Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Word to the Wise

It came to me suddenly in the middle of the night. A single word, simple but profound, that encompasses everything that has in some respects been lacking in me; a word that perhaps expresses why I’ve been going through what I’ve been going through the past few weeks and where God would have me grow.


A good leader requires wisdom. A good spouse must have it too. And a good parent needs it in spades.

Wisdom is knowledge of the head AND the heart. It is the ability to understand people and situations and how they interact. It values relationships as well as things; it seeks solutions that will empower others and help others grow.

Wisdom is being able to see the whole scope of a problem, project, or challenge and work out the details to get to the end successfully.

Wisdom looks at all aspects of a situation and uses knowledge to make good judgments.

Wisdom takes the time it needs to think, then takes action boldly and with confidence.

Wisdom meets obstacles not with fear but with courage, vision, and innovative thinking.

Wisdom doesn’t think it can do everything on its own; it relies on the good counsel of others who have knowledge or skills it lacks, seeks and develops the gifts and talents of others, and shows great respect to those who help clarify understanding or who take the risk to speak truths it may not want to hear. It shares credit with all those who have had a hand in its successes.

Wisdom shows true humility when mistakes are made, not passing the buck or making excuses, but taking responsibility. And then wisdom does its best to change what can be changed and to mend relationships or trust that have been broken. Wisdom goes forward to the future having learned from the past, and knows that perhaps next time the lesson will be less painful.

In Job’s Daughters we are taught that wisdom includes “both just thinking and right conduct.”

God has given me many gifts: enthusiasm, intelligence, genuine concern and care for others, dedication, true joy in my work and in my family.

But I have never been particularly gifted with the quality of true wisdom, either with my work tasks, as a leader, or in my relationships. It’s always been a challenge for me. Is it the Peter Principle in action? Perhaps. I can be terribly superficial and oblivious sometimes, both to the thoughts and feelings of others and to the details of a situation. And though it is never intentional, that can doom the success of any venture, not to mention hurt others that have put their trust and respect in me.

So how does one develop wisdom? Fortunately, the answer is simple (although not easy!):

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. (James 1:5-6, NIV).

So it is time to think and pray, to ask for wisdom in all that I say and do, to believe that God will help me grow and develop into the kind of leader, wife, mother and person He would have me to be. Going to His Word will be a necessary element as well, as it is the true Source of wisdom. (Perhaps a little study in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes would be a good plan!)

I have had many such growth opportunities over the course of my life--the four years of college were nothing but!--and as painful as the process is, I have always looked back gratefully and thanked the Lord for the new maturity He has given me.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (SPOILERS!)

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW! (for Movie 5 & Book 7)

Well, I finally got to see the Order of the Phoenix movie with DH last night. Saw it in IMAX which was great. The IMAX version is also in 3D from the time they take off on the thestrals throughout the battle of the Dept. of Mysteries. But since I have usable vision in only one eye, 3D unfortunately doesn't work for me, but hubby said he loved it.I really liked the film a whole lot. I thought they really kept it moving, made it enjoyable and stuck as much as they COULD to the book. Things I liked:

Top of the list has to be Umbridge and Luna. Pure perfection, both of them! Absolutely marvelous and thoroughly enjoyable performances, and they really nailed their characters. I enjoyed that Luna got to tell Harry about the thestrals--thought that was quite appropriate and well done.

Bellatrix was also great--delightfully deranged. And how great to see Lucius--he was terrific as always.

I liked the growing relationship between Harry and Sirius. Also liked the new way of showing the head in the fire--didn't care for the way it was done in GoF.

Liked Neville's character development.

LOVED the DA. Those scenes were great and I loved how it showed how Harry grew as a teacher and how the students grew in their skills.

Snape and the Occlumency lessons were also well done. Snape was properly menacing. Loved how Dumbledore wanted to start the lessons "RIGHT AWAY--WE CAN'T WAIT!" and S. just grabbed Harry's hand and took off. Quite effective.

Hermione delivering her lines about how Cho must be feeling--straight out of the book if I'm correct and delivered spot-on.

Fred and George going out in a blaze of glory--Marvelous!! I do love those twins.

