Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Imagine Snoopy doing his dance.

My stomach is growling...I have worked in Tech Serv on Nancy Drew CD-ROMs since I got here this afternoon. That girl in Children's that orders them (um, me) should be happy.

Also, before work, had a chance to visit with Mini, my Italian neighbor. She is such a sweetie. She offered me tea and toast with marmalade. I hadn't been over to see her since I got back from Montana (so like at least a month...) and as I was leaving to go early to work, she was getting home from a doctor's appt. So I decided that early to work was overrated and instead visited with Mini.

Am reading Dinner with Dad and LOVING it! More on that later...

Kelly's back in town, woo hoo! She was gone for almost a week!!

Last night at dinner, Max and I discovered we'd both seen Broken Flowers, an obscure but very good Bill Murray film, which I might have posted about when I saw it...let's see...no, I just said I was going to go see it.

Okay, I bet (YES!) it is time to go to dinner. Woo hoo!!

Type C?

Bellezza is a blogger that I met because I posted about my favorite book about friendship, A Bargain for Frances. I had a few extra copies that I had gotten at the Fox Books Bargain Bin and so I (after many months, so imperfect am I!) sent her one. She sent me the audio version of Jacob have I loved. Blog love--it's the best!

So I borrow from her for today's post.

So this post is based on her post on perfection (Impossibly Perfect):

An earlier commenter answered with this,

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
-2 Corinthians 11:30 (I have linked the Message translation. The verse is ACTUALLY 2 Cor 12:9, but Grace's mistake got me to searching around in Biblegateway.com and actually pulling out my own tattered Bible.)

and then I chimed in.

I love that verse. It (and your post) reminds me of a verse from a song "our weaknesses become his opportunities."

I want to do it (whatever "it" is) perfect too. Few people know that about me because I give off the "Type B" aura--but my one boss has seen it in me, and I am forever grateful.

(Type B'ers are often Type A's that have seen so much imperfection in themselves that they've pretended that they've given up trying.) Maybe we should try to be Christ's Type, since HE is the Alpha and the Omega.

Working these things out alongside you,

Sarah Louise

It has taken me until this, my 35th year, to realize what my "thorn" is. (No, it's not bipolar disorder, more on THAT below.) I HAVE asked for both of these to be taken away, but...(see above.)

So a few more: "I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight." (Isaiah 45:2)

And my favorite favorite song:

Okay, in searching for it, I found this. Which is a good detour on the way to where I'm trying to go.

[from my post about the PA Library Association Conference last fall] Yesterday it was very interesting riding the bus back to the hotel (the Rachel Simon talk was at Heinz Field--y'know, where the Stillers play!!). You could tell which women (we're librarians--we're 95% women) understood Rachel's message and which women hadn't had a situation where they were faced with a disability in someone they loved.

Bipolar isn't labeled a disability, it's a disorder. And I pretty much function like anyone else. I have an exuberent loud laugh, I enjoy life, and sometimes I get deep into the pit of the muck of my life. On the surface, I'm fine. And yet, those that know me, know that my life is hard. Harder because I have to take meds four times a day. Harder because I need to see my therapist every week. Harder because I have to deal with these inner mood swings. Harder because when I see someone who is hurting, I want to help them so badly because I know what it's like.

Rachel (Simon, author of Riding the bus with my sister) talked about "curism" and how a lot of folks in the disabled world hated Christopher Reeves before his death because he was so hooked on getting a cure. (They didn't so much hate him after he died.) But how his relentless search for a cure--well, some of us know that we are better people for the broken places. We are more sensitive to others with disabilities or disorders. We understand the human condition just a little differently than someone who doesn't have a disability or disorder. If someone could cure me of bipolar disorder, I'm not sure I'd take that cure. I have developed a social network because I am one of those lucky people that need people. When I hit my hard roads when the future is bleak, I have to look at my life and see where the patchwork has unravelled. I don't know that I would work that hard at my life if I didn't have the mood swings to manage. Rachel shared a wonderful phrase that I'll share with you: she is a woman who happens to have...as if it was one of a myriad of qualities. Which it is. I am a woman who happens to love pink. I am a woman who happens to love country music. I am a woman who happens to love the city of Pittsburgh. I am also a woman who happens to have bipolar disorder.

Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms

(Rascal Flatts, God Bless the Broken Road) [end of post on PALA]

I've been thinking about broken roads.

Pittsburgh sidewalks are a bit like that. Broken, they trip you up. Okay, I don't know where I'm going with that. For another time....

Sunday, July 29, 2007


(Or "Sarah Louise and Max go to the movies.")

Yes, I recommend The Simpsons movie. If you are already a Simpsons fan. Luckily, when I lived in Virginia, the Simpsons was a part of regular pre-dinner entertainment, and before that, I dated one rabid Simpsons fan, and I do have male friends. (Which is to say, if the show is on, I'll watch it, but it's not something I willingly turn on as entertainment.)

We could not stop laughing.

Fortunately, I'd read the Christianity Today review, so I knew I'd probably like it. Plus, the little trivia tidbits I'd picked up (that at the beginning of the show's run, Homer was supposed to be Krusty the Clown, sort of like Peter Parker and Spiderman, but MG nixed that idea) were helpful on the ride home.

Oh, and if you go, YOU MUST WATCH ALL THE CREDITS. If you know me, you know this is a point of contention in my nuclear family. And I didn't stay for the credits when I saw HP #5 b/c I didn't think I could explain my strange obsession to Laura and Marian (the Librarian). But I have this thing with watching the credits. It's like the postlude at church. I like to sit there after I've seen a movie. I never know who any of the people are, but it's fun imagining what a lip...something does. (They had one, in TSM's credits.) Anyways, there are comic shorts interspersed in the credits. You'll thank me for this one, you will.

Fortunately, as I had read the CT review, I knew this, so I didn't have to explain my obsession to Max. Phew! (Yes, it was our first movie.)


Friday night, whilst waiting for my buzzer thing to go off at ze Olive Garten, a guy came out to take a cell call. "No, I'm having dinner with Heather's mom and grandmother right now." (Where's Heather, I wondered.) "Yeah, I'd love to. No, she's not really into them." (Immediately I knew he was talking to his guy friend about going to see TSM.) They talked about going to play hockey and then vowed to talk later tonight about showtimes.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

More lyrics n'at

Loving a Person by Sara Groves

Loving a person just the way they are,
it's no small thing
It takes some time to see things through
Sometimes things change,
sometimes we're waiting
We need grace either way

Hold on to me I'll hold on to you
Let's find out the beauty of seeing things through
There's a lot of pain in reaching out and trying
It's a vulnerable place to be
Love and pride can't occupy the same spaces baby
Only one makes you free

Hold on to me I'll hold on to you
Let's find out the beauty of seeing things through
If we go looking for offense
We're going to find it
If we go looking for real love
We're going to find it

(Sara Groves, "Loving a Person")

Hmmm--very very true.

