Friday, February 14, 2014

23 Mobile Things: Thing 1

I'm excited to be participating in 23 Mobile Things, as part of the Minnesota Multitype library systems.

The first task was to create a blog and register. In my case I reactivated a previous blog. I haven't touched it since 2011, so I had to make sure it was set up properly and edit old items. Seeing the improvements to blogger since 2011 is impressive.

What do I hope to get out of this? Well I have a Google Nexus for work, and want to push myself to use it more. Quite honestly after 40 hours a week of computer time as a distance librarian I just unplug all tech items and stop caring. Plus I get to read about how fellow librarians are using these tools, and what they think!

Let the games begin!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wildcare Adventure

My entire life I have wanted to help injured animals, especially wild animals that are injured because of humans. My first career goal as a child was to be a veterinarian. I watched Grizzly Adams religiously, and had read as many James Herriot books as I could find before the 5th grade. Life steered me down a different path, though, so here I am: an online Librarian with much free time.

With my decision to stay in Bloomington for a while, and working from home with very little social life, I finally had the opportunity to volunteer with a Wildlife Rehabilitation organization. After my Alpaca Adventure, I knew I could handle more than I thought I could and set off with zeal.

My main concern was seeing the pain and suffering of injured creatures. But I had managed to push that to the side volunteering at the animals shelter. I tried to focus on what GOOD was being done, even if for a little while in a creature's life.

One of the first things I got to learn about was baby bunnies! (Eastern Cottontails to be specific)

Important things I never knew, which I will share:

1. American cottontails are not like European cottontails. They do not typically live in burrows (like Peter Cottontail), but have hidden nests in the grass.  This is why many tiny bunnies get injured/killed by lawn mowers. Ick.

2. The mother rabbit does NOT stay on the nest. She shows up twice a day to feed, make them poop, and clean everyone. Then she GOES AWAY, to draw predators away.

3. The cleaning before/after feeding time IS to stimulate digestion and clean out the intestines.

4. When the baby is 'full' it turns itself around and burrows nose first back into the nest.

5. These rabbits are pretty much 'food' for everyone. Their only natural defense is speed, and the ability to freak out and give themselves a heart attack. Which, if the option is staying alive long enough to feel a predator ripping you apart, seems a fairly logical adaptation. At least I think so.

I got the exciting (and a little frustrating) experience of trying to feed a VERY tiny Eastern Cottontail a little bit of rabbit formula, with a very tiny syringe. I did not take my camera, but here is a picture from a Minnesota Wildlife Rehab facility of such a baby cottontail.

The baby I got to feed was about the size of my finger; eyes closed and very squiggly. The first thing you do is get a cotton ball dipped in warm water to stimulate the peeing and pooping. This way the baby is ready for more food. :)

I was successful in getting the poop out of the tiny squiggly bunny. Mission Accomplished! You can imagine, such a tiny creature produces a very tiny poop. Like a small ant....

This is  an art, to hold the baby in a cloth with one hand, and empty the syringe of formula slowly, smoothly and gently into its mouth. You can't go too FAST or it all comes out the nose. You also don't want to shoot liquid into the lungs. 

I had just about gotten it, when my bunny turned its butt to me and headed into the 'burrow'.  WAIT, little bunny!!  There's more formula to go!! So I diligently balanced the syringe between fingers and turned the washcloth around, so baby bunny is facing the food again. Baby bunny immediately turned and burrowed back down!! This went on for about 4 minutes, until I asked one of the trainers. 

THAT was how I learned about them turning tail when they're full. In retrospect it makes sense, but I was very confused at the time and thought I had failed my baby bunny.

The mostly weaned bunnies were kept in cages in a 'quiet room'. These were the ones eating greens, but still getting formula in a dish.  I got to help in that room every Saturday, during peak bunny season. 

It seems I am very good at being sneaky and quiet and not traumatizing the freaked out litters of bunnies. Well, there's a new super power I must learn how to utilize! 

I was relieved that I only had to 'bag' one small bunny, who had died. They are very difficult to tend in captivity, and there's quite a high death rate. One I could handle, and it was dead when I arrived. Thank GOODNESS I did not kill it. I would be mortified if I frightened a bunny to death. 

