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Photographs: Garden Buddhas

28 May

I fell in love with Buddha statuary after reading Siddhartha in high school. I think they are quite at home in the garden.


Follow Friday – Anniversary Edition

27 May

Last Tuesday the husband and I celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary. We’ve always had issues celebrating in the past. Shortly after we were married I was hired at the library, and this time of year is perpetually one of intense work and crazy business: textbook return and inventory. There were a few years where our anniversary actually fell on the actual days of textbook collection, and those were the absolute worst. In fact end of the year distractions kept me so preoccupied last year that I totally forgot it was our anniversary. We’ve actually been a couple together since 1998, so in addition to having a long history, we also have some embarrassing high school-era couple’s photos. Maybe I’ll share those some day. For now, enjoy some wedding photos taken by Lisa Farrer.

Edited to add: our good friend Jose came up with the ideas to have pinatas at the end. One for the adults and one for the kids. It was a blast.

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here. Learn more about it in my FAQ.

PMuffintop FYI: In Skype meetings, tweeting looks EXACTLY THE SAME as taking diligent notes. I throw in a thoughtful look every now and then.

SarahIvy I wish my cats had been Raptured. Then again, the problem is their sinful, destructive behavior. Fess up, assholes, who mauled the bread?

MagpieLibrarian Outfit of the day: Today I’m going for Rosie the Riveter meets German housewife meets unaccomplished drag queen. Bandanas, aprons, glitter.

apelad U2 is in SaltLake tonight! They’re the band that singlehandedly cornered the gas station and grocery store soundtrack market.

RobinMcCauley SO YOU THINK YOU CAN FLY A PLANE would be a fun show

mommywantsvodka I’m making a show called Women of a Certain Age. It’ll be this scene a zillion times. “Ugh. I need a nap.” Snappy Retort: “You’re pregnant?”

mariadiaz If I were on a reality show, I’d ask a certain person out for lunch. To “clear the air.”

Zaius13 Eating a vat of ice cream assuages the shame of masturbation, which helps ease the guilt of binge eating. I call it the “men’s true cycle”.

IAmAntilia When I’m not thinking outside the box, I’m usually thinking about my box.

purple_quark girl you up in my mind like an encephalitis infection.

xandrique you know the old saying, “If you’re going to braid some Nerds rope, be prepared to get Nerds everywhere.”

markleggett If by “Starcraft” you mean “cutting up pieces of coloured paper into tiny little star shapes”, then yeah, I’m way into Starcraft.

wordlust Don’t let your kids become depressing statistics. Raise them to be hilarious anecdotes instead.

mansermatt Researchers say spreading gossip is a vital part of human social interaction. The researchers then said, “But you didn’t hear that from me.”

sbellelauren JUST ATE MY LUNCH LIKE A BOSS (alone, wondering if the ups guy likes me, remembering to buy more ink)

TwoAdults Was eating a cheeseburger in the car and passed a cow-transporter-truck. There was eye contact made. It was uncomfortable.

LouisPeitzman Whenever I see a family wearing oversized t-shirts from different Hard Rock Cafes, I think, “Wow, they must be really well traveled.”

taradublinrocks The Benny Hill Theme #worstlapdancesong

paulandstorm I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General #worstlapdancesong

shawnpearlman Why did Garfield hate Mondays so much? He was unemployed.

mightytoycannon Career Day with 3rd graders was great. Made me wish for a career as a third grader. What’s the starting salary on something like that?

BillableBarbie My dr told me to try to eat more fish (I currently eat…none). I’m hoping goldfish crackers count.

PaulyPeligroso “I can’t wear black sweats with a black t-shirt. I’ll look like an unemployed Ninja.”

theRratedBull When is Hollywod gonna cash in on the “Power Puff Girls” live-action feature film? I’d make a good Mojo Jojo.

TheRedQueen Kingston is walking around in a diaper, socks, sandals, and an unzipped hoodie. He insisted on everything but the diaper.

phyllisstein “I love you to pieces” doesn’t make a lick’a sense. “I love you two pizzas”—now that’s a quantifiably huge amount of love.

sbellelauren i hope when french people fart they say heh heh ooh le fart because if not waste of a country.

inktwice Speak softly. Pilot a big mech. #animelifelessons

christianduguay Buy some coasters. Put them in a kitchen drawer. Call friends and let them know you’re an adult now.

