Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm Auntie Nettie and I'm an Anglophile!

Somewhere across the seas, in a far away land,
there surely must be a run on peach blossoms...
for romance is in the air.The candied almonds are lain out in dishes for the guests,
and ginger-haired groomsmen are calming last minute nerves
with wafers or some chocolate.

The man who would be king is about to marry his college sweetheart.
If you have a marriage half as strong or long as your grandparents',
you'll be doing well.

With best wishes to the royal newlyweds and Long live the Queen!

Oh yes, I'm watching .. every single bit, even if the coverage is "canned."

Vintage tins courtesy of Cabot's Taffys in Provincetown, MA, c. October 2010

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

YouTube Tuesday: Explaining an Arts Non-Profit

One of these days I am going to write that semi-fictional expose/memoir of the first third of my life as a fund-raiser, under a thinly disguised nom de plume. ONE DAY! Until then, this may suffice.

If you haven't seen/heard of these series of animated monotone voice-over cartoons, the gist is that any ol' person can submit the text that will be narrated by these or other cartoon animals. Some are veryveryveryVERY not suitable for my parents, and the "humor/truth" is best appreciated by some one who has spent considerable time in the particular field on which the cartoon is based.

There are many to choose from, and many that are far to close to the truth but to be anything but painfully familiar, like this one:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Auntie Nettie's Attic Merchandise 2011 - April

That monsterworkprojectfromhell was FINALLY dropped in the mail on March 31st, with an impromptu boogie session with my comrade-in-arms highlighting our glee (read her blog here.) While she gets to have baby, art, and relocation therapy, I have crafts therapy to help me decompress.

Although the Twitter can be a major distraction, it is also very helpful when major yarn companies send out free patterns and pictures of other projects to peak your interest. Lion Brand tweeted the Crochet Posey Purse a few times over the last few months, and I finally had time to try it, and then try it again, and then, oh, again.

I'm on a materials "fast" this year, which means I am not allowed to purchase new items. Luckily for me, I knew I had purse handles stashed away in another cache. I had to adapt the pattern to make them work, but I think I like the result better, especially after I used a bit of color-appropriated leftover velcro to keep ANA 2011-16 and -17 fastened closed.

I'm also going to try and keep better track of the types, brands, and plys of the materials used -- just for kicks.

ANA 2011-13: Cream Crochet Posey Purse
(Vintage Red Heart Sport Yarn*)
with ANA 2011-18: Detachable Flower
(Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair, color may be discontinued)
ANA 2011-14: Chenille Bear with long limbs
(maybe a discontinued Lion Brand chenille)
(as of Dec. 2011, no longer available, Toys for Tots donation)
ANA 2011-15: Chenille Bear
(forgotten parts discovered in another storage bin and reassembled)
(as of Dec. 2011, no longer available, Toys for Tots donation)
ANA 2011-16: White Crochet Posey Purse (largish)
(Red Heart Super Saver, 4 ply
with ANA 2011-19: Detachable Flower
(Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair)
ANA 2011-17: Black Crochet Posey Purse (mediumish)
(Vintage wool from charity rummage sale - no label for brand)
(as of 08/2011, no longer available - nor is one of the flowers)
ANA 2011-20 and 21: Additional Flower Pins
(Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair)
In fuzzy close-up:

*So vintage, a colleague bought it at a Woolworth and those have been extinct for years

Still in progress:

2010: Stuffed Animal/Multi-fiber chevron blanket
2011: Potential Mobile of Hearts (created as part of ANA 2011-08 group),
Blue Scarf in Tapestry Wool Combo, in Diamond Pattern,
Fancy Blue Scarf

As ever, if you see anything you'd like, just contact me for sizes, availability, and costs.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Birthday to Grandmary/Mom!

Time certainly does fly by -- especially when you don't have access to all the family photo albums ...

You survived your terrible twos, the troublesome teens, the early years of marriage, parenthood, and the the terrible twos/threes/fours, etc, and troublesome teen years of your own kids.

Sadly, our teens, driving records, and high school experiences contributed to premature graying, but you still seemed to smile... most of the time.
No matter the distance or technology, you did your best to keep all the relatives in touch.
When it all got to be too much, you had your escapes to go to; New York City (the real one and the fake one in Las Vegas) and Cape Cod.
You were always up for an adventure, even if it wasn't your cup of tea, (Aren't you glad I dragged you to the Liberace Museum before it closed!?)
and you were always proud of our accomplishments -- especially after many trials and tribulations.
You taught us all to embrace learning of all kinds - supporting Dad in his higher education, taking classes of your own, and delighting in our many degrees (of insanity).
As the oldest of your generation, you continue to be a niece,
"senior" cousin to 35 other first cousins on your maternal side,
and niece/cousin/connection to your paternal side.
I'm so glad that you and Dad are finally "retired," to be those hands-on grandparents you've wanted to be for so long.

Keep on instilling that love of reading to the next generation (like you did with us),
teasing, tickling, and tumbling the kids through loving embraces (like you did with us), and imparting advice, both verbal and non-verbal to all of us. You know we need it.
Happy Birthday!
We love you.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Recipes from Aunt Flora -- Oatmeal Macaroons

Oatmeal Macaroons

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 cups coconut
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all dry ingredients together; then combine eggs, oils, and vanilla.
Drop by large spoonful onto greased cookie sheet.
Bake 12 minutes at 350 degrees. [or longer, depending on your oven.]
Watch carefully as the coconut burns easily.
Let cool on sheet before transferring to rake.

