Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy Belated Pioneer Day!

Grumpa Max and Grandmary c. late 1990s
aka the year we dropped J off at the MTC

As mentioned last year, July 24th is Pioneer Day -- a uniquely Mormon holiday which honors those Mormon pioneers who trekked across the United States into what became the state of Utah. Many of those pioneers travelled in covered wagons, like the one pictured above.

Our pioneer story is a little different, though both sides of the family come from pioneering stock. Grandmary's ancestors settled the South, and were among the first converts in North Carolina. Their numbers swelled and generations later the faith is still quite strong. Grumpa Max's relatives immigrated to the West from England where they were probably converted, via Prince Edward Island and headed southwest to Utah via the Canadian Plains. I'm sure covered wagons and other modes of transport were used as his ancestors travelled Westward.

Just by converting these ancestors were pioneers in the truest sense of the definition: "one who is first or among the earliest in any field of inquiry, enterprise, or progress." Whether they travelled to Utah to join the larger body of Saints or they stayed in their communities to lead by example or to presevere in the face of prejudice and opposition, I honored to be their descendant and am proud of my pioneer heritage.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

When POTUS comes to town

and requires blocking off the street by the Big J ... and his motorcade* drives by ... this is what you can see from my office window!

*may or may not contain the POTUS, and may or may not be actual motorcade, and may or may not be driving the wrong way down the street

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Introducing G-Dawg!

As previously discussed in the FAQs, Auntie Nettie has a long standing policy of not posting pictures of herself, hubbie G-Dawg, or our off-spring on this blog. However, I decided to make an exception today.

Today, I'm proud to release a photo of the G-Dawg himself. Or actually, a partial picture of G-Dawg. He would like to remain anonymous, invisible you might say. I, on the other hand, would like to sing his praises! (Click on the links for more information about our wedding and offspring.)

G-Dawg may look like a stuffed shirt, but he's really ever so cuddly. He provides a warm and safe embrace, and a shoulder to lean on. He stays close by when we sleep, but doesn't get his feelings hurt when I push him away in the middle of the night when I need space. He's not a cover hog. When he gets "funky," he doesn't get a 'tude when I tell him he needs a wash. He's the perfect man for me. This is a picture of his better half.

Even though I consider my G-Dawg one-of-a-kind, I understand if you'd like a paragon like this of your very own. If so, you can go here and get one.

And now G-Dawg would like to resume being known as the Invisible Man in Auntie Nettie's Attic!*

*yes, Jane Eyre is my favorite book. How did you know?! He's nothing like Bertha. NOTHING!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jane Austen Fight Club

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that no one shall speak of Fight Club.

Enjoy the latest mashup, which skips the book and goes straight to the trailer:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Toy Sociey Drop

Made and dropped by: Auntie Nettie
When: Saturday, July 24, 2010 at about 10:00 EDT
Where: On a bench outside the side entrance of the Katonah Village Library, Katonah, NY, USA
What: Little Bear
Auntie Nettie says: I dropped this little guy on a bench across from the door nearest the Children's Room, in the hope that a family will find him and take him home. Since it's been so hot, maybe it'd be a "cool" treat for a summers day.

Stay tuned to The Toy Society to see if and when this little guy finds a new home.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer Adventures of The Shushing Librarian - Part Three

S.L. here again. Sorry about the delay in posting the rest of my travel/food critique of the North Carolina trip with Auntie Nettie and Grandmary. I was in a swoon from all the yummy sexy men-in-towels and scholars advocating on behalf of libraries. It took me a few days to recuperate enough to post again. Weren't you distracted too?

Anyway ...

So, where was I? Oh yes. In North Carolina eating my way from barbeque joint to barbeque joint. However ... I did make an exception one day for a donut. Way back in the day, before it franchised and expanded all over America, Krispy Kreme donuts were a Southern delicacy. Grandmary remembers eating them in her youth. One Sunday on the trip, on a futile trip around a sleepy town looking for a florist, having ducked out of church early, she drove us down the strips and drags of her youth to find one of the old Krispy Kreme stores. Alas, it had been replaced by a newer building, full of new flavors and conveniences like a drive-through. That didn't stop the "girls" from getting "two originals to go, please."Did they share? What do you think? HA!I imagine this is what niece Amber looks like when she inhales contraband carbohydrates.As you can see, they DID NOT share the donut with me, but they did give their opinions. To summarize: Krispy Kremes just aren't the same anymore. They are fine, but something's been lost in all the growth over the years -- they aren't as special now that you can get them at the local 711 or QuickEstop. Plus, honestly, we've all had better.