Last night I lucked out. Max (Mr. FF) had a biking thing, so I scheduled a hair trim. And decided to get a pedicure. I got out of work early (thank you, boss-lady!) so I had time to go to Border's before my hair appt. I had a $5 gift certificate ($1 for each year I've been at the Library) and so I browsed the bargain bins and got Jean Chatzky's Ten Commandments of Financial Happiness. I had it out of the library for AGES. Then I got a postcard of a close-up of a Edit Piaf record of Non, Je ne Regrette Rien. I paid 61 cents for both!! Then my hair trim came to $10 plus tip because I didn't realize I'd gotten up to how ever many cuts you need before you get $10 off! So when I found myself (lost) at MacIntyre Square instead of Ross Park Mall (I was very very tired yesterday) I decided to splurge and have dinner at the Olive Garden before my pedicure.

Olive Garden: can I put fresh cheese in your wine? (I'm serious, they wanted to put fresh cheese on my APRICOT chicken!) No, thanks but no thanks. Also, I got a free three sips of their featured chardonnay. Why is it called white wine if it's pink??

Pedicure: I had no idea those big chairs were MASSAGE chairs. Oh. MY.

Then I went home and slept from 8pm to 10pm, took my bedtime meds, (I set an alarm) and slept through to 7 am!! Woo hoo!!

Currently reading: Piano Girl: Lessons in life, music, and the perfect Blue Hawaiian. It's very good. And I had no idea the writer, a woman who paid her way through college playing lounge piano, was from Pittsburgh...

What's the story with no comments? I know yins are either all at BlogHer or reading HP #7, but toss a girl a bone!! Paula is excused, her son is visiting for a bit. (Although we did have a nice blogversation about book classification a few posts ago...)

I have gotten a lot done today: entered Welcome Back Kotter, Picket Fences (the TV shows), 300 (the movie), checked SCADS of Dewey #s, oversaw some stuff, deleted all my old OCLC files, sent a few emails about questionable catalog records...can I go home now?? Well, since I came in at 8:30, I can leave at 4:30, so I have about 40 minutes to go...oh, and I helped a very arrogant eight year old find some Dragon books.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Martina does it again...

Martina McBride is one of my favorite country singers. I've lived through a storm and a half and I'm still standing. It's Friday, WOO HOO!

"This one's for the girls"

This one's for all you girls about thirteen
High school can be so rough, can be so mean
Hold onto, on to your innocence
Stand your ground when everyone's giving in

This one's for the girls

This is for all you girls about twenty-five
In a little apartment, just trying to get by
Living on, on dreams and spaghetti-o's
Wondering where your life is gonna go

This one's for the girls
Who've ever had a broken heart
Who've wished upon a shooting star
You're beautiful the way you are
This one's for the girls
Who love without holding back
Who dream with everything they have
All around the world
This one's for the girls

This is for all you girls about forty-two
Tossing pennies into the Fountain of Youth
Every laugh, laugh line on your face
Made you who you are today

This one's for the girls
Who've ever had a broken heart
Who've wished upon a shooting star
You're beautiful the way you are
This one's for the girls
Who love without holding back
Who dream with everything they have
All around the world
This one's for the girls

Yeah, we're all the same inside (same inside)
From 1 to 99

This one's for the girls
Who've ever had a broken heart
Who've wished upon a shooting star
You're beautiful the way you are
This one's for the girls
Who love without holding back
Who dream with everything they have
All around the world
This one's for the girls
Yeah, this one's for the girls

and this one, "Wild Angels."

Between the perfect world and the bottom line
Keeping love alive in these troubled times
It's a miracle in itself
And we know too well what that's about
Still we made it through, only God knows how
We must've had a little help
(Must've been)

Wild Angels, Wild Angels
Watching over you and me
Wild Angels, Wild Angels
Baby what else could it be

Well it must've been hard, it must've been tough
Keeping up with crazy fools like us
'Cause it's so easy to fall apart
And we still break each other's heart sometimes
Spent some nights on the jagged side
Somehow we wake up in each other's arms
(Must've been)

Wild Angels, Wild Angels
Watching over you and me
Wild Angels, Wild Angels
Baby what else could it be

There are some nights
I watch you while you dream
I swear I hear the sound of beating wings

Wild Angels, Wild Angels
Watching over you and me
Wild Angels, Wild Angels
Baby what else could it be

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Classification, broadly defined, is the act of organizing the universe of knowledge into some systematic order...

...It has been considered the most fundamental activity of the human mind.
"Cataloguing and Classification: An Introduction"
Lois Mai Chan

One in a small set of librarian based posts...

If you are a librarian, you're probably aware of an Arizona library that has eschewed classification and has a "Dewey-less" collection.

Laura and I were talking about this at the desk yesterday and we thought it must be a small library if they think they can get away with "history" on their spines as a way to class books (there was a picture in the Wall Street Journal article.) I'll link this later, but for now, you can visit Jessamyn, she's (of course, woo hoo!) quoted in the article.

Okay, here are the two Jessamyn posts so far: the one with more information on the background (which makes me feel kinder towards the Arizona libraries), and the one that links to the WSJ article.

Having worked in a large bookstore for 7 years of my professional life and a library for almost 5 now, there are some things I prefer about the bustle of a bookstore. The new books, the beautiful displays, the long Saturday hours.* However, as far as classification, there is something calming about the DDC (Dewey Decimal Classification). You know where a book goes. You're not yelling at the folks in New York who put tattoo books in Sociology (which is also where they put Sex and the City, go figure.)

At my library, we have a huge cookbook section. If we used the bookstore model, it's possible that all the books on "cooking for one" would not be all in one place. It's a small enough collection of books that if you aren't classing them numerically might seem too small to make a separate label for. (I can't speak for how they are handling small sections like that.) (And I KNOW you're not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition.)

I remember when Feng Shui was one book, in 1994. And then it was a section. And so we were CONSTANTLY labeling and re-labeling, and re-labeling and re-labeling. And New York woud send us new "signage." Dewey is pretty constant, and while we do re-class books, it's based on a system that has worked for decades. And while Dewey, the man, has been dead a long time, his system is managed by librarians who know what they're talking about.

The misconception about Dewey is that you have to know the numbers to know how to find stuff. No, that's the beauty of it. If your nice librarian takes you over to the section, or you read the subject labels on the ends of the shelves, all your books on caterpillars are going to be right together. I know, because it's how I found them, yesterday. You can browse. The numbers help the books stay where they should be, but you don't have to pay attention to them if you don't want to. They just mean that all your Titanic books should be in one place. AND that when you leave the Children's Dept, and go upstairs, you can go to the same number area (so I guess you have to pay a LITTLE attention to the numbers) and find MORE books on the Titanic or caterpillars.

I think we need more education on this--patrons ARE afraid of Dewey, but they wouldn't be, I think, if they understood that it's what WE librarians do so that YOU patrons can find stuff.

Just one librarian's opinion...

*But as a librarian, I'm better paid, I get to go to conferences, and I get to do lots of fun programming. So am I happier now than I was four years ago? YES!! Also, the bookstore world has changed TONS since I left it, and so even if I went back, it would never be as fun as it was in 2001. (And I'm not kidding about long Saturday hours--working the 3 pm-10:30 pm shift meant I could go to the farmer's market on Saturday. Working 9-5 means, no, unless you want to get up at five AM.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Library Baby Born (and Seattle Baby Born) (Updated)

Remember how earlier today I was commenting on the preggers weather girl and agreeing with Badger that it's raining babies?

Well my co-worker Janice had her baby this morning at 3:30 a.m.!!

7 lbs, 1 oz, 18 inches. We knew it was going to be a boy, no name yet.

