Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What's in a name anyway?

I've had a number of nicknames throughout my life.

As a small child, I was George to a friend of my mothers and Pete to a cousin. Of course, that meant when I had my first child, he was Re-Pete. The names stuck even into adulthood if I would see these people.

In high school, I had a couple of nicknames I wasn't particularly fond of. My last name was Gesin (pronounced Geese-in), so of course, I was Goose or Honkers. But never let them see you sweat right? I figured if I made a big deal out of it, they would even use them more. So ignore it I did and soon those names were in the past. It probably didn't hurt that I married a Miller. :)

My husband did business with a man that for the life of him could never remember Lori, so I've always been Louie to him. How he could remember Louie and not Lori is beyond me.

From one of the first days in the division where I work, I've been called Loretta by one of the instructors. He's a sweet old guy so it didn't bother me much. Today, there was even a student in the hallway who was looking for Loretta. I knew right away who sent him up to the office and who he was looking for.

This summer, another instructor and I who were typically first in the building everyday took to calling each other Sam(me) and Ralph(him). "Good morning Sam, good morning Ralph." Remember the old cartoon with the sheepdogs punching in and out at the time clock?

I feel most of the time nicknames are a term of endearment so they don't really bother me. I don't offend easily either which probably helps. I figure if I dish it out I better darn well be able to take it. And I can dish it out with the best of them.

As the old saying can call me anything you want but please don't call me late for dinner. How about you? Do you have any nicknames?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fair Time!

It's fair time!

I spent Saturday and Sunday at the Illinois State Fair staffing a booth for the college where I work. DH stayed home and I was able to share a couple of days with my sisters which we don't do near enough. We didn't even want to kill each other by the time we got home. How great is that? or at least I didn't, maybe they were ready to throw me out of the car, not sure and may have to ponder on that one....

I haven't been to the State Fair in at least 15 years when the boys had 4-H projects being judged there. Both years we went, the temps were 100+. Praise God not this year as we were in a tent, not one of the air conditioned buildings.
I was located in the Governor's Illinois Innovations tent which showcased colleges in Illinois who have new and innovative programs. I was there promoting our new Wind Turbine Technician degree.

The fairgrounds are just as beautiful as I remembered.
I love the classic style of the entrance and buildings. This building is the Exposition Hall.

I even saw some relatives of ours there! :)

Here's lookin' at you throw a great fair!

Thursday, August 20, 2009




The pictures don't begin to do these sunscapes justice.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Being jolted back to reality

I woke this morning after a good night's rest(which has not been a regular occurence for me lately) to the most beautiful mist hanging in the fields behind the house. I snapped a few pictures as I was heading out the door to work. Today was the second day of the fall semester at the community college where I work. So far it's been typically chaotic but seeing God's glory so early put me at peace.

This farm is the farm I grew up on until I was 7 and we moved into town. I can see it across the field from where we live now. How fun is that?

As I was getting in the car, I looked at my planters on the porch and thought how much I really like the way they look with the vine cascading through the railing. On the way to work, I listened to a local Christian radio station's worship music. I was feeling very "ahhhh", can you tell? I was in my own little happy place. Can you feel the peace and tranquility???

I'm sitting at my desk saying to myself, "Self, chaos or not, this is going to be a great day!" Can I get an Amen on that? It's all about attitude, right?

Why is it then, the real world has to sweep in and mess up this really great "ahhhh" moment anyway? At 7:45am, an alarm starts going off, not just any alarm but our "campus shooter alarm!" Now, there is no mistaking which alarm it is, as it sounds like a sqwaking chicken. As it continues to sqwak, I look over at my boss and we both wonder if it's real or a malfunction? Hoping beyond hope that it's a malfunction but not knowing it is means lockdown mode. Doors shut & locked, lights off and supposedly under our desks. I skipped that part about getting under my desk until I knew for sure. Afterall, I was wearing white pants today. Priorities, you know.

Yes, it was a false alarm. They've been working on our intercom system and something went haywire. But what a creepy feeling thinking there was possibly something going on and not knowing what or where? And isn't it sad that we even need to have such a thing as a "shooter alarm"? One of those things in life I never thought I would have to deal with but now do.

The first thing many ask when a tragedy such as a school shooting happens is "how can God let this happen?" I believe it all boils down to free will and living in a fallen world. God is still God, always has been and always will be but the devil, his "fallen-ness" and our own freewill is rampant in this world as well.

There are hurting people all around us. We/I get so wrapped in my day to day activities that I fail to notice most times. It's so unfortunate that some of them think that taking out a classroom of students, faculty, staff and even themself is the only way to deal with their problems.
Our pastor summed it up a few weeks ago in saying "hurt people hurt people."

We never know by meeting someone in the hallway just how hurt they may really be. Sometimes just a smile or Good Morning may be all that's needed to alleviate some of that pain. Think about that the next time you meet someone going to and fro, look them in the eye and say Good Morning.