TheBlackStar Mancave is a gender specific form of poop chute, right?

navanax A cat is Man’s best frenemy.

chickenscottpie It’s kind of bad when the top news story of the day is that the world didn’t end.

thejohnblog That breakfast burrito was so good, I spoke to it in Parseltongue.

corrinrenee I feel like I should ask my bra fit specialist to go steady.

slackmistress Rapture hasn’t happened in England or Sweden. Which means the US IS GOING TO BE THE NUMBER ONE EXPORTER OF RAPTURLINGS!USA!USA!USA!

antigone_spit It’s the end of the world DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR TOWEL IS

BeTheBoy Just told by girl at Starbucks that I look less wiped out than usual. She needs a compliment giving class.

pistolval Well, we are still here. Just once I would like my doomsday paranoia to pay off.

Marty3point0 I feel like today is a Tuxedo T-Shirt kind of day.

SethMacFarlane “DON’T GO BREAKIN’ MY HEART”, sang Elton John. “I COULDN’T IF I TRIED”, replied Kiki Dee, accurately.

GeorgeTakei Today’s Rapture postponed as Jesus awaits announcement of surprise guest on final Oprah. Savior “hopeful” but “okay with it” if not picked.

adamtool Wait…I think it’s here! Yes! I can feel it! It’s The Rapture! No…wait, BRB gotta go to the bathroom.

BonesMcCoy The only way you’re getting raptured today is if Scotty has a transporter lock on you. Sorry.

brattyunicorn A girl just gave my outfit the old up down glance & the air suddenly filled with the smell of ovaries & hand-to-hand combat.

MrWordsWorth Kate Beckinsale reportedly pregnant with a child that will be too beautiful to be seen by human eyes without a box with a hole in it.

IsobelWren When I drive long distances I have a modified game of Oregon Trail going in my head as commentary.

msbellows I read their site. Apparently the #Rapture’s tomorrow, but Universe isn’t annihilated til Oct. CHAPERONE-FREE SUMMER!

shellipants Target employee: can I help you find anything else?
Gpa: your phone number
Me. *dies*

wordlust Randy Savage must be recognized as the Patron Saint of Dudes Who Sound Totally Constipated. Do the right thing,Vatican.

letsgetgizzy I hope I turn into an anime girl tomorrow! I don’t think I understand what The Rapture is.

rolldiggity I can only assume this “take my profile picture in the mirror” trend is a collective effort to keep vampires off our social networks.

Squirreljustice What I like about riding the NYC subway on a rainy day is that you can cross “identify the smell of a hyena’s asshole” off your bucket list.

inktwice Just heard Randy “Macho Man” Savage died. The staples of my youth are slowly beginning to disappear like the McFly kids in a Polaroid.

jgamet Just got a spam for the genie bra. I can’t wait to see what comes out when I rub one.

granulac I love hearing people who can’t draw talk about art technique. It’s like people without kids discussing parenting.

nataliebinder Patron just called to ask if the library would be open for the Rapture. No joke.

MrWordsWorth I expect to see the end of the New York Times before I see the end of times. Trust me on this.

WhyIsDaddyCryin wife just told me “just an FYI – screaming ‘release the kraken’ every time you get naked is not sexy.”

ProfessorSnack The day I learned that Seuss wasn’t really a doctor was they day I questioned the quality of green eggs & ham and elephants hatching eggs.

jlist The message of End of Evangelion: “Mankind’s evolution and rapture will be cock-blocked by a whiny Japanese kid.”

markleggett Why do turtles have such awesome six pack abs when they can’t even do one sit-up? It’s bullshit. #fuckyouturtles

eshep So, my kids apparently like the new Fucked Up record, but I can’t quite bring myself to tell them the name of the band.

hodgman Fleet Foxes just brought out a bass clarinet. This is real.

TheNextMartha Dyson: “We suck while the others just blow”

theleanover Platonic lady friend called to discuss an episode of Dharma & Greg she saw. Is this the point I start to accompany her to the ladies room?

isplotchy News: Radiohead singer Thom Yorke held in small town Cali jail after drunken brawl at laundromat. PD Chief:”Carmel police, arrest this man!”

mathowie I can’t wait until the Post-Rapture weekend. Once the believers are gone, I’m totally getting gay married to a dog.

rolldiggity What kind of beat would a beet retweet if a beet could retweet beats?

sbellelauren lots of rapture babies are about to start cooking in them crazy lady ovens.