We didn't expect Baby to arrive until mid August, so this was quite a surprise! But very exciting!!

Meanwhile, my brain power has been reduced to a bear of very little brain. Loving those hormones--plunging estrogen, watch out!!

And I forgot to mention that my friend Jay in Seattle had his baby. Or rather his wife Amber did. Sometime last week.

Yes, I finished, and other stuff, n'at

HP 7 was great. If you want to talk, LC has the best blogversation going. (Except that she claims the book has 602 pages. Um, my copy had 758...)

Me, I'm waiting for Day One. TMI: yesterday I lost my lunch. And then had a two hour nap on NH Sally's guest bed.

And when Babs got preggers, I overcame my baby lust and stopped counting bellied women. But I haven't been watching the morning news in a while and the weather woman on Channel 11 is wearing cute maternity wear--I'm with Badger, it is truly raining babies.

Here are some old posts on HP. Nutmeg, I think there are spoilers for stuff you might already know about...my brain is losing power each minute.

Can I go back to the sofa yet?

Oh, and I've just discovered Fantasia. I like!

Ugh. (back to the sofa....)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

One thing I do... (updated)

Luke 10, 28-42

Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.’

Lord, teach me the sort of kindness that takes cues from other people's needs, not from my own plans.

(from Sacred Space, for today, Sunday, July 22, 2007)

I have on my bathroom wall a print of a Leonardo Da Vinci Michelangelo sketch. On it, is a quote from the master: "I am still learning." It is such a comfort to me, and such a testament to the life Leonardo Da Vinci Michelangelo lived--always learning. I admit I know far less of this man than I should, but I do know this--he experimented with everything.

(I am always learning, too, to read what the name is of people's quotes that people my bathroom walls...)

So I am learning to "take cues from other people's needs, not from my own plans." Yesterday morning, instead of going in at 9, when I could have, I went in at 10, as I had requested to come in later because I was planning on attending the HP party, which in the end I did not do. I moved slowly about my morning, which was nice, for once, to just relax. I finished watching "Bruce Almighty," which if anything is a movie about "tak[ing] cues from other people's needs, not from my own plans." I had heard about "Bruce Almighty," that one of the things Jim Carrey's character did as "God" was to make his girlfriend's boobs bigger. From this, I thought, not the movie for me. But Monday, in my distress over "what is going on, am I on the right path in my life, etc, etc" and being at the chiropractor's office way too long, I had a heart to heart with the receptionist, who said "BA" changed the life of her husband and converted him to Christianity. Now that is a testimony I'll hear. Now I wanted to see this movie. Since "Evan Almighty" is currently in the theatres, there are all kinds of interviews with the director, who (I didn't know this) also directed "Liar, Liar," one of my favorite films. He sees laughter as a ministry and doesn't care who his audience is or if they take a bigger message from his movies. He does not see himself as a Christian director or one who makes religious films. Rather, he is a director who makes funny films, and he happens to be a Christian, so that oozes out. The man quoted Madeleine L'Engle!!

Madeleine L'Engle talks about this in her book Walking on Water—that you would think it would be our Christianity that affects our art, but it's more like our art affects our Christianity. We're storytellers, and by engaging in stories, you become more aware of the human condition, of the journey, of the challenges. And that affects our faith. So we don't target faith-based audiences, but we do think the faith-based audience will enjoy this film. (Tom Shadyac, in "Make 'em laugh," Christianity Today, 6/19/07)

Now, I adore ML'E, but if you're gonna be quoting her, by all means, quote my favorite of her non-fiction works, Walking on Water, a book that was given to me as I was learning what it meant to be a Christian, in my senior year of high school/freshman year of college. That art is bigger than me, that all good art is Christian, even if the artist is not, because art is about creation, and the great artist realizes that and has a connection to the divine.

Can it really be 5:09 am?

Yes, yes it is. Yikes. This insomnia has got to go!!

One of the things I love about this medium (blogging) is that I can do what I want, to a degree. I can break out of a post about today's lectionary and write about current movies and then quote a poem. No one is grading me on this, no one is paying me to stay on one topic.

So I'll end with this and then go do something about the gnawing that is in my stomach.

He drew a
circle that
shut me out--
Heretic, rebel,
a thing to
But Love and I
had the wit to
We drew a
circle that
took him in!

"Outwitted" by Edwin Markham.

I think I am the one drawing circles these days. Afraid that I will be shut out, I draw a circle that I can stand in alone. But again and again, people reach out to me, saying, come, be in the wider circle. For this I am grateful, and pleasantly surprised. I am afraid of being abandoned, and time and again, people break into my life and force me to see that they are not going away. Thank you, if you are one of those people.


Happy Sunday. May your day be restful.

I, for my part, will be working my way through Harry Potter #7. I'm about 1/3 through. I've been enjoying this delicious weather and I intend to sit on the front porch with some iced tea and enjoy it some more.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Books and folksonomy n'at (updated)

Folksonomy: a way to tag things, usually used by Internet based social networks.

So, I've had three four invites for "friends" on Shelfari. Yes, I joined. But I JUST upgraded to a lifetime subscription at Library Thing, so I think Shelfari will sort of be like my MySpace page--a place where I can go to see what my friends are up to, but not something I participate in, per se. Because I really like LT.

And already I'm not crazy about it, b/c it won't let me add Gilead the book and Gilead the audio. But enough about Shelfari.


And that is where my energy saps out. I have been living the life of a woman who has been awakened at 6 a.m. (no alarm, no dog) (and while I realize all you moms are out there saying, "AND your point is?" My point: I have no husband, no children. Sleep is my one reward.) I want a nap by 9 a.m., which is generally when I need to be somewhere besides my bed. (Also, I'm in my PMS week, when I require more sleep but somehow can't get it. Gotta love those hormones!!)


Saturday morning update: Shelfari does allow you to import LT files. I'll think about it. Shelfari is free b/c they get their $$ when you buy books through Amazon off their site. I'm not enamored. I'll keep yins posted.

Oh, and I slept, but forgot my bedtime meds. Oh joy. Today at work will be fun -- not! I have the option to work 10-6, since I told my boss I was going to the HP party. But I didn't, (I opted for sleep) and it's 7:15 a.m.--I think I'd rather go to work at the normal time and get off at 5. Not that I have plans for the evening, UNLESS NH Sally has finished HP 7 by then and lends me her copy. Which is most likely what will happen. And since I haven't read anything but emails or the Bible or blogs in a LONG time, I'm ready for a nice juicy tome. So. very. ready.

NH Sally did something very un-like her--but I won't tell you what until she reveals to the person it's for. But I am extremely proud of her going outside the box. (And it's SO MUCH FUN what she did.)


Oh, and Hot Dog Day was a success. We couldn't have asked for better weather if we had picked it off a menu--a blue sky, it was not too hot...and I manned (womanned) the desk most of the morning so that everyone else could do the set up, but exactly when Bea came to relieve me, NH Sally was out there with her beautiful three children. I can't believe how tall her daughter is--she's more than half legs. And seeing my patrons grow up--Alli is now 12--she was 7 when I started at the library, and she's in the same class as Sally's oldest boy. Gosh, they would make the CUTEST couple. Not that I'm into matchmaking or anything, but THEY TOTALLY WOULD.