I liked Michael Gambon MUCH more in this movie than in the last. He seems to have settled into the character much better.

I thought the use of newspaper headlines/pictures to convey information and to show the passage of time worked really well.

Things I didn't care for, or was disappointed to miss:

I wish Cho had had "SNEAK" across her forehead! (Oh well, she did comb her bangs straight forward!)

Wish Mrs. Figg (who I did like) had come out and SAID "I'm a Squib." To non-readers of the book, it would be confusing as to how she knows about the Wizarding World.

Wish Neville had had a chance to flat out tell Harry where his parents were.

Wish it was made clear that Kreacher had betrayed Harry to the Death Eaters. Although it's good that they showed clearly how Sirius felt about Kreacher--which ties into book 7 although the filmmakers couldn't know that! (I understand that they were going to cut Kreacher out entirely but JKR insisted he be in, for reasons that are now obvious.)

I didn't really care for Tonks. I wanted more of her youthful vibrancy and fun energy. She just felt too "old" to me.

I didn't care for Fiennes' Voldemort in this movie either. For some reason, I just wasn't feeling the magnetism, the commanding air, the fear. He just didn't seem as scary as he did in that graveyard.

The Death Eaters masks were just stupid.

Wish the Snape's Worst Memory scene had been longer so we really could have gotten the picture. Especially since the Snape/Lily connection is so important (although again of course the film makers couldn't have known that!)

I missed the other rooms in the Dept of Mysteries (brain room, etc.) I agree with others who said the final battle just seemed a bit anticlimactic.

I didn't really FEEL Harry's grief for Sirius. I wanted more sadness, especially when he and Luna were talking in the final scene and she helps him. (Though I did like how she found her tennis shoes :) )

I just felt there wasn't enough of Harry's alienation, frustration, depression and ANGER! Yes, they conveyed it in quite a few scenes (I loved when he said to Dumbledore, "Look at me!").

But I remember reading the fifth book and thinking how BLEAK the whole year was for Harry, how alone and frustrated and angry he felt and how nothing really went right for him, except the formation of the DA and the Weasleys' moment of triumph. The film of course focused on those two positive events and I felt there wasn't enough of the discouragement, alienation, feeling cut off from everyone, and anger at Dumbledore. Funny that for such a dark movie I walked out feeling it wasn't quite dark enough!

And what really surprised me: I knew that Dumbledore's Patented Explanation And Wrap-Up At The End Of The Film would be cut short (as it had been in films 3 & 4, one of my major peeves with both those films, grrrrrr.) But I was shocked that in the final scene after the battle with Dumbledore and Harry---ALL CAPS HARRY WAS COMPLETELY ABSENT! There was NO anger! There was NO rage! There was NO yelling and screaming and smashing of objects! To me, that confrontation between H & D is one of the most important parts of the whole book. Dumbledore has been ignoring Harry all year and Harry is FURIOUS and wants to know WHY and wants ANSWERS! I was really surprised that in their brief talk (in which Dumbledore didn't get a chance to explain much at all, par for the films) Harry was simply tired and sad, NOT one bit angry. That part is my major beef with the film. I wonder why it was done that way.

But overall, I thought it was great and I really did enjoy it!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Last LAST Page (A Spoiler-Free Review)

I have just finished the incredible roller coaster ride that is the final Harry Potter book. J.K. Rowling has put together another masterpiece.

From the very beginning, the action is nearly non-stop, yet there are plenty of deeper themes too--loyalty, courage, friendship, and above all, redemption. There are twists and turns in both characters and plot that will make your head spin (I am certain there are many things I still don't quite understand), all leading to a dramatic and heart-pulsing climax (and I'd better say no more about THAT for fear of spoilage.)

JKR's wit and flair for words and names are in evidence and she throws some marvelous tidbits our way, including one of the most PERFECTLY placed swear words I've ever seen in any book (It's one of the few in all of the seven books, and it jumps out at you at EXACTLY the right moment from EXACTLY the right person--I roared out loud and pumped my fist!) There are heartbreaking moments and moments of pure joy.