I have to say that these were a pain in the butt. I think macaroons, I think pyramid shaped coconut loveliness. So, I heaped my large spoonfuls onto my greased cookie sheet, only to see them spread out into each other and then not want to come off the sheet in one piece. I reduced the size of the spoonfuls and the number on the pan, and learned to let them cool before trying to pry them off the sheet.

Luckily for me -- they taste great (I know, I just HAD to eat the broken ones, and there were a LOT!) and the IT Department seems to prefer crispy cookies. They want crispy? VOILA!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day in the Life of The Shushing Librarian - Part 3

One of the hardest things I have learned over the years is that to be a well-adjusted Shushing Librarian, I must find a work/life balance. To that end, I have decided to take my own advice, and go out and pursue those music lessons I was talking about the other month when I was out with Auntie Nettie and the girls.

Right now all of those notes are nothing more than scribbles on a page, but I have great tenacity. Granted, my right arm is a bit limited in mobility due to my grievous injury from my biggest fan and then the subsequent surgery, but if Leon Fleischer could have a decades long career as a left-handed pianist, surely I can learn to play Twinkle Twinkle with my left hand.
I was actually talking to one of my patrons about my music lessons and my challenges, and they suggested some basic ukulele lessons. I can chord with one hand and strum with the other. Now I just have to find an instrument to scale.
I have also always wanted to learn to ride, so this year I decided to work it into my busy schedule. I've been spending a lot of time at The Fisher Price Stables and the Breyer Barns just doing some work mucking stalls, and helping by walking out and cooling down some of the lesson horses--just so I can be more comfortable with the animals. As a bonus, I get to hang out in the broodmare barns and play with the foals.
I'm not to the point where I have to ride Bessy here ala Luna the Jumping Cow.
The instructors have found me a gentle experienced ride, that's just my size. She may be tiny, but she's a high-stepper.You may not know it to look at me, but I love futbol! Soccer to the silly Americans. The only position I can get behind in regular American football is the tight end (*wink*). You have to admit those soccer shorts really show off the guys', um ... athleticism. (Yeah, that's it. Let's go with athleticism. Ahem!)

Whenever I "happen" to be in a park on the weekend with the various pickup games or soccer tourneys, I always stop by and enjoy the ... athleticism. And the view ain't bad, neither.
What else can I tell you about me to help illustrate the fact that I have a real life and interests outside the library shelves, the pages of books, or the binary codes of cyber space?

Oh yes. How could I forget? The suit may be blue, and I may have on slip-on loafers (with lots of arch support, so I can shelve and wander the stacks) but I bleed red ... for the
I may work in the Big Apple area, and support the FDNY, the NYPL, and the NYPD, but I'm a Boston Red Sox fan through and through. I will beat you over the head with my giant Pez dispenser if you bring any pin-striped or orange-hued things near my house. Just saying!
Most importantly, Katie? Librarians, or more specifically, this Shushing Librarian, LOVES STAR WARS too. It's hard for me to get away from the sci-fi section of my library, (which, sadly, is under-stocked), but when I do ... I go to cons and geek out with the best of them.

Here I am at a con with this Mr. Potato Head dressed as my second favorite droid, R2-D2. I had hoped to run into C-3PO to talk to him a bit about etiquette and procedure, but he was mobbed.
The odd thing at cons? People confuse me with this Nancy Pearl person. They think I'm in costume. It happens at library conferences too. No offense Ms. Pearl, but I think we look nothing alike,

So those are some of my "outside" interests and hobbies: nice and varied, adding lots of dimensions to my personality, and hopefully helping to dispel the myths that surround people in my profession. Notice: I have NO CATS. Not one. I can neither confirm, nor deny, the possible presence of a tattoo upon my personage, however.

Since we started off this week -- which ironically is National Library Week (and this wasn't planned at all!) -- with how I start my day, let's bring this full circle.

A typical day would end with me running some last minute errands. Just like you, I always spend too much time and money at Costco. (The Geico Gekko and I have learned tricks on how to hide our wallets, purses, and cell phones -- and I will not reveal our magic secrets here!)
I come home and have dinner. This night it was a giant pizza with potatoes, broccoli, bacon, and cheddar over a white sauce. Never fear. I didn't eat the whole thing in one sitting. I made a large batch so I could have the leftovers through out the week.
If the weather is nice and it is still light/warm out, I will take a long walk in the woods. It calms me down, centers me, lets my brain decompress, and frankly, burns off some of that pizza.
If that doesn't work to relax me, I come back home ... Pour a stiff drink (like this one),
and then run a hot, hot bath. If I hadn't cropped my hair short for expediency's sake, I'd let it down in the bath.
Finally, I crawl into bed, pull the covers up, turn off the light, and drift into sweet, sweet slumber.

Shush! I'm sleeping.
Do not disturb!
Thanks for spending time learning about what constitutes a typical Day in the Life of The Shushing Librarian.

Learn more about National Library Week by clicking here.

Go forth, use your library card, and say THANK YOU to all your local library employees.

Please advocate for those employees, and your library and its resources, by paying attention to local legislation when it comes to budget referendums and election time. Your library is one of your community's biggest treasures.

Stay tuned for more of my Amazing Adventures ... coming one day, when Auntie Nettie deigns to let me guest post again. ox SL!