Okay, off to my morning walk, to get some of the jangles out of this body. I have no breakfast food in the house, but I NEVER go to Whole Foods on the weekend so I'll have to regroup on that one. (My general daily breakfast is Whole Foods brand organic blueberry waffles.)

Is July over yet???

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Coming soon--Pictures!

Good walk. Downloaded all the pictures since I've been back (all 250...) and realized I AM a perfectionist. (I won't subject you to the leaf I photographed 12 times before I changed positions and got the picture I wanted.)

And other things: well, I just don't know. We're still talking. That is a good thing, as Martha would say.

rejiggering after the storm...

The other night we had a storm. Where I work, near Passavant Hospital in the North Hills, it only rained. In other parts of the North Hills, it stormed. But where I live, across the Allegheny river, in the East End, trees came down. As I got closer to my house, some houses were dark, some street lights were out, also some traffic lights. But on my street, the street lights were on, and most houses seemed to be lighted.

Now, after a storm, I don't have much rejiggering to do, as I don't have any digital clocks, as I don't wake up with an alarm. I have a clock in each room (I'm obsessed with what time it is unless I'm on vacation) but they are all on batteries. So the only clock that was messed up was my answering machine and it was messed up many storms ago. I haven't been able to figure it out so it matters not what day you call, or what time it is, the day will be wrong, and so will the time. So I will get a message that has the time stamp "Monday, eleven twenty one a.m." (That is the current time stamp, even though it is 7:23 a.m., Thursday.) I rely instead on my caller id to let me know when person A or person B left a message. Someday my sister will come back for a visit and she'll fix it, I'm sure.

The other thing that was messed up by the storm was the lamp in the hall that is on a timer. I tried to figure it out last night when I came back from my evening walk, but it was dark and I didn't have the patience for it. This morning when I woke up, I went downstairs to check something and the light was on. So I turned on the main hall light and figured out that the light's timer "thought" it was midnight. So I rejiggerd the timer to let the light know it was seven in the morning.

Sometimes after a storm, we need to be reset. I know I do. My inner clock is messed up. It was messed up by a recent storm, but like my answering machine, it really was messed up many storms ago.

Why else would I go out in the rain in my nightgown and house coat to see if someone's car was back, now that it's morning? (It's street cleaning day, so all the cars are parked on the other side of the street. I couldn't look out my window and see.)

I'm fretting.

I know I shouldn't.

But it's a long ingrained habit of mine, and habits don't go away overnight. I need someone to reset my clock.

I'm afraid, you see. Of being left behind. I have been, so many times before. Even if I'm the one doing the leaving, I still feel the loss. I didn't mean for anyone to leave anyone when we had our "storm" Sunday night. But like the capricious weather, other people can be unpredictable.


The sun is breaking through the trees. It doesn't seem to even be drizzling. Perhaps I'll go on my morning walk.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Another reason Sarah Louise is weird...

I'm crazy about TV show themes and lyrics. I liked the show Taxi because of Bob James' wonderful theme. (I know own the album, Touchdown, and love every track.) I loved WKRP in Cinncinati because of the wonderful lyric: "Got kinda tired of packing and unpacking,/Town to town, up and down the dial." Seriously, a good TV theme would get me to return week after week or day after day (in syndication.)

I mean, c'mon: "Love, exciting and new..."

So ever since they took Clifford's Puppy Days off the air, I have been hankering for the song. And today, I not only found it, but downloaded it to my site. Woo hoo!!

Today is Hot Dog Day. It's this HUGE event at our library. More on that later, maybe.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Wiki what?

Okay, so I'm having one of those nights at the library. Printer paper (clean) scattered on the floor as I flew by, on one occasion. We have had two SEPARATE incidents of children pooping (not on the potty.)

Children running, and no volunteer showed up. Plus, I'm usually on the desk with my boss but she had programs earlier in the day so I'm here ALONE.

Tomorrow is Hot Dog Day--pray it doesn't rain.

So I'm decompressing by going through links I put aside to someday blog on. Here's a cool site, wiki-how. You can learn how to make a house of cards, predict if you'll win the lottery, and restore an abandoned cementary.

Calgon take me away!! Well, at least I have a trip to Target planned when all this is over. To pay my bill and buy some unmentionables.



Some shoe quotes

I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes. I had one thousand and sixty --Imelda Marcos

I'm not home, but my shoes are. Leave them a message. --Carrie Bradshaw's answering machine on Sex and the City

It's easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world. --Al Franken.

I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes. --Oprah

You want to fall in love with a shoe, go ahead. A shoe can't love you back, but, on the other hand, a shoe can't hurt you too deeply either. And there are so many nice looking shoes. --Allan Sherman

one more book...

And I just hit the 200 books in Library Thing, so I now have a lifetime membership. Woo hoo!

Create stuff n'at

So I made eggplant parmesan for the Second Sunday meal which was not last Sunday but the Sunday before. I had extra eggplant and a hunk of polenta. So I mixed some spices, cut up the polenta, mixed the eggplant with a can of diced 'maters, and layered.

Bottom layer: polenta circles.
Next layer: eggplant and 'maters
Next layer: parm cheese with the spices mixed in.

Then I broiled it for awhile. I think I'll have it for lunch or dinner. And then since it's one person here, I'll have it for awhile, unless I share, which I may do.

Depends on how it tastes, I haven't tasted it yet.

I came across a recipe for bath bombs which is less violent than it sounds. That Four Weeks Mag is pretty handy...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Helpful, not helpful...

Helpful: having lunch with librarians to talk about online registration and how it's working out, at MAD MEX, yum.

Not helpful: driving fast on back roads.

Not helpful: slamming doors.

Helpful: spending the afternoon at the Heinz History Museum in the glass exhibit.

Helpful?: buying miniature roses.

Probably helpful: doing my Beth Moore homework.

Somewhat helpful: talking to my girls.

Helpful: getting out of the house. I went to the Union Project for dinner and then to their "Health Fair" and learned about soy candles and other products.

Definately helpful: naps.

Unnnnnnnnhhhh. Off to try to do some Beth Moore homework...

A day in the sun...

Or the shade, as the case may be.

Read into what you will my last post. All is NOT well in wonderland, but I won't be blogging about that. Instead, I want to tell you about my day yesterday, which was such a day that I will hold in the pages of my heart.

First, when I awoke and turned on my email, my online devo finished up the book of Job. The point of Job not being that he ended up with twice of what he had before God smote him... (read below, from Words of Hope)

The narrator ends his story with a version of "They all lived happily
ever after." But that is not really the point. To conclude that
faithfulness always results in earthly rewards flies in the face of
experience and goes against the grain of what the book of Job is all
about. It's not about the goodies. It's about God, and God alone.
"Does Job fear God for nothing?" It turns out that he does.

Prayer: Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart; nought be all else to me, save
that thou art. Thou my best thought, by day or by night, waking or
sleeping, thy presence my light.

Now, I take stock in when I hear or see the words of my favorite hymn. I first learned "Be Thou My Vision" in Vienna, (yes, Austria) when I was a sophomore in college. It was a hard summer--I was leaving Pittsburgh, transferring from Carlow College to the small school in Maryland I eventually graduated from. My parents were still living in Poland, so I was doing a lot of the legwork on my own. You might say I had to grow up fast. Well, and I did. But my parents offered me a gift: "Would you like to go to Vienna Summer School?" They had both gone when they were in college. YES! I would love to! So I spent a week with people my age traveling Europe, including Prague. Then I spent three weeks in Vienna, with weekends in Venice and Salzburg. The one weekend we were in Vienna, I insisted on going to church. So I found the English language church and some people from the program joined me.