Sadly, the Epilogue, while amusing and satisfying, doesn't quite rise to the high standards of the rest of the book, and left me wanting much more. . .

But overall, what a marvelous achievement. I believe it will stand the test of time.

Thanks, Jo, for everything.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Last First Page

Some time tomorrow morning, either before or after we take Little Man to his swimming lesson, the mail carrier will arrive with a small cardboard box for me from I will swoop it up with glee, do a small happy dance, open it carefully, take a long look at Mary GrandPre’s breathtakingly beautiful cover art—and crack open Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Thus will I take part in a cultural milestone—thus will I enjoy “the last first page” of an amazing journey through Harry’s magical world.

What is it about Harry Potter? It’s just seven books, just seven simple stories from the imagination of a gifted writer. So why has this particular series captured the world and become such a phenomenon? Why has the HYPE (IN ALL-CAPS) taken on a life of its own, far, far beyond the books themselves? Part of it, I’m sure, is simply the nature of our global mass culture. Something promoted worldwide, something given such incredible buzz for nearly 10 years now, via word of mouth, magazines, newspapers, television, the Internet, blogs, and just about every modern form of media there is, is going to have people jumping on the bandwagon no matter what it is, no matter what its intrinsic worth (can you say Eragon?). People are like that. Perhaps it could have been some other book, some other author, some other character inspiring midnight madness, costumes, hysterical mothers in Georgia demanding a ban, and children actually eagerly and excitedly sitting down to READ a 700-plus page novel.

And yet—there’s something that makes Harry and his world unique and special. There are the sharply defined, skillfully drawn people we have come to feel are real to us, whom we love dearly or hate with a vengeance, due to the author’s amazing ability for character description and ear for dialogue. (Including one particular character so masterfully written that debates have raged for years as to his true nature and his true motives. The world is holding its breath to find out “where his loyalties lie”!) There is the setting—a wonderfully realized mixture of typical British boarding school and magical academy, with humorous and clever twists on normal teenage life that these young wizards and witches simply take for granted as part of going to school. So many minute and vivid details has she created that you feel you are at home at Hogwarts, in the Burrow, or even on Privet Drive. And of course there is the plot, a magical drama of the struggle between the forces of good and the powers of evil, spread out over seven books, yet with each one still containing its own satisfying tale. The stories are richly and carefully woven, with drama, suspense, humor, politics, a touch of romance, pain and triumph, great joy and deep sorrow.

In the end, Jo Rowling has made me and millions upon millions of others around the globe CARE about Harry and his world. Her creative gift and her imagination, begun as a struggling single mom in a coffee house in Scotland, have left a legacy that I believe will stand the test of time. But there will likely (unless Jo changes her mind!) never again be a time like this, a worldwide celebration of a new Harry Potter story, a time to enjoy The Last First Page together.

Thank you, Jo!
Come on, mail carrier!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Three Hours Of My Life Looted by Pirates

So, DH & I spent a few pieces of eight (yeah, it would have been less if he hadn't insisted on ordering the BIG COMBINATION SUPER PACK of a humongous tub of popcorn and 2 supersize drinks!) and saw PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END last Friday.

Well, a Pirates movie is always fun to watch, whatever it is. You can't beat Johnny, Orlando, Keira, and also Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa. And this one was enjoyable enough. But it was so bloated and convoluted and LONG, with a plot that I couldn't really figure out and some VERY weird scenes. Who could tell who was alive, dead, or undead, anyway? It was just strange, and disappointing. It could have been so much better.

It did contain one of the more interesting on-screen weddings I've ever seen--and I kept myself amused by noting the fact that of the dozens of people we see onscreen--only 2 have decent teeth! (Well, perhaps the British officers did OK in the dental department, too, but most of the screen time is taken up by some of the most disgusting smiles you'll ever see.)

Anyhow, I agree with our local paper's reviewer--too much, too strange, too confusing. I'll watch Captain Jack Sparrow any day, but I really do wish the film had been much better.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What's Up?

Yeah, it's been 2 months since I've posted to my blog. . . so if I had any readers, they've probably given up :)

The happy mundanity of my life continues, and I'm generally content. DH is doing well in school and Little Man is thriving in preschool and enjoying swimming lessons.

