Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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The Liebster Award

My friend Anna over at A Sweet and Delicate Thing and A Glorious Beauty recently nominated me for something called a Liebster Award.

Liebster Award

 

I’ll admit, I had no idea what this was.  Fortunately my girl Anna was wonderful enough to provide a link to the ‘Official Rules’ of this award; so answering that question was easy enough.  One of the many things I love about Anna’s blogs; she always does great research before she posts something.  I may not necessarily agree with what she’s posted; but she always have facts to back up any of her opinions.  That and she has such a unique perspective on things; it’s fascinating and informative to read.

The simplest explanation of this award is that it’s to recognize new bloggers, and in turn nominate at least five other bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  Truthfully; the only two blogs I follow with any regularity are my friend Anna’s blogs. Soooo…. nominating five other newbie bloggers is going to be a bit difficult.  Admittedly, I spend far more time on Facebook than I do, here on WordPress.

Since part of this award was also answering questions the nominator posted; I guess I’ll go ahead and answer those and make an effort to browse some blogs and see if I can find any other newbies that catch my attention.

 Why do you blog and how did you get started?

I initially started blogging back in 2010, I believe. I had massive writers block for my own personal writing and was looking for some inspiration. At first, I simply shared some things I found funny.  Then I came up with the ‘Sh** My Husband Says’ idea; because really, I wish I had a recorder for the things that come tumbling out of that mans mouth. It’s too funny.  Then life happened, and I forgot about this blog for a while.  When I rediscovered it, I decided that I really should get back into writing.

Still had no idea what to write about…. at which point my Mother’s voice popped into my head: Write about what you know.

At the time, I was stalking several Storytime blogs looking for new fun ideas and crafts to do during our weekly Storytime…. which is about the time the light bulb went off in my head.

Duh… STORYTIME. You’re a Librarian, you dolt, write about what you know.

So, I started blogging my storytime ideas and crafts; and since, my son is now older and just as much of a character as his father, I couldn’t leave them out, not when they’re such a crucial part of my life.

If you could accomplish one thing with your blog, what would it be?

If some of my ideas help a single stressed, at-wits-end librarian; or my family stories entertain and cheer even a single person – I’ll feel accomplished. This blog was meant to provide information and entertain; if it does either of those two things then hey, I accomplished my goal.

What unique thing do you think you bring to the blogging community?

Unique? Hard to say; there are dozens of storytime blogs out there and I’m sure there are even more blogs about people’s families. Only thing I can say is that they aren’t written in MY voice and they aren’t MY family – who are unique in their own right.

What do you think is the most defining thing about yourself?

My morbid, twisted sense of humor? Honestly, don’t know. I’m a mother and a librarian; those are two things that I take very seriously and are two main defining factors to my being.

If you could do one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Travel with my family. My husband and my son are two of my favorite people in the world. I would love to be able to just travel the world, seeing new sights, experiencing new cultures… essentially having adventures with the two people I love most in the world.

Either that or living somewhere peaceful and scenic, surrounded by loved ones; either working at or running a library where I can continue to pass on the joy of reading and life long learning to new generations.

Not sure which idea appeals to me more….

 

Alrighty, that’s it for the questions. Like I said, I’ll browse around and look at some blogs to see what I can find and if any catch my fancy I’ll update this and nominate those bloggers in turn for this award. Thanks again for the nomination; and as always, I hope you enjoyed.

 

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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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Silly Storytime

Silly Storytime, honestly, I’m amazed that I haven’t posted this already. I could have sworn I had.

Oh well.

I started Silly Storytime last year around this time, I believe. I wanted to do something fun and goofy for April Fool’s Day, which while not actually ON my storytime day, it is at the end of the week.

So I found some fun, silly books that were either plain ol’ goofy, or had endings that were surprising.

My first book was That is Not a Good Idea by Mo Willems.

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Which is great fun….if a wee-bit morbid. Throughout the entire book you go through believing that this fox is luring this poor naive duck (goose?) to her death. All the while the cute yellow chicks, who are watching this unfold, keep reiterating how bad of an idea that is. I won’t spoil the end for you, but it certainly surprised me the first time I read it. The looks of surprise on the kids faces when the end came was great.