I tried to find images of bunnies for you all, but most are copyrighted. So here is image search:

Coming soon: fawns and opposums (these will have pictures!)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Adventures in housing: rented room

Well, now. After the past two years, I must say I had lost hope that I would be able to afford my own housing ever again. Luckily, though, my new part time online Librarian job coincided with my need to move out of my friend's apartment.  A steady income?? Really? That helps with finding a place to live!

I had some odd criteria on this search:

1. Stay within a two-three block radius of where I HAD been living.
2. Find a short term lease.
3. Partially furnished would be great. (all my stuff is in Colorado)

Serendipity stepped in, and handed me exactly THAT!! I found a room right next to the Bakery/Cafe/TamaleLand, it was partially furnished, AND the landlord was willing to do a short term lease!

And yes, this is a COMPLETELY different atmosphere from my previous places. Landlord is a 25 year old law 2nd year law student with a puppy.

The view from the door.  Worrisome? Animal House? 

The land of couches!! There is one behind me, that is pretty much the dog's couch....

Kitchen: useful, with light.

The Big Backyard! 

 Construction begins around 7:00 a.m. right outside my window...

See those green apartments? That's where I lived for a month.
I can walk 1/2 a block and watch movies with my friend! Cool.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Adopt a Librarian: Garland turns me over to another friend...

As July came to a close, I still had no actual income. Temp jobs were few and far between, and my online librarian position hadn't started yet. Garland was ending his stay in Bloomington, and I was really stuck for what to do. In 2008 I couldn't get out of Bloomington quickly enough. NOW I didn't want to leave.

 Part of that is because I have a few friends here and can volunteer at the library. After a year in Colorado I never HAD been able to volunteer at either of two major library systems!! Having a small social network is a good thing. I've started over in new towns a few times, and it's hard. I had a few places I could stay, with family and friends across the country, but something told me I needed to stay here. (even though I miss my sister in Colorado)

Luckily, my friend decided I should stay with him for a month or two, while his roommate was out of town. I figured this would buy me another month or two to figure out my next step. Good plan!

I was only in the apartment for a month, though, since his roommate came back a month early. It's the newest, swankiest place I've lived. However, we spent most of the month fighting to get the internet connected. WHY oh WHY would you build a brand new property, advertise the cable/internet and then NOT LAY THE CABLE???  Why??  I am less than impressed, Choice Properties. Less than impressed.

His roommate returned a month early, so no sooner had I gotten a little settled then I had to find another place to live. LUCKILY, my hours at the online Librarian job had gone from 10 to 30, so I was expecting to have an actual livable income. I was only here for August 2010.

I've embedded a slideshow, but if you want to see bigger pictures, click on the title "Adopt a Librarian" and it will take you to the album.

Friday, November 12, 2010

GADD (Geographic Attention Deficit Disorder), 5 residences in 12 months

Well, this past year has given me many different experiences with housing. I never expected to be this 'ungrounded' and nomadic. My sister created a name for it: GADD (Geographic Attention Deficit Disorder)! I am truly grateful to people who have let me stay with them through this unemployment phase, and have learned so much about myself by living with different people. I thought I would share the different styles of housing, because they seem vastly different to me!

I am skipping my friend Doug's place, where I stayed for 11 months, because I don't think I have pictures. The same goes for someone's house where I stayed for 25 days, here in Bloomington.

1. Garland's Fabulous Apartment!

Garland took me in when my other friend said I couldn't stay. Everything for a reason, yes? We seem like unlikely housemates, but ended up having a wonderful time. If I ever have to go through unemployment, bankruptcy and food stamps again, I want my Garland there with me!! We spent a lot of time pulling each other up and looking forward. We also joked about his 'adopt a homeless librarian' program. Luckily, I was the only one he adopted. The apartment wasn't big enough for more of us!

The Wonderful Bed 

This made me feel like I was in a fancy hotel.
I felt like a queen, and it was also a good safe place to nurture my wounded ego from job hunting.    
I still can't believe Garland put me in his room and slept on the couch for a year. A

The Fabulous Dresser

Style, baby, style. Well, maybe not with all those boxes..
There usually wasn't this much stuff on it. This was taken during packing up/moving time.
Usually it was just those fantastically happy red poppies!!!

Lynn Boxes in the Corner....