I attended a wedding Saturday that was lovely. Simple, yet meaningful and beautiful. Cheers to my friend the new bride age 45. I hope she has a wonderful marriage! It's been a long time (almost 30 years!) since we roomed together in that tiny cubicle at summer camp. Housekeeper (her) and waitress (me)! We've come a long way, baby, and supported each other through it all--skating shows, shopping, sharing the ups and downs in our lives and keeping in touch even though we've been 4 hours away from each other for many years now. She's a special person to me and I'm so glad she's found such happiness. Unexpected blessings can happen to the nicest people.

Reading lately: (Audio) VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, narrated by Davina Porter. yeah, it's not the NLS version, but no one besides Davina can really capture the accents of the characters and the emotions of the story. Simply marvelous. Made the trip to Sacramento and back last Saturday a pleasure.

Reading lately: (Print) The TRIPODS Trilogy by John Christopher. Just rediscovered these on my bookshelf. It's a YA science fiction trilogy from the late 60s that I remember loving as a kid. Still enjoyed it a lot. I'm also on number 4 in the ARTEMIS FOWL series: THE OPAL DECEPTION should be on its way to me shortly. Hmm, have I read anything in print lately besides YA stuff and stuff I needed to finish for book club?

To Be Read: Jeffrey Archer (for Book Club). And I need to get back on track with choosing some adult level reading material. I have several titles in mind. Or shall I be tempted into a re-read of Harry Potter in the next 23 days? Hmm. . . :)

To Do: Spend less time on the internet and more time reading and getting REAL LIFE accomplished! And, hopefully, see PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END on Friday.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

There Must Be More Than This Provincial Life

I like my life. Really, I do. When I think about the times in my life when it's been REALLY bad--when I was single and lonely and felt hopeless; when I was finally married but I thought I'd NEVER EVER get a library job; when we didn't know if we'd ever have a child; this is probably as good as it's been.

I have a job that I absolutely love, which I do believe God engineered me into. I have a wonderful husband and the most adorable three-year-old anyone could ask for. But there is so much more I want.

To have more friendships and involvement in my community, whether it be through church, playgroups, whatever. I miss having close friends. Reading certain books set in the late 19th/early 20th centuries, I'm struck by how much time friends spent with each other and how they really knew each other intimately. I know those kinds of relationships still exist for people today, even if I don't have friends like that at the moment. But our society has changed so much and people seem so much busier and so much less connected with each other, that it seems to take more time and energy to make room for friendship. How to make it happen? Especially when one's dear hubby is much more of an introvert than oneself and is perfectly content to spend every evening just with our family of three? I'm not sure. But I need to make it more of a priority. Father Tim's prayer: Make me a blessing to someone today!

--My relationship with Dear Hubby, good as it is, can always be made richer and deeper. We need to take more time and thought for each other and really listen and communicate more.

--I have sadly neglected my time with the Lord. What's really more important--checking the latest updates on my favorite web sites, or getting my heart and mind focused on Him so that He will be a part of everything in my life.

--Our house needs to be more of a home. Need to take more of an interest in keeping it cleaner, making it more pleasant and livable and cozy. There are so many things we'd like to improve about it--but without the skills or the money, it's difficult to do more than little things. But little things can do a lot--for instance--cooking! We usually don't, really. Way too much dependence on pre-prepared foods and frozen entrees and such. To improve our menu and our nutrition would be great! And organizing our papers and important documents better REALLY needs to be done soon.

And this isn't even counting things like developing new interests, going new places, doing new things--broadening our horizons and making more of life than we have now.

When I look at it, it seems overwhelming. But the only way to do it is to chip at it, one day at a time, one goal at a time, one dream at a time.

"True love consists not only of looking into each other's eyes, but also of looking forward in the same direction."

Monday, April 2, 2007

Farewell Peaceful Haven

Tomorrow morning, the door closes forever on a piece of my childhood. My parents are flying away from the Oregon home they just sold and heading to their new life in Massachusetts near my brother.

