Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week in Review

The Weather: It is definitely Fall. Chilly in the morning, heat on in the car. Baking in the afternoon, car switched to AC. This is the time of year when I amass a pile of jackets at work, because I wear them in, but not out.

The leaves are changing, making for a pretty view en route to work:

And the deer and elk are getting back together into herds.
Even baby elk are cute!
Except for these two young ones, who have taken to hanging out on the school playground:

I think they are trying to figure out how to navigate sitting on the swings. Or maybe they are debating who gets to swing and who has to push. I would imagine once they fold themselves onto a swing, it would be hard for them to pump those skinny legs and get themselves going.

Of course, there was the one night it rained really hard...and then there came sleet...followed by snow. Not surprisingly, there was a rollover by 7AM. This is what the road looked like when I headed down at 9AM:

And, two days later, I didn't need a jacket again.

At Work: We are in the process of changing our juvenile fiction around. More on that later. We stopped for a couple days to get ready for our Halloween party (see Friday's post).

Still working out bugs with the new online catalog. They won't let me spray the computers with Raid. I really think that could only help.

Our cataloger/systems admin person has taken a new job, as director of a nearby library. Yeah for Steve! We'll have his old position open soon, so if you have experience in that area, let me know.

Oh, and don't forget, we have a Scholastic Book Fair starting the day after Thanksgiving break! That was a message for me, btw. Because I keep forgetting, and then it pops into my head attached to a "you need to do something about this" feeling, only to be replaced by other things I need to do something about.

Kids: M and I have spent most of the weekend cleaning her room. And by cleaning, I mean we took EVERYTHING out and put it in the living room.
See, all clean!
We took her old, falling-apart bed to the dump, and Daddy built her a very cool new platform bed. We are still in the process of putting everything back, under Mommy's very strict instructions. So far, the tally is:

5 large bags of trash
28 pairs of shoes

265 books (that's my girl!)
124 stray hangers
14 loads of laundry

I can't poke too much fun, because I know Grandma and Grandpa will be all too happy to describe the perpetual state of my room when I was younger.

Tonight, M and Daddy are on a date - her late birthday gift, tickets to a Martina McBride concert. Mommy is having a date night with C., S. and L., watching - sigh - Ghostbusters, and eating hot dogs and beans. We made cookies, too, and have been sampling them quite thoroughly.

Christopher is looking forward to Halloween tomorrow, and driving me absoluteky berserkers - we still don't quite have the whole how-many-days-until perspective down. He is dressing as Darth Vader (as seen in Friday's post). He has been a bit shy this year, and things with masks seem to make him feel more confident. When my brother and his girlfriend came to visit, he hid in his room for a while, then came out in his Ironman outfit. (Uncle Mike scored points by trying the helmet on himself!)

Last night we went to a Halloween party at our friends' house. No mud this time! Once again, C. took off and played hard all night, S. alternately entertained and tried to scare Daddy with her fearlessness, L. slept, and M., Daddy and I got to socialize with real, actual grown-ups! Favorite quote from the evening: "Does anybody know what street I live on?" (And no, the speaker was not intoxicated at the time. Hey, when you have a PO box for mail, it's like trying to remember your own phone number!)

I know there was more going on that this, but Halloween and The Great Room Cleaning of 2011 sort of eclipsed the rest of it. My goals for the next week: new carpet in the living room, start updating the photo albums, and get to the "D"s in the juvenile fiction. Tune in again next week, so you can laugh at my progress!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Library Halloween Party

 Just a few pictures before I go in and tackle putting everything away. We had our annual Family Fright Night here at the library last night. Normally we do a start-to-finish program where families come in and sit down, hear some scary stories, then do a craft and munch on snacks. Basically, story time plus food. This year we ran it more like a come-and-go carnival, and I think it worked very well that way. We had four games:

Ghosts and Goblets, run by M. here. You got a handful of little foam ghosties, and had to 'fly' them into the goblets and cauldrons.

For this one, run by Miss Monica in the red and grey, participants had to draw and then cut out a jack-o-lantern - while blindfolded! The girls here were convinced their brother was cheating, because his turned out so well. They spent the rest of the evening returning to this table, to see if they could do better. No competition there, no sir!

You can't see it in this picture, but there is a giant monster head with an open mouth, and kids had to 'feed' him by tossing bugs through it. And doesn't Mr. Cliff look smashing as Popeye?

Somehow I managed not to get a picture of the Bat Races, led my Grandma Kathie. Two kids at a time had to hold a paper bat by sucking it through a straw, while they raced around a set of cones. At least one person took straws and bats home to practice with afterward.

We also had a craft - paper bag monster puppets, supervised by Miss Clara:

You can't see her shirt and necklace here, but fortunately I thought it was so cool the first time I saw it, I took a picture then:

Aren't the beads awesome? She made them herself!

And, of course, we had to have scary stories:

I usually hate to turn the story-telling over to anyone else, but Miss Jane is a retired children's librarian, and quite competent. This freed me up to greet people, take pictures, and handle potential crises like:

Yoda and Darth showing up at the same time. I totally love this picture.

They never spoke to each other, just moved into battle positions. So, being a good Mommy, I snapped the picture before calling out, "Don't even think about it!"

We had the perfect sized crowd, enough to keep things busy, but not so many they were stepping on each other. Everyone seemed to have a good time, and left tired and full of candy.

And fangs.

Or, just tired - so tired, his antennae are drooping. Candy next year, sweetheart!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

More New Books

The Dumpster Diver
E Wong

I love books that make me want to run out and create something, and this is definitely one of them!

