Wednesday, November 07, 2018

paper cuts...and other thoughts

(Thursday, November 1st)

Tis the season...for paper cuts.

If you work with books, the air is drier these days and even a book cover can cut and start that bleedin'.

I didn't go for a walk this morning. Or mass. I could have, I should have... (coulda, shoulda, woulda). It's a beautiful fall day and I still hate this keyboard even with short nails.

The day won't be a total waste, I'm going downtown to the Library of Congress for lunch with my friend D. We go to a cute diner there. We are both huge diner fans.

Will I ever get used to this keyboard?

I don't want to write about the shooting in Pittsburgh, and how numb I feel.

I don't want to write about why I stay in bed most (ALL) mornings until the very last minute.


(Wednesday, November 7th)

So, the midterms happened. 100+ women got elected, it was a high turnout election, and all the races were tight. Democracy at work!!!

I was up late last night watching TV because I could--I work today at 2. But wouldn't you know it, I woke up at 7!! I'm sitting here in my jammies, writing this. I think I'm a little hypo-manic. Lack of sleep will do that to you. I should definitely go for a walk. Which I think I will, soon. But first, just some writing.

In the back of my mind, I still want to get a PhD in Children's Lit. Or do an MFA in writing. I don't see either of them really happening, but stranger things's not that I don't believe in myself, it's that what are the job opps after I do something like that? I still think about Mary Kay every time I see a Cadillac of any color.

After today, I will have news. I don't know if it is good news yet. I'll keep you posted.

Lunch with D was good, but not as laughter induced as usual. Monday, we meet with 2 other librarians for our "federal holidays pizza." (They work federal jobs so have the day off, I requested the day off.)

I don't know what else to write about, except that I have a few people rooting for me as a writer and so I guess I'll hit publish one more time. Stay tuned. If I have news, you'll hear about it, though maybe not here first.

Monday, October 22, 2018


My new sneakers may not be pink. 

As an aside, I hate this keyboard. It is not made for people with nails. (AKA it was invented by a man.) 

I need new shoes because running shoes are only designed for 300 miles. Which is about 6 months if you run 7 miles a day? I didn't do the math, I'm trying to remember it from an online article I read.

I feel like I need to cut my nails to continue writing this post.

But the movie keeps me downstairs. The clippers are upstairs.

What movie, you ask? Oh, just the most beautiful, most depressing, most redemptive..."Sex and the City." I got to miss the horrible wedding part because my mom called.


My nails are now short. Like the man who created this keyboard. 

I'm back. The movie is over but now the first episode of SATC is playing on "E."

I should go to bed soon. 

But this is a classic episode. I swear, I never thought I'd still be writing this blog at 46, unmarried. 

I almost deleted that last line.

This post reads like a thread on Twitter. Have I forgotten how to write long form? 


A friend called one of my earlier posts a "moment in time." Well, this moment is over. Time to sit in front of the TV instead of watching this episode in the reflection of the framed map of the world.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Cardigan day, therapy, I need a drink, what to name this post?

So, in case you have been outside Pittsburgh too long, or you don't find yourself on the RIGHT social mediums (TWITTER, Insta), today is #CardiganDay. I don't know if it's hit Facebook. Maybe I'm just being elitist. But I'm not going to pull myself away from this riveting blogpost to check.

My mother just walked in with a new haircut so my time to write is limited, I imagine.

Which is why I'm not going to get up to get a drink of water.

Today I did not want to get out of bed. Once I did, I got ready for an online job interview, sat on hold to find out how to apply to a job at my job (the aforementioned kids lead quit or something), went to lunch with my mother, got through to someone at HR, cleaned up a cover letter and a resume, submitted an application, and went to therapy. Whew!

I never want to go to therapy and I'm always tired when I'm there and when I leave but my therapist does have insights and she is the smartest therapist I've had since I moved dahn South. (That's down South for you non-Pittsburgers.)

I may go to Pittsburgh for the 50th anniversary of one of my former employers. The librarian who invited me on FB was actually their first children's librarian and I think still works there at least one day a week.

I miss blogging, but the pressure to write something riveting every once in a while as opposed to something sort of great every day is real. I think that's a run on sentence. I don't care.

And that's all, folks. A moment in the life of Sarah Louise.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


In about a half hour, I have to make sure the freezer door is on the porch. I'm having a "flopping" morning, which is Sally's word for just, well, doing very little. By now my Kindle may have downloaded Season 1 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which I have watched three times but want to watch again because the new season drops soon.

My father has been in the hospital for pneumonia. Hopefully today he'll transition to a rehab center, I think that's what they are called. My phone is upstairs and on vibrate, so I haven't gotten the latest texts if there are any.

