Heavy on the Pictures

Orientation was on Friday, and Kyle doesn’t work on weekends, which explains why I haven’t been blogging.  The days that Kyle was working were so long, and so boring.  I straightened my hair one of the days, and watched “My Best Friend’s Wedding”.  I haven’t been taking very many pictures, either, because I feel like I’m already living here.

Orientation was so fun!  I was nervous at first but then, after meeting a girl, Tia, and a guy that she knew, it wasn’t so hard anymore.  I met more people, and I’m looking forward to going to college.  I set up my schedule, but I wasn’t able to get into Latin this term, maybe next term.  I’m looking forward to my anthropology class, but not my biology class and lab.  I’m also excited about “The Evolution of God” class, which counts for not only religion, but humanities as well.  I got my official North Central stuff (which is a t-shirt and sweatpants, all in Cardinal red), so now I’m an official North Central Cardinal!

Last night after dinner, Kyle took me to Coldstone, where he bought my Peach ice cream that was so good.  We walked downtown for awhile and then went into bookstores.  As usual, we spent more time than we thought we would in Barnes and Noble, and when we finally left, it was dark.  When we got home, we laid in bed and read, until Kyle fell asleep and I made him go to his bed.

Our flight in the morning is early, like, waking up at 4 am early.  And out of O’Hare.  I still have packing to do, which is strange because I’ve been living out of my suitcase since I got here.  I got this adorable dress for Florida, but I couldn’t resist and wore it today.  I was so cold.

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Late For Work

When I know I have to be somewhere at a certain time, a time that I don’t normally wake up at (say 8 a.m.), I have this phobia that I might not hear my alarm clock, and I won’t be where I need to be at that certain time.  This morning, I needed to be at work at 8 a.m., and set my alarm clock last night before Kyle called so I wouldn’t forget to do it afterwards.

Well, I finally fell asleep at about 10, and woke up several times this morning.  Once at 5:30, once at 6, once at 6:30, and so on, until it was 7 and I fell asleep more deeply.  I didn’t worry much about being late, because my alarm clock always wakes me up; I’m a light sleeper.

I dreamt that my alarm clock was going off, and I couldn’t make it stop.  I unplugged it from the power cord, took out the emergency batteries, shook it, pressed the “alarm on/off” button, and so on, until I couldn’t stand it anymore.  I brought it to different people, asking them what I should do.  Everyone told me to do something else, and nothing worked.

When I finally got it to shut off, my eyes snapped open, and I realized that the beeping was not just in my dream, my alarm clock had been going off for about 30 minutes.  I was going to be late.  I pulled my hair into quick pigtails and then rushed out the door.

I was only 10 minutes late, but I’m freaked out that it’ll happen again, only I’ll be going somewhere more important, such as my college orientation.

I’ll be leaving on the 4th, which is only TWO DAYS AWAY, and I’m super excited!  I’ve already packed, but I have a feeling that I’m forgetting something.  I usually make lists, but I haven’t had the time to stress out about this trip, because I’ve been working so much lately.

Today at work, I did something that brought back so many fond memories.  Running through the sprinkler!  The water was ice-cold, my swimming suit was tiny, and the sun was warm on my shoulders.  I loved it.  Along with the pigtails, I felt like I was 11 years old, and in love with summer vacation.

Where Salem Might Find a New Home…

Today might be the day that I find a new owner for Salem.  Here’s how it happened:

When I went to the ranch yesterday for work, I realized that people I’ve met before are there for a few days to visit and help out.  They usually hunt there in November (or whenever deer season is), so I wasn’t expecting to see them.  Well, last night, Beth and Sam went out to a play, and Pat went out to work on the tractor and wouldn’t be back until late; therefore, I was in charge of dinner.  When the guys came in (Dick is the grandpa, Jake is the 14-year-old grandson) and sat down to eat, the fact that I had to get rid of Salem slipped out of my mouth when I was talking about leaving for college.  Jake was suddenly interested.  He asked the usual questions; What’s his name?  How old is he?  When was he born?  Is he still wild like a puppy?  Has he been around guns? (they’re hunters, I expected that one).  Finally, when dinner was drawing to a close, I told Jake that I would bring Salem up to the ranch so he could see if he liked him.  He agreed.

