Category Archives: Adventures of the Not So Nice Librarian

Chameleons Storytime


I hope everyone had a decent Turkey Day…or Black Friday shopping spree?…Maybe got to at least visit with family and friends?

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend, even those that don’t celebrate that holiday.

Sorry it’s taken me so long to write this, my last storytime of the year, but admittedly this as been an awful last few weeks… and honestly, I’ve just been to depressed and angry to do anything really library related.

If you read my previous post, you know that a few weeks ago a dear friend passed away. Also during that time, I had a job interview for a position in my library, in MY department, that I’ve been begging for for 5 of the 6 years I’ve been working there.

Despite everything, I got my shit together and did an awesome interview.

Then, barely a week later, I get my call back telling me that they WOULDN’T be recommending me for the position. It’s an outreach position and the wanted someone who was aggressive and outgoing because apparently with library outreach, you have to shoulder your way in to a few doors…and they felt that my somewhat shy personality would make doing that uncomfortable for me.  Oh and after only 30 mins with me during and interview, they felt that I was better suited to working with older children….. doesn’t matter that I’ve been doing effing TODDLER storytime for 6 blessed years….. But hey, they apparently knew me better than my immediate supervisor, who was pushing for me to have this position.

Needless to say, I was – am – beyond pissed.

On top of that, the woman I spoke to tried to comfort me by telling me that she knew I wanted a 40 hr position and she would personally look for me one. Really? You’re going to go out of your way and look for a 40 hour slot for little ol’ me? Wouldn’t it just be bloody easier to give me the effing position I applied for? The one I have LITERALLY been requesting for 6 years?!?! But, oh no…. I’m gonna trust that you have my best interests at heart.

Then to just add to my already shitty month, our new puppy catches some sort of illness and passes away before we can get the money together to take him to the vet.

It’s probably just as well that I had a week of vacation following that; because I simply was NOT in a good mindset.

Even now, a week later and a half, I’ve having a really hard time climbing out of my proverbial hole and giving a shit.

But, I’m here, and I realized still had one last storytime blog post to make for this year. So… Chameleons….

I started with Leon the Chameleon by Melanie Watt

 

Which was a cute, simple, story involving a chameleon that couldn’t quite seem to blend in. No matter how hard he tried, he simply couldn’t turn the right color. On a green leaf, he’d turn red, in blue water he’d turn orange…. always with the opposite colors. Until one day, that mismatched ability of his comes in handy and saves the day.

 

Next I read a nonfiction book called Chameleon, Chameleon by Joy Cowley

 

This was an easy-nonfiction that described a Chameleons journey from one tree to another in search of food. It had nice colorful pictures of real animals that live in the jungle with the chameleon. There were several places were I was able to talk about camouflage with the kids and ask them if they could find the hidden animal in the picture.

 

After that we had a matching game. I had different color leaves, some plain and some with poka-dots; and different color chameleons, some plain and some with poka-dots.  I would hand out the chameleons to the children and they had to come up and place their chameleon on its matching leaf.

 

 

Here’s the link to the pdf

chameleon-matching

After that I read Chameleon Sees Colors by Anita Bijsterbosch.

 

Another cute, easy story. Chameleon had only ever seen in black and white, until one day, he sees….. and then it goes through a bunch of different animals, similar to Brown Bear, Brown Bear. However, at one point you only see a small faction of the animal and it’s color… so its fun to ask the kids what they think Chameleon sees, and when the animal is revealed, what sound it makes.

I also switched out Leon for Rex by Ursula Dubosarsky, for my afternoon session, since I had more older children.

 

Rex about a school class pet that gets to go home with a different student everyday and the children have to write down, or draw, what Rex did with them while he was at their house…. some of the drawings are down-right hilarious. At one point, poor Rex looked more like Godzilla than a Chameleon.

 

For the craft, I did a color changing chameleon.

 

It was fairly simple to do; all you need is:

paperplates

markers/crayons/paints

round head fasteners

optional

google eyes

glue dots

 

You’ll need to find a chameleon that has a decent shillohette. Once you’ve found one you like – a simply Google search will pop up dozens- then you’ll need to trace it on to the inside of a paperplate.

Then cut it out.

Next put a hole in the center of that plate, the scissors work well for doing that.

Actually go ahead and grab a bunch of plates that don’t have a chameleon and put holes in those too.

You see, the children color the 2nd plate however they wish – preferably in a rainbow of colors. When they’re done, you’re going to set the 1st plate with the chameleon cut-out on top of the 2nd rainbow plate, and fasten them together with your fasteners.

The top plate can be moved around the rainbow plate, giving your chameleon a rainbow of different looks.

Now for mine, I made sure to include a place for the eye so I could place a googley eye there…. but you don’t have to do that by any means.

 

I also had books on chameleons for kids to check out, and I actually had some little sticky lizards I gave to the kids at the end of the program.

All in all, it went well and the kids seemed to enjoy it.

So, until next time…. Ciao.

