I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since I left for Florida. Pictures soon. It was awesome. I love Orlando, and I love Florida winter weather. As soon as I got home I got sick and I haven’t wanted to do much of anything.
In other news, I am now on Twitter.


New Book Group!!

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped into the South Portland Branch Library to pick up a book I had requested.  It was a Monday evening, and they are open until 8pm.  I asked about book groups at the South Portland libraries, and found that they meet on Wednesday evenings at the main branch.  I can’t attend, because I work late at my own library.  (Even though I help lead the book group in Yarmouth, I thought attending a book group in my hometown would be a fun extra thing to do, and a nice way to meet new people.)  The woman I spoke with mentioned that there used to be a group that met at the branch, but that they no longer had the staff to do it.  Long story short, she and I are starting it back up!  We are going to meet the first Monday of every month, starting in March.  We just need to think of a first book, and then we can decide as a group what our upcoming reading list will be.  We are thinking something light and funny would work well for a first book.  I’m really excited about it.  Any suggestions for good book group books?  One I’m currently reading, which I think might be conversation-provoking is The Geography of Bliss.  Good books don’t necessarily start good conversations, but this one is witty and light, and could start a lot of conversation about what makes people happy.

Jim and I are leaving for a short vacation tomorrow.  Our flight leaves at 6:18 am – earlier than I prefer to be up and certainly earlier than I prefer to be at an airport.  And yet.  We are headed to Orlando, and I can’t wait to be warm.  It’s going to be in the 70s and sunny every day we’re there, which will be a nice change from the 5 inches of snow I shoveled this morning while it was sleeting.  Still, that 4:45 cab ride is going to be rough.

Notes Column

The director recently asked me to write a column for the Notes.  A different area library writes a column for the weekly, and I think there are three or four libraries that take turns.  She gave me no guidelines, so I wrote an essay that in my head has the title “Why the Library is Awesome.”  Its actual title is more modest.  I think it gets published next week.  For your enjoyment, I post it here:

Winter – Time to Rediscover Your Library

Much has been made in the national news about skyrocketing library
use due to hard economic times.  More and more people are borrowing
movies, books, and audio materials from libraries everywhere.  Here in
Yarmouth, we are fortunate that people have always recognized what a
fantastic resource the library is.  If you come often, know that we
really love to see you come through the door.  If it has been awhile
since you’ve been in, perhaps it’s time to find out what your
neighbors have been taking advantage of.  Our busy library is a
wonderful place.
As soon as you walk through the door, help yourself to a free cup of
coffee.  All winter and well into the spring, we try to temper the
cold outside temperatures by making fresh coffee available.  We
subscribe to five daily newspapers and nearly one hundred magazines,
so you are certain to find something interesting to peruse while
drinking your cuppa.
If you love watching movies or television, we own over two thousand
titles, including latest releases, foreign films, classics, children’s
materials, popular television shows and BBC productions.  DVDs and
videos are very popular and constantly circulating, so if you don’t
see what you’re looking for, check back soon or ask at the desk to
place a reserve.
To reap the benefit of reading while you’re driving, walking, or
taking care of things around the house, try an audiobook.  Our
collection includes many recent fiction and nonfiction titles for
adults, young adults, and children.  If you find a reader whose voice
you really enjoy, try plugging their name into the author field when
searching our catalog to see what other books they have narrated.
Very soon, you will even have the option to download audiobooks from
Many of our newest books don’t make it to the shelves for months,
because saavy library users know we are happy to call you when the
latest release is in.  Take advantage of this service by reserving
books online, calling us, or filling out a request at the desk.  If
you don’t see what you’d like to read, don’t hesitate to ask us if we
have it.  Even if we don’t, we are happy to get it in for you!
Wireless internet is available throughout the building.  We also have
computers available to the public.  Many people took advantage of the
library’s wifi during our recent ice storm, not to mention the heat
and power we had while some were still cold and dark.  We are always
busy right before a storm as people stock up on entertainment, but
sometimes we are just as busy during and after!
Before you make your next major purchase, come in and look at our
buyers guides, or flip through our subscription to Consumer Reports.
Some of these resources are available online –  ask us how to access
them from any computer.   Our institutional subscription to Consumer
Reports makes it easier than ever to search and compare products, and
through MARVEL!, we have access to thousands of journals, magazines,
and newspapers, including archives of several local papers.
Instead of purchasing travel guides before you take your next trip,
come into the library and see what we have here in our travel section.
We have a nice selection of destinations represented, both
international and domestic, and we are constantly refreshing our
collection.  The armchair traveler may also desire to pick up some of
our travelogues, or take home a travel magazine.  If travel is not
your thing, we also have an excellent selection of cookbooks, interior
decorating books and craft books.
You’ve already paid for the library, so why not use it?  The library
is one of the best investments a community can make.  Take advantage
of all the resources we own and the services we offer, and make the
most of your investment.  While the cost of everything seems to be
going up, the cost to borrow things from the library remains the same.
It’s absolutely free.  We’d love to see you here.