The prelude was Schuman or Schubert, a violin solo. It was the most beautiful piece of music I have ever heard, and if I hear it again, I will leap for joy. (I never found out what it was.)

And one of the hymns was Be Thou My Vision. Which for many years I thought would be the processional in my wedding but then I came upon [German hymn, cannot remember it at the moment] which has a steadier walking beat. BTMV has sort of an irregular beat. (It is Irish Celtic, and the one I've since picked is German. Go figure.) (I'm finding the mental block fascinating, and strangely comforting.) (update at 11 pm: It's "Fairest Lord Jesus.")

That was the summer of D, who fits the profile of most of the men I've dated since (and bears a great resemblance to a certain fella.) A PPK (professor and preacher's kid), he was agnostic but brilliant. I tried to spend as much time with him as possible. We went to the art exhibits at Upper Belvedere--I had the sense that he had a girl back home, but we didn't talk about that. It was your quintessential "summer fling." For those three weeks in Vienna, it was us.

(Interesting tidbit--my father had the same sort of relationship with D's aunt when HE went to Vienna Summer School. D's aunt was engaged, and yet my dad and D's aunt spent the summer together, as friends.)

Converse to everything I say about what I keep or don't keep about former beaus (I generally get rid of everything), I still have the two letters D wrote me when I returned to my tiny college in Maryland. The second was a letter in which he told me he was getting married. I never wrote him again. But the letters, I cherish, as they are really the only "love letters" I ever recieved in the mail and D was very precious to me, for that period in my life.

Funny how writing takes you to places you never thought you'd return...so what I meant to write to you about was actually another song I learned, during the same period of my life. I think it was the next summer, the summer of my junior year of college, that I found an English speaking Christian fellowship in Warsaw. I was working at the Embassy, in the USAID office. Every Wednesday, I met with a group of people my age and we sang songs. I treasure that time, and many of those songs are songs that I have never sung with groups since.

One of them is this one:

You shall go out with joy
and be led forth in peace
and the mountains and the hills
shall break forth before you
there will be shouts of joy
and the trees of the field
shall clap
shall clap
their hands.
And the trees of the field will clap their hands (clap clap)
the trees of the field shall clap their hands (clap clap)
and the trees of the field shall clap their hands,
and you'll go out with joy.

I still remember walking down Dombrowskiego Street where my parents lived, the buildings pocked with what could have been WWII damage, and lined with WWII memorials which had fresh flowers daily. The year was 1991. It was summer, and light late, so I could take the tram anywhere. Off the tram I came, and walked to my parent's house, singing this song and clapping at the appropriate intervals.

The reason this song came back into my life was that on yesterday, this day of days, I accompanied Mr. FF to the church where he plays piano as a summer substitute. And we had to go early so he could attend a meeting to plan music for an upcoming picnic/worship service. And I was invited in on the meeting. Two of my suggestions, The Trees of the Field (see above) and Shine Jesus Shine, were added to the mix. It was glorious, to be welcomed in so quickly by these people, and included in the creative process.

Stay tuned, for more of "The day that I will treasure."

(Which in some ways resembled Lucy's experience in "While You Were Sleeping" -- the family welcomed her in. It was not FF's family, but the family that has taken him in at this lovely country church, but we were treated as family, and I was brought into the fold as if I'd been there for years.)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Then the time came when the risk it took To remain tight in a bud was more painful Than the risk it took to blossom."--Anais Nin

I am working things out in my mind and heart with fear and trembling. These are the words I comfort and challenge myself with:

When I grow tired of my students, as I always do--
staring at their faces till my sockets burn,
I remember one girl told me
how she followed a boyfriend home--
found him in tears--
He rocked on the bed,
screamed at her to Get away.
So she turned off his light
and closed the door,
and sat on his floor till morning.

When I think of this girl speaking in her gentle voice with its rough edges
I think of how teaching is like crouching sleepless
in a darkened room refusing to get up
knowing nothing will come of this,
--or only a story, maybe.

(anon, from Small Victories by Samuel G. Freedman)

The Dare

Come walk the alley fence
Come tight-rope like a clown
Before Dad sees we're up too high
and shouts to get us down.

As confident as cats
We'll glide across the top
Hoping Mom doesn't look outside
And order us to stop.

We'll maybe lose our nerve
We'll maybe crash and fall
They'll probably shake their heads and say
"This doesn't make a bit of sense!
We warned you girls just yesterday!"
And send you home and make me stay.
But still--I dare you anyway,
To walk the alley fence.

--Ann R. Blaksler


“What do you do when there’s nothing you can do,” Gram said. “I dunno, I do something else,” Dicey said. (Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt)


Keep walking right through the hard things to where you can see Me. Leave the past behind and look up to me above all anxiety and grayness. I've already risen above them and am about to show you a new day. You'll find out who you are as you face the pain and help other people through it. And intimacy comes when you quit running from the truth about yourself and decide to turn loose...and walk into the future with Me. (the narrator here is God, as written by Keith Miller.)


Thanking My Mother for Piano Lessons by Diane Wakoski (snippets. It's a super long poem, but it's worth printing out and reading the whole thing--go to the link.)

The relief of putting your fingers on the keyboard,
as if you were walking on the beach
and found a diamond
as big as a shoe;


Love is a man
with a mustache
gently holding me every night,
always being there when I need to touch him;
he could not know the painfully loud
music from the past that
his loving stops from pounding, banging,
battering through my brain,
which does its best to destroy the precarious gray matter when I
am alone;
he does not hear Mrs. Hillhouse’s canary singing for me,
liking the sound of my lesson this week,
telling me,
confirming what my teacher says,
that I have a gift for the piano
few of her other pupils had.
When I touch the man
I love,
I want to thank my mother for giving me
piano lessons
all those years,
keeping the memory of Beethoven,
a deaf tortured man,
in mind;
of the beauty that can come
from even an ugly

Diane Wakoski, “Thanking My Mother for Piano Lessons” from Emerald Ice: Selected Poems 1962-1987. Copyright ¦copy; 1988 by Diane Wakoski. Reprinted
with the permission of David R. Godine/Black Sparrow Press, www.blacksparrowbooks.com/titles/wakoski.htm.

All shall be well, and all shall be well, an all manner of things shall be well. (Dame Julian of Norwich)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Sleep deprived blogger...

I'm off to bed. More later.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Not really a post, just a link...

Publisher's Weekly "Book Maven" Blog that asks for suggestions for Post-Potter reading. The librarians in Madison Wisconsin give a list at least a mile long. You got to give them credit.

And here's a fun look at how thick books are, and how to determine which book to clear from your shelf to make room for HP #7.

Nancy Pearl (of the Librarian action figure) recommends some Summer Reading for kids on NPR.

Percolating and doing stuff n'at...

It is a be-gorgeous morning here in Highland Park. Soon I'll post a picture of the bench they put up in memorial of the Italian Ice guy. It is shiny! It is new! It has Italian flag color ribbons! It has his name on it!