 

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Do Not Stand at My Grave

Six years ago, I had the opportunity to work with a wonderful young woman, Justine Aliff. A beautiful and kind soul with a snarky, quirky, disposition.

Last year, she was diagnosed with cancer, and last week, after a grueling battle with the illness, she lost that particular battle.

Today we said our final goodbyes in a simple and lovely memorial service.

Justine was a wonderful person, one of the few truly  good souls in the world.

It took us a while to warm up to each other, not because we didn’t like each other, but because we were both quiet bookworms and had our noses stuck in various reading materials. Once she was working at the Children’s desk, that never stopped her from randomly reading me a passage from her book either because the wording was beautiful and inspirational…. or because it was funny and she simply HAD to share it with someone.

Working with Justine was a blessing and made each day better. She was a sympathetic and supportive ear in the midst of the drama that has played out in my life the last few years.  A lot of shit has been done to us by self-proclaimed ‘good Christain folk’; and admittedly its been enough to cast the entire religion in a negative light for me. Justine would always get…almost personally offended at what was done…. not necessarily because something bad happened because lets face it, shit happens; but because the ones who caused it claimed to share her faith, and in her opinion that wasn’t how a child of God should act.

She gave me hope in a religion that I had long ago lost faith in. We didn’t share the same faith, Justine and I; but we had a mutual respect for each other that allowed us to talk about religious things without judgement. She gave me faith that people of different religions could indeed be friends.
I’m sure if I had ever asked her to tell me about Jesus, she would  have jumped at the chance. But, she respected my beliefs and I respected hers. In fact, when I became a Minister  for the state of Oklahoma, we shared in the irony of someone who is …admittedly not very religious becoming a member of the clergy…and in the same breath she was assuring me I would do fine officiating my friends wedding. When I stressed about what I should include…she just smiled and laughed a little, then said, ‘Why don’t you ASK her what she wants’. The ‘silly’ was implied at the end of the statement, but she was to polite to tell me I was being ridiculous and uh duh, ask you friend what she wants in her wedding.

Most of my memories of Justine are work related. We were colleagues and friends, but it wasnt until last year that we actually decided to do anything outside of work together.

We realized we shared a love of hiking and nature, and that we had both always wanted to particilate in a 5k race. So in September we decided that we were going to do just that. There was a Glow Race going on in town, the ‘Family Run’ (3K) was free and we thought that would be a great place to start and we could work our way up to an official 5k, and maybe some of those obstacle courses. We had missed the Inflatables 5K Obstacle course, so we’d practice so that by the time it came back around, we’d be able to complete the course.

I very nearly didn’t go to the Glow Race. It was late, my son was sleepy and cranky, and I wasn’t feeling the best either. But, I decided, fuck it, I’m GOING to do this. I always let something come up to prevent me from doing these types of things and dammit, I’m going out to dinner with my friend then we’re going to this damn race.

So we did and I’m so thankful that we did, because not only did we have a blast. We had a nice dinner, ran the race…we actually RAN part of it, and we even went the whole 5k! Afterwards we took pictures and there was a DJ playing music from high school… we danced the Macarana and the Cha, Cha, Slide.

So yes, I’m very thankful I decided not to cancel because not only did that become a favorite memory of Justine….but because in the next month we found out why she had been having trouble eating.

It would, also, be the last time I ever got a chance to go out with her. I’d see her many times over the next year, of course, at the Library Holiday Decorating party, or she’d stop by to visit, and of course I’d chat with her via text and facebook; but that would be the only time we ever got a chance to hangout.

Breifly, we had thought she had beaten the cancer and that soon she’d be back on her feet in time for the next Glow Run, or maybe even the Zombie Run…. but it wasn’t meant to be.

She was far  more optomistic about her illness then anyone I had ever met. Everything it threw at her had some sort of silver lining. She saw it as an opportunity to see her friends and family one last time and to go take that trip with her husband.

She was a wonderful, sweet, caring person that will be dearly missed. I am honored and blessed to have had know her.

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Adventures in Pokemon Training!

 

Yes…. I too am part of the Pokemon craze that is currently sweeping the nation. Do I care that it’s a child’s cartoon; no. Pokemon was one of the first Japanese cartoons to finally make it to the states; as a child who spent a good many developmental years overseas in Okinawa, Japan, I grew up with anime, Godzilla and the less-sweet Japanese candy.

You seriously have no idea how excited I was the first time I saw Pocky on the shelf. My friends thought I was nuts.

Anyway, back when Pokemon made it’s debut here in the states, I was a teen, and thus to old and attempting (and failing) to be too cool for a silly thing like Pokemon.  Even though, behind closed doors I still watched it and played the card game with my younger brother…. and when the movies came to theaters…. guess who was the only one willing to take my little brother to see them…. you guessed it. Me.

All in the name of sisterly duty, of course…..

Now, I’m in my thirty’s and I have hit the ‘I don’t give a shit’ phase of my life; so I can do all the nerdy, geeky things that I never would have attempted out of embarrassment a decade ago.

