Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pete the Cat dance

A few weeks ago a dad and his little girl came into the library because they really wanted WALL-E. Sadly, we didn't have a copy on shelf.  On the way to the back room I couldn't help myself and quietly, or so I thought, pretended to be WALL-E and sang EVAAA in a cheery robot voice.

Turns out at that exact moment the dad and kid were walking right by the book drop.  I must have done a fairly decent impression because the little girl let out a piercing and heartbreaking wail as soon as EVAAA left my lips.

I also babysat recently for an 18-month-old and while we had a good time trying to figure each other out and turn all of her noisy toys on at the same time I made one pretty big error.  

The jammies that her mom laid out for her were like a damn rubik's cube with about a million snaps. And I only discovered this after putting her in the jammies.  

I did find some new jammies and made sure I knew how they worked before they were on the baby. The baby appeared to be perfectly fine with all this.  But I did get some quizzical looks and at one moment I can tell you with 100% certainty she gurgled and then laughed at me. 

I haven't said anything because I have felt very inadequate and a little stupid.  Kids are very important to me.  Their opinion of me matters, which is why I struggle to tell them not to run in the library.

But slowly I've gotten over my ineptitude (being asked to babysit again helps) and am probably not going to need therapy after all.

Especially after today.

Today, two children restored my faith in myself.

The first kiddo asked for help setting up a computer game, and once we got it all set up she reached out her arms towards me and said, 'pretend hug, pretend hug.'  I almost spontaneously combusted due to extreme happiness.

Later, after noticing a little boy struggling to check out a book I discovered it was one of our not-for-checkout books and checked the catalog for anything Pete the Cat related. Somehow, possibly through divine intervention I'm sure, we had the exact same copy on shelf.  When I handed the boy the book he hugged my knees and gave me a giant smile.  I did a little dance. I couldn't help it.

I hereby call it the Pete the Cat dance.  

So maybe I'm not such a nincompoop after all.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

a field of chocolate chips

Last night I played tennis and had a decent match, but I easily pulled ahead.  We had played games prior to this and were pretty evenly matched so she was definitely just having an off day.  After we played I came home and ate a late dinner and read for as long as my eyes would stay open.  

When I woke up this morning I noticed Rose was panting even though she was laying on the cool wood floor versus her giant fluffy pillows.  Usually she only overheats on the pillows.  On Monday both girls had their teeth cleaned, and poor Rosie pie had to have four extractions.  Robert and I decided to put them both on soft food because we couldn't really figure out a way to just give Ella hard food for the seven days Rose needs the soft food.  By Tuesday night Ella was starting to act like herself again but Rose was most certainly not.  

When I woke up this morning and noticed her panting I quickly hurried to the bathroom.  My rule is I pee first and then take them out.  They are always perfectly fine with this and sometimes when I whistle for them they stagger towards the door like zombie dogs and shoot me stink eye lasers for interrupting their beauty sleep.

This morning was different.  It became apparent very quickly that Rose needed to the use the bathroom ASAP.  And she was so sick she didn't quite make it.  

I had tennis very early so Robert agreed to watch them while I played and then afterwards I would watch them until I went to work for my late shift.  We were hoping she would be back to her dandy lover pie self by then.  

During tennis I checked my phone about 10 times and also noticed that my muscles were incredibly sore and all of my motions felt like sand in water.  The combination of being incredibly fatigued, having 1/2 a protein bar for breakfast and being so worried about Rose made for some very hard tennis. An hour into it I really really just wanted to quit, but I stuck with it, and seeing no text from Robert felt mildly better about the Rose situation.

But when I walked out to the parking lot Robert and Rose were waiting for me.  Robert said she was still having issues so he had called the vet, who told him that her problems were not normal after having dental surgery.  So off we went to the vet, and even though Robert had some very important all-day training that he needed to get to, he decided to stick with us because poor Rosie had frantic eyes and a sore bottom and she certainly looked pretty sick.

The vet thought she had some anxiety and pain, gave us new meds and sent us on our way.  Robert rescheduled his training and took Rose with him to work and I went home to change so I could go to work too.  