I'm not sure where all of this just came from, but it was something I guess I needed to get off my chest since this post was only going to be about foggy morning pictures. Thanks for letting me ramble and rant.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sewing machine review anyone?

I'm hoping one or some of you folks who sew/quilt can help me out on this...

Do any of you use a Viking Husqvarna 400 machine?
If you do, what is your opinion on it?
Anything to watch out for? or are you happy with it?

I stopped in at our local sewing machine dealer the other day to pick up a new walking foot and he had a used one that I really liked so am looking for any input I can get. Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Two Days of R & R

Day Two…

You just couldn’t wait to see where we went next could ya??

We were attending a wedding on Saturday in Dubuque so we opted to stay overnight in Independence, Iowa.  We had some time to kill the next morning and visited a neat little museum next to our hotel called Heartland Acres Agribition Center displaying past agricultural practices as well as cars and other antiques. 

Agribition Center (13)

Watching the storm brew in the distance. 
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Cowch cropped

They even had a real “Cow-ch” 
Agribition Center (4) Brother Tom & Sister-in-law Sue

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My favorite though was the farm kitchen pictured above.  
If you get through there and have an opportunity, it’s a nice tour at a very reasonable price.

On to the wedding we go…the reception was held in the Grand Ballroom at the Julien Inn.  Very elegant.  The Julien is a very old hotel that just went through a major renovation, but they were careful to keep the historic feel of the old hotel.  I would love to return for an overnight sometime.  But of course, I didn’t take one picture of the hotel itself.  I was too busy taking pics of the grandkids, I guess…
Schoeny wedding 8-8-09 (6)Don’t Owen’s baby blue eyes just make you melt?  even with the crumbs on his chin. :)Schoeny wedding 8-8-09 (7) Miss Ava thought she was pretty important drinking champagne (white grape juice) like all the big people.  By the strange looks we were getting from the table next to us, I think they really thought we gave the kid champagne.
Schoeny wedding 8-8-09 and a portrait of the “Miller Women” – myself, daughter-in-law Heidi and granddaughter Ava.

Sunday we had a baptism celebration at church and Monday it was back to reality again.  I hate it when reality rears it’s ugly head, don’t you?  

Faculty come back to campus this week and classes start on Monday.  So much for the peace and quiet of the summer schedule.  Let the chaos begin!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Two days of R & R

Day One…

Dan & I as well as Dan’s brother Tom and wife, Sue left Friday morning to attend a family open  house at the company our son works for. 

Hagie open house (5)

Luke’s a service tech for Hagie Mfg and services agricultural sprayers.  He works mostly out of Central Illinois but gets into Missouri and Indiana on occasion.  The company itself is located in Clarion, Iowa. 

Hagie open house (31)  Sprayers in1959

  and sprayers today…
Hagie open house (3) 
The booms on this particular sprayer were 120 feet long.

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Luke even gave his ol’ mom a ride.  Now that was fun!  They bounce along pretty fast and I only covered my eyes once!  Aren’t ya proud of me??

Hagie open house (27)

We drove in rain most of the day but it turned out to be a gorgeous summer evening.

Stay tuned for Day Two – You’re sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation, aren’t you???  I just know you are.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A beautiful Sunday

It’s been uncharacteristically cool here this summer and today was not exception.  High’s in the 70’s, low humidity, perfect day for a bike ride.

A few highlights from our day…

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I started the day out with a ride in our son, Joe’s, old Rambler wagon.  A definite work in progress.  He bought it in non-running condition out of a barn a mile from here, got it running, sold it and bought it back again.  Other than the engine work it’s all original. 

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We took a ride with friends towards the river and had lunch at Poopy’s.  The t-shirts say “Poopy’s – if I have to explain it, you wouldn’t understand.”  It’s hard to explain.  How do you describe a bar/restaurant/bike shop/tattoo parlor to someone?  Quite the combination and it’s a big draw for motorcyclists.  They have some of the best burgers around plus you get to check out all the other bikes.  How much better does it get than that?

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Poopy’s is in Savanna which sits on the Mississippi River.  This is a view from the Thomson Causeway Recreational area.

The ground near the River is very, very flat.  Despite the typical row crops, this area grows alot of potatoes and melons.

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And could someone tell me why this only happens right after you wash the bike?  We’re riding along great guns and poof! the blacktop ends and turns to gravel!  We would have had to backtrack quite a ways so we went on through and only met one truck and trailer that was totally unconcerned about how much dust and how many rocks he pelted us with.  Gotta love it!  It’s all part of the adventure, right?

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We saw and smelled (p-eww) a crop duster working.

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We got to cross one of our favorite old bridges.  It sure sounds funny driving across all the wood planks with the bike.

Went to a picnic tonight and came home to four geese in the backyard.  This is a first for us.  There is a creek 1/2 mile south of us which they frequent but have never had them this close to the house.

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I hope everyone else’s Sunday was as enjoyable as mine.  Now, to bed and back to work tomorrow.  :(