When I left, Jake was on the phone with his parents asking for a dog.  I don’t know how it went, but I know that he has a chocolate Lab already, but she’s getting really old and he wants a younger dog that he can train to hunt with him.  Salem is definitely his dog.  He loves to swim, he’s pretty good at bringing things back to you, and he’s been around guns before, and he doesn’t shake and hide.  He’s pretty much bred to hunt.  And he’s healthy.

So, in a few hours, I’m headed up to the ranch to see if Jake wants to have him.  Then I’m taking Salem back home, then going back up to the ranch to work for the rest of the day, and get paid!  My car is going to be paid off, and I’ll have my half of the tickets to Naperville paid off with this check.

Tonight, I’m leaving for April’s because I’m helping her for the week.  Then on the weekend, I’m back at the ranch, helping on Monday too, and then I wait a week to get on a plane and fly to Naperville for college orientation.  The rest of this month is crazy, and next month is going to be just as crazy.  I get back on the 18th of August, and the next morning, I’m going to drive down to my sister’s to help with the baby (and I hope I get to be there when he’s born, although I may miss it) for a week or so, and then I have to leave again for college.

While down in Naperville this time around, I’m gonna stop in at Anderson’s, and see if I can get a job application.  Anderson’s is a family-owned bookstore that I’m really excited to go to.  I’m even more excited by the prospect of working there.  If I got a employee discount, I would be buying books like there’s no tomorrow.

One can never have too many books.

Books, Loans and Sore Butts

While riding in the pick-up, I spent a lot of time reading, talking, and taking pictures out the window.  Most of the pictures didn’t turn out so well.  I did get one of the sun behind the clouds; the edges are bright, and there are rays of light coming out from behind.  It’s probably the best picture I took the entire trip, which wasn’t quite as long as I thought (and hoped) it would be.

When I wasn’t talking (about anything from abortion to crops), I was usually reading.  (My butt also fell asleep, and I wiggled and squirmed to try new positions that wouldn’t let it fall asleep again.)  Early in the day, I had finished “The Mammoth Hunters”, and because I didn’t think I would finish it (because when I left, I still had maybe 250 pages left), I didn’t bring another Jean M. Auel.  What I brought instead was “Eat, Pray, Love”.  I started it while Sam was absorbed in “The Pirates of the Caribbean”.  So far, I’m in love.  Elizabeth Gilbert is an amazing writer, combining humor with her (somewhat) bittersweet journey to find what she’s looking for; pleasure, devotion and balance.

I’ll hold off on the review as of now, but I am looking forward to getting one written.  So far, (and I’m not a huge fan of non-fiction) her story has captured, and held, my interest, and I hope it continues.  And if it doesn’t, I still have “The Plains of Passage” and “The Shelters of Stone” to read.

In about 3 weeks, I’m headed off to Orientation, and after that, Florida.  But before all that happens, I have to decide what I’m taking for college, because when I finally get back home, I’m going to be going to my sister’s to help with the new baby for a week, and then I have to fly back to Naperville to begin college.  I don’t have a whole lot of time to be deciding what I need to bring, and what can stay.  My plan, so far, is after I’m done packing everything I need for the upcoming trip (orientation/vacation), if I have room, I’d like to pack college stuff that I don’t really need at home, and leave it with Kyle so I’ll have more room when I’m flying down the second (and hopefully, final) time.  Everyday, I see something in my room that makes me go, “Hey!  I’m going to need that in college!”.  But the problem is, I’ve never been to college, and I don’t know what I’m going to regret bringing, and what I’m going to regret leaving at home.  It’s pretty unlikely that I’ll be coming back during breaks because I just don’t have $300 for tickets while I’m paying for everything I need in college.

And speaking of books; crap.  I never once thought about having to buy them.  I knew that’s what college kids did, but for some unknown reason, I spaced that part, and in doing so, virtually ignored about $400 that I’m going to need.  I keep telling everyone that I’ll be fine, I’ve got jobs for the next week, and when I get back, my sister is going to pay me too.  But, in the 2 months I have left, I’m not going to be able to make $1300, plus $400 for books.

I’m going to have to take out more loans, which I’ve been fighting from the start because I don’t want to put myself more in debt when I’m already taking out $6000 a year.  I don’t want to have all that debt hanging over my head for the rest of my life.  But I can see it’s probably going to be necessary to be able to attend college and further my education.