Anyone who says bullying doesn’t leave a lasting impression; take note…. you’re in denial. It left enough of an impression that it is only now, nearly two decades later, that I’m able to cast off some of the baggage I’ve been carrying round from the bullying I received when I was in 6th grade. Not all of it, Goddess forbid that my pants ride up past my ankles when I sit down; but I can now geek out about the things I love without feeling embarrassed by it.

Partly because being a ‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’ has become more socially acceptable.

So now I can proudly proclaim that YES! I AM A POKEMON TRAINER!

And I really don’t give two shits what you think about that. So 😛

Ah… how enlightening.

Anywho, for those who have had their head under a rock for the last week and are wondering what the F*** I’m talking about; I’m referring to the recent launch of the AR mobile app game: Pokemon Go!  A game where players get out and walk around their neighborhoods and ‘capture’ Pokemon. The key to this is that you actually have to get out of your house and WALK AROUND.

GASP!

*pauses to listen to all the gamers hissing as they are forced into the sunlight for the first time in ages*

So, this game uses the camera on your phone to superimpose the images of pokemon in the real world. I’m not the only one who will tell you that it’s majorly cool. I don’t know a kid in the 2000’s that didn’t want to break out and travel the world as a Pokemon trainer.

And the Pokemon pop up everywhere, in the oddest locations…..without much rhyme or reason.  Like, I found these guys at the gym:

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And these at my work:

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In addition to being able to go out and ‘catch’ these mostly cute creatures; there is of course, another aspect of the game that anyone who is familiar with the series will know is a must in any Pokemon game…… Gym Battles.
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Now the developers are still working out some of the kinks. But for the moment; there are three teams: Instinct, Mystic and Valor.
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If you have any Pokemon knowledge; you’ll notice that each team corresponds with one of the three legendary bird Pokemon:

Zapdos – Electric
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Articuno – Ice
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Moltres – Fire
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Now in order to participate in the Gym Battles, you have to join a team.

Personally, I’m Team Instinct!
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Then, there’s of course, a few fan based teams/alliances that are attempting to keep things light, carefree and peaceful, because OF-FREAKING-COURSE there are those overly-competitive people out there that want to take things a bit to far.

The first, pulls from the Pokemon 2000 movie and the ancient prophecy that surrounds the legendary bird Pokemon.

“Disturb not the harmony of fire, ice or lightning

Lest these titans wreck destruction upon the world which they clash.

Though water’s great guardian shall rise to quell the fighting,

Alone it’s song will fail.”

 

This is the Lugia Alliance or Team Harmony

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(Now if you’re a Pokemon enthusiast, then you probably know that’s not the WHOLE prophecy; they’re of course missing the part about the world turning to Ash.)

The other fan base team, is kinda a no brainer, because they were iconic. You can’t have Pokemon without…. you guessed it….

 

TEAM ROCKET!!!!!

Though, so far, most of those claiming to be Team Rocket are using the iconic villians to do more pranks and less actual…..villiany.

In fact there’s even a Team Rocket group that’s more about charity work then villiany; check it out here.

I have to admit; I’ve joined Team Rocket.  Just last night my son and I were walking our dog around the outside track at the gym hunting Pokemon, working on hatching the eggs, and all around killing time until my husband got off work.  It’s late, after 11pm, and we are NOT the only ones on this track; in fact there’s another family of 6 walking the track too.

We pass them a couple times, when on one pass one of the boys – who is bout my son’s age- calls over and asks if we had caught a Psyduck. To which MY son exclaims, “I TOLD you they were playing too!!!”

Smart-ass…..

Anyway, I had to restart my app, but I told the kid that yea, I had caught a couple. After they passed us, my app loaded and suddenly I realized that there was a Psyduck NEARBY and that was what the kid was asking about…. So, I immediately start looking for the goofy fowl – I want my Golduck dammit.

I quickly find it, and tell my kid, showing him the Psyduck standing next to the fishing lake. He cheers and exclaims, LOUDLY, “WE FOUND THE PSYDUCK!!!!!”

(facepalm)

I catch it-because, yea GOLDUCK!- and again my kid cheers, proclaiming loudly that we caught it. To which I exclaim; “TEAM ROCKET BLAST OFF AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT!!!!!” And race off to my car, leaving a stunned kid and a cackling father in my wake.

Back on track; once you’ve chosen one of the 3 main teams, you can then participate in gym battles in one of two ways… Attacking an Enemy gym (or one that defended by a different team) or by Sparring/Defending at a Friendly gym (or a gym that’s defended by one of your own team members).

Sparring with your team mates is a great way to level up your Pokemon, and defending a gym nabs you some cool prizes. Don’t be overly disappointed  if your gym is constantly overtaken; it’s going to happen.

Eventually, the game is supposed to roll out neat features like trading options and global leader boards.  Also, eventually, there will be mass city wide events to capture rare and legendary Pokemon…. but considering the game is barely a week old, I’ll give the developers a little slack. I’m still attempting to get my 3rd and final Evee evolution still, and haven’t even catch half of the 135 Pokemon that are available at the moment.