MoRocca I kind of hope I get Left Behind. I need a staycation.

LIFECOACHERS Don’t underestimate your own ability to overestimate stuff.

MrWordsWorth James Franco earned 1 of the college degrees he’s working on yesterday. If he gets 9 more, he gets a free liberal arts degree of his choice.

ohnoCAPSLOCK Me to JB: “I’m going to ALT TAB my fist into your face.” #whennerdsmarry

MurseBrian I think I could really make it in this world as a rapper, if I weren’t so white. And also, so gay.

rolldiggity If knowledge is power, then I’m the king of overknowledging people walking alone to their cars at the mall.

guiltysquid Nothing discourages self-improvement like seeing the guy with a masters working at a gas station.

lurkey Yes! Just heard the first ice cream truck of the season. I’ve been itching to get some use out of this expensive crossbow.

lianamaeby What’s the plural of “Starbucks”? “City”?

apodixis Not sure what it means, but I’m very disturbed Schwarzenegger had a child out of warlock. This is why we’re not getting raptured, you guys.

apelad So far the very best part of L.A. Noire is driving off without your partner, watching him try to catch up, then driving off again.

KeepingYouAwake 4 less followers to 400!!! Tell everyone you know! We can do this!

terrenceisdaman Nice try, Nabisco… But I think I’ll decide how many Oreos are in a serving.

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here. Learn more about it in my FAQ.

Guest Post: Children’s Music Recommendations

24 May

I’m still checking in textbooks and performing inventory on my library, so today I have a post for you by Julie Jurgens, also known as Hi Miss Julie on the internets. Julie is a children’s librarian and a talented singer-songwriter, so children’s music is a topic near and dear to her heart. Also, here’s a video of her playing the banjo. No other qualifications necessary.

This topic is extremely timely for me as Isobel is showing a disturbing preference for children’s music. Bad children’s music. The kind sung by children. (I blame my mother, who bought her CDs.) She is becoming scarily attached to it. Her other obsession is the Care Bears Big Wish movie, and music in that movie ranges from boring and saccharine to what you find here.  I’m pretty sure that song is the soundtrack to Hell. (Seriously. Check it out. It’s way more demoralizing that you can possibly imagine.) Also, this. There are no words.

On the bright side she’s so obsessed with this movie that she walks around telling people NO! MORE! WISHING! It’s adorable, if confusing to other people.

Miss Julie’s Music Picks for Children

And The Parents Who Have To Hear It

As a kidbrarian and musician, I make it a point to use a lot of music in my programs, and I like to expose my storytime parents to music beyond the usual Raffi and Hap Palmer (who are great, by the by, but sometimes you just can’t take it anymore, you know?) Here are a few of my current musical favorites for your enjoyment:

Pete Seeger American Folk, Game & Activity Songs
For parents who like Wilco, Justin Townes Earle.

It’s Pete Seeger, guys! How can you go wrong? He’s an American classic, like Levis, apple pie, and changing lanes without bothering to use your turn signal. Furthermore, I am hereby predicting that banjo will soon supplant the uke as the hispter alternative stringed instrument of choice, so you might as well get your kids ready now to ride the resurgent wave in twenty years. The banjo is also just inherently awesome and the twangy out of tune-ness of it will make up for the fact that you can’t sing in tune (which kids don’t care about, really, until they are seven or eight and capable of being embarrassed, so until that point, sing while you can, because before you know it little Jimmy will be plugging up his ears and screaming “MOM! FOR PETE’S SAKE STOP YOU’RE MAKING THE DOG FARTOUT OF FEAR.”)

Putamayo Kids
For parents who are into world music, Radio M, and Afropop Worldwide.

Whatever style or genre of music you’re into, there’s a Putamayo release for it. Animal songs, Caribbean, Zydeco, folk music, anything, and chances are high that 90% of each disc will make you just as happy as it makes your kid. This song is my current favorite, and it never fails to work its magic.

Human Tim + Robot Tim
For parents who like Star Wars, Red Dwarf, and Star Trek.

Do you have a love for all things robot but know it’s too soon to introduce your tot to Jabba the Hut?* Then play some Human Tim + Robot Tim for your kid and enjoy some age-appropriate science fiction fun. Human Tim is also a Wiggleworms staff member at the Old Town School of Folk Music, so you know he has some musical chops to go along with his super-cool sci-fi concept.