Nobody puts Baby in a corner....but my stuff goes there....

I did actually have the hall closet, but these were in the room.

I made Garland watch George Carlin's routine on 'STUFF'. Every time I looked at my boxes, I could hear George Carlin talking about smaller versions of your STUFF. I have stuff in storage in Colorado. I took the most important STUFF with me to Bloomington. Then I left Garland for 3 months to go to the alpaca farm, taking only the MOST important STUFF.

It's all just stuff. Too much stuff. Yes, Mike, I know..."garage sale"

The Famous Red Flowers

This was on the counter the entire time I was in Garland's apartment. Every person who came in commented on it. Very striking. Very bold. Very Garland. :) It makes me smile to see them again.

So Garland took me in for a little bit, as a temporary measure. A year later, he left Bloomington and returned to New Orleans. I did not really have a good backup plan, and no steady work. But that's the next chapter.....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Life after Garland...a Lesson in Trust

Hi. This is about my hair.

Garland is gone to New Orleans.  He was my friend who let me live with him for a year, but he was also my stylist. The joy of living with your stylist is that every so often he looks at you with raised eyebrow and says "girl, get in that chair".  Usually this is accompanied by a sad shaking of his head, at what a mess is on my head.

Now, even though he did a final farewell cut/style on my hair in July, it was getting a little crazy on one side. That's the joy of curly hair. Just when you think it's all fine and looking good, one side (or piece) decides to do its OWN THING. It gets poofy, or it sticks flat to your head. Sometimes it grows out in a completely different direction, just because it can.

Very independent, this curly hair.

So. The right side of my hair was trying to stick close to my head. The left side has somehow gotten LONGER than the right. Garland suggested this is perhaps because I'm always tilting my head questioningly. Nah.....

I have a friend with curly hair who tried a new stylist. Her hair was cute and she liked the stylist, so I made an appointment. Let me tell you, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this salon!! It's very urban, like a man cave. The owner stylist is a straight guy (is that still what we call them?), and the salon has got some funky style. It feels like a garage, as he's using Craftsman tool carts at each station. There's 50's wood paneling, but with lots of funky art and a fun couch. It's all KINDS of retro chic, with a manly flair.

Anyhow. I really liked the stylist, and we had a great time laughing and talking. What I FAILED to remember, though, was that I had wanted him to just TRIM the cut that was in place. I liked talking with him and felt comfortable that I said the dreaded words:


I forgot he had never worked with my hair. I told him I wanted it a little shorter and we agreed upon an amount, but I forgot he doesn't know how much my hair 'springs' back up. The only person (with scissors) to touch my hair for 5 years has been Garland.

Now, where there was one length, there are now layers. This makes it lighter, and hence curlier. This is not always good, especially when it is this short and independent.

For some reason, the left side still seems longer than the right, and the right side is still sticking close to my head. WHY?? Why, hair? What's going ON on the right side of my skull? Is there a party??  And YOU, random bit of hair on the LEFT side of my head....why are you still LONGER?? You were longer before the cut, and you are longer now. Are there growth hormones in that set of follicles? What gives?  Why still longer even after the haircut? AARRRGH.

The layers make it CURLIER, but not really in a controlled way.

And for the first time in years, I just want to cry when I look in the mirror.

I don't want to blame the stylist, because, really, I did not communicate what I wanted. I trusted too soon, and too much. Not a good idea in any relationship.

The funny part? I wanted it trimmed so it looked 'neater and cleaner' for a wedding I'm attending next week, as the guest of a friend. It's the first fancy thing I've done in a few years and wanted to look nice.

I may just take scissors to hand and try to even it up. Yeah. I'm sure that will go well. That's a whole different post....

Where, you ask, are the photos of this hair silliness? Not here. Not now. Too much sadness. Maybe after it grows out a bit I'll share.

Off to find those scissors....

Oh, and yes, I DID wake up at 6 a.m. so upset about my hair that I could not go back to sleep and had to write about it.  So there.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I forgot to post a big THANK YOU to all my friends who loaned me money this summer. I am truly truly grateful, and it allowed me to cover expenses for that month. I have been (not very patiently) waiting for my new salary to kick in so I can repay everyone.

Without our friends we are nothing. Thank you.