I finished the Steering Team questionnaire. Then I called North Hills Sally who gave me the low down on the HP movie. In exchange for her shark (a mini vaccuum) she's feeding me lunch. I may vacuum before then! It would be a mini-miracle!

I have the thing to do my car registration in my purse! To check my mileage! NH Sally says they won't come make sure, but I want it to be accurate, n'at.

I called a congressman and a senator!! To ask them to support Internet Radio!! Because it's really in danger!! (The other senator's line was busy both times I tried....) If you click on the link, you put in your zip code and they give you all the phone numbers to call! It's super EASY!!

I bought prizes for the Smackdown on Saturday! (First time I got to do that! I spent $40 at Target and $10 at the Dollar Store.) And I figured out how to work things! And I have a helper!

So, I guess I'll go vacuum...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

You know I am a bear with little brain when...

I spend my lunch in my office reading blogs. (and by office, I mean the non-cube farm I share with 5 other people who just happen to not be here today.)

And then, because someone commented on Jenny's blogiversary with the whole Monica/Chandler planeversary thing, I searched that.

[Monica has just given Chandler tix to Vegas for their anniversary] (thanks to Friends Café for the script)
Monica: For this weekend! Oh gosh, it would be perfect, we get to see Joey plus we get to start our anniversary celebration on the plane. We can call it out plane-aversary.
Chandler: Do we have to?
Monica: No.
Chandler: Okay this is great, but Joey said he didn't want any of us out there.
Monica: Oh, he just doesn't want us to go through any trouble. Think of how excited he'll be when we go out and surprise him! Plus we get to have our own, ani-Vegas-ary! A-Nevadaversary!
Chandler: Yeah, I think we should see other people.
Monica: But we can go, right?
Chandler: Yes.
Monica: Okay!

I just adore Monica when she gets all goofy like this.

Does anyone want to fly to Pittsburgh to help me with this Mother/Child thing? Let's see, tonight I have Bible Study, tomorrow morning I have to finish the questionairre for the Steering team for the OD, then go to work, then Friday I have to work, then Friday night I'm going to see Harry Potta!! Then Saturday, work, AND the Mother/Child thing, then a wedding after work. Yeah, and I need to get the bride and groom their gift. Which might not happen this week since I only got the invite on Tuesday.

Oh, and then next week I'm doing a storytime, plus it's Hot Dog Day at the library on Wednesday...I'm going bonkers.......................................................................I have 9 minutes left of lunch. Mayhap I'll go do something exciting like see if it's still raining outside.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I should be sleeping or something...

My mind is running around with the following thoughts:

  • What is Harry's fate in Book 7?
  • What will it be like to see Emily -- we haven't spoken since we had a strong conversation (read: fight) in November, but she'll be back in town Saturday so we may get together sometime after that.
  • When will I finally go online and renew my registration for my car?
  • When will the white coral bells ring?*
  • Did Al Gore announce his bid for presidency? I saw a car with three (yes three) Al Gore for President 2008 bumper stickers. One said something about "it's a climate for change."
  • When should Kelly and I plan our trip to Sandcastle?
  • How the heck should I do the Mother/Child Smackdown thing? (I have a few ideas on this now, though)

And the answer comes through, from Lady Julian of Norwich: All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.
*White coral bells upon a slender stalk,
Lillies of the valley 'deck my garden walk!
Oh don't you wish that you could hear them ring?
That will happen only when the fairies sing! (Mother Goose, traditional)

Monday, July 09, 2007

The charmed life, or Sarah Louise goes bonkers...

So have I told you lately that I love you?

You, my place of employ? My boss did not bat an eyelash when I emailed her today to say that although it wasn't on the work calendar, I would be working on renovating a house during the day tomorrow.

You, Sally North Hills? Who fed me leftover spaghetti and smoozed the evening away--I did go in to work for about an hour which is all my pea brain could stand. I still have no clue how I'm administering the quiz component of the book quiz* on Saturday, but I have enough questions--about 30 per team if no other teams show up. (I now have four teams.) Sally fed me two plates of venison spaghetti, veggies (of course--cuz she's a mama) and we even picked raspberries in her backyard. Plus, she lent me long jeans for the work site since I don't have a pair that fits right now (I've been wearing my J. Jill capri jeans since before Montana--I seriously need to do some laundry.) And I helped her unload and load the dishwasher and lounged on her bed while she folded laundry...I feel SO relaxed right now, I could go to bed.

Which I should, as I'll be at a work site tomorrow at 7:30 (yes, a.m.).

Oh, and did I mention that one of the weddings that I thought I wasn't invited to, the bride merely forgot to mail my invitation and was actually wondering WHY I hadn't responded yet--oops! So on top of everything else, I have a wedding on Saturday. So this week is jam-packed!! (But with nice things. And I will go to the reception for this wedding, as I have eschewed them all summer.) (Which it feels nice to feel that a wedding reception won't be a soul carving experience--I suppose it still could-might, but I'm feeling okay about things right now, and if I can hold onto that until Saturday...)

The invitation thing reminds me of the time on "Friends" when Joey convinced Monica to invite his parents to her wedding and had her call them up to personally invite them. "Tell them it got lost at the post office--they hate the post office. Oh, and the Irish." So, Monica gets on and says, "It must have gotten lost in the mail--U.S. Post office, they should call it the U.S. Lost office! What are they, Irish?"

Well, it's ten, I am going to get ready and hit the hay.

*Officially the Mother-Child Smackdown.

I'm not procrastinating, I'm letting things percolate...

Geez, do kids these days even know what a percolator is? I used to love watching the coffee percolate in the knob at the top.

So, things I'm percolating:

  • Nomination essay for Steering Team at the OD. Ack! What are my gifts?
  • Pictures to Walgreens from Yellowstone n'at.
  • Changing the computer from Me to XP
  • Cleaning the Abyss (my walk in closet which by walk in I mean you can't walk in it anymore)
  • The laundry problem
  • Posting and writing about The Family Vackay to Montana

I will report I am mostly up to date with dishes, and my pile of items for Goodwill is growing.

Last night I made Eggplant Parmigian* (I won't spell it, I won't!) and folks must have liked it, because there wasn't any left!

Oh, and this week I have to finish working on the Mother/Child thing. Cuz it's on Saturday!! I need to finish my questions, get prizes, and and and I always think that my week starts on Monday. In Children's, it starts on Wednesday. So maybe I'll go in tonight for a few hours. Yes, on my day off, but I have to see where I am, because I have a feeling if I wait until Wednesday, I'll have a meltdown on Thursday. We do not want that.

Oh, and Tuesday I'm helping fix up a house. Oh, and because it's summer, Tuesday night I will be in Children's. So maybe I don't need to go in today.

I think I need breakfast.

Lucky me, it's Entamanns (and yes, I know that's spelled wrong too!!)

Today's agenda:

  • breakfast
  • therapy
  • do the Walgreens photo thing
  • have lunch with Mr. FF
  • percolate (see above)
  • probably some laundry
Have I thoroughly bored you yet?

* On the second Sunday, our church has dinner. We are all pretty good cooks.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sweet William strikes again...

Billy Joel has not succeeded at life, you say. I agree. He is a bit of a tormented soul.

