Moments of Zen: Jan 3-8

This week has been really slow for me because I came home from Alabama with a really bad cold/cough/bronchitis or whatever this horrible thing is. Not getting much sleep for the past few nights (well less than normal) hasn’t helped either. This is my first week back since my trip. 

Tues Jan 3rd: Honestly, it was napping after I dropped off my son at school because we got home so late from the trip the night before. Well that and playing Dragon Age 2 after a week’s hiatus. 

Wed Jan 4th: I had picked up a copy of Star Wars: Rebels animated TV show before Christmas intending on watching it with my son but we never got around to it. So we started it on Wed and enjoyed it so much, I let him watch 3 episodes. 

star-wars-rebels

Thurs Jan 5th: Watched a few more episodes of Star Wars: Rebels with my son and we both agree that Jedis are pretty awesome. I was pleased to find out that Freddie Prinze Jr, who also voiced Iron Bull from Dragon Age: Inquisition (one of my favorite game characters), also voiced the Jedi in Rebels.

Fri Jan 6th: Getting back in the storytime groove again as I haven’t done it since end of Nov 2016. Today we were talking about robots and a co-worker who was observing me today said I did a good job and called it “stand-up for 3 yr olds” which cracked me up. I had not been feeling great and it perked me back up. 

ouran-vol-18

Sat Jan 7th: Finally got a copy of Ouran High School Host Club Vol 18 by Bisco Hatori, though I am very sad the series is over. 😦 I also managed to find a copy of Star Wars: Kanan, the Last Padawan which I discovered while looking for some Star Wars: Rebels books on our library’s catalog. I think it is so cool that they did an origin story from the most interesting character on an older children/YA TV show. 

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Sun Jan 8th: Played pretty much the entire DA: II Legacy download and loved it. The final battle with Corypheus was nearly as hard than the final battle in Inquisition, even in Casual mode, in my opinion. I loved the dialogue between Hawke, Anders, Varric and Fenris in this premium content. I wish I had gotten the content sooner as this makes so much more sense to do before Inquisition because it explains so much of the storyline before you see Hawke in Skyhold. 

Moment of Zen: Oct 21-27

This has been an insanely long week for a number of reasons I won’t go into right now. Suffice it to say, that I am very much looking forward to the weekend, especially as my favorite holiday is coming up, aka Halloween! Plus it will be a nice distraction for my son to play in his newly finished costume and have a little fun. 

Fri: Human Body DiscoveryTime went better than I would’ve thought. I found this adorable Brain Hat and used it in the storytime, which went over really well. So well that a colleague wants to use the idea this weekend for one of his programs (so yay for Brain Hat! or as my friend called it, the Brain yarmulke!). 

brain-hat

Sat: Going to Bilingual DIY storytime for Dia de los Muertos with Liam at the library I work at, led by my friend Joanna and new acquaintance Cassi, where I learned how to do “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” in Spanish. Then he got to decorate sugar skulls as an ofreda, offering for a Dia de los Muertos altar. Then we went up to the 5th floor, so he could pick out another adult dinosaur book. 

Sun: Oct Bookclub meeting, where we discussed The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and ate some yummy French food prepared by our members. We had seven people and had a nice discussion about love and war. 

Mon: Eating the second half of my sandwich from Wildflower Bakery – the Roasted Sweet Potato, it’s amazing and enormous : roasted sweet potatoes, fresh mozzarella, fig confit, arugula, marinated fennel and balsamic vinaigrette on Herb Focaccia, whilst reading more of A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir. Also started listening to Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, for our November bookclub as a refresher, as I have read it before. 

Tues: 5 years of blogging on WordPress! Creating an activity sheet for my Construction DiscoveryTime for Friday, glad to feel semi-productive as I’ve been pretty distracted. 

Wed: Getting to go to my son’s school and observe him and his teacher in his slightly advanced Kindergarten class. I was fascinated by what they did, and managed to cram into 3 hrs of school, which included: phonics, reading, comprehension, learning to tell time, math, and learning rhythm with drums in music class. 

Thurs: Finishing up Liam’s Halloween costume with the help of my friends Marlene and Caren (and it is pretty damn adorable) and getting to see the gleeful look on his face when he got to put it on. He’s so excited for this weekend and Monday. Pics below. 

costume1                                                  Toothless Costume Front View

costume2                                               Toothless Costume Back View

costume3

Slightly Clearer view of wings and tail

Moment of Zen: Oct 14-20

Back to the grind on Friday – Sunday after three days off this week. Should’ve taken off Friday too if I didn’t need the money, to rest and recuperate from vacation (ironic right?). 