After I checked on Ella and changed for work I hurriedly started making a pb, banana and chocolate chip sandwich.  Because I was running late and had shaky hands I accidentally dropped about a million chocolate chips on the floor. Ella immediately came over and as I ran to cut her off she gave me a very serious look and halted.  She didn't even seem to notice she was standing in the middle of half a bag of spilled chocolate chips.  And the serious expression on her face seemed so familiar.  It felt like deja vu.

Only just in time did I register what her expression meant.  

I mean, seriously, even though I was tired, my dog was just standing there in a field of chocolate chips and doing nothing. Duh!

After talking to Robert he went to pick up more meds and it was decided that our dogs' tummies are so sensitive they cannot tolerate the wet food version of the dry food they eat.  So after cleaning up Ella I called work to let them know I was going to be late and then sat on the couch and loved on Ella and listened to her tummy make terrible sounds while we waited for Robert to bring the medicine and take over.  I was so incredibly tired I was struggling to stay awake even though Ella's stomach sounded like it was going to bomb the living room at any time.   

Apparently tennis was harder than I realized last night or maybe I stayed up reading later than I thought or perhaps I was having sympathy fatigue for my family, but this morning was a total nightmare.  I am thankful, however, that the tummy issues were just a combination of anxiety and food intolerance and nothing more.  I am also incredibly thankful that Robert was right there, helping out and doing more than his fair share the whole morning.  Even though we grumbled with each other we still made a great team. And because Robert is going out of town to spend the evening with family his mom has kindly agreed to take care of the girls so I can work my evening shift.  Whew. Now I just have to stay awake.  Anyone need help writing their resume or finding that amazing book with the blue cover that you cannot remember the name of?  

Sunday, March 27, 2016

shenanigans and surprises

Today Robert and I bolted awake at 5:11.  Both Robert's cpap machine (he has sleep apnea) and the static machine suddenly stopped, which meant the electricity went out.  The eerie calm that typically precedes an outage never happened because all at once, without the static machine, we became aware of the torrent of ice and rain clicking and clanking on the roof and windows.  

We decided to wait it out even though we've had poor luck with electricity outages (the most memorable outage, which happened a few summers ago, lasted a whopping 4 days).  Even though we go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day whether we work or not, on our days off we do like to burrow back under the covers with a good book and sometimes doze, but Robert couldn't doze without his cpap machine, so it was very tough to relax even with all the soothing chaos going on outside.

At 6:30 we finally gave up and decided to get dressed using book lights.  What fun!  After much stumbling around, we packed on the layers and raced outside into the slush to grab breakfast at a local haunt.  

Thankfully by the time we came home the electricity was back on. Just in time for me to head back out for some crafting with my library pals where I received this very beautiful thread from a gal who spins and dyes her own yarn:


Once the slushy stuff stopped around noon the sun came out full force so the girls and I walked to one of our favorite places in the afternoon for a bit of sunshine and reading. 

To think I went from sloshing through ice and snow in my winter boots to soaking up the sunshine in my shorts all in one day is rather baffling, but honestly quite exciting.  Midwest weather is full of shenanigans and surprises, and it's almost never boring.  

Friday, March 25, 2016

lotsa concrete

It looks like our porch is going to ready for a couple rocking chairs here pretty soon!!!

They also poured concrete for the walkway that leads to the deck.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

roofers everywhere!

It looks like our porch is going to be filled in soon! Robert and the girls were happy to demonstrate what we will be doing a lot of once it's a true porch.  

The siding is slowly taking over the house in a scary movie kind of way.  Who will prevail?  Naked house or beige siding monster muahaha.  

Yesterday, while I was at work, Robert had the great excitement of watching the roofer ride the conveyor belt to the top of the house.

But when I got home Robert and I watched the roofing shingles go on, one strip at a time.

And when we snuck around the back there was another roofer!