*Although for some people it is never too soon.

Super Stolie
For parents who like Neko Case, Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, and Jill Sobule.

Super Stolie is super adorable and super energetic, and will give your little girls (and boys, hey, I don’t judge; paint little Jimmy’s toenails pink if you wanna!) a non-princess pretty girl to look up to, emulate, and admire. Stolie is always performing live, so if you live in the Chicagoland area, make an effort (you won’t have to try very hard) to see her in person and help create the next generation of live music supporters and show-goers.

Ella Jenkins
For parents who can’t stand treacly, sugary children’s performers, for parents who love(d) Mr. Rogers, and parents who need to learn what authoritative parenting sounds like.

No, seriously, I’m tired of wishy washy and permissive parents. Listen to the way Ella talks to kids, and follow her model. “Kids. I’m going to play the ukulele, and we’re going to sing a song together.” Bam. There you go. I love Ella’s simple and clear presentation. The children’s music equivalent of a scotch, straight up. In, you know, a wholesome way.

Hugh Hanley
For parents who were Classics or English majors in college, who want to be well-versed in classic children’s songs, who drink the house blend at Starbucks, who shop at Etsy.

Hugh Hanley isn’t flashy, but he’s a solid musician and he is on the Ella Jenkins end of the music spectrum. His voice is medium-pitched but bright while also being soothing (like your morning coffee). He has a strong background in early childhood education as well, so everything he does is perfectly attuned for your little ones to dance and move. Don’t be the only Mum or Dad at the block party who can’t bust out “Here’s A Ball for Baby” or “Open, Shut Them.” Hugh also includes handy booklets with lyrics and illustrations, so you’ll be sure to get the words right and you can smugly lord this fact over all the other parents at playgroup.


18 May

Me: We’re good together. We’re a classic combination.

Anthony: Like Snoop Dog & Dr Dre.

Me: Exactly. Which one am I?

Anthony: You’re Dre.

Me: Dre? Why?

Anthony: Because you’re older.

Me: … I’m going to murder you.

Anthony: …

Me: Dammit. I am Dr Dre.

Follow Friday – Kickin’ It Old School

13 May

It’s taken a week and a half, but I am finally recovering from this killer cold. My voice has gone from a demonic growl and can now be described as “husky” or “Rachel Ray.” An improvement of sorts.

 I want to thank everyone who took time to enter my giveaway for the gorgeous laurel-leaf bracelet I got for Mother’s Day. Evelyn has such great items in her shop that if you don’t win this bracelet you can console yourself by picking up another of her goodies. A few of you mentioned that gold isn’t your preferred color for jewelry, and if you stop by her shop you’ll notice that she also carries this bracelet in silver. Equally stunning.

The lucky winner of the bracelet is… Anne! Congratulations! I’ll pass your name and email on to Evelyn who will arrange to send you your bracelet. Be sure to measure your wrist to get the perfect size. Everybody else, have a great weekend, and don’t worry, there will be more etsy giveaways in the future.

 (All the photos in today’s post were taken from my flickr archives.)

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here. Learn more about it in my FAQ.

adamisacson I was watching a nature show. A team of seals killed a penguin and dumped the body in the water. Suddenly, I felt strangely patriotic.

FakeAPStylebook The abbreviation “QED” stands for the Latin phrase, “quod erat demonstrandum” which means, “FTW!”

thatgirltricia There’s a thin line between “I should do a status update about that” and “I should talk to a therapist about that.”

markleggett I just held a puppy. Any moment where I’m not holding either a puppy or a kitten or a duckling or a lamb is super bullshit.

phyllisstein Stress-wise, songs with siren effects are pretty bad, but songs with “New Mail” pings are much worse.

PMuffintop Fantastic- kids want to watch “Tangled” for the billionth time. You know my favorite part of “Tangled”? This margarita.

