Sunday, November 8, 2015

quince pie

Been so busy these past few months. 
Quince fruit

Had a great time at OLC Expo!

Turned 35 and had a wonderful weekend showing off my new city to ChicagoBoy.

Work has been crazy busy; my newest hires are doing fantastic, and our patrons love them. Thing 1 and Thing 2 (my code names for my new hires) Jerry Maguire complete us--everyone gets along fine, and already after only 3 months has a comfortable repertoire and great bantering spirit! Going to work is ALWAYS fun these days.

About 2 weeks back, Thing 2 gave me some quince, which then promptly moved to my kitchen counter, where they sat and grew more aromatic. Today I noticed that a couple were beginning to spoil, so I Googled until I settled on this Allrecipes recipe for the pie, and decided on using Mark Bittman's Flaky Piecrust recipe from How to Cook Everything. Warning: the Allrecipes recipe takes forever! Quince are extremely hard, and peeling and cutting the fruit was hard work, but this pie smells delicious! Can't wait to take this in for my staff tomorrow!

Extremely bitter, quince MUST be cooked.
The honey liquid, leftover from poaching, gets set aside.
Later it gets boiled with sugar, cinnamon, flour, and
butter, making a delicious roux that gets poured over the
poached quince before the pie top goes on!

Pie ready for the oven.

My beautiful pie.

Friday, September 25, 2015


After reading this article the nice librarian in me says, "Yay! Teens asserting themselves!"

The mean librarian in me says: "Waa waa, picky teens! At least you have some books to read. #firstworldproblems
When I was your age it was all Sweet Valley High. Just shut the what up and be thankful there are books for you. You're right we won't call them 'YA' books anymore. We'll go w books for moody, hormone-y-not-quite-adults."

After this week the mean librarian is winning.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Running for Recovery

Going to be in Western Massachusetts October 4th?

Love to run?

Love great causes?

Come and support Gould Farm (the oldest therapeutic community in the United States), as they embark on their 5k Running for Recovery! Can't make it?! You can still support them, just check out the above link.

Thanks in advance!

Friday, September 18, 2015

For thus my Lord said to me: Go, station a watchman, let him tell what he sees

"For thus my Lord said to me:
Go, station a watchman,
let him tell what he sees."
 --Isiah, 21:6, New American Bible


I told myself to ease into.
I told yourself that it's not a sequel, it's a rough version.
I told myself it's full of the characters of my childhood (and second childhood), the characters I know as well as myself, and love so much I just have to travel alongside them again. On a new journey.
And yet I still prepared for the worst. And I wasn't disappointed.

There is no way this is all Harper Lee's doing--though her publisher would have us believe it's an early and very different draft of what later became To Kill a Mockingbird--this book reads so inconsistently, and only parts of it ring with Lee's voice--in the part featuring the flashback of the children and the Revival I couldn't help but smile and be momentarily lulled. There she is, now she'll take over the story, and it will come right...

 But the lack of character development; the tangential nature of some of the conversations and flashbacks; Scout's willingness to concede to Dr. Finch at the end!! WHAT! THE! HELL! The ending is such an infuriating mess. I was so mad. So disheartened.

Poor Harper Lee, I hope she never reads this awful thing.

That is all I can say. Please let's never talk about it again. Ok?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

poetry, just because

Because I love poetry.
Because I love Bill Murray.
Because I love Billy Collins.
All this made this article a wonderful morning read.

What We Miss

Who says it's so easy to save a life? In the middle of an interview for
the job you might get you see the cat from the window of the seven-
teenth floor just as he's crossing the street against traffic, just as
you're answering a question about your worst character flaw and lying
that you are too careful. What if you keep seeing the cat at every
moment you are unable to save him? Failure is more like this than like
duels and marathons. Everything can be saved, and bad timing pre-
vents it. Every minute, you are answering the question and looking
out the window of the church to see your one great love blinded by
the glare, crossing the street, alone.

--Sarah Manguso

Friday, August 7, 2015

sample retirement acceptance letter

The hardest part of being the Director in a small library is that we don't have an HR person, so on top of everything else we do we also get to do the paperwork for the new hires, and retires. Thank God for the internet or these processes would take a lot longer! 

One of my board members pointed out that though I'd been informed of staff retirements, I had to officially accept them with a letter...I am finding that a paper trail is an important thing. So, I found a short and simple letter on one university's HR website (sorry forgot which!?) and honed it to work for us. Attached is my sample of a retirement letter. 

Is anyone else out there going through this process too?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

what does that say about me?

Hemmy was at the Vet's again overnight this week. Medicine and an x-ray and $135 later--thank God small town Midwest living is cheap!--and all the Vet could come up with is that he thinks poor Hemmy is anxious and causing his own symptoms. 

The Vet asked if there was any extra stress at home--CHECK
any changes in our enviornment--CHECK
had I been working later and/or been out of town--CHECK and CHECK

Poor Hemmy has probably been feeling as overwhelmed as me lately; this was the most stressful summer that I think I've ever experienced.
Summer Reading was great, but exhausting.
I've had 2 staff decide to retire early. That means I've been going through the hiring process AGAIN.
I have a budget meeting before our county budget commission to explain why I shouldn't lose any funds.
Covering vacation at work, this week alone already worked two 12 hour days, and another 10 hour day.
My house was hit hard by all the rain and a problematic situation was made worse. Due to the mold and the fact that my landlords aren't handling it properly I'm moving AGAIN this weekend.
Hemmy has been sick twice in a month.
Unexpected car problems. And and and...yeah, it's no wonder my cat feels awful...I'm kinda surprised his fur hasn't started falling out.

Send good juju! 

I iz in needz of ainxiety medz...