The next book, and a personal favorite ever since I was a kid, is Sesame Street’s The Monster at the End of This Book

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Which is just a fun book featuring Grover.  The cute, lovable blue character is terrified of the monster at the end of the book and tries everything he can think of to prevent the reader from turning pages. The ‘monster’ at the end of the book isn’t as bad a Grover thinks it will be and the kids really seemed to enjoy his antics throughout the book.

For the game portion of my storytime, I actually chose to read another book and turn it into a ‘game’.  Guess Again  by Mac Barnett is a quirky book where the reader is given a picture with a missing, silhouetted spot. On the page beside it, is a poem describing the individual/thing missing from the picture and the reader is supposed to guess what it is.

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Sure sounds like the description of a bunny, right? GUESS AGAIN! Lol. I read the description and let all the kids make guesses on what they thought it was. Then I’d finally read them the answer….they never got it right. Though a few, got close.

They enjoyed it despite never being able to guess the right answer. There were quite a few giggles at the ridiculousness of the whole thing.

The final book, was a tried and true hit The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak.

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Kids LOVE this book for all the silly sounds the adult has to read. I ended up reading it twice for my morning group. If you haven’t read this book…Go now. You NEED to read it. It’s so much fun. My kid loves it and so far it’s always a hit with the storytime kids.

For the craft we did Silly Mustaches. I did a Google search for mustache templates and found an assortment to choose from. Some were found here, while others were chosen from here.

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The kids were then allowed to decorate the mustaches however they liked. I had crayons and even various sized pompoms for them to choose from.

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Now last year, when I did this theme, I created a Silly Animal Mash-Up game for the kids to play.  I found several ‘mashed-up’ animal pictures on Google and then had the children try and figure out what animals made up the mashed-up animal.

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It went over pretty well, if I remember right.  The children got a kick out of the silly animal combinations.

I also had a bunch of books set on a cart that had Silly or Surprising themes to them.

With April coming up and Spring more or less here; I suppose it’s time to bring out my Snake Storytime. This year, since there seemed to be so little interest in the snake picture books compare to the nonfiction books; I may just do a Nonfiction Storytime about Snakes. Haven’t decided yet….

Until next time folks…. Thanks for reading!!!

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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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The Further Adventures of the Not So Nice Librarian

Episode 2: Of goats, hay and building fences….

When you think of a farm or ranch, generally a few things immediatly pop into your head. You probably envision wide open pastures, or rows after rows of corn fields, cows, horses, red barns… things of that nature. That’s kind of the stereotypical vision of a farm. Rarely does anyone think about what goes into it. Or, if they do, its a vague sort of old timey vision of a man in cover-alls getting up with the sun and working on a tractor all day.

Which, isn’t far from the truth at all. Not necessarily the coveralls part, but the up with the sun and working on the tractor parts. Though, I have to say, doing the work with the tractor is a hell of a lot easier than doing it by hand.

I’ve always enjoyed building things; there is, something immensely satisfying about building something with your own two hands. Even if it turns out not quite perfect, or the boards are warped just a bit…. it adds a bit of charm to the structure. After its all said and done, you can stand back and see the accomplishment.

Since our cousins had just moved onto this property last year, there was still a lot that needs to be built. So, last week I get up and join Becky in working in the garden. She finally has her tractor and we need to get the area that’s going to be the garden set up in preparation for Spring.

So, we build a compost bin and moved the compost pile… thank goodness it had been cool out so the pile didn’t stink to high heaven like it normally would.

After that, we started building a fence that would border the garden… yes, we were busy little bees. And ok, maybe its a little crooked and not quite as straight as it could be…but to us it looks good and dammit we think its awesome.

Anyway, as we’re building this fence, I happen to glance over and see that all 3 of the goats are out of their pen. Not surprising, really, they’re stubborn animals and I suspect the male goat lives to slip out of the pen just so he can give us attitude. He likes to slip just inside the fence and then baa at you and I just know thats the goat equivalent to ‘nanny-nanny-boo-boo you can’t get me’.

So, as you already know, the dogs are rather apt at woofing the goats. We’re working on teaching the dogs to herd the animals back into their areas if and when they get out.

