Showing posts from February, 2013

I love this guy

Haven't posted a picture of Hemingway in a while...My little kitten isn't so little anymore.

cooking people and places to us

We turn to things to cheer us up, tried and tested talismans against our cases of the mean reds. For sadness we might listen to country music and bake, to remember a past boy/girlfriend we may listen to our soundtracks; for Luisa Weiss she turns to food. Weiss' book was sitting on my bedside table, next in line to be read, when my best friend K came for a visit. She picked it up and was about 2 chapters into it by the time I was showered and ready to head out for my (our) first party in Sticks. By the time K was heading back to Michigan at the end of the weekend, she'd bought the book for her Kindle, and checked in with me every so often to see where I was at in the story. K made Luisa's meatballs for her birthday party a couple weekends ago; it just felt right to be discussing Luisa's book as we took turns stirring her recipe into though we were conjuring her to us for the party...

Weiss' My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes)is (as the title…

like the blob!!

It's growing...this news was passed along from Kent State through one of the many listservs that I am signed up to:

"School of Library and Information Science to Double Its Space with Expansion The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) is currently undergoing a 14,000-square-foot renovation to expand and double its space for teaching, research and student services. The remodeling is being completed in two phases. Phase 1 involves the full renovation of the former Audio Visual Services space in the University Library (14,000 square feet), and Phase 2 involves the renovation of the existing SLIS space (approximately 12,000 square feet). The construction began in December 2012 and will be completed in mid-June 2013. Read more at"

a bestie's birthday

There are so many good things about living in a small town: you know your neighbors, people are friendly, costs are cheaper, you can breathe in the sweet country air, etc., etc., but something we're definitely lacking around here is culture and great cuisine! I've been jonesing something fierce for sushi, so, of course, it was my Saturday night dinner suggestion.
I was at my bestie K's house, helping her set-up for her birthday shindig, when we decided to get take-out. Our little dinner party consisted of K and her hubby Joe, my bro A3, sis in law Dayna, niece Savannah, and friend Melissa; there we sat, digging into California rolls, spicy tuna, seaweed salad, Michigan rolls, and baby octopus, food from this great little Asian grocery/take-out place, Noble Fish. Everything was so damn delicious! I loved the communal feel of our impromptu dinner; leaning toward each other, stabbing rolls of sushi, swabbing at the ball of pea green wasabi, doling out soy sauce packets to one…

and the winner is...

I recently wrote an email to the owners of a locally owned AMAZING chocolate shop, asking if they would donate to our Library for a program featuring chocolate. I didn't hear back right away, which was good since I hadn't advertised it yet...until I DID HEAR BACK! And then all of a sudden I only had two weeks to promote our chocolate bake off, and that same amount of time to get people signed up and get local "celebrity judges."
So, I sent info to our local paper and radio station, and advertised it on Facebook and Twitter, and advertised it on our roadside sign, and you know what? We had 9 people sign up! And judges were secured. And the day of 25 people came to sample the most decadently delicious desserts! And people LOVED it! 
I asked if there would be interest in making this a yearly event and the decision was unanimous! And now I am imagining next year's event with double the amount of people...hopefully...
And now, before you move onto the pictures, I wou…


Whether or not you believe in Ash Wednesday, or God, or whatever, I think this is a wonderful sentiment. A dear friend has been sending this along for close to 10 years now and I look for it every year, and I too pass it along to others who look forward to it too. Like a mantra it's worked it's way into me and is something I think of at times, especially these past few years as I've moved and struggled with feeling terribly alone--like a prayer, this has given me strength and hope. 

"...It was Mr. Gold who counted time and eventually spoke first.
'Jacob, where do you find the strength to carry on in life?'

'Life is often heavy only because we attempt to carry it,' said Jacob. 
'But, I do find a strength in the ashes.'
'In the ashes?' asked Mr. Gold.

'Yes,' said Jacob, with a confirmation that seemed to have traveled a
great distance.
'You see, Mr. Gold, each of us is alone.  Each of us is in the great 
darkness of our ignorance. …

being stardust

"Like fish deep in the ocean,
you called salt water home.
You swam inside the salty sea
of your mother's womb.

Salt still flows through your
veins, your sweat, and your tears.
The sea within you is as salty
as the ocean."

We recently received our copy of You are Stardust, by Elin Kelsey, illus. by Soyeon Kim and I fell in love with it! Kelsey's story is beautiful, reassuring us that we are all made up of greatness in the things around us--this story will have children thinking about the inter-connectedness of people and their surrounding world. The prose is simple and lovely, yet woven in such a way that, when combined with the illustrations, really gets the imagination going (no matter how old the reader!) The story, paired with Soyeon Kim's GORGEOUS collages, make this picture book a stand out in its class!

I love love love this book!

Ages: Preschool and up

this years Library winners!

We got our yearly press release for this year's grant/award winners--can we say Midwest represent!! The Midwest, especially Ohio, made a spectacular showing this year. WOOT WOOT!!

