Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bad Words

Last night, S. told Daddy that she had wet her pants at Grandma's house, and Grandma said bad words at her.

Grandma has taken to cussing out 2-year-olds? That doesn't sound right. Daddy asked her what bad words Grandma said.

"She said I'm a big girl and I should go in the potty."

Oooh - them's fightin' words for sure!

This morning I had told her "No" about something - can't remember what - while Daddy was outside. As soon as he stepped back in the door, she was tattling, "Mommy said bad words at me!!!"

I'm torn - do I celebrate the fact that she doesn't know any real bad words, or should I be concerned that she is going to be convincing complete strangers that we swear at her on a regular basis?

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Relaxing Day

On Thursdays, I don't start work until 11AM, so that gives me a nice, relaxing morning. For kicks (and because when I try to remember what I did an hour ago, my mind draws a complete blank), i decided to write down what I was doing as the morning progressed.

Once M. and C. were off to school, and Daddy was off to work, I:

Changed the sheets on our bed.
Started a load of laundry.
Dressed S. and L.
Cleaned the puppy pen.
Put dishes away.
Ate a slice of processed cheese for breakfast.
Sliced the marinated chicken breasts and put them in the broiler.
Filled baby bottles.
Restocked the diaper bag for the van.
Unloaded groceries from the day before.
Cleaned out the litterbox.
Emptied the trash cans/diaper pail.
Watered the garden.
Washed dishes (with 'help' from S.)
Read a story with the kids (Note to self: Gus Goes to School needs to disappear for a bit.)
Packed up the Easter eggs for storage.
Planted two potatoes that were growing on the counter.
Started another load of laundry.
Prepared puppy food for afternoon feeding.
Fed chickens and gathered eggs.
Posted remaining puppies to Holloman Yard Sales.
Seasoned cast iron skillets.
Cleaned off kitchen counters.
Packed up cooled chicken and put with peeled hard boiled eggs for tonight's supper.
Changed C's sheets.
Put laundry away.
Scrubbed bathroom floor.
Picked up living room.
Started another load of laundry.
Fed cats.
Left the house at 9:30 - dropped kids off at Grandma's.
Picked up mail and package.
Stopped at propane company.
Stopped at phone company.

Got to work just before 11...where I can rest:)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Christmas in April

June 30 is the end of the fiscal year, but things start winding down in April. We normally order our books through a book jobber, via purchase order. They can take up to three months to arrive, however, so we try to have all our purchase orders wrapped up this month. That means we can only buy books from local vendors, and the only local book store has a maximum credit limit of $1500.

This afternoon, one of my coworkers and I set out with a PO in one hand, and order cards and series lists in another. We spent about an hour going through the shelves, checking off lists, weighing paperbacks vs. hard covers, scouring the clearance shelves for treasures we didn't know about. I'm cheap, even when it isn't 'my' money, and most of the books I pcked out were around $5. That's a lot of books! My coworker also picked out stacks of CDs and the DVD sets of several favorite TV series. We finally trundled our carts up to the checkout and the cashier scanned everything in. Hit the tax exempt line: $1,455. Close enough! Then she hit the purchase order button.

It wouldn't go through. The manager tried. No luck. They called their corporate office. It seems the number they put in at the very beginning was not the correct number for the city, and...they couldn't go back. They had to void out the sale and do it all. over. again.

Hey, these things happen, it wasn't their fault. I started thinking I would just grab pizza on the way home, because now I was going to be late, and I wouldn't have time to make supper. We helped take everything back out of the bags, and I used the time to pick out a few more picture books to bring it closer to $1500. Everything was scanned in again and re-bagged. Hit tax exempt: $1,496. Hit purchase order: No problem. Went to finish the sale:

We're sorry, but you have an outstanding balance of $72 (as near as we can figure, another city department bought something), and the maximum credit limit is $1500 total, so you have to take some items out. Except that you can't just take them off your total now that you have gone this far. You have to do it


My coworker called her daughter to say she'd be late. I called Grandma and asked her to feed the kids. We took the bags back out. Again. The manager (the original cashier had escaped by this point) was very apologetic. The original cashier came back over and apologized twice. This time, everything went through (minus a couple seasons of NCSI), we loaded the bags in my van, headed back to the library, threw them all in the empty manager's office, and went home.
That was a bit...tedious. Today, though, I got to the fun part:

Happy sigh. That's not even including the AV materials we got.

Oh, you wanted to see the actual books?

40 picture books, 101 chapter books. I realize bigger library systems get more books than that in every day, but I think this will keep our patrons happy for a week or two. Now I just have to take stickers off...add bar codes...catalog...send to processing...add AR stickers...put in bib lists...and then put them out on the shelves!