Honestly, I’m looking forward to the all the upgrades. It’s unclear how long the craze surrounding this game will go on for.  Will it still be popular once everyone’s data bills come in at the end of the month? A month from now, will people still be milling around in-mass at the poke-stops?  Who knows….

Personally, it gives me something to do while I walk. I could honestly walk around all day just collecting Pokemon; but sadly the heat drives me inside to the a/c, and both my kid and dog lack the enthusiasm and stamina I seem to possess.  Not sure how…. you’d think a 7 yr old and a dog would be able to run circles around a 32 yr old librarian….buuut apparently not.

It makes things doubly interesting since I’m planning on going into the military soon; so I’ll really be ‘travelling across the lands, searching far and wide’ on my Pokemon journey!

So, until next time! Be safe all you fellow Pokemon Trainers! No Catching and Driving!

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Adventures in Camping

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It starts off slow, a few wispy clouds to the south. Then builds….

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Soon  the sky has grown ominoysly dark. The wind picks up and thunder cracks the sky, shaking your very bones.

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An evening thunderstorm has arrived.

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Not uncommon at this time of year in Oklahoma.

Just figures its my damn luck to be camping when it does.

Yea, you heard me, my pasty white ass is in stuck in a tent in the middle of a thunderstorm. Just bloody brilliant.

Last time ot stormed, we road it out in the car because the poor dog is terrified of storms. This time…..hubby has the car.

I’ve prepared an covered area for the dog to hide, I’ve covered things that would be ruined if gotten wet, and I’ve even had the mind to set aside some firewood and kindling so I can make a fire later…… if the rains let up later.

Last time I had a big enough fire going that I kept some embers alive despite the downpour; yet getting a damn fire to actually CATCH after that was a pain in the ass. So now firewood is covered.

We’re about as ready as we can be for this storm. Even have a little green umbrella….just in case.

Lemme tell ya, riding out a thunderstorm in a tent is not one of my favorite things to do.  For one….its loud. No, I’m not talking ’bout the thunder either; though that was plenty loud too. No, the bloody RAIN was loud. And being in a small tent, it sounded like it was RIGHT ABOVE YOU….. ’cause, well…. it really was.

The munchkin and I ended up sleeping through it all. Fortunatley, the tent didnt blow away (YAY!) and we stayed dry.  Granted, that was mostly do to the fact that we were on an air mattress, had we been on the ground in sleeping bags, we would have woken up very damp this morning.

The tent leaked.

Yup….aint that grand? Though, you get what you pay for and really, how well do you expect a cheap $24 tent to hold up to a thunderstorm???

When the hubby got back close to 1:30 am, we went up to the bath house so I could go potty. I’m at the sink, washing my hands when I felt something bump my foot. Thinking its another june bug, I glance down.

Its not a june bug.

Its about the size of my fist, a dingy brown color….  now, I don’t have my glasses on, so to me it kinda looks like a….RAT!!!!!

Now, I didn’t scream, presay(of course, I didn’t,  I never scream) but I may have sucked in a rather large noisy breath that turned into hysterical laughter.

It wasn’t a rat….it was a TURTLE.  There was a bleaping turtle, covered in mud, in the women’s bath house.

Sadly, my phone was dead at the time so I couldn’t get a picture of the lil bugger. Thank goddess it was the middle of the night and no one was awake to witness me bout to loose my shit over a damn turtle.

Other then a little leaking, which may or may not be fixed with a little bit of sealant, and a wee run in with a peeping tom turtle, we made it though the night without any problems.

The morning, however,  is a different story.

Ugh….I hate mud. Its all well and good if you purposely go out with the intent of getting muddy. After a night of heavy rain, everything is damp and dirty. So it takes twice as long to clean and put away everything.

Which doublely sucks since we were heading out today, so I had to pack up the tent….which of co u rse, was covered. Had to roll up the mattress, which first had to be dried since, yea it was laying in a puddle.

We didnt really wanna stop our camping adventure yet,  but apparently this lake only allows you to camp for 10 days in a row before you gotta leave for at least 7. A little silly if you ask me. I mean, I understand why they do it and all…. but still.

All in all it was a fun trip. Wotko’s first. Kid is 7 yrs old and we hadn’t taken him camping yet. How awful is that?

He loves it, as most kids seem to. So we’ll probably be back out there in 7 days time, or we’ll go to another lake (every time we go back to the house we’re staying at, my husbands aunt tried to give our dog away. How fucked up is that? All because she’s on a chain. But, I digress).

So far we’ve seen tons of animals fish, turtles, snakes, geese…soooo many geese, a crane, various birds, and squrriels.

We’ve found 2 baby snake skeletons, which was so cool. What? I collect bones and weird shit, hush, don’t  judge.

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We found a baby bird… at first I thought it had been hurt. We caught it and put it into a bucket so our hell hound wouldn’t  see it.