Body Movin’, 2009 Edition

I have been running at the community center four days a week since December 1.  I know, it’s only a month, but I go often enough to be a regular, and the other regulars say hi to me.  That’s all we say to each other because we are all exercising and it’s 6:30 am. I recognize everyone who exercises at that hour, with occasional interlopers who come once or twice.

This morning, there were a lot of unfamiliar faces.  Happy New Year, start exercising!!

I got a month head start on that front, mainly because I knew January would be too late.  Jim and I are running in a 5K on Friday.  In Florida!!  In Orlando!!  In Disney!!  Yay!  His mom is competing in the Goofy Challenge, which consists of a marathon and a half marathon, done in two days.  I’m not and probably never will be up for nearly 40 miles of running in two days, but I can do three.

New Futon

We took a trip down to Amesbury today to pick up a new-to-us futon.  Jim’s aunt upgraded to a nice sofa, so we acquired some additional seating and sleeping potential.  Yay!!

Frank and Lou like it enough to sit next to each other on it!  Actually you can see Lou trying to keep Frank at arm’s length.  They took a short break from attacking each other to pose for the camera.

Fresh Bread

For the last few months, Jim and I have not been purchasing bread to make sandwiches from.  Instead, once or twice a week, I bake bread.  I use Betty Crocker’s white bread recipe.  I also make other kinds of bread for occasions other than sandwiches.  I make focaccia, big artisanal-looking loaves, and once I made a raisin and walnut loaf.  I have been drooling over a sundried tomato and olive loaf recipe.

Making bread is a bit of work, but the resulting bread is so much tastier and more filling than the sliced bread we’d been buying.  It smells good while it’s cooking, it tastes amazing hot out of the oven, and it makes me feel connected to centuries of women who have baked bread using exactly the same techniques that I use.  It also takes up a big part of a day, makes a huge mess of my kitchen, and gets stale after a few days.

So worth it.

Welcome, 2009!

Happy New Year!  I have big hopes for 2009, and I’m happy to say that 2008 did not let me down.

In 2008, I celebrated the first anniversary of both my wedding to Jim and the start of my career as a librarian.  We adopted Luigi.  We bought a house.  I bought a car, which has so far been both reliable and sporty.  I learned how to drive a car with a manual transmission.  I started running, and ran in a 5K.  I did a lot of reading and knitting.

This year, I would like to keep better track of both the reading and the knitting.  I am going to start a book journal and use the blog to keep a record of my knits.  Some of our patrons have come in with their book journals, and I think it’s so great that they can look back and see what they read 10 years ago, or be able to say with confidence when they last read Jane Eyre.  I read a lot of knitting blogs, and I would love to add mine to that body of good reading in the blogosphere.  I know that Jim will cringe at that last word.  Ha!  That’s why I used it!

I started to take photos of some knitting to show off here, but I didn’t really get any good ones, so I’ll spare you the dark and blurry shots.  I am currently actively knitting a Sipalu Bag that I got for Christmas as a kit, and a tweedy sock.  One sock of the pair was finished in 2008, just under the wire, and the second was cast on before midnight but really came into its own last night during a small movie marathon (Natural Born Killers and National Treasure 2).  I am coming down off a string of fingerless gloves, so it’s exciting to have something big and complex on the needles.

The Sipalu is my first two color knitting, and I’m really digging the two hands method.  I took a class last winter on knitting Continental, and I set the technique aside for some time.  Then Christmas knitting started to hurt my hands (I learned to knit from a book, so I have a sloppy style.  When I knit too much, I make a hole in the tip of my left index finger that opens into a crack in the winter.  Gross, I know.), and I had some ribbed fingerless gloves to make, so I revisited Continental, and I love it!  I’m not proficient yet, and have a hard time decreasing, but just knitting or ribbing I’m as fast as if not faster than I was before.  So with a color in each hand, I can knit Fair Isle nearly as fast as I used to knit.  It’s the counting and trying to figure out where I am that slows me down.  I’m having so much fun!!

So here’s to 2009, colorwork, hobbies, and beer.  I hope that everyone who this reaches has as wonderful a year as I hope to have.