As soon as I do all that with the books we got on our last purchase order...

...and finish up with the ones that just came back from processing.

P.S. - I need a bigger desk!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Book Review - Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy

Words in the Dust


This is the kind of book that makes would-be authors despair. For an American military guy from Iowa to capture the voice of a young Afghani girl so well, not to mention writing a story that sucks its readers in with the first page and leaves them thinking about it long afterward - all in his debut novel - well, that's just not fair! How can the rest of us hope to measure up?!

A bit discouraging for writers, but a boost for readers who have been grumbling about the lack of outstanding YA Fiction this year. Zulaikha was born with a cleft palate in a country where medical care, especially for girls, is hard to find. Her father calls her beautiful, but others in her village - even, recently, her younger brother - call her Donkey Face. Her mother had been teaching her to read, and instilled a love of words and poetry in her - but she was killed by the Taliban for hiding books. Her future looks bleak, and all attention is given to her older, beautiful sister's potential marriage.

Then, one day, the American soldiers come to town. They say they can perform an operation that will give her a 'normal' face, which would lead to a chance at a good marriage. Is this what she needs to make her life perfect? Or is there more to her than how she looks? That is, assuming that the operation even happens, that cultural clashes and military bureaucracy do not get in the way.

This is one novel that will appeal to a wide variety of age groups, and our library's copy has already been the object of word of friend-to-friend recommendations. If it's in, you will find it on our new shelves!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tie-Dyed Easter Eggs

One of the few non-book-related blogs I follow is Our Best Bites. They frequently have recipes that sound so yummy I want to try them immediately - but, time being what it is, they usually get relegated to the stack of recipes sitting on my kitchen counter, waiting for one of my all-too-infrequent-marathon-cooking days.

Monday, however, their post was not for food per se, but for these Tie-Dyed Easter Eggs. Tie-dyed as in, you dye them using old silk ties! The second I saw it I thought, "I HAVE to try this," posted it to my Facebook page, told all the mommies in story time about it, and then at lunch time, ran right out to Goodwill to buy five of their most interesting silk ties.

That was Monday. Today is Wednesday. That time thing again!

Today, however, since we have story time, and since our theme is eggs, and our craft is decorating paper eggs, I decided I was justified in trying the eggs here at work. I had a few questions, making this a little bit of a science experiment. For one thing, most eggs bought in the store look like this:

Whereas the eggs in my refrigerator look like this:

Yes, the store's are cleaner, but they look pretty pathetic, don't they?

The question is, will the white ones take the dye better? I decided to do some in each color and see.

I also wanted to know if it would make a difference if the egg was blown out or not. It would certainly make a difference if they turned out really pretty, and I wanted to keep them! To blow out an eggshell, just poke a hole in each end with a straight pin, and blow really hard into one hole.

I was going to do half this way. Not taking into account that I have a really bad cold. About the time I finished this first one, my head exploded. It was quite a mess.

Hard-boiled it is, then!

basically, what you do is cut up a silk tie, and wrap the eggs print-side-in:

Aren't these pretty already?

Then you wrap it again loosely in a light-colored cloth:

Place in a pot,

Cover with water, and add 1/2 cup of vinegar. Or so. I don't measure. That can cause problems sometimes, but this doesn't seem to be an exact science.

After boiling for about twenty minutes and really stinking up the library, I set the eggs out to cool (still wrapped). The water was a dark blue at this point, and since I can't even throw dirty water away without feeling guilty, I popped in some more white eggs, and the scraps from the two ties I had used.

Deosn't that look...er...appetizing. It turned out well, though:

Purple is, after all, the new pink!

I decided to make myself wait until the end of story time to open these. We had several other egg decorating ideas to look at, so these tied (pardon the pun) in nicely. Besides dye, markers, tissues, etc., we have two old cigar boxes of hand-decorated eggs donated by a local family some time back:

Isn't the detail incredible? They started making these together many years ago, after reading this book:

which they also donated, and which I read parts of this week.
Some of the older siblings that come to story time jumped on this idea, and I would not be surprised to see some cool artwork featured on Facebook in the near future! (Yes, L.S., I am talking to you!)

I'm not quite brave enough to give toddlers real eggs to decorate, so we went with paper. Monday's group made folding egg-shaped cards, while today's experimented with different media and making patterns:

Finally, the grand un-wrapping:

The two eggs on the left were brown, and the one on the top right was green. The other three were white. The colors all brightened up as they dried. I want to experiment more with wrapping them closely, so more of the pattern transfers. I may try rolling them in the fabric and then tieing both ends. Pretty cool, either way! If you try/tried these at home, please let me know how they turned out, and what variations you have tried!