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Turns out, it was fine. Probably tired. Apparently it was learning to fly that day. Mama bird was in the tree right above me, and bot was she pissed when I picked up Jr. After it rested, it hopped out of the bucket and it and Mama went back to uts flying lessons. Which was rather cool to watch.

The geese were near permenent guests at our site. Every morning and wvening they would come by, at least 30 of them.

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We did have a few hiccups during the trip. On day 1, since my husband was working a lot, Wotko and I went and set up camp.

No, biggie, right? Setting up a tent is fairly easy.

Well we get everything set up and I’m working on building a fire. Never really tried doing so before, least not without lighter fluid. I’m sitting on one of the larger srones of the fire pit when this older gentleman comes up and offers me a folding chair.

Well, thats sweet. I had wanted a chair, but it hadn’t been on the budget this run. So, I tell him thank you and he offers to lend a hand if we need help. He poi ts us to this big, nice RV with a sleek Mustang sitting beside it. He apparenly even has a dishwasher in there.

How the hell is THAT camping?  But, I don’t say anything. My Mama taught me manners, and when someonenis being nice to you, you don’t get snide.

So anyway, he leaves and I go back to my fire. Then a while later he comes back and asks if we’re ‘ok’.

It hasnt even been an hour.

Me: Well, yes sir, we’re fine.

Mr. Nice Guy: Are you sure? *looks at tent* because you look a little ill prepared.

*twitch*

It takes everyrhing I have not to say: ‘why? Because i dont have a dishwasher in my tent?’

By this point I’m a little peeved, but am still being polite. He leaves and we dont see him til the next day.

The hubby is off work that afternoon, so he’s cooking us steaks. The guy comes BACK over and is like ‘ooooh so there is a man, here. I was worried there for a minute.’

Then he starts talking to my hubby about our tents and just making small talk.

I’m bout to loose it. Few things get me as steamed as someone thinking I NEED a man to take care of me. Sexist bullshit pisses me off, so badly.

After that, Mr. Nice Guy didn’t say a thing to us for a solid week. He didn’t even come get his chair when he left.

Then there was a lady who complained about our dog being left at site. Even though she had food, water and was right next to the lake so she could go lay in the water.

She ended up coming over and feeding her and shit. As if our Mia was starving. She JUST had a big steak all to herself. She’s not starving.

Then there were the idiots who decided that HEY LETS GO FISH WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE CAMPING. (-_-) Ugh.

First time this idiot was fishing RIGHT NEXT to the dog. And she was terrified of this guy waving a pole around. I got back from work and there he was, 2 ft from my dog. Like, seriously WTF?

I (politely) chased him off. Then a few days later, I’m sitting there cooking andsome other idiots pull into the area between our site and our neighbor, and get out to fish. Not only that, seeing us RIGHT THERE, they come over onto our site and start fishing.

Seriously,  did they change lake etiquette and I wasn’t aware of it? I coulda sworn that if someone was camping, you didnt fish. Same as if someone was fishing, you didnt swim in that area.

So this time, I sicced my Wotko on them. See how relaxing fiahing is when you have a 7 yr old talking your damn ear off.

They lasted about 10 minutes before they went back to their car.

Not saying my kid is annoying. Buuuut, he’s a talker. And he’s not shy in the slightest.

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Other then that, it was a fairly relaxing trip. I look forward to the next one. ‘Til then, here are some pictures Wotko and I took over our trip.

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Best Day Ever!

So, I had the opportunity to attend a Steve Spangler Science workshop through my work. I had never been to one of his workshops, but we do have a one of his books: Naked eggs and flying potatoes : unforgettable experiments that make science funthat we used some experiments from last year during the Science themed Summer Reading Program.

The workshop was on ‘Exploring Amazing Hands-on Science and Literature with Young Learners’….how could I NOT want to attend???

Granted, it’s geared more to teachers than librarians, but child educators are child educators regardless of their titles. And science is totally awesome and essential. Even more so in an area where there are people who still believe the planet is flat, the sun revolves around the earth and/or that dinosaurs lived along side man a mere few thousand years ago……

That being said, it’s become one of my career goals to try to add some science, some nonfiction, some S.T.E.A.M. aspect to all my programming.  For those of you who don’t know what S.T.E.A.M. is, it’s an acronym that stands for: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

This workshop is all about making connections, and getting kids engaged.

Steve Spangler is incredibly energetic and funny. Who would have thought that a fun, interesting way to get a discussion going on air movement was to show kids how to effectively and EFFICIENTLY toilet paper a house???

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It’s not enough to just toss it, oh no…. a paint roller is the perfect fit for a TP roll, attach said roller to a leaf blower and BOOYAH you have an Automatic House TP-er….

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I only wish I had thought to get video of it before the demonstration was done.

Sure, there will probably (definitely) be some annoyed parents and teachers wanting to know WHY you decided to teach the kids how to do that. But, who cares, they’re now engaged and you can have conversations and discussions on WHY it worked and how air moves.

There was an experiment on bubbles…because what kid doesn’t like bubbles???