But when I'm sitting here, browsing the New York Times most emailed list and realizing how much I am like my father (emailing apropos articles to friends), an instrumental of "Just the way you are" comes on my radio station.

And I stopped, stock still, and put my feet up on the side of my desk, and listened, filling in the words.

Don't go trying some new fashion
Don't change the color of your hair
You always have my unspoken passion

Looking at the lyrics, I realize it's Mr. Roger's song "It's You I like" for grown-ups.

And thinking theologically, I open my Women's Devotional Bible (NIV) at Psalm 139. "You hem me in -- behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me... (vs. 5)

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful (AND I'M ONE OF THEM, is the silent shout.) (vs. 13-16)

A little call and response for this Sunday morning.

It's you I like,
It's not the things you wear,
It's not the way you do your hair--

As my friend from high school Scott would say, Good morning.

All this time...

...I've been wanting to be my mother. Married at 26, first child at 28. Or at least married by 28. (That was my original goal.)

Those anniversaries passed.

...so then I wanted to be my grandmother, married in Brazil, divorced and then married to my grandfather at 36, had my mother when she was 40 (And that was in the 1940s!).

I'll be 36 in less than six months...

...then I thought, I'll be Aunt Margaret, who eloped with Uncle Ed when she was 50 and after he died, she was a rich widow and endowed my mom and aunt with trips to summer camp, magazine subscriptions, and the like.

And I've resented my sister, who is shocked that at 25 she is not married. I think, she better not get married before me--the whole Rachel/Leah story, the "fairy tale" oldest daughter must marry first syndrome.

And I've made a game of counting: pregnant women, engaged women, newlywed women. They are all around.

But I forgot someone in this mix: Me.

What do I want? And what is life handing me? And what will I do with the mix? More importantly, how do I love where I am and love where they are at the same time?

Inevitably, I will turn the dial on the radio and catch the end of Rascal Flatts singing "God Bless the Broken Road (that led me straight to you.)"

Inevitably, I realize I am glad to be single in this moment. To be childless. To be Auntie Sarah Louise.

It feels good to be happy in my skin. And it feels good to stretch my legs and walk. It feels good to be ME.

When I was seventeen, it was a very bad year. When I was twenty four and twenty five, too. When I was twenty eight, I was learning how to live with psych meds and weekly therapy sessions. And then there was the drought. But now I'm thirty five. And I am glad to be alive. To have a job I love most days. To have a garret I adore. To have a trusty twelve year old car (that's paid for!).

And so I'm in no rush. Which feels absolutely wonderful (and absolutely foreign and scary, too.)


If you went to see Ratatoille (I cannot spell it, I refuse!) and are in the mood for another culinary delight, watch Mostly Martha (it's in German, so mind the subtitles.) The American remake is coming out this summer--I think it's called No Reservations with the chick that married Michael Douglas. (Catherine Zeta-Jones.) (Warning: it is a chick flick, and you will probably want your trusty Kleenex box nearby.) (But it's good crying.)

I'm tired. I'm going to bed. Perchance to dream, and SLEEP. And to wake up tomorrow. N'at.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Where have all the young memes gone? Gone to bloggers, every one, oh when will they ever learn, oh when will they ever learn?

So it's eight random things. (On 7/7/7.) Paula tagged me. I may have done this one but hey, I'm sure I can come up with eight MORE random things--I'm a pretty random kind of gal.

  1. I really like flip flops. I have a flip flop magnet on my desk at work. I wear flip flop sandals all summer if I can get away with it.

  2. I like glass paperweights. I have one at my desk and two in my shower. (You asked for random!)

  3. My friend Marian the Librarian has a thing for pink flamingos. I sort of do too, but whenever I find something, I buy it for her because I don't need more things. (And if you believe that, I have some ocean front property in Arizona...) Also, I like buying things for other people.

  4. I really think the Dewey Decimal System and the Cutter Charts are cool.

  5. (Can you tell I'm at work?)

  6. Besides pink, my other favorite color is green, and not just any green. It's like watermelon yowsa green that's been pretty popular in fashion the past six years or so. My Liquid Paper on my desk has a lid that color (to the right, that striped thing is the edge of my flip flop magnet)

  7. Two more to go!! I love taking pictures of spiderwebs. Hmm, maybe you knew that. Well, deal with it!

  8. Last one!! And then I go off to eat my dinner. (This is using up the first 15 min of my dinner half-hour.) For dinner I'm having eggplant parmesan that was half of my mom's dinner last night at Gullifties.

And, according to the rules, I have to tag eight bloggers. Paula knows I twist rules, especially in memes, but this time, I will go with the flow. But first, dinner.

  1. Kiki, my dear cousin.
  2. Erin, of the Biscottis n'at
  3. Babelbabe, who has three boys, two cats, and one dog (and wishes for chickens)
  4. Eileen, who introduced me to Taco Loco, one of my FAVORITE restaurants.
  5. Alyssa, who just posted vackay pix! (We were gone the same week)
  6. Katy, who lives in Chicago. She went to CMU eons ago. She knits.
  7. Jenny, who cross stitches...but that's not her main gig.
  8. Sneeky, who lives in Hawaii... (but don't worry, she has problems too.)
And if any of yins have done this already, I bet you can come up with 8 more--for little ol' me!!

Oh, and a tidbit: Mr. FF & SL are in a mutual admiration club. He's really funny, makes me laugh. That is all.

Friday, July 06, 2007

It's FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just felt like having a shout.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

In which Sarah Louise eschews thoughts of her vacation in favor of talking about books...

Yes, I promise more vackay pics to come. But as I am at work, manning (womanning) the Summer Reading desk, I thought it more apropos to write about books.

Kids books I am loving:

Ramona and her mother (Beverly Cleary). I somehow read most of B. Cleary but never Ramona! This year my intent was to do Ramona's World for the Mother Daughter book club, since it starts at the beginning of fourth grade (and the MD club is for fourth and fifth grade girls) but somehow I transposed the titles and so all the publicity went out saying Ramona Forever, where Ramona is in third grade and a flower girl in a wedding. Ramona is soon becoming one of my favorite literary heroines.

I just finished Ramona and her Mother, where Ramona wants to be her "mother's girl." It's one of the books for the Mother Child Smackdown, which seemed like a good idea--a quiz show format highlighting 8 books, but now it's like those 8 books are all I'm allowed to read until I come up with enough questions...

The chapter books:
Sarah Plain and Tall by Patty MacLachlan
Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers (the audio is FANTASTIC)
Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay (I'm actually getting tired of this wonderful book. It truly is wonderful.)
Ramona and her mother (see above)
The School Story by Andrew Clements (LOVE LOVE this book. Clements is a master. Haven't read Frindle yet, it's next on my list.)

The picture books:
A Chair for my mother by Vera B. Williams
My mama had a dancing heart by Libba M. Gray
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey.

I have decided to not do "quiz" questions for My mama had a dancing heart as it would ruin the book, kind of like when I had to do vocabulary words for A Wrinkle in Time in 7th grade. I couldn't read AWIT for seven years after that soul carving experience.

So far I have three teams signed up. I need to get prizes together n'at. It's a good challenge but I won't really know if it's worth it until after all is said and done, next Saturday (which happens to also be Bastille Day.)