Zaius13 Every time you masturbate a kitten, God kills himself.

joeywags Just came up with idea for podcast recorded in the office restroom, “Stallin’ with Joe Wagner.” Recurring segment: “Plop of the Day.”

mrpilkington There should be some sort of vicious crab monster that hunts down every person who still says “it is what it is.”

grantpa Oh, this? It’s prescription ice cream.

sarcasmically Oh look it’s a day ending in ‘y’ so of course I’ve wounded myself I JUST DUNKED MY NIPPLE IN BOILING WATER it’s amazing I’ve made it to 27

JayFerris Some days I swear I’m allergic to fluorescent lighting and bullshit.

simontarr Fair warning: my in-laws are coming this week for a long weekend. You know, in case you need to stock up on marshmallows for toasting.

telephase Pro Tip: With the right furrowed brow look, you can get multiple teens around the room to admit to things they’ve done.

willgoldstein I assume all parents make it through the terrible twos with a steady diet of caffeine and alcohol.

ohnoCAPSLOCK Esme, “I’m drawing your eyes! And your big nose!” Thanks, jerk.

TheNextMartha When is someone going to invent and air conditioner for my pants?

louisvirtel Sad to discover that Shania Twain’s new reality show isn’t called “Man! I Feel Like a Paycheck.”

ladybirdj If a job interviewer asks what you think of new media, say “I AM NEW MEDIA” and shoot a light beam from your glowing fingertips.

WhyIsDaddyCryin I picked a bad week to quit sniffing glue.

AmandaStretch If Sleepy Dwarf and Sneezy Dwarf had a baby, it would be me. Except that I’m tall for a dwarf. Wait . . . am I adopted?

joshjs Mom, Sorry I ruined your hoo-ha and then became an atheist. Love, Josh

thebookpolice I can’t take Jamie Lee Curtis seriously on child Internet safety PSAs when I know she likes to talk to strangers about their poop.

MarinkaNYC Every time I see “Instagram” I think “Orgasmatron” So your photos have a lot to live up to.

heyrenees Guy next to me on bus has devil horns tattooed onto his forehead. So that’s how the day is starting.

joeltalks Today my dad is 90. I called and as expected he was in the gym as he is every day. I called him from the gym where I am only 3 days a week.

louisvirtel It’s drizzling inSouthern California. Ugh, our flowers will be ruined.

PopCulLibrn Apparently the streets of Burbank near IKEA are one of the best places to find groups of young men in ironic eyewear.

inktwice Got blocked for highlighting the irony in someone’s tweet. Guess she didn’t appreciate…[takes off glasses]…what followed. YEEEAAAA!

scd If I have one bit of advice for media scholars on Twitter, it’s to interact more with folks who aren’t media scholars on Twitter.

AmberRose What a great, productive day on Twitt– I mean, at work!

joeywags It’s so cold in my office, I’m thinking I should probably put my clothes back on.

Jim_Hamilton When a girl talks to me, I think it’s pretty safe to assume she’s an undercover cop. Nice try, Sgt. Flirty!

slackmistress Every time you think something is impossible, remind yourself that “Arli$$” was an actual thing.

antigone_spit “Umm Korinne I need to check your sources. I don’t think Macbeth assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand.”

rolldiggity “I think my student is cheating on me.” -School desk

CanuckMackem Game of Thrones = The Sopranos in Middle Earth

michaelianblack From a writer’s perspective, the main problem with “Country Strong” is that it’s terrible.

cathycrea People on camera would wave and say “Hi….” and then stare blankly. #IfThereWereNoMoms

johnmoe Kids would play Stranger May I. #IfThereWereNoMoms

MikeMallow Scott Pilgrim is trending! This is the best Sunday night news I’ve heard since bin Laden.

louisvirtel Happy birthday, Mom. My fave restaurant is still your womb.

Will_Bunch Anyone know why “Presidential Speech” isn’t on at 10:30? I really enjoyed the first episode last week.

MeatPants Pop Tarts, Top Parts. Whatever. You know what I meant.

danforthfrance Maybe you can’t get over the Lakers being assholes, but I’m still hung up on the fact that LA has no lakes.

LouisPeitzman Maybe I don’t know exactly what it’s like to be a mother, but I’ve had a headache for three days.

wordlust Your mom is intended for mature audiences only. She contains adult gerbils and strong sailors.

NickSchug Every day, Kid Rock eats Cheetos flavors that we can’t even IMAGINE.

shinyinfo Librarians should have MLIS showers where people bestow gifts of cardigans & sweater vests upon new graduates

MrWordsWorth Women’s Day magazine is sold year-round. I call shenanigans.

shinyinfo Knowing people with gardens is like being a Freegan but without having to jump into dumpsters.

Gen_with_a_G That hip skinny chick over there, she is really shoving that sandwich in her mouth. There’s hope for us yet.