One of the things that we all agreed on was how wonderful Smithfield's barbeque is. The family used to be all about going to Wilber's, but subsequent trips have swayed family opinions. The consensus from all the cousins is that Smithfield's is the way to go. Plus it was a local joint that was embraced by the community and has now expanded beyond the original store in, you guessed it, Smithfield. Even late at night, it's a hopping joint with vintage and unique touches. On our first visit, it was late, so we didn't get a lot. A pulled pork and coleslaw sandwich with a side of hushpuppies. No fries on this trip. It was so good, and just enough. After the initial hunger was staved off, I got to examining the decor. It certainly wasn't the usual barbeque joint/fast food decor.
Turns out that silver screen legend Ava Gardner was born near Smithfield, and the restaurant had lots of memorabilia to celebrate their local-girl-gone-Hollywood. There's an Ava Gardner museum downtown (here's all I got to see on our quick drive down the main strip -- no time on this trip), and there are streets named after her and she's buried in town.Grandmary and Ms. Ava were not amused by my antics with a camera in the restaurant. Being good Southern women, they did not deem it appropriate. I GOT SHUSHED! How ironic.(This should be captioned: Don't make me throw this hushpuppy at you!)

Smithfield's ended up being the restaurant chain of choice on this trip, with the "girls" eating at least three meals from there. Pints of barbeque and a dozen hushpuppies were even purchased to take home to GrumpMax. Somehow, only about 9 hushpuppies actually made it to CT. Auntie Nettie claims to have "no idea what happened!" All I know is that I didn't eat them.

Oh well. The one other culinary highlight of this trip was the presence of hot sauce on the table of every restaurant we visited. Even the Denny's at the beginning of the trip. Why can't we lobby to have this in Northern restaurants too?! Even though I may look all buttoned up and/or repressed in my librarian gear, I'm spicy on the inside ... just like I like my food!This entry concludes my culinary review of the North Carolina Roadtrip. The unfortunate side-effect of all this posting is that I'm craving barbecue! Sadly, Auntie Nettie is off food right now, and there's nothing in the fridge in her studio. I have high hopes for some culinary explorations when I stay with Christine and Bob. That girl can cook! (No offense, Nettie.)

Stay tuned for my reports on my future Amazing Adventures. I'll leave you with some hints: it involves more hogs. LOTS of them!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Letters from Ollie J - July 22, 1994

Note: I had relocated from my first post-college apartment to the first in a series of studios about this time. I was settling in, and actually had applied to work at Caramoor -- though I didn't hear from them until late in August. Little did I know that this was par for the course.

The summer of 1994 was busy and interesting: moving, commuting to NYC, enjoying my neighbor's kids and the pool in the backyard, and the first trip to Utah to see relatives in about 10 years. Now that I think about it, that was the last "regular" summer until I started working at the Big J. I'm finally getting BACK to that kind of summer.

22 July 1994

[The Farm
Pikeville, NC]

Dear [Granddaughter],

What a sloffl[sic] grand ma you have should have written you long ago. So many things or changes for you. Probely[sic] sent it to the wrong place. Because am hoping you are settled in a good place now and Happy in work.

Thanks for much for the pictures and the newsy letter.

We have been dry and hot here for a while Now it is thunder storms and rain. (Not as heavey[sic] rain as in some places.) So – the grass is growing. Mow ever week. Quite a chore. Got a bushel of peaches and canned part and froze part of them. Good flavored and ripe. Look nice on shelf.

Am proud you stuck to the books and studied hard. And all worked but good. Hope work is becoming more interesting and easer[sic] to do.

Well it is only a week and I’ll be in SLCity. How time flies. Getting excited too.

Now to select and pack things to take. What a chore. Always pack to[sic] much.

Are you going out with your parents to Reunion? Don’t recall any one saying.

Its fogy[sic] here this morning.

Want to mop my floor this morning and Finish a dress. But if don’t get dress done I will wear something else. So not all that important.

Keep the good work and keep smiling.

I’ll try to write again sooner next time to[sic].