In other news, we (the rents and moi) went to see the movie Paris J'te Aime--WOW! It seemed a little longer than two hours, it was hard to keep track of how many vignettes we'd seen, but they were all wonderful (well, Elijah Wood as vampire was my least favorite). I especially loved the last one, in which the American mail carrier fell in love with Paris. It reminded me of Carrie's love affair with New York City and how New York is the fifth character in "Sex and the City."


Sarah Louise

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Time to start thinking about Christmas...

Yes, it's July. Have you made your list and checked it twice?

Yes, according to Women's Wall Street, it's time to think about who and how much and all that. But I prefer chickens. Chickens will take you out of any dark mood. So, from Savage Chickens, here it is, The Christmas Carol.

In other news, the parents will be in town today. So I'll pick them up in Moon Twp. and vacuum my car at the free car vacuum (more on this later) and we'll do stuff, like go see a movie about Paris. (My dad wanted to see Waitress, but um, movies don't stay around that long in this town.)

Happy Fourth, to all my readers in the USA. And for the rest, here's a super corny joke:

Do they have Fourth of July in Australia? Yep, it comes right after July third and right before July fifth.

May the fourth be with you, n'at.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Summertime and the living is easy...

Fish are jumping...

I go back to work today. Yes, folks, the vacation is over, time to face the job of being a children's librarian. Slog, slog...wait, I have tomorrow off?

God Bless those Founding Fathers, that's all I can say.

I thought I'd give you a vackay pic. More will come, I promise. This is the kind of picture I take, but you knew that. This is at Lake Missoula, Flathead Lake outside Big Arm, Montana.

We had just gone on a boat ride to "Wild Horse Island." More on that later. But Sis, observant that she is, saw this and knew it would be my kind of picture. When I snapped it, she crowed, "I knew it!"

Monday, July 02, 2007

Re-entry is....

Babs was like, but was it a good vacation? Yes. And I promise tales AND PICTURES galore. But I still need to whine.

I'm in the laundry room flipping a load and this is my soundtrack, a la WJAS (America's Favorite Nostalgia Station):

Yesterday (as in a cover of the Beatles song)
I remember things we used to do (like walking in the park)
I love you Bill (won't you marry me?) AT WHICH POINT I turned the station to anything else. I do believe Satan knew my weak point and was playing the Devil's Radio--isn't that a George Harrison song?

It is, as exemplified by the link. So I'll throw you a bone--on my vacation, the news was EVERYWHERE. I try to avoid it--since 9/11, I have a higher sensitivity. And Fox News, which is what most places seemed to deem the best source, is the worst in yellow journalism. Oh, except for CNN, which had the Paris Hilton interview, then the analysis of the PH interview, and then Larry King came on to talk about the PH interview??? As Sis would say, "Build a bridge and get over it."

Also, this week, we lost an American Icon--Liz Claiborne died on Tuesday. She was 78. I have an eagle eye (unfortunately not for eagles--my sister spotted most of them) for Liz items and inevitably 90% of what I pull off the rack at Red White and Blue or Goodwill is Liz. My sister's suitcase is Liz, so we had a moment of silence for Liz, maker of wonderful clothes and suitcases.

On this vacation, I had the chance to look at my life, which right now is pretty sweet. While Sis can't believe she's 25 and still ringless, I have discovered that after (too) many train wrecks, I am fine to live for today. I'm not ruling out companionship, and I do wish I could start the grandchildren process for my parents yesterday (although I have no desire to have children by myself so it's sort of a science fiction/fantasy situation), but a ring on any finger is not going to solve any of my problems. It will create more. I will be happy one day, I hope, to have such problems. Oh, just nod and smile. Sarah Louise is just venting.

I saw a wolf. No one else saw it. I was sitting in the front seat and we were driving by and I saw it. It was a gray wolf. We couldn't stop. Somehow I'm glad that we didn't get a picture--that no one else saw it--what is it the Native Americans thought about cameras? That they would steal their souls? I had that sense--we weren't shooting buffalo with rifles or killing sheep, but we had to get a picture. The wolf will live in my memory.

This day has been a wash (literally--two loads of laundry and I may later wash the car) so I'm off to the cinema. I'll let you know if Ratituouille (I'm not spelling it!!) is good and what for what ages.

Buh-bye, n'at

Warning: vacations can be hazardous to your health!

It's true! I went for my twice a month chiro appt this morning and I didn't need HIM to tell me I was tight. So I'm going back on Friday.

It was great last night at the OD to talk to all my friends who heartily agreed that "family vacation" is a bit of an oxymoron. I am grateful for my married men friends who talk to me--my life is so female oriented and it's just nice to talk to a guy. (We talked about family vacations--don't go getting ideas!!)

Lily and I went out for subs after church. She's moving, probably to Dormont. Which means her calling me on Sundays at 5:30 and saying "come get me for church?" are going to be a thing of the past--wah! I am so grateful for her friendship, though. She's older and wiser but able to ask for advice and I find I'm able to give some good advice!

While I was gone, some birds really pooped on my car (sorry about the TMI). So sometime this afternoon, when it gets HOT (it's still in the 60s here) I'll be at the car wash.

Kelly just called. "Give yourself grace" is her best advice on everything. Deep breaths.

So, don't get me wrong--I had a lot of fun on my vacation and I will tell you about it, but right now I need to decompress and do some "re-entry." Of course my stupid hormones aren't helping--I had Day Two on Day Four which coincided nicely with two delayed planes and a layover of less than 20 minutes. Instead of arriving in Pittsburgh International Airport around 11:30, we arrived around 12:30, and finally got into bed by 1:30 (there was a mix-up with the first hotel room.) Which then caused me to miss my bedtime meds so I woke up ringing. (My body was not happy. I don't know how else to explain it.)

This is my mantra, I need to memorize it: "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)

(Of course my online devo right now is starting into Job, where the whole point is that we are here for God's glory, not the other way around, and God may allow us to go through crap and a half and more to prove to us and him (and to Satan) that we love him for him, not for the rewards.)

Oy vey. Time to take a shower. Then off to the therapist.

I just want to do some laundry!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Miracles happen in the garret--it's true!

NO JOKE! I have unpacked:
  1. my suitcase and sorted out the dirty from the clean laundry.
  2. my carryon bag
  3. the duffle bag I took to visit Mama in March.
Now, not everything is put away, but this is HUGE process for Ms. Procrastination, me!

I have started sorting pictures. Sis and I shared my digi camera on the trip. Al(most) all of her pictures are of landscapes and animals. Mine...well, they're on a smaller scale and rarely of livestock or wildlife. I won't be posting many of hers (one buffalo looks like the next, one mountain range...) (don't tell my family I said that...) but a few will show up here and there. We took about 200, and I think it is cruel and unusual to post ALL, but let's just say you'll be getting pictures again after a long drought.

I'm slowly learning how to work with Picasa.

AND Sis fixed the clock in my car, Hallelujah!

Off to the OD--church, yay!!

Wait a minute, where is the chocolate I bought for the ladies at work? I should have found it upon unpacking...

Welcome back, Sarah Louise!

I'm back!

More to come. Sis is here and we are downloading pix--I didn't have to reinstall my camera software after all (which is a good thing--the disc seems to be missing...)

Today will be just rest. Tomorrow, some doctor appts, unpack (unless I get ambitious today) and Tuesday, back to work. I have lots to tell, but you'll just have to be patient...