Zaius13 Is it “Cuntess” or “Cuntress”? I want this Mother’s Day card to be fridge worthy.

editorialgirl Also found a text file called “to do”. Inside: one line. “1) move that paper clip that I keep mistaking for a spider”. #wtf

aspaul My cat didn’t get me anything for Mother’s Day. This is bullshit.

1ofManyLaurens The best way to add insult to injury is when signing somebody’s cast.

hemantmehta Happy That’s-What-Happens-When-Republicans-Defund-Planned-Parenthood Day!

aleah This Celebrity Ghost Stories show is hilarious. Alice Cooper saw “ghosts” for reasons unrelated to paranormal activity. Pretty sure.

ProfessorSnack Whenever my boys ask me about a bird I can’t identify, I just call it Larry.

tommycm Right. My new project ‘Moby Dick 2: failwhale’ isn’t going to write itself. Laters, Twitter.

jendenbrat I’m already placing bets that the next Fast & Furious movie will be called Fastier & Most Furiousest.

BenMcCool Ice Cube starring in Coors Lite commercials: about as gangsta as that time I bought flowers for my mum.

Mister_m00n “Ladies, Don’t get your panties in a bunch!!” — Supervisor at the panty factory.

slackmistress Right this very second, Jessie’s Girl is probably wishing she picked Rick Springfield.

bibliophagist Look, we can either sit around and moan or we can come up with some useful false dichotomies.

Mister_m00n I’m not one to blow my own horn, but with lots of yoga & practice I’m hoping someday I will.

LaurelSnyder My son has a habit of dropping his trousers in public places & then, mid-stream, screaming, “A little privacy, please!”

loganfountain The only thing I do strategically is eat nachos.

heyrenees Few things in life better than seriously funny people with Photoshop.

BabsGray This pizza tastes as good as being thin feels.

Mister_m00n I just drafted up a design for a combination cell phone / dildo. I’m calling it *The Sexophone *

ScrewyDecimal I told a kid to have patience as she waits for a hold to come in. She said: “I’m not really a ‘have patience’ kind of girl.” Word, sister.

sarcasmically Now that I can eat more than popsicles, I am on a binge. So hide yo’ kids hide yo’ wife because chances are they look delicious to me.

jonniker I’ve swaddled Brobee ten times. This is who I am now.

juicymorsel The best time to admit you are wrong is when you are all alone and no one can hear you.

mrpilkington Should have brought a Mexican-Coke with me to work today. Now THAT’S how you celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

goldengateblond I told I’m a writer. Naturally, it suggested jobs in food service.

sween My wife just called her privates her sniddle-snatch-snoo. It’s like I’m married to Dr. Seuss.

NASeason Wait – Dyson makes a cordless handheld? I think I just came all over myself.

swedishpancake in my world every pair of shoes is comfortable, eyeliner is always perfect and stupid people can’t speak.

ladybirdj If a man says, “I don’t trust anything that bleeds once a month and doesn’t die” you should marry him because he thinks you’re immortal!

feistylibrarian Just let the pigeon drive the bus.

iasshole Reading Reader’s Digest is like letting your grandma drive the internet.

bazecraze Those commercials are more fun to watch if you pretend “going to Jared” is code for anal.

KeepingYouAwake My lawnmower has two speeds. One for chasing turtles and one for chasing bunnies. Does anyone else find this troubling?


What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here. Learn more about it in my FAQ.

Mother’s Day Bracelet Giveaway

10 May


Mother’s Day weekend didn’t work out at all how I planned. Friday I returned to work after getting really sick on Tuesday (aw, I just realized it’s my one week anniversary with this virus! special!) I had planned to see a friend’s band play that night, and even though I wasn’t feeling the greatest I still wanted to go. So we went. We had a good time but I could feel my fever returning and my voice leaving. We left early with regrets.

I woke up the next day and my voice sounded like I had been gargling glass. Sadly I realized I was going to have to cancel most of the weekend’s plans. I had really been looking forward to hanging out with Ellen & Laura and seeing Ellen’s sweet new baby and sniffing his little head until people looked at me awkwardly, but I wasn’t up to it and could no way justify bringing this virus in contact with a newborn. I was pretty bummed.

Anthony still wanted to make Mother’s Day special for me so he took me out for some thrifting and a Mother’s Day lunch. While out I managed to lock our keys in the trunk of the car. Happy Mother’s Day to meee! While waiting for the locksmith to come we tried to come up with ways of entertaining Isobel that did not involve letting her run around the dangerous parking lot like she so desperately wanted.