I still keep a "blog roll" on the side of this blog, and it's coded to let me know how recently folks have written. Kristin Cashore, a fiction writer, wrote this piece (On Writing Through Hard Times) 4 days ago and it gave me some hope as I am going through a difficult time myself.

29 minutes till I need to move the freezer door.

28  minutes.

Difficult times are hard to describe. I think the most difficult part of right now is that I haven't found a place to be yet. I'm in between. I go to work, and there, no one knows I'm a children's librarian, perhaps something I should have publicized a little more because they just hired a third "kid's lead" and it wasn't me because I didn't even know the job was available. It would be a step down from my current position as head cashier where I count money like the king in his counting house from that nursery rhyme. And I am currently interviewing every chance I get for children's librarian's positions and starting a sub position today at a local library, something I hope will be a chance for me to get my foot into the door.

I still have dreams at night about my Pittsburgh apartment, and my Twitter bio still says I live in a third floor walk up, geographically located in Pittsburgh. My heart says not yet to changing it.

21 minutes. All 8 episodes of MMM have downloaded.  

This post is turning out to be like the last one, which I wrote last February. Going nowhere, slowly. So I think I'll say goodbye, for now, and hit "Publish."

Thursday, February 09, 2017

it's so much easier to think about writing...

In my mind I have created a whole new blog and it's called something fancy that signifies it's going to be a spiritual memoir. Also, in the first paragraph, I talk about how my favorite spiritual memoirs currently are Eat, Pray, Love, and Travelling Lessons. I prefer the audio to the book of Travelling Lessons, but both are great. Then I'd talk a little about N.T. Wright's quote about being born again being when the words of the Bible make sense to you, touch your heart.

And that's where my imagined writing ends.

It was supposed to snow last night and it didn't. Or if it did, there's nothing to show for it. I want to just check the weather on my phone, or be downstairs eating breakfast with my folks.

I used to just be able to chatty chatty chatty, run off a blog post. Now it is like pulling teeth to even get a few words.

I'm louder than this on Twitter!

I checked my phone. If we got the snow, it's gone, and the rest of the forecast is just wind wind wind.

This is embarrassing.

Part of it, I'm sure, is that there's a personal thing going on that I don't want to write about here and that's where my mind is all stuck.

And so I wrote about the personal thing for ONE sentence and I was done. I was feeling GREAT when I woke up, or at least not rotten, and now my balloon is pfft, no air.

This has been an exercise in futility. Which is what the spiritual journey feels like sometimes.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Digital hoarding...salt water solves everything! Featuring thoughts from Mitali Perkins, Frederick Buechner, Isak Dinesan, and of course yours truly!

For some time now, I've hit "save" on various links/posts/photos on FB. The following is the first post in a series, an exploration and repository of some of those links/posts/photos, and WHY I saved them.

"Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention." — Frederick Buechner

This was posted by Mitali Perkins, but on the same day, in a closed group, a woman mentioned that she was never a crier and now cannot stop. I am reminded of the phrase that salt water solves all problems: the sea, tears, (what is the rest of this quote?) Ah, it's a quote from Isak Dinesan: "Salt water solves everything: sweat, tears, or the sea." (I wonder if this is something she said or from one of her stories?) WikiQuote tells me it's both. She said it in Reader's Digest in 1964, and it is also in one of her stories:

"Do you know a cure for me?"
"Why yes," he said, "I know a cure for everything. Salt water."
"Salt water?" I asked him. "Yes," he said, "in one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea."
            ---from "The Deluge at Norderney" (7 Gothic Tales, 1934)

When my mother was pregnant with my brother, the doctor sent her to beach at Tela to help her with a cold, and at this time we lived in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where the Nurse Practitioner at the U.S. Embassy Health Unit already had us sniffing salt water. (This is from memory, so I will take correction in the comments.) There were no stories of flesh or brain eating bacterium in those days. I sense that my municipal water in Pittsburgh is not going to have these bacteria, what do you think? Ah, here we go, an article from the Daily Mail. Yes. You should not use tap water to irrigate your nose. What about gargling with salt water (mixed with tap water?)

Oh dear, that gets you into an entirely different segment of scaries--you shouldn't drink water from plastic bottles, and tap water has chlorine. I refuse to let all the scaries get in the way of getting healthy. We live in a broken world in need of healing. I can only do my best, which can vary on a daily basis.

Onward onto more about sniffing salt water. 

My thought is we need something like a bottle warmer that will warm distilled water, because part of the comfort in sniffing warm salt water is the warm part. I find that Neti pots don't work for me, I just put the salt water into my hand and sniff it from there. Also? One less thing to make sure you wash correctly, apparently bacteria can get into the neti pot if not washed and dried with care.