We didn't live there on those 80 acres near that tiny Oregon town. But my grandparents did, and the generation before theirs (I have to admit I'm not sure on which side!) homesteaded it. It was part of growing up, to take that long drive, to stop and eat in Weed or Willows, to sing the "We're almost there!" song in Dutch--to spend time at what Grandma called her "Peaceful Haven."

We often came up during Easter, Christmas, or the summertime to spend time with my beloved Grandma and Grandpa. We would play in "Grandpa's Forest" and build forts, boats, pirate ships--whatever we could imagine. We'd walk to the river that runs through the property, and we'd go to the little church where Grandpa even preached sometimes. Blackberries we'd picked were eaten over vanilla ice cream. We spent hours reading old magazines. Grandma's dolls and carnival glass, plates and teacups added beauty, but more than that, it was Grandma and Grandpa's love and heart that we enjoyed. Even after Grandpa passed away, Grandma stayed on her land till very near the end of her life, and her warm spirit never failed. The peaceful, beautifully natural cemetery near the town holds them and many relatives.

When my parents retired from California to Oregon, they had their house built next to Grandma's old house (which my aunt now owns on her 40 acres of the divided 80.) It was beautiful and spacious, and they named it Pfefferle Pines. They spent 15 happy years there, and I still loved coming up--for Mom's Eastern Star events (how often does one woman get to be a Grand Officer AND a Grand Representative within 10 years of moving to a new state!), for Christmas, for lots of other things. Even Little Man got to see it last summer, and was as enchanted by the deer drinking from the birdbath as he was by the pinball machine at the town's ice cream parlor!

Someone new will make memories there now--but I won't soon forget all of mine. The Folks are making the right decision for many reasons--but I know they will feel a pang as well.

Farewell 5280 & 5550-- I will miss you.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Finally A Family

I got an invitation today--Little Guy's adoption will be final on Tuesday! I plan to try to go to the ceremony. I'm so happy for Little Guy and his mom. Little Guy is about 17 months old and has been with his mommy since he was just a few weeks old, I think.

It's always bittersweet when a birth family is unable to care for a child for whatever reason, but it's pure joy when a child can be placed with a family (mom, grandparents, aunts, uncles, church friends and so many more) who will love him and care for him.

I well remember our own Little Man's finalization. He was 12 days shy of being one year old. It was a hard time in our lives because Dear Hubby was driving trucks over-the-road and gone for long stretches, and it was really hard to arrange the ceremony with the court. But we managed, and it was one of the most special days we've ever had.

So here's to you, Little Guy & Mommy--A Forever Family!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

YA Lit for the Past-Forty Woman

I admit it, I love YA literature. It's easy and fun to read, and a nice escape from adulthood.


This weekend I plowed into the final book in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares: Forever in Blue. This series has taken its four wonderful heroines from the summer before their sophomore year in high school to (in this final book) the summer before their sophomore year in college. Through all the changes in their lives, they have always been there for each other--and the magic of their friendship is somehow aided and represented by the one pair of magical thrift store jeans that remarkably fit each of their four different figures perfectly.

I think Ann Brashares has beautifully captured these four teenage girls in all of their uncertainties, confusion, passion, worries, joys and fears. I cared very much about Bee, Lena, Tibby and Carmen, and I felt their happiness and their pain deeply in each book. The fourth book moved each of them to more mature decisions and more adult challenges and choices, and how each handled them reflects their individuality, yet also their solidity as a Sisterhood, no matter what happens. In the end they discover it was not necessarily the Pants they needed--but simply each other.

How well I remember the intensity of teenage friendship. Though I never had three "bestfriends from the womb" (the Sisters "met" when their four moms attended the same prenatal yoga class while pregnant with them), I have certainly had those deep and abiding relationships that made such a difference in my life in high school and college. I was never good at making friends, and perhaps way too needy and immature with the friends I did have. I always was one to take life too intensely and too seriously. But I loved them deeply and we went through our life changes together. I am still in contact with several of them, and though we have drifted apart, I will always cherish who they were to me during that time. One of my closest friends, at age 45, will be married for the first time this summer and I am thrilled for her and can't wait to go. My college roomie, who probably thought I was just way too intensely needy in the way I looked up to her, but who taught me so much about how a Christian woman should live her life, still exchanges Christmas cards with us and is a fellow adoptive mom (Twins, in her case!).