Now sadly, just making bubbles isn’t really an experiment….it’s great fun, but not an experiment. You’re  not testing anything, and to be a true experiment, you need variables to test. So you could test different bubble solutions. Or…

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Which types of gloves will work best to hold bubbles. What size bubble is best for bouncing? Oh yea… Bubble +Science = So much fun!

Bouncing Bubbles Video

Bubbles Inside Bubbles video

Or you could try to make square bubbles….

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There were dozens of experiments involving colors.  Everything from making your own at-home lava lamps to demonstrate liquid density.

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To mixing primary colors.

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I’ve tried a similar activity during a storytime before, using tempera paint in plastic baggies. I think I prefer this method, the color gel mixes well and the kids can then hang the baggies up against a window and it’ll give off a stained glass window effect.

Another color experiment we did was trying to make 24 different colors only using the three primary colors (red, blue and yellow).

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Which was rather fun… some people just randomly mixed colors until they got 24 different shades. Others started off with a single base color and then added one drop of another, then 2 drops, then 3 drops etc., etc.; thus guaranteeing 24 different shades.

I did a bit of both. LOL

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Afterward, we added some Jelly Crystals to the mixtures.

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And waited….. by which means, we all went to lunch. LOL

By the time we got back from exploring the Science Museum (which if you’re in Oklahoma and you haven’t been, you really should go, it’s an awesome place).

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We had crystals! Or rather, Jelly-like crystals. Being a collector of crystals, I’m not sure these would count in any-way-shape-or-form as ‘crystals’; buuut it was still pretty cool.

If you put the differnt colored ‘crystals’ together, they’ll share water between themselves and actually mix the colors; and if you decide to just let them dry out, they’ll retain the color and you can then put them in a flower pot or such. Or turn them into a frozen owie pack for the kiddos.

There was also a sound portion where we used Palm Pipes (pre-cut PVC pipes in different sizes that when tapped with the flat of your palm will make different musical notes). The task was to gather in groups and ‘make our own songs’. Which was interesting to say the least; as someone who is musically challenged, I was at a loss on this one. Fortunatly there were a few in my group who had a better knowledge of music then I did and were willing to play conductor.

Music just isn’t my thing.

Though, after the event, Mr. Spangler sent out an email on how to make our own set of Palm Pipes (sadly, no that will not be shared). If I get bored one year I might make a set and attach them to a stand; then just let the kiddos make their own music without having to worry about the different pipes disappearing.

The last portion of the workshop was dedicated to the making of something I know every kid will love…. SLIME!

Yea, you heard me. Slime.

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We made regular slime, glow-in-the-dark slime, shiny slime, and even made slime using Elmers glue….. which was a ooey gooey white mess that looked like something I’d rather not speak about…. but let your mind wonder into the gutter for a moment and I’m sure you’ll get the idea.  I mean, don’t get me wrong; it was indeed slime….. the visual though.

Moving on…

After that we made Atomic Worms….

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Which are black light reactive…. oooh yea…. those bad-boys glowed like something out of a sci-fi movie.

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How wicked is that?  I’m going to have to remember this the next time I do a Halloween party. LOL.

Seriously, all goofing aside. It was a great workshop. We discussed various ways of linking Science and Literature together to get the kids engaged and involved. It was a wonderful experience and I only wish I could convince my bosses that they really, really want to send me on the Science in the Rockies or even better the Science at Sea workshops….. somehow I doubt they’d be willing to foot the bill for me to have a 3 day trip to the Colorado Mountains, or a week long cruise trip to Alaska…. even if we’d be discussing science.

If you ever get the chance to attend one of the Steve Spangler workshops; I would recommend it. He really is very entertaining and has a unique way of getting kids interesting in science.

If you want to check out Spanglers stuff, or order some of his science kits, go to Steve Spangler Science; and if you’re in Oklahoma and want to check out and visit the Museum, then head over to Oklahoma Science Museum to check out their prices and newest exhibits.

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Filed under Adventures of the Not So Nice Librarian, Science, STEAM, Storytime

New Year, New Goals, New Life

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY EVERYONE!!!

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I hope everyone reading this, and even those who don’t-though, really you should cause I’m awesome, but I digress, are having a wonderful day spending time with the people they love…. or in the case of those celebrating Singles Awareness Day, I hope you too are enjoying your day doing whatever it is you enjoy doing and I hope all the lovey-dovey hearts and chocolate posts haven’t driven you to the point of insanity yet.

Well, here we are, about half way through the second month in the New Year; it’s time to take a moment and reflect.  Sadly our year so far has been chaotic to say the least.  Which I detest, I really do, I like things being quiet and easy going…if I want excitement, then I’ll go out and actively pursue it, otherwise, I like my quiet solitude. Unfortunately that just hasn’t been the case this year. .

They was some upheavel during January; enough so that for a while there we thought we would have to move once again. Not really something I wanted to do, but coming back to a chaotic and stressful house every day wasn’t either.

February seems to be going better; one of our cousins just bought a new house so helping them get it ready has proven to be a distraction for just ’bout everyone.