"PLA award winners represent excellence in public librariesCHICAGO - The Public Library Association (PLA) has announced 11 2013 award winners honoring the best in public library service, innovation and outreach.

The Allie Beth Martin Award, sponsored by Baker & Taylor, recognizes a public librarian for demonstrating a range and depth of knowledge about books and other library materials and for having the distinguished ability to share that knowledge. This year’s award of $3,000 will be presented to Bill Kelly, branch manager, Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library, for his creative and effective efforts to deliver personalized readers’ advisory through a unique blend of customer service and technology.

The Baker & Taylor Entertainment Audio Music/Video Product Award includes $2,500 in a…

family and food

In a recent order our large print copy of Julia Pandl's Memoir of the Sunday Brunch arrived. I checked it in, and curiosity got the better of me, so I flipped to the back and read the synopsis; it read something vague, like, "a story of a woman looking back on her life and her time working in her father's restaurant as a teenager..." or something like that...enough to intrigue me.

I finally got around to reading the book this weekend and enjoyed it for many reasons, but mostly because I appreciated the parallels in our lives: we've both worked in Kitchens; are the babies of our families, are both Catholic with very devout mothers and skeptical, though believing fathers; had insane workaholic fathers. I had to laugh outloud when I read certain passages, it was as though someone had stolen lines from my own teen journal!

The story looks at her family, but really focuses on George Pandl, Julia's Dad--the first half of the book chronicles her young years and day…

our first SKYPE and more

Remember the other day when I mentioned that I'm working with a professor in the Education Dept. of Sticks College?--well, I had my first batch of students come this week and it went swimmingly! Not only is it great to have someone else reading the stories, so I can have a break, but it's also been fun encouraging the students and helping them through their anxiety. I was once an Ed. major too, and I remember that fear of being in front of others/being in charge for the first time; even though it's just small kids and their parents, it's still intimidating.

It's also been great to have the students start coming because, until I hire a new children's librarian this spring, I've been doing between 6-7 storytimes a week on top of all my other Director duties, and filling in as people take vacation and get sick, and quiet honestly, you can only burn that candle at both ends for so long before you burn out. It's nice to have fresh energy and someone else try…

like an old man in winter

Hearing about the blizzard that's supposed to hit New England has left me longing to be in New England again; to be hunkering down for the storm; to be eating hearty, wintery meals while watching swirls of white through windows; to be cozying down for the evening in front of a fireplace.

I have this very clear memory of reading this lovely Robert Frost poem for the first time. The poem felt perfect in the solitude of a sleepless night, while winter happened all around us, and I became the man in the poem, living in an old farm house.

"An Old Man's Winter"
All out of doors looked darkly in at him
Through the thin frost, almost in separate stars,
That gathers on the pane in empty rooms.
What kept his eyes from giving back the gaze
Was the lamp tilted near them in his hand.
What kept him from remembering what it was
That brought him to that creaking room was age.
He stood with barrels round him -- at a loss.
And having scared the cellar under him
In clomping there, he scared it on…

not even half way through

Someone called in sick yesterday; worked Circ desk all day; Cargo had to be packaged to go out; Cargo came in, had to be sorted, checked in, calls made; set up for a program--12 hour day.

Someone called in sick today; worked Circ desk; morning storytime; worked Circ desk; evening storytime; set-up for program; program--11.5 hour day.

Today's morning storytime was special because A. it was the first storytime with a college student doing the storytime with me (the Sticks College Education students are doing some of their "field experience," at the Library) and B. the art project the kids did turned out great and is now decorating the kids department and my office windows!  It's those moments in the craziness of a busy day that make you stop and really smile; those moments make it all worth it. Though, I still can't believe it's only Tuesday...

"only got $20 in my pockets"

Despite the snow yesterday, I went thrifting, a favorite pastime--something I enjoy even more now that thrifting has a theme song--when I came across this dusty, but apparently BRAND NEW ice cream maker. Price tag? $3.99. Super pumped to use it, now I need to find some good homemade ice cream recipes stat!

end of isolation

Though I miss the bejeezus out of my friends, I've made a few locally and FINALLY have plans for the weekend! About to walk out the door to go have drinks with some new friends, and Saturday night I might be grabbing dinner and a movie with other new friends. Holy cats. It is so nice to not feel so lonely/isolated anymore! YAY!

my song

Somehow it came to pass that this became my song when I worked in the Farm's Kitchen; one day in a fit of silliness, my old boss FlavaFlava replaced the word, "mama," with my name and forced everyone to sing along as LOUDLY as possible. 
Just now while I was stepping out of the shower my song came on and I had to smile, remembering my time at the Farm, mornings in the Kitchen, a life that seems a million miles away, and all I've done for myself to get where I am today. Happy Friday ya'll.
Hey Me, Hey Mama, Ray Lamontagne