As an adult, married with a child, I find friendships much more difficult both to create and to maintain. The intensity of love, time, energy and devotion that I used to devote to my friends, is now devoted to my husband and son. I don't have a 'best friend' or even very many female friends at all. And it's very difficult for me to pick up the phone and call someone, or even to check the local mommies web site to see what's going on and see if hubby, little man and I can get involved with some new people. But I know it's something I need to do, and one of my goals this year is to build some new relationships. Perhaps not on that intense, all-consuming "Best Friends Forever" level that high school and college engender, but on an adult, mature, loving and supportive level. Definitely a challenge!


The other books I've been reading are the "Alice" series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. These are delightful simply because Alice is such a typical and "real" young girl, getting into all the scrapes and quirky foibles that junior high offers just about anyone. This weekend I enjoyed "Reluctantly Alice" and "All but Alice", which together take Alice through most of her seventh grade year. They are light and amusing and quite enjoyable.


My Talking Book listening is currently "Anne of Avonlea", second in the Anne of Green Gables series. This series is beautifully written and engaging, if sometimes a little slow and ponderous. The nature of life in the late 1800s is so much different than life now (the first 2 chapters of "Anne of Green Gables" always make the adoptive mom in me cringe.) But Anne too, in her own way, meets life's foibles head on with imagination and energy, and she is just as delightful a heroine as the Sisters or Alice.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Little Guy

Little Guy, age one, who goes to day care with my own little man, got his new arm yesterday.

Little Guy's foster (hoping to adopt) mommy is the daughter of Little Man's day care providers. She's had him since he was very young. Little Guy was born with only half of his right arm. His mommy took him to Shriners Hospital in Sacramento. Over several visits in a several month period, they evaluated him, casted the very first of many prosthetic arms he will use in his lifetime, and presented him with it just yesterday. We had dinner at their church this evening and his mommy was proudly showing off how well he was doing with it.

Being only one year old, Little Guy doesn't quite understand all about it, how it works or what to do. The new arm is very simple and doesn't have too many functions. After all, it's mostly just for him to get used to the feel of wearing a prosthesis.

Little Guy will have many choices in his life. Will he mostly use the prosthesis, or will he be more comfortable simply learning to do things one handed? (I've been impressed by how well he does one-handed already.) How will he deal with his disability, and what will his attitude be? Right now, he's a sweet little baby and his mommy is encouraging him to do everything he possibly can in whatever way works best.

He's fortunate that he has the Shriners, the Ronald McDonald House, and that wonderful woman who is the mommy of his heart even if the social workers haven't yet made her his mommy on paper.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


There's so much clutter everywhere.

At home, where we REALLY need to clean out the garage. (Imagine actually being able to park a car in there!) Some things are gone now--Little Man's baby bath and his Pack 'n Play; his high chair and his bouncy seat; emergency food from y2k that probably isn't in that great a shape any more. Some things stay--His water table for the backyard in the summers; our growing "Christmas stuff" collection (Why Dear Hubby insists on buying several new strands of outdoor lights each year when the size of our house has remained the same is a mystery); our wedding albums; Little Man's adoption files. And some things have been added: a tricycle, a child's helmet, a big preschool art easel/chalkboard that we REALLY need to drag inside more often for little man to play with.

At work, it's much the same. Old adaptive equipment catalogs and workshop notes hid volunteer hour time sheets that were lost in October and just found 2 weeks ago (a month after the final 2006 totals were due). Cardboard packaging for cassette machines seems to multiply on its own. There are the zip code directories from 1995, and a microfiche (yes MICROFICHE!) reader machine from who knows when. And there is more scratch paper on my 2 bottom shelves than I could ever use even if I didn't retire until age 70. Lots of that will go as we prepare for Extreme Makeover/TBL Edition.

