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I feel a little bad in saying that it was a pretty good day, given what happened in London and Virginia, but it was pretty good. It stormed on and off, but I enjoyed the storms because we haven't had one for a while. And the farmers need the rain.

I had a lot to get done at work today, and I did get a lot done. One of the things that I needed to do was take a picture of myself to post online with a PDF of my poster presentation. So I brought my "good" camera (it's not a DSLR, but it has a lot more features than your average point-and-shoot camera) to work along with a "selfie stick". Many of the results were hilarious. Maybe I'll post one or two of them later. I did wind up with a couple of pictures that I could live with, and I'll upload one to the conference Web site tonight, although I might try to take a few more pictures tomorrow.

I also experimented with recording a voiceover because the conference folks suggest posting a short one as well. Given the amount of info that we're posting on the site, though, why bother coming to the presentation?

The printer hasn't finished printing the poster, though, but there still is some time. (The presentation is a week from this coming Sunday, in Chicago.)

I ran errands over dinner, and picked up Zara's and my meds. Better living through chemistry :)

Oh, my dad thinks that creating an Illinois Road Trips blog and a book is a great idea. He said, "And if the book sells, you can branch out to other nearby states!" Whoa, Dad. Writing a good guidebook to Illinois is going to be a lot of work. But it's nice to see how enthusiastic he is about it though.
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I've been looking for a good guidebook to Illinois, and I've not been finding much. There are a bunch about Chicago, but not the rest of the state. Maybe that means that I should write one :) I'm semi-serious about that. Working title: The Other Illinois: Get Out of Chicago and See the Rest of the State! It could be fodder for a lot of road trips. And maybe an article or two. I need a decent DSLR though. (It's always something.)

A Road Trip Illinois blog would be a good idea too. It would get me out of the house and exploring. It sounds like fun!

I found a state park about 2.5 hours away from here that I really want to hike. It's kind of hilly (it's in Eastern Illinois), but that might build my leg muscles up.

I solved the problem with my boss about my working days while she's gone. I'm going to take the Monday after my Sunday conference presentation off, and work the rest of the week, including Friday. Including the Sunday, that would be a full week. And then I'm going to work Wednesday - Friday the following week.

There is a horrific fire in a tall apartment building in London. Most of the building seems to be ablaze. Those poor people trapped inside....I hope that firefighters contain the blaze soon.
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I did a writing exercise today. I have a book of writing prompts, one for each day of the year. Today's was to start a poem with "After three glasses of wine..." I like only the beginning:

After three glasses of wine
I dissolved
Oozing onto the floor
With an inelegant plop.

Anyway, it's got me writing again. I'm sure that I'll get better as I practice.

I made the spinach and mushroom lasagna again, and it is still good. I'm letting it cool off, and then I'm going to freeze the leftovers.

I'm catching up on the dishes.

I found a missing library book.

I plan to do some cleaning, meditate, clean a little more, read a little more, and then go to bed.
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By the time that I got out the door, it was 28 degrees F, colder than it was last night. But I sucked it up and ran errands. Picked up my library book--Getting Things Done by David Allen. I thought that this week would be a good time to set up a Getting Things Done system using Evernote. Went grocery shopping. I was going to get mushrooms and spinach for my lasagna, and ingredients for mac and cheese, but wound up with a cart full of stuff. At least, I won't starve. And I bought my first Christmas present--a Hickory Farms box for my uncle, who doesn't do anything and doesn't want anything, but he does eat. I'll get more presents later in the week.

I want to start doing "morning pages" based on a writing prompt as a way to get back into writing. So I bought a sparkly gold notebook and some pens.

The cold hurt my face as I walked out with my groceries, but that's because I refused to wear a hat and scarf. Don't want winter!!! Like that will help.

My mom liked the idea of a basket of cheeses as her Christmas present, but she also said that she liked shortbread cookies. So I'm planning to bake some for her. It's way too early to bake them right now, but I am looking at cookie cutters. I found a snowflake one that I like, but $5 for one cookie cutter? Sheesh.

I'm planning to stay home tomorrow and do some cleaning and cooking. I'm not planning to get dressed. Love "at home" days.

I think that I'll go read....

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