Fri: Honestly, I went to my room and closed the door, read for an 1-1/2 hrs and then went to bed early. I didn’t get as much sleep as I would’ve liked on this week’s mini-break, so the extra relaxation and sleep really helped. 

Sat: Playing SWTOR and reading a good chunk of Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth, my second YA time-traveling book this week. 

Sun: I did Crafty Science today on Owls today. Name is just like it sounds: I did a mini-Powerpoint presentation on Owls and then we did 4 crafty projects that the kids could choose from (create an owl out of beads and feathers, create a owl mask with crayons/colored pencils/feathers, create an owl out of multicolored cardstock and owl paper bag puppets). I did an owl made out of beads and it was very calming and therapeutic, which was fantastic because my day previously had kind of sucked. Also finished the 2nd ARC of the week, Saving Hamlet, and finally got to catch up with Joanna (who I hadn’t really seen for a couple of weeks). 

Mon: Finally unlocked a Twi’lek and created a bounty hunter character on SWTOR, and she is a pretty curvy bad ass mofo. Got to work on my Dragon Age fanfiction short story some more and got Joanna to agree to be my beta (editor/idea person) for them (so I have been feeling really creative this week). 

twilek

Nashar’a looks like this color with the headband ^

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But with this facial tattoo ^

Tues: Got to have lunch and talk more with my friend Joanna; also have been working more on my DA story. 

Wed: Started working on Liam’s Halloween costume. He’s going as Toothless the Night Fury from How to Train Your Dragon, and my friend Caren is graciously helping me because I do not know how to sew. Went over to Joanna’s house and had lunch. Just nice to get out of the house and be somewhere else and just chill on my day off. 

toothless   toothless-wing

toothless-tail The costume should look something like this. 

Thurs: Working in Mach1 on Liam’s costume. They were having “Sew Family” and the whole month they are working with the kids on Halloween costumes. Some people brought their own projects but others were making capes and learning how to use the sewing machines. It was just nice to see so many working on their own project with so much inspiration and creativity. Lol, now I remember how much I hate to cut felt. 

Moments of Zen: Sept 30-Oct 6

I know I’ve not been great about posting much of anything aside from these Moments of Zen lately on the blog, but my life has been super crazy lately (probably will only get crazier), and this is what I can manage. I’m actually impressed that I’ve managed to post every week since I started doing this. I enjoy sharing my weeks with others, and hopefully my readers get a kick out of it too. I will share more of what is going on in the future, but not right now. I’m hoping to ramp up my Advanced Reader’s Copy reviews soon as the new year approaches. I might do an art post in the near future because I’ve been thinking about it for awhile and I miss doing them. 

Fri: Presenting my Rainbow DiscoveryTime to a very enthusiastic group of preschoolers this morning, and have them get really into how the prisms reflected/refracted the light to make a rainbow and creating their own rainbow twirlers (made with crayons instead of paint and sans pot of gold at the end); Starting a new book I won on Goodreads called The Girl Who Fought Napolean: A Novel of the Russian Empire by Linda Lafferty.

Sat: Watching one of my favorite books as a kid, The BFG by Roald Dahl, as a movie with my son. It was a good adaptation, but just makes me want to re-read the book with my son. His favorite part was the farting corgis (no surprise there). 

the-bfg

Sun: Lately my son has been wanting him to snuggle with him in bed before he goes to sleep. This is both a good sweet thing and makes me a bit sad because he doesn’t want to be alone. 

Mon: Actually going to sleep at 9:30pm. This is a seriously rare occurrence. It’s the first time in forever that I’ve actually gotten 8 hrs of sleep. 

Tues: Helping an adult customer while I was working at the branch library actually. She couldn’t figure out where her Word files had gone and I was trying to explain to her the difference between files and folders. Very basic computers 101, but it felt great to feel like I can really help this person organize her papers so she can easily access them. 

Wed: Decided to finally try Urban Cookies bakery, which is literally 5 minutes from my house and I pass all the time but never stop. I tried their Caramel Apple seasonal cupcake with cinnamon apple filling and caramel buttercream and it was amazing. Sigh…My son got a super chocolately one with vanilla buttercream and these little chocolate balls on top and the first thing he said when he picked it up was “Mind blown – chocolate!”, which I shared with the people in the bakery. Needless to say we will both be coming back in the future. 