So, for the moment, things seem to have settled. Which is good; we’re still wary and tense coming into the house, wondering what the mood is going to be like…but so far, things have returned to some semblance of normality. *knock on wood*

This year seems to be all about fitness. Something my husband has been actively pursuing for well over a year now, especially in recent months after a leg injury in the summer kept him from work for monthes on end.

With that injury and the required physical theapy that followed; my dear hubby seems to have found his niche in life.

Physical therapy and personal training.

Something he is now actively going to school for and pursuing a degree in .

His hard work and studying is already beginning to pay off, as in the last month, he’s developed a bit of a following at the gym. It started with one of the trainers leaving to open his own gym; leaving many of the women in his morning class in a bit of a bind since he didn’t provide child care at his gym, where as the Wellness Center did.

Next thing my hubby knew, he had some of those ladies asking him for help, since he was always there and seemed like he knew what he was doing….. then, before he knew it, he had an unofficial class on his hands. People calling and texting him on his off days asking for regiments, asking if he would be in the gym that day or even to let him know they wouldn’t be making ot to the ‘class’.

Which caught the Wellness Center’s manager’s attention, and boom, he’s got a job doing what he loves and they’re planning on sending him to the classes to get certified TO be an official personal trainer. Go baby!

Now, where do I come in on all this? My fitness participation was sporadic at best, non existent at worst.

I’ll admit, the gym bores me. I’m much more of a get outside and play kinda girl, rather than a gym rat.  I had the inclination to improve myself, but not really the drive.

I was/am reasonably happy with myself and saw no reason to change. Plus, I hated exercise. I hated being sore and achy. I hate being sweaty and nasty smelling.  The only time you’d see me running was if there was a bear chasing me.

That being said…. the drive provided itself in the oddest and most innocent of ways….my son.

I’m laying there in bed cuddling with my kiddo when he bounced his head on my stomach and goes: “mommy your tummy is squishy….” then with a very serious face, “are you having another baby???”

Anyone who knows me knows that I loathed being pregnant. I had never intended on having children in the first place. Didnt want em, didn’t really even like em (kinda ironic that I ended up being a Children’s Librarian, huh?). My first, and only pregnancy thank you very much, was a complete and total ‘oops’.  It was completley unexpected and unintended and has changed my life in ways I never knew it could.  It took a while for the concept of ME being a ‘mom’ to sink in; up until that point I had always been told I had the maternal instincts of a guppy.

In any case, I’ve come to enjoy and cherish motherhood in all its complexities. However, that doesn’t mean I want more. One was more than enough, he’s turned out to be wonderful….why mess with perfection? Plus there was the teeny tiny issue of almost loosing both him and I during the delivery and the general unpleasantness-i.e. spending literally an entire 9 months puking my guts out and feeling like I had the flu- that was my pregnancy.  Yea no….have no desire for a repeat.

So needless to say, having my son ask me if I WAS pregnant, really gave me the kick in the ass I needed. The next week I went and renewed my membership at the Wellness Center and my husband volunteered to be my ‘personal trainer’.

Just about every day since, I’ve in there.  In the mornings, my hubby has his morning class and gets his work out in then in the evening time I come in and workout.

We started off slow, working to build me back up because WOOOOOOW, I had not realized how horribly out of shape I was.

I mean, I did yard work, and hiking but these things were all reasonably low impact. I knew I had bad knees – known that one for ages.  Hell I started having problems with my knees in high school.  Then, some time while my son was an infant I hurt my shoulder…. not sure when or what I did, but I could barely lift my arm and getting anything above shoulder height-yea right.

I’ve come to find that there’s something very relaxing about working out; just having your music blaring and counting out the reps.  I can see why my hubby likes it so much…. still prefer being out in nature myself.

Which is why I decided that one of my ‘goals’ was to run a 5k.  I’ve done a 5k before; a friend and I did one last year and it was fun, but we walked most of it. So this time my goal was to actually RUN one.

So…

Goals for 2016:
– run a 5k
-participate in one of the 5k obstacle courses
-be able to lift 20lbs over my head
-go on an over night thru hike
-be able to hike with 50+ pounds for at least 3 miles (in case either my son or dog are injured while out on a hike, I’ll be able to carry them back out again.)
-complete the 500 miles Challenge by the end of 2016

Just a few of the goals I wish to accomplish this year. This is a year for fitness – even the Summer Reading Program theme for 2016 is Fitness – and Adventures.

I want to be able to take my son out and explore the natural world around us.  I want to be able to take him hiking up mountains and camping. Real camping where you need to carry the gear with you, rather then just park and have the car and tent right there.

But all these things require me to be in better shape then what I currently am.  It’s not even about loosing weight, though there is that too; I’m just tired of feeling like an old woman when I’m only 31.

So far, it seems to be working. My knees no longer hurt as much and I can actually jog short distances.  Walking is still easiest – I can walk 5 miles in about an hour and  a half. On the days I’m off, thats what I do after I drop Boo off at school.  I go back to the outside track and walk 5 miles. I’m averaging 10, sometimes 15 miles a week…. which isnt bad if I do say so myself.