We point the goats out to the dogs and tell em to ‘get the goats’; to which we get five different clueless happy doggie grins. Being the helpful human I am… I decide that it’s a brilliant idea to lead by example and SHOW the dogs what I wanted them to do…..

So I take off towards the goats, calling the dogs; who of course, come bounding after me, tails waving high, tongues lolling out with great big doggie grins. How fun! To run with their people and chase GOATS!!!

What possessed me to run, I have no idea. I don’t run. I don’t sprint, I don’t jog, I just don’t…. my knees hate me afterwards and make their displeasure very well known. So unless there’s a bear chasing me…. my @$$ doesn’t run…

And yet, there I was, running across the yard, hollering at some goats…. and wouldn’t you know it, I put my foot in a dang gofer hole. I stumble, my knee decides nope, not doing it barb, and buckles… only old soccer lessons-never quite forgotten, keep me from face planting into the grass. Instead I tuck and roll; not quite able to come to my feet again like I had been able to do back in the day.

However, the initial outcome was a success… the dogs herded the goats back into their pen and gave them what-fors.

Meanwhile, behind me, of course Becky saw me go down and is cracking up. I can’t even blame it on one of the dogs since they were all in front of me.

I climb to my feet and limp back; my knee protesting. Apparently rough-housing with the Dane and having her hip check my knee, plus a stumble are just too much for that joint as by now its making its displeasure very apparent.

Again, I’m glad my husband isn’t around to see that; the asshole (and I say that with love and affection) would have something smartass to say for sure.

We get back to work, knocking out a whole fence on one side of the garden. During this time a neighbor had brought over some big round bales of old hay. Not really good for feeding to cows anymore; however, it will make decent compost for the base of the garden.

Mix some leaves, compost, and hay together and rip it into the soil and let it sit all Winter…. should have a nice rich soil to work with come Spring and it’ll help prevent that area from washing out with the rain.

Right now the ground is nothing but red clay, not exactly the best for growing anything but grass and sticker-burs… which lemme just say OOOWWWWWCH!

Once the hay has been unloaded, there are about four bales that we’re going to spread out across the garden. Now comes the fun part-unrolling it. Which, thanks to how long its been setting, is more difficult then it should be. We have to rip huge sections off and toss them, then we’d roll the bale a bit, ripping sections as we went….

Hay got EVERYWHERE.

I always remembered playing in hay fondly, loved the smell and jumping it it, using the square bales to build forts and slides. One year my cousin’s and I climbed into the rafters of their hay barn -which at the time was full, thus enabling us to get to said rafters -and we would swing from the rafters, drop down onto a hay bale slide we had made, and ended up in a loose pile of hay. We loved it. Had a blast.

I don’t remember hay making me itch quite like this though. It was like a million teeny tiny irritating pins just worrying at any part of me that cloth hadn’t covered.

And the part that never occured to me and really should have, because uh duh…. there were other plants growing in these hay fields. Oklahoma is chock FULL of various thorny bushes, plants, trees etc. So why, oh why, did it never occur to me that there would be stickers in the hay bales? Huh?

To which there were… Whole nasty thorny plants that, in my brilliance, I dragged my hands through attempting to break up this hay. And there were gloves in the blighted truck…why didn’t I stop and grab some? Why?

Because apparently I’m an idiot.

By the time we were done, my hands were COVERED in splinters. I had hay and thorns in my palms, my fingers…everywhere. It took me an hour with clippers and tweezers to get all of the damn splinters out of my skin.

Still, despite all that, we got it done and I felt accomplished. At the end of the day I could go out and say, ‘see, look what we did today’.

So a few lessons I’ve learned in the sort time I’ve been here…

Lesson 1: Chickens are assholes that enjoy making you look idiotic as you attempt to chase them.

Lesson 2: You are not 15 anymore, do not attempt to chase the goats. Nor should you attempt to run at all unless theres an emergency…like, say, you’re being chased by a bear or a rabid bull intent on stopping you into a mud hole.

Lesson 3: You do not have rough, tough hands yet, wear freaking gloves!

And this concludes this weeks Lesson from the Not So Nice Librarian. I hope you all learned something from my stupidity. Tune in next time for more lesson in what NOT to do…..

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