Thurs: Trying out new recipes this week: today it was One Pot Beef Stroganoff, which was pretty tasty and Wed it was Chicken with a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. Would definitely make Wednesday’s dish again and perhaps the Stroganoff in a pinch, though would substitute ground pork for the beef. 

Moment of Zen: Sept 3 – 9

It has been a crazy week and I’m glad it’s nearly over as I am whooped physically and mentally. Just working until the early afternoon tomorrow and then I’ll be free for the weekend. 

Sat: Even though my face and shoulders are sunburned because of it, getting to relax and just float for a bit, on my back in the pool, while my son took his first swimming class (which he really enjoyed). 

Sun: Getting to have brunch and a coffee with my dad and just talk about stuff going on. I find I need to vent more than ever before, and he’s a good listener who gives his honest opinion about things. 

Mon: Hanging out in Prescott, for the first time, with Joanna and my son. It was a perfect sunny 82 degrees F and slightly windy. Hopefully by next month, the weather will be even better for the mini-break I’m taking with my parents and son next month. 

Tues: Having lunch with Joanna at one of my favorite local restaurants, Blue Fin. This is actually the place where I first thought about doing these posts as whenever I go there, it makes me totally relaxed plus I love the food. It’s right across from the library where I work and the people there are so nice and always make me feel welcome. It’s been there for nearly 35 years, and they make excellent panko chicken with brown rice and tonkatsu sauce, and my favorite Oyako Chicken (eggs, chicken, cabbage and onions all mixed together with a sweet sauce) over brown rice. The Oyako is just so comforting, so if I have time as it takes a little longer to prepare, I usually get that. 

Wed: Weirdly enough, my favorite part of the day was the small staff meeting we had to discuss some routine stuff, in addition to learning that I will do more outreach for The Amazing Library Card Campaign (encourages public school kids in target low-literacy areas to get library cards – 3rd year they’ve done it) and this year’s theme is Peanuts (last year was Star Wars so we had the local Star Wars charity group come shoot photos at the library in promotion). Also my duties at work have changed a bit. They’ve added me to the “Ask a Librarian” team, which I’ve never done, but am a bit excited to get a new task

stormtroopers-in-the-archives-at-burton-barr-sept-2015

Last year’s theme (Stormtroopers in the Library’s Archives, Sept 2015)

peanuts_web_psa_336x280

This year’s theme

Thurs: Today it was just nice to relax and not have to do anything except my counseling appointment first thing in the morning. I’ve not really had the opportunity to do so in the last week. 

Fri: Ok this one is kind of weird, but it made me happy. Finally got a chance to talk to two of our interns and assign them tasks to start next week that will mean I get to fill out less paperwork and give them a bit more ownership of the program. I will be talking to them more next week to set it up properly. Yay for interns!

Moment of Zen: Aug 15-19

As I said before in the previous post, things have been pretty crazy this summer in my professional and personal life.The Summer Reading program is fun but keeps us super busy at the library. Plus I’ve been trying to decide where I want my career to go next within the library system I currently work in, and have only just now made a decision. Plus my personal life is a whole other minefield I won’t go into right now. So I’ve been trying to find new ways to become less stressed and more calm. I should take some examples from Bill the Cat and Opus the Penguin and have a spontaneous “monarch flash mob” instead of a nervous breakdown. 

Bloom County July 10, 2016

Because of all the stress and worry I’ve been having lately, I thought it would be good if I could find one awesome moment that made me smile each day. I’ve been thinking about this for ages, but have never managed to write it out. So in the future, I will be having at least one post a week about my daily “Moments of Zen” that I’d like to share. 

Tues: I was working at one of the branches for the first time, to get a feel for what it was like working there and they assigned me Kids Cafe. I’m the site supervisor at my location, so doing this on my own is no big deal. This little girl who was probably about 7-10 yrs old started talking to me as she was one of the first ones in there. She was so positive and happy to talk to me, excited even, and helped me put away chairs at the end of the program and gave me a hug. I had never met her before or visa versa, but it was just a nice experience. It made me feel really loved. 

Wed: I got complimented by one of my fellow co-workers who just became a supervisor. It was interesting because before then I had never really ever got direct positive feedback from him and to hear him praise me to another new co-worker was very cool because it made me feel very wanted/needed (which I hadn’t been feeling that there lately).

Thurs:  Experimenting with a completely new recipe and using beef (which I hardly eat) and having it turn out really tasty. 