Thrifting obviously didn’t work out like I’d planned, but take a look at this amazing vintage clock I found. I will totally put this in the shop, just as soon as I quit finding attractive places to hang it in my own house. Ahem.

(Before I gave it a thorough cleaning)


We were famished after thrifting, but we knew Isobel had some energy to burn so we stopped by a park to let her burn off some energy before heading to lunch. Isobel had been quite content all morning, but as soon as we got to the restaurant she proceeded to throw the largest, most enthusiastic restaurant tantrum of her career.

Anthony and I ate in turns while the other tended to screamy baby. She was only happy sitting next to the fountain in the lobby. I ate my soup and salad alone and then let Antonyhave his turn. A well-meaning waitress tried to help, but the last thing Isobel wants mid-tantrum is a person she does not know making faces at her. It egged her on and she screamed NO NO NO right in the waitress’ face. That will teach her to be kind to babies!

The virus was returning with a vengeance at that point, so I tried to soothe Isobel as best I could but my voice sounded like Dr Claw. It was by turns a demonic rumble or ghostly whisper. Just imagine how soothing it would be to have Dr Claw rubbing your back saying, DON’T WORRY, HONEY. IT WILL BE ALL RIGHT. She screamed harder.

As soon as our entrees were ready we boxed them up and left.


Mother’s Day wasn’t a wash, though, because I did get to spend time with my family and there was some light napping (always a bonus). Anthony let me pick out some stuff from Etsy about a week before so it would come in time, and my favorite thing by far was this bracelet from BeadsByEvelyn.

I love this bracelet. I have super tiny wrists so I rarely buy bracelets because inevitably they are too big and it’s a huge disappointment. But I loved this bracelet and Etsy sellers can often customize things for you so I emailed Evelyn and explained that my wrists are about a full inch smaller than the smallest size listed on her chart. No problem, she said, she could fix that for me, and oh by the way, she offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so if I still didn’t like the fit after she adjusted it, I could send it back for a refund. Awesome.


It reminds me of a laurel wreath and I absolutely adore it. I’ve only been wearing it for a week now but I’ve gotten so many compliments on it. I need to have Anthony take a picture of me wearing it, but here’s the best I could do with my non-dominant hand holding my cell phone.


This bracelet fits me perfectly, and Evelyn is generously donating one of her gorgeous bracelets to a lucky Little Big reader! I’m super excited because this is my first giveaway ever that didn’t involve something I found at my house. (Although remember that time I gave away some monkeys? Good times.) 

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment below. Anyone who RTs this giveaway will be entered twice. A winner will be selected randomly and announced on Friday. Good luck and check out BeadsByEvelyn’s shop for more lovely goodies.

Wonderful Carpet

3 May

With our new carpet in and our house somewhat back to normal, I can say unequivocably that we love it. Love it. Words can’t describe how much we love it, except after it was put in Isobel danced around the livingroom and ran through the house singing, “Wonderful carpet! Wonderful carpet!” That was how I felt, too except for running around the house I simply luxuriated in the feeling of standing on the plush carpet with my poor, arthritic joints.

Our old carpet was original to the house, meaning it was from 1987. That’s the same year, incidentally, our friend Caleb was born. Fortuantely for him, Cay’s in a lot better shape.

Old carpet, or OC, was gray. We’re hoping. I guess it could have been off white or some thing at one point, but seeing as how this is what it looked like when we had it replaced, I’m hoping it was gray. After they pulled it out and tossed it on our drive way it looked slightly lavender in the morning sunlight. But not in a good way. The kind of lavender you might find in the fridge inside a container yogurt you forgot about. I was worried our flooring was gaining sentience.

 The worst part of our old carpet, besides the horrible stains that pitted and riddled its entire surface, was a patch right next to the kitchen in a spot that you might want to walk on 50 thousand times a day. It was so badly deteriorated that a row of sharp, horrible nails was exposed. We lived with them like that  for the first five years. Only after Isobel gained mobility did we have the ghetto classy brilliant idea of covering the nails with duct-tape, the homeowner’s cure-all.

Years of living in this house had trained Anthony and I to lift our foot rapidly at the first hint of  putting pressure on the nails. Our friends lacked this conditioning and sadly several of them felt the wrath of OC. Especially Danny for some reason. He managed to step on those nails every damn time he came over. Poor Danny. You can see the horridness of Old Carpet if you can look beyond the cuteness in the middle. Stains, wear, and general nastiness prevailed througout the house.