Zach Hunter: Modern-Day Abolitionist

J B Hunter

And then there are the ones that inspire us to  go out and do something to help others. This is the newest in a really great series of biographies, all about real kids making a difference in some way.

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous

J 393 BRAG

Christopher Columbus: Death by Dirt. Marie Curie: You Glow, Girl. If I didn't already have so much on my TBR list, you would have to wait - but, I'm swamped, so it's on the shelf now!

In a very strange coincidence, we have two new books about a subject I have never before seen in a children's book:

Stand Straight, Ella Kate: The True Story of a Real Giant

J B Ewing


Tall Story

J Reality Gour

are both based on the true story of people afflicted with gigantism - a condition that happens when pressure, from a tumor for example, is put on the gland that releases growth hormone, causing it to go into overdrive. The first is a picture book, the second a chapter book. Very different books, but I enjoyed both thoroughly.

Finally, we have:

V is for Von Trapp: A Musical Family Alphabet

J 943.6 Ande (We went around and around on where to put this - biographies or music made sense subject-wise, but would it be checked out there? We finally settled on Austria for now.)

I have been fascinated by the real Maria von Trapp since coming across an autobiography of hers in high school. What an incredible life! This picture book gives a brief but well-rounded overview of some of the things she did besides spinning around singing in the Alps (which she did do, but please don't assume the rest of the movie was entirely accurate!)

All of these are on the new shelves now!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Books

Now on our "new books" shelves:

I Want My Hat Back
E Klas

Nice, little easy-reader. Bear is looking for his hat. He asks everyone he sees, with different responses. It's very sweet. And then.

Oh, dear. Who recommended this book to me?

I like it. But I'm not going to tell you what happens at the end that caused me to make a very loud noise in the library and clap both hands over my mouth.

Fancy Nancy: Aspiring Artist
E Ocon

Another Fancy Nancy! Don't worry, we got TWO copies, so odds are you'll be able to get your hands on it (and yes, S. N., I am thinking of you). This one seems a bit longer than previous ones - it contains a lot of information about famous artists, and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it yet. I do like when a little learning is slipped in, and this may inspire kids to create the way it inspires Fancy Nancy - or, it may bore them and seem too obviously educational. We'll see what the patrons think!

My Side of the Car

E Feif

Any child - or adult - can identify with this one. Sadie has been dying to go to the zoo, but something always happens to cancel her plans. This time, she is determined it is going to happen, and when, on the way there, her father announces that it has started to rain, she quickly assures him that it is NOT raining on "my side of the car."

Monday, October 24, 2011

How to Entertain a Country Kid

I've been looking for Christmas presents, picking up a few odds and ends here and there, but getting annoyed with the amount of NOISE manufacturers seem to feel toys should produce. I guess since all the characters on kids' TV shows seem to scream instead of talk, their toys should follow suit. Not that we don't have our share of noisy toys, but I put one very cool robot back on the shelf (sorry, C!) after pushing the "try me" button and getting an instant headache.

Where are all the creative toys? The ones that you power by yourself, make the noises for yourself, create stories for with your own imagination?

Oh, here they are, falling from the trees:

I'd like to say she is moving in for a hug, but she was trying to smash his face into the leaves.

I think she was hoping to take those home. No, honey, we live on the National Forest, we have plenty of our own. And my van is still full of sand from last week, thank-you very much.

Joie d'vive, right there.

Okay, and joie d' getting Mommy.

Hmm, he's pretty good at that. I should make this one of his chores. Except that we don't own a rake. And I don't care if my leaves are anywhere other than where they fall.

Awwwwww. I love these kids.

The big one, too.

I may need bigger stockings.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


How did we let this happen??? Count the candles with me, people...

Seventeen! Seventeen!!! How did she get to be seventeen already? I think I prefer S's method of counting: "One, two, free, nine!" Yes, she's nine. I can deal with her being nine.

Not seventeen.

Seventeen is not a little girl. Seventeen is a young lady. A beautiful young lady. Again, how did we let this happen?

And the boys have noticed. Boy, have they noticed. Little brother here needs to practice his karate moves. Not that she really needs someone defending her. I have been very proud of her for a) not getting into/continuing a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship, and b) not putting up with a guy who doesn't treat her with respect.

But I'd still be more at ease with no boys at all.

Four beautiful girls. The boys don't stand a chance. The parents don't either.

Love you, M! Happy birthday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


For the past few years, instead of carving pupmkins at home, we've been decorating them - i.e., gluing things on, drawing or painting on them, etc. That way, a) they last longer, and b) Mommy can still turn them into canned pumpkin for breads and pies and such when it's all over. Pumpkin seeds with chili and lime, mmmm....

Anyways, we decided to do the same thing here at the library, and held a contest. Kids were to decorate a pumpkin (or other gourd) as a book character. Several last-minute entries came in last night, and this morning I made the staff choose their favorites. In the 10 and below division, we have:

First Place, Logan P. with the Very Busy Spider

Second Place, Anthony T.'s Yoda
Tied for third place, Destiny and Jasmine', we aren't sure who they are, but aren't they cute? And colorful?

Then, in the 11 and Up division:
First Place, Tigger by Sara L.

Second Place, Rapunzel by Jakayla P.

Third Place, Fairy Godmother by Tessa B.

Fourth place, Tyler Durden from Fight Club by Josh L. (One of the judges said it would have moved up in the ranks if it looked more like Brad Pitt - so, work on that for next year, Josh!)

These will be on display at thelibrary for a bit longer, so come by and take a look at them in person if you are in the area! And don't forget our Family Fright Night, October 27 at 6PM.