn't be Thanksgiving at my grandparents' without five pounds of mashed potatoes, burnt rolls, and pumpkin pie!

178th Day {giving thanks}

This Thanksgiving was epic. I got to see every single one of my direct relatives.
Gavin & I began the day with a visit to New Salem to visit the Gleckler farm.
These Turkey salt & pepper shakers have adorned my gram's table for more Thanksgivings than I can remember.
 We returned home just in time to welcome the Halpin side of the family.
It's been 14 years since all nine members of the Halpin clan have been in one place.
And all eight cousins were there, too!
I love having silly cousins.

As the Halpins dispersed, the Glecklers and Joneses made their way down for dessert.


What a blessed day.

24 November 2010

Day 177

It was a cold and rainy Wednesday night on the town with high school friends. We braved the weather for a movie and a trip to our favorite pizza place!

177th Day

I returned to the hallowed halls of Pittsfield High School today.  What was once the classroom where I learned about health and participated in Student Council meetings is now the classroom of a dear friend who is half way through his first year of teaching U.S. and world history.  Everyone in the halls was talking about his lesson on Henry the VIII's wives - he sang an original song! His students must love him.

176th Day

There's nothing like running through the crowded halls of Union Station to get you in the holiday spirit.  I stopped long enough in the Great Hall to gawk at the early Christmas decorations. Then I made a sprint for the long ticket line only to be ushered ahead of everyone to make my train in time.  

23 November 2010

Day 176

For as long as I can remember, the place I feel most at home is on the hardwood with a basketball in my hand. That's why I'm glad I got to see my sister do work against East Peoria tonight. It brings back oh so many bittersweet memories.

22 November 2010

Day 175

Straight from dinner at the President's house to the library to get in a couple hours in the Archives before I head home for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Yep, my life is that exciting (insert sarcasm here).

175th Day

The southern half of campus looks like a war zone.  It's been fascinating watching the crew take down Demon, I mean, Damen Hall floor by floor.  I wonder if they'll beat the snow...

21 November 2010

174th Day

After a morning of work in the Donovan Reading Room at Loyola, I returned home to find our little exterminator (a.k.a Kate's 11 year-old brother, Jesse) had taken apart our island to rid us of our moth infestation.  Never fear, visitors, we are officially moth free and our apartment has never been so clean! 
Thank you, Jesse!

Day 174

I love to clean. There's something therapeutic about vacuuming, mopping, dusting, and changing sheets. However, I only need three words to describe my least favorite chore of washing dishes: loathing, unadulterated loathing.

173rd Day

What's with me going to see shows that start past my bedtime? 
Hot chocolate, Neo-Futurists - Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind at 11:30p.m.

Day 173

My mama raised me right and taught me to share. She probably didn't mean to share my ice cream with the cat. And she will probably kill me for posting this photo.

19 November 2010

Day 172

Despite the fact that I live in a subterranean, hole-in-the-ground apartment, I do get some pretty good natural light. I loved the way the sun was hitting this bottle and flower in my windowsill this morning.

172nd Day

Harry Potter at 12:01a.m.!
Yes, we are nerds. Except for Kate, who walked five paces ahead of us.

18 November 2010

171st Day

Chocolate chip distraction. 

Day 171

Newsflash! After a ten-year hiatus (Wow, now I feel old), I have made my return to the Harry Potter series in an attempt to finish the final three books. That's right, Hell just froze over and pigs are flying.

17 November 2010

Day 170

I love cloudy days (and yellow leaves).

170th Day


16 November 2010

Day 169

Creepiest stairs ever. Let me repeat...ever.

169th Day

What's that? There's a world out there? I can see out my window! I can always tell that the end of the semester is approaching when I can begin to see out my window; granted the books are strewn about the room and desk, but at least I can see out the window.  That must mean there's hope, right?

15 November 2010

Day 168

Hurray for mail! It just might be my favorite time of day. It may be strange, but I love letter openers. And I like the taste of envelopes when you seal them.

168th Day

While most of the trees on campus have shed their leaves, this tree is still holding on to her autumn jacket. I'm glad she's holding tight.
 And to the young woman who gave me a strange look when I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, I hope you took time to appreciate the beauty around you on this crisp November morning. 

14 November 2010

Day 167

I have a rough draft of a semester paper due tomorrow. How much did I have done before this weekend? Zip. But I am proud to report that I did finally complete the paper...well, kind of.
P.S. Peanut Butter M&Ms make every paper better.

167th Day

I have always loved stained glass.  This stained glass is a bit retro. 
Sorry for the poor quality... it's from my phone because I actually forgot my camera!