There were some especially bad stains in the library. When we moved the vintage desk in dirt came off it in chunks, adding to the problem.

 I really wish this photo showed off our nasty 80s tile. We were getting rid of that, too.

Oh, you can see the tile in this one.

When it came time to choose a new carpet color, I thought we’d go the safe route and choose something that’s not only neutral, but will hide stains well. So I made a list, from least to most, of things most often spilled that would stain the carpet:

5. Coke

4. Water

3. Pachas

2. Beer

1. Cat Vomit

Although our biggest probelm is with cat vomit, that isn’t exactly our favorite color. Sorry cats! Instead we went with “ale.”

Naturally we had to move everything off the carpeted areas of our house to replace the carpet, so all of our furniture and  other crap precious items had to be stored in our kitchen, garage, and patio. All of the boxes you see in the garage are books from our shelves and the clear tubs are all Etsy shop items.

Here’s the end result. Isobel’s running on the soft, smooth carpet. Not pictured: Zorro dancing with glee, Anthony and I chest bumping with joy, doves crying. 

Ale. You gorgeous carpet, you. And look at that laminate! So much better than the tile, and it matches the flooring in the kitchen (which you can see from the front door.)

 Besides the laminate, the best part is the hallway. I can’t really describe it but the beauty of this hallway. It is just so luxurious to wake up and see this.

Wonderful carpet.

It’s Time for New Adventures

13 Apr

Last Friday I told my principal that this year would be my last year as school librarian.

I want to stay at home with my daughter.

There are many things I love about the job, and many things I’ll miss, but I’ve been feeling stagnant and ready for a change. I will work through June.

I love domesticity and at heart a part of me has always wanted to stay home. A larger part of me wanted to be in the library, of course, until Isobel came along.

We are so lucky that Anthony found work in this dismal economy. We are going to be taking a huge pay cut by going down to one income, but we can mange. We’ve managed all these years on less. While home I plan to develop my etsy business, do more portrait sittings, and sell more photos to Getty. It won’t replace my income totally, but it will help. When it comes time for Isobel (and any possible future siblings) to start school I’ll have that foundation to grow my businesses further.

By going now I’ll leave this job knowing the district will have the funds to replace me, unlike when I was laid off last year. Big changes often come with mixed emotion, and I am sad about leaving at times, but at other times I’m jubilant with anticipation.

It’s going to be an interesting summer.

The Kite

7 Apr

One of the best toys Isobel received for her birthday was a kite from our Reno friends Dave and Stef. We were very excited to test this bad boy out, and luckily for us, the day after her party was perfect: sunny, windy, only a little cold, and lovely.

Isobel had no idea what a kite was, of course, and I explained to her that we were going to the park to fly it. When we got there she just wanted to P-L-A-Y (sorry, I get into the habit of spelling certain words when I’m around her). From the field she could see the playground equipment, and there were some tense moments while waiting for Anthony to assemble the kite. So far all it had done was lay there. That’s not as exciting as going down the slide. Duh, Mama.

But when we finally got it up in the air she LOVED it.

She did not think she was too young to fly a kite. She kept grabbing the string so she could “fly” it, too.

And when it would fall down, she’d run to it.

Here’s a photo my camera took while I was doing something else.

It was so fun, even though we were all absolutely exhausted from the party the day before. Flying a kite and then going home and taking a 2 hour nap were about all I could handle.

After awhile, we let Isobel hold the spool. She really, really wanted to fly it.

We helped, of course.

I love this picture below. She’s like, “I AM TOTES FLYING A KITE!”

Afterwards, Anthony and I caved and took her on the swings. Because we are soft.

And then I took a picture of myself on the playground, looking all gangster.

(With unbrushed hair.)

6 a.m. Conversation

31 Mar

Me: Girls on campus are wearing giant bows in their hair. Giant bows are a thing now.

Anthony: Really?

Me: They are comically big. Anime-character big. Ten-inches-across big. They’re probably picking up satellite reception.

Anthony: Maybe the fad is to dress like a giant present.

Me: Weird.

Anthony: It’s the new style.

Me: I predict the next trend will be for girls to carry a small cabbage everywhere they go. The cabbages will also have bows.