We leave 28 July. Back 19 Aug.
A Cousin Lucille is going with me. Hope she has a good time she has never been. Yes her Husband is dead. We make a good team. If dries off want to mow yard before I leave. [Lucille's picture is up on the June 20, 2010 post.]

Love You


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Spice brings more sexy back to the library

This parody of yesterday's Old Spice Ad is too good to resist posting, even if it was done at BYU. Plus, it's wholesome enough that I don't have to worry about what my parents might think (though I do wonder what President Lee would say about the goings on in his library)*.

They call him New Spice. I just say YUM.

Articles can be found here.

*or what my grandmother would think about this post being followed up by her letters.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Old Spice brings sexy back to the Library

Thanks to the efforts of librarian Andy Woodworth, the Old Spice campaign brought some sexy back to the library:

On Twitter, @wawoodworth wrote "ATTN LIBRARIAN TWEEPS: Need help getting @oldspice guy to say a few words regarding libraries. RT plz. Thanks."

Here's the response:

Favorite line(s):
"Written words are the non-pictures that convey any thing to other minds."
"Stop throwing pigeons!"

Thanks Old Spice.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Fridays/Weekends 2010 - Part Four

Stopping to smell the roses:

Maybe stopping to smell the roses at the Botanical Gardens at mid-day in July when it was very clear, bright, and deceptively hot since there was no breeze wasn't the smartest idea when you've been under the weather, but it did get me out of the apartment and get me some Vitamin D.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Adventures of The Shushing Librarian - Part 2

S.L. here to tell you all about my Amazing Adventures on the North Carolina Road trip with Auntie Nettie and Grandmary. I had hoped to get some driving in on this trip. Here I am perched ever so optimistically on the wheel. Since it was an automatic, I thought I could get away with driving one-handed. However, as anyone who has travelled with Grandmary knows, that was a silly, silly thought. ONLY Grandmary drives. No one else. Like Auntie Nettie, I was sent to the passenger seat. Maybe I should have packed a booster seat? Also, before you fuss at me, I did put on my seat belt. I've driven with Auntie Nettie too often NOT to.Somewhere South of New Jersey we finally stopped at a culinary hot spot, a Denny's. Bathrooms, air conditioning, endless Diet Cokes, cheap "fast" food. What else do you need on a road trip, especially after about 5-6 hours on the road?We all checked in to a Super 8, which was quite affordable and more than adequate with free wi-fi, air conditioning, cable, endless hot water and towels, ice machines, and a pool. While I used all of the amenities, I never did make it to the pool. Given that it was a holiday weekend and there were many families at the hotel, it wouldn't have been relaxing anyway.Here I am writing up my notes on the trip.
Breakfast and e-mail: Keeping up with the blogs while on the road.
As I mentioned yesterday, there was a LOT of eating on this trip. One of the most memorable trips was Sunday lunch at McCall's in Goldsboro, N.C. I highly, highly, highly recommend it.

Here's the friendly welcome mat. Bar-b-que AND Seafood. It's better than surf-n-turf.
Even better. Here's the friendly welcoming MENU for the Sunday Buffet. So many choices. So many yummy options. Can I say yes to everything? With a buffet ... YES, Yes. You can! And all for under $10.00. Ridiculous.There is a regular menu, but why would you bother on a Sunday, with the endless buffet option? For some reason Auntie Nettie was being circumspect with the camera at McCall's. Why she didn't take a picture of the HUGE BUFFETS, I'll never know. (Actually, I do. She was with family company and had to behave in front of the relatives. Plus, there were many many well-dressed Church Ladies and Deacons there, who would have looked askance at the Yankeegirl acting like a stupid tourist!)

Here's a sample of one of Auntie Nettie's plate: stuffing, green beans, coleslaw, hush puppies, fried shrimp, fried fish. She is not a fan of collards, yams, and has to be careful with the pork bar-b-que and lima beans, but others at the table had NO reservations.
Just a few of the remnants of a McCall's lunch: Chicken bones, ribs, napkins, wet wipes, and plates galore. We were stuffed. But not too stuffed for desert. How did we forget to take pictures of the banana pudding, the pecan crumble, and the ice cream?

After Sunday barbecue buffets and lots of church and visiting, there should be a mandatory NAP time to sleep off all the over indulgence. I'm sleepy just remembering.

This wasn't the only barbecue or culinary exploration on the trip. Coming soon -- Krispie Kremes and Smithfield's barbecue.

Later ya'll!