Showing posts from November, 2012

storytime favorites

Having themed storytimes is a great way to reinforce what kids are learning about at school, or introduce and reinforce information to little listeners, but sometimes you just need to read books that have nothing to do with anything, other than the fact that you love all the books. Sharing your favorite books with kids is cool because when you love something you're more likely to be more amped about it!

Today was Ms. Monster's favorites when I visited the Sticks' Kindergarten and 1st grade classes. The kids LOVED the books!

Oh, Dearie!

I recently read and LOVED Bob Spitz's new biography on Julia Child,Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child

Like many others I looked upon Julia Child with fascinating eyes growing up; she was this tall women with a funny, quavering voice, someone to laugh at, except there was something so damn endearing about her. I grew to enjoy watching her shows when I ran across them, and along with the Frugal Gourmet, and of course, my Mom, attribute my early love of cooking to her.

Then, like many people, I grew up and forgot about Julia until I saw the movie, "Julie and Julia,"--based on Julie Powell's book: Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously.--I remembered that goofy laugh and way that she talked to YOU, not the camera, and made recipes so simple! I was smitten again. After the movie I went on to read Julia's co-written autobiography, My-Life-France and her back and forth letters with Avis DeVoto in, As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis…

thrift store magic


This is exactly the kind of video I wish someone would make about going the library...he makes thrifting so much cooler...

**Some foul language, don't watch if that bothers you!**

going to bring this to Sticks

Gangnam Style PSY 2012

It was cool for the first minute and then I wanted the fuse to blow...

the visit's nearing an end...

Want to finish writing about the weekend, but want to spend as much time as possible with Mummy Dearest! Movie night with my bestie now that the kiddos are in bed; some cuteness to tide you over, in lieu of a post.

grateful and just plain full

Hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving! Mummy Dearest, Big Fish, and Little Fish made it safe and sound, and we shared a delicious meal and time at the playground, and a walk around town. Thought I would share my favorite Thanksgiving quotes and some photos of our dinner:

I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land. --Jon Stewart

Thanksgiving is a magical time of year when families across the country join together to raise America's obesity statistics. Personally, I love Thanksgiving traditions: watching football, making pumpkin pie, and saying the magic phrase that sends your aunt storming out of the dining room to sit in her car. --Stephen Colbert

Yesterday I attended the Sticks Rotary Club meeting, invited there to speak about Sticks Library and my goals for the future--that felt slightly daunting, but more on that later. While there I met a fellow who's daughter is living in Detroit right now; our talk turned to his fears about his daughters safety there, and I shared a few things about the Detroit of the baby boomers' childhood--the beautiful, American-dream neighborhoods of the 40s-60s where my parents grew up; neighborhoods now gone, decimated by poverty, addicts, and arson. We both shared that we believe the city will again rise up, a phoenix from the ashes, and be amazing again...and then my best friend K shared this with me last night. Not sure what this is about, but it bummed me out for sure. C'mon Detroit! RISE UP!


On dating after 30

Dating is hard at any age, I think, or I am just really bad at it. I am not wishy-washy, I've always known what I've wanted, but thankfully age has helped me whittle down that list of "important qualities in a man," from a 2 page long list of demands, that I wrote in my teens--I believe this list include "able to quote Shakespeare"--to the more realistic list of my early 30s. This list includes gems like, "not too crazy. "

Living in a tiny, rural town is even harder on the dating scene...unless you live in a town of very young upstarts...if you know of such a place, tell me and I am moving from here. Anyway, pondering dating and thinking about some recent outings, one dud, one scoundrel, had me searching for the right sentiments and I think I may have found them.

“It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live…

Week 8, almost...

Tomorrow I begin my 8th week of work at Sticks Library! I can't believe I've been living here for that long, and aside from some homesickness/loneliness, I'm starting to know my way around the place and recognize others in the community. So, in honor of week 8, I've put together a list of living-in-a-small-rural-Midwestern-town-isms:
Everyone knows everyone
We have drive-thru liquor stores. DRIVE-THRU!! Yes, you can also buy snacks and pop, and they do have the best donuts in town and the cheapest coffee...but LIQUOR in a DRIVE-THRU! It boggles my mind and makes me smile every time I drive past the damn store.
The price of this seasons crops makes its way into dinner conversation
A $7 dollar sandwich at a nicer restuarant is expensive
Football is taken very seriously (WHICH I LOVE); when anyone learns that I am from Michigan their first questions EVERY TIME is, "who do you root for?"--they mean do I support Ohio State or Michigan. If you know anything about …