Friday, March 18, 2016

how to get to China using just a hole puncher

Yesterday I helped a patron scan receipts so she had proof that she paid for something that she was being charged for again. It took less than 10 minutes but she was so overjoyed she brought me a box of chocolates later.  I put the box in the designated share spot in the staff room but only after putting one of the chocolates in my locker for later.  

Today a gentleman needed help printing boarding passes for both himself and his wife. We were able to print one but had trouble with the second one. Because his wife bought the tickets I told him to call his wife and check with her to make sure he had the right confirmation number. 

I can't he said. She's mad at me. I'll just call the Southwest help number

Because his wife had purchased the tickets with her credit card I told him he would still need to call her to get her credit card number. The color drained from his face and he stared intently at me, obviously hoping for another idea. 

After several seconds of silence his face brightened and he triumphantly said, I'm just going to run home and look for an old statement. She's running errands. She'll never know. I'll be right back. 

Sure enough he was back in less than 30 minutes. We printed the second boarding pass and he rushed away shouting bless you for your help.

Because he checked in at two different times and only hours before leaving I'm sure they won't get to sit together, but maybe that's a good thing.

It was a peaceful morning after that.  

And then The Resume Guy came in.  

The one who comes in a few times a week to make about 50 cover letters in an afternoon and uses the same format to copy and paste additional information for each new company.

The one who taps into what must be many years of pent-up anger and frustration to hole punch each paper so forcefully and loudly that other patrons shoot him worried glances before they timidly approach the desk to voice concern.  

During his visits he asks for help, or rather, raises his hand and grunts at us roughly every 5 or so minutes, and we stand behind him and show him how to copy and paste, delete extra pages and rename files.  

I've shown him how to copy and paste more times than I've told my parents I love them.   

Thankfully I was one of a few people assisting him today and only helped him about a dozen times.  

When an elderly patron dinged the bell I was more than happy to escape The Resume Guy.

I spent the next thirty minutes searching for the latest dish on Argentina and the Falkland Islands, the renewal date for The Antarctic Treaty and Carly Fiorina's new contact info, which hopefully is her pre-presidential campaign contact info, but after the internet search I'm not sure she even knows.  

This was all for one 87 year-old patron who told me his entire life story while I went to the ends of the Internet and retrieved the information for him.  

After that patron interaction I didn't even look in the direction of the hole puncher making it's way to China.  I went straight to the break room, opened my locker and grabbed the chocolate.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

a little like magic

The siding is making its way around to the sides and front of the house!  Any day now I will turn the corner during a walk with the dogs and the siding will be completely done!

Monday, March 14, 2016


Robert and I took off to Branson over the weekend. We visited with family, did a fair amount of relaxing and checked in on his family's lake house. After many months, we finally met the full time renters who, with hard work and love, transformed it into a home.  

I also found a very unique necklace at a local artist run gallery.

We ended the trip with a hike that was a bit unusual. Because Robert is still mending from his back operation I thought he couldn't quite hack the slippery and rocky terrain so I ditched him.  

And then after awhile I ditched the trail as well and followed the sounds of bullfrogs until I ended up in a thorn patch.  After escaping the thorn patch and finding a road I called Robert and told him to come get me.  It turns out that he managed to hike the trail just fine and unlike me, finish it.  

While I never caught any bullfrogs I did find enough happy moments to last me until my next bullfrog chase.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016


These are drawings of opposite walls in our future living room.  I am particularly excited about these two walls because they will house a good portion of my book collection.  Plus we are going to have excellent storage for all of our games!!

Monday, March 7, 2016

reliving memories thanks to my locker

I have been working on this photo collage that's in my work locker for roughly two years now.  I kept taping photos over photos, and recently I thought why not just rip it down and start over.  I must have close to a zillion pictures I want to display and only a little room on the inside of my locker.  Probably once a week I peruse an album on my computer, and while I'm there I organize, create new albums, soak up all the wonderful memories, and then I usually pick out a picture to take to work.  It's very cathartic and joyful process. 

Before I started over I took a picture:

Starting in the top left is one of my favorite pictures of my brother Scott, followed by my dogs when they where crazy and young and Robert and I when we were crazy and young.