Fri: Reading Imprudence by Gail Carriger, a book I’ve been waiting months to read and it was really hilarious and just enjoying my lunch break whilst reading it.

What to do with $700 Million?

Hi everyone!

I hope you had a good holiday season and a Happy New Year! My family’s Christmas/New Years breaks were quiet and low-key. In keeping with my promise to write more, I decided to do so today. I found this pic this afternoon on my Goodreads feed that made me laugh and think of this blog:

Hermione is the Smartest

Hermione

I have had my first Art Explorers program and got a respectable six kids. It doesn’t seem like a lot but given I couldn’t really advertise for the program due to a flyer issue, it is pretty spectacular. I will do my best to advertise the heck out of the program and work on extending the length. I’m so used to not have any time to do the program (as I did with Kids Cafe), that the first one was rather short. So I’ve added a bit to the next two to make them longer. This month’s program was on The Color Wheel and Pop Art”, and February’s will be on Dale Chihuly. The activity for that program will take longer so I’m not too worried about it. I’m so excited to do the Anglo-Saxon program in March! I’ve worked really hard and managed to squish 600 years of history into 18 slides. I just have to sort out my activity and everything will be awesome.

My first Page Turners (tween book club) meeting will be on Thurs Jan 21st. My co-worker and I asked the kids to have read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I have read it before, but of course had forgotten that I had, so this time around I listened to the audiobook version narrated by English actor Michael York (which was fantastic). We’re hoping we get more than one kid this time around, though the past one kid per program have been very enthusiastic about the books, and have some cool activities planned. We’re going to create our own shields and hopefully that’ll segway into talking about the author, why and how he created the book and discussion questions. We plan on having Turkish delight and hot cocoa, snacks featured in the book. I’m rather excited about it!  I’ll post more about it in a couple weeks after it’s occurred. February we will be discussing Jacqueline Woodson’s autobiographical verse novel Brown Girl Dreaming (which I totally loved), and we’re hoping to help the kids create a timeline of the last 10 years of their own life, write their own haikus, and create a self-portrait using their hands and filling in activities that make up their lives.

I had my first DiscoveryTime (Preschool Storytime plus STEM) of the year last Fri and it went pretty well considering it’s the first storytime I’ve done since before Thanksgiving. I ended up having a co-worker watch it, as she is preparing for her first one in two weeks when I’m on vacation to lovely Las Vegas to celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary! I did it on Robots, and thought it was a bit short, the kids has a lot of fun creating their own robots out of foam shapes, aluminum foil, pipe cleaners and toilet paper rolls (see my example from last year below). I’m teaching 2 ASL signs per program, as Sign Language is the next big thing in our library’s storytimes. They are using them more heavily in Baby & Toddlertimes where the kids may not be able to speak, but since mine is for ages 2-5, I kind of figured that they would have the hang of that by now. So I’m teaching the word “Silly” (because I like to use the Raffi song Shake Your Sillies Out as my intro music) and whatever the theme is for the day. I’m also teaching my son the signs at home, so we’ve been having fun with that calling each other “Silly Robot”. This week’s topic is on Clouds and the final one of the month will be on Rainbows.

My Robot example

In other news, the Powerball Lottery here in Arizona is up to $1.4 Billion, which is just insane! So naturally everyone is trying to win it. My husband’s job did a pool at $20 a piece to get tickets, plus he went out and got another one for us. So if we were to win, that would be about $700 million a piece after taxes (I think). What would you do with that kind of money? Would you keep it or give it away? I don’t think I would quit my job b/c I know I would get bored otherwise, plus I love it. I could do a lot of things with that kind of money, including the following:

  • Pay off my student loan and though my hubby would probably hate me for saying this, maybe take some in-person classes at a good university for fun/to get a PhD because I could
  • Pay off my husband’s truck
  • My hubby would like a brand new Raptor truck, one of those stupidly expensive trucks with all the bells & whistles (I’ve seen a few around here because of the rich folks that live in Scottsdale)
  • Buy us a house and fix it up – or more precisely, move to the NW coast somewhere and buy a house
  • Put our son into a really good school and put aside a trust fund for going to university
  • Donate a sizable portion to children’s literacy and/or the library
  • My hubby would like to buy a house for his parents in England and have all of us go visit them
  • I would love to be able to travel more, all over the world; to Northern Europe again, or to Greece, Istanbul, or Japan
  • My hubby thinks I should get a new car, but I would probably just fix up his truck and make it really nice
  • Buy some nice art/vintage books