frosty fall morning

Yesteryday morning I had a 9a.m. meeting with the other library directors in the county; somehow I managed to walk out the door REALLY early, coffee in hand, and caught the most amazing remnants of sunrise: gentle pinks and blushy oranges, a warm yellow sun thawing the frost that covered the fields and grass. In short, everything was gorgeous. I said a silent "thanks," to God, snapped a couple of photos and was on my way. That beautiful sunrise is still in my mind as I get ready for bed, and I am laying here thinking gratefully about this first fall in my new farmy, flat Midwestern town... Happy weekend!

I dub thee, Royalty!

A few weeks back one of the girls asked me to do a Princess storytime, but so as to not entirely alienate the boys, I said we'd do royalty! I am too tired to go into much detail, but wanted to at least share all the titles we used, age appropriateness of books varies, since these are for 3 different aged storytimes:

King Bidgood's in the Bathtub

Olivia and the Fairy Princesses

The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas

I want my dinner(Not a big fan of this, but the kids seemed to enjoy, and that's all that matters).

The Nothing King

The Paper Bag Princess, Robert Munsch **LOVE LOVE LOVE this book**

not that kind of praying

Last week's storytimes found us reading books about farms (you know I love farms!). In the midst of one of our books, which had something to do with pigs, a 4 year old interrupted me to ask,

"Did you know that Mama Preying Mantises bite the heads off the Daddy Preying Mantises?"

It's funny, but I literally looked down at the book in my hands, as if I missed something, reading on auto pilot or something. Once I collected myself I said that I did know that and asked where she had learned that (making sure to leave out the part about how it happens after they mate).

"Oh, we heard about it in a book."

I got such a kick out of that kid and her comment and wondered all day what her parents read to her. Working with kids can be so funny sometimes. Also, for some reason, her comment made me think of this.

frantic yet happy

Lately I feel like there's just not enough time in the day. I try really hard to stick to my 40 hour week, but last week I worked closer to 50 hours, which is ok, except I haven't worked out since before I moved and haven't been cooking as much as I should and dammit, my pants are fitting a little snugger!

I love my job, I just wish the days were longer, or could go by a little slower so I could everything I needed to done. I guess if that's the worst complaint after my first month and a half, I am good. :)

So, what have I been doing lately? A lot. I am really proud of all I've accomplished since I started! And the team I work with is phenomenal and always so willing. Lately I've:
Weeded the Reference collections, Adult's and Children's, because do we really need 13 dictionaries? Fortunately I was able to donate a set of encyclopedias to the local high school, since the set I wanted to get rid of is more current than theirs. Also, I learned from Sticks …

tour of tastes weekend

First, let me start off by saying, Happy Veterans Day! Thank you U.S. Veterans for all you've done and continue to do for our country and in protecting our freedoms. I definitely spent a lot of time this weekend thinking about both my Grandpas, my Dad, both my brothers, and countless aunts, uncles, and cousins who've served our country! Because of Veteran's Day, Sticks Library was closed today, giving me a glorious three day weekend! And man, this weekend left me full bellied. I headed to the Mitten on Saturday afternoon, staying with bestie L and her gang, and had a weekend absolutely packed with good friends and amazing food.

Saturday found us gorging on food and drink at our friends K& C's new home in Royal Oak. Royal Oak in recent years has become a total hotspot in southeastern Michigan, a place where many late 20/early 30 somethings are settling down, probably due in part to the great downtown chock full of good restaurants/bars and local shops. It stil…

hope your weekend is this kind of party


National Book Award nominees, etc.

I'm a little behind, since this list has been out for over a month, but here goes (thanks Publishers Weekly for posting):

Junot Díaz, This Is How You Lose Her Dave Eggers, A Hologram for the King Louise Erdrich, The Round House  Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk Kevin Powers, The Yellow Birds 
NONFICTION: Anne Applebaum, Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-1956  Katherine Boo, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity Robert A. Caro, The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume 4 Domingo Martinez, The Boy Kings of Texas  Anthony Shadid, House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East  POETRY: David Ferry, Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations Cynthia Huntington, Heavenly Bodies Tim Seibles, Fast Animal Alan Shapiro, Night of the Republic Susan Wheeler, Meme 

Goblin Secrets,William Alexander
Out of R…

no Election Day talk!!