Beneath us is a flower that used to be the banner on an old blog and I'm sure was taken by my mom, followed by Scott and I, my brother Jason and his dog, Spanky, Ella swimming in the pool and Ella laying all over my books.  

Beneath Jason and Spanky is a wonderful quote: "Your smile is a curve that can get a lot of things straight," which is a great quote any time but especially at work. 

Below the quote is one of Robert and I's jumping pictures.  Any time we go to a new state we do a jumping picture in front of the welcome sign.  

Next to it is a jumping picture of Robert, which happens to be at Hermann, MO, one of our favorite getaways.  Whenever Robert and I find a swing set we always do jumping contests.  We like to jump.  

Beneath that picture is a baby picture of Rose and next to Rose is my three lover pies laying on the porch, which they do often and it always makes my heart very happy.  

Two more pictures of the girls are next to a very good picture of dad, Scott and I and possibly the most handsomest picture of Robert.  

On the very bottom is Mitsy, who is the bird version of my grandma, and the full story about that is here.  Robert and I are next to Mitsy, where we were rescuing my mom and grandma in Needles, CA, and despite it being a crazy trip I only have fond memories of it.  Lastly is another flower, which maybe came from a trip to Powell Gardens.

It was a very warm and fuzzy kind of collage, one that always made me smile.    

Sunday, March 6, 2016


Here is another wonderful and totally unplanned pairing on our staff picks display at the library:

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Siding is going up!!

This is NOT the color that the house is going to be. We are still thinking grey.  However, time is running out.  Will grey win??? 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I'm thankful for sloths, bears, cows, princesses and superheroes

The best books I read in February all happened to be children's books:

Pssst! by Adam Rex

- girl goes to zoo. animals of all varieties ask her to bring back some wacky stuff including bicycle helmets. girl is only mildly exasperated and complies. - I thought I didn't love this book until I had an extraordinary dream about being one of the sloths in this story - be prepared for a wonderful surprise ending

Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick and Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

- this is illustrated by Sophie Blackall, who is one of my most favorite illustrators. my favorite illustration is the one with Winnie sleeping beneath Harry's cot, and also the very next page, which is filled with flowers so beautiful I can almost smell them - I loved the format of this book: a mom reading to her son who asked a lot of questions during the story

Haystack by Bonnie and Arthur Geisert

- this book takes the reader on a cyclic journey through the seasons of a haystack, from the cutting and drying of grass to the stacking and packing of the hay until only a pile of manure remains, poop that ever so helpfully grows new grass for next year's haystack - the wonderful text is paired with melodic, thorough and breathtaking etchings - my favorite illustration is the snow-covered haystack that's protecting a herd of cattle (stinky bliss)​ 

The Most Wonderful Thing in the World by Vivian French and illustrated by Angela Barrett

- the predictable ending will only bring you happiness, and if you're like me, this predictable ending is an absolute must - the illustrations are simply magical (mermaids and beasts and acrobats) - this is a little wordy, but in a most excellent way

The Secret Remedy Book by Karin Cates

- Lolly gets to stay with her Auntie Zep for a month, and she's excited! But then she gets homesick and Auntie Zep comes up with a remedy that is a beautiful nod to practicing gratitude - illustrations are soft, joyful and a little wacky (Auntie Zep's headband!) - there is also lotsa lively language ('spidery handwriting that seemed to scuttle and scurry across the page' and a scarecrow with a 'necklace of cans')

El Deafo by Cece Bell

- I didn't read this book for a long time because I thought it would be 200+ pages of bunnies talking to me. Turns out the bunnies are really people, and hilarious and relatable bunny people at that - it's a true story! it's told in comic strips! it's about a girl, Cece, who is deaf and trying to fit in, and how she takes what most people would consider a disability and turns it into a superpower with the help of The Phonic Ear! - the facial expressions in this book are incredibly realistic and perfectly correlate with the emotions of the characters - also, when I started reading this Robert, who is not as book crazy as I am, snatched it from me and we ended up passing it back and forth and reading it together