My shoulder still needs work – lots of work – but we’re getting there. By the time Spring gets here – if she isn’t early like so many think she’s going to be this yr – I might actually be ready to do the Warrior Dash obstacle course in May. Which is something I’ve been wanting to try for years now.

I’ll have a new  Storytime post of ya’ll later this week as well. I’m doing an Elephant and Piggie storytime.  I’m actually really excited, not only is it the first storytime of the new year, but I love Elephant and Piggie.  The only issue seem to be CHOOSING which books I want to read that day!

Until then, I hope everyone has been havng a wonderful year so far…and if youre not, well….its still early enough to change it.

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Filed under Adventures of the Not So Nice Librarian, Uncategorized

How I Spent My Christmas Vacation….

Ah Christmas break, that wonderful time of year when kids get out of school and get two weeks of freedom…. Parents generally associate it as two weeks of Hell.  Especially when the weather is crappy, like it has been, where two weeks of freedom is reduced to two weeks of listening to children argue and fight because it is  to nasty to go outside and play and they’re bored out of their minds and getting stir crazy.

So yea…great fun.

I’ve never been so happy to go back to work; even though getting out of bed a oh-dark-thirty on Monday morning was physically painful and no amount of coffee seemed to be able to wake my ass up.

Over all, the two weeks off was nice.  I didn’t do much more than eat, sleep, and read… pretty sure I gained back every bit of weight I had lost over the last few months.

And other than a few hiccups involving kids fighting, broken toys and the unspoken opinions of who is coddling who, along with the added bonus of varying opinions of the appropriate responses to “getting over” personal issues…. the vacation was nearly drama free.

New Years was nice, we took a few days to get away and visit some OTHER family.  Got to drink (a lot) and not feel guilty about having something stronger then beer or wine.  Got my ass handed to me in dominoes.  Though, in my defense, it was the first time I had really ever truly played dominoes before….and oddly enough I seemed to get better at it the longer I played and the more I drank.  Go figure.

In any case, having a few days away was much appreciated; had some nice homemade Mexican food…. oh yea, it was wonderful.  I was such a glutton.

But now it’s back to the real world, and back to work, back to school and all the lovely annoyances like homework and behavior reports that go along with it.

That being said, I have to share with you this latest incident…

So, yesterday, there I am being a good mom and diligently working on making my son’s birthday cake (He’s 7 today!!! Happy Birthday baby!!).  He had a bizarre request for his cake this year; I’m beginning to think he makes an effort at trying for combinations to stump me now.  Last year it was chocolate cake with orange frosting, and oh I want orange FLAVORED frosting.

This year he wanted chocolate cake, chocolate and orange frosting, strawberries, bananas, and marshmallows.  (-_-)  Really? That’s what you’re going with?  But, whatever, it’s your cake.  I can work with it.

So, yea, there I am, making this cake and making some chocolate covered strawberries and bananas to go with it; when I get a message from his teacher saying I needed to check his folder when he got home because he had a disciplinary note.

Great, just freaking great.  What was it now???  We’ve been having a few issues with behavior lately; nothing overly horrifying, but there’s been running around in class, hitting and even a 2-day in-school detention for fighting… so yea, WTF was it THIS time??

I go and get him from school at three; and right off the bat, he plops his folder down on the divider between the seats and says he got a note from the teacher.  The conversation does as follows:

Son: I got a discipline note…

Me: I know, your teacher told me.  What did you do?

Son: *sheepishly* She didn’t tell you?

Me: No, she didn’t.  So what did you do?

Son: Well…um… *takes a deep breath and sighs in defeat* I pulled my pants down at recess.

Me: …………………… you did what????

Son: I pulled my pants down at recess.

Me: Why would you do that?????

Son: Because *classmate* was picking on me and wouldn’t stop so I pulled my pants down.

Me: ………….so you… mooned him?????? *trying really hard to keep a straight face and NOT laugh*

Son: Yea….

Me: And did it work? Did he stop picking on you?

Son: ……..well….no…..

Me: Then it didn’t work and we’re not going to do it any more ARE we??

Son: Yes ma’am….

 

*facepalm*

 

What do you say to that? I don’t even know where he even learned it.  He said from a buddy, but who knows. Of all the things he could have gotten in trouble for; I hadn’t been expecting THAT. Good grief.

How sad is it, though, that I’m a wee-bit impressed at his creativity?  I mean, how many kids think to moon the person that’s picking on them instead of, oh I don’t know….hitting them? Or crying? Or just suffering silently until years down the line they snap and go on a killing spree?

SMH… that boy, I swear.  Never a dull moment.

Well, I hope everyone that celebrated had a wonderful holiday, and a great start to a new year.

I’ve decided this year that we’re going to go on more adventures.  See more things, do more things… Get my kid out of the small town and explore this state we live in a bit more.

Til next time folks…

 

 

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Filed under Adventures of the Not So Nice Librarian, Humor, sh** my family says