I, like probably 99% of Americans, am so tired of all the political talk, ads, campaign hoopla, etc., that today instead of blogging about elections or cutesy picture books about voting, I've decided to NOT TALK ABOUT POLITICS! Instead, I will be sharing about how having a kitten is like having a baby...or a spastic toddler (which I loving call Hemingway) No one tells you about the responsibility or what they'll need or that:
They cry when they're hungryThey want what you're eating, not the dry, fish-smelling kibbly stuff in their bowlsTheir medical bills cost more than yoursYou make sure that they get their flea medicine once a month when you can't even remember to take your own damn vitamins every dayTheir, "Who cares if it's 3a.m., I'm wide awake," attitudeTheir new "thing," involves them walking across your throat, YOUR THROAT! at 3a.m., and then trying to lay there inconspicuously, as though they're a scarf and you won't not…

a series wrapped up

I loved Lois Lowry's Newbery winner, The Giver, when I read it. I was in my 20s and in grad school, and was left with this feeling that I'd just read something really important and beautiful, profound and touching. I walked away from it wondering about Jonas and Gabriel, and was left, like many people, pondering what came next...until this week when I read, Son, what Lowry herself called the sequel to her beloved, The Giver.

Son not only answers the questions about what came next, but also gives us a little more back story on the community that they came from, and more information on Claire, Gabriel's mother. I didn't want a clean, easy-peezy wrap up to The Giver, and was pleasantly surprised with how much she was able to avoid that (though there are definitely character tie-ins with the other books in this series: Gathering Blue and The Messenger--I can imagine it's really hard not to tie stories together and bring back popular characters). The ending was all Lowry…

just grateful

I am feeling so grateful.
I came back from my vacation well rested and thankful for the time spent with dear friends and family.
I love road trips, even short ones, and the drives there and back gave me the opportunity to see the glorious remnants of fall as I drove through places south: Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia.

I am excited to get back to work tomorrow and looking forward to the busy week, which kicks off with a training at the State Library of Ohio in the morning and a towny meet and greet dinner at night...a week chock full of stuff!

Also, thought I would share this fun band I just discovered--can't wait to get their CDs that I ordered from the library!  "On Top Of The World," Imagine Dragons from their CD, "The Making Of Night Visions"

maybe we're all a little nuts

Penny Marshall kept me company on my drive down to North Carolina last weekend, and Julia Child is joining me later today as I head back to Ohio.

I listened to Penny Marshall's, My Mother Was Nuts, on CD and loved it. It's read by Marshall, who's voice really invoked memories of  childhood, me sitting and watching "Laverne and Shirley," and fantasizing about my adult life that would include living with a friend and the antics that ensue (this was 2001-2002, living with College Kim--I was Laverne for the record).

The book is predictable in that, like most autobiographies/biographies, it tells the story of her life and family, but what I appreciate is the books look into Hollywood and Marshall's circle of friends through her Laverne and Shirley days to the present. Like, I didn't know she dated Art Garfunkel! And was married to Rob Reiner! I loved listening to Marshall's thick Bronx accent and was touched by how she allowed her emotions to come through…

Homeward Bound

Hitting the road early, early Saturday; I'll wave at the sunrise for you. Goodbye South Carolina, I'm homeward bound...Simon & Garfunkel style.

one of those stories

The last Newbery winner that I read was when I was still back in OHCity--Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's, Shiloh, the story of Marty, who meets and falls in love with an abused pup he names, yep, you guessed it, Shiloh. The story revolves around Marty's relationship with the dog, (who belongs to our antagonist, Judd--why are bad guys always Judds? Oklahoma, anyone?) and the lengths he will go to keep Shiloh away from his abusive owner, and keep secret from his family and best friend.

Did I enjoy it? It was ok. Would I recommend it? Hmm, I guess. There are definitely other animaly books I would recommend first, though this had some good lessons in it.

Ages: 8 and up

authors visit

Authors Geraldine Brooks and Tony Horowitz will be at Playhouse Square in Cleveland,
Tuesday, November 13th, 7:30p.m. Tickets are still available, $30/person, for more info.

library articles #950