Some things will stay: Our tape-playing teddy bear mascot; art from a reading disabled inmate patron advertising "NLS Books on TAP"; a handmade sculpture of a girl sitting and listening to a Talking Book record player; just one old flexible disc record that I HAVE to keep as a souvenir. Things that mean something to our library and remind us of what we do. And what will be added: new carpet; new paint; a new collection of descriptive videos; and the constant flow of more new books than we can ever hope to shelve.

Life is like that. You have to make the energy to move with the changes, to get rid of what's no longer needed, keep what is meaningful, and make room for what must be added. Sometimes it's easier just to keep the status quo rather than investing the time. But in the end, it is worth the effort.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Read me a story

so tonight instead of reading Little Man a story--he "read" me one!

The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. It's repetitive and cute, and perfect for a 3-year-old to "memorize" the basics of and "read" back.

"Wanna Fight?" "If you insist. . ." "Oh no, you're not BIG enough!" "And he flew away."

Can't thnk of a better librarian-mommy moment.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Book Review: Liberty Falling by Nevada Barr

Tough yet vulnerable Anna Pigeon, worried about her sister who is very ill in the hospital in New York, spends some time on the Ellis and Liberty Island National Monuments. While dealing with her sister’s crisis, she faces dangers of her own.

I enjoyed Anna as a heroine—she’s well written and very real. I enjoyed how Nevada Barr was able to describe the “behind-the-scenes” settings of the Monuments, the part the tourists never see, and make you feel like you are truly there. She is deft at writing suspense while still keeping her characters and their situations engaging.

I didn’t really care for the mystery or its resolution—in my mind, the plot took second place to the settings and characters. But I did enjoy the book and probably will read more.

Book Review: Aunt Dimity's Death by Nancy Atherton

Take a pinch of mystery, a bit of a ghost story, a bittersweet wartime romance, and a thoroughly engaging heroine who finds a little romance of her own. Add some lovably quirky supporting characters and a cozy setting and you have a recipe for a delightful reading experience. Lori never thought Dimity was real—until Dimity died. Finding out the mystery behind Dimity’s life, with the help of Bill Willis, helps Lori heal from her own heartbreak and embark on new adventures. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more in the Dimity series.


Bundle of energy, you’re on the run
Chasing and playing, life’s just full of fun
Interested, curious, forever on the go
There’s always something new you just have to know

“Why, Mommy?”, “Can’t I, Daddy?” “But I don’t want to!”
“Where is my truck?” and “Where is my shoe?”
“Can we go to the park now?” “Can we play a game?”
“Should I have some raisins?” “Who’s that? What’s his name?”

“I’m not tired! “I’m NOT sleepy! I still want to play!”
“Don’t NEED to go potty now!” “I want to stay!”
“Let’s watch a little Blue’s Clues!” “Let’s play with my toy!”
This is the mind of a three-year-old boy

“Can you make it better?” “Can I give you a kiss?”
Could we wish for anything better than this?
“I love you too, Mommy!” “Will you sing me a song?”
Words we had dreamed of for so very long

Our Little Man, our sweet boy, our precious delight
God watches over you by day and by night
With your heart full of wonder, what blessings are in store—
And before we can catch our breath, you will be FOUR!

Library Mommy

Welcome to my new blog!

I LOVE: My Husband, My Son, My Parents, My Brothers, My Sisters-in-law, My Nephews & Nieces. . . My Lord. . . My Library. . . Harry Potter (Books & Movies), Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, the Little House series, the Betsy-Tacy series, the Anne of Green Gables series, the Lord of the Rings series, and the Clan of the Cave Bear series. . . The comic strips For Better or For Worse, Baby Blues, and Jump Start. . . Star Trek (any series), Babylon 5, Touched by an Angel, M*A*S*H, and Life Goes On. . . The Backyardigans, The Wonder Pets!, and Blue's Clues (can you tell I have a preschooler?). . . Pizza, Mexican food, and anything chocolate. . . my fraternal organization, playing my electric keyboard, my friends, and many more things!

Here is our little man, on the day he arrived. He was six weeks old. Now he's a rambunctious, happy-go-lucky little three-year-old--but still the light of our lives!