Must look into getting a bottle warmer or some such. I'm going a little broke buying canned saline solution from Target--4.99 for a can that lasts 3 weeks or so, or 8.79 for 100 special salt packets. If you use a packet twice a day (recommended) that lasts a month in a half. Also, less packaging/smaller footprint. Or, even cheaper, mix up your own with kosher salt and baking soda. I used to have the recipe from a ENT I went to in Fairfax.

After checking three websites, it seems the best recipe is 4 cups (1 quart) water, distilled or not (article linked does not say you have to use distilled), with 2-3 heaping teaspoons Kosher salt, and 1 rounded teaspoon of baking soda. Stir or shake before each use, dump after a week, start over. (University of Missouri ENT & Allergy Center.) A quart seems like a lot more than I'd use in one week, though. Here's one from the Happy Simple Living Blog, 1/2 cup. I don't think that would last a week. (I do like the idea of having a batch for the week.) I guess it's time to take it off the Interwebs and do some experimenting in the real world. Not today, I have more digital hoarding to clear out. But I'll let you know what I find out!

Friday, June 26, 2015


Life is pretty complicated right now.

(Well, son, I'll tell you/ Life for me ain't been no crystal stair...)

Yeah, as soon as you read how the mother talks to her son about nails sticking up, and bare spots and "boards torn up," you start to think, Oh. And *SHE'S* STILL CLIMBING.

So I can too.

This is the power of poetry.

Hallelujah for poets. (Especially Langston Hughes.)

My friend Lilly shared this video from a poetry slam a few months ago, and it still just gets me.

"You can set the world on fire! All you have to do is BREATHE."

I've been crying on the bus this week. At first I thought it was because I was reading Flora and Ulysses--have you read it? A real tearjerker, but SO WORTH IT.  Who thought a squirrel being vacuumed up would turn him into a superhero? I can't believe it took me ALL YEAR to get to reading this book, but it was just the right time, I need the encouragement DiCamillo's words give me, RIGHT NOW.

Work is complicated right now. Let's not go there. Oh, but some guy put our library in his will! So that's joyful and joyful always = uncomplicated.

Uncomplicated thoughts? I would LOVE to go to the beach, or barring that, Sandcastle, tomorrow. (Sandcastle is a water park right outside of the Pittsburgh city limits, and has just enough rides that it's fun, but not too many that you feel like you can't do them all in one afternoon.) I generally go after 3 p.m., to a) miss the harsh sun rays of the midday and b) save some green. I'm all about taking care of my skin and saving money. Or how about making some? My foray into Mary Kay is complicated right now, see above, work is complicated. You don't jump-start your home-based business in the summer if you are a children's librarian.

(It's like retail Christmas, in case you're unfamiliar with Kid's Summer Reading.) 

More uncomplicated thoughts?

Hmmm. Morning baths and evening walks. I've been getting more of those in. The ducks at the reservoir are SO CUTE. Right now there are three families with ducklings. The teenagers, the not quite tweens who have mostly lost their fuzzy, and the fuzzy ducklings, our newest group. I hate not having a camera, but going to the AT&T store to get an iPhone 5 just seems...complicated. (Do not judge me.)

The past two days it's been coffee shop coffee and drugstore breakfast sandwiches. Money not well spent. Ah, the commute. (Catching a bus means you gotta get out of the house, pronto.) (As opposed to driving, where one minute later leaving means 1 minute, not 20 minutes off schedule.)

Oh, sorry! I got back to complicated.

Uncomplicated thoughts?

In the middle of writing this, GAY MARRIAGE is now legal in every state in the union. I prefer to only think about the uncomplicated joy that this creates for so many people that I love. (I realize it is not uncomplicated, but the JOY is uncomplicated.)

Cupcakes. Very uncomplicated.

My favorite librarian J has arrived for her Friday shift.

It's Friday and I have two days off in a row! Oh, and I don't have to fast tonight for a blood test tomorrow, because all the Shadyside appointments for my cardiologist got cancelled for next week. JOY!!

This tweet, which today makes me want to cry...

(But practically anything will tip me to the tears side today.)

I need a fun book to take with me when I take myself OUT for lunch = uncomplicated. I've been good almost all week eating in. Yesterday was unplanned. (So it doesn't count?) But I had leftovers for dinner.

See? I can make anything uncomplicated, complicated.

Goldfish. Nope, one died when I was in 2nd grade.


Hi, I'm Sarah Louise, and I'm a complicated "think everything over ten more times than it needs to be"-